Monday, June 15

Daily WHUFC News - 15th June 2015

From the Newsroom - Jacob Steinberg

It may be less than a week since Slaven Bilic was given the nod as West Ham
United's new manager, but football and tennis writer for the Guardian Jacob
Steinberg says the early signs are good ones.

The West Ham-supporting journalist likes what he is hearing from the Croat
thus far and is encouraged too by the acquisition of 23-year-old Spaniard
Pedro Obiang.

Here, Steinberg surveys Bilic's style and pedigree, considers possible
summer recruits and offers his take on what can be expected from the
46-year-old's first season in charge.

What have you made of the response to Bilic's appointment?

"He has certainly said a lot of the right things. You can immediately tell
that he gets West Ham fans and he gets the Club.

"One of the issues over the last few years was the lack of a relationship
between the manager and the supporters. I don't think it was ever there. It
was always a losing battle and one that never ever seemed to be resolved.

"If West Ham were to get off to a slow start next season, then you might see
Bilic given more leeway by supporters and maybe the Board as well. In that
sense, arguably, looking at it with the glass half full, you could say
that's creating a more positive atmosphere around the place.

"From Bilic's perspective, you would want to be getting down to business
straight away. A manager's not going to rely on what he says in the press as
the foundation for any kind of success. You can say what you want in the
media but it ultimately doesn't matter if it doesn't match up to what's on
the pitch."

You'll have seen plenty of Bilic teams in the past, what can West Ham fans

"I was pretty impressed when I saw Besiktas last season against the English
teams in Europe. They really pushed Arsenal very hard in the Champions
League qualifier, which was probably the most eye-catching of their

"So, if anything, he has shown that he can manage against English teams,
which is certainly reassuring because he otherwise doesn't have any
experience of managing in England which obviously Sam Allardyce had in

"He's spoken a lot about getting young, quick players and, if I'm not
mistaken, Besiktas wanted a team full of young Turkish players. If it were
all to go to plan, I think it could be quite exciting, fast, energetic
football under him.

"That spell at Lokomotiv Moscow is the only red flag that leaves a few
doubts over him. But there has always been a lot of hype around him, ever
since 2006/07 when he was in charge of the Croatian team.

"How much of that, when you're an international manager, is down to having
good players is up for debate. Luka Modric was breaking into the team at
that point, but you still have to put all the component parts together and
make it into a winning team and they were a pretty good side then."

As ever, there are plenty of names being bandied around. Any that catch your

"It will be interesting to see whether Bilic goes back to Besiktas for
anyone. Gokhan Tore's a pretty good player and there's talk about Loic Remy
as well. Clearly, he has had his injury problems, but if he were to stay fit
for a large chunk of the season, you would almost have a guarantee of goals
there, based on his record over the last few seasons ."

What do you know of Pedro Obiang?

"He's an industrious, box-to-box midfielder, who, at that price, is a very
good signing, so that's encouraging. At only 23, it's a good sign that West
Ham are looking to younger, hungrier players which was certainly a key theme
of last summer's recruitment, with the likes of Aaron Cresswell, Cheikhou
Kouyate and Carl Jenkinson.

"I guess, overall, there is not too much needed in midfield, it's all fairly
strong in that department, but obviously there's potentially that gap with
Alex Song heading back to Barcelona.

"If anything, they could probably do with a little bit more creativity in
there. There are a lot of good qualities in there but perhaps a bit more
creativity would be something to look out for.

"Bilic was a 4-2-3-1 man at Besiktas, so I'm not sure whether the diamond
will be so much in vogue next season. Stewart Downing was a revelation as
the No.10 last season and maybe less effective when he played on the wing.

"I guess if he were to go with a 4-2-3-1, you could have Downing just behind
the striker and two either side of him."

What would you consider a good first season for Bilic?

"Top ten. I know they were fourth at Christmas, but there was no realistic
prospect of West Ham finishing above Arsenal or Liverpool. I don't think
anyone at the start of last season would have been talking about that.

"We've seen it before. Teams have a good first half of the season and then
the financial reality will kick in. Teams with bigger squads and more
experience of that level of football will start to overtake you. There would
have been a fair few people talking about West Ham as relegation candidates
last August.

"They finished 12th this season so you would have to say that top ten would
be perfectly acceptable. There are a lot of good teams around I don't think
that you should automatically think that you are going to finish above
Stoke, Southampton or Swansea, or even Crystal Palace, just because they
don't sound as glamorous.

"They all have good players, have good managers and good teams. In the case
of say Stoke or Swansea, they have been in the league longer than West Ham
and have had more stability and more of a foundation. West Ham are growing
and you have to take into account the possibility of the Europa League as

Valparaiso set for the Valencia show

Enner Valencia's Ecuador will be looking to get their Copa America campaign
back on track when they face Bolivia on Monday 15 June.

Despite the West Ham United striker's best efforts, his side lost 2-0 to
hosts Chile in the opening game of the tournament on Friday, an Arturo Vidal
penalty and a late Eduardo Vargas goal securing the victory.

Valencia came closest to scoring for La Tricolor, a looping header that hit
the crossbar.

As for Ecuador's opponents Bolivia, they opened their account with a
credible 0-0 draw with Mexico. As a result, Ecuador are currently bottom of
Group A, knowing they need a result on Monday to keep their dreams of
progressing to knock-out stages alive.

Ecuador play Bolivia on Monday 15 June in Estadio Elias Figueroa Brander in
Valparaiso, Chile. Kick off is 6pm local time, 10pm BST.

Sunderland turn up heat for Jenks
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 14, 2015 in News, Whispers

Sunderland are believed ready to pay Arsenal the £2 million loan required
for Carl Jenkinson.

The Hammers are keen to bring the right sided defender back to Upton Park
but there's now a very real possibility that the Black Cats will get the
England under-21.

New boss Slaven Bilic is ready to renew a deal for Jenks - who would prefer
to stay in London- but with Sunderland offering the loan fee and his wages,
the Irons have a real fight on their hands.

Jenks of course enjoyed an outstanding season with us and all is not lost
but Bilic is likely to look elsewhere given the cost of the loan would cost
around £4 million plus the wage bill.

Slav: "Why I didn't win the Turkish League"
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 14, 2015 in News, Whispers

Slaven Bilic's third placed finish with Besiktas last season has been
described as a failure by many pundits with some claiming he's a lucky man
to get the West Ham job as a result.

But Slav is convinced he knows exactly why he didn't finish top of the pile
in Turkey and none of it can be put down to him or his team.

He said the main reason was because the club did not have a home stadium.

He explained: "I can say this without any reservations one of the key
factors behind Beşiktaş not winning the league was not having a stadium,"

"If we had our own stadium more decisions would have gone our way and we
would have got better results it is very different playing at home."
The club's former İnönü stadium was demolished at the end of the 2012-2013
season and have since used the Ataturk Olympic Stadium (pictured above). The
new Vodafone Arena is scheduled for completion this year.

Hammers work on complex Jenks deal
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 14, 2015 in News, Whispers

West Ham are working hard to outflank Sunderland with a complex offer that
would see them grab Carl Jenkinson on a further year-long loan next season.

Sunderland were believed to be in the driving seat to conclude deal for the
right back after reports emerged they were ready to pay a £2 million loan
fee plus the player's wages.

However, these are much lower than might have been expected for an England
under-21 at a reported £32k a week and are well within the Irons compass.

ClaretandHugh has learned that we remain very much in the hunt and are ready
to pay the £2 million loan fee so long as we get the first option on a
permanent move next summer or when Arsenal are ready to sell.

Jenkinson is believed to be helping the cause by making it clear he would be
far happier staying in London than moving to the north east.

He wouldn't hesitate to return to the Boleyn where Arsene Wenger has been
particularly impressed with the progress he made as a result of getting
regular first team football.

Stimac: "Get some quality passers in Slav"
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 14, 2015 in News, Whispers

Igor Stimac reckons Slaven Bilic will be fine at West Ham so long as he
brings in players who can provide genuine passing quality.

The former Irons defender said: "I hope Slaven and West Ham are a great fit.
He is a wise guy.

"He needs to make good signings, some proper signings, players with passing
quality, and he will be OK.

"Is he ready for the Premier League? He knows the league and the players so
why not? I don't think it matters that he doesn't have any Premier League

"All he needs in his first year there is to give some excitement to the
crowd and finish in the top 10."

Hammers linked with Argentine winger
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 14, 2015 in News, Whispers

Diego Perotti is the latest players to hit the tabloids as a West Ham

The 26 year old Argentine winger is currently on the books of the Italian
outfit Genoa and has been described as a player who Slaven Bilic has long

Previously the Argentine, who has two caps, has played for Sevilla in Spain
and Boca Juniors in his native Argentina.

Perotti signed for Genoa last summer but The Sun suggests that Bilic is a
long term admirer and that a bid for the player, of around £5 million, could
see a deal sealed.

Perotti would not need a work permit as he holds an EU passport.

West Ham goalkeeper Adrian caps promising season by tying the knot with his
PUBLISHED: 22:12, 14 June 2015 | UPDATED: 22:12, 14 June 2015

West Ham goalkeeper Adrian was arguably the Hammers' most consistent
performer throughout the 2014-15 campaign, and the Spaniard has capped a
promising season by marrying his fiancee. The 28-year-old described the
occasion as the 'best day of his life', in a cute picture posted on his
Twitter account on Sunday evening. Adrian, who was signed by Sam Allardyce
from Real Betis in June 2013, became the No1 choice midway through the
previous season, usurping long-standing Finnish keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen
between the sticks at the Boleyn Ground. Adrian will be resuming his club
commitments sooner than anticipated with the Hammers set to embark on a
Europa League campaign at the start of July. The wedding may have always
been planned for mid June, but the keeper will be glad to have time for a
honeymoon period with his new wife before meeting up with the new West Ham
manager Slaven Bilic.

West Ham join race for £15m Charlie Austin with Chelsea, Southampton and
Newcastle United all keen on QPR star
Evening Standard
Published: 14 June 2015 Updated: 16:39, 14 June 2015

Charlie Austin is wanted by Southampton and West Ham as well as Newcastle
United with relegated Queen's Park Rangers looking for a fee of £15m from
the transfer of their most saleable asset. Newcastle have a longstanding
interest in Austin, 25, currently with the England senior squad in Slovenia
for the Euro 2016 qualifier this afternoon. Newcastle's scouting department
had identified Austin as a prime target before the appointment last week of
Steve McClaren, who considers the player as his first choice. The player
whose rise from non-league Poole Town to 18 goals in his first Premier
League season has attracted widespread interest.

Southampton would like to sign the player but have to wait for deals to go
through first, with Morgan Schneiderlin their key sale. Graziano Pelle is 30
next month and the club are looking at alternative long-term options. West
Ham have spread their net wide in the search for a new striker, and Loic
Remy is under consideration. Austin appeals because of his proven record in
the Premier League and his homegrown status. Chelsea have also looked at
Austin, although the player is keen to be a first-choice striker at his new

Forgotten West Ham striker Modibo Maiga scores on international duty
Mathew Nash

The Mali striker is an outcast at Upton Park. Modibo Maiga may be a
forgotten man at West Ham, but he is still racking up the goals for his
country. The striker scored for Mali yesterday as The Eagles defeated South
Sudan 2-0 in African Cup of Nations qualifying. It was his 11th goal for his
country in his 29th appearance. Maiga was signed from French outfit Sochaux
in 2013 for a fee reported by the BBC to be in the region of £4.7 million.
The Mali international striker had scored 24 goals in 52 games for the
French club and West Ham decided to take a punt on the player. Maiga has
struggled to make an impact at Upton Park. The 27-year-old striker has only
featured in 37 games for the Hammers since joining nearly three years ago.
There are underlying reasons for his troubles. He struggled for a long time
trying to shake the affects of a malaria infection, picked up in early 2012.
He has shown glimpses of his talent. A goal against Chelsea was a
particularly memorable moment from his 2012-13 campaign and he has scored
six goals for the club overall. But Maiga,who spent time on loan at QPR in
2014, spent last season back in France with Metz. He scored 10 goals in 29
appearances. It remains to be seen whether Slaven Bilic gives him a go next


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