Sunday, July 16

Daily WHUFC News - 16th July 2017

Trott's England win U19 Euros

Nathan Trott became the ninth West Ham United played to win the UEFA U19 European Championship as England beat Domingos Quina's Portugal 2-1 in the final in Georgia. Keith Downing's Young Lions made history in Gori on Saturday as second-half goals from Aston Villa defender Easah Suliman and Manchester City striker Lukas Nmecha – either side of Dujon Sterling's own goal – were enough to secure a hard-fought victory. Trott was an unused substitute but has played his part on the training pitch as Keith Downing's Young Lions won England's third age-group trophy of the summer - including Dan Kemp's access at the Toulon Tournament. It also caps a sensational 2017 tournament record for the men's development teams after 23 victories from the 27 games played from the U17s upwards. A crowd of 4,100 were present in Gori to see England prevail at the scenic Tengiz Burjanadze Stadium.
Quina started for Portugal - as he did in their four previous matches - but the attacker ended up on the losing side as Trott and England celebrated a famous victory. He follows John Sissons, John Charles, Martin Britt, Harry Redknapp, Kevin Lock, Alan Curbishley, John Ayris and Paul Allen in becoming a Hammer to be crowned a European U19/Youth/U18 champion.

Terry Westley praises U23s after narrow defeat at Barnet

Academy boss Terry Westley was pleased with his team's performance after they were narrowly beaten 2-1 by an experienced Barnet side at The Hive Stadium.
In an end-to-end first half, Barnet took the lead just before half-time when Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro finished well past Latvian stopper Rihards Matrevics. John Akinde made it two on the hour mark before first-year scholar Reece Hannam finished a terrific move to earn the young Hammers a respectable scoreline in north London. "It was our first game back whereas it was Barnet's third game so you'd expect them to be a bit sharper but overall I was pleased, particularly with how we started," said Westley. "We popped the ball around very well. Vashon [Neufville] was back to his best, Dan Kemp had a huge impact on the game and Reece Hannam got the goal. Tunji Akinola also impressed me, so it was a good game to get under our belts."

Westley was without a number of individuals for various reasons and it was, therefore, a chance for junior players to impress as well as trialists Oriol Rey and Julian Kristofferson, the latter starting alongside Jaanai Gordon up front. Playmaker Joe Powell created the game's first chance, stinging the palms of Jamie Stephens from long range, before Grady Diangana had a close-range effort deflected over. The hosts came into the match as the half wore on but winger Fumnaya Shomotun twice failed to capitalise on good build-up play when he only had Matrevics to beat. Trialist Kristofferson went close for West Ham but it was the hosts who took the lead just before half-time. The experienced Akinde showed strength to turn before feeding Akpa-Akpro who dinked the ball over Matrevics. The Bees almost added to their advantage immediately after the interval when substitute Wesley Fonguck's arrowed strike was tipped wide by Matrevics at full stretch.
Nevertheless, the hosts doubled their lead on the hour mark when Shomotun slid the ball into the path of Akinde who powered home. Westley made a host of changes in the second half and the fresh legs made the difference. Kemp helped England U20s win the Toulon Tournament last month and showed great composure to play in left back Hannam, who finished well past Barnet sub goalkeeper Craig Ross. Both sides had chances to add to the scoreline in the final 20 minutes but Westley was left pleased with the testing afternoon provided to his youngsters by the League Two outfit.

"Winning our league last year and going up against bigger clubs means that the expectations goes up for our players," Westley continued. "You play at a higher standard and therefore our standard has to go up. Today, we raised our game against a good side and I'm very satisfied."

Barnet: Stephens (Ross, 60), Johnson (Brindley, 60), Clough (Tutonda, 60), Almeida Santos (S. Akinola, 60), Weston (Kyei, 60), Akinde (Nicholls, 60), Campbell-Ryce (c) (Sweeney, 60), J. Taylor (Fonguck, 19), H. Taylor (Smith, 60), Shomotun (Amaluzor, 60), Akpa-Akpro (Payne, 60).
Goals: Akpa-Akpro, Akinde.

West Ham U23s: Matrevics, Pike (c) (Ngakia, 67), T. Akinola, Alese (Wells, 60), Neufville (Hannam, 60); Coventry (Rey, 46), Kemp, Powell (Scully, 46), Diangana (Belic, 60); Kristofferson (Henry, 67), Gordon (Hector-Ingram, 46).
Subs not used: Forde
Goals: Hannam.

Hammers on Tour: Day 5 in Austria

Catching up on daily life with Slaven Bilic's squad during their pre-season training camp in Austria…

A well-earned rest

After double training sessions on both Tuesday and Wednesday, Slaven Bilic gave his squad a well-deserved and important rest on Thursday afternoon. Following intensive keep-ball drills and crossing and finishing work in the morning, the players were given the rest of the day off to enjoy at their leisure and recharge the batteries. Some relaxed around the hotel, while Michail Antonio, Sam Byram and Ashley Fletcher took a trip to Vienna, and Mark Noble, Andy Carroll and Aaron Cresswell headed for a spot of lake fishing.

James Collins and Winston Reid used the free time on Thursday to keep up a competitive edge to their pre-season preparations. The centre-back pairing took a relaxing stroll around the golf course situated next door to the team hotel, playing in a four-ball against Goalkeeper Coach Chris Woods and Physiotherapist Fraser Young. After 18 holes their match was all-square, before Collins showed his class with a birdie in the play-off hole to grab victory. There's only one Ginger Pele...

Practise and progress

It was back to the hard graft on Friday, with another double session comprising of sprinting and circuit training in the morning, followed by high-tempo ball work and team shape in the afternoon. With the team's opening pre-season warm-up match scheduled against Sturm Graz B on Monday evening, the intensity and rhythm is clearly increasing day by day…

England cap

Aaron Cresswell has a rather nice present waiting for him when he returns home from Austria next Friday. The 27-year-old left-back, who made his second appearance for the England national team in last month's friendly against France in Paris, has been sent his international representative cap from the Football Association to mark his debut for the Three Lions, against Spain at Wembley in November 2016.

Janice St Fort

Everyone present with West Ham United in Austria was shocked and saddened when news reached the camp of the tragic passing of Rio and Anton Ferdinand's mother Janice on Thursday. Janice was a popular and friendly figure around the Club when her two sons were progressing through the Youth Academy into the First Team, and could always be seen cheering them on at matches. Captain Mark Noble said: 'Our thoughts and prayers are with Rio, Anton and their family at this very sad time. On behalf of all the players I would like to send them our sincere condolences."

Stoke provide injury update on West Ham transfer target as forward pushes for move
The latest West Ham transfer news sees the Hammers keep pushing for Arnautovic
Football London
20:08, 15 JUL 2017UPDATED20:38, 15 JUL 2017

Stoke are holding firm in their refusal to part ways with Marko Arnautovic this summer unless West Ham can meet their valuation of more than £20m. The Hammers have already launched an official bid for the Austrian and Arnautovic has told his current club that he wants to leave for the London Stadium, but Stoke are refusing to budge. Arnautovic was absent as the Potters kicked off their pre-season with a 4-2 defeat to Monaco on Saturday but the forward did make the trip to Martigny for the game. According to our colleagues at the Stoke Sentinel, the Potters expect Arnautovic to return to full training with the rest of the squad next week. The 28-year-old has been undertaking light fitness training following a knee injury. Stoke boss Mark Hughes explained: "Marko has just got an issue with the inside ligament of his knee. He should be fine next week."

London Olympics 2012: man who sank West Ham's Olympic Stadium bid is revealed
The man who blew apart West Ham United's ambitions of becoming the owners of the £468 million Olympic Stadium after London 2012 has been revealed as Steve Lawrence, an architect with connections to the Games project.
London Olympics 2012: man who sank West Ham's Olympic Stadium bid is revealed
By Matt Scott9:12AM GMT 17 Feb 2012

Lawrence was the "anonymous person" who complained to the European Union on West Ham's enabling £40 million loan deal with Newham Council, which he perceived to constitute illegal state aid. The local authority offered the loan to West Ham as part of their partnership to act as co-tenants of the stadium, under which the ground would have housed a school and community sports facilities within the complex.

When Lawrence's anonymous complaint to the EU came to light at the High Court last October, the Olympic Park Legacy Company, the quasi-public body that is dealing with the stadium's post-Games use, agreed to scrap the process that would have seen West Ham take it over.
"If it had been shown subsequently to be illegal, and I am not saying that it was necessarily, then in those circumstances then West Ham would have had to repay the subsidy," Lawrence told Sky Sports News yesterday.

"If that had happened after they had moved out of Upton Park and that ground had been redeveloped then they would then have been in a position where they would have had to return the stadium to the authorities and they would have been homeless. So we would have lost one of our precious English football clubs.
"The EU would have required the UK authorities to recover the illegal state aid, which would have meant either West Ham would have had to pay the full price for it or a full rental for it – and we are talking about an asset worth £500 million – and they would not have been able to afford that. The only option would have been for West Ham to go somewhere else."

That may very well be the outcome in any case after the new tender process, launched last December, requested that the ground's post-Games tenants pay an annual rent for the right to hold events there, without the opportunity to raise income through naming rights. Those rights would remain vested in the OPLC as landlord.

Barry Hearn, the Leyton Orient owner who alongside Tottenham Hotspur was a litigant in the case before the High Court, yesterday questioned whether there is any value to the venue as a football ground. "You can't play football there," said Hearn. "You've got 40 or 50 yards of running track between you and the play, the seats are built at the wrong slant, you can't view anything from the lower-tier seats. "No one is actually taking responsibility for admitting they've built a wrong stadium. They didn't listen to advice five years ago when everyone was saying what type of stadium can work. Legacy is absolutely vital. This is taxpayers' money we're talking about – £600 million of taxpayers' money. We can't just sweep this under the counter. "We have to face these problems and be honest. There are some serious problems on this stadium. Otherwise it's going to be an horrendous white elephant. We've seen it around the world. Let's not let it happen to London.
"Four years ago the OPLC announced they were going to have their tenants lined up in a matter of months – that was four years ago and we're no closer."

West Ham given Javier Hernandez transfer encouragement as Bayer Leverkusen stance is revealed
West Ham transfer news focuses on striker target Javier Hernandez and there are encouraging comments
Football London
10:55, 15 JUL 2017

West Ham have been offered hope in their pursuit of Bayer Leverkusen striker Javier Hernandez after the Mexican's new manager admitted no one player is bigger than the club. Leverkusen are braced for the exit of Hernandez this summer, with West Ham keen on a transfer for a striker who fits the profile Slaven Bilic is seeking this summer. And comments from newly-appointed Heiko Herrlich have given the Hammers more encouragement a transfer could be completed after he suggested they would not stand in the way of any one player if it was detrimental to the team. Herrlich was asked about the future of both former Manchester United striker Hernandez and midfielder Kevin Kampl following the loss of Hakan Calhanoglu to AC Milan earlier this summer and his response will have encouraged Hammers fans. "Hakan of course has huge quality, as do Kevin and Chicharito," he told the official Bundesliga website. "But ultimately it's important that the players that you have available identify 100 per cent with the club. Things will soon be clear - then we'll see more. "I think a club like Bayer Leverkusen will never find themselves depending on just one player. "Chicharito has given great performances in his two years here, but so have many others. You can only achieve success as a team."

Joe Hart has had West Ham United medical, could join today
Shane Callaghan

Are West Ham United going to announce the Manchester City goalkeeper today? Sky Sports have reported that West Ham United could announce a deal for Joe Hart today after the Manchester City goalkeeper completed a medical on Friday. The Daily Mail reported earlier this week that the 30-year-old is "almost certain" to join West Ham as the Irons get their transfer business underway. Hammers boss Slaven Bilic has only signed Bosman Pablo Zabaleta so far this summer - a team-mate of Hart's at Manchester City - but Sky Sports claims that the veteran keeper could be announced today. The report goes on to claim that Hart, who spent last season on loan at Torino, will initially join the East Londoners on loan, with a permanent deal an option to them in May. West Ham fans have been frustrated by Bilic's failure to sign a striker so far, but surely Hart's arrival would buy the Croat a little more time to bolster his striking options. Hart, a two-time Premier League champion with the Sky Blues, would represent a great signing by the Irons, if and when it materialises. Other positions in the squad certainly need strengthening, but if Bilic bolsters those positions with the same calibre of Hart then it could be a brilliant season for United next term.

Chelsea and West Ham going head to head to sign Javier Hernandez - report
CHELSEA and West Ham are in a direct battle to land Javier Hernandez, reports claim.
PUBLISHED: 07:00, Sat, Jul 15, 2017

The London rivals are both desperate to bolster their frontline this summer. Antonio Conte has already missed out on key target Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United, and progress does not appear to be being made over Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata. The Blues also need to replace outgoing Diego Costa, who is set to rejoin Atletico Madrid despite their transfer ban. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been linked with a move, but Conte may look to add more than one up front.
The Hammers, meanwhile, have looked at an array of strikers but drawn a blank so far. Interest has faded in the likes of Olivier Giroud and Kelechi Iheanacho, leaving Hernandez as their main target. The Mexico international is ready to leave Bayer Leverkusen and has a £13million buy-out clause in his contract.
And the former Manchester United star could well return to the Premier League. According to Mexican newspaper Publimetro, Hernandez is set to decide between joining Chelsea and West Ham. The 29-year-old has the option of either going to the London Stadium and becoming a key player in Slaven Bilic's side, or heading for Stamford Bridge and fighting for a place under Antonio Conte. Chelsea and West Ham are said to be the two strongest candidates at present to secure Hernandez's services. Publimetro journalist Aldo Miranda suggests an answer over Hernandez's future in the Premier League will come soon. West Ham are believed to still be in talks with the striker, and it has been claimed the Leverkusen goalscorer wants wages of around £140,000 a week. That would comfortably make him the Hammers' highest-paid player ahead of Andy Carroll. Chelsea, though, could easily afford to meet Hernandez's demands, but a decision has not yet been made by 'Chicharito'.

West Ham United, Everton have competition for Mario Lemina
Shane Callaghan

Everton and West Ham United's pursuit of Mario Lemina is now a lot more tricky. Everton and West Ham United's reported pursuit of Mario Lemina might have gotten slightly more complicated as seven teams now reportedly wrestle for his signature. The Premier League outfit are reportedly interested in signing the 23-year-old Juventus man but, according to Calciomercato, two more teams have joined the race. In addition to Everton and West Ham, Bayer Leverkusen, Arsenal and Sevilla were also reportedly keen, as reported by Footmercato, but Calciomercato has claimed that Marseille and Valencia have now thrown their hats into the ring for his signature. The Italian outlet goes on to suggest that interest from Everton and the Hammers might cause his valuation to increase as a bidding war looks in the reckoning, given the spending power of English clubs, whilst also claiming that Valencia could offer right-back Joao Cancelo in a swap deal as Juve look to replace Dani Alves.
Whatever happens, the Gabon international is expected to leave Turin this summer after starting just eight Serie A games and three Champions League matches, though he did appear in the final of the competition when Real Madrid blitzed them 4-1. The Toffees seem more attractive than West Ham at the moment, given that Ronald Koeman has spent over £100 million on transfers this summer and Irons boss Slaven Bilic is yet to spend a penny. There can be no debate as to whose 2017-18 campaign looks more promising and Lemina might well punt for Goodison Park, if they are indeed interested

Is Sofiane Feghouli stopping West Ham sealing a deal for prime target Javier Hernandez?
Damien Lucas

West Ham United have reportedly made former Manchester United star Javier Hernandez their number one striker target but are yet to get a deal over the line.
Sky Sports claims the Hammers were in talks with the striker having activated his paltry - by today's standards - £13.5m release fee at Bayer Leverkusen. But according to reports West Ham's owners David Sullivan and David Gold are yet to meet Hernandez's wage demands - believed to be between £140-150,000 a week. That has infuriated fans who have watched the club fail time and again to make good on promises over transfers in the last 18 months.
Slaven Bilic has targeted four "game-changer" signings this summer which includes two new strikers with a priority on pace and proven goalscoring ability.
Supporters feel given the relatively low transfer fee the club should have no problem matching the Mexican's wages, especially given the fact former hero Dimitri Payet was on around £125,000 per week after signing an improved deal. The focus this summer has been on shifting the deadwood for West Ham with the likes of Alvaro Arbeloa, Gokhan Tore, Havard Nordtveit, Enner Valencia, Stephen Hendrie and Raphael Spiegel following Payet and Simone Zaza out the door. The likes of Robert Snodgrass, Andre Ayew and Sofiane Feghouli could follow them out the exit door too as Bilic tries to clear the decks. Hammers fans were shocked to learn this week that winger Feghouli - who was signed on a free transfer from Valencia last summer - was the club's second highest earner - as claimed by well-placed West Ham source ExWHUEmployee on the West Ham Way radio show. The Algerian international has been linked with a £4.5m move to Turkish giants Galatasaray, as reported by The Sun. So could getting him off the wage bill be the key to pushing a deal for Hernandez over the line? Andy Carroll is reportedly on £90,000 per week at West Ham and Jose Fonte and Robert Snodgrass are believed to be among the top earners since arriving in January. So it is fair to say Feghouli's wages sit between the £60-80k mark, making the club's desperation to offload him all the more acute. That won't wash for some supporters, though, who feel the club should be able to afford it regardless after being promised the move to the Olympic Stadium - and the increased TV, merchandising and ticket revenue - would allow the club to compete for top players in the transfer market.


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