Friday, May 19

Daily WHUFC News - 19th May 2017

Martinez already excited for next season

Spanish striker Toni Martinez scored his 13th and 14th West Ham United U23 goals in his 14th appearance on Tuesday
The double helped the young Hammers to promotion to Premier League 2 Division 1
The forward was naturally delighted and can't wait for preparations for next season to begin

After scoring the double which saw West Ham United U23s promoted to Premier League 2 Division 1 at St. James' Park on Tuesday, young Spanish striker Toni Martinez is already looking ahead to next term. The forward scored his 13th and 14th West Ham goals of an outstanding debut campaign in English football to earn the Hammers a 2-1 win against Newcastle United, fresh off the back of a successful loan spell in League One with Oxford United. The 19-year-old, who returned from his loan just this month, scored five times for the Us as well, including one against the Magpies in an FA Cup tie back in January. Having fired Terry Westley's young PL2 team to promotion on Tuesday, Martinez – signed from Valencia's youth ranks last summer – was delighted to be back scoring in Claret and Blue.
He said: "I'm very happy to help the team and help them achieve this tonight and now I'm looking forward to next season. "We're so happy to get promoted. I just tried to do my work – scoring goals – and I'm just very happy to have made this possible. I'm very happy tonight because I've scored twice and we've won, so it's been a good day for me. "In the box, yes I'm always confident and feel like I can score goals. I'm just looking forward to next season now and I'm going to work very hard to get my opportunity – there's nothing more you can do. The game today showed we don't give up. It was an important game for us and we started badly by going behind but we just kept relaxing, keeping the ball, and we knew it would come."

Martinez is not available for selection for Slaven Bilic's first team in their final Premier League clash against Burnley on Sunday due to the rules surrounding loans to the Football League over the course of a season. But the hot prospect is already targeting a spot in the Croatian's team in the near future. "I know how difficult it is to play for the first team and to break into the squad but I'm going to do my best to try and do this," he continued. "I have been on loan and I enjoyed my time in Oxford very much. But of course tonight I'm happy to be back with this group and I'm very happy to return for this important game at the end of the season. "I learnt a lot at Oxford. I learnt the game of playing direct football, physical football. I got lots of experience of dealing with this and long balls and it's a different game. I think this is important for strikers to have experience playing like this. "It's a great end to the season for me, and now I'm going to rest and be ready for pre-season."

Reid - I had to get it sorted out

Winston Reid expressed mixed emotions after undergoing season-ending surgery that will also force him to miss this summer's FIFA Confederations Cup. The New Zealand skipper had an operation this week to rectify a rare and chronic knee condition that has seen him play through the pain barrier for the past few weeks. Reid will now rest and start his rehabilitation at Rush Green over the next fortnight, before continuing to work on a personal programme during his summer break before returning to prepare for pre-season training.
"I'm done for the season as I've had an operation. I've struggled with it for the last six weeks and it hasn't got any better, so it's just been about managing the load, really. "I've been training just the day before games and doing some bits and bobs in the gym, but I had to get it sorted out. "It's a really weird thing, a bit of extra bone that needed removing and it had been causing a lot of pain in that area every time I was running or kicking the ball. It's been a bit of a struggle for the last six weeks or so, so it's something that I had to get sorted."

Reid's surgery and subsequent rehabilitation mean the No2 will be absent when the All Whites travel to Russia for the Confederations Cup in June – the tournament contested by the holders of each of the six regional championships, along with the FIFA World Cup holders Germany and the host nation. Naturally, the Auckland-born 2010 FIFA World Cup hero is gutted to be missing the competition, which also features Jose Fonte's Portugal, Australia, Chile, Mexico and Cameroon. "Obviously I'm really disappointed to be missing the Confederations Cup, but if I had gone there and played, it would not have got better," he explained. "If the Confederations Cup was nine or ten days away, I'd probably have given it a go, but the fact it is another month away and it's not getting any better made my decision. "We gave it a try for three weeks with some different methods to see if it would react in a different way, but unfortunately it didn't, so I had to go in for an operation. It is what it is."

Reid totalled 30 Premier League appearances in 2016/17, scoring two important goals against Sunderland and Swansea City and registering two assists. Defensively, nobody has made more clearances, interceptions or blocks this season than the 28-year-old, who joined the Hammers from Danish club FC Midtjylland in August 2010. In all, he has appeared 203 times in Claret and Blue, winning promotion in 2012 and the Hammer of the Year award the following season.

From the Treatment Room

Hello everybody.

While the Premier League season may be drawing to a close this weekend, the Medical and Sports Science department will not be going on holiday, as we have a number of senior players who have undergone surgery recently and are now beginning or about to begin their rehab.

Mark Noble had a significant surgery to rectify an abdominal issue on Saturday and, after spending a period in Spire Roding Hospital, he remains in a lot of pain but is now having a period of rest at home. As always, Mark will pull through. He will start his rehab with a low-key programme and then go on holiday before he comes back early to continue his rehab to prepare to start pre-season with the rest of the squad in early July. The injury was of a nature that we have not seen before, but this is something we have become used to with Nobes throughout his career!

Winston Reid also had a successful surgery this week to rectify a problem I have also never seen before in my career – a chronic problem that he has been playing with in the background for some time. It was possible for Winston to continue playing but, at some point, the risk assessment made us decide to go ahead and operate on him. Winston will work with us for the next two weeks. He will then have some time off, during which he will follow a personal programme, after which he will return and prepare for the pre-season.

Cheikhou Kouyate had surgery on a chronic problem with his wrist which means we had to reconstruct a ligament in his wrist. He played with this problem for a long time which again raised a risk of him suffering a secondary injury if he fell awkwardly. The operation was successful, like Winston and Mark's, and Cheikhou will now spend eight weeks in a cast. He will also come back early to prepare himself for pre-season.

Unfortunately, this means Winston will be unable to play in the FIFA Confederations Cup, while Cheikhou will not be available to captain Senegal in Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

We have positive news regarding Michail Antonio, who is already out of the brace he was wearing after the surgery. He is progressing very well with our head physiotherapist Dom Rogan, who is an excellent rehab physio, so he could not be in better hands. He will go on holiday with a physio and he is also getting married, but Michail will be in at Rush Green working on his rehab over the summer.

Angelo Ogbonna returned to the squad on Sunday after recovering from his knee surgery. Angelo played with this issue with his knee for seven years, until it reached a point of no return, but the surgery and rehab were very successful and he is available for selection at Burnley. Because of the time he was out, he will also come back early for pre-season.

Pedro Obiang is a top professional and is working with our top physio Frazer Young on his rehab on his knee and he is on schedule to return for the start of pre-season.

Finally, Diafra Sakho has suffered a setback with his back. Because of the complexity of the problem, we saw the specialist in France and decided to give him a period of rest, so he will return early in June to prepare for next season.

Stijn Vandenbroucke
Head of Medical and Sports Science


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

Jermain Defoe is demanding a £100,000 a week contract and a £6million signing on fee to join West Ham this summer. (Evening Standard)

I love Defoe and I would not be against him coming back, but that is absolutely crazy. He may be a good striker, but to demand that type of contract at his age is ridiculous. We could surely go out and get someone younger and better than Defoe for a cheaper price.

John Terry has promised the West Ham players a night out as a thank you for beating Spurs earlier this month. (Daily Mail)

People will slate him because he is John Terry, but I personally like the guy. He is on of the best centre backs of all time and he does not get the credit he deserves in my opinion. I said a while back that I thought West Ham and Chelsea had a good relationship off the pitch, and this backs up my point.

West Ham are interested in signing Manchester City's Kelechi Iheanacho and Chelsea's Michy Batshuayi this summer. (Evening Standard)

Either of these two would be brilliant signings for us, in my opinion. They should be the top two names on our list of targets this summer, and we should go all out for them. My preferred choice would be Michy, but I would be more than happy with either of them.

Pablo Zabaleta could complete a move to West Ham by next week. (HITC)

If this is true, then it is a great signing for us. I have heard that he has offers from elsewhere, but I hope he chooses to join us because he could offer a lot to us in my opinion.

Winston Reid has undergone season ending surgery, but says he had to get it done. (West Ham United)

If this had been earlier in the season, then I would have panicked. However, seeing as though there is only one game left I am not too fussed. I just hope Winston recovers well and comes back better and stronger next season.

Watford striker Isaac Success says his priority is to join West Ham this summer, if he cannot be guaranteed game time at Watford. (HITC)

If I am being honest, I can't actually remember this guy playing for Watford. Obviously he has made appearances, but I just cannot recall seeing him. Having said that, I am not sure if I would sign him or not. I think I would if we were to sign a bigger name striker as well as him, but I just don't think I can make a proper judgement when knowing so little about him.


Written by @CraigPodevin

After such a brilliant win against Tottenham to stop their title race and 3 clean sheets in a row, we got humiliated by Liverpool in our last game at the London Stadium this season. Looking to finish the season on a high, we travel to a Burnley team that have been fantastic at home this season.

General information:

Stadium: Turf Moor

Capacity: 22,546

Address: Harry Potts Way, Burnley, BB10 4BX

Away seating: 2,414

Burnley have been playing at Turf Moor since 1883! The stadium was redeveloped in the 90's, the first of their new stands (The James Hargreaves Stand) was opened in 1996. Two of their stands were opened in 1969 and 1974 respectively, giving the stadium half modern/half classic look and feel to it. The away stand is shared with home fans and has good acoustics, meaning you can create a good atmosphere at the game (which, as West Ham fans, you will no doubt do).



There are two railway stations that are within walking distance of the stadium: Burnley Central and Burnley Manchester Road. Central station is approximately 20 minutes and is served by local train services, whereas Manchester Road is a 15 minute walk and is served by faster services from Manchester Victoria.

To get to Central station, you will have to get a train from London Euston to Preston (Lancs) then a direct train to Burnley Central. To get to Manchester Road, you will have to get a train from Kings Cross to Leeds then to Burnley Manchester Road from there. Both journeys will take approximately 4-5 hours.

Burnley Manchester Road: When leaving the station cross the road towards the cinema, the ground is visible from here straight ahead. Turn left and go down the A682 'Centenary Way' downhill. After a few minutes you will come to a roundabout, turn right under the canal bridge onto the A671 (Yorkshire Street). Go down this road and Turf Moor will be on your left and the away stand will be the first one you come to.

Burnley Central: When coming out of the station you will see a small retail area, head towards that and you will reach the inner ring road A679. Turn left and after 200 yards you will come to some traffic lights, turn right at the lights onto the A682 (Church Street). Walk down this road until you reach a large roundabout. Turn left onto Yorkshire Street (the same one mentioned in the Burnley Manchester Road). Continue down this road and Turf Moor will be on your left with the away stand the first one you come to.


In your sat nav, put in the post code BB10 4BX to take you to Turf Moor. Leave the M6 at J29 onto the M65. Leave that at J10 and follow signs to Towneley Hall. This road will go past the ground.


There is a Cricket Ground near Turf Moor which offers parking for £6, a private car park on Doris Street (BB11 3DL which xosts approximately £5 and is 400 yards from the stadium. Other than that it's only street parking available. Be careful and check for any permit parking and always make sure you park legally to avoid tickets and fines.

Food and drink:

Inside the ground it's quite cramped, but you are able to get hot dogs (£2.70) and pies (£3). Alcohol is available in the form of lager (£3.50), bitter (£3.20) and cider (£3.50).

Near the stadium is the Cricket Club where you can park. It's open on match days and away fans are welcome – even wearing colours. There's also a pub nearby called the Queen Victoria Public House, where you can park for £5 and get refunded against the cost of food and drink. The Queen Victoria is approximately a 10 minute walk away from the stadium.

Another pub is the Bridge Bier Huise, again approximately 10 minutes away from the ground. It serves beer that's listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and offers bottled beers from around the world. You can visit their website for any information.

The Talbot pub has a large screen TV and home fans, plus real ale on tap.

The Turf Hotel on Yorkshire Street and pubs in the town centre are best to avoid, and don't show colours in and around the town centre.

Enjoy the game and stay safe while away. Come on you Irons @CraigPodevin

Veteran seeking £100k per week
Filed: Thursday, 18th May 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham target Jermain Defoe is seeking a bumper pay deal to lead him into retirement. The 35-year-old will leave Sunderland this summer after the Black Cats were relegated from the Premier League. However potential suitors have been told they that the former England man will not come cheap. According to the Evening Standard, Defoe - who can count both West Ham and Bournemouth as interested parties - is seeking a £5million per year salary (ITRO £100,000 per week) plus a signing on feee of circa £6million. Defoe was previously employed by West Ham between 1999 and 2003, when he famously handed in a transfer request the day after the club were relegated from the Premiership 14 years ago this month. Despite that ill-advised move, the former England striker remained at the Boleyn Ground for a further nine months before sealing a move to Tottenham, in exchange for Bobby Zamora and £7million.

West Ham interested in signing Kelechi Iheanacho from Man City
By Sky Sports News HQ
Last Updated: 18/05/17 6:24pm

West Ham are interested in signing Manchester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho in the summer, according to Sky sources. The Hammers are looking to bolster their forward line before the start of next season, with Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho having once again endured injury-hit campaigns. Iheanacho's current contract runs until 2021 and Sky Sports News HQ understands City value him at £20m. The Nigeria international has featured 28 times for City this season, scoring seven goals.
However, he has made just one start for City in 2017, with that appearance coming back on January 2 in the 2-1 win over Burnley. Iheanacho joined City's academy in 2014 and made his first-term debut in the 2-0 victory over Watford in August 2015. He scored his first City goal on his second appearance for the club and went on to net a further 13 goals during the 2015/16 campaign, which included a hat-trick against Aston Villa in the FA Cup.


West Ham's interest in Pablo Zabaleta is well-documented and we could be closing in on a resolution to this transfer saga. According to the London Evening Standard, the Hammers could complete the signing of Zabaleta as soon as next week if everything goes to plan. Manchester City have confirmed that Zabaleta will be leaving the club when his contract expires at the end of the season and after their final home game, they have the veteran defender a fond farewell in front of the home fans. Zabaleta has spoken about wanting to spend at least the next two years in competitive football before retiring away back to Barcelona where he spent a number of years at Espanyol. The reason he is leaving City is because he wanted a two-year commitment but the club were only looking to offer him a one-year deal to stay on, forcing his hand. West Ham are believed to be willing to offer Zabaleta a two-year deal worth in the region of £100,000-a-week to join the club to add some experience to the back four. Having made 333 appearances for City, Zabaleta is close to agreeing terms with the Hammers and we could see that deal finalised soon.

Adrian admits he could leave West Ham United... unless one change is made
John Verrall

West Ham United stopper Adrian's contract expires at the end of the season. Adrian has suggested to Estadio Deportivo that West Ham United need to start challenging higher up the Premier League table, if he is to stay. West Ham reportedly intend to activate a clause in Adrian's contract, which will allow them to keep him for a further year. The Spanish goalkeeper's current deal at the London Stadium is due to expire at the end of the season, but West Ham do not want to him to leave. The 30-year-old goalkeeper claims that he is happy in England. However, Adrian has suggested that West Ham must set their sets higher than just avoiding relegation if they want to keep him for the long-term. "I want to know the intentions of the club about me and see their project," he said. "We must fight for higher targets and not just for staying in the Premier League. This is my fourth season here and I want to fight for something else."
Adrian actually lost his place in West Ham's first-team for a portion of the season, but has come back into Slaven Bilic's plans more recently. West Ham's season has been a rather disappointing one, as they have failed to build on the progress they made last term.
The Hammers finished in seventh place in the Premier League table last year, but look destined to occupy a bottom half spot this time around.


Bringing in a striker or two remains one of the club's major summer priorities and in recent times, Slaven Bilic has put an emphasis on bringing in proven Premier League players. The London Evening Standard believe that the Hammers will be going down a similar route in the summer and are preparing a move for Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho. The 20-year-old striker burst onto the scene for City last season, possessing a real knack of making an impact off the bench, illustrated by notching stoppage time winners against Crystal Palace and Swansea. Despite playing just 1200 minutes of football last season, Iheanacho tallied 14 goals and five assists, which hands him one of the best goal involvement rates in the division. This term, Iheanacho has struggled for minutes, especially since the January arrival of Gabriel Jesus from Palmeiras but has still netted seven goals and provided three assists in 880 minutes of football.
Capped eight times by Nigeria, scoring five times, it's clear that Iheanacho possesses great talent and is an instinctive goalscorer and he just needs a platform to make a real name for himself and at West Ham where he could become the focal point of the attack, he may be able to carve out a career. Southampton and Everton are also linked with moves for the £20m-rated striker who averages a goal every 99 minutes in his professional career.

Get to know Declan Rice - the West Ham youngster who could make Premier League bow
The teenager is destined for the top and his journey could start this weekend
Football London
11:37, 18 MAY 2017

With news that Winston Reid will miss West Ham's final Premier League game of the season this weekend, it means that one of the rising stars of the Hammers academy could be set to make his Premier League bow. Declan Rice, who skippered the U23s to PL2 play-off glory this season, has been involved in the last four matchday squads in the top flight but yet to make his bow but that could be set to change. With Reid's injury and Angelo Ogbonna still not fully fit after his own injury problems, Reid's absence represents a real possibility for the teenager to step in at Turf Moor after some outstanding performances for the U23s this year. His boss, Terry Westley, believes Rice is the best player in PL2 division two having lifted the play-off shield last Monday night, but what do we know about the highly-rated youngster? Here's everything you need to know.

Rice signed for the Hammers from Chelsea four years ago and was a holding central midfielder but has been converted to a centre half since turning out in claret and blue, with superb results. Rice can play with both feet, is strong in the air and has a surprising turn of speed for a centre half. Rice's grandparents are both Irish, which is why he has chosen to represent their country and he is already established in the Ireland U21 set up. He won the Dylan Tombides Award in recognition of his performances for the Academy at the end of the 2015/16 season and was named captain of U23s at 17 years old. Rice lifted the PL2 play-off trophy last week and has been a part of four matchday squads for the first team this season but has yet to get any game time in the top flight. Arsenal were linked with a move for Rice last season but the Hammers tied their prospect down to a new deal, with the 18-year-old putting pen-to-paper on a three-and-a-half year contract which will keep him at the London Stadium until June 2020.

Kelechi Iheanacho joins Michy Batshuayi and Jermain Defoe on West Ham's transfer wishlist
Evening Standard

West Ham are considering a bid for Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho as they attempt to add pace to their squad. The Hammers are prioritising attacking players this summer and are also weighing up a move for Chelsea's Michy Batshuayi and retain an interest in Jermain Defoe, who they tried to sign for £6million in January. Standard Sport understands that the former Tottenham and Hammers striker would command wages of £100,000-a-week. West Ham are again without injured forwards Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho and Michail Antonio for their final Premier League match of the season at Burnley on Sunday. Without Carroll and Sakho for a significant chunk of the campaign, manager Slaven Bilic has struggled on with Jonathan Calleri and Andre Ayew up front but now needs to add real quality to his front line. Nigeria international Iheanacho is under contract until 2021 but City are prepared to listen to offers of around £20m, to help finance their spending plans for the summer. ​Iheanacho's opportunities at City have been limited under Pep Guardiola and although he has made 19 appearances for City this season, he has started only five matches. He has scored four goals and made three assists, despite completing only one full game. The previous campaign, when Manuel Pellegrini was in charge, was more fruitful with Iheanacho scoring 14 goals in 35 games. Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund are also reported to be interested in Iheanacho, with the added incentive of being able to offer Champions League football. West Ham are also poised to make a loan bid for Batshuayi, who came off the bench to score the goal that clinched the title last week. The Hammers were favourites to sign the Belgium international from Marseille after lodging a bid of just under £30m but the striker joined Chelsea for a fee of £33.2m. ​Batshuayi's appearances this season though been mostly as a substitute and manager Antonio Conte looks prepared to allow the striker to leave on loan this summer.

One deal which could go through next week is Manchester City's long-serving full-back Pablo Zabaleta to West Ham. The 32-year-old Argentine received an emotional send-off from City fans following their win over West Brom on Tuesday but will now move on — with West Ham plus clubs from Spain and Italy interested in signing the defender. Centre-half Winston Reid will miss the final game of the season after undergoing an operation this week. Reid, who was scheduled to captain New Zealand in the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia next month, said: "It's a bit of extra bone that needed removing in my leg and it had been causing a lot of pain in that area every time I was running or kicking the ball. It's been a bit of a struggle for the last six week so it's something that I had to get sorted."

Declan Rice in line for West Ham Premier League debut as Winston Reid ruled out of Burnley clash
The youngster could replace the Kiwi at the heart of the Hammers defence
Football London
09:52, 18 MAY 2017UPDATED10:12, 18 MAY 2017

Winston Reid has been ruled out of the season finale for West Ham after going under the knife. The Kiwi defender is the latest Hammer to have surgery this season - now tallying at eight - and it hands a real chance to 18-year-old PL2 skipper Declan Rice to replace him.
Angelo Ogbonna is unlikely to be fit enough to start the clash at Turf Moor after recovering from his knee injury, so 18-year-old Rice is in line to make his first team bow having been in the previous five matchday squads. Rice should line up alongside Jose Fonte and James Collins at the heart of the Hammers defence. Rice skippered the U23s to play-off glory in midweek as the youngsters beat Newcastle United 2-1 at St James' Park to secure promotion to Division One. Reid's operation reportedly took place yesterday and he is expected to be OK to join up with the Hammers once again in pre-season.

West Ham need to be bolder in playing younger players next season

Slaven Bilic is dejected by West Ham's sluggish showing against Liverpool, saying they never looked like challenging. It has long been the case that when West Ham turn a corner, they usually find another roadblock. Such was the case Sunday, when the Hammers came up against Liverpool in what many expected to be a difficult chase for Champions League points for the Merseyside club. The Hammers might have moved to a big stadium set amongst glorious parklands and canals, but some backgrounds never change.

It was hoped that when the club left their old home in Green Street, they would leave behind their infuriating inconsistency. Sadly, it seems that they have transported it with them.

After an exhilarating and battling display against Spurs the week before, it might have been expected -- at the very least -- that Liverpool would need to be at their best to overcome the Hammers.

It wasn't to be, however. In a limp and half-hearted performance, the Hammers faithful were forced to sit through another afternoon when they had turned up, but their heroes had not. Liverpool were impressive, but West Ham allowed them to be so.

The real issue about the performance against Jürgen Klopp's men was the lack of options. Shorn of Cheikhou Kouyate and Mark Noble, who joined Pedro Obiang and MIchail Antonio with season-ending injuries, there seemed to be little in reserve.

Jonathan Calleri is one of many West Ham players who have struggled to find their form.
It's hard to believe that players such as Reece Oxford and Reece Burke are better off playing Championship/League One football when they could be gaining experience in the Premier League. Neither might have been able to stem the Red tide on Sunday, but at least they would have learned something.

In the case of Oxford in particular, this was someone deemed good enough to start against teams such as Arsenal and Leicester City just over a year ago. What's to be gained by continually loaning out players such as he?

Older fans will remember someone such as Tony Cottee having an opportunity to start in the old First Division and seizing the chance with both feet. Whole careers can be carved out in such moments. Like Oxford, Cottee was eventually required to be rested after a seismic start -- that happens with younger players -- but the striker came back later to become a West Ham legend.

It's time the club reviewed their policy toward Academy stars. When the club is forced to pay £20 million for Andre Ayew -- a forward who managed to strike a post twice within seconds when a yard outside of the goal and no keeper in sight against Liverpool -- serious questions need to be asked.

Not that Ayew was the worst offender. His might have been the miss of the season, but at least he was in a place to miss it. One suspects Jonathan Calleri dreams of missing such a chance. As it is, the Argentine forward looks completely out of place in the Premier League, and it's hard to see how Slaven Bilic can persevere with a player he apparently rates highly.

The end of the season is in sight, and the problems for Bilic this summer are identical to those of the past. Money is available, but the best players want to join a club in the top seven. To compete and move the club forward, the Hammers need to take a punt on a player happy to see a move to Stratford as a step up and hope the gamble pays off. It has always been a problem for a middling top team such as West Ham. But now, with a big stadium to fill, the club -- from owners to coaching staff -- need to plan a way forward.

On Sunday, the last day of the 2016-17 season, West Ham travel to Turf Moor to play Burnley. It's a nothing match with little at stake, barring a few league placings and a bigger share of the Premier League millions.

The Hammers have a good record against the other Claret and Blue club, and this is the type of match in which the East London side might be expected to take some points. The Clarets have an excellent home record this season and will want to finish on a high, though.

This then is the type of game in which it would be considered a bonus if the manager were able to play a few youngsters and see what happens. Unfortunately, chances are the same faces will be seen again, and the campaign will limp toward its inevitable lower-mid-table end.

It's been a difficult season in many ways, and most fans have understood the situation and been patient. But there needs to be some positive direction by next August. Supporters might not be as accommodating next time out.

Peter Thorne, aka Billy Blagg (@BillyBlaggEsq), is ESPN FC's West Ham blogger.

John Terry promised West Ham squad a 'night out on the Chelsea boys' for beating Blues' title rivals Tottenham
Chelsea were crowned Premier League champions with win at West Brom
They made the most of Tottenham's slip-up against West Ham United
John Terry told Hammers that Chelsea's players would reward them if they won
By Sam Morshead For Mailonline
PUBLISHED: 00:27, 18 May 2017 | UPDATED: 00:27, 18 May 2017

The West Ham players can claim a night out on John Terry and his Chelsea team-mates after beating Tottenham, James Collins has revealed.
The Blues won the title last week following their victory over West Brom at The Hawthorns, having been given a major boost by Spurs' defeat at the London Stadium. And it has emerged that the champions' captain, Terry, handed the Hammers extra incentive ahead of that match. 'John Terry text me and Mark Noble saying, "If you boys beat Tottenham there's a dinner or a night out on the Chelsea boys," so that was nice,' Collins told Betway Insider. 'But we wanted to beat Tottenham anyway. We're lucky we did in the end looking at the result we got after that [a 4-0 loss against Liverpool]. 'It was a massive result, it put us safe and obviously to beat our closest rivals at home was massive.'
West Ham's first season at their new home has been largely forgettable but that victory over Spurs was a highlight. 'It's all about the tactics on the night, you change formations, change tactics for each team you play. 'Credit to the gaffer he got it spot on and we stopped them,' Collins said of their gameplan against the Premier League's second-placed side. 'Obviously we watched a lot of videos on how they play and obviously the gaffer and his staff have looked into how they play and set up the team to stop them scoring and hopefully we could get one, which we did.'

West Ham target Jermain Defoe demands £100,000-a-week deal and £6m signing-on fee
Evening Standard

Jermain Defoe is seeking to capitalise on his free transfer status by demanding £100,000-a-week and a signing-on fee of around £6million to leave Sunderland. West Ham and Bournemouth lead the chase for the 34-year-old, who is set to leave the Stadium of Light this summer as a result of a relegation release clause in his contract allowing him to depart for nothing. Defoe is keen on joining another Premier League club and believes his record proves he can still perform at the highest level, having scored 15 goals in a dismal campaign for David Moyes' side. The striker also scored on his England recall against Lithuania in March and will be hopeful of retaining his place in the squad when Gareth Southgate names his travelling party on May 25 for next month's double-header against Scotland and France. The Black Cats turned down a £6m offer from West Ham during the January transfer window and Standard Sport understands his demands are related to that valuation and what he views as a proportionate wage. It is also believed that Defoe's agents are seeking a seven-figure payment in order to complete the deal.
Bournemouth and West Ham are yet to indicate whether they will make a counter offer but the lack of a transfer fee is a blow to Moyes as Sunderland look to rebuild for a promotion push in the Championship. Upon being asked about the clause in Defoe's deal, Moyes replied: "I am very surprised. I would hope if I was a manager, I would not have had a contract which would have allowed somebody to leave in that situation. What price might we have got at Sunderland for Jermain Defoe, albeit at his age? "There would have been a decent price but we have not got that."

Everton and West Ham target Gylfi Sigurdsson 'very happy' at Swansea and won't push to leave this summer
Premier League new boys Newcastle have also already been linked with the 27-year-old
The Independent
Sports Staff 33 mins ago0 comments

Gylfi Sigurdsson won't push to leave Swansea this summer and will only go if the club want to sell him. The Icelandic international has enjoyed a fine season grabbing nine assists and 13 goals in a struggling Swansea team - a combined total only matched in the top flight by Tottenham's Christian Eriksen. Everton, West Ham and Premier League new boys Newcastle have all been linked with him after his efforts in helping the Swans beat the drop but the 27-year-old isn't in any hurry to leave the Liberty Stadium having only penned a contract extension at the beginning of the season. "I signed a new contract in the summer and I've got three years left," Sigurdsson said after becoming the first man to be named Swansea's player of the year in successive seasons. "So it's down to the club if they want to sell me. But I was very happy when I was on loan here and then again in the last three years. "I'm not trying to leave, I'm not desperate to go or anything. It (speculation) doesn't bother me what people are talking about. It's been easy in the last couple of months because we've been in a very serious position in the league, so it's been easy to concentrate on that. "I think it'll continue to be like that because whatever happens, happens."

Swansea were bottom of the league with 12 points from 19 games when Paul Clement was appointed head coach at the start of January.
Survival looked a tall order for a club who had sacked Francesco Guidolin and Bob Bradley in the space of three months. But Clement oversaw a recovery which took 26 points from 18 games and secured Swansea's safety on the penultimate Premier League weekend. "The coaching staff who came in are top notch and Paul knows what he's doing," Sigurdsson said. "You could see that from the first day. He's been outstanding and he managed to change the mood, the atmosphere and the confidence of the team. "I think for as long as he's here the club is in really good hands."

The pressure will be off when Swansea close their season at home to West Brom on Sunday. But Sigurdsson admitted he had enjoyed the battle against relegation in a strange sort of way. "I've played a lot of football and the goals and the assists have been coming for me in the last three years," he said. "Things haven't gone as well as I would have liked for the team in the last year-and-a-half.
"But I have still enjoyed the pressure of being in this (relegation) situation. There was a lot of pressure in games where we couldn't make any mistakes. It shows the character of the team how well we've done in the last few months. "It's a good feeling when you deliver under a lot of pressure."

Onyekuru: West Ham agree fee with Eupen
Posted By: Osita Duruon: May 18, 2017

West Ham United have won the race to sign Nigerian forward Henry Onyekuru after agreeing a transfer fee in the region of over £7m for his signing. Onyekuru, who has score 21 goals this season has been linked with a move to a team in the English Premier League this summer with Crystal Palace, West Brom, Everton and Bournemouth showing great interests. However, It was gathered that a fee has been agreed between West Ham United and Eupen for his transfer, and personal terms are currently been thrashed out, according to The deal could be announced as early as next month if talks continue to progress at the rate at which they are going
"West Ham is it. He will join them if they are able to agree personal terms and some add ons due to Eupen, especially in the area of future transfer to a team for a fee above a certain amount,"a source said. "Hopefully he will join them for pre-season."

By Blind Hammer 18 May 2017 at 08:00

Blind Hammer queries the Squad Injury Strategy for the Liverpool Game.

A little commented oddity on the Liverpool defeat was West Ham's approach to injured players.

After the Spurs game the quoted line from the club was "now that we are safe" players would be released from first team duties to undergo relieving surgery. Mark Noble and Cheikhou Kouyaté in particular were admitted for surgery for a double hernia and wrist pain respectively. Both players are expected to need 8 weeks for recovery.
In the absence of other performers like Obiang and Antonio in midfield we always knew that this depleting of our remaining midfield resources was likely to diminish our effectiveness against Liverpool. In the event we were relatively predictably over run.

Last week I celebrated Bilic's judgement in team selection against Spurs. Now if Håvard Nordtveit had played a man of the match performance against Liverpool we could all continue to revel in Bilic's perspicacity. However this most certainly did not occur. I personally feel the club and Bilic got this wrong and effectively short changed the fans on this occasion. I fully applaud Mark Noble's and Cheikhou Kouyaté's commitment in playing half the season in pain for West Ham. What I am baffled by is why abandoning this effort for just the last game of the season at the London Stadium was a recommended course. One last effort in front of their fans would have probably increased considerably the chances that we would be at least competitive against Liverpool.

The sad reality is that many of us endure pain even in attending matches, let alone working. This is a reality probably invisible to those in good health, young, hale and hearty. For many of our older and disabled supporters working daily and weekly through pain is a fact of life which they have had to cope with. A blogger on Claret and Hugh this week pointed out how her husband struggles daily, working with a crumbling spine, exhausted and depleted in the evenings after work. He still uses his hard earned wages to travel for and pay for tickets at the London Stadium and watch his West \ham play. He and she felt short changed by West Ham on Sunday. I tend to agree.

There is a case now for blooding youngster for the away game at Burnley but for this last effort against high profile opposition last Sunday West Ham should not have taken the foot of the pedal. Maybe the players individually on the pitch may not have psychologically been on the beach, but it seems West Ham as a club were most definitely on their hols. This was reflected in the decisions they made in the lead up to the Liverpool game.

The last game of the season against Liverpool at the London Stadium, I feel, should have mattered more.


David Griffith

By Staff Writer May 18 2017 7:18PM

Does he regret his West Ham exit? Why did he bite Javier Mascherano? Im a Celebrity or Strictly Come Dancing? Your questions answered

FourFourTwo has never been so cold. It's Games of Thrones cold, with each breath vaporizing in the air. We're up north, but we're not trudging around Westeros – we're inside Sunderland's indoor training facility. Just as we start to wish that there was a fur-covered Jon Snow to huddle up to, the next best thing bounces in through the door: Jermain Defoe. We tell him an academy goalkeeper is coming to face some of his shots for the photoshoot. "He's in trouble," he chirps. The England international spends the next 10 minutes hitting every corner of the net, but when we tell him it's time to finish and answer your questions, his precision deserts him. "I can't end on a miss," he says after rattling the post. He smacks the next ball into the top corner. "OK, I'm ready..."

Goals are your currency these days, Jermain, but can you remember how much pocket money you used to get?
Ryan Mclure, via Facebook

I used to get £10 for the week. I spent £5.50 on my bus fare and the rest of it went on chips and sweets – that's why I've needed to have five root canals!

Is it true you were a bit of a dancer in your school days? Do you fancy going on Strictly Come Dancing in the future?
Adam Fields, via Twitter

I competed in street dance competitions with my mate Darren Hart. I remember being really nervous for one as we had to perform in front of all the girls, too. We ended up winning and I've still got the medals at my mum's. I'd never go into the jungle and do I'm a Celebrity... but I'd love to do Strictly Come Dancing.

I've read that you were a Gooner as a kid. Please tell me that's not true...
Alfie Chewl, Brentwood

Absolutely not! My local team was West Ham and I used to go and watch them play when I was younger. The Arsenal connection came from me saying that I loved watching Ian Wright, but I was not an Arsenal fan. I just loved Wrighty.

You're a natural goalscorer. Did you love scoring when you were a kid?
Alan Noonan, via Facebook

I've been obsessed with scoring goals from a very young age – from the time I could walk, really. I always had a ball in the house – my nan would go mad because I used to smash everything. I would put chairs together, throw the ball against the wall and then volley it in between. I did that for hours, but no one ever told me to do it – I just did it.

Do you think leaving Charlton Athletic when you were only 16 set you up for a career of controversial transfers?
Lee Elliott, London

West Ham approached me and it made sense to go and sign for them. I'm an east London boy, I had friends at the club and it was much closer to home. I wanted to be at a club where young players were given the chance to play. It was controversial as West Ham had made an illegal approach and had to pay £1.6m. In my first match for the Hammers' youth team, there were paparazzi by the pitch. I was thinking, 'Who are they taking pictures of?' All that stuff helped me in the long-term.

I watched you playing on loan for Bournemouth during your record goalscoring run. How did a player so young get so confident and clinical?
Wade Crawford, via Facebook

I was too confident. I was playing for West Ham's under-19s and we used to win every match, and I'd usually score. Before games, the boys would always ask me, "JD, you going to score today?" and I would always reply, "Of course I will score." My self-belief came from playing with some good players. Harry Redknapp made me train with the first team so I was playing against people like Rio Ferdinand, which gave me a lot of confidence. When I went out on loan to Bournemouth, I felt ready to step up.

When you first joined up with West Ham, what was it like seeing other English talent such as Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Michael Carrick and Joe Cole breaking through? Did that help you think you could make it?
Brad Peterson, via Facebook

I thought, 'I want a piece of this.' Rio, Frank Lampard, Trevor Sinclair and John Moncur always used to mess about with the ball before the manager came out for training. I used to stand there and wait for Harry to say to me, "Train with us today." He probably thought, 'I like this kid, he's confident.' I was only 17 but I wanted to be with the first team. On Thursdays we used to go to college, but I got kicked out as I didn't want to be there – I wanted to train. When the rest of the youth team was at college, I was out training with the first team.

There were some big characters in the West Ham side you broke into, like Trevor Sinclair, Paolo Di Canio and Don Hutchison. Did they look after you? Was there an initiation?
Devonte Blackellar, via Twitter

I loved Di Canio. Paolo was a legend with me. He's someone that I always looked up to – even during our days off he would always be in training on his own. When I scored my first ever Premier League goal against Ipswich, he came off and then gave me the armband. It was just unbelievable. They didn't make us do an initiation, though they were hard in training. If you ever gave the ball away, Trevor Sinclair would go mad. As a young lad you would be scared, but it then forced you to raise your game. After training, he would come and put his arm around you and say, "Listen, I am just trying to help you out."

During 2002/03 a lot of people kept saying that West Ham were too good to go down – was there any complacency among the squad?
Kelly Shephard, Romford

The squad that year was unbelievable, but we left it too late. The first half of the season just wasn't good enough – we didn't perform and never recovered. We had a young, talented side with the likes of myself, Michael Carrick and Joe Cole and the team spirit was good, so it was sad knowing that people would be moving on once we went down. Getting relegated was horrible, but you have to learn from all of these experiences and, as we found out, it doesn't matter how good you are, if you don't perform well then you will end up getting relegated.

Do you regret the manner in which you left West Ham? Do you think you were ill-advised handing in a transfer request so soon after the relegation?
Ian James, via Facebook

Yes, absolutely. I did something wrong, I hold my hands up about it and take responsibility. I was a young lad back then and didn't really understand what was going on. When we got relegated, my agent, who was also inexperienced at the time, said, "You need to hand in a transfer request as everybody else is going to leave." I was young and naive, and all I was really thinking about was wanting to play football. Would I do the same thing now? No way. I would never hand in a transfer request and I would never advise a young lad to do it, either.

You were linked to Manchester United as well as Arsenal but you ended up joining Tottenham in February 2004 – a team that was struggling at the time. How come?
Ethan Phillips, Manchester

Louis Saha had gone to United already and he was on fire. The Arsenal link was exciting because Ian Wright was my hero as a kid. However, Spurs was perfect for me because of their history of strikers – Gary Lineker, Jimmy Greaves, Jurgen Klinsmann, Teddy Sheringham – so I wanted to get on that list, too.

Can you explain what went on before that infamous 'Lasagne-gate' match against West Ham on the final day of the 2005/06 season? Were you one of the Tottenham players who got ill? Just how bad did it get? And should the match have been postponed?
Charlie Sampson, via Twitter

Yes, it should have been. I woke up on the morning of the game and then the doctor called me to ask, "Are you OK?" I told him I was, and he informed me that a few of the boys were feeling ill. I thought he must mean it was one or two. Even if you get a couple of players sick that's some serious bad luck. But it was five or six players and they couldn't even walk about. I thought, 'Something has definitely gone on here – one of the West Ham lads has done something to the food.' If we had put a full-strength team out that day, then we would have done it [win to finish 4th above Arsenal and qualify for the Champions League].

In a 2006 game against West Ham, it looked like you had a little nibble at Javier Mascherano. What was that all about, and do you think you were a bit fortunate to get away with it?
Paolo Ischio, via Facebook

Every time I got the ball, Mascherano smashed me. Eventually I said to him, "Don't do that again," but he still kept doing it. I was so fired up, and the West Ham fans had been giving me loads of stick, that I reacted. As soon as I got up, I thought, 'I'm going to get sent off here.' Martin Jol was the Spurs boss at the time and he didn't used to mess about, so I was worried he would go mad at me, but I only got booked. My heart was racing. I thought, 'Thank God for that.' I still watch it back now. The headline in one of the newspapers the next day was 'Bite Hart Lane' [Laughs].

Why do you think that Sven-Goran Eriksson didn't take you to either Euro 2004 or the World Cup in 2006? You were a much better option than a 16-year-old Theo Walcott, weren't you?
Scott Goodchild, via Facebook

It's crazy. I was being rotated at Tottenham at the time, but with the goals I'd scored in the Premier League – as well as for England – I couldn't understand why he decided to make that decision. Even to this day I still think it was a massive mistake. I am not saying I should have gone to the tournament and started all of the games. However, if I was a manager and I had natural scorers at my disposal, whether they were in form or not, I'd still take them.

How frustrating was it to play for both Portsmouth and Spurs in the 2007/08 season, but not be able to appear in either of their cup finals?
Ian Cunningham, via Twitter

I was flying at Spurs, scoring lots of goals, but then I broke my foot and couldn't get back in the team. It was frustrating, so I decided to go and join Portsmouth in the January and missed out on the League Cup final [in which Spurs beat Chelsea 2-1], but I enjoyed seeing the boys lifting the trophy. Then at Portsmouth I was cup-tied for their FA Cup matches [having already played for Spurs in the third and fourth rounds], but I still got to lift up the trophy afterwards.

Did you have any idea how bad the financial state of the club was at Pompey? Were there any signs that things were not quite right?
Martin Warnock, Portsmouth

Honestly, I didn't have a clue. I was just trying to focus on scoring goals as that's what people always expect from me. Harry Redknapp was leaving to go and manage Tottenham and as soon as I'd heard that news, I thought that I would be signing for Spurs as well. But I really enjoyed my time playing for Portsmouth. For a pretty small stadium, the atmosphere at Fratton Park was unbelievable for every game.

What do you think it is about Harry Redknapp that's made you sign for him so many times over the years?
RafM, via Twitter

He used to phone me up. "JD," he'd say. "Yes Harry?" I'd reply. "I want you to come here and score some goals." "OK, sure." "Forget about the medical, just come here and score some goals." He never complicated anything. "Just put in the effort," he would say to me. "You're doing something you love, that you get paid for – just do what you do."

Did your old Tottenham team-mate Erik Edman say anything to you after you scored five goals past his Wigan team in Spurs' 9-1 victory in 2009
Rashid Mid, via Facebook

No, but Titus Bramble had a word. I was on Facebook after the game and then he popped up. I thought, 'Here we go.' "JD, you've killed me," he said. "I was meant to stay down in London after the game and go out tonight, but the manager's got us training tomorrow." I simply laughed and said, "Sorry T."

How mad were all of the celebrations when Spurs sealed qualification for the Champions League at Man City? Was that your best night with Spurs?
Joe Whitehouse, via Twitter

Yes, but it wasn't for David Bentley. He poured water all over Harry's head and hardly played another game for Spurs. Harry laughed it off, but doing that to the manager during a live interview… I thought, 'I don't know about that...' It was really funny, though. That night was unbelievable. We finally achieved something we'd worked so hard for.

How different was Harry Redknapp compared with Andre Villas-Boas? Was it a bit of a culture shock for some of the players? Why didn't it work out for Andre at Tottenham?
Katie Simpson, via Twitter

AVB was a clever, enthusiastic coach, and away from all of that he was also a really nice guy. You could talk to him about anything
AVB was a ledge. He really impressed me. His training was always different: he would have four pitches set up, all with a different purpose, each of them designed to prepare you for the next match. He was a clever, enthusiastic coach, and away from all of that he was also a really nice guy. You could talk to him about anything. We were flying under him in the second year, but then we got beat heavily by Man City and Liverpool and it was difficult. Being a young coach, he didn't have the experience of dealing with players when things were going badly and it affected him. He desperately wanted to do well and wanted the players to love him. It was sad the way it ended.

Is it really true that Drake phoned you up to persuade you to sign for Toronto? What did he say to you?
Mohamed Abdalkrem, via Facebook

I was in a restaurant and a strange number called my phone. I picked up and the person said, "Hi, is this Jermain?" I said, "Yeah, who's this?" "Drake." "Yeah good one. Who is it really?" "It's Drake!" "This is Drake?!" "Yeah." "OK, when are you in London?" I asked him this as we had a mutual friend who had told me when Drake was coming to London. He said, "I'm coming to London on Thursday and meeting Ata," who was our mutual friend. Then I said, "Wow, OK, cool," and we had a chat. He told me, "You need to come to Toronto. You'll love it." We spoke about music and he offered to take me out when I went over there.

Your time with Toronto has perhaps been overshadowed slightly by your tumultuous exit from the club. What is your lasting memory about your experience in Toronto and Canada?
Michael Przybylowski, via Facebook

I loved it, I met some really nice people. It was a good deal for Tottenham at the time, as I was 31 and playing in MLS was something that I'd always thought about. Toronto made a big effort to get me and I've still got friends over there. I enjoyed it, but I missed the Premier League and so that's why I decided to come back. Some of the fans used to give me stick on social media, saying I wasn't committed, but I carried on playing for four more months despite a torn adductor and a hernia, although I didn't know that at the time. I reacted to one fan on Twitter – I sent him a list of the top goalscorers in Premier League history, with me on 150 goals. I never did hear back from him about that...

How does the Tyne-Wear derby compare to the north London one? You've scored some pretty good goals in both of those matches.
Israel Gomes, London

The North London derby is good as it is two massive teams battling it out for the local bragging rights, but the Tyne-Wear derby is much bigger than football. During the lead-up to the game, people would come up to me while I was doing my shopping in the supermarket and say, "You have got to beat them. Whatever you do, win, please." When Gus Poyet signed me, he said some fans had told him, "We'd rather get relegated than lose to Newcastle. Beat Newcastle. That's all we want." I thought, 'Wow. That's how important it is to all of the fans up here.' The atmosphere is electric – it's crazy. In the warm-up I said to Lee Cattermole, "I just want to score. I need to score." I did – we won 1-0.

Quite a few geniuses on social media said that you would be a bad buy for Sunderland. Any messages for them?
Carlos Rodriguez, via Twitter

No words. Just look at the statistics. I don't take too much notice of social media. A lot of the stuff on there is usually nice. You might get the odd Newcastle fan writing something silly, but who cares? It doesn't bother me.


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