Tuesday, May 26

Daily WHUFC News - 26th May 2015

From the Newsroom

Evening Standard correspondent Ken Dyer has been covering West Ham United over land and sea for more than 40 years. He has also spent the last four seasons ghost-writing Sam Allardyce's column in London's daily newspaper...

Quite frankly Sunday's announcement that the Club will not be renewing Sam Allardyce's contract did not come as a great surprise considering all of the speculation over the past few weeks. From a purely personal perspective I'm a bit sad as I've ghost written his weekly column for the Evening Standard for the past four years and have built up a relationship and a friendship with him.

Looking back at his time at the Club, I think he's done everything asked of him and has brought the club out from what was a very low point to a period of stability. He took them out of the Championship and in to the Premier League at the first attempt, which is no mean feat. He gave the fans a marvellous time at Wembley and some other great wins, most notably against Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Liverpool.

It's just a shame that during the second half of the season it fell away, largely due to injuries to key players, especially the strikers.

Overall, he gave us a real spine - West Ham over many years have had a reputation for playing some good football but maybe being a bit flaky and easy to beat at times. He changed that and made us a resilient team.

He established us a mid-table Premier League Club and it is a terrific achievement in such a short period of time. I think that will be his legacy.

I'm sure in the fullness of time he'll get back into the game. I think he'll now take a well-earned break and I wish him all the best.

I watched Sam's post-match interviews and he talked with dignity and there doesn't seem to be any hard feelings between him and the Club, which is good to see. I think as he said it's probably right time for both parties – the Club and him - to move on.

David Sullivan and David Gold have now started their hunt for a new manager and I think they need someone to take Sam's legacy forward. The number one priority is to stay in the Premier League next season and I think it's important we don't get too ahead of ourselves. In future years we can set our sights much higher but next year it's all about staying in the Premier League.

In terms of style of play we will be looking for, I think the fans were frustrated in the early days of Sam's time that we played a little too direct and the new manager has to recognise that and appreciate the history and tradition of the club.

They just need to keep the continuity and stability and potentially deal with the added challenge of starting the season early due to Europa League qualification.

It is a big challenge but an exciting one for the right man.

Former Player Blog - Tony Cottee

Tony Cottee scored 146 goals in 336 appearances over two spells with West Ham United and was part of the Hammers side which finished in a record-high third place in Division One in 1985/86...

I would like to start by wishing Sam Allardyce all the best for the future after four years in charge of my Club, West Ham United.

I know Sam and am good friends with his no2 Neil McDonald from our time playing together at Everton. He, as well as Sam's other backroom staff, will also leave the Club and I wish them all the best too. Teddy Sheringham has already been appointed as Stevenage manager and I am sure Macca, Ian Hendon and Bobby Mimms will not be out of work for long.

Concentrating on the future, if the Board appoint the right man to succeed Sam and the new manager takes the Club to the next level, then it will prove to be the right decision not to renew his contract this summer.

Some supporters have complained about the style of football we have played under Sam and I have seen the Board's statement indicating that the new manager must be aware of the Club's traditions and the West Ham Way.

I think you have to get the balance right. We all want to play attractive, attacking football, but that is no good if we end up losing 5-4 every week and getting relegated. The key to it is getting the balance between style and substance.

I think Sam did a job up to a point and took the Club as far as he could in that regard. We knew what we were getting when Sam was appointed, so there have been no surprises.

There have been times when we have played some brilliant football and pulled off some outstanding wins, but there have also been times when we have not caught the eye and have gone through difficult spells of performances and results – take this season as an example!

Whoever is appointed to take over as manager needs to get that balance right as quickly as possible.

For me, Slaven Bilic is the number one choice to become West Ham United's new manager. When you look at his credentials, he has enjoyed success at both domestic and international level, was a fantastic player, is a top guy and also has a strong connection with the Club.

I think it is important, if possible, for a manager to have a connection with a club, whether that be as a former player or coach, and Slaven was a very good player for West Ham. I would love to see Slaven Bilic get the job, as he has proved himself with Croatia and Besiktas and I believe he is available.

I have seen other names be mentioned, like Jurgen Klopp and Eddie Howe, and it is very important that the Club makes the right decision at this important time.

The Board have appointed managers before, both at West Ham and before that at Birmingham City, and have a lot of experience in this area, so I am confident they will do their homework and make the right decision.

I understand that we will likely start the season early because of the Europa League, so it is also important that any decision is made as quickly as possible so that the new manager can be fully prepared for that challenge.

All of us West Ham fans certainly have an interesting summer ahead!

Come on you Irons!


West Ham keeping tabs on Rodgers as top targets fall
Filed: Monday, 25th May 2015
By: Staff Writer

West Ham are keeping a close eye on the developing situation at Liverpool with view to manager Brendan Rodgers' situation.

The Irishman was panned by Reds fans yesterday following the 6-1 thrashing at Stoke - their heaviest defeat in Premier League history - since when many have been calling for Rodgers' head.

In charge at Anfield for three years, the 42-year-old was close to clinching Liverpool's first title since the 1980s last year. However that has been sandwiched by two very ordinary seasons, leading to the current calls for his immediate replacement.

West Ham's hunt for a successor to Sam Allardyce has suffered two major blows in the past few hours, with leading candidates Carlo Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp both (indirectly) ruling themselves out of the running.

Interest in Napoli boss Rafa Benitez remains extremely high, although he continues to be linked with Ancelotti's post at Real Madrid, which has just become available at time of writing.

And whilst Slaven Bilic is understood to have given West Ham's advances his tacit approval, the club are still keeping their options open hence the fresh interest in Rodgers.

A former defender who spent the bulk of his career representing clubs in the lower leagues, Rodgers cut his managerial teeth at Stamford Bridge as reserve team manager learning from the likes of Felipe Scolari and Jose Mourinho.

His first major appointment came in 2008, when he took control of Watford. Having led the Hornets to a 13th-place Championship finish, he returned to former club Reading the following season - a marriage destined for failure, as he left the Majedski just six months later by mutual consent.

In July 2010 Championship-side Swansea came calling and within 12 months he had repaid their faith by leading them to the Premier League via a Wembley play-off win against former club Reading (4-2).

Having secured a second season in the top flight, he joined current club Liverpool in June 2012. An initial three-year contract was superseded by a new four-year deal last season, tying him to the club until summer 2018.

* In other news tonight, former England boss Steve McClaren has been fired by Derby County after failing to lead them to the Championship play-offs. The 54-year-old has also been linked to the vacancy at West Ham.

Klopp to take six-months off
Filed: Monday, 25th May 2015
By: Staff Writer

Jurgen Klopp is set to disappoint a string of clubs across Europe - by taking a six-month sabbatical at the start of next season.

The 47-year-old is one of the most highly-sought after managers in the game today having agreed to leave Dortmund, with whom he has spent the last seven years.

However highly-regarded German sports agency Bild revealed this afternoon that Klopp will reject all offers of a new management role in order to recharge his batteries, with view to returning to the game in 2016.

When asked to comment on his future, Klopp said: "I am a football coach. I want to work for a while, but at the moment it is difficult."

And with view to taking a role in Spain, where he has been linked with Real Madrid, he added: "I can speak almost every German dialect, so I can learn Spanish - if I have to."

In addition to Real Madrid, Klopp has been linked with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and West Ham in reent weeks.

Who's in the frame for the West Ham job?
By Jamie Casey
Last Updated: 25/05/15 6:12pm

Following confirmation of Sam Allardyce's departure as West Ham manager, Sky Bet look at the most likely candidates to succeed him.

Slaven Bilic – 1/2

Having made 48 appearances for the club between 1996 and 1997, Slaven Bilic appears to be a popular choice among the West Ham support. The former Croatia manager – who is stepping down from his role as Besiktas manager – is also popular among Sky Bet's punters, with Bilic attracting by far the biggest number of stakes, even doubling the figure of the second most backed candidate – Rafa Benitez (20/1).

Unai Emery - 7/2
Sevilla boss Unai Emery

Having been linked with the posts at Real Madrid and AC Milan, Unai Emery is a candidate West Ham fans should not turn their noses up at. The Sevilla boss will bid to land back-to-back Europa League titles with the Spanish side on Wednesday, and has guided the club to two consecutive fifth-place finishes in La Liga. With Milan priced at 15/8 to be Carlo Ancelotti's next job and Rafa Benitez 1/4 to replace the Italian at Madrid, West Ham could well be the most attractive proposition for Emery this summer.

David Moyes – 6/1
Real Sociadad boss David Moyes

Bearing in mind the job David Moyes did in his reign at Everton, appointing the Scotsman could prove a shrewd move from the West Ham hierarchy. Moyes signed an 18-month contract with Real Sociadad last November, steering them from 15th in the table to a 12th-place finish. Adequate, if unspectacular, it is not yet known if Moyes will see out his deal, but West Ham appears to be his best option for a route back into the English top flight, with Newcastle 14/1 to appoint him.

Michael Laudrup – 8/1
Lekhwiya boss Michael Laudrup

Since leaving Swansea in February of last year, Michael Laudrup has resisted a handful of chances to return to English football, preferring to honour his contract at Qatar side Lekhwiya instead. He has been busy guiding Lekhwiya to the Qatar Stars League and Crown Prince Cup, but his contract runs out next month, paving the way for a return to the Premier League. The Dane has distanced himself from mid-table opportunities, but it is not clear how inviting he finds the positions at West Ham (8/1) and Newcastle (8/1).

The outsiders

Former Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo

Roberto Di Matteo, who is expected to be sacked by Schalke following their sixth-place finish in the Bundesliga, is next in the pecking order at 12/1. Under-fire Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is the same price as Di Matteo, with Jurgen Klopp rated 5/4 to be the next manager in the door at Anfield. Steve McClaren is a 16/1 shout, while a return for Harry Redknapp is 20/1. Ancelotti has also been linked with the Hammers' post, but it's an unlikely rumour at 25/1.

West Ham have taken a gamble by not renewing Sam Allardyce's contract, says Paul Merson
Last Updated: 25/05/15 2:11pm

West Ham have risked their Premier League status next season by not renewing Sam Allardyce's contract, according to Paul Merson.

Merson believes Allardyce had all the qualities needed to ensure West Ham would go to the Olympic Stadium as a Premier League outfit.

Allardyce was informed of his departure on Friday which was publicly confirmed moments after his side's defeat to Newcastle on the final day of the season.

The style of football was a point of contention with the supporters at Upton Park but Niall Quinn alongside Merson struggled to understand what the West Ham 'way' is.

"I don't know. What is the West Ham way? We are talking 1960s when they had a really good team," he said.

"It's a big gamble. One thing you are assured of with Sam Allardyce is you get a top manager. They won't get relegated if he was manager next season. They are not a shoo-in to stay up next season."

Quinn added: "I saw them right up until Christmas when they were in fourth and they were still giving out about him.

"He doesn't fit into the West Ham way - what are they wishing for as a football club?"

Roeder backs Bilic as good fit
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 25, 2015 in Whispers

Football - West Ham United, Upton Park, London - 14/6/01 New West Ham Manager Glenn Roeder Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Richard Heathcote Digital

Former manager Glen Roeder insists Bilic will be able to handle the pressure at West Ham – because he has already dealt with the difficulties of Turkish football.

"He's as good a fit as anyone else," Roeder told the Talksport Sports Breakfast show. "It's always a gamble getting a new manager, you can only judge them on their past records.

"Slaven has done well with Crotia and at every club he's managed. Turkish football is a very difficult place to manage and he's come through that with Besiktas. He seems a tough guy."

Hammers linked to Benfica winger
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 25, 2015 in Whispers

Benfica's Ola John is the latest target being checked out by the Irons.

According to Foot Mercato John is expected to leave the club this season and is being courted by the Irons who are reprotedely very keen on the winger.

As reported earlier Sampdoria's Italian international striker Eder is another target for the club where the signing policy is being solely directed by recruitment director to the board Tony Henry.

With the likes of Kevin Nolan and Carlton Cole on their way out of Upton Park, the Hammers will free up wages although no fee for the left sided player has yet been agreed.

John is tied to Benfica until 2017 would cost around £9 million.

Cottee: "Let me be your adviser Daves"
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 25, 2015 in Whispers

Tony Cottee has mounted a cheeky job application to become a football adviser at West Ham.

The former striker – whilst claiming the board have taken a huge gamble in getting rid of Sam Allardyce – then makes it clear he's the bloke to help them sort the future!

Speaking in his London 24.com column he says: "It's a huge gamble by the board going into what is one of the most important seasons in the club's history as we get ready for the Olympic Stadium."

He backs Slaven Bilic as Allardyce's replacement and says: " I know Bilic left us to join Everton. I am not going to criticise him for that as I did exactly the same thing.

"But Bilic has done superbly with Croatia in the World Cup, has managed in the Champions League and in some very volatile leagues, so that is why I would go for him."

Then comes the job application as Cottee declares:" One thing I would say is that I find it hard to believe that any board can go forward without someone who has played the game at a high level to advise them.

"I am always available, I have a huge passion for the club, but my phone never seems to ring.

REPORT: Irons £8 million striker bid
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 25, 2015 in Whispers

West Ham are this afternoon reported to be weighing up a bid for Sampdoria's Italian international striker Eder.
He has scored nine goals and provided four assists and scored for the national side on his international debut and La Gazzetta dello Sport report that the Biscione have valued the 28-year-old at around €10 million.

The newspaper says the Irons have offered €8m for the Brazilian-born attacker.

However, inter Milan are also keen nd my be ready to get involved in an auction for the striker.

Cressie: 'Thanks gaffer'
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 25, 2015 in Whispers

Aaron Cresswell has signed off for the summer with a word on behalf of departed boss Sam Allardyce.

The former Ipswich left back who became Hammer of the Year in his debut season has expressed his thanks to the former manager.

Cresswell tweeted: "Looking forward to next season. Thanks again for an unforgettable season. Also to the gaffer who gave me the opportunity to play for the club and has been brilliant with me.

He added: "Been a disappointing end to the season but just want to thank everyone for your support all year round, week in, week out."

West Ham have time to make appointment
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 25, 2015 in Whispers

Many of West Ham first team squad will jetting off on their summer holidays as you read this. Historically Premier League players have enjoyed four weeks holiday after the season ends returning to pre-season training in late June or the first week in July.

This year we have the added complication of the possibility of qualifying for Europa through the Fair Play route. Should we qualify our first scheduled game would be on 2nd July.

Yesterday when we asked a source close the club when the players might report back to training were told "Training will depend on if we are in (Europa) and when the new manager wants them in"

Whether we qualify for Europa or not, the board have the luxury of a few weeks before the need to appoint a new manager becomes urgent. Many believe it is far better to wait and appoint the right man rather then rush into these things.

Hammers back to drawing board on boss
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 25, 2015 in Whispers

When the official site declared yesterday "the club is starting its search " for a new manager, that's exactly what it meant.

Rumours that Seville manager Unai Emery and Jurgen Klopp could be on their way are exactly that – rumours for which we could get no confirmation inside the club today.

A source said: "It seems that Rafa Benitez is getting the Real Madrid job and we had a lot stacked on that so it's back to the drawing board.

"Emery is very much a 'coming' manager and we would have to be interested whilst the word from Klopp's camp is that he won't make his mind up on his future until next month. That is honestly where it stands on both.

"We have never been in a desperate rush and believe we have until July to get this sorted as we are absolutely certain we will get a top class manager.

"Both of those you mention are on the list along with several others but we are now aggressively addressing the issue."

None of that may necessarily be great news for Slaven Bilic whom we were told is no better than a three or four to one shot.

We were told: "He's another on the list but the bookies have it well wrong at odds on. I think three or four to one would be more realistic."

Ancelotti & McLaren sacked
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 25, 2015 in Whispers

Carlo Ancelotti has been sacked as manager of Real Madrid after two seasons in charge of the Spanish club. Club president Florentino Perez told a news conference it had "not been an easy decision" before thanking Ancelotti and adding that a new manager would be appointed "in the coming week".

Two days ago Carlo Ancelotti who has also seen as a possible replacement for Sam Allardyce by some said he will take a year off from management if he was sacked.

Another West Ham managerial target Rafa Benitez is the odds on favourite for the Madrid role, while German newspaper Bild claims another yet West Ham managerial target, Jurgen Klopp, who will step down as Borussia Dortmund manager at the end of the season, will take a six month sabbatical from football.

Finally Derby County have terminated the contract of Steve McClaren linked by some papers to West Ham job.

Klopp still in Irons frame
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 25, 2015 in Whispers

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that he is taking his time to decide on his future.

Speculation has been flying around that the German is heading back into management at any one of any number of clubs.

West Ham have approached the 47 year through middle men and have not been turned down but ClaretandHugh's was told: "He made it clear he will make his mind up in June. He appears to be sticking to that."

Some media reports in Germany claim he will take six months off although Klopp himself has only partly validated that.

He said regarding his future: "I am a football coach. I want to work for a while, but at the moment it is difficult."

He has been linked with Real Madrid – where it now seems Rafa Benitez may be headed – West Ham, Liverpool and Manchester City.

Brum Keeper linked with Irons
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 25, 2015 in Whispers

Birmingham Keeper Darren Randolph tells Blues he will be leaving as a free agent in the summer after opting against signing a new contract. After months of negotiations the Irish goalkeeper has opted not to sign the new contract the Blues offered.

As a result he becomes a free agent and is available to sign for another club. It is expected he will join a Premier League outfit, with West Ham thought to be interested according to the Birmingham Mail.

Randolph moved to Birmingham from Motherwell in the summer of 2013 and has made 92 appearances. He ended the season by keeping three consecutive clean sheets and wasn't beaten for the final five hours of his Birmingham career.

Jussi Jääskeläinen's contract runs out at the end of the May and West Ham are desperate to find backup and competition for Adrian.



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