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Big night for the big two

It was a great international night for the Hammers big two – Manu Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic as they got on the score sheets for their respective countries tonight (Fri).

Lanzini started for Argentina against Italy, played the full 90 minutes and snatched a win for his side on 85 minutes with his first international goal, striking home a powerful effort from the edge of the penalty area.

Arnautovic grabbed two for Austria in their 3-0 victory against Slovenia. The forward, who has scored seven goals for the Irons this campaign, got off the mark on 36 minutes after David Alaba had opened the scoring twenty minutes earlier.

Arnautovic then got his second just six minutes into the second period with a looping header, taking the 28-year-old onto 18 international goals for his nation. The Hammers No7 was substituted with four minutes remaining of the contest.

Meanwhile of course, as reported here earlier, Declan Rice was named man of the match in the Republic of Ireland defeat against Turkey.

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Martin O’Neill makes young Declan man of match

Republic boss Martin O’Neill heaped praise onto Irons teenager Declan Rice after an impressive senior debut against Turkey.

The 19-year-old took the pitch at the back before moving into midfield as Ireland lost 1-0 but – as Hammers fans have come to understand – looked great in both roles.

O’Neill said: “I thought he did excellently in the game. He’s played left-sided centre-half for West Ham, his club, and at this minute I think he’s getting accustomed to a number of positions

“I had no hesitation in putting him into the middle of the field. It was a man-of-the-match performance and I thought he was excellent for us.

“Considering it’s his debut and he’s 19 years of age, it was an impressive performance from an impressive young man.”

Dec commented: “I think there is something in me. I’m composed and I’m a calm player. You’re only out there for 90 minutes and you have to give it everything you’ve got. It’s a game of football at the end of the day.

“I’m only 19, but I’ve had good experiences with West Ham this year and I’ve tried to take that onto international level tonight.

“I thought I did well for only being 19 years old on the international scene. I was proud of myself and thought I performed well.”

The manager added: “Declan Rice made one run there, a super run, things opened up and it’s great for the confidence to do that. As he gets more comfortable with the ball, he will sometimes, instead of playing it backwards, he will go forwards.

“That’s something I have been urging from the senior players.”


Kahn brands Irons fans hooligans and thugs

Sadiq Kahn  has weighed into the London Stadium affair following the the Burnley game declaring: “ I condemn the mindless hooliganism of a small minority of people intent on disrupting the game.”

Addressing the London Assembly question time he also claimed that 26 people were involved with four succeeding and that there were 150 separate incidents with 56 individuals of interest saying the coordinated move to the director’s box was by a known group of individuals.

Khan told the GLA “I understand that many West Ham fans have concerns about the club and the way it is run but the scenes we witnessed at the London Stadium on the 10th March were a disgrace and I condemn the mindless hooliganism of a small minority of people intent on disrupting the game.

The safety and security of spectators and staff has to be the number one priority, a full detailed investigation is underway. Last week’s emergency safety advisory group meeting sought to understand what happened and to identify improvements.

The safety advisory group recognised that the steward and security operation was stretched significantly by the unprecedented scale and volume of incidents.

Initial investigations show that a planned and coordinated campaign of disruption, more than a dozen fights broke out in parts of the ground between West Ham supporters at the same time

Twenty-six different individuals tried to get on to the pitch, twenty-two were stopped by stewards, four were successful

here were 150 separate incidents, many of them public order offences and forty assaults.

CCTV footage clearly shows a co-ordinated move by a known group of individuals to the director’s box resulted in the scenes we all witnessed.A former Upton steward, a middle-aged women was knocked to the ground and was trampled by mindless thugs suffering whiplash and concussion.

Another ex-serviceman suffered severe bruising protecting one of the pitch invaders from the blows and kicks from other West Ham fans. Six of the 56 persons of interest have previously served banning orders at the London Stadium or Upton Park.I understand work is underway to identify, prosecute and ban all those responsible for violence and disorder at the match”

Despite the mayor’s claims the Met police say there were no arrests on the day of the incident and no-one has yet to be charged with any criminal offence although they admit that investigations are ongoing. West Ham have confirmed five supporters have received life bans.


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Lanzini pleads for help

Manu Lanzini has spoken of his huge affection for West Ham and its fans and declared: ” ‘Have hope, please keep on supporting us and help us’.

Speaking to the official website the Hammers play maker said: “We have a fantastic group of supporters who follow us everywhere. We’re really lucky to have this amazing, fanatical support.”

And he made it clear his love of the club adding: ““I’ve always said I am very happy at the club and it’s a club where I feel very comfortable and I really enjoy working with this group of players.

“I’ve been here for three years now and I get on well with a lot of people. We have a lot of big personalities and big players here and I truly get on well with everyone at the Club.

“I always give 100 per cent . I don’t know what will happen in the future, but today I am very, very happy and I love playing here.”

“It’s always nice to play at home as the supporters are there and you feel them, so you get more confidence. You also feel you have a responsibility to them to do as well as you can and, if we can keep playing and getting results, that will see us safe.

“I want to say thank you for your support in every game. Keep going like this. We are fighting with you and we need to stay all together.”


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Supporters Club dissolution meeting postponed

The Special General Meeting scheduled for this Sunday for the dissolution of the West Ham United Supporters Club has been postponed.

In the last hour, the committee has emailed members saying “Due to the legality regarding memberships the SGM that was due to be held on Sunday 25th March, 2018 at the Boleyn Pub at 12 noon will be postponed. “

“The Committee has decided this by a majority vote that once validity is confirmed we will contact you further with an update and the  scheduled time, date and location of the SGM. We apologise to you all if this has caused any inconvenience. Kind regards The Committee”

The 70-year institution had faced a vote on dissolution in order to share out the assets including two flats in Green Street owned by the social club. Members with eight years or more members would receive an equal share of the money left after the club is wound up. Last year the loss-making Castle Street clubhouse was shut down on health and safety grounds. Stour Space continues to operate close to the London Stadium on match days with membership said to be around 700.

Today’s announcement of a postponement is thought to relate whether new Stour Space members are valid members of the West Ham United Supporters’ Club and whether they are eligible to vote in the Special General Meeting.

Top journo nails the LS fiasco

Top journo Martin Samuel – and a Hammer to boot – has been following the issues at the club very closely of late.

And in his latest piece for the Mail he has made it clear that those who want to blame the Hammers for so many issues may need to go a little deeper into their thought processing.

Samuel researches and writes as well and often better than any journalist in the country  and his piece in today’s paper is certainly worth a read.

He says: “Drip by drip, the truth is emerging about the London Stadium, the incompetence, the cost and the reality of Britain’s Olympic legacy. The London Assembly budget monitoring committee heard this week that mistakes were made around the installation of the retractable seats.

‘There is no suggestion we were negligent, but clearly we did get it wrong,’ said David Edmonds, former chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation. The cost of this not at all negligent mistake? Roughly £8million annually, when the seats need to be taken out for athletics and put back for the new football season.

Neale Coleman, the LLDC’s former vice-chairman, said that in retrospect the model used in Manchester after the Commonwealth Games – when the stadium was passed to Manchester City and converted for football purposes – would have been better.”

And he adds: Thank the brains trust of Tessa Jowell, Ken Livingstone and Lord Coe for that – they were the ones who insisted on an Olympic legacy and would not entertain the idea of a solely football-driven takeover.

“Yet football is the only sport that could consistently fill the stadium and make it viable – and even that future is threatened with stadium operator E20 making the place so inhospitable for West Ham and its fans.

“And now to the final point. Edmonds admitted that the reason West Ham got such a good financial deal on the stadium was that they were the only game in town by the time it came to negotiations.

“Tottenham’s proposal had been rejected; Leyton Orient’s interest was a myth. It was West Ham, or nothing. West Ham, or empty.

“The whole process has been an utter shambles and unless E20 start to make the place feel more like home for its anchor tenants, what tiny legacy remains could be lost. The politics needs to stop and the constructive solutions need to start. This is a national scandal and the size and scale of it is only just emerging.”

Spot on

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Hammer contract terminated by mutual consent

Canadian winger Malyk Hamilton has had his contract with West Ham terminated by mutual consent.

Hamilton first came to England for a trial for West Ham United when he was just ten years old. Papers at the Football Association published this week reveal he was released by the Hammers on 23rd February.  Hamilton made 25 appearances in the U-18 Premier League scoring once. He also made a brief appearance in the Premier League 2 for the Hammers. Hamilton has since signed his first professional contract with Toronto FC B team in early March.

Hamilton tweeted out “God has a purpose for your pain, a reason for your struggle, and a gift for your faithfulness… Who God bless, no man curse! Pleased to have signed my 1st professional contract with TFC!”



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‘Ginge’ update

James Collins has just a small chance of paying in the critical match against Southampton next weekend.

His scan showed there is still an issue with the hamstring problem which has plagued him for most of the season and that it will be a case of waiting and seeing until just before the match.

He had come off during the fund raising game against Dagenham and Redbridge after ‘feeling’ the problem again but there remain hopes that he will make it for the game.

The problem is of course ‘Ginge’s’ age when at 34 his recovery time is lengthened and although there is no serious further damage, to over play in such circumstances would not be the best idea.

It would be a double blow for the manager were he to be ruled out because David Moyes sees him as a real leader figure and has used him as captain on a couple of occasions this term.




Political blame game unfair on West Ham

A London Assembly committee heard that it is unfair to blame West Ham for the London Stadium disputes and losses.

London Assembly Budget Committee chairman Gareth Bacon said earlier this week that West Ham is constantly being portrayed as the big bad wolf who has caused the problem and the taxpayer has been overly generous to West Ham. Former LLDC chairman Neale Colemen was asked whether he thought that was fair?

Edmunds told the budget committee  “I don’t think it is fair to West Ham, they did take a substantial risk in doing this, I think for any football club to uproot itself from its home and do something else is a big big deal. It ought to be possible to get this deal and the arrangments back into a place where it works for West Ham and the public sector. It ought to be possible to address the issues around the seats, around the other events, around stewarding, all these issues ” 

Watch a special ten minutes edit of the committee meeting below:



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Striker ready for the big one

Jordan Hugill is eyeing up the Southampton fixture with his fingers crossed and hopes high.

The £10 million signing made it through his first 90 minutes for the Irons at Dagenham and Redbridge and scored the third near the end.

And he commented to the official site: “I’d like to think I gave a good account of myself. Obviously, the goal was good for me and good for the team and the 90 minutes I played and the hard work I put in should put me in the manager’s mind.

“But, at the end of the day it’s down to the manager and not down to me and it’s one of those things where I’ll keep plugging away and plugging away and, when my time comes, I’ll be ready for it.

“I’m really excited for the Southampton game, which is a massive game for the club and one that, if I play my part in it, I’d be delighted. It’s a massive game so hopefully we can come out on top.”

“It was a good run out and I think we did well in the end. The score-line was good for us and I was obviously delighted to get on the scoresheet.

“At the end of the day, the main thing for me was to get 90 minutes under my belt and get that work in that I’ve been missing out on recently, so that was the main thing for me.

“Their lads got a few blocks on my shots on the six-yard line, so it was a bit disappointing in the first half for me as I felt I should have had two goals, but I kept working hard and got my reward in the end.

“I was delighted with the finish in the end but the main thing for me, as I said, was to get the 90 minutes.”