Monday, May 5

Daily WHUFC News - 5th May 2014

Stewart savours Spurs strike
Stewart Downing bagged his first Hammers goal as he played a pivotal part in
victory over Tottenham

Stewart Downing's first West Ham United goal may have been a long time
coming but was certainly worth the wait. The 29-year-old curled an
inch-perfect free-kick through Tottenham Hotspur's fragmented wall to double
the Hammers' advantage on the stroke of half-time. Ironically, an earlier
contribution was probably the more telling one. With the deadlock still to
be broken, Downing burst clear of Danny Rose, before being tripped by last
man Younes Kaboul who saw red for his troubles. All in all, a thoroughly
successful outing for West Ham's No23 and one that he says bodes well for
next season. He told West Ham TV: "I left it late but I think it was a good
time to score. Not only personally, but for the team, the way we were
playing we needed to get off to a good start. We got the early goal and the
'keeper made some unbelievable saves. I thought it could have been more. "It
was a really good day and the atmosphere was unbelievable. We played some
great football. We have to take that into next season, performances like
that, on the front foot, pressing teams. Spurs have got some unbelievable
players and on Saturday we pressed them and they made a lot of mistakes.
That's got to be the platform."

It was Downing himself who established the platform on Saturday, as his
surge toward goal culminated in the dismissal of Kaboul. The winger was in
no doubt that referee Phil Dowd had produced the right card, having been
denied the opportunity to pull the trigger. "When the ball broke to me, I've
just tried to cut across," he explained. "I got across Rose, I've seen
Kaboul and he's obviously tripped me. If he doesn't foul me I get a shot at
goal, so I don't think there's any argument. It was a sending off. "I don't
think any of their players argued too much, apart from Kaboul himself. He's
last man, it's a sending off. It would have been nice if we'd have scored
from the free-kick, but it wasn't to be. It obviously helped us with them
down to ten men as well."

As for his long-awaited goal, Downing insists that parting Tottenham's wall
was no fluke, having earlier spotted a similar breach. He continued: "We'd
seen it in the first one with Andy, they were turning and jumping. So if it
gets through a gap, it's in, because the keeper's unsighted. "We always
stress don't jump and don't turn your back, because you see so many goals go
under, or go through. That's what I tried to do, hit it through the wall and
get it through the gap, because from that distance it's quite hard to get it
up and down, especially against a 'keeper of that quality. "I did leave it
late but it was nice to get one on Saturday, especially against a local
rival and the big thing was that we won the game."

Though Downing will rightly take the plaudits, the winger reserved special
praise for manager Sam Allardyce, as preparations begin for a third
successive season in the Barclays Premier League. "Sam has been calm. The
manager's taken a lot of stick, but he's been around the block and knows how
to handle these situations. "I think he's done ever so well this season in
the circumstances that have been put in front of him. We've missed key men
at times, but I thought on Saturday it all came together. With players back
to fitness we played some really good football. It's a good send-off for the
fans, I'm sure they're happy and [we want] more of that next season."

But before next season comes firmly into focus, West Ham could yet have a
say in the title race, with Downing keen to throw a spanner in the works at
Manchester City. "We're comfortable in a good position and we can go there,
play football and do other teams a favour. The pressure's on City to win
their games and you never know! We can beat anyone on our day. We've proven
that on Saturday, so we can do it again. "It's going to be a good atmosphere
up at City and I'm really looking forward to it. They're a top team, but
that's what you want to do, test yourself, and I think we owe them a good

Demel's delight at home finale
Guy Demel was ecstatic to have secured three points in the Club's final home
game of the season

Guy Demel was delighted to reward the Boleyn Ground crowd with West Ham
United's third win of the season against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, in
the Club's final home game of the campaign. The home side were dominant from
start to finish, with first half goals from Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing
sinking Spurs after Younes Kaboul had been given his marching orders.
Victory in east London followed two wins at White Hart Lane earlier in the
season and Demel was delighted to have made it three in a row with a win at
the Boleyn Ground. He told West Ham TV: "It's great for the team to give the
fans a performance like that for the last game at home. "It's really great,
also the fact that we're now mathematically safe, so it's really good. It's
a happy end to what has been a hard season, in which we've showed character.
"A couple of weeks ago I said to the lads that I was sure the game against
Tottenham would be like a final for us, so it was important to win. We
showed a lot of character. It showed we are really together as a team."

The comprehensive home victory means the Hammers have now put together three
straight wins against their fierce rivals for the first time since 1998 and
And as well as earning more bragging rights for the Hammers faithful, the
win also secured West Ham United's place in the Barclays Premier League for
next season, a fact Demel was quick to point out. "I think that we should
play Tottenham all year! It's really good, I know it means a lot to West Ham
and the club's history and it's always great when you win a derby game. "The
most important thing was to make sure that we were secure for next season."

After the final whistle on Saturday there were joyous scenes on the pitch as
the Hammers embarked on a lap of honour, with a large proportion of the
crowd staying behind to clap the team. Demel admitted it had been a tough
season for the Club, but was pleased that backing from the stands continued
during the good times and the bad. "The support from the fans has been
really good all season. There were some disappointments this season and some
reactions, but at the end of the day that isnormal. "They always back us
whether we are home or away. On Saturday, they were fantastic all the way
through. It was nice to give them a bit of happiness back, and I'm sure
they'll remember these wins for a long time."

The Ivory Coast international was also pleased that the Club have stayed
united through the testing parts of the campaign and believes the experience
in the side helped them to secure top-flight football for another season. "I
think that we started the season playing good football, but we didn't win
many football games and then we had a lot of injuries and we started losing
games. "We found ourselves in a really tricky situation, but when we had to
win those four games in February to make sure we were comfortable and we did
it. "It's what you get when you have experienced players with lots of
character. It wasn't easy, we made it look easy, but it wasn't easy. It's
never easy against Tottenham. We played well as a team and it was a great

Mourinho blew the title, says Allardyce
Filed: Sunday, 4th May 2014
By: Staff Writer

Sam Allardyce has criticised Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho for failing to
beat relegation favourites Norwich City today and all but conceding the
Premier League title to either Manchester City or Liverpool. Big Sam, who
masterminded West Ham's 2-0 win over neighbours Tottenham at the Boleyn
Ground yesterday was speaking after this afternoon's match between the Blues
and the Canaries which ended in a goalless draw. The result and resulting
solitary point effectively ends Chelsea's hopes of a trophy this season -
whilst virtually condemning City to the drop. And Allardyce - who Mourinho
claimed was responsible for playing "19th century football" following the
goalless draw between West Ham and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in January -
was delighted at the opportunity to have a dig at his old adversary. "Jose
[Mourinho] played open expansive football with Mata, Oscar and Hazard - and
kept losing. It's a simple as that," said Allardyce this afternoon. "He
should have won the Premier League this year. He more than anybody else has
thrown the League away."

Speaking in reply to Mourinho's comments back in January, Big Sam retorted:
"He can't take it because we've tactically outwitted him. I love to see
Chelsea players moaning at the referee, trying to intimidate him, Jose
jumping up and down saying we play crap football. It's brilliant when you
get a result against him."

Chelsea's opponents today, Norwich City remain in 18th place despite taking
an unexpected point at Stamford Bridge. The Canaries must now win at home to
Arsenal next Sunday and hope that Sunderland lose both of their remaining
matches if they are to avoid the drop. Cardiff and Fulham were relegated
yesterday following their defeats against Newcastle and Stoke respectively.

Sunderland still hoping Jack Colback and Phil Bardsley could yet stay
Last Updated: 04/05/14 12:02pm

Sunderland are set to re-open talks with Jack Colback and Phil Bardsley over
new deals after they pushed towards Premier League safety. While the Black
Cats were entrenched in the Premier League's bottom-three, they had conceded
that they would not be keeping either Colback or Bardsley - but they now
look likely to stay up which means they are ready to try and retain the duo.
With nine players out of contract this summer, Gus Poyet is set to bid
farewell to a host of players - but he wants Colback and Bardsley to remain,
who have both attracted interest from a number of Premier League rivals.
Sunderland's arch-rivals Newcastle United have shown an interest in Colback
along with Everton, whilst West Ham are thought to be keen on Bardsley - but
now new talks will commence. Sky Sports revealed last month that Colback had
not ruled out the prospect of staying at the Stadium of Light, and that
could yet be the case. After winning at Manchester United, which virtually
seals their place in the Premier League - Poyet confirmed that they will be
looking at again at the Colback and Bardsley situations. "We had
conversations with Jack and Phil, which did not work out the way anyone
hoped, so we decided to put an end to those talks," said Poyet. "But the
idea now is to leave it until we know for sure where we will be next season
and then maybe talk again. "It's a few more days to wait to know the outcome
of the season - it's not months - and it's better for them and better for

Sam Allardyce plotting busy summer at West Ham
Last Updated: 04/05/14 2:42pm

Sam Allardyce is expecting a busy summer at West Ham as he looks to
strenghthen his squad ahead of next season. The Hammers secured their top
division place on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Tottenham that lifted some of
the gloom around the club. Allardyce's position has come under intense
scrutiny in recent weeks, with fans showing their disapproval at his
tactics, but he is ignoring the criticism and getting ready to improve his
squad before next season kicks off.
"Some preparations are in place without being secured, particularly
pre-season," Allardyce said. "Players' contracts now will be discussed
between myself and owners as quickly as possible. "We will talk to the
players and then it is recruitment time - what can we find, who can we find
and how can we make the squad possible? That is the ultimate goal for me in
the summer months. "I am never not busy in the transfer window - don't worry
about that. "It is probably the only time I like social media like emails
and Skype. You don't have to be in your office like the old days, you can do
it while you are sat in the sun and communicate between everybody. "When
needed you can come back into the club and meet whoever you need to meet and
talk to whoever you need to talk to and hopefully finalise as many deals as
quickly as we can. "I say that every year, but we will probably be waiting
for players until the end of August, but as long as can get them in the end
and they are the right quality that will be fine."


Among his summer thoughts will be the future of Ravel Morrison, who
impressed early in the season and has excelled since being sent out on loan
to Championship playoff hopefuls QPR after a mid-season slump. "He is
available for QPR's play-offs. We did the loan deal with (QPR manager) Harry
(Redknapp) and obviously he has changed the team an awful lot to rest his
key players for the first play-offs," Allardyce added when asked why
Morrison was at Upton Park on Saturday rather than playing for QPR. "If
Ravel does a good job he will be back with us next year and he will have a
big pre-season with us and see where we will go from there."

By Tony McDonald 4 May 2014 at 08:57
West Ham Till I Die

The achievements of the Men of '64 cannot be over-estimated, least of all on
this 50th anniversary of their 1964 FA Cup Final victory against Preston
North End.

Ron Greenwood's all-English Hammers twice came from behind to win one of the
most entertaining finals in the competition's rich history, although second
division Preston played their part, too, and rightly considered themselves
unfortunate to lose 3-2 to Ronnie Boyce's injury-time winner.

Although Hammers had won the second division championship under Ted Fenton
in 1958, it was Greenwood – the innovative and archetypal track suit manager
– who inherited the excellent groundwork of the 50s Academy and built on it
to put the club on the map with back-to-back Wembley cup triumphs in the

In recent weeks I've again had the pleasure of meeting up with six of the
eight West Ham survivors from the '64 final: John Sissons (who was over from
South Africa to attend his mother Emily's 100th birthday in Surrey),
match-winning hero Boyce, Ken Brown, Eddie Bovington, Peter Brabrook and
Jack Burkett.

As well as interviewing them for the latest commemorative issue of EX
magazine, I filmed them for our commemorative double-disc West Ham Cup
Legends 1964 DVD. What comes across on camera as they recall those
unprecedented glory days is the pride, honour and humility with which they
enjoyed their best times in a claret and blue shirt.

It's refreshing to hear them speak with enduring affection about this golden
era and you can't help but feel yourself being transported back in time to a
much simpler age when values and principles were to be cherished and
preserved – not qualities you would readily associate with the
financially-driven, cynical excesses of modern football or, indeed, life
itself in the 21st century.

Jack Burkett recalls how, after the homecoming parade on the morning after
the final, he and his then girlfriend Ann travelled back to their respective
homes in north London by tube and bus. "I didn't own a car at the time, so I
had to travel on London Transport with my medal tucked inside my jacket
pocket and yet no-one even recognised me," says the former left-back, who
admits if the final had been played today he would have been red-carded
following a series of scything tackles on Preston winger Davie Wilson in the
early, nervy stages of the final.

"But the ref, Mr Arthur Holland, just came by me and gave me a warning. 'You
don't want to be the first player to be sent off in the Cup final, do you?'
he said. I was nearly sick with worry at the thought of being sent off,"
Burkett added. "That was the difference – in those days players and referees
would talk to each other."

What a pity, then, that Jack – now 71 and battling to cope with skin cancer,
a recurring back problem that stems from his West Ham playing days and
having recovered from a recent heart attack – reached the stage last year
when he decided to sell both his FA Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup shirts
and medals to raise the money to pay off his mortgage.

John Sissons, the flying left-winger who shrugged off prostate cancer a
decade ago, didn't have the option to cash in his most prized possessions.
His two winners' medals were stolen from his Cape Town home some years ago.

Sissons, the flying left-winger and 'baby' of the team who, at 18, became
the youngest FA Cup goalscorer when he drilled home West Ham's first
equaliser, recalls the financial rewards of being a history-maker. "My basic
weekly wage doubled from £15 to £30 after the final and it went up to £50 by
the following Christmas – the most I ever earned at West Ham before I left
to join Sheffield Wednesday in 1970.

"We also made about £600 from the players' pool – and I spent my money on a
new Morris 1100 car!"

In those days, players didn't have the luxury of lavish long-term contracts
enjoyed by the likes of Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan. Ron Boyce had scored
two goals in the shock semi-final victory against holders Manchester United
(who were going for the treble of league title, FA Cup and ECWC at the time)
before his headed winner that sunk plucky Preston but, like his team-mates,
'Ticker' was effectively out of contract as soon as the final whistle blew
at Wembley on the greatest day of his career.

When he didn't rush straight up to Greenwood's office at the Boleyn Ground
to re-sign on the dotted line for the following season, club secretary Eddie
Chapman was quoted in the local press as suggesting that Boyce was
prevaricating and using his new-found status as FA Cup hero to hold out for
more money. It was all nonsense, of course, and Ron remained a West Ham
player until he hung up his boots after a well-earned testimonial in 1972,
before joining the coaching staff.

Ronnie made 339 senior appearances for his beloved Hammers and by the time
he had served as first team coach, youth coach and chief scout, he'd given
all 37 years of his working life to the club before being unceremoniously
sacked in 1995. His reward for such loyal and distinguished service? A
pitiful £5,000 (five thousand pounds) severance pay-off – and he even had to
haggle with MD Peter Storrie to get as much as that.

You couldn't blame 'Boycey' for feeling a tad bitter at the way he was
treated so disgracefully by the only club he ever worked for (Bovington
being the only other one-club man from the Men of '64). But as we chat in
the peace and tranquillity of his Norfolk farmhouse, the love he still has
for West Ham United comes shining through when he says: "They will always be
my club; West Ham's result is still the first one I look for."

Eight members of the '64 team came through the junior ranks at Upton Park.
The hugely gifted Johnny Byrne, goalkeeper Jim Standen and tricky
right-winger Peter Brabrook were the three who cost a fee. In Braaders'
case, West Ham paid £35,000 for a player in 1962 who they could have got for
nothing as a schoolboy years earlier, when Chelsea nipped in and, just as
they did with Dagenham-based Jimmy Greaves, used financial inducements to
lure the best young talent to Stamford Bridge. Never mind the Russian
roubles that took Joe Cole and Glen Johnson across London in 2003, even in
the late 50s Chelsea were buying success.

Within weeks of the '64 final, Jack Burkett was the subject of a £45,000
transfer bid by Tottenham Hotspur – his local club. But this sums up the
vice-like grip all clubs exerted over their players in those days. When
Greenwood informed Jack of Spurs' interest, in the same breath he told him
that West Ham had turned down the offer. End of.

Burkett had no avaricious agent to dictate terms and influence his future.
He accepted the West Ham manager's resolute stance without question and was
simply relieved that a potentially difficult decision had been taken out of
his hands.

Four of the squad – Burkett, Boyce, Geoff Hurst and the unlucky Martin
Peters, who never played a cup game that season after losing his place to
Eddie Bov following the infamous 8-2 Blackburn Rovers league debacle at home
in December 1963 – got married that summer. Burkett and his new bride Ann
bought a two-bedroom semi in Hathaway Gardens, Chadwell Heath for £5,100.
Ronnie and Dawn Boyce joined fellow newlyweds Geoff and Judith Hurst, Martin
and Kathy Peters and John and Janice Sissons on the County Park estate in

But for Standen, now living in California, it was business as usual. As soon
as the celebrations died down, he resumed his duties as opening fast bowler
for Worcestershire Cricket Club, for whom he topped the bowling averages and
picked up a County Championship winners' medal in 1964! Now that's what you
call versatility.

*Tony McDonald edits the retro EX magazine. To order the latest issue and
the new West Ham Cup Legends 1964 DVD, visit the EX website

Sam Allardyce safe at West Ham - as it would cost £3million to get rid of
May 04, 2014 13:53 By Alan Nixon
The Mirror

Sam Allardyce will not leave West Ham - unless he gets a whopping £3million
pay-off, writes Alan Nixon in the Sunday People. The West Ham boss is under
growing pressure from restless fans at the way the season has ended. A
recent poll suggested more than 70 percent of Hammers fans want him out. But
any attempts to get rid of the experienced boss will come at a huge cost.
Allardyce, who led the Hammers to a 2-0 win over Spurs on Saturday, will
want the whole of the final year of his contract paid, a sum that takes a
chunk out of the West Ham bank. The Hammers board know they will have to
fork out the cash if they want a change of gaffer - and that is a big factor
in their current thinking.

David and Victoria Beckham watch son Cruz play in Under 10s tournament at
Upton Park
PUBLISHED: 00:24, 5 May 2014 | UPDATED: 02:37, 5 May 2014
Daily Mail

David Beckham was at Upton Park to cheer on son Cruz in an Under 10s
tournament on Sunday. The former England captain, accompanied by wife
Vicotria and eldest son Brooklyn, was spotted in the stands at West Ham's
home ground as Cruz turned out for Chelsea. Beckham, himself born in the
east end, was happy to oblige one fan with a picture before the same
youngster took a selfie as David watched on while Victoria spoke on the
phone. It's not the first time the former Manchester United and Real Madrd
midfielder has taken time out to support his son on the football field. Just
last week, Beckham watched Cruz win a regional cup final. The nine-year-old
has clearly has his Dad's footballing genes as he was seen celebrating a
spectacular goal with a somersault during the Sunday morning cup match
against local rivals. Beckham's eldest son Brooklyn, who on Sunday was
pictured in a Manchester United tracksuit top, is also a keen footballer and
has had trials with a host of London clubs in the past.

Ravel Morrison returns to Upton Park to watch West Ham's win against
PUBLISHED: 00:05, 5 May 2014 | UPDATED: 00:05, 5 May 2014
Daily Mail

Ravel Morrison watched from the bench as West Ham completed a Premier League
double over Tottenham with a 2-0 win at Upton Park on Saturday. The former
Manchester United youngster, who scored in the 3-0 victory at White Hart
Lane back in October, was shipped out on loan to Championship promotion
chasers QPR in January. However, the attacking midfielder was rested for the
clash at Barnsley, and took the opportunity to see his parent club claim
bragging rights against Spurs instead. Morrison's future in East London has
been up in the air, but boss Sam Allardyce allowed the talented 21-year-old
to watch from the dugout, which could pave the way for a return to the fold
next season. He has scored six goals in 14 starts for Harry Redknapp's side
since his temporary switch across the capital as the Hoops try to bounce
back from relegation at the first attempt. Morrison is expected to return to
the QPR side for next week's play-off semi-final against Wigan Athletic.

West Ham on Sunday night transfer mission
Posted by SPORT WITNESS on May 5, 2014 at 7:32 in Sport Witness Football

According to reports in the Portuguese media, West Ham United were in
attendance for the game between Benfica and Vitoria de Setubal on Sunday
night. The Hammers have been frequent visitors to Portugal this season and
in particular in Lisbon to watch the recently crowned Portuguese champions.

O Jogo have reported that West Ham were amongst a number of other clubs that
attended the game last night. From the scouting list released by Benfica
officials they have confirmed the Premier League club had sent
representatives to watch the 1-1 draw between the two sides. West Ham have
been linked in recent months with Benfica's two South American forwards
Oscar Cardozo and Rodrigo Lima. Due to their participation in the Europa
League semi final on Thursday manager Jorge Jesus put out an under strength
team so only Cardozo started the game, with Lima coming on as a second half

In March Lima was linked with the West Ham after Talksport reported Sam
Allardyce was weighing up whether to sign the player in the summer transfer
window. West Ham have had their problems this season in the forwards
department mainly due to the injury to Andy Carroll and therefore big Sam is
looking to strengthen in the summer. Long term Cardozo was linked with a
move to West Ham last summer and would be useful addition to the squad but
he may be deemed to be similar to what the club already have at their

Lima has been consistent goal scorer since arriving at Benfica in 2012 and
the Brazilian would add experience to the West Ham squad. He would also
offer a different option to Carroll or Carlton Cole because of his mobility
and goal scoring record.


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