Tuesday, April 18

Daily WHUFC News - 18th April 2017

Manager on Monday

Hello everybody,

Looking back on Saturday's game, of course it is easy to feel disappointment
as we were twice in the lead and looked comfortable for long periods in each
half after we had scored. However, allowing the other team to come back into
the game when we have got a goal and are looking good is something which has
happened already this season, more than once. We have seen this situation
before and it has cost us points. At Sunderland, we took the lead twice and
we looked really good after the first one for 15 minutes and also after the
second one. They were a threat, but only on the counter attack, even when we
were leading 2-1. But, when we are in this position in games, as we have
been before, we have to finish the opposition off. We have to and we didn't,
and it cost us a victory. You have to take that advantage when you are in
control and finish them off. It's not a case of the players switching off,
but we can't let these situations happen when we concede late goals. It's
not easy to score goals in the Premier League, so you have to protect them.
That said, basically in this league, you can't expect the opponent not to
have their own chances too, especially if you score early like we did, no
matter where they are in the table. If you have a look at the bigger
picture, it's a good point for us at this stage of the season, and it's a
fair result. We're disappointed now, as we were very close to winning the
game, but four points from two games, it can be very good at the end of the
season. Some journalists asked me about whether I am going to change my
goalkeeper again after Saturday's game. I told them I don't like to change
goalkeepers on a game-to-game basis. Darren Randolph had been waiting for
his chance for a long time, and he has done well for us. We have to stay
behind our players, especially goalkeepers, so that's it. We will look back
over the Sunderland game and see what we can do better to avoid the same
situations occurring. We have five matches left, three of them at home, and
we will now prepare for Everton and work to finish as high in the table as
we can.

Come on you Irons!

Ayew - We will solve the problem

Andre Ayew scored his fourth goal in his last eight games in Saturday's 2-2
draw at Sunderland
Ghanaian's goal put Hammers 1-0 up, but Black Cats twice pegged them back
Ayew is sure Hammers will solve problem of giving up winning positions

Andre Ayew was determined to take the positives out of West Ham United's 2-2
Premier League draw at Sunderland. The Hammers scored early in each half and
twice led at a subdued Stadium of Light, only to concede two bizarre
equalisers and end the game with ten men following Sam Byram's red card.
West Ham have now squandered 22 Premier League points from winning positions
this season - the highest in the division. Ayew, whose fifth-minute goal was
his fourth in his last eight appearances, says West Ham's rollercoaster
season has contributed to their repeated inability to kill teams off when
they go in front. "I'm confident at the moment and confident for my
teammates too," the Ghana winger told whufc.com. "It wasn't a bad game from
us collectively but we're disappointed to have not taken the three points.
"It was a tough game and we're disappointed to concede in the last minute.
That's happened a few times now but we're ready to prepare for Everton and
that's going to be a tough game. "I think this season has been difficult
season in many ways. We just need to work hard to gain confidence and when
we're leading, we went back too much and don't go forward. It happens when
you haven't got the results you have wanted. "I know we will solve this
problem before the end of the season."

On a personal level, Ayew is now showing regular examples of why the Club
spent £20.6m to bring him to east London from Swansea City last summer.
"I think I'm getting there," he observed. "I have said it before, I'm
getting there. I know my quality and I'm working hard and my teammates are
giving me a lot of confidence. They have a lot of trust in me. "I am trying
to do my best at the moment."

Next up for the No20 and his teammates is a home fixture with an in-form
Everton and their in-form centre forward Romelu Lukaku. Ayew knows the
Toffees possess quality across their team, but insists the Hammers have the
quality of their own to stop Ronald Koeman's men - especially with a
vociferous London Stadium crowd behind them. "We need to prepare and
hopefully the fans will be there in their numbers for Everton at home and
hopefully we give them something to cheer as well," he said. "Everton are a
big team with big players and it's a big game and we need to points. It's
important. "We saw the atmosphere in the last game against Swansea and we
need the same again. We will give it our best."


Good afternoon Hammers. Here is today's lunchtime round up.

Diafra Sakho has been involved in another bust up with manager Slaven Bilic.
(The Sun)

Sakho will now reportedly be sold in the summer after a second row with the
Hammers boss. (Football Insider)

I think Sakho has to leave the club in the summer. I am sick of his poor
attitude, because it just isn't needed. I was willing to give him another
chance after his strop last season, but this is the final straw for me.
Bilic's job is to do what he thinks is best for the team, and if Sakho
doesn't like it then he can lump it.

Glen Johnson is on the verge of signing a new contract at Stoke, despite
interest from West Ham. (Football Insider)

I am not too fussed about this one. He is a good defender, but I feel we can
do better. Zabaleta has been linked with us in recent weeks, and I would
much rather sign him than Johnson.

St Etienne want £12m for defender Kevin Malcuit, who is a target for West
Ham and Manchester United. (Talksport)

I haven't seen much of this guy, but he did get very good reviews when he
played against Man United in the Europe League earlier this season. It would
be interesting to see if we follow up the interest in Malcuit, especially if
we are supposed to be signing Zabaleta too. But if we were to sign him, I do
wonder what would happen to Sam Byram.

David Gold has said getting a licence to hold 66,000 at the London Stadium
is proving difficult. (Football London)

The board already have a lot of supporters on their case about the stadium
move, and this is not going to help matters. I really do hope we manage to
get a licence to have 66,000 at the London Stadium, because I think it has
the potential to become a very special stadium.

Steven Gerrard says that the West Ham players are to blame for their poor
form this season. (BT Sport)

Everyone from top to bottom at the club has to take some of the blame,
because this season has been so disappointing. There needs to be a massive
shake up in the summer as I said yesterday in the article I wrote. We have
to get things right from now on.

This is how to lose your job, Slav
Filed: Monday, 17th April 2017
By: Paul Walker

If this miserable, painful season finally does for Slaven Bilic as our
manager, it won't have anything to do with signings, the new stadium, the
board or even the long-debated move from the Boleyn. It will all be down to
what has happened on the pitch, coaching, match preparation and what goes on
between the ears of our players in the final minutes of match after match
after match. Saturday and the draw at Sunderland was all too predictable.
The worst team in the division finally managed to score for the first time
in 11 hours 41 minutes, and actually got two! It was hard not to feel
embarrassed . More so when you view the statistics that may well cost Bilic
his job, however much I like the bloke, his persona and his background as
something of a West Ham man, even if it was for just 54 matches.

We have won just seven of our last 26 matches. It's now 59 goals conceded in
33 League games and 73 in 41 in all competitions, and it's been getting
worse, not better. In 2017 we have conceded 31 goals in 15 games, winning
just twice. Now I know this will sound like I am singing from the Sam
Allardyce song book, but it is not meant to sound that way. More that the
only sensible way to play the game at any serious level is to stop
conceding, defending comes first otherwise you have no chance. The warning
lights surely have been flashing for Slav for some while. On 20 occasions
this term we have conceded two or more in a match. We haven't won any of
those 20 games, in fact managing just three draws. Since Christmas we have
achieved only two clean sheets and just nine all season.

This is all a horrendous recipe for disaster, although we are just about
safe from relegation. With only five games left and none of which I can see
us winning…I can't see us getting another home point against Spurs, Everton
or Liverpool, while the two away matches at Stoke or Burnley do not fill me
with confidence.
Thankfully our goal difference against the likes of Hull and Swansea is
worth another point, so both those clubs have to come up with at least three
wins in their five remaining games each to get near to us. .Both have won
only eight games each all season so it's going to take a miraculous turn of

But that does not excuse what has been happening to our lot! We are not
capable of the mental strength, concentration and technique to close out
Those late goals are destroying us week after week, even if Darren Randolph
seems to be doing his best to lose points all on his own, Saturday's
dreadful display at the Stadium of Light maybe being the thin end of the

The final 15 minutes of matches sees us crumble. We have conceded 21 goals
in the final 15 minutes of matches this term…18 in the last ten minutes and
seven in injury time. We are being told we have wasted 23 points from
winnable positions, while Randolph (according to Opta) is supposed to have
made more mistakes that costs goals than any other player in the top flight.

Adrian lost his place after the howler that gave Stoke a point at the OS in
November, having been culpable a few weeks earlier for some general
incompetence that saw us lose 4-2 to Watford having been 2-0 ahead. He has
barely been seen since, which makes a lot of folk wonder just what he has
done backstage to upset our manager, who has plenty of previous at falling
out with players.

And now we are being told that Diafra Sakho got the hump on Friday when he
found out he was only going to be on the bench, so another 'knock' was
invented. You can't have players behaving like that. But I think that's the
last we will see of him, because if he doesn't play he doesn't get injured
and will get through medical somewhere in the summer.

I do feel sorry for Slav, though. He has had bucket loads of rubbish to
contend with all season…the move, the new training ground, constant and
lengthy injuries to key men, plus the failure of last summer's signings to
make much impact.

And the defensive line and 'keeper…Adrian, James Tomkins or Michail Antonio,
Winston Reid, Angelo Ogbonna and Aaron Cresswell, has all but disappeared
over the course of the season for one reason or another, and say what you
like about Antonio at wing-back, that defensive base did pretty well last
term compared to the constant changes of this dire campaign.

It's easy to blame the 'transfer committee' for all this. But by now that's
not realistic. Whoever bought whom, suggested whom, it doesn't matter. You
have to expect that players , whoever they are, do their jobs properly. We
are operating in a pool of potential transfers that are all going to be a

The top, top boys are not interested. David Sullivan and co tried their best
and didn't persuade anyone of any real merit to join us, however much wages
were thrown at them. So we have to sift through the slightly too old, the
ones who can be lame at a moments notice or young players with potential.
There are no sure-fit buys where we are having to look.

No, we are being destroyed week after week by the failure of players to do
the basics right. Of coaching that makes every set-piece we face a lottery.
Of players, mainly because of injuries to others, having to play out of

And the goals we concede are embarrassing. Sunderland's first equaliser
shows that. Randolph was fouled, in any country in Europe apart from here.
But do we not practice defending set plays at Rush Green? Why was there not
a defender forcing his way between Randolph and Victor Anichebe to protect
the 'keeper from being pushed around? Everybody else defends that way, it's
why referees have to go through the pantomime rollicking before corners can
be taken.

And why wasn't there anyone on the far post? When Mark Noble plays, his job
always seems to be to 'mark' a post. I've watched him do it for years. So
didn't anyone in midweek think of assigning someone else to that roll? It
keeps sounding like big Sam's book of football theory, these things wouldn't
be happening on his watch.

Now I am no coach, (you can tell) and I haven't played the game to any
level..and that was a (very) long while ago. But I can still watch set piece
defending and know I am not seeing the job being done properly.

Do the players not listen to what they are detailed to do? How much broken
furniture does it take before it sinks in? Or do too many of our players
think Slav is off anyway in the summer, so why should they bother until the
new man comes in...

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, KUMB.com.

Bilic in huge row with West Ham star over bench snub – report
Date published: Monday 17th April 2017 11:09

Diafra Sakho is reported to have had a huge bust-up with West Ham boss
Slaven Bilic before Saturday's draw with Sunderland after the frontman
refused go on the bench. The Senegal international striker had just forced
his way back into Bilic's first-team plans after more than three months out
with a chronic back injury. The 27-year-old reportedly told the Hammers
chief that he was ready to start against the Black Cats but when it looked
as if bench duty beckoned for the third match in a row, Sakho told Bilic he
would not travel with the squad to the game and said he was injured again.
It is thought that he was left back in London, where his future with the
club is set to be decided, and he is almost certainly expected to be axed
this summer. A London Stadium source told The Sun: "His absence against
Sunderland was a result of not being picked for the starting eleven. "The
player thought he was fit and ready to play but the boss wanted to offer him
a place on the bench rather than give him his first start of the season. "He
has been begging to make his claim in the team for weeks as they are
struggling. It has all then kicked-off. "The player made it clear it wasn't
good enough and had another fall-out with the boss. He then declared himself
injured and unable to make the bench.

Report claims West Ham United want Alexander Alp deal
Subhankar Mondal

West Ham United are reportedly interested in signing Alexander Alp. West
Ham United are interested in signing Alexander Alp, according to The Sun on
Sunday (print edition, page 57, April 16, 2017). It has been reported by the
British tabloid that the Hammers are eyeing a quick deal for the AIK Solna
youngster. Alp is 16 years of age and plays as a striker. The Swedish
youngster was recently taken on trial by West Ham, according to
Football.London. It was reported by Football.London that West Ham scouts
were impressed with the teenager, who was then brought to England for the
club to see if he is good enough for them.
The Sun on Sunday (print edition, page 57, April 16, 2017) has now reported
that Alp impressed on trial, and that West Ham are now planning to sign him.
The youngster is only 16, and it will take him a few more years to break
into the West Ham first team. The Hammers are 13th in the Premier League
table at the moment with 37 points from 33 matches and appear to be out of
danger of getting relegated to the Championship at the end of the season.

Football insider
17th April, 2017, 6:52 AM
By Danny Wright

Diafra Sakho's West Ham future has been thrown into doubt after he refused
to sit on the bench against Sunderland, according to a report. The Sun claim
that the striker had a huge bust-up with Slaven Bilic because he believes he
is fit enough to start matches following a long spell on the sidelines. It
is said that Sakho, who has had a fiery relationship with manager Bilic, is
expected to be axed in the summer. Sakho has played just three games this
season in all competitions and made his comeback from a chronic back problem
in the loss against Arsenal earlier this month. The 27-year-old missed three
months of action with his latest injury and Bilic has opted not to rush him
back into action as he was left as an unused substitute in the win against
Swansea last week. West Ham could only manage a draw with the Premier
League's basement boys Sunderland on Saturday and Sakho has taken offence to
the fact he wasn't picked to start the game. The Sun report that Bilic
wanted to name him on the bench for the third consecutive match but Sakho
declared himself injured again as he made it clear he would not travel to
the Stadium of Light. Carroll was picked to lead the line instead of the
six-time Senegal international. This news comes just days after the Mirror
claimed that Bilic was about to face a huge divide in the dressing room over
the pay of certain players. A separate report in the Sun said that the Croat
must secure a top-half finish this season or face the axe. West Ham are
currently 13th in the standings. Sakho joined the Hammers from Metz in 2014
on a four-year deal for £4.25million and he has gone on to score 16 times in
47 appearances.

By HamburgHammer 17 Apr 2017 at 08:00

Can someone please wake me up when this atrocious season is finally over ? I
have learned while supporting this (once) great club that it is rarely
bumper to bumper fun and biscuits, but this season has been quite a
revelation in terms of delivering one body blow after another. I won't bore
you to death by naming them all again.

Did we really lose 22 points from winning positions this season ? That's

Were we not once this season in a position to field our best starting XI due
to a neverending chain of long term injuries ? Sad, but true.

Is there anything that our players actually do consistently well on the
pitch during games ? Other than running out of steam? Answer on a postcard

I know we are not safe yet, or so my former maths teacher tells me. But it
looks like the season is petering out the same way it has played out all
season. Poorly. Shockingly gutless. With less passion than your average
Sunday League outfit.

It all has a very matter-of-factly feel about it. Our players (with the odd
exception) seem to do the bare minimum in order to avoid a fine for not
doing their job properly. We are basically going through the motions, but at
the same time never seem to get out of second gear. We don't run or sprint,
we jog. We don't chase and harrass opposition players, we jog next to them
at a respectful distance and watch what they may do next.

Why is that? Why do we not go for the jugular once we take a lead ? It is
utterly frustrating to see us throw away points in such careless fashion.
Plus the alleged rumours about unrest in the dressing room over the wage
levels of certain players, especially when put in comparison with the money
paid to players who have performed better and done more for the club than
certain new arrivals.

Togetherness and team spirit was our main asset last season. Now we just
have a group of players who happen to wear the same shirt but who don't sing
from the same hymn sheet. We are hitting all the wrong notes and are a
shambles, both as a team and as a club too.

If I take my claret and blue tinted glasses off for a moment I couldn't
seriously advise any player of a certain quality to come and join West Ham
at this point.
It might put a significant dent in your career. We used to be a bit special.
Now we are a trainwreck waiting to happen and I hope at least the emergency
brakes have been checked thoroughly and are still in working order.

How about Diafra Sakho for instance, just returning from a long-term back
injury, who apparently refused to travel with the squad to Sunderland after
being told he would only start on the bench. Really ? After all the previous
crap of throwing his toys out of the pram? How stupid can you get? I don't
blame Bilic at all for trying to ease Sakho back into things, with 15
minutes here, then half an hour the next game, maybe an hour the game after.
As much as I love Sakho as a player, he is not quite good enough to warrant
a starting place at all costs. A teamplayer he certainly is not. So he may
be another one on his way out. As surely there has to be some sort of reboot
in terms of our squad. A massive overhaul is due, covering all the bases:
Players, coaching staff, medical team.

We have too many players just making up the numbers. We have loan players
with next to no chance of being signed permanently. And we have players who
tend to get injured. A lot. For God knows what reasons. I expect a lot of
things to happen at our club over the summer, the revolving door will be as
busy as the ticket office trying to flog the season tickets of those who
won't be renewing.

I'd like to think we may have learned a thing or two from past mistakes and
get most of our decisions right, but I'm not holding my breath in

And I will most certainly go to bed on a regular basis during the transfer
window as I shall no longer buy into all the big words coming from our board
about marquee signings, 20 goal a season strikers and making the top 4 clubs
looking over their shoulders anytime soon.

A quick word on the goalkeeper situation. Randolph had a dismal game on
Saturday, granted. He deserves to be dropped now with Adrian going back in
goal for a few games, that's how it should be anyway, especially if you have
two goalkeepers who are not far apart in terms of quality. Randolph ain't a
bad custodian between the posts, he is a decent enough goalkeeper and
doesn't deserve some of the crap I've heard him labeled with. Are there
better goalkeepers out there ? Course there are. But guess what?

They cost a lot of money. So, do we want a top goalkeeper in the summer? A
decent RB, either of experienced veteran variety or a top prospect ? Or the
20 goal a season striker?

Because sure as night follows day we will not get all Fahrerin the summer.
We are skint, remember ? Still in debt to the tune of £100 million or so.
Restricted by FFP on top of that. Let the wheeling, dealing and signing loan
players comments.

If I want to put a positive spin on all this, it's never dull to be a West
Ham fan, right ?

It's also never dull to be a Concordia supporter. Starting with the bad
news, the lads lost their Easter Sunday away fixture against the country
pumpkins from Buchholz, a totally disappointing and unnecessary 1:0 defeat.
Depending on how our promotion rival Altona do in their fixture later today,
the gap could now grow to a gulf of nine points with only six games
remaining. So the league season appears to be petering out for Concordia as
well, with the promotion dream slowly fading and dying, however, we are
still very much harbouring dreams of winning the Cup this season as you can
see from the above video link.

Cordi beat Osdorf on Good Friday and are now in the Semifinal draw of the
Oddset Cup, the local cup competition determining which Hamburg based team
from the lower leagues will be entered into next season's first round draw
of the German FA Cup. Two more wins for Concordia and a bit of luck in the
draw and Concordia could be playing someone like Bayern Munich, Borussia
Dortmund or Moenchengladbach in a competitive fixture in the not too distant
future. That should be a bit of fun! And possibly a rugby score…:-))

Not long to go now for my next West Ham game against Spurs. Unlike previous
visits though my excitement is fairly contained this time, maybe I'm just
going through the motions at this point too, same as my club…COYI!



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