West Ham United women’s November internationals: All you need to know [Katerina Svitkova in action for Czech Republic]

The final international break of 2020 sees eight West Ham United players head off with their respective nations, while six could be in action in a vital set of Euro 2021 qualifiers.
Read on for all the information you need to know about the coming West Ham United women’s internationals in action… Who is playing?
Six of the eight West Ham United players called up for international duty could be set to feature for their country in the coming days.
As the host nation, England automatically qualify for the European Championships next summer, and will therefore only participate in a training camp at St George’s Park. Hammers duo Grace Fisk and Rachel Daly have once again been included in Phil Neville’s squad.
In Group D, Katerina Svitkova and her Czech Republic international teammates are still within a shout of automatically qualifying for the tournament Finals next summer. They play Moldova in their final qualifying fixture.
A win could potentially put the Czech Republic top but, with Spain holding two games in hand, it is more likely that Svitkova and her colleagues’ best chance of reaching Euro 2021 will come via second place in Group D. [Martha Thomas]
With only half of their qualifying matches in Group E played so far, Scotland will still harbour hopes of also qualifying for next summer’s Finals. Hammers striker Martha Thomas will be hoping to lead the line when the Scots take on second-placed Portugal on Friday before playing group leaders Finland next Tuesday, in what is a crucial week for their qualification hopes.
Kenza Dali and her France teammates are already assured of at least a play-off place after five wins from six games in Group G. With two fixtures in this international break, against second-placed Austria and winless Kazakhstan, Dali and France could have their spot at the Euro 2021 Finals completely secured by the end of the international window.
Much like her Hammers colleague Dali, Alisha Lehmann also knows she and her Switzerland side are certain of at least a play-off position in Group H. With six wins and a draw from seven games, Switzerland need to avoid defeat away to second-place Belgium on Tuesday in order to finish top of their pool and bank their place at the tournament Finals.
Finally, Leanne Kiernan and Courtney Brosnan could both be in action when the Republic of Ireland take on Germany in their final Group I contest next Tuesday. Ireland, in second-place, cannot catch group winners Germany, but will need to better Ukraine’s result to be certain of at least a play-off place.

Matches in full
Friday 27 November
Martha Thomas – Portugal v Scotland – UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 Qualifying, Group E – Estádio do Restelo- 7:00pm KO
Kenza Dali – France v Austrla – UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 Qualifying, Group G – Stade du Roudourou – 8pm KO Tuesday 1 December
Katerina Svitkova – Czech Republic v Moldova – UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 Qualifying, Group D – Letní stadion – 2pm KO [Kenza Dali]

Leanne Kiernan & Courtney Brosnan – Republic of Ireland v Germany – UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 Qualifying, Group I – Tallaght Stadium – 5pm KO
Alisha Lehmann – Belgium v Switzerland – UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 Qualifying, Group H – King Power Stadion At Den Dreef – 7:00pm KO
Martha Thomas – Scotland v Finland – UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 Qualifying, Group E – Easter Road – 7:30pm KO
Kenza Dali – France v Kazakhstan – UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 Qualifying, Group G – Stade de la Rabine – 8pm KO

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Hammers trip to Chelsea chosen for BBC Red Button coverage
[Hammers trip to Chelsea chosen for BBC Red Button coverage]

West Ham United women’s visit to Chelsea in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League has been selected for broadcast coverage by BBC Sport, on the Red Button and iPlayer. The fixture will be played on Sunday 6 December and will kick-off at 12:30pm
The match will mark the second time that a West Ham United Barclays FA WSL match has been shown live on the BBC this season, after the home clash with Manchester United in October.
The Hammers last visit to play Emma Hayes’ Chelsea ended in defeat, but captain Gilly Flaherty earned the Irons a 1-1 draw at Kingsmeadow in 2019.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Sebastien Haller: Sunday’s goal will build my confidence

Sebastien Haller was been wearing the broadest of smiles on the inside ever since lashing his game-winning drive into the top right hand corner of the Sheffield United net on Sunday.
The Ivory Coast international rounded off a fine week with the Bramall Lane strike, adding to his debut international goal by helping the Hammers record their second straight 1-0 win.
His 56th minute strike was one of real quality too, giving Blades keeper Aaron Ramsdale little chance as it flew past his fingertips.
Haller now has six goals for the campaign, with two of them coming in the Premier League, and he says Sunday’s performance will give him confidence as he looks to continue to build.
“I was happy, and I was also really happy to see all my teammates and everyone around was happy for me too,” the No22 explained.
“It means a lot, everyone knows it hasn’t been an easy situation for me in the last weeks and months, so to get this goal and the victory in the end is great for myself and everyone.
“I don’t know if I was too tired to think about making a control or something else [when I shot for the goal], but in the end sometimes the less you’re thinking the better you play.
“It was just nice to score a goal like that without any thinking. Just shoot the ball and get the goal, and that’s it.

[Sebastien Haller]

“Scoring my first goal for Ivory Coast in my first game was a nice feeling. It means a lot to the country and my family, and now to be back here I’m happy to see the lads and everyone around. To get this goal after those weeks is special.
“It’s a matter of confidence and trying to build things around me. It’s not that easy, we’re all different. You need to find the right balance, and sometimes it needs more time to come, or a bit of luck, or small details to make things really good.
“The only thing I can do is get back to work, get help from my teammates and score goals.”
The Hammers have now lost just once in their past seven Premier League outings, climbing up to eighth in the table in an encouraging start to the campaign.
Haller is optimistic for a strong campaign ahead, especially given the togetherness of the squad.
“It is our strength,” he continued. “We know that we need to be all together, stick together with solidarity. We can see on the pitch that we try to work for our teammates.
“We’re really happy to win this kind of game because maybe last season we wouldn’t have. We’re all together and this is important as a team to act like that.
“The strength of the group can make a difference. If you want to achieve you need to be good individually, but also as a group. It takes time, we have the quality but we need to show it [consistently].”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: On this day: McAvennie sends Hammers top

Taking a look back at a classic West Ham United moment on this day in history, in association with RoadX Tyres…
Frank McAvennie struck the winner to send West Ham United top of Division Two with a 1-0 victory at Plymouth Argyle on this day 30 years ago.
The Hammers would go on to spend the remainder of the 1990/91 campaign in the promotion places, eventually finishing second behind Oldham Athletic to regain their place in the top flight.


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Loan watch: First starts for Felipe Anderson and Xande Silva [Felipe Anderson for FC Porto]

Three West Ham United loanees were in action over the weekend, with two of them – attackers Felipe Anderson and Xande Silva – making their first starts for their adopted clubs.
For the Brazilian winger Anderson, who joined FC Porto on loan until the end of the season last month, there was a chance to impress from the start as the Dragões travelled to Campeonato de Portugal outfit GD Fabril to begin their defence of the Portuguese Cup. Starting on the left, much of the early attacking momentum came down Anderson’s flank as Porto’s No28 linked up well with his teammates to set up opportunities for Mehdi Taremi and former Hammer, Toni Martinez. The defending champions understandably dominated against the third-tier side but when their breakthrough finally arrived on the stroke of half-time, it did so in spectacular fashion: a stunning bicycle kick from Martinez. Five minutes into the second half, Anderson registered his first assist in a blue and white shirt after showing good control to bring down a bouncing ball and play in Taremi, who blasted the ball through the keeper’s gloves. The Brazilian was withdrawn soon after but could be satisfied with his side’s afternoon’s work, a comfortable 2-0 win seeing them safely into round four of Taça de Portugal.
Following an impressive debut off the bench prior to the international break, 23-year-old forward Xande Silva was handed his first start for Aris Thessaloniki FC, who maintained their sensational run of form to see off Panetolikos 1-0 on Sunday afternoon. Deployed on the left wing, Silva made plenty of early running and provided the through-pass which saw Dimitri Manos barged over inside the penalty area after a quarter-of-an-hour; Bruno Gama stepped up to the mark and duly converted. The visitors – and Manos in particular – enjoyed plenty of chances to stretch their lead, but were forced to settle for a 1-0 win at Panetolikos Stadium. The victory means that Aris continue to lead the way in Super League Greece this season, sitting level on points with Olympiakos after six wins from seven games played.

[Winston Reid heads away for Sporting Kansas City]Winston Reid heads away for Sporting Kansas City

Finally, Winston Reid and Sporting Kansas City endured a dramatic Sunday night in the 2020 MLS Playoffs, but came out on top on penalties following a 3-3 draw with San Jose Earthquakes. Having helped his side finish in top spot in the Western Conference, New Zealand defender Reid started the quarter-final match for Sporting and saw his side get off to a bright start with a fourth-minute near-post header from Roger Espinoza. The Quakes caused some tremors at a sunny Children’s Mercy Park, however, as two close-range goals from Carlos Fierro and Shea Salinas saw them take the lead prior to half-time.
Sporting equalised within two minutes of the restart from a corner flicked home by Ilie Sanchez, with Reid’s close attentions at the back post ensuring that the ball eventually crossed the goal-line. The home team pushed forwards and must have thought they’d clinched progression when Ginaluca Busio blasted home following a neat flick to put Sporting back in front in the first minute of injury time. But San Jose refused to lie down, and equalised in remarkable fashion through Chris Wondolowski’s header, which arrived in the seventh minute of additional time at the end of the match. After a goalless 30 minutes of extra-time, Sporting keeper Tim Melia was in imperious form during the penalty shootout, stopping all three of the visitors’ attempts to see his side through 3-0 on spot-kicks.
Reid and Sporting will now host fourth seeds Minnesota United FC in the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs on either Tuesday 1 or Wednesday 2 December.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Nathan Trott: Under-23s must maintain form and fight
[Nathan Trott]

Academy goalkeeper Nathan Trott believes West Ham United Under-23s can take confidence from their form and fight in the Papa John’s Trophy as they bid to end their winless league run. The Hammers have yet to clinch three points in Premier League 2 so far this season, despite putting in a number of strong performances which arguably warranted better. Such results have come in contrast to those the development squad have attained against senior Football League opposition in the Papa John’s Trophy. 3-1, 1-0 and 1-0 wins against Southend United, Colchester United and Portsmouth respectively helped the young Irons to top their group and tee up a second-round match against Peterborough United. The latter of those results – the Irons’ impressive win over Pompey at Fratton Park – saw Trott make his first appearance in West Ham United colours in two seasons, having spent 2019/20 on loan at League One club AFC Wimbledon. Buoyed by that experience, Trott was impressed with the quality of the performances his development squad teammates delivered on the south coast, with many of them promoted from youth team level for the fixture. Should they maintain such standards, Trott feels that West Ham’s U23s have a good chance of collecting three Premier League 2 points when they travel to Leicester City’s King Power Stadium on Monday evening. “I think they can be really positive having had that result against Portsmouth,” Trott told whufc.com. “Travelling to Fratton Park is never easy. “The boys played really well there. It was a solid performance against a top League One side, and to top it off with a clean sheet was really good as well. “If they can compete with teams like that, near the top of the table in a professional league, then they know they can take the form and fight which they had there and put it to use in Premier League 2. Hopefully the results will come from there. “We’ve a young team at the moment. I’ve played in a lot of U23s teams before and this is probably one of the youngest ones, but the players showed during the Portsmouth game that they can play at a high level. Everyone dug deep to get a result out of it.”
Trott’s return to Fratton Park yielded a strong performance, a clean sheet – and happier memories than those of the defeat he suffered as part of the Dons’ visiting party in January.

My focus is just on training as hard as I can and doing as well as I can with the U23s Nathan Trott

The 22-year-old, who was also called up by England U21s for the first time last season, has since returned to the Club and has trained with West Ham’s first-team group in recent months. Pleased to turn out for the Irons once more, Trott is now looking to advance his development by continuing to work as hard as he can and impress at every opportunity. He observed: “After coming back from loan, it was good for me to get out there and get 90 minutes under my belt because it’s been a long time coming really. “Playing in League One, then coming back into a Papa John’s Trophy game for West Ham, I think my experience meant I was a lot more used to it than the other boys. It was good to help them out. “I’ve been training with the first-team group for a while now. I want to get games in and maybe at some stage look to get a loan move to get game time. “For now, though, my focus is just on training as hard as I can and doing as well as I can with the U23s.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Details confirmed for Papa John’s Trophy second round tie
[West Ham United Under-21s]

The date and time of West Ham United Under-21s’ trip to Peterborough United in the second round of the Papa John’s Trophy has been confirmed. The young Hammers will travel to Weston Homes Stadium to take on the League One high-flyers on Tuesday 8 December. The match will kick-off at 6pm. Managed by Darren Ferguson, Peterborough have made a strong start to the 2020/21 campaign and currently second in the third tier of English professional football, making them the highest-ranked side left in the Southern section of the competition. Following 3-1 and 1-0 wins at League Two teams Southend United and Colchester United respectively, the U21s sealed first place in Group A with a memorable 1-0 win at Fratton Park against last season’s finalists Portsmouth earlier this month. The upcoming tie with the Posh marks the first time the young Hammers will compete in the knockout stages since 2017/18, and only the second time since academies were invited to participate in 2016/17. The Hammers will therefore travel to Peterborough with little to fear and all to play for, as they bid to reach the competition’s third round for the first time in their history. The Papa John’s Trophy final will be played at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 14 March 2021.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: On This Day: Valon Behrami shoots West Ham United to victory at Sunderland

Taking a look back at a classic West Ham United moment on this day in history, in association with RoadX Tyres…
Valon Behrami’s goal ended a seven-game winless run as West Ham United scored a 1-0 Premier League victory at Sunderland on this day in 2008. The Swiss midfielder struck the only goal of the game to secure all three points for Gianfranco Zola’s side at the Stadium of Light, when his 20th-minute shot took a deflection off Kenwyne Jones and beat goalkeeper Marton Fulop. Behrami later hit the crossbar, while the Black Cats missed a succession of chances to level as West Ham rose to 13th in the table.


Fans set for Premier League return next month · By Staff Writer
Monday, 23rd November 2020

Up to 4,000 fans will be allowed at Premier League and Championship fixtures in low-risk areas when the currently month-week lockdown in England ends at the beginning of December.
Meanwhile up to 2,000 people will be allowed in those areas deemed to be in tier two zones, although none will be granted access in tier three.

[West Ham United v Aston Villa – Premier League : News Photo]

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement while revealing the Government’s new Covid-19 measures for England, which will allow football supporters to enter stadiums for the first time since March. “In tiers one and two, spectator sports and business events will be free to resume inside and outside with capacity limits and social distancing,” he confirmed. “Later this week, we will announce which areas will fall into which tier – I hope on Thursday – based on analysis of cases in all age groups, especially the over-60s. “Also, [it will involve] looking at the rate at which cases are rising or falling, the percentage of those tested in a local population who have Covid and current and projected pressures on the NHS.”


Newham – where West Ham United’s London Olympic Stadium is based – had a rolling rate of 184.8 cases per 100,000 in the latest figures (the seven days to 18 November) which was marginally below the national average. That would preclude the club from being consider to be part of a tier one zone, although could potentially see the area granted tier two status – thus allowing up to 2,000 fans to be granted access to the club’s first home match following the introduction of the new regulations. That is likely to be the visit of Manchester United, who are scheduled to visit Stratford on Saturday, 5 December.


Declan Rice ‘loving life’ at West Ham as he opens up on Chelsea release

West Ham vice-captain Declan Rice has been linked with a move to Chelsea in recent months, just six years after being released from the Blues’ academy as a youngster



· Declan Rice insists he is “loving life” at West Ham amid talk of a potential return to boyhood club Chelsea. The 21-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in recent months, with reports suggesting Frank Lampard is a huge admirer. Signing for the Blues would bring Rice’s career full circle already, having spent eight years in their youth setup before being released at the age of 14. After he was let go, the defensive midfielder joined West Ham’s academy and climbed the ranks to eventually make his senior debut in May 2017.
Declan Rice has been linked with a move to Chelsea in recent months amid his solid form for West Ham

And now, 120 first-team appearances later, he finds himself as vice-captain of the east London club despite only turning 21 at the start of the year. Rice believes being released by Chelsea at a young age actually proved a blessing in disguise, while stressing that he loves playing for West Ham despite talk of a switch across the capital. This video will start in0:15
Rice, pictured here with Chelsea star and good friend Mason Mount, spent eight years in the Blues’ academy before being released at the age of 14

When speaking about his early setback at Chelsea, he told Sky Sports News: “I think that’s the making of me to be honest with you. “I had to move to West Ham at 14, away from my family. I’m a family boy, love my mum and dad, live at home with them.
And the Hammers vice-captain believes that early setback was a blessing in disguise (Image: Pool via REUTERS)

“And to leave them at 14 to play with people I don’t know from Monday to Friday, I think that shaped me into the person I am. “I had to start being responsible for myself, but look, I’ve come here and flourished. I’ve had three managers that have really looked after me, I’m loving life here.”
[He has racked up 120 appearances for West Ham since being handed his debut in May 2017]
He has racked up 120 appearances for West Ham since being handed his debut in May 2017 (Image: 2020 West Ham United FC)

As well as becoming a mainstay in the West Ham midfield, Rice has also earned 13 caps for England since deciding to play for the Three Lions instead of Republic of Ireland in 2019. The player was eligible to play for Ireland as his grandparents are from Cork, but after earning three caps he traded allegiances to represent England in February of last year.


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Haller rocket gives Hammers victory at Sheffield United
[The Hammers celebrate their goal at Sheffield United]

Sheffield United 0-1 West Ham United
Premier League
Sebastien Haller’s second half rocket fired West Ham United to all three points at Sheffield United on Sunday afternoon. The Frenchman lashed a powerful drive high into Aaron Ramsdale’s net eleven minutes after the restart at Bramall Lane to give David Moyes’ men their second straight 1-0 victory either side of the international break. After beating Fulham by that scoreline two weeks ago, the Hammers had to wait two weeks to build on that, but build on it they did with another resolute display that would have pleased their manager. Sheffield United began the game with real energy and created the first chance of the contest with three minutes on the clock. John Egan’s ball over the top and into the right-hand channel set George Baldock clear. The angle was against him, however, and Lukasz Fabianski saved well with his feet at his near post. It took the visitors ten minutes to settle and get on the ball, but once they did they began to dominate possession. Still Sheffield United possessed a threat when they were allowed to break, and Fabianski had to be alert again on 24 minutes, thrusting a hand up to his right to repel Oli McBurnie’s fierce shot from 15 yards after the Blades turned the ball over on halfway and moved forward at pace. At the other end, Vladimir Coufal forced Aaron Ramsdale into his first save of the afternoon three minutes later, looking to put the finishing touch to a move which took the ball from left to right through Arthur Masuaku, Haller and Jarrod Bowen. Ramsdale was equal to the effort, though, diving low to his right to push it aside. West Ham’s best chance of the first half fell to Coufal’s countryman Tomas Soucek eleven minutes before the interval. The net looked set to bulge when Haller’s nod down from Pablo Fornals’ left wing cross found Soucek in space, but he was only able to knock wide of the near post. Sheffield United’s threat was becoming more sporadic, but Fabianski had to dive high to his left to tip a McBurnie header over the top on 41 minutes, as the Blades reminded their visitors they were still very much in the contest.
David McGoldrick drew a simple stop from Fabianski with a low shot from range at the start of the second half, but it was at the other end that the decisive blow was landed with 56 minutes on the clock. There was no stopping Haller, who seized on a loose ball after Fornals’ shot was blocked to unleash a 20-yard rocket, which brushed Ramsdale’s fingertips en route to the top right hand corner of the net. Haller prodded wide of the near post as he looked to add a second shortly afterwards, while the Hammers were within a whisker of wrapping up the contest on 73 minutes, when Declan Rice rose highest to meet Aaron Cresswell’s left-wing corner with a powerful header which struck the top of the crossbar. Two minutes later, the Hammers were breathing a sigh of relief when McBurnie burst onto Rhian Brewster’s through ball and fired a shot against the woodwork at the other end, but in truth that was the only real moment of alarm as the Hammers backline marshalled their hosts expertly to claim their second clean sheet in a row, the basis for another well-earned three points.
Sheffield United: Ramsdale, Basham (Lundstram 76), Egan, Fleck, Baldock, Norwood (Brewster 65), Ampadu (Robinson 62), Berge, Lowe, McBurnie, McGoldrick Subs: Verrips, Burke, Jagielka, Osborn
West Ham United: Fabianski, Coufal, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Masuaku, Rice, Soucek, Bowen (Noble 90+2), Fornals (Lanzini 76), Haller Subs: Randolph (GK), Johnson, Diop, Snodgrass, Benrahma
Goal: Haller 56
Referee: Martin Atkinson

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Sebastien Haller: It feels great to score a special goal
[Sebastien Haller celebrates his goal at Sheffield United]

Sebastien Haller’s match-winning at Sheffield United was special in more ways than one. Not only did it give West Ham United their second straight 1-0 victory – and fourth win of the campaign – but it came via a real rocket of a right-footed shot from the Ivory Coast international. Haller has been a prolific scorer of goals in the Netherlands, Germany and now England, but prior to Sunday’s trip to Bramall Lane one kind of goal was missing from his CV – a top flight strike from outside the box. He’ll not need to search for that long-range pile driver any longer after his intervention in Yorkshire, and he was delighted to make the difference. “It feels great,” he beamed at full time. “For me it is the same, a goal is a goal, and I’m just happy for the goal. This one is from outside the box, so it is special. “I’m happy for the team because today was a great fight and we got the three points which we needed.”

[Sebastien Haller scores at Sheffield United]

Haller now has six goals for the season, and two in the Premier League, with Sunday’s strike coming off the back of his debut international goal for Ivory Coast in midweek. He just wants to turn that into a rich vein of form now as the Hammers continue to build momentum. “Of course for the confidence as a striker it’s really important [to score],” he added. “I came back from the national team, bringing the confidence back from that, so I hope it can help the team for the next games. “I just know that at the training ground everyone is involved, giving their maximum in each session. It pushes everyone to the right direction and that’s why I think we’re here today [with the points]. We have a good attitude.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: David Moyes: We showed great commitment in Sheffield United victory

David Moyes was full of praise for his West Ham United team’s work ethic as they battled their way to a second straight 1-0 victory at Sheffield United on Sunday. The Hammers had to withstand a bright opening from the home side before gaining control of the contest and sealing the victory with a real moment of quality from the boot of Sebastien Haller. Haller’s 20-yard rocket flashed into the top right hand corner of the net early in the second half, and with the visitors defending with real grit and no little skill, that was enough. The boss was delighted with the result, as he told West Ham TV at the final whistle…

We’ve had back-to-back wins, with successive clean sheets. We’re into the top half and we’re really picking up…
I really wish the West Ham supporters were here to see it because when they come back I think they’ll see a lot of improvement.They’ll see players who have moved on and got better. The one thing there is about the team is that is has great energy and commitment. They’re all trying to do their job. All we’ll try to do is keep building and getting better – we’re not going to get carried away with what we’re doing, but let’s be fair, winning away is really important. I think we can keep going and keep moving up the table.

Sheffield United started well be we showed our resilience again…
They’re very strong down their right hand side and they probably got three or four crosses in quite early on which we were aware of, but it was always going to be a game in which we’d have to suffer for bits of it because of how they play and their determination to pick up points. We were aware of that and the players stuck to it. They did a really good job and when we needed to defend we sat back in, and when we needed to get away and have the ball [we did that too]. I think we had a really good period in the first half for 30 minutes when we had the ball, but maybe we couldn’t create the clear cut opportunities. But overall I’m really pleased with them.

[David Moyes with Sebastien Haller]

I’m delighted for Sebastien Haller…
That’s what we want from Seb and what everyone’s looking for, me included. He came back from international duty and I could sense in the two days we had back training that he had a spring in his step. His confidence seemed up and we’re really pleased with that. He’s showing signs now, and like today’s goal, we want him to get more goals and to be more involved in the build up play and stronger in some situations. But I have to say I couldn’t be more pleased for him because he’s stuck at it and be’s scored a really good goal today.
I’m delighted for the defenders too and especially Fabian Balbuena after his gruelling week…
I’m really pleased for Fabian Balbuena because he was a concern whether we should use him or not as he was in South America, he had the games for Paraguay and didn’t get back until 5pm on Thursday evening, and everyone is aware of the type of jet lag you’ll go through with that. So great credit to him, it’s another clean sheet. We’re not going to do well enough if we don’t defend well enough, and we’ve started to pick up a few clean sheets, so long may that continue.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Declan Rice: As a team we know the direction we’re heading in

Declan Rice was full of pride after captaining West Ham United to their first-ever Premier League win at Sheffield United. The Hammers withstood a determined, physical and aerial threat from the Blades to secure a hard-fought 1-0 win at Bramall Lane on Sunday – the Irons’ first top-flight victory there since April 1968 – through Sebastien Haller’s rasping second-half winner. Speaking to WHTV, the skipper was delighted with the way the team stood up to the unique threat posed by Chris Wilder’s side to collect three more points, make it back-to-back 1-0 Premier League wins and climb to eighth in the table.
As a team we know the direction we’re heading in and we just need to stay focused, keep giving the manager what he wants and keep exciting the fans and giving them what they want Declan Rice
“I said to one of the lads in the dressing room after the game that if you think about a special away win, 1-0 away at Sheffield United with a great performance, you can’t get much more than that,” he beamed. “Obviously after what happened here last year happened [when I was penalised for handball by VAR and Robert Snodgrass’s last-minute equaliser was disallowed], but we came into this game with a lot of confidence and I think you could see that, so to get the win was really good. “It’s such a shame the fans weren’t here because the stand they’re in here is a great stand for the away fans. It’s one of those where you want to score and jump in with them! We’ve missed the fans massively, as they’d have been here singing like they always so, but hopefully they enjoyed that watching from home.”

[Declan Rice hit the Sheffield United crossbar with a second-half header] Declan Rice hit the Sheffield United crossbar with a second-half header

With one point from their opening eight games, Sheffield United came into the game determined to register their first win in 12 Premier League matches dating back to July, but after Lukasz Fabianski had made four first-half saves, the Irons gradually took control and were on top when Haller belted them in front on 56 minutes. West Ham’s strong performance was all the more impressive when you consider Haller, Fabianski, Fabian Balbuena, Vladimir Coufal, Tomas Soucek and Rice himself had all returned from international duty in the days leading up to Sunday’s fixture. And the captain said Haller’s goal was the result of the confidence drawn from scoring on his debut for Ivory Coast earlier this month. “We said before the game that we knew what they were going to do,” the 21-year-old said, referring to Sheffield United’s approach. “Obviously, they’ve not won a game yet and teams like that come out fighting. We obviously had a lot of confidence coming into the game, as I’ve said, and we just needed it to settle down and once it settled we got a foothold, started passing it really well and had some great chances in the first and second half.
“Seb scored a fantastic goal, which is what he’s been doing in training since he’s been back, so I’ve got to say everyone was excellent. To a man, they were outstanding. Seb has been unbelievable since he’s come back from Ivory Coast. It seems like his confidence is back and that’s what we need from Seb. We know his qualities and that’s what we saw at Frankfurt and when he plays, he pretty much scores every time, so we need to keep giving him the ball in areas where he wants it and he will continue to be a threat. “I thought Fabian, as well, he’s been all the way to Venezuela and had a 15-hour flight to come back and play today, was outstanding. It’s been a great effort from everyone.”

[Sebastien Haller scored his sixth goal of the season with a rasping shot] Sebastien Haller scored his sixth goal of the season with a rasping shot

West Ham’s fourth win and fourth clean sheet in nine games took them up to eighth, two points outside the top six with home games with Aston Villa and Manchester United up next. But while positivity is flowing through the Claret and Blue veins at present, Rice said manager David Moyes will not let anyone get carried away. “We’re not going get too ahead of ourselves and I think it’s good that we’re the team going under the radar and just going about our business quietly,” he confirmed. “If you look, Southampton were top of the table before the international break and we’re only two points off them now and four points off Chelsea and we’ve got Aston Villa next. “As a team we know the direction we’re heading in and we just need to stay focused, keep giving the manager what he wants and keep exciting the fans and giving them what they want.”


Sheffield United 0-1 West Ham United
Sebastien Haller’s superb strike consigns hosts to another defeat By Steven Sutcliffe
BBC Sport
[Sebastien Haller]
Sebastien Haller had not scored a top-flight goal from outside the penalty area in his previous 189 Eredivisie, Bundesliga and Premier League appearances

Sebastien Haller’s superb strike consigned winless Sheffield United to another Premier League defeat as West Ham moved into the top half of the table. The Blades, who have lost eight of their nine fixtures this term, stay bottom of the table while West Ham climb to eighth. Chris Wilder’s side had started brightly and created several early openings but the Hammers took control as the hosts faded as an attacking force. Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek both had opportunities to score before Haller’s powerful 20-yard drive found the top-right corner. Declan Rice then headed against the crossbar as the visitors sought to press home their advantage. Sheffield United did rally, with Oli McBurnie seeing a left-foot effort cannon back off the crossbar, but they are still yet to score in open play at Bramall Lane this season. “We have earned the right to be here and have to do some things pretty quickly to stay in it and protect our status as a Premier League club,” said Wilder, whose side were ninth at the same stage last term. “There’s a long way to go. Without being disrespectful to some of the places this football club has had to go, it is no good taking a backwards step and feeling sorry for yourself.”

Improving Blades fall short
With a solitary point on the board, Sheffield United began this contest with the joint-lowest points tally at this stage of a Premier League season and without a victory since 11 July. However, while aspects of this performance will have pleased manager Wilder, they again came down on the wrong side of a tight contest. Six of the Blades’ eight defeats this season have been by a margin of one goal and on another occasion they might have been a couple of goals ahead before West Ham hit their stride. John Egan’s searching pass provided George Baldock with a third-minute chance to open the scoring but the full-back was unable to beat Hammers keeper Lukasz Fabianski at the near post. Fabianski then parried McBurnie’s rising half volley to safety during a forceful start by the Blades. But after failing to unlock the door their two main failings – a lack of goals and an inability keep a clean sheet – proved the difference again. While there were signs that they are beginning to cope without the injured and influential Jack O’Connell in their defence – restricting the Hammers to just three shots on target – they were punished for a momentary lapse of concentration that allowed Haller the freedom to get his shot away under little pressure. West Ham building momentum
After coming through a tricky opening spell in the game, Hammers boss David Moyes will have been pleased by the way his improving side grew in stature and confidence. West Ham have now lost just once in their past seven outings and always looked capable of scoring despite the continued absence of Michail Antonio with a hamstring injury. Galvanised by England midfielder Rice and his Czech counterpart Soucek, the visitors established control and looked a threat down both flanks. Both were key in snuffing out Sheffield United’s early spark and while it is not their forte, both will also think they could have capped fine performances with a goal. While Rice was unfortunate after expertly meeting Aaron Cresswell’s cross from the left, Soucek somehow missed the target from five yards after a lovely cushioned header into his path from Haller. Wing-back Arthur Masuaku’s driving runs were another feature of their play and his charge inside began the move that saw Coufal force a fine save from Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale. ‘I am there to lead them’ – what they said
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder, speaking to BBC Match of the Day: “It wasn’t the system – it was players’ confidence and decision-making at key times that decided the result. It’s going to be that way when you have picked up one point from nine games. “We’ll go again, we have to. I am there to lead them and I certainly enjoy that challenge.”
West Ham boss David Moyes, speaking to BBC Match of the Day: “We were up against a team fighting hard. Clean sheets always give you a chance of winning games. “We are keeping our feet on the ground. We know we are improving and doing a lot of good things. The one thing I will say is you tend to look at the table after 10 games and we have had a good start. I’d like to think we can get better. We are working hard every day. “There might be periods in the season where we have to change system again. I want us to be flexible.” Blades equal unwanted record – the stats
§ Sheffield United have become the third side in Premier League history to pick up just one point (or fewer) from their opening nine games in a season, after Manchester City in 1995-96 and Sheffield Wednesday in 1999-00 (both sides relegated).
§ West Ham are the first London side to win away at Sheffield United in the Premier League since Chelsea in October 2006 – sides from the capital had been winless in 11 such trips to Bramall Lane (D1 L10).
§ Sheffield United have gone 13 consecutive matches without a victory across all competitions for the first time since October 2013 (also 13).
§ West Ham are unbeaten in their past 12 Premier League games against sides starting the day bottom, winning their past five in a row by an aggregate score of 14-4.
§ Sebastien Haller (six) has scored at least twice as many goals as any other West Ham player in all competitions this season. What’s next?
Sheffield United travel to West Bromwich Albion in their next Premier League game on Saturday, 28 November (20:00 GMT).
West Ham host Aston Villa in their next Premier League game on Monday, 30 November (20:00)


Haller hints at huge potential · By Staff Writer
Sunday, 22nd November 2020

West Ham United match winner Sebastien Haller believes West Ham are unaware of how good they can potentially be. David Moyes’ side moved up to eighth in the Premier League with a 1-0 win at bottom club Sheffield United on Sunday afternoon courtesy of Haller’s 56th minute strike. And the striker – whose winning goal was the first of his pro career scored from outside of the penalty box – hinted that there could be much more to come from the Hammers, if they are able to fulfil their potential.

[Sheffield United v West Ham United – Premier League : News Photo]

“It feels great for me,” said Haller when asked to describe his goal – his first on the road this season. “I feel so happy for the team as the three points is just what we needed.
“To score from outside the box is special. My game is not just about scoring goals, but having come back from the national team I wanted to bring the confidence back to West Ham. Hopefully I can show it in the next few games. “We have a good attitude, and I don’t know exactly what we can achieve. I feel we’re not fully aware of our potential. I don’t want to set any goals, but just prepare game by game and see where it takes us.”

Haller’s goal was his sixth of the season so far but only the second in the Premier League, with the forward having played second fiddle to the currently-injured Michail Antonio for much of the campaign so far. [Sheffield United v West Ham United – Premier League : News Photo]
However he produced his best performance of the 2020/21 campaign at Bramall Lane this afternoon, giving manager Moyes plenty of food for thought ahead of next week’s match with Aston Villa, a game for which Antonio is expected to be fit.

Sebastien Haller: goals this season

15 Sep: West Ham 3-0 Charlton (Carabao Cup, 2 goals)
22 Sep: West Ham Utd 5-1 Hull City (Carabao Cup, 2 goals)
27 Sep: West Ham Utd 4-0 Wolves (Premier League, 1 goal)
22 Nov: Sheffield Utd 0-1 West Ham Utd (Premier League, 1 goal)


I’m delighted for Seb · By Staff Writer
Sunday, 22nd November 2020

David Moyes was full of praise for match-winner Sebastien Haller after the striker’s second half goal proved to be enough to down Sheffield United at Bramall Lane this afternoon. And the manager maintained Haller’s recent call-up for the Ivory Coast had produced a change in attitude that positively affected both his performance and, ultimately, the result in Sunday’s Premier League encounter.

[Sheffield United v West Ham United – Premier League : News Photo]

“That’s what we want from Seb and what everyone’s looking for,” said Moyes in the wake of West Ham’s 1-0 win – a victory that saw the Hammers move up to eighth in the table.

“He came back from international duty and I could sense in the two days we had back training that he had a spring in his step. His confidence seemed up and we’re really pleased with that. “Like today’s goal, we want him to get more goals and to be more involved in the build up play and stronger in some situations. But I have to say I couldn’t be more pleased for him because he’s stuck at it and scored a really good goal today.”

However it wasn’t just his stand-in striker that Moyes was particularly pleased with. Fellow international Fabian Balbuena, who only returned from international duty less than 72 hours before kick off, was also hailed by the boss. “I’m really pleased for Fabian because he was a concern whether we should use him or not as he was in South America,” confirmed the manager. “He had the games for Paraguay and didn’t get back until 5pm on Thursday evening, and everyone is aware of the type of jet lag you’ll go through with that. So great credit to him, it’s another clean sheet. We’re not going to do well enough if we don’t defend well enough, and we’ve started to pick up a few clean sheets, so long may that continue.”

[Argentina v Paraguay – South American Qualifiers for Qatar 2022 : News Photo]

Yet the manager was understandably pleased with his entire squad, for whom back-to-back wins has propelled his team into previously unchartered waters this season. And he admitted it was a source of disappointment that the Hammers remain forced to play behind closed doors. “I really wish the West Ham supporters were here to see it because when they come back I think they’ll see a lot of improvement,” he said. “They’ll see players who have moved on and got better. “The one thing about the team is that is has great energy and commitment. They’re all trying to do their job. All we’ll try to do is keep building and getting better – we’re not going to get carried away with what we’re doing, but let’s be fair, winning away is really important.” “I think we can keep going and keep moving up the table.”


Sheffield United 0-1 West Ham: Sebastien Haller’s rocket heaps more misery on Blades

Match report as West Ham move up to eighth in the Premier League table thanks to Sebastien Haller’s rocket at Sheffield United; Blades remain winless and will have to make Premier League history if they are to avoid relegation

By Matt Storey

Sunday 22 November 2020 23:45, UK
[preview image]2:51

Sheffield United’s dreadful start to the Premier League season continued as Sebastien Haller’s rocket handed West Ham all three points at Bramall Lane.

Haller fired in the only goal of the game 11 minutes into the second half, smashing the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area to send the Hammers up to eighth.

Goalkeepers Lukasz Fabianski and Aaron Ramsdale were called into action in both halves, while West Ham’s Declan Rice and Sheffield United’s Oli McBurnie were denied by the woodwork in a game with plenty of chances. [Sebastien Haller celebrates his goal with team-mates]
Image:Sebastien Haller celebrates his goal for West Ham

But West Ham deserved their victory and heaped more misery on their hosts, who will have to make Premier League history if they are to avoid relegation after picking up just one point from a possible 27.

No side has failed to win any of their opening nine games and stayed up, leaving Chris Wilder’s rock-bottom Blades with a mountain to climb.

Player ratings

Sheffield United: Ramsdale 7, Baldock 6, Basham 6, Egan 5, Ampadu 6, Lowe 5, Fleck 6, Norwood 5, Berge 6, McBurnie 5, McGoldrick 6

Subs: Robinson 6, Brewster 6, Lundstram 6

West Ham: Fabianski 7, Coufal 7, Balbuena 6, Ogbonna 8, Cresswell 7, Masuaku 6, Rice 6, Soucek 7, Fornals 6, Haller 8, Bowen 6

Subs: Lanzini 6, Noble N/A

Man of the match: Angelo Ogbonna

How the Hammers extended Sheffield United’s woeful start

Blades boss Wilder was unusually involved in his side’s pre-match warm-up, speaking to different groups of players, trying to pump them up ahead of kick-off, and they responded with a bright start.

George Baldock tested Fabianski in the third minute, latching on to a perfect John Egan ball and firing in a low effort from a tight angle, which the ‘keeper saved with his feet. [George Baldock shoots while under pressure from Arthur Masuaku] Image:George Baldock shoots while under pressure from Arthur Masuaku

While the Hammers settled into the game and looked the more confident side, it was the Blades who manufactured the game’s second chance midway through the first half, but McBurnie was unable to direct his effort away from Fabianski as he punched his fierce strike away.

West Ham finally tested Ramsdale at the other end shortly before the half-hour mark. A neat and crisp move saw Jarrod Bowen tee up Vladimir Coufal in the box, only for his low effort to be met by the strong right hand of the Blades stopper.

Team News

· John Fleck returned as Chris Wilder made three Sheffield United changes. He replaced John Lundstram, while Ethan Ampadu came in for the injured Enda Stevens and Oli McBurnie replaced Rhian Brewster in attack.

· David Moyes named an unchanged side for West Ham, with Michail Antonio still not fit to lead the line.

The visitors should have led minutes later, only for Tomas Soucek to fluff his lines from close range. Haller’s knockdown left the Czech midfielder through on goal, but he could only shin his effort wide of the near post with just Ramsdale to beat.

David Moyes’ men were nearly made to pay for their profligacy before the break as the Blades bit back. The bright McBurnie used all his neck muscles to power a looping cross towards the top corner, only for Fabianski to spring to his left and push the ball away. David McGoldrick hit the post from the resulting corner but was correctly flagged for offside as he met the knockdown on the edge of the six-yard box.

The opening goal came in the 56th minute and it was worth the wait. Haller thumped the ball into the top corner after Pablo Fornals’ blocked shot fell straight into his path on the edge of the box. Ramsdale got a hand to the effort but it was too powerful to keep out. [Sebastian Haller scores for West Ham]
Image:Haller scores for West Ham in the 56th minute

Haller should have added to his and West Ham’s tally. Arthur Masuaku’s low drive into the six-yard box was met by the striker at the front post, but he was unable to open up his foot and direct it on target, seeing it hit his heel and bounce wide. Declan Rice powered a header against the crossbar shortly afterwards as the Hammers were unable to make the final 15 minutes more comfortable.

Just moments after Rice hit the bar, Blades substitute Rhian Brewster sent strike-partner McBurnie through with a fantastic ball. While he was able to beat Fabianski, the Scotland striker saw his effort cannon off the underside of the bar and bounce harmlessly away from goal. His long wait for a goal continues – no player has had more shots without scoring in the Premier League this campaign. [Oli McBurnie shoots on goal during Sheffield United's defeat to West Ham] Image:Oli McBurnie shoots on goal during Sheffield United’s defeat to West Ham

That was as close as the hosts got on another frustrating and fruitless afternoon on the pitch. If this was not a must-win, then next Saturday’s trip to fellow strugglers West Brom certainly is. For West Ham, the only way is up and, with Haller beginning to look like the striker they expected, Moyes will be confident his side can remain in the top half.

Man of the match – Angelo Ogbonna

Sky Sports’ Alan Smith at Bramall Lane

“Angelo Ogbonna is my man of the match. He’s led from the centre of West Ham’s defence, he’s not missed much in the air at all as Sheffield United have thrown everything at it. It’s been a really dominant display.” Sheff Utd

West Ham

· General
· Distribution
· Attack
· Defence
· Discipline

Duels success rate
Aerial duels won
What the managers said
Chris Wilder blames a lack of cutting edge for the 1-0 defeat to West Ham at Bramall Lane in the Premier League.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder: “Every loss hurts – especially with the position that we’re in. We came into the game full of belief after a reset and I thought we started off the game in good fashion.

“It was always going to be tight and they’ve managed to score a goal out of nothing. With the couple of chances we’ve managed to create, we just couldn’t find that finish. There’s no point moaning and groaning about it – we’ve got to start taking our chances.

“There are teams in this division who have players who can create something out of nothing. What matters is what happens in both boxes, and we’ve had enough to get a result out of the game. We’ve got to keep going. It’s a cut-throat division, so we have to stick together. The effort was there that they want to win, but we’re just a little bit safe at times.”
West Ham manager David Moyes praised the spirit of his players after their 1-0 win at Sheffield United in the Premier League.

West Ham boss David Moyes: “I’m really pleased with the three points. It was never going to be an easy game. It’s great to not only win the game but to collect a clean sheet, so I’m really pleased. There is a real self-belief at the moment, the football is getting better and better. Today we showed another side of our game.

“Look at Sheffield United’s record, they don’t concede many. We did miss a few chances but we came here last season and should have picked up a point with Declan Rice’s handball, so to come away with three points today is really good.

“You want strikers to score you the goals that win you games, I sensed a bit of a change in his confidence. There were parts of his game that were very good, and the goal was excellent.”

Analysis: ‘Haller hits jackpot for Moyes’

Former West Ham defender Patrice Evra told Sky Sports:

“West Ham got a little bit of luck with the goal as the ball falls for Haller but the game showed the lack of confidence in Sheffield United. Haller’s celebration was strong and it was great management from Moyes given that he didn’t want to risk (Michail) Antonio with a hamstring. It was jackpot for David Moyes.”
[David Moyes kept faith with Sebastien Haller and was rewarded as the striker fired in the winner at Bramall Lane]
Image:David Moyes kept faith with Sebastien Haller and was rewarded as the striker fired in the winner at Bramall Lane

Haller not setting targets

West Ham striker Sebastien Haller told Sky Sports:

“It feels great for me. I feel so happy for the team as the three points is just what we needed. To score from outside the box is special. My game is not just about scoring goals, but having come back from the national team I wanted to bring the confidence back to West Ham. Hopefully I can show it in the next few games.

“We have a good attitude, and I don’t know exactly what we can achieve. I feel we’re not fully aware of our potential. I don’t want to set any goals, but just prepare game by game and see where it takes us.”

Moyes sensed Haller confidence

Hammers boss David Moyes praises Haller

“The big thing about centre-forwards, you want them to score the goals that win you the games because they’re the important ones. I just sensed a little bit of change in his confidence, he was upbeat. Maybe going away with the Ivory Coast for the first time has given him a little bit of confidence. There were parts of his game today that were very good and his goal was excellent.”

Blades at rock bottom – Opta stats

* Sheffield United have become the third side in Premier League history to pick up just one point (or fewer) from their opening nine games in a season, after Man City in 1995-96 and Sheffield Wednesday in 1999-00 (both sides relegated).
* West Ham are the first London side to win away at Sheffield United in the Premier League since Chelsea in October 2006 – sides from the capital had been winless in 11 such trips to Bramall Lane prior to today (D1 L10).
* Sheffield United have gone 13 consecutive matches without a victory across all competitions for the first time since October 2013 (also 13).
* West Ham are unbeaten in their last 12 Premier League games against sides starting the day bottom, winning their last five in a row by an aggregate score of 14-4.
* Sébastien Haller (six) has scored at least twice as many goals as any other West Ham player in all competitions this season.
* West Ham’s Sébastien Haller scored from outside the box for the very first time in his top-flight league career, with this his 190th such appearance in the Eredivisie, Bundesliga and Premier League combined.

Sheffield United face fellow strugglers West Brom at The Hawthorns next Saturday night in a huge clash at the bottom – that game is live on Sky Sports. West Ham are back at the London Stadium for a clash with Aston Villa, which is live on Monday Night Football with an 8pm kick-off.


West Ham match-winner Sebastien Haller reveals keys to club’s upturn in fortunes under David Moyes
[Sebastien Haller secured victory for West Ham against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane


Sebastien Haller secured victory for West Ham against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane / West Ham United FC via Getty Ima
By Jack Rosser @JackRosser_
Evening Standard

Sebastien Haller says West Ham don’t know the limits of their potential this season after they climbed into the Premier League’s top eight by beating Sheffield United. The striker scored the winner in Sunday’s 1-0 win at Bramall Lane, which moved David Moyes’s side to within four points of the Champions League spots. After an impressive run of results against six of last season’s top eight, West Ham have now claimed back-to-back wins and clean sheets against Fulham and Sheffield United. Asked what has made the difference for West Ham this season, Haller said: “I don’t know. I just know that at the training ground I think everyone is involved, trying to give his maximum in every training session. “It gives us something special, pushes everyone in the right direction. That’s why I think we are here today, we have a good attitude I think. “I don’t know exactly what we can achieve. We’re maybe not completely aware of our potential, so we still have things to work on and we’ll see at the end of the season.”
Haller is yet to live up to the club-record £45million that West Ham paid to sign him from Eintracht Frankfurt last year, but after electing to play for the Ivory Coast and scoring on his debut during this month’s international break, the 26-year-old has carried his confidence over to domestic football. “For the confidence as a striker it’s really important you know,” said Haller. “My game is only about scoring goals, so if I can do it, that’s alright. Especially with the win today. “I came back from the national team and tried to bring the confidence back, so I hope it can help the team for the next games.”


West Ham finding consistency as David Moyes tactics and transfers down Sheffield United
Evening Standard
[https://static.standard.co.uk/2020/11/22/18/1287037289-1.jpg?width=968]Getty Images By Jack Rosser @JackRosser_
West Ham took another step in their transformation under David Moyes as Sebastien Haller’s thunderous strikes made it back-to-back wins either side of the international break. Hammers sides of the past have always been rather adept at folding after impressing results against big sides. After defying the odds in their opening run of games this season – pulling off free-scoring wins over Wolves and Leicester before taking a point from each of Manchester City and Tottenham – Hammers fans were ready to come crashing down to earth against Fulham and Sheffield United. Two games either side of the international break that any West Ham side could bottle in order to undermine their showings against the big boys. Moyes has spoken of wanting to shun the “flaky” tag often attributed to the Hammers and slowly but surely they’re edging towards consistency. The east Londoners cut it fine against Fulham before the break, but were far more controlled and dominant here.

Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek were dominant in midfield, providing the platform for Jarrod Bowen, Pablo Fornals and Haller to thrive ahead of him, causing untold problems before the second half winner. In truth, they could and should have had more. Bowen dallied over a chance not long after Soucek had fired wide from close range while Rice headed onto the bar. A couple more would have given Moyes a far more comfortable afternoon, but the sharp end of the pitch is not the one he has been working so hard to overhaul. Aside from one moment when Ollie McBurnie managed to slip through and strike the bar with the hosts chasing the game, West Ham looked confident and controlled at the back, marshalled by the unwavering Angelo Ogbonna with Fabian Balbuena and Aaron Cresswell excelling either side of the Italian.

Clean sheets had been few and far between last term, they kept just two during Moyes’s tenure last season, but have begun to pile up this time – managing a fourth in nine games at Bramall Lane. The run against the big boys to start the season caught the attention and suggested things might be changing under Moyes at the London Stadium, results like this are the proof of that theory. [https://static.standard.co.uk/2020/11/22/15/1229732945-1.jpg?width=2835](

Haller makes mark in Antonio absence

The big question for West Ham fans settling down to watch their return after the international break was whether Michail Antonio was ready to come back and lead the line following his hamstring injury. After hinting that he could well return to the fold after training this week, Moyes elected to leave his talisman in London ahead of what is a jam packed schedule in the coming weeks. Haller, the club’s record signing, has struggled to replicate the impact Antonio has on this side, managing just one Premier League goal all season before today – the final goal in a 4-0 win over Wolves.

It was not all down to him. Often those around Haller do not play to his strengths and leave him having to go wandering for the ball. On the one occasion he was found in the middle in the first half, Soucek wasted a wonderful cushioned header to only fire wide. But after a switch in tactics at the break, the forward remained more central and soon reaped the rewards. He was quickly involved in exchanges with Bowen and Rice which came to nothing, before moments later making his mark on the game.

After a fine driving run from Bowen the winger fed Fornals, whose effort was blocked but not cleared. Finally in the right place at the right time, Haller was on hand to thunder home from the edge of the area and scoring a first ever league goal from outside the box in 190 appearances across Eredivisie, the Bundesliga and the Premier League. A long wait but some strike.
[https://static.standard.co.uk/2020/11/22/17/1229734015-1.jpg?width=2329]( West Ham United FC via Getty Ima )

Coufal continues to impress

Vladimir Coufal looks another shrewd addition from Moyes during his second spell at the club. To have added the Czech right-back and Soucek (both signed from Slavia Prague since Moyes’s return) for around £20million is superb business. When Coufal arrived his international teammate promised a lot of running and hard work, but few expected the 28-year-old to hit the ground running quite like he has. The full-back looks like a seasoned Premier League professional and, while keeping things tight at the back, he’s also posing quite the threat in the final third and could well have had his first goal for the Hammers here at Bramall Lane. Right-back had been somewhat of a problem position for Moyes last term and Coufal has more than solved that.


Meet the new and all grown up West Ham United
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on November 22, 2020 Claret & Hugh

By Hugh Southon

It was David Moyes’ first ever win at Bramall Lane! It was West Ham’s first win at the place since 1968; It provided us with back to back wins and two clean sheets; and lifted us into eighth place, for the time being at least; and above all showed that we are becoming less fragile and can scrap out difficult games in difficult places.


That for me was the real result!

This is a West Ham United most of us don’t recognise from recent history – it’s a team that is growing up under a manager whose reputation is being repaired and enhanced with every successive game. It was so clear today that they are fitter and stronger than in previous seasons, that in Declan Rice they have a skipper more than worthy of the name and a core of players who can push us as close to the top six as we have seen for a lot of years. Let’s not under estimate Lady Luck either. Sheffield United had the best of the chances but we took the one that mattered and emerged with a victory which although it’s hardly likely to be remembered at the end of the season one that could be absolutely vital. OK Seb Haller didn’t smile – he obviously sees himself as one cool dude. I quite like that. Moaning and groaning is as much a part of the West Ham Way as the old inconsistencies and occasional top results against good sides. What we have seen over the last two games is something entirely and crucially important – we are doing it against teams that actually need it done to them. And we’ve managed it without Michail Antonio – what’s not to like!


West Ham can now look up – not down – the Premier League table, says David Moyes Evening Standard
[https://static.standard.co.uk/2020/11/22/15/2020-11-22T155420Z_1078600831_UP1EGBM186KGE_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-ENGLAND-SHU-WHU-REPORT.jpg?width=968]Pool via REUTERS By Jack Rosser
David Moyes says West Ham can finally start looking up the table after two years of relegation scraps. The Hammers’ win at Sheffield United, which brought back-to-back victories and clean sheets either side of the international break, moved the Hammers up to eighth in the Premier League table. Moyes’s side are playing with a new found confidence and stability after moving to a back three and the former Manchester United and Everton manager credited the squad for buying into his plans and changing their fortunes. “Our boys at the moment are playing with a lot of confidence and thankfully we got another win today,” Moyes told Sky Sports. “I hope we can play even better. Eighth is great at the moment, I hope we can look towards the top and not the bottom as we have done too often. “We are not going to get too carried away, but in the dressing room there is a great spirit – we have changed a lot of things behind the scenes and the players are buying into it. “We have to make sure the players enjoy their work and work that will help us in the games.”


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Sheffield United v West Ham United – All you need to know
[Sheffield United v West Ham United – All you need to know]

West Ham United resume their 2020/21 Premier League campaign with a trip to Sheffield United on Sunday afternoon.
The Hammers head to Bramall Lane seeking to make it back-to-back wins after beating Fulham 1-0 before the November international break. Collecting another three points in Yorkshire could see the Irons climb as high as seventh in the Premier League table, should results elsewhere go the way of David Moyes’ side.
Sheffield United will kick-off bottom of the table, having lost seven of their eight Premier League matches, including a 4-1 defeat at Chelsea last time out.
Sunday’s game will be screened live in the UK by Sky Sports Premier League and across the world by the Premier League’s international broadcast partners.
The match will see the teams use the new yellow winter Nike Flight ball for the first time, while the Hammers will warm up in t-shirts to support principal sponsor Betway in promoting Safer Gambling Week 2020, which runs from 19-25 November.

Team news
West Ham United wing-back Arthur Masuaku and centre-back Angelo Ogbonna are hoping to be fit for Sunday’s game after withdrawing from international duty due to injury.
Club captain Mark Noble will hope to be available for selection after missing the Fulham win with a rib injury.
And forward Michail Antonio has also been working his way back to fitness after suffering a hamstring injury in the 1-1 draw with Manchester City on 24 October.
For Sheffield United, striker Rhian Brewster (leg), midfielder John Fleck (back) and defenders Enda Stevens (knee) and John Egan (concussion) are hoping to be fit, while striker Lys Mousset (ankle) has an outside chance of being available. However, defender Jack O’Connell (knee) is definitely out.

The opposition – Sheffield United
After finishing ninth in the Premier League and reaching the FA Cup quarter-finals last season, Sheffield United will do well to match those achievements in 2020/21.
Under Chris Wilder, the Blades won promotion from League One in 2016/17 and the Championship in 2018/19, before exceeding all expectations last term.
However, this season has been challenging so far, with just one point and four goals from eight Premier League matches, and a Carabao Cup second-round exit on penalties at the hands of Burnley.
Wilder will need his team to start churning out narrow victories again, as they did in 2019/20, if they are to start climbing the table.
Last season, seven of Sheffield United’s 14 Premier League wins came by 1-0 scorelines, including the corresponding visit of West Ham United to Bramall Lane in January, but they have yet to keep a clean sheet in eight Premier League games in 2020/21.
Wilder will hope his famed 3-5-2 formation, complete with overlapping centre-backs, will kick into a gear again soon, while he will also hope his forwards Ollie McBurnie, David McGoldrick, Billy Sharp and summer signing Rhian Brewster start scoring the goals needed to get them out of the bottom three.

Previous meetings
[Marlon Harewood]

West Ham United have lost on all three previous visits to Bramall Lane in the Premier League, in 1993/94 (2-3), 2006/07 (0-3) and 2019/20 (0-1).
The Hammers’ last victory at Sheffield United was on 11 September 2004, when goals from Marlon Harewood (pictured) and Teddy Sheringham secured a 2-1 success in the Championship.
West Ham’s biggest top-flight win at the Blades came on 23 September 1961, when John Dick (two), Alan Sealey and Malcolm Musgrove scored in a 4-1 First Division victory.
The Irons’ biggest-ever League win over Sheffield United was a 5-0 Second Division victory on 21 March 1990, when a Jimmy Quinn hat-trick helped Billy Bonds’ side do the business at the Boleyn Ground.

Match officials
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Assistant Referees: Constantine Hatzidakis and Peter Kirkup
Fourth Official: Robert Jones
VAR: Jonathan Moss
Assistant VAR: Andrew Halliday
Born in the village of Drighlington, midway between Leeds and Bradford in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in March 1971, Martin Atkinson began refereeing at the age of 16.
He joined the Football League as an assistant referee aged 27, in 1998, before being promoted to the National List of referees five years later.
Atkinson refereed his first Premier League game, Manchester City’s 3-0 win over Birmingham City, in April 2005.
The following year, 2006, he was appointed to the FIFA list of international referees.
Atkinson has officiated a number of high-profile matches, including the 2011 FA Cup final, 2014 EFL Cup final, UEFA Champions League and international matches, including being England’s representative at UEFA Euro 2016.
The 49-year-old has referred West Ham United on 55 occasions, including the 3-2 win over Chelsea and 3-1 win over Watford at London Stadium in July and the 4-0 home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in September.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Jarrod Bowen: We work hard and that shows on the pitch
[Jarrod Bowen]

Putting in the hard yards is paying off for Jarrod Bowen. Just six years after playing in non-league for his local team Hereford United, Bowen has worked his way up to the highest level, playing 21 Premier League games in Claret & Blue since making a January move from Hull City. His energetic displays on the flank have caught the eye of the Hammers faithful, as has his eye for goal – the 23-year-old has four goals and as many assists to his name for the Club already. Since a rejection by Cardiff City early in his career, Bowen has had to graft for his opportunities, and he is not ready to stop working as he strives for success in east London. It’s a work ethic that was instilled in Bowen from the very start, as he continues to return to his family’s farming roots in Herefordshire to ensure that level never drops.

[Jarrod Bowen celebrates with Manuel Lanzini]

“My uncle has a farm back home in Herefordshire and has a lot of land with different fields,” Bowen explained. “I don’t know much about farming, I’m probably the one in my family who doesn’t pay attention to the different seasons, but I know he has a potato field and when I went home in the off season this year my old man said you need to use this field for a bit of running and a bit of sprinting. “The ground is so much different, it’s a bit like running on sand, but thicker and I found it rally good for the muscles and ankles, but also it’s really tough to do the training on. You feel so slow, but then when you go running on the grass you feel like a sprinter. “It’s just been my training method for the past three or four years, with my old man. He is pretty old school and he doesn’t just want me running around a normal field doing football runs, he wants me in the potato field with weights on my arms. “It’s different methods that he wants to do with me because I’m really focused on my football and he’s always looking out for me. I’ve done it for the past four off-seasons and have felt really fit coming into pre-season each year.”

[Jarrod Bowen scores at Leicester]

Bowen attributes the team’s collective effort as one of the major reasons for their upturn in form since football returned in June – and he credits that to the influence of manager David Moyes. Now, as the Hammers prepare for Sunday’s trip to Sheffield United, the No20 is sure the team is well set to maintain their strong form. “The Gaffer wants us to run until we can’t run any more,” he added. “He doesn’t want us to have an easy day and that’s what we need. “Since the games when we restarted after lockdown, that hunger, that desire has come through in our performances. It helped us get out of the relegation battle that we didn’t want to be in, and we’ve started this season like how we ended last year. “We’ve put the two together and started strongly with the fixtures we’ve had. “The manager’s been really good since I’ve joined, speaking to me about all sorts of things. What I need to improve on the pitch, or what I could do in the gym, what I could do in my spare time. “To have the arm around your shoulder from the manager brings the best out of you. “He said that when I joined, that he wants me to play. The way he’s been with me and dealt with me has been really key to how I’ve settled in.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Dmitri Halajko: Under-23s will relish King Power test
[Steve Potts and Dmitri Halajko]

In preparation for their potential careers as top-level footballers, Academy players can expect to play at a full range of venues during the course of their development. Occasions such as a trip to a Premier League ground, therefore, are truly ones to savour; the chance to performance on the kind of pitch they hope to one day grace with regularity. West Ham United Under-23s will enjoy such a platform on Monday evening when they travel to Leicester City’s King Power Stadium in search of a first Premier League 2 win of the season. Last season, the U23s visited a multitude of first-team stadia, coming within minutes of beating Manchester United U23s at Old Trafford in front of a multi-thousand-strong crowd, only to be forced to settle for a 2-2 draw. They also played at the likes of Derby County’s Pride Park, Stoke City’s bet365 Stadium, Brentford’s Griffin Park and, of course, West Ham United’s London Stadium.

It’s one of the best pitches around and it’s a fantastic stadium, so the lads will relish that. As a team, we can’t wait, to be honest Dmitri Halajko

Having seen his development squad win three games out of three at stadia this campaign – all in the Papa John’s Trophy group stages – lead coach Dmitri Halajko believes his players will relish the chance to prove themselves on the grand stage once more. He told whufc.com: “We haven’t had many stadium games this year because of some of the COVID restrictions, so it’s fantastic that Leicester have given us the opportunity to play there. “It’s one of the best pitches around and it’s a fantastic stadium, so the lads will relish that. As a team, we can’t wait, to be honest.”
In their last game, almost a fortnight prior, the development squad became the first team to beat Portsmouth in 90 minutes in the Papa John’s Trophy in over a thousand days. While the home team at Fratton Park did field some young players themselves, there was still a significant experience gap between the two sides in terms of the amount of senior football played. The Hammers were diligent, dutiful and – when it mattered – clinical in their victory, with Kai Corbett’s early finish capping an impressive all-round team display and a 1-0 win. Halajko was delighted to see his players add a steely edge to their game on the south coast, having struggled to keep clean sheets in the league so far, and hopes that those qualities will transfer to Monday’s game against Leicester’s U23s. He confirmed: “Certainly we want to take forward that solid defensive shape, where we’re not easy to break down and not easy to score against. “More importantly, against Portsmouth, we didn’t make any big mistakes which handed other teams goals. That’s vital. “If we start with that defensive performance as our foundation, that gives us a really good base to build upon. Then, from there, we can play the nice, attacking football we know we can produce.”
West Ham United Under-23s take on Leicester Under-23s on Monday 23 November in a behind-closed-doors fixture. Kick-off is at 7pm; you can follow all the action with our live blog on whufc.com from 6.30pm.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Dunbar and Barker savour shared West Ham United debut
[Dunbar and Barker savour shared West Ham debut]

There was only going to be one thing that could make stepping onto the pitch for the first time as a West Ham United player even more special for Angie Dunbar and Maisy Barker. Doing it together. The duo has been joined at the hip since they were both just eleven-years-old and, having both made the move to the Hammers Academy in the summer, it was only right that the pair would get their respective senior debuts in Claret and Blue on the same evening. The two 18-year-olds replaced Leanne Kiernan and Cecilie Redisch on 73 minutes on Wednesday night against Charlton Athletic in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup, with each giving a more than satisfactory account of themselves during their brief, but certainly memorable, first West Ham appearances. “It’s a very proud day for me because all the hard work has paid off,” Barker told whufc.com. “I’m forever grateful for the staff for trusting me to come on and make my debut.” The sentiments were echoed by Dunbar: “It feels amazing. I just want to say thank you to the staff and the coaches for trusting us to make our debuts. Hopefully, there are many more appearances to come.” [Dunbar and Barker savour shared West Ham debut]

Such is their friendship, that both Dunbar and Barker preferred to talk about their pride in the other for making their West Ham debut, rather than focusing on the huge occasion it was for themselves personally. Dunbar, who wore No28, said: “I’ve always believed Maisy can make it. She’s gone through ups and downs, injuries and everything, but the way she has pushed through has been inspiring to see, and it pushes me to be even better.”
Barker, the Hammers’ No27, added: “Angie and I have known each other since we were eleven and we’ve played alongside each other for pretty much our whole footballing careers. It’s been great to see Angie develop, and she’s obviously helped me get better too. “To do it together, to come into West Ham and play in this game together, it’s been really nice. I’m proud of Angie. She’s come a long way and it’s amazing to see. I’ve believed in her and she’s believed in me.”
With an outing under their respective belts, and more opportunities almost certainly on the horizon, both winger Dunbar and defender Barker are looking ahead to showing more of what they can do in the rest of the 2020/21 campaign. [Dunbar and Barker savour shared West Ham debut]

“This season, for me, is all about development,” Barker explained. “To know that this club trusts me to make my debut in a big Cup game like this one, it motivates me to keep working hard and keep pushing forward so I can get even better. “We’re training with world-class players, so I want to keep blending in with this great team and I can already feel that I’m getting better every day. We’re both just so grateful for the opportunity.”
“I just want to keep playing now and make many more appearances for West Ham,” Dunbar followed up. “We need to trust in ourselves to deliver on the pitch, as young players, and keep improving.” Whatever happens, no matter how many more West Ham appearances there are to come, the duo will go through it together.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: On This Day: West Ham hit five to hold off Oxford

Taking a look back at a classic West Ham United moment on this day in history, in association with RoadX Tyres…
West Ham United went goal crazy to secure a 5-3 Division One victory over Oxford United on this day in 1992! The Irons fell behind Clive Allen put the Hammers on course with a beautifully taken volleyed opener. Tim Breacker then broke forward before smashing the ball into the top left-hand corner from the edge of the Oxford penalty area. Kevin Keen then won possession back deep in U’s territory and fed Julian Dicks, who slammed a trademark shot into the net from all of 30 yards. Into the second half and Mark Robson was fouled and Dicks’ long-range free-kick was deflected into the net. And the fifth arrived them Trevor Morley timed his run to perfection to head home from Dicks’ diagonal free-kick.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: On This Day: Paolo Di Canio among scorers as Hammers outduel Owls

Taking a look back at a classic West Ham United moment on this day in history, in association with RoadX Tyres…
West Ham United held off Sheffield United to win a seven-goal Premier League thriller at the Boleyn Ground on this day in 1999! Paulo Wanchope bundled in the opener on 28 minutes after Trevor Sinclair’s shot had been deflected high into the air, but the Owls flew back and took the lead through goals from Petter Rudi and Wim Jonk either side of half-time. Paolo Di Canio and Frank Lampard were both denied before Sinclair was tripped by Dutchman Jonk inside the penalty area, enabling the Italian to step up and level from the spot against his former club. Andy Booth put Sheffield Wednesday back in front on 66 minutes before two goals in quick succession scored by Marc Vivien Foe and Lampard finally turned the match in West Ham’s favour.


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David Moyes: Declan Rice, Sheffield United and Michail Antonio
West Ham United manager David Moyes is looking forward to seeing his side return to Premier League action following the international break, as the Hammers prepare to travel to Sheffield United on Sunday.
The Hammers go into the game with three wins – and only one defeat – from their last six top-flight matches, and will be looking to maintain the momentum they have gathered in the early stages of the season.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Moyes discussed the importance of the fixture, one standout performer during the international break, and a wide range of other topics…

Declan Rice is taking more and more responsibility
The big thing with Declan is his improvement with the team here has been great. He’s learning an awful lot from the people he’s playing around. His performance for England the other night was exceptional. There was a lot of talk about the other young English talent, but I thought on the night, Declan Rice was as good as anybody on the pitch; his performance was so good. He’s maturing. He’s picking up from good people, like Mark Noble and obviously Harry Kane within England’s set-up. I think from Declan’s point of view it’s about continuing to learn: seeing what good practice looks like, and seeing what the good leaders look like. To be captain of West Ham at such a young age, at the moment, is helping him as well. We’re trying to get him to take on more responsibility, more leadership, and he’s certainly doing that. I couldn’t tell you what other football fans think, but the managers of West Ham United and England think he’s terrific. You’ve got to remember Declan’s a young player as well – it just happens he’s now got 13 caps for England. He’s doing very well, and long may that continue.

Sunday’s match with Sheffield United can help us move forwards
Sunday is really important. We want to keep moving forwards. We want to keep positive and try to add to the points we’ve got already, so we want to keep our form up and keep playing the way we have been. We’ve been putting up good results and creating a lot of chances, so we want to keep that going. Sheffield United have had a very similar run of games as we have had at the start of the season. They’ve also had a couple of injuries to key players. I’m guessing all that has been a factor in their form. They’ve got a really good manager and a good group of players who have been around together for a long time, and that will make them strong because they’ll be able to use that as the season goes on.

[David Moyes]

A training ball could be the way forward
We’re saddened to hear about the generation that heading’s shown it could be affecting. My generation’s been through a lot of heading the ball, head knocks, over the years. I don’t think football’s quite that way at the moment, but I’m concerned because I want to make sure that, going forward, things are going to be okay. I’ve said this a couple of times before: I’m amazed that we haven’t come up with a heading or training ball. We don’t want a balloon – we need to have a ball which has the same flight – but it would be something which we could still practise heading with, and we could still do some crossing and finishing with. We’d be hoping one of the companies could come up with a ball which we could use. I don’t know if anybody’s looked at the average number of times a player heads the ball in a game, but I can imagine that some players don’t head it at all and some players only head the ball twice or three times a game. There might be some centre-halves or centre-forwards who head it seven or eight times. I’m not too sure that it’s the game time heading the ball that’s the problem. I think it’s probably more to do with training, and that’s why I’m advocating that we get a training ball which could be used for heading practice. I don’t think we necessarily want to take heading out of the game if we can help it.

I wouldn’t be against returning to five substitutions
It’s a conversation which we’ve heard a lot about recently. My opinion at West Ham, originally, was that we should just have three substitutes [per match] because I felt five would help the bigger sides, with the bigger squads and the bigger budgets, because of the quality of players they had on the bench, but what I didn’t foresee was the amount of injuries which are coming into it. The truth is we’ve not had a great deal of injuries, and many clubs like us have not had a great deal of injuries. The clubs who have been suffering greater have been the teams who’ve had Europa League football and Champions League football. Obviously a lot of those clubs have had players in internationals too. I think for the fairness of the game, for this season only, I wouldn’t be against changing and allowing five substitutions, if that were the way it were to go. At the start, it wasn’t my first thought, but now I’ve seen the way football’s going and the way a lot of injuries have cropped up.

[Michail Antonio against Manchester City]

Michail Antonio gives us a different outlet
In the last few months, and even before that after lockdown… Michail’s form’s been so good. He gives us a different outlet. He can run in behind and he can hold the ball up. He’s a physical presence. He’s really important. His all-round play as a centre-forward’s improved greatly, so if we can get him back, it’ll be great. He’s a really important player to the team and how we play. If we can get him back, good, but I don’t want to say if we can because at the moment we’re not quite sure if he’s ready yet.

A vaccine boosts our hopes of supporters returning
I think it’s something we’re really hopeful of. I heard the news and thought ‘great, it sounds as if we’re going in the right direction.’ The best Christmas present we could get is [news that] West Ham supporters could get back into the ground. I think that would be the best news we could get. That’s what we’re hoping for and I think all football supporters will be thinking the same as well. If we can get them back to football, it would be the start of some form of normality towards the way lots of people live their lives.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Team news: Moyes offers Ogbonna, Antonio updates
[Angelo Ogbonna]

West Ham United manager David Moyes offered an update on the fitness of Angelo Ogbonna and Michail Antonio in his Friday morning press conference looking ahead to Sunday’s trip to Sheffield United. The Hammers return to Premier League action this weekend following an international break which saw several of their first team players involved for their country, and Antonio and Ogbonna working their way back from injuries. Ogbonna was forced off in West Ham’s last outing against Fulham with a knock, while Antonio missed the last two games with a hamstring problem. Moyes expects the Italy defender to be available for selection at Bramall Lane, but is still waiting to make a decision on forward Antonio. “Michail is back training and we’ve got a couple of days yet to see how he is,” Moyes explained. “The truth is I can’t give you a complete answer [as to whether he’ll be available on Sunday], but he’s getting much closer that’s for sure. “Angelo Ogbonna had a problem at the start of the week, but we think he’s fine now and they are the main two really.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: How the Hammers are striving to tackle extremism and hate crime

West Ham United is proud to drive inclusivity, diversity, and equality in everything it does, particularly in the community, and has a long-standing commitment and unwavering stance, as well as a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination of any form.
With the recent announcement of the national terrorist threat level raised to severe following attacks in France and Austria, the West Ham United Foundation’s Senior Education Officer, Cormac Hanrahan, is sharing details of how the Stop the Hate programme is tackling extremism across our community… West Ham United’s values of equality are embedded across everything we do.
Supported by Show Racism the Red Card and funded by the Shared Endeavour Fund, the Stop the Hate programme, led by the Foundation, aims to educate and empower young people around the issues of racism, discrimination, prejudice and hate crime, by providing interactive workshops to primary schools, secondary schools, and youth centres in east London this academic year.

We’re asking young people to lead the change they want to see in the world and so we encourage them to actively create and promote values that they can emulate and implement in their local communities.
A significant part of our Stop the Hate programme is centred around educating young people about extremism, and how it manifests itself in the world today; delivering age specific workshops about it.
Many young people might not have heard of extremism before or understand what it is, so we start by defining what extremism is and provide examples of extremist groups and ideas that exist in the world today. We analyse why these extremist ideas are unacceptable, and how they can be harmful to individuals or large groups because of racism and prejudice. To counter this, we talk about tolerance and how this is the opposite of extremist ideas. We utilise various activities like scrutinising case studies of extremist groups that have been active in London recently, and a New Neighbours exercise where participants select who they would like to live next to out of several options. This exercise helps young people understand that we might have to live next to people who are different to us, which helps us to convey how important it is to be tolerant of everybody in society and support social cohesion.

It is crucial that we help young people understand what makes someone vulnerable to being targeted for recruitment by extremist groups, and what recruitment strategies these groups will use to try and groom them. Young people are shown posters and quotes from extremist groups and they discuss what ideas they promote, and what harm they can cause in society. Additionally, we inform the young people how certain language can be offensive, and even incite violence and lead to hate crimes being committed. Pupils then design their own posters showing more positive values and illustrate why extremism and racism are bad for everyone in society.
Furthermore, with social media being one of the most powerful tools in the world, we have open and honest discussions about the dangers that exist, and how everyone needs to be vigilant and careful on these sites. We always tell the young people to ‘consider the five W’s’ (who, what, when, where, why) when seeing information on social media.

The most important part of the workshops is when the young people evaluate and think critically about the hateful ideas extremist groups promote, and create their own set of positive values they can enact and promote in their classrooms, schools, homes, and local communities.
Imperative to our programme is our partnership work. Police forces across the country have specially trained Prevent officers who work alongside other organisations through a Home Office programme called Prevent to help people vulnerable to radicalisation move away from violent extremism. We have an extremely close relationship with the Prevent Coordinators from our five targeted London Boroughs (Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets). This is critical to help to ensure that we are up to date with the key local extremist issues which need to be positively challenged and tackled in our communities. In addition, West Ham United Foundation staff have benefitted from access to numerous CPD opportunities organised by the Prevent Coordinators around the rise of hate crime and extremism in London and our country. These training opportunities educate our staff about the most recent data on these issues, and impress upon us the importance of tackling them, as well as reinforcing how to safeguard young people if they are exposed to extremist groups.
Crucially, the Prevent Coordinators discuss the new strategies extremist groups are using to spread their propaganda and recruit young people to join their cause. We are then able to incorporate this information into our workshops, helping young people understand what they need to be aware of.
We also work with representatives from the Met Police and local councils in order to have a larger impact and recently, as part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week and linked with the work we do in the Stop the Hate programme, I participated in a couple of online public events with the partners; one with the Metropolitan Police led by the East Area’s Hate Crime Coordinator, PC Suzanne Stanbrook, and the other hosted by the London Borough of Redbridge and the Naz Legacy Foundation. For the latter, Yusuf Patel MBE, who focuses on countering extremism, hosted the session and I was on a panel including Stop the Hate co-deliverer and WHU Foundation Ambassador, former West Ham United player, and Vice-President of Show Racism the Red Card, Leroy Rosenior, and, the Leader of Redbridge, Councillor Jas Athwel. These were very powerful and well received virtual activities which emphasised the significance of this awareness week in enhancing the focus on all issues related to hate crime and driving awareness and understanding of the responsibility that everybody holds in achieving substantial and meaningful change.


The increase to the national threat level last week just highlighted the ongoing and increasing importance of local initiatives and partnership work which aims to tackle this issue head on, like our Stop the Hate scheme.
Over the last few years the world we live in has become progressively more polarised and divided, with misinformation, fake news, and hate crime on the rise. Extremist groups have more resources than ever before to recruit young people and spread their ideas.
We must equip our young people with the knowledge and the skills to safely challenge and report these ideas, and to be able to think independently and critically about information and ideas they are exposed to. Together we can make the change for a safer, closer and better community.
To find out more about of Stop the Hate programme and how your school, youth club or community group can access our provision, please contact our Senior Education Officer, Cormac Hanrahan: CHanrahan@westhamunited.co.uk
If you’re worried that someone you know is being radicalised, visit the Counter Terrorism Policing’s new website actearly.uk for more information. If something doesn’t feel right, call the national Police Prevent Advice Line on 0800 011 3764, in confidence, and their specially trained Prevent officers will listen carefully to your concerns. You won’t be wasting their time and you won’t ruin lives, but you might save them.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Under-21s to face Peterborough United in Papa John’s Trophy round two [West Ham United Under-21s]

West Ham United Under-21s have been drawn to face Peterborough United in round two of the Papa John’s Trophy. The young Hammers, who topped Group A in the Southern section of the prestigious cup competition, will travel to the Weston Homes Stadium in early December for the exciting tie. Managed by Darren Ferguson, Peterborough have made a flying start to the season and currently sit top of League One, making them the highest-ranked side in the competition. While a date is still to be confirmed, round two matches will be played in the week commencing Monday 7 December. West Ham’s development squad have been in impressive form in the Papa John’s Trophy thus far, opening their 2020/21 campaign with a 3-1 win at Southend United’s Roots Hall stadium in September. That match was settled by two stunning goals from Ademipo Odubeko and an injury-time lob from Conor Coventry, who went on to net a spectacular 30-yard strike in a subsequent 1-0 win at Colchester United’s JobServe Community Stadium. The U21s’ most impressive result of all, however, arrived at Fratton Park earlier this month, where West Ham became the first team to defeat Portsmouth in the Papa John’s Trophy in over two-and-a-half years, winning 1-0 thanks to Kai Corbett’s early goal. Buoyed by such results, the Hammers will travel to Peterborough with little to fear and all to play for, as they bid to reach the competition’s third round for the first time in the Academy’s history. The Irons’ only other appearance at this stage came in 2017/18, when they lost out to a talented Luton Town team at Kenilworth Road. The Papa John’s Trophy final will be played at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 14 March 2021.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: On This Day: Anton Ferdinand’s late leveller stuns Spurs

Taking a look back at a classic West Ham United moment on this day in history, in association with RoadX Tyres…
Anton Ferdinand headed a dramatic equaliser in the last minute of added time to earn West Ham United a dramatic 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur on this day in 2005. The Hammers seemed set to lose out after future West Ham player Mido put Spurs in front on 16 minutes, sending a looping header over Shaka Hislop. Former Spurs man Teddy Sheringham forced a stunning close-range save from Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson in the second half as Spurs seemingly moved towards victory. But in the dying seconds, defender Ferdinand converted Paul Konchesky’s corner, sparking wild celebrations among the West Ham players on the pitch and supporters in the stands.


Sheffield United v West Ham United

[Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder looking unhappy]
Sheffield United’s current 12-match winless run in all competitions is the longest of Chris Wilder’s managerial career. TEAM NEWS

Sheffield United hope to have Lys Mousset, Rhian Brewster, John Fleck, Enda Stevens and John Egan all fit. Loanee Ethan Ampadu is back after being ineligible to face Chelsea, while the Blades are waiting to find out whether Sander Berge is available after a Covid-19 scare.
West Ham forward Michail Antonio could return from a two-match absence with a hamstring problem. Angelo Ogbonna has overcome a knock but Andriy Yarmolenko is self-isolating. LAWRO’S PREDICTION
It’s surprising to see Sheffield United struggling so badly. The worrying thing for them last time out was not that they lost to Chelsea, but that they had such a soft centre. That is unusual for Chris Wilder’s team so the alarm bells will be ringing. I am backing them to turn the corner this weekend, though. Prediction: 2-0
[West Ham have lost just one of their last six Premier League games (W3, D2).]Their only defeat was at reigning champions Liverpool. MATCH FACTS
§ Sheffield United have won all three of their Premier League home games against West Ham.
§ The Hammers can become the first club to lose four consecutive top-flight away fixtures against Sheffield United since Southampton had a run of six from 1967 to 1991. § West Ham haven’t won a top-flight match at Bramall Lane since April 1968. Sheffield United
§ Sheffield United are only the fifth team in Premier League history to have a solitary point after eight games of a season. Only in 1990-91 have the Blades ever failed to win any of their first nine league fixtures.
§ They could equal the club Premier League record on Sunday of 12 matches without a win, set from August to November 1993.
§ The Blades have gone 11 league matches without a clean sheet, conceding 20 goals.
§ United have the biggest negative difference between expected goals (7.7) and goals scored (4) in the Premier League this season.
§ London sides are winless in 11 Premier League visits to Bramall Lane since Chelsea won 2-0 in October 2006 (D1, L10). West Ham United
§ West Ham are unbeaten in their past 11 Premier League games against sides starting the day bottom of the table.
§ The Hammers have kept just three clean sheets in their 14 home league matches since David Moyes took charge.
§ Moyes is winless in all four league away matches as a manager against Sheffield United (D2, L2).
§ Michael Antonio has scored eight goals in his past six Premier League away appearances.


Sheffield United v West Ham United
· By Preview Percy KUMB.com
Filed: Friday, 20th November 2020

The main advantage of international fixtures is that they give us all a break from Preview Percy. Sadly, all good things must come to an end so here is the grumpy one’s look at Sunday’s trip to Bramall Lane…
Right, where were we? Oh yes Sheffield United are next up on the list. Kick-off at Bramall Lane on Sunday is 2pm. The match is being screened on Sky without the need for you to shell out money or search for some kind of stream, all that having been scrapped – just after our Fulham match. For those of you who don’t have Sky, you could always look at Eyes Up Mother Brown – a sort of “Last Of The Sumer Wine” with football. This is available on something called You Tube apparently.

[Sheffield United v Everton FC – Premier League : News Photo]

So Sheffield United then. Having taken a few people by surprise in their first season back since throwing away a 10 point safety cushion in return for ?25m all those years ago, they are finding things a little more tricky this time around. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, it would require one to possess a heart of stone to see the current league table without laughing.

For the record they are in 20th spot with but a solitary point from the eight games played so far. That point, perhaps predictably, came against Fulham in a home 1-1 draw back in October. Other than that it’s been defeats all the way with home reversals to Wolves (0-2) Leeds and Man City (both 0-1) and away losses at Villa (1-0) Arsenal and Diverpool (both 2-1) and at Chelsea (4-1).

They will of course point to a number of extenuating circumstances. Last season’s top scorer Lys Mousset hasn’t appeared this season due to a troublesome ankle, whilst influential midfielder John Fleck and defender Jack O’Connell have also been missing – the latter possibly missing all season.

Last season’s keeper Dean Henderson copped a look at all the mistakes made by De Gea last season and elected to return to Old Trafford to take his chances there whilst midfielder John Lundstrom – a Scouser with England age-group caps despite the Scandinavian surname – has already decided that he would rather be elsewhere and has turned down a new deal to replace the one that expires at the end of the season. His good timing means that he won’t have to hear what is euphemistically referred to as a “mixed” reception when they read his name out before the match.

They at least moved into the transfer market to rectify the goalkeeping issue. Daisy, the socially distanced and bubbled personal assistant with the beautiful smile, informs me that they spent ?18.5m to bring back custodian Aaron Ramsdale from Bournemouth, with whom he was relegated last season.

The thought of Championship football outweighed the more pleasant environment and the fact that he picked up the Cherries’ player of the season award last term in his decision-making process. Presumably there was also some concern on the part of Bournemouth themselves at keeping a player presumably on a decent wage with the much reduced tv money. Even without bringing Covid into play the gates at Dean Court with its 11,500 or so capacity weren’t going to be bringing too much into the coffers so a decent-sized fee was going to suit all concerned.

They also spent ?23.5m on Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster. Brewster is actually a Chadwell Heath lad and we had a look while he was a kid. Chelsea’s pockets were deepest and he stayed there until he was 14 when his Dad decided he would have better opportunities up at Liverpool. There was a lot of gossip about the player’s future during his youth days with clubs across Europe sniffing around. It got to the stage where, in one of the more “pot and kettle” moments of football history, Liverpool cancelled a proposed friendly against Borussia Monchengladbach on the grounds that the Germans had been tapping the player up. Good to see the Scousers taking a moral stand against such offences isn’t it?

In terms of medals Brewster’s dad may have had a point I suppose. As an unused sub in their referee-assisted defeat of Spurs in the So-Called Champions League Final That Nobody Wanted (to give it its full title) Brewster is now the proud owner of a So-Called Champions League winner’s medal, despite never having made a competitive appearance for the Divers at that point.

[Sheffield United v Fulham – Premier League : News Photo]

Even the arrival of silverware did not translate into first team time – his only appearances coming in the cups. He was sent out on loan in January to Swansea where he picked up 11 goals. His missed spot kick in what will always be the Charity Shield helped Arsenal to what they are claiming is a major trophy but with Liverpool’s forward line continuing to make miraculous recoveries from all those nasty tackles that never actually happen opportunities were limited leading to his move across the Pennines.

Scottish striker Ollie Burke came in from West Brom along with ?3m with Callum Robinson going the other way. Twice the player has broken the record for the most paid for a Scot, firstly when moving from Forest to RB Leipzig for ?13m and secondly when returning to Blighty when West Brom paid ?15m for the player. The player claimed his return from Germany was due to his wanting more game time. If that was the case it was a plan that failed as the player was sent on loan firstly to Celtic and then last season to Alaves. Clearly not a player fancied by Slav then.

Amongst the other signings which mainly comprised of youngsters they did bring in the obligatory loan from Chelsea in the form of Welsh international Ethan Ampadu. Ampadu started his career with Exeter and is in the interesting position at the time of writing of having played more international matches (19) than he has in the various leagues his clubs have represented (16). You’d have thought that sending him out on loan all last season would have seen him gain more game time. He did actually play in the so-called Champions League for RB Leipzig who gave him a good write-up for his performance against Spurs (for what that’s worth) but a back injury saw him disappear off the radar following the restart and he ended up with just the 3 Bundesliga matches under his belt.

Top scorer is David McGoldrick who has netted three of the four they have (for want of a better word) amassed in the league this season. McGoldrick picked up the FAI international Player of the Year last season, having done the family tree research and located the statutory grandparent who had once had a pint of Guinness and liked it. No sooner had he cleared space on the mantlepiece for the trophy he tok time out to announce his retirement from the International game, stating that he wanted to spend more time with his family.

Usually when one hears that statement one raises a quizzical eyebrow, strokes one’s chin and invokes the old mantra of “chinny reckon”. However, having seen just how bad the Republic of Ireland team are at present I can quite understand why one would want to stay at home.

Incidentally, for the England match last week we had the old subtitles on here at the rest home – most here are a bit mutton. Our Irish contingent were most upset as the lyrics of the rather anodyne “Ireland’s Call” – which sounds like a tourist board advert at the best of times – were displayed rather than those of the Soldiers Song, which was the tune that was actually being played. Still can’t blame the tv guys – it’s hard enough typing out stuff in English. That particular anthem is usually sung in the Gaelic translation and the subtitles would have been a right mare.

Which brings us onto this week’s look at the Wild and Wacky World of Association Football. The first points of Euro 2020 were awarded this week as England, Croatia and the Czech republic were given three points each on the qualification of Scotland for group D. goal difference to be sorted out nearer the time.

Elsewhere in international football England crashed out of the UEFA Needless Gap Filler League Type Thing by losing to Belgium. Ashley “where’s my ‘phone” Cole was quick to blame Declan Rice for Eric Dier’s nightmare at the back – apparently the shocking ball from Dier wasn’t to blame for the first goal it was Declan’s failure to save Dier’s bacon that was the cause of all problems.

[England v Iceland – UEFA Nations League : News Photo]

Meanwhile the room temperature IQ that is Jamie Carragher took a full half-an-hour before finally admitting that Rice’s challenge had been a good one and that the Dutch ref may just have made a howler, having spent the previous 20 minutes blaming Rice for making, er, a perfectly good tackle. Meanwhile the fact that we are no longer in the competition is no bad thing. I mean the central defensive positions had become an issue with anyone who is any good being injured. As well as Gomez. In fact Craig Dawson must have been wondering how Dier got a game. I know I was. Still at least we aren’t Germany. In the end Rice picked up his first goal for his country – well played young man – and, better still he also picked up no injuries.

Elsewhere Gareth Bale was quoted as saying “It’s nice to be in a place where I am wanted” though the follow up line of “even if it happens to be Tottenham” seems to have eluded the reporters present when he said it. Mo Salah tested positive for Covid-19. In fact he tested negative but VAR gave it to him anyway despite there being no contact. (Numerous other variations of that one are available at your local social media site).

Let’s move on to us shall we. Fulham, if you can remember that far back, presented a different challenge to that which we had been used to, requiring us to bring the game to them rather than playing on the counter. The goal when it finally came had an element of controversy – I know we have been on the receiving end of crap refereeing more than we have benefitted from it but Haller should really have been picked up for offside in the build-up. It was one of a number of errors throughout the game for a rookie official whose copy of the laws of the game seems to have been delivered with the page on “advantage” missing.

I think the award of the penalty was probably fair enough – the hooking motion of the challenge being enough to bring the player down. I am actually glad that the kick was awarded as, had it not been given, we would never have seen the funniest penalty I ever seen. If we are allowed back to matches by the time we have to visit Craven Cottage I for one will be giving (Please Don’t) Lookman an ironic cheer when his name is read out. It was such a bad penalty that Fabianski actually had the time to stop his dive and go back to get the ball which was floating towards goal with all the speed of an American election count.

On the injury front the big question is that of Antonio obviously. All the noises from the club are of the “he is progressing well and may make the bench on Sunday” variety. It wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see him start – something that would arguably be preferable. It’s obviously much easier to have a full warm-up in the hour or so before kick-off whilst, with the best will in the world , a sub is always going to be struggling to get the pace of the game coming on with just a spot of running up and down the touchline behind him. Of course, maybe subs would be warmer if they were to abandon this ludicrous thing of not being ready in full kit at all times – a particular bete-noire of mine these days.

Elsewhere Ogbonna’s groin appears not to have been quite as bad as it was first feared. Missing out on Italy’s matches during the break will have helped there. Having recovered from the toe injury that kept him out of the squad for a bit Mark Noble sustained a knock to the ribs in training which will leave him as a doubt for this one. The only other absentee is likely to be Yarmolenko who has been surrounded by Covid whilst on international duty and will therefore be picking up his groceries from his front door for a couple of weeks.

So prediction then. Well firstly one hopes that the cobwebs that were present at the last occasion we were back after an international break are not present this time around. If we take that as read we will be facing a side who, although in similar statistical form to Fulham, have a tendency to be a little more on the front foot than the Cottagers. Thus this is likely to be more of a set up that plays in our favour. For that reason I think we will win this one – particularly if Antonio starts. So the ?2.50 that I was going to chip in towards the costs of having all football pundits furloughed will instead be sent to the Winstone Turf Accountancy emporium (I’ll be over to settle up on 2 December – honest) and placed on a 2-1 away win.

Enjoy the game!

[West Ham United v Sheffield United – Premier League : News Photo]

When last we met at the Bramall Lane : Lost 1-0 (Premier League January 2020)

We fell foul of VAR as a handball of the sort that could have been given in our favour but wasn’t on dozens of occasions over the season my0steriously became a goal denying offence all of a sudden. Thus denying us an equalizer to McBurnie’s effort which owed much to the usually reliable Martin channeling his inner Roberto.

Going for his 50th appearance in a West Ham match in two seasons. Probably

Danger Man: David McGoldrick

I’m being lazy this week and going for the top goalscorer. So sue me.

Percy’s Poser

Last time the Fulham Palace and Gardens website was the source of the headline from which we removed some key words (you wait – one of those panel game shows will nick that idea – you mark my words):

A tale of two XXXXXXX, a XXXXXXXX and a bunch of XXXXXX

Obviously an easy one but first out of the hat with the correct answer of “Edmunds, Tamarisk and Grapes” was Mrs Sarah Intelligence-Qutient of Chadwell St Mary. Well done Mrs IQ.

This week we refer to one of the more heinous crimes to have been committed in recent years:

Sheffield woman won’t shut down XXXXXX after beloved XXXXX stolen during break-in

Good luck everyone!


David Moyes exclusive: How West Ham used lockdown to get back on track and maintain their momentum this season

David Moyes tells Sky Sports how a lockdown reset, added quality, and a confidence shift improved West Ham, and why a formation change this season is benefitting them at both ends of the pitch. Watch Sheff Utd v West Ham live on Sky Sports Premier League from 1pm on Sunday; kick-off 2pm. [Pete Smith]
Peter Smith

Comment and Analysis @psmithXI

Friday 20 November 2020 15:14, UK
[David Moyes manager West Ham says his team have grown in confidence over recent months]
Image:West Ham manager David Moyes says his team have grown in confidence over recent months

Few teams have kicked on since the summer’s lockdown like West Ham. They returned to action in June transformed, ensuring their Premier League status with a string of impressive performances and results. There have been tactical tweaks since then, but the momentum continues.

Handed the toughest first eight games – on paper – of any team in the Premier League, David Moyes’ side have come through tests against Liverpool, Man City, Tottenham, Leicester, Arsenal and Wolves, along with Newcastle and Fulham, with their confidence up and points tally encouraging.

Contrast that with Sunday’s opponents Sheffield United, who appeared to be knocked off course by the Premier League’s pause last season, and who have struggled to improve in this campaign. West Ham have taken points from five of their eight games this season; the Blades have just one point to show for their efforts.

So what has been the key to West Ham’s turnaround? What has been behind them picking up almost as many points in their past 17 games as they did in their first 29 of last season?

For West Ham boss Moyes, it was the result of using the lockdown break effectively to restore fitness, refresh the mental approach, and then capitalise on that replenished confidence this season.

“I think since lockdown we’ve improved greatly,” he told Sky Sports in an exclusive interview. “The period of lockdown, I could nearly have called that a long pre-season. When we got players back obviously it all started in ones and twos but it gave me the chance to be closer to the players and it gave me a chance to try to build the team spirit, which I thought needed help with as well. [https://e0.365dm.com/20/07/768×432/skysports-david-moyes-west-ham_5027757.jpg]

“So I have to say the players have done a great job. Because we were under so much pressure with the [threat of] relegation last year, when we came back the focus was completely on: how can we win the games, how can we get through the next game to get the points required?

“I think since then, we’ve grown. We’ve scored an awful lot of goals and I think we started well again this year. We had a poor defensive record last year, and we worked hard to try to find a way of eradicating it or certainly making it better, and at this present in time we’re doing a bit better in that department as well.”

Formation impact on defence and attack


Building on that strong finish to last season has seen Moyes turn to a 3-4-3 formation. Combined with a settled team – only Aston Villa have made fewer line-up changes this season – the system has given West Ham balance at both ends of the pitch.

Defensively, there have been three clean sheets, a tally only bettered by four sides, while on the front foot the set-up has enhanced one of the team’s strengths: crossing.

Only Everton (six) have scored more than West Ham’s five goals from crosses this season, with Aaron Cresswell’s deliveries from set-pieces accounting for nine chances created, the most by a player in those situations in the Premier League.

“I was worried about the amount of goals we’d conceded, I had to find a way of making sure we weren’t losing two, three goals every game because if we are, it makes it too hard to win. But in the same breath, we had to think, how could we score more,” Moyes said, as he explained the change in formation.

“From the scoring side of it, getting [Michail] Antonio as a centre forward – and his form has been so good, he’s developed into a really top-end centre forward at the moment with his finishing, with his hold-up play, with his ability to physically run in behind with his speed as well. So he’s got lots of capabilities which has greatly helped.

“But the introductions in January – I think if we’d not brought Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek in we’d not have been in the Premier League. Those signings made such a difference to us, gave us another dimension and it was something we were able to build on and we grew in confidence from it. [https://e0.365dm.com/20/10/768×432/skysports-david-moyes-west-ham_5147514.jpg]

“So I think the change to 3-4-3 fitted what we had, trying to concede less goals, trying to score more goals and getting players in the team – and I’ve got to say, since we’ve played it we’ve done very well.

“Arthur Masuaku has come into the team and done really, really well for us [at left wing-back], we brought in Vladimir Coufal in the summer who has added competition on the right-hand side for us as well, so we’ve suddenly got a bit of a better balance in some more choices.

“And people arriving in the box has probably been one of our biggest strengths. They’ve not all been headed goals; there have been different types of crosses. Obviously crossing plays a big part in football and if we can deliver good balls in – against Fulham we didn’t do that – but in other games we delivered some really good balls in and got some good goals from it.”

Moyes points out he has plans to revert to a back four when required but it’s clear he feels he now has an encouraging base to work from. He’s also adamant stability is crucial to success.

“More than anything else, consistency at any football club is important, whether it be your team selection or the consistency with the manager being there,” he says. “I think it helps football clubs. And certainly a club like West Ham, us having a period of stability I think is really important.”

Benrahma boost

The hope will be, though, that West Ham continue to build, and players such as new signing Said Benrahma add to the quality.

The £30m forward from Brentford – who had an eventful home debut against Fulham, providing an assist for the winner but then giving away a late penalty which was missed – is being eased into action by Moyes, who took a similar approach to Bowen when he stepped up from the Championship earlier this year.

But Moyes is convinced the Algerian will bring a cutting edge to West Ham’s attack, especially now he has had a chance to see the standard in the Premier League and get his fitness back to a high level after a hard season in west London. [Said Benrahma warms up for West Ham]
Image:Said Benrahma will bring quality in the final third to West Ham, says David Moyes

“What attracted me was his goals and his assists,” said Moyes of a player who hit the net 17 times and set up nine goals last season.

“We’ve had a good look and he’s getting there. He’s in a better condition. At the time [when he was signed in October] he was probably looking to get away and needed some work done. But I’ve been really pleased with him.

“Obviously he got an assist against Fulham before giving the penalty away but the truth is we brought him in to play at the top end of the pitch, not the bottom end of the pitch.”

Back in action at Bramall Lane

Like Bowen, Moyes believes Benrahma can be another hit from the second tier – “a lot of the boys who come up have got something to prove” – and he is likely to get another chance to show what he can do at Sheffield United this weekend.

At Bramall Lane, West Ham will aim to continue their good form when they face a Sheffield United team who have made the joint-worst start to a Premier League season.

Five of Sheffield United’s seven defeats in this campaign have been by just one goal, though, and Moyes isn’t taking anything for granted.

“They’ve had a similar start to the season as us, they had a lot of really hard games,” said Moyes. “They’ll see this as a home game and a chance to take points but we need to go there and show exactly what we are, which is an improving team.”

If West Ham do win at Bramall Lane it will be their best start to a Premier League season since 2015/16 when they ultimately finished seventh. Signs of progress, indeed.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: West Ham target Birmingham’s Carla Ward as new manager
By Emma Sanders
BBC Sport
[Carla Ward]
Current Birmingham City manager Carla Ward has won three out of seven WSL matches with her team

Birmingham City boss Carla Ward is West Ham’s priority target to take over as manager following Matt Beard’s departure. Ward joined Birmingham in the summer on a two-year deal after leading Sheffield United to their highest finish in the Championship last season. Beard left West Ham on Thursday having led them to the FA Cup final in 2019. His departure came on the same day Tottenham sacked head coaches Juan Carlos Amoros and Karen Hills. Former England assistant coach Rehanne Skinner is now in charge at Spurs. During her time at Birmingham, Ward has led the team to three wins in seven Women’s Super League matches and seen them overcome Brighton in the delayed FA Cup quarter-final. She was also named October’s manager of the month. When Ward arrived at the Blues in the summer, there were only eight senior players, and they have struggled to get a full squad out at times this season – naming just two substitutes in the 1-0 victory over derby rivals Aston Villa this month.
Birmingham’s last fixture was postponed because of a member of the playing staff testing positive for Covid-19. West Ham are ninth in the WSL having picked up just one win in seven games.







https://whufcdigest.wordpress.com/ or follow me on twitter @vyperz591


West Ham United Women’s statement
[West Ham United women’s statement]

West Ham United can confirm that Women’s head coach Matt Beard has left the Club by mutual consent with immediate effect. Beard arrived at West Ham United in June 2018 ahead of the Club’s first season as a professional outfit in the reformatted FA Women’s Super League. The 42-year-old guided the Hammers to the Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium in May 2019. “I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my time with West Ham United and, while I am sad to depart, I am proud of the work we have done to grow and develop this team,” Beard said. “Although I am leaving, I do so with some wonderful memories that I will forever treasure, and I would like to thank Jack Sullivan and everyone at the Club for the opportunity to work at West Ham United.”
Matt has penned his own message to supporters on his time with West Ham United, which can be viewed here. Women’s Managing Director Jack Sullivan and everyone at West Ham United would like to place on record their thanks and gratitude to Matt for his service over the past two-and-a-half years. Sullivan said: “On behalf of everyone at West Ham United, I would like to say thank you to Matt for his hard work and dedication during his time with the Club. “Our growth, from a newly formed professional team taking our first steps into the Women’s Super League to an established side in the top-flight, has been colossal, and Matt has been one of the leading figures in that effort. “Personally, it has been a pleasure working closely with Matt and, although we are parting ways, we do so amicably and with plenty of unforgettable memories shared. I genuinely wish Matt all the best for the future.”

Goalkeeping coach Billy Stewart and first-team coach Paul McHugh will take temporary charge of the team, while a thorough and diligent recruitment process for a new manager to take West Ham United Women’s team forward is underway.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: A message from Matt Beard
[A message from Matt Beard]
Hello everyone.

I would like to say how proud I am to have had the opportunity to manage the women’s team at West Ham United Football Club. I am sad to be saying goodbye, but I feel the time is now right for a change for both myself and for West Ham United. I have every faith that the foundations we have laid over the last two-and-a-half years will help the club push even further, both on and off the pitch, in the seasons to come. I leave with some wonderful memories and experiences to treasure. When I walked into this club for the first time as head coach, in June 2018, West Ham was at the very start of its journey in professional women’s football. I hold a particular fondness for my first season. Entering into the FA Women’s Super League, we built the infrastructure and a squad to play at the top level of the game in just a few short weeks. Even early on in that campaign, it felt like we were developing something special. And, of course, I have to mention the run to the FA Cup Final. The passion, energy and emotion surrounding our semi-final win at Reading was magical and will live with me forever. To then lead West Ham United women’s team out at Wembley Stadium, less than a year after we turned professional, is one of my proudest moments in football. [A message from Matt Beard]

The period since has been challenging, not least because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the entire world in 2020. I want to make special mention of how brilliant the Club has been with me, the team and my staff during the pandemic, particularly during the first lockdown. West Ham truly looked after each of us, as individuals, on a professional and personal level, and I will forever be grateful for that. I will be the first to admit that results this season haven’t been what we all hoped for but, throughout everything, I truly believe the squad we assembled had the quality to compete with the best sides in this division, and I could not be prouder of the work the players, the staff and I have carried out in my time with West Ham. I would like to thank Managing Director Jack Sullivan for the chance to manage the Club and for the support he has given me during my time in charge. I would also like to thank the players I have worked with over the last two-and-a-half years for their efforts and commitment. Some of these players have been here with me since my very first day and I am forever grateful for their hard work. I am also grateful to my coaching team and the staff at the training ground that I have worked closely with on a daily basis at West Ham. I am immensely appreciative of their support and their spirit and will miss working with them. I save my biggest thank you to the West Ham United fans, who have proudly and loudly supported the women’s team in every single fixture, home or away. I sincerely hope that your team continue to bring you the enjoyment and success that you deserve. [A message from Matt Beard]
Matt Beard

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Declan Rice: Scoring for England is an indescribable feeling [Declan Rice celebrates scoring for England against Iceland]

Declan Rice struggled to put the feeling of scoring his first goal for his country into words after netting in England’s 4-0 victory over Iceland on Tuesday night. The West Ham United midfielder opened the scoring in the final match of the Three Lions’ UEFA Nations League campaign, rising to glance a header home from Phil Foden’s free-kick on 20 minutes. Foden himself went on to register a brace, while England’s other goal was scored by Rice’s friend since childhood, Mason Mount. It topped off a perfect night for the 21-year-old, who was beaming with pride at the final whistle. “You can’t put the feeling into words really,” he explained. It’s 13 games I’ve had and it’s something I need to keep doing. I need to keep adding goals to my game. “I really can’t describe it to be honest with you, I think my WhatsApp is going to be buzzing off! “When I scored I looked around at the linesman because I thought I had timed the run right, but you never know now “It came off my head and then onto my shoulder, but when you see it hit the back of the net, that feeling…I wish there were fans here to witness it. It was special, really really special.”

[Declan Rice scores against Iceland]

Having grown up alongside his fellow midfielder Mount, Rice was understandably thrilled to see both of them on the scoresheet. “That’s special because we’ve been best mates since we’ve been eight years old,” he continued. “We’ve seen each other’s journeys, we’ve seen each other grow. “Tonight, before the game, when we knew we were playing in midfield together, that in itself was a special moment to start alongside each other, and then to score in the same game as well was incredible. I know my family and his family were probably bursting with pride at home.”
England’s attentions will now turn to next summer’s European Championships, while for Rice his immediate focus returns to the Hammers and ensuring their encouraging start to the campaign continues into the winter. “The Euros is obviously the next step,” he added. “There are World Cup qualifiers in March and hopefully we now have a good four months with our clubs where we can kick on, progress together and then hopefully get picked for the squad in March, and then the big one in the summer. “The whole nation is waiting, us as players, we all missed out this summer so we’re really excited about that.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Joint-Chairman David Sullivan funds new delivery van for Newham Foodbank [Joint-Chairman David Sullivan funds new delivery van for Newham Foodbank]

West Ham United Joint-Chairman David Sullivan has provided the Newham Foodbank with the funds to purchase a new delivery van. The smart new van will enable the Newham Foodbank, working in partnership with the Irons Supporting Foodbanks fan group, to collect and deliver food and clothing to homeless centres across the Borough. Mr Sullivan’s donation comes after he made a personal £3,500 donation to cover the donations that Irons Supporting Foodbanks would have collected at the final five home games of the 2019/20 season, which were played without fans present due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and £1,500 to the Merseyside PPE Hub which provided 1,300 protective visors to east London and Essex hospitals and care homes. When the Joint-Chairman heard the Newham Foodbank needed a new delivery van to collect donations and deliver them to the needy in one of England’s most deprived communities, he made a further £18,000 personal donation. First-team players Mark Noble and Declan Rice have also made personal donations to Newham Foodbank. The van has been covered in graphics by West Yorkshire-based Ad Bell Sign Systems, with the Newham Foodbank and Irons Supporting Foodbanks logos and contact details for both groups. Having their own vehicle is a game changer for the Newham Foodbank John Ratomski
Since hitting the road, the new van has collected and delivered ten boxes of new t-shirts and hoodies to Amy’s Space and Lola’s Place homeless centres in Newham, while also distributing excess stocks of sugar, rice pudding and mushy peas to the North West Foodbank Network. Foodbank representatives will also use the van to collect monthly donations of food from Merseyside and surplus new clothes from Cheshire. John Ratomski from Irons Supporting Foodbanks said: “Having their own vehicle is a game changer for the Foodbank. Without their own transport they were severely restricted in moving food around their various food supply centres in Newham. “Having their own van also now allows them to set up and collect from more supermarkets in Newham.”
Adeola Osunbade, trustee at Newham Foodbank, added: “Words cannot express our gratitude. “The Sullivan family took time out to visit one of our centres, listened, observed and came back to meet our long-time need for a van to enable us to reach more and serve more of our community members in need of food parcels, especially during this period.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: A-Z of West Ham United – D is for…
[West Ham took on FC Copenhagen in 2011]

We continue our alphabetic journey through 125 years of West Ham United history…

Of the 956 players who have made a competitive first-team appearance for West Ham United since September 1900, 98 have marked the occasion with a goal. Among them were some of the biggest names in Claret and Blue history, including Vic Keeble, Pop Robson, Tony Cottee, Jimmy Greaves, Jermain Defoe and Ian Wright. However, Don Travis is the only Hammer to have scored four times on his debut, doing so in a 7-0 War League South thrashing of Plymouth Argyle at the Boleyn Ground in February 1946. Tudor Martin and Ken Tucker marked their debuts with hat-tricks, netting trebles in Second Division fixtures against Newcastle United and Chesterfield in September 1936 and October 1947 respectively. The first West Ham United player to score on his debut was Billy Grassam, who did so in a 7-0 Southern League win over Gravesend in September 1900. The most recent was Grady Diangana, who netted twice in the 8-0 EFL Cup third round win over Macclesfield Town at London Stadium in September 2018. And, more bizarrely, the only goalkeeper to have scored on his debut was George Kitchen, who fired home the winner from the penalty spot in a Southern League fixture with Swindon Town in September 1905. On the flip side, 101 of those 956 debutants would never play for the Club again, as their debuts turned out to also be their one and only appearances in Claret and Blue!

West Ham United have been represented by just two Danish players in the Club’s 125-year history. The first was centre-back Marc Rieper, who initially joined the Hammers on loan from Danish Cup holders Brøndby in 1994, before making the move permanent for £1million at the end of the 1994/95 season. A dominant defender, Rieper debuted in a 2-2 Premier League draw at Leeds United in December 1994 and went on to make 101 appearances in Claret and Blue over the next three-plus seasons, before joining Celtic in September 1997. Capped 61 times, Rieper appeared for his country at UEFA Euro 1996 and the 1998 FIFA World Cup. [Bobby Moore played for Danish club Herning Fremad]
The second Dane to pull on a West Ham shirt was diminutive right-back Lars Jacobsen, who spent just a single season in east London in 2010/11. The experienced Jacobsen had represented OB, Hamburg, FC Copenhagen, Everton and Blackburn Rovers before making the switch to the Boleyn Ground. Having won three Danish Superliga titles with Copenhagen, started the 2009 FA Cup final for David Moyes’ Everton and featured at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Jacobsen arrived with high hopes, but his brief spell at West Ham would end in relegation from the Premier League. Undeterred, he returned to Copenhagen, captained the club to another Superliga title and was part of the Denmark squad at Euro 2012. In terms of matches against Danish opposition, the Hammers visited the Scandinavian country for the first time in May 1927, playing three friendly matches. The first two ended in 5-1 and 3-1 victories over a Combined Copenhagen XI, with the third seeing the tourists register a 2-0 win over Select Copenhagen.
Three years later, West Ham visited the Danish capital again, drawing 3-3 with Copenhagen in June 1930 as part of a post-season European tour. The Irons returned to Denmark for another post-season tour in May 1947, losing 6-1 to Aarhus before bouncing back to defeat Esbjerg (2-1), Randers (4-0) and Aalborg (5-2), only to end the visit with a 3-2 defeat by JBU Jutland.
It was 50 years until West Ham met Danish opposition again, with Brøndby hosting Harry Redknapp’s Hammers in July 1998 and defeating the Londoners 2-1. And finally, FC Copenhagen hosted the Hammers in a pre-season fixture at the national Parken Stadium in July 2011, when Freddie Sears’ late goal secured a 1-0 victory. West Ham’s links with Denmark do not end there, however. Bobby Moore (pictured) had a short spell with Herning Fremad in 1978. Then 37, Moore appeared nine times as a means of promoting Danish football’s move to professionalism. And, coincidentally, Winston Reid made his senior breakthrough with the same club, renamed Midtjylland following a merger in 1999, after moving to Denmark from New Zealand with his mother as a child.

Alan Devonshire
When West Ham United paid just £5,000 to pluck an unknown Alan Devonshire from non-league Southall in September 1976, nobody could have known just how good a deal the Hammers were getting. For that modest outlay, the Hammers secured a player who would spend 14 years in east London and go on to establish himself as one of the most talented players ever to wear the Claret and Blue. Devonshire struck up a telepathic partnership with Trevor Brooking which would play such a pivotal role in the successes of the early 1980s. Alongside the FA Cup final victory over Arsenal in 1980, the Hammers would win the Division Two title the following year, returning to Wembley in the League Cup final to boot, with Devonshire’s creativity to the fore. And never more so than during that FA Cup triumph, when his run down the left flank ended with the cross that led to Brooking scoring the only goal of the game.

[Alan Devonshire in action in the 1980 FA Cup final]

After the Hammers earned their place back in the top flight, Devonshire continued to excel, shaking off an injury which caused him to miss almost all of the 1984/85 season to play 47 times the next year – when West Ham secured their highest-ever league finish of third. He might only have scored 32 times for West Ham, but he created countless chances for others during one of the Club’s golden periods. Indeed, it remains a mystery to all of a Claret & Blue persuasion how the Londoner won only eight caps for England. After signing off with the Hammers in 1990, with nearly 450 appearances under his belt, Devonshire ended his career with a brief spell at Watford, before embarking on a successful career in non-league management. Having taken the reins at Brentford Women, Maidenhead United and Hampton & Richmond Borough, he led Braintree Town in the Conference, before returning to Maidenhead and taking them to non-league football’s top tier.

John Dick
Born in Govan, John Dick had already made his way south when he joined West Ham United from Crittall Athletic – now Braintree Town – while on National Service in 1953. Dick was prolific right from the off, scoring 13 goals from inside left during his debut season in east London. The Hammers were striving for a return to the top flight at the time, and they achieved that during a glorious 1957/58 campaign, which saw Ted Fenton’s side win the Division Two title. [John Dick]
Dick’s goals were a major part of that as he netted 21 in the league and 26 in all competitions as the Hammers lifted the trophy. He handled the step up to Division One in style, netting a career-best 27 times in the league – and 30 in all – as West Ham finished sixth in their first season back at the top table. Dick’s goalscoring exploits weren’t going unnoticed back home in Scotland, and he became the Club’s first ever Scottish international when he was selected to face England at Wembley in 1959. By the time he moved onto Brentford in 1962, he had scored 177 goals for the Hammers, a tally beaten by only Vic Watson and Geoff Hurst. The £17,500 West Ham received from the Bees was a Club record at the time, and he took his goalscoring skills to west London, notching 45 times in 72 league games. Dick would later return to West Ham to manage the junior team and pass on his extensive striking knowledge to the next generation. He passed away in September 2000, aged 70.

Dinamo Tbilisi
Few visiting teams were ever applauded off the pitch by the Claret and Blue Army at the Boleyn Ground, but Dinamo Tbilisi was one of them. The Soviet Cup holders, from the capital city of what is now the independent country of Georgia, produced one of the finest performances east London had ever seen when they visited in the European Cup Winners’ Cup third round in March 1981. Hopes were high of West Ham United reaching the final of the competition for a second time, as John Lyall’s side was on course for the Second Division title, had already booked a League Cup final appearance, and had not lost at home in 22 matches dating back to August 1980. But Dinamo, who had beaten the mighty Liverpool 3-1 on aggregate in the first round of the previous season’s European Cup, were on a different level.

[Dinamo Tbilisi newspaper cutting]
Dinamo were irresistible, scoring two goals in each half to run out deserved 4-1 winners. Writing in the Guardian in 2015, Craig McCracken enthused: “The first leg at the Boleyn Ground turned into a masterclass of intelligent, flexible and incisive football by the visitors, who demonstrated some of the best counter-attacking you’re ever likely to see. Footage from this match should be included as part of the learning materials for UEFA coaching courses. “West Ham’s players spent much of the evening chasing slippery white shadows forlornly while trying to keep the scoreline respectable – their eventual 4-1 defeat flattered them considerably.”
That footage, which is available to view on YouTube, shows Aleksandr Chivadze stride forward from his own half and beat Phil Parkes from 30 yards, Vladimir Gutsaev rob Ray Stewart and double the visitors’ lead, David Cross pull a goal back with a thumping header, then Ramaz Shengelia put the tie beyond the Hammers with two clinical finishes. When the final whistle blew, the visitors were clapped off by many of those in the 34,957-strong crowd, appreciative of the outstanding football they had played. Both Chivadze and Shengelia were crowned Soviet Footballer of the Year during their outstanding careers, while the former captained the Soviet Union at the 1982 FIFA World Cup finals. West Ham would regain their pride in the return leg in Tbilisi, winning 1-0 through Stuart Pearson’s goal in front of 80,000 supporters at the city’s Lenin Stadium, but went out 4-2 on aggregate.Dinamo went on to win the tournament, defeating Feyenoord Rotterdam of the Netherlands in the semi-finals and Carl Zeiss Jena of East Germany in the final.

West Ham United have drawn 1,329 of the 5,525 matches they have contested since the Club was reformed in 1900. Of those 1,329, some 752 were in the First Division/Premier League, 314 were in the Second Division/Championship, 135 in the Southern League, 92 in the FA Cup and 40 in the League/EFL Cup. The most in a single season came in 1968/69, when Ron Greenwood’s Hammers drew 19 times – 18 of their 42 First Division matches and a League Cup third-round tie with Coventry City. The Irons drew on 18 occasions in both 1981/82 and 2003/04. Premier League-wise, Slaven Bilic’s Hammers finished on level terms in 14 of their 38 matches in 2015/16. The fewest draws in a single season was five in 44 matches in all competitions in 1934/35. The highest-scoring draw in West Ham’s history was 5-5, which has occurred on three occasions, all of them in the old First Division – against Aston Villa at the Boleyn Ground in January 1931, at Newcastle United in December 1960 and at Chelsea in December 1966.

On This Day: Paul Kitson hits hat-trick as West Ham and Charlton share eight goals

Taking a look back at a classic West Ham United moment on this day in history, in association with RoadX Tyres…
Paul Kitson made a sensational return to the West Ham United team by scoring a hat-trick in a thrilling 4-4 Premier League draw at Charlton Athletic on this day in 2001. With Frederic Kanoute out injured, Kitson returned to the side in style, scoring an unforgettable treble in an eight-goal thriller at The Valley. Kitson put the Irons in front on three minutes before Jason Euell’s quickfire double put Charlton 2-1 up. Kitson equalised on the half-hour mark before Jonatan Johansson made it 3-2 to Charlton six minutes after the break. Kitson levelled again on 64 minutes before his replacement Jermain Defoe looked to have secured a thrilling win for West Ham six minutes from the end, only for Finland international Johansson to snatch a dramatic point in the last minute.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: On This Day: Cole and Piquionne stun Sky Blues

Taking a look back at a classic West Ham United moment on this day in history, in association with RoadX Tyres…
West Ham United staged a second-half comeback to beat Coventry City 2-1 in a thrilling Championship clash at the Ricoh Arena on this day in 2011. The promotion-chasing Hammers, backed by over 6,300 travelling supporters, went in 1-0 down at half-time after Clive Platt put the struggling Sky Blues in front on 33 minutes. However, two goals in the space of six minutes in the final quarter of the game saw Sam Allardyce’s side turn things around in their favour. Carlton Cole levelled with a rising finish past Joe Murphy before Frederic Piquionne secured a valuable away win with a fortunate conversion with 15 minutes to play. West Ham would go on to win promotion via the Play-Offs, while Coventry would end the season by being relegated to League One.


Gone: manager departs ‘by mutual consent’ · By Staff Writer
Thursday, 19th November 2020

Manager Matt Beard has left West Ham Women by mutual consent following a disappointing start to the 2019/20 campaign. Despite signing off with a comfortable 4-0 win against Charlton Athletic in the WSL Cup last night – a victory that maintained West Ham’s 100 per cent record in Group D with three wins out of three – the Head Coach departs as a result of the team’s poor league form. The Hammers have won just one and lost five of their opening seven fixtures of the 2020/21 WSL League 1 campaign, which has left the team just three points above bottom club Bristol City who have a game in hand. And that was enough to convince the club that it was perhaps time to look for an alternative to Beard, who became famous for his foul-mouthed sermons on the BBC’s ‘Squad Goals’ show (formerly known as ‘Britain’s Youngest Football Boss’).

[West Ham United Women v Brighton & Hove Albion Women – Barclays FA Women’s Super League : News Photo]

“On behalf of everyone at West Ham United, I would like to say thank you to Matt for his hard work and dedication during his time with the club,” said West Ham Women’s Managing Director Jack Sullivan. “Our growth, from a newly formed professional team taking our first steps into the Women’s Super League to an established side in the top flight has been colossal and Matt has been one of the leading figures in that effort. “Personally it has been a pleasure working closely with Matt and, although we are parting ways, we do so amicably and with plenty of unforgettable memories shared. I genuinely wish Matt all the best for the future.”

Meanwhile Beard, whose highlight during his time at the club was reaching the 2019 FA Cup Final against Manchester City (despite the Hammers going down 3-0) admitted that he was sad to leave West Ham. “I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my time with West Ham United,” he said. “While I am sad to depart, I am proud of the work we have done to grow and develop this team. “I feel the time is now right for a change for both myself and for West Ham United. I have every faith that the foundations we have laid over the last two-and-a-half years will help the club push even further, both on and off the pitch, in the seasons to come.

[Manchester City Women v West Ham United Ladies – Women’s FA Cup Final : News Photo]

“I leave with some wonderful memories and experiences to treasure. When I walked into this club for the first time as head coach, in June 2018, West Ham was at the very start of its journey in professional women’s football. “And, of course, I have to mention the run to the FA Cup Final. The passion, energy and emotion surrounding our semi-final win at Reading was magical and will live with me forever. To then lead West Ham United women’s team out at Wembley Stadium, less than a year after we turned professional, is one of my proudest moments in football.”

However Beard admitted that the results this season – which contributed to the decision to allow him to move on – were below par. “I will be the first to admit that results this season haven’t been what we all hoped for but, throughout everything, I truly believe the squad we assembled had the quality to compete with the best sides in this division,” he added. “I could not be prouder of the work the players, the staff and I have carried out in my time with West Ham.”

The team will be managed on a temporary basis by goalkeeping coach Billy Stewart and first team coach Paul McHugh, while the club search for a replacement for Beard.


Could Alex Kral be West Ham United’s next Czech import?

19th November 2020
Antony Martin Hammers News


West Ham have hit gold with two recent signing from the Czech Republic in the form of Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal. And perhaps Alex Kral could be the next Czech ace on the Hammers’ radar. David Moyes deserves great credit for bringing Soucek and Coufal to the London Stadium. They have both hit the ground running and they are undoubtedly two of the first names on the Scot’s team-sheet. [West Ham United Training Session]
Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal (Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United FC via Getty Images)

West Ham paid £19 million for the 25-year-old midfielder (Evening Standard) and just £5.4 million for the 28-year-old right-back (BBC). The Hammers have clearly secured themselves two absolute bargains. But who could be next in line? The Mirror claims that Alex Kral is attracting interest from the Premier League after some stellar displays recently. The 22-year-old left Slavia Prague to link up with Spartak Moscow in September 2019 for around £12 million, and he could be worth as much as £30 million now, according to The Mirror. West Ham definitely need more quality strength in depth in the central midfield department. And the Hammers making a move for Kral seems likely considering the success we’ve have had with his former teammates Soucek and Coufal. [Israel v Czech Republic – UEFA Nations League]
Alex Kral in action (Photo by Ahmad Mora/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

The 16-capped Czech Republic international is represented by the same agency as Coufal – K2K. So that is another factor that could work in West Ham’s favour. Kral began his career ass a defender but he has evolved into a midfielder. He is apt at playing the holding role but he can perform central midfield box-to-box duties with equal aplomb. In 14 league outings for Spartak Moscow this season, the 22-year-old has registered two assists and has averaged 1.4 tackles, 1.9 interceptions, 0.7 clearances and 0.5 dribbles per game. During those appearances, he has made 66.9 passes per match on average with a completion rate of 82.2% (Who Scored). Kral is clearly a superb all around player, and whilst £30 million sounds like a lot of money, he would be a great addition for us. Perhaps if West Ham could pick him up for closer to £20 million, it could be a deal that may happen some time in the near future.


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International round-up: Declan Rice and Tomáš Souček score on busy night for West Ham stars [Declan Rice]

Declan Rice and Tomáš Souček both scored on a busy night of international action for West Ham United’s players. Rice scored his first England goal as the Three Lions ended their UEFA Nations League campaign with a 4-0 win over Iceland. The West Ham midfielder nodded in Phil Foden’s cross to put Gareth Southgate’s side on their way to a comfortable victory at Wembley Stadium. The 21-year-old’s best friend Mason Mount made it 2-0 before Manchester City youngster Phil Foden’s late brace completed a decent night’s work. Former West Ham youngster Hólmar Örn Eyjólfsson, who spent three seasons with the Irons between 2008-11, appeared as a late substitute for Iceland. Three points took England onto ten, but they still finished third in League A2 behind finals-bound Belgium and Denmark, who edged them out on head-to-head record despite losing 4-2 in Leuven on Wednesday. Elsewhere, Souček’s towering header – his fourth goal for his country – opened the scoring for the Czech Republic on a memorable night in Plzen, where the home side beat Slovakia 2-0 to secure top spot and promotion from League B2.

[Tomas Soucek celebrates his goal]

Souček’s West Ham teammate and close pal Vladimír Coufal also started and played the full 90 minutes as the Czechs enjoyed a memorable and successful evening. The Czechs had gone into the November international break four points behind Scotland with two games to play, but the Scots lost 1-0 in Slovakia and Israel, while Souček and his compatriots scored a 1-0 win over Israel, followed by Wednesday’s win over their neighbours to go up to League A.
Darren Randolph celebrated reaching the landmark of 50 caps for Republic of Ireland with a clean sheet in a 0-0 League B4 draw with Bulgaria in Dublin. The goalkeeper helped the Boys in Green secure the point they needed to avoid relegation, but Ireland still finished their Nations League campaign without a win from their six ties.
Fellow stopper Łukasz Fabiański finished on the losing side as Poland allowed the Netherlands to come from a goal down to win 2-1 in Chorzów. The result meant the Dutch leapfrogged the Poles to finish second in League A1, with Italy topping the table after beating Bosnia and Herzegovina.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Balbuena helps Paraguay retain unbeaten record in Bolivia draw [Fabian Balbuena in action against Bolivia]

Fabian Balbuena played the 90 minutes as Paraguay maintained their unbeaten start to their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers with a 2-2 draw against Bolivia on Tuesday night. The West Ham United defender earned his 16th senior cap for La Albirroja in Asuncion, as both teams exchanged the lead in an entertaining affair. Paraguay moved in front first, Angel Romero stroking home a 19th minute penalty, only for Marcelo Moreno to level four minutes before the break. Boris Cespedes then made it even better for his side with their second on the stroke of half-time, but Paraguay came out strongly after the break to ensure they would gain a share of the spoils. New York Red Bulls forward Kaku notched the important equaliser 18 minutes from time, meaning his team now have a win and three draws from their opening four qualifiers. Their six-point haul leaves them fourth in the table at this early stage of the qualification process. The ten South American nations play each other twice in their World Cup qualifiers, with the top four sides heading to the finals automatically, and the fifth facing a play-off.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Hammers secure top spot in Conti Cup group with Charlton rout [match report]
Charlton Athletic 0-4 West Ham United
FA Women’s Continental League Cup – Group D
VCD Athletic, The Oakwood
Wednesday 18 November 2020
A professional and thorough showing by West Ham United secured a 4-0 win over Charlton Athletic to end their group matches top of Group D in the Women’s Continental League Cup.
Emily van Egmond’s opener – her fourth goal in five games – was followed by a first two finishes of the season by striker Leanne Kiernan. Substitute Martha Thomas also netted her first goal of the campaign against an Addicks side who saw Rachel Newborough sent off on the hour mark.
An evening which saw two West Ham United debuts – for Angie Dunbar and Maisy Barker – was ended with the victory secured. The Hammers end their Group D campaign with eight points from the three games played.
It was the perfect start for the Hammers on a cold evening at The Oakwood with Van Egmond attacking Daly’s cross from the byline, turning the ball past Eartha Cummings for her fourth goal in five games.
The Australian international could have potentially netted a hat-trick in the opening ten minutes of the game, with two other Daly crosses providing excellent opportunities for the No25. A low effort was saved, while another header went just wide.
The home side looked to make the Hammers pay for the missed chances. Beth Lumsden went close, striking an attempt on the half-volley from a long punt forward. The ball went narrowly wide of Courtney Brosnan’s goal.
Ruby Grant and Nor Mustafa both went close to opening their respective accounts for the Hammers. The midfielder’s half-volley was wide at the far post, while Nor’s powerful strike was well-palmed away by Cummings.
Gilly Flaherty’s goal-bound header was cleared on the line, but the Irons would not be denied a second before half-time. Another Daly cross, this time from a corner, and Kiernan was in the right place to steer in a well-placed glance with her head for her first goal of the season.
The game was secured, if it wasn’t already, just four minutes into the second half. West Ham’s two goalscorers combined, for Kiernan to burst into space and coolly slam a shot into the top right corner of the net.
The introductions of Kenza Dali and Adriana Leon gave the Irons even more quality, with the latter winning the away side a dangerous free-kick. Charlton’s Rachel Newborough was given her marching orders for the challenge, shown the red card after being deemed to be the final defensive player.
A third change saw Martha Thomas introduced and, less than ten minutes after entering the fray, the Scotland international had her first goal of the season, turning home from Leon’s corner.
With the game won, head coach Matt Beard took the opportunity to give two Academy youngsters the respective debuts, with Angie Dunbar and Maisy Barker coming on for their first senior appearances in Claret and Blue.
Charlton Athletic: Cummings; Newborough, Coombs, Heuchan; Roe, Griffiths, Clifford (c) (Gurr 70), Gotch, Legg (Dorey 65); King (Laudat 70), Lumsden (Watling 65) Subs not used: Eligon
West Ham United: Brosnan; Redisch (Barker 73), Flaherty (c), Cissoko, Joel; Grant (Dali 46), Longhurst, Van Egmond; Daly (Thomas 56), Nor (Leon 46), Kiernan (Dunbar 73) Subs not used: Arnold, Fisk, Svitkova, Lehmann
Goals: Van Egmond 3, Kiernan 45, 49, Thomas 64

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Draw details revealed for Papa John’s Trophy round two
[West Ham United U21s]

West Ham United Under-21s will discover who they will be facing in round two of the Papa John’s Trophy on Friday 20 November, when the draw takes place live on TalkSPORT 2.
As the draw kicks-off at 6.15pm, live from St Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium, the young Hammers will learn which of the 15 other Southern section qualifiers they will face in the opening knockout round of the prestigious cup competition.
Having finished top of Group A, with three wins from three games, West Ham’s U21s are guaranteed a draw against a group runner-up; due to competition regulations, this will be an away game.
They are also prohibited from facing another Academy side, nor can they be paired with last season’s finalists, Portsmouth, whom they defeated 1-0 at Fratton Park in the group stages. Round two matches will be played in the week commencing Monday 7 December.
A final handful of group-stage matches are still to be played in the competition, but prospective opponents for Dmitri Halajko’s development squad include EFL League One sides Gillingham, Northampton Town, AFC Wimbledon or Peterborough Town; or League Two outfit Forest Green Rovers.
Following 3-1 and 1-0 wins at League Two teams Southend United and Colchester United respectively, the U21s secured qualification for the knockout stages for the first time since 2017/18, and the second time since academies were invited to participate in 2016/17.
In 2017/18, the young Hammers lost out in round two to a talented Luton Town team, but lead coach Halajko will be hoping his side can keep up their impressive cup form and go further this time around. The final will be played at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 14 March 2021.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Michael Forbes: Joining West Ham United has been fantastic
[Michael Forbes’ West Ham U21s debut]

Every promising Academy footballer has a constant balancing act to maintain. On the one side, there’s the mentality that keeps you grounded: your gratitude for, and your appreciation of, the chance to pull on the Claret and Blue shirt of West Ham United. On the other, there’s the need to stamp your authority on matches and prove exactly why it is that you are in the position to have earned such an opportunity. When young defender Michael Forbes came off the bench at Fratton Park last week, helping West Ham United Under-21s to see out the closing ten minutes of a 1-0 win over Portsmouth in the Papa John’s Trophy, it was a momentous feat. While a fantastic result the U21s – the first team in some 1,037 days to defeat Pompey in the competition within 90 minutes – it was also the latest milestone in a journey which has led to 16-year-old Forbes trading life in rural Northern Ireland for the bustling surroundings of east London. Six foot two, and well built for his age, the former Cookstown Youth and Dungannon Swifts youngster has attracted attention from the local press in recent years for not only the calibre of his performances, but also the distinctive glasses he used to wear on the pitch. Now sporting contacts lenses, Forbes has set his sights clearly on an exciting prospective career in football, having celebrated his debut at development squad level merely months after crossing the Irish Sea and putting pen-to-paper on a two-year scholarship deal. “It was an unbelievable feeling coming onto the pitch for West Ham United,” Forbes beamed afterwards. “It was surreal. I got on the pitch and the rest of the game just went like that. “It was unbelievable coming onto the pitch and being able to share it with the likes of Ben Johnson, who plays for the West Ham first team. It was an unbelievable feeling and a great achievement for myself. “To date my time at West Ham has been fantastic. It’s been an amazing change in lifestyle for me since I moved over. Obviously, it’s a bit different for me back home, not being from the city, so moving to London was a big move, but since I’ve got here I’ve just felt like I’ve been at home. “All the staff and players at West Ham have just welcomed me in with open hearts. It’s just been fantastic – I can’t put it into words to be honest.”

[​​Michael Forbes’ West Ham Under-21s debut]

Forbes’ debut appearance at development squad level was an apt reward for a consistent and mature start to life at the Academy of Football. Having signed his scholarship in the summer, Forbes has so far made five appearances in U18 Premier League South this season, missing only one game for Kevin Keen’s U18s side. In that time, Forbes has not only made his mark defensively, but also found the back of the net – heading home Kai Corbett’s corner in emphatic fashion – in the opening-day defeat to Tottenham. Now benefitting from the regular tutelage of the likes of Keen and U23s coaches Dmitri Halajko and Steve Potts, Forbes is relishing the developmental opportunities he has enjoyed during his brief stint in the English capital. He admitted: “Where I come from, I don’t meet too many superstars, so just to be working under those names is mind-blowing – and for them to have faith in me to be on the pitch… “Kevin Keen has started me for the U18s most weeks, and for Steve Potts and Dmitri to bring me on is just a surreal feeling. “Walking onto the pitch – at Fratton Park, no less – I just couldn’t believe my eyes. The surroundings and everything… fans being there would have just topped it off, but obviously it was still a great feeling to be out on the pitch and being in those surroundings with all the pros.”

As he has done so far, Forbes was determined not to show any fear on his U21s debut – and instead embrace the chance which lay before him.

Coming on in the latter stages, I was just ready for whatever was going to come at me – I was ready to face it Michael Forbes

“I just got the shout,” he recalled. “Dmitri called me up and I didn’t know if I was going to get minutes or not, but going into the game, I had myself ready and prepared just in case I was going to get on. “Coming on in the latter stages, I was just ready for whatever was going to come at me – I was ready to face it. Even just getting into the squad… “With Portsmouth being a League One team and a very physical side, and me still being only 16, I was just happy to get the minutes! It was great to be on the pitch.”
Looking forwards, it is a feeling Forbes wants to enjoy more and more in the months ahead. He said: “For the rest of the season, I just want to keep pushing as much as I can. “I want to try and get into the U23s team whenever I can, get called up in training when I can, and get called up into games like this when I can; this is where you want to be playing, against first teams in the Papa John’s Trophy! “I also want to get my name on the scoresheet for the U18s! I scored in our first game of the season against Spurs and it was a great feeling. I just want more of that, and hopefully more appearances for the U23s too, to top the year off.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: On This Day: Nigel Winterburn ends West Ham’s 22 years of hurt at Leeds United

Taking a look back at a classic West Ham United moment on this day in history, in association with RoadX Tyres…
Nigel Winterburn’s first goal for West Ham United brought an end to the Hammers’ 22-year wait for a victory at Elland Road on this day in 2000. The veteran former Arsenal defender stooped to head home at the far post on the stroke of half-time, securing a 1-0 Premier League win for Harry Redknapp’s Hammers It was a thoroughly-deserved away win for the Irons against hosts who had an eye on their upcoming UEFA Champions League tie with Real Madrid the following week. West Ham’s success came without Paolo Di Canio, who did not board the coach after suffering from an upset stomach, and the injured Joe Cole, and was secured when the left-back got in front of Gary Kelly to convert Trevor Sinclair’s cross.

On This Day: Danny Williamson caps West Ham’s win at Bolton with George Weah-esque solo strike

Taking a look back at a classic West Ham United moment on this day in history, in association with RoadX Tyres…
West Ham United put on a sensational second-half show to thrash Bolton Wanderers 3-0 on this day exactly 25 years ago! Ian Bishop got the ball rolling at Burnden Park, lashing home the opening goal with a long-range drive a minute after half-time, although goalkeeper Keith Branagan may feel he should have done better. Tony Cottee made it 2-0 on 68 minutes, smashing in after the home side had failed to clear a corner, and the scoring was completed a minute from the end when Danny Williamson collected the ball on the edge of his own penalty area and ran 70 yards before shooting low past Branagan. The travelling Claret and Blue Army celebrated their team collecting all three points on the road for the third time in seven games that season. Harry Redknapp’s side would finish the 1995/96 season in tenth place, while Bolton finished bottom and were relegated.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: On This Day: Slater and Dicks goals help West Ham down Middlesbrough
Taking a look back at a classic West Ham United moment on this day in history, in association with RoadX Tyres…
West Ham United defeated Middlesbrough 2-0 in the old First Division on this day in 1989! Kevin Keen was the provider for the opener, skipping past two challenges before playing an inch-perfect through ball for Stuart Slater, who timed his run superbly before rounding goalkeeper Kevin Poole and prodding into the unguarded net. Liam Brady then lofted a diagonal ball for Martin Allen to head into the path of George Parris, who was bundled over inside the penalty area. Dicks stepped up and smashed the spot-kick hard and high into the net.


Jamie Carragher makes claim about West Ham’s Declan Rice after England display

By Jordan Harris Published on November 19, 2020
The Boot Room

Jamie Carragher has told Sky Sports (broadcast on 18/11; 22:04) that he is starting to think that Declan Rice is becoming one of the first names on the England team sheet following the West Ham United star’s latest international display. Rice got 90 minutes under his belt as Gareth Southgate’s men beat Iceland 4-0 at Wembley. And it was a game that saw the 21-year-old bag his first international goal as he broke the deadlock.

[England v Czech Republic – UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier]

(Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Getty Images)

As shown by Whoscored.com, Rice made exactly 100 touches. He also made 84 successful passes. Only Harry Maguire managed more during the emphatic victory.

Defensively, he won three aerial duels. Again, only Maguire won more. And no player made more interceptions than the three Rice managed throughout the game. [Everton v West Ham United – Carabao Cup Fourth Round]

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

The Nations League clash saw the youngster make only his 13th appearance for his country. But with Euro 2020 emerging on the horizon, Carragher suggested that he has established himself as a key part of Southgate’s plans. “We were talking about Phil Foden before and maybe Mason Mount nailing down a position, or Jack Grealish. It almost feels like Declan Rice has,” he told Sky Sports. “He plays every game now for England so we talk about who are the first names on the team sheet, it almost looks for the manager, he is one of them. “There was such a big build up for Declan Rice when he came in and was doing so well for West Ham, so then people start looking a bit closer, he gets in the England team, he got a little criticism which I thought was a little bit harsh. I’m a big fan of Declan Rice. When he plays in that central midfield position, I don’t think he gets enough credit for his passing ability.”

Rice really does appear to be cementing himself as a mainstay for club and country. He has not missed a minute for West Ham so far this season in the Premier League. He is also quickly wracking up the England caps ahead of next summer. And Carragher is confident that he could have a crucial role to play when the tournament finally rolls around.





· DAN CLUBBE Read West Ham

Former West Ham striker Frank McAvennie has named who he feels is the ideal player to replace Declan Rice at London Stadium should the 21-year-old leave the club in the near future. In an interview with Football Insider, McAvennie named Aberdeen’s Lewis Ferguson as the perfect candidate to take over the mantle if Rice left the Hammers amid reports linking the England man with a move to Chelsea. McAvennie believes the young Scot is ready for the Premier League, saying: ”I think Lewis Ferguson will go to the Premier League, I would love to see him at West Ham because he is a fantastic player.”

The former Irons striker continued: ”I do not want Declan Rice to leave but if he was I think Ferguson would be the ideal replacement for him. There has been so much talk about Declan and if he was to go I think the boy Ferguson is ready for the Premier League. “He is only young and he is a good, tidy player. It is an eye-opener going to England but it would only benefit him.”

Ferguson is a Scotland under-21 international and has made a sublime start to the 2020/21 Premiership campaign for Aberdeen, scoring eight times and supplying two assists in 12 matches, all from central midfield (Transfermarkt). Unsurprisingly, he was linked with a switch to the perceived ‘big boys’ north of the border in the summer after his performances last term earned him the SFWA Young Player of the Season award. Despite Ferguson’s goalscoring exploits outweighing those of Rice, McAvennie believes there are similarities between the two players. He said: ”I think Lewis could fill his space. It is like for like. He is a young, energetic player who keeps the ball well, can tackle and he can get forward and score goals. I do not want Declan to leave but I would not be annoyed if Lewis Ferguson took his place.”


Such is the leap in quality from the Scottish top flight to the Premier League that it’s hard to say whether Ferguson would be a success in England, let alone as a replacement for a player as pivotal as Rice is to the Hammers. Whilst West Ham undoubtedly face a battle to keep their prized asset, it’s a battle they must win. On the other hand, with a value of £1.35m on Transfermarkt and a tremendous scoring record, David Moyes may want to take a look at Ferguson for his own squad to feature alongside Rice without selling the England youngster.


David Moyes has proved he’s more than a firefighter – now he deserves a new contract at West Ham [https://static.standard.co.uk/2020/11/19/06/newFile-1.jpg?width=968] West Ham United FC via Getty Ima
By Jack Rosser @JackRosser_ Evening Standard

For David Moyes, there has always been a personal mission alongside his work at West Ham. Even at the outset of his first spell in charge at the London Stadium, the Scot knew there was some work to be done to rebuild his reputation that had been damaged after he left Everton. “Sometimes you have to repair things and maybe I’ve got a little bit to repair,” Moyes said on his unveiling for his first spell as manager of West Ham three years ago. Moyes was back in management for the first time since after an ill-fated 10-month spell at Sunderland and, unfairly, was typecast as simply a firefighter, a short-term solution to save a struggling club from relegation. He was overlooked for the West Ham job full-time in favour of Manuel Pellegrini after he kept West Ham up in 2018 but, after saving them from the drop for a second time last season, he has been given time to show he can build something like he did at Everton.

Moyes has said he would like to build “something really special” at West Ham – and he looks to be doing just that. Hard work and grinding out results were at the core of his two successful survival missions at the London Stadium, but this West Ham side is developing into something far more than survivors of a relegation battle. Wins over Leicester and Wolves, their dramatic comeback at Tottenham and taking a point from Manchester City are clear markers of their progression.

Moyes has had a clear plan of what he wanted to do with West Ham, if he was given the opportunity to do so, since the end of his first spell in charge. Before he was replaced by Pellegrini, Moyes would often talk of creating a profile of a “West Ham signing”. During his second spell he has signed young, hungry players with a point to prove in the Premier League. Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek epitomised that and have been roaring successes so far. Vladimir Coufal looks to be following a similar path too. [Soucek has impressed since arriving in London, starting all three games.]

The performances Moyes has drawn from Michail Antonio bring back memories of the way he turned Marco Arnautovic into one of the most potent Premier League forwards in his first spell. Moyes has brought a level of stability to West Ham not seen, arguably, since they left Upton Park. There is more progress still to be made, as the performance in the narrow 1-0 win over Fulham showed, but the 57-year-old has always insisted this is a process. “Dave’s a builder,” West Ham coach Stuart Pearce told Standard Sport recently. “He built Preston and put Preston on the map, he certainly did the same at Everton as well. I think nothing would please him more than be able to build a legacy at West Ham.”

In order to build that legacy, Moyes deserves a similar level of security that he is giving to West Ham. When he returned to the London Stadium last December, Moyes was handed a contract until the end of this season which included a performance related option of a one-year extension. In the work he has done in the past 11 months, he has done more than enough to deserve longer than that. West Ham, as they often like to under David Sullivan, will leave discussions over any new contract until at least after Christmas. Moyes praised the co-owners Sullivan and David Gold for swallowing their pride when they asked him to return and has built a good working relationship with them in his second spell. When he came back to the club to clear up the mess made by his predecessor, Moyes vowed to leave the club with no option but to extend his deal in east London. Their minds should already be made up.


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Pablo Fornals: West Ham United players are all speaking the same language [Pablo Fornals celebrates]

Pablo Fornals says West Ham United’s encouraging form is a result of the family atmosphere among the Irons’ first-team squad. The Hammers have collected 23 points from their last 15 Premier League games, securing safety at the end of last season, before starting the current campaign with a series of strong performances. Spanish midfielder Fornals puts that down, in part, to the spirit of togetherness that exists in the dressing room, on the pitch and, when COVID-19 restrictions allow, in social settings.
I think this squad is a great family, and it’s easier to fight as a family than if everyone is fighting only for himself Pablo Fornals
“While we are in a proper lockdown at the moment and we need to stay at home, before and after [the lockdown], we try to do some things together,” the No18 revealed. “I think this squad is a great family, and it’s easier to fight as a family than if everyone is fighting only for himself.”
When Fornals arrived in east London in the summer of 2019, he spoke only basic English, but he can now communicate almost fluently and has developed a wicked sense of humour in his adopted language. In addition to formal lessons, the 24-year-old has become good friends with Michail Antonio, David Martin and Ben Johnson, taking the trio for Spanish meals at his favourite restaurant in London’s Fitzrovia. “We are close friends, not just outside the pitch but on it too, where all of you can see how both of us enjoy playing together,” he smiled, before expanding on his close relationship with centre-forward Antonio. “I always say that in whatever team I play for, I want to play with a player like Mikey, because for me he makes it so easy to play with him. I just have to find his body [with the ball], because if I find his body, I know we will have the ball for a second chance. “As well as this, last year we went to play basketball together and we do a lot of things. He’s a great guy, like a lot of my teammates, so I think this season, along with my first season at Malaga, is the best season I’m living in my career in terms of my life outside the pitch. I’m very happy.”

[Pablo Fornals celebrates scoring at Liverpool]

Antonio told a national newspaper he was learning Spanish himself to help Fornals feel even more at home, but the midfielder cast doubt on his teammate’s claim! “To be totally honest, we haven’t spoken Spanish together yet!” he laughed. “Of course, I am improving my English but I don’t know all the words, so when I don’t know how to say something, I try to explain in another form or say the word in Spanish and Mikey is a guy who tries to find the word I want to say and keeps speaking with me. “He has made me feel comfortable and made me feel good here because I can have a conversation with him speaking about different things.”
And, when the pandemic is over and restrictions are lifted, those conversations will take place not only in the dressing room or on the pitch, but at Fornals’ favourite restaurant, Arros QD. “The first thing I want to do after the lockdown is finished is to eat an amazing paella in a Spanish restaurant!” he revealed. “There is a Valencian restaurant near Oxford Street and the paellas there are, for us, like being at home. “Other than that, I just want to walk without fear. That’s it! “It’s tough because we are playing well and we’re in a comfortable position so we’re having some days off, but it’s not possible to return home and see our families, so it’s difficult, but that’s not just for me or for footballers – everybody wants this situation to end.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Saïd Benrahma helps Algeria qualify for Africa Cup of Nations [Saïd Benrahma]

Saïd Benrahma helped Algeria become the second country to qualify for the 2021 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, assisting Riyad Mahrez’s goal in a 2-2 Group H qualifying draw in Zimbabwe on Monday. The West Ham United winger supplied a crossfield pass that Mahrez collected with a superb touch before twisting, turning and firing home to put Algeria 2-0 up in Harare. Zimbabwe scored two second-half goals to snatch a point, but with ten points from four matches, Algeria are now guaranteed to reach the final tournament in Cameroon in January/February 2022, following Senegal, who qualified on Sunday. The 25-year-old Hammer was earning his sixth cap and will hope to add to that tally when Algeria complete their qualification campaign with an away tie in Zambia and home game with Botswana in March 2021.

Sebastien Haller starts as Ivory Coast edge closer to Africa Cup of Nations finals [Haller]

Sebastien Haller and Ivory Coast edged a step closer to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals with a 1-1 draw in Madagascar on Tuesday. The West Ham United centre-forward made his first start for the Elephants in Antananarivo, having scored on his debut in a 2-1 win over the same opposition as a substitute on Saturday. This time around, it was AC Milan’s Franck Kessie who scored for the Ivorians, netting from the penalty spot to put his country in front on 15 minutes. However, Madagascar equalised six minutes into the second half through Ibrahim Amada’s searing strike and the game ended level. A point each means Ivory Coast sit top of qualifying Group K on seven points, ahead of Madagascar on head-to-head record, with Ethiopia a point behind in third after their 3-0 win over Niger. With the top two qualifying, Haller and his compatriots will hope to complete the job when they travel to Niger before hosting Ethiopia in March 2021. The delayed final tournament will take place in Cameroon in early 2022. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: On This Day: West Ham come from behind to beat Brighton

Taking a look back at a classic West Ham United moment on this day in history, in association with RoadX Tyres…
West Ham United’s promotion challenge was boosted by a 2-1 Division One win over Brighton & Hove Albion on this day in 1990! Billy Bonds’ side went in a goal down at half-time after a lacklustre performance in the opening 45 minutes at the Boleyn Ground, but fought back under stormy skies to secure three vital points. Stuart Slater equalised with a rasping shot before Colin Foster headed in the winner from Kevin Keen’s corner.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: On This Day: Robson and Best share five goals in Sheffield United thrashing

Taking a look back at a classic West Ham United moment on this day in history, in association with RoadX Tyres…
Pop Robson netted his first West Ham United hat-trick as the Irons thrashed Sheffield United 5-0 in the League Cuip fifth round on this day in 1971. The centre-forward, who had signed from Newcastle United in February of that year, scored a perfect treble – header, left-foot shot, right-foot shot – to blunt the Blades at the Boleyn Ground. Robson scored the opening two goals before Clyde Best made it 3-0 before half-time. The Bermudan grabbed the fourth before Robson completed his hat-trick three minutes from full-time. The Hammers would go on to face Stoke City in the semi-finals, drawing 2-2 on aggregate before losing 3-2 in a pulsating second replay at Old Trafford in January 1972.


Former Hammer hangs up his boots · By Staff Writer
Tuesday, 17th November 2020

Former Argentine international Javier Mascherano has announced his retirement from professional football following a glittering career with Liverpool, Barcelona and West Ham United. Now 36, the midfielder has called time on a 17-year career that began with River Plate and ended at Estudiantes de La Plata, for whom he made ten appearances last season (2019/20).

[Argentinian footballer Javier Mascherano : News Photo]

Whilst he may have won Champions League and domestic honours with Barca it will be for his short stint at the Boleyn Ground for which Mascherano will be best remembered by Hammers fans. On the morning of transfer deadline day 2006, rumours began to surface that West Ham had completed the audacious double signing of Mascherano and fellow Argentinian Carlos Tevez. While those rumours were initially scoffed at by an unbelieving media, it soon transpired that a deal had indeed been completed – which resulted in the unlikely sight of a bemused Alan Pardew announcing the arrival of two players he knew little about. It was later revealed Mascherano and Tevez had been ‘parked’ at the club as a sweetener ahead of a proposed takeover by businessman Kia Joorabchian. However after the Iranian’s plans fell through it wasn’t long before both players were moved on.

[Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United : News Photo]

Mascherano’s short spell at West Ham lasted for just six months before he was sent up the M1 to Liverpool – a period during which he made just seven appearances for the Hammers including defeats home and away against Palermo in the UEFA Cup. He was also involved in a bizarre incident with another former Hammer, Jermain Defoe, in a 1-0 defeat at Tottenham – a match during which the striker appeared to attempt to bite off the Argentine’s ear (see above)!
And while he went on to win La Liga titles plus reaching the Champions League and World Cup Final while making 147 appearances for Argentina, we have little doubt that it will be his spell in east London that Mascherano will most fondly remember when looking back at an illustrious career.

Javier Mascherano: professional career
2003-2005: River Plate 46 (0)
2005-2006: Corinthians 17 (0)
2006-2007: West Ham United 7 (0)
2007-2010: Liverpool 94 (1)
2010-2018: Barcelona 203 (1)
2018-2019: Hebei China Fortune 53 (0)
2019-2020: Estudiantes de La Plata 10 (0)

2003-2018: Argentina 147 (3)


West Ham offered chance to sign Real Madrid forward Mariano Diaz on loan as Zinedine Zidane gives green light to let out-of-favour striker leave

· West Ham have been offered the chance to sign Real Madrid striker Mariano Diaz

· The 27-year-old forward will be allowed to leave Real on an initial loan

· He was offered around to clubs in the summer with West Brom showing interest

· However, Mariano decided against a Baggies switch but could move to London


PUBLISHED: 14:43, 17 November 2020 | UPDATED: 14:49, 17 November 2020

West Ham have been offered the chance to sign Real Madrid forward Mariano Diaz. The 27-year-old, who joined from Lyon in 2018 for £21m, is available potentially on an initial loan and was offered around to clubs in the summer with Zinedine Zidane willing to let him go.

West Brom were among those to show an interest but Mariano was unsure on a move to a newly-promoted side. However, a move to London and West Ham could carry more appeal.

[West Ham have been offered the chance to sign Real Madrid’s out-of-favour striker Mariano]

West Ham have been offered the chance to sign Real Madrid’s out-of-favour striker Mariano

Moyes tried to add Josh King from Bournemouth in the last throes of the summer window and is open to bolstering his attack still as he looks to build on a promising season. Sebastien Haller has failed to make any meaningful impact since completing his big-money move from Frankfurt last year. It has left Moyes searching for more attacking options and could view Mariano as the man to lead the line for them. Mariano has only managed 1,000 minutes across his stint in the first team for Los Blancos, where he scored five goals in 27 appearances since rejoining the club in 2018.
[Sebastien Haller has failed to make any meaningful impact for West Ham since joining last year]

Sebastien Haller has failed to make any meaningful impact for West Ham since joining last year

While he has struggled to nail down a more permanent role in Zidane’s plans, he remains an undoubted talent as a finisher and could be afforded more game time should he make the switch to the London Stadium. He has made just one appearance this season. Mariano originally signed for Real’s C team in 2012 and would make a splash in the lower levels. He made 44 appearances for Real’s Castilla club in the second division scoring an impressive 32 goals, before finally making the step up to the first team in 2016 but only featured eight times scoring once. A move to French side Lyon followed in 2017 and his impressive goal scoring record of 18 goals in 37 appearances prompted Real to bring him back to the Bernabeu. However, he has been limited chances and a second move away from the club beckons.
[Mariano will be allowed to leave after failing to nail down a starting spot in Zidane’s plans]

Mariano will be allowed to leave after failing to nail down a starting spot in Zidane’s plans

Meanwhile, the Hammers are also eyeing up a move for Philadelphia Union left back Kai Wagner. Wagner has been one of the MLS’s standout performers and is valued around £3.5million which again fits well within the clubs’ tight budgets. The east London club face competition from Fulham, however, who are also interested in the German defender.


West Ham losing £2m a game during ‘fatal’ shut out of fans, warns Karren Brady
[Warning | Karren Brady says the lack of fans is “fatal” for football clubs

] By Jack Rosser @JackRosser_
West Ham are losing £2million per home match while games are behind closed doors, vice-chairman Karren Brady has revealed. The Hammers recently took out a new loan with Barclays Bank, secured against their payments from the Premier League until the end of next season, to ensure they are more financially secure following the pandemic. Clubs in Leagues One and Two are set for a £50m rescue package from the Premier League, but Brady – who took a 30 per cent wage cut in April – has warned that the impact is desperate even at the highest level of football. “It’s fatal for everybody,” Brady told BBC Breakfast. “West Ham is losing £2m a match in lost ticket revenue and corporate revenue. Some clubs are losing as much as £10million a match. “You talk about the pyramid of football but there is also a pyramid within the Premier League. Right at the top you have clubs owned by sovereign states and right at the bottom you have those who are not. Everyone is suffering but just like smaller businesses, whether football or non-football, they don’t have many cash reserves and that is what is happening to the smaller football clubs.”

Clubs spent fortunes in order for fans to return after the initial proposed date of October 1, which was scrapped by the government after a spike in case numbers, despite cinemas and indoor theatres remaining open. Pressure is mounting on the government to lay out a clear plan for the return of supporters and Brady says clubs must “do everything” to make those returning feel safe once they do.

West Ham, who before the latest lockdown restrictions were put in place backed the Evening Standard’s Bring Back the Fans campaign, have worked to make the London Stadium a covid-secure environment.

“We couldn’t have our supporters in which is literally why football exists but you could watch a game at the cinema, the O2 was open, the Royal Albert Hall was open, the London Palladium was open but open-aired, Covid-free stadiums aren’t,” said Brady.

“So I get that frustration. We are told it is early next March before we let supporters in. We have to do everything in terms of making people feel safe, giving the Government confidence that we can provide these Covid-19 safe stadiums.

“Some of the systems we have put in place – being ticketless, one-way systems, socially-distanced seats, closing the bars, testing and tracing people, temperature checks and so on, all of those things I hope are building towards allowing the supporters in because they are the reason why we exist. The atmosphere is suffering from it and we need them back.”


Chelsea eye new target after Hammers Rice resistance
Posted by Dave Langton on November 17, 2020 Claret & Hugh

Chelsea are interested in signing Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham, according to a new report, casting doubt on their pursuit of Declan Rice. The Blues have regularly been linked with a swoop for the Hammers star but a new report now claims that Frank Lampard is eyeing a different midfielder for the summer market.


Eurosport reports that whilst Lampard would like to sign our captain he is now Chelsea are making plans for missing out on the him. The report says that West Ham’s determination to keep Declan has now led to Chelsea looking at alternatives. Bellingham is perhaps the golden boy of English football, having made his debut for his country at the age of 17 following his move to Borussia Dortmund from Birmingham City. Those within Stamford Bridge are said to believe that it could be worth persisting with N’Golo Kante as their defensive midfielder for the next 18 months before potentially making a bid for Bellingham. They are hopeful they would be able to convince him to move and that thinking could mean Rice stays in east London. It could also potentially see an end to the never ending stories about the midfielder moving across the capital. Wouldn’t that be a blessed relief?


Moyes’ Benrahma blow
Posted by Dave Langton on November 17, 2020 Claret & Hugh

David Moyes could be without Said Benrahma for a considerable period of time in 2021. The Algeria international has been away on international duty, playing for his country as they have attempted to qualify for the African Cup of Nations.


He played a key role in the 2-2 draw with Zimbabwe, providing a superb, looping assist for Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez, who somehow controlled the ball with his heel before beating two defenders and finishing. The draw means Algeria will be present at the tournament, which has been moved due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Football.London reports that the African Cup of Nations, originally scheduled to take place in June and July of 2021, will be held in January and February of 2022. That’s slap bang in the middle of the Premier League season and Benrahma is almost certain to be a part of his international squad. He has won six caps for his country and is a mercurial presence for the side. Arthur Masuaku could have also been heading to the competition but DR Congo lost on penalties to Madagascar in a play-off game, meaning the left-back will be staying in east London in 2022.


Government hopes fans can return NEXT MONTH
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on November 17, 2020 Claret & Hugh

The government is reported to have plans in hand for the return of fans to Premier League and EFL NEXT MONTH according to the Daily Mail. The ‘paper claims to have learned that sources close to negotiations ay officials at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport have now submitted proposals to the Cabinet Office for spectators to attend games in areas where coronavirus infection rates are low, once the second national lockdown is lifted. That is supposed to be on December 2 although yesterday Health Secretary Matt Hancock claimed it will depend on figures showing deaths and infections are falling as the result of the first week of national lockdown in figures sue to arrive over the next few days. It appears that after the Department DCMS has been told to put football on a par with other activities, following months of criticism that the arts has been allowed to admit an audience, while football has not.
[Fans would have to be socially distanced and maximum capacity would be capped as happened when Brighton held a test event in August when Chelsea visited the Amex Stadium]

There would be a way to go however, as social distancing would have to be in place as was the case when Chelsea were visitors to a match at Brighton in August. And it also means that only fans in tier 1 and 2 areas would be allowed into grounds, subject to certain conditions. That adds a complication to things as ministers consider a four-tier system with a different set of rules once lockdown ends nationally. The move will please clubs who have argued for ages that allowing arts lovers the opportunity of sitting inside the Royal Albert Hall doesn’t make sense when people can’t watch football outside which is cited as a safer area in the current circumstances. How the fixtures would be affected on a seasonal basis with some geographical areas allowed to play games but not others is another problem for football to consider. However, the news puts flesh on the bones of news this morning that plans were under consideration although everything depends obviously on infection and death rates falling with the R number returning to at least . That is unlikely to happen until we see the effects of the national lockdown in figures due to be published next week or later this. Having said all that the news will bring more optimism to fans and cash starved clubs that there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel. The Mail says that the absence of fans has placed clubs under enormous financial pressure, with ten struggling to make their payroll this month and others racking up huge debts.


‘The whole thing stunk’ – Sheffield United star breaks silence on West Ham’s Carlos Tevez affair

The Blades were relegated in controversial circumstances on the final day of the 2006/07 season huddersfieldexaminer

Phil Jagielka and Nick Montgomery challenge Carlos Tevez during the 3-0 victory over West Ham at Bramall Lane in the 2006/07 season.

Sheffield United entertain West Ham on Sunday in a game that is sure to open old wounds. An unlikely rivalry has emerged between the two sides following a controversial Premier League season in 2006/07. Back then, United were relegated on the final day of the season following a 2-1 defeat at home to Wigan. The defeat was hard enough to take in itself. United needed just a point to ensure safety and Danny Webber came within inches of securing that but his effort hit the post in the second half. To make matters worse, West Ham, who could have also got relegated on that final day, went to Old Trafford to face the champions and returned with the win they needed to survive and send United down. That was a bitter pill to swallow for the Blades, with the matchwinner being Carlos Tevez. The striker should not have been playing after West Ham were found guilty of breaching third-party ownership rules regarding his signing and that of fellow Argentine international Javier Mascherano. The Premier League fined them to everyone’s amazement and they avoided a points deduction. However, the fine was on the condition that Tevez was registered correctly for the remaining games and it was later proved that that was still not the case. That then led to a legal case brought by United, where The Hammers were hit in the pocket to the tune of £25m. One player who knew all too well how hard that was to take was Paddy Kenny.
Goalkeeper Paddy Kenny in action for United during the 2006-07 Premier League season. (Image: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

The goalkeeper was United’s number one that season and admits the Tevez affair is still something that is hard to understand. “Tevez didn’t have a kick when we played West Ham at Bramall Lane and beat them 3-0,” Kenny recalls. “There was a brilliant moment when Tevez had a bit of a tangle with Chris Morgan. ‘Morgs’ span him around in mid-air and dumped him on his arse. But the striker had the last laugh in the end. “We could not believe that West Ham had escaped a points deduction regarding Tevez and Mascherano. “Tevez was found to have been owned by a third party, which was bad enough, but people at West Ham were also proven to have lied to the Premier League to cover it all up. “They were fined £5.5m but weren’t docked any points and Tevez was somehow allowed to play for the rest of the season. “There was some bull**** from the panel that a points deduction would have hurt West Ham’s supporters. “What about the fans of the other teams all scrapping to stay up and playing by the rules? “I wonder if the panel thought that West Ham were already down anyway. They were rock-bottom when they were charged – 10 points off safety. “But the whole thing stunk. Tevez scored seven goals in his last 10 games of that season and West Ham won seven of their last nine to stay up. “Going into the final game, it had become a lot tighter than we wanted, but there was still hope. “Surely Man United would beat relegation-threatened West Ham at home on the day they got their hands on that Premier League trophy again? “Then news filtered through. West Ham were winning, Tevez had scored. The longer the Wigan game went on, the tenser the atmosphere became. “Surely we would score soon? Surely Manchester United would get back into it? The closest we got was when Danny Webber went clean through but the ball hit the post before bouncing away and skidding across the grass to safety. It wasn’t our day. We were relegated. “I remember sitting on the pitch for what seemed like an eternity. How the **** has that happened? “From the first day so many things went against us. “The penalty for ‘intent’ against Liverpool. Missing two spot-kicks against Blackburn. A perfectly legitimate equaliser at West Ham disallowed. Rob Hulse breaking his leg when we needed him the most. “By March West Ham still hadn’t won away from home. They eventually did so by beating Blackburn 2-1, their first goal was never a penalty. Their second goal was a shot by Bobby Zamora that hit Tevez on the line and didn’t cross it, the goal was given anyway. “They then went to Man United on the final day and Sir Alex Ferguson left Giggs, Vidic, Scholes and Ronaldo on the bench because they had already won the league. “After just one season, our Premier League dream was over.”

Paddy Kenny was speaking in his excellent autobiography The Gloves Are Off, with Danny Hall, published by Vertical Editions. You can purchase a copy of the book here.


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International round-up: Wins for Vladimír Coufal and Tomáš Souček [Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal for Czech Republic]

Vladimír Coufal and Tomáš Souček both tasted victory for Czech Republic on a night of mixed fortunes for West Ham United’s international stars. The former Slavia Prague – and now West Ham – clubmates both started the Czechs’ 1-0 Nations League Group B2 win at home to Israel on Sunday evening. Both Hammers fought hard in the red strip of Czech Republic as they sought to break down a stubborn Israel side and make up ground on group leaders Scotland. And it was Coufal who laid on the breakthrough at the end of a rapid counter attack, playing in Vladimir Darida to open the scoring in the seventh minute. A diligent defensive performance followed in the second half, with that proving enough for Czech Republic to take all three points at Doosan Arena. The result means that Coufal and Souček may yet still qualify for next autumn’s 2021 Nations League finals, but they will need to beat Slovakia on 18 November and hope that Scotland fail to win in Israel that same night.

[Declan Rice for England in Belgium]

Declan Rice played the full 90 minutes for England as the Three Lions’ hopes of qualifying for the finals ended with a 2-0 defeat against Belgium in Leuven. Two early goals proved the undoing of Gareth Southgate’s side, with the first arriving courtesy of a deflection – and the second a contentious decision. Despite appearing to win the ball first before being caught on the follow-through by Kevin de Bruyne, Rice was penalised after 23 minutes – before Dries Mertens promptly dispatched a superb free-kick. England had plenty of possession in the remainder of the game but could not find their way back into the game, meaning they will finish third in Group A2; Wednesday’s game at home to Iceland now holds little competitive consequence.

[Darren Randolph for Republic of Ireland]

West Ham’s two senior Irish footballers, meanwhile, both suffered narrow defeats for their respective sides. In goal for the senior team, Darren Randolph was on the wrong end of a second loss to a home nation as the Republic of Ireland went down 1-0 at Wales’ Cardiff City Stadium. Despite Stephen Kenny’s Boys in Green having the better of the opportunities in a hard-fought first half, Wales took the lead midway through the second when David Brooks thundered in to convert Gareth Bale’s looping header from close range. Wales could have stretched their lead through Brooks again were it not for an outstanding save from Randolph mere minutes later, the shot-stopper standing tall as Brooks ran through on the counter, before tipping his effort over the bar in spectacular style. Jeff Hendricks was dismissed in injury time for a professional foul on Bale for the Republic of Ireland, who now sit third, just a point in front of Bulgaria in Nations League Group B4. Their final match of the group is against the bottom side in Dublin on Wednesday, against whom a loss would see them relegated to the third tier of the competition.

[Conor Coventry (No6) lines up for Republic of Ireland U21s] Conor Coventry (No6) lines up for Republic of Ireland U21s

For West Ham U23s captain Conor Coventry, who has been a lynchpin of Republic of Ireland’s team during their 2021 European U21 Championship qualification campaign, there was late heartbreak at home to fellow high-flyers Iceland. Ireland went into the Group A match knowing that three points would have put them in pole position to finish as runners-up – and thus have a great chance of qualifying – but it was Iceland who made the brighter start, taking the lead through Sveinn Gudjohnsen’s 25th-minute finish. Coventry and Ireland pressed for the equaliser but, despite creating some good chances, could not secure it before half-time. They continued to mount pressure upon Iceland, however, and got their just rewards when Lee O’Connor’s cross took a deflection off defender Arif Leisson and trickled into the net with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining. Coventry made way with seven minutes remaining as Ireland brought on their attacking reserves, but a red card for Stoke’s Nathan Collins granted Iceland the encouragement they needed to strike a winner in the third minute of injury-time.Ireland U21s now need to win away at bottom side Luxembourg on Wednesday and hope Iceland fail to win at Armenia – a fixture cancelled due to cases of COVID-19 among the Armenian side.
Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, meanwhile, was an unused substitute as Poland lost 2-0 away at Italy’s Mapei Stadium in Nations League Group A1. The Poles could still qualify for next autumn’s finals, but will require victory at home to the Netherlands on Wednesday night – and for Italy to fail to beat Bosnia & Herzegovina.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Pablo Fornals: We have to keep working and keep dreaming!
[Pablo Fornals]

Every good football team has a Pablo Fornals – a player who will give absolutely everything to the cause, whichever position he or she fills. James Milner does it for Liverpool, Wayne Rooney did it for Manchester United, Javier Zanetti did it for Inter Milan, and both David Alaba and Philipp Lahm have done it for Bayern Munich. West Ham United’s Spain international is following in their illustrious footsteps, featuring across the midfield and on both sides of front three since joining the Hammers from Villarreal in the summer of 2019. Fornals’ versatility and all-round qualities have seen him feature in all but two of the Club’s 46 Premier League matches since his arrival, and the 24-year-old is happy to be helping his team in any way he can.
We have to keep dreaming, to keep fighting and working as we are doing, we can arrive in a good position come the end of the season Pablo Fornals
“One thing I will be able to say when my career finishes is that I’ve played in a lot of positions!” he smiled. “I hope I’ll also be able to say I’ve played a lot of games so, for me, it doesn’t matter where I play because it means I’m on the pitch, so I’m working for that. If I am a winger or a midfielder, I want to play and help the team and fight for us all.”
This season, Fornals has started all eight Premier League games on the left, albeit fulfilling slightly different tactical requirements in each of those matches. During the run of games against teams who finished in the top eight last season, Fornals was the left midfielder in a 5-4-1 formation, but against Fulham last time out, he played further forward in a 3-4-3 formation. From there, he regularly drifted inside to a more central position to allow Arthur Masuaku and Aaron Cresswell to utilise the space down the left flank. Whichever role he is asked to play by manager David Moyes and his coaching staff, Fornals understands the reasoning behind it. “I’m feeling more comfortable because, with Arthur and Cressy playing down the left-hand side, I can go into the middle a little bit,” he explained. “It’s a strange position to explain because sometimes I am defending like a winger, at other times I’m up with the striker and at other times I’m in the midfield – it depends on the flow of the game and how the boss thinks we can hurt the other team more. It depends on a lot of things. “Both before and during the game, the manager changes our positions and sometimes we play 2-1-2 or other times I play wide. It depends how the boss and the coaches watch the game. They are trying to make a new and competitive team and I think they’re doing it.”

[Pablo Fornals celebrates scoring at Liverpool]

West Ham most certainly have been competitive this season, collecting eleven points from a difficult-looking opening eight games, scoring 14 goals and keeping three clean sheets in the process. If you include the final seven matches of last season, the Irons have lost just four of their last 15 Premier League games and have conceded more than two goals only once. “After lockdown, if we hadn’t started to win games, we’d have been in the Championship, so the mentality of all the guys during the lockdown and in the games after the restart was brilliant,” Fornals observed. “Now, we are just continuing with this mentality and trying to be better than last season.”

[Pablo Fornals congratulates Lukasz Fabianski on his penalty save against Fulham]

While the strength of teams in England’s top-flight means qualifying for Europe through league position is a tough ask, Fornals’ experience of having done so with Villarreal in Spain’s La Liga in 2017/18 means he is not afraid to dream to repeating that notable achievement. “I think we made a step up, fighting with unbelievable teams in the last few games and for that reason we are in a comfortable position, but we have enough quality and belief to keep going up the table,” he said, determinedly. “When I played in Villarreal, in my first season there we qualified for the UEFA Europa League and it’s an incredible feeling to play in European competition and try to fight for some trophies, so of course after the last few years we’ve had, we first need to get to 40 points as soon as possible but after this we have to dream. “We have to keep dreaming, to keep fighting and working as we are doing, we can arrive in a good position come the end of the season.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Mixed emotions for Hammers debutant Hawa Cissoko

There were both positive and negative feelings for Hawa Cissoko after Sunday’s match with Brighton & Hove Albion, after the defender made her West Ham United debut in the 1-0 defeat. The France international entered the fray with 79 minutes on the clock, replacing Cho So-hyun, to earn her first outing in Claret and Blue for Matt Beard’s side. Cissoko has had a long wait for her maiden West Ham outing, undergoing surgery on a minor injury at the start of the campaign, and the versatile defender was delighted to finally get out and play her first minutes for the Irons, albeit in defeat. “I feel good and bad,” the 23-year-old told West Ham TV. “It’s bad because we lost but it’s good because it’s my first step. I’m so happy because I’m feeling confident. I won all my duels so I’m happy with that.” The defender has formed a good friendship with fellow France international Kenza Dali, and Cissoko has credited the midfielder for helping her settle into life in east London. [Mixed emotions for Hammers debutant Hawa Cissoko]

“I feel good. Honestly, my first couple of weeks after my injury were so hard. Kenza Dali wasn’t here, she was away with the national team, and since she’s come back onto the pitch, she’s helped me feel better, very confident and I’m very happy.” Having had her first taste of football in England, Cissoko is ready to experience more of what the Barclays FA WSL has to offer in the coming weeks. She added: “It’s my first time in England and I want to see how the game goes and see what the levels are. Again, I’m really happy, but I’m sad for losing the game. “I came on for the last 15 minutes, with Brighton already tiring, so I couldn’t completely judge the level. I look forward to testing myself more.”

Testimonial Thriller! The night the mighty Celtic paid tribute to the great Bobby Moore [Bobby Moore with Celtic captain Billy McNeill]

The illustrious career of West Ham United’s greatest captain Bobby Moore was marked with a memorable Testimonial match on this day exactly 50 years ago. The evening of 16 November 1970 saw the Boleyn Ground lit up by visit of Scottish giants Celtic for a game that no fan who attended will ever forget. On the night, Moore was honoured by nearly 25,000 supporters eager to pay tribute to, at that point, the only player to raise a major trophy in Claret and Blue, and the man who had led England to FIFA World Cup glory just four years before. The defender was also just a few months removed from another outstanding display on the world’s biggest stage, when his immaculate tackling and post-match embrace with Pele were the highlight of England’s narrow defeat by Brazil in Mexico. Moore’s outstanding performances caught the imagination of his fellow professionals and the wider football public, too, with the Hammer being named runner-up for the Ballon d’Or and third in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year voting. [Bobby Moore Testimonial ticket stub]
The Testimonial itself broke new ground, with the unique arrangements for the game being handled not by West Ham, but by fuel suppliers Esso. Among the topics handled by Esso was attracting top-class opposition and, in 1970, they did not come much bigger than Celtic. The Glaswegians had become the first British club to win the European Cup in 1967, beating Italians Inter Milan in the final in Lisbon. Three years later, they reached the final again, only to be edged out 2-1 after extra-time by Dutch champions Feyenoord. Seven of the legendary Lisbon Lions were in Jock Stein’s side at the Boleyn Ground, including goalscorer Tommy Gemmell, captain Billy McNeill and the winger Jimmy ‘Jinky’ Johnstone. On the other side, Ron Greenwood blended Hammers heroes like Moore, Geoff Hurst, Frank Lampard and Clyde Best with newer faces in full-back John McDowell, Moore’s new central defensive partner Tommy Taylor and 17-year-old winger Johnny Ayris. Unfortunately, Trevor Brooking and Billy Bonds missed the game through injury, while Martin Peters had moved to Tottenham Hotspur in a swap deal involving Jimmy Greaves in March of that year. Unsurprisingly, the teams produced a titanic tussle that produced six goals and entertaining, attacking football from two talented groups of players. Celtic went ahead three times – through Bobby Lennox, Johnstone and George Connelly – but, led by the irrepressible Moore, West Ham roared back on each occasion. It was from the defender’s cross-field pass that Geoff Hurst scored the Irons’ first equaliser, followed by second-half strikes from Ayris and Best. Johnstone should have won it for the visitors in the final seconds, but his shot flew over the crossbar and West Ham held on to secure a share of the spoils. [​​Bobby Moore Testimonial Programme]

“Bobby Moore, England’s captain, had the glory of his Testimonial match at Upton Park stolen from him by a memorable display from Celtic, who last night paid their first visit to London for 12 years,” wrote Daily Telegraph reporter Robert Oxby. “Ignore the score line. Celtic, playing with the flair that has made them such a force in world football, out-classed the Londoners. “The match was played in a fearfully competitive spirit – perhaps the most fitting tribute to a man who, by common consent, is regarded as a model professional.” The Testimonial reportedly earned Moore £12,000, but the true value of this memorable moment in the career of West Ham United’s finest-ever player was surely far greater.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: On This Day: Bonds, Brooking and Lampard score in Wolves win

Taking a look back at a classic West Ham United moment on this day in history, in association with RoadX Tyres…
West Ham United thrashed Wolverhampton Wanderers 5-2 on this day in 1974. Playing on a muddy Boleyn Ground pitch, Billy Bonds stepped up and put the Hammers ahead from the penalty spot after Kenny Hibbitt was adjudged to have deliberately handled a Keith Coleman cross. Trevor Brooking made it 2-0 a minute before half-time when he latched onto Bobby Gould’s pass and slide the ball under goalkeeper Phil Parkes. Frank Lampard scored the goal of the night on 62 minutes, thumping home a sensational half-volley from 25 yards after Brooking had scooped a free-kick into his path. John Richards pulled one back before Billy Jennings made it 4-1, shooting home after Parkes had parried Brooking’s rasping shot. Gould added a fifth on 85 minutes, converting with a right-foot finish against his old club after Bonds and Brooking had combined. Steve Kindon got a late consolation for Wolves, but the Irons would not be denied a superb First Division victory. Watch all five West Ham goals again here!


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West Ham United slip to narrow Brighton loss
[West Ham United v Brighton & Hove Albion]

West Ham United 0-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Barclays FA Women’s Super League
Chigwell Construction Stadium
Sunday 15 November 2020
West Ham United were unable to break down a stubborn Brighton & Hove Albion side at the Chigwell Construction Stadium as they slipped to a 0-1 defeat in Women’s Super League on Sunday afternoon.
Despite creating plenty of opportunities with some good football and pacy attacking play, the Irons could not make the good positions they had assumed count, coming up against a Seagulls’ shot-stopper, Cecile Fiskerstand, in resolute form.
The goal was ultimately settled, against the run of play, by Rianna Jarrett’s second-half finish.
Seeking a third consecutive win in all competitions, West Ham manager Matt Beard named a completely unchanged matchday squad to that which came from behind to best Birmingham the week before.
The Hammers had travelled to Brighton just a month ago for a Continental League Cup group stage clash which ended 2-2 – and 5-4 on penalties in West Ham’s favour.
But it was Brighton who enjoyed the first shot of the game, Jarrett winning the ball high up the pitch and subsequently turning and firing wide from 25 yards.
The visitors had another chance to strike at goal when Kayleigh Green played the ball across the penalty area, but Aileen Whelan’s wasn’t the cleanest of connections and Mackenzie Arnold did well to shift her feet and catch it.
West Ham’s first shooting chance of the match came after ten minutes, Rachel Daly playing a ball over the top for Martha Thomas to run onto out wide.
The No9 did well to pick out Emily van Egmond with an accurate cross, which the midfielder in turn laid off to Alisha Lehmann. The Swiss forward’s strike was closed down, however.
Van Egmond was out for her second goal in the space of seven days, having nodded the winner against the Blues, and almost got it with a fierce rising shot from the edge of the area which rippled the side-netting.
The first clear chance of the match, however, came after a quarter-of-an-hour when Thomas sprinted onto a long ball over the top. Clean through on goal, the Scotland international opted for a powerful volley, but Brighton ‘keeper Cecile Fiskerstrand did well to smother it.
West Ham were growing into the contest and, but for a matter of inches, could have led after 25 minutes. England international Daly showed all her class with an impressive turn and delivery from the right which flashed just over Thomas’ head with the goal gaping.
The Irons’ growing confidence was salient in a back-to-front flowing move which saw Laura Vetterlein, Cho So-Hyun and Adriana Leon involved in some sharp one-touch play, the latter almost playing Van Egmond clean through, but just slightly overhitting the final ball.
Shortly before half-time, Thomas had another excellent opportunity to open her Women’s Super League account for the season. Katerina Svitkova picked off a loose pass in midfield, drove forwards and played in the striker on the overlap, but Thomas’ strike across goal – well hit – whistled past the far post.
Brighton were giving plenty of warning signs on the counter and could have gone ahead from Green’s fine cross from the left, but with plenty of West Ham bodies sprinting back to make their presence known, Gilly Flaherty was able to scramble clear as the visitors appealed for a penalty.
The chances continued to flow at the start of the second half when Arnold played an excellent long pass into the path of Leon. The Canadian forward stood up her marker and played a one-two with Thomas, but was crowded out as she ran onto the return in the area.
Arnold’s reflexes were soon after called into action as a Brighton corner almost sailed over her head, but the Matildas shot-stopper adjusted well to lean back and tip it over the bar.
West Ham continued to persevere, with Leon the next player to go close with a well-struck, curling effort from the edge of the area, fractions too high.
Lehmann then had an excellent opportunity to open the scoring, having started the move herself with a fine run to carry the ball from deep. The No7 slipped in Thomas before racing onto the pull-back but, having had to spin to make room for the strike, her clipped shot just flew past the upright.
Then, out of nothing, Brighton’s breakthrough against the run of play: a pass over the defence found Jarrett in behind, having managed to lob Arnold, she successfully scrambled the ball over the line under pressure.
Were it not for a fine save from Arnold, the Seagulls would have doubled that lead moments later. Green’s cross took a deflection and found Inessa Kargmaan at the far post, whose side-footed volley looked destined for the bottom corner, but Arnold produced an excellent save low down to her right to turn it away.
The game was open and Thomas came close to equalising moments later. After executing a brilliant flick to make space on the right flank, the No9 drove into the area and fired another crisp low strike right across the face of goal.
There was still time for West Ham summer signing Hawa Cissoko to make her debut with ten minutes remaining, but despite continuing to fashion plenty of space down the flanks, the Irons’ final passes all too often reached Fiskerstrand ahead of a Claret and Blue shirt.
West Ham won a corner in the dying embers, with the delivery taking a deflection on the way to Flaherty at the far post. The captain did well to adjust her feet to meet the bouncing ball, but couldn’t keep her shot down, and the points were destined for Brighton on a frustrating day for Matt Beard’s side, who deserved more from the game.
West Ham United: Arnold; Daly, Flaherty (c), Fisk, Vetterlein; Cho (Cissoko 80), Van Egmond, Svitkova (Dali 66); Lehmann (Redisch 80), Thomas, Leon (Kiernan 90+1) Subs not used: Brosnan, Joel, Longhurst, Grant, Nor
Brighton & Hove Albion: Fiskerstrand; Gibbons, Bowman (c), Kerkdijk, Le Tissier, Whelan, Kaagman, O’Sullivan, Green (Heroum 80), Simpkins (Lee 67), Jarrett (Bance 90+4) Subs not used: Walsh, Stott, Brazil, Barton, Nokuthula
Booked: Green
Goal: Jarrett 69

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Matt Beard: A good performance but frustrating result
[Matt Beard]

Matt Beard was sorry to see his West Ham United side go without the reward their general play deserved in a narrow 1-0 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday afternoon.
The Irons set out in pursuit of a third straight win in all competitions against the Seagulls, and after some even opening exchanges, grew into the game and began to regularly fashion clear-cut chances.
The away team put plenty of bodies behind the ball but were unable to stop the likes of Martha Thomas, Alisha Lehmann and Emily van Egmond clear sights at goal in the first half, with Brighton keeper Cecile Fiskerstand in particular doing well to deny Thomas when one-on-one.
The Hammers retained their confidence and continued to play some swashbuckling football in the second half, but were punished for their profligacy after Rianna Jarrett pounced on a loose ball to lob Mackenzie Arnold midway through the second half.

It is what it is – we can’t change the result. I think the performance was good but it’s frustrating we’ve got nothing out of the game Matt Beard

Despite the Irons’ mounting pressure, the game began to drift away from the home team as Brighton began to relish every clearance, and Beard and West Ham were ultimately left to reflect on a frustrating result which did not reflect what had gone before it.
Beard explained: “I said it before the game: the game’s going to be won on who takes their chances and who doesn’t, and unfortunately for me, we had numerous in the first half, a few in the second half, and we were punished.
“We said it at half-time: we’ve got to be composed in front of goal, we’ve got to take that first chance early because the pressure grows, and then there was one error really and they’ve punished us.
“It is what it is – we can’t change the result. I think the performance was good but it’s frustrating we’ve got nothing out of the game.”
Despite the good chances they created, West Ham were left to rue a loss which, with sharper finishing, Beard feels could have easily been averted.
“It’s been the story of the season again,” he reflected. “It happened against Reading here [in a 1-0 loss] – we could have been two or three up early doors – and it’s happened again here today.
“We’ve had some really good chances and for whatever reason we’ve snatched at it or not made the right decision or we’ve had an extra touch, but I can’t change it.
“I thought Brighton deserve credit for hanging in there the back end of that last ten minutes. It’s a disappointing result for us and obviously a great result for them.”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Declan Rice hails the influence of Mark Noble and Harry Kane [Declan Rice]

Nobody associated with West Ham United would be surprised if Declan Rice was one day named England captain.
The 21-year-old has led the Hammers at every level since he joined the Club as a schoolboy, wore the first-team armband for the first time against Leicester City in December 2019 and has skippered David Moyes’ side in each of its last seven Premier League matches.
Both Moyes and his England manager Gareth Southgate have hailed Rice’s maturity, leadership qualities and professionalism and, speaking ahead of the Three Lions’ UEFA Nations League A2 tie with Belgium in Leuven on Sunday, the player himself revealed he would love to captain his country in the future.

[Declan Rice and Mark Noble]

“I’ve been privileged enough, if I look back at my time at West Ham in the Academy, in the Under-16s, the 18s, the 21s, I was the captain in them age groups,” said the deep-lying midfielder. “It’s just something that, as a kid, has always been one of my dreams, to captain a side.
“Coming up with Nobes (Mark Noble) as the captain and me kind of being the rising player in the team, the manager, David Moyes, has given me the armband this season when Nobes isn’t playing, and I’m taking it in my stride.
“I’m really lucky that I’ve got someone like Nobes there to help me along the way. I’m obviously only 21 and I’m captaining the big games like Liverpool and Manchester City, so long may that continue.”
Rice has so many leaders to learn from with both West Ham and England. At Rush Green, he works with Noble, predecessor Kevin Nolan and former England captain Stuart Pearce, while at St George’s Park he works with manager Southgate, captain Harry Kane and fellow Premier League skippers Jordan Henderson, Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling, Harry Maguire and Conor Coady.

[Declan Rice trains with Harry Kane]

The young Hammer is grateful for the opportunity to spend time with coaches and players from whom he can glean experience and knowledge, with Kane, in particular, setting an example he is only too eager to follow.
“You feel his presence all the time,” said Rice. “The other night, he wasn’t involved against Ireland but he’s in the changing room before, he’s getting everyone ready for the game, talking to the lads – going around individually.
“For a youngster like me who is aspiring to be hopefully a future captain, to look at him and what he does, the way he goes round and speaks to the players, and the way he is on the pitch he might not be the loudest – but the way he takes the ball under pressure and the way he gets defences scared, to me he is a real leader.”
Rice, Kane and England will hope to reach the Nations League finals again with League A2 wins over Belgium on Sunday at 7.45pm and Iceland at Wembley on Wednesday 18 November, also at 7.45pm. Both matches will be broadcast live by Sky Sports Main Event.


Masuaku: Mystery solved
Posted by Sean Whetstone on November 15, 2020 Claret & Hugh


The mystery of missing Arthur Masuaku has been solved by ClaretandHugh this evening Earlier today we asked whether the 27-year-old had succumbed to Covid, sustained a fresh injury or just didn’t fancy the 9,200 miles round trip in Africa. But tonight – after making a number of enquiries among various contacts we can reveal that independent sources have confirmed to us that Arthur took the decision to have a recent slight injury dealt with in the UK rather than travel miles into Africa. They categorically denied that he had tested positive for covid and that they believed he had made a very sensible decision to stay at home rather than risk aggravating the problem via making thousands of air miles. Saturday’s game was played in Martyrs of Pentecost Stadium)in the town of Lingwala in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo some 4050 miles away from London DR Congo are due to play another match n The Estádio 11 de Novembro stadium in Talatona, Angola on Tuesday which is another 550 miles away from Congo. The left side player returned from International duty in September after suffering a slight knock on his knee in training but this is not expected to keep him out of contention of the Sheffield United game next weekend when the Premier League returns from its break.


Antonio long term fitness key to big new deal
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on November 15, 2020 Claret & Hugh

[https://cdn.claretandhugh.info/wp-content/uploads/ANTONIO_AWAY.jpg]West Ham United are today being reported as being ready to open talks with Michail Antonio over a new contract within a couple of months That’s according to the Daily Mirror who claim that with his current deal running out at the end of the season the Hammers hero has a year’s option on the player’s deal. In fact it’s two years and the new deal will be discussed a bit later than December given his hamstring problems which now keep him on a special programme. The report also claims the club will in fact offer him a further three years which, given that both he and the club know he needs to show his long term fitness, is not a judgement which can be made at this stage. There is little question at all that the player is set to remain at the club, it’s merely the terms of the deal which will take closer consideration. He will get incresed basic pay and appearance bonuses could be another item high on the agenda The 30-year-old has scored three times in six Premier League games this season, and ended last season with 10 goals in 24 appearances. Spotrac note that Antonio earns around £70,000-a-week at West Ham but his next wage increase is dependent entirely on his fitness situation ahead of negotiations starting


Boleyn becomes a dumping ground
Posted by Sean Whetstone on November 15, 2020 Claret & Hugh


A distressing photo has emerged on social media showing a cruel reminder of the West Ham Boleyn’s ground – now so sadly covered in rubbish and with unwanted graffiti. The Long Live the Boleyn graffiti became an iconic reminder of the Hammers former home of 112 years but it now resembles a dumping ground. West Ham season ticket holder Damien Lucas published the photo on Twitter showing beds, fridges, mattresses and other rubbish littering the place close to where the Boleyn Ground stadium once proudly stood. A West Ham mural was later added next to the Long Live the Boleyn message but this is now obscured by the rubbish too. The land once belonging to the club has now been turned into 842 flats spread over eighteen towers with homes on sale from £375,000. The incident has since been reported to Newham Council as a fly-tipping incident and it is hoped that the council will soon clear the site.


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