Wednesday, May 17

Daily WHUFC News - 17th May 2017

Lanzini - I am very happy here

Manuel Lanzini 'very happy' at West Ham United after an impressive second season in Claret and Blue
Argentinian scored eight Premier League goals in team-high 34 appearances for Hammers
No10 is also hoping to his form could create opportunities to play for the Argentina national team

Manuel Lanzini is 'very happy' at West Ham United and is already targeting a successful 2017/18 season. West Ham United's No10 has been a standout performer this term, scoring eight goals, registering two assists and completing an accurate 87.2 per cent of his passes in a team-high 34 Premier League appearances. The Jewel has shone particularly brightly in the second half of the season following the departure of Dimitri Payet, setting up two goals in the vital victory at Middlesbrough before scoring an even more important goal in the memorable home win over Tottenham Hotspur. "The season was good for me on a personal level," said the Argentinian star. "At the beginning it was not great [as I suffered an injury on international duty in pre-season], but then I could achieve a good level. "Dimi is a great player. He left and it was not a good news for the squad but luckily at the end I had a very good season. "[With the win over Tottenham], we achieved the points to stay in Premier League, which was the most important thing. We did not have a good start of the season, but now we need to think in the next game and the next season. "For now, I am thinking of the next game then thinking of having good holidays with the family. I am very happy here."

Lanzini was one of a number of important players to miss portions of the campaign through injury but, with the season now at its conclusion, the Players' Player of the Year insisted now it is a time to look forward rather than lament the past. "We did not start [the season] as we expected but we had few problems and injures to deal with and now we have to work hard for the forthcoming season.
"All changes need time to adapt to. The pitch and the stadium are much bigger than the previous ones [at the Boleyn Ground]. Now we have adapted to these changes and we achieved our target of remaining in Premier League. "Next year, if we work hard, we will get a better result."

While his Club commitments may be at an end for 2016/17, Lanzini's outstanding form in Claret and Blue have seen him tipped for a first call-up to the senior Argentina squad. With La Albiceleste struggling to secure automatic qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals and currently without a head coach, there may be an opportunity for the 24-year-old to force his way into the national-team set-up. "When there are changes in the national team, there are opportunities," he observed. "I am obviously working to get there as it is an honour for every player to play for his national team, but I only have to work hard and play good football."

FT - Newcastle United 1-2 West Ham United PL2

Newcastle United 1-2 West Ham United PL2

FT: THERE IT IS! It's all over, and the Hammers have been promoted to Premier League 2 Division 1!

90+3: Spiegel claims a long throw. Seconds left here...

90: Three minutes of additional time is signalled.

89: We're into the last few minutes and George Dobson receives the first booking for a strong, strong (and late!) challenge.

85: Chance for Diangana to seal the win! It falls to him on the edge of the box, but Harker is equal to his decent attempt. At the other end, Spiegel saves the Hammers again, but it was a routine stop.

85: Final change for West Ham. Martinez - who scored his 13th and 14th U23 goals in his 14th appearance of the season tonight - is replaced by Joe Powell.

84: Into the wall and cleared!

83: Free-kick for Newcastle right on the edge of the box...

81: Phew. Spiegel was surely fouled, but the referee says nothing doing. The keeper dropped his catch but claims it on the line.

80: The pressure's on. The Magpies come into the box down the right, but a great tackle from Hendrie clears it for another corner...

80: They win the header, but Spiegel claims...

79: Newcastle win a corner, meanwhile Dan Ward replaces Jack Hunter.

78: Newcastle are beginning to get hold of the ball more but are yet to have troubled Spiegel in this second half. It might be a case of holding on for the Hammers as we approach the last ten.

72: Newcastle come forward and again it's Holmes in on the right, but the winger's cross (or shot) is tame. Spiegel claims easily.

69: That is absolutely quality from Declan Rice. Heading for the corner, he challenges Heardman, somehow stops the ball from going out, turns his man and gets things moving again for West Ham. Outstanding.

64: Sub for the Toon - Liam Smitth comes off for Luke Charman.

63: Another good chance! Samuelsen has a shot charged down in the box and at the second time of asking, he lays it off to Kemp. The winger's cross is just too high for Diangana at the back stick and Newcastle clear.

62: Since the second, it's been all West Ham. Of course they must be careful of Newcastle's counter-attacks, but a third could kill off the hosts here...

60: The attendance inside St. James' Park tonight - 1,824.

57: He's back alright...

54: GOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLLL! Incredible - it's a second for Martinez! The Spaniard picks the ball up 25 yards from goal and smashes one into the bottom corner. Unstoppable!

53: Another sub for West Ham. Nathan Holland comes off - he's been struggling with a knock this week - and Grady Diangana is introduced.

49: Another chance for Martinez! Knoyle clips a ball into the box and the forward is unmarked, but he doesn't connect with the volley.

47: Martinez and Samuelsen link up well again and the latter shoots, but it's well blocked.

46: We're off and underway in the second half! Let's pick up where we left off.

HT: That was a great time to score. The Hammers have got themselves deservedly level at the break.

44: Sub for the Hammers. Noha Sylvestre has picked up a knock and is forced off. On comes Stephen Hendrie.

44: That pass from Dobson can't be ignored - it was fantastic. And Martinez in that position just does not miss.

43: GOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL! That didn't faze the striker! In clinical Martinez fashion, the Spaniard receives a lovely pass from Dobson and smashes across the keeper to level for the Hammers! Get in there!

42: In almost identical fashion, Martinez has a similar chance at the over end and the outcome is exactly the same!

41: Newcastle come forward and a strong challenge in midfield gives Holmes the chance to shoot, but the midfielder blazes it well over.

40: Chance! Dan Kemp plays a one-two with Knoyle deep in Newcastle's half and gets to the byline. The winger runs all the way to the six yard box line but shoots from a very tight angle. Easy save for Harker.

36: The Hammers are giving everything in this first half and have had the better of the play, though not yet that killer chance. It will come...

33: Hunter plays a nice ball over the top for Newcastle's goalscorer Heardman, but the striker is offside. He failed with the first touch, anyway.

28: Great stuff by Martinez. He shrugs off the challenge of three defenders, gives it to Makasi and Kemp wins a corner. It's cleared, but the Hammers recycle possession and Knoyle delivers another cross. The Hammers are probing before the break here...

24: The Magpies deliver another set-piece, but this time's it's headed over. West Ham need to settle a bit here and find their rhythm after falling behind.

22: Very similar to the goal the Hammers conceded at Wolves, that one. A deep corner won at the back post. The Magpies have a big side, and that looks to be where they want to cause the visitors trouble.

19: Goal. Newcastle make the corner count. It's a deep delivery from the right, and left-back Kyle Cameron rises highest to head back across goal. Heardman is first to the header and taps in to make it 1-0.

19: Bit of danger for West Ham. Jamie Holmes gets down the right for Newcastle, but Akinola clears his cross. Corner...

17: Determined closing down again from Martinez, and he blocks the keeper's long kick, but Harker in goal is able to pick it up once again. The hosts got lucky, there.

16: Newcastle counter, winning a corner, but it's deeper than everyone who filled the box and it swings out for a goal kick.

15: Great football by the Hammers there. Dobson sprays a delightful ball wide to Holland on the left who pings it back over to the advanced Knoyle. The right-back's cross is just a touch too short for Martinez though.

13: It's great to see Toni Martinez back in a West Ham shirt! He's holding the ball up superbly when he can, bringing others into play and giving the Magpies plenty to think about.

9: Martin Samuelsen is getting on the ball plenty in this opening first ten minutes and he wants to pull the strings out here. So far, the Newcastle defence are standing firm...

7: Newcastle play a long ball over Tunji Akinola's head and Liam Smith strikes well, but Spiegel makes a great save down to his left. Good goalkeeping!

5: Dangerous down the left, but the Hammers come down the right and Dan Kemp smashes one just over and wide from a tight angle after a few nice stepovers. A good start!

4: A slightly nervy start from both sides so far with neither outfit controlling the ball. The Hammers have been nearest the opposition's box, though, and look dangerous particularly down the left with Nathan Holland.

1: We're underway at St. James' Park!

6:55pm: Five minutes to go. Let's do this - come on you Irons!

6:40pm: A good crowd is expected at St. James' Park this evening, with the match free to watch for both home and away Season Ticket Holders. Let's hope those who have travelled from down south can cheer the Londoners to victory!

6:30pm: So, there's just one change for the Hammers from the team which grabbed two late goals to beat Wolves in the Semi-Final last week. We welcome back Toni Martinez, who has returned after a successful loan spell in League One with Oxford United, and Grady Diangana drops to the bench. Meanwhile, Martin Samuelsen looks set to start behind the Spaniard as a the No10. Declan Rice - as he has done all season - captains the side, and Raphael Spiegel continues in goal.

6:15pm: The win against Newcastle this season was one of our best performances of the campaign - our first home match of the term. You can have a watch of the highlights from that 3-1 win here, meanwhile the 0-0 league draw and the Premier League Cup extra-time defeat can also be viewed.

Newcastle United: Harker, Williams, Bailey, Findlay, Cameron, Hunter (Ward 79), Barlaser, Holmes, Smith (Charman 64), Wilson (Fernandez 50), Heardman.

Subs not used: Huuhtanen, Newberry.

Goals: Heardman 19

PL2: Spiegel, Knoyle, Akinola, Rice, Sylvestre (Hendrie 44), Dobson, Makasi, Kemp, Samuelsen, Holland (Diangana 53), Martinez (Powell 85).

Subs not used: Trott, Hector-Ingram.

Goals: Martinez 43, 54

Bookings: Dobson 89

6pm: Good evening! It's the big one this evening - the play-off final! We've made the long trip up to the north east to face Newcastle United for the fourth time this season for a place in Division 1 of Premier League 2. So far, our record against the Magpies this season looks like this: W1, D1, L1. It should be a fascinating tie...Team news to follow shortly.

Kemp gets first Young Lions call

Academy winger Dan Kemp named in England squad for prestigious Toulon Tournament
Eighteen-year-old has enjoyed fine season, scoring three goals in 24 games for West Ham United's U23s
Kemp and the Hammers tackle Newcastle United in Premier League 2 promotion play-off final on Tuesday evening

West Ham United Academy winger Dan Kemp has been included in England's squad for the prestigious Toulon Tournament, formally known as the Maurice Revello Tournament, in France.

The call up represents Kemp's first inclusion in a Young Lions squad and gave the teenage attacker a timely boost ahead of Tuesday's Premier League 2 Division 2 promotion play-off final with Newcastle United at St James' Park.

England won the tournament last summer and will kick-off the defence of their title by tackling Angola, Cuba and Japan in their group stage games, which will be played between 29 May-4 June. The final will be played in Aubagne on Saturday 10 June.

"I'm delighted," confirmed the 18-year-old, who has totalled 20 Premier League 2 and EFL Trophy appearances for the Hammers' U23s this season. "It's always a dream to be called up for England and I'm honoured to have been called up for my country, so hopefully I can make my debut while we're over there.

"I want to kick on now and play a lot of games for England and keep moving forward. England won the tournament last season and it's an excellent competition, so it'll be an amazing experience and I'm over the moon.

"I'm really pleased with how the season has gone. It's been a great one for me and my best to date. We're looking to finish off a great season for the Academy tonight by getting promoted, so this call up has given me a big boost ahead of the game."

It's always a dream to be called up for England and I'm honoured to have been called up for my country, so hopefully I can make my debut while we're over there

Kemp has scored three goals and assisted four more for Terry Westley's side, including the opener in the vital 4-0 Premier League 2 Division 2 victory at West Bromwich Albion on 24 April that clinched West Ham's place in the play-offs.

The teenager joined the Hammers in November 2015, having spent a decade in the Chelsea Academy, and played his part in the Club's memorable U21 Premier League Cup success last season.

West Ham will aim to finish their year on a high again when they travel to St. James' Park for the third time this season on Tuesday evening.

The Hammers won 4-0 at The Hawthorns on the final day of the regular season before winning 2-1 at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the play-off semi-finals courtesy of two late goals.

Opponents Newcastle finished third in the league standings and go into the final in good form. Peter Beardsley's men have won three games on the bounce including a 2-0 semi-final victory over Fulham last week.

With his England call up fresh in his mind, however, Kemp will be inspired to shatter the Magpies' dreams of playing in Premier League 2 Division 1 next season.

Westley signs new three-year-deal

Academy Director Terry Westley has signed a new three-year contract with the Club
Westley will hope to end his third full season at the Club on a high this season by clinching promotion with the U23s
Westley said he is "delighted" to have been rewarded with a new deal

West Ham United are delighted to announce that Terry Westley has signed a new three-year contract as Academy Director. Westley joined the Hammers at the start of the 2014/15 season, and has enjoyed lots of success since taking over from Tony Carr. Westley was the Academy boss at Birmingham City until 2011 before taking up a role as Head of Player Development at the Premier League. He then left that job to become Academy Director and Head of Coaching and Player Development at West Ham in 2014. After signing the new deal, Westley spoke of his hopes to continue to progress the Academy and achieve the ultimate aim of getting more young players into the West Ham first team. "To sit down with Karren [Brady] and the two Davids [Sullivan and Gold] and for them to say they want you to continue and they can see the work you're trying to put in place is always nice," Westley admitted. "There was no long discussions about it, it was done very quickly. I'm delighted to commit to a further three years and hopefully beyond that to complete the job that has been started. "It's not a question of another three years and it's over. If you looked at the three-year cycle so far, coming in and having the audit to sustain our category one status, assessing what we had in terms of players and staff, trying to take the academy forward, I think we've done very well. "But now we're looking at year six and where we need to be by then and putting new strategies and a vision in place, to try and make our objectives come true."

There have been a number of stand out moments during Westley's reign to date, most notably young star Reece Oxford, who made his Premier League debut last season at the age of just 16 in the 2-0 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. There have also been a number of successes on the international field – in particular Martin Samuelsen, a Westley signing in the summer of 2015, who made his senior debut for Norway and scored in the 4-1 win over San Marino in November 2016. Furthermore, a host of young players have gained valuable experience out on loan in the Football League and abroad. Westley is proud of the work he and his team have managed to complete so far, but understands there is still much more to be achieved. "We know the main two objectives are to get young players in the first team which West Ham are famous for," he added. "A passion of mine and the manager, Slaven, is to get back to that culture of West Ham producing their own players. "The other is the financial gain, where we understand that sometimes we have to sell players for a big financial gain to sustain the level of commitment that the board are showing the Academy. "We have some very talented players. I think the idea of development of players and not solely worrying about results, the extensions of the loans we've had over the last three years, the tour and trips we've given the young players, playing young players up age groups, is starting to bear fruit. "We still haven't finished and we still have to work tirelessly hard as a club to try and make our objectives happen."

Carragher lauds AC wonder goal

Jamie Carragher says Andy Carroll's overhead kick was the Premier League's Goal of the Season
Ex-Liverpool man and Carroll's former teammate is now a pundit on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football
Carroll netted wonder goal in West Ham United's 3-0 win over Crystal Palace in January

Monday Night Football pundit and former England defender Jamie Carragher says Andy Carroll's spectacular overhead kick should have been named the Premier League's Goal of the Season. The ex-Liverpool man was effusive in his praise for his former teammate's acrobatic finish in West Ham United's 3-0 win over Crystal Palace at London Stadium in January. However, viewers of the popular Sky Sports show voted for a similar piece of skill from another Reds player, midfielder Emre Can, who scored with his own overhead kick against Watford on 1 May. Carragher and fellow panellist Gary Neville, who picked a scorpion kick from Arsenal's Olivier Giroud against Crystal Palace as his own favourite, disagreed with the result of the supporters' poll. "I've gone for Andy Carroll as my Goal of the Season – the overhead kick," said Carragher, whose own-goal put the Hammers in front in the 2006 FA Cup final. "This is better than Emre Can's overhead kick from a couple of weeks ago. I've played with Andy Carroll and he's not the most subtle of men, so to get himself up like that and it's how hard he hits it really. "I don't even know why the goalkeeper dived to be honest. There's power, connection and it's right in the top corner. It's an unbelievable goal."

The strike was voted the Premier League's Goal of the Month for January – beating Giroud's scorpion kick – and came at the end of a superb build-up which included a pinpoint pass from Aaron Cresswell, a neat piece of skill from Manuel Lanzini and a cross from Michail Antonio that just begged to be hit – and it was! "As soon as I hit it I knew it was in, I got a good connection and knew it would hit the back of the net," said the striker. "It's definitely the best goal I've ever scored, one I'm very proud of. "I enjoy every goal I score, but that one was certainly a little bit more special – I don't think I'll ever get bored of watching that one back!"

Carroll's overhead was just one of a number spectacular goals he has netted in Claret and Blue. Who can forget the individual control and rasping finish at Swansea City in January 2015? The towering header to see off champions Chelsea at the Boleyn Ground in October 2015? Or the unforgettable hat-trick against Arsenal at the same venue in April 2016? The No9 does not score tap-ins, and Jamie Carragher clearly believes the Hammers centre forward should have been recognised for the best of the bunch.

by Dean Ammi (@whufcammi)

The Feghouli formula. Should he stay? Should he go? Do we need him? Does he need us?

I've supported West Ham all my life, and with my Algerian background and knowledge, I hope to shed some light on this debate.

Now I totally understand that every fan is entitled to their opinion. Some people will agree with me, others will disagree. Perfectly fine. But first of all, show Feghouli some respect. For people to go on camera publicly and call him "useless" and "want him binned" is ignorant and naive.

This is a man who got a goal and an assist with Algeria at the World Cup and helped them get further than England. A man who has more goals in the Champions League than the rest of the current West Ham squad combined. A man who scored in the first ever game at the London Stadium.

He signed for West Ham on a free transfer – a deal that still to this day has to be considered a bargain. Feghouli had big money offers from Turkey, which he chose to turn down for a move to East London and you have to praise him for that. Feghouli was our best player in pre-season and no-one can argue that either. Even though the results in the friendlies were pretty poor, he was showing so much promise.

Only Dimitri Payet has more assists for West Ham this season than Sofiane Feghouli in the Premier League. And considering how little game time Soso has had in comparison to other members of the squad, it's a very positive record.

Feghouli and Carroll built up a very good understanding with each other in pre-season, but with the latter unable to keep fit, it has been detrimental to this partnership. We saw the two link-up brilliantly away at Swansea. And both were on the score-sheet vs Crystal Palace.

Furthermore, Feghouli has been very unlucky this campaign. Cut him some slack. He picked up an injury in the warm-up of the first game of the season against Chelsea. A spell on the substitute's bench then meant that he was dropped from the Algeria squad for the Africa Cup of Nations. This really hurt him, because he went from being the best player in the national team three years ago to not even making the squad of 23.

And when he did get back in the West Ham team, Mike Dean showed him a ludicrous red card. These are all contributing factors to a devastating psychological blow.

People say Feghouli has been too inconsistent, and that he struggles to deal with defensive duties. But you could make a case for most of the squad being inconsistent this season. Aaron Cresswell for example – he's been below par. But we are letting him off the hook because he's English?

Feghouli's spell in the team was on the right wing, with Cheikhou Kouyate behind him at right-back. His game would have been aided with an actual right-back alongside him down that flank, as he did with Barragan at Valencia.

If you give Feghouli the freedom to run at people, he can be unstoppable at times. His little cameo against Liverpool on the weekend was a perfect example of that. The result of the match was gone, and the shackles were off. You could see that was what Slaven was telling Sofiane on the touchline. Have a go. He was the only one in claret and blue trying on the weekend.

I'm not saying he should start every single match, be we need our #7. West Ham fans say the squad needs strengthening. And they're right. It needs work in the summer. But letting Feghouli go? That's not strengthening; that's weakening it.

Under 23s secure promotion
Filed: Tuesday, 16th May 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham's Under 23s will be playing in Division One of next season's PL2 after winning tonight's play-off final at Newcastle. A Toni Martinez brace was enough to secure a berth in next season's top flight for Terry Westley's youngsters, who came from behind to steal a 2-1 win at St James Park Tom Heardman put the hosts ahead on the night with 19 minutes on the clock as he converted Kyle Cameron's header from close range. But Martinez levelled the scores on the stroke of half time as he fired across Magpies 'keeper Nathan Harker. The goal that sealed promotion arrived nine minutes after the restart and once again, it was that man Martinez on target. Trying his luck from 25 yards out, with little else on, the Spanish forward's dipping drive flew over the head of Harker into the far corner.

West Ham Utd: Raphael Spiegel, Kyle Knoyle, Olatunji Akinola, Declan Rice, Noha Sylvestre (Stephen Hendrie 42), George Dobson, Moses Makasi, Daniel Kemp, Toni Martinez (Joe Powell 84), Nathan Holland (Grady Diangana 52), Martin Samuelsen.
Subs not used: Nathan Trott, Jahmal Hector-Ingram.
Goals: Toni Martinez (44, 54).

Booked: George Dobson (89).

Newcastle Utd: Nathan Harker, Callum Williams, Owen Bailey, Stuart Findlay, Kyle Cameron, Jack Hunter (Dan Ward 78), Dan Barlaser, Jamie Holmes, Liam Smith (Luke Charman 64), Adam Wilson (Victor Fernandez 58), Tom Heardman.

Subs not used: Otto Huuhtanen, Michael Newberry.

Referee: Tom Nield.

Attendance: 1,824.

Lanzini happy at West Ham (for now)
Filed: Tuesday, 16th May 2017
By: Staff Writer

Manuel Lanzini has reacted to a string of newspaper reports linking him with a summer transfer by insisting he is happy at West Ham. The #10 was hauled out by the club this morning to dismiss stories linking him with the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool, after the Daily Star suggested the Argentine was a summer target.
"For now, I am thinking of the next game then thinking of having good holidays with the family," he told West Ham United's website. "I am very happy here.
"We did not start [the season] as expected but we had few problems and injures to deal with. Now we have to work hard for the forthcoming season. "We have adapted to the changes [at the Olympic Stadium] and we achieved our target of remaining in Premier League. Next year, if we work hard, we will get a better result."
Lanzini, who completed a permanent £9million switch to West Ham last summer has made 38 appearances for the Hammers this season, scoring eight goals.

Upson: much ado about nothing
Filed: Tuesday, 16th May 2017
By: Staff Writer

Former Hammer Matthew Upson says that complaints about the atmosphere at the Olympic Stadium have been "overplayed" by West Ham fans.

Upson, who spent four seasons at West Ham between 2007 and 2011 told bwin that he felt West Ham had settled into the Stratford arena - and that he felt it would help the club achieve their ambitions.

"The old ground was fantastic, rich in history, stature and presence, but every forward-thinking club has to look at improving their stadium or moving to a bigger one," said the former Hammers skipper.

"I think the focus on the atmosphere has been largely overplayed this season – from what I could see and hear, the atmosphere against Spurs was amazing and the team played very well with a high tempo.

"Many clubs seemingly find it difficult initially when moving stadiums, but West Ham looked like they're settling in to the stadium now. That result against Spurs showed that the London Stadium can be home for West Ham fans and it really rocked.

"It's a big enough club with a brand new stadium to push on. It has the supporting structure to push into that Europe conversation but they've got to find the right players, with the right balance on the pitch."

Upson made 131 appearances for West Ham during his time at the Boleyn Ground.

He joined the club from Birmingham in a £6million deal during the 2007 January transfer window and left on a free transfer when the club were relegated at the end of the 2010/11 campaign.


Hello Hammers. Here is today's lunchtime round up.

Vodafone have pulled out of a £20million deal for the naming rights of the London Stadium. (The Guardian)

The Vodafone Arena had a really nice ring to it, but it won't be happening now. It is a shame, but there will be another big company that win the naming rights. I just hope that they give the stadium a decent name.

Everton are interested in signing West Ham's star Manuel Lanzini. (The Mirror)

I am very confident that this will not happen. He loves West Ham and we love him, so I do not see him going anywhere. Manu is the future of our club and I see him being here for the long term.

Harry Kane has taken a dig at West Ham over the style of football that they play. (Football Insider)

With all due respect, I really do not care what Harry Kane has to say about us. Concentrate on your own team, mate.

Arsene Wenger has taken a dig at West Ham for their performance against Liverpool. (Daily Star)

I find this incredibly funny. I'm sorry Arsene, but if you had to rely on West Ham, rather than yourselves, in order for you to get a top four place, then you do not deserve to get one.

West Ham are waiting to hear if Pablo Zabaleta will be their first summer signing. (Evening Standard)

As I have said before, I would have preferred someone younger than Zabaleta. However, I am not going to complain if we get him, especially on a free transfer.

Josh King is set to snub West Ham, Spurs and Newcastle and stay at Bournemouth. (Daily Star)

Its good to see loyalty from King, but lets be honest for a second. If any of the three teams came in for him, he would consider. We are all bigger clubs than Bournemouth and a chance to play for a bigger club would tempt him.

Manuel Lanzini 'happy' at West Ham and hopes to build on personal success
By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 16/05/17 4:28pm

Manuel Lanzini insists he is happy at West Ham and hopes to build on his own personal success next season. The Argentine midfielder has been a stand-out performer for the Hammers this campaign and has arguably managed to fill the void left by Dimitri Payet in January. Lanzini, who has scored eight goals and provided two assists in 38 appearances, has been linked with a summer move away from West Ham, with Everton and Liverpool mooted as potential suitors in the national press. However, the 24-year-old says he is keen to remain with West Ham and is already looking ahead to next season. "The season was good for me on a personal level," Lanzini, who is contracted to West Ham to at least 2020, told the club's website. "At the beginning it was not great [as I suffered an injury on international duty in pre-season], but then I could achieve a good level. "Dimi [Payet] is a great player. He left and it was not good news for the squad but luckily at the end I had a very good season. "We achieved the points to stay in Premier League, which was the most important thing. "We did not have a good start of the season, but now we need to think in the next game and the next season. "For now, I am thinking of the next game then thinking of having good holidays with the family. I am very happy here. "Next year, if we work hard, we will get a better result."

Where has it all gone wrong for West Ham this season? Slaven Bilic's side have no identity and no plan
Too often this season West Ham have looked like a team that has run out of ideas. Except against the very biggest teams, there never seems to be a cohesive plan
The Independent
Jack Pitt-Brooke @jackpittbrooke an hour ago0 comments

What if Arsene Wenger was right? The gulf between West Ham United's last two performances, overpowering Tottenham Hotspur then rolling over for Liverpool, was so vast that it must have left Wenger exasperated as he watched on Sunday afternoon. Hence Wenger's Monday morning snark about teams "releasing their focus". He did not need to mention West Ham but he did not need to.

No team shows a bigger gulf between their good and bad days than Slaven Bilic's side. The defeat of Spurs was the West Ham of last season, who nearly finished fourth and registered seven wins in their 10 games against what we now call the 'big six'. But Liverpool, nine days later, was this year's Hammers: sloppy, slow, dismally easy to play against and with no obvious plan.

There is a view that beating the big teams is enough, that it shows that West Ham and Bilic can do it when it really matters. West Ham have delivered some unforgettable games over the last two years, the argument runs, and that surely matters more than silently accumulating Premier League points.

That view is wrong. Being able to beat the good teams but not the bad ones is the sign of a bad team, not a good one. It shows that they can only function when maximally motivated. Which is fine in international football, as Bilic showed with Croatia at Euro 2008 and Euro 2012, but not exactly the best approach over a 38-game season.

The sign of a proper team is that they have an identity, a clear way of playing, that is apparent from the start of every match. Every good team bears the clear imprint of their manager, as Arrigo Sacchi always used to see. But what is West Ham's identity? What is their structure? Except against the very biggest teams, there never seems to be a cohesive plan.

That is why West Ham cannot win the games they are expected to, when modest opposition comes to the London Stadium and it is their job to unpick them. This year they have lost at home to Watford, Southampton, Leicester City and Astra Giurgiu. Even the home wins that have kept them up, scraping past Sunderland, Burnely, Hull and Swansea all by 1-0, have been desperately unconvincing.

Too often this year West Ham have looked like a team that has run out of ideas, and when their only idea is to play like their lives depend on it, that is no real idea at all.

Of course there are factors beyond Bilic's control here.

The move to the new stadium has cost West Ham one third of their haul of home points from last season. There have been many more bad days than good ones there this season and some of the defeats, to Manchester City and Arsenal, have been embarrassingly bad. When Arsenal left the pitch after winning 5-1 there last December, one first teamer thought West Ham were one of the worst opponents he had ever faced.

West Ham lost their best player Dimitri Payet in January, and their purchases last year were nowhere near good enough to make up the gap. Jonathan Calleri, Simone Zaza, Alvaro Arbeloa, Edimilson Fernandes and Ashley Fletcher all struggled to make an impact. That might not be Bilic's fault but the failure of Gokhan Tore, his player from Besiktas, more likely is.

So not everything is Bilic's fault, as his team limp towards the end of a disappointing season. But the West Ham board have two options this summer, to give him a new deal or to get rid of him. With the team drifting in the wrong direction, and with Bilic's motivational burst only likely to wear thinner, what is the case for keeping him on?

Vodafone to scrap £20m naming rights deal for London Stadium
By Sky Sports News HQ
Last Updated: 16/05/17 9:14am

Vodafone will confirm on Tuesday that they have shelved plans to pay £20m for the naming rights at London Stadium. In April, Sky Sports News HQ revealed details of the six-year deal that would have seen the London Stadium renamed the Vodafone Arena. The deal would have raised £3.33m a year for the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC). Vodafone are expected to announce huge trading losses, reportedly up to £4bn. The company is keen to avoid any more negative publicity after a terror attack on the Vodafone Arena in Istanbul, home to Besiktas, which killed 38 people last year. It remains unclear whether last month's raids by HMRC at the offices of West Ham contributed to Vodafone's decision.

Vodafone pulls out of £20m West Ham naming-rights deal for London Stadium
Company confirms it has abandoned plans to sponsor the stadium
Breakdown of talks over terms of deal, not over HMRC investigation
Guardian sport
Tuesday 16 May 2017 09.48 BST Last modified on Tuesday 16 May 2017 09.50 BST

Telecoms giant Vodafone has confirmed that it has abandoned plans to sponsor the London Stadium in a £20m deal, dealing the latest blow to its troubled conversion to West Ham United's home. The company was believed to be on the verge of a six-year deal to take on the naming rights for the stadium, several years after London Legacy Development Corporation, the publicly funded joint venture that owns the stadium, began looking for potential partners.

But talks have now broken down and Vodafone has confirmed that it will not be proceeding with the deal. Sources insisted the breakdown in talks was over the terms of the deal and nothing to with an ongoing HMRC investigation that included the seizing of material from West Ham. Under its lease to use the London Stadium, for which it pays a basic rate of £2.5m in rent per year, West Ham is due to receive 40% of E20's naming rights revenue over £4m a year.

The naming rights deal is seen as crucial to making the complex sums around the taxpayer-funded stadium add up. Talks with the Indian conglomerate Mahindra collapsed last year amid differences over the value of the naming rights. The stadium has had a controversial first season as a Premier League venue, with crowd trouble during early matches due to problems over relocation and segregation, and underwhelming performances from the team on the pitch. Fans have also complained about a lack of atmosphere and some seats being too far away from the pitch.

Building the stadium for the London 2012 Olympics and making it suitable for football has now cost more than £750m, after the cost of the conversion soared to £323m. The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, last year ordered an inquiry when new problems with the retractable seats, which added millions more to the bill, came to light.

16th May, 2017, 8:13 AM
By Harry Sykes

West Ham are facing a massive blow as Vodafone are preparing to pull the plug on a £20million naming rights deal after a draft contract had been drawn up, according to a report. The Times claim the mobile communications giant were due to sign a six-year deal worth more than £3million per annum in time for the start of the next season. It is said that Vodafone have reconsidered the plan despite it reaching an advanced stage and will confirm on Tuesday that it has pulled out of the proposed naming rights deal with the London Stadium.

The Times State that the telecoms company is concerned at an investigation of West Ham's transfer business by tax authorities following HMRC's raid on the club's offices at the ground last month. Vodafone's board have had the £20million draft contract on the table since the start of last month and it was in line to be signed before August. However, there is a concern among company chiefs about how long the investigation will last even if the authorities decide West Ham have no case to answer. Vodaone is anxious to avoid further negative publicity around its sports sponsorship deals after a terrorist attack on the Vodafone Arena in Istanbul, home to the Turkish football club Besiktas, which killed 38 people in December. London E20 Stadium, the company set up to manage the former Olympic stadium in Stratford, east London, will return to the market after the summer to find a new naming sponsor.

Everton interested in signing West Ham's Manuel Lanzini as Ronald Koeman searches for creativity
The Irons face a summer fight to keep another of their top stars following Dimitri Payet's controversial move back to Marseille in January
The Mirror
22:30, 15 MAY 2017UPDATED00:35, 16 MAY 2017

Everton want to sign West Ham playmaker Manuel Lanzini. The Irons face a summer fight to keep another of their top stars following Dimitri Payet's controversial move back to Marseille in January. Everton boss Ronald Koeman is hunting creative options with Ross Barkley increasingly likely to decide against signing a new deal with just a year left on his contract. Lanzini has scored eight goals this season with his haul including the winner to end Tottenham's title chances two weeks ago. Koeman already has a long-standing interest in Swansea's Gylfi Sigurdsson for whom he'd like to conclude a £25million deal - ironically ahead of West Ham. But he is a big admirer of Lanzini despite West Ham's insistence that the former River Plate star is not for sale. Lanzini was signed on a permanent deal for just £9.4million in March 2016 after impressing on an initial loan deal. He has since become a key player following Payet's demand to be sold back to his former club. West Ham boss Slaven Bilic said last month: "He likes to take the responsibility and he has stepped up. "I've spoken to him a lot of times, to try to put him under pressure. Not in a negative way - but because I noticed he wanted that kind of pressure. "He wants to be recognised as that kind of player. So I pushed him even harder. He was No. 10 at River Plate when he was 18 and that doesn't happen without a reason."

Liverpool hammering could be blessing in disguise for frustrated West Ham fans
Damien Lucas

For most West Ham United fans the 4-0 defeat to Liverpool was the straw that broke the camel's back in a hugely disappointing season. The Hammers have endured a torrid second season under Bilic after their record breaking farewell campaign at Upton Park when they finished just four points off the Champions League places. A 4-0 drubbing in the last home game of the season summed up 2016/17 for the Hammers in one 90 minute showing. Knocked out of the Europa League, EFL Cup and FA Cup in embarrassing fashion, the East Londoners then lost star player Dimitri Payet after he forced through a return to Marseille. West Ham have flirted with relegation this season and Bilic's future has been the subject of intense media speculation despite many fans and pundits feeling he has done a good job in difficult circumstances with injuries, poor recruitment, the Olympic Stadium move and the Payet saga taking its toll. The 1-0 victory over fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur secured Premier League safety. But it was also very quickly used as justification for a number of issues by the club. From declaring that the game proved West Ham's new stadium finally felt like home to exclaiming players who have flopped all season long - such as Havard Nordtveit and Andre Ayew to name just two - were now proving their worth. Even captain Mark Noble, who has been criticised for his poor performances all season, was suddenly captain fantastic again off the back of what was one of only seven home wins for the Hammers all season. Bilic himself was hailed a tactical genius for outwitting Spurs boss Maurcio Pochettino and even the club's co-owner David Gold got carried away on Twitter.
Against Liverpool reality bit home when West Ham's squad - very much being stretched due to the injury situation - was shown up as being nowhere near good enough for the Premier League. While the 4-0 defeat may leave a sour taste in the mouths of supporters for the summer, it will surely be a blessing in disguise with Bilic and the owners left in no doubt that top quality reinforcements are needed in the transfer market.
After taking a giant step forward last season, West Ham have taken five steps back this term. And serious investment in the first team is the only way to get back on track. Over to you David Sullivan and Gold.

David Gold says Slaven Bilic has final say in transfers
Subhankar Mondal

West Ham United are not having a good season in the Premier League. West Ham United co-chairman David Gold has revealed on social networking site Twitter that Slaven Bilic has the final say on transfers. Gold has claimed on Twitter that he does not interfere with team selections, and that manager Bilic has the final say on which players stay at the club and which players are signed.

⚒⚒WHUFC⚒⚒ @mervshepherd
@davidgold give bilic full control of transfers. Tell sully to go to nandos with jack. Bilic knows best. Cant have chairmen picking team
12:07 AM - 14 May 2017
Retweets 4 4 likes

14 May
David Gold ✔ @davidgold
@mervshepherd We are never involved in picking the team. dg

⚒⚒WHUFC⚒⚒ @mervshepherd
@davidgold And let bilic pick his transfer targets. Not sullivan!!!
10:00 AM - 14 May 2017
1 1 Retweet 3 3 likes

David Gold ✔ @davidgold
Slaven has the final say in transfers, in or out. dg
10:25 AM - 14 May 2017
29 29 Retweets 123 123 likes

West Ham are not having a good season in the Premier League, and they look set to finish in the bottom half of the standings. The Hammers have struggled since the departure of attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet in the January transfer window. The London club also need a proven goalscorer who can score between 15 and 20 goals in the Premier League in a single season. West Ham are a massive club, and there is potential to break into the top six of the Premier League in the coming years. Bilic is a good manager, and he should be backed by the board in the summer transfer window in order to reinforce his squad and make it more competitive.

West Ham favourites to snap up 25-goal Dries Mertens if Napoli fail to seal new deal By Mohamed Moallim 16th May 2017

West Ham United have emerged as favourites to sign Napoli forward Dries Mertens. According to bookmakers Ladbrokes, the 30-year-old Belgian forward is edging towards a surprise move to London Stadium from Serie A this summer. He is now 7/4 favourites to join the Hammers ahead of Everton (4/1) and Liverpool (5/1). Mertens, who has amassed 57 internationals caps with Belgium, is enjoying his most prolific season for the Neapolitans and it comes as no surprise that he's attracted such attention for his services. Mertens began the 2016/17 playing on the left-wing position in Maurizio Sarri's 4-3-3 system. However, the 58-year-old tactician, three months into the season converted him into a false nine a move that has paid dividends. To date, Mertens has played 25 times as a centre-forward registering 22 goals and creating a further nine for his teammates. He made history, in the role, last December when he became the first player since 1974 to register back-to-back Serie A hat-tricks.


No comments: