Friday, April 24

Daily WHUFC News - 24th April 2015

Season Tickets 2016/17 - Join the Priority List

Following Wednesday's announcement of Season Ticket prices for the 2016/17
season at the new Stadium, supporters can now join the Season Ticket
Priority List.

For anyone without a Season Ticket for the final season at the Boleyn
Ground, this is the only way to guarantee priority when it comes to 2016/17
Season Tickets.

Academy Members can join the Priority List free of charge, while non-members
are required to pay a £10 deposit to join. The deposit is non-refundable but
will be redeemed against the purchase of a 2016/17 Season Ticket.

You can join the Season Ticket Priority List now at

Ladies ready for Seagulls test

West Ham Ladies manager Julian Dicks is hoping his side can end their home
campaign with a positive result against Brighton Ladies this weekend. Last
Sunday, the Hammers failed to extend their unbeaten run to four games when
they suffered a 2-1 defeat at Rush Green against Lewes Ladies. Dicks' side
have already faced the Seagulls twice this season, losing 6-2 away in the FA
Women's Cup Second Round before falling to a 3-0 defeat in the league.

With Brighton now chasing the FA Women's Premier League South title and
Dicks is taking lessons he learnt as a player to help his girls achieve a
result this weekend. "Brighton are a fantastic team and quite rightly
chasing the title. We've played them twice already and in all fairness, they
deserved to beat us both times because they were impressive on the ball. "In
the first game, we went 2-0 ahead and went on to lose 6-2 because we stopped
playing. Then, the second time we went down there, we didn't learn from our
mistakes and Brighton punished us. "Whenever you come up against a good
team, you have to get under them quickly and work hard from the first
whistle. We've done that against other teams this season and got results
from them. "When I was playing for West Ham, we came up against Liverpool
and Manchester United and the way we got results was to put them under
pressure and make them work when we had the ball. I never cared how good the
players are on the other team because I knew that if I put them under
pressure, there was a chance they'd misplace their pass.
"That's the advice that I give my girls now because it works. Sometimes when
my girls get tired, they kick the ball long thinking that will give them a
rest. Giving the ball away only means you have to chase the opposition and
fend off another attack, whereas if you keep the ball and pass it, the job
is much simpler."

Dicks was unhappy with Sunday's defeat to Lewes Ladies. However, the former
West Ham left-back believes the girls have a good chance to redeem
themselves. "In the first half, we played okay," continued Dicks. "We were
passing the ball around well and we were 1-0 up thanks to Emma Sherwood's
goal. Really, at that point, the game was ours to win. "In the second half,
the girls came out and did the opposite. It's disappointing because after
getting seven points from nine in a single week against tough opposition, we
then went and lost to a team with less points than us. "With this being our
last home game of the season, it would be nice to finish with a good result.
As always, I'm looking for a good performance. When you come up against a
good team like Brighton, we need to be fit and work ard throughout the whole
match if we want to get the result. "If you look at the league table, I
think it's obvious that we won't finish any higher or any lower than where
we are now. Having said that, our last two league fixtures are against
Brighton and Portsmouth and they are both pushing to win the league. "We
can have a real impact on who wins the league. For me, Brighton are the
better side but I just want us to win both games and finish our campaign
positively. Overall, Dicks is pleased with the progression that his team,
culminating with the Capital Women's Cup Final against Charlton next month.
"This season is quickly coming to an end and I am very proud of the girls
for the progression they've all achieved. Last season was rough for them and
even one place higher this season would've been good, but finishing sixth
with a proper cup final is a very good achievement. "I know that I'm not
the easiest person to work under because I'll always speak my mind and
demand more from my players, but it's only because I want the best for them
week after week. "We have the London FA Capital Women's Cup Final to look
forward too and a win against Brighton on Sunday can give the girls real
momentum for the game against Charlton. "Having said that, the girls
shouldn't need to be pumped up for a cup final as the prize of victory and
silverware for a second season running should be enough."

Kick off on Sunday 26 April 2015 at Rush Green is 2pm. Admission is priced
at £3 for adults and £1 for children. Parking is FREE.

Alternatively, keep an eye on the Official West Ham United Ladies Twitter
account @westhamladies for LIVE updates throughout the day.

Cullen up for City challenge

Development Squad captain Josh Cullen has called on his side to turn
performances into points when they face Manchester City's Elite Development
Squad on Friday night at the Boleyn Ground.

In recent games against Manchester United and Norwich City, the young
hammers have played well yet have little to show for their efforts, losing
3-2 and 2-1 respectively.

Reflecting on the narrow defeat to the Canaries last Friday, which saw
Jordan Brown score his third goal of the season, Cullen said: "We were
unlucky to lose to Norwich on Friday night, we have to look to bounce back,
we know they're going to be tough but if we do the right things we can get a

"Results wise it has been disappointing, if you look at Norwich last Friday
and Manchester United the game before, we perhaps haven't got the points we
deserve. But we can't keep thinking about that we need move on. We need to
put that right and make sure we're resilient as a team."

Looking ahead to Friday's game with Manchester City, Cullen is expecting a
tough encounter against Patrick Viera's side.

The Citizens currently sit in fifth place in the Barclays U21 Premier League
table, however they would top the table should they win their games in hand.

"They're going to be a strong side, I think their U18s played in the Youth
Cup on Monday night so you can see they've got a strong youth set up.

"I played against them earlier in the season, we were unlucky again not to
win. We were 1-0 up right up until the last minute, but they scored a last
minute equaliser. That was against probably their strongest side so we did
well up there. That should give us good belief for the game on Friday

The Dev Squad's encounter with the Sky Blues sees the hosts return to action
at the Boleyn Ground rather than their regular home at Rush Green.

Speaking about playing at the iconic venue, Cullen continued: "It's always
nice playing at Upton Park. It's obviously an experience that every player
wants, it's a special place with a special environment."

With just three league games left of the season after the City game, Cullen
reflected on a challenging season for both him and his team.

"It's been up and down for me. I thought I had a decent pre-season and I
started the season well but then got injured, I was out for four months
which was tough to deal with.

"I've been back for a while, I feel like I'm performing well. I just want to
keep on doing well and push myself further and try and get into the first

"As for my Dev Squad Player of the Year? Probably Lewis Page, he's been a
mainstay at left-back for the majority of the season, he's done well. If you
look at it you couldn't say any winger has got the better of him and he
offers a lot going forward, I would say he has stood out for me."

The West ham United Development Squad play Manchester City's Elite
Development Squad on Friday 24 April at the Boleyn Ground. Kick off is 7pm,
admission is free for all Season Ticket olders and U16s, £3 for adults.

Live updates will be available on and @whufc_official as well
as live streaming on our YouTube channel.

Big Sam on: QPR

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce faced the press ahead of Saturday's
game with Queens Park Rangers.

Find out what he had to say on Aaron Cresswell's future, injury news and
rising to the challenge QPR pose.
Morning Sam, what is the team news ahead of QPR this weekend?

SA: "We still have the same injury list as we had last week. Andy Carroll is
out until next season, whether we have Diafra Sakho back before the end of
the season is touch and go. The same goes for James Tomkins and Doneil
Henry. Guy Demel picked up a calf injury so he probably won't be available.
Apart from that everyone else is OK."
Karren Brady has been speaking recently praising the job you've done here
and saying contract negotiations will happen at the end of the season, does
that put to rest the speculation around your future?

SA: "It doesn't make too much difference because I'm in constant contact
with David Sullivan and Karren. People think we don't communicate but that's
not the case. The focus for me is getting the team winning football matches
again. Not winning has been a massive disappointment of late and it's my
responsibility to get us back to winning games."

"The performance in the first half against Manchester City and the second
half against Stoke City wasn't good enough. Even though we were seconds away
from beating Stoke, I'm still interested in the performance levels. We have
to make sure results don't affect our confidence."
Does the uncertainty around your future have effect on the players?

SA: "I would sincerely hope that it doesn't. If it has I'm not really sure,
you'd have to ask the players. I think dealing with the raised expectations
has been a problem.

"We haven't lived up to that expectation or coped with it as well as I
thought we might. There are several reasons for that, reaching the level of
football we played, injuries have played a part as well as fatigue for some
of the players who have been playing in the Premier League for the first

"I think that is to be expected, and overall they have performed better than
we expected. It's been a great experience for them and hopefully they will
learn from it and improve next season.

"The fact is, we wouldn't be talking about that if we got the points we
should've got. We should be on 50 points or more and we would be looking
pretty good for a strong end to the season. We've put pressure on ourselves,
we must accept that pressure and deliver."
There's been speculation about Aaron Cresswell's future, he's said that he
is very happy here and that he has years left on his contract. Is West Ham
the best place for him at the moment?

SA: "Yes. As far as I'm aware no one has bid for Aaron, it's pure rumours
and speculation from people in the media who need space to fill. My main
concern is that it doesn't concern Aaron and to make sure he keeps playing
like he has been doing.

"We've had problems like that before, particularly in transfer windows. Who
knows what will happen in the summer, someone asked me if he has £25 million
pound buyout clause and it was the first I'd heard of it, so there are a lot
of rumours going around and not much facts."
Is he better off staying here?

SA: "There's no doubt about that. He's only in year one of life in the
Premier League. It's an ongoing experience where you discover what level
you're at. Next season Aaron will have to learn and grow from that
experience. He can't rest on his laurels and think 'Yes I'm here, I've made
it'. I've seen that before where year two is a bit of a disaster. His
professionalism will come into play and I'm sure he'll be able to handle
What is there still for you to achieve this season?

SA: "We wanted to finish with more points than we've ever managed and we
should've achieved that a long time ago. After Christmas we were in a good
position and we thought we might be able achieve a bit more than that. But
we've made life difficult for ourselves."

"We have to be at our best on Saturday because it's a London derby and QPR
are fighting for their lives. We experienced that at Leicester. We will have
to match the fight that QPR will bring and also Burnley next weekend. The
players have to realise they're not on the beach yet, far from it."
When you look back at the season as whole, has real progress been made?

SA: "There's no doubt about that, we're a much more fluent and attacking
side. We've scored more goals and our only problem has been the lack of
clean sheets. We've only got seven, and if we are going to be a top eight
side we need to improve on that. We should be in double figures by now, this
time last year we had thirteen clean sheets. Now we've only got seven and
it's a major reason why we've failed to win recently."
The new Stadium is on the horizon, the new season tickets have been
announced, it's a bright time to be involved at West Ham. Would you like to
lead the team into the new Stadium?

SA: "I've always said that I would like to but you never know in football
how long your tenure is. There's been 40 changes of manager this season, the
average tenure in football in the Premier League is just two years and it's
getting harder for managers to keep their jobs. It's a unique time for West
Ham and we're heading in the right direction, the way we wanted to go when I

How do you keep the players motivated at the point of the season?

SA: "Put them in the ice bath! That should wake them up. But seriously the
focus should be that we want to finish on a high. People think we're having
a bad season because our bad run is coming at the end of the season.
Finishing the season well, gives everyone a high going into the summer."

Allardyce laughs off £25million price tag
Filed: Thursday, 23rd April 2015
By: Staff Writer

Sam Allardyce has dismised reports suggesting that West Ham have place a
£25million price tag on Aaron Cresswell. The left-back - who cost West Ham
£4million last summer - has turned a number of heads in recent weeks and
months with a series of strong performances for the Hammers. Both Manchester
City and Chelsea are reported to have expressed an interest in signing the
25-year-old, Liverpool-born defender.
However reports that West Ham have told potential suitors to come back with
an offer close to £25million were laughed off today by Sam Alllardyce, who
said: "I have heard somebody say we have put a buyout on him. "Well, that's
the first I know about it. I haven't heard anything from the owners about
that. As far as I am concerned, no-one has bid for Aaron. So, it's all pure
rumours and speculation, which has to fill the huge amount of media space
that you have to fill. "Somebody may have whispered in your ear that clubs
are interested in one of our players and that shifts across the board.
Players can lose that focus when there is rumour. I need to make sure Aaron
does what he can all season - and performs on a consistent basis."

Allardyce also warned Cresswell against following the likes of Scott
Sinclair, Adam Johnson and former Hammer Scott Parker - promising young
English players whose careers faltered at top clubs - by urging him to
remain at the Boleyn. "Is he better off staying here? There's no doubt about
that, because he's in year one of the Premier League," said Allardyce.
"Aaron now needs to grow from that experience. "We have all seen players do
that and then in year two it's more of a disaster than the impressive first
year. "His challenge is to continue to work as hard than he has this year,
not to rest on his laurels and not to think that he's made it."

Why the cynics are wrong to attack 'affordable football'
Filed: Thursday, 23rd April 2015
By: Tom Kilbey

By now we've all read the headlines; "Affordable football for all"...
"Season ticket prices slashed".

David Gold went on record last night saying the decision is "about giving
something back" to the fans. Karren Brady was more up front, stating that
the policy was made with the intention of selling out the stadium every

So what is really going on behind the scenes? Here, I strip back all the
emotions and sentiments associated with my club and our current stadium, and
take an objective view of the move to the Olympic Stadium, and the recently
announced ticket prices.

Most would agree that the board have done a fantastic job since taking over.
I think that's beyond dispute; we've sorted out our club finances,
stabilised in the Premier League, had a (albeit brief) period dreaming about
European Football, and our strongest side is almost unrecognisable from the
state it was in when they took over.

However, I am constantly irritated by David Gold's rhetoric on twitter. In
essence, I believe he thinks the average West Ham fan is a bit thick. He
makes brash statements that are often riddled with contradictions, and
regularly employs a holier-than-thou attitude when responding to critics.

His latest comments about "giving something back to the fans" is the latest
example of this. Andy Goldstein was scathing on Talksport yesterday evening,
arguing that fans who believe this are "deluded" and the sole intention of
reducing ticket prices is to increase revenue. He blasted Gold, pointing out
that the fact ticket prices are increasing prices next year shows that the
decision has nothing to do with fans.

Now this is usually a line of cynicism that would have had me nodding in
agreement. But it didn't. An oversimplification it may be, but I am slowly
coming to split football fans who regularly attend games into two
fundamental categories. Those who view our club as a business, however
horrifying that may be, and those who view our club as some kind of
non-profit organisation.

As a realist, I am unashamedly in the former category, accepting that the
consequence of multi-million pound TV deals and player transfers has
inevitably contributed to the creation of a profit-driven organisation we
call our football club. Make no mistake, we've done a bloody good job of it.

Brady has worked miracles reducing our debt, and late last year we reported
a record level of profit. While this has been going on behind the scenes, we
have assembled a squad that was recognised as the best West Ham side for
many years before our slide began, attendances at Upton Park have never been
higher, and we are on the verge of entering into a stadium that is genuinely
shaping up to be, to use Brady's expression, "world-class".

Don't get me wrong, it would be incredible for the club to be run purely for
the fans, with tickets being given away for peanuts, whilst still remaining
competitive at the top level. People often cite German ticket prices, but
fail to realise that there would have to be a fundamental shake-up across
the whole country for this to become even remotely plausible. And the truth
is, most clubs wouldn't dream of playing ball, even if West Ham themselves

The harsh reality is the romantic age of football at the top level is over.
Gold & Sullivan are supporters of the club, but they are businessmen first,
and football fans second. The decision to move to the Olympic Stadium would
probably have been the biggest no-brainer in their financial careers.

It provides the platform and the potential to transform us from a
run-of-the-mill Premier League side to something much bigger. Every decision
being made regarding the stadium, from the new badge to the huge numbers of
corporate seats, has profitability at mind.

Goldstein asked the question: "Why don't G&S reduce prices next season if
the board had the fans best interests at heart?" The answer is blatantly

Demand for tickets next season will be at an all-time high, while supply
remains the same. Therefore, simple economics says that in order to maximise
profit, the club should increase prices. The decision is financial, not
romantic. What would be the point in selling 20,000 season tickets for £400
each, when the club know full well they can sell the same number for £700

Of course all this changes when we move into the Olympic Stadium, and this
is where the lines of the Board's interests and the fans' interests

With an additional 20,000 seats, and a current ticket pricing structure that
has been designed so supply almost exactly equals demand (profit
maximisation again!), the board had to take action. It would be completely
pointless to keep the prices the same. It wouldn't benefit the fans who
couldn't afford to go before, and it wouldn't benefit the board because they
will not be increasing their revenue.

Yes, the decision to reduce ticket prices is predominately a financial one.
If the board believed that 20,000 fans would suddenly convert from other
clubs and buy season tickets, they almost certainly wouldn't do it. But to
criticise the board for making a financial decision when it benefits
everyone is, for want of a better expression, absolutely bananas.

I can't see any reason why those supporters who realise that our football
club is essentially a business, and somewhat accepting of that reality,
could have any reason to moan. We'll get cheaper tickets, the board will
make more money which they've proven to invest in the squad, and the general
stature of the club should improve. Those fans who are of a more sentimental
inclination may find fault in the idea that fans are essentially the means
by which the club make their money, but this is the harsh truth of modern

So the general sentiment of reducing ticket prices is a good thing, I hope
I've at least managed to convince people of that. But I'd go further than
this. I genuinely believe that the club are taking measures to make football
affordable for those who it is currently inaccessible to, thus fulfilling
their promise.

Some are pointing out that their ticket price is going up, and others
complaining that their ticket price is only decreasing by an insignificant
amount. These examples are all in the top range of the price bracket. As far
as I'm concerned, I don't have a problem with that.

If there is a market for fans who want padded seats on the half way line
with their name embroidered on it, that's fine by me. And throughout the
whole process, if you listen to Gold's rhetoric, he often spoke about making
football affordable to those who couldn't afford it before, not those who
currently have Band 1 season tickets.

And surely, on that front, the club has delivered. £99 season tickets for
under 16s almost anywhere in the ground. Discounts of around 25 per cent on
Band 3 and 4 tickets. An incredible value for money family season ticket.
Some people still seemingly aren't impressed. Some even moaned that the £289
season ticket was a waste of time because the seats would be rubbish,
apparently failing to realise that in a 54,000 seater stadium, someone has
to sit at the back.

I go back one last time to the main argument I've tried to put across here.
Football is a business. But that does not mean that fans can't benefit too,
nor should we be ashamed of showing appreciation when we save £200 on our
season ticket as a result, or are able to pay for our children to have a
season ticket for the first time.

It's not about being ignorant, or having the "wool pulled over our eyes" as
some have suggested. Being happy with the news (notwithstanding Gold's
irritating tweets) is neither delusional nor naïve. Instead, we should
appreciate that good business sense (sentiments aside) have put our club in
a position where we can offer some of the cheapest season tickets in the
country, whilst at the same time increasing the stature of the club.

I totally get that emotions will be running high when our historic stadium
gets knocked into the ground in little over a year's time. But I truly hope
that there will be 54,000 fans like me who take up the offer for affordable
football in a world class stadium, and watch proudly as we kick off a new
era of our club in August 2016.

* Follow Tom Kilbey on twitter at @tom29whu for more reaction. Feel free to
post any comments or challenges you may have. Do you think we should be
happy with the announced ticket prices?

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce 'unaware' if any Premier League club has bid
for Aaron Cresswell
Last Updated: 23/04/15 2:24pm

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce says he is unaware if any other Premier
League club has made a bid for Aaron Cresswell but thinks the defender
should remain at Upton Park and establish himself in the top flight. The
25-year-old has appeared in all 33 of West Ham's league matches this season,
since moving to the East End from Ipswich last summer. He has been linked
with big spending Manchester City and Chelsea but Allardyce believes he
would be better off remaining in a West Ham shirt. He said of his player:
"Year one is an ongoing experience that you have that you know the level.
"Aaron now needs to grow from that experience. His challenge is to continue
to work even harder than he has this year, not to rest on his laurels. "We
have seen players do that and then year two is more of a disaster than his
impressive first year. His professionalism will come into play at the start
of next year regarding where he gets and if he gets to the next level."
Cresswell has four years remaining on his contract and regarding the
Liverpool-born player, Allardyce added: "As far as I am concerned, no one
has bid for Aaron. "It's all pure rumours and speculation. My problem is
does it affect Aaron Cresswell and affect his performance? "That's for me to
make sure Aaron does what he can all season and he performs on a consistent
basis. "What will happen in the summer, we will wait and see. I have even
heard somebody say we have put a £25m buy-out on him. "That's the first I
know, I haven't heard anything through the owners to say 'well, if somebody
wants Aaron Cresswell they would have to pay £25m'."

By Iain Dale 23 Apr 2015 at 08:00
West Ham Till I DIe

Guest Post by West Ham Way

Following on from my previous article on importance of developing a coherent
footballing philosophy throughout all levels of our club, I thought I'd
explore the importance of what I consider to be a vastly underrated quality
in football management – namely that of passion.

Passion is infectious. Passion is obvious. Passion is what inspires us and
connects us. Passion is the lifeblood of the football fan, and for that
matter, the footballer himself – who requires it to reach his full
potential. Team spirit can be instilled through the passion of the manager,
his captain, and the players themselves, or it can be felt through the
energy of the fans themselves – the famous twelfth man. For a club to be all
working in the same direction, for common goals, it should be present at
every level of the club and in my view it is the primary responsibility of
the chairmen and the board to ensure that it is. On that point it is clear
that they could be doing more to ensure that it is.

Of course, the inverse is also true. A lack of passion is a cancer that eats
away at a club, rapidly creating disharmony and discontent.

Take Manuel Pellegrini for example – he may tick all the right boxes as to
what he says to the media, be fully on board with the clubs youth
development policy, he may be a great technical coach, a great tactician, or
possess any other football management skill, but it is blatantly obvious to
me that he lacks passion. Sure, he might have some great players, and for a
time they may play well as a team, but, when the rubber meets the road, does
he have what it takes to inspire his teams? Current evidence would suggest
not. If you lack passion, you are unlikely to succeed for very long, and you
will quickly lose the support of fans as a result, making your position

Contrast his situation with that of Aston Villa manager, Tim Sherwood.
Granted he has not been in his post very long, but his transformation of
that club has been palpable. Of course, the jury is still out on his other
managerial talents – which like passion are pre-requisites for building
long-term success, but the whole club has literally been transformed from
its utter, utter misery under Paul Lambert – whose dour disposition was the
polar opposite of passion. In my view, we are crying out for such a unifying
transformation here at West Ham, we can only hope that our chairmen heed our

One thing is for sure, the very best managers all possess the ability to
inspire their players. Mourinho inspires his teams by creating a siege
mentality and selecting only those who fully buy into his approach. Ferguson
was at the same time a father figure and the headmaster. Bobby Robson was
just such a great man – his players loved him like a grandfather. Pep
Guardiola was the La Masia top student turned club captain who won it all –
every sinew in his body radiates the tiki-taka philosophy that has dominated
that club for as long as anyone can remember. The common theme here is the
passion that radiated from each of these coaches, surely a massively
important element of the success they experienced.

Of course, like many relationships in today's world, passion does not always
last for ever. The ability of any manager to feel that passion is limited.
This is the natural cycle of a modern manager – once the passion is gone,
both sides move on – which, of course, is in their own best interests. But
passion remains an essential element that connects the team to the fans;
wherever there is none you are sowing the seeds of discontent, creating
disharmony, and, like a loveless marriage, you are destined for a miserable
coexistence at best.

For too long, the quality of passion has gone under the radar of chairmen in
their hiring process – not least the chairmen we have had over the years at
West Ham.

Passion may not be the be all and end all of important managerial qualities,
but without it the clock is most definitely ticking on the relationship.
Eventually the alarm bells will start ringing. Now is the time for the
chairmen to wake up and realise that we fans have a urgent need for that
passion to flow through our claret and blue veins once again. COYI.

Sam Allardyce: Leaving West Ham could damage Aaron Cresswell's development
11:33, 23 April 2015 By Neil McLeman
The Hammers manager also insisted that no bids had been received for
Cresswell, who only joined the club last summer
The Mirror

Sam Allardyce has told Aaron Cresswell he is right to stay and learn his
trade at West Ham next season. The Irons left-back has been linked with
Chelsea and Manchester City after a superb debut campaign in the Premier
League where he has played every match. Allardyce insisted no bid had been
received for the £4million summer signing from Ipswich – and Cresswell has
said he is in no rush to move on.
The Hammers manager said: "There's no doubt he will be better off staying
here because he's year one in the Premier League. Year one is an ongoing
experience that you have and you have to know the level. "Aaron now needs to
grow from that experience. His challenge is to continue to work hard, not to
rest on his laurels, to think that he's here; we have seen players do that
and then year two is more of a disaster than his impressive first year. "His
professionalism will come into play start of next year by where he gets and
if he gets to the next level. "And as far as I am concerned, no-one has bid
for Aaron Cresswell." Allardyce insisted he was more concerned about a run
of only two wins in the last 16 Premier League games at QPR on Saturday than
his contract renewal talks at the end of the season. "It has never been any
different," he said. "Do people think I don't speak with David Sullivan and
Karren Brady? Of course, I do. We have been like that for many months. "The
focus for me to get the team winning football matches. There is a massive
downside to what we have done at the minute. We have a responsibility to get
back on winning ways. That is the most important thing for me. The next game
we have to try to win. We have let ourselves down in the 10-11 games by not
producing enough wins."

I applaud the Daves profit-making master-stroke
Posted by bubbles fanzine on April 23, 2015 in News Agenda, Whispers
By Richard Oses
Claret & Hugh
Richard is the founder of Bubbles Fanzine

His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of ClaretandHugh

The news that the club has slashed season ticket prices has been greeted
with mixed reactions since its release. All in all, a lot of people will
benefit from the new price structure, especially those who chose the lower
bands at the OS (which from the drawings and countless reasearch I have done
I think you get a decent view wherever you sit). Even the objectionable
Richard Keys has entered the debate challenging David Gold and as usual he
has got things completely wrong. The club's cheap season tickets mean that
for the first time since moving from east London to Wales I can consider
being able to afford to buy one which I never dreamed would happen.

The thing is, there are some who are praising the board for their affordable
football scheme and there are those who are knocking them, either because
they are higher band already and the saving is smaller or because they are
muscling in on Leyton Orient. I disagree across the board with both the
praise and the criticism. Yes, as fans themselves, the Daves want to make
supporting West Ham more affordable, but only to an extent. They are running
a business and it is no more and no less than a master stroke in profit
making. You choose the cheaper restaurant to dine out but you will spend
more overall because you'll buy more drinks and extras. Same principle
applies to West Ham's tickets. There isn't anyhing wrong with that, you, the
fans, are getting a better deal on your ticket prices, who cares if the club
are making a profit? Good on them I say! Then there is those who feel Leyton
Orient will suffer. Well as a football fan, I can safely say that the team
you support stays that way throught your entire life. Orient fans will not
suddenly start going to see West Ham! They are Orient fans!

If Arsenal move to Upton Park and charge £20 a season ticket I'd still pick
the Hammers, so that whole 'Orient will suffer' stuff is pure nonsense. To
conclude, I'm all for the OS move. It is the right move and the board have
done brilliantly for both club and fans. I applaud them. But be under no
illusion, it is all for the profit and that isn't a criticism. No one should
care why or how, just enjoy the cheaper ticket prices and your new stadium!

Banter king questions Hammers motive
Posted by Sean Whetstone on April 23, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

King of banter Richard Keys has taken to social media to ask Hammers
Chairman David Gold whether West Ham would have offered the cheapest season
ticket in the Premier League if we had stayed at the Boleyn Ground.

Keys on twitter asked"Just wondering David Gold. Would West Ham have reduced
ticket prices to £289 if you were staying at Upton Park?"

The new band five West Ham season ticket priced at £289 is £10 cheaper than
Man City's £299 season ticket which is cheapest in the Premier League.

While West Ham say they want to create affordable family football and the
move was spurred on by the recent record TV broadcast deal, others have
suggested it is purely motivated by the need to fill the 54,000 seats in the
new Olympic Stadium.


On the day of the season ticket price announcement David Gold told his
followers on twitter: "I am delighted to announce that the best new Stadium
in the Premier League will have the cheapest Season Ticket – just £289. dg"

"We have the most passionate and loyal fans in the league. Today's
announcement is about giving something back to them. dg"

Sam: "You never know how long you've got"
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on April 23, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Football clubs often behave as though it is guarding the secrets of the
universe! I sometimes wonder whether they are being advised by the nation's
intelligence services as they protect the names of possible signings or of
course whether managers are coming or going!!!
At West Ham we know all this better than most. We have a political animal as
vice chairman, a co chairman who loves Twitter and a chief shareholder who
when he decides to let rip, really lets rip. Unfortunately however, the
waters remain as muddied as ever for some on the question that has dominate
minds for two seasons now…will Sam stay or go. This morning in his press
conference the job of reading between the lines became even more intense as
he first explained that Ms Brady giving an interview did not put the
speculation to rest as "I speak with Karren and David Sullivan on a regular
basis." Within the space of a few seconds however – whilst reaffirming his
desire to take the club into the Olympic Stadium – it became clear that the
big question had not been addressed. Instead he said: "You never know in
football how long your tenure is. There's been 40 changes of manager this
season, the average tenure in football in the Premier League is just two
years and it's getting harder for managers to keep their jobs."

Let's be honest with so much to plan for the summer and beyond one would
have thought he might know a little more than that were he to remain. I
still believe the board should make a statement but there's a sense of
inevitability about the outcome of all this. There is a list of managerial
candidates and the club HAVE been talking to them through third parties.
Should they fail to get the one they want then there's a lobby of opinion
which believes they may turn back to the current boss. His reaction to that
would be very interesting I not I believe very positive. Two desperate clubs
– QPR and Burnley – on the horizon for a club that apparently is still in
confusion over an important element of it's own future. Nothing much
changes. It really is all very West Ham!

Allardyce: "Brady words make no difference"
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on April 23, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Karren Brady's intervention in the debate over Sam Allardyce's future has
made no difference to the manager himself. Asked this morning in his press
conference ahead of the QPR match whether her words put the speculation over
his future to rest, he said: "It doesn't make too much difference because
I'm in constant contact with David Sullivan and Karren. "People think we
don't communicate but that's not the case. The focus for me is getting the
team winning football matches again. Not winning has been a massive
disappointment of late and it's my responsibility to get us back to winning

He hopes that the constant talk of him being on his way hasn't affected the
players addng when asked: "I would sincerely hope that it doesn't. If it has
I'm not really sure, you'd have to ask the players. I think dealing with the
raised expectations has been a problem.
"We haven't lived up to that expectation or coped with it as well as I
thought we might. There are several reasons for that, reaching the level of
football we played, injuries have played a part as well as fatigue for some
of the players who have been playing in the Premier League for the first
time. "I think that is to be expected, and overall they have performed
better than we expected. It's been a great experience for them and hopefully
they will learn from it and improve next season. "The fact is, we wouldn't
be talking about that if we got the points we should've got. We should be on
50 points or more and we would be looking pretty good for a strong end to
the season. We've put pressure on ourselves, we must accept that pressure
and deliver."

QPR boss doesn't 'get' the Sam speculation
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on April 23, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Queens Park Rangers boss Chris Ramsey is expecting "a blood and thunder
London derby" at the weekend and has pledged: "We will be positive and on
the front foot and going for the win." And he claims he's astonished by the
speculation surrounding his opposite number Sam Allardyce's job
adding:""Whether it's true or false I don't know. I don't see why there
would be speculation about his job – he's done a very good job at Upton
Park. "Sam will prepare his team as he always does. The speculation about
his future will have no impact on the game." He claims – not unlike
ourselves – that Rangers have "lacked concentration in the final moments."
He said: That's the difference. But in general our displays have been good.
"The last month of the season – all results will be key. We just want
positive results from our games. "All we care about is getting above that
line by the end of May. That's all that matters.

Irons look at Song alternative
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on April 23, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

West Ham will move in on long term target Sampdoria's Pedro Obiang this
summer as an alternative to Alex Song. The club's owners are very unsure
about shelling out mega wages for Song and Obiang is seen as a perfect
replacement. However, with two years left on his present deal he won't come
cheap himself and will also interest Roma who have been linked with him in
the past. The 23-year-old is a Spain Under-21 international and his agent
Jose Gonzales admitted last summer the Irons were keen on the player saying:
"Pedro is liked by them." He added: Clearly, should an offer arrive ready to
satisfy both Pedro and Sampdoria, he could leave." However, the arrival of
Song halted any further interest but the player remains very much on the
Hammers list of

Cresswell: "I'm happy at West Ham"
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on April 23, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Aaron Cresswell has spoken for the first time about speculation linking him
with Manchester City and Chelsea. The likely Hammer of the Year is heading
for a new contract offer at Upton Park with insiders having made it clear
the club want to sort it out by Christmas.
And after we were told there was no chance of him moving on in the summer
Cresswell said: "Obviously Its nice to see things like that
But I have four years left on my West Ham contract and I'm very happy down
here. "I don't read into it or look into stuff like that. I just concentrate
on doing my best for West Ham. "I have still got four years left on my
contract and it's what I'm enjoying at the minute."


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