Sunday, May 3

Daily WHUFC News - 3rd May 2015

Hammers make Burnley pay penalty

West Ham United secured their ninth home win of the season with a 1-0 win
over relegation-embattled Burnley.

The match hinged on one moment midway through the first half when Jonathan
Moss awarded the hosts a penalty after Cheikhou Kouyate was fouled. Mark
Noble stepped up to score his second goal of the season.

In a fast paced game, Enner Valencia went agonizingly close to breaking the
deadlock in the early exchanges as he tried to connect to Aaron Cresswell's
teasing cross. However the Ecuadorean international could not quite manage
to get enough contact on the ball while under pressure from two Burnley

The visiting Clarets knew that only a win would do in their efforts to avoid
the relegation trapdoor. Sean Dyche's men started the game full of vigour
and verve fashioning a number of chances, the best of which fell to
Burnley's top goalscorer Danny Ings. First, he turned his marker and shot
just wide of the far post from a tight angle before heading over from close
range just moments later.

Midway through the first half and the Hammers took the lead via the penalty
spot. Mark Noble calmly sent Tom Heaton the wrong way to record his second
goal of the campaign.

The move started by superb play from Enner Valencia beating Kieran Trippier
before playing an incisive pass to Cheikhou Kouyate inside the box. The
Senegalese international twisted and turned before being felled by Michael

Up-stepped Noble to tuck the spot kick away confidently. Referee Jonathan
Moss decided to send off Duff, a decision that some may argue was harsh.

Boyed by taking the lead, the Hammers went close to doubling it just moments
later. Carl Jenkinson played an exquisite ball for Downing to chase, who
fired in a superb cross toward Valencia. The forward took a touch before
smashing it goal bound, forcing Heaton to pull off a magnificent save from
point-blanc range.

Heaton was called into again just minutes later, denying a fiercely struck
shot by Morgan Amalfitano, making his first appearance since the 1-1 draw
with Stoke City.

For Burnley, a hard task was made even more difficult by been reduced to ten
men and the Hammers soon began to take control of the game.

The visitors never stopped working and their tireless efforts were almost
rewarded when Trippier's well struck free kick had Adrian scrambling across
his line yet the effort flew just wide of the apex.

During the interval, a rousing reception was given to member of the 1965
European Cup Winners' Cup squad, celebrating their phenomenal achievement 50
years on.

With an air of proud nostalgia around the ground, the first team sprang out
of the traps, trying to extend their lead. Nolan poked just wide following
good work Downing and Jenkinson before Valencia blasting wide.

Burnley continued to pose a threat, particularly through Danny Ings' pace.
The England U21 International managed to get goal side of the defence yet he
crashed his effort into the side netting.

Amalfitano and Nolan both had chances to score. The Frenchman curled a shot
wide of the far post before the captain fired Cresswell's drilled cross yet
was denied his 100th League goal by a desperate block from the Clarets'

The game developed an edge midway through the second half, particularly when
Stewart Downing went down in the box. He and his teammates were adamant they
should have won a second penalty, Burnley were incensed at what they deemed
to be a dive. Moss agreed with the visitors and booked the 30-year-old.

The Hammers continued to push for a second goal, Sam Allardyce reshuffled
his pack and brought on Nene and Carlton Cole which nearly brought immediate
dividends. First, Cole went close with a header and then a one-on-one
however Heaton would not be beaten a second time.

Despite not scoring a second goal, the Hammers secured a deserved win, their
ninth home win of the season, leapfrogging Everton and Stoke, climbing to
ninth with 47 points.

West Ham United: Adrian, Jenkinson, Burke, Collins, Cresswell, Noble,
Kouyate, Nolan © (Nene 74), Downing, Amalfitano, Valencia (Cole 82)
Subs: Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Oxford, Jarvis, Song
Goals: Noble (p) 24,
Bookings: Valencia 42, Noble 44, Downing 60

Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Duff, Mee, Boyd (Keane 46), Arfield,
Jones, Taylor (Wallace 81), Barnes (Sordell 74), Ings
Subs: Gilks, Kightly, Reid, Jutkiewicz
Bookings: Keane 61,
Red Card: Duff 23

Gaffer hails 'well-deserved' Burnley victory

He may have kicked a water bottle in frustration and been chewing his gum
harder than ever in the final few minutes, but Sam Allardyce was ultimately
happy man on Saturday evening. The West Ham United manager saw his side
convert their first penalty of the season to condemn Burnley to a 1-0 defeat
at the Boleyn Ground that pushed the Clarets closer to the Barclays Premier
League trapdoor. The Hammers took advantage of Michael Duff's controversial
red card – shown by Jonathan Moss for a foul on Cheikhou Kouyate and Mark
Noble's resulting spot-kick to climb back into ninth place, and with a
positive goal difference at that. However, that goal difference could have
been significantly bolstered as West Ham unleashed 27 efforts on goal, only
to find Tom Heaton and his nine remaining outfield colleagues in resolute
mood. As it was, the Hammers and Big Sam had to make do with a one-goal
victory. "It's been clear to everybody that we have struggled to put the
ball in the back of the net, even though we created chance after chance,"
the manager told West Ham TV. "I wouldn't say all of it were bad finishing,
because a lot of it was good defending and very good goalkeeping,
particularly the save from Enner Valencia just after we'd scored the
penalty. "We go the nerve-ends jangling for everybody because, with three
minutes to go, we know we were 1-0 up and what has happened to us in the
recent past. We coped with it very well, so it was a very good win. "It was
a very good performance in the second half, but not so much the first, and
of course we got our second penalty of the season and it was so important
for us in the end because we scored it. A second clean sheet in succession,
following a goalless draw at Queens Park Rangers, pleased the boss,
particularly with 18-year-old Reece Burke making his full home Barclays
Premier League debut alongside the imperious James Collins. "It was a good
performance by the players stepping up to the mark to replace those who are
injured and Reece Burke again I have to mention on his second appearance. It
took him until Thursday to recover [from QPR] physically and mentally
because he was so tired, but he did another good job. "It was a
well-deserved victory but we should have won it by an awful lot more."

After a bright start, Burnley's hopes all but evaporated when Duff was
expelled from the pitch for his tackle on Kouyate – made after Enner
Valencia had burst past a defender and set the Senegalese free. From then
on, West Ham created chance after chance – while Adrian denied Ashley Barnes
from a corner – but Heaton and company produced heroics to keep their
deficit to one. During the second half siege, West Ham felt they should have
had a second spot-kick, but Stewart Downing was booked for diving as he went
past Ben Mee. In the end, though, a relieved Big Sam was able to smile,
shrug his shoulders and move onto next weekend's trip to FA Cup finalists
Aston Villa.

"There was no doubt it was a penalty but it was a harsh sending-off I think
because there was another defender there. Those decisions have to be made in
a split-second by the official and I'm not sure if Stewart Downing's one in
the second half was a penalty, but in the end it hasn't mattered. "If a
referee gets a decision wrong against you the critical factor is that it
doesn't cost you, and we've still won the game, so it hasn't cost us and we
have still got three points. "We've been telling everybody how important it
is to keep clean sheets and it has finally hit home over the last two games
because we have collected two of them and four points."

Hammers celebrate 1965 ECWC anniversary

West Ham United welcomed back the Club's European Cup Winners' Cup heroes on
Saturday, with the 50th anniversary of the Hammers' 1965 Wembley triumph
fast approaching. The Club's maiden European campaign ended with a 2-0 win
over TSV Munich on 19 May 1965 and the famous faces from that memorable day
were back at the Boleyn Ground this weekend. Martin Peters, Ronnie Boyce
and Ken Brown, all of whom started at Wembley, were joined by Eddie
Bovington, Peter Brabrook and Alan Dickie, as well as the families of the
dearly-departed manager Ron Greenwood and two-goal hero Alan Sealey.

To mark the occasion, Joint-Chairman David Gold presented West Ham's kings
of Europe with commemorative shields to a rapturous Boleyn Ground reception.
The larger-than-life Ken Brown certainly enjoyed his day back in east
London, a rare opportunity to reminisce with his West Ham contemporaries.
"It's an absolute delight to see some of the boys back here," he told West
Ham TV. "They don't improve with time, they're still ugly. But seriously,
it's brilliant to come back. "

Now 81, Forest Gate-born Brown can scarcely believe that 50 years have
passed but is thrilled, nonetheless, that the Club were intent on
celebrating the anniversary. He continued: "I still can't believe that it
was that long ago, I can't, honestly. To think that the Club wants to do
something about it, surely they don't, but they do, and I can't speak highly
enough of them. Brilliant."

As for the game itself, the occasion and nerves were such that Brown's
memories are somewhat hazy, but he will forever remember the feeling of
walking out at Wembley. "A lot of it was a blur, because going out onto the
pitch itself, to me it was like an electric current hitting you. You're
thinking, we've done the warm ups, and then you go out there, and think
jeepers, the atmosphere, it's hard to explain. It just hit me like a rocket.
"To have the good fortune to go back to Wembley like that, I regard myself,
or people have told me of late that I must be a lucky charm to Wembley,
because I played there three times and won every game!"

West Ham's inaugural European adventure saw Greenwood's Hammers visit
France, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland and Spain before taking on TSV Munich
1860 in a thrilling final. The Hammers scored in each of the eight ties they
played on the way to the final, including all four away legs, but it was far
from plain sailing all the way to Wembley. The Londoners had to resist a
late comeback from Spartak Prague, a rollercoaster battle with Lausanne and
a determined effort from Real Zaragoza to set up a meeting with the German
Cup winners on the night of 19 May 1965. There and then, the brand of
football first introduced by Greenwood's predecessor Ted Fenton in the late
1950s reached its zenith on the wide open spaces of Wembley. With no fewer
than eight home-grown players in the starting XI, West Ham produced a fine
performance to edge out through two second-half goals from outside right
Alan Sealey. Just seven years after winning promotion from the Second
Division, the Hammers had become just the second English club to win a
European trophy.

Noble's spot kick delight

Mark Noble's chances from the penalty spot have been few and far between in
the 2014/15 season so he made sure he would not pass up the opportunity when
it presented itself on Saturday. Michael Duff's foul on Cheikhou Kouyate
gave referee Jonathan Moss little option but to award a spot kick, although
to many observers the red card that followed for Duff was perhaps a touch
harsh. Noble was in no mood for charity, however, and his successful penalty
conversion set up a 1-0 victory which took West Ham back into the top half
of the Barclays Premier League table. "It's a massive result for us," he
explained. "The last couple of games have been against teams fighting for
their lives and I've been in that position so I know how much you have a go.
"We knew it was going to be tough today, but once we got the penalty we
found it pretty comfortable from thereon really. "We're expected to win
against Burnley here, even if they've got eleven men, so there's pressure
anyway. As soon as they went down to ten men, I scored the penalty and that
eased it a little bit. We could enjoy ourselves a little bit after that."

This was only the second Premier League penalty the Hammers have been
awarded this season but Noble insisted he did not feel any additional
pressure after missing his last effort against Tottenham Hotspur. He
continued: "I scored one in the FA Cup shootout, but we've only had two
penalties in the Premier League this season, so for the goal to win the
three points is massive for us. "I quite enjoy the pressure of penalties and
I believe I'm going to score. The one against Spurs was early doors, the
goal was there to score in, the keeper went early and it was just a lack of
concentration from me as I thought I had already scored but on Saturday I
made sure it hit the back of the net."

The target of 50 points is now within touching distance for the Hammers but
Noble does not want to stop there. He continued: "50 points is in our sights
and one more win will get us there. Who's to say we can't go and beat that
50-point barrier and finish as high up as we can. "It's two clean sheets in
a row, which is massive. Young Reece has come in and we've got two clean
sheets, so he'll be proud of himself next to Ginge. "It's much better for
us, because if you keep clean sheets you can't lose games and that's what we
haven't been doing up until recently."

Four U16s sign up on Scholarship contracts

West Ham United are delighted to announce that four of the most exciting
Academy prospects have signed new contracts with the Club.
Jake Eggleton, Jahmal Hector-Ingram, Declan Rice and Anthony Scully signed
their scholarship contracts on the hallowed Boleyn Ground pitch during
half-time at Saturday'ss match with Burnley. All four players are currently
U16s with their performances impressing the coaching staff at the Academy,
earning them scholarships. England U17 international Jahmal Hector-Ingram, a
prolific striker, has scored five goals in eleven games for the U18s.
Selecting his favourite, he explained: "This season my favourite goal was
when I chipped the ball over the keeper against Arsenal. That one was on
video too!"

Hector-Ingram, alongside Rice and Scully, was one of a number of highly
talented Academy members to visit the Club's fantastic new Stadium in
Stratford. Speaking after the guided tour of the stadium where he hopes to
make a name for himself, he enthused: "It's an unbelievable stadium. It's a
crazy, crazy feeling thinking that I might one day be playing here. It's
definitely something to look forward to. The idea of 50,000 West Ham fans
singing my name is decent! "I really think my generation could be the one
that breaks through because everyone is playing up a level or two. It'll be
hard, but if we carry on like this, why not?"

Anthony Scully, an attacking midfielder who was recently named Republic of
Ireland's U16 Player of the Year, echoed his teammates' excitement at
signing in front of the fans. "It's fantastic to have signed my contract,
especially in front of the fans. The atmosphere was great and it's
definitely one of my career highlights. "Hopefully one day I'll be able to
thank the fans properly, on the pitch playing for West Ham. It was a great
for me and the lads."

Academy manager Terry Westley described his delight at signing four of the
most promising players at the Academy. "I'm absolutely delighted to have got
the signatures of all four players. There was a lot of interest from other
clubs and it shows the direction the Academy is going in that they all chose
to stay here."

The good news follows a great couple of weeks for the Academy, which saw the
Development Squad beat their Manchester City counterparts 2-1, followed by
18-year-old Reece Burke making his Premier League debut away at Queens Park
Rangers. With Burke making his Premier League home debut today against the
Clarets on Saturday, Westley continued to appraise his latest signings.
"Jahmal has played for England U17s in their European qualifiers. He's a
centre-forward who has spent most of the season in the U18s. He's scored
goals on a regular basis. He's already got a full season of U18 experience
under his belt so you'd expect him to do very well next season. "Anthony
Scully can beat players. He can also score excellent goals, I remember him
scoring a great goal against Juventus here at Rush Green. It was a
ridiculous shot, outside the box, on the volley. It was outrageous. That's
the quality he's got. "As for Declan, he can play at centre-back and as a
holding midfielder. He has done well in both positions and has been one of
our best players. "I'm looking forward to seeing him as a full time scholar
and seeing how far he can develop. I'm delighted with his signature because
he's a fantastic player.
"Jake is a right-back who has played both U16 and U18 football this season.
Being an A-grade student at school, taking 11 GCSEs and 2 A Levels, Jake
will combine education and football over the next two years."

West Ham 1 Burnley 0
2 May 2015
Last updated at 17:44
By Chris Osborne
BBC Sport

Burnley will be relegated if they fail to beat Hull City next week, after
losing at West Ham. Clarets defender Michael Duff was controversially sent
off for tripping Cheikhou Kouyate in the box, allowing Mark Noble to score
from the spot. Burnley's Tom Heaton kept out Enner Valencia with a sharp
save, but Sean Dyche's side could only muster half-chances in response. The
visitors are eight points from safety with just three games remaining. The
decision by referee Jon Moss to dismiss Duff in the 23rd minute looked
questionable and, with Burnley unable to recover, could have consigned the
Clarets to life back in the Championship. Duff certainly caught Kouyate as
the Senegalese cut back on to his right foot in the area, but Burnley had
plenty of men covering to deny a goal-scoring opportunity.

Noble placed his penalty to Heaton's right, and from that point on the
Hammers, who had won just one of their last 12 league games, were rarely
threatened by the division's bottom club. Valencia forced Heaton into a
superb point-blank save and Morgan Amalfitano went close before the break,
with Ashley Barnes' header the closest the visitors came to a first-half
opening. Danny Ings, who is expected to leave Burnley in the summer, was
full of running and made a chance for himself by forcing his way into the
area before shooting wide. But the Clarets spent most of the second period
trying to avoid conceding a second, with Valencia failing to turn in a loose
ball and Carlton Cole squandering two chances after coming off the bench.
And Stewart Downing, who was lively on the right wing for West Ham, was
unlucky to be booked for diving when tackled by Ben Mee in the area. Hammers
boss Sam Allardyce may be uncertain about his future at Upton Park, with his
contract expiring in the summer, but this result puts his side on 47 points,
seven more than they finished with last season.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce: "It should have been a lot easier and it would
have been had we converted our chances. "We had the chances to win two games
and couldn't get that comfort zone. One slip can prove costly, but
thankfully the lads did the job. "I think we had a bit of luck on the
sending off. "Mark Noble never practises penalties. He says, "don't worry
I'll be fine gaffer". The thing today was about winning and we've done

Burnley boss Sean Dyche on Michael Duff's red card: "It's impossible for it
to be a red card. Referees have a tough job, but that's not a tough
decision. "Jason Shackell is in position to go and cover. Usually you can
tell by a stadium, there was a sharp intake of breath and they were
surprised. I was extremely shocked. It ruined the game and has given us an
absolute mountain to do what we need to do. "You can't guarantee you win 11
v 11, but it gives you a better chance. "The way the team operate they will
give everything and we will continue to do that."

West Ham 1-0 Burnley: Mark Noble penalty edges Burnley closer to drop
By Simeon Gholam. Last Updated: 02/05/15 7:59pm

Burnley are on the verge of relegation from the Premier League after a Mark
Noble penalty saw them lose 1-0 at West Ham. Noble's first-half spot-kick,
which saw Michael Duff sent off for a foul on Cheikhou Kouyate, left the
Clarets bottom of the table - eight points from safety with just three games
to go. And wins on Saturday for relegation rivals Aston Villa, Sunderland
and Leicester means that Sean Dyche's side will now almost certainly be
returning to the Championship next season. It was a slow start at Upton
Park, with no real chances until the 20-minute mark when Danny Ings, now
without a goal in 10 matches, should have done better than head over the bar
after losing his marker in the box. But just a couple of minutes later,
West Ham were ahead through Noble's penalty, Kouyate brought down by Duff's
hanging leg following a jinking run into the box. Duff was dismissed by
referee Jon Moss, much to the fury of his team-mates, and Noble sent Tom
Heaton the wrong way with the resulting spot-kick. It could have been worse
were it not for Heaton, who first saved superbly from a close-range effort
by Enner Valencia, before making a smart stop at his near post after a
powerful shot from Morgan Amalfitano to keep the deficit to just a single
goal at the break.

West Ham's intensity dropped, although they did have their chances through
Amalfitano - whose curling effort flashed just wide - then captain Kevin
Nolan, who hit the keeper from 12 yards when he was free in the area. Former
Hammers midfielder Matt Taylor drew a smart stop from Adrian, while Ings was
denied by the side netting. But though the game opened up, Burnley could not
rally in the dying moments and could now be relegated next weekend away at

Player ratings

West Ham: Adrian 7, Jenkinson 6, Collins 6, Burke 6, Cresswell 7, Amalfitano
7, Noble 7, Kouyate 7, Nolan 6, Downing 6, Valencia 6

Subs: Nene 5, Cole 5

Burnley: Heaton 7, Trippier 6, Shackell 6, Duff 4, Mee 5, Boyd 5, Arfield 5,
Jones 5, Taylor 5, Barnes 5, Ings 5

Subs: Keane 5, Sordell 5, Wallace 5

Man of the match: Mark Noble

West Ham deserved win against Burnley, insists Sam Allardyce
Last Updated: 02/05/15 8:22pm

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce believes his side fully deserved their 1-0
victory over Burnley on Saturday at Upton Park. The Hammers claimed victory
thanks to a Mark Noble penalty, after Burnley defender Michael Duff was sent
off for a foul in the box on Cheikhou Kouyate. "What pleased me was that we
kept a clean sheet," said Allardyce. "We've known for a long time that
without our leading scorers goals have been harder to come by. "In the end
the 1-0 victory is deserved but it should have been by a lot more based on
our chances created." Allardyce also believed that the dismissal of Duff was
"harsh", but there was no doubting it was a spot-kick. He added: "It looked
like there was a defender in the right position to get a block on it. But
obviously from our point of view it was a penalty, and that's the important
thing." Allardyce was also pleased to make it to the 47-point mark in the
Premier League, one more than he has ever managed with West Ham in the
Premier League. But he admitted it could have been even more were it not
for dropping sloppy points in recent games. "We know how much we've thrown
away in great positions," he said. "This win should've taken us to 54
(points) based on recent losses of games in final seconds of matches. "But
overall you look at what we've done today and we've got ourselves in the top
half and our performances have been good, and at some stages magnificent,
across the whole season. "We've thrilled a lot of people and because it
hasn't gone so well recently they tend to forget that. We've scored more
goals in the Premier League than we've ever done and we can now try and
finish with a couple more wins then look forward to next season."

Sean Dyche downbeat after Burnley defeat but blasts Michael Duff red card
Last Updated: 02/05/15 8:19pm

Sean Dyche admitted that Burnley's survival would be the stuff of "legend
and folklore" after a 1-0 defeat at west Ham left them on the brink. Mark
Noble's penalty means the Clarets are bottom of the Premier League, eight
points from safety and all-but relegated with just three games left to play
But a "realistic" Dyche said he was stunned by the decision of referee Jon
Moss to send off Michael Duff for a challenge on Cheikhou Kouyate, Noble
converting what proved a decisive spot-kick. "I'm incredibly disappointed,"
Dyche told Sky Sports. "I don't think it needs to be a red. I'm shocked and
I imagine Sam (Allardyce) was also surprised. It's a difficult division to
be in when it's 11v11, let alone with 10. "I think the measure of these
decisions is when the crowd doesn't react. We're at West Ham, these are not
always the most forgiving fans for the opposition and they were amazed."

Dyche also confirmed he spoke to referee Moss about the incident, who
confirmed he believed that Duff had prevented a goalscoring opportunity - a
decision that left the Burnley boss bemused. "I went to see him (Moss) and
he said he (Kouyate) was ready to score a goal and that's why he's sent him
off," said Dyche. "But I disagree. I can only assume he had a crystal ball
and can see what he was going to do next. "It's unfortunate having to speak
about refereeing decisions at this stage of the season, but today it's gone
against us. "I thought it was a common sense moment. When it was a penalty,
he gets booked; we all crack on with the rest of the game."

On Burnley's hopes of what would be a miraculous recovery, Dyche said: "That
makes it a whole big mountain to climb now. You're going into myths, legends
and folklores."I'm a realist. I don't do blind faith. Positive realities, I
call it. I'm positive but there has to be a reality."

West Ham 1-0 Burnley: Noble penalty strike edges 10-man Clarets closer to
17:04, 2 May 2015 By Neil McLeman
Sean Dyche's men now need three wins from their last three games to even
stand a chance of surviving the drop
The Mirror

FA Cup final ref Jon Moss effectively ended Burnley's stay in the Premier
League by controversially sending off Michael Duff in the first half. The
Sunderland official awarded West Ham a 23rd-minute penalty for a foul by the
Clarets centre-back on Cheikh Kouyate. But despite two Burnley defenders
running back to cover, Moss showed Duff a straight red for denying a
goal-scoring opportunity and the visitors never recovered. Mark Noble rolled
in the Hammers' first penalty of the season for only their third Premier
League win since Christmas. But Burnley are now eight points from safety
with only three games to go and staring relegation in the face. Sean Dyche's
side have now failed to score in six league games while picking up only one
point. They can stay alive by winning at Hull next week but the end is nigh.
Danny Ings, who spurned a hat-trick of chances, extended his barren run to
10 games without a goal. Burnley kept fighting at Upton Park and Hammers
keeper Adrian conjured saves from Jason Shackell and former Iron Matt Taylor
on either side of the break. And Moss was again in the spotlight for two
more big decisions after the break. First he waved play on when last man
Carl Jenkinson appeared to hold back Danny Ings when he was through on goal.
Then the referee booked Stewart Downing for diving when he hurdled a sliding
tackle from Ben Mee in the Burnley box. West Ham dominated possession after
the break but Sam Allardyce's side were unable to kill off the team bottom
of the table playing with ten men. But the win moves the hammers up one
place to 10 and remain on course to achieve Allardyce's pre-season aim of a
top ten finish and 50 points despite the terrible run of form this year.

Remaining fixtures
West Ham: Aston Villa (A), Everton (H), Newcastle (A)

Burnley: Hull (A), Stoke (H), Aston Villa (A)

David Moyes poised for West Ham manager's job as he plots swift return from
Real Sociedad
22:30, 2 May 2015 By Andy Dunn
The Scot is understood to want a Premier League gig for next season, his
Spanish club won't fight to keep him and there's little sign Allardyce will
be retained
The Mirror

David Moyes looks certain to take over as West Ham manager next season.
Sunday Mirror Sport understands Moyes – who has been at Real Sociedad for
barely six months – is keen for the swiftest possible return to the Premier
League, and the Spanish club will not stand in his way. While former Everton
and Manchester United boss Moyes insists he is revelling in his time in La
Liga, his achievement in stabilising a Sociedad side who looked bound for
relegation when he took over has been seen locally as little more than the
minimum requirement. And while he has created a decent impression with the
Basque club, he is not seen as a long-term option. That has hardened Moyes'
determination to make a Premier League comeback sooner rather than later.
And West Ham's owners - judging Moyes on his record and work at Goodison
Park, rather than during his 10-month stint at Old Trafford - see him as a
good fit should they decide to call time on Sam Allardyce's reign at Upton
Park. Moyes' old pal Tony Henry is the chief scout at West Ham. A former
player with Manchester City and Bolton, Henry worked for the Scot in a
similar capacity at Everton and is now in charge of all Hammers' scouting
and transfer dealings.
He reports directly to the board of David Gold, David Sullivan and Karren
Brady, and is currently negotiating with Italian side Sampdoria for Pedro
Obiang. The 23-year-old Spanish midfielder will cost around £8.5million and
will be Henry's first signing, should the deal go through. Boss Allardyce
clearly feels undermined by the arrival of Henry, and the power and
responsibility he has been given by the board. Indeed, Henry does not work
out of the training ground at Chadwell Heath but from Upton Park itself.
Allardyce is thought to be uncomfortable with Henry working alongside him.
There has yet to be a decision about Allardyce's future - his contract
expires at the end of the season and talks about a renewal have not taken
place. The longer there is no decision on Big Sam, the more likely it is
that Moyes will take over. Until a slightly acrimonious departure, Moyes
enjoyed a good relationship with Everton fans - the sort of connection
Allardyce has struggled to develop with West Ham supporters. And while
Allardyce maintains a new contract is still a possibility his departure has
become increasingly inevitable during a dismal 2015 for West Ham. The
challenge of leading the Hammers into their new home at the Olympic Stadium
next year would appeal to Moyes, and Gold and Sullivan would be aware the
Scot has a point to prove after his unhappy spell at Old Trafford.

Irons victory but the blood isn't racing
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 2, 2015 in Whispers
Irons 1 Burnley 0
Claret & Hugh

I'm trying desperately hard to find something seriously positive to say but
a one goal win via the penalty spot against a bottom of the table team which
played for an hour with ten men makes it hard! However in our circumstances
I suppose we can give thanks for that but this was no victory to set the
blood racing. Indeed, once Mark Noble had sent keeper Heaton the wrong with
way with the spot kick, the game degenerated into a clash of two sides who
really hadn't much of a clue. Apart from an Amafitano curler a the end of
some clever play involving Enner Valencia, chances were few for the Irons
although the visitors managed to create some decent chances. This is an
entirely different West Ham team to the one that started the season in such
style. There's no panache or style. This was the performance of a team who
seemed happy to hang on to what they had. Not good enough given the lack of
any sort of quality in the opposition.

Danny Ings, now without a goal in 10, astonishingly headed over the bar
after losing his marker in the box early on. Two minutes later West Ham were
in the lead through Noble's penalty after Kouyate was brought down by Duff's
hanging leg after a jinking run into the Burnley area. An obvious penalty
but when ref Jon Moss decided to red card the offender even the most ardent
Irons raised more than a surprised eyebrow. Heaton, saved well from a
close-range effort by Enner Valencia, before stopping smartly at his near
post after a powerful shot from Morgan Amalfitano, to keep the deficit to
just a single goal at the break. It was mostly a performance of control from
West Ham, who seemed more than happy for the most part to see the game out
by a single goal.

Although they did have their chances through Amalfitano – who's curling
effort flashed just wide, then captain Kevin Nolan hit the keeper from 12
yards when he was completely free in the area. Ings and Taylor also had
opportunities to level for Burnley, but they were denied by the side netting
and Adrian who stopped a close range effort with his feet. In the end we
were probably worth the win but against a team almost certainly doomed to
relegation it could and should have been a whole lot more convincing. But
then we have become so used to unconvincing performances we are now grateful
for any win. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't too enjoyable but the heroes of
1965 were in attendance so that made it worth the trip.

However, quite what Sir Geoff, Martin Peters 'Ticker' Boyce and all the rest
made of the 2015 Hammers I don't even what to think about.

Allardyce: "A well deserved victory"
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 2, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

You won't be unduly surprised to learn that Sam Allardyce believes today's
display against bottom of the table Burnley represented "a well deserved
victory." Speaking after the one goal defeat of the ten men, he said: ""It
was a very good performance in the second half, but not so much the first,
and of course we got our second penalty of the season and it was so
important for us in the end because we scored it. "It was a good performance
by the players stepping up to the mark to replace those who are injured and
Reece Burke again I have to mention on his second appearance. It took him
until Thursday to recover [from QPR] physically and mentally because he was
so tired, but he did another good job. "It was a well-deserved victory but
we should have won it by an awful lot more." He added on West Ham TV: "It's
been clear to everybody that we have struggled to put the ball in the back
of the net, even though we created chance after chance. "I wouldn't say all
of it were bad finishing, because a lot of it was good defending and very
good goalkeeping, particularly the save from Enner Valencia just after we'd
scored the penalty. "We go the nerve-ends jangling for everybody because,
with three minutes to go, we know we were 1-0 up and what has happened to us
in the recent past. We coped with it very well, so it was a very good win."

DG: "Sad day but welcome win"
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 2, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

David Gold was relieved with a victory over Burnley but declared: "The
passing of Rio Ferdinand's wife Rebecca puts a whole different perspective
on everything doesn't it?" He told ClaretandHugh excsuively: "That was such
a sad way to start the day. Rio was one of our own and everybody's heart
goes out to him, the three children and the family. "Club affiliations are
put aside at a time like this and from everybody at West Ham I want to say:
"All of us are with you Rio. We are thinking about you at this terrible
time. It's awful. Rebecca was too young."
On the match this afternoon the co-chairman said: "It was a relief to get
three points and it cheered things a little given that tragedy.
"However, we were nowhere near our best were we? A win is always welcome
given the circumstances we have been in and I was pleased to see Nene get a
run-out even though it was only for 15 minutes or so. I thought he did well.
Amalfitano has pace and guile too. "But as I say we weren't at our best and
haven't been for some time now."


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