Harrison Ashby gets Scotland Under-21s call up
[Harrison Ashby]

West Ham United full-back Harrison Ashby has been called up to the Scotland Under-21 squad for the first time Previously a regular at international level with the U19s squad, 18-year-old Ashby has been selected for in the U21s in the same week as he made his full West Ham United debut, playing 69 minutes of the 5-1 Carabao Cup third-round win over Hull City on Tuesday evening. That inclusion followed on from his first-ever appearance in senior football, coming on as a substitute in the closing stages of West Ham’s 3-0 second-round win over Charlton Athletic. Having only signed his first-ever professional contract with the Irons earlier this year, Ashby will be delighted to have been included in Scotland U21 manager Scot Gemmill’s squad for their two upcoming European Championship qualifiers. Ashby could be in line to make his international debut at U21s level at home to Czech Republic (on 9 October) or away to San Marino (on 13 October). Scotland remain in with an outside chance of qualifying for the 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals tournament, due to be co-hosted by Hungary and Slovenia next year. They trail both group leaders Czech Republic and Greece by four and two points respectively in Group 4 – albeit with a game in hand over the former – and have four games left to play. Only the group winners will advance automatically to the finals, with the five best runners-up from nine qualification groups also making it through. The 2021 finals will subsequently be played in two stages: the group stage, which would take place from 24 to 31 March, and the knockout stages, which would take place from 31 May to 6 June.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Carabao Cup fourth round tie date and kick-off time confirmed [Goodison Park general view]

West Ham United will face Everton in the Carabao Cup fourth round at Goodison Park on Wednesday 30 September at 7.45pm. The Hammers will travel to Merseyside after overcoming EFL League One opponents Charlton Athletic and Hull City, with a quarter-final place the reward should they secure victory over Carlo Ancelotti’s Blues. Everton defeated League Two side Salford City in the second round before winning 5-2 at League One Fleetwood Town earlier this week. This will be just the third meeting between the two clubs in the competition’s 60-year history. Everton prevailed on both previous occasions, 2-0 in a fourth-round replay at Goodison Park in December 1983, and 2-1 in a quarter-final tie at the Boleyn Ground in December 2007. West Ham are seeking their first-ever EFL Cup triumph, having reached the final in 1966 and 1981, but lost to West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool respectively.
Wednesday’s tie will be played without supporters present, in line with Government guidelines and social distancing measures still in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Kenza Dali: How Michael Jordan inspired me to never give up
[Kenza Dali]

Above the space allocated to each West Ham United women’s player in their dressing room is a plaque. On each plaque is written the obvious, the name and number of the player who can stake claim to that seat, but each also contains something even more personal. A quote, as chosen by the player, that means something special to them. For Kenza Dali, her words of encouragement come from a fellow sports star – one, in fact, who can boast a global fan base – although a quick glance at the plaque above the French international’s seat wouldn’t necessarily suggest it. The midfielder’s chosen quote is: “Si tu abandonnes une fois, cela peut devenir une habitude. N’abandonnes jamais!”Translated back into English, its original language, it reads: “If you quit once, it becomes a habit. Never quit!” [Michael Jordan]
“My quote is from Michael Jordan and, for me, it makes a lot of sense in a sporting career,” Dali explained. An injury sustained at the start of the 2015/16 season, just a few short weeks after competing at the 2015 World Cup with France, had put Dali’s entire career in jeopardy. Doctors warned her that her career might be over. Some even encouraged her to accept it as fact. “When I had that very big injury and the doctors told me my career was finished, I just didn’t want to believe them,” she recalled. “I didn’t want to give up on my football and I wasn’t going to give up. “When it comes to finishing my career, it will be my decision. It won’t be because of what a doctor tells me to do. In that regard, I think this quote feels particularly apt for me, my career and my experiences.”
Growing up with brothers obsessed with basketball, it was inconceivable that Dali too wouldn’t be consumed with the sport. It was almost inevitable that the midfielder would find inspiration from one of basketball’s – from one of sport’s – all-time legends. “I’ve read a lot about Michael Jordan, about his career and about basketball,” Dali continued. “I’m a big fan of his. I’ve got brothers and one of them is really good at basketball, so good that he had the opportunity to become professional, so I grew up surrounded by basketball and it was around this time I remember reading this line. “He’s said a lot as a leader, and I think everyone has heard one of his quotes just in their daily lives. I know some people know about him now because of The Last Dance documentary on Netflix as well. He’s a true superstar and a real icon.”

[Kenza Dali]

Dali has found additional meaning behind Jordan’s words in recent months. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that brought the world to a halt earlier this year are still being felt, but Dali’s chosen quote continues to serve as her inspiration. Not just in football, but in her life too. Getting through those tough times, in hindsight, can be a blessing, Dali says. Building that resolve and that character can mould a person. But to get there, one has to never, ever, give up. “I think this quote can be applied to football, to sport, and to life in general. In any career, you’re going to have highs and lows. Sometimes it’s really good and sometimes it will be really bad. “But you can never give up, because if you give up once, and something negative happens again, it’s easier to give up the second time, and then the third. “Giving up can’t be an option. Take it off the table. It’s not the way to think about things. Everyone has bad moments. Nothing is easy. But you can come back from big difficulties. “You can get through hard times, and I think that’s one of the most beautiful things in life; when you can look back on a tough time and realise you have got to this point – the now – not because of anyone else, but because of yourself.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Emmanuel Longelo: West Ham United debut is a dream come true

A West Ham United debut in a 5-1 victory was the stuff of dreams for Academy graduate Emmanuel Longelo. The 19-year-old earned his first senior appearance for the Irons on Tuesday evening, coming off the bench to feature in the third-round Carabao Cup win over Hull City. Taking to the London Stadium pitch for the first time in Claret and Blue was an honour for Longelo, who slotted into the West Ham defence. “I feel very overwhelmed to be honest,” he told West Ham TV. “It’s a dream come true for me, and my family, so I’m very happy. We’re very delighted with the result. Obviously, I played a part of that, and it was good.” The versatile full-back replaced fellow Academy graduate Harrison Ashby on the pitch against the Tigers, and was seen to be given words of encouragement from the West Ham coaching staff prior to his introduction. Assistant manager Alan Irvine praised Longelo’s efforts following the game, and the youngster was happy to impress on his first outing.
It’s a dream come true for me, and my family, so I’m very happy. We’re very delighted with the result. Emmanuel Longelo
He continued: “The coaches told me to just be confident and just keep doing what I’ve been doing in the U23s and in training. They wanted me to express myself and have fun out there. “It’s encouraging to hear that praise from Alan. He’s been a big part of that for me and I’m taking advice from him. I feel like I’m learning a lot from him and from them.” Sharing the occasion with fellow Academy players in Ashby, Ajibola Alese – who also made his first Hammers outing – and a number of youngsters on the bench only made the occasion even more special for Longelo.

[Emmanuel Longelo]

“It’s been really good,” Longelo said. “It’s not just been me either. A lot of the young lads, like Harrison, who made his debut last week. We’re all just really hungry lads who want to try and make an impression on the coaches. “It means a lot to share this with them, because we’ve all worked hard in training and in pre-season and we’ve all been at this Club for a long time. It’s been a good moment for all of us and, of course, the Academy as well.” With a senior debut under his belt, Longelo now wants to use his experience to kick on and earn even more first-team minutes. He added: “I just want to keep doing what I’m doing, being in and around the first team and keep giving 100 per cent for whichever team I’m in. Hopefully I’ll get a chance in the Premier League or in the Cup again.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: West Ham United’s 2020/21 Continental Tyres Cup group stage fixtures confirmed [Conti Cup fixtures]

West Ham United’s fixtures in Group D of the 2020/21 FA Continental Tyres Women’s League Cup have been confirmed. The Irons will be taking on fellow Barclays FA Women’s Super League sides Reading and Brighton & Hove Albion in Group D, with Championship team Charlton Athletic completing the Group. Matt Beard’s team will open the 2020/21 competition with an away test against the Seagulls on Wednesday 7 October at Broadfield Stadium, with kick-off set for 7:30pm. A home match against Reading, at Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium, will follow for the Irons, with kick-off again set for 7:30pm on Wednesday 4 November.

[Conti cup]

The 2020/21 group stages will end for the Hammers on Wednesday 18 November with a 7:45pm kick-off away against Charlton Athletic at The Oakwood. The 2020/21 FA Continental Tyres Women’s League Cup will see clubs in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and the FA Women’s Championship split across six groups. The top team from each group, along with the two best performing second-placed sides, will qualify for the quarter-finals. The Hammers and Reading were also drawn in the same Conti Cup group last season, with Alisha Lehmann scoring the only goal of the game in a win for West Ham United at the Madejski Stadium. The Swiss forward was also on the mark in West Ham’s last match with Brighton & Hove Albion, scoring twice in a comeback 2-1 victory against the Seagulls in January. The Irons’ last match against Charlton Athletic was played in December 2018 in the Continental Tyres League Cup group stages, with Lehmann and former West Ham captain Rosie Kmita securing a 2-0 win.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Date confirmed for West Ham United’s away fixture at Leicester City [King Power Stadium]

West Ham United’s Premier League fixture away at Leicester City will be played on Sunday 4 October, with a 12pm kick-off. The match at Leicester’s King Power Stadium will be broadcast live in the UK on BT Sport. Broadcast selections for the remainder of October’s fixtures will be finalised and communicated on whufc.com in due course.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: International round-up: Lehmann scores in win over Belgium
[Alisha Lehmann]

Five West Ham United women’s players enjoyed competitive action for their respective nations over the international break, with Alisha Lehmann heavily involved in a vital win for Switzerland.
The Hammers No7 scored the winning goal for her country in their 2-1 Euro 2021 qualifying contest at home to Belgium on Tuesday evening.
Switzerland had already been a goal ahead in the Group H contest, thanks to Malin Gut’s fifth-minute opener, before Lehmann received the opportunity to have an effort on goal from distance, finding the bottom corner with a terrific low drive.
The versatile forward was subbed not long after her fine finish, making way for defender Irina Pando, and while Belgium were able to pull a goal back through Tessa Wullaert, Switzerland held on to overtake their opponents at the top of Group H, with 16 points from six games played.
Lehmann had also started the previous qualifier, away to Croatia last weekend, a match in which Switzerland fought to earn a point through Ramona Bachmann’s 74th-minute equaliser.


Katerina Svitkova helped the Czech Republic to claim four points from six available in their two qualifiers during the internationals.
The attacking midfielder – who joined West Ham in the summer from Slavia Prague – played the full 90 minutes in the goalless draw against Poland at the end of last week and was also named in the starting XI for Tuesday’s victory away to the same opposition.
Unfortunately, the Hammers’ No10 had to be withdrawn early in the second period due to sustaining a knock. The Czech Republic would go onto win the game 2-0, courtesy of goals from Andrea Staskova and Kamila Dubcova, putting them on ten points from five matches played in Group D. They are only behind leaders Spain on goal difference, although Spain have played one game fewer.
Kenza Dali and her France teammates were also in Euro 2021 qualifying action, winning both of their Group G matches over the International break.
A 2-0 victory away to Serbia last weekend was followed up by a comprehensive 7-0 drubbing of North Macedonia on Tuesday, giving France a 100 per cent record from their four qualifying matches played so far. [daly]
Hammers star Dali, who opened her account for the domestic season with a fine finish against Arsenal two weeks ago, was an unused substitute in the win over Serbia but featured for the final 30 minutes in the midweek contest, with France leading by four goals at her introduction.
The Republic of Ireland only had one qualifier to prepare for in the last two weeks – a tricky test away to Germany last Saturday – with two Irons named in the squad for the trip in forward Leanne Kiernan and goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan.
Pacey attacker Kiernan was selected in the starting XI too, playing on the left wing, as Ireland fell to an unfortunate 3-0 defeat away to the Germans.
The 21-year-old, earning her 20th cap for the national team, was subbed off on 63 minutes in place of fellow forward Heather Payne. Defeat leaves Ireland sitting second in Group I, five points off of Germany in top spot.
With England chosen as the hosts for 2021 UEFA Women’s Championship, Phil Neville’s side have automatically qualified for the competition, but the Lionesses still held a training camp over the international break.
Hammers defender Grace Fisk and loanee Rachel Daly were part of a squad called up by England for the camp, held at St George’s Park, during which two training matches were played, pitting the Lionesses against each other.
With the squad split in a way that separated Daly and Fisk, both games were won by ‘team Fisk’. The first, played last Friday, ended 3-0, thanks to two goals from Ellen White and a finish by Ella Toone, while the second was won 2-1. Emse Morgan and Izzy Christiansen scored for the winning team, after Chloe Kelly had put the other side in front. Daly started both matches for her side, while centre-back Fisk was named on the bench for the second fixture.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: West Ham United COVID-19 update
[London Stadium]

West Ham United Head of Medical Richard Collinge has explained the swift and decisive response to the positive COVID-19 tests returned for David Moyes, Issa Diop and Josh Cullen on Tuesday evening. The Club’s medical staff were informed of the results just after 6.20pm by the company responsible for controlling the Premier League’s COVID-19 testing programme. A pre-planned and meticulous process was immediately put into action, with both players withdrawn from the starting line-up to face Hull City and, along with the manager, from the main group before being assessed in designated isolation room and then sent home, all in line with UK Public Health and Premier League protocols. “It’s obviously a challenging time for all of us with increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases within the general population,” said Collinge, who oversees all aspects of the Club’s medical operations. “As a club, we are obviously working hard with the strategies and protocols that we have in place. On Tuesday night we had the unusual situation, just before the team went out to warm-up, when we received the news that we had three positive tests within the camp. “The immediate priority was to make sure those three individuals were safe – we have an isolation room here at the stadium where we were able to assess them medically and then, at the right moment in time, asked to leave the stadium to self-isolate at home. “All three went home and, in line with Premier League rules and regulations, were re-tested immediately and we await their results within 24 hours. “We will also re-test the entire playing squad and staff at our Rush Green training facility, to ensure that everyone is fit and healthy, and that we protect them and their families.
You never want this to happen, of course, but we were ready for it and were able to move quickly to deal with the situation Head of Medical Richard Collinge
“We will also deal with the psychology of the situation to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the environment in which we are working. “We are always trying to be pro-active – that is why we have followed the testing protocols that have been in place since lockdown finished and nothing has really changed. “That is why those protocols are in place – for moments like this – so that we can action things quickly and move on to the next phase, to get everyone back in as safely as possible. “You never want this to happen, of course, but we were ready for it and were able to move quickly to deal with the situation.”
Everyone at West Ham United continues to follow the strict protocols and guidelines around COVID-19, with the health and safety of our players, staff and supporters an absolute priority at all times. Those who tested positive on Tuesday were re-tested immediately, and the entire playing squad and staff at Rush Green will all be tested again on Wednesday. There will be further deep cleans of both Rush Green and London Stadium, on top of the regular cleaning programme taking place each day, and all players and staff will continue to carefully follow all social distancing and extra hygiene measures in place.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Balbuena: All the lads did a good job in Hull City win

Fabian Balbuena hailed the manner in which West Ham United secured their spot in the Carabao Cup fourth round. Two goals apiece from Sebastien Haller and Andriy Yarmolenko, as well as an early finish from Robert Snodgrass, earned the Irons a 5-1 victory over the Tigers on Tuesday evening. Balbuena was delighted with how the team performed in victory against a game Hull City side. “I think the most important thing is the team played well,” the defender told West Ham TV. “We tried to always keep the ball, maintain good possession of the ball and create good chances to score. “I think all the lads did a good job to win the game and qualify for the next round.”
We tried to always keep the ball, maintain good possession of the ball and create good chances to score. I think all the lads did a good job to win the game. Fabian Balbuena

The Paraguayan international was named captain for the second consecutive Carabao Cup match, an honour Balbuena enjoyed carrying once again at London Stadium. He continued: “I enjoy it. I think, personally, the armband doesn’t change the way I play, but I’m happy to have the confidence of the boys and the manager. “The most important thing is for us to do really good work during the game, and I think we did a really good job.” Two Academy graduates in Ajibola Alese and Emmanuel Longelo made their respective debuts for the senior side on Tuesday, while Harrison Ashby started his first match after making a cameo last week. Balbuena pointed out the performances of the young trio as crucial to victory.


Balbuena said: “I think all the young boys did well. I don’t think we knew just how young they are because they all played like experience players. “Every time we talk and train with them, we can see they know exactly what to do. They did a really great job and they helped us to qualify for the next round.” Up next for the Hammers is another home test, as the side welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Sunday, and Balbuena feels this weekend’s game is a strong opportunity to pick up a first league win of the season. “We always, when we’ve finished one game, start to prepare for the next one,” He added. “We have to prepare well. We need to recover some points and I think we’ve got a good chance against Wolves. “We need to train well and try to reach that game in as good form as possible.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Alan Irvine: Our senior and our young players combined extremely well

West Ham United assistant manager Alan Irvine was delighted with the controlled and professional nature of his side’s performance in the 5-1 win over Hull City on Tuesday. Braces from Sebastien Haller and Andriy Yarmolenko at London Stadium, arriving after Robert Snodgrass had opened the scoring against his former club in the first half, granted the Hammers safe passage into the Carabao Cup fourth round. There, they will meet the winners of Fleetwood Town or Everton next week, dependent on the result of their tie on Wednesday evening. West Ham’s performance was defined by professional displays from their senior players, who combined well with a number Academy of Football graduates, including debutants Ajibola Alese and Emmanuel Longelo in defence, along with full debutant Harrison Ashby. “I’m absolutely delighted,” Irvine surmised. “I think to a man they played extremely well, with three young players who ended up making debuts tonight. They all did extremely well, and the senior players helped them through and did a great job for themselves as well, so I’m absolutely thrilled with how the team played. “I felt that right from the beginning of the game our work-rate was fantastic, our organisation was fantastic, the way that players filled in for each other was great, and I said to them in the dressing room before the game that that work gives you the platform to show what you’re capable of doing.”

[Alan Irvine]

The Hammers were in control of proceedings during the first half at London Stadium, with Snodgrass’ and Haller’s goals coming on top of 61 per cent possession and the team’s restriction of the visitors to zero first-half shots on goal. In the second period, Yarmolenko opened his account from the penalty spot after Haller was fouled by Sean McLoughlin at a set-piece, before Hull pulled one back down the right wing through Mallik Wilks. Haller and Yarmolenko had the final say, however, both finishing clinically in injury time to give the scoreline a true reflection of the Irons’ dominance on the evening – as well as stake their claim for a more regular inclusion in the West Ham United starting eleven. “These games are an opportunity for the boys who aren’t at the moment playing in the first-team starting eleven,” Irvine explained. “They have to grab these opportunities when they come along, and I have to say they have done, as have a number of the other players. “The fourth goal certainly killed them off and then, of course, the fifth goal was icing on the cake. Looking at the boys trying to get the ball back, they wanted another one, so that was very good. Everybody came through the game extremely well. “Hull had a couple of good results to get here. They beat Leeds in the last round and they’ve had a very good start to the season, and they were in the Championship just last season. They haven’t been conceding goals, so for us to score five against them was fantastic.”

[West Ham United players celebrate]

Earlier this evening, West Ham United confirmed that manager David Moyes and first-team players Issa Diop and Josh Cullen returned positive tests for COVID-19. The Club’s medical team were informed of the test results as the team were at London Stadium and the manager and both players immediately left the stadium and returned home. All three, who are asymptomatic, will now follow Public Health England and Premier League guidelines and protocols. Irvine said: “We’ve been very particular about protocol right from the start of this. “Our medical team and COVID officer are very aware of what’s been happening, and we’ve followed all of the protocols all of the way through. I’m sure that we’ll be following protocol now. “It wasn’t even discussed other than me saying to the players what had happened, and then them getting on with the game. They focused on playing the game and you saw how well they did that – the way the lads adjusted to it was fantastic, they were totally professional. “It was really good for us to get the number of goals we got tonight, and really good to get the number of players playing well that we did. When I speak to David later on, I will obviously be giving him a whole load of good news.”


West Ham enter race to sign teenage defender · By Staff Writer
Wednesday, 23rd September 2020

West Ham are reported to have entered the race to sign highly-rated teenage defender Wesley Fofana. The 19-year-old, who currently plies his trade in Ligue 1 with Saint-Etienne was the subject of a rejected ?30million offer from fellow Premier League side Leicester City yesterday. And according to SkySports, West Ham have opened the bidding with a deal worth EUR25million plus EUR11million in add-ons – a total offer worth just shy of ?33million. [Paris Saint-Germain v AS Saint-Etienne – French League Cup : News Photo]

Leicester are understood to have had up to three bids for Fofana rejected thus far, with Les Verts manager Claude Puel continuing to insist the Marseille-born central defender is not for sale.
Standing at 6’3″ tall, Fofana made his first team debut for Etienne in May 2019 during a 3-0 defeat of Nice, since when he has made 25 first team appearances for the club. He has appeared in all three of his club’s Ligue 1 fixtures so far this season, all of which Etienne have won by two goals to nil – beating Lorient, Strasbourg and most recently, his home town club of Marseille.


He’s thrown Moyes under the bus! · By Staff Writer
Wednesday, 23rd September 2020

West Ham fans have been offering their verdicts on David Sullivan’s interview with TalkSport – and it doesn’t read particularly well for the club’s co-owner. Sullivan broke his own self-imposed media embargo on Tuesday morning in order to speak to Talksport presenter Jim White, who is know to be sympathetic towards the club’s co-owner. However the move appears to have backfired spectacularly after Sullivan was heavily criticised by the fan base, who have been responding to the interview via the KUMB forum and social media.
One key criticism was that Sullivan appeared, once again, to undermine the club’s sitting manager, after he claimed David Moyes had refused to sign players recommended to him by the co-owner and his team of preferred agents. “Can you imagine what Moyes thinks, sat at home, chucked in front of a bus?” wrote KUMB member hammer1975. “If he was thinking of walking out, that interview must increase the chances. It actually makes me wonder whether the rumours a few weeks back that he threatened to sound more plausible. “Perhaps Sullivan is feeling disempowered as a result and trying to use social pressure on the manager to sign some of his picks so that he doesn’t look so bad over lack of signings.”

Meanwhile fellow KUMB member smuts argued the interview would prove detrimental not just to Sullivan’s relationship with the manager, but also with the entire squad. “Can you imagine how that plane wreck of an interview has gone down with some of the players?,” he wrote. “The digs about Moyes wanting to spend the majority of our budget on ‘a 28-year-old’? Well job done there Dave, as he certainly won’t be coming now. “It was an absolute shambles crying in public over how hard done by he is, how skint the club are etc all so he could give a big ‘woe is me’ statement to the world thinking people would feel sorry for him. Well dream on, Dave.”

Elsewhere Diogenes maintained that Sullivan was once again guilty of a criticism often aimed at him – that being West Ham’s current predicament was the fault of anyone but the board and the co-owner himself. “Regardless of what he actually said, what was the point of the interview?,” he wrote. “We learned nothing new at all. Highly strange. Unless it was a ‘come and buy us’ plea then there was no need for it at all. That’s the only logical reason I can think of. “If he had come on said: ‘Ok, we made some mistakes but we are where we are. Times are tough but we have some money although our targets are out of our reach currently. David Moyes is doing a great job in difficult circumstances and quite rightly wants quality not quantity…. ‘ then fair play – but it was the same old ‘it’s everyone else’s fault’ – even though Sullivan picked them – and ‘we’re very broke indeed’.

And while the response was overwhelmingly negative, not everyone felt that Sullivan had made a mistake by choosing to speak exclusively to TalkSport, where it was guaranteed he would be given an easy ride. Mike P, who subscribes to KUMB’s twitter feed argued that Sullivan’s comments illustrated how he was attempting to back his manager. “I just heard the interview and he sounded very reasoned and “dare I say it” honest,” wrote Mike. “He appears to be doing his best to support the manager and also appears to, at long last, respect the manager should manage the squad without his interference.”


Everton fundraiser created after Sullivan pleads poverty · By Staff Writer
Thursday, 24th September 2020

A quick-witted Hammers fan has started a GoFund me page following David Sullivan’s revelation that it will cost him around £50,000 to fly the first team squad to their next round meeting with Everton. Sullivan, speaking in an interview with Talksport on Wednesday revealed how beating Hull City 5-1 in the 3rd Round on Tuesday night had landed the club with a bill for approximately 50 grand – the cost of flying the team to their 4th Round tie at Goodison Park. And following Sullivan’s apparent complaint one supporter – the anonymous Bo Leyn – has cheekily created a fundraiser in order to raise the necessary funds to send the team to Merseyside next week.


“After a broadcasting a heartfelt radio interview on Wednesday, it has become obvious that progressing in the League Cup has angered West Ham majority shareholder and huge West Ham fan, David Sullivan,” read the appeal statement. “He has quite rightly bemoaned the massive £50,000 cost it will take to fly the team to Everton next week to play for a place in the quarter finals. “This is especially frustrating for him as Jack Wilshere is due yet another £100,000 this week. How is he supposed to steer us to a 17th place finish with all of these extra overheads?

“With West Ham being a Premier League club with yearly revenues of hundreds of millions of pounds, how can he be expected to spend £50k of the club’s, not his, money to get us all the way to Liverpool to play in the only competition we have a chance of actually winning? “It’s a disgrace he has to put up with this. He is a world class scout who has provided the Hammers with over 50 strikers in just 10 years. Please give generously.”

So far the appeal has raised £15 towards the total target.

* Meanwhile kind-hearted members of the KUMB Forum have offered to give players a lift to Goodison Park next week, with some even throwing in coffee and biscuits to help

make the journey even more enjoyable.


Wesley Fofana: West Ham set Saint-Etienne deadline after £33m bid for centre-back
West Ham in race with Leicester to sign 19-year-old centre-back from Saint-Etienne; both clubs also interested in Burnley’s James Tarkowski

Last Updated: 24/09/20 8:22pm

[Wesley Fofana made 24 appearances for St Etienne last season and impressed in the French Cup final against PSG’s Neymar]
Wesley Fofana made 24 appearances for St Etienne last season and impressed in the French Cup final against PSG’s Neymar

West Ham have given Saint-Etienne until Friday to accept their take-it-or-leave-it offer worth £33m for centre-back Wesley Fofana. Other clubs are interested in the 19-year-old, but West Ham are believed to have made the highest offer so far – which includes an initial fee of £23m and up to £10m in add-ons. The Hammers, who are proposing to pay the £23m over six annual instalments, do not want to get into a bidding war for the centre-back. The Hammers are looking to add a centre-back to their ranks this summer and have seen three bids turned down by Burnley for James Tarkowski, who is also on the Foxes’ transfer radar. Despite signing a new contract in April, Fofana has told Saint-Etienne head coach Claude Puel he wants to leave to play in the Premier League and was left out of the club’s matchday squad to play Nantes on Sunday evening. St Etienne originally wanted £25m for their defender, significantly beyond what Leicester are willing to pay to bring him to the King Power Stadium. Fofana made 24 appearances for St Etienne in a breakthrough campaign last year, as the team qualified for the Europa League and made the French Cup final. [https://e3.365dm.com/20/09/768×432/skysports-wesley-fofana_5103738.jpg]1:30
French football expert Jonathan Johnson says Leicester must ‘strike now’ for St Etienne’s Wesley Fofana as he will be a player in demand come next summer


‘You have to stay strong and try and get on with it’: West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold ‘bully’ managers into buying players, claims former boss Sam Allardyce

· West Ham’s owners have been heavily criticised by supporters in recent weeks

· David Sullivan admitted on Wednesday they had bought players who ‘flopped’

· Former Hammers boss Sam Allardyce says the owners tried to ‘bully’ managers

· But Allardyce did state that Sullivan and David Gold love the club dearly


PUBLISHED: 12:13 EDT, 24 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:19 EDT, 24 September 2020


Sam Allardyce believes West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold ‘bully’ the club’s managers into buying players of their choice. The Hammers boardroom have felt the wrath of the fans already this summer, with a lack of activity in the transfer market following years of wasteful spending, with Sullivan admitting on Wednesday they had bought ‘a pile’ of players who have flopped. Now former West Ham boss Allardyce, who was in charge from 2011-2015 and guided the club to promotion, has described the way in which the owners dictate who comes in – but wasn’t full of criticism for the pair.

Sam Allardyce managed West Ham for four years and guided them to top-flight promotion
[But Allardyce says owners David Sullivan and David Fold bully managers into buying players]

But Allardyce says owners David Sullivan and David Fold bully managers into buying players

‘[Sullivan’s] a strong man when it comes to signing the players he wants, I know that for a fact,’ Allardyce told talkSPORT. ‘Sometimes [the owners] will try to bully you into a player they fancy. But you have to stay strong and try to get on with it. ‘Sometimes I think his love for football is so great, David Sullivan, he spends the vast majority of his time researching footballers across the world through other sources. ‘Sometimes those sources are good, sometimes they’re not so good. But at the end of the day it can be a conflict between you and the owner because he wants to make sure when he spends his money he’s getting value for money.’ ‘I think their passion for West Ham, Gold and Sullivan… they get a lot of stick, but they love West Ham.’

[Sullivan has warned that West Ham may end the transfer window without any new additions]

Sullivan has warned that West Ham may end the transfer window without any new additions

So far this summer, West Ham have only managed to tie down Tomas Soucek to a permanent deal following his loan spell. The Hammers have so far failed in their pursuit of Burnley centre back James Tarkowski. Speaking in an interview on talkSPORT that was not well-received by club insiders or supporters, Sullivan said: ‘I cannot say for sure we are going to sign anybody. As each day passes, I get more depressed. ‘You can’t pay double what you value a player at. We haven’t got the money. The club will go bankrupt. These are difficult times and we have to be sensible.
[Captain Mark Noble led the outrage after the club sold academy product Grady Diangana]

Captain Mark Noble led the outrage after the club sold academy product Grady Diangana

‘We have a number of bids in for a number of players, but teams don’t want to lose them; key players at decent sized clubs, outside the UK. So whether we get any of these players I do not know.’ Yet the biggest talking point was the decision to sell Grady Diangana to West Brom, which provoked public criticism from club captain Mark Noble. The club were in turmoil again on Tuesday night, when manager David Moyes along with first-team players Issa Diop and Josh Cullen tested positive for coronavirus, just minutes before their Carabao Cup win against Hull City.


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West Ham score five against Hull to reach Carabao Cup fourth round [West Ham celebrate against Hull]

West Ham United swept into the Carabao Cup fourth round with a comprehensive 5-1 win over Hull City at London Stadium.
Sebastien Haller and Andriy Yarmolenko scored two goals each and Robert Snodgrass netted against his old club as the Hammers outplayed their EFL League One opponents on Tuesday evening.
It was a successful end to a challenging evening which saw manager David Moyes and players Issa Diop and Josh Cullen test positive for COVID-19 and have to leave London Stadium before kick-off, with their places in the starting eleven taken by debutant Ajibola Alese and Jack Wilshere.
West Ham were dominant throughout, creating 19 goal attempts and taking five of them.
Felipe Anderson had the first two, shooting wide with the first and too high with the second, before teenager Harrison Ashby saw his left-foot shot parried by Hull goalkeeper George Long.
The deadlock was broken a minute after Hull captain Richard Smallwood was forced off with an injury, with ex-Hull midfielder Snodgrass the scorer.
Manuel Lanzini and Yarmolenko, who were influential throughout, combined to pick out the Scot, who drove a volley across Long and into the bottom right-hand corner on 18 minutes.
The goalmouth action then abated until Lanzini curled narrowly wide on 38, and Haller continued his fine Carabao Cup run with a close-range finish on the stroke of half-time, with the Argentina international and Yarmolenko again heavily involved in the build-up.

[Robert Snodgrass scores against Hull]

With Hull, who came into the game with four wins from four League One and Carabao Cup games this season, unable to impose themselves on proceedings, West Ham continued to create chances, with Haller’s volley deflected wide and Yarmolenko curling over.
It was 3-0 on 56 minutes. As Lanzini’s corner was delivered, Haller was bundled over, referee Simon Hooper pointed to the spot and Yarmolenko grabbed the ball before calmly sending Long the wrong way with his penalty.
Frustration began to set into the Tigers and substitute George Honeyman and Brandon Fleming were both booked for late challenges – the latter leaving Ashby nursing a dislocated finger and needing to be replaced by debutant Emmanuel Longelo.
Long saved from Lanzini and Yarmolenko fired high and wide as West Ham continued to threaten, but it was Hull who got the game’s fourth goal, Mallik Wilks getting the wrong side of Longelo before finishing through Darren Randolph’s legs.
Josh Magennis then forced the Republic of Ireland goalkeeper into a save with a downward header, and the goalkeeper was called into action again in the final minute of the 90, gathering Honeyman’s snap-shot.
But any chance of a Hull fightback was ended in added time, when the Hammers added two further goals.
First, Lanzini diverted Felipe Anderson’s lofted diagonal into the path of Haller, who rounded Long to score, then the No10’s quick free-kick set the Brazilian away, and his cutback was swept home first-time by Yarmolenko to make the final score 5-1.
West Ham United: Randolph, Ashby (Longelo 69), Balbuena, Alese, Johnson, Wilshere, Snodgrass, Yarmolenko, Lanzini, Felipe Anderson, Haller Subs not used: Martin (GK), Trott (GK), Coventry, Bowen, Xande Silva Goals: Snodgrass 18, Haller 45, 90+1, Yarmolenko 56, 90+2
Hull City: Long, Coyle, Jones, McLoughlin, Fleming, Batty, Smallwood (Honeyman 17), Scott (Wilks 61), Jones, Mayer (Lewis-Potter 61), Magennis Subs not used: Ingram (GK), Burke, Emmanuel, Samuelsen
Goal: Wilks 70
Referee: Simon Hooper

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: West Ham United Club statement
[West Ham statement]

West Ham United can confirm that David Moyes, Issa Diop and Josh Cullen have returned positive tests for COVID-19. The Club’s medical team were informed of the test results as the team were at London Stadium preparing for this evening’s Carabao Cup third round tie against Hull City. The manager and both players immediately left the stadium and have returned home. All three, who are asymptomatic, will now follow Public Health England and Premier League guidelines and protocols. Everyone at West Ham United send their best wishes to David, Issa and Josh. Tuesday’s match will go ahead as planned, with Assistant Manager Alan Irvine taking charge of the team. The Club’s measures and protocols around COVID-19 remain stringent. This included offering to test the Hull City team ahead of tonight’s fixture – an offer which they opted not to accept.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Premier League release return of fans statement
[London Stadium]

The Premier League has today, Tuesday 22 September 2020, issued the following statement regarding the return of fans to stadia…
The Premier League notes the Government’s announcement today and while the health of the nation must remain everyone’s priority, we are disappointed that the safe return of supporters to matches has been postponed. The Premier League is certain that, through League-wide guidelines and a code of conduct developed with scientific experts and agreed by the Government’s Sports Ground Safety Authority, fans in stadiums will be as safe or even safer than at any other public activity currently permitted. This is already evident in other European leagues. Football is not the same without attending fans and the football economy is unsustainable without them. Last season, Premier League clubs suffered £700m in losses and at present, our national game is losing more than £100m per month. This is starting to have a devastating impact on clubs and their communities. We are confident that Premier League clubs, using innovative ways to get supporters safely back into grounds, will enable revenues to return to all levels of the game, as well as maintain solidarity arrangements, current tax contributions and financial support for local and national economies. While there is a current pause in a date for fans returning to sports venues, the Premier League and our clubs will not slow down in our preparations for providing safe, bio-secure environments. We will continue to work with Government to bring supporters safely back into grounds as soon as possible.


· ARSENAL AND WEST HAM UNITED DUO NET IN SWISS VICTORY OVER BELGIUM [https://fawslfulltime.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/1526409-1024×676.jpg]

Alisha Lehmann of West Ham United WSL West Ham United Women v Chelsea Women, Rush Green Stadium, London, UK – 27 Oct 2019 Photo: Chloe Knott for The FA
By Daniel Pentland / September 22, 2020
Arsenal midfielder Malin Gut and West Ham United forward Alisha Lehmann netted the goals as Switzerland defeated Belgium 2-1 in their latest UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 qualifying match at the Arena Thun this evening. The Gunners star Gut was on target in the first half for Nils Nielsen’s side in Thun while forward Lehmann of West Ham United scored in the second half as Switzerland leapfrogged group leaders Belgium in the standings with just two rounds of matches remaining. Midfielder Gut’s goal came in just the sixth minute as the Swiss successfully managed to take an early lead and reduce some of the pressure placed upon them in what was a match of high stakes. The match remained finely poised until West Ham United forward Lehmann found the back of the net in the 63rd minute. That goal further lifted the pressure on the Swiss for just seven minutes before Tessa Wullaert’s goal for Belgium set up a cagey finale. In the end, Switzerland held on with Nielsen’s side now having their destiny in their own hands as they look to qualify for a second consecutive UEFA Women’s EURO after going as far as the group stage in their tournament debut in The Netherlands in 2017.


Club Statement


Hull City wish to issue a statement after West Ham returned a number of positive tests for Covid-19 ahead of tonight’s Carabao Cup tie. We are satisfied that West Ham followed all guidelines and protocols upon receiving the positive results and, after consulting with the EFL, were comfortable with the game going ahead. The Club will continue to stringently monitor the wellbeing of our players and staff as per Public Health England and EFL guidelines – as we have done since they were put in place – and we wish the West Ham manager and players the very best.


West Ham United 5 Hull City 1

Goals : Snodgrass (18’minutes), Haller (45’minutes, 90’+1minutes), Yarmolenko (56’minutes pen, 90’+2minutes) Wilks (70’minutes)

Assists : Yarmolenko (18’minutes, 45’minutes), Lanzini (90’+1minutes), Felipe Anderson (90’+2minutes)

Assists Magennis (70’minutes)
[Andriy Yarmolenko]
Andriy Yarmolenko is yet to start a Premier League game for West Ham this season

West Ham cruised into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup with an emphatic win over League One side Hull City. Sebastian Haller and Andriy Yarmolenko both netted twice for the hosts, after Robert Snodgrass had opened the scoring. Hammers boss David Moyes, defender Issa Diop and midfielder Josh Cullen all missed the game after testing positive for coronavirus. Mallik Wilks scored a second-half consolation goal for the visitors. West Ham will now travel to Fleetwood or Everton in the fourth round, with ties due to take place in the week commencing 28 September.


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Michail Antonio: We can build on Saturday’s performance
[Michail Antonio]

Michail Antonio is hoping his outstanding goalscoring form will help West Ham United return to winning ways in the Premier League. The No30 took his superb run of form to nine goals in his last nine Premier League appearances on Saturday with a well-taken equaliser at Arsenal, only for a late Gunners winner to leave the Hammers empty-handed. With Wolverhampton Wanderers scheduled to visit London Stadium on Sunday evening, Antonio is determined to hit the net again and secure the Irons’ first points of the 2020/21 season in the process. “We’re definitely very disappointed,” he told Premier League Productions. “Saturday was a good opportunity for us to get some points on the board, but it’s just one of those things and part and parcel of football, really, that if you don’t take your chances, you get punished. “It was a great team effort and it showed the quality we have got in the squad, and hopefully we can take the confidence from all the good stuff we did on Saturday into next week. “Hopefully, we can build on the performance we did on Saturday. We had 14 chances and, on another day, we could have scored two or three more goals and won.”
[Michail Antonio celebrates]Antonio’s goal means he has now scored in four consecutive top-flight away games – the first West Ham player to do so since Frederic Kanoute in 2000/01, and is now joint-fourth in West Ham’s list of Premier League all-time goalscorers. So, what has been the secret to his outstanding form in front of goal?
“I don’t know, to be fair?” he conceded. “Saturday was a great team goal. The ball out from Jarrod to Ryan and from Ryan to find me, I couldn’t miss, so hopefully I can get a few more in the weeks to come and we can get some more points on the table.”
While there was no debate about Antonio’s goal, there was about West Ham’s appeal for a first-half penalty for handball against Arsenal centre-back Gabriel. Neither referee Michael Oliver nor VAR official Chris Kavanagh deemed an offence had been committed, with the ball judged to have hit the Brazilian on the shoulder, rather than the arm, in line with new Premier League laws. “It’s difficult because I was talking to the referee about it and he said how it hit him on the sleeve,” Antonio revealed. “With the new rules coming in, it’s difficult to judge where it hits him and where it doesn’t and I was asking him if it hits him on the line of the sleeve, is it handball or is it not handball? “It’s such a big ball, so it’s difficult to judge. I’m not going to comment if it was a pen or not but it was a hard one to take because we thought we could have got three points, so leaving with nothing was painful.”


West Ham end Tarkowski interest · By Staff Writer
Monday, 21st September 2020

West Ham are reported to have ended their pursuit of Burnley’s England international defender James Tarkowski. The Hammers made at least two bids for the 27-year-old – possibly more, depending on which sources you believe – but have admitted defeat after seeing their latest offer rejected, according to Sky’s Pete O’Rourke. The latest bid by West Ham was thought to be worth in the region of ?35million, with ?30million of that guaranteed and an additional ?5million dependent on certain targets being met. However Burnley have refused to drop their asking price of ?50million for Tarkowski, a stance that has resulted in West Ham reluctantly pulling out of the deal. Unsurprisingly perhaps the news has been greeted with a fair degree of derision by some supporters who have become accustomed to the club being linked with high-value players only to see a series of purported offers rejected. Carlos Bacca, William Carvalho and Joe Allen are just three such players who were claimed to have been targeted by West Ham’s board in recent transfer windows, only too see offers considerably lower than the players’ valuation rejected.


Hammers ready with Tarkowski pay rise
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on September 21, 2020 Claret & Hugh


West Ham are into a waiting game for James Tarkowski and hopefully two other defenders as the Hammers head towards their next Premier League clash against Wolves at the weekend. Burnley – knowing there are just 24 months left on the contract of their 27-year-old defender – are believed to still be weighing up whether they can afford to keep the player in face of a £35 million offer. It would mean that were they to hold onto him until January they would get a reduced offer given his contract expires in June 2022 and that’s what is concentrating minds in the Turf Moor boardroom. One thing is for sure the deal is not dead as with the Clarets having a pay ceiling of around £35k a week on players the central defender can expect to pick up at least another £20k a week at the London Stadium. There’s room in the wage budget following the departures of Zabaleta, Sanchez, Roberto, Albian Ajeti and Jordan Hugill. Moyes has already indicated that he could strengthen across the entire backline but it’s likely that there will be loan signings arriving rather than three or four permanent signings.


West Ham want ‘three or four players’ before window shuts but David Moyes doubts transfer funds exist · SIMON COLLINGS ES Sport
[In charge: David Moyes]
In charge: David Moyes ( POOL/AFP via Getty Images )

West Ham boss David Moyes wants to sign “three or four players” before the transfer window shuts next month – but he may not have the necessary funds to do so. The Hammers have started the new Premier League season with two defeats in as many games after losing to Arsenal on Saturday. West Ham were much improved at the Emirates Stadium after their opening loss to Newcastle, but were still beaten 2-1. Moyes is keen to bolster his squad before the transfer window shuts next month and the club are chasing a new centre-back. Burnley’s James Tarkowski is understood to be one of their top targets, but they are yet to have an offer accepted. West Ham have some money to spend after selling Grady Diangana to West Brom and Moyes has revealed he hopes to get three or four in the door. “I just don’t want centre-halves. I want other positions as well,” he said. “Ultimately I would like to sign three or four players, but I totally understand we are not in a financial position to do so.”


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Late Arsenal goal shoots down West Ham
[West Ham players show disappointment at Arsenal]

West Ham United suffered another agonising Premier League loss at Arsenal on Saturday evening, going down to a hugely frustrating 2-1 defeat. Despite creating twice as many goal attempts as the Gunners, the Irons were left to rue an inability to turn dangerous positions and chances into goals and, just as they did before the COVID-19 lockdown in March, departed north London with nothing. Arsenal had just three shots on target and scored from two of them – Alexandre Lacazette scoring with their first meaningful attempt and substitute Eddie Nketiah winning it with five minutes to play – while West Ham repeatedly tested Bernd Leno and his defenders, but had just Michail Antonio’s equaliser on the stroke of half-time to show for it. There could and probably should have been a different outcome. Eager to put the disappointment of their opening-day defeat by Newcastle United behind them, the Hammers made a bright start under the Emirates Stadium floodlights. The visitors could have been ahead inside five minutes, but Angelo Ogbonna stooped to nod straight at Leno from six yard out, when arguably a volley would have served the Italian better. With Arsenal struggling to find any sort of rhythm, the Irons continued to work their way into dangerous positions. After Declan Rice had seen a free-kick deflected wide and Antonio’s cross-shot had been saved by Leno low to the goalkeeper’s left, Bowen went down under a challenge from Arsenal’s summer signing Gabriel inside the penalty area, but neither Michael Oliver nor VAR official Chris Kavanagh deemed it a foul. Having created nothing in the opening 25 minutes, Arsenal then scored with their first chance. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang beat the offside trap and crossed for the unmarked Lacazette, who headed into the roof of the net from eight yards. After taking the lead, the home side enjoyed a brief period in the ascendancy but, after Bukayo Saka had curled a shot over, West Ham went back on the offensive and had another penalty appeal turned down after Gabriel appeared to handle Tomas Soucek’s header. Moyes’ men final got the goal their play warranted in the final minute of the first half, and a superb team goal it was, too. Pablo Fornals collected a high ball on the left and found Arthur Masuaku. The DR Congo man touched it left for Soucek, who did likewise for Bowen. The No20 released the overlapping Ryan Fredericks, whose low cross was swept in by Antonio. The goal took the No30 joint-fourth on West Ham’s all-time Premier League goalscorers’ list with Trevor Sinclair, and also saw him become the first Hammer since Frederic Kanoute nearly 20 years ago to score in four straight Premier League away games.

[Michail Antonio scores at Arsenal]

Back on level terms, West Ham were arguably even better after the break, but just could not find the winning goal their enterprising football could easily have led to. Masuaku fired a long-range shot over before the same player delivered an outstanding cross from deep on the left. Gabriel dived in front of Antonio and the ball rather hit the West Ham forward, allowing Leno to sprawl to his left and stop it crossing the line. With confidence growing, the chances continued to flow, with Bowen and Antonio both seeing shots blocked by former Lille man Gabriel. Antonio then went even closer, heading Masuaku’s hanging cross against the crossbar. Leno then dropped the high ball, Antonio saw his shot blocked again and Leno got in the way of Bowen’s follow-up. Now into double figures for goal attempts, the Hammers kept pushing, with Bowen seeing two more shots blocked before Soucek’s ambitious 30-yarder bounced wide. And, just as happened in the first half, West Ham were made to pay for their inability to turn chances into goals. Just five minutes were left on the clock when Dani Ceballos got away from substitute Andriy Yarmolenko and squared for Arsenal replacement Nketiah to tap into the empty net. Moyes sent on Sebastien Haller and Felipe Anderson in search of a late leveller, but to no avail.
Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Kolasinac, Saka (David Luiz 89), Xhaka, Ceballos, Willian (Pepe 64), Lacazette (Nketiah 77), Aubameyang Subs not used: Macey (GK), Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Willock
Goals: Lacazette 25, Nketiah 85
West Ham United: Fabianski, Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Masuaku (Felipe Anderson 90), Soucek, Rice ©, Bowen (Yarmolenko 83), Fornals (Haller 88), Antonio Subs not used: Randolph (GK), Johnson, Balbuena, Lanzini
Booked: Fredericks
Goal: Antonio 45
Referee: Michael Oliver

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: David Moyes: It’s a tough one to take

David Moyes could not quite believe his West Ham United side finished on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline at Arsenal on Saturday night. Eddie Nketiah’s 85th minute goal meant Michail Antonio’s earlier equaliser counted for little on a night where the visitors were made to rue missed opportunities. The Hammers had double the number of attempts on goal the Gunners mustered – 14 to seven – yet ended up pointless, leaving the manager to reflect on a frustrating evening at Emirates Stadium. “It’s tough [to take] because the players played really well tonight,” Moyes said. “They put in a great deal of effort, and not to be rewarded with some points tonight is really hard on us. “It looked like we were going to go on and win it, but we didn’t. We switched off when we shouldn’t have. We had good opportunities to score, but we didn’t take them.”

[David Moyes]

As the Hammers head into a tough-looking run of fixtures, taking on five of last season’s top eight in the coming weeks, Moyes says his team should take heart not only from their performance in north London, but in the bank of performances given over the closing weeks of last season, too. He did warn the Hammers that they need to stay switched on for the entire 90 minutes, however, if they are to turn these displays into tangible reward. “I’d like to think we always have that effort,” he added, “Some weeks you won’t play well, but since I’ve come in that’s the way we have been – we’ve been a good team. “We want to get better and we’re not going to accept losing. We’re not going to accept turning off in the last few minutes – the boys had done an unbelievable job to get us in the position we were, so to turn off in the last three to four minutes was criminal.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Pablo Fornals: We deserved more for our performance
[Pablo Fornals against Arsenal]

West Ham United midfielder Pablo Fornals was disappointed to see his team slip to a late defeat at Arsenal on Saturday evening, but took encouragement from the nature of the Irons’ collective display. Six months after a similar chain of events occurred in North London, the Hammers played some cutting counter-attacking football and created numerous chances to score, only to find themselves frustrated by a combination of the woodwork and good goalkeeping by Arsenal’s Bernd Leno. The Hammers were made to pay for missing chances early on when the Gunners took the lead a quarter of the way into the game through Alexandre Lacazette’s bullet header, only to haul themselves level on the stroke of half-time, Michail Antonio finishing off a sweeping move from close range. West Ham continued to press and twice came within inches of taking the lead through Antonio in the second half, but despite having twice as many shots than their opponents at Emirates Stadium, it was Arsenal substitute Eddie Nketiah who tapped in a late winning goal.

We made a lot of changes in our formation and some players, but I think the biggest change was in the mentality of our team. We fought against a great team Pablo Fornals
Fornals, who played an important role in an industrious midfield three, was disappointed that West Ham did not get the rewards their performance deserved. “I think we deserved a little bit more from our good match,” the Spaniard told Sky Sports. “Okay, we didn’t try to keep the ball a lot, but we created a lot of chances and we came so close to taking one point away from the match. – we maybe even deserved to take all three. “We made a lot of changes in our formation and some players, but I think the biggest change was in the mentality of our team. We fought against a great team, face-to-face, and I think that is the key going forwards.”
The Irons’ display was much-improved on that which they put in during their opening-weekend defeat to Newcastle. While the end result proved the same, Fornals took encouragement from the fact that West Ham – on another day and with a bit more luck – could have easily beaten recent FA Cup and Community Shield winners. The ilk of such a performance will need to be repeated in the coming weeks, with West Ham facing some difficult opponents in a tricky opening to their 2020/21 Premier League campaign. Fornals surmised: “It’s frustrating, but we played a great match against one of the best teams in the league. “We lost some points, but I think it was a great performance to show that we are a great team as well, and we will try to keep on improving.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Arthur Masuaku: We have to take the positives from our performance into Wolves

West Ham United may have ended up on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline at Arsenal on Saturday night, but for Arthur Masuaku there were plenty of positives to take back to east London. While the DR Congo defender was frustrated that the most important statistic, the final result, went against his team, the evidence was clear that to leave Emirates Stadium without reward was harsh on the Hammers. Having outgunned the FA Cup winners by 14 shots to seven, and kept the pressure on after Michail Antonio equalised at the end of the opening period, Masuaku feels his team can build on their display by quickly registering their first Premier League victory of the campaign. “It was a decent team performance, but not the result we wanted,” the 26-year-old explained. “We just have to take the positives from this game because as a team I think we played well. “We need to keep going from Sunday and hopefully, with a bit of luck, we can win the next game.”

[Arthur Masuaku]

Masuaku also felt the display was a good response to a lacklustre defeat to Newcastle United to open the season. Although a tough run of games will follow, as the Hammers take on five of last season’s top seven in their next five assignments, Masuaku is confident that they can take results performing as they did on Saturday. “We showed a great team spirit and we played well as a team,” he added. “Last week was a poor performance against Newcastle, and the Gaffer told us that we need to change this – we need to play as a team and be hard to beat. “I think we played well and had chances to win the game. Unfortunately we didn’t, but we have to be positive. “If we have the opportunity to kill the game we just have to do it. .We’ve shown that we can compete against these teams. We have a strong team and if we play like we did tonight, we will win games.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: West Ham United Under-23s lift Premier League 2 Division 2 trophy

West Ham United Under-23s were presented with the 2019/20 Premier League 2 Division 2 trophy at Chadwell Heath on Wednesday afternoon. Having concluded their 2019/20 league season on Monday 2 March with a 4-0 win over Norwich U23s, the Irons’ unbeaten campaign was cut short by the global pandemic and subsequent curtailment of the Academy Games Programme. Leading second-placed Manchester United U23s by three points at the time of football’s suspension, the West Ham development squad were later confirmed as champions of Division 2 for the 2019/20 season on a points-per-game basis. With a staggering 14 wins and 58 goals scored from just 18 league games – with four draws and zero defeats – the Hammers were worthy winners in clinching the title. The U23s therefore attended a short ceremony at Chadwell Heath on Wednesday afternoon, led by the Premier League and Academy of Football graduate Anton Ferdinand, during which they were presented with their winners’ medals and the trophy.

[Last season’s U23s captains Olatunji Akinola and Conor Coventry] Last season’s U23s captains Olatunji Akinola and Conor Coventry

Conor Coventry, who captained the side until his loan move to Lincoln City in January, told whufc.com: “From the very start of the season, we set out to try and win the league. We had that focus going into every game, so to actually achieve it was great. “As captain, I think this group has great character. Within games, there were times when we were in tough moments – we were losing or only just holding onto wins – and we managed to get ourselves out of them when we needed to. “It’s a great side with a lot of talent and we’ve all sort of grown up with each other, to an extent. The staff are the same – they’ve all looked after us and helped us grow. There’s a great unit in the group and it’s great to be a part of. “You can see that a couple of us have got a chance recently and hopefully there’s more of that to come. There’s a lot of talent here so we’ll all keep working hard, and hopefully those opportunities will arrive.” Asked whether the trophy would be the first of many, Coventry laughed: “I’d hope so – I’d like to think so! It’s tough to get silverware at any level, so to go and win it was a great feeling, and we’ll enjoy it!”

[The Under-23s players and staff celebrate with the trophy]The Under-23s players and staff celebrate with the trophy

U23s lead coach Dmitri Halajko, who achieved the title success in his first season at the Club, added: “The lads deserved recognition for last season – it was a great season for them collectively – and it was nice for them to get that. “The players and coaches had a meeting right at the start of the season about how we wanted to play, what we wanted to achieve and what we wanted to be about, and we stuck to that every single game. “West Ham have had great success in the past, and more recently, of getting players through the pathway into the first team, and I think there’s going to be more to come. “There are more players there who are capable of doing it, and we’ve a first-team manager who’s watching pretty much every single one of our games and giving them the opportunities they need.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Jacynta Galabadaarachchi departs for Napoli
[Jacynta Galabadaarachchi departs for Napoli]

West Ham United can confirm that Jacynta Galabadaarachchi has completed a transfer to Italian side SSD Napoli Femminile. Galabadaarachchi moved to the Hammers last summer from Perth Glory and made 17 appearances in all competitions for Matt Beard’s side, including 11 in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League during a campaign that was unfortunately curtailed. The 19-year-old forward joins a Napoli side that achieved promotion to Serie A last season after finish top of the Italian second tier. Everyone at West Ham United would like to thanks Jacynta for all her efforts in Claret and Blue and wish her well for her future career.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: WHERE HAS THE MONEY GONE?
By Sean Whetstone 20 Sep 2020 at 13:00 WestamTill IDie

Last week Nigel Kahn and I joined the Irons United Youtube show to explain the club’s finance and show where the money has gone. The two-hour video can be seen below but the highlights of the main figures are below and the presentation can be downloaded from HERE
An Audio Podcast of the show can be found HERE- 2019 income £190.7m (Source: Companies house)
Ticket revenue £27m of which season ticket revenue is £23.5m
Commercial activities which include Corporate Hospitality (Club London and Sponsorship deals such as Betway and Umbro) = £27.5m Hospitality estimated to be £12m TV income of £127.5m paid in instalments throughout the season Retail/Club store £8.7m
Other Income £2m
Total Income £192.7m
Deloitte Football Rich List 2020 with West Ham listed 18th in the world is turn-over only Total expenditure 2019 £229m
Club Operations £172m Transfers £57m
Wages £136m
Stadium Rent £3m
Depreciation of assets £2m
Interest £4m
Unspecified expenditure £27m Marketing, Rates etc
Amortisation of transfers £57m
Media rights and funding £75m facility July 2019
Three drawdowns of £10m, £16m and £13m made last summer Total £39m due for repayment in the summer of 2020 1% interest on the credit facility and 7% of funds borrowed. Interest estimated to be £3.48m to Michael Tabor funded company
In 2013 As part of a refinancing deal David Sullivan loaned the club £6.7m as a bank of last resort charging interest. This loan was repaid over three years to David Sullivan with the final payment made on 31st May 2016.
Tripp Smith £9.5m interest-free loan. Only repayable on sale of the club Shareholder loans
Gold and Sullivan invested a total of £52.2m in shareholder loans to the club between 2011-2014. No additional shareholder loans have been made in the last four years. (2014=£3.5m 2013=£10.5m 2012=£35.2m 2011=£3m )
In July 2016 a company owned by David Gold and Icelandic CB Holding were paid £14.7m in settlement of loans
In August 2016 Gold and Sullivan were repaid £4.2m of their Shareholder loans plus a further £2.2m in interest
A further £10m of interest accrued at 6% was paid back to Gold and Sullivan on 18th August 2017. The interest on the remaining balance has reduced from 7% to 4% in 2017.
On 29th August 2018 a further £4.6m of interest at 4% was paid back to the owners.
On 28th August 2019, a further £2.9m of interest at 4.25% was paid back to the owners.
On 28th August 2018 a company owned by David Gold was paid back £1m of loan capital. Total Interest £19.7m plus another £7.2m of loan capital repaid 2010 debt £125m +
In 2010 West Ham had £110m of debts made up of £55.5m owed to banks £40m owed to other clubs and £20m owed to Sheffield United.
The 2009 accounts were the first to be released under Gold & Sullivan ownership showed £10m owed to a major shareholder
Advance on season ticket sales were £7.7m the first year and £7.25m the second year. The SBOBET sponsorship was believed to be worth £1.2m per year much of which was advanced also. 2019 debt £145m+
£45m owed to Gold and Sullivan
£9.5m owed to Tripp Smith
Transfers payments £87m
Short term bank loan of £39m excluded as paid off each year
West Ham had a net spend of £214.4m on new players over the last four years since move to London Stadium. Source: West Ham accounts and £285m net since 2010. 2015/2016 £42m
2016/2017 £33.6m
2017/2018 £12.1m
2018/2019 £89.5m
2019/2020 £35.7m
Source: Companies House
Agent fees
In 2019/2020 £13,167,647 in agent fees
In 2018/2019 £14,414,845 in agent fees
In 2017/2018 £8,387,694 in agent fees
In 2016/2017 £9,486,397 in agent fees
In 2015/2016 £2,691,331 in agent fees
In 2014/2015 £7,049,001.18 in agent fees
In 2013/2014 £6,380,339 in agent fees
In 2012/2013 £4,169,134 in agent fees
In 2010/2011 £4,436,992 in agent fees
In 2009/2010 £3,419,089 in agent fees
In 2008/2009 £5,527,548 in agent fees
Grand total: £79,130,017.18
Brady pay and bonuses
When David Sullivan and David Gold took over West Ham in 2010 they revealed they were paying Karren Brady out of their own pockets for the first six months.
The West Ham 2011 accounts show the Hammers Vice Chairman was paid £256,000 by the club for the first time.
That package increased to £427,000 in 2012 and then hiked up to a massive £1.634m in 2013 of which £1m was a bonus paid over 5 years for winning the bid to move to the London Stadium.
In 2014 her basic rose by just £2,000 to £636,000 rising by a further £10,000 to £646,000 in 2015.
2016 saw another bid rise to £907,000 before a slight decrease in 2017 to £868,000.
2018 was another bumper year with a base salary of £898,000 plus a consultant fee of £438,000 paid to a company controlled by Brady for introducing Tripp Smith as an investor making her annual total £1.336m.
In the accounts released in 2020 for 2019 her pay is seen to rise from £898,000 to £1.136m, a rise of 27% on last year. £7.85m over eight years
She took a 30% pay cut during COVID lockdown along with David Moyes and CFO Andy Mollet Happy to answer any financial questions on this thread


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Arsenal v West Ham United – All you need to know
[Aaron Cresswell in action against Arsenal]

West Ham United continue their 2020/21 Premier League campaign with their shortest short trip of the season to Arsenal on Saturday evening. The Hammers visited Emirates Stadium as recently as 7 March, when they were unfortunate to end up losing 1-0, despite creating a host of clear chances to score against the Gunners. The game was the last the Irons played before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the temporary halt of football. The fixture will be shown live in the UK by Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League, with coverage starting 15 minutes before kick-off at 7.45pm, and across the world by the Premier League’s international broadcast partners. Both teams will sport the No Room For Racism message on their shirts, and West Ham manager David Moyes has confirmed his players will kneel in support of the Black Lives Matter social justice campaign. Before kick-off, fans will also hear the new Premier League anthem. VAR has also changed, with on-field referees expected to use their pitchside screens far more often, while there are also some alterations to laws around encroachment at penalty kicks. Team news…
[Mark Noble]

David Moyes is hopeful both Mark Noble and Jack Wilshere will be fit and available. Captain Noble missed Tuesday’s Carabao Cup second-round win over Charlton Athletic and sat out Friday’s training session with a toe injury but, following treatment, the manager believes he will be ready for this weekend’s London derby at Emirates Stadium. Meanwhile, Wilshere has had an ankle problem assessed and returned to the training pitch himself on Friday, raising the prospect of him facing the club where he came through the ranks and played over 200 times. The manager also confirmed Robert Snodgrass is not yet fit enough to start in the Premier League after the Scot returned to action for the first time since February in the midweek win over Charlton. Arsenal have a number of confirmed absentees and injury doubts ahead of Saturday’s game. Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka remains a doubt after picking up an ankle injury in the 3-0 win at Fulham last weekend, while defender David Luiz has a neck problem suffered in the Community Shield victory against Liverpool on August 29. Spanish defender Pablo Mari has been sidelined with an ankle injury since March and is still out, while Greek centre-back Sokratis has a calf strain and is also unavailable. Another defender who definitely will not feature is Callum Chambers, who is still recovering from knee surgery. Shkodran Mustafi is yet another defender who is definitely out of Saturday’s game. He has a hamstring injury.

The opposition – Arsenal
Despite those injury problems, and the ongoing saga of Mesut Ozil, Arsenal are enjoying something of a renaissance under Mikel Arteta. The former Gunners midfielder replaced fellow countryman Unai Emery last December and has already won two trophies – the FA Cup and Community Shield. Arsenal have won 18 and lost just six of Arteta’s first 30 games in charge and will now seek to re-establish themselves as a top-four club – a situation that became almost a given during Arsene Wenger’s 20-plus seasons in charge. While Arsenal spent relatively little in the summer, bringing in only Braziilan defender Gabriel from Lille for a sizeable fee, it is perhaps the fact that strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette remained at Emirates Stadium. The north Londoners remain one of English football’s top clubs and with a worldwide fanbase behind them, it would come as no surprise to anyone to see them mount a challenge for a return to the UEFA Champions League come the season’s end. Previous meetings…
[Declan Rice]

West Ham United and Arsenal have met 181 times down the years, if you include war-time fixtures. In the Football League and Premier League, the overall head-to-head stands at played 124, West Ham wins 29, Arsenal wins 61, draws 34. So, in short, the Gunners have had the edge over their London rivals down the years! However, the highest-profile match between the two came in the 1980 FA Cup final, when Trevor Brooking scored the only goal to secure a 1-0 win for John Lyall’s Irons at Wembley. While Arsenal have won more often than not in recent Premier League meetings, doing the double last season, West Ham have had their moments, winning 2-0 at the Emirates in the Premier League in August 2015, and scoring a 1-0 victory over the Gunners at London Stadium in January 2019 courtesy of Declan Rice’s first senior goal. Match officials…
[Michael Oliver]

Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistant Referees: Stuart Burt & Simon Bennett
Fourth Official: Darren England
VAR: Chris Kavanagh
Assistant VAR: Neil Davies
Born in Ashington, Northumberland in February 1985, Michael Oliver has been a member of the Select Group of Referees since August 2010, when he was just 25. Oliver started refereeing in the Northern Premier League from 2003 to 2005 before quickly working his way up through the National League and EFL to reach the Premier League in January 2010. The 35-year-old refereed the 2007 Conference National and 2009 League One Play-Off finals and controlled the 2016 EFL Cup final and 2018 FA Cup final – all at Wembley Stadium. Oliver was appointed to the FIFA List in 2012 and has since refereed competitive and friendly international, UEFA Champions League and Europa League fixtures. He has refereed West Ham United on 25 occasions, including the penultimate game at the Boleyn Ground against Swansea City in May 2016, and most-recently the 1-1 Premier League draw with Aston Villa at London Stadium on the final day of last season.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: David Moyes: Preparing for Arsenal, Mikel Arteta and strengthening the squad

David Moyes says his West Ham United team need only to look at their success in the closing stretch of last season as they prepare for a tough run of Premier League fixtures. The Hammers take on Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, looking to use the positive momentum of their midweek Carabao Cup victory over Charlton Athletic and register their first Premier League points of the new campaign. Moyes watched his team create a host of chances in their narrow, unfortunate, defeat to the Gunners in March, before they took points off Chelsea and Manchester United after the 2019/20 season restart, giving him the belief that they can do it again this weekend. He faced the media in his pre-match press conference on Friday… The morale in the group is really good…
They’re in really good spirits. We know we’ve got a tough game ahead of us, but I’ve got to say we know we can play much better than we did last week and we’re looking forward to doing so. Looking at Arsenal, if you win two trophies in six weeks you’ll be high in confidence. We’ll well aware of that, Mikel Arteta has done a brilliant job in a short space of time and we have to give him a lot of credit for that. My job is to go there and make sure they don’t have an easy ride. We’ll go there to try to win.

[Andriy Yarmolenko scores against Chelsea]
We’ll take confidence from our recent displays against the top sides…
We played well against some of the teams, especially at the end of the season when we showed it. If we show that level of form, energy and commitment we can get results again. Those eight teams might not be the top boys this year, who knows how it’s going to be? We’ve got to aim to be pushing them all the way and I hope in the games we’re able to show it because we did show a lot of good things at Anfield, at Old Trafford and home against Chelsea. We’ll take every game as it comes and we are very aware that we have a tough run of games on the horizon. Arsenal are progressing well under Mikel Arteta, but we can get a result…
I think the biggest thing that Mikel has done is change the system. The other thing is he’s changed the mindset and the attitude of the players at Arsenal. They’re all running, they’re all doing the work for him and he understands that to be a good team you need to have all the attributes – that’s being a good football team and doing the other side as well. We’ve seen Arsenal do that in recent weeks, but they are a new team, they’re in progress and still being built. We need to capitalise on those situations and go there and put on a good show. We did last year, we played really well at Arsenal last year and were really unfortunate not to come away with a draw at least. We’ll try to put on a good performance and get something out of the game.

[David Moyes with Mikel Arteta]

Mikel was always slightly different in his way – he’s come from a good football background and was knowledgeable, but he would tell you himself that it took him time to settle in the Premier League and see exactly how it was. He played for Everton in a really good team, and then went on to play for Arsenal in a really good team. For different reasons, he’s seen both sides of it, at Everton we had to fight and scrap for a lot of results and maybe it was slightly different at Arsenal, but he certainly had really good experience working under Pep [Guardiola], which will give him a really good guide to the early stages of management. I have to say he’s stepped into it really well. The players who came in against Charlton did well…
I thought we went about it really well, the players who played performed well and for a lot of them to get 90 minutes was really important for them too. Robert Snodgrass, for example, that was his first game since February, so he got the best part of 80 minutes. He’s an important member of the squad, but is he ready? Probably not because of the lack of match practice. For a lot of other players who have been doing all the training and playing some of the pre-season games it was important. It wasn’t any more than I expected, but I was really pleased with how we played.

[Robert Snodgrass celebrates a goal against Charlton]
We’re actively trying to strengthen the squad…
I think we’re closer to getting players in. We’re edging towards it. Behind the scenes we’ve had a couple of offers in for different players and we’re waiting on different outcomes, so I’m hoping we might have some news next week at some time. We’re trying to get ones in who will give us good balance to the squad, but we’re also having to think really clearly to get the right ones and make sure we’re doing the right thing. The imbalance in the squad comes where we have fewer defenders to choose from. You have to remember we lost Jeremy Ngakia and Pablo Zabaleta, and Winston Reid left on loan as well, so the numbers in those areas have meant we’re short. We will try to bring defenders in, but we’ll also have the option if I couldn’t get them in that we can use Declan Rice as a defender as well. Maybe I could strengthen in midfield and give the opportunity to free up Declan to play as a defender if I needed to.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Team news: David Moyes shares Noble and Wilshere updates
[Mark Noble]

David Moyes is hopeful both Mark Noble and Jack Wilshere will be fit and available for Saturday’s Premier League fixture at Arsenal. Captain Noble missed Tuesday’s Carabao Cup second-round win over Charlton Athletic and sat out Friday’s training session with a toe injury but, following treatment, the manager believes he will be ready for this weekend’s London derby at Emirates Stadium. Meanwhile, Wilshere has had an ankle problem assessed and returned to the training pitch himself on Friday, raising the prospect of him facing the club where he came through the ranks and played over 200 times. “Mark Noble has got a bit of a toe injury and we just didn’t risk him today in training because we want to see how he is. He took an injection in it, so we’ll see how he is tomorrow and hopefully he’ll be OK,” Moyes said, speaking his virtual pre-match press conference at Rush Green. “Jack had a scan on his ankle on Wednesday. He’s got a little bit of bone growth on his ankle which is causing him irritation. He rolled his ankle and felt it, so that’s why we got it checked, but he’s OK and he’s back out training.”

[Celebrations against Charlton]

Moyes made ten changes from the opening-day Premier League defeat by Newcastle United for the midweek win over Charlton, giving starts to the likes of Andriy Yarmolenko, Manuel Lanzini, Sebastien Haller, Felipe Anderson, Fabian Balbuena, Darren Randolph, Arthur Masuaku and Robert Snodgrass, who made his first appearance since before the lockdown after recovering from injury. When asked how many of the ten could feature from the kick-off at Emirates Stadium, the manager was keeping his cards close to his chest! “Well, I’m not going to answer your question because that would obviously be giving Arsenal and Mikel [Arteta] too much information, so I wouldn’t do that!” he smiled. “I was really pleased with the result against Charlton. I thought the players performed well and we went about it really well and for the majority of them getting the 90 minutes was important as well. “Robert Snodgrass, for example, that was his first game since February, so he got the best part of 80 minutes and he’s an important member of the squad. Is he ready? Probably not because of the lack of match practice. “For a lot of the other players who have been doing all the training and played some pre-season games, it wasn’t any more than I expected, but I was really pleased with how we played.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Michail Antonio: We only need to concentrate on the future
[Michail Antonio]

Few footballers have characteristics quite like those of Michail Antonio – but then, few footballers have experienced a journey to the top of English football quite like that of Michail Antonio. For the Wandsworth-born forward, now a 30-year-old and a modern West Ham United fans’ favourite, his path could have turned out very differently from an early age. “Spurs saw me at school to be fair,” Antonio recalled. “There were a couple of players at my school who were quality. “Spurs came down to one of our games and they scouted me, but obviously with them being in North London and me being in the South-West, my Mum said education would have to come first because the travel was too much. “She said there was no guarantee I’d become a footballer, but I could guarantee myself an education. It was a flat no – I was devastated! But what my Mum said was right.”
Instead, Antonio received his footballing – as well as his curricular – instruction closer to home, plying his formative teenage years with Tooting & Mitcham Juniors. While the teenager’s talents attracted overtures from much larger academies, particularly when he made the successful step into non-league football with Tooting & Mitcham United, Antonio’s focus remained on developing at home.

The only thing I did was literally go straight into games. I learned my trade by playing games Michail Antonio

It was only when the striker joined Championship club Reading as an 18-year-old that his professional pathway resumed a more traditional course up the footballing ladder – albeit one which encompassed spells, via the loan system, at almost every level of English football. But while Antonio might have risen earlier in prominence in his career, the No30 feels his path was perfect for developing the style of football he wanted to play. “It could have been negative for me going into a youth system,” he reasoned. “There are so many players who are in the system, but it can be as hard in it as the way I rose up it. “You’ve got so many players trying to work their way towards a contract for only a few of them to get it. That’s why I feel it’s difficult. “I didn’t really train much because I went straight into a pro contract, went back on loan to Tooting & Mitcham for three months, went back to Reading, played one reserve game, then went on loan to Cheltenham in League One. The only thing I did was literally go straight into games. I learned my trade by playing games.”

[Michail Antonio in training]

The same could have been said for West Ham United’s No30’s transition into a clinical striker; a sudden change in his role after the Premier League restart, followed by the dividends pouring forwards. Eight goals in seven games leading the line in July – including becoming the first ever Hammer to score four times in a single Premier League match – saw him not only fire his team to safety, but also claim the Premier League Player of the Month award. Antonio’s sheer strength of will to be the best he can be, regardless of his new positional surroundings, shone through. “I’ve always got a strong mentality,” Antonio explained. “Whenever I play or whatever team I go to play against, I always say to myself ‘I’m one of the best players here’ because I need to believe that for me to go out there and do what I can. “For me to compete with the players I’ve got around me, I need to believe I’m as good as them, if not better. “It’s always been there. When I was younger, in training I would go to the manager to ask the manager what I needed to learn to be better. On the pitch, I go ‘there’s nothing I need to learn to be better.’ “I get the ball, I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that – I make decisions like that. It’s just that self-belief, knowing I’m going to beat my man – and it works.”

[Michail Antonio]

West Ham United could do with further channelling that self-belief this weekend, as they seek to bounce back from defeat to Newcastle United in the Premier League. The Irons travel to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening, a ground where they dominated proceedings last season and had much the better of the chances, only to slip to an unfortunate late defeat.

We can’t concentrate on what happened last year because it’s gone now. We just need to concentrate on going into the future Michail Antonio

But with Antonio’s tendency to make a name for himself on the most important of occasions, there’s every chance the No30 could rekindle his golden touch in front of goal and spark West Ham’s 2020/21 Premier League season. “I really am enjoying it [playing as a striker] and I’ve been getting goals there,” Antonio reflected. “I did struggle in the beginning because I was used to getting the ball out wide, and having the space to get at people. Now, I’m playing with my back to goal so it makes it more difficult, but I’ve adjusted and I’m used to it now. “Last season’s goals were kind of just something that happened! Hopefully I can carry it on to this season. “We can’t concentrate on what happened last year because it’s gone now. We just need to concentrate on going into the future and what we’re going to do about this year. Our problem isn’t playing the top six teams, it’s playing the teams who are supposed to be around us, the so-called ‘teams we should beat’.”
“When you are underdogs, you’ve got nothing to lose – everyone believes the big boys are going to win. When it could go either way, it’s more pressure, but as professional footballers we need to deal with it. “You’ve got to aim as high as you can.”
It’s been a long road to east London those early days in Wandsworth – but it is in north London on Saturday where Antonio may just showcase the peak of his powers with West Ham United. He surmised: “Everything happens for a reason. “The path I had is exactly why I got to where I am now. I could have done something different and I might not be in the situation I am now, so I’m quite happy with my career. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Dmitri Halajko: Under-23s must learn that the first goal is crucial [Dmitri Halajko]

West Ham United Under-23s suffered a 3-0 loss at Tottenham Hotspur U23s on Monday afternoon, but the end result arguably did not reflect the balance of play in the match. Looking to bounce back from their opening-day defeat to last season’s champions Chelsea, the U23s made a bright start at their hosts’ training ground, almost going ahead inside the opening minutes through Harrison Ashby. The Irons continued to create presentable opportunities but, after conceding from a quick free-kick early in the second half, were twice picked off in the closing stages as they committed bodies forward in search of an equaliser. Lead coach Dmitri Halajko was therefore disappointed to see his side come away empty-handed for the second time this week, despite the numerous positive aspects of his side’s performance. “Disappointing, and a big opportunity missed,” Halajko surmised. “We were dominant in the first half and by far the better team. We missed chance after chance. “I thought the first goal was going to always be important, and if we’d have scored it, I think we would have gone on to be comfortable winners. “On 50 odd minutes or so, Tottenham got that first goal and it gave them the momentum, but up until the point they scored, we were by far the dominant team and should have made our chances count. “When that goal went in, it swung the momentum and they went on to win, so we’re really disappointed with that.”
Halajko’s development squad now have just over a week until their next Premier League 2 fixture, away at Southampton on Saturday 26 September.

They have to learn that when they have spells in the game, when they’re on top and they’re dominant, they have to make that count Dmitri Halajko

Having won promotion from Division 2 so dominantly last season, however, Halajko is hoping his players can learn from the harsh lessons top-flight football can provide to bolster his team’s otherwise encouraging displays. He explained: “Our build-up play and attacking play’s been good. We’ve played Chelsea and Tottenham now and we’ve had more chances than both of them, especially in those first halves. “Scoring that first goal is so crucial and in both games we should’ve done that, haven’t done that, and have really paid the ultimate price for that which is a great lesson for these lads to learn. “They have to learn that when they have spells in the game, when they’re on top and they’re dominant, they have to make that count, otherwise it’s all for nothing. “It’s a good learning opportunity for us, and we need to take it and learn from it pretty fast.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Alfie Lewis: Under-23s will mount a response against Tottenham Hotspur
[Alfie Lewis in action for the first team in their recent pre-season match at Ipswich Town]
Alfie Lewis in action for the first team in their recent pre-season win over Ipswich Town

As a key member of a group of players unaccustomed to defeat in recent times, West Ham United Under-23s midfielder Alfie Lewis is backing his teammates to rally themselves with a positive display at Tottenham Hotspur on Friday. The U23s kicked off their first season back in Premier League 2 Division 1 with an impressive performance at last year’s unbeaten champions Chelsea, only to struggle to apply the killer touch in front of goal. Lewis and his teammates were industrious in the centre of the pitch against much-fancied opposition, hounding and harrying Blue shirts at every turn and helping the Hammers control the game for large periods. The 20-year-old was therefore as frustrated as anybody to see West Ham fall to a late Chelsea winner, but after seeing many of the opposition players run off their feet at the final whistle, he believes the Irons can take great encouragement from their display. The U23s will have the immediate opportunity to put things right when they visit Tottenham Hotspur in their second game of the league season on Friday afternoon. Lewis told whufc.com: “The boys were disappointed on Monday because it was a team effort and we thought we did enough to win the game. “We were all disappointed because they didn’t really get through us, and we had our chances and we didn’t take them, so that’s something for us to improve on. It was a good game and one we know we could’ve got more out of – we were just unlucky not to score. “Even Chelsea, last year’s champions, were knackered from the way we pressed them and kept running. We tried to outrun them, press them and win the ball back early, and we did that and know we have to keep doing it.”
A second London derby in the space of five days is yet another occasion for Dmitri Halajko’s U23s to relish, with Tottenham finishing last season in tenth position.

It doesn’t matter if it’s Chelsea on Monday or Tottenham on Friday, we know that we can go and win games. All the boys know that Alfie Lewis

The Lilywhites’ U23s, managed by experienced coach Wayne Burnett, opened their 2020/21 season with a 1-1 home draw against last season’s surprise package, Brighton & Hove Albion. Lewis, however, has been at the heart of U23s sides who have conquered a number of high-flying sides in recent months, and is confident he and his teammates will fear no-one upon their return to the top-flight of Premier League 2. “I think we know that we can beat any team, and we showed that with our performance – if not the result in the end – against Chelsea,” he continued. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Chelsea on Monday or Tottenham on Friday, we know that we can go and win games. All the boys know that if we play how we know we can play, we’ll get results quickly, looking forwards. “I think we’ll respond positively. We’ll have trained hard and we’ll go into the game confident off the back of our last performance. Hopefully we can start the season properly with a win at Tottenham, and then kick on properly with our season.”
West Ham United Under-23s take on Tottenham Under-23s on Friday 18 September in a behind-closed-doors fixture. Kick-off is at 12noon; you can follow all the action with our live blog on whufc.com from 11.30am.
Please note that all Academy fixtures will be played behind closed doors until further notice. Only key personnel will be admitted on site and matches will be played without supporters present, in line with safety guidelines and social distancing measures still in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: SAT 19 SEPT 2020PREMIER LEAGUE
Arsenal v West Ham United
Venue: Emirates Stadium

[Arsenal forward Alexander Lacazette]Alexander Lacazette scored the first goal of the 2020-21 Premier League season in last week’s 3-0 win at Fulham, which moved him to within a goal of 50 for the club


Arsenal centre-back David Luiz has been passed fit following neck spasms, while Mesut Ozil is under consideration after being left out last weekend against Fulham. Defenders Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis and Pablo Mari are among the absentees.
West Ham captain Mark Noble missed training on Friday with a toe injury and is being monitored.
Ex-Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is a doubt to face his former club because of an ankle problem.
Record signing Sebastian Haller scored twice in the EFL Cup and could be recalled. LAWRO’S PREDICTION
Arsenal have been top of the league all week, which does not mean very much after only one game apart from the confidence you get from knowing you have made a really good start. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s new contract will help build their belief too.
West Ham, on the other hand, were wishy-washy in their defeat by Newcastle and they always seem to be fighting fires off the pitch. Prediction: 2-1
[Aubameyang has contributed to 15 goals in his past 16 PL London derbies – 12 goals and three assists] MATCH FACTS
? Arsenal have won 10 of their past 11 home games against West Ham in all competitions.
? The Hammers have lost 31 Premier League matches versus Arsenal, more than against any other opponent. ? Five of West Ham’s eight Premier League wins in this fixture came away. Arsenal
? Arsenal are unbeaten in nine home league games this calendar year (W7, D2), scoring 21 goals and conceding seven.
? The Gunners have won only three of their past nine season-opening home league games (D1, L5).
? They have won their opening two league fixtures only once in the last 10 campaigns.
? Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored eight goals in six Arsenal appearances in all competitions, including each of the past four games.
? However, Aubameyang has scored just one league goal in five matches against the Hammers.
? Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta scored 27 goals in 174 Premier League appearances for Everton, all under David Moyes. West Ham United
? West Ham’s loss last weekend ended their four-game unbeaten streak (W2, D2).
? They could fail to win either of their opening two league fixtures for a fourth successive campaign.
? The Hammers ended 2019-20 unbeaten in three away league matches (W1, D2), with Michail Antonio scoring six of their seven goals during that run.
? They have not won their opening away league fixture since beating Arsenal in 2015-16 season.
? David Moyes has never won at Arsenal in any competition, drawing four and losing 15 of his 19 visits.
? Mark Noble is one goal short of equalling Paolo Di Canio’s West Ham Premier League club record of 47 goals.


Arsenal v West Ham United
* By Preview Percy * KUMB.com
Filed: Friday, 18th September 2020

We are keeping Preview Percy busy at the moment while there are two games a week to deal with. It keeps him away from the general population. So, despite all appearances to the contrary, his look at Saturday’s trip to Arsenal is sort of a public service really…
Next up it’s off to the library where our hosts will be Arsenal. Kick-off has been shifted to 8pm Saturday evening, Sky being the carrier in the UK. Those of you who have the choice will be able to watch the game either without crowd noise or, if you prefer, without crowd noise.

[Arsenal v Aston Villa: Pre-Season Friendly : News Photo]

They were given a nice soft start to the season with a trip to Craven Cottage where Fulham politely rolled over for them 3-0. They were given a note from their mum that excused them from the 2nd round of the League Cup meaning that their only other “competitive” match to date was the Charity Shield (as I will call it to my dying day) win on penalties over Liverpool in the, ahem, “traditional curtain raiser” to the season, thus cancelling the 10-hour documentary series that the BBC had planned to celebrate Liverpool’s victory.

They brought in four first team players during the window. Probably the most high-profile of these was Willian who came in on an end-of-contract free from Chelsea. Arriving at Arsenal reunited him with erstwhile team-mate, the accident-prone David “Sideshow Bob” Luiz. Daisy, the socially-bubbled personal assistant with the beautiful smile informs me that Willian and Luiz share an agent in the form of the notorious Kia Joorabchian and that Joorabchian’s apparent influence at Arsenal is something that has been causing a raised eyebrow or two. Particularly when the arrival of Southampton’s Cedric Soares, again on a free, is noted.

The Soares deal was a weird one all round. Another Joorabchian player he was not particularly considered to be one of the jewels in Southampton’s crown. Certainly one wouldn’t have linked him with a move to the Library. So it was something of a surprise when he pitched up on loan at the end of the January window, particularly since he arrived carrying a knee injury that would probably have kept him out for the rest of a normal season. Things weren’t helped by his picking up a facial injury in a training ground accident, meaning that he didn’t make his debut until 1 July coming on as a sub to score in a 4-0 defeat of Norwich. By that time of course his contract at Southampton had expired and “Cedric” as he prefers to be known had put pen to paper on a permanent deal.

It was a similar story with the arrival of centre-back Pablo Mari. The Spaniard arrived on loan at the end of January from Brazilian outfit Flamengo and payed in the corresponding fixture last term just before lockdown. He was present at the restart in June appearing in the 3-0 defeat at Man City, a club he had spent three years with without making an appearance. Unfortunately for him he sustained a season-ender of an ankle injury. This didn’t dissuade them from making them from exercising their option to make the deal permanent.

Mari wasn’t the last central defender to arrive this summer. They raided Lille for the services of 22-year-old centre-half Gabriel. The Brazilian has yet to make his full international debut but was due to be included in their Under 23 squad for the Olympics but for some odd reason they don’t appear to have happened this year. You’d have thought they might have said something in the papers wouldn’t you? Gabriel marked his league debut with a goal on Saturday down at the Cottage.

There had been a lot of speculation that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang might have been on his way. Mainly in the papers who have column inches to fill. However, they will have to go find something else to do following the announcement the other day that he had signed a deal worth ?60m over the next few years. Not bad for a 31-year-old. Mind you boy did they milk it. There was a “cryptic” social media campaign lasting half the day apparently before some sort of big reveal.

[Norwich City v Burnley FC – Premier League : News Photo]

Apologies for the lack of detailed info – I was washing my hair at the time. It does make you wonder what spectacular they have planned if they actually sign another player between now and the closing of the window. Even more worrying is the prospect of our owners jumping on the bandwagon by releasing a series of teasing Instagram posts and tweets that when you get to the end of the series reveal that we have put in another undercooked bid for Tarkowski.

And so on to the wild and wacky world of Association Football. We start with sad news that Macclesfield Town have been wound up. In an attempt to stave off the petition – which had been postponed a number of times – the owner turned up with a screenshot of his bank statement which was supposed to act as proof that he had the funds to pay the creditors.

Not unreasonably perhaps, the judge wasn’t over impressed with the concept of a screenshot as proof of funds and pointed out that, even if the money were there and the owner cold account for its provenance, it rather begged the question as to why the club’s creditors hadn’t been paid already. With each passing day I am becoming more convinced that the Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’s tenet concerning the Galactic Presidency should be applied to football club ownership; namely that anybody who actually wants the job should on no account be allowed to have it.

In the League Cup we had penalty shoot-out extremes. Bournemouth and Palace managed to get through 24 “kicks from the penalty mark” as some of my older copies of the laws of the game refer to spot-kicks after drawing 0-0, a rare instance perhaps of a penalty shoot-out taking up more time than the extra time it was designed to replace in this competition. At the other end of the scale Watford finished off Oxford in the shortest possible time, shootout wise when Oxford missed their first three kicks.

Elsewhere, sur le continent, Brazilian defender Hilton struck a blow for the more senior player by starting Montpelier’s 2-1 victory over Lyon. At the age of 43 he became the oldest player to play in Ligue 1 for 64 years. I’m guessing that his second yellow card made him the oldest player to be sent off in similar time. Still the suspension will give him the extra recovery time he will need before his next match.

And so then to us. Well the airwaves are all auzz with newspaper reports that there are interested parties across the pond who have an eye on purchasing the club. If reports are to be believed the septics have put in two “bids” already. Welcome though the prospect of new owners is, I think we need not to get too excited just yet. The concept of a “bid” in paper talk terms is aeons away from the actual tabling of a formal bid in legal terms and, for all of the reports, I would think that the prospective new owners have only just arrived at the beach and aren’t anywhere near dipping a toe into the water just yet.

[Birmingham City’s Chairman David Gold (L : News Photo]

If and when they do get around to pulling on the Speedos, I reckon that the due diligence process will take a while. You might recall that our owners were sued by the new owners at Birmingham City who discovered that certain payments hadn’t been repaid to the club as promised. It took an ?8m lawsuit to get things sorted – things being sorted in an out of court settlement described as “friendly” in a statement believed by few. With that sort of history I’d expect the accountants employed by any prospective purchasers to take their time in going through the books.

On the pitch we are in the happy position of having safely negotiated what is usually referred to as a “potential banana skin” as Charlton were dispatched 3-0. File that performance under “professional”. If I had a bone to pick it might have been that when 2-0 up we seemed content with our lot rather than going for the jugular. However, the visitors gave a good account of themselves, particularly in the early stages of the second half when the sub Aneke bullied Balbuena in a manner that Haller – a man on a hat-trick lest we forget – singularly failed to do to his marker. Good solid performance that was, in truth, the least we should have expected from a team against a third-tier side put together in the midst of a transfer embargo. The sort of game we traditionally come a cropper in so job done, small mercies etc. Hull await in the next round.

In all honesty we learned little from the runout in midweek that will have much bearing on this weekend’s events. Anderson showed the right attitude and maybe he will have earned himself a bit more than the morale-sapping few minutes chasing the game that he got against Newcastle. I don’t think Lanzini did enough for a start, ditto Haller though I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start.

We have made a return to the injury league table. Poor old Jack Wilshere’s ankle went in training. I don’t suppose that he would have been anywhere near the team this weekend anyway. However he won’t have endeared himself to the owners with his comments on the Diangana transfer. Rumour has it that they are keen to have him off the wage bill so it wouldn’t be a major surprise were we never to see him again.

Prediction then. Well I will discount anything to do with the League Cup win as being an influence on this one. Their good performance on the opening day (albeit against Fulham) contrasted sharply with ours against Newcastle. However, for some reason I don’t think we will be as bad this week.

I still can’t quite see us getting anything out of the game – as we have seen already this season, this weekend’s match official doesn’t like to see the status quo disturbed so we will be up against that for a start. However I do have a gut feeling that, much as we did in our last two meetings, we will be the better side only for a couple of silly moments to be our undoing. So Mr Winstone, please accept my screenshot of the ?2.50 in my bank account as payment for a wager on a home win. 2-1 to them and a much improved performance from us.

Enjoy the game!

When last we met at the Library: Lost 1:0 (Premier League March 2020)

Just before lockdown a string of missed chances and misplaced passes proved costly as Lacazette’s late-ish VAR-assisted effort proved decisive. Arsenal ‘keeper Leno gained MOTM plaudits across the board which should give you some idea of what the day was like.

Referee: Michael Oliver

It seems that neither ignorance of the laws of the game nor a deliberate flouting of them is enough to bring about the suspension of certain referees. Which is just as well for this idiot whose sole redeeming feature is that he isn’t Mike Dean. Whereas last week’s ref was famous for giving a goal that didn’t cross the line, this week’s will be forever remembered for not giving one that did. Particularly in Bournemouh.

Danger Man: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Lots of speculation about his future of late. Sadly for us he has just signed a new 3-year deal so it’ll be a good year before he is off.

Percy’s Poser

Last week we dug up the following from the South London news pages

Greenwich residents told to travel to XXXXX XXXXX for COVID-19 testing

Heartiest congratulations to Mrs Petunia Sitting-Comfortably of Herongate for correctly spotting the missing words as being “Rural Wales”. Your free box of swabs is in the post Petunia.

Next it’s to the Islington Gazette we visit. With the pandemic looking like making its second wave you will be pleased o know that the Gazette has found time to keep you up to date with matters artistic, the following headline proving very informative:

Eco art exhibition brings XXXXX, XXXX, a XXX and XXXXX XXXXXX to art space

Good luck one and all!


Jeremy Ngakia opens up on why he left West Ham to leave David Moyes seething

The right back refused to sign a new deal in east London earlier this summer and left to join the Hornets

* Football London
Jeremy Ngakia in action on his Watford debut against Middlesbrough (Image: James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Former West Ham defender Jeremy Ngakia says he made the move to Watford from West Ham earlier this year as he wasn’t guaranteed regular game time in east London. David Moyes was left simmering when the then 19-year-old turned down a new contract in east London and decided to make the move to Hertfordshire having broken through to the Hammers first team under the Scot. Ngakia was in competition with Ryan Fredericks, Pablo Zabaleta and to a lesser extent Ben Johnson for a place in the team last year. An injury to Fredericks during a congested period saw Moyes prefer Ngakia to Zabaleta and Johnson also injured. Moyes handed the teenager his debut at home to Liverpool in January this yar but he had to wait another month before he would make his second appearance in claret and blue, also against Liverpool. But it became clear that Ngakia wasn’t going to pen a new deal during lockdown but Moyes tried one last charm offensive by starting him in the first game back at home to Wolves. But the right back had made his mind up and he was going to leave at the end of his contract in June. Speaking to TalkSport regarding his departure from east London, Ngakia said: “I just thought that at this moment of my career the most important thing for me is to develop, to play games.
Jeremy Ngakia and Pedro Neto react during West Ham’s defeat to Wolves (Image: JUSTIN SETTERFIELD/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“I didn’t think I was going to, honestly, get games at West Ham. Or it didn’t sound or feel guaranteed. “Watford then came in and it sounded good so it was a great opportunity for me. “You’ve got to be brave 100 per cent, and do what’s best for you. “I’m learning a lot, literally every day in training. I am a young player, I have still got a lot to learn but this is what I want. Players around me that I can learn from and it’s great. “You have to have the mindset to want to improve to get to the top, you have to learn every day and learn something new every day.” When Ngakia turned down multiple contract offers from the Hammers, Moyes described the rejection as a “kick in the teeth.” The Hammers boss said back in June: “We are really surprised and disappointed that Jeremy is not going to stay at West Ham. “I feel he is making a mistake choosing not to stay with us. We’ve trusted him in big games and everyone likes him at the club. “I also feel it’s a kick in the teeth for the academy, because they have developed a player for the first team and he’s not going to stay. We’re also really disappointed with his decision not to stay beyond June 30.”

Ngakia started and played 90 minutes of Wattford’s season opener last weekend following their relegation to the Championship as they beat Middlesbrough 1-0.


Felipe Anderson and Sebastien Haller sent message to secure more West Ham minutes

The duo were in good form in midweek but there is no guarantee that will translate to regualr and heavy Premier League gametime

Football London
Felipe Anderson in action against Charlton (Image: Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Felipe Anderson and Sebastien Haller both turned in good performances as West Ham beat Charlton Athletic in the Carabao Cup in midweek but that certainly doesn’t guarantee them any Premier League game time. So says David Moyes anyway after he was asked about the pair on Friday ahead of the weekend’s game against Arsenal when Moyes’ team return to Premier League action. The Hammers’ limp defeat to Newcastle on the opening weekend of the campaign has already seen calls for the manager to make changes. He made ten of them in midweek to see off The Addicks. Haller bagged a second half brace while Anderson netted a late third in the 3-0 victory as the duo found some much needed form after a less than easy 2019/20 season. Haller has lost his place to Michail Antonio in the starting eleven for the top flight while Anderson is being kept out by Pablo Fornals. Both of the players keeping the duo out are not naturals in that position on the pitch. Add to the fact that Anderson and Haller are West Ham’s two most expensive signings in history then it can be viewed as a slight on the Hammers’ transfer recruitment over the last couple of years. Hammers fans are desperate to see Moyes change it up for the visit to the Emirates on Saturday but while not ruling it out, the manager said that he still wants to see more from the two players. I inherited both of them, both had big reputations and I think the games that they have played everybody had the chance to see their performances,” Moyes said. “I’ve got to say the two of them are great to work with, the two of them are really good lads – I like them a lot. Felipe is a terrific lad, so is Seb.
Sebastien Haller of West Ham United battles for possession with Adedeji Oshilaja of Charlton Athletic (Image: Adam Davy – Pool/Getty Images))

“But what I want them to be is terrific players every time they play and I want them to make a difference. They were bought by the club to make a difference, one to be a major goal scorer and one to be a major assist maker. “I think both in midweek showed a little of that but you have to be doing that regularly and you have to be able to show it in the major games. Both have got a bit of competition to get in the team, Micky Antonio played very well at the end of last season. “They [Haller and Antonio] can play together which they did on occasions last season. Seb really only went out of the team because of injury. “Suddenly now we have competition for Felipe’s place, we’re looking for goals and assists from Felipe and to be fair he got a goal in midweek so that was good.”

Anderson enjoyed an excellent first season after being brought to the club by Manuel Pellegrini, scoring ten goals in 40 appearances across all competitions. 2019/20 was much tougher though as Anderson found the net just once all season and that came in Moyes’ first game back in charge at the club. The former club-record signing has been accused of lacking effort when he has been on the pitch as well as generally looking short of confidence after suffering a serious lack of form over the past 12 months. When asked what Anderson needs to do to force his way into the starting eleven, the Scottish manager added: “He knows he has got terrific speed, I am looking for him to show his terrific speed. “I am looking for him to show that he can eliminate players, beat players and then either assist once he has done that or score. “Since I took over I think he scored one in my first game against Bournemouth, after that we ran out goals and assists really. I am on his case to do it, we like him a lot and value him and I hope he can find that form again.”


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Carabao Cup fourth round draw made
[Carabao Cup trophy]

The winners of West Ham United’s Carabao Cup third round tie against Hull City will face a fourth round trip to Fleetwood Town or Everton.
The Hammers take on League One side Hull at London Stadium on Tuesday, after the pair got past Charlton Athletic and Leeds United respectively this week.
The round four draw was made on an either/or basis as the round three fixtures have not yet have been completed. This is to help enable the EFL, Clubs and broadcasters to plan with additional clarity over a busy period of fixtures.
Fourth round ties will be played in the week commencing 28 September and four matches will be broadcast live on Sky Sports from each round, with fixtures that are not scheduled for TV streamed online in the UK on carabaocup.live

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Six foot two, eyes of blue, Billy Bonds is after you.
[Billy Bonds in action]

Veteran Evening Standard reporter and lifelong West Ham United supporter Ken Dyer celebrates the 74th birthday of the great Billy Bonds MBE…

To celebrate 125 years of West Ham United, I’ve been trawling back through the memory banks, the archives, the outstanding matches, moments and players during my time watching and reporting on the club which now plays a mile or so from where I was born.
As he celebrates his 74th birthday, it is my honour to write about a player who began his career at this week’s Carabao Cup visitors Charlton Athletic, but who then moved across the Thames to become one of West Ham’s true greats.
William Arthur Bonds MBE, was born in Woolwich, raised in Eltham and joined Charlton’s ground staff after leaving school, via a few months’ work in a factory making aircraft propellers.
He made his first-team debut for Charlton in February 1965 and went on to make 95 League appearances for the Addicks before joining West Ham for a £47,500 fee in May 1967.
By then, though, Bobby Moore had already played a brief but influential part in the young Billy Bonds’ life, when the pair had met at an awards event.
[Bobby Moore and Billy Bonds]”I played for a Sunday boys team called Moatbridge,” recalled Bill. “And Bobby had been asked to present our medals. I was about 14 at the time but when Bobby turned up he looked like a film star to me.
“I remembered that when I signed for West Ham and played in the same team as Bobby. Amazing!”
Bill soon won over the hearts of Bobby, the rest of the team and the Hammers’ fans, including mine. Whether he was playing as a marauding full-back, in perpetual motion in midfield or later on, a dominating central defender, his style was captivating.
If Bobby Moore, Martin Peters or Sir Trevor Brooking were footballing thoroughbreds, Bill was inspirational in a different way. He would tackle all day in an era when you could – his energy levels were astounding – and most importantly of all, he would never take a backward step.
If you were lining up against Billy Bonds, you knew you were in for a tough afternoon. He was competitive, combative and when the need arose, confrontational.
Crucially, he was a talented, skilful, intelligent footballer. Don’t take my word for it, read the words of his good friend, card-playing partner and roommate for years, Sir Trevor Brooking in his autobiography, My Life In Football.
“I’ve always considered Bill to be the best signing in the club’s history,” wrote Trevor. “We always got on well, enjoying the good times and sharing our worries. If there was ever any disagreement between us it was about what time the light should go out at night when we shared a hotel room. He wanted the light out while I wanted to finish the chapter.
“Even though he was West Ham’s captain for many years, Bill was not a great socialiser and rarely enjoyed talking to the media. He was invariably first out of the dressing room and into his car.”

[Billy Bonds celebrates winning the FA Cup with Alan Taylor and Trevor Brooking]

As a journalist, eager for an after-match quote, I can confirm that observation.
If you wanted to talk to Bill after a match, you had to be quick on your feet and station yourself in the corridor by the Home dressing room almost as soon as the ref blew the final whistle.
I can see him now, hair still wet, striding purposefully towards the exit door. To be fair though, he invariably stopped if you asked him. Always a true gentleman.
As for Bill’s footballing prowess, Sir Trevor has no doubts. “He’s one of the best players never to have won an England cap,” he wrote.
Bill, in fact, had been picked by Ron Greenwood, his former West Ham and then-England manager, in May 1981, only to fracture two ribs when he was rolled on by goalkeeper Phil Parkes in West Ham’s meaningless final game of the season at Sheffield Wednesday.
Bill spent 21 years as a West Ham player, making a record 799 first team appearances, followed by a spell as a coach and four years as manager, finally leaving in 1994.
“He was still playing at 41,” recalled Sir Trevor. “He put the rest of us to shame. A family man who enjoyed country walks, ornithology and Thomas Hardy novels, he became a warrior on the pitch. No-one took liberties with Billy Bonds.
“He was the best captain I played under but very shy off it. The day before the 1980 FA Cup final, we stayed in a hotel in Hendon and the TV cameras were due to film us in the afternoon.
“Just before the TV crew arrived, he said he was going to ‘pop to the betting shop for five minutes’. Three hours later he returned but was horrified to discover that, because of technical problems, the recording had been put back!”

[Billy Bonds at London Stadium]

In recent years I’ve been fortunate enough to keep in touch with Bill and I was at pitch-side when he opened the stand at London Stadium which bears his name.
He had the most important people in his life there that day, his family, as well as the second most important, the West Ham fans.
As the cheers and applause echoed around the stadium, some from those who were never lucky enough to see Bill in action, you could tell just how much it meant to him.
As for myself, I cherish those memories of a Bonzo tackle, an exuberant run, a spectacular goal and – just occasionally, a descending ‘red mist.’ Six foot two, eyes of blue, Billy Bonds is after you.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Premier League statement on safe return of fans
[London Stadium]

The Premier League and its clubs met today to discuss the return of supporters to stadiums.
Safety remains the number one priority and clubs reiterated their commitment to ensuring Premier League stadiums will be among the safest public places, through the effective use of a wide range of mitigation measures. Clubs will adopt a range of common standards, which will help deliver bio-secure, safe environments for fans across the League.
Clubs reaffirmed that the continued loss of matchday revenues is having a significant impact across the League as well as on the football pyramid and local and national economies.
Taking into account the high safety standards which will be set by the Premier League in conjunction with the relevant public authorities, the League and clubs urge Government to remain committed to the 1 October date for the controlled return of fans to sporting venues.


James Tarkowski: West Ham have third bid rejected for Burnley defender West Ham bid £31m, with £25m offered up front

Last Updated: 17/09/20 10:51am


[Burnley defender James Tarkowski has attracted multiple bids from West Ham this summer]
Burnley defender James Tarkowski has attracted multiple bids from West Ham this summer

Burnley have rejected a third bid from West Ham, this time £31m, for defender James Tarkowski. Around £25m was offered up front – an improvement on the second bid of £30m which included around £10m in add-ons. However, it still falls well short of Burnley’s asking price. A £50m release clause believed to be in Tarkowski’s current contract, although that only applies should there be a bid from Manchester City, Manchester United or Liverpool.

The 27-year-old has spent the last four years as a key member of Sean Dyche’s Burnley squad and has forged a formidable partnership with Ben Mee since joining from Brentford in a £3.6m move. And although Leicester have also been heavily linked with a move, Dyche has previously said the club are under no pressure to sell any of their main assets “on the cheap”. Speaking ahead of Burnley’s Carabao Cup second-round tie against Sheffield United, Dyche once again remained adamant on the situation, saying: “We want to keep our players in-house, that’s for sure. With James Tarkowski, I am not planning on anything else other than him being here. “He is a very good player and has delivered for us on a consistent basis over a long period of time. “As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t see why any player would leave here at this moment in time and the numbers are considerable for that to be even considered.”
Burnley boss Sean Dyche expects James Tarkowski to remain at the club, despite West Ham having had two bids for him rejected.


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Premier League issue statement regarding return of fans
[London Stadium]

The Premier League has issued the following joint statement with British Horseracing (BHA), EFL, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Football Association (The FA), Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), Rugby Football League (RFL) and the Rugby Football Union (RFU)…
We are grateful to Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in the United Kingdom, for taking the time to discuss with us the financial impact that COVID-19 is having on the sports sector and issues around the partial return of fans to sports events which is currently under review by the Government. It was a constructive and productive meeting. All of our organisations are committed to public safety.
Today we were able to explain our extensive arrangements for how we can manage a controlled return of fans following all relevant public health guidelines. It is our firm belief that sports fans will be as safe as in other areas of activity currently permitted.
We also reiterated a commitment to continue to give full assistance to the Government with Test and Trace requirements and public health messaging.

We conveyed to the Secretary of State the very serious financial situation now facing our sports, clubs and venues and that we believe we can stage events safely.
It is clear that if fans cannot return soon that there will be very serious economic implications across our sporting sector.
Our sports have already demonstrated through staging fixtures Behind Closed Doors, in Test events and through the return of recreational sport that we can deliver the very highest standards in safety and best practice.
We will continue to engage with the Government in the days ahead and provide any further evidence required.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Wolves and Carabao Cup fixture dates confirmed
[London Stadium]

West Ham United are able to confirm the dates and kick-off times for the home Premier League fixture with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Carabao Cup third-round visit of either Leeds United or Hull City.
The Hammers will welcome Wolves to London Stadium on Sunday 27 September at 7pm for a fixture that will be shown live in the UK by BT Sport and across the world by the Premier League’s international broadcast partners.
Before then, the Irons will host either Premier League new boys Leeds or EFL League One side Hull in the Carabao Cup third round on Tuesday 22 September at 7.30pm.
Both matches will be played without supporters present, in line with Government guidelines and social distancing measures still in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In consultation with all relevant stakeholders, the Premier League is considering appropriate arrangements for matches which will take place after 1 October.
The Premier League is working on a step-by-step approach, while monitoring the developments regarding the League’s number one priority of getting fans back into full stadia as soon as possible, with safety always being the priority.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Robert Snodgrass: I still feel I’ve got so much more to give

Robert Snodgrass is determined to force his way back into David Moyes’ Premier League line-up after making his first West Ham United appearance in six months.
The Scottish midfielder returned to action in Tuesday’s 3-0 Carabao Cup second-round win over Charlton Athletic, having missed the Hammers’ nine post-lockdown matches through injury and been forced to watch his teammates secure the Club’s top-flight status.
With five goals and five assists in 24 Premier League appearances before the enforced break, Snodgrass was in fine form, and the 33-year-old believes he still has plenty to offer.
I’ve done a lot of conditioning work with the medical team and pushing myself to the max to try and get back and push the lads who are playing Robert Snodgrass
“It’s obviously been a hard few months and very disappointing,” he told West Ham TV, referring to his absence. “Last season, I felt my goals and assists to games ratio was very good and I felt I could come back from the lockdown and be fitter, but I probably pushed myself too much and it’s the price you pay sometimes when you push yourself.
“I got a slight back injury and a quad injury and it was something I’d never really experienced before in my career. I had never had anything like that, but I’d done a lot of road running and different things and tried to push myself and I took the gamble to try and come back stronger, so it was disappointing to miss the latter part of the season and watch the lads, who I thought were terrific. [Robert Snodgrass]
“I’ve just been trying to build myself back up and that was my first game in a while. I could have played 90, no problem, as I’ve done a lot of conditioning work with the medical team and pushing myself to the max to try and get back and push the lads who are playing, because I still feel I’ve got so much more to give.
“I’ve got that vast experience and I tried to come back, dust the cobwebs off and put in a good performance, so it was a great result and I felt we could have had six or seven against a good side with a good manager. I think the lads have got to take confidence from that because it was a good performance and one we needed after the Newcastle result.”
West Ham return to Premier League action at Arsenal on Saturday evening – the start of a run of six matches against teams who finished in the top eight last season.
Snodgrass knows points will not come easy, but says manager and fellow countryman David Moyes is doing everything he can to instil confidence and a winning mentality into the squad he inherited in December last year.
“The manager has challenged the players because of how well we finished last season, and why not?” the No11 asked, rhetorically. “You need to demand high standards of yourself and your teammates.
“The manager has been here for probably eight or nine months and he is trying to get his ideas across and getting the lads thinking like a top-half-of-the-table team and we’ve definitely got the ability, but it’s just about the belief.
“It’s about starting the season well. We’ve got some tough games coming up, but the lads finished last season well and got some great results against some great sides, so why not?”


Frustration growing at West Ham over lack of transfer activity as David Moyes tries to recruit

West Ham are desperately trying to strengthen their defence in particular this summer
West Ham manager David Moyes started the season with a defeat to Newcastle (Image: ADAM DAVY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

West Ham have yet to make a new recruit in the transfer market and frustration is growing at the club at the lack of activity as well as with the fanbase, football.london understands. While the Hammers have a very limited budget in which to work with this summer, the club has been actively trying to purchase player to improve the defence especially, having handed manager David Moyes a budget of sorts to work with. The club is still relying on sales to bolster the coffers further.

West Ham sold academy graduate Grady Diangana to West Bromwich Albion for £18million earlier this summer and in the official statement after his departure, said: “The decision to sell Grady has been made reluctantly but – ultimately – in the best interests of the Club and with the aim to strengthen the squad in different areas at this time. “The money received for Grady will be reinvested entirely in the team, in line with the manager’s targets.” ·

The Hammers also got Albian Ajeti, Jordan Hugill and gaffe-prone goalkeeper Roberto off the books before the Diangana sale but struggled to shift the more expensive and sellable assets in Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini and Jack Wilshere. West Ham have been frustrated in their attempts to land Burnley centre back James Tarkwoski and have seen two bids rejected for the centre half. It is believed that Burnley won’t sell for less than the £50million release clause they have on Tarkowski’s head as Moyes ponders entering another bid.
David Moyes of West Ham watches on during the pre-season friendlywin over Brentford (Image: Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United FC via Getty Images))

But sources at the club have told football.london that with only three weeks of the transfer window remaining, there is exasperation at not only how long decisions are taken to be made but at also missing out on prime targets. The club does have money to spend after its summer sales, arguably not enough in the grand scheme of things however.

Moyes is equally frustrated at the transfer window so far. He had previously been given the unwanted nickname “Dithering Dave” as he took his time to make a decision when it came to transfers. Moyes was often spotted at stadiums across Europe during his spells at Everton and also Manchester United checking out players.

When he was first at West Ham having replaced Slaven Bilic, the Hammers boss was spotted watching Tom Cairney during Fulham’s Premier League clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Moyes was also in west London to run the rule over James Maddison when Norwich City were in the Championship and they took on the Blues in a third round FA Cup tie.

Post-lockdown, the manager was spotted at Charlton Athletic and QPR running the rule over Antonee Robinson, Cedric Kipre and Ryan Manning. Moyes also sent Stuart Pearce to watch Leander Dendoncker, then at Anderlecht, to run the rule over him. Moyes eventually pulled the plug on a deal and the midfielder/defender joined Wolves. Moyes is desperate to reinforce his backline that conceded 62 goals last season and conceded two in the Hammers’ Premier League season opener against Newcastle United last weekend. A new centre half and a new left back this summer is top of the priority list this summer but time is fast running out of time to do so.


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Haller’s at the double as Hammers ease into round three
[Sebastien Haller celebrates scoring against Charlton]

West Ham United 3-0 Charlton Athletic
Carabao Cup Round Two
West Ham United booked a home Carabao Cup third round tie against Leeds United or Hull City by defeating Charlton Athletic 3-0 on Tuesday night.
The Hammers had too much for their League One opponents, with Sebastien Haller’s quickfire double before the break giving them a commanding position they never seemed likely to relinquish.
Charlton kept the hosts honest, with Jonny Williams and Chuks Aneke bringing saves from Darren Randolph, but West Ham were in control and wrapped up the content with Felipe Anderson’s third goal ten minutes from the end.
The Hammers were much-changed from their Premier League opener against Newcastle United, with only Issa Diop remaining from that XI, but manager David Moyes was still able to call upon a wealth of experience.
The hosts began on the front foot and had an eleventh minute goal disallowed when referee Andre Marriner adjudged Addicks keeper Ben Amos to have the ball under his control before Andriy Yarmolenko scrambled it home.
Seven minutes later, Haller dragged a shot wide when well-placed after good work from Ben Johnson down the right set up the chance.
No matter, as Haller struck from his next two chances to put the Hammers in the driving seat.
First, with 22 minutes on the clock, he nudged home from close range after Yarmolenko timed his run to perfection, allowing him to beat the offside trap and run onto Josh Cullen’s clipped pass in behind to lay across from the Frenchman.
Then, four minutes later, Haller used his strength in the air to meet Robert Snodgrass’ left-footed cross with a towering header back across Amos’ dive and into the far corner.
Williams tested Randolph with a fiercely-struck shot from outside the box with 31 minutes played, while the Hammers keeper had to save from Chuks Aneke and Williams again at the start of the second period.
That flurry just after half-time reminded the hosts that the job wasn’t yet finished, and they went in search of the third that would kill the game off once and for all.
Yarmolenko went close to finding in when he knocked wide when under pressure on his left foot, and Felipe Anderson went one better ten minutes from time to seal his team’s place in round three.
Manuel Lanzini was the goal’s architect, standing his man up inside the box before laying off for the Brazilian to stroke home from 15 yards.
Moyes gave Academy defender Harrison Ashby a debut from the bench in the closing stages, with another youngster Conor Coventry, joining him on the pitch as the Hammers were able to celebrate a job well done.
West Ham United: Randolph, Johnson (Ashby 84), Balbuena, Diop, Masuaku, Snodgrass (Coventry 84), Cullen, Lanzini, Yarmolenko, Haller, Felipe Anderson Subs: Martin, Alese, Fornals, Bowen, Xande Silva
Goals: Haller 22, 26, Felipe Anderson 80
Booked: Masuaku, Johnson
Charlton Athletic: Amos, Lapslie, Barker, Oshilaja, Purrington, Oztumer, Pratley (Gilbey 77), Levitt, Doughty, Williams (Washington 77), Bonne (Aneke 46) Subs: Maynard-Brewer, Vennings, Morgan, Forster-Caskey
Referee: Andre Marriner

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: David Moyes satisfied with West Ham’s professional Carabao Cup performance

West Ham United manager David Moyes hailed a professional performance from his side as they booked their place in the Carabao Cup third round with a 3-0 victory over Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night.
Sebastien Haller’s first half double put the home side firmly in command at London Stadium before Felipe Anderson added some late gloss to the scoreline and gave his side the comfort their display merited.
The Hammers ensured they would face Leeds United or Hull City in the next round next week and Moyes was pleased to make progress in a competition he wants to taste success in. He spoke to West Ham TV at the final whistle…
David, in a cup competition the most important thing is to be in the hat for next round, and it was a good professional performance tonight…
“We want to get through and do the best we can. We want to progress in the cups and we’ve also got to be careful that we’re not risking too many of our top players, especially with the level of the Premier League games and the standard you’ve got to play at.
“We’ve got to keep them fit and ready for them, but also we’ve put out a strong enough team tonight to get ourselves through in the cup.”
You said you wanted to give players the opportunity to impress you and force their way into that Premier League team. The way we played tonight, and with some of the interplay, you can see the depth we’ve got in this squad. We’ve got some real talent here…
“We’ve got players who can play and we’re trying to squeeze it so they give it to us all the time. We’re demanding more of them, but look, we’ve got some really talented players. Tonight, some of them did well.”
Whatever level it’s at and whoever the opposition is, strikers thrive off scoring goals and Seb Haller took those two well…
“He got two and tonight we’ve won 3-0, but I think we could have won by double that. It was great that Seb scored a couple of goals, it really is, because we need our forward players to be feeling confident about it. The two goals tonight I’m sure will help him.”

[Sebastien Haller celebrates his goal against Charlton]

You went and watched the U21s in the EFL Trophy at Southend last week and Harrison Ashby caught your eye. He’s got on tonight at the age of 18, and even in the five or six minutes he got on the pitch you could see why he caught your eye…
“Yes, I’ve quite enjoyed his performances when I’ve seen him for the U23s and U21s. It was the same when we just came in, in January, and we saw Jeremy Ngakia playing for the U23s and we thought if we had a problem his opportunity could come. We weren’t sure he was going to get a chance because he had the likes of Ryan Fredericks, Ben Johnson and Pablo Zabaleta there, but with injuries and suspensions he got the opportunity.
“It showed that when the young players get their chance they’ve got to try and take it and be ready for it.”
Without getting ahead of ourselves, we’ve got another home tie next week and if things turn out right we could be in the quarter-finals by October. You’ve been to the semis of this competition, you’ve been to an FA Cup final, so to get a trophy would be the crowning glory, wouldn’t it?
“It would. As I said, every cup competition you go into you want to win, I do anyway, because there’s not that many to fight for. I think there’s also something about the Premier League games being so tough, so competitive and staying in the Premier League is very important. But nobody would take me away from trying to win a cup, it doesn’t matter what cup it is. We’ll do that, but we also have to be mindful about the squad, the people we’ve got, and thankfully tonight the majority were all fit.
“Jack Wilshere rolled his ankle in training yesterday and he was the only one who wasn’t available to play tonight.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Harrison Ashby: My West Ham debut was the best night of my life by far!

Harrison Ashby was brimming with pride after making his first-team debut for West Ham United in Wednesday’s 3-0 Carabao Cup second-round win over Charlton Athletic.
The 18-year-old right-back caught the eye of manager David Moyes in action for the Hammers’ development side in Premier League 2 and the EFL Trophy.
And his reward was a substitute appearance at London Stadium, where he helped the Irons see out a comfortable victory and could even have recorded an assist with his very first touch, only for his dangerous cross to flash across the face of the Charlton goal.
The manager is putting his trust in young players which is obviously very good for myself Harrison Ashby
“It feels unreal, to be honest,” the Scotland U19 international told West Ham TV. “I know there aren’t any fans here, but the feeling of just going on the pitch was just unreal. It was so good!
“It’s nice just coming on and keeping it steady and feeling confident. I just hope I can keep doing what I’m doing and break into the squad.
“I don’t know if I should have shot or not with my first touch, but I’ll have a look on the video! You’ve just got to put the ball in an area and hope someone is there. “It’s the best night of my life by far! One hundred per cent!”

[Harrison Ashby]

Unfortunately, COVID-19 restrictions meant his parents and the West Ham supporters were unable to attend and witness his big moment, so Ashby is hoping Tuesday’s debut was just the start of a long and successful career in Claret and Blue.
“It will be unreal when the fans are back in and hopefully I can get another game and my parents can be here to watch,” he confirmed. “They’ve been pushing me ever since I was young, taking me from school and sitting in traffic for two hours [on the way to training], then getting home at eleven o’clock at night and doing the same thing every day, so it would be nice to do them proud.”
Ashby, who has made just six appearances at development level – four in Premier League 2 Division 2 and two in the EFL Trophy – has been with the Academy of Football since the age of nine, and is hugely grateful for the coaching, advice and support he has received throughout his young career.
“I want to thank Dmitri Halajko and Steve Potts for putting their trust in me to come in the 23s, Kevin Keen and especially Mark Phillips who has been pushing me since I was 15,” he said. “All of them have pushed me as hard as they can and it’s paid off.
“The manager is putting his trust in young players which is obviously very good for myself and other players around the team and it’s nice going with the first team and them welcoming you really well. It’s a good environment to be in.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: West Ham United women’s September internationals: All you need to know [Kenza Dali in action for France]

The first international break of the 2020/21 season has arrived, with a handful of West Ham United women’s players jetting off to represent their respective countries. Read on for who is playing for which nation, when and where… Who is playing?
Five West Ham United players have been selected for international matches over the next week, as each looks to help their respective nation qualify for the 2021 UEFA Women’s Championship next summer.
Leanne Kiernan and Courtney Brosnan have once again been called up for Republic of Ireland duty. The duo will be hoping to be in action when Ireland take on Germany on Saturday in Group I action.
Ireland currently sit at the top of the group, having played one game more than Saturday’s opponents.

[Republic of Ireland]

Alisha Lehmann and her Switzerland teammates will be hoping to end the international break top of Group H. The Hammers No7 and her colleagues play Croatia away on Friday before a top-of-the-table clash with Belgium next Tuesday.
Both Switzerland and Belgium have won all four of their matches played so far in Euro 2021 Qualifying.
Kenza Dali is set for international action with France. The midfielder and her teammates sit third in Group G, on six points, but have only played two qualifying matches so far, while the rest of the teams in their pack have played at least four.
France are in action against second-placed Serbia on Friday evening before travelling to play North Macedonia on Tuesday. [Alisha Lehmann]
Finally, summer signing Katerina Svitkova links up with the Czech Republic for Euro 2021 Qualifying. They sit third in Group D, with two wins and a defeat from three matches, and face a double-header against early-group leaders Poland.
The home clash will be played on Friday before Svitkova and her colleagues visit Poland on Tuesday. Anything else?
As the chosen hosts for Euro 2021, England have automatically qualified for next summer’s tournament and, as such are not involved in the qualification process.
Instead, Phil Neville’s Lionesses will be undertaking a training camp at St George’s Park, which will feature West Ham’s Grace Fisk and loaned forward Rachel Daly.
It will mark the first time England Lionesses have met since participating in the SheBelieves Tournament in March. Matches in full
Friday 18 September
Alisha Lehmann – Croatia v Switzerland – UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 Qualifying, Group H – ŠRC Zaprešić – 4:30pm KO
Katerina Svitkova – Czech Republic v Poland – UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 Qualifying, Group D – Letní stadion Chomutov – 5:15pm KO
Kenza Dali – Serbia v France – UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 Qualifying, Group G – Subotica City Stadium – 8pm KO

Saturday 19 September
Leanne Kiernan & Courtney Brosnan – Germany v Republic of Ireland – UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 Qualifying, Group I – Stadion Essen – 1pm KO

Tuesday 22 September
Katerina Svitkova – Poland v Czech Republic – UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 Qualifying, Group D – Stadion Miejski – 5pm KO
Alisha Lehmann – Switzerland v Belgium – UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 Qualifying, Group H – Stockhorn Arena – 6pm KO
Kenza Dali – North Macedonia v France – UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 Qualifying, Group G – Philip II Arena – 8pm KO

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Joint-Chairmen congratulate Rice on record Premier League milestone [Declan Rice]

Declan Rice became the youngest West Ham United player to reach 100 Premier League appearances when he faced Newcastle United on Saturday evening, at the age of just 21 years and 242 days. Here Joint-Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold pay tribute to the young Hammers and England midfielder via whufc.com…
“On behalf of everyone at the Club, we would like to congratulate Declan on becoming the youngest player to make 100 Premier League appearances for West Ham United – a magnificent achievement. “Since making his debut at Burnley back in May 2017 at the age of just 18, Declan has enjoyed a tremendous rise to prominence and now established himself as a vital member of our team and the England national side. “To play every single minute of the Premier League campaign in 2019/20 was another outstanding feat, leading to him deservedly winning the Hammer of the Year award, and the fact that he has already captained the side at the age of 21 illustrates his leadership qualities. “His progress and success so far is testament to Declan’s character and ability, along with the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes to support his development, both in our Academy and at first-team level. “Everyone here is very proud of him and he epitomises everything that this great football club stands for.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: A message from manager David Moyes
[David Moyes]

A message from West Ham United manager David Moyes ahead of Tuesday’s Carabao Cup second-round tie with Charlton Athletic…

We will do everything we can to progress in the Carabao Cup, a competition which will advance and reach the latter stages quickly due to the opening rounds being played in the early weeks of this season. I’ve always tried to win every cup in which my club has been entered. Ultimately though, the Premier League will always be a priority for every member club because of the finances it generates, particularly during these times made more uncertain by the presence of COVID-19. Tonight’s game will provide me with a chance to give some players an opportunity to show me what they can do. I have always believed throughout my managerial career that success in any competition is a good thing. It’s only a short trip for Charlton Athletic tonight and the two clubs have had other close ties over the years, with the Addicks even playing at the Boleyn Ground for a while in the early 1990s before their return to The Valley. I’d like to welcome to Lee Bowyer, his staff and players to London Stadium this evening. The constricted nature of this season means the games come thick and fast early on but Lee and his players will be well aware of that, having played in what is a demanding Championship last season, and I wish them every success in their bid to bounce back. I know from talking to Josh Cullen, how much he enjoyed his time at Charlton following his loan period and they will provide us with tough opposition tonight. I thought they were extremely unlucky to be relegated on the final day of last season but, despite that disappointment, I know how hard Lee is working at a club where he started out as a young player before going on to enjoy a fantastic career. Tonight’s tie presents the incentive of another home draw in the third round but the downside is that, once again, you won’t be able to join us. We hope that will change at some stage in the not too distant future because, believe me, we are missing you and looking forward to your return as soon as possible. Enjoy the game.
David Moyes

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Josh Cullen: Charlton Athletic, Lee Bowyer, Ireland and West Ham ambitions [Josh Cullen in pre-season action]

It is hard to believe Josh Cullen is 24.
With his baby-face, neat haircut and diminutive stature, Cullen looks much younger, but after joining the Club at the age of nine, the midfielder has been in and around West Ham United’s first-team squad for over half a decade. Named in his first Premier League squad at Arsenal in March 2015, Cullen made his debut in the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round win over Lusitanos of Andorra four months later at a sold-out Boleyn Ground, aged 19. After making his first start in the return leg, the Academy of Football graduate was handed his Premier League bow as a substitute in the historic 3-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield five years ago. However, with competition for places fierce under Slaven Bilic, Cullen was loaned to Bradford City in February 2016. After renewing the arrangement for the following season, the youngster shone, helping the Bantams to reach the League One Play-Off final. Having excelled in League One, Cullen spent the first half of the 2017/18 season with Bolton Wanderers in the Championship, before returning to West Ham in January 2018 to feature in the FA Cup third round under David Moyes, famously playing on after having a tooth kicked out of his mouth at Shrewsbury Town. With first-team football still hard to come by in east London following the arrival of Manuel Pellegrini, Cullen opted to go out on loan again, joining tonight’s visitors Charlton Athletic in the summer of 2018. In two seasons at The Valley, the central midfielder became an integral member of former Hammer Lee Bowyer’s team, providing the cross which led to Patrick Bauer’s last-minute winner against Sunderland in the 2019 League One Play-Off final. At the same time, Cullen’s form saw him come to the attention of the Republic of Ireland, captaining his country at U21 level before making his senior international debut in a 3-1 win over Bulgaria in September last year. Now back with his boyhood club, he is eager to prove that it is not too late to make a career in Claret and Blue, starting with a Carabao Cup second-round tie against the team he represented over the previous two seasons.

I’m delighted to be here. Like I’ve always said all along, through all the loans, the end goal is to be at West Ham.
I’m 24 now so it’s time to make it happen. It’s been a different pre-season, a shorter one than normal, but I’ve loved every minute of it under the gaffer. Having worked under him and his staff during his first spell here, to come back and work under him again, I’ve loved it. Being back in and around the lads, who I really get on well with, it’s been a pleasure, so hopefully I can stamp my mark on things now and try to be a regular feature in the squad and make as many appearances as I can. [Josh Cullen in action against Lusitans in July 2015]

Everyone’s journey is different.
I think sometimes people think that I’m 24, and if I was good enough I’d be playing by now, but you see teams buy players who are 25 or 26 from the Championship, so I don’t see the difference between that and me going there and getting experience and getting games. I could have stayed around at West Ham, but I wanted to go out on loan and get games, develop myself and improve myself and become a better player so when I do eventually get the chance here and I’m lucky enough to break in and get some games, then I’m the best player I possibly can be here, and I’m a better player for having gone out and playing those games. The old saying is that ‘age is just a number’, but I’m 24 now and I’m feeling as good as I ever have and I’m good to crack on.

[Josh Cullen in action on his Ireland debut]

We just had an international break and it’s 100 per cent my aim to get back into the Republic of Ireland squad.
You want to be in every squad for your country and it’s been unbelievable being in every squad for the last year and going through that European Championship qualifying campaign with the lads. With the COVID situation, the Euros have been pushed back a year so it’s down to me to work hard, play games and impress and get back into the squad under the new manager, Stephen Kenny, who I played under for the Under-21s. That’s what I’m looking to do and hopefully it won’t be long until I have that green jersey back on again.

I can’t remember what I was doing when the draw for tonight’s tie was made, but our Head of Player Care Hugo Scheckter text me saying ‘It’s the Josh Cullen Cup!’ or something along those lines.
You seem to see funny draws come up in football and it’s one of those! It’ll be good to see everyone as I had two good seasons at Charlton but hopefully, on the night, we’ll be going out to beat them and get ourselves through to the next round. It’s a local derby and it would have been great to have had the fans in because they are two unbelievable sets of fans and I’m sure the players would have loved it but in the times that we’re in, with the virus, everyone’s safety has to come first and rightly so. Hopefully we can draw them again before too long and can have the fans in.

There has been a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes at Charlton, to say the least, that people don’t really know about.
To be fair, credit has to go to the manager Lee Bowyer, the players and the staff, for how well they have cracked on over the last couple of seasons. I can’t speak highly enough of the club. It just deserves to be run properly by someone who has the best interests of the club at heart. For me, Charlton are one of the sleeping giants of English football. They have been a Premier League team in the past and definitely deserve to climb back up the ladder of the Football League and push to get back to the Prem. To be honest, I don’t think many people know what is going on there. For the fans, the players and staff at Charlton, I hope it is all sorted out soon. [Charlton manager Lee Bowyer]

Lee Bowyer is someone who knows both clubs well, having played for West Ham and Charlton, and he’s done an unbelievable job since becoming manager at The Valley.
He took over in his first managerial during the 2017/18 season and got the team to finish in the League One Play-Offs, but they came up just short. Then, in his first full season as a manager, he got us promoted when, at the start of 2018/19, not many people we giving Charlton a chance of coming up. When you take into consideration all the stuff that’s happened behind the scenes, and what he had to deal with, like embargoes and not being able to sign players, he’s done an unbelievable job. Bow is a great manager and I really enjoyed playing under him. I think everyone associated with Charlton really appreciate the job he’s doing.
Playing for Charlton at Wembley and setting up the winning goal in the last minute of the 2019 League One Play-Off final was one of the highlights of my career.
Making my West Ham debut, my Premier League debut and my full international debut for the Republic of Ireland were all obviously great in different ways, but they were all moments you built up to, whereas that was a moment of sheer elation out of nowhere. To score the winner with six seconds to go, you couldn’t have picked a better moment to score, and all the emotions went flooding through me – delight and relief at achieving what we set out to at the end of a long, long season. That feeling was incredible. Putting that cross in and seeing the ball go in is a moment I’ll never forget.

[Celebrating victory in the League One Play-Off final]

I’ve said many times before that I can’t thank everyone at Charlton enough for the way they welcomed me into the club.
I loved my two years there and it was a shame the way it ended last season with relegation from the Championship on the final day. It would have put the icing on the cake of two fantastic years if we could have managed to stay up, but it wasn’t to be. Charlton has played a massive part in my development as a player and as a person and hopefully that two years of learning every day under a good manager and staff has made me a better player coming back to West Ham and hopefully earning my place as a regular fixture around the first-team squad here. Massive thanks to everyone at Charlton for everything they did for me during my two seasons there.

[Macauley Bonne celebrates scoring]
Charlton have got some very talented players in their squad, even if a number of senior lads have left since the end of last season.
Macauley Bonne (pictured) came in and did well for us last season, especially when we lost Lyle Taylor to a knee injury in the early part of the season. It was a bit like ‘Can Mac step up?’ and he did unbelievable for us. I don’t know how many goals he scored but he led the line well and is a good finisher. Alfie Doughty is another one. He’s a left wing-back with lots of pace. He’s a direct player and is still only 20 or 21 so he’s a good young talent. I’ve got to give a shout out to goalkeeper Dillon Phillips who was our Player of the Year last season. When you’re down fighting relegation, you need your goalkeeper to stand up and he’s another young player who has got a long and bright future ahead of him the game. We’ll definitely have to be ready for a stiff challenge as they have players who can hurt us. I’m a West Ham fan myself and I know how much we all want a long cup run!
The Carabao Cup ties come thick and fast this month and you can find yourself in a quarter-final by October if you win your games. A club the size of West Ham should be going into competitions trying to win things. We want to win every game and we’ll be hoping we can do that in the Carabao Cup and go as far as we can. As a player, you want to win things and we’ll be giving everything we can. It’s been a long time, so why not go on and win something?

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Joseph Anang: Under-23s will bounce back from defeat
[Joseph Anang]

The taste of defeat is not one West Ham United Under-23s have had to experience too frequently in recent months, but goalkeeper Joseph Anang wants to channel Monday afternoon’s loss at Chelsea towards a more efficient next performance. The Irons suffered their first Premier League 2 defeat in almost 18 months against title-winners Chelsea on Monday afternoon, losing 1-0 late on at Kingsmeadow. Having put in a performance of hard graft and, for long spells, good quality on the ball, West Ham were ultimately made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal when substitute Dion Rankine broke their lines to slot past Anang with just under 15 minutes remaining. Yet while West Ham enjoyed plenty of chances – particularly as they poured forwards in search of an equaliser – it was only thanks to some heroics from Anang that Chelsea’s breakthrough only came so late on. Having saved a penalty in the 3-1 win over Southend United last week, the England U20 international made a series of fine stops at the beginning of the second half against Chelsea, the best of which saw him turn Tino Livramento’s curling effort onto his far post. Speaking after the game, Anang was frustrated that his team couldn’t capitalise on their own spells of domination, challenging his teammates to make an immediate recovery at Tottenham on Friday afternoon. “Obviously as a keeper, my job is to just protect the goal – I was just doing my job really,” Anang told whufc.com. “That’s why I’m there. I think I did alright today, but I want to move on now. “To be honest, I feel frustrated because we had a couple of chances in the first half and the boys did well, we just didn’t take them. In the second half, we had three or four chances where we should have at least scored one or two. “We just didn’t on this occasion, so maybe today wasn’t our day. That’s the game. You win some, you lose some. We’ll just go back to the training ground, work hard and move on. That’s all we can do.”
The match-up at Kingsmeadow was West Ham’s first Premier League 2 Division 1 game of the season, having won promotion from Division 2 last year. Coming away at last season’s champions Chelsea, it could have been considered an acid test for the Hammers’ top-flight credentials ahead of the upcoming remaining games.

In this game, it’s not always about playing well – it’s about scoring goals, so if you don’t, you can’t win. If we go to Spurs on Friday and take our chances we’ll get three points Joseph Anang

That West Ham pushed Chelsea all the way, therefore, speaks volumes about the talent within the squad – and Anang just wants to see one final element added to his team’s performance against Spurs on Friday. He declared: “If we can take our chances on Friday, we can get a result. “In this game, it’s not always about playing well – it’s about scoring goals, so if you don’t, you can’t win. If we go to Spurs on Friday and take our chances we’ll get three points or at least a draw out of it. “We need to keep working very hard, and see what happens.”
West Ham United Under-23s’ next Premier League 2 match is away at Tottenham Hotspur Under-23s on Friday 18 September in a behind-closed-doors fixture. Kick-off is at noon; you can follow all the action with our live blog on whufc.com from 11am. Please note that all Academy fixtures will be played behind closed doors until further notice. Only key personnel will be admitted on site and matches will be played without supporters present, in line with safety guidelines and social distancing measures still in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Exclusive: Hammers legend bemoans Diangana sale · By Staff Writer
Tuesday, 15th September 2020

West Ham United’s former Academy Director Tony Carr has revealed he was disappointed to see the club sell former pupil Grady Diangana to West Bromwich Albion. However Carr, who celebrated his 70th birthday earlier this month reluctantly admitted that it was a sacrifice worth making if West Ham can utilise the funds to strengthen David Moyes’ squad in other areas. Carr, who is currently working for the Premier League having left West Ham in 2016 after nearly 50 years at the club told KUMB: “Purely from a fans’ point of view – and from my point of view, looking at it from the outside – it’s disappointing to sell another young player. “But it is a good figure and the priority for West Ham at the moment is defenders, becasue we just can’t keep a clean sheet. “We needed that cash intake to buy the defender or defenders that we need and the players that we perhaps want to sell, the players who have been in-and-out and have cost a lot, they haven’t been able to sell as there’ve been no takers.”

And Carr believes that David Moyes needs to sign up to THREE defenders in order to plug what he believes are gapoing holes in the club’s squad. “I think we need two centre backs and a left back,” he added. “I think we’re ok at right back. “That’s no disrespect to the guys who are there but when you’re the manager of the team, you live and die by results. Until we can stop crosses going in, defend crosses better and defend a little bit higher up the pitch, with a bit of confidence “That would be my wish list but I don’t think we’re going to get that. To get three quality defenders is going to cost you up to ?150million, probably, if you’re going to go for the very best – and we’re not going to do that. “So we’re going to have to rely on the players the club has watched over the months and take a punt on someone.”

* You may watch our full interview with Tony Carr – in which he also discusses the manner of his departure from West Ham, the infamous Mark Noble tweet, his views on the Olympic Stadium and rumours of a takeover below.


American consortium planning stadium move · By Staff Writer
Monday, 14th September 2020

The American consortium preparing to make a bid for ownership of West Ham United have investigated the possibility of moving the club to a new purpose-built stadium. It has been claimed co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold have already rejected a bid from a mystery US-based group worth, reported elsewhere to be in the region of £350million, but expect a fresh, renewed offer imminently. And while the bidders have been informed the club is not currently for sale, it remains to be seen how much resistance the current owners will continue to offer should a considerably-higher bid be presented to them. While many supporters would welcome a takeover, with the relationship between the current owners, vice chair Karren Brady and the fanbase having become increasingly toxic, West Ham’s tenancy of the London Olympic Stadium was viewed to be an insurmountable problem. Yet KUMB understand the bidders, who are already involved in the world of sport, share fans’ dislike of the stadium and have already investigated the possibility of building a new, purpose-built arena for the club – with a similar capacity to Stratford – with development to potentially commence within 24 months of a takeover. Sullivan and Gold paid in the region of £30million for their initial stake in the club a decade ago and are understood to be reticent to give up their stake in West Ham for a second time having originally owned shares in the 1990s.
But rather than completing a full takeover, the American consortium are believed to be considering securing a majority shareholding giving them a controlling share while allowing Sullivan and Gold to remain on the board as minority stakeholders. Such an arrangement would also allow the current owners to avoid financial penalties due to them under the terms of the stadium lease agreement should they sell the club before 2023. The club’s current American shareholder, Tripp Smith who owns 10 per cent of the club, is not thought to be involved in the bidding process. West Ham are yet to move in the transfer market with no new arrivals since Tomas Soucek signed on a permanent basis two days before the end of the 2019/20 campaign back in July. Meanwhile the club’s owners were lambasted by the fanbase after agreeing to sell Academy graduate Grady Diangana to Premier League newcomers West Bromwich Albion in August, despite promising the proceeds would be made available to David Moyes in order to strengthen his squad.


American consortium to step up efforts to buy West Ham after first bid rejected · Opening offer of £350m was rejected last month
· Owners David Sullivan and David Gold unpopular with fans

Jacob Steinberg @JacobSteinberg

Mon 14 Sep 2020 22.30 BSTLast modified on Tue 15 Sep 2020 11.04 BST

[West Ham’s co-owners, David Sullivan and David Gold, watch their club’s defeat against Newcastle.]
West Ham’s co-owners, David Sullivan (top right) and David Gold (centre), watch their club’s 2-0 home defeat by Newcastle. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

An American consortium proposing a takeover of West Ham is preparing an improved offer for the club after its opening bid of £350m was rejected last month.

David Gold and David Sullivan, who bought the club in 2010, have seen their standing with supporters plummet since the move to the London Stadium in 2016 and tensions were further inflamed following Grady Diangana’s £18m sale to West Brom this month.

The relationship between the board and supporters has deteriorated since West Ham left Upton Park, promising that moving to a new home with a 60,000 capacity would help the club to challenge English football’s elite. Gold, Sullivan and Karren Brady, the vice-chair, faced furious protests during a home game against Burnley in 2018 and supporter groups staged anti-board demonstrations this year. The feeling against the trio is strong.

It is understood the would-be buyers, who are involved in US sport, lodged a bid in the first week of August. Their valuation was based on the proposed £300m takeover of Newcastle by a Saudi Arabian consortium, plus an extra £50m because of West Ham’s London location. The offer was rebuffed by Sullivan, who owns a majority shareholding of 51.5%. The 71-year-old does not want to give up control. London Stadium sources question the strength of the group’s interest and pointed out that Premier League clubs receive inquiries on a regular basis.

While the bidders were told in strong terms that West Ham are not for sale, Sullivan did raise the possibility of them buying a minority stake. But the consortium wants to buy the club outright and will only consider a partial sale in return for a controlling interest.
[https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/29c54195c5d3f9e0f620927ed188b63a7b480174/0_156_2968_1781/master/2968.jpg?width=460&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=46d6abf489b39b6f44cdd1bcc725a528] Mark Noble’s Diangana outburst shows West Ham solidarity, says David Moyes

Sullivan is the most powerful figure at West Ham, who narrowly avoided relegation last season. Gold, who owns 35.1%, has far less influence. It is understood that Tripp Smith, an American investor who owns 10% of the club, is not involved in the bid.

A fresh bid is expected in the next month, although one complication is the deal under which West Ham moved to the London Stadium includes an agreement that Sullivan and Gold will have to pay financial penalties to the taxpayer if the club are sold before March 2023. The bidders aim to reach a figure large enough to soften that blow.

West Ham’s finances have been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. The owners arranged a rights issue to raise £30m during lockdown and David Moyes, the manager, does not have a big budget for new signings during this transfer window.

West Ham, who pay £2.5m a year to rent the London Stadium, made a pre‑tax loss of £28.8m in the last financial year. Their latest accounts said: “The group’s principal risk remains that of the football club being relegated … with the serious financial consequences which follow.”

The accounts also revealed Sullivan and Gold were paid a combined £2.9m in interest in August 2019 on the loans they gave to the club in 2010 and that a further £1m was paid to GGI international, a company related to Gold, in respect of a partial repayment of loan capital. As of 31 May 2019 the combined balance of unsecured loans advanced by Sullivan and Gold amounted to £45m. The highest-paid director at the club was Brady, whose salary rose from £898,000 to £1.136m.

West Ham insisted they took the decision to sell Diangana reluctantly, arguing that the academy graduate’s departure would provide Moyes with funds to strengthen in key areas. Yet there was further unrest when the captain, Mark Noble, tweeted that he was “sad and angry” to see Diangana leave.

There have still been no signings and West Ham, who want the Burnley centre-back James Tarkowski, were poor when they lost 2-0 against Newcastle in their opening league game on Saturday. They are under pressure to bring in new players before the window shuts next month.


Mystery surrounds takeover appoach
Posted by Sean Whetstone on September 15, 2020 Claret & Hugh

[https://cdn.claretandhugh.info/wp-content/uploads/money_in_football.jpg]Mystery surrounds interest in a West Ham takeover. Was it a formal bid or was it an enquiry sent directly to David Sullivan?

A formal bid would usually be made via solicitors to all shareholders with proof of funds but we understand the approach was not received in this manner. Proof of funds (POF) refers to documents that demonstrate a person or entity has the ability and funds available for a specific transaction. It comes in the form of a bank, security, or custody statement. Its purpose is to ensure that the funds needed to execute the transaction fully are accessible and legitimate. Club insiders say they receive unsolicited approaches for the club all the time about but proof of funds are almost never supplied leaving them to dismiss them as non-serious offers. Meanwhile, the decision of the bidders to remain anonymous raises the “Why” question? When Newcastle was a target it was clear almost from Day One that Amanda Staveley was the prime mover. Yesterday David Sullivan told Jim White the club was not for sale and today Claret and Hugh understands this is being treated as another non-serious offer with 1% chance of becoming anything more. It may be that the potential bidders are leaking information to the media about their approach in early August to test the water and possibly build up pressure on the shareholders from a disgruntled fan base. Time will tell if they make themselves known.


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Hammers beaten in season opener
[Tomas Soucek in action against Newcastle]

West Ham United 0-2 Newcastle United
Premier League
West Ham United fell to a 2-0 defeat against Newcastle United in their 2020/21 season opener on Saturday.
The Hammers twice hit the crossbar before the break – first through Angelo Ogbonna’s header, then from a Pablo Fornals strike from 12 yards – but could not force a way through.
Both sides created chances in an open first 45 minutes, but the game became more scrappy in the second half and Newcastle were more clinical, with Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick netting to take the points back to the north-east.
Tomas Soucek was available after having to miss the Czech Republic’s UEFA Nations League meeting with Scotland in midweek, and he slotted straight into the team alongside Declan Rice – making his 100th Premier League appearance – and Mark Noble.
The opening 45 minutes was open and entertaining with chances at both ends, and they began to flow from early on, with Callum Wilson nodding wide from a Jamal Lewis cross four minutes in.
The game ebbed and flowed nicely, with both teams enjoying spells on top, and ten minutes later Ogbonna sent a powerful header onto the top of the crossbar after Mark Noble delivered a free-kick from deep.
Michail Antonio drew the game’s first stop from Karl Darlow when he took advantage of a turnover in possession in midfield to drive at Jamaal Lascelles and into the box. He shot low, looking for the bottom right corner, but the Magpies stopper dived low to save.
Then, just before the half-hour, the Hammers worked an opportunity for Ryan Fredericks to cross in space on the right. He sized up the options and picked out Soucek’s powerful run, but the header dropped just the wrong side of the break.
Newcastle’s turn to threaten followed, as first Wilson led a break before nudging to Jonjo Shelvey off his right shoulder. The midfielder’s effort rifled into the side-netting, then Ogbonna made an important block to divert former Hammer Andy Carroll’s effort over the top.
Still the chances kept on coming, with West Ham striking the woodwork for a second time eleven minutes before the break. Again it was down the right hand side where they found their joy, as Fredericks crossed low for Pablo Fornals to shoot goalwards. The ball deflected off Lascelles and onto the bar, with VAR deciding it wasn’t handball, leaving the hosts to curse their luck.
The start to the second period was more low key, but it was Newcastle who emerged from it with the lead.
Wilson, making his Magpies debut after signing from Bournemouth in the week, was on the spot to prod home after Hendrick helped Javier Manquillo’s deflected right wing centre across the six-yard box.
Chances were harder to come by now, so the Hammers turned to their bench and introduced Sebastien Haller and Andriy Yarmolenko to the fray.
Haller almost had an instant impact as his shot was blocked by Hendrick, with referee Stuart Attwell again ignoring Hammers appeals for handball.
It was at the other end that the game was sealed, though, Hendrick rifling into the roof of Lukasz Fabianski’s net after receiving a pass from Miguel Almiron inside the box three minutes from time.
West Ham United: Fabianski, Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Rice, Soucek, Bowen (Felipe Anderson 89), Noble (Yarmolenko 67), Fornals (Haller 67), Antonio Subs: Randolph, Johnson, Balbuena, Lanzini
Booked: Fredericks, Yarmolenko
Newcastle United: Darlow, Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lewis, Hendrick, Shelvey, Hayden, Saint-Maximin (Joelinton 75), Carroll (S.Longstaff 88), Wilson (Almiron 85) Subs: Gillespie, Krafth, Ritchie, Fraser
Goals: Wilson 56, Hendrick 87
Booked: Hayden, Manquillo
Referee: Stuart Attwell

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Irons beaten by Arsenal in Dagenham & Redbridge opener
[Match report]

West Ham United 1-9 Arsenal
Barclays FA Women’s Super League
Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium
Saturday 12 September 2020
West Ham United suffered a heavy defeat at home to Arsenal in their first home match of the season.
A first game at Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium, in front of fans for the first time since February, was the setting for the Hammers’ opening home match of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League season.
It started well for the Irons too, as Adriana Leon drew the first ripple of applause from supporters after forcing Manuela Zinsberger into a low save.
Mackenzie Arnold then got a huge ovation from the home fans after making a terrific instinctive save to deny Miedema, after her shot took a wicked deflection off of Laura Vetterlein.
The fire in the home side was clear, with Rachel Daly and Grace Fisk getting shown yellow cards early on, before captain Gilly Flaherty joined in the referee’s book.
Arsenal took the lead on 23 minutes as Roord netted on the half-volley, but the Irons hit back less than five minutes later for the second time in as many weeks. Kenza Dali collected the ball on the edge of the area and hit a superb strike in the bottom corner.
Arnold then followed up her terrific saves earlier in the half with a double-stop from other planet, denying Beth Mead one-on-one from six yards before stopping Jordan Nobbs from tucking home the rebound.
There was no stopping Arsenal’s second though, as Miedema tucked home from close range. The ball looked offside, and, in the aftermath, captain Flaherty was shown a second yellow card and sent off.
Arsenal would add another two goals before the end of the half through Little and Mead, giving the Hammers a mountain to climb in the second period.
Roord would complete her hat-trick, while Miedema would strike again, before Leah Williamson and Caitlin Foord also netted to compound a difficult afternoon for the Irons.
West Ham United: Arnold; Fisk, Flaherty (c) (sent off 34), Vetterlein, Pacheco; Cho, Dali (Van Egmond 46), Svitkova (Redisch 46); Lehmann (Grant 67), Daly, Leon (Kiernan 73) Subs not used: Brosnan, Dunbar, Cruickshank, Longhurst, Mustafa Goals: Dali 27
Arsenal: Zinsberger; Maritz, Williamson, Schnaderbeck (Gut 69), Catley (McCabe 19); Walti, Little (c) (Van De Donk 58), Roord (Foord 59); Nobbs, Miedema, Mead (Evans 58) Subs not used: Stenson, Maier, Mace
Goals: Roord 23, 52, 56, Miedema 34, 54, Little 40, Mead 42, Williamson 72, Foord 86

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: David Moyes: We can play much better than we showed

West Ham United boss David Moyes gave an honest assessment of his side’s performance after they were defeated 2-0 by Newcastle United in their 2020/21 season opener on Saturday evening.
The Hammers twice hit the woodwork in an open first 45 minutes, as both Angelo Ogbonna and Pablo Fornals were denied by the crossbar, but were unable to force the opener and were punished after half time.
Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick hit the back of the net for the visitors to take the points back to the North East and Moyes admitted that he did not think the Hammers deserved anything from the game.
He was especially disappointed by their sluggish start, given their fine form at the back end of last season, but by the same token knows that run – less than two months ago – is evidence that they can improve swiftly, starting with a midweek Carabao Cup second round tie against Charlton Athletic before they travel to Arsenal next Saturday.

[David Moyes]

“I didn’t enjoy the performance and didn’t enjoy the game,” Moyes said. “We didn’t show enough quality and I thought it was a disappointing game. I didn’t particularly think it was officiated well tonight, but that’s not the reason we lost.
“It was miles off what we did at the back end of last season. We hoped that we would start off the same way, in the same form we were at the end of last season. We didn’t tonight – Newcastle made it difficult for us, but I’d have liked us to have done much better.”
West Ham were one of the Premier League’s most free-scoring teams after football resumed in June, scoring 14 goals in their final seven games of 2019/20 and although they drew a blank against the Magpies, Moyes does believe they can get back to that level quickly.
“The group who played tonight played very well, only six weeks ago,” he added. “We were one of the form teams at the end of lockdown, we hoped we could get another good performance out of them tonight, but it wasn’t to be.
“We’ve got to make sure we look at the next game, concentrate on playing better than we did tonight. We can do, we can play much better than we showed tonight.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Matt Beard: We can’t let this result define our season
[Matt Beard]

Matt Beard said his West Ham United side must put Saturday’s disappointing defeat at home to Arsenal immediately behind them and focus on the season to come.
The Hammers’ first match at Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium ended with the visitors, Arsenal, scoring nine goals and beating the Irons.
Beard was happy with how his side started the game but knew that captain Gilly Flaherty’s dismissal for a second yellow card in the first half changed the game, and now wants his side to learn from this weekend’s frustrating result.
“I thought we started the game excellently,” Beard said after the match. “I thought we were unlucky to go a goal down, but we responded well and got back into the game.
This will be a big learning curve for some of our new players, and we can’t let it define our season. Matt Beard
“Gilly, with the sending off, just needs to keep herself in control. But when you play these top teams and those decisions go against you, it does make it harder.
“I just said to the girls after the game that we can’t allow that to happen. It will be a big learning curve for some of our new players, and we can’t let it define our season. We need to draw a line under it and move forward.”
Saturday’s game was the first time since February that West Ham United were able to play in front of supporters, as the pilot event saw 734 supporters watch the Irons in action.
Despite the result on the pitch, Beard was delighted to welcome the fans back and was thrilled to have them with his team at Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium.
He added: “The fans are fantastic, week in and week out, when they’re able to be here for us. It’s been a pleasure to see them grow with us over the years and it was great to have them here with us today.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Under-18s suffer opening-day loss to Tottenham

West Ham United Under-18s fell to a 4-1 defeat in their 2020/21 U18 Premier League South season opener against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday morning.
In their first competitive fixture in just over six months, lead coach Kevin Keen’s U18s were looking to build on a strong end to their last campaign and a productive pre-season, but came unstuck at the hands of a visiting side who finished clinically.
Despite having beaten Spurs – coached by former Hammer Matt Taylor – on three separate occasions last season, West Ham fell behind after just two minutes played at Little Heath, when Tottenham full-back Kallum Cesay drilled in from the corner of the penalty area.
The Hammers recovered from that early blow in a competitive first half to almost equalise through Gael Kileba, and soon after, new scholar Michael Forbes rose highest to emphatically head home Kai Corbett’s sweetly struck corner and haul his side level.
Unfortunately they were unable to consolidate on that position, and Tottenham regained the lead just three minutes later through England youth international Dane Scarlett, who dispatched a cross from close range.
Sonny Perkins enjoyed a good opportunity to level the score for West Ham before half-time, and Kamarai Simon-Swyer forced the visiting goalkeeper into a fine near-post save, but West Ham had it all to do following the interval.
Despite showing plenty of intent following the restart, however, it was Tottenham who scored the next goal. Counter-attacking at pace from a corner, Scarlett won the visitors a penalty and subsequently stepped up to find the bottom corner with the resulting kick.
West Ham keeper Josh Roach produced some fine saves to stop Scarlett from getting a hat-trick, but could do nothing to prevent Tarrelle Whittaker’s looping finish off the inside of the woodwork with 13 minutes remaining.
That was the way the score stayed, and assistant coach Mark Phillips feels that, despite the result, there were positives for West Ham to glean from the encounter.
“To be fair to Tottenham, I thought they were a good side and deserved to win the game, albeit not by such a big margin,” Phillips said.
“It was pleasing to see that we didn’t give up and I thought we showed a bit of character. We had six first-year scholars start the game, most of whom hadn’t played at Under-18 league level before, which is good for the future.
“It doesn’t get any easier – we’re away to Chelsea next week – so we’ve got to learn quickly. That’s the level we’re playing at now, so we have to rise to the challenge.
“It’s our first defeat at Little Heath for over a year, but there were positives to take away from it and there are things we’ve got to work on, so we’ll be working hard on the training pitch this week to put things right as a group.
“I’d like to think when we go to Tottenham’s ground later in the season, we’ll have learned and we’ll give a better account of ourselves.”
West Ham U18s’ next game in U18 Premier League South is away at Chelsea on Saturday 19 September. The match will be played strictly behind closed doors.
West Ham United Under-18s: Roach, Robinson, Adebayo, Forbes, Evans, Potts, Woods (Veliky 72), Perkins (Mubama 60), Kileba (Coddington 68), Simon-Swyer, Corbett Subs: Knightbridge, Adu
Goal: Forbes (28)
Booked: Adebayo, Perkins, Corbett, Veliky

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Dmitri Halajko: Those are the games U23s will learn most from [Dimitri Halajko]

Dmitri Halajko was in ambivalent mood after his first-ever Premier League 2 loss as West Ham United Under-23s lead coach on Monday afternoon.
Having gone the season unbeaten on the way to winning last season’s Division 2 title, the Hammers faced the toughest possible test on the opening day of 2020/21: a trip to the home of Division 1 champions Chelsea, also unbeaten last year.
That Halajko’s side would have been full value for a draw, not least arguably a win, at Kingsmeadow on Monday afternoon was testament to their collective work rate and quality.
As it was, with West Ham having missed a number of presentable opportunities throughout the 90 minutes, Dion Rankine’s 76th-minute goal was enough to win Chelsea the three points on the day.
Halajko said: “I think we were confident we could compete in Division 1 before the game, but this reaffirms that this is the level we’re at – and these are the type of games we want to play in.
“It was a tough game and a really good, high level game. The momentum was always going to swing. We’d both have our periods of play, and we would have to capitalise on it when we had ours.
“Those games are always really tight and there are fine margins in them. Those are the games our lads need to play in because those are the games our lads learn the most from. The margins are so fine that any mistake or great bit of play could be the deciding factor.
“That’s why we want to be in this league and play in games like this. We showed that we can compete at this level and it’s the kind of level we should be playing at.”
Looking past the result, Halajko saw plenty of encouraging signs for the season ahead, as his side stayed true to the attacking and positive values which yielded such success in the second tier.

All in all, we’ve come up against last year’s champions, taken them all the way and shown them we’ve got as much as them Dimitri Halajko

He explained: “I think it was a performance that we could be happy with but a result we’re disappointed with. We certainly had enough chances to score without a shadow of the doubt.
“I thought we were the better team in the first half and deserved to go into the break ahead, and in the second half they had a spell where they were the better team. After they scored, it was all us and we were pushing, pushing, pushing for an equaliser, and how we didn’t quite find one was either wasteful or unlucky, depending on which way you look at it.
“In terms of the result, I thought we deserved at least a point out of it, if not more. In terms of the performance, we’re really happy with 90 per cent of it, apart from being wasteful in the final third and a few little details we can tidy up.
“All in all, we’ve come up against last year’s champions, taken them all the way and shown them we’ve got as much as them. We’ve taken the game to them and just come up a tiny bit short today.”
One player who had a particularly outstanding 90 minutes was West Ham goalkeeper Joseph Anang.
The England U20 international was in excellent form against Southend United in the EFL Trophy last week, and built on that display with a number of fine stops against Chelsea – the best of the bunch being a remarkable reflex save to turn Tino Livramento’s curling effort onto the post.
“Joe’s brilliant in so many ways,” Halajko observed. “He’s brilliant as a character, first and foremost. His personality breeds confidence and happiness.
“Then, his distribution is excellent – he builds and sets up our attacks – and his shot-stopping… there were times today we needed him, and you always felt he was going to produce.
“He also had a big moment with a penalty save against Southend when he came up trumps. He’s a goalkeeper you can always rely on, and also a young man you love having around the group.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Declan Rice: We need to be collectively better

Declan Rice says West Ham United need to sharpen up in the final third following their opening-day Premier League defeat by Newcastle United.
The Hammers got into threatening positions repeatedly against the Magpies at London Stadium, completing more passes in the opposition half than their own and creating 15 goal attempts.
But just three of those attempts were on target, all three of which were comfortably saved by Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow, and Rice knows the quality of the Irons’ build-up play and finishing both need to improve.
We need to be collectively better. We know we’re going to be up for those games because we always are, so it’s a good chance to beat the top teams and get some points on the table Declan Rice
“I don’t think we could have played any worse, to be honest with you,” the No41 told Sky Sports. “It was poor as a team and individually. The manager has said to us that it was such a poor game from us and there is no time to be playing poorly in the Premier League and we found that out last season.
“We started well and then we went through a dip in form and we found ourselves in the deep end and it’s not enjoyable.
“We created some chances but it’s about turning those chances into goals. It was the first game and we definitely wanted to start on the right foot and get the three points but that wasn’t to be, so now we have to focus on the next game.”

[Declan Rice]

When asked why the Hammers had been below their best, the England international said it was a combination of indifferent play from the hosts and resilient play from the visitors.
“I don’t know, to be honest with you, but some things just weren’t going our way, whether it was slack passing or the rustiness of our touches,” he explained. “We weren’t creating enough or playing in behind them or stretching them.
“They set up well to be fair to them and made it difficult for us, so there were a couple of things I’d put it down to.”
With a testing run of fixtures coming up, with Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Liverpool all on the agenda before the end of October, Rice knows the Hammers need to rediscover the form they showed in the closing weeks of last season, and fast.
“We know the games we’ve got coming up are really tough,” he confirmed. “They’re the games we normally turn up in, but we’ve got to turn up in these types of goals as well because last year we beat Chelsea home and away and we beat other big teams, like Manchester United, but then Newcastle come here and beat us.
“We need to be collectively better. We know we’re going to be up for those games because we always are, so it’s a good chance to beat the top teams and get some points on the table.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Ryan Fredericks: We need to be a lot sharper all over the pitch [Ryan Fredericks in action against Newcastle]

Ryan Fredericks said West Ham United ‘need to be a lot sharper all over the pitch’ following the Irons’ 2-0 opening-day Premier League defeat by Newcastle United.
The Hammers had more possession, more shots on target and more corners than the Magpies, and hit the woodwork twice with the game still goalless, but failed to take their chances at London Stadium.
And, after allowing Newcastle Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick to mark their debuts with goals, Fredericks said West Ham need to show their quality at both ends of the pitch when they return to Premier League action at Arsenal on Saturday evening.
“We need to be a lot sharper all over the pitch,” he told Sky Sports. “We didn’t defend well at times. They didn’t cause us too much trouble, but their goals were pretty soft, so we need to change that.
“We need to create more than we did up front, but we’ve got good players up there and we’ve got good players at the back, so we just need to go again next week, get together during training this week, and I’m sure it’ll be better next week.
[Ryan Fredericks in action against Newcastle]“I think we’re a team who it doesn’t matter who we’re playing against; it’s more about us on the day. We did well against some of the top six and top eight teams last season and I’m sure we’ll do it again.”
Individually, Fredericks produced an eye-catching performance, combining regularly with both Jarrod Bowen and substitute Andriy Yarmolenko down the right flank, delivering six crosses and a team-high five key passes.
However, any personal satisfaction the No24 felt was overshadowed by his frustration at the result.
And he agreed with Declan Rice’s summary of the Hammers’ all-round performance.
“I’d agree with Dec that we couldn’t have played much worse,” he confirmed. “We ended last season well, we were flying, and we’ve come back and we’ve been training well and training hard and trying to do the same things, but Saturday definitely wasn’t good enough.
“We had the exact same team that went and dominated games most games at the back end of last season, even when we were playing some of the top teams in the league, but we just weren’t at it. “It’s game one of a long season, so we’re not going to get too down.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Laura Vetterlein: We have to refocus and learn from what went wrong [Laura Vetterlein in action against Arsenal]

Laura Vetterlein says West Ham United must learn quickly from what went wrong during their Barclays FA Women’s Super League defeat to Arsenal.
The Hammers were beaten 9-1 on Saturday afternoon and the German admitted the result was a hard one to stomach, after the Irons started the game brightly, levelling through Kenza Dali’s superb equaliser after the visitors had taken the lead.
The dismissal of captain Gilly Flaherty on 34 minutes – moments after Arsenal’s second goal – changed the landscape of the match but Vetterlein, who took the armband for the remainder of the game, says being down to ten players cannot be an excuse.
We have the international break now to refocus and learn from what went wrong. We have the chance to start fresh with a fresh mindset. Laura Vetterlein
“I think we started the game quite well which, when you look at the final result, can be quite hard to believe,” Vetterlein said. “It was game-changing when we lost Gilly. It’s unfortunate but it shouldn’t be an excuse for the result. As a team, we have to react, and we didn’t.
“What hurts the most is we were definitely in the game for those first 30 minutes or so. It was a good game until Gilly’s sending-off changed everything. We just couldn’t get the reaction right. More was possible and that’s what hurts for us. [Laura Vetterlein in action against Arsenal]
“We have the international break now to refocus and learn from what went wrong. We have the chance to start fresh with a fresh mindset. What happened has happened and we can’t change that now. We have to focus what is coming next, which is Reading. We need to be prepared.”
Saturday’s game was the first time in over six months that West Ham United fans had been able to view their team in action, with the weekend’s match chosen by the Government as a pilot event to test supporters back in stadia.
Combined with the first time West Ham United women’s team played at their new matchday home – Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium – Vetterlein was delighted to have fans back with the team.
The centre-back is hopeful the side can repay their brilliant support after the international break.
She added: “We’ve come back with a crowd and we felt their support so well from the first minute. You could see in the first 30 minutes how much their support pushed us.
“It’s heart-breaking to have this result in the first game we have fans back, with such a great crowd and our brilliant new stadium. Even though we lost 9-1, our supporters have still stayed and clapped for us.
“We are so grateful for this reaction and I hope we can put this right and make them proud in our next game.”


West Ham United v Charlton Athletic – All you need to know
[London Stadium]

West Ham United begin their 2020/21 Carabao Cup challenge with the visit of Charlton Athletic to London Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The match will see former Hammers midfielder Lee Bowyer bring his Addicks across the River Thames for the first competitive meeting between the two clubs since the 2006/07 Premier League season.

The tie, which kicks-off at 7.30pm, will be streamed live by the EFL in the UK only. Match passes are available for £10 by clicking here. Prices are set by the EFL, who are managing the service.

You can order a copy of Tuesday’s 116-page Official Programme for your collection here, while a digital edition will be available to read online from 7pm on Monday on whufc.com.

West Ham will be seeking to bounce back after losing their opening Premier League game of the season, 2-0 at home to Newcastle United on Saturday evening.

Charlton, meanwhile, have won their last two matches, winning 3-1 at Swindon Town in the Carabao Cup first round before starting their EFL League One campaign with a 2-0 victory at Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.

The tie must be settled on the night. If the scores are level after 90 minutes the winner of the tie will be decided by penalties immediately. There will be no extra-time played.

The Goal Decision System (HawkEye) will be in operation for this fixture, but there will be no VAR.

The winner of tonight’s tie will host Premier League new boys Leeds United or EFL League One newcomers Hull City in the third round, with that match to be played during the week commencing Monday 21 September.

Team news…
[Darren Randolph]

David Moyes said he would give ‘opportunities’ to players in Tuesday’s tie, meaning the likes of goalkeeper Darren Randolph, defenders Fabian Balbuena, Ben Johnson and Arthur Masuaku and attacking midfielders Manuel Lanzini and Felipe Anderson could all be involved.

Robert Snodgrass, Jack Wilshere and former Charlton Athletic loanee Josh Cullen were absent from the matchday 18 on Saturday and will also hope for minutes.

For Charlton, Lee Bowyer has said he will make ‘a couple of changes’ to the team which won at Crewe on Saturday.

However, Player of the Year and goalkeeper Dillon Phillips has not been involved this season after failing to agree a new contract with the Red Robins.

The opposition – Charlton Athletic
[Charlton Athletic players celebrate]

Charlton Athletic have endured a 2020 like no other football club.

For starters, the south Londoners have had to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated challenges.

When football was suspended in March, Charlton had dropped into the EFL Championship relegation zone with nine games of the season left to play.

On the resumption, three months later, the Addicks were without leading striker Lyle Taylor, who declined to extend his contract. Regardless, Lee Bowyer’s side won successive matches to climb out of the bottom three, only to fail to win any of their last seven, lose 4-0 at Leeds United on the final day, and go down.

But relegation to League One – just 12 months after the glory of winning the Play-Off final at Wembley – tells just part of the story.

For Charlton have repeatedly made headlines for the club’s uncertain ownership situation.

Belgian Roland Duchâtelet brought his tumultuous five-year reign to an end in January, when he reportedly sold the club to a consortium named East Street Investments (ESI).

However, the club’s new owners then fell out amid claims over insufficient funding, before ESI was sold in June, only for the EFL to then reject the new owners’ application to take over the football club.

This uncertainty has led to regular supporter protests, with fans claiming Charlton Athletic’s very existence is under threat.

Previous meetings…

[West Ham v Charlton League Cup Programme from 1960]Charlton Athletic and West Ham United were each other’s very first League Cup opponents 60 years ago this month.

The competition was introduced in 1960/61 by Football League Secretary Alan Hardaker to help its member clubs increase revenue and encourage supporters to attend matches, having seen overall spectator numbers drop by more than one million in 1959/60.

With many clubs having installed floodlights during the 1950s, the League Cup was played midweek, with Charlton visiting the Boleyn Ground on Monday 26 September 1960.

The First Division Hammers were too strong for their Second Division opponents from just across the River Thames, running out 3-1 winners with goals from Bobby Moore, Johnny Dick and Malcolm Musgrove in front of a crowd of 12,496 – more than 11,000 fewer than had attended the previous League game against Blackpool nine days before.

Since that Monday evening, the two clubs have met twice more in the League Cup, with West Ham winning in the third round at The Valley in both 1976 (1-0) and 1980 (2-1).

In all competitions, the near-neighbours have met 41 times, with West Ham winning 17, Charlton 14 and ten ending in draws.

By the numbers…

39 Charlton Athletic played 39 home matches at West Ham United’s Boleyn Ground between August 1991 and December 1992, winning 21 of them, before returning to The Valley. At the time, the Addicks were managed jointly by former Hammers midfielder and future manager Alan Curbishley and Steve Gritt, whose son James is a long-serving sports scientist at the Academy of Football, while the squad contained future Irons players Scott Minto, Simon Webster and Robert Lee, manager Alan Pardew and reserve-team manager Alex Dyer, as well as West Ham loanee Leroy Rosenior!

[Charlton in action against Blackburn Rovers at the Boleyn Ground]

95 West Ham United’s all-time record appearance maker Billy Bonds began his career with tonight’s visitors, playing 95 times. Having been born in nearby Woolwich, the young Bonds joined the Red Robins after leaving school at the age of 15. A league debut arrived at 18 in February 1965, in a Second Division fixture with Northampton Town. Bonds would leave the Addicks for West Ham United for what turned out to be a bargain £50,000 fee in May 1967.

929,878 The total number of supporters who have attended the 41 Premier League, Football League and knockout matches played between the two clubs – an average attendance of 22,680.

10 The first-ever Football League fixture between West Ham United and Charlton Athletic produced no fewer than ten goals. The Hammers came out on top in a thrilling Second Division fixture played at the Boleyn Ground on 26 November 1932, winning 7-3. All-time record goalscorer Vic Watson and Arthur Wilson each scored twice, while Jim Barrett, Jackie Morton and Tommy Yews were also on target.

[Paul Kitson scored a hat-trick against Charlton]

1 Paul Kitson scored West Ham United’s only away Premier League hat-trick in a dramatic 4-4 draw at The Valley on 19 November 2001. However, he is not the only Hammer to net a treble against the Addicks, as Malcolm Musgrove did so in a Southern Floodlight Cup first-round win at the Boleyn Ground in October 1958, and both Ted Fenton and Len Goulden managed the feat during the Second World War.

8 Alec George Foreman scored for the Hammers in no fewer than eight separate matches against the Addicks, but none of them count towards the official record books, as all of them were scored in games played during the Second World War.

38 The following 38 players have played first-team football for both West Ham United and Charlton Athletic: Billy Bonds, Mark Bowen, Lee Bowyer, Jack Burkett, Alan Curbishley, Carlton Cole, Christian Dailly, Paolo Di Canio, Alou Diarra, Hogan Ephraim, Benny Fenton, Derek Hales, Stephen Henderson, Matty Holmes, Sasa Ilic, Roger Johnson, Steve Jones, Paul Kitson, Paul Konchesky, Billy Lansdowne, Robert Lee, Ralph Milne, Shaun Newton, Frank Nouble, Scott Parker, Diego Poyet, Chris Powell, Darren Randolph, Kyel Reid, Bill Robinson, Mark Robson, Leroy Rosenior, Mike Small, Alex Song, Jonathan Spector, Svetoslav Todorov, Ricardo Vaz Te, Simon Webster and Derek Woodley.

Match officials…

Referee: Andre Marriner
Assistant Referees: Scott Ledger and Simon Long
Fourth Official: Graham Scott

Affiliated to the Birmingham County FA, Andre Marriner began refereeing at the age of 21 in 1992, progressing through the Birmingham Amateur Football League and the Southern Football League to become a Football League assistant referee in 2000.

Marriner was appointed to the Football League list of referees in 2003, before making his Premier League debut in November of the following year, officiating tonight’s visitors Charlton Athletic’s 4-0 win over Norwich City at The Valley.

Now 49, Marriner was added to the Select Group of professional referees in 2005, and FIFA’s list of international officials in 2009.

Marriner has refereed a host of high-profile fixtures, including the 2010 Championship Play-Off final, the 2013 FA Cup final and the 2020 Community Shield between Arsenal and Liverpool last month.

He has refereed West Ham United on 37 occasions previously, with the most-recent being a 1-1 draw with Everton here at London Stadium in January.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Darren Randolph: It would be nice to play against Charlton again [Darren Randolph]

Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie with Charlton Athletic will conjure plenty of fond memories for Darren Randolph.
The West Ham United goalkeeper, who is likely to deputise for No1 Lukasz Fabianski at London Stadium, began his career with the Red Robins nearly two decades ago.
It was 2003 and Randolph was just 15 when he first flew over from his native Republic of Ireland to go on trial with Charlton. A year later, having impressed the then-Premier League club’s coaches, he signed a scholarship and moved from his boyhood club Ardmore Rovers to the south London club’s Academy.
Four years later, in the week of his 20th birthday, Alan Pardew handed Randolph his Premier League debut at Liverpool on the final day of the 2006/07 season, and the young goalkeeper impressed in a 2-2 draw at Anfield.

[Michail Antonio and Darren Randolph]

The Bray-born stopper remained with Charlton for three more seasons but was forced to play second-fiddle to Nicky Weaver and Rob Elliot, and ultimately departed The Valley for Scottish Premier League club Motherwell.
Randolph’s time north of the border was successful, as he appeared in a Scottish Cup final and was voted into the PFA Scotland Team of the Year, before he returned south to Birmingham City in 2013.
Two years later, he joined West Ham on a free transfer and quickly impressed, appearing in the 3-0 win at Liverpool and the even more memorable 3-2 victory over Manchester United in the final game at the Boleyn Ground in his first season in east London.
After starring for his country at UEFA Euro 2016, Randolph departed for Middlesbrough in summer 2017 and, after 18 months in the Championship, he was brought back to the Club in January this year.

It’ll be nice to play against Charlton again, if I am picked.
I was in the Championship with Birmingham and Middlesbrough and have played against them a few times before, but this will be the first time I’ve faced them as a West Ham player.
Obviously, none of the players who were there when I was there are still at the club – it’s ten years ago – but some of the lads I knew are now coaches.
Grant Basey was our left-back and he’s now a first-team development coach, while Johnnie Jackson joined us on loan during my final season there and he’s now assistant manager.
A lot of the groundstaff are also still there and it was nice to see them when we played at The Valley in pre-season in 2015.

[Darren Randolph at The Valley in 2015]

I was 15 when I was spotted by Charlton.
I went to the famous Milk Cup tournament in Northern Ireland in Ballymena with my Sunday League team, Ardmore Rovers, and played against loads of different teams from England and all around the world. I played well and got trials at Charlton, Leeds and loads of other clubs. I did the rounds.
With Charlton, I was probably coming over once every two or three months and then once a month for a weekend. I’d fly over Friday evening and go home on Monday morning. Then in the summer they came over and met my parents.
Of all the clubs I had trials with, I went back to Charlton the most and they invited me to go to the Nike Premier Cup in Durham and West Ham beat us in the semi-finals – Kyel Reid and Chris Cohen played for them. After that tournament I ended up signing Academy forms.

Charlton had some fantastic players when I was there.
Alan Curbishley was the manager and Charlton were an established Premier League club. When I first went on trial, Paolo Di Canio was there.
I remember seeing all this big players at the training ground – Scott Parker, Claus Jensen, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Luke Young, Matt Holland, Paul Konchesky, Jason Euell, Mark Fish, Kevin Lisbie and loads more.
Mick Brown was in charge of the Under-17s and he was my first coach. Mark Robson, who had played for both West Ham and Charlton, was my coach for Under-19s, then Glynn Snodin and Curbs with Mervyn Day and Keith Peacock.
I was 20 when I made my debut in May 2007. Charlton were already relegated, so Pards gave me a game away at Liverpool in Robbie Fowler’s last game. If I remember correctly, I got Man of the Match, so it was a day to remember. I couldn’t have asked for more on my debut.

[Darren Randolph in action for Charlton]

I really enjoyed my first spell at West Ham, especially those games during our last season at Upton Park.
We had Dimitri Payet, which helped! He was a match-winner all on his own. But we had such a good squad and so much belief.
Once you get into the habit of winning games, especially if you have come from behind to win and take points, then you can quickly get the mentality that you can and will win any game, so you just crack on.
That 2015/16 season, when we were successful, it didn’t matter if we went behind, because we came back and won games quite a few times. Going a goal down almost woke us up!
Performing well and getting wins becomes infectious. We need to get that feeling back this season, if we can.

[Dimitri Payet and Darren Randolph]

I’m feeling sharp as I’ve played pre-season games and also twice for Ireland in the UEFA Nations League.
I had 90 minutes against Ipswich before the international break and then went away and played the full 90 in both international matches.
It was good to get two competitive games under my belt before the start of the domestic season as obviously competitive football is totally different than pre-season.
The results were not so good and not what we wanted, but personally, it was good for me and my performances gave me peace of mind knowing where I am in my game and that I still feel sharp.
I played the at Euros in 2016 and I would love to play in another major tournament for my country. We have the first leg of the Euro 2021 Play-Off against Slovakia away next month, then hopefully we will win that and play the winner of Bosnia and Northern Ireland and win that and we qualify.
If we do qualify, two of the games would be in Dublin which would be great. To play in a major tournament in my own country would be an unbelievable experience. The Aviva would be rocking.

I’d love to play on Tuesday night, 100 per cent. If it is the cup games I am playing in, I want to play as many games as I can.
It’ll keep me match sharp for internationals and also be nice for the Club to have a decent cup run, again like we did in 2015/16, when we reached the FA Cup quarter-finals.
The last run we had was when we lost to Manchester United in a replay, having played really well in the first game at Old Trafford. I was fouled when they scored their equaliser about ten minutes from the end. It’s still in my head. We were so close to Wembley and the FA Cup semi-finals.
I played in the Scottish Cup final for Motherwell against Celtic at Hampden Park in 2011, and I’d love to play in another big cup final.
I’ve also played in Europe for both Motherwell and West Ham, against big teams like Panathinaikos from Greece and Levante from Spain, and I’d love to play in Europe again.


Owners ‘hung out to dry’, claims shock jock · By Staff Writer
Monday, 14th September 2020

Talksport host and friend of West Ham United’s board Jim White has claimed that the club’s co-owners have been “persecuted” and “hung out to dry”.
The controversial former Sky Sports anchor, who has frequently lambasted West Ham supporters for their opposition to David Sullivan and David Gold’s stewardship of the club claimed to have taken a call from one of the two prior to going on air today (Monday).

And White once again suggested that the supporters – some of whom protested at the gates of the London Olympic Stadium prior to Saturday’s Premier League defeat against Newcastle Utd – were making life unnecessarily difficult for the board.


“Just as we came on air I got a call from one of the owners,” he claimed. “Obviously they do not like the fact they’ve been hung out to dry and being persecuted, it seems, by a minority of the West Ham fans.

“There was a protest before the game against Newcastle, game number one [of the season]. And how telling is this? I said [to the caller] ‘are you going to walk away?’ And the answer was ‘not at the moment… everybody has got their breaking point, but not at the moment’.

“West Ham always seem to be 90 minutes away from disaster.”

Co-presenter Simon Jordan, who has previously expressed concern with the manner in which the club is being run by the current administration disagreed however with White’s claims. “Ultimately there is a challenge they have,” he countered. “The real genesis of their issue with the fans lays in their move from The Boleyn Ground to the London Stadium – or the Taxpayer’s Stadium, whatever you want to call it.


“The transition hasn’t been handled well. Least said, soonest mended sometimes with some of the comments they’ve made about their aspirations and ambitions. There’s nothing wrong with projecting but if you project that you’re going to hit the top six, then you need to back it.

“I am not on their Christmas card list, I had murders with them at times. Proper murders, so I’m not going to defend the indefensible. I think they could a lot of things better and I think the sale of Grady Diangana was a mistake.

“They haven’t gauged the temperature, they don’t know the landscape and if you don’t know that to some extend then you should, because it’s your football club.”

And with regards to a potential sale of thew club, Jordan believes that is unlikely in the near future and certainly not imminent, as has been suggested in recent days.

“I don’t think there’s a queue to buy West Ham,” he continued. “With respect the owners are not going to walk away because they’re not going to get the opportunity to walk away. I’d like to see whoever you spoke to come on the show and talk, rather than just whisper in your ear.”


West Ham’s owners ‘COULD walk away from the club’ if fans continue to protest against the ownership with supporters furious after losing to Newcastle in a summer of fall-outs and no new arrivals

· Tensions are high yet again at West Ham at the start of Premier League season

· West Ham were defeated 2-0 by Newcastle on the opening day of the campaign

· Fans continue to protest against the owners after a summer of discontent

· There have been no new arrivals and they sold the highly-rated Grady Diangana


PUBLISHED: 13:42, 14 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:56, 14 September 2020

After just one game into the new Premier League season, tensions are high again at West Ham and one of their owners has since admitted they could walk away from the club if fans continue their protests. The Hammers have endured a summer of discontent and their misery was compounded on Saturday when they were convincingly beaten 2-0 at home to Newcastle on the opening day of the season. Fans are furious once again with the direction West Ham are going in and are venting their frustration at David Sullivan, David Gold and Karren Brady after a summer of fall-outs mixed with no new arrivals – other than confirming they had signed Tomas Soucek permanently on a four-year deal after initially arriving on loan in January.

[West Ham owners David Gold (second left) and David Sullivan (right) are facing more protests]

West Ham owners David Gold (second left) and David Sullivan (right) are facing more protests
[Pressure is increasing on the unpopular owners and vice-chairman Karren Brady (above)]

Pressure is increasing on the unpopular owners and vice-chairman Karren Brady (above)

Pressure has been mounting on the unpopular owners with some fans supporting the GSB (Gold, Sullivan, Brady) Out campaign. A small group of protestors unfurled anti-ownership banners outside the ground before kick-off at the weekend. And on Monday, it was revealed on talkSPORT that one of the owners would consider walking away – claiming ‘everybody has their breaking point.’ Host Jim White, speaking to Simon Jordan, revealed: ‘Since we came on air, I got a call from one of the owners. And obviously they do not like it, the fact that in their eyes they are being hung out to dry, they are being persecuted. ‘It seems by a minority of the West Ham fans that there was a protest before the game against Newcastle. Game number one and he says there was a protest of course at the stadium. ‘But as well as that Simon, how telling is this? I said “are you going to walk away?”. And the answer was “not at the moment, not at the moment. Everybody has got their breaking point but not at the moment”.’
[West Ham supporters have been protesting against the club’s board for quite some time]

West Ham supporters have been protesting against the club’s board for quite some time

The heat was turned up on the West Ham trio after former Hammers winger Trevor Sinclair criticised the board for not backing David Moyes in the transfer market. Sinclair wrote on Twitter: ‘If you can’t or won’t back Moyes and invest in players needed then sell. #GSBOUT.’ That Tweet on Sunday night followed his thoughts following the defeat by the Magpies on Saturday evening, where he said: ‘Great transfer window for Newcastle and this was a must win for West Ham looking at our fixtures, long season ahead unless signings made. ‘If #GSB haven’t got the funds to invest in players why not sell the club to a buyer that has the funds and wants to resurrect our club.’ West Ham are the only top-flight club not to bring in a new recruit this summer and the scrutiny on the club’s board has increased in recent weeks following the sale of Grady Diangana to West Brom.
[Sinclair has criticised the board for not backing manager David Moyes in the transfer market]


Sinclair has criticised the board for not backing manager David Moyes in the transfer market
[Sinclair aired his thoughts on the situation at West Ham following their 2-0 defeat on Saturday]


Sinclair aired his thoughts on the situation at West Ham following their 2-0 defeat on Saturday

Captain Mark Noble was left seething with the club after the winger was sold to a Premier League rival for £20million, explaining that he was ‘gutted, angry and sad’ in a Tweet. Other players showed their support for Noble with Chelsea target Declan Rice liking his skipper’s Tweet and Jack Wilshere also commented on Diangana’s Instagram post. But now things could get much worse for West Ham as they get ready for a daunting run of fixtures following their opening day defeat. West Ham face seven out of last season’s top nine in their next eight Premier League fixtures, starting away at Arsenal on Saturday evening.
[The Hammers endured the worst possible start to the season following their home defeat]

The Hammers endured the worst possible start to the season following their home defeat


West Ham considering a number of loan offers for promising goalkeeper Nathan Trott with youngster tipped to be the club’s future No1

· West Ham are considering a number of loan offers for goalkeeper Nathan Trott

· The 21-year-old was impressive during his spell with AFC Wimbledon last season

· The Hammers believe the promising shot-stopper can be their No1 in the future

· The club have had interest from EFL clubs as well as teams based in Europe


PUBLISHED: 13:44, 14 September 2020 | UPDATED: 15:21, 14 September 2020

West Ham are weighing up interest in goalkeeper Nathan Trott from home and abroad as they prepare to loan him out to keep him on course to be their future No.1. The Hammers have high hopes for goalkeeper Trott, 21, who has been earmarked to become the London Stadium club’s first choice in the long term. Trott impressed on loan at AFC Wimbledon last season in his first taste of senior football and West Ham want the Bermuda-born England youth international to continue his development with another season of regular football.
[West Ham are weighing up loan offers from clubs in England and Europe for Nathan Trott]

West Ham are weighing up loan offers from clubs in England and Europe for Nathan Trott
[The shot-stopper is tipped for a bright future and it is hoped he can be the club’s future No1]

The shot-stopper is tipped for a bright future and it is hoped he can be the club’s future No1

Subsequently, West Ham decided against letting him move to Coventry who wanted to take him on loan but initially as a No.2. He has also been the subject of interest earlier this summer from Derby, Doncaster and Shrewsbury. West Ham want Trott to join a club as their first choice and are assessing approaches from clubs in the Championship, League One and Europe as they map out the next stage of his career.
[Trott spent last season on loan at AFC Wimbledon and is set to gain more experience this year]

Trott spent last season on loan at AFC Wimbledon and is set to gain more experience this year

Trott joined West Ham in January 2016 after a recommendation from their Bermudan former striker Clyde Best. Ex-West Ham stopper Shaka Hislop believes Trott has ‘all the attributes’ and the 6ft 2in stopper is renowned for his ability with his feet, having even joined in training sessions as an outfield player at West Ham. Trott started out at Valencia’s academy as a striker and made the transition to being a goalkeeper while on international duty with Bermuda’s youth sides. Trott has since switched international allegiances, playing six times for England under-20s and graduating to Aidy Boothroyd’s under-21s last season.


West Ham’s under-fire owners and their interest payments add fuel to simmering fan tension

The Hammers co-owners have been paid £17million in interest on loans between 2015 and 2017 – the highest in the Premier League
David Gold (L) and David Sullivan (C), joint-chairmen of West Ham watch West Ham’s defeat to Newcastle United (Image: MICHAEL REGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

West Ham’s co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold are not flavour of the month at the moment in east London. The duo have come under-fire for a lack of investment this summer after the club narrowly avoided relegation in 2019/20. The sale of Grady Diangana for £18million to West Bromwich Albion added fuel to the flames even further. It’s not just this summer that hasseen the two David’s and vice-chairman Karren Brady come under fire. Ever since the club moved from their spiritual home of Upton Park to London Stadium in 2016, there has been a lot of anger directed at the trio. It all came to a head in March 2018 when, having gone 2-0 down against Burnley, a Hammers fan stormed the pitch with a corner flag and hundreds descended on the concourse below the directors box to vent their fury. West ham responded to that by hiring Manuel Pellegrini on an £8million a year contract and handing him a transfer warchest of more than £150million but that backfired spectacularly and Pellegrini was sacked in November last year. It was a case of backing the wrong horse for the Hammers owners and in a new, Covid world for the Premier League are pleading poverty and having to sell players before they can buy anyone else. The failure to shift the likes of Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini and Jack Wilshere this summer, all of who are high earners at the club, effectively sealed Diangana’s fate despite the winger not wanting to leave and Moyes not wanting the winger to exit the club. Moyes is now struggling to recruit for his defence that shipped 62 goals last season and is in desperate need of surgery. The club has seen two bids rejected for Burnley’s James Tarkowski and a third bid is expected to be knocked back as well.

So when it emerges the club’s owners have taken £17million back out of the club in interest payments on loans, that news is not going to be greeted well. Southampton are second in the table when it comes to interest payments and their owners have only taken out £5million between 2015 and 2017. While it is not necessarily new and groundbreaking news, it’s still confirmation of why the owners of the club are in the dire situation in terms of their relationship with the fanbase.

In August 2016, West Ham repaid Gold and Sullivan £4.2million of loans as well as £2.2million of accrued interest, which had reached a mighty £12.7million by the end of the season. Around the same time, the repayment date of the shareholder loans – £45million – was kicked back to 1 January 2020 through a refinancing deal.


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West Ham United v Newcastle United – All you need to know
[London Stadium]

West Ham United begin their 2020/21 Premier League season with the visit of Newcastle United to London Stadium on Saturday evening.
The fixture will be shown live in the UK by Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League, with coverage starting 15 minutes before kick-off at 7.45pm, and across the world by the Premier League’s international broadcast partners.
The Hammers will be seeking to pick up where they left off at the end of last season, when they closed on a run of just one defeat in seven matches. Among those was a 2-2 draw at Newcastle, where the Irons twice led through goals from Michail Antonio and Tomáš Souček, before being pegged back and settling for a point.
You can order a copy of Saturday’s 116-page Official Programme for your collection here, while a digital edition will be available to read online from 10am on matchday on whufc.com.

Team news…
[Tomas Soucek]

David Moyes confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Tomáš Souček will be available after his period of self-isolation while away with the Czech Republic national team came to an end. The midfielder came into contact with a member of backroom staff who tested positive, but has now been cleared.
Other than that, Moyes has a fully-fit squad at his disposal, meaning reigning Premier League Player of the Month Antonio will be available to add to the eight goals he scored in seven appearances in July, while Declan Rice, Łukasz Fabiański, Andriy Yarmolenko and Darren Randolph have all returned fit and well from international duty.
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce could hand as many as five players debuts on Saturday, with goalkeeper Mark Gillespie (Motherwell), defender Jamal Lewis (Norwich City), midfielder Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), winger Ryan Fraser and striker Callum Wilson (both AFC Bournemouth) all joining the Magpies over the summer.
French defender Florian Lejeune has departed the club this week, while goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka, defenders Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett and Fabian Schär, midfielder Matty Longstaff and striker Dwight Gayle are all definitely ruled out through injury. The versatile Matt Ritchie is ‘touch and go’, according to Bruce, but captain Jamaal Lascelles and midfielder Jonjo Shelvey are ‘all right’.

The opposition – Newcastle United
Newcastle are seeking to build on a solid first season under Steve Bruce, in which they finished 13th in the Premier League, were never in danger of being relegated, and reached the FA Cup quarter-finals.
That said, it has been yet another incident-packed year at Newcastle United – COVID-19 or otherwise.
The Magpies’ passionate fanbase have long dreamt of a return to the thrilling days of Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson, who led teams inspired by the prolific Andrew Cole, Les Ferdinand and Alan Shearer to the Premier League’s top four and the UEFA Champions League either side of the Millennium.
Since then, an unlikely fifth-place finish in 2011/12 aside, Newcastle have been more concerned about safety than glory. Twice, in 2009 and 2016, Newcastle suffered relegation. While the Magpies bounced back by winning immediate promotion on both occasions, the Toon Army want to see their heroes challenging at the top of the Premier League, not the top of the Championship.
In October 2017, owner Mike Ashley put the club up for sale but, three years on, the businessman is still seeking a buyer. A Saudi Arabian-led consortium reportedly agreed a takeover in April this year, but delays saw the ‘commercial agreement between the Investment Group and the club’s owners expire’ and the deal was called-off.
And so, as the new season dawns, there is a feeling of uncertainty about what this proud club’s future holds, but recent moves in the transfer market have raised optimism that Newcastle’s future on the pitch looks brighter, at least.

Previous meetings…
[David Moyes and Steve Bruce]

West Ham United and Newcastle United have 135 times since February 1908, with the Magpies holding the all-time advantage with 55 wins to the Hammers’ 42, with 38 draws.
Newcastle are also edging things when it comes to the Premier League head-to-head, with 20 wins to West Ham’s 13, with eleven draws from 44 matches.
Last season, Newcastle won 3-2 at London Stadium in November 2019, before the return fixture ended in a 2-2 draw at St James’ Park in July.
In 2018/19, West Ham did the double over Newcastle without conceding a goal, winning 3-0 on Tyneside and 2-0 in east London, but Newcastle did the double themselves in 2017/18, while the points were split with a win apiece in both 2015/16 and 2014/15.
David Moyes and Steve Bruce have met 19 times during their managerial careers, with the West Ham boss leading by ten wins to two, with seven draws.

By the numbers…
4 The number of seasons future West Ham United striker Pop Robson finished as Newcastle United’s leading scorer in the space of five years between 1966-71.
5 Five different West Ham United players have scored hat-tricks against Newcastle United – Vivian Gibbins was the first on Christmas Eve 1927, followed by Tudor Martin September 1936, Geoff Hurst in December 1965, Trevor Brooking in April 1968 and Alvin Martin in April 1986. Tudor Martin’s treble came on his debut, Brooking’s was his only in Claret and Blue, while Alvin Martin’s was scored against three different goalkeepers!
186 West Ham United have scored 186 goals in their 135 competitive matches with Newcastle United. Geoff Hurst (pictured) leads the way individually with eight, followed by Jimmy Ruffell with seven and Vivian Gibbins and Vic Watson, with six each. The first of the 186 was scored by Danny Shea in an FA Cup third-round replay at St James’ Park in February 1909.

[Geoff Hurst in action against Newcastle]

2 Two men have managed both clubs – Sam Allardyce and Alan Pardew. Allardyce took charge of Newcastle United 24 times between May 2007 and January 2008, before leading West Ham United for four seasons between 2011-15, winning promotion from the Championship in May 2012. Pardew had also led the Irons to promotion via the Play-Offs, in 2005, and an FA Cup final, before managing Newcastle to fifth in the Premier League in 2011/12.
1923 Billy Brown was West Ham United’s first match-winner against Newcastle United, netting the only goal of the game as the newly-promoted Hammers defeated the Magpies 1-0 in the First Division at the Boleyn Ground on 6 October 1923.
1908 The first meeting between the two clubs was an FA Cup second-round tie played at St James’ Park on 1 February 1908. Then a Southern League club, West Ham United gave a good account of themselves in front of 47,000 fans, but the First Division side ran out 2-0 winners. The two clubs were drawn together again the following season, this time in the third round, and Newcastle United again ran out winners, 2-1 in a replay following a goalless draw at the Boleyn Ground.
4,168,278 The total number of supporters who have attended the 135 competitive matches between the two clubs – an average attendance of 30,876. The largest crowd to watch a West Ham United versus Newcastle United fixture was the 59,910 who were present to see the Irons score a 2-0 Premier League at London Stadium on 2 March 2019.
17 Mark Noble has made more Premier League appearances for West Ham United against Newcastle United than any other player. The captain’s first meeting with the Magpies was on 23 September 2007, but ended in a 3-1 defeat at St James’ Park.

Match officials…
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Assistant Referees: Constantine Hatzidakis & Neil Davies
Fourth Official: Darren England
VAR: Peter Bankes
Assistant VAR: Simon Long
Stuart Attwell began refereeing seriously following his graduation from Stafford University and worked his way up through the West Midlands League and National League before joining the Football League list of referees in 2007.
Attwell was fast-tracked, becoming the youngest-ever referee to control a Premier League fixture when he officiated Blackburn Rovers’ 1-1 draw with Hull City on 23 August 2008, and being added to the FIFA List later the same year at the age of just 26.
In 2010, Attwell officiated in the Japanese J. League as part of a referee exchange programme, and he has since refereed matches in the UEFA Europa League, Premier League, EFL and UEFA age-group tournaments.
Overall, the 37-year-old has refereed West Ham United eleven times in total since April 2008, including this fixture last season, which Newcastle United won 3-2 in November 2019.


David Moyes: Moving forwards, scoring goals, Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen

West Ham United manager David Moyes spoke to members of the assembled media over video conference on Friday afternoon, as he and his side prepare to host Newcastle United in their 2020/21 Premier League season opener at London Stadium on Saturday evening.

In a wide-ranging pre-match press conference, the Hammers manager discussed the Premier League’s commitment to No Room For Racism, his intentions for the new season, and the influence of the likes of Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen…

We will take a knee for No Room For Racism

Of course we will. We’re in solidarity with all everybody who’s involved in it. We don’t think racism is something which will just go away – we want action towards it. We want to see that everybody gets the same treatment and treated the same way. I think the more we can continue with No Room For Racism, the more it’ll be challenged at the top end of governments all throughout the world.

I want to make strides forward this season

I think we’ve all taken a little bit of a knock from the COVID-19 situation – we certainly have – so because of that, it makes bringing players in difficult. We’re trying to get good players. We’re trying to bring in players we think will improve the squad. We’re not just going to pick willy-nilly, I want to try and pick the ones which I want. This season we want to continue to progress, make steps forward, add more consistency and I think just building – trying to build and move on. I think West Ham’s got an incredible chance for progress to be made. I actually think, from coming back in January, we’ve already made great improvements. It took us a few weeks to get going with difficult games, but certainly the run-in to the end of the season was very good and we’re hoping those standards continue.

[David Moyes]

Long may the goals continue

We used a strike partnership a few times last season. Certainly it was done on a couple of occasions before I came in, like at Southampton, and we had it in another game against Southampton as well where we got some joy. It was only probably through [Sebastien Haller’s] injury that we changed it around a little bit, but that’s what happens in football quite often – you get an injury, you stumble upon something and it works. When we lost Seb for the majority of the last nine games after we came back from lockdown, the players found a way and Michail Antonio found a great way of getting us goals. Long may that continue.

Declan Rice is captain material

It was always the plan that there was no intention to lose Declan Rice. We’ve had no bids and no enquiries. There seems to be an awful lot of speculation around it, but I can only tell you what I know: he’s a big player for us. He’s so important, a big part of the squad, and he’s growing into it. He’s been captain of West Ham already and he’s learning a lot about leadership from Mark Noble, so I hope in the future we’ll have an incredibly talented footballer who’s got good leadership skills and is motivated to be the captain of West Ham.

[Jarrod Bowen]

I enjoy working with Jarrod Bowen

Jarrod Bowen coming out of the Championship was always a gamble. I’ve had loads of boys over my time that I’ve brought in from the Championship, and most of them take a little time to settle – they don’t always hit the ground running. We needed Jarrod to hit the ground running from January, and he did. If you look at his goalscoring record over the years at Hull, he was always getting around 15 goals every season, and always scoring goals. He made a few, but we want him to add to his goals count in the Premier League. With his enthusiasm, his speed and his energy, he’s been great around the Club. He’s been a really terrific signing for us and I hope I can get more out of him because he’s hungry, he wants to improve, and he has no ego. For many reasons, I really enjoy working with him.

We want to get off to a good start against Newcastle

We would probably argue we were one of the in-form teams at the end of last season. I’m looking to do well. I’m looking to finish strong, so I’m looking to start well, and if we can get a good start that’d be great. The fixture list we’ve been given at West Ham has a really difficult start. When I came back in I had an incredibly difficult start, and it wasn’t easy winning the games, but we did go on and beat Chelsea, we had a good draw at Manchester United, and I thought we played very well and were unlucky to get something from the game at Anfield. We’ll try and go into the games and win them this time. We’ll set ourselves out to try and make that happen, as we did before, but I’d agree that we have a very difficult opening bout of fixtures. The couple of years I’ve been here our start has meant that we’ve had to do really well [at the end of the season], and the position we took on when we took over, to finish and get out of trouble was incredible, and the way the players turned it around. We’re in a different mindset now – we want to be looking to try and finish much higher up the table. That’s our intention.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Team news: David Moyes offers Tomáš Souček update
[Tomas Soucek]

West Ham United manager David Moyes has offered a positive update on the fitness status of Tomáš Souček on the eve of his team’s Premier League season opener at home to Newcastle. The midfielder did not feature for the Czech Republic against either Slovakia or Scotland in the Nations League, with reports that his international side’s preparations were disrupted by a member of the backroom staff testing positive for COVID-19. Speaking at his pre-match press conference for Newcastle, Moyes confirmed that Souček has returned from the international duty and has been training with the West Ham squad. The athletic midfielder impressed during his first half-season on loan with the Hammers, seeing his signing from Slavia Prague made permanent in July. Moyes is now looking forward to having the influential figure back amongst the ranks and available for the upcoming 2020/21 Premier League season. “Tomáš is back and all fine,” Moyes confirmed. “I think the problem happened over in the Czech Republic. “He came back and we had a couple of days where we trained him, but he’s fine. He’s been okay. “The disappointing thing from our point of view is we sent him away to play two games for the national team and one of their staff tested positive and I don’t think was wearing the right equipment, so it made it really difficult for us.”

[Tomas Soucek in pre-season action against Brentford]Tomáš Souček in pre-season action against Brentford

Having scored his first three goals in English football – vital strikes against Chelsea, Newcastle and Watford – following last season’s summer restart, Souček demonstrated his value to the Hammers at both ends of the pitch. Such versatile utility has seen the Czech Footballer of the Year draw comparisons with Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini, whom Moyes formerly recruited while he was at Everton. Moyes, however, sees Souček as a player of different qualities, challenging the West Ham man to continue to make a crucial difference to his side. “If he does as well as Fellaini did, he’ll be doing okay!” he joked. “He played in a lot of big games and he’s won an awful lot of international caps for his country, and he’s played in quite a few cup finals, so I think Tomas in many ways has some similar attributes, but having worked with them both, I can tell you they’re different players in different ways. “Tomáš has made a big difference to West Ham, that’s for sure, just like Fellaini did at Everton when I took him there as well.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Kevin Nolan: We want to be right at it from Day One

As a much-loved figure amongst both West Ham United and Newcastle United supporters, first-team coach Kevin Nolan is looking forward to the prospect of welcoming his former club to London Stadium on Saturday night. Speaking to West Ham’s pre-match show Inside Irons – the first 2020/21 episode of which launches on Friday morning – Nolan reasserted that manager David Moyes and his side are doing everything they can to make a fast start to the new Premier League campaign. The Irons go into the game with an inconsistent recent record against the Magpies in the top-flight, but having also been the better side in their last game, a 2-2 draw at St James Park in July, when they registered 17 shots to the hosts’ eleven. With the momentum of those performances at the tail end of last season behind them, Nolan is positive that West Ham can make a positive start to the fresh campaign ahead. “It’s a fantastic start to be at home,” Nolan said. “We played Newcastle not so long ago so we know what to expect. “They came here last year [in a 3-2 win for Newcastle]. I wasn’t a part of the staff then, but I covered the game for one of the radio stations, and we were poor and let them get away with a lot. “I know the one thing the gaffer wants is to be high-tempo. We want to be right at it come Day One, so we’re really looking forward to it. “It’s always great when one of your old team comes up, you want to play against them, and I get that same feeling now being on the coaching staff. I’m really looking forward to it and hoping that it’s going to be a good start and three points.”

[Kevin Nolan celebrates scoring for West Ham against Newcastle in November 2012]Kevin Nolan celebrates scoring for West Ham against Newcastle in November 2012

A popular figure around the dressing room in his playing days – during which he spent two successful seasons in the North-East, before moving in 2011 for a further four in east London – Nolan was part of the West Ham side which bounced back to the Premier League at the first time of asking via the 2012 Play-Off Final. The 38-year-old, who returned to West Ham as part of manager David Moyes’ coaching staff at the beginning of the year, is a fervent advocate of the significant role that a strong team chemistry played in such an achievement. Speaking to his former teammates Carlton Cole and Bobby Zamora, along with Inside Irons presenter Chris Scull, Nolan discussed the array of characters within that West Ham United dressing room. “You’ve got one of my favourite teammates sitting beside you!” Nolan told Scull. “He came in every day, even though he was late, with a smile on his face. We were all so happy because he was getting fined and we were thinking it would go into our kitty for Dublin! “Another of my favourite teammates is still here as well: Mark Noble. You could never, ever take away what he brought to the dressing room. He was quite funny. “The banter that just went around was unreal, there were good characters, and that’s a major part in having a successful team. You’ve got to have that togetherness, otherwise when you’re on the field, people see it. “Noble in our group was good, we had Ginge (James Collins) who joined us when we got into the Premier League, and James Tomkins and Jack Collison were like twins – they were never separated. Even when we were outside the Club, they were always up to something or annoying someone!”

[Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble on the pre-season trip to St Andrews]Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble on the pre-season trip to St Andrews

Having witnessed the boon to morale it provided first-hand, Nolan hopes to replicate such an atmosphere within the modern West Ham dressing room. He said: “It still plays a major part, so you’ve got to try and find that kind of glue to get everyone onside in the dressing room. “That’s what we’ve started to do and I think I’ve probably been brought in by the gaffer to help the boys, to get them going and give them a little bit of a kick up the backside when they need it, but also to be there to put an arm round the lads. “You’re dealing with so many colourful characters and people with different backgrounds, and it’s about understanding that, and that’s something I was always good at, knowing how to approach people.”
He added: “You knew when Coley was in a mood not to talk about fines or being late, we’ll just let him come out of the changing room and onto the training pitch, get on with it and go home! The next day we’d let him know he got fined!” Our hugely popular pre-match show Inside Irons returns for the 2020/21 season on Friday morning, presented by Chris Scull and Carlton Cole and free to watch on YouTube and whufc.com. As we get set to take on the Magpies, we’ll be bringing you some great Hammers guests, exclusive interviews, scores of hilarious anecdotes, and behind the scenes content not available anywhere else.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: West Ham United versus Wolverhampton Wanderers fixture moved

[London Stadium]

West Ham United’s Premier League fixture with Wolverhampton Wanderers at London Stadium has been moved for live television coverage. The Hammers will now welcome Wolves on Sunday 27 September at 7pm, with the game being broadcast live in the UK by BT Sport. However, supporters should note that the match will revert to its original date and kick-off time of Saturday 26 September at 3pm should Wolves lose in the Carabao Cup second round to Stoke City, and Crystal Palace win at AFC Bournemouth in the same competition. If Wolves win, or both teams lose, then the match will be played on Sunday 27 September at 7pm, as planned. The match will be played without supporters present, in line with Government guidelines and social distancing measures still in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Clubs agreed at a Premier League Shareholders’ meeting held on Tuesday 8 September that all 28 matches scheduled to be played in September will be broadcast live in the UK, via the League’s existing broadcasting partners Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video and BBC. The Premier League is also in discussions with BBC Radio 5 Live and talkSPORT to agree a similar solution for radio. In consultation with all relevant stakeholders, the Premier League is considering appropriate arrangements for matches which will take place after 1 October. The Premier League is working on a step-by-step approach, while monitoring the developments regarding the League’s number one priority of getting fans back into full stadia as soon as possible, with safety always being the priority.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: West Ham United women’s pilot event – supporter information
[Women celebrate]

This Saturday sees West Ham United women’s team take on Arsenal in the Barclays FA WSL, in a 5.20pm kick off, live on BT Sport. The Hammers’ first home fixture of the season, after the summer move to Dagenham & Redbridge FC, has been selected as one of the pilot events to test the return of spectators to elite sporting fixtures.

The Club has continued to work in line with the latest Government guidance and has held ongoing discussions with the FA, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Barking and Dagenham Council, Dagenham & Redbridge FC and the Safety Advisory Group, all of whom have given their full backing and support to continue with this match as a pilot event.

The Club has put robust and thorough plans in place as the safety and wellbeing of our supporters, players and staff remains the Club’s absolute priority. With matchday fast approaching, we ask that women’s Season Ticket holders attending the pilot co-operate fully with all protocols, as has been required in line with Government guidance since lockdown began. We will need, and are grateful for your ongoing support to put on an event that is safe for everyone.

Government guidance on how these pilot events should run has been developed with UK Sport and in close consultation with the Deputy Chief Medical Officers of England, Public Health England, the Sports Grounds Safety Authority, Police and medical representatives across Olympic, Paralympic and professional sports governing bodies.

The Club has also worked with the relevant authorities to ensure spectators have all of the information required to be able to attend the match safely.

E-tickets will be sent to women’s Season Ticket Holders electronically on Friday to be downloaded onto smartphones or printed at home for those fans without smartphones, along with a Code of Conduct for all attendees to follow. Any Season Ticket Holders who do not have an email address should, by now, have received a phone call from the Club Ticket Office explaining their options.
Click here for full information regarding travelling to and arriving at Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium, ticketing, social distancing and COVID-19 regulations, catering, accessible and toilet facilities.
Supporters are reminded that if you are currently required to quarantine under Government guidelines, show any symptoms of COVID-19 or are feeling unwell, you must not attend the match. Further guidelines can be found on the Government’s website. For any queries on medical exemption, please contact the Ticket Office by emailing womensticketingenquiries@westhamunited.co.uk.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Flaherty: Why I’m excited for Hammers’ Dagenham debut
[Gilly Flaherty]

The reasons for excitement and optimism heading into this Saturday’s Barclays FA Women’s Super League match with Arsenal are many for captain Gilly Flaherty. The Irons welcome the Gunners in the first home match of the new campaign, live on BT Sport, and Flaherty cannot wait to kick-off on Saturday evening. The centre-back is in line to make her 50th appearance for West Ham, should she play, and Flaherty is looking forward to the game.

[Gilly Flaherty]

“This is our first home game of a brand-new Barclays FA Women’s Super League season,” the defender wrote in her pre-match programme column. “This is the beginning of my third year as a West Ham United player and I believe we have a strong, tenacious and determined side here, one that the new signings have added that bit of extra quality too. “As we showed against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, we have the drive to fight in games, and we came away from The Hive disappointed to not have taken all three points. I believe that shows a real growth in our team. “Another reason for me personally to allow myself a moment of happiness is that this match – should I feature – is my 50th competitive game for West Ham. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic stopped that honour from coming sooner, but I am grateful to be playing for and captaining the great club. Here’s to the next 50 games in Claret and Blue!” Saturday’s game will also be the first time West Ham United have played at the Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium, and Flaherty is eager to lead her teammates out at the Club’s new matchday home.
It is a real privilege for this Club to be chosen as one of the pilot events to welcome fans back, and it will be a pleasure to have 1,000 of you with us, cheering us on, against the Gunners. Gilly Flaherty
She continued: “The third reason for excitement is that this game is our first in our brand new matchday home, here at Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium. We had the opportunity to get a first look at the facilities during pre-season and I could immediately visualise myself leading the team out here. “With the additional seating, so much extra space and the transport connections, I know this stadium is going to be an incredible home for West Ham United women’s team for today’s match and our home games going forward.” The last reason is undoubtedly the best for Flaherty and her teammates, however, as the club welcomes back up to 1,000 West Ham United supporters for the game. The skipper is excited to feel the atmosphere the fans provide at Victoria Park against the Gunners this weekend. [Gilly Flaherty]

She added: “Finally, and most importantly, everyone in our entire squad is ecstatic because we get to welcome you, our fantastic supporters, back. “It was surreal to play in front of no fans last weekend away to Tottenham and, while behind closed doors matches have been the norm during this pandemic, it doesn’t make it any easier to get used to. “It is a real privilege for this Club to be chosen as one of the pilot events to welcome fans back to football stadiums, and it will be a pleasure to have 1,000 of you with us, cheering us on, against the Gunners. “Whether you are here in person at Victoria Road, or watching the game from home, please know that we can feel your support and we know you are with us.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Rachel Daly: Why West Ham United was the right move for me

The ambition and potential at West Ham United made switching to the east London side an easy decision for latest signing Rachel Daly. The versatile forward joined the Irons on loan last week from NWSL team Houston Dash and made her Barclays FA Women’s Super League bow on Sunday, featuring in the 1-1 season opener against Tottenham. “It’s great to be here,” Daly told West Ham TV. “This move has been on my radar for a little while. I’ve known Matt [Beard] for a really long time and I’ve seen the development of West Ham over the last few years.[Rachel Daly]
“I think the Club has got a lot of potential and I think it was a club that I had on my radar as one to look at and look to be playing here. I’m really excited to be here and I can’t wait to play as many games as I can and help out as much as I can. “The facilities here are fantastic. The staff have done a really good job and Matt has done a really good job of putting together a strong core squad. The energy around the Club is fantastic and the belief of the girls is that they can do something special. I think the Club has got a good heartbeat and I hope that I can join in and fit in.”
Having captained Houston Dash to their first major trophy – the Challenge Cup – over the summer, Daly will remain on loan with the Hammers until the end of the calendar year. The England Lioness says a combination of a desire to test herself back in her home country, upcoming international tournaments, and the pull of the project being built at the Hammers all combined to make the move happen. “I’ve thought about coming back for a long time,” the 28-year-old continued. “It’s been at the back of my mind, whether I want to come back and play in the Barclays FA WSL. I’ve been in the NWSL in America for five years and I’ve been in the States for eight years, so the last time I played here was nine years ago. “The timing just felt perfect, I think. For me, it was about getting in as many games as I could. Next year is going to be a big year for me personally, in the league and also trying to make the Olympic squad. Then we have England international camps as well and, with COVID-19, the quarantine periods would have been difficult. “With all that, it seemed like there was no better opportunity to come back and get in as many games as I can at the highest level.”
After making her competitive debut on Sunday, Daly is excited for her first home outing – against Arsenal – in Claret and Blue this weekend at Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium.

[Rachel Daly]

West Ham’s newest player is eager to help her teammates as much as possible during her spell in east London. She added: “I want to score as many goals as I can, individually. As a team, I want to help the club get up to the highest position we can be in before I leave. Getting points on the board is the most important thing. “I want the team to know that I’m here for them. When I’m putting on the shirt, or the training kit, I’m here for West Ham. The girls have made me feel really welcome and I think this club is special, so I will put this shirt on and wear it with pride and continue to support West Ham United after my loan spell has ended too.”
Rachel Daly is the cover-star for the new 2020/21 West Ham United women’s Official Matchday Programme!
Containing an in-depth interview with Daly on her return to the Barclays FA WSL, adapting to life back in England, and growing up in America, the programme also features interviews with Academy graduate Wiktoria Kiszkis and France international Kenza Dali.
Issue One of the 2020/21 West Ham United women’s Official Matchday Programme will be available digitally on whufc.com from Saturday morning!

[Rachel Daly Matchday Programme]

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Medical Update: Hawa Cissoko undergoes surgery as Martha Thomas begins rehab

West Ham United women’s team will be without Hawa Cissoko and Martha Thomas for this weekend’s Barclays FA Women’s Super League clash with Arsenal. The duo were both absent from Matt Beard’s matchday squad for the season-opener at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday due to injuries, and the extent of their respective knocks has now been confirmed by Head of Medical Elena Jobson. France international Cissoko has undergone surgery and will be out for approximately eight weeks.

[Thomas and Cissoko]

“Hawa was enjoying a good pre-season with the team but, unfortunately, she picked up a knock during one of the pre-season matches,” Jobson told whufc.com. “She has had a pretty bad reaction to that slight injury and so underwent minor surgery last week. “We’re anticipating her being out for a short while but we’re optimistic she will be back for us in about two months. [Martha Thomas]
“She’s recovering well in rehab so far and her personality is shining through. She’s a huge character in the team and we’re looking forward to getting her back on the pitch and seeing that personality come through in games too.”
Forward Thomas, who scored five times in her debut season with the Irons, has also begun rehab after rolling her ankle during the pre-season schedule. Jobson explained that the medical team determined avoiding surgery was the best option for the No9 at this time. She added: “Martha rolled her ankle during one of our pre-season games and, having discussed the options with her, the medical team and external doctors, we’ve decided to opt for a conservative route to get her back on the pitch. “She’s been doing very well in rehab, which is great to see, and we’re hoping to get her back a bit quicker than we originally anticipated. She’s a young athlete with a very big future in the game and it’s important we take things at the right pace for her. But I’m pleased to say she’s responding well to her rehab so far.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: SAT 12 SEPT 2020PREMIER LEAGUE
West Ham United20:00Newcastle United
Venue: London Stadium

[Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser pictured playing for Bournemouth]
Newcastle could hand a debut to Callum Wilson, who has seven goals in eight Premier League games against West Ham TEAM NEWS

Tomas Soucek is available for West Ham despite a brief period of self-isolation following international duty. Soucek was in contact with a member of the Czech Republic’s backroom team who tested positive for Covid-19, but the player himself has tested negative.
Newcastle’s lengthy list of absentees includes Fabian Schar, Martin Dubravka, Dwight Gayle and Paul Dummett, while Matt Ritchie is a doubt. Callum Wilson and Jamal Lewis could both make their debuts. Ryan Fraser, who is another recent recruit, lacks fitness and will be monitored. LAWRO’S PREDICTION

West Ham fans are clearly miffed about the sale of Grady Diangana to West Brom. I don’t know why they sold him – how can it be for financial reasons when they have just bid about £30m for Burnley defender James Tarkowski? Newcastle, meanwhile, come into the new season on the back of some really good signings like Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Jeff Hendrick. You can see what Steve Bruce is thinking – he wanted some players who know all about the Premier League. This will be close, but I’m going with the Hammers. David Moyes has had some time to work with his team and, if they can get Tarkowski in – or someone like him – they will be safer, quicker, this time. Prediction: 2-1
[West Ham dropped 26 points from winning positions last season] It was the highest figure in the top flight
§ Newcastle have won nine Premier League away games against West Ham, a tally they have only bettered at Tottenham (10 victories).
§ The Hammers have scored two or more goals in each of their past five Premier League games against the Magpies, although they failed to win either of last season’s meetings. West Ham United
§ The Hammers have lost their opening Premier League fixture on 13 occasions, more than any other side.
§ They have started with a defeat in each of the past four seasons, conceding at least four goals in each of the last three.
§ The last top-flight team to lose their opening league match in five consecutive seasons were Wimbledon between 1986 and 1990.
§ Michail Antonio ended last season with eight goals in his last seven Premier League appearances – his tally of eight goals in July is bettered only by Luis Suarez (who hit 10 in December 2013) in a calendar month.
§ Mark Noble has scored 46 Premier League goals for West Ham, and is one short of equalling Paolo Di Canio as the Hammers’ all-time top scorer in the division. § Declan Rice is set to play his 100th Premier League match. Newcastle United
§ Newcastle have lost their first league match of the season in six of the past seven campaigns, drawing the other game.
§ They last began with a victory in 2012, defeating Tottenham 2-1 at St James’ Park. Their most recent opening-day away win came against Bolton in 2007.
§ Newcastle have lost 79 Premier League away matches in London, more than any other side.
§ Callum Wilson has scored seven goals in eight top-flight matches against West Ham, all for previous club Bournemouth.
§ Jonjo Shelvey has scored three Premier League goals against West Ham, and netted home and away against them last season.


West Ham United v Newcastle United
· By Preview Percy KUMB.com
Filed: Friday, 11th September 2020

It’s that time of the year when supporters up and down the country look with optimism towards the dawning of a new season. There’s hope and expectation that this might be the season and that amongst the new arrivals there will be an unexpected gem who will capture the imagination.
That’s most clubs of course. Not us. And. In keeping with the general air of disappointment, we are “gutted” “angry” and “sad” to announce that we have been unable to replace Preview Percy during the current window. So, with a due sense of foreboding, here is his look at the season-opener against Newcastle United………

And so, the 2020-21 season starts in this weirdest of times with a home match against Newcastle United. Kick off this Saturday is now 8pm with the powers that be now agreeing to televise all matches live in September. Travel news is largely irrelevant of course. No doubt wherever you live there will be some form of engineering works going on so if you are not going to the match by train be prepared to not use a replacement bus for all or part of your non-journey. Or not as the case may be.

So, the Geordies then. Well when we last met I was looking forward to the time when I would be able to open one of these without having to explain to some of the visiting support that the audio footprint of Bow Bells does not quite extend to High Wycombe thus depriving Mike Ashley of the ‘Cockney’ status they seem so willing to assign to him.

Back then, everything had been signed sealed and all but delivered on a transfer of ownership to Saudi interests only for the “fit and proper” people to have doubts about the whole thing. The involvement of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund was key to the matter. The PIF – essentially the vehicle through which the Saudi Royal Family invests all those oil billions – is run by the country’s ruling leader Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salmen. This is the chap who accepted responsibility for the brutal assassination of regime-critical journalist Jamal Khashoggi, describing it as a “mistake”. So that’s ok then.

However, it would appear that the authorities at this end were more concerned at the Saudis’ involvement in TV piracy over football broadcasting rights. Which, if that is the case, shows a rather depressing sense of priorities on the part of the powers that be at this end. Meanwhile, if your lights dimmed just now it was probably Manchester City’s owners just turning up the voltage in their interrogation rooms.

Not that anyone should shed a tear for Ashley that the deal didn’t go through – he is believed to be sitting on a chunky non-returnable deposit from the Saudis of between ?9-17m, depending on your source. Which is a decent business model. There are new kids on the block as far as a sale goes. A far-eastern outfit calling themselves Bellagraph Nova (which sounds like the name of a Whitley Bay guest house) have been making overtures in that direction so watch this space etc.

On the footballing front, Daisy the Full Time Flexibly-Furloughed and socially-bubbled Personal Assistant with the beautiful smile informs me that the current window has seen four arrivals, which may come as a surprise to some of you who may have previously been unaware that the transfer market operates in both directions.

At the end of last season midfielder Jeff ‘Jimi’ Hendrick eschewed the opportunity to play in Burnley’s last few matches, electing instead to put his feet up once the 30 June contract expiry date had passed, thus ensuring that the subsequent free transfer up to Tyneside wasn’t jeopardised by anything resembling an injury. Hendrick was an unused sub in Ireland’s surprise 1-0 home defeat in the Nations league on Sunday.

[Newcastle United Training Session : News Photo]

The second arrival was to bolster the options in goal where usual first choice Martin Dubravka has a long-term ankle/heel injury and Rob Elliot has been released. 28-year-old Mark Gillespie arrived on another free from Hearts, crossing the border from Tynecastle to Tyneside. The signing makes Gillespie the Geordie David Martin, returning as he is to the club where he started out his youth career, though as far as I am aware he hasn’t got an ex-player dad sitting in the stands awaiting a hug for his first clean sheet.

The third new boy is hot off the press insofar as when I started writing this the deal to sign Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson was still at the “fee agreed, personal terms under discussion” stage. Daisy informs me that a fee of ?20m has been reported for the player who is one of those players who has a habit of scoring against us, most memorably rescuing a point for the Cherries down at Dean Court with a goal that he punched in from an offside position. Bit of a kick in the face for those of us who thought “good we’ve seen the last of him” when Bournemouth went down last season.

Even hotter off the press is the news that they have further swooped upon the rotting carcass of AFC Bournemouth to pick up Ryan Fraser. Like fellow new signing Hendrick, Fraser declined the invitation to carry on playing after 30 June, deciding that the chance of assisting in Bournemouth’s relegation fight was an opportunity he was quite happy to pass on given the possibility of injury. As a free agent Fraser fetched no fee.

The new signings will soften the blow of a somewhat lengthy injury list. Apart from Dubravka, Schar (shoulder), Dummett (hamstring), Clark (ankle)and Gayle (knee) are all destined to miss this one, whilst Ritchie (unspecified knock) and Longstaff (M) (quadriceps strain) are on the “in with a chance but not much of one” camp.

Let us move on to the wild and wacky world of Association Football then. The messed-up situation that the world finds itself in means that the usual calendar is completely screwed. One of the benefits of this is that we are spared the usual madness whereby an international break turns up after only a couple of games of the league season and they have gotten the first break out of the way before the season kicks off, thus disrupting pre-season instead of the season itself. Of course, if and when we eventually get back to normal, I suspect FIFA will start scheduling international breaks so that they start at half time.

Still the trip to the country formerly known as Bejam was far from uneventful for the Three Lions. Quite apart from the drama of two late penalties – which contrasted with the tedium of the preceding 90 minutes as England struggled to break down an obdurate Icelandic defence – we had the little matter of Messrs Foden and Greenwood being caught in the company of two young ladies in an unauthorised area of the team hotel. Presumably the players had more in mind than signing autograph books for the young ladies concerned.

Given the salaries afforded to professional footballers these days the ?1,300 fine from the Reykjavik Constabulary for stepping out with someone’s “dottir” without a permit (or whatever the offence was) would be chicken feed. However, Foden in particular might be wishing that they had banged him up for a while, what with an irate girlfriend and kid waiting for him back home. Do women still wait at the front door armed with rolling pins like they used to in cartoons? I guess Foden may be about to find out.

The so called big six (which this year is five big clubs and Spurs) have apparently got the hump that the other 14 clubs voted against a continuation of the seven subs rule that was in force over lockdown. A spokesman was heard to be issuing muttering threats along the lines of “we will remember that vote”. The clubs involved appear to believe that the whole league is run for their benefit and, to be fair, when the authorities bend over backwards to help them at every stage it’s easy to see why they might think that way.

[West Ham United Training Session : News Photo]

And so to us. Oh, dearie me. What is one to say?! There we were going with a vaguely uneventful pre-season when the management who, remember, are on record as denying that they lurch from one PR disaster to another, managed to turn what were mild rumblings of discontent at what had been a quiet transfer window into all out civil war.

The in-door had been disturbed only by the technical arrival of Soucek who was already there. Then in came West Brom with the promise of ?18m plus add-ons in return for Diangana. It would appear that neither player nor manager were keen on the idea, with the lad having featured a lot in pre-season. However, them upstairs had spoken and much to everyone’s dismay Diangana was West Brom-bound.

At this point all hell broke loose with none other than Mark Noble going to tweet describing himself as “gutted, angry and sad”. Now “gutted and sad” might have been dismissed as being part of a sentimental farewell to a much-liked team-mate. However, throw an “angry” in there and the resulting phrase is not so much the title of an unsuccessful Cole Porter song, more of a hand-grenade. Other players waded in with the comment from Wilshere to the effect that the player should go where he is respected being particularly cutting.

The club’s statement that the decision was “difficult” and that the funds would be reinvested in other areas of the pitch was followed by the now traditional unrealistic bid for a player unlikely to make the move. At the time of writing it seems that there are only two things stopping Tarkowski from joining us. Firstly, the suggested fee is little over half what Burnley are asking. Secondly the player appears to be less than keen on the move. It’s almost as if our owners believe that we have forgotten every other time that they have done this.

The Diangana move prompted a flurry of rumours of arguments between Moyes and the management, each rumour becoming wilder as it crawled its way along the various tentacles spreading out from the central hub of the internet. I particularly enjoyed the one where the various parties were all armed with laser cannon with Moyes having taken a sniper’s vantage point at the top of the helter-skelter outside the stadium.

The club is not being run well at present. We were late with instalment payments on the Haller transfer – rumour suggests that these are still unpaid and it is a sobering thought that Newcastle have signed more players in the time it has taken me to write this article than we are likely to have brought in all summer. And that’s even if you include Soucek.

Regular readers will know that I don’t hang too much significance to pre-season friendlies. Embarrassing as the Betway Cup defeat to Bournemouth was many of the goals came through holes that would have been plugged by Rice or Soucek. What the match did highlight though was our paucity of resources to the effect that, even more so than usual this season, we will be watching international breaks through our fingers from behind the sofa.

The current position with injuries is that we are in the odd position where we currently have one player may be missing, not because he is injured or ill, but because he KNOWS somebody who is injured or ill. The aforementioned Soucek is currently trying to clarify his quarantine position having been in contact with a member of the Czech backroom staff who tested positive for Covid-19.

Prediction? Well this one will be all about the mood of each squad. Up to this week they had had a fairly depressing summer – they too let in five in a 5-1 defeat to Boro’ whilst last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Stoke was scarcely more cheerful. On the other hand, the arrival of Wilson and Fraser (and please congratulate me for getting this far without mentioning Dad’s Army) will have given them a boost. Our mood on the other hand will be akin to someone being given a brand new 60″ UHD TV only to discover that the only programme it will pick up is Mrs Brown’s Boys.

So, with heavy heart, and I honestly hope I am very wrong, but bearing in mind there will be a whole ?2.50 at stake (being my savings from eating out to help out) I can only go for a home defeat. 2-1 to the visitors I’m afraid.

Enjoy the game!


When last we met at the Olympic: Lost: 2-3 (Premier League November 2019)

Not as close as the score suggests. In my summing up for the following preview I suggested that Roberto was not of the standard required for Premier League football and that, in the absence of anyone else, it might be time to give David Martin a start. The following match was Burnley away. I take no pride in saying “I told you so” in respect of something that was blindingly obvious to everyone with half a braincell. Anderson and Snodgrass’s late efforts failed to paper over the cracks.

Referee: Stuart Atwell

If you see a flustered-looking bloke around Stratford muttering “it’s between the posts for a goal” that’ll be him. Hapless is the word that covers it. In fact, not only is he without hap, I have a strong suspicion that there is a severe deficiency in the gorm department as well.

Danger Man: Allan Saint-Maximin

I made him danger man last season on account of his pace. So, we picked Zabaleta. Again, something that ought to have been blindingly obvious to anyone with half a braincell. (See also Traore home and away). Full back is one of those problem areas of course so the words “perfect storm” leap to mind.

Percy’s Poser

As ever we visit the pages of that august organ of record The Chronicle. Usually one has to scour pages for an eternity to pick up a poser. Not this time, where the following headline literally hopped off the screen:

XXXX XXXX hops 5,726 miles from Ecuador to Tesco in Newcastle in XXXXXX XXXXX

Good luck one and all!


Tarkowski deal in the board’s hands · By Staff Writer
Friday, 11th September 2020

David Moyes says that West Ham have made “a couple of offers” for Burnley’s James Tarkowski – but are yet to decide whether to return with a third bid. The Hammers are understood to have started the bidding for the 27-year-old around the ?25million mark before going back with a second offer worth in the region of ?5million more. However with both offers having been rejected, Moyes insisted it was unlikely the club would return imminently with a third offer for a player rated by his current club as being worth in the region of ?50million. When asked whether West Ham had been priced out of a deal during a press conference on Friday, Moyes replied: “Yeah I would have to say so in this market. We have all taken a bit of a hit from the Covid situation and because of that it will make it difficult. “We are trying to get players, ones that will improve the squad and not just bring them in willy-nilly. I want to get players I want. If Burnley say ‘no’ and Sean says ‘no’ then I respect that decision but yes, we have made a couple of offers for him. [Any third bid] is a decision for the board and whether they think it is right. Obviously we will get to a limit where we feel we can’t get much further but it could be a price they might accept.”

With regards to other potential movements within the squad, Moyes declared he had no knowledge regarding the potential departure of Jack Wilshere after it was rumoured West Ham may be seeking to reach mutual agreement with the midfielder regarding an early termination of his current contract, which has a year more left to run. “There have been no discussions that I know of,” added the manager. “Jack has a year to go, he’s here and I have really enjoyed working with him. He has trained through all of his injuries since lockdown, he hasn’t missed a day. I have enjoyed having him, I have heard nothing about it.”

Meanwhile Moyes insisted the club had recived no offers for Declan Rice, a player the manager recently stated he would like to keep for as long as possible. “There was no intention to lose Declan,” he confirmed. “We have had no bids and no enquiries. There is a lot of speculation but I can only tell you what I know. I wouldn’t want to lose him anyway because he is too big a player for us, he is too important and a big part of the squad. “He’s been captain already, I think he is learning a lot of leadership from Mark Noble, so I hope in the future we will have an incredibly talented footballer with great leadership skills and will be the captain of West Ham.”

Finally, on the transfer front, Moyes indicated that rumours regarding a potential departure for Andriy Yarmolenko – who has been linked with a move to China in recent days – were without foundation. “I have heard nothing about it,” he said.


We’re losing £100million every month · By Staff Writer
Friday, 11th September 2020

The Premier League have expressed their “concern” about the decision to potentially delay the return of football fans to Premier League stadia. Earlier this week the Government announced they were adding more restrictive measures regarding public meetings in the wake of rising number of coronavirus cases in the UK. Consequently a push to allow the return of spectators to Premier League grounds is set to be delayed beyond the beginning of October, the target before this week’s new regulations were introduced.
As a result the League have written to the Government in order to express their “concern”, while claiming £100million in revenue is lost to professional clubs each and every month the restrictions continue. “The Premier League has written to the Government today to express its concern at the decisions taken to restrict, and potentially delay, the planned programme for the return of fans to football stadiums,” read a statement published on Friday. “With test events now capped at 1,000 supporters, we believe they will not provide any opportunity to properly test and evaluate measures designed to maximise fan safety. “Therefore, Premier League clubs will defer holding test events until a sufficient number of fans are allowed back to enable thorough trials to take place. At 1,000 supporters, not only would there be little to learn from a test event, but each match would be heavily loss-making. “For each month of the season without fans, more than £100 million is lost to football across the leagues, with consequent damage to the local and national economy. It also harms the employment prospects of more than 100,000 people whose jobs depend on matchday activities.”
And the Premier League insisted they can provide a safe environment for supporters, even though they are yet to undergo any ‘stress testing’ with thousands of fans present. “Our clubs have already prepared test events and can offer larger scale trials to prove it is possible to produce bio-secure, safe environments, as was proved through the successful delivery of Project Restart,” continued the statement. “The Premier League recognises the ambition of the Government’s Operation Moonshot and will support the project’s objectives to get fans back into stadiums. However, we believe measures are already available which would allow the safe return of fans and should also be activated now. As the Government begins its review of the 1 October date for the return of spectators to sport, the Premier League asks that the high safety standards which can be achieved by our clubs are fully taken into account before any decision is taken and that sport is not left behind other industries.”


Moyes breaks silence on Noble tweet · By Staff Writer
Friday, 11th September 2020

It’s been a long time coming, but David Moyes has finally broken his silence regarding the controversial tweet published by Mark Noble in response to the board’s decision to sell Grady Diangana to West Bromwich Albion. Speaking via his twitter feed following the ?20million sale of the talented Academy graduate to Albion, Noble blasted the board by claiming he was “gutted, angry and sad”. Despite West Ham playing Bournemouth in a pre-season friendly at the London Olympic Stadium 24 hours after the tweet Moyes kept his counsel by refraining from speaking to the media about the issue – until today. And when asked about the situation in Friday’s pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday night’s clash with Newcastle United, Moyes indicated that he was similarly disappointed about the loss of Diangana who he insisted was “important” to West Ham.
“I haven’t had any conversation with Mark about it,” began Moyes, adding: “It showed a real togetherness with the players and what Grady Diangana meant to the players and the club.
“He was really important to us. Mark has been in that situation for about 20 years and he just showed how he felt. We are all entitled to our opinion.”

Noble is understood to have held what have been termed “peace talks” with the club’s board, who have also felt the full wrath of the fanbase since the sale of Diangana was confirmed last week. He is reported to have spoken with co-owner David Sullivan and vice-chair Karren Brady, who sanctioned the sale, last weekend following the Betway Cup defeat against Bournemouth. Some sources claimed Moyes was similarly disappointed by the sale, having previously gone public with his desire to keep and build a squad based around his most talented young players.


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