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Confident Zaba’s positive message

zab“It’s a massive game on Saturday after the big defeat against Manchester United. It wasn’t our best game. After the second goal we probably lost confidence as a team and knew the game was over and we conceded two late goals.

“We need to work and be mentally strong enough, even if we are losing 2-0, to fight until the end, and this is something we should improve.

“Of course, it’s not time to panic or anything like that. It’s time to be focused on the next game, which is Southampton away. It’s going to be another tough match, but we have to believe we can get a good result.

“I’ve always got the same belief for every game. This is something we need to work on, even against the big teams. Of course, Manchester United away is always difficult, but you have to play those games and try to have confidence and the belief you need to try to get a result.

“Whatever the result, you have to make sure you have done everything to get something from that game and then, if you lose, keep your chin up and think about the next game.

“We worked really hard this week on the things we need to improve and be better at and I’m confident. We have strong players and we are at the beginning of the season and we are working really well.”



Hammers must avoid more “emergency” buys

Jose-Fonte-762210The fates of Robert Snodgrass and Jose Fonte tell a significant story and serve as a timely reminder of how important it is to get this summer’s signing policy spot on.

It’s also perhaps as well to bear in mind that before blaming the boss for bad picks there weren’t too many of us who would have disagreed with them back in January.

Things were looking grim and two recognised Premier League performers with decent pedigrees looked more than sufficient to help the cause during a shocking season.

snoddyIndeed the ’emergency’ arrivals were applauded and by and large most of us thought we had enjoyed a pretty decent January window. We were wrong and that’s the problem with January buys.

The pair had cost us between £15m and £20m in fees and collectively around £130k a week in wages -depending on who you believe – and looked off the pace from Day One for which nobody but themselves can be blamed.

It’s tempting to blame the manager or David Sullivan yet truth is neither performed and now could both pass through the door marked exit with all of us breathing a sigh of relief.

January is a terrible time to make signings and however good the two may have looked at the time, the selling club always knows more than the buyer!!

Snodgrass is an inevitable departure over the next couple of weeks and Fonte, having started life on the bench at Old Trafford, may follow if a club were to come in.

So the conclusion is that clubs like our MUST get their buying right in the summer and  given the events of last summer we will have the right to worry if we aren’t comfortbly placed by the time January comes around.

Thus, William Carvahlo would be a great buy and fingers remain crossed that he will become the fifth quality signing of this window.


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Hammers transfer window option decided

karren-brady-at-itv-studios-in-london-03Karren Brady has made it crystal clear West Ham will be voting in favour of the tranfer window closing earlier next summer.

The clubs vote on the issue at the next Premier League meeting next month and she has revealed in her Sun column why the Hammers are going with the new proposal.

She backs her view with the situation surrounding today’s opponents Southampton saying: “Take for example Southampton, who this month are trying to ward off suitors for the services of Virgil van Dijk, the central defender whose mind has apparently been boggled by transfer talk.

No one would be surprised if the Holland international defender ended up at Anfield.

But what about the Saints? The season has kicked off and they don’t know whether they can count on their transfer-seeking Dutchman or not.

Although Liverpool absolutely have the right to say ‘No fear”, we at West Ham know from our experience with Dimitri Payet just how hard it is to keep a disillusioned star. And then there is the real problem of the club promoted by way of the Championship play-offs.

They, probably more than any other team, need to improve their staff, yet have three weeks less to do it.

Huddersfield acted quickly and tidily in the ten weeks they had this summer but it would be even less next year.

Newcastle would have needed until Christmas.

The new deadline doesn’t exactly remove the risk of buying the right players, so West Ham will continue to employ a mix-’n-match approach.

When the player we want is clearly available, we will buy as soon as we can.

Sometimes there’s a late opportunity to grab a juicy option and in future we will have to move faster than ever.

The final vote will be put to the clubs at next month’s Premier League meeting and WHU will be voting in favour of it.”


Come on Slav, it’s time for Rice

RiceOne big question dominates my thinking as we head to Southampton this afternoon: Will Slav be brave enough to  give Declan Rice his full first team debut.

That he was ready to throw him on for half an hour against Manchester United at Old Trafford is encouraging but I can’t convince myself he will do it although the boy’s form insists  he should.

It was interesting when asked in his Friday presser about the boy, Slav immediately started discussing the midfeld implying that’s where he saw the teenager if he was to get a start.

So if it’s to happen then Fernandes looks the one set to make way and the youngster can slip into the role he played so well in pre season sitting in front of a back three four before making those penetrating runs into midfield whilst being able to cover Zabaleta’s runs forward.

I believe that should Slav do it, and in my world it’s not even the remotest gamble, this is the team he should play today with Michail Antonio fit again. FINGERS CROSSED.

Hart, Zabaletta, Reid, Ogbonaa, Cresswell; Rice; Antonio, Noble, Obiang Arnutovic, Hernandez

Subs: Adrian, Fonte, Collins, Fernandes, Ayew, Sakho



David Gold defines the next level at the London Stadium

goldWest Ham Joint Chairman was asked to define what the next level is for West Ham on the back of promises back by the board that the move to the London Stadium would help us move to the next level and the original seven-year plan for Champions League football;.

Speaking to Claret and Hugh Associate Editor Sean Whetstone on the MooreThanJustAPodcast Hammers podcast Gold said:“To me it is growth, to me, it is forever improving, we are going forward and the best and easy way to do that is to say where did we finish up in the league or did we win or how far did we get in the cup. What we mean by the next level is that we want to be challenging at the highest level, nobody knows where that is, it is a moving item, we want to do better, we want to challenge at the highest level. West Ham United has been the fourth largest football club in London and it has been like that since I was a boy, go back 50 years, I remember when we had a lengthy period in the fifties in the old second division, Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs, they were much bigger clubs than us, they were all in the so-called first division which is now the Premier League.”

Moorethan“West Ham as long as you can remember have been the fourth largest (in London) we have to break that mould, we have got to challenge, we have to get closer to them and I think that is what we are doing. Part of that is going to the Olympic Stadium, bringing the (new) fans, we always believed the fans were there.”

“The most important thing for me to say is my love of Upton Park, it has been my life since a young man, right from the age of 7 right the way through, it’s a long time. I loved Upton Park, it was just across the road from where I lived as a young boy so the last thing I wanted to do is leave Upton Park but we want to challenge at the highest level if you keep on doing the same thing and expect the same result you are mad.”

Asked on David Sullivan’s comments of the ambitious plan of Champions League football within seven years of taking over West Ham in 2010 Gold said:

“That only shows his enthusiasm and his optimism, the fact that we have not achieved that will obviously be held against us but that doesn’t alter the fact that’s our belief and our desire and our passion to get to the Champions league, our passion to go to finals in the FA cup and the league Cup, that is what we want to do and maybe sometimes we are over-optimistic but that doesn’t alter our desire and passion to achieve these things. It is there for all to see!”

You can listen to part one of the Exclusive David Gold Interview at Moorethanjustapdocast.co.uk

Part two of the Interview will be published next week

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Who Are Ya? Saints Under the Microscope

We’re joined by Freddie from the longest running Southampton fanzine and Youtube Fan channel ‘The Ugly Insider’ as he gives us all the info that we need to know about the low scoring Saints as we ask . . . . . . Who Are Ya?



Carvalho talks deadlocked as Irons play hardball

CarvalhoWest Ham are watching their hopes of signing Willim Carvalho slowly slipping away and now rate their chances of doing a deal ith Sporting Lisbon at less than 50/50.
Like interested clubs before them they are finding the Portuguese outfit almost impossible to deal with and one of our key insiders declaring: “It’s harder than dealing with Daniel Levy at Spurs.”
Although the club remains in talks with SL, we have no intention of upping our offer any further despite claims in the Portuguese media that we could return with a third  of £36.4m bid, including add ons for the player, with  a sell on fee as well.
Our source at the club was entirely phlegmatic about the position and unless Lisbon perform a U-turn in talks or accept what’s on the table the Irons will stick with what they have this summer.
We were told: Yes, we are still in talks but over the last 48 hours the odds have gone to about 60/40 against and we won’t be pushed anymore.
The manager has the four players he wanted and to be entirely honest this one was an afterthought. If we get him so be it and if we don’t we have the money left for an emergency in January.”
Meanwhile Carvalho has failed to report for training  this week and some reports in Lisbon claiming this is deliberate as he attempts to make the move happen.


Big new deal for Reid

Winston-Reid-714445Winston Reid has today penned a new deal with the Irons which will keep him at the club until 2023.

The central defender has agreed a deal which will potentilly keep him in east London for another six years and a total of 13 in all.

Commenting to the official site he said: “I’m very happy. I’m pleased we’ve got it sorted so I’m obviously looking forward to the seasons ahead. It’s going to be a big amount of time I’ve spent at the club and I’m looking forward to it.

“I’ve been here a long time now! I think with the business we’ve done over this summer and the players we had here before, I think we can go on to have a good season and seasons ahead. It’s all about trying to get better.

“I enjoy being here and my family does as well so I’m very happy I’m able to stay here.”


David Gold lifts lid on West Ham’s transfer process

GoldWest Ham Chairman David Gold has set the record straight on how transfer dealings are conducted at the club insisting the board go after Slaven’s transfer targets and only bring in young players at their own expense.

Speaking to Claret and Hugh Associate Editor Sean Whetstone on the MooreThanJustAPodcast Hammers podcast Gold said of his role in the transfer business  “We all have our opinions, We all have our viewpoints and we make them clear but in the main I’ve worked with David Sullivan for 30 years, we are like an old married couple, he starts a sentence and I finish it or the other way round. We trust each other, he’s got his role and I’ve got my role. The club is very fortunate in having David Sullivan on board in the way he does, he is a workaholic, he takes responsibility and I am a great admirer of him.”

MoorethanAsked whether the board sit down formally to discuss transfer business Gold replied:   “We have chats, it’s very informal, it mainly it comes from Slav, Slav will give us a list of the players he is looking for and he will give a list of first, second and sometimes a third choice then it is up David (Sullivan) to get agents onboard because it is agents in the main that drive this. If you look over this summer, you can see how well it works. It is a tried and trusted system, it has worked nearly ten years we have been at West Ham and of course it worked for twenty years at Birmingham so if it’s not broken not fix it.”

Asked whether the board brings in players themselves he added: “It is usually a young player that we bring in and we say to Slav Look we are bringing this player in, it’s not affecting your budget, this is the boards decision, we fancy this player, he could be a complete flop or he could be a superstar, we don’t want this to impact on you, your requirements have been fulfilled, this is something we are doing, call it an indulgence of the owners but our first requirement is to fill Slaven’s requirements, his targets, that is our first priority.

“If you go back to last season I can’t think a  signing that wasn’t Slaven’s approval or requirement, if its a first team, if he’s put in a list of what he wants, they’re the ones David Sullivan and the team go out an pursue, please don’t feel this is any other structure.”

You can listen to part one of the Exclusive David Gold Interview at Moorethanjustapdocast.co.uk

Part two of the Interview will published next week


Obiang learning to trust himself again

obiang1Pedro Obiang admits that he is having to learn to trust himself again after returning from his injury.

The midfielder as a little off the pace at Old Trafford but has pledged to get right back to his best over the next games.

He said: ” “It’s been difficult to come back to the team because I’ve had to get back to full fitness, had to trust in myself and had to have the same confidence in my ankle.

“It’s not the same but I think you need time. I’ve been working with our physical trainer and at the moment I feel okay. I have a little problem but it’s normal. I need a little time to be perfect.”

The 25-year-old joked that he enjoyed the initial weeks of his lay-off due to the lack of running but was eager to return to the first team as soon as possible.

He is particularly looking forward to St mary’s where last season he scored the first goal of his Hammers career and said: ““St Mary’s is an important stadium for me. It’s a lovely.

“I have beautiful memories because we won that game and I scored my first goal. I will try to score another one this weekend.

“There have been many changes in Southampton’s team and they have signed some good players, which will help them do well. They try to play lovely football. We have to perform well against them and we have to be ready for the game.”