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PNE v Irons goals and highlights

There was no effective stream of the Hammers game at Preston North End today leaving the t fans frustrated and annoyed for the second time in a week.

But somebody somewhere managed to get the action sorted as we show here.

The Hammers of course drew 2-2 with a couple of goals from Marko Arnautovic and the second really is something to behold.

He and Andriy Yarmelenko really are class acts on the strength of what we can see here and even the once totally written off Robert Snodgrass is starting to look as though he has a role to play in the team.

Watch out too for a wonderful piece of defending from Declan Rice and the totally composed approach of his central defensive partner Issa Diop.

Ryan Fredericks too looks a serious threat in what by all accounts was a pretty competitive affair despite the fact that the season is still three weeks away.


Six to fit the back-up Irons striker role

Smolov could fit the bill for extra striker cover

West Ham face no shortage of possible back-up strikers after admitting this is the one area they are currently looking to fill before the transfer window closes.

With Andy Carroll again injured and the defensive and midfield reinforcements now in place a striker is the one option the are currently trying to sort out.

And by the usual standards there are a number of front men going into the last year of their contract who could be available on a loan or permanent basis.

Mario Ballotelli has often been mentioned but the 27 year old Nice striker would probably expect regular first team football and comes with plenty of baggage of course. The well respected Transfermarkt website values him at around £21 million.

Danny Wellbeck is another who could fit the bill but has had his fair share of injury worries and is priced at £13 million.

Daniel Sturridge is another with injury troubles galore in the past but the Liverpool striker carries a valuation of £13.5m

Fedor Smolev was on the Hammers radar last season and is a smaller nippier type who could appeal to Manuel Pellegrini from Kranandor at around £12 million.

Sam Vokes is avaialable from Burnley at around £5 million but is not a serious option after managing just four goals in 30 PL appearances last term.

Fernando Llorento at 33 years old enters the last year of his Spurs contract but he managed just one goal from 15 games in the PL last season  although he grabbed a hat-trick against Rochdale in the FA Cup and found the net against Apoel Nicosia in the Champions League. £6 million.

Then of course there is Wilfried Bony 🙂


Arnie double but Wilshere catches the eye

Preston North End 2 Irons 2

Marko Arnautovic and Jack Wilshere were impressive as the Hammers earned a 2-2 draw against Preston North End this afternoon.Arnie gave the Irons a 2-1 interval lead with a couple of typical efforts but too Wilshere looked business as he completed his first 45 minutes which was always the plan and won a free kick which led to the Hammer of last season’s opener.

The former Arsenal man constantly caught the eye but just as was the case at Wycombe Wanderers last weekend it was top man Arnie who scored.

New signing  Andriy Yarmolenko looked a star in the making and it was the Ukranian who provided the assist for Arnie’s second. right on half time.

Preston had equalised after Arnie’s first through a  Tom Clarke’s powerful header, and Billy Bodin got their second to ensure honours were split at the end.

Wilshere, having been fouled inside the Preston half, allowed Mark Noble to float a free kick to Arnautovic who controlled and shot under Chris Maxwell.

After that the Hammers started to play some good stuff with Yarmelenko combining with Wilshere and Ryan Fredericks.

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Video: Arnie Brace from Preston

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Hero Hammer saves the day with live stream

West Ham fan @AshHinchy has reacted to the lack of an official stream by using his mobile phone and ingenuity to broadcast live from his seat.

A massive thanks to Ash for giving us desperate hammers a glimpse of what is happening up in Preston in the pre-season friendly.

As things stand the game is 2-2 with both our goals coming from Arnie whilst Noble has had a soft penalty saved by the PNE keeper.


Solving the problem of empty seats

West Ham faces a showdown in court this October in their attempt to increase the capacity at the London Stadium to over 57,000.

However, if the Hammers win their court case against E20 Stadium they still face the challenge of getting a safety certificate from Newham council and the Sports Grounds Safety Authority before they could make use of an increased capacity over 60,000.

The Newham led London Stadium Safety Advisory Board is concerned that the stewarding and systems have never been properly tested at 57,000 as real attendances have never reached that level in the first two seasons.  Although almost every game has sold out to the official 57,000 capacity since moving the former Olympic Stadium the real attendances are between 10% and 25% lower because of the large level of no-shows from season ticket holders.

Even the first ever Premier League game at the London Stadium against achieved just 52,000 through the turnstiles and a category A game against Arsenal in the first season achieved a real attendance of 51,000. At the Southampton game last season, this dropped to a real attendance of 43,000 although the average across the season is probably closer to 47,000.

No-shows are not a unique problem to West Ham with the Premier League average being around 10% but no-shows as high as 25% is unusual. The problem is most likely related to the board’s strategy on affordable football with 10,000 Under 16 tickets for £99 and 8,000 £289 season tickets.

At those prices, supporters feel they can pick and choose which games they go to and feel using ticket exchange is not worth it. A number of non-West Ham supporters have also bought season tickets just to watch Premier League football in the stadium again missing the smaller games.

If West Ham truly wants to tackle the empty seat problem they must address two areas, the first is to have a proper policy of use it or lose it if tickets aren’t being used during the season and the second is to make the ticket exchange more attractive to season ticket holders.

Last year West Ham updated season ticket terms and conditions which included a new clause in which the club could withdraw their season ticket if the holder does not attend seven or more Premier League matches. All season ticket holders are required to tick a box on renewal online to say they accept the new terms and conditions which say:“Failure to attend more than 7 Premier League games may result in the Club withdrawing your season ticket. Utilising the Official Ticket Exchange or Official Ticket Transfer will constitute as attending.”

To our knowledge, this clause has never been enforced and no season tickets have been withdrawn as a consequence of this clause. Some argue that the number of games should be as low as 4 or 5.

Second is the ticket exchange scheme, in reality, many fans in the cheap seats can’t be bothered to sell their tickets on ticket exchange as they think they don’t get much money back so think it is not worth the hassle.

Perhaps the club should be more generous on the ticket exchange scheme instead of offering just 90% of the season ticket allocation back in club cash to those selling back to the club instead they should offer 100% or even 110% considering they will sell at general admission prices is way above the ticket exchange refund value.
A completely radical alternative idea would be to enter a profit share deal with the season ticket holder if they sell their seat back to the club and the club sells it again they share the profit 50/50.  That could be a game changer for supporters and encourage re-sale of seats.
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Teaser trailer brings taste of Boleyn emotion

Final Score is the movie which presumably no high action loving Hammers fan will want to miss  when it is released on September 7.

For not only will it bring some exciting viewing but some emotional and nostalgic reminders of our spiritual home at Upton Park.

Starring Pierce Brosnan, much of the action takes place inside the  Boleyn and the plot centres on Michael Knox (Dave Bautista) as an ex-soldier who must use all his military skills to save the 35,000 capacity crowd at a major sporting event, one of which is the daughter of his fallen comrade, when the stadium is suddenly seized by a group of heavily armed criminals demanding ransom.

The ‘teaser’ trailer above gives a taste of what we can expect when the film is expected to be released in cinemas and on the Sky Cinema subscription  service on the same day.

Looks fun but may prove a tad too emotional for some.


Chicharito set for key Pellegrini ‘meet’

Despite regular reassurances on here and elsewhere, Chicharito’s future is regularly being discussed by some West Ham fans!

This is based on what has been interpreted as an unwillingness to say “out loud” that he intends to remain at the club but the reality is he doesn’t need to.

With a couple of years left on his new contract and a manager who totally believes in him there is really no necessity for him like any other player to make any comments whatsoever – he’s a West Ham player…end of.

That the club are now looking for a back-up striker hardly suggests that they are ready to sell Little Pea and it seems clear that he and Arnie are the central No 1 strike force for the season.

The Mexican and Manuel Pellegrini are set to meet for the first  time on Monday when the striker is  due to be returning to training along with goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

And in every discussion I’ve had with those close to the boss, one message has come out loud and clear – he loves the bloke, believes he is fortunate to have inherited him as part of the squad and will tell him so.

Just as explained by Jack Wilshere he will tell him how he wants to use him just as he has all the others.

Jack revealed Pelle had told him he could have a couple of roles but he wasn’t at liberty to say what they are – expect the same sort of discussion to happen with the Mexican.

David Moyes showed at Man U he was not a believer in him – Pellegrini is, so that it seems is that.


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Video:Fabian Balbuena aka ‘The General’

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West Ham team news for Preston North End

West Ham will be without Cheikhou Kouyate, Javier Hernandez and Łukasz Fabiański for today’s trip Preston North End. The trio remains on extended leave after World Cup action. All are due to report back for training on Monday at Rush Green and could be included for Wednesday’s game against Aston Villa.

Manuel Pellegrini could hand debuts to Felipe Anderson, Jack Wilshere and Fabian Balbuena.

Ryan Fredericks and Aaron Cresswell who missed last week’s game with a sore ankle and slight groin strain respectively have trained all week and are expected to be available to play. Michail Antonio has not been spotted in full training this week and is not expected to have recovered enough yet to be match fit yet.

Domingos Quina is also missing as he is on International duty after scoring in the UEFA European U19 Championship finals.

Manuel Lanzini, Winston Reid and Andy Carroll are all out with knee and ankle injuries. Lanzini is likely out for the season while Carroll is likely to face 4 months out after surgery and Reid could be out for up to 9 months after an operation on his knee.

The squad will be a mixture of senior players and youngsters. Kick off is at 3 pm this afternoon.

After last week’s disaster on the youtube streaming of the pre-season friendly, there has been no confirmation of a stream for the game but we understand it could still be announced at the last minute subject to successful technical tests.