West Ham’s rejuvenated squad has come as the club developed a provisional relegation crisis plan.
But the upswing in results has eased fears the squad will be facing wage cuts of up to 50 per cent on their wage deals should they fail to beat the drop.
Ahead of David Moyes’ arrival, the club was having to look at the effects of relegation and consider plans which could see players wages halved.
But the mini revival with great result over Chelsea and Arsenal has seen the fears recede and victory at Stoke on Saturday would see the revival go from mini to major!
The team came within seven minutes of earning a point from the away trip to Manchester City before beating Chelsea and battling to a fine draw against Arsenal.
They now travel to the Bet 365 Stadium in great heart and hopeful they can escape the relegation places although they will need to do it without impressive Winston Reid who is suspended from the match after receiving his fifth yellow of the season against Arsenal.
West Ham cult hero Carlton Cole is back in training after joining up with fan-owned club AFC Wimbledon.
The former Hammers favourite tweeted “Feels great getting back into training. Big thanks to Wimbledon AFC. Great working environment”
Cole has been without a club since he left Indonesia side Persib Bandung in March this year.
The former Hammer left Persib without scoring a goal in 268 minutes of action during his spell of less than five months. The No.9 puts his failure down to a complete breakdown in relationship with the team manager, Umuh Muchtar, who is a controversial figure in the sport having since been given a six-month ban for withdrawing his side from a match against rivals Persija Jakarta.
Reece Oxford’s performance against Hamburg this evening was tracked by Twitter account @ScouedFtbal who recorded an impressive set of stats for the Hammers youngster.
Playing in a holding midfield role, the England under-20 star came off to a big reception from his manager at the end of Gladbach’s 3-1 win, hardly surprising seeing the stats.
O 62 touches
O made 40 of 47 passes
O 3 interceptions
O 3 clearances
O 2/5 aerial duels
O 2/2 tackles
O 2 fouls
O 2 fouls won
O and 1 shot which hit the cross bar.
Given his lack of action this season he looked entirely at ease in a top-level league during a very good performance.
Hammers academy boss Terry Westley has always claimed that Reece is very much the real deal and it certainly looked that way tonight as he went about cementing his place in the German outfit first team over the rest of the Bundesliga season.
Reece Oxford completed a highly impressive 87 minutes in tonight’s Bundesliga clash between his loan club Borrusia Monchengladbach and Hamburg this evening.
Gladbach ran out 3-1 winners with the Hammers teenager catching the eye at the back with a calm and commanding performance.
The youngster left the action just three minutes from the end to receive a delighted response from his manager Dieter Hecking.
Playing in a holding midfield role, Oxford was rarely troubledas Gladbach rose to fourth position in the League when completing a well deserved victory with two goals from Raffael.
The Hammers England under 20 international had made his first Bundesliga start in the side’s 1-0 defeat of Freiburg when he impressed in in an unaccustomed right-back role.
But tonight he looked in even better form growing into the game the longer it continued.
A West Ham fan was arrested at Half Time on Wednesday night at the London Stadium as the Hammers held Arsenal to a goalless draw.
The young male fan had thrown a full open can of beer from the West Stand block 114 towards the linesman on 15 minutes after he ruled Marko Arnautovc’s header offside. The can landed on the pitch after narrowly missing the lino my inches. The linesman picked it up and removed it as TV cameras zoomed in.
West Ham security and stadium operator staff used high definition CCTV coverage to quickly identify the young fan in minutes and at halftime police swooped in to arrest the supporter.
The fan was kept in a police cell overnight and is thought to have been charged with drinking in view of the pitch and throwing a missile. He is likely to receive a three-year stadium ban from the club as well as facing a court appearance and possible football banning order.
The Met Police football unit tweeted. “It’s never a good Idea to throw a missile at the Lino when he gives a decision against your team as one West ham found out last night, he will be waking up in a police cell this morning instead of his own bed “
Followed by “Just as an update the Chap who spent the evening with us for throwing a missile has been charged with 2 offences and will be appearing at court in the near future”
The referee included the incident in his match report but praised the club for quick action in identifying and arresting the fan. The FA is likely to ask the club to write to them to explain the incident but it is hoped they should avoid further FA sanction or a fine for failing to control their fans.
Domingos Quina’s advisers and the Hammers are still deadlocked over the future of academy prospect with a long term deal still some way from being agreed.
The Hammers had hoped to have nailed down a four year deal with the teenager but ClaretandHugh understands the chances of him signing his first professional in the near future are bleak despite several weeks of talks.
We believe that ‘Team Quina’ is looking for a wage in the region of £25k a week which given he has yet to make a first team appearance looks too high by some distance.
The Portugal Under-20 international is potentially one of the Premier League’s most exciting young prospects but with the Hammers currently involved in a relegation scrap he is unlikely to get a first team chance.
Liverpool are watching negotiations carefully and could move in with an offer which given the value his advisers put on him would need to be in the region of £10 million.
Pragmatic David Moyes has told the squad that whilst they can feel pleased with their recent efforts they have a long way to go before they can start the celebrations.
Speaking to the presser ahead of Stoke City he said: “They have started to gain belief and, because of that, they’ve started to do good things.
“We’ve still got to climb the table, so we’ve got to win an awful lot more games. We can pat ourselves on the back and say how well the players have done, but overall we’ve still got a lot of games to go and we’ve got to win them.
“We’ve definitely felt positive energy and an uplift around the place these last couple of days. Anybody who beats Chelsea and gets a result against Arsenal, especially with the position we’re in, it’s a real positive.
Stoke have some really good senior players who they can call on at any time and we also know they have ability in other areas, so we know it’s a tough game,” he said.
David Moyes may be ready to slip into a quick chorus of the Slade classic ‘Merry Christmas Everybody” if the Hammers grab that much required win at Stoke City tomorrow. “
It’s his favourite Christmas song explaining: “I was growing up as a young boy and that would be my favourite Christmas song!”
He is hopeful that our first away win of the season is at hand at Stoke but says: ” “I think Stoke have got good defenders. They signed Zouma and have Martins-Indi and company, so I am a bit surprised they have conceded so many goals.
“While winning home games is always vital for for us to be in a good position at the end of the season, we need to win games on the road. They haven’t won many games recently, so we have to pick up on that.”
Moyes is already eyeing the January transfer market declaring: “I hope the window is busy. It’s not the easiest month but I’d like to add to the squad if I can. I would like people who could go straight into the team, if possible.”
He declares himself a happy man after his first few weeks at the club saying: “I’m smiling. I’ve really enjoyed it and really been made to feel welcome. It’s been good. The players have helped and really bought into everything I wanted them to do.”
Aaron Cresswell believes he is becoming a better footballer under the supervision of David Moyes and the coaching staff.
And speaking about his new defensive role to the official site, he said: “I’m enjoying it. When the gaffer asked me to play there against Manchester City, sometimes you have to fill in when we have a few injuries, but we’ve picked up from there and we’ve kept two clean sheets in a row, so hopefully we can keep that going.
“I definitely feel I’m improving under the manager and his staff. Anyone who watches his training sessions will see organisation, set pieces and defending as a unit are his main things and that’s what we’ve done.
“Defensively, it hadn’t been good enough, so to get two clean sheets against two of the best teams in the league, defend really well and be unfortunate not to get something out of the game at Manchester City was very good.”
He’s looking forward to the Stoke City match declaring: “We’re certainly feeling full of confidence after playing against three of the best teams in the league and taking four points from the last two. We just need to continue that now and take it into Saturday.
“It’s very demanding at this time of year. Some of the front boys put so much effort in, as they run the most sprints, whereas the back five are sitting in deep and defending. They really put a shift in and credit to them for putting that effort in for the team.
“It’ll be a different type of game at Stoke, but we’re still going to be focused on keeping that clean sheet and, with the midfielders and attacking players we’ve got in the team, I’d fancy us to get some goals.”