Wednesday, August 5

Daily WHUFC News -

Hammers players undergo screening tests

The West Ham United players turned out in force as they underwent a screening day at the Spire Roding Hospital which is the official private hospital of West Ham United. The entire first-team squad went through extensive medical checks and had dental, eyes, blood and cardiac tests to ensure they are in full working order heading into the new season. West Ham United's Head of Medical and Sports Science Stijn Vandenbroucke believes the exercise is crucial for all the players and knows they are receiving the best possible treatment. Vandenbroucke said: "We do the screening at the Spire Roding because it is the best venue for us to do it. The partnership made my job easier to do the screening there. "We do the screening to prevent any health issues. We look at their blood, heart, their head to prevent any sickness or missing days through illness."

The Spire Roding Hospital's Head of Clinical Services Antti Kivimaki was thrilled that the players of West Ham United were able to have their screening done inside the hospital and believes they will only benefit from having the best medical facilities available to use. Kivimaki said: "It is a fantastic opportunity for us to work with a world class football team such as West Ham United. "We have fantastic medical facilities at the Roding Hospital and are happy that we can share that and help our local football club. "We are really committed here to provide the best health care and invest in technology and it is great that we can demonstrate that with the partnership with West Ham United."

West Ham United midfielder Matt Jarvis says the players know the importance of undergoing the tests and ensure they are all fully fit heading into a busy season. Jarvis said: "It is good to know what condition you are in and how you can correct it straight away. It is not all bad, you have a few needles, but it is good to know exactly what is going on." Young defender Lewis Page, who started against Werder Bremen in the final pre-season game at the Boleyn Ground also says the testing will give him the peace of mind to focus fully on the season ahead.
Page said: "You feel safe if you know everything is all-clear. You can forget about it and concentrate on your football. If there is a problem you can get it sorted out."

Page is living the dream

West Ham United defender Lewis Page admits he is living the dream at the moment and hopes to force his way into the first-team squad under Slaven Bilic this season. Page made his senior debut for the Club during the Europa League qualifier against FC Lusitans and made an immediate impression playing at left-back. The 19-year-old defender has clearly impressed new manager Slaven Bilic and was named in the starting line-up for the final pre-season game against Werder Bremen last Sunday. Page is expected to be in the squad once again for the Europa League tie against AFC Astra Giurgiu in Romania on Thursday and says he is desperate to impress the management once again. Page said: "It is more about the experience that I am getting at the moment. Every time I step out onto the pitch it feels like a dream and hearing the crowd. It is something I am not used to. "I want to push on and become a first-team player and that has to be my aim. There are players like Mark Noble and James Tomkins who are always there to help me through it and I cannot ask for much more. "The manager has shown trust in me to play in the Europa League and I hope there is more to come."

Despite failing to hold onto a two-goal lead from the first leg against Astra last week, Page is confident there is enough quality in the squad to help them reach the Play-Off round of the competition. The talented youngster says he can only benefit from playing in the Europa League and testing himself against different types of opposition. Page added: "With the mixture of senior and young players I'm sure we can go and get the job done. "I have never been to Romania but I'm sure it will be a good experience. This is about showing our potential and catching the manager's eye for a first-team place. "The young players have been training with the first-team and the sessions have been real high tempo. I can see the season going really well."

Sub-10k Bremen gate second lowest in recent history
Filed: Tuesday, 4th August 2015
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United's attendance at Sunday afternoon's pre-season friendly against Werder Bremen was the second lowest in the club's recent history. Despite not being published by the club, the official gate figure has been confirmed at just 9,919 - a figure only beaten by the record low of 7,122 witnessed for the pre-season friendly against Pacos de Ferreira two years ago.
The high price of paying on the gate (£25) has been cited by many as the reason for staying away on Sunday. Fans were asked to pay a whopping 150 per cent more than they paid for tickets to each of the three Europa League ties played at the Boleyn so far this summer. West Ham were beaten 2-1 on the day by Die Werderaner, who collected the Betway Cup after the game in front of a virtually empty stadium.

What's the point of European qualification?
Filed: Tuesday, 4th August 2015
By: Paul Turner

My first European experience was the Intertoto Cup as I was not alive for any European campaign that came before (bar the Anglo-Italian Cup, but as a six-year-old I don't think my parents would have let me travel) and the last before this season was travelling to Palermo for our ill-fated 2006-07 UEFA Cup campaign.

I made the trips to Andorra and Malta to see games that were not the best performances for our football club but to me it was as if the game was secondary to a holiday to exotic footballing locations. Those who travel abroad to watch games in Germany or Italy for example would not necessarily think of a principality in the Pyrenees or south of Sicily to obtain their footballing fix.

When else would there be a chance to visit these locations for the purpose you were out there for, surround by fellow Hammers who have travelled far and wide? From the Russian Hammers (via the Czech Republic) in the camp site overlooking the pitch in Andorra to the very mixed crowd out in Matla, the adventure has been embraced.

Along the way little memories will stay with me - like the cab driver in Malta after the game who escaped the traffic queue down the wrong side of the road and then dirt roads whilst loudly playing 'It's My Life' by Bon Jovi, or the bar in Andorra that got my beer tab badly wrong and undercharged me by quite a lot.

Not related to the match itself, but I would have never have been there if this football club of ours had not qualified for the Europa League via the back door.

WHU qualifying for the Europa League through the fair play league now looks ironic with the spate of red cards we have been obtaining but I still think the European adventure has been worthwhile, to the fans, to this point. It was with great disappointment I saw the following as taken from an article published on the club's website after the 2-2 draw against FC Astra Giurgiu on Thursday 30th July:

With the Barclays Premier League season to start at Arsenal less than 72 hours after the second leg in Romania, Bilic concluded by confirming that he will think carefully before choosing which players will make the 1,200 mile round-trip to Giurgiu. "It was the same plan, no matter what the result is, that the majority of the players who will start against Arsenal will not participate in that game," he explained. "We would like to do both, but the Premier League was and is the priority for us."

Having read those comments, it made me wonder what is the whole point then of our season then? To try and win a trophy or at least compete or finish as high in the league as you can so you are afforded more prize money at the end of the season? I don't see it as either one or the other.

From time to time you get threads in the KUMB Forums along the lines of asking what you would prefer to see, relegation and win a cup or stay up or England winning the world cup or a WHU FA cup win. Apart from it all being "if my auntie had" situations I do not see for the life of me why you should limit your ambitions. If we actually gave the Europa League a fair go and got knocked out then so be it. If that meant we are cream-crackered towards the end of the season for playing too many games then so be it.

People want to see youngsters given a chance in the first team and with the Premier League being the be all and end all apparently, when do you give those youngsters a chance? No disrespect to Joey O'Brien as an example but the old, worn out saying of 'Premier League experience' would mean you play Joey at right back against Arsenal (if fit) instead of someone like Reece Oxford or anyone else from the youth sides because they lack this experience.

How are they going to get that first team experience if you don't try them? If you don't play them in the league, then when do you? There is a competition where if you get through the qualifiers then you have a minimum of six more games to play. We are already in it (for now) so this should be seen as a bonus, not a millstone round our necks, distracting us from our 'priority'.

Besides, this priority our manager speaks of, does it get to a point in the forthcoming league campaign where we might look like we are going to qualify for European competition? If that's the case then what do we do? It's the priority above all else so it would be a rich irony. Something the fans have embraced and have gone so long without but for the club's excellent pricing of the home games, looks like it could hardly care.

Sure you have to cover the games on the media platforms but the talk has always been about pre-season schedule disruption and trying to balance being in more than three competitions in the same season. The ultimate ambition of the owners is to obtain 'Champions' League qualification. That could be either straight in or qualifiers. That's still an extra competition, but what then of the priority?

It is a real chicken and egg situation which is tied into investment into the playing staff and ambition at the club. The move to the new stadium is meant to be a launch pad to greater achievements - but wouldn't one of those achievements be a strong Europa League campaign in the season before you enter that stadium?

End of the day, our Europa League campaign could very well end this coming Thursday on the banks of the Danube - and who knows when we will qualify again for European competition? The owners and our current manager hope as soon as possible, as long as it does not distract from the priority of winning lots of money for finishing 11th rather than 12th.

To follow West Ham United is not for the glory of winning trophies and trinkets every season. As I said to a Chelsea supporting friend (she has supported them all her life…) supporting this club is a family birth right, handed down through the generations as if it is an antique heirloom. It might be a ropey reproduction off a factory production line from China or it might be the real deal but that's half the fun not knowing.

I just hope those who travel to the game this Thursday have a blast and we all have the opportunity to watch a fourth and final qualifying round game at the Boleyn this season. I don't want this European excursion to end any time soon, even if it is seen as a distraction.

West Ham joint-chairman David Gold upbeat for new season
Last Updated: 04/08/15 11:18am

West Ham joint-chairman David Gold is in positive mood ahead of the new season and says the club will be going all out to celebrate their final campaign at Upton Park. The Hammers move to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford in time for the start of the 2016/17 season and the club are planning to commemorate their time at the Boleyn Ground, their home since 1904. "We'll have events at most games remembering our heroes," Gold told 92Live. "Against Leicester (for the opening home game on August 15) it's going to be a claret and blue day and it's really a celebration of the history of our football club. "We are very optimistic and I believe we have a better squad of players than we had last season and we are not finished yet. "We finished 12th but at Christmas we were sitting in fourth place, so I am optimistic and the fans are optimistic. "Slaven (Bilic) is a passionate manager and already the fans are warming towards him. Collectively I think we will have a good season."

Gold: "99% sure that Enner Valencia will not require an operation"
Posted by Sean Whetstone on August 4, 2015 in News, Whispers

West Ham Chairman David Gold has told his 119,000 followers 0n twitter that he is 99% sure that Enner Valencia will not require an operation despite the club's Head of Medical and Sports Science Stijn Vandenbroucke refusing to rule it out. Vandenbroucke told the club website on Monday that Valencia could be set to return to action in ten to 12 weeks. "Enner visited the consultant on Monday morning, when we discussed the results of the scans he underwent on the injury last Friday," said Vandenbroucke. "The outcome is that there is now a very small chance that he will need an operation and that we instead hope to treat the injury to his fibula using conservative treatment, which we hope to start in three weeks." "We will know for sure whether or not Enner will need an operation next week, but if everything goes to plan we hope that he will be available for selection again within ten to 12 weeks. "Enner will spend the next three weeks in a walking boot and using crutches, after which we will start his rehabilitation." "We've lost Valencia for the beginning of the season. We were already believing that we required another striker in the squad and we'll be doing everything in our power to bring in the best players we can"

Report: Irons in Inter Milan player link
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 4, 2015 in News, Whispers

Reports that the agent of Inter Milan defender Danilo D'Ambrosio will be in London today after West Ham are claimed to have registered have emerged this morning.. The 26 year-old fullback's advisor Vincenzo Pisacane, flew to London last night with talks scheduled for today with West Ham officials according to TMW. Pisacane is also in contact with Schalke, with Inter keen to sell at a price of around £8-£10 million. However, with the Hammers' hands full chasing a striker this may be one of those frequent silly season stories!

Former Hammer signs for Brighton
Posted by Hammers Newshound on August 4, 2015 in News, Whispers

Former Hammer Bobby Zamora has re-joined Brighton & Hove Albion on a one-year contract. Zamora who left Queens Park Rangers at the end of last season scored 83 goals in just over three seasons between 2000 and 2003 for the Sea Gulls. He passed a medical with them yesterday evening, before signing the paperwork to complete his move back to Brighton. Zamora joined West Ham in 2004 from Spurs and made 152 appearances in all competitions for West Ham, scoring 40 goals. In July 2008, Zamora and team mate John Paintsil were sold to Fulham for a joint fee of £6.3 million.

Breaking news: 'fit again' Carroll to rejoin squad
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 4, 2015 in News, Whispers

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has been handed a massive pre-season boost with the welcome news that Andy Carroll is ready to rejoin training. The big man has been out since February, but after posting videos of himself on Twitter running unrestrained and free, he is set to rejoin the first team squad. The former Newcastle and Liverpool striker was forced to go under the knife and it had been feared he could be out of action for a further two months. The video shows the 26-year-old tackling shuttle runs, sprints and general ball control as he closes in on a return to action. They also give fans a glimpse of what they have been missing as he juggles the ball before turning and volleying it impressively into the goal behind him. West Ham boss Slaven Bilic will be hoping to have Carroll back sooner rather than later after learning that striker, Enner Valencia, will be ruled out for 12 weeks – and may yet require surgery. The club had revealed a couple of weeks back that the centre forward may be held back until October. But the race now appears to be on to get him fit asap.

Irons monitoring United's Hernandez "very closely"
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 4, 2015 in News, Whispers

West Ham are continuing to monitor No 1 striking target Javier Hernandez very closely. Despite being linked with a number of possible loan signings, boss Slaven Bilic loves the Manchester United youngster and wants to bring him to Upton Park. It's being rumoured that we have offered United around £11.9 million for the player, although a top level source told ClaretandHugh a few minutes ago: "That's not true, but we are very keen indeed and he remains the No 1 target. "We very much want to bring him to Upton Park, but our understanding is that Manchester United will only sell if they can bring in two strikers." The Hammers are likely to go as high as £14 million for the Mexican if the correct scenario develops, exceeding – by about £5 million – the funds they have available in the transfer kitty. The two Davids usually dig into their own pockets during the transfer window, and it's our understanding they will happily do so again if there is a realistic prospect of luring Hernandez to east London.

DG gives transfer window plans
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on August 4, 2015 in News

David Gold has confirmed that the club is still trying to bring Alex Song to the club. ClaretandHugh reported over a week ago the club were likely to move in on the midfielder before the end of the transfer window and Gold has revealed today: ""We enjoyed Alex Song's contribution but these things are ongoing. " The co chairman explained the club expects to sign two more players before the transfer window closes, with the talks for Song ongoing and a striker "We've lost Valencia for the beginning of the season. We were already believing that we required another striker in the squad and we'll be doing everything in our power to bring in the best players that we can. Gold said: "I would have thought [we will sign] at least two new players, not necessarily before we kick off but before the window closes. "We're not panicking, we're not going to do poor deals, we're going to do sensible deals and I think by the time we kick off we should be in good shape."

Sunderland Close In On TWO West Ham Targets
Posted by on August 4, 2015 in News, Transfer Rumours

Sunderland are closing in on the double signings of Moussa Sow and Leroy Fer, according to former Sky journalist Graeme Bailey. The Black Cats are believed to have already had one offer rejected for Fenerbahce forward Sow – who Slaven Bilic is a keen admirer of. However, they appear to be close to agreeing a fee of around £9m for the player – a price the Hammers are not willing to pay for a 29 year-old who has not proved himself in a major European league. It has also been suggested that the Wearsiders are set to sign QPR midfielder Leroy Fer on a season-long loan deal. The East Londoners recently made an enquiry for the player, according to Sky Sources – however reliable insider @ExWHUEmployee has stated that the club are not overly keen on a deal for the Dutchman.

Danny Murphy backs Dimitri Payet to become fans favourite at West Ham
Lewis Doe

Former England midfielder Danny Murphy has suggested that Dimitri Payet will become a very popular player at West Ham United. Former Tottenham and Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy told talkSPORT that he feels Dimitri Payet is the West Ham summer signing that fans will really take to. Payet was announced as a summer signing for the Hammers earlier in the summer and he's had an instant impact at the club, influencing a number of pre-season games ahead of an important Premier League season for the club. "Dimitri Payet from Marseille is an interesting one because he's a skilful player who plays in that number ten role, he can find a pass and he can definitely make things happen, he'll be a fans favourite, he's a talent," he told talkSPORT.

Will Payet start for West Ham?

It would be a major surprise if West Ham boss Slaven Bilic decides not to use Payet in behind the striker against Arsenal this weekend and for the majority of the season. He seems to be a player who likes to get into possession of the ball as quickly as possible before turning on the opposition and attacking them directly. He's got the pace and agility to be able to dodge heavy challenges designed to knock him out of possession and should improve in terms of consistency as he plays more Premier League games.

How will the fans take to Payet?

The best way for Payet to improve his relationship with the club's fans is to play effectively and influence big games. If he does that while entertaining the fans, then he will quickly become a very popular player around the club and someone who could have a big say on the side's Premier League position.

Slaven Bilic to risk Europa League place by fielding second-string West Ham side against Astra Giurgiu
West Ham face tough test in second leg of third qualifying round tie after drawing first leg against Astra 2-2 and manager is weighing up options
By Matt Law1:14PM BST 04 Aug 2015

Slaven Bilic is ready to underline his frustration with the Europa League by risking West Ham United's place in the tournament and fielding a second-string side against Astra Giurgiu.
West Ham face a tough task in Thursday night's second leg of their third qualifying round tie after drawing the first leg against Astra 2-2. Manager Bilic saw central defender James Collins become the third player to be sent off in three rounds for West Ham, who were given a Fair Play place in the qualifying rounds, and the Croatian was sent to the stands himself.
Enner Valencia also suffered a serious knee and ankle injury in the first leg that West Ham say will keep the forward out for at least 12 weeks, although medics fear it could be significantly longer. Bilic has been dismayed by the standard of refereeing during the Europa League qualifying rounds so far and is understood to be carefully considering whether or not the competition is worth risking West Ham's season over. The Hammers travel to Arsenal for their first Premier League game of the season on Sunday, just three days after they will have faced Astra in Romania.

With the Arsenal fixture and injuries and red cards weighing heavily on his mind, Bilic is likely to rest a number of key players against Astra and largely rely on youngsters and fringe players. The move could anger a number of West Ham fans, who travelled out to Andorra and Malta to watch the team in the first and second qualifying rounds, and have booked trips to Romania.
One first-team regular who is likely to face Astra is on-loan right-back Carl Jenkinson because he cannot play against his parent club Arsenal at the weekend. West Ham are confident of receiving the green light to sign forward Raul Jimenez in a move the club also hope will boost their bid to convince Javier Hernandez to move to Upton Park. The Hammers have made Manchester United's Hernandez their top striker target, ahead of Charlie Austin, and believe the fact he is an international team-mate of Jimenez for Mexico could work in their favour.
West Ham are prepared to pay £12 million to land Hernandez, but realise they face a battle to convince him to move to Upton Park. Co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold are willing to offer the 27-year-old big wages and prospect of linking up with Jimenez at club level.

West Ham 'set to meet Inter Milan defender Danilo D'Ambrosio's agent ahead of transfer move'
Louis Sealey for
Tuesday 4 Aug 2015 1:00 pm

West Ham are reportedly close to sealing the transfer of Inter Milan defender Danilo D'Ambrosio, with the player's agent set to meet with the east London club to finalise a deal. The Hammers have enjoyed a productive transfer window but remain on the market and versatile Italian defender D'Ambrosio, who can play either on the right or left flank, has caught their attention. The 26-year-old, who played 23 games for the Serie A outfit last season, is said to want more first team opportunities and, according to reports in Italy, West Ham are willing to offer him a chance in the Premier League. Reports say West Ham will meet the full-back's agent soon with the aim of completing a deal before the start of the new campaign.

West Ham transfer news: Bilic to bid £12m for Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez
Eening Standard
Published: 04 August 2015 Updated: 12:55, 04 August 2015

West Ham are ready to return to Manchester United with an improved offer for Javier Hernandez of around £12 million. The club were already on the hunt for a new striker before Enner Valencia injured his ankle and knee last week, sidelining him for up to three months. That injury has made the search more pressing, with Diafra Sakho the only one of last season's first-choice strikers available for Sunday's Premier League opener at Arsenal. Hernandez is a realistic option. West Ham have had one offer of £8.5m rejected but are prepared to return with an improved bid for the 27-year-old. West Ham have agreed a one-season loan deal for Atletico Madrid striker Raul Jimenez but now face a battle to obtain a work permit for the Mexico striker.

Slaven Bilic has enjoyed great success with Besiktas before coming to West Ham – but how did he do it? Turkish football expert Emre Sarigul tells us about him.
Michael Oliver

When West Ham appointed Slaven Bilic as their new manager – not many of us knew much about his playing style or how he conducted himself on and off the pitch. Turkish football expert Emre Sarigul tells us about Bilic's managerial style, how he manages his players, and what to expect from the Croatian at Upton Park.

How did Bilic turn Besiktas around and make them a title contender?

Slaven Bilic took over a Besiktas side rocked by a financial crisis and without a home stadium. The club are still rebuilding the Inönü stadium which will be renamed the Vodafone Arena.
The slogan used by the club president was 'FEDA' which translates to sacrifice. Players were asked to reduce their contracts, the club shifted to a transfer policy of signing young and unproven talent in a bid to cut spending. Bilic managed to create a side that contended for the title and almost won it over his second season in charge. Several players developed under his stewardship especially Gökhan Töre who finally started living up to his billing after a few disappointing seasons following his exit from Chelsea as a youth.

What was about his character that made the fans take to him the way they did?

One of Bilic's main strengths was knowing how to use his charisma. Bilic was the darling of the media and the fans. He identified with the clubs main fan base due to being a bit of a rebel – the main fan group Çarsi have anarchic undertones hence the A in Çarsi being an Anarchist A. He made an extra effort to learn Turkish, almost always greeted the fans after the games and in interviews generally was full of praise.

What kind of tactics and formations did Bilic use with Besiktas?

Bilic generally used a 4-2-3-1 and at times a 4-4-1-1. The key to his side was the holding midfielders. Veli Kavlak and Atiba Hutchinson formed the backbone of Bilic's side protecting a shaky defensive line and contributing to attacking play. Both midfielders are physical with Atiba being the more technical player with a decent passing ability.

How did he approach the big games against English opposition – Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham?

Undoubtedly Besiktas played their best football against English opposition last season and Bilic's side thrived as the underdog. The Black Eagles only narrowly lost out 1-0 on aggregate to Arsenal, drew/beat Tottenham and knocked Liverpool out of the Europa League Round of 32 against all the odds. The most impressive part was that Besiktas were rarely outplayed in any of the six games and even out passed Arsenal in London.

What is Bilic like as a player manager – his handling of the players?

On the one hand Bilic is capable of getting the best out of his players but he was also criticised with mental frailty when the going got tough. Besiktas were in pole position to win the league title last season but could not handle the pressure and Bilic failed to find a solution. The same happened the season before. This would be the one thing he really must work on.

Do you think his playing style will work in the Premier League?

Bilic has already demonstrated that he can compete against Premier League sides. Besiktas caused the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool all sorts of problems. He knew their weaknesses, how to exploit them and how to motivate his players for these games. His main test will be maintaining a consistently high level of football throughout the season. Bilic failed to win a single derby during his time at Besiktas and was criticised for lacking bottle in big games. Bilic will go down well with the fans and West Ham are likely to play far more aesthetically pleasing football than under big Sam last season but he still has quite a bit of room for improvement.

Exclusive - 'The sooner West Ham get knocked out of the Europa League, the better', says celebrity fan James Corden
By Joe Moore (@JoeyMoore) | Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Live on talkSPORT

West Ham must forget about the Europa League and focus on ensuring they are playing Premier League football in their new Olympic Stadium next season, according to celebrity fan James Corden.
The British comedian and American talk show host joined talkSPORT to talk everything about his beloved Hammers. While their top flight rivals continue their pre-season preparation, West Ham's campaign began weeks ago, having already stumbled through the first two rounds of Europa League qualification on penalties in Malta. In their first leg of their third round clash, Slaven Bilic's side squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Romanian minnows Astra Giurgiu, and they suffered a further blow with striker Enner Valencia ruled out for 12 weeks after being stretchered out of the game. Teams' domestic form has often suffered from participating in Europe's second tier tournament, and Corden believes the sooner West Ham are knocked out, the better. "I would be over the moon if he got knocked out," the Late Late Show host said in an exclusive interview with the Sports Bar. "I just don't know what we gain from it, apart from the stress in puts on the squad and on the team. "I read an interview with Mark Noble, who said when they got back from Malta they arrived back at 5am and then had warm-down training three hours later - it can't be great for the team. "Look at Everton, they have a strong squad of players but it was only once they were knocked out of the Europa League that they started to climb out of trouble [domestically] last year. "All that matters for West Ham is that when it comes to our first game in the Olympic Stadium, we're playing in the Premier League, because it will be a catastrophe if we're not."

Julian Dicks says West Ham's Reece Oxford is a top talent
Subhankar Mondal

West Ham United first-team coach Julian Dicks seems to rate youngster Reece Oxford highly. West Ham United first-team coach Julian Dicks has hailed Reece Oxford as a "top talent" on social networking site Twitter. The 16-year-old defender has featured during the Hammers' pre-season programme and has already made his competitive debut for the London outfit. The centre-back played for Slaven Bilic's side during the first leg of their Europa League first qualifying round against FC Lusitans last month. Oxford played well against the Andorran side and was impressive during the 3-0 win at the Boleyn Ground. The England Under-18 international captain normally plays as a centre-back, but on that occasion he was deployed in midfield. Oxford became the youngster ever player to play for West Ham, breaking Billy Williams' 93-year record in the process. The youngster is likely to get chances in the first team this season, but Dicks has urged caution despite hailing him as a "top talent".

West Ham have a good and competitive squad, but there will be times when Oxford will be needed. The youngster could be given valuable first-team experience in cup games, although at this stage of his career, he should be more focused on doing well with the West Ham youth teams.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic given boost as Andy Carroll appears to return to training
PUBLISHED: 10:16, 4 August 2015 | UPDATED: 10:16, 4 August 2015

West Ham have been handed a major boost with the news Andy Carroll has returned to training following his latest injury woes. Carroll has not featured for the Hammers since suffering a knee ligament injury during a goalless draw with Southampton last February. The former Newcastle and Liverpool man was forced to go under the knife and it had been feared he could be out of action for a further two months. However, Carroll took to Twitter on Tuesday to post a video of himself taking part in a training session alongside one of the club's staff. The video shows the 26-year-old tackling shuttle runs, sprints and general ball control as he closes in on a return to action. Carroll also gives fans a glimpse of what they have been missing as he juggles the ball before turning and volleying it impressively into the goal behind him. West Ham boss Slaven Bilic will be hoping to have Carroll back sooner rather than later after learning that striker Enner Valencia will be ruled out for 12 weeks and may yet require surgery.

Former West Ham academy graduate Seb Lletget makes MLS team of the week, should club have kept him?
Damien Lucas

Former West Ham United academy graduate Seb Lletget has been named in the MLS team of the week and is earning rave reviews playing for LA Galaxy. Seb Lletget's brilliant form for the Galaxy so far this season, where he has shone in midfield alongside ex-Premier League stars Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane, leaves West Ham wondering if they made the right decision letting him leave earlier this year. The 22-year-old has six goals from midfield in just 10 games so far this season and his latest was a brilliant finish after starting a flowing move with a mazy run from the halfway line against Colorado Rapids at the weekend. The Upton Park outfit had high hopes for Lletget when they brought him over from American club Sporting Santa Clara in 2009. But after progressing through West Ham's famous academy he never managed to make a breakthrough in the Premier League. When he did play his one competitive first team match for the club it came in a 5-0 humbling to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup in the 2013-14 season. He was never trusted enough by Sam Allardyce to make the step up and play regularly in the English top flight after that and was released so he could return to his homeland with Galaxy in a bid to kickstart his career.

Why Lletget's form proves he should have been given a chance

Some fans will argue the MLS is far inferior to the Premier League. But the standards in the US have been considerably raised in recent seasons will the arrival of the likes of David Silva, Gerrard, Keane, Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard and many other players who still have plenty to offer. But his form has been outstanding and has rightly earned him a place in the official's Team of the Week. Described as "one of the most in-form players in Major League Soccer" Lletget was praised for helping kickstart Galaxy's comeback from 1-0 down against Colorado Rapids to win 3-1. He is currently second behind former Hammers teammate Keane in the LA scoring charts. While West Ham are well stocked with midfielders, Lletget's form might leave some West Ham fans wondering what might have been and questioning why a promising young player was released in favour of keeping the likes of Kevin Nolan, Morgan Amalfitano and Matt Jarvis on the books. And with the club's involvement in the Europa League this pre-season it could have been the perfect stage for Lletget to prove himself like a number of his former academy teammates have done. Perhaps under the more attack minded tutelage of Bilic, Lletget's obvious talent would have blossomed saving the Hammers millions in the transfer market.

Former West Ham academy graduate Matt Holland says old club will be worse off under Slaven Bilic
Damien Lucas

Pundit Matt Holland, who started his career at West Ham United, has predicted where he thinks his old side will finish in the Premier League this season. The 41-year-old former midfielder started his career with the Hammers but subsequently joined Bournemouth, before spending long spells at Ipswich Town and Charlton Athletic, where he retir ed in 2009. He was a consistent Premier League performer and played more than 550 games in his career even representing the Republic of Ireland 49 times and scoring five goals. Since retiring Holland has worked as a pundit for the likes of the BBC and more recently Talksport. And he told the radio station he thinks the Hammers will be worse this season under Slaven Bilic than they were last time out under Sam Allardyce because he predicts his first club will finish 13th. That's one place worse off than last season's 12th place finish which was deemed so disappointing it ultimately cost Big Sam his job in east London. Most fans accept Bilic would have to go some to match Allardyce's first half of last season, which was the club's best ever start to a Premier League campaign and had them fourth by the turn of the year. But with nine signings so far this summer and the promise of more to come, as well as the appointment of former Croatia boss Bilic, Upton Park has been buzzing with excitement. Holland, who never made a senior appearance for the Hammers, has put a dampener on any hopes for at least a midtable finish, though, predicting West Ham will finish below the likes of Stoke City, Southampton, Swansea City, Crystal Palace and Newcastle United. He has backed the Hammers' London rivals Chelsea to retain their Premier League crown, Arsenal to finish third and Tottenham Hotspur to finish sixth.

Mark Noble: The only way for West Ham's players to approach life under Bilic
Lewis Doe

West Ham United midfielder Mark Noble has explained how he feels the squad need to adjust to the changes happening at the club. West Ham United midfielder Mark Noble told the club's official website that the team just need to find a way to adapt under manager Slaven Bilic. Bilic has had an opportunity to work with all sections of his squad ahead of the new season and adapting to life under a new manager is something that Noble has had to get used to throughout his career. Noble suggests that it's a real test of character for the team, as they look to build on the progress made under old manager Sam Allardyce. "It's been different but you've got to adapt. I've played under six managers at West Ham alone and you need to learn to adapt," he told "The training has been different. You need to get used to life to the new regime. We'll see the test of character we have in the first four or five games in the new season." "We have to stay positive, it's the best league in the world to play in and we cannot wait to kick off."

Players under pressure

The players are under pressure to adapt and learn quickly because of how important it is for West Ham to get into a good early position in the Premier League. Bilic is a very different manager to Sam Allardyce, with different ideas but he's got enough experience and talent in the team to be able to adjust to new ideas quickly. The danger for West Ham is that the top quality sides they are competing against on a weekly basis, will take advantage of any indecision or weakness they see in the team's setup. The good news in terms of the Premier League opener against Arsenal this weekend is that Bilic has already had a chance to get his ideas across in competitive Europa League games.

West Ham 'make £11.9m transfer offer to sign Manchester United's Javier Hernandez'
Jamie Sanderson for
Monday 3 Aug 2015 11:31 pm

West Ham have made an £11.9million transfer offer to sign Javier Hernandez, according to reports. The striker is out-of-favour at Manchester United this summer after returning to the club following an unsuccessful loan spell at Real Madrid. And while the Mexican remains unsure of what to do next, West Ham are hoping to tempt him to London and El Mundo Deportivo reports a £11.9m bid has been made for his services. That's likely to be an amount that should tempt United into selling. The Hammers are in need of another striker with Enner Valencia facing three months out with injury.

West Ham in for D'Ambrosio?
By Football Italia staff

West Ham United will meet with Inter full-back Danilo D'Ambrosio's agent tomorrow, according to reports. The Hammers have been shopping in Serie A already this summer, bringing in Pedro Obiang from Sampdoria and Angelo Ogbonna from Juventus. Tuttomercatoweb suggests the English side will continue their Italian recruitment drive, setting up a meeting with D'Amrosio's agent, Vincenzo Pisacane, tomorrow. The Nerazzurri are believed to be asking for between €8m and €10m [£5.6m-€7m] for the Italian, who has spent the last two seasons at San Siro. The 26-year-old made 23 appearances for the Beneamata last season, with the former Torino man proving two assists.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain jokes that being on loan at West Ham has corrupted Arsenal team-mate Carl Jenkinson's taste in music
PUBLISHED: 00:21, 4 August 2015 | UPDATED: 00:51, 4 August 2015

A year is a long time in football and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has claimed that a season on loan at West Ham has 'corrupted' his Arsenal team-mate Carl Jenkinson. Chamberlain, who scored the winning goal as Arsenal beat Chelsea in the FA Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday, has revealed that the right back has developed a penchant for country music - and the 21-year-old is far from impressed. England midfielder Chamberlain described Jenkinson, who has returned to Upton Park for another year, as having the worst taste in music before performing a rendition of one of 'Jenko's' favourite tunes. Chamberlain expressed concern for his team-mate before explaining that he has been attending county music concerts in the United States. 'Carl Jenkinson's music is the worst type of music,' Oxlade-Chamberlain told Arsenal Player. 'He really has taken a turn for the worst. 'I really am worried about him. I have been watching his Snapchats and he's at a concert in Salt Lake - country town. 'There is a tune that goes a little something like this. I don't know who the guy is that sings it but I hear Jenko singing it all the time.' Chamberlain says before breaking out into a song. 'Rock me momma like the wagon wheel,' he sings, 'rock me momma any way that you feel... something lie that. That's what we're dealing with, country town Jenko. 'Chequered shirts on, his got his shades, flip-flops and his shorts and he is there in Salt Lake City living it up to Mr country man and I'm just looking thinking "he's changed". West Ham has corrupted him.'

Co-owner David Gold says West Ham have the squad to cope without Enner Valencia but do they?
Damien Lucas

West Ham United co-owner claims Slaven Bilic has the squad to cope after striker Enner Valencia was ruled out for up to three months with injury. West Ham United joint-chairman and co-owner Gold has wished Enner Valencia a speedy recovery but tried to put a positive spin on the situation. Gold was speaking to West Ham's official website about the striking situation at the club after it was confirmed the pacy Ecuadorian star would miss the next 10 to 12 weeks with a lower leg injury sustained in the 2-2 Europa League draw with Astra Giurgiu. Bilic's side have been linked with the likes of Queens Park Rangers forward Charlie Austin and Atletico Madrid's Raul Jimenez, as per the Evening Standard. But while the co-owner did say the Hammers were looking to strengthen their forward line, he feels the current pool of strikers is good enough and strong enough to cope with Valencia's absence. "In football you need that bit of luck and injuries play a part in the season," Gold told "We have to take it and be strong. We have got Sakho, Zarate and players who can do a job while Valencia makes his recovery."

If Gold truly believes Bilic has enough strength in depth up front then the Hammers could be in for a long, hard season. They have let Carlton Cole and Nene go over the summer and only brought back outcasts Mauro Zarate and Modibo Maiga into the fold after both were frozen out under Sam Allardyce. While Zarate has shown he could be a useful player to have around this pre-season, Maiga has only reinforced that he has no future at the club with a string of woeful performances extending his miserable spell in east London. With Andy Carroll ruled out until at least September, it leaves just one senior proven Premier League performer up front for the Hammers in Diafra Sakho. While Sakho is a guaranteed starter, it must be remembered that the Senegal striker suffered two long lay-offs himself through injury last season so the club are once again living very dangerously when it comes to going into a season adequately equipped with strikers. Valencia's injury has merely exacerbated a need that was already there ahead of what is one of the most important seasons in West Ham's history as they play their final campaign at their Boleyn Ground home of 112 years before moving to the 54,000 seater Olympic Stadium.

Report: West Ham return for United striker Javier Hernandez after seeing initial bid rejected
Tom Thorogood

West Ham United have been linked with a move for Manchester United's Javier Hernandez. According to a report in Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, West Ham United are preparing a new offer for Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez after seeing an initial bid turned down. The Hammers have been one of the busier clubs in the transfer market thus far, but they now face a potential striker dilemma ahead of the new season due to Enner Valencia's long-term injury. The Ecuadorian star was stretchered off in last week's 2-2 draw against Astra Giurgiu with an ankle injury and has subsequently been ruled for up to 12 weeks, joining Andy Carroll on the sidelines. As such, manager Slaven Bilic is short on striker options and fresh reports in Spain claim that the East London outfit have renewed their interest in Mexico international Hernandez after having a previous bid rejected.

The details

The report states that a new £11.9 million offer is being weighed up after a previous bid in the region of £8.5m was turned away by Louis van Gaal's side. So far it is unclear whether Hernandez – commonly known as Chicharito – has a future at United after spending the previous 12 months on loan at Real Madrid. The talented striker barely featured for Madrid last term, but he still managed to chip in with nine goals in all competitions and played a key role in the club's run to the Champions League semi-final.

West Ham United a good option?

Despite Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao leaving United this summer, the Red Devils still boast plenty of attacking options and it is clear Chicharito would once again struggle for game time. West Ham represent a fine choice - an established Premier League club with Europa League football on offer and the guarantee of regular first-team football considering their injury situation. The Hammers are currently embarking on a new era under Bilic and with their impending move to the Olympic Stadium, Hernandez would be wise to want to play a part in the club's new adventure.


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