Friday, July 10

Daily WHUFC News - 10th July 2015

Bilic hails magnificent support

Slaven Bilic has hailed the magnificent West Ham United support ahead of Thursday's UEFA Europa League first qualifying round second leg against FC Lusitans. Around 500 loyal Hammers fans are expected in Andorra to watch their team attempt to book their place in round two following last week's 3-0 first leg victory. All of the Hammers' allocation was snapped up by Season Ticket Holders and Bilic thanked them for their fantastic backing. He said: "West Ham fans are special, of course. I'm an ex-West Ham player and manager now, but it's not just me – many players who have nothing to do with West Ham say it's a special Club with special fans. "It's a big privilege for us to have that kind of support. They are coming to the game today and it's great because we need their support. It's a great trip, because maybe they would never go to Andorra if it wasn't for the game. Everything points to a good day, and all we can do is play a good game."

Bilic is no stranger to the Estadi Comunal d'Andorra la Vella, having led his Croatia team to a 6-0 victory at that venue in qualification for Euro 2008 and he is looking forward to making a return. He added: "I remember the night I came here with Croatia. It was unusual because that first time we came here we had England in the group, Russia too, so we played in big stadiums and this was different. "We had a good game – it's all about when you're going to score that first goal or the first couple of goals, but they never give up like we saw last week.
"That time we got more relaxed after two, they dropped a little and we won 6-0. I have good memories here "We come into the game with a good result. We won 3-0 at home and to be fair we shouldn't have to score to be relaxed. It's a game and a good chance for the first team players here to get more fitness, to have a game, score goals if they can and importantly perform well to prepare for the Premier League. "For the young kids it's an unbelievable opportunity to show themselves in Europe, and it is very good for everyone."

Hammers ease into round two
FC Lusitans 0-1 West Ham United (0-4 Agg)
1st Round 2nd Leg UEFA Europa League Qualifying Round

West Ham United progressed to the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League with a 4-0 aggregate win over Andorran outfit FC Lusitans. The travelling Hammers secured a 1-0 win on the night, with a well taken goal by Elliot Lee, a goal that proved to be the match winner. Lee, on his full senior debut for the Hammers, demonstrated his signal of intent early on as he looked to race on to Morgan Amalfitano's through-ball, only to be flagged offside. The hosts, knowing they needed an early goal to give themselves any chance of keeping their dream alive, gave a good account of themselves. Winger Luis Miguel Dos Reis' cross-come-shot had Darren Randolph scrambling across his line but it fell just wide of the near post just in time for kick off

A baking hot day in Andorra la Vella eventually gave way to a cool evening by kick off, yet tempers were certainly running hot on the pitch. First, Reece Oxford was on the end of a late challenge before a Diafra Sakho and Lusitan defender Moises San Nicolas had to be pulled apart. Just minutes later the two squared up again, Nicolas threw himself to the ground after the Senegalese raised his hands.

Danish referee Anders Pulsen deliberated for a few minutes, booking Nicolas, before giving Sakho his marching orders. Despite being down to ten men, the Hammers soon galvanised themselves. Matt Jarvis flicked the ball round the corner for Elliot Lee, on his full senior debut, to run onto and curl past Gerardo Rubio into the far corner.

A clearly delighted Lee, last season's top goalscorer for the Development Squad, wheeled away to celebrate in front of the raucous travelling fans. Just minutes later and the Hammers were denied what looked like a clear cut penalty. Man of the moment Lee burst forward, and was felled just as he was about to pull the trigger with the goal at his mercy. Somewhat incredulously Pulsen waved play on, much to the host's relief. The Hammers continued to assert their dominance yet the score remained 1-0 by half-time.

The second half started much as the first ended. The Irons were well in control, Josh Cullen's tenacity at the heart of the midfield was a joy to watch, who enjoyed a promising game on the young man's full senior debut. Matt Jarvis too looked sharp and was a constant outlet on the left flank.

The home crowd thought they'd scored a much coveted goal when centre-back San Nicolas headed a lofted free-kick past Darren Randolph. He wheeled away in delight but his effort was chalked off for offside. Seeking fresher legs, Academy manager Terry Westley brought on youngsters Reece Burke, replacing Joey O'Brien on his 100th appearance for the Club and 2014/15 U18 top goalscorer Djair Parfitt-Williams, playing only his second senior game.

While the match could not be described as vintage, it was certainly entertaining enough. New manager Slaven Bilic, in attendance on the West Ham dugout, would no doubt be pleased with what he saw.

West Ham United: Randolph (GK), O'Brien (Burke 60), Tomkins ©, Oxford, Page, Poyet, Cullen (Nasha 85), Jarvis, Amalfitano (Parfitt-Williams 76), Sakho, Lee
Substitutes: Spiegel, Westley, Knoyle, Brown

Goals: Lee (21)

Bookings: Amalfitano, Cullen

Red Card: Diafra Sakho (14)

FC Lusitans: Rubio, Acosta (Moya), Nicolas, Munoz, Romero, Dos Reis, Aguilar, Molina, Nicolas, Soares, Maciel
Substitutes: Benitez, Sonejee, Conteh, Pinto, Lima, Fernandes

Bookings: San Nicolas, Aguilar, Dos Reis, Moya

Referee: Anders Pulsen (Denmark)

Noble - Younger players will benefit from Europa League

West Ham United midfielder Mark Noble believes the Europa League can only improve the younger players in the squad and give them vital first-team experience. Reece Oxford, Lewis Page and Reece Burke were all handed a starting place in the first qualifying round last week in front of a sell out crowd at the Boleyn Ground. Josh Cullen and Elliot Lee will also get their chance to impress when they start the second leg in Andorra on Thursday night. Noble, who also came through the ranks at West Ham United, says he would have loved the chance to experience European football at such a young age and feels it will stand them in good stead for the rest of their careers. Noble said: "I have always said that players like Lewis Page and Josh Cullen need to play games because I was lucky enough to get into the first-team at 17 and stay there for the last ten-years. "You need the experience of playing games and I'm sure they would have benefitted massively from that. "Some of them made their debuts in Europe and no-one can take that away from them. What an amazing achievement that is in front of 36,000 under the lights at the Boleyn Ground and I'm sure they will never forget it."

From the Newsroom

The Sun football correspondent Charlie Wyett is a regular visitor to the Boleyn Ground and has travelled to Andorra for Thursday's UEFA Europa League first qualifying round tie with FC Lusitans...

I am a big fan of West Ham being here and being in the Europa League. I think it's great for the supporters and the players are loving it, and it's a good way for Slaven Bilic and Terry Westley to ease in their players over the next few weeks.

I am sure that West Ham will still be in the Europa League come late August and September.

If some of the more senior players are brought into the squad over the next few weeks, I think West Ham could start the season really well, as history shows teams playing in the European qualifying rounds start the season quite well.

The key is that they don't get too tired come February or March, but that is a squad issue and down to the manager and the Board to make some big decisions and give opportunities to players in the Premier League or the Europa League.

It's a nice problem to have and I think West Ham are seeing it as a nice problem, where as some other clubs don't see it as a novelty.

To sell 35,000 tickets for the first qualifying round of the Europa League shows the appetite for European football at West Ham.

When people ask me about the size of club and West Ham, I think they are high up the list but people don't appreciate that. When a club is always playing at capacity, the only true reflection is what they take away, particularly for cup matches, and we know West Ham's away support is unbelievable.

When West Ham move to the Olympic Stadium, I personally think they will sell out every week, as long as the prices as right. People will then realise West Ham's support-base is bigger than Newcastle's and, at the moment, I think it is bigger than Chelsea's in London.

Would Chelsea get 35,000 in the first qualifying round of the Europa League? No.

On the pitch, the first leg was a good test for the West Ham team, because the Andorrans were very physical and I thought the West Ham players did well to keep their cool.

There were some nasty tackles and they were being provoked so it was a good lesson for those young players. Obviously Reece Oxford found himself in a situation where it appeared they were trying to get him sent-off, so it was a good experience.

I thought West Ham were deserved winners, but it will be difficult for them again on Thursday. The key for them again is to keep their discipline and not get any injuries. They will be good enough and will win and will show their class. I think it will be pretty comfortable.

Lusitanos 0 West Ham 1
(agg 0 - 4)
9 July 2015
Last updated at 20:53

New West Ham boss Slaven Bilic made a winning start as his 10-man team eased through their opening Europa League tie against Andorran minnows Lusitanos. The Croatian took charge for the first time and watched his youthful team follow up a 3-0 first-leg win with a comfortable victory in the return game. The Hammers played with 10 men for over 75 minutes after Diafra Sakho saw red for clashing with a home defender. But Elliot Lee slotted in the winner with his first senior Hammers goal. Bilic, 46, was accused by Lusitanos manager Xavi Roura of "lacking respect" for not taking charge of last week's reverse fixture. The former West Ham and Everton defender watched from the Boleyn Ground main stand as academy manager Terry Westley oversaw the win. But Bilic took control of a return leg which saw West Ham set up a second qualifying round tie against Maltese side Birkirkara on 16 and 23 July. The Hammers must progress through three more rounds to earn a slot in the group stage.

However, they are set to be without Senegal striker Sakho for their next three European matches after he was dismissed following an off-the-ball altercation with Lusitanos' Luigi San Nicolas. Despite the numerical disadvantage, an experimental Hammers side - featuring five players aged under 21 - rarely looked like relinquishing their advantage once 20-year-old striker Lee stroked into the bottom corner.
The east London club qualified for Europe's secondary club competition after topping the Premier League's Fair Play League last season.
English rivals Southampton and 2013 Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund enter in the third qualifying round, while 15 sides drop down from the Champions League into the final play-off round.

Angelo Ogbonna: West Ham close to signing Juventus defender
By Saj Chowdhury
BBC Sport

West Ham are close to completing the signing of Italy centre-back Angelo Ogbonna from Juventus. The Hammers have agreed a deal with the multiple Italian champions, reportedly worth £10m. Ogbonna, who joined Juve from city rivals Torino in 2013, made 31 appearances for the club last season and was an unused substitute in the Champions League final. The 27-year-old will become West Ham's fifth signing of the summer. Pedro Obiang, Dmitri Payet, Darren Randolph and Stephen Hendrie are the other players to have joined new manager Slaven Bilic's squad. Ogbonna has won 10 caps for Italy and was a member of the Euro 2012 squad, although he did not play.

Ogbonna undergoing medical ahead of West Ham switch
Filed: Thursday, 9th July 2015
By: Staff Writer

Angelo Ogbonna is currently undergoing a medical ahead of a planned move to West Ham. The 27-year-old Italian defender, who has made ten appearances for the Azzurri checked into London earlier ahead of this afternoon's medical and an estimated €12million (£8.5million) move from current club, Serie A side Juventus. KUMB revealed on Tuesday how Ogbonna - the son of Nigerian parents who emigrated to Italy - had snubbed an offer from Everton in preference of a move to London with West Ham. Should the medical pass without a hitch, expect an announcement from West Ham United confirming his signing sometime within the next 24 hours.

Five Things You Didn't Know About Angelo Ogbonna

* He became an Italian citizen shortly after his 18th birthday

* He made his Serie A debut for Torino at the age of 18, one of four appearances in his debut season

* In 2008, he nearly died after driving his car off a bridge into a river in the early hours of the morning

* He made his full international debut in Italy's 2-0 win over Poland in November 2011

* In 2013 he angered Torino fans by becoming their first captain to join rivals Juve

Fans blast 'affordable football' claims as club confirm £85 ticket
Filed: Thursday, 9th July 2015
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United have announced that a Category A ticket for the Boleyn Ground next season will cost an incredible £85. No doubt keen to maximise their income for the final season at the club's home, the Board have shocked supporters by increasing the price of the top-rated match day ticket from £77 to a whopping £85 - meaning it'll cost supporters almost £1 per minute to watch Premier League football in Upton Park next season. The club have also been heavily criticised for charging £65 for a restricted view, Category A seat, in their price list for 2015/16 as revealed this morning. Supporters reacting on the KUMB Forum this morning were unanimous in their disapproval of the new pricing structure. "Quite outrageous", commented Westbourne Bill - whose view was echoed by bubbles1966, who called the new prices "disgusting". "Add on travel from and to the Isle of Wight and you are looking at £150 a match for me alone," wrote a disappointed Ticket 2 Ryde. "I'm not short of a few quid but I can't justify that sort of out lay for 90 minutes."

And James P added: " £85 to watch a mid-table football team? It's clearly a two-fold tactic to capitalise on the increased demand for people wanting to attend in the Boleyn's final season and to inflate the "discounts" offered by the move to the OS. Very disingenuous, in my opinion."

West Ham United received almost £77million last season in Premier League prize money. In addition to their equal share of £54.1million, which is paid to all 20 member clubs, West Ham received an additional £11.1million for their final league position plus a further £11million 'facility fee' - making a total of £76.3million.

2015/16 Match Day Prices
Changes to 2014/15 prices in (brackets)

Category A
Adults: Band 1 £77 (+£8); Band 2 £75 (+£5); Band 3 £70 (+£5); Band 4 £60 (+£3).
Over 65s/Under 21s: Band 1 £45 (+£2); Band 2 £43 (+£3); Band 3 £38 (+£1); Band 4 £35 (+£1).
Restricted: Adult £65 (+£5); Over 65s/Under 21s £36 (+£1).

Category B
Adults: Band 1 £65; Band 2 £60; Band 3 £55; Band 4 £45.
Over 65s/Under 21s: Band 1 £35; Band 2 £33; Band 3 £32; Band 4 £25.
Restricted: Adult £52; Over 65s/Under 21s £30.

West Ham to hold talks with Serie A star
Filed: Thursday, 9th July 2015
By: Staff Writer

West Ham are being linked with an audacious move for Roma striker Mattia Destro. According to a KUMB source, the Hammers are hoping to pull off a sensational move for one of Serie A's most highly-rated young forwards. The 24-year-old, who has featured for his country at all levels from Under 16 right through to the first team is due to fly to London later this week for talks with West Ham. Destro has been linked with several clubs in recent weeks including Crystal Palace, Cheklsea and Monaco but the Hammers appear to have stolen a march on their rivals by bringing the striker to London for talks. He had been closely linked with a move to Ligue 1 with Monaco but that deal is understood to have fallen through over contractual obligations. More to follow on this story as it happens.

Lusitans 0-1 West Ham (Agg: 0-4): Elliot Lee nets as Hammers progress
Last Updated: 09/07/15 8:42pm

West Ham are through to the Europa League second qualifying round after a 4-0 aggregate win over Lusitans following a 1-0 second-leg win in Andorra. Youngster Elliot Lee's first goal for the club sent the Premier League side through despite seeing striker Diafra Sakho sent off in the first half with the match goalless. Slaven Bilic's side will now face Maltese outfit Birkirkara in the second round on 16 and 23 July following their 3-1 aggregate win over Ulisses.

It was Bilic's first match in the dugout for the Hammers after sitting in the stands for the 3-0 first-leg win at Upton Park last week, and it got off to an undisciplined start. Striker Sakho, who scored twice in last Thursday's win, was dismissed after an off-the-ball incident with two Lusitans players near the centre circle, despite the Frenchman's bemusement at the decision. But West Ham were one up shortly after on 22 minutes, 20-year-old former Luton loanee Lee opening his body up before finishing inside the area after good work from Matt Jarvis and Reece Oxford. West Ham were cheered on by around 500 fans in Andorra, but the travelling support witnessed a poor second half in picturesque surroundings, with neither side creating much. Late on in the second period, James Tomkins had to clear off the line after Alfi Conteh flicked on a corner, after Lee nearly grabbed his second of the game with a curling effort at the other end. West Ham are looking to reach the Europa League first round for the first time since the 2006/07 season.

Lusitans 0-1 West Ham: Diafra Sakho sees red as East Londoners ease through after 4-0 aggregate win
20:48, 9 JULY 2015
Sakho went from Europa League hero to villain by being sent off after just 14 minutes against FC Lusitans on Thursday night
The Mirror

Slaven Bilic got a first closeup look at his West Ham side – and would not have liked what he saw from Diafra Sakho. Sakho went from Europa League hero to villain by being sent off after just 14 minutes against FC Lusitans on Thursday night. Sakho's first-leg double helped the Hammers on their way to a 3-0 win which all but guaranteed their progress going into the return against the Andorran minnows.
But Sakho saw red after an off the ball incident in Bilic's West Ham dugout debut and will now miss at least the second qualifying round first leg against Maltese outfit Birkirkara next week. Rookie striker Elliott Lee's winner ensured the ten-man Hammers cruised through but Sakho's sending off was the major talking point.

Lusitans usually average 100 fans for home games but 550 showed up for the biggest game in their 16-year history, meaning they weren't outnumbered by the travelling, hardcore Hammers. Those who couldn't get into the sold out 1100 capacity Estadi Comunal, which had just two tiny stands, watched on from a campsite in the hills overlooking the ground. With allotments and the Pyrenees mountains making up the rest of the picturesque backdrop and the game played 1000m above sea level in the highest capital city in Europe West Ham are unlikely to have played in such an unusual and eye-catching setting. The niggly edge, and Lusitans' play-acting, from the first-leg continued in the second. And Sakho paid the price when he got sucked into a scuffle with Moises San Nicolas and was sent off for his part in the altercation. West Ham responded when Lee slotted in his first Hammers goal on his full debut to kill off any ideas Lusitans may have been getting of causing an upset.

As it turned out West Ham had nothing to worry about. Lusitans didn't register their first shot on target in the whole tie until the 74th minute of the second leg. Birkirkara, whose star player is 36 year-old former Italy striker Fabrizio Miccoli, will hope to provide a bit more of a test.

WEST HAM: Randolph 6; O'Brien 6 (Burke 61, 6), Tomkins 6, Oxford 7, Page 7; Almafitano 4 (Parfitt-Williams 76), Poyet 7, Cullen 7 (Nasha 86), Jarvis 7; Lee 7, Sakho 3.

Subs: Spiegel, Westley, Brown, Knoyle.

Watford are expected to land the signature of Switzerland international Valon Behrami
Last Updated: 09/07/15 1:42pm

Sky sources report that Premier League new boys Watford are expected to complete a deal for the Hamburg midfielder Valon Behrami. The Swiss international midfielder, formerly with West Ham, has not had a medical ahead of the planned move to Vicarage Road yet. But Hamburg have told the German media that Behrami has left pre-season training in order to further negotiations.
The 30-year-old joined Hamburg from Napoli last summer for £4.3m but reports suggest Watford will be able to acquire him for around half that fee. Behrami joined West Ham from Lazio in the summer of 2008 and went on to make over 50 appearances for the Hammers before returning to Italy to join Fiorentina. Meanwhile, Tottenham midfielder Benjamin Stambouli is still considering a move to Watford after the clubs agreed a fee around a week ago.

New Jenkinson loan deal moves a step closer
Posted by Sean Whetstone on July 9, 2015 in News, Whispers

Arsenal have left Carl Jenkinson out of their squad for a pre-season trip to Singapore – clearly signalling the 23-year-old fullback may be available on a loan deal for the start of the new season.

Jenkinson spent last season at West Ham and became a firm favourite with the fans, making a total of 32 appearances for the Hammers.

The right back has three years remaining on his current Emirates deal, and it's understood the Gunners are considering fending off interest in one of their brightest youngsters by offering him a new, long-term contract.

It's been mooted that the FA Cup winners will hand Jenkinson a substantial pay rise and extended contract before loaning him back to West Ham.

The England Under-21 star, who returns from his holiday in Cyprus later this week, has also been linked with Sunderland, Southampton and Everton in recent weeks.

But Jenkinson has his heart set on remaining in London and, if Arsene Wenger does decide to loan him out again, he's keen to play at the Boleyn during the club's last season at the famous ground.

Ironss keep tabs on PSG's £14m-rated Lavezzi
Posted by Sean Whetstone on July 9, 2015 in News, Whispers

West Ham could be about to swoop for PSG winger Ezequiel Lavezzi in a deal worth £14.3 million. Lavezzi's contract with the French champions runs out at the end of next season, and he is yet to strike a new deal with the Parisians , which has put several clubs – including the Hammers – on red alert. He made 47 appearances for PSG last season, scoring nine goals and chipping in with nine assists.
According to respected French newspaper Le Parisien, there is no pressure on PSG to sell the attacking midfielder – but if a good offer is made they will give it serious consideration. As well as the Hammers, Lavezzi has been linked with a move to Liverpool, Spurs and AC Milan.

No bids received for Sakho claims Jack 'the lad'
Posted by Sean Whetstone on July 9, 2015 in News, Whispers

Chairman David Sullivan would seem to be grooming son Jack to take over the reins at West Ham one day – if the 15-year-old's latest tweet is anything to go by! For young Jack has just tweeted from Andora that ace striker Sakho is not for sale at any price! "We have not received a bid for Sakho, and we will not sell him for any price," revealed Jack, who is currently with the first team as they negotiate their second-leg Europa League qualifying match against Lusitans. Sakho was the club's top goal scorer last season with 12 goals from 26 appearances – including a cherished strike against Manchester United at Old Trafford. He started the new season well, scoring two goals during last Thursday's routine 3-0 win against the plucky Andorran outfit.

Fry thanks two Daves ahead of Bilic's Posh bow
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on July 9, 2015 in News, Whispers

11 July: 3pm kick off

Barry Fry, Director of Football at Peterborough United, has sent a message of thanks to the two Davids ahead of this Saturday's pre-season friendly. Posh and the Irons line up against each other at London Road – and it will be a match that sees Slaven Bilic take full charge of the Hammers And Fry is delighted at the prospect of welcoming Bilic and the Irons. He said: "It's an honour for us. The Irons will also be the first team to step onto the pitch after we spent £200,000 relaying it. "We have been promised West Ham will put out a full first team, and with tickets priced at £10 and £5 it should be a great afternoon. "David Sullivan and David Gold are, of course, my former employers and I'm very grateful to them for giving us this fixture. The squad looks to be taking a good shape and I think it was a great call to make Slav the new boss. I think he can take you to the next level." Confirming a strong line-up for the clash against the Division One side, David Sullivan said: "We shall be sending the first team up to London Road."

Song May Face Surgery

Reports in the Daily Mail today suggest Alex Song's injury is far worst than originally thought and he may face surgery and up to three months out of action. The Mail claim Alex Song's proposed move from Barcelona to West Ham is now in doubt as club medical staff assess his injury in greater detail. The 27-year-old is thought to have agreed personal terms with West Ham but was waiting for both clubs to iron out the finer details of his free transfer fee. However, the midfielder is understood to have a piece of floating bone which may require surgery and could rule him out for up to three months. If he eventually signs would become the second highest earner again in the club at £75,000 per week after Andy Carroll at £85,000 who is returning from injury. Song has been receiving treatment at Chadwell Heath as well as strengthening work in the club gym with Hammers sports scientists.

Hammers to prioritise signing a striker
Posted by Sean Whetstone on July 8, 2015 in News, Whispers

The club's ITK has confirmed that the club will turn their attentions to a proven goal scorer once a centre back is announced later this week widely tipped to be Angelo Ogbonna.
Speaking via his regular column the Boleyn Insider announced "My understanding is when the fourth new signing is announced, the Club will turn their attentions to signing another striker/goalscorer." One name regularly linked in recent reports is Seydou Doumbia from Roma with some suggesting the Serie A side are willing to let the 27-year-old leave in order to fund a move for Edin Dzeko. The Ivory Coast international spent a five-year spell in Russia with CSKA Moscow, where he scored 61 goals in 95 games before moving to Serie A in January. He has struggled to recreate his best form for Roma scoring just two goals in 13 games. However the Daily Express claim the club are set to sign another Roma striker, 24 year old Mattia Destro on loan. The Times have suggested West Ham have joined the race for FC Sion's highly-rated Senegalese striker Moussa Konaté. The 22-year-old scored 22 goals from 33 appearances through all competitions for the Swiss outfit last season.

Midfielder loan by end of the month
Posted by Sean Whetstone on July 8, 2015 in News, Whispers

The club's ITK has also revealed that West Ham hope to sign a highly rated midfielder on loan by the end of July. The Boleyn Insider finished his column by saying "The Club are also looking to bring in another highly rated midfielder and hope a loan move will also be finalised by end of the month." Speculation has suggested the player could be Argentine midfielder Manuel Lanzini from UAE-based club Al Jazira. Reports have suggested that Lanzini has agreed to join the Hammers on a season long loan deal. Lanzini was previously linked with West Ham in the past but the former River Plate star opted for a move to Al Jazira for a fee of around £5.25million.

No TV stream for tonight's Europa League match
Posted by Sean Whetstone on July 9, 2015 in News, Whispers

West Ham's principle sponsor Betway appears to have confirmed that there will be no TV stream of tonight's Europa League second leg tie against Lusitanos. When asked whether there would be any televised stream for tonight's first qualifying round in Andorra Betway official twitter account replied "Unfortunately not – it wasn't possible. Really sorry!"

It appears West Ham fans will have to rely on website updates from the club and fans social media unless one enterprising fan decides to broadcast the match on Periscope which allows people to broadcast video from live events on their phone.

Where is teletext when you need it?

Confirmed team for tonight: West Ham starting XI: Randolph, O'Brien, Tomkins, Burke, Page, Amalfitano, Poyet, Cullen, Jarvis, Lee, Sakho.

Subs: Spiegel, S Westley, Knoyle, Oxford, Nasha, Parfitt-Williams, Brown.

Slav's priorities will put noses out of joint
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on July 9, 2015 in News, Shep's Blogs, Whispers
Rob Shepherd

Slaven Bilic made no bones when he was asked on his appointment by the West Ham owners what his priority in the transfer market was. A top centre half was Bilic's reply. The club were under the impression they were well stocked in that area with Winston Reid, James Tomkins, James Collins, and emerging young players Reece Burke, Doneil Henry, Reece Oxford plus the ability of Cheikhou Kouayae to slot in at centre back. But Bilic was adamant. Which is why his first main target has been Juventus centre back Angelo Ogbonna who is now on the brink of signing for the Hammers. Born to Nigerian parents in the Italian town of Cassino Ogbonna began his career with Torino and has won 10 Italian caps but has struggled to hold down a regular place in the Juve side. But that's largely because he has players of the calibre of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini have been ahead of him in the pecking order.
On the face of it he might not be the stellar first signing Hammers fans had hoped for but at £8 million it could prove a shrewd bit of business by Bilic who is adamant that you have to build a team from the back.

He is right of course. And those who have interpreted Bilic's strategy as somehow similar to the Sam Allardyce approach are misguided. Bilic will promote expansive attacking football, he wants flair in the final third, he wants to win with some panache but to do that he insists you need a solid foundation. It is of course the way all successful team are built.

Brian Clough built some of the most exciting attacking teams at Derby and Nottingham Forest in the Seventies and Eighties but he always focussed on his back four first. That was the Liverpool way …Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson…. were just as key to the club's success as Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush or John Barnes. And when Alex Ferguson convinced the Manchester United board he needed to spend big to rebuild the team then his first big money buy was Gary Pallister…then of course some years later he broke the British transfer record at the time to sign Rio Ferdinand.

And look at how Jose Mourinho build his teams. There are those of course who have labelled his Chelsea boring. Really ? Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas produced some sublime football last season. But they could only do that with the insurance of warriors like John Terry , Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic behind them.Yes Chelsea are mean at the back. And why not ? It won them the title.

As a centre half himself Bilic might be a bit biased but it's the way all good teams are constructed ; from the foundations up. Even Hammers fans who get misty eyed about the West Ham Way should know that.

West Ham struggled in the late Sxities and early Seventies despite all the attacking talent because after Ken Brown retired Bobby Moore lacked a decent partner. And when Mooro left Tommy Taylor lacked a consistent regular partner. It was only when Alvin Martin and Billy Bonds , later Tony Gale got together that the team enjoyed a period of success For a certain generation names like Alan Stephenson , John Cushley or Bill Green Paul Hilton and Joe Gallagher make them whince.

And the irony of the Allardyce's final season was that so many points were dropped as a consequence of conceding late goals one of the things you would have though Big Sam would have sorted.
Bilic has studied plenty of footage of last season and has clearly concluded the team is not strong enough at the centre of defence. He feels that he has to sort that out before he can start thinking about adding some colour and gloss higher up the pitch. It's not necessarily negative focussing on the back four first. It's just setting up a team from a solid base. That's plain sensible. That is why he has targeted Ogbonna whose best assets are regarded as his physical power and pace. At 27 he is experienced too and coming from Serie A ought to know a thing or two about the art of defending. Should Ogbonna sign then it is understood he would start the season alongside Winston Reid.

With the likes of Burke Oxford and Henry coming through where would that leave James Tomkins and James Collins ? Fighting their West Ham futures I would suggest. Slav's priorities may leave some noses out of joint! Bilic's ruthless streak will mean he will show no sentiment to the service both Tomkins and Collins have given. The heart of the defence is the rock on which the rest of the team can be built. That is Bilic's philosophy or in other words it's about getting Back(bone) to the Future.

Manchester United express an interest in £15m rated Diafra Sakho as Robin van Persie nears Old Trafford exit door
PUBLISHED: 14:25, 9 July 2015 | UPDATED: 14:26, 9 July 2015

Manchester United have shown an interest in West Ham striker Diafra Sakho. The Senegal international scored 12 goals in 26 appearances last season, including one in the 2-1 defeat by United at Old Trafford. Co-chairman David Gold rates Sakho highly recently saying: 'He is the one who can surprise everyone. I believe he can become a world-class striker. 'He has the passion and attributes to be one of the top forwards in the Premier League.' While United will also continue work on recruiting some of Europe's grander names, such as Thomas Muller, their scouts have been impressed by the 25-year-old Sakho who was signed for just £3.5m last summer but is now valued around £15m. West Ham also maintain an interest in signing Javier Hernandez from United although his collarbone injury means their immediate focus is on Mattia Destro from Roma. Seydou Doumbia will join Shanghai.

West Ham transfer news: Ogbonna and Jenkison set to seal Hammers deals
Evening Standard
Published: 09 July 2015 Updated: 13:51, 09 July 2015

Juventus defender Angelo Ogbonna is expected to become West Ham's third major signing of the summer in the next 48 hours in a deal worth £10 million. Ogbonna, who was an unused substitute in the Champions League Final against Barcelona, was expected to undergo a medical today. The 27-year-old centre-half, who has 10 caps for Italy, has also attracted late interest from Southampton but West Ham appear to have won the race for his signature on a four-year contract. West Ham, who have already signed Pedro Obiang and Dimitri Payet, are also close to agreeing another season-long loan for Carl Jenkinson. The Arsenal right-back impressed while at at Upton Park last term. The Hammers have a 3-0 lead going in to the second leg of their Europa League qualifier against FC Lusitans in Andorra tonight.

West Ham winger Matt Jarvis relishing fresh start under new boss Slaven Bilic
13:23, 9 JULY 2015
Former Wolves winger plans to move on from last season and make a real impression on new boss Bilic, who will give every player a chance
The Mirror

Matt Jarvis is determined to make the most of his fresh start at West Ham under Slaven Bilic. Jarvis became a then club record signing £10.75m signing when Sam Allardyce snapped him up in August 2012. But the winger dropped off the radar during the final year of Allardyce's Upton Park reign, making just four league starts all term. Jarvis has been handed an early chance to impress new boss Bilic inthe Europa League and kickstart his Hammers career. He started last week's 3-0 first-qualifying round win over FC Lusitans last week and will be in from the off again tonight in the return leg against the Andorran minnows. Jarvis said: "It is an opportunity to show the manager what you can do, a great platform to play in the Europa League. "You always have to think of yourself at some point, the main aim is to stay fit and really impress the manager. It is a fresh start for everyone. "I have spoken to him (Bilic) privately, briefly. He has told us it is a fresh start. Everyone will have an opportunity. "You want to play games, I need to get back into playing games. "Last season was frustrating but that is part and parcel of the game. I have to deal with that and try and impress and get back into the team."

Competition for places will be even hotter this year following the £10.7m arrival of attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet from Marseille. And Bilic has admitted this week that there are more signings to come for West Ham. But Jarvis said: "The squad has got stronger and we are bringing in fantastic players which will always drive the team on. Competition for places is a great boost."

Gold raves about West Ham star Diafra Sakho, believes he can become 'world class'
Olly Dawes

West Ham striker Diafra Sakho has been lauded by David Gold. West Ham co-chairman David Gold has told the club's official website that striker Diafra Sakho has the potential to become a 'world class striker'. Sakho, 25, joined the Hammers from Metz last summer, and with little expectation upon his arrival, the Senegal international become one of the surprise packages of the season. With 12 goals in 26 games, Sakho was one of West Ham's standout performers last season, and he is certainly expected to replicate that form next season. Sakho struck twice in West Ham's 3-0 win over Lusitans in the Europa League last week, getting his 2015/16 campaign off to an ideal start. Hammers co-chairman David Gold was impressed with Sakho's display, and told the club's official website that the striker has the potential to become 'world class'. "I was delighted to see Diafra Sakho get among the goals straight away," said Gold. "We have a lot of high hopes resting on Sakho next season and he is the one who can surprise everyone. I believe he can become a world class striker. He has the passion and attributes to be one of the top forwards in the Premier League." "He had an unbelievable start last season and scored eight goals in nine games which is up there with the very best. Sadly he got injured and who knows how many goals he could have finished the season with. I am pleased to say he has made a full recovery during the summer and it will be great if he can keep scoring goals heading into the new season," he added.

West Ham's leading forward?

Next term, manager Slaven Bilic will be looking to see Sakho lead the line on a regular basis, with fellow forward Andy Carroll encountering a number of injury problems in recent years.
During Bilic's time as Besiktas boss, the Croatian regularly deployed a 4-2-3-1 system with Demba Ba - formerly of West Ham - leading the line. Sakho possesses many of the athletic qualities that made Ba so effective under Bilic, and he will now be looking for Sakho to have a similar impact next season.

Why West Ham missing out on Yohan Cabaye could be a blessing in disguise
Damien Lucas

West Ham United are reportedly set to miss out on Paris St Germain star Yohan Cabaye as he nears a switch to Crystal Palace, but that could be a good thing. The Eagles are said to have a agreed a deal worth a much a £13 million to reunite the former Newcastle United star with his old manager Alan Pardew in London, as per the Daily Mail. Palace are said to have beaten London rivals West Ham to the Frenchman's signature in what is surely one of the coups of the summer transfer window.

Could missing out on Cabaye be a blessing in disguise?

The Hammers' interest appeared to be genuine. But missing out on Cabaye, despite his utter class, could actually be the best thing that happens to Slaven Bilic's side this season.
The Hammers have already signed goalkeeper Darren Randolph and midfielders Dimitri Payet and Pedro Obiang to add to left back Stephen Hendrie - who was signed in January but only officially joined the club on July 1st. A new centre back is due in east London for a medical on Thursday as revealed by co-owner David Sullivan's son Jack on Twitter and deals for last season's loan stars Alex Song and Carl Jenkinson are also in the offing, as per the Daily Mirror.

French international teammates too similar?

But it is the £10.7 million signing of attacking midfielder Payet which is crucial in this case given the similarities between the former Marseille man and his French international teammate Cabaye. By signing Payet, the Hammers sent a message out to the rest of the Premier League and Europe this summer. A player blessed with great skill who is not afraid to take people on and go for goal, he comfortably created more chances for his team than any other player in Europe's top five leagues last season with 135 - 40 more than the likes of Barcelona's Lionel Messi. The France international had the second highest number of assists last season behind Messi and the season before finished top of that same table.

Payet a more devastating player

But would West Ham have got the best out of him if they had signed Cabaye? Like a composer in the middle of the park, an in-form Cabaye controls the game for his teams and weighs in with his fair share of goals and assists. However, his presence would almost certainly have marginalised Payet, who has been deadly for Marseille since being moved to a more central no.10 role by maverick manager Marcelo Bielsa. SEE ALSO: Mark Noble pleads with West Ham owners over transfers Side by side Payet's stats are head and shoulders above Cabaye. And while the diminutive star may have the advantage of knowing his way around the Premier League, you can't help but feel it would have been £13 million better spent elsewhere for the Hammers.

Aymen Abdennour has 'no favourite' as Liverpool and West Ham offers confirmed
PUBLISHED: 07:34, Thu, Jul 9, 2015 | UPDATED: 07:50, Thu, Jul 9, 2015

The Monaco defender's agent Abdelkader Jilani revealed that a host of top European clubs including Liverpool were in for him in June. He told Foot Mercato: "There are clubs who have approached us and who will enter into contact with Monaco. "There is AC Milan, Inter Milan, Barcelona and Liverpool. Juventus – they've already seen Monaco. I don't think that Monaco will prevent Abdennour from leaving." And now, according to Spanish newspaper AS Diario, a member of Abdennour's family has compounded the rumours, suggesting he is considering offers from Liverpool and the Hammers. "There are [contacts between Atletico Madrid and Monaco], but there are also [contacts] with teams in Italy, in England and in Spain. "As of today, Abdennour has no favourite. Milan, West Ham and Liverpool have shown interest, but he wants to wait for an agreement between clubs before taking a decision. [Atletico] are a combative club, like him, and one with history.

Alex Song move to West Ham from Barcelona in doubt due to injury which could rule him out for up to three months
PUBLISHED: 22:55, 8 July 2015 | UPDATED: 05:41, 9 July 2015

Alex Song's proposed move from Barcelona to West Ham is in doubt as they assess his injury. The 27-year-old had agreed terms with West Ham and was waiting for the clubs to iron out the finer details of his transfer fee. However, the midfielder is understood to have a piece of floating bone which may require surgery and could rule him out for up to three months. Song was at Upton Park last week for treatment and was in the stands for the first leg of their Europa League tie with Lusitans. A deal for Al Jazira midfielder Manuel Lanzini is agreed while Juventus defender Victor Ogbonna is due in London on Thursday to finalise his £8.5m transfer. West Ham will not be making a late charge for Yohan Cabaye who has agreed to join Crystal Palace in a £10m deal that will rise to £12.7m.


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