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Arnie Spurs update

Top-scorer Marko Arnautovic is all set to make his presence felt against Spurs at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The top man returned to Rush Green on Monday after an agreement was struck between the club and Austria that he would only be involved in the match against Northern Ireland given an ongoing knee issue.

The player has often commented that he is playing through a pain barrier adding that this is the advice he has received from the medical team who are constantly balancing the issues involved.

Tonight (Tues) ClaretandHugh was told that the front man was certain to be involved in a game that will see the Irons attempting to bounce back immediately from the 1-0 defeat away to Brighton.

Beyond that the squad is in good shape and although neither Carroll, or Reid are available the manager has a fully fit squad to call upon for the game.

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Under-18 coach Phillips suspended

West Ham under-18s coach Mark Phillips is tonight understood to have been suspended as the club conducts an investigation into the circumstances surrounding  a march he attended organised by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance.

The group has been condemned by anti-racism campaigners Kick It Out who contacted the club after learning of Phillips’ presence at the march.

The DFLA, a group formed of mainly middle-aged, white male football fans had planned a mass march from Park Lane to Whitehall.  However, the demonstration descended into violence when anti-racist protesters attempted to block the DFLA’s route.

There is no suggestion that Phillips was involved in any of the incidents.

But tonight it has emerged that, as a result, the club has suspended Phillips as it probes events. The same procedure took place when former Director of  Recruitment to the board Tony Henry was quizzed during a probe into accusations of racism which were first raised in the Mail.

We were told by sources close to events from outside the club that they had learned Phillips had now been suspended pending a full investigation.

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Report: Irons in for Porto ace

Lazio and the Irons are leading the chase for left winger Yacine Brahimi’s whose contract with Porto runs out in the summer.

Newspaper Record claims the Italia outfit are ready with a low offer given he will only have six months left on his deal in January whilst the Irons are known to be keen.

Porto want a minimum of £7 million and with a five way tug of war going on between  Serie A outfit, ourselves,  Olympique Marseille, Lyon and Besiktas they can expect to get it. Beyond that Roma tried to sign him in the last transfer window.

It’s claimed both West Ham and the Giallorossi had offered €20m for the player a few months ago, when Porto demanded €30m. This time, the numbers are set to be far lower due to the Dragons’ fear of losing him on a free.

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Report: Irons youth coach in march controversy

West Ham youth coach Mark Phillips may find himself under pressure after joining a march organised by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance – a group condemned by anti-racism campaigners.

Phillips could face some awkward questions when his his support for the DFLA was brought to the attention of Kick It Out, football’s anti-discrimination charity.

The Guardian reports: ‘Phillips posted on Twitter about attending the DFLA’s march through central London last Saturday and defended the right-wing organisation in subsequent tweets.’

And writer Jacob Steinberg reveals: ‘The DFLA, a group formed of mainly middle-aged, white male football fans had planned a mass march from Park Lane to Whitehall. Organisers said on Facebook that they were protesting against “returning jihadists”, “thousands of Awol migrants”, “rape gangs and groomers” and “veterans treated like traitors”. The demonstration descended into violence when anti-racist protesters attempted to block the DFLA’s route.

‘Although there is no suggestion that Phillips was involved in any of the disturbances, his future at West Ham could be under threat given that the DFLA has been accused of spreading Islamophobia and of having links with far-right organisations.

Kick It Out contacted the London Stadium club on Monday afternoon after receiving a report from an anonymous complainant and is monitoring the situation closely.

A spokesman for KIO told the Guardian: “We can confirm we’ve received a report about a West Ham coach claiming to have attended the DFLA rally in London at the weekend. We have passed it on to the club and are liaising with them about the issue.”

Phillips wrote on Twitter“Good turnout as usual from the West Ham fans today in W1,” Always the biggest [party emoticon]. Fair due to Millwall as well good show south London.”

The Guardian continues:  ‘Phillips later told another Twitter user that the disturbances during the march were sparked by protesters who confronted DFLA supporters and said it was “fake news” to label the group a far-right organisation. The DFLA was set up in the wake of the London Bridge terror attack in 2017 and has called itself an anti-extremist group. It has received support from Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the English Defence League.

Responding to a witness who said he was at the march, Phillips said: “I was too. The football fans were sticking to the agreed route and Antifa chose to confront the march. They had there face covered up. We didn’t. Ask yourself honestly who instigated the trouble??”

Phillips mounted a defence of the DFLA’s actions and said he left the march at Embankment: “The police made a mistake by walking the peaceful football fans march into the aggressive Antifa group and not the other way round. Ask the police on duty for the truth,” he said.

“Who said they were far right? Not true. Football fans yes. Far right. Fake news. Admittedly there was a lot of EX football hooligans there. But their behaviour was non aggressive until ambushed by people hell bent on causing trouble. No matter how people look it’s there behaviour that counts. Ask your ex colleagues the truth.


Big Pelle defensive decision looms for Spurs clash

Masuaku – had something to answer for on the Murray goal
(via Getty Images)

Arthur Masuaku’s return from international duty – where he is reported to have sustained a “very minor injury” – presents an interesting conundrum for Manuel Pellegrini.

I have no doubts the manager will update us on the situation ahead of the Spurs match at his presser but it may aid a decision which has been on the mind of many since Brighton.

Many words have been written about that Arthur performance and whilst it would be wrong to blame him entirely for Glenn Murray’s winner no one can deny his non reaction to acute danger in front of goal was a major factor.

My own worries right now extend beyond his apparent inability to defend. The reality is that whilst he looks decent on runs from the edge of our box to the opposition’s once he arrives absolutely nothing – or at best very little – happens.

The lack of those killer crosses coupled with the defensive frailties has one wondering just what his role is within the team right now.

Don’t wanna be harsh because we can all have bad days at the office but if Pelle is true to form – remember Rice and Sanchez after poor games were dropped – I see Arthur sitting this one out.

Aaron Cresswell isn’t the player he was but deserves a run out or two given the form of the current No 1 left back leaves something to be desired.

Either way I’m in total agreement that a new left sided defender or real substance is required in the winter market.

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Billionaire linked with West Ham interest dies

An American billionaire linked with a possible interest in a West Ham takeover earlier this year has died his family have announced.

The Co-Founder of computer company Microsoft, Paul Allen died yesterday aged 65 after complications resulting from non-Hodgkin lymphoma which he recently announced had returned on social media.

The entrepreneur and sports enthusiast was the world’s 46th richest man worth over £15bn. He was also the owner of the Seattle Seahawks, MLS outfit Seattle Sounders and NBA team Portland Trail Blazers as part of his privately held company Vulcan Inc and was thought to be keen to add a Premier League club to his portfolio.

In 2016 West Ham visited Seattle and trained at the Seahawk’s VMAC training complex as part of their pre-season tour. The Hammers lost 3-0 to Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field during that tour. At the time of the rumour in May this year sources close to the club reiterated that the club was not for sale.

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Young Hammer in sixth Three Lions appearance

Much admired Hammers keeper Nathan Trott made his sixth appearance for England U20s against the Czech Republic in a 1-1 draw yesterday (Monday).

He was involved for 80 minutes during which Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah put England during a dominant first-half performance.

The Czechs found an equaliser in controversial fashion during the last ten minutes when Dominik Janosek’s corner was diverted onto the bar and in, despite the visitors claiming the ball had not crossed the line.

Trott will be looking to celebrate his 20th birthday with a seventh U20 cap against Germany in their final friendly fixture of 2018 on 21 November.

Elsewhere, youth-team captain Ajibola Alese was on the substitutes’ bench as England U18 drew 2-2 with their Czech counterparts at St George’s Park.

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Hammers midfielder deal hangs on wages

Charlton boss Lee Bowyer would love to sign Josh Cullen from the Irons but isn’t sure the League One club can make it happen.

Cullen has made five League One starts for the Addicks since joining in August and Bowyer said: “Obviously if they were interested in selling him then we would be interested in taking him.

“The problem we would probably have would be his wages. That could be a problem – we’ve got a budget. But maybe the owner or the new people, if they come in, might find it doable.”

But he added: “He has definitely improved us. He is a very good player, for sure.”

Club owner Belgian Roland Duchatelet may have reservations after slashing  the budget right across the board at the SE7 club – claiming that losses need to come under control to make a takeover look more attractive to interested parties.

Bowyer was only able to move in the free agent and loan market in the summer.


No room for former Hammer in Italy

Former Hammer Ravel Morrison could have his contract with Lazio terminated by mutual consent to allow him to pursue his troubled career elsewhere.  The Italian press claim the Italian club are looking to save on his wages after his loan to Mexican club Atlas ended and it is claimed there no room in the Lazio squad for him.

He has been at Lazio since 2015 after being released West Ham, he is contracted until June 2019 with Serie A side, but reports claim both sides could agree to terminate the contract earlier allowing him  to move to another club as a free agent.

The 25-year-old scored five times for the Hammers from 24 appearances. The former Manchester United midfielder joined West Ham in January 2012 as a 22-year-old  costing £1m in fees and appearance bonuses.

Earlier this year Ravel message Carlton Cole on social media saying  ‘Bring me back to West Ham, you have the power’ 

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Okay it’s time to do some Spud bashing



By Allen Cummings


Thank goodness there’s light at the end of the international tunnel. I’m not talking about the possible re-emergence of England as a team worth taking interest in. I mean the hated international break is coming to an end and we can all once again focus on a return to Premier League action on Saturday. What a return it promises to be, when we entertain the team we all love to beat, Tottenham Hotspur.

There’s nothing sweeter than putting one over those annoying spuds. We’ve all got our own personal favourite victories I’m sure: The 1-0 win at the London Stadium in May 2017, when the north Londoners were pushing hard for that elusive Premier League title – and we stopped them in their tracks, must be right up there with some people.

Just like the famous ‘Lasagne Gate’ victory, when on the final day of the 2005-2006 season, with the Spuds vying with Arsenal for a final Champions League spot, we ruined their day with a 2-1 victory, and denied them the prize they sought. They blamed their defeat that day on some dodgy food the night before the game. But did we care? No chance!

My personal favourite victory over our old enemy was 25 years earlier. On a balmy September evening at White Hart Lane, at the start of the 1981-82 season. We had just returned to the First Division after a 13 year absence.

Tottenham were ‘doing up’ their ground which meant there were only three sides open – the West Stand refurb yet to be completed. The capacity was limited to 42,000, yet newspapers the next day had the attendance at 42,200. – and believe me it felt like it.

Clearly no health and safety in those days. It was a fantastic team performance that night as we powered to a brilliant 4-0 away victory with the individual star of the show, without doubt, David Cross (right) – the original ‘Psycho’ (long before Stuart Pearce) terrorised the Tottenham defence.

He notched all four of our goals in an incredible 90 minute display of goalscoring. By the time Cross’s fourth goal hit the back of the net in the 89th minute, two sides of White Hart Lane had virtually emptied. The famous ‘shelf’ had cleared.

But the Park Lane stand – packed to the rafters with jubilant West Ham fans, of which I was one, swayed and sang together in a tribute to a triumph I’ll never forget.

Are we likely to see a repeat of that famous victory on Saturday. It would be unbelievable, but unlikely. I certainly feel we have the beating of Pochettino’s boys. A repeat of the intensity with which we started the Manchester United game will put us firmly on the front foot.

Stoke up the atmosphere, get the crowd up and running, and another satisfying victory could be just 90 minutes away.