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News

Hammers Submit Their 25 Man Squad

From the 2club website:http://www.whufc.com/News/Articles/2015/September/3-September/Squad-List-confirmed

West Ham United have submitted their 25-man Squad List of Senior Players available for selection for Barclays Premier League fixtures until the opening of the January 2016 Transfer Window.

The Squad List* is as follows –

Adrian, Morgan Amalfitano, Michail Antonio, Andy Carroll, James Collins, Aaron Cresswell, Doneil Henry, Nikica Jelavic, Carl Jenkinson, Cheikhou Kouyate, Manuel Lanzini, Victor Moses, Mark Noble, Joey O’Brien, Pedro Obiang, Angelo Ogbonna, Dimitri Payet, Darren Randolph, Winston Reid, Diafra Sakho, Alex Song, Raphael Spiegel, James Tomkins, Enner Valencia, Mauro Zarate.

In addition to the 25 Senior Players, the Club has also named eight Under-21 players born on or after 1 January 1994, who are also available for selection – Josh Cullen, Stephen Hendrie, Sam Howes, Kyle Knoyle, Elliot Lee, Lewis Page, Martin Samuelsen and Reece Oxford.

*The 25-man Squad List includes eleven ‘Home Grown’ players who have, irrespective of his nationality or age, been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or the Football Association of Wales for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the Season during which he turns 21).


Talking Point

Blinders and buses

Mr Dale is right. Our transfer deals were blinders and personally I can’t wait to see Alex Song playing again. He’s an exciting player, always energetic, physical and somehow manages to cross great distances so he seems to be in several places at once. Blinders aside, I can’t help thinking that the transfer deadline is a relief and marks the start of the season proper. Endless speculation that means football columns bear more resemblance to a bookies’ board can stop and we can focus on the game. The window shopping and wish lists go and we get on with what we’ve got. That looks like a pretty solid squad or as Bilic may say a busload of talent and potential. What’s with him and buses? I watched his interview after Anfield several times to see if repetition would make it more comprehensible but frankly, after that historic victory, I don’t care if he’s using reruns of On The Buses and a poster of Reg Varney to get them playing like that.
Several commentators praised the West Ham composition on Saturday – the dictionary definition is putting together of parts into a whole. That’s a pretty fair summing up of a team that played almost effortlessly together, in tune and attuned to each other, the opposition and the opportunities. A brilliant game and a terrific result, almost incredible after our previous two matches. There wasn’t a poor player on the pitch for us and indeed, many were outstanding but I would single out Aaron Cresswell who showed again what an important player he is – I remember the first time we saw him. The aforementioned Mr Dale and I were astounded that such talent had been ours to snap up from Ipswich.
So, good new signings, a brilliant result and as the late Ian Dury sang , reasons to be cheerful.

And yes, we fans are as fickle as the weather and I‘m sure managers, chairmen and players get used to love and hate in equal doses. Let’s hope they’re basking in our collective love this week. I just hope Bilic’s enigmatic comments about buses isn’t a veiled reference to coaches required for winning only away. But if it is then tickets please and all aboard the Hammers rollercoaster.


Talking Point

The Liverpool result, the players on loan and the new signings show ambition, ambition, ambition.

I have to say it has been a bloody good week all round for West Ham. I went to university in Liverpool so have a real soft spot for both the town and the reds – but beating them 3-0 at Anfield as just wonderful. As other have already said, it wasn’t only winning 3-0 that caused so much joy, but the manner of it. The last time we won there – the goalscorers were Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters!

Hurst scored at Anfield 52 years ago.

There was a fantastic start from Manuel Lanzini, a great take by Mark Noble and then it was really good to see Diafra Sakho score as he does so well for us. It was a very solid performance at the back and this allowed the rest of the team to play flowing attacking football. Liverpool didn’t have a chance. All the new signings played well – as did older hands especially Mark Noble and Diafra Sakho.

The historic victory – our first at Anfield since 1963 – was marred temporarily by the absurd red card that Mark Noble got – but this has since been rescinded by the F.A. Quite right too. They should also have a look at the two yellow cards that Coutinho got, especially the second one. It was a lovely pirouette from Payet, but it wasn’t a yellow card.
It is very strange to look at the early league table after four games. On home form, we are rock bottom with only WBA below us, yet on away form we are top – with Manchester City. It would be entirely normal to have looked at the first four games of the season and say that hopefully we would emerge with at least six points from the two home games and – with a little luck – we might get something at either the Emirates or Anfield! No-one would have foreseen that we would emerge with six points – but from two away games, with nothing to show for two very poor performances at home. So far, then, these are very strange times indeed. But should we worry?

I said in an earlier post that I remain really optimistic about this season and think that we will have a good overall performance and one that will do the club proud in our last season at the Boleyn ground. I am ow more convinced than ever that this will be the case. As I said, all our new signings played well at Liverpool – Randolph, Ogbanna, Obiang, Lanzini and Payet – as did our existing players. This was part of the reason for my optimism.

But then, by the time the window was firmly closed shut yesterday – but optimism doubled or trebled – we have never had such a successful in the transfer market. Adding Victor Moses to a now confirmed loan quartet of him, Jenkinson, Lanzini and Alex Song is a masterstroke. Each of this quartet not only knows how to play football, they know how to play in a team. Jenkinson had a bad game against Bournemouth– but he wasn’t alone and will be a key player this year. The solidity of the defence against Liverpool was without him, remember, and he will only add to this strength.

When you look at the depth of skills that these loan players bring and add them to the existing squad – then any true fan will be encouraged. When you add to this MIchail Antonio, Stephen Hendrie, Nikica Jalevic then you have a really balanced squad with the depth to survive the rigours of the season. Indeed, not only to survive but to flourish. There are good grounds for my optimism and good grounds for giving the manager and his staff a bit of leeway to produce the football we all want to see.

Tuesday was the culmination of a very productive summer in the markets and the addition of seven players bought outright and four on loan is a sign of a team that has the ambition to do well this season. It is a squad that should mean our overall form resembles our away form up to now, not our form at home. However much the management and whole staff feel like patting themselves on the back because of such a successful summer in the markets, they should be a little cautious.

We need to start delivering the goods at home. I can think of nothing better than knocking hell out of Newcastle on Monday 14th’s night game to show the way forward. To show that the success in the markets was for a reason – that it had some purpose – and that was to make sure that the fans would get the send-off that we deserve in our last season at Upton Park. I think we are in for exciting times. I think Bilic will deliver. I think Newcastle should be concerned – our home form it just about to become as good as our opening away form.

One other small point – the millions and millions swirling around the premiership, especially the TV money, has made this a record year again in the transfer market. Maybe we should celebrate this success, but the championship seems further and further away from the premiership – and the drop now seems increasingly to be a drop into oblivion. That is something we should be really worried about.

Martin Peters went to Spurs as part of Jimmy Greaves deal

I know it was different times completely, but I was flicking through a newspaper album on West Ham and noted that on May 15th 1967 West Ham paid £50,000 for Billy Bonds and three years later – March 17th 1970 – West Ham paid £100,000 plus Martin Peters for the great Jimmy Greaves. Dim and distant history I know – but it makes you wonder, doesn’t it.

Bring on Newcastle – our first three points at Upton Park – and that will be another bloody good week for West Ham.


Talking Point

What do we think of the chairmen now?

Bar the evident mishap in the kit room that led to Victor Moses lacking a shirt while Alex Song was awash with claret and blue, this was one of the better transfer deadline days – and transfer windows – in recent years.

I admit, I have never been a huge fan of the owners but, in the words of Mr Dale, credit where credit’s due. The squad looks better than it ever has and it was nice to see us dominate the headlines for once. Yes, Jelavic is not the best striker we could get but he adds depth to our attack, which is something we desperately need. In every game this – and indeed last – season, I have always felt many of our players were shy in front of goal, with an aversion to taking a shot when it was needed. What a relief – and what excitement – to finally have a plethora of striking options, as well as individuals like Victor Moses and Michail Antonio who will add not just much needed width but some potent attack too.

It all comes as somewhat of a surprise to me, but does it to any of you? Whilst listening to the two-part podcast interview with David Sullivan on KUMB, I couldn’t help but be overcome with one thought: this guy is a good businessman but is maybe not the best football mind. That is – as has been pointed out a million times before – the conundrum of modern football: the balance between business and football. Looking at Manchester United and Chelsea, you can seen the evident tension between what the manager wants or desires and what the individuals above him actually deliver.

I was perplexed by Mr Sullivan’s lack of understanding at just how bad a hire Avram Grant was for the club. He was their first appointment and he got the team relegated. Yet there was a defence of him as a nice man, a manager who is good on a Cup run, and someone who was runner-up in every final he got to (i.e. not winning any). It gave me an uneasy feeling that the owner could not admit a mistake and realise his naivete in some of his dealings in the past. Furthermore, it was quite amusing to hear Mr Sullivan say he would not get Twitter because he would say something wrong, and then go on to bemoan Charlie Austin’s fitness, forcing the QPR striker to disapprovingly respond. Yes, the money was ridiculous, but maybe his words hindered any possible future negotiation.

This is not overt criticism at a time of great optimism but more a question – what do we think of the chairmen now? Not just in the euphoria after deadline day but in general football dealings? Of course, now that the deals have been done, the manager must do his bit to make it all work. Remember, we can all move players around on a computer screen and on a football game but that’s not how it works in reality. Many praise Swansea for their game plan in the transfer window: buy early and mould early so that you don’t spend most of the season trying to get the system to work. Just look at Manchester United: a club constantly making a variety of deals yet never quite getting the right shape and formation.

Our first four games showed a mix of excitement and frustration; brilliance and ineptitude. Let’s hope the new players help create greater cohesion and consistency to really get the season moving. The two-week break, combined with a late Monday kick-off against Newcastle, is the perfect opportunity to work on shaping the team. Let’s not lose sight of the games coming up and just how much better a lot of teams are now: Newcastle at home should be winnable, but Bournemouth should have been too; Norwich are arguably the best of the promoted sides, while Crystal Palace away in mid-October is a real tough match. Having said all that, Manchester City away now looks like an easy three points after Arsenal and Liverpool.


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