Friday, June 19

Daily WHUFC News -

2014/15 Season Review - March

Following a disappointing end to February, the Hammers knew they needed a
response, however they faced in-form table toppers Chelsea. Barring an
early onslaught from the Blues, where Eden Hazard broke the offside trap to
score the only goal of the game, the Irons could not be faulted on effort.
Under the lights, a great atmosphere developed at the Boleyn. The hosts
carved a number of chances – 18 to Chelsea's 12, yet it was one of those
days where, try as they might, the breaks just would not fall. Chelsea took
the three points, yet the Hammers could hold their heads high. The same
could not quite be said for the next game – away at Arsenal. Arsene Wenger's
men were in clinical mood, creating a host of chances throughout the game.
The Hammers had goalkeeper Adrian to thank for keeping the scores level for
so long, yet once Olivier Giroud fired home there was a sense of
inevitability. Livewire Aaron Ramsey doubled the advantage before Mathieu
Flamini sealed the win with six minutes remaining. However the Hammers were
not down for long as they recorded a first league win in seven games by
beating Sunderland 1-0. It took a late Diafra Sakho goal to overcome a
rejuvenated Black Cats following Dick Advocaat's arrival. A tight affair
was settled with just minutes remaining in somewhat controversial
circumstances. Sunderland players believed there was a foul in the build-up,
however Sakho played on, doing what he does best – score.

Last chance saloon for Valencia's Ecuador

Enner Valencia is preparing for Ecuador's final group game of a so far
disappointing Copa America campaign when they play Mexico on Friday.
Following defeats to Chile and Bolivia, La Tri must beat Mexico to give
themselves any chance of progressing to the knockout stages. While results
have not gone the way Valencia would have liked, the West Ham United striker
has been in lively form, scoring against Bolivia and hitting the crossbar
against Chile. Mexico, on the other hand, are unbeaten so far, drawing
their two games. La Verde drew 0-0 with Bolivia in their opening match
before sharing the spoils in a six goal thriller with Chile. Ecuador play
Mexico at the Estadio El Teniente on Friday and kick off is at 6pm local
time (10pm BST).

Improvements and speculation
Filed: Thursday, 18th June 2015
By: Matt Bell

I am encouraged by the up-to-date transfer dealings. I must admit my work is
suffering while I watch transfer news updates and have been busted more than
once trying to Google translate an article from some random Turkish
newspaper that links West Ham with this or that player. Yes, I need to get a
life - but I also need something to do before the evening drinking starts.
No club has signed all their targets and with the window yet to open all we
can do is speculate. So far…..

Obiang is a very good addition and a player I think can nail a first team
spot down. His energy should counter his lack of experience. Signed for a
decent fee, this represents good business by the club. Bringing in Chris
Woods as goalkeeper coach is an excellent move. Vastly experienced from his
playing career, he has huge experience with the USA squad and working with
David De Gea at Man Utd and Tim Howard at Everton. Both are fantastic
players who have improved, so he must have some impact on both. I understand
Bilic's preferred backroom staff have work permit hearings but given their
work with the Croatian national team surely these hearings should be a
formality plus we hear that a former face may be brought back

In regards to the possibles here are my preferred signings; feel free to
argue against!

Charlie Austin
Pay QPR the £15million (that must include add-ons?) they're seeking. 25-
years old, a good goal ratio, strong and hungry. A move to West Ham would
provide him with first team football plus the opportunity to shine and
perhaps make the Euro 2016 squad. (His competition for striking places isn't
that fierce regardless of England's unbeaten record since the World Cup –
we've seen the games.)

Loic Remy
Whats the fee - £8million-£10million? He would bring pace and goals and
offer us something different. Plus I think he can play in a forward three,
up front alone or with Austin or Diafra Sakho. If our competition is Crystal
Palace because of Pardew's previous relationship, I still think we offer a
brighter future to turn his head.

Toby Alderweireld
I would agree with this move. I like the Ginger Pele, we all do, he will
stick his face or his genitals in the way of any shot to prevent a goal -
though age and pace will catch up. So I think he would be a great player to
bring in for a tough Sunday away game after the Europa league matches. I
like James Tomkins and have championed him for years but he still worries
me. Between playing with his hair and dozing off he looks promising but he
is not a youngster any more and has had the chance to claim a central
defensive spot. Every manager has changed the pairings around so if we are
going to see mistakes made, I'd be more forgiving of young Reece Burke than

Yohan Cabaye
Is this realistic? Would PSG write off so much by letting him leave for
£10million? At 29 the next contract is so important so I think we would get
a hungry player who has Premier League and European experience. Again with
Palace linked, due to Pardew my argument for Remy is the same with Cabaye.
Palace can sell their club and expansion, but we have the Europa campaign
plus the new stadium to offer.

Alex Song
Would he join us permanently? It seems that Chelsea and Liverpool are
interested and because we want him, suddenly Spurs want him (such a jealous
bunch of mean girls that lot). £5million isn't bad for a fee but his wages
are high and would he lose what motivation he showed at the start of last
season if signed on a permanent deal? Risky, but I'd take him.

Alen Hallovic
Barca B. Only seen one rumour and maybe I'm getting carried away because
he's Croatian. The new Modric and presumably on loan, but he would offer us
some needed creativity.

Right Back
This is a big issue for the balance of the team. I thought we would
reintroduce Jenkinson in on loan again but it turns out Arsenal want a
£2million loan fee. Jenks would be my preference over Glen Johnson or Aston
Villa-bound Micah Richards, but £2million to give an Arsenal player first
team football and improve ? I don't know about that but I'd be tempted to
tell Arsenal to do one, too. Fact is, options are limited so we may have to
- especially given he has had a year with us and wouldn't require a
settling-in period.

Vedran Corluka has little pace but a wealth of experience and would not be
overlapping the winger. So there's more pressure to bring in a winger who
can deliver quality, score a few and track back. All of which racks up the

Every day it's a new link, but I'm pretty sure we won't see Matt Jarvis on
either wing next season.

"Bring Rav home" campaign
I would vote YES to bringing him back (if we could). No disrespect to Sam
Allardyce, as I am only an outsider looking in, but it seemed to be that if
he liked you he liked you and if he didn't, then you watched Kevin Nolan in
your place. I think Bilic has a big enough personality to find the focus in
Ravel that he so badly needs for his career (and I'd go far as saying for
his personal well-being). His age, ability and his potential are his major
positives and he is one of the players that you watch and think "if you
could sort your head out you'd be a world-beater". Then you read a Sunday
rag and find out he has gone to Manchester again to beat something else.
Like Zarate he is a wild card, but at least Rav is on his target weight.

Europa League draw to be broadcast live
Filed: Thursday, 18th June 2015
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United will find out who they are to face in the first two rounds
of the Europa League on Monday afternoon. The first and second qualifying
round draws will be made simultaneously on Monday afternoon at 1pm CET (12
midday BST) and are to be broadcast live from Nyon, Switzerland, by UEFA.
102 clubs will go into the hat for the first round (2/9 July), where West
Ham will be one of the seeded clubs. 66 clubs will then participate in the
second qualifying round (16/23 July), the draw for which will also be made
on Monday (1.30 BST).

The full list of Europa League match dates for the 2015/16 season are as

2nd: First qualifying round, first leg
9th: First qualifying round, second leg
16th: Second qualifying round, first leg
23rd: Second qualifying round, second leg
30th: Third qualifying round, first leg

6th: Third qualifying round, second leg
20th: Play-off round, first leg
27th: Play-off round, second leg

17th Group stage, matchday one

1st: Group stage, matchday two
22nd: Group stage, matchday three

5th: Group stage, matchday four
26th: Group stage, matchday five

10th:Group stage, matchday six

18th: Round of 32, first leg
25th: Round of 32, second leg

10th Round of 16, first leg
17th Round of 16, second leg

7th: Quarter-finals, first leg
14th: Quarter-finals, second leg
28th: Semi-finals, first leg

5th: Semi-finals, second leg
18th: Final (St. Jakob-Park, Basel)

Song move rests on length of contract
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 18, 2015 in News, Whispers

Alex Song will have to settle for a three year deal if he is to make his
Upton Park 'stay' permanent. ClaretandHugh has learned the player wants a
five year stay but manager Slaven Bilic believes a three year arrangement
is more suitable. Barcelona are ready to allow the midfielder to leave on a
free transfer and the move to east London now rests on discussions over the
length of contract. A source said: "Slaven has assessed the situation – as
managers do with all signings – and believes a three year deal is the best
option in Alex's case and it's now about getting agreement as the player
wants five." The Irons are in a strong position as the Song family are keen
on a move the capital in preference to anywhere else in the Premier League
and no other London clubs are in the running for his signature.

Irons sip from poisoned chalice
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 18, 2015 in Shep's Blogs, Whispers
Rob SHepherd

The Europa Cup has become something of a poisoned chalice for most English
clubs. There is no doubt Everton's poor Premier League campaign was in part
caused by playing in the competition. Tottenham too felt their chances of
challenging for the top four were compromised by their involvement in the

As everyone knows West Ham's absolute priority in the Premier League is to
stay in it in the ramp up season to the Promised Land of the Olympic
Stadium. So understandably club policy for for a tournament reached via
the back door will be not to throw all their best resources at it in the
early qualifying rounds. It seems ridiculous that the first matches of the
qualifying rounds will start as soon as July 2…the Hammers learning who
their opponents will be when the draw is made next Monday the same day as
Slaven Bilic starts his work at Chadwell Heath. In that sense though there
is perhaps a big positive about participation.

Involvement in the competition offers Bilic the opportunity to cut his teeth
as the new West Ham boss in competitive matches which could help him "hit
the ground running" when new Premier League campaign starts. It also gives
him the opportunity to assess first team fringe players and those from the
development squad who will play in the qualifying rounds. One of the several
frustrations of the Allardyce regime was , Reece Burke aside, his refusal
to give emerging young players a proper chance. The Europa Cup will now
give the likes of Elliot Lee and Diego Poyet the chance the state their
cases to Bilic that they should not just be part of the 25 man Premier
League squad but also be fully involved.

If the qualifying rounds are negotiated and the Europa League proper is
reached such players can form part of a "hardcore" of the squad for that
tournament which will then be strengthened by a clutch of front line players
on a suck it and see basis. And those of us of a certain generation can't
deny there would be a sense of nostalgic excitement about midweek European
games especially in the Boleyn Ground farewell season. For me two of the
most memorable games I ever watched with my old man from the Chicken Run
came in the 1975-76 European Cup winners Cup campaign. The 3-1 win over Den
Haag. Then the 3-1 semi final victory over Eintracht Frankfurt.

Indeed when I am asked my favourite West Ham match of all time I cite that
game against Frankfurt , Keith Robson's wonderful long range goal then
Trevor Brooking wading through the mud to score the third, remain vivid
images. Now wouldn't it be lovely to have some more of that ? But even the
romantic in me recognises where the club's priorities lie. That said, part
of the "fatigue" that clubs say they suffer when they are in the Europa Cup
is about mindset.

In 2010 Fulham showed that you can go all the way , reaching the final where
they lost 2-1 to Atletic Madrid after extra time and finishing 12th in the
Premier League. And now not only is there much more participation money to
be made the big carrot is that winning the Europa Cup offers a Champions
League place. In that sense the competition is not be sniffed at. But I
still can't help thinking UEFA have got the format wrong. For one thing
kicking off six weeks ahead of most domestic season is clearly stupid. Then
there are three two legged qualifying rounds plus a play off to even reach
the league phase. That's EIGHT games before the season proper starts. Then
again, if the planning is right these matches could be seen as a far better
way for Bilic to bed in as boss and new signings integrate into the team
ahead of the Premier League season than playing in sterile pre season
matches. I suspect Bilic will see it that way and recognise that the Europa
Cup could well give him an opportunity to impose his will on the team ahead
of what in many senses will be the most important domestic campaign in West
Ham history.

Bilic's top agency looks great news for Irons
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 18, 2015 in News, Whispers

Slaven Bilic – currently involved in trying to take Dimitri Payet from
Marseilles -is represented by one of the world's biggest and star-studded
agency groups. And that may be great news for the Hammers when they go
hunting for the best value-for-money buys in the transfer market. It is
certainly not without significance that two current targets, Payet and Yohan
Cabaye, are part of Mondial Sports Management. Among the players the top
plyers the company represents are Edinson Cavani, Nemanja Matic, Fenandinho
and Coutinho. It's certainly a step up on what the Irons have been used to
as a quick look at the company's client list confirms. Mondial Sport
Management & Consulting Sarl – Consulting company – Player consultants –
Meanwhile talks are continuing on getting Payet and a deal is believed to be

West Ham transfer news: Slaven Bilic plots double swoop for Dimitri Payet
and Alex Song
Evening Standard
Published: 18 June 2015 Updated: 10:21, 18 June 2015

West Ham want Alex Song back in their midfield next season – this time on a
permanent deal. Song spent last season at Upton Park on loan from Barcelona
but West Ham are now prepared to offer the 27-year-old a three-year
contract. Song himself would prefer to stay in London and is keen to return
but the stumbling block could be the size of the transfer fee. With the
former Cameroon international not part of Barcelona's future plans, West Ham
were hoping he would be available for a minimal fee or a free transfer. The
Spanish giants' asking price however is around £5 million for the player,
who has two years left on his contract. Song was instrumental in West Ham's
impressive start to last season but injuries and a loss of form meant he was
peripheral towards the end. West Ham are also keen on Marseille's £12
million-rated winger Dimitri Payet, who is keen to move to a Premier League

Forgotten West Ham signing finally set for Hammers arrival as pre-season
training nears
09:42 18 June 2015 Brad Pinard
London 24

West Ham new-boy Stephen Hendrie posted a farewell picture to Scotland
yesterday as he heads to east London and Upton Park. The 20-year-old agreed
to join Sam Allardyce's West Ham in January but stayed with Hamilton until
the end of the season. After making more than 30 appearences for the Accies
last term, Hendrie arrives down south with a fight on his hands to break
into the first team at Upton Park. New boss Slaven Bilic will give every
squad player a chance to shine in training and Europa League games in order
to form his best side and Hendrie will be desperate to take his chance. The
Scotland under-21 international is predominantly a left back but may find it
tough to dislodge Hammers of the Year Aaron Cresswell in that area. The
Hammers need a right back after losing Carl Jenkinson and Guy Demel so that
could be an option for Hendrie. West Ham will start pre-season training next
week, with Bilic's first day in the job on Monday.

West Ham fans torn between Winston Reid and Mark Noble as their choice for
new captain
Damien Lucas

West Ham United fans can't decide between Mark Noble or Winston Reid to take
over from Kevin Nolan as captain in the new era under Slaven Bilic. With the
Hammers' current skipper Kevin Nolan expected to be on his way out of the
club this summer, the job of replacing him as captain is up for grabs. But
according to a poll, the club's fans are split right down the
middle over who should get the armband between New Zealand defender Reid and
homegrown midfielder Noble. Should Nolan leave the club, as is expected, a
new captain will need to be appointed for what is one of the most historic
periods in the club's history with next season being their last at the
famous Boleyn Ground before moving to the 54,000-seater Olympic Stadium It
is also a season which will see the East Londoners compete in Europe for the
first time in nearly a decade, so it promises to be a long, tough campaign.
But choosing a new skipper is also proving tough for the club's fans, over
800 of whom voted, with an equal 42% each opting for Noble and Reid
respectively. Cult hero goalkeeper Adrian was the next most popular choice
with eight per cent of the vote while James Collins was third with four per
cent. Nolan registered just one per cent of the share.

So let's weigh up the two candidates.

Mark Noble

Noble is a dyed-in-the-wool Hammer from birth and has consistently been a
first-team regular since breaking into the senior side aged 17. He is Mr
West Ham, the closest you will get to a fan on the pitch. He would be a
popular choice with his fellow Hammers fans but is coming off the back of
one of his worst seasons personally in the claret and blue. New boss
Bilic's first move on returning to East London was to sign Spanish U21
international midfielder Pedro Obiang from Sampdoria. And the club is being
linked with a host of gifted midfield stars such as Paris St Germain's Yohan
Cabaye and Marseille's Dimitri Payet - as per the Daily Mail. Therefore
Noble will face increased competition for places and may not be a certain
starter, which can only hinder his chances. The 28-year-old Canning
Town-born player has played 282 games for his boyhood club, scoring 31 goals
and is the club's main penalty taker.

Winston Reid

Reid is the club's best defender and probably their most valuable asset too.
The quiet Kiwi leads by example on the pitch and has strength and pace in
abundance. Very rarely putting a foot wrong he is focused and determined and
a real fans' favourite at Upton Park. He was linked with some of the Premier
League's top clubs before signing a new six-year deal with the club back in
January and will be a guaranteed starter every game. The 26-year-old has
played 121 games for the club scoring six goals, most famously against
Milwall in West Ham's season in the Championship in 2011/12. If Bilic goes
with either of these two it will be popular with the Upton Park faithful,
who the club are keen to ensure are happy and fully supportive of the side
going into such a historic and crucial campaign.

Neil Warnock explains why West Ham settled for Bilic as new manager
Lewis Doe

Former Premier League boss Neil Warnock doesn't feel Slaven Bilic was West
Ham's first choice as their new manager. Former Premier League manager Neil
Warnock told talkSPORT why he thinks West Ham settled for Slaven Bilic as
their next manager. The dust has settled on Bilic becoming the new boss of
the club, replacing Sam Allardyce who wasn't offered a new contract after
last season. Some high profile managers were mentioned for the West Ham job
such as Jurgen Klopp, mentioned by the Daily Mirror, and Carlo Ancelotti, as
reported by the Daily Telegraph.
"I think everyone is out to make a verdict on that. I'm not sure Bilic was
the first choice. It's not easy to get a manager at that top level who fits
every criteria," he said. "I think they went for a manager, not to appease
the fans, he is a good manager, but I think they went for Bilic because some
of the other targets just weren't possible." Regardless of whether Bilic was
first choice for the Hammers, he is the man who has been tasked with taking
the club forward over the next few months. He has a lot going for him in
terms of the job he could potentially do and he'll have fans on side because
he was popular during his days as a West Ham player. It's important that
Bilic gets the club offer to a good start because there was a great deal of
frustration among the club's support base last season. Fans just want to see
a side that's trying and playing entertaining football on a weekly basis.
The aim for next season will be a top eight finish and some progression in
the Europa League and Bilic is certainly capable of success on both of those

West Ham fans disappointed with Swansea as Boleyn Ground farewell, they
wanted Tottenham
Damien Lucas

West Ham United fans are disappointed the fixture list handed them Swansea
City for their Boleyn Ground farewell because they wanted Tottenham Hotspur.
The Hammers will bid an emotional farewell to their home of 112 years next
May with their penultimate game of the season against the Swans. It will be
the last match the club plays at the famous ground before switching
postcodes from E13 to E20 as they migrate to the 54,000-seater Olympic
Stadium. A lot of the focus was on the East Londoners when the 2015/16
Premier League fixtures were released due to the impending stadium move and
the fact they have made the highest profile managerial appointment of the
summer, with Slaven Bilic finally arriving in England after years of
West Ham's first ever game at the Boleyn Ground was against arch rivals
Millwall on September 1 1904. It drew a crowd of 10,000, the majority of
whom were rewarded as West Ham ran out 3-0 winners. The club's first ever
Premier League game at the Boleyn was against Wimbledon in the opening match
of the 1993/94 season on August 13th. The Hammers lost 2-0.
The ground has been graced by the likes of England World Cup winning trio
Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst, Trevor Brooking, Billy Bonds and
more recently Rio Ferdinand, Paolo Di Canio and Carlos Tevez, to name but a
few. Finishing against Millwall could have been fitting - given the history
between the two clubs and how they came to exist from London's Docklands -
but impossible as they are currently languishing in League One. But the
Hammers, who travel to Premier League runners-up Arsenal on the opening day,
Aston Villa on Boxing Day and entertain Liverpool on January 2nd, will
instead face Garry Monk's Swansea in the big send-off match. The news came
as something of a disappointment to many supporters who, firstly wanted it
to be against their next most hated rivals Tottenham Hotspur, and secondly
wanted their last home game to be the last match of the season.

Chelsea, West Ham and Newcastle in three-way battle for Charlie Austin
PUBLISHED: 00:10, Thu, Jun 18, 2015 | UPDATED: 08:08, Thu, Jun 18, 2015

Relegated QPR want around £15million for their 25-year-old striker, who
still has a year left on his contract but is certain to move on this summer.
New Newcastle manager Steve McClaren is already in talks with Rangers over
Austin, though a firm bid is yet to be made. Austin is reluctant to join
another club that might struggle next season after a gruelling campaign with
Rangers and wants to see who the Magpies bring in to strengthen their side
this summer before making any decision West Ham are also in talks with
Austin and the former Burnley striker is keen on a move across London, but
the Upton Park club are reluctant to pay the money Rangers are demanding.
Chelsea have now entered the running for Austin, brought into the England
squad by coach Roy Hodgson this month. The champions see Austin as a
replacement for French striker Loic Remy, who has become unsettled by the
arrival of Radamel Falcao and is looking for a move, with West Ham and
Crystal Palace both interested. Chelsea do not want to sell £10m-rated Remy
but realise he may not be content to sit on the bench for large parts of
another season.


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