Thursday, April 30

Daily WHUFC News - 30th April 2015

From the Treatment Room

Hello everyone,

We will start with the positive news this week.

Alex Song, who is no longer feeling pain and discomfort in his back and was
able to return to the training pitch on Monday. After training on an
individual basis for one day, Alex returned to the group on Tuesday and is
available for selection against Burnley.

James Tomkins, who trained individually on the pitch on Tuesday as he
continues to step up his rehabilitation after surgery on his dislocated
shoulder. All things being well, James will return to initial training with
the Development Squad next week.

Winston Reid is continuing his rehab after pulling his hamstring in training
last week, but unfortunately he will not be fit for selection against

Andy Carroll (knee), Diafra Sakho (thigh), Guy Demel (calf) and Doneil Henry
(hamstring) are all continuing to work on their individual rehabilitation
plans with the Medical and Sports Science staff.

Stijn Vandenbroucke
Head of Medical and Sports Science

Former Player Blog - Jimmy Walker

Former West Ham United goalkeeper Jimmy Walker made 20 appearances in a
claret and blue shirt in two seasons at the Boleyn Ground, collecting an
impressive eight clean sheets in the process. Thosse games included Walker's
famous penalty save from Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge in the League Cup
fourth round in October 2004. Blogging exclusively for,
Walker explains the thought process behind saving spot kicks, why Adrian is
one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League and talks about that
famous day at Stamford Bridge…

I've seen quite a bit of West Ham this year and I've been down to the
training ground a couple of times this season. I know Marge Margetson, the
former goalkeeping coach quite well, having been goalkeeper coach at
Peterborough United I was interested to see how the elite train these days.
I trained alongside Adrian and Jussi which was fantastic.

Chadwell has got a little bit busier since I left, and the boot room is
certainly a lot brighter! But there are a lot of the same people there, the
kitman Pete and Shirley and a few others. It was great to go back.

This season, Adrian has been excellent. When he first joined he did well but
the jury was still out. This year he's really proved himself. Jussi is still
a very good goalkeeper so for Adrian to make the number one spot his own is
excellent. For me, he's up there up for Player of the Year.

The other day, I was asked about who the best goalkeeper is in the Premier
League is. I think this crop of goalkeepers is as good I can remember. There
are ten or twelve excellent goalkeepers. Chelsea have got two of the best in
the world. David De Gea has been excellent but for me, Hugo Lloris has been
the best. He's been superb all season and he's made some big saves.

Having said that, Adrian is right up there with De Gea, and Lloris, he's had
several outstanding games. It's a very strong field, good goalkeepers like
Tim Howard and Asmir Begovic don't get enough praise.

Adrian saving his last three penalties is a great stat. Saving penalties is
all about confidence. People think it's easy for the goalie because there's
no pressure or expectation on them but I think it's changed recently. Now,
you are expected to have a decent ratio. The penalty takers are getting
better so a save is even more impressive. To save three on the spin is an
unbelievable record.

Confidence is a massive part of being a goalkeeper so when Adrian faces his
fourth penalty, he'll dive a split second earlier. The next taker will
definitely know that stat and it could get into his head a little bit.

Another change is the amount of technology used has increased massively.
When I was at the club we had one analyst. Now, there's five or six and
every aspect is covered.

You can definitely practise saving penalties. Obviously in training it's not
the same atmosphere as a match but that effects the taker more than the

I had a situation at Peterborough when one of our goalkeepers hadn't saved a
penalty for a long while. The last 12 penalties had all gone in or something
like that. Even the chairman had flagged it up. But we worked on it a lot in
training and it did improve slightly. To have a goalkeeper who can save
penalties is a great asset to have.

Personally, I've always enjoyed facing penalties. I've always been confident
and I think that stems from watching other goalkeepers closely who had good
saving ratios. I learnt a lot as a teenager watching Paul Cooper and Steve
Shay at Notts County.

I'm often asked about saving Frank Lampard's penalty. If I'm honest, I don't
really like talking about it!

I'm joking of course. It was one of my first games, away at Chelsea, so it
was a fantastic game to be thrown into. I remember it vividly and it was one
of my stand out moments at West Ham.

I stood in the goal and there were seven or eight thousand fans behind me.
The game was held up for about five minutes. I was getting a bit of abuse so
I was thinking 'I better save this!' During the wait it must have been
playing on Frank's mind as well. I just tried to follow the ball and
thankfully he put it close enough for me to save. It's nice that it's still
remembered because it's a great memory for me.

Jimmy runs his own football coaching school for a range of ages and
abilities. If you're interested visit to
find out more.

View on the Visitors - Burnley

Lancashire Telegraph's Burnley reporter Suzanne Geldard gives us the lowdown
on Saturday's visitors Burnley.

What is the mood around Turf Moor at the moment?

"I think it's taken a little bit of a knock after the defeat to Leicester.
As Sean Dyche will tell you it's dented but not broken. They'll keep
fighting until the end so we'll see what happens."

What do you make of Sean Dyche, regardless of where Burnley finish in the
league, do you think he should stay?

"There's no question he should definitely stay and there's no chance of
sacking him. I think he has done an amazing job with very limited resources
to get Burnley up in the first place.

"After the first ten games, to be in a position where they could still
survive is impressive. He generates so much positivity and self-belief among
the staff and among the players."

Which of the players have been in good form recently, who should we look out

"Danny Ings is due a goal, given the talent he's got, his run can't go on
forever. George Boyd has been another player who has been noted for his work
rate, he is certainly capable of making things happen. Kieran Trippier at
right-back likes to get forward and get the ball into the box, he's proved
that he's capable of playing at this level."

At this stage of the season, do Burnley have to go for all three points or
is an away point still a good result?

"They have to go for three points. The games are running out now and they
need to win at least three of their last four games. It'll be a tall order
because they've only won five all season. Everything is stacked against
them, it has been all season and they've pulled off some incredible results
against teams they were never expected to get anything from."

What do you put Burnley's league position down to, referees decisions,
injuries, bad luck?

"It's a bit of everything really. There have been decisions that have gone
against them and they have had some terrible luck with injuries. Dean Marney
has been a big miss, that happened just after the transfer window, so that
couldn't have been worse. There wasn't too much activity in either window
but also the general quality of the Premier League is hard to adapt to for
any team coming up."

What is your prediction for Saturday's score?

"The team has to go for a win and it would be remiss of me not to back them.
I don't think they'll be a vast amount of goals so I'll say 1-0 Burnley."

Where you think Burnley will finish?

"I'll stay positive and say they'll do it. If Leicester can do it, why not?"

The Big Interview - Kevin Nolan

West Ham United skipper Kevin Nolan says his team can build on the clean
sheet they gained at Queens Park Rangers as they tackle the final four games
of the campaign. Nolan is desperate to end the season on a high and says the
Hammers can capitalise on a stronger defensive base by taking their chances
at the other end. He also had praise for Adrian and 18-year-old debutant
Reece Burke after the pair played a starring role at Loftus Road. The
defensive side of our game probably took the plaudits on Saturday, and
Adrian has now saved three penalties on the trot now…

KN: "It's quality from him. He is that type of keeper and he deserves all
the plaudits he's got. Hopefully his head won't get any bigger! He's a great
lad and hopefully he keeps his performances to as high a standard as he's
produced for the last year-and-a-half."

Reece Burke, it was a big test for him on Saturday against Charlie Austin
and Bobby Zamora, but he stood up to it…

KN: "Unbelievable. You couldn't ask for a better debut from him, it was
absolutely fantastic. He's a great lad, a really good kid who wants to work
hard, listen, wants to play football and believes in himself.

"I thought he was fantastic. It's never going to be easy against Bobby Z,
who has tormented a lot of defenders down the years, even this season,
especially away from home. Normally young players get their home debuts
before they are tested away, but he's kept one of the best English strikers
this year [Charlie Austin] quiet.

"I'm very pleased for him, it's a brilliant start and this is the beginning
for him. He's set his standards now and he's got to keep them there for now
until the end of the season, then come back looking to knock Reidy, Ginge
and Tonks out of the way."

Kevin, putting Saturday's game in isolation, QPR are desperate for a win but
we were resolute and could possibly have nicked it…

KN: "Of course. It's getting down to the crunch end of the season and
they're battling for every point, every little bit they can get. We knew it
was going to be tough, just as it was for teams playing us when we were in
that situation last year.

"I think it was a well-earned point but we were very disappointed that we
didn't go away with the three points with the chances we had. A few things
didn't fall for us, especially when Adri has saved another penalty – it's a
fantastic save – that we then couldn't go onto win.

"But we have to respect it [the point], it's a clean sheet which is nice,
and we've got our target of 50 points which we're not far off now. Reaching
that would not be a perfect season, because it could have been much better,
but we have to respect the fact that a lot of injuries have happened and
we've got a small squad that has been able to deal with it."

West Ham's wage bill in the comfort zone
Filed: Wednesday, 29th April 2015
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United recorded the fifth-lowest wages-to-turnover ratio in the
Premier League last season.

An analysis of Premier League club finances by David Conn for the Guardian
revealed that West Ham and Liverpool both reported a figure of 55 per cent -
the proportion of club income spent on wages - in their 2013/14 annual

That represents good news for the long-term future of the Hammers, who only
four years ago spent a dangerously-high 70 per cent of club income on wages
- a figure considered at the time to be the uppermost safety limit.

However the news was not quite so good with regards to Premier League club's
annual turnover, where West Ham slipped from 8th highest in 2012/13 to 10th
in the most-recently published accounts. United's £115m income for 2013/14
was narrowly topped by Aston Villa (£117m) and Everton (£121m), who rose
above the Hammers in the table.

Meanwhile Southampton increased their income by a third in their second
season in the Premier League, rising above Sunderland in the table and
closing the gap on West Ham considerably.

Largely responsible for the improvement in the financial state of Premier
League clubs - and the subsequent reduction in the ratio of income spent on
wages - are UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules, which have imposed spending
limits on all member clubs.

You may read more about how FFP works here.

Proportion of Income Spent on Wages

1. Manchester Utd (50%)
2. Hull City; Crystal Palace (51%)
4. Tottenham; Arsenal (55%)
6. West Ham Utd; Liverpool (56%)
8. Norwich City; Everton (57%)
10. Manchester City; Southampton; Aston Villa; Chelsea (59%)
14. Newcastle Utd (60%)
15. Stoke City (62%)
16. Swansea City; Cardiff City (64%)
18. Sunderland (67%)
19. West Brom (75%)
20. Fulham (76%)

Last season's position in brackets.

1. (1) Manchester Utd (£433m)
2. (3) Manchester City (£347m)
3. (4) Chelsea (£324m)
4. (2) Arsenal (£304m)
5. (5) Liverpool (£256m)
6. (6) Tottenham (£181m)
7. (7) Newcastle Utd (£130m)
8. (9) Everton (£121m)
9. (10) Aston Villa (£117m)
10. (8) West Ham Utd (£115m)
11. (14) Southampton (£106m)
12. (11) Sunderland (£104m)
13. (16) Stoke City; Swansea City (£98m)
15. (12) Norwich City (£94m)
16. (13) Fulham (£91m)
17. (-) Crystal Palace (£90m)
18. (15)West Brom (£87m)
19. (-) Hull City (£84m)
20. (-) Cardiff City (£83m)

Gold "injuries" Twitter row rumbles on
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on April 29, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

David Gold is continuing to insist that injury problems were the reason for
a lack-lustre performance against Queens Park Rangers. DG had played the
'injury card' on Twitter following the dismal weekend shwoing at Loftus Road
and immediately ran into a storm of abuse from followers. And four days on
the row continued today to rule with a follower tweeting: Who agrees that
bfs still will not play either nene or amalfitano on saturday? Then
@davidgold will insult us again with his injury excuses

The co chairman responded: "Steve it wasn't an excuse it was a fact. Five of
our best players were out injured for the QPR game. dg

Missing from the game were Winston Reid, Diafra Sakho, Andy Carroll, James
Tomkins and Alex Song. However, in a separate tween Gold confirmed that
Carroll would be avaialable from Day One next season declaring: "I am
hopeful that Andy Carroll will make a meaningful contribution to next
seasons campaign. He is working hard. He will be available for the first
game of the season."

Fit again Zarate finds net for QPR
Posted by Sean Whetstone on April 29, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Hammers loanee Mauro Zarate has returned to QPR from the West Ham treatment
table and opened the scoring in a 8-0 QPR reserves game in which he played
the full 90 minutes against Barnet on Tuesday afternoon.

Zarate has managed just 71 minutes in a QPR first team shirt since his
early January arrival on loan. He has only managed just four second half
substitutions for the Hoops against Burnley, Southampton, Sunderland and
Hull, three of which resulted in losses.

QPR are thought to be picking up his full £40,000 per wages plus a loan fee
meaning his fifteen week stint so far has cost the club around £750,000
which is just over £10,500 for every minute he has spent on the pitch.

The Loftus Road outfit considered sending Zarate back after discovering his
shocking lack of fitness but he was placed on an intensive fitness regime
before suffering a knee injury in March.

He is expected to return to West Ham in the summer and take part in pre
season training with the Hammers. Zarate signed a three year contract with
West Ham in May 2014.

Speedy Gonzales Jenkinson
Posted by Sean Whetstone on April 29, 2015 in Whispers
Claret 7 Hugh

Hammers right back Carl Jenkinson clocked up a top speed of 35.3 kilometres
per hour (21.93 mph) against QPR last Saturday to match the season's best
speed from Newcastle United's Moussa Sissoko.

Top speeds

Match Week 34
Moussa Sissoko 35.3 Carl Jenkinson 35.3
Carl Jenkinson 35.3 Michael Duff 34.6
Moussa Sissoko 35.2 Jamie Vardy 34.3
Leandro Bacuna 35.2 Enner Valencia 34.1
Wilfried Zaha 35.2 Wilfried Zaha 34.0

DG kills off Sam contract talks tweet
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on April 29, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

David Gold has killed off "speculation and rumour-mongering" that Sam
Allardyce and the board are in negotiations over a new contract for the
manager. Twitter had been alive this morning as a tweet emerged from a well
known Irons figure claiming: "The managerial situation at West Ham may have
taken another twist. I'm hearing rumours Big Sam has opened negotiations
over a new deal." For a while our offices were inundated with requests for
more information and it has only been in the last few minutes we have caught
up with DG.
The co chairman categorically denied the story making it clear for "for
theumpteenth time" nothing will happen until the end of the season. He told
ClaretandHugh exclusively: "Can you put the record straight please. That is
simply not true.We have made it clear over and over again what we are doing
and the situation remains precisely the same. "Anything else is just
speculation and rumour-mongering. The decisions that need making will be
made at the end of the season. "I seem to be saying this for the umpteenth
time. I would ask all fans to wait until the end of the season. After all,
there's not long to go."

DG unapologetic over Twitter injuries claim
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on April 29, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

David Gold remains firm in his view that the presence of three or four first
team regular would have helped the team's cause at the weekend. The co
chairman ran into a storm of protest on Twitter when claiming injuries were
responsible for the level of performance and he indicated to ClaretandHugh
that some were reading far too much into his words. He's aware that some
fans will have taken his words as backing for the manager as he battles
through a period which has led to much speculation over his job. But
speaking exclusively to ClaretandHugh he said: "There was absolutely nothing
other in my mind than what I tweeted. "If a team like ours is missing five
top players – Sakho, Carroll, Tomkins, Reid and Song it would be surprising
if it weren't to have an effect. "Obviously I would assume that some have
taken that as me trying to say more than than I did. And they are wrong to
do so and they are making false assumptions. "My only intention to say was
what I said …that five injured players out are likely to affect the level of
performance – nothing else."

Former West Ham midfielder 'thanks god' he turned down Millwall
Damien Lucas

Former West Ham United midfielder Matthew Etherington has revealed he said
'thanks but no thanks' to his old club's bitter rivals Millwall before
retiring. Ex Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Matty Etherington
was forced to retire from football before Christmas due to ongoing injury
problems. But not before telling the Hammers' hated rivals he had no
interest in joining them because 'it just felt wrong'. Etherington, who had
a number of good seasons at West Ham under Alan Pardew, was looking for a
club after being released by Stoke City last summer. Millwall were not put
off by the 33-year-old's Upton Park connections and then manager Ian
Holloway asked him to come and train with the struggling side.

Etherington, now a football pundit, admitted he went into training but soon
realised things did not feel right. Speaking to West Ham Fan TV, the former
Peterborough United youngster rubbed salt in Millwall's fresh relegation
wounds after their demotion to League One was confirmed on Tuesday night. He
said: "Ian Holloway text me and said 'Do you want to go down to Millwall?'.
"I've got a lot of West Ham friends and when they heard I was going down
there I can't tell you the amount of stick I was getting. "It just felt
wrong going in there, even going to the training ground. It was the weirdest
feeling. I went training, my back had gone and I thought 'I ain't coming
back here'."I called Holloway and said 'thanks but no thanks' and I retired
a few weeks later. It didn't feel right and it didn't happen thank god." The
Truro-born winger scored 16 goals in 165 games - including an FA Cup final -
for the Hammers. But had he joined Millwall it could have tarnished his
reputation among fans who still hold him in high regard.

Mark Noble could be the perfect number 10 for West Ham, with Downing and
Nolan continuing to struggle
Billy Hawkins

Mark Noble has proven enough to suggest that he could be a perfect number 10
for the Hammers. Earlier this season, things were going rather well for
West Ham, with Noble playing in a diamond midfield alongside Alex Song,
Cheikhou Kouyate and Stewart Downing. Noble was the willing runner in that
system, harrying opponents on the ball, and creating the off chance.
However, main playmaking duties were left to Song - in the deep-lying
midfield role - and Downing, who was the number 10. This led the East London
club up the Premier League table, and won head coach Sam Allardyce some
deserved plaudits. However, injuries and a loss in form to Downing and Song
have resulted in just two victories for the Hammers in 2015, and a top 10
placing looks out of the question. Obviously these issues are not down to
any specific person, although the continual inclusion of Kevin Nolan raises
a few eyebrows.

Playing as the number 10 following Downing's loss in form, Nolan looks off
the pace when asked to perform weekly in the top flight. A great servant of
the club, his time is surely up, and it begs the question of who can take
his place as the teams main playmaker. Nolan is past his best, Downing
himself is ageing, and it creates a huge tactical issue for Allardyce.
However, Noble has all the abilities to play in that advanced role, and it
arguably suits him, and the team, better than his current position.

Noble plays the second most key passes in the entire Hammers squad - 1.4 per
game to Downing's 2.4 - whilst possessing a higher pass accuracy than the
former Liverpool man. He also, surprisingly, completes more dribbles than
Downing and draws more fouls than the winger.
His attacking play is impressive, especially considering his usual
deep-lying role restricts his effect in the final third, and just imagine
how effective he would be if let loose from his defensive responsibilities.
Speaking of these responsibilities, Noble is also a far better option in the
number 10 role than Downing when it comes to pressing from the front and the
need to win the ball back early.

The 27-year-old completes 2.5 tackles per game and two interceptions per
game, far better than Downing, and even toning these down to increase his
attacking efficiency would make him a far better all-round number 10 than
Downing. Downing and Nolan have enjoyed successful careers as playmakers,
but it looks as if their time at the top of their game is coming to an end.
Rather than persevering with the ageing duo, Allardyce should look towards
Noble as his main creative outlet, with the tireless midfielder potentially
a fix for a key tactical issue in the Hammers current set-up.

Everton line up £5m summer bid for West Ham target Kara Mbodj
Mathew Nash

The Senegalese defender currently plays in Belgium for Genk. At the start of
February West Ham United were linked with the signature of Serigne Kara
Mbodj from Belgian club Genk. It was as the transfer deadline loomed, the
Daily Star reporting that Mbodj would cost The Hammers a fee in the region
of £4.5 million. Of course no deal ever came off. Since then West Ham have
finally agreed a contract extension with Winston Reid for him to remain at
the club, which may see their transfer priorities reevaluated. That leaves
Mbodj a potential target for other Premier League suitors. It is now being
claimed that Everton are stepping up their interest in the player. It has
been reported by The Sun this week, as reported by the official Everton
website. They claim he is valued at around £5 million and there is no doubt
that Everton could do with bringing in a new central defender this summer.
John Stones and Phil Jagielka look like a partnership that could certainly
thrive, but they have little in the way of support. Antolin Alcaraz is
simply not good enough and Sylvain Disin's legs have finally given up on him
at the ripe age of 37-years-old. Both players are out of contract in the
summer, so Kara Mbodj might just be a great addition to Everton's problem


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