Monday, July 31

Daily WHUFC News - 31st July 2017

West Ham youngster Martinez has first-team goals

Toni Martinez is eyeing further first-team opportunities – and goals – after
netting his first senior goal in Saturday's 2-2 Betway Cup draw with Werder
The Spaniard showed his predatory nature to bury an unstoppable header past
Jiri Pavlenka to put the Hammers 2-1 up in Lohne, craning his neck to power
the ball into the bottom corner. After spending the entire pre-season with
Slaven Bilic's squad the 20-year-old, who scored 14 goals in 13 appearances
for West Ham's U23s last season, wants more of the same. "I'm really happy
to score my first goal with the first team," said Martinez, whose goal came
at the end of an impressive attacking move that saw the Hammers move the
ball from one penalty area to another with dazzling speed. "It was a good
cross from Andre Ayew and good play from Arthur Masuaku, so all I needed to
do was put the ball in the back of the net. "It's amazing for me. It was a
great game and we're working hard to be strong for the first game in the
Premier League. Now I'm going to keep working. "We are enjoying the training
camp a lot and I am happy to stay with the first team and I'm working hard
for my opportunity. I wish I will get more opportunities this season but,
for now, I am just trying to help the team and nothing more."

Martinez's transition to the first-team squad has been eased by the presence
of a host of other native Spanish speakers, including new signings Pablo
Zabaleta and Chicharito. Indeed, the former Valencia youngster is hoping to
learn more about the art of being a top-level centre forward from Mexico's
all-time leading scorer.
"It's very easy for me because there are so many boys who speak Spanish and
it's very good for me," he confirmed. "Of course, I can learn a lot from
Chicharito. He is one of my favourite strikers and I'm sure I'm going to
learn too much from him."

Hammers on Tour: Chicharito attracts quite the following

Catching up on daily life with Slaven Bilic's squad after a busy weekend in

The Little Pea with a big following

He may be yet to pull on a Claret and Blue shirt, but Javier Chicharito
Hernandez is already the star attraction at West Ham United's German
training camp.
The Mexico superstar arrived in Rotenburg on Thursday afternoon, having
visited Paris to complete his successful UK visa application. En route from
France to Germany, the 29-year-old was repeatedly recognised by fans and,
being used to the attention, happily signed autographs and posed for
selfies. On arrival at the team hotel, two Spanish-speaking television
crews, including Raul Guzman from USA-based Univision, were on hand to
capture the big moment, as were Sky Sports News reporter Paul Gilmour and
cameraman Rich Harlow. Gilmour and Harlow had also travelled to West Ham's
Austrian training camp earlier in July and were delighted to be rewarded for
their hard work when Chicharito held a press conference at the hotel later
that evening. "Pre-season is a little more laid-back and the access to the
manager and players is better, as obviously they are under so much more
pressure during the competitive season," Gilmour told us. "They are working
hard, but they are also relaxed and it gives us an opportunity to get some
great coverage! "Myself and Richard had really enjoyed it. We've been on
many of these pre-season trips and this one is right up there because of the
level of access, which we don't get at all clubs."
Harlow agreed with his colleague's sentiments, adding: "It's the second year
I've been to Austria with West Ham and we're welcomed by the squad, who are
always happy to chat and keep us entertained when we're filming. "Mark Noble
and Ginge are always good value and obviously everyone is absolutely buzzing
about the four new signings."

Familiar surroundings

One member of the West Ham United party who is definitely feeling at home in
Germany is first-team coach Edin Terzic. The 34-year-old was born in the
town of Menden, just south east of Dortmund, and played semi-professionally
for a number of clubs, including Wattenscheid and Cloppenburg. He then
coached at Borussia Dortmund under Jurgen Klopp before joining forces with
Slaven Bilic at Besiktas four years ago. Terzic has naturally enjoyed being
back on home turf, while training at local club Rotenburger SV has brought
back memories of his own playing career. "Football is very popular in
Germany of course, the number one sport, but in this part of the country
there are not so many really big teams, just Hamburg and St Pauli in the
north and Werder Bremen further south, and fewer amateur clubs," he
observed. "Where I am from, near Dortmund, you have a concentration of
around 16 million people, so not every club has the space and money to have
facilities like the ones in Rotenburg. "I feel comfortable around here, of
course, because I hear German spoken all the time, I am eating German food
and I can talk to everyone, but while everything is nice we are here to work
and it all comes down to what we do on the pitch. It doesn't matter if I am
in Germany, Iceland or Austria, because it's about using this moment to


West Ham United welcomed two guests to their training base this week in the
shape of John Oldfield and Terry Comitti (pictured, above). The lifelong
Hammers and Club London members were lucky enough to win the bidding for a
unique auction prize at the recent 2016/17 Player Awards, namely to spend
time with Slaven Bilic and his squad in Germany. The pair enjoyed fantastic
behind-the-scenes access, drinking coffee with the manager, eating lunch
with Mark Noble and company and even welcoming new signing Chicharito to the
team hotel!

Matchday experience

West Ham United's visits to Schneverdingen and Lohne for their Betway Cup
ties with Werder Bremen saw the Hammers turn out at two stadia that are
seldom visited by crowds numbering in the hundreds, let alone the thousands.
Staff at both FC Schneverdingen and Blue-Weiss Lohne worked tirelessly to
make their respective grounds ready for two squads packed with international
stars, resulting in two seamless matchdays. Betway branding was added, while
provisions were made for Premier Sports to produce two live broadcasts and
food, drink and even a tombola stall were erected. In Lohne, however, one
part of the matchday experience that was already in place was this
eye-catching children's play area!

Over land and sea…

Hundreds of West Ham United supporters travelled to Germany to watch their
team take on Werder Bremen – twice in the space of 20 hours! The Claret and
Blue Army descended from England, Switzerland and all over Germany, hanging
dozens of flags at the stadia in Schneverdingen and Lohne. The vociferous
support, including repeated choruses of Bubbles, undoubtedly added to the
atmosphere as the Hammers were edged out 3-2 on aggregate by their
Bundesliga opponents.
It would be a huge surprise if the Cologne Hammers flag was not on show at
Altona 93's Adolf-Jäger-Kampfbahn stadium on Tuesday evening!

Antonio helps West Ham United Ladies enjoy special day!

The rain may have been lashing down, but it couldn't dampen the spirit and
enthusiasm of the West Ham United Ladies as they gathered together at the
Rush Green training ground on Saturday afternoon.

While Marko Arnautovic was claiming his first goal in a Hammers shirt for
the men's team out in Germany, all six of the Ladies' squads, from Under 10s
all the way up to the first team, enjoyed their first Club Media day to
celebrate the impending start of the 2017/18 season.

All squads had their official team photographs taken for the new campaign
and then took part in a range of training drills and exercises in front of
family and friends supporting from the sidelines, who enjoyed refreshments
provided by The Ribman and kept their energy up with drinks supplied by Rich
Energy, official partners of West Ham United Ladies.

Also present was reigning Hammer of the Year and official Ambassador to the
West Ham United Ladies, Michail Antonio, who spent time chatting to the
players, meeting their families and hearing all about the exciting plans
that have been progressing ever since the restructuring of the Ladies'
set-up was announced back in May.

Antonio, who had been at Rush Green earlier in the morning continuing
rehabilitation work on his hamstring injury, insisted on staying behind
until the Ladies' teams arrived so that he could show his support.

"It's been fantastic to see everyone here today," he said. "I am genuinely
honoured to be an Ambassador for the West Ham United Ladies, especially at
such an exciting time for them.

"There is a great atmosphere within their set-up, and I really enjoyed
meeting the players, especially the youngsters who are just starting out on
their journey and learning the game in such a great environment."

General Manager Karen Ray, who organised the event, was delighted by the
response of everyone present and celebrated a hugely successful day.

"Today was all about the players," she said. "We wanted to really solidify
and celebrate being part of the club.

"Seeing all six teams interacting together really encompasses exactly what a
family club we are. 90 players, from age eight through to 28, all enjoying
each other's company and sharing their love for football is empowering.

"At West Ham United Ladies we strive to have a positive impact on every
player's life and today will really give them all a wonderful memory to
inspire them for the new season.

"It was a great way to kick off the five-year plan that will drive us to be
a top Super League team and really enhance the profile of the club.

"Now we can look forward to kicking off the season on August 20, when we
head to Gillingham for the opening game."

Look out for some brand new features on the West Ham United Ladies, coming
soon on

By HamburgHammer 30 Jul 2017 at 17:45

Why does time always have to flash by when you're enjoying yourself ? It
seems like it was just a few hours ago that I got into my car to drive out
to Schneverdingen to welcome my star guests BSB and The Original Russ to my
country. Well, I say my country, but of course it was pretty much rural
countryside, the backwaters of civilisation almost, like having a Londoner
taking you to Norfolk for a game.

Mind you, the Lüneburg Heath is beautiful enough in its own kind of way and
BSB was happy enough with the beautiful houses there and the compact and
cosy town center.
Still I managed to take us down the wrong road on our way to the stadium
(which seems to be a recurring theme now), but then again I am pretty much a
stranger in that part of the country myself and we did alright in the end

To start off with the positives, it is always good to see the youngsters,
the future of our club so to speak, playing in the flesh. We had to play a
game of "Who is that youngster over there?" initially, but we managed to
identify them all and I have to say while some of them impressed more than
others, not a single one of them disappointed. Personally I was very happy
indeed with Cullen, Rice, Holland and Martinez.

Another positive was the general atmosphere at both games. Not a sniff of
trouble, it was basically a paid holiday for the police staff present at the
game as they had so little to do. Certain sections of the travelling Hammers
have been praising the stunning beauty of the female police officers to the
hilt, comparing them to glamour models or girl groups like the Spice Girls.
Not sure about that one, but maybe the stunners in uniform helped putting
the Hammers fanbase in a relaxed and happy mood for the games which ain't a
bad thing in my book.

There was friendly banter with the Bremen fans too and while I can never
truly support Werder being a proud Hamburger I can respect them and if West
Ham were to play Bremen on a more regular basis in future preseason
friendlies I wouldn't mind that at all. One of the stewards in Lohne who was
manning the entrance to the away seating section (when I say away seating
section I mean the bit that had been cordoned off with simple barrier tape,
so you basically had both sets of fans sitting right next to each other) was
a former Lohne player and he was proudly showing us a picture on his mobile
of a newspaper clipping covering a preseason friendly he had played against
West Ham in 1983. They lost that game 1:4 on the day and apparently his
direct opponent on the pitch got the better of him all afternoon, it was a
certain Alvin Martin…

Another positive for me was seeing some glimpses of what Arnautovic could do
for us. There obviously is a great footballer in there, when he is in the
mood for applying himself for the full 90 minutes (which apparently was an
issue at previous clubs), he can be an arrogant so and so, but he now is OUR
arrogant so and so which means I shall gladly root for him despite his
Austrian accent…:-))

He seems to love taking on three or four players at the same time which can
be frustrating to watch if it doesn't work, but when it does come off, boy,
is it a beauty to behold!
Arnautovic is the kind of player that gets fans out of their seats,
hopefully there will be plenty of that at London Stadium this season.

My favourite youngster now probably is Josh Cullen, not just because of his
composed play but also because me and Ebi (a fellow German Hammer from near
Bonn) bumped into Cullen and Reece Burke on Thursday afternoon in Rotenburg
when the players had some time off and JC and RB were desperately looking
for a pool table. We found out for them where they might find one nearby but
I doubt they were successful as pubs and arcades in a small town like
Rotenburg tend to open in the evenings only. So I will probably never know
now if Cullen and Burke did get to play their game of pool in the end…but
they were lovely to chat to and wonderful ambassadors for our club.

Pre-season games and friendlies in general don't do a lot for me (I made an
exception in West Ham's case because it was close to home and because BSB
and Russ were over), but you tend to come away from those games none the
wiser really. The manager tends to mix and match lineups, players are busy
trying not to get injured instead of getting stuck in (and rightfully so)
and those friendlies therefore rarely deliver a proper indication as to how
the actual season might turn out for your team.

It would have been great to see Andy Carroll play of course, although the
tooth fairy will probably play more games for West Ham next season than AC,
but I won't go further into that topic as I don't intend to burst a blood
vessel. I think it's time to finally cut our losses, pay the guy off, save a
bit of money that way and prepare for life without him. There are enough
strikers still available out there who may not be world beaters but who at
least will be able to play week in week out and convert some goalscoring
opportunities when you create those chances for them.

So we didn't win the Gooseberry Cup, excuse me, Betway Cup! (I'm using
gooseberry here because there was some lovely gooseberry cream cake
available before the game in Lohne and because the gooseberry pretty much
describes the kind of area where those preseason games had been arranged to
take place. I thought it was an odd choice, but ultimately it turned out not
too bad a decision after all).

In order to see a proper top level football stadium I took BSB and Russ to
the famous Weserstadion in Bremen, but not before we had enjoyed a Mexican
style dinner at El Mariachi in the vicinity of the stadium (to celebrate
Chicharito's arrival at West Ham, BSB and Russ had steak). It was one of the
rare times when I actually ordered too much food for us (I had never been to
that place before and we had no idea how big the servings would be). At some
point even I was full up, so I took a doggybag as I learned from my war and
hunger scarred parents all those years ago never to allow good food going to

It was dark already when we arrived at the stadium and we obviously couldn't
get into the ground, so we took a wander around and caught glimpses of the
inside through gaps and fences. My guests were suitably impressed and judged
it to be a stadium fit for a big club which Bremen are, not necessarily in
terms of trophies and star players as Bremen's glory years mainly are in the
past rather than the present, but the support is top notch and the stadium
(which holds almost 40.000) is nearly always sold out.
It is also to my knowledge the only stadium in the Bundesliga where fans can
travel in by boat shuttle as the stadium is located right alongside the
river Weser where the stadium derives its name from.

Tomorrow I shall be welcoming another fellow Hammer to town who is coming
over for the Altona game, so we will have a little Guided Walk around town,
with an emphasis on the locations where the Beatles used to perform, drink,
sleep (or spend time in a prison cell overnight once) to be followed by the
game itself on Tuesday evening.

In contrast to the games in Schneverdingen and Lohne there will be strict
segregation in effect between sets of fans for the Altona game and as the
ground is right smack in the middle of a busy inner city
working-class/alternative/left-wing community there could indeed be some
trouble, especially later, on and around the notorious Reeperbahn what with
St.Pauli playing a friendly against Stoke of all teams at the very same time
in pretty much the same borough.
St.Pauli and Altona are favourite areas for eating out and drinking and
there will be four sets of fans doing just that tomorrow evening all likely
to bump into each other somewhere along the way: Altona, St.Pauli, West Ham
and Stoke.

That's two Hamburg teams which hate each other's guts and two English teams
that are not exactly friends for life either.

I really hope it will be just the same jolly and relaxed atmosphere on the
night than it was out in the country, I wouldn't bet on it though. What I
would bet on is West Ham beating Altona fairly comfortably. Altona deserve a
good thrashing too. They are the barstewards after all who got promotion
instead of my beloved Concordia.
So, make it double digits please West Ham: Hattrick each for Snodgrass,
Arnautovic and Ginger Pele please plus an own goal from Altona. Mission


PS: I didn't expect my column to go up on Sunday. So quick update on
Concordia's season opener which was won 3:1 this afternoon and was attended
by 163 fans, 5% of which were travelling Palace fans, with one Man City and
one Wolves supporter thrown in for good measure. Some of these guys have
been going to Cordi games for 12 years now and I was glad to finally meet
them. We all had a jolly good time, one of the guys is taking the plunge in
a few weeks as well (Good luck with that Rob!) and I was impressed with
their commitment to football. They must have watched three or four games of
football at the lower league levels in Hamburg and Luebeck during this trip
and all that because they do love their football so much. So next time
you're watching Match of the Day, look out for the Crystal Palace flag with
the Concordia crest in the top left corner. Good lads! They invited me over
for a Palace game actually (I know, wrong side of the river and all that),
but maybe there is a weekend when it'll be West Ham for me on Saturday and
Palace on Sunday.

Everton keen on Winston Reid - report
31 Jul, 2017 9:17am Quick Read
Winston Reid.
NZ Herald

Everton are weighing up a £9million (NZ$15.7m) move for West Ham and All
Whites defender Winston Reid, according to reports. The Daily Mail reports
that Everton manager Ronald Koeman is keen to get cover for the Ramiro Funes
Mori who faces six to nine months on the sideline due to a knee injury. Reid
himself has just returned from injury after having surgery on a shin. The
Daily Mail reports that the New Zealander extended his contract until 2021
but West Ham may be keen to listen to offers as they look to redress their
spending over the off season.

West Ham's Andy Carroll to miss the first month of the season as he recovers
from thigh injury
The Hammers had hoped to be without the powerful but brittle frontman for
only their opening two games
The Mirror
22:30, 29 JUL 2017

West Ham will be without striker Andy Carroll for the first three matches of
the season. Carroll missed the end of the last league campaign with a thigh
And he will not be ready for first-team action until the end of the
international break in September. Carroll is scheduled to make his return in
West Ham's first home game against Premier League newcomers Huddersfield.
Manager Slaven Bilic had hoped the 28-year-old would be fit for the third
match at Newcastle after missing the first two clashes at Manchester United
and Southampton. But he has been told the risk would be too great and the
match on September 11 is a more realistic target. The injury news is more
encouraging about skipper Mark Noble. He limped off with a toe injury in the
1-0 pre-season defeat to Werder Bremen on Friday night. But he should be fit
within a week.
In Carroll's absence, record signing Marko Arnautovic grabbed his first goal
on Saturday since arriving from Stoke in a £25million deal. The Austria
forward poked home the opening goal in a 2-2 draw in their second match with
Bremen. Toni Martinez got the other Hammers goal, with Luca Caldirola and
Yuning Zhang replying for Bremen, who won the Betway Cup 3-2 on aggregate.

Bilic must learn from his Snodgrass failure to get the most out of
Arnautovic at West Ham
West Ham need Slaven Bilic to use Marko Arnautovic properly
Footbal London
11:00, 30 JUL 2017

At £23m, the signing of Marko Arnautovic goes down as the most expensive in
West Ham's history. The Hammers are under pressure to address some of their
squad deficiencies this summer and the addition of the Austrian, along with
Javier Hernandez, Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta, will go some way to doing
that. Although, the same was said of Robert Snodgrass not so long ago.
Signed for just over £10m in January, the Scot was seen as a significant
addition midway through a difficult season for West Ham. Six months later,
however, Snodgrass is widely expected to leave the club having failed to
make any sort of impact. Indeed, the Hammers' transfer record over the past
few years isn't exactly glowing. Their record when it comes to signing
strikers and attackers is particularly bleak, with only 11 of the 31 centre
forwards they have signed since 2010 scoring more than three goals. This
only adds to the argument that the club's priority this summer should have
been a director of football. As a result, West Ham have become the epitome
of the Premier League's waste culture. Much has been made of the club's
identity crisis since the move to the London Stadium last summer, but there
is more at play than just a new stadium. Questions of personality are down
to the players on the pitch as well. There must be a plan in place for the
players added this summer. Slaven Bilic lacked that last summer, with
big-money signing Andre Ayew failing to live up to his price tag. Arnautovic
arrives at the London Stadium with the biggest price tag in the club's
history, and that doesn't exactly bode well for the former Stoke City player
given the misfortunes of recent big-money West Ham signings, like Snodgrass.
Such has been his struggle since January, it can be easy to forget how
Snodgrass was one of the best players in the Premier League over the first
half of the 2016/17 season. His capture from Hull City was considered quite
the coup for West Ham, even if the Tigers seemed intent on relegation by
selling every one of their best players. Indeed, Snodgrass is also a
talisman at international level, becoming one of Scotland's most important
players. Yet at West Ham, there was no plan for him. He was a signing for
the sake of a signing. Bilic didn't know what to do with the Scot once he
actually got his hands on him. The same can't happen with Arnautovic, not at
a cost of £23m.
"I said at the end of last season that we don't need squad players, but we
need top players, the players who are going to improve the first eleven,"
Bilic explained earlier this week after the signing of Hernandez from Bayer
Leverkusen. "I wanted quality players who will make a difference if everyone
is fit. It's a massive achievement, it's not easy, but we have done it.
"You never know how it is going to click, but we have done well. It is
important that we have done it early enough in the transfer window. The
majority of that is done, so congratulations to the chairman, to the board.
They have done brilliantly and people from other clubs have recognised it."
Bilic has reacted rather prematurely though in offering congratulations. The
Croatian finds himself at a juncture of his career as West Ham manager,
having enjoyed one successful season and one not so successful season at the
club. It's up to him now to get the best from the players he has been signed
by said chairman and the board, and his recent background in that is
questionable to say the least. Just look at Snodgrass.

Arnautovic/Masuaku link up, Snodgrass' confidence & Andre Ayew - 5 talking
points from Werder Bremen draw
The five main points from the Hammers' 2-2 draw with the German side in
Football London
12:30, 30 JUL 2017UPDATED12:53, 30 JUL 2017

The first hour of the second leg in Lohne was arguably a side the Hammers
could field at Manchester United on the opening day of the Premier League
season - maybe with the exception of Chicharito coming in. There were
positive signs in that 11 that this could be a very good season for West Ham
as they were coming up against a Werder Bremen side who were not by any
means lacking in quality of their own. West Ham managed to keep their
superstar Max Kruse very quiet and although they shipped two goals, Joe Hart
couldn't have done much about either of them. The substitutions on the hour
disjointed things a bit but the first hour was a big positive.

The Arnautovic/Masuaku link up

Well, well, well. The big question ahead of the new season is who is going
to be the first choice left back for West Ham and if you watched the first
hour of yesterday's game, you'd think it would have to be Arthur Masuaku.
Marko Arnautovic played the entire 90 minutes on Saturday and looks to have
struck up an already brilliant partnership with the Frenchman down the left
hand side, combining for the Austrian's goal in the first half but it wasn't
just that. Time after time, the two worked in perfect sync and harmony.
Aaron Cresswell is really under pressure to perform if he gets the nod
because if he doesn't, he won't be around for long.

What next for Andre Ayew?

It's a real conundrum for Slaven Bilic and the Ghanaian as we are still to
really see where his best position is. He played as a central striker on
Saturday and didn't have much of an effect, drifting out wide more often
than not. He then moved into a CAM role, where Manuel Lanzini would play,
and did a lot better, supplying the cross for Toni Martinez to score. Ayew
is likely to play against Manchester United owing to Michail Antonio's
injury but when the England man returns, where is Ayew going to play? It
will be hard for him to dislodge anyone in the team when fully fit and for a
£20.1m former record signing, that's been a bit of a mistake.

Robert Snodgrass's confidence is absolutely shot

He's not enjoyed the start to his Hammers career that he would have wanted
and Snodgrass looks so out of sorts it's a major concern. He was brought in
as a dead-ball specialist yet time after time, his delivery has been very
poor - overhit or not beating the first man - and it's clearly getting to
him. The Scotsman was full of running yesterday and gave it everything he
could but it just isn't coming off for him. With Sofiane Feghouli likely to
be off, Snodgrass is likely to stay now and he just needs a bit of luck to
turn his way.

A welcome day off

The Hammers players have been given Sunday off to rest their weary bodies
and prepare themselves for the final few days of the pre-season campaign.
They will stay in Rotenburg and train for the enxt few days before heading
fof to Hamburg for the game with Altona 93 on Tuesday, then it's straight
off to Iceland to play Man City in Reykjavik on August 4. Two games in two
days takes a lot out of the players and with double training sessions to
boot, they are certainly deserving of their time off. Some of the players
will catch up with their families, others will just chill out on Sunday
before it's straight back down to business on Monday.


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