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Hammers scout exciting winger

Image for West Ham now eye move for Mykhaylo Mudryk

West Ham are this morning reported as having sent scouts to Glasow where they watched Ukraine and Shakatar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk in action.

The reliable 90min, claim, however, that scouts from perhaps 10 or 12 more Premier League clubs also watched the youngster, during the Nations League tie against Scotland.

The report adds: ‘As per the same piece, members of the recruitment departments from several Premier League sides were in attendance, with West Ham United being a notable mention.,

Quite how much the scouts learned however is another thing as the Scots went on to win the game 3-0 in which Mudryk appeared to make little impression despite him making an outstanding start to the season at club level.

The 21-year-old Champions League goalscorer,  has enjoyed a spectacular start to Shakhtar’s current European venture in ]articular.

 

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Sorry Declan…you’re wrong

Declan Rice’s response to England’s defeat by Italy last night was sadly predictable and dare one say entirely wrong.

The 1-0 loss saw us suffer the embarrassment of relegation from their Uefa Nations League group after slumping to defeat after Giacomo Raspadori’s  68th-minute strike broke the deadlock in the San Siro,

This was a game without any spark to speak of at all in the first half, but which came to life in the second but saw the Three Lions winless streak extended to five games, their worst since June 2014.

For Hammers fans there was a bright moment from the Italians as Harry Maguire was beaten in the air by Gianluca Scammaca which saw his header kept out by a combination of goalkeeper Nick Pope and an upright.

That was enough to see us relegated from the group but Declan – as players often do – made an attempt to find bright spots from the dullest of performances. Sometimes the reality is a better idea given it is clear the team is on a serious slide

He said: “It’s coming. It was a much better performance tonight than we saw in the summer.

“It’s not that we’re not creating the chances. I see it in training. There are goals for fun. “Trust me, we are going to be good.

We are still waiting Dec!

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Hammers could star in documentary

West Ham could star in a new documentary charting the Premier League in a Drive to Survive-style series.

The Times reports that the Premier League has been approached by the production company that was behind the F1 hit.

Clubs have been told about the proposal and talks will now take place between all 20 league sides.

The production company behind the proposal is Box to Box productions, who have previously made a Steven Gerrard documentary for Amazon, and have also made a boxing documentary, titled The Kings, for Showtime.

The report also claims that Box to Box have made contact with individual clubs and could look to make documentaries about sides, rather than the league itself.

There have been a number of successful documentaries thus far, with Manchester City, Arsenal, and Spurs all being the centre of All or Nothing documentaries on Amazon.

Sunderland were also at the centre of a Netflix documentary, while Wrexham are getting the treatment on Disney +.

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Soucek gives answer to his form loss

REUTERS/David Klein EDITORIAL USE ONLY. 

By Hughie Southon

Tomas Soucek has responded to the frustrations and disappointment of his own, and the Hammers form, so far this season.

And not to put too fine a point on it the Czech Republic defensive midfielder is refusing to let things over worry him despite the club being in the bottom three.

Soucek’s form has in reality been unrecognisable from that he showed in his first season when he became Hammer of the Year.

But he has been explaining during the international break that in a game of ups and downs slumps in form need to be accepted.

Despite him having believed to have had a bust up with the club over failing to receive an improved contract he has been a regular in the side this campaign although there is no question his form has often been awful.

However, despite failing to show himself in anywhere near his best light he believes he has the answer: “Some of us don’t do well in clubs, things just happened that way,” Sport.cz report him saying:

“It’s football. Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. I believe we will show strength as one team. I believe we are in great shape.

“There is an excellent atmosphere in the team, we want to transfer it to the pitch.”

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CandH Exclusive: Dawson deal “probable”

JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

CandH Exclusive by Hughie Southon

David Moyes  ready to try tempting Craig Dawson into agreeing a new deal with West Ham in January.

An offer from Wolves in the summer had to be turned down when Issa Diop created an issue by demanding a move from the club and no replacement could be found.

And the Molineux bid – mixed with family issues which were believed to have persuaded him that a move further north was necessary – saw Daws come close to leaving the club.

Nayef Aguerd is expected to be fit by November, but Moyes is loath to lose the former Watford defender who was in tremendous form last season but has only just recovered from a thigh injury this term.

The manager is keen to offer the central defender a year’s deal with a 12-month option attached and insiders at the club has confirmed to ClaretandHugh that this is all set to take place.

We were told: “That is the more than probable likelihood come January.”

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Hammers fans head football crime figures

West Ham were the worst offending club as football related arrests hit their highest point in eight years during the 2022-23 season.

A total of 2,198 were made and Irons fans were arrested 95 times followed by Manchester City (76 arrests), Manchester United (72), Leicester (59) and Everton (58).

The extent of the criminality and anti-social behaviour has been listed released by the Home Office .

The figures represent a 59 per cent increase on 2018-19 (1,381 arrests), which was the last full campaign with supporters in stadiums before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Daily Mail declares that the data paints a depressing picture for the domestic game, with incidents reported at 1,609 of the 3,019 matches played in England and Wales over the course of last season – equating to 53 per cent.

It’s all particularly depressing for West Ham who find their fans toppping the worst clubs by a little distance in terns of criminality on the terraces.

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It’s make or break time

By Dave Langton

We may all be anxiously awaiting the latest instalment of the Nations League but you’d be forgiven for worrying about West Ham’s current predicament instead!

The Hammers go into their next game against Wolves well aware that it could be termed a relegation six-pointer.

Wolves are 17th and the Hammers are 18th ahead of the vital fixture.

But the two league games after that also take on an extra importance at this stage of the season, when the table remains embryonic but teams are getting into their grooves.

The next game after Wolves is a London derby against Fulham, who are riding high in sixth currently, but who one would expect to eventually drop into the conversation around relegation.

And then it’s Southampton, who are 14th and have lost both of their last two.

The old adage goes that if teams want to stay up, they MUST beat the sides around them. That we’re already saying this about the Hammers is a head-scratcher but it’s also true.

If the Irons fail to win any of these next three, we’ve got to say that very salient questions will be asked.

It’s crunch time.

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From hero to zero…Iron’s future a real puzzle

 

By CandH’s top blogger Allen Cummings

 

For those with a memory stretching back to the late 60’s, the Thomas Crown Affair was an iconic film of the time starring the legendary Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway.

A movie with an intriguing and at times slightly baffling plot. They even did a remake in 1999. Fast forward to today and the ‘Tomas Soucek Affair’ may not have the same global attraction, but to West Ham fans it’s equally as intriguing and baffling. What has gone wrong with Tomas?

Why has his form nose-dived? Has he really become overnight the bad player some seem to claim? Maybe most important of all is what should David Moyes do about it? Support or get shot?

Soucek’s decline in form in the past 12 months has been almost as spectacular as his elevation in status following his move to the Hammers. Many of us knew very little about Tomas when David Moyes signed him from Slava Prague in January 2020 to play his part in the fight against relegation.

But Soucek’s real impact came the following season where his contribution was instrumental in us finishing sixth in the Premier League and returning to European football. His partnership with Declan Rice was described by numerous pundits as the best midfield pairing in the country.

Tomas and Dec – once described as the best midfield partnership in the Premier League

Tomas’ industry was impressive, his lung power and ability to cover every blade of grass was phenomenal – but what really caught the eye was his knack of scoring goals. 10 goals in that first full season culminated in him being voted Hammer of the Year. An honour he richly deserved.

Last season his goal scoring was less impressive – netting just five times in the league – but that was put down in part to him having to share the freedom to get forward more evenly with Declan. A different role – and one for which he received plenty of sympathy for having to accept.

Then last summer there were stories of an impasse with the club over discussions around a new contract – with Moyes frequently being cast as the villain. It was claimed in some quarters the manager was the stumbling block by being reluctant to rubber stamp an improved and extended deal.

As usual there were plenty of calls for the club to just pay the money Soucek was said to be seeking. Get his signature on the dotted line and close the deal.

Now with the current season underway – the mood amongst many regarding Soucek has changed. Calls for his head are becoming ever louder as he clearly struggles for form.

Yet Moyes, who was supposed to have fallen out with his No28, continues to pick him on a regular basis. If David Moyes really did want Soucek gone why has he been so supportive so far?

It may well be of course the manager will finally bring down the curtain on Soucek’s automatic first team place. Whether that might just be temporary until the Czech regains his previous form – or permanently as a prelude to being sold – we will have to wait and see.

Does the player we all loved and admired still have a part to play for West Ham? The Tomas Soucek affair may have some way to run yet.

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Released Hammer finds new club

Released West Ham goalkeeper David Martin has joined MK Dons.

The stopper was let go by the Irons at the end of last season, having operated as a training-ground goalkeeper.

He made a total of five first-team appearances for the club, famously keeping a clean sheet against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Martin, 36, had been training with MK Dons to keep his fitness up, having made 343 appearances for the club previously.

And the club’s Twitter account has now confirmed that the stopper has been signed permanently.

Martin has had something of a nomadic career and has also turned out for Leicester City, Millwall, Accrington Stanley, Tranmere Rovers, Derby County and Leeds United.

His move to MK Dons takes him back to a club he knows well, however, so he will hope to lay down some roots with the League One club.

Dons are currently 18th in League One, having won three of their first nine games.

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Nobes/Dec connection -what can we expect in summer

by Hughie Southon

Mark Noble has again given the Hammers a huge lift at a time when they seriously need it.

Even in the few weeks he has been seemingly disconnected from the club. the man has been so seriously missed at various levels.

And that he should return as Sporting Director is fabulous news and comes at a time when everyone of is involved with this great club required a huge lift given early results.

Being brutally honest, the team may still have a mild leadership and dressing room problem since he retired with Dec still being very young in the role. There is also a question about who takes over as skipper should Declan move on in the summer – give us your thoughts.

It’s now a question which may carry a bigger question mark with the current captain’s mentor and huge friend returning to the London Stadium.

The reality probably is that one of the big four – aware he was going nowhere this season – will be in for him. Will he go…can Nobes bring his persuasive powers to work!?

Big question but in the meantime let’s just celebrate the return of a great Hammer and hopefully future manager of our mighty Hammers.