Monday, June 2

Daily WHUFC News - 2nd June 2014

World Cup Countdown - Sir Geoff Hurst
Hat-trick hero Sir Geoff Hurst kicks-off West Ham United's FIFA World Cup

If anyone is qualified to talk about the FIFA World Cup finals, it is 1966
hat-trick hero Sir Geoff Hurst. Sir Geoff, of course, fired England to their
one and only World Cup triumph on home soil 48 years ago, lilfting the
trophy alongside West Ham United team-mates Bobby Moore and Martin Peters.
Now 72, Sir Geoff recently returned to Chadwell Heath to take a trip down
memory lane, revealing that the goals that secured the Jules Rimet Trophy
were the result of hours of hard work on there under visionary Hammers
manager Ron Greenwood. "The significant things we did for West Ham and
England in big games and cup finals were due a great deal, if not all, to
Ron Greenwood's brilliant coaching," said Sir Geoff. "Much of the stuff we
did and goals we scored in the quarter-final against Argentina and in the
final against West Germany were a direct result of what we worked on, talked
about and thought about at Chadwell Heath. "It had a huge impact and having
three players from one club also made a huge difference. People said myself
and Martin had a telepathic understanding, but really it was because we had
been playing and training together since the age of 16, so over the years
you developed an understanding that we took to another level when we played
for England. "Some of the goals we scored between the three of us were a
direct result of what we did at West Ham, so it was very enjoyable and

While Hurst was an established England international by the time the finals
kicked-off in June 1966, club-mate Peters had only forced his way into Alf
Ramsey's squad the previous month. By 30 July, he had scored England's
second goal in their 4-2 final victory over West Germany at Wembley and was
a World Cup winner!

Sir Geoff is hoping one of Roy Hodgson's 2014 squad can make a similarly
huge impact in Brazil, with the five-strong Liverpool contingent among those
who could do just that, as long as they are not played out of position.
"Martin didn't play his first game for England until May 1966, when he made
his debut in a 2-0 win over Yugoslavia, then he went on and scored what was
almost the winner in the World Cup final," said the West Ham legend, who
scored 249 goals in 503 games in Claret and Blue. "I do think having five
Liverpool players could make a difference, having had the experience of the
three of us doing it ourselves. I think it's an important area if you have
three or four players from one club who can play together, because it adds
that cohesion that it is difficult to infuse in a national squad which only
meets up every few months. "Alf Ramsey had a way of playing, which was
4-4-2, and he simply selected players from the clubs to fit into his
pattern. All he asked us to do was to play as we did at our clubs. "We've
seen Steven Gerrard, our best player of the last ten years, who at one stage
was playing out wide left for England, which was astonishing. He has only
played in his best position a handful of times, which is poor. You didn't
play Bobby Moore at right-back or Jimmy Greaves at left-back - you play the
key players in their best positions and fit the other players around them,
which is what Alf did. "It's nice to see Steven now doing so well and that's
important for England."

Boa happy for Hammers#
Ex-West Ham United player Luis Boa Morte was pleased to see his old Club
stay in the Barclays Premier League

Luis Boa Morte was pleased to see West Ham United steer safely clear of
relegation at the end of the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season.
However, the former Hammers and Portugal international forward admitted to
having mixed emotions as another of his old clubs, Fulham, were relegated to
the Championship. Concentrating on West Ham, Boa Morte was an interested
observer as Sam Allardyce guided his squad out of the bottom three to the
safe waters of mid-table come the season's end. "They did well to turn
things around so I am pleased for them that they managed to stay in the
Premier League," said the 36-year-old, who pulled on his boots again
recently for the F30 Legends Tournament at Brisbane Road. "People were
saying that they were going to go down, but they didn't so that's one more
London team that has stayed up when another of my old London clubs, Fulham,
went down. "West Ham did well to get themselves up to 13th in the end."

Boa Morte, who also represented Arsenal, Southampton and Chesterfield during
his playing days, said West Ham remaining in the Premier League will become
increasingly important as the Club plans to move to the Olympic Stadium in
2016. "They know what they are looking for and what they are trying to do in
moving to the Olympic Stadium, so it will be in their best interests to be
in the Premier League rather than the Championship. "They managed to do that
last season, so fair play to them."

While the Olympic Stadium is West Ham's future, Boa Morte retains fond
memories of his time at the Boleyn Ground - most notably the 'Great Escape'
that he helped the Club to pull off following his arrival in January 2007.
In all, Boa Morte made 109 appearances in Claret and Blue, scoring twice,
but it was his early months at the Club that he remembers most clearly. "My
favourite memory of Upton Park was the first six months I was at the Club,
when we had a very tough run but we kept ourselves in the Premier League."

Ernie eager for West Ham United visit
Wellington Phoenix head coach Ernie Merrick is relishing the visit of West
Ham United to New Zealand

Wellington Phoenix head coach Ernie Merrick is relishing the visit of West
Ham United to New Zealand. The Hammers take on the Phoenix in Auckland as
part of their two-match Football United Tour of the country on 23 July
before tackling Sydney FC in Wellington three days later. As part of his
preparations for West Ham's visit, Merrick visited Chadwell Heath in the
closing weeks of the 2013/14 season before watching the Hammers register a
2-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Tottenham Hotspur at the Boleyn
Ground. Originally from Scotland, the former Melbourne Victory and Hong Kong
coach enjoyed getting up close to Sam Allardyce and his squad in their
working environment.
"My visit was about professional development and, since your boys are coming
over to play against us, I thought it would be great to make contact and
have a look at your pre-match preparations, game analysis and the final
coaching session before a match," the 61-year-old told West Ham TV. "I
really learned a lot, actually. It's been a real insight into life at
English Premier League level."

While Merrick enjoyed watching Big Sam and his staff in action, he is a
successful coach in his own right, having won the A-League twice with
Melbourne Victory and been named A-League Coach of the Year on two
occasions. Now preparing for his second season with the Phoenix, Merrick
lifted the lid on his nomadic career path. "I was a very average footballer
who went over to Australia in the 1970s and never came back," he revealed.
"I've lived over there for quite a while and more recently I moved over to
New Zealand to coach the Wellington Phoenix, where I have been for about ten
months. "I'm looking forward to my second season there and I'm a big
believer in pre-season preparation and conditioning and setting the team
strategy-wise for matches, so to play a team like West Ham is tremendous
preparation for us."

Wellington did not enjoy great success in 2013/14, finishing second bottom
of the A-League standings, but Merrick is hopeful of better performances and
results when the new campaign kicks-off in October. "We didn't do very well
last season. We turned over half the squad, but we showed signs of what we
are capable of during the middle of the season, when we had a very good run,
but we finished second bottom. We hope to improve on that in a big way next
"There is a lot of newness about the Phoenix - we have new owners, have
turned over more than half of the squad and have a lot of new staff along
the lines of improving our coaching, analysis and strength and conditioning.
"We will play a more possession-based, attacking style of football so it
will take a little time to come together, but there are signs next year will
be much better for us."

West Ham's visit is just part of a four-month long pre-season schedule for
the Phoenix which will also include a fixture with Barclays Premier League
side Newcastle United. Merrick's side face the Hammers at Eden Park in
Auckland on Wednesday 23 July and it is a date that the Scot and football
fans in New Zealand are really looking forward to. "It's a good squad to
bring over and I think you'll pull in the big crowds in New Zealand. I'm
sure the fans are looking forward to seeing a team like West Ham touring. A
Premier League side has never visited New Zealand before to play matches
there and now we have two coming in yourselves and Newcastle. "Football is a
game that is growing in New Zealand and Wellington Phoenix are the only club
playing in the A-League, so the sport and the club are extremely popular

Football United Tour
Wellington Phoenix v West Ham United
Wednesday 23 July 2014, 7.30pm (local time)
Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
Sydney FC v West Ham United
Saturday 26 July 2014, 2pm (local time)
Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand


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