Saturday, August 12

Daily WHUFC News - 12th August 2017

Manchester United v West Ham: All you need to know

West Ham United kick-off the 2017/18 Premier League season away at Manchester United on Sunday.

The Irons will take on Jose Mourinho's Red Devils at Old Trafford in what is another tricky opening day test for Slaven Bilic, having faced Arsenal and Chelsea away in his other two first league matches with West Ham.

Read on for everything you could possibly want to know about this weekend's opening league fixture including team news, possible debuts and how to follow this Sunday's fixture.

Where and when?

Manchester United v West Ham will be played at Old Trafford, with kick-off scheduled for 16:00 BST.

Fans attending the contest at the 75,000-seater stadium will be interested to know the address, which is: Old Trafford, Sir Matt Busby Way, Stretford, Manchester M16 0RA.

Where to watch and follow?

As usual live updates from Old Trafford will be available at @WestHamUtd.

West Ham's contest at Manchester United will be shown live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event from 15:30 BST.

Audio coverage will also be provided by BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio London.
Team news

All five of West Ham's summer signings are fit and available for Sunday's clash meaning that Chicharito could be in line for his Hammers debut against his former side.

However Andy Carroll, Cheikhou Kouyate, Michail Antonio and Diafra Sakho will all miss out as they recover from injury.

Manchester United meanwhile are without long-term absentees Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo,

Mourinho could call on new signings Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic for their United Premier League debuts.

Match Officials

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Assistant Referees: Sam Child and Adam Nunn

Fourth Official: Neil Swarbrick

Meet the opposition

West Ham will face a stern test at Old Trafford this weekend as they take on the most successful club in English football history. Last season's Europa League triumph means Manchester United have 42 major titles, putting them clear of Liverpool's 41 at the top of the rankings.

Despite this the Red Devils have endured a more difficult time in recent seasons, particularly following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. Only once in the last four campaigns have United managed to finish in the top four, relying on their Europa League win last season to secure passage to the Champions League this year.

Manager Mourinho will be keen to make a major impact in what is set to be his second season in charge of United. Big-money signings have been made and fans are expecting a push for the Premier League title.

Players to watch

The most obvious answer is the best for this one - former Manchester United striker Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez will likely play against his former side on Sunday.

Hernandez spent five years on the books at United, including one which was a loan at Real Madrid, scoring 59 goals in all competitions and winning two Premier League medals.

Mexico's all-time leading goalscorer now returns to Old Trafford with the Hammers looking to continue his fine record in England for the Irons. United know only too well how lethal Chicharito can be in front of goal.


Recent history is against West Ham in this fixture with the team winning just once against Manchester United since the Club's return to the Premier League.

That win was a 3-2 victory in the final match at the Boleyn Ground thanks to goals from Diafra Sakho, Michail Antonio and Winston Reid.

The Irons have lost their last two contests against United, a 2-0 home league defeat and a 4-1 EFL Cup loss, but drew the last league match at Old Trafford 1-1.

Last five results against Man Utd:

January 2 2017 - 0-2 loss
November 30 2016 - 4-1 loss
November 27 2016 - 1-1 draw
May 10 2016 - 3-2 win
April 13 2016 - 1-2 loss

How to get there

By car: Leave the M6 at junction 19 and take the A556 towards Manchester Airport. Continue on the M56 to Manchester, go past the airport, and follow the signs to the M60 (North & West). Leave the M60 at junction 7 and follow the signs for Manchester United.

Public transport: The Metrolink offers a frequent travel option from the centre of Manchester, including outside the Victoria and Piccadilly stations, to Old Trafford station - a five minute walk from the stadium.

Alternatively North Western Trains also provide a match-day only service from city centre stations to Old Trafford, where the station is located along the South Stand.

Buy tickets

Away tickets for West Ham's trip to Manchester United have sold out.

Gary Lewin: Building blocks are in place for the season ahead

Head of Medical Services Gary Lewin provides an update on the squad's physical condition ahead of Sunday's Premier League opener at Manchester United on Sunday…

'The pre-season preparations have gone very well. The players have worked very hard and, although it is extremely demanding for them, they understand the benefit in the long run.

Pre-season can be described as the base building blocks that you put in place to see you through the rigours of a long, hard campaign. You hear it time and time again – coaches love players to have a full pre-season because it gives them their core strength for the year ahead.

The majority of our players have now completed a full and comprehensive pre-season programme. Those that haven't, due to injury, are playing a bit of catch-up but it is important that they still do the equivalent of a pre-season and are not rushed back too soon.

In our department, you are never happy if there are players in the medical room, but generally things are positive and moving in the right direction.

Some of the players who ended last season injured have now returned to playing, some are still moving forward in their recovery, and we have also picked up a couple of new injuries during pre-season, but nothing too serious or long-term.

Andy Carroll has stepped up his rehab recently and we are hoping to have him back in full training in the near future.

I never like putting times or dates on a player's return from injury because it has to be assessed day to day and things can change, but we are looking at days not weeks with Andy, in terms of being back on the training pitch.

We have to remember that he has been out for four months, so his return has to be very carefully planned, and it has to be at the right time. But we are all happy with his progress and he is moving in the right direction.

Cheikhou Kouyate is at around the same level – he is now working very hard out on the pitches and is close to joining in full training, as is Manuel Lanzini, and we hope that both will be available again before the international break.

Aaron Cresswell has missed a few days' training with a slight knock but is going to train on Friday and will be available for the weekend.

Diafra Sakho and Winston Reid played in the Under-23 match at Tottenham last weekend and both came through it fine. Diafra has now had a full week of training, which is very positive for him, and we can now start to look at getting him some match time.

He probably needs a bit more training, because he hasn't had a complete pre-season, but it's looking good for Diafra and he is making excellent progress.

Mark Noble and Pedro Obiang, who both ended the season injured, have had a full pre-season and, although Mark missed a couple of days with a minor toe problem, they are both now fully fit and ready for the season.

Finally, Michail Antonio is also getting very close. He has trained all week with the first team and is going to play on Friday night at Dagenham for the Under 23s against Everton.

All being well, he will train fully again next week and be available to Slaven for selection. Again, we have had to be careful with Michail – he is an explosive and powerful player who relies heavily on his hamstring muscles – and so we need to progress him in the right way.

Michail is a fantastic athlete – he looks so fit and there is a temptation to throw him straight back out there, but that wouldn't be the right thing to do.

Dom Rogan, Fraser Young and Eamon Swift in my team have done a fantastic job with Diafra, Winston and Michail through pre-season to get them back to training, working on a very tight timescale.

Obviously we all want the players to be back as quickly as possible, but it is my job to ensure that they return at the time that is right for each individual. It is a balancing act, and you can never be 100% certain, but we make that judgement based on what we believe is right for the player.

What I would say is that the vast majority of Premier League clubs are exactly the same. Obviously supporters only follow their own clubs and we are only interested in West Ham United, but if you've read and seen some of the injury problems that other teams have been having over the past few weeks, they really are no different to us. It is part and parcel of the modern game.

In the eight weeks or so that I have been here, I can honestly say that we have a fantastic set-up here. We've tried to make a few small adjustments behind the scenes that everyone has been responsive to, the players have been great, and everyone is really looking forward to the start of the new season.

West Ham United's October & November fixture changes announced

With the huge interest in seeing how West Ham United perform with our exciting new signings this season, five of our games during October and November have been selected for TV coverage

Following last season's unforgettable derby victory over Tottenham Hotspur, Friday night football returns to London Stadium for the meeting with newly-promoted Brighton & Hove Albion on 20 October with an 8pm kick-off.

Slaven Bilic's men will host Liverpool at 5.30pm on Saturday 4 November*, before heading to Watford after the international break on Sunday 19 November at 4pm.

There is another home Friday night assignment for the Hammers when Leicester City visit east London on 24 November at 8pm.

Finally, the away game at Everton remains on Wednesday 29 November but will now kick-off at 8pm.

*Should Liverpool be involved in the UEFA Europa League the preceding Thursday, this game will move to Sunday 5 November at 12pm.

Holland eyes opening day win over former club Everton

Nathan Holland is looking forward to catching up with old friends on Friday when the Hammers' PL2 side face his old club Everton, but ultimately is focused on winning the season opener.

The exciting winger left the Merseysiders for West Ham United midway through last season and impressed for Terry Westley's U23s, scoring a number of goals which saw him train with the first team regularly.

Everton were crowned Premier League 2 Division 1 champions last season, while the Hammers are new to the top flight this term having been promoted via the play-offs in May.

And Holland hopes the team can carry on that momentum when they face his old team at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.

He said: "It will be great to play against my old club, and it's the first game of the season so we're raring to go.

"We've just been promoted and Everton won the league so it will be really good to see where we stand. Overall though, everyone is just really looking forward to it.

"It will be good to see all the boys in that Everton team who I know very well. They work hard, they're a good team and they have a lot of quality. I think we're a very good team too though and I'm sure if we turn up, it will be a great game.

"The confidence in our team is high after last season, though. We want to continue with the momentum from last year. I know I've obviously been with the first team this pre-season but the lads have done well this summer and they've played some good teams."

As the winger highlighted, this pre-season has seen him team-up with Slaven Bilic's squad for trips to Austria, Germany and Iceland.

The teenager ended up playing a part in all of the Hammers' fixtures and was pleased with the progress he made on tour.

"I think everyone's been happy with how I've adapted, training with the first team this summer and I've been happy with how I've made an impact in the games," the youngster continued. "That's brought confidence and more minutes on the pitch and hopefully I can just get better and better.

"I think you just have to take that in your stride. We went away all together and you get on with it and try and do your best. Everyone made me feel welcome and it was a great experience.

"Hopefully I have and we've come out stronger at the end of that pre-season, and I'm looking forward to us getting back to Dagenham and showing everyone what we can do."

Date set for Carabao Cup tie

West Ham United will travel to Cheltenham Town in the second round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday 23 August, kick-off 7.45pm.

The Hammers have been drawn against the League 2 side for the second time in five seasons, having played them at the Boleyn Ground at the same stage of this competition in August 2013, triumphing 2-1 thanks to goals from Ricardo Vaz Te and Ravel Morrison.

That game saw Adrian make his first appearance in claret and blue and is the only previous meeting of the sides.

Thursday's draw originally pitted the Hammers at home, but as agreed by the EFL Board earlier this year and confirmed on Monday, a West Ham United home draw would be reversed immediately due to London Stadium welcoming the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships for a once-in-a-generation occasion.

The Hammers will therefore travel to Gloucestershire for the tie and ticketing details will be announced in due course.

West Ham United's 2017-18 squad numbers revealed

West Ham United have confirmed their squad numbers for the 2017/18 season.

Having already confirmed that new boys Chicharito and Joe Hart would take the Nos17 and 25 shirts respectively, Club record signing Marko Arnautovic will line-up for the Hammers with No27 on his back after making the move from Stoke City this summer.

Click here to personalise your shirt at our online store

Fellow new arrival Pablo Zabaleta is the Hammers' new No5 - the same number he wore when winning the Premier League title twice at Manchester City.

The Club's fifth summer signing, Sead Haksabanovic will wear 23, with Jose Fonte moving shirt numbers to four.

2017-18 squad numbers
2. Winston Reid
3. Aaron Cresswell
4. Jose Fonte
5. Pablo Zabaleta
7. Sofiane Feghouli
8. Cheikhou Kouyate
9. Andy Carroll
10. Manuel Lanzini
11. Robert Snodgrass
13. Adrian
14. Pedro Obiang
15. Diafra Sakho
16. Mark Noble
17. Chicharito
19. James Collins
20. Andre Ayew
21. Angelo Ogbonna
22. Sam Byram
23. Sead Haksabanovic
25. Joe Hart
26. Arthur Masuaku
27. Marko Arnautovic
29. Antonio Martinez
30. Michal Antonio
31. Edimilson Fernandes
34. Nathan Trott
36. Domingos Quina
37. Nathan Holland
39. Josh Pask
40. Alex Pike
41. Declan Rice
42. Martin Samuelsen
43. Marcus Browne
44. Vashon Neufville
45. Grady Diangana
46. Moses Makasi

Bilic: Happy Lanzini, transfer targets, kicking-off at Old Trafford and crazy fees

Slaven Bilic spoke to the media for nearly an hour ahead of West Ham United's opening Premier League fixture of the 2017/18 season. The Hammers travel to Manchester United on Sunday seeking to upset the odds and kick-off the campaign with victory at Old Trafford. At the same time, the summer transfer window remains open, with speculation still rife over who might come and go from London Stadium before it closes at the end of August.
Here is what the manager had to say on those issues, and much more...

Slaven Bilic was asked in his pre-match press conference about the importance of Manuel Lanzini to West Ham United.

The No10 signed a four-year deal on making his move from Al-Jazira Club permanent in March 2016 and the manager revealed the Hammers are now keen to tie Lanzini down to a new long-term contract. Bilic has a close relationship with his playmaker and believes the Argentina international is happy in a Claret and Blue shirt. "He is one of our key players, definitely," said the manager. "Manu is a great lad and he knows his situation. I spoke with him last season a few times, at the end of the season, and at the beginning of the pre-season and he knows we are looking after him. "He has a big year ahead of him and we know his situation and we're going to do everything possible to sort him out. "He has got a long contract with us but, let's be honest, the Chairman always used to appreciate those sorts of situations and I know he activated his clause even before he had to. He already showed him how much we respect him and he deserves from us to do it again. No doubt he is our key player and we're going to well look after him. "When I said he is a great lad, he never showed me – and we speak on a daily basis – any sort of things that he is unhappy. Of course every player knows his situation and wants to use his situation in a good way for himself, but I know for sure that he is happy here and he likes it."

Any other business?

While West Ham United are happy with the business they have done this summer, Bilic says the Club may not be done when it comes to the transfer window.
The Hammers have brought in five international players – Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart, Marko Arnautovic, Chicharito and Sead Haksabanovic – and allowed six first-team squad members to leave east London during the current window. However, the manager pointed out that the net expenditure means there are still funds available to make one further big-name signing. "I said I am thankful and I have to congratulate the Chairman and the Board for the business, because I said we wanted players who are going to improve our first eleven – and I mean 15 players – and that's what we've done," he repeated. "We wanted to get good players with great character who know the league and we got them. "Top players are hard to get but all of us are trying to get them. We've done the business but one more, I would love. "If we have to offload or to sell one, even then, but the other positions we have filled and done our priorities – right-back, centre forward and left wing – and then Joe Hart happened. "Now, if one goes, one will come to refresh the side, or if we can get something better then there is a possibility to do the job. The Board did a great job to get our first targets but didn't spend crazy money because we sold players for good money as well."

'It's not the ideal start…but it's brilliant!'

West Ham United face one of the Premier League's toughest tasks this weekend – trying to secure a positive result at Old Trafford. However, Slaven Bilic is unbeaten in two top-flight trips to Manchester United as Hammers manager and is hopeful of completing a creditable hat-trick this weekend So, while he would likely have picked a more simple task to kick-off the 2017/18 campaign, Bilic is not writing off his team's chances by any means. "It's not ideal to play there in the first game of the season, but on the other hand it's brilliant!" he smiled. "It's always the greatest away game in the league and of course we are positive and of course we have a chance. "We know they are Manchester United and they improved the squad with quality and big transfers and all that and they already played one competitive game against Real Madrid. "We are looking forward to it. We have some good recent memories of going to Old Trafford, having gone there twice in the league and we drew two times. "It's going to be very difficult and we know we will need to be on top of our game. We are missing some players who it would be better if we had with us, but of course we are positive."

Neymar's knock-on effect

The €222 million (£201 million) transfer of Neymar from Barcelona to Paris St-Germain has rocked the football world, with speculation rife that a number of other top players will move for huge fees before the current transfer window closes. West Ham United broke their own record fee when they signed Marko Arnautovic from Stoke City last month, but Bilic admitted even he has been surprised by the amount of money being paid this summer. "For me it's crazy money, of course it's crazy money! I mean, where did they find €222 million?" he laughed. "Of course, the money is ridiculous, but then again, if it was only Neymar or Messi or those kind of players and it only raised the price of excellent players, it's OK. "However, it is going to raise the price of average players and that is the problem because there are loads of them, but you can't stop it. "Then, does the circulation of money help the smaller clubs? This money that has gone to Barcelona, they are going to spend it and those clubs who receive it will then buy some players. One part of it will go to smaller clubs but if you ask me if the money is crazy, then yes of course it is. "If you want to play at big game fishing, you've got to be prepared to spend a lot or at least find the balance between spending and producing from your own Academy.

Team News: Chicharito, Hart, Zaba and Arnie all set for West Ham debuts

Slaven Bilic says Chicharito, Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta and Marko Arnautovic are all in line to make their Premier League debuts for West Ham United this weekend.
The four summer signings are all set to pull on a Hammers shirt when Bilic's side take on Jose Mourinho's Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.
The manager also revealed that five senior players will miss the Premier League opener, with Michail Antonio, Manuel Lanzini, Cheikhou Kouyate, Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho still working their way back to fitness. However, Bilic is optimistic that all five could all be in action sooner rather than later.

"Most of the injuries we have now are from last season," he began. "Michail was injured against Swansea in April and the plan was for him to miss a couple of games because he had an operation, it was not just an injury but a big one. "He was prepared to miss a couple of games and was and is ahead of schedule. He's a good healer, strong, mentally strong, a hard worker and a bit of a monster also, physically! "So, the fact is he is ahead so he's playing on Friday night for the U23s and then he will miss the opening game of the season against Man United away, but he has been in training with us since Monday, he is playing tonight and he should be in the squad, at least, for the game against Southampton. That was planned. "Andy is a bit further behind but not a lot. At one stage in the pre-season or even last year, he was way behind but now it looks better. He is training individually, still, but he is basically doing all the movements with the ball and all that. If it continues like this, he should train with us next Wednesday. "He will not start from zero. OK, he didn't play for a long time, but he will be in OK condition fitness-wise. Of course he needs to train with the guys, because it's one thing to feel what you are doing individually and another to be part of the group training. "Since March, it is the most promising situation regarding Andy. Of course I wanted him to be fit for the start of the pre-season, but it unfortunately wasn't the face. Now, there is a light or a goal which is very near. If it goes well and according to plan, which we hope and expect, then it's all about how he looks on the pitch regarding the co-ordination. "Knowing Andy from before, he always need a maximum of ten days or two weeks to come back playing, but that was also one of the reasons why he was getting injured again. It's about balance."

The news regarding Kouyate and Lanzini is also encouraging. Bilic is still hopeful that the Senegal midfielder's physical prowess will see him back in action in the not too distant future, with both the No8 and the Argentina international possibly returning at Southampton on Saturday 19 August. "I am fed up hearing from the specialist or the physio that this is an injury they have never seen before in their lives, but I've seen it and it's one of the strangest ones I've ever seen!" he lamented. "The strange ones come out of nothing. It was nothing, basically, not even a sharp movement. It looked bad, bad, but fortunately it is not and, like Michail Antonio, Cheik is a really good healer and is also way ahead. "He and Manu Lanzini, who was our only other player to be injured in the pre-season, should be ready after the Southampton game, if not Newcastle, but certainly after the international break. "Sakho has a longer break after his back injury. He joined us in Germany but lacks match practice. I speak with him every day and he trains with us. He looks healthy but he lacks match practice because he didn't play for a long time."

Chicharito 'has football in the blood going back generations'

Raul Guzman is a correspondent for Univision Deportes, the Spanish language American sports channel which focuses the majority of its coverage on football.

Univision screens Mexican league, MLS and CONCACAF Champions League matches in the United States, while also following the fortunes of Mexican players plying their trade outside North America.

For that reason, Guzman has been a regular fixture at West Ham United's pre-season training, where he has reported on and interviewed Hammers new boy Chicharito. Here, he shares his thoughts on the impact of the Mexico superstar's transfer to east London…

We are following Javier Hernandez since he is a big star in Mexico and in the United States of America. A lot of people in both countries follow Chicharito everywhere – to Manchester United, to Leverkusen, to Real Madrid and now to West Ham United. A lot of people are watching your club in Mexico and America.

Chicharito has a special place in history. He's the best scorer in the history of the national team of Mexico, so he is at the top level.

Even when we had a huge star like Hugo Sanchez back in the 1980s, who was the top scorer in Europe at the time, he is no longer the leading scorer for the national team because Chicharito is top of the list.

Also, I think he has a charm with the people. He is a nice guy and a good boy and is so professional. I think that's why the people in Mexico and America love him, because he is not only a very good player with good skills, but he is also a good human being. He is the kind of player you would want your children to follow.

Chicharito's family has a long history in football. His grandfather Tomás Balcázar was a very good player for Chivas Guadalajara, the most important and most successful club in Mexico, and with the Mexican national team in the 1960s.

His father also played with the Mexican national team and three or four top-level teams but, in his family, Chicharito is the biggest star!

Chicharito has football in the blood going back generations. He not only has skills and love for the sport, but he has human values like professionalism and he has grown up with a soccer ball and the good advice of two big men, which have kept his feet on the ground.

I can see big qualities in Javier and those are the reasons he is going to fit very well into the West Ham United team.

First, he is hungry and he never stops. He is the kind of player a teammate can find annoying because he never stops running in the training sessions, which can make it busy!

He is energetic and always hyperactive. He cannot stop and he cannot be on the ground without moving. That's one of the biggest skills in his football. He is not only a striker, but he is always moving, which is a headache for defenders, because you never know what he is going to do, so it's very hard to keep close to him.

Javier is a jersey-seller and has been wherever he has played, so I think West Ham need to be prepared to sell a lot of journeys in Mexico! I hope you have enough to send there, because people want to have the West Ham shirt because of Chicharito.

I am sure they will also fall in love with this team because of their history and their spirit, even if they are not the most-successful. This club has a romantic scent and people are going to follow and fall in love with West Ham, I am sure…

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of West Ham United.

Manchester United v West Ham United


Jose Mourinho is likely to give new signings Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic their Premier League debuts. Luke Shaw, Ashley Young and Marcos Rojo are all long-term absentees, with the latter recovering from a knee injury.
All four of West Ham's major summer signings are available, meaning Javier Hernandez is likely to start against his former club. Michail Antonio, Manuel Lanzini, Cheikhou Kouyate, Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakh are out injured.


Steve Wilson: "You can't argue with two trophies last season, but this time Manchester United fans will demand a proper title challenge. "Four seasons have gone by since United last finished in the league's top three, after 22 seasons in which they never finished outside it. "Slaven Bilic will be among the favourites for the sack if West Ham's season doesn't show early promise, and that would be great shame. "Signing Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta has brought in experience and some much-needed strength of character, but it's the return to the Premier League of Javier Hernandez which has caused most interest - finally West Ham may have a striker who knows where the goal is."

Twitter: @Wilsonfooty


Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho on the possibility of a new deal for Zlatan Ibrahimovic: "What he did last year was not enough for him. He thinks he can do more. "He wants more at football's highest level, so we are having conversations and we are discussing the possibility of him staying with us for the second part of the season."

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic: "It's not ideal playing [against Man Utd at Old Trafford] first game of the season, but on the other hand, it is brilliant and one of the greatest away games in the league. "They have improved the squad with quality and big transfers, so we will have to be on top of our game. "We are missing players, it could be better for us but of course we are positive."


I see West Ham as a mid-table side looking upwards, but it is asking a lot for them to get anything at Old Trafford.

Prediction: 2-0

Lawro's full predictions v Steve Cram & Brendan Foster.

Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round's Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.
Graphic of the last West Ham side to win at Old Trafford in 2007.
This West Ham side avoided relegation on the final day in 2007 with a 1-0 win at Old Trafford.


Manchester United have won 17 of their 21 Premier League home matches against West Ham (D2, L2).
The Hammers' last win over United was a 3-2 Premier League victory in May 2016, which was also the final game at Upton Park.
However, West Ham have not won at Old Trafford for 10 years since they avoided relegation thanks to a Carlos Tevez winner.
Manchester United

United have only lost one of their 13 opening-day Premier League fixtures at Old Trafford (W9, D3) - a 2-1 defeat by Swansea City in 2014.
Jose Mourinho has never lost a home match on a Sunday in his managerial career, winning 86 and drawing 26 of his 112 games in all competitions.
The Manchester United manager has also never lost on the opening day of a Premier League campaign (W7, D1).
Romelu Lukaku has scored in seven of his last eight games against West Ham.
West Ham United

West Ham have lost 10 opening-day fixtures, more than any other Premier League club.
Javier Hernandez scored 37 goals in 103 Premier League games for Manchester United, netting a goal every 130 minutes for the club.
Joe Hart could become the first away goalkeeper to keep three clean sheets at Old Trafford. His previous two came with Manchester City in March 2014 and October 2015.
SAM's verdict
Most probable score: 2-0 Probability of draw: 17%
Probability of home win: 75% Probability of away win: 8%
SAM (sports analytics machine) is a super-computer developed by @ProfIanMcHale


Written by @Farehamhammer

Do you remember when Luton Town beat us 6-0 in the pouring rain at their Kenilworth Road Ground? Or when Oldham Athletic beat us by the same score at their ground? Or when Bolton beat us 4-0 in the pouring rain on their patch, as Alan Pardew stood clueless on the touchline, unable to halt the rout? Last but not least, do you remember when Reading beat us 6-0 –a game in which Yossi Benayoun accused his team mates of being "drunks"? I bet you remember all of those games. Games where fans parted with their hard earned cash and were cheated by players representing West Ham United. Fans vented their fury and rightly so. Dark days indeed. Plenty of reasons for West Ham to be negative. Not our mob. Gallows humour and back for more was The West Ham Way!

Against this background, I'm struggling to understand the reasons why so many are negative about anything relating to The Club. A big part of the problem is Social Media, especially twitter. Donald Trump proved how effective twitter is, in last year's U S Presidential Election. During transfer window time, fans live on twitter and sites like News Now. They refresh the pages more than youngsters do Porn Hub. A lot of the problems are caused by player's agents, who leak alleged interest of their player by this or that club. The more a player changes clubs, the more commission an agent will make.

The trouble is even when these agent fed rumours are wide off the mark, you get two or three lazy journalist repeating the stories. As a result things gather pace on the internet, in turn fans convince themselves, that a star player is about to sign for their club. When the deals never materialise its lash out time! Yes, a bit of a spoilt brat attitude I know but fans are only human! Everybody wants their Club signing top stars in the sexed up world of the Premier League. It is also true that the board have leaked a load of utter B******* at times, especially round season ticket renewal time but even they could not dream up some of the fantasy land stuff you read on the internet!

Another source of negativity is the board itself. A lot of people simply do not trust them, as a result of the spin and lies we have been fed constantly in the past. The big problem on the board is Karen Brady, she has treated the fans with absolute disdain. We don't like her and she does not like us, time for G&S to give her, her P45. None has been a more vocal critic of the board than myself but I'm going to call it like it is. To press they have had a great window, and brought in some great signings, quietly gone about doing the business. Yes we still need a few more in but the window has still got three weeks to go. Some Clubs have yet to sign anyone. Even Michael Owen has praised our recruitment this time round FFS! Yet some will STILL find fault with our new signings.

When I see the likes of Neymar move to PSG for £198m and our record signing is £24 million for Marko Arnautovic I don't feel envious at all. It's almost like a kid whose parents give them £800 for a designer jacket. Pretty soon the jacket gets tossed aside, no appreciation whatsoever! Now the second kid has had to save every penny for the same jacket. That kid treats the jacket like pure gold, keeping it in immaculate condition. West Ham is like the second kid. Only a few years ago we had a first team consisting of the likes Di Michele, Tristan, Kovac, Hines, Diamanti and Spector.

We are light years away from that now thank God. When we do reach the next level which we will, as a football Club we will both appreciate it and make it last. It will be a success built on a solid foundation. A foundation that will last. Pity The Clubs that are paying huge transfer fees and wages, for the most mediocre of footballer's chasing the dream. The vanity and greed of football cannot last. A financial crash is coming bigger than the financial crash of 2008. Big names are going to fall. It only takes the likes of Sky to say to the Premier League when the next TV deal comes up: "We are only going to pay you 300m and not a billion. Take it or leave it" Armageddon time for those who have recklessly spent money almost like a bankrupt maxing his credit card before turning it over to the Official Receiver, and West Ham? Not our problem, we will be on the next level. Negative? No chance! What for? I wonder what Sullivan is up to now? God only knows. He has not used his expensive "right to buy loan" yet. That's coming.

We are more than a football Club, we're a way of life!! COYI


Edited By Danny Twigg.

Slaven Bilic column: West Ham gambled to sign four leaders who have a point to prove
Evening Standard

Our pre-season has gone well but now it is over. The players have worked hard, they are fit enough — now comes the real test.

At the end of last season I said we needed quality rather than quantity. We achieved that quality early which is important. We did what we wanted to do.

Okay, you never know how things will go, it's not only down to us or even the players — there are third parties, the clubs, agents — all of that.

The players we signed were our first targets. To be fair, Joe Hart wasn't planned last season but when the opportunity occurred, we jumped on it.

The others — Pablo Zabaleta, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez — were in our plans from the start.

As I said, all four were our first targets and we gambled a bit. We had second or third targets who were also very good players and at one stage it looked like one or two of our priorities would be hard to get.

But we took the risk, we waited and waited and it turned out well.

All four of them know the Premier League, which is important. Joe and Chicharito played in this league before moving to another country while the other two have been here for some time and don't need time to adjust.

They are all still very hungry and they all have a point to prove, either because they didn't play enough last year, or they want to go to another level. None of them has come here to enjoy the life in London, they want to do it out there on the pitch.

They are all professionals and, which is also so important these days, they want to take responsibility on the pitch.

Arnautovic has been one of Stoke's best players for the past few seasons.

We know Chicharito can score goals but he also gives you energy, he runs in behind, he links play well.

Zabaleta is reliable, responsible and can play in several positions. We have been struggling at right-back, especially when Sam Byram was injured last season and we had to play people there, like Havard Nordtveit or Cheikhou Kouyate, who can do a job but are better elsewhere in the team.

In the case of Joe, we found out that he wasn't going to stay in Italy — that City didn't want him back and that he was available. David Sullivan knew him from his time at Birmingham, where he helped keep them up.

At that moment we had two good goalkeepers but when we had a chance to sign England's No1, it was an opportunity to make a big statement for the club — so I said yes.

I would like to pay a big credit to David Sullivan and the board. They have done a great job — and on time.

Now the job is virtually done, maybe one or two to go and one more to come in.


Everything went well in Austria and Germany in pre-season. We were away a long time — but that's life. You have to work hard in pre season — it's not a jolly-up.

The only downside was injuries to Cheikhou Kouyate and Manuel Lanzini. They will both miss the first couple of games but they will be back then.

When you look back on last season, it wasn't so bad. We finished 11th. That position doesn't tell the whole truth about the season. Normally, 11th means stability.

It was never like that. There was a great deal of turbulence right until the end. We didn't have time to turn on the auto pilot.

I was very proud of the season but was it the season we wanted? No.


I am in the final year on my contract, but as a manager of a Premier League club you are always asked about your future, and the pressure if results are not going well.

Your job is always under scrutiny and, basically, you are judged by the last couple of results.

It doesn't really make any difference with regard to job security because this is the final year of my contract.

It is the game on Sunday at Old Trafford — and the following weekends — that really affect my job.

I am optimistic about this season and I expect us to go forward, but I am not setting any specific targets now. I don't believe in that kind of mathematics. I use numbers a lot, but not in this specific.

We have to play the first three Premier League games away which some may say isn't ideal, but personally I don't see it as an issue. We play every team home and away across the season. We will not spend time setting up any excuses. I don't want any of us, the players, even the fans, to think about that.

I watched Manchester United against Real Madrid earlier this week. They have changed the system in the last few games and they have new players, but the one thing that stands out is their physicality.

United have the size, the kilos, but without losing the pace. Their physicality — with the pace — is quite scary, and new signings such as their striker Romelu Lukaku have only added to that part of their game.

They will be crazy motivated, and for players such as Paul Pogba, it will be their second season at United. They will believe they are one of the favourites to win the league.

We have done well there in the League in the past couple of seasons though, and we are ready.

If we continue to work hard, to pull the right way and have that luck with injuries, then we can have a terrific season.

Injury scare for Cresswell
Filed: Friday, 11th August 2017
By: Staff Writer

Aaron Cresswell has been passed fit to face Manchester United this weekend - despite missing several training sessions this week. The England international had been given the green late to feature in Sunday's 2017/18 season opener at Old Trafford despite sustaining the injury, according to new Chief Medic Gary Lewin.
"Aaron has missed a few days' training with a slight knock but is going to train on Friday and will be available for the weekend," he told
However the news is not quite so good for no less than SIX of Cresswell's team mates - as Lewin explained: Andy Carroll: "Has stepped up his rehab recently and we are hoping to have him back in full training in the near future. We are looking at days not weeks with Andy, in terms of being back on the training pitch. We have to remember that he has been out for four months." Cheikhou Kouyate: "He is now working very hard out on the pitches and is close to joining in full training, as is..." Manuel Lanzini: "... and we hope that both will be available again before the international break"

Diafra Sakho: "Diafra has now had a full week of training and we can now start to look at getting him some match time. He probably needs a bit more training, because he hasn't had a complete pre-season, but it's looking good and he is making excellent progress." Winston Reid: "Played in the Under 23 match at Tottenham last weekend and came through it fine." Michail Antonio: "He has trained all week with the first team and is going to play at Dagenham for the Under 23s against Everton. All being well, he will train fully again next week and be available to Slaven for selection."

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic insists Manuel Lanzini is 'happy' at the club
By Conor Creamer
Last Updated: 11/08/17 4:38pm

Slaven Bilic says West Ham midfielder Manuel Lanzini is "happy" at the club amid speculation over his future. The 24-year old, who joined West Ham permanently last summer after a year on loan, has been the subject of speculation regarding his future following an impressive campaign last season. According to reports, Lanzini is a potential target for Liverpool should Philippe Coutinho depart the club, though West Ham insist their Argentinian star is not for sale. And manager Slaven Bilic claims the attacking midfielder is happy at the London Stadium and is focused on returning to full fitness for the new Premier League season. "No player is bigger than the club in any way. I'm not talking about a contract I'm talking about just one player," Bilic said. "I spoke with him last season a few times and in pre-season. We are looking after him. We know that he is happy and that there is a big year ahead of him."

The former Croatia boss also spoke on reported West Ham target William Carvalho. Sky sources understand the Hammers are in talks with Sporting Lisbon for the midfielder, who is targeting a move to the Premier League, and are keen to secure his services. I know he's a good player," Bilic added. "A lot of clubs have shown interest in him in the last few years. "He's a top player, that's all I can say. Top players are hard to get but we are working to get them." However, Bilic maintained that the player's £40m release clause from Sporting Lisbon was "stretchy". "Yes, it would be a bit stretchy - even today." West Ham begin their Premier League campaign away to Manchester United on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League.

Exclusive: London Stadium operators close to securing all West Ham stadium staff a London Living Wage
Staff inside the London Stadium are close to signing a deal to get a London Living wage
Ben Rumsby
11 AUGUST 2017 • 7:40PM

The operators of the London Stadium are close to striking deals that would see all workers there paid the London Living Wage in time for West Ham United's first home game of the season. A day after a Daily Telegraph investigation revealed the scale of the use of cheap casual labour by Premier League clubs, it can be revealed a major move to address the problem is imminent. The Telegraph has learnt that the operators of the London Stadium have been working to renegotiate contracts with their suppliers that would mean the inclusion of a clause guaranteeing that all workers there would be paid the independently calculated London Living Wage of £9.75 per hour. The intention is for new deals to be in place in time for West Ham's opening home game of the campaign against Huddersfield Town, which is not until Sept 11 due to the London Stadium's staging of the athletics World Championships. That move could lead to West Ham, who say all their directly employed staff receive the London Living Wage, becoming only the third Premier League club after Chelsea and Everton to be accredited as a Living Wage Employer.
The London Stadium is publicly owned and rented by West Ham for £2.5 million a season. A spokesperson for stadium operators, E20 Stadium, said: "We are currently working with our subcontracting firms with the aim of ensuring all staff are paid the London Living Wage as soon as practicably possible." That is expected later this month, something that will put pressure on West Ham's Premier League rivals to follow suit, with many having committed to making the payment of the independently-calculated living wage part of negotiations with suppliers when contracts are renewed. E20 Stadium has demonstrated there is nothing to prevent any team immediately renegotiating such deals rather than waiting for them to expire before taking action. As revealed by the Telegraph yesterday, not all those working at London 2017 are being paid the London Living Wage. But there are those who are and one of them, who usually earns the legal minimum of just £7.50 per hour, spoke about the difference it had made. The cleaner, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "This month, I have been able to buy better-quality food from the supermarket, purchased some much-needed new shoes and clothes and visited my local cinema for the first time in a long time.
"They are small pleasures but it would not have been possible without the London Living Wage this month "The rest of the year is hard work and it's difficult to survive on £7.50 in this city. We think it's only fair that we are paid the London Living Wage all year round and we want E20 Stadium to accredit as a Living Wage Employer."

West Ham in talks to sign William Carvalho from Sporting Lisbon
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 11/08/17 12:19pm

West Ham are in talks to sign midfielder William Carvalho but are yet to strike a deal with Sporting Lisbon, according to Sky sources. The Portugal international is understood to want a move to the Premier League and has a £40m release clause in his contract. Sporting have recently signed midfielder Rodrigo Battaglia as a potential replacement for Carvalho. West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has made five major signings ahead of the new Premier League, with Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart, Marko Arnautovic, Javier Hernandez and Sead Haksabanovic arriving at the London Stadium.

West Ham move step closer to signing Portugal international William Carvalho from Sporting Lisbon - reports
By talkSPORT - @talkSPORT
Friday, August 11, 2017

West Ham have moved a step close to landing Tottenham target William Carvalho after the club reached a verbal agreement with the player.
The Sporting Lisbon midfielder has been widely linked with a move to England over the last few years and this summer hasn't been any different with a number of Premier League clubs in pursuit of him.
Tottenham and Crystal Palace are rumoured to be interested in snapping him up, but it is London rivals West Ham who are believed to be making all the running.
A West Ham delegation have been in Lisbon, and according to Portuguese daily Diario de Noticias, they have reached an agreement with the player over a proposed transfer.
The Hammers are now working hard to agree terms with Sporting, with the Portuguese giants holding out for in excess of £30m.
The West Ham delegation are expected to stay in Lisbon until Tuesday and they have asked the player to convince the club to accept an offer for him by next week.


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