Wednesday, June 18

Daily WHUFC News - 18th June 2014

Opening days to remember
We take a look back at six classic opening day West Ham United fixtures

As Hammers fans gear up for Wednesday's 2014/15 fixture release, we take a look back at six classic opening day victories.

West Ham United 3-1 Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
13 August 2005
The Hammers were back in the top flight following a two-year absence and they ensured they would return with a bang by defeating Blackburn Rovers 3-1. Alan Pardew's men also had to show their battling qualities to make sure of the result after falling 1-0 down to Andy Todd's 18th-minute opener. They still trailed 1-0 at the break, but came roaring back after the interval to give them the perfect start to the campaign. Teddy Sheringham notched the equaliser immediately upon the game's resumption, then Nigel Reo-Coker and Matthew Etherington gave the Hammers a winning position. It meant the Hammers got off to a perfect start, setting them up for a ninth-place finish and run to the FA Cup final.

West Ham United 3-1 Charlton Athletic
Premier League
19 August 2006
Twelve months further on and the Hammers gained an identical result to kick-off the 2006/07 campaign. It was a London derby at the Boleyn Ground as Charlton Athletic came to visit, and just as in the previous year, West Ham had to come from behind to claim the points. Darren Bent's penalty gave the Addicks an interval lead, but Bobby Zamora's double after Charlton's Djimi Traore was sent-off put the Hammers in command. Debutant Carlton Cole then scored an injury time goal seconds after coming on for his debut to secure the points as the vast majority of the 34,937 crowd went home happy.

West Ham United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
7 August 1999
Harry Redknapp's Hammers made the perfect start to the 1999/00 Premier League season, with this precious victory over London neighbours Tottenham Hotspur at the Boleyn Ground. While this was the Club's first league game of the new season, West Ham were well into their stride come 7 August, having already come through four Intertoto Cup clashes unscathed. With a total of just five goals in those European clashes, this rather went to form too, being settled by a solitary strike. A comparatively well-rested Spurs held firm for the best part of 45 minutes, before Frank Lampard struck the eventual winner on the stroke of half-time, much to the approval of most of the 26,010-strong crowd. As it turned out, this was the first of eleven home league wins that season, as Redknapp guided West Ham to a creditable ninth-place finish, just two points above Spurs.

West Ham United 1-0 Coventry City
Division One
23 August 1986
Fresh from the Club's best-ever league finish from the Boys of '86, West Ham United got the next season off to the perfect start by defeating Coventry City 1-0.
The goal came via a stunning free-kick from Tony Gale, and Coventry were unable to respond. The Hammers went top with an away win at Manchester United in their next fixture, although their form would not last over the season and they ended in 15th place.

West Ham United 2-1 Wigan Athletic
Premier League
16 August 2008
The 2008/09 season could hardly have started any more positively for the Hammers. Just ten minutes had been played by the time Dean Ashton fired Alan Curbishley's men into a 2-0 lead. The striker's goals with three and ten minutes on the clock put West Ham in a commanding position, one which Wigan could not recover from, despite Amr Zaki's 47th-minute strike. Curbishley would only remain at the Club for another month, however, and under Gianfranco Zola West Ham went on to finish ninth in the league.

West Ham United 1-0 Aston Villa
Premier League
18 August 2012
The last game comes from two years ago, as once again the Hammers continued the momentum of a promotion from the second tier by making a good start to life in the top flight. Aston Villa were the visitors to E13, but it would not be a happy trip as the Hammers sent them home pointless. Kevin Nolan scored the only goal of the game, turning home Ricardo Vaz Te's low cross with 40 minutes on the clock. British Olympians Nicola Adams, Mark Hunter, Andy Baddeley Jo Pavey and Yamile Aldama were also introduced to the crowd on a summer's afternoon to remember just six days after the London 2012 Olympic Games had ended.

Ironworks set for endurance row
The Thames Ironworks Heritage Trust is gearing up for a busy summer of fundraising

West Ham United's move to the Olympic Stadium is a move back home. Just ask the Thames Ironworks Heritage Trust.

Steeped in West Ham's shipbuilding beginnings, founder, chairman and lifelong Hammer Gavin Redknap has grand plans, culminating in Ironworks lifeboats taking to the River Lea as they did a century ago.
Launched in December, the Trust has intervened in the nick of time, with two of the last remaining Ironworks boats already back in West Ham hands. Once restored and water worthy, the Trust's boats could yet ferry supporters to and from the Olympic Stadium on matchday, rightly restoring the Ironworks to West Ham's here and now.
"It's a new start for the Club, but it's also a reminder that when we do bring these boats back, it's actually a move back home, in many ways, to where the Thames Ironworks originally were, on the banks of the River Lea," Redknap told West Ham TV.
"This is the last opportunity to save the history of the Ironworks and to restore some of the boats they made. We're talking about 100 years since something like this has been attempted in east London itself, so it's really important that we bring this back and place that stamp on the area.
"The drive has always come from West Ham fans, all the trustees are West Ham fans. It's really important that West Ham fans continue to support this, because first and foremost it's about our heritage."
Gavin Redknap TIHT
Redknap aboard the John Ryburn, the second of the Ironworks fleet
Patrick O'Connor is one such supporter itching to play his part and hopes to give the fundraising drive a considerable boost with an ambitious endurance row. Three five-man gigs will set off from Southend Pier on Saturday 2 August, embarking on a 38-mile journey taking them as close to the Olympic Stadium as possible.
While a row along the Thames may be an appealing exploit in itself, O'Connor maintains his motivations are very much West Ham driven.
"It's all about West Ham. It goes from the crossed hammers on the badge to the 'Up the Hammers' and 'Come on you Irons,' you just can't get away from it. West Ham are Thames Ironworks and vice versa. It will always be that way. It's great to somehow bring a bit of living history to the new Stadium.
"We heard about the project - we're West Ham through and through - and thought we've got to get involved, it's just too big an opportunity. I've got a reputation for coming up with stupid ideas, so let's get in a boat to the Olympic Stadium and, basically, that's it!
"It's going to be a hard slog, but it's for a great cause. I'm looking forward to the day, but I'm also really looking forward to seeing these boats finished, moored up at the Stadium and being able to brag to the grandkids saying we were part of that.
"The Ironworks lifeboats will be back on the water and I just think it's phenomenal. To be able to walk up to the best football ground in the country, as it will be, brand spanking new, and say 'here's our history,' it's here, it's around us. It's going to be great to have the old and the new together. It will be fantastic."
As part of reconciling the old with the new, the Trust plans to initially recruit half-a-dozen apprentices to restore the boats to their former glories. Redknap knows the process is likely to be a lengthy one, but one that merits both time and investment.
"We think that it's worth it because we're going to be employing a load of young people, getting them apprentice work and eventually giving them life-skills.
"We're looking to get six apprentices working on the boats themselves, though over time that will probably increase. When it comes to the service side of things, we're going to be giving kids jobs, teaching them how to master boats, teaching them how to give guided tours of the Olympic Park and so we are talking about eventually employing dozens of youngsters."
Such is the support behind the cause that rower O'Connor has had no trouble recruiting fellow oarsmen, admitting the West Ham fleet might have been bigger but for logistics. And however tough the task ahead is, the Trust's fundraiser-in-chief admits it bears little comparison to that which the original Ironworks lifeboat crews faced.
He added: "To be fair, when these lifeboats were first built, they were rowed in rough weather. They didn't go out for pleasure cruises. They were taken out in stormy seas to rescue sinking ships and those fellows rowed them. I think I'm a quite tasty rower but these guys, they were different gravy."

O'Connor, meanwhile, is banking on people's generosity of spirit to drive the Trust forward in the coming months, confident that his endurance row can spark interest, as well as donations.
"This row is not going to raise enough money to restore these on its own. But it's not just about raising funds, it's about raising awareness. We know we're onto something special here and I'm sure the more people that know about it, the more will want to get involved. If people want to help, contact the Trust, but also spread the word, tell people what it's all about."

You can follow the Thames Ironworks Heritage Trust on Facebook here, or visit the mydonate page for August's endurance row.

West Ham United at the World Cup - '86
Alvin Martin and Frank McAvennie were rewarded for a fine season by travelling to Mexico 1986

Alvin Martin and Frank McAvennie will never forget the experience of playing at the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. England centre-back Martin and Scotland striker Frank McAvennie had helped West Ham United to finish a record high of third in Division One in 1985/86, earning them both the opportunity to shine on football's biggest stage. Then 27, Martin had made his England debut against Brazil in 1981, but he missed the 1982 FIFA World Cup finals in Spain before forcing his way into Bobby Robson's thoughts for Mexico. After watching Terry Butcher and Terry Fenwick start England's three Group F matches against Portugal, Morocco and Poland, the Hammer was drafted into the starting XI at the expense of Fenwick for the Round of 16 tie with Paraguay in Mexico City.
England won comfortably, 3-0, with Gary Lineker scoring twice and Peter Beardsley once, to set up a quarter-final meeting with Maradona's Argentina.
Martin could have expected to keep his place for the last-eight clash, but instead Robson recalled Fenwick, Maradona scored one outstanding individual goal and one with his hand and, despite Lineker's late consolation, England were out. While Martin could be forgiven for being bitter about missing the opportunity to help England reach a FIFA World Cup semi-final, instead he appreciates the one chance he was given to appear at the finals. "I had 22 years as a club player at West Ham, but people around the country will always recognise you more for your international experiences," said Martin, whose 17th and final England cap came in a 1-0 friendly defeat in Sweden in September 1986. "I had the experience of playing at the World Cup in 1986, which I shall never forget. Sir Bobby Robson picked me against Paraguay in the second round and then left me out against Argentina in the quarter-finals. "I still look back and wonder why I was dropped, but Maradona would have done the same to me as he did to the other defenders that day!"

McAvennie's Mexico 1986 experience was even briefer, lasting just 59 minutes and two substitute appearances in total as Scotland were eliminated at the group stage. The blond-haired forward had been capped just twice - in the two-legged World Cup qualifying Play-Off victory over Australia - when he boarded the plane with the Tartan Army. While McAvennie hoped to partner Charlie Nicholas, manager Alex Ferguson had other ideas, picking Dundee United's Paul Sturrock alongside the Arsenal man. "I had scored 29 goals for West Ham that season. I was on fire and only Gary Lineker, with one goal more than me, could better my record," McAvennie told the Daily Record in a 2010 interview. "In my mind I was a certainty to start up front with Charlie Nicholas, particularly after scoring the goal at Hampden that had beaten Australia and taken us to the World Cup as play-off winners. "But Fergie had other ideas. He went with Paul Sturrock, who I don't think had scored 29 goals in his career up to that point."

Even face-to-face talks with Ferguson failed to earn the then 26-year-old a starting place, and he had to make do with substitute appearances in the Group E defeats by Denmark and West Germany. "I took my grievance to Alex. He said to me, 'I'm the manager and I pick the team'. I replied, 'I'm the player left out and I don't have to agree with you'. "We didn't score a goal while going down to Denmark in our first match and I think the press attention devoted to Charlie and me before that match might have done for me."

With Scotland needing to win to have any chance of progressing to the last 16, McAvennie was then left out altogether as ten-man Uruguay held Ferguson's men to a goalless draw in their final group match. While he was again disappointed to be overlooked, the West Ham man was not susprised. "I know why I got the heave from the team and the bench," he continued. "I'd questioned the manager's judgment and paid the price by being dropped. One goal in three games told its own story and that's why the memory of 1986 will always be tinged with sadness for me. "It was fantastic for me to be part of a World Cup squad but we shot ourselves in the foot that year."

Cheikhou Kouyate completes West Ham move
Filed: Tuesday, 17th June 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham have completed the €9million signing of Anderlecht defender Cheikhou Kouyate. According to De Standaard, the Senegal international has signed a four-year contract with the Hammers after successfully completing a medical yesterday. The Hammers are reported to have paid circa €9million - approximately £7.2million - for the highly-rated 24-year-old, who has been on West Ham's radar for several weeks. Anderlecht are set to replace Kouyate with Polish international Gregorz Krychowiak, who was also watched extensively by West Ham in recent months. Although at the time of writing the signing is yet to be confirmed by West Ham United, Kouyate becomes the club's second new arrival of the summer following the capture of Argentinian forward Mauro Zarate last month.

Cheikhou 'Wile E' Kouyate: Season stats

2013/14: Anderlecht P46 G1 Y4 R2
2012/13: Anderlecht P45 G1 Y7 R1
2011/12: Anderlecht P48 G0 Y4 R0
2010/11: Anderlecht P33 G2 Y6 R0
2009/10: Anderlecht P33 G2 Y2 R0
2008/09: KV Kortkijk P30 G3 Y2 R1
2007/08: Brussels FC P10 G0 Y1 R0

By Sean Whetstone 17 Jun 2014 at 20:32
West Ham Till I Die

Former Hammer Pablo Armero gave Colombia the lead in the fifth minute against Greece last Saturday. Armero's scuffed shot was not the finest finish we have seen in the World Cup so far, but his elaborate dance celebration in front of the Colombia bench was certainly one of the best celebrations so far. That was the 27 year old's second International goal in 54 appearances Colombia. While at West Ham Armero told the official website "I am a left full-back, who likes to work in defence. I am a good defender, strong and quick, but I also like attacking. I like to go to the front and make good crosses. I will give good defending to the team, and good attacking too and hopefully I will help my team mates to win games."

Armero impressed well in training at West Ham and the talk of a permanent deal at the end of the season died out after he broke into the first team but managed demonstrated the odd defensive lapse which helped cool interest in a permanent deal. According to rumour, Razvan Rat who was later replace Amero was disposed of because of his failure to adhere to instruction, and getting into a habit of being too far up field, and too far out of position. Next season with our new attacking coach and entertaining football promised it is interesting that we are still not keen on full backs go like to go up the pitch too far. If we wanted entertainment Armero's dance routine could replace the Hammerettes at half time.

By Sean Whetstone 17 Jun 2014 at 18:00
West Ham Till I Die

Former Hammer Valon Behrami is refusing to discuss a possible Premier League return until after the World Cup.

The midfielder – whose tackle for Switzerland in the build-up to the winning goal in Sunday's World Cup game against Ecuador was arguably the best defensive action of his career showed he still has what he takes.

His departure came in 2011 as he claimed home sickness and injuries which eventually saw West Ham sell him for £1.7m to Fiorentiana, a £2.3m loss on what we paid Lazio in 2008. He has been recently linked to Spurs and Inter Milan but has dismissed transfer talk until after the tournament. Levy has admired Behrami for years and is likely to tempt the 29 year old with a bid during the summer.

He is said to be unhappy at Napoli with limited opportunities in the first team under Rafa Benetiz. The Switzerland international has started just 15 Serie A games for Napoli last season failing to find the net in any of them. He is also upset after being robbed twice in Naples. He was robbed at gunpoint by two men on a scooter of his £5,000 Hublot watch as he sat in his car and this year he had his car stolen.

Behrami spent almost three seasons at West Ham making 63 appearances and scoring 4 goals once said he does not think that he would have enjoyed the direct style with which Sam Allardyce has become associated."I don't really like it because I like to play like Zola wants to play — every time with the ball, every time try to be attractive as well,"

I understand a return to West Ham is extremely unlikely considering the way he engineered his move away from the Hammers in 2011.

By Sean Whetstone 17 Jun 2014 at 16:08
West Ham Till I Die

Leyton Orient midfielder Moses Odubajo is attracting attention from West Ham and Spurs.The 20-year old winger enjoyed an impressive season for the O's in League One and has been scouted extensively by Premier League clubs, with Spurs and West Ham leading the chase for his signature. Odubajo is under contract with Orient for another year but the club are expected to offer him new terms in order to try and persuade him to stay, despite the talk of top-flight interest, with the asking price likely to be around the £4million mark. Odubajo scored 12 goals in all competitions for Orient last term and was a regular as they just missed out on promotion to the Championship, losing to Rotherham United in the play-off final on penalties. Do you think Barry Hearn will be keen to do a deal with us?

By Sean Whetstone 17 Jun 2014 at 14:00
West Ham Till I Die

West Ham hope to complete the signing of Anderlecht's Cheikhou Kouyate today or tomorrow following a medical at Holly House Hospital in Buckhurst Hill yesterday.

The medical was confirmed by WHTID author EXEmployee yesterday and an announcement on his signing will probably be made by the Chairman's son's Jack Sullivan on twitter later before official confirmation on some hours later.

The 6' 4" player is expected to sign a four year deal with West Ham costing an initial fee of £6.8m which is just under Anderlecht valuation of 9 million euros.

The 24 year centre back who can also play in a defensive midfield role was being monitored by a number of clubs across Europe including Valencia, Arsenal, Everton and Manchester City but it now appears West Ham have won the race to sign him..He started his professional career in Brussels coming through the youth ranks before joining Anderlecht in 2008. Kouyaté has made 145 appearances for Anderlecht.

Speaking to an Anderlecht supporter last month called @ForumAnderlecht over twitter he told me "He will not stay [at Anderlecht] Galatasary did an offer and he refused. Valencia did big offer, he doesnt know. He wants premier league. If West Ham pays the same as Valencia,he will choose West Ham I think. If they do offer of 8 m euro's, he will go"

His last goal came on 15th May away against Waregem in the play off finals where he grabbed the opener on 15 minutes. he was in this same match where he made his miss of the season. Anderlecht went on to win that game 2-1.

Kouyate received 2 red cards and 4 yellows last season so he will have to watch his discipline in the Premier League.

Ironically it appears to be Valencia's financial troubles which seem to have helped persuade Anderlecht to sell to the hammers. Spanish clubs have a reputation in delaying payment of transfer fees despite giving financial guarantees. The player is also know to have preferred a move to England rather than Spain.

West Ham want Marcos Alonso for bargain £1.5million as Spanish left-back loves life in England
Jun 17, 2014 22:30 By Alan Nixon
The Mirror

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is ready to swoop for Spanish left-back Marcos Alonso - and give him his third spell in England. The Hammers are close to agreeing a bargain deal for Fiorentina defender Alonso, who played for Bolton and was at Sunderland on loan last season. Alonso is prepared to quit the Serie A side permanently and talks are advanced on a move to London. Allardyce needs a left back after losing George McCartney at the end of his contract and talented Alonso fits the bill. He hopes to agree a fee of around £1.5 million for Alonso, who has settled in English football and helped Sunderland to survive in the Premier League and reach the Capital One Cup Final last season. The cash-conscious club switched to Alonso after being priced out of a deal for French left back Timothée Kolodziejczak at Nice.

West Ham's David Sullivan denies undermining Allardyce by hiring attack coach Teddy Sheringham
Jun 17, 2014 22:00 By Darren Lewis
The Mirror

Like everyone else, David Sullivan has been enjoying this most entertaining of World Cups. The feast of football in Brazil has come in stark contrast to the famine at Sullivan's West Ham United last season which left fans unhappy, the club frustrated and manager Sam Allardyce's job in serious doubt. Faced with open revolt from the Hammers' fans demanding Big Sam's sacking, the end-of-season review normally conducted by Sullivan, his co-owner David Gold and vice-chairman Karren Brady took on a far greater significance. But they stood by their man, and Sullivan dismisses the idea they bottled it because top-flight survival is all-important for the planned move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016. "You can't just look to stay up," he said. "It is not acceptable to our supporters to say, 'We've survived. We've had a very good campaign.' "We are not Norwich. We are not Fulham. We are not Reading. We are West Ham United. "Our supporters are realistic. They know it is a huge and difficult task to break into the top six. But we must be aiming for that, even if we don't achieve it."

They have recruited an attacking coach – former Irons and England striker Teddy Sheringham – to boost Allardyce's coaching staff. Yet even that has been interpreted as the rug being pulled from under the feet of a man famed for doing things his way. Sullivan disgrees, though. "We had a lot of people approach us to become our attacking coach and Sam picked the one he wanted," he said. "Yes, we suggested the idea, but Sam liked it. "We didn't undermine him at all.
"I think he has analysed the performance of the team last year and agreed that we would like to score more goals. It was a weakness of the team and he has brought in an expert to try and improve that. "Teddy has played at the highest level. If you combine his game intelligence with the level he has played at, I do not believe that he won't improve our attacking ideas, whether it is the way we take our corners, our free-kicks, or just our overall strategy. "I believe we will be a better team for having him as part of our management set-up."

Sheringham, 48, spent three years at West Ham as a player between 2004 and 2007 and returns on a non-contract basis. The former Manchester United and Tottenham striker, who clinched the Treble with the Old Trafford giants in 1999, scored 30 goals for the Hammers in just 49 appearances. He will now look to inspire an Upton Park attack that managed just 40 in 38 Premier League matches last season. Sullivan added: "I don't think we have undermined Sam at all with this. We've been very honest with him. He is in the last year of his contract and he knows we have to have a better performance because the fans won't stand for it otherwise. He is not stupid."

Questioned about the view that perhaps the Hammers' hierarchy are being dictated to by the fans too much, Sullivan said: "It's quite the opposite. They voted 80-20 per cent to sack the manager. We didn't sack the manager."

And asked who decides whether the football is entertaining enough next season, he smiled: "There will be games where the going gets tough. But equally I hope we whack somebody 4-0 and put on a display. So judge us over the season."

Hull v Irons on Day 1 says leaked fixture list
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 17, 2014 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

The Hammers will start the next campaign away at Hull City …assuming that a leaked fixture list to Twitter can be believed! An image doing the rounds on the social network purports to show the opening day fixtures including a mouthwatering clash which sees Arsenal travelling to Anfield. The official fixture list is due to be announced tomorrow morning at 9am, so it remains to be seen if these fixtures could turn out to be true.

Irons question alleged Kouyate 'statement'
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 17, 2014 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

West Ham United are tonight unsure whether an alleged public farewell message from potential £7.5 million signing Cheikhou Kouyaté is genuine! The defender appeared to post an emotional farewell on a page which possessed a mere 500 plus 'likes' - hardly the norm for a top European player. As reported on ClaretandHugh, the player's advisers have been in talks with the club all day and a deal is close after interest from Valencia and others had looked to derail it. A Hammers source commented: "We don't know if that supposed FB thing is for real. It looks dubious as there are very few likes for a top footballer after all. "Anyway the deal is not done and if and when it is the the first place it would be announced is on the selling club's website."

Cheikhou Kouyate 'clinches £7m move to West Ham' as Hammers shape up for top six
Towering Anderlecht centre back set to bolter Sam Allardyce's back line
Hammers saw off competition from Valencia for Kouyate's signature
Second West Ham summer signing after Argentinian striker Mauro Zarate
PUBLISHED: 18:03, 17 June 2014 | UPDATED: 18:03, 17 June 2014
Daily Mail

West Ham have signed Anderlecht centre back Cheikhou Kouyate on a four-year-deal after completing a medical, according to reports in Belgium. Valencia had shown interest in the 24-year-old, who can also play in midfield, but the Hammers appear to have seen off the Spanish side's interest to secure Kouyate's signature. Kouyate has spent his entire senior career in Belgium but now looks set to join Sam Allardyce's side for a fee of around £7million as they look to secure a top-six finish in line with co-owner David Gold's aspirations. The Senegal international passed his medical and put pen to paper on a four-year deal on Tuesday to secure a dream move to the Premier League. It looks set to be a summer of big change for the Hammers after a disappointing season with fans unhappy at the lack of progress under Allardyce's stewardship. Teddy Sheringham has joined the Upton Park outfit as an attacking coach, while Argentinian striker Mauro Zarate joined on a three-year deal from Velez Sarsfield. Allardyce also has his eye on further strengthening his defence, with Manchester City defenders Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards potential targets.


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