Tuesday, May 6

Daily WHUFC News - 6th May 2014

Manager on Monday
Sam Allardyce will be moving quickly to implement his plan to improve his
West Ham United side

Sam Allardyce will waste no time as he starts work on strengthening his West
Ham United squad for the 2014/15 season. The West Ham United manager oversaw
a record-breaking third straight victory against Tottenham Hotspur at the
Boleyn Ground on Saturday - a result which guarantees Premier League
football for the Hammers for a third consecutive season. With contract talks
and player negotiations put on hold until the table showed mathematical
safety, Big Sam will now have the freedom to act on weeks of
behind-the-scenes planning. "I don't want to go through next season with the
same phases and challenges as we had this season," Big Sam explained. "We
need a bigger and better squad; there is no doubt about that. As much good
as the players have done since I have been here - and I'm not criticising
any of them whatsoever as they've given all that they've got - our job is
always to improve the squad as you can't stand still in this league. "We've
got to go out and find better players and hopefully that gives us more
stability and better results sequence so we can move forward slowly but

Big Sam have overseen something of a revolution of the West Ham United
defence this season, with Saturday's 2-0 win providing West Ham's 14th clean
sheet of the league season. Therefore, it is attacking and flair players
that will fill out the top slots on the manager's summer shopping list for
the summer. "Talented players are always important at this level of
football. Players that can handle the ball and more importantly deliver in
the final third are vital. Our 14 clean sheets this season is the best I've
ever had and that was a massive goal that we've achieved. "If we can carry
that through to next season and add a bit more flair and finishing power
then we should be looking to finish in the top ten or better. We've got to
entertain the fans and play the right kind of football. "We should have
converted a lot more than we did on Saturday but I'm not complaining about a
2-0 win! We were hitting the target, though, and we were making their
goalkeeper make very, very good saves."

Reflecting further on the victory against Spurs, the manager is all too
aware that a hat-trick of victories in a single season against the
neighbours from north London has never been achieved before. He now wants
his side to ensure they carry on the intensity and fight they displayed when
they travel to Manchester City for the season's conclusion next Sunday.
"Everyone has told me how important Saturday's result was. It was hugely
important to us and the fans. To make it three wins on the trot and play as
well as we did against our great rivals sent everyone home happy. "We can
now look forward to a really good performance at Manchester City, but at the
same time knowing that when we get back next season we will be in the
Barclays Premier League and we'll try to do better than we did this."

Diame lauds fan support
Mo Diame felt the support of the home fans helped inspire the Hammers to a
win against Spurs

Mohamed Diame dedicated West Ham United's 2-0 victory against Tottenham
Hotspur on Saturday to the Hammers' fans. The midfielder was impressed with
the vociferous backing from the stands as goals from Stewart Downing and
Andy Carroll fired the hosts to a third win of the season against their
London rivals.
Diame appreciated the Boleyn Ground crowd for creating an atmosphere in
which he believed gave the team added motivation. "It was very, very
important," he exclaimed. "We know every time that we play against Tottenham
that the fans are very, very focused on this game and we did it for them. "I
think they deserve it. They're always behind the team from the start to the
end of the season, so they deserve it."

"Always when you have the fans behind you like this you feel like you have
more power on the pitch in the big games and they give you something more to
do it. "As I told you before, they deserve it and we did it for them."

Three points against Spurs also ensured the Club are mathematically safe
from the threat of relegation from the Barclays Premier League, with the win
taking the team to the 40-point mark. The Hammers produced a dominant
performance from first whistle to last on Saturday and the Senegalese
international feels the victory can help the Club move forward into next
season. "It was important to win this game for the fans and to finish the
season well it was important for us. Well done to everybody and we hope next
season is going to better than last season."

A red card for Younes Kaboul when the deadlock was still to be broken,
helped the home side on their way against Tim Sherwood's side and for Diame
the correct decision was made. "Stewart just ran right in front of Younes
Kaboul and he was tripped. "The red card was shown and after that we knew we
were going to have the ball all the time so we just needed to stay focused
at the back and avoid mistakes. "The team was very good on Saturday,
everybody played well."

Sam Allardyce now turns his attention to the Club's final game of the season
against Manchester City on Sunday, with Diame eyeing a professional
performance against opponents who will be hoping to lift the title with
victory against the Hammers. "This game is very important for Manchester
City, but also for us because we're professionals and we want to go there
and win the game."

U18s duo target overall title
Steve Potts and Mark Phillips would love West Ham United to lift the
Barclays U18 Premier League trophy

Steve Potts and assistant Mark Phillips hailed West Ham United's youngsters
after they won through to the Barclays U18 Premier League Play-Offs. The
Hammers ensured runners-up spot in the Southern Division with a 1-1 home
draw with Arsenal on Saturday, setting up a semi-final clash at Northern
Division winners Manchester City later this week. Having secured a top-two
finish after Kieran Bywater's early penalty was cancelled out by Ainsley
Maitland-Niles' second-half equaliser, Potts and Phillips are now targeting
a memorable end to the 2013/14 campaign. "I thought it was a good result for
us, but it was a tough test at times," said U18s boss Potts. "Both teams
played really well but I thought that, in the first half, we were the much
better team. "We had several chances to go further ahead and perhaps make
the second half more comfortable for us, but we only led by 1-0 at
half-time. That gave Arsenal an incentive in the second half and they came
out very strong, so we had to dig deep and hold on. "In the second half, our
players were getting tired because Arsenal were getting a lot of the ball
and making us work hard."

Assistant manager Phillips added: "It was a game of two halves but I think
the Arsenal coaching staff got stuck into the players at half-time. They
brought an England full-back on that made a difference and they did overrun
us in the second half. "Saying that, goals change games and in the second
half, Jaanai Gordon had a great chance when he went through one on one but
their keeper made a fantastic save, which then allowed Arsenal to go up the
other end and make it 1-1. It's those little things that can make the
difference at the end of the day."

Prior to kick-off, the Hammers knew that they needed a single point to
confirm their place in the Play-Offs and Bywater's sixth-minute spot-kick
duly secured it.
"We said before the game that if we got through this game against Arsenal
with a result then we would be there against Manchester City, which will be
a tough test for the lads," confirmed Potts. "That's what we want from the
boys, though. We want them to be tested and come through games getting
results. Phillips added: "It's slightly unfair on Arsenal to call them a
dress rehearsal but this was a hard test for us. Manchester City will be
another tough game and, if we play well enough and make the final, it will
be a third tough match that we will have to be up for."

The management duo took reflected on the youth team's progression throughout
the season, believing that their squad deserves a chance at a glorious end
to the season. Potts said: "I thought that at the start of the season that
we were playing some great football without getting the results to match.
Then, a few things changed with the boys and they got more ruthless in front
of goal and we started getting the results we deserved. "We were scoring
goals, but also defending solidly which gave us a good ground to work on,
which is why I think we ended up in the top two. "This season, all of the
players have progressed as players in their own ways. Quite a few have
stepped up to the Development Squad which is the main goal that we are
looking for, with Reece [Burke] even getting a crack at the first team
[against Nottingham Forest]. That's the whole purpose of why we are here and
that's exactly what we are looking for."

Phillips continued: "We had two good runs this season, one near the first
half of the season and then we lost at Southampton and started another good
run of results. "I know that plenty of other managers and coaches like to
talk about the team spirit at their club but for us, we really have got a
great group of players that will all work hard for each other. "It's not all
about winning matches and tournaments because we are looking for the players
to be pushing on to the next level. For example, we have had quite a number
of players featuring for the Development Squad this season which will help
them as they progress naturally to that level over the next few years."

Having been knocked out of the FA Youth Cup at the third-round stage at
Accrington Stanley, the Hammers return to the North West with a second
chance at lifting a piece of silverware this term. Potts added: "I said to
the boys after the Arsenal game that I fully believe that they deserve a
crack at a big game. The FA Youth Cup was a total disappointment for
everyone because it took away that chance of a big game to end the season,
although from what they have shown this season, this could be a second
chance at a big game. "We all come in every day with the sole aim of
improving these boys as footballers. Individually and as a team, I think the
lads have improved massively. Obviously we can't stop there because they are
still quite far away from where they want to be so we need to just keep
continuing the hard work. "It's not just about the coaching staff, though,
as we have a number of people in different roles who all contribute to the
job every day. We have our own sports scientist, physiotherapists, drivers
and kit man who have all been excellent this season."

West Ham's progress this season at U18 level is testament to the hard work
which has gone on behind the scenes at Rush Green and Little Heath, where
the Club's promising schoolboys and scholars are given every opportunity to
better themselves as both players and people. Phillips added: "We have set
up a good learning environment for the boys and we see every day that the
players are buying into what we want to do for their careers. At the end of
the day, it's not benefiting Steve and I because we are here only to help
them progress as footballers."

Should West Ham win at Manchester City, they will face either Southern
champions Tottenham Hotspur or Northern runners-up Everton in the final.
Details of where and when the semi-final at Manchester City will be played
will be announced shortly.

U18s: Howes, Knoyle, Burke, Onariase, Mavila, Pask, Nasha (Cullen), Makasi,
Bywater, J.Brown (Amoo), Parfitt-Williams (Gordon)
Subs not used: T.Brown, Martins, Pike

Allegri offered two-year deal to replace Allardyce?
Filed: Monday, 5th May 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United have offered former AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri a
two-year contract according to Italian media. Simone Bernabei (TMW) reports
this evening that the 46-year-old Italian, who was fired by the former
Italian giants in January after three years at the club has been approached
with view to replacing Sam Allardyce at the end of the current season. It is
claimed that Allegri has been offered a two-year deal by West Ham, who are
also said to have declared their intention to sign Sunderland winger
Emanuele Giaccherini and Alessandro Matri, Milan's 29-year-old striker who
is currently on loan at Fiorentina. Only last week Allegri was still being
linked with West Ham's London rivals Tottenham, who are seeking a
replacement for Tim Sherwood - much to the disappointment of thousands of
Hammers fans who registered their approval of the beleagured Spurs manager
on Saturday during United's 2-0 win.
That deal appears to have cooled, although it has been suggested that the
former midfielder may simply be using West Ham as a bargaining chip to push
through a move to White Hart Lane.

West Ham's plans to gazump Spurs first came to light last Thursday, when
RAI's Alfredo Pedulla reported that the Italian had opened talks with the
Despite news of West Ham's interest in Allegri it was business as usual for
Sam Allardyce today, who is busy preparing his (by now mathematically safe)
team for the final game of the season at Manchester City this weekend. "We
can now look forward to a really good performance at Manchester City," he
said, "but at the same time knowing that next season we will be in the
Premier League - and we'll try to do better than we did this."

Top ten next season, says Big Sam
Filed: Monday, 5th May 2014
By: Staff Writer

Sam Allardyce say that he intends to add more "flair" and "finishing power"
to his squad this summer following Saturday's 2-0 win over Tottenham. That
win guaranteed West Ham Premier League football for another season with the
three points gained against our hapless rivals from N17 taking United's
total for the season to an unassailable 40 points. For Allardyce and the
club's owners, the summer recruitment programme is set to begin straight
away now that safety has been assured. And the manager hinted this morning
in his weekly email to supporters that his main priority will be introducing
players capable of making an impact in the opposition half. "Now we are
mathematically safe, we've got to go out and find better players to improve
the squad," he said in his weekly missive. "As much good as the players
have done since I have been here - and I'm not criticising any of them
whatsoever as they've given all that they've got - our job is always to
improve the squad as you can't stand still in this league. "Players that can
handle the ball and more importantly deliver in the final third are vital.
Our 14 clean sheets this season is the best I've ever had and that was a
massive goal that we've achieved. "If we can add a bit more flair and
finishing power then we should be looking to finish in the top ten or better
next season. We've got to entertain the fans and play the right kind of

Allardyce - who last week acknowledged that he "expected to do better this
season" has come under fire from sections of the fan base in recent months
due to his penchant for direct football. However he appears to retain the
backing of the club's owners David Gold and David Sullivan, for whom a third
successive win over Tottenham has gone some way to quelling any intentions
of seeking an immediate replacement.

By S J Chandos 5 May 2014 at 10:17
West Ham Till I Die

An interesting reference has been brought to my attention in Karren Brady's
most recent weekly column in The Sun. In it, she refers to the Dani Alves
banana throwing incident and states that veteran Hammers fans have told her
that former striker, Clyde Best (1969-75), was a victim of similiar
behaviour at Upton Park. Now, I remember that period well, including the
whole of Best's career at the club. But for the life of me, I do not recall
bananas being thrown at him and certainly not at Upton Park.

Thinking back, it just does not strike me as the type of behaviour that
football crowds of that era would engage in. My recollection is that Clyde
Best was viewed with affection at Upton Park and, generally, had a positive
relationship with the crowd. I also remember other black Hammers such as
John Charles, Clive Charles and Ade Coker all making first team appearances
in that period. In fact, it was Canning Town born and bred, John Charles
(Clive's elder brother), who was the trailblazer for black football talent
at West Ham in the contemporary era. He made his first team debut in May
1963 Vs Blackburn Rovers and was a regular up until 1971. In managerial
terms, it was Ron Greenwood who was a major pioneer in introducing black
talent in this country. In fact, in April 1972, Greenwood was the first
manager to select three black players for a league match. Clive Charles, Ade
Coker and Clyde Best all appeared in a 2-0 victory over Spurs. And of
course, it should be added that, Ron Greenwood later followed that up, as
the national Manager, by selecting Viv Anderson as the first black player
ever to appear for England. For all of the recognition of Greenwood as a
great coach and innovative thinker on the game, he never seems to get the
credit that he deserves in that one respect.

I do, however, remember disgraceful banana throwing scenes in a match at
Upton Park in the early 1980s, which was aimed at black players in the
opposing WBA team (i.e. Regis, Moses, Cunningham). While George Parris, in a
piece in yesterday's Independent, reminds us that in the 1980s he was also
subjected to banana throwing and other abuse, by opposition fans. In fact,
there was an particular incident at Upton Park when George responded in
exactly the same way as Alves (only 30 years earlier) to opposition fans
throwing bananas at him and, by doing so, showed both disdain for racism and
rallied the Hammers crowd in support of him. Unfortunately, in a far less
'connected' decade, George's inspired response did not go global, but it did
(in a local way) help shape positive attitudes at Upton Park, isolate the
racists and encourage young players, like Matthew Rush, who were there to
witness it.

So, am I right in thinking that Ms Brady's informants are mistaken when they
told her that Clyde Best was on the end of such treatment? If they are, then
it would be nice if that mistake could be acknowledged. In doing so, there
are undoubtedly other incidents/episodes in the past that we do need to
confront (i.e. the aforementioned treatment of the WBA players); as well as
recognising the positive contributions that West Ham Utd have made to
promoting racial equality in the English game. Like, for instance, the fact
that the first ever black player to appear for the club was Fred Corbett in
1899-1902! Plus the pioneering innovation of Ron Greenwood in introducing
black football talent in the 1960s & 1970s and other subsequent positive
progress made by the club.

Naturally, in turn, if my recollection is wrong on Clyde Best, I will freely
acknowledge that fact here!

SJ. Chandos.

Cardiff and Fulham have been relegated because of shocking decision making
by club owners
May 05, 2014 08:30

Mark Lawrenson claims that Crystal Palace and West Ham's strengths have been
Fulham and Cardiff's weaknesses

Whatever happens between Crystal Palace and Liverpool tonight, the Eagles
have struck a blow for common sense this season. With the appointment of
Tony Pulis, a man experienced in fighting relegation in the English top
division, Palace owner Steve Parish has brought in the right man for the
job. As a result, Palace sit mid-table above several clubs that would
consider themselves to be far bigger and are definitely better resourced.
Then you have West Ham. Davids Gold and Sullivan held their nerve when the
calls came to sack Sam Allardyce. Why? Because they knew the best man to get
them out of trouble was Sam Allaryce. Where are they now? On 40 points and
preparing for another Premier League season. So many clubs, however, have
panicked. They've been seduced by the lure or foreign coaches or by the idea
that they know more than the men in charge. That is why Cardiff and Fulham
have been relegated. Both those clubs – and the likes of West Brom who have
also been in relegation trouble – have one thing in common: The
decision-making at the top this season has been shocking. If you throw in
Norwich, you've got four clubs with nine managers between them this season.
West Brom have sacked Steve Clarke, sold their best striker and put a
foreign coach with no experience of the Premier League in charge.

Little wonder that their Premier League fate has gone to the last two weeks.
Cardiff would have stayed up with Malky Mackay in charge. Absolutely. But
their owner, Vincent Tan, allowed something that could easily have been
dealt with in-house to spiral out of control. In has come Ole Gunnar
Solskjaer. He did well in Norway as a manager but had no experience in the
bearpit that is the drop zone in the toughest league in the world. Fulham
were even worse. Three managers, the middle one a rookie who brings in an
£11million striker from Greece who plays less than a handful of games. The
third coach admittedly has a decent CV but, again, has no experience of
working in English football. Just remarkable. I just cannot understand why
the decision makers at these clubs have been willing to gamble in that way.
In what other industry would you give control of your business to somebody
with no direct qualifications to run it? It is absolute madness. For which
Fulham and Cardiff are paying the price.



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