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Zouma gives his Rice impression

New recruit Kurt Zouma has been well impressed by Declan Rice’s performance against Leeds in our 2-1 victory on Saturday.

Rice took to his personal instagram account after the game saying “Nothing better than a last minute winner.”, To which Zouma responded with “What a player”.

Rice as usual was a top man against Leeds, despite Michail Antonio getting a lot of the praise for his heroics during the 90 minutes.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side had intense amount of stamina, always running, and facing such  facing such a team is quite the task as pointed out by Mikey.

Zouma may have only just joined and has seen the hype surrounding Dec from a distance  but now he has had first hand experience of the skipper and it’s good to hear such a valued opinion.

He is well versed in seeing a quality players and understand clearly that Dec is one of the best around.

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Report: Hammers tracking striker

West  Ham are reported to be tracking Clermont striker, Mohamed Bayo.

Mickey Antonio’s form remains outstanding and finding a front man to replace him on occasions could prove very difficult indeed given the level of performance that would be expected.

He has become one of the very best in the Premier League  but with the appointment of new head of recruitment Rob Newman the pressure is on to find someone fast and probably for next summer.

Bayo will be involved in the African nations Cuup which may make a move for him in the winter less likely than otherwise.

The Sun reckons  Bayo is a good shout an the player has also been mentioned in past dispatches.This season so far he has scored three in six this season for Clermont.

Impressively, he smashed in 22 last term, with a further seven assists along the way as well and could be available at a sensible price..

 

 

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Hammer deserves more credit

Michail Antonio has played five Premier League games this season scoring five goals and making three assists.

Yesterday was one of his best so far in this campaign, Leeds were increasingly susceptible to counterattacks and from one such break, Rice cleverly played in Antonio. He dodged Shackleton and his shot then evaded Meslier, prompting delirious celebrations from West Ham away fans.

Antonio’s success has overshadowed skipper Declan Rice contribution but he had a massive impact on yesterday’s game and is getting better and better.

Rice has proved doubters wrong who claim he doesn’t pass the ball forward and he was him who made the winning goal and ensured victory for the Hammers.

When the final whistle blew It is not the Michail Antonio that David Moyes ran to but his captain Declan Rice as he gave him a huge embrace. Properly shaking his skipper and crediting him with the run that bagged the West Ham winner.

Declan Rice doesn’t look like a player desperate to join Chelsea or Manchester United, he looks like a Hammers loving his football and his club!

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Former manager recalls West Ham player abuse

Former Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes revealed he wrote an apology letter to Hammer George Parris after being left sickened by an act of racism from football fans in the 1980s. The former boss was attending a match between the Hammers and his hometown St Mirren as a teenager but the contest was blighted by flashpoint from the stands.

McInnes – speaking in his Mail On Sunday column – called upon the incident ahead Rangers ‘ visit to Sparta Prague in the Europa League this week.

He said: “The first time I witnessed racist abuse was when I was 15 years old and I went to watch St Mirren play West Ham in a pre-season friendly in 1986.

“I’m from Paisley and West Ham’s full-back George Parris was racially abused by several members of the crowd.

“I didn’t receive a reply but I felt compelled to write a letter to Parris to tell him how disgusted I was about the abuse. Paisley is a good town and not everybody acts like those who abused him. I was hugely embarrassed.

“We’ve made massive strides but, after all these years, players are still being abused and that leaves a bad taste. When abuse is so obvious on the pitch, it’s toe curling. It shows there’s still a lot of work to be done on the situation.”

McInnes is a Scottish professional football manager and former player who was most recently the manager of Aberdeen. He featured prominently for Greenock Morton, Rangers, West Bromwich Albion and Dundee United during his playing career. He won two caps for the Scotland national football team while with West Bromwich.

McInnes became manager of St Johnstone where he had been on the playing staff, in 2007. He guided the club to promotion to the Scottish Premier League in 2009 and retained that status for two seasons. McInnes was appointed manager of Football League Championship club Bristol City in 2011. Despite avoiding relegation in 2011–12, McInnes was sacked by Bristol City in January 2013 with the club bottom of the Championship. He was appointed Aberdeen manager in 2013 departing in March this year after eight years in charge.

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West Ham fan pays price for Benrahma encounter

West Yorkshire Police arrested several West Ham fans for pitch incursion after Michail Antonio got the late winner at Elland Road yesterday.

Leeds stewards and police rugby tackled one Hammers fan to the ground in front of players Tomas Soucek and Said Benrahama.

Benramha spoke to the Irons fans as he remained constrained on the ground by security staff and the player concerned about the supporter’s welfare.

The man was then arrested and charged with pitch incursion and will be bailed to appear in court with the high likelihood of a three-year banning order and an indefinate ban from the club for his actions.

Met police officer Andy Sheldon designated to West Ham who travelled with the away fans explained there had been some crowd issues following the winner from Mikey Antonio.

Sadly we thought and hoped those days were firmly behind us but apparently not and  Sheldon said: Fantastic support from the West Ham  travelling fans at Elland road, unfortunately, some fan behaviour was not the best with several arrests for pitch incursion after the winner. For those asking 3000 fans managed to celebrate the last-minute winner without entering the field of play. I get the passion and emotion but if you go onto the pitch then sorry you must expect to face the consequences”

 

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Head scratching time for Moysie

Ben Johnson showing vast improvement

Yet another crowded few days ahead with Rapid Vienna on Thursday evening and Brentford on Sunday.

And once again it will be fascinating to see how the boss handles his options and Mikey Antonio’s in particular although a bigger issue looks to be at right back.

Ryan Fredericks isn’t going to be fit until after the international break which means the boss may be forced to play a tiring Vladi Coufal although personally I’m expecting to see Ben Johnson on that side.

Ben did absolutely nothing wrong in the left role last time out and will be a more than adequate choice on the other side against a team who play SK Stiurm Graz this afternoon at 4pm.

Elsewhere I expect to see Issa Diop return but the lack of cover on the left side means another outing for Cress unless Moyes does the unthinkable and plays Masuaku in the role

Tomas needs another rest although Declan may get an outing along with Nikola Vlasic.

Possible team: Areola; Johnson, Diop, Zouma, Cresswell; Kral, Rice, Lanzini Noble, Vlasic, Antonio

 

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West Ham fan outclasses AJ at Spurs stadium

Ukrainian West Ham fan Oleksandr Usyk and friend to AndriyYarmolenko outclassed Anthony Joshua at the Spurs stadium last night with display of boxing to claim the IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO belts.

Usyk wobbled Joshua in the seventh round, and even had the home fighter on the ropes in the last 30 seconds of the 12th round, exhausted and in survival mode. The three judges – from the UK, Ukraine and the USA – scored the contest 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 all in favour of Usyk, the 34-year-old born in Crimea.

Defeat was described as “devastating” by Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn who said his boxer had complained of a lack of vision in one eye after a blow in the ninth round, but added that the Briton was also expressing his immediate desire for a rematch.

According to reports Yarmolenko booked a helicopter from Leeds Declan Rice and himself to fly to the fight directly after their win in Elland road.

While Yarmo was cheering on his friend and fellow countryman Dec was there for AJ’s camp.

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Famous Hammers five creating a new club country

West Ham’s famous five are creating a situation at the club we haven’t seen in many years.

We hear talk of Declan being worth over £100 million, Jarrod Bowen £70 million, Tomas Soucek the same or a bit more, Vladi Coufal around £50 million and Said Benrahma rapidly climbing the price scale.

After years of watching average players taking their place nearly automatically in previous Hammers sides this is a new country indeed.

And were – God forbid that it ever happens – we were to sell at the sort of figures being discussed, it would see the club make something like a quarter of a million profit on the five of them.

Declan of course came through the academy whilst the club developed scouts and signing opportunities in then Czech Republic where Tomas and Vladi were bought cheaply Jarrod is turning out to be a serious bargain at £20 millionish  and ironically Benny was the most expensive in an overpriced UK market.

I was told many years ago, when starting this job as a career by a certain former Hammer called Noel Cantwell, that if you have five top players in a side you would win things.

These are heady days indeed at West Ham and Noel my old pal, I so hope you were right.

 

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A first for Mikey as he makes it six from six

If Mikey Antonio wasn’t man of the match yesterday he was very close.

Jarrod Bowen and Sean Benrahma would have run him close and at the back Kurt Zouma was immense again – already the Moyes fingerprints on signings are very much on new signings.

Beyond a goal and a typically robust performance, Mikey looks fitter than he has done in a long time and we have everything crossed that he can  stay injury free of course.

As was expected – here anyway – his presence was the deciding factor against a Leeds team who weren’t alone in having plenty of problems coping with the main man yesterday.

What was encouraging was that he started out on that long run and goal within the last couple of minutes when he could have been forgiven for being tired.

Instead it was one from a man who looked to have been playing in the role for years and he spoke of his delight afterwards to www.whufc.com.

He said: “I had a few of opportunities before the goal and I didn’t quite manage to take them, but I saw the goalkeeper rushing out, the near post open and I just put it in there. I’m buzzing but I didn’t have the energy to celebrate.”

Ahead of the fixture Antonio noted that he was yet to score against Leeds prior to today’s game.

He added: “I’ve never scored against them. It’s obviously a great achievement to score and I just want to keep going, scoring goals and I think that’s six in six for me now in all competitions, so I just want to keep going and see where I end up at the end of the season.”

The forward was in the thick of the action throughout and was adjudged to have fouled the Leeds goalkeeper after Tomáš Souček thought he’d equalised early in the second period.

“Basically, I’ve jumped up and the hand that I’ve led with has caught the goalkeeper. I honestly don’t think that it’s a foul, but I’ve caught him, he’s gone down, and we’ve scored from it. The referee has made the decision and that’s the decision at the end of the day. We’ve managed to get the three points anyway and we’ll keep going.”

Antonio was also full of praise for Leeds United who battled tirelessly in an entertaining contest.

“They play completely different to the rest of the teams in the league, they play man vs man football. They run all over the pitch and it’s hard to mark because they’ve got people outnumbering you, but we managed to contain it, we had a couple of opportunities that we didn’t take, they took theirs in the first half and fortunately we took ours in the end and won the game.”

The Hammers face yet another busy week ahead with a home double-header, first against Rapid Vienna in the Europa League before Brentford are the visitors to London Stadium on Sunday 2 October.

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The Moyes verdict: “I wasn’t surprised”

David Moyes could hardly have been more pleased with the never-say-die win by the Hammers at Leeds.

To come back from a goal down against a team that never stops running is one heck of an achievement but this is a different Irons squad to any we have seen for a long time.

Leeds presented all sorts of different challenges but the boys showed themselves to be up to the job as they are doing in virtually every excursion this season.

And with such a crowded fixture list and hints of tiredeness among one or two of the players a match against Leeds was always going to be a really tough challenge.

Yet they came through with a win – doing it the hard way by coming from behind and scoring the winner just a few minutes from the end.

And Moyes made it clear just how proud he was of a team who never ever gives anything up.

He told www.whufc.com “Leeds are completely different from any other side we play and if affected us, especially in the first half.

I didn’t think we played so well, and some of our better players didn’t play well today, but as the game went on we grew into it and got the win.

The players have done a brilliant job, and do you know something? I wasn’t surprised. We’ve got a wee bit more of inner drive in us.

Of course there will be games where we go behind and maybe can’t get back from it, but in the main, certainly in the last 18 months or so, we’ve been in every game.

We might not win them all, but we’ve been in every game fighting to try and win it. Today was another one where we’re fighting to try and win it. We got back to draw it, then we went on to win it, so it’s really good.

If you’re a neutral watching it that was an incredible game, but if you’re a supporter of either team you might have looked at it differently. There were that many chances at both ends.

When you look at the week we’ve had – we were away at Old Trafford in the week and have come to Elland Road and won as well – it’s a big day for the players and they deserve it. 

The squad we’ve got, everybody’s right in it. We stayed up for a few days after the Manchester United game, we thought that was the right thing to do, and it’s turned out that way with the result today.”