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Wilshere hails record summer signing for finally coming good

Jack Wilshere has hailed summer signing Felipe Anderson, insisting that he is coming good at West Ham.

The Brazilian has sparkled in his last two outings, scoring twice against Burnley and once against Huddersfield Town.

Anderson, 25, joined the club for a club-record fee, and Wilshere insists he has all the ability in the world, and that he finally allied silk to the steel needed to play in England’s top-flight.

He told the club’s website: “It was difficult for him at the start.

“He came from Italy and it’s hard in the Premier League week in and week out, no matter who you are playing. You’ve got to put your foot in and be ready for the fight, and I think we can see him coming good.

“Technically, he’s up there. It’s difficult to compare him because he’s a player who can pretty much do everything. He’s got that Brazilian flair and the vision to get his head up to make a pass.

“He’s showing everyone the talent and skills he has, and he’s added a few goals as well. I think there’s more to come from him and I’m excited to see it.”

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Wantaway Arnie warned over move

Marko Arnautovic has been previously warned that a move away from West Ham may not be in his best interests.

The Austria international revealed on Wednesday that he wants to play with “the best players”, while his agent, who is also his brother, has said that “he is ready to take the next step”. 

Arnautovic was heavily linked with Manchester United last summer, and it seems as though the 29-year-old is keen to play in the Champions League.

Back in September Manager Manuel Pellegrini issued Arnautovic a very real warning – that the grass is not always greener, and that he would be wise to weigh the options.

He told reporters at the time, per TeamTalk: “I don’t think it is a good idea to go immediately to a big team because he would maybe not start every game like he does here.

“Maybe we will see what will happen in the future but right now his mind and his commitment is with West Ham.”

CandH’s view

Pellegrini has it right, Arnautovic is, of course, a key player for the Irons, to the point where there is a reliance on the star.

He has already scored five goals in the Premier League this season, but at the age of 29, and the reported price tag of £50 million, it is difficult to see Arnie becoming a key player at a major Champions League club.

Of course, there is the very real possibility that Jose Mourinho’s men will not actually qualify for Europe’s top competition, and that would leave the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea – who are apparently keen – and Liverpool to battle it out.

With the likes of Sergio Aguero, Eden Hazard and Mohamed Salah lighting up Stamford Bridge, the Etihad and Anfield, Arnautovic would not be the undisputed star that he is in east London right now.

He would do well to think on, and perhaps give his brother a muzzle!

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Ex-Scotland star forced to apologise over Snodgrass comments

Kris Commons has been forced to apologise over his harsh criticism of Robert Snodgrass.

The former Celtic star wrote in the Scottish Daily Mail earlier this week, criticising Snodgrass for “withdrawing” from the squad. 

Scotland have two key games against Albania and Israel in the Nations League, but the Irons midfielder will not be part of the group after picking up an injury.

Commons wrote: “Snodgrass has asked not to be picked due to an apparent ankle knock. But he’s fit enough to have played 15 times for ​West Ham this season. How does that work?

“I find it strange with Snodgrass. He’s a hugely popular member in the camp. He obviously just doesn’t fancy turning up and maybe not playing every game.”

However, he has now taken to Twitter to “clarify” his comments.

In fact, he has performed a rather embarrassing climbdown.

He wrote: “Just want to clarify my column on Monday. I was wrong about Robert Snodgrass regarding international pull outs.”

Commons has not, in fact, apologised.

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Antonio backs glorified England testimonial

Michail Antonio says Wayne Rooney deserves an England swansong.

Gareth Southgate’s side face USA on Thursday, in a game that will mark Rooney’s first international appearance since his retirement in 2017.

A number of critics claim that the match is a mere testimonial, with the former Manchester United striker not set to play in the Nations League clash with Croatia.

Antonio, though, thinks he deserves it.

He told FourFourTwo: “I think with England, we should follow other countries like Germany. He’s got 119 caps right now and this last cap will make it special for him.

“He’s the record holder with the number of goals he’s scored for England and it’s right for us to make a day for him and make it special. It’s a special thing to play for England and to be a record holder.

“I feel he deserves this day and any player who plays for England like him who retires should get a day like that as they have given their international duty to us.”

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Chelsea and Everton linked with Arnautovic interest

Mark Arnautovic’s agent has been talking to the foreign press again about his brother’s future. “It’s not that he really wants to leave, but we believe this is the moment in his career when he has to take a step forward and try to win a few trophies, maybe even the Champions League,” he told gianlucadimarzio.com.

“There are a lot of Premier League clubs tracking him. Chelsea and Everton, for example, but not only them.”

Daniel Arnautovic also suggested his brother could be tempted back to Italy.

“Why not? He could prove that Inter weren’t wrong to take a gamble. He was only 19 when he joined Inter and left many good friends behind there, along with fond memories of Milan.”

Claret and Hugh View:

There is an old saying that you should never mix family and business but Marko seems to be is in a very difficult position as his brother is his agent and therefore his defacto spokesman speaks to the press on his behalf. Daniel Arnautovic has a reputation in the football industry but the likelihood is that the press will be feeding off these stories for weeks to come as the January transfer window approaches in six weeks time. I am sure his brother is already busy touting Marko around the top leagues of Europe trying to drum up interest for his brother. A move to Everton would appear to be a backwards setup for the Austrian while a move to Chelsea could see him as a squad player. Marko turns thirty next April and I am sure his brother will think he has one big money move left in him but sometimes the grass is not greener on the other side. West Ham supporters love Arnie and he seems to love them and play for the badge.

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Arnie’s brother is the real problem

The news that Daniel Arnautovic could be engineering a move for his brother Marko shouldn’t come as a surprise to West Ham supporters. We all know the routine!

As a football agent if you only have one client the only way you properly earn big money is to move him on to another club as often as possible, he did the same at Stoke City and he attempted to do the same last Summer but failed.

Of course, the club will say privately he is not for sale at any price and he won’t be allowed to leave and Marko will say he loves the club and is happy here but in reality money talks for both sides.

These foreign media reports can be often taken out of context and the translation itself can leave room for interpretation.  Translated to English Arnautovic said:  “I want to compete with the very best but in such matters, I fully trust my brother” 

On its own not very controversial as he already competes with some of the very best in the Premier League but the statement on trusting his brother is the more worrying statement. Time will tell but no reason to write Arnie off as Hammer just yet!

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West Ham to vote for £5m Golden handshake

West Ham is expected to vote in favour of a £5m golden handshake for outgoing Premier League Chairman Richard Scudamore later today at the Premier League meeting of club Chairman and the proposal is expected to pass by 15 votes to 5.

Five clubs are said to oppose the payment which will cost each Premier League club £250,000. Those against are said to include Wolves and Fulham. The Premier League only require 14 clubs to agree on a proposal for it to pass and Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck believes he has secured the necessary votes.

Scudamore will preside over his final meeting of the 20 top-flight club chairmen in London today, following a leaving party at a restaurant last night attended by club executives and selected guests from the sports and media industry.

Yesterday the Times reported that the 59-year-old is also set to receive a new year honour in recognition of his 19 years as the head of the Premier League.

The idea of paying an already rich man a multi-million-pound bonus has received a backlash among football supporters, many say the money should go to grassroots football or be donated to a charity such as the Isla Caton fund which is £200,000 short of their £600,000 target.

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FA plan could devalue West Ham players

The FA’s plan to cap foreign players at twelve could cost West Ham in the valuation of foreign players they may be forced to offload. The Hammers are concerned that many of their 17 non-home grown players will massively lose value overnight if the plan is implemented.

West Ham could be forced to offload five foreign players as part of the FA plan but a rush by all Premier League clubs to do so at the same time could crash the foreign player market while the value of homegrown players would massively increase overnight.

A senior source told Claret and Hugh by Email: “The FA plan to cap foreign players at 12 is worrying to us as our foreign players would massively lose value overnight and we won’t be able to offload five, we have 17″

The idea is contained in an FA position paper that has been circulated around the game’s main stakeholders and will be discussed again at a meeting of Premier League club chairmen today. The FA plan is in response to the effects of BREXIT.

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Poll: Are you happy with the progress we’ve made?

West Ham are almost now a third of the way through the Premier League season with 12 points from 12 games.

Manuel Pellegrini was announced as the new Hammers manager with much fanfare in the summer as details of his £10m per year package leaked out and he started to form his backroom team including a new director of football as David Sullivan took a back seat.  Then came £100m of Summer signings and optimism grew to a fever pitch which some suggesting West Ham could be a top six contender, many claimed a top-eight finish might be in sight while the majority agreed a top ten league finish was virtually in the bag before a ball was even kicked.

Now twelve games in with injuries biting the squad optimism is wearing thin amongst most West Ham supporters but today we aks in the Claret and Hugh poll: Are you happy with the progress we’ve made this season?


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Golden handshake – Do me a favour!

News that Richard Scudamore could pick up a £5m golden handshake funded by all 20 Premier League clubs including West Ham has not been well received by football supporters up and down the land.

Footballers are not rewarded when they leave the club or retire so why should Scudamore?  Testimonials are now a rare occurrence and even then often the money is donated to charity by players who have been well paid.

Scudamore has changed the face of the Premier League football in the 19 years he has been in charge but not everyone would claim it has been for the better. We are now servants of the TV companies who pay their billions and our schedules are dictated by global audiences and popular viewing times.

Wolves are ‘not comfortable’ with the idea of paying £250,000 as their share of a £5million parting gift to outgoing Premier League executive chairman the Wolverhampton Express & Star have reported.

If 14 of the 20 Premier League clubs agree with the proposal, it will be passed tomorrow.

It would be interesting to know which way the Hammers will be voting!