Report: Irons eyeing former Gunners defender

AUT_vs._SUI_2015-11-17_(240)West Ham are reportedly interested in  former Arsenal defender Johan Djourou whose contract at Hamburg expires at the end of the season.

The Swiss central defender was once a starting figure for the Gunners but his career has went downhill since.

Djourou’s current side Hamburg are in a relegation battle at the bottom of the Bundesliga, with a possible play off needed.

This speaks volumes when the German side are willing to let the players contract run down.

Djourou spent 10 years in north London during which time he was loaned out to Birmingham City when the Davids were in charge at St Andrew’s.


Hammers await a Valencia windfall

valenciaWest Ham are set to pick up an £11 million fee if Everton take up the first option they hold on Enner Valencia.

The striker – who was shipped out to Goodison on loan after a miserable time at the Irons – has been in fine form and receiving rave reports over the last few games having scored three times in  his last six outings.

And it now looks likely that Ronald Koeman is likely to exercise his first option rights over the Ecuaador international after agreeing the £11 million option.

The Hammers paid £12 million for the player but his game an form slipped considerably after a bright start to life at the club.

A source close to the player told us this evening: “Until Everton make a decision his future is in the balance but there will be other interested clubs.

However, there will be no return to West Ham as the people who matter at the club  club have made up their minds he can leave whilst Enner wants to move on anyway.”


At last…fantastic news – we should all be overjoyed

sakhoFinally great news after recent miseries upon miseries.

Diafra Sakho is close to a return with ClaretandHugh having been told he could make an appearance in the match against Swansea on April 8.

If not he will certainly be ready for the next game against Sunderland  at the Stadium of Light and this is news which should overjoy all of us.

Regular readers know that I believe Sak is the best striker in the club and had he been fit  last season and this, top six finishes would not have been out of the question.

His pace, movement and ability to create space is precisely what we have been missing up front for so long and watch this team’s fortunes turn once the lad is back up front.

Every conversation I have had with my normal contacts at the club is beyond encouraging with the guy actually smiling these days and showing an enthusiasm and bite in the gym which  is pleasing everyone around him. The sulky days are long gone it appears,

Instead he is spending every waking moment working on his fitness and and is insisting to everyone who will listen that he’s ready NOW.

The boy has had a reality check over the past several months and has a lot to prove to himself, the staff and us. I think he will.

Even an unhappy Sakho was a handful but with his career at the crossroads he knows  – and from all I hear, realises -that he needs to show himself as the special player we all know he can be.

I can’t wait to watch him in action again. It’s the best news of the season so far for me.


Who is responsible for the summer transfer disaster?

speaks_with_simone_zaza_338897We all accept last Summer’s transfer window was a disaster.

Recent financial accounts confirmed the club spent a total of £45.7m last summer but who is to blame for it ALL going so wrong?

Contrary to popular belief the de facto director of football David Sullivan, Head of Recruitment Tony Henry and manager Slaven Bilic each need to sign off every signing and therefore all have a right to veto.

ToreWe saw his in action in January with Scott Hogan, the Brentford player was scouted by  Henry, with Sullivan reportedly happy to back it but Bilic vetoed it so no bid was made.

We understand, each of the trio compile  their own list and go through each player one by one, crossing out some and underlining others. In the case of Sullivan they mainly come from agents and clubs who have contacted him to tell him that their player is available. Tony Henry runs the West Ham scouting network and Bilic does his own research to highlight players who he admires or wants within the squad.

Bearing the above process in mind below is our understanding of which list the summer transfers originally initiated from.

Havard Nordtveit (Borussia Moenchengladbach) Free (Slaven Bilic)

Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia) Free transfer (Slaven Bilic)

Gokhan Tore (Besiktas) Loan (Slaven Bilic)

Andre Ayew (Swansea City) £20.5m (Slaven Bilic)

Simone Zaza (Juventus) Loan (Slaven Bilic)

Domingos Quina   (Tony Henry)

Toni Martinez (Valencia) (Tony Henry)

Ashley Fletcher (Manchester United) Undisclosed (Tony Henry)

Arthur Masuaku (Olympiacos) Undisclosed (Tony Henry)

Edimilson Fernandes (FC Sion) Undisclosed (Tony Henry)

Jonathan Calleri (Deportivo Maldonado) Loan (David Sullivan)

Alvaro Arbeloa (Free) (David Sullivan)

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who proposed them as all three signed off on them so all three could be said to be equally guilty for the disastrous summer.


Sakho’s likely return date revealed

Exclusive by Hugh Southon

SakhoDiafro Sakho’s planned return to action could come  as early as the game against Swansea on April 8 at the London Stadium.

We explained here last night  (Thurs) that reports claiming the striker would not appear this season were false with an insider telling us that he has been demanding to be allowed to play again – such is his desperation to show himself off.

Now this morning we have been updated on the situation and have been told: “Diafra will be training with the under 23s next week and could come on in the game against Swansea.

“He has been working harder and harder and has put in hours of extra training and gym work. His attitude has been absolutely spot on.

He’s smiling and determined which is fabulous to see and now all his amazing effort and determination is close to bringing its reward.

“The Swansea game is now a very real possibility for him. He is 100 per cent fit physically – his operation was a complete success.”


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Hammers to make second bid for Swansea winger

sigHammers Summer target Gylfi Sigurdsson has been discussing his Swansea future after admitting that he dreams of playing for a big club.

“Hopefully if I continue doing well for Swansea and Iceland then in the near future, I can play in a big club. I am enjoying being one of the senior players, though.

“We may be in a tough spot, but I am kind of enjoying the pressure of that. I am trying to make the most of that and help the team to get three points every week.”

Mirror man Darren Lewis says West Ham will make a second attempt this summer to land Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson. He claims the Hammers lined up the 27 year old Icelandic international as a replacement for Payet in January but Swansea rebuffed the approach. Now it appears West Ham are now set for a second move in the summer.

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David Gold: “Leaks come from outside the club”

Gold3West Ham co-Chairman David Gold insists the majority of Hammers transfer leaks come from outside the club.

Responding to a supporter unhappy that the official website had covered a Daily Star rumour just to boost season ticket renewals he gave this explanation:

“Today’s report (on the official website)  comes from the Daily Star and links Gerard Deulofeu with the Club. The Everton winger is currently on a season-long loan at AC Milan, who are expected to provide competition for his signature on a permanent basis.”

Gold replied “In the main the leaks (sic) of West Ham’s interest in players comes from outside the club. In any event we will sell our allocation of ST. dg” 

Gold went on to defend his record as co-owner at Birmingham

“Birmingham fans voted unanimously for us to sell to the Chinese company, Grand Top. They were convinced they would move to the next level dg



Sakho puts in hours of extra training “and will be back”

diafra-sakho-west-hamDiafra Sakho is putting in “many extra hours” in the gym and on the training ground as he edges closer to a Hammers comeback.

And despite widespread press speculation today (Thurs) that he would not be back in action this season, that was emphatically denied to ClaretandHugh this evening.

Sakho is arriving at work each morning insisting that he is ready to play and with every “no, no, no” he gets from the medical staff he is retorting with a “yes, yes, yes.”

We were told this evening by a key insider: “Where all this stuff about him not playing this season has come from I don’t know. Medical staff always mention low expectations publicly but Sakho is working like a demon.

“He has had a real reality check and is determined to be back in April and I would be astounded if he wasn’t. His attitude is spot on and he’s behaving like a young kid who hasn’t played for a couple of weeks and is desperate.

“He is staying behind well after all the others have gone home and is working and working in the gym and on the training field. It’s great to see and he will be back.”

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It’s here…the brilliant improved West Ham App

Hammers Chat have produced  a superb upgrade on the West Ham app which has just become available through the Google Play Store for android  with the iOS version expected to be released within the next 48 hours.

The HC boys have been working on updates for the app over the last few months after the launch in June last year. The improved version is now sponsored by etc sports .

Claret&Hugh, West Ham Till I Die, Blowing Bubbles fanzine, Moore Than Just A Podcast and the club itself with whufc.com all remain available but some new additions have been made in the shape of Brace The Hammer, West Ham World and The West Ham Way website and weekly podcast.

The forum has been completely revamped and includes information on the London Stadium Boat Bars (Moore’d) and HC hope at some point to allow users to purchase their tickets through the app itself.

The android version is now in the store so please update your app if you have the first build. If not then give this version, which contains a massive amount of Irons material.

Download here

Android App – Android app


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Ian Wright spills the Defoe beans …he wants to return

v2-ian-wrightJermain Defoe is ready to quit Sunderland and make the move back to West Ham should he get the chance according to Ian Wright.

Speaking on the Sun Football Podcast Wright said: “I’ve spoken to him in the past and he has said he’d love to be able to go back and right that wrong. We’re talking about a young guy who was badly advised.

The day after you go down, you hand in a transfer request. That is just terrible.

He did that because he was advised to do that. His agent kicked West Ham when they were down. I bet nobody remembers the agent but everybody still remembers Jermain Defoe.

There’s always going to be fans that never forgive you but you can only try and change the attitude of people. And if there’s anyone who can score goals to change the attitude of people, then I think it’s Defoe.”

Wright’s view comes after Claret and Hugh revealed several days ago that the club are keen to offer the former player a two year deal.

It has been widely circulated since and for Wright to comment so openly suggests theswitch looks like happening if Defoe gets his way.