No Kouyate threat as summer kicks in

kouyateThe media can spin it whichever way they want but Cheik Kouyate has said absolutely nothing that should have any of us panicking over his future.

Alarm bells started ringing among Irons fans, fuelled by some pretty ordinary quotes from the midfielder, earlier this week when he spoke of his unhappiness at playing in the right back role.

Effectively thy amounted to this; that given the problems with injuries he was used in a role which he can’t really handle and that the manager – having said he would be there for just one game – continued to play him there for another two.

At this stage he told the manager he couldn’t continue adding, when asked about his future, that he didn’t know for now as he was on holiday and not really considering it.

He added that these were not things to discuss publicly but that the important issue was the resumption of pre-season,  that he would be at West Ham, and the rest was out of his control.”

I can see very little here to become troubled about particularly give Kouyate is contracted to West Ham until 2021 to me read as little more than an an honest appraisal of his season.

That he should go into details about the right back role and his conversations with the manager about it was  interesting but hardly threatening.

And the comments at the end about his future being out of his control no more than most players say when asked. It usually crops up whenever the summer season comes along or players are on international duty.

Storms and teacups are the two words that come to mind.



Hammers extend German tour

StadiumWest Ham will play Hamburg-based club Altona 93 in the third match of the German leg of their European tour this summer.

The Hammers will face the fourth tier German side on Tuesday August 1st at 6.30pm local time (5.30pm BST), following on from the Betway Cup double header against Werder Bremen.

The match will take place at Altona’s Adolf-Jäger-Kampfbahn stadium – a 10,000 capacity venue in the west of Hamburg.

Hammers supporters can purchase their tickets for all three games in Germany now, with full details available here.

First team pre-season schedule

July 10-21: Training camp in Austria

July 24-August 3: Training camp in Germany

July 28: v Werder Bremen (Schneverdingen, Germany)

July 29: v Werder Bremen (Lohne, Germany)

August 1: v Altona 93 (Hamburg, Germany)

August 4: v Manchester City (Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavik)

*Please note that all fixtures are subject to change.


Concern over Hammers League cup fixture

r1-drawThe EFL League Cup which will be called the Carabao Cup may cause West Ham another fixture headache.

Last Friday, the draw for the opening round of the newly-sponsored competition got under way with games being played week commencing 7th August.

As West Ham are not involved in any European competition this season they will enter the cup in round two.

Round two will not be drawn until August with games scheduled to be played on the week commencing 21st August.

If West Ham is drawn to play at home they will have a problem because the London Stadium will not be transformed into football mode by then following the 2017 World Athletic Championships which will finish on 13th August.

Stadium owners E20 Stadium LLP are contractually obliged to return the stadium to football mode by 25th August but even this is in doubt considering the length of time to move the troubled locatable last season.

West Ham could be forced to give up home advantage if drawn at home in the League cup.


Access to West Ham’s memorial garden improved

gardens-768x1024West Ham’s Memorial Garden has in Green Street has been tidied up again on Tuesday afternoon by Boleyn Ground developers following complaints of further neglect by supporters visiting it in recent days.

Developers Barratt London has now agreed to provide better access to the garden through their own site team after concerns about the process to pre-book access. The garden situated close to the demolished Boleyn Ground stadium are open between 8am and 3pm Monday to Friday.

A previous procedure asked supporters to email csharp@hardhat.co.uk in advance to arrange access.

A reply to that email address told Claret and Hugh

“The memorial garden is open Monday to Friday, between 8am and 3pm. Usually guests can just show up at site between opening times, where the site team will allow them in.

However, if you confirm when you would like to visit, I can inform the team of when you will be visiting, so they know to expect your visit.” 

The current Memorial Garden was founded in 2001 during the creation of the new West Stand. The land on which it sits was formally the playground of St Edwards Catholic Primary school which moved to a new building a few hundred feet away in September 2000.

The developers have promised to retain and incorporate the West Ham memorial garden within the development of 842 flats which will be called Upton Gardens.


Leicester prepared to gazump Hammers over Iheanacho

Iheanacho Craig Shakespeare is plotting a £25million bid for Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho, as Leicester prepare to spend big this summer claims the Telegraph.

The new Leicester manager is prepared to better an offer made by West Ham for the Nigeria international.

Iheanacho is free to leave the Etihad Stadium ahead of the forthcoming season, as Pep Guardiola is determined to bring in other striker options including Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez as a target.

Like West Ham Leicester are targeting players with top-flight experience, after a disappointing summer of recruitment last year, and believe Iheanacho represents good value for the price required.

Leicester are also claimed to be open to negotiating on a buyback clause that has stalled current talks between Manchester City and West Ham.

Leicester’s odds of signing Iheanacho have dropped to an odds-on favourite price of 1/3 while the Hammers price of landing him have lengthened to 7/4 with bookmakers William Hill.


Oxford explains his move to Germany

ReeceReece Oxford has told a German TV interviewer he hopes to kick on with his career saying: “Hopefully, I can kick on now and get to know the boys when I get the training (ground) next week”

Asked why he moved to Borussia Monchengladbach and Germany he told TV cameras: “I have seen the squad and I have seen them play a few times, apparently they play a few young players so I was thinking this would be a great step for me, getting away from the family, getting away from everyone and hopefully I can just kick on and prove to everyone what I can be”

Chairman’s son Jack Sullivan has suggested on social media that guaranteed game is part of the loan deal so the youngster should see lots of action.

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We are East London


Hammers free up £14m off wage bill

MoneyballWest Ham has freed up nearly £14m off their annual wage bill for this coming season which can be re-invested in new players.

Including basic wages, employers national insurance and add-ons Gokhan Tore £60,000 per week,  Jonathan Calleri £40,000 per week and Alvaro Arbeloa £65,000 all officially end their loans on 30th June in 9 days time.

The sale of Havard Nordtveit to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim for £5m will also save another £55,000 per week in wages.

Reece Oxford is one of the highest paid Academy players and his £20,000 per week will be saved by going out for loan for a season with Borussia Monchengladbach.

Stephen Hendrie and Raphael Spiegal cancelling their contracts by mutual consent will free up another £25,000 per week in wages combined.

The combined weekly wage value of this outbound players is around £265,000 per week or £13.78m annually.

Financial Fair Play is no longer a real factor after the rules changed last season on how it can be calculated and West Ham has the advantage of including the increase of revenue from the move to the London Stadium. In reality, it would be hard for us to reach the new FFP ceiling.

Let’s hope we reinvest these wages wisely this summer.

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Hammers confirm departure of two players

HendrieWest Ham has discretely confirmed the departure of two Hammers players by mutual consent.

Tucking the announcement at the bottom of the story of a move for Reece Oxford to Germany on WHUFC.com the club confirmed “Goalkeeper Raphael Spiegel and defender Stephen Hendrie have both left the Club after terminating their contracts by mutual consent. West Ham United wishes both players every success in their future careers.”


spiegel900_1Hendrie joined the Hammers from Hamilton Academical after he signed a pre-contract agreement in January 2015 to join West Ham on 1 July 2015.

West Ham  signed the Raphael Spiegal from Swiss side Grasshoppers for an undisclosed fee  in 2012 but he has failed to break through. The Switzerland international originally penned a three-year contract until 2015 but later contract extensions took his deal up to the Summer of 2018. He had loans with Crawley Town, Barnet and Carlisle United.

The 24 year old stopped is expected under go a medical with Belgium side Excel Royal Mouscron which is hopes to join on a free transfer.

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Cup of Tea with Geo & Gonzo

We’re back again to discuss the weeks goings on at West Ham United in our live show at 8:40pm this evening which you can view here on Claret & Hugh.

Nordtveit, Reece Oxfords loan move to Germany, season tickets, the kit launch and of course all the transfer rumours will go under the microscope whilst myself a Geo enjoy a nice cuppa (or ice cream).

As always the video will be available to view afterwards if you’ve missed the live broadcast.