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Bilic begged Brady not to turn Rush Green into a hotel

Former West Ham manager Slaven Bilic claimed he told Karren Brady not to turn Rush Green into a five star hotel.

He told the Daily Telegraph “I was very much involved in [West Ham’s new training ground] with Rush Green with Karren Brady and I was always saying: ‘Don’t make it a five-star hotel. This is a training ground’.”

Bilic will return to the London Stadium this weekend as West Brom take on the Hammers in the FA Cup and the former Hammer said of the stadium  “It’s not an excuse but if you ask me was it better to play at Upton Park or not then there’s no discussion, it was more home, it was more hostile.

Not one opposition player enjoyed it when they had to go to Upton Park! That’s a fact. The Olympic Stadium is very different for an away team. You enjoy it more. It’s not that you were afraid for your life at Upton Park, but everything was there!”

Look at Arsenal. You saw what Wenger said:We left our soul there [at Highbury].’ And it’s true. Even Atletico Madrid – their new stadium is too nice. Upton Park made you do this,” he says, vigorously rolling up his sleeves. “Highbury made you do that, the old Atletico stadium made you do that. Everything is on top of you; everything is close. Also you have those memories and those responsibilities. ‘This is what we did there and there’. It’s different.

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Frustrated…angry…and that’s just David Moyes

 

 

By CandH blogger Allen Cummings 

 

David Moyes cut a frustrated and  angry figure as he stood alone on the King Power touchline last night – particularly in the first 45 minutes.

Like the rest of us he could barely believe what he was seeing from the 10 outfield players he’d sent to do a job. Judging by the team selection and shape, the game plan was to frustrate and contain Leicester as best as possible.

But that required both energy and application from his players to make it work. Moyes got neither. Any plan is only as strong as its weakest link – and for 45 minutes last night there were weak links all over the pitch.

The first rule of survival, we are regularly told by the so-called ‘experts’ is for players to win their individual battles. We lost the lot as far as I could see.

We’ve known for ages we lack pace – which coincidentally Leicester have in abundance – so to compensate for that we needed players to read the game better, be constantly aware of where the threats were and how they were developing.

Far too often we had players ball-watching, being pulled around all over the place, dragged into areas they didn’t need to be, thus abandoning the compact shape we needed to stifle the danger. To add to that we constantly gave the ball away cheaply, repeatedly putting ourselves under renewed pressure.

We can talk all we like about the board, the manager, the stadium – all the side issues that frankly at the moment are an unwanted distraction.

Right now it’s the team and the players that matter most. For 45 minutes, even an eternal optimist like me, was contemplating life in the Championship. But with the introduction of Michail Antonio, and to a lesser extent Pablo Fornals, the mood changed.

We suddenly had some fire and commitment in our bellies. At 2-1 it was game on at last. There were a couple of frantic Leicester clearances, plus an Antonio flick that didn’t quite evade Schmeichel’s outstretched leg, otherwise it could so easily have been 2-2.

Individually, I still believe we have the players good enough to see us to safety…. Rice, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Antonio and Haller together, Fornals, Anderson when he returns, are the equal of anything the likes of Norwich, Bournemouth, Watford and Villa have.

Hopefully at least one other addition, maybe two, can be recruited before the transfer window closes, to bolster the squad and take us safely over the finishing line. It’s far too early to give up.

Yes it’s going to be difficult, but it isn’t going to be any easier for the other teams around us. We wouldn’t want or expect Moyes and the players to throw in the towel already  – so why should we?

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Report: Hammers express interest in Bournemouth winger

West Ham are claimed by the Daily Mail to have expressed an interest in Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser who is out of contract in the summer.

Fraser scored eight goals and providing 15 assists in the 2018/2019 but has failed to live up to those expectations in recent times. This season he has been nowhere near as prolific, with just one goal and three assists as Bournemouth fight against relegation.

Cherries boss Eddie Howe admitted in November that the Scot is keeping his options open as they could lose him for nothing in six months time.

Fraser signed for Aberdeen in 2010, as a 16 year old after leaving Kincorth Academy, he later refused to sign a contract extension and completed a £400,000 transfer deal signing a three-year contract with then League One club AFC Bournemouth in January 2013. After exercising a one year option he  later signed a new three and a half contract in the winter of 2017.

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The board…the protests…and the likely outcome

Fury and protests at the owners of this club are totally understandable. I get it.

I also understood the Terry Brown protests of the 90s, the Allardyce protests, the Bilic protests, the Pellegrini protests, the Moyes and return of Moyes protests.

Stay with this club for long enough and it becomes a predictable fact of Hammers life. It’s what people do when things go wrong!

I know why many want the board out. I understand all the reasons why. I also realise why numerous supporters groups are clamouring for an audience with the people who run this club but…..

…it’s happened before- very recently and very militantly –  and in the end made absolutely no difference to a train events which is leading us to the brink of the EFL.

Fans demonstrate against then chairman Terry Brown’s ill fated Bond scheme

To protest and make the point is perfectly reasonable and hold the board responsible is justified as is the view that until 2023 comes around when the club is free to sell without a 20 per cent pay off to the government it won’t happen, if then!

There’s a view among the protesters that if they place the sort of pressure on GSB as was done at Birmingham – they will achieve the same outcome. Very very unlikely!

The figures involved were much smaller at St Andrew’s. Nothing is going to change at West Ham for three years minimum because whether it’s liked or not forget the romance because football is a business; this game is about MONEY in every area and to believe differently is delusional.

I understand that when there’s a feeling of helplessness people will protest, scream, shout, holler and nobody on CandH is claiming that’s wrong.

There has been a lack of vision at the club: You can’t go through Grant, Allardyce, Bilic, Moyes, Pellegrini and back to Moyes and claim differently.

Of course they carry responsibility – they run the show.

But we do not believe anything is going to change in the near or middle future for the reasons given above and thus we see it as a distraction.

We give views when we feel it necessary and thus the reason for this piece but we are not an unofficial or official protest group.

We were set up to bring news. If people don’t like that, or where they believe it comes from OK , but that’s what we do and will continue doing to the best of our ability!

COYI

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Defensive midfielder midfielder offered to Hammers

A report by France Football claims West Ham have been offered 25-year-old FC Nantes defensive midfielder Abdoulaye Touré.

The reports says certain scouts have in the past made comparisons between Touré and Cheikhou Kouyaté.

The article also claims West Ham like Marseille midfielder Morgan Sanson but the Frenchman has no intention of quitting his club this month.

The outlet talks of “concrete interest” from the Hammers for defensive midfielder Touré, who is under contract until 2022.

If Nantes are to sell this month, they want at aleast €15m while West Ham are reported to prefer a loan with an option to buy.

Born  in Nantes, France, Touré made his Ligue 1 debut with hometown club FC Nantes on the opening game of the 2013–14 season on 11 August 2013 against SC Bastia.  While born in France he is of Guinean descent. He was a youth international for France. However, he pledged his international allegiance to Guinea in March 2018.

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Dimitri Payet rumour Deja Vu

West Ham have had no contact with Marseille or Dimitri Payet despite recent reports in France that the Hammers have registered an interest.

Payet joined West Ham from Marseille in 2015 for £13.5m after add-ons and enjoyed a successful 18-month spell with the Hammers, scoring 15 goals in 60 games, before forcing a return to Marseille in January 2017 with the French club paying a transfer fee which reached £26.5m by the time add-ons were included.

French newspaper L’Equipe claimed West Ham have registered an interest in re-signing the 32-year-old but Sky Sports and among others  have confirmed there has been no contact between the clubs.

The same transfer rumour surfaced last summer and was dismissed by insiders as ridiculous, a club insider told Claret and Hugh today that a return would not be blocked however insisted there had been no contact what so ever between any of the parties and no contact was planned at this stage.

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Hammers linked with former Everton striker

West Ham are reported to have shown interest in former Everton striker Ademola Lookman who is now at RB Leipzig.

Lookman was originally at Everton moved permanently to the German team for £16m after a successful loan with the Germans.

Lookman has only featured three times in the Bundesliga this season which has led to speculation he could be loaned out or sold.

RB Leipzig director Oliver Mitzlaff has publicly ruled out a loan move.  Speaking on Wednesday, he claimed that Lookman will ‘certainly’ not leave on loan.

“It was certainly not an easy first round for him,” he explained to Sky in Germany 

“Nonetheless, we believe in him and his quality. So we will certainly not loan Ademola Lookman.

“Ademola is a player who has already proven to us that he has a lot of quality.”

It means West Ham would have to pay up front if they want him with RB Leipzig valuing him around £22m.

Newcastle has also been linked with the 22-year-old who they offered to loan and said to be considering a bid.

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No more excuses Irons – we need players NOW

Hard to take doesn’t begin to describe it!

Some may not have been, but many will have been entirely shocked at the quality gulf between two teams that once operated at the same sort of level.

As a former midlands football reporter for national newspapers, and having seen the Leicester of the past regularly, their emergence to the sort of level we saw last night was mind bending.

They are a much much better team than the Matt Elliott, Robbie Savage, Neil Lennon team of my time and which contested Europe under Martin O’Neill.

What hurt to was watching a player who could have been ours two years ago – Kelechi Iheanacho – producing a proper striker’s performance following Jamie Vardy’s injry, looking incredibly comfortable on the ball. So far this season has a total of six goals from 10 games in all competitions.

Just eight of those have come because the PL and shows the patience employed at a club which has risen to the heights.

We had the chance to sign the lad from Manchester City who at the time wanted a buy back clause included which we refused – maybe understandable – but it was clearly a big mistake.

We were also allegedly keen on James Maddison but the previous Hammers regime preferred Pablo Fornals who played a bit part last night under Moyes.

We expected defeat last night so we chalk it off but you looked at Leicester’s youthful effervescent approach alongside us with the likes of Zaba at 35, Snodgrass (now injured) 32, Noble 32, the now seemingly entirely gone Lanzini and despair is not far away.

We have been writing all season that we need power and pace in our midfield but with 10 days left of this window we are still no closer seemingly to getting anyone.

I was told at the start of the window that such a player was an entire priority – we’re still waiting and it’s not good enough.

Should we not find such a player – or someone close to it – it will represent epic failure and it doesn’t matter a flying toss who it gets put down to – the board or the manager.

The blame game gets nobody anywhere except leaving us livid over something about which we can do nothing. That doesn’t mean we don’t care. It’s just reality.

It’s been as clear as day for months what we need and if we don’t get the player we want and manage to keep Antonio fit  there is huge trouble ahead.

If money isn’t found or the manager can’t make up his mind who he wants the term ‘dicing with death’ doesn’t get close to our situation.

I said yesterday we could stay up. I still think it may just be possible but if we don’t overcome Brighton we can start preparing ourselves for the EFL.

There could be an horrific tragedy unfolding and with the right signings it could all have been avoided.

Moyes will need to be the Messiah or miracle maker some touted him as on his arrival to halt this slide. He didn’t look much like one last night.

He needs to decide on signing and however much it takes the board needs to dig up the dough and FAST!

There can be no more excuses!

 

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Supporters’ split on relegation question

Over 54% of 1,563 Claret and Hugh readers taking part in yesterday’s poll believe that West Ham will survive the drop this season with the remaining 46% saying we will be relegated.

West Ham have 23 points from 23 games with 15 games remaining. If they carry on a point average per game they will not reach the magic 40 points which usually guarantees safety in the Premier League.

The Hammers have been relegated twice since the Premier League was formed in 1992. Once in the 2002/2003 season they they famously finished 18th on 42 points with a good team when 44 points was need for safety that year and more recently in the 2010/2011 under Avram Grant when West Ham finished 20th on 33 points when 40 points was needed to be safe.

Outside the Premier League West Ham have been relegated a further four times from the top flight division.
1931/1932 finished 22nd in Division 1 (31 points) 1977/1978 finished 20th in Division 1 (32 points) 1988/1989 finished 19th in Division 1 (38 points) 1991/1992 finished 22nd in Division 1 (38 points)

Full Poll Results:   
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Noble: “There’s no point in standing here and lying”

Mark Noble was among the also rans representing the Irons last night an to his credit was at least ready to give an honest appraisal of the awful result at Leicester City

The club has to provide a player to talk with the media after each game and this time it was Mark Nthat oble and his quotes are now attributed to Premier League Productions demonstrating the ever increasing hold the PL has over the game at large.

To be honest there was no way anybody could gild the lily over what we saw last night where but for the presence of Mikey Antonio we would probably have shown nothing offensively whilst at the back Oggy and Randolph were outstanding.

The captain – like the rest of midfield – was given the runaround big time and he was ready to admit we deserved nothing from a game where the gulf in class between the two team was, frankly, frightening

And speaking afterwards and reported at https://www.whufc.com/news/articles/2020/january/22-january/mark-noble-there-no-point-lying-leicester-were-better-team  he said: “Obviously going 2-0 down just before the break was a kick in the teeth and we came out and got a goal straight away and then, for 15 or 20 minutes, we were in the game,” Noble told Premier League Productions. “We had a couple of chances from corner kicks and then [they won and scored] the penalty and after that it was finished.

“They’re a good side. They do move the ball well and they make it hard for you. I think if we’d have got anything it would have been a bit lucky, if anything, because we didn’t play that well.

“But we’re still in the game at 2-1 and probably should have gone in [at half-time] at 1-0. I thought there was a foul in the corner which the referee didn’t give, but listen, we weren’t good enough and we didn’t deserve to win.

“I thought Leicester were the better team. There is no point standing here and lying. They were the better team and once they got that third goal, which came from a mistake, there was no way back for us.”