Thursday, July 6

Daily WHUFC News - 6th July 2017

West Ham United fans fuming with Sofiane Feghouli exit rumours
Football London
John Verrall

West Ham United fans do not want to see Sofiane Feghouli sold this summer. West Ham United fans appear to be disappointed by Sofiane Feghouli's potential departure from the London Stadium this summer. According to beinSPORTS Galatasaray are very close to completing a deal for the 27-year-old winger. Feghouli struggled during his first season at West Ham, but did show flashes of quality. And there are a number of West Ham fans who feel that Slaven Bilic is making an error by letting the Algerian international leave.

⚒West Ham Panel⚒ @WestHamPanel
I think selling Feghouli would be an absolute show of the boards incompetence. Sell a his who wants to be here and wants to prove himself
1:17 AM - 5 Jul 2017
5 5 Retweets 82 82 likes

West Ham News @WHUFC_News
Imagine paying £10m for Snodgrass and then selling Feghouli for £4m 😩
10:50 PM - 4 Jul 2017
21 21 Retweets 85 85 likes

cb @claretnblueHQ
Fairly obvious Bilic doesn't want Feghouli. This is like Obiang all over again when he wanted to sell him. Proved wrong. Clueless.
5:24 PM - 4 Jul 2017
2 2 Retweets 10 10 likes

Bull Diggy ⚒ @Bull_Diggy
Feghouli now being sold too, while we've still only bought in one player on a free...
The owners HAVE to go NOW #GoldAndSullivanOUT
4:05 PM - 4 Jul 2017
4 4 Retweets 11 11 likes

Lee Sifford ⚒ @lee_sifford
Feghouli didn't have a great season, but if we're selling him for £4mill in today's mkt that's 🙄🔫
Proves the board are in a 90s time warp !
4:08 PM - 4 Jul 2017 · Great Oakley, England
1 1 Retweet 5 5 likes

Darren @daz1992
@davidgold just a reminder, the transfer window is actually open now.. Feghouli is better than Snodgrass & Andre Gray is NOT a top forward
8:50 AM - 5 Jul 2017
Retweets likes

L⚒S @Lewis_Seddon94
@Diafra_Lanzini Stupid decision without having a replacement. Get rid of Snoddy!!
12:55 PM - 4 Jul 2017
Retweets 2 2 likes

Harry @WhuHxrry
Please don't sell Feghouli 😩
12:18 PM - 4 Jul 2017
Retweets 1 1 like
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Feghouli scored just four times in 27 appearances for West Ham last term, with his performances often falling short. However, towards the end of the campaign, Feghouli did start to show signs that he was getting to grips with life in English football. West Ham have already offloaded a number of their fringe players, but they have struggled to bring in their transfer targets. The Hammers have made just one signing so far this summer, with Pablo Zabaleta arriving on a free transfer.

"I want to understand how German football works"

We spoke to new Foal Reece Oxford about his first impressions, the Bundesliga and the training camp in Tegernsee.

Ox you've been here four days. What are your first impressions of the Borussia squad?

Oxford: First impressions are good. It seems to be a family club, the fans come to training to watch us and that's a great feeling. The training is a little bit different to what I'm used to in England. But I think that will be good for me, because I get the impression it will help me build up physically.

What are the biggest differences between training in England and Germany.

Oxford: They are actually not big differences. But I get the impression a lot of emphasis is put on running and movement over here. That's new for me and a little bit tiring. But it will do my fitness good and should help me to give everything to be on the pitch next season.

How are you getting on with your new teammates?

Oxford: It's nice to be here. Most of the boys speak English and that has helped me to integrate in the first few days. I've been trying to talk to a lot of them to get to know everyone. That's important at the start.

How does the process of learning the playing style and tactics of the coaching staff work?

Oxford: I have spoken to the coach a few times to understand what he wants from me, what I should be doing out on the pitch and how the team goes about performing. I want to understand how German football works because up until now I have only played football in England, never in Germany. I've also tried to get to know as many of my teammates as possible and to get an idea of how the coach wants to play.

What's your experience of the Bundesliga been from England?

Oxford: I think the Bundesliga is the one most similar to the English Premier League. It's a string and competitive division with big teams like Bayern, Dortmund and Leverkusen. I'm looking forward to the season starting so we can play against these teams.

Before the season starts there will be a week in Tegernsee. What are you hoping to gain from that?

Oxford: I'm looking forward to it, particularly if there's going to be more physical work than there is now (laughs). I just want to get myself fit with the team for the new season and make everything feel like second nature. You can get to know yourself a lot better on weeks like this. That's important, to feel good and then be able to go out onto the pitch with confidence.

West Ham's Enner Valencia set for return to Mexico with Tigres
By Sky Sports News HQ
Last Updated: 05/07/17 10:01am

Enner Valencia is close to completing his move from West Ham to Mexican side Tigres, according to Sky sources. Sky Sports News HQ understands the clubs have agreed a fee between £6m and £7m for the Ecuador forward. The 27-year-old joined West Ham in 2014 but he has only managed to score eight Premier League goals in 54 appearances since then. Valencia spent last season on loan with Everton, scoring a further three goals in 21 Premier League outings. He arrived in England after a prolific run of scoring in Mexico's top division - Liga MX - with Pachuca for whom he hit the target 18 times in 23 games. Valencia had also impressed scouts with his performances in the run-up to, and during, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where he scored three goals for his country.

Everton make sensational £40m bid for West Ham target Raul Jimenez as clubs clash again
It's yet another player linked with West Ham that Everton are showing interest in
Football London
13:29, 5 JUL 2

Reports coming out of Portugal claim Everton are ready to lodge a whopping £40m to sign West Ham target Raul Jimenez this summer. That is according to Record in Portugal, who say the Blues are ready to continue their enormous spending spree this summer having already picked up Henry Onyekuru, Michael Keane, Jordan Pickford, Davy Klaasen and Sandro Ramirez. Record say the bid from Ronald Koeman's side is believed to be around €45m (£39.6m), but the Portuguese club will only accept a fee of €50m (£44m). Everton already beat the Hammers to the chase for Onyekuru and are also bookies favourites for Olivier Giroud, another West Ham target. The Blues are also reportedly interested in Cedric Bakambu, also interesting the Hammers. Jordan Pickford was also linked to the Hammers before he opted for Goodison Park, Gylfi Sigurdsson is another. Now, the Benfica striker is attracting interest in Merseyside and it's no surprise - he was involved in a goal every 95 minutes for the Portuguese side last season, scoring seven times and bagging one assist in 762 minutes of action.

Reece Oxford on his first Monchengladbach impressions - the West Ham quotes of the day
What has been said around and about the Hammers on Wednesday?
Football London
19:45, 5 JUL 2017UPDATED20:34, 5 JUL 2017

"First impressions are good. It seems to be a family club, the fans come to training to watch us and that's a great feeling. The training is a little bit different to what I'm used to in England. But I think that will be good for me, because I get the impression it will help me build up physically. "They are actually not big differences. But I get the impression a lot of emphasis is put on running and movement over here. That's new for me and a little b it tiring. But it will do my fitness good and should help me to give everything to be on the pitch next season. "It's nice to be here. Most of the boys speak English and that has helped me to integrate in the first few days. I've been trying to talk to a lot of them to get to know everyone. That's important at the start." "The fact that he's been in the [England national team] squad previously will give him a real lift. He'll now know that he needs to make sure that his performances at West Ham are consistently high and if he ensures that, he will start to believe that he has a fantastic chance of getting in to the squad. "He might be thinking he is currently third choice behind Danny Rose and Ryan Bertrand, but with injuries and the form of others, third choice can turn into first or second. "It's about getting the opportunity to show yourself at international level. I regret that in my own career, I never really forced my way into the England set-up on a consistent basis. It's a challenge for Aaron as left-back is a pretty strong position for England." "I think you need a competitive edge, that brings out the best in players, it shows the manager that you can deal with certain situations. I think ideally people would like Reece to be in the West Ham squad but if that's not going to happen, you would go out on loan and educate yourself in terms of form, in terms of different styles of play. "As I said before, I see a lot of similarities between the Bundesliga and the Premiership. If Reece is going to get game time, experience a new culture and way of training etc, then I think it's a good thing and I don't see anything wrong with it."

Were West Ham betrayed by Peter Odemwingie over Henry Onyekuru's Everton move?
Damien Lucas

Everton beat West Ham United to the signing of striker Henry Onyekuru and it turns out Slaven Bilic may have been betrayed. The Nigerian attacker, who scored 22 goals in 38 games for Belgian side KAS Eupen last season, looked set for a move to the Hammers only for Toffees boss Ronald Koeman to beat Slaven Bilic to the punch. Onyekuru has been loaned to Belgian side Anderlecht for next season, something which infuriated Hammers fans even more given their club's desperation for strikers. And they will be angered further by the news that controversial former Premier League forward Peter Odemwingie had a hand in his fellow Nigerian Onyekuru choosing Everton over West Ham.

Everton ✔ @Everton
👍 | We've completed the signing of Henry Onyekuru. The 20-year-old will spend 2017/18 on loan @rscanderlecht:
4:16 PM - 30 Jun 2017
1,520 1,520 Retweets 3,057 3,057 likes

That's despite Hammers boss Bilic allowing Odemwingie to train with the club in a bid to keep his fitness up last season while he searched for a new club. But that's not the only time the East Londoners had helped him out. Back in 2006 Odemwingie trained at West Ham as a youngster when his agent was former Hammer Billy Jennings. Speaking of his time at West Ham, Odemwingie told Sky Sports' Fantasy Football Club back in February: "My agent was a household name at West Ham - Billy Jennings, a former player. "He had connections at the club there and after a game against Scotland he said 'you can train at West Ham?' "I said 'of course, that's fantastic'. It wasn't a trial but he wanted to look at how I'd be in the set-up in England. "It was a physical league and I was just 21 and he wanted to see my quality. I was with Paolo Di Canio, Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand - big names - so it was a dream come true to me. "It was really nice experience. That's when I thought this is the place I want to play football."

But just a few months after taking the side of Dimitri Payet as he forced a move away from the Hammers, as reported by Sky Sports, Odemwingie advised Onyekuru to plump for Everton. That's according to the player himself, who spoke to Own Goal Nigeria after completing his move to Goodison Park. "Before making the decision I seek some advice from Nigeria ex players like Odemwingie, and he gave me some advice you know. I have some other clubs you know ready to offer more than what Everton did", he told So after opening the door to a career in the Premier League and allowing him to train with the club and use the facilities towards the end of that career, that is how Odemwingie has repaid the Hammers? Fans will be hoping any future targets will offer advice more favourable to West Ham adding to their solitary signing of Pablo Zabaleta.

By Blind Hammer 5 Jul 2017 at 18:58

Blind Hammer looks at the medical shakeup at West Ham.

At various times last season, during our worst runs, there were complaints about the fitness of our squad. Whilst we were flirting with relegation there were leaks that Bilic was to face pressure to shakeup his coaching team and support staff. Whilst there were generic complaints about fitness these were really directed at two discrete areas. The first was our record of players sustaining non-impact related injuries, such as hamstring and other strains and their recovery from these. Andy Carroll in particular seemed to be constantly straining groin/abductor muscles and not recovering in expected timescales. Secondly there were more general concerns about the athleticism and stamina of players. We seemed to only finish stronger in games against teams, such as Leicester at home; when our opponents had difficult mid-week matches. In many other matches we seemed second best.

Repeatedly Media Commentators noted that with the exception of players like Antonio and Fernandez, many of our squad struggles to cover our new expanded pitch. Bilic himself added fuel to these comments by complaining about the lack of "intensity" in training after the 5-1 home Arsenal defeat. Bilic also suggested, more oddly, that there were problems with players not being able to "visualise "the necessary athleticism to reach opponents penalty areas.

Many of us were not that surprised when West Ham announced a shakeup of the medical support setup at Rush Green a few weeks ago on May 30th. On that day West Ham announced that Stijn Vandenbroucke was leaving the club to take on what was described as "new challenges" and separately that Gary Lewin, the ex-Arsenal Physio who had last year been made redundant by the England National Team, would be taking over these duties as Head of Medical and Sports Science.
Subsequent to this Gary Lewin started to introduce his own team by replacing club Doctor Tamim Kha with Dr Ian Beasley who had worked with Lewin at both Arsenal and England.

Whilst we, as fans, were not surprised by this move it seems that Vandenbroucke at least was not expecting it.

On the 23rd May, just a week before his departure, Vandenbroucke gave a lengthy interview on explaining his role and his plans for the upcoming season. At that time he was clearly expecting to retain his responsibilities.

So was Vandenbroucke the problem or was he the sacrificial lamb which Bilic had to surrender from his coaching setup?

The first thing to note is that Vandenbroucke was not a Bilic appointment. Vandenbroucke initially joined West Ham as a first-team physiotherapist in 2009. He worked for three seasons on the backroom staff under first Gianfranco Zola, then Avram Grant and finally Sam Allardyce.
Vandenbroucke then left West Ham to have brief spells in Russian football with Anzhi Makhachkala and Dinamo Moscow. However in February 2014 he returned to take up his new over-arching senior role. Allardyce, whatever we think of his football style, was famous for insisting on what he considered to be the highest standard of sports science in all his Managerial settings. This implied a high valuation of Vandenbroucke skills.

Bilic also did not disturb Vandenbroucke's setup for 2 seasons.

However the pressures in Football are savage. Vandenbroucke in his now poignant interview on the 23rd May spoke of the ever increasing athletic demands on the bodies of modern footballers.

He explained that outfield players now run over six miles a game, averaging 50 flat out sprints, resulting in ever more strenuous demands on bodies.

At the same time, social media now increases mental pressures. Players need supported mental resilience, some reacting badly to negative criticism from fans.

The physical and mental fitness levels acceptable 6 years ago are not sufficient now. You can no longer get by preparing a player for 2-3 hours. Players now must provide athleticism for 18 hours to compete at the highest level. Players have to train harder than they have ever done in history. All this makes avoiding injury that much harder.

Vandenbroucke hints at a systemic conflict between the medical and coaching teams, though he is at pains to reassure that this was managed. Coaches want players playing whilst the medical staff may want more recovery time.

So was Vandenbroucke the problem or the sacrificial lamb? It is tempting to notice that if anybody was to pay the price for last season's under performance then it may have been convenient for the hierarchy to locate somebody not in Bilic inner circle.

It is however also true that there were undeniably issues last season. Whether this was genuinely just down to bad luck or a deficiency in Vandenbroucke's performance is ultimately difficult for an outsider to judge. Vandenbroucke may have been just unlucky with the spate of injuries. The proof of the pudding is likely to be in the eating. If Gary Lewin and his team deliver an improved fitness, injury and recovery record over the next 24 months it is likely to be a sacrifice worth making.


David Griffith

Five West Ham players with a point to prove to Slaven Bilic
The Hammers return to pre-season training today and some of them will be working hard to impress the manager
Football London
10:18, 5 JUL 2017

After a couple of months off, the majority of West Ham's first team players will return to pre-season training at Rush Green today (Wednesday) and some members of the team will have more points to prove than others. Michail Antonio, Pedro Obiang, Andy Carroll an Diafra Sakho are expected at the training ground to continue recovery from their injuries but the ones who weren't injured will be back. The trio of Aaron Cresswell , Robert Snodgrass and Jose Fonte won't be there though as they have been given an extra few days off following their international commitments over the summer. Pablo Zabaleta will meet all of his new team mates for the first time today and manager Slaven Bilic will be there too as he has recovered from his off-season hip replacement, with new head of medical services Gary Lewin also in attendance.

Here's the lowdown on the key individuals who will be men on a mission:

Robert Snodgrass

He hasn't been sold (yet) but the Scotsman didn't manage to live up to his £10m price tag having swapped Hull for the Hammers in January. It's never easy for a player to slot seamlessly into a new team having joined halfway through the season so this is now a massive pre-season schedule for the Scotsman, despite him arriving a bit later than others having been in international action this off-season. He has a lot of people to convince - especially Hammers fans - and he's already at a disadvantage starting later than others. West Ham have yet to sign another winger this summer and with rumours of Sofiane Feghouli being sold, the stage is set for Snodgrass to show us what he is capable of.

Andre Ayew

Having had the start of last season ruined after picking up a thigh injury on debut which kept him out for four months, the West Ham record signing has a lot to prove. He scored a few goals last season in the second half of the campaign but it took until the last three months of it to be considered a regular and he was played in a number of different positions. At £20.1m - through not fault of his own, it wasn't him who decided his transfer fee - Ayew needs to live up to that billing this season. Slaven Bilic needs to find him the right position. There is no doubting Ayew's energy levels and commitment but he needs a good pre-season behind him to take into the Premier League.

Sam Byram

The right back is expected to be usurped in that position by Pablo Zabaleta this season after his arrival from Manchester City and Byram has already reacted, returning to pre-season training earlier than everyone else to get himself in shape. It might not be enough but Byram needs to make sure he is ready to be Zabaleta's replacement should the Argentine get injured or for some reason not be ready for the start of the season. Byram was blighted by injuries last season and had some poor games but with another year under his belt, expect improvement but Bilic will want to see more.

Andy Carroll

Maybe it seems harsh to say he has a point to prove as he's not let the club down when he's been on the pitch, but that's exactly the problem. Carroll needs an injury-free pre-season. He is expected to have recovered from his adductor problem over the summer to figure in the early stages of pre-season and needs to show that he is gaining fitness at the expected rate. With the club still yet to sign a striker, it could still be Carroll that leads the line at Old Trafford on August 12 and Bilic needs to be confident that he big striker is up to the task. If he gets an injury before the season starts, lord only knows what that means for his Hammers future.


The Spanish keeper kept four clean sheets at the back end of last season but in truth, he really didn't have that much to do in any of those games. When he did, he ended up shipping four at home to Liverpool at the London Stadium on May 14. The Hammers were linked with a move for Joe Hart this summer but it hasn't materialised with Adrian expected to keep the number one jersey ahead of Darren Randolph for this coming season. But, if he starts this season like he did the last one - littered with mistakes - his time may well be up come January. A solid pre-season showing will instill confidence in Bilic that Adrian is the right choice between the sticks.

Man City believe West Ham and Newcastle can fund £18m Joe Hart move: Loan ruled out
MANCHESTER CITY are reportedly adamant West Ham and Newcastle can afford to buy Joe Hart.
PUBLISHED: 05:30, Wed, Jul 5, 2017

Pep Guardiola is ready to offload the England international this summer, following his season-long loan with Torino. The 30-year-old has no future at the Etihad, but there is little interest from other clubs over a permanent move. City's Premier League rivals West Ham and Newcastle have enquired about taking Hart on loan.
The goalkeeper has two years left on his current contract, but City are determined to get him off their books. And according to the Daily Mail, the club believe Hart is not overpriced at £18million. England's No1 would require wages of £120,000 a week too. Despite reluctance from the Hammers and newly-promoted Magpies to fork out on a deal for Hart, City feel they each have the funds. City are insisting on a sale this summer, with another departure on loan seemingly being ruled out.
And the Daily Mail add Hart is especially interested in talking with Newcastle. Rafa Benitez is looking to bring in a new keeper, having targeted a reunion with former Liverpool shot-stopper Pepe Reina. But the manager has largely been left frustrated with Newcastle's transfer business so far. Meanwhile, West Ham are prioritising bolstering their strike force over bringing in a keeper. Signing Hart, though, would be a real coup for either club, with a stand-off ensuing over a deal between City and potential suitors. Reports have claimed Hart is happy to remain patient and check his options, with Manchester United or Chelsea seen as possible destinations too.

Newcastle ready to rival West Ham for striker after contract talks stall Andre Gray
Email 06:00Wednesday 05 July 2017 0
Shields Gazette

Newcastle United are weighing up a summer move for Andre Gray – after the Burnley striker's contract talks hit an impasse. Gray has a year left on his deal at Turf Moor – and talks over a new contract have stalled. And a clutch of Premier League clubs, including Newcastle, are waiting on developments. West Ham United are understood to be considering a move for Gray, who is also interesting Tottenham Hotspur and Everton. Gray and his representatives have held talks over a new contract at Burnley, who finished 16th in the Premier League last season. The 26-year-old is reportedly looking for a significant pay rise at Turf Moor. Burnley, however, have a strict wage structure and the two parties have not come to an agreement. Gray joined the club from Brentford two years ago and helped Sean Dyche's win promotion to Premier League. The Wolverhampton-born player netted nine top-flight goals last season. United manager Rafa Benitez wants to sign a striker in this summer's transfer window, and a move for Gray has been discussed. Burnley will have a decision to make on his future if he refuses to sign a new contract at Turf Moor. Should they decide to sell, Gray could command a fee of more than £10million. Burnley rejected a bid from West Ham for Gray in the January transfer window. Back then, the club was determined not to sell Gray, but their stance is likely to change if Gray makes it clear he will not sign a new deal. Newcastle, meanwhile, have already signed defender Florian Lejeune and winger Christian Atsu this summer. And Benitez is keen for the club to do more business well ahead of the new Premier League campaign, which kicks off on August 12.

West Ham could have signed reported £33m Chelsea new boy Antonio Rudiger for bargain fee
Damien Lucas

West Ham United have not had the busiest of transfer windows so news of one that got away - and then joined bitter rivals Chelsea - will not go down well.
Slaven Bilic is desperate to reshape his squad with four "game-changer" signings this summer. Two strikers are top of his priority list but so far only experienced right back Pablo Zabaleta - who turns 33 next season - has joined the Hammers. The East Londoners have struggled to bring in the required quality to trouble the top six since their move to the Olympic Stadium despite big promises from owners David Sullivan and David Gold. Speculation is linking West Ham with club record bids for multiple striker targets while the likes of Joe Hart, Chris Smalling and Ross Barkley have also been mentioned. Meanwhile rival Premier League clubs have suddenly burst into action on the recruitment front in the last week with Chelsea the latest on the verge of a major deal, to sign Roma and Germany defender Antonio Rudiger for £33.4 million, as reported by the likes of Sky Sports. Rudiger, 24, is set to sign a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge and starred for Germany as they won the Confederations Cup. West Ham's own player pursuits are yet to bare fruit much to the frustration of the club's fans. So news that the club could have signed Rudiger for just £8 million three years ago will prove galling. The Hammers wanted the centre back - who can also operate at right back - around the same time they signed Enner Valencia back in 2014, as reported by the likes of The Mirror at the time. His club back then, Stuttgart, wanted £8 million for the player - the same amount West Ham paid Southampton for ageing centre back Jose Fonte in January. He actually went on to join Roma for even less - £7.4 million - last summer, representing a cool £26m profit for the Serie A side. The Hammers will have two 34-year-old centre backs and a 33-year-old right back as part of their squad next season in the shape of Fonte, James Collins and Zabaleta. Rudiger is very much one that got away and the pill is all the more bitter to swallow now that Chelsea are paying such a large fee to get their man. But there might be some light at the end of the tunnel yet. With that money and the near £40m Roma made from the sale of Mo Salah to Liverpool, it could mean they have the funds available to follow through on their interest in taking flop Sofiane Feghouli off West Ham's hands.


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