Wednesday, May 7

Daily WHUFC News - 7th May 2014

Noble is Hammer of the Year
Mark Noble takes the Hammer of the Year prize for the second time


West Ham United 2013/14 Player Awards

11.35pm - The Club's second recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Sir
Trevor Brooking, reacts to his accolade:

Sir Trevor: "I'm delighted. It's great when you've got a lot of fans here,
who really appreciate what you did in the past. They know that I'm still
very fond of the Club and after 19 years of playing for them I've got some
great memories. Nothing can take that away. "I spoke to Bonzo, Billy Bonds,
who got last year's award. Billy and I are good mates, we played together a
lot. He said it was a great evening and it makes you realise how lucky you
are to have had that career with a Club for so long."

11.20pm - We're back! This time with some quotes from Hammer of the Year
Mark Noble! Noble: "It's been a tough season, but with the injuries we've
had, we've not quite got what we deserved, but now we're 12th in the league.
I've thoroughly enjoyed it. It's going to be nice to go up to Manchester
City, give a good account of ourselves and then go on holiday. We've done
well to get out of the position we were in at Christmas, and that's credit
to the lads. "I put my own season down to hard work and wanting to improve
all the time. I just love coming into work and I think it shows. "I support
the Gaffer because I have played every single game under Sam since he has
come and I've won two Hammer of the Year awards. The Gaffer has never asked
me to boot it. I try to get on the ball and make us play as much as possible
and that's what has happened."

11.05pm - Host Ben Shephard brings the event to a close. Thanks for joining
us and congratulations to all our winners!
Here's a recap of who won what...
Hammer of the Year sponsored by Alpari FX Mark Noble
Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by ACL Sir Trevor Brooking
Signing of the Season sponsored by S14 VIP Ltd Adrian
Players' Player of the Year sponsored by Asmatt Mark Noble
Best Team Performance sponsored by Call Print 3-0 v Tottenham Hotspur (a),
Barclays Premier League
Best Individual Performance sponsored by Ark Build Adrian v Chelsea (a),
Barclays Premier League
Top Goalscorer sponsored by Mulalley Kevin Nolan
Save of the Season sponsored by Higgins Adrian from Oscar v Chelsea (a),
Barclays Premier League
Young Hammer of the Year Sam Howes
Dylan Tombides Award Josh Cullen
Goal of the Season sponsored by Lookers Range Rover Essex Ravel Morrison

10.54pm - Now it's time for the big one - Hammer of the Year sponsored by
Mark Noble is your Hammer of the Year, sponsored by Alpari FX, for the
second time!
Noble follows in the footsteps of tonight's Lifetime Achievement Award
recipient Sir Trevor Brooking, Sir Geoff Hurst, Bobby Moore OBE, Billy Bonds
MBE, Alvin Martin, Scott Parker, Julian Dicks and Steve Potts in becoming a
multiple-time Hammer of the Year. The 26-year-old midfielder has started all
37 of West Ham's Barclays Premier League games, scoring three goals and
recording four assists. Undoubtedly the engine room of Sam Allardyce's side,
Noble has attempted 1,926 passes in the league this season, directly
creating more than 60 chances for his team-mates.
Playing in a more withdrawn role, most commonly alongside Kevin Nolan and
Mohamed Diame, Noble has also put in 107 tackles, made 70 interceptions and
blocked 16 opposition shots. A tireless worker, the No16 has run further
than any other West Ham player this season.

Runner-up to Noble is goalkeeper Adrian, who burst into the Hammers side on
a regular basis just before Christmas and has hardly looked back since.
The agile Spaniard has conceded just 25 goals in 19 Barclays Premier League
matches since making his league debut at Manchester United on 21 December,
keeping six clean sheets and producing a highlight-reel of splendid saves. A
summer capture from Real Betis, Adrian also helped West Ham to reach the
semi-finals of the Capital One Cup, playing in wins over Cheltenham Town,
Cardiff City, Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur before producing another fine
display in the semi-final first-leg defeat at Manchester City.

Third place in the voting went to centre-back James Tomkins, who took full
advantage of injuries to his team-mates to enjoy a fine season at the heart
of the Hammers back four. The 25-year-old started eleven of West Ham's 14
Barclays Premier League clean sheets, forging strong partnerships with
Winston Reid, James Collins and Roger Johnson.

10.44pm - That is the live auction completed for the evening. We
congratulate all the winners and hope they enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime
experiences they have secured tonight! Thank you one and all - the funds
raised will go towards producing the next great players to emerge from the
West Ham United Academy.
To complete what has been a memorable night, the final two awards will now
be presented - Hammer of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Award
Sir Trevor Brooking is a true West Ham United great and he is recognised
tonight for a career that spanned more than 600 games, 102 goals and 47
England caps.

It does not need me to tell you all that Sir Trevor is a more than worthy
winner of the second annual Lifetime Achievement Award. The gifted attacking
midfielder spent virtually his entire professional career at the Boleyn
Ground, making 647 first-team appearances and scoring 102 goals, including
the winner in the 1980 FA Cup final. Sir Trevor was also voted Hammer of the
Year an unrivalled five times. Sir Trevor, who made his West Ham debut at 18
in 1967 and also won the FA Cup in 1975, earned 47 England caps, scoring for
his country at Euro 1980 and appearing at the 1982 FIFA World Cup finals. In
April 2003, Sir Trevor took over for a brief but successful spell as
caretaker manager, winning nine and losing just one of the 14 matches of
which he took charge. In August 2009, the Boleyn Ground's Centenary Stand
was renamed the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand in his honour. An outstanding
footballer and a true gentleman, Sir Trevor has contributed hugely to
English football in recent years, holding a variety of roles within the
Football Association and Sport England, among others.
He becomes the second recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, following
in the footsteps of his long-time team-mate and two-times FA Cup winning
captain Billy Bonds MBE, who was presented with the trophy in 2013.

10.35pm - We've been talking to Adrian after he picked up a hat-trick of
awards at the end of his first season with West Ham United. It's fair to say
he's quite happy, particularly after taking a selfie with host Ben Shephard
and the guests after picking up the Individual Performance of the Season
award! Adrian: "It's amazing for me. It's my first season here and the fans
have voted for me for these awards. Chelsea was my best match but was not
just me because all my team-mates made a really good match. That point was
really important for us in the league, on reflection. "I think this was like
the match I played for Real Betis against Real Madrid last season, but I
remember the Chelsea match well and it was better. "My relationship with the
fans is unbelievable. In a little time, it has become a special
relationship. I made a smile for everyone by taking selfie with them!"

10.27pm - Next we conclude our live auction, then it's time for the final
two awards!

10.22pm - The 2013/14 Signing of the Season, sponsored by S14 VIP Limited,
is Adrian! The agile Spaniard has conceded just 25 goals in 19 Barclays
Premier League matches since making his league debut at Manchester United on
21 December, keeping six clean sheets and producing a highlight-reel of
splendid saves. A summer capture from Real Betis, Adrian also helped West
Ham to reach the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup, playing in wins over
Cheltenham Town, Cardiff City, Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur before
producing another fine display in the semi-final first-leg defeat at
Manchester City.
A fans' favourite, the 27-year-old has also built up a close rapport with
the Claret and Blue Army for his positive attitude, never-say-die approach
and entertaining and engaging use of social media.

Second to Adrian came England winger Stewart Downing, who capped a decent
season with his first goal for the Club in Saturday's 2-0 win over Tottenham
Hotspur, while third went to Andy Carroll.

10.15pm - The 2013/14 Players' Player of the Year, sponsored by Asmatt, is
Mark Noble! The Club's longest servant takes the crown from Winston Reid,
who topped last term's player vote.
Noble has started each and every Barclays Premier League clash this season,
consistently producing the calibre of performance that helps the Hammers
Here is what some of his team-mates had to say about the Canning Town-born
Stewart Downing: "He's had a consistently good season. He's played well,
week in, week out. He passes me the ball a lot. That helps! He's good to
have around. Very vocal, obviously he can be serious when he needs to be
and, on top of that, he's a very good player.
Winston Reid: "You know what you're going to get from him when he goes out
onto the pitch and performs. He's a leader and the team can rely on him."
James Collins: "I think he's just been spot on, every game this year and
probably for the last four or five years to be honest. He's probably the
most consistent player we've had over the last couple of years and I think
he deserves it.
"He's got a lot of experience and that shows in and around the training
ground and on a Saturday. He's always one of our top performers. Good
banter, good lad, he gets on with everyone. He is Mr West Ham, so it's
probably deserved. He's a great lad and a terrific footballer."

10.11pm - West Ham produced a number of memorable displays through the
course of the 2013/14 season, including three unforgettable victories over
local rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that one of those successes has
been voted Best Team Performance, sponsored by Call Print.
The 3-0 Barclays Premier League win at White Hart Lane last October had
absolutely everything. After a resilient first-half display, West Ham
maintained their clean sheet when Jussi Jaaskelainen made a fine save from
former Hammer Jermain Defoe just after half-time. The Hammers then took
control, when first Winston Reid converted after his initial effort had been
inadvertently blocked by Kevin Nolan. Ricardo Vaz Te then latched onto Mark
Noble's through ball before beating Hugo Lloris at the second attempt to
make it 2-0. To complete an amazing afternoon, Ravel Morrison collected
Mohamed Diame's pass before streaking past Michael Dawson and Jan Vertonghen
and clipping a finish over Lloris and into the net to send the Claret and
Blue Army into a state of rapture.
The goalless draw at Chelsea in late January took second place in the
voting, while third went to the 2-1 Capital One Cup quarter-final success
over Spurs at White Hart Lane in December.

10.05pm - We're back with our next batch of awards...

The winner of the Best Individual Performance of the 2013/14 season,
sponsored by Ark Build, was goalkeeper Adrian's unbeatable display in the
vital goalless Barclays Premier League draw at Chelsea on 29 January this
year. At Stamford Bridge, the Spanish stopper helped the Hammers grab an
unlikely point at Stamford Bridge with saves from Samuel Eto'o, Oscar, Frank
Lampard and Eden Hazard, among others. In all, Jose Mourinho's men unleashed
39 shots on Adrian's goal, but the goalkeeper, his team-mates and West Ham's
19th century football ensured a share of the spoils and set the platform for
a perfect February.

Mark Noble took second place in the voting for his outstanding midfield
display in the 2-0 win at Cardiff City in January, when he capped an
all-action performance by scoring ten-man West Ham's late second goal.

Third was taken by Kevin Nolan for his two-goal show in the 2-0 home victory
over Swansea City in February.

9.15pm - Kevin Nolan has given his reaction to winning the Top Goalscorer
award for the second season in succession. Nolan is also determined that we
will enjoy a better season in 2013/14. He bagged five vital goals in
February and netted seven in total to lead the way.
Nolan: "I always say that the most pleasing aspect is that I have scored
goals that contributed to massive wins and got us the three points. That's
all that matters to me. I don't want double figures every year, I want
figures that mean we get points on the board and I think all my goals have
been really important this year, so I'm really happy.
"I think it was important in February. I went away and worked hard. Eamon
Swift the fitness coach got hold of me and he just went to town, working me
hard and when I came back I hit it. It just came together as it does
sometimes and I was delighted if I'm honest. It was a great month and I'm
delighted we got the points on the board as we did.
"I like to think I'm the best finisher in the Club, but that's my game. I
give 110 per cent to the Club and have done since I've been here. We've got
a great squad and great staff and, no matter what anyone has said over this
past year and everything that's been thrown at us, I don't think any other
Club would have been able to deal with it and stay up, but we have. It's a
credit to the lads, a credit to the Gaffer and a credit to everyone who has
been involved with us.
"It's a nice relief knowing we have another year to look forward to in the
Premier League."

9pm - Wrapping up the first batch of awards is Top Goalscorer sponsored by
Sponsored by Mulalley, skipper Kevin Nolan is the Hammers' top marksman for
the second successive season.
The Hammers captain is approaching 100 career league goals after another
impressive campaign in front of the opposition net.
After netting in the opening-day win over Cardiff City and then in a 3-3
December draw with West Bromwich Albion, Nolan's seven goals came largely in
a bunch this season.
The Hammers' No4 bagged five in just four matches in February - two against
Swansea City, two at Aston Villa and another single strike in the home win
over Southampton.
The 31-year-old has held off competition from Carlton Cole and Ravel
Morrison, who bagged six and five goals respectively.
Having seen the first five awards being presented, we are now going to take
a short break for the silent auction winners to collect their prizes and
guests to enjoy their dessert, tea and coffee.
After that, we will see four more awards presented.
After a short hiatus for the second part of the live auction, it will be
time for the main events of the night - the presentation of the second
Lifetime Achievement Award and the crowning of the 2013/14 Hammer of the

8.55pm - The awards are coming thick and fast, next is Best Save of the
Season sponsored by Higgins...
It would come as no surprise to supporters that just two men were in the
running this award - Jussi Jaaskelainen and Adrian!
Between them, the two goalkeepers have kept 14 Barclays Premier League clean
sheets, setting the base on which Sam Allardyce's team have achieved safety
for the second season in succession.
Aside from doing the basics well, both stoppers have, at times, been called
upon to make truly spectacular saves to keep their goal intact - but which
was the very best?
Well, you have voted your Save of the Season for 2013/14, sponsored by
Higgins, to be Adrian's flying fingertip stop to divert a curling shot from
Chelsea's Oscar onto the crossbar during the goalless Barclays Premier
League draw at Stamford Bridge on 29 January!
Adrian also took second and third place in the voting for his outstanding
stops from Norwich City winger Robert Snodgrass and Manchester City striker
Edin Dzeko.

8.52pm - Tony Carr remains on stage to present the Young Hammer of the Year
The 2013/14 Young Hammer of the Year, as named by Academy Director Tony Carr
MBE, is promising goalkeeper Sam Howes.
Despite still being a schoolboy, 16-year-old Howes has this season become
the U18s' first-choice stopper.
Tall, confident and blessed with outstanding handling ability, Howes helped
the youth team to secure a place in Barclays U18 Premier League Play-Offs,
while he has also played five times for Nick Haycock's Development Squad.
Capped by England at age-group level, the 16-year-old is currently with the
England squad at the UEFA U17 European Championship finals in Malta.
First-year scholar and first-choice frontman Jordan Brown was a strong
contender too, with schoolboy and centre-half Josh Pask the other man to
narrowly miss out.
Again, Academy Director Carr is invited to share his reasons for picking
Howes as the winner.

8.50pm - Next is the Dylan Tombides Award...
This season, the Academy Player of the Year award has been renamed in honour
of the late Dylan Tombides.
A graduate who won the award himself in 2011, Dylan sadly passed away on
Friday 18 April 2014 following a courageous three-year battle with cancer.
This year's winner, as selected by Academy Director Tony Carr MBE, is
midfield dynamo Josh Cullen.
In the Mark Noble mould, Republic of Ireland U18 international Cullen has
long been considered one of the brightest stars of the West Ham United
The 18-year-old was a virtual ever-present for Steve Potts' U18s prior to
his promotion to the Development Squad, featuring 21 times at that level.
Cullen has also managed nine Development Squad appearances, scoring in the
vital 2-1 Barclays U21 Premier League victory at Sunderland on the final day
of the season.
He edges out fellow midfielder and skipper Kieran Bywater, who has bagged 19
goals in all competitions this term, as well as attacking full-back and
second-year scholar Lewis Page.
Academy Director Tony Carr MBE is invited onto the stage to help present the
award to Cullen and explain his decision.

8.45pm - It is now time for the first five of this year's Player Awards to
be presented, starting with the Goal of the Season award…
The Goal of the Season award, sponsored by Lookers, goes to Ravel Morrison
for his amazing individual strike at Tottenham Hotspur in October 2013.
The youngster embarked on an unstoppable run through the heart of the Spurs
defence, showing incredible pace, balance and poise to speed past Michael
Dawson and Jan Vertonghen before clipping a neat finish over Hugo Lloris.
Morrison's goal, of course, completed an unforgettable 3-0 Barclays Premier
League victory at White Hart Lane - the first of three successes against the
Lillywhites from north London this season!
Second to Morrison came Kevin Nolan for his expertly controlled finish
against Swansea City to set West Ham on their way to a 2-0 home win in
February, while third in the voting was taken by Mark Noble for his clincher
at Cardiff City in January.

8.30pm - The guests have enjoyed their seafood tart and some lovely-looking
steak, so we will be announcing the first of tonight's awards very shortly!

8.05pm - It's now time for a bit of tucker. We'll be back shortly with
coverage of the first five awards of the evening! In the meantime, please
enjoy the photos and more from tonight's Player Awards so far on our social
media channels!
Sam Allardyce
8pm - Sam Allardyce is in positive mood and is looking forward to next
season following a challenging but ultimately fruitful second campaign back
in the Barclays Premier League.
Big Sam: "I think we're doing a good job and we're progressing. It has been
a difficult season, but there are lots of positives to be taken from it.
Yes, we don't want to do it again, but we have survived and kept our Premier
League status, which is very important going into the new stadium.
"We have to, as a Club, sit down and plan where we're going, what we're
doing and how we're going to build the squad. I think that the most
important thing is to build on the highlights we have had this season and
not dwell on the negativity. We've got to remember that we've beaten
Tottenham three times in a row! My best times this season were those games.
"We also went to the semi-final of the Capital One Cup and hit Manchester
City at the top of their form when we weren't so good. Yes, we did get
beaten 6-0, but we got to the semi-final, which wasn't an easy task - and we
beat Tottenham away again!
"I did say that Tottenham kept me in a job at the time, but in all
seriousness it was David Sullivan and David Gold who kept me in a job,
nobody else."

7.45pm - You can view exclusive images and video from tonight's Player
Awards on our social media channels. To access them, simply click on the
links above!

7.40pm - Host Ben Shephard gets the Player Awards underway by welcoming Big
Sam and his squad to the event. The staff and players receive a warm round
of applause as they make their way down the stairs and take their seats with
the guests. Shephard gets an even bigger cheer when he opens by mentioning
that the highlights of a 'rollercoaster' season were undoubtedly beating
Spurs three times!

7pm - Kevin Nolan has been speaking to us ahead of tonight's game. His
interview looking forward to tonight's Player Awards and Sunday's game at
Manchester City will appear on our YouTube channel very soon!
"I'm looking forward to it," said the captain. "It always makes it easier
when you know that everything is going to be fine. This weekend we've
obviously got a great game to look forward to with Man City and them going
for the title! It's going to be a great evening again, and it'll be nice to
see the lads enjoy themselves which is thoroughly deserved after a hard
"It's always nice when you win on the weekend, especially when it's over
your local rivals in Tottenham Hotspur. It's been a hard season, but
Saturday means the lads can enjoy it, and we will enjoy it and beating your
local rivals three times makes it even more special!"

6.45pm - The players, management and Board have all arrived at the Grosvenor
House and we will soon be sitting down to a night of entertainment. Many of
the squad have stopped for a chat with West Ham TV on the way in and we will
be publishing those videos over the coming weeks. In the meantime, we will
also be publishing instant reaction video interviews following the
presentation of a number of tonight's awards. To watch those, please click
on the YouTube link above later in the evening!
Good evening and welcome to the sixth annual West Ham United Player Awards
in Aid of the Academy.
The players are expected here at Grosvenor House in London's Park Lane
within the next 15 minutes or so. We will be grabbing as many of them as
possible for interviews, photos and much more on what promises to be a
memorable evening.
Tonight's climax will be the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award,
sponsored by ACL, to Hammers and England great Sir Trevor Brooking.
Sir Trevor follows in the footsteps of Billy Bonds by being presented with
the prestigious award in honour of his long, illustrious and loyal 18-year
career with the Club, during which time he won two FA Cups, the Second
Division title, reached the European Cup Winners' Cup and League Cup finals
and earned 47 England caps.
Fast forward to the near-present and the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League
season has been something of a rollercoaster, but Saturday's 2-0 home win
over Tottenham Hotspur secured safety and means that we can all enjoy this
evening's festivities with a smile on our faces!
On New Year's Day, West Ham looked in grave danger of slipping out of the
top flight after just two seasons, with an injury-ravaged opening period
garnering just 15 points from 20 matches.
Indeed, two memorable victories at Tottenham Hotspur - in the Barclays
Premier League and then Capital One Cup quarter-final - were among the few
highlights before Christmas.
Defensively, West Ham had started well, keeping clean sheet after clean
sheet, but missed chances cost the Hammers dear when it came to scoring
goals and collecting points.
While Sam Allardyce's side may have slipped out of the knockout competitions
in January, their league form has picked up massively, with 25 points
accrued in the 17 matches since a New Year's Day defeat at Fulham.
In all, West Ham have recorded 14 clean sheets in the league - one shy of
the 1998/99 season record they could equal at Manchester City on Sunday.
Individually, the likes of Mark Noble, new signings Adrian and Stewart
Downing, James Tomkins, Matt Jarvis and Guy Demel have shown consistency,
while captain Kevin Nolan and attacking talisman Andy Carroll have returned
from suspension and injury respectively to enjoy productive ends to the
All of the above, as well as the likes of James Collins, Winston Reid,
Mohamed Diame, Matt Taylor, Jussi Jaaskelainen, George McCartney and Carlton
Cole, will be in the running for the awards being handed out tonight.
At the junior levels, the Development Squad has produced a number of
first-team players - 14 Academy graduates have featured for Big Sam this
term - and finished safely inside the top half of the Barclays U21 Premier
League table.
Steve Potts has enjoyed a fantastic first full season in charge of the U18s,
guiding the youth team to the Barclays U18 Premier League Play-Offs, where
they face a semi-final clash with Manchester City later this week.
Tonight's Player Awards will raise thousands for the Academy, ensuring the
conveyor belt that has produced so many of the players who have raised the
Hammer of the Year award in years gone by, continues to roll smoothly.
We will have all the award winners as they are announced, complete with
exclusive reaction, video and photographs on this page, YouTube, West Ham TV
and on our official Facebook and Twitter pages.

Nolan eyes future Hammers success
Kevin Nolan believes West Ham United are in a good position to build for
next season

Kevin Nolan is eyeing a brighter future for his West Ham United side after
they ended their home programme for 2013/14 with a bang. The Hammers forgot
their recent disappointments with a commanding display in defeating local
rivals Tottenham Hotspur for a third time this season. But for an
outstanding display in goal from Hugo Lloris, West Ham would have won by an
even greater margin than the 2-0 the scorebook showed, with Nolan himself
being denied in breathtaking fashion by the Frenchman. The three points were
all that mattered to the No4 though, and he was delighted to sign off at the
Boleyn Ground in some style. "We had it all on Saturday," he said. "Everyone
to a man was fantastic and it just shows that if we were all fighting fit
for the majority of the season we would have seen a different West Ham. "I
couldn't believe it that he saved that chance from me in the second half,
and I wanted to end at home with a goal. The ones which mean something are
the goals that matter to me, and when I look back at the goals I've scored,
every one has been in good circumstances to take us on to the win or make it
safe. "Not making it to ten doesn't matter, it's about goals which make a
difference to the team. Hopefully I can nick one next week, but I was just
delighted with the win and the performance on Saturday. "Sometimes we
haven't been good enough this season, and we're an honest enough bunch of
lads to hold our hands up to that. "With the quality we've built here, we
were able to hang on in there. We hung on in there until January, and then
went on that fantastic run which we knew we could do. "Losing four games on
the trot twice this season is disappointing and it's something we'll be
working to avoid next year. "That's for next season now, this year has been
tough but we've come through it and I'm proud to lead those boys in the
dressing room."

Hammers confirm Stevenage friendly
West Ham United will travel to Stevenage FC for a pre-season match on
Saturday 12 July

West Ham United will travel to Sky Bet League Two side Stevenage for a
pre-season match on Saturday 12 July (kick-off 3pm) as Sam Allardyce's men
gear up for the 2014/15 campaign. In the first of their domestic summer 2014
friendlies to be confirmed, the Hammers will make the short journey to
Hertfordshire to take on a Boro team who reached the fourth round of the FA
Cup this term. Stevenage could not match those heights in their league
campaign and were relegated from League One following their defeat to
Bristol City on Easter Monday, although they will be looking to bounce
straight back next term. The Hammers have never faced Stevenage in
competitive action, although young striker Tony Stokes did score once in
three Conference Premier appearances for the Lamex Stadium club whilst on
loan from West Ham in the 2007/08 season. More recently, Kevin Nolan, Mark
Noble, Joe Cole, Andy Carroll, James Collins and Matt Jarvis all took part
in the Mitchell Cole Benefit Game at Stevenage last May.

Later in pre-season, West Ham will travel to New Zealand for fixtures
against Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC as part of a tournament also
featuring Newcastle United. Big Sam's side will then take part in the
Schalke 04 Cup in Germany, alongside hosts Schalke, Newcastle United and La
Liga outfit Malaga CF. The tournament, which will be played at Schalke's
Veltins-Arena on 2 & 3 August, sees the Hammers face two of the three other
competing teams.
Ticketing details for the trip to Stevenage will be announced on
in due course.

Tomkins targets title twist
James Tomkins believes West Ham will have a part to play in the destination
of this year's title

James Tomkins is in the mood to make sure West Ham United have their say in
the Barclays Premier League title race when they take on Manchester City in
the final game of the Barclays Premier League on Sunday. The Hammers have
the power to change the destination of the title should they manage to pull
off a win at the Etihad Stadium coupled with a victory for Liverpool. With
the Club having secured their top flight safety following a 2-0 home win
against Tottenham Hotspur last time out, Tomkins is now keen to help the
Hammers have a say in the destination of the Premier League trophy. "We'll
approach it in the same sort of manner as we approached the game against
Tottenham. We know we can have a say in the title race which is good. "It's
obviously a televised game now, which is great. We're going to be up for it
and hopefully we can have a say in who wins the league. "At their place it's
always a hard place to play. Anything can happen on the day, look what
happened a couple of years ago at QPR and what they did. They nearly caused
an upset and hopefully we can have our say."

The Hammers head to Manchester with renewed confidence after a fine team
performance which saw off Spurs for the third time this season in the Club's
last home match of the campaign. Victory against the north Londoners came on
the back of four straight defeats and the defender felt getting off to a
fast start helped put the match to bed by half-time. "It feels like it's
been a long time coming now with the four defeats, but to end it at home to
Spurs with a victory - the third one over them this year - is great and it
means the fans have got something to be happy about this season. "We started
well, we started well in the last few games I think, but one bit of skill
from Stewy has drawn the defender in for a tackle and he's been sent-off.
"From then on in you're thinking that we can win. It's always hard against
ten men but we managed to do our best and scoring two goals in the first
half killed them off."

The whole team played their part against Spurs, with Tomkins and the back
four laying the foundations for victory with a solid defensive display which
restricted the visitors to just three shots on target. The clean sheet added
to the team's already impressive defensive record this season, which now
tallies 14 shut-outs after denying Tottenham. Tomkins believes that the
hosts could have won by a greater margin, but was pleased to attain another
clean sheet. "It could have been five or six, their keeper played really
well. At the other end it's nice to keep a clean sheet which makes 14 this
year, so that's a positive to come from this season. "When they went down to
ten men they took a striker off, so for us it's less work to do which is
always nice. You don't mind that, but all in all we defended well as a

New pre-season friendly confirmed
Filed: Tuesday, 6th May 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United will face League Two side Stevenage FC on Saturday, 12th
July. The Hammers, who have already confirmed details of trips to Germany
and New Zealand this summer will be facing the Boro at The Lamex Stadium in
what is currently their first fixture of pre-season. Tickets for the match
are priced at £15 for adults, £12 concessions, £10 for under 18s and a fiver
for those under 12 and may be purchased from
Stevenage, who were relegated from League One this season having finished
bottom of the table have never previously met West Ham United in a
competitive fixture.

2014 Pre-Season: Confirmed Fixture List (First Team)

12th July: Stevenage FC (a)
23rd July: Wellington Phoenix (a)
26th July: Sydney FC (n)
2nd August: Schalke 04 Cup (n)
3rd August: Schalke 04 Cup (n)

West Ham eye Benfica's Rodrigo Lima
By Omar HamoudaPosted on May 6, 2014

West Ham are reportedly planning a move for Benfica attacking duo Oscar
Cardozo and Rodrigo Lima, as Sam Allardyce looks to bolster his misfiring
front-line in the summer transfer window.

West Ham are mid-table, but there have been several questions asked of
Allardyce's approach this season. The Hammers won on the weekend against
Tottenham, but the former Bolton boss is already planning reinforcements.

Allardyce has struggled to get Andy Carroll firing on all cylinders since he
since on a permanent deal at the club, with the former Liverpool man
struggling with several injuries throughout his time at the club. Carlton
Cole has struggled to deliver consistently, Marco Borriello is expected to
return to Roma at the end of his loan spell and Modibo Maiga is currently at
QPR, leaving Alladyce short of options up-front.

Allardyce is ready to launch an audacious move for both Oscar Cardozo and
Rodrigo Lima, with talkSPORT suggesting the club had scouts in attendance
for Benfica's game against Vitoria de Setubal on Sunday night.

Cardozo is a fans favourite at Benfica and the 30-year-old is rated one of
the best forwards in Portugal, scoring 68 goals in 116 games since his move
to the Lisbon in 2007. Cardozo's strike partner, Brazilian hit-man Rodrigo
Lima, has already scored 14 goals in 29 games and is also on Allardyce's
shortlist for the summer transfer window. Both strikers have propelled
Benfica to their second successive Europa League final which is in a few

West Ham Line Up Ambitious Double Swoop For Benfica Attacking Pair
by Steven Green May 6th, 2014

Hammers keen on bolstering front line with exciting Portuguese champions.
West Ham United are hoping to bring Benfica strikers Oscar Cardozo and
Rodrigo in a shocking swoop this summer as they look to increase their
firepower ahead of the new season, according to talkSPORT. Hammers boss Sam
Allardyce has made no secret about his desire to add more attacking options
to his side after being accused on several occasions of being goal shy.
Club-record signing Andy Carroll missed the first half of the season with a
heel injury and Allardyce was forced to play some games without a striker.
However, with the side securing their Premier League status for another
year, Allardyce has made the Benfica pair his prime transfer targets after
sending club scouts to see them in action against Vitoria Setubal this
weekend. Paraguay international Cardozo, 30, is rated one of the best
forwards in Portugal and has scored 68 goals in 116 games since his move to
the Lisbon giants back in 2007. Rodrigo, who has already scored 14 goals in
29 games this season, has been on the radar of several clubs this summer
after an impressive season of his own.

Karren Brady doesn't do rest and relaxation
Published on the 06 May 2014

She is one of the UK's hardest working women BUT love for the job and
precious weekends with her family are all Karren Brady NEEDS

Karren Brady's to-do list must be epic. In fact, it's probably been epic
since the late Eighties, when the ambitious teenager kicked off her career
at Saatchi & Saatchi, rapidly moving onwards and upwards before becoming
managing director of Birmingham City Football Club in 1993, at the tender
age of 23.

Most people that age are still figuring things out. Brady however was on a
fast-track to making history; under her, Birmingham City FC began recording
profits for the first time ever and when she floated the club on the stock
market a few years later, she became the youngest ever managing director of

Since then, her fingers have been in many pies - multimillion pound
businesses (the company she sold in 2009 was valued at over £82million),
writing (she's published four books and writes columns for The Sun and Woman
& Home), TV work (most famously as one of Alan Sugar's sidekicks on The
Apprentice), and she took over as vice-chairman of West Ham United FC in

One of the most important deals she's negotiating these days though, is a
deal many up and down the country will relate to - parenting a teenage

"Any parent of a teenage daughter will tell you there are some difficult
times," she says, laughing.

"I still look at my daughter and see her as six," she adds of her
18-year-old. "She sees herself as an independent, feisty woman who can do
what she wants. It's getting that balance between adult and child, it's
really difficult."

It's difficult to imagine Brady, 45, as anything but mega bright, but she's
convinced that her achievements are more about hard work, good attitude and
good fortune.

"When I left school at 18, all I really had were my core values," by which
she means, "things like determination, enthusiasm, the ability to work hard,
the ability to mix".

Her immense drive is put down to a childhood spent at boarding school, where
"nothing's your own".

"Someone tells you when to get up, when to go to bed, when to eat, what to
eat; it can be very oppressive. When I was younger, the only ambition I had
was to be independent, so that I would be deciding what I ate, when I took a

Of course, she's put a lot of hours in over the years; still does. She stays
in London four nights a week and will work long hours, often "into the
night", so that she can be at home - in the village of Knowle near
Birmingham - on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays.

If she's not at the football, these weekends are "all about spending time
with the family, relaxing, cooking - I love to cook".

She famously returned to work just two days after having her daughter, but
there isn't a hint of guilt or side-stepping when she admits that she never
switches her phone off ("Never - I mean literally never") and answering
emails at 2am is normal for her.

Neither is there any hint of exhaustion; in fact she sounds calm, grounded
and very happy.

"Well I don't have to take calls I don't want to take," she reasons. "I
think when you run a business and employ 800 people you have to be
accessible, that's just the way it is."

She insists that she's never felt a need to sacrifice elements of motherhood
or her career in order to make things work - it's just a question of making
judgement calls. "Sometimes what's happening at work is more important, and
sometimes what's happening at home is more important; you have to be your
own judge of your balance."

So does she balance out all that hard work with relaxation regimes? Regular
spa visits, perhaps?

"I can't stand stuff like that!" she responds.

In fact, her only "indulgence" is having her hair dyed. "I used to do it
myself, because I'm a fidget and it takes so long [in the salon]," she says.

"I don't work out either; naughty, but I don't. I don't have time and I
absolutely hate it."

She also enjoys a glass of wine (she's refraining at the moment because
she's "on a diet"), but the regular medicals she has for her TV work keep
things in check.

That's pretty much the extent of Brady's relaxation or wellbeing regime.
But, while she may be a workaholic, she certainly isn't a blinkered one,
blindly ignoring crazy stress levels, for instance, as she forges on.

In 2006, a routine MRI scan revealed a potentially fatal aneurysm in Brady's
brain and she underwent urgent neurosurgery to prevent it rupturing. She was
36 and, yes, it did make her reassess - though it simply reaffirmed how much
she loves her life and her work.

"It made he realise that life's short. All the things you put off doing
because you think you can do them another time, there may not be another
time," she says. "And it helped put things into perspective, you know,
what's important, what isn't important."

At the time, it didn't make her overly anxious about her health, though now
she's getting older she finds herself thinking more and more about how "very
fragile" health is.

She is also a judge of the Nectar Business Small Business Awards.

"When you set up a business as I did, you're the managing director, the
marketing director, you answer the phone, make the tea, clean the office...
You're busy promoting your business and you realise that there's not that
many people behind you."

Man City tracking nine-year-old West Ham prodigy Omari Forson

Manchester City's summer transfer activity is set to include a swoop for a
nine-year-old. West Ham kid Omari Forson has caught the eye of scouts from
the Etihad and City will attempt to lure the youngster away from Upton Park.
The Hammers have very high hopes for Forson, who has been with them since
the age of five. He is a skilful left-footed forward who, ridiculously given
he doesn't turn 10 until July, has been compared to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. His
performances for the club's under-10 and under-11 sides have attracted
interest from Manuel Pellegrini's scouting team. The Daily Mail reports that
City will sell their new £100m training complex, including state-of-the-art
youth training facilities, to Forson's family in the hope of convincing them
to make the switch. City's youth football infrastructure has proved very
enticing, with Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie and coach Phil
Neville both choosing to send their children to train there.

Nocerino confirms West Ham departure
By talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) | Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Antonio Nocerino has confirmed he will definitely be leaving West Ham at the
end of the season to return to AC Milan following his loan spell at Upton
Nocerino, 29, has started only two games for the club and has been forced to
settle for a place on the substitutes' bench for the majority of the time
during his brief stint in the Premier League. The Italy international joined
the club back in January and was hoping to show Sam Allardyce that he could
earn a permanent move to England. But following the club's 2-0 win over
Tottenham on Saturday, which secured their Premier League status for another
season, Nocerino confirmed on his Instagram account that he will be leaving
east London for good. Nocerino said: "It's back to Italy and thank you
Hammers for the experience."
It remains to be seen if Nocerino will stay at the San Siro as he failed to
secure a first-team place before he joined the Hammers and could leave Milan
during the summer.

Ravel wins Goal of the Season and promises 'I'll be back'
Filed: Tuesday, 6th May 2014
By: Staff Writer

Ravel Morrison has told fans that he is looking forward to returning to West
Ham United next season. The 21-year-old is currently on loan at Championship
club Queens Park Rangers, for whom he will feature in the play-offs that
commence this weekend. But just minutes after he was confirmed as the winner
of West Ham United's Goal of the Season award at tonight's black tie bash at
the Grosvenor House Hotel, Morrison revealed that he is looking forward to
returning to the Boleyn Ground. "Very happy to win Goal of the Season for
West Ham," he tweeted. "Thanks for everyone that voted for the goal. Be back
next season to score more."

Only last week Morrison spoke out tonight to dismiss a tabloid newspaper's
claim that he would only consider a return to West Ham if Sam Allardyce was
no longer the manager. "Papers talk a lot of rubbish," he wrote on his
Twitter timeline. "I don't care what manager I play under, all I want to do
is play football," he added - before signing off with a West Ham hashtag.

Mark Noble is named Hammer of the Year
Filed: Tuesday, 6th May 2014
By: Staff Writer

Midfielder Mark Noble has won the Hammer of the Year award for the second
time in three years. The home-grown Hammer took the award for the second
time at a packed Grosvenor House hotel this evening to the approval of all
present. 26-year-old Noble was just one of a string of winners on a busy
night in Mayfair at which the entire first team - minus Ravel Morrison, who
is preparing for QPR's impending play-off semi final against Wigan Athletic
- were present.
Noble was also named Player's Player of the Year, whilst goalkeeper Adrian
took three awards home with him. You may see the results of all the
categories below.

Hammer of the Year
Mark Noble

Players' Player of the Year
Mark Noble

Goal of the Season
Ravel Morrison v Tottenham, 6th October 2013

Best Team Performance
v Tottenham, 6th October 2013

Best Individual Performance
Adrian v Chelsea, 29th January 2014

Best Signing

Save of the Season
Adrian v Chelsea, 29th January 2014

Top Goalscorer
Kevin Nolan (7)

Dylan Tombides Award (formerly Academy Player of the Year)
Josh Cullen

Young Hammer of the Year
Sam Howes

Lifetime Achievement Award
Sir Trevor Brooking


This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.

No comments: