Thursday, March 23

Daily WHUFC News - 24th March 2017

Snodgrass helps Scotland to draw

Robert Snodgrass helps Scotland to 1-1 international friendly draw with
Canada in Edinburgh
West Ham United winger becomes first Hammer to represent Scotland since
Christian Dailly in 2007
Tartan Army face 'must-win' FIFA World Cup qualifier with Slovenia on Sunday

Robert Snodgrass became West Ham United's first Scotland international in
ten years as he featured in the Tartan Army's 1-1 friendly draw with Canada.
And the winger, signed from Hull City in January, nearly celebrated the
occasion with a goal, only for his first half effort to come back off the
post. As it was, Scotland had to make do with a draw, with Norwich City's
Steven Naismith equalising after Fraser Aird – who plays in Scotland for
Falkirk – had given the Canadians a shock lead at Easter Road in Edinburgh.
Snodgrass, who became West Ham's first Scotland international since
Christian Dailly in May 2007, completed the full 90 minutes as his nation
prepared for Sunday's FIFA World Cup qualifier with Slovenia in Glasgow.
Scotland go into that game knowing defeat would leave their chances of
reaching next summer's finals in Russia hanging by a thread, and manager
Gordon Strachan has labelled the tie 'must-win' after 3-0 defeats in England
and Slovakia. "He's right in what he says," Snodgrass, who netted a
hat-trick in his country's opening 5-1 qualifying win in Malta last year,
told BBC Scotland. "The lads know that. We know we need to get back to
winning ways. "When you lose games against Slovakia and England, you're
going to get the criticism that goes with it. "We need to be ready and we
need to take our chances when we get them on the night."

Sunday's tie with Slovenia will be screened live in the UK by Sky Sports 1,
with kick-off at Hampden Park at 7.45pm. Elsewhere on Wednesday, Reece
Oxford appeared as a second-half substitute as England kicked-off their UEFA
European U19 Championship Elite Round qualifiers with a 3-0 win over Norway
at St George's Park. England take on Spain – who thrashed Belarus 5-0 on
Wednesday – at the same venue on Friday, before facing Belarus on Monday.
Only the group winners will qualify for this summer's finals in Georgia.

Randolph - We have to fancy our chances

Darren Randolph's Republic of Ireland host Wales in a FIFA World Cup
qualifier on Friday evening
A victory in Dublin would put the Boys in Green on course to qualify for
Russia 2018
Randolph says Ireland would love to emulate Wales, who reached the UEFA Euro
2016 semi-finals

Darren Randolph says Republic of Ireland would love to emulate Wales and
make a big impact at a major tournament. The West Ham United goalkeeper
helped the Boys in Green to reach the Round of 16 of UEFA Euro 2016, but
Wales went all the way to the semi-finals at their first tournament in 58
years. Ireland host Wales in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Dublin on
Friday evening, with a win for the home side putting them on course to reach
the fourth finals in their history. "It's going to be a good game," Randolph
told West Ham TV. "Every game seems to be a big one recently, but this is
another big game. We're sitting top of the group now, so if we can get a win
in that one, it's one step closer to the World Cup in Russia. "A win would
put pressure on the other teams and you always want to take points off the
other teams who are going to be there or thereabouts, and Wales are there or
thereabouts in the group. "If we can take points off them on Friday then it
will set us up nicely for the rest of our games."

As Randolph points out, Ireland are in a strong position as they seek
qualification for their first World Cup finals since they travelled to Japan
and South Korea in 2002. The Boys in Green have ten points from their
opening four Group D qualifiers, with four of their remaining six to be
played at home in Dublin – starting with Wales on Friday. Martin O'Neill's
side also host Serbia, Austria and Moldova at home, while they travel to
Georgia in September before ending their campaign in Wales in October. "Most
of the remaining games are at home, so we have to fancy our chances," he

So, can Ireland emulate Wales and make a big splash in Russia next year?

"When we were trying to qualify for Euro 2016, with three or four games to
go, we were fourth in the group and knew we had to win all our games to
qualify from a tough group, which we did," he recalled. "We then had to beat
Bosnia-Herzegovina in the play-off, which were tough games, and we did. We
then went to the Euros and we had the toughest group with Italy, Sweden and
Belgium and we got out of that group. Then, obviously, France knocked us out
and they went all the way to the final, so we've done very well. "We're top
of the qualifying group now against Austria, Serbia and Wales and have had
good results against Serbia and Austria, and now we have Wales up next.
Everyone is confident and playing well at their clubs, so there is no reason
why we can't go out there and play with no fear and a bit of freedom and see
how far we can go and where we can get to."

Republic of Ireland versus Wales will be screened live in the UK by Sky
Sports 1, with kick-off at the Aviva Stadium at 7.45pm.

Claret and Blue Tartan Army XI!

To celebrate Robert Snodgrass becoming West Ham United's first Scotland
international in ten years, we have picked the all-time Claret and Blue
Tartan Army XI – but do you agree with our selections? Snoddy became just
the SIXTH Hammer to represent the Scots in a senior international match when
he pulled on the famous dark blue shirt in Wednesday's 1-1 friendly draw
with Canada.
But the winger is far from the first Scot to have worn West Ham's famous
Claret and Blue…

1. Bobby Ferguson

West Ham have employed a succession of Scottish goalkeepers, despite their
unfair reputation for making mistakes, with 1962 Hammer of the Year Lawrie
Leslie and Tom McAlister, who made 100 appearances in the mid-1980s, among
those to pull on a green shirt. Ferguson was the Hammers' No1 for much of
the 1970s, making 277 appearances, but the unfortunate Ardrossan-born
stopper missed both the 1975 FA Cup final and 1976 European Cup Winners' Cup
final, as English youngster Mervyn Day was preferred.

2. Ray Stewart

The all-time Penalty King scored an amazing 78 penalties in 434 appearances
for the Hammers between 1979 and 1991, while his nickname Tonka alluded to
his indestructible physical makeup. The world's most-expensive teenager when
he signed from Dundee United, right-back Stewart is the only non-Englishman
to have won the FA Cup in Claret and Blue, doing so in 1980.

3. Neil Orr

Greenock-born Orr is arguably the most understated Boy of '86, despite the
fact he started 33 of West Ham's First Division matches in that historic
season. A versatile midfielder or defender, Orr provided the guile alongside
the flair of Alan Devonshire, Mark Ward and Alan Dickens. Despite his
undoubted quality, Orr was never capped by Scotland.

4. James McCrae

Born in the wonderfully-named Bridge of Weir in 1894, McCrae's early career
was affected by the First World War, during which he appeared as a guest
player for the Hammers. McCrae remained in east London following the end of
the war, signing permanently in June 1919 and lining up in defence for the
Club's first-ever Football League match against Lincoln City on 30 August of
the same year.

5. Christian Dailly

He of 'curly-hair' fame was capped 67 times by Scotland between 1997 and
2008, appearing at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, to be his country's
sixth most-capped player. A tall defender, Dailly became a cult hero on
joining West Ham from Blackburn Rovers in 2001, going on to make 191
appearances over the next six seasons, including the 2004 and 2005 Play-Off

6. Don Hutchison

Despite being born in Gateshead and never playing a match for a Scottish
club, Hutchison was the son of a miner from Nairn in the Highlands and
therefore qualified to represent the Tartan Army. A midfielder, Hutchison
was capped 26 times, scoring the most notable of his six goals with the
winner against England at Wembley in a UEFA Euro 2000 play-off match in
November 1999.

7. Billy Grassam

Billy Grassam's name will be a mystery to most Hammers fans, but the
diminutive inside-right was a star of his time. Not only did Grassam line up
in West Ham United's first-ever fixture against Gravesend United on 1
September 1900, but he scored four goals in it as the Hammers won 7-0! In 83
appearances, Grassam scored 44 goals. Then, after two years with Manchester
United, he returned to east London in 1905 and netted another 24 in 96
further games.

8. Nigel Quashie

The mystery of 'Whatever happened to Nigel Quashie?' is one which continues
to baffle West Ham supporters, a decade after the midfielder made his eighth
and final appearance in Claret and Blue. A teenage prodigy with Queens Park
Rangers, Southwark-born Quashie played more than 300 games for QPR,
Nottingham Forest, Portsmouth, Southampton and West Bromwich Albion before
joining the relegation-threatened Hammers in January 2007. Six weeks later,
he was injured in the dramatic 4-3 Premier League defeat by Tottenham, and
was never seen again.

9. Archibald Macauley

Born in Falkirk, Macauley spent four seasons with Rangers, becoming a
regular as a teenager and winning the Scottish Cup and League Championship,
before joining the Hammers in 1937 for £6,000.

An wing half, Macauley was part of the 1940 Football League War Cup-winning
side at Wembley, and he won the Football League Championship with Arsenal
eight years later.

10. Frank McAvennie

Blond-haired McAvennie arrived as an attacking midfielder from St Mirren in
the summer of 1985, but an injury suffered by striker Paul Goddard saw the
relative unknown move up front. McAvennie responded by forging a prolific
partnership with Tony Cottee which fired the Hammers to a record-high
third-place First Division finish. His reward was a trip with Scotland to
the 1986 FIFA World Cup finals in Mexico.

11. John Dick

Last, but certainly not least, comes John Dick – West Ham's first senior
Scotland international when he was handed his debut against England at
Wembley in 1959. Amazingly, despite netting an incredible 177 goals in 367
appearances in Claret and Blue, including 77 First Division goals in just
four seasons, Govan-born Dick was never capped by his country again.

Diafra Sakho: West Ham United striker unlikely to return this season

West Ham striker Diafra Sakho is unlikely to play again this season because
of the back injury he suffered in November. He has only played twice all
season, having also missed the start of the season with a back problem. The
27-year-old has now returned to light training following surgery. "Diaf is
essentially at the start of his own personal pre-season training schedule,"
Hammers medical boss Stijn Vandenbroucke said. "When players return from
their off-season, they will go through four to five weeks of pre-season work
to build up their strength and fitness. "After undergoing back surgery and
three months of rehab, a player needs time to reach sufficient fitness
levels before we can contemplate making him available for selection in the
Premier League."

Senegal international Sakho, who was due to join West Brom for £15m before
his summer injury, missed this season's Africa Cup of Nations.

Hammers target seeking 'big club' move
Filed: Thursday, 23rd March 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham transfer target Gylfi Sigurdsson says it would be a "dream" to play
for a big club in the "near future". The 27-year-old attacking midfielder
has been linked with a move to the Olympic Stadium this week, days after
being praised by Swansea boss Paul Clement for his recent excellent form -
which Sigurdsson called "very flattering". "Maybe he was just trying to give
me confidence," said the Icelandic international. "Of course, it would be a
dream to play for one of these big clubs. "Hopefully if I continue doing
well for Swansea and Iceland then in the near future, I can play in a big
club. I am enjoying being one of the senior players, though.
"We may be in a tough spot, but I am kind of enjoying the pressure of that.
I am trying to make the most of that and help the team to get three points
every week."

* West Ham are keeping tabs on Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu, according to
the Daily Star. The £15m-rated Everton winger is currently on a season-long
loan with AC Milan who are interested in making the deal permanent. The
Hammers are reported to have indicated their interest recently however they
could yet face competition from Delafou's former club Barcelona, who retain
a buy-back clause that would entitle them to bring the 23-year-old back to
Camp Nou for around £10m.

* West Ham are set to re-ignite their interest in Chelsea's out-of-favour
striker Michy Batshuayi by trying to sign him on loan for next season,
according to 90 Min. The Belgian international (16 Premier League
appearances, all as sub) joined Chelsea in a £31million switch from
Marseille last summer but is unlikely to be in Antonio Conte's first team
plans next year, giving West Ham the green light to move.

* The chances of West Ham signing Wayne Rooney are "100/1", according to
Jack Sulivan, son of co-owner David. Sullivan Jnr was posting on twitter
following reports that West Ham were keen to sign the Manchester United

* Onto Europe where West Ham continue to be linked with a move for
Manchester City's veteran full back Pablo Zabaleta. Today several sources
in Italy report that the 32-year-old is likely to join West Ham, despite
rumours of interest from Serie A clubs Roma and Inter. Gael Clichy and
Bacary Sagna are also cited as potential West Ham targets this summer.

No more Sakho this season
Filed: Thursday, 23rd March 2017
By: Staff Writer

Diafra Sakho has all but been ruled out for the rest of the season. The
absent striker, who has missed all but two games this season with a back
injury returned to training with the Under 23 squad this week but is
unlikely to appear in a first team shirt until the summer, according to club
medic Stijn Vandenbroucke. "Diafra returned to training with the Under-23s
this week in controlled sessions," he told "We tailor the
sessions to manage his workload, gradually building him up. "He has worked
hard this week and will join the first team soon. However, we must be
mindful that Diaf is essentially at the start of his own personal pre-season
training schedule. "When players return from their off-season, they will go
through four to five weeks of pre-season work to build up their strength and
fitness. "After undergoing back surgery and three months of rehab, a player
needs time to reach sufficient fitness levels before we can contemplate
making him available for selection in the Premier League. "

In other injury news, club captain Mark Noble is expected to return in time
for the trip to Hull - whilst it has been confirmed that Michail Antonio and
Winston Reid are both likely to be sidelined for around a month.

"Michail was withdrawn from the England squad because he suffered a muscle
injury, added Vandenbroucke. "He will be unavailable for the first team for
three to four weeks. Winston Reid was withdrawn from the New Zealand squad
after he suffered a muscle injury and will be out for five weeks. "Mark
will resume training with the first team later this week and be available to
face Hull City on 1 April."

Sadly the news on Pedro Obiang is as bad as initially suspected. "Pedro
suffered a nasty high ankle sprain injury while making a challenge during
the second half," confirmed Vandenbroucke. "He underwent surgery in London
on Tuesday evening and is now recovering at home. Unfortunately, he will be
unavailable for a significant period, and will be ready for next season's
preparation in July."

Elsewhere Angelo Ogbonna is expected to restart training with the first team
in mid-April, having recovered from his knee surgery as expected, whilst
Academy star Domingo Quina continues with his rehabilitation.

West Ham striker Diafra Sakho hopes to defy the odds and feature for the
Hammers again this season
Sakho has only made two appearances for the Hammers this season following a
long-term back problem but could soon join up with the first-team squad
The Mirror
16:46, 23 MAR 2017UPDATED19:19, 23 MAR 2017

West Ham are refusing to rush influential forward Diafra Sakho back into
action BUT he could still play for the Hammers again this season. The
Senegal forward has suffered a nightmare campaign and has only made two
appearances for the east London club after being sidelined with a long-term
back injury. Sakho made a brief return back in November when he played
against Manchester United and Tottenham, but broke down once again and
needed surgery to clear up the problem.
Reports have suggested that the Hammers striker will miss the rest of the
season, but Mirror Sport understands that the 27-year-old is being eased
back into action and has stepped up his recovery, training with the
Under-23s this week. If things go to plan, Sakho could join up with the
first-team squad in the next two weeks and then put himself in contention
for the Premier League game against Sunderland on April 15. West Ham's head
of medical and sports science Stijn Vandenbroucke said: "We must be mindful
that Diaf is essentially at the start of his own personal pre-season
training schedule. "When players return from their off-season, they will go
through four to five weeks of pre-season work to build up their strength and
fitness and, after undergoing back surgery and three months of rehab, a
player needs time to reach sufficient fitness levels before we can
contemplate making him available for selection in the Premier League."
Slaven Bilic is still reeling from the news that midfielder Pedro Obiang has
been ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury. Obiang had
surgery on Tuesday night and will now start the long road back to full
fitness, but the club are confident he will be fit for the start of
pre-season. Defender Winston Reid has been ruled out for five weeks with a
hip injury, while Michail Antonio will miss the next three to four weeks
with a hamstring problem.

Sofiane Feghouli explains his slow start to life at West Ham
SOFIANE FEGHOULI admits he faced a "radical change" in football style at
West Ham when he arrived from Valencia.
PUBLISHED: 10:59, Thu, Mar 23, 2017 | UPDATED: 11:21, Thu, Mar 23, 2017

Feghouli joined West Ham on a free transfer in July, signing on a three-year
contract, but suffered an early setback at the London Stadium. The Algeria
international picked up a hamstring injury in August that sidelined him for
six weeks, having played just two Europa League qualifiers. And on his
return to full fitness he found it difficult to break into Slaven Bilic's
side, but has now started eight Premier League games in a row. And the
27-year-old, who spent six seasons in Spain's La Liga, admits he struggled
to adapt to a more direct style of play in England. "It's been a radical
change in footballing terms," Feghouli told the club website.
"In Spain, the game is more about possession, technique and strategy,
whereas football here is more direct." Feghouli has scored against West Brom
and Crystal Palace since returning to Bilic's first-team plans in January
and has chipped in with three assists.
He added: "It's a big change, but as I said, I'm happy with my statistics so
far - two goals and three assists in not many games. I'm
gradually settling in."

Do Sofiane Feghouli's comments suggest an acceptance of mediocrity at West
Antony Martin

West Ham United brought the Algerian to the club in the summer of 2016.
Hammers winger Sofiane Feghouli sat down for an interview with the club's
official website, and shared how it has been difficult for him to
acclimatise to playing in the Premier League, but insisted that he is happy
with his start to life in England. The Algerian has failed to endear himself
to the West Ham faithful thus far, after many fans expected him to have more
of an impact on Slaven Bilic's side. The 27-year-old has scored two goals
and chipped in with three assists in 23 outings for the Hammers so far this
term, and has not exactly set the world alight with his all-around displays.
Yet Feghouli insisted that he is happy with his tally of goals and assists
when speaking to, suggesting that he is gradually settling in at
the club: "I've racked up two goals and three assists since I got into the
team. I'm happy about that. I'm happy with my statistics so far in not many
games. I'm gradually settling in."

The question that must be asked following these comments is should an
international player be happy with completely mediocre statistics,
irrelevant of whether or not it is his first season in a new league? Many
imports from Spain, France or Italy seem to struggle during the early stages
of their time in England, but there should never be an acceptance of average
performances. Feghouli still must be given time, but he will have to
drastically improve his productivity and performances as a whole if he is to
be considered a success in East London.


Slaven Bilic revealed after January's win over Middlesbrough that
centre-back Angelo Ogbonna had been playing through a knee injury which
would now require surgery, putting him out for the rest of the season.

I have to praise Angelo Ogbonna, because he has played the whole season with
an injury. He needs an operation on his knee to be fit long-term, and it was
supposed to be a couple of weeks but we asked him to play. Angelo will now
have surgery after today's game which will rule him out until the end of the
After undergoing surgery on his patella injury, the £9m signing from
Juventus began an intensive rehab regime to get him back fit for pre-season
given that he was not expected to return before the end of the current

West Ham's Head of Medical and Sports Science Stijn Vandenbroucke has issued
frequent updates on the club site over the last two months detailing the
progress that Ogbonna has made in his recovery.

In his latest column, Vandenbroucke reveals that the 28-year-old is
progressing well after his surgery and if he stays on schedule, he's
expected to return to first-team training in the next four to five weeks.

Angelo Ogbonna is progressing well after his knee surgery in late January
and, if his rehab remains on schedule, he will return to training with the
first team in around four to five weeks.

Given the current timetable issued, we could see Ogbonna back in training by
the end of April, possibly even as soon as Everton's trip to the London
Stadium on April 22nd.

However, a more likely return date could be West Ham's trip to Stoke on
April 29th, or the derby against Tottenham on May 6th – if the club decide
to throw Ogbonna into the action before the end of the season at all.

Either way, in a season littered with devastating injuries, it's great to
hear that one of our key players is well on the road to recovery.

West Ham transfer news: Galatasaray already in talks with £18m Hammers
By Eren Sarigul - March 23, 20170

Galatasaray are already in talks with Croatia international Mario Mandzukic
according to the Turkish outlet AMK. Turkish-Football recently revealed that
the Lions are pursuing Mandzukic. AMK has gone onto say that Gala boss Igor
Tudor has already established communications with his fellow countryman.
Galatasaray are keen to bolster their strike force with a big-name signing
this summer.
Meanwhile the Sun have said that West Ham United are also closely pursuing
the Croatian international. Per the source, Mandzukic was at the top of the
Hammers January shopping list. West Ham were unable to agree a deal with
Juve. Another article from the Sun reports that West Ham want to sign
Mandzukic this summer. The report states that Juventus have valued the
striker at £18. However, the 30-year-old will have just 12 months remaining
on his contract during the upcomming transfer window. This may lead to Juve
offloading him on a cut price deal.

Harry Redknapp reveals ego-stroking method he used to keep Paolo Di Canio
sweet at West Ham
The former Hammers chief has recalled one of the more unorthodox ways he
kept the fiery Italian from flying off the handle.
27 min ago
The temperamental Italian was managed by the 70-year-old for his first
two-and-a-half seasons with the club, and Redknapp has revealed one of the
ways he tried to keep his striker sweet for matchday. He was high
maintenance but he was a genius, a fantastic player," Redknapp told Betsafe.
"I used to make sure I put him on a team in training where nobody would kick
him, because otherwise it would all blow up. He was volatile. He'd kick one
wide and I'd used to say it was a goal. It's Paolo. Got to keep him sweet
for Saturday."


Last time out against Leicester, West Ham not only succumbed to another
defeat but suffered three devastating injuries. Winston Reid, Pedro Obiang
and Michail Antonio all suffered injuries which will see them miss several
weeks if not the rest of the season. The club's Head of Medical and Sports
Science Stijn Vandenbroucke has issued an update on the condition of all of
the Hammers' stricken players in his latest column on the club site.
Michail Antonio was forced to withdraw from the England squad this week due
to a hamstring injury suffered against Leicester but the attacker battled on
and saw out the game. While the injury is thankfully not as severe as the
one that kept Sam Byram out for over three months during the winter, Antonio
is expected to miss three to four weeks.
Captain on the day Winston Reid suffered a muscular injury early in the
first half and was taken off after several minutes of treatment.
The damage done forced him to pull out of the New Zealand squad this week
and will keep him sidelined for up to five weeks, Vandenbroucke notes.
Pedro Obiang's situation is the most severe. After suffering a high ankle
sprain in the second half, Obiang underwent surgery on the injury on Tuesday
this week and is recovering at home. Unfortunately for the Hammers, his
timetable for a return to action is lengthy and will see him miss the rest
of the season.
Mark Noble missed the Leicester game with a knock he picked up against
Bournemouth but he will return to first-team training this week and will be
available for selection next week against Hull barring any setbacks.
Angelo Ogbonna played through a patella injury for most of the season at the
request of the club until a replacement could be signed, and following the
arrival of Jose Fonte he underwent knee surgery which was expected to rule
him out for the season. The Italian defender has been recovering well,
Vandenbroucke reports, and if his rehab remains on schedule he will be
reintroduced to first-team training in the next four to five weeks which
could see him available for the final games of the season.
Diafra Sakho, who has missed virtually the entire season barring a two-game
stretch in November, is also closing in on a first-team return. The striker
has been undergoing controlled sessions with the U23s of late which will
continue to be monitored. His workload will be gradually increased before
he's deemed fit and ready to rejoin the first-team soon. Severely lacking
match fitness, it will likely be a few more weeks before we see Sakho
feature in a matchday squad.

Jack Sullivan responds to Rooney to West Ham switch from Manchester United
The chairmans son - often a mouthpiece for the club - has spoken out
Football London
17:30, 22 MAR 2017UPDATED17:35, 22 MAR 2017

West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan's son - Jack - has taken to social media
to pour cold water on any possible move by the Hammers for Manchester United
striker Wayne Rooney. Rumours began to swirl on Tuesday morning, with quotes
from a senior source - believed to have been the co-chairman - that West Ham
were interested in signing the 31-year-old striker from Old Traffiord. We
exclusively revealed yesterday that any move was "highly doubtful" from the
Hammers for the England skipper and it now seems a move to Everton, Rooney's
boyhood club, is a more plausible option.
Jack Sullivan - who often reveals transfers by the club before they are
officially unveiled - is very active on Twitter and told his 81,000
followers a today the chances of Rooney signing are "100/1."

By Sean Whetstone 22 Mar 2017 at 17:00

West Ham proudly announced had a record breaking day in the Ticket Office
with over 9,360 supporters renewing their season tickets at the London
Stadium for next season. That is a new record for the club and accounts for
eighteen per cent of the current fifty-two thousand season ticket holders. A
club insider said that previous renewals at the Boleyn Ground amounted to
around three hundred on day one of the renewal window.

The announcement followed the confirmation that season ticket renews would
be frozen in price but I am guessing that new season ticket will slightly
rise when they become available as the club has made it clear the price
freeze refers to renews only.

There is a little bit of marketing spin in these record figures. The 52,000
season ticket holders include up to 3,600 corporate Club London members all
of which have signed up for three years so their automatic renewal was
contractually obliged. Next was 3,000 band 5 season holders who paid two
years up front when we increased from 54,000 to 57,000 capacity. They were
renewed automatically too last Monday without lifting a finger.

Don't get me wrong, the renewal of over 2,760 season ticket holders in one
day was still an impressive feat considering that just a few hundred would
renew on the day on before the move. Many of these early renewals are being
driven by the promise of priority of relocation within the London Stadium on
a first come, first served approach.

The logistics of how this mass migration will be completed is still unclear
but it is potentially a logistical nightmare with thousands wanting to move

On the financial side Interest-free credit for four months subject to a £30
admin fee and a low-interest loan at 6% over ten months (down from 19.9%)
are also helping to spread the financial pain to supporters which is always

Reports that current away season tickets will not receive priority have been
dismissed by the club as simply not true. I have been told that current away
season ticket holders will receive priority if they sign up before the May
deadline with the remaining allocation being sold on a first come, first
served basis. However, the club do say the allocation of five hundred in the
away scheme has never sold out in reality.

Season tickets holders will be able to both upgrade and downgrade bands in
the relocation window subject to availability of seats elsewhere. You will
first need to renew your season ticket at the current price and if you are
successful with your band downgrade you will be credited back the money to

Upgrades from any of 10,000 junior season tickets to adult will be permitted
but upgrades from junior to adult will not be allowed. The Under 16 season
ticket holders will undergo an identity verification process before the
beginning of September.

In twitter poll on social media of 400 season ticket holders 61% said they
would renew their season ticket with 39% claiming they would not.

KUMB also ran a poll on their forums with nearly 300 voting. 41% said Yes
39% No with 18% Unsure

The London Stadium survey published yesterday had 4,392 supporters who
claimed they were active season ticket holders.

2,546 fans say they will renew their season tickets which is around 58%,
just 17% claim they won't renew their season tickets which could account for
as many as 8,840 seats if they really mean what they say! 1,082 were
undecided which account for the remaining 25%; again history tells us many
of them will bite the bullet and renew as the deadline gets closer so
renewals could be as high as 83%. With a doubling of season ticket holders
from 26,000 to 52,000 last season we were never going to get 100% renewals
and not all of the reasons for non-renewal will be down to the London

With the club claiming there are now 55,000 on the £10 waiting list for a
season ticket holder we will soon see how many of those non-renewed season
ticket seats are snapped up by the waiting list.

The club is keen to stress that this year the May deadline is the absolute
deadline and you will lose your seat if you don't renew in time. In previous
years we have seen extensions for absent minded fans.

Key Dates

Friday 14 April Deadline for online Monthly Payment Plan applications.
Applications can still be made before the renewal deadline but they must be
made in person or by calling the Ticket Office.

Wednesday 31 May Renewal deadline. Make sure you renew by 5pm as, following
this date, your seat will be made available to Season Ticket Holders wishing
to relocate and offered to the 55,000-plus supporters on the Waiting List.

Thursday 1 June Priority relocation window opens. Seat relocations will be
subject to seat availability at the end of the renewal window. Relocations
will be prioritised by how early you renew your Season Ticket, and the
priority window slots will be communicated to supporters nearer the time.

Thursday 15 June Priority relocation window closes.

Friday 16 June Season Tickets on sale to Waiting List.

West Ham ready to revive interest in Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi with
loan deal likely
Louis Sealey for
Wednesday 22 Mar 2017 11:14 pm

West Ham will revive their interest in Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi at
the end of the season, according to reports. The Hammers thought they had
secured the Belgian's services last summer when their £31million bid was
accepted by Ligue 1 outfit Marseille. However, the Premier League leaders
tabled an improved offer with higher wages to sign Batshuayi on a five-year
deal. Yet to start a league game under Antonio Conte, the 23-year-old has
endured a frustrating season at Stamford Bridge. And the Daily Mail say West
Ham boss Slaven Bilic will prepare a summer move for Batshuayi, with Chelsea
considering a season-long loan rather than a permanent transfer.

Sofiane Feghouli "happy" with squad-leading assist tally after earning West
Ham chance By Raj Mahil 23rd Mar 2017

Summer signing Sofiane Feghouli has spoken of his happiness after recently
enjoying a run in the West Ham United team. Feghouli arrived in east London
on a free transfer this summer, following a five-season stint with Valencia.
Though the signing was met with excitement, the Algeria international
suffered a six-week injury lay-off to begin his West Ham career, before
struggling to make Slaven Bilic's XI.
Reflecting on his recent breakthrough, Feghouli told the club's official
website: "I'm happy to be playing. I couldn't wait to get back on the pitch,
after spending quite a while out of the team. "I'm very pleased to be
playing again regularly. I haven't changed anything in particular. I just
work hard in training and the coach decided to give me a chance which I had
to grab with both hands.

Watch Sky Sports live with NOW TV. Sign up for a Day or Week Pass now and
get a 10% discount. "I've racked up two goals and three assists since I got
into the team. I'm happy about that, particularly with the goals at home in
front of our fans which is always a great feeling. "The most important
thing, however, is to help the team win games which is what I enjoy the most
because I'm a competitor and I want to play."

How has Feghouli performed in the Premier League?
The Irons' No.7 has played in a total of 16 Premier League games, though has
completed only three. Feghouli is also West Ham's most clinical shooter,
with an accuracy of 71% (minimum of four shots) – and two of his efforts,
against West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace, hit the back of the net.
Despite his lack of opportunities over the season, Feghouli has also created
more chances (15) than all but three teammates.

True cost of West Ham's disastrous signings laid bare with some shocking
Damien Lucas

The true cost of West Ham United's shocking season of recruitment has been
laid bare with one player earning an estimated £866,000 PER GAME. The
Hammers brought in 11 players in the summer and another two in January with
only Edimilson Fernandes and more recently Andre Ayew making any kind of
positive impact. Using player salary data from Football Manager 2017, we
have assessed the outlay in wages for each of the new recruits and - based
on their current number of appearances - how much they will have cost the
club come the summer.
A handful of the players will add to their number of appearances in the last
nine games of the season but most have played their final games for the
Hammers already.
The numbers are not for the faint-hearted Hammers fan with some eyewatering
results particularly given Slaven Bilic's side are sat in 12th place in the
Premier League table and look a shadow of the side which challenged for the
Champions League spots last season.
Staggeringly one player, Spaniard Alvaro Arbeloa, will have earned an
estimated £866,000 per game come the summer after just three appearances in
the claret and blue all season. The report does not account for flop Italian
striker Simone Zaza whose loan from Juventus - which included an obligation
to buy after 14 games for £25m - was cancelled after no goals and barely a
shot on target in eight appearances before he went on to join Valencia on
According to the Football Manager 2017 data, on the 2016/17 season signings
alone West Ham will have splashed out over £21m in wages - not including
Zaza - by the summer for a paltry return of what will not exceed 150
appearances between 11 players - with just 9 goals to show for it. If this
report does nothing else it will surely serve as a sobering reminder to
co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold never to get it so wrong again.

Ashley Fletcher
Fee: Free
Weekly wage: £3,500 p/w
Total basic wages by summer: £182,000
Appearances/goals: 13 appearances / 1 league cup goal
£14,000 per game

Arthur Masuaku
Fee: £6.5m
Weekly wage: £25,000
Total basic wages by summer: £1.3m
Appearances/goals: 7 appearances
£185,000 per game

Gokhan Tore
Fee: £3m loan fee, out for season through injury
Weekly wage: £27,500
Total basic wages by summer: £1.43m
Appearances/goals: 5 appearances
£286,000 per game

Edimilson Fernandes
Fee: £5m
Weekly wage: £30,000
Total basic wages by summer: £1.56m
Appearances/goals: 19 appearances / 1 league cup goal
£82,000 per game

Havard Nordtveit
Fee: Free
Weekly wage: £30,000
Total basic wages by summer: £1.56m
Appearances/goals: 12 appearances
£130,000 per game

Robert Snodgrass
Fee: £10m
Weekly wage: £40,000
Total basic wages by summer: £1m
Appearances/goals: 7 appearances (since January)
£142,000 per game

Jonathan Calleri
Fee: Loan (Unknown fee)
Weekly wage: £40,000
Total basic wages by summer: £2.08m
Appearances/goals: 10 apperances / 1 goal
£208,000 per game

Alvaro Arbeloa
Fee: Free
Weekly wage: £50,000
Total basic wages by summer: £2.6m
Appearances/goals: 3 appearances
£866,000 per game

Sofiane Feghouli
Fee: Free
Weekly wage: £65,000
Total basic wages by summer: £3.38m
Appearances/goals: 17 appearances / 2 goals
£198,000 per game

Jose Fonte
Fee: £8m
Weekly wage: £75,000
Total basic wages by summer: £1.8m
Appearances/goals: 7 appearances (since January)
£257,000 per game

Andre Ayew
Fee: £20.5m
Weekly wage: £80,000
Total basic wages by summer: £4.16m
Appearances/goals: 16 appearances / 4 goals
£260,000 per game

Slaven Bilic should use Croatian influence to lure AC Milan loan star Mario
Pasalic to West Ham
Damien Lucas

West Ham United need to get it right in the summer transfer window and
Slaven Bilic could use his Croatian influence to good effect.
The Hammers turned their season around after Christmas and are sitting in
the relative comfort of 12th in the Premier League table despite going five
games without a win. While the mediocrity of midtable may not provide an
exciting end to the season for fans of the East London club, it does give
Bilic and co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan plenty of time to prepare
their summer recruitment.
The Hammers got things badly wrong last summer as they diluted their squad
with a glut of poor quality free transfers and flop loan signings despite
promising supporters big name marquee signings as they took up residence at
their new 60,000 seater Olympic Stadium home. Having lost star man Dimitri
Payet in January the club faces a big task to bring in better quality
players to compete with the Premier League elite. And Bilic should use his
Croatian influence to lure Mario Pasalic - who has spent the season on loan
at Italian giants AC Milan from West Ham's London rivals Chelsea - to the
club. The midfielder started his career at Bilic's club Hajduk Split before
moving to Chelsea for a reported £3 million fee back in 2014.
His future in West London looks uncertain, though, given that the Blues have
loaned the 22-year-old out for three consecutive seasons since to Elche,
Monaco and Milan. Pasalic made his senior international debut for Croatia in
2014 and needs to find a club to call his own if he is to realise his
undoubted potential. He has an impressed haul of 23 goals from 123 senior
professional appearances at some prestigious clubs. Given West Ham's
shortage of quality in central midfield this season with question marks over
captain Mark Noble, Cheikhou Kouyate being played out of position, Robert
Snodgrass so far failing to hit things off in East London and now Pedro
Obiang's season-ending injury Bilic will be keen to bolster his options.
Pasalic is not proven in the Premier League but where better for him to come
of age than under the man who brought through Croatia's golden generation a
decade ago.


No comments: