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Moyes speaks on Antonio injury

David Moyes has confirmed that Michail Antonio is back with the first-team and in contention to start against Villa – as revealed here yesterday.

The striker has been struggling with a hamstring injury but according to the manager is looking in reasonable shape after missing the game against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane last weekend..

He has returned to training this week ahead of Monday’s clash with Aston Vill and as we revealed earlier this week looks all set to play a role against the midlands outfit.

It remains to be seen if the 30-year-old will be thrown straight back in, especially given the improved form of  Seb Haller but that looks the most likely scenario with Moyes not a manager known for throwing in previously injired players as soon as they are available..

Moyes has been pleased with the form of the Frenchman, and he stopped short of confirming that Antonio would play, instead praising the depth he has available to him in his squad.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, he said: “He’s joined in training a couple of days.

“We’re trying to see how he is. It’s just great to get him back out on the training pitch with us at the moment.

“We want competition for places and I think we’ve got that now. Hopefully, when he gets that opportunity we’ll be ready, but we’ve got good competition for places at the moment.”

Antonio has not played for the Irons since scoring in the 1-1 draw with Manchester City.

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Irons under 23s seriously need an end product

West Ham’s Under-23s have been told they have to improve in one key area: sticking the ball in the back of the net.

The Hammers have struggled thus far this season and have yet to win in the Premier League 2 following their promotion at the end of the curtailed season.

It means the Irons are currently bottom of the table, having taken two points from their eight games.

They have scored just nine goals in those eight games but Bernardo Rosa, the Hammers central midfielder, believes that as long as they can start scoring, they will climb the table.

Next up is a clash with Manchester United at Rush Green tonight (Fri), who were promoted with the Irons, but who have been in much better form; they are sixth and have not lost any of their last five games.

Speaking to the club’s official website, following defeat to Leicester, Rosa said: “Leicester was a frustrating match.

“We dominated their ten men but we couldn’t find a goal and with the two chances they had, they scored. They were more clinical than us and it’s just frustrating that we didn’t get a point out of it.

“We’re creating a lot of chances, getting a lot of crosses in from out wide, but we know we need to step it up in the final third this season. Our end product hasn’t always been there and it’s cost us points that we should have claimed.

“Premier League 2 Division 1 is a more difficult league and we know that we need to be more clinical this season overall, starting from today. It’s a tougher league and there’s better quality in it than last season, so we need to keep improving ourselves.”

It is an open, bunched-up league this season, with every team having suffered a defeat in 2020/21. Liverpool and Derby are currently joint-top with 16 points from eight games.

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Please select your West Ham starting XI against Aston Villa

The people’s choice poll and the Premier League is back where you pit your wits against the manager for the Monday night game against Aston Villa

Everyone likes to think that know better than the manager when it comes to team selection.

We are running our survey asking you to name your team for the match against the Villians at the London Stadium.

Michail Antonio and Andry Yarmolenko are both set to be available again.

We will calculate and publish the mean average of the supporters starting eleven based on David Moyes new favoured formation.

Using the link below select a matchday squad of eleven players to start selecting one goalkeeper, three centre backs, one right wing-back, one left wing-back, two defensive midfielders, two wingers, and one central forward after selecting your starting XI  please leave all other players blank and submit your entry.

https://surveyhero.com/c/effee414

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Declan: I don’t want to be told to eff off

It’s tricky believing that Declan finds anything a problem as his career goes higher and higher!

But the Hammers skipper admits he has one big task in front of him and he’s going to have to forget his nerves, take his courage in both hands, and get on with it.

Wearing the armband has been a huge boost to his career but it brings issues with it in one so young and the 21-year-old Iron isn’t shy about putting his anxieties out there.

David Moyes clearly has no such worries about his captaincy abilities but there’s a big issue at stake for his new captain who admits he has to learn how to speak his mind to his team-mates.

Most would realise why he is where he is and be ready to take it. However, Declan has admitted he is having a few problems giving it at this stage of his career.

Speaking on the Super 6 podcast, he added: “When you’re on that pitch, you’ve got the armband on, it’s your responsibility to lead the team and that’s why I’m so vocal.

“I’ll say stuff, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes I hold myself in obviously because I’m still a youngster. I don’t want to come across to one of the older players and be told to f-off.

“Noble is so good at it where he doesn’t care, he’ll just say it how it is whereas sometimes I’m a bit reserved.

“I feel that I can’t really say that because I’m only 21, but for him obviously he’s been there, done it, he’s been captain for years and where you just say it like it is and you don’t care what anyone else’s opinion is.

“I am gonna have to get like that. I know it’s hard.”

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London Stadium Boxing Day game denied again

West Ham supporters will again be denied of enjoying a traditional boxing day game at the London Stadium as the game was moved to 27th December for TV,

When the Hammers moved home in 2016 they were concerns that home games on Boxing day would clash with Westfield shopping busiest sales day of the year.

Last year the Newham council-led Safety Advisory Group (SAG) for the London Stadium have confirmed that a home boxing day fixture was not scheduled this season due to transport issues.

In official minutes London Stadium Safety Advisory Group Chair Shelia Roberts informed the safety group in July that ‘there will not be a home game on Boxing Day due to challenging transport issues.’

West Ham have yet to stage a home boxing day game at the London Stadium since moving to the former Olympic Stadium in 2016 with the club insisting they have not requested to play away on any boxing day.

Other stakeholders such as Westfield Shopping centre, TFL and Metropolitan police are able to lobby the stadium safety group to request that certain fixtures aren’t played at home and for this season it appears TFL successfully persuaded the powers that be that the transport system in Stratford wouldn’t cope on 26th December 2019 with a West Ham home crowd.

There was a surprise this season when a game against Brighton was scheduled on 26th December with the hope that supporters would return in October.

Now 2,000 season ticket holders selected in a ballot will be given an opportunity on 27th December at 2.15 pm

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Face-off: It’s Rice v Grealish

Declan Rice versus Jack Grealish is going to be a highlight of what promises to be a fascinating Sky Main Event game on Monday evening.

Just a week ago Dec and the villa motoring offences bad boy 🙂 were playing international football together – now there is going to be a likely midfield battle royal going on between the pair of them.

Love him or hate him, few can argue that Grealish isn’t a cracking player at his best, but in Declan,  with Tomas Soucek alongside, he’s hopefully going to have his work cut out to make a serious impact.

Declan knows several of the Villa players well and is looking forward to a game which could see us go two points clear of the midland outfit who -with ourselves – are the most improved Premier League outfit this season.

I see another Hammers win and will go for a 3-1 despite the visitors’ hat-trick of away win this season.

What do you reckon?

Commenting on the match at https://www.whufc.com/news/articles/2020/november/27-november/declan-rice-relishing-monday-night-duel-england-teammate the Hammers skipper said: “I think Villa have shown this season that they’re a completely different team.

“They’ve made fantastic signings and obviously I know some of their lads really well, so it’s going to be a battle and I know how good their players are.

“They’re playing really well at the moment, but we’ve got the joint second-best defensive record in the Premier League.

“We’re moving in the direction the manager wants us to go so, while it’s going to be a battle, we’re going to be ready for that.”

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Two thousand tickets allocated for ghost game

West Ham will need to decide how to fairly allocate two thousand tickets for the ‘Ghost’ game between West Ham and Manchester United at the London Stadium.

The game has been moved to an evening kick-off at 5.30 pm but remains on Saturday 5th December in just eight days time.

The club is waiting for guidance from the Premier League and the Sports Grounds Safety Authority but there will be precious little time to arrange a ballot and send out electronic golden tickets for the game a week next Saturday.

The ballot will be run by the Irons ticketing partner TicketMaster who previously had software issues with away ballots so it could be challenging considering the complex and bespoke criteria. The ballot will need to exclude any season ticket holder who chose option 3 or anyone who lives in tier 3 area who will not be allowed to travel.

Previously when supporters were due to return in October the club had suggested breaking down the ballot by categories so Corporate hospitality Club London, Bondholders, Disability season ticket holders along with the five different general season ticket bands would each get a proportion of the available ballot tickets depending on their proportion of the overall season ticket holder base.

Another option is to just make a general ballot from all eligible season ticket holders regardless of their ticket category.

Whatever the club decides it needs to be transparent, fair and communicated effectively and quickly to allow time for supporters to make plans.

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Hammers said to be eyeing ex-PL striker

West Ham are eyeing Blackburn Rovers hotshot Adam Armstrong ahead of the January transfer window, according to Ex West Ham Employee.

The Hammers did not manage to sign a striker in the summer, of course, and have been relying on Seb Haller and Michail Antonio as a result.

The latter’s injury woes have sharpened the focus on the lack of depth in reserve and it seems that Armstrong is seen as a potential target.

He has been in electric form in the Championship this season, scoring 12 goals in 12 games, and has some Premier League experience.

Armstrong played 21 times in the top-flight for Newcastle, in the 2013/14 and 14/15 seasons, though he did not manage to score a goal.

Speaking on his podcast, Ex said that David Moyes could look to sanction a move for the forward in the coming transfer window.

He said: “Adam Armstrong, ex Newcastle player, scoring goals for Blackburn – I think he’s actually the top scorer in the Championship at the moment – he’s someone that we like.

“From memory I think when he started out at Newcastle he was a winger, I think he’s quite slight.”

Armstrong will be 24 in February and is a versatile forward; he can play through the middle or on either flank.

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West Ham games moved for Xmas TV

Six West Ham games have been moved for television coverage over Christmas, per the club’s official website.

All games will be available to watch live on Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime, or the BBC, after the Premier League decided to scrap the controversial pay-per-view model that charged supporters £14.95 to watch a game.

The league has now confirmed the fixtures for the festive period, and it means that no fewer than SIX of the Hammers’ games have been moved.

The visit of Manchester United to east London will be shown on Sky on Saturday December 5th and will be a 5:30pm kick-off.

The game against Leeds at Elland Road will then take place the following Friday night, an 8pm kick-off. That will be on Sky too.

Amazon Prime Video will then air the clash with Crystal Palace the following Wednesday, the 16th.

The Irons will then be in action on a Monday night, the 21st, an 8pm kick-off against Chelsea on Sky.

David Moyes’ men then play Brighton the day after Boxing Day in a 2:15pm kick-off on Sky.

West Ham will then play Southampton on the 29th, a Tuesday, a 6pm kick-off on Amazon Prime Video.

Fans could well be in attendance, too, provided the government’s tier system remains the same.

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Supporters return will do little to mend finances

The return of supporters at the London Stadium will do little to plug West Ham’s financial black hole caused by the pandemic.

The Hammers pay the same £3m rent whether supporters are present or not at the London Stadium so LLDC will pick the bill for any extra security or stewards when West Ham return with two thousand fans on 5th December against Manchester United.

West Ham earns around £23.5m from season ticket holders per season or around  £1.23m per home game if all 50,000 general season ticket holders are present.

As only 2,000 will be present it suggests that West Ham will only earn around £44,000 from general ticket revenue averaging £25 per season ticket holder if 1,750 were selected from the ballot.

The club earns another £13m per season from 3,600 Corporate hospitality guests with Club London corporate members are worth around £200 per home match at the London Stadium on average but if they were allocated 250 of the 2,000 it would suggest another £50,000.

If 2,000 supporters return on 5th December the club will earn less than one hundred thousand pounds