Sunday, May 25

Daily WHUFC News - 25th May 2014

Joint-Chairman in positive mood
Joint-Chairman David Sullivan says West Ham United are making plans for a successful 2014/15 season

West Ham United Joint-Chairman David Sullivan is in positive mood as plans for the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League season take shape. In the first part of a revealing and entertaining interview for West Ham TV, Mr Sullivan spoke optimistically about his hopes for the future of the Club he has supported since he was a schoolboy. As part of those plans to play a more expansive, exciting and ultimately successful brand of football under Sam Allardyce, the manager and the Board have agreed a raft of measures to improve both performances and results, including the appointment a director of recruitment and a new attacking coach. The Club also plan to bring as many as six new players to east London this summer.

With two new appointments to be made off the pitch and half a dozen new signings targeted, Mr Sullivan has joined the manager in expressing his optimism that supporting West Ham fans will have more to look forward to in 2014/15. "We want results, goals and entertainment and if we just get a couple of the players we hope and think we will get, these are players who the supporters will find exciting," said Mr Sullivan. "They will love to see them, players who like to go past their defender, go into the box and slot it into the bottom corner or whack it in from the edge of the box. "We hope to sign a striker next week and he is a fantastic player. He takes people on and he can be a special player, then we have got other players as well. We might have another striker coming in next week from Italy and a midfielder from Europe who is a 6'4" giant who will dominate the midfield, so we have got lots of things up our sleeves. "If we don't have a much better season next year, it won't be through lack of trying. My gut tells me that we're going to have a much better season and much more fun."

Concentrating on the director of recruitment role, Mr Sullivan believes the successful candidate will target and attract top-quality players to the Club, while also identifying potential in those youngsters who others might mistakenly overlook. "We want somebody who has got gravitas and experience at a club and who has done well and bought well, who has bought young players who have gone on to do very well," said Mr Sullivan. "Hopefully that will be tied up within the next few weeks. "We want somebody who can dig up gems, a couple of gold nuggets who other people don't recognise and, even if we have to wait several years, we then have a top, top player. "That's really what we want and we think both of those new staff will make a difference. "It's a combination of all these factors, and attitude, and supporters getting involved, that we think will produce better results for the Club and that's the way forward."

*Keep a close eye on West Ham TV for more from our in-depth interview with David Sullivan, including the Joint-Chairman's views on why Sam Allardyce is the right man to lead the Club forward, the appointment of a new attacking coach, growing the profile of the Club at home and abroad and preparations for the move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016.

End of an era
Former West Ham United physio Rob Jenkins will close his historic Green Street clinic this summer

As West Ham United's physiotherapists from 1959-66 and until 1966-90 respectively, father and son Bill and Rob Jenkins treated every one of the Club's 32 FA Cup winners - including the eleven men who lifted the trophy in 1964.
The Jenkins, alongside youth and reserve-team physio Dave Gladstone, were the unsung heroes behind the triumphs and successes of the 1960s, '70s and '80s.
Between them they ensured our Claret and Blue history-makers were fit and ready for those great days in the Club's history.
"West Ham had some very skilled and experienced men looking after the players back then which included Dave Gladstone, Mr Brian Roper, Dr Gordon Brill and Brian Levack. Together we did our best to keep every player at the club free from injury and able to express themselves on the pitch," said Rob, now 75.
Sadly, Rob's clinic, where he held his Sunday morning surgeries after match days, is due to close at the end of the season after nearly 50 years.
"I can't say I am happy to be leaving the clinic but I will continue to treat some of my clients at home in Wanstead" said Rob, who continues to treat West Ham legends Martin Peters MBE and Sir Geoff Hurst.
The clinic will be converted into a flat and the interior, which would still be recognised by Bobby Moore today, will be lost forever.
"These walls have seen a few things" revealed Rob, pointing out the photographic collages that hang on them that sing of past glories. "We initially had a clinic up above Bobby Moore's sports shop but his agent kept putting up the rent so we moved next door into what was a pet shop. Sadly, my father died after the World Cup so he never actually practiced here but I moved in around September 1966. I've been here ever since."
Rob's 25 years of dedicated service to West Ham saw every muscle strain, hamstring pull, laceration and much more fall under his professional care.
"One of the worst injuries I saw was Alan Devonshire's knee ligament damage in a FA Cup game against Wigan Athletic in 1984. They were so badly torn he would probably have been better off with a clean break."
Frank McAvennie's broken leg, suffered at Stoke City in March 1989, was another big incident Rob had to deal with and that was preceded by other infamous leg breaks in the club's history - those suffered by Pat Holland, Frank Lampard and Alan Sealey. Furthermore, who can forget young John Ayris' punctured lung after Ron 'Chopper' Harris of Chelsea took him out of a game?
Rob also tended to Bobby Ferguson's concussion while Bobby Moore was facing a penalty during the epic League Cup semi-final denouement up at Old Trafford in 1972 and recalls a funny tale regarding former striker from the late 1970s, Derek Hales:
"Derek had a knee injury and John Lyall asked me to run a fitness test. We took a ball to the gym but even I did him in a one on one so there was no chance of him playing!"
Rob's father, Bill, also left his mark on some of the players as FA Cup winner, Eddie Bovington, can testify. He still bears a scar from one treatment session with Bill, who was a huge character at the Club during the halcyon days of 1964-66. Rob sets the scene: "The players loved my father but he scared the life out of them.
"He took over from Billy Moore who had played in the 1923 FA Cup final. My Dad was a no nonsense Welshman from the Rhondda Valley and sometimes left the ionisation pads on a little too long which would end up burning a player's leg. Quite a few of the players from that time still bear these scars. I think Trevor Brooking has one but that might have been me. It was something of a family tradition!"
There is an easy comfort in the clinic which has formed part of my own pre match warm up for the past ten years. Ex-players who visit The Boleyn Ground often pop in to see Rob, who was a big part of the social scene during the 1960s and beyond
Indeed, Rob was part of the infamous 'Blackpool Affair' in January 1971 during which Moore, Clyde Best, Brian Dear and Jimmy Greaves were caught drinking in Brian London's 007 club the night before a FA Cup tie which was eventually lost 4-0. Humorously, Dear remarks: "We took Rob along just in case one of us got injured!"
Rob's lasting friendship from his days as Club physio is with Frank Lampard senior, who was Rob's best man at his wedding. They continue to see each other regularly and their sons, Frank Lampard junior and Billy Jenkins, are also close.
Rob's gregarious take on life, pin sharp memory and love of facts and trivia have helped create an infectious family atmosphere at the clinic, which is why patrons such as Joint-Chairman David Gold's late mother Rose regularly visited.
"Rose Gold was a lovely lady who used to run a shop a bit further down the road in Green Street" he reflected. "I treated her for about 20 years and she introduced Thelma Sullivan to the clinic and I treated her as well. They were both lovely ladies and there wasn't really that much wrong with them but they loved to talk about the old times over a cup of tea. Rose used to be a regular at the Supporters' Club as well.
"There is a lovely feel to the clinic and this is due to people like Joan Saddington, who has helped me for many years."
Between 1959 and 1990, only 170 Hammers pulled on the first-team shirt, which is a testament to the reciprocal loyalty shown by both player and manager during the Ron Greenwood and John Lyall era. Every one of those players will have recollections of Rob and his father, Bill, some heartfelt and some comical. Many of them will also have left a four pack of beer for Rob to ensure a speedy and scar-free experience!
Rob concedes that the role of physiotherapist is unrecognisable today compared to his 25 years with the Club.
"The technological advancements supporting a player's physical and mental well-being are light years ahead compared to my time. Nowadays, there is a team of physios, sports scientists, dieticians and masseurs carrying more luggage than a Heathrow conveyor belt. In my day I would have a small holdall and used to help hand out the sandwiches on the team coach!"
While the game is a lot faster, it is also a lot less physical but injuries seem to be far more commonplace today than in Rob's time.
"The game is a lot softer today and hard tackling is a thing of the past. Players like Billy Bonds used to run through brick walls for West Ham United. He played almost 800 games and is one of the most decorated players in the Club's history and yet today's game would not allow his whole-hearted style of play. He would have more red cards than Julian Dicks. I preferred the more combative and less frenetic style of football we played in the 1970s and 1980s."
Rob is brim full of tales about West Ham United and he clearly holds a special regard for Bobby Moore, Frank Lampard, Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters, Billy Bonds, Trevor Brooking, Eddie Bovington, Budgie Byrne, Pop Robson, Alvin Martin, Tony Cottee, Frank McAvennie, Alan Devonshire, John McDowell, Bobby Gould and David Cross.
When the builders move in to erase such a poignant piece of West Ham history, Rob's memories and contribution to the Club will live on for many years to come.
The name 'Jenkins' can proudly take its place in the rich history of West Ham United as the family that ensured the great cup winning teams of the 1960s, '70s and '80s walked out on the Wembley turf in tip-top condition.
Now, that is a legacy of achievement worth preserving.

Lee lauds productive campaign
Elliot Lee was delighted to make his Barclays Premier League debut during the 2013/14 season

Elliot Lee has big ambitions after making his Barclays Premier League debut during the 2013/14 season. The young striker recently capped a productive campaign by signing a new contract with West Ham United at the end of a season that also saw him net his maiden senior goal during a loan spell with League One side Colchester United. Still only 19, Lee is now targeting a place in Sam Allardyce's first team ahead of a 2014/15 season that will see West Ham play a more expansive, attacking brand of football. "It was an up and down season like any other season and it didn't end too well with a knee injury, but I will take the positives from it to next season and hopefully push on," said the forward. "One of the highs was making my Premier League debut against Stoke City in August last year and I was disappointed not to push on and make more first-team appearances, but hopefully they will come next year. "There have been ups and downs but the highlight of my season was making my Premier League debut and obviously going out on loan to Colchester and scoring my first league goal. There are a lot of positives to take and hopefully there will be a lot more next season. "The idea is to get more time on the pitch in the Premier League next season. I think I will get regular first-team football here and I think I will play regularly for West Ham one day and hopefully it comes soon. I will push on next season and who knows what could happen? "I hope I can be the answer and I am given a shot and will show everyone I can score goals and that I can play in the first team."

On a more sombre note, Lee lost a close friend and strike partner when Dylan Tombides sadly passed away following a courageous three-year battle with cancer in April. The forward paid a heartfelt tribute to the Australian, who he spent endless hours with on the training pitch, in the dressing room, on the pitch and away from the Club socially. "Dyl was one of the best people I have known and I will ever know. His is a huge loss and I'm gutted he is not around any more. It's a great tribute to him that the Club has named the Academy Player of the Year award in his memory."

History repeats itself as Zamora grabs play-off winner
Filed: Saturday, 24th May 2014
By: Staff Writer

Bobby Zamora is the toast of West London tonight after scoring the goal that sent Queens Park Rangers back to the Premier Legaue - nine years after he did it for West Ham in Cardiff. Back in 2005 Zamora scored the only goal of the game when his 76th-minute winner against Preston North End sent West Ham back into the Premiership. And almost nine years to the day, the veteran striker came off the bench to fire a 90th minute winner for the Rs as Harry Redknapp's side returned to the top flight after just one year in the Championship at the expense of Derby County. When asked what was going through his mind when the ball arrived at his feet, Zamora replied: "Just take a shot and hit the target! It sat up perfectly for my left foot and that's the one I want to curl balls with. Thankfully it fell to that left foot, it's 1-0 again in the play-offs and I've scored the winner again. It's a magnificent feeling and I never thought it'd happen again, but it has and I'm over the moon for this set of lads. "Ii scored the winner for West Ham to get them back in the Premiership as well so this one is equally as important."

Another former Hammer, Gary O'Neil, looked to have blown Rangers' chances of winning the game when he was issued a red card with an hour played for a 'professional foul' on the edge of the box. However QPR's ten men stood firm in the face of a Derby onslaught - none more so than yet another former Hammer, Rob Green who was outstanding - and got their reward in the final minute of normal time with their first shot on target.

Diame: Dalglish sacking ruined my dream move to Liverpool
Filed: Saturday, 24th May 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United midfielder Mo Diame has revealed how he was set to sign for Liverpool before moving to West Ham two years ago. The Senegalese international joined the Hammers in June 2012 on a free transfer from Wigan - but only after a planned move to Liverpool had fallen through following the firing of then-manager Kenny Dalglish. "In my head I was already in Liverpool," "said Diame, speaking with French journalist Romain Molina in London last month. "It was next; I told everyone that I was there. It was as if one of my greatest wishes - to wear the Liverpool shirt - had been accomplished. "One day my agent and I went to the training centre to see Kenny Dalglish, who was the coach. I found myself amongst photos of Gerrard and company, all these great players. I was proud of myself. "I arrived in the office and Dalglish said 'I can't guarantee you'll play every match but we have a lot of games to play'. He talked to me about the European Cup, my benefits and the pre-season trip to America. He sold me the dream! "So I went on holiday expecting my agent to make contact with Liverpool's management to discuss the financial arrangements. Unfortunately, Dalglish was fired and all negotiations stopped. "I told myself that God wanted it that way and that is not a reason for me to stop work. It will happen one day."

Diame also revealed that he was offered the chance to return to France with Sochaux, whilst Spanish side Rayo Vallecano - whom he left to join Wigan - also offered him the opportunity to return. However when Sam Allardyce offered him the chance to sign for West Ham, the 26-year-old's mind was made up. "Finally I signed for West Ham, a London club that has a history.," he said. "I remember calling the coach [Allardyce] because he wasn't there during my first week. Senegal has asked me to represent them at the Olympics and I wanted to go - to which he said 'ok, but be careful not to hurt yourself'! "They were a group who had just been promoted. The coach gave me confidence and it really was a great season. I scored three goals, against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United!"

The 2012/13 campaign ended with West Ham in tenth and Diame in demand, with a number of clubs keeping an eye on his situation - including one of West Ham's main London rivals. "There were proposals last summer, " he revealed. "I was thinking of going to Arsenal but it didn't happen so I stayed at West Ham, because I felt good here. Plus, after this season we had had I thought the club would buy some better players. "But it was a very bad start and we made ​​the mistake of not recruiting [sufficiently]. We went through the season with almost the same players [as last year], which is never good because the players think they already know who will be wearing the shirt. "Also, people didn't necessarily give 100 per cent on the field; that's what got us in trouble. In January we didn't buy much but their presence was enough. Now if you didn't give 100 percent in training, someone else will play. It was felt on the ground and we had the results."

Diame also revealed that it took some time to come to terms with the difference between Sam Allardyce's tactical approach and that which he had been used to under Roberto Martinez at Wigan. "Allardyce has always been the same since he was in the Premier League," he continued. "He has always had results like that so it's normal that it continues and he believes in his ideas. It's true that it doesn't please everyone, but it's his way of working and it has kept us in the Premier League again this year. "Roberto Martinez asked me to play, to take the ball forward and to be feed our attackers. To really play football. Now, Allardyce wants me to be there for the second ball. If I can make a difference one-against-one, I go - but my primary role is to be there for the second ball that Andy Carroll will provide. "This season I've been playing higher up the field. Last year I played in the middle with Mark Noble and Kevin Nolan but this year I've been played on the right and left wing too."

Although he maintains that he remains happy at the Boleyn Ground, Diame admits that he still has one eye on the glamour move that evaded him two years ago. "I regret very few decisions I've made ​​in my life but I do not want to stop there," he admitted. "I am very happy with everything that happens to me and everything that has happened in my life, but I want more. "I do not want to leave West Ham to go to a club that plays in the middle of the table. If I leave West Ham it'll be to join a top six team in England. My priority is to join a major English club and to stay here."

Hammers set for Serie A test
Filed: Saturday, 24th May 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United are lining up an intriguing clash with Italian side Sampdoria for their pre-season finale this summer.

The Serie A club are in advanced negotiations with West Ham over the prestige friendly, which in recent years has resulted in the likes of Deportivo La Caruna, Napoli and Pacos De Ferreira visiting the Boleyn Ground for what has become a traditional season-opener.

Last in England seven years ago for the Makita Cup tournament, Sampdoria finished 12th in Serie A last season with 45 points from 38 games - a similar tally to West Ham who finished 13th with 40 points in the Premier League.

Current star players for i Blucerchiati include former Italian youth international Stefano Okaka, Manolo Gabbiadini and uncapped Brazilian striker Eder, who was the club's highest goalscorer last season with 12.

The Italians' are also lining up matches against West Bromwich Albion plus relegated clubs Fulham and Norwich for their UK trip.

Pre-season prestige: how we've fared in recent seasons

≡ 10th August 2013
West Ham Utd 2-1 Pacos de Ferreira
view match report

≡ 10th August 2012
SC Braga 1-1 West Ham Utd
view match report

≡ 30th July 2011
West Ham Utd 2-0 Real Zaragoza
view match report

≡ 7th August 2010
West Ham Utd 0-0 Deportivo La Coruna (West Ham win 5-3 on pens)
view match report

≡ 8th August 2009
West Ham Utd 0-1 Napoli
view match report

≡ 9th August 2008
West Ham Utd 1-1 Villareal
view match report

≡ 4th August 2007
West Ham Utd 2-1 Roma 1
view match report

By Sean Whetstone 24 May 2014 at 14:00
West Ham Till I Die

Danny Simpson says Ravel Morrison has matured during his loan at QPR

"I've known Ravel since he was young and obviously we've both gone our own ways, but since he's come here I've noticed a big change in him.He's growing up, maturing and starting to realise the potential he has got. He's one of the best young players I have seen with the ball at his feet.Everyone knows his ability but I think he has surprised a few people with his character and his attitude. Maybe it was good for him to move away to different clubs.He's looking forward to the final, it's a big occasion for him.
The Wembley showdown is also a big occasion for Simpson, who never quite made the grade at Old Trafford but racked up 137 appearances in four years at Newcastle before dropping down a division to join Rangers last summer"

By Sean Whetstone 24 May 2014 at 09:02
West Ham Till I Die

Argentinean striker Mauro Zarate is due to fly into London with his wife on Saturday for talks with West Ham.

The former Lazio striker previously loaned by the chairman while at Birmingham could be West Ham"s first signing. He currently plays for Argentine club Velez Sarsfield. He was sold to Lazio in 2009 for 20 million euros with a buy out clause of 60 million euros. Zárate caused controversy in 2010 when he was photographed apparently giving a fascist salute while watching Lazio lose to Bari among a group of fans, though his spokesman claimed afterwards that the player "did not realise the significance of his gesture" and did not know who Hitler or Mussolini were.

Last year Mauro Zarate has slammed Lazio president Claudio Lotito after only getting five starts

"Why have I come home? I needed to feel important, to feel liked – the last days were very hard for me. In November, I had been training for the last time with the team and already I felt no confidence. I had not played a single minute in 15 games.I watched a game and then I went to the bathroom to cry, it's terrible when they don't let you do what you want.The blame is on Lotito and a few players, in addition to the coach, it is them who make the decisions.The president failed to meet agreements and did want to pay me. He didn't want me in his team but would not let me leave either. Lotito hurts the club and devalues the objectives of Lazio."
David Sullivan speaking to Ken Dyer in the London Evening Standard said "We have got five or six players lined up, most are young players — the youngest is 19 but has already played top-level football in two countries, while the oldest is 27"

Mauro who turned 27 in March is believed to be the same 27 year old Sullivan was referring to in the Evening Standard interview he did with I Ken Dyer on Friday. Zarate has scored 19 goals in 29 league games in his second spell at Velez Sarsfield.
His wife Natalie Weber is a famous Argentine model who may bring some smiles back to the Boleyn if Zarate joins the team

West Ham offer Teddy Sheringham Upton Park return as Sam Allardyce's new strikers' coach
May 24, 2014 22:30 By Steve Stammers
The Mirror

Teddy Sheringham is set to become the West Ham strikers' coach. The former England star, 48, had three years as a Hammer from 2004. He was contacted by West Ham manager Sam Allardyce last week and asked if he would take the new role as the club try to produce more attacking football next season.
Sheringham said: "I spoke to Sam and asked for a few days to think it over. It certainly appeals. "The job is on a part-time basis, a couple of days a week and I'll be on the bench for home games. "The club is not far from me and one for which I have a lot of affection. I really enjoyed my time there. "It is also a chance for me to experience the coaching side of the game, something I have never really done before. I would enjoy working with the front players." Sheringham is going to Ireland on Saturday to get his coaching badges on a two-week course. The move to bring in an experienced former striker was decided last week in a meeting between the board of David Gold, David Sullivan and Karren Brady. Allardyce then agreed to bring in a specialist coach.

Morrison's QPR gain promotion
Ravel Morrison's loan club gained promotion to the Barclays Premier League on Saturday

Ravel Morrison's loan club Queens Park Rangers clinched promotion to the Barclays Premier League in a dramatic Sky Bet Championship Play-Off final on Saturday. Morrison was an unused substitute for Harry Redknapp's men as former Hammer Bobby Zamora came off the bench to clinch a final minute winner in the clash with Derby County. The Rams looked favourites when another ex-West Ham player, Gary O'Neil, was sent off for a cynical foul on Johnny Russell, but Rangers soaked up the pressure before landing the crucial blow with the only goal of the game at the death. It ensured Morrison's loan at the Loftus Road side would end in success, following six goals in 17 games for the R's. Modibo Maiga is also on loan at QPR, but was not involved at Wembley on Saturday.


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