Thursday, April 13

Daily WHUFC News - 13th April 2017

Bobby Moore - Gone but never forgotten

The greatest player to ever wear the Claret and Blue would have been 76

Bobby Moore OBE, West Ham United's most famous player and England's 1966
World Cup-winning captain, was born on this day in 1941. The central
defender made 646 league and cup appearances for the Hammers, scoring 27

Moore was born in Barking on 12 April 1941, making his debut for his local
club in a 3-2 win over Manchester United at the Boleyn Ground as a
17-year-old on 8 September 1958. It was the start of a glittering career
that is remembered fondly by football fans the world over.

As a West Ham player, Moore lifted the FA Cup in 1964 and the European Cup
Winners' Cup in 1965. A year later, he was back at Wembley to complete an
unforgettable hat-trick by lifting the Jules Rimet Trophy following
England's 4-2 victory over West Germany.

Moore would go on to star at the 1970 World Cup finals in Mexico before
moving to Fulham, for whom he played against the Hammers in the 1975 FA Cup
final. Following his retirement, Moore moved first into management and then
into the world of broadcasting before his life was cut short by cancer in
February 1993. He was just 51.

Bobby Moore, gone but never forgotten.

Noble to lend Sunderland support

Mark Noble will travel with the West Ham United squad to Sunderland this
Captain starts a two-match ban after being shown his tenth yellow card of
the season
Skipper believes victory at the Stadium of Light should see the Hammers safe

Mark Noble may not be available to play at Sunderland on Saturday, but the
West Ham United captain still plans to make the trip to the Stadium of
Light. Noble marked Hammers appearance number 400 with his tenth yellow card
of the season in the 1-0 win over Swansea City at London Stadium, which
means he will miss this weekend's trip to the North East and the home game
with Everton. However, the skipper plans to travel to Sunderland with his
squad-mates to lend his support to the squad on Wearside, where victory
would all but secure West Ham's Premier League future. "I'll be going up
with them, for sure," he confirmed. "I wouldn't be able to relax otherwise.
My Saturday would be the worst Saturday in history if I didn't go. "I need
to be there, so I'm pretty sure the manager will be happy with me travelling
up with the lads and supporting them, because obviously we're in this
together. "We'll take a lot of fans to what is another important game for us
and I believe we can go there after Saturday and get a result."

West Ham's inspirational skipper believes that, having ended a seven-match
winless run against Swansea, three more points against the struggling Black
Cats would all but secure the Hammers' Premier League status. The 14th-place
Londoners are eight points clear of third-bottom Swansea, with a better goal
difference and just six matches remaining. With home games against Everton,
Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool and away trips to Stoke City and Burnley to
follow, Noble says Slaven Bilic's men want to give themselves more breathing
space sooner rather than later. "One more win should see us safe," said the
skipper. "Hopefully we've broken that run of losses – games we shouldn't
have lost. "Sunderland away is massive and then we have some tough games."

*You can watch Mark Noble reminisce over his top four moments in his 400
games in Claret and Blue with Jack Collison in West Ham TV special here.

New date for Liverpool

West Ham United's final home Premier League fixture of the season against
Liverpool has been moved. The Hammers will now host Jurgen Klopp's side at
London Stadium on Sunday 14 May, with kick-off at 2.15pm. West Ham will be
looking to extend a five-match unbeaten run against the Reds, which included
two memorable victories against them in east London last term. Liverpool's
last visit to the Hammers saw Angelo Ogbonna head home a dramatic winner in
the final minute of extra time in last season's FA Cup fourth round replay.

Claret Members can enter the ticket ballot for this fixture from Thursday 13
April. Full ticketing details can be found here.

Nobes and JC - The 400 Club

In an emotional West Ham TV special to celebrate Mark Noble reaching 400
West Ham United appearances, Jack Collison asks his friend and former
teammate to pick four standout moments.

Collison and Noble shared the Hammers midfield on dozens of occasions
between 2008 and 2014, sharing the despair of relegation in 2011 and elation
of promotion at Wembley Stadium a year later.

The two midfielders were reunited at Rush Green this week, where Noble
shared his favourite memories in Claret and Blue, with two Play-Off finals,
a remarkable victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford and the
unforgettable Final Game win over the same opposition at the Boleyn Ground.

First off, Collison asked his old pal to describe the 2005 Championship
Play-Off final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, which was settled by Bobby
Zamora's goal, which sparked wild celebrations featuring the then

"I remember travelling to the 2005 Play-Off final and it was the biggest
game I had been involved in at that time," Noble recalled. "I was warming-up
behind the goal with Teddy [Sheringham] when Matty [Etherington] put the
cross in and Bobby [Zamora] scored and the feeling was unreal. After Bobby
scored that goal we had that celebration and I came on after and I always
remember trying to chip the goalie from 25 yards!

"I didn't even think Pards (Alan Pardew) was going to bring me on, but
before coming on I remember standing there looking up at the crowd and
thinking 'Oh my God, this is unbelievable!' and it was an incredible day."

Next up came the 1-0 win at Old Trafford which completed the 'Great Escape'
two years later.

"Fast forward a couple of years to 2007 and it looked like you were out of
it when you lost 3-0 at Sheffield United with a few games left, everyone had
written you off, so how did you feel going into that?" asked Collison.

"I remember being on the coach on the way to Old Trafford and I was sitting
opposite Ginge at the time and we were all nervous because we needed to win
to stay up and they'd already won the league, so we thought they would just
go out and enjoy themselves," Noble explained. "Ginge looked at me and said
'I've got a good feeling about today!' and it gave me a buzz, then Carlos
[Tevez] scored!

"I remember looking up at the clock and thinking we've still got another
half to cope, then another 15 minutes then another five and thinking
'They've got to score two'."

After describing the 2012 Championship Play-Off final victory over Blackpool
in which they both appeared as 'so important', as he was getting married a
week later, Collison and Noble closed their walk down memory lane with the
Final Game at the Boleyn Ground in May 2016.

"That game was so special with the way it went, for me," said the captain.
"To be able to come back and win in that atmosphere, to top off the best
season I'd ever had as a West Ham player and a West Ham fan, was incredible.

"We all wanted to leave Upton Park on a high and to leave it the way we did
was amazing. I'll never forget it."

Reflecting on becoming just the 19th Hammer to reach 400 first-team
appearances, Noble told Collison he was proud of his achievements.

"You don't ever get time to look back at the past because you're always
under pressure to win the next game," he said. "So to look back at the
memories I've had as a West Ham player, especially having been brought up
around the corner and been to games as a fan, then to captain the last-ever
game at the Boleyn and the first-ever game at the new Stadium is something
that doesn't happen to a lot of people, and I was lucky enough to be one of

Hammers add Jamboo to eSports team

West Ham United add Jamie 'Jamboo' Rigden to the Club's eSports team
Twenty-year-old is currently Europe's No1-ranked FIFA17 player on xBox
Jamboo will represent the Hammers in competitions and events all over the

West Ham United are pleased to announce the addition of Jamie 'Jamboo'
Rigden to the Club's eSports team. Jamboo, who is currently Europe's
No1-ranked FIFA17 player on xBox, will represent the Hammers in competitions
and events all over the world. The 21-year-old told West Ham TV he is
excited about the prospect of pulling on the famous Claret and Blue shirt.
"It's a really exciting time for me," confirmed Jamboo, whose YouTube
channel has attracted more than 50,000 subscribers in just six months.
"Anyone who knows me will know that this is a dream come true. "I've put in
a lot of hours to get to where I am today, so now I just can't wait to get

Jamboo has wasted little time in settling into his new role with the
Hammers, taking on young fans at FIFA at the Junior Hammers Party this week.
Look out for plenty more opportunities to play against one of the best FIFA
players in the world right here. With eSports growing quicker than any other
sport, Jamboo is looking forward to making the most of his big opportunity.
"About six months ago, I finished a four-year apprenticeship in business
administration and decided to pursue a career in FIFA and it's obviously
paid-off, so I'm just delighted! "There is so much potential in eSports, as
it's only just started being broadcast regularly on TV and things like that.
There are lots of tournaments and prize money available too, so hopefully it
all goes well."

In three recent FUT (FIFA Ultimate Team) Champions Weekend Leagues, Jamboo,
who you can follow on twitter @WHU_Jamboo, has compiled a perfect 40 wins
out of 40 record. Now, he is hoping to carry that form forward into his
career as a Hammer and represent the Club at the FIFA 17 Ultimate Team
Championship Series and the FIFA Interactive World Cup. "I'm really looking
forward to it," he confirmed. "West Ham is a massive club and clearly
believes in the eSports vision as well, so I'm looking forward to working
with them. "I'm getting better every week and that's the third 40 out of 40
I've achieved in the last two months, so I feel like I'm improving all the
time, so hopefully I can take that forward into tournaments. "Every weekend
you have 40 games to get as many wins as you can, and normally to get into
the top hundred in the world you need to win 36, so to get 40 out of 40
needs a lot of consistency and is not easy!"
Jamboo will certainly embrace the West Ham Way, as he employs an All-Out
Attack style when playing FIFA. "I play high pressure, so the issue I
occasionally have is that my defence is all over the place because I flood
players into attack!" he smiled. "I mainly go to try to outscore the other
team. "My YouTube channel features FUT Champions gameplay content, so people
can see how I play, and also revealing of the reward packs that I get from
finishing. "When I'm playing, I use Bobby Moore as he's very solid and good
on the ball and at playing out from the back. He is just perfect for that
and is a really good centre-back. Of the current players, Michail Antonio
and Cheikhou Kouyate are good as they are big and strong."

Next up is the qualifying competition for the FIFA Interactive World Cup,
and Jamboo is confident he can make his mark on the game's biggest global
tournament. "Obviously I've had a good few weeks, so if I can continue then
hopefully I can make it to the World Cup in London!" Jamie joining the team
is another sign of West Ham United continuing their focus on digital
innovation and look forward to delivering some fantastic content for our
fans moving forward. West Ham United would like to thank Sean 'Dragonn'
Allen for his efforts and wish him well in his future eSports career.

Reo-Coker on trial
Filed: Wednesday, 12th April 2017
By: Staff Writer

Former Hammers captain Nigel Reo-Coker has joined the Tony Adams revolution
at Grenada.

The 50-year-old former England and Arsenal defender was appointed earlier
this week by the troubled La Liga side, who are currently just one place off
the bottom of the table and seven points adrift from safety, with just seven
games of the season left to play.

And one of Adams' first tasks as the new boss id to bring in Reo-Coker and
ex-Manchester United and Aston Villa star Kieran Richardson on trial with
view to signing on a free transfer.

Reo-Coker, now 32, has been out of the game since returning to England last
year following a short spell in Canada with Montreal Impact. That followed
spells with Chivas and Vancouver Whitecaps.

The midfielder spent three years at West Ham between 2004 and 2007, during
which time he captained the club in the 2006 FA Cup Final against Liverpool.

Who do you think you are kidding, gentlemen?
Filed: Tuesday, 11th April 2017
By: Paul Walker

West Ham were so quick to try to squash any newspaper story suggesting they
are trying to find new investment. You just know there is more to it, don't
you? So suggestions that our owners are searching for new investment are
"utterly false" should be taken with a large pinch of salt.

Our owners, David Sullivan and David Gold are now traditionally
hyper-sensitive about any suggestion that the end game of moving us to the
Olympic Stadium was in any way their opportunity to cash in on an upwardly
mobile club with a new stadium, vastly increased fan base and booming
commercial expansion.

But what has surprised many is how quickly they have tried to discredit the
Daily Express story suggesting they want to bring big business investment
into the club. Surely Sullivan has been banging on about just this for a
long time, right back to when we were still at the Boleyn.

But the problem they have got, if as they say they want to retain control of
the club, is to find anyone from the Chinese/Abu Dhabi/Qatar/ Saudi level
willing to give them buckets of cash but without control over how it is

Frankly, our owners can't have it both ways. They are businessmen
themselves, but at a far lower level than Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour at
Chelsea and Manchester City respectively. Even the Glaziers at Manchester

Gold and Sullivan are rich people, but not that rich and they know, deep
down, they cannot compete on that scale. Which makes the loud and long
boasts about Champions League qualification just so much hot air.

Now the Express has dusted down an old story with a new twist. I understand
that it was not considered to be a real bombshell when it was written on
Sunday, neither by the paper or the author. Just an update really.

The author of the piece is a personal friend of mine for more than 20 years.
He does not make up stories, simple as that. If I had to back his word
against our owners, there's no doubt where I would stand. Tony Banks is a
highly respected guy with good contracts and a lengthy career in what used
to be called 'Fleet Street'.

These days when anyone in power, be it the President of the USA or our
owners find a story they don't like much, it immediately gets labelled as
'false news'. Well they would say that, wouldn't they?

I have made a few of my own investigations and 'sources close to the
situation'(I do love that expression, but haven't been able to use it for a
while) suggest that information has come from inside the club and that this
has been under-pinned by football finance experts in the City of London.

In effect, I believe that 'feelers have been put out recently to try to find
people prepared to invest in West Ham'.

That, as has already been pointed out today by experienced observers of West
Ham's board, is nothing new. Sullivan wants financial help and has never
been slow in making that point in the past.

So why launch into a club website denial of this magnitude? The Express
story did not say the owners wanted to sell up. It did not say the owners
were willing to sell a controlling interest. It made it clear the owners
wanted to be around for a long time.

Now I know that will have upset a few fans who would happily see the back of
the Davids and Lady Karren, her of the heavily ladened Arsenal cheeseboard
fame at the weekend. But the current owners want their cake (or cheese) and
to eat it too.

Step forward any unsuspecting Middle East oil tycoon, or even a small
country like Abu Dhabi, willing to give Gold and Sullivan money, but who
don't want a control of the club. There is a very short queue forming there!

So lets hear no more of the quotes of the club website from Sullivan today
saying the story is "utterly false and we have never once viewed West Ham as
a short term project". We all know the second bit of that line is true, and
from my own checks on the Express story, it is not "utterly false".

Everton and West Brom takeovers of late are, to my mind, the way our owners
make have to go if they do really want serious outside investment to take us
to the higher level we have all been promised.

Just why do you think so many fans, with doubts about leaving the Boleyn,
reluctantly agreed to the reality of the move to Stratford? We believed that
our owners could take us to that next level.

The Everton takeover is interesting for one thing, that our board and Karren
Brady have been admirers of how Bill Kenwright has guided the Merseysiders
into a regular top eight Premier League finish with a similar size stadium
and revenue as we had at the Boleyn, and with a similar fan base.

Kenwright spent a decade looking for outside help. Now he has been seriously
ill for a while, the time has come to step aside. He has sold 49.99 per cent
of his shares to Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri.

The rest of Everton's 1,000-strong shareholding is in very small lots.
Sometimes just one or two shares per person. Some have been lost, other
owners have died. Some were even lost during the Second World War bombing of

So Moshiri, who sold a £200million stake in Arsenal to buy Everton, does not
need an exact controlling interest. Kenwright, who is now de facto chairman
in name only, will stay involved and may have a tiny holding himself.

Either way, it is believed that Moshiri has a 'shareholders' agreement' with
the rest of the board to always work and vote in his favour. Now considering
that Everton are going to have a much larger transfer pot (something West
Ham will be very much aware of) and also a new ground in the old north
docks, this suggests that everyone at Goodison Park is more than happy with
Moshiri's involvement.

West Brom is not quit as transparent. Jeremy Peace has sold his 88 per cent
shareholding to Chinese businessman Guochaun Lai for £175million, from the
£1.8billion he is quoted as being worth on the Chinese stock exchange.

Peace has stepped down and former Blackburn chief executive John Williams, a
highly respected operator in football circles, has taken over.

Lai, just like Mosheri, has controlling interest. That is what very rich
people moving into football want and expect. If Gold and Sullivan want this
level of outside investment, surely they know the only way to get it is to
give up some control.

But they will continue looking. Continue putting out feelers through middle
men and intermediaries. Maybe they will one day find what they are looking
for. But any suggestion that they are going to sell, which is not what the
Express said, is a very long shot - a long way off, if at all.

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,

Liverpool date changed
Filed: Wednesday, 12th April 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United's final home game of the season has been moved to a Sunday
lunchtime. The Hammers were previously scheduled to host Liverpool at tthe
Olympic Stadium on Saturday, 13 May. However at the behest of the TV
companies the game will now be played the following day, Sunday 14 May with
a 2.15pm kick off. The game is just the latest match to be moved at the last
minute for the benefit of TV audiences, with news of the change coming just
four weeks ahead of the fixture. Consequently, and not for the first time
this season, many non-local supporters - who had already booked trains,
flights and/or hotels - will be left out of pocket as a result.
That leaves West Ham's fixture with Everton as the club's only remaining
match scheduled to kick off at the traditional 3pm Saturday slot.

Strewth! Summer tour cancelled
Filed: Wednesday, 12th April 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham's proposed summer tour of Australia looks unlikely to proceed after
the hosts refused to meet United's demands. According to a report in today's
Adelaide Advertiser the two-match tour of Adelaide and Perth is almost
certainly off after the local South and Western Australian Governments
refused to meet the costs of the tour. The governing bodies are reported by
the Advertiser to have offered around $300,000 less than West Ham's proposed
fee to bring the club to Australia - meaning that United are now extremely
unlikely to return to the Southern Hemisphere this summer.
KUMB revealed back in February how West Ham were planmning a two-match tour
of the country. They had been scheduled to face Adelaide United on Friday,
14 July before flying on to Perth for a clash with Perth Glory. West Ham
last visited Australasia in 2014 when they faced Sydney FC and Wellington
Phoenix in New Zealand.

Risky Slaven Bilic decision could prove to be bad news for desperate
Damien Lucas

West Ham United travel to basement side Sunderland on Saturday in what is a
vital game for both sides. The Hammers need one more win to more or less
guarantee Premier League survival after a torrid second season under Slaven
Bilic. How the Black Cats would love to be in the same position. Instead
David Moyes' side know they must win the majority of their remaining seven
games to have any hope of staying up. Ravaged by injuries, Bilic will have
to patch together a side for the game at the Stadium of Light. But a risky
decision he made in the 1-0 victory over Swansea City last time out could be
very bad news for Sunderland.
Going into the must-win game against the Swans Bilic elected to leave strike
pair Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho on the bench. Sakho is working his way
back from almost a year out of action - bar some minutes during his
ill-fated comeback in November - while Carroll has nursing a sore groin.
Both could have been used against Swansea had they been needed but Bilic's
side managed to get through the game without doing so which means at least
one if not both could feature against Moyes' strugglers. Sakho is
reportedly champing at the bit to start and Bilic has had to hold him back
for his own good. And another week of treatment on Carroll's groin should
mean he is fit to at least make the bench again if not start. The big
former Newcastle United star has a good record against his boyhood club's
hated rivals and Carroll will undoubtedly be keen to be involved. With
Michail Antonio injured it will be a major boost for the Hammers and
worrying for Sunderland who already have enough to worry about.

West Ham will sign star Juve striker this summer, says former Director of
By Eren Sarigul - April 12, 20170
turkish football

West Ham will sign star Juve striker this summer, says Director of Football,
Croatia international striker Mario Mandzukic will be a West Ham United
player next season, according to the former Besiktas director of football
Onder Ozen. Ozen was responsible for appointing Slaven Bilic as manager of
Besiktas back in 2013. "Mandzukic will not be here [Juventus] at the end of
the season, he will go to West Ham United," Ozen stated live on Tivibu Spor.
Ozen is understood to be a good friend of Bilic and is regularly in contact
with the Croatian tacticain. The daily tabloid The Sun recently reported
that the Hammers are lining up a move for the Juventus striker. Per the
source, the London based club are 'desperately' looking for a regular goal
scorer this summer. The Sun goes onto state that Mandzukic has been on West
Ham's transfer shortlist for last 18 months. Juve are prepared to offload
their star striker at the end of the season. Mandzukic played the full 90
minutes during Juve's 3-0 victory over Barcelona on the UEFA Champions
League. The 30-year-old has provided six assists and scored seven goals in
38 apperances for Juventus this season. West Ham take on Sunderland in the
Premier League this weekend.

West Ham to launch summer bid for Sunderland defender Lamine Kone
Evening Standard

West Ham are considering a summer bid for Sunderland centre-half Lamine
Kone. Kone has been on West Ham's radar for some time and the club look
likely to make a raid if the Black Cats are relegated. The 28-year-old
joined Sunderland in the summer of 2016 and his form at the heart of their
defence was one of the main reasons they stayed up last season. He asked to
leave Sunderland last August but eventually signed a five-year contract with
the North-East club. Kone represented France at several age groups but
then switched his allegiance to the Ivory Coast, for which he qualified
through his parents. West Ham play Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on
Saturday knowing victory would all but confirm their Premier League status
for another season. They will come up against Jermain Defoe, who they looked
at during the January transfer window. The 34-year-old Beckton-born frontman
is expected to be available on a free transfer should Sunderland go down and
is known to be keen to return to West Ham, where he spent five seasons from
the age of 16.

Who is Slavisa Jokanovic and why are West Ham being linked with him to
replace Slaven Bilic?
The Fulham manager has been linked with the Hammers if Slaven Bilic leaves
the London Stadium this summer
Football London
11:40, 12 APR 2017UPDATED11:41, 12 APR 2017

Slaven Bilic's future remains firmly in doubt. After a very impressive first
campaign, the Hammers have struggled to hit their stride this season
following their move to the Olympic Stadium and many are starting to
speculate that Bilic's time at the club might be up, even if it is looking
like they will remain in the top flight after moving eight points clear of
the drop zone last weekend. Reports yesterday have indicated that the man
being looked at by the West Ham board is Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic,
formerly of Watford. But who is Jokanovic, and is he the right man to take
the club forward should Bilic depart?

Who is he?

The 48 year-old Serbian had a successful career as a player, an all rounded
defensive midfielder capped 64 times for what was then the Yugoslavian
national team. He was a key part of the Deportivo team that shocked Spanish
football in the 1999/2000 season by winning the league, and he will also be
familiar to Chelsea fans after making a move to Stamford Bridge late in his
career. As a manager, Jokanovic is best known for his short spell at
Watford, where he earned promotion to the Premier League in his one season
with the Hornets. After failing to agree a new contract there, he moved to
Fulham (by way of a short spell in Israel) where his side currently sit just
two points outside the playoff positions as the Championship season comes to
a head.

What has he won?

As a manager, Jokanovic's trophy cabinet is not exactly bursting at the
seams. He won the Serbian double for two years running with his first club,
Partizan Belgrade, but since then his only honour is the not overly
prestigious Thai Premier League crown, which he achieved with Muangthong
United (best known for Robbie Fowler's short spell there) in 2012. Arguably
his most difficult achievement so far was the promotion of Watford in
2014/15. The club was in state of disarray when he took the helm (the Serb
was their fourth manager in five weeks when he took over) but Jokanovic
stabilised the club, and clawed his way to 2nd place for an automatic
promotion spot.

What about his failures?

Somewhat of a journeyman as a manager, Jokanovic has been relieved of his
duties on a couple of occasions. First, his 2013 spell at Bulgarian side
Levski Sofia ended after just four months after being sacked due to poor
league form. And after taking over at Spanish side Hercules late in the
2013/14 season, Jokanovic failed to get the side out of the relegation
positions, and although he was hardly afforded a lot of time to turn things
around, he was dismissed.

What are his tactics?

Jokanovic has heavily favoured a 4-2-3-1 system with Fulham this campaign,
with his side lining up this way 37 times out of 41 games according to, which is a level of stability that has been lacking at West
Ham this year. The Serbian prefers a possession oriented style, with his
Fulham side keeping the ball at an average rate of 59%, and his wide players
have flourished in the system, which would be welcome news for West Ham
strugglers Sofiane Feghouli and Gokhan Tore.

What do the fans say?

Harry ? @HarryTheHammer_
Slavisa Jokanovic is a good Championship manager he's never managed at a
high level and never had money thrown at him, would be to risky...
6:25 PM - 11 Apr 2017

The Unknown Barman @UnknownBarman
How many more are going to be linked. Stam? Wagner? Jokanovic? Do me a
favour, what have they achieved as managers? Not worth a carrot.
5:48 PM - 11 Apr 2017

inthezone @inthezoneuk
@SkySportsNewsHQ Jokanovic is a very good Manager as proven at WFC & now
Fulham. He has a knack of making substitutions at the right time to turn a
game. ????
5:33 PM - 11 Apr 2017

Tom @tomtomkdkd
Replacing Bilic with jokanovic would be like replacing coke with Pepsi. Both
too idealistic both no good with defence.
5:12 PM - 11 Apr 2017

Stephen Madden @StephenMadden01
Jokanovic to replace Bilic. This is a JOKE! They all need to look at what
they did recruiting last Summer. #Keep Slaven Bilic.
5:06 PM - 11 Apr 2017

Would he be an improvement?

It's very tough to say. He may not be the big name some fans are looking
for, but Jokanovic has an impressive resume in England with his stints at
Watford and now Fulham, and he deserves a crack at the Premier League after
being unable to continue with Watford after getting them promoted. Whether
or not Jokanovic's possession style would suit the West Ham squad at present
is another question. West Ham have found a lot of their success on the
counter this season, and how Andy Carroll would get on in a system focused
on keeping the ball is also a concern. Personally, I would say that
Jokanovic would be the right man for the job – if the Hammers do go down
this season. He has proven to be a very capable manager in the hectic
Championship and would likely be able to guide the Hammers back up at the
first time of asking

West Ham fans will be hoping it doesn't come to that.

West Ham striker Jonathan Calleri hopeful over first Premier League start
Evening Standard

Jonathan Calleri is hopeful he has done enough to convince Slaven Bilic he
deserves to make his first Premier League start for West Ham.
Calleri joined the Hammers on a season-long loan deal from Deportivo
Maldonado last summer but has struggled for game time this season.
The 23-year-old has been restricted to just 11 top-flight appearances, all
of which have been as a substitute. Calleri was brought on during last
week's victory over Swansea after Michail Antonio picked up an injury and
produced a promising performance as the Hammers picked up three vital
points. The Argentine is now in contention to lead the line for Saturday's
crucial trip to Sunderland and is determined to play his part during the
run-in. "We have six games left," he told West Ham's official website. "As a
player, I always try to do my best in order to play all the games, but it is
a manager´s decision to pick the team. "Saturday could be a chance for me to
start the game and, if I do, I will try to do my best to be the manager´s
first choice to play. "People might expect us to win at Sunderland, but it
will be a difficult game. "It is again the last team of the table and they
have to win, so I expect them to give it everything to beat us," Calleri
added. West Ham are currently eight points clear of the drop zone and will
all-but secure their safety with victory at the Stadium of Light.

Manuel Lanzini drops ominous hint over West Ham future if owners sack Slaven
Damien Lucas

It has been a turbulent season for West Ham United and speculation has been
rife over Slaven Bilic's future. The Hammers have been in freefall and found
themselves perilously close to the danger zone after five defeats on the
bounce. Indeed it was seven games since the Hammers last tasted victory
until they beat Swansea City 1-0 on Saturday. The East Londoners still have
some work to do to secure safety in what has been a hugely disappointing
season compared to the record-breaking campaign the club enjoyed last term.
As a result of West Ham's poor form of late Bilic's future has been the
subject of intense media speculation with the likes of Jaap Stam, Roberto
Manzini and Rafa Benitez tipped to replace him in various reports.
And yesterday Sky Sports reported Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic was a
potential target if the club does decide to relive Bilic of his post. The
Croatian has retained the support of the majority of West Ham's fans,
though, which has been reinforced by the important victory over the Swans.
And West Ham's most prized asset Manuel Lanzini has dropped an ominous hint
over his own future should Bilic leave, in an interview with The Mirror.
"Slaven has shown a lot of confidence in me since the very beginning,"
Lanzini told The Mirror.
"He is a big part of the reason I signed for the club and has always treated
me very well so I am very grateful to him for that. "He is a great coach and
works very closely with the players. It is not my decision about Slaven's
future but he led the club to a great season last year and I am very
grateful to him. I would love him to stay."
Lanzini was plucked from the obscurity of the footballing wilderness that is
the United Arab Emirates Pro League by Bilic when he replaced Sam Allardyce
at West Ham. While many thought the diminutive Argentine playmaker would not
be able to stand up to the rigours of Premier League football, Bilic backed
him to shine. And he has done just that rising up to become West Ham's key
player, especially since Dimitri Payet's disappointing departure in January.
Should Bilic be sacked, the Hammers would clearly face a battle to keep hold
of Lanzini. Lose him and it is hard to see how the East Londoners could
replace both him and Payet ready for next season.

West Ham move for £30m Celtic star Moussa Dembele could be possible if they
appoint Jokanovic
Dan Coombs

West Ham were linked to Celtic's Moussa Dembele earlier this year. West Ham
have set their sights on appointing Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic if they
decide to part ways with Slaven Bilic at the end of the season, SkySports
report. There are plenty of 'ifs' in the equation, but Jokanovic's
appointment could give West Ham a shot of landing Celtic striker Moussa
Dembele. West Ham were interested in Dembele back in January, with The Mail
reporting they had an offer rejected and were told to stump up at least £30
million. Celtic are reluctant to sell but their actions could be dependent
on Dembele's desire, if he wants to move to the English Premier League.
Dembele could potentially land a move to a top four club, although if he
wants to guarantee playing time, a move to a side like West Ham would be a
shrewder move. Jokanovic has worked with Dembele previously at Fulham, and
helped him attract attention of clubs across Europe last summer, with Celtic
winning the battle for his signature. Keeping Dembele at Fulham was always a
tough ask, but Jokanovic did manage to keep him put in January 2016 and see
out the season with the west London club. He would be very keen to work with
the ex-PSG youngster again. West Ham's chances of signing the prolific
Frenchman from Celtic look slim at present. If they appoint Jokanovic, they
might just stand a chance.

By Sean Whetstone 12 Apr 2017 at 08:00

The Daily Express ran a claimed Exclusive on Monday night claiming there was
a renewed attempt by Sullivan and Gold to actively look for people with the
wealth to take the club to the next stage. The report said that the two
Hammers supremos have been looking to bring other investors into the club
for over a year but plans had been put on hold this season while Slaven
Bilic's team dropped towards the Premier League relegation zone. They stated
that Sullivan and Gold want to recoup some of their investment in the club,
but both will want to keep their places on the board in the future if any
deal is done. Last summer the duo rejected a reported £650million takeover
bid for the club from energy drinks giants, Red Bull, although a bid was
later denied by the firm. A valuation of the club last year put a price on
West Ham of around £200m, although Sullivan believed the move to the London
Stadium meant the club was worth nearer £400m.

For me this report was old news, Sullivan and Gold have been openly looking
for wealthy West Ham fans to invest in the club since 2010 while retaining
the majority of shares in the Hammers. Terry Brown and the Harris Family
invested £4m in return for 3.8% of the shares in 2010 but there has been no
serious interest since to share the financial burden of investing in the

What did surprise me what the knee jerk reaction on the official website
yesterday disclaiming the 'fake news'

Speaking to the official website Sullivan said: "It is no secret that both
David Gold and I see our long-term futures as custodians of West Ham United.
"We have never once viewed West Ham United as a short term project and plan
to be here for many, many years, bringing further progress to the Club on
and off the pitch, and success to our loyal supporters. It disappoints me to
see an article published that is so utterly false."

The Statement got me to look back what was previously said by the owners on
the subject:

In January 2010 Sullivan set out his stall on the day of takeover by saying
"We have a seven-year plan to get them into the Champions League and turn
them into a big club and over the seven-year period we do plan to spend a
lot of money, The short-term plan is all about survival and getting behind
the team. It is also about getting behind the manager."

Gold told in the Daily Mirror in 2012: "You have to be a billionaire to make
a major difference and there aren't many of them about. Of course, I'd
welcome a Father Christmas. But then you look and discover that it might not
be the real Father Christmas. And you know why? Because there isn't a real
Father Christmas. He doesn't exist.

"In an ideal world, though, if you ask what I'd like to see happen, I would
like a very wealthy person to come and join us.David and myself are wealthy
by normal standards, but not by football standards.We would be reluctant to
sell the whole football club because we feel part of it. It's taken us a
lifetime to earn enough money to return to our roots and we won't give that
up lightly. We're doing our best but it would be that much easier if there
were three of us."

Gold added: "We're not going to be a top-four club straightaway. But one day
it's possible, if there is a super-wealthy West Ham fan who wants to come
and join the club, that could change things for us. Now we have to do the
best we can within the areas of our ability.To grow the club, fingers
crossed to get to the Olympic Stadium would change our whole image, would
help us attract better players. But it all boils down to income and we have
to generate more income."

In December 2014 Sullivan said: "I'd love someone to come in and buy 20
percent & the money would not go to us, it would go to the club."

In 2015 Sullivan told the Sunday Times "Long-term, there's no reason we
can't be one of England's leading six clubs, pushing for the Champions
League. You have to dream. Otherwise what's the point of being an owner or
supporter? And we are both owners and supporters. We have no desire to sell
West Ham. We hope to pass it to our kids and grandkids. While the deal is
confidential if we sell before 10 years most of the money would go to the
government. We're not here for a quick buck."

At the end of last year, the message from Sullivan was: "I want to reiterate
that we, the current owners, have no desire to sell the club unless it is to
somebody like the King of Saudi Arabia who can take it to a level we cannot
ourselves hope to reach."

In the Sunday Times Rich List of 2016 David Sullivan was valued at a net
worth of £1 billion of which £200m was his share of West Ham. Most of his
wealth is tied up in properties but he owns the Sunday Sport, race horses
and retains businesses involved in publishing, sex shops, material aids and
phone lines. David Gold is claimed to be worth £300m. His 35% of West Ham is
valued around £140m while the remainder of his net worth is related to Gold
International Group which owns Ann Summers and Knickerbox but also owns Gold
Aviation and various property investments. It has a turnover £112m but the
profit under £1m per annum.

Karren Brady has a net worth £85m but is not listed as a current share owner
of West Ham despite her claiming in interviews she has some shares.

Terry Brown made £33.4m when he sold his West Ham shares but has probably
increased his net worth since selling out to the Icelandic's.

The Harris family are thought to be worth around £150m after their sale of
the Alba electronics firm.

The chances of a Middle East billionaire buying the Hammers seem remote
despite rumours of the Qatar Investment Authority wanting a premier League

Here is my suggestion for what it is worth, Gold and Sullivan could sell
35.2% of their shares for £140m valuing the club at £400m. The Icelandic's
could also sell their remaining 10% for £40m. Gold and Sullivan could use
£40m to repay the majority of the shareholder then re-invest £100m into the
club. The new wealthy investor could invest £96m in cash with Brown/Harris
Family throwing in another £4m.

West Ham would be debt free with £200m war chest and Gold and Sullivan would
retain overall control with 51% of the shares.

The challenge comes finding a wealthy individual prepared to part with £276m
in cash!

Despite win over Swansea, West Ham are still very much a work in progress

West Ham edged closer to guaranteeing their Prem survival, but Slaven Bilic
doesn't want to underplay the task at hand.
At the final whistle against Swansea City on Saturday, some West Ham players
dropped to their knees and raised their arms in celebration, as if they had
won a major trophy. Meanwhile, in the technical area, manager Slaven Bilic,
bent double in supplication and clenched his fists; his job saved for at
least this season.

It may only have been a nervy 1-0 home win over a relegation-threatened
side, who did not look like a team fighting for their own Premier League
survival, but in any context, it was enough. Beset by injuries -- and when
is that never an issue at West Ham? -- and lacking confidence after six
straight defeats, the team may have come unstuck against hardier opposition.
Swansea provided little, however, and had Jonathan Calleri, Manuel Lanzini
and even Sam Byram been more clinical in front of the goal, the Welsh side
might have suffered an even bigger dent to their fragile confidence.

In fact, the performance of right-back Byram and Arthur Masuaku on the left,
showed just how quixotic the Premier League can be. Torn apart by a
supposedly struggling Arsenal outfit just days before, the two defenders
looked unsure and out of their depth at the Emirates. On Saturday, against a
lacklustre Swansea side though, the pair performed impressively. A late
block by Byram brought a welter of congratulations from teammates and,
although a good indicator of the spirit in the side, the demonstration did
seem to indicate the need to boost the confidence of the 23-year-old. The
enthusiastic reaction by Mark Noble in particular was well-received by the
crowd, but it did seem an odd response by the captain to a player really
just doing what he should be doing anyway.

Perhaps that incident showed in one small detail, the issue that Bilic has
this summer. With weaknesses throughout the team and on the bench, a
decision needs to be made at board level on how to improve. Players like
Byram and Masuaka aren't seen as the type who can cope with the opposition
they are likely to come up against when facing a team in the top six.
Against a team in the bottom half however, the pair looked confident enough
to deal with most things they'd be expected to face. Much will be down to
confidence and regular game time. Byram, in particular, has suffered greatly
from this. But if the manager doesn't show confidence in a player, then what
is the point of them being on the squad?

The fact is that West Ham are a mid-table side with too many mid-table
players. The difficulty is how the club go about changing that?

News that David Gold and David Sullivan were looking to sell shares in the
club were first rumoured and then denied this week. The initial speculation
that the pair were looking to sell to wealthy investors was met with
enthusiasm on some fan sites. In the eyes of many, last summer's less than
stellar transfer dealings was seen as being the owners' fault. The supposed
lack of investment is cited by some as the reason that West Ham failed to
complement their seventh-place finish last season. Neither was the situation
eased in January when Jose Font and Robert Snodgrass were signed, neither of
whom have looked particularly comfortable in their first months with the

The problem is, it's very difficult to know from the outside who is making
the decisions over transfer targets. A reasonable rebuttal suggests that if
it was Bilic that sanctioned, for example, the £20 million signing of Andre
Ayew or the loan deal for Simone Zaza, then the owners may be wary of
trusting the manager with an even bigger transfer budget this summer. It
seems likely that Bilic was instrumental in bringing in Gokhan Tore and
Sofiane Feghouli to Stratford. Neither has made a significant impact --
Tore's signing in particular has been an embarrassment -- but it's dealings
like this that have left the squad shorn of back-up and first-team players
with virtually assured places.

On Saturday, the Hammers travel to the Stadium of Light for might well be
Sunderland's last throw of the dice in their battle to stay in the top
flight. Desperately needing a win, the home side will welcome a West Ham
side with key first-team players out. The Hammers will have gained some
confidence from the victory over Swansea but, on occasion this season, the
team have lacked application and belief. No one can say for certain which
Hammers team will turn up. So, once again, as it's seemed all season, the
opposition will target Bilic's men as a brittle team that can be beaten.

It's a cycle that needs to be broken and the manager and board need to work
together to decide how to move forward.

The first season in Stratford was always going to be difficult but, after
surviving it, even bigger decisions need to be made in the summer.

Peter Thorne, aka Billy Blagg (@BillyBlaggEsq), is ESPN FC's West Ham

West Ham fans react to Jokanovic linksFeatured Image
Date: 12th April 2017 at 6:08am
Written by: Justin Mottershead

Slavisa Jokanovic is the latest name to be linked with replacing Slaven
Bilic at West Ham United next season as despite the Hammers recent 1-0 win
over Swansea, pressure continues to mount for the manager. The Fulham boss
is reportedly being eyed as a replacement for Bilic who's suffered a
backlash following a disappointing campaign which now sees the Hammers sat
in 14th place.
In the Championship, Fulham are currently seventh in the table just two
points off the play-off places as the former Watford boss looks to achieve
promotion to the Premier League for the second time in his career. Bilic's
future may not have been decided yet and a late season rally could convince
the West Ham board he's the right man to move the Hammers forward but if he
doesn't begin next season in charge at London Stadium then it may well be
Jokanovic who replaces him.

Here's how West Ham fans reacted to the rumours:

BREAKING: Fulham's manager Slavisa Jokanovic is West Ham's no.1 target if
they choose to replace Slaven Bilic in the summer (@SkySports)

— Hammers Social (@hammers_social) April 11, 2017
@hammers_social @SkySports Silly seasons started already, we should try
something different like back Slav and ignore what Sky spread, it must be a
lack of news day.

— Bryan (@Bryan_WHU) April 11, 2017
@hammers_social @SkySports Sky say the reason behind it is his use of youth
players in the squad.

— Brian Yeo (@dmyeo66) April 11, 2017
@footballindex @SkySportsNewsHQ Definitely a lie, if Bilic is to leave
(which he probably won't) we'll go for Mancini

— Adam Brown (@adambrown93) April 11, 2017
@AlexGreen993 @SkySportsNewsHQ Wouldn't mind this to be honest. Would still
prefer Wagner if we're going for a Championship manager though.

— Frank Watson (@Frank_WHU) April 11, 2017
@whufcpaul1 @SkySportsNewsHQ @davidgold We are a team lacking cash and just
hanging on in the Prem. What half decent manager/player will come to us next

— theboleyn (@theboleyn) April 11, 2017


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