Wednesday, March 26

Daily WHUFC News - 26th March 2014

Hull City match preview
All the need-to-know information ahead of Wednesday night's match against
Hull City


Match sponsors
West Ham United would like to welcome today's Match Sponsors Davies
Highways. Davies Highways are structural engineers based in Woodford Green,

• West Ham United will be aiming to end a run of three straight defeats in
the Barclays Premier League when Hull City visit the Boleyn Ground on
Wednesday evening.
• On Saturday, Manchester United took all three points with a 2-0 win in
east London courtesy of a Wayne Rooney double.
• Prior to defeat against the Red Devils, Sam Allardyce's side had won their
three previous home matches on the bounce, all by a two-goal margin.
• A run of three defeats has left the Hammers below Hull in the league
table, lying 14th with 31 points, compared to the Tigers' 33 points which
places them in 12th.
• Earlier in the season a Robbie Brady penalty after 12 minutes was enough
to earn Steve Bruce's side all three points at the KC Stadium back in
September 2013.
• Hull arrive in east London on the back of a 2-0 home win against West
Bromwich Albion last Saturday, a victory which came courtesy of goals from
Liam Rosenior and Shane Long.
• Last time out on their travels, a Nikica Jelavic double inspired the
Tigers to a 4-0 win against Cardiff City.
• That away win was one of just three that Hull have recorded on the road
this season, losing nine times and drawing twice.
Team news
West Ham United
• Matt Jarvis picked up a thigh injury during the defeat against Manchester
United and will be assessed ahead of the match on Wednesday night.
• Marco Borriello (calf) and Joey O'Brien (shoulder) are still some way from
a return to action with their respective injuries.
• Ravel Morrison, Modibo Maiga (both QPR), Jack Collison (Wigan Athletic),
Paul McCallum (Heart of Midlothian), George Moncur (Partick Thistle) and
Jordan Spence (MK Dons) are all out on loan.
Hull City
• Steve Bruce will check on the fitness of captain Curtis Davies and striker
Shane Long ahead of Wednesday night's fixture.
• George Boyd is suspended for the clash after he picked up a three-match
suspension following a clash with Joe Hart during the Tigers defeat to
Manchester City on 15 March.
Last time out
West Ham United 0-2 Manchester United
Barclays Premier League
22 March 2014
West Ham United: Adrian, Demel, Collins, Tomkins, McCartney, Noble, Nolan (C
Cole 72), Taylor (Nocerino 83), Diame (Jarvis 58), Downing, Carroll
Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Armero, J Cole, Reid
Hull City 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
Barclays Premier League
22 March 2014
Hull City: McGregor, Elmohamady, Rosenior, Chester, Davies, Huddlestone,
Aluko (Koren 61), Livermore, Meyler, Jelavic (Sagbo 84), Long (Quinn 77)
Subs not used: Figueroa, Bruce, Fryatt, Harper
Goals: Rosenior 31, Long 38
Previous meeting
A controversial Robbie Brady penalty after just 12 minutes secured all three
points for Hull City at the KC Stadium back in September 2013. The Irish
winger picked himself up after Joey O'Brien had been adjudged to have shoved
him, to slot the ball past Jussi Jaaskelainen from the penalty spot. James
Tomkins came close and Razvan Rat fired over as the Hammers searched in vain
for an equaliser.
Hull City 1-0 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League
28 September 2013
Hull City: McGregor, Rosenior, Figueroa, Davies, Faye, Huddlestone, Brady
(Meyler 80), Livermore, Elmohamady, Graham (Sagbo 81), Aluko (Boyd 89)
Subs not used: Harper, Bruce, McShane, Quinn
Goals: Brady pen 12
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Tomkins, Reid, Rat, Nolan, Jarvis
(Vaz Te 71), Morrison, Noble, Diame (Downing 71), Maiga (Petric 59)
Subs not used: Adrian, Collins, Demel, Taylor
Head to head (Last six meetings)
28 September 2013 Hull City 1-0 West Ham United (Premier League)
28 April 2012 West Ham United 2-1 Hull City (Championship)
5 November 2011 Hull City 0-2 West Ham United (Championship)
20 February 2010 West Ham United 3-0 Hull City (Premier League)
21 November 2009 Hull City 3-3 West Ham United (Premier League)
28 January 2009 West Ham United 2-0 Hull City (Premier League)
Overall record v Hull City (all competitions) W 17 D 14 L 11
Ten-year records
West Ham United
2012/13 Premier League 10th
2011/12 Championship 3rd (promoted to Premier League via Play-Offs)
2010/11 Premier League 20th (relegated to Championship)
2009/10 Premier League 17th
2008/09 Premier League 9th
2007/08 Premier League 10th
2006/07 Premier League 15th
2005/06 Premier League 9th
2004/05 Championship 6th (promoted to Premier League via Play-Offs)
2003/04 Championship 4th
Hull City
2012/13 Championship 2nd (promoted to Premier League)
2011/12 Championship 8th
2010/11 Championship 11th
2009/10 Premier League 19th (relegated to Championship)
2008/09 Premier League 17th
2007/08 Championship 3rd (promoted to Premier League via Play-Offs)
2006/07 Championship 21st
2005/06 Championship 18th
2004/05 League One 2nd (promoted to Championship)
2003/04 Division Three 2nd (promoted to League One)
• The first-ever meeting between West Ham United and Hull City took place at
Anlaby Road on 17 April 1920. Dan Bailey scored the Hammers' goal in a 1-1
Division Two draw played out in front of 8,000 spectators.
• West Ham's biggest home win over Hull City came on 6 October 1990 in a
Division Two match. The Hammers ran out 7-1 winners with the goals coming
courtesy of Steve Potts, George Parris, Trevor Morley and two each for Jimmy
Quinn and Julian Dicks.
• The biggest crowd to ever witness a game between West Ham and Hull at the
Boleyn Ground was for a Premier League match on 28 January 2009. Some 34,340
packed in and saw Carlton Cole and David Di Michele score a goal each as the
Hammers ran out 2-0 winners.
• West Ham have faced Hull 42 times in their history and have come out
victorious on 17 of those occasions. Hull have won eleven meetings and 14
have ended in a stalemate.
• Mark Noble spent three months on loan at Hull between February and May
2006. Noble made five Championship appearances during his loan spell with
the Tigers.
• Hull full-back Liam Rosenior is the son of former West Ham striker Leroy
Rosenior. Rosenior made 67 appearances for the Hammers, scoring 23 goals.
• Hull have only ever won twice at the Boleyn Ground in 20 visits. Their
victories came 56 years apart, with the first in December 1934 and the
second in January 1990. Both of the Tigers victories were by the same
scoreline, 2-1.
• West Ham and Hull have only ever met once in the League Cup. West Ham won
the second-round game 1-0 with Peter Eustace scoring the goal on 9 September
• Carlton Cole has enjoyed facing Hull, scoring four goals in six
appearances against them, including two in the 2-1 final-day Championship
win here on 28 April 2012.
• Hull striker Yannick Sagbo is the half-brother of West Ham right-back Guy
• Hull defender Abdoulaye Faye has won promotion from the Championship in
each of the last two seasons with West Ham and the Tigers. Faye was
originally brought to English football by Sam Allardyce at Bolton Wanderers
in 2005.
• Hull goalkeeper Steve Harper played alongside Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll
at Newcastle United, winning the Championship title in 2009/10.
• Hull defender Paul McShane and West Ham's Joey O'Brien have known each
other since childhood, having both grown up Dublin.
• A number of West Ham and Hull players have turned out together for old
clubs: Mohamed Diame and Maynor Figueroa (Wigan Athletic), Mark Noble and
Alex Bruce (Ipswich Town) and Stewart Downing and Curtis Davies (Aston
They played for both…
• Hull defender Abdoulaye Faye has won promotion from the Championship in
each of the last two seasons with West Ham and the Tigers. Faye was
originally brought to English football by Sam Allardyce at Bolton Wanderers
in 2005. He made 29 appearances for the Hammers in 2011/12.
• The following players have worn the colours of both West Ham and Hull
during their careers - Tommy Brandon, Jimmy Bullard, Roy Carroll, Alf
Fenwick, Richard Garcia, Cliff Hubbard, Mark Noble, Stuart Pearson and Tony

• The man in the middle for Wednesday's fixture is Mike Dean.
• Dean last refereed the Hammers in a 2-0 away win against Aston Villa with
on 8 February 2014.
• In all, he has refereed West Ham 36 times, with the Hammers winning 13,
losing eleven and drawing twelve of those matches.
• The 45-year-old began refereeing in 1985, starting out his career in
senior football in the Northern Premier League.
• In 2004, Dean took charge of his first international match, a friendly
between the Netherlands and Republic of Ireland at Amsterdam ArenA. That
same year, he took control of the FA Community Shield between Arsenal and
Manchester United.
• In May 2006, he refereed the Championship play-off final between Leeds
United and Watford at the Millennium Stadium. In 2008, he was the
man-in-the-middle for the FA Cup final between Portsmouth and Cardiff City
at Wembley Stadium.
• Dean will be assisted by Scott Ledger and Simon Beck, while the fourth
official will be Neil Swarbrick.
General information
• Tickets for the match are still available, details can be found on our
ticket page here.
• The weather forecast for Wednesday night is cloudy with temperatures
around 5C (41F).
• If you are commuting to the Boleyn Ground by tube on Wednesday night, you
can view live travel updates here.
• If travelling to the match via Greater Anglia train service, you can click
here to view travel information.

Mixed emotions for Brown
Jordan Brown scored twice but ended up on the losing side against Arsenal on

Jordan Brown was left with mixed emotions on Monday afternoon after netting
twice in a 5-3 defeat against his former club Arsenal at London Colney. The
forward impressed on his first start in the Barclays Under-21 Premier
League, grabbing two of the Hammers' goals alongside an overhead kick from
Dan Potts.
Zak Ansah and Chuba Akpom struck two late goals to see off the Hammers, and
Brown admitted that losing late in the day had took the shine off his first
goals for the Development Squad. He told West Ham TV: "I was quite happy to
score as it's always nice to score, especially against my old club. "I was
very happy, but at 3-3 it was there for us to go and win the game so I was
disappointed that we didn't get anything from the match. "It means a lot, it
means a hell of a lot actually, to score against my old club. It's all about
the result in the end and I'd rather have not scored if it meant we'd have
won the game."

The young Hammers fell behind three times and equalised three times, with
Potts' third leveller coming just ten minutes before full-time. Arsenal then
struck twice in the following five minutes to sink the visitors, and Brown
felt the game was there to be won for the Hammers. "Straight after the game
we felt a bit deflated because it was there for us on Monday. We equalised
three times and the game was there for us to take but unfortunately it
didn't work out that way.
"We had the momentum and it was all in our hands to go for it, but sometimes
a bit of complacency will cost you in a football match at this level."

The 17-year-old striker, who signed from the Gunners last summer, filled the
void left by top-scorer Elliot Lee's injury superbly with two strikes that
any frontman would be proud of. His first goal was a well-struck shot from
the edge of the area which nestled in the bottom corner, while his second
owed much to his poachers' instinct, as he was in the right place at the
right time to turn Blair Turgott's cross into the net. The pacey forward
might have bagged himself a hat-trick had a glancing header from a corner
nestled in the net, rather than rebounding off the post, the small margins
of which left Brown frustrated. "It hit the post and those little things
matter. If that goes in then we could have gone in to win the game. I'm
quite content with my first league start for the U21s but I still have
improvements to make."

Brown will have another chance to impress on Friday night, when the
Development Squad play Middlesbrough at the Boleyn Ground and Brown is eager
to play at the Club's stadium for the first time. "We've got a few injuries
at the moment so I've got to take the opportunity when it comes my way.
"I've never played at the Boleyn Ground before, so I'm really excited to
play there and turn over this result. "It's a good motivation, we've got a
young team right now and I think us doing well in the U18s gives us that bit
more confidence at this level. Under-21 football is new to a few of us, and
it's a new step which is exciting for us."

On this day - 26 March
Paolo Di Canio took centre stage with a remarkable strike which astounded
the Boleyn Ground

Classic match
West Ham United 2-1 Wimbledon
Premier League
26 March 2000
Paolo Di Canio stole the show when Wimbledon visited the Boleyn Ground on
this date in 2000, scoring the Goal of the Season with a volley that no West
Ham United supporter will ever forget. The Hammers went into this Boleyn
Ground London derby with Wimbledon in decent form, having claimed positive
results in three of their previous four fixtures. The Dons' stay in the top
flight was coming to an end and the Hammers didn't let up against the south
It took Di Canio just eight minutes to open the scoring with his now
world-famous first-time right-foot volley from Trevor Sinclair's cross that
angled past a helpless Neil Sullivan in the Wimbledon goal. West Ham held
their advantage until the break and a second goal from Frederic Kanoute on
59 minutes looked to have taken the game away from Wimbledon, although
Michael Hughes ensured a nervy finish by pulling one back 14 minutes from
the end. West Ham were not to be denied though, with the three point haul
lifting them up into eighth place in the table. They were to end the
campaign a position lower in ninth, with 55 points from 38 games. Wimbledon,
meanwhile, finished 18th, suffering relegation by a three-point margin from
Bradford City.

Complete record - 26 March
2000 West Ham United 2-1 Wimbledon (Premier League)
1994 Chelsea 2-0 West Ham United (Premier League)
1988 Manchester United 3-1 West Ham United (Division One)
1983 Norwich City 1-1 West Ham United (Division One)
1966 West Ham United 1-3 Fulham (Division One)
1956 Doncaster Rovers 2-1 West Ham United (Division Two)
1955 Birmingham City 1-2 West Ham United (Division Two)
1951 Swansea Town 3-2 West Ham United (Division Two)
1949 Luton Town 0-1 West Ham United (Division Two)
1948 Cardiff City 0-3 West Ham United (Division Two)
1938 Coventry City 1-1 West Ham United (Division Two)
1937 West Ham United 0-0 Barnsley (Division Two)
1932 West Ham United 1-1 Arsenal (Division One)
1927 West Ham United 4-4 Bolton Wanderers (Division One)
1921 West Ham United 3-0 Nottingham Forest (Division Two)
Played 15, Won 5, Drawn 5, Lost 5, Scored 23, Conceded 22

Hull's a family affair for Demel
Guy Demel could come up against his half-brother Yannick Sagbo in
Wednesday's game against Hull

Guy Demel could come face to face with his half brother when West Ham United
take on Hull City at the Boleyn Ground on Wednesday night. Yannick Sagbo
joined the Tigers from French club Evian last summer and was a used
substitute in their 1-0 victory over the Hammers earlier this season,
although Demel did not emerge from the bench that day. The pair could
therefore take to the field together for the first time this evening,
although Demel is not expecting any favours from his relative. "He won't be
answering the phone to me!" he said. "It's going to be strange, it's just
the second time that we've had a match against each other after the away
game earlier in the season. "I'm happy for him and the season he's had, but
on Wednesday the most important thing is that we get the three points."

Sagbo could feature at the Boleyn Ground, although Hull boss Steve Bruce has
several striking options at his disposal. Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic have
been in good form since joining the Tigers in January, while Matty Fryatt is
another useful alternative. "We just have to concentrate on our shape and on
how we're going to play," Demel explained. "Whether it's Long, Jelavic or
whoever, we have to make sure we're compact and have a good solid back four,
midfield and striker and that we work well as a team, because then we know
they won't have many chances to score. "It is a very important game for us.
After the last game and the few results before we need the three points."

The Hammers have lost their last three fixtures so Demel is well aware that
a return to form is required as quickly as possible. West Ham go into the
game on 31 points from 30 games played and in need of recording a handful of
victories to cement their top-flight place for another season. He added: "We
need to get back winning and this is a good opportunity to play at home
against Hull. We have to make sure we get points on the board from our games
against Hull and Sunderland because that would make things easier for us.
"It's a more important match than the one against Manchester United, even
though of course we tried our best to get some points. We have to get points
in every game and obviously against Hull we will be ready and able to win.
"They are having quite a good season. They are in the middle of the table
and are playing at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-finals so it's a good year for
them. "Hull have a good manager and a good team, they stick to the basics
but we just have to make sure that we get back to winning at home."

Noble wants to tame Tigers
Mark Noble is eyeing a valuable home victory over Hull City under the Boleyn
Ground floodlights

Mark Noble says West Ham United will go all out to avenge the defeat they
suffered at Hull City when the Tigers come to town on Wednesday evening. The
Hammers produced a decent display at the KC Stadium back in late September,
only for a contentious penalty decision to cost them dear in a harsh 1-0
Barclays Premier League defeat. Six months on and the two clubs sit in
similar positions in mid-table, both eager to collect the handful of points
needed to all but ensure their Barclays Premier League futures for another
season at least. "We feel we were on the end of an abysmal decision up there
with the penalty that they got," said Noble, who spent a period on loan at
Hull in early 2006. "We probably should have won that game, but that's life.
"We managed to get ourselves above them, although they've gone back in front
of us at the weekend, and that's the way football goes. We want to take the
three points."

With the fixture designated as a Kids for a Quid match, Noble encouraged as
many families as possible to come down and enjoy the final home match of the
season under the Boleyn Ground floodlights. "It's a Wednesday night game and
our midweek games are normally good fun under the lights, because the
atmosphere really gets going. People finish work and they just want that
release, so they come over to West Ham. "The kids have been at school during
the day and looking forward to getting over here, so hopefully we can get
the points for them."

Should West Ham collect three points from their clash with the Tigers, Noble
and company will move a step closer to safety and being able to enjoy the
2013/14 Player Awards. The first-team squad, Board and coaching staff will
all be present at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London's Park Lane on the
evening of Tuesday 6 May. There, Noble would love nothing better than to be
crowned Hammer of the Year for a second time - meaning his performances
between now and the season's end would have been of the highest calibre.
"Hopefully I can double-up. That's one of my aims, to win the Hammer of the
Year again. I won it a couple of years ago and it would be nice to win it
again, so hopefully the fans will vote for me!"

Big Sam on: Hull City
Sam Allardyce met the media at Chadwell Heath on Tuesday morning ahead of
the game against Hull City

Sam Allardyce spoke to the media at Chadwell Heath on Tuesday morning ahead
of Wednesday night's game against Hull City in the Barclays Premier League.
The West Ham United manager was quizzed on his side's latest team news,
Hull's first season back in the top-flight and Wayne Rooney's wonder goal
against the Hammers.

Morning Sam, what's your team news ahead of Wednesday night?

SA: "We only have a problem with Matt Jarvis on the injury front. He came
off with a tight thigh at the end of the game on Saturday night. We'll wait
for him until tomorrow and then make a decision then. At the moment it's
looking doubtful."

In the last seven games you had four wins and then three defeats. Can you
put your finger on what you were doing during those wins and perhaps not
doing so much in these defeats?

SA: "Scoring goals is the basic reason, and then ultimately not defending
consistently well throughout the whole game. There have just been a few
lapses in concentration, certainly at Stoke and against Manchester United
that the opposition broke away and scored from. There's also been the
influence of some very poor decisions by the referees in all three games. We
fell foul to some of our own deficiencies and some of the deficiencies from
the officials in three games on the trot, which is extremely disappointing."

Kevin Nolan said that you're not getting the rub of the green with
decisions, is that something you agree with?

SA: "At the moment, yes. We've identified three times where a major decision
has not been given. The first one was at Everton when Kevin Nolan got pulled
down going into the box by Gareth Barry. At Stoke it was a blatant penalty,
and of course we all know on Saturday night that Wayne Rooney fouled James
Tomkins before he scored. Generally, Wayne Rooney wouldn't have scored from
there and it wouldn't have been a significantly bad decision, but with him
scoring a goal, and it was a spectacular goal, the decision went against us.
The fact of the matter is that we can't do anything about that. What I've
got to do is get my team defending consistently well, as we know we can with
13 clean sheets this season. We need more of a goalscoring threat in terms
of where we were when we won four games on the trot, because we won by a
four-goal margin in each of those four games."

You've been dragged back into the relegation scrap just that little bit more
with these three defeats…

SA: "Yes, we have. I definitely never said or suggested that we were safe
when we were on the fantastic run. It goes to show that the game can change
very quickly in the space of three games, and to use an old adage, we're now
getting sucked back into the danger zone."

You're six points clear of the bottom three still, how many points do you
think you will need?

SA: "38 we'll need and we'll try to get more than that as quickly as we can.
I think 38 points will be needed this year. It's such a big game on
Wednesday now. Steve's (Bruce) done fantastically well this season back in
the Premier League with Hull City. He's sneaked two points ahead of us with
a great win against West Brom on Saturday and it's now a big six-pointer on
Wednesday night. Following that we play Sunderland away on Monday night, so
we're either going to very nervous by next Tuesday, or we're going to feel a
little bit safer."

Mark Noble's described this as one of the freakiest and tightest leagues
he's ever been involved in. Do you share that sentiment?

SA: "I agree. I've never in my long career, never experienced the ups and
downs that we've experienced this season. The consistencies, the
inconsistencies, the changes of the game, the way results have gone
throughout the league. It still boils down to one thing at the end of the
day, however difficult it's been, the one thing you must always remember is
that you've got to get more points than games played first and foremost to
secure your Premier League status. For a club that's in the Premier League
for the second season to establish themselves and be a consistent force in
the Premier League, that's very important."

How important is Andy Carroll in getting you to 38 points?

SA: "I think all the players are key. The disappointing fact for me is the
players and the great run they achieved was about the squad being nearly all
fully fit. If Matt Jarvis misses tomorrow we've got him, Joey O'Brien and
Marco Borriello missing. Marco and Joey have been out for a while but the
rest of the team have been fully fit and we haven't achieved the results
which the performances warranted.
"That's the disappointment, because we knew the bad times we had in
December, and January particularly, were down to the limited amount of
players we had available, and the players that were having to play out of
position. That was a major cause in us losing games. At the moment, we've
just not got that killer instinct on the front line and because we're going
all out for it we've left the back door open a couple of times and the
opposition have taken advantage of that."

Do you think the pressure is starting to build on the players again, after
three consecutive defeats?

SA: "I think the pressure always builds if you have a run of defeats. The
anxiety when you play a game of football is felt all around the ground. The
fans will be anxious, the fans will begin to get anxious again and you've
got to be able to cope with that pressure. You've got to be able to cope
with that anxiety and make sure you have a positive frame of mind to deliver
your best. You can't let it pray on your mind, you have to go out and play
as well as you can. The team have to have a great spirit and a great
resilience in terms of what you want to try and achieve."

Have you been impressed with how Hull City have performed this season?

SA: "When every manager comes into the Premier League you have a fear about
whether you'll be good enough. The additions Steve made and working in the
markets, he has turned them into a side who in their first season look more
than capable of being safe in the Premier League. He did his business before
the start of the season, went out and did some business in January and that
has helped again.
"Generally their home form has been the reason why they are where they are.
They have a varied striking attack, he's got much more than Jelavic and Long
to play with the likes of Sagbo, who have done a fantastic job in the FA
Cup. He's got an array of front men that he can play when he feels
necessary. He doesn't have to rely on Jelavic and Long as other players have
come in and taken them to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and some very good
victories in the league."

You've had a couple of days to reflect on Wayne Rooney's goal from Saturday.
Do you think it was as good as David Beckham's against Wimbledon?

SA: "Yes, I do. I think that David was a little further back, but Wayne's
was a volley and everyone in the game knows it's much more difficult to
control. It's harder to control a volley than it is to kick the ball off the
ground. Tettey at Norwich ran him close on the weekend I thought."

Haycock frustrated by Gunners loss
Nick Haycock believes defensive lapses let his team down as they slipped to
defeat against Arsenal

After watching the Development Squad end up on the wrong side of an
eight-goal thriller against Arsenal, coach Nick Haycock was a frustrated
man. Three times the Hammers fell behind, three times the Hammers drew
level, only to concede two quick-fire goals in the final ten minutes to fall
to defeat at London Colney on Monday afternoon. The visitors had no trouble
finding the net, with Jordan Brown netting twice against his old club and
Dan Potts scoring an outstanding overhead kick, but it was their failure to
keep the ball out of their own goal which left Haycock a frustrated man. He
told West Ham TV: "I just walked past Neil Banfield (Arsenal first team
coach) who I've known for a long time and he said 'Wasn't that a good game?'
and I've said 'The attacking part was, but the defending left a bit to be
desired'. "Parts of it I enjoyed and parts of it left me frustrated with the
way they scored. Every time we got back on level terms, we tried our best to
concede a goal. The key moment of the game was when we had a chance to break
and Matthias Fanimo slipped a pass through to Jordan but it was just
over-hit when we were on the front foot, and then at 3-3 Jordan had another
great chance. "They're defining moments and they need to understand these
young players that it's a step-up for them. As we've said all season, the
way me and Steve do it, that we're challenging young players at the next
level all the time. To be fair to Arsenal they also had a young team today
and I think it was a good advert for the U21 league."

With Elliot Lee ruled out of the match through injury, Brown was handed his
first start in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League this season, and the
front man did not disappoint. The striker joined the Club from Arsenal in
the summer and has featured regularly for Steve Potts' Under-18s, and
Haycock felt he rose to the challenge of facing his former employers. "He's
a young 17-year-old and playing against his ex-club he was keen to play and
I think he handled that well, because it's often difficult playing against
the club where you've been since you were a young schoolboy. "He wants to
learn, you can see he's a goalscorer and there are parts of his game which
we'll work on on the training pitch. He was unlucky not to get a hat-trick
with the header that came off the post as well as a few other little
chances. "All in all I'm looking at the performance as a whole and I always
take the positives. I thought the second goal was a very good goal and we
should have played like that more."

The young Hammers had no time to dwell on defeat to the Gunners as they face
Middlesbrough at the Boleyn Ground on Friday. With just four league matches
left to play, Haycock has urged his team to finish the season strongly,
starting with victory against the Teesiders. "You saw with our form before
Christmas we had a settled team and I think the results go with that. With
the win one, lose one, win one, lose one, type spell we've been going
through it's because the adjustments of the team. "I have no complaints
because I'm here to develop a player for the first team. I have set the
challenge for the boys now to go four out of four, to try and push
themselves up the league and stay in that division one for next season as
only the top eleven qualify. "If they get the four wins then they may still
get in the play-offs and then you're playing teams who've been up there, as
we have. It's just of late that the form's gone a bit but understandably
with the topsy-turvy nature of the team."

Hartson: Eyal always regret Berko incident
Filed: Tuesday, 25th March 2014
By: Staff Writer

Former West Ham United striker John Hartson has admitted that he still
regrets the infamous training ground incident in which he was captured
kicking team mate Eyal Berkovic. Back in September 1998, TV cameras were on
hand to record the moment that Hartson lost his temper with the Israeli
playmaker during a Chadwell Heath training session. Following a late
challenge by Hartson during a training match, the diminutive midfielder
lashed out at the Welsh striker - who responded instinctively by kicking the
floored Berkovic in the head. Due to the presence of TV cameras, the
incident went on to be replayed around the globe - and the incident proved
to be the catalyst for Hartson's sale just four months later. In a
wonderfully frank and honest interview for the new episode of the KUMB
Podcast - which you may listen to here - Hartson, now 38, admitted that it
is an incident that he deeply regrets. "I should never have done it but I'm
holding my hands up, I'm not trying to make excuses for what happened,"
Hartson told the Podcast's Chris Scull and James Longman. "I took
the ban, I took the punishment, I took all the media criticism and admitted
I was wrong. I should never had reacted the way that I did. "There was no
particular reason for doing it; it was nothing to do with Eyal Berkovic - it
could have been John Moncur, Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole or anyone. It was
nothing to do with the player, it just happened at that particular moment,
it was caught on camera and the whole world got to see it. "It's something
that I've had to carry around with me for the last 16 years - nobody wants
to talk about the 33 goals in 71 games or how I kept West Ham up almost
single-handedly. But I'm fine about it. It was a regrettable incident, but
it does happen. "I spent 20 months at West Ham and 18 months were very
good," he continued. "I scored goals, I got on great with the lads and we
had a good spirit. It just goes to show how your life can change in the
blink of an eye as within two months we'd gone out of both Cups, I was
under-performing and I'd had the embarrassment of the training ground
incident repeated all over the world. "I'd been totally wrecked in the
newspapers - it was front page stuff, not back page - and it was on News at
Ten, everywhere. So within that two month period I'd gone from hero to zero.
But 95 per cent of my memories at West Ham are fantastic. It's a great club
and I always get a great reception when I go back there."

Just four months after the Berkovic incident hit the headlines Hartson was
on his way out of West Ham and off to join the now-defunct Wimbledon FC in a
£7.5million deal - a switch that surprised many in the football world given
that the striker had looked a shadow of his former self for much of the
first half of the 1998/99 season. "Joe Kinnear came in with a huge sum of
money, £7.5million, where West Ham had paid £3.2million," added Hartson.
"I'd scored a few goals, West Ham were more than doubling their money in
terms of the transfer fee and went and bought Di Canio, Scott Minto and
Marc-Vivien Foe - God rest his soul - out of the money. "I went off to
Wimbledon with great memories and my head between my knees in a way, because
I'd embarrassed myself and my family in terms of what I'd done. It was just
one of those things. But the one thing from West Ham's point of view was
that they got great money for me."

And although Hartson still regrets the incident that led to a parting of the
ways with West Ham - for whom he had been prolific in his first season,
scoring an incredible 24 goals (17 of which came before Christmas) - he
maintains that training-ground bust-ups are far more prevalent than it is
thought. "It happens all the time," he insisted. "Perhaps not quite as
ferocious as that - I'm not saying people kick others in the face every day
in training - but there are fights, there are punch-ups and people grabbing
each other by the throat. People will get punched and players will make
two-footed tackles. "I also witnessed tempers getting out of hand during
training at Wimbledon and Arsenal. If there were cameras on the side of the
pitch there, like there was with me at West Ham, then there would be a lot
more incidents reported and a lot more players brought to justice for their

The magnificent seven
Filed: Tuesday, 25th March 2014
By: Staff Writer

Hammers boss Sam Allardyce has set his team a target of 38 points for
Premier League survival. Allardyce, who was speaking to the press this
morning ahead of tomorrow night's vital clash with Hull City believes that
his team need seven points from their final eight games in order to
guarantee their Premier League spot next season. And he hopes the first
three of those arrive on Wednesday night at the Boleyn when his side seek to
take revenge for the 1-0 defeat at the KC Stadium last September, when a
dubious penalty was all that separated the two sides. "I think 38 will be
needed this year," he told reporters. "It's such a big game on Wednesday
now. Steve's done fantastically well this season with Hull City. He's
sneaked two points ahead of us with a great win against West Brom on
Saturday and it's now a big six-pointer on Wednesday night. "Following that
we play Sunderland away on Monday night, so we're either going to very
nervous by next Tuesday, or we're going to feel a little bit safer. "The one
thing you must always remember is that you've got to get more points than
games played first and foremost to secure your Premier League status. For a
club that's in the Premier League for the second season to establish
themselves and be a consistent force in the Premier League, that's very

Despite having now lost three on the spin against Everton, Stoke City and
Manchester United, Allardyce remains confident that his squad are more than
capable of reaching their target. However he admitted that those defeats -
which followed four successive victories in February - have heaped the
pressure back on his squad. " The anxiety when you play a game of football
is felt all around the ground," he said. "The fans will begin to get anxious
again and you've got to be able to cope with that pressure. You've got to be
able to cope with that anxiety and make sure you have a positive frame of
mind to deliver your best. "You can't let it pray on your mind, you have to
go out and play as well as you can. The team have to have a great spirit and
a great resilience."

Anxious Sam Allardyce targets 38 points for West Ham to survive
Last Updated: 25/03/14 11:15am

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has admitted he is anxious that his side have
been sucked backed into the relegation fight and says they need at least
seven more points to stay up. Saturday's home loss to Manchester United was
their third straight defeat in the Premier League and it left them just six
points above the drop zone in 14th place. Their previous run of four
successive wins seems a distant memory as they prepare to host Steve Bruce's
promising Hull City side at Upton Park on Wednesday night. And Allardyce
said: "There's always pressure that builds when you have a run of defeats.
"We never said or suggested that we were safe when we were on the fantastic
run and we've got sucked back towards it again. We need 38 points and we'll
want to go past that as quickly as possible. "The anxiety when it's like
this is felt all around the ground. You have to cope with that anxiety,
don't let it prey on your mind and go out and play as you know you can.
"What I have to do is get my team defending as consistently well as they
have been and become a goalscoring threat again."

Allardyce has a near-fully fit squad, with just winger Matt Jarvis doubtful
for the clash with Hull, but he has previously bemoaned the injuries that
have ravaged his strike-force this season. "In my long time as a manager
I've not experienced the ups and downs as we have had, the consistencies and
inconsistencies throughout the league," he said. "Steve has made Hull into a
side who have competed all season. He has an array of frontmen who can play
as and when necessary. He doesn't have to rely on just Shane Long and Nikica

Hull manager Steve Bruce hails West Ham boss Sam Allardyce
Last Updated: 25/03/14 4:19pm

Hull City manager Steve Bruce believes West Ham boss Sam Allardyce does not
get the recognition he deserves as one of English football's top managers.
Ahead of their clash at Upton Park on Wednesday night, Bruce spoke highly of
Allardyce as both a close personal friend off the pitch and a respectable
adversary on it. Newly-promoted Hull have been a surprise package this
season and need just one more win to reach Bruce's pre-season target of 10
for the campaign. They are not yet safe yet, sitting just two points above
Allardyce's Hammers and eight points above the drop zone, but Bruce does not
expect either side to be facing relegation at the end of the season. "Sam
has always been successful in what he's done and maybe doesn't get the
recognition he deserves," Bruce said on Tuesday. "He gets unfair labels
thrown at him. If you look at the job he did at Bolton, it was nothing short
of miraculous. To finish in the top six three times was quite remarkable and
look at where Bolton are now. "Sam has always been successful in what he's
done and maybe doesn't get the recognition he deserves." "He got West Ham
promoted and kept them up. There is nobody more experienced and, if you are
in a dogfight, Sam's your man. I expect them to be nowhere near the
relegation area when the end of the season comes." Bruce is hoping
centre-back Curtis Davies will shake off a knee problem and keep striker
Andy Carroll in check as Hull search for a third successive away win in the
Premier League. The Tigers boss said: "We've had the privilege of seeing
Curtis over the last six months and you'd have to say he's been a terrific
signing for us. "Carroll is a handful when he's fit and flying like he is
but whether it's Carroll or Luis Suarez or whoever, Curtis seems to thrive
on playing against them."

By Iain Dale 25 Mar 2014 at 08:09
West Ham Till I Die

Three defeats in a row is relegation form. Now, we can console ourselves
with the fact that we are six points above the drop zone, but frankly that
is the only consolation. In the last three games we may have deserved to get
a point at Everton, but that is about all. But there is little point in
raking over the past. We need to concentrate on the next two games. There's
little doubt that if we win both we are all but safe. And with the next two
games away at Liverpool and Arsenal we can more or less write them off.
Well, maybe not, the way Arsenal are playing at the moment!

Part of the problem is that Sam Allardyce felt necessary to change a winning
team at Stoke. He made four completely unforced changes and destroyed the
rhythm of the side. He admitted as much himself after the game. Against
Manchester United he put Matt Taylor and James Collins back in the team, but
there was an imbalance with Diame playing on the right side of midfield
rather than where he is most effective. If we're playing with Andy Carroll
as a central striker, surely we need to play two wingers who can constantly
bang in crosses to him. We know he wins most balls in the air, and a lot of
his goals come from powerful headers. So why not play to his strengths. I
think back to his first game back after his injury when we didn't actually
play with any wingers at all. Complete madness.

So tomorrow night, I want to see Matt Jarvis restored down the right, with
Downing down the left and a midfield three of Noble, Nolan and Taylor. Diame
has become a luxury, only playing in short bursts and then disappearing. He
could be a real quality player for us if he put his mind to it, but his mind
seems too often to be elsewhere. If his level of application was half that
of Matt Taylor he'd be quite some player. The great thing about having
Taylor in the team is that he knows how to whip in a cross and is great in a
dead ball situation.

Think what a win, and a performance, will do for morale as we head up to
Sunderland on Saturday.


This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.

No comments: