Thursday morning transfer round up. 

Firstly I’d like to say that I have no relationship with any football club, nor do I claim to be “in the know” but I will pull together realistic and confirmed rumours by sources I know rather than the rubbish that you normally read online to sell newspapers. 

The Hammers have shown some interest in Middlesbrough’s Adama Traore, the club have enquired about the player. 

The board have been long admirers of Olivier Giroud, whether the striker will leave Arsenal or not is still to be seen. If the French international does leave The Gunners  then West Ham United will be willing to match any offer that gets made, the striker is said to want to play regular football with the World Cup approaching in a year and he would prefer to stay in London if he were to move away from The Gunners. 

The situation with Michy Batshuayi remains the same, at the moment Chelsea are only looking to loan the Belgium out. That might change if Chelsea sign a new striker, Romelu Lukaku being rumoured to get Chelsea’s top target. 

The situation with Kelechi Iheanacho also remains to be the same with striker being told he can move on although the striker wants to stay and fight for his place. Manchester City also want a rebuy clause added to the deal. The Hammers will hope that their new signing Pablo Zabaleta will be a factor in bringing Pablo’s former team mate to The London Stadium. 

There has been some rumblings that West Ham United are interested in signing Chris Smalling. This could be a matter of putting two and two together with Hammers manager Slaven Bilic not shying away from his admiration for the English centre back whilst there appears to be a door open at Old Trafford for ex Fulham centre back to leave the club. Although it might seem lazy and eaay journalism, it seems to person that broke this story seems to be very trust worthy. 

Personally I think he would be a great signing for The Hammers, I first saw him play about ten years ago for Maidstone against Dover when Maidstone was ground sharing with Sittingbourne before he was signed up by Fulham. 

Arsenal and West Ham United have been linked with Henry Onyekuru for a while now, the Nigerian was due to travel to meet West Ham officials this week but any deal for the player seems very complicated and will take a lot of hard work to get done due to his work visa. Arsenal would find it easier to sign the one time Nigerian international due to their bigger status than The Hammers. 

Unfortunately the above picture won’t be picture seen my Hammers fans next season as the interest The Hammers showed in Joe Hart seems to be cooled, if not over due to the English ‘keeper’s wages seemingly putting the club off. If the player is to be seen playing for West Ham next season then the two clubs and player will have to come to an agreement to lower the players wages. 

Havard Nordtveit will more than likely be moving on in the summer, the club are willing to listen if a move is made for him. To my knowledge no English club have show any interest so a move abroad is more than likely. The Norwegian signed on a free transfer in June 2016, he made 16 appearances for The Hammer during the 2016/17 season with most seeing him feature at right back. 

If you were unaware, the Premier League fixtures were released yesterday morning. The Hammers first three games will be away from home due to the athletics going on this summer at The London Stadium. The home game against Southampton should be switched which would see the away game in March played at The London Stadium instead of St Mary’s. IF for some strange reason The Saints do not agree to The Hammer’s request then the game will rescheduled to a later date. 

The Hammers will also see themselves in the League Cup second round draw for the first in two seasons as they are Europa League free this season, the last two seasons they entered at the third round. The Hammers will likely see the same situation happen if they were drawn at home. 

Last night’s “The West Ham Way” radio show which was broadcast on Phoenix FM featuring Sex Drugs & Carlton Cole and “ExWhuEmployee” talking about the latest West Ham United news and rumours and talking to boxer and Hammers fan Sam Mcness has been uploaded. This is always an interesting listen. 

http://www.phoenixfm.com/listen-live/

Season in pictures: April.

After a very disappointing month The Hammers had no less than six games to take business of in April. First up was a trip to the KCOM Stadium which saw Andy Carroll’s 50th Premier League goal count for nothing with Hull City coming back from a goal down to win the game with a late winner.

Next up was a Wednesday night trip across London to The Emirates, The Hammers survived the 45 minutes​ without a mark on their armour but ultimately couldn’t survive the full 90 minutes without conceding. Arsenal were deserving winners in the end.

Slaven Bilic’s men now haven’t won in seven games, they host relegation rivals Swansea City at the London Stadium in a huge six pointer that could see The Hammers sucked into the relationship dog fight if any result went in the visitors favour. Fortunately West Ham won the match thanks to a single goal from Cheick Kouyate, The Hammers winless run was over! Video below.

The next three games would see The Hammers winless but undefeated, another three draws for Bilic’s men.

West Ham yet again conceded another late goal that saw them squander yet more points late on, this time a late Borini equaliser at The stadium of Light that condemned The Hammers to yet another draw. This was the second straight season that Sunderland and West Ham played out a 2-2 draw at The Stadium of Light, the likelihood of it happening three seasons in a year will be very unluckily with Sunderland being relegated to the Championship just a few weeks later.

The Hammers then participated in two 0-0 draws, first hosting Everton at The London Stadium then finishing the month traveling to Stoke City. West Ham should have beaten a very poor Everton side that that didn’t show up or have a shot on target all game. A week later the Potters and The Hammers seemed to be happy to play for point with the season drawing to a close. 

April’s fixtures:

Hull City 2-1 West Ham United

Arsenal 3-0 West Ham United

West Ham United 1-0 Swansea City

Sunderland 2-2 West Ham United

West Ham United 0-0 Everton

Stoke City 0-0 West Ham United

Season in pictures: March.

This was probably the most frustrating month for The Hammers, West Ham lost three out of three games.

The Hammers started their winless month against top of the league and eventual league winners Chelsea. Having been out classed and out smarted by Chelsea, The Hammers fought for 90 minutes and were rewarded with a late consolation through Manuel Lanzini.

The second game of the month saw The Hammers score a late goal at The Vitality to draw level against Bournemouth, unfortunately ​Joshua King scored a later goal than West Ham which sealed the three points for the south coast side and the match ball for the striker despite missing an earlier penalty.

The current and reigning Premier League Champions albeit for just a few more weeks traveled to The London Stadium in a rich run of form since parting ways with Claudio Ranieri less than twelve months after winning the Premier League title. The Hammers seemed to be watching the Jamie Vardy movie or last season’s season reviews because they certainly wasn’t watching Mahrez or Huth who put The Foxes two nil up within the first seven minutes. Despite being 3-1 down at half time The Hammers tried to get themselves back into the match and perhaps they should have when Andy Carroll was one on one with Kasper Schmeichel but blasted the ball at the keeper when it seemed harder to miss. In the end Ayew’s goal in the 63rd minute was just a consolation as West Ham ended the month with three straight defeats. 

March’s fixtures:

West Ham United 1-2 Chelsea

Bournemouth 3-2 West Ham United

West Ham United 2-3 Leicester City

Season in pictures: February.

Coming off the back of a very eventful January and an eventful end to the month West Ham kicked off February hosting Manchester City again at the London Stadium. The Hammers were looking for revenge after the 5-0 defeat in the FA Cup less than a month ago, this time they squared off in the Premier League. The Hammers lost 4-0 but would go on an undefeated streak for the rest of the month.

The first match of The Hammer’s undefeated streak but the only win of the month came away from home at St. Mary’s with an impressive 3-1 win against Southampton, perhaps a bit of revenge for the 3-0 defeat in the reverse fixture. Goals from Andy Carroll, Mark Noble and Pedro Obiang’s first West Ham goal ensured The Hammers went home to Stratford with all three points.

The Hammer’s second undefeated match of the month was a 2-2 draw at The London Stadium again Tony Pulis’ over achieving but impressive West Bromwich side. Unfortunately West Bromwich showed their typical Baggies traits and stole a point in the dying moments of the game with a header, the draw felt more like a loss having fought so hard to get into a winning position despite having to come back from an early Baggies goal. If The Hammers hadn’t of conceded that goal then West Ham would have finished 8th in the league at the end of the season, it was very disappointing to concede late on again, a trait that The Hammers seemingly couldn’t shake throughout this campaign.

West Ham finishd the month off with a trip to Vicarage Road again in search of revenge for the 4-2 defeat to Watford last September in reverse dizture. The match would see ex West Ham player Mauro Zarate stretchered off with a severe leg injury and Michael Antonio sent off late on for a second booking in an unrelated incident.

February fixtures:

West Ham United 0-4 Manchester City

Southampton 1-3 West Ham United

West Ham United 2-2 West Bromwich Albion

Watford 1-1 West Ham United

Season in pictures: January. 

January is normally the time of year for pantomimes and television channels to screen their best storylines in their soaps, if the West Ham United soap drama hadn’t reached your screens yet, it was about to this month. The first episode was screened by Sky Sports, it saw a gang of men from Manchester led by cult villain Jose Mourinho travel to London to steal three points on a Friday night in Stratford. This soap saw Mike Dean the director of the soap write Feghouli off TV early, seemingly he preferred the acting of Phil Jones. When the head directors of the soap got together for a meeting a few days later they judged Mike Dean to have made a mistake, they used their authority to bring back Feghouli the following week!

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The next soap opera was screened by the BBC just a few days later. This time the drama saw a different gang of men from Manchester, this time with the gang leader Pep Guardiola at the helm kill off West Ham United’s FA Cup dream, again on a dark night in Stratford.

Next up was a London derby and arguably the biggest game of West Ham’s season, maybe the biggest game of their recent history with the events earlier in the week still fresh in the minds of everyone connected to the club. 

This massive week in West Ham’s history came about because of a player transfer request, a club togetherness, a comfortable win at The London Stadium and probably the best goal I’ve seen in my 15 years of supporting the club. 

“I’ve got something to tell you, we have a situation with a player…”  Slaven Bilic – 12/01/17. Video below. 

Personally I’ve not really spoke much on this, it was a tough pill to swallow but I was hardly surprised for many reasons, mainly because Dimitri didn’t put in anywhere near the same shift he did in the previous season. I’ve seen Hammers greats come and go in my short 15 years following the club, I’m almost immune to it by now. 

 Just a few days after the awkward and emotional interview Bilic gave to the press explaining the bad news, he had to get his team prepared for the visit of Crystal Palace without the club’s star man. With all the talk of Payet’s demands there was almost no mention of ex Hammer James Tomkins returning to the club he grew up supporting and playing for, nor of former West Ham manager Sam Allardyce and an obvious game plan to try and pour more misery on his former club in their new home which they’ve struggled in since moving across London. 

The West Ham faithful made their feelings on the Payet situation clear from the outset by vocally backing their manager and team from the stands throughout the game. 

The Hammers ran out 3-0 winners with all three goals assisted by Antonio setting up some decent goals with one still being talked about now and without a doubt for many years to come. If you need reminding of the day then have a watch of this video below. 

The good feeling continued six days later with the club confirming the signing of Portuguese centreback  Jose Fonte from Southampton for around about £8 million after the news that Ogbonna had been playing with an injury for most of the season and he would need to have some time out to have an operation. 

Ironically West Ham fans were cheering on Payet against Portugal just six months before, it was in fact Jose Fonte and Portugal that won the European Championship in France. The Hammers sold a European Championship runner up, brought a European Championship winner and earnt £15 million profit, that’s my positive way of thinking about things. 

The day after the club signed the Portuguese European Championship winner the Hammers were on a trip to The Riverside to take on Middlesbrough. The Hammers scored three goals again, this time Andy Carroll scored twice in a 3-1 win. 

Just a few days after the win against Middlesbrough,  West Ham signed Robert Snodgrass from Hull City for a fee of around £10 million. The signing of the Scott all but confirmed the £25 million sale of Dimitri Payet to Marseille.  It will be interesting to see if the Frenchmen moves on from Marseille with West Ham having a 25% sell on fee. 

After a disappointing start to the month Slaven Bilic’s men finished the month in a very positive way despite the reluctant sale of Dimitri Payet to Marseille, the club The Hammers signed him from just 18 months ago. 

Payet could have left The Hammers as a hero but he left far from being a hero, I believe this picture sums up the departure of the French International. 

I’m sure this picture of Ginge sums up the feeling most Hammers fans had after the wins, sheer relief and joy! 

January’s results:
West Ham United 0-2 Manchester United

West Ham United 0-5 Manchester City

West Ham United 3-0 Crystal Palace

Middlesbrough 1-3 West Ham United

Season in pictures: December.

Bilic’s Hammers started December knowing they were going into the dreaded Christmas period on the back of some very inconsistent form, the trip to Anfield and the visit of Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal were always going to prove a tough test in a challenging  month.

West Ham couldn’t have started the month much worse in all honesty, surprisingly Bilic’s men were only one nil down until the 75th minute but eventually lost 5-1. The big Andy Carroll gave The Hammers just a little bit of hope at hope at 3-1 in the 83rd minute until Arsenal hit back with two very quick goals, in all honestly Sanchez scored three but could have scored more, West Ham were never in the game.

dec1Next up was an away trip to Liverpool, we had only won there once since the 60’s, that one win came last season in an unforgettable 3-0 win. Although Liverpool went one nil down very early on The Hammers were unfazed, a free kick from Payet and neat finish from Antonio saw The Hammers go into the break 2-1 up. Unfortunately BIlic’s men couldn’t hold on to the win but a 2-2 draw saw West Ham take valuable and hard earned point back to Stratford.

Liverpool-v-West-Ham

Next up was the first of two back to back home league fixtures for The Hammers. The Hammers had only won two games in the league at their new home so far, this was going to be a tough test of mental strength for all involved with the club, fans included. First up was a Wednesday night game under the floodlights at The London Stadium.

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The Hammers didn’t disappoint against Sean Dyche’s men although it took a perhaps fortunate penalty being awarded to The Hammers and Mark Noble’s saved penalty by Tom Heaton in between the sticks fell kindly for the captain to follow in and put his team one nil up.

he first of two 1-0 wins at home in just a handful days. Just a few days later The Hammers faced Hull City, The Tigers would have been very disappointed travelling home not taking all three points because they were by far the better team on the day, the woodwork was the only difference between the two teams that afternoon but West Ham stole a very valuable three points and much needed win at the London Stadium. West Ham had won two league games at home something which had previously took two calendar months to achieve.

 

 

 

 

 

Season in pictures: November. 

Coming off the back of a very positive month The Hammers faced a very tough month with the visit of Stoke City to the London Stadium,  a trip to White Hart Lane and two, yes two trips to Old Trafford in just a matter of days. To say either of these games are a tough game on the best of days would be an understatement. 

We may well have had another priceless three points at our new home but for a blunder from Adrian which led to Bilic being rather critical of the Spaniard after the game. 

Next up, Tottenham away! A game that saw Bilic drop Adrian to the bench for his mistake against Stoke. The Hammers were leading Tottenham until the 89th minute only to see themselves lose the game thanks to some Sunday League defending, not only did The Hammers lose the game but they also saw stand in captain Mr Reid sent off right at the death. I seem to remember another game we was at White Hart Lane we was winning 2-1 until a last minute penalty, the pain, the agony… Ergh! 

To make it worse, we would have been the only team to win at White Hart Lane all season and the last away team to win there too. Talking of North London, we’re still the last away team to win at Highbury and the first away team to win at The Emirates lads! I’ll dump this picture here to cheer myself up a little! 

A week later we saw a brief return for Diafra Sakho who opened the scoring at Old Trafford early on. Again The Hammers were unable to hold on to the lead, it almost seems like the first match of the month is a theme for the rest of the month! 

Let’s not go into too much detail for the second game at Old Trafford, this time it was in the League Cup, Bilic fielded a weakened team, Fletcher scored his first and so far only goal for The Hammers against his old team to level the game but unfortunately it would count for nothing as eventually Manchester United ran out 4-1 winners in a game which could have seen Adrian sent off for a kick to Ibrahimovic. We didn’t see Adrian for a few months after this game. 

An impressive Manchester United victory deserves an impressive image of the game, so here it is, the beautiful Phil Jones! 

Results:

West Ham United 1-1 Stoke City

Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 West Ham United 

Manchester United 1-1 West Ham United 

Manchester United 4-1 West Ham United

 

Season in pictures: October. 

Season in photos: October. 

So after a tricky opening few months we played our first game of the month against Middlesbrough at The London Stadium, our new home where we seemed to really struggle early on in the season. Thankfully we could really on a little bit of class and a wonderful individual goal from Payet in this match which seemingly set the tone for the rest of the month. 

Payet’s wonder goal wasn’t the only classy goal of the month though, Lanzini finished off a very good team goal at Selhurst Park then a week later unexpectedly Winston Reid popped up on the outside the box in the dying minutes to score a very late winner against Sunderland! Both of these goals gave us two much needed wins and hopefully momentum going into November. 

We finished the month off with a disappointing loss away at Goodison Park in the League… Lukaku, need I say more? West Ham’s worse nightmare! 

Let’s move away from Everton, West Ham played their first big team in their new home, a London derby against Chelsea in the League Cup under the lights. The Hammers won this game 2-1 but most importantly the fans and the team passed their first real test at the new stadium with flying colours! 

West Ham United 1 – 1 Middlesbrough

Crystal Palace 0 – 1 West Ham United

West Ham United 1 – 0 Sunderland
West Ham United 2 – 1 Chelsea (League Cup) 

Everton 2 – 0 West Ham United

Season in pictures: September. 

Season in pictures: September. 

Our only win of the month came against Accrington Stanley thanks to a late free kick by Dimitri Payet. 

I think it’s safe to say September was a very disappointing month but we did see a very good free kick by Payet (pictured above) and a robonna assist from Payet to Antonio. 

After a mixed start to the season in August and disappointingly going out of the Europa League in the qualification rounds for the second season in a row it’s safe to say that there was plenty of room for improvement. 

Unfortunately that improvement didn’t come in this month, the first game of the month at home to Watford set the tone of things to come. The game couldn’t have started much better, two nil up and cruising until the 40th minute then things went particularly pear shaped! Watford pulled level before half time and eventually won the game 4-1, that’s as good as the month got for The Hammers in the league, losing by the same scoreline seven days later then 3-0 at home to round the month off. 

West Ham United 2 – 4 Watford

West Bromwich Albion 4 – 2 West Ham United

West Ham United 1 – 0 Accrington Stanley

West Ham United 0 – 3 Southampton

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