Saturday, March 8

Daily WHUFC News - 8th March 2014

Dev Squad 0-2 Liverpool - FT
Minute-by-minute coverage of the Development Squad's match against Liverpool
at Rush Green


Full-time: It's all over here at Rush Green as Mr George blows the whistle
for the last time. A fortuitous goal on the stroke of half-time set
Liverpool on their way after they were lucky not to find themselves behind.
Lee struck a post and Cullen went close in the first half but the Hammers
couldn't find a way through. In the second half, a lovely move from the
visitors provided their second of the night as Dunn finished off a flowing
move. The Hammers gave their all but couldn't break through a solid
Liverpool backline. Full-time from Rush Green, West Ham 0-2 Liverpool.
90 mins: Sadlier whips a corner in and a scramble ensues before Potts turns
the ball over the bar, possibly the last chance that will fall the Hammers'
way tonight.
89 mins: Peterson is ambitious as he drives the ball on target from miles
out. Spiegel is equal to it and hoofs the ball upfield.
87 mins: Liverpool have the ball in the net again as Peterson tucks in the
rebound from Dunn's long-range effort, but the offside flag is up.
86 mins: Cullen wins a corner after his shot is deflected wide. Lee gets his
head to the resulting set piece but Mersin is able to gather.
85 mins: Nasha again involved as he rolls the ball across for Turgott to
shoot from range. He strikes one low bit it's never on target and doesn't
trouble the keeper.
84 mins: Nasha does brilliantly as he beats two players before teeing up
Sadlier for the cross. The winger puts the ball across the front of goal but
it evades everyone and goes out of play.
82 mins: Liverpool are now looking to time waste with the ball in the
corner. Sadlier however seems eager to not let any second slip by as he
steams in to break up the play.
80 mins: The Hammers have to go for it now as we tick into the final ten
minutes at Rush Green. Brown and Lee are now up top as they look to apply
the pressure.
79 mins: Double change for the home side as Brown and Nasha sprint onto
replace Whitehead and Fanimo.
77 mins Goal: Dunn surely settles it with the visitors' second. A lovely
move which was started by Lucas saw Lussey slide a through ball for
Brannagan who squared the ball first time for Dunn who placed the ball past
75 mins: Turgott wins a corner as Texeira slides in to block the winger's
cross. Sadlier whips it in but Lucas is there to meet it and nods clear.
73 mins: Peterson nearly doubles the visitors' lead as he weaves inside the
Hammers box and drags his shot just wide of Spiegel's far post.
71 mins: Sakho's down again as he blocks Turgott's cross and concedes a
corner. He is taken off this time and replaced by Paez. Meanwhile, Sadlier's
corner drifts over everyone and out for a throw-in.
69 mins: The Hammers need to find the same attacking threat which proved
effective in the first half as they've created little in the second.
67 mins: Turgott steams into a tackle with Texeira but escapes a caution,
meaning we're still yet to see a card produced by Mr George tonight.
65 mins: Nick Haycock makes his first change as he replaces Lletget with
Sadlier. The midfielder seemed to limp off indicating the necessity for
64 mins: Fanimo gets in behind the defence thanks to Lletget's through ball
but blazes his shot miles wide of the target.
62 mins: Sakho takes a tumble under a challenge from Lletgte and he stays
down. There are worried looks on the away bench but as yet no substitution.
60 mins: Liverpool are controlling possession now and are quite happy to
keep the ball amongst their back four with Lucas occasionally getting
involved. They finally go forward only for Smith to send a wild cross over
the bar.
58 mins: Lee has been pretty isolated at the start of this half with the
home side yet to apply the same pressure which forced Liverpool into
mistakes in the first.
56 mins: A lovely passing move, in which the Hammers worked the ball from
left to right and back again, comes to an end with Turgott's cross which is
easy for Mersin to collect.
54 mins: Knoyle is under pressure as he deliver a cross from the right
byline. Mersin gathers easily as the ball floats in his direction.
52 mins: Page and Lee work a quick one-two to set the full-back in behind
the defence. He crosses first time from the left-hand side and finds Lee who
shoots wide as he stretches for the ball.
50 mins: Peterson bursts into the box to get his head to Smith's cross from
the left. He gets up ahead of Potts but his header is straight at Spiegel.
48 mins: The Hammers pen Liverpool into their own half early in the second
period as they look to continue the domination they enjoyed in the first
46 mins: West Ham kick us off for the second period trailing to a scrappy
goal right at the end of the first half.
Half-time: A cruel blow right on the stroke of half-time is all that sees
the Hammers behind. The hosts have been superior all over the park so far
and have had numerous opportunities to take the lead. The Hammers best
chance came when Lee saw his acrobatic effort strike the post, while
Whitehead and Cullen have also come close. Really harsh on the home side
who've looked comfortable holding Liverpool at arms length. Half-time at
Rush Green, West Ham 0-1 Liverpool.
45 mins Goal: Spiegel will not want to see this one again. Nice football
from the visitors sees them string together countless passes before
Peterson's shot is defelected off Dunn and spins past Spiegel who looked to
have it covered.
43 mins: The effort and application has been first class from the Hammers in
this first half and they can count themselves unfortunate not to be ahead.
41 mins: As we approach half-time the Hammers come close to opening the
scoring once more. Cullen eventually takes the shot after great work from
Lletget. He tries to place the ball into the corner but his effort is
comfortable for Mersin.
39 mins: Peterson sees an effort go out for a corner after he found space on
the edge of the box. Chambers is up at the back post this time to head
37 mins: Great defending by Turgott who tracks Smith all the way back and
blocks the cross. The resulting corner is whipped into the area where
Lletget meets it and Lee sprints clear.
35 mins: Turgott takes but the ball is cleared at the near post by Peterson.
34 mins: Sakho lunges in on Turgott as he just about touches the ball as it
goes out for a corner. Fanimo takes, again to the back stick before Smith
puts it out for another corner.
32 mins: Lussey calls Spiegel into action with an effort from the edge of
the box but Spiegel deals with it easily enough.
30 mins: Post! Whitehead's free-kick is flicked on by Potts to Lee, who
collects on his chest before flicking the ball goalwards only to see his
effort hit the post! What a great chance!
29 mins: Fanimo curls it to the back post where Turgott can't direct his
effort on target and it goes out for a throw.
28 mins: Whitehead does brilliantly in the middle of the park. He skips away
from one before sliding a pass for Knoyle to run onto. The right-back's
cross is turned out for a corner.
26 mins: Sakho launches an aerial ball forward looking for Dunn, Chambers is
there, however, to intercept and nod the ball back to Spiegel.
24 mins: Sakho brings a smile and a chuckle from the watching Tony Adams as
he pulls out a flick to clear the ball from his penalty area. Luckily for
Sakho it falls to a teammate and they keep possession.
22 mins: Lee runs into space in front of the back four before he decides to
shoot from distance. His effort is hard and low but doesn't have the
accuracy to trouble the keepers goal.
20 mins: Awful decision from the officials as Fanimo looks to break down the
left. He's slide tackled and the ball clearly comes off Williams before the
referee signals a Liverpool throw-in.
18 mins: Smith breaks away down the left after Liverpool benefit from a
lucky deflection off Lletget. He feeds Dunn into the left-hand channel
before the striker shoots wide from an acute angle.
16 mins: Page now goes haring into a challenge after he over runs the ball.
He's late but contact is minimal and he gets away without a card.
14 mins: The Reds have a free-kick just outside the area on the left-hand
side. Texeira takes and Potts heads straight to Peterson whose shot is well
blocked by the despairing Page.
12 mins: A good spell of possession from the away side ends as Lucas tries
to put Smith in over the top but misplaces his lofted pass.
10 mins: Lucas has his first few touches as he looks to settle the visitors
into a rhythm. The Brazilian is making his first appearance since an ankle
injury which has ruled him out for most of the season.
8 mins: Whitehead tries to repeat his spectacular strike against
Southampton, as he throws a beautiful dummy before striking the ball just
wide with the outside of his foot. Very positive play so far.
6 mins: What a lively start it's been from the Hammers who look really up
for this. Remember, a win tonight would be their third in a row.
4 mins: What a save! Lletget sets Fanimo away down the left and he drives
into the box before pulling the ball back for the on-rushing Lee. The
striker hits a powerful effort on target but Mersin produces a great diving
stop to deny him. From the rebound, Lletget volleys just wide.
3 mins: The corner is whipped and Chambers makes a good block from the
rebound before the ball is cleared.
2 mins: Chambers loses possession on the halfway line and Smith sprints away
down the left. He attempts a cross but Potts deflects it out for a corner.
Kick-off: Liverpool get us going at Rush Green. Come on you Irons!
6:59pm: The teams are out and undertake the pre-match handshakes.
6:52pm: Tony Adams is in the stands tonight, right in front of me infact. He
will no doubt be hoping that some of tonight's players do enough to catch
his eye.
6:41pm: The tunes are blaring out at Rush Green as we head towards kick-off.
A healthy crowd has come to see a strong Liverpool side take on the in-form
6:26pm: A Liverpool team containing Lucas Leiva and Mamadou Sakho have begun
their pre-match preparations and are joined by the Hammers.
6:15pm: The keepers are out to commence their warm-ups as the crowd starts
to drift in at Rush Green.
6pm: Coverage has begun at Rush Green on a beautiful clear evening. It's a
stark contrast to three weeks ago when the rain was pouring and the wind was
swirling for the Hammers 1-0 success here against Southampton. We hope the
better conditions will see better football tonight.
It's Friday night and the feelings right…oh yes, it's Development Squad
night! The young Hammers go in pursuit of their third consecutive win in the
Barclays Under-21 Premier League tonight when they welcome Liverpool to Rush
Green. Back-to-back wins against Southampton and Reading has put the spring
back in the Under-21s step following a disappointing start to 2014. A wonder
goal from Elliot Lee and a clinical strike from Blair Turgott earned the
Hammers a 2-1 win against the Royals last time out, and propelled Nick
Haycock's side to fifth place in the division.
Tonight's visitors Liverpool arrive having suffered a 2-1 defeat to Reading
on Monday, their only defeat in four matches following a run of three
straight wins which took them to second place in the table. The Reds line-up
also includes the returning Lucas Leiva who steps up his comeback from a
knee injury at Rush Green. The visitors also have Mamadou Sakho amongst
their ranks, with the defender set to play some part in the match. West
Ham's starting line-up is unchanged from their win over Reading last time
out, with Raphael Spiegel and Kyle Knoyle returning from international duty
to start and Reeec Burke taking his place amongst the substitutes.
West Ham United: Spiegel, Knoyle, Potts, Chambers, Page, Whitehead, Cullen,
Lletget, Fanimo, Turgott, Lee
Subs: Burke, Nemrava (GK), Sadlier, Nasha, Brown
Liverpool: Mersin, Williams, Smith, Jones, Sakho, Leiva, Peterson, Lussey,
Dunn, Brannagan, Texeira
Subs: Paez, Firth, Maguire, Rossiter, Bijev

Chadwell Chatter
James Collins blogs for on Wales, the Hammers' defensive form and

Hi everyone,

I've been away with Wales in the early part of this week, and it was nice to
gain a positive result by defeating iceland 3-1 in our friendly at the
Cardiff City Stadium. It was an important game as we build towards
qualification for Euro 2016 and I was happy to score my second goal for my
country, heading our opener in the first half. I hope that this can be the
time Wales qualify for a major tournament. If we can keep a fully-fit squad
and a first eleven out there every game, we should have a good chance. We
played Belgium in the qualifying campaign just gone and they are a world
class team. People are tipping them to go quite far in the World Cup, so
that is going to be a tough game. But we drew 1-1 there in the last game of
World Cup qualifying and gave them a hell of a game, so we know we can
perform against them. Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey are obviously world class
players, and the boys playing for Swansea are having the experience of
playing in Europe, which will be a massive help for us. They're playing
against a different style of opposition, which will be good for the first
team. It's a very exciting time, especially for an old man like me! I have
been one of the older heads in the squad for a couple of years now, which
speaks volumes for the standard of players that we're producing. You can see
that with Gareth and Aaron Ramsey, so it's an exciting time and I want to
try and hang onto it as long as I can.
As for West Ham, our defensive form has been fantastic recently. We did have
a lot of injuries in key areas earlier in the season, Winston was out and
Big Andy was out too. We don't like to use that as an excuse, but it did
affect us a little bit. We knew that when we had everyone back fit and
competing for places our results would pick up, and to get four wins on the
bounce has picked our season up massively. It's going well, there's the odd
game when we've conceded three or four, which is going to happen with the
quality of centre forwards in the Premier League but we're defending well
and the goalkeeper behind us has been on fire in the last couple of weeks as
well. We've got 13 clean sheets at the moment and hopefully we can get many
more before the end of the season - starting with Stoke a week on Saturday.

Come on you Irons

Potts ready for rival clash
Steve Potts is looking forward to a London derby against Arsenal this

Steve Potts is looking forward to seeing a healthy rivalry when he takes his
Academy side to play Arsenal in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League on
Saturday. The Hammers are targeting a sixth consecutive win against the
Gunners, following a five match winning streak which has seen them score
eleven times and concede just once. Potts' team are currently the occupants
of second place in the division, level on points with leaders Fulham, and
the 46-year-old is hoping for three more points against their north London
rivals. He told West Ham TV: "It's a very good challenge for us. You know
how a game against Arsenal's going to go. They try and play their football
and they'll be looking to beat us. "There's a bit of rivalry between the two
groups I would say, and at Youth Team level and below, I think the two teams
are always looking to outdo each o ther. "Hopefully we can get on with our
game and play how we have been doing."

The U18s' excellent form has not only been restricted to their last five
games, with the team having tasted defeat only once in ten league matches,
with an incredible nine wins in that sequence. Defeat to Southampton, a
narrow 2-1 loss, is the only blip since going down to Sunderland way back in
September 2013 and Potts admits to being delighted with the consistent level
of performance shown by his players. "The boys have done well lately and put
in some good performances. They came back after Christmas, went down to
Southampton and I thought we were a bit unfortunate down there and the
result went the wrong way for us. Since then, we've done ok. "I think it's
key. There are some talented boys in the group but I think consistency is
the one thing you're looking for, without that it's going to be a struggle.
"At this age and especially at a senior level, everyone's looking to know
what they're going to get out of each player each week. I think the boys
have done that well so far and I hope that carries on."

Last time out goals from striker Jordan Brown and winger Djair
Parfitt-Williams inspired the young Hammers to a 2-0 victory against their
nearest competitors Fulham. Potts felt his side deserved the three points
against the Cottagers and has now set his sights firmly on taking the same
return from Saturday's clash.
"It's been a good test for us this year. I said to the boys at the start of
the year it will be a tough test all round. "You're going to get a mixture
of games and you're going to have to play quite a few northern teams as
well, which mixes it up quite well. We went to Fulham and gave a good
account of ourselves and came out with a good result. "I think it's going to
be a tough game (Arsenal), whatever team they put out. That's the thing with
this division, you never quite know what team they're going to put out.
They're doing well in the FA Youth Cup, so they can be strong and I'm sure
we'll see that on Saturday."

TC honoured
Filed: Friday, 7th March 2014
By: Staff Writer

Tony Carr has been presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award as
recognition of his services to West Ham United. The Academy Director has led
the club's youth programme since 1973 and was honoured at a special London
Football Legends bash held in the City last night. he event, a fund-raising
evening for the Willow Foundation, was held in London and compered by TV's
Alan Davies. More than 20 London legends, including former Hammers Sir
Geoff Hurst and Sir Trevor Brooking, attended the awards and took part in a
Q&A session hosted by former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson. The remaining
award winners on the night were as follows:
Outstanding Contribution to a London Club - Pat Rice (Arsenal)
London Player of the Year 2013/14: Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal)
Bert Trautman Award: Pat Jennings (Tottenham)
Retired Club Legend: Ledley King (Tottenham)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Roy Hodgson (England)

The most bizarre nomination of the evening went to Harry Redknapp, who was
one of six nominees in the 'Contribution to a London club' category for his
services to West Ham United. Other Hammers nominees to go home empty handed
were Jussi Jaaskelainen (2013/14 Player of the Year) and Mervyn Day (Bert
Trautman Award).

By S J Chandos 7 Mar 2014 at 08:30
West Ham Till I Die

It was interesting to read a summary of the recent Claret and Hugh interview
with David Gold. In it, Gold acknowledged that the club's summer transfer
strategy will likely aim to bring more indepth quality to the squad. He also
emphasised the importance of increased competition for starting places in
promoting improved iindividual and team performance. There is nothing to
disagree with there, in fact, they are the self same points that I have made
in my blog posts in recent weeks. However, as welcome as those these good
intentions are, it is not unreasonable to ask will the club 'walk the walk,
as well as talk the talk' this time?

Personally, I do not envy the current board's task of juggling debt
reduction with the imperative of building the squad. But it is their
responsibility to do so and we are perfectly justified, as supporters, to
express our opinion on what the priorities should be. The Claret and Hugh
interview did not reveal a monetary figure for the 2014-15 transfer budget,
but Hugh opined that it was likely be in the region of £20-25m. Arguably,
there should be a concerted push to improve the squad next season and that
will probably take something in the region of £30m to make a significant
impact. Is that possible in the current financial circumstances? One would
hope that it would be possible to invest more in the squad this season and
re-adjust to books in the following season 2015-16. And of course, there is
always the forthcoming proceeds from the sale of Upton Park, which will make
a major contribution to reducing the debt to manageable proportions,

Now is the time to gamble and push on next season (assuming that we will be
safe at the end of this campaign) to try to establish ourselves in the top
eight of the PL. In doing so, the club should beware of the potential 'pit
fall' of Europa League qualification. The experience of other clubs tells us
that competition is intensive and draining upon the playing resources of PL
squads. In an ideal scenerio, it would be much preferable to achieve a
'great leap forward,' assault on the top four and qualify for the Champions
League! But needless to say, that is far easier said than done. The more
realistic proposition is that an improved West Ham squad may be able to
qualify for the less glamorous of the two European competitions. Inevitably,
the squad needs more quality not only to qualify for Europe, but also to
progress in the Europa League and remain competitive domestically.

Another point made by David Gold, that I have also made previously, is the
need to nurture ambitions above and beyond the 'baseline line' of PL
survival. This means not only pushing on in the league, but achieving
progress in the domestic cup competitions. We must start taking those cup
opportunities much more seriously, not only because it remains the most
realistic pathway to honours, but because the Hammers faithful expect it.
Cup runs, thrills and spills are an integral part of the club's traditions
and some of the best memories arise from the domestic cup competitions. It
is one of a number of club traditions that need to be resucitated as a
matter of urgency; along with keeping possession and passing the ball far
better than we have this season. I thought that the team passed the ball
well on occasions last season, especially at Upton Park. But our % of
possession in matches, this season, have been too low and in away games, we
have have often not been an effective attacking force. This needs to be

Sam Allardyce has undoubtedly brought some positives to the club. He has
transformed us defensively, made us more organised and far harder to beat.
He has also fostered a good and positive team spirit, where the players 'dig
in' and fight for each other. Those factors need to be acknowledged, but in
doing so, the board also need to raise the bar of expectation next season.
It needs to be made clear that these achievements need to be accompanied by
improved attacking play and a genuine assault in the cup competitions. They
should provide an increased transfer budget and challenge management to
confound the critics and show that the regime can progress beyond a solid
baseline of delivering PL survival through defensive solidarity, keeping
clean sheets and nicking as many wins as possible!

SJ. Chandos.


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