Monday, June 5

Daily WHUFC News - 5th June 2017

International round-up: Fonte's Portugal hit four in friendly win

Jose Fonte's Portugal warmed-up for their FIFA World Cup Qualifier against
Latvia in style by beating Cyprus 4-0 in a friendly on Saturday. West Ham
United defender Fonte, a UEFA Euro 2016 winner last summer, played the full
90 minutes in Estoril to earn his 23rd cap for Portugal. The result was
never in doubt once Joao Moutinho had fired Fernando Santos' men in front
with just three minutes played. Another goal for Monaco's Moutinho doubled
the advantage in the first half, before further goals from Pizzi and Andre
Silva rounded off the victory after half time. Portugal take on Latvia on
Friday night, looking for the win which would keep the pressure on Group B
leaders Switzerland.

Elsewhere on the international scene, Darren Randolph's Republic of Ireland
face Uruguay in a Dublin friendly on Sunday night, while Dan Kemp and
England U20 - already qualified for the semi-finals - take on Japan in their
final Toulon Tournament group fixture on Sunday afternoon.

Andy Carroll powered up by Hammers fans

Andy Carroll believes he and the Claret and Blue Army can forge a powerful
combination at London Stadium next season. The West Ham United centre
forward paid tribute to the Club's loyal and noisy fans for inspiring them
through a challenging 2016/17 campaign, pointing to the support they gave
during vital home wins over Crystal Palace, Swansea City and Tottenham
Hotspur this year. Carroll repaid that support with his unforgettable Goal
of the Season against Palace, when he took to the air to scissor-kick
Michail Antonio's cross high into the Eagles net to complete a 3-0 victory.
With the same combination working together next term, the No9 believes the
Hammers can turn London Stadium into a fortress. "London Stadium has
obviously got the potential to be one of the greatest in the league," said
Carroll, who announced this week that he is expecting a second child with
fiancée Billi Mucklow. "It takes time, like every new stadium, and hopefully
next season we will just build on it. "I thought the noise also gave the
lads an extra bit in our win over Spurs. The games we have won and played
really well were down to the noise fans getting behind us. You can hear it
on the pitch as well. "Not many people thought we could beat Spurs that
night. I'd like to think the West Ham fans thought we could, but a lot of
other football fans didn't, so it just shows the power the West Ham fans
have got, getting involved with the lads and helping us to turn games into
wins. "There is more to come from me personally, too. I need to stay clear
of everything and kick on."

Reflecting on his memorable strike against Crystal Palace, Carroll had no
hesitation in lauding the goal as the best of his professional career. The
big Geordie is no stranger to scoring memorable goals, but his acrobatic
effort in such an important home victory topped the lot, according to the
man himself. "I love watching that goal and I love people asking me when was
the last time I'd seen it!" Carroll smiled. "It's been a few days since I've
seen it, but I'm happy I won the award and it was a great goal and a great
win! "It's 100 per cent number one in my career. My first-ever goal has got
to be up there but, for quality, that's got to be the best goal I've ever
scored. We played really well and it was a tough game. We won 3-0 and
finished off in style and I was happy to score the best goal I've ever


International round-up: Randolph's Ireland triumph against Uruguay

Darren Randolph started as the Republic of Ireland bounced back from their
midweek defeat to Mexico in style by beating Uruguay in Dublin on Sunday.
Having lost out by a 3-1 margin to Mexico in the United States, Ireland
triumphed by an identical margin on their return to the Aviva Stadium. The
West Ham United goalkeeper played 45 minutes - winning his 21st cap for
Ireland - to round-off the preparations for next Sunday's FIFA World Cup
Qualifier against Austria in style.
Jonathan Walters opened the scoring for the home side, and although Jose
Giminez levelled before half-time, further goals from Cyrus Christie and
James McClean gave Martin O'Neill's side victory.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Hammers youngster Dan Kemp was fouled for the penalty
which gave England U20s the lead in their final Toulon Tournament group
stage game against Japan. Starting for the second time in the tournament,
Kemp was brought down in the 25th minute, allowing George Hirst to fire the
Young Lions in front. Japan levelled in the second half, but England had the
last word, sealing a 2-1 victory thanks to Chelsea's Martell
Taylor-Crossdale. England now progress to the semi-finals, looking to win
this competition for the second year in succession.

Written by Steven McCarthy

I want to take a look at the exciting season loan move for Oxford to
Borussia Monchengladbach, now this is a move that has been met with some
anger and confusion on social media by some West Ham fans. But we need to
remember that this is a young man who won't turn 19 till December! We have
great expectations for the player and after the 2015's seasons domination of
Ozil at the Emirates, we perhaps expected too much in a short space of time.

Last year was a strange time for Oxford, as he found the previously unseen
talent of Obiang competing for, and rightly cementing a starting place.
Whilst Noble and Kouyate were never really going to be pushed down the
pecking order. Considering one is our captain and the other offering
consistent power, presence and work rate. Many fans, including myself
questioned Nordtveit's placement above him.

Before I go into whether I feel that was correct or not, I have heard that
Oxford's fitness was not that of a Premier League player at any point during
this season, and that many felt his attitude was questionable. But after a
Summer in which he was constantly linked with numerous top clubs,
realistically he was bound to have his head turned!

And in my opinion, any young man who has played in the Premier League is
bound to have an ego, but off the pitch Oxford differs for me, there were no
Grealish type stories of partying into the late hours before or after games
or any gas inhales out of rubber gloves.

I think this was simply a season where he was finding out the harsh
realities of a top level footballers career, it can be irreparably damaged
or ended in an instant, either through injuries, contract releases,
terminations or the simple act of making an out of placed tackle on a youth
team player…Luckily for Oxford though, he is a natural athlete, tall, strong
and displaying great technique and his potential is something that I don't
think was ever in question, even during his somewhat disappointing loan
spell with Reading.

The move to Germany is also something that we often complain that English
players do not do enough, play abroad. He would get the test of playing and
living in a totally new environment, language and culture, something that is
often understated in importance when players move. Simply understanding the
coaches, staff and other players is a big challenge without that core
English base around him! Oxford would find himself in a Gladbach side that
finished 9th last season, whilst playing a young and energetic side week in,
week out. They are currently seeing the departure of Andreas Christensen
back to Chelsea, a young Defender who also offered similar versatility as

The German League is possibly the League within Europe that best mirrors our
own. Teams like Bayern, Dortmund and the emerging forces of RB Leipzig that
make up the top tier teams. And then the rest of the sides are constantly
battling it out to finish just below them, with Leverkusen, Gladbach and
Schalke all recently having competed in Europe.

However the German League is miles ahead of us in a couple of worrying ways,
youth systems, nutrition and the overall standard of coaching for their
first teams, reserves and youth sides is second to none! From top to bottom,
not only is the standard incredibly high, but players are regularly
challenged in new and varying passing, techniques and ball control drills.

Sides are also continually implementing new technology and sport science
advancements into the setups – this is possibly best displayed in Dortmund's
incredible "Footbonaut" training room (no I am not making that name up!) –
Best described as a 4 sided training grid on a small surface area of pitch,
balls are fired into the middle from any of the 4 sides, testing reaction
times and ball control of the player, whilst a panel at varying positions
lights up to be the players target! These are only advancements on training
methods and techniques that have been used for years, and they signify just
how innovative the Germans are in the area of coaching. And I feel this
will be one of the very best ways for us to see the best possible Oxford in
the future!

Now I am curious to see how many fans agree or disagree with me on this, but
one of the reasons I favour this move for Oxford is that I am rather
optimistic about Nordtveit getting another season with us. He found himself
regularly played out of position at right back in a very poorly performing
side, and against Swansea I thought we saw his first good game! However
when given the chance to play in his preferred position against the likes of
Stoke and Everton in the centre of the park, I felt he really shone. Now
granted, these were only a few performances, but I do feel that he can
really offer us something next season and considering he was a free signing,
we have very little to lose by giving him more time.

And should he not, then hopefully next season we have a much improved Oxford
to step in"


No comments: