Tuesday, June 17

Daily WHUFC News - 17th June 2014

'I'd be all for a badge change'
West Ham United legend Tony Cottee believes the time is right to update the Club crest

Tony Cottee has West Ham inked on his birth certificate and etched in his heart. The Forest Gate-born Hammers legend grew up in east London on a diet of Moore, Hurst and Peters, absorbed by imagery of the famous crossed hammers on the equally famous claret and blue. Now 48, very little has changed for Cottee in that regard, with those staples of Hammers heritage still the be all and end all. But as West Ham United march toward an exciting future at the Olympic Stadium, Cottee concurs that the time is probably nigh to evolve the Club crest. "I'd be all for a change of badge," Cottee confirmed. "I don't think the Club has changed it for quite a while now. When we go to the new Stadium, we're hopefully starting a new era in terms of competing on and off the pitch, and looking at the Club badge, I think, would be a good idea. "You look at that badge, you look at those hammers and as long as you've got the hammers, you've got West Ham. That's all we need. I'm a West Ham fan and I will always be a West Ham fan. "I've got a birth certificate which says 'birthplace: West Ham.' I'm very proud of that and I love showing it to people. "I grew up in a great era to be a West Ham fan. Then, of course, I played for the Club and now I'm back to being a supporter. You have what goes on in your personal life but I would say West Ham as a Club runs very near to my heart."

Though Cottee was but a toddler when Bobby Moore lifted the World Cup, his West Ham associations extend beyond his own memories. Where the crest is concerned, Cottee calls upon Hammers greats of the 50s, no less, for his first point of reference. He continued: "The likes of Malcolm Allison, John Bond and Noel Cantwell, wonderful players, and the badge was just simply crossed hammers. I grew up looking at all those images. "Of course, the badge has developed over the years and with progress, coming into the 21st century, you accept that the badges change a little bit, but I think those iconic hammers are the things as a kid that stood out for me."

Cottee reckons that his affinity with the crossed hammers is one shared by Hammers fans the world over. And if the hammers are sacred, Cottee concedes that the Boleyn Castle's relevance will surely be diminished by the switch to Stratford. "Looking at the current badge, you've obviously got the castle on there, which probably goes back to the times of Anne Boleyn and then the Boleyn Ground. If we're moving to Stratford, which we are, there could be a case for maybe dropping the Castle. That's only me, personally, saying that. "But the one thing that must stay is the crossed hammers. All our fans, I think there a million across the world, and if you spoke to them all, nearly all of them would say we have to keep the hammers. You've got to keep the wording, West Ham, in some form or another in the badge too, but the crossed hammers for me are the real important thing."

Above all else, however, Cottee is adamant that Hammers fans be given the opportunity to have their say on the matter, with online consultation live as of Monday morning. "What I do hope the Club do is take in the considerations of the supporters because without the supporters you don't have a football club. Let's speak to as many fans as possible, maybe have an online campaign, or whatever it may be. I think it's always nice when the supporters are asked their opinion. I'm a supporter and I'd like to keep the hammers!"

Supporters are also invited to explore the Club's plans during the next two open consultation sessions at the Boleyn Ground, scheduled for Thursday 19 and Monday 23 June.

West Ham United at the World Cup - '82
Ron Greenwood and Trevor Brooking represented West Ham United at the FIFA World Cup in Spain

England failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup finals of 1974 and 1978, meaning West Ham United had no representation at either tournament. It was a very different story in 1982, however, as former West Ham manager Ron Greenwood had taken over from Don Revie in 1977, when the ex-Leeds United boss resigned to take charge of the United Arab Emirates. Greenwood steered England to the 1982 finals in Spain, where future Hammer Peter Shilton conceded just one goal in Group Four as France (3-1), Czechoslovakia (2-0) and Kuwait (1-0) all fell by the wayside. As England prepared to face West Germany and Spain in the second stage, Group B, Greenwood was desperately hoping that his former Hammers player Trevor Brooking would finally overcome the groin injury that had prevented him from kicking a ball in any of his country's first four matches. Following a goalless draw with the Germans, though, it was now win or bust against the hosts. Greenwood, Brooking and company needed a two-goal victory to qualify for the semi-finals. With the match deadlocked at 0-0, the manager knew he had to gamble with Brooking and Kevin Keegan. "I decided to play my two trump cards," wrote the England boss in his autobiography Yours Sincerely recounting the moment when he called for Brooking and Keegan. "I signalled to both Brooking and Keegan that I wanted them on and, with 27 minutes left, they stepped into football's biggest event for the first time in their long careers. It was a marvellous moment for them - and for me too. "Neither was perfectly fit but, at this point, risks were worth taking. And both could have scored. Keegan headed wide and Brooking, who immediately injected new skill into the game, made his own opening but somehow the Spanish 'keeper Luis Arconada managed to get in the way. "Spain nil, England nil. It was all over.
"We hadn't been able to use Brooking or Keegan who were the engine of our side and that was a tragedy because we would've gone all the way with those two."

Instead, the dejected Three Lions headed for home still unbeaten in five matches, while the Germans progressed all the way to the final where they lost 3-1 to Italy. "The 1982 World Cup was probably one of the biggest disappointments of my career," admitted Brooking, who won the last of 47 England caps with that late outing in Madrid. "Having got to Spain, it was my last opportunity to play in the tournament and it was so frustrating to have been kept out with a groin injury until half-hour from the end of the final game." West Ham's third representative at the 1982 FIFA World Cup was Belgium striker, Francois van der Elst. Van der Elst appeared just once, as a half-time substitute in the 3-0 second group-stage defeat by Poland in Barcelona.

Rat going Greek: transfer latest
Filed: Monday, 16th June 2014
By: Staff Writer

Razvan Rat, who failed spectacularly at West Ham last year has agreed to join Greek outfit PAOK. The experienced Romanian, who rattled up more than 100 appearances in the Champions League failed to settle in England and moved to Spain after just 20 appearances in claret and blue. He played 10 times for Primera Liga outfit Rayo Vallecano between January and May but failed to secure a permanent deal, hence his move to the Greek superleague.

* West Ham, Sunderland and Hull City are three Premier League clubs being suggested as possible destinations for Lazio's Angolan-born, Belgian full back Luis Pedro Cavanda. The 23-year-old, who has represented Belgium at Under 18, Under 19 and Under 21 level is keen to play in England according to his agent Ulisse Savini. That one via SkySport24.

* The M*****, almost certainly speculatively, are running with a story claiming the Hammers are back in for Ecuadorian winger Jefferson Montero. Montero, a former team mate of current West Ham 'keeper Adrian (at Real Betis) played 77 minutes of his nation's 2-1 defeat to Switzerland at the World Cup yesterday. He was initially linked with a move to West Ham last summer.

* Joleon Lescott, the Manchester City defender who has been on West Ham's radar for what seems like an age is close to sealing a move to Hull City. KUMB sources state that Lescott is poised to sign a two-year contract worth £56,000-per-week sometime this week.

* West Ham are one of several clubs beingl inked with a move for Ligue 1 Lorient's Vincent Aboubakar. A Cameroon international playing in his second World Cup despite only enjoying his 22nd birthday back in January, the striker is also reported to be on the radar of newly-promoted Leicester and Chelsea.

* We still haven't managed to sell Modibo Miaga or Alou Diarra.

Contract talks imminent
Filed: Monday, 16th June 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham appear to have finally won the race to sign Anderlecht defender Cheikhou Kouyate. According to Het Laatste Nieuws, the Belgian club have accepted West Ham's €7.5million offer for the highly-rated £24-year-old having rejected the advances of Spanish club Valencia. It is believed that the Hammers are set to offer the Senegalese international a four year contract to lure him to London, to where he is now expected to travel imminently for contract talks. West Ham are thought to have been given the edge in the race by Anderlecht manager Herman Van Holsbeeck, who is understood to be reluctant to trade with Spanish clubs for Kouyate's signature. That is as the result of the transfer involving Mohammed Tchite and Racing Santader, for which Anderlecht had to request the involvement of UEFA to resolve. Anderlecht are said to be running the rule over Grzegorz Krychowiak, who has also been on West Ham's radar, as a potential replacement for Kouyate.

Have your say on the new crest design
Filed: Monday, 16th June 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United have released a video detailing the planned changes to the club crest. Earlier this month it was announced that the club were set to consult supporters over a possible new crest to tie in with its impending move to the Olympic Stadium. The initial stage of that process began at the weekend when West Ham held the first of three events in which fans are invited to the Boleyn Ground in order to discuss the plans; the two remaining events being set for this Thursday (19th June) and next Monday (23rd). That has been followed by the release of a 13-minute-long video to that explains the history of the club's current crest before highlighting some of the elements that could be used to identify and create a new, "future proof", design.

Charged with conceiving the new design is the Kensington-based WTF Creative agency. Creative Director Neil Felton, speaking on the video describes the assignment as "a project very close to my heart, something I feel very strongly about and want to get right for all the West Ham faithful."

Felton, a season ticket holder at West Ham for 30 years explains in the video how the current crest was deconstructed to separate the different elements contained within. Extensive research into how each element of the crest came to be was also undertaken.

"A focus on detail is crucial in this type of project," explains Felton. "Like our values, we want it [the crest] to be traditional, contemporary and future-proof all at once. As we have throughout this process, we've referred to history for our inspiration."

And with regards to the hotly-disputed potential addition of the word 'London' to the new design, he added: "Our intent of bringing some recognition of our location to the crest is all abouut signalling our ambition to compete at the highest level and to be recognised on a global stage."

The video is available to all supporters with a ticket purchase history to view the video, which may be seen here. You will need your provide your client reference number before accessing the short film.

In addition to the three consultation events mentioned previously, West Ham have also announced plans for a Q&A on whufc.com 'early next week' at which supporters may have their questions regarding the changes to the crest answered.

Once again the club stated that there were no plans afoot to amend the club's name, nor would any proposed changes to the crest proceed without the backing of the supporters. West Ham have appointed YouGov - who were responsible for the Olympic Stadium survey in May 2013 - to run the poll.

Who are WTF Creative?

WTF Creative - named after founders Mike Williams, Dave Tuffney and Neil Felton - is based close to Kensington High Street and describes itself as "a dynamic democratic agency".

Founded in 2006, the company provides a number of services including brand and communications strategy, corporate identity plus advertising and design. Previous clients include HBO (Sopranos, Game of Thrones), Warner Bros. (Harry Potter, Batman Arkham City) and Channel 4 (Inbetweeners).

John Brooks wanted by host of Premier League clubs
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @graemebailey | Last Updated: 12/06/14 7:05pm

A host of Premier League clubs are battling to land American starlet John Brooks, Sky Sports understands. The 21-year-old central defender was born and raised in Berlin and came through the youth tanks at his local club Hertha, before rejecting a move to Bayern Munich when he was a teenager. He made his debut for Hertha in 2012 and has since became an integral part of their first-team squad. Brooks represented both USA and Germany at youth level before deciding to commit his international future to America. Now he is set to feature at the World Cup finals and a number of Premier League clubs are poised to make a move. Sky Sports understands Aston Villa, Stoke City, Everton, West Ham and Newcastle are all ready to swoop for Brooks, who has three years left on his current deal at the Olympic Stadion. There is also interest from elsewhere in the Bundesliga and France, but Sky Sports understands that Brooks would like to continue his career in England.

By Sean Whetstone 16 Jun 2014 at 12:52
West Ham Till I Die

West Ham have launched an online consultation over the future of the West Ham badge. They want a new crest to establish the club firmly on the international stage and reinforce our European ambitions.

Among the subjects up for discussion is the shape of the shield, the typography,the retirement of the Boleyn castle and adding the words London 1895 to the badge.

A 14 minute video presented by West Ham stadium announcer Martin Godleman has been released after which any West Ham supporter with a client reference can send in their views. Supporters are then asked in a questionnaire by SMG Yougov which elements of the current Club Crest are most important to them? Options include The shield, Colours, Typography, The Boleyn Castle and The Hammers. Supporters are then asked what, if anything would you like to see changed, again the options are The shield, Colours, Typography, The Boleyn Castle and The Hammers together with other, none of the above and don't know

"Since the consultation process was announced, the Board have made clear that this process is categorically not about looking at a name change and no updates will be made to the crest unless Hammers fans back the move. Therefore, to ensure transparency and fairness, they have appointed independent survey company SMG YouGov to run and administer the consultation and polling. As previously explained, the Hammers' current offering has not been changed since 1999 and the Club see the move to its stunning new home as a now or never opportunity to better reflect and celebrate the things that make West Ham so special, particularly its rich history The Club have already received some valuable feedback from the Supporter Advisory Board, which has helped shape the content of the presentation.There were clearly some areas that the SAB members were more widely supportive of and other areas that they wanted the Club to look at in more detail. Their feedback so far suggested there was broad support for a more traditional crest as used during the 50s, with the crossed hammers given more prominence.There were also discussions at the SAB meetings about potentially adding a representation of the Club's new home (the Olympic Stadium) to the crest, during which the Club explained its preference for no graphical representation of any Hammers stadium, either past or present, to allow the strong symbol of the crossed hammers to shine through. That view appears to have been generally supported by the SAB. The possibility of further highlighting the Club's standing in London by reflecting that in some way on the Club's crest was also debated. Some members fed back that it was an appropriate reflection of the Club's direction, while others felt that 1895 should be added to better demonstrate West Ham's standing and history. Others said they favoured a return to a more traditional, retro crest only."

The deadline for submitting feedback will be Friday 27 June at 5pm.

West Ham trailing Lazio defender
Alexander Stebbings

Sam Allardyce is thought to be interested in signing Lazio defender Luis Pedro Cavanda as the Hammers boss looks to strengthen for next season. Numbers are falling in the defensive ranks at Upton Park after Pablo Armero returned to Napoli and George McCartney was released from the club following the end of his contract. Whilst the Hammers appear to be close on a deal to sign Cheikhou Kouyate from Anderlecht, Allardyce is reportedly already looking elsewhere for further recruits. The 23-year-old right-back has played the whole of his career in Italy and has previously been involved with the Belgian under-21 set up.
Cavanda signed for Lazio at youth level but has only ever made 38 first team appearances for the Roman side in Serie A, enjoying his best run of games towards the end of last season. The Angolan-born Belgian could be a shrewd signing for West Ham, still at a young age the defender has his best years ahead of him and seems to be gaining plaudits due to some impressive performances. Cavanda is thought to have interested Arsene Wenger once upon a time and was linked with a move to Arsenal following an impressive debut. The then 20-year-old was tasked with marking former World Player of the Year and World Cup winner Ronaldinho and put in a brave shift, eventually keeping the Brazilian occupied and out of the game for the full ninety minutes. The possible deal to sign Cavanda may strike fear into Hammers fans regarding the future of Guy Demel. Demel has been one of West Ham's more promising players over recent seasons and there has been some speculation to suggest the Ivorian could be set for a move back to the Bundesliga, though nothing has yet materialised.
Still at an early stage it is difficult to tell just how much interest there is coming from West Ham's side and indeed how much Lazio would be interested to sell.
Cavanda signed a contract last July that extend his stay at the Serie A side to 2018, so West Ham may have to make a serious cash offer if they are to lure the defender to the Premier League.



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