Tuesday, August 8

Daily WHUFC News - 9th August 2017

Season opener on sale to Members

Your first chance to see our four big summer signings in action at London Stadium is just around the corner – so make sure you don't miss out by becoming a Claret Member today!

Tickets for the home opener against Huddersfield Town are now on sale exclusively to Claret Members, and as a reward for our Members' loyal support, we're giving them the opportunity to purchase an extra ticket for this fixture, meaning they can secure up to two tickets each for the Monday night fixture.

Ticket are priced from just £15 for Under-16s and from £30 for adults.

With almost all home fixtures selling out within the Members priority window last season, we recommend booking tickets early to avoid disappointment.

Book tickets here

For accessibility seating please email accessibility@westhamunited.co.uk or call 0333 030 0174 for further information

If you're not already a Claret Member, join today to get exclusive priority on all Premier League and Cup fixtures at London Stadium plus a host of additional benefits. Click here to find out more.

7 things you probably didn't know about Sead Haksabanovic

West Ham United have completed the signing of exciting Montenegro attacking midfielder Sead Haksabanovic on a five-year contract. Here, we find out more about the former Halmstads BK player…

Born in Swedish village of Hyltebruk, Sead Haksabanovic joined his local club Halmstads BK at the age of six
Haksabanovic made his Halmstads BK debut against IFK Norkopping in Sweden's top flight in April 2015, aged just 15 years and eleven months

The young prodigy was invited over for a trial with Manchester United in 2015, training alongside the likes of Marcus Rashford and Timothy Fosu-Mensah
He netted eight goals in 30 appearances as relegated HBK bounced back to win promotion at the first attempt via the play-offs in 2016

Haksabanovic has been fouled 48 times in 18 Allsvenskan appearances for Halmstads BK this season – the third-highest in Sweden's top-flight
The 18-year-old has also unleashed 50 shots, a figure bettered by only three other players, despite his team winning just two of their 18 league games

The teenager played age-group international football for Sweden before switching his allegiance to Montenegro earlier this year. He debuted for the country of his father's birth in a win over Armenia in June

Hart and Zaba: We can't wait to play at London Stadium

West Ham United new boys Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta cannot wait to pull on a Hammers shirt at London Stadium for the first time.

The two summer signings are set to make their home debut for the Club in the Premier League fixture with Huddersfield Town on Monday 11 September at 8pm, tickets for which are now on sale to Claret Members here.

Hart and Zabaleta both know the importance of vociferous home support and are relishing what promises to be a huge night under the floodlights on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

"We know how important our home form will be this season if we are to achieve our targets, and we are all massively looking forward to our first Premier League game at London Stadium," said England goalkeeper Hart, who has arrived on a season-long loan from Manchester City.

"We start against Huddersfield Town under the floodlights and it's going to be big game in front of a big TV audience. We all want to kick-off with a win and the support of the fans will give us a big boost on the night.

"I'm absolutely sure it will be a complete sell out and I'm told it will be completely full of Season Ticket Holders and Claret Members, which just shows how big our club is and the potential we have got."

Unlike Hart, who spent last season with Italian club Torino, Zabaleta has already experienced London Stadium for himself, appearing in Manchester City's FA Cup victory at West Ham's new home in January.

As someone who has faced the Hammers 12 times previously overall, the right-back knows the atmosphere the Claret and Blue Army can generate, and is looking forward to experiencing it again next month.

"I visited London Stadium twice last season and I was impressed by the size of the ground and the fantastic noise created by the West Ham fans," said the No5.

"We know we need to be united this season and that we need to make London Stadium a real fortress, and the fans can definitely help us do that.

"I am excited and looking forward to playing at London Stadium in our opening game, for sure. Pulling on the shirt and playing in front of nearly 60,000 fans is definitely one of the big reasons I signed for West Ham United."

Claret Members can purchase two seats each for the home Premier League opener with Huddersfield now – the first chance to see the Club's five summer signings in action on home turf.

Tickets for the visit of the newly-promoted Terriers now on sale exclusively to Claret Members, priced from just £15 for U16s and from £30 for Adults.

With almost all home fixtures selling out within the Members priority window last season, we recommend booking tickets early to avoid disappointment.

For Accessibility seating please email accessibility@westhamunited.co.uk or call 0333 030 0174 for further information.

If you're not already a Claret Member, join here today to get exclusive priority on all Premier League and Cup fixtures at London Stadium plus a host of additional benefits.

Andre Ayew: Our actions will speak louder than words

Andre Ayew knows a thing or two about playing under pressure.

The Ghana star has been capped more than 75 times by his country, appeared at seven major tournaments, featured in the UEFA Champions League and is the son of a three-time African Footballer of the Year.

This summer, having signed four experienced internationals, expectations have risen sharply that West Ham United will enjoy a successful 2017/18 Premier League season – but Ayew has cautioned against getting carried away by the Hammers' potential.

"I think we have the squad, the players and the quality to be able to do something good, but I think a lot of other teams also have great players and great squads, so we need to be calm and work hard," said Ayew, who won four trophies and Player of the Year honours with former club Marseille and has twice inspired Ghana to the Africa Cup of Nations final.

"We know what we want and the gaffer [Slaven Bilic] has given his directions and we are following them. It's only with time and games that you can start to feel what you can do.

"Last season, I wouldn't say it was a bad season but we had a lot of ups and downs and we only finished one point away from eighth position. We need to work hard, stay calm and have the belief that we can do something great."

I think we have the squad, the players and the quality to be able to do something good, but I think a lot of other teams also have great players and great squads, so we need to be calm and work hard

West Ham kick-off the new Premier League campaign with a trip to Manchester United on Sunday, the first of three straight away games to start the new season.

With the Hammers also journeying to Southampton and Newcastle United before welcoming Huddersfield Town to London Stadium on 11 September, forward Ayew is anxious that people do not let their emotions run away with them before the season is even a month old.

On the other hand, the African says a decent return from those three away matches will set the Hammers up nicely ahead of the visit of the newly-promoted Terriers.

"We shouldn't really talk too much," said the No20. "It's difficult for us to start the season already with three away games so we need to see how we start the season and from there we can start to know where we are.

"The best way for us is to start well and if we get a good start I think we're going to do a good season. That's football. When you start well, it puts you in a positive mindset and gives you the confidence to believe you can do something.

"If we have a good start this year, we have experienced players and good young players so we have a good blend. I believe the gaffer knows exactly what he wants, we are right behind him, so we are going to push and see if we can finish as high as we can because the Club and the fans deserve to be smiling at the end of the season."

Hammers Ladies appoint Amy Cooper as captain

West Ham United Ladies have appointed Amy Cooper (pictured right) as captain and Amber Stobbs (pictured left) as vice-captain for the 2017/18 season.

The pair were presented with their armbands by West Ham United Ladies Ambassador Michail Antonio at the Rush Green training ground recently.

Cooper takes on the captaincy for the second successive season, having made a hugely positive impression last year, and is looking forward to an exciting campaign ahead.

The 24-year-old central midfielder said: "I am delighted to be selected as captain for West Ham United for the second season running. I feel that we have a really hard working and motivated team this year, with a number of new signings increasing the competition for positions, which will only help us improve on what we had last season.

"This season we are striving to win some silverware - playing how we have over pre-season, with a few improvements in weaker areas, I am really excited about what we can achieve."

Vice-captain Amber, also 24, joined the Club this summer from Women's Super League side Everton and added: "I am very pleased, and surprised, to be appointed vice-captain.

"During pre-season training, I have been trying to get my experience across, working out how different players react to different communication, and hopefully showing leadership qualities.

"It's a role that I have held in the past at other clubs growing up, and I am honoured to have been considered for it here at West Ham."

First team manager Greg De Carnys said: "I am absolutely delighted to appoint Amy and Amber as captain and vice-captain this season.

"Amy, who was Club captain last season, has a great personality and naturally the other girls do see her as a leader on and off the pitch.

"She also epitomises what we are about here, in how hard she has worked at her game and consequently in the progress she has made as a player over the last ten months.

"Amber has come in and settled brilliantly into the group. She obviously has the respect of the other players because of the way she approaches her game and I think she can be a great influence for some of the younger and less experienced players we have in the team.

"We have a fantastic bunch of girls and they are very well represented by Amy and Amber."

General Manager Karen Ray added: "Amy and Amber are both great leaders on and off the pitch, they conduct themselves in ways which others aspire to. They both demonstrate great professionalism, ambition and a desire to take West Ham United Ladies to the top of the Women's game.

"Their interaction with all age groups throughout the Ladies set up shows how effective they both are as role models to players who are on their pathway.

"We are proud to have two hardworking, ambitious Ladies leading the way as we embark on the 2017/18 season."

The West Ham United Ladies kick off their FA Women's Premier League campaign away at Gillingham on Sunday 20 August.

'Talented, technical and humble' – Sead Haksabanovic in profile

West Ham United made exciting teenager Sead Haksabanovic the Club's fifth summer signing this week.

The 18-year-old attacking midfielder has already made 70 senior appearances for Swedish Allsvenskan club Halmstad BK and earned his first senior international cap for Montenegro in June.

Here, we find out more the Hammers new boy…

'An exceptional talent'

Halmstad BK chairman Tony Karlsson has watched Haksabanovic rise from teenage prodigy to potential Premier League star in the space of three years.

It was Karlsson who gave his blessing to the midfielder's move from the west coast of Sweden to the east end of London, where he expects Haksabanovic to continue to fulfil his undoubted promise.

"Sead has been with since he was six-years-old and has been successful in our academy," said Karlsson, who took charge at HBK in 2015, the same year Haksabanovic made his first-team debut at the age of 15.

"He is an exceptional talent and we as a club are very happy that he gets the chance to come to a Premier League club.

"I think he is a player who not only has talent but also works very hard. His awareness of the game is one that few can match and it has taken him all the way to the Premier League."

A young man in demand

Karlsson revealed that Halmstad and Haksabanovic himself turned down interest from leading clubs in Italy, Spain, Belgium and Turkey to hone his game in Sweden's top flight.

After inspiring HBK to promotion last season, when he started all 30 league games, scored eight goals and registered eight assists, he is again Halmstad's leading scorer this term.

"He has raised his game to another level this season and that he chose to stay gave him the opportunity to go to one of the best leagues in the world," Karlsson observed. "This is so much bigger in all ways.

"West Ham have a coach [in Slaven Bilic] who does not care about age but about the player's attitude and talent. In addition, they play 4-3-3 which should fit Sead well. The Club also seems very well organized and family-oriented, despite its size.

"It's a great move to go from Allsvenskan to the Premier League, but Sead has the right conditions to handle it."

A model of consistency

Despite being just 16 at the start of the 2016 campaign – Sweden's league season runs from April to October – Haksabanovic's outstanding displays earned him Players' Player of the Year honours.

The youngster has started Halmstad's last 52 league matches, scoring 12 goals and providing eight assists, and has not missed a first-team game since August 2015.

A model of consistency, he started all 30 Superettan (second tier) matches for Halmstad, scoring eight goals and providing eight assists, meaning he played a direct role in 15 (or 34.8 per cent) of his team's 43 league goals!

Haksabanovic has continued to shine in 2017, despite his club side winning just two of their 18 Allsvenskan matches, playing all but 25 minutes, scoring four goals and leading his team in shots, dribbles and key passes. A hard-working player, he also ranks second in tackles attempted!

When it comes to the Swedish top flight as a whole, the 18-year-old ranks fifth in shots, first in shots from outside the penalty area, ninth in dribbles and 12th in key passes.

Statistically, Haksabanovic is a left winger, having started 14 of Halmstad's 18 league matches in that position, but he is two-footed and is as likely to cut inside and shoot as he is to take his man on using his pace and technical ability.

'He has a special feeling about the way he plays the game'

Jan-Owe Wikstrom is the Halmstad BK correspondent for regional newspaper and website Hallandsposten.

Wikstrom has watched Haksabanovic develop from the boy who broke a club record when he debuted aged 15 years and eleven months in April 2015, into a man whose skills were coveted by clubs all over Europe.

YouTube clips of the teenager show him repeatedly streaking past defenders before showing calm and composure to either set up a teammate or score himself – qualities the reporter confirms he has in abundance.

"Sead is a very technical player, with fantastic speed and close control with the ball at his feet," Wikstrom told whufc.com. "He can really play. He knows what he will do with the ball long before he actually does it and has a special feeling about the way he plays the game. He understands the game.

"Sead made his debut at the age of 15 but he was a player who looked like he had played for five or ten years in the league. He is a very mature young man and is not a man with big words – what we would call humble.

"He may not be so strong physically, but he is working very hard on his physical side and will get stronger as the season continues.

"I don't expect him to start for West Ham straight away, but I can see him being a substitute this season and making an impact."

Young Hammers side beaten at Billericay

A young West Ham United XI were beaten 3-1 by Isthmian League side Billericay Town on Tuesday night in the Club's final pre-season clash of the summer.

The Hammers, managed by Terry Westley and consisting of both U23 and U18 players, could not recover after their Essex hosts scored twice in as many minutes at the end of the first half through Billy Bricknell and Jermaine Pennant, though Dan Kemp did half the deficit in the second half.

Sam Deering scored a third Town to seal the win in the final 15 minutes.

Premier League journeyman Pennant – who signed earlier this week – was one of a number of recognisable names in the home team's lineup, which included former Hammers Paul Konchesky and Leo Chambers.

In the opening half an hour at a packed AGP Arena, there was little to get excited about.

For the Hammers, Martin Samuelsen had the first attempt, marauding forward into space but shooting low and straight at the keeper from 25 yards.

With both sides keeping things tight at the back, action inside the penalty areas was limited, though Louis Theophanous did drag a left-footed attempt wide just inside the box.

Suddenly though, on the half hour mark, the game sprung to life. First, Hammers keeper Nathan Trott was forced into action as he sprung superbly to his left to keep out Deering's goalbound header.

The hosts' new signing Pennant fired well over with the goal at his mercy from the rebound.

The former Arsenal and Liverpool winger played his part in the Billericay goal just second later, however. Nodding Theophanous' centre back across goal, centre-forward Bricknell was on hand to find the back of the net with his head from inside the six-yard-box.

And a quick second was to come for Glenn Tamplin's team. Architect of the first Pennant this time turned scorer, playing a neat one-two with first goalscorer Bricknell on the edge of the box before lashing into the top left-hand corner past Trott's despairing dive.

And before the break, there were two more chances for Town, as defender Joe Ellul – up from the back for a series of set-pieces – was first denied by Trott before heading over from close range.

Early in the second period, Westley changed the Hammers' shape, introducing Grady Diangana from the bench.

And the attacking midfielder soon set about getting his team back into the game. On the hour mark, he did just that; crossing from the left for Kemp to smash home from close range.

The visitors continued to battle hard and another substitute – Korrey Henry – tested the keeper from a tight angle shortly after.

But as West Ham pushed for an equaliser, the home team had other ideas. With just under a quarter of an hour left to play, the result was put beyond doubt.

Left-back Konchesky lifted a clever ball over the top which allowed Deering, continuing his run from midfield, to knock simply past Trott in goal.

Billericay Town: Julian, Chambers, Konchesky, Ellul, Deering, Evans, Davies, Bricknell (Modeste 55), Theophanous (Robinson 55), Pennant (Urquhart 55), Foley (Cunnington 55).

Subs not used: Payne, Swaine, Robinson.

Goals: Bricknell 32, Pennant 34, Deering 76

West Ham United XI: Trott, Pike (Greenidge 54), Pask (Okotcha 67), Akinola, Neufville (Diangana 46), Coventry (Henry 46), Powell, Kemp, Trialist, Samuelsen (Hector-Ingram 61), Trialist.

Sub not used: Forde

Goals: Kemp 60

Bookings: Akinola 87

Haksabanovic: A Swedish point of view
Filed: Tuesday, 8th August 2017
By: Staff Writer

Montenegro attacking midfielder Sead Haksabanovic became West Ham's latest signing yesterday. So we reached out to one of our Swedish Forum members for the lowdown on the 18-year-old, who cost the Hammers in the region of £3million.
"Born in 1999, he was regarded as one of our prime prospects for the future," wrote KUMB member Kasi. "He was born in the same year as two other golden prospects in Alexander Isak - who went to Dortmund for roughly €10m - and Mattias Svanberg, who plays for Malmö. "However it was quite an upset when he chose to play for Montenegro instead of Sweden, despite featuring in Under 17 and Under 19 internationals for Sweden. "He's a very gifted, attacking midfielder with good technique, pace and a good shot. In my view, the main barrier to becoming a success the Premier League or not are his physical attributes. "He's also a leader and carried Halmstad BK to promotion last year. This year, he has been their best player by a mile in Allsvenskan. All their offensive plays goes through him, which he has been able to do a more than decent job with so far in the league."

And whilst Kasi is unsure whether Haksabanovic will make the grade in England and the Premier League he is certain that either way, West Ham are unlikely to lose out financially. "£3million is not a huge sum for us, but for Halmstad it's heaven," he added. "I'm sceptical that he will make it in the Premier League, at least for the next coming season or two. "But IF he becomes be the player he has the potential to be, then West Ham will make far more than £3m when they sell him. "I should stress that Haksabanovic doesn't see West Ham as the last stop, he wants to go to a better and bigger club as soon as he's ready (in his mind), so we better keep that in mind. "But when everyone thought he would leave for free this winter, he signed a new long term contract with Halmstad - which they are certainly very grateful for today."

By Iain Dale 8 Aug 2017 at 08:00 273 comments
Guest Post by Rugby Irons

We all bring a different view to games we watch and then we generally all disagree. However the recent poor showings have unified our views. So,what is it we don't like? Well here's my view as if I were our Manager.

Well the problem of injuries still besets us. So I have brought in the best alternative with Gary Lewin. No sooner as he arrives the list goes up. I had hoped that by taking the whole squad away to concentrate on the team, rather than chasing the mighty dollar, I could get the team to shape up as I wanted them to. In reality I ended up with most of the stars absent, those fit ones left and the youths, to make up the numbers. So my master plan went out of the window. Even the fitness wasn't a huge improvement. But then to make any plan to work you have everyone on board. Cue your star injured centre forward on the lash in Spain. Nice.

So it's down to the preseason games and with the youths given their chance (presumably to ensure no more injuries) and they certainly took it. Those who doubted these players would be enjoying their humble pie but again they are short of what the owners want and lack experience. Spurs, Everton and Saints, the other teams around us have blooded kids and done well from it but I'm not sure the owners want to risk it.

The results went against the team but at this point this is where I worry. I couldn't see what the plan was. What had the team been working on in the last three weeks? We lacked any cohesion. If the point of having Hernandez is to get a overflowing front line to supply passes into him to score, with the others adding to the goal tally, then we are miles off. We hardly had a shot and Martinez scored off his only shot. You can make all the injury excuses you like but Carroll and Sakho just can't be considered.

Against Altona, we were a shambles. Reid should be ashamed he let the team down and made it a farce. The standard of crossing was abysmal and in terms of a shape it wasn't there again. You look at the defence and they don't look a unit at all.

So you go up against Citeh and every alarm bell is ringing. Now for SB he is on a hiding to nothing before a ball is kicked and he wasted the opportunity to give us hope. This isn't about the second gear dominance of the game or the goals, but the wholly negative performance. Let's be clear if you go 4-5-1 then you are defending. No problem with that if you can counter. We can't.
So the strict line of five across the middle stood and watched Toure and DeBruyne split them as the Citeh had five players behind our midfield, attacking our back line. You just can't leave it if it isn't working but SB stuck with it. Changing players didn't do anything. Why didn't SB just push up the back line ten yards and defend from the 30 not the 18yard box? He put Rice on as a holding player, fair enough, and then press them back a bit. We had lost the game but he could have looked at his attack instead of his leaky defence. Ninety minutes of negative play and just one tame shot on target all game.

That's not good form. Now don't be fooled into arguing it was against Citeh.This should have been about what we were about. For me this has been a disastrous preseason because we haven't progressed and with a week to go we are in a poor place. Players coming back will now be rushed into action and the ever rotating injuries will continue.
So what do I think of the squad with a week to go:

Hart : For all his noise his feet aren't good enough. Playing out from our backline is a recipe for disaster and in his first game he now knows why Adrian was told to pack it in and Hart must be the same.
Adrian: Proved his point with strong performances and looks the part to me.
Byram: Just not big enough and doesn't create or do enough.
Zabaleta: Looks slow and heavy but his experience makes the difference. He has still impressed.
Cresswell: Looks way off the pace now. Can hardly cross a ball enough times and being totally one footed makes him weaker. Also not strong enough.
Arthur: Looks more than just a defender but creates and crosses and has right attitude.
Fonte: Way below the standard required playing for us. He just isn't quick or alert enough.
Ginge: He is what he is but you get a 100% of it.
Reid: If he strops all the time his play suffers.He should be the leader at the back but he's not at it.
Burke: Did enough to be kept and developed . His shipping out shows a weakness in the club policy.
Oxford: Why isn't he being promoted from within. Hope Germany is a positive and not a cover up.
Rice: He's 17 and if anyone needed loaning out it was him. He is behind the others in development terms. He hasn't played at centre half, or much at least, just thrown in as a make weight midfielder, which he has taken too.The beauty of being young and fearless.
Ogbonna: Concentration levels not there since coming back but this will improve.
Noble: Becoming Kevin Nolan, which just isn't fair on him. Needs to be the Noble of old.
Cullen: Has done everything required and still gets shipped out. Ridiculous.
Obiang: Has been quiet but effective. I expect him to step up immediately once we start for real.
Eddy: Hasnt impressed but hasn't had the quality around him. Will improve because he is getting games.
Koyoute. Massive loss. The real engine. Difficult to do preseason without your two best players.
Lanzini: Same as Cheikh. He will be pivotal. Needs to be protected. We have limited creativity without him.
Arnie: Has really impressed. Like Ant but the other side. Needs to up his crossing quality though.
Ant: Really need him back. His presence alone makes a difference.
Snod : He just doesn't have it. His luck has run out and nothing goes his way. It happens.
Ayew: His work rate created things and is always lively.
Carroll: Wasted talent of his own choosing. Leave him on the beach.
Sakho: Who knows, but of late another waster.
Holland: Looked good and positive.
Martinez : To score from what he has had as service is remarkable enough. Looks a good prospect and as our second striker he will do us ok.
Hernandez: His record and quality will keep us up at least if we get him the ball.

So on paper, and fit, we look good . On the injury table we look weak all over. Without a style and pattern to get balls into their box,for the front line, you then have to worry about what defence we put out. I don't normally do the player prediction because it's more about how the players respond to the role they are put in. We need to be stronger at the back and lining up on the 30 yard one not 18.

If we are going one holder, two central and two wide then we must press on and push them back. With one up they must be getting the ball in the final 20 yards not on the half way line. And this is where I take issue with Slaven. Stop being so cagey. Look at your (fit) squad and its an offensive team, even if it's a counter attacking set up we have to take a positive attitude. If you go positive we will be right behind you. Be Slaven not Sam.

And so to conclude, if the plan is to keep the ball on the floor and play counter football then the players are there to do it. But and it's a big but , you have to be positive, especially at home. We could be in trouble by the time our first home game comes, equally we could be top of the League. All things are always possible watching West Ham. So as many of you say, preseason doesn't matter, and of course they are right. So with a week to go I'm more worried by the injury list and attitude than recent results. I bet £10 for us to win the league. Well you have to, absolutely nothing is ever certain. I look forward to your comments and keeping the faith. Long live the Boleyn.

Diafra Sakho could continue West Ham comeback against Billericay Town
The Hammers striker got an hour under his belt at the weekend
Football London
11:30, 8 AUG 2017UPDATED12:50, 8 AUG 2017

Diafra Sakho could continue his comeback from injury later tonight (Tuesday) when the West Ham U23s take on Billericay Town in a pre-season friendly.
The Senegal striker got an hour of game time in a 3-2 win over Spurs for the U23s on Saturday and is expected to step up his rehab once again at the AGP Arena in Essex as the youngsters continue their preparations for the PL2 Division One campaign. It's not yet known how long Sakho will get on the pitch but it's unlikely to be 90 minutes.
Winston Reid however - who played alongside Sakho at Spurs on Saturday - won't be playing in Billericay as he is back with the first team and pushing for inclusion for the Premier League opener at Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.
The Hammers have tentatively pencilled in Sakho for a return to first team action on September 11, the first home game of the new season when West Ham take on Huddersfield under the lights at the London Stadium on a Monday night.

Sakho saw last season wrecked by back and hamstring injuries as he made just three appearances all season long. He scored in one of them - the 1-1 Premier League draw at Old Trafford - before he picked up his serious hamstring problem and was ruled out for the remainder of the season.
The U23s have won two of their five pre-season friendlies so far this summer as Terry Westley's side prepare for the opening PL2 fixture of the season next Friday (August 11) when the youngsters face last season's title winners, Everton, in Dagenham.


West Ham have turned down a bid from Crystal Palace for their out of favour goalkeeper Adrian. According to a report from the Daily Mail today, the Spaniard was the subject of a £3.5 million offer from the Eagles. Palace are evidently keen to land a new goalkeeper this summer, with Frank de Boer keen to make changes to his personnel, but they will need to up their offer if they are to stand a chance of beating others to the signing of Adrian.
Newcastle have been heavily linked with a move for experienced Spanish goalkeeper, and Palace may need to act fast in revising their offer. The arrival of Joe Hart at the London Stadium appears to have spelled the end for Adrian, who is unlikely to settle for being second fiddle. However, if the Spanish shot stopper is to depart this summer, a bid worth more than £3.5m will need to be made.

Fitness guru takes a swipe at West Ham over brutal training regime for Andy Carroll
The outspoken coach is never scared to vice his opinions on subjects in football
Football London
19:10, 8 AUG 2017

Football coach and outspoken Twitter personality Raymond Verheijen has had a pop at West Ham over their apparent training regime to get Andy Carroll back to fitness. The Dutchman, who famously called David Moyes a "dinosaur" for over-training Robin van Persie when the Scotsman was in charge at Manchester United, has now taken his acid tongue out on the Hammers.

Under the watchful new West Ham of new head of medical services Gary Lewin, the injury-plagued frontman - who won't be fit for the start of the season - is undergoing a tough regime, pushing him to the absolute maximum with double training, fitness sessions and "punishing gym work" which is hoped will discover where he injury problems are coming from.

Raymond Verheijen @raymondverheije
It's worrying to see how most fitness clowns & scientific cowboys still do not understand the concept of 'fitness'.http://www.football.london/west-ham-united-fc/players/andy-carroll-undergoing-brutal-training-13444553.amp
1:35 PM - Aug 8, 2017
Andy Carroll undergoing brutal training regime in bid to get fit for West Ham
The striker has missed far too much time injured but is making a comeback - again
15 15 Replies 28 28 Retweets 58 58 likes
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That prompted Verheijen - who quotes the football.london article on Twitter to his 44,000 followers - said on the social network: "It's worrying to see how most fitness clowns & scientific cowboys still do not understand the concept of 'fitness'." Carroll made just 18 appearances last season for West Ham as his campaign was once again ravaged by injuries. He did have a run of games a the turn of 2017 and scored four goals during that time, leading to interest from Gareth Southgate for an England recall but the striker then got injured again and the chance was gone.

Ian Bishop Exclusive Interview: Part Two: Bish On The Current Situation At West Ham United, The Stadium Move, What The Future Might Bring And More
Moore than just a club

In part two of our exclusive interview with Hammers Legend Ian Bishop, we chat to the former graceful midfielder about what is currently going on in his world, the Claret & Blue world, what the future holds and much more.

During Bishop's time as a Hammer, he had the pleasure of playing under the so-called Del-Boy of football in manager Harry Redknapp. So, with the 52-year-old witnessing teammates flow in and out of the door frequently, what does he think of our summer business this summer compared to last?

"Night and day. Joe Hart, Zabaleta will get to feel the same euphoria as myself and a few others to pull on the shirts of two very special football clubs. Arnautovic is someone I have been touting for a couple of years now, and to land a natural goal getter like Hernandez makes me want the season to come sooner".

In summer 2016, we captured the likes of Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri, who would go onto become flops in a Hammers shirt. However, our recruitment has been visibly better in this Transfer Window, in bringing the Arnautovic's and the Chicharito's like Bish proclaimed.

Much is made in modern Football about the temperament and physicality of players intertwined with problems like cheating and diving. However, these problems were not so prevalent back in Bishop's playing days. The game was an entirely different entity back in the 1980's and 1990's, and this is what the legendary midfielder had to say about Football then and now:

"There are obvious differences," explained the former Manchester City man.

"It is so much softer now. Players have no respect for each other in my opinion. The integrity has gone. I love to watch a good fast paced game where the ref isn't conned too much but they are few and far between".

Another feature of the game that we all know and love today, is the amount of money in the fold and the fees that are being paid for such players as Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and who could forget Neymar. However, in the different world of Football that existed 20 and 30-years ago, Bish was signed by Lou Macari at Upton Park for £500.000. Many Hammers fans will now wonder what a player like Ian would cost nowadays, but what does the man himself think of the amount of money in the game today?

"The price of players is only relevant to the money coming in. It is still on a scale. I do believe the player's salaries reflect this also. There is a few who I don't believe earn it, but overall athletes in other sports especially here in the states have been getting paid huge amounts for a decade before the Prem, so I have no issues with what they earn".

Among our highest earners at The London Stadium are the duo of Pedro Obiang and Manuel Lanzini, who, like Bishop did, ply their trade in the centre of the park. But what does the former graceful midfielder think about Slaven Bilic's current options in that position?

"I think it has been difficult for them with no established striker for a while for them to feed. This season will make a world of difference".

Bish was of-course referring to our striker-crises last-season, where woeful Argentine Jonathan Calleri featured throughout the closing games in the absence of Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho. This resulted in a dreadful run of form and a finish to the season to forget.

There have been rumours in the past stating that Bishop may return to the Hammers fold one day as an attacking coach, but the cult hero was quick to dismiss a return to the Premier League when we asked him about his future and what his current projects are.

"I have been working on a training aid for grass roots players. I was coaching youth players for ten years here but have hung up my coaching boots, as it is too difficult here to make the powers that be see sense.

Bish also light-heartedly added, "I play some Poker and ride my Harley" in relation to his current hobbies and past times. The comments will end the speculation and disappoint Hammers who were dreaming of a reunion for the great, but it will be a well-deserved rest in retirement for Bishop.

The final question that we asked the cult hero in our exclusive interview was about an issue that is close to the heart of every Hammer, the move to Stratford. Bish had the pleasure of playing at Upton Park in its heyday and is clearly not a fan of the controversial London Stadium.

"I am old school and believe in the old-style football stadium," testified Bish. "But it was a great place to play and we feared no one there. I miss the place like mad since moving in 98 but will always have amazing memories".

"But it was a great place to play and we feared no one there. I miss the place like mad since moving in 98 but will always have amazing memories".

The elegant midfielder clearly has fond memories of the arena in which he scored so many dazzling goals and shares the pain that is felt by many Hammers fans as it lays in ruin.

Even 19-years after he departed East-London, Ian Bishop remains a true cult hero and an all-time Hammers great. Also, a man who still clearly has an undying love for the club that he spent the majority of his career with, but overall, a footballing icon and a true gentleman.



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