Kouyate eyes Emirates repeat
Cheikhou Kouyate says West Ham United can win at Arsenal on Wednesday
Midfielder scored opener as the Hammers scored 2-0 victory on last visit to
But Senegal captain warns Gunners are 'hungry' themselves after a difficult
run of results
Nobody gave West Ham United much chance of kicking-off the 2015/16 season by
winning at Arsenal. Likewise, nobody is giving West Ham United much chance
of repeating their stunning 2-0 victory at Arsenal when they return to
Emirates Stadium on Wednesday evening. However, the man whose header set the
Hammers on their way to that famous success, Cheikhou Kouyate, says Slaven
Bilic's side can make lightning strike twice in north London. "This is a big
test and a big game for us against one of the best teams in the Premier
League," he said. "Arsenal is a nice team which plays good football in a
good stadium and they need points, but it is the same for us. "West Ham need
some points and we will battle for the whole 90 minutes to take all three
again. "We had a fantastic result at Emirates last season. I remember it
well and it was an unbelievable day for us, so why can't it happen again
When West Ham won at Arsenal 18 months ago, the victory came as a result not
only of clinical finishing and resilient defending and teamwork, but also as
a result of the confidence that was coursing through Bilic's players –
Kouyate among them. While the Hammers' recent record means those
characteristics may be in shorter supply this time around, the No8 insists
they will travel to N7 believing they can win there for the second season in
succession. "You need to believe in yourselves if you are to achieve these
sorts of results and we believe in ourselves," he confirmed. "We know
everything is not good at the moment, but it's possible to turn the corner
on Wednesday. I have my fingers crossed that we can do just that."
At 27 and with more than 400 senior appearances under his belt, Kouyate is
experienced enough to that West Ham are not alone in enduring a testing run
during the course of a Premier League season. Indeed, Arsenal too have
struggled in recent weeks, losing six and winning just three of their last
ten matches in all competitions to be knocked out of the UEFA Champions
League and seemingly drop out of contention for a 21st straight top-four
finish. "It's a very, very difficult moment for us, but sometimes you have
this period one time in a year or one time in two years," observed the
Senegal captain. "It is important that we stay positive, stay together and
just focus. "We need to win some games, just work hard and play hard. We
need to take our chances and defend well, but most importantly we need to
work together and be positive. "Sometimes you lose the game in the last
minute or sometimes you lose the game in the first half by conceding two or
three goals but, at the end of the day, we need to work as hard as we can
and win some games. "A lot of teams experience this type of run in football
but, in my experience, if you can win one game, your confidence returns and
you can turn everything around. "For Arsenal, they have had some bad results
but they are still one of the best teams in the league. Arsenal have some
great players and we have to be careful because they are a hungry team and
they need the points."
Loanee round up
Five Hammers were in loan action over the weekend
Though Enner Valencia suffered defeat for Everton, three in action in the
Football League tasted victory
Martin Samuelsen was on the scoresheet for Peterborough United in his second
loan spell at London Road
Only Enner Valencia – one of four loanee Hammers to feature in the top four
leagues during the weekend – did not taste victory as his Everton outfit
were beaten in the Merseyside derby. Having been beaten by the Reds back in
December last year, the Toffees were looking for revenge when they made the
short journey across Stanley Park to Anfield, but once again left empty
handed. Sadio Mane gave the hosts an eighth-minute lead, and though Matthew
Pennington levelled things just before the half hour mark, Philippe Coutinho
curled home brilliantly to put Jurgen Klopp's men back in front. Divock
Origi then gave Liverpool a two-goal buffer, and though Ronald Koeman
introduced Valencia in an attempt to get back into the game, it was to no
There was more joy for those in action in the Football League, however.
Reece Oxford, who has now come on as a substitute in promotion chasing
Reading's last three games, played 20 minutes for the Royals as they beat
Leeds United 1-0. Yann Kermorgant scored the game's only goal, firing in
spectacularly from just inside the area, and Jaap Stam's side held onto the
advantage to leapfrog their opponents into fourth place in the Championship.
In League One, Martin Samuelsen scored his first goal of a second loan spell
at Peterborough United, heading in Posh's first against struggling Charlton
Athletic at London Road. The Norwegian winger, introduced just a minute
before, was in the right place at the right time to nod home unmarked and
score his third senior goal in English football in the 74th minute. Marcus
Maddison went on to seal the victory over the Addicks with a superb second.
Josh Cullen's Bradford City took on George Dobson's Walsall, though the
latter, an unused substitute, was not given the opportunity to change the
game as the Bantams ran out 1-0 winners. Billy Clarke's 58th-minute strike
was enough to see off their Midlands opponents, and Cullen and co. now look
set for a top-six finish in England's third tier.
Newport County kept their slim safety hopes alive with a 1-0 win over
Crawley Town, though Jaanai Gordon was also left on the substitutes' bench.
Defender Mickey Demetriou scored the game's only goal as both sides ended
the match with ten men following a clash six minutes into the second period.
Finally, Sam Howes was in action for Hampton and Richmond Borough in the
National League South, but Chelmsford City were 2-0 winners at the Beavers'
Manager on Monday
Slaven Bilic knows importance of ending losing run at Arsenal
Manager calls on team to 'show what they're made of' at Emirates Stadium
Bilic bemoans impact of individual errors on recent results
Slaven Bilic says the Hammers need to stand up and be counted as they look
to end a run of four consecutive defeats when they take on Arsenal on
Wednesday. The Hammers fell to a 2-1 defeat at Hull City on Saturday, on the
heels of losses to Chelsea, AFC Bournemouth and Leicester City, to allow the
Tigers to move within six points of them. After taking the lead at the KCOM
Stadium, Bilic felt his side paid the penalty for individual errors once
again and knows the trip to Emirates Stadium will be a test of character. He
said: "I am positive, we are very positive of course. I can't lie and say
that after the game the atmosphere was brilliant in the dressing room.
"Of course it wasn't, after four defeats in a row, but now it about us
showing what we're made of. Showing character and quality over the whole 90
minutes. "First of all, we need to stop the individual, sloppy mistakes that
we are making because there was the goal on Saturday, two against Leicester,
one against Bournemouth, Chelsea, Watford, West Brom. We are conceding too
many from set pieces. "We have to show what we are made of. It's my job to
do that and we will."
The Hammers are set to be boosted by the return of Michail Antonio for
Wednesday's game, with skipper Mark Noble also back in contention.
Bilic revealed: "Michail Antonio is looking really good. He was 50/50 for
Saturday, which gives him a good chance to make it for Arsenal.
"Obiang and Reid are out, Sakho is getting [closer to being] back and Noble
could play. He didn't train with us for a couple of weeks because of injury
and now he's back available for us."
Whufc.com selects five players who have worn the colours of both West Ham
United and Arsenal…
1. Jim Standen
West Ham United's multi-talented cup-winning goalkeeper Jim Standen began
his senior career with Arsenal at the age of 18 in 1953. However, his early
inroads into the first team were delayed by National Service and the
presence of the Gunners' Wales international stopper Jack Kelsey. After four
years as a back-up, Standen debuted for Arsenal against Burnley, but after
38 first-team appearances, he departed for Luton Town in 1960 in search of
regular football. After serving as understudy again, to Luton's England
international Ron Baynham, Standen joined West Ham after regular No1 Lawrie
Leslie broke his leg in 1962. The rest, as they say, is history, as the
Essex cricket all-rounder established himself under Ron Greenwood, lifting
the FA Cup in 1964 and European Cup Winners' Cup a year later.
2. Matthew Upson
One of four West Ham United players to have scored for England at a FIFA
World Cup finals, Matthew Upson, like goalkeeper Standen, played for Arsenal
and Luton before joining the Hammers. A left-footed centre-half,
Suffolk-born Upson began his career with Ipswich Town before following
then-youth coach Terry Westley to Luton. Arsene Wenger spent £2m to take the
18-year-old defender to Arsenal in May 1997, but injuries and competition
for places restricted him to 57 appearances over six years. Upson moved on
to Birmingham City in January 2003, before joining West Ham three years
later. As a Hammer, he won 15 England caps, scoring twice against Germany –
including his World Cup goal in June 2010 – and was appointed captain in
3. Liam Brady
An elegant Republic of Ireland playmaker, Liam Brady was brought to England
from his native Dublin by Arsenal at the age of 15 in 1971. Two years later,
he debuted for the Gunners against Birmingham City, and he would become a
Highbury legend over the next nine seasons. Despite Brady's outstanding
creativity, however, Arsenal won just one trophy during his time there – the
1979 FA Cup. After losing the 1980 final to the Hammers, Brady enjoyed seven
seasons in Italian football, winning Serie A twice with Juventus, before
returning to London in March 1987. Still only 31, Brady enjoyed three fine
seasons at the Boleyn Ground, scoring ten goals in 119 games, including one
in his final career appearance against Wolverhampton Wanderers in May 1990.
4. Stewart Robson
Another player who enjoyed his finest years as a Hammer in the late 1980s,
Stewart Robson emulated Brady by beginning his senior career with Arsenal. A
versatile England U21 midfielder, Essex-born Robson played 186 times in red
and white, making his debut against West Ham United at the age of 17 in
December 1981, and scoring 21 goals. Injuries slowed Robson's progress and
he departed Highbury for the Boleyn Ground for a £700,000 fee in January
1987. Robson enjoyed an outstanding 1987/88 season in Claret and Blue, which
culminated in a Hammer of the Year award, but sadly his injury problems
returned and he was allowed to join Coventry City on a free transfer in
5. John Hartson
Burly Wales international striker John Hartson becomes the third of our
five-a-side team to have played for both Luton Town and Arsenal prior to
joining West Ham United. Swansea-born Hartson, who celebrates his 42nd
birthday on Wednesday, joined the Hatters as an apprentice in 1991. Two
years later, he debuted and went on to score eleven goals before Arsenal
snapped him up in January 1995, aged 19. Hartson scored 17 goals in 71 games
for the Gunners, despite competition for his place from the likes of Ian
Wright, Dennis Bergkamp and Nicolas Anelka. The Welshman became West Ham's
record signing for £2.3m in February 1997, and he repaid Harry Redknapp's
faith by scoring 24 goals in the 1997/98 season – his only complete campaign
in east London. In all, he netted 33 times in 73 games for the Hammers.
EXWHUEMPLOYEE: PLAYERS TO RETURN AND CHANGES TO THE STAFF?
BY EXWHUEMPLOYEE ON 3 APRIL 2017 AT 9:47PM
So I had a great time at Hull with Dave from SDCC and meeting up with many
other West Ham fans who we have both got to know over the years. Everything
was a complete laugh and enjoyable apart from the actual game (and losing
money in the casino after). The atmosphere was great, as it always is at
away games, and I was buzzing for the match and the first half was actually
fairly decent. We should have been much more comfortable than we were. The
second half was a different story and yet again dreadful defending has let
us down. We are conceding so many goals in every game to weak opposition.
I thought Hull played poorly, yet they still got two goals and the three
points one from a set piece, again!
Despite another ITK on a well known site jumping the gun again and saying
Bilic was leaving in the next few hours, this was never the case. As I have
stated, time and time again, the board back Bilic. The board back him more
than an increasing number of fans now. They like Slaven, they like his
philosophies and they want him to be successful as do I.
The players also back Slaven, they support him and do not want him to leave.
Some of the more vocal voices in the changing room: Collins, Cresswell,
Carroll, Noble and even Sakho (despite their previous problems) are said to
have openly backed him. Sakho should be on the bench on Wednesday against
Arsenal, following his injury problems. He insisted that he could play
against Hull but Bilic didn't want to risk him. Antonio and Noble are also
fit and I think changes will be made to the team. I would consider
bringing Adrian back. This sounds very hypercritical, as I was very vocal
in calling for Randolph but the early form he had shown is now gone and I
think Adrian deserves a second chance. Masuaku is likely to replace
Cresswell in the starting 11 and there are also calls for Nordtveit to come
into the side.
One thing that has been suggested to Bilic is that his backroom staff are
not up to the job and part of the problem. Jessica Dicks is very vocal in
suggesting that her dad plays no role in the defensive coaching and hasn't
really clarified what it is that he does do and if many people are to be
believed, it isn't much. Julian Dicks is one of my favourite ever West Ham
players and I was delighted that he returned to the fold with us. If Dicks
has no role in the defensive coaching, then I would suggest he is reassigned
to it. If this isn't to be the case there are other options that need to be
considered. Rio Ferdinand has openly offered his services to the club. I
think we would do no harm bringing him in and he would instantly have the
backing of the players and staff through natural respect. If Slav doesn't
think Rio is the man then we already have Steve Potts (a defender who relied
on positioning and quickness of thought when playing centre back at 5 foot 7
to succeed) successfully managing the Under 18s with Mark Philips. Kenny
Brown, who unfortunately works for Millwall at the moment, is another very
qualified option and an ex West Ham defender. Something has to be done to
sort out the defending and I believe the board feel Slaven should take
action at the end of the season. Slaven is a very loyal man though and will
want to keep his backroom staff as it is.
There are other options that could be brought in to the coaching staff too.
Kevin Keen, a coach with us for years, is apparently one of the highest
rated coaches and most popular ones that we have ever had in recent years.
He has been recently appointed as coach at Crystal Palace following his
sacking as manager of Colchester United and could be considered. He may not
wish to return but as a former West Ham player of many year, you never know!
We may also need to think about a forward coach as well, Teddy Sheringham
would welcome a return I have heard and even the likes of
Ashton/Bellamy/Hartson could be interesting alternatives although none with
any major coaching credentials. It is very hard to inflict staff upon a
manager but if I was Slaven and this was suggested to me in the summer, I
would consider it as a potential solution to some of the problems this year.
The main focus of everyone at the club is to make sure that we stay up
obviously so transfers are not a priority at the moment. The main person
that everyone involved in the club wants and most importantly Bilic wants is
Defoe. If/when Sunderland go down he is available on a free transfer. Of
course his wages will be high and around £80k but he is certainly the top
priority. He is very keen to join the club and has even suggested to
someone I know that he would be prepared to join us if we went down, such is
his desire to put right the wrongs of his departure all those years ago.
Another top target as I have stated many times is Batshuayi, who is out of
favour at Chelsea. We have also scouted Modeste who has been a scoring
sensation in Germany this year. I tweeted in the week that we have held
talks with Zabaleta's agent and this is the case. He is our number one
choice for the right back position and I think he will be a great signing.
Against Hull, I didn't even know who the captain was and this lack of
captain figure is also a problem for us I think. Bringing in the ex
Manchester City and Argentina captain will be a great move in that respect.
We are also considering centre backs with Maguire of Hull being a top choice
as well as a few other options. Sakho, who is on loan to Palace from
Liverpool, is also a target (as he was in January) but it appears Liverpool
are expecting a large check for him. I am keen to stress though that it is
very early days and things will change.
The Arsenal game is one that I am going to and I can't wait for. I don't
expect us to get anything but Arsenal are off form and when you least expect
us to do something we usually do. An early goal there could get the fans
on the back of the manager and play to our advantage.
I am delighted to say that we have Matty Etherington on the radio show
tomorrow. We are doing a prerecord which will go out at 7pm on Wednesday.
I expect most people will be at the game, or watching that so please
download the podcast or listen to the link after. Matty is a very
interesting person to speak to and I am sure there will be some fascinating
answers. Please get your questions in for Matty by using the hashtag
We have our event with Keith Robson before the Swansea game. Tickets are
now selling well and I am particularly looking forward to learning more
about '70s West Ham from a big character. The raffle prizes at the event
are great and include two Sunderland away tickets if you were unsuccessful
in getting these!
THIS WEEK'S FIVE TALKING POINTS
BY EXWHUEMPLOYEE ON 2 APRIL 2017 AT 10:25PM
by Steve Claydon @trbeat
1) Players playing scared
The fact that we scored first still does little to hide how scared we are
playing. Going one up did not calm the nerves of the players. There was some
sloppy goalkeeping by Randolph in the first half that nearly gifted Hull an
easy goal. We still do not defend with any authority and that defending
needs to start at the front line and work back by harassing the other team
and making life difficult for them. Carroll has been excellent helping out,
but he is the one shining example of doing all he can to aid the cause. It
would be easy to say we missed Obiang in the middle but I was very
disappointed with Kouyate. Finally playing in his preferred position, I
wanted to see him boss the game, something he did not. Our play reminds me
of the games we played before going to Palace and nicking a win. In that
Palace game, while we rode our luck, we played as a team and looked fairly
solid. Somehow Bilic needs to get that mentality back into this team. During
the offseason Bilic needs to swallow his pride, assuming he is still our
Manager (See point later on), and hire the best man to do that defensive
coaching job. Both seasons under Bilic we have never been great at defending
the only difference is last year we could score goals with ease, that is not
the case this year.
2) Run, Run and Support the Man
Watching our build up play reminds me of my days playing Subutteo when there
was only one or two figures or players doing anything at one time. Too many
times Lanzini was picking the ball up deep and given limited options to
continue to move forward and was left with trying to do it all. The full
backs were poor moving forward up the wings supporting or offering options
and Ayew and Snodgrass don't look on the same page as everyone else. More
movement is needed to open up teams, stretch them and allow our skill
players to get more involved and do what they are good at
3) Plan A, B, C and D
Who fears out strike force? When teams neutralised Carroll, we have nothing
to plan out attack around. So let's change the formation, maybe play two up
Remember the day Allardyce played a false nine and we ended up beating
Spurs, or go back just over a year when Bilic played Oxford in front of the
back four and Ozil was negated. My point is that we need to think outside of
the box, switch our game plans up, to come away with wins or stem this
barrage of defeats.
4) Let the battle begin
Make no mistakes we are in a relegation battle. Listening to Ex the other
day on the radio he mentioned that one team makes a dramatic drop and gets
sucked into the battle, this year that is going to be us. Palace will
overtake us when they win their game in hand, Burnley is more resolute and
stout, and that leaves Sunderland, Middlesborough, Hull, Swansea, and us
contesting those three spots. Sunderland and Middlesborough are gone. Are we
saying that we are too good to go down – We just lost to Hull 2-1.
5) Bilic Sacked
If this had been yesterday, it may or may not have been an April Fool joke.
Hours ago the board came out and said they were 100% behind Bilic. A month
or so ago the Leicester board stated that they were 100% behind Ranieri –
two days later he was fired. I love Bilic, but no man is bigger than what we
need to achieve safety, harmony and improvement. I'm not sure sacking him
now would change much with regards to the results, what I will say I that
eight games into next season if we are still in this same position then he
goes. Don't wait until January saying he needs time; he's had the whole of
this year. Allow that new manager to evaluate the players and figure our the
game plan for January. To be clear, I love Bilic, and I am not convinced
there are that many great options out there.
See you Wednesday. #COYI.
ONE TO WATCH – WYLAN CYPRIEN
BY BRIAN KNOX ON 3 APRIL 2017 AT 6:41PM
Age: 22 years
Height: 5 ft 11 in
Positions : Central Mid/Attacking Midfielder
Current Team: Nice
Born in Les Abymes , Guadeloupe , Wylan progressed through the youth ranks
of Lens football club.
He then made over 100 appearances before signing for Nice in July 2016.
He has made waves for Nice in the French Ligue 1 contributing massively to
their very high standing.
Currently 3rd place at the time of writing.
Wylan has been regular in the France national youth teams.
Style of play
Cyprien is a player who I think is fantastic to watch and he is very
effective in driving forward with the ball , exploiting space.
He handles the physical side of the game well, strong enough to fight it out
in the Prem, protects the ball very well.
He will knock the ball past players and out pace them , he uses his
athleticism very well.
He has fantastic long shots with good accuracy, you can't give him too much
space because he will 9 times out of 10 hit the target with his rocket of a
His free-kicks are very good, from far or short range, he has good accuracy.
In counter attack moves this is where Wylan really thrives in open play.
He is very useful at breaking through teams, dangerous when opposition teams
are not completely solid at the back with numbers forward.
His vision and passing is strong enough to exploit the gaps left by
oppositions teams, making that final pass or getting on the end of a pass
He is a Box to Box midfielder who can start from deep positions and all of a
sudden be right in the final third in a flash.
Hard too contain and a real danger.
Certainly a player who I would love to see at West Ham in the summer.
I think in the current West Ham side we lack pace and players in general who
are a real threat with the ball other than Lanzini.
Wylan would be a great addition and make us a far more dangerous side.
Written by Richard Jones – via twitter @emagehtjr
STRENGTHS : Passing – Set Pieces – Long shots – Pace – Agility – Technique –
WEAKNESSES : Defensive contribution
SLAVEN BILIC – HEAD OVER HEART BY DAVE WALKER FROM SDCC
BY EXWHUEMPLOYEE ON 3 APRIL 2017 AT 8:37PM
A lot of people will not like what I`m about to say but I`m going to say it
because it`s my opinion and one that I am entitled to. I love Slaven Bilic,
I think he`s a nice fella, he`s passionate about this club, he is good with
the fans and he was part of a memorable season at the Boleyn last year BUT
he is not the future of West Ham United. From the fans perspective, most of
us were prepared to leave the Boleyn Ground on the condition that this club
would be taken to the next level and whilst I accept that the first season
at the London Stadium was going to be difficult, the Payet situation
challenging and the list of injuries frustrating, I look at Slaven`s
all-round ability to manage and I don't see a top class manager there and
that`s what I want for my football club, a top class Manager. To be
specific, this is why I think we should part company with Slaven at the end
of the season or after the Swansea game should we lose or draw.
Firstly, I don`t trust Slav`s ability to judge a player. A lot of people
believe that the board are responsible for bringing players to the club but
categorically, Slav has the final say on all signings so ultimately the
decision is his. The two transfer windows this season has been a disaster.
Feghouli, Nordveit, Calleri, Tore, Zaza and Fletcher top the list of piss
poor signings who are just not good enough for the Premier League. I see
alot of people say "I feel sorry for Slav, the board just haven`t backed in
the transfer market". This is bollocks. The board were prepared to pay over
£40m for Lacazette but he didn`t want to come, the board were prepared to
pay £32m for Batshuyai but Slaven took so long deciding on whether he wanted
him that Chelsea came in so we lost him. Bilic wanted Ayew so the board
bought him for a club record fee, he wanted Snodgrass and Font for £18m so
the board gave it to him. Let`s be clear on this, the board will pay the
right money for the right player but £14m for Gokhan Tore (which is what
Bilic wanted to buy him for) was not the right player, so the board took him
on loan instead and thank god they did.
Secondly, he is not getting the best out of his current squad of players.
Look at our starting eleven? When fully fit, on paper that is a top eight
side all day long, yet we now sit in 14th place just six points away from
the relegation zone and the really worrying thing is that in my opinion 14th
flatters us! The only reason we are not in the bottom three as it stands is
because apart from just four games this season (Palace (H), Swansea (A),
Southampton (A), MIddlesborough (A), we have been poor but fortunately still
managed to nick a win from other sides that have been just as poor
(Sunderland 1-0, Burnley 1-0, Bournemouth 1-0, Hull 1-0 for example). All I
hear from people is how much the players like Slav? If that`s the case, why
don`t they fucking play for him then?! One theory, and this has been
confirmed by various sources including two players publicly, is that
training is like a holiday camp at Rush Green. By all accounts there is no
intensity with his sessions, not enough individual player focus, nothing
impressive tactically and it`s so relaxed to a point where Slav even brings
his dog with him in the mornings!! Now if this is the case, how mentally and
physically prepared are the players going into a game on a Saturday? I see
these players week in week out and they look like they just don`t care and
I`m sorry, pre match preparation and player motivation is the Managers job.
Thirdly, I have to question his tactical ability. Why he persisted in
playing Antonio, at times our top goalscorer and biggest threat going
forward as a right back I`ll never know. Then, having finally admitted
defeat with that, this season he then does exactly the same thing with
Kouyate, one of our best midfielders. Again this decision has cost us points
and he made this choice over an established right back in Sam Byram, god
only knows what this would`ve done to his confidence. Slav made these
choices over going to the market and making this position a priority. Slav
also has no plan B. If we are getting beaten he seems to be out of ideas.
Take Hull on Saturday as a prime example. I was there and when Hull were 1-0
down Marco Silva moved to a 4-2-4 formation and it changed everything, they
won the game. What did Slav do when we were losing? He turned to Jonathon
Calleri for the answer who is about as useful as a pair of sunglasses to a
bloke with one ear!
Fourthly, how can a man who had a successful career as a Defender concede so
many goals? He turned down the offer from Rio Ferdinand to be a defensive
coach and I can`t help but think he made the wrong choice there because the
players obviously need some direction on that training pitch. I also
struggle to understand the role that Julian Dicks plays at the club? like
all fans, I adore Julian but his daughter, Jessica Dicks has confirmed that
he is not a defensive coach so what does he actually do? I`m starting to
feel the the coaching staff is seriously lacking structure which again at
this level just isn`t good enough.
Finally, I don`t know if Slaven has somehow used a Jedi mind trick on the
fans at West Ham but Sam Allardyce used to get absolutely slaughtered for
his "style of play" yet as a season ticket holder let me tell you that what
I have seen this season is no better than what I saw under Allardyce. In my
opinion, in the entire season so far we have played JUST 45 minutes of
quality, dominating football at home and that was in the second half against
Crystal Palace. Every other Premier League home game has been painful to
watch! How can the fans call for John Lyalls sacking after finishing third
but think Slaven is the best thing since Pornhub? I remember when West Ham
got booed off the pitch after beating Hull under Allardyce, yet we get
absolutely battered at home by Hull this season, incredibly manage to get a
1-0 win with the goal post being man of the match and the fans celebrate
like we have won the Champions league?! I just don`t get it? Why does
everyone think Slaven walks on water? Yes last season was a great season
filled with some excellent memories but it`s not as if we won the league?
Last season still came with its disappointments? We were embarrassed in
Europe like we was again this season, we lost at home in the FA Cup Qtr
final to an out of form Man Utd which if we would`ve won, we would've
unquestionably have gone on to win the competition and then we fizzled out
towards the end of the season which cost us a chance of a top 4/5 finish.
Like I say, I love Slav as a man and I`m not saying he is a bad manager, I
am saying that I don`t think he is a great Manager and a great Manager is
what I expect for my football club these days. Unlike other fans, mediocracy
isn`t good enough for me and in my honest opinion, people that want Bilic in
charge at West Ham for the long term are thinking with their hearts, not
their heads. Of course, I would love him to prove me wrong, honestly I would
but I just don`t think he will.
Do I think the board are blameless for the season we`ve had so far? No, of
course I don`t. Do I think the players are blameless? No, of course I don`t
but unfortunately this is a results based business and the buck has to stop
with the manager. Look at Leicester, they won the league last year but
parted company with Ranieri and since doing so have gained four straight
wins and a ticket to the Champions League Qtr Final. Chelsea were mid table
when they parted company with one of the greatest Managers the game has ever
seen, since doing so they are now on course to walk away with the Premier
League Title. Palace have won four straight games under Allardyce now, a
change in Manager was what they needed too and they are seeing the benefits.
Swansea are a better side after appointing Paul Clement. I`m sorry, I love
Slav but I love West Ham United more.
I understand that I represent the minority with this opinion but the game is
about opinions and this is mine.
(Sex, Drugs & Carlton Cole)
An empty feeling
Filed: Saturday, 1st April 2017
By: Gary Steer
Are David Gold and David Sullivan really West Ham fans?
Before I begin writing this article I just want to say that West Ham fans
are brilliant! I am not too sure about the two above though. Are they really
interested in what the fans want? I know football is a business (blah blah
blah) and these two guys are businessmen, but they are not turning out to be
good football club owners.
I have written previous articles elsewhere and been slated for having an
opinion, but we are all entitled to have a say. I listen to TalkSport and
like most people I believe Jason Cundy doesn't speak too much sense! But the
other night he said "Bilic should walk" - and I totally agree with him on
Slaven has been treated abysmally by the Board, but why should anyone be
surprised? What a pile of crap they recruited in the summer! There's no
point moaning at the players. If another company offered you better money to
do a job you knew you weren't good enough for would you still take the job?
You cannot blame Bilic because his hands were tied. There is no way on earth
he would've wanted the likes of Sofiane Feghouli and Havard Nortvedt - and
building a team around Andy Carroll again is suicidal! The owners must be
able to see he's a liability. Yes, great on his day but injured every other
month - yet they continue to make him the focal point!
I believe the club is in complete disarray. I'm not surprised Dimitri Payet
left, he is far too good a player and he was poorly let down. Had they gone
out and spent £50-60million on new players to compliment him then we may
have seen a different story.
I'm sick of even looking at that stadium, I absolutely hate it. Designed
with a pitch 50 feet away from the pitch! Mark Noble has suffered becoming
so exposed on such a huge surface and he is so often the scapegoat. It's
hardly ever full, so what's the point of attempting to increase the capacity
when you can't even fill it as it is?!
The owners have spent too much of the last year talking nonsense. The
digital wrap to go right around the stadium and the promise of top four
football? Come on, seriously, who are you trying to fool!? No player with
any ounce of self respect would want to join such an amateur circus!
The manager should've been backed last summer with the £30million striker he
was promised. I know fans will say "oh we did try but nobody wants to go
there", but did they really try that hard? I don't believe they did. They
are so tight with the cash it's unbelievable. They are duplicitous and
always trying to cut corners, whilst the fans are treated like dirt and fed
lie after lie. I refuse now to be part of it.
"Well you're not a real fan!" I hear you groan. And I should stick with my
team through thick and thin. Well, for all these new fans who have become
keyboard warriors slating the team during a match and then waxing lyrical
about the same player ten minutes later, I have attended games for 30+
years, often involving 12-hour round trips.
So before anyone moans, I used to be one of the most loyal fans you could
ever meet. And like most Hammers, it is was as much a joy watching them play
as it was to stand in that fiery atmosphere.
I had heroes whilst growing up: Paolo Di Canio, Frank Lampard Jnr and Joe
Cole. Even though the latter two are roughly my age I loved them and
idolised them. However, I look around now and see very little that inspires
I'm not going to waffle on about how hard life can be - we have all had our
bad times - but when you experience life-changing traumas it makes you
realise that many footballers are simply pampered, overpriced and overpaid
Many are not heroes, some are clueless about life whilst others don't
possess an ounce of resolve. They don't even have to think for themselves. I
do not get excited or breathless about the thought of watching West Ham
players running out onto a pitch anymore.
In fact, you could offer me a free season ticket and I would happily sell
it. (Like a lot of 'fans' selling their final Upton Park match ticket -
So enough is enough and I have voted with my feet. I'm no longer going to
attend games, purchase merchandise and continue to increase the owners' bank
balances and egos. I asked myself "why do I even bother?" on hundreds of
occasions. If something isn't right change it, don't moan!
For five years (from 2011-2015) I was an official partner of the club
(merchandise-related). In that time I was always paid late, my emails were
never replied to until I'd sent 10 and called 10 times more! It used to be a
family club where you could pick up the phone and call, but now you sit on a
premium rate phone line where half the time you don't get through and get
charged £40 for the joy of it!
The unprofessionalism is unbelievable. You have David Gold attempting to
justify the Board's decisions on Twitter and David Sullivan spouting off to
the media. Why would a club be like this and why would you want to join it
as a player or manager?
I wasn't a big fan of Big Sam but he was treated like crap, Zola too.
They're continuing the trend now with Bilic. (The less said about Avram
Grant the better.) The board potentially could've got Martin O'Neill back
then, but as usual their big mouths got in the way!
The fans are fantastic, but my previous 'love' for West Ham United has just
died. I understand fans will say I'm this and that but I refuse to be part
of this anymore.
I used to hear people say "I love West Ham, even though I don't support
them". You just don't hear this anymore because they've just become a
laughing stock in nearly every single department. Other fans and teams have
no respect for the club. It is a below average club with world-class fans,
although these fans are always sold down the river.
I have been blinkered for so so many years but the club are light years
behind and the new stadium will not catapult them into the top four. Some
fans slate me for being honest, but you can't help the way you feel. Some
people can accept being kept in the dark and live a lie.
West Ham United FC died and became history when the club left Upton Park.
It's now a soulless, commercial enterprise and although I still look out for
results and want to see them do well, sadly I'm no longer a die-hard fan.
Vote of confidence for Bilic
Filed: Monday, 3rd April 2017
By: Staff Writer
West Ham's Board have given Slaven Bilic the dreaded 'vote of confidence'.
In a statement published on Monday morning, the club declared that Bilic's
position is not under threat, despite a slew or stories appearing in the
media in recent weeks suggesting as such.
"To end speculation once and for all, the West Ham United Board feel it
necessary to announce that we have 100 per cent faith in Slaven Bilic's
ability to lead West Ham United," it read.
"Despite press speculation to the contrary, the manager's position is not
under threat. The Board know that Slaven and his coaching staff have the
full backing of the playing squad and the overwhelming majority of
supporters to lead West Ham United out of this difficult spell. "The Board
now urge all supporters to unite behind the manager, his staff and the squad
as we go into some important games. We all have complete confidence in their
ability to end a testing run of results and finish the season on a high."
The Board's statement comes in the wake of a KUMB poll on Bilic, in which 80
per cent of those pollled voted to retain Bilic's services. You may see the
results of that on the KUMB Forum.
Jose Fonte says players to blame for West Ham's recent struggles, not Slaven
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 03/04/17 4:02pm
Jose Fonte insists West Ham's players and not manager Slaven Bilic should
shoulder the majority of the blame for the club's recent poor performances.
The Hammers suffered their fourth consecutive Premier League defeat on
Saturday as Hull City came from behind to snatch a 2-1 victory at the KCOM
Stadium. The result leaves West Ham without a win since February 4 and the
club's board were forced to issue a statement on Sunday backing Bilic. And
Fonte says it is time for the players to take responsibility for
underperforming. "We are all behind him obviously," Fonte told Sky Sports
News HQ. "[We have to take] the majority of the blame. We have to take
responsibility ourselves. "The players are the ones on the pitch, so we have
got to come up with the goods and help not only the manager but ourselves
and make the fans proud. "It is up to us to work hard together as one and
move on from this situation".
The 33-year-old defender has only been at the club since January, when he
completed an £8m move from Southampton, and he admits he is yet to find his
best form. "I haven't been as good as I perhaps was before but I am working
to get there," Fonte said. "Nothing is guaranteed in this league."
Saturday saw West Ham fall to 14th in the table - six points clear of the
relegation zone - and knows it is imperative for West Ham to halt their
slide quickly. "A couple of wins will get you safe or three wins but if you
don't win the next two or three games you are in a dogfight," Fonte said.
"We are aware of the situation of course. We are not happy with where we are
and we are not happy with what has been happening. "We have to change that
and to start we have a big game against Arsenal on Wednesday and we have to
get something out of that."
Dean Ashton tells talkSPORT: West Ham board RIGHT to come out and support
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic
By talkSPORT - @talkSPORT
Monday, April 3, 2017
Dean Ashton has backed West Ham's public support for boss Slaven Bilic. The
club released a statement following the 2-1 defeat at Hull on Saturday,
insisting Bilic's position is 'not under threat'. The Croatian has found
himself under pressure, with the Hammers sitting just six points above the
relegation places having lost their last four Premier League matches. Former
West Ham striker Ashton, asked to explain their poor form this season on
talkSPORT, said: "It is the recruitment. "At the weekend they lose [Michail]
Antonio - one of their better players - and it shows. When they lose one or
two, they just cannot cope. "For them [the West Ham board] to come out and
say that about Slaven, that was the right thing to do."
Jurcevic speaks to Croatian media about player attitude at West Ham, and
By Sport Witness Team - 3rd April 2017
Nikola Jurcevic's future at West Ham is very much linked to that of manager
Slaven Bilic. The two come as a pair and if Bilic is pushed out of West Ham
this summer then it's almost certain Jurcevic will be going with him.
West Ham's vote of confidence hasn't provided an awful lot of comfort, given
how many clubs have gone back on them previously, but Jurcevic sounds
hopeful about the future.
West Ham lost 2-1 to Hull City on Saturday, and speaking to Croatian
newspaper Vecernji List after training on Sunday, Jurcevic insisted the
attitude of the players is right and they back Bilic: "When you lose four
games in a row, the situation cannot be pleasant. However, as the attitude
of the club's leadership for us has always been a very good one, they came
out and made the statement. Their support means a lot to us, as well as the
realisation that the atmosphere in the team is not undermined. Slaven and I
feel that the players are firmly with us."
It's been a difficult season for West Ham, the move to the London Stadium
hasn't been completely successful and Dimitri Payet forcing a move to
Marseille caused more uncertainty.
Asked if losing Payet was a big reason behind West Ham's current woes,
Jurcevic disagreed: "No, because without Payet we beat Crystal Palace,
Middlesbrough and Southampton. I would say we have responded really well
without him and this crisis has nothing to do with Payet."
West Ham face Arsenal at the Emirates on Wednesday, and are currently six
points clear of the relegation zone in 14th place. Such is the closeness of
mid table, West Ham are also only three points behind Stoke City in 9th.
Ghana international Andre Ayew returns to training hoping to put recent
set-backs behind him
Published on: 03 April 2017
Ghana international Andre Ayew's smile was bright when he returned to
training at the Rush Green complex ahead of their away game against Arsenal
in mid-week. The Ghanaian was toothless in their 2-1 defeat at the hands
Hull City with their manager's future up in the air. It does not get easy
with a trip to the emirates on the cards against a desperate Arsenal side
who are without a win in their last four games. Manager Slaven Bilic has
been given the dreaded vote of confidence but his situation will be almost
unattainable if they fail to pick a point at the Emirates. Ayew's smile
should be the light in a camp that is without any positive.
West Ham fan jailed for breaching football banning order after just eight
PUBLISHED: 15:19 03 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:19 03 April 2017 Sophie Morton
A West Ham fan who breached his football banning order after just eight days
has been jailed. Tony Hackett, of Hillview Road, Nottingham, was handed a 28
day sentence at Blackfriars Crown Court on Friday. The court heard how he
was spotted in a Middlesbrough hotel bar on January 21, the day of the
Hammers' 3-1 win over Boro. His five year banning order, which he had been
given on January 13, stipulated that he could not travel to towns and cities
on the day that West Ham were playing there. The 57-year-old was
subsequently arrested and charged by Cleveland Police before appearing in
court in London. Hackett's banning order had been imposed after he was found
to be involved in violence that broke out outside the White Swan pub in
Upper Street, Islington, following West Ham's match at Arsenal on August 9,
2015. Missiles and objects including bottles, tables and chairs were thrown
between the two sets of fans. PC Andy Sheldon, from the Met's Football Unit,
said: "This sentence demonstrates that football banning orders really do
'have teeth.' "Hackett believed he was above the law but he was quickly
caught out and now must serve a custodial sentence where he can reflect on
You really have to be Mad to be a manager... a few bad results and your halo
quickly drops to become a noose
I hope Slaven Bilic is given time to turn things around at my old club West
Burnley defender Michael Keane is going to be a top player and England
Jermain Defoe fully deserved his first start at international level in four
England are ready to progress under Gareth Southagte and finally do us proud
By Martin Allen for the Daily Mail
PUBLISHED: 15:22, 3 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:22, 3 April 2017
Martin 'Mad Dog' Allen returns with his latest column for Sportsmail. This
month he discusses his old club West Ham, getting back into management and
signs of promise for England under Gareth Southgate.
FROM HALOS TO NOOSES
It's that horrible time of year for managers when results aren't going well.
The team are sliding down the table and with the power of social media and
online forums, the fans all believe changing the manager is the best thing
to do. A year later, they're all saying exactly the same… about the new man
in charge. Most managers get decent results when they've got decent players
and no injuries. When things are going well, all of the supporters regard
their managers as heroes with halos. A few weeks later the results go down
hill and the halo drops pretty quickly into a noose and they want him
replaced. Record numbers of managers have been sacked this season. Thank God
for the LMA, who look after and support managers when they're not working
and fight for the managers when clubs do their utmost to get out of what is
supposed to be paid. You really do have to be Mad, to be a manager.
BILIC DESERVES BETTER
My old club West Ham, for example, have found results recently very
difficult to come by and now further speculation hangs over their top class
manager Slaven Bilic. Injuries to key players, no matter who the manager is,
affects results. Until he gets his full squad together, with some
additional key signings in the summer, it is going to be hard for the club
to pick up points. The transition to that new stadium has most definitely
not helped with supporters being so far away from the action and it will
take time to build the positive energy from the West Ham faithful to create
an atmosphere to match the dynamics of Upton Park. I hope Bilic is given the
West Ham teenager Reece Oxford COULD be in line for his first Reading start
The teenager has yet to start since joining the club in January
14:19, 3 APR 2017
It's taken a long time but Reece Oxford might finally make his first start
for his loan side Reading in their Championship clash with Blackburn at the
Madjeski Stadum on Tuesday night, football.london understands. The
18-year-old joined the Royals on loan for the rest of the season in January
but has had to be patient as manager Jaap Stam has chosen to use the
18-year-old as injury cover instead of first team regular. But, following
Reading's 1-0 win over Leeds United at the weekend, they picked up a few
injuries with doubts heading into Tuesday night over defenders Joey Van den
Berg, Paul McShane and Jordan Obita, Oxford's number could be called for a
starting spot. Former Liverpool Tiago Illori returned to training for
Reading last week but is unlikely to be thrown straight back into the
starting line up by Stam. The defensive re-shuffle would see Liam Moore at
centre half, with Tyler Blackett replacing Obita at left back, meaning a
spot for Oxford. The West Ham man got 20 minutes off the bench for the
Royals on Saturday and was involved in one of the main talking points of the
game when Oxford was apparently stamped on by Leeds' Liam Cooper.
Slaven Bilic set for a clash with the West Ham board over his coaching staff
Slaven Bilic could be heading for a clash with the West Ham hierarchy over
his coaching staff. The under-pressure manager has been given a vote of
confidence despite Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Hull — their fourth successive
loss — but the board feel he needs to freshen up his coaching staff.
Managers, though, are reluctant to make changes to their staff and the
Croatian is unlikely to agree to such a request. The team of coaches
comprises assistant manager Nikola Jurcevic, 50, a former Croatia
international who was part of Bilic's team in his previous posts at both
Lokomotiv Moscow and Besiktas, and first-team coach Edin Terzic, the
34-year-old former coach at Borussia Dortmund and also Besiktas. Bilic's
fitness coach is 69-year-old Miljenko Rak, who was part of the manager's
staff during his time coaching Croatia. Rak, a former long jumper, has also
coached the Croatia national handball team and Olympic gold medal skier
Janica Kostelic. Completing the team are former West Ham favourite Julian
Dicks and goalkeeping coach Chris Woods.
Should West Ham, Everton and Newcastle move for France star Olivier Giroud
after striker's admission
West Ham United, Everton and Newcastle United will need proven firepower
next season for different reasons and the answer could come from Arsenal.
The Hammers failed to deliver the big name, marquee striker signing
co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold promised fans last summer. Slaven
Bilic's side have suffered as a result with an over reliance on injury-prone
Andy Carroll who has once again spent as much time in the treatment room as
he has on the pitch this season. Strikers - and a proven Premier League
goalscorer - will be top of West Ham's priority list this summer. That could
be the case for Everton too who look likely to lose ambitious star Romelu
Ronald Koeman will want a player who has proved he can operate at the
highest level as will Rafa Benitez when - as looks increasingly likely - he
makes his return to the top flight with his Championship-leading Magpies.
Newcastle may have blasted away most of the sides in the second division,
but Benitez knows better than anyone that more quality is a necessity in the
Premier League. So could all three lock horns in a bid to bring just that
striker to the club this summer in the shape of France and Gunners forward
Olivier Giroud. That's after the experienced star spoke out about his lack
of game time under Arsene Wenger in an interview with Canal Plus. "It is
true that I am seeking more playing time with my club and that I need to
play matches consistently in order to feel good," Giroud told Canal Plus. "I
am working a lot to win back a starting spot, but the coach has several
options. So I am not more preoccupied by the situation than that, I have
always known to work with humility and I am confident about the future."
With it being a World Cup year Giroud will be under no illusions that he
must be playing regularly to have a chance of going to Russia next summer.
He has been demoted to a substitute role at the Emirates this season but
showed with his recent brace in World Cup qualifying for France that he
still has plenty to offer. Danny Welbeck was preferred up front for the 2-2
draw with Manchester City last time out and Arsenal fans have been vocal in
their criticism of Giroud during his time in North London. A decent bid from
an attractive club like the Hammers, Toffees or Magpies could prove the best
solution for all parties. And given the fact West Ham are in London, that
could give them the edge if Giroud does not want a big upheaval.
West Ham linked with £30m deal for Arsenal's Jack Wilshere and fresh loan
move for Chelsea's Michy Batshuayi
West Ham have been linked with a £30million summer move for Arsenal
midfielder Jack Wilshere. The club could, though, face a battle with
Bournemouth for the midfielder following his season-long loan on the south
coast. West Ham are also likely to ask Chelsea about a loan deal for Belgium
Michy Batshuayi, who has struggled to get a game for the Premier League
leaders. Some good news for the Hammers is the fact they could have Michail
Antonio back for Wednesday's derby at Arsenal. Antonio strained a hamstring
against Leicester two weeks ago but is back in full training and is likely
to return. Diafra Sakho, who has been out since November with a back problem
which required surgery, is also nearing a return. Andy Carroll, who was made
captain against Hull and scored his 50th Premier League goal, said: "It was
great to have the armband but at the end of the day it means nothing if you
don't get the results."
West Ham Twitter: Hammers fans angered after Leeds United's Liam Cooper
stamps on Reece Oxford
By Essex Chronicle | Posted: April 03, 2017
By Tommy Wathen
Football fans have been tweeting their anger about the weekend's match - but
not the one involving Slaven Bilic's side. At the Madejski Stadium in
Reading on Saturday [April 1], on-loan Hammers defender Reece Oxford
suffered a nasty injury at the hands - or should I say feet - of visiting
Leeds United defender Liam Cooper. Luckily for Jaap Stam's side, they still
came out on top in the match, winning 1-0 thanks to Yann Kermorgant's first
half goal. West Ham fans have been sharing a video of the other major event
in the match though, when Reading loanee Oxford fell to the floor and had
his head stamped on by Cooper. Speaking to Get Reading after the game about
the incident, manager Stam refused to get drawn into commenting on whether
Cooper intended to stamp on Oxford or not. "I didn't see it myself but Reece
is not the type of person who goes down and stays down. "I've heard from
other people who have seen it he made a move to touch him - I don't know if
he did it on purpose. "But sometimes certain moments - especially towards
the end of the game - can create certain things with some players which make
them react in a different manner. "I don't like to speak about players who
Whilst searching through social media, Hammers fans are clearly angered at
the treatment that their Academy graduate received over the weekend.
Arsenal legend Ray Parlour champions possible move to West Ham for Jack
Wilshere as a "great deal"
Wilshere has a year to run on his deal with Arsenal
09:54, 3 APR 2017
Arsenal legend Ray Parlour says a move to West Ham could work wonders for
Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere as he looks to regain a spot in the England
squad. Wilshere's Arsenal career has been wrecked by injuries but his talent
has never been in question - when he's been fit for a long periods but that
has been scarce. Wilshere has suffered a staggering 21 injuries since the
start of 2010 but the 24-year-old has had a relatively clean bill of health
while on loan at Bournemouth this season. He has got just a year left on his
contract at the Emirates. Speaking on TalkSport on Monday morning, Parlour
said that a club like West Ham could "nick" a player like him for £10-£15m,
coming off the back of reports on Sunday that the Hammers were keen on a
£30m switch.Parlour said: "I know he's not playing at the moment, but I
think a lot of clubs would be very interested in him [Wilshere]. The most
important thing was to stay fit and he's done that. He's had a few niggles
but every player gets them but he's stayed away from long term injureis. "I
think West Ham have been mentioned, his dad is a big a West Ham fan , that
might be a move. Their midfield does need a little bit of stregnthening.
"Bournemouth will be interested too as I am sure he's been great for the
dressing room. He wants to get back in the England squad so he needs to play
on a regular basis. whether he gets it at Arsenal , I don't know. "He's got
a year left, so he'll be cheaper than if he has three years left on his deal
so maybe a club can nick him for £10m to £15m, he's got to be worth that.
"He's probably on £80,000 a week so you have to match that but if you can
get him and keep him fit, in this market it's a great deal for a club to get
5 stats which show why West Ham should ditch Bilic
by Scott Johnson7 minutes ago
It's not looking good for Slaven Bilic and West Ham. Poor results and now
the dreaded vote of confidence. Should he stay?
West Ham fans are currently split on this question, with many views being
put forward. Some feel his last season with us should buy him more time.
Others point at the turn around that Leicester have seen since Ranieri's
sacking as a reason he should go. All of them have some weight.
For me the balance has started to tip in favour of letting him go. Recent
matches and comments have concerned me and I think there are a number of
reasons. I think the club board will have a few tough decisions coming up.
Especially if they look at these stats:
It's no surprise to most fans that the side are currently in joint third
place for most goals conceded. This season has been one of the leakiest I
can remember, despite a number of 1-0 wins. The team are continuously undone
by their own errors and can't seem to defend anything down the wings on
through the middle. The fact that the right hand side has been so leaky
probably stems from playing players out of position there.
WhoScored list defending against attack on the wings, defending against
through balls and defending against skillfull players as weaknesses on the
team profile. What other ways are there to be bad at defending? I suppose
set pieces isn't there, but in recent weeks it would be. The defence just
seems to be set up poorly.
Slaven Bilic reportedly oversees the defensive strategy and tactics himself,
so he is to blame. And whilst we must adjust for players not playing well,
it is not entirely their fault. Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis consistently
concede fewer goals with worse defences than ours.
Bilic must stop the side leaking goals and fast. Its not a usual occurrence
where a tight defensive side gets relegated.
Usually I wouldn't be concerned about discipline, because a high number of
cards usually correlates to a strong defence. However when players are
picking up suspensions for no reason then it becomes an issue.
West Ham currently have the joint most red cards on four, and the second
most yellow cards. When these cards are shared around the entire team it's
not a huge issue. However it is the main players that are seeing more than
their fair share.
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Reid, Obiang, Noble and Lanzini are the 4 Hammers who are currently on 5 or
more yellow cards. Arguably the most influential player not included there
is Antonio, who has four. Cresswell, Antonio and Reid also have red cards to
their names. The side cannot be expected to function when their best players
are missing so many games.
And as I said, this wouldn't be as much of an issue if goals weren't being
conceded all over the place. However Bilic has a team set up which doesn't
allow the defence to hold a team at bay fairly or effectively. This has to
It's a problem that's plagued the side since Bilic took over, but the team
are still wasting chances. And I feel this has as much to do with the style
of play as it does the players.
teams in the Premier League. It's only because we rank 8th in number of
shots that we're actually doing well. However for me the ratio of shots
inside area to outside show where the side are going wrong.
The Hammers have the second highest ratio of shots taken outside the area to
in the area. Given that we have one of the highest number of goals scored
from headers in the league, it shows that the side are not working the ball
into the box on the ground very often at all.
It highlights what most fans would tell you is happening constantly. First
we try to pass it around, but it's so slow that the team can't get through.
As such, the side get frustrated. Usually it ends up with a shot being taken
from long range, or the ball gets pumped into the middle without much
thought or care.
Spurs are the side with a higher ratio, but when they have a multitude of
players who can score from long range that makes sense. They also create a
lot more chances than us, so can afford to be more speculative with their
Most points lost from winning positions
If I'm being honest, this stat alone should worry the board. It is a clear
indication that the winning mentality is not there and goals are being
Twenty points. That's ridiculous. Given a quick crude analysis, as in not
taking into account who those dropped points benefitted, just taking 10 of
those points would put us a point behind 8th placed West Brom. Ironically,
West Brom were one of the sides who did benefit from us throwing away a
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This should show everyone that the team capable of winning matches is there.
However it really isn't being gelled and structured correctly. It's a
similar phenomenon to what is happening at Arsenal, where all the skills
seem to be there but the mentality is not.
This is deep rooted within the Hammers' psyche and with Slaven Bilic at the
helm it's hard to shake that off. The easiest way to change this mindset is
to get a new manager in.
Bilic's Inability to See these Stats
However the biggest issue, in my opinion, is that Bilic can't seem to grasp
the concept behind these stats. Most of these stats point to a leaky
defensive line being the issue. However all he has talked about is adding
Whilst goals do win matches, the fewer you let in the easier the whole game
is. And the fewer winning positions you let slip. That fact that the side
get in those positions is sign enough that the team is strong enough to
succeed. However management at the top can be seen to be lacking here.
West Ham have to be careful. Whilst there is still a place in football for
loyalty, there is no point sacrificing Premier League status because of it.
Bilic is walking a very fine line right now, and the board must be swift to
act if it doesn't improve.
I know this season was always going to be tough given the stadium move and
the Payet saga. That should be taken into account. But given his blatant
disregard to accept what is happening around him Bilic is very close to
being in an untenable position. I hope I'm proved wrong, but I think Slaven
Bilic needs to go.
Leeds defender accused of stamp by Reading loanee Oxford
by GRAHAM SMEATON on APR 2, 2017 0
The Reading vs Leeds United game at the Madejski Stadium was always going to
be a tasty affair with both teams neck-and-neck at the top of the table and
Yann Kermorgant's 'no plan B' rhetoric. But the talking point was elsewhere
Kermorgant, as one Leeds United fan pointed out on Twitter, was right about
Leeds not having a 'plan B' yesterday against Reading, pointing out that
they didn't have a 'plan A' either. This lack of cohesion and forethought
left the Whites floundering at times, and they were royally beaten thanks to
Kermorgant's powerful first-half strike.
However, the game will be remembered less for the 1-0 scoreline that saw
home side Reading leap-frog visitors Leeds in the table and more for the
following incident – a 'stamp' by Leeds defender Liam Cooper on Reading's
Reece Oxford, who is on loan from West Ham.
Talk Reading @TalkReading
Hope Cooper gets a long, long ban for this. He's meant that. Disgraceful.
#readingfc #lufc [??: @rfctom]
8:26 PM - 1 Apr 2017
350 350 Retweets 385 385 likes
Whilst fans of both sides dispute the intention behind Cooper's actions,
Reece Oxford himself commented, his views on the matter mentioned in local
newspaper the Reading Chronicle. The on-loan West Ham youngster said of
Cooper's actions: "I thought it was a stamp. I couldn't see it but it felt
like someone just stood on my head. I didn't see who it was to be fair but
I'm going to go home and watch it to see what happened."
Leeds' Cooper was not punished for the incident by matchday referee Keith
Stroud, although there are calls for it to be retrospectively reviewed in
the manner of the incident between Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic
and Bournemouth's Tyrone Mings, a similar incident to that between
Oxford/Cooper and one that resulted in a five match ban for the Bournemouth
Andy Carroll says West Ham lost more than just three points against Hull
West Ham United are now firmly entrenched in a relegation battle. Hammers
striker Andy Carroll spoke to reporters in the aftermath of his side's
disappointing 2-1 defeat at Hull City yesterday, and highlighted how he and
his teammates failed to get to grips with the Tigers change in formation and
tactics at half-time, as quoted by the club's official website. West Ham now
find themselves in real trouble, with just six points separating themselves
and yesterday's opponents Hull in 18th position, and with so many injuries
to key players, the next few weeks could prove to be extremely difficult for
Slaven Bilic's side. Yesterday's defeat to Marco Silva's men would have been
a bitter pill to swallow, especially considering the fact that they led
going into half-time. And Carroll explained how the Hammers were not quick
enough to react to Hull's change in system when the two teams came out for
the second-half, as quoted by WHUFC.com: "They came out and changed the
formation at half-time. We didn't really get a grip of it and lost our
shape. We could have finished the game off, but didn't. They took advantage
and scored two."
With Arsenal away next up for West Ham on Wednesday night, things certainly
wont get any easier, and with Hull playing host to fellow strugglers
Middlesbrough on the same night, the East London outfit's situation could
look a whole lot worse come Thursday morning.
Do West Ham star's comments highlight a major flaw in club's recruitment
West Ham United have really suffered with injuries to some of their key men
this season. Hammers striker Diafra Sakho spoke to the club's official
website during an exclusive interview, and explained that the back problem
that he has only just recovered from has been an ongoing issue throughout
his career, and admitted that he was aware of the problem way back in the
summer of 2014, when he moved to West Ham from Metz. The Senegal
international is now back in contention for a first-team spot, having missed
the majority of the Hammers' campaign, making just two appearances all
season. The worrying thing for West Ham fans is that it's becoming a common
theme for many of their star players to spend lengthy spells on the
Andy Carroll, Michail Antonio, Manuel Lanzini, Aaron Cresswell, Winston Reid
and Pedro Obiang have all suffered long-term injuries at various points
throughout the course of the season. And Sakho told WHUFC.com how his back
injury wasn't something that came out of the blue:
"When I arrived in England, I had a back problem which has been troubling me
until now. I needed a back operation, but I kept saying no. I did finally
have one in December and now it's much better. I feel I'm ready to play.
I've already asked to play before, but I think the medical team wanted to
protect me, so that I could do a bit more work in the gym and on the
training pitch individually. I have now resumed training with the first team
and want to play in early April."
So are the Hammers not exercising due diligence when signing players? Or are
the training methods at the club not conducive with keeping their players
fit for prolonged periods? History would suggest that it is a little bit of
both. But if West Ham are to truly move forward as a football club, the way
in which they go about their scouting and recruitment process needs to be
seriously addressed this summer.
Bournemouth and West Ham set for summer transfer scrap over Arsenal's Jack
Cherries boss Eddie Howe confirms he wants to make England midfielder's
current loan from the Gunners permanent
22:30, 2 APR 2017
Eddie Howe says he still wants to sign Jack Wilshere from Arsenal in the
summer. Wilshere's prospects of making his current season-long loan at
Howe's Bournemouth permanent appeared in doubt after he lost his starting
place. The England international midfielder has been left out of their
starting line-up for the last four games despite recovering from an ankle
injury. But boss Howe is ready to do battle with West Ham for the
25-year-old, whose Gunners deal expires next summer. "I've always said that
we love Jack and we would love to sign him as a football club, but that
decision will rest with Arsenal, Jack and other people," said Howe. "It's
out of our hands. And he may well see his future as being elsewhere. "He
said when he came that he would totally commit to us for the season and then
in the summer he would sort out his future beyond that."
West Ham given huge boost as striker declares himself fit to return from
long injury lay-off
The striker has been out for four months with a back problem
05:45, 3 APR 2017
Diafra Sakho has given West Ham a major boost by declaring he is ready to
return to first-team action. The 27-year-old's comeback from a four-month
injury layoff due to an operation on a longstanding back problem comes at a
crucial time for the club. The Hammers are now six points away from the
bottom three after yesterday's 2-1 defeat at Hull and the return of the
striker is a timely boost. Sakho has only appeared twice for the club so far
this season but he is now targeting a return with Arsenal and Swansea City
next on the agenda.
Speaking to the club's official website, the striker said: "When I arrived
in England, I had a back problem which has been troubling me until now. "I
needed a back operation, but I kept saying no. I did finally have one in
December and now it's much better. "I feel I'm ready to play. I've already
asked to play before, but I think the medical team wanted to protect me, so
that I could do a bit more work in the gym and on the training pitch
individually. "I have now resumed training with the first team and want to
play in early April."
The striker's injury lay-off has led to him taking up yoga classes as he
bids to prolong his career for as long as possible. Sakho believes his new
fitness regime can only benefit him in the long run. The Senegal
international said: "My body is my work tool now, so I'm trying to work on
everything that is good for my body and who's to say I won't carry on
playing for another 10 or 12 years?"
"After training I used to head straight home, but now I devote more time to
understanding my body and stretching. "I think it's a good thing. I used to
hate it. I didn't want to do it. African players often head straight home
after training and we don't make time to see what our bodies need. "I think
now is a good starting point."
Could West Ham lure Michy Batshuayi's fellow Chelsea outcast Kurt Zouma in
double loan deal
West Ham United's interest in Chelsea outcast Michy Batshuayi is well
documented but could they also snare another Blues star struggling for game
time. Slaven Bilic missed out on permanent deal for Belgian last year but
could now be set to land him in swoop from their West London rivals,
according to the likes of The Sun. Batshuayi is yet to start a single
Premier League game but the Blues are believed to be reluctant to let him
leave on a permanent transfer as they feel he may still develop into a
top-class striker. The Hammers had a £31million bid accepted by Marseille
last summer before Chelsea trumped them with a higher offer. Ironically,
despite a dearth of striking talent in their ranks, scoring goals has been
the least of West Ham's problems this season. Their leaky defence is amongst
the worst in the top flight so could the East Londoners bolster both ends of
the pitch with a double loan swoop on Stamford Bridge this summer. That's
because Batshuayi's teammate Kurt Zouma has admitted to BeIN Sports he may
have to look for a loan move in a bid to force his way back into the France
squad in what is a World Cup year. "A loan move ahead of the World Cup? Why
not," Zouma told BeIN Sports. "We will see at the end of the season, but I
am focused on Chelsea. I am confident and I know that I will play. I have
not had a discussions with Antonio Conte about the future."
With 33-year-old Jose Fonte failing to impress since his £8 million January
move from Southampton and Winston Reid injury prone, West Ham need quality
reinforcements at the back. While Bilic waits to see if Academy duo Reece
Oxford and Reece Burke have what it takes to step up to the first team,
Zouma would be a good option in the medium term until the young charges are
ready to establish themselves.