Saturday, April 22

Daily WHUFC News II - 22nd April 2017

Manager on Matchday

Slaven Bilic shares his thoughts as West Ham United prepare to host Everton
at London Stadium…

Good morning everyone.

Before I talk about today's game, I want to say a few words about Ugo
Ehiogu, who sadly passed away on Friday at the age of just 44.

I didn't know Ugo personally but I played against him, and he was a proper
gentleman and a proper player.

It is a big, big shock and our deepest condolences go out to Ugo's family,
friends and everyone who knew him.

We face Everton at London Stadium today in the Premier League and it is
another big game for us.

We hope to get the win this afternoon that would get us to that magic number
of 40 points and that should be enough for us to be safe, but we are not
thinking only of three more points.

We have five games left to play and 15 points to play for and we want to get
as many as we can, because we have shown we have a chance in every game when
we are good. We have got four points from the last two games and we want to
continue in that way.

Today, we play Everton and we have to stop Romelu Lukaku, which is a job not
only for our defenders, but for the whole team.

We have played well against him before, but he has still managed to score
goals. He can do you harm, but we need to stop the service to him, because
that will prevent him having the ball in dangerous positions. When he does
get the service, we need to double him and stop him getting shots away.

He is definitely one of the best strikers in Europe at the moment. He is
consistent, especially for his age, and has been scoring goals regularly and
getting better and better. I rate him really, really highly.

He's been linked with a lot of big, big clubs and Everton have shown how big
and ambitious they are by keeping him.

Everton are not one player, though. They are a very confident team,
especially at home, and they have removed the vulnerability they had last
season and are much more solid, and kept their offensive strength. They have
a lot of energy and ability.

Concentrating on our own fortunes, these five games are going to determine
where we are going to finish in the Premier League.

We are in a position where we can look above us, but we also need to keep
the gap below us and the relegation zone big. We can finish higher in the
table and a lot of things can happen in the last five games, as we found
when we lost five in a row recently.

The table is very congested, but it is more or less the same in most top
leagues in Europe, where the gaps between the mid-table teams are very

We are without a number of important players today – Andy Carroll, Pedro
Obiang, Angelo Ogbonna and Michail Antonio through injury and Sam Byram
after his red card at Sunderland – but we hope to have Diafra Sakho and
Winston Reid available.

Reidy has been training this week and he looked good, so his return would be
a big boost for us. Diafra was injured and missed the Sunderland game but he
returned to training on Thursday and we will assess him ahead of today's

Whoever plays, we need to take our chances when we create them and be
stronger defensively, because in our recent matches we have taken a lead a
few times and not built on it.

We need to use our momentum to kill games off when we get our noses in front
and that will be the same if we go ahead today.

Defensively, we know the opposition will take risks and create chances if
they are behind, so we also need to be stronger and show more resolve as a
team to maintain our advantage.

Come on you Irons!

Slaven Bilic


Pixie Lott to perform at London Stadium

West Ham United fan and singer Pixie Lott will perform her new song 'Baby'
at half-time in Saturday's Premier League meeting with Everton.

The 26-year-old star will entertain the sell-out London Stadium crowd with
the dance track, which is the first single Pixie has released since 2014.

Baby is a collaboration with DJ and producer Anton Powers and was performed
live on The Voice UK Final on BBC 1 earlier this month.

A popular performer, Pixie's debut single 'Mama Do (Uh Oh, Uh Oh)' went
straight to number one in the UK Singles Chart in 2009, while her second
single 'Boys and Girls' also went to number one.

In recent years, she has also appeared on television in a variety of roles,
both as an actress and contestant, most notably on Strictly Come Dancing and
The Voice Kids UK.

Last year, she starred as Holly Golightly in a successful run of the musical
Breakfast at Tiffany's in London's West End.


Both Sides of the Fence - Mark Ward

As someone who enjoyed a successful career with both West Ham and Everton,
Mark Ward truly knows what it means to be Claret and Blue.

Born in Prescot, Merseyside in October 1962, the winger joined his boyhood
heroes Everton as a schoolboy but was left devastated when the club released
him in his first year as a professional for being too small.

He battled back to forge a career at Oldham Athletic, before John Lyall paid
£250,000 to bring him to West Ham in the summer of 1985. 'Wardy' became an
instant fan favourite at Upton Park thanks to his pace, skill and
fully-committed approach, and played a key role in the record-breaking
1985-86 campaign, when Hammers reached their highest-ever league finish.

Despite remaining one of the club's most consistent performers over the next
three years, Mark suffered the pain of relegation and the departure of Lyall
in 1989 and, after falling out with his successor Lou Macari, joined
Manchester City in December 1989 after 165 appearances for the Hammers.

In 1991, his career came full circle when he signed for Everton for £1m and
finally achieved his dream of playing at Goodison Park. After three
successful years with his boyhood heroes, he joined Birmingham City and then
had further spells with Huddersfield and Leigh RMI before hanging up his

It will be a very tough game for West Ham given the amount of injuries and
suspensions Slaven has.
Thankfully, though, they have picked up those four points from their last
two games that have pushed them into a relatively safe position, and
hopefully they will approach this one feeling more relaxed and confident.
I've seen a lot of West Ham this season and it obviously hasn't gone as well
as everyone hoped, especially after such a fantastic campaign last year.
It's a shame that they haven't been able to build on that, and there are
probably lots of reasons why, but the main thing now is that they make sure
of their Premier League status - which I believe they have already done -
and look forward to next season. I've got a lot of respect for Slaven and
the chairmen, who I know from my time at Birmingham, and I know how much
they all want success for West Ham.

Everton are in great form at the moment and Romelu Lukaku will no doubt be
looking forward to the game.
His record against West Ham is phenomenal - I think it's nine games in a row
he has scored against them. Sometimes as a player you just have those
certain teams that you just seem to play well against and it almost becomes
psychological. I remember mine was Sheffield United - I always seemed to
score against them or have a brilliant game. I wouldn't say Lukaku is
unplayable but on his day he is a very difficult opponent, and West Ham's
central defenders will need to be on top of their game against him. There
are obviously suggestions that Winston Reid will be back from injury and
that would be great news for Slaven, because he has been one of the more
consistent performers, and James Collins has also played very well lately.

In some ways, you can compare West Ham's season to what happened to us after
We obviously had an exceptional season, that no-one really saw coming, but
it became far more difficult for us the following year. Basically, teams
sussed us out, and took us a lot more seriously. The tactics towards us
changed, and then we suffered injuries to some key players, which hadn't
happened the previous year. Suddenly things can become difficult very
quickly, and I think that has been the case for West Ham this season.
They've lost vital players for long periods - including Payet altogether of
course - and that is always going to have an impact. Mind you, it shows how
much football has changed when you think that, after finishing third in
1985-86, we didn't make a single new signing that summer. Imagine a team
finishing in the Champions League places now and not buying any new players!

A lot has been said about the new stadium and its effect on the team but,
I've got to be honest, I don't really buy into that.
A game of football is a pitch and two goals, and that doesn't change whether
you are playing at London Stadium, Goodison Park, Anfield or Hackney
Marshes! As a player, that was my philosophy, it didn't matter where I was
playing. There have been a number of reasons for West Ham's struggles this
season, but I don't think the stadium is one of them, and it certainly can't
be used as an excuse going into next season and the season after. At the end
of the day, it is a fantastic arena, with 57,000 fans packed in, and we've
seen at times how special it can be. I know I'd love to be playing there!

I actually watched the video highlights of the '85-86 season recently and, I
have to say, how good were we!
I was staying with a great friend of mine, Mick Tobyn, while working down
here, and his son Danny put it on. I'd just got in, I was knackered and just
wanted to jump in the shower, but I sat down and started watching it, and I
had to watch it to the end! I had never really looked back on it, and it
made me realise how special that team was. It was fantastic to be a part of,
and I will always treasure those memories.

I can say for sure now that I would never have left West Ham in 1989 if John
Lyall or Billy Bonds had been in charge.
I had a personality clash with Lou Macari and, basically, I felt that man
wasn't good enough to manage the club I loved. I didn't like the way he
wanted us to play - for him to say that I couldn't collect the ball from
Phil Parkes throwing it out was ridiculous. With the players we had in our
side, yet he wanted Parkesy to kick it long. And Parkesy couldn't kick it
anyway because his knees were dodgy! In hindsight, perhaps I should have
been a bit more patient, because it was a bit of a kick in the teeth to see
Macari go and Bonzo take over just a couple of months after I left. That was
the story of my career, though. I left Everton in 1994 under Mike Walker,
and just a few months later my old boss at Oldham Joe Royle came in and took
them to FA Cup glory that season!

West Ham will always have a piece of my heart but I think everyone knows
that Everton is in my blood.
It was almost 10 years to the day between them letting me go for nothing and
buying me back for a million pounds. I made my home debut at Goodison Park
against the champions Arsenal, the long wait to pull on the blue shirt,
coming out to the Z Cars theme. I'd taken a kick from Stuart Pearce the week
before when we played away at Nottingham Forest, but I wouldn't go in for
treatment in case the physio stopped me playing against Arsenal! I scored
two goals in a 3-1 win, and I always say it was probably my greatest ever
game of football. And although my departure from West Ham hadn't been very
pleasant, I have to look back and say that it actually led to me achieving
my boyhood dream.

I've worked hard to get my life back on track since coming out of prison in
I made a big mistake, and I paid the price for it, but I appreciate what
I've got now and life is positive. In 2014, I got married to Michelle, who
has made me very happy, and we are about to set up a small floristry
business in Liverpool, which we hope will be successful. I do some work on
the after-dinner speaking circuit, and I've also set up a successful West
Ham pre-match event that takes place at the East Ham Working Men's Club at
Upton Park before Saturday home games. The idea came from something similar
that happens in a pub near Everton, and so far it has been a great success.
We have a former player come in for every event, and lay on buses afterwards
to take everyone over to London Stadium. It's great for me personally to
stay involved, and to still have that bond with West Ham fans that I cherish
so dearly.


Three Key Battles - Everton

West Ham United will hope to improve upon their disappointing Premier League
record against Everton when Ronald Koeman's side travel to London Stadium on

The Toffees have been beaten just once in their last 17 top flight meetings
with this afternoon's hosts, though that single victory for the Hammers did
come at Goodison Park last season.

With four points from their last two games, Slaven Bilic's outfit are keen
to build momentum and finish as high up the table as possible as the season
reaches its climax.

And the following six players will be vital for their respective sides on
the London Stadium pitch as West Ham and Everton go to battle…

Collins v Williams

With Winston Reid missing the last four matches through injury, James
Collins has returned to the side, looking to build a partnership alongside
Jose Fonte in the centre of defence.

The Welshman has played his part in the Hammers' recent positive results
too, scoring in last weekend's 2-2 draw at Sunderland.

That goal – which means his tally is double that of Everton defender and
international teammate Ashley Williams – was as important as his defensive
display at home to Swansea City was a fortnight ago.

Williams has been in fine form this season too, and has, over a number of
years now, been one of the Premier League's most consistent performers.

Lanzini v Barkley

With the burden of providing goals and chances for teammates resting on
their shoulders, Manuel Lanzini and Ross Barkley are hugely important to
today's sides.

Lanzini's performances since Christmas, during which he has scored four of
his five goals from open play this season, have been particularly impressive
and his passing stats rival the best in the Premier League.

Barkley's style is less measured and more off-the-cuff than the Argentine's,
but it is exciting and gets Toffees fans off their seats. The Englishman, as
shown by the above statistics, isn't afraid to try a killer pass or take a
shot at goal.

All of Lanzini's 2017 goals have come at London Stadium, so Hammers
supporters everywhere will be hoping he can add another to his collection on

Ayew v Mirallas

With Andy Carroll missing through injury and Michail Antonio ruled out for
the season, Andre Ayew will be the man the Hammers look to on Saturday for
goals, having bagged four in his last eight games.

Similar to Ayew, Kevin Mirallas normally plays off the main striker or on
the wing, and likes to get amongst the goals as well.

The Belgian, in-and-out of Ronald Koeman's starting XI this season, has an
impressive total of six assists to go alongside his four goals and has found
the back of the net three times previously against West Ham.

Could a goal from either of the pair prove crucial on Saturday?

Noble urges Hammers to end Everton run

Mark Noble urges teammates to end decade-long run without a home league win
over Everton
West Ham United have not beaten Toffees in east London in top-flight since
April 2007
Suspended captain Noble says victory on Saturday would make Hammers all but

Mark Noble has urged his teammates to embrace the spirit of the Great Escape
when West Ham United host Everton on Saturday. The Hammers have not beaten
the Blues on home turf in the Premier League since 21 April 2007, when Bobby
Zamora's wondergoal helped West Ham to a vital 1-0 win on their way to
miraculously beating the drop. Ten years on and the east Londoners welcome
the Merseysiders to London Stadium without seven senior players, including
captain Noble, through injury and suspension, but the skipper is not taking
that for an excuse for another defeat to the Toffees. "I was told that it
was ten years ago this week that we last beat the Blues at home in the
Premier League, 1-0 in a game I remember well because Bobby Zamora whipped
in a fantastic goal on our way to pulling off the Great Escape!" he recalled
in his exclusive column for Saturday's Official Programme. "While we are not
in immediate danger this season, we do need to pick up a positive result
this weekend if we are going to ensure our Premier League place for next
season. "If we can get the win, we will get to the 40-point mark and also be
in mid-table which, when you consider all the challenges we have faced this
season, not only as a team but as a Club, that's not a bad position to be

Noble knows his teammates, including the returning Winston Reid, will need
to be at their best to stop Everton and their regular West Ham nemesis
Romelu Lukaku, who has scored in nine straight appearances against the
Hammers. But Everton are not the same force away from Goodison Park as they
are on home turf, as the midfielder pointed out, and he believes a lively
London Stadium atmosphere could help the hosts end their unwanted recent
record against both Lukaku and the Blues. "It's going to be tough, because
Everton are having a fantastic season," observed the No16, who is completing
a two-match ban for receiving ten yellow cards. "They are a force at home at
Goodison Park, where they have only lost once and have picked up 40 of their
57 points, but they are not quite so good on the road. "We need to take
advantage of that and recreate the performance we put in against Swansea
City a fortnight ago, when we created more than enough chances to win far
more comfortably than we did in the end. "The atmosphere that afternoon was
brilliant and, for me, was what the traditional West Ham United is all about
– everyone pulling together when our backs are against the wall and coming
out with the right result on the other side. "It was a massive game and the
atmosphere you created was incredible."

U15s top the group in Prague

West Ham United U15s won their opening two matches at the Slavia
International Cup
As a result, they top Group A with three games left to play
The Hammers beat St Polten (Austria) 1-0 and Jiangsu Suning (China) 2-0

Head of U15-U18 Coaching Danny Searle believes his team have laid down a
marker after winning their opening two matches at the Slavia International

The young Hammers travelled to Prague, Czech Republic yesterday and today
beat SKN St.Polten (Austria) and Jiangsu Suning (China) to top Group A.

They won the first 1-0 thanks to a close-range finish from Dan Chesters
before cruising to victory in the second match after goals from Amadou
Diallo and Charlie O'Connell.

"The first day is always tough and you have to make sure you're still in the
competition at the close of play," said Searle.

"The performances weren't necessarily the types we want but we did get
better as the games went on.

"We haven't conceded and we're top of the group so we have laid down a
marker and put breathing space between us and the rest.

The Hammers took on St.Polten in their first match and had to dig-in for the
three points against their resilient Austrian opponents.

Harry Costa went close in the opening stages with a long-range effort before
Chesters opened the scoring, sliding in to convert Captain Sam Caiger's

Polten went close in the final stages but the Hammers registered three
points in their opening game and used their momentum to dominate their
second fixture.

Their opponents Suning were no match for the East Londoners who went ahead
on the stroke of half-time thanks to a wonderful run and finish from Diallo.

Kai Corbett missed a great chance to double the lead midway through the
second half before substitute Charlie O'Connell finished well to ensure West
Ham topped Group A going into Day Two.

"Other teams have slipped up today so that gives us great confidence going
into a packed day tomorrow," added Searle.

"The aim is to reach the final and it's a great incentive that it will be
played at Slavia Prague's 20,000 seater stadium."

The Hammers play three group games tomorrow against hosts Slavia Prague, the
Chinese national team and MSK Zilina (Slovakia).

West Ham (v SKN St. Polten): Roach, Greenidge (O'Connell), Caiger, Costa,
Thomas, Nsumbu (Fevrier), Diallo, Chesters, Corbett (Khouri), Peake (Swyer),
King (Maragh).

Subs not used: Wilson-Esbrand.

Goals: Chesters.

Bookings: Costa.

West Ham (v Jiangsu Suning): Roach, Greenidge (O'Connell), Caiger (Fevrier),
Costa, Thomas, Nsumbu, Diallo (Maragh), Chesters, Corbett (Khouri), Lennon
Peake (Swyer), King.

Subs not used: Wilson-Esbrand.

Goals: Diallo, O'Connell.

Phillips - Boys are relishing tests

West Ham United U18s travel to Manchester United tomorrow (1pm)
The Hammers haven't played a competitive fixture for three weeks
Mark Phillips thinks his players are looking forward to the final few tests
of the season

Mark Phillips believes his U18s are relishing their final few fixtures which
see them take on some of the biggest teams in the Academy scene.

The Hammers take on Manchester United today (1pm) at the Aon Training
Complex after a long three-week break from competitive action.

With three games left to play this season, assistant boss Phillips hopes his
team can end another terrific season on a positive note.

"It's a game that all the boys are looking forward to," he said. "We're not
sure what we're up against but the lads are relishing it. "

"It will be a bit of a balancing act with the U23s who have a really
important game on Monday night, which they have to win. So, we don't know
what personnel we'll have at this stage."

The Hammers last played against Liverpool three weeks ago, and despite going
behind with a few minutes to play, they deservedly hit back in the dying
embers to snatch a point.

Steve Potts's men started on the front foot from the first whistle and went
close when Jahmal Hector-Ingram forced the keeper into action from a tight

The Hammers emerged from the interval with the same intensity and missed a
terrific chance to take a deserved lead. Hector-Ingram returned the favour
for Anthony Scully who shot over from point blank range.

Against the run of play though, Liverpool snatched the lead with just
minutes to go. A mix-up in the Hammers defence allowed Okera Simmonds to
slot home from the edge of the box.

But the Hammers got their just rewards in injury time. Hector-Ingram was
brought down by the Liverpool keeper and up stepped Joe Powell to fire home
the penalty and give the visitors a deserved point.

"If you look at the chances we had, we had numerous occasions where we
should have scored," Phillips continued. "On chances created, we definitely
should have taken more than a point.

"It was a long six hour coach journey. To get off the coach, have little
time to warm-up and then play a competitive game of football is testament to
the boys.

"We were very pleased with their performance. It was up there with one of
our best performances of the season against good opposition."

Phillips now hopes the tasks coming up will spur his young players on to
finish the season well.

"We had a friendly recently against Barnet which was a worthwhile exercise
and a good, competitive game.

"You won't get three bigger games than Manchester United, Manchester City
and Arsenal. They're among the biggest teams in this country and that's an
incentive for us to keep going till the end of the season.

Kick-off between West Ham United U18s and Manchester United is at 1pm on
Saturday at the Aon Training Complex.


By Mark Ward @mark7ward

I am an Evertonian Hammer and have fond memories from my time at both clubs.
The two clubs have many links with a number of players having played for
both clubs, including our current manager Slaven Bilic. Both clubs mean so
much to me and it was at Goodison that we played (and lost) our final game
of the record breaking 85/86 season.

There is one player that obviously stands out as the biggest threat from the
opposition and that is Lukaku. His goalscoring record against the Hammers
is ridiculous and I think Slav should play with three centre backs to try
and counter his threat. His supply through the middle is often from scouser
Ross Barclay and they offer the biggest threat.

It is a very important game for the Hammers as I still do not believe they
are safe just yet, if they get a win however, they can start to look forward
to Premier League football next year.

I hope to see many of you at the West Ham Way Event tomorrow with former
Hammer of the Year Matthew Etherington. I really would urge you to come to
one of these events if you haven't before. COYI

West Ham United v Everton
Filed: Thursday, 20th April 2017
By: Preview Percy

What does Ross Barkley have in common with Professor Stephen Hawking? More
than you might think actually. They both feature in Preview Percy's look at
this weekend's visit of Everton for a start. And, well, that's it

Next up we play host to Everton. 3pm Saturday kick-off at the Olympic. Light
cloud and an anticipated high of 15 degrees (66.2 degrees in real
temperatures). Slight chance of a mid-morning shower. Now I have a piece of
news that might rightly be regarded as earth-shattering.

It is this: there are no engineering works between Liverpool Street and
points east on Greater Anglia this weekend. Well not until you get as far as
Ipswich anyway. Amazing isn't it? I mean we are at home and they are
thinking of running a train service. I mean don't go shouting about it or
they will realise it's an admin error or something and start digging the
tracks up again.

So Everton. Bit of a bogey team over the years. We have had the odd blip in
our favour here and there – beating them on penalties in the Cup in the
famous Adrian "gloves off" match and last year's comeback from 2-0 down up
on their patch leap to mind. However more often than not they have had the
edge – even when we have clearly been the better side.

They currently lie in 7th spot with 57 points from 33 games. They're not
exactly looking over their shoulders, having as they do a 13 point cushion
over West Brom in 8th place. Looking up they are just behind Arsenal in 6th
on goal difference though they have played two more matches. Both are three
points shy of the Thursday Night League qualification spot occupied by the
Salford Moaners who seem to have twigged that winning the Thursday Night
League might just be their best way of qualifying for the So Called
Champions League.

As usual the criteria for European qualification seems to have been put
together using some of the more fanciful equations used by Stephen Hawking
to prove the existence of Richard Dawkins but from Everton's point of view
they are in with a shout of some foreign travel next season, though our
experience suggests that that may be more hassle than it ends up being

It's been an eventful week or two in the Goodison area. There was already
some ongoing debate about the progress made by Ross Barkley in recent years.
Then he went out and got himself decked in an unprovoked attack which
Merseyplod are apparently investigating. This prompted Sun ex-editor and
columnist Kelvin MacKenzie to weigh in with his two pennorth-worth likening
the part-Nigerian Barkley to a "Gorilla" and suggesting that the Barkley is
one of the country's dimmest footballers.

The graphics department helpfully published a photo of Barkley next to a
gorilla (I presume there were captions for the hard of thinking to explain
which was which) and enquired as to whether the player was the missing link.
Both the Sun and MacKenzie denied having knowledge of Barkley's racial

Now Barkley may well be not exactly the sharpest tool in the box – let's
face it professional footballers on the whole probably aren't
over-represented in the MENSA membership registers. But MacKenzie might want
to ponder the definition of the word dim and ask himself the question as to
which of them which one of them was "dim" enough to publish something so
stupid that they have been suspended from their job pending an
investigation. For the Sun readers amongst you the clue is it wasn't

The work experience girl wearing the Cult t-shirt without knowing who they
are tells me they brought in just the two players during the last window.
The big money (£20m plus another £4m in potential add-ons) went on Morgan
Schneiderlin who was out of favour, never having quite managed to get in
favour at Old Trafford. He had fallen so far down the pecking order that
France initially blanked him for last summer's Euros and, although injuries
did see him called up to the squad, he failed to make an appearance in the

A "mere" £7.5m was required to prise Ademola Lookman from Charlton.
Lookman's surname sounds a bit Geordie though he is in fact from Wandsworth.
The 19 year-old has England honours at U18 and U19 level thus far in his
career and he turned down flat an invitation from the Nigerian FA to switch
allegiance to the country of his parents' ancestry. He made his mark on his
debut against Man City, sticking away the final goal in the Toffees' 4-0
demolition of the Citizens.

Up front they will be able to call on the services of Romelu Lukaku who has
scored in so many consecutive matches against us for them that the odds on
him not scoring down at Winstone's the Turf Accountant are identically
astronomical to those of Mike Dean getting through a live tv match without
deliberately doing something controversial. I did check the injury list in
the hope that he might have some embarrassing rash or something that might
need to have him quarantined from the rest of the squad but sadly for us he
is fit enough to continue his run.

Defender Phil Jagielka has scored three in his last three. However he will
be forever remembered around these parts for that handball for Sheffield
United against Wigan in 2007 that (it says here following extensive editing
by our lawyers) was in no way shape or form deliberate. It was just
coincidence that he put his hand up to stop a ball that was going nowhere
near an opponent to produce a scoreline that would have seen both teams stay
up at our expense had we rolled over and lost.

They will of course be without Seamus Coleman whose horrible injury in the
recent Republic of Ireland v Wales qualifier the other week was so bad that
even Sky wouldn't show the replay. Bizzarely the usual injury listing site
shows Coleman as being a "major doubt" for the weekend. Really? Better hurry
up with that plaster then Seamus. Seriously though, one's best wishes go to
him of course, though I can't quite bring myself to send the same sort of
greeting to McCarthy whose hamstring problem can be attributed to the
football gods as payback for the Payet assault last season. Even if it was

Elsewehere I see that Captain. Racist. Twat. John Terry is to leave
Abrahamovic's money laundering operation. Some have linked him with a move
to us. No thanks. Others have suggested he might go to China or the US. Here
at the Avran Grant Olympic Rest Home For the Bewildered we think he will
sign for a club in the English Defence League or, alternatively, replace
Kelvin MacKenzie as a Sun columnist.

Us? Well I am waiting for an explanation of how their first equaliser was
allowed to stand last week. Anichebe was so all over Randolph that the
'keeper required a pregnancy test post-match. Probably. The goal represented
a dreadful but all-too-common dereliction of duty from the match officials.
Time and time again we hear how officials need to be protected but from what
exactly? I mean it's a different kettle of fish at amateur level but I don't
recall too many instances of top level referees ever being on the end of
violence (notwithstanding Alcock's comedy performance in the sitcom "Paul
and Paolo").

As usual there were a number of games this weekend where goals were allowed
due to the failure of officials to apply the laws that they are paid to
apply. (Mike Dean now does this so often that nobody notices anymore). And
the consequences of these errors for those responsible? Nothing. You don't
believe me? Well consider this then: three times as many people have walked
on the moon as have been permanently demoted from the Select Group. The
authorities have spent so much time falling for the lie perpetuated by PGMOL
that referees need "protection" that it is now virtually impossible to get
rid of a useless ref unless he does something really stupid like leaving
early in his own car to go and see Ed Sheerhan.

That said we took the foot off the gas twice and got what we deserved.
Byram's red resulted from two yellows the first of which should have been
given to Anichebe for diving. Meanwhile Cattermole, who picked up a yellow
on 37 seconds proceeded to kick and trip his way through the game without
further punishment. Yet again Marriner will escape any punishment from his
ineptitude whilst we get punished by missing a player in an already worrying
position for us.

The big question mark surrounds Darren Randolph whose form of late has been
less than inspiring. For the second goal he came so far they charged him
excess on his Oyster card. He doesn't seem at his most confident and with
Jagielka in goal-machine type form in penalty areas lacking a dominant
'keeper at the moment I would be a bit concerned that his understandable
lack of confidence might prove costly.

Slav was quick to defend Randolph with his "we win or lose as a team"
statement at the weekend and many took this as a sign that Randolph might
keep his place for this weekend. I'm not so sure – I took the comments as an
admirable refusal to single out one particular player for criticism.
Internally Bilic will have his own thoughts on Randolph's form which has
been a worry for a while now and I would not be in the slightest bit
surprised to see Adrian come into the side.

On the injury front we are approaching the date listed for a return for
Winston Reid – he has been training and is slated for a much-welcome return.
Then there's the Sakho affair. It's been suggested that the player refused
to go to Sunderland to sit on the bench last weekend. This has been denied
by all and Sakho is said to be ready to go on Saturday.

Which is just as well as Andy Carroll is injured. A thigh problem we hear.
That noise you can hear is best described as a "resigned sigh". Further
comment is superfluous.

So prediction then. Easy this week. They're in good fettle. We aren't.
Lukaku will score against us because he usually does. Sorry but the £2.50 I
managed to rescue from club cash before the terms and conditions changed
will be going on an away win – stick me down for 3-1 to them then Mr

Enjoy the game!

When Last We Met At The Boleyn: Drew 1-1 (Premier League November 2015)
Aided by some of the most spineless refereeing ever seen outside of the
Jellyfish Premier League, Everton proceeded to kick us off the park.
McCarthy's disgraceful scissors tackle on Payet put him out for 3 months
whilst a whole catalogue of cynical challenges went unpunished by anything
stronger than a free-kick. Lanzini opened the scoring. You don't really have
to ask who got the equaliser.

Referee: Roger East – this was the joker who told Vardy off for diving but
somehow forgot to book him in the recent league match v Leicester. Could we
have Buzz Aldrin instead please.

Danger Man: You reallydon't have to ask that either.

Percy's Poser: Last week we asked you what was unusual about the transfer of
Ivor Broadis from Carlisle to Sunderland in 1949. A tip of the hat to Mrs
Mavis Soft-Brexit (no relation) of Writtle who informs us: "Ivor Broadis can
have no complaints over the Carlisle manager wanting to get rid of him as,
he himself held that position at the time" Yes Broadis effectively
transferred himself, which must have led to some interesting fee
negotiations back then. Mrs Soft-Brexit wins a copy of "1,001 things to do
in Monkwearmouth" which will be published as soon as an author who hasn't
already lost the will to live can be found.

For this week's poser we ask you: what is it that Everton were allegedly the
first to do in the 1880s that every club now does as a matter of routine?
First correct answer out of the had wins a kumb cash credit of £500, amounts
to be credited at 11:59pm on 31 August. Expiry date 1 September.

Good luck everyone!

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the
author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be
attributed to,

By Sean Whetstone 20 Apr 2017 at 08:00

The owners have frequently talked about ambition for West Ham to become a
top six side in the future and that starts with closing the gap on Spurs
they claim.

In terms of financial power, West Ham lags behind their North London rivals.
Tottenham published their accounts for 2016 last month showing an increase
in turnover to just under £210m to compared to the Hammers £142m for the
same period last season.

Spurs Premier League gate receipts were £22.2m. Like the Hammers White Hart
Lane sold out for all Premier League home games but they claim to have a
waiting list for season tickets of 63,200 compared to our 55,000 waiting
list. They reached the round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League resulting in
gate receipts and prize money of £18.7m. Revenue from the domestic cup
competitions earned the Club £2.4m. Television and media revenues rose to
£94.8m after they finished third in the Premier League.

In reality, their income will continue to outstrip West Ham's as the
Champions League mega money comes through this season and they look odds on
favourite's to qualify again this season and continue on that money trail.

Next season they will play at Wembley and could see regular attendances of
over 80,000. In February this year, they had an attendance of 80,465 that
watched Tottenham v Gent which is a new UEFA Europa League attendance
record, beating the previous high set when Manchester United met Liverpool
last season. They have applied to Brent Council to hold Premier League games
at the full 90,000 capacity for the next two seasons.

Their new 61,000 capacity £800million stadium should be ready ahead of the
2018-19 season. Although they will need to fund it for many years, it has
been purpose built for football, they own it and will, therefore, sell the
naming rights for as much as £20m per year and they keep all the catering
and pouring income.

Although technically West Ham will one day have the ability to claim a
66,000 capacity rented stadium, the when is less clear due to a requirement
for planning permission for extra toilet and catering to cope with 9,000
additional match day fans. The stadium owners and the club are currently at
a stalemate over money at the moment and any increase from 57,000 is
debatable for next season as it stands. Spurs also plan to sign up an
American football franchise for their new stadium.

On the pitch is probably the biggest gap. Despite Spurs being the sixth
biggest turnover in the Premier League, they have outperformed their
financial might on the pitch last season and again this season.

They have 71 points and are in second place just four points behind league
leaders Chelsea while West Ham settles for 13th position on 37 points.

Their chairman rarely talks to the media, is not on twitter and never makes
promises or statements he can not realistically deliver. We may not like
Levy but it hard not to admire his business acumen and transfer dealings.

They have invested wisely and bought and developed youngsters. Eastender
Harry Kane was a youth product of their academy and they signed a young
Delli Alli for £5m from MK Dons in 2015 to name just a few.

Pochettino is a well-respected manager. He has a squad of players that
routinely outclass their opposition in terms of distance covered on the
pitch. With training sessions allegedly higher in intensity than matches and
a rigorous preseason training regime, Pochettino ensures that even if his
team lose, it would not be due to a lack of effort.His team rarely lose,
especially at home. They have an impeccable defence and has conceded the
fewest goals in the league.

The core of the Spurs side is refreshingly young with Harry Kane at 23, Dele
Alli at 21 and Christian Eriksen at 24, among others. The Argentinian
manager seems comfortable to integrate a steady inflow of talent from the
youth academy, there is no other manager who would be quite as prepared to
risk his reputation for giving youth a chance.

On the flip side, it is true that we have the largest TV screen in Europe at
the London Stadium but this is the only thing we could claim to have the
upper hand over them over the foreseeable future. It pains me to write all
of this and embarrassing that our club boasts the largest TV screen in
Europe as a positive.

However, we have closed the gap on the physical distance between the two
clubs, West Ham is only 4.5 miles away from White Hart Lane compared to 6.4
miles away from the Boleyn ground. By road, the shortest route is 5.8 miles
along the A10 while it would be 10.5 miles by road from the Boleyn ground.

In reality beyond TV screens and physical distance, we will not be catching
Spurs anytime soon and not be joining the top six anytime soon either. It is
time we just accept that and move on.

Speculation over use of Olympic Stadium could pave way for West Ham to
properly convert new home
Damien Lucas

Speculation surrounding the future use of West Ham United's Olympic Stadium
home has made the headlines again this week. The Hammers have had to request
to play the first three games of next season away from their new home due to
the World Athletic Championships taking place there, as reported by The
Mirror. The IAAF competition, which runs between August 4th and 13th, means
West Ham could not play at home on the opening day regardless and require
special dispensation from the Premier League to be granted an away fixture.
But then the much-criticised retractable seating at the 60,000 seater ground
- which will cost an eye-watering £8 million each time it is done - will
have to be reconfigured again for football mode, a process which takes
around 15 days
Many supporters are unhappy with broken promises over the stadium which they
feel has not been transformed to be fit for football. The scaffolding
seating solution leaves a huge gap between the East and West Stands and the
pitch given the bowl shape of the ground. Supporters want to see the stadium
redeveloped to make the seats closer to the pitch and there could be new
hope on that front this week. Well placed Hammers fans' website Claret and
Hugh, which often gets exclusive club news first, claimed earlier this week
that UK Athletics could be paid to quit the London Stadium after the 2017
London Anniversary Games and World Athletics Championships. The report
states that the huge £8m cost of moving what it more accurately describes as
'relocatable' seating is not feasible long term and one idea being explored
is paying UK Athletics to relocate the Anniversary Games to their home base
in Birmingham, giving up their 50-year agreement to use the London Stadium.
Cancelling the agreement would cost millions but could work out cheaper than
the annual transformation bill. But it could also free up West Ham to
properly convert the stadium as the running track would no longer be
required. While the sightlines are not too bad at the stadium, the huge gap
between the playing surface and supporters is not conducive to generating
the kind of atmosphere the club were famous for at their former Upton Park
home. Whether co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold would put up the money
to make such changes is up for debate, but should UK Athletics relocate it
may well attract a buyer with more money and ambition to bid to takeover the
East Londoners.

Slaven Bilic could drop Darren Randolph for Everton clash as West Ham look
again to Adrian
West Ham host Everton at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon
The Hammers look set to drop goalkeeper Darren Randolph for Adrian
Bilic made Randolph his No 1 in November after dropping Adrian
By Andy Sims, Press Association Sport
PUBLISHED: 23:46, 21 April 2017 | UPDATED: 23:46, 21 April 2017
Daily Mail

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic is considering dropping goalkeeper Darren
Randolph for Saturday's clash with Everton. Republic of Ireland
international Randolph was responsible for both Sunderland goals in last
weekend's 2-2 draw at the Stadium of Light, the latest in a string of
unconvincing performances. Bilic made Randolph his number one in November
after dropping Spanish keeper Adrian following some high-profile mistakes.
But Adrian could now be in line for a dramatic recall as Bilic attempts to
plug the holes in a defence which has let in more goals than rock-bottom
Sunderland this season. 'We are going to see, we have to discuss it,' said
Bilic. 'We win as a team, we lose as a team, but if we are talking about
individual errors when we conceded a few goals then the whole world knows
when a keeper makes a mistake. 'But we are winning as a team and losing as a
team. We can't forget how many times he has done a really good job for us.
'Is he still the number one? We are going to see, we have two really good
goalkeepers. 'With keepers they need confidence like every other player.
It's wrong to judge keepers on one mistake, and to change them on a weekly
basis. If you do that you lose both your keepers.' Adrian has not made a
first-team appearance since the FA Cup third-round visit from Manchester
City in January, which West Ham lost 5-0. 'When I decided to drop Adrian to
give Randy a chance, and then again after that, we have spoken a couple of
times about his future,' added Bilic. 'He's a great professional and he
never dropped one bit his level in training. I told him he had to wait for
his chance and that is exactly how it is.' Whoever lines up in goal will be
facing the daunting task of stopping Romelu Lukaku, the striker who cannot
stop scoring against West Ham. The Belgian has scored in each of his last
nine matches against the Hammers, and Bilic admitted: 'It's a job for our
defenders. 'In some of the games we've played against them we were really
good, but still he scored a goal. 'He is good and, not only that, he is
consistent for his age. People forget how young he is as he has been on the
radar for a long time. 'Everton have done a really good job to keep him. He
is one of best strikers, not only in the Premier League, but in Europe.'

Date: 21st April 2017 at 9:00pm
Written by: David Tully

West Ham are interested in a move for Trabzonspor goalkeeper Onur Kivrak,
according to Turkish website Kivrak is Trabzonspor's captain
and has been nicknamed the 'Butterfly" because of his spectacular saves. The
29 year old has been at his current club for nine years and Hammers boss
Slaven Bilic would no doubt be aware of the player after his two year spell
in charge at Besiktas. F5haber report that West Ham have previously made an
"official proposal" for Kivrak but Trabzonspor turned down the offer as they
felt they couldn't sell their club captain during the club's 50 year
anniversary. They say that may change in the future though. This season,
Kivrak has played 27 times, conceded 27 goals and kept 13 clean sheets. West
Ham may be looking for a new number one with both first team goalkeepers
Darren Randolph and Adrian struggling for form and making errors this
season. Whether Kivrak is the answer though, remains to be seen.

Grant McCann claims West Ham United midfielder Martin Samuelsen has lost all
his confidence
John Verrall

West Ham United attacking midfielder Martin Samuelsen has been on loan at
Peterborough United since January. Peterborough United boss Grant McCann has
told the League One side's official Youtube channel that West Ham United
prospect Martin Samuelsen seems to have lost his confidence. Samuelsen was
on loan at Posh last season, and he impressed hugely during his time at the
ABAX Stadium. The Norwegian international then opted to move to Blackburn
Rovers on loan at the start of this season, but that switch did not work out
as planned. The West Ham youngster barely played at Ewood Park, but Posh
tried to rescue his season in January. Unfortunately, Samuelsen's second
move to Peterborough was nowhere near as productive as his first. The
talented attacking midfielder barely featured for Posh, and rarely showed
the quality that he possesses. And McCann believes that Samuelsen's
confidence has gone after his spell at Blackburn. "The Martin Samuelsen that
was here last year was an unbelievable talent. He is an unbelievable talent.
But for whatever reason his confidence got knocked when he went to
Blackburn," McCann said, after confirming that Samuelsen's loan had been
terminated early. "He didn't have the confidence to try things that he once
did, when he was here. I wanted him to express himself more. "He needs to
get somewhere where he can play week in week out. He should've come here at
the start of the season, but he decided to go to the Championship. "He's a
great kid, he'll have a massive future in the game."
West Ham now appear to have work to do to coax Samuelsen back to his best,
as they look to help the youngster fulfil his potential. Samuelsen is still
very highly regarded at West Ham, but Slaven Bilic may have to think long
and hard about the next move he takes with the youngster, as another knock
to his confidence could be extremely damaging.

Date: 21st April 2017 at 5:00pm
Written by: David Tully

Rubin Kazan right back Moritz Bauer says he is flattered by the interest
being shown in him. Italian website Tuttomercatoweb have linked the 25 year
old with a move to West Ham, Inter Milan and Valencia.
When asked about moving to one of those clubs by the same website, Bauer
responded: "It 's an honour that teams of this calibre are interested in me.
At the moment I am happy to Rubin Kazan, where I can still grow a lot, but
if they come in the summer with a very good deal for all parties involved
[then I] will evaluate it carefully."

Bauer has featured 20 times in all competitions for Rubin this season,
making four assists so far. The Hammers are looking for a right back in the
summer. At 25, he would perhaps be a younger alternative to other full
backs currently being linked with West Ham. 32 year old Pablo Zabaleta and
34 year old Bacary Sagna of Manchester City have been the two players who
are rumoured to be on the Hammers' radar. Both players are out of contract
at the end of the season and will be available on free transfers. Stoke
City's Glen Johnson was also said to be a target for West Ham but the full
back signed a new one year contract to stay with the Potters this week.


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