Friday, May 9

Daily WHUFC News - 9th May 2014

Hammers to tackle Tractor Boys
West Ham United will travel to Ipswich Town for a pre-season match on
Wednesday 16 July 2014

West Ham United are pleased to announce that the first-team squad will
travel to Ipswich Town for a pre-season match on Wednesday 16 July 2014. The
7.45pm kick-off will see the Hammers take on a Tractor Boys side which
finished ninth in the Championship this term, just four points outside the
Play-Off places. The fixture will see West Ham return to Portman Road for
the first time since August 2012, when Matt Taylor's goal was not enough to
prevent the visitors falling to a 3-1 pre-season defeat. The Hammers have
fonder memories of previous trips to Suffolk, most notably the 2-0
Championship Play-Off semi-final second-leg victory in May 2005.

In all, the clubs have met 68 times in competitive fixtures since
kicking-off with West Ham's 5-1 FA Cup third-round win at the Boleyn Ground
in January 1950. The Hammers have won 27 and Ipswich 21, with 20 draws.
There are many historic links between West Ham and Ipswich, the most recent
being Hammer of the Year Mark Noble's productive loan spell in late 2006.
Legendary Hammers manager John Lyall spent four-and-a-half years in charge
at Portman Road between 1990 and 1994, winning the Division Two title in
1991/92. He was succeeded by caretaker manager Paul Goddard, who had
previously played under Lyall at both clubs.

Another successful former Ipswich boss, Alf Ramsey, managed England and
Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters to FIFA World Cup glory in 1966.
Five players also made their West Ham debuts against Ipswich - Keith Miller
(November 1968), Mervyn Day (August 1973), George Cowie (August 1982) and
Tony Gale (August 1984) all started their Hammers careers against the
Tractor Boys, while Matthew Kilgallon began his loan spell from Leeds United
against Ipswich in August 2003.

The Club can also announce a Development Squad pre-season match at
Conference National side Braintree Town on Saturday 19 July at 3pm.
Alan Devonshire's side enjoyed a fantastic 2013/14 season, finishing sixth
in the table and just missing out on the Play-Off places and a chance to
gain promotion to the Football League for the first time.

Ticket details for both of the above fixtures will be confirmed on
in due course.

Chadwell Chatter
Adrian blogs for on his fantastic Awards night and Sunday's game
at Man City

Hola everyone!

Tuesday was an fantastic night at the Player Awards and I was delighted to
receive three trophies - Signing of the Season, Best Individual Performance
and Best Save. To be voted for these awards by the fans is amazing,
especially in my first season here! I won the Individual Performance for the
game at Chelsea and while that was my best match, it 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 it was like the match I played
for Real Betis against Real Madrid last season when we beat them 1-0, but I
remember the Chelsea match well and it was better. The Save of the Season
came against Chelsea too and it was nice to keep that shot from Oscar out,
along with all the other shots they had that night! It was a hard one to
save. The ball was going towards the top corner, I touched it a little with
my fingertips, and I think it probably was my best one this season. Jussi
deserved that award too as he made some great saves this season. He's an
experienced goalkeeper, a really good person and team-mate. He's really
helped me. My relationship with the fans is unbelievable. In little time, it
has become a special relationship. I made a smile for everyone by taking a
selfie with them at the dinner too!

Now we have one game to go, and we hope we can get a good result at
Manchester City. I've had a good first season in English football, and I'm
sure next year will be better because I've adapted and I know the game here

See you at the Etihad on Sunday.
Vamos West Ham!

Sir Trevor delighted with Award
Sir Trevor Brooking told of his pride at receiving West Ham United's
Lifetime Achievement Award

Sir Trevor Brooking spoke with typical humility on becoming he second
recipient of West Ham United's Lifetime Achievement Award. Sir Trevor, who
was presented with the award by Joint-Chairman David Gold and Chairman of
sponsors ACL, Roger Abrahams, was moved by the tribute paid to him by the
Club he served with distinction as player and manager for more than two
decades. Speaking to West Ham TV, the five-time Hammer of the Year, two-time
FA Cup winner and England international midfielder said the reception he
received from supporters at the Player Awards had only strengthened his
affinity with his boyhood Club.

"I'm delighted," Sir Trevor confirmed after following in the footsteps of
fellow West Ham legend and close friend Billy Bonds, who was the first
recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award a year ago. "It's great when
you've got a lot of fans 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 we'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 were to have had that career with a Club for so
long. Nowadays, players chop and change so often, but in our era it was that
much easier to stay. "I was chatting to quite a few of the fans and signing
photographs, which was quite strange because we now live in an era of mobile
phones and selfies, of course! That was good, particularly to see a few
familiar faces of people who were fans in my playing days. It's great. "We
have got a very loyal fanbase. They can be critical, but that's only because
they are so passionate about the Club. When things go against you, they
protect you as well. "I was lucky to have had a career in football as a
player, broadcaster, Director and now with the FA. West Ham have played
their part in my whole life."

Sir Trevor was not the only loyal West Ham favourite to be honoured at the
Player Awards, with Mark Noble being voted Hammer of the Year for a second
time. The 1980 FA Cup final hero was quick to praise Noble for his
consistency and ability during what has, at times, been a challenging
2013/14 campaign.
"Mark has been very consistent. He is a homegrown lad and is obviously very
passionate. He won Hammer of the Year a couple of years ago as well and this
year, at difficult times when not many had a good run in the team, he was
there as a rock. He is so dependable, it is not surprising he got Players'
Player of the Year too. That's always a fair indication. "The fans all
thought he was a key player who we couldn't afford to be injured. It's great
for him and for the Academy to have somebody like that because you can see
the affection the fans have for them when they come through."

In a wide-ranging West Ham TV interview, Sir Trevor also discussed a
challenging 2013/14 season, three victories over Tottenham Hotspur, the
importance of Andy Carroll, his optimism for 2014/15 and the move to the
Olympic Stadium.

Howes set for Euro kick-off
Sam Howes will be in international action for England Under-17s against
Malta on Friday

Young West Ham United goalkeeper Sam Howes will be hoping to play a part
when the England Under-17 squad begin their UEFA U17 European Championship
campaign against hosts Malta on Friday. The 16-year-old stopper has
impressed at both Club and international level this season and picked up the
Young Hammer of the Year award at the annual Player Awards evening on
Tuesday night. Howes couldn't be at the ceremony to collect the accolade as
he was travelling as part of John Peacock's 18-man squad for the tournament,
which begins when Holland take on Turkey at 11am on Friday. England kick-off
their campaign when they play Malta in the Ta' Qali National Stadium in
their first group match at 5pm on Friday, with the game being aired live on
British Eurosport 2. The West Ham 'keeper will by vying with Newcastle
United's Freddie Woodman for a start between the sticks with matches against
Turkey on Monday 12 May and Holland on Thursday 13 May rounding off the
Young Lions' group games. Should England progress from their group they will
meet one of Scotland, Portugal, Switzerland or Germany in the semi-finals,
which will take place on Sunday 18 May. If the Young Lions reach the final
they will again return to Malta's National Stadium on Wednesday 21 May to
try and reclaim the trophy which they won in 2010.
The call-up caps a fine season for Howes after he broke into both the Club's
U18 and Development Squad teams over the course of the 2013/14 season.
His fine form for the Hammers led to an England U17 debut in January 2014
when he featured in a defeat to Belgium at St George's Park.
The Hammers stopper clearly did enough to impress the national team coaches
as he was selected to represent his country at this year's prestigious
Algarve Cup, where he won his second cap in a 2-2 draw with hosts Portugal.
After earning the prestigious Young Hammer of the Year award on Tuesday,
Howes will now be looking to round off an excellent season by helping
England to win international honours.

Bywater eyes Play-Off glory
Kieran Bywater has ambitions of helping the U18s to Play-Off victory against
Manchester City

Kieran Bywater has his eyes firmly set on victory when the West Ham United
meet Manchester City in their Barclays U18 Premier League Play-Off
semi-final on Saturday.
The two clubs go head-to-head at Platt Lane, having finished in the top two
of their respective North and South divisions - Steve Potts' side finished
as runners-up to Tottenham Hotspur in their section while City topped their
Midfielder Bywater, who has bagged a team-leading 19 goals this season, is
keen to overcome the Citizens to earn a crack at the overall league title.
The midfielder told West Ham TV: "We want to be successful as a team and as
individuals. We're all helping each other to try and push on to the next
level and hopefully win some silverware to go with it.
"We've all done really well this season to get into the Play-Offs, so I
think it will be a great credit to us if we do manage to win on Saturday."
A 1-1 draw in their last league match of the season at home to Arsenal last
weekend made absolutely sure of the Hammers participation in the end of
season Play-Offs.
Bywater netted the sixth-minute penalty that secured the point for his side
with a goal which also took his personal tally to 19 for the season - a
tremendous haul and one which the captain hopes to add to on Saturday.
"It's shown that I've added that to my game this season and I've been
pleased to get quite a few goals," he continued. "They've come from
free-kicks, penalties and open play, so all over really.
"I aimed for 20 goals at the beginning of the season and I'm not quite there
yet, but it would be nice to get there in these next couple of games and
hopefully we can beat Manchester City at the weekend.
"I'm on 19, so hopefully I can get another goal in the Play-Offs to add to
my total, but obviously the main focus is to do well for the team and get
through to the Play-Off final."
Saturday's opponents have enjoyed a strong season under the stewardship of
manager and former Blackburn Rovers and England winger Jason Wilcox,
finishing eight points clear of Everton in the North Division.
The Hammers suffered a 3-0 away defeat by the Citizens in April, but have
since been boosted by the return of players such as Josh Cullen, Jordan
Brown and Kyle Knoyle following the conclusion of Development Squad
With Potts able to name a strong starting XI, Bywater feels it stands them
in good stead to get a result on the weekend.
"The last time we went up there we had a younger team. We know that they're
a good side, but we have a full-strength side and we do fancy our chances
against them.
"Obviously we've been playing together all season and we went through quite
a lot of games together, so I think having our strongest eleven out will
benefit everyone in the squad.
"They like to have a lot of the ball and they like to play. They're a very
attacking side and they want to have possession of the ball and be quick
with it. We know what to expect from sides like that and I think we're
definitely capable of dealing with what they have going forward and we're
more than capable of scoring ourselves."
Kick-off at Platt Lane on Saturday is at 11am, with the winners facing
either Tottenham or Everton in the final.

Allardyce ignoring sack rumours
Filed: Thursday, 8th May 2014
By: Staff Writer

Sam Allardyce may have been tipped for the sack by at least one tabloid
today - but that wasn't stopping him from continuing to plan for the close

Journalist Sami Mokbel claimed in the Mail this morning that Allardyce is
set to be removed from his position after West Ham face Manchester City in
the title-decider at the Etihad Stadium this coming weekend.

However Big Sam, who celebrates three years in the job later this month is
already making plans for next season, having previously decided who he wants
to move on and and in which positions he needs to strengthen this summer.

Several first team squad members - including fringe players such Joe Cole,
Jordan Spence, Jack Collison and Jussi Jaaskelainen - are out of contract
this summer whilst Alladyce has already said goodbye to Italian duo Antonio
Nocerino and Marco Borriello, both on loan at the club since January.

It is perhaps no surprise that the manager has identified a striker to
support Andy Carroll as his main target for pre-season but Allardyce is also
looking to improve his defensive options, with full backs close to the top
of the list of priorities.

With Alou Diarra also considered likely to leave the club this summer - if
West Ham can find anyone to take the former Franch international off their
hands, that is - Big Sam is seeking cover in midfield, with Stade de Reims'
24-year-old Grzegorz Krychowiak mooted as one possible target by Polish
media today.

Some of the other names the Hammers have been linked with during the past 48
hours include Chelsea's Demba Ba, Diafra Sakho of Metz, Portuguese striker
Hugo Almeida (currently with Besiktas) and Gabriel Obertan

Another friendly announced
Filed: Thursday, 8th May 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham will face Championship side Ipswich Town in a pre-season friendly
this July.

The Hammers, who confirmed their first domestic pre-season friendly against
League Two Stevenage FC earlier in the week will tackle Mick McCarthy's side
at Portman Road four days after the trip to Broadhall Way.

The two teams last met in August 2012 when goals from Michael Chopra, Luke
Chambers and Jason Scotland gave Town an unexpected 3-1 win over their
Premier League rivals in what was James Collins' first start in a claret and
blue shirt since re-signing for the club from Aston Villa; Matt Taylor
grabbing West Ham's consolation on the night.

Prior to that, West Ham had been beaten 5-1 at Portman Road on their
previous visit for a Championship fixture seven months earlier - whilst a
goal from former Hammer Lee Bowyer gave the Tractor Boys a 1-0 win at the
Boleyn Ground in the corresponding fixture that season.

You have to go back four years to find West Ham's last win against the Blues
- that coming courtesy of a Carlton Cole goal in July 2010 that gave West
Ham a 1-0 win at Portman Road.

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

12th July: Stevenage FC (a)
16th July: Ipswich Town (a)
23rd July: Wellington Phoenix (a)
26th July: Sydney FC (n)
2nd August: Schalke 04 Cup (n)
3rd August: Schalke 04 Cup (n)

By S J Chandos 8 May 2014 at 09:12
West Ham till I Die

I have to say that I am glad that David Sullivan has taken the opportunity
to publicly apologise to the fans for what has largely been a underwhelming
and troubled season. The fans pay their hard earned money to be entertained
and, apart from a few results, it really has not happened this season. What
were the overall highlights? Maximum points in February, three victories
over Spurs, a brave draw away to Chelsea and a good Capital One Cup run (up
till the semi-final massacre) just about sums it up. Take those elements out
of the season and a lot of the rest was pretty dire. We have played an
attractive style of football in a handful of matches, most notably the three
wins over Spurs, the 3-0 home defeat of Fulham, the 3-1 victory over
Southampton and the 1-2 home defeat to Liverpool. The worst moments for me
were the cup massacres to Notts Forrest and Man City and far too many abject
defeats to the likes of Hull City, Stoke City, Norwich City, Crystal Palace,
Fulham, Newcastle Utd and WBA.

Yes, we survived fairly comfortably in the end, but that is largely down to
an excellent sequence of results in February. If February had not gone so
well, then things may well have been far closer. Of course, all Hammers fans
are (rightly) overjoyed at defeating Spurs three times in a single season.
As well as that, it was great to see the team pass the ball and play with
style in winning the final home game, but that cannot eradicate the memory
of far too much dull and one-dimensional football during the course of the
season. The truth is that one good sequence of results, a season does not

David Sullivan has, wisely, not allowed the Spurs results to detract
from/obscure the disappointing nature of the season. Some might criticise
him for striking a negative note at the awards ceremony, but I welcome the
honesty and, the expressed, determination to put things right next season.
Regardless of the context, it was something that needed to be said. The
management and individual players can start putting a gloss on the season if
they like, but the majority owner of the club has clearly not bought in to
that process. He did not publicly point fingers, but merely stated there was
a collective failure at the club and that there was also a collective
imperative to correct it. For his part, Mr Sullivan has undertaken to
provide the funds necessary to secure better quality additions this summer.
Personally, I am very encouraged that he has taken that line and hope that
it is indicative that changes are afoot.

The end of season review should be very interesting. Unfortunately, we fans
will not be privvy to the discussions. However, if Mr Allardyce's services
are retained, one hopes that it will be made clear that entertainment value
will be a major performance indicator next season, especially at home. The
team undoubtedly possess the ability to pass the ball and play neat
attacking football. Yet, as stated, we have probably only seen it in a
handful of matches this season. No one is saying that we cannot play a
direct style when it is advantageous to do so or that we should not play it
tight tactically against the top four teams. Of course not, but what is
necessary is a basic commitment to playing a passing game and showing
attacking ambition wherever possible. It also means showing greater tactical
flexibility. A genuine ability to change formations, including playing with
two strikers and fully utilising the resources of a strengthened squad. In
this respect, a lot will depend upon the club's success in bringing in the
quality of player that we need to move forward. If those efforts are
successful, then the management will have few excuses not to be more
flexible and expansive in their tactics.

Ideally, what I would like to see is a more consistent attacking approach at
Upton Park, based upon a solid defence. Hopefully next season we will build
upon the 14 clean sheets (secured in this campaign) and this will underwrite
a more adventurous approach. Away from home that self-same defensive
solidarity could also facilitate a fast counter-attacking game. It is a
style that we have not really deployed since the days of Craig Bellamy and
to do it we must add more pace to the squad. It is a vital pre-requisite of
playing that way. Obviously, outside of the core members of the current
squad, there is likely to be a significant turnover of playing staff this
summer. We currently have technique, power and strength in the squad, now we
need to add more skill, vision and, crucially, pace.

The other major area where change is needed is with respect to the Academy.
In recent seasons, there does not appear to have been sufficient emphasis
upon developing the Academy's youngsters by gradually introducing them to
the first team. One hopes that the end of season review will reaffirm the
importance of developing our own youngsters and giving them first team
opportunities. As a minimum, the trio of Chambers, Potts and Elliott Lee
should be established in the squad and given greater PL match time next
season. Plus, although not an Academy product, there should also be an
expectation of seeing Ravel Morrison flourish in the first team in the
coming campaign. We had the vision to sign him from Man Utd, now we need to
ensure that he matures and reaches his full potential at Upton Park.

On this latter point about the Academy, I know that the youngsters have to
perform to merit their opportunities. That is obvious. But there is always
an element of risk in playing youngsters, and I just get the impression
that, inspite of the potential/ability (which is obviously there) we have
become far too 'risk averse' in this respect. Of course, it is far easier,
and less risky, to introduce them in to a successful team. And hopefully, if
we can push on next season, success will give greater latitude for blooding
youngsters in the planned way that we all want to see.

SJ. Chandos.

Liverpool title-chasers hoping Kop old boy Andy Carroll will do them a
favour at Man City
May 08, 2014 22:30 By David Maddock
Striker the Reds took a £20m bath on last summer could pay them back with a
West Ham winner in Sunday's season finale - perhaps with a Downing assist
The Mirror

When Andy Carroll fired up his mobile on Thursday morning, he no doubt found
his in-box full to bursting.

The list of names would have been all too familiar... all from the same
Merseyside neck of the woods.

And the message from every single text would have followed a similar theme:
wishing him all the luck in the world in his quest to score the winner
against Manchester City.

There is, perhaps, a certain irony in the fact that an Anfield cast-off now
stands as the final hope for Liverpool in their journey towards a remarkable
title triumph.

But all his ex-teammates know how tricky an opponent he can be... and know
that in the mood he is capable of taking a suspect City defence apart, hence
the texts from his former colleagues.

Midfielder Lucas is one of those, and he admitted there would be plenty of
texts sent West Ham way - to Stewart Downing too, as well as Carroll - even
if Liverpool know they shouldn't in a position where they require outside

When asked if they would be bombarded with texts, he replied: "Yeah. Of
course. They have been here with us, working with us and I'm sure they will
do their best to get points for West Ham first and if they can help us.

"But it's not in our hands anymore. Against Palace for eight or nine minutes
we just switched off and paid the price. We have to learn from that. We just
have to improve and see if we can get any luck now till the end of the
season, even if we know it is hard now."

The devastation Liverpool felt after their nightmare final 11 minutes at
Palace was evident for anyone to see, as their players endured the club's
inaugural awards dinner the following evening.

The faces on the red carpet were a picture of dismay, displaying the
frustration, the creeping anxiety of what might have been.

For Lucas, the pain is still there, but he knows the team can not wallow in
regret, but instead pick themselves up, to be ready to capitalise, should
West Ham deliver them an unlikely gift on Sunday.

"The day after (Palace), we still had not recovered. It was very quiet,
probably the quietest I have ever seen since I came here," the Brazilian
midfielder admitted.

"But it is not the end yet, we still have to believe that maybe something
good is coming on. We know it is not in our hands anymore but overall I
think it has been a fantastic season for us.

"It was very disappointing, but you have to be focused on the next game.
That is the way it is whether you win or lose. You have to change very
quickly and that's what we will do."

They will do so, too, in the knowledge that in the Premier League, no game
is certain, and no opponent will ever lie down, even if their season is

Palace proved exactly that, with their incredible finale against the Reds
that came from nowhere in a game that should have been over.

And with West Ham's defensive resolve and set-piece expertise, Lucas knows
there is still that anything can happen on Sunday.

"You know, the Palace game is something that is hard to explain why it
happened. But it just shows how difficult the Premier League is," he added.

"It doesn't matter where you play or against which team you play, you have
to make sure the 90 minutes is full of concentration. You don't know what is
going to happen until the end."


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