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Liverpool await – let’s do this for Mooro

Bowen – hoping for a start

David Moyes claims he will attempt to do an Atletico Madrid who managed to frustrate Liverpool in their 1-0 Champions League win.

And although of course it is pretty self evident from the result he chose to add: “I thought they did a very good job to make it difficult. If you just look at the way they defend their box, they were really hard to beat.”

West Ham’s chances of emulating such an achievement are the stuff of covering your face with your hand when someone says something they don’t realise is causing untold mirth.

After all in his nine games in all competitions, the Hammers have let in 14 although the manager believes things are on the improve and that we are not as vulnerable as we have been.

But it will need to be a whole lot better than that at Anfield as we prepare to take on a team which hasn’t been beaten in the Premier League all season.

However, Moyes continues to believe things are not as bad as many believe and sees games ahead as fixtures in which we will be picking up points.

Sadly, tonight looks likely to be one of those games where we will be peering from behind the settee unless there’s a remarkable upsurge in our form which hopefully will see Jarrod Bowen playing a part.

He said: “I think we are starting to defend much better. We have not been as wide open as we have been in the past.

“But we have conceded a couple of goals through set- pieces, which is really disappointing.

“We have to make our own luck and be better with the ball — but I don’t think I can question the boys over their discipline.

“I think we have got some games coming up which will give us the opportunity to pick up points.
“Even Liverpool. We have to look at it as an opportunity.”

West Ham’s players will wear shirts in the warm-up in tribute to Bobby Moore, who died 27 years ago today aged 51.

Let’s do this one for him lads!



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West Ham Starting XI: The People’s Choice

Łukasz Fabianski is again the first choice keeper scoring 241 votes from the maximum 243 available.

Aaron Cresswell gets the left back role with 230 votes while Arthur Masuaku way behind on 13 votes

With Ryan Fredericks out Pablo Zabaleta gets the right back role on 118 votes with Jeremy Ngakia some way behind on 71 votes.

Centre back pairing Issa Diop 228 votes and Angelo Ogbonna 232 votes stay intact with Fabian Balbuena some way off on 50 votes.

Declan Rice almost gets maximum votes on 241 votes with Tomas Soucek not far behind on 235 votes. Mark Noble is dropped with just 47 votes.

Michail Antonio 221, Jarrod Bowen 212 and  Felipe Anderson 166  get the midfield votes with Pablo Fornals 141 and Robert Snodgrass 85 missing out.

With little other choice Sebastian Haller gets the striker role on 106 votes way in front on Ablian Ajeti with just 3 votes.

West Ham Peoples Choice Starting XI: Fabianski, Cresswell, Diop, Ogbonna, Zabaleta, Rice, Soucek, Antonio, Bowen, Anderson, Haller


Soucek’s running stats set six year Hammers high

West Ham’s analysts have been stunned to discover that loan signing Tomas Soucek covered more ground than any Hammer in six years against Manchester City.

Their stats show that the midfielder, 24, ran 13.1km — just over eight miles.

And manager David Moyes said: “We believe Tomas ran more the other night than any West Ham player has for six years which you have to say for someone who’s just arrived at the club is an incredible stat.
It’s not all about running but it’s a big part of it and it certainly helps.

“I think his numbers were just so big. I had a feeling when we signed him that it was one of his strengths.

“We had talked about needing some legs, a bit more energy, running, covering the ground more.

“And he’s a goal threat. Against Brighton he had a couple of chances and the other night was nearly on the end of one.”

Soucek made six appearances for the Czech side in the group stages of the Champions League this season — up against Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan.

The manager added:  “We’re in a tough period and we’re trying to gather some positives from it.

“Hopefully one or two of the young players can have an impact.

“Tomas is young. But if we can get goals — plus the energy he has got — it’s been shown he’s bringing something to the table.”

ClaretandHugh says: In a word Soucek’s Running Man stats are simply incredible. It’s been mentioned at various times that he has the ability to make long raking runs from defensive midfield and into the opposition area and that it appears to be  one of the features of his game. But nobody could surely have imagined that the guy was covering such an extraordinary amount of ground and that is precisely what the Premier League demands. Our survival is imperative if we are to keep Soucek. The loan deal dictates that unless we stay up he will be gone. And these figures show he can provide the dynamic for all the others in the team who PERHAPS haven’t been putting it in to the level required. I said soon after his first game that he looked captain material to me and now his work rate, determination and effort more than back that up

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West Ham unlikely to stop Liverpool’s top flight record

With 1,350 voting in our Sunday poll nearly 70% (938) say league leaders Liverpool will win, an optimistic 17% of Claret and Hugh readers believe West Ham can pull off a miracle with a win while 13% say it will be a draw.

Liverpool could equal Manchester City’s all-time English top-flight record of 18 league wins in a row.

The Reds are unbeaten in 43 league fixtures since a 2-1 defeat at Manchester City in January 2019 (W38, D5).

A 21st successive league victory at Anfield would equal their own English top-flight record for consecutive home wins, set between January and December 1972.

They have kept a clean sheet in 10 of their last 11 Premier League matches.

West Ham have lost three of their past four league games.

They have also lost their last four away league fixtures. They last lost five in a row between November 2013 and January 2014.

The Hammers have picked up just five points from eight Premier League matches, fewer than any other top-flight side.

West Ham have lost a league-high 19 points from a winning position this season.

David Moyes is yet to win an away match against Liverpool in all competitions (D7, L8), losing the last three in a row.

Michail Antonio has scored in four of his five Premier League appearances against Liverpool.

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RIP Mooro:’ Softly spoken, humble, intelligent and generous


Tony Yorke remembers  Bobby Moore as a wonderful human being and friend who never forgot where he came from.


Today is the 27th anniversary of the great Bobby Moore’s death.

Mooro was just 52 when cancer claimed him. And for many people like me, who had the good fortune to know him and work alongside him, or watch him play his own brand of wonderful, intelligent football, his passing continues to be mourned.

On this day, I always find myself remembering Bobby. For it is also the birthday of my eldest daughter. And on my own birthday, I also find myself thinking about the great man, for on that glorious 30 July afternoon in 1966, as I celebrated my first year on the planet, the most famous of Hammers was lifting the Jules Rimet Trophy.

How I still love to watch film of Bobby lifting the World Cup – and seeing Geoff Hurst hammer home that wonderful treble.

I am sure we all have fond memories of the man, regardless of whether we knew him, or whether we turned up, week-in, week-out, and watched him grace the football pitch?

The man I remember was softly spoken, humble, intelligent and generous – qualities you don’t often associate with the modern crop of sports stars or the often ghastly social media circus surrounding it.

Bobby was a loyal man. His word was his bond. He didn’t need a contract, negotiated by an army of lawyers, before he agreed to do something. If it sounded good, and it was the right thing to do, he would do it. It was as simple as that.

These days, people who behave in such ways as often regarded as naïve. Where I originate from (East Yorkshire), we call such people “gentlemen”.

So what of the Bobby I knew?

I first met him when I worked as a sports journalist for a national tabloid newspaper. It was my first job in Fleet Street. I was just 23-years-old and had only been living in London for a few weeks. To say I was “an innocent abroad” is a major understatement. The truth is I knew nothing about life and London, and even less about real journalism!

Thanks to Bobby, I was thrown a lifeline.

My editor thought it would be a good idea for me to have a drink with the great man, who was retained by the paper as its “Sports Editor”. In reality, he had little to do with the day-to-day running of the department; he was the figurehead. It was my job – as his deputy – to make things work!

Within minutes of meeting me at a Soho wine bar, Mooro had sussed me out. Yet, he said nothing negative, patronising or condescending. All he did, for more than three hours, was encourage me and give me an insight into his world, so that we could explore areas that would be good for everyone, particularly our readers.

We laughed a lot. He wasn’t a teller of jokes, but he saw the funny side in a lot of things. And he had a lot of anecdotes.

This was the way things were every time I met him, or we talked on the telephone. During that time, I never heard him raise his voice.  I never heard him talk negatively about anyone. And I never saw him drop his smile.

Even when I quit the paper, Bobby was an encourager.

The day after I had left, he called me at home and pleaded with me to stay. England’s World Cup-winning skipper actually said to me: “Is there anything I can do, or say, that will make you change your mind?”

That is one of the most humbling moments of my working life.

I didn’t withdraw my resignation. Instead, I went on to enjoy a journalistic career elsewhere.

But, on the many occasions our paths crossed afterwards – usually at venues like Wembley, Wimbledon’s old Plough Lane ground, White Hart Lane, Highbury and even the rickety, cold and intimidating Kenilworth Road – Bobby always greeted me in the same friendly manner I had become accustomed to while we were on the same payroll. And, I wasn’t alone. He treated everyone who he came into contact with in the same manner: with the utmost respect.

There have been many superlatives attributed to Mooro in his lifetime and in the years since his passing.

In my opinion, all of them are accurate. He was a footballing great; he was a fantastic ambassador for our country; he was a loyal friend; and he was undoubtedly a one-off, the like of which we will never see again.

But more than anything else, Bobby Moore was a wonderful human being who never forgot where he came from. And I, for one, am grateful to have had the immense privilege to know a man who still means so much to so many.


Rice is one of the best in the Premier League

Hammer Declan Rice is ranked the second-best defensive midfielder in the Premier League when it comes to recoveries, tackles and interceptions and joint first for dribbles.

On Friday David Moyes spoke to reporters on Declan Rice and his performance against Manchester City,

“His first half wasn’t good by Dec’s standards,” said Moyes. “Second-half performance he took it up, he drove the ball out for us, he took the ball out at different times.

“He’s improving, he’s getting better, he’s learning. When you’re in the team and you’re a young player it’s not easy, but you get judged very quickly. I think Declan is one of the players we are looking to be our main player and that’s why he’s getting selected for England.

What we really want is a nice up and coming team with the potential to get better, hunger to improve as individuals. But then we need people to take it on and show what it means, Mark Noble is a great example of someone who can show exactly what the club does, how we work. Declan’s been here really since the start.

“But you want the young ones because they’re the ones who will pass it on to the next group. I hope Jarrod, Declan, and a few of the young ones we’ve got in at the moment [can do that].”

Claret and Hugh say:

Rice’s impressive form is likely to bring many admirers this summer from the top six clubs and these impressive stats underline that. David Moyes is reported only to be willing to part with his star player for bids of £90m and above and at the tender age of twenty-one and already in the England squad we could see a bidding war for the defensive midfielder no matter which division we find ourselves in next season.  No one wants Declan Rice to leave West Ham but we need to be realistic to understand when a player outgrows us and when it is time to cash in to get the maximum return.  Rice could be to West Ham what Gareth Bale was to Spurs. He was sold for £85m in 2013 with Christian Eriksen one of the players they bought with the money.

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Poll: Will West Ham Win, Lose or Draw against Liverpool?

A win over West Ham  at Anfield on Monday night would see Liverpool match the all-time top-flight record for consecutive victories.

Liverpool have won their last 17 Premier League encounters and one more will see them equal Manchester City’s record-breaking run of 18, which was set between August to December in 2017.  Claiming three points against the Hammers would also set an outright Premier League record for successive home victories, with Jürgen Klopp’s side winning their last 20 games in front of the Kop.  Liverpool have kept 25 clean sheets in the last 34 Anfield league fixtures with West Ham.

Bookmakers have Liverpool as the 1/7 odds on favourites for the Win, you can get as much as 7/1 for a draw and 20/1 for a West Ham win of any score. For a correct score a West Ham 1-0 win is at odds of  60/1 an Irons 2-0 win can be had at odds of up to 150/1 and a 3-0 Hammers win up at odds of to 350/1.

In today’s Claret and Hugh poll we ask whether West Ham will Win, Lose or Draw against Liverpool at Anfield on Monday.


Fortune smiles on the Irons again

Fortune continues to favour the Irons with the latest results today both going very much our way.

Manchester United put three past Watford without reply earlier with Wolves managing the same result against Norwich who now look entirely booked for the drop

It means that we go into tomorrow night#s match at Liverpool (oh that it was somewhere, anywhere else) with a goal difference better than any of the four teams around us – for now anyway.

Norwich are on minus 27, Watford on minus 19,  Villa, minus 18 and Bournemouth on minus 17 whilst the Hammers are minus 15.

Yes, of course, it’s a rubbish position to be in but given everything we have to be grateful for the smallest of mercies and in those terms this weekend has been good news for us.

The Norwich and Watford defeats come after Aston Villa, Newcastle and Bournemouth were all beaten on Saturday while Brighton could only manage a draw at Sheffield United.

Now there’s only the small matter of runaway leaders Liverpool with whom to deal!!


Prediction site gives Hammers 63% chance of survival

Prediction site FiveThirtyEight predicts will just survive by finishing 17th place in the Premier League on 37 points.

It predicts that Norwich, Aston Villa and Bournemouth will be relegated.

The forecasts are based on a substantially revised version of ESPN’s Soccer Power Index (SPI), a rating system originally devised by FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver in 2009 for rating international football teams. They have updated and adapted SPI to incorporate club soccer data going back to 1888 (from more than 550,000 matches in all) that we’ve collected from ESPN’s database and the Engsoccerdata GitHub repository, as well as from play-by-play data produced by Opta that has been available since 2010.

At the heart of our club forecasts are FiveThirtyEight’s SPI ratings, which are our best estimate of a team’s overall strength. In our system, every team has an offensive rating that represents the number of goals it would be expected to score against an average team on a neutral field, and a defensive rating that represents the number of goals it would be expected to concede. These ratings, in turn, produce an overall SPI rating, which represents the percentage of available points — a win is worth 3 points, a tie worth 1 point, and a loss worth 0 points — the team would be expected to take if that match were played over and over again.

Given the ratings for any two teams, we can project the result of a match between them in a variety of formats — such as a league match, a home-and-away tie or a cup final — as well as simulate whole seasons to arrive at the probability each team will win the league, qualify for the Champions League or be relegated to a lower division.

Before a season begins, a team’s SPI ratings are based on two factors: its ratings at the end of the previous season, and its market value as calculated by Transfermarkt (a site that assigns a monetary value to each player, based on what they would fetch in a transfer). We’ve found that a team’s market value — relative to their league’s average value — is strongly correlated with its end-of-season SPI rating. Thus, we use these market values to infer each team’s preseason SPI rating.


Cottee makes astonishing admission

Former Hammer Tony Cottee has made an astonishing admission saying the West Ham board make a mistake by letting David Moyes leave the first time calling the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini a mistake.

Cottee told LoveSport radio earlier this week “Personally speaking, I didn’t really like the appointment of Pellegrini.”

Talking about the current poor run of form for the Hammers he said: “ it goes back obviously to start the previous season” (when Pellegrini was first appointed)

I said at the time, I’m not being clever, I felt they should have stuck with ‘Moyesy’. I felt the club needed a period of stability. And David Moyes would have brought that to the club and I think that’s where we’ve gone back to now.

Obviously they tried the so-called ‘big name manager’, it didn’t work. Spent a lot of money, didn’t work. So we’re now back to where we wERE two years ago and ‘Moyesy’ has come in, he’s firefighting. The club’s up against relegation- it’s going to be tough.

I think he’s the right appointment, but I just hope we stay up, even if it’s 17th on goal difference I don’t care! Just stay in the Premier League and rebuild for next season.”