Saturday, May 24

Daily WHUFC News - 24th May 2014

Nobes chuffed with players' accolade
Mark Noble was delighted to win the respect of his West Ham United squad-mates in 2013/14

Mark Noble enjoyed a fruitful Player Awards, gaining recognition both from the supporters to land the Hammer of the Year gong, and his own team-mates to be named Players' Player of the Year. The No16 was justifiably proud of his trophy haul from a season which brought success on a personal level. Noble, who has come through to Academy to make his mark on the Hammers' first team, was a model of consistency in the middle of the park, and he was thrilled that his fellow players had picked him out as the top performer. "It's an amazing feeling to win the Players' Player of the Year Award," he admitted. "All the hard work has paid off and winning the Hammer of the Year is an amazing achievement, but it's special to get the award from your own team-mates too. "It was a bit emotional listening to the messages from the players, because you don't get gestures like that from each other in training! "To get that from your team-mates, talking like that about you, is overwhelming."

Noble started all 38 league games in 2013/14 and the No16 says that, following the team's climb away from danger, it was a year he'll look back on as a successful one. He added: "I was proud to start in every single Premier League game this season, I got close last year before I got a shoulder injury, but I did it this year and I was chuffed with the awards. "It was a lovely evening at the Player Awards - it always is, we get well looked after and the lads thoroughly enjoyed it."

Bellamy pays tribute to Hammers
Craig Bellamy had kind words for West Ham United on announcing his retirement from professional football

Former West Ham United favourite Craig Bellamy has paid tribute to the Hammers on his retirement from the professional game. Bellamy, 34, has called time on a long and distinguished career that included 73 International caps for Wales and spells at Norwich City, Coventry City, Newcastle United, Celtic, Blackburn Rovers, Liverpool, Manchester City, Cardiff City and, of course, West Ham. Bellamy joined the Hammers in July 2007 for a then-record transfer fee, scoring his first two goals for the Club in a League Cup victory against Bristol Rovers the following month. He went on to make 26 appearances in all competitions, scoring nine goals before moving to Man City in January 2009. An all-action, skilful and whole-hearted player was held in high regard by the Boleyn Ground faithful, with supporters sharing fond memories of his best moments on the Club's social media forums, including a 4-1 win at Portsmouth on Boxing Day 2008 when he bagged twice and a standout goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge earlier the same month. The Cardiff-born forward only had kind words for West Ham and its fans when reflecting on his career. Speaking in an exclusive interview with Wales Online, Bellamy said: "I've been privileged to play at some truly top clubs, next to brilliant team-mates, excellent managers. People I'm honoured to be able to say were my colleagues. "People know about Liverpool, Man City, Newcastle, Celtic, Cardiff, but don't forget West Ham. Only on going there did I realise just what a massive club they are. To Londoners, West Ham are very much THE club." A fantastic attacking talent who gave everything he had on the pitch for club and country, everyone at West Ham United wishes Craig every success and happiness in his retirement.

Retained List published
West Ham United have issued the Club's Retained List of players at the end of the 2013/14 season

West Ham United have issued the Club's Retained List of players at the end of the 2013/14 season. The Hammers can confirm that Joe Cole, George McCartney and Jack Collison will be given free transfers when their contracts expire on 30 June. West Ham United would like to thank Joe, George and Jack for their considerable efforts and contribution to the success of the Club in recent seasons and wish them well in their future careers. Discussions with goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and midfielder Matt Taylor are ongoing over new contracts, while the Club has exercised an option to extend the contract of defender Dan Potts. Second-year scholars Kieran Bywater, Josh Cullen, Jamie Harney, Moses Makasi, Nathan Mavila, Amos Nasha and Lewis Page have agreed their first professional deals, while Ben Marlow and Taylor Tombides have had their scholarships extended to a third year. Young professionals Callum Driver and Jordan Spence will also be released this summer, as will scholars Dymon Labonne, Rob Girdlestone, Thomas Gogo, Gines Guzman Rosique, Courtney Homans, Taylor Miles and Frazer Shaw. The Club would like to thank all the departing players for their efforts and wish them well in their future careers.

*Keep an eye on for more from Joe Cole and Jack Collison.

Chadwell Chatter
Ben Shephard blogs about playing at the Boleyn Ground and hosting this year's Player Awards

Hi everyone,

With the season over, I was lucky enough to play at the Boleyn Ground recently when I played for Alan Devonshire's West Ham team against a number of invited sides that decided they fancied taking on some of the legends from West Ham's past. When you come down regularly to Upton Park and you have been for years now to watch your team play, you always imagine what it's like to play here. It's always real thrill to pull on your boots and get out there. Fortunately there's no one really here to see how appalling the football is, apart from some of the old boys and a few of the youngsters who are pretty good. It's an absolute thrill to be here and put your boots on and smash one in the back of the net as well. I also enjoyed another year of hosting the Club's Player Awards, which is always a great night. It's a great way to get to end of the season and think you know what, we're still in the Premier League, we've had some great results, we beat Spurs three times and it's not often you get to say that. We made a point of saying that over and over again and enjoying it. It's a brilliant night, the players mix with the fans that have come down and it's a chance for them to talk about the season and start planning for the new season as well, which I think is one of the really key things. It's been a difficult season as fans, but you look at the positives. We finished brilliantly against Spurs and we had that great run in the middle of the season which got us safe and if we think about next season now I think it's quite exciting what we can achieve. All the winners at the Player Awards were worthy winners. Mark Noble is just a legend around here having grown up just around the corner he's West Ham through and through. I think I said on the night that he's the pride of east London.

It's great to be around him and the Club runs through his veins, so he was a worthy Hammer of the Year. Adrian just cleaned up left, right and centre and what a fantastic guy! I tried to speak to him in English, but his English isn't great at the moment, but if you think about how he's commanded that area brilliantly all season it's remarkable. He needs to work on his cockney though; there wasn't enough apples and pears for me, but a brilliant selfie which was a lovely touch.
You can tell he's really enjoyed this season which is great as a West Ham fan because you just want to know that players love pulling on the West Ham shirt. You want to know that every time they go out they're going to give it their all and Mark and Adrian are examples of players who did just that last season.
I get another chance to pull on my boots next month when I'll be playing under the guidance of Sam Allardyce - something I enjoy as I've never lost when Big Sam has managed us in Soccer Aid. He put me on man-marking Clarence Seedorf last time which was an interesting experience. Seedorf didn't like it much because, if anyone's seen me play football, I play a little bit like a rugby player and Seedorf didn't like that.

We're up against Jose Mourinho, he's the Rest of the World's manager this year, so I know that Sam and Jose are going to lock horns again. The tactical battle's going to be pretty immense I reckon. Jose's going to be up to his old tricks and Sam will love every minute of it. It's a great, great experience and I think over the years we've raised £12 million for UNICEF and it's a great excuse for us to go and pretend to be professional footballers for a couple of days.

Tune in if you can to support a great cause!
Ben Shephard

West Ham United: Joe Cole, Jack Collison and George McCartney released

West Ham United have released former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole, whose contract expires on 30 June. The 32-year-old made 25 appearances for the Hammers this season after joining the club for a second spell on an 18-month contract in January 2013. The Londoners have also released defender George McCartney and midfielder Jack Collison. Contract discussions with goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and midfielder Matt Taylor are ongoing. Meanwhile, the Hammers have exercised an option to extend the contract of defender Dan Potts. West Ham said on their website: "We would like to thank Joe, George and Jack for their considerable efforts and contribution to the success of the club in recent seasons and wish them well in their future careers." West Ham manager Sam Allardyce will stay in charge this season but the board have insisted on the recruitment of a new attacking coach "to ensure the team provides more entertainment next season". A product of West Ham's youth academy, Cole signed professional terms in 1998 and helped the Hammers win the FA Youth Cup the following year. During his first spell at Upton Park, he played alongside the likes of Paolo Di Canio, Frank Lampard, Michael Carrick and Jermain Defoe, but he moved across London to Chelsea when the club was relegated. Cole, who has been capped 56 times by England, won three Premier League titles and the FA Cup twice in a seven-year stay with the Blues. After failing to agree a new contract he moved to Liverpool but he struggled to impress at Anfield and spent 2011-12 on loan at French club Lille.

West Ham close in on €5m teenage forward
Filed: Friday, 23rd May 2014
By: Staff Writer

A deal to bring young French forward M'Baye Niang to West Ham United has been agreed, according to reports. Just 19, Niang has been made surplus to requirements by current club Milan who shipped him out on loan to Ligue 1 club Montpellier for the duration of the 2013/14 season. According to reports emanating from Italy tonight, Niang - who scored four goals in 19 appearances for La Paillade - will join West Ham initially on loan (for a €300,000 fee) with view to a €5million deal next summer. It should however be stressed that personal terms are yet to be agreed. Meanwhile Sport Bladet are reporting that West Ham are considering a move for Sunderland's Swedish midfielder Sebastien Larsson and his international team mate, Martin Olsson of Norwich. Larsson, 28, is out of contract at the Stadium of Light this summer whilst Olsson is understood to be keen to leave Carrow Road following the Canaries' relegation from the Premier League.

Jack Collison leaves West Ham
Filed: Friday, 23rd May 2014
By: Staff Writer

Jack Collison is one of the higher-profile names not to be offered a new contract by West Ham this summer. Midfielder Collison, whose career at the club has been blighted by injury in recent years will leave West Ham next month after nine years at the club having failed to be offered a new deal. The 25-year-old, who first came to West Ham in 2005 as a result of Cambridge United's youth Academy closing made his debut for West Ham on New Year's Day 2008 in a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal. He went on to make 121 appearances for West Ham and played a major part in the club's promotion from the Championship in 2011/12 by scoring both goals in the 2-0 win at Cardiff in the first leg of the play-off semi final. Also departing at the end of their current contracts are Joe Cole and George McCartney, both of whom returned to West Ham for a second spell with the club. Cole started his career with West Ham before joining Chelsea in a cut-price £6million deal as part of the club's 'fire sale' following relegation in 2003. He returned to the club in 2013 on a free transfer. Northern-Irish international McCartney joined the club in 2006 when moving from Sunderland in exchange for full back Clive Clarke and £600,000. Two years later he was sold back to the Black Cats for an undisclosed fee widely thought to be worth around £8million. After spending a year back at West Ham on loan during the 2011/12 Championship season, McCartney returned to West Ham on a permanent basis. There is however better news for Danny Potts, who has landed an extended deal whilst veteran goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and 32-year-old midfielder Matt Taylor are reported to be negotiating new contracts.

See below for details of all players retained and released below.


First Team Squad: Dan Potts (Jussi Jaaskelainen and Matt Taylor tbc).

First Year Pros: Kieran Bywater; Josh Cullen; Jamie Harney; Moses Makasi; Nathan Mavila; Amos Nasha; Lewis Page.

Third-Year Scholarships: Ben Marlow; Taylor Tombides.


First Team Squad: Joe Cole; Jack Collison; George McCartney.

Other Pros: Callum Driver; Jordan Spence.

Scholarships: Dymon Labonne; Rob Girdlestone; Thomas Gogo; Gines Guzman Rosique; Courtney Homans; Taylor Miles; Frazer Shaw.

Sullivan seeking European football
Filed: Friday, 23rd May 2014
By: Staff Writer

David Sullivan may have told Sam Allardyce that it's top ten or bust next season - but according to reports today, it's a European spot that he's actually aiming for. The current manager was told earlier this week that his job was safe, albeit with a new brief for the 2014/15 season. West Ham announced via their website that Allardyce had been instructed to deliver a top ten finish - although Sullivan, speaking to the Evening Standard this morning has set his sights even higher. "I don't want to just aim for top 10," he said. "We should be aiming for top six. I want to be looking down the table, not up it next season. We start next season with three competitions, two of which we can win." And in order to achieve that particularly difficult aim, Sullivan - speaking less than a fortnight before the season ticket renewal deadline - added that he is looking to introduce around half-a-dozen players to Allardyce's first team squad during pre-season.
"Most are young players," he revealed. "The youngest is 19 but has already played top-level football in two countries, while the oldest is 27. "I can't say more than that as you genuinely risk losing the deals. I know people think we just say these things but we are working day and night and I want to make sure we get as many of our targets as possible. "Of course, we won't get them all because it is tough out there but I can say we will definitely have younger legs out there. We are trying to buy experience but youthful experience. "We want to see players who have a proven record of scoring goals, people who take on players and go past them, people with movement because we need to add speed to our team. "We hope, by bringing in slightly younger players, we will also get a bit more from the players we've got. We're going to have two players in every position competing for every place in the team."

West Ham confirm exit of Joe Cole on released list
Last Updated: 23/05/14 6:40pm

Joe Cole, George McCartney and Jack Collison have been included on West Ham's list of released players. Cole started his career at the east London club and returned for a second spell in January 2013, but failed to claim a regular starting role. Fellow midfielder Collison also came through the academy ranks, making his debut in 2007, although his first-team opportunities were restricted by a persistent knee problem. The Welshman was loaned out to Wigan last season and manager Sam Allardyce has allowed him to find regular football elsewhere. McCartney, an experienced full-back, rejoined the club on a free transfer in the summer of 2012 and supplied cover at centre-back last season. The 33-year-old, who had an early spell with West Ham, will cut his ties with the team when his contract expires. Goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and midfielder Matt Taylor are still discussing possible deals, while the club has exercised an option to extend the contract of defender Dan Potts. Young duo Callum Driver and Jordan Spence will also be released, as will scholars Dymon Labonne, Rob Girdlestone, Thomas Gogo, Gines Guzman Rosique, Courtney Homans, Taylor Miles and Frazer Shaw.

By Sean Whetstone 23 May 2014 at 08:06
West Ham Till I Die

In his first words since the end of the season Sam Allardyce has outlined his interpretation of the chairman's statement & plans for next season reveals his thoughts on recruiting a new director of recruitment together with an attacking coach..

Speaking on

"First of all, I want to say I am happy and proud to continue for another season as West Ham manager, I have had good, fruitful meetings with my employers and we are all in agreement that we want to move this great Club forward in a united way.To that end we – the Board, the staff, the players – are unified in wanting to create an exciting team for next season, one that is going to be better than last season.We want to try and achieve at least what we did in the first year back in the Barclays Premier League, which was a top-ten finish. With a challenging season that saw West Ham overcome injuries, suspensions and agonising defeats to finish in 13th place now over, the manager is now fully focused on bringing new talent to the Club. We're already doing everything we can to improve and increase the playing squad and we're hoping to make signings as quickly as we can. I sat down with the owners and Karren Brady to discuss many things and the outcome of that meeting is that we are all moving forward in a very positive manner. Things have been resolved satisfactorily on both sides – and we now look forward to a productive summer and hopefully a very successful season."

On the subject of a new Director of recruitment and an attacking coach Sam said:

"I'm enthusiastic about that idea. We all agreed that whoever comes in has to be qualified and of the right type to supplement our already highly qualified backroom staff, in whom I have complete confidence. The appointment is absolutely down to me and the challenge is to find the right person to help us score more goals next season, because that is what we need to do.Regarding the plan to appoint a director of recruitment, I would say there is always the need to expand that section of an ambitious football club. We need to compete in that area globally and being in charge of recruitment is a very specialised position these days.There is no-one more disappointed than me when we don't play well,style of play is crucial, but it is also important that players realise their capabilities and play to them on a consistent basis.What we are striving for is the players playing well, as they did in the final home game of the season against Tottenham – a club who had spent many more millions of pounds than us – but not for one game, but consistently. We will all be striving hard to achieve that consistency when we resume training and if we can regularly find that standard, then I am sure the supporters will be as happy as I will.There were too many performances last season that didn't measure up to the expectations we all have. There were times when there were valid reasons why we fell short and other occasions, particularly towards the end of the season, when the performance was decent but we didn't win the game."


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