Sunday, April 2

Daily WHUFC News - 2nd April 2017

Hammers lose out at Hull

Andy Carroll's 50th Premier League goal wasn't rewarded as Hull City came
from behind to win 2-1 at the KCOM Stadium.

Captaining the Hammers from the start for the first time in his career,
Carroll's cool strike looked set to be the catalyst for a positive result on
the road for West Ham, but a second half salvo from the Tigers meant Slaven
Bilic's mean were left empty handed once more.

Dealt a triple injury blow in the defeat to Leicester City, Bilic settled on
two straight swaps in James Collins and Sofiane Feghouli for Winston Reid
and Michail Antonio.

The Croat opted to shuffle his deck to replace the stricken Pedro Obiang,
with former City star Robert Snodgrass retaking his position in the starting
eleven and Manuel Lanzini taking up a more defensive role next to Cheikhou

Despite a frantic start that saw Jose Fonte booked in the opening seconds
for a lunge on Abel Hernandez, the KCOM Stadium had to wait until the 13th
minute for the first attempt on goal at either end. Snodgrass was gifted a
glorious opportunity to silence a crowd that jeered his every touch
throughout the afternoon, but he headed Feghouli's teasing cross straight at
Eldin Jakupovic in the City goal.

Five minutes later Carroll wasn't going to make the same mistake. Lanzini
picked up the ball on the half way and drove across the pitch before finding
Aaron Cresswell in an advanced position. The full back put in an inch
perfect cross, evading the leaping Curtis Davies and finding the chest of
Carroll, who controlled it before slotting home expertly.

Finding themselves behind, City tried to get back on level terms and when
Fonte's underhit backpass sold Darren Randolph short, the Hammers keeper
took no prisoners as he slid through both Lazar Marković and Hernández to
clear on the 18-yard line.

Lanzini nearly extended the lead on the half hour mark when his 25 yard
effort needed to be tipped wide by Jakupovic and, just before the break, the
stopper plucked the ball from the head of Feghouli to ensure the Tigers went
into the interval with only a one goal deficit.

Eight minutes into the second half and the resurgent Hull City were level.
Markovic and half time substitute Kamil Grosicki combined in a flowing
passing move that allowed Andy Robertson space in the box, which he utilised
with a low drive past Randolph from the angle of his six yard box.

West Ham were denied an instant reply by Jakupovic once more. Snodgrass
found the head of Carroll who arrowed it towards goal, only to be denied his
brace by a smart save.

The Hull City faithful had found their voices by this point and were
rewarded with a flurry of activity in the Hammers box. Referee Mike Jones
waved away two penalty appeals either side of a glorious opportunity for the
home side, which saw Alfred N'Diaye's shot come back of the post and
Grosicki's follow up go agonisingly wide of a virtually empty net.

Edimilson Fernandes and Arthur Masuaku were introduced with just over 20
minutes remaining for Snodgrass and Cresswell, the latter having succumbed
to injury. With the Hammers searching for a winner, Lanzini delivered a
dangerous free kick into the box that was punched clear by Jakupovic, and
Feghouli's cross-come-shot moments later did little to test the gloveman.

But just as both sides looked ready to settle for a point, the Tigers reared
upfield for one last time and, when Grosicki sent over a corner with just
five minutes left, Ranocchia roared in at the near post to glance his
match-winning header into the net and leave the Hammers ruing missed
opportunities again.

Hull City: Jakupovic, Ranocchia, Davies (Grosicki h/t), Maguire, Elmohamady,
Markovic, N'Diaye (Maloney 79), Clucas, Robertson, Hernández (Henriksen 79),
Subs not used: Meyler, Diomande, Dawson, Marshall.

Booked: Niasse, N'Diaye,

Goals: Robertson 53, Ranocchia 85

West Ham United: Randolph, Byram, Fonte, Collins, Cresswell (Masuaku 68),
Kouyaté (Calleri 90), Lanzini, Feghouli, Ayew, Snodgrass (Fernandes 66),
Subs not used: Adrián, Nordtveit, Noble, Fletcher.

Booked: Fonte, Carroll

Goal: Carroll 18

Bilic - Hull defeat is hard to take

Slaven Bilic admitted Satrday's 2-1 defaet to Hull City was "hard to take"
as West Ham United saw their first half lead overturned at the KCOM Stadium.

Immediately after the full time whistle, Bilic admitted: "It's hard to take
of course, especially when you concede a late goal from a set-piece. That is
way too many goals to concede lately from set-pieces."

Andy Carroll's 50th Premier League goal on his 50th Premier League
appearance fr the Hammers had given Bilic's men a 1-0 lead at the break
before goals from Andrew Robertson and Andrea Ranocchia turned things around
for the hosts.

"We started well" Bilic said. "The whole first half went really well. They
didn't have a shot on target, we were winning, good on the ball, defending

"In the second half I thought we started okay but when they score the goal,
they had five minutes where they were better. After that, they hit the post
but then it was more likely that we might score a goal apart from a counter
attack. When we didn't score, you think its okay, it's 1-1, it's good to
grab a point after three defeats so to concede a goal from a set piece is
very hard to take.

"We were passing the ball well in front of their box, we were lacking that
last touch of quality to score the goal. We had enough good positions around
the box, but we didn't score, we didn't create enough in the box. Set pieces
are dangerous, but when you concede too many, it's not good.

"Some of the things we played today was really good. We created, we defended
well and then when you lose 2-1, especially when you are one up at half time
and then of course you can't be happy with the performance."

Tigers have Silva to thanks
Filed: Saturday, 1st April 2017
By: Staff Writer

Hull goalscorer Andy Robertson says that today's victory was the result of
the mother of all rollickings from manager Marco Silva. Robertson, who
scored the first of Hull's two second half goals as they turned around a
half-time deficit to beat West Ham 2-1, hailed Silva for his intervention.
We were poor in the first half and the manager gave us a deserved rollicking
at half time," he told Hull's website. "He changed things and we were much
better in the second half with Grosicki and Markovic causing West Ham
problems on the wings. My first Premier League goal has been a long time
coming and it was good to see the ball hit the net," he added, "but I'm just
glad that it was a goal that got us back into the game before the big man at
the back popped up with a winner. "Our home form has been good since the
manager came in and we need to keep it that way. "
Today's victory extended Hull's unbeaten home record to eight games - a
period during which they have also beaten Manchester United and Liverpool at
the KCOM Stadium.

I'll pay the price, admits Slav
Filed: Saturday, 1st April 2017
By: Staff Writer

Slaven Bilic has admitted that he will almost certainly pay the ultimate
price should his team continue their recent run of abject form.

The beleaguered Hammers boss has seen his team take just two points from
their last six matches, which leaves United just six points above the
relegation zone with eight matches to play.

"They are making up ground," replied Bilic, when asked about the shrinking
gap below West Ham, now 14th. "It's very open and they are closing the gap.

"With a point we are keeping them nine points behind us, but now it's only
six. I'm doing my job and I'm motivated - but if we are making so many
mistakes, then you will pay the price."

Despite Bilic's concerns regarding his future at West Ham, vice chair Karren
Brady used her tabloid column this morning to deny reports that the club
were preparing to part company with the man who achieved the club's third
best finish in its 117-year history last season.

"I have a two-word answer to people who are listing candidates for Slaven
Bilic's job - shut up!," she wrote. "We like our manager and we rate him, so
we are planning to keep him. Those poison-penned pundits who say they know,

"Our move to the London Stadium was always going to be testing for the
players. And if Slaven is the boss we believe him to be, he'll soon bring
back the exciting style he brought to West Ham when we appointed him at the
start of last season."

Written by @SamRoyden

In a week when Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was successfully trailed at the
Stade de France, West Ham, who are without a win in 5 games, visit
struggling Hull City who are sitting uncomfortable in 18th position. There
has been some red flags with West Ham's defending this season by conceding
11 goals in those games. The referee appointed for this fixture was Mike
Jones. This is the first game this season that Jones has been the man in the
middle for West Ham and third game of the season for Hull City.

Mike Jones didn't waste any time to make his first caution of the game. Jose
Fonte gave Jones no choice but to caution the West Ham centre back after
Fonte came through the back of Markovic. As a player you will always run a
risk of a yellow card if you come in from behind and mistime your challenge.

West Ham players, particularly Andre Ayew, were wondering why Markovic
wasn't cautioned after the Hull City man prevented Ayew from going forward
25 yards outside West Ham's penalty area. Mike Jones only had a chat with
the ex-Liverpool player and I agreed with that decision. I felt it wasn't
warranted of a caution even though Markovic fouled Ayew. You had to consider
other factors and especially where the foul occurred. 9/10 times a player
will be cautioned if they prevent a promising attack near or beyond the half
way line. As Ayew was just outside his own box with limited of West Ham
players in advanced positions, it's the right decision by Mike Jones.

Darren Randolph is normally good with his feet but found himself in a
difficult position after trying to take on a Hull City player inside his own
6 yard box. Randolph managed to wriggle free and found himself having to
challenge with Abel Hernandez. The West Ham shot stopper fairly challenged
Hernandez getting the ball first before making contact with the Hull
striker. There were calls for a penalty but replays showed Hull City didn't
have a case and Mike Jones correctly ignored appeals.

Hull City came out a completely different team in the second half. Mike
Jones was busier with a handful of cautions and two penalty shouts from Hull

When you look at the penalty appeals, in my opinion Mark Jones got them both
spot on. The first appeal was when Jose Fonte was battling Markovic when the
Hull City player went down under pressure from Fonte. When you look closely,
you can see that Markovic actually slipped which put him off balance so the
decision for no penalty was a good decision by Jones. The second appeal was
when Hull City defender Maguire went down under minimal pressure from James
Collins. It was clear that Maguire was waiting for the slightest of touches
to go down, but Jones was well positioned to wave away the appeal from the
Hull City supporters.

There were a flurry of cautions in the second half. The first went to Oumar
Niasse after the City player ran into Fonte after the West Ham defender won
the ball and cleared his lines. The challenge in itself didn't warrant the
card, and I believe it was an acclamation of fouls during the game.

The second and final Hull City booking went to Alfred N'Diaye. The Hull City
player pulled the shirt of Lanzini just inside Hull's half and this was in
an advanced position for Jones to warrant the caution. As mentioned for
Markovic's challenge in the first half, Arthur Masuaku was in an advanced
position to Ayew and the caution was correct in my opinion.

There was a lapse in common sense from Mike Jones after cautioning Andy
Carroll for handball when the West Ham striker was sliding into a challenge
and the ball hit his hand on the follow through. This was a very harsh
yellow card in my opinion, there is no way that Carroll deliberately handed
the ball and especially as he was sliding into the challenge. It was a poor
decision by Mike Jones.

Apart from the poor decision to caution Andy Carroll, I felt Mike Jones had
a good game. He was spot on with his decision to wave away the penalty
appeals from Hull City and was well positioned for both of them.

It's getting desperate for West Ham and we're starting to be dragged into
the relegation fight. We're only 6 points above the relegation zone and our
defensive woes still remain. West Ham have conceded 54 goals so far this
season, behind Hull and Swansea. To have two ex defenders within our
coaching team, I don't know why this is happening. I think the board have a
difficult decision to make. We sit 14th in the Premier League and it's
getting to the stage of the season where the lower teams are fighting for
survival. With the players showing no fight or desire and the fans mounting
pressure on the club, do the board make a change now? Wait until the end of
the season? Or back Bilic?


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