Thursday, May 14

Daily WHUFC News - 14th May 2015

View on the Visitors - Everton

Liverpool Echo's Everton Editor Greg O'Keefe lifts the lid on today's
visitors Everton.

Everton had been on a good run of results until the defeat to Sunderland
last weekend, would you agree with that?

"Yes, overall Everton's season has been disappointing. The high standards
that Roberto Martinez set with his fantastic first season led many fans to
hope for a top four finish. That hasn't happened but since March results
have picked up. They went out of the Europa League just when Everton's
season had become all about it. In the league, they went on an unbeaten run
which ended at Aston Villa and overall the quality of football has

What is your verdict on Roberto Martinez, are Everton going in the right

"Yes, he earned enough credit from his first fantastic season. That has
given him a bit of room for manoeuvre during, by contrast, a disappointing
second season. A lot of fans in modern day football are very knee jerk but I
think he's deserved another year. He's proved he can take Everton to the
next level."

Where do you think Everton should be targeting next season?

"Without the Europa League, the absolute main target has to be winning
silverware. Whether it's the League Cup or the FA Cup, for a club of
Everton's size not to win anything for 20 years is staggering. Smaller clubs
have won trophies, it's time the fans have something to cheer about."

A win on Saturday for Everton gives them a great chance of leapfrogging West
Ham and finishing in the top ten, is that a big incentive?

"In the grand scheme of things no, but considering the position they're in,
yes. A top ten finish would be a small consolation but the financial
increase is useful and it would give a slightly more positive sheen to the
season. Saturday will be interesting because it will have an effect on who
qualifies for Europe via the Fair Play League."

West Ham and Everton have played each other three times this season, what
have you made of the Hammers in those games?

"I thought West Ham were outstanding in the FA Cup tie at Upton Park. The
home support were brilliant. West Ham have a proper ground with proper fans
and they really were brilliant that night.

"It was herculean effort by the Hammers to win. I thought at times Everton
played the better football but West Ham kept on coming back, culminating in
one of the best penalty shootouts I've seen. When you get down to the
goalkeepers you know it's been special. Overall I've been impressed with
West Ham, they're certainly a club on an upward curve."

Who's your Player of the Season?

"Phil Jagielka has been tremendous. He had a difficult start to the season
with a bit of a post-World Cup hangover. But since the New Year, he's been
excellent. James McCartney has been tremendous and Romelu Lukaku has also
found his goal scoring touch, he usually scores against West Ham."

What do you think the score will be?

"I think Everton has a real sense of injustice after the Sunderland game.
They lost the game having dominated it, Sunderland scored two deflected
goals. So I think they'll use that sense of injustice to edge it 2-1."
Finally, where do you think Everton will finish?

"Tough one, I'll say tenth."

Valencia earns Ecuador call

Enner Valencia has been named in Ecuador's preliminary 30-man squad for the
2015 Copa America finals. The West Ham United striker will hope to spearhead
his country's attack in Chile, where the Amarillos will be seeking to win
South America's continental competition for the first time in their history.
Indeed, Ecuador will be happy to get beyond the First Round group stage for
the first time since 1997, when they reached the quarter-finals. However,
having been placed in Group A alongside the host nation, Mexico and Bolivia.
The No31 is relishing the opportunity of representing his country again. "I
have the Copa America to look forward to with Ecuador in the summer," he
confirmed. "I was at the World Cup last year, so I haven't had a break, but
I'm lucky because I love my profession. "I love playing football and I am
looking forward to ending the season well with West Ham and then going away
with the national team to prepare for the Copa America. "I'm confident that
we can have a good tournament because we have a good group of players, a new
manager and technical staff and we believe we can do well."

Valencia himself has been a star in national-team colours since making his
debut for the Ecuador national football team on 12 February 2012 in a
friendly match against Honduras. Since then, the 25-year-old has managed
eleven goals in 17 caps, including a pre-2014 FIFA World Cup strike against
England last year. He also netted three times at the finals in Brazil,
including both in a 2-1 win over Honduras.
The San Lorenzo-born forward is one of four British-based players included
in Gustavo Quinteros' squad, joining Manchester United's Antonio Valencia,
Swansea City's Jefferson Montero and Watford defender Juan Carlos Paredes.
Ecuador kick-off their challenge against Chile in Santiago on 11 June,
before taking on Bolivia in Valparaiso on 15 June and Mexico in Rancagua on
19 June.

Quinteros will name his final 23-man selection on 1 June. Valencia joined
West Ham in summer 2014 following a fine club career with Ecuadorean club
Emelec, winning the Serie A title in 2013, and Mexican side Pachuca, where
he finished as top scorer in the Liga MX and Copa Sudamericana last season.

From the Academy - Mark Phillips
The U18s came from behind to beat Liverpool


It's been a particularly busy time for everyone involved in the U18s as
we've finished our season off with three games in seven days.
Ultimately, it proved to be a very difficult task given the number of young
players and schoolboys we used. Since Terry Westley has come in as Academy
Manager last summer, we have really tried to test our players as much as
possible. One of the best ways of doing that is by promoting players above
their age categories. The best example is Reece Burke who has excelled since
making the step up to first team football.

Everyone in the Academy is absolutely delighted for him. Having worked with
him for a number of years, he's had always had that potential and desire, so
to see his hard work pay-off is excellent. It also serves as a massive
incentive for all the other lads. Going back to our last three games, while
the results didn't go our way, I was very pleased with our performances, the
youngsters that came in did superbly. In our last game of the season,
against Leicester City, it was a hard fought game and the team worked really
hard which is a massive positive. I'll admit that I was pretty fearful of
what the score could've been beforehand, knowing how young our team was. But
after watching the young lads play, I was really impressed and I won't be so
nervous next time. While Leicester were deserved winners, we were in the
game and we played some good football. After the match, the Leicester
coaches said how impressed they were with the way our older players were
constantly talking and advising our younger players. They used their
experience to help ease the younger players into the older age group. In
total we used six 14-year-olds. You might get two or three in a game but I
certainly can't remember six underage players been played before. We asked
them to go out and pass the ball round the Leicester players as that's how
they were going to create chances.

Our central midfielders put in a real shift and got our team playing well.
Alfie Lewis, an U15, used the ball well, while Marcus Browne was playing his
second game in a week after returning from five months out injured. Up
front, Idris Kanu is a nightmare for defenders. I remember when I used to
play football, what I hated most was a striker that caused you problems.
That's exactly was Idris did and he is still an U15. He could be playing for
us in the FA Youth Cup for three years which shows how much potential our
team has.

Looking ahead to next season, it's got to be the target that these players
are regularly featuring for the U18s. If you take those six for example,
along with the five or six U16's that we've just secured on professional
contracts like Anthony Scully and Jahmal Hector-Ingram, we've got a
fantastic young squad ready to push on next season and compete.

As a West Ham fan, you really want to see the club winning whether it's men,
women, boys or girls. However, when you're working for an Academy, you have
to work towards the bigger picture and for us, we have a bright future ahead
of us and we are working towards it well.

Last season I was Steve Potts' assistant and we both shared a similar
philosophy on how the game should be played. When Steve took the U21 job, I
felt like there wasn't any need to really change anything because we still
work closely together.

Working closely with Terry is really good because we share ideas and talk
about what we can do to help the lads progress.

Personally, I've really enjoyed this season. I was as pleased with our
performance against Leicester where we lost 2-0 as I was when we beat
Reading 5-0.

Being able to sit and say that you're happy with the performances of your
team, as well as seeing players pushing up to higher levels is very

Now the season has finished, I'm looking forward to spending some more time
with my new granddaughter who is less than a week old before preparing for
the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens tournament later this month.


Lletget bemoans lack of opportunities at West Ham
Filed: Wednesday, 13th May 2015
By: Staff Writer

Outgoing midfielder Sebastian Lletget has admitted the lack of first team
opportunities proved a huge frustration during his time at West Ham. The
22-year-old returned to the United States last week to sign for LA Galaxy,
following six years in England with the Hammers. And despite having nothing
but praise for the Academy set-up, Lletget revealed that the slim chances of
progressing to the first team squad led him to believe his future lay
elsewhere. "My career was basically on standstill for a long time," Letget
told MLS Soccer. "I got a little taste here and there, but I was never
really thrown in. But I respect that club; I will always respect that club.
[Without them] I would not be the player I am today. "I was in the first
team squad at 17 and [Gianfranco] Zola was manager at the time. I was really
pushing to get in the team, but those things happen in life. Sam Allardyce
brought in so many players it was always difficult for a young player to
break in. "I was always waiting for an injury, and it never came. I don't
wish that upon any player but in the career we're in, you've just got to
wait for your opportunity."

Lletget - who made just one first team appearance during his time at West
Ham - could make his debut for Galaxy this weekend, when his new club face
Orlando on Sunday.

By Sean Whetstone 13 May 2015 at 08:06
West Ham Till I Die

There is no hiding from it! It has been a bitterly disappointing second half
to our season but let us get some perspective as we near the end of the
season! Too many negative articles have been written about the club we love
or our manager in recent weeks so time for a positive one with just two
games remaining!

This week Talksport produced a table of most improved teams from last season
based on points after 36 games and West Ham came out in second place after
earning 10 extra points than the same time when compared to last year. Only
Swansea have achieved a better improvement picking up 20 extra points after
36 games. We currently sit in 10th place in the Premier League just 3 points
behind Stoke who have an inferior goal difference so ninth place is still

We shouldn't forget after 15 games this season we were third in the Premier
League for the briefest of times on 8th December last year and we still
found ourselves in fourth place and a potential Champions League spot in the
Premier League on Christmas day.

Many of our Summer signings have been fantatsic. Sakho, purchased for £2.5m
was the Premier League bargain buy of the summer scoring 12 goals and
winning top scorer award at last week's players awards. Aaron Cresswell
snatched from Ipswich for £3.75m has been immense and a worthy winner of the
Hammer of the year award along side two other awards he picked up last week.
Kouyate, Valencia and Jenkinson all deserve a mention too.

Reid, Noble and Tomkins have all signed long term contracts committing their
foreseeable future to the club. We beat both Liverpool and Manchester City
at home this season! We have a neutral goal difference at the moment, a feat
not achieved for many seasons by West Ham at this point in the season and we
could well end up with a positive goal difference by the end of the season.
Our tally of 47 points is our best total in the Premier League for six years
when we achieved 51 points in the 2008/2009 season equaling Spurs that term
but losing out to them on a negative goal difference of -3.

We still have an excellent chance that we will qualify for the Europa league
through the Premier League Fair Play table. If this happens it will be our
first time in Europe in 15 years that's if you count West Ham's involvement
in the UEFA Intertoto Cup and brief spell in the EUFA cup.

Also for the first time in a long time we haven't even mentioned the R word.
The possibility of relegation never entered our heads all season. There you
go, a whole article without mentioning the managerial situation. I know we
like to moan as West Ham fans, it is part of who we are but I still feel the
club is moving forward and is capable of great things in the future. For the
optimists among us we are at the start of something great.

Fan abuse inspires Downing
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 13, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Stewart Downing has made it clear that "boos and shouts" from home fans only
inspires him to be brave and keep trying! Life can sometimes be difficult in
front of the Irons purists but Downing has no worries about the Boleyn crowd
reaction claiming it merely spurs him on. He explained: ""You've got to have
self-belief. When things are not going well, think: 'It will turn.' "If
you're losing at home and the crowd are edgy and something you try doesn't
come off, they might boo or shout, but you've got to be brave and keep
trying." He understand perfectly and understands that when the opposition
fans have a pop it's because "they see you as a threat."
Speaking to FourFourTwo with Adidas he said: "You have just got to take it
as a bit of fun. You get players that will kick you and try to intimidate
you, but they are doing it for a reason - they're trying to put you off your
game. "You've just got to get on with it and not react, because that's what
they want. If you don't react, it deflects the pressure onto them.

Zola on Sam's "difficult" fans relationship
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 13, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Gianfranco Zola has admitted that Sam Allardyce's West Ham problems are
almost certainly down to the style of football being played.
Whilst many may consider that self evident, it's highly unusual for a
former manager to try putting his finger on the problem with most preferring
to remain very much on the fence. But Zola - interviewed on TalkSPORT said:
"Over the last 14 games West Ham have not done very well. That's the problem
with Sam. He did fantastically well at the start of the season though.
""Sometimes there was a difficult relationship between the way Sam played
and the sort of football West Ham supporters wanted to see. "I know how
important the style of football is for West Ham fans. That might be the
biggest problem to overcome. I don't know what is going to happen."

Irons player 'exodus' fears unfounded
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 13, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Fears that a mini exodus of stars linked to Sam Allardyce's agent Mark
Curtis could get underway at Upton Park should Sam Allardyce leave this
summer look unfounded. West Ham have three major players - Adrian, Andy
Carroll and James Tomkins - in the stable along with the manager himself.
The centre forward has four years left on his deal, Tomkins recently signed
a new long term deal and Adrian's deal runs out at the end of next season
with a two year option available in the club's favour. Curtis has become a a
controversial figure and that has troubled some fans that should Allardyce -
himself represented by Curtis - move on, as now seems certain, some players
could become unsettled and follow.

Behind closed doors Hammers 'conspiracy theorists' point to the example of
Kevin Nolan who left Bolton for Newcastle a few months after Allardyce
departed before following him to Upton Park when the 60 year old arrived at
the club Curtis signed James Tomkins to his group soon after arriving at
Upton Park and Adrian was brought to the club via his Spanish network.
Others involved with him are Jussi Jaaskalainen, Joey O'Brien, Matt
Jarvis and Guy Demel . A Hammers source said: "We have never been worried
by any agent being involved to a lesser of greater degree - things are
looked after at all levels in negotiations."

Irons no-risk Euro policy
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 13, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

West Ham will be very cautious over team selections for a qualifying Europa
Cup campaign should they make it into the competition via the Fair Play
League. Many fans are concerned that the squad could find itself stretched
but the Irons will be taking few risks in the qualifying matches. The most
likely candidates for action are those returning from injury and fringe
players. The competition could for example provide an ideal opportunity for
Andy Carroll to get up to peak fitness in time for the season along with
James Tomkins. Youngster Doniel Henry could find himself involved. A source
told ClaretndHugh: "No risks at all will be taken - the Premier League is
always going to be the priority. We have been looking at the situation but
let's wait until we know the final outcome."

Olympic stadium update
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 13, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

London's Met Police Helicopter published this aerial photo of our new home
yesterday saying "They've nearly finished putting a lid on it! Thought you
might all like an update"

The stadium roof is nearing completion after running into complications late
last year. London Legacy Development Corporation agreed to pay construction
firm Balfour Beatty an extra £35.9m on top of the £154m already agreed to
complete the conversion.

When work to convert the Olympic Stadium is complete the total confirmed
spend so far will reach £619m mainly funded by the taxpayer.

The first stadium event is scheduled in just over two months time on the
19th July when Morrisons Great Newham run is staged, Sainsbury's Anniversary
games will take place shortly afterwards between 24-26th July followed a
rugby match between Batbarians and Samoa on 29th August.

The main event will be the Rugby world cup between September and October
this year.

West Ham transfer news: Hammers make £5m offer for Pedro Obiang as Alex Song
nears exit
Evening Standard
Published: 13 May 2015 Updated: 11:13, 13 May 2015

West Ham are closing in on a deal to sign Sampdoria midfield player Pedro
Obiang. The Upton Park club are looking for a holding midfield player as a
replacement for Alex Song, who is not expected to sign a permanent deal
following a season-long loan from Barcelona. West Ham have offered around £5
million for Obiang, 23, who has two Under-21 caps for Spain. Sampdoria are
said to want £7 million for Obiang but expect a deal to be sealed in the
close season.

Reece Burke: Every West Ham player still wants to win
Lewis Doe

West Ham United youngster Reece Burke has dismissed the idea there is a lack
of motivation in the current squad. West Ham United youngster Reece Burke
told West Ham TV that the club's squad still wants to win every game they
play. There have been questions over the motivation of the Hammers, as they
have struggled since the turn of the year, comfortably safe but too far off
the pace to challenge for a European place. However, Burke doesn't believe
that to be the case and has suggested there is a determined mentality before
the start of every game for the club to go out and get the right results.
"Although we're not going to get relegated, the players still want to win.
That's obviously why we play the games. In the dressing room before games,
we want to go out there and win the game," said Burke. The club's manager
Sam Allardyce will be happy that his team got over the line with a win in
their recent match against Burnley, but it was a familiar story last weekend
in a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa. The team have to try and find a
way to score more goals while keeping clean sheets to secure two wins from
the games against Everton and Newcastle United, which will help the team to
finish the season well. Allardyce has too much experience to allow the
mentality of his players to drift way off the mark from trying to win one
game to the next. It's his job, as well as the job of the more experienced
players in the team, to ensure that the focus switches back to playing well
and securing that next win.

West Ham to target Slaven Bilic if Allardyce goes says Martin Allen
Posted by Emre Sarigul May 13, 2015
Turkish Football

Slaven Bilic will be first on West Ham's managerial shortlist if head coach
Sam Allardyce leaves at the end of the season according to former Hammers
star Martin Allen. Bilic spent 18 months at the West Ham as a player and
enjoyed managerial stints in charge of Croatia and Spartak Moscow before
joining Beşiktaş. "Slaven Bilic has been a world class footballer and was a
tremendous servant to West Ham United," he told Hawksbee and Jacobs. "He's a
very intelligent man, in business and in football. He would be one you would
look at," Allen told TalkSport.
Allardyce's contract runs out at the end of the season and the experienced
coach is expected to part ways with the club. "I wouldn't be at all
surprised if Allardyce turns down another contract," he added. "He's done
what he's needed to do at West Ham. He's got them promoted from the
Championship and established them in the Premier League. "He can move on.
People should be warty what they wish for though because he has done a
fantastic job."

Allardyce has come under fire this season for his sides perceived negative
playing style but the Hammers have exceeded many pundits pre-season
expectations. Beşiktaş are currently in the Süper Lig title race and Bilic
has stated that he does want to stay at the club next season and see out the
rest of his contract. The Black Eagles are currently five points behind
league leaders Galatasaray but have a game in hand and will close the gap to
two points with a win against Akhisar on Tuesday.


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