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Bilic’s sacking odds slashed

slaven-bilic-west-ham-manager-press-conference_3364517The bookies have slashed Slaven Bilic’s odds on being sacked from 11/1 to 2/1.

Just last week the Hammers boss was fifth favourite behind Swansea’s Bob Bradley, Sunderland’s David Moyes, Mike Phelan (Hull) and Alan Pardew (Palace) for the sack.

But since the 5-1 hammering by Arsenal and his post match outburst about a “lack of intensity” on the pitch and training ground, the bookies have him as second favourite behind Bradley at 6/5 for the axe with one firm.

They are unimpressed  by the Irons board’s assurances he is in no immediate danger and as his odds have shortened Davis Moyes’ have lengthened dramatically to 14/1.

However, the bookies are loathe to take bets of much more than £50 a time on such “volatile markets.”

We were told by one firm: “The results change everything from week to week and we are never going to take massive bets because there’s always a fear someone has inside knowledge, not that we are suggesting that’s the case here.”

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Irons deny Payet Man United exit reports

RR ModerateDimi Payet’s future remains locked into West Ham despite  rumours that Manchester United have been in contact with the Irons board.

According to  French outlet Le10 Sport, the 29-year-old is a priority signing for Jose Mourinho and claim the two clubs have been talking.

However, this particular media outlet is among the most unreliable in Europe and a top ClaretandHugh insider laughed off the story when we approached him a few minutes ago.

There has also been widespread speculation that Paris St Germain are preparing a January bid despite the midfielder’s hit and miss form this season.

However, our source insists there is no truth in any of the suggestions declaring: “There has been no bids, or indeed inquiries, from anywhere

“With the window soon to open it is of course an easy story to write but we have had no contact with any club and he is of course tied down to a long term contract.”

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An Iron who has paid in a big way for errors

adrian-west-hamFormer Hammers midfielder George Parris is hoping Adrian to come back better and stronger after being replaced by Darren Randolph.
Parris believes Randolph was given an opportunity to stake a claim to be our permanent number one because of his performances for the Republic of Ireland.
He insists it’s hard to choose between the two ‘keepers – despite Adrian’s mistakes this season – and feels it’s positive for the club to be in a position of having two very good goalkeepers.
However,with rumours flying around that the manager has lost faith in both stoppers and is looking at the likes of Joe Hart and Asmir Begovic, the former midfielder is keeping faith in the  current Hammers duo.
Writing in his Blowing Bubbles Monthly column  he added: “Adrian has really been punished this season for the mistakes he has made. There were a few he made last season that he got away with but not this year.
“These mistakes have cost us not only goals but also points, and it does play on your mind as a defender. You start to do things differently but there’s very little between the two of them.”
The Blowing Bubbles’ December issue also includes exclusive interviews with Rio Ferdinand and Bobby Zamora, at www.blowing-bubbles.co.uk/read-our-latest-issue.html
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Boleyn Memorial garden open for access


gardensBoleyn Ground Developers Barratt London have opened up the former  Boleyn memorial garden to relatives and friends of loved ones to pay their respects between 8am and 3pm Monday to Friday. A notice close to the memorial gardens says “This area will not be developed and will be preserved, and family and friends are welcome to visit during and after construction. However this area will be partitioned off during construction for its protection but access will still be provided. We are keen to liaise with those who wish to visit the memorial garden and require access to this area.”

To arrange access please contact Chris Sharp by calling 0800 170 7270 or emailing him at csharp@hardhat.co.uk




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Two tiny kids remind players how much it matters


Two little boys – twins – make their way hand in hand to the London Stadium to watch their heroes.

This picture was posted on Twitter and immediately resonated with thousands of Hammers fans.

So far these little fellas have been let down in a big way by the players this season.

So may ClaretandHugh politely suggest to the manager that he prints this picture out, pins it to the Hammers dressing room wall on Sunday with a note reminding the players of what their performances mean to so many from the very young upwards.

Just saying!

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Noble must tell Slav names of players who have ‘hump’

slaven-bilic-and-mark-nobleMark Noble has a key role in the mess that is West Ham at the moment because “what’s going on in the dressing room  will decide the team’s fate.”

Former boss Harry Redknapp has given an insight into the trials Slaven Bilic will be facing at the moment.

He said: “You’re not ever-present with the players when you’re manager because you’ve got so many different responsibilities.  Of course you hear things and can read body language, but players always talk most honestly among themselves.

“Most of the new signings aren’t getting into the team, so they will all have the hump. They’ll sit around wondering what they’re doing there. If you have a load of negative people moaning about the club and the manager, then West Ham are doomed.

“That’s where Noble has got to get even closer to Slaven. If there are things like that happening, then he needs to inform his manager. He’s not being a snitch – he’s got to tell Slaven because he needs to rely on his senior players.

“James Collins is another one who can help the manager – he’s a good lad and you know what you’re getting with him. Collins and Noble have to sort out any changing room problems themselves and if they can’t do that, then they have to go to Slaven and say “Listen, you’ve got one or two in there who aren’t with us. They aren’t pulling in the same direction as we are.” And they mustn’t be afraid to name them.

“Slaven needs to know who isn’t really with him and you’d think that because Noble wants to win so much for West Ham – it’s the club he lives and breathes – he could help get anyone out of the club who isn’t fighting for their lives alongside him.

“As a manager the hardest thing in the world is to hide the pressure you’re under from the players. You only had to look at Slaven on the touchline in the final few minutes against Arsenal last weekend – that wasn’t the same boy we saw last year.

“He’s got to lift himself because otherwise he won’t lift the players. Slaven is a good man but he has to find a way of changing the mood around the club and he just can’t do it alone.

“You don’t want negative people. Even the dinner lady, the stewards – you can’t have them walking around with long faces as it only then spreads further negativity. “


Training ground buzz is back as Irons get ready

West Ham United TrainingThere’s increasing confidence in the dressing room that the Irons big three will be back in action for the key battle at Anfield this weekend.

Michail Antonio, Aaron Cresswell, Cheik Kouyate are all making progress and have received  a “better than fifty chance” of making the the squad from our sources.

Both Cressie and Antonio are recovering well groin pulls and Kouyate is believed to be in good shape after taking a knock in training before the Arsenal game.

And training ground sources have told ClaretandHugh that there has been a real “buzz and banter” around Rush Green after the miseries of the Arsenal game.

Whether the manager’s lack of intensity remarks from the manager were designed to publicly point the finger at the squad remains a moot point.

But we were told: “All the sessions have had a buzz, Maybe the manager was involved in some reverse psychology because there’s been a lot of laughter and hard training going on.

That – along with the good news on Michael, Aaron and Cheik is all good – and there’s a lot of confidence returning after the weekend dramas.

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Hammer grab Wolfsburg midfielder

muratSlaven Bilic has moved in on Wolfsburg midfielder Murat Saglam.

The youngster was picked out by the manager as a signing for next season with his contract at the German outfit due to expire at the end of this term.

And the Hammers are understood to have agreed a five-year deal with the 18-year-old, who will move to the London Stadium on a free in the summer.

Tottenham were also interested in the versatile youngster, who can also operate at right-wing and wing-back.


Noble told to “shake up the dressing room”

stimac-igor-slaven-bilicFormer Hammer Igor Stimac has backed his pal Slaven Bilic to lead the club out of its current problems.

And he made it clear whom he believes is responsible for the current difficulties declaring: “I point my finger at the players here to wake up and bring back to their game the same passion they showed last season.

The 49-year-old was part of the same Croatia side as Bilic  at EURO 96 and the FIFA World Cup in France in 1998, earning 53 caps between 1990 and 2002.

And he followed the manager  to east London in 1999, appearing 52 times over two season and remains entirely supportive of his long-time teammate.

He told the official site: “When Slaven got the job, I said that he will be an instant success at West Ham United. He knows what this job is about and how to turn things round.

“One thing I am pretty sure of is that Slaven will not lose his passion, commitment and confidence.

“The one thing which I am confused about is how some people in England question his ability after every game, forgetting how great a job he did last season.”

“We all know that Slaven is the right guy for West Ham and I point my finger at the players here to wake up and bring back to their game the same passion they showed last season.

“Not long ago they played with much more intensity, looking after each other and fighting as a team – defenders need to defend, midfielders to fight and pass the ball quickly to support the front players and make it easy for the them.

“They all stood up for Slaven last season, praising his work, and if they don’t want to lose him then I expect team captain Mark Noble to shake up the dressing room and the team to start producing good football again.”


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Rio: “Irons history overcomes all our problems”

RioRio Ferdiand believes Hammers history and tradition will always overcome the problems being experienced by the move to the London Stadium.
The former defender turned the BT Sport pundit, says violence in the stands or criticism of the way we got the stadium has harmed cannot harm the club’s identity.
Rio commented to Blowing Bubbles Monthly: “West Ham is a club where people really have a connection.
“They look at the club and they see something of themselves there, and that’s why as well as having its own fans, so many supporters of other teams have West Ham as their second team.
“It’s a club which is about tradition, family, history and friendships which last forever.”
Read more from Ferdinand, including his excitement at teaming up with Bobby Zamora and Mark Noble  to invest their time, money and effort in the Legacy Foundation, in Blowing Bubbles’ December issue > www.blowing-bubbles.co.uk/read-our-latest-issue.html