Monday, April 27

Daily WHUFC News - 27th April 2015

Stewie salutes 'brilliant' Burke

Stewart Downing heaped plaudits on young Reece Burke, after the 18-year-old
gave a mature display in his Barclays Premier League debut against Queens
Park Rangers on Saturday. The Newham-born defender was thrown into the mix
following injury to Winston Reid and Downing felt he had seen plenty to
suggest the youngster has a big future in the game. Up against Charlie
Austin and Bobby Zamora, Burke battled gamely alongside fellow centre-half
James Collins and looked right at home at the heart of the Hammers' rear
guard. "He's waited a long time for his chance," Downing explained. He's
done well for the youth team, he's travelled a lot of times and not been
"But Reidy [Winston Reid] goes down injured late on and he's thrown in,
sometimes that's the best way to be. He has proven himself with his
performance. I thought he was absolutely brilliant against Bobby Zamora,
who's had a really good season, and Charlie Austin's scored nearly every
other game, so I thought he played really, really, well."

That said, Downing reckons he may need to rethink his hairstyle if he wants
to become a seasoned centre-half a la Collins. "He'll have to go skinhead
with Ginge! He's done really well, a young boy up against really experienced
strikers, strong lads as well. I thought he handled them very, very well.
He's probably man of the match for me."

As for the future, West Ham's No11 believes that Burke has shown enough to
earn the confidence of manager Sam Allardyce and so can expect to be in the
reckoning for the coming weeks and beyond. "I'm not sure whether he'll be in
from the start next season, Reidy, Ginge and Tonks [James Tomkins] might
have something to say about that. But he's certainly in that mix, we know we
can depend on him now, the manager can put him in there any time, home or
away and he'll do the job. "That was a big performance from him and he'll be
a big player for the future. You need people like that coming through."

Reflecting on Saturday's goalless draw, Downing said the Hammers were
indebted to 'keeper Adrian for his latest spot-kick heroics. It may be that
the Spaniard's form has gone under the radar somewhat, but the
Middlesbrough-born midfielder said West Ham know exactly how important he
is. He continued: "Adrian certainly gets the credit he deserves from us.
You can see that the fans love him and the lads obviously appreciate him. He
has made some big saves this season. He got my vote for player of the year,
so that shows you. "It was a great save, Charlie Austin's had an
unbelievable season and nine time out of ten he'd bury that penalty. But
Adrian's really good at penalties, it was a good save and it kept us in the

Overall, however, Downing deemed that the point was probably about fair.
Though the 30-year-old had no complaints about the spot-kick, he thought the
Hammers were good value for their clean sheet and was just sorry that the
visitors failed to carve out a late winner. "They've missed a good chance
with the penalty and we had a couple late on, so overall I think it was
probably a fair result. We get a point back on the board, a clean sheet, so
there's a positive there, but we'd like to have won on Saturday. "There
wasn't too much fuss with the referee so I'm guessing it was a penalty. It
was probably a bit unlucky but Adrian's got us out of trouble again with a
great save. "Overall, at the end, if we'd got a goal, it would have been
nice to nick a 1-0 away win, because I thought we defended very well."

Downing wants under-fire Allardyce to stay at West Ham
Last Updated: 26/04/15 2:46pm

Stewart Downing says West Ham's players will be fighting for Sam Allardyce's
future in their last four games of the season. Allardyce is widely tipped to
leave the club in the summer as his contract expires at the end of the
season and he is yet to be offered a new deal.
A poor run of form, which has seen the Hammers win only two league games in
2015 and slip out of contention for the European places, has also added to
the uncertainty surrounding Allardyce's future. The Hammers were held to a
goalless draw at QPR on Saturday and sit 10th in the table, but Downing
insisted the players were all behind their manager and love playing under
Allardyce. "Even before I came here, Sam signed a new deal at the end of the
season," Downing said. "The manager has said it will be sorted at the end of
the season so we have to get on with it and win games. "The only way to put
the uncertainty to bed is to win games because that puts him in a better
position. "Hopefully he stays. We want him here. The players love playing
for him. He's a really good manager to play for. "He's been really good to
me, I like him, but I don't make the decisions, it's up to the chairmen and
how they see it going forward."

By David Hautzig 25 Apr 2015 at 17:55
West Ham till I Die

You couldn't have scripted this better if you were able to manipulate the
space-time continuum. As we all know, Sam Allardyce made some pretty odd
comments about using (or not using) youth in the first team. I was pretty
dismayed by those comments, and went so far as to Tweet that it was one of
the most awe inspiringly dumb things I'd ever heard him say. So when the
rumours started creeping in that Reid had picked up a new hamstring injury
in training and Reece Burke might be handed a surprise start in his place, I
took to Twitter to predict Kouyate would start at CB, weakening our
midfield. I was sooooo ready to slam Sam for the decision.

And then he went and did what nobody thought he would do and completely
ruined my rant. Thanks Sam.

The opening minutes of the game were frenetic and exciting for both sides.
In the first minute Noble lost the ball to Matty Phillips near the top of
the QPR penalty area. Phillips played Sandro in on the left side but his low
shot was saved by Adrian. Minutes later it was the Hammers turn to attack
when Valencia did well to win a corner off a long ball that was headed
nowhere. Jarvis sent the corner into the box and onto the head of none other
than Reece Burke, who won the header and came inches from a dream start but
Onuoha cleared the ball off the line.

And just as quickly as the game began, it slowed down. For the next 18
minutes, very little happened. And then something big happened. QPR enjoyed
some possession and worked the ball into Zamora in the box. The former
Hammer hero tried to lob the ball over Collins and Adrian, but Collins
raised his right arm way over his head for a clear hand ball. When Charlie
Austin stepped up to take the penalty, I started to write about being down
1-0. Then I remembered Adrian doesn't give up goals from the spot, and for
the third time in a row our newest cult hero saved a penalty kick.

I am still very much in the pro Enner Valencia camp. I believe he has been
played out of position for much of the season, which has hampered both his
performances and his confidence. But there are times when I say to the TV,
"Enner, what the hell are you thinking"? The 32nd minute was one of those
times, when Valencia beat Hill on the byline and moved in on Rob Green. But
with Jarvis sprinting into the box, and Nolan trailing at the top of the
area, Valencia chose to take a bad shot from an impossible angle.

Minutes later West Ham had another chance….kind of….when Joey Barton gave
the ball away to Nolan at the top of the box. But with plenty of time and
plenty of space he attempted a quick shot that rolled harmlessly into the
waiting hands of Rob Green.

For the majority of the first half, one had to wonder if every player out
there had simply forgotten how to play the game. Passes were way off target,
the ball flew through the air sometimes for what looked liked minutes
without ever touching the ground. One could easily have mistaken it for a
game played in a field by a bunch of amateurs. It was that bad. The second
half was better, but not by much.

In the opening moments of the second forty five minutes, Clint Hill headed
the ball to Bobby Zamora in the West Ham penalty area. Zamora seemed to rush
his shot, likely unaware that he had a second to compose himself. Instead
his quick side footed effort went right into Adrian's arms.

In the 50th minute, West Ham had their best chance of the game to that
point. Nolan got on the end of a long ball from Collins and knocked it down
to Valencia, who was then fouled by Sandro to set up a free kick from a very
dangerous area. Cresswell curled his effort over the wall, and if not for a
superb save from Green he would have repeated his heroics against Stoke. If
I were king of Hammerland, I'd have Cresswell take the vast majority of free
kicks from here on.

QPR then enjoyed a period of possession that put West Ham on the back foot,
with both Sandro and Zamora taking shots that went either wide of high. West
Ham tried to change the tone of the game by removing Jarvis and inserting
Cole. And only because I love Cole for his loyalty and professionalism, I'm
going to credit his entry into the game for West Ham's next half chance.
Let's call it artistic license, shall we?

In the 57th minute, Cole won a header and Nolan got on the end of the
knockdown. Nolan threaded a long pass that both Downing and Green raced
after. In real time, it looked like Green got their first and cleared the
ball from danger. The replay showed that Downing might have gotten their
first and missed his attempt on the ball.

While Austin's missed penalty may still be the number one talking point of a
rather listless match, another one happened in the 72nd minute. After
Jenkinson put the ball out for a corner, Adrian and Caulker both went up for
the ball. They collided, the ball fell to Dunne, and he put it into the West
Ham net. But Mike Jones blew his whistle as Dunne was shooting, calling a
foul on Caulker for his collision with Adrian. If such a play was available
to be reviewed by video, that goal could have been allowed because it looked
like Caulker simply went for the ball and Adrian mishandled it. If I'm
wrong, I have no doubt I will be informed below.

QPR kept up the pressure, with Fer having a good look at goal only to
misfire, and then Dunne winning a header in the box but his attempt went
right to Adrian. Burke then fouled Austin, giving QPR a free kick which came
to Fer but his header went over the bar.

West Ham countered in the 80th minute when Valencia used his pace to beat
Dunne down the right hand side. With both Cole and Kouyate running into the
box, Valencia slid a low cross to the latter. If this can be a game of
inches, Valencia's pass was one of millimeters. The pass was just slightly
behind Kouyate, and his shot sailed high over the bar. Nine times out of
ten, Kouyate handles that and it's a goal. But like so many things in the
second half of the season, this was the tenth out of ten.

The Hammers created one more chance in the 89th when Jenkinson ran the
length of the field at full speed to get on the end of a pass from Downing
down the right. Jenkinson sent a low cross through the goalmouth but neither
Cole nor Valencia could reach it for an easy tap in.

The final chance of the game came in the final minute of the ninety when
Phillips ran onto the ball in the West Ham box and fired a volley that
looked headed for the roof of the net. But Adrian got his fingertips on the
ball and saved the point for West Ham.

Final Score: QPR 0, West Ham 0.

If either team could see this as two points dropped, it's Rangers. From the
missed penalty to the disallowed goal, with other chances mixed in, Chris
Ramsey's side played more like a team going for three points than West Ham.
Valencia had the kind of game that one could look at and say in a different
system, he could be lethal. And despite a few mistakes that made Burke look
like he's 18, the boy had a decent game. So I can hang on to those two
things as small positives. But overall it was yet another performance that
hammers home the point…pun intended…that West Ham need improvement in many
areas. Our midfield was dreadful today. They looked incapable of keeping
possession against a team that often handed them the ball. And with two
substitutions available, for Sam to ignore both Amalfitano and Nene was
absurd. I'm cynical enough wonder about his motives.

On the bright side, at least we didn't give up a late goal again. Thank
heavens for small favors.

Howe's miracle journey nears climax
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on April 26, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Eddie Howe rarely gets prolonged mentions when it comes to considering a new
Hammers manager – perhaps he should! For tomorrow night he could all but
complete a miraculous journey in management which only those who have stayed
close to his reign at Bournemouth will be aware. The Cherries meet Bolton in
a match which if won will see them all but promoted but it's the history
which needs to be studied to see the magnitude of such an achievement. Six
years ago this weekend the then 31 year old manager was in charge of a side
which beat Grimsby Town to avoid relegation from the Football League in a
year when they had started with a League Two 17 point deduction! Now he sits
a heartbeat from a place in the Premier League and whilst most Hammers fans
are looking at big time bosses, one highly important Boleyn insider told us:
"This young man could become an absolutely fantastic manager …but can the
club take the chance at this stage?"
Former striker Frank McAvennie has no doubts about it telling ClaretandHugh:
"Everything he does is class and the football his team plays is pure West
Ham. He'd get it down and really play. "To deal with the pressures he has
had along the way, shows me he is a man of character who can deal with the
Premier League – I hope the club goes for him."

Howe heads into the match against Sam Allardyce's former club saying: " I
feel a lot older than 37 in terms on management. The 'Great Escape' aged me
about 10 years." And of the match against Bolton he declared: "Look at the
legacy the players could leave this club. We have never been in the top
division – never been in the Premier League. "They can become famous around
the town of Bournemouth and that should be their motivation."

Bournemouth v Bolton
Sky Sports
Kick Off 7.45 pm

Richards deal and the Irons
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on April 26, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Reports that West Ham will "battle" for the signature of Manchester City
defender Micah Richards this summer are wide of the mark.
Currently on loan at Fiorentina, he is expected to return to England this
summer with allegedly Inter Milan and Fiorentina, ourselves, Southampton,
Stoke City, Everton and Aston Villa all chasing him. West Ham were claimed
to interested in Richards last summer but in the end the club became
disinterested at wages understood to be in the area of £70,000 and City
unwilling to share the burden. And ClaretandHugh was told today: "His injury
record isn't great and the wages are likely to be of an order that would see
us look elsewhere."

Song on his Irons future
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on April 26, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

It may have come a little late to make much difference but Alex Song has
finally made his position clear: He wants to stay! In an interview with Sky
Sports he revealed: "Yeah, I definitely want to stay here. I don't know (if
I can sign a permanent deal at West Ham).
"I can't say anything now because I want to focus on the rest of the season
and then we will see." He added: "I think we have to target an eighth-placed
finish this season. The problem with West Ham is that we don't have a very
big squad. I was saying to people it was too early to say that we will
finish fourth or fifth. "I always said if we finish tenth it would be
perfect because we don't have a squad like an Arsenal or Chelsea. When we
have one or two players injured, we don't have a big player to come on."

So disappointing but let's count the positives
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on April 26, 2015 in Whispers
BY Nick Hardinge
Claret & Hugh

Our latest blogger is a tender 21 years old – short on Hammers glory but BIG
on love for a club that's "been in his blood since Day One" Here in his
first article how – as just a young man – he's getting used to that feeling
of "fortune always hiding." Nick's views are his own and do not necessarily
reflect those of ClaretandHugh Adrian_3164087bWhen writing a report on our
beloved West Ham's current plight, it's difficult not to go over the same
old ground. How many times have we heard calls for "BFS Out!!"? How many
times have we despaired that the 'West Ham Way' is dying? How many times
have we hoped that our youth would be given greater opportunities? They're
more regular than an Adrian penalty save! I, like many others on here it
seems, cannot wait for this season to be over. It's petering out all too
familiarly. I'm only 21 and already I'm all too well acquainted with the
overwhelming sense of disappointment in a West Ham season. But in the past,
that disappointment was something that made me proud to be a West Ham fan. I
think that part of it defines who we are.

Perhaps surprisingly, I do remember the relegation of 2003. The abysmal 2011
is definitely still very fresh in the mind. However, despite these tragedies
I have always held my head up high as a Hammer, even in the face of taunts
from my glory supporting Man U friends and a fool of a Gooner (who needs
enemies when you have friends like that hey?).

I've always been confident that the good times would shortly be round the
corner. We had fighters in those squads who would give their all for the
shirt (2003: Di Canio, Repka, Sinclair; 2011: Parker, Green, Cole
[disagreement here is welcome, but in their own separate ways they were each
a hero in the claret and blue at some point]). It pains me to say, but today
I do not see those fighters.

There is always Mark Noble, and James Collins always puts everything on the
line for the club, but rarely do these two change a game. As much as I love
the fishing fanatic, Noble rarely makes that incisive pass that splits open
a defence and Collins too often delivers a (sometimes spectacular, i.e. City
away) gaffe which leads to trouble.

For a while, I thought Song, Downing and a few others might earn a heroic
status for us this season. But like Kevin Nolan in every game this season,
their fight has all but disappeared. I think we can hold our hands up and
admit that we were in dreamland in December when we were hoping for Europe.
In true West Ham fashion, the fortune has hidden once again.

Today, the disappointment feels different. I feel no pride in our current
displays. And I firmly believe that the buck stops at the man at the helm.
Players are prima donnas these days and they need inspiring. If Allardyce
can't inspire us (sometimes fickle) fans who pay good money to watch, then
how can he inspire players guaranteed to be earning up to £80,000 a week?

So where does this leave us? Well I'd like to finish on a few high notes. We
have a manager who, as many of us hope and believe, is seemingly on his way

We have a proven PL goal scorer for next season in Sakho. We have a keeper
who is number one in all but his shirt number.

There is a relatively youthful core in the side (Sakho, Valencia, Kouyate,
Tomkins, Reid, Cresswell), plus we have promises of additions from the

A new stadium is on the horizon, along with cheaper tickets (eventually).
And finally, we are still a Premier League club – for what it's worth (a LOT
of money actually).

Oh, and apparently we have David Cameron's backing. Well that is us damned

Burke's Mum and Dad make it "emotional"
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on April 26, 2015 in Whispers
Claret 7 Hugh

Reece Burke was the major talking point before and after yesterday's 0-0
draw at Loftus Road and the lad himself declared: "After Winston Reid picked
up a little injury I thought he might chuck me in and I found out on Friday
I'd be playing, so I had to prepare well." The Newham born 18 year old
reckons he "did alright" and added "Hopefully there's many more games to
come." He told the official site: ""I'm just really happy we kept a clean
sheet. There's always room for improvement and that's for me to go away,
watch the game back and work on what I need to work on. "It was a case of
keeping it simple and not over-complicating things. That's what the lads
were telling me, make sure my first pass and first header were good and go
from there. That's the way it went so I'm pleased.
He continued: "My parents came to watch the game and I saw them at the end,
which was a bit emotional. I'm happy and they're happy as well. Saturday was
a very emotional day for me – I've been at the Club since the age of nine so
playing at QPR is looking back at a long journey. I just want to keep
going." Burke also paid tribute to James Collins, whose experienced head
helped him through his league debut. "Ginge helped me throughout the game,
talking to me and telling me not to get too tight to Bobby Zamora as he's a
strong lad.
"He spoke to me a lot during the game and helped me to do well."

West Ham Talent Commits To Nigeria Ahead Of England
West Ham's New Kid On The Block Emmanuel Onariase Chooses To Play For
By SL10 - Apr 26, 2015 12:18 PM

West Ham's new kid on the block, Emmanuel Onariase, has elected to play for
Nigeria at senior level though he is eligible to don the jersey of England,
the country of his birth. The Anglo-Nigerian is regarded as one of the
brightest prospects at The Boleyn Ground so much so that manager Sam
Allardyce named the central defender in his 18 - man squad for the Premier
League clash against Arsenal last month.
''I've always wanted to play for my country ever since I was a kid,''
Emmanuel Onariase confided to ''My future lies with God, he is my
sense of direction, he has plans for me, which ever country I end up playing
for I know it's God that chose it for me! He will give me a sign when the
time comes. ''Of course I would honour a call up from my home country! I
would love to play for my country with a passion!'' The 18 - year - old has
revealed that former Super Eagles skipper Joseph Yobo has always been his
role model, and did not spare praise for the ex Everton and Norwich City
stopper. ''I look up to Joesph Yobo who was a centre back for the Super
Eagles but retired last year. ''Yobo is a solid defender! Being the team
captain, he led the team by example, he also played in the Premier league
for Everton. ''He is composed on the ball and he reads the game well making
vital tackles! What a great player!'' Emmanuel Onariase added. West Ham
believe Onariase will be key for the club in future and they moved quickly
to offer him a professional deal earlier this month.


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