Wednesday, May 13

Daily WHUFC News - 13th May 2015

Sakho's second season target

A dozen goals in his first season in England is no mean feat and yet Diafra
Sakho already has designs on bettering that tally come the 2015/16 campaign.
With ten Barclays Premier League strikes and a further two in the cup
competitions to his name, the 25-year-old collected West Ham United's top
goalscorer accolade at the Player Awards. It has not all been plain sailing,
of course, with back and, most recently, thigh injuries to contend with, but
when the dust settles, Sakho plans to reflect on a job well done in year
one. Clutching his leading marksman gong, he told West Ham TV: "I'm really
happy and I think it's a good reward. "It's been a successful season,
even if I wanted to do better. But with all the injuries that I've had, it's
been a good one and it will enable me to score more next season. "Even if
my aim was to score a few more, as I said, it will help me next season to do
everything to at least surpass 12 goals."

Though Sakho is fast becoming known for his aerial prowess, it is not his
headed goals that figure among his favourite of the campaign. The
Senegal-born striker ranks his silky lob against Liverpool at number two,
narrowly behind his belter of a finish in the 3-1 home win over Swansea
City. He continued: "As I always say, all my goals are special and they're
all important to me. But I think it's the one against Swansea that I like
the most. "Before I scored against Swansea, it was Liverpool, but when I
watched the Swansea one back on television, it's the best one."

Neither, however, could better Enner Valencia's thunderbolt at Hull City and
Sakho was in no doubt that the Ecuadorian international was good value for
his goal of the season prize. "Enner deserves it," he confirmed. "Even I
told him on the bus that he would win it. Everyone knows that his goal was
the best. So I'm especially happy for him, he's a goalscorer like me and
we're both happy."

Whether Sakho is to feature between now and the season's end remains to be
seen, but either way, West Ham's No15 wants to see his colleagues chalk up
the top-ten finish they deserve. "The injuries have been a little bit
frustrating, but the most important thing right now is our aim of finishing

By Brian Williams 12 May 2015 at 08:00
West Ham Till I Die

In case you had other things on your mind last Thursday and missed the
earth-shattering announcement from Upton Park, I am going to enlighten you
now. West Ham United are looking to bring out an updated version of Monopoly
to commemorate our final season at the Boleyn Ground and are looking for
ideas about what to include. Honestly. You could make this stuff up but, in
this instance, I haven't.

Given that Monopoly is based on the concept of acquiring property, I'm not
entirely convinced this is quite the right game for us. We, of course, are
divesting ourselves of bricks and mortar by selling the Boleyn Ground and
renting instead. It's been some years since the Williams family sat around
that iconic board and squabbled over who should be the Top Hat and who would
get the Boot, but if I remember correctly you can't decide to knock down
your hotel on the Old Kent Road and lease a luxury apartment on Mayfair

There are some unlikely scenarios in Monopoly (I have never won a tenner by
coming second in a beauty contest, for example) but renting rather than
buying isn't within the rules.

Apparently West Ham did produce its own version of Monopoly a few years ago,
but I never felt the need to add it to the pile of unplayed board games in
my loft. There was also a West Ham Cluedo. Rather than solving a murder as
in the traditional game, the E13 mystery was: "Who stole the silverware and
where have they hidden it?" I like to think this was someone's idea of a
joke, although marketing folk are not generally renowned for their sense of
humour. Mind you, whoever decided this should retail at £29.99 in the club
shop was clearly having a giraffe.

Well done to the commercial team, though, for avoiding the temptation to put
a picture of Avram Grant on the front of the box and calling it Clueless.

I think the club should shelve the Monopoly idea and go for something more
appropriate. Snakes and ladders seems an obvious choice, although supporters
who travel to away games regularly may nominate Pointless. There was a time
when Risk might have got a look in, but I realise those days are long gone
and people like me just have to get over ourselves.

My suggestion for the game to mark our final season at Upton Park is
Subbuteo, which is long overdue a serious revival.

My first set came with the two-dimensional players that collectors now refer
to as "flats". The kits were red and blue, with white shorts. For no good
reason, I generally liked using the blue players. The trouble was, every
game felt as if I was controlling an anorexic Everton taking on an equally
under-nourished Charlton Athletic.

In 1967 – the year I first saw West Ham play in the flesh – Subbuteo
introduced its so-called heavyweight figures, which were three-dimensional
and came in different club colours. It was as if a prayer had been answered,
and my subsequent letter to Santa in early December could not have been
clearer. Unfortunately for me, it must have got lost in the post, because
rather than getting my beloved Hammers on the 25th I ended up with Juventus.
I think that was when I finally lost all faith in Father Christmas and his
stunted workforce.

I begged my parents to help me put right this terrible wrong, but they
seemed strangely unwilling to get involved. So I nicked my elder brother's
paints that he used on his pointless plastic Airfix aeroplanes and turned
The Old Lady of Turin claret and blue. Well, claret-ish. It was more pillar
box red to be honest, but it was certainly better than black and white

Encouraged by my success, I tried painting our plastic Homepride
flour-grader in West Ham colours, too (don't tell me you've never heard of
Fred, the little man in a black suit with the bowler hat that unscrewed –
what do they teach in schools these days?) but it didn't turn out as well as
I'd hoped. My mum thought I'd done it as some form of protest about not
getting the Subbuteo side I'd asked for, and my pocket money was withheld
for several weeks as a result.

However, it takes more than that to discourage a true West Ham supporter
and, once my income was restored, I saved hard to buy the team I loved.
(There was no such thing as a leveraged buy-out in those days; you handed
over your own money or there was no sale.) For the next five years, during
my time at secondary school, I never looked back. If there was a Subbuteo
game going, I'd be up for it. And – always playing as WHUFC – I won more
than I lost (which is more than can be said for the full-sized WHUFC over
the same period).

I had a particularly good home record, which probably had something to do
with the fact I played on a top quality surface. The original idea, when
Subbuteo was first sold in 1947, was for players to chalk out a pitch on an
old army blanket – but my old man was having none of that. During the war he
had been in the RAF, and he didn't like the army or their blankets. So he
bought a rather nice piece of green baize and persuaded my mum to get busy
with her Singer sewing machine. The result was a beautifully embroidered
pitch with permanent cotton lines that cried out for a passing game. (We're
West Ham United – we play on the floor.) Few opponents could live with it.

Those of you who recall how quickly the goalmouths at Upton Park became
duckponds in the late sixties and early seventies will note that what I was
playing on was somewhat different from the real thing. Still, there's
nothing wrong with striving for perfection.

Unlike many West Ham players, I probably retired too early. But, you know
what it's like when you're coming to terms with puberty – there are so many
other things a healthy lad wants to do with his index finger. I'm now ready
to make a comeback, though.

If the club really wants to offer a game that is worthy of our forthcoming
historic season it could do a deal with Subbuteo to produce a replica of the
Boleyn Ground and the choice of teams in colours representing our 112 years
there. Supporters would then buy a side wearing their preferred strip and
challenge fellow fans to a game. Maybe the Miller's Well could be persuaded
to host matches on Saturday evenings.

I'd go for the classic Sixties look, but there are plenty of wonderful kits
to choose from. The Avco shirt worn by the Boys of '86; the '76 Cup Winners'
Cup jersey; maybe even the Dagenham Motors "V" of the early '90s. We could
even stretch a point and include away strips to avoid colour clashes.

So, what's your favourite shirt? And who fancies a game? West Ham may never
be top of the table again any time soon, but that doesn't mean there's no
place for tabletop football. It's got to be more fun than Monopoly.

PS: I'll be signing copies of Nearly Reach The Sky – A Farewell to Upton
Park at the Newham Bookshop in the Barking Road from 1pm on Saturday. Do
drop by and say hello. You can see for yourself why I'm still aggrieved that
I never made the podium in a beauty contest…

verton won't try to foul their way OUT of Europa League spot insists Roberto
22:30, 11 May 2015 By David Maddock
The Toffees and weekend foes West Ham could secure England's place via the
Fair Play table – which may mean playing a qualifier on July 2nd... in
The Mirror

Roberto Martinez has insisted there will be no brutal kicking match at West
Ham next week, as both teams try to avoid topping UEFA's Fair Play League!
Everton manager Martinez has dismissed the notion the two sides will be so
desperate to avoid that route into the Europa League – which means a start
to pre-season training in the middle of JUNE – that the game at Upton Park
will become a card-fest. Instead, the Toffees' boss says if his side do earn
one of three places open to Europe's best-behaved teams – with the Premier
League confirmed to get one spot – then he will embrace it with enthusiasm.

Liverpool are top of the Fair Play table, but are already almost certain to
qualify for Europe, leaving their neighbours at Goodison to slug it out
with West Ham...perhaps literally. But when asked if Saturday's game would
tempt each side to kick lumps out of each other to avoid having to return to
training in June for a July 2 start in the first qualifying round of the
Europa League, Martinez said: "No, no, no! It is just one of those
situations. "I wouldn't be disappointed. I would love it, and to answer it
clearly, if we get awarded a place, we will embrace it and enjoy it as a
football club. "The international players are away until June 17th, so they
would not be available for the early rounds. But we have got a lot of young,
talented players who have already played in Europe. They are ready for that
experience. "The first four games would be taken in that manner. Then it is
part of the preparation for the pre-season work. There is a place in the
football club to embrace it – it is a chance for the youngsters to accept
the responsibility and see how far they can go in the early round. It
doesn't happen every year. "

Everton played in the Europa League this season, but qualified directly to
the group phase so did not play their first match in the competition until
mid-September. They played 10 matches, and won just four of the Premier
League games that followed those fixtures.
UEFA have indicated they will award Fair Play places in next season's Europa
League to clubs from England, Holland and Ireland. But it comes at a huge
price, with a June start to pre-season for clubs whose 2014-15 season will
only end on May 24, and potential trips over thousands of miles to countries
such as Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Clubs taking part in the first qualifying
round would have to get through FOUR home-and-away ties just to get to the
group stage proper.

Irons linked with 15 million Euro keeper
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 12, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

According to reports in Italy, West Ham are tracking Genoa goalkeeper Mattia
Perin with a view for a bid for the shot stopper in the summer window. The
Italy international looks like he will be leaving the Serie A club this
summer and a number of clubs are chasing the 22 year old including West Ham
and Liverpool. TuttoMercatoWeb claim that the Hammers, along with Borussia
Dortmund are the latest clubs to show an interest in Perin after an
impressive season for Genoa this season. West Ham are said to like the
player but they are unlikely to meet the 15 million Euros (£10.7m) valuation
his club are asking for the player.

West Ham: "No offer to manager"
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 12, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Sam Allardyce has received no new contract offer offers or been encouraged
to believe one is on the way from West Ham United. Club insiders are
shrugging off a Daily Telegraph report which claims the manager the club
made an approach to their manager recently with a new two year deal
potentially on offer which was was declined."

But according to our best insider that, element of the the story is simply
not true and the report has been immediately shrugged off.
We were told firmly: "No offer has ever been made and therefore none has
been turned down. AS EVER, the situation will be reviewed in the summer."

ClaretandHugh's analyst and pundit Leroy Rosenior writes: The only
conclusion you can draw from all of this is that West Ham and Sam Allardyce
will not be together next season. Talks about a new deal don't happen inside
a couple of days, weeks or even months. Had the Hammers wanted to keep him,
talks would have started around Christmas particularly as the team HAD been
doing so well. It seems to me the club may be trying to keep him on ice in
case they don't find anyone to fill the job but Sam will know by now what's
going on and I simply can't see him accepting that. We all have our pride.
He won't be short of a club because he's seen as someone who keeps teams in
the Premier League. He may well be preparing his next move. "I've felt for
sometime it's all over between both sides and this latest situation only
reinforces that."

Obiang deal agreed in principle
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 12, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

According to Sport Italia journalist Alfredo Pedulla the Hammers have
reached an agreement in principle with Sampdoria for the transfer Pedro
Obiang. The two clubs are said to have agreed a fee at 7.5 million Euros
(£5.4m) plus performance related add on's. It is thought that Hammers chief
scout Tony Henry has given the all-clear to make the 23 year old midfielder
their first summer signing. The Spanish midfielder has made 60 appearances
for Sampdoria since 2010 scoring just one goal. Obiang was capped for Spain
at youth levels.

Zarate fined £80,000 for QPR outburst
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 12, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Relegated QPR have fined on loan Hammer Mauro Zarate two weeks' wages worth
£80,000 for throwing a tantrum before last week's defeat against Liverpool.
The West Ham striker on loan to QPR allegedly stormed out after failing to
make the matchday squad at Anfield and returned London on his own. Zarate
has managed just 71 minutes in a QPR first team shirt since his early
January arrival on loan. He has only managed 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 loan stint will cost QPR just under one million pounds or around
£14,000 for every minute he has spent on the pitch. West Ham tried to bring
Zarate back from his ill-fated loan at the end of January when their move
for Spurs striker Emmanuel Adebayor fell through at the 11th hour, but were
stopped by Premier League rules.

The long goodbye: Sam 'gone' story looks spot on
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 12, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Many will have noticed the new story emerging out of Upton Park this morning
concerning Sam Allardyce's now seemingly certain departure.
Apparently – if we believe the original Daily Telegraph story which has
since been reported almost everywhere – the manager has and will refuse to
sign any new deal. The story claims he has turned down a tentative offer
from the club to talk over a new deal and it adds that he is understood to
have two other offers – one in England and one abroad. The report says: "His
future will not be at West Ham, however, and he has decided that he will
leave the club even if they make a firm proposal to him in the next few
weeks. Sources at West Ham have insisted that there was an approach made to
Allardyce recently, with a new two-year deal potentially on offer, but it
was declined."
Yet only yesterday – and consistently for the last month or two – we have
been told that won't happen unless the club were unable to attract another
manager and even then only one year would be offered. And as we reported
yesterday Rafa Benitez is currently very much the man they want and who is
indeed listening to the overtures passed through middle men. That a non
quotes story should appear in the Telegraph explaining Allardyce has made
his mind up to say "no" to a new deal gives the immediate impression that
the sources used are indeed close to the manager as there is no mileage to
the club in 'leaking' such information. No story could be entirely
manufactured. Trust me. That's impossible so it looks that a message has
been sent that it's finally over. Mr Allardyce's pride – like most people's
– will presumably have been hurt by constant stories about the board wanting
a new man and that a carefully worded story may have been placed to make the
point. Either that or the entire thing has been made up which frankly we
don't believe. Seems it really is all over now as ClaretandHugh was told
yesterday by very well placed sources: "The mood is for change. And it was
added: Among those who are not under consideration are Marcelo Bielsa and
Steve McClaren as has been reported in some places."

The story claims he has turned down a tentative offer from the club to talk
over a new deal and it adds that he is understood to have two other offers –
one in England and one abroad. The report says: "His future will not be at
West Ham, however, and he has decided that he will leave the club even if
they make a firm proposal to him in the next few weeks.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce to quit Upton Park
Sam Allardyce set to end tenure in east London and may consider move west
John Percy By John Percy10:30PM BST 11 May 2015 Comments

Sam Allardyce will reject any offer to stay on as West Ham United manager at
the end of the season and he is understood to have turned down a tentative
approach from the club's board to open talks over a new deal. It was widely
expected that Allardyce would depart Upton Park, with his contract expiring,
but West Ham have experienced frustration with targets Jürgen Klopp, David
Moyes and Eddie Howe.
Klopp, who has announced that he will leave his position as Borussia
Dortmund manager this summer, was sounded out via intermediaries but is
prepared to wait until he makes his next career move.

Moyes is highly regarded by the West Ham board but he has made it clear that
he will be staying at Real Sociedad for another season, while Howe will not
leave Bournemouth after guiding the club to the Premier League by winning
the Championship title.

West Ham have other options, which could include Michael Laudrup, the club's
former defender Slaven Bilic and Napoli's Rafael Benítez, yet any hopes of
persuading Allardyce to stay on will be turned down by the 60-year-old.

Allardyce is understood to have two other offers, one in England and one
abroad, and one of those could be Fulham who are expected to search for a
new manager after another season of underachievement in the Championship.
His future will not be at West Ham, however, and he has decided that he will
leave the club even if they make a firm proposal to him in the next few
weeks. Sources at West Ham have insisted that there was an approach made to
Allardyce recently, with a new two-year deal potentially on offer, but it
was declined. That leaves West Ham facing a possible headache with their
options diminishing, ahead of a crucial 12 months when they prepare to move
into the Olympic Stadium for the 2016-17 season. Allardyce is on the brink
of securing a top-10 Premier League finish and could even clinch a place in
the Europa League next season. West Ham are second in the fair play league,
behind Liverpool, but could qualify if they can finish with fewer bookings
than nearest rivals Everton, who they play on Saturday.

It has been a difficult final campaign for Allardyce, with injuries to the
club's record signing Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho leaving him woefully
short of attacking options. He has also been criticised by supporters over
his tactics and style of play despite a concentrated attempt to bring in
more flair players last summer. Allardyce is adamant that the season has
been a success.
"Our position is to try to get 50 points or better and finish in the top
half where we have been all season. It will be very disappointing for me if
we don't manage that," he said. "I know we have more points than we have
ever got, we are one better off than year one, but we have to get to the 50
mark and stay in the top half."

Allardyce's departure this summer will end a tenure of four years in east
London, following his appointment as manager in June 2011.

West Ham United striker Enner Valencia has been included in Ecuador's squad
for this summer's Copa America
Guardian Series
First published 14:53 Tuesday 12 May 2015 in News
by Tom Bodell

West Ham United's Enner Valencia has been included in Ecuador's preliminary
squad for next month's Copa America. The 25-year-old striker is one of 30
players included in Gustavo Quinteros' preliminary group for the competition
which begins in Chile on June 11. Valencia, who joined the Hammers last
summer from Pachucha, has scored 11 times in just 17 outings for La Tricolor
and starred at last summer's World Cup. The Copa America is the South
American version of UEFA's European Championships, though Mexico and Jamaica
are competing. A place at the 2017 Confederations Cup is guaranteed for the


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