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Arbeloa hangs up his boots

west_ham_uniteds_alvaro_arbeloa_324799Former  West Ham defender Alvaro Arbeloa has revealed he is retiring from football.

The 34-year-old Spaniard made three Premier League appearances for the Hammers last season before being released.

In an interview with Marca he said: “It’s time to say goodbye. Physically I was okay to keep playing.”

The full-back spent three years with Liverpool before returning to the club for whom he made his senior debut, Real Madrid, in 2009.

He won one La Liga title and the Champions League twice, making more than 200 appearances before signing for West Ham last August.

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Antonio on target …and can’t wait to get started!

AntonioThere’s great news from Michail Antonio as the pre-season edges ever closer – he believes he will be ok for the start of things after suffering a hamstring injury towards the end of the campaign.

Speaking to the official site the Hammer of the Year declared: “The rehab is going well, I’m on schedule and where I want to be.

“I had a short break at the end of the season, but since then I’ve been back in at the training ground every day, working hard and trying to make sure everything is right.

“It’s been a lot of gym work, just to get the strength back in the hamstring and remove the scar tissue. That’s all progressing well and I’m raring to go for the new season.

“It was a surprise when it happened. I’d had a slight strain previously, but I came back against Arsenal and it felt fine.

“I remember knocking the ball past Hector Bellerin on a full sprint and there was no problem, but in the first 20 minutes against Swansea a few days later, it just popped.

“I can only put it down to fatigue. I had played in basically every game last season and the season before that, so maybe my body just needed a rest.

“I haven’t kicked a ball now since early April, which is frustrating, but I am really looking forward to getting back next season.”

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Your Shout: Get involved with these ‘goodies’

We’re back with the third edition of our new show ‘Your Shout’ and we’d like for you to get involved in this fans opinions feature.

All you need to join in is your camera phone and yourself, then simply record your views and send them to gonzohammerschat@gmail.com.

In this episode we have a couple of strong opinions on Robert Snoddgrass, a fans analysis of the goalkeeping situation, and interesting view on Sky & BT’s fixture scheduling and well as some views on Reece Oxfords loan move to the Bundesliga.

Also keep your eye’s peeled during the week because I’ll be inviting you all to join our fantasy football league group where we’ll have some West Ham related prizes as well as regular videos to track everyone’s progress. We’ll also be running a fans premier league prediction league next season so watch this space.

To keep in touch with the fans features on the new channel click on the link and press subscribe https://www.youtube.com/c/HammersChatforum?sub_confirmation=1

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‘Ginge’ is a Hammers stayer

collinsJames Collins is set to complete the final year of his West Ham contract at club.

‘The Ginger Pele’ was among those who it was believed the club would entertain offers for but the Hammers loyalist is all set for another season in the claret and blue.

It means that he will be just a month of his 35th birthday when his current deal comes to an end next year.

ClaretandHugh learned this morning that despite the club having Winston Reid, Angelo Ogbonna, Jose Fonte Declan Rice and Cheik Kouyate available in emergencies, the club still believe the 33 year old Collins still has a role to play.

He finished last season with some fine displays but it was felt that were an offer to come for the crowd favourite he may be allowed to accept a final contract away from the London Stadium.

However, he has always been loathe to leave the club and an insider told us this morning that they would prefer to keep him until the end of the season unless a notable good offer was made.

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Irons linked with Portugal international

Reports that West Ham are eyeing a move for Portugal keeper Rui Patricio this summer can be dismissed.

The stopper is also being linked with Watford but as CandH have reported on several occasions this summer, the club is keeping faith with its current keepers.

The 29-year-old Patricio helped Portugal to the Euro 2016 title last year and is currently on international duty at the Confederations Cup.

 

West Ham would need to find around £8 million for him but having signed Adrian to a new deal are certainly in no mood to divert cash into that area when a striker (or two) is the central priority.

The club are certain to go on until Christmas before making a decision on whether a new keeper is a serious necessity.

Adrian is likely to start the season although it remains to be seen whether Darren Randolph will settle for a regular number to spot given his taste of Premier league action and his keen international ambitions.

 

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Giroud – the fans view!

Speculation that Olivier Giroud could be on his way to the London Stadium is causing much debate on the ClaretandHugh Facebook forum @https://www.facebook.com/groups/363174467150521/
The “will he won’t he” debate intensified with news that Arsenal are set to tie up a £44 million for Aleandre Lacazette over the next few days.
Here’s some random views from Irons fans on the CandH forum.
Olivier-Giroud1
O Let’s get this done and dusted, he’d be a first team regular with our style of play.
O He’ll stay at Arsenal
O All sounding too familiar with all our main targets
O I don’t want him  – too old
O I think he’s a good asset up front – he has all the qualities of putting the ball in the net 
O I wonder would we consider taking Giroud on a season-long loan first, just to prove himself?
Get him, although doesn’t make too much sense having him and Carroll in the same team or squad. Maybe and hopefully they are hoping to shift Carroll first before getting Giroud.
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Cautious Sakho optimism

CarrollsakhoSlaven Bilic remains cautiously hopeful that Diafra Sakho will return to training fit and ready for pre-season after “encouraging” reports on his progress.

Nobody is getting over excited as there have been so many false starts following surgery on his back injury.

But there is optimism  that he will be ready for the start of the season under the care of the club’s new  top medic Gary Lewin.

Sake was given a strict fitness regime to follow during the summer break and reports the club have received since he left have according to one insider been “encouraging.”

A source said: “As we understand it things are going well with him and that is encouraging.”

Andy Carroll too is reported as pain free but neither of those situations will affect the relentless hunt for one or two strikers.

We were told: “Obviously the situation we have found ourselves in demands that we bring in new front men.

But were both Diafra and Andy to come back and remain at full fitness, hopefully – with the new boys – we would have a great crop of strikers to choose from.”

 

 

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Antonio takes aim

antonioMichail Antonio saw his 2016/17 season cut short but can’t wait to get back into action in August.

Having returned from a hamstring injury in March his campaign ended in the 1-0 home win over Swansea but he now looks forward and hopes ” a great season” is in prospect.

He explained: “I am so determined to have a great season, especially after the injury. My target at the start of last season was to improve and score more goals than I had the previous year. And I ended up getting the same number, nine.

“I could blame the injury and say I would have beaten it, but that’s not how I think. All I think is: ‘I didn’t reach my target.’

“So next season, I want to reach it. I want to get to that mark as soon as possible so that I can make it higher, keep pushing myself and keep getting better.”

Despite missing the last part of the season Michail managed to land the Hammer of the Year award and remains stunned and delighted to have been honoured by the fans.

He said: “It’s the greatest honour from the fans. I was speechless, to be honest.

“I had been runner-up to Dimitri Payet the previous season, so to then go on and win the award shows the progress I have made.

“And I don’t want to step back – I want to keep pushing and hopefully do enough to win it again next season.”

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£44m Gunners ‘deal’ boosts Hammers hopes

Reports have emerged in France tonight that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger  has agreed to meet Lyon’s asking price of £44 million for last season’s West Ham target Alexandre Lacazette which if true ifs great news for the Hammers.

The reports claim that the transfer will be confirmed by both clubs next week, with just  one more meeting scheduled to take place which would finalise the switch.

A Lacazette switch would open the door for Olivier Giroud to make his move away from north London with Hammers enthusiastic to give him a new start at the London Stadium.

However, Wenger may have to beat off a bid from Manchester City for Alexis Sanchez  before finally okaying the Giroud switch

 

 

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“Just go and buy him”…err it’s not quite that simple

Olivier-Giroud1It’s that time of the year again – frustration and anxiety mixed together in temperatures approaching the nineties to cause maximum gasket blowing among us Hammers.

It’s transfer window time – if anyone needing reminding. A time of the year when we all suddenly become experts in the negotiating business and knowing far more about how these things work than is clearly good for us.

And after last summer I guess we all feel we have the right to be telling Sullivan and Gold exactly who they should be buying and how quickly.

If I had a tenner for every time I’ve read those wonderful words:  “Oh just go and buy him” I could certainly afford a summer holiday in some exotic place or other.

If only life was that simple.

adamatraore_0Yes of course it’s annoying and irritating to read regular updates on where we are with certain targets and this year we are essentially  looking solely for a couple of strikers and possibly a wide man.

But whenever a top name is mentioned – Giroud for example – we are told:

O He’s too old

O He’s out of our league

O Just go and do it

O or we are chasing shadows.

The script varies little when we talk of Henry Oneyeku or Adama Traore who are probably seen as easier targets although the words “not good enough” are usually thrown around.

The line that always leaves me shaking my head “is just go and do it” when essentially two clubs never talk fees until the last stages of  negotiations with the player’s agent have been settled.

Agents demand all sorts of things – appearance and  positional bonuses, image rights, release clauses, buy out fees, besides wages, win and draw bonuses etc.

So to tell a club to just “go and do it” really is a little naive.

On top of all this is the issue of clubs bringing in the players they require before deciding which they will allow to leave and that’s the situation facing us and many other clubs right now.

It may be boring…it maybe annoying but working the ‘window’ and is not a simple matter. It’s a highly complex affair where very often the worst of human nature in the shape of unbridled greed.

Unfortunately there’s only one answer if we aren’t all going to need some mental care – patience and the understanding that the transfer window is about as difficult a place as some will ever tread.