Tuesday, May 19

Daily WHUFC News - 19th May 2015

Noble calls for reinforcements

Mark Noble believes reinforcements are in order if West Ham United are to compete at home and abroad next season. With just Sunday's trip to Newcastle United still to negotiate, the Hammers remain the most likely recipients of a Europa League place via the Fair Play Table. The prospect is an exciting one for Noble, but he contends that West Ham will have to bolster their squad considerably to cope with the competition's demands. "Europe's a great thing, everyone wants to play in Europe," Noble confirmed. "We're going to have to improve the squad if we are in the Europa League and hopefully we can compete. "Next season's probably the biggest season in the Club's history, because we have to be in the Premier League for the new Stadium."

Ironically, Noble feels that Saturday's victors, Everton, suffered from their European commitments this term and the 28-year-old is desperate to see the Hammers avoid a similar fate. He continued: "Once the Europa League's confirmed, we'll know where we have to be, who we're playing and how many players we're going to have to get in. You need to have fresh legs for that competition and at the moment in time our squad's not big enough. "These boys [Everton] have been through European football this year already and know how tough it is. They only started picking up points when they got knocked out. "We'll need to strengthen the squad, keep the players that we've got here and look forward to a good pre-season."

As it is, the Hammers' squad has been stretched to the limit in recent weeks and West Ham's longest servant can empathise with supporters' frustrations at what he describes as an anti-climactic end to the campaign. "It's been a really good season, but now the way that it's ended, it doesn't feel that way," he explained. "Last year, we were struggling for points near the bottom, second from bottom at Christmas time, and we got enough points to stay up and it seemed like a good season, when it wasn't really. "This season, we've been safe the whole year, we've picked up a lot of points and now that it's finishing, it's a bit of an anti-climax. We were safe months and months ago and we've not picked up as many points as we probably should have."

Even on Saturday, Noble was left wondering how the Hammers hade come away with nothing from what, for the most part, had been a positive display. "The strange thing is I thought we played quite well on Saturday in a lot of spells and, at times, it was like a bit of a pre-season match in the sun. "[Romelu] Lukaku always seems to score against us. In the last minute as well, which hurts, and put a bit of a downer on the day. "Even in the first half, I thought we created a couple of chances, we passed the ball well and got in good positions. But if you don't concentrate for the full 90 minutes, 94 minutes, whatever it was, you get punished and that's what happened."

All the while, speculation continues to swirl around manager Sam Allardyce's future, but Noble's focus is fixed firmly on Newcastle and belatedly hitting the 50-point mark. We only hear what the public hear. Obviously it is a massive thing because the manager's out of contract at the end of the year, so we don't know what's going on with that. "I think we've got on with the job, we're eleventh in the Premier League and we need to go out and beat Newcastle away next week."

Hammers ousted by Leicester

A slow start by the West Ham United Development Squad proved costly as the Hammers slipped to a 3-1 defeat away at Leicester City. In their final game of the 2014/15 season, the Dev Squad were a goal down within three minutes when Joe Dodoo slotted home capitalising on slack passing at the back. The Foxes early lead was then extended by long range efforts from Jack Barmby and Jak McCourt inside the first half an hour. Reflecting on a disappointing performance, in stark contrast to Friday's performance of the season against Chelsea, U21s coach Steve Potts said: "The slow start definitely cost us. We gave the lads the warning signs. On Friday we played very well against Chelsea and we mentioned that today was a different game. "But we started slowly and didn't deal with the early pressure, before we knew it we were 2-0 down and a mountain to climb. "On the same token, we've scored once and had five other good opportunities to score. In a way that makes it even worse because we haven't played well today, we should have been more solid at the back and mixed it up more up front."

In a much improved second half display, the Hammers had a number of chances to reduce the deficit yet they found Foxes' goalkeeper Adam Smith in inspired form. Smith saved two close range efforts from Captain Josh Cullen before palming Elliot Lee's drive out for a corner.
The Hammers did eventually score when Jaanai Gordon was on hand to slot Lee's saved penalty spot into the far corner. Despite Monday's game being the Dev Squad's second in just four days, Potts refused to blame tiredness for the defeat. "I think the result was more down to us being poor than them being that much better than us. "Tiredness was a factor, but the players have to learn how to handle playing two games in quick succession. "The first twenty minutes was where we lost the game and we weren't tired then. We invited pressure and they put the ball in the back of the net."The second half was a consolation but it almost makes it worse. We were the better side, won it 1-0 and we had more chances to score. It is a complement to us that we were the better side in the first half but it feels like we've thrown the game away through our performance in the first half."

The Dev Squad have now completed their 2014/15 season, which despite a number of positives culminated in their relegation from the Barclays U21 Premier League. Summarising on the season as a whole, Potts concluded: "The highlight of the season was the win over Chelsea last Friday. We were tight, didn't give anything else away and that's the level they can play and that's the level we want to achieve every week. There were some careless mistakes and naivety which has cost us too many times throughout the season."

Reid ready for early start

With one round of Barclays Premier League matches left to play, West Ham United are in with a chance of qualifying for the UEFA Europa League. The Hammers came into the final four games of the season sitting second in the Premier League Fair Play League table behind fifth-place Liverpool. Should the Reds finish no lower than sixth, and West Ham not suffer a disciplinary meltdown at St James' Park, the Londoners could well be playing in continental competition next season. Even if Liverpool lose at Stoke City and drop to seventh, West Ham could still be packing their bags if Arsenal defeat Aston Villa in the FA Cup final. However, the one catch would be that the Hammers will kick-off their UEFA Europa League challenge on Thursday 2 July – a full five weeks before the start of the 2015/16 Barclays Premier League campaign. One player who would not bat an eyelid at the early start is Winston Reid, who has plenty of experience of competitive summer football to draw upon. The No2 scored against Bangor City for Danish Superliga runners-up FC Midtjylland in the UEFA Cup first qualifying round first leg on 17 July 2008, helping set up a second qualifying round meeting with Manchester City, which the Danes lost on penalties. "There are no easy games, it is tough," warned the 26-year-old, who also appeared for New Zealand at the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa. "The Club has to be ready, you can't just go out there and put a willy-nilly team out there. "When I was in Denmark, the season had already started in July, but the Premier League won't have started and we might be coming up against teams who may have already started their season."

One glance at the clubs who have already qualified for next season's Europa League would whet the appetite of West Ham fans with a sense of adventure. Many of those who have already secured their places did so through league position or winning their domestic cup competition, but Reid feels no sense of embarrassment should West Ham sneak in through the Fair Play 'back door'. However they qualify, however, the centre-back says the Hammers will need to add reinforcements to the squad to cope for what the Claret and Blue Army will hope is a long and busy final season at the Boleyn Ground. "Whatever way you get in, it doesn't matter I guess," he said. "You are in the hat like everyone else and it is something the players should look forward to, especially the younger players, but also those who haven't played in Europe before. "It is obviously one of those things that the club and the players would look forward to, but it is going to take a massive effort from the squad to all pull together. "European games means more matches and also starting the season earlier, but I guess we will have to cross that bridge when we come to it."

West Ham will learn their fate shortly after the end of the 2015/16 Barclays Premier League season, when the final Fair Play Table is published. However, should Liverpool drop to seventh in the final table, the Hammers will have to wait until after the FA Cup final on 30 May to find out if they have qualified for next season's UEFA Europa League. England are one of three nations to have earned an extra European place for next season after finishing in the top three in the UEFA Fair Play Table. The Netherlands and Republic of Ireland will also send an extra team into the Europa League via the same route.

Oxford eyes World Cup spot

Captain Reece Oxford says England cannot afford to lick their wounds with a place at the FIFA U-17 World Cup finals at stake on Tuesday.
The Young Lions were knocked out of the UEFA European U-17 Championship finals at the quarter-final stage by Russia, and now face a one-off clash with Spain to reach the World Cup in Chile. The West Ham United centre-back felt England were hugely unfortunate to lose to the Russians, having missed a penalty and hit the woodwork on to occasions. "We just couldn't finish against Russia," said the 16-year-old. "When we missed the penalty and then hit the post with the rebound, and then when we hit the crossbar in the second half, you do start to think that it's going to be one of those games. "But we can't dwell on it. We've got a massive game against Spain coming up. I've got to get all the lads lifted as we still have the chance to go to the World Cup. "It would be great if we can achieve that. You can really make a name for yourself at a World Cup. We want to get there to show how good we are and what we are capable of."

Oxford, who has led England at U16 and U17 levels, has every confidence that his young teammates can raise themselves to book their place in Chile in October. "It's going to be a game but it shouldn't be hard to raise ourselves for it – it's a World Cup and we know that. We may never get the chance to play in one again and we all want that experience. "I've never been to South America too, and I don't think any of the others have, so we'd be over the moon if we can get the job done "We'll be treating it like a cup final and giving it 100 per cent – we are desperate to qualify."

*Tuesday's FIFA Under-17s World Cup Play-off match will kick-off at 2pm UK time in Sliven, Bulgaria. You can follow updates on Twitter @whufc_official.

Charities out of pocket due to Europa League
Filed: Monday, 18th May 2015
By: Staff Writer

A number of worthwhile charities are likely to be left out of pocket this summer due to West Ham's involvement with the Europa League

Several charity events planned for the Boleyn Ground during the regular off-season are being cancelled by the club, as they prepare for the qualifying stages of next season's Europa Cup which begins on 1 July.

One of the tournaments affected is the Danny Mardell Knockout Challenge, which raises thousands for the charity every year. This was to be the tenth year the tournament was to take place at the ground.

"West Ham have just called the Downs Syndrome Association today to let them know that due to possible involvement in Europe next season and qualifiers starting in July, they are cancelling all pitch events for this summer," posted Lyall Out on the KUMB Forum this afternoon.

"This means that there will be no Danny Mardell Knockout Challenge, and obviously a large financial loss to the charity. The organiser who has been working hard to arrange it is absolutely gutted as it was going to be the last one and obviously the last chance to play at The Boleyn for everyone who supported the event."

One suggestion made today is that West Ham United redirect some of the unexpected windfall from the Europa Cup's qualifying rounds' gate receipts to the charities which are set to lose out.

Platini hints at FFP changes
Filed: Monday, 18th May 2015
By: Staff Writer

UEFA President Michel Platini has suggested that changes to the way that Financial Fair Play works may be introduced this summer.

Platini, who has been under a good deal of pressure from Italian clubs recently - including AC Milan, who have been linked with a sale to Qatari investors - announced this morning that FFP rules which prevent clubs from spending beyond their limits may be relaxed this summer.

"I think that the regulations that have been made ​​are fine," he said. "FFP was voted for by the clubs.

"But in France, one can not buy players and on the other hand, the French want stricter enforcement if Qatar buys AC Milan. Things will be eased but it will be the executive committee who decide. You'll know at the end of June."

Since FFP was introduced two years ago, West Ham United's wages to turnover ratio has decreased from circa 70 per cent to a far more sustainable 56 per cent.

However critics of the system say it will prevent the club from ever rivalling the Premier League's major spenders, even if a new cash-rich owner was found.

West Ham live on Sky for relegation decider
Filed: Monday, 18th May 2015
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United's trip to Newcastle United this weekend is being broadcast live on TV.

With Newcastle one of three clubs still involved in the relegation battle (along with Sunderland and Hull City), Sky Sports have opted to broadcast all three games live this Sunday afternoon.

And with the top four places having already been decided, that means all eyes will be upon the Magpies as they attempt to avoid relegation for the second time in ten years by beating Sam Allardyce's side.

The fixture also has the added incentive of Allardyce returning to his former club, who fired him after just seven months in the job back in 2008. Should the Mags fail to beat West Ham, a win for Hull at home to Manchester United would be enough to relegate the North East club.

In the other televised fixture, Sunderland visit Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Black Cats can only be relegated if both Hull and Newcastle win their respective games whilst they lose in West London.

Hammers target Klopp in Turkey for talks
Filed: Monday, 18th May 2015
By: Staff Writer

West Ham target Jurgen Klopp has travelled to Turkey for talks with Fenerbahce, according to reports.

Turkish daily Sabah claimed today that Klopp, one of several names on West Ham's short-list to replace the outgoing Sam Allardyce has travelled to Istanbul in order to hold talks with club officials.

The 47-year-old is one of football's most-highly sought after managers presently, despite having endured an indifferent season in the Bundesliga with Dortmund, who are currently 7th in the table.

Liverpool and Manchester City have also been linked with Klopp, who has won two Bundesliga titles and reached a Champions League final with current club Dortmund.

Allardyce's position is likely to be clarified within the next few days. He will lead West Ham for the final time at St James' Park this weekend where a victory for the Irons could condemn his former club to relegation.

Sam Allardyce hoping to remain West Ham manager after 'outstanding' spell in charge
Last Updated: 18/05/15 7:42am

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has hit out at critics with "short memories," insisting he has done an "outstanding" job amid uncertainty over his future. The Hammers lost 2-1 to Everton on Saturday in potentially Allardyce's final home match as boss, with his contract due to expire at the end of the season. Talks with co-chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan will resume when the current campaign draws to a close and Allardyce hopes his record over three seasons will see him remain at West Ham. "Everybody in the world of football has very short memories," Allardyce said. "It's only what happened a couple of weeks ago or next week that matters. What happened four months ago is forgotten, whether that's good, bad or indifferent. That's football. "I want to see it through, yes. That depends on a lot of anomalies in terms of negotiations - not just myself but those involved around me. And of course how we're going to progress in terms of recruitment. "I've never heard them say I'm not doing a good job. I'll find out next week and then I can ask them why - see if they give me an honest answer. "We're 11th with 47 points so we've got to try and get that 50-point mark and hope it gets us to 10th. "Even if it doesn't it's still been an outstanding season and for me an outstanding three years back in the Premier League. I've only had to worry about relegation for about six weeks in three seasons."

Allardyce could consign former club Newcastle to relegation when he takes his side to St James' Park next weekend, but the 60-year-old insists there will be no room for sentiment on the final day of the season. "It's been talked about in the dressing room with me, Kevin (Nolan) and Andy (Carroll)," said Allardyce, of two others with Newcastle connections. "From our point of view it's about being professional, not about what we do because it's Newcastle and we were there. "It's about trying to win there for the benefit of ourselves and the justification for everybody else in terms of who are fighting that relegation battle. We have to try and do our very best. "You can't show any sympathy for anybody, because nobody shows any sympathy for you."

By Iain Dale 18 May 2015 at 10:32
West ham till I Die

I must admit to having a bit of a tear in my eye as Carlton Cole came off the pitch on Saturday. It's likely that was his very last appearance for us I imagine.

Carlton joined us in 2006 and has been a very loyal servant to the club. You don't get many players like him to the pound nowadays, especially ones that stay in one place for nine years. Yes, he could be a frustrating player at times, but you always knew he was in it for the right reasons. And let's not forget that although he he was never the most prolific of strikers he scored some very important goals for us.

I imagine Carlton will move down to the Championship, although Bournemouth, and possible Norwich if they go up, may well take a look at him.

Wherever he ends up, if Carlton comes back to Upton Park, I imagine we'll all give him a standing ovation. He would deserve it.

West Ham's former Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce will have ''no sympathy'' if he relegates club that sacked him
22:30, 17 MAY 2015
Big Sam was binned by the Geordies in 2008. On Sunday, he takes his Hammers to St James' Park for a game that could end with the hosts in the Championship
The Mirror

Sam Allardyce has promised to show no sympathy to Newcastle in his possible West Ham swansong as he railed against "short memories" in football. Mark Noble admitted even the Hammers players have no idea what will happen to manager Allardyce at the end of the season. But before a decision is finally announced on Big Sam's future, he can go out with a bang. On the final day of this campaign, he faces the irony of potentially ­relegating the shambolic club who sacked him as their gaffer in 2008 – one which has ­demonstrated this season the ­importance of having an ­experienced top-flight manager. Former Toon stars Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll are now at West Ham and Allardyce said: "We've talked about it. When you look at the ­situation from our point of view it's about being ­professional, not about what we do because it's Newcastle and we were there. "It's about trying to win there for our benefit and the justification for everybody else in terms of who are fighting that relegation battle. We have to try to do our very best. "You can't show sympathy for anybody, because nobody shows any sympathy for you." He should know.

Romelu Lukaku's 20th goal of the season in stoppage time at Upton Park on Saturday saw Everton move above their hosts into 10th place – one of the pre-season targets set for Allardyce by the club's owners. On Boxing Day, when West Ham sat fourth, that seemed on. Now, the Hammers' hierarchy must decide on which half of the season to judge Allardyce. Or whether they can get anyone they consider better.
"I think everyone in the world of football has very short memories," he said. "It's only what happened a couple of weeks ago or next week that matters. What happened four months ago is forgotten, whether good, bad or ­indifferent." Allardyce, who mounted a staunch defence of his Upton Park record, added: "I want to see this through. That depends on a lot of anomalies in terms of negotiations.
"I've never heard them say I'm not doing a good job. I'll find out next week and then I can ask them why – see if they give me an honest answer." Everton's Roberto Martinez was full of praise for his opposite number. He said: "I think West Ham have been a joy to watch. They play dynamic football - really, really attacking-minded." Stewart Downing gave West Ham the lead for six minutes before Leon Osman equalised. Then, Lukaku headed the winner in time added on.

Allardyce gives squad shock two-day break!
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 18, 2015 in Whispers


Sam Allardyce has stunned Irons insiders by handing the West Ham squad a couple of days off following the crushing defeat by Everton on Saturday.

He broke the news to his players after the late 2-1 defeat which had the fans rushing for the exits rather than celebrating on the pitch and ClaretandHugh understands they won't be back in training until Wednesday in preparation for the last day game at Newcastle.

It's a surprising reaction to yet another defeat as the team heads forthe north east and received a mixed response from insiders

One told us: "How on earth can you reward them for failure? I'd have thought it was a case of extra training rather than time off. It's odd at best and probably not what the fans want to hear at this stage of the proceedings!"

However, another – trying to put a positive spin on the news – declared: "Sam believes that if you reward players you will probably get a response, others see it the other way around.

"After all that approach didn't work to well with the Dubai break did it? Thank goodness when this bizarre season comes to an end."

Hammers linked with Burnley Right Back
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 18, 2015 in Whispers

West Ham are rumoured to be weighing up a cut price move for Burnley right-back Kieran Trippier this summer.

The right-back Trippier has impressed for the relegated Clarets this season and appears unlikely to follow Sean Dyche's side down to the Championship. The 24 year old is thought to have a £3.5m release clause should a Premier League club come in for him.

The former England under-21 star has been a shining light since moving to Turf Moor from Manchester City in 2012 and has been an ever-present in the Premier League force this season.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed he will only allow Carl Jenkinson to leave on loan and not full time which could persuade West Ham look for a permanent right back solution.

Newcastle United, Southampton, Stoke City and Sunderland are reportedly keen for a move for Trippier

Obiang scouted by Italian & Portuguese clubs
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 18, 2015 in Whispers

Hammers target Pedro Obiang continues to attract interest from around Europe despite West Ham reportedly agreeing a deal in principle with the Sampdoria midfielder.

The two clubs are said to have agreed a fee at 7.5 million Euros (£5.4m) plus performance related add on's for the 23 year old but it appears he attracting new interest from across Europe after Spurs were linked with him last week which might push his price up by another one million Euros.

Reports in Italy claim both Italian club Roma FC and Portuguese club FC Porto sent senior club scouts to watch Obiang on Saturday in Sampdoria's match against Lazio which they lost 1-0. Obiang played the full 90 minutes and came close to scoring.

The Spanish midfielder has made 60 appearances for Sampdoria since 2010 scoring just one goal. Obiang was capped for Spain at youth levels.

Benitez odds slashed to become Real Madrid manager
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 18, 2015 in Whispers

West Ham primary managerial target Rafa Benitez has today been slashed to 4/1 from 16/1 yesterday to become the next Real Madrid manager.

Zinedine Zidane remains favourite to take over at Real Madrid at 7/4 but he is now closely followed by Benitez. Another manager previously linked with West Ham, Jurden Klopp is third favourite at 6/1.

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague says Real Madrid have sounded out both Jurgen Klopp and Rafa Benitez to see if they would be interested in taking over from Carlo Ancelotti. Guillem said "Real have spoken to Julen Lopetegui at Porto, to Jurgen Klopp, to Rafa Benitez and Jose Mourinho. They have already spoken to those four to see if they would be interested in coaching Real Madrid .They have spoken to Jose Mourinho – he said no to them, of course. Out of those four, Rafa is favoured by some but not others"

Sean on Sam: "Have some dignity"
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 18, 2015 in Whispers

As Sam Allardyce approaches his final swan song at West Ham he seems to have lost his grip reality as the penny finally drops that he will be out of a job in days.

His ego seems to have taken over from any remaining self respect he had as he looks to further anger West Ham fans.

We know he thinks we are mostly deluded, as back in 2012 he told a press conference "There has never been a 'West Ham way' shown to me, not by anybody that's worked with West Ham who I have inherited, I've spoken to them all and none of them can tell me or define what the West Ham way is. So it is a bit of a delusion."

His latest briefing to the media further anger fans after he told Sky Sports that "it's still been an outstanding season and for me an outstanding three years back in the Premier League. I've only had to worry about relegation for about six weeks in three seasons."

This has caused a back lash on social media with many fans suggesting he is the one who is delusional.

Sometimes Sam it is better not to say anything at all, have some dignity by keeping silent until your fate is sealed.

Ancelotti wanted West Ham job
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 18, 2015 in Whispers

Four years ago as Carlo Ancelotti was about to be sacked by Chelsea he offered himself to West Ham. Just a month before Sam Allardyce was appointed, Ancelotti insisted he was prepared to drop out of the top flight and take charge at the Boleyn. Ahead of the final game of that season – interestingly against Everton – he claimed he would have no problem picking up the pieces from Avram Grant's reign and taking a pay-cut. Ancelotti said: 'I would coach West Ham – why not? It's a challenge to manage a team in the Championship. As he again faces the possible boot – this time from Real Madrid – we can't help musing on whether he feels the same way should the Daves come knocking.
He added back then: 'The atmosphere at West Ham is amazing. It doesn't matter if you manage a top team or a smaller team. 'It's more important to work. I was happy to train in the second division when I was learning.' And he added: 'When you manage, you don't think about the money. It has never been a motivation for me.'

Gold says expect at least five new faces
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 18, 2015 in Whispers

West Ham co-chairman is optimistic about next season and says he expects the board to add at least five new faces in addition to Andy Caroll, Diafra Sako and James Tomkins coming back from injury.

This latest tweet was in response to West Ham fan Russ Evans who messaged David saying "Rafa would be a good move David, hope you are well and looking forward to next season, I am"

In reply Gold said "I'm optimistic for next season. Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho and James Tomkins back plus at least five new faces. dg"

He didn't say whether that one of those faces will be a new manager.



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