Sunday, August 6

Daily WHUFC News - 6th August 2017

West Ham frozen out by Manchester City in Iceland

Goals from two South Americans condemned West Ham United to defeat by
Manchester City in the North Atlantic in their final pre-season match. The
Hammers took on City in The Super Match, the first-ever fixture played
between two Premier League clubs in Iceland, but it was the men in sky blue
who lived up to the game's name by completing a 3-0 victory. Slaven Bilic's
injury-depleted side gave their all against Pep Guardiola's men at
Reykjavik's Laugardsvollur national stadium, but ultimately fell to goals
from Brazilian Gabriel Jesus, Argentinian Sergio Aguero and England winger
Raheem Sterling. In truth, a near full-strength City deserved their win in
the home of the Viking Clap - which made an appearance in each half - with
their repeated raids on West Ham territory leading to a succession of
chances throughout the 90 minutes. After an encouraging opening, West Ham
were guilty of playing a part in their own downfall as Angelo Ogbonna and
Arthur Masuaku got themselves in a muddle, allowing right wing-back Danilo
to steal possession. The summer signing from Real Madrid passed to Kevin De
Bruyne, who crossed accurately for Jesus to convert from close range. From
then on, City took the upper hand, keeping the ball for long periods, as has
become their trademark under Guardiola. In the first half alone, City loanee
Joe Hart saved well from Aguero, Leroy Sane and Danilo, Vincent Kompany
fired too high, while De Bruyne and Aguero were both denied by blocks. West
Ham's first and only real chance of the opening half came on 29 minutes,
when Pedro Obiang played in Pablo Zabaleta down the right and the
Argentinian crossed for Toni Martinez, but the Spanish striker could not
keep his header down.

After Sane had flashed a shot across the face of goal, the Hammers did
threaten again momentarily three minutes before half-time, but goalkeeper
Ederson rushed from his penalty area to clear before Martinez could touch
the ball past him. Bilic made three changes at the break, bringing on Sam
Byram, Declan Rice and Chicharito – to loud applause – for Zabaleta, Mark
Noble and Martinez, and the moves nearly paid off nine minutes into the
second half. A rapid counter attack saw Chicharito set Edimilson Fernandes
away. The Swiss made his way into the City penalty area, but Ederson dived
to his right to save the No21's low shot. Two minutes later, City erupted
into life once more on the island famous for its volcanoes, exploding
through the Hammers defence courtesy of David Silva's cross and Aguero's
close-range finish. Guardiola replaced seven players and it was one of his
substitutes, Sterling, who volleyed a third past former teammate Hart with
19 minutes to go. The England internationals were in the thick of the action
again moments later, but this time the goalkeeper won the battle by keeping
out the forward's powerful downward header. West Ham belatedly rallied, most
notably when Andre Ayew won the ball from Elaquim Mangala and passed the
ball into the net, only to be whistled for a foul on the Frenchman.

So, the Hammers have completed their pre-season schedule and will now
prepare for the opening Premier League fixture at Manchester United on
Sunday 13 August.

West Ham United: Hart, Zabaleta (Byram 46), Fonte, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Obiang,
Noble (c) (Rice 46), Ayew (Holland 86), Fernandes (Makasi 86), Arnautovic
(Snodgrass 62), Martinez (Chicharito 46)
Subs not used: Adrian (GK), Collins

Manchester City: Ederson, Kompany (c) (Adarabioyo 71), Stones (Mangala 57),
Otamendi (Roberts 71), Yaya Toure (Fernandinho 57), De Bruyne (Sterling 57),
Sane (Foden 57), Silva (Diaz 71), Danilo (Walker 57), Jesus (Zinchenko 57),
Aguero (Bernardo 57)
Subs not used: Muric (GK), Grimshaw (GK)

Attendance: 6,237

Bilic: We need to cut out mistakes to match the big clubs

Slaven Bilic says his West Ham United side still need to cut out their
defensive lapses after concluding pre-season with a 3-0 defeat by Manchester
City on Friday.

The Hammers were beaten by Pep Guardiola's expensively-assembled squad in
The Super Match Reykjavik – the first time two Premier League clubs had ever
met in Iceland – courtesy of goals from Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero and
Raheem Sterling.

With a number of first-team regulars absent through injury, West Ham were
unable to match a City team expected to challenge strongly for the title
this coming season.

"It was part of our pre-season game and our last test and we were without a
few players, to be fair, and if we want to match the big clubs like Man
City, then we need a full squad and we have to be on top of our game to have
a chance," said Bilic. "The difference is that the pace and quality that
they have is scary, and you could see that today.

"In the second half, we had some moments in the game which were good and
some opportunities but not goalscoring ones, apart from a couple.

"When we took the ball from them or when they lost possession, which was not
very often, we could have opened them up because they play very high, and
one proper and not very difficult ball, we could have caused them problems,
but we didn't and there was the difference.

"When we made a mistake, as we did before the first goal, they punished us
straight away, either with a goal or with a big chance.

"So, I'm not overwhelmed and I'm not disappointed because it is part of
pre-season and we will not only play against clubs like this in the Premier

"That said, you can't make mistakes like this, and to be fair we were making
them last year, like when we played Man City at home when their first goal
was similar. After they score, it is then a big problem for you to turn the
game around.

"When you don't do those kind of mistakes, like for example against Spurs
[in May], then you have a chance. We did the mistake very early in the game
today and then it's very difficult."

On a more positive note, Bilic confirmed that Marko Arnautovic had suffered
cramp, rather than an injury, before being replaced midway through the
second half at the Laugardalsvollur national stadium.

"He's not bad, because it was just like a cramp so it doesn't look too bad,"
he confirmed. "From that point of view it was good because no new players
got injured in the game, so it was one more training for them before the
season. The situation with Marko is basically nothing."

Finally, the manager was happy with the welcome his team received in
Iceland, where the crowd marked the historic fixture with a trademark Viking
Clap midway through each half.

"It was a good atmosphere and that's not strange because Iceland is becoming
a big football nation as well, so it wasn't like it was here ten years ago!"
he concluded.

West Ham kick-off the new Premier League season at Chicharito's former club
Manchester United at 4pm on Sunday 13 August.

Masuaku: We need to improve for the Premier League

Arthur Masuaku says West Ham United need to put their pre-season
rollercoaster behind them and focus all their energies on making a positive
start to the Premier League campain.

The Hammers won just one of their six warm-up matches – 2-0 against Fulham
in Austria in mid-July – and lost 3-0 to Manchester City in Iceland on
Friday and suffered a number of injuries of varying lengths.

However, left-back Masuaku insists he and his teammates cannot afford to
feel sorry for themselves ahead of next Sunday's trip to Old Trafford to
face Manchester United.

"We knew before the game that Man City are a big team, especially with the
players they have bought this window," he began. "It was a friendly game,
but we were thinking about improving our play and, in my opinion, I didn't
think we played our best.

"We have to be positive, like we said in the dressing room after the game.
We still have to improve because the main event is going to start next

A 'misunderstanding' between Masuaku and Angelo Ogbonna led to Manchester
City's opening goal in Reykjavik and the French defender knows similar
errors will cost the Hammers dear in the top flight too.

"If you do mistakes against these kind of teams, you will directly get
punished," he confirmed. "We have to avoid this kind of stuff, especially
like for the first goal, which was a misunderstanding.

"We have to cut this out, otherwise next week against Man United, we will
put ourselves in trouble."

In general, however, Masuaku himself has had a promising pre-season,
catching the eye with his willingness to bring the ball forward and take on
his man, to overlap and ability to cut inside and create space for his

With Aaron Cresswell recovering from a minor hamstring problem, the No26
will want to stake his claim for a start against Jose Mourinho's Red Devils.
At the same time, the former Olympiacos player is eager to make up for the
time he himself lost to injury last season.

"I feel good. I'm not 100 per cent yet but I'm working and focused on
getting there," said Masuaku. "This kind of game can only help because I
last played 90 minutes a long time ago.

"I was injured last season, so especially for me the pre-season is important
and I'm already looking forward to the next game and I'll always give my

Written by Stewart Draper @CoachDraper

We are a week away from the season starting. West Ham fans across London,
the south east and across the globe wait with baited breath for the next
"Ex-update" on who is coming and going (and rightly so based on his
accuracy) in the transfer market at West Ham. So far… the overriding
opinions are very positive, we have bought experience, premier league
quality that doesn't bring the risks of a Tore or Zaza type of purchase.
We have gotten rid of some dead wood and fringe players whilst avoiding the
loss of any key players.

Our pre-season has been less than inspiring with a mix of poor performances,
even taking results aside. Some promising performances from several of our
youngsters, Rice, Martinez and Holland in particular have helped to keep a
somewhat positive theme to some of these lackluster games in pre-season.

So why people focus on transfers, new youngsters coming up, loan deals going
out… I believe there is a skeleton in the Olympics Stadium closet that only
mildly gets discussed in the stands and on the rants within Twitter…
FITNESS. Time and time again it seems players leaving our beloved West Ham
talk about the intensity of training at other clubs, Reece Oxford being the
latest with his move to Germany. So the question becomes… is our manager and
fitness team doing enough to prepare us for the season? Why are we getting
some many knocks and injuries, do we have injuries that could have been
impacted as a result of poor fitness routines? Make your own conclusions; I
don't claim to have access to the training ground to answer these questions.

I have watched all of our pre-season games so far (mostly thanks to some
great live streams) and with each game the lack intensity in closing down,
transition from attack to defense, movement to receive the ball and been
apparent. "It's a friendly, it's about fitness"… I agree… I'm not seeing a
progression if the Man City game was anything to go by. Draw your own

Regarding Slaven's recently media interview…. Mistakes will happen, we can
reduce them but no team can eliminate them. Fitness however is not about
individual mistakes that can happen to a singular person, if there is a
problem it has a profound team wide impact that will surely cost us points
and positions on the league table.

I'm going into this season with optimism, the board has spent money wisely,
we have some hungry young talent coming through that I hope stay in our
first team and above all I generally think our club is going in the right
direction. Lets hope we don't have a skeleton in our stadium closet and I
can eat my words. COYI's!!

No Arnie injury, says Bilic
Filed: Friday, 4th August 2017
By: Staff Writer

Marko Arnautovic is unlikely to be sidelined for any length of time despite
limping off during the second half of today's 3-0 defeat by Manchester City.
Speaking after the match, which was staged in Reykjavik, Bilic confirmed
that the Austrian international is unlikely to feel any lasting effects -
and should therefore be available for the opening game of the new Premier
League campaign against Manchester United as week from now. "It's not bad,"
he said post-match, whilst addressing the media. "It was just cramp. It's
good because everybody got game time and nobody new got injured. "It was our
last pre-season test and if we want to match the big clubs like them, then
we need a full squad and to be on top of our game."
Arnautovic was replace by Robert Snodgrass midway through the second half of
the game after pulling up short. West Ham were 2-0 down at the time.

Newcastle target West Ham goalkeeper Adrian
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 05/08/17 4:57pm

Newcastle are targeting West Ham goalkeeper Adrian ahead of the new Premier
League season, according to Sky sources. The Magpies are keen to bolster
their goalkeeping options and have identified the 30-year-old as a key
target. West Ham exercised an option to extend Adrian's contract at the club
by a further two years earlier in the summer, but have since signed Joe Hart
on a season-long loan from Manchester City. Manager Slaven Bilic expressed
his desire to keep Adrian, despite the arrival of Hart at the London
Stadium, and even suggested that he would be willing to hand him another new
contract in a bid to convince him to stay.
West Ham sold goalkeeper Darren Randolph to Middlesbrough for £5m in July
and would only consider sanctioning a sale of Adrian if they can secure a
replacement. Adrian joined West Ham from Real Betis on a free transfer in
2013 and has since played 123 times for the club. Newcastle boss Rafa
Benitez has endured a frustrating summer in the transfer market, previously
missing out on a deal to sign goalkeeper Willy Caballero to Premier League
champions Chelsea.
The Spaniard has so far made five signings ahead of the club's return to the
top-flight, sealing deals for Christian Atsu, Florian Lejeune, Jacob Murphy,
Javier Manquillo and Mikel Merino.


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