Thursday, May 8

Daily WHUFC News - 8th May 2014

The Big Interview - Mark Noble
Hammer of the Year Mark Noble reflects on a season he believes West Ham
United can be proud of

Hammer of the Year Mark Noble says West Ham United can be proud of rising to
the challenge during a difficult 2013/14 season. The ever-present No16
collected his second Hammer of the Year award - as well as his first
Players' Player of the Year - at the Grosvenor House in London's Park Lane
on Tuesday evening. The popular midfielder was clearly moved to receive the
acclaim of team-mates and supporters alike, telling West Ham TV of his
happiness and stating his intention to lead the team to bigger and better
things next season.

Mark, it's been a tough season but you have ended it by being voted Hammer
of the Year - a proud moment for you and all the lads...

"Yes, it's been a tough season, but the problems we have had with the
injuries we've had and the bad luck we've had in games mean we've not quite
got what we deserved. I said how important it was to get the squad back
together and now we're 12th in the Premier League."

You have started all 37 Barclays Premier League matches, scored three goals
and assisted four more, so you have plenty to be proud of on an individual

"I've thoroughly enjoyed it. It's going to be nice now to go up to
Manchester City for the last game, give a good account of ourselves and then
go on holiday and have some fun and relax and spend some time with my
family. It's been a tough season and one that ultimately we've done well to
get out of the position we were in at Christmas, and that's credit to the

You have been so consistent this season. What do you put that down to?

"I put my own season down to hard work and belief and wanting to improve all
the time. I just love coming into work and I think it shows out on the

Your family were at the game against Tottenham on Saturday and their support
clearly means a lot to you?

"It was amazing against Spurs on Saturday because my wife turned up late and
Lenny was supposed to come out on the pitch [before kick-off]. I took
Ginge's little boy out because he wasn't starting the game and, as we did
the handshakes, I saw Lenny run out of the tunnel and clap the crowd! He is
only three, so it was a proud moment and it was nice to see. "Lenny and my
little girl both walked round the pitch with me after the game which was
great and to top it off with a 2-0 victory over Spurs was a nice way to end
the season at home."

You must feel like you have 35,000 family members inside the Boleyn Ground
at every home game! Plus, to win Players' Player of the Year too was
special, wasn't it?

"Yeah, it was special to hear the lads talking about me like that [the way
they did in a video message played at the Player Awards]. I obviously don't
expect anything like that or any of these awards. I go into work every day
and enjoy training and love playing football. "When you have got a group of
boys like we have got, it makes life a lot easier."

You spoke very highly of the manager Sam Allardyce in your acceptance
speech. You have worked with him for three seasons now and they have been
very productive seasons, so why has he got the best out of you?

"In my own view, 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
a lot of other accolades like Swedish and Scandinavian Hammer of the Year
and Legends Lounge Player of the Year because I'm enjoying my football.
"I've always said to anyone who has asked me about the Gaffer that he has
never asked me to boot it. I always try to get on the ball and make us play
as much as possible and that's what has been happening."

Talking of players who like to get on the ball, Sir Trevor Brooking was
honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award - a deserved accolade?

"Yes, it was nice to have Sir Trevor at the Player Awards, as it was to have
Billy Bonds there last year. The fans love the players they looked up to
years ago winning awards and it keeps the West Ham family together and
that's what you need at Clubs to keep the history going."

Sullivan scotches Allegri rumours
Filed: Wednesday, 7th May 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan has dismissed reports linking West
Ham with a move for former AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri. Sullivan,
who was present at the club's Player Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel
last night told fans that reports linking the club with the 46-year-old
Italian were "rubbish" and without foundation. Last week Italian website TMW
claimed - via RAI Sport's Alfredo Pedulla - that that West Ham were seeking
to steal a march on neighbours Tottenham by offering Allegri a two-year deal
to replace Sam Allardyce. However as suggested by KUMB on Monday, it seems
that West Ham's name may have only been used in an attempt to push through
the deal with Spurs, who are looking to replace current incumbent Tim
Sherwood this summer.

Sullivan: I'm sorry
Filed: Wednesday, 7th May 2014
By: Staff Writer

David Sullivan has apologised to supporters for West Ham's performance in in
the 2013/14 season. The club's co-owner took the unprecedented step of
saying sorry to fans at last night's Awards ceremony despite Sam Allardyce's
team reaching the Carling Cup semi finals, beating Tottenham three times and
going into the final game of the campaign 12th in the Premier League. "I
want to apologise to the supporters for this season," said Sullivan. "It's
not been good enough. We all take responsibility and we will work hard to
improve things in the future. We will sit down next week and look at what we
need to take things forward."
However Sullivan's apology didn't appear to go down well with everyone
present. Sam Allardyce, speaking after Sullivan argued that "I wouldn't be
as negative," whilst Hammer of the Year Mark Noble insisted that the manager
continues to have his full backing. "I support the gaffer because I have
played every game under Sam since he came here and I've won two of these
awards," he said during his acceptance speech. "It's been a tough season but
with the injuries we've had, we've not quite got what we've deserved."

West Ham award for Sir Trevor Brooking
Last Updated: 07/05/14 12:16pm

Sir Trevor Brooking has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from
former club West Ham United. Brooking spent his entire playing career with
the east London club, scoring 102 goals in almost 650 appearances. The
former England midfielder helped the club win two FA Cups, was named 'Hammer
Of The Year' five times and briefly took charge when Glenn Roeder collapsed
due to a brain tumour in 2003. "I'm delighted," said Brooking following the
club's player awards ceremony at Grosvenor House in London on Tuesday night.
"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."

Mark Noble landed the Hammer of the Year award for a second time and was
also named Players' Player of the Year. England Under-21 striker Ravel
Morrison collected the Goal of the Season award for his strike against
Tottenham last October.

By Iain Dale 7 May 2014 at 11:24
West Ham Till I Die
Guest Post by Jack

The atmosphere at Saturday's treble winning match over Spurs was a reminder
of days gone by. Days that we don't get to enjoy as often as we used to.
Finally the team gave us something to cheer about, with a performance based
on desire, commitment and some decent passing & movement. We responded and
as "It's happening again" echoed around Upton Park and Spurs fans sloped off
early, it took me back to the great days in the 1970's when I first watched
the Hammers from the front of North Bank.

Those wonderful times when Bonds, Paddon, Jennings, Robson and Lampard (the
proper one) could do no wrong (even though they usually did!) and it seemed
Brooking gave the ball away as often as a visit by Halley's Comet. The
Eintracht Frankfurt game (which Sir Trev looked back on fondly during
Saturday's half-time) was the zenith of that period for me. We didn't have
to wait too long to witness the pleasure of Dev skinning full backs as the
Chicken Run roared him on, and 17 year old TC scoring that header against
Spurs on his debut, followed by the Class of '86 giving us that season to
remember (including the 8-1 drubbing of Newcastle when Alvin scored a hat
trick). The Ince inspired 4-1 League Cup hammering over that last great
Liverpool team in '89, was another night under the floodlights to savour.
Roll of a few years and we had Paolo scoring that goal of the season v the
Dons, and the amazing comeback against Bradford.

These are all fantastic memories (can't remember many since!), and they will
stay us till our dying days, helped by the wonder of YouTube. But however
much I long for them, and that style we used to play in, I won't be sad at
vacating the Boleyn Ground.

Not because of the ground itself, though it is well past its sell by date,
the East Stand is an embarrassment, and since it became an all-seater, it
has lost a lot of its intimidation factor. But because getting in and out of
there is a pain in the backside.

Upton Park (the area) has changed. It's no longer an area where the football
club is at the heart of the community. It is not even really a football
area, but a place where football has become an inconvenience. On match-days
us fans are about as welcome to the locals out doing their shopping as a
dose, even though we help prop up the local economy.

Sure, we still have a little support there, but we all know the bulk of our
support comes from the Essex heartlands and beyond, and most people,
especially a family with small children, just want to get in and out of the
area as quickly as possible. In a world where we have less time than ever
before, a pre or post match pint in The Queens or Boleyn, or the chance of a
pie with liquor at Nathan's, is a luxury for many.

The vast majority of us who have to get the tube to the game will know the
frustration at having to wait ten minutes on a rammed compartment at
Plaistow whilst they clear the small platform at Upton Park of people from
the previous train, and once you get there, it can take another ten minutes
to get out of the station, unless you are prepared to put up with an even
bigger squeeze in the first compartment. Try it with small kids. It takes
even longer to get out when someone with a pram is coming down the stairs
towards you. There's only one way in – and one way out.

Upton Park underground station has never been easy to navigate on a
match-day as it is not set up for footballs crowds, or any crowds for that
matter. But even when we were getting 40,000 attendances back in the '70's,
a time when fans clashed regularly, I don't ever recall the organisation
being as bad as it is now. The security outside treat us fans like sh*t,
herding young and old alike into potentially dangerous situations as they
did again on Saturday, and forcing people to have to walk down to the "next
barrier" whilst they get bumped about and separated, even when the nearest
gap is clearly still available and a safer option. I've seen plenty of
people get hurt over recent years. It's like something from the dark ages
and something you will never have to endure after a game in a newly built
stadium like The Emirates or even at Shite Hart Lane, which is served by
much better transport facilities. In fact, it's fair to say that we have
arguably the worst public transport links of all the London clubs.

I remember good old Harry Redknapp (when he wasn't getting his dog to sort
out 40 year old Titi Camara's contract) regularly saying he couldn't
understand why all the fans never stayed to the end of the game. Well it's
simple mate: You try getting home from Upton Park straight after a game!
Unless you are prepared to leave a few minutes before and sprint down Green
Street, you will end up being shoved 200 yards away from the tube and made
to queue for up to half an hour in Queen's Terrace with the smell of rotten
veg wafting from the market bins.

When thousands have to catch a connecting overland train at Liverpool
Street, King's Cross or Waterloo (as I did in the 70's and 80's) literally
every second makes a difference to your journey. Is it any wonder that with
so many televised games some people just can't be bothered to go through all

Thankfully, the vast space outside the Olympic Stadium, and the facilities
at the modern Stratford station will see and end to all this and I for one
will bid a joyful farewell to Upton Park Tube, and I have to admit, the
chaotic Green Street, which is too small to accommodate match-day traffic,
local buses or serve the needs of the emergency services.

Let the locals do their shopping in peace, while we enjoy our football in an
environment fit for purpose. I know some die-hards will disagree but we need
to become a modern club, and that means playing in modern area. The Boleyn
Ground will always be in our hearts and memories – but let's not be sad when
we move on to better things. Let's look forward to better times on and off
the pitch.

By Sean Whetstone 7 May 2014 at 16:32
West Ham Till I Die

Last night I attended the West ham Players awards at the Grosvenor House
Hotel, Park Lane, London. Initially I hadn't planned to attend the event
which costs up to £300 per head but I managed to buy a discounted ticket
from social media via someone who couldn't make it so I ended up sitting on
a table of West Ham stewards from the East stand.

The event was hosted by West Ham fan Ben Shepherd who tried his best to
mention the hat trick over Spurs as many times as possible to get a cheer.

Joint Chairman David Sullivan took to stage at the beginning of the evening
to apologise to 800 hammers fans for this season but promised we would do
better next season and we would invest in the right players over the summer
to make West ham stronger. Sullivan did add that one person was not to blame
for the disappointing season but collectively everyone had failed this

Manager Sam Allardyce was next up on stage and while he admitted we have not
done as well as last season he emphasized survival had been achieved and
mentioned that we beat Spurs three times in a row with a smile on his face.
He played down the disappointing season suggested by Mr Sullivan saying he
wouldn't be as negative. When asked by Ben whether the Spurs result saved
him he replied his job he replied 'No, David Sullivan and Gold saved my
job'. His closing remarks were 'See you all next season' showing he fully
expects to remain in charge over the summer.

During the awards Kevin Nolan, Andy Carroll and Hammer of the year Mark
Noble backed up the manager to make everyone in no doubt that Sam has not
lost the dressing room and they publicly backed him. During Mark Noble
acceptance speech for Hammer of the year Mark said 'I know Mr Sullivan came
up her and spoke quite negatively about us all but I am sure he is going to
put his hand in his pocket over the summer'

In a lighter moment Andy Carroll out bid his pal Kevin Nolan in an auction
in aid of the Academy to play FIFA computer game on the big screen at the
Boleyn Ground. The auction host Jonny Gould quipped that could mean Andy
Carroll will finally score at Upton Park this year.

The life achievement award went to West Ham Legend Sir Trevor Brooking who
as always was very humble. In his acceptance speech which can viewed below
he spoke more about others than himself and the crowd burst into a
spontaneous chant of 'There's only one Trevor Brooking' as he lifted his

A big mention must go to double award winner (Hammer of the year and Players
player of the year) Mark Noble who spent over an hour after the awards
finished making sure every fan who wanted an autograph and/or photo got one!
Several fans also called up mates on their mobiles only to hand it over to
Mark who insisted this he was the real Mark Noble to disbelieving mates. A
prime example why he won these awards. He remains the fans favourite and the
main reason why they call him 'Mr West Ham'.

A special mention must also go to Roger the relegator Johnson who was also
another hit with the fans on the night posing for hundreds of photos. He
showed he is a good sport and got a great sense of humour.

Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing could hand the title to Liverpool if West
Ham can win against Manchester City
PUBLISHED: 23:13, 7 May 2014 | UPDATED: 23:14, 7 May 2014
Daily mail

Brendan Rodgers has already conceded the title and Manchester City hammered
another nail in Liverpool's coffin on Wednesday night. But it's not over
yet. Not if a couple of Liverpool rejects have anything to say about it.
Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing - who cost the Anfield club a combined
£55million before being sold to West Ham at a huge loss - will be aiming to
have the final say in the title race on Sunday as the Hammers head to the
Etihad Stadium for the final game of the season. True, judging by City's 4-0
demolition of Aston Villa it is highly unlikely that West Ham will be able
to win at the Etihad (they're 18/1 to do so with Coral), but who could have
predicted Manchester United would finish seventh this season? Or Crystal
Palace 11th? The England internationals, deemed not good enough by Rodgers
for his Reds revolution, will be looking to expose City's defensive
frailties on Sunday. Carroll's battering-ram style forward play is likely to
unsettle City's weak link Martin Demichelis - especially if Downing can
provide the sort of quality from out wide that he is capable of. QPR came
tantalisingly close to raining on City's title parade two years ago. Could
West Ham go one better and - with the help of two ex-Liverpool men - ensure
the Premier League trophy heads to Anfield after all? Stranger things have

AC pays £10K to play FIFA on Boleyn big screen
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 7, 2014 in Whispers

Hammers striker Andy Carroll has outbid his mate Kevin Nolan for the right
to play the FIFA 14 computer game on the big screen at Upton park. Bidding
in the auction at the West Ham players awards in Park Lane, London last
night reached £5,000 with Nolan leading the pack before Carroll doubled it
to £10,000 to win the auction. Auctioneer Jonny Gould poked fun at Carroll
claiming it was the only way he would get to score at Upton Park this
season. Proceeds of the auction go towards to the West Ham Academy

Bonds: "DS 'I'm sorry' comment very strange"
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 7, 2014 in Whispers
Billy Bonzo
By Hugh Southon

West Ham legend Billy Bonds has admitted that co-chairman David Sullivan's
apology to the fans for a disappointing season "is very strange." And he
found it even "odder" that he should have chosen the club's upbeat annual
awards dinner to admit that at times "it made me cry." Sullivan had guests
choking on their starters when making his since well publicised comments at
the Grosvenor House on Tuesday evening. And in an exclusive interview with
ClaretandHugh 'Bonzo' said: "It's a funny thing to say at any time never
mind at an evening like that. "You would have to say that if you were the
manager you'd have to be a bit worried. You would hardly expect something
like that to be said publicly. "Yes, I think it's strange and quite worrying
from the manager's point of view. It's not the most positive thing to hear
is it?" Bonds added that he was delighted the Hammers had retained their
Premier League status and said: "Sam Allardyce has done what he was brought
in to do – get promotion and keep them up. "But to be honest the football is
often dull to watch and the fans have the right to react as they please.
"They are paying huge amounts of money for the privilege of watching and
they made their feelings known in my day so they have as much right to do
so now don't they."


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