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How to watch the Womens’ Cup Final

Hammers fans wanting to see the Womens’ team in action against Manchester City will be left to watch the match on BBC TV.

The Beeb are showing the 5.30 kick off game so those keen to see it will be able to drop into a friendly boozer on the way home and catch all the action.

The Hammers had been hoping it would be possible to show the match on the big London Stadium big screen after failing to get either the Premier League or Southampton to agree to a change of kick off time.

Sadly both refused to budge on the 3pm and with talks with the stadium owners faltering the best option now is to rely on national TV.

Even were the owners to agree it would presumably be at a pretty hefty extra cost and with the match available on BBC that would seem the best option for all concerned.

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Don’t expect an Irons cure-all from VAR

 

 

Blind Hammer looks at the evidence for VAR aiding West Ham.

The annoyance of West Ham failing to register two perfectly fair goals in their last  two games has increased the eagerness for VAR. West Ham could be 3 points better off today.

The real question is will VAR, over time, help West Ham? For example VAR would have ruled out Hernandez’s embarrassing handball goal against Fulham.

In our home fixture against Manchester United José Mourinho insisted VAR would have ruled out two of West Ham’s goals.

It was fascinating that Mourinho then favoured VAR. It is especially interesting given the benefit that Manchester United have received from referees over years, including our last game against them.  You might expect that Man United, more than most, would lose out under VAR.

Remember the 2016 FA cup quarter final at Old Trafford? Then our Payet-inspired team were denied by two crucial refereeing mistakes. Payet was refused a clear penalty when Rojo slid in from behind. The second error was even worse. Bastian Schweinsteiger held goalkeeper Darren Randolph immobile whilst Martial equalised.

Mark Halsey denied last year on TalkSport that Referees are biased towards bigger clubs. Yet despite Halsey’s protest there is increasing evidence of referee’s having “unconscious bias”.

Graham Poll admitted as much in a Daily Mail interview. In his refereeing days he believes he was objective, but now retired, he can see that bigger teams benefit.

Nowadays, referees endure enormous TV scrutiny if they make a contentious decision against a “big club”. This pressures them to give the benefit of the doubt to the bigger clubs.

All this is supported by 2013 Leicester University research. This tested referees by asking them to adjudicate on key decisions whilst watching match videos.

In one sample they asked referees to make decisions with sound muted. They then played these incidents with the full crowd noise. Not surprisingly the research showed a clear influence from crowd noise.  This favoured the home team. All this proves is that Referees are human, influenced by pressure as much as anybody else.

So the hope is that the VAR safety net should provide referees with more confidence to make decisions against big clubs. Big clubs may just become the biggest losers under VAR.

VAR may help West ham stop suffering poor decisions against bigger clubs. The price is that, of course, we are far less likely to benefit from a Hernandez handball at home. On balance this is a future I welcome.

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It’s Spurs and Snoddy knows what it means to the fans

Spurs on Saturday and this is a game where every player wants to be in the running for a place in the starting X1.

With a decentish record against them in recent years we will  be looking for one of those Tales of the Unexpected against the North Londoners.

It’s the one game of the season which gets us all totally desperate for a win and with Spuds this season in the Champions League semi final it would be all the sweeter.

Robert Snodgrass knows how much the game means to the fans and makes it clear that no further incentives are required.

It could be the start of a final run in which takes us over the 50 point barrier with games against Southampton and Watford to come.

With no Samir Nasri available and Jack Wilshere not up to match fitness Snoddy will have an important role to play in midfield.

And he told the official West Ham website:: “You want to be testing yourself against the very best and Spurs are in the semi-final of the Champions League so it’s one where the fans will want to obviously go and win, the players will want to go and win and, as a club, you want to go and win and end the season on a high.

“If we show the levels of performance we have in the last few weeks, we’ll be right in the mix to get three points.

“It’s doesn’t motivate me any differently [that they’re in the Champions League semi-finals]. It’s Spurs and if you’re not motivated for that, there’s no point in turning up.

“There is so much at stake, with the rivalry between the two clubs, so I think that’s the game you obviously want to win and get the bragging rights, finish the season on a high and get the three points.”

Saturday’s lunchtime London derby from Tottenham Hotspur will be screened live in the UK by Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main event, and by the league’s broadcast partners across the world, with kick-off at 12.30pm.

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Iron’s contract hopes fading and dying

Samir Nasri’s hopes of landing a second contract with the Hammers at the end of the season appear to be fading with every successive game.

The midfielder has been absent since appearing as a second half sub against Huddersfield and is likely to be missing again this weekend for the match at Spurs.

Although he is a big favourite of manager Manuel Pellegrini, the chance of him being handed the £80k a week deal he is after for a second year looks a non starter at the moment.

We were told this morning by a senior insider on e mail that he is once again a big doubt for the game against Spurs which leaves him just three more games to stake a realistic claim for a second contract.

However, the reality is that such a development  now looks very doubtful indeed and he probably hasn’t enough time to convince the manager anyway and a dip into the transfer or loan market for a replacement is more likely this summer.

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Midfielder ready for comeback against Spurs

Carlos Sanchez is looking to make a major step back into the West Ham frame at Spurs this weekend.

The Colombian has been sidelined for nearly seven months  after making just five PL appearances before suffering a major injury in the EFL Cup game against Macclesfield.

At 33 and with a year in front of him he’s keen to make an impact on the team but knows he has a big job in front of him.

He got a bad press and fell out of favour with the fans after making a defensive error against Wolves which handed the midlanders a 1-0 win at the London Stadium.

It was a costly mistake and represented the third defeat in our four game losing start but he believes he has the manager’s confidence and is looking to be involved against Spurs.

He will be the second of the long term injured to do so in successive weeks should the manager call on him after Jack Wilshere’s cameo appearance last weekend.

Sanchez told the West Ham official site: “Now I’m back all the people support me and the manager said that too. I’m really happy to hear that.

“It’s a big game a new stadium. I hope to be in the squad. I’m not sure but I’m going to work hard to have a chance to go to that game.”

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Premier League decision shows lack of equality

The Premier League’s decision to refuse permission to move the West Ham v Southampton game to a 12.30 pm kick off on 4th May shows a lack of equality with the Women’s game.

The Premier League pretends to care about equality with the women’s game but in reality, TV companies around the world who bring in billions are the real masters.

The same goes for the Football Association who first scheduled the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium on the same day as men’s Premier League games. The FA Cup prize money of just £5,000 is paultry coupled with an unfair ticket revenue sharing model for the final.

Both these football bodies could do something if they really wanted to, but they won’t because they don’t care about the Women’s game.

If you disagree with the Premier League’s decision you could always write to the Managing Director Richard Master at rmasters@premierleague.com

and/or the new FA CEO Mark Bullingham at mark.bullingham@thefa.com

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Obiang’s added value against Foxes

Pedro Obiang’s opinion on the Leicester result was as expected –  pure frustration!

Pedro arrival as a second half sube – along with Lucas Perez –  all but worked the oracle, only to be let down by that horrible late comeback.

It would  have been a great start for  for Obiang given he had a major hand in the game and counts the rebound off the post for Lucas’ goal as his assist.

It’s probably all a bit too little too late for him to remain a Hammer next season but appearances and impact such as that can only help his transfer fee if and when the time comes.

Despite the fact that it was only a semi cameo appearance he probably produced his most effective performance so far this season and will be certainly looking for more game time over the last games of the season.

Speaking to www.whufc.com he was pleased that Lucas was a beneficiary of his work saying: “A goal’s coming but I couldn’t score. Lucas scores, he’s a really good friend so for me it’s really good.

“Probably if I score next time it’s better! In the end, we take that point because he scores. We have to improve some things, like the manager says, about the goals we receive.

“I started shouting ‘Felipe, please find me [with] the ball, give it to me!’ I’ve seen the space, I expected more but anyway, it’s maybe an assist because it’s the post so I’ll take it.”

The result leaves the Hammers without securing a win in four following Harvey Barnes’ injury-time leveler, but Obiang insists the side isn’t far away from turning that poor form around, starting with next Saturday’s game at Tottenham’s new stadium.

He said: “Yeah it’s seriously frustrating because we’re working hard to try and take some points and we were really close but we didn’t take it. “Now we are trying to play for ourselves, our supporters and even to try and finish in the best way possible.

“If we can take some points it’s better. At the end of the day if people are happy with what we’re trying to we are happy as well.

“That [Spurs] game is really important for us because it’s a derby. Probably we can make a gift to all the people and give them a great win. We have to wait, we’re working this week.”

 

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Chicharito returns to training

Javier Hernandez was back in training this morning at Rush Green and is expected to be available this weekend for the trip to Spurs. The Mexican striker had been suffering from a bad ear despite social media posts from his girlfriend suggesting he was on holiday in Italy last week.

Unlike David Moyes, Manuel Pellegrini now gives two consecutive days off to the players when playing on Saturday (Sunday and Monday) This means they can jet off with their families on Saturday night and fly home Monday evening and many take advantage of these two-day breaks.

Last week Chicharito was photographed by his girlfriend Sarah Kohan on a private jet to Italy, it turned out that the photographs were from an earlier weekend trip and the striker was back at the London Stadium with the squad on Good Friday despite being unfit for the game against Leicester City.

Yesterday a new picture emerged on social media of  Chicharito larking about in Italy in the snow over the Easter weekend.

Club insiders have insisted the striker did have a bad ear and had earlier posted a photo of himself on his personal Instagram story showing his swollen face. Claret and Hugh have been told he has now recovered from the infection and has resumed normal training this morning.

 

 

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Poll: Would you watch Womens’ Cup Final on the LS screen?

The Premier League refuse to move the kick off time for our Southampton game. If it can be organiSed, would you stay behind to watch the Women’s’ Cup Final on the London Stadium screen?

Leave your answer below.


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Hammers get a PL thumbs down

The Premier League has given a thumbs down to West Ham’s hopes that they could move the kick off time of their final home game of the season against Southampton.

With the club involved in the Womens’ Cup Final at Wembley it was hoped the PL would agree after Southampton had said to to the request.

Now the only way for those to see the game is either to miss the Saints match or watch on the London Stadium screen if the club can organise it with the owners.

It’s an understandable reaction from the PL and Saints who have clearly taken travel arrangements already made by travelling supporters.

In a statement the Hammers said: “Despite the Club’s very best efforts, it was decided that it wouldn’t be possible due to the potential inconvenience caused to supporters who had already planned their journeys and purchased tickets.” 

The club will now have a conversation with the stadium owners to explore the big screen possibility.