Sunday, April 6

Daily WHUFC News - 6th April 2014

Cover star Winston ready for Reds
Official Programme cover star Winston Reid is looking forward to the challenge of stopping Liverpool

Hammer of the Year Winston Reid is the cover star for West Ham United's action-packed 84-page Official Programme for the Barclays Premier League visit of leaders Liverpool. Inside, Reid discusses his injury-affected season, his return to form and fitness, the challenge of stopping the Reds and his disappointment at missing out on the 2014 FIFA World Cup with New Zealand. Elsewhere, we catch up with Liverpool's Academy of Football graduate Glen Johnson and Ian 'Moose' Abrahams meets former Hammer and new Nottingham Forest manager Stuart Pearce. Roger Johnson reveals which manager gave him earache and there are exclusive columns from David Gold, Sam Allardyce and Kevin Nolan. Named runners-up in the Programme Monthly Programme of the Year awards, another packed issue has been put together for the visit of the Reds by the Club's editorial team and valued contributors. The perfect-bound Programme, which is also available in digital format featuring exclusive video content from 9am on matchday, will be available in and around the Boleyn Ground this evening and is crammed full of interviews, photographs and stories to keep you updated with exactly what is going on at your Club. Supporters can find all the latest information regarding the move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016, as well as all the news from behind the scenes at the Boleyn Ground. Memorabilia collectors Steve Marsh and Stuart Allen return with their popular Hammerabilia and Get With The Programme features, historian John Northcutt continues his run through of Hammers history from A to Z., while fans can also read the very latest from the Club's Development Squad, Under-18s, Ladies and Community department.
With all this and much, much more and priced at just £3.50, the 2013/14 Official Programme is a must-read for all Hammers supporters! The digital edition of the Official Programme will be available on your iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android devices alongside PC and Mac. It will be on sale on matchday from 9am. The digital Official Programme comes with all the content you would expect from the print edition, as well as exclusive video footage, meaning fans from all over the globe can get ahead of the action and read their Programme and enjoy exclusive video interviews and highlights. If you live overseas, that means you can download your programme before kick-off, with the game being televised live in a large number of countries across the world. The print edition will be available to buy in and around the Boleyn Ground on matchday as usual, packed with all the usual exclusive content.
Available again for the 2013/14 season, the digital programme offers supporters a number of great additional features, including:
• Easy to use page-turning technology
• Simple content navigation and skip-to-page features
• Interactive content including exclusive video footage
• Our programmes remember the last page you were viewing
• Fans can order back-dated issues
• Apple users will have all their issues hosted in one place on Newsstand for easy access
Hammers supporters can subscribe for the whole season from just £24.99 (fans receive all back issues) or buy individual issues for only £1.99. The Programme is available on Apple iPad and iPhone, as well as Android and via the Pocketmags app on kindle fire and Blackberry Playbook.

'It'll be a really tough game'
Matt Jarvis says nothing will come easy for West Ham United when they host Liverpool on Sunday

Matt Jarvis says West Ham United will be raring to go when they welcome Barclays Premier League leaders Liverpool on Sunday. The Hammers' back-to-back wins over Hull City and Sunderland have lifted them onto 37 points and up to eleventh place with six matches still to play. For those reasons, and with a capacity Boleyn Ground roaring them on against the Reds, Jarvis is confident that West Ham can upset Brendan Rodgers' side this weekend. "We've had our ups and downs this season, but those two wins on the bounce have really given us the confidence to push on until the end of the season and hopefully getting us safe," said the No7. "We were playing two teams who were around us in the league so to beat both of them denies them points and pushes us further away from them. That's exactly what we needed to do. "I don't think we're able to relax yet as we've got a huge game on Sunday at home, so we're going to be concentrating on pushing ourselves as far as possible up the league table. "Liverpool have been flying recently and scoring lots of goals, so it's going to be a really tough game, but we're coming off the back of two great results and we're full of confidence."

While you might think Liverpool would be more wary of their potential title deciders at home to Manchester City and Chelsea than a trip to east London, some Reds fans have suggested that West Ham present a big potential banana skin to their ambition of finishing top of the pile for the first time since 1990. Jarvis says West Ham would be doing everything in their power to stop Luis Suarez and company. "We're never going to make it easy for them. We'll give them a really tough game and they'll have to be on top form to beat us."

Should he start on Sunday, the winger is likely to come face-to-face with former Hammer Glen Johnson, who has enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career. The England right-back, who was in the same England side when Jarvis made his senior debut against Ghana in March 2011, will pose a big threat to West Ham's chances of success on Sunday. "I've had a few battles with Glen and he's a fantastic player and has done really well this season. If I'm selected, it'll be a really tough game."

While Suarez, strike partner Daniel Sturridge and midfielder Steven Gerrard have taken most of the headlines this term, Jarvis admitted Liverpool can create and convert chances from all over the pitch. "They've been scoring goals all over the park and their two strikers have always got a goal in them, so it will be a battle, but it's one we're looking forward to."

While Liverpool have their match-winners, West Ham possess a number of potential game-changes too, including Scouser Kevin Nolan and former Reds Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing. Jarvis believes all three will need no extra motivation to get one over the men from Anfield. "There are a few connections and I'm sure they will be determined to get a good result. For them, there might be a little bit more on it!"

Looking further forward, Jarvis concluded by revealing that West Ham plan to pick up ten points from their remaining six fixtures to eclipse their haul of 46 and tenth place achieved last season. "That was the plan from the start - to match, if not better last season. If we can get the results between now and the end of the season, we will be pushing up the table and trying to beat tenth place."

Potters down U18s
Stoke City played their way to a 4-1 victory against the Under-18s on Saturday afternoon

West Ham United Under-18s went down to a shock 4-1 defeat against Stoke City at Little Heath in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League on Saturday afternoon. The visitors went ahead against the run of play during the first half through Tomi Adeloye's smart chipped finish, before Marcio Martins headed the Hammers level soon after half-time from Kieran Bywater's free kick. Just moments later, however, Stoke City moved back ahead when Edward Saunders bundled the ball over the line, before Adeloye and Derice Richards confirmed defeat for the Hammers. With the majority of Steve Potts' side moving up to the Development Squad in recent weeks, the Hammers' U18 boss was again forced into naming a young side, picking the best players from the U16 squad to fill the void. Tunji Akinola started in the heart of the defence alongside Emmanual Onariase, whilst England U16 striker Jahmal Hector-Ingram was again named on the bench. The Hammers started on the front foot and gained control of the game early on with central midfielders Amos Nasha and Moses Makasi enjoying plenty of possession in the middle of the park. Both Djair Parfitt-Williams and Bywater had chances to put the home side ahead in the opening 15 minutes, with the Hammers captain going closest when his stabbed effort was cleared off the line. Just over ten minutes later and Stoke made the home side pay for their missed chances when Adeloye broke through the defence and kept his composure to coolly chip the ball over the on-rushing Sam Howes. Into the second half and the Hammers again dictated a large percentage of possession, but again failed to turn their good spells into meaningful efforts on goal. Just past the hour mark and West Ham's persistence was rewarded when Martins met Bywater's right wing free-kick and directed the ball into the top right-hand corner of the goal. Parity on the score line didn't last for long, however, as Stoke were soon back in front following a goalmouth scramble. The visitors saw a free header from a corner bounce off the underside of the crossbar before several players bundled in on the ball with centre-half Saunders claiming to have made the decisive touch. Things got worse for the hosts just minutes later when Adeloye picked the ball up and found a route into the Hammers penalty area, before firing past Howes into the top corner of the net to secure the points for the visiting team. As the Hammers pushed for a response, the visitors took advantage of spaces at the back to add a fourth when Yusuf Coban was sent on his way down the left-hand touchline, before crossing low into the penalty area where Richards beat Howes to bundle home a fourth. Steve Potts' men will be looking to turn their fortunes around in their next league fixture when they travel to Manchester City U18 on Saturday 12th April at 11am.

West Ham United U18: Howes, Pike (Diangana), Onariase, Akinola, Mavila, Nasha, Makasi, Amoo, Martins, Bywater, Parfitt-Williams (Hector-Ingram)
Subs not used: Parsons, Borg, Bailey
Goal: Martins 61

Winston Reid salutes Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge
Last Updated: 06/04/14 7:12am

West Ham defender Winston Reid says one of Liverpool strike duo Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge will be the PFA Player of the Year. Suarez and Sturridge - who Reid will try to stop on Sunday - are the leading scorers in the division this season with 29 and 20 goals respectively. You have to go back to December 29 to find the last time neither found the net in a league game for the Reds. And Reid says their fellow professionals will look no further when it comes to the PFA Player of the Year of the Award in the coming weeks. "I think it'll be one of those two," Reid said. "Suarez has had a fantastic season. He missed the first five or six games as well so it's amazing what he's done and I'm sure his name will be right up there. "And Daniel Sturridge has had an amazing season as well. "They're good at what they do, they've got good movement, I think they link up well and they're dangerous in the box. "You need to get tight to them and make sure they don't turn and run at you because if they run at you, you're in trouble."

West Ham's Andy Carroll will hope to gatecrash the striker party on Sunday. Carroll joined Liverpool for £35million in January 2011 but failed to impress and was shipped out on loan to the Hammers, before joining West Ham on a permanent deal last summer. After missing the first five months of the season with a foot injury, Carroll has given the Hammers a welcome boost in recent weeks, scoring twice in his last four matches. "He could make the difference on Sunday," Reid said. "He's our main striker and he's done well for the team since he's come back and he's scored a couple of goals so hopefully he can do that until the end of the season. "For him as well it will be nice personally to play against his old team which he came from to us. "Hopefully he can get a couple of goals and we can win the game."

Liverpool's Daniel Agger insists it would be wrong to focus on Andy Carroll threat
Last Updated: 05/04/14 2:30pm

Liverpool defender Daniel Agger admits West Ham's Andy Carroll will pose a major threat on Sunday but insists the former Reds striker is not the only outlet for the Londoners. Carroll, who joined Liverpool in a £35million deal from Newcastle in January 2011, missed the Hammers' 4-1 defeat at Anfield in December but has scored two goals in his last four matches since returning to fitness. Sunday's Sky Live game gives him the chance to impress former boss Brendan Rodgers, who took a £20m hit on the club's record signing when off-loading him last season. Despite the obvious focus on Carroll, Agger has warned his team-mates to expect threats from other areas of the park as West Ham look to cement the Premier League status for another season. "West Ham is a tough place to go. They have a few more than Andy, it is a good strong team," he said. "You cannot underestimate anyone, we see that week in, week out. "I think their whole team will give us a hard time, but we have to focus on our game and the way we play. The most important thing is to win the next one."

Liverpool took over top spot last week with a 4-0 victory over Tottenham - their eighth successive league win - and Agger admits the club is looking no further than the 'next game'. "The most important thing is to be top of the league at the end of the season as the league is so tight," said the Dane. "I think we showed confidence against Tottenham, but the most important thing is to stay focused and know your job. "We wanted to win our last game and that was what was in our head and now we have prepared for the next one."

By Iain Dale 5 Apr 2014 at 16:40
West Ham Till I Die

Guest Post by Rugby Irons

So we're nearly there, which just leaves the one important question:.What does Sam do from here on in? He has had 31 pretty awful games (sorry 30 plus spurs away) and has scraped together enough points to stay up.Most fans are pretty fed up with his style (sic) of play,his media excuses and his demeaning his own supporters. I won't mention Forest or City. I believe most supporters have had enough and want him out to save the clubs traditions. Another season like this and the Davids will be lucky to fill half the OS let alone fill it.

Like a lot of Hammers fans I am a football Manager and so have the experience of what its like to coach players, have to pick a team ,make substitutions and get results. As a manager I have to say that I don't understand a lot of what Sam is doing. He doesn't seem to coach the team and we have seen the same mistakes over again. Does he do any coaching or is this down to his first team coaching staff, none of which have set the world alight.He is roundly criticised for only having route one plan A. As we saw at Sunderland the players have more than just hoof, but are so used to not having to play on the ground its a shock when they do.

Sam's substitutions are poor,as was seen by Reid coming on at Everton and costing points again but this is hardly isolated.There seems little thought behind what he does and has a single substitution worked in a big way for us this season? As he is only prepared to use his limited squad (I will leave the Curtis connection out of this for now) you get no variation and if you are Kevin Nolan then you know you are playing regardless.

So what was the big question I started with? With seven games left is Allardyce good enough to change his style of play to influence enough supporters to side with him? Having got rid of Ravel and Jack, he has virtually no flair to work with just his hoof style players and largely ineffectual wingers to work with.We would love to see real football again and with the pressure off he could have made changes and brought in development players, if he can find any who want to play for him after Forest!

In this case I think a leopard won't change its spots and in truth I don't think he is either a good enough coach or manager to do it. On a personal note I don't think his ego would let him. He is primarily interested in a big wad and he will get it anyway and probably a bonus too so why do anything different, in his twenty five years of total lack of success, he hasn't shown any willingness to win anything so why bother now? It's also certainly not to please the supporters who he has belittled several times this season. The only thing of interest maybe another huge salary extension for a job he hardly looks, of late, as if he is actually enjoying .

So the next seven games, plan A drivel or a lifeline to extend his tenure? Will more booing of Sam make the Davids realise keeping him will empty Upton Park let alone the OS? Will they also realise if he stays what sorts of players will NOT come, the aging hoofers that will, and that Ravel ,flair and the Academy will be a thing of the past . The next seven games are not just about keeping a dinosaur but whether the club wants to go down the route of extinction with him.

Only you will decide, the best supporters of any club in the world. COYI

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce tells friends he WON'T walk out on club this summer
Apr 06, 2014 03:00 By Neil Moxley
The Mirror
Julian Finney

Sam Allardyce will NOT walk out on West Ham this summer – and is already making plans for his summer transfer business, writes Neil Moxley in the Sunday People. Allardyce was booed by sections of the Upton Park crowd during a recent win over 10-man Hull. Some Hammers fans want to see more skill and flair from their team. But the 59-year-old boss has told friends he won't be quitting ahead of what will be the last year of his contract. And unless there is a huge change of heart from co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold, Allardyce will be staying. Sullivan and Gold conduct reviews at the end of every season with their managers in a practice they started at Birmingham City. And there is little motivation for a change at the top, despite the split among supporters.

Adrian: West Ham keeper ready to stop Liverpool's SAS strike force
The Spaniard faces one of the hardest jobs in football today — up against Liverpool's fearsome forward line of Suarez and Sturridge. But he's unfazed, he tells Simon Hart
SIMON HART Sunday 06 April 2014
The Independent

Is there a footballer anywhere in the world today with a harder job on his hands than Adrian? The West Ham United goal-keeper – Adrian San Miguel del Castillo, to use his full name – is the man with the unenviable task of keeping out the most prolific strike pairing in English football, Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. Between them Suarez and Sturridge have already accumulated 49 League goals this season – more than 13 top-flight teams and as many as neighbours Everton – and their scoring feats mean that Liverpool visit Upton Park this afternoon with a first League title in 24 years within tantalising reach.

A victory would restore them to the Premier League summit ahead of next week's showdown with Manchester City, and the form of their strikers gives real hope to the red half of Merseyside. After all, in the two previous seasons in which a couple of Liverpool players hit 20 goals or more – Roger Hunt and Ian St John in 1963-64, and Jack Balmer and Albert Stubbins in 1946-47 – they ended up as champions.

The statistics are almost as remarkable as the recollection of that £35 million fee which Liverpool paid not so long ago for Andy Carroll, who lines up against his old team for the first time today.

Partners in crime: Liverpool strikers Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge Partners in crime: Liverpool strikers Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge Consider this: with six games to play, Suarez has already surpassed Robbie Fowler's club record of 28 goals for a Premier League campaign; one more goal would make the Uruguayan their first 30-goals-in-a-season striker since Ian Rush in 1986-87; Liverpool last failed to score in a League match on the first weekend of November; and in their previous four away games they have scored 15 goals. It is enough to give a goalkeeper sleepless nights, but not Adrian. "Yes, of course I'll sleep," the Spaniard told The Independent on Sunday with a smile.

Adrian has the cheerful, outgoing nature of your typical sevillano, but speaking at West Ham's Chadwell Heath training ground on Friday he was fully aware of the challenge facing Sam Allardyce's men, who would reach the 40-point mark with victory. "I've seen a few of [Liverpool's] games on TV and they have real quality up front," he said. "They have really fast players and goalscorers like Suarez and Sturridge, and overall they have a great team and are in a great moment of form. They have some spectacular stats away from home, so we have to stay tight, the team have to defend well and build from there – we can't get too carried away, because if we switch off we can suffer."

Adrian's preparations for facing Liverpool's deadly duo have been no different from any other game. Yesterday he will have turned on his laptop at his home in Canary Wharf and watched a specially compiled DVD of Liverpool's attacking play.

"I watch it the day before the game so it's fresh in the mind," he explained. "It is dead-balls and things they do during a game – penalties, free-kicks, movements at corners. These are things we can study, but over the course of a game they do different things which are hard to analyse no matter how many games you watch."

Few do the different things better than the inspirational Suarez, whom Adrian likens to the great goalscorers he faced in Spanish football with his old club Real Betis – namely "[Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Lionel] Messi, [Radamel] Falcao – great forwards who can shoot with their right, with their left, dribble round you.

"They're not your normal strikers but the best in the world, and Suarez is like that – he can shoot from distance and with both feet, so we have to be completely focused and be aware of every movement they make."

Adrian certainly needs no warning about shots from distance: it was on his last outing in front of the TV cameras that Wayne Rooney sent the ball flying over his head and into the back of the net from 45 yards. It is a moment that has led to ribbing from friends back in Spain – "A few contacted me on WhatsApp, asking, 'How's Rooney?' – but he is happy to relive it from the stricken goalkeeper's perspective.

"I don't think I was too far forward, I was in a good position but the ball moved a bit strangely. He hit it with the outside of the foot so the ball moved towards my right first, and so I went to my right and started running but when I next looked it had changed direction. At that speed, running back, you don't have time to react. These are difficult things to prepare for as a goalkeeper, they don't happen normally – people aren't going to shoot at you from the halfway line. It's a goal that hurts because it was from so far out, but you have to credit the striker too, as it was a great strike."

The 27-year-old has been on the receiving end of worse in an eventful first season in England, notably a four-day period in early January when West Ham lost 5-0 at Nottingham Forest and 6-0 at Man City in successive cup defeats. "As a goalkeeper, to concede five and six was the worst thing," he says, but he showed the character to respond with five clean sheets in his next six games, including a confidence-boosting shut-out at Chelsea on a night the home team had 39 shots. That cemented his status as both Allardyce's first-choice keeper – ahead of Jussi Jaaskelainen – and an unlikely cult hero to West Ham's supporters.

"The relationship with the fans is great and something I am proud of – to hear the fans chanting 'Adrian, Adrian' makes me happy." Today, with Liverpool's SAS in town, he will need all the support he can get.


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