Friday, May 30

Daily WHUFC News - 30th May 2014

Ashton hails striker signing
Dean Ashton believes Mauro Zarate will add a new dimension to the West Ham United attack

Former West Ham United striker Dean Ashton has hailed the Club's capture of Argentine forward Mauro Zarate. The one-time England international says the arrival of Zarate is a welcome boost to the Hammers' attack, with the 27-year-old having scored 20 goals for Velez Sarsfield last term. With nearly three months to go until the start of the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League campaign, Ashton fully expects the Club to add further firepower to Sam Allardyce's arsenal between now and then. "It's great that West Ham have acted quickly," Ashton, who scored 19 goals in 56 games in Claret and Blue between 2006 and 2009. "It's obvious that they need some striking options, not only in this signing but I'm sure they'll be looking to bring some more in alongside Andy Carroll."

Ashton believes Zarate's loan spell with Premier League side Birmingham City in 2008 will stand him in good stead when the new campaign gets underway on 16 August. "He's had experience in England with Birmingham in the past and it'll be great to see how he gets on.It will help that he's had experience of England before. It's a different culture and many players who come to this country say it's a lot different to anywhere else. "Only time will tell how successful he his and hopefully he's given a real chance in the team to see how he progresses."

Ashton also claims the signing of Zarate is an illustration of the Hammers' determination to play a more expansive and entertaining game in the future. The 5'9" South American is a skilful and elusive player blessed with a low centre of gravity - making him markedly different in style and stature from the Club's other main strikers Andy Carroll and Carlton Cole. "Andy Carroll has taken a lot of the burden and Carlton Cole has come back in and done a decent job, but we have to be looking for striking options in a different way of playing," said Ashton. "When you have Andy up there there's one way of playing, but Sam Allardyce wants options, when perhaps that's not working, to bring other players on and change the formation."

Chadwell Chatter
West Ham United Boys of '86 star Alan Dickens looks back on his Hammers career and ahead to a bright future

Hello everyone,

I was delighted to return to the Boleyn Ground recently to play in two matches - the first was Alan Devonshire's football day and the second was a charity game for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital. Both were hugely enjoyable, I must say. We've done these kinds of things for a few years now. Dev's had a little football day going back ten years and he just rung me up and invited me to come along and play, so that's why I came down. The best thing about it was to come back and see all the old faces. I don't see some of these lads from year to year, so it's nice to see a few of the players and it's always nice to come back and try to run around! I first came to West Ham when I was eleven. I came through the youth team and I was lucky enough to play in our FA Youth Cup final out there and you always remember your first game out there on the Boleyn Ground pitch. It's changed a bit since I played, but it's still a lovely stadium.

That year, 1981, was a great year for us and there were a few lads who played in that year back for the games recently. West Ham is my Club and I love West Ham. It was always a dream for me to play here, having lived round the corner. It was great for me. Having done it myself, I do get frustrated and even in the Premier League this year the stats of young players coming through weren't great. At least at West Ham, we still give our young players a chance. I've only been to three games during the season and I think I've been quite lucky as I came to the Spurs game and the Cardiff game and we played quite well in both. I think that everybody is so frightened to lose because staying in the Premier League is the be all and end all. A point at home is seen as maybe better than going for it and winning 2-1.

It's a balancing act. I think all the fans would like us to be a little bit more adventurous, although saying that West Ham have finished 13th, they're in the Premier League again next year and are looking forward to next season. One of the reasons staying in the Premier League is so important is our move to the Olympic Stadium in two years' time. I was initially totally against us leaving the Boleyn Ground, but when I went to the Olympics to see the stadium I thought, 'Wow, the team have got to go over there and play'. I think it will be very exciting, although it will be very sad to leave here and what it means behind - Bobby Moore, Trevor Brooking and all. It will be quite sad, but things move on.

Before then, we have this summer's World Cup in Brazil to look forward to, where the expectations for England's chances are a bit lower than normal.
At least this year we're not saying that we're going to win it. The expectations are quite low and I think we've got some good young players like Ross Barkley and Adam Lallana and hopefully they'll get a chance. I think we might surprise a few teams this time, so hopefully we'll do alright.
Enjoy the World Cup, enjoy the summer and I hope to see you at the Boleyn Ground next season!

Come on you Irons!
Alan Dickens

Big Sam welcomes Zarate capture
Manager Sam Allardyce believes new signing Mauro Zarate will entertain West Ham United supporters

Manager Sam Allardyce believes new signing Mauro Zarate will get West Ham United supporters on the edge of their seats. The talented Argentine forward arrives in east London in the form of his life, having scored 13 times in 19 league appearances for Velez Sarsfield in 2014. The former Birmingham City, Lazio and Internazionale man is a skilful striker who can both score and supply goals for his team-mates and Big Sam cannot wait to start work with the South American when pre-season training starts on 3 July. "This signing is based on his record from being in Argentina, where he has scored the goals that he has scored because we are looking for some goals," Big Sam explained, "plus the fact that, at a much younger age, he had the experience of the Premier League with Birmingham for a while. "We hope that a combination of the two - the fact that he knows the Premier League and now he has become more experienced and more mature, he is going to have evolved in terms of giving us a few more goals in the Premier League when he gets the opportunity. "Hopefully he is going to settle in quickly and bring us those sort of options that we need to be more successful in terms of goalscoring next season."

West Ham struggled to convert many of the large number of chances they created last season, meaning the team often failed to kill off their opponents when they had the opportunity to do so. Big Sam believes Zarate's attacking talents will help to eradicate that issue in 2014/15. "He is a different type of player to what we have already got, which is what we have been looking for for a while," the managed confirmed. "He is small and sharp and quick and has got good feet, so hopefully he can give us another dimension for what we don't have in the squad at the moment."

Big Sam has great experience in getting the best out of overseas players in the Barclays Premier League, helping the likes of Jay Jay Okocha, Youri Djorkaeff and Michel Salgado settle in England during successful spells with Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers. At West Ham, the likes of Adrian and Winston Reid have flourished under Big Sam's guidance and the manager is confident that Zarate and the other players who arrive in east London this summer will do likewise. "Like everything else, we have the tools and we give everything to the players that they need to improve," said Big Sam. "It is then down to their acceptance and their dedication to the improvement needed to do well in the Premier League. "If they are willing to improve, we will definitely give them the tools to do that."

Schalke 04 Cup schedule finalised
West Ham United will have a busy weekend at the pre-season Schalke 04 Cup in Germany

Kick-off times for the pre-season Schalke 04 Cup competition in Germany have been confirmed. West Ham United will head to the four-team tournament in Gelsenkirchen over the weekend of 2-3 August, where they will take on Bundesliga giants and UEFA Champions League qualifiers Schalke 04 and Spanish Primera Division side Malaga. Malaga will get the two-day football festival kicked-off when they take on Barclays Premier League side Newcastle United at 3.30pm local time on Saturday 2 August. Sam Allardyce's team will then take to the pitch at the 61,973-capacity stadium for a 5.30pm kick-off against Jens Keller's star-studded squad, which includes no fewer than seven players who could appear at this summer's FIFA World Cup finals - Germany pair Julian Draxler and Benedikt Howedes, Bosnia and Herzegovina defender Sead Kolasinac, Cameroon midfielder Joel Matip, Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Ghana playmaker Kevin-Prince Boateng and Japan defender Atsuto Uchida. West Ham's clash with Malaga, who finished eleventh in the Primera Division last season, will get the second day of action underway at 3.30pm on Sunday 3 August. The most familiar name in Los Boquerones' squad is veteran Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz, who played under Big Sam at Blackburn Rovers and also appeared for Manchester City. The tournament will be completed by Schalke's clash with Newcastle, which kicks-off at 5.30pm.

The Schalke 04 Cup is being played on a points basis. Winners after 90 minutes will receive three points. If a game ends in a draw after 90 minutes, it will immediately go to penalties, with the winner getting two points. The winners of the tournament will be the team that picks up the most points from the two games. Hundreds of West Ham supporters are expected to make the relatively short trip to the city in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, while the tournament is also being broadcast live in up to 160 countries.

Transfer latest: Thursday
Filed: Thursday, 29th May 2014
By: Staff Writer

With the first signing of pre-season in the bag, West Ham continue to scout the world in search of new players to supplement the arrival of Mauro Zarate...
Former Chelsea defender Ashley Cole is the latest big name to be linked with a move to West Ham. The 33-year-old full back, who has been released by the Blues is said to be interesting the likes of Liverpool, Monaco and Real Madrid but would consider staying in London if West Ham were able to meet his wage demands, which are well in excess of £100,000 per week.

* Ex-Manchester City striker Felipe Caicedo, who narrowly missed out on a move to West Ham four years ago is being monitored by the club once again.
The 25-year-old Ecuadorian is currently with Al Jazira, following a January switch from Lokomotiv Moscow, but likely to be released following the departure of manager Walter Zenga who was fired by the Abu Dhabi club after only seven months in charge.

* As reported in one of our earlier daily round-ups, West Ham remain in communication with agents of Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis. The 28-year-old, who currently plies his trade in Ligue 1 with Lyon and is out of contract next month and is in talks with a number of clubs regarding his immediate future. The French forward, who has made one appearance for his country has spent the last five years with Les Gones.

* Teddy Sheringham has all but been confirmed at West Ham United's new attacking coach. Now 48, Sheringham - who had a reputation for teaching team mates lessons in card schools rather than hitting the back of the net during his playing days - is set to join the club on a part-time basis, working out of Chadwell Heath two days per week.

* West Ham appear to have missed out on signing Anderlecth's highly-rated Senegalese centre half Cheikhou Kouyate. The 24-year-old is currently in talks with Primera Liga club Valencia and is expected to complete a move to Spain within the next 48 hours. The fee is rumoured to be ITRO €9million.

English and Spanish sides battle for Aleix Vidal
Last Updated: 29/05/14 4:18pm

A number of English and Spanish clubs are lining up moves for Almeria playmaker Aleix Vidal, Sky Sports understands. Vidal, who can play anywhere across the midfield or up front, caught the eye at Almeria last season. The 24-year-old scored six goals and had five assists in 38 La Liga games last season and his club are bracing themselves for summer interest. Premier League quartet West Ham, Aston Villa, Newcastle and Everton are all thought to be keeping tabs on Vidal's situation. However, they could face competition for the player's signature with Sevilla, Valencia and Villarreal all keen to keep the attacker in Spain.

West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame has top six ambitions
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @graemebailey | Last Updated: 29/05/14 3:12pm

Mohamed Diame insists he has no ambitions to leave the Premier League, but wants to play for a side in the top six. The West Ham United midfielder is being strongly linked with a move this summer amid reports that the Senegal midfielder has a release clause in his contract. And Diame admits that he is hoping to join a side challenging at the top of England's elite division at some point in the future. "I don't want to stop here," Diame told French website Hat-trick. "I still want more: Joining a club from the top six would be a dream come true."

Diame insists that he does not want to leave the Premier League and return to Spain, where he featured with Rayo Vallecano. "The Premier League is something unique, you cannot compare it with another league," he said. "La Liga is also a very good league, but honestly the Premier League has this little special thing which makes all the difference." Diame joined West Ham from Wigan on a free transfer in 2012, but before moving to Upton Park he almost signed for Liverpool. "In my head I was already in Liverpool," he revealed. "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.
"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." "I found myself amongst photos of (Steven) Gerrard and co, 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! "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 revealed that there were chances for him to move last summer amid interest from Arsenal, but he was happy to stay at West Ham, although he thinks the club did not do what they should have in terms of improving the squad. "There were proposals last summer, I was thinking of going to Arsenal but it didn't happen so I stayed at West Ham, because I felt good here," he said. "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. "We went through the season with almost the same players, 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 per cent in training, someone else will play. It was felt on the ground and we had the results."

By Sean Whetstone 29 May 2014 at 21:41
West Ham Till I Die

Last week it was widely reported that AC MIlan and West Ham had agreed a £250,000 loan fee for the 19 year striker currently on loan with Montpellier.

M'Baye Niang has taken to twitter this week to calm down Hammers fans eager to hear news of his loan to East London. Writing in English Niang wrote "I'm on vacation so the man to contact is my agent Stephane Courbis thanks!!'

The teenager was once wanted Manchester City, Everton, Spurs and Arsenal but is now seen as a bit of bad boy.

Niang was sentenced to a suspended 18-month jail sentence after a hit and run car accident involving his Ferrari.The Frenchman, who was on loan with Montpellier admitted hitting several cars before crashing his Ferrari into a tree in February this year. He was charged with causing unintentional injuries, endangering people's lives, a hit and run and driving without a licence.The prosecutor had asked for 170 hours of community work but the court handed him the suspended sentence instead.

Eleven people, some of whom were slightly injured, had filed a civil complaint. 'I panicked,' the player told a Montpellier court in February asked why he never stopped after hitting the vehicles. Francois Lafont, lawyer for the plaintiffs, said: 'It was pure craziness. It's not just an accident, this is assault. Ten people could have been killed.'

Soon after joining Milan, he was stopped by police while driving without a licence.

Under the legal age of 18 at the time, Niang was alleged to have said he was team-mate Bakaye Traore when questioned. He later denied that when apologising for the misdemeanour.He said: 'I would like to say sorry to all of the fans. Also to Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani, boss Massimiliano Allegri and this magnificent club. I made a grave error, but I never said that I was Traore

By Sean Whetstone 29 May 2014 at 19:28
West Ham Till I Die

French striker Bafetimbi Gomis known as Baby Drogba will arrive in London this week to potentially hold talks with a trio of Premier League clubs including West Ham, according to the Daily Mail.

The 28-year-old is free to speak to clubs over a move after his contract expired with Ligue 1 giants Lyon this summer, with Sunderland, Swansea City and West Ham all understood to be interested in his services. Gomis, who was close to joining Newcastle last summer but claimed a deal fell through as they asked him to drop his wage demands, is rumoured to be holding out for a pay packet in excess of £100,000-a-week. His London trip is thought to be been arranged by his agent Willie McKay, who has previously said on "Bafetimbi is one of the best free agents in Europe at the moment. He's quick, strong and most importantly scores goals.". Agent Wille McWay is well known to West Ham and despite Mark Curtis having a strong hold on a number of West Ham players , Sullivan once revealed 'Willie McKay received more in agency fees than Mark Curtis in the summer of 2012'

Gomis has scored 62 goals in 170 games for Lyon , he previously played for Saint-Étienne scoring 40 from 142 appearances.

By Sean Whetstone 29 May 2014 at 17:36
West Ham Till I Die

West Ham are reported to be preparing a late bid giant defender Cheikhou Kouyaté according to Belgium press

The 24 year old 6' 4" centre back who can also play in a defensive midfield role is being monitored by a number of clubs across Europe including Valencia, Arsenal and Manchester City.He started his professional career in Brussels coming through the youth ranks before joining Anderlecht in 2008.

Kouyaté has made 145 appearances for Anderlecht who value him at around 8 million euros. West Ham have been known to scout him a number of times in the last six months but face strong competition to capture him this summer. Valencia are thought to be favorites to land Kouyaté but West Ham haven't given up hope of a late deal to persuade him to join the Premier League.

Initially the 6'4" transfer target quoted by David Sullivan was thought to be Raoul Loé who we tried to sign in the last transfer window but news coming out of Belgium suggests Kouyaté could be the real target

Speaking to a supporter called @ForumAnderlecht over twitter he told me that 'He will not stay [at Anderlecht] Galatasary did an offer and he refused. Valencia did big offer,he doesnt know. He wants premier league. If West Ham pays the same as Valencia,he will choose West Ham I think. If they do offer of 8 m euro's, he will go"

By Sean Whetstone 29 May 2014 at 13:32
West Ham Till I Die

Momo Diame has been quoted in the National press this morning after another interview from France emerged…

"In my head I was already in Liverpool, 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.There were proposals last summer. 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."
Reports emerged earlier this month that Everton could put in a bid for him over the summer. In late April Diame privately sought to clarify that he is fully behind manager Sam Allardyce and is ready and willing to fight for the team in whatever position he is asked to play. He wanted to dispel rumours he was unhappy at West Ham.

Ravel hit by new disappointment
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 29, 2014 in Whispers

Ravel Morrison was left disappointed yesterday when the number 10 shirt was handed to new signing Mauro Zarate. Rav had tweeted following Jack Collison's departure: 'I want number 10 at West Ham next season' . However, his tweet was later deleted by the on loan midfielder whose future remains in doubt.
Meanwhile, the club have cleared the mystery behind the over sized West Ham shirt pictured with Mauro Zarate yesterday. A club media officer revealed "To end the speculation, the shirt is an XXXL! Unfortunately there is no smaller stock left in the Club Store! Mauro didn't seem to mind"


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