Tuesday, August 11

Daily WHUFC News - 11th August 2015

Zarate proud of Arsenal display

Mauro Zarate is enjoying his football under new West Ham United manager
Slaven Bilic – every bit of it. The No10 showed exactly why he is loved by
so many Hammers fans by producing an action-packed all-round performance in
Sunday's 2-0 Barclays Premier League win at Arsenal. The Argentine forward
not only scored West Ham's second goal and combined promisingly with new boy
Dimitri Payet, but he also put in a shift that earned praise from his
manager and teammates alike. Speaking to West Ham TV, Zarate could hardly
contain his happiness after making a triumphant return to Barclays Premier
League duty in a Claret and Blue shirt. "We are so happy, everyone, the
Chairmen, the staff, the players, the people, the fans!" said the smiling
South American, who scored in West Ham's first away game of the season for
the second successive year. "It was a really hard match but we took three
points, so we are so happy. "I think my work was more important than my
goal. We worked so hard, we ran and we kept the ball when we had to and we
scored, and if you don't score you don't win the match. They played very
well, but we worked so much. "It was not easy. We played behind Sakho with
Dimitri and we tried to keep the ball and to shoot when we had the chance.
We worked with their players, running back with them, but it was not easy."

After threatening in the first half, during which Cheikhou Kouyate broke the
deadlock with a header, Zarate scored a calming second after West Ham won
the ball back deep in Arsenal territory for the umpteenth time. After
collecting 25 yards out, the forward looked up and wrong-footed Petr Cech
with a low shot inside the near post, leaving the new Gunners goalkeeper
helpless. "It was a good goal, I think! Before the goal, I had a chance to
shoot but I did another feint and they blocked me, but the next play Cech
took a step to the left side and I shot at the front post and luckily it
went in."

Zarate sped away towards the 3,000-strong Claret and Blue Army, leaping into
the air before being mobbed by his teammates – a feeling he clearly
thoroughly enjoyed. "The people always tell me good things. When I went to
Queens Park Rangers they asked 'Why are you going? Please stay' but that was
a bad time. "Now it's another year and I'm with another staff and I want to
show what a player I am. "It was a fantastic match and a fantastic result.
For many years West Ham didn't win in this stadium or against Arsenal so
this win was very good for us and for the staff and for the fans." While his
goal was the crowning glory, West Ham fans will also be encouraged by his
on-field relationship with Payet, who impressed Zarate himself with his
ability to take the pressure of his team. "I think he did a fantastic
match," the former Velez Sarsfield star confirmed, when asked for his
assessment of Payet's Barclays Premier League debut. "He kept the ball and
he dribbled many times, but it was good for the team to take a break. "He is
an important player and we have to help him and work all together. If we
work, we can make results like this."

Kouyate - The whole team was fantastic

Cheikhou Kouyate knew he was going to get his chance to score against
Arsenal on Sunday - as assist-maker Dimitri Payet told him so before the
game! Payet's 43rd minute free-kick was perfect for Kouyate to beat Arsenal
goalkeeper Petr Cech to the ball and nod the Hammers into a lead they never
relinquished. The Senegal man was thrilled to play his part but was quick to
deflect the praise onto his teammates for a collective triumph at Emirates
Stadium. He said: "Dimitri told me before that he'd give me one ball to
score, and he did! It is a fantastic result for us and a very, very good
start to the season. "To win the first game is great, but to win away
against a big team like Arsenal [is even better] and I'm very happy for all
the team. "The secret was playing together as one team. We know playing
against Arsenal is difficult, but you need to work hard as one team to get a

Adrian: This is the perfect start

West Ham United keeper Adrian was pleased to play his part in a memorable
victory over Arsenal and says this is the perfect start to the season. Most
of the post-match debate surrounded the performance by his opposite number
Petr Cech who was making his big Premier League debut for Arsenal. But it
was the Spanish keeper who came out on top as he played a major role in
helping the Hammers secure a 2-0 victory at Emirates Stadium. The
28-year-old made fine saves to deny shots from Olivier Giroud and Alexis
Sanchez and was commanding inside his area as he helped his side come away
with a vital clean sheet. Adrian is relishing the chance to play under new
manager Slaven Bilic and hopes this is the start of a big season for West
Ham United. Adrian said: "It was a massive win from us away home in a big
stadium against a very good team. "It was great that we were able to keep a
clean sheet and this is a big three points for us to start the Premier
League season. "I try to help my team in every game that we play and want to
keep a clean sheet. We were able to do that against Arsenal and I am very
happy. "This victory gives us a lot of confidence to start the league and to
prepare us well for the next two home games. We have got three points on the
board and can hopefully win more games."

Adrian had nothing but praise for the way youngster Reece Oxford settled
into the first-team and showed at just 16 that he is good enough to compete
at the highest level. Oxford became the youngest player in the Club's
history to make his Premier League debut and was not fazed by playing
against one of the best teams in England. Adrian added: "After the game I
congratulated Reece and said 'Welcome to the Premier League'. This was a
hard game for him to start and is different to the academy teams that he is
used to playing in. "But this was a great debut for him and will only help
him as he plays more matches in the Premier League."

Adrian also singled out summer signings Dimitri Payet and Angelo Ogbonna for
the way they have quickly adapted to the rigours of the Premier League and
showed they are going to be influential players for the Club this season.
"We had some players making their Premier League debuts and they all did a
fantastic job. "Angelo and Dimitri are very good players and have adapted so
well to the team and the Premier League. It is great for us that they have
started so well."

With two home games now to come against Leicester and Bournemouth, the West
Ham United keeper is now hoping to maintain the winning feeling and make
another solid start to the campaign. "We now have a home game in front of
our own fans and it is very important that we try and get another three
points on Saturday. "It is a great start for the manager, the team and all
the West Ham fans. They deserved this win because they have had to wait a
long time for us to win at Emirates Stadium and it is a fantastic victory
for everyone. "We need to enjoy the win and then prepare well for the next
game against Leicester."

Westley: Oxford wants to be challenged

West Ham United's Academy Manager Terry Westley was one of the proudest
coaches in England on Sunday after seeing Reece Oxford become the youngest
player in the Club's history when he made a memorable Premier League debut
against Arsenal. Westley has played a big part in helping Oxford make a
stunning breakthrough into the first-team at just 16 and can only see bigger
and better things ahead for the talented midfielder. Oxford never put a foot
wrong throughout the game at Emirates Stadium and showed he has the quality
to play against the best players in the Premier League this season. With
Mark Noble and James Tomkins coming through the famous academy at the Boleyn
Ground, Westley has no doubts that Oxford has the mentality as well as the
ability to follow in their footsteps and become a regular member of the
first-team squad. Westley said: "The boy himself thrives on challenges and
at 15 he wants to play in the Under-21's and he was captain of the 21's last
season. That is the platform he wants to be on. "He wants to train with
senior players and wants to be around the homegrown players like Tomkins and
Noble. "We had three homegrown players on the pitch (against Arsenal) and it
is great credit to them for the way they helped Reece during the game.
"Reece is not fazed by who he is playing and he wants to be challenged at
the very highest level. I looked at him in the tunnel and thought he was
coming out to play in an Under-21 game, rather than in front of 50,000 fans.
"It all came good for him on the day. He doesn't get worried about the
situation like other youngsters could. "It wasn't a risk for the manager
because you eliminate that because he is a good player. "There are an awful
lot of good young players in the country but the mentality has to be right
and he showed that over the weekend."

Reece Oxford: West Ham teenager was rejected by Tottenham

West Ham's 16-year-old midfielder Reece Oxford says Tottenham turned down
the chance to sign him before he joined their Premier League rivals. Oxford
made his top-flight debut in a surprise 2-0 victory at Arsenal on the
opening weekend of the new season. He joined West Ham at under-13 level
after leaving Spurs and is now the club's youngest ever first-team player.
Oxford said Spurs "did not want" him, adding: "I went to West Ham, which was
the best option for me." The teenager described the Hammers' youth academy
as "great" and said "they like to push players". He added: "West Ham have
been giving the young players who are coming through a chance. "Last season
I was on the bench a few times, so I expected to be around the team again
this season, but not starting against Arsenal."

Hammers manager Slaven Bilic was confident Oxford had the mentality to cope,
saying the teenager would even be untroubled by facing Barcelona striker
Lionel Messi. "If Messi was in front of me, I'd be more fazed than Reece,"
Bilic said. Oxford helped restrict the Gunners to few clear-cut
opportunities and had the best successful pass percentage in the match -
95%. Bilic added on Sky Sports: "People were asking: 'Are you sure he is
16?' "It was going to be a risk but he has got something. I am very proud of
him. He is a part of this new generation."

West Ham academy manager Terry Westley told BBC Radio 5 live that Oxford
captained the under-21s last season aged 15 and said he is "thirsty" to test
himself against the "hardest opponents possible". Westley credited Oxford's
mental strength on the "influence at home", adding that his mum was "very
tough and strong with him". He added: "He didn't join Tottenham, obviously
he lives very close to the Arsenal training ground and is an Arsenal boy -
so we're delighted we've got him."

Youngest Premier League players
Matthew Briggs (Fulham v Middlesbrough, 2007) 16 years, 68 days
Izzy Brown (West Brom v Wigan, 2013) 16 years, 117 days
Aaron Lennon (Leeds v Tottenham, 2003) 16 years, 128 days
Rushian Hepburn-Murphy (Aston Villa v Sunderland, 2015) 16 years, 176 days
Jose Baxter (Everton v Blackburn, 2008) 16 years, 191 days
Gary McSheffrey (Coventry v Aston Villa, 1999) 16 years, 198 days
Reece Oxford (West Ham v Arsenal, 2015) 16 years, 237 days
Jack Robinson (Liverpool v Hull, 2010) 16 years, 250 days
Jack Wilshere (Arsenal v Blackburn, 2008) 16 years, 255 days
Mark Platts (Sheffield Wednesday v Wimbledon, 1996) 16 years, 264 days

Joey Barton: West Ham set to sign former QPR captain
By Ben Smith
BBC Sport

West Ham are confident of signing former QPR midfielder Joey Barton on a
free transfer in the next 48 hours. The 32-year-old was released by the
Hoops in June following their relegation from the Premier League. The former
Newcastle and Manchester City midfielder is expected to have a medical at
West Ham within the next 24 hours. Barton had been linked with a move to
Aston Villa before their Premier League opener against Bournemouth on
Saturday. Barton said in his commentary for BBC Radio 5 live during Villa's
1-0 win over the Cherries at the Goldsands Stadium, that he still has the
ability to play in the Premier League. On signing for a new club, he said:
"The sooner the better, and judging by this game it won't be long before I
get a phone call from somebody. "The best player might be sitting in the
stands this afternoon, even if I do say so myself."

Are you watching, Allardyce?
Filed: Monday, 10th August 2015
By: Paul Walker

Sometimes you just have to take a step back, forget all the bickering about
transfers, money, new stadiums and attention-seeking owners, and just soak
up the very special feeling than comes from an amazing victory nobody
thought possible.

That's what it's like as Irons fans; we have collectively taken so much
rubbish and disappointment over the years that you dare not let something
pass without making sure it is real.

OK, so we all scoffed at David Gold's nonsense about closing the gap on
Arsenal, and how much they were looking over their shoulders. You do not
wipe away 18 years or so of Champions League qualifications in a stroke and
suggest we are closing the gap.

Reece Oxford was only eight the last time we won away at Arsenal, they had
won all ten of the previous Premier League matches against us. They play a
brand of football we want from our own heroes, and if I was left with the
hopeless choice of West Ham not existing and supporting Spurs, Chelsea,
Manchester United or Arsenal, I would be forced to say the Gunners.

Right, that's out of the way, painful it certainly was and only a very, very
hypothetical question.

It was one of those Sundays where I sink into a very quiet room, the wife
knows not to come anywhere near, and watch us on TV expecting absolutely
nothing. Even the dogs hide.

And then you experience something that will live long in the memory. A
fabulous West Ham display. A performance that stuffs down the throats of all
the so-called expert ex-player pundits, their theories of doom and gloom. A
performance completely alien to the way we would have played under Sam
Allardyce, with a different style and general approach.

He would have said we didn't have the players to compete at that level. It
would have been all long-ball. But I barely saw anything like that, it was
so refreshing.

Jamie Carragher and Graeme Souness clearly knew nothing about Reece Oxford
on Sky TV. It was painful to witness their lack of preparation. They just
scoffed. If Alan Hansen had been around he would have been waffling on about
not winning things with kids.

But young Reece was amazing. Dominating midfield, making top, top stars look
ordinary (yes I mean you Mesut Ozil). He's got a long way to go, sure, and
the club should now remove him from the spotlight and forbid any further
interviews or exposure (a bit like Fergie did with Ryan Giggs).

I don't want to see anyone, board members, press department, manager or
coaches, talking about him again unless it is absolutely impossible to

That will be hard, Wayne Rooney and Giggs are examples of how young players
should be managed, and I accept that goes against the grain of everything I
stood for in my former life in the media. But this is West Ham we are
talking about, it's all I care about now. Enough said.

But us Irons have known about Oxford for some. The lads that venture down to
Chadwell Heath have come back with tales of this super kid, yes, the new
Rio. Right, I am tempting to ask just how many times I heard "he's the new
Giggs" in the days I had a proper job. And how many "new Messi's" have there

I recall being told once by former Everton manager Walter Smith that I
should pop down to their Bellefield training ground on a Saturday morning to
see this 13-year-old who was playing in the under 16s. I did and was
surprised by the amount of Everton first team players there on their way to
a Goodison Park home game.

And there was this man/child running the show. We were watching Rooney, and
it was worth the early start. He was amazing, and Oxford's maturity and easy
talent, reminds me of the current England captain in his baby years.

Some of the things said about Oxford make me recall those days. He could
have gone to Arsenal and Manchester United this summer, and we had to thrown
vast amounts of money at him and his family to get him to stay. Word is that
he's on around £10,000 a week already. In the current market, money well
spent because that's what you have to do to keep your best youth products.

But Oxford was only part of the story at the Emirates. This was not the
familiar backs-to-the-wall performance we are used to in such games. This
was a team playing to a system, a collective high pressing game, constant
movement and controlled defiance. Plus the ability through the outstanding
Dimitri Payet to break at pace and cause trouble.

There was not a bad performance on the pitch, and even Mauro Zarate finally
accepted being taken off to allow a more tactical defensive introduction of
Matt Jarvis and new, fresh legs, with little more than a whimper. A quiet
word of explanation from coach Edin Terzic in his ear, and the decision was
accepted. Considering Zarate's previous of sulking and causing problems at
other clubs, QPR and in Italy, that was a major step forward.

And before I forget. What has happened to Slav's supposed assistant manager,
Nicola Jurcevic? The rest of the Croatian crew seem to have got their work
permits by now, why nothing on him? Our club really do keep such things
close to their chests.

I must admit to smiling at that now infamous picture at the Irish training
camp of Bilic and his three Croatian buddies. Put the fear of God in me.
They looked like the mafia on holiday in their trainers, jeans and shades.

For all the world it could have been a bunch of gang masters standing
outside an Edgware Road petrol station at 5.00am about to sort out the
labour rotas for the day. And then they added Julian Dicks to the group. We
seriously do have the hardest bench in the league, can you imagine what will
happen if Jose and his dodgy mob start performing on the line in front of
Slav's bunch? Can't wait.

Anyway, I digress. I find it's best not to get dragged into the days of
twitter/fans' forum abuse that has gone on now for weeks, with so little of
substance to justify it. You really should wait before jumping to
conclusions at this time of the year.

Slav has gone through the most complex pre-season I can remember. One
manager and his staff ousted, another lot in, new players, Europa League,
travelling, etc.

OK, the exit from Europe was tough, but had it not been for James Collins'
unfortunate red card, we would have cruised through that round and been able
to get away with fielding a young side in Romania.

Planning like that is hard. Terry Westley was put in charge of the first
couple of rounds and we got away with using the kids. It was an eye-opener,
for sure.
That level of European football is full of a clubs with a very different
mind-set. They are inferior and use tactics that make you blink. Rotational
fouling it has been called.

Every trick in the book with poor, young referees being blooded by UEFA.
Slav was upset with the standard, but it's only what you get in the very
lower levels of European competition. San Marino have been doing it for
years, and I saw far too much of them in seasons gone by.

But there is a play on the old adage…what would you want? To see England win
the World Cup or your own club winning the league title. No contest from me.
So when the choice is progressing in the Europa League or winning away to
Arsenal, again, no contest. Sunday was the perfect result for Slav and his

It worked. It was a gamble, and he got away with it. Football is like that,
fine margins. But the European exit--which I tried to follow, painfully, on
a slow train from Nottingham to Stoke after a great Thursday at the Test,
but with shocking mobile reception--was worth it if a win at Arsenal is the
end product.

There was a very valid theory beforehand that we always lose at Arsenal, so
send the best team to Romania and take our punishment at the |Emirates. It's
always easy in hindsight, but Slav took a different view, and it worked for
him. Maybe he's a positive, lucky manager, it's about time we had one.

I am sure I was like the rest of you, struck dumb for long periods,
desperate for us to hang on, and slowly seeing a performance of resolve and
planning(probably the same game plan Slav used at Besiktas with some success
against Arsenal in the Champions League last season). Eventually the Gunners
won that qualifier, but with no little problem.

This time Slav went one better. He is animated, he cares, and he says all
the right things. He growls, he has killer eyes and the players are warming
to him, if they have any sense. And he is doing something big Sam may not
have done, risked Oxford at this level.

It was a risk worth taking. The result of the weekend and it gave us fans
that unfamiliar warm glow (helped by a drink or two later) that we can stand
toe to toe with the elite and get a result, and deserve him.

Who would have said that we would be playing Leicester in our first home
game of the season with the top spot in the Premier League at stake? Yes, I
know, I am now getting carried away...

Joey Barton undergoing medical ahead of West Ham move
Filed: Monday, 10th August 2015
By: Staff Writer

Former Man City and Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton is on the
verge of joining West Ham United, according to reports. Now 32, the
Liverpool-born bad boy - who was released by the Championship side at the
end of last season - is reported to be undergoing a medical ahead of a free
transfer to the Hammers. We'll have more for you on this soon...

Joey Barton 'undergoing West Ham medical ahead of proposed free transfer'
Last Updated: 10/08/15 4:22pm

Joey Barton is training with West Ham and undergoing fitness tests ahead of
a proposed Bosman free transfer to the club, according to Sky sources. The
32-year-old, who was one of six players released by QPR this summer after
their relegation from the Premier League, is understood to be set for a full
medical on Tuesday. West Ham's surprise but well-earned victory at Arsenal
on Super Sunday has not led to any complacency in the transfer market from
Bilic, who is keen to bring in an experienced midfielder despite the
impressive display of 16-year-old Reece Oxford. Barton had a good season for
Rangers despite their disappointing time of it last season, in which they
finished bottom of the top division. Barton played 28 times and scored in a
4-1 away win at West Brom. The former Newcastle midfielder joined QPR in
August 2011 following their promotion to the Premier League but was loaned
to Marseille for the 2012-13 season after a several instances of poor
behaviour. He was infamously sent off in Rangers' last game of the 2011-12
season at Manchester City. But he played an important part as QPR were
promoted back to the top-flight in 2014, beating Derby in the play-off
final, and he left Rangers this summer having played 99 times for the West
London club, scoring seven goals. Barton began his career at Man City before
joining Newcastle in 2007.

By Iain Dale 10 Aug 2015 at 19:00

David Sullivan has given a wideranging interview to Jonathan Northcroft in
the Sunday Times, which you can read in full HERE (£). Here are some of the
key quotes…

"Long-term, there's no reason we can't be one of England's leading six
clubs, pushing for the Champions League. You have to dream. Otherwise what's
the point of being an owner or supporter? And we [he and co-chairman David
Gold] are both owners and supporters.

"We have no desire to sell West Ham. We hope to pass it to our kids and
grandkids. While the [stadium] deal is confidential, if we sell before 10
years most of the money would go to the government. We happily signed that,
because we've no intention of selling. We're only renting it for 25
matchdays. They [LLDC] have 340 days a year to get income off other people."

"We've given up virtually all the naming rights, which are worth a lot of
money. The catering income — and we make vast amounts from that at Upton
Park — will be shared between us and LLDC. The base rent? We're giving a lot
more back than has been said."

"We're not here for a quick buck. We were the best bid. Tottenham were going
to knock it down, this iconic stadium, which would have been horrendous.
With us, the legacy lives on."

"This season and next are vital. This season, I'm looking to not be fighting
relegation. I want a season where everyone feels good about supporting West

"We collapsed at the end of last season [West Ham finished 12th, having been
third in December]. Three wins in 21 was worse than relegation form. We knew
we needed changes. There were a lot of warning signs. Fulham had similar the
season before, didn't do a lot, stayed with their manager and got relegated.
Sam wanted a break. In January or this time next year, he'll go somewhere
and do a very good job. Slaven was probably the fans' choice and has many
admirable qualities. He's an incredibly hard-working fellow, he's really
whacking in the hours, and he's smart, a trained lawyer. He's got stature. I
think he's got the fear factor like Mourinho and players will respect that."

"Every manager we approach, we say that's the deal. If you don't believe
you're going to keep us up you shouldn't be coming. To go somewhere and get
relegated then want a couple of million quid is a joke. Slaven's bonus
structure is geared to success. Success isn't surviving in the Premier
League and it isn't finishing 14th."

"I don't pick the players. "We [Sullivan, Gold and Bilic] all talk then
jointly decide. At this stage, you back your manager. Maybe in a year, if a
few signings haven't worked out, you say, 'OK, I'll pick a few'. The only
one where I had input," says Sullivan, "was Dimitri Payet. He was an equal
pick with the manager. I really fancied him. He had the best assists in
France and the third-best assists in Europe. And he got nine goals. He's
done well year in, year out. Marseille didn't want him to go. He's 28 — if
he was 21 he'd be a £30m player."

"It's a bit like crosswords. There's a player available now but one you
prefer might be available in two weeks. So you wait but then the first one
has gone and the second might not be available after all. It's a crossword
where one wrong answer means the whole thing doesn't work. I look at [Andre]
Ayew, who went to Swansea. Huge wages but, as a Bosman, not expensive
overall. A very good player. Maybe we should have taken him."

" [Andy Carroll] could be back by September 1, maybe September 14. People
think he's out partying all the time. He's not. Our fitness guys will tell
you he's doing the hardest training of his life. You may see an Andy Carroll
you've never seen before. He could be devastating."

Top six? "It isn't easy because you go down the list — Chelsea with Roman
Abramovich, Manchester United with the best brand in the world, Man City
with Abu Dhabi, Arsenal with a great system and having paid off their
stadium, Liverpool with commercial income way ahead of ours. Then you've
Tottenham — maybe we can pick Tottenham off. Tottenham are bigger than us at
the moment but within striking distance."

A very revealing and upbeat interview. The Arsenal result rather backs up
everything he says. Interesting that he thinks we will fill the Olympic
Stadium at every game.

Slaven Bilic's Reece Oxford gamble paid off - let's hope more brave bosses
now follow his lead
20:00, 10 August 2015
On a high-pressure day for the Croatian, it was a selection which proved
that Bilic has some serious b****cks, writes Dave Kidd
The Mirror

Let's not christen Reece Oxford as the English Beckenbauer just yet. Let's
just enjoy the feelgood story of a 16-year-old Arsenal fan, who once urged
the club to sign Mesut Ozil on Twitter, making his Premier League debut
against the Gunners and barely giving Ozil a kick.
Let's allow him to experience the ups and downs, the ins and outs from West
Ham's starting line-up, without expectations going haywire.
Slaven Bilic, though, is old enough and ugly enough for some praise. And the
new Hammers manager should be showered in it. Now, Bilic may cultivate a
devil-may-care rock-star persona but Sunday was a high-pressure day for the
Croatian. He'd been tipped for a Premier League job for eight years, since
masterminding his nation's victories over England in the Euro 2008
qualifiers, and he had craved a job here for some time. When it arrived,
though, it was something of a surprise. Bilic's club management career had
been unspectacular and he wasn't West Ham's first choice.

After the Hammers bombed out of the Europa League, with Bilic fielding a
weakened side, there would have been creeping doubts had Arsenal given them
a thrashing. Yet Bilic handed a debut to a 16-year-old centre-half. Played
him out of position as a holding midfielder. Against one of the world's most
threatening midfields. Away from home. On his first day as a manager in the
world's most keenly-watched league.
A selection which proved that Bilic has some serious b****cks. Had Oxford
made some costly schoolboy error – and he only left school two months ago –
Bilic would have been characterised as a naïve fool. The Premier League has
become so risk-averse that Oxford's selection caused pre-match gasps from
seasoned pundits. We are accustomed to top-flight bosses hiding behind the
coward's charter of the loan system when blooding youngsters. The accepted
practice is to send a talented teenager on loan to a Football League club.
Then, if he impresses, perhaps give him a year at a lesser Premier League
side. See if he sinks or swims, with no risk to your own club if it doesn't
work out.

Many never get a chance at their parent club, ready-made imports arrive,
young Englishmen see their careers drift, talent goes unfulfilled. Because
the Premier League is deemed too serious a business for risk-taking. Not on
Bilic's watch, though. Bilic watched Oxford in pre-season, gave him three
Europa League appearances, loved what he saw, sent him out to face the
Arsenal and watched the kid pretty much own Ozil. Bilic told Oxford not to
fear making a mistake. Told him that any mistake would be his manager's
mistake. Go out and show us what you've got, sunshine. And it ended up being
Petr Cech, the 33-year-old keeper with 486 Chelsea appearances behind him,
who made the schoolboy error. Because mistakes happen, to kids and veterans
alike. Players will learn from mistakes, a few saddos will make cheap jibes
on the internet but nobody will die. Yet it's amazing what a little faith
can do and now Oxford knows he is capable of great things. The FA chairman
Greg Dyke wants to increase the homegrown player quota in Premier League
squads, compelling more managers to make more such selections. Dyke is
right, but he is unlikely to succeed. Instead, we must hope for more happy
gamblers like Bilic.

West Ham plan controversial Joey Barton move despite potential fan backlash
22:00, 10 AUGUST 2015
Supporters celebrating Sunday's shock win at Arsenal have been left stunned
at the news that the Irons have the former QPR midfielder in their sights
The Mirror

West Ham are ready to risk the wrath of their fans by pushing ahead with a
move for free agent Joey Barton. The club's supporters, celebrating Sunday's
shock win at Arsenal, have been left stunned at the news that the Irons have
the controversial midfielder in their sights. Forums and social media sites
were inundated yesterday by fans fearing what effect Barton's signing could
have. The former QPR player has a history of physical and verbal clashes
with teammates, fans and media. And Matt Ryan, owner and editor of website
ClaretandBlues.com, said: "If it happens, I think it could be a disaster.
"We are trying to gel as a team and we don't need the baggage that Barton
brings with him."

The deal is some way off being complete but Mirror Sport understands the
Hammers feel Barton was QPR's best player last season and could be an
experienced asset if he remains motivated. West Ham are also concerned that
they are low on numbers and could be left exposed if they get injuries and
do not have experienced cover. And despite Barton's colourful reputation and
past troubles, they feel he could be worth taking a punt on considering the
limited depth in their squad. West Ham are understood to be insistent that
while they do listen to the views of their fans they have a duty to ensure
boss Slaven Bilic is provided with the players he needs to cope with every

Ryan added, however: "I've seen some fans threaten to cancel their season
ticket subscription. I've also seen some say they'll never go to a game he
[Barton] is involved in, both of which I think are a tad extreme. "But
surely what it does say is that people aren't happy about his imminent

They have failed to conclude deals for Lassana Diarra, who has since joined
Marseille, and Yohan Cabaye, who moved to Crystal Palace.
Sixteen-year-old Reece Oxford, half Barton's age, played in the defensive
midfield position against Arsenal at the Emirates. Although he impressed
with his performance, the Hammers do not want to put too much pressure on
him. Discussions continue with Alex Song, who spent last season at Upton
Park on loan from Barcelona. But with a resolution still some way off, West
Ham are looking at other options. Napoli midfielder Gokhan Inler is deciding
whether to join but also has offers from Schalke and Besiktas. Barton was
allowed to leave Rangers at the end of his contract, a decision that had
been taken by the west London club some months previously. West Ham would
only be prepared to take him on substantially less than his £65,000-a-week
wages with a high appearance fee in order to ensure that he is driven to
justify his signing. Barton was a pundit for TV and radio at the weekend
and, watching Bournemouth's defeat to Aston Villa, joked that he was the
best player in the ground. He said: "Judging by this game today, it won't be
long before I'll be getting a phone call from somebody.
"The best player might be sitting in the stands this afternoon, even if I do
say so myself."

Should Barton move to West Ham it would represent a u-turn from co-chairman
David Gold. Referring to Barton's social media activities in January 2013,
Gold said: "IMO [In my opinion] Barton has a problem and should seek help.'
Asked what he would do if then-boss Sam Allardyce wanted to sign Barton,
Gold replied: "Give Sam some time off, get away for a few days."

McAvennie: 'Thanks Slav, we have our club back'
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 10, 2015 in News, Super Mc's Blogs,

My eyes nearly popped out of my head at the manner in which West Ham played
at the Emirates yesterday and although it's now nearly cliche I've gotta
say it: " We've got our club back."
I had tipped Arsenal to win the Title but not after the way we performed
against them. We passed through them and when they did get into dangerous
positions we closed them down and stifled them. It was tremendous. And given
the awful build-up he was handed to the season all the credit going to
Slaven Bilic – every player knew their job and had it down to perfection. I
thought Mark Noble was outstanding and I laughed like a drain when he
starting nutmegging people at the end. That was brilliant. James Tomkins at
right back was a revelation. Then of course there was this guy Dimitri Payet
who is an absolute powerhouse. He's gonna cause nightmares to a lot of
Premier League defences this season and for a few to come. What a fantastic
buy and the first goal – although probably down to Petr Cech – was
beautifully flighted and Cheik Kouyate showed amazing determination. Reece
Oxford made me laugh. Sixteen years old and playing like a veteran but when
asked what was his best moment he said: "When Sanchez came on"…ah the
joysand innocence of youth – wonderful. It was as good off the pitch as it
was on it with Slaven Bilic impressing with every word that came out of his
mouth. Forget weak injury excuses and bad reffing comments. Slav is a
fabulously refreshing guy who tells the truth – rare in football – and it
was marvelous to hear him being honest and claiming we didn't play that well
in the first half – WHAT? I'm afraid the former manager came out with a load
of excuses and other stuff designed to impress people who weren't at the
match. I've lost count of the times he claimed we had played well when we
had been crap. A new Irons era has dawned. We are listening to a manager who
is as honest as the day is long – a lot like John Lyall. I can't wait to see
how we progress because believe me we are on the edge of something great and
will get better and better.

Irons on Barton: "We need back-up"
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 10, 2015 in News, Whispers

West Ham are in talks with 32 year old Joey Barton and that he could be
taking a medical as early as tomorrow (Tues). And a high level source inside
Upton Park told ClaretandHugh a few minutes ago: "We need back up and he was
the best player at Queens Park Rangers last season. At this moment I'd say
our chances stand at about 30 per cent." Outspoken Barton is a free agent
and has been been working for TV and radio where over the weekend he joked
he was the best player in the ground during Saturday's game between
Bournemouth and Aston Villa. Marseille and Lorient have been reported as
showing an interest in the player although a Hammers move would be ironic
after a couple of tweets from David Gold a couple of years back. Asked how
he'd react if the former manager wanted to move for him, he said: "Give Sam
some time off, get away for a few days. dg" And in another tweet he
declared:" IMO Barton has a problem and should seek help. dg

West Ham's Zarate: The manager and chairman have given me my confidence back

London 24
15:18 10 August 2015 Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent

Remember this time last year? West Ham stormed to an impressive 3-1 win at
Crystal Palace and new attacker Mauro Zarate was at the heart of everything,
running the game and scoring one of the goals that day. Fast forward 12
months and the little Argentinian has been through a tough time. He fell out
with then manager Sam Allardyce about not being in the team and was then
sent out on loan to QPR where he made no impression at all as well as
getting injured. But things have changed for Zarate now Big Sam is out of
the picture and on Sunday, he made it back-to-back goals in fine style to
equal his tally from last season. The smile and the confidence has returned
to the little man, who must have thought he was heading out of the Upton
Park exit door at the end of the last season.
"Yes, maybe I thought I would leave, but everything has changed now," said
Zarate after helping the team to a sensational opening-day victory at
Arsenal. "I spoke with the manager and I spoke with the chairman and what we
said is private, but they have me the confidence to play well again.
"Playing with confidence is so important for me." He certainly looked
confident at The Emirates, perhaps a little overconfident as, at times, he
tried to dribble through every Arsenal player instead of picking a pass. But
there was no mistaking his class as he made it 2-0 to the Hammers. "It was a
good goal I think," said the 28-year-old. "I tried a shot and Peter Cech
took one step to the far post and then came back again, but the ball went in
at the near post. "I did a little bit of a turn and hit it fairly well." It
was one hell of a turn after he had dispossessed an Arsenal player and he
had the confidence to have a shot which secured the game for West Ham,
though he did have to do plenty of defending too. "Myself and Dimitri
(Payet) with Mark (Noble) and 'Checko' (Kouyate) did a lot of defending," he
said. "That was our job, leaving Sakho to run and maybe to keep the ball up
front if he could." It worked a treat and Zarate was delighted with the
opening day. "I think it was the best start for West Ham, for all the
players, for the club and for the fans," he said. "We played a great match,
it is a great result and we are so happy." For Zarate, he must beware of how
things went wrong for him after that Palace match. Hopefully now he has the
experience of the Premier League to make sure it does not happen again."

Reece Oxford: Tottenham rejected me but I have a chance to impress at West
KEN DYER Monday 10 August 2015 10:44 BST0 comments
Evening Standard
ES 10/8/2015

Reece Oxford has a big couple of weeks coming up. There are Premier League
home matches against Leicester and Bournemouth, with the small matter of his
GCSE results sandwiched in between.
At 16 years and 236 days, the teenager from Edmonton became West Ham's
youngest ever Premier League player. At Arsenal, he hardly put a foot wrong
in West Ham's shock 2-0 victory. The Hammers had lost on their previous five
visits to the Emirates, conceding 14 goals and scoring just two in the
Oxford produced a cultured performance in the centre of midfield as Slaven
Bilic led West Ham to the perfect start in charge of his first Premier
League game. "Yes, it was a dream debut," said Oxford afterwards, clutching
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's shirt. "It was an honour to play. I found out I
was playing on Saturday night so instead of watching Match Of The Day, I was
on it. The gaffer told me to sit [in midfield], keep talking to everyone and
not let Arsenal catch us out. He said to keep it simple and don't try too
much. "Last season I made the bench a few times so I was expecting to be in
and around the first team this season — but not starting against Arsenal."
Tall and well-balanced, Oxford has already been likened to another West Ham
prodigy, Rio Ferdinand. "Yes, I've heard that a lot," he said. "He was a
great player and being compared to him is a real honour." Oxford attended
Alexandra Park School in north London and said: "I've just finished my GCSEs
but I don't yet know how I got on — I'll find out next week. "I was at
Tottenham for a while and I was a striker back then but they didn't want me
so I moved to West Ham which was a good option for me. "The Academy at the
club is great. They like to push their players and there are a few
youngsters playing for the Under-21's this season. "West Ham do give young
players their chances — Reece Burke, Lewis Page, Josh Cullen, Diego Poyet.
There are a lot of players coming through." Oxford, though, was not the only
star for West Ham. Dimitri Payet looks a bargain at £10.7 million. Goascorer
Cheikhou Kouyate said: "Dimitri is different class. He told me before the
match, 'I will give you an assist and you will score'."

West Ham in talks with Joey Barton but both parties keeping options open
• Barton has been searching for new club since release from QPR
• 32-year-old had been interested in return to Marseille
The Guardian
Monday 10 August 2015 15.06 BST Last modified on Monday 10 August 2015 15.09

West Ham United have held preliminary talks with Joey Barton and could make
him their sixth signing of the summer if an agreement can be reached with
the former Queens Park Rangers midfielder. The 32-year-old has been
searching for a club since he was released by QPR following their relegation
from the Premier League last season and West Ham have emerged as surprise
contenders to secure his signature, although both parties are understood to
be keeping their options open for now. Barton had held hopes of a return to
Marseille, but the French club said that his wage demands were too high.
Although West Ham began their season with an impressive 2-0 victory over
Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, they are still looking to make further
additions to Slaven Bilic's squad, which lacks depth in a couple of
positions. West Ham's hopes of qualifying for the Europa League were ended
by Astra Giurgiu last week and Bilic was forced to play a reserve side in
the second leg because of his desire to avoid any more injuries to key
players before the Arsenal game, having already seen Enner Valencia ruled
out until October with a knee problem. West Ham have been interested in
bolstering their options in midfield by signing Alex Song from Barcelona.
Song enjoyed a largely productive loan spell at Upton Park last season and
West Ham would like to sign him on a permanent basis. West Ham are
attractive to Song because of his family's desire to live in London, but the
move was held up after the 27-year-old midfielder suffered an ankle injury
during pre-season. That has led to Bilic looking elsewhere and Barton, who
did punditry work on Aston Villa's win over Bournemouth on Saturday, is
available on a free transfer.

West Ham have already signed Stephen Hendrie, Pedro Obiang, Angelo Ogbonna,
Dimitri Payet and Darren Randolph and they are in the market for a striker.
They have been attempting to get a work permit for Atlético Madrid's Mexican
striker, Raúl Jiménez, and are one of the clubs who are looking at QPR's
Charlie Austin.

West Ham owner David Gold facing embarrassment over tweets about transfer
target Joey Barton
JAMES BENGE Monday 10 August 2015 14:10 BST0 comments
Evening Standard

Joey Barton may be interesting West Ham United but it seems the club's owner
has some strong views on the controversial midfielder. The 32-year-old is
currently without a club after being released by QPR at the end of last
season, however reports today have suggested that Slaven Bilic's side are
considering offering him a return to the Premier League, though any possible
deal remains in its infancy. But David Gold, who owns a 35 per cent stake in
West Ham, has made his opinions on the midfielder clear in the past, saying
that he would tell former manager Sam Allardyce to "take a few days off" if
he wanted to sign Barton. Gold also commented on a Twitter spat between
Barton and Dietmar Hamann in which the former described the ex-Germany
midfielder as "the worst pro I've ever seen". Commenting on the row the West
Ham owner tweeted that "Barton has a problem and should seek help". These
tweets came from early 2013 but resurfaced today on the account West Ham
News as rumours swirled that Barton was having a medical. Though the club
are interested in a move any deal has not advanced to this stage.

Dimitri Payet promised he would assist me with a goal against Arsenal, says
impressed West Ham midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate
PUBLISHED: 13:01, 10 August 2015 | UPDATED: 13:05, 10 August 2015

Cheikhou Kouyate claims Dimitri Payet told him he would set him up for a
goal against Arsenal before the pair combined to score West Ham's first on
Sunday. West Ham new-boy Payet, signed from Marseille for £10.7million, sent
in an inch-perfect delivery from a free kick 40 yards out for Kouyate to
head them into a surprise lead just before the break at the Emirates. And it
propelled them to victory when a second long-range effort from Mauro Zarate,
early in the second half was enough to earn them the win. Afterwards,
Kouyate insisted: 'Before the game, Payet told me: 'I will give you the ball
and you score.' He is a different class, a top player, I like him.' Payet
was a stand-out player for West Ham in his Premier League debut and
Arsenal's players were unable to get the ball off him. Reece Oxford was also
widely praised for his consumate performance making a league debut at only
16 and dominating in the centre of midfield. Their centre-halves Winston
Reid and Angelo Ogbonna also played valiantly to keep Arsenal at bay. But
Kouyate put their win down to a whole team performance. 'All the players
worked together as one,' he said. 'This was done by the whole team to get
this good result. West Ham have good organisation and a good counter attack.
'Some players were in the Europa League team on Thursday, but they all
wanted to play again in the championship. This is a very good start for us.'

West Ham youngster Reece Oxford reveals he was rejected by Tottenham
• 16-year-old Oxford shone on Premier League debut against Arsenal
• 'I was at Tottenham for a while, but they did not want me'
The Independent
Monday 10 August 2015 12.05 BST

Reece Oxford has revealed that Tottenham rejected the chance to sign him
before he joined West Ham. The promising midfielder made his Premier League
debut on Sunday in the 2-0 win at Arsenal aged 16 years and 236 days.
Despite being West Ham's youngest ever first-team player, he justified what
had appeared a risky selection by Slaven Bilic by displaying a maturity
beyond his years to largely nullify the collective threat of Mesut Özil,
Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla. Given the reputations of each there is
little question that Oxford's contribution was key to their victory. He
joined West Ham at under-13 level after leaving Tottenham and, ultimately,
Spurs' loss could repeatedly prove their rivals' gain. "I was at Tottenham
for a while, but they did not want me, and I went to West Ham, which was the
best option for me," said Oxford, who is scheduled to receive his GCSE
results next week. "I was a striker back then [at Spurs]. "The [West Ham]
youth academy is great. They like to push players, we have a few youngsters
playing under-21s, which is good. "West Ham have been giving the young
players a chance who are coming through. Last season I was on the bench a
few times, so I expected to be around the team again this season, but not
starting against Arsenal."

Though West Ham have long had a reputation for developing promising young
players – in recent years Mark Noble and James Tomkins are among those to
regularly feature for the first team – the last England international the
club produced was Glen Johnson in 2002-03. Before then, Michael Carrick, Joe
Cole, Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand were part of a successful, separate
generation and Oxford, who can also play in defence but anchored West Ham's
midfield on Sunday, is already being compared to the latter. When asked
about being 'the new Rio', Oxford said: "I have heard that a lot. It is
good, he was great, so me being compared to him is an honour really. I have
not played centre-back in a while, I can play both. "It was just an honour
to play. I found out on Saturday night, I was speaking about Match of the
Day, and said that tomorrow I could be on it. "[Bilic] asked me to sit and
talk to everyone to help get them into position, not to let Arsenal catch us
out on the break, to keep it simple and not try to do too much. "The manager
said my performance was good, it was a dream debut for me. I will just go
back to celebrate with my mum and dad, my family. [And] I have got Alex
Oxlade-Chamberlain's shirt."

Cheikhou Kouyaté, whose first-half header gave West Ham the lead, played
alongside Oxford in midfield and understandably praised his performance. "It
is unbelievable, that at 16 years old he is playing for West Ham, so easily
with no stress," he said. "Before the game, I told him 'I believe in you'."

Petr Cech finds support from West Ham keeper Adrian after Arsenal errors
lead to defeat, calling him 'one of the best ever'
Cech partially to blame for both goals as Gunners lost 2-0
TOM SHEEN Author Biography Monday 10 August 2015
The Independent

Petr Cech has earned the support of West Ham goalkeeper Adrian after his two
mistakes cost Arsenal dearly at the Emirates on Sunday. The former Chelsea
goalkeeper was described as 'Wojciech Szczesny in a hat' as he was at fault
for both of West Ham's goals in a 2-0 defeat. Cech took to Twitter after the
game to apologise to fans and brush off vast criticism of his debut
performance for the Gunners. "First game like this was not in the script -
Mistake and no points but tomorrow is another day to get ready for the next
game!" he wrote.
But Adrian leapt to the defence of the Arsenal man, also on Twitter,
writing: "you better than anyone else know our life! Pleasure to have some
words with one of the best keepers ever!"
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger also refused to single Cech out for criticism,
instead stating that only a handful of players impressed. "I haven't spoken
to him (Cech) yet," Wenger told reporters. "I can't see many individual
convincing performances today so it's difficult to single someone out. "It
was a collective one. I think there are many things to say about that. I
knew that if the delivery was good, we would be in trouble before the free
kick was taken. "We have enough experience at the back. If you look at our
back line, I think the youngest age is 30."

Dimitri Payet: West Ham fans made win at Arsenal feel like playing at home

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic praised 16-year-old Reece Oxford for his tireless
effort in his side's 2-0 win over Arsenal. Dimitri Payet is loving Premier
League life after helping West Ham United to an opening-day victory over
Arsenal, the France international has told L'Equipe. Payet, 28, teed up
Cheikhou Kouyate's opener with a free kick at Emirates Stadium and was also
involved in the build-up to the Hammers' second in their 2-0 win. The
victory provided a major boost to Slaven Bilic's men, who were knocked out
of the Europa League last week, and gave Payet first-hand experience of the
passion of West Ham fans that Joe Cole had told him about during the English
international's brief spell in France. He said: "When we were at Lille, he
told me that it was an historic club, a little bit like Saint-Etienne. So I
knew what I was getting into. And I was a little bit surprised when we
scored. I thought we were playing at home as there was so much noise. It's
really brilliant to play here, home and away." Payet's decision to move to
West Ham from Marseille, where he finished as Ligue 1's leading
goal-provider last season with 16 assists, raised eyebrows in France. With
under a year to go till Euro 2016, Payet's wisdom was questioned with
critics suggesting a mediocre campaign in a struggling Premier League team
may harm his chances of playing for his country. "I don't have to respond to
the critics," Payet said. "It's a career choice that I made and I assume.
And it wasn't because of money, as I have heard say. If some people aren't
happy, it's sad for them. I feel very good here, my family too. That's the
main thing."

West Ham owner David Gold gives fitness update on Pedro Obiang
Dan Coombs

Pedro Obiang will be back in first team training this week. New West Ham
signing Pedro Obiang's Premier League bow will not be far away. The
midfielder had missed the Hammers' opening day win over Arsenal with a
muscle injury he picked up in the middle of July. West Ham owner David Gold
confirmed via Twitter, in response to a query from a supporter, that Obiang
is due back in first team training this week. Obiang was new manager Slaven
Bilic's first signing after being appointed, and it has been frustrating
that he has not been able to show what he can do so far. The fact West Ham
were able to record such an impressive away win over Arsenal without him
underlines the quality they have in the squad. When he does return he will
give his teammates a big lift, and should he prove his fitness this week he
could hope to earn a place in the matchday squad for West Ham's next game of
the season, at home to Claudio Ranieri's Leicester City.

Reece Oxford's role in West Ham win at Arsenal proves Europa League was
worth it
Julian Shea for Metro.co.uk
Monday 10 Aug 2015 7:58 am

Ozil-slayer Oxford graduates with honours for West Ham

Some people do have short memories. Can it really be as recently as
Thursday, following West Ham's Europa League exit, that the hashtag
#BilicOut was being used, and some critics, presumably recovering from sharp
blows to the head, were speaking in near fond terms of the good old days
under Sam Allardyce?

Sunday put them right.

The trip to the Emirates could hardly have been more burdened with
expectation – the opening game of West Ham's final season at Upton Park,
Slaven Bilic's first Premier League game in charge, away to an Arsenal side
buoyed by finally breaking Arsene Wenger's Jose Mourinho curse, and coming
off the back of the Irons' miserable European exit; no pressure boys.

But it could hardly have gone better for the visitors, as – admittedly with
the help of some shocking goalkeeping – they claimed a victory that will be
remembered for years to come. In doing so, Bilic sent out the perfect
riposte to his doubters. Europe was the warm-up; this is the serious
business. Now, start to judge me.

It is hard to paint West Ham's European exit as anything other than
embarrassing; a decent run would have been nice, but qualification via the
Fair Play League meant a ludicrously early start, and that the team would
have ended up playing around an extra half season's worth of games to reach
the final. Whilst there was no need to go out so feebly, realistically, it
was never going to last.

With the added upheaval of major personnel changes, Europe took the place of
a traditional pre-season, an opportunity for Bilic to see what was at his
disposal and what needed adding. The line-ups picked in Europe are hardly
likely to feature in the real business of the Premier League, but
undoubtedly they gave him a chance to assess his options, and the benefits
showed on Sunday – most notably, Reece Oxford.

Whilst Allardyce was unwilling to give the 16-year-old a chance, having
blooded him in Europe, Bilic put him on the biggest stage at Arsenal – to
dazzling effect.

The last time West Ham won at the Emirates (famously the first visitors to
do so), Sol Campbell had such a shocker he went AWOL at half time. This
time, an even bigger name – World Cup winner Mesut Ozil – seemed to
disappear, and was found in the back pocket of a youngster who awaits his
GCSE results this month.

Unquestionably, his European performances persuaded Bilic to give Oxford
this opportunity, and look how he took it. The thought of watching his
progress this season is already exciting many West Ham fans; the same should
be said of the manager.

One Premier League game is hardly a basis on which to form a reasoned
judgement, but neither is a handful of European games featuring experimental
line-ups. Now is the time to see what Bilic's teams are really made of – and
if they play like this on a regular basis, some people might want to delete
some of their old tweets.

Report: Raul Jimenez fails to turn up for West Ham medical, claims to have
Dan Coombs

Raul Jimenez's transfer to West Ham is in doubt. West Ham had appeared close
to signing Raul Jimenez, but the deal is currently in major doubt after he
failed to attend a scheduled medical, report the Sunday Times. Slaven Bilic
told a press conference last week that Jimenez would be West Ham's last
summer signing, reported by Talksport, with a season long long agreed with
Atletico Madrid. West Ham had successfully appealed a work permit denial for
the Mexican international. The Sunday Times report reads: "The Mexico
international failed to turn up for a medical on Friday. Jimenez is
understood to have informed West Ham that he missed his business flight to
England because he 'overslept'." Clearly unimpressed with the excuse, West
Ham have turned their attentions to Islam Slimani of Sporting Clube de
Portugal, and Fabio Borini of Liverpool, the paper claim. Jimenez has been
linked with a move to Portuguese side Benfica, as report Mais Futbol, who
claimed he could sign a contract with the club this week with an agreement
also in place with Atletico. If he moves there then West Ham really will
have been spun a line over his sleeping pattern. The writing may already be
on the wall.

By HamburgHammer 10 Aug 2015 at 08:00
West Ham Till I Die

It's a period of transition for West Ham and their new manager Slaven Bilic.
Still trying to cope with the aftermath of their premature exit from the
Europa League competition in Romania the Hammers couldn't have faced a more
difficult task for their first game of the season, away to the mighty

Having sacrificed their best players midweek so they could be available for
the game at the Emirates the pressure was on for Bilic's men as an Europa
League exit plus defeat in the first league game wouldn't have gone down
well with the Boleyn Alliance members.

Faced with Arsenal's sinister, pacy and skillful army of players, Bilic had
to dig deep to get anything from the game in order to give new hope and joy
to his claret and blue legion of followers and set the Hammers on their way
for the final year at their beloved home at the Boleyn.

Well, I had meant to write about something completely different in the first
post of my column, but Bilic and our team had something different in mind.
How can one not be absolutely delighted with what we've seen yesterday ?
Where to start ? Fantastic energy levels throughout the team, good chasing,
keeping possession of the ball reasonably well, frustrating Arsenal all day
long on their own patch – and Arsenal are always difficult to play, even
when they have a bad day.

Our goals were clinical and coldly converted as a healthy dog's nose should
be, mercilessly taking advantage of Arsenal weaknesses/blunders. Our defence
stood well, we had some good ideas in midfield and even without scoring
Sakho again was a livewire. Even Nolan and Maiga looked fresh and willing
when they came on.

It was a fantastic team performance and very hard to single out a man of the
match. Adrian kept the game level numerous times and more than deserved his
clean sheet, Reid was a rock marshalling the defense, Payet will be the
heartbeat of our team (hopefully for years to come) and would anyone have
guessed that Reece Oxford is 16 years old ? He played as if it was his tenth
season at this level already.

Zarate took his chance on the pitch well, he tends to keep the ball for too
long, losing it in the process, but his goal took Cech by surprise and
pretty much set us up for the win. Zarate will be a useful player for us
this season.

We will also have Valencia and Carroll back eventually, Song is likely to
come in too plus maybe one or two more players. Once they will find some
chemistry I'd expect this lot to be both entertaining to watch and
successful in terms of winning games and points.

I just hope that despite the injury to Valencia this will not result in
Carroll being rushed back three or four weeks early (again).

Make no mistake: West Ham will lose games under Bilic, also against
so-called lesser opposition, he will need some time to get his ideas across
to the team, a process that will take some time. But the early signs are
promising. I suppose we can put to bed the idea here (without tempting fate)
that this West Ham team will have anything to do with relegation at the end
of the season. I hope this to be the beginning of a wonderful and exciting
journey at the end of which we will move. Which I have done already, moving
back into my old flat in Hamburg's East End with my deceased mom's house
finally being on the market.

So it's a time for transition and change, both for my club and myself in
many different ways. The most important thing I take from our win at Arsenal
is a strong belief that Bilic is very capable and a good fit for our club.
Given time he could build a proper legacy at West Ham and bring genuine
pride back to the East End. Combined with proper unity and passion among our
fanbase. It was about time…

Rio Ferdinand reacts on Twitter to Dimitri Payet's performance against
Subhankar Mondal

Dimitri Payet was superb for West Ham United against Arsenal at the Emirates
Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday. Rio Ferdinand has been singing the
praises of West Ham United attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet on social
networking site Twitter. Payet made his Premier League debut for the Hammers
on Sunday afternoon, playing for the entire 90 minutes against Arsenal at
the Emirates Stadium. The France international was hugely impressive against
the Gunners, helping West Ham to a 2-0 victory. Former West Ham defender
Ferdinand was following the game, and he was impressed with the performance
produced by Payet on his Premier League debut. Payet, who joined West Ham
from Ligue 1 outfit Marseille in June, was one of the best players on the
pitch at the Emirates.

Rio Ferdinand ?@rioferdy5
Payet showing great promise too....quick with vision!
2:25 PM - 9 Aug 2015

During the first half, the 28-year-old had a pass accuracy of 93%, put in
three crosses, attempted two dribbles, took one shot and provided one
assist. The Frenchman has been arguably the most exciting signing of the
summer so far for West Ham, and there is more to come from him yet.

David Gold on what Slaven Bilic told him before Arsenal game
Subhankar Mondal

West Ham United kicked off their 2015-16 Premier League campaign with a 2-0
away win against Arsenal on Sunday. West Ham United co-chairman David Gold
has revealed on social networking site Twitter what manager Slaven Bilic
told him before Sunday's match against Arsenal. The Hammers kicked off their
2015-16 Premier League campaign with a 2-0 victory over the Gunners away
from home. Cheikhou Kouyate headed West Ham in the lead in the 43rd minute,
and Mauro Zarate doubled the advantage in the 57th minute. Over the course
of the 90 minutes at the Emirates Stadium in North London, West Ham had just
38% of the possession, took eight shots of which four were on target, and
earned four corners. Following the win, Gold stated on Twitter what Bilic
had told him before the game.

David Gold ?@davidgold
Slaven said to me before the match, we don't need a miracle to win but we do
need to be at our best. Well done. dg

West Ham played truly well against Arsenal and deserved the three points
against their London rivals. The Hammers are back in action on Saturday,
when they take on relegation candidates Leicester City at the Boleyn Ground
in the Premier League.

Man Utd ace in advanced talks over eye-watering switch to Premier League
JAVIER HERNANDEZ is reportedly in advanced talks over a switch to West Ham.
Daily Star
By Alex Harris / Published 10th August 2015

The Manchester United striker is close to finalising a transfer worth an
initial £10.6m, according to the Metro citing Spanish reports. And it is
claimed West Ham could end up forking over an eye-watering sum worth £17m
for the Mexico international, who has just a year left on his contract.
Hernandez is back at Old Trafford after spending last season on loan at Real
He struggled for first-team action at the Bernabeu but was on the bench for
United's opening-day win over Tottenham on Saturday. West Ham boss Slaven
Bilic is desperate to land a new striker with Andy Carroll and Enner
Valencia out injured. Diafra Sakho and Mauro Zarate started in the 2-0 win
over Arsenal and Bilic's only other option is forgotten man Modibo Maiga.

By Dean Ammi
Irons In the Circle

West Ham United's imminent striker signing Raul Jimenez looks set to snub
the East London club in favour of a move to Benfica, according to AS in
English. It has been revealed that the forward was said to have missed his
medical at the Boleyn Ground as he overslept on the day of the occasion, and
will now reportedly opt for a move to the Portuguese league champions for
just £700,000. The Hammers were set to bring an end to their hunt for a
striker and sign the Mexican front-man, with both personal terms and a work
permit agreed between the various parties.
Fellow countryman Javier Hernandez has also been linked with a move to Upton
Park this summer, but the Manchester United man was on the bench for the Red
Devils for their season opener against Tottenham, and looks likely to
remain at Old Trafford this campaign. Slaven Bilic may perhaps turn his
attention towards Sporting Lisbon striker Islam Slimani, with the club being
linked with the Algerian today.


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