Tuesday, April 15

Daily WHUFC News - 15th April 2014

Arsenal match preview
A look ahead to Tuesday night's game against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium


Hillsborough tribute
• Tuesday marks the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, and as
such, both teams will be showing their respect to Liverpool FC and the
families of the 96 people who lost their lives on that tragic day.
• Approximately five minutes before kick-off, mascots from Arsenal and West
Ham United will emerge from the tunnel carrying a red wreath in the shape of
96. The mascots will then proceed to lay the wreath onto the centre spot
before heading back to the tunnel.
• Once the players have walked out onto the pitch and undertaken the
customary pre-match handshakes, there will be a period of silence observed
before kick-off. After the period of silence, the wreath will be carried off
by mascots from the two clubs before being laid in-between the respective
technical areas.
• West Ham United make the short trip across London to Emirates Stadium on
Tuesday night for a Barclays Premier League fixture with Arsenal.
• The Hammers come into the game having put up a good fight before
ultimately going down to a 2-1 defeat against Liverpool at the Boleyn Ground
last time out.
• Sam Allardyce's side did however enjoy success on their last away league
outing when they recorded a 2-1 victory against Sunderland at the Stadium of
• The east Londoners head into the match almost certain of their place in
the Premier League for next season, having accumulated 37 points with five
games left to play.
• When these two sides met earlier in the season, Carlton Cole gave West Ham
the lead before a Theo Walcott double and a goal from Lukas Podolski sunk
the home side.
• Arsenal had moved to the top of the table after the aforementioned win in
December, but they now find themselves fighting for a top four finish.
• The Gunners have failed to win any of their last four league outings and
were soundly beaten 3-0 by Everton at Goodison Park last time out.
• Arsene Wenger's team have also drawn their last two league matches at
home, with a 1-1 draw against Manchester City and a 2-2 draw with Swansea
City putting the buffers on their title challenge.
• The Gunners did however reach the FA Cup final on Saturday after they beat
Wigan Athletic on penalties .

Team news
West Ham United
• Joey O'Brien is back in full training with the rest of the squad as he
steps up his return to fitness following a dislocated shoulder.
• Marco Borriello is still absent with a calf injury, while George McCartney
tweaked a hamstring against Sunderland and will have his fitness assessed.
• James Collins missed the match against Liverpool and looks likely to miss
out on Tuesday night, while Kevin Nolan is a doubt with a hamstring problem.

• Theo Walcott and Abou Diaby (both ACL) are Arsenal's long-term injury
• Jack Wilshere (ankle), Mesut Ozil, Ryo Miyachi (both hamstring), Laurent
Koscielny (calf) and Serge Gnabry (knee) are all doubts.

Last time out
West Ham United 1-2 Liverpool
Barclays Premier League
5 April 2014
West Ham United: Adrian, Reid, Nolan (Nocerino 65), Tomkins, Armero,
Carroll, Taylor (Jarvis 78), Noble, Demel, Diame (C Cole 85), Downing
Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, J Cole, Potts, Johnson
Goal: Demel 45
Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Monreal (Gibbs 63), Mertesacker, Vermaelen,
Ramsey (Kallstrom 113), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arteta, Cazorla, Podolski
(Giroud 68), Sanogo
Subs not used: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Akpom, Eisfeld
Goal: Mertesacker 82

Previous meeting
Arsenal scored three times in eleven second half minutes to come from behind
to beat West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground on Boxing Day. The home support
were on their feet just 50 seconds after half-time, when Carlton Cole tapped
the ball home after Wojciech Szczesny fumbled it into the striker's path.
The Hammers led until the 68th minute when Theo Walcott equalised, three
minutes before putting his side in front. Lukas Podolski came off the bench
to put the finishing touches on the win with 79 minutes on the clock.
West Ham United 1-3 Arsenal
Barclays Premier League
26 December 2014
West Ham United: Adrian, O'Brien (Demel 63), Collins (Rat 38), Tomkins,
McCartney, Noble, Diame, J Cole, Nolan (Taylor 75), Jarvis, C Cole
Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Collison, Maiga, Diarra
Goal: C Cole 46
Arsenal: Sczcesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Ramsey (Podolski
65), Arteta, Walcott, Ozil (Flamini 81), Cazorla, Giroud (Bendtner 85)
Subs not used: Fabianski, Monreal, Jenkinson, Gnabry
Goals: Walcott 68, 71, Podolski 79
Last six meetings
(Premier League unless stated)
26 December 2013 West Ham United 1-3 Arsenal
23 January 2013 Arsenal 5-1 West Ham United
6 October 2012 West Ham United 1-3 Arsenal
15 January 2011 West Ham United 0-3 Arsenal
30 October 2010 Arsenal 1-0 West Ham United
20 March 2010 Arsenal 2-0 West Ham United
Overall record v Arsenal (all competitions) W 33 D 38 L 57
Ten-year record
West Ham United
2012/13 Premier League 10th (46 points)
2011/12 Championship 3rd (86 points - promoted to Premier League via
2010/11 Premier League 20th (33 points - relegated to Championship)
2009/10 Premier League 17th (35 points)
2008/09 Premier League 9th (51 points)
2007/08 Premier League 10th (49 points)
2006/07 Premier League 15th (41 points)
2005/06 Premier League 9th (55 points)
2004/05 Championship 6th (73 points - promoted to Premier League via
2003/04 Division One 4th (74 points)
2012/13 Premier League 4th (73 points)
2011/12 Premier League 3rd (70 points)
2010/11 Premier League 4th (68 points)
2009/10 Premier League 3rd (75 points)
2008/09 Premier League 4th (72 points)
2007/08 Premier League 3rd (83 points)
2006/07 Premier League 4th (68 points)
2005/06 Premier League 4th (67 points)
2004/05 Premier League 2nd (83 points)
2003/04 Premier League 1st (90 points)
Old boys
• Guy Demel spent a season with Arsenal as a youngster, joining the Gunners
as a 19-year-old in 2000. However, the right-back did not make a first-team
appearance for Arsenal and joined German club Borussia Dortmund the
following summer.
• Among the players who have represented both clubs are Jeremie Aliadiere,
Yossi Benayoun, James Bigden, Jimmy Bloomfield, Luis Boa Morte, Liam Brady,
George Burgess, Dick Curtis, Kaba Diawara, Ted Drake, Stan Earle, Bert
Fletcher, Ron Greenwood, Eddie Hapgood, John Hartson, Les Henley, Fergie
Hunt, James Jackson, Bernard Joy, Fred Kemp, Henri Lansbury, Tom Lee, Harry
Lewis, William Linwood, Freddie Ljungberg, Roddy MacEachrane, Jimmy
Marshall, David Noble, John Radford, Stewart Robson, Charles Satterthwaite,
Laurie Scott, Rami Shaaban, Bill Sidley, Bob Stevenson, Davor Suker, Matthew
Upson, Charlie Walker, Nigel Winterburn, Ian Wright, Richard Wright, Bobby
Gould, Seve Walford, Lee Chapman, Manuel Almunia and Clive Allen.
• West Ham United have faced Arsenal 128 times in Premier League, Football
League and the domestic knockout competitions. The Hammers have won 33, the
Gunners have won 57 and there have been 38 draws.
• West Ham United's biggest win over Arsenal came on 7 March 1927 when a Vic
Watson hat-trick helped secure a 7-0 Division One win for the Hammers at the
Boleyn Ground.
• West Ham United defeated Arsenal 8-2 in the first meeting between the two
clubs on Christmas Day 1915. Syd Puddefoot scored five times in the fixture,
which was played in the war-time London Combination principal tournament.
• Including war-time competitions, the Hammers have met the Gunners a
staggering 165 times, with West Ham United winning 48, Arsenal winning 74
and there being 43 draws.
• The third and most-recent time that West Ham United won the FA Cup was
against Arsenal, with the Hammers winning 1-0 at Wembley on 10 May 1980. The
1980 final is also the last time a team outside the top-flight has won the
• Five of West Ham United's first eight games against Arsenal were in the FA
Cup, with just three of the encounters coming in the league.
• West Ham United became the final visiting team to win at Arsenal's old
Highbury home when they chalked up a 3-2 Premier League success on 1
February 2006.
• The Hammers then became the first away side to win to win at Emirates
Stadium, recording a memorable 1-0 Premier League win on 7 April 2007.
• West Ham United midfielder Mohamed Diame and Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby
were team-mates at the famous Clairefontaine Academy near Paris as
• Twenty players have made their West Ham United debuts against Arsenal.
Harry Hodges was the first in a 4-1 Division One defeat at Highbury on 10
September 1923, with Wayne Bridge the most recent in a 3-0 home Barclays
Premier League defeat on 15 January 2011.
• Ron Cater, Almeric Hall and Ken Bainbridge all made their Hammers' bows in
a 6-0 FA Cup third-round first-leg victory over Arsenal at the Boleyn Ground
on 5 January 1946. Hall scored twice and Bainbridge once.
• Ray Houghton made his one and only West Ham United appearance as a
substitute in a 2-0 Division One defeat at Arsenal on 1 May 1982.
• Steve Jones made his second West Ham United 'debut' in a 2-0 Premier
League defeat at Arsenal on 17 August 1996.
• The other players to have made their West Ham United debuts against
Arsenal include John Morton (March 1932), Phil Woosnam (November 1958), Pat
Holland (April 1969), Clyde Best (August 1969), Bobby Gould (November 1973),
Danny Williamson (April 1994), Les Sealey (September 1995), Bernard Lama
(March 1998), Gary Breen (August 2002), Dean Ashton (February 2006), Jack
Collison (January 2008), Fabio Daprela and Anthony Edgar (both January
• Tuesday's referee will be Kevin Friend.
• A member of the Select Group of Premier League officials, Friend took
charge of the 2012 FA Community Shield between Chelsea and Manchester City.
• He began officiating in the Leicestershire Senior League and Midland
Football Alliance before being promoted to the National List of Assistant
Referees in 2000 and the National List of Referees in 2003.
• He was promoted to the Select Group ahead of the 2009/10 season and took
charge of his first Premier League fixture on 20 September 2009, with
Wolverhampton Wanderers beating Fulham 2-1.
• Friend did not referee West Ham at all in the Barclays Premier League last
season, but has taken charge of the Hammers once this season during a 1-0
defeat against Hull City back in September 2013.
• Friend was also in charge for the SBOBET Cup victory over Spanish side
Deportivo La Coruna in August 2010 and the pre-season visit of Portuguese
side Pacos de Ferreira last August.
• Friend will be assisted by Harry Lennard and Matthew Wilkes, while the
fourth official will be Chris Foy.
General information
• A clear night is expected on Tuesday at the Emirates, with temperatures
around 10C (50F).
• West Ham United's allocation of tickets for this fixture are SOLD OUT.
• If you're travelling to the game via the London Underground, click here
for travel updates.

Big Sam on: Arsenal
Sam Allardyce spoke to the media at Chadwell Heath on Monday ahead of the
match against Arsenal

Sam Allardyce conducted his pre-match press conference at Chadwell Heath on
Monday morning ahead of the game against Arsenal on Tuesday night. The
topics covered included his side's latest team news, Arsenal's UEFA
Champions League hopes and the chances of his team obtaining a top ten
finish. Good morning Sam, Arsene Wenger has been speaking this morning about
his side's fatigue and muscle injuries, as opposed to your side who've had
nine days rest.

Do you expect that to have an impact on the game tomorrow?

SA: "I think we all suffer in spells of difficulty when players can't
recover in time and you factor in injuries that you have. We all know that
weakens your team. We suffered a similar spell in December this season and
it makes your life extremely difficult as a manager. Certainly with
Arsenal's game load and some of the injuries they have, then yes they will
be weaker than they possibly could be. They keep a Champions League place
for all those years. They keep a squad of 25 international players and
they're playing at the Emirates, so whatever difficulties they have it's
still a hugely tough fixture for ourselves.
"Whatever team Arsene puts out, we still have to play at our best to get a
result, particularly on their own patch. If we can seek an advantage by
those problems that they have then it gives us a better chance of getting a
result. It won't be any easier than it ever has been to get a result at the
Emirates because the players that are actually playing won't fatigue until
later in the game. It won't happen in the beginning of the game and we'll
have to be on song from the start and fully focused on the job we have to do
to try and get something."

The science around recovery from injuries has been talked about a lot,
especially Arsenal, but you've also been through your own injury problems.
How important is it to manage it in the right way?

SA: "As the years tick on there's more and more research and science that
comes into the game about how to prevent injuries. The biggest key to any
football club today is not to treat the players from the injury that they
sustain, but to totally focus as best you can on your prevention of injury
policy. You can't prevent trauma injuries, those are the injuries that are
unpredictable. In today's football, they seem to be happening more and more
because of the intensity that the game is played with. The change of
direction, the jumping, landing, turning and collisions are much more
volatile because of the pace of the game.
"Trauma injuries are becoming a bigger part of the game. Cruciate ligament
injuries, metatarsal breaks and things like that. It's something that we all
realise has increased over the last few years because of the development of
the game. Trying not to sustain too many hamstrings, calves, thighs and
muscle injuries is the best that you can possibly do. There's a lot of
science behind it and the player today has to be dedicated in that area.
Rather than just training and going home, there's sections that they have to
do to keep their bodies in the best shape that they possibly can to not
sustain those types of injuries."

You can have a key say in whether Arsenal miss out on qualifying for the
UEFA Champions League this season. Is that a motivating factor for you?

SA: "No, not really. From our point of view, the success of the teams below
us over the weekend and the results that were surprisingly pulled off mean
that we still look down because we're not mathematically safe. For us, the
motivation is to get some points for ourselves, not to stop Arsenal getting
in the Champions League."

Arsene Wenger has taken some criticism this season, do you have an opinion
on why that is?

SA: "I think that as always the man's career speaks for itself. Many people
have probably been disappointed that he hasn't won anything over the last
few years, but he can certainly put that right this year with his FA Cup
final appearance. I'm sure that a lot of the focus is finishing in the top
four, but also making sure they win the FA Cup. Compared to other years,
that would then make for a more successful season. At this stage, he's
suffered his injuries like everyone else at the wrong time. I think that
nobody really takes into consideration the relevance of those injuries and
the devastation that it has on your team. David Moyes has had the same
problem and the huge amount of injuries that he's sustained means he hasn't
been able to put the same eleven out, particularly defensive wise and of
course Robin van Persie.
"We've had the same with a long-term injury to Andy Carroll. All our
defenders got injured, particularly our centre halves, and that had a huge
effect on us. When that spell comes, it's very, very difficult to maintain
the level of performance and results you've achieved before that. We just
have to keep going and have our squad ready to play whoever we play against.
We've got five very tough games to go and we've got to pick up as many
points as we can. Everybody looks at Arsenal now, Crystal Palace, West Brom,
Tottenham and Manchester City, if you look at the form of all those teams,
Arsenal have perhaps slipped a bit, but the rest are on top form. West Brom
and Crystal Palace are achieving fantastic results at this time, so we've
got five very difficult games to focus on one at a time."

Do you still think a top ten finish is achievable?

SA: "I don't think that we'll get a top ten finish now. I think the best we
would try and get is to catch up with Stoke. Stoke have had a fantastic run
recently and we've got to try and improve our position to get where they
are. At this moment in time, it's one game at a time and a big game on
Tuesday night which I hope the players are looking forward to. I hope they
can repeat the performance they gave against Liverpool, because we took
Liverpool right to the very edge of getting a result against them, but they
just managed to pip us in the end."

What's your team news ahead of the game?

SA: "Kevin Nolan is our problem at the moment. He came off with a hamstring
against Liverpool, obviously that's one that we have to be very careful
about. It's unusual for Kevin to sustain a muscle injury, I think it's the
first of his career, but we'll be very careful about how we handle him.
Kevin is going to desperately want to play, so we'll probably wait until
tomorrow to see how he is. Nearly everyone else is fit and raring to go.
We'll pick a team that we think suits playing against Arsenal at the
Emirates to go and get a result."

Loan round-up
A look at how the West Ham United players out on loan fared this weekend

It was another busy weekend for West Ham United's contingent of loan players
in England and the Republic of Ireland. In the Sky Bet Championsip, Ravel
Morrison got on the scoresheet for Queens Park Rangers as they thumped
Nottingham Forest 5-2 at Loftus Road. Remarkably the result was still in the
balance as the game entered the final ten minutes, but a late three-goal
blast from the R's took them to victory.

Saturday was a less successful day for Jack Collison, who came off the bench
in Wigan Athletic's FA Cup with Budweiser semi-final with Arsenal, but saw
his penalty saved as the Latics bowed out in a shootout. It has been a great
effort from Uwe Rosler's Championship side, who led for a period in the
second half thanks to Jordi Gomez's penalty, until Per Mertesacker's 82nd
minute leveller forced extra time.

In the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Sean Maguire was a used
substitute in Sligo Rovers' 1-1 draw with Cork City. Sligo looked to be en
route to all three points when an 88th minute own goal gave them the lead,
but an even later equaliser from Cork's Billy Dennehy meant the spoils would
be shared.

Ladies lose at Lewes
West Ham United Ladies went down to a 5-1 league defeat at Lewes on Sunday

West Ham United Ladies' difficult season continued as they went down to a
5-1 FA Women's Premier League Southern Division defeat at Lewes on Sunday.
The Hammers dropped to second-bottom in the table following their tenth
reverse in 17 league matches played. Two goals from Kirstie Spice and one
each from Charlotte Bennett, Clare Trafford and Sian Heather gave the home
side a comfortable victory at the Dripping Pan. Kelley Blanchflower netted
the consolation for the visitors with her eighth goal of the campaign. With
three league games remaining, West Ham will be hoping to pick up points to
climb the standings, but for now all attention will be focused on Thursday's
Essex Women's Cup supported by BBC Essex final with Barking Ladies. The
Hammers will be seeking their third success in the tournament, having
previously lifted the trophy in 2009 and 2011, while Barking won the
competition in 2001 and 2003.

The final will take place at AFC Hornchurch in Bridge Avenue, Upminster on
Thursday 17 April, with kick-off at 7.30pm.

Allardyce prepares for a 'weaker' Arsenal
Filed: Monday, 14th April 2014
By: Staff Writer

Sam Allardyce believes that the Hammers could take advantage of Arsenal's
fatigue when the two teams meet at the Emirates tomorrow night.

West Ham's final away derby of the season couldn't have come at a better
time for Allardyce and his troops, who face the Gunners just three days
after they were taken to extra time and penalties by Championship play-off
contenders Wigan Athletic.

And Allardyce - whose team still need another win to reach the magic
40-point mark which is generally considered to be the benchmark for Premier
League safety - believes his team can inflict a further blow to Arsenal's
chances of qualifying for next season's Champions League as a result.

"Certainly with Arsenal's game load and some of the injuries they have, they
will be weaker than they possibly could be," he told the media at this
morning's pre-match press conference. "We suffered a similar spell in
December and it makes your life extremely difficult as a manager.

"But they keep a squad of 25 international players and they're playing at
the Emirates, so whatever difficulties they have it's still a tough fixture
for ourselves. Whatever team Arsene [Wenger] puts out, we still have to play
at our best to get a result, particularly on their own patch.

"The players that are actually playing won't [experience] fatigue until
later in the game. It won't happen at the beginning of the game and we'll
have to be on song from the start and fully focused on the job to get

Arsenal, who will face Hull City in the FA Cup Final next month after the
Tigers despatched of Sheffield United in the weekend's other FA Cup semi
final have gone four games without a win in the Premier League.

A win for West Ham - which would be their first at the Emirates since Bobby
Zamora scored the only goal of the game in the Great Escape season of
2006/07- would take them back into the upper half of the Premier League
table at the expense of Stoke.

Go, Mo
Filed: Sunday, 13th April 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United midfielder Mo Diame looks set to leave the club this summer
after he revealed his desire to join "a top six side". The 26-year-old
Senegal international, speaking to French media at the weekend admitted that
he believes his future lies away from West Ham - despite failing to secure a
regular place in Sam Allardyce's first team in his favoured position. "Two
years ago I wanted to join a team with ambitions," said Diame, who was also
linked with a move to title-challengers Liverpool before he signed on a free
transfer from Wigan two summers ago. "Overall, my season has been okay,
although I think it is not up to last season. I started badly, but gradually
I got my bearings. "I don't hide it, I'm ambitious and I want to join a
top-six side. I am 26 years old and it's time to take that step. "I can't
tell you if I will be a Liverpool player next season. But I think my name is
still on their wanted list."

Diame has predominantly featured on the left side of midfield in recent
weeks, having lost his spot in the centre to veteran Matt Taylor. His
contract, which expires a year from now is believed to include a £3.5million
release clause

Sam Allardyce hopes West Ham can take advantage of any Arsenal tiredness
Last Updated: 14/04/14 4:13pm

Sam Allardyce believes West Ham can trouble a "weakened" Arsenal on Tuesday
- but only if they stay in the game early on. Allardyce's side go to the
Emirates on the back of nine days' rest, while Arsenal have had just three
days to recover from 120 minutes at Wembley on Saturday. Arsene Wenger is
already hampered by the absence of several key players and must now assess
several more in the wake of that FA Cup semi-final against Wigan. Those
problems are not lost on Allardyce, who will order West Ham to keep pace
with Arsenal early in the game and wait for fatigue to kick in. He said: "I
think we all suffer in spells of difficulty when players can't recover in
time and you factor in injuries that you have. We all know that weakens your
team. "Certainly with Arsenal's game load and some of the injuries they
have, then yes they will be weaker than they possibly could be. But they
keep a Champions League place for all those years. They keep a squad of 25
international players and they're playing at the Emirates, so whatever
difficulties they have it's still a hugely tough fixture for ourselves.
"Whatever team Arsene puts out, we still have to play at our best to get a
result, particularly on their own patch. "If we can seek an advantage by
those problems that they have then it gives us a better chance of getting a
result. It won't be any easier than it ever has been to get a result at the
Emirates because the players that are actually playing won't fatigue until
later in the game. "It won't happen in the beginning of the game and we'll
have to be on song from the start and fully focused on the job we have to do
to try and get something."

West Ham go into the game on 37 points - one short of the survival target
set by Allardyce last month and seven clear of third-bottom Fulham, who won
on Saturday. He said: "From our point of view the success of the teams below
us at the weekend means we still need to take more points."

By S J Chandos 14 Apr 2014 at 08:00
West Ham Till I Die

There were a number of reports over the weekend that West Ham are
considering a bid for 27 year old Brazilian left-back, Guilherme Siqueira.
Siqueira is contracted to Spanish club, Granada, but is currently on loan to
Portuguese side, Benfica. And they apparently have an option to sign him in
the summer. If Benfica fail to take up the option, then we could step in
with a estimated c.£5m bid. It remains to be seen if these reports are true,
but if they are, it raises the question whether the club still intend to
follow through with the c.£4m bid to Napoli for Pablo Armero's services?

There was another report in the Sunday papers that Sam Allardyce is also
lining up a bid for Cardiff City keeper, David Marshall, who has been in
superb form this season. Indeed, Marshall has been Cardiff City's 'stand
out' player and looks an excellent potential addition. If the move
transpires then it will very likely mean the end of Jussi Jaaskelainen's
West Ham career. The probability being that Jussi will be released and
Adrian and Marshall will compete, next season, for the first team jersey,
with young Raphael Speigel as back up. Interestingly enough, current Hammers
goal keeping coach, martyn Margetson, has previously worked with marshall
when he was in a similiar role with Cardiff City. So, it is not beyond the
bounds of possibility that Margetson has recommended the player to

Elsewhere, the rumours still circulate about West Ham's continuing interest
in the Championship's top scorer, Ross McCormack of Leeds Utd. The Scottish
international striker has been very impressive this season, scoring 28 goals
in all competitions. The club are allegedly hoping that McCormack is ready
to move on and test himself at PL Level next season. He certainly deserves
it, playing so well in a decidely average Leeds Utd side. The variable
factor is whether Leed Utd's new owner, Italian Massimo Cellino, will
sanction the move? Presumably, the takeover means that there is no great
pressure to sell and it would make sense to retain McCormack as part of next
season's promotion plans. Perhaps much will depend on who is Manager at the
Yorkshire club? Present incumbent, Brian McDermott, will undoubtedly try to
retain the player. However, if he is replaced soon, as seems likely, a
successor may have other first team priorities and plans.

Finally, the 'Forever West Ham' site, has reported this evening on alleged
quotes by Mo Diame in a French newspaper. These include the following
comments attributed to him:

'Liverpool? I can not say if I will be a Liverpool player next season. But
my name is still on their wanted list. I do not hide it, I am ambitious and
I want to join a top six side. I am 26 years old and its time to take that

Has he been quoted out of context or has something been lost in translation?
If not, then it looks like Diame will be actively seeking a exit this
summer, providing there are any 'top six' sides interested in his services!
Even if there are, he needs to reflect on the fact that signing and playing
on a regular basis are too different things. Even if Liverpool do come in
for him, how much time will he spend on their bench? Personally, I would
like him to stay, sign a new contract and help us progress next season. But
having said that, if he does stay, Diame certainly needs to show a great
deal more consistency next season than he has in this current campaign.

SJ. Chandos.

Guy up for Gunners return
Former Arsenal man Guy Demel is relishing a return to his old side with the
Hammers on Tuesday

Guy Demel is keen to build on a goalscoring display when he returns to one
of his former clubs on Tuesday. The Ivorian defender spent a year at Arsenal
early in his career after moving across the Channel from French side Nimes.
Paris-born Demel did not make a first team appearance for the Gunners before
he was transferred to Borussia Dortmund, but says his time in north London
was key to his development. Now back in the Barclays Premier League with the
Hammers, the No20 was happy to finally break his goalscoring duck against
Liverpool last time out, and now wants a winning display at Emirates
He said: "It was nice and it was time for me to score, first of all! The
lads were on my back all the time, because I had never scored for the Club,
so it was important. "To score for the fans and be a goalscorer is great. It
was an easy goal, but I will be happy to score more like that before the end
of the season!
"Even if it has been a hard season, I've enjoyed it - I'm a footballer, I
love to be on the pitch and one thing really good with this team is that we
are close to each other, so even when the pressure is high we didn't really
feel it because you can see people smiling at the training ground."

Arsenal warmed up for Tuesday's derby clash by defeating Wigan Athletic on
penalties in the FA Cup with Budweiser semi-finals. Some commentators have
suggested that fatigue could be a problem for Arsene Wenger's men, but Demel
is not so sure. He explained: "When you play for Arsenal, you have to be
used to be playing two games a week so I don't think there is fatigue. They
have to get a result and we have to do our best to get a point or more.
"During the week we all follow the football news, but the most important is
West Ham and what are we going to get out of the game. We know it's a hard
time for Arsenal, but they are playing at home, so I'm sure they want to
show their fans they're ready for the [big games at the] end of the season.
"There is a lot of criticism of Wenger because they haven't won a title for
eight years, but they forget how he changed English football. "How the
players trained, the fitness and the structure at the training ground. He
has really brought something to English football and a lot to Arsenal, so I
hope people can realise that for him. From my point of view he's a good
manager. "It was a great time when I went to Arsenal. I was young and I
learned a lot. It was my first experience [away from France] and it wasn't
easy for me, but I had the chance to train with players like Vieira, Henry,
Adams, Keown, Parlour, Pires. "It was important for my career to be at
Arsenal at that time."

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce targets Nuremburg's Josip Drmic
Allardyce prepares for Emirates clash with trip to Germany to spy on striker
and admits his surprise at Arsenal's demise in Premier League
Nuremburg striker Josip Drmic wanted at West Ham United by manager Sam
By Phil Cadden10:30PM BST 14 Apr 2014

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce is keen to add Josip Drmic to his
squad next season after making a personal check on the Nuremberg
goal-machine in Germany. With West Ham given a weekend off because of
Arsenal's FA Cup semi-final commitments, Allardyce went on a scouting
mission to watch the striker in his club's 4-1 Bundesliga defeat by
Wolfsburg. The 21-year-old Switzerland striker has scored 16 goals this
season, but West Ham are not his only suitors with Drmic also attracting
interest from Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton as well as Borussia Dortmund.
Drmic, who would add extra firepower in attack alongside Andy Carroll, is
reported to have a buy-out clause of £4.5 million, and while Allardyce
admitted it was not the best game to watch the player, he refused to be put
off and even joked that the local cuisine made the trip worthwhile.
Allardyce confirmed: "I was at Nuremberg versus Wolfsburg. The sausages were
great! "They got beat quite comfortably so in terms of that particular
player, you wouldn't be able to judge him on that particular game because
they got battered."

Allardyce returns to the dug-out for the rearranged London derby against
Arsenal on Tuesday night. Allardyce is surprised at Arsenal's decline this
season with Arsène Wenger's men in fifth, 13 points off Premier League
leaders Liverpool and fighting it out with Everton to qualify for the
Champions League. That is in stark contrast to the last meeting between the
two sides earlier this season when Arsenal won 3-1 at Upton Park, on Boxing
Day, to return to the top of the table. Allardyce said: "I have been
surprised by Arsenal's dip this year. I really fancied that they would go
right to the end. "We've seen a decline in Arsenal and an increase and
uplift in Liverpool." Arsenal can end their nine-year wait for a trophy in
next month's FA Cup final against Hull City, but there has always been
question marks over the ability of Wenger's sides to last the distance. Yet
Allardyce insists there are mitigating circumstances this time around –
injuries to key players including Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott. He added:
"Look at his injury list and you can see why. There is no doubt about that.
"Even though they have top players, the amount of players who have been
missing recently has disrupted the squad and the flow of the team. The
injuries have had an effect. "Brendan [Rodgers] has not lost [Luis] Suárez
or [Daniel] Sturridge where Arsenal lost six or seven players and that has
had a major turnaround in Liverpool's fantastic run of victories and
Arsenal's decline in results. "That is the main reason why they have dipped
away this time around. "Everyone said Arsenal needed a striker and needed
this and that, but if they had kept the whole squad fit then I think they
would be challenging Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea to be in number
one spot. "[Aaron] Ramsey, for example, has been out for so long. He was the
leading goal scorer when he left the team. That's been a big miss because
it's all about finishing off the chances you create."

West Ham (Probable, 4-5-1): Adrián; Demel, Tomkins, Reid, Armero; Downing,
Noble, Diame, Taylor, Jarvis; Carroll.



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