Monday, May 15

Daily WHUFC News - 15th May 2017

Reds end Hammers' unbeaten run

Five games unbeaten in the Premier League and five unbeaten in all
competitions against Liverpool, West Ham United went into Sunday's clash
against the Reds with plenty of confidence but were beaten 4-0 at London
Stadium. In their final home match of the season, Slaven Bilic's men were
outdone by Daniel Sturridge's first half goal, two Philippe Coutinho strikes
and Divock Origi's finish as the Merseysiders strengthened their hold on
fourth spot. The first half had an end-of-season feel about it, and a
relaxed opening few minutes saw West Ham have the first attempt on goal.
Jonathan Calleri did well to manoeuvre into some space in the centre of the
park and, spreading it out wide for Sam Byram, the full-back lashed his
effort wide of goal from a tight angle.
From then on, it was the visitors who looked the most likely, and they were
inches away from making it 1-0 just ten minutes in. A Coutinho corner from
the left allowed Joel Matip a free jump in the box, but the German could
only hit the woodwork as the ball cannoned back off the crossbar. Although
Edimilson Fernandes tested Simon Mignolet shortly after, Liverpool continued
to press, and Coutinho was next to go close as he smashed one just over from
distance. The opener did come with ten minutes of the half remaining though,
and it was England forward Sturridge who got on the scoresheet. Floating
into some space between the Hammers' three defenders, Sturridge picked up
James Milner's precise pass and, rounding Adrian in goal, coolly slotted the
ball home. And so Liverpool led at the break, despite Andre Ayew's chance a
minute from the end - somehow, the Ghanaian could only hit the post twice
three yards out with the goal at his mercy.

Jurgen Klopp's men started the second period on top and there was soon a
second. 12 minutes into the half, Georginio Wijnaldum lined up a superb
volley from 20 yards and though his outrageous attempt came back off the
crossbar, Coutinho was able to pick the ball up and sidefoot past Adrian
from the edge of the box.
If that wasn't game over, it soon was minutes later. There was controversy
surrounding the Reds' third goal, however. A West Ham corner found its way
to Winston Reid in the box, and the captain clearly took a whack to the face
before Liverpool countered and Coutinho was eventually able to grab his
second, skilfully beating two and smashing in. And it could have been even
better for Jurgen Klopp's team shortly after as Divock Origi smashed
goalwards from range and flicked the top of Adrian's crossbar. Things went
from bad to worse on 76 minutes for the Hammers, and Origi was this time the
hero for Liverpool. Adrian made a save before the ball fell to Wijnaldum,
who found the Belgian, resulting in an easy finish for the striker. 4-0, and
a disappointing way to end the Club's first season in their new home.

West Ham United: Adrian, Fonte (Feghouli 55), Reid, Collins, Byram,
Fernandes, Nordtveit, Cresswell, Lanzini, Ayew (Snodgrass 76), Calleri
(Fletcher 55).
Subs not used: Randolph, Ogbonna, Quina, Rice.
Bookings: Collins 62

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner, Can, Wijnaldum, Coutinho
(Grujic 89), Lallana (Woodburn 89), Origi, Sturridge (Lucas 86).
Subs not used: Karius, Klavan, Moreno, Alexander-Arnold.
Goals: Sturridge 35, Coutinho 57, 62, Origi 76

Reid - We'll learn from this season

Defender Winston Reid believes the Hammers will learn from their debut
season at London Stadium to improve next term's home form
The hosts were beaten 4-0 by Liverpool on Sunday
And the New Zealand international admitted everything went wrong for Slaven
Bilic's side

Winston Reid says West Ham United will learn from their first season at
London Stadium and improve their home form next campaign after suffering a
4-0 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday. The Merseysiders, who had Daniel
Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho (two) and Divock Origi to thank for the goals,
strengthened their hold on fourth spot in the Premier League with the
comfortable win in east London. And Reid, who skippered the side in club
captain Mark Noble's absence, believes Slaven Bilic's can learn a lot from
the disappointing defeat. He said: "It turned into a game that we really
didn't want. They are really good. They have good quality players and have a
lot of speed. Everything went wrong. "I thought we started alright and we
had a couple of chances. But at the end of the day we lost as a team. "The
last few weeks we've been doing well as well. But we'll move on to next
season and learn from this season, especially at home. "It's just one of
these things. We tried our best and went out there to try and put on a
performance. But sometimes you have days like that and unfortunately we've
had a few of them this season."

The last few weeks we've been doing well. But we'll move on to next season
and learn from this season, especially at home. Things could have gone
differently at London Stadium had the Hammers' taken their chances - Sam
Byram went close early on and Andre Ayew missed a great chance to equalise
before the break.
And the match wasn't without its controversy, with New Zealand international
Reid involved in a coming together with visitors leading by two. The
defender went up for a challenge with Dutchman Georginio Wijnaldum, and the
centre-back looked to have taken a whack in the face before the Reds
counter-attacked with pace and scored a third. "Obviously there was contact
[in the challenge with Wijnaldum]," Reid continued. "I didn't see a
handball, but I knew he fouled me. "At the end of the day the referee didn't
give it. If we had got it, it could have been a different game. "But it's
not the referee's fault that we lost 4-0. We have to take it on the chin and
move on. "It's been a bit of a rollercoaster this season but towards the
back end we really started to pick up. "It obviously hasn't gone how we
hoped but we'll move on to next season and hopefully next year at home we'll
pick up some better results."

Slav - Vital moments went against us

Slaven Bilic admitted West Ham United deserved to lost to Liverpool at
London Stadium
But the manager did feel the major moments went against his side on Sunday
Big chances missed and a controversial third goal left the Hammers boss
feeling frustrated

Slaven Bilic was honest enough to admit his West Ham United team deserved to
lose to Liverpool - but felt the game's major moments went against the
Hammers in their 4-0 defeat at London Stadium.

Having started encouragingly, Sam Byram missed a decent opportunity to put
his side ahead, only to fire his shot wide. Then, after Daniel Sturridge had
rolled the Reds into the lead, as half-time approached Andre Ayew hit the
post twice in the space of three seconds from point-blank range.

Finally, at 2-0 down, West Ham felt they should have had a penalty when
Georginio Wijnaldum caught Winston Reid in the face with his arm, only for
referee Neil Swarbrick to wave away the appeals, Liverpool to break the
length of the field and Philippe Coutinho to score his second of the game.

However, the manager conceded his injury-hit side had simply not reached the
level of performance or commitment they showed in beating Tottenham Hotspur
at the same venue nine days previously.

"We spoke before the game and I expected the guys to put in the same kind of
performance as they did against Spurs, with energy, organisation and
teamwork, but it wasn't to be," Bilic began. "We were slower than on Friday
night and they were quicker.

"We could have got the first goal and it would definitely have affected the
game. We should definitely have equalised with that [Ayew] chance at the end
of the first half, too, and then it maybe would have been different but it
wasn't good enough, especially in the second half.

"We had the first great chance with Sam Byram at the beginning of the game
and we started well, but those moments were against us, to be fair. Before
we conceded the third, we were asking for a penalty or at least for the
referee to have stopped the game. To be fair, it then became very hard.

"But if you asked me about the performance, it was nowhere near the level we
reached against Spurs."

Speaking candidly, Bilic conceded that his players may have allowed their
levels to drop after securing Premier League safety by beating Spurs.

The Croatian is not one for making excuses, but the fact remains that West
Ham were without seven senior players through injury on Sunday - Mark Noble,
Cheikhou Kouyate, Michail Antonio, Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho, Pedro Obiang
and Arthur Masuaku.

"Of course, you are asking yourself and asking your players [to reach the
same level of performance as against Tottenham], but we were missing a
couple of really good players and that little bit of complacency that we
wanted to avoid [slipped in]," he continued.

"We knew there was no place for that because it was such a big game, but it
was probably there subconsciously."

The manager had had to deal with other issues too, but he is refusing to be
downbeat, instead speaking optimistically about how he and the Club will
work over the summer to ensure a better season in 2017/18.

"It was a very difficult one and a very long one, to be fair," he observed.
"We had many, many obstacles but it showed today it was not about the
stadium. The stadium needs time to adjust but we knew that before - we
simply had too many injuries, not only today but throughout the season.

"We had eight operations this season, which was kind of weird, to be fair,
and that's why I would like to give credit to the players because it was
very hard.

"We had a minimum goal and we achieved it and we're going to benefit from
this season long-term with the knowledge and experience because it was a
very tough season.

"First, we have to adjust to the stadium. That period is not over, but it's
going to be better because we already had one season here.

"Then we have to find good players in a few positions that we need to
improve the squad. We have a good squad, but we need to improve the quality
in the positions that we really need and where we had to improvise this
season. That's all, really."

West Ham weren't good enough against Liverpool, admits Slaven Bilic
By Simeon Gholam
Last Updated: 14/05/17 5:20pm

Slaven Bilic admitted West Ham weren't good enough in their 4-0 thrashing by
Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday.

Goals from Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi, either side of a Philippe
Coutinho brace, saw the Reds on their way to victory at the London Stadium.

"We spoke before the game about wanting to put in the same performance as
against Spurs, but it wasn't to be," Bilic told Sky Sports. "We were slower
and [Liverpool] were quicker.

"We could have scored the first goal and maybe it would have [changed] the
game and we should have equalised with [Andre Ayew's] chance. But it wasn't
good enough, especially in the second half. There was a little bit of
complacency that we wanted to avoid.

"There was no place for that in such a big game, but it was probably there

Bilic also admitted a little bit of relief that such a challenging debut
season at West Ham's new home was coming to an end.

"It's been a very difficult one and a very long one," he said. "We've had
many obstacles today but it wasn't all about the stadium. We need time to
adjust, and we knew that before, but we've also had too many injuries.

"That's why I'd like to give credit to the players, because it was a very
hard [season]. We've achieved our minimum goal and we're going to benefit
from this in the long-term."

West Ham's business was poor last summer, with very few of their new
signings making an impression in the first team, and Bilic says they will
need to add some quality to their squad before next season.

"We have to find good players for a few positions and we need to improve the
squad as we've had to improvise [in certain positions] at times this
season," he said.

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic furious with complacent Irons after home
thrashing by Liverpool
The Irons had been on a five-game unbeaten run, but were ruthlessly
The Mirror
18:21, 14 MAY 2017

Slaven Bilic accused his West Ham stars of complacency after they were
thrashed by Liverpool. The Irons boss had been without eight senior players,
including captain Mark Noble, Andy Carroll and Michail Antonio, all injured.
But the Croatian blasted his players for not showing enough focus, as a
five-game unbeaten run came to a crashing end. He said: "We wanted to avoid
complacency but it was obviously there at least subconsciously. "They were
better, we were nowhere near close enough. If you give time and space to
players like Coutinho, Sturridge and Lallana they will kill you. That's
exactly what happened." West Ham were impressive in ending Tottenham's title
challenge two weeks ago. But they were unable to find the same intensity
against Jurgen Klopp's side. Bilic added: "I am very disappointed with the
way we played. I wanted the same performance as against Spurs or similar. We
didn't do it. "We have to be honest about it. We were without a few players
but that was the case against Spurs too."


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