Friday, April 21

Daily WHUFC News - 22nd April 2017

Preview - Everton

When and where?

West Ham United v Everton
Premier League
Saturday 22 April 2017, 3pm BST
London Stadium

What's the story?

The Hammers are in Saturday 3pm action at London Stadium for the final time in the 2016/17 season when they welcome Everton to east London.

With the closing stretch of the campaign in full swing, Slaven Bilic's men will be hoping to build on a run of four points from their last two outings.

The victory over Swansea City and the draw at Sunderland followed a run of five consecutive defeats and lifted the Hammers nine points clear of the relegation zone.

With just three points separating them from Watford in tenth, West Ham eyes are still on a top half finish, and victory over the Toffees would be a significant step in that direction.

Everton, of course, enjoy a terrific record against West Ham, having not lost in east London in the Premier League since 2007 and only once at home over that same timeframe.

The Toffees have had a resurgence under the management of Ronald Koeman this season, and currently lie seventh in the Premier League table.

One more win will guarantee them European football next season, and with seven points separating them from Manchester City in fourth, they still have an outside sniff of UEFA Champions League qualification.

At home, they have been nearly unstoppable, taking 40 of their 57 points to date on their own turf. That will give West Ham optimism, with the Toffees having won just four times away from home this term.

Their last victory on the road came in January when they saw off Crystal Palace by the only goal, but Romelu Lukaku has been in tremendous form and the Hammers will have to be wary of his threat – not that they need reminding of his record against them.

Team news

West Ham will have to do without Andy Carroll for the visit of Everton on Saturday as the striker suffered an abductor injury in the 2-2 draw at Sunderland last week.

Diafra Sakho could be back after missing out at the Stadium of Light, but Sam Byram is banned after being sent-off late on in that game and Mark Noble serves the second of his two-match ban.

Winston Reid has returned to training after a month out injured and is available for selection, although Michail Antonio (hamstring), Angelo Ogbonna (knee) and Pedro Obiang (ankle) are out.

For the Toffees, Hammers loanee Enner Valencia is ineligible to face his parent side, while James McCarthy continues to struggle with a hamstring problem.

Muhamed Besic is working his way back from a serious knee injury, while Ramiro Funes Mori (knee), Yannick Bolasie (knee), Seamus Coleman (broken leg) and Aaron Lennon are all missing.

How do I get to the game?

There are no planned disruptions to London Underground, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway or TfL Rail services which call at Stratford and Hackney Wick on Saturday. Click here for the latest news on these networks.

Greater Anglia services running into Liverpool Street are also scheduled to operate as planned. Click here for up-to-the-minute news on National Rail.

Our Matchday Guide contains all the information you need to make the most of matchday at London Stadium. Click here to access it.

How can I watch the game?

This match is not being broadcast live in the UK. However, if you live overseas you may be able to tune in. Check our widget below for coverage details in your territory.

You can follow all the action live as it happens on, with free audio commentary, social media updates, in-running stats, photos and more. Get involved in the conversation on social using #WHUEVE

Westley – Ugo had outstanding qualities

Academy Manager Terry Westley pays tribute to Tottenham Hotspur U23 coach Ugo Ehiogu
Former England defender passed away at the age of 44, after suffering a cardiac arrest
Centre-half played 355 Premier League games for Middlesbrough and Aston Villa

West Ham United Academy Manager Terry Westley has paid tribute to Tottenham Hotspur U23 coach Ugo Ehiogu, who has sadly passed away at the age of 44.

The former Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and England defender, who was born just a short distance from the Hammers' London Stadium home in Homerton, died on Friday morning, hours after suffering a cardiac arrest at Spurs' training ground.

Westley managed in opposition to Ehiogu on many occasions during his time at Tottenham's Academy, where he worked his way up to be appointed U21 coach in 2014 and U23 coach last summer, and also spent time talking football with the former defender on coaching courses.

"It is staggering news," said Westley. "It was only a few weeks ago when we took an U23 team to play against Ugo's Tottenham at their training ground in an 8v8 friendly match, and we stood together on the touchline by their indoor pitch talking football.

"Ugo was a very thoughtful man who had time for everybody. He had no ego and no edge to him, which you might have expected for someone who played so many games at Premier League level.

"Ugo will be sorely missed by everybody in the football world."

Westley was hugely impressed by the approach Ehiogu took to his own coaching career, which saw him rise through the Academy ranks at Tottenham, learning from his colleagues and putting his knowledge and experience to use developing the next generation of players for the north London club.

As someone who also watched Ehiogu develop himself into one of this country's outstanding centre-halves with Aston Villa and Middlesbrough, playing 355 times in the Premier League, Westley paid tribute to the late defender's commitment to excellence.

"Ugo had outstanding qualities as a player and he took those into his coaching career, where he spent years developing his skills under the guidance of Tottenham's head of coaching and development, John McDermott," he confirmed.

"Ugo worked hard, developed his skills as a coach and thoroughly deserved his chance to lead Tottenham's U23 side.

"I and my coaching staff were talking on learning the sad news and we all agreed that Ugo's character was what set him apart. He was a thoughtful, football man who loved to talk about the game, he had respect and time for everyone and his passing has left us all with a feeling of immense sadness."

West Ham United's U23s travel to Ehiogu's first club West Bromwich Albion on Monday evening in Premier League 2 Division 2, when tributes are expected to be paid to the former Baggies defender before kick-off.

Five-a-side selects a five-a-side team from players who have represented both West Ham United and Saturday's visitors Everton...

1. George Kitchen

Derbyshire-born George Kitchen was an outstanding all-round sportsman, becoming a professional golfer as a teenager and coaching cricket at Dulwich College. After playing for Lancashire League Stockport County, Kitchen spent seven seasons with Everton, helping the Toffees finish as runners-up in the First Division in 1901/02. On moving to east London, he amazingly scored the winning penalty on his debut against Swindon Town in the Southern League on 2 September 1905. Kitchen would score four times in his first season in Claret and Blue, including on his FA Cup bow at Woolwich Arsenal, and six times overall in 205 appearances.

2. Lucas Neill

Australia defender Lucas Neill spent 12 years with Millwall and Blackburn Rovers before joining West Ham United's bid to make a Great Escape in January 2007. The right-back was appointed captain two months later, leading the Hammers on a memorable run of seven wins in nine games and salvation at Old Trafford on the final day. Neill remained with West Ham for two more seasons, totalling 88 appearances before departing for Everton in summer 2009. The experienced Socceroo spent just four months at Goodison Park before joining Turkish side Galatasaray.

3. Danny Williamson

Born in West Ham, Danny Williamson had cheered on the Hammers from the Boleyn Ground's North Bank and played for Newham and Essex Schoolboys before joining his boyhood club. Williamson spent four seasons as part of the first-team squad, making his debut at Arsenal on 30 April 1994. A first goal arrived in a 3-3 home draw with Southampton a week later, and he totalled 58 appearances and five goals. A talented midfielder, Williamson's career was affected by injuries both before and after his August 1997 move to Everton, where sadly he made just 17 appearances before officially retiring in 2000.

4. Mark Ward

A Liverpool-born winger, Mark Ward started his career as a schoolboy with Everton, before being released for reportedly being 'too small'.
After dropping into non-league football, Ward enjoyed two fine seasons with Oldham Athletic before joining West Ham United for £250,000 in August 1985. Ward's first season in east London was sensational, as he was ever-present in the Hammers' run to third place in the First Division. In all, he totalled 14 goals in 209 games. After 18 months with Manchester City, Ward returned to Everton in 1991, following his former City manager Howard Kendall, and made 94 appearances over the next two-and-a-half seasons.

5. Tony Cottee

A hero in both east London and on the blue half of Merseyside, Tony Cottee scored goals galore for both West Ham United and Everton in the 1980s and 1990s. A teenage prodigy at the Boleyn Ground, Cottee helped the Hammers to third in the old First Division in 1986 before departing for Everton two years later. In six seasons at Goodison Park, Cottee netted 82 goals and appeared in the 1989 FA Cup final defeat by Liverpool, before returning for a second spell in east London, where he ended his time with 146 goals in 336 games.

Bilic – Stopping Lukaku will be key

Stopping Romelu Lukaku at London Stadium will be crucial if West Ham United are to get a result on Saturday, says Slaven Bilic
The boss believes the Belgian is currently one of Europe's top scorers
Lukaku has scored in his last nine consecutive matches against the Hammers

Stopping in-form Everton striker Romelu Lukaku will be vital if West Ham United are to beat the Toffees at London Stadium on Saturday, according manager Slaven Bilic.

The Belgian has been a constant thorn in the side for the Hammers over a number of years, having scored in nine consecutive games against the Claret and Blues, including the opener in October's Goodison Park meeting between the two sides.

And Lukaku, with eight goals in his last eight Premier League games, will be the main danger for the hosts' defence to worry about once again on Saturday, believes Bilic.

The boss said: "It's a job for our defenders [to stop Lukaku], but not only the defenders, to stop him. In some games we've played against them, our defenders were really good against him but last time he scored a goal.

"He is an individual and he can do you harm. It's about the teamwork though and we have to stop the service. The more you stop the service, the less likely he will hurt you.

"You try to get him out of these positions he's really good in. We have to stop the service and when it does come, to get close to him and double up on him.

"Lukaku is really good. He's also consistent for his age. People forget how young he is because he's been on the radar for a long time. He's been scoring goals since he went on loan from Chelsea and every season at Everton.

"He's been getting better and better and that's why he's been linked with a lot of big, big clubs."

Still only 23-years-of-age, Lukaku has already scored 81 Premier League goals in less than 200 appearances and has been on the top of his game this side of Christmas.

And despite transfer speculation surrounding the Belgian ahead of the summer window, Bilic thinks Everton have shown great ambition to keep hold of their sough-after talent so far.

"Everton have done a really great job to keep him and they've showed with that how big and ambitious they are," he continued.

"I rate him really, really high like most people do, and for me he's definitely one of the best strikers not only in the Premier League but in general in Europe.

"Sometimes it does not have to mean you are not ambitious if you have to sell a player. OK, they sold John Stones, but with that money they bought Yannick Bolasie, Idrissa Gueye and Ashley Williams; it doesn't mean you're not ambitious."

Currently sitting seventh in the league table, Everton have had a successful first season under Ronald Koeman and Bilic believes the Dutchman has built a strong team, meaning Lukaku is not the only danger.

"They are a very confident team now, especially at home where they broke that record with all the wins. Last year with Roberto Martinez they were very good up-front and offensively but they were a bit unlucky and also they were vulnerable at the back, not only with a back-four or back-three but as a unit.

"They've now kept that offensive part of their game really well, but they are much more solid. Espeically in midfield, they have legs, aggression and energy with the players they have got.

"With Tom Davies, Ronald Koeman showed he had guts to put him in to play, he's 18."

Reidy return a boost for Bilic

Slaven Bilic confirmed Winston Reid has returned to training ahead of Saturday's home fixture against Everton
The New Zealand defender has missed West Ham United's last four Premier League matches with a groin problem
Andy Carroll, however, along with the suspended Sam Byram, will miss out against the Toffees

West Ham United defender Winston Reid is fit again and ready to return to action against Everton on Saturday, according to manager Slaven Bilic. The New Zealand international has missed the Hammers' last four Premier League matches due to a groin problem suffered during March's Premier League clash against Leicester City. But now back in training, the Club's vice-skipper will be available for selection when the Toffees travel to London Stadium this weekend, Bilic confirmed. He said: "Winston Reid is good. He is back from injury and it's good for us, of course. He's one of our most important players "We will see if he is going to start but he's been training throughout this week and in his rehabilitation programme, of course he did some individual training. "But he looks good, as I said. It's a big boost for us."

Saturday's hosts will also, of course, be without Sam Byram, who picked up two yellow cards and subsequently a red against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light last week. The full-back misses out through suspension, while Bilic also revealed Andy Carroll is ruled out at the weekend. "From the game against Sunderland, we are without Sam Byram, who got a red card at the end of that game, and we are also without Andy Carroll," the former defender continued. "He will probably be fit for our next game, but for this game, no."

Having missed last week's north east clash through injury, Diafra Sakho will return to training on Thursday and the boss is due to access the forward's fitness before making a decision upon his inclusion in Saturday's squad. "I have spoken about the thing with Diafra Sakho that was in the papers and all that already," Bilic stated. "He was injured against Sunderland. There wasn't a row or anything. "I should know about that if there was because it involves me who spoke with him and everything! He was injured for that game. "Diafra is supposed to train today, and we will see what condition he is in after."

Lanzini is big Barkley fan

Manuel Lanzini is a big fan of Everton attacking midfielder Ross Barkley
Hammers No10 says Barkley should relish the pressure being put on him to perform
England international is nine months younger than West Ham United's Argentinian star

Manuel Lanzini has urged fellow attacking midfielder Ross Barkley to relish the pressure being put on him to perform.

Born nine months apart in 1993, expectations have been high on the West Ham United No10 and Everton No8 since both were schoolboys.

Lanzini won titles with River Plate in his native Argentina and Fluminense in Brazil as a teenager before excelling in his first two seasons with the Hammers, while Liverpool-born Barkley has spent almost his entire professional career in a Toffees shirt, being tipped for great things.

Capped 22 times by England, Barkley's talent has already been rewarded, but some critics have recently claimed the 23-year-old needs to do more with his undoubted ability.

Lanzini, who turned 24 last month, is not one of them, and has encouraged the man he will share the London Stadium pitch with on Saturday afternoon to keep doing what he does best.

"Of course I have seen Everton and they are a very good team with very good players," Lanzini began, when asked about this weekend's high-flying visitors to east London. "Ronald Koeman has a good striker in Romelu Lukaku, who is an amazing player, but we also have very good players. The game is going to be a good one.

"They also have Ross Barkley, who is a very good player. I don't think he is thinking about the pressure people are putting on him, because there was a lot of pressure on him last week and he played really well against Hull City.

"He has a good touch, good finishing and good recovery, so he is a very good player. I don't think the pressure is a bad thing for him.

"Speaking personally, it's not easy when the pressure is on you, but it's not difficult either, because I like the pressure and the responsibility of the team and of the people to be on me. This is football and you need pressure for motivation."

Lanzini himself may be small in stature, but his diminutive appearance marks a strong character and a steely determination to succeed honed during his formative years at Buenos Aires giants River Plate.

There, he debuted at 17 and was handed the coveted No10 shirt while still a teenager, before inspiring Los Millonarios to the Primera Division title in 2014.

Belief and confidence, the South American continued, are vital to success on the pitch.

"I think confidence in football is very important, because when you have confidence you can try anything and it's OK," Lanzini explained. "The last game with Sunderland, for example, we played very well in the first 30 minutes but, after they scored, the game was difficult because they pressed us. We have been working on this and we will be OK on Saturday.

"When you play with smiles on your faces and joy in your heart, football becomes easier, but sometimes you also have to be serious. It is about getting the balance right.

"We need to take points [on Saturday]. It's difficult because this season has been difficult for us, but now is the time to work hard and to think about the game with Everton. It's going to be a very difficult game, but we are ready to work and ready to play and that's it."

Lanzini has netted seven times in the Premier League this season, eclipsing his tally from last term, when one of his six strikes was an exquisite curler in the 1-1 Boleyn Ground draw with Everton in October 2015.

He would love to repeat the trick in a home win that would take the Hammers onto 40 points and, most likely, secure their top-flight status.

"It was one of my best goals for West Ham!" he smiled. "I was very happy with that goal and I would love to get another one on Saturday, because this game is important for us and we need to win."

The Big Interview - Slaven Bilic

Slaven Bilic says West Ham United are looking to finish the season strongly after picking up four points from their last two Premier League matches.

The Hammers host in-form Everton at London Stadium on Saturday, having beaten Swansea City and drawn with Sunderland, and Bilic is expecting the Toffees to provide a sticky test.

The manager also revealed that Winston Reid will be fit to face Ronald Koeman's side and responded to speculation about Diafra Sakho.

Slaven, you have taken four points from the last two matches and are now on 37, but will that be enough to keep you in the Premier League?

"I don't know if we have enough points to keep us safe, but we have five games to play and I think that we still need points, because we don't want a situation where we are waiting for other results to go with us and wonder 'Is it going to be enough?'.

"The good thing is that we have four points from the last two games and have a bit of a cushion and also we have motivation because we are three points below mid-table, let's say it like that.

"It's also stupid to think that way, even if we were safe, because we can't think 'That may be enough' because we still need points."

Is it your aim to finish in the top half of the table?

"We are looking both ways. We can't be arrogant and say we are not interested in what is happening below us. We are pretty much in that situation, still, and we want to get out.

"We want to look above us, of course, but that is a theory because the only way we can get into the situation where we are only looking up is by winning games, so we need points, starting from Saturday against Everton.

"OK, these last two games made the situation for us a little bit easier, but there are still a lot of games to be played and 15 points to be decided. Some of the clubs have six games left, so of course we need points."

You have some good news about one of your most important players?

"Yes, Winston Reid is back. He's been training with the rehab and fitness coaches for a week now and they have done good work on his fitness, so he is back and trained with us on Tuesday.

"We know from before that he doesn't need many games to get his form good, so it's big for us of course because he's one of our major players, one of the senators, as I call them. It's a big boost for us for the remainder of the season.

"He is one of our best players of the season, so we are expecting him to make our defence more solid."

What can you tell us about the situation with Diafra Sakho not being involved at Sunderland at the weekend?

"It was in the 'papers that I had a row with Diaf, but no, there is no rift between us. I called Diaf on the day we travelled to Sunderland and asked him what was happening because he got injured and all that.

"He said 'I am only frustrated because I have a small injury but I hope to be back for the game against Everton' and we will see that. There was no argument whatsoever between us.

"I can say from my direct conversation with Diaf that it's not the case and it's not true what it said in the 'papers."

You said you need to kill teams off, as it has been a problem this season?

"Yes, in many games this season, in our last two away games for example at Hull and Sunderland, we scored early goals and were on top of them for 15-20 minutes, but we have to punish them.

"Against Swansea we won 1-0, but in the second half we created three or four chances and we really had to score goals.

"At Sunderland, especially when we scored our second goal and when a point was not good enough for them, so they were risking and throwing bodies up front, they were leaving space behind and we should have exploited that and used that to our advantage and killed the game off."

Next up on the fixture list is a home game with Everton. What sort of test are you expecting from them?

"Well, it's a very difficult game. They are playing well at the moment and are still fighting for one of those top six positions. They have done well and have improved a lot.

"But, you know, it is about us. Recently we are playing good at home. OK, we are in the position that we are but, in 2017, in all the games, it was only Manchester City twice and the second half against Arsenal away that you say they were better and they deserved to win.

"All the other games were like 50/50 and we had a chance to win any of those games. I'm talking Bournemouth and Hull away, Leicester, West Brom and Swansea at home, and now the game against Sunderland.

"OK, Everton are going to be tough, they are a good side, they have more than enough points and are highly motivated to finish as high as possible and all that, but we are very confident."

Finally, how important will the support of the Claret and Blue Army be at London Stadium this Saturday?

"They were very important for us during this season, not to mention last season when we made history and they were brilliant for us.

"We asked for them to support us against Swansea and they gave us a boost in energy for that 90 minutes to keep a clean sheet and produce a solid performance. Now, I'm sure they are going to be the same against Everton.

"Their backing has been very important for me personally because the most important thing about a Club is the fans. We are playing football for the fans and if there weren't fans, we wouldn't be speaking about football now."

Collins looks forward to Lukaku challenge

James Collins is relishing the challenge of facing in-form Everton striker Romelu Lukaku
Defender spoke to Saturday's Official Programme about the task of marking the Belgian
Issue also includes interviews with Alvin Martin, David Cross and Blues-supporting boxer Tony Bellew

James Collins will need to use all his experience when faced with the challenge of the Premier League's best centre forward on Saturday afternoon.

Powerful, fast and clinical, Everton's Romelu Lukaku has a league-leading 24 goals to his name, while he has also netted nine in eleven career appearances against the Hammers.

The Welshman has played against Lukaku six times in and Everton shirt and the Belgium international has scored in all six of them. Of those six games, the Toffees have won all four in the Premier League, with the Hammers securing a draw before progressing in a thrilling FA Cup third-round replay in January 2015.

The defender admits neither Lukaku nor Everton are his favourite opponents, so he is eager to end the 23-year-old's record of having scored on all nine appearances for the Blues against the Hammers.

"I've played against loads of centre forwards in my time who are deadly in the box, and we will have to be on our toes as every team you play against these days seems to have a striker who is capable of scoring 20-plus goals a season, so in that respect it's no different than any other game," Collins told Saturday's Official Programme, when asked about the challenge of marking Everton's No10.

"Of course, Lukaku has got a good record against us, and we probably haven't defended as well against him as we could have done in games gone by.

"Physically, he has got everything, he is big, strong and he can finish so it's going to be a tough game. He's obviously on top of his game, but I'm happy with the way I'm playing at the minute, so I'm looking forward to pitting my wits against one of the best strikers in the Premier League.

"It's going to be a tough afternoon for all of us at the back, but I'm pretty happy with my form at the moment and I'm looking forward to a good challenge."

Saturday's issue is packed full of exclusive content, including columns penned by Joint-Chairman David Gold, manager Slaven Bilic and captain Mark Noble.

Also inside, fans can enjoy Ian 'Moose' Abrahams' interview with Everton-mad boxer Tony 'Bomber' Bellew, Ken Dyer's discussion with 1980 FA Cup hero David Cross and a revealing chat with Liverpool-born Hammers great Alvin Martin.

With the complete lowdown on Saturday's visitors Everton, the Official Programme is the essential guide to your London Stadium matchday. At just £3.50 for 100 action-packed pages, it's great value too!

Ladies edged out at White Hart Lane

West Ham United Ladies beaten 4-0 by Tottenham Hotspur in historic White Hart Lane fixture
Spurs are new FA Women's Premier League Southern Division champions
Hammers host north London rivals in their final home game of the season on Sunday 14 May

West Ham United Ladies put up a brave display but new FA Women's Premier League Southern Division champions Tottenham Hotspur ultimately proved too strong at White Hart Lane.

The historic fixture was played at Spurs' soon-to-be demolished stadium on Wednesday evening, a year after West Ham had welcomed their London rivals to the Boleyn ground for a fixture in similarly emotional circumstances.

With 2,140 fans present, including hundreds of travelling Hammers, the unbeaten home side showed why they have won all but one of their league matches this season to complete a 4-0 victory that saw them secure the Southern Division title.

A competitive first half ended with Spurs a single Josie Green goal to the good, but the hosts netted three more times after the break through Wendy Martin, Nikita Whinnett and Bianca Baptiste.

For West Ham, who welcome Tottenham to Thurrock FC in their final league game on Sunday 14 May, Chloe Burr tested former Hammer Toni-Anne Wayne in the Spurs goal, fired a second effort narrowly wide and saw a third blocked before half-time.

Into the second half and Jasmine Auguste and Shannon Albuery both went close, but Greg De Carnys' team just could not find a way past Wayne and her well-drilled defence, which has now conceded just six goals in 17 league matches.

"It's obviously not a nice feeling being on the end of that scoreline and to watch them win the league, to get the trophy and do it at White Hart Lane as well," De Carnys admitted.

"But we have to look at the positives. We obviously now have to play Tottenham again and we have to learn from what happened again in the game.

"I think in the first half it was quite an even game, I'm sure that they would agree, but unfortunately towards the end of the second half their quality and fitness levels started to show. There was some important defending that had to be done at the end of that second half."

Defeat at White Hart Lane leaves West Ham ninth in the eleven-team table, four points ahead of Queens Park Rangers Ladies and one ahead of Swindon Town Ladies in tenth.

Both teams below the Hammers have games in-hand, but De Carnys is hopeful his team will not be bottom of the pile come the season's end.

"We have to also recognise the position that we are in the league, we're currently third from bottom now, four points ahead of Queens Park Rangers, so even little things like the blocks on the line we made could be really important if it came down to goal difference," he continued.

"We are where we are because of all the games that we have had this season. Now we have got to dig deep and find something special for the last game of the season and that is what we are hoping to do."

Whatever happens in the remaining weeks of the 2016/17 campaign, De Carnys believes he and his coaching staff will be working with a talented and improving squad next season.

"We are a young squad who are building a project for the long term and to have such a group of young players – we have an average age of 19 in the squad – is great for the future," he confirmed.

"We were taking on a Tottenham team that is going to be an FA Women's Super League (WSL) 2 team next year and a good WSL 2 team I think.

"Our girls have a lot of things to learn but also have a lot of potential because they are young, ambitious and they have got quality. They are still gelling as a team, I think those sorts of things will grow and hopefully we will be in a similar position to Tottenham in not too long."

Loanee round up

There was a packed schedule for those Hammers on loan in the Football League over the Easter weekend
Reece Oxford and Reading are close to sealing their place in the Championship play-offs
Likewise, Bradford City and Josh Cullen are still set for a top-six finish in League One

There was a packed schedule for many West Ham United loanees with most Football League clubs in action twice over the Easter weekend.

Starting with first the Premier League, however, Enner Valencia's Everton were in action just once as they beat Burnley 3-1 at Goodison Park on Saturday. Ecuadorian international Valencia played the full second half for the Toffees, who took the lead through Phil Jagielka four minutes after the Hammers man's introduction. Sam Vokes equalised for the Clarets shortly after with a penalty but Everton went back in front with 19 minutes left on the clock as Ben Mee was unfortunate to deflect into his own net. Romelu Lukaku rounded off the victory minutes later, scoring for a ninth successive home game to, albeit for a day, push Ronald Koeman's side up to fifth in the Premier League table.

Reece Oxford missed out on Reading's 3-1 win over Aston Villa on Saturday, but was back in the squad as the Royals beat rock-bottom Rotherham United on Monday. The centre-back was an unused sub, however, as he watched Lewis Grabban and John Swift overturn a Tom Adeyemi opener to make it five wins in six games. Oxford's men now mathematically need only a win and a draw – though realistically fewer would probably suffice – from three final games to seal their place in the Championship play-off spots.

In League One, there was no rest for Josh Cullen who played the entirety of Bradford City's two Easter weekend clashes. On Good Friday, the Bantams' weekend got off to the perfect start as they beat Oxford United – who were without the injured Toni Martinez – 1-0 at Valley Parade. Nicky Law scored the game's only goal on the hour mark as he touched home Charlie Wyke's glancing header as Stuart McCall's men then began to focus on Monday's clash against Sheffield United. There was a party atmosphere, however, at Bramall Lane as the Blades – already promoted – looked to secure the third tier's top spot. They did so, putting three past Bradford thanks to Leon Clarke, who grabbed a brace, and League One top scorer Billy Sharp. Cullen and Bradford, six points clear of seventh-placed Southend United, still look a sure bet for the play-offs, despite Monday's defeat.

In League Two, Newport County kept their survival hopes alive with a 1-0 Friday win over Yeovil Town, with Hammer Jaanai Gordon as an unused substitute. Mickey Demetriou's second half free-kick proved the decisive moment and despite a 6-1 thrashing two days later at promoted Plymouth Argyle, the Exiles remain just a point from safety.

Finally, Sam Howes played for Hampton and Richmond Borough in the National League South though they were beaten 3-1 at Dartford. The Beavers are now unable to qualify for the play-off spots.

'It was an amazing game'

London Stadium steward Harinder Dhillon ran the line on a famous night at the Boleyn Ground 31 years ago!

Today marks 31 years since West Ham United's memorable 8-1 victory over Newcastle United during the famous 1985/86 campaign, and the event that became a compulsory trivia question for any self-respecting football quizmaster over the years.

All Hammers fans over a certain age will recall that Alvin Martin became the only player to score three goals against three different goalkeepers on a crazy evening at Upton Park, when John Lyall's side stuffed the Magpies on their way to a highest-ever league finish.

Less commonly known is the fact that a current long-serving member of staff at London Stadium also made a rather unique and significant contribution to that unforgettable encounter near the end of the record-breaking Boys of '86 year.

Harinder Dhillon, known to his friends and colleagues as Harry, is a familiar, friendly face as one of the security stewards based in the players' tunnel on matchdays, ensuring that the area is kept clear and safe as the two teams and officials enter and leave the playing arena.

However, he is also a qualified Class One referee, and was handed his officiating 'debut' in top flight professional football thanks to another quirk of fate on that balmy April evening at the Boleyn Ground back in April 1986.

Taking up the story, Harry, now 64, recalled: "I used to play and manage a local amateur team. But I didn't enjoy the managing so I took up refereeing, getting my qualification in 1981. After that it was a case of climbing up the ranks and going through the process to achieve Class One, allowing you to officiate in the professional game.

"I got my Class One in 1985, and towards the end of that season, I was appointed reserve official at West Ham, my local club, for their match against Newcastle. It was the first time I'd been given the role at senior level, for a top-flight match.

"At half-time I was in the referee's dressing-room, making the tea, ready for him and his two linesmen. Then one of the linesman comes in and said he's twisted his ankle. So they called for the West Ham physio, Rob Jenkins, who took a look and said he'd better not carry on.

"Next thing I know, they're telling me to take the flag and get ready for the second half! So I was a straight substitute for the linesman and did the second half in front of the Chicken Run, which was an experience!

"I was running the line at the Newcastle defensive end, so I was up there for Alvin's penalty against Peter Beardsley. It was an amazing game, and West Ham could have had even more than eight.

"After the game, the assessor came in and said he hadn't even noticed the change, which was obviously nice to hear and meant I'd done a decent job. Later on, I got a nice letter from the Football League and a cheque for £20, which was a bonus!"

Despite working on the security staff at West Ham for over 15 years, Harry's unique connection to the match only came to light recently when he bumped into Alvin prior to a fixture at London Stadium and recounted the story to the legendary Hammers defender, who responded with typical wit and humour.

"Blimey, I thought I was the only one who had a good story to tell about that game!" laughed Alvin.

Harry's surprise introduction turned out to be his one and only appearance as an official in the old First Division, but he went on to enjoy a long and distinguished career refereeing at non-league level, covering games in the Ryman League and Essex and Herts Border Combination, and still referees park football now.

"I was doing senior football when some of the current Premier League officials were starting out," said Harry. "Some of them remember me when they come here to do games, so it's nice to have a bit of banter with them and there are a few double-takes when they see me standing in the tunnel in my uniform!"

Harinder Dhillon and Jegta PadamHarry's colleague in the tunnel on matchdays is his long-time friend and neighbour, Jegta Padam, and the pair share yet another unique and heart-warming story when it comes to their association with West Ham United.

"We joined the Club together when the new main stand at the Boleyn Ground was built in 2001," recalls Harry. "Our friendship goes back much further than that though. We first met as kids in 1965, when we lived next door to each other in Rosebery Avenue, Manor Park. I lived at number 36 and Jegta lived at number 34.

"We went to school together and have been friends ever since. We first went to West Ham together as fans in the late '60s – we used to go in through the gate for the second half when they opened it to let people out!"

Jegta, just a few months older than his great friend at 65, says: "I came to this country at the age of 13, in 1964, the year West Ham won the FA Cup. I met Harry the following year and we've been inseparable ever since. It was Harry who persuaded me to go for the security job at West Ham with him.

"At the Boleyn Ground we worked up in the hospitality lounges, and started in the same role together when we moved over to the new stadium last summer.

"Then the positions in the tunnel became available, and we were asked to take up that role. I think everyone realises that we come as a pair!"

Keep checking for more stories about some of the people who make West Ham United much more than just a football club. #WeAreWestHam

Slaven Bilic column: West Ham manager says changing goalkeepers is the toughest call to make
Evening Standard

The past two games — against Swansea and Sunderland — have improved our situation considerably, but because of the way we conceded a late equaliser at the Stadium of Light, the media focus this week has been on Darren Randolph.

I am not going to say here what my team will be against Everton tomorrow but, as a manager, you want all your players to be on their toes and also to be confident, not to be afraid of making mistakes.

As a player, if you start being concerned about errors, then it is very likely you'll make one. It is a balance between being confident but not lazy and too much in the comfort zone. It would be totally wrong to change your goalkeeper on a weekly basis because you would lose both of them.

I know there has been some criticism of Randy recently but two games ago we beat Swansea 1-0 and he was good.

Okay, as a manager you have always to think of the best team and things cannot go on for ever, but normally you have to stand behind your players whenever possible, especially goalkeepers.

The easy thing sometimes is to change a few players if you have that option, even goalkeepers. Even with Adrian earlier in the season, though, I didn't want to change but the situation came when I felt it was right for the team.

The last thing you want is to change the goalkeeper, but sometimes you have to because things cannot go on for ever.

Tomorrow we must again make some changes, anyway. We have five players out through injury and suspension but we should remain positive because it is an opportunity for others. One telling statistic is that, over this season so far, we've had 11 players who have been out for more than two months. Can you imagine that?

I always try to be honest. I hope people see that. I don't ever want to make excuses. Sometimes, even when there is a valid reason for something, it sounds like an excuse.

But when that many are out of action for that length of time it is bound to affect any club — even Manchester City with their resources.

Everton will provide tough opposition but they have not been quite as good away from home as at Goodison Park. At home they are third in the League but away they are ninth, one place ahead of us. At home we've struggled more this season but things are improving.

They are certainly not unbeatable but it is true that Romelu Lukaku's record against us — I believe he has scored in the past nine games between the two clubs — is scary. He is a top striker and all that but that record has to stop sometime, so why not tomorrow?

The four points we have earned from the last two games have put us into a much better position than before and mentally we responded really well against Swansea — we deserved to win and should have scored more goals.

It is a concern, though, that we have conceded too many points from winning positions. We seem to struggle when our opponents start throwing bodies forward because they are chasing the game.

Now we can talk about team defence or perhaps not exploiting the situation when you get the ball. We have many situations when we have the ball, yet we don't seem to create a lot of chances. I don't see their goalkeeper saving the game, it's more us who get into promising situations but then don't finish them.

West Ham United v Everton
Venue: London Stadium


Andy Carroll is a doubt for West Ham because of the recurrence of a groin injury, meaning Diafra Sakho could make his first start since November.
Winston Reid returns following five weeks out with a groin problem but Sam Byram and Mark Noble are both suspended.

Everton's on-loan forward Enner Valencia is ineligible to face his parent club.

James McCarthy may not play again this season because of a hamstring injury.

Muhamed Besic is nearing a return after missing the entire campaign with a knee injury.


Jonathan Pearce: "West Ham need three points for safety. Everton need to improve their away form to finish in the top five. They are favourites here even though they haven't won outside of Goodison Park for nearly three months.

"They've only lost once against the Hammers in 17 meetings. Romelu Lukaku has a lethal hit-rate against them. They also have pace in key attacking areas to trouble the patched-up home side.

"Injuries to Michail Antonio and Angelo Ogbonna, plus suspensions for Sam Byram and Mark Noble, leave Slaven Bilic short of numbers. Too many of his summer signings haven't come up to scratch.

"There is much work to be done before they're safe."


West Ham manager Slaven Bilic on a possible summer move for John Terry: "We are going to see. I'm a big admirer of John, he is one of the best that ever played, not only in that position but in general.

"He won everything, he did everything and we are talking about an England captain, a true leader.

"We are pretty well covered in that position, we have quality and we have experience, but we will see. You never say never."

Everton manager Ronald Koeman on Romelu Lukaku: "He has scored 24 goals and with five games to go he can reach a really high total.

"But I think he is improving in the rest of his football. He is doing better pressing and running in the channels. He is now a better striker for the team than he was last year.

"If someone is interested, for sure they will call the board and then we will speak about it but we will try to do everything to keep him at Everton next season."


When they are on the road, the Toffees just don't seem to create the same number of chances that they do at home, so I am going to go for a draw here.

Prediction: 1-1

West Ham's record of five dismissals this season is a league-high



West Ham have only won seven of the last 48 league meetings spanning 30 years, losing 29 of those games.
The Toffees are on an eight-match unbeaten run away to West Ham in the Premier League, winning six and drawing two.
West Ham United

West Ham have won once in nine matches, but are unbeaten in the last two following five straight defeats.
The Hammers have 16 points fewer after 33 games than they had at this stage last season.
They have dropped an unrivalled 22 points from winning positions, their joint-worst return for a single Premier League season.
Slaven Bilic's side have scored 18 goals at home this season, eight fewer than they have away.

Everton are winless in their last five away games (L2, D3) and have just two victories in the last 14.
They have recovered 16 points from losing positions this season, a tally bettered only by Liverpool (18) and Tottenham (17).
Romelu Lukaku has scored once in each of his nine appearances against the Hammers.
Only Lionel Messi, with 17 goals, has scored more often in the top five European leagues than Lukaku in 2017. However, only one of the Belgian's 14 goals has come away from home.
Phil Jagielka has scored in his last three league appearances - as many as he managed in his previous 71.

SAM's verdict
Most probable score: 1-1 Probability of draw: 24%
Probability of home win: 33% Probability of away win: 43%
SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

Written by Kevin Slade of Sex, Drugs and Carlton Cole @S_D_C_C

Writing an article based on your own opinion is difficult, but that's what makes the beautiful game so great; it's based on opinions. First & foremost I want to start with the season we've had thus far. Putting it bluntly, it's been a complete shower of shit. I honestly can't remember it being this disappointing & deflating watching West Ham United in the 25 years I've been a season ticket holder. The Avram Grant era was probably the worst I've seen, but on the other hand we wasn't heading into the 'most exciting season in our history', so the expectation was never going to be high. Let's not beat around the bush here – it was always going to be extremely difficult moving into a new stadium. Especially from a stadium as iconic as the Boleyn ground. I for one was excited and very much 'pro' stadium move as I made that clear on various articles & on our weekly radio show with Dave and Ex. The chance to move to a 60,000 seater stadium with the likes of Payet, Lanzini, & Bilic at the forefront of this amazing project to spearhead us into this exciting new era appealed to me in abundance. Having a player of Payet's ilk should have been one of the main focal points of this 'project' to really take us to the next level; similar to when Manchester City signed Robinho all those years ago. I'm not comparing the two players, nor do we have a bottomless pit of funds like City, but Payet was without a doubt the name on everyone's lips in world football during the Euro's last summer & was nominated for the Ballon D'or. We should have used that to our advantage to attract quality players to the club. THIS is where Bilic failed for me. Regardless of what people want to think there was money there to be spent and it was spent very very poorly. We had the chance to sign the likes of Benteke and Batshuayi – Strikers of that 'next level' calibre that I believe would have joined us. At £25-30m each a piece, we had the money but it was used on Andre Ayew for £20m (a panic buy in my opinion), and a £5m loan fee for Simeone Zaza with a view to a £25m permanent deal should he be successful after a certain amount of games. So the money was there to be spent, however, Bilic stalled on both players because he was too busy making everyone laugh jumping on tables during the Euro's, which inevitably resulted in them both going elsewhere. Prior to that, Alexandre Lacazette was heavily linked with all sorts of figures being thrown around for a possible transfer. THIS is where the board have failed for me. We aimed way too high at such an early stage of this new 'project', and making it as public as it was didn't do the board any favours. Especially after ending up with Zaza and Calerri. Lacazette is a player I could see playing for the likes of Arsenal and we are nowhere near Arsenal's status to attract a player who scores 30+ goals a season – as proven for the past few years. This is where false expection was built which has led to bitter disappointment. And like I said, this lays with both the board and Bilic between them.

Although it might sound like I'm leading a hate campaign towards Bilic, we have to face reality here. Too many of his mistakes have been swept under the carpet this season by using the stadium and various other excuses for him. This is the messiah who insisted on not needing a right back which has cost us so many points this season. He persisted on playing players out of their natural positions to fill the void instead of using Sam Byram or Alvaro Arbeloa time & time again. Yes, there's been a lot to deal with regarding the stadium move, Payet, etc, but why didn't Manchester City have these problems when they first moved to the common wealth stadium? Their billionaire owners took over 2-3 years after their move, yet they still didn't have the problems we've had. I didn't want to leave the Boleyn Ground – I spent 25 years of my life there. But I'm also fed up of mediocricy year after year, and I'll put my reputation on the line by saying this: Slaven Bilic isn't the man to make this dream a reality. He can't keep on living on his reputation from last season – Ranieri won the league with Leicester, was sacked, and they won 6 in 6 games. Mourinho steam rolled the league with Chelsea the season before he was sacked, and what happened when he lost his job? You guessed it, they started picking up points. It's not the stadium's fault Bilic has played players out of position all season, it's not the board's fault for Bilic not having a plan B or being able to motivate his players to show the fight we need to get out of this mess. Bilic's job title is 'football manager'. He's supposed to manage a football team and he's not doing that properly, is he? He also employed his backroom staff, who must I add, nobody knows what on earth they do! And then there's the situation with Diafra Sakho. What is Slav going to do about this. It's clear to see that Diafra is a bad apple after various rumours have been doing the rounds. Morgan Amalfitano once crossed Bilic and never played for the club ever again. Why is the situation with Diafra different to that? He's spent most of the season injured, everyone at the club has been patient with him, and he throws his toys out of the pram when he's 'fit'. The joke is if he wasn't so injury prone he'd now be playing for West Brom!

For the first time in my life I'm going through the motions with West Ham at the moment and I just can't wait for the season to end to be honest. Between the manager AND the board, this season has just been a complete & utter let down for our amazing supporters.

But they also know that Win, lose, or draw… We'll always be by their side.
Kevin Slade
(Sex Drugs & Carlton Cole)

Written by Farehamhammer @farehamhammer

I'm afraid that I believe that Dimitri Payet's antics started much earlier than we were led to believe, and we have paid a dear price for them. Look, I don't want Slaven Bilic sacked, he gave us some incredible moments last season, and I think he will become a better manager because of the trials and tribulations he has faced this season. Contrary to popular opinion I don't think he handled the Payet saga at all well.

I think that Payet started playing up during the last few games of last season, around about the time he got selected for France's Euro Squad. We were facing Stoke City in a game that would have meant automatic EUFA League qualification. Yet all sorts of stories emerged regards Payet: Payet had a slight knock, was 'tired' and needed to be 'rested' for the Euro's. Nothing about West Ham's needs of qualifying directly for The EUFA League! Already then Payet was calling the shots in my opinion. Fatal for any manager. We had Bilic at The Euro's standing on the table while a Pundit for ITV, arm's outstretched, shouting "P –A-Y-E-T! P-A-Y-E-T! "Yes, it looked impressive and the manager meant it. I like you and many others roared our approval!

Who could be blamed us or the manager? Payet was one of the finest player's to have donned the claret and blue…till the last four or five games of last season anyway. A superstar in anyone's language! "Our Dimi! We were not bothered with such niceties as, Payet has ALWAYS been loyal to Payet only. Strikes and threats has always been what Payet reverts to if he doesn't get his way. Almost like some youngster knowing their partner has a history of cheating, somehow believing that this time it would be different. Because the serial cheater really loved them. We believed that this time it would be different, because Payet loved the club and us! How wrong we were .With Bilic bending over backwards to please Payet, putting him on a virtual pedestal how do you think the rest of the squad felt? Resentment? You bet they did! Off to The Euro's went Payet where he performed fantastically. No doubt at that point Payet and his agent start really intensifying his efforts to leave West Ham. It took forever him to reappear for the club pre-season. When he did against Juventus at the London Stadium, his body language was terrible. The message was clear: I don't want to be here. I believe this could have had a knock on effect on our transfer activity. What does the club do? They have the no 27 shirt hanging at the London Stadium and plan to build a team around the club's super star. If they sell him they would get slaughtered and people would moan we are a selling club. The only way out would be if they could get £50-£60M for the player and bring in two or three top players in his place.

Reluctantly the Club were forced to draw up two transfer list, one with the Payet money and one without. The club in virtual limbo as far transfer activity was concerned. Payet had West Ham at virtual gunpoint. The Club waited and waited for the bids to come in and the transfer clock was going tick tock. Unfortunately it seems they never did. Small wonder our transfer activity was an utter shambles. No doubt Payet was ALREADY threatening to strike .In an effort to appease Payet the club gave him a million pound 'Loyalty bonuses'

No doubt The Club's reasoning if Payet kept up his EURO form the club would more than get their money back in January. So we had an uneasy truce. We had Payet who was person not grata to the rest of the players and seen by some no doubt as the manager's pet. A Club in disarray we most certainly were, no surprise then that results were poor on the pitch. Payet of course did not bother his arse on the pitch. Forcing the club to sell him for virtual peanuts at the end of January. Slaven Bilic eventually outing him during the January transfer window. Felt like lancing a boil, the poison being let out. Things have not been perfect since Payet left. Often setbacks in life see's people emerge stronger, As a Football Club we undoubtedly learnt a few valuable lesson's due to Payet gate. But I have no doubt we will emerge stronger as a Football Club because of it. We are more than a football club, we're a way of life! COYI'S!!


Carroll out - but duo set for return
Filed: Friday, 21st April 2017
By: Staff Writer

Slaven Bilic has confirmed that Andy Carroll is likely to miss this weekend's clash with Everton - but hinted at a possible return for Diafra Sakho.

The Senegal international was missing from last week's travelling party that drew 2-2 at Sunderland and was rumoured to have exchanged angry words with Bilic having learned that he would not be part of the 18-man squad.

However Bilic denied rumours of a bust up - for the second time this week - and indicated that Sakho could return to face the Toffees.

"Diafra Sakho was injured against Sunderland," he said. "He was supposed to train today and then we're going to see what condition he's in. There was no row, I should know about that as it was me who spoke to him. No row at all."

And there was further good news as Bilic confirmed that Winston Reid is set to be involved following several weeks on the sidelines.

"He's back from injury which is good for us, as he's one of the most important players," added Bilic. "We'll see if he's going to start but he's been training this week. He looks good but it's a big boost for us."

Carroll is set to miss the game having picked up a minor knock, but is scheduled to return for the trip to Stoke the following weekend according to Bilic.

Meanwhile Sam Byram, who was sent off in the closing minutes at Sunderland last weekend will also miss out through suspension.

Hammers keeping tabs on Besiktas star
Filed: Wednesday, 19th April 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham are one of FIFTEEN clubs said to have dispatched scouts to watch tomorrow's Europa League tie between Besiktas and Lyon.

And they'll all be there to watch Turkish international midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup, who has been enjoying an excellent season in the Super Lig with the Black Eagles.

First linked with a move to West Ham back in 2015, when former Besiktas boss Slaven Bilic expressed interest in bringing both Ozyakup and team mate Gokhan Tore to England, the 24-year-old been has on the radar of several of Europe's top clubs.

And along with West Ham, scouts from clubs such as Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Wolfsburg, Everton, Southampton and Anderlecht are expected to descend upon Istanbul's Vodafone Arena on Thursday evening to watch Besiktas attempt to turn around a 2-1 deficit from the first leg.

The Dutch-born Ozyakup started life at AZ Alkmaar's Academy before joining Arsenal's youth set-up in 2008 where he remained for four years, making just two first team appearances, before joining Besiktas.

Although he was already firmly established at Besiktas before Bilic became general manager in 2013, Ozyakup became a firm favourite of the Croatian manager's - who he subsequently referred to as "Turkey's most talented footballer" in an interview last year.

Inzaghi inbound?
Filed: Wednesday, 19th April 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham are preparing to offer Lazio manager Simone Inzaghi a five-year contract, according to reports emerging from Italy this morning.

The 41-year-old has enjoyed a successful first season in management, having taken the Rome club to within the reach of a Champions League spot and a spot in the Coppa Italia Final, where they will face Juventus.

And according to Corriere dello Sport, West Ham have approached Inzaghi with view to offering him a long-term contract to succeed Slaven Bilic, who is tied to West Ham until the summer of 2018.

Capped three times for Italy, Inzaghi spent the bulk of his career at Lazio, despite only making 129 appearances for the club in an 11-year spell. He also represented his country on three occasions.

* In other news, Slaven Bilic believes that John Terry could yet feature for another year in the Premier League.

When asked about the 36-year-old, who is set to leave Chelsea at the end of the season, the Hammers boss replied: "There are not many leaders like him. I do not think about it now, but never say never."

Hammers linked with Bundesliga duo
Filed: Wednesday, 19th April 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham are being linked with another move for Koln's in-form striker Anthony Modeste.

The Hammers made discrete enquiries into the French forward's availability last summer after he hit 18 goals for the Bundesliga side during a busy 2015/16 season.

And according to SportBild, the Hammers have made a fresh enquiry into Modeste's availability after he continued that rich vein of form this season; thus far he has hit the net 25 times in just 32 appearances (Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal).

However the German club are unlikely to let the striker - who celebrated his 29th birthday earlier this week - leave for less than €30million, according to the source.

* In other transfer news West Ham are one of up to TEN clubs said to be chasing Hamburg forward Bobby Wood, who is said to be available for €12million. Leicester City and Bayer Leverkusen are two of the other clubs said to be vying for the USA international's signature, according to SportBild.

* Meanwhile triallist Alexander Alp has returned to current club AIK Solna after failing to secure a contract. The highly-rated 16-year-old has initially impressed Hammers scouts but has now returned to Sweden.

Ex Academy star indicted
Filed: Wednesday, 19th April 2017
By: Staff Writer

Former Academy star Blair Turgott is set to appear in court on charges of money laundering and fraud.

The 22-year-old winger is set to appear before Westminster Magistrate's Court next week (Friday 28 April) to face the two charges - which could potentially lead to a jail sentence.

Turgott, who claims to do 'God's Work' on his Twitter bio first joined West Ham as a nine-year old when he was invited for a trial having been spotted playing football for his father's local team in South London.

He was released by West Ham in February 2015, having made just one first team appearance - in the ill-fated FA Cup third round ie at Nottingham Forest in January 2014.

Following a short spell at Coventry City, Turgott returned to London with Orient but was released after just one season at Brisbane Road. Last summer he joined home town club Bromley, who play in the National League.

* Further reading: KUMB spoke to Blair in 2012 about his future hopes and aspirations. You may read the article here.

West Ham v Everton preview: Romelu Lukaku aims to continue scoring streak
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 21/04/17 11:59am

Romelu Lukaku will be looking to score for the 10th game in a row against West Ham when Everton travel to the London Stadium on Saturday. The striker is the top scorer in the Premier League this season with 24 goals. And Hammers manager Slaven Bilic said: "We have to try to get him out of his favoured positions and stop the service to him. "Lukaku has a good record against us but it is a job for our defenders. In some of the games against Everton we did well but he still scored. "He's really good and also consistent for his age. Everton have done a great job to keep him which shows how ambitious they are. He's not only one of the best players in the Premier League but in the whole of Europe."
Lukaku's form has helped Everton challenge for a top-six spot in the Premier League this season and they start the weekend three points behind fifth-placed Manchester United. West Ham are 11 points clear of the relegation zone after drawing 2-2 with Sunderland last weekend. A last-gasp strike from Fabio Borini denied the Hammers back-to-back wins for the first time since January.

Team news

Andy Carroll and Sam Byram are the latest additions to West Ham's absentee list.

Striker Carroll is out with a recurrence of a groin injury and right-back Byram is suspended following his red card at Sunderland last weekend.

Captain Mark Noble completes a two-match ban while Michail Antonio (hamstring), Angelo Ogbonna (knee) and Pedro Obiang (ankle) are injured, but Winston Reid (groin) and Diafra Sakho (back) could return.

Everton's on-loan striker Enner Valencia is ineligible to face his parent club West Ham.

Midfielder James McCarthy may not feature again this season as he continues to struggle with a hamstring problem.

Muhamed Besic will play his second match for the Under-23s on Friday as he steps up his comeback from a serious knee injury, while Ramiro Funes Mori and Yannick Bolasie (both knee), Seamus Coleman (broken leg) and Aaron Lennon all remain absent.

Opta stats

West Ham have won only one of their last 17 Premier League games against the Toffees (D5 L11).

Everton haven't lost away to West Ham in the Premier League since April 2007, winning six of the last eight (D2).

Romelu Lukaku has scored in each of his nine previous appearances against West Ham for Everton (all competitions, nine goals in total).

Lukaku is the top scoring Premier League player in 2017, netting 14 times with just 23 shots on target.

Both teams have scored in each of the last seven Premier League games in which the Hammers have hosted Everton, although this is their first meeting at the London Stadium.

The Hammers have 16 fewer points this season after 33 Premier League games than they had at this stage last season (53).

Slaven Bilic's side have also scored eight more goals on the road this season (26) than they have at the London Stadium (18).

Phil Jagielka has scored in each of his last three games for Everton; as many as he had scored in his previous 71 in the Premier League.

Merson's prediction

It will be a difficult game for Ronald Koeman's side but Everton's fine form should continue in east London.

West Ham need to get a couple more points to confirm their top-flight status and I can see them battling to a draw this weekend.

I don't think they are as bad as everybody seems to be saying.

PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (Sky Bet odds 11/2)

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic refuses to rule out move for Chelsea legend John Terry
Terry announced on Monday he will be leaving the west London club following 19 memorable years and has been linked with a move to the east London club
The Mirror
18:56, 18 APR 2017

West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic is refusing to rule out a move for John Terry after the club were strongly linked with a move for the Chelsea legend.
Terry announced on Monday that he will be leaving the west London club at the end of the season after 19-memorable years at Stamford Bridge.
The former England captain enjoyed an unforgettable spell winning the Champions League, four Premier League titles, five FA Cups and three League Cups. Terry, 36, still feels he can compete at the highest level and with the Hammers conceding a number of goals this season, he could add some crucial experience to their backline next season. Bilic has no doubts that the former England skipper can still perform in the Premier League, but is refusing to think about any future signings until the end of the season. Bilic said: "Every manager and club would think about him because there aren't many leaders like him. "But, then again, we have experience in that position. We have good players in that position so never say never but I don't think about that right now. "When you are talking about leadership and characters on the pitch, you are talking about them - [Steven] Gerrard, [Frank] Lampard, [Rio] Ferdinand and Terry, "John Terry is Mr Chelsea. He's done everything and he definitely has at least a couple of years left. "Whether that will be at West Ham or in the US, I don't know. We don't think about that right now. "I don't think this is the end of John Terry's career."


No comments: