Monday, May 11

Daily WHUFC News - 11th May 2015

Opportunity knocks for Nene

Disappointing. Frustrating. Agonising. Saturday's 1-0 Barclays Premier
League defeat at Aston Villa was all of the above for West Ham United, but
it represented something else for Nene. An opportunity. The Brazilian
forward has featured sparingly since his January arrival from Qatari
football, featuring six times as an eye-catching second-half substitute. At
Villa Park, the 33-year-old was given a full 45 minutes to show his quality,
and responded by producing two of the Hammers' five shots on goal and
setting up Enner Valencia to score with a header – albeit his fellow South
American's effort was ruled out for being narrowly offside. Speaking to West
Ham TV after the game, the former Paris St-Germain and Monaco star said he
enjoyed his extended appearance, and hopes to have done enough to start
against Everton next weekend. "I was happy to be on the field," the No12
confirmed. "It was a shame we didn't get the result, because in the second
half I thought we played better than them and we got some chances. "I would
have preferred to have got the result, but I did my best to help the team
and my legs feel good, so I was happy with that part. "The game was
difficult because they also needed the points, so they played very strong
and on the counter-attack. If we got more chances to shoot or cross, like
the one I gave to Enner, who I didn't think was offside, then we could have
come back in the game. "This is football. We need to work hard in the last
two games and do our best to get the most points possible."

As an experienced player who has spent more than a decade at the highest
level, Nene was asked how West Ham can become a more threatening attacking
force in their final two fixtures against Everton and Newcastle United.
"You've put me in a difficult situation! What we need to do is put the best
quality of ourselves for the team and to create chances and shoot on the
target. "We know what we need to do and we need to put that into practice in
the future."

Nene himself has also found himself in a difficult situation in recent
weeks, sitting on the bench when he – like any footballer – would much
rather have been in the midst of the action on the pitch. "Of course I
wanted to play more but I respect the staff. I work every day to do my best
to play and to help the team and when I get the chance I want to show I can
help my teammates. "It was difficult but this is football. I'm happy here
and I hope in the final two games I can get more minutes."

A prolific user of social media, Nene has endeared himself to West Ham fans
on Instagram and Twitter, where his excellent language skills see him
communicate in English, French and Portuguese. He is grateful for that
support. "Yes, that is really important for me and gives me force and power
to give my best every day. I want to thank them because from the time I
arrived until now they are really good with me and support me a lot with
their words. "I hope to give them what they want from me."

By Sean Whetstone 10 May 2015 at 08:16
West Ham Till I Die

Those West Ham supporters hoping away fans will tucked away in the upper
tier gods at the Olympic Stadium could be in a major disappointment.
Planning permission documents submitted by the LLDC show that the away fans
are most likely to be segregated in the South West corner of both the lower
and upper tiers. The diagram below shows a 5% section, the likely standard
away allocation for the Olympic Stadium totaling just 2,700. Contrary to
popular belief there is no minimum away allocation in Premier League
matches. The diagram also shows a 15% away fan allocation or 8,100 which
would take over the majority of the upper and lower south stands. These will
primary be used for FA Cup matches where 15% is required as long as their
are no safety concerns but could also be available for big games where there
is enough demand. The 50% allocation and segregation is reserved for
international matches.

The allocation of a large section of the lower tier of the Olympic Stadium
will concern some existing season ticket holders hoping to get a similar
seat and view to the one they currently enjoy at the Boleyn ground. Both the
Sir Trevor Brooking Lower and Bobby Moore Lower accommodate approximately
6,000 West Ham fans between them with another approximate 3,000 Hammers in
the corners of the West Stand all of which that are currently classed band

There are thought to be 19,000 seats in the new lower tier of the Olympic
Stadium which has led some to question how West Ham will accommodate up to
9,000 Band 4 seats behind the goals and the corners of the Olympic Stadium.
The fear is many season ticket holders currently enjoying a lower tier band
4 ticket will be forced into an upper tier position much further away then
their current seat.

By David Hautzig 9 May 2015 at 18:16
West Ham Till I Die

I listen to a lot of Podcasts while driving from customer to customer. One
of my favorites is The Football Ramble. Last season, after we beat Spurs at
White Hart Lane in the League Cup, the Ramblers told a story about the game.
At some point after Maiga scored to put us ahead, Tim Sherwood got a bit
peeved about something. As he turned around to confront the fourth official,
Sam was standing right in his line of sight. Before Sherwood could even
muster up one word, Sam bellowed out "you getting the hang of this"!? Yeah,
Sam. He is. Maybe you need to ask yourself the same question.

The first half was as close to a one sided affair as is possible at this
level. Meaning, two teams that are essentially on the same level. In the 5th
minute, Villa played as if they were managed by Sam with Cleverley sending a
long pass near the box to Benteke. The on fire Belgian headed it down to
N'Zogbia but his first touch was too heavy and the chance was gone. Minutes
later, after Grealish won a corner, the ball bounced around the penalty area
for what seemed like minutes. Villa attempted two shots, but both were
blocked. Then, a long pass from Delph to Cleverly set up a volley by the
latter but Adrian was there to palm the ball out for a corner. Three minutes
later, Villa were awarded a free kick and this time Delph found Benteke in
the box, but despite beating Collins to the ball he couldn't get his header
on target and it rolled out wide for a goal kick. Moments later Cleverly
crossed to a wide open Benteke, but his header went off the post and across
the goal mouth.

It turned out the play was offside, but a theme was developing for the first
half. West Ham gain possession, lose possession, then defend as Villa attack
with speed and purpose. If it weren't for James Collins cement forehead the
game could have been ugly for the Hammers.

In the 27th minute, Benteke controlled a cross with his chest just outside
of the West Ham area. He layed it off for Delph, whose low shot looked to be
deflected by…you guessed it…Collins before being smothered by Adrian. But as
the old saying goes, if you play with fire you get burned. In the 31st
minute, all of the sloppy passes and deep defending caught up with West Ham.
After moving the ball well around the top of the area, Grealish made a run
down the left. He beat Downing by the touchline and sent a pass through
Collins legs and in to the path of the on-rushing Cleverly who tapped it in
from just a few yards out for his third goal in three games.

Aston Villa 1, West Ham 0.

Many of us have asked why Amalfitano hasn't played as much as we would like.
After seeing his tussle with Cleverley and the knee to the backside that the
Lee Mason missed, you can understand why his temperament might outweigh his
talent from time to time. On another day that could have been a straight

West Ham appealed for a penalty in the 39th minute, both by Nolan and
Kouyate after West Ham won a corner. As the ball came into the box, Nolan
was sandwiched by Krul and Vlaar and Kouyate seemed to be pulled from behind
by Delph. Lee Mason's reply to both was no and no, and the first half ended
with Aston Villa in front by a goal.

In many ways, the most exciting moment for West Ham in the second half came
before the ball was kicked off. Which is rather pathetic. Be that as it may,
the announcement that Nolan and Amalfitano were being replaced by Song and
Nene sparked more enthusiasm on Twitter than any other moment in the game.
In the 50th minute, the Brazilian showed why he might be a better option in
our current state than Sam has led us to believe. Song played the ball wide
to Noble, who passed to Downing, who layed it off for Nene. With a quick
move to his left, he sent a curling effort just over the bar.

Aston Villa came close to doubling their lead in the 54th minute when
N'Zogbia broke down the right and sent a shot into the side setting. As he
completed his shot he tried to jump over a sliding Cresswell, but instead
landed on the Hammer Of The Year's left leg. Thankfully the injury wasn't
serious and Joey O'Brien was able to continue his sabbatical.

In the 59th minute West Ham created what we call a half chance, and what I
suspect Sam will call a missed opportunity. Nene attempted a cross to
Valencia, but the pass was cleared out for a corner by Vlaar. On the ensuing
free kick, Collins rose above the crowd but his header was palmed over the
bar by Given. The corner was cleared, but only as far as Alex Song, who
passed it to Nene. The man isn't afraid to shoot from anywhere and
everywhere. But his attempt from the top of the box sailed over the bar. A
few minutes later, he sent a cross from the right that found Valencia in
front of goal. Before the ball was headed past Given, the offside flag went
up. Many on Twitter lambasted the linesman for getting it wrong, but replays
showed he got it right.

In the 68th minute, Delph and N'Zogbia combined to split open the West Ham
defense, especially Jenkinson who looked to be in a slower speed. But just
as N'Zogbia was about to shoot Kouyate raced back to break up the play and
keep West Ham in it.

Can I say something else about Nene? Thanks. A minute later, West Ham had
the ball on the right hand side near the Villa eighteen yard box. Jenkinson
sent a pass towards Nene. Nene's Brazilian mind said Noble, Downing, or
Valencia would make a move into the open space to his left. So he dummied
it, and let the ball roll past him as he faked with his right foot. But the
Sam minds don't think that way, nobody moved, and Villa intercepted and
broke. I am NOT on a Nene love fest here. But if the only plays that made us
even sit up in our chairs went through him, it's notable.

In the 74th minute Aston Villa should have doubled their advantage. Delph
and Benteke combined well outside the West Ham area. Delph passed to
Cleverley breaking down the right, who then sent a low cross into the box
that Benteke somehow mis-timed before Collins cleared the ball from danger.

The final minutes of the match saw Collins miss a challenged header from a
corner, Agbonglahor break in on Adrian only to be foiled by Cresswell, and
Carlton Cole win a corner that again found Collins but not the net.

Final Score. Aston Villa 1, West Ham 0.

At times today West Ham were dire. Absolutely awful. At other times West Ham
were functional. Not a joy to watch, but not painful either. But at no time
today were we even a shadow of the club we thought we had earlier in the
year. We never really asked any questions of Villa, and I think the game
could have gone on for hours without West Ham scoring. I guess we haven't
seen that side in months, and as it stands I don't know when we will see it

Maiga stay at Metz unlikely after relegation
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 10, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

French team Metz were relegated straight back to French Ligue 2 on Saturday
as they suffered a crushing 4-0 defeat to Lorient. Hammer Modibo Maiga
joined Metz at the beginning of this season on a one-year loan deal with an
option to buy. Maiga signed West Ham for a reported £4.7m from Sochaux
scoring 6 goals for the Hammers from 37 appearances. Metz were thought to
paying just £6,000 of Maiga £30,000 per week wages but even that may be too
high a fee to pay in Ligue 2. He has one year remaining on his West Ham
contract worth around £1.5m in wages. A return to West Ham in the summer
looks likely now unless a new loan or permanent deal can be found elsewhere.

Gold says Bobby Moore is coming with us
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 10, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

When Co Chairman David Gold was asked on social media by a West Ham fan "Is
the Bobby Moore memorial statue going to remain or move to the new
stadium?"He replied "The Bobby Moore statue will come with us to the new
stadium. dg"

This has left some Olympic Stadium watchers confused whether it West Ham's
to take with them. The memorial to England's 1966 World Cup triumph depicts
West Ham legend Bobby Moore, along with fellow West Ham players Geoff Hurst
and Martin Peters, as well as Ray Wilson from Everton. At four metres high
it is a prominent sight at the corner of Green Street and Barking Road was
designed and crafted by British artist Philip Jackson and weighs in at four
tonnes. Newham council website says financial contributors to the Champions
statue included the London Borough of Newham, West Ham United Football Club,
Green Street SRB, Arts Council for England, and Arts & Business. West Ham
would most likely need permission from these backers to relocate the statue
to the Queen Elizabeth park close to the Olympic Stadium.

Benitez new bookies favourite for Irons hotseat
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 10, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Napoli boss Rafa Benitez is the new bookies favourite at 6/4 to replace Sam
Allardyce r next season replacing previous favourite David Moyes who remains

It is claimed Rafael Benitez is set to leave Napoli at the end of the season
even if he is offered a new contract by the Italian club. Napoli president
Aurelio De Laurentiis says Benitez can remain at the San Paolo "for the next
five years" if he wants to. However, sources close to Benitez claim he will
quit Napoli when his contract expires in June, putting West Ham on alert
over his availability over the summer. The former Liverpool and Chelsea
manager Benitez joined Napoli in the summer of 2013 and led them to the
Coppa Italia and third place in Serie A in his first season in charge. This
season Napoli has failed to mount a serious bid for the title, but Benitez
has guided the club to the semi-finals of the Europa League.

David Moyes has moved to second favourite after he appeared to claim he was
staying at Real Sociedad.

Moyes said "There's always speculation, but I'm here to do the job,I'm going
to be here. I want to try to get everything in place so we can be at our
best for the start of next season. I don't think we need masses and masses,
but there are improvements I'd like to make, things I want to change. Small
things that will help. And if we do that. I'll be here. I'm not going

Lack of attacking play could cost Irons Europa
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 10, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Yesterday West Ham picked up just one yellow card courtesy of Alex Song
while Everton picked up two. On face of it that it appeared good news for
our European hopes as each yellow card counts as minus one point from that
week's totals in the Premier League Fair Play table.

What is less well known is a further 10 points are available for teams
displaying attacking play. Despite losing two nil to Sunderland yesterday
media reports claim Everton attacked relentlessly. West Ham attacking play
was less obvious and that could cost us dear when Premier League officials
tally up the scores for West Ham and Everton over the past two games.

West Ham are 10 points ahead of Everton in the fair play table published on
the 5th May based on 34 games to the end of May. Just 4 games of scoring
remain for West Ham to finish above Everton with two of them already played.
West Ham picked up 3 yellow cards in our previous game against Burnley last
weekend (Noble, Downing and Valencia) while Everton (Coleman) picked up just
one in their 3-2 loss to Aston Villa on 2nd May. Liverpool lead the table
but are almost guaranteed to qualify for Europe under their league position
so the Europa would be awarded to second place should Liverpool top the

DG careful of playing injury card
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 10, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

David Gold has been careful not to replay the "injury card " in FULL as the
reason for our Villa Park failure. But he ventured back onto thin ice on
Twitter after yesterday's game to declare: "We are not winning because we
are not scoring goals. Obvious. Part reason. Our two top goal scorers are
injured. Dg The co chairman took a lot of stick last week when appearing to
blame a dismal performance at Loftus Road on injuries although he insisted
he was merely stating a fact rather than excuse finding. He told
ClaretandHugh: "I am not trying to protect or excuse anything – merely
stating a fairly obvious fact." However, another post was far more positive
and upbeat when he assured a fan on the future of the Bobby Moore statue. He
explained: "The Bobby Moore statue will come with us to the new stadium. Dg

LEROY: We were pathetic and shameful
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 10, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Well, that was pathetic – no other word will do…West Ham were hopeless at
Villa. Worse than that, they looked like a team who didn't want to be there
and are simply looking after themselves to make sure they don't get injuries
before the summer break – awful!
They shamed themselves and my only thoughts were with the fantastic fans who
followed them up there. They should receive a refund after that. This is my
club and hurts like hell to have to talk like this but we have to be honest.
If we aren't all is lost. No excuses – no explanations from anywhere please.
We were awful. God, there were times when they couldn't even pass the ball
accurately over ten yards. Villa were hardly great so where does that put
us? …as low as it gets.

The players must hold their hands up. There's not much a manager can do in
those circumstances but I'm afraid there is also a collective responsibility
and Sam has to take his share of it because that's the nature of the job –
you have to get things sorted. And THAT hasn't been happening. Nor is it on
to keep talking about injuries as an excuse. There's a squad of 25
professionals – they are called that for a reason. Whatever the
circumstances there has to be btter than what we've seen for the last few
weeks – especially yesterday. Where they go from here I haven't a clue but
yesterday they shamed those brilliant fans.

Not on – simply not on!

Missed chances – which chances were they?
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 10, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

You are awake an hour and read of referee's assistant guessing at a
disallowed West Ham goal accompanied by claims that nobody can score.
This won't take long but let's clear all that up! As stated earlier the
linesman guessed correctly – Enner Valencia's goal was rightly ruled out. It
was a yard offside so no moans about that please. As for our players not
being able to score, one small point – you have to make chances for that to
happen and West Ham aren't doing so. Thus the goal drought goes on and will
continue until a team is put out that can find it's way through defences as
19 year old Jack Grealish did ours yesterday before pulling the ball back to
Tom Cleverley for their goal. I'm too tired of the usual excuse making to
say much more other than like most others match day is now a trial from
beginning to end. But it really does need to be pointed out that those
chances we hear of, yesterday amounted to an offside goal and a James
Collins header from a Mark Noble corner.

Case rested!

Cressie: "We paid the price"
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 10, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Hammer of the Year Aaron Cresswell has spoken of his huge disappointment at
the Villa Park defeat. Speaking to the official site he said: "We just need
to take one of the chances we're creating, but unfortunately we couldn't do
that and we paid the price. "I think we had a couple of chances. Enner had
his header ruled out for offside, but I think if we score the first goal
it's a different game. "We were disappointed with the way we conceded.
Grealish pulled it back from the line and unfortunately for us it's gone
through James Collins' legs and the lad's tapped it in. "They're fighting
for their lives down at the bottom and that's never nice for anyone,
including the players. "They were 1-0 up and they were always going to sit
back in the last 15, 20 minutes. We just needed that goal which we couldn't

Err Sam – the official "guessed" right
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 10, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Sam Allardyce has had a whinge at 'the goal that never was' from Enner
Valencia during yesterday's game at Villa Park. With Villa leading, the
Ecuadorian striker rose to head home which at – at first sight – appeared to
be an okay goal. However, replays clearly showed Enner to be offside by
about a yard and the player greeted the decision from the referee's
assistant with a small smile. The manager however, unsurprisingly, took a
difference view and stormed afterwards: "The assistant was in no position to
give a decision – he guessed. "He was four yards out of place and I find
that difficult to take but beyond that our problem is we can't score goals
or finish chances." An odd response at best and just a small reminder – the
referee's assistant "guessed" right. Why you were apparently watching him
rather than the build up to the 'goal' WE can only GUESS at!

West Ham teenager Reece Burke puts in another fine performance
Sat 2 May
Vincent Ralph

West Ham United may have lost 1-0 to Aston Villa this weekend but their
teenage centre-back continued to impress. West Ham United could not build on
their recent win against Burnley, as Sam Allardyce's men lost 1-0 to a
resurgent Aston Villa side on Saturday. The only goal of the game came from
Tom Cleverley; the Manchester United loanee scoring for the third match in
succession. But while Villa stole the show and won the points, Hammers fans
can at least take heart from another fine performance from their teenage
centre-back Reece Burke.
The 18-year-old was playing his third league game in a row, and for the
first time he was unable to help his side to a clean-sheet having previously
done just that against both Sean Dyche's men and Queens Park Rangers.

Burke is far from the finished article, but while there are areas of his
game that he can and no doubt will improve in time, he showed enough on
Saturday to suggest he should now remain a regular part of the Hammers'
first-team squad. The areas in which the West Ham youngster really impressed
at the weekend – apart from his brilliant composure for one so young – were
the sheer number of effective clearances he made and the fact that he was
not dispossessed all afternoon. Burke made 19 effective clearances in total
(12 with his feet and seven with his head) while he also recovered the ball
on three separate occasions. He also had an impressive passing accuracy of
80 per cent. The areas he will be less pleased with were duels, aerial
battles and interceptions, with Burke winning none on the day. But he is
young, he is extremely talented and in time he could become a great West Ham

Sakho snubs Allardyce at awards evening – The ExWHUemployee Column
By ExWHUemployee on May 10, 2015 in ExWHUemployee column

It has been a while since I have written a blog but with any luck they will
be weekly again from now on.

The manager issue is still on going. At the player awards the chairmen and
the manager did not speak. In fact Sam seemed very aloof during the whole
evening, didn't present any awards or make a speech, neither did David
Sullivan unlike previous years and both Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll left
early which got people talking. Diafra Sakho also offered his top scorer
award to the chairmen as a thank you for bringing him to the club providing
a very obvious snub to Allardyce.

I have heard that during the week a number of managers appear to be
distancing themselves from the job. David Moyes has always been the number
one target and I think he still is however he appears to be changing his
mind and almost distancing himself from the position. His advisors have
been spoken to indirectly on a couple of occasions now and he is of course
Tony Henry's first choice. Rafa Benitez looks likely to stay at Napoli or
take another big job and not come here, so he is now unlikely. The
Marseille boss has suffered some very poor form of late and his job is
currently under threat and so I think the club have lost interest. There
has been talk from a few people online that Ramos, the old Spurs boss,
could be considered. This will not happen but the options appear to be
running out. Howe of Bournemouth has been linked too but he is likely to
want to stay on and mange Bournemouth in the Premier League. There seems
to be a bit of concern around the West Ham hierarchy that, whilst they
would like to replace Sam, the options they thought they had seem to be
running thinner. Of course there is still Slaven Bilic who many people would
want at the club. He has been distancing himself from the job but I think
he would take it if offered.

I was told that there have been initial discussions with Steve McLaren who
is apparently keen on moving to us now having rejected us a couple of times
in the past. Whether this move is likely I am not sure but I believe
things are becoming concerning. As I have said for months we must wait
until the end of the season until worrying about it as that is when
decisions will be made.

I do believe it is time for Sam to go now. Many of you will know I have
backed him for a long time, written many an article on it and still believe
his criticism has been unfair. The problem is the fans are so against him
now that it really is almost impossible for him to make our last season at
Upton Park special because of the current negativity around him. The
performance in first half against Villa was terrible and then the changes
were made (to the system we all want with Nene on) and we looked better.
This really isn't rocket science! We then have the excuse that we are not
taking our chances yet we will not play more than one recognised forward
from the start. If the managerial options appear to vanish then it
increases the chances of Sam being offered another deal. All of this
however is pure speculation and not worth getting worked up about until the
end of the season as anything can happen.

I tweeted from the players' do that Jenkinson was happy to stay with us and
wanted to. Arsene Wenger put out a statement to say that the club still
want to keep Carl and would only consider a second loan deal. Of course the
manager will not come out and declare him for sale as it lowers the price
but it does mean the deal is harder to do. I had heard that we are close to
a couple of signings. One is Obiang for £8.5m which I have said for a
number of weeks now and a couple of free deals. Glen Johnson is someone who
I have regularly spoke about in recent blogs and is being lined up for a
move. There are a couple of other foreign free transfers who are also hot
on the radar.

The new Umbro deal was confirmed in recent weeks and has been agreed long
before, offering the best deal financially. There has also been a few
problems with Adidas which have upset the club including there being no
children's sizes available for the Christmas period. Umbro isn't my
favourite make but they will apparently work with the fans to listen to what
we want for designs in future years which can only be good.

The player of the year award was won by Aaron Cresswell. He had a large
majority and it was confirmed way before the night that he had won (hence
my tweet). Adrian was a deserving second but perhaps less so deserving
was Valencia achieving third. It has been said in the past that we now
have a number of Ecuadorian fans who regularly visit our website to check up
on their hero and his third place will be down to them voting. Valencia has
showed potential (especially at the start of the season in the right
formation) however he hasn't quite lived up to the player I thought he would
be. At this moment I would take the £20m supposedly Chelsea were
interested in paying or even take a swap deal for Remy. I don't think this
deal will happen and next season will be very important for Valencia to
prove he can make it in the Premier League.

Another player likely to leave is Alex Song. A couple of conversations with
him during the night suggested that he knows he is done at the club and
some big clubs have had a look. I think we are now reluctant to pay the
transfer fee and wages for a man whose form has dropped dramatically. We
have Lassandra Diarra and Obiang lined up as potential replacements it seems
and it appears Song will be on his way back to Spain, probably not in a
Ford Fiesta however.

Let's enjoy our last home game of the season. The closer this move comes the
more things I am realising I am going to miss. We still have the fair play
award to play for. As I tweeted a while back the QPR game was the last one
for the winning leagues to be decided. Thankfully despite the scaremongering
of other West Ham accounts, England did make it. The team chosen to
represent England will be decided at the end of the season. One of our
closest rivals is Everton who we play next week, let's hope we can wind
some of their players up and get them booked. Some people do not seem keen
on playing in Europe in our last season at Upton Park, which I cannot
understand. Whilst it is not the greatest tournament, European nights would
be special and we haven't had many in my life time!


Also in our last season I want to squeeze out as many games as we can in our
home. COYI


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