Friday, May 8

Daily WHUFC News - 8th May 2015

Royals rule over U18s

West Ham United suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Reading in their penultimate Barclays U18 Premier League Tier Two fixture of the season on Wednesday. A brace from Royals striker Connor Davis gave the visitors a 2-0 lead at the break, with Alex Pike's second half goal not enough to drag the Hammers back into the game. U18s coach Mark Phillips made several changes to the team that lost 2-1 away to Sunderland at the weekend. Sam Howes returned from injury to replace Tim Brown in goal, whilst Marcus Browne made his first appearance since last year after a long-term injury kept him on the sidelines. Idris Kanu came into the starting line-up to lead the attack in place of Jordan Brown, who was training on Wednesday ahead of the Development Squad fixture at home to Everton on Friday. It was the visitors who came flying out the traps and within seven minutes they were ahead. Central midfielder Andy Rhinomota laid on an inch-perfect through ball to winger Davis, who took two touches before confidently sliding the ball past Howes and into the corner of the net.

The Hammers came back quickly as they hunted for an immediate response, but Joe Powell and Kanu both failed to keep their efforts on target. On the half-hour mark, Davis struck again in similar fashion to extend Reading's lead. This time it was striker Noor Husin who played the pass straight through the Hammers back line and after a neat turn, Davis stroked the ball home once again.

Into the second half and the Hammers stepped up their performance as they again looked for a route back into the match. Phillips introduced central midfielder Alfie Lewis and full-back Mason Barrett around the hour mark, marking U18 debuts for both 14-year-old schoolboys. With 76 minutes played, Pike popped up in the penalty area to give the Hammers a lifeline. After Oscar Borg held the ball up well on the left and played in Vashon Neufville, who crossed low into the box for Pike to side foot home. The hosts then introduced their third and final U15 substitute as Malyk Hamilton replaced Powell on the wing, but the young man's efforts were not enough and the Hammers fell to their second 2-1 defeat in the space of five days. West Ham close their league campaign with a home fixture against Leicester City on Saturday 9 May at 12noon. Admission is completely FREE!

U18s: Howes, Pike, Neufville, Onariase, Elsom, Sylvestre, Browne (Lewis), Diangana (Barrett), Borg, Kanu, Powell (Hamilton)
Sub not used: Boness

Young Hammers begin Euros campaign

West Ham United youngster's Reece Oxford and Anthony Scully kick started their European Championships hosted in Bulgaria for England and the Republic of Ireland respectively. The England U17s, captained by sixteen-year-old Oxford, got their European Championship campaign off to a great start with a 1-0 win over Italy. The Three Lions secured all three points thanks to substitute Marcus Edwards's second half strike. The victory sees the Young Lions top Group D after the first round of games. England started the game full of intent, creating a number of chances as Herbie Kane, Chrissy Willock and Nathan Holland all went close to breaking the deadlock. The Lions' pressure eventually paid off as Edwards reacted the quickest following Stephy Mavididi shot rebounded into the Tottenham man's path. Up next for the Three Lions is a tough fixture with Holland on Sunday 10 May, kick off is 7pm.

Earlier in the day, Anthony Scully's Ireland faced a difficultopening game against Holland. Kick-off in Sozopol, Bulgaria was 11am and the Irish put up an impressive display in a 0-0 draw. The attacking midfielder, who has only recently returned to action following a string of injuries, came on in the 56th minute, replacing Wolverhampton Wanderers' Conor Levingston. The Dutch started the game the brighter as Carel Elting forced Caoimhin Kelleher into a fantastic save and it was not long before Kelleher was in the thick of the action again, denying Manchester City's Javairo Dilrosun. In the second half the young Irish side galvanised and almost scored a late winner when Connor Ronan's free-kick shaved the post.

Group D Fixtures

Sunday 10 May 2015 – Republic of Ireland v Italy (3pm), Holland v England (7pm)

Wednesday 13 May 2015 – England v Republic of Ireland, Netherlands v Italy (Both 6pm)

From the Treatment Room

Hello everyone,

I am sorry for the delay in the publication of this week's From the Treatment Room update, but unfortunately I have a fresh injury report – to myself! I was cycling to the Training Ground from my home in east London when I was forced to take evasive action. I came off my bike and crashed quite heavily and suffered a broken collarbone. The ambulance that came to my aid was manned by the Pitch Rescue team who work at the Boleyn Ground on match-days, so it is a small world sometimes, as they say! I was taken to hospital and underwent emergency surgery by the doctor who operated on James Tomkins' dislocated shoulder recently, so I knew I was in good hands.

On a positive note, James's own rehabilitation following surgery on his dislocated shoulder has been progressing this week and he has been running on the pitch successfully. He will initially begin full training with the Development Squad before returning to training with the first-team squad. There is a chance he will be available for selection this season.

Likewise, Diafra Sakho has also received positive news after visiting a specialist for a scan on his thigh this week. He has healed sufficiently to start running on the pitch independently.

Winston Reid continues his rehab and is working his way back to full fitness following his hamstring injury, as is the case for Doneil Henry.

Guy Demel has resumed individual training sessions on the pitch after his calf injury, while Andy Carroll continues to work hard on his rehab following knee surgery.

Stijn Vandenbroucke
Head of Medical and Sports Science

From the Boardroom

Hello everyone,

We must start by thanking every sponsor, partner and supporter who attended a very successful seventh annual West Ham United Player Awards.

We would like to offer our gratitude to our principal partner Betway for sponsoring the Player Awards and we would also like to say a personal thanks to each and every one of you who attended for coming along and supporting the Club. Your generosity helped us to raise a fantastic amount of money, which will help us to fund the £4m a year it costs us to maintain and improve our world-famous Academy.

It has been another good year for our home-grown players, with the likes of Reece Burke, Reece Oxford, Josh Cullen and Manny Onariase all involved in the first-team squads this season.

The two Reeces were recognised with awards on the night and we would like to offer our congratulations to them and all of the winners – particularly our deserving Hammer of the Year Aaron Cresswell.

Aaron has been outstanding all year, playing every single minute of the Barclays Premier League season so far – there were a number of outstanding candidates, so it was a great achievement for him to win your acclaim!

We would also like to pay tribute to Martin Peters MBE, who made a wonderful speech after being presented with the Club's third Lifetime Achievement Award. Martin is a charming man and, as we all know, enjoyed a truly magnificent career with West Ham and England.


We spent an enjoyable evening reflecting on another action-packed season for West Ham United. It is a campaign that has delivered some fantastic results, not least the victories against Manchester City and Liverpool and running the top six close in every encounter.

We have seen several new faces come in and make their mark on our great Club and it was good to see the likes of Aaron, Top Goalscorer Diafra Sakho and Individual Performance of the Year winner Cheikhou Kouyate feature prominently on Wednesday.

We will be making further significant funds available for squad strengthening this summer as we continue to assemble a team fit for our stunning new surroundings in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2016.

But before then we have three matches left to play and will be looking for a strong finish, with the carrot of finishing with a positive top-flight goal difference for the first time since 1985/86.

Of course, we will say an emotional farewell to our home of more than a century. It is hard to imagine that this time next year we will be approaching our final game in Upton Park. For our part, we plan to use the opportunity, when people around the world will be watching, to celebrate everything that is great about this Club, its history, its fans and its future.

It is hard to believe that 19 January marked five years since we returned to our beloved West Ham. We inherited a Club that was riddled with debt and struggling to survive. So while the progress is there for all to see, we know there is still much to be done.

Come on you Irons!

David Sullivan and David Gold

Dev Squad targeting Toffees victory

West Ham United's Development Squad face Everton in their last home game of the 2014/15 season at Rush Green on Friday 8 May. The Hammers host the Toffees in a bottom of the table clash as both clubs have struggled to pick up points that their performances deserve.
Having said that, however, Steve Potts men go into Friday night's game full of confidence following their 2-1 win over Manchester City at the Boleyn Ground last time out.

Speaking after the deserved win, in what was arguably their best performance of the campaign, the U21's coach said: "I'm delighted. I thought the lads did very well. The effort they put in was fantastic, we got what we deserved really after a couple of games where I thought we did some good stuff but lost by the odd goal.

"We could have had a few more, we had some good chances. They had a lot of possession and I think you have to respect when you're playing good teams. We had some opportunities to finish the game off, but didn't. At 2-1 you do wonder whether it'll be your night and thankfully it was. The boys stuck to their jobs and they were in the right place at the right time."

In the reverse fixture earlier in the season, the Blues ran out 2-0 winners with second half goals from Conor McAleny and Callum Connolly.

Looking ahead to the game with the Merseysiders, Potts continued: "The win is great for our confidence because we haven't won in a while. Everton will be a tough game. We'll need to rise to it, but we know that we're capable of winning and we're looking forward to it."

As for the visitors currently in eleventh place in the Barclays U21 Premier League table, Everton will be looking to end a run of eight games without a win, their last victory coming against Sunderland in a 1-0 win on 5 March.

While results have not gone their way, each match has been a tight affair, more often than not decided by the odd goal.

The Hammers take on Alan Stubbs' Everton on Friday 8 May, kick off from Rush Green is 7pm. Admission is free for all Season Ticket Holders and U16s, and just £3 for adults. Live updates and reaction will be available on and @whufc_official.

Allardyce aloof at annual player awards
Filed: Thursday, 7th May 2015
By: Staff Writer

Sam Allardyce was a virtual outcast at last night's player awards ceremony, fuelling speculation that the 60-year-old is on his way out of the club at the end of the season. Unusually for someone in his position, the current managerial incumbent was neither interviewed on stage nor asked to distribute any gongs at the club's annual bash, held this year at the glitzy London Hilton on Park Lane. Allardyce's uncharacterically-reserved presence even prompted some supporters to enquire via official club channels on social media whether he had even been at the event at all - fears later dismissed by co-chairman David Gold.

lisa langley @liselou145
@davidgold @whufc_official is it true Sam allardyce was not at awards tonight
10:49 PM - 6 May 2015

David Gold ✔@davidgold
Sam was at the awards dinner tonight dg
12:43 AM - 7 May 2015

Allardyce, whose current contract expires at the end of the current season is believed to have left the event long before its official end tonight. He has been in charge at the Boleyn Ground since the summer of 2011.

Jimmy Greaves out of intensive care following severe stroke
Last Updated: 07/05/15 11:38am

Former England and Tottenham great Jimmy Greaves is out of intensive care and able to sit up following a severe stroke. The 75-year-old, who recovered from a minor stroke in 2012, was admitted to hospital on Sunday May 3 after being taken ill and was unable to speak, despite being conscious. In a welcome boost, Greaves agent Terry Baker confirmed on Thursday: "Jimmy is out of intensive care and is able to sit up in bed. "Whilst he is by no means out of the woods, there is room for cautious optimism. "We would like to thank all the staff at the hospital who have been fantastic. We would also give thanks to over 30,000 well-wishers, including many players and ex-TV colleagues, as well as so many fans that have sent messages and love to Jim at this most difficult of times. "The support shown has been amazing and heart-warming. Please continue to have good thoughts for him for the long road ahead as he fights this terrible thing that has happened."

In a statement issued earlier this week, his wife said his recovery would be a lengthy process, stating: "Jimmy is having to do what he is told, and understands the seriousness of what has happened to him. It is going to be a long, slow road to recovery and he is in the best possible hands." Greaves is regarded as one of the greatest English forwards of all time.

We reflect on Jimmy Greaves' astonishing scoring feats for club and country. He scored 44 goals in 57 games for his country and also netted a club record 266 times in 379 matches for Tottenham. He also scored more league goals (366) than any other player in Europe's five major championships - England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France. After retiring from the game, Greaves co-hosted the popular Saturday lunchtime football show Saint and Greavsie alongside former Liverpool forward St John. Greaves suffered a minor stroke in 2012, but was thought to have made a full recovery. He had been due to be indicted into the Tottenham Hall of Fame in a sell-out ceremony at White Hart Lane on Wednesday, 13 May.

By Dan Coker 7 May 2015 at 14:00
West Ham Till I Die

Speculation is heightening that David Moyes could be the man to replace Sam Allardyce, should our current manager part ways with the club this summer. I keep reading that Moyes is more capable of taking a team to 'the next level' than Allardyce who is, apparently, only an expert in mere survival. Furthermore the assertion goes that, with Moyes, we will play a better brand of football with younger players being brought through the ranks. This leads me to ask the question: would appointing Moyes produce a significant improvement in the fortunes of West Ham United?

Big Sam's Premier League managerial career began in August 2001, after his Bolton side beat Moyes' Preston 3-0 in the play-off final in Cardiff. Let us now compare the top flight finishes, and transfer outlay, of both managers. Sam's Premier League record stands at:


2001/02 – 16th
2002/03 – 17th
2003/04 – 8th
2004/05 – 6th
2005/06 – 8th
2006/07 – 7th (left with two games to go)


2007/08 – left in January with club in 11th


2008/09 – 15th (joined in December)
2009/10 – 10th
2010/11 – left in December with club in 13th

West Ham

2012/13 – 10th
2013/14 – 13th
2014/15 – currently 9th

Average position: 11th
Total expenditure: £122.1m

Moyes' record stands at:


2001/02 – 15th (joined in March)
2002/03 – 7th
2003/04 – 17th
2004/05 – 4th
2005/06 – 11th
2006/07 – 6th
2007/08 – 5th
2008/09 – 5th
2009/10 – 8th
2010/11 – 7th
2011/12 – 7th
2012/13 – 6th

Man Utd

2013/14 – 7th

Average position: 8th.
Total expenditure: £199m.

For a transfer outlay that is £77m larger than Allardyce, Moyes has an average position which is only three places higher up the Premier League ladder than Allardyce's.

A criticism that I have read of Allardyce is that he has never won anything. At the top level, neither has Moyes (one Community Shield aside). Both managers have won lower league titles. However, I would argue that success is relative. Allardyce did a remarkable job at Bolton, exceeded expectations at Blackburn and has done everything asked of him at West Ham. Moyes, similarly, did an outstanding job with Everton. When it comes to the domestic Cup competitions, both have a comparable record:


Number of Quarter-Finals – 6
Number of Semi-Finals – 3
Number of Finals – 1 (League Cup 2004, lost 2-1 to Middlesbrough)


Number of Quarter-Finals – 5
Number of Semi-Finals – 4
Number of Finals – 1 (FA Cup 2009, lost 2-1 to Chelsea)

I remember Moyes' Everton playing in a similar style to Allardyce's former sides. For Bolton's long ball up to Kevin Davies with Kevin Nolan feeding on scraps, read Marouane Fellaini and Tim Cahill for Everton. For those who want to see a more positive approach away at the top clubs than we have seen this season (at Stamford Bridge and the Etihad for example), don't expect anything different under Moyes. As the manager of an opposing team at the homes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool (the top four clubs of the last 15 years), Moyes has failed to register a victory in 53 attempts. Allardyce has won three away games at the same clubs over the same period – hardly commendable in itself but still three more than Moyes who also had a season managing one of these very clubs (incidentally West Ham's record at these clubs since 2001 stands at five wins).

As for young players, admittedly Moyes gave opportunities to the likes of Wayne Rooney, Jack Rodwell, Ross Barkley and John Stones – these, however, are top-drawer players who cannot be ignored. While Rooney and Rodwell made big-money moves to the Manchester clubs, our best youth products of recent years finished this season at the likes of MK Dons and Colchester – the comparative quality just hasn't been there of late in our Academy, the blame for which cannot be laid at Allardyce's door.

I should make it very clear that this is not a 'pro-Sam' piece. If we can get a significantly better replacement, then I am all for progress under a better (or even potentially better) manager. My concerns regarding a potential Moyes move are that he has proven himself too similar to Allardyce in terms of tactics, style of football and results. For a £77m difference in transfer outlay, is an average of three Premier League places and one more domestic cup semi-final really evocative of a marked improvement? Speaking personally, the answer would have to be 'no'…

By Bianca Westwood 7 May 2015 at 08:05
West Ham Till I Die

A break from the norm this week. I want to discuss a certain manager…but not our own this time!

Well if there are any West Ham fans out there who harboured hopes of snagging Eddie Howe for next season, I think that love is destined to be unrequited. At least for the time being. Wash that man right out of your hair and move on baby! Now that he has taken AFC Bournemouth into the Premier League promised land you can bet your bottom dollar he's going nowhere.

They call him The Messiah in Dorset and he really has performed miracles. The man with the Midas touch has taken a club from the brink of extinction to the top flight. Not single handedly of course, but without him none of it would have been deemed possible let alone achieved.

I first met Howe when he had just taken over as manager. It was one of my first interviews for Soccer Saturday. I don't know who was more green…him or me! I do know he didn't look like a manager. He had a baby face, a bad haircut and a baggy club tracksuit but his calm reserve stood out. Although he had little media experience (like myself at the time!) his answers were well thought out and totally composed. I remember thinking this is a man in control.

The previous year the club had been in complete financial turmoil, were minutes from being wound up by the administrator Gerald Krasner, and were eventually saved by a consortium led by chairman Jeff Mostyn. They started the season of 2008 on -17 points. It didn't go well and Jimmy Quinn (the former West Ham striker) was relieved of his duties in January. There was obviously no money but they needed a new direction. In stepped Eddie Howe.

He was the youth team manager at the time. He often jokes that they really had no one else to ask and the truth is maybe they didn't. They certainly didn't have the money to bring anyone in. But the then Cherries director Adam Murry saw something in Howe. He was already a fans' favourite as he'd joined as a 13 year old schoolboy and spent most of his playing career at Dean Court, so convincing them wouldn't be a problem. He was 31 when he took over with no experience and no cash to spend…but anyone who has met him knows that he has an inner steel and a determination that belies his years. The New Year's Day appointment turned out to be a master stroke.

He lost his first couple of games but they made him permanent manager anyway. The board perhaps knew something that, at the time, Howe did not. He admits that he feared they'd made a terrible mistake, that the job was too vast, too intense for someone just starting out in his managerial career, but he stuck at it and by the third game he got his first win. That was the turning point…that was the beginning of probably the greatest ever football league success story. He kept them up that season thanks to a Steve Fletcher last gasp winner against Grimsby and the rest, as they say, is history.

Three promotions, a brief spell at Burnley and a decent haircut later, the Messiah has masterminded Bournemouth's meteoric rise to the highest division in the land. And the praise and accolades are showering down upon him. Even Gary Lineker is asking the question "(have we) possibly found the English Special One?"

Nay-sayers will suggest the title was bought with Russian money. Yes, they've spent some cash. Investment was made by Maxim Demin, in the infrastructure, the staff, the ground and of course the players and their salaries. Yet you won't find a household name in the squad. How many of you had heard of Matt Ritchie, Andrew Surman, Mark Pugh, Harry Arter, Tommy Elphick, Steve Cook, even Artur Boruc before this season? Until Kenwyne Jones arrived in March, few people outside the South Coast other than fans of lower league football would recognise any of the names on the roster. Lots of loans, no huge fees, a few free agents and the highest transfer was £3 million for Callum Wilson, and that was after losing Lewis Grabban to Norwich so they broke even with that one. When I interviewed Mostyn a few weeks ago he was at pains to point out to me that Howe had been "completely respectful of Demin's money". Shrewd investments and clever signings by the manager and his staff over a period of five years laid the groundwork for the phenomenal success that would eventually come.

Howe eats, sleeps and breathes football. He's a student of the game, a fine tactician and he can also spot a player, and a bargain. Let's not forget his signings for Burnley weren't bad either. He signed Charlie Austin from Swindon, who he had initially spotted when Austin was playing for Poole in 2009 but couldn't sign him because of Bournemouth's transfer embargo, well the striker has done alright for himself since. Kieran Trippier, Jason Shackell, Ben Mee, Sam Vokes and Danny Ings were all his men and played a key role in securing Burnley Premier League status.

Can the Football League Manager of the Decade replicate his magic in the Premier League? We'll see. Personally I think he's in a win-win situation. Little will be expected of his team in the top flight. Anything other than relegation is a bonus but if they don't survive his star will still soar. Of that I'm certain.

This is not an Eddie Howe love-in and I haven't defected to another team. I'm still an ardent Hammer. I will admit to a soft spot though. It's a lovely part of the world (I can't wait for the away day!) but best of all they play the football we like to see. Not only were they promoted to the top flight on limited resources, they scored the most goals, were the most entertaining and they were consistently in the top spot all season. 111 days in total. They deserve it.

I've been lucky enough to be at close quarters watching the Cherries rapid ascent. I've covered the club for Sky Sports many times over the years, the access has been incredible and we've always been welcomed. The players are down to earth, approachable and a credit to the game. They are top lads. I've filmed behind the scenes, conducted interviews, watched numerous games, produced features on players and even did my first live match report from there for Soccer Saturday. I feel a small connection with the club which is why I was so pleased and honoured to be asked to co-host their end of season awards. Ok they asked Jeff Stelling first but I won't hold it against them!

It was a terrific night, hastily put together by all the staff who were quietly preparing for promotion but were never expecting to become Champions. All of a sudden it was a title-winning party! Awards were given out, emotional speeches were made to thunderous applause, a few tears were shed and there were some amazing shapes made on the dance floor afterwards.

What struck me was the closeness of this club, the tight-knit group, the community feel. It really was a collective effort and every single individual was made to feel part of the team and a vital element of the success. Eddie Howe made sure of that…repeatedly leaving his table to add to our host notes throughout the evening, "don't forget to mention so and so, please thank this person, make sure you highlight that person". He was the same the following day on the bus parade. He made everyone feel special, from the fans, to the players, to the office staff. It was a pleasure to watch and I must admit I was a little envious that all these people from one place, one town had come together. It was a pretty humbling experience.

I hope they don't change too much. Shut up shop. It'll be hard not to. When the Premier League comes calling the community becomes global and it's difficult to contain. Subsequently everything becomes a lot more controlled. Maybe it's inevitable. If you want a seat at the big boys table you have to grow. I'm not going to be a hypocrite and say it's bad. I've worked for Sky Sports for nearly 15 years and I avidly support the work we do, the brand, and in my opinion the quality of our football broadcasting is second to none. I know what goes on behind our own scenes, the hard work, dedication, attention to detail but more importantly, how much our production staff really care about the standard of our output. Some people hate how the face of football has changed. I don't agree with all of it but as far as Sky helping make the Premier League the most exciting league in the world…I'm a believer! So it's nice to see a club like Bournemouth reach out and grasp the Premier League comet. Fingers crossed they don't crash and burn. Something tells me though, to paraphrase another writer, with Howe in charge, they'll shoot for the moon and even if they fail, they'll land among the stars.

Come On You Irons!

B x

Everton and West Ham in contention for Europa League qualification through UEFA Fair Play route
09:06, 7 May 2015 By Liam Prenderville
Liverpool currently top the Premier League's table but should qualify through their position, meaning the two sides who meet next weekend could take a spot
The Mirror

West Ham and Everton are vying for a spot in next season's Europa League via UEFA's Fair Play Table. Europe's three leagues with the highest combined points total at the end of the campaign gain an extra spot in qualifying - with the Premier League currently third behind the Republic of Ireland and Netherlands. As things stand, the highest placed team in the Premier League's fair play table, Liverpool, would be offered a Europa League place. However, Brendan Rodgers' men look set to qualify through league placing, meaning West Ham and Everton, in second and third, could take that spot. The two sides meet at Upton Park next weekend in the penultimate game of the season.
Southampton who are level with Everton could also take a spot, providing they are pipped to sixth in the league and Arsenal win the FA Cup.

R/Y cards Avg
Liverpool 274 8.3
West Ham 276 8.3
Everton 276 8.2
Man City 265 8.2
Burnley 279 8.2
Southampton 280 8.2

Clubs offered a Fair Play route into Europe have to start in the first qualifying round of the competition, as early as July 1. The competition has often been seen as a poisoned chalice in recent years with Everton's domestic form suffering through their European excursions. Roberto Martinez's men impressed in the early stages of the competition and reached the last 16 before they were thumped by Dynamo Kiev, while also nervously looking over their shoulders at the bottom end of the table. Despite winning four of their last six since then to climb away from danger, Martinez insists the competition will benefit his players "For our younger players, it is the first time they've been in Europe and the way we succeeded in many of those games, going away into different countries and being able to perform has been very important," said the Spaniard. "I do feel that the players in the squad, myself, my staff and the football club as a whole will want more of it. It gives you a real desire to push ourselves to become a winning team and have that more often."

Irons in world's top 20 at £203m
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 7, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Forbes has published a list of the top 20 most valuable football clubs in the world with West Ham managing to rank at 19th. It means the Hammers are the eighth most valuable club in England behind Manchester United £2.07Bn, Manchester City £905m, Chelsea £898m, Liverpool £644m, Spurs £394m and Newcastle £229m. West Ham's value of £203m is based on a revenue of £122m. David Sullivan and David Gold purchased 50% of West Ham in 2010 valuing it at £105m, later that year they increased their ownership to 60% for an additional £8m.

In 2013 Sullivan invested another £25.5m to buy a further 26.2% of West Ham taking their combined share holding to 86.2% (Sullivan 51.1% / Gold 35.1%) Gold and Sullivan have also invested a total of £49.2m in share holder loans to the club in five years. The latest valuation by Forbes of £203m means Sullivan's shareholding could be valued at £102.7m while Gold's shares are valued £71.23m although Claret and Hugh understand nether have any intention of selling up .

West Ham: "Sam got a mention at awards event"
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 7, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

ClaretandHugh is happy to point out that Sam Allardyce received a public mention at last night's annual awards ceremony. Earlier today we wrote a story explaining that gossip from Allardyce watchers at the ceremony was that:

O Allardyce was on his way to Sunderland and it was noted that when the formal event was over, he, Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan appeared to have left the building relatively quickly.

O The he had not been involved in last night's ceremony in an formal way either from the floor or the stage and was not mentioned publicly at any stage

O and that of more significance possibly was that Sullivan – unlike last year – failed to give a speech or summing up of the season.

A West Ham spokesman – whilst making it clear the manager wasn't involved in a "formal " way – has asked us to say that he did get a public mention. He said: "Sam, his coaching staff and players, were given a great reception by the supporters when they were asked to stand up. Sam also featured in several videos. "We had a slight change of format on the night though so the outgoing Hammer of the Year, Mark Noble, was involved in a Q&A with TV presenter Ben Shephard, instead of the manager."

Villa's Agbonlahor back for Irons clash
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 7, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

Aston Villa pacey hitman Gabby Agbonhlahor is expected to be back in Tim Sherwood's team for the clash against the Irons at the weekend
He returned from injury this week and according to a tweet from the club "is back in training and available for the match with West Ham." Christian Benteke is currently in top form as the club has risen up the table and with an FA Cup Final appearance against Arsenal two weeks away the Irons can expect a tough examination.

Irons Euro dream set to fade and die
Posted by Sean Whetstone on May 7, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

The likelihood of England finishing in the top three in UEFA's Fair Play League is extremely remote, a source close to European football has told Claret and Hugh today. Although England were just about managing a third place at the half way point in December behind Ireland and Holland it is believed England have significantly dropped down the country table with one of our readers suggesting that England could be as low as 10th in the league. The Premier League is one of the most physical leagues in Europe and has been marred by a number of red cards and discipline issues in the second half of the season. West Ham currently sit second, one point behind Liverpool in the Premier League Fair Play league but all of that will be irrelevant unless a miracle happens and England is named in the top three tomorrow.
Some Hammers fans believe missing out on Europe would be a blessing in disguise, the first Europa League game is scheduled for the July 2 giving players little time to rest and potentially a new manager limited time to prepare.

Sullivan: "It's fantastic"
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 7, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

The fans decision to make Aaron Cresswell their Hammer of the Year has gone down very well indeed with club co chairman David Sullivan.
The chief shareholder chose not to give a speech at last night Award ceremony which was attended by the Upton Park 'great and good' at London's Hilton Hotel. But he has made it clear to ClaretandHugh in his first public statement since that he's delighted with the fans choice. Commenting exclusively to us he said: "I think its fantastic that the supporters voted for a player who has played every minute of every game. "You would also have to imagine that Adrian was a close second as he's had a fantastic season as well."

New Hammer of Year "staying here"
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on May 7, 2015 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh

It was no big surprise but congratulations from all at ClaretandHugh to new Hammer of the Year Aaron Cresswell. Sources inside the club confirmed to us this morning that the defender will be offered a new deal later this year and that there is no chance of him leaving this summer despite constant links with Chelsea and Manchester City. Having been signed for just £3.5 million up front Cressie has been the bargain by of the season – a brilliant solution to our previous long term problems in the position. We were told: "It is our intention to reward him with a new deal later this year. He's staying here."

West Ham fans urge club to sign Carl Jenkinson on permanent deal
Damien Lucas

West Ham United fans have urged co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold to sign on-loan Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson over Liverpool's Glen Johnson. Former Hammers youngster Johnson has been heavily linked with a return to Upton Park on a free transfer when his contract at Anfield expires his summer - per the Daily Mail. Talk of a move surfaced as West Ham faced up to the hefty price tag and increased competition for Arsenal loan star Jenkinson, who has been a revelation for Sam Allardyce's side this season. Well stocked in the right-back berth with the likes of Hector Bellerin bursting onto the scene, the Gunners are believed to want between £8-10 million for the flying full-back who has been first choice under Big Sam throughout the campaign. In fact, Jenkinson's form for the Hammers has actually made life even more difficult for co-owners Gold and Sullivan to get him signed up permanently as it has alerted a number of top clubs at home and abroad to his quality and availability. Johnson, who like Jenkinson is an England international, is believed to be actively seeking a return to his London roots and could pitch up for the club's final season at the Boleyn, 17 years after making his debut there.

While both players have immense quality, it is the younger charge Hammers fans want to see as their right-back next season and they clearly think the Gunner is worth the money being quoted. That's according to the results of a poll we conducted on HITC where 89% of fans (343) said they wanted Jenkinson signed up permanently while just nine per cent (36) think the club should push through a move for their former Academy graduate. The other two per cent said they didn't want either player to be the club's right-back next season. It is easy to see the logic of the Hammers fans. With 54 England caps, Johnson offers more experience, a commodity Sam Allardyce recently admitted his side has lacked at times this season as they have tumbled down the league from fourth to midtable since Christmas. But Jenko, as he is affectionately known, is only 23 and has his best years ahead of him while Johnson, at 30, probably doesn't.

West Ham's managerial appointment this summer will show how the club intend to move forward
Billy Hawkins

West Ham are in the search for a new manager, and it is a decision that will highlight their future ambitions. This summer, West Ham may have the most important off-season of their history, and definitely the most important since their return to the Premier League. With Sam Allardyce's contract expiring, the Hammers management have to make the decision of whether to rehire the 60-year-old, or look elsewhere for a new head coach. And this decision will highlight how the club intends to move forward in the coming years, with their switch to the Olympic Stadium and desire to establish themselves as a leading Premier League club. If Allardyce is rehired, there will be a sense that the Hammers are comfortable with their current status in the top flight. There are no fears of relegation, but a sense that they will struggle to break the top eight, and push for the European places that are so valued.

However, a progressive appointment, with the likes of Jurgen Klopp, Mark Warburton and Eddie Howe named as successors, would show that the East London club are ready to move forward with the times, playing a brand of football worthy of a Premier League place and finishes in the upper echelons of the league. Allardyce's contribution to West Ham should not be derided, as he led the club out of the Championship and into a period of Premier League stability. However, the 60-year-old looks to have reached the end of his tether at the Bolyen Ground, and if the club intend to usher in a new look dynasty, they should do all they can to make a progressive appointment to guarantee the club moves forward with the changing times.

West Ham's Reece Oxford praises Sam Allardyce's defensive training
Billy Hawkins

Reece Oxford has praised Sam Allardyce for including him in West Ham's first-team training. 16-year-old Oxford is considered one of the brightest talents in English football, and he has told the FA website that Allardyce is to thank for his development. The youngster said: "The manager [Allardyce] is great when he is out on the pitch training us. I've learnt so much about defending since I've trained with the first-team. Putting your body on the line and how to pick the right time coming out from the back – I'm being taught how to properly defend." Oxford, a central defender, has yet to make his debut for the Hammers, but at the age of 16 he is considered as one of the brightest prospects in their academy system. Allardyce has named him in six matchday squads this Premier League season, although he has yet to come off the bench due to the close nature of every game giving no chance for him to impress in a pressure free situation. He is currently away with the England Under-17's, whom he first captained at the age of 15, and is set to lead them to the European Under-17 Championship. England won the tournament last year, and Oxford will be looking to repeat that feat as skipper this month. Allardyce often comes under criticism for his management style, and the rather defensive football that the plays, but for a youngster of Oxford's talents, he is the perfect coach. Brilliant at organising a back-line, he should aid the youngster's development, and Oxford himself already believes he is benefiting from working under the former defender. Allardyce looks likely to leave the Boleyn Ground this summer, but his contribution to West Ham should not be forgotten - especially if Oxford goes on to fulfil his undoubted potential as England's best defensive prospects.

Aston Villa's Joe Cole praises West Ham United's Reece Burke
John Verrall

Aston Villa midfielder Joe Cole believes that West Ham United have a lot of quality in their ranks. Joe Cole has told Aston Villa's official site that he is not expecting an easy test against West Ham United this weekend. Cole came through the Hammers' academy system and he still has a high opinion of the club, who he says are continuing to produce quality youngsters. Cole says that Reece Burke, who has played in West Ham's last two matches, proves that his old club have a lot of quality ready to break through and he thinks they could punish Villa if they are off their game on Saturday. "West Ham are a fantastic club - and they still have lots of good young players coming through," he said. "You see that with Reece Burke making his appearance as an 18-year-old centre-half, playing Premier League football - that's not usual these days. They're still producing players. "I understand people might say they haven't got anything to play for - but you're playing in the Premier League. It's something you dream of as a kid."

Despite Cole's complimentary comments, West Ham supporters actually will feel disappointed that the club haven't brought too many youngsters into their first-team recently. West Ham have a brilliant track record at youth level, but it has been a while since they produced a world-class star. Burke does seem to have the potential to fill this void, though, and the 18-year-old will hope to continue to impress against Villa. West Ham still have not conceded since Burke was brought into the defence, but the prospect faces his toughest test yet at the weekend when he will be marking Christian Benteke.


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