Thursday, June 29

Daily WHUFC News - 29th June 2017

PL2 pre-season: The lowdown

West Ham United's Premier League 2 side face a packed pre-season as they prepare for their 2017/18 campaign in Premier League 2 Division 1. After winning promotion in a dramatic Play-Off game at Newcastle United in May, Terry Westley's side will fine-tune their preparations with a series of games in England and overseas.

We take a look at the schedule here


Barnet v West Ham United PL2
Saturday 15 July, 3pm

Terry Westley's team kick-off pre-season with a trip to north London, where they will face League 2 side Barnet. The Bees now play at the Hive, which has been their home since leaving Underhill in 2013. Barnet, who are under the management of 32-year-old Rossi Eames, came 15th in League 2 last year and they have made the transition to the EFL well since winning promotion back there in 2015. Ticket information for this fixture will be available soon.

Colchester United v West Ham United PL2
Tuesday 18 July, 7.45pm

Three days later it's a short hop up the A12 and a visit to Colchester United, also of League 2. The U's Weston Homes Community Stadium was opened in 2008 and John McGreal's team only just missed out on the Play-Offs last term, finishing eighth, a point away from the end-of-season shootout. Colchester will fancy their chances of going one better this season, and are sure to provide the Hammers' young professionals with a stern test.

Dagenham & Redbridge

Dagenham & Redbridge v West Ham United PL2
Saturday 22 July, 3pm

The Hammers' third pre-season fixture is one back on familiar ground, as they take on Dagenham & Redbridge - their host club for PL2 games. Dagenham were back in the National League last term, and almost secured an immediate return to the Football League, only losing out in the Play-Off semis to the eventual promoted team Forest Green Rovers. With veteran manager John Still at the helm, few would bet against the Daggers being in the promotion shake-up once again.

Tour to Slovakia, games v Spartak Trnava & FC ViOn Zlaté Moravce

The Hammers then depart for Slovakia, where they will take on top flight sides Spartak Trnava and FC ViOn Zlaté Moravce​​​​​​​. Trnava are three-time runners-up in the Slovak league and finished sixth last term. They have also appeared in European competition for the last three seasons, reaching the third qualifying round of the Europa League last term. FC ViOn Zlaté Moravce​​​​ were tenth last term and have won the domestic cup once, in 2007.

​​​​​​​Billericay Town v West Ham United PL2
Tuesday 8 August, 7.45pm

When the Hammers head back to these shores, they take on Isthmian Premier League side Billericay Town. Billericay have been making waves in the non-league scene with significant investment under owner and manager Glenn Tamplin, with Paul Konchesky and Jamie O'Hara high-profile playing arrivals. They play at New Lodge and will provide Westley's team with their final tune-up before the season gets underway.

Aaron Cresswell excited by Zabaleta 'quality and experience'

Aaron Cresswell believes Pablo Zabaleta's experience and quality will have a hugely positive impact on West Ham United. The Hammers left-back is looking forward to sharing a dressing room, training ground and pitch with the experienced Argentinian, who will formally complete his move to east London from Manchester City on Saturday. Cresswell revealed he had received a glowing report on the new No5 from Joe Hart, who won two Premier League titles alongside Zabaleta at the Etihad Stadium, while on England duty. "Watching him throughout his time with Manchester City, which was nearly a decade, the things Pablo Zabaleta did for that club were fantastic, winning Premier League titles cups and the like," Creswell observed. "He will now bring those qualities, his loyalty and experience to West Ham and his presence will only help us, not only his fellow defenders but the whole team. "I spoke to Joe Hart while I was away with England and Joe could not have spoken any higher of him, saying he is a great teammate, a great lad and top professional. "His quality is there for all to see, so he is a great addition to the squad. Pablo will not only make his presence felt on the pitch, but his experience will rub off on the young lads around the training ground."

Cresswell also reflected positively on his recent international experience, which saw him win a second senior cap in a friendly with France in Paris. The 27-year-old made his Three Lions debut against Spain at Wembley last November, just weeks after returning from a serious knee injury, having been called up as a replacement for injured Leicester City star Danny Drinkwater. This time around, Cresswell was named in Gareth Southgate's original squad and he is hoping a productive pre-season and strong start to the new Premier League campaign will see him keep his place for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers with Malta and Slovakia in September. "Obviously it was another proud moment for me and my family to get another cap for England," confirmed the No3, who will return for pre-season training on 10 July after being given a few extra days to recharge his batteries by manager Slaven Bilic. "I enjoyed being part of the squad again and everything that goes with it. "Now, I want to hit the ground running when I come back for pre-season training, because I want to keep my place in the squad and add to my tally of caps in the future. "Last year, I sprained my medial knee ligament in pre-season and was out for three months, which was not a great start, but I then got a shock call-up after only three games as an injury replacement and make my debut against Spain back in November, which was a very proud moment.
"To then get called up again this summer was fantastic and it was great to double my tally in France earlier this month. I'm now looking forward to getting back in for pre-season and putting the hard yards in again."

Three-time Hammer of the Year Scott Parker announces retirement

Three-time Hammer of the Year Scott Parker has thanked West Ham United and the Claret and Blue Army after announcing his retirement from professional football. The England international midfielder enjoyed four outstanding seasons in east London between 2007-11, making 129 appearances, scoring 12 goals and being named Footballer of the Year in 2011. Parker hung up his boots at the age of 36, ending a career that spanned 20 seasons, 572 senior games for West Ham, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Newcastle United Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham, 18 England caps and countless crunching tackles and lung-bursting runs. "I have enjoyed so many incredible moments during my career," Parker wrote in a statement released on Wednesday afternoon. "From making my first team debut at Charlton, to playing regularly in the Premier League, playing in the Champions League to then playing in a major tournament for England, as well as ultimately fulfilling a lifelong dream by captaining my country. There are just too many highlights to mention. "I would like to thank everyone at Charlton Athletic, Norwich City, Chelsea, Newcastle United, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham for the unbelievable support that I've been shown throughout my time at each and every one of the club's I've been proud to represent. "Thank you to the fans of all of the clubs that I've been lucky enough to play for. Your support has meant everything to me and you've supported me throughout all of the ups and downs during my career. I hope I was able to repay the faith shown in me by my commitment and performances on the pitch. "I would like to thank all of my teammates over the course of my career as well as the coaches and managers that I've played under. I've learnt a huge amount from everyone that I've worked with that I have no doubt will hugely benefit me in my next career chapter. "When was a boy I dreamt of becoming a professional football player and I feel very honoured to have accomplished my dream. I have always tried to set high standards on and off the pitch. I hope most of all throughout my career I have been a good role model not only to my sons but also to all of my teammates who played with me as well as all those who supported me."

A central midfielder with boundless energy, unrivalled commitment and inspirational leadership qualities, Parker joined West Ham from Newcastle United for £7m in June 2007. Over the next four seasons, he produced arguably the best football of his illustrious career, first under Gianfranco Zola and then during an otherwise disappointing 2010/11 campaign, when his seven goals and sensational personal performances were unable to save the Club from relegation. Parker was voted Hammer of the Year for the first time in 2009, before winning the accolade again in 2010 and 2011, while his form also earned a recall to the senior England squad after a four-and-a-half year absence. Everyone at West Ham United would like to thank Scott for his efforts, for the unforgettable memories he gave us, and wish him well in his retirement and whatever he chooses to do next.

Written by Max Reader @reader_max

Robert Snodgrass was a valuable player at Hull, scoring and regularly getting assists for team mates, at one point looked like an exceptional signing in January. Since then Snodgrass has divided opinion amongst the fans, same say he should go where as others want him to have a chance. I feel we should give Robert Snodgrass a chance especially seeing that we forked out £10.2 million on him we must give him until January with the quality he possesses of which we are yet to see.

Over feghouli I feel Snodgrass should stay as he has a difference in playing style compared to other wingers or attacking midfielders within the squad. Snodgrass offers qualities of which some players do not have and qualities we can use to our advantage. Snodgrass is a dead ball specialist who can work well with players such as Carroll or the frequently linked Olivier Giroud. Also, Snodgrass even with a partial lack of pace is a hard worker on the pitch something of which is needed especially when seeing out games and defending from the front. I'm not saying Snodgrass should be a starter but with these qualities in his game he is an excellent player to have in around the squad and the first team. Given time we could have the same Snodgrass that was excellent for Hull not so long ago and in Snodgrass's words players do not turn bad overnight.

With players, up for sale within the current squad of players I feel feghouli should be the one to leave not Snodgrass. Feghouli has been at West Ham for near enough a year now and has plenty of chances to impact the squad. Even with a couple of goals last season I feel Feghouli is a player we can sell to our advantage rather than Snodgrass for more money especially with the inflation within the current transfer market. Feghouli is younger and lacks as much premier league experience compared to Snodgrass. Feghouli is much easier to replace with a younger signing who could be a sign of improvement by a large margin the likes of both Thorgan Hazard and Adama traore should be signed as young creative replacements.

Another point for keeping Snodgrass is that he is a great personality to have within the squad. He seems to be great mates with the likes of Collins, Carroll and Noble of whom are all big character in the dressing room as well as his experience to benefit younger members of the team. Being Scottish is another beneficial factor within the means of British talent within the squad and premier league rules set.

Finally, I hope you would all agree that Snodgrass with the backing of supporters can play back to his best in the West Ham shirt and provide goals and assists to the team. With a number of signings, I hope this can be another great year for West Ham. Names linked like Giroud, Batshauyi, Hazard, Troare, Ozyakup or lemina to replace Nordtivet and maybe a keeper will be key in allowing players to develop with factors such as squad depth with quality players will help the squad achieve more in various competitions. Back the team this season and we can aim to achieve our hopes for the season! Transfers may be frustrating now but give it time as the only people who are able to conclude business would be our owners, judge after the window has closed and more importantly there is a lot of time left!

Written by Max Reader

Triple Hammer of the Year hangs up his boots
Filed: Wednesday, 28th June 2017
By: Staff Writer

Former Hammer of the Year Scott Parker has announced his retirement from football. The 36-year-old midfielder confirmed this morning (Wednesday) that he will be hanging up his boots following a professional career that spanned some 20 years. Parker, who was born in Lambeth began his career at Charlton, where he became a first team regular in 2000 following a spell on loan at Norwich City. In 2004 - and much to the annoyance of Addicks Alan Curbishley, who accused Parker of poor conduct - he signed a four-year contract with Chelsea, after the two clubs had agreed a fee in the region of £10million. However his spell at Stamford Bridge was to prove short-lived and unhappy, with a metatarsal injury playing a major role in Parker making just four appearances for Chelsea's first team. Just a year after joining the Blues, Parker was on his way to Newcastle United in a £6.5million deal - although his first season at St James' Park was also blighted by injury with a bout of glandular fever ending his season prematurely in March - thus ruling him out of the 2006 World Cup Finals.

His second season was far more productive and he was named club captain by Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder. But he failed to fully settle on Tyneside and in June 2007 was brought back to London by West Ham's ambitious new Icelandic owners, in a £7million deal. Injury prevented Parker from making his debut for the Hammers until the end of September, and he was sidelined again after making his Premier League debut against Arsenal. However he recovered sufficiently to be voted Signing of the Season by KUMB readers and the KUMB Writers' Player of the Year. Parker was named as Hammer of the Year and KUMB Player of the Year for the first time at the end of the 2008/09 season - an achievement he went on to emulate in 2009/10 and 2010/11, thus becoming the first player to win the award three times consecutively.

However relegation at the end of that season was the beginning of the end for Parker at West Ham. After just four games in the Championship - during which he was accused of not giving 100 per cent, in much the same way as Curbishley had claimed prior to his Chelsea move - he joined Tottenham in deal worth in the region of £5million. Parker spent the next two season at White Hart Lane before moving to Fulham, with whom he ended his career. KUMB would like to wish Scott the very best for his impending retirement.

New deals for ex-Hammers
Filed: Wednesday, 28th June 2017
By: Staff Writer

Two former West Ham youngsters have secured contracts with Football League clubs. Blair Turgott, who was released by West Ham in 2015 has joined League Two side Stevenage, having been released by Bromley Town earlier this month.
And fellow former Hammer Stephen Hendrie, who was released on a free transfer last month having failed to make a single competitive appearance for West Ham's first team has agreed a deal with League One Southend, with whom he spent time on loan last season.

Turgott - who also spent time at Coventry and Orient after leaving West Ham - was charged with fraud and money laundering charges back in April. He left Bromley shortly after.

West Ham's Reece Burke to join Bolton on loan
By Sky Sports News HQ
Last Updated: 28/06/17 8:18pm

West Ham defender Reece Burke is expected to join Bolton on a season-long loan. Burke will become manager Phil Parkinson's fourth addition of the summer following the signings of Adam Le Fondre, Mark Little and Andrew Taylor. The 20-year-old, a product of the West Ham academy, has previously spent time on loan at Wigan and Bradford. Burke made his West Ham debut in January 2014 and has since featured a further 11 times for the Hammers. He has also been capped by England at U18, U19 and U20 level.


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