Thursday, May 15

Daily WHUFC News - 15th May 2014

Nocerino thanks fans for support
Antonio Nocerino has thanked West Ham United fans for their support during his loan spell in east London

Antonio Nocerino has thanked West Ham United fans for their support during his loan spell in east London. The Italy international spent four months with the Hammers on loan from Serie A club AC Milan, making ten Barclays Premier League appearances and impressing with his technique, work-rate and commitment. While Nocerino admitted he would like to have spent more time on the pitch in a West Ham shirt, that did not prevent him from striking up a rapport with the Claret and Blue Army. "Now the season has finished and my loan has ended, I would like to make a personal message to the fans and to everyone who works at the Club to say 'Thank you' to everybody for the splendid four months I have spent here," said the No47. "I was really happy and settled at West Ham and in London and I got to know some great people. "Above all, I have had the honour of playing for a historic English Premier League club."

Naples-born Nocerino has now returned to Italy with his wife and two children, with a third set to be born later this year, but he has remained in contact with his recent team-mates through text message and social media. The 29-year-old was quick to congratulate goalkeeper Adrian on the Spaniard's three trophies at the recent Player Awards - an illustration of the close relationships he struck up during his stay at the Boleyn Ground. Indeed, his only regret is that he did not spend more time on the pitch in a West Ham shirt. "I am sorry only that the fans didn't get to see all of my qualities on the pitch," he continued. "I am very happy for the fact that, from the first day I have been here, the fans have shown me affection and kindness. "What I can say is that West Ham will have one more fan following my time at the Club. Thanks to everyone and good luck for next season."

Macca making pre-season plans
Assistant boss Neil McDonald says West Ham United's players will be looking after themselves this summer

Neil McDonald says West Ham United's players and staff will be raring to go when they return for pre-season training on 3 July. The assistant manager will try to take a short break from the daily rigours of working in the Barclays Premier League following a gruelling ten-month campaign. However, McDonald will also be kept busy during the summer preparing for pre-season training and scouting potential new signings all over the world, including at the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil. "You do try to have a little bit of time with your families and a little bit of a break from the pressures we are under, but the phone is always on in case we need to go and watch a player," said Macca. "The World Cup is also on, so we will all be trying to watch different games and different personnel, so it will be a busy summer, but a relaxing summer at the same time."

As the man charged with planning and conducting many of West Ham's first-team training sessions, the assistant boss is always thinking up new drills and games to keep the players fit, sharp and focused. With that in mind, Macca will have his notepad and pen out over the next few weeks, preparing for the return of the squad in seven weeks' time. "That is one of my major responsibilities and we want them to come back after their break with big smiles on their faces," he continued. "We always tweak the sessions so they don't know what is round the corner, whether that be sending them on longer runs, giving them longer with the ball or doing different exercises just to stimulate them when they first come in to get them to the level we want them before they start playing games."

The pre-season schedule will begin with a day of testing at Chadwell Heath followed by a week-long training camp. There, the players will be put through a series of double and triple-session days to get them back into tip-top shape ahead of their opening pre-season match. "We have to put the conditioning work in during that week, although we do also send them away with individual programmes for during the summer. "They will have a couple of weeks doing nothing and getting some rest, then we will get them doing a little bit of running to get their body composition up. We also encourage them to eat well and look after themselves in general. "Over the last couple of years, they have been really good when they have first come in and their standard of fitness has been good so we could get some work into them to push them even further."

The Big Interview - Carlton Cole
Carlton Cole gives his verdict on West Ham United's achievements over the course of the 2013/14 season

Like the majority of football fans Carlton Cole is already looking forward to the beginning of the 2014/15 campaign, just days after West Ham United's final game of the Barclays Premier League season against Manchester City. The striker weighed in with six goals after re-joining the Hammers in October 2013 to help the Club finish 13th in the table, thus securing another season of top flight football at the Boleyn Ground. Cole was a free agent last summer but is pleased to know where his future lies as he heads into the off season. The frontman also told West Ham TV of his desire to hit the ground running when the players return for pre-season training.

Carlton, looking back on the season as a whole, how would you sum it up from a team perspective as well as a personal point of view?

"From a West Ham view we didn't start too well, had some bad injuries and obviously got hit up front with Andy Carroll. Modibo Maiga tried his best to fill the gap but needed reinforcements going forward. We defended really well but just wasn't capitalising on finishing games off so that did hamper our season up until Christmas. We started winning a few more games that should have been in the bag and we went through a good period and a good patch which the boys put a lot of effort into. It's been kind of topsy turvy. "When we got some of our so called first team players back we started getting a bit of momentum and then it just didn't go the way it was supposed to go. You can never fault anyone because everyone did try their hardest to get the results, but sometimes we didn't get the rub of the green. For me personally, I was happy that I came back obviously. I notched a few goals and if I'd had a few more minutes I probably could have got top goalscorer again but it didn't work out that way. I knew what my role was when I came back, but hopefully next season I will get more chances because I really do want to play and score goals."

This season you came into it late, but do you feel that with a full pre-season under your belt next season you'll be able to hit the ground running?

"We're going to start next season with at least two fit strikers. Obviously we need reinforcements and we've got Modibo coming back as well, so we'll see how that goes with everyone getting a good pre-season under their belts and trying to perform to the best of their abilities. We should be, from an attacking point of view, all guns blazing. We've got to play to the manager's style of play and capitalise on any challenges he puts in front of us. If we get things right before then and the preparation that should be good, hopefully we can do better next season."

You've been at the Club for a long time now, does it feel good to be at a Club where you feel special?

"It will be my eighth season. I don't want to be feeling like part of the furniture, I still want to improve. I still want to improve, score goals and achieve more with the Club. That's what my main goal is, to help out in any way possible like I did when I came back this season. I tried to help get our best form back and I think I was in the team when we had our best run of form. Because I know the place and I know I fit in easily which is a bonus point for the Club and myself."

What will you be getting up to on your holidays?

"I've got some plans for next season regarding my charities and a few bits and bobs I've been doing off the field. I'm going to be relaxing, but I've got to keep ticking over through the summer, stay under weight and then come back next season raring to go."

How excited are you by the prospect of heading to New Zealand in pre-season?

"New Zealand's going to be a really exciting tour and hopefully we can give them a good show and give a good account of ourselves. You never know how many people out there love football and they'll want to see some entertaining stuff. They all look at the Premier League so it will be good for the people out there who like football to see us in the flesh."

Jarvo goes back to school
Matt Jarvis returned to his old school this week to open an exciting new leisure facility

Matt Jarvis went back to school on Tuesday when the West Ham United winger visited George Abbot School in Guildford. The pacey wide man was on hand to unveil a new floodlit 3G all-weather training pitch under the gaze of several proud onlookers. Amongst the assembled gathering were parents Linda Cairns and Julie Dickson who were responsible for the bid to attain a £122,500 grant from Sport England's Inspired Facilities Programme. The fantastic new pitch also owes much to the fundraising effort from parents, pupils and the Parent Teacher Association. Like Jarvis, the rest of the Hammers squad would be impressed with the new facilities which will accommodate all of the school's pupils and also a new Sixth Form league. Use of the pitch will not be restricted to the school however, with the facilities open to the wider community on evenings and weekends and has already hosted Guildford Saints FC.

Hammers heroes set for Friday
The Boleyn Ground will host a charity match with many former favourites on show on Friday

A bumper night at the Boleyn Ground is in store on Friday night with a team of Hammers legends taking to the pitch in aid of charity. Kick-off is 7.30pm for a game that will see a star-studded lineup full of West Ham United greats taking on a team that will represent Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity.
The ex-Hammers squad includes Dean Ashton, Allen McKnight, Kenny Brown, Don Hutchison, Stuart Slater, Lee Bowyer, Ian Pearce, Paul Allen, George Parris, Rob Lee, Steve Potts, Martin Allen, Iain Dowie, Frank McAvennie, Steve Lomas, Mark Robson and Alan Dickens. Julian Dicks will manage the GOSHCC team and this year the ex-West Ham team will be managed by Alan Devonshire.

Admission is £5 adults and free to children under 16 (when accompanied by an adutl) and there are a limited number of hospitality packages available. For further details, please contact Jeff Garner via e-mail or mobile 07941 877570.

2013/14 Awards: the winners
Filed: Wednesday, 14th May 2014
By: Staff Writer

The Knees up Mother Brown team popped over to the Boleyn Ground last week to interview some of the winners of the KUMB Awards. Accepting awards were Mark Noble (Player of the Year), Adrian (Best Signing), Joey O'Brien (Most Memorable Match), Danny Potts (on behalf of Dylan Tombides for Young Player of the Year) and Ricardo Vaz Te (on behalf of Ravel Morrison for Goal of the Season). Player of the Year: Mark Noble Young Player of the Year : Danny Potts (on behalf of Dylan Tombides) Best Signing of the Season : Adrian San Miguel del Castillo Most Memorable Match : Joey O'Brien Goal of the Season : Ricardo Vaz Te (on behalf of Ravel Morrison)

West Ham table offer for Stuttgart defender Antonio Rudiger
Last Updated: 14/05/14 4:13pm

Sky Sports understands that West Ham United have tabled an offer for Stuttgart defender Antonio Rudiger. With 51 goals conceded in 38 games this season, reinforcements at the back are being sought at Upton Park. It has not taken long for Rudiger to be identified as a top target and for an approach to be made.
A product of Stuttgart's academy system, the 21-year-old has enjoyed a standout 2013/14 campaign and earned a first senior international cap for Germany in a 0-0 draw with Poland on Wednesday. His talents have now been noted by a number of sides, with West Ham believed to be heading a queue which includes Newcastle United and Schalke. A £5million bid is believed to have been put to Stuttgart, with £2m worth of add-ons included in an effort to sweeten the deal.

West Ham owner David Sullivan forced to remove 'Fat Sam Out' banner from outside mansion
May 14, 2014 14:18 By Ben Burrows
The Mirror

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has been forced to remove a "Fat Sam Out" banner from outside his mansion. A section of Hammers fans have grown more and more vocal in the protestations against boss Sam Allardyce in recent weeks. And the board's decision to give him a stay of execution at a meeting on Tuesday sparked one group to take matters into their own hands. Season ticket holder Steven Garner, alongside two friends, posted the message outside Sullivan's Essex home. "We travelled from Hemel Hempstead on Tuesday night to put the banner up after we heard Sam wasn't going to be sacked," he told the Telegraph. "It was a peaceful protest, we didn't mean any harm, we just wanted to get our point across. "Sam got West Ham up and gave us some stability, but the football is terrible. I can't watch it any more. I don't expect us to win every week or play in the Champions League, but I do want to watch good football, be entertained and see the players giving it their all for the shirt. "Hopefully, the banner will help Mr Sullivan realise that Sam has got to go."
The Hammers stayed up relatively comfortably but a dismal run of only three wins since February saw fans grow increasingly restless.

West Ham keen on Norwich winger Robert Snodgrass

Robert Snodgrass is attracting attention following Norwich's relegation from the Premiership. The Scotland International has been on the radar of West Ham United for a while and appears to be available for around £3 million. Snodgrass, 26, has a hernia problem which may affect his medical should the two clubs be able to agree terms. The winger has scored six goals in 29 games this season but despite this, the Canaries were relegated to the Championship having only amassed 33 points. West Ham's latest target has 15 caps for Scotland and has scored three goals for his country. Snodgrass arrived in England when he signed for Leeds United in 2008 from Stirling Albion. He would go on to score 35 goals in 168 games for the Yorkshire club before moving onto Norwich where he has scored 12 in 68 league games.

West Ham United are reportedly interested in Inter Milan's young midfielder Lorenzo Crisetig
11:00am Wednesday 14th May 2014 in News
East London and West Essex Guardian Series

West Ham United are targeting a move for Italian midfielder Lorenzo Crisetig, according to Tutto Mercato. The Irons are among several club interested in the 21-year-old, who has spent past two seasons on loan at Serie B club Crotone. An Italian Under-21 international, Crisetig has made 50 starts in the last two seasons for the Rossoblu. Crisetig is currently co-owned by Inter and Parma and had been tipped to be a surprise inclusion in Cesar Prandelli's World Cup squad.


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