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Dear Mr Wenger

Dear Mr Wenger,

In regards to your claim that certain teams are on holiday, taking a dig at West Ham United in particular, I would like to cast your memory back to 2006.

It was the 2005/06 season, the season in which we had a great holiday at Highbury, we had an absolute ball, if you remember? We were the last team to win there and Bobby Zamora sent Sol Campbell home at half time to get his new CV typed up. I’m sure you’ll remember that very well Arsene.

Later that season, the last game of the season and your last game ever at Highbury to be exact, and yes I’ll remind you again that we were the last team to win there, again! West Ham United were more than safe in the Premier League and had an FA Cup final in Cardiff six days later, yet we gave you the biggest party you’ll ever have, we beat Tottenham Hotspur, a certain North London rival that you know very well.

We could have “gone on holiday” but instead we upped our game and won 2-1 which secured Arsenal finished in 4th place and a guarantee of Champions League football at The Emirates next season. Highbury went out with a bang, it’s okay Arsene, we accept your gratitude.

I’ll just leave the match report here!

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Friday’s West Ham update

Team news:

Ahead of West Ham’s first pre season game in England tomorrow against Wycombe Wanders, Hammers have two new injury concerns and a few new players since their last friendly in Switzerland.

It has been reported that Andy Carrol has picked up an ACL injury which will rule the striker out for at least three months. Winston Reid has also suffered an injury, setting the defender back in his race to get fit for the start of the season, apparently Reid will also face up to three months out.

Hammer’s fans will be looking forward to getting their first glimpse at new signings Lukasz Fabianski, Issa Diop, Ryan Fredericks, Andriy Yarmolenko and Jack Wilshere. Hammer’s fans will also be treated to a few more signings in coming hours with two players lined up for medicals this afternoon.

Signings:

As stated above, West Ham have confirmed five signings so far and have announced another this afternoon, however it isn’t a player. Hammer’s new sleeve sponsors are a London based investment firm, which I must say does look very tidy compared to the big squares on our kits last season. Despite a few moans and groans I’ve noticed on the internet about the resemblance to Chelsea or Aston Villa’s badge, I think the gold embroidery on the sleeve looks a lot more professional and compliments the colours of the home and away kit very nicely.

Yarmalenko: Apparently sought advice from fellow countryman and ex Hammer Sergei Rebrov ahead of the Ukrainian’s move to West Ham yesterday.Filipe Anderson: After six weeks of blowing hot and cold Filipe Anderson is apparently in London to have a medical ahead of his proposed moved to West Ham. It’s believed Hammers have had to splash over 40M Euros plus add ons to land the Brazilian winger, Filipe will also one of, it not the highest earner at the London Stadium if the deal goes through.

Fabian Balbuena: Is another player rumoured to be in London booked in for a medical, the Paraguayan central defender will be available around 4M Euros thanks to a clause in his contract at Corinthians.

Bernard: It has recently been reported that Hammers are interested in another Brazilian winger by the name of Bernard. Bernard is a free agent having left Shakhtar Donetsk last month, its rumoured Hammers have offered the Brazilian a signing on bonus of 7M Euros and a wage of 4M Euros per year after tax however Benfica also seem to be interested in the 20 time capped Brazilian international.Cristiano Piccini: West Ham are reportedly interested in taking advantage of the uncertainty around Sporting Lisbon right now, showing interest in Portuguese right back Cristiano Piccini. Manchester United are also keen on bringing the 25 year old to the Premier League.

Badou Ndiaye: Galatasaray are apparently closing in on Stoke City midfielder Badou Ndiaye for £14M, however there is speculation that West Ham may look to try and hijack the deal for the Senegalese midfielder.

Alfie Mawson: As has been reported for most of the summer, West Ham’s interest in Swansea City centre back Alfie Mawson. Whether this is just easy journalism recycling an old story the day after Winston Reid has been injured for 3 months, I’m unsure, but it looks as if the defender may be looking for an escape from the Liberty Stadium since the Swans relegated from the Premier League in May.

Denoncker: Atlanta have reportedly opened talks with Anderlecht for ex Hammers target Leander Denoncker.

Vazquez: Hammers have reportedly made an official enquiry into the transfer of Sevilla’s Franco Vazquez. It’s rumoured that the 29 year old Italian will be allowed to leave the Spanish for around 20M Euros.

Milan Badelj: Is a personal choice here, I’ve seen no rumours of the club being linked with the Croatian midfielder but since we are constantly being linked with 35 year old Yaya Toure I keep wondering why we aren’t linked with Badelj. The holding midfielder is a free agent leaving Fiorentina last month, and at the age of 29, looks to be a much better fit in midfield. If his performances in the World Cup are to go by, then it’s likely the Croatian’s agent will have a busy summer, Badelj has featured in 4 games, scoring one goal and creating another so far in this World Cup.

Outgoings:

With speculation in recent weeks that Pellegrini may be looking to offload Sam Byram, Jordan Hugill, Cheikhou Kouyate, Pedro Obiang, Michail Antonio and Andy Carroll, there’s also rumours that Pellegrini may also be looking to offload Edimilson Fernandes, Angelo Ogbonna and Adrian.

Antonio: Crystal Palace are reportedly ready to meet the £15M price tag set by West Ham for the winger that arrived from Nottingham Forrest in 2015 for around £7.5M.

Josh Cullen: Is a reported target for ex Hammer’s player and current Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer. Josh Cullen has less than 12 months left on his contract at the London Stadium.

Tuesday’s Transfer rumours:

The English transfer window shuts in just over 4 weeks time so understandably things are hotting up, and I’m not talking about the British heat wave! Understandably you could be forgiven for being pessimistic with Hammer’s previous transfer windows but it seems the club really mean business this summer.

First of all, today marks the 3 year anniversary since we signed Angelo Ogbonna from Juventus for a fee of around £10M. The Italian centre back has made 98 appearances in a West Ham shirt, even popping up with 4 goals, two of which will forever be remembered as he his heads hit the back of the net in historical West Ham cup wins over Tottenham and Liverpool respectively.

Ins:

Jack Wilshere: Having signed for the Hammers yesterday, the ex Arsenal man has caught up with his new team mates at their pre season training camp in Switzerland. It seems as though Jack Wilshere has picked the no.19 shirt for the upcoming season.

Filipe Anderson: Hammers have apparently tabled a record bid for the Brazilian winger but worrying so it is also being reported that Chelsea have matched Hammer’s offer. The Lazio man is on a rumoured £24K a week but his wage demands may well favour London rivals Chelsea with the investment they have over West Ham.

Seri: As stated yesterday, West Ham’s apparent interest in central midfielders seems to be over with the arrival of Jack Wilshere so any interest in Jean-Michael Seri would be put to one side until Hammers have at least offloaded a centre midfielder. However, surprisingly it is reported that Fulham have in fact beaten Arsenal and Chelsea to the signing of the highly rated Nice, or former Nice midfielder.

Alassane Plea: West Ham have been linked for Plea for what seems like forever, or perhaps it’s just a name you don’t forget easily, however the French striker has reportedly turned down offers to join the Premier League in favour of the German Bundesliga. Alassane has apparently chosen to join Borussia Monchengladbach despite being offered more in wages by West Ham and Newcastle.

Brahim Diaz: Diaz, who was signed whilst new Hammer’s manager was in charge of Manchester City, is an apparent loan target for Hammers. The 18 year old attacking midfielder was signed by City in 2013 from Pellegrini’s former side Malaga, however Diaz didn’t made his senior debut for City until this season in the League Cup. It is also reported that Malaga are interested in taking back their former player on loan.

Andrey Yarmolenko: As mentioned yesterday, the deal seems very close, however it is reported the Ukraine winger is on his way to Switzerland to meet Hammer’s boss ahead of a move to the London Stadium, it is also reported that the player’s agent is in London set to finalise the deal. This looks very close to being a done deal.

Stefano Sturaro: Is another reported Hammers target with Serie A title winners Juventus looking to cash in on the 25 year old midfielder. Stefano Sturaro who has a wealth of experience in Italian Serie A and in the Champions League is reportedly available for around £17M, however Newcastle and Wolves are also monitoring the player very closely.

Dimitri Payet: Who has been offered back to West Ham, would seemingly face competition from several clubs including AC Milan if they were to take the French international back.

Outs:

Pedro Obiang: As reported yesterday, West Ham are apparently looking to cash in on the 26 year old, however it’s reported that Hammers have in fact turned down a number bids for the Spanish midfielder this summer. Whether it’s purely rumours at this stage or the bids were lower than the club’s valuation for the player is yet to be seen. There will be no shortage of interest in Pedro, but with the midfielder on a contact until 2022, Hammers can play this one out at their own pace with manager Pellegrini said to not be making any decisions over the sale of first team players until the club return from pre season camp in Switzerland.

Kouyate and Antonio: As above, this could yet be fabricated rumours but the sale of Kouyate and Antonio seem somewhat more believable than the sale of Pedro. With Kouyate and Antonio’s injury record and the recent criticism throughout Hammer’s 2017/18 season you could be forgiven for believing their time in a Hammer’s shirt could be approaching an end. With the signings of Jack Wilshere and rumours of even more midfielders yet to sign, it certainly looks like they have a tough pre season ahead to prove their worth to new Hammer’s boss Pellegrini.

Reece Burke: As reported yesterday, several clubs were interested in the centre back but Hull City seemed favourites. Burke, who made 15 senior appearances for the Hammer’s having come through the youth set up has this afternoon signed for Hull City on what is believed to be a deal worth around £1.5M.

Marcus Browne: Is another youth player on his way out. It appears Marcus who made his debut for the Hammers in the Europa League in 2016 is close to signing on loan for League 1 side Oxford United.

Jordan Hugill: Is another player the club are reportedly ready to listen to offers for, however a loan deal seems more realistic as Hammer’s are looking to recoup the majority of the £10M fee they paid Preston North End for the striker in January. It’s reported that Leeds United, QPR and Preston are looking to take the player on loan.

Josh Cullen: Another youngster that’s spent most of his time away from the club on loan, Hammers are reportedly looking to move Cullen on to balance the books.

Monday Transfer Rumours:

With the English transfer window closing early this year (9th of August) and the World Cup due to finish this Sunday, transfer rumours will without a doubt be gaining more steam but what rumours are related to West Ham and which rumours are true? Here’s everything realistic I’ve picked up, and whether the rumours are true or not.

Ins:

Wilshere: Has been confirmed this afternoon, the ex Arsenal player signed on a three year deal having been released by Arsenal last month after failing to agree terms on a new contract.

Recio: There have been reports that new Hammer’s boss Pellegrini may look to former club Malaga to sign their club captain Recio. Pellegrini and Husillos have both worked together at Malaga and are believed to have a good relationship with the club, however this deal looks unlikely as there’s no evidence to suggest a bid has been made for the central midfielder and with Hammers having signed Wilshere this afternoon there may well be no further interest in central midfielders.

Bruno Fernandes: Sky Sports have suggested West Ham have made a £20M bid for Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes, Sporting Lisbon are believed to be holding out for £25m with several clubs also interested. Again, with West Ham having just signed Jack Wilshere, they may have finished their business in this summer in regards to adding to the central midfield.

Andrey Yarmolenko: Hammers are reportedly closing in on signing Borussia Dortmund winger Andrey Yarmolenko, with the Ukraine international said to be booked in for a medical on Tuesday morning. The 76 time capped Ukraine international signed for Borussia Dortmund last summer from Dynamo Kiev, scoring 10 goals and creating 9 assists in 12 months in Germany. The deal seems likely as Pellegrini is said to be interested in the player and adding creativity to the squad, however Hammers are believed to have to part with around £18M to bring to Ukraine international to the London Stadium.

Fabian Balbuena: Brazilian club Corinthians have announced they have accepted a bid from West Ham for centre back Fabian Balbuena. This deal seems very likely with just personal terms being the only obstacle in the way, it is believed the 26 year old Paraguay international has a £4M release clause in his contract.

Seri: In demand Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri is believed to have not travelled with the Nice team on their pre season training camp. It’s rumoured the 18 time capped Ivory Coast international is a target for West Ham and Chelsea having been one of the stand out performers in the top French division Ligue 1 last season.

With the signing of Wilshere this afternoon the Hammers may not be looking to add to their central midfield but if they are still interested they will need to step up their efforts and take advantage of the uncertainty around Chelsea at the moment.

Kasper Dolberg: West Ham are reportedly interested in Dutch striker Kasper Dolberg, the Ajax striker has scored 22 times in two seasons since making his debut for Ajax and is believed to be available for around £10M. This deal does seem likely as Pellegrini is looking to add to his strike force, however the club may looking to offload a few squad players first.

Filipe Anderson: It is believed, despite weeks of stalled negations, both parties have finally agreed on a deal to bring Filipe Anderson to West Ham. It is believed new Hammer’s manager Pellegrini has made the Lazio’s Filipe Anderson his main priority and told the Hammer’s hierarchy to do their upmost best to sign the Brazilian winger. Lazio’s stubborn business and Anderson’s personal terms may well still be stumbling block for the Hammers though.

Steven N’nonzi: West Ham are apparently one of three Premier League clubs interested in former Stoke and Blackburn Rover’s midfielder Steven N’zonzi, the other two clubs interested in Sevilla’s midfielder are said to be Everton and Everton.

No bid has been made by West Ham and with Hammers conforming the capture of free agent Jack Wilshere this afternoon, they may well be done in recruiting central midfielders this window.

Outs:

Antonio: According to Sky Sports West Ham are open to offers for Michail Antonio, apparently willing to accept offers around £15M. This deal looks likely with Antonio’s injury record in recent seasons, but once you read what else Sky Sports are reporting it seems very unlikely. However, the rumours of wingers Filipe Anderson and Andrey Yarmolenko soon to be arriving at the London Stadium doesn’t bode well for for Michail.

Kouyate and Obiang: Sky Sports are also suggesting that Hammers are willing to cash in on Obiang and Kouyate too, with an apparent £10M valuation on Kouyate but no apparent price tag mentioned for Obiang.

I would highly doubt West Ham would be willing to sell Pedro having turned down offers most transfer windows since joining the Hammers. A £10M price tag would be a very very low estimation for such a quality and important midfielder for the club.

Kouyate on the other hand, with Wilshere coming in it may well be the beginning of the end for Cheikhou Kouyate, the Senegalese midfielder came under criticism from some Hammer’s fans during the clubs difficult times last season.

Reece Burke: has spentmost of time away from Hammers in recent season having been loaned out, it is believed West Ham are looking to cash in the centre back with ex West Ham player and new Derby manager Frank Lampard interested in bringing the young centre back to Pride Park but he will have strong competition from Hull City.Reece made 15 appearances for the Hammers first team scoring 1 goal and has 72 appearances whilst loaned out to Wigan, Bolton and Bradford City respectively.

Jordan Hugill: It is believed Leeds United are one of the latest clubs to be interested in Hammer’s striker Jordan Hugill. It is believed that Hammer’s are only allowing Jordan to move on permanently if they receive the majority of the £10M fee they paid Preston North End for his services in January, therefore a loan deal looks more likely.

Josh Cullen: It has also been rumoured that Josh Cullen may well be on his way out with Hammer’s willing to listen to offers for the Irish midfielder. Josh has made only 9 appearances for West Ham’s first team, whilst on loan Josh has made 75 appearances for Bradford and Bolton Wanderers respectively.

Injury update:

Antonio and Arnautovic: are believed to join up with the Hammer’s camp in Switzerland early this week to start their pre season training.

Cresswell: has picked up a minor injury, Aaron will not be risked until he’s recovered.

Reid: is still keeping up with his rehabilitation since his knee injury which he suffered against Wigan in the FA Cup in late January this year.

Welcome Jack Wilshere

Jack Wilshere:

Welcome to the West Ham United, Mr. Wilshere has swapped the North of London for the East End having been a free agent since June. The ex Gunners midfielder has put pen to paper on a three year deal at the London Stadium having left Arsenal in June after spending 17 years at the Emirates.

At just 26 years old the signing of Jack Wilshere seems like very good business, despite his injuries in the last few years Jack still played part in 40 games for Arsenal last season, including 2 games in the Premier League 2 team, formerly known as the reserves.

Youngest ever Arsenal player:

Jack made his debut for the Gunners in Arsenal’s 4-0 win over Blackburn Rovers in September 2008 at just 16 years old, becoming Arsenal’s youngest ever player. Before the end of the season Jack had also made his debut in the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup.

Throughout his Arsenal career the Stevenage born midfielder has been hit with injuries and has had to challenge for his shirt against an elite Arsenal midfield that has involved players such as Fabregas, Song, Nasri, Ramsey, Arteta, Cazola to name just a few. Despite that Jack still managed 220 appearances, 16 goals and two FA Cup winner’s medals at his time with Arsenal.

England career:

The ex Gunner’s fan’s favourite also earned himself 34 England caps and scored twice since making his debut for the three lions in 2010. Having missed out on this years World Cup squad Jack will be fighting to earn himself an England call up in the near future.

Injury record:

  • Missed over 150 games through injury in his career so far.
  • Missed the whole of the 2011/12 season including Euro 2012 thanks to an ankle break in pre season.
  • Missed 4 months in 2014 thanks to a strong challenge from Paddy McNair.
  • Broke his fibula in pre season ahead of the 2015/16 season, missed most of the season having needed surgery.
  • Loaned to Bournemouth for the 16/17 season, making 29 apps before his season was cut short after a cracked fibula.

On this day: 7th of July.

On this day in 2007 West Ham United released a statement confirming the signing of Welsh attacker Craig Bellamy from Liverpool.

Craig would be Hammer’s record signing at £7.5m, despite the deal being agreed by the two clubs and a medical being passed by the Welshman, the deal would be delayed due to a private issue between his former employers Liverpool which must be resolved before the deal could be completed.

Craig went on to score 9 goals in his 26 appearances in a West Ham shirt, which despite his injuries at Upton Park attracted the attention of newly taken over and cash rich Manchester City. In January 2009 the Icelandic owners of West Ham cashed in on a £14m bid to take the Welshman to the blue side of Manchester.

On this day: 5th of July

Thames Ironsworks becomes West Ham United:

On this day in 1900, after Thames Ironworks had been wound up, the club were reformed as West Ham United Football Club.

Trevor Brooking:

On this day in 1982 Sir Trevor Brooking won his 47th England cap when former West Ham manager Ron Greenwood named the Hammer’s striker in his England team against hosts Spain. The game finished 0-0.

Double signing:

On this day in 2000 Hammers confirmed the double signing of Croatian international Davor Suker and former England international Nigel Winterburn, both from Arsenal.

Davor Suker managed 3 goals in 13 appearances at Upton Park before joining TSV Munich later that season. Full back Nigel Winterburn made 94 appearances in a West Ham shirt before retiring in June 2003, the season West Ham were related from the Premier League.