Monday, June 19

Daily WHUFC News - 19th June 2017

Jose Fonte's Portugal held by Mexico in Confederations Cup opener

Jose Fonte and Portugal made a drawing start to their FIFA Confederations
Cup campaign when they were twice pegged back by Mexico on Sunday afternoon.

Portugal will be disappointed to not have taken maximum points in Kazan,
after Ricardo Quaresma and Cedric Soares gave them the lead in both halves.

Southampton's Soares' goal, just four minutes from time, looked to have
secured a 2-1 victory, but Hector Moreno nodded home a leveller in stoppage

Former Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez had earlier cancelled out
Quaresma's clever opener.

Fonte played the 90 minutes alongside Pepe at centre back to earn his 24th
Portugal cap.

Portugal sit level with Mexico in joint-second in Group A after their first
game, with Russia beating New Zealand 2-0 in Saturday's opening fixture.

The Portuguese are back in action on Wednesday when they take on the hosts

Lewin: West Ham United pre-season schedule is perfect preparation

Gary Lewin, West Ham United's new Head of Medical Services, looks ahead to
the pre-season schedule, which will take in training camps in Austria and
Germany before a trip to Iceland to face Manchester City a week before the
start of the 2017/18 Premier League campaign…

Austria is the choice for a lot of Premier League clubs now, mainly because
it's a great environment – the facilities and hotels are always very good,
the hotels and pitches are a good standard but, more importantly, you can
isolate the team, so that you can purely focus on pre-season and football.

It is a chance for the squad and the staff to enjoy some team bonding and
work together in preparation for the start of the season.

Over the last few years it has become common for teams to travel around the
world for pre-season tours and matches that have a commercial element to
them and so, from my point of view, it was fantastic to come here and see
that we are going to Austria and Germany for purely fitness and football.

It means that I will have time to really get to know the players, and we can
have that real consistency of training. We're based in one place on each
trip, there isn't much travelling, and everything is organised for the
benefit of the players.

It also means that we can take our injured players with us – we are not
isolating them from the main squad and, although they will be integrated
back into training at different times, they will essentially have been a
part of the same programme.

For the last two summers, the Club have had early competitive football in
the Europa League, and that can be tough. It's not so much the early start,
but more the unknown aspect of it when you are planning – who are we
playing, where are we travelling. That can make it difficult to plan
individual programmes for players who may be at different levels of fitness
and conditioning.

This year we can set in stone what we are doing, and have a pre-conceived
plan all the way through to August 12. We can all be on the same page, with
the same levels of fitness and, hopefully, have everyone relatively
injury-free and ready to go.

I'm really looking forward to getting started now. We are away for a period
of nearly three weeks, which will give me a great opportunity for me to get
to know everyone, and for them to get to know me.


For those of you that missed my column yesterday for Brace the Hammer
website here is the link:
In the article I speak of all the latest transfers
news that is happening at the moment. I am really pleased to have worked
with that website following on from my appearance on The Three Hammers
website. I think it is really important for the West Ham sites to work
together to try and bring new and exciting content and hopefully there will
be future opportunities in the summer. We will continue to bring exclusive
transfer news on our radio show and through the site throughout the summer
so keep checking back!

West Ham United transfer discussion: the latest rumblings out of East London
Everyone's favorite ITK discusses transfer news, kits, and more!
by ExWHUemployee Jun 17, 2017, 10:22am EDT

So I have decided to write this column for Brace the Hammer having appeared
on the Three Hammers podcast during the week, which you can watch here. I am
very keen to collaborate with other West Ham sites and I'm delighted that
Brace The Hammer offered me the opportunity to post on their site.

So this is a follow on from our weekly radio show on Phoenix FM where I
always do a section on inside club news. This week we were lucky enough to
have up and coming Boxer and West Ham fan Sammy McNess on the show.

Since the show, where our interest was first mentioned, we've submitted a
bid for Middlesbrough and former Barcelona player Adama Traore. As is often
the case with these transfers at this stage, the two sides are said to be a
long way apart in terms of their valuation. We are believed to have offered
around £8m for the player although it is feared that 'Boro may want more
than double this for the player. Whilst the forward position has always been
the priority, it is believed that Slav does also want a tricky winger with
pace as well- Traore fits that bill perfectly. Some bookmakers have closed
the betting on him signing for us, this does seem a little premature but
certain people are convinced that we have a very strong chance of completing
this signing.

The deal could depend on the departure of one or two of our current wingers.
There is said to be a number of clubs interested in taking Robert Snodgrass
off our hands with the likes of Brighton, Huddersfield and Sheffield
Wednesday all appearing to have some interest. If we could recoup near what
we paid Hull for him in January, I think we will see his departure. If the
right offer comes in for Feghouli too we would accept that and this makes
our need for a winger much greater. We also have an interest in Tadic of
Southampton as well as a number of pacey wingers from the continent
including the famously named Cafu.

Henry Onyekuru can also play as a winger although his goals record last year
in Belgium suggests that he should be a forward. We are still very keen on
this player however complications around his work permit are causing us
issues as far as the transfer is concerned. Other clubs are interested and
it will be interesting to see how this develops. Another Nigerian who we are
after is Kelechi Iheanacho of Manchester City. The transfer appeared to be
getting close and then Manchester City wanted to negotiate a buy back clause
within the deal. This buy back clause is said to be the stumbling block
because Manchester City want it to be quite low meaning the player could
affectively walk out on us back to his original club for a minimal profit.
Leicester City look like they may be prepared to do this but we are still
not out of the running in this deal.

Olivier Giroud seems to be the forward we want most and the club have said
they will match any offers for him, we employed a similar tactic with
Snodgrass and Fonte in January. We will make him our highest paid player as
well and for me I think this is a great signing. He has scored at all levels
including the very top at World Cup and Euro tournaments. His goals to
minutes ratio is consistently one of the best in the league. Giroud is said
to want to stay in London and get first team football to maintain his place
in the French national squad, so hopefully this will put us in a good

The Conte situation at Chelsea is a little bit unsettling for our move for
Batshuayi because it has delayed the process a little. Chelsea are still set
to spend big and Lukaku seems pretty much a done deal to return there
meaning it is likely that they will sell his compatriot. A further
complication however is that Batshuayi appears to be hoping a club who are
in a European competition move for him and a return to the French league
could also be on the cards. We hope to persuade him to stay in London and
prove our West London rivals wrong in their treatment of him.

We were also keen on Bertrand Traore (the Chelsea forward) but he appears to
have secured a move elsewhere. We had also submitted bids for Modeste, who
plays in Germany, but once more the price they have placed on the player is
way beyond our valuation.

The situation worryingly mirrors last year's summer transfer window a little
but the club is determined to not come up short again. We have a long list
of forward targets and, at this stage, we are confident of pushing through
at least two of them.

We have been linked with Chris Smalling of Manchester United and Kone of
Sunderland for the centre back position but at the moment I do not believe
either of these transfers are particularly going anywhere because our
targets and priorities remain further up the pitch, should we sign some
players then we may move back for these two although it is the one position
that we have plenty of options in.

There will be a few player departures this summer. It looks like Nordtveit
will return to the German league. I appear to have been misquoted quite a
lot on this following our radio show by the big twitter accounts. I didn't
say he was definitely leaving but I think he is likely to. With the
departures of Gokhan Tore, Alvaro Arbeloa and Jonathan Calleri, this should
allow us to bring in a few players. We have also released Stephen Hendrie, a
player who we thought would become a good player for us, and Raphael Spiegel
is likely to join Royal Excel Mouscron in Belgium. This would leave us with
Nathan Trott as out third choice keeper so a move for John Ruddy, the former
Norwich keeper, could be on the cards to replace Spiegel.

Joe Hart is obviously a high profile keeper that has also been linked with
us and we do maintain an interest in him. His wages are around £175k a week.
Either he would need to reduce his wages significantly or Manchester City
would need to be prepared to pay a percentage for us to make our move. We
cannot pay him his current wages because this would smash our wage structure
with Hart earning more than double our next highest paid player.

The new home shirt is the shirt that has gone viral across the internet
following its release early in Thailand. This goes with white shorts and
white socks. The goalkeepers kit it quite nice and is a mainly all yellow
number with green under the arms. We also have a light blue third shirt that
is likely to be released in early September too. I have described these kits
in detail on the radio show and in my regular place for my articles, The
West Ham Way. Here you will find exclusive articles where most West Ham news
breaks from.

Thank you to Brace The Hammer for the chance to collaborate.

Written by Steve Eisner @1westhamfan

A number of fans have lost faith in Adrian, and believe we can do better.
While I was upset at his rush of blood vs Stoke (1-1) last November, which
cost us a victory and the possibility to have ended 8th in the table on 48
points, I believe he finished very strongly when he returned at the close
season. It seems his time on the bench gave him an opportunity to reflect
on his shortcomings and to refocus his mentality. He is clearly a fiery
competitor and losing his place to Randolph surely provided him with extra
motivation to regain – and maintain – his place.

Adrian impresses me with his shot-stopping, his ability to command his 6
yard box, and his love for the club. I believe he is a world class
goalkeeper when his mind is right and when he has a settled defense in front
of him, which we did not have for most of this last year. Others have well
covered the reasons for our unsettled defence of 2016-17. I will not go
right back to those reasons. Yes, pun intended.

I know that good goalkeepers don't become poor goalkeepers overnight, so I
decided to look back on our outstanding 2015-16 season when Adrian was our
#1. I compared his save percentage to other PL goalkeepers who played at
least 20 games. The statistics that follow show save percentage and the
ratio of saves-to-shots:

Name (2015-16) SV% SV*/S**

Cech (ARS) .253 99/391

Gomes (WAT) .244 122/499

Butland (STK) .241 102/423

Hart (MC) .239 71/296

Guzan (AV) .239 89/372

Howard (EVE) .236 81/343

Courtois (CHE) .234 66/281

Fabianski (SWA) .226 14/503

ADRIAN (WHU) .22 101/458

Lloris (TOT) .21 87/413

Myhill (WBA) .206 66/320

DeGea (MU) .205 80/379

Mignolet (LIV) .204 70/342

Elliot (NEW) .20 58/290

Hennessey (CP) .198 79/397

Boruc (BOR) .195 73/374

Ruddy (NOR) .193 67/346

Schmeichel (LEI) .193 100/516

* – Source: Fox Sports (http://

** – Shots not Shots on Goal

As you see, Adrian came in 9th out of 18, and above such big-name
goalkeepers like Lloris and DeGea.

In sum, I maintain my faith in Adrian, and at 30 years of age and with the
right tactics and personnel employed to provide the proper protection in
front of him, I'm confident he can remain a top PL goalkeeper. Although
some may disagree, statistics show that he was in fact a top PL goalkeeper
in 2015-16. Like tables, statistics don't' lie.

And good goalkeepers don't become poor goalkeepers overnight.


Much was thought of Ashley Fletcher when he arrived at West Ham on a free
transfer from Manchester United last summer. Slaven Bilic decided to keep
the 21-year-old in the first-team squad as additional depth in the forward
ranks but the England U20 international featured more prominently than
expected. Fletcher made 20 appearances for the Hammers last season, scoring
once and it came at Old Trafford against his former club in the EFL Cup
quarter-final, but it remains to be seen if he has a place in the squad next
season. West Ham want to bring in at least two new strikers this summer
which could see Fletcher on the outside looking in, and the Mirror report
that Huddersfield are preparing a £5m bid for the former Barnsley loanee.
David Wagner failed with a loan bid for the striker in January and has
retained his interest in the towering centre-forward following their
promotion to the Premier League. The Hammers paid a £500,000 compensation
fee to Manchester United for Fletcher, and what Huddersfield are said to be
offering is a decent return on that investment and is an offer I would
consider accepting.


Angelo Ogbonna has been a huge success for West Ham since his £8m arrival
from Juventus nearly two years ago but he's being lined up for a return to
Serie A.

According to Il Secolo XIX newspaper (h/t Football Italia), Sampdoria are
considering a move for the 29-year-old centre-back this summer.

Ogbonna came through the ranks at Torino and impressed at the club, earning
himself a move to Juventus in 2013 but never developed into anything more
than a backup player for the Serie A champions and was sold to the Hammers.

A regular in the starting line-up, Ogbonna was sorely missed by West Ham
after he underwent knee surgery in January and missed virtually the rest of
the season before returning on the final day of the campaign.

Only contracted to the club until the summer of 2019, the Italy
international will need to be tied down to a new long-term deal in order to
put an end to speculation to a move away from the club, which the Hammers
are keen on doing.

The uncertainty surrounding Ogbonna's future could be the reason why the
Hammers are weighing up bids for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling
and Sunderland centre-back Lamine Kone.


No comments: