Monday, July 20

Daily WHUFC News - 20th July 2015

Westley pleased with professionalism

Terry Westley hailed the professionalism of his youngsters as West Ham
United's Development Squad opened their pre-season schedule with a 4-0 win
at Chelmsford City. Jordan Brown scored twice, while winger Nathan Mavila
and former Chelmsford loanee Jaanai Gordon were also on target as the young
Hammers swept their National League South hosts aside at Melbourne Stadium.
Academy Manager Westley was delighted to see his players overcome a
difficult opening half-hour against older, more physically developed
opponents to go ahead before the break and go on to produce a sparkling
second half display capped with three well-taken goals. "For some of them
who came back on 22 June and were in the first Europa League squad, that was
their first real game," Westley observed. "They've been in training for a
while but they needed and match and to go to Chelmsford was a competitive
match and our players have got to be able to play to a certain standard.
"Where before I've looked at our team and thought we'd be in for a difficult
game, in the second half we showed some very talented young players who
moved the ball quickly and opened them up. The end result was a terrific
display from us. "It took a while and if we start like that as Premier
League footballers, as we want them to be, the game would have been dead
because we didn't start brightly enough or compete enough. As the game went
on, we grew into it and shifted the ball well and had too much for them in
the end."

The second half saw Westley hand opportunities to a number of his younger
charges, including winger Marcus Browne, England U17 striker Jahmal
Hector-Ingram and midfielder George Dobson, who has been training with the
club in recent weeks. "I was really pleased with some of the young ones who
came on and showed a real understanding of what we wanted and a little bit
of steel to go alongside that. "Reece Oxford, Josh Pask, Amos Nasha and Josh
Cullen were all involved on Saturday at Southend too in the senior group and
had to come off, so the younger group had a chance to come on and did well –
Marcus Browne, George Dobson who we hope to complete the signing of this
week, Sam Westley and Jahmal Hector-Ingram, while Jordan Brown took his
goals well."

Westley said many of his players had clearly benefitted from training
alongside the likes of Diafra Sakho, James Tomkins and Matt Jarvis during
the opening fortnight of pre-season, when they were part of the same group
in Cork and for the Europa League clashes with Andorran side FC Lusitans.
"That was the absolute pinnacle of integration and cohesion throughout the
whole Club, with our players and staff mixing with their first-team
counterparts," said Westley. "I've seen Sakho and Tomkins joining in with
the young lads, talking to them about the game and I think a real example of
the benefit of that was Lewis Page, who already looks like he is above this
level now, and it's happened in a month. "If you can continue that mixing in
together, that's how Southampton and Manchester United have done it. If you
mix young players in with the older, better players, you will see

*A Hammers Under-17 side defeated Dagenham & Redbridge 4-0 in a pre-season
match at Little Heath on Saturday.

Pike enjoying first team experience

West Ham United's Alex Pike stated his ambition of staying involved with the
first team squad after impressing in pre-season friendlies against
Peterborough United and most recently Southend United. In a 3-2 victory
over the Shrimpers, the 18-year-old right-back looked composed on the ball
and solid in a defence which included new signing Angelo Ogbonna. Speaking
after the match in Essex, played in baking conditions, Pike said: "Hopefully
I can stay in and around the first team as much as possible. I just want to
keep on pushing."Fingers crossed the opportunities continue to come. We've
got a busy schedule, so hopefully I get another run out. Everyone needs to
continue to work hard and impress the manager in order to get the chances."

Another new player that impressed the travelling fans was undoubtedly
Dimitri Payet, who scored two excellent goals in a man-of-the-match
performance. The Frenchmen looked lively throughout his 70-minute debut,
creating a number of chances for his teammates. Pike, among many others,
was suitably impressed: "Dimitri is a brilliant player, he's probably the
best I've ever played with. He's unbelievable on the ball and he's going to
add a lot to our team this year."

As the Irons continue their busy pre-season schedule with three games next
week, including a trip to Malta, Pike explained that he believed the Hammers
will reap the benefits come the start of the season. "It was a tiring match,
it was pretty hot out there so you tire quicker. I was pleased with how I
started and I thought I was good on the ball. But I struggled a bit as the
game went on. "I think Saturday has helped massively with my fitness. I've
still got a bit to go, but the 70-odd minutes I got today really helped.
"At the end of the day, a win is always nice, even in a friendly. It's
obviously better than a draw or a defeat. Hopefully we can push on from

Poyet on Payet: 'what a player!'
Filed: Sunday, 19th July 2015
By: Staff Writer

Diego Poyet was full of praise for his new team mate Dimitri Payet yesterday
following the French international's match-winning debut at Roots Hall. The
club's most expensive signing of the summer (so far) chipped in with a
couple of goals and an assist to wow the travelling Hammers faithful at
sunny Southend on Saturday afternoon - as well as one or two of his team
mates. That included fellow midfielder Diego Poyet, who told KUMB after the
match that he believes Payet is going to set the Premier League alight this
season. "What a player!" he exclaimed, when asked about the £11million
signing. "Some of us have seen him play in the past and for others, the
first time they saw him was today. Now you've seen what he can do - he could
have had three or four assists. "He scored two goals and the third took a
massive deflection, but it was all down to him. So he's a great addition to
the team and the squad, and I'm sure he's going to create a lot of goals
this year."

As for his own performance in West Ham's 3-2 win, Poyet says he is just
happy to be playing at the moment having barely featured last season, his
first at the club since moving from Charlton the previous summer. "It was a
good day," he surmised. "It was a bit end to end but obviously players got
minutes in a good solid competitive game and we're happy to win at the end
of the day. "I love playing. It's either running in training or running
whilst playing a game - and I personally prefer playing for 90 minutes, so
I'm loving it. Every player wants to play games. "If you say to someone
would you rather run for an hour-and-a-half three or four times a week or
play a game, I'm sure every player would rather play a game. So we're really

"Everyone's getting minutes so it's good for the whole team. I think that
pretty much every player - apart from the few who have only just joined us -
have already got 90 minutes under their belt, so it's great for everyone."

English players quota: yes or no?
Filed: Sunday, 19th July 2015
By: Geoff Toates

His holiness, Greg Dyke, who to the best of my knowledge has never
previously been involved in football in either a playing, or administrative,
capacity has decided, demanded almost, that in order to save the English
national team from international oblivion Premier League clubs must adhere
to a quota, whereby a minimum number of players should be 'home grown'.

Now I don't know what anyone else thinks but I support West Ham, as do the
massive majority who use this website. I want to see the best players we can
afford playing for our club and I frankly don't give a damn what passport
they hold.

Like most others I would be delighted to see another Rio Ferdinand or Frank
Lampard emerge from our once-famed Academy, and nobody is going to tell me
that their talents would have been stifled by having to compete with
overseas signings. But if the talent isn't emerging, as sadly has been the
case in recent years, I expect the club to invest in the first team to
ensure we can compete.

Which leads us quite nicely into another issue. The over-inflated transfer
fees required to sign English qualified players. Our record signing is Andy
Carroll who cost a £15 million transfer fee and, by all accounts, a king's
ransom by way of a salary. Not too far behind comes Matt Jarvis who, if
memory serves, cost us around £7million when we bought him from Wolves.

I don't believe anyone, West Ham supporter or otherwise, would seriously
expect us to believe either of those signings can be compared, in terms of
value, to similar players signed either by us or other clubs at our level of
the game. It was widely reported in the press a while back that David
Sullivan would have preferred it had we signed Wilfred Bony instead of
Carroll but, and credit to him for doing so, he backed the then manager and
went with Allardyce's preference.

Bony was a cheaper option, in part because he is foreign. Similarly I
believe Jarvis' fee was inflated because of his nationality. So if there are
not only better, but cheaper, options to be found elsewhere can anyone blame
the clubs for looking away from these shores for their acquisitions?
Hopefully time will prove that we have been better served signing Dimitri
Payet, Angelo Ogbonna and Pedro Obiang than we would have had we shelled out
fees for English players currently being bandied about.

Is Raheem Sterling seriously worth approximately four times as much as
Payet? John Stones will supposedly cost Chelsea around £28million when they,
as they probably will, eventually land him. Is he really that much better
than Ogbonna? I would suggest not.

But the values of Sterling and Stones are, in part, influenced by the quota
rules and regulations. If something is in short supply it will cost more.
That has always been the case and always will be. And artificial quotas
won't change the laws of economics, they will simply reinforce them.

I believe if talent exists it will rise to the surface. Trevor Brooking, to
his credit, realised that, for example, it was bloody stupid expecting young
kids to play football on a pitch designed for adults. So young kids are now
playing on pitches designed for them. 9 and 10-year-old goalkeepers are no
longer expected to protect a full size goal.

Pitches are shorter and narrower to reflect the fact that the kids playing
on them are smaller. And the rule I particularly like is that when a goal
kick is taken in a kids game the opposition have to retreat behind the half
way line. The idea being that kids are encouraged to play and bring the ball
out, rather than hoof it upfield as far as possible.

In time those measures will, I believe, improve the quality of young English
players. Obviously ability and skill alone won't allow kids to reach the top
of the game. Hard work and dedication are also necessary. But at least
Brooking's measures should improve the quality of the raw material, and I
hope, the enjoyment kids get actually playing the game.

In my view the imposition of quotas will, if anything, reduce the quality
rather than increase it. Would Chelsea be, for example, looking at Stones,
presumably as John Terry's eventual replacement, if they were able to choose
any central defender without adhering to a quota? And in the long term would
it not be better for Stones, and Sterling, to continue playing regularly for
their clubs than becoming bit part players, which many reckon they will, at
Manchester City and Chelsea?

His holiness Mr Dyke maintains it is the large number of foreign imports
into the English game that are holding back the national squad. His holiness
was born in 1947 which means he is old enough to remember English
international football's finest moment. But he should also be able to
remember that England failed to qualify for the 1974 and 1978 World Cups and
that we have never really achieved anything of note in the European

Many of those failures Mr Dyke were back in the time when the nearest thing
we saw to a 'foreign' player was the latest import from St Mirren or Dundee
United. Just as schools are, thankfully, moving away from the 'everyone must
win' philosophy I think that football should be looking for ongoing
improvement, not by lowering the overall standard but by encouraging

We have made a start by introducing many of Trevor Brooking's measures. It
obviously won't happen overnight, but let's give it a chance to bear fruit.

By HamburgHammer 19 Jul 2015 at 08:08
West Ham till I Die

Some of you may remember an article I wrote around the beginning of the
previous season with the headline "Andy Carroll – we want you to play".
Another year on and that desire hasn't really changed for me. But just like
last season things aren't quite as simple as that (when have things ever
been straightforward at our club ?).

Recent news from the usually trustworthy Guardian claim that Carroll could
actually be out till mid-October after injuring a medial ligament in one
knee during the Southampton game, not being able to come off because all
substitutions had been made at that point.

That all happened quite a long time ago, February to be precise. I remember
this game so vividly as it was the last game I followed on an internet
stream, albeit with a rather absent mind, sitting literally three metres
away from my sick mom's bed, with her still being alive at that point only
to die just two days later on Friday the 13th.

While it obviously isn't a question for me personally what was the greater
tragedy of the two, of course for West Ham the latest in a long line of
Carroll injuries and niggles was a nightmare of epic proportions, especially
considering how much money has been spent on our top earner Carroll in terms
of transfer fee and wages and how little the club has received back in the
shape of minutes on the pitch and goals in the net.

Since he arrived on a permanent deal at West Ham he has appeared 27 times
for us, scoring seven goals. Needless to say that the ratio between outlay
from the club and output from Carroll has been quite atrocious. With Carroll
as a devoted fan at least you gain some insider knowledge in the field of
health and medicine.

Most of us didn't know before if plantar fasciitis was something to eat, a
rare kind of orchid or indeed a very nasty injury causing pain and
inflammation of a thick band of tissue located in the heel of your foot. At
the end of the day it doesn't really matter if it is heel, ankle, knee,
shoulder, hamstring or the groin.

What is important is that Carroll seems to be injury prone, not helped by
the way he tends to go into challenges at full pelt, no matter where on the
pitch or what phase of the game. If Carroll cannot change this approach, the
next injury is just lurking on the next corner.

Checking out injury data on Carroll on transfermarkt in his time at West Ham
alone the Geordie striker was out through injury for a total of 565 days
(loan period included), missing a total of 66 games. Talking of positive
things, I love Carroll when he actually plays, on his day the man is
unplayable and he has a lot more to his bow than just being a battering ram
useful for knocking down balls to teammates. Yes, he can do that, but he has
already scored some lovely goals with his feet, showing great skill and
The prospect of him striking up a partnership with Sakho, Zarate or a new
striker yet to be signed, the vision of him running onto throughballs or
converting crosses from Payet or Kouyate is mouthwatering.

All of which obviously will ony come to fruition if Carroll both gets
healthy and stays healthy for the majority of the season. The aforementioned
Guardian artcile mentioned that West Ham were taking a very cautious
approach with Carroll this time, giving him all the time to heal properly,
get in shape and match fit in his own time without rushing him back too
early or putting too much of a goalscoring burden on him too soon.

I am very hapy with that approach, no matter how frustrating it is to again
having to play the waiting game. This is not just about being a slow or fast
healer though.
West Ham and Carroll himself need to find a way to somewhat tame his bullish
effort and aggression on the pitch.

It goes without saying we want the new Carroll jogging about the pitch
lazily. But if it makes any sense, Carroll needs to be more economical with
his determination and effort.
I'm sure not only Bilic, but everybody at West Ham, including most fans,
would love to see what a healthy Carroll can do over the course of an entire
season or at least six or seven months in a row. I want to give Carroll the
benefit of the doubt again. Once again I hope this time the worst is behind
him and his next big injury, if any, is years away.
It's time to finally repay West Ham's patience with more games, more minutes
on the pitch overall, more goals.

West Ham appear to be doing all the right things with Carroll this time to
prevent another long-term injury from happening. Will Carroll be able to do
the same and do his bit ?

West Ham transfers: Everton's Kevin Mirallas subject of £6m Hammers bid
22:30, 18 JULY 2015
Spurs seemed to be leading the race for the Belgium international's
signature but now their neighbours are keen to press ahead with their own
The Mirror

West Ham have tabled a bid of £6million with Everton for Kevin Mirallas,
writes Neil Moxley in the Sunday People. The Hammers have moved into the
race to rival Spurs for the signature of the Belgium international.
Tottenham had hoped to use Aaron Lennon as a makeweight in any swap deal
involving the winger. But it appears new Irons boss Slaven Bilic is keen to
press ahead with a straight deal and has made the Toffees a cash offer.
Mirallas has just one year left on his deal and has fallen out of favour
with boss Roberto Martinez. However, Everton are unlikely to accept West
Ham's offer and are understood to be holding out for around £8m.

Report: Irons offer £6m for Everton star
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on July 19, 2015 in News, Whispers

West Ham have reportedly had a £6 million bid for Kevin Miralles turned down
with Everton looking for £8 million. The Irons are locked into a battle with
Spurs for the player and have apparently upped their interest since
Manchester United put an immediate block on Javier Hernandez leaving Old
Traford. A report in the Sunday People claims that Spurs had hoped to use
Aaron Lennon in any swap deal but that Slaven Bilic wants to press ahead
with a straight cash deal and that the club has made the Toffees an offer.
Mirallas has just one year left on his deal and has fallen out of favour
with boss Roberto Martinez.

New signing is out injured
Posted by Sean Whetstone on July 19, 2015 in News, Whispers

First team coach Julian Dicks has confirmed Pedro Obiang is out injured at
the moment with a knock. Asked why Obiang hadn't featured for the Hammers
yet, Dicks replied on twitter "He has featured but at moment he has a
injury" The 23 year old former Sampdoria midfielder signed for an
undisclosed fee believed to be around £4.5 million on a five year contract.
The defensive midfielder who scored three goals in 34 appearances for
seventh placed Sampdoria last season in Italy was due to play in last
Thursday's Europa League game against Birkirkara before being replaced by
Matt Jarvis due to an injury. He also failed to make the pre season friendly
squad against Southend on Saturday when fellow new signing Payet scored a
brace and Ogbonna made his debut.

Adrian: New boss has changed a lot of things
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on July 19, 2015 in News, Whispers

Adrian has declared things are changing and and that the Slaven Bilic style
is on the way in. The crowd favourite declared: "We have changed a lot of
things. Now, with this manager, we play a more passing style, (the ball)
quick to the side and to put the cross in, players going forwards, starting
with the defence to create our game. "It is a different style, so we need to
adapt to the new manager and the new manager needs to adapt to the team, to
get a strong squad and to be perfect when we start the Premier League."
Comapring Slav to the former manager he said: "They are different persons
and each person is different with different qualities – Sam Allardyce had
good qualities and now it is (Slaven) Bilic. "It is different — another
style to play and other things."

Former Hammer scores for Chairboys
Posted by Sean Whetstone on July 19, 2015 in News, Whispers

Former Hammer Sean Maguire is on trial with Wycombe Wanderers and was one of
three trialists who accompanied Gareth Ainsworth's squad on their pre-season
tour to France.

The 21-year-old Irish international tapped in from a cross to score Blues'
solitary goal in a 2-1 defeat against the third tier French side on

The striker is available on a free transfer after his release from West Ham,
where he failed to make a single first team appearance after signing from
Waterford in January 2013.

Originally dubbed the Irish Messi by his former chairman at Waterford, the
Republic of Ireland under-21 international played 34 times for Accrington
Stanley last season, scoring eight times while on loan from West Ham.

Former Leicester midfielder in talks with Irons
Posted by Sean Whetstone on July 19, 2015 in News, Whispers

Former Leicester City midfielder Esteban Cambiasso has held talks with West
Ham, according to The Sun.

Cambiasso,34, is a free agent following the expiration of his contract at
Leicester City where he managed fve goals in 31 appearances.

The Sun on Sunday are today reporting that West Ham have held talks with the
player and suggest Bilic is keen to bring him to the Boleyn Ground.

Aston Villa are also said to be interested but have not held talks with the
player as yet.

Other reports say there is also interest from the MLS, the Indian Super
League and Turkish outfit Besiktas formally managed by Bilic. Leicester City
are hoping he decides to re-sign with them with 3 weeks remaining before the
Premier League season begins.

Ravel injury blow for Lazio
Posted by Sean Whetstone on July 19, 2015 in News, Whispers

Former Hammer Ravel Morrison may be looking at a lengthy spell recovering
from an injury before Lazio's season even starts.

Morrison was involved in Lazio's friendly against Vicenza yesterday, but had
to be helped from the pitch by club physios after picking up an injury in
the 20th minute of the match.

According to Italian daily Il Messaggero, there is considerable fear in
Italy that Ravel has seriously damaged his ligaments.

If ligament fears are confirmed, the midfielder could be looking at a
lengthy spell out of action.

Phil Brown asked Bilic to sub Payet
Posted by Sean Whetstone on July 19, 2015 in News, Whispers

Dimtri Payet scored two goals on his debut against Southend, and Southend
Manager Phil Brown admitted he even asked Slaven Bilic to take the playmaker
off to make it a fairer contest. "I'm delighted for my chairman and for the
Club that West Ham played a strong squad," Brown told Southend's official
website. "There was one player – Dimitri Payet – who showed absolute quality
and I asked Slaven [Bilic] whether he was going to take him off, and make it
more of an even game!"

Tomkins to Newcastle rumour recycled
Posted by Sean Whetstone on July 19, 2015 in News, Whispers

The James Tomkins to Newcastle rumour is becoming as predictable in the
transfer window as Harry Redknapp speaking through his car window in some
car park.

Today the Sunday People suggests that Newcastle are 'monitoring' James
Tomkins situation after the arrival of Angelo Ogbonna.

James Tomkins has scored twice in Europa League qualifiers including the
sole goal and winner in the 90th minute last Thursday against Birkirkara and
captaining the previous Europa match.

Back in February James Tomkins signed a new five a half year contract to
keep him a Hammer until the summer of 2020. Tomkins told the club's website
at the time:

"I think it's brilliant that the Club has shown faith in me and offered me
this deal and I'm delighted to sign it, I've been here since I was seven and
this is a long-term deal which is going to take me up until I'm in my
thirties, so it's nice to commit my future here."

"Being a West Ham fan, I want to spend my future here as it is exciting
times with the Olympic Stadium move coming up in 2016, The Club is going in
the direction I wanted it to go and I want to be involved in. It's exciting
all-round, for the Club and for me"

Alex Song to Birmingham?
Posted by Sean Whetstone on July 19, 2015 in News, Whispers

It appears Prime Minister David Cameron is not the only person to get mixed
up between West Ham and Aston Villa.

Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo says today that Alex Song looks likely to
be off to Birmingham, but then they also mentioned Slaven Bilic and his
desire for the player, and West Ham.

It seems the newspaper is mixed up over the Claret and Blue kits of Aston
Villa and West Ham believing the Irons to be located in Birmingham.

Maybe putting the words London on the West Ham crest from next season when
we move to the Olympic Stadium won't be such as a bad thing even as a simple
reminder of which city we actually play in.

Report: Lanzini to fly to London on Monday
Posted by Sean Whetstone on July 19, 2015 in News, Whispers

Argentinian journalist Cesar Luis Merlo claims Manuel Lanzini flies to
London on Monday to finalize details and sign a one year loan deal with West

The 22 year old play maker is believed to to have already agreed a loan deal
in principle with an option for a permanent transfer after Stewart
Downing's move to Middlesbrough on Thursday.

He hit eight goals in 24 appearances to help Al Jazira Club in the UAE
finish second in the Arabian Gulf League last season.

He 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.


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