Wednesday, May 20

Daily WHUFC News - 20th May 2015

1965 European Cup Winners' Cup - 50 years on

West Ham United 2 TSV Munich 1860 0
Sealey 69, 71
European Cup Winners' Cup final
Wednesday 19 May 1965
Wembley Stadium
Attendance: 100,000

West Ham United: Jim Standen, Joe Kirkup, Jack Burkett, Martin Peters, Ken Brown, Bobby Moore, Alan Sealey, Ron Boyce, Geoff Hurst, Brian Dear, John Sissons

TSV 1860 Munich: Petar Radenković, Manfred Wagner, Hans Reich, Wilfried Kohlars, Stevan Bena, Otto Luttrop, Alfred Heiss, Hans Küppers, Rudi Brunnenmeier, Peter Grosser, Hans Rebele

Twelve months on from lifting the FA Cup, West Ham United were back under the Twin Towers for the European Cup Winners' Cup final. Their opponents were the German Cup winners TSV Munich 1860, a fine side who had defeated US Luxembourg, FC Porto, Legia Warsaw of Poland and Torino of Italy. As so seldom happens in the pressurised atmosphere of a final, both teams produced their best, sending the capacity 100,000 crowd home drooling over their collective skill and endeavour. Described as a 'magnificent game' that was a 'triumph for West Ham and a triumph for the game of football', the showpiece was marked by 90 minutes of 'bold and imaginative' play by both sets of players. Ron Greenwood's Hammers, in particular, were irresistible.

The Londoners created chance after chance. John Sissons missed an open goal, then hit the post. Geoff Hurst was twice denied by splendid saves from goalkeeper Petar Radenković. At the other end, Jim Standen was also called into action, saving acrobatically from Peter Grosser and Hans Kuppers. West Ham were the better side, however, and their superiority was rewarded twice in the space of three second-half minutes. Alan Sealey scored both, the first from Ronnie Boyce's pass and the second after Martin Peters knocked Bobby Moore's pass into his path four yards from goal. A little more than 20 minutes later and Moore was climbing the famous Wembley steps for the second time to raise a trophy for his team. Twelve months later, he would do so again, but that is another story altogether…

Ronnie Boyce

Ronnie Boyce took centre-stage at the Home of Football for a second time in May 1965 . Ronnie Boyce will forever be associated with scoring West Ham United's dramatic late winner in the 1964 FA Cup final win over Preston North End. Having clinched the Hammers' place in the European Cup Winners' Cup, 'Ticker' then played an influential role in helping West Ham lift a major trophy for the second season in succession. The tireless midfielder scored the first goal of West Ham's glorious run – the winner in the first round first-leg win over Belgian Cup winners La Gantoise at the Jules Ottenstadion on 23 September 1964 – and went on to play every minute down the road back to Wembley. Competitive European football may have been in its infancy, but Boyce and his teammates were already well-versed in traveling far and wide in Claret and Blue, having visited Costa Rica, Sweden, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Ghana, the United States, Austria and Germany since the 1960s had begun.

The American International Soccer League saw the Hammers take part in a round-robin competition in the summer of 1962 and 1963, but the European Cup Winners' Cup offered a different challenge in the shape of a two-legged straight knockout. "It was just two games, one at home and one away," Boyce confirmed. "We played some very reasonable sides. We played a Belgian side first, a Swiss side, that sort of thing. It was special for a lot of the players, to come away as winners was marvellous."

The crowning glory of West Ham's European adventure came at Wembley on 19 May 1965, when Boyce again played a starring role at the Home of Football. After 69 entertaining yet goalless minutes against German Cup holders TSV 1860 Munich, the No8 stole the ball in midfield, raced towards the penalty area and slipped a perfect pass right for Alan Sealey, who controlled before firing a rasping shot into the top corner to give West Ham the lead.

Moments later, Bobby Moore's free-kick was laid-off by Martin Peters and Sealey converted his second to seal the Londoners' success.
"The final was the best game I've ever been involved with," Boyce recalled, speaking 50 years on from his home in Norfolk. "It was a Wednesday evening at Wembley, a full house. "Munich were a very good side, full of internationals. Rudi Brunnenmeier was a great player, while their goalkeeper Petar Radenkovic was also very good. "My standout memory was Brian Dear, who came in for Johnny Byrne, got tackled by Radenkovic on the halfway line. Whenever I see Brian we have a laugh about it! "It was a great game of football, and Alan Sealey, god bless his soul, scored two good goals. It was very nice to be part of the first team that won a European cup for West Ham United."

Boyce became a firm favourite with West Ham fans for his team-first approach to his game. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that while he can recall the team's Wembley glory, he had completely forgotten that he finished as runner-up to Peters in the 1965 Hammer of the Year voting. "Was I runner-up? I don't remember that! What I mainly remember is just really enjoying my football. We had a great group of players who all enjoyed playing together. "Unfortunately there aren't as many of us left any more – Bobby has obviously gone, Johnny Byrne, Alan Sealey and a few others. It's important to remember all of us, even if there aren't many of us left!"

The way they played that Wednesday night at Wembley, Ronnie Boyce and his teammates will surely never be forgotten.

Geoff Hurst

Geoff Hurst says West Ham United's European Cup Winners' Cup success was the 'fulfilment of a dream'. Geoff Hurst will forever be synonymous with his FIFA World Cup final hat-trick of July 1966, but the striker also enjoyed a memorable – if goal-less – visit to Wembley 14 months previously. With Hurst deployed in a less familiar withdrawn role behind lone centre forward Johnny Byrne, outside right Alan Sealey took centre-stage by scoring both goals in a 2-0 European Cup Winners' Cup final win over TSV 1860 Munich. The victory capped a memorable nine-match run that many West Ham United fans could only have dreamed of when the club lifted the FA Cup in May 1964. In his autobiography 1966 And All That, however, Sir Geoff revealed that the Hammers' visionary manager Ron Greenwood had predicted that his team would go all the way again. "Could West Ham become the second English club to win a European crown? Ron thought so," Sir Geoff wrote. "He was convinced that at our best we would be a match for anyone in Europe. He personally watched our opposition as soon as each draw was made. He prepared a little dossier for the players, telling each what to expect from their opposite number."

The players themselves also took the opportunity to watch their eventual final opponents TSV 1860 Munich as early as the summer of 1964, when they watched a pre-season between the West German Cup winners and Chelsea, and again in their semi-final play-off with Italian side Torino in Zurich, Switzerland. "It's not often the manager has the chance to take his team to watch the opposition in action. From the players' point of view it gave us an invaluable insight into the individual strengths and weaknesses of the team we were going to face."

For Hurst himself, the only thing lacking from West Ham's glorious continental success was a goal. "I had played in all the European matches but it was becoming something of a frustration because I hadn't scored a single goal. This was partly because Ron felt some tactical modification was needed if we were to adapt successfully to the different challenges."

Those modifications saw both Bobby Moore and Ronnie Boyce play in a sweeper role, and Hurst himself – England's centre forward – in a deeper position behind a lone striker, Byrne, in the away ties and the final. Just as he would do more famously on 30 July 1966, Hurst enjoyed being part of an English team getting one over West German opponents. "The final itself was an unforgettable evening," he wrote. "It was a truly tremendous match, ranked by many as one of the best games ever played at Wembley. The Germans were well organised, defensively disciplined and technically accomplished, but we were the better side and some of the football we played was magnificent.
"Bobby had a great game that evening, so did Jack Burkett at left-back and Jim Standen in goal. The real hero, of course, was Alan Sealey. "You could argue that he provided Ron with the most glorious moment of his entire career. It wasn't just the result but the manner of our win that pleased him. He felt that his principles had been justified. We had shown that football, at its best, is a game of beauty and intelligence. "For Ron Greenwood, it was the fulfilment of a dream."

Alan Sealey

The late Alan Sealey was West Ham United's Wembley match-winner on 19 May 1965. The man who scored two of the most important goals in West Ham United's history is sadly no longer with us. Alan Sealey, who passed away in February 1996 at the age of 53, netted two outstanding strikes in the space of three second-half minutes at Wembley, securing the Hammers' victory and their first and, to date, only European trophy. Then just 23, Sealey had joined West Ham from Leyton Orient in 1961, working his way into Ron Greenwood's side as an outside right. Although never a prolific marksman, the Hampton-born player could always be relied upon to net his share, although he had scored just three in 29 appearances that season when the 1965 European Cup Winners' Cup final came around.

After a goalless but entertaining opening hour, West Ham struck two hammer blows in quick succession. First, Ronnie Boyce nipped in to steal possession on the edge of the centre circle before strolling forward and sliding the ball to Sealey, who took a touch and rifled a shot into the top right-hand corner – before celebrating with a forward roll that has gone down in Hammers folklore.

Moments later, victory was completed by the No7 was in the right place at the right time again when Bobby Moore's free-kick was knocked into his path by Martin Peters and the man nicknamed 'Sammy' swept home from no more than four yards. "I'm immensely proud of what he did," said Sealey's son Anthony. "It was a great achievement. It obviously takes eleven players to make a team but it just happened to be my Dad's night and it all came right for him. "If you knew my Dad, he wasn't really a boaster or a bragger, which in a lot ways probably didn't do him a lot of favours because he didn't shout his name from the rooftops because that wasn't the sort of person he was, but he basically lived out a dream that night. "I suppose it was one of those nights when everything went for him. You could just tell from the sound of his voice the buzz it must have given him."

Tragically, the striker suffered a broken leg in a freak training ground accident in the summer of 1965 which effectively ended his career at the highest level. Sealey would play just five more first-team games for the Hammers before departing the Club for Plymouth Argyle in 1967. After spells with non-league Romford and Bedford Town, he retired in 1969. "He was great around the Club, he was always chirpy and singing and got up to some incredible antics!" recalled teammate Brian Dear. "It was just unfortunate that he broke his leg. It was a freak accident at the training ground and he never came back after that. It was such a shame."

Benitez turns down West Ham
Filed: Tuesday, 19th May 2015
By: Staff Writer

Rafa Benitez has rejected the chance to join West Ham, according to reports from Italy. Well-placed journalist Gianluca Di Marzio is reporting tonight that the Spanish coach has turned down the chance to manage West Ham and is instead set for talks with Real Madrid - who German media reported earlier today are set to hire Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp.

Gianluca Di Marzio
✔ ‎@DiMarzio
#Benitez lontano da #Napoli: no al #WestHam, contatti in corso con il #RealMadrid … #gdm #gdmercato #WHUFC #RMCF

If news of Benitez's rejection proves to be correct it would represent a huge blow for West Ham's board, who have already been turned down by the likes of Klopp and fellow candidate David Moyes.

With Sam Allardyce set to leave the club next week following this Sunday's Premier League fixture with Newcastle, West Ham could be left in limbo just a matter of weeks before their 2015/16 Europa League campaign is set to commence.

And Benitez's withdrawal could leave current Marseille coach Marcelo Bielsa - who KUMB understands has already help preliminary talks with West Ham - as the clear favourite to replace Allardyce, who has been in the post for four years since succeeding Avram Grant.

Sheringham set for Stevenage talks
Filed: Tuesday, 19th May 2015
By: Staff Writer

Part-time attacking coach Teddy Sheringham has been given permission to speak with Stevenage FC regarding a managerial post. The 49-year-old is currently contracted to West Ham as a coach but is understood to have been given permission to speak with the League Two club, who are poised to part company with current manager Graham Westley when his contract expires at the end of May. Talk show host Ian Abrahams, who was spotted talking to Sheringham at the Boleyn on Saturday afternoon prior to the Everton clash claimed today (albeit indirectly) that the former Hammers and England striker had begun negotiations.

Sheringham has also been linked with the Portsmouth job in recent days, which tends to suggest that he will follow Sam Allardyce out of the Boleyn Ground at the end of the season. He re-joined West Ham last summer after Allardyce was instructed to hire an attacking coach.

Klopp's the Real thing
Filed: Tuesday, 19th May 2015
By: Staff Writer

Yesterday he was being linked with a move to Turkey - today Jurgen Klopp appears set to join Real Madrid... The current Dortmund manager is the hottest property in Europe presently and amongst many others, has been linked with a move to Upton Park in order to replace the outgoing Sam Allardyce. Yesterday it was reported by local media that Klopp had flown to Turkey in order to hold discussions with representatives of Fenerbahce. However reports from within Germany today suggest that the 47-year-old is set to be named as Carlo Ancelotti's replacement at the Santiago Bernabeu instead. Deutschland Radio report this lunchtime that Klopp has won the race to replace the Italian, who has been in charge at Madrid for the past two seasons. The source claims that he will sign a three-year contract worth in the region of €8 million per year. Klopp's main rival for the Real role is reported to be Napoli's Rafa Benitiez, who remains the favourite to replace Allardyce at the Boleyn Ground.

Former Academy star ditched by Sky Blues
Filed: Tuesday, 19th May 2015
By: Staff Writer

Former Hammers Academy member Blair Turgott has been released by Coventry City, just four months after signing on a free transfer.

20-year-old Turgott joined the League One side at the end of the January transfer window having been released on a free transfer by West Ham. However he made just three appearances for the Sky Blues before being told his short-term contract would not be extended.

Despite the disappointment, Turgott maintains he enjoyed his time at the club. Speaking to supporters via Twitter, he wrote: "I would like to thank everyone at Coventry City FC -staff, players and fans. Enjoyed my time and all the best in the future!"

The midfielder made just one first team appearance for West Ham during his time at the club, in the infamous 5-0 FA Cup defeat at Nottingham Forest in January 2014.

He has also spent time on loan with Colchester, Rotherham, Dagenham & Redbridge and Bradford, for whom he appeared as an unused substitute in the 2013 Capital One Cup Final at Wembley (which the Bantams lost 5-0 to Swansea).

Teddy Sheringham to speak to Stevenage about manager's post
Last Updated: 19/05/15 5:16pm

West Ham have granted Teddy Sheringham permission to speak to League Two side Stevenage about the manager's job at Broadhall Way. Sheringham is currently an attacking coach at Upton Park and any deal with Stevenage would see the 49-year-old former Tottenham and Manchester United striker take his first job in management. Current Stevenage manager Graham Westley is out of contract this summer.
Sheringham retired from competitive football at the end of the 2007/08 season with Colchester at the age of 42. He scored 98 goals in two spells with Spurs, between which he won three Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the Champions League with Manchester United. He was capped 51 times by England, scoring 11 goals.

Michael Laudrup dismisses West Ham link and wants job at 'big club'
Last Updated: 19/05/15 1:33pm

Michael Laudrup, who has been reportedly linked with the West Ham job, says he will not be returning to the Premier League this summer unless a "big club" comes calling. Laudrup, who left Swansea last year, is currently managing Lekhwiya in Qatar but there could be jobs available this summer on English soil with doubts surrounding the future of Sam Allardyce at West Ham and Newcastle United on the hunt for a new permanent manager. However, the former Danish international has set his heart on taking a job with bigger aspirations rather than a "mid-table" club. He told Spanish newspaper Marca: "It's a time when many rumours appear, but there is nothing concrete. I am in the process of renewing [my contract] with Lekhwiya, they want me here. I will decide it in two weeks. "I am not going to accept an offer from a mid-table club in England or Spain. They are experiences that I have already lived and, at this stage of my life as a coach, I look for new things. If a big club comes [calling], I will not say no to them, but I would like to try [coaching] in the United States if not given the opportunity."

Sam Allardyce will discuss his future in Monday meeting
Last Updated: 19/05/15 1:26pm

Sam Allardyce's future at West Ham United will be resolved in a meeting next Monday, Sky Sports sources understand. Allardyce's contract runs out at the end of the season but as of yet he has still not been offered a new deal. The meeting will be with West Ham co-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold, along with vice-chairwoman Karren Brady. West Ham are 11th in the Premier League and have won just three of their Premier League games this year. In March this year, Brady warned the manager that his team were "underachieving", but Allardyce said she was wrong and was quick to defend his players. Allardyce said earlier this week: "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."

The crucial meeting will take place the day after West Ham's last game of the season, away at Newcastle United. Victory could see Allardyce consign his former club to relegation and perhaps secure his future at Upton Park. Napoli manager Rafa Bentiez is currenly odds-on favourite to replace Allardyce.

By Brian Williams 19 May 2015 at 08:00
West Ham till I Die

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone…

There is, admittedly, no evidence to suggest that WH Auden supported West Ham – even though he was clearly acquainted with a dog from Barking. But I can't help thinking he wrote that line about stopping the clocks after a visit to Upton Park. I suggest that in future all timepieces are halted after 89 minutes, at which point the referee is obliged to blow the final whistle and call a halt to proceedings.

Had that been the drill this year, West Ham would be several points better off and I would be considerably less brassed off.

To be frank, I think Romelu Lukaku's stoppage-time goal on Saturday was distinctly inconsiderate in the circumstances. I know we had won the real contest – the battle of the yellow cards – but, even so, there are still some people with a taste for minor detail who take an interest in the score itself. The end-of-season party that is part and parcel of the last home game was left more than a little flat by Lukaku's intervention. Not least because a majority of the West Ham faithful got up and cleared off when he scored.

The only consolation, I suppose, is that it wasn't our last game ever at the Boleyn Ground. Imagine that is the way it all ends this time next year. It doesn't bear thinking about.

We should all be used it by now, of course. The opening game of this season gave us a taste of what was to come.

You will recall it was against our old friends from Tottenham. You will also no doubt remember that Mark Noble missed a penalty and we outplayed their 10 men without scoring until The Ginger Pele sportingly decided to even things up by getting himself sent off in the second half. The trouble with some people is that you show them a spot of decent East End hospitality and then they take a right liberty. There is no other way to describe the way Eric Dier, who is actually supposed to be a defender, found himself at the wrong end of the pitch and scored for Spurs in stoppage time. That's nothing short of bad manners in my book.

As the season went on, and we started beating the likes of Liverpool and Man City, we all got lulled into a false sense of security about just what the footballing gods can do to you when they are feeling mischievous. True, referees weren't exactly falling over themselves to give us the benefit of any doubt that might be going in the decision-making department, but neither did we concede any more gut-wrenching last minute goals. Then we played host to Manchester United at the beginning of February.

Exactly why officials bother with an actual figure for time added on when any team is leading against the Mancs beats me. They might just as well flash up a sign on the big screens saying: "We will now continue playing until Man Utd equalise. Sorry if you have a bus to catch."

In a strange sort of way it would be better if they just said: "Next goal wins it." That's what we used to do as kids after one of those epic lunchtime encounters in the playground when the bell went for afternoon lessons and both sides were still arguing about whether the score was 13-all or 13-12. It was either next goal wins it, or the two captains had to sort it out in the bikesheds in the traditional manner after school.

As I was often one of the captains, I never much cared for the latter option. Like Seventies icon Gilbert O'Sullivan, I've always seen myself as a writer, not a fighter. The reason I was captain more regularly than most had very little to do with my prowess on the football pitch itself, I hasten to add. If two other lads were picking the sides I was never quite left with the fat kid and the boy who had sticking plaster over one half of his spectacles, but neither was I anyone's first choice.

I decided to get myself a more prominent role by providing a trophy that we could play for each lunchtime. The only condition was that, as it was my cup, I had to be one of the team captains.

Never having been very adept at making things myself, I enlisted the help of my Dad. It was my design – I'm not going to let him take the credit for that. But he was the one who actually glued the upturned saucer, cotton reels and teacup-minus-handle together, then neatly covered it all in tin foil. (I don't think he trusted me with Araldite.) And very popular it was, too. Let's face it, everyone wants to see a bit of silverware in the trophy cabinet – even if you do have to hand it back and fight for it all over again the following day.

Incidentally, if I may digress for a moment, we used a system called "bunny rabbit" to decide who had first pick. The two captains – one was bunny, the other rabbit – stood a few feet apart and took alternate heel-to-toe steps towards one another until one of the lads was no longer able to put his whole foot in the space that was left. The other boy got the honour of making the first selection. Was that the way you did at your school? As someone who has a taste for trivia, I'd love to know of alternative methods.

Sorry, where was I? Oh yes. Daley Blind's goal in the 23rd minute of time added on for injury to Manchester United's pride for the way we'd outplayed them so comprehensively for the entire afternoon.

I think we can spare ourselves the heartache of reliving Tottenham's stoppage-time equaliser at White Hart Lane a fortnight later, having been 2-0 up with nine minutes left to play. Although quite why a player with Alex Song's experience felt the need to put his hands on Harry Kane the way he did is beyond me. For the record, it is only right to gazette the fact that Adrian saved the resultant penalty – only for Kane to convert the rebound with what turned out to be the last kick of the game. Did I say the gods could be mischievous? Malicious, more like.

And we certainly don't want to rake up Stoke's injury-time sickener – the one that Sam Allardyce put down to "nerves and panic." Given that Marko Arnautovic had seen two efforts ruled out for offside before he finally smashed the ball home legitimately, you could possibly add "stupidity" to the Allardyce analysis.

Ah well, I suppose that's what you get for supporting West Ham.

Blimey, is that the time? We are now approaching the final minute of this column, so I am going to have to end it here. Sorry if that seems a bit abrupt. But a last-gasp leveller by Claret and Hugh really would be the final straw.

Irons track 'new Michael Essien'
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 19, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

West Ham are said to be taking a keen interest in 18-year-old Cagliari midfielder and right-back, Godfred Donsah who has been compared to his fellow Ghanaian Michael Essien. According to West Ham have joining other Premier League clubs taking a keen interest in the youngster. Donsah has made 21 Serie A appearances this season for Cagliari scoring twice. He previously played for Palermo and Verona. He has been reguarly scouted by Manchester City, Liverpool, Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal Earlier this year Donsah previously said "I feel good at Cagliari – we are doing well. I am inspired by Michael Essien. He is my role model." Agent Oliver Arthur added: "There's lots of interest in Donsah right now, especially from clubs in the UK. "Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Arsenal have made official enquiries about him. For now, they are scouting him, and there is nothing concrete."

Report:Hammers to axe Sam after Newcastle
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 19, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Sam Allardyce is today reported as West Ham history. The Telegraph is reporting on line that he will be told his time in charge of the club will be relayed to him within 24 hours of Sunday's game against Newcastle. Whilst ClaretandHugh was told yesterday the meeting was due next week, The Telegraph is claiming the board will inform him his contract will not be renewed before he heads off on holiday next Tuesday. The manager apparently expects the decision despite the fact that neither the Dvids or Karren Brady are ready to make a formal announcement ahead of the game at St James' Park. The three are known to be hunting for a manager and Allardyce now seems totally aware of the position and is resigned to the fact that his time as West Ham manager is at an end.

Reid "been there…done that " in Europa
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 19, 2015 in Whispers
Claret 7 Hugh

Winston Reid will know exactly what to expect if the Irons start out on a qualifying Europa Cup in July because he's been there and done that! The central defender was involved hen at Midtjylland in Denmark, and ran into Manchester City in the early stages. Talking to London he said: "There are no easy games, it is tough. The club has to be ready, you can't just go out there an 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." He is pragmatic about qualifying through the Fair Play League saying: "Whatever way you get in, it doesn't matter I guess.. "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." He added:"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."

Bilic expects to leave Besiktas
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 19, 2015 in Whispers

Former Hammer Slaven Bilic has revealed he expects Besiktas to let him leave this summer after taking charge in the summer of 2013.
Besiktas currently sit third in the Turkish Super Lig, seven points adrift of leaders Galatasaray and Bilic has told Liga TV that he expects Besiktas to move in a different direction this summer. He said: "My intention was to stay here. Now I don't know if this is possible. The responsibility for the defeats is all mine," he said after the 0-1 loss to Konyaspor on Monday. "I am going to sit down with the management. But I know how football works, especially in Turkey. I don't see myself being given a chance to manage Besiktas next season." The Croatian, who has also managed Lokomotiv Moscow, Hajduk Split and the Croatian national team, spent eighteen months as a Hammer before moving on to Everton in 1997. Bilic is rumoured to be on a West Ham managerial shortlist and is considered second favourite by many bookies at odds as short as 4/1. Although he has no Premier League experience which might be seen by the board as a gamble the Croatian is used to working as a coach and leaving transfer negotiations to others which would suit Chairman David Sullivan down to the ground.

Irons linked with Marseille free agent
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 19, 2015 in Whispers

West Ham have been linked once again to Marseille winger Andre Ayew who has been linked with the club for the past three years. One tabloid claims we are in early talks with his agent with regards to a possible move this summer. The Ghana international is out of contract at Marseille at the end of the season so will be available on a free transfer. According to The Sun, the Hammers have recently met up with the 25-year-old's agent. Ayew has scored 13 goals for his club this season and celebrated his final days with Marseille by being named the best African player in Ligue 1 on Monday.

Ayew was last linked in the January transfer window when it was said West Ham would use their close relationship with Marseille wheeler and dealer Willie McKay will help land Andre Ayew. Back in 2012 when was first linked with the club Ayew told Sky Sports: "We are always interested playing one day abroad, there is no official offer from West Ham but if such a possibility could arrive, we will talk about with our advisers. West Ham is an excellent team."

West Ham chief gives Jenkinson update and promises 'at least' five signings
12:58 19 May 2015 Jack Green
London 24

West Ham co-owner David Gold plans to bring in at least five new players at Upton Park this summer, and Carl Jenkinson could be one of them. The on-loan Arsenal full-back has been impressive for the Hammers this season and looks likely to make the move permanent at the end of the season. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has said he is keen to hold on to the 23-year-old, but with Hector Bellerin, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers in the squad the Gunners are strong at right-back. A price tag in the region of £10m has been suggested for Jenkinson, and Gold has admitted on Twitter that he could be among the players the club signs this summer. "I'm optimistic for next season. Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho and James Tomkins back plus at least five new faces," he tweeted. When asked if the "new faces" ruled out Jenkinson, he responded: "No but we have to wait and see. "We will bring in at least five new players in the summer window."

Sam Allardyce to leave West Ham 24 hours after final game of the season
Manager's fate will be sealed at a meeting with the club's board the day after the Premier League match at Newcastle this weekend
By Matt Law
8:06AM BST 19 May 2015

Sam Allardyce's West Ham United exit is due to be confirmed less than 24 hours after the final game of the season against Newcastle United. West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold, together with vice-chairman Karren Brady, are scheduled to meet manager Allardyce on Monday, when it is expected the 60-year-old's departure will be rubber-stamped. Sullivan and Gold have maintained that no decision will be finalised before the meeting, but Allardyce expects to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of this season.
Allardyce is due to go on holiday next Tuesday and is aware West Ham have been working on a list of potential new managers to take them into the Olympic Stadium.

• Who will be the next West Ham manager?
David Moyes has always been the first choice of Sullivan and Gold, but, with the former Everton and Manchester United manager insisting he has no immediate plans to leave Real Sociedad, Rafael Benítez is their next option. There have been conflicting reports from Italy over the future of Benítez at Napoli, but that should become much clearer once it is decided whether the Italian club qualify for the Champions League. With the top three qualifying for the Champions League, Napoli are fourth in the Serie A table behind Lazio, who they play on the final day of the season on May 31. Should Benítez, the former Liverpool and Chelsea manager, remain at Napoli or reject the West Ham job, the club would move down their list of targets by considering Slaven Bilic or Michael Laudrup.


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