Thursday, May 1

Daily WHUFC News - 1st May 2014

The Big Interview - Kevin Nolan
West Ham United skipper Kevin Nolan says the team is united in their aim to end on a high

West Ham United skipper Kevin Nolan is desperate to overcome a frustrating period for his side when they take on Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. The Hammers will be going for a third victory of the season over the north Londoners after memorable White Hart Lane wins in league and cup. To complete the hat-trick would represent the perfect home send-off for the Hammers, at the same time as securing a position of mathematical safety in the Barclays Premier League. Nolan spoke to on the team's recent difficulties and their determination to put things right.

Kevin, looking back at West Brom, we didn't deserve to lose the game on Saturday...

KN: "It's most frustrating for all of us. I think anyone who was at the game knows that. At West Brom, they were scrapping for their lives, got their goal and then scrapped away for the rest of the game and we just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net. "We huffed and puffed a bit in the second half, but I felt we had enough chances to get something out of the game and deserved something."

The first half-an-hour, if you took their goal out of the game, there was only one team in it at that stage.

KN: "It was the same the week before against Crystal Palace and that is our Achilles heel - we just can't put the ball in the back of the net. The lads are disappointed that we're not doing it and it's something we're working on. "I just hope we can get an easy chance from a couple of yards and it will set us off and running. "I think everyone, both inside and outside the Club, is disappointed and frustrated because we are limping over the line and that's not what we wanted to do. We wanted to get some momentum going into next season. "We've got a fantastic game to look forward to on Saturday and we need to draw on the positives of what we've done this season against Tottenham. Hopefully, come the end of the game, we will be celebrating another win over them and another year in the Barclays Premier League. "It's been a difficult year and, with what we've been put through, I think we've done well to be where we are. Don't get me wrong, I think if we'd had fewer injuries I think we'd have been much higher in the table, but that wasn't to be. "We're going to make sure we get over the line and come back next season raring to go and ready to put West Ham back in that top ten, where we firmly believe we belong."

Can you understand the nervousness from some of the supporters?

KN: "Of course, because we're nervous as well. We need them to be as much behind us as we are behind them. We understand that they have their own opinions and they are entitled to them - they pay to come and watch us. You have to take that as a footballer."

Looking ahead, you don't need any incentive to complete a hat-trick of wins against Tottenham...

KN: "We know we can finish off the season at home in a nice way by putting Tottenham to bed for the third time this season. We know we willl have to work hard for it, and something the lads will have to look forward this week is making sure we get over the line ourselves and not wait for someone else to do it for us."

Having got to tenth or eleventh place, did we take our eyes off the ball a little?

KN: "No, it's just been a difficult time. Three of the last four games we definitely didn't deserve to lose, but that's just the way the cookie crumbles.
"Last year, sometimes we won games we didn't deserve to win, but this season it hasn't happened like that. We haven't had those lucky escapes. We've lost games we have deserved to win, but we've not really scrapped out those results and got them when we haven't played to our best."

Gold to make amends for Boys of '64 mix-up
Filed: Wednesday, 30th April 2014
By: Staff Writer

David Gold has revealed that he plans to make amends for the problems that beset the recent visit of four members of the 1964 FA Cup Final team to the Boleyn Ground. The four ex-Hammers - Ronnie Boyce, Eddie Bovington, Ken Brown and Peter Brabrook - were invited to the Crystal Palace match in order to be presented to the crowd ahead of kick off, some 50 years after they won the FA Cup for West Ham for the first time by beating Preston North End 3-2 at Wembley.

However 24 hours before the game the sad death of Dylan Tombides threw the club's plans into chaos, which resulted in the four men - all now in their 70s and 80s - having to fend for themselves (which including queueing for a meal, purchasing their own drinks and having to sit at the back of the West Stand's upper tier instead of in the Directors' Box).

As a result, the players subsequently informed West Ham that they would not be accepting an invitation to the club's end of season awards ceremony, to which they were only offered one free ticket each.

However David Gold, who has been at the forefront of plans to recognise West Ham's heroes of the past revealed tonight that he would be looking to make amends in the near future. Speaking on Ridge Radio this evening, Gold said: "On that Saturday, West Ham Ladies had won the Essex trophy and we also had the team of '64 at Upton Park. But sadly everything got overshadowed by that sad event [the death of Dylan Tombides]. "We'll have to pick up the pieces and see what we can do."

West Ham United won the FA Cup for the first time ever on 2nd May 1964 when they beat second division Preston North End 3-2 at Wembley. The goalscorers on the day were Johnny Sissons, Geoff Hurst and the aforementioned 'Ticker' Boyce.

Tour dates confirmed
Filed: Wednesday, 30th April 2014
By: Staff Writer

The dates for West Ham United's summer tour to New Zealand have finally been announced. As revealed here on back in February, the Hammers will be visiting the Australasian nation for the first time in their history this summer in order to play two fixtures against Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC in what is being billed as 'the Football United Tour'. And also involved in what will be a four-team tournament are fellow Premier League side Newcastle United, currently managed by former Hammers boss Alan Pardew. West Ham will face Phoenix at Eden Park on Wednesday, 23rd July before taking on Australian's Sydney at the Westpac Stadium three days later (Saturday, 26th July). Meanwhile, for those travelling fans wishing to maximise their football intake during the tour, Newcastle will face Sydney at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Tuesday, 22nd July and Wellington at the Westpac Stadium in the capital on Saturday, 26th July.

Hammers boss Sam Allardyce told "We've been busy putting together the best pre-season preparation that I've had and it's great that we're able to go to New Zealand as a key part of that. "It'll be great for our fans in the region to see us play. I went over to Australia with Blackburn Rovers and I was quite surprised how many Blackburn fans there were that lived there. I'd expect ten times more fans to be looking forward to us playing in New Zealand this summer!"

And Alan Pardew, speaking to added: "We are very much looking forward to being part of the Football United Tour and to training and playing at first class facilities in Dunedin and Wellington. "Football has grown impressively in both New Zealand and Australia in recent years, with some excellent players and teams coming to the fore, so the Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC fixtures will provide a good test for our players as we prepare them for next season."

The Mayor of Wellington, Celia Wade-Brown was also delighted by the news and the opportunity to welcome two Premier League teams to her City. "The Wellington City Council is delighted to work with the Phoenix on bringing this great sporting contest to the capital," she said. "Our stadium's location is ideally suited to a big match, and the beautiful game will be fully celebrated in a football festival for everybody. This spectacular event will draw football fans from around the country and across the Tasman."

West Ham and Newcastle United to take part in New Zealand summer tournament
Last Updated: 30/04/14 10:54am

West Ham and Newcastle United will take part in a four-team tournament in New Zealand with A-League sides Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC this summer.
Newcastle will play Sydney in Dunedin on July 22, with Wellington taking on West Ham in Auckland the following day. The tournament finishes with a double header in Wellington on July 26 when Sydney play West Ham and Wellington take on Newcastle. Hammers defender Winston Reid, captain of the New Zealand national team, said he was looking forward to touring his homeland. "Football is really on the up in both New Zealand and Australia and we are all looking forward to meeting all the fans and playing exciting matches against two leading A-League clubs," he said. West Ham manager Sam Allardyce said: "The tournament in New Zealand is particularly interesting as it allows us to promote West Ham United and the Premier League over there. "It'll be great for our fans in the region to see us play."

By Iain Dale 30 Apr 2014 at 13:10
West Ham Till I Die

This is what The Sun's Carl Long has written this morning.

RAVEL MORRISON'S West Ham future may hang on whether under-fire boss Sam Allardyce keeps his job this summer. The England Under-21 star is currently on loan at QPR after some well-publicised differences of opinion with Allardyce. West Ham are keen to sort out the situation and SunSport has learned the £8million-rated midfielder, 21, could be tempted to stay were Allardyce to leave or be sacked.
A source close to the player revealed: "There's no way anyone can see Rav playing again under the current manager. "The position may change if a new man is brought in."
But an Upton Park insider insisted: "Ravel will return and play a full part in pre-season. "Our hope is he will settle down, sign a long-term deal and become a part of things — that's our preference. It's all in his hands."

SunSport reported on Monday that a West Ham fans' poll showed 77 per cent wanted Big Sam sacked. I can't say I am surprised. To my mind Ravel Morrison is the player we should be building a team around, assuming his talents can be harnessed properly. There's no way back for him if Sam Allardyce remains in post, I'm afraid.

By ExWHUemployee 30 Apr 2014 at 09:00
West Ham Till I Die

The last couple of months haven't seen a huge amount of positivity connected with the club and we haven't had much to cheer about. There has been one shinning light and that has been the recent cup success of the West Ham ladies team. I managed to catch up with West Ham ladies captain, Stacey Little, and ask her about the cup success!

Firstly could I say congratulations to you and the team for your impressive cup final win, can you tell us about the match?

Thank you. Well we scored very early on and I think that's what you need in a cup final. It settled everyone's nerves. It wasn't pretty. The ground was incredibly hard which made our game very hard to play. We like to get the ball down but the conditions made it a lot harder to be able to do this. We scored a second before half time and went in 2-0 up. Second half we knew Barking would come at us but if we played our game and made the ball do the work they would start to tire. We went out with the mentality that it was still 0-0. Barking had their chances but I think in the end our quality in defence, on the ball and in front of goal was the difference as we scored a third, fourth and then the fifth. Barking played well and they deserved their goal. You saw how much it meant to them as well to get the goal.This was an important match for us as a team and as a club. To win silverware in such a turbulent season is a great achievement for all involved.

What were the after match celebrations like?

They were very lively. A lot of dancing, happy juice and chanting of Championes championes ole ole ole!

Other than the cup final, do you have any other career highlights?

I can't say that I have any that spring to mind straight away to be honest. I think a highlight for some of the girls at our level is to be able to get the chance to play at the men's grounds. I've had the chance to play at Loftus Road and The Kingpower Stadium. It's always nice to play on those pitches.

How did the rest of the season go for the ladies?

The rest of the season has been incredibly tough and very frustrating at times. We had key players leave us at the start of the season, training days had to be changed and then our manager and a number of players left mid-way through the season. All this has added up to find us second from bottom in the league. A position that I personally feel we should be nowhere near.

Can you describe how it feels to captain West Ham ladies?

It's an amazing and very proud feeling to captain the side that I've grown up supporting. Just pulling on that shirt every week was special enough but pulling on that armband now as well makes it even more special.

Do you have any future career aspirations?

As cheesy as it sounds I can't see myself pulling on another shirt now. I would have loved to of played in the Women's Super League with West Ham but unfortunately that isn't going to be possible for me personally. So I'll settle for winning the league with West Ham Ladies.

How did you first get into football and have you played for any other teams?

I always joined in with the boys at school or down the local football club. I would also go to Football Schemes that would run during half terms. It was my local team Hatfield Youth I started out at before then being able to move in to Women's football for Colney Heath. Apart from playing for my local teams when I was younger, I played for QPR for a short period of time before moving to Charlton for 3 seasons and now I'll be going into my 5th season with West Ham.

Do you have any advice for any girls looking to get into the West Ham ladies squad?

Work hard during training and outside of training in your own time, be committed and passionate and want to be involved in that First Team squad.

Are you a West Ham fan?

Yes I am, through the good times and the bad.

Do you have any other particular interests or passions away from playing football?

Football dominates a lot of my time as I'm also a West Ham Season Ticket Holder. So when I'm not around football, spending time with my family and friends is important to me.

If you could make any changes to the ladies game what would they be?

If I could make a change to the ladies game I would structure the leagues the same as the men's game. Although the introduction of the Women's Super-League's 1 and 2 has promoted the ladies game massively I fear that the gap between our league and the super league will just be too big to ever compete against them in cup games for example. It also becomes a challenge to attract new players to the club as we don't have the same funding and set up these Super League Clubs have.

It would also be nice to see the male teams support their female counterparts more.

How would you assess the men's team performance this season?

It's been a very disappointing season. Some of the performances as well have been painful to watch. In my opinion, I think we're very one dimensional and very predictable. Teams know what we're going to do. Hit that long ball up to Andy Carroll and hope someone gets on the end of it. We lack creativity.

I think Stacey echoes the sentiments of many West Ham fans! At least the ladies gave us something to cheer this season!

Everton plot transfer of West Ham's Mohamed Diame and a reunion with Roberto Martinez
Apr 30, 2014 19:36 By Neil Rowlands
The Mirror

Troubled West Ham look set to lose powerhouse midfielder Mohamed Diame in the summer. Manager Sam Allardyce's future hangs in the balance after fans turned against him following the Hammers' slide down the table, and now Everton boss Roberto Martinez wants to whisk Diame away for a Goodison reunion.
Martinez signed the Senegal international for previous club Wigan in 2009 and managed him for three seasons. He still rates the 26-year-old highly and has made discreet enquiries. He sees Diame as the perfect replacement for Gareth Barry, whose season-long loan from Manchester City to the Toffees expires this summer. Diame is ready to quit Upton Park and still has a £3.5m buy-out clause in his contract, even though West Ham have tried to remove it by offering him better terms. Arsenal and Liverpool have been keen on the player in the past, but did not pursue their interest and now Everton could be ready to take him.
Diame recently admitted a desire to play for a top six club and would jump at the chance of going to Everton, especially as it represents a chance to work with Martinez again. The Toffees are unsure what the future holds with former England midfielder Barry, who could command a lucrative contract because he will be a free agent. Martinez is also not certain they could convince on-loan Romelu Lukaku to sign permanently without Champions League football, or afford him - especially with other clubs interested in the Chelsea striker. However, the Spaniard will try to sign forward Gerard Deulofeu on another season-long loan from Barcelona.

West Ham's Allardyce faces sack in the summer if they lose to Tottenham on Saturday
Apr 29, 2014 22:30 By Darren Lewis, Neil McLeman
The Mirror

Sam Allardyce risks being axed next month if his West Ham side get beaten this weekend by Tottenham. Hammers chiefs are aware of a fan poll revealing 77 per cent of their supporters want Big Sam out. And with the odds against the Upton Park club winning their final match of the season away to title-chasing Manchester City, Saturday lunchtime's visit from bitter London rivals Spurs is being seen as Allardyce's last stand. A final decision on his future will be taken at the end of the season, with the 59-year-old understood to be adamant that he will not walk away from a contract which still has a year to run. While West Ham accept their best chance of remaining in the Premier League is with him, many within the club share the fans' demand for more entertaining football. Meanwhile, Hammers centre-back Winston Reid has admitted they have two big problems: They can't defend and they can't score goals. A fourth consecutive defeat, at West Brom on Saturday, leaves the east Londoners still in danger of the drop and centre-back Winston Reid said: "We just can't really score goals at the moment and we are conceding so it is not really the best. We have to start putting away our chances. "That is two games where we haven't scored now, while we also should have done better with West Brom's goal, so all in all we are not really hitting our best form. "At least we are creating our chances, but we are not finishing them off. "We haven't really been talking about relegation to be honest, we have just be concentrating on trying to get more points and pushing ourselves up the table, but we have lost four games in a row and it has not come at a good time."

Reid also gave an insight into the pre-match tactics for the trip to The Hawthorns, where Saido Berahino scored the game's only goal. "There wasn't really a gameplan, because we didn't know who was going to be playing for them," said the New Zealand international. "You just have to deal with it whoever it is."

The end of Sam Allardyce?
Curtains for Big Sam
Moore Than Just A Club

The days of West Ham being renowned across the country as a team that plays free-flowing and attractive football seem nothing but a distant memory. Nowadays, Allardyce has earned The Hammers the unwanted reputation as a one dimensional team playing nothing more than what can be described as 'hoofball'. After the fourth successive loss suffered on Saturday against a fairly average West Bromwich Albion, West Ham are still fairly safe as far as staying up is concerned. However, after years of experience, one thing that I am sure about is that West Ham will not make easy work of it. Saturday saw more than just a fourth consecutive loss for Allardyce. There appeared to be a real contrast in the emotions shown by the supporters at The Hawthorns. Pepe Mel and his club appear to be on the up, albeit after eight attempts, he has finally picked up a home win. However, more importantly he has the backing of the fans, something hard to come by in this day and age, and something that Sam Allardyce can only dream of. The 59-year-old was welcomed by the away fans to fairly regular chants such as 'We want our West Ham back' amongst others which are all too explicit to put into writing. This combined with a rather to the point banner which read 'Fat Sam out – you're killing WHU'.

The tension amongst the fans has been evident throughout the season, particularly in the last month or so. And it has finally reared its ugly head not only after a run of defeats, but to some, in particular the football purists, after they are now seeing an ugly, monotonous style of play. This style of play could be accounted for if it was providing the club with results; however it is neither here nor there. The results have been poor as have the performances.

The remaining two fixtures look bleak. The crowd favourite visit of Tottenham next Saturday should fill Upton Park with hostility towards the Spurs players, however if the atmosphere at The Hawthorns is anything to go by, then the home side will be the team under pressure. This penultimate fixture, in comparison with the final day of the season seems rather easy. An away trip to Manchester City awaits on May 11th. Who themselves have everything to play for now that they have one hand on the Premier League trophy following Liverpool's home defeat to Chelsea.

The West Ham chairmen have a very difficult decision to think about this summer, or indeed in the next few days if they wish to terminate Big Sam's' contract at Upton Park. The prospect of moving into the Olympic Stadium looms over the club and with the move scheduled for the 2016-2017 season; the owners need to ensure that they will be playing in the Premier League. Something which Allardyce has proven he can do on a number of occasions.

It's undoubtable that the club's main concern is to be playing in the best league in the world. However, the fans expect more from their club and they have every reason to do so. I feel that the time has come for a change; the club needs to get the players and the fans back together, united as one.
The fans are experienced and wise enough to know that West Ham are not going to challenge for the title, but is something a bit more than recurring relegation battle really too much to ask?

Why Sam Allardyce is more important to West Ham than Ravel Morrison
A few years in the company of a star is a pipe dream that should be trumped by a more reliable reality.

West Ham have been posed an ultimatum of sorts by their on-loan midfielder Ravel Morrison, according to The Sun. According to the red-top periodical, Morrison has suggested he will not represent the eastenders again while Sam Allardyce is manager of the club. Once thought of as the long-term successor to Paul Scholes when on the books of Manchester United, the youngster showed flashes of his immense potential earlier this term, such as when bagging a delightful solo effort against Tottenham in the Irons' 3-0 White Hart Lane win. Losing a player of such effervescent promise will be a bitter pill for bubble-blowing diehards to take after a season of often less than inspiring fare. Morrison won't be available to help the Irons and their manager attempt to justify odds of 3/1 about their third victory over Spurs of the campaign next time out. Defeat in the clash could spell Allardyce's demise come the end of the season if reports from The Mirror are to be believed. If 'Big Sam' slips the noose, the prospect of losing Morrison is sure to merely concentrate the ire of the 12,392 Hammers who registered a no confidence vote in their gaffer in a recent poll conducted by 16 independent fanzines and blogs. However, while the 21-year-old may have dazzled on occasions this term, his past record of misdemeanours means he is unlikely ever be to regarded as God's gift to team spirit. He may be excelling in a creative role for QPR in the Championship, but so did Adel Taraabt. At West Ham, where Allardyce has worked diligently to paper over the cracks in a less than brilliant squad by creating a cohesive collective, his occasional caprices could be more damaging than elsewhere. The Dudley native has never been relegated after a full season in charge across a managerial career of more than 20 years and removing him from office in order to pander to a tyro yet to truly justify the hype would smack of the kind of short-term, reactionary decision making that the club's support have frowned upon in the past. In all probability, removing Allardyce would only enhance the likelihood that West Ham would endure relegation next season, making it improbable a player of Morrison's quality would hang around anyhow.

West Ham target will join Arsenal says Matthaus
By matt_harris | Posted: April 30, 2014

A STRIKER Sam Allardyce watched will move to Arsenal instead claims German football legend Lothar Matthaus. The West Ham manager personally scouted Swiss forward Josip Drmic, who plays for Nuremburg, earlier this month. The 21-year-old has 16 goals in 32 appearances in the Bundesliga this season, and Matthaus, a pundit of German TV, is adamant he will move to the Gunners in the summer. The 53-year-old told Blick: "Although now Dortmund, Gladbach and Leverkusen also have interest in him. I'm saying: Josip Drmic will move to Arsenal. "I made a mistake. I said his wife was already looking at apartments. The fact is that this is his girlfriend. Drmic has a girlfriend of nine months. She lived five or six months with him in Nuremberg. "Look, if a journalist hears something, he researches and writes about it. I'm kind of a journalist at Sky and have heard the rumour of a move to Arsenal. "I then found out that this is true and he's going there. So the research is clear."

Bilic would cost Hammers £3m in compensation
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on April 30, 2014 in Whispers

West Ham fans' favourite Slaven Bilic will cost the club £3 million if they try to make him the next Hammers boss! 200px-Slaven_BilićBilic is currently managing currently managing Turkish outfit Beşiktaş and has two years left on his deal at £1.5 million a year. The former Hammer who spent the 1996-97 season at the club before moving onto Everton, came second in a recent fans poll to take over at The Boleyn should Sam Allardyce leave. It is understood from sources close to the club that the 45 year old has been interviewed in the past for the jobn but that a deal could not be hammered out. A source told ClaretandHugh exclusively earlier in the day that the Hammers would not be commenting on Allardyce's position or any potential candidates "because at the moment no job exists."
However, he added – with smallest of smiles – "We are very aware of the fans' favourites and that Slaven Bilic would be among them." Bilic has managed Hajduk Split, the Croatain under 21s and full national sides and Lokomotiv Moscow before taking over at Besiktas.

West Ham News: Sam protest worst since 90s
by Hugh Southon30th April 2014 2:30pm BST

Tony Cottee believes the demonstrations against West Ham manager Sam Allardyce are louder than any he has heard since his playing days at Upton Park.
Indeed he believes the current protests are the worst he can remember since the 1990s when the club's fans rebelled over the ill-fated Bond scheme. That was one of the darkest periods in the club's history and saw pitch invasions as the fan's protested against the scheme which would have forced fans into the purchase of a bond before they could buy a season ticket. Eventually, the idea was binned with only 1,000 of the 19,301 Bonds sold. Today's problems solely involve the manager and Cottee believes he has fallen foul of fans whom he believes are particularly wise on footballing matters. Cottee speaking to [football] direct news believes Allardyce's football is probably less acceptable than that of even relegated Avram Grant and Glenn Roeder. He said: "The protests are growing louder and louder. The results under Avram and Glenn were pretty horrendous but although there was murmuring and moaning I don't remember it being anything like this. "I've said this before and it bears repeating. The fans are the judge and jury on a manager. Sam could finish on a high and be able to look with more confidence to the future. "But if he doesn't he can expect the fans to be getting noisier and noisier and that is bad news for him."

Everton linked with Diame - again
Filed: Thursday, 1st May 2014
By: Staff Writer

Everton boss Roberto Martinez is being linked with a summer swoop for West Ham's Mo Diame, according to this morning's papers. The Toffees' Spanish manager is said to be a keen admirer of the midfield powerhouse, having worked alongside him at Wigan prior to the Latics' relegation from the Premier League. Diame, one of several first team players to have suffered from inconsistency this season is rumoured to have a £3.5million release clause in his contract which led to heavy speculation that he would leave the Boleyn Ground last summer. Martinez and Everton were reported to be interested in the Senegal international then, but a bid failed to materialise - something which calls into question the veracity of the last link. The midfielder was first linked with a summer switch earlier this month when he told L'Equipe that he hoped to secure a move to a "top six" club, such as Liverpool who had previously expressed an interest in signing him. Sam Allardyce was typically forthright when asked about the possibility of that happening following the recent 3-1 defeat at Arsenal. "Well he'll have to perform better, won't he," was Big Sam's reply.

Ravel blasts newspaper 'rubbish', Gold wants Ravel return
Filed: Wednesday, 30th April 2014
By: Staff Writer

David Gold is looking forward to Ravel Morrison's return from his loan spell at Queens Park Rangers - whilst insisting that the youngster could become 'a special player'. West Ham United's co-owner, speaking in an interview with Ridge Radio revealed that he had high hopes for the 21-year-old who has been on loan with Championship club Queens Park Rangers since January. Morrison's short spell at Loftus Road has thus far resulted in six goals from 15 games and a permanent spot in Harry Redknapp's starting XI. He will remain with the Rs until their play-off campaign is over. And tonight Gold insisted that the England Under 21 international was still wanted by the Hammers - with whom he started the 2013/14 season so well before being sent out on loan - and that if he applies himself in the right fashion, could become one of the very best. "He did fantastic when he went to Birmingham in the Championship last year and he did fantastic when he came back to West Ham for several months - and he played a big part in the victory over Tottenham," said Gold. "He's plying his trade and he's a young man that wants to play every week - and we know that's difficult in the Premier League. "But by going out to Birmingham and now to QPR he's playing week in, week out. Hopefully he'll come back at the end of the season, take a break and come back for a pre-season. "He'll be a year older, a year more mature and more experienced. It's within his power to be a special player - even a great player - because he's got that natural ability, the way in which he just glides past players. It's up to him. That's what every fan would love to see - and let me tell you, that's what Sam would love to see."

Morrison's departure from West Ham is said to have arisen as the result of a rift between the midfielder and manager Sam Allardyce. Shortly after his move to QPR, Morrison's agent Nick Rubery posted a message on Twitter indirectly criticising West Ham's style of play under Allardyce. Since moving to Upton Park on the final day of the 2012 winter transfer window, the former Manchester United youngster has made just 22 appearances for West Ham (including six substitute appearances). As well as scoring that memorable strike at Tottenham back in October, Morrison also hit the target against Cheltenham, Everton, Cardiff and Norwich prior to Christmas. His last appearance in a West Ham shirt came in the 3-0 Capital One Cup semi final, second leg defeat at home to Manchester City on January 21st.

* Morrison spoke out tonight to dismiss a tabloid newspaper's claim that he would only consider a return to West Ham if Sam Allardyce was no longer the manager. "Papers talk a lot of rubbish," wrote Ravel on his Twitter timeline. "I don't care what manager I play under, all I want to do is play football," he added - before signing off with a West Ham hashtag.


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