Tuesday, April 1

Daily WHUFC News - 1st April 2014

Hammers stand firm to land victory
Andy Carroll and Mohamed Diame hit the target as West Ham United defeated
Sunderland on Monday

Sunderland 1-2 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League

West Ham United moved a step closer to securing their Barclays Premier
League future with a valuable 2-1 win at struggling Sunderland on Monday
Andy Carroll enjoyed a fruitful return to the north east, scoring the first
and setting up Mohamed Diame's second as the Hammers took a two-goal lead
moments after the half-time interval. Sunderland responded strongly to cut
the deficit through Adam Johnson, and although they upped the pressure as
they searched for the goal to help their survival bid, the Londoners stood
firm to take the points back south. The Black Cats began at pace as they
looked to put the Hammers under pressure early on and Phil Bardsley was not
far away with a swerving cross which flew wide of the far post after he
received a raking pass from Liam Bridcutt in the right channel. Sunderland
could probably lay claim to making the brighter start, yet they found
themselves behind with just nine minutes on the clock thanks to Carroll's
bullet header from close range. Home keeper Vito Mannono got his hands to
Carroll's effort following a Mark Noble corner, but the big No9 was so close
to goal when he met the inswinging delivery that there was little the
stopper could do to keep the ball from entering his net. Three minutes
later, Sunderland were presented with a great chance to force a quick
leveller when Ki Sung-Yueng made strides down the left and cut the ball back
across the penalty box. It fell to Lee Cattermole at the far post, but his
first effort was directed straight at Adrian's legs, while he swiped the
rebound over the top.

That was a let-off for the Hammers, and Sunderland were granted a reprieve
of their own with 19 minutes on the clock as Taylor powered an effort inches
wide of the mark after Mark Noble burst into the box to collect Kevin
Nolan's pass and roll square to his fellow midfielder. The first half then
settled into a rhythm of Sunderland seeing more of the ball, but West Ham
defending relatively comfortably, although they did survive a strong penalty
shout from the home side when, with 37 minutes played, Nolan appeared to
lean into the ball with his arm as John O'Shea looked to knock a
partially-cleared corner back into the mixer. Pablo Armero replaced George
McCartney at the break, and Big Sam was able to celebrate a second Hammers
goal not long after. Carroll was heavily involved again, getting up well to
knock James Tomkins' free-kick from deep into Diame's path, and the Senegal
midfielder produced a first time shot which took a nick off Santiago Vergini
and rolled into the bottom left corner. WIth an hour played Stewart Downing
was a whisker away from ending the game as a contest when Noble picked him
out with a diagonal ball out to the right. Downing ran in on goal and looked
to side-foot it towards the bottom left corner, but Mannone got fingertips
to the shot to divert it off course. Five minutes later and Sunderland were
back in it, as substitutes Craig Gardner and Johnson combined to devastating
effect. Johnson's finish was unerring as he curled into the top left corner
after Gardner's pass slipped him clear inside the area.
The home crowd were up and they nearly had more cause to cheer on 68 minutes
as Adrian could not hold on to Ki's effort from outside the box, and he had
to spring up quickly to block Connor Wickham's follow up. Fabio Borini then
fired into the side-netting as he threatened to run clear of Guy Demel in
the left channel as Gus Poyet's side upped the intensity. Marcos Alonso
drilled over the crossbar as the home side's desperation for an equaliser
grew and Ignacio Scocco nodded over, but there was no way through as the
Hammers held out to take maximum points.

Sunderland: Mannone; Vergini, O'Shea (Gardner 60), Brown; Bardsley,
Bridcutt, Cattermole (Johnson 53), Alonson; Borini, Ki (Scocco 79); Wickham
Subs: Ustari, Colback, Altidore, Cuellar
Goal: Johnson 65
Booked: Alonso, Wickham

West Ham United: Adrian; Demel, Tomkins, Reid, McCartney (Armero 46); Nolan
(Nocerino 83), Noble, Taylor; Downing, Carroll, Diame (Johnson 78)
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Jarvis, C.Cole, J.Cole
Goals: Carroll 9, Diame 50
Booked: Noble, Nolan, Reid, Adrian

Referee: Howard Webb
Attendance: 37,396

Big Sam delighted with Sunderland win
Sam Allardyce hailed West Ham United following their 2-1 Barclays Premier
League win at Sunderland

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has hailed his team following their
2-1 Barclays Premier League victory at Sunderland. Early goals in each half
from Andy Carroll and Mohamed Diame put the Hammers in control before
Stewart Downing was denied a third by a superb Vito Mannone save. Substitute
Adam Johnson set up a tense finale with a curling shot into the top corner
but West Ham, with Adrian and his defenders throwing themselves in front of
everything to maintain their advantage. Speaking to West Ham TV, Big Sam
praised his team, his staff and the Club's fans following a win that took
the Hammers to 37 points and the cusp of Barclays Premier League safety with
six games remaining. "We have sent all the West Ham fans, staff and the
players home happy because we're all delighted after getting a well-earned
victory at the Stadium of Light," said Big Sam. "I think that our start was
critical to the final result. The quality of the ball into the box made all
the difference because it saw the best of Andy Carroll to come to fruition
and he got the first goal with the header. "There was a spell when we didn't
pass the ball as we'd have liked so we had to soak up a bit of pressure, but
when we got the passing right, we were going from one end of the pitch to
the other and really causing Sunderland lots of problems. "The goal after
half-time was again at a critical time and Sunderland really ran out of
ideas and we were controlling the game. I was really hoping Stewart was
going to get off the mark with his one-on-one but unfortunately their keeper
made a brilliant save. That would have been 3-0 and the game dead and
buried. "Then, lo and behold, you can never relax in the Barclays Premier
League because it will kick you if you're not careful. They got the goal
which lifted them and there was a bit of desperate defending at times which
needed to be had which we did brilliantly and we got an outstanding victory.
"That's 37 points now, which is only one point behind our total from last
year when we had 38. This time we've got 37 so it hasn't been quite as bad
as it's been made out to be!"

West Ham have collected more points since New Year's Day than Arsenal,
Manchester United, Southampton and Newcastle United. It is 22 points from 12
games since the defeat at Fulham, and six wins from the last nine league
matches - superb form by anyone's standards. "To pick up more points than
those teams shows you when the squad is fit, and I was saying this during
our dark period, we would produce performances and results when we got the
squad back and well. Certainly we needed them to get out of the trouble we
were in at that time. "To claw your way out so magnificently and to create
the wining opportunities we have done has been great. We have won six out of
nine matches, which is the best run that we've had. "Of course it was needed
because the position we were in and we've drawn away from that danger zone
now, so we need to chill out a little bit and make sure we produce the
performances in our final six games are as best they can be and try to get
as many points as we can. "If we can match the 46 from last year that would
be a target and if we can push up the league, I know the Chairmen remind me
there are extra millions to be got by finishing higher up the table. It's a
huge benefit with the extra finance because it can get you that extra player
in the summer who can make all the difference."

While West Ham scored from a Mark Noble corner and a knockdown from Carroll,
West Ham repeatedly played their way through the Sunderland defence with
some slick pass and move football - pleasing both Big Sam and the fans who
never stopped singing at the Stadium of Light. "There was some good passing
football. We've always promoted it, too. You saw Sunderland were nervous and
they kept passing the ball to us and we kept breaking on them and causing
them a huge amount of problems. "You've got to be able to master your nerves
and produce the best from the ability that you've gotand on a night like
this under the floodlights at a place like Sunderland, we produced the sort
of football that helped us win a very important game. "It's never easy to
win away from home in the Barclays Premier League."

Now, with their top-flight position all but secured, leaders Liverpool are
next on the fixture list. Brendan Rodgers' Reds visit the Boleyn Ground on
Sunday afternoon, when the footballing world will be watching to see if West
Ham can upset the favourites yet again. "We've taken the pressure hugely off
ourselves to really have a go at this game now and I think that they are the
most in-form team in the league now alongside Everton. "We've got to be the
ones who muscle in on Liverpool and see if we can upset them. Lots of people
in the world of football will think we won't have a chance with the form
that we're in and, I suppose, on paper they're right but in this league you
never, never know. "So, the players will give their all on Sunday and let's
hope that's enough to upset the leaders of the Barclays Premier League."

Boo's sorry now?
Filed: Tuesday, 1st April 2014
By: Staff Writer #3

West Ham are to take steps in an attempt to stop a recurrence of the jeers
that greeted last week's home win against Hull City by offering financial
incentives to supporters who BACK rather than BOO the team. Full details
have yet to be announced but a Club source has confirmed that existing CCTV
equipment, currently used to monitor offensive chanting and anti-social
behaviour, would be used. The spokesman told KUMB: "We envisage reviewing
the CCTV footage when we hear booing to identify the seat numbers involved.
"Then, at the end of the season we'd either refund part of the cost of the
ticket or, more likely, send out some form of discount voucher for use in
the club shop to those season ticket holders with the best boo-free record
over the course of season. "We'll also give fans the opportunity to earn
extra 'no boo points' by using the existing hot-lines to report
unnecessarily disgruntled behaviour from neighbouring seats."

It is thought that supporters will be given a number of "free boo" matches
before losing any discount entitlement in order to cover the occasional
Meanwhile, no penalty would be incurred where the target of booing is an
opponent or a referee - something of a necessity, one would have thought,
when Frank Lampard or Howard Webb are in town. The move follows a week in
which Sam Allardyce expressed bemusement at the crowd's reaction to the Hull
win and Mark Noble admitted that anxiety from the stands often affects
players' performances on the pitch.

Allardyce: we're almost there
Filed: Tuesday, 1st April 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham are just one point short of the 38-point target Sam Allardyce set
his team a fortnight ago - but still not quite there, according to the
manager tonight.
The under-pressure Allardyce oversaw an important 2-1 win at Sunderland last
night which takes West Ham to 37 points from 32 games - just one shy of the
target he established for survival following the home defeat against ten
days ago Manchester United. However the manager - for whom last night's
victory eased the recent pressure placed on him by some sections of the fan
base - maintained that he will no be satisfied until it is no longer
possible for three other Premier League teams to exceed West Ham's current
points tally. "We're not mathematically safe and everybody will say let's
wait until we are, which is sensible," he told Sky Sports. "But it's going
to be very difficult for the bottom three teams to catch us now. "The
important thing about today's result was it was against one of the bottom
three. We've taken three points off them and one more game has slipped by
[for them]. That's how crucial this win was for us and how disappointing it
must have been for Gus [Poyet] in the end."

Andy Carroll and Mo Diame scored early in each half to secure a first away
win since the 2-0 victory at Aston Villa on February 8 - a result Allardyce
described as 'fantastic'. "Defensively we were solid, good on the counter
attack and we scored two goals - a fantastic victory at this stage of the
season for us," he said.
"Every game in the Premier League is a tough one, away from home
particularly. With Sunderland fighting away down at the bottom it was always
going to be difficult but I thought the lads handled it really well. "In
this league you have to take your chances when they come and Andy Carroll
settled us down in the early stages. Then just after half time, Mo Diame
made life very difficult for Sunderland. "It got a little nerve-racking
towards the end when they got the goal from a really good finish from
Johnson - although I thought it was going to be all over just before then
when Stewart Downing went through. "He tells me the 'keeper got a touch on
it. If he didn't it was a bad miss and if he did, it was a great save! But
it's a fantastic result for us."

Andy Carroll; he's going to Brazil?
Filed: Tuesday, 1st April 2014
By: Staff Writer

Sam Allardyce believes that England manager Roy Hodgson would be making a
major mistake by leaving Andy Carroll out of his World Cup squad this
summer. West Ham's record signing scored one and provided an assist for the
second of United's two goals at the Stadium of Light on Monday evening as
Allardyce's team edged closer to Premier League safety with a second win in
five days. And a far-happier Big Sam told Sky Sports that the 25-year-old is
ready to receive the call having impressed since returning from a lengthy
spell on the sidelines. "Andy gives you an alternative," insisted Allardyce.
"As a player he's unique in many ways in the Premier League today. There
aren't too many who can receive or head a ball as good as he does -
particularly quality balls into the box. "You saw the headed goal from the
corner; nobody was going to stop him and the clean header into the back of
the net set us up for victory. "There's also a lot more about him on the
deck than people give him credit for. He can move the ball and he's quicker
than he looks."

The Sunderland goal was Carroll's second in four matches, following his
first of the season in the 3-1 defeat at Stoke last month. Allardyce
believes that if he can continue that form for the rest of the campaign, a
World Cup spot could be on the cards. "He's been back with us for just a few
games and he's already scored two," he said. "Last year he scored eight in
the last 12 matches and Roy [Hodgson] picked him in the summer. "If he
continues to play every week for us now as he did last season and score the
goals, hopefully that'll happen to him again with this one being a World Cup

Sunderland 1-2 West Ham United
Filed: Tuesday, 1st April 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham all but guaranteed Premier League survival tonight with a second
successive win inside a week at Sunderland tonight.

Whilst some may have churlishly booed Allardyce and his players off the
field following last Wednesday evening's win against Hull, those three
points - combined with tonight's 2-1 victory - all but guarantees another
season of Premier League football at the Boleyn Ground.

In truth it was a scrappy game - the 37 combined shots produced just 13 on
target (seven for Sunderland and six for West Ham) - but United took full
advantage of a nervous home crowd and team who are now surely consigned to
the dreaded drop into the Championship following this latest reversal.

Andy Carroll, Angel of the North and hated by the Black Cats due to his
Geordie heritage struck the first killer blow with just ten minutes on the
clock. The England international - who did his World Cup chances no harm at
all this evening - rose above both John O'Shea and Wes Brown to power Mark
Noble's corner into the back of the net.

And it was to be another early goal in the second half that set West Ham up
for their second win inside seven days. Mo Diame, who had produced a
disappointing first half performance fired home what proved to be the
winning goal when James Tomkins' free kick was nodded down by Carroll and
struck into the corner of Vito Mannione's net - albeit via a slight
deflection - by the midfield powerhouse.

It is only on the rarest of occasions that the Hammers win comfortably away
from home and once again the travelling fans - plus those watching at home
and in the pubs - were left chewing their nails for the final half-an-hour
after substitute Adam Johnson scored a well-worked consolation after 65

But the home side managed to test West Ham's Spanish goalkeeper Adrian
rarely in those final minutes, despite throwing Mannone up as an extra
attacker for the final few set-pieces.

Gus Poyet, who has complained bitterly in the past when being defeated by
Allardyce teams - most notably when managing Brighton in 2011 - was furious
at referee Howard Webb for not awarding the home side a fairly obvious
penalty in the first half when Kevin Nolan clearly pushed the ball away from
goal with his elbow.

Curiously, Webb was perfectly positioned to spot the infringement - but
failed to penalise West Ham's captain. Webb, of course, was the offical in
charge when Andy Carroll received his marching orders for the non-existant
elbow on Chico Flores last month; a case of the offical evening up the
scores perhaps?

The win takes West Ham back up to 11th in the table with 37 points from 32
games - just one point fewer than that gained at this stage last season.

It also means that the Hammers have taken 22 points from the 12 Premier
League games since Andy Carroll returned from injury in mid-Janaury - the
kind of form which, if sustained over the course of the entire campaign,
would lead to Champions League qualification.

Andy Carroll says West Ham are safe after beating Sunderland
Last Updated: 31/03/14 11:12pm

Andy Carroll believes West Ham have secured their Premier League status for
another season after beating Sunderland 2-1 at the Stadium of Light. The
striker scored the opening goal with a powerful early header and a second
from Mohamed Diame put the Hammers clear. Adam Johnson's strike gave
Sunderland hope but they were unable to earn anything from the match as
their own survival hopes suffered a major blow. West Ham now have 37 points,
are comfortable in mid-table, and Carroll echoed co-chairman David Gold's
Twitter claim that they are out of trouble . "You take every game as it is,
keep an eye on the teams winning below, but I think we are safe, yeah," he
told Sky Sports 1. Carroll's man-of-the-match performance again roused the
debate as to whether or not he should be picked for the World Cup. "That's
what I'm looking for now, scoring goals and keeping on it until the end of
the season," he added.
Captain Kevin Nolan was pleased to win at a side who were looking to reel
West Ham back into the relegation fight. "We knew it was going to be tough
and Adam Johnson made an impact. We knew it would not be easy because
they're scrapping, but we knew if we won we'd be clear of them," he said.
"We got the three points and put space between us and the bottom three."

Sunderland's relegation fears intensify with home defeat to West Ham
Last Updated: 31/03/14 11:16pm

Andy Carroll helped to nudge Sunderland closer to the relegation trapdoor as
West Ham all but secured their own Premier League status with a 2-1 win at
the Stadium of Light.

Best of the game:

Goal of the match: Johnson took a touch and quickly got off a curling shot
which found the top corner.
Pass of the match: Gardner's ball through Armero's legs for Johnson to score
Sunderland's goal.
Save of the match: Mannone won a one-on-one duel with Downing by diving to
touch a low shot around the post.
Man of the match: Carroll was too strong for Sunderland, with the Geordie
scoring West Ham's first and setting up the second.
Talking point: Can Sunderland get out of trouble now? This was one of the
easier-looking games of their run it but the Black Cats blew it.

The England striker powered the visitors into an early lead and midfielder
Mohamed Diame extended it five minutes into the second half on a night when
there were no boos for Hammers boss Sam Allardyce. Substitute Adam Johnson
gave Sunderland, who had earlier seen strong penalty appeals go unanswered,
hope when he pulled one back with 25 minutes remaining, and keeper Adrian
had to pull off a double save to deny Ki Sung-yueng and Connor Wickham. But
ultimately, the Black Cats' depressing home run was extended to just one win
in nine league games to leave the bulk of a crowd of 37,396 fearing the
worst, with their team still second from bottom and four points from safety.
Former Newcastle frontman Carroll needed just nine minutes to plummet even
further in the estimation of the home fans when he headed the visitors into
the lead in trademark style. Mark Noble's corner was tailor-made for him to
climb high above John O'Shea and Wes Brown to score just his second goal of
the season despite keeper Vito Mannone's best efforts on the line. However,
Sunderland, who have not won a Monday night game in 12 years, were aggrieved
not to be handed a chance to level as half-time approached. Skipper O'Shea
bundled the ball into the penalty area as the home side staged an attack and
opposite number Kevin Nolan appeared to block it with his arm, although
referee Howard Webb was unmoved. But their mood darkened further five
minutes into the second half when Diame latched on to Carroll's knock-down
and steered a deflected shot past the stranded Mannone to make it 2-0.
Sunderland's uphill task increased markedly in gradient by the time 50
minutes had passed when, after Brown had been penalised for a foul on
Carroll, the striker laid off James Tomkins' free-kick for Diame to fire
home with the help of a deflection off Vergini. Poyet replaced Cattermole
with Johnson and Craig Gardner soon followed as O'Shea departed, and amidst
the re-organisation, Downing should really have killed the game off when he
got in behind Alonso, but fired inches wide of the far post.
Johnson gave the home side hope when he collected Gardner's pass and curled
home a 65th-minute shot, and suddenly, the Black Cats were transformed.
Adrian could not hold Ki's 68th-minute drive, but recovered to block
Wickham's follow-up as the home fans sensed a change in the tide, but
salvation proved to be beyond them as substitute Ignacio Scocco headed over
at the death from Vergini's cross.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce applauds 'fantastic' win over Sunderland
Last Updated: 31/03/14 11:12pm

Sam Allardyce admitted that West Ham United were virtually safe and paid
tribute to Andy Carroll's 'unique' talents after a 2-1 victory over
Sunderland on Monday night. Andy Carroll set the Hammers on their way to
victory with a powerful header in the ninth minute, and Mohamed Diame added
a second early in the second half. Adam Johnson pulled a goal back for
Sunderland but the Hammers held on to move on to 37 points, 11 clear of the
relegation zone with just six games to play. "It got a little nervy towards
the end when they got the goal, but it is a fantastic result for us,"
Allardyce told Sky Sports. "I thought the lads handled it really well and in
this league you have to take your chances when they come. "All-round, we
were defensively solid and it was a good performance on the counter-attack."

Allardyce came under pressure following some poor results early in the
season and he is grateful to his bosses for sticking by him through a tough
He added: "We have just taken 15 points from eight games and that is a
fantastic run at this stage of the season and that is a fantastic run
considering where we were, and it has got us out of trouble and into a
mid-table position. "We have just got to strive on and see how many points
we can get in the last six games. "We aren't mathematically safe, but it is
going to be very difficult for the bottom three to catch us now and the
important thing about today's result was that it was against one of the
bottom three, and we have taken three points off them. "That was how crucial
the win was for us, and how disappointing it must have been for Gus

Allardyce was impressed by the way everyone in his team played but admitted
that Carroll was a particular handful and tipped him to make England's World
Cup squad. "Andy gives you an alternative as a player. He is unique in many
ways in the Premier League," said Allardyce. "There aren't too many who can
receive a ball or head a ball as well as he can, and the headed goal he
scored from that corner, there was nobody going to stop him. "There is a lot
more about him on the deck than people give him credit for. He can move the
ball, he's quicker than he looks, and I just think if he can play every game
like he did last year, hopefully he will go to the World Cup."

Sunderland 1-2 West Ham: Andy Carroll inspires Hammers as Black Cats remain
four points from safety
Mar 31, 2014 22:06 By Simon Bird
The Mirror

Geordie Andy Carroll dealt a massive blow to Sunderland's survival hopes.
The former Newcastle man executed a demolition job on Poyet's flimsy
defence, scoring the opener and setting up the decisive second for Mohamed
Diame on another terrible night for the Wearsiders. Sunderland remain four
points adrift of safety with their next four games including trips to Spurs,
Manchester City and Chelsea, with Everton visiting a frustrated Stadium of
Light. Poyet's side have the worst record in the league at home, with just
three wins and 13 goals all season, and the malaise continued as West Ham
took their chances ruthlessly.
After visiting boss Sam Allardyce was booed after Saturday's win over Hull,
there can only have been admiration for a job well done. The crowd unrest
from the home faithful was loud as well last night. Sunderland mustered
their usual late fightback, setting up an edgy final 25 minutes for the
Hammers after a fine goal from substitute Adam Johnson. Carroll clearly
enjoyed scoring the opener after nine minutes with a towering header direct
from Mark Noble's corner. He rose above marker John O'Shea to grab only his
second goal of a season which only started in January because of injury.
Urged on by his Geordie mates to make the most of his chance against the
struggling Mackems, he delivered in trademark fashion, using his height and
physical presence. It was a terrible start for Sunderland, who knew this
match represented one of their best chances to get back in touch with the
survival pack. Carroll forced a save out Vito Mannone with another back-post
header before a decent spell of pressure from Sunderland, which should have
yielded a penalty when Kevin Nolan deliberately elbowed the ball away. The
Black Cats have sunk deep into trouble after a terrible run - no wins in the
league since February 1 and one point from their last games.
There was a desperation about their play demonstrated when Lee Cattermole
collected a Ki Sung-Yueng cross unmarked 12 yards out but snatched wide. At
the other end, West Ham could have doubled their lead, with Noble unlocking
space on the edge of the area for Matthew Taylor to slash just wide. Diame's
goal came from a long punt into the area that Carroll chested down, with the
goal-bound shot slightly deflected. Johnson was sent on by Poyet (left) and
delivered a goal. Craig Gardner prodded a ball in behind and Johnson curled
home from 16 yards. Adrian then conjured an amazing save to keep out Connor
Wickham on his 21st birthday. Ki's shot was pushed out by Adrian, who
recovered to block brilliantly. Shortly after Fabio Borini blazed into the
side netting when through on goal. Too often Sunderland have promised much
late on when the game has already gone.



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