Saturday, April 5

Daily WHUFC News - 5th March 2014

Liverpool match preview
All the need-to-know information ahead of Sunday's game against Liverpool at
the Boleyn Ground



• West Ham United go in search of a third consecutive win in the Barclays
Premier League on Sunday afternoon, when they welcome Liverpool to the
Boleyn Ground.
• The Hammers head into the match on the back of a fine 2-1 away win against
Sunderland which came courtesy of goals from Andy Carroll and Mohamed Diame.
• Preceding that, Sam Allardyce's side won by the same score line against
Hull City on their last home outing, thanks to strikes from Mark Noble and a
James Chester own goal.
• Six points from their last two fixtures leaves the Hammers nearing the
40-point mark, lying eleventh in the table with 37 points.
• When the two sides met in the corresponding fixture last year, the Hammers
held a 2-1 lead until two goals in three minutes snatched the points for
• The Reds arrive in east London as the Premier League's form team having
won their last eight league matches.
• The eighth win of that sequence arrived against Tottenham Hotspur at
Anfield last weekend, when Brendan Rodgers' side ran riot winning 4-0.
• Liverpool have enjoyed success on their travels this season and have won
five of their last six matches on the road, the latest being a 6-3 thrashing
of Cardiff City.

Team news
West Ham United
• George McCartney is a doubt for Sunday's clash after tweaking a hamstring
in the 2-1 win over his former club Sunderland.
• Long-term absentee Joey O'Brien is still some way from a return to the
fold following the dislocated shoulder he sustained against Chelsea in
• Jose Enrique is Liverpool's only injury concern, with the left-back having
missed a large part of the season due to a knee injury.

Last time out
Sunderland 1-2 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League
1 April 2014
West Ham United: Adrian, Demel, Tomkins, Reid, McCartney (Armero 45), Noble,
Nolan (Nocerino 84), Taylor, Diame (Johnson 79), Downing, Carroll
Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Jarvis, C Cole, J Cole
Goals: Carroll 9, Diame 50

Liverpool 4-0 Tottenham Hotspur
Barclays Premier League
30 March 2014
Liverpool: Mignolet, Flanagan, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson, Gerrard (Lucas 70),
Coutinho (Allen 64), Henderson, Sterling (Moses 83), Suarez, Sturridge
Subs not used: Jones, Aspas, Sakho, Cissokho
Goals: Kaboul (og) 2, Suarez 25, Coutinho 55, Henderson 75

Previous meeting
Luis Suarez scored twice late on as Liverpool broke down a stubborn first
half Hammers display to eventually run out 4-1 winners. It took 42 minutes
for the Reds to strike, with Guy Demel unfortunate to turn the ball into his
own net. Mamadou Sakho scored a second just after half-time, before the
Hammers pulled one back through a Martin Skrtel own goal. It didn't inspire
a comeback however as two late strikes from Suarez and Kevin Nolan's red
card compounded the Hammers woes.

Liverpool 4-1 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League
Saturday 7 December 2013
Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Skrtel, Sakho, Flanagan (Kelly 79), Allen,
Gerrard (Lucas 56), Henderson Coutinho, Sterling (Moses 72), Suarez
Subs not used: Jones, Alberto, Aspas, Cissokho
Goals: Demel (og) 42, Sakho 47, Suarez 81, 84
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Tomkins (O'Brien 56), Collins,
McCartney, Noble, Nolan, Downing (J Cole 46), Diame, Jarvis (Taylor 85),
Subs not used: Adrian, Collison, C Cole, Diarra
Goal: Skrtel (og) 66

• West Ham United and Liverpool have met 126 times previously, with the Reds
enjoying 67 victories. The Hammers have tasted success on just 24 occasions
and there have been 35 draws. In the Premier League, Liverpool have won 20
of the 34 meetings, with West Ham winning six and there being eight draws.
• The first-ever meeting between the two clubs was an FA Cup intermediate
round tie played at the Memorial Grounds on 5 January 1901. Division One
Liverpool edged out Southern League West Ham United 1-0 in front of a crowd
of 6,000, with Sam Raybould scoring the winner.
• Vic Watson scored four times, Stan Earle twice and Wilf James once as West
Ham United went top of the Division One table after beating Liverpool 7-0 at
the Boleyn Ground on 1 September 1930 - the Hammers' biggest-ever home win
over the Reds.
• A three-minute hat-trick scored by Roger Hunt either side of half-time
inspired Liverpool to a 5-1 Division One victory at the Boleyn Ground on 6
September 1965 - the Reds' biggest win at the home of the Hammers. Martin
Peters scored West Ham United's consolation goal.
• The largest crowd to attend a Liverpool versus West Ham United fixture at
Anfield was the 55,675 who attended a goalless Division One draw on 14 May
1977. Liverpool would go on to defeat Borussia Moenchengladbach 3-1 in the
European Cup final in Rome eleven days later.
• The Hammers and the Reds met in the 1981 League Cup final at Wembley. The
match ended in a 1-1 draw after extra-time, with Ray Stewart's last-gasp
penalty wiping out Alan Kennedy's 118th-minute strike. The replay, held at
Villa Park, saw Paul Goddard put John Lyall's side in front, only for goals
from Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen to see the trophy head to Merseyside.
• West Ham United and Liverpool famously met in the 2006 FA Cup final at the
Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Jamie Carragher's own-goal and a Dean Ashton
strike put the Hammers 2-0 up before Djibril Cisse and Steven Gerrard
brought the Reds level. Paul Konchesky put West Ham back in front before
Gerrard's late 25-yarder forced extra-time. After a goalless 30 minutes,
Liverpool prevailed 3-1 on penalties.
• Billy Bonds has made more appearances against Liverpool, 33, than any
other West Ham United player. The Reds' Ian Callaghan made a record 33
appearances against the Hammers, scoring twice.
• Vic Watson scored a record nine goals in 14 appearances against Liverpool.
John Toshack has scored more goals for the Reds against the Hammers than
anyone else with ten.
• Kevin Nolan, Andy Carroll and Liverpool full-back Jose Enrique were all
part of the Newcastle United squad which won the Championship title in 2010.
• A number of other West Ham United and Liverpool players have lined-up
alongside one another at their former clubs and at international level -
Andy Carroll, Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson, Jordan Henderson, Stewart
Downing and Martin Kelly (England), Jack Collison, James Collins and Joe
Allen (Wales), James Tomkins and Allen (Team GB), Collins and Stewart
Downing (Aston Villa), George McCartney and Jordan Henderson (Sunderland),
Raheem Sterling, Matthias Fanimo and Blair Turgott (England age-group
• No fewer than 19 players have made their West Ham United debuts against
Liverpool - Alex Kane (January 1926), Walter Pollard (September 1929), Reg
Wade (January 1930), Bill Nelson (September 1954), Dave Bickles (September
1963), Eddie Presland (February 1965), Mick McGiven (December 1973), John
Radford (December 1976), George Parris and Keith McPherson (May 1985), Kevin
Keen (September 1986), Hugo Porfirio (September 1996), Andy Impey (September
1997), Marc Keller (September 1998), Gavin Holligan (February 1999),
Svetoslav Todorov (February 2001), Laurent Courtois (August 2001), Rufus
Brevett (February 2003) and Kepa Blanco (January 2007).
• Eddie Presland scored on his debut in a 2-1 Division One victory over
Liverpool at the Boleyn Ground on 27 February 1965. The left-back would make
just six first-team appearances for the Hammers before joining Crystal
Palace in 1967.
• Kepa Blanco netted just minutes after coming on as a substitute for his
West Ham United debut in a 2-1 home Premier League defeat by Liverpool on 30
January 2007.
• West Ham United player Stewart Downing played against his current
employers for Liverpool in both fixtures between the two clubs in the
2012/13 season.

Last six meetings (Premier League unless stated)
7 December 2013 - Liverpool 4-1 West Ham United
7 April 2013 - Liverpool 0-0 West Ham United
9 December 2012 - West Ham United 2-3 Liverpool
27 February 2011 - West Ham United 3-1 Liverpool
20 November 2010 - Liverpool 3-0 West Ham United
19 April 2010 - Liverpool 3-0 West Ham United

Overall record v Liverpool (all competitions) W 24 D 35 L 67

Ten-year records
West Ham United
2012/13 Premier League 10th (46 points)
2011/12 Championship 3rd (86 points - promoted via Play-Offs)
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 via play-offs)
2003/04 Championship 4th (74 points)

2012/13 Premier League 7th (61 points)
2011/12 Premier League 8th (52 points)
2010/11 Premier League 6th (58 points)
2009/10 Premier League 7th (63 points)
2008/09 Premier League 2nd (86 points)
2007/08 Premier League 4th (76 points)
2006/07 Premier League 3rd (68 points)
2005/06 Premier League 3rd (82 points)
2004/05 Premier League 5th (58 points)
2003/04 Premier League 4th (60 points)

Old boys
• West Ham United midfielder Alou Diarra spent three seasons with Liverpool
between 2002 and 2005 after joining the club from Bayern Munich. However,
the 31-year-old failed to make a first-team appearance for the Reds, instead
being loaned to Le Havre, Bastia and Lens before joining the latter on a
permanent basis.
• Andy Carroll joined the Reds from Newcastle United for £35million in
January 2011. Carroll played 58 times for Liverpool, scoring eleven goals,
before joining the Hammers permanently in summer 2013 following a successful
loan at the Boleyn Ground.
• Glen Johnson came through the ranks at West Ham United, making 15 league
appearances in the 2002/03 season. He was transferred to Chelsea for
£6million in summer 2003 and subsequently moved on to Portsmouth before
Liverpool snapped him up in June 2009.
• Joe Cole played 149 games in all competitions for the Hammers, scoring 13
goals, before his switch to Chelsea in August 2003. Cole also won the FA
Youth Cup with West Ham United in 1999. Cole joined Liverpool in summer
2010, scoring five goals in 42 appearances - including one at the Boleyn
Ground in the reverse fixture this season in December - before moving back
to east London in January 2013.
• Stewart Downing spent two seasons with Liverpool between 2011 and 2013
before completing a move to the Boleyn Ground in August 2013.
• Among the other players who have represented both clubs are Craig Bellamy,
Yossi Benayoun, Tom Bradshaw, David Burrows, Titi Camara, Charles Cotton,
Julian Dicks, Ray Houghton, Don Hutchison, Paul Ince, David James, Rob
Jones, George Kay, Robbie Keane, Paul Konchesky, Mike Marsh, Javier
Mascherano, Neil Mellor, Neil Ruddock, Danny Shone, Rigobert Song and Thomas

• Sunday's referee will be Anthony Taylor.
• Taylor is in his fourth season on the Select Group of referees appointed
to control Barclays Premier League fixtures.
• The Greater Manchester-born official started refereeing in the Northern
Premier League in 2002 before being appointed to the Football League list at
the start of the 2006/07 season, refereeing his match between Wrexham and
Peterborough United in League Two on 12 August 2006.
• Taylor's first Premier League appointment was the 3 February 2010
encounter between today's visitors Fulham and former West Ham United manager
Avram Grant's Portsmouth, with the Cottagers winning 1-0.
• Taylor took charge of West Ham against Liverpool almost exactly a year ago
on Sunday, as the two sides played out a 0-0 draw at Anfield on 7 April
2013. That match was the last time he took charge of a Hammers fixture.
• Taylor will be assisted by Steve Child and Stuart Burt on Sunday, and the
fourth official will be Craig Pawson.

General information
• The weather forecast for Sunday's match is light cloud with temperatures
around 17C (62F).
• There are no tickets remaining for the match which is a sell-out.
• The District Line is running a good service this weekend with no planned

Big Sam on: Liverpool
Sam Allardyce addressed the assembled media at his pre-match press
conference on Friday morning

Sam Allardyce spoke to members of the local and national media at Chadwell
Heath on Friday morning ahead of his side's Barclays Premier League
encounter with Liverpool. The Hammers' boss answered questions regarding how
to stop the Reds' free-scoring attack, his side's fine recent form and the
latest team news ahead of the clash.

Sam, what's the team news ahead of the weekend?

SA: "Kevin Nolan is ok. George McCartney is the biggest doubt. He came off
with a hamstring problem on Monday night. It's probably caused by a bit of
fatigue and the fact he played three games in a short space of time, so it
looks as though he'll miss out on Sunday."

You've played against a lot of good sides down the years, how good is this
Liverpool side, and how good will you have to be to beat them?

SA: "At the moment I think that the Liverpool team, in terms of its form and
results, is operating at 100 per cent. Sometimes you can be playing really,
really well and not achieve the results that those performances deserve, but
certainly at the moment their results and performances make them the top
team in the league. Other teams have slipped up and they've taken full
advantage by producing the quality of football and the goals that they've
got over the last period.
"That's been very good for Brendan Rodgers and his team. When you have two
quality strikers of the ilk of Sturridge and Suarez then the rest of the
team know that somewhere along the line they're going to put the ball in the
back of the net if they provide the service for them. They haven't been too
concerned about conceding a goal here and there. They seem to know that
they'll score one more than the opposition if the opposition score against

In world terms, how good is Luis Suarez?

SA: "At the moment he now finds himself in the top two or three in the
world. The commitment he showed to Liverpool and they showed to him, seems
to have given him that extra impetus this season to go out and be even
better than he was after the problems he had. The combination with Sturridge
has flourished where that looked a little concerning in the early stages as
neither wanted to play in a wide position. That seems to have all come
together now and the rest of the team is providing the service behind them
has grown in quality and confidence.
"People are emerging from an England point of view and it's very encouraging
to see Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling emerge more than ever this year.
We've got a big job on our hands, we know that, but after our performances
and our results we're really looking forward to it. We've eased the pressure
on ourselves and produced a great run of form and results at this period of
time with six wins out of nine. That's two points per game, that's top-six
form. We're in our best form of the season and hopefully that will make for
a competitive game on Sunday afternoon."

David Sullivan said that if you'd had Andy Carroll fit all season that you'd
be pushing for Europe. Is that a statement you agree with?

SA: "It's a possibility, yes. Since the turn of the year our change of form
and results has improved and it's got better and better and now we're in the
best run we've had since we've been back in the Premier League. We've got to
take that confidence into Sunday's game and hopefully we can produce one of
those performances that has happened many, many times in the Premier League
this year.
"Just the other week Crystal Palace beat Chelsea and Manchester City lost to
Sunderland, things like that can happen. We beat Tottenham away 3-0 when
they were right up near the top so we hope it can be one of those days, but
we certainly have to be on top, top form to get anything out of the game.
Now there's less pressure on us, we're not safe yet, but we are feeling a
lot more confident going into this game based on less fear from our league
position going into this game."

Do you think Liverpool were too quick to pass on Andy Carroll?

SA: "He (Brendan Rodgers) made a decision early on and we were the first to
try and resolve that situation. As disappointed as Andy was, that was the
decision made by Brendan and you have to move on, you have to put it behind
you. Stewart Downing also comes into the fray where he played a part in
Liverpool last season and then joined us. The rest of the team and those two
lads particularly will want to show how good they are on Sunday. Let's hope
they play very, very well on Sunday because we need them to."

For the clubs that are at the bottom of the table scrapping for survival,
how important are the fans in helping the team in that situation?

SA: "There becomes a fear factor in the players at this stage of the season
and as a manager you have to override that fear factor. The fear factor is
massive in trying to relax and make sure that your players are focussed on
the task at hand. The key is to not be too intense and try to relax them
because the whole club fears relegation and that spreads like a plague. You
have protect the players from that because if they go out with fear then
they can freeze and not produce what they're capable of. That's the biggest
managerial tool you have to have at this stage of the season if you're down
there. You have to promote the good things they do and remind them of what
they're capable of and the good results they've produced. You have to get
them ready to go out and fight for what they need to do to stay safely in
the Barclays Premier League."

Ravel Morrison has been voted Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for
March, have you been keeping an eye on his progress?

SA: "We see Rav with our scouts and staff on a regular basis. He's right in
the think of a different experience to the one he had last season when he
was at Birmingham. He's got the real pressure on him now of staying in the
Play-Off places which is nearly guaranteed now. He's scored a few goals so
we're pleased to see him playing regularly and gaining more and more

Spurs match moved
West Ham United's final home match of 2013/14 with Tottenham Hotspur will
now kick-off at 12.45pm

West Ham United's final home match of 2013/14 with Tottenham Hotspur will
now kick-off at 12.45pm on Saturday 3 May. The Hammers complete their slate
of Barclays Premier League fixtures at the Boleyn Ground by welcoming their
north London rivals for what promises to be a mouth-watering lunch-time
Following the final whistle, the players and staff will conduct a lap of the
pitch to thank fans for their outstanding support this season. Sam
Allardyce's side will be seeking to complete a memorable hat-trick of
victories over Spurs, having won 3-0 in the reverse league fixture in
October and 2-1 at White Hart Lane in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals
just before Christmas. Last season's corresponding fixture was also a
thriller, with Spurs winning 3-2 courtesy of Gareth Bale's last-gasp goal.
Standard Tickets for the match are not currently on sale, but a limited
number of unused Bondholder tickets will be released at 9am on Saturday 19
April. Click here for more information.

Chadwell Chatter
Kevin Nolan blogs for on victory at Sunderland and his hopes for
the rest of the season

Hi everyone,

Monday's victory at Sunderland was a massive one for us. It gave us another
set of back-to-back wins and took us to 37 points, eleven ahead of the
relegation zone and just three behind Stoke in tenth. It put a smile on
everyone's face and lets us think we've got another season in the Premier
League when we won't have as many major injuries as we had this season.
We'll have an interesting summer where hopefully we'll have a few new
additions, and quality additions, which will only make us better and start
pushing us up that league to get into that top ten more and build towards
the Olympic Park in two years. You have to admire the board for sticking
with Sam. We all said it - we had a very tough time earlier on in the season
with injuries. I didn't help with the suspensions after my sendings-off. I
hold my hands up to that but i don't think I've been through a season where
I've been hit with so many injuries to major players. At one point we had
all three of our centre halves out, and we were playing right backs and left
backs in the middle, but we all dug in and it's going to be so pleasing at
the end of this season knowing that we've scrapped away when we've needed to
and when we have had our full team, we've got back to where we feel we
belong. I'm sure that if we had our full squad for the season, we would have
had a better season and we would never have been talking about relegation.
It's nice to be sitting where we are now with six games to go and we're
looking forward to what hopefully is going to be a few more wins. Our aim is
to knock Stoke out of that tenth spot and finish where we did last year.
Then we can all go and have a good summer and let the gaffer and the Board
start worrying about who they are going to bring in for next season. We're
back at home on Sunday when we face Liverpool and it will be a good test to
take them on. We won last time out here and Hull was a tough game. The
gaffer knew it and he was delighted with the three points. There were a few
grumblings, but I must say in and around where we live all the supporters
have been fantastic with him and all the lads. They were three good points,
as were Monday's and now we're not far off being able to celebrate come the
end of the season at another successful campaign.

Come on you Irons!

Potts eyes return to form
The Academy will look to bounce back when they host Stoke City on Saturday

Academy boss Steve Potts is looking for a return to winning ways when his
side takes on Stoke City at Little Heath on Saturday. The young Hammers have
suffered a blip in recent weeks, losing tight games to Tottenham Hotspur and
Everton to dent their charge to the end of season Play-Offs. They remain
second in the Premier Academy League South table though and are well placed
to secure their position in the final tournament, so Potts is targeting
three points against the Potters. He explained: "We want to get back to
winning ways. I think we've performed pretty well in the last two games, but
we haven't got the results to go with the performances. That's been
unfortunate but hopefully we can turn that around on Saturday. "It's been a
case of small margins against both Tottenham and Everton, being a bit more
ruthless at the top end and restricting the chances at the other. I thought
at Tottenham we did that fairly well, but at Everton we gave two sloppy
goals away. "We've been pretty good this year at keeping it tight at the
back and that's given us a good platform over the season, so hopefully we'll
get back to being like that."

Potts has promoted players from the schoolboy ranks in recent weeks, due in
part to a number of his regulars stepping up to be involved with Nick
Haycock's Development Squad. He is delighted to see his young charges make
progress and says giving experience to the next batch of youth teamers can
only be beneficial at this stage. He added: "The progress of the players up
to the Under-21s has been really pleasing and a positive for the Club. Seven
of the youth team boys went up to the Under-21s last Friday and it was good
for them to get a good result as well - it proves that they're going in the
right direction. "Likewise, I've had younger players coming into the side.
16 year olds, and even a couple of 15 year olds came on last week. It's all
good experience for them for next year. "It would be nice for the boys to
reach the Play-Offs because I think they've done well over the season. I
can't fault the effort they've put in and obviously they've progressed as
footballers. What would be nice if they got to the Play-Offs, they would be
playing at a stadium, in front of a crowd, because they missed out on that
in the FA Youth Cup."

Kick-off at Little Heath on Saturday is at 12 noon, with both admission and
parking free of charge

AC takes aim at rampant Reds
Andy Carroll believes West Ham United can down his high-flying former club
Liverpool on Sunday

Andy Carroll cannot wait for Sunday's game against Barclays Premier League
leaders Liverpool to kick-off. West Ham United's No9 spent two-and-a-half
years as a Liverpool player, winning the League Cup and scoring in the FA
Cup final in 2012, before joining West Ham United on loan and then
permanently in summer 2013. Having played alongside the likes of Luis Suarez
and Steven Gerrard, Carroll is acutely aware of the threat the Reds will
pose. However, he is confident that, having reached 37 points following wins
over Hull City and Sunderland, the Hammers can shock the world by defeating
Brendan Rodgers' side.
"I think all the lads are confident that we're safe after a great week for
us," said the 25-year-old frontman. "We've done well and we've been on a
great run and now we want to keep it going until the end of the season. "I'm
feeling very good now as I've got three full 90 minutes under my belt. It's
been a tough season for me, not being fit, but now I'm feeling good. I've
got a couple of goals and a couple of assists and am feeling great. "I felt
a bit rusty the first couple of games after coming back into it, but I think
you can see I'm getting into the stride of things again. "I'm looking
forward to the Liverpool game. It's going to be tough because they are on
fire at the moment and are the team to beat, so hopefully we're the team
that can do it. "It's my old team, but for me it's a normal game and I'll
just get on with it. I don't regret leaving at all. I moved to West Ham and
I'm loving it. I had my injury setback, but other than that everything has
been great."

While Carroll is West Ham's headline maker, his former strike partner Suarez
is also catching the eye on a regular basis, having scored 29 goals in just
27 league starts this term. Alongside him, Daniel Sturridge, Raheem
Sterling, Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson have also made names for
themselves during a campaign that could yet end in title glory for the men
from Anfield. Carroll, for one, has been impressed, but refutes suggestions
that he made a mistake by leaving Liverpool last summer. Instead, the
forward says the current Reds squad is making the most of the tactics and
formation employed by manager Rodgers. The No9 also revealed that he had
tipped his old club for success at the start of the 2013/14 campaign. "The
way they are playing, they have got the players to play that system - Suarez
and Sturridge up front are completely different players to me. The way they
play is incredible. "I said from the start of the season that Liverpool had
a great chance and all the lads were shocked. I knew what Suarez was like
and his connection with Sturridge has been great and they are unbelievable
at the minute. "Suarez is a great player. He has 29 goals this season and is
incredible, you can see that. I don't think anyone can doubt him. "After
games, he would want to train, even when he is supposed to be resting. He
never gives up or stops running. He is infectious and is why all the players
around him are performing like they are."

Carlton Cole: West Ham striker aims to make further impact

West Ham striker Carlton Cole aims to continue playing his part during the
remainder of what he describes as a "strange" season for him. The
30-year-old was released by the Hammers last summer, but re-signed in
October and has since scored six goals in 20 Premier League appearances. "I
never had a pre-season. I just came in and had to hit the ground running. "I
used all my experience I'd gathered over the years to deal with it," he told
BBC London. "I had positive thought processes. The manager [Sam Allardyce]
helped me through it to get back on track and catch up with the team
fitness-wise and mentally. "I repaid him with some goals. I am on the bench
at the moment, but any time I get my chance I'll try my best." After
re-joining the Hammers initially on a short-term deal, Cole's performances
earned him a new 18-month contract at Upton Park. Cole, who has seven
England caps, first joined West Ham from Chelsea in 2006 and has scored a
total of 65 goals in 261 appearances for the east London club. London's
Olympic Stadium is currently being converted for West Ham's move to the
ground for the 2016-17 season and Cole described it as "impressive" after
visiting the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this week. "Although it is not
finished yet, it looks amazing. I'd like to play there one day and hopefully
I can get a long enough contract to do that," he said. "I understand some of
the fans wouldn't want to move, but the owners want to progress and want
more people to have an opportunity to watch the games. "When you get a place
like this you can't turn it down. I am just happy West Ham got it."

Early start for derby day
Filed: Friday, 4th April 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United's final home game of the season has been brought forward to
a lunchtime kick-off. The Hammers are hoping to secure a trio of wins
against neighbours Tottenham when the two teams clash at the Boleyn Ground
on Saturday, 3rd May, following our 3-0 and 2-1 wins at White Hart Lane
earlier this season. And the match - originally scheduled for a 3pm kick off
- will now kick off at 12.45pm for the benefit of a TV audience, with the
game almost certain to be broadcast live by BT Sports (who are yet to
confirm their schedule for May). West Ham beat Tottenham 3-0 at White Hart
Lane in the first meeting between the two clubs this season back in October
when goals from Winston Reid, Ricardo Vaz Te and a memorable effort from
Ravel Morrison - currently on loan at Queens Park Rangers - secured United's
first away win of the season. Rubbing salt in the wound, the Hammers went
back to what had been cheekily renamed the O3 Arena in honour of that win to
knock Spurs our of the Carling Cup when late efforts from Matt Jarvis and
Modibo Maiga - also currently on loan at QPR - sent the home side tumbling
out of the competition. Tottenham are currently sixth in the Premier League,
five places above West Ham in 11th - albeit with virtually the same goal
difference (Spurs -4, West Ham -6).

Season ticket prices frozen
Filed: Friday, 4th April 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United have confirmed that season ticket prices have been frozen
for the 2014/15 campaign. Next season mark's the Club penultimate year at
the Boleyn Ground, with the move to Stratford looming ever closer. And the
good news for supporters is that prices for the current season will remain
in place for United's third season back in the top flight following
promotion in 2011/12. "We would like to say a special 'thank you' to our
loyal fans, who have supported the team throughout this season," read a
joint statement posted on behalf of owners David Sullivan and David Gold.
"Despite our injury crisis, once again we shared some amazing moments
together, most notably our two fantastic victories away at Tottenham
Hotspur. "We are delighted to announce, that as a reward for your loyal
support, your Season Ticket price for the 2014/15 season has been frozen. By
renewing for the next campaign, you will also be guaranteed the opportunity
to renew your seat to celebrate our final Boleyn Ground season and we are
already speaking with our Supporter Advisory Board about ideas to make every
game in the last season a memorable event. "We will be looking to strengthen
the squad over the summer by making at least three key signings, so we have
a squad ready to take us forward in the 2014/15 season. We invest every
pound from Season Ticket revenue back into the playing budget, so your
support really does make a difference."

Last season, prices rose between 3.5-4.8 per cent for existing season ticket
holders with the exception of disabled ST holders, who faced a whopping 50
per cent rise. Despite the good news, the Club have come under criticism
from some supporters for once again bringing the renewal deadline forward;
applicants must renew by June 2 in order to guarantee their seat for the
2014/15 campaign. Supporters may renew online, in person at the Ticket
Office or by calling 0871 529 1966 (calls cost 10p per minute + network

Gong for Rav
Filed: Friday, 4th April 2014
By: Staff Writer

Ravel Morrison has been named as the Sky Bet Championship Player of the
Month for March. The young Hammer, currently on loan at Queens Park Rangers
in order to gain valuable first team experience picked up the award having
scored five goals and contributed one assist to Rangers' promotion push
during the last month. "It's been really good and I've enjoyed every game
I've played in," Morrison told Sky Sports. "I've just tried to get game time
again and show them what I can do. "I've enjoyed it because we keep a lot of
the ball. You get a lot of time in the Championship, too, so you can do more
stuff on the ball."
Harry Redknapp, who has spent the past month eulogising over the England
Under 21's mercurial talents added: ""Ravel has been excellent for us. He's
been good on the pitch and good off the pitch as well. He's been great
around the place and not a minute's problem. "I am really pleased for him,
it's a well-deserved award and let's hope he can win it again this month!"
Morrison was also named as the AirAsia Player of the Month - a fans' poll
conducted by the west Londoners.

Liverpool travel to West Ham hoping to maintain winning run
Last Updated: 04/04/14 5:49pm

Liverpool travel to West Ham on Sunday looking to maintain their winning
run, and remain top of the league with five games to go. After an incredible
eight successive wins, the Reds have gone from Champions League contenders
to title prospects, and victory over West Ham will see Brendan Rodgers' men
stay top of the league by at least two points after Sunday's encounter.
While their defence has been far from resolute, the Reds have been
unstoppable going forward, netting 88 goals already - a record for any team
after 32 matches of a Premier League season, and have scored in their last
22 games since losing 2-0 away to Arsenal. Luis Suarez continues to be
Liverpool's talisman. The Uruguayan hitman has scored six goals in his last
five Premier League matches and is just two away from the Premier League
record for a 38-game season. The Hammers will certainly be up against it as
they try and halt the rampant Reds, but victory over Sunderland last time
out will give them the confidence they need to give it their best shot. That
away win against the Black Cats saw the Hammers move 11 points clear of the
drop zone, leaving a top-half finish a distinct possibility. The clash with
Liverpool will have added significance for Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing,
who both struggled with the expectation after big-money moves to Anfield
before departing for Upton Park.

And, after netting his second goal since returning from injury, Carroll
especially would love nothing more than to further enhance his chances of
making England's World Cup squad by impressing against his former employers.

Paul Merson's prediction: Liverpool are not my favourites for the title, but
it would be a phenomenal feat if they do it. At the start of the season they
needed to pull up trees just to get into the top four, so they've done
brilliantly to get to this position, but I think the winning run could end
here because this is a very hard game. People think they've just got to turn
up to win games, but it won't be like that. West Ham will get the ball
forward quickly, Andy Carroll will cause problems and they will be very
disciplined; it won't be like Tottenham who just laid down and made it easy
for them! The longer this game goes on the more nervous they might get and I
think it will be a draw. I've seen this so many times - a team is rolling
along and it just takes one bad result. The pressure will be on them because
they are playing last of the three teams and that's not nice.


West Ham
Last 6
Sunderland (a)1-2
Hull City (h)2-1
Man Utd (h)0-2
Stoke City (a)3-1
Everton (a)1-0
Southampton (h)3-1
West Ham captain Kevin Nolan will be fit to face Liverpool when the Premier
League leaders visit Upton Park on Sunday. The 31-year-old was forced off
late on in Monday night's 2-1 win at Sunderland after feeling tightness in
his back but Hammers boss Sam Allardyce is confident his skipper will be
Defender George McCartney (hamstring) is less fortunate and will miss out,
while Joey O'Brien (shoulder) and Marco Borriello (calf) are again likely to
be sidelined.

Last 6
Tottenham (h)4-0
Sunderland (h)2-1
Cardiff (a)3-6
Man Utd (a)0-3
Southampton (a)0-3
Swansea (h)4-3
Liverpool could welcome back Lucas Leiva to the starting line-up for their
clash with West Ham on Sunday. The Brazilian midfielder completed 20 minutes
as a substitute against Tottenham last weekend, and could be handed his
first start since mid-January. Jose Enrique (knee) remains Liverpool's only

Opta facts

There have been three own goals in the last three Premier League meetings
between the Hammers and the Reds.
Liverpool have hit the woodwork more times than any other team this season
(24), while West Ham's uprights have been struck the most (20).
60% of Liverpool's goals have been scored in the first half, the highest
proportion of any team in the top flight this season.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce 'sickened' by lack of appreciation
Last Updated: 04/04/14 11:09pm

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce says he is 'sickened' by the lack of praise
his team have received in recent weeks. The Hammers have won six out of nine
to pull out of the relegation mire, but they have won little or no plaudits
and were even jeered by their own fans despite beating Hull City 2-1 last
Allardyce reacted to that by cupping his ear to the supporters and he admits
he is frustrated that their improved form has not been recognised, or it
seems, appreciated, because of a perception they are a dull, long-ball team.
"Well you see, it's all a load of bull," he said when asked about his side's
style. "I think that it's all about the perception and the reputation of Sam
Allardyce, not the West Ham players and how they play. It's all perceived to
be like this and nothing else. "It is a load of rubbish and I can't help
that. It's unfortunate for the players because this particular period of
time, when they've achieved six winsout of nine matches, they get little or
no praise for it and that's really sad. "We've had our best run of results
but nobody's talking about it. They're talking about a one-game scenario
when people are booing because we've won against 10 men. It's life I
suppose, but it's quite sickening to be honest."

Allardyce was retained as manager at Upton Park despite a desperate spell
during the winter, with co-chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan
continually backing their man rather than reacting to the poor form by
looking elsewhere. The main factor behind a winter of discontent was a
chronic injury list, and as those players have slowly made their way back
into the team, the Hammers have turned their fortunes around. "They got
slaughtered in December because they were losing football matches and now
they're performing some of the best results they've performed since we got
back in the Premier League," he said.
"It's top-six form and that's what we should be talking about, not talking
about the type of football that we play because we play a type of football
that suits the players, that's entertaining and it's winning. "The game is
about results - that's a fact. If you don't get results, you don't keep your
job. If you don't get results, you get transferred. It's a results business,
an entertaining business, and you try and put both together as often as you
possibly can."

Meanwhile, joint chairman David Gold told Sky Sports News: "The fans have
that right to boo - but all I'd say is I've not known a team play better
because the fans are booing."

Andy Carroll feels Liverpool let him go too soon
Last Updated: 04/04/14 10:21pm

Andy Carroll feels he was denied an opportunity to prove his worth at
Liverpool and is now chasing a World Cup dream. The powerful frontman was
taken to Anfield in January 2011 for £35million, with the Merseyside outfit
wasting no time in dipping back into the transfer window after offloading
Fernando Torres to Chelsea for a British record fee. Carroll arrived from
Newcastle United with a blossoming reputation, but was unable to kick his
career forward with the Reds. Form and injury frustrations saw him struggle
for continuity and consistency and he was eventually allowed to head out on
loan in the summer of 2012.
Brendan Rodgers decided that Carroll was not for him, as he completed a
switch to West Ham United which would ultimately be made permanent, but the
25-year-old feels he was discarded too quickly by the Liverpool management
team. He told Sky Sports on his time at Anfield: "Obviously it wasn't what I
wanted. I went there and I wanted to kick on. "I had problems with injuries
and was playing one game out of three and never really got going. If I did
get going, my career at Liverpool, I would still be there now. It didn't,
now I'm here and I'm happy."

Pressed again on whether, after 18 minutes of football under Rodgers, he
deserved more time in which to impress a new manager, Carroll added: "I
think so. I was away with England at the time and I felt that I was good and
confident about coming back to Liverpool and showing what I'm about. "I
never really got the chance and was told to leave. That's why I 'm here."

Carroll admits he was also left confused by Rodgers' claims that he would be
unable to form a little-and-large partnership with this season's top Premier
League marksman Luis Suarez - a man signed in the same transfer window: "He
did tell me that it could work, and then when I was leaving he was telling
me other things. I was a bit disillusioned about that as well. But that's
another thing. I think it could have worked, and I was getting told it could
work from him."

Carroll is now looking to leave his Liverpool days behind him, as he
prepares for a reunion with his former employers at Upton Park on Sunday,
and hopes his end of season form - in what has been an injury-ravaged
campaign - will earn him a place in the England squad destined for Brazil
this summer. He added: "I'm feeling fresh. I've missed all of the season, so
if anyone is raring to go it's me. It's like the start of the season for me.
"I got injured and then suspended, so I've missed a lot of games. I just
need to work hard, score goals and put myself about. "When I was away, I
wasn't on the pitch, I wasn't at the training ground, I was away from it all
and I was so hungry to get back. "Now I'm back, it feels like I've done my
pre-season at Christmas. I'm just starting. I don't want the season to end."

By Sean Whetstone 4 Apr 2014 at 20:05
West Ham Till I Die

There are rumours circulating this evening that Michael Carrick maybe
considering a return to West Ham this summer just as his old Academy team
mate Joe Cole looks likely to depart. Carrick has just a year left to run on
his contract with Manchester United but it is understood agreement could be
reached between the two clubs without any significant money changing hands.
Carrick played 136 league games for West Ham before joining Spurs in 2005
for £3.5 million. He was later sold to Manchester United in a deal worth


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