Tuesday, March 28

Daily WHUFC News - 28th March 2017

Mediawatch - 27 March

It might have been a weekend free of Premier League action, but it was still
a busy time for a number of our players with the international action coming
thick and fast.

Following positive results for Darren Randolph and Jose Fonte, the mantle
was passed on to Robert Snodgrass and Havard Nordtveit as they played FIFA
World Cup qualifiers on Sunday.

Scotland needed a win against Slovenia, and this BBC Sport match report
carries all the details from their crucial 1-0 victory - in which Snodgrass
started to win his 23rd cap.

It keeps Scotland in the hunt, but unfortunately the same cannot be said for
Nordtveit's Norway, who were defeated 2-0 in Northern Ireland to leave them
with just three points from five games. The Belfast Telegraph has this match

Moving on to transfer speculation, and there is more reporting around Gylfi
Sigurdsson's possible move from Swansea in the summer.

The papers carried rumours of West Ham interest last last week, and now the
Express say Newcastle United are set to provide competition for his
signature, with the Magpies prepared to pay £15m for the Iceland

Finally, 17-year-old defender Josh Tymon has been making quite the
impression at Hull City, and the Hull Daily Mail say West Ham are monitoring
his progress closely.

The England U17 international has made four Premier League appearances
already, despite his tender years.

Snoddy's Scotland grab crucial late winner

Robert Snodgrass featured for Scotland as they picked up a crucial three
points in FIFA World Cup qualification
A late Chris Martin goal two minutes from time saw them down Slovenia
Also in action was Havard Nordtveit, whose Norway side faced Northern

Robert Snodgrass' Scotland side salvaged any FIFA World Cup qualification
hopes on Sunday night as they beat Slovenia thanks to a winner two minutes
from time. Fulham forward Chris Martin was the Hampden hero as he squeezed
an attempt past the keeper after a previous 88 minutes of stalemate in the
Group F clash. Hammers man Snodgrass, who became the Club's first Scottish
international since Christian Dailly with an appearance in a friendly draw
with Canada on Wednesday, played 75 minutes in the vital qualifier before
being replaced by Derby County winger Ikechi Anya. It was the 29-year-old's
23rd cap for his country for whom he first appeared in 2011 while a Leeds
United player. Scotland moved up to fourth in Group F thanks to the three
points, while England, who beat Lithuania at Wembley earlier in the day, sit
top with 13 points, six ahead of Snodgrass' men. Slovakia and Slovenia both
still stand in the way of Gordon Strachan's side for a qualification place
in the group. Elsewhere, it was a miserable day for Havard Nordtveit, whose
Norway team were beaten in Belfast by Northern Ireland. The Norwegians went
down 2-0 to their hosts who scored through Nottingham Forest's Jamie Ward
and QPR frontman Conor Washington. Nordtveit's side's chances of qualifiying
for Russia 2018 now look extremely slim with Germany, Czech Republic and
Azerbaijan, as well as Michael O'Neill's outfit, all placed better than
Norway in Group C. Midfielder Nordveit, who has played 17 times for the
Hammers since his summer switch from Borussia Monchengladbach, has now
represented his country on 29 occasions.

Loanee round up

This week's international break saw only three West Ham United loanees in
action over the weekend
Toni Martinez was the sole Hammer to feature in League One
Meanwhile, Sam Howes and Sam Ford played in the National League South

With both the Premier League and the Championship campaigns on hold due to
the international break, there were only four West Ham United loanees in
action over the weekend.

And a couple of those who may have played in the third tier were away with
their national sides for youth level fixtures.

It was, therefore, no surprise to see Bradford City, without the superb Josh
Cullen, suffer their first defeat in eight games when they travelled to
Scunthorpe United on Saturday. The 20-year-old, who was busy helping the
Republic of Ireland U21s to a 1-0 UEFA U21 European Championship qualifying
round win against Kosovo, has been one of League One's standout players this
term and the Bantams clearly missed his calming influence in midfield.

Meanwhile, Martin Samuelsen, away with Norway U21s, missed out on
Peterborough United's 1-0 victory at Gillingham.

The only loanee to appear this week in the third tier was Toni Martinez, who
played 56 minutes for Oxford United in their goalless draw with Northampton.
The Spaniard fired over during a first half which the visiting Us edged, but
Michael Appleton's men could not find a winner and now have seven points and
four places to make up if they are set for a play-off finish.

Down a division in League Two, Jaanai Gordon's Newport County were dealt a
blow in their hopes for survival as they were beaten 2-1 by promotion
hopefuls Portsmouth. The forward was an unused substitute for the Exiles,
who never recovered after going two goals down, though Alex Samuel did pull
one back with 13 minutes left.

Goalkeeper Sam Howes was minutes away from keeping another clean sheet in
the National League South for Hampton and Richmond Borough, but the Beavers
conceded a late equaliser to draw 1-1 with Ebbsfleet United. The stopper had
previously made a string of good saves to keep the visitors at bay, but
Bradley Bubb popped up in the final minute to bag against the hosts who had
earlier been reduced to ten men.

Finally, Sam Ford, in action in the same division for Bishop's Stortford,
could not help his side claw their way back up towards the survival spots as
they lost out 2-0 to Maidenhead United. Bishop's are now nine points from
safety with only six games remaining.

Ladies hold Hornets

West Ham United Ladies hold FA WSL 2 side Watford Ladies to a goalless draw
Hammers hosted Hornets at sun-soaked Chadwell Heath on Sunday
Ladies will travel to White Hart Lane to tackle table-topping Tottenham
Hotspur on 19 April

West Ham United Ladies held FA WSL 2 side Watford Ladies to a creditable
goalless draw on Sunday.

The Hammers continued their recent improvement by holding the Hornets in a
friendly at sun-soaked Chadwell Heath.

With a gap in the FA Women's Premier League South calendar to fill, Greg De
Carny's squad produced a resolute performance and could easily have snatched
victory if they had converted one of the decent chances they created.

Captain Amy Cooper put in a fine display in central midfield and says the
result will give the Ladies confidence as they prepare to tackle leaders
Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Wednesday 19 April.

"We're all very, very excited," said Cooper, who joined the Hammers from
Spurs earlier this season. "We knew this game was coming up against
Tottenham right at the end of the season where we need to get a result and
playing at White Hart Lane is just going to make us want to win even more."

Cooper was part of the Tottenham squad which lost 1-0 at the Boleyn Ground a
year ago and, now she is in Claret and Blue rather that lilywhite, the
midfielder is hoping for a similar scoreline at the historic home of the
north London club.

"It will be a good game," she predicted. "I didn't actually play in the game
last time, so this time I am hoping that I will be playing. Last time, West
Ham beat Tottenham, so this time it will be good if we can go out there and
beat them again."

The Hammers face a stern task if they are to repeat last season's success,
both at White Hart Lane and while they finish the season by hosting
Tottenham at Thurrock FC's Ship Lane on 14 May.

Spurs Ladies sit unbeaten at the top of the South Division with 12 wins and
a draw from 13 games played, while West Ham have won just once in 17
matches, although their last three have ended in draws.

West Ham sit precariously in tenth place in the eleven-team division, three
points ahead of bottom side Queens Park Rangers Ladies, with one club being

"I think we had a bit of a bad start, we had a lot of new girls including
myself we were a very new team so it took a while for us to gel with each
other," Cooper reflected.

"I think we're playing very good football, but we are just struggling to get
the results we want. The results are starting to come. We haven't been
beaten in our last five games, including friendlies, which is a massive

"We've improved so much, we can definitely go out there and get some points.
Then we've got Lewes where we can definitely get a result out of that."

To buy tickets for West Ham United Ladies trip to White Hart Lane now,
please call 0344 844 0102 and select option 2. Fans purchasing over the
phone will receive paper tickets by post. Alternatively, click here to
purchase online.

Lanzini eager to end winless run

Manuel Lanzini determined to help the Hammers end a run of five games
without a win
No10 and Hammers head to Hull City in the Premier League on Saturday
Lanzini has three goals in West Ham United's last five top-flight matches

Manuel Lanzini is determined to help West Ham United put an end to their
struggles at Hull City on Saturday. The No10 has scored three times in the
Hammers' last five Premier League matches, but West Ham have gone winless in
those games to slip to 12th in the table. Now, Saturday's trip to Hull
represents not only an important game against a side sitting in the bottom
three, but also an opportunity to halt that winless run and the resulting
slide down the table. For Lanzini, who has hit form after the early part of
his season was disrupted by a knee injury suffered while on international
duty with Argentina's Olympic squad ahead of Rio 2016, being relied upon by
Slaven Bilic is a situation he will not shirk. "The start of the season was
particularly tough for me, with the Olympics I went to Argentina and picked
up an injury and missed out on pre-season," he recalled. "Halfway through
the season things started picking up for me within the team. I'm now fit and
confident and the coach has shown faith in me, as have my teammates. "I feel
like I'm an important player here and that's just what I needed in order to
be able to show what I am capable of on the pitch. "I'm not feeling the
pressure. I'm very comfortable with how things are going at the moment and
feel like a very important part of the team, which is just what I wanted."
West Ham's recent results may have been indifferent, but their performances
have arguably warranted a greater return than two points out of a possible
15. Against West Bromwich Albion, only a last-minute goal denied them a win,
while their performances against Chelsea and Leicester City at London
Stadium warranted a point apiece. If you look at the games before that, we
played well against West Brom and Watford, particularly in the second half
of those games, so I think we have been improving overall "It's true that we
didn't play well at Bournemouth in our last away game, when things didn't
really come off for us, despite the fact we knew they would press us very
high," he recalled. "If you look at the games before that, we played well
against West Brom and Watford, particularly in the second half of those
games, so I think we have been improving overall. "Conceding in the last
minute is always a blow and, as a team, we can always work harder to stop
that happening and to improve."

Another player who will strive to improve West Ham's fortunes is captain
Mark Noble, who will likely return from injury at the KCOM Stadium to make
his 399th appearance in Claret and Blue. Lanzini, for one, knows how
important the skipper is to the Hammers. "It's very good to play alongside
Nobes," said the Argentine playmaker. "It's always good to play alongside
experienced players and particularly those who are truly loved at their
clubs, as they are the ones who can help you so much on and off the pitch.
"It's very important to have him around and I try to learn as much as I can
by watching him."

Hammers linked with Swiss international duo
Filed: Monday, 27th March 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham are one of several clubs being linked with a summer move for Swiss
international Steven Zuber.

25-year-old Zuber currently plays his football in the Bundesliga for 1899
Hoffenheim, who are enjoying a successful campaign which has left them
firmly in the fight for Champions League qualification.

However today's Estadio Deportivo is linking West Ham with a move for the
right winger, who only signed a three-year contract expention as recently as
January, along with La Liga side Valencia and Serie A's Juventus.

* Johan Djourou, who also features in the Bundesliga with fellow Swiss
international Zuber, is being linked with a summer move to West Ham. The
30-year-old has fallen out of favour at current club Hamburg following a row
with head coach Markus Gisdol and is set to leave SV this summer at the end
of his contract.

The former Arsenal defender, who was contracted to the Gunners for a decade
between 2004 and 2014 has spent the last four years in Germany with Hamburg
(since 2013) and Hannover 96 (a brief spell in 2013).


Written by Craig Podevin @CraigPodevin

We've scored 4 goals in our last 2 games which wouldn't be too bad if we
hadn't conceded 6 in the same time. A vital fixture against a struggling
Hull City at their ground is next up for the Hammers without 3 players that
play an important role in our spine in Reid, Obiang and Antonio. Also, in
case you hadn't noticed, Snodgrass returns against the Tigers for the first
time since his switch to London.

General information:

Stadium: KCOM Stadium

Capacity: 25,404

Address: KCOM Stadium, West Park, Hull HU3 6HU

Away seating: 2,510 in the North East corner

Still a somewhat new move, Hull moved into their current stadium in 2002 and
share it with Hull Rugby League club. The only stand with multiple tiers is
the West Stand, which is also the only stand with executive boxes. The PA
system within the stadium is said to be very good. The stadium has been
sponsored since 2016 by Kingston Communications, abbreviated to KCOM. Away
fans find themselves sitting in the North East corner of the stadium with
unobstructed views of the field.


The KCOM stadium is approximately a 20 minute way away from the nearest
railway station, Hull Paragon. Turn left at the end of the platform, then
left into the bus station (you don't have to go outside the station). From
there, walk past Tesco on the right and cross over the traffic lights on
Park Street. There are blue signs to the stadium from Londisborough Street
which direct you to cross Argyle Street and onto a walkway which also goes
over the railway lines towards the stadium. For the away end, turn right at
the bottom of the steps.

Put HU3 6HU in your sat nav to get to the stadium. From the London Stadium,
the KCOM stadium is a 3 hour and 35 minute (APPROX.) drive via the M11. Take
note that there may also be a toll charge on the M11 on the way to Hull.

If you are coming from Southend-On-Sea, Witham or around those areas, it is
easier to go via the A1 as this takes 3 hours and 50 minutes. However, this
route may also have tolls.

There is a massive floodlit car park right next to the stadium with access
from Walton Street that is used by both home and away supporters. It's a
cheap £5 to park at the stadium and is one of the easiest stadiums in the
Premier League to park at and get to, except at the end of the game (due to
there only being two exits). There is also a park and ride off the A63 which
is shared with home supporters, however many fans choose to instead work in
one of the town centre car parks and walk to the stadium due to it being
close and cheap.

As with most Premier League stadiums, ensure you don't park in a residential
area as there are resident only parking zones. Make sure you park your car
legally before leaving it to avoid the risk of a fine.

Food and drink:
The food and drink within the concourse has a good selection inside the
stadium. There is a pub specifically for away supporters called Pitch Side
which is located at the KCOM stadium, despite it not being very big it does
show live sports and offers cold food (eg sandwiches). The entrance is
outside the stadium next to the away fans turnstiles. Please note that this
bar stops serving alcohol 45 minutes prior to kick off.

There is also a nearby social club (Walton Street Social Club) which allows
away supporters which costs £1 to get in. It has cheap beer, is a good sized
bar and sells hot foot like burgers and chips.

Another pub that is highly recommended is the Wetherspoons pub called
Admiral the Humber, which features in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

Most pubs close to the stadium are mostly home supporters only, so please be
aware and careful when trying to find a pub to enjoy a drink before the

The official Hull City programme costs £3.

As always, enjoy the game and let's hope West Ham can make us happy this
weekend for the first time in a while. Be safe and cheer on the boys as you
always do.

Come On You Irons! -@CraigPodevin


Hello Hammers, here is today's lunchtime round up.

Jaap Stam is being lined up to replace Slaven Bilic as West Ham manager.
(The Sun)

This story has already been reported as false, but I never believed it in
the first place. I just think it would be such a backwards step for the club
and it would make no sense in my opinion.

Jermain Defoe wants to join West Ham this summer, despite Bournemouth
preparing a bid for him. (HITC)

Also, West Ham fans are now urging the club to sign Defoe after he scored
for England yesterday. (Football Fancast)

I have been saying for a long time that we should sign Defoe, and it is good
to see that people are finally starting to agree with me. He may be 34, but
he still scores goals. He will also be a free transfer, and you cannot go
wrong with getting someone like Defoe on a free.

West Ham are ready to offer Wayne Rooney £150,000 a week to join the club in
the summer. (HITC)

I would definitely take Rooney in the summer, but I just can not see it
happening. We may be ready to pay him them wages, but that is only half of
what he is on at Man United. I think this rumour is one to forget about.

Michail Antonio says his mum made an important career decision for him when
he was younger. (Tribal Football)

Here is an opinion of West Ham's five point summer plan including transfers
in and out of the club. (HITC)

This is an interesting article, because it has many good and bad points. I
absolutely agree that we have to spend big in the summer and back Slaven in
the transfer market. However, I do not agree that we should be selling the
likes of Fletcher and Masuaku. These two players have looked very good for
us in my opinion and I think they have big futures.

Dean Ashton says Andy Carroll can make all the difference for Gareth
Southgate and England. (Mirror)

I absolutely agree with this statement. Andy Carroll is a completely
different option to have in the squad. When you look at the current
strikers, they all have the same style of play. When you are chasing a game
you have to change it up, and Andy Carroll would do just that. If he comes
on, you put crosses into the box and nine times out of ten he will win a
header and change the game.

Stam rumours slammed
Filed: Monday, 27th March 2017
By: Staff Writer

Rumours that West Ham are interested in signing Jaap Stam have been
dismissed by a club insider. In the last 24 hours it has been claimed (via
various soures) that the Hammers are interested in luring former Dutch
international Stam to the Olympic Stadium as a replacement for Bilic, who
has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks following a string of
poor results. However KUMB understands that the rumours of interest in the
44-year-old rookie are wide of the mark, with Stam having only been in
charge of current club Reading - his first major managerial appointment -
since June 2016. The link to Stam may have arisen as a result of comments
made recently by the former Manchester United centre half, after he
questioned the club's prospects. Speaking after a planned takeover of
Reading by a group of Far East investors had collapsed, he quipped: "I don't
know what's going to happen in the future which I think is very important
for myself and for the club. "If you want to do something, you need to have
a plan for what you eventually want to achieve. You need to know what you're
going to do with the team, the staff and the structure of the club."

Gold offers to stand down
Filed: Sunday, 26th March 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham co-owner David Gold has offered to walk away from the club - if
enough supporters want to see the back of him. Gold, who purchased a
part-share in West Ham back in 2010 when taking control along with business
partner David Sullivan made his offer via twitter after receiving a string
of messages criticising the manner in which he is running the club. "If 86
per cent of fans voted for me to go, I would go," wrote Gold via twitter at
the weekend. "I don't want to be where I'm not wanted."
This naturally prompted a string of replies from fans either side of the
divide, with some seeking to support Gold whilst others urged him to follow
through with his offer. Possibly buoyed by the messages of support via
social media, later in the day Gold launched into a personal offensive
against Talksport presenter Jason Cundy. The former Chelsea and Spurs
defender had accused Gold and Sullivan of "doing everything on the cheap
with transfers and loans" and urged manager Slaven Bilic to "seriously
trhink about walking before he is pushed." "Cundy doesn't know what he's
talking about," said Gold. "Taking player on loan with a view to buy is a
good way to do business. Lanzini worked Zaza didn't."

International round-up
Filed: Monday, 27th March 2017
By: Staff Writer

Robert Snodgrass and Scotland are still in with a shout of qualifying for
the 2016 World Cup Finals after narrowly beating Slovenia on Sunday night. A
late winner by Fulham's Chris Martin saw the Scots record a 1-0 win over the
Eastern Europeans on a largely incident-free night at Hampden, a game in
which West Ham's recent signing featured for the first 75 minutes before
being substituted.
Also representing his country in the British Isles at the weekend was Havard
Nordtveit, whose side went down 2-0 in Belfast to Michael O'Neill's Northern
Ireland in a World Cup qualifying Group C clash.
Slightly further afield at the weekend was West Ham's Portuguese
international Jose Fonte, who featured for the entire 90 minutes as his side
eased past Hungary 3-0 thanks to a brace from Real Madrid's Christiano
Ronaldo in their Group B encounter. Elsewhere Josh Cullen captained
Ireland's Under 21s to a narrow 1-0 win over Kosovo, Declan Rice was
involved in the U19s 2-0 win against Italy whilst current Hammers #1 Darren
Randolph was involved in a feisty affair as Ireland and Wales played out a
goalless draw.
Meanwhile Reece Oxford helped England's Under 19s to a 3-0 win over Spain,
Martin Samuelsen's Norwegian Under 21s went down 3-1 to Portugal and
Edimilson Fernandes was an unused substitute as Switzerland beat Latvia 1-0
in Geneva.

Thanks, Mum, says Michail
Filed: Sunday, 26th March 2017
By: Staff Writer

Michail Antonio has explained why he rejected the opportunity to join
Tottenham as a teenager. The £20million-rated winger, speaking to Football
Today revealed how his MUM was the main reason he failed to join the North
London club - despite being offered a trial along with a friend. "I was
going to go to Uni," said Antonio. "I was thinking of becoming a PE teacher,
so I had other plans, but there was only one thing in my heart and that was
football. "I was 14, the manager of my school also coached at Tottenham and
he got a scout to come down. Me and my friend Tyrone both got scouted and he
scored an unbelievable overhead kick from outside the box! "But my Mum said
'no' because I lived in south London and would have had to travel to north
London every day. I also had to do college, so I'd have got home at eleven
o'clock at night and then had to get up to go to school. "Mum said
'football isn't a guarantee, but education is and education comes first'. I
think it's one of the best things Mum ever did for me, to be honest, because
I've now got my education and I've also got my football."

Hull vs West Ham: Prediction, team news, line-ups, start time, live, TV,
head to head, odds - Premier League preview
Evening Standard
TOM DOYLE 22 mins ago0 comments

Slaven Bilic needs a result this weekend as West Ham travel to Premier
League strugglers Hull on Saturday. West Ham are relatively safe as they sit
12th in the table and nine points above the relegation zone, but the club's
owners have called on Bilic to improve both performances and results. The
Hammers lost 3-2 at home to champions Leicester before the international
break to heap more pressure on their under-fire manager, and only a top-half
finish is likely to see Bilic avoid a potential summer exit. Hull lost to
Everton 4-0 last time out - a scoreline massaged by their late collapse
after Tom Huddlestone's red card - but Marco Silva's Tigers will be in an
unforgiving mood at the KCOM Stadium as they seek the points needed to keep
themselves in the top flight.


Hull host West Ham with kick-off scheduled for 3pm on Saturday, April 1.


The match will not be televised in the UK. Standard Sport will bring you all
the goals as they happen via Twitter, with a full report and reaction
following the result.


West Ham are confident Mark Noble will return to full fitness in order to
make his 399th appearance for the club. Winston Reid remains out with a
groin problem, while Michail Antonio is likely to be out after withdrawing
from the England squad with a hamstring injury.
Pedro Obiang is set to miss the rest of the season following a significant
ankle injury against Leicester, while Pedro Obiang is unlikely to return
this term after the back injury he suffered in November.

Hull have confirmed that Michael Dawson will return to full training later
this week as the centre-back recovers from a calf injury.
Goalkeeper David Marshall should also be fit despite withdrawing from the
Scotland squad due to a hip complaint, although Tom Huddlestone is suspended
due to his red card against Everton.


Hull starting XI: Jakupovic, Elabdellaoui, Ranocchia, Dawson, Davies,
Robertson, Markovic, Meyler, N'Diaye, Clucas, Hernandez

West Ham starting XI: Randolph, Byram, Fonte, Collins, Cresswell, Kouyate,
Noble, Ayew, Lanzini, Snodgrass, Carroll


West Ham's never-ending search for a striker has come full circle as they
appear to be ready to revisit a move for Mario Mandzukic in the summer.
After being told he wasn't for sale last summer and settling for his
incompetent team-mate Simone Zaza, the Hammers have renewed belief that they
can land the 30-year-old this time around. Mandzukic has been a regular for
Juventus this season, starting 21 Serie A games but has found the net just
five times and has been out-performed by his team-mates. The Croatian worked
with Slaven Bilic during their time together when Bilic was the Croatian
national team manager and he remains a big fan of the forward today.
According to the Turkish outlet Fotomac, Fenerbahce have met with
Mandzukic's agent Ivan Cvjetkovic in Zagreb, offering competition to West
Ham for his signature. The former Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid striker
has been tight-lipped over his plans for next season but it would take a
very lucrative offer to tempt him to east London.

Why panic led West Ham into rushed financial outlay that could prove costly
Antony Martin

West Ham United spent heavily in January, and have seen little return on
their money thus far. The Hammers spent close to £20 million during the
January transfer window on Jose Fonte and Robert Snodgrass, after allowing
Dimitri Payet to leave the club. Many saw the signings as a statement of
intent from West Ham, but neither player has hit the ground running, as
their club continue to struggle.
On the face of it, both Fonte and Snodgrass, being accomplished
internationals, were fantastic signings for the East London outfit.
But, with a combined age of 62, did the Hammers massively overpay for a pair
of players who are arguably past their prime? Despite the current inflated
state of the transfer market, there was surely better value to be had, and
signing the Portuguese and the Scot highlighted the panic that had obviously
set in at the club. Michael Keane, 24, and Robbie Brady, 25, were both
available, and would have been far more sensible investments. It is, of
course, early days still in the West Ham careers of both Snodgrass and
Fonte, but the early signs have not been good. Since the former Southampton
centre-back's arrival, Slaven Bilic's men have conceded 16 goals in seven
outings - a record that is quite simply not good enough. And the 29-year-old
Scotland winger, who was brought into the club to replace Payet, has so far
failed to register either a goal or an assist in seven games. It is almost
as if the Croatian signed the pair to appease disgruntled West Ham fans,
rather than identify targets with the specific attributes required to help
take the club forward.
The most frustrating thing for Hammers fans is that even without the January
additions, there is no way their team would be in a worse position than they
are currently in. And this summer will be a hugely important one for Bilic,
if he is still in charge, and the signings that he makes could have a huge
bearing on his future, not only at West Ham, but in football management in

Not his best: BBC pundit reacts as West Ham's Robert Snodgrass carries
recent form into international football
Olly Dawes

Robert Snodgrass couldn't hit top form as Scotland beat Slovenia 1-0 on
Sunday. Pundit Billy Dodds has told BBC Sport that he felt winger Robert
Snodgrass 'didn't create enough' during Scotland's 1-0 home win over
Slovenia on Sunday. After a dismal 1-1 draw with Canada at Easter Road last
week, Scotland were back at Hampden Park on Sunday to take on Slovenia in a
2018 World Cup qualifier, with manager Gordon Strachan needing a win amid
talk of him being sacked. Whilst England are running away with Group F,
Scotland were still in with a shout of second place and a possible spot at
the World Cup – but needed a win over Slovenia to keep those hopes alive.
Scotland couldn't find the breakthrough and looked to be heading towards a
0-0 draw before a superb run and pass from Stuart Armstrong picked out Chris
Martin, and he drove a shot in off the post to give Scotland a 1-0 lead in
the 88th minute. Scotland's win gives them hope of finishing in second
place, but it's not all great news for Strachan, as some players failed to
impress, with West Ham winger Robert Snodgrass being one such player.
Snodgrass, 29, enjoyed a superb first half of the season with Hull City,
notching nine goals and three assists in all competitions, before completing
a January move to West Ham United.
Since making that switch, Snodgrass has failed to register a goal or an
assist for his new club, and is currently enduring the worst form of his
season so far, with that lack of quality carrying over into his
international display. After the game, pundit Billy Dodds told BBC Sport
that he felt Snodgrass didn't have his best performance for Scotland and
simply didn't create enough against Slovenia, handing West Ham more concern
over their January signing's form. "Not his best performance in a Scotland
jersey," said Dodds. "Great cross in for Griffiths in the first half but
didn't create enough," he added.

West Ham's five-point summer plan including potential transfers in and out
Antony Martin

West Ham United have been well below par this season. The Hammers have
endured a woeful 2016/17 Premier League campaign, and have failed to live up
to their fans' expectations. They currently sit in 12th potion in the table,
and are by no means safe from the threat of relegation just yet. A couple of
wins should do the job, however, and then Slaven Bilic can begin to build
for next season...if he is still in a job of course. There are many things
that need to be addressed within the club, but to start off, here is a
five-point summer plan for West Ham that, if they follow, could prove to be
highly beneficial:

1. Sign a proven striker:

Now, this may very well be easier said than done, but it is a complete
necessity for the Hammers. They quite clearly cannot rely upon Andy Carroll
to remain fit for an entire season, and Bilic needs a different option
amongst his ranks. There are many names the club could try for. They could
go back in for the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Carlos Bacca or go down
a different route with a move for someone in the mould of Charlie Austin,
Daniel Sturridge or Wilfried Bony.

2. Give youth a chance:

Despite the Premier League demanding success instantly, Bilic must be brave
and finally give his talented youngsters a chance next season. Reece Oxford,
Toni Martinez, Reece Burke, Martin Samuelson and Marcus Browne should all be
given an opportunity to shine.
Remember what happened at Manchester United in the early to mid 90's?

3. Get rid of the deadwood:

West Ham made so many appealing signings in the summer of 2016, and must
avoid making the same mistake this time around. And a good start would be by
getting rid of the following names;
Arthur Masuaku
Jonathan Calleri (loan)
Gokhan Tore (loan)
Havard Nordtveit
Alvaro Arbeloa
Ashley Fletcher
Sofiane Feghouli

4. Sign a Mark Noble replacement:

The 29-year-old midfielder has been well below his best this season. He
seems to have lost a yard of pace, and his passing hasn't been as crisp and
accurate as usual. Because Noble is a homegrown fan favourite, he seems to
have been immune from criticism over recent years, but this season has been
different. And Bilic must look at replacing his skipper, or at least
providing much needed competition for him.

5. Back Bilic to the hilt:

The Croatian has never given anything less than 100 per cent during his time
at West Ham, and now is the time for the owners to finally back him in the
correct manner. Whilst his tactics have been questioned on occasion, he
deserves great credit for the way in which he has dealt with various
difficult situations. And he must be backed financially and given the tools
with which to succeed this term.

By HamburgHammer 27 Mar 2017 at 08:00

This will be a rather short column, for a variety of reasons. a) West Ham
didn't play, so there's no game to discuss. And b) There haven't been too
many rumours/news of substance to debate either. I also could add c) that I
can't be bothered to bash the owners again as that is by now even boring me.

Of course there have been some murmurs in certain papers about potential
replacements for Slaven Bilic being lined up, should our team fail to pick
up both in terms of form and results during the remainder of the season.

Some have mentioned Mancini who by all accounts is a very good manager, with
bags of experience and surely he is a household name in European football,
then again I am not sure he would be willing or capable to work for a club
under, let's say, certain financial constraints in terms of transfer funds.

Another name being bandied about has been Jaap Stam, but that's lazy
journalism in my view. Stam is just starting his managerial career at
Reading and you'd have to be very brave if you wanted to throw him into the
hot seat at our club in the summer with no previous experience at a club
playing top flight football in a reasonably respectable league in Europe.

I want to see our team show some guts, blood, sweat, tears and spit if need
be for the rest of our season. Not just for Bilic's sake, although of course
I hope that Bilic will remain at the helm for many more years. But then
again you already knew that. I hope that our team can light a spark and
instill some much needed pride and passion into the support from our fans,
not necessarily away from home, that has never been an issue, but for the
home games.

With the long-term injuries suffered by Obiang and Reid (and doubts over
Antonio) we may now have to rely on some of the bench players to step up and
be counted, old battlehorses like Collins, maybe even guys like Nordtveit.
There have been murmurs of a big clearout of players in the summer, so for
some of these players this is the time for them to show the club and the
manager that they deserve to still be West Ham players next season. For our
players there should indeed be no such thing as meaningless games,
especially as we aren't even mathematically safe yet.

As for Concordia, a lot of things have happened at my little local club in
the past week, the manager has been given the tin tack for announcing in the
press he wouldn't sign a new deal, rather than speaking to the club about it
first. With the trust between manager and club gone, there was only one
choice. Apparently this decision also led to the assistant manager, the
goalkeeping coach and the physio to pack it in. A new manager has been hired
already, but even the new manager trick didn't quite work, delivering only a
2:2 home draw against our Turkish friends from FC Turkiye (very much the
Millwall in our league, they even play south of the river). It's an eight
point gap now between Concordia and the table toppers and I fully expect
them to announce in the coming days they won't be applying for promotion to
the Regionalliga anyway, even if they could still qualify results-wise in
theory – the deadline is at the end of this week.

Promotion would have been nice, but what's the point really if you don't
have the money, the stadium and the backing of the fans to make the next
You don't want to put your club at financial risk just so you can draw maybe
another 100 fans on average for home games.

So, it's off to Hull next (will the post make another MOTM worthy appearance
or is he suspended ?), a game that unfortunately I will not be able to
watch, not live anyway, as my best friend is getting married and I somehow
couldn't convince him to switch the date because of a West Ham game. Then
again, we are all way past 40, so it will not be a massive do anyway, the
banter will be more important than the booze, so maybe I will watch
highlights or a rerun online later that night or the next day.

Wishing you all a pleasant week and counting down the days until my next
trip over which will be the Spurs game, with flights and accommodation
already sorted. COYI!



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