Friday, March 31

Daily WHUFC News - 31st March 2017

Wells happy to be back

Ben Wells is delighted to have recovered from his recent ligament injury
The 17-year-old is also ready to help West Ham United U18s finish off their
season in positive fashion
The young Hammers visit Liverpool on Friday night (7pm)

Ben Wells is delighted to have recovered from his latest injury and is ready
to help West Ham United U18s to a morale-boosting victory away to Liverpool
on Friday night. Wells tore two ligaments in his ankle in February but after
a spell on the sidelines he returned and helped the Hammers to a 1-0 win
over Reading two weeks ago. Wells spent his recovery period working extra
hard in the gym and he also made sure to support his teammates as they
qualified for Merit Group A. "I've had a lot of injuries this season but my
first game back against Reading was a positive start back, getting a clean
sheet and a win," said the young defender. I tore two ligaments in my ankle
but the physio team have been great here and they've really looked after me.
"It was tough but I tried to keep a positive mindset. I looked at the
situation and worked out in the gym quite a bit to get bigger. I kept
supporting the team and I made sure I went to all the home matches."

Wells and the U18s travel to Liverpool's Kirkby Training Ground on Friday
night, hoping to bounce back from their narrow defeat at home to Blackburn
Rovers last weekend. A win for the Hammers will take them top of the table
before the rest of their league rivals play on Saturday. "We dominated the
ball [against Blackburn] but didn't create too many chances," added Wells.
"It was still a shame because we probably deserved something out of the
game. In training this week, we've been working a lot on how to get our
movement right. "Liverpool have been in good form recently but we have
enough ability in the team to put in a good performance and get a positive
result. It will be tough but we got in this top four because we've been
playing well and we deserve to be there."

West Ham United U18s take on Liverpool on Friday at 7pm at the Kirkby
Training Ground. You can keep up to date on proceedings on our social
channels and at

Noble set for Hull return

Slaven Bilic confirms captain Mark Noble will be fit to face Hull City on
Skipper missed the home defeat by Leicester City with a muscle injury
Michail Antonio also progressing well and could be available to tackle

Slaven Bilic has confirmed that captain Mark Noble will be fit to face
former club Hull City in the Premier League on Saturday. The skipper missed
the 3-2 home defeat by Leicester City after picking up a painful and
restrictive muscle injury in training, but Noble has since returned to full
training and is set to return at the KCOM Stadium. Noble, who spent a short
spell on loan at Hull as a teenager, will bolster a midfield that will be
without the absent Pedro Obiang and Michail Antonio, both of whom suffered
leg injuries while playing against the Foxes a fortnight ago. "Mark is back
in training and he came back on Monday," Bilic confirmed. "He's training so
he should be in the squad. He's been out for a couple of weeks because of
the injury he had in a couple of games against Chelsea and Bournemouth, but
he's back."

The manager also had a positive update regarding Antonio, suggesting the
winger could recover from his muscle injury in time to face Arsenal at the
Emirates Stadium next Wednesday evening. "He has to pull out of the England
squad, we know that, and he was very close to being fit for the Hull game,
but he isn't going to be fit," said Bilic. "Hopefully, there is a good
chance he is going to be OK for the Arsenal game, but this game
unfortunately comes a bit too early for him, so he's out. "As I said after
the Leicester game, Michail is really good at recovering, so there was a
chance he could make it for this game, but unfortunately not. I spoke with
the medical team and with him and we have a good chance he is going to be
fit for Arsenal in midweek, if not, definitely Swansea."

Antonio was one of three Hammers who suffered setbacks against Leicester,
with Pedro Obiang requiring surgery on a high ankle sprain and Winston Reid
injuring his hamstring. "We got three players injured in that game," Bilic
confirmed. "Pedro had an operation very successfully, but he's going to be
fit for the start of the pre-season for next year, so he's out. "Then Reidy
is going to be out for another four weeks, so he has a chance to come back
for the last games. "With Pedro, we knew it was going to be hard because it
required an operation, as I said, and with Reidy it's a bigger one, but with
Michail we were optimistic from the start because he didn't come off. He
played the whole game but he felt something, but it's nothing major but he
isn't going to be ready for the game against Hull."

Apply now for new Disabled Supporters Advisory Board

West Ham United's disabled supporters are being encouraged to apply to join
the new Disabled Supporters Advisory Board, as part of the Club's ongoing
commitment to regular communication with all sections of our diverse

Following the successful launch of the new general Supporters Advisory Board
this season, it was always envisaged that targeted sub-forums feeding into
the overall agenda at the SAB would be set up to support those key

At the most recent SAB meeting in January, it was agreed that – given some
of the unique and complex issues that disabled supporters can face on
matchdays at London Stadium – a dedicated forum for supporters with
accessibility needs would take precedence.

The first DSAB Meeting will take place at London Stadium on Wednesday 19
April at 6.00pm.

The West Ham United DSAB will focus specifically on all matters that affect
our disabled and ambulant supporters, and give members the opportunity to
represent their views.

Senior representatives from the Club, including Board members, will be
present at all DSAB meetings to listen to the opinions and proposals of our
disabled supporters, and the minutes of meetings will always be reported to
the West Ham United Board so that they can act on any ideas or issues

West Ham United are extremely proud that – both in terms of the
accessibility at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for disabled supporters and
the provision for wheelchair users within London Stadium – our new home
represents not just a massive improvement on facilities at the Boleyn
Ground, but also sets new benchmarks within English football as a whole, and
will be a shining light ahead of the Premier League's deadline for
improvements to stadium accessibility in August 2017.

In particular, with 253 overall Wheelchair Accessible Viewing spaces, the
London Stadium exceeds the number of WAV spaces at any other Premier League
stadium, including other comparably sized stadia such as The Emirates
Stadium (240), The Etihad (231) and Old Trafford (120).

West Ham are also one of only four Premier League clubs, and the only one in
London, whose number of WAV spaces exceed the minimum requirements set out
in Level Playing Field's Accessible Stadia Guide.

London Stadium also comfortably meets or exceeds all recommended guidelines
in terms of step-free access into the Stadium; the number of passenger lifts
and parking spaces; the accessibility of ticket-counters, toilets and
kiosks, three Changing Places facilities; rest areas for disabled ambulant
fans; colour-coding for visually-impaired fans; and the location of and
sightlines from WAV spaces, while the free shuttle-bus service that carries
disabled and mobility-impaired supporters to and from Stratford Station has
been a huge success.

Nevertheless, the Club are determined to do everything possible to keep
improving the matchday experience of our disabled supporters, and we are
therefore establishing the DSAB to hear directly from those supporters about
what is working well, and what can be improved.

Supporters Cathy Bayford and Trevor Bright, both Season Ticket Holders in
the Betway Stand, are the DSAB founding members, having represented the
issues facing Disabled supporters on the SAB, and Cathy believes the
expansion of the Club's focus in this area to be a hugely positive step.

Cathy said: "It is wonderful that the Club are setting up a dedicated forum
for disabled supporters. It will ensure that our voices are heard and that
the issues facing disabled supporters are discussed and dealt with in the
right way.

"It is also vital that we have a central point of contact for disabled
supporters. With the abundance of social media platforms now, it is more
important than ever to have a clear line of communication that everyone can
feel comfortable with.

"I would encourage any disabled supporters, who are willing and able to
commit their time, to put themselves forward and apply for the DSAB. It is
something that I believe will be extremely positive for all disabled fans."

Membership of the DSAB is open to all disabled Season Ticket Holders,
including wheelchair users and ambulant fans.

To register your interest in becoming involved in the DSAB, please contact
Disability Access Officer Julie Pidgeon no later than 5pm on Friday 7 April,
either by email to: or by post to: Julie
Pidgeon, Accessibility Liaison Officer, West Ham United FC, London Stadium,
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, E20 2ST.

Please provide your name, postal address, a daytime telephone number and the
details of where your Season Ticket is located in the Stadium.

Once the closing date for applications has passed, Trevor Bright and Cathy
Bayford will independently select the successful applicants to form the
Disabled Supporters Advisory Board, using a range of criteria in order to
ensure the most diverse and varied representation of our disabled

Once the selection process is complete, all applicants will be advised if
they have been successful or not ahead of the first DSAB meeting on
Wednesday 19 April.

Arthur eager to face 'brother' Omar

Arthur Masuaku excited by prospect of facing friend and former Olympiacos
teammate Omar Elabdellaoui
Full-backs could start for West Ham United and Hull City respectively on
Masuaku also played under Tigers manager Marco Silva for Greek champions
last season

Arthur Masuaku will partake in some sibling rivalry with a difference when
he faces his 'brother' Omar Elabdellaoui at Hull City on Saturday. The West
Ham United left-back shared a dressing room with the on-loan Tigers
right-back at Greek club Olympiacos for two seasons, winning back-to-back
Super League titles and forging the best full-back partnership in the

Norway international Elabdellaoui (pictured above, wearing No14) also became
Masuaku's unofficial English tutor during his two years in Athens and the
two became close friends, but that relationship will mean nothing come
kick-off at the KCOM Stadium. "I don't know too much about Hull City, but I
know my 'brother' is playing, Omar Elabdellaoui," he confirmed. "We played
two years together and he was on the right and I was on the left. "In the
beginning when I was in Olympiacos I didn't speak good English, so when we
came together at the same time, I learned how to speak English from him. He
is Norwegian so he speaks very good English, so he taught me a bit how to
speak English! "Our friendship started from there and, after that, we were
together all the time. We will see how the game goes and I hope he is going
to play and I am going to play, but we will see."

With the nature of modern full-backs, Masuaku and Elabdellaoui could see
plenty of each other if they both start on Saturday. "I like to take my side
and help the team in front and then go back, this is the way I play,"
observed the No26. "Omar also plays the football I like, as he likes to go
up the pitch and come back." Elabdellaoui is not the only face Masuaku will
recognise this weekend, as Hull manager Marco Silva was also his head coach
at Olympiacos last season. Under the highly-rated Portuguese, the Frenchman
collected his second straight Super League winner's medal, featured in the
UEFA Champions League and losing just seven of the 32 matches he appeared
in. Silva has lifted a trophy at all three previous clubs he has managed –
Olympiacos and Portuguese pair Sporting Lisbon and Estoril - and Hull are
unbeaten in four home matches since the 39-year-old took charge in January.
With that record in mind and his own first-hand experience of Silva's
methods, Masuaku is, not surprisingly, a big fan of his former boss. "I know
the coach, because I had him in Olympiacos for one year," he said. "I think
he is a very good coach and, since he came, they are doing pretty good, I
"He is a good coach and I really appreciate him. He likes to work and
believes that when you work hard, you get the plaudits after. Since he came,
they are doing pretty good, but it's not a surprise to me. They don't know
him in England, but I think they will know him soon! "He speaks a lot to the
players and is a coach that likes to be behind his players. He is also good
tactically. For him, first you have defend good to be able to attack good.
This is how I can describe him. "We had a fantastic season together. We lost
just the final game in the Greek Cup, but we did good in the Champions
League and the Super League. It was really good and I learned a lot with

Sakho returns to full training

Diafra Sakho returns to first-team training at Rush Green on Thursday
Striker has not played since November after undergoing back surgery
Manager Slaven Bilic says No15 Diafra Sakho made a welcome return to
first-team training at Rush Green on Thursday.

The West Ham United striker has not played since undergoing back surgery
after scoring in a Premier League draw at Manchester United in November.
After months of hard work and rehabilitation, the Senegalese forward was
back on the training pitch and manager Slaven Bilic is hopeful he will be
able to return to match action in the near future – providing his body
reacts well to the rigours of full training. "He has been out for a long
time now, as he had a back operation, which is not an easy or small injury,"
Bilic said of his No15. "It was a major one, so he has been training very
good and active, first with the medical staff and fitness coaches on an
individual basis, then he did some training with the Under-23s. "Thursday is
the first day he is going to train with us without any restrictions, so he
is back on a list of fit players for training, but then we have to consider
the amount of time that he was out. Hopefully he is going to be back for us
very soon, if it continues like this, which is great news for us, but the
Hull game comes too early. He is very positive and says 'I want to play,
please, please!' and is pushing in a positive way, which is what we want,
but we have to think about his fitness because there is a big difference
between training and games, because in training you can control your
movement and all that. "We are going to wait but, as I said, we will see his
fitness in the training sessions and push him hard to do everything. He's
going to train to break that barrier that is always there when you have a
long break, especially after an operation and all that, and hopefully he's
going to be in the team really soon."

While Saturday's Premier League fixture at Hull will come too soon, when
asked, Bilic is hopeful that the 27-year-old will be fit to play soon. "I
don't know because he is starting and you are talking about the Arsenal
game, which is in five or six days and we should know the answer if he is
going to look good, but he is starting basically today," the manager
confirmed. "He's done a couple of training sessions but they were
restricted. He looks good, but now we're going to see him basically in every
training and see him train 100 per cent and with the other players treating
him as a fit player. "We're going to see."

Five-a-side selects five players who have worn the colours of both West Ham
United and Hull City...

1. Roy Carroll

Northern Ireland international goalkeeper who is still pulling on the gloves
for NIFL Premiership side Linfield at the grand old age of 39. Born in
Enniskillen, Carroll joined Hull City at the age of 18 in 1995, making his
first-team debut as a teenager and totalling 50 appearances for the
then-Third Division club. Four seasons each with Wigan Athletic and
Manchester United were followed by a transfer to West Ham United in summer
2005. Carroll spent two years with the Hammers, playing 35 times, including
two UEFA Cup ties against Italian side Palermo in September 2006, before
joining Rangers in 2007. He has since played for Derby County, Danish side
Odense, Greek club OFI Crete, Greek giants Olympiacos and Notts County
before joining Linfield in May last year.

2. Abdoulaye Faye

Veteran Senegal defender Abdoulaye Faye was born in Dakar and started his
career domestically with ASEC Ndiamabour in 1999. Faye moved to France with
Lens in 2002 before being signed by Sam Allardyce for Bolton Wanderers three
years later. The physically imposing centre-half appeared in Bolton's run to
the UEFA Cup Round of 32 in 2005/06 before enjoying further Premier League
spells at Newcastle United and Stoke City. Faye was reunited with Big Sam in
east London in August 2011, playing 29 Championship matches as the Hammers
won promotion via the Play-Offs. He repeated that trick with Hull a year
later, and hung up his boots after making three Premier League appearances
for the Tigers amd a spell with Malaysian side Sabah.

3. Mohamed Diame

Mohamed Diame departed Hull City a hero after scoring the goal which took
the Tigers back to the promised land of the Premier League in Maysame
scoreline over Crewe Alexandra. The powerful former Senegal midfielder began
his career with Lens in France before playing professionally in Spain with
Linares and Rayo Vallecano between 2007-09. Wigan Athletic brought the
Creteil-born player to the Premier League, and he excelled in three years
with the Latics before joining the newly-promoted Hammers in June 2012. The
enigmatic Diame scored a memorable winning goal in the 3-1 Premier League
win over European champions Chelsea in December 2012. After two years, 79
appearances and seven goals, Diame moved to Hull in September 2014. His
final appearance came at Wembley last year, before he moved to current club
Newcastle United.

4. Richard Garcia

Australian Richard Garcia was born in Perth in September 1981 and joined the
Academy of Football after being scouted at the age of 15. A versatile
forward, Garcia was a key member of West Ham's 1999 double-winning youth
team, scoring in every round of the Hammers' successful FA Youth Cup run. A
debut arrived at Reading in September 2001, but Garcia joined Colchester
United after just 16 senior appearances three years later. The 35-year-old
impressed at Layer Road and was snapped up by Hull on a free transfer in
2007, and he went on to spent five seasons with the Tigers, winning
promotion to the Premier League under Phil Brown in 2008. Garcia played out
his career with A-League clubs Melbourne Heart, Sydney FC and Perth Glory,
while also appearing briefly for American NASL club Minnesota United in

5. Stuart Pearson

Last but not least, now 67, Stuart Pearson was born in Cottingham in the
East Riding of Yorkshire, just a few miles north west of Hull city centre.
The forward began his time at Hull City as a teenager, winning praise for
his clinical finishing and technique. Pearson scored 44 goals in 129 league
appearances in Black and Amber before Manchester United came calling with a
cheque for £200,000 in 1974. Pearson's 17 goals inspired the Red Devils to
promotion to the First Division in 1975, and he then netted in the 1977 FA
Cup final. In 1979, Pearson joined his third and final professional club,
West Ham, and famously set up Trevor Brooking's 1980 FA Cup final header
with a mis-directed cross-shot. Capped 15 times by England, Pearson later
went into coaching.

Brady named in business list top 20
Filed: Thursday, 30th March 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham vice chair Karren Brady has been named as one of the top 20 most
influential people in football business.

FC Business magazine today released their list of the 100 most inflential
people in football business since 2004 in order to celebrate their 100th
edition. And West Ham Board member Brady is the highest place woman on the
list, having been ranked at #17 by the magazine.

"The #fcbusiness100 is a list of the people who have made a lasting
contribution to football over the last 13 years," read a press release.
"Compiled by the writers and editor of fcbusiness magazine the list shows
the depth and diversity of figures that have graced the game - some for good
reasons, others for bad reasons."

FC Business editor Aaron Gourley added: "Football has changed dramatically
since fcbusiness was first published in 2004. The #fcbusiness100 most
influential people is a snap shot of some of the figures that have shaped
the game in one way or another. Without these people football would not have
developed the way it has."

Topping the list is Premier League executive Richard Scudamore, closely
followed by disgraced former FIFA chief Sepp Blatter and UEFA's Michel
Platini. Other names to be linked with West Ham are agent Kia Joorabchian
(#43), Mike Newell (whistleblower) and Thomas Hitzlsperger (#97).

The top 20 is as follows, or you may see the full list here.

1. Richard Scudamore (Premier League)
2. Sepp Blatter (ex-FIFA)
3. Michel PLatini (ex-UEFA)
4. Roman Abramovich (Chelsea)
5. Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nayhan (Manchester City)
6. Gianni Infantino (FIFA)
7. Alexander Ceferin (UEFA)
8. Greg Clarke (The FA)
9. Martin Glenn (The FA)
10. Andy Burnham (MP)

11. Barney Francis (Sky Sports)
12. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Bayern Munich)
13. David Gill (ex-Manchester Utd)
14. Malcolm Glazier (Manchester Utd)
15. Lord Mawhinney (Football League)
16. Rupert Murdoch (News International)
17. Karren Brady (West Ham Utd)
18. Xi Jinping (President of China)
19. Tracey Crouch (MP)
20. Gavin Patterson (BT)

Derby rearranged - for Friday night
Filed: Thursday, 30th March 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United's first ever meeting with Tottenham at the Olympic Stadium
has been rescheduled for a Friday night. At the behest of the TV companies,
the game has been switched from a traditional 3pm kick off on Saturday, 6
May, to an 8pm start on Friday, 5 May.
The change means that West Ham have just three Saturday home games left this
season - against Swansea (8 April), Everton (22 April) and Liverpool (13
May). The last meeting between the two clubs at the Boleyn Ground, in March
2016 ended 1-0 to West Ham courtesy of Michail ANtonio's 7th minute strike.

Don't make promises you can't keep
Filed: Thursday, 30th March 2017
By: Turns to Stone

Slaven Bilic doesn't make promises to the fans that he can't keep. He
understands what the fans want. He has proven that in the two games against
West Brom and Leicester at home by constantly pushing for the win. Bring on
wingers for full-backs, pushing on strikers for midfielders and
understanding that fans would rather lose going for it than draw being tight
at the back.

When Sam Allardyce was at West Ham, I constantly made the point that he was
the medicine we needed at the point in time. The tough pill we all needed to
swallow so our club could grind back to an even playing field with the
bottom rungs of the Premier League. I compared him to Nasser Hussain
captaining the England cricket team and teaching us "not to lose" and to
"fight for a draw", rather than just wilt away. We then brought someone in
with a more attacking mentality, someone who could move us a step up on

To me the next step is not about league position. It's not about crawling
from 12th to 10th and then to 11th, or from 17th to 16th. It's about style.
It's about a recruitment process that focuses on the likes of Dimitri Payet
and Manuel Lanzini over Stewart Downing and Kevin Nolan. Of moving on from
hard work and funcionality to quality and style.

I've enjoyed this season, yes we've been deadful at the back but we've been
good going forwards. Plus Aaron Cresswell has been awful and Angelo Ogbonna
has been injured. Two of our best players from last year out of sorts and
still not sorting the right-back debacle out.

Bilic does get West Ham. Sadly, not all fans 'get West Ham'. I was accused
of not getting them when I defended Allardyce, but, as I said time and time
again, Allardyce was a shocking 'West Ham manager' but at the time, we
didn't need a 'West Ham manager'. Now we do and we have one. The fact that
West Ham men like Tony Gale, Tony Cottee, Julian Dicks, Frank McAvennie et
al have come out in support of Bilic tells me all I need to know.

That established and respected KUMB members like Romford and Chalks speak so
positively of Bilic - fans who have stood on the touchlines for years and
years with West Ham know that Bilic "gets West Ham" - tells me all I need to
know on the subject. Gold and Sullivan don't. They haven't from the start.

The fact that the Board are still convinced the move to Stratford has been
an unqualified success - and that every single season, at this time of year,
they tell me that they're going to be signing Neymar, Ibrahimovic, Batshuyi
(and now) Wayne Rooney just so I renew my season ticket - tells me that all
they see when they see a West Ham fan is a walking pound note.

I don't give a toss if some fans keep saying "they saved us". No, they
didn't. They saw an opportunity to buy a club with immense money-making
potential and a cash-rich fan base that will go to extreme lengths to
support their club and they took it. They saw dollar signs no more, no less.
That's it.

Added to that, the fact that they let Payet slip away by not keeping their
promises of signing higher quality of player and by failing to improve the
squad last season tells me everything I need to know.

The fact that whenever the chips are down they look for someone to blame -
be it Avram Grant, or Sam Allardyce, or Kevin Nolan, or Dimitri Payet, or
Slaven Bilic, or the fans or whoever. Everything to avoid putting their
hands up and saying "we were the ones that promised you a striker, we
promised you Batshuayi, or Ibrahimovic, or Bacca, or Lacazette and WE were
the ones that didn't deliver".

Slaven Bilic never promised me anything. He never tried to sell me a seat.
He just promised that he would always try and get his players to play good
football, work hard and try and win every game....and I think he does that.

Genuinely, there is no-one on the planet right now who I would rather have
as West Ham manager than Slaven Bilic. And frankly, I don't care if we don't
finish 6th or 7th or even 10th. Because that's not what West Ham is about.
And it never has been.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the
author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be
attributed to,

Slaven Bilic 'not bothered' by speculation over West Ham future
By Stephen Turner
Last Updated: 30/03/17 11:53am

Slaven Bilic says he is "not bothered" by speculation over his future as he
approaches the final year of his West Ham deal. Bilic is yet to be offered a
new contract at the club a year after joint-chairman David Sullivan said he
would delay a decision until the Hammers boss proved he is not "a one-season
wonder". West Ham finished seventh last season with a Premier League-record
62 points, but a run of three wins from 11 games in 2017 has left them in
the bottom half. Sullivan apologised to supporters after this month's defeat
to Leicester and said an upturn in results was "vital" heading into away
games at Hull and Arsenal. But Sky sources say Bilic still has the board's
backing, and ahead of the Hull game he said: "It doesn't worry me, I don't
read about it, I'm not making phone calls or whatever. "I'm in my job, I am
happy and we're in a position where we can have a good finish to the season.
We can climb up a few places if we win games, we can go a few places down if
we don't win games. "Even in that good period, when you or whoever were
talking about a new contract, I said we were not finished and there were a
lot of games to play. "I am not bothered [about the speculation] to be fair.
I was telling you the same last season and earlier this season when you were
talking about a new contract. "My head is clear and I am totally motivated
and focused. I've been here long enough to know what to do - over a year and
a half - with an objective here and there is still a job to do and I have my
contract. "At the end of the day my contract is not running out. I have
another year here."

Mark Noble is back in the squad for the Hull game, but Michail Antonio's
hamstring injury will keep him out and Diafra Sakho is not ready despite
returning to training after a back operation.

Police on high alert for fan clashes as West Ham's London derby with
Tottenham moved to Friday night
The London Stadium experienced a lot of fan trouble at the start of the
The Independent
Jack Austin @jackaustin_1 9 mins ago0 comments

West Ham's London derby with Tottenham has been moved to a Friday night,
with a heavy police presence expected over fears rival fans will clash. The
game will now take place on Friday 5th May and is likely to attract extra
security at the London Stadium given the crowd trouble there in derbies
earlier in the season. Chelsea and West Ham fans clashed during October of
last year when the Hammers knocked the Blues out of the EFL Cup on a
Wednesday night game. Seven supporters were arrested after fighting broke
out in the stands while others were banned for abusive language and throwing
missiles. It was the most severe case of fan violence West Ham experienced
at their new home with trouble also against Middlesbrough and Watford as
supporters adjusted to their new surroundings. That sort of trouble has not
been seen since but there are fears that it could return for the Friday
night game with Spurs – notoriously a volatile fixture anyway. It will be
the first Friday night game at the London Stadium with the game being moved
for TV, despite Sky Sports' poor viewing figures for the timeslot so far
this season.

30 March 2017

Roberto Mancini is the early favourite to succeed Slaven Bilic at West Ham,
according to the latest odds. The former Manchester City boss has been
chalked up as 3/1 favourite, amid reports that the Hammers could part ways
with Bilic this summer. Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is second in the
betting at 4/1, with former Hammers hero Harry Redknapp 7/1 for a
sensational return to east London.
Garry Monk is 8/1 following his impressive stint at Leeds, while Ryan Giggs
is 12/1 to be handed his managerial bow at the London Stadium. A Ladbrokes
spokesperson said: "From the heights of last season's seventh-place finish,
Bilic could be out of the job this summer. "Roberto Mancini and Eddie Howe
top the betting, but it would be t'riffic to see Redknapp return to West
Outside contenders including Marcelo Bielsa and Unai Emery, each at 16/1,
ahead of Steve McClaren and Jaap Stam at 20s. It's also 20/1 that Claudio
Ranieri makes a swift return to Premier League management, and it's the same
price that Frank Lampard gets given his first manager's gig. Former West Ham
striker Paolo Di Canio is a long shot at 25/1, alongside Alan Pardew and
Aitor Karanka. And despite whispers that Huddersfield boss David Wagner
might be approached by the Hammers, our traders reckon it's unlikely at

Click here for the next permanent West Ham manager odds.
Ladbrokes Latest Betting
Next permanent West Ham manager

Roberto Mancini – 3/1
Eddie Howe – 4/1
Harry Redknapp – 7/1
Garry Monk – 8/1
Rafael Benitez – 12/1
Ryan Giggs – 12/1
Sean Dyche – 12/1
Marcelo Bielsa – 16/1
Unai Emery – 16/1
Steve McClaren – 20/1
Jaap Stam – 20/1
Claudio Ranieri – 20/1
Nigel Pearson – 20/1
Frank Lampard – 20/1
Alan Pardew – 25/1
Paolo di Canio – 25/1
Aitor Karanka – 25/1
David Wagner – 25/1

Jermain Defoe urged to seal West Ham return – 'He'd be a hero there', Harry
Redknapp tells talkSPORT
By talkSPORT - @talkSPORT
Thursday, March 30, 2017

Jermain Defoe has been urged to seal a return to West Ham this summer by his
former Hammers manager Harry Redknapp, who told talkSPORT he would 'be a
hero' at the London club. A number of Premier League sides are on red alert
following reports Defoe will be available FOR FREE in the upcoming transfer
window if Sunderland are relegated from the Premier League. And, with the
Black Cats currently rock-bottom of the table and seven points from safety,
that is looking likely. Defoe has been on fire since returning to English
football from Canada in January 2015 – he scored 18 goals to keep Sunderland
in the top flight last season and has netted 14 times this term. The Hammers
had a £6.5million offer for Defoe rejected by the Black Cats in the January
transfer window, and are expected to be back in for the 34-year-old when the
window re-opens. Redknapp was in charge at Upton Park when a 17-year-old
Defoe emerged into the scene, and he believes sealing his return to the
London club is a no-brainer for both parties. "Jermain could be a hero at
West Ham again, for sure," the former West Ham manager told the Alan Brazil
Sport Breakfast. "He got pelters from the fans when he left, but he was only
a kid at that time. They got relegated, he wanted to play in the Premier
League and he was badly advised. "But he started out there, so I'd love to
see him go back there and have a couple of great years and score goals. "I
think West Ham fans would love him back there. You know what it's like,
score a few goals in a couple of games and all is forgotten."

Slaven Bilic shrugs off exit talk as Rafa Benitez, Roberto Mancini and David
Wagner are linked with West Ham job
Evening Standard

Under-pressure West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has insisted he is not worried
about his future at the club. Bilic's position has come under increased
scrutiny with co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold concerned about poor
results. The Hammers have lost their past three games and Sullivan has said
the next three matches are "vital". While there is little appetite from
within the club for a managerial change, Bilic is fighting for his future.
Former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini, Huddersfield manager David
Wagner and Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez have all been linked with the West
Ham job and the public admission from Sullivan has increased the pressure on
Bilic ahead of a crucial game at Hull City on Saturday. But the Croatian
said today: "My head is clear and I am totally motivated and focused. "That
[speculation] does not worry me. I am not reading it or making phone calls
or whatever. "Nothing has changed in the past few days. What do you want me
to say? I made my comments about it. There is nothing new I can say about
it. I just concentrate on my job. I am totally focused on the next game. "I
was saying the same when, for example, earlier in the season we were talking
about a new contract. I was not bothered then, when it was positive. Now
after three defeats there is speculation. I am not bothered about this. I
have a game on Saturday. "We are in a position where we can have a good
finish to the season. We have a lot of games to play and there is a lot to
play for."

?Bilic will have his position assessed at the end of the season as part of
the club's annual review and West Ham could delay offering him a new
contract until the middle of next season following the dip in form. Sullivan
apologised to the fans after the 3-2 home defeat by Leicester a fortnight
ago and described the next three matches, at Hull, Arsenal and at home to
Swansea, as "vital". Bilic, who enters the final 12 months of his contract
this summer, said he is not concerned about other managers being linked with
his job. He said: "It does not annoy me. I am long enough here to know what
to do. Over a year and a half with an objective here and there is still a
job to do and I have my contract. At the end of the day my contract is not
running out. I have another year here."

The full transcript of Slaven Bilic's press conference as the West Ham boss
ignores speculation about his future
The boss batted away questions about his job and gave a number of injury
Football London
11:10, 30 MAR 2017

Slaven Bilic faced the media at Rush Green on Thursday morning for the first
time since speculation over the future of his job at West Ham intensified.
Jaap Stam, Rafa Benitez, Roberto Mancini and David Wagner have been linked
with replacing the Croat as manager at the Hammers but Bilic said he was
ignoring any speculation. Below is the full transcript of the broadcast
section of today's press conference, where Bilic also updated us on the
progress of his injured players.

Bilic on his job
"Nothing has changed, what do you want me to say? My comments about it have
been said before. "I am totally focused on my next game, I don't read the
speculation, I don't make phone calls and all that. We need to have a good
finish to the season, we need to climb places but we can also go down a few.
In that period when we were talking about contracts earlier this season, it
wasn't finished and now the situation is the same as then. "I am not really
bothered about that, to be fair, because I was telling you the same answers
last year, at the beginning of this season, al the time. I wasn't bothered
then. "We have had some positives and negatives, then it all turned around
and now after three defeats it's bad again. We have a lot to play for and
are motivated. "The other managers linked? It doesn't annoy me. There is
something between being worried and then it annoying. My head is clear and I
am totally motivated and I have been here long enough to know what to do.
Over a year and a half, we have done a good job here and there is still a
job to do. My contract is not running out in a couple of months, I have
another year here. "You are asking the wrong person about the statements
[from David Sullivan, West Ham co-chairman]. We spoke about that game
[Leicester], it was mixed emotions because it was negative as we lost but
the performance was very good. We were disappointed, frustrated, if you ask
me about the second half though we were very good. "After this we have a lot
of games to go still, Arsenal, Swansea are next and there are lots of
points. It would be much easier to discuss them after a win this weekend. "

Bilic on injury news

"Michail [Antonio] had to pull out for England and was very close to being
fit for Hull but he won't be, hopefully there is a good chance he will be OK
for Arsenal. Hull comes a bit too early for him. "We got three players
injured vs Leciester. Pedro Obiang has had a successful operation so should
be back in pre-season and Reidy [Winston Reid] will be out for another four
weeks so he has a good chance to come back before the end of the season.
With Mikey, he is a good at recovering and there was a chance he could make
itf or Hull but the medical team say he could be back for Arsenal. If not,
definitely Swansea. "We knew from the start that Pedro needed an operation
and Reid's was a big injury but with Mikey, we were optimistic he could be
back sooner. He didn't come off, he played the whole game but felt something
but it's nothing major but he isn't going to be ready for Hull. "Mark
[Noble] is back in training, he came back Monday, and he should be in the
squad on Saturday. "Diafra Sakho? He has been out for a long time with after
his back operation, it was not a small injury. He has been training very
good with the medical staff then did some with the U21s. Today is the first
day he will train with us without any restrictions, he is back on the list
of fit players for training but then we have to consider the amount of time
that he was out. "He is going to be back, hopefully, very very soon and
that's great news but the Hull game, no. Although he is very positive,
pushing in a good way but we have to see how fit he really is. There is a
big difference between starting to train and then the game. We aren't going
to wait long but as I said, we will see what his fitness is like. Hopefully,
he will be back soon. "If you are talking about five days until the Arsenal
game, we should know the answer but the fact is he is basically starting
properly today. He has been restricted before."

Bilic on Robert Snodgrass

He has started really well for us. He is a player that we wanted and has got
everything. He has a great left foot and is very creative. The amount of
high intensity running he does is very good as well. Of course like any
other player, he needs time to adjust to his new environment but I am happy
with Snoddy. "He is still looking for his first goal, he has gone close a
number of times. We hope he will do it on Saturday, it wouldn't be the first
time when a former player goes back and scores but his game is not all about
goals, it's about creating chances as well. "

Bilic on Hull City

"Hull have improved, at least points wise, especially in the beginning when
they beat Liverpool. To be fair they played really good with Mike Phelan
when they were against us. I spoke to Mike after the game when we beat them
and said to him that they played really good. "They have got some wins,
especially early. In the last few games they have lost a few but they are
good at home. They play good football, they like to pass it, the credit goes
to him [Marco Silva, manager] but they have changed a lot of players. "They
have some good European players like Niasse from Everton, Markovic,
Rannochia, N'Diaye. Its not a totally new team but maybe half of it is new,
new manager and they came from the position where they were struggling big
time to one where they have a chance."

Slaven Bilic not worried by speculation over his West Ham future amid links
to Rafa Benitez and Roberto Mancini
Benitez, Mancini Jaap Stam and David Wagner are among those being touted for
the role should West Ham decide to part with the Croatian
The Independent
Ben Burrows @benburrows_ 7 mins ago0 comments

Slaven Bilic isn't worried about speculation surrounding his future at West
Ham. Rafael Benitez, Jaap Stam, Roberto Mancini and David Wagner are among
those being touted for the role should West Ham decide to part ways with the
Croatian. But Bilic isn't listening to the background noise and is instead
choosing to focus on getting back to winning ways after three straight
Premier League defeats starting at Hull on Saturday. "Nothing has changed in
the last few days," he said. "What do you want me to say? There is nothing
new I can say about it. "I just concentrate on my job. I am totally focused
on the next game. That (speculation) does not worry me. I am not reading it
or making phone calls or whatever. "We are in a position where we can have a
good finish to the season. We have a lot of games to play and there is a lot
to play for. "I was saying the same when, for example, earlier in the season
when we were talking about a new contract. I was not bothered then, when it
was positive. "Now after three defeats there is speculation. I have a game
on Saturday." He added: "That does not annoy me. There is something between
being worried and annoyed. "But my head is clear and I am totally motivated
and focused. "I've been here long enough to know what to do - over a year
and a half - with an objective here and there is still a job to do and I
have my contract. "At the end of the day my contract is not running out. I
have another year here."

Bilic Rumours Are Damaging The Club Says Ex-Hammer
Submitted by nevillenixon on Thu, 30/03/2017 - 10:05

Because of the recent poor run of form and also because it has been
International break week, the tabloids and to a certain extent social media
have been conducting a 'Billic witch hunt'. The Telegraph being the latest
to jump on board by declaring 'Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner has
emerged as a potential candidate for the West Ham job if the owners decide
in the summer that Slaven Bilic is not the man to take the club forward in
the long term.' Well there you have it, it must be true mustn't it? After
all the story was brought to you by the paper that exposed FIFA's
corruption, but therein lies the problem, just because a journalist got it
right once doesn't mean their news outlet is always right.

"Bilic has got enough to contend with at the moment and he doesn't need 'bad
mouthing from the board that let him down so badly in the transfer market,
their signings were as useless this season as they were brilliant the last!
Slaven needs to be left to deal with ensuring top flight survival, which is
by no means guaranteed rather than having to watch his back!" So said
Hammers legend Tony Gale, he was of course referring to David Sullivan's
next three matches are vital speech, which apart from stating the obvious
comes across as a very clumsy attempt at 'manager motivation', something
best left to an expert sports psychologist not an amateur, if well meaning
club owner. Now more than ever is a time to baton down the hatches and exude
solidarity, there are plenty of 'sharks sniffing blood' and it seems
pointless to provide them with what they want. Think, feel but don't speak
publicly should be the order of the day for both David Sullivan and David
Gold, engaging in 'twatter spats' and sound bites isn't necessary, after all
they own the club and really don't need to state the obvious.

A message to Mr Gold and Mr Sullivan, keep your own counsel, keep your
powder dry and wait until the end of the season and sit down with clear's what the vast majority of fans want! - Ed

West Ham handed fitness boost as Mark Noble returns to full training
Mark Noble is winning the race to be fit for West Ham's trip to Hull
Hammers skipper missed the visit of Leicester before the international break
Slaven Bilic's side have lost their last three successive league games
By Kieran Gill for MailOnline
PUBLISHED: 22:30, 29 March 2017 | UPDATED: 22:30, 29 March 2017

Mark Noble is back in full first-team training following a leg injury and
West Ham's club captain should be fit to face Hull on Saturday.
Slaven Bilic has had his players in sessions at their Rush Green training
ground since Sunday as he prepares them for their Premier League run-in.
West Ham are aiming to turn around their form, with Bilic's side having lost
their last three successive games. Noble missed the visit of Leicester to
the London Stadium – a 3-2 loss that resulted in the Foxes securing their
first away win of the season.
Cheikhou Kouyate filled in for Noble in midfield and it remains to be seen
whether he will be pushed back into the right-back position in place of Sam
Byram. The Hammers captain has been an almost ever-present this season,
making 31 appearances across all competitions, scoring five times. Bilic's
side sit 12th in the league table, nine points off Hull City in the
relegation places. After a run of good results earlier this year, West Ham's
form has faltered in recent weeks as they aim to consolidate their league

West Ham begin search for Slaven Bilic's successor with Roberto Mancini one
name to be sounded out
West Ham have started looking for new manager through intermediaries
Slaven Bilic's deal expires next year but Hammers are struggling for form
Club started identifying possible candidates with Roberto Mancini an option
Bilic enjoyed strong first season in charge but has struggled at times this
By Sami Mokbel for MailOnline
PUBLISHED: 22:37, 29 March 2017 | UPDATED: 22:37, 29 March 2017

West Ham have begun the search for Slaven Bilic's successor. The Hammers
hierarchy, through intermediaries, have begun assessing the managerial
landscape ahead of a possible change. Pressure is growing on Bilic, whose
existing deal expires next year, following a difficult season. And the club
have started the process of identifying who would be interested in the job.
Overtures to managers in England and abroad are understood to have taken
place. Roberto Mancini, it is understood, is one of the names to have been
sounded out.
The club, for now, remain behind Bilic but are making contingency plans in
case they decide to make a change. Bilic is being made to sweat on an offer
of a new deal, despite his excellent first season at the east London club.
The Hammers visit Hull in their next Premier League encounter with Marco
Silva's side scrapping for survival.

Major surgery needed for West Ham man: He will go under knife as soon as
season ends
Daily Star
By Jack Wilson / Published 30th March 2017

The West Ham boss has had to deal with the constant pain for much of the
season. And now there's no option but to go under the knife and get it
sorted when the Premier League campaign is over. it's the latest in a long
line of problems for Bilic, who has had a year to forget both on and off the
field. The Hammers have been struggling in their new stadium, his best
player Dimitri Payet has gone on strike while he's also been under the
weather himself. Bilic had a bad case of flu which left him hospital in
January - and he's still feeling the effects now. The 48-year-old has
already had one hip replaced and the second will be done after the final
game of the season.
West Ham round their Prem campaign off with a visit to Burnley on May 21.

West Ham have been 'cheap' and 'tacky' and Slaven Bilic has been let down -
Daily Star
By Jack Wilson / Published 30th March 2017

That's according to talkSPORT pundit Jason Cundy, who hit out at the
Hammers' treatment of their Croat boss. West Ham have won only three of
their 11 games this year and are considering whether to offer Bilic a new
deal this summer. His current contract runs out in June 2018. But Cundy has
sympathy for Bilic and said: "They've moved to a new stadium, boasted about
how cheap the season tickets were and David Gold, and this is a direct
quote, said 'there's no reason we can't be in the Champions League in the
next five years'. "Their net spend, last two transfer windows, was £25m.
"They've moved, they're boasting, but none of it makes sense. It all seems
cheap and tacky. "It's like, really? Is that how you're going about it?
"Slaven Bilic should seriously consider his position as that football club
before any decision is made by someone else about his job. "He's been let
down badly by the club. He's been let down badly by the board. "I know
they've had injuries and I accept that and there's been one or two crucial
players they've missed. "The situation with Dimitri Payet wasn't helpful for
anyone and I think Bilic dealt with it as well as he could. "They moved into
a new stadium and the teething problems they've had have impacted their
season. How much, we don't quite know."
West Ham sit 12th and are nine points clear of the drop-zone. But Cundy
warned: "They won't go down but they're not out of it. A couple of bad
results and people will begin to get nervous."

West Ham consider £10m bid for Steven Zuber as summer replacement for
Cresswell and Masuaku
Cresswell has been below par this season and Masuaku has been injured far
too often
Football London
06:30, 30 MAR 2017

West Ham are reportedly in talks to sign Hoffenheim left back Steven Zuber
in a deal that could cost up to £10m, according to reports.
Estadio Deportivo say that 25-year-old Zuber is on Bilic's radar have made
huge strides under Julian Nagelsmann in Germany this season.
The Swiss international, who signed for the Bundesliga outfit in 2014, has
three league goals in 15 games at left wing back this season, a position the
25-year-old has made his own. He can also operate on either flank in
midfield or as part of a back five. Aaron Cresswell is under pressure
following a poor season, admittedly derailed before it even begun thanks to
a knee injury picked up in pre-season but the Liverpudlian simply hasn't
been the same since. Statistsic from Squawka say the left back has been the
Hammers most error-prone player of the past three seasons with ten - six of
them leading to the opposition scoring. Frenchman Arthur Masukau - who is in
line for a recall at the expense of Cresswell in the Hammers side this
weekend for their trip to Hull City - has spent too much time on the
treatment table this season, with doubts over his fitness in the future now
starting to surface. The West Ham squad is expected to get a bit of an
overhaul this summer after a disappointing Premier League campaign with, to
be honest, all positions and players under the microscope.

Carlton Cole reunited with old Chelsea team-mate Michael Essien as he signs
for Indonesian side Persib Bandung
Carlton Cole has signed a one-year deal with Indonesian side Persib Bandung
Cole last played in the United States for second-tier side Sacramento
The striker will now be reunited with former Chelsea team-mate Michael
By Adam Shergold for MailOnline
PUBLISHED: 07:45, 30 March 2017 | UPDATED: 07:47, 30 March 2017

Former England striker Carlton Cole has signed for the Indonesian team
Persib Bandung, where he will be reunited with former Chelsea team-mate
Michael Essien. The 33-year-old, who last played for the American team
Sacramento Republic last year, has signed a one-year deal with the club. He
underwent a medical in Bandung on Wednesday and was officially presented by
the club on Thursday morning. Cole, who won seven senior caps for England,
is best known for two successful spells at West Ham where he scored 59 goals
and helped them back into the Premier League in 2012. London-born Cole
started his career at Chelsea, where he progressed through the academy but
struggled to hold down a first-team place under a number of managers. His
time there included spells on loan at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Charlton
Athletic and Aston Villa, before his career really took off at Upton Park.
Cole's stay at Chelsea briefly overlapped that of Ghana midfielder Essien,
who signed from Lyon in 2005. After concluding his nine years at West Ham,
Cole joined Scottish Premiership champions Celtic but struggled for game
time. He joined Sacramento, who play in the United Soccer League, in August
last year but made just a handful of appearances before their season ended.
Cole has spent the winter working hard to maintain his fitness levels by
training alongside Slaven Bilic's West Ham squad and also at a gym in
Feltham, south-west London. Essien, 34, joined Persib Bandung earlier this
month having been released by the Greek side Panathinaikos at the beginning
of the season.


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