Sunday, June 28

Daily WHUFC News - 28th June 2015

Joey eyes 'special' European nights

Joey O'Brien is looking forward to a return to European football this week –
seven years after he last experienced continental competition with Bolton

West Ham United take on FC Lusitans of Andorra in Thursday's UEFA Europa
League first qualifying round first leg at the Boleyn Ground with O'Brien
looking to use the competition as a springboard towards a better season.

The form of Carl Jenkinson last season restricted the Irishman to just nine
Barclays Premier League appearances in 2014/15, but with the action starting
so early this time around, the Irishman hopes to hit the ground running.

He said: "It's an early start for the early stages of European competition
and the aim is to get into the Europa League proper and have some great
nights throughout the season around Europe.

"Those European games with Bolton were some of my best memories of playing.
I remember playing in some great places like Marseille, Sporting Lisbon,
Atletico Madrid – teams you don't come up against every season. You have to
get through these first few games, which will be the hardest at the start of
pre-season trying to get the match sharpness back. They're hard games, but
hopefully we can get off to a good start with a good win on Thursday."

With close to 25,000 tickets already sold for Thursday's season opener, a
special night is in the offing at the Boleyn Ground.

"It will be a great night," O'Brien continued. "It's the start of a new
season, the start of a European campaign and hopefully it's going to be a
long European campaign. We want it to be the first game of many.

"I'm going into my fifth season at West Ham now and the first three were
positive ones for me personally. Last year was a hard one not playing games,
because when you're not playing you don't really feel involved. This is a
new start to the season and hopefully I'll be involved in the first
competitive match and play more than I did last year."

By Iain Dale 28 Jun 2015 at 08:50
West Ham till I Die

Steve Lomas and John Hartson are rumoured to have been approached to join
Slaven Bilic's coaching staff.

Stewart Downing is being chased, not just by Sunderland and Middlesbrough,
but by Newcastle and Leicester. Leicester are thought to be willing to pay
£7 million.

Angelo Ogbonna, the Juventus defender, is said to be close to signing for
West Ham for around £10 million.

Mohamed Salah, the Chelsea winger, linked to West Ham during the week, is
likely to sign for Fiorentina.

Aymen Abdennour is another defender being linked with the club. He is
Tunisian and plays for Monaco and would be expensive. KUMB Abdennour have a
good article about him.

Loic Remy and Charlie Austin continue to be linked by various papers.

Kyle Bartley, the Swansea defender, is said to interest West Ham and Aston
Villa. More HERE?.

Carlos Tevez has rejoined Boca Juniors. Well that's that then.

Alex Song and Carl Jenkinson are both set to re-sign this week, according to
various newspapers.

By Iain Dale 27 Jun 2015 at 08:47
West Ham Till I Die

One thing is concerning me about our transfer activity. Will there be enough
of it? I'm not a fan of buying inferior quality players just for the sake of
it, as I well remember how Harry Redknapp blew the £18 million we got from
the transfer of Rio Ferdinand to Leeds. He bought the likes of Titi Camara,
Rigobert Song, Todorov and Soma, along with a couple of others I've now
forgotten about.

What we have to remember is that this year is going to be like no other in
terms of the number of matches we are going to have to play.

Premier League – 38
Europa League – 23
League Cup – 5
FA Cup – 9

That assumes we get to the final of each of the three tournaments, which I
grant you is highly unlikely! But say we reach the final of the Europa
League (again, I am being optimistic!) but get knocked out in the first
round of the other two cups, we'd still be playing 63 matches – around
twenty more than this season. Even if we only make the group stages we will
be playing 56 games.

Surely this means that we need to increase the size of our squad. We know
that we seem to get more injuries than most so I'd say we need to add
another six players to the squad – two defenders, two midfielders and two
strikers. There is, however, one problem with this. How do we do that and
stick to the Financial Fair Play Rules? The simple answer is that it
will/would be almost impossible without selling quite a few of our current
players and replacing them with more cheaper ones.

Looking at our squad at the moment, this is how it looks

Darren Randolph
Raphael Spiegel
Sam Howes

Doneil Henry
James Collins
Reece Oxford
Reece Burke
Winston Reid
James Tomkins
Leo Chambers
Emmanuel Onariase

Joey O'Brien
Aaron Cresswell
Stephen Hendrie

Mark Noble
Kevin Nolan
Pedro Obiang
Cheikhou Kouyate
Diego Poyet
Josh Cullen

Morgan Amalfitano
Stewart Downing
Matt Jarvis
Dimitri Payet

Andy Carroll
Diafro Sakho
Enner Valencia
Modibo Maiga
Elliot Lee
Mauro Zarate
Martin Samuelson

If we get Alex Song and Carl Jenkinson back, I'd say we also need to add one
more full back to replace Guy Demal, one more central defender, one more
central midfielder and one more quality striker. That would give us a squad
of 38 players. Bearing in mind last season we used more than that, I don't
think that's far off where we need to be aiming for given the number of
matches we will be playing.

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Sport Football West Ham transfer news
West Ham set to pip Everton in race for £12million Italy defender Angelo
22:30, 27 JUNE 2015
The Juventus man had been earmarked by Toffees boss Roberto Martinez but
West Ham have made their move and want him to partner Winston Reid next
The Mirror

West Ham's busy summer is set to continue with the capture of Juventus
defender Angelo Ogbonna, writes Neil Moxley in the Sunday People.
The Hammers have leapt in front of Everton in the race for the Italian
international ahead of their final season at Upton Park. Since the end of
the last Premier League campaign, the club has appointed new boss Slaven
Bilic and added French winger Dimitri Payet to the squad following a
£10.7million move from Marseille. And now, according to sources in Italy,
the club is set to brush off an approach from the Toffees to land the
defender in a deal valued at £12m. Everton boss Roberton Martinez wanted the
big stopper as a replacement for Sylvain Distin – who has signed a deal with
Bournemouth as revealed by Sunday People Sport. But West Ham are keen to
partner the centre-half with Winston Reid as their Europa League campaign
gets underway this Thursday with the visit of Andorran minnows FC Lusitans.
The club has been given a boost with the news this week that midfielder Alex
Song can leave Barcelona on a free – although they will face rivals for his
services from Southampton. If that does not materialise, then Bilic is
likely to turn his attention to his former Turkish club Besiktas with Tolgay
Arslan, a 24-year-old midfielder, on the radar. However, the deal to land
Ogbonna is well underway – and he is unlikely to be the only new face at
Chadwell Heath with Bilic set to add at least one of his former team-mates
to the backroom staff. The Croatian has held talks with both John Hartson
and Steve Lomas over coaching roles.

Billic wants to be reunited with British-based coaches who know the east
London club inside out. Former Wales striker Hartson, now a media pundit, is
in line to replace Teddy Sheringham as the Irons' forwards coach. Lomas, 41,
also spent time with Billic during his long stay at West Ham and is mulling
over an approach to join the coaching set-up. Meanwhile, one player who
appears to be deemed surplus to requirements is England ace Stewart Downing.
He has offers on the table from all three clubs in the North East – with
Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson as eager as any to recruit a player who
made his name on Teesside. Sunderland have had an initial £5m offer rejected
and now Leicester City have been alerted to the availability of the winger.
Gibson is unlikely to win the battle as Downing, 30, wants to stay in the
Premier League and now has firm offers on the table.

Payet tells why he chose the Irons
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 27, 2015 in News, Whispers

Hammers marquee signing Dimitri Payet has made it clear a pivotal reason for
him joining the club is the upcoming Olympic Stadium move.
Payet's switch from Marseilles has created a serious buzz and it's the move
to 55,000 capacity stadium which was a massive factor in his decision.. He
told the official website:"In coming here I've taken into account the new
stadium and that's obviously part of the project "You move to a new stadium
with ambitions, but first things first, let's have a very good season this
year. "A new stadium always leads to progression and of course I think that
this new stadium can advance the team and the club. "I've been involved in
my fair share of history, so to speak, what with St Etienne, Nantes and
Marseille. So I'm looking forward to playing a part in this history, because
it has a magnificent feel about it.

Irons still talking to Barca on Song deal
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 28, 2015 in News, Whispers

West Ham are continuing to talk to Barcelona but claim a deal for Alex Song
is still some way off. And the club intend to stick rigidly to a free
transfer policy if the midfielder is to become a permanent transfer. The
Hammers have made it clear from Day One that is their position and are
unmoved by reports that Manchester City and Liverpool are reported
interested. Barca had initially been ready to allow the move on a free but
are believed to have since asked for a £5 million fee but Irons negotiators
are disinterested on that basis.
A source explained: "We are continuing to discuss the position and it seems
there's a game of bluff may be going on – we are not convinced of interest
from elsewhere. "And in any event, it's well known that Alex and his family
are basically only interested in a move to the capital."

Report: Irons wants £12 million rated defender
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 28, 2015 in News, Whispers

Juventus defender Angelo Ogbonna is being reported as a new target for the
Irons. The Hammers are in a race for the £12 million Italian international
as Slaven Bilic looks to add his main priority- a world class central
defender to his Hammers mix. Since his job interview with the Irons board –
as reported here -Slav has made it clear this position is central to his
plans for the Premier League campaign.
He believes needs a top class central defender to team with Winston Reid and
The People claim first contact has been made.

Leicester poised with £7m Downing bid
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 28, 2015 in News, Whispers

Stewart Downing is this morning being reported as a £7 million target for
Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson. The arrival of highly gifted playmaker
Dimitri Payet may make it easier for the Irons to entertain bids for the
player. Pearson is understood ready to offer around £7 million for the
England international which would see the Irons come to within just under
£4 million of balancing the books on the Payet signing.

Sunderland are also keen- at around £5 million – although a move to his
former club Middlesbrough looks unlikely given the additional interest from
Leicester at Leicester's interest

West Ham want £7 million plus add-ons – a figure within Leicester's budget
given they paid a similar figure for long-term target Shinji Okazaki, the
Japan international, this week. Downing will be 31 next month and West Ham,
who are close to resigning Alex Song and Carl Jenkinson, are prepared to
offload him.

Hammers speak on Abdennour rumour
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 27, 2015 in News, Whispers

Rumours that Monaco have accepted an 18m euros bid for central defender
Aymen Abdennour have been firmly denied by the Irons this evening (Sat).
The 'news' was tweeted by @GuillermoBullon and spread like wildfire across
the social network but the Hammers immediately dismissed the tweet. A source
said: "We are looking for a central defender but there's no truth in this
whatsoever. There has been no offer lodged by us at this point." In reality
a bid makes little sense as the 26 year old Tunisian only signed a four
year deal with the French outfit last year after impressing while on loan
from Toulouse.


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