Saturday, April 12

Daily WHUFC News - 12th April 2014

Hammers to head for Schalke 04 Cup
West Ham United will take part in a prestigious four-team tournament in Germany in August

West Ham United are delighted to announce that the Club will take part in the prestigious four-team Schalke 04 Cup in Germany in August. The Hammers will join host club Schalke 04, Spanish Primera Division side Malaga CF and fellow Barclays Premier League outfit Newcastle United in the tournament, which will be held at the VELTINS-Arena over the weekend of Saturday 2/Sunday 3 August. West Ham will be roared on by thousands of supporters in Germany during the competition, which will be held in a stadium which hosted the 2004 UEFA Champions League final, five matches at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and has a capacity of 61,482, a retractable roof and retractable pitch. Two matches will be held on each day of the tournament, with a special points system in place. Three points will be awarded to the winner of a match, while if a game ends in a draw, it will go straight to a penalty shoot-out, with the winner receiving two points. Whichever club accumulates the most points in two matches will be declared the champions.

While West Ham have met Newcastle 125 times in their history, the competition will potentially see the Club meet both Schalke 04 and Malaga CF for the first time.

Ticket details for West Ham fans are yet to be confirmed and will follow on in due course. The competition marks the third summer in succession that West Ham will have visited Germany as part of their pre-season schedule. In 2012, the Hammers toured the country, taking on FC Rot-Weiß Erfurt, Dynamo Dresden and Energie Cottbus, while 2013 saw Big Sam's side face Bundesliga trio FSV Mainz 05, Hamburger SV and Eintracht Braunschweig.

Carr predicts City challenge
Tony Carr MBE believes the Under-18s will face their toughest challenge of the season on Saturday

Academy Director Tony Carr MBE is expecting the Under-18s to face their toughest challenge of the season when they take on Manchester City on Saturday morning. The Citizens have been the dominant force in the Barclays U18 Premier League North section this season, currently sitting in top spot with only five defeats from their 28 league fixtures. Steve Potts' team have been flying high themselves in the South section where they are still in the hunt for a top-two spot and Carr believes Saturday's match represents a huge test. "We're hoping to reverse the last couple of results and we're looking forward to going up to play Manchester City. They're the team of the moment in terms of youth and first team because of the profile they've got now and the backing behind them. They've won the northern league so it will be a big test for us. "It will be as tough as any game that we've played this season. There's an U21 game on the Friday, which obviously takes players from the squad and makes life a little bit more difficult. "We're hoping that the young players that we pick to go up there can go and do the job and we're really looking forward to the challenge."

The Hammers have hit a rough patch recently, losing their last three league matches having previously suffered only one defeat in their previous 17 league encounters. That superb run has kept the U18s in second place as they look to secure a spot in the season ending Play-Offs, and Carr believed their dip in form is part and parcel of football. "I think they're disappointed because obviously they were playing well. They can't win every game they play, that's just the way the game is. "You can't win every game and the boys had been on a fantastic run and now that we've had a couple of setbacks we have to stay focused and put on a good performance at the weekend."

The promotion to the Development Squad of several U18 stalwarts in the shape of Josh Cullen, Kyle Knoyle, Reece Burke, Jordan Brown, Lewis Page and Jamie Harney has forced Potts to promote players from the Club's schoolboy section in order to fill the void. Carr feels that those players who have come into the side need time to adapt to the step-up, but feels they will need to learn quickly as the season draws to a close. "It's a massive learning curve with the pace of the game, the physicality and it's a big test which isn't just about your footballing ability. "You have to be able to cope with all the other things that get thrown at you. Players have to be more tactically aware and there are lots of different challenges for a young player but it's a good experience for them. "That can only be good for their development and for their learning, but in this day you have to learn quickly and you have to take opportunities when they come.
"When it comes you've got to be ready to take it. There's no sentiment in the game, you've got to be good enough, and that's the bottom line."

The 63-year-old also admitted he'll be looking for the squad to give their all when they take to the pitch against the Sky Blues. "I'm not looking for a reaction that we wouldn't want in any other game. Give your all, be committed, go and enjoy it and let's see where it takes us."

Johnson eyes Arsenal repeat
2011 League Cup winner Roger Johnson would love to pull off another surprise win over Arsenal

Matches against Arsenal will always carry special resonance for West Ham United defender Roger Johnson. The centre back, currently on loan at the Boleyn Ground from Wolverhampton Wanderers, was part of the Birmingham City side which defeated the Gunners in the 2011 Carling Cup final. It meant the Ashford-born defender tasted success at Wembley at the second attempt, following an FA Cup final defeat for Cardiff against Portsmouth in 2008. Overcoming Arsene Wenger's side ranks as a career highlight for Johnson, who would love to notch another victory over the north London side on Tuesday. "Arsenal are Arsenal, everyone knows what they're about," he said. "They've been a bit hit and miss this season with results - they've had some good wins and some sloppy losses and they are where they are in the league. "I do think they're very beatable, as we saw the other day against Everton, and I have fond memories from the League Cup final in 2011, and the other clubs I've been at seem to have done well against them. "The cup final was a brilliant day and one I'll never forget. It's something I'll cherish because they had a great team at the time, they were doing well in the league and we were sort of written off. "I thought we deserved the result on the day, to beat someone like that makes it mean more too. They had Samir Nasri, Robin van Persie and the like, they had a great side out.
"We had a great run and we went into the final with the approach that it was about what happened on the day. Every game is on the day, so there's no reason why West Ham can't go to the Emirates and get a result on Tuesday too. "Yes, we'll be underdogs because we're playing Arsenal at Arsenal, but look at the Liverpool game the other day. They are top of the league and I thought we matched them all over really and should have come out of the game with a result."
Johnson was worked his way back into the Hammers' squad in recent weeks, coming off the bench in the victories over Hull City and Sunderland. The 30-year-old is delighted to be featuring again in the top flight following a difficult spell at Wolves and would love to contribute to more success over the final five gamea of the campaign. He added: "I came here wanting to play as many games as I possibly could. It was an opportunity for me to come in and play in the elite league and when I have done I don;t think I've done myself any harm. "Just being amongst it is what I came here for, and I've loved every minute of it. If I can get a few more games in between now and the end of the season and try to stick in the manager's head for something next season that would be great."

Dev Squad 0-1 Blackburn Rovers FT
The Development Squad slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Blackburn Rovers at Rush Green


Full-time: It's all over. The Hammers go down to a goal just past the hour mark from Blackburn captain Darragh Lenihan. It was a frustrating afternoon for the home side whose best chance saw Jordan Brown bring the best out of David Raya with a low shot. Defeat is a big blow to the hosts' chances of securing a top-eleven finish in this season's Barclays U21 Premier League. They now head to Sunderland for their last game of the season desperate for a win.
91: Knoyle hoists a high ball into the box, but no one is anywhere near close enough to challenge Raya as he claims the ball.
90: There will be three minutes added on for the Hammers to try and find a goal.
89: The hosts are stuck in their own half as Blackburn try to run down the clock. Preston recieves a yellow card for kicking the ball away after it rolls out of play and rightly so.
87: Tanner slides in on Fanimo to give away a free-kick. Whithead will take it from the halfway line. Harney meets it on the edge of the area but it hits the top of his head and slides out for a goal kick.
85: Whitehead tosses the ball into the box, but it's just not falling for the home side today and a defender is first to the ball to clear.
83: Bywater slams the ball into the net, but the whistle has already gone after Mavila is adjudged to have handled the ball in the build-up.
81: Into the last ten minutes we go. West Ham need to find inspiration from somewhere if they're going to get anything from the match.
79: Preston spurns a gilt-edged chance to wrap this game up. The striker is unmarked in the middle but he sends a glacing header wide of the far post. A let-off for the home side there.
77: A spot of confusion here as the referee gives Blackburn a free-kick before changing his mind after ten or so seconds. The Hammers can't take advantage though, as Burke ends up in an offside position from the ball in.
75: Laidler goes for a spectacular volley as the ball sits up nicely for him inside the Hammers' half. It's never on target, however, and Howes watches it sail over his goal.
73: Mavila does superbly to win a corner after chasing down Fanimo's through ball. Bywater takes, but Doyle is there at the near post to head clear.
71: Raya flies out of his goal like Superman to punch clear Mavila's corner. I'm sure this 'keeper has a mistake in him somewhere along the line.
69: Crash! The bar is still shaking after Preston hits a thunderous half-volley. The ball ricochets to Wall who has a half-volley himself and forces Howes into an excellent finger tip save. It's all happening here!
68: Bywater replaces Sadlier and immediately concedes a free-kick for an adjudged high foot.
67: Laidler finds himself with space inside the Hammers' half and decides to unleash a shot. He strikes it well but too well as it clears the goal by a distance.
65: Brown is felled as he tursn Doyle superbly and beats Bauress before the latter brings him down. Haycock makes his second change bringing on Burke for Lletget.
63: Mavila replaced Cole in the aftermath of the Rovers' goal. The winger will certainly provide an injection of pace into the side.
61 Goal: Lenihan heads Blackburn in front from Bauress' free-kick. The centre-back rose highest to send the ball past Howes and just inside the far post.
59: Nathan Mavila is out of his track suit and looks likely to be joining the action shortly.
57: It's only two exhibitions of great goalkeeping which keeps the score level here. There's already been more action in the secind half than there was in the first.
55: Cullen concedes a free-kick in an identical position to the one Knoyle gave away and has his name taken by the referee. This time Tanner goes for the far corner and Howes dives to his left to make a fantastic finger tip save. Top keeping!
53: Close! Raya makes a superb diving save as Brown drives a shot across the keeper. The stopper gets down low to palm it just out of the reach of Cole at the back post and away to safety.
51: Knoyle has had a torrid afternoon against Wall this afternoon and is penalised in a dangerous position as he grapples with the winger. Tanner lines up a shot and curls his effort harmlessly over Howes' crossbar.
49: Cole races into the box and delivers a teasing ball across the face of goal. Sadlier is busting a gut to reach the back post but even with a slide he is unable to reach the ball.
48: It's been a lively start to the second period by the visitors with Harney again on his toes to deny Wall.
46: The second half begins at Rush Green.

Half-time: The minute of injury time passes without incident, much the same as the whole of the first half. There's been very little action to get excited about with Joe Cole's effort after one minute the best either side has mustered so far. Let's hope for better in the second half.

46: One minute of added time to be played.
45: Cole is trying his best to spark some life into the game, but the final ball has not been up to what either manager would expect from their sides.
43: Fanimo yells in anguish as he balloons a cross over the waiting players in the box, over the goal and over the stadium wall. That sums up the game so far.
41: As we tick towards the break the game has quietened down, with both sides seemingly nulifying the others threat.
39: The Hammers are just failing to get out of second gear here as they search for a way through a stubborn Blackburn defence.
37: Rittenberg is the man chosen to replace Green on the right-hand side of the Blackburn midfield.
36: A welcome break for some of the players is provided as Green stays down and requires treatment. It doesn't look too good and he'll have to be replaced.
34: The away side nearly profit from Knoyle's loose pass as the full-back gives the ball away in the opposition's half. They break with intensity and slide Laidler through on goal but he fires a first time shot to the left of Howes' goal.
32: The crowd ring show their appreciation for Cullen after the tenacious midfielder tracks Wall a good 40 yards before executing a perfect slide tackle which wins his side possession.
30: Lletget strikes the first meaningful effort since Cole's early shot. The American picks the ball up on the edge of the box and takes a touch before sending a shot just over the bar.
28: The Blackburn keeper thinks he's a striker as he exceutes a nice Cruyff turn to get past the attentions of Brown. It's not the first time he's taken a chance at the back and they may yet prove to be an area for the Hammers to exploit.
26: Laidler is penalised for a late challenge on Knoyle as the full-back attempts to find Cole. Whithead takes the free-kick but floats it way too high and it's easy pickings for Raya.
24: Harney makes another well-timed interception to stop a Blackburn attack. The defender has so far been on top of his game to snuff out several attacks.
22: After a slow start Blackburn have begun to enjoy more possession than the Hammers and, at present, are enjoying the greater attacking threat.
20: Potts concedes a corner as the Hammers are forced to backtrack following a nice Blackburn move which resulted in Laidler's cross. The corner is met by an attacker and looks to be heading on target before it's blocked before reaching Howes.
18: Harney and Cullen both slide in to make crucial tackles this time as a number of Rovers' players line up for a shot. Cullen sticks his head in bravely to deny Laidler on one of the attempted shots.
16: Harney draws warm applause from the stands as he slides in to deny Wall. His tackle had to be perfect as the winger was inside the box. Luckily it was.
14: Cole whips in a free-kick from the right-hand side after Sadlier is felled. The ball in finds Potts who sends a downward header wide of the target.
12: Whitehead tracks Wall all the way back as he looks to stop the cross. The winger does, however, manage to squeeze a cross in but it sails harmlessly over the bar.
10: Lletget is found by Fanimo on the box but the midfielder isn't allowed to turn and he lays the ball back to Fanimo. The left-back delivers a ball into the box but by that point everyone has pushed out and the keeper is left to gather untroubled.
8: Cullen is penalised softly after getting across Wall's path as he looks to break over the halfway line.
6: Whitehead scuffs an attempted volleyed clearance and concedes a corner. A combination of Harney and Potts are on hand to clear from the corner as Wall tries to get a header on target.
4: What a start that would have been for the Hammers who haven't let their visitors out of their own half yet.
2: The Hammers almost take an immediate lead as Cole plays a one-two with Sadlier before firing a right-foot shot just wide. Close!
1 min: We're under-way at Rush Green as the Hammers go in search of an important three points.

1:57pm: The teams are summoned from their dressing rooms and follow as the referee leads the way onto the pitch. After the handshakes we'll be under-way here.
1:50pm: Joe Cole is looking in fine form as he places shot after shot into the bottom corner of the net during the warm-up. A sight for all West Ham fans to savour.
1:45pm: There's a healthy crowd of Hammers' fans at Rush Green and there's still time and space for plenty more to arrive.

1:25pm: The Hammers join their counter parts on the pitch now, with Joe Cole embracing Hendry and having a chat before he jogs off to join the rest of the team.
1:20pm: Blackburn players are out to begin their warm-up with a familiar face amongst their coaching staff. Former Rovers defender Colin Hendry is still sporting his long blonde hair even now as he puts his players through their paces.

1:05pm: This game was originally scheduled for a 7pm kick-off but with the easter holidays and the glorious sunshine we're now set-up for a great afternoon of football. There is still plenty of time for you to get down to Rush Green. Entry is free for Season Ticket Holders, £3 Adults and £1 Concessions.
The Development squad return to Rush Green for the last time this season as they take on Blackburn Rovers in their penultimate Barclays Under-21 Premier League fixture hoping that home comforts can help them secure a much-needed victory. Nick Haycock underlined the importance of three points from this match in order to help the Hammers secure a top-eleven finish which would guarantee them a place in the top tier of U21 football next season.
In order to help them achieve that, Haycock will again be able to call on the services of England midfielder Joe Cole, who played the full 90 minutes during the side's 2-0 defeat against Bolton Wanderers on Monday. The ninth place Hammers will be going all out against Rovers, who have endured a miserable season which has seen them win only two league matches all season, leaving them bottom of the table.

West Ham United: Sam Howes, Kyle Knoyle, Matthias Fanimo, Daniel Whitehead, Dan Potts, Jamie Harney, Sebastian Lletget, Josh Cullen, Jordan Brown, Joe Cole, Kieran Sadlier
Subs: Reece Burke, Gines Guzman, Nathan Mavila, Kieran Bywater, Amos Nasha

Blackburn Rovers: David Raya, Jack Doyle, Will Beesley, Hyuga Tanner, Louis Laing, Darragh Lenihan, Devarn Green, Bradley Bauress, Jordan Preston, Jordan Laidler, Luke Wall
Subs: Dean Rittenberg, Matt Urwin, Sam Lavelle, Deniz Pero, Aaron Tumwa

West Ham to play in German tournament
Filed: Friday, 11th April 2014
By: Staff Writer

It has been confirmed that West Ham will face German side Schalke, Spanish outfit Malaga and Newcastle United in a two-day competition this summer. The four teams are set to meet on the weekend of August 2/3 to do battle for the Schalke 04 Cup. Although full details are yet to be confirmed, the matches - two on Saturday and two on Sunday - will kick off at 3pm and 5pm local time. To determine the winners, teams will be awarded three points for a win whilst drawn matches will end in a penalty shootout, ensuring that draws are not possible. Tickets for the weekend will be priced between €10 and €49 for a day ticket - presumably for entrance to both matches. All games are to be played at Schalke's Veltins Arena, a 62,000-capacity stadium which opened in 2001.

The tournament will be the first time West Ham have met either Schalke or Malaga in a competitive fixture.

Ross McCormack on West Ham Radar Again
By Liam Newman , Featured Columnist Apr 11, 2014

West Ham United are being lined up with a summer move for Leeds United star Ross McCormack. The Hammers had been heavily linked to McCormack in January but never made an official approach. However, sources at talkSPORT have suggested the Premier League club could be ready to renew its interest with a summer bid for the Leeds striker. With Leeds being condemned to another season in the Championship, along with the uncertainty around Elland Road following Massimo Cellino's recent takeover, the Scotland international would be forgiven for seeking a new challenge in a higher league. For Sam Allardyce, the addition of McCormack would provide welcomed competition to the injury-prone Andy Carroll. In Carroll's absence, West Ham's lack of goals was severe. Despite boasting 13 clean sheets this season, the Hammers have only recently secured their place in next year's Premier League and will be desperate to avoid a similar fate next year. West Ham's problems in the attacking third got so bad that Allardyce was forced into re-signing former player Carlton Cole just months after declaring the striker surplus to requirements at Upton Park. The 30-year-old's return of six Premier League goals makes him the club's second-leading scorer this season, just one behind Kevin Nolan, who is set to be the named the Hammers most prolific marksman for a second year running with seven strikes.

McCormack would be a welcomed addition to the Hammers' setup, but it would be a signing that carries an element of risk. Despite an incredible return of 28 goals for Leeds this season, the Leeds captain has never played in the Premier League and also has a relatively poor record of just two strikes in 10 senior international appearances for Scotland. Staying in the Premier League next season is imperative for the Hammers, especially as they are set for their move to the Olympic Stadium in just two years' time. Perhaps McCormack will be there to help fire the goals that will ensure they bring top-flight football to their new home.

West Ham hold talks with PSG star
Date: 11th April 2014 at 6:27 pm
Written by: Irons Maiden |

The ever reliable @ExWHUemployee has revealed on Twittersphere that we've held talks with Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Jeremy Menez. The 26-year-old can play on the left or right hand side of an attacking trio and, up until this season, was a key player for the Ligue 1 side. The Frenchman's best return came in his debut season for PSG when he notched 7 goals – six more than our current wingers Stewart Downing and Matt Jarvis, combined for this season.

To pay or not to pay...
Filed: Friday, 11th April 2014
By: Raedwulf

And now for something rather different! Here's an interesting snippet in the BBC's Gossip Column, Thursday 10th.

"The law should be changed to force football clubs to pay the full cost of policing matchdays, according to one of the country's most senior police officials. "

The article linked is subscription only, but it begins thus: "London's deputy mayor for policing, said it was wrong that Barclays Premier League and Sky Bet Footbal League clubs were able to spend huge transfer fees on star players but baulked at the cost of paying for police officers to control crowds outside their grounds."

And a longer BBC article continues: "Official police policy is to only charge for policing within grounds and the area immediately around it. But ACC Andy Holt told BBC Radio 5 live clubs should pay the full cost of managing games as trouble spreads to other city areas and transport hubs.

The Football League said taxes are paid to cover policing costs. It said football fans should not "pay twice for policing."

My initial reaction was also "Well, it's the police's job to police!", but that was quickly followed by "Hang on a sec..." To the Football League, and by extension the Premier League, it must be answered, "Why should those with no interest in football pay even once?" Football is hugely wealthy, and the whole of the country is paying, directly or indirectly for the associated costs.

From a little research, it seems that the Met Police could recoup only £2.7m out of £7.2m spent in the 12/13 tax year. In 10/11, when there were five Premier League London clubs (no Palace or QPR), the costs for the top flight were estimated at £3.29m; those recovered only £2.3m.

In London as a whole there were, last season, six Prem, three Championship (Watford seem to be just outside the MP area), two League One and three League Two clubs. The costs, as the 10/11 Prem figures would suggest, are proportionately lower as you drop below the top division.

Ultimately, though, who should be paying?

On the face of it, that £4.5m discrepancy between costs and money recouped in 12/13 would pay for a first-choice defender, or a maybe-first choice midfielder for a club like ours. But that £4.5m is spread across 14 clubs & four divisions. (I'm also making the assumption that those 12/13 figures do only cover the top four tiers.)

The 10/11 figures, which come from a Freedom of Information request to the Met, are broken down by club. In our case the Est./Rec. costs are £592k/£436k, over 27 home matches. So the discrepancy amounts to less than £6k per match. The biggest for that season, pro-rata, is Chelsea at a little over £16k per game.

Even if a Tier four club is struggling along, surely a Premier League club can afford to pay its own way? But should it? It's far from a simple question.

Businesses pay for policing through business rates. We all know, at least anecdotally, about trouble outside pubs and nightclubs, especially at the weekend. Should they also pay special rates? What's the difference in rates, in turnover, in profit between a Premier League football club, the nightclub or a pub up the road?

What about the general store owner in Green Street who hates football? He, for sure, doesn't want to pay twice. He doesn't attend matches, he already pays his business rates, his business also suffers from more petty crime, locals might avoid Green St on match days and if there's any REAL trouble, hooliganism...

On the other hand, for 27 matches in 10/11, how many more magazines, packets of fags, bottles of pop, packets of crisps, bars of chocolate and so on does he sell? And for the local football-hating inhabitant? Even if they only indirectly benefit, more money is coming into their locality, and that, in theory at least, will benefit them.

My gut reaction is that the top two tiers, at least, ought to be able to fully pay their own way. I'm sure any astute businessman could get extra mileage out of doing so, too. I've no particular opinion on the matter, but it's an interesting question, don't you think?

Hammers set £3million asking price
Date: 11th April 2014 at 5:33 pm
Written by: Irons Maiden |

Ricardo Vaz Te scoring against Manchester CityDespite only recently signing a new one-year-deal, Football Direct News are reporting that West Ham could offload Ricardo Vaz Te, this summer.

The West Ham attacker nearly joined Norwich City in a deadline day move last summer transfer window but that fell through.

Vaz Te hasn't been able to cement his first-team place for West Ham due to injuries. However, when the Portguese ace has played, many fans believe it has been out of position, with some calling for RVT to be deployed upfront during Andy Carroll's absence.


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