Friday, July 3

Daily WHUFC News - 3rd July 2015

Hammers secure first leg advantage

A brace from man-of-the-match Diafra Sakho and a James Tomkins header
rounded off a convincing, if unspectacular match. On a humid evening in
east London the Hammers were well in control for the majority of the game,
however it took 40 minutes to convert their dominance into goals. In fact,
it was visitors, FC Lusitans, which had the first chance of the game as Jose
Romero tried his luck from the edge of the box.

In a rather sluggish opening, the Hammers best chances came down the left
through Matt Jarvis, whose pace and direct running led to several half

In Slaven Bilic's first game as West Ham manager, the Hammers named three
debutants. New signing Darren Randolph started in goal and was largely
untroubled, while Academy graduates Lewis Page and Reece Oxford made the
step up from the Development Squad to make their senior debuts.

At just 16 years and 198 days, Oxford became the youngest West Ham player
ever, playing in central midfield alongside Diego Poyet. After a few initial
nervous touches, the England U17 captain grew into the game.

As the temperature began to finally cool down, the match heated up as hefty
challenges flew in. Into the book went young Oxford, although it appeared as
though the Andorrans were making the most of it.

The Irons continued to pile on the pressure, launching a series of balls
into the box yet they struggled to find either Diafra Sakho or Mauro Zarate.

The deadlock was eventually breached five minutes from the break as Mauro
Zarate, the Hammers brightest player in the first half, burst forward,
beating two men before chipping an inviting cross for Diafra Sakho to head
home from close range.

A full house at the Boleyn Ground cheered with a mixture of delight and
relief as the first chorus of 'Diafra Sakho, he scores when he wants!' rang
around the stadium.

No sooner had two additional minutes been added when the Hammers doubled
their lead through last season's top goalscorer.

Morgan Amalfitano combined with livewire Zarate with a delicate one-two to
give the Frenchmen the freedom of the penalty area. He could have shot
himself, yet he unselfishly pulled it back for Sakho who rolled it home with
consummate ease.

The half time whistle was greeted with a rousing cheer as the Hammers were
in firm control of the tie. A minutes' applause to mark a year since former
Ladies' player Katie Sheppard tragically died was impeccably observed.

Knowing they had to change things round to keep their dream of progressing
alive, Lusitans made two changes, Alfi Conteh and Edu Moya came on in place
of San Nicolas and Aguilar.

Yet the Hammers kept the pressure up as Lewis Page swung in a wonderful
cross which Sakho could not quite connect to. Seconds later Amaliftano went
close to sealing the victory, first seeing an effort saved well by
goalkeeper Geraldo Rubio before trying his luck from 40 yards out. Rubio
again was on hand to tip the midfielder's effort over.

The chances kept falling for the hosts, Oxford drilled a thirty effort that
fell agonizingly wide of the post.

The Hammers third came courtesy of captain James Tomkins. On his first start
since recovering from injury, the 26-year-old nodded home Jarvis's dinked

With a comfortable cushion established, Westley brought on Josh Cullen who
crashed a shot against the bar, making his senior debut, while Elliot Lee
replaced Sakho. Both substitutes went close to extending the lead however
Rubio was doing his best, single-handedly at time, to limit the damage.

Westley's final change of the evening was to award Djair Parfitt-Williams,
another highly rated Academy prospect, his debut, replacing Zarate who
departed to a standing ovation.

In the final exchanges, the Hammers could, and really should, have extended
their lead. Tomkins and Burke both went close from set pieces while Elliot
Lee twisted and turned majestically, almost teeing up Parfitt-Williams for
what would have been a dream debut. However the tally stuck at three.

West Ham United: Randolph, Tomkins ©, Jarvis, Zarate (Parfitt-Williams 73),
Sakho (Lee 62), O'Brien (Cullen 60), Amalfitano, Poyet, Burke, Oxford, Page
Substitutes: Spiegel (GK), Westley, Knoyle, Nasha

Goals: Sakho 40, 45, Tomkins 57

Bookings: Oxford

FC Lusitans: Rubio, Crespo, Moi, Peter, Romero, Reis (c), Aguilar (Conteh
45), Molina, Nicolas (Moya 45), Franclim (Sonajee 54), Maciel
Substitutes: Pires, Lima, Fernandes, Benitez (GK)

Bookings: Franclim, Aguilar, Sonajee

Players surprise Murphy

It was a 60th birthday to remember for lifelong fan Kieran Murphy who was
given the ultimate surprise when he met his Hammers heroes at the Club's
training camp in Cork.

Murphy was under the impression he was being taken out for the day, but was
shocked to discover that he was actually going to meet a number of
first-team players including Hammer of the Year Aaron Cresswell, James
Collins and Mark Noble.

There is a strong West Ham United connection in the Murphy household as
Kieran's Uncle Tommy Moroney played for the Hammers back in the 1940's and
made over 150 appearances for the Club.

Murphy says this will be a day he will never forget and cannot thank the
players enough for the warm welcome they showed him after training.

Murphy said: "This is not a bad way for me to celebrate my birthday. I
cannot thank them enough for looking after me on my 60th birthday and this
is a great surprise.

"I watch them on television and to now meet them in person, they are a great
bunch of lads. I met Mark Noble when he was playing for the England
Under-21s against Ireland about six seasons ago.

"My Uncle played over 150 games for West Ham in the famous number six shirt.
The Boleyn Ground holds a lot of special memories and hopefully we will be
able to get over for the final season."

West Ham 3 Lusitanos 0
2 July 2015
Last updated at 21:53

West Ham began their long journey towards the Europa League group stage with
a comfortable first-leg victory over Andorran side Lusitanos.
Striker Diafra Sakho scored twice and James Tomkins added a third to put the
Hammers in control of the first qualifying-round tie. They were watched by a
capacity crowd of about 35,000, as well as new manager Slaven Bilic, who was
in the stands but not in charge.The second leg takes place on 9 July. The
Hammers qualified for the Europa League via the Fair Play League and their
reward was a first match of the 2015-16 season 40 days after the final
Premier League match of the 2014-15 campaign. But despite the lack of a
significant summer break, there was an upbeat atmosphere at Upton Park, with
Bilic receiving a rousing reception when he was presented to the crowd
before kick-off.
With the 46-year-old Croat assuming a watching brief, academy manager Terry
Westley took charge, and he had to endure a frustrating wait before seeing
his side make the breakthrough. Despite their dominance, it took until the
40th minute for the Hammers to take the lead, Senegal striker Sakho heading
in from six yards after Mauro Zarate's cross from the right. They doubled
their advantage just before half-time when Sakho converted Morgan
Amalfitano's cutback from close range. Sakho and Zarate were two of the more
senior players in a line-up which mixed experience and youth. Midfielder
Reece Oxford was given his debut and, in the process, the 16-year-old became
the youngest player to represent the club. But it was experience which made
the difference, Tomkins adding the third goal from a Matt Jarvis cross just
before the hour mark with a close-range header to put West Ham in control of
the tie.

West Ham 3-0 FC Lusitanas: Diafra Sakho at the double
Last Updated: 02/07/15 10:11pm

Diafra Sakho scored twice as West Ham eased past FC Lusitans 3-0 in the
first-leg of the first qualifying round of the Europa League.
New West Ham manager Slaven Billic was introduced before the game to a
sell-out crowd, who were lapping up the sunshine at this unusual time of the
year for a competitive fixture. The Hammers had academy manager Terry
Westley in temporary charge for the visit of the Andorrans and Sakho grabbed
two first-half goals before James Tomkins headed home a third on 59 minutes.
Westley decided to play a youthful side that included Reece Oxford, who
became West Ham's youngest-ever first-team player at just 16 years and 198
days old.
The central midfielder was thrust straight into the action and found himself
in the referee's book after 15 minutes as he was a little bit too eager to
impress and left his studs in on Pablo Aguilar. One of the more experience
heads in the side was Sakho and he should have given his side the lead on 30
minutes but he could only head over the crossbar from six yards after some
good work down the right by Joey O'Brien. The home fans would have been
starting to sweat a little more profusely as the half wore on as their side
struggled to break down the dogged visitors – but the opening goal did
eventually come on 37 minutes. Sakho was the man on the scoresheet, meeting
a Mauro Zarate cross from the right with a powerful header. That goal was
just the start for the hosts, who doubled their lead right on half-time.
Sakho again finished off a delivery from the right after some quick build up
by play from O'Brien and Zarate. Things slowed to pre-season pace in the
second-period but West Ham were always in the ascendancy and Tomkins headed
home 14 minutes into the half after some nice work by Matt Jarvis. Westley
rang the changes in the last 25 minutes with Josh Cullen putting in an
impressive cameo that deserved a goal. He went close with five minutes
remaining but his cultured shot from the edge of the box cannoned back off
the crossbar. The teams meet again in Andorra for the second leg on Thursday
9 July.

West Ham 3-0 Lusitans: Slaven Bilic receives Upton Park welcome
By Adam Bate at Upton Park
Last Updated: 02/07/15 10:13pm

The Slaven Bilic era kicked off with a 3-0 win over Lusitans in the first
round of Europa League qualifying on Thursday night, reports Adam Bate.
There was optimism in the air as well as the bubbles at Upton Park as the
Slaven Bilic era began in relative style with a convincing 3-0 win over
Andorran side Lusitans. Smart pricing had ensured that it was a sell-out of
34,966 to kick off the club's emotional final season at the Boleyn Ground
and the fans were in the mood to enjoy themselves in the summer sun. On the
face of it, there wasn't too much to get excited about in the Hammers
line-up. After all, reserve goalkeeper Darren Randolph was the only new
arrival among the starters. It was all more Diego Poyet than Dimitri Payet,
but the supporters were soon on the feet when Bilic was introduced to the
crowd. His 18 months here as a player have clearly not been forgotten. "We
know he understands what the supporters want and will bring exciting,
attacking football this season," claimed West Ham's co-owners David Sullivan
and David Gold in their programme notes. "He certainly knows the West Ham
way." There was no mention of Sam Allardyce but the perceived functionality
of his Hammers side provides the context for this fan-friendly appointment.
We know he understands what the supporters want and will bring exciting,
attacking football this season. He certainly knows the West Ham way.

Bilic used his own address to set out his aim "to play good football and to
win matches" for West Ham. The Croat didn't specify an order of priority but
Hammers fans might be encouraged enough that they were mentioned in the same
breath. Whatever the plans for the future, Bilic took up his place in the
stands and left this Europa League first-round clash to academy manager
Terry Westley. This was pre-season with a twist and it didn't take the West
Ham fans long to realise that Lusitans were planning to rely heavily on
tactical fouling in order to limit the damage. Some of the robust tackles
did serve the purpose of reminding the home side that this was no friendly
and ensured that the large crowd was nothing but patient even when the
breakthrough goal took time to come. Come it did. Morgan Amalfitano and Matt
Jarvis had far too much quality on the flanks and while Diafra Sakho headed
one clear opportunity over the bar, it always felt as if time was on their
side. Sakho's first came five minutes before half-time when he headed in
from close range and the Senegal striker then capitalised on unselfish play
by Amalfitano to add a second in first-half stoppage time.

Amalfitano was in playful mood after the break, trying tricks, flicks and
40-yard shots but it was Jarvis who wriggled free in the box to cross for
James Tomkins to head home a third, just after Reece Oxford had flashed a
shot wide from distance just minutes earlier. There was a real sense of fun
to proceedings and a lightening of the mood that was a welcome accompaniment
to all the nostalgia.

From the retro shirts to the old-style programme, everything about West Ham
this season seems to be about looking both backwards and forwards – tying
the old to the new. That requires a manager who will embrace rather rail
against those emotions and in that sense at least, it seems they have the
right man. Bilic is unlikely to shy away from talking up his bond with the

After this three-goal win, the next job for Bilic is the routine matter of
seeing off Lusitans in the return leg and then it's either Birkirkara of
Malta or Armenian side Ulisses in the second qualifying round. There'll be
23 games for West Ham to negotiate if they are to win this competition,
qualify for the Champions League and really make a mockery of the theory
that this is a mere distraction.

But in the meantime they might just dish out enough feel-good hammerings to
gather some momentum ahead of a Premier League season in which they dare not
fail with the Olympic Stadium switch looming. Judging by the atmosphere at
Upton Park on Thursday, fear of failure doesn't seem to be on the West Ham
agenda for 2015/16 just yet.

Player ratings

West Ham (4-4-2): Randolph (6); O'Brien (7), Tomkins (7), Burke (7), Page
(6); Amalfitano (8), Oxford (7), Poyet (6), Jarvis (7); Zarate (7), Sakho
(8). Subs: Cullen (7), Lee (6), Parfitt-Williams (6).

Man of the match: Diafra Sakho. West Ham's top scorer from 2014/15 finished
two chances well and might have had an assist after the break too. Surely
denied a hat-trick only by his substitution.

By Iain Dale 2 Jul 2015 at 22:41
West Ham Till I Die

It was almost a perfect night. Had we scored three more goals it would have
been, and it would have been no less than we deserved. This was a strolling
performance by West Ham and one which saw the Allardyce style of football
consigned to the dustbin. We passed the ball like we haven't for four years.
There wasn't a single long ball played out from the back. OK, the opposition
wasn't exactly top quality but it took quite some time to break them down.
Indeed, they were a nasty little team of divers and cheats. Luckily we
didn't rise to the bait very often.

Darren Randolph, making his debut in goal, didn't have a save to make. He
slightly mishandled one back pass, but apart from that was as safe as
houses. The back four barely had a tackle to make. I was especially
impressed by Lewis Page at left back. In the middle of the first half he
made a mazy run down the right beating three players and that gave him a lot
of confidence. Reece Burke was again imperious alongside captain for the
night James Tomkins, while Joey O'Brien delighted in getting a lot further
forward than normal.

In midfield I suspect the watching Slaven Bilic will have been especially
impressed by Diego Poyet, who played quite deep and picked the ball up the
defenders before spraying it around. He's clearly learned a lot from Alex
Song and although not all his passes came off, he will have learnt a lot.
Similarly, Reece Oxford made a huge impression making his full debut at
Upton Park at the age of 16. He has a wise old head on very young shoulders.
His beanpole like physique will soon fill out, but at times it was like
watching a young Rio Ferdinand. He seems to have all the time in the world,
and he was unlucky to score, once with a header, and once with a rasping
shot which just went over the crossbar. Matt Jarvis had his best game for a
long time, especially in the first half, constantly beating his man and
getting in cross after cross.

Up front Diafra Sakho bagged his first two goals of the season and hardly
broke a sweat in the process. he could easily have had a couple more. But
for me, the standout player on the pitch tonight was Mauro Zarate. He made
Sakho's second with an exquisite pull back and was consistently inventive.
At times it was like watching Eyal Berkovic. He must have played himself
into Bilic's first team plans with this performance.

Of the three subs, Josh Cullen impressed most. He looked very confident and
was unlucky not to score after running half way up the pitch with the ball.
Elliot Lee was industrious and also had a good chance to hit the net, but
hit the ball straight at the keeper. I'd never heard of Number 64 Djair
Parfitt-Williams before tonight. He showed some nice touches and can go down
in Hammers history as the player with the highest number on his shirt ever
to play for the Hammers. Unless, of course, you know different.

A three goal margin is safe enough and I would be surprised to see any
prominent first team players making the trip to Andorra next week. Or would
that be a sign of massive ovr confidence? We will soon see.

All in all, nothing to complain about, and a job done very professionally.

West Ham 3-0 Lusitans: Diafra Sakho brace ensures Hammers kick off Slaven
Bilic era with win
22:06, 2 JULY 2015
Fit-again striker Sakho netted twice in the first-half, with James Tomkins
adding a third to ensure there was now Europa League slip-up against the
side from Andorra
The Mirror

He was in the stands but the Slaven Bilic era kicked off with a win that
maintained the ­feelgood factor at West Ham. Diafra Sakho scored twice,
James Tomkins grabbed the other Hammers goal and Reece Oxford became the
club's youngest ever player as Lusitans were put to the sword with the
minimum of fuss. This fixture may have come a week before the Ashes and with
Wimbledon in full swing, but West Ham fans will not mind shelling out for a
few more Europa League nights like this. Following the £14million capture of
Dimitri Payet, West Ham supporters will be keeping an eye out for other
signings as the Bilic reign gets under way. The Croat was introduced to a
35,000 sell-out crowd shortly before kick-off. The Croat had been into the
dressing room to inspire the side.

As agreed previously, he remained in the stands, with academy manager Terry
Westley taking charge. The idea at Upton Park is to use the early rounds of
the Europa League to give the youngsters a taste of the first team and for
the senior players to use them as part of their pre-season. Reece Oxford, at
16 years and 198 days the youngest player to appear for West Ham,coped well
in midfield. Nineteen year-old left-back Lewis Page enjoyed a sound debut
and centre-half Reece Burke, 18, had an effort cleared off the Lusitans line
11 minutes before half time.

In the build-up to this first qualifying tie the entire Hammers squad went
to Ireland but in separate training camps – one focusing on this
competition, the other on the Premier League. Despite such an early start to
their new campaign, the players appeared keen to catch the eye of their new
boss and dominated possession. The blew a string of chances, however, the
worst of which saw both Sakho and Mauro Zarate fail to make contact in front
of goal eight minutes in. Just after the half-hour, ring-rusty Sakho headed
over the bar with the goal at his mercy from point-blank range. But, five
minutes before the break he was back in the groove that saw him smash 12
goals in his first season at the club before injuries cut short his
campaign. Zarate sent in a precise cross from the right, Sakho stole into
space on the back post and the keeper was left with no chance. A minute into
injury time, the Senegal marksman was at it again, curling the ball low past
Lusitans keeper Jose Manuel Romero after being teed up by Morgan Amalfitano.
This season marks Lusitans' third attempt at the Europa League third
qualifying round. Even by half time it was becoming clear that they would
have to wait another 12 months.

The Andorran club formed just 16 years was taking on English opposition for
the very first time here. They won six of their seven home league games last
season and may well be better at their own place in a couple of weeks. They
can't possibly be much worse. The second half went much the same way as the
first. Four minutes in Romero saved three times in as many minutes, with one
of his stops from an
outrageous Amalfitano attempted lob. He had no chance, however, when the
Frenchman crossed inside the box for James Tomkins to power a header home.

Darren Lewis' player ratings:
Randolph 7, O'Brien 7 (Cullen 60), Tomkins 7, Burke 7, Page 7, Amalfitano 8,
Poyet 7, Oxford 7, Jarvis 7, Sakho 9 (Lee 62), Zarate 8 (Parfitt-Williams

West Ham eye transfer of Manuel Lanzini to be playmaker for Slaven Bilic's
new-look side
22:30, 2 JULY 2015
The 22-year-old former River Plate midfielder could join from the UAE's Al
Jazira on loan with a view to buy PLUS: Latest on Hammers' defender search
The Mirror

West Ham have made a move for exciting Argentine playmaker Manuel Lanzini.
The 22-year-old plays for the Al Jazira club in the United Arab Emirates.
The Hammers are seeking a loan deal for next season with an option to buy
him if he impresses at Upton Park. West Ham want former River Plate man
Lanzini, who has impressed them with his dribbling ability, to give them
depth in their squad and fit in with the style of play that new manager
Slaven Bilic is hoping to bring to the Boleyn. Meanwhile, another Hammers
target, Aleksandar Dragovic, has admitted he is "ready for the next step" in
his career. The 24-year-old Dynamo Kiev defender, said: "I had a very good
year this year with Kiev, with many successes. I have developed myself again
and dare to say that I'm ready for the next step." West Ham have lined up
Dragovic as they have already been challenged by a number of clubs for the
services of Monaco centre-back Aymen Abdennour. Boss Bilic has also asked
his new employers to pursue another striker and the Hammers are in talks
with Roma over a loan deal for Mattia Destro.

Dazzler Zarate shines as new Irons impress
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on July 2, 2015 in News, Whispers
Half time: Irons 2 Lusiantos 0


Mauro Zarate, Reece Oxford and Matt Jarvis were the stand out performers as
the Irons went back to the West Ham Way to hold a 2-0 half time lead.

On a warm and hid night with the players barely back into the old routine,
the team were pushing the ball around on the deck from the start and looking
a million miles from the lump it and hump it we have seen for so long.

Zarate's jinking runs took him past players at will and he was regularly
fouled by a Lusiantos team with little to offer than a "bus " they parked at
the back.

Oxford, meanwhile was entirely composed and did indeed look like a younger
Rio Ferdinand as he sprayed simple balls left and right and took up god
defensive position.

Matt Jarvis on the left flank also went past men with ease and set up a
series of decent crosses before Sakho headed home in the 40th minute and
drilled home a second on half time.

Reece Oxford Watch
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on July 2, 2015 in News, Whispers

The youngest ever player to wear the Hammers first team shirt looked
everything we've been told about him. He was conned into a rash tackle early
on and earned himself a yellow in the process. Good lesson – he'll learn
from that! For the remainder of his time on the pitch he defied his 16 years
with an imperious performance which always saw him in time and space. Reece
tended to play the simple ball but already shows that he has a great
awareness of time and space. Anyone who was watching inside the ground or on
a stream could see this kid is going to be very big. He also found the time
to stride forward in the second half and fire a fine shot inches wide as he
grew more and more into the game. It's very easy indeed to see why the board
were determined to give him a massive deal to keep him out of the clutches
of Arsenal, Chelsea and the two Manchester sides. The lad looked a terrific
player in the making and there were moments when I thought I was watching
the the young Rio. Tomorrow morning the new kid on the block will take a
reality check on his surroundings as he makes his way back to school!

Sakho grabs two in Irons stroll
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on July 2, 2015 in News, Whispers
Rob Shepherd
reporting from
Upton Park

West Ham 3 FC Lusitans 0
The Slaven Bilic era at West Ham got off to a predictable winning start as
stiker Diafra Sakho sharpened his sword for the new season with two first
half goals.
It was never going to a mountain to climb against FC Lusitans of Andorra in
this first qualifying round of the Europa Cup. So it proved.
diafra-sakho-542296The second leg next week will rubber stamp West Ham's
place in the next phase of this gruelling process to make the Europa League
It could, should have been a bigger margin , but it was a decent display by
the Hammers considering most English teams only just started pre- season
training yet.
Certainly Slaven Bilic must have been satisfied with the attitude his
players showed. Without sweating it out on a sultry, humid night, they
applied themselves well against opponents who initially showed a a head of
steam but then run out of it.
Just before the kick off Bilic, with Hammers scarf draped around his
shoulder, was presented to the fans.
As the big man took a few strides onto the pitch the applause and cheers
were resounding. Rafa Benitez might well have been the board's number one
choice before Real Madrid came in but one gets the feeling that Bilic was
the choice of hardcore fans.
And how they tuned out in their numbers the Boleyn Ground in this its last
year before the move to Olympic Stadium . A full house was a fantastic
turn out considering the time of the year and the early stage of this
potentially marathon and oft maligned competition.
As promised Bilic after milking the acclaim with a broad smile and clapping
the crowd, took a seat in the stand so he could assess the mixture of first
teamers on their way back from injury and youngsters, while development
coach held the fort in the dug out.
A sensible move as Bilic, who flew back from the first team training camp in
Cork, seeks over the coming four weeks to assess as many players as he can
before the PL season kicks off at Arsenal on August.
In that respect this soon turned out to be a better test than had been
expected well in the first half at least.
FC Lusistans are a part time outfit from the tiny principality in the
Catalan region of Spain, but far from being a Sunday morning outfit they
looked sharp , well organized , and from time to time prepared to put their
foot in in the opening phase .
At times cynical too as young Reece Oxford …at 16 becoming the youngest
ever Hammer to appear in a competitive for the club…found out in the 26th
minute when he was suckered into a rash challenge by Aguilar who then made a
meal of it.
Oxford was shown the yellow card. Welcome the men's football sunshine. But
after a nervy start the England under 17 skipper playing as one of two deep
lying midfielders along side Diego Poyet gradually started to show flashes
of his ability to pull the strings.
It was Poyet though who was the more impressive and even if the club are on
the verge of signing Alex Song on a permanent deal, Gus Poyet's son, looks
to be ready to be in contention for a place in the first team on this
After a difficult opening first half and hour it was Poyet who carved out
the first real opening when he showed the vision to spray the ball wide to
Morgan Amalfatino, who crossed first time but from close range Sakho headed
But Sakho who missed much of the second half of the season with injury found
his range in the 40th minute when Mauro Zarate, back at the club after
former manager Sam Allardyce ignored him them farmed him out to QPR last
season, out to impress Bilic , showed good skill then put over an excellent
deep cross which Sakho did well to reach with his head and hammer into the
top corner.
Then just before the half time whistle Zarate showed more fine footwork to
release Amalfatino who crossed for Sakho to sweep home.
That will have boosted the club's top scorer with 10 last season he is over
his injury woes.
That broke the resistance of Lusitans and in the 55th minute James Tomkins
headed home from close range.
That gave Westley the chance to try out some more experiments from the bench
and look at Oxford at centre back.
In the end it became a bit of stroll but what more could anyone , even
Bilic, expect at this rudely early stage of the new season ?
It was a job well done if not the goalfest many of the Hammers fans who had
come out en masse had hope for. Perhaps in a way that was a good thing for
Bilic. There's no point in expectations reaching fever pitch in mid summer
heat. It's where West Ham under him will be mid season which will be more
Teams ( 4-2-2-1-1) Randolph 6 O'Brien 6 Tomkins 7 Burke 6 ( Cullen 58 6 )
Page 7 : Poyet 7 Oxford 6 : Amalafitano 7 Jarvis 5 : Zarate 7
(Parfitt-Williams 6 ) : Sakho 8( Lee 61 …6)

Slav takes back seat and proves he's a BIG man
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on July 2, 2015 in Leroy's Blogs, News, Whispers

Slaven Bilic has shown himself to be a very big man by taking a back seat
for tonight's game. He has decided to leave Terry Westley – who knows the
players who take on Lusiantos well – to run the dug out and it really does
take a big man to do such a thing. I'll be honest, had I taken over I'd have
wanted to be in charge and take any credit coming but that's obviously not
Slav's way. He's proving himself a top bloke from the start but it makes
perfect sense to allow the man who knows each of the players so well to take

It wasn't without significance for me that Slav appointed Julian Dicks to
his coaching staff. Everybody knows Dicksie will say what he thinks and
doesn't suck up to anyone. That Slav wants him alongside him shows he
doesn't surround himself with 'yes men.'

Everything that's happening feels really West Ham and it's brilliant that so
many kids are being given their chance. The manager will be in the stands
getting a much better view of them than he would from the dug out. Those
kids will have so much going for them tonight and I hope they don't freeze.
I don't expect them to and I expect us to win well. There will be a lot of
attention on Reece Oxford and we will all be hoping and praying the boy does
the business. He's a massive prospect but tonight it will all be about his
temperament. This is a wonderful start to a long campaign and I expect the
old stadium to be rocking tonight. There's no better place to be on any
night of the week – there's no atmosphere like itat any other ground in the
country and the excitement generated this summer is about to explode.


DG: 'Slaven will bring back the 'West Ham Way'
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on July 2, 2015 in News, Whispers

David Gold has revealed exactly why the club finally settled on Slaven Bilic
as their manager. And he explained that although statistics associated with
such as Rafael Benitez and other top managers impress – the new manager's
passion and ability to bring back the West Ham Way were major influences in
their decision. He said: "Slaven ticked two important boxes. He is an ex
West Ham player. He as an amazing passionfor the club and knows the kind of
football that's required. The second very important tick as that Slaven was
the fans favourite for the job."

He told TalkSport: "It was clear when we interviewed him that he had this
passion. You can look at manager statistics but as a West Ham man there is a
determination for the club and a will to win in him which is incredibly

DG added: He understands the West Ham Way which is actually a bit of
history. It's about Trevor Brooking or Alan Devonshire carrying the ball
from their own half and passing it through midfield rather than lumping it
upfield! "That's what the fans want to see again and that's what we believe
Slaven will bring to them."

On Sam Allardyce's departure he commented: "Sam did a great job – and he
achieved all we asked of him but I think four years was probably long enough
and if you ask him I think he will agree with that."

Bilic blasted by Lusiens boss
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on July 2, 2015 in News, Whispers

Slaven Bilic was delighted with West Ham winning his first game in charge
but was blasted by opposite number Xavi Roura (right) after the Hammers ran
out 3-0 winners over Andorran minnows FC Lusitans. Roura claimed Bilic
showed " a lack of respect " for not taking a seat in the dug out preferring
instead to watch from the stands. Slaven Bilic showed a lack of respect for
not taking his place on the bench. I am disappointed with with him and I
feel a club from home of football and fair play should have insisted he sat
there," said Roura. "I know he has won a lot of titles but not sitting on
the bench ; who does he think he is ? The Special One ? "Would I expect him
to sit on the bench in the game in Andorra next week. Yes he is the Wrest
Ham coach." Terry Westley, the Hammers development manager, who was on the
touchline instead laughed off Roura's blast and revealed Bilic, who flies
back to the Cork training camp on Friday morning, would NOT make the trip to
Andorra for the second leg next week. He said: "He can't be at two places at
once. He has alot of work to do with the first team squad .No he won't be
in Andorra. At this stage of the Europa Cup the Hammers are using a blend of
first team players on their way back to fitness and emerging young players.
Westley added: "It was always going to be this way. He only flew in from
Cork in the morning having been with the first team but Slaven was in the
dressing room before the game and gave a team talk. "He also presented Page
and Oxford with their debut shirt and made a little speech that they were
now following in the footsteps of men like Moore and Hurst, Lampard and
Ferdinand and told them now it was down to them to build their own legacy.
"After the game he was pleased with the outcome. His experience as national
coach of Croatia means he knows how tough teams from Andorra can be. "Look
how long they held England 0-0 a couple of years back and recently Wales
only beat them 2-1."

Westley insisted he was happy with the outcome saying: "I guess 4-0 with no
injuries would have been ideal, but 3-0 with no serious injuries …Zarate
had a slight knock …was good and the chance to bring one some more Acadamy
players from the bench which we were able to do. So it went pretty much to
plan." And Westley's verdict on 16 year old Reece Oxford : "He did ok. But
no more than ok. Early on he got caught on the ball and he was passing too
much across people but this is what he needs – a bit of toughening up. Of
Diego Poyet, Westley added : "He showed some composure and good positional
sense but he needed to make more killer passes, to find the wide men with
one sweeping pass rather than it take two or three passes with other for
him to get it there."

Date: 2nd July 2015 at 8:01 pm
Written by Alex Hams | Comments(0)

This report from the Daily Mail may have slipped a little under the radar.
The Hammers' potential move for Carl Jenkinson is not exactly a
ground-breaking story, but tapped on the end is talk of a trial for a
highly-rated youngster who goes by the name of Daniel Agyei. The 17-year-old
has been earning rave reviews for his showings in AFC Wimbledon's youth
ranks, where his talent has been becoming more and more obvious as the
months pass.

West Ham United have reportedly been quoted an asking price of £20 million
for Dynamo Kiev defender Aleksandar Dragovic

West Ham United have been halted in their pursuit of defender Aleksandar
Dragovic, as Dynamo Kiev say he will cost more than £20 million.
Dragovic, 24, joined Kiev from FC Basel in the summer of 2013 for just over
£6 million. But after an impressive two seasons in Ukraine, which saw him
start 45 games, Kiev believe his market value has more than trebled. This
has proved a setback for new West Ham boss Slaven Bilic, who is searching
for a top-class centre-back ahead of the new season and requested the
Hammers made an enquiry for Dragovic - according to the Daily Telegraph.
West Ham's options for a central defender now seem to be diminishing, as
they were recently quoted a similar price for Monaco's Aymen Abdennour.
However, the Hammers may now switch their attentions to a move for long-term
target Angelo Ogbonna of Juventus.

Middlesbrough to make staggering Downing offer
2 Jul 2015 18:20:00
By Graeme Bailey

Middlesbrough are putting together a staggering £70,000-a-week wage offer
over five years in a bid to tempt Stewart Downing away from West Ham, Goal
understands. It is thought that new Hammers manager Slaven Bilic would be
willing to consider Downing's sale at the right price - though the club's
hierarchy will not consider a sale unless an offer too good to turn down is
made. Sunderland - where Downing spent six weeks on loan in 2003 - are
monitoring the situation, while Leicester City are also putting a package
together in a bid to lure the 30-year-old to the King Power Stadium.
However, Middlesbrough are confident they can bring Downing back to his home
town club with an offer that would make him the highest-paid player in the
Championship. A source told Goal: "The offer is huge, they are very much in
contention now. The player has a big decision to make." Boro manager Aitor
Karanka wants Downing on board as the Championship club aims to overcome
last season's play-off final heartbreak and earn promotion to the top
flight. Downing, who turns 31 later in July, has not been included in the
starting line-up for Thursday night's Europa League qualifier against FC


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