Transfer Gossip

Transfer Deadline Day: Open Thread

23.15 The deal is done. Jarrod Bowen is a Hammer. Go to bed.

22.25 David Moyes has been seen at the London Stadium.

21.53 Jarrod Brown is in the building. One hour and 7 minutes to get this over the line.

21.19 Club confident it will get through but it may be tight. This is worse than waiting for Brexit! There will be no other signings.

21.01 Announcement imminent. Be brave.

19.44 Breathe. Jarrod Bowen is now in London. Phew.

19.09 I hate to say this but it appears that West Ham may have been played and that Jarrod Bowen is not only not on his way to London, but heading in the opposite direction, to Newcastle.

18.16 The signing of Jarrod Brown is still very much on despite rumours of last minute hitches. The player underwent his medical in Hull and is travelling as I type to the London Stadium.

14.52 Barcelona right back Moussa Wague is the subject of a late West Ham bid. He’s only played four times, but is an established Senegal international. I’m still not convinced we need another right back given Ryan Fredericks will return soon, as will Ben Johnson.

11.40 And in other news, former West Ham bad boy Ravel Morrison is leaving Sheffield United for Middlesborough. What a player he could have been…

11.24 West Ham winger Dan Kemp is off to Stevenage on loan for the rest of the season.

09.52 Just to remind ourselves, so far in this transfer window we’ve only signed two players – Darren Randolph and Tomas Soucek. Roberto has gone out on load to Alaves in Spaina and a couple of youth players have also been loaned out to lower league clubs.

09.46 No word on any sales our outgoing loans yet. The club would dearly love to get rid of Carlos Sanchez. Wouldn’t we all. They’d also like to get their money back on Ajeti, although I’d say that looks highly unlikely. And then there’s the forgotten man of West Ham, Jordan Hugill. He’s doing well at QPR where he’s scored 10 in 26. He was after all a Moyes signing for West Ham. Less said about that that better.

09.24 According to ExWHU employee West Ham have got offers in for players all over the shop, while the Mirror say the club’s aim is to bring in three players before tonight’s 11pm deadline. If one of them is Bowen you’d think the other two would be a striker and a defender.

09.20 Football Insider reckons West Ham are after Leicester City’s Calvin Ughelumba. He’s a 20 year old defender who can also play at left back. He hasn’t yet made his first team debut.

09.11 The hot rumour of the day is that 23 year old Hull City winger Jarred Bowen is on the way to London for a medical at West Ham with a £14 million deal agreed, plus £8 million of add-ons. I have to admit I had never heard of him, but he’s had a phenomenal couple of seasons for Hull, scoring 16 times in 29 games this season already. My LBC producer is a Hull fan and raves about him and says he can’t understand why no one has signed him before. Palace were initially favourites to sign him. The deal is not yet over the line, but looks the best prospect for West Ham today.


Talking Point

Sullivan's Dream

David Sullivan was sitting at his desk contemplating, wearing his Russian hat to keep warm. He had turned the heating down to save money. After the tremendous success of his last film ‘Iron Men’, wasn’t it about time he produced another blockbuster? It was time to recount his own fantastic story and that of David Gold. Iron Men 2 would be a good title. It would show how they had clawed their way up from poverty. The way they had championed the right of a woman to determine what happens to her body. The way they had increased women’s employment opportunities. and furthered the cause of freedom of the press.

Who could play himself? Perhaps Al Pacino and Robert De Niro could portray David Gold. After all, their story had similarities to ‘The Godfather’. What about Karren Brady? The name Marie Antoinette came into his head but he couldn’t remember whether she was an actress. Didn‘t she work for crumbs, or was it cake?

These thoughts were too much for him and he fell asleep. He dreamed he was in a market for football players. He passed the first stall for old crocks and moved on to another for loanees. Then, there was one for those out of contract and finally for one for the almost healthy. At the last stall, he came across the Archbishop of Canterbury, reading one of his magazines and praying for Andy Carroll and Jack Wilshere.

He woke with a jolt to find his son, Jack, poking him in the shoulder and telling him it was almost the end of January and he had to make some decisions.

He thought for a moment and then suggested to Jack that, perhaps, they should sign Alain Ducasse. Jack pointed out that was the chef of the restaurant they had visited at the Dorchester the previous week to discuss their financial problems. He asked Jack where were the plans for naming a stand ‘The David Sullivan Stand’? Perhaps, now wasn’t the right time.

He pondered and then decided they had to give some of their old players a ring. He told Jack to ring Payet and ask him whether he was missing London. What about Pedro Obiang? Perhaps , we had been in too much of a hurry to sell him. He also told Jack to contact Roy Hodgson and ask him if he would exchange Kouyate and Tomkins for Sanchez and Ajeti.

Or what about Hammerhead? They all say we need pace. Did you see how he beat Boiler Man at halftime?

Jack told him they had managed to get Tomas Soucek on loan, but they needed others. Sullivan asked if that was the player he met when he went on a stag weekend to Prague.
He suggested he should go on more stag weekends.

Then, Jack suggested they get rid of Karren Brady. He had a friend who would do the job at a tenth of the price. Sullivan told him she was too knowledgeable to get dispose of her. Jack looked bemused and asked if was her knowledge of football. No, Sullivan told him. It’s her knowledge about us.

And what about that Mohammad bin Salman? He might interested in a London club. Jack pointed out he had been accused of chopping a journalist into little pieces. Sullivan told himself that it was this kind of treatment which might motivate the players. And perhaps a few fans could benefit from a harsher regime. There’s a few he would like to pick out on that West Ham Till I Die website. He could make their wish come true.

They said he was getting old but he had a ton of new ideas.

Jack told him they had a problem with the stadium. The fans realised they had been sold a pig in the poke. He told Jack to ring Daniel Levy. Perhaps they could rent the Spurs stadium. They could offload the lease of the London Stadium to Leyton Orient. After all, they had been keen to play there.

He asked Jack who the West Brom manager was. They seemed well organised and they’d need someone like that after they sacked Moyes for the second time. Jack replied it was Slaven Bilic. He asked Jack if it was the same Slaven Bilic West Ham had employed. Perhaps there was two of them.

Sullivan turned to his computer and logged into the West Ham Till I Die website. He looked at the comments. He wasn’t interested in any of the articles. One fan commented the side were the pits. Another suggested the stadium should be named the Pit of Despair. Hmmm, not half as good as The Sullivan Stadium. Another suggested bronze statues for himself and David Gold and that they should be put inside (tribute to fan who actually made this comment). Another suggested it would be appropriate if West Ham beat Liverpool and then got relegated at the end of the season.

Jack asked him how much he was going to spend in this transfer window. He told Jack he was going to send a lot of emails. Some would arrive and some wouldn’t. But, he was thinking it was pointless spending money on any good players, as he would have to get rid of them at the end of the season when they dropped to the Championship. It was time for realpolitik.

He looked up the Football League parachute payments plan on his computer. 55% of earnings in the first year, 45% in the second year and 20% in the third year. He quickly calculated what the club would receive in a fire sale and applied a 20% discount. All in all , it wouldn’t be too bad. After all, it wasn’t the first time they had been relegated.

Sullivan took a look at the Guardian report on the game against West Brom. West Ham were ‘ an abject rabble’. ‘West Ham are ‘ an abject mess and the clock is ticking’. David Moyes wore ‘a rather haunted look’. The ground is ‘sad and soulless’. There was ,’ a poisonous atmosphere’. Well, he thought, I’m going to show them all. This is my Stalingrad. I’m not going to be pushed around any further. The young fans love me. It’s those hypocritical, old age pensioners who are causing all the trouble. If I hang around a bit, they’ll all disappear. No doubt, when they all get to Paradise, they’ll start writing critical articles and make snide comments. Otherwise, they can go to hell.


Match Thread

Match Thread: West Ham v Liverpool

West Ham v Liverpool
FA Premier League
London Stadium
KO: 7.45pm
TV: None
Radio: WHUFC.com

Please use this thread to comment on the game as it progresses.


Opposition Q & A

Opposition Q&A with Liverpool

Tonight West Ham welcome a flying Liverpool in the midst of an incredible season to the London Stadium, where we can but hope not to get a thrashing. Ahead of the game I spok e to Duncan Oldham, the editor of Liverpool FC fanzine koptalk to talk about the game and the season.

Well last season was a great one for you, but this one looks as good, if not better. Surely you must be certain the league is wrapped up?
I was 15 years old the last time we won the league. It’s such a big deal for me and our club to finally win another title. I just can’t tempt fate, even though it looks fairly obvious what the outcome is going to be. I refuse to say it’s ours until it’s officially secured. I can’t bring myself to answering this question as I’d like to!

Also you are on an unbeaten run, would you take an ‘Invincible Season’, over the Champions League?
No, I don’t understand our fans who say they would rather have an ‘Invincible Season’. Silverware is far more important to me. The Champions League is massive. It has to be more important than going unbeaten.

Jurgen Klopp must be right at the top of the list of Liverpool managers. Where do you place him on the list?
Calls from fans for a Klopp statue are a bit premature to me. There’s no doubt he’s a genius and that he is up there with some of the best managers we’ve had. However, without sounding too mean, I think he needs to secure more major silverware to be considered a ‘great’. He is, however, going in the right direction and I think he will achieve that elite status one day.

Which of the current crop of players will make it on the long list of Liverpool greats?
There’s so many great players at the club these days. Alisson, Van Dijk, Mane, Firmino and Salah have to be up there as too does Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson.

I was a big Kenny Dalgleish fan, but it’s Mo Salah a better player?
No. I think they’re very different and to me, Kenny is one of our greatest players of all time and I don’t think anyone comes close to him.

I suppose you must also be delighting in Manchester United being seemingly knocked off their perch for a long time?
As much as I hate United, I am a football fan and I think they deserve much better than what they’ve got. The manager is out of his depth but I also think those above him are too. Long may it continue, of course, but I personally like to see a competitive league. Can’t believe I just said that!

Assuming you will win the League, which they clubs will join you in The Champions League next year?
I’m assuming nothing! But, surely it will be City, Leicester and Chelsea. I really hope Rodgers achieves that. Seeing another club in the competition is good for the game I think.

Is the reappointment of your old rival David Moyes the right one to keep West Ham up this season, and for the future?
I’d like to say I was shocked at his appointment but your owners never fail to surprise me. I think you deserve so much better. I hope he keeps you up but if he does, I don’t see him really taking you much further.

Following up from that, who are your picks for relegation?
Norwich, Bournemouth and Watford. Can I just add that I hope Leeds secure promotion. I think they’re a well supported club and that the league is better when Leeds are in it. Leeds vs Manchester United is one of my favourite fixtures on the calendar.

How will you line up against us on Wednesday? Team/formation?
I think it will be similar to the one deployed at Wolves Mane, of course, won’t be involved.

Are West Ham going to burst your balloon? Prediction for score?
No. We should have this one. Wishing you and your readers all the best. I hope you stay up!

Well many tanks to Duncan for his time and thoughts. I think he is probably right with his prediction, but no prediction from me. COYI

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Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Liverpool

Blast from the past

Today’s blast from the past features a 2-1 victory on the 12th of September 1998, with West Ham United welcoming Liverpool to Upton Park in front of 26,029. Robbie Williams was number one with ‘Millennium’, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels topped the UK box office and The Royle Family made its TV debut two days later.

The Irons went into the game after throwing away a three-goal lead to lose 4-3 at home to Wimbledon three days previously. Liverpool, with a joint management team of Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier, arrived in east London with an unbeaten record from their first four games of the season. Neil Ruddock was in the West Ham starting eleven having signed from Liverpool that summer, while Paul Ince returned to his former club and Jamie Redknapp faced the team managed by his father.

The Hammers took the lead after just four minutes – Frank Lampard’s corner was met by a John Hartson header and the ball ended up in the net via a deflection off Jamie Carragher. The 23-year-old Welsh striker went close again soon after, sending his header over the bar after his own brilliant hold-up play had provided Trevor Sinclair with a chance to cross. Ian Pearce skied an effort over before Liverpool’s Michael Owen, fresh from his 1998 World Cup exploits, also fired too high.

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The hosts doubled their lead six minutes into the second half – Israeli schemer Eyal Berkovic played a one-two with Hartson before sending a low shot beyond Brad Friedel. Neil Ruddock sent a shot over before Karl-Heinz Riedle headed home a Jason McAteer cross with two minutes remaining. The Irons held on to end Liverpool’s unbeaten record and defeat them at Upton Park for the second successive season. The action from this match can be viewed in my video below.

Harry Redknapp’s West Ham would end the season in fifth place while Liverpool finished in seventh. Shaka Hislop won the Hammer of the Year title, with Ian Pearce voted runner-up. Ian Wright was the Irons’ top goalscorer in 1998/99 with nine goals from 25 appearances. Manchester United won a Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League Treble.

West Ham United: Shaka Hislop, Ian Pearce, Steve Potts, Neil Ruddock, Trevor Sinclair, John Moncur, Frank Lampard Junior, Eyal Berkovic (Tim Breacker), Stan Lazaridis, Ian Wright, John Hartson (Marc Keller).

Liverpool: Brad Friedel, Vegard Heggem (Jason McAteer), Jamie Carragher, Phil Babb, Steve Staunton (Dominic Matteo), Steve Harkness (Karl-Heinz Riedle), Jamie Redknapp, Paul Ince, Patrik Berger, Steve McManaman, Michael Owen.

Club Connections

Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian returns to his former club. A whole host of players join the Spaniard in having turned out for both West Ham United and Liverpool, particularly over the last 25 years. These include:

Goalkeepers: Charles Cotton, David James.

Defenders: Rob Jones, David Burrows, Glen Johnson, Paul Konchesky, Rigobert Song, Julian Dicks, Neil Ruddock, Thomas Stanley.

Midfielders: Don Hutchison, Yossi Benayoun, Joe Cole, Victor Moses, Paul Ince, Ray Houghton, Javier Mascherano, Stewart Downing, Mike Marsh.

Strikers: Craig Bellamy, Robbie Keane, Peter Kyle, Titi Camara, David Speedie, Andy Carroll, Neil Mellor, Charlie Satterthwaite, Danny Shone, Tom Bradshaw.

George Kay made 237 league appearances for the Hammers between 1919 and 1926, becoming the first-ever player to play more than 200 league matches for the club. Kay was also the West Ham captain in the 1923 FA Cup Final. He went on to manage Liverpool between 1936 and 1951, winning the First Division title in 1947.

Today’s focus falls on a full-back who played for Liverpool before ending his career with the Hammers. Alvaro Arbeloa was born on 17th January 1983 in Salamanca, Spain. He progressed from Real Madrid’s C team in 2002 to their B team (Castilla) in 2003 before making a couple of appearances for the first team in 2004/05. He joined Deportivo La Coruna in the summer of 2006 but moved to Liverpool in January 2007. He made his debut in a 2-1 defeat at Newcastle on 10th February 2007 and scored his first goal for the club in a 2-1 win at Reading on 7th April 2007. Mainly operating at right-back but also able to fill in on the left, Arbeloa was a Champions League runner-up with the Reds in 2007 and made his debut for Spain in 2008; he was in the winning Spain squad for the 2008 European Championships.

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Arbeloa’s second and last goal for Liverpool was scored in a 3-0 win over West Brom at Anfield on 8th November 2008; he played his last game for the Reds in the reverse fixture against the Baggies in a 2-0 win at the Hawthorns on 17th May 2009. After two goals in 98 appearances for Liverpool, Arbeloa returned to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009 and won the World Cup with Spain in 2010. He won his second European Championships with his country in 2012 and won 56 caps for his country in total, without scoring. He also won the Champions League in 2014 and 2016, La Liga in 2012, the Copa del Rey in 2011 and 2014, the Supercopa de Espana in 2012, the FIFA Club World Cup in 2014 and the UEFA Super Cup in 2014.

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Having been released by Real Madrid, the 33-year-old Arbeloa signed for West Ham United on a free transfer. Arbeloa made four appearances for the Hammers, making his debut in a 1-0 League Cup third round win over Accrington Stanley on 21st September 2016. He started the 3-0 home defeat to Southampton four days later He also made substitute appearances in a 1-1 home draw with Middlesbrough and in his final game, a 5-1 home defeat to Arsenal on 3rd December 2016. Now 37, Arbeloa retired in the summer of 2017.

Referee

The referee on Wednesday will be Jonathan Moss. The Yorkshire-based official has sent off a player in six of his last 15 appointments involving the Hammers – the 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth in August 2015 saw Carl Jenkinson sent off, while the 2-1 win over Chelsea in October 2015 saw Nemanja Matic dismissed (then-Blues manager Jose Mourinho was also sent to the stands). Moss issued a red card to Jordan Ayew of Aston Villa in February 2016 with the Hammers going on to win 2-0 while, going further back, Burnley’s Michael Duff was also sent off by Moss in our 1-0 home win over the Clarets in May 2015.

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Moss also issued a red card to Cheikhou Kouyate in the 5-1 FA Cup fifth round win at Blackburn in February 2016, although this was later rescinded. Arguably the 49-year-old’s most controversial Hammers appointment was the 2-2 draw at Leicester in April 2016 when he sent off Jamie Vardy and awarded two penalties, the second arriving deep into stoppage time as the Foxes rescued a precious point. Moss’ matches in charge of the Hammers last season were our 1-0 home win over Arsenal in January and our 4-3 home win over Huddersfield in March. He most recently refereed our 1-0 win at Chelsea in November.

Possible line-ups

David Moyes has confirmed that Lukasz Fabianski and Robert Snodgrass are in contention for tonight’s match. West Ham United are though without the injured Ryan Fredericks, Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson, while Arthur Masuaku is a doubt. West Ham are winless in six Premier League matches against Liverpool, drawing two and losing four since winning 2-0 at Upton Park in January 2016 under Super Slaven Bilic. Michail Antonio has scored in four of his five Premier League appearances against Liverpool, netting four goals; the only players to have scored more top-flight goals against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane, with seven and five respectively.

Liverpool are without Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner and Sadio Mane, while Adam Lallana and Xherdan Shaqiri are doubts. Mohamed Salah scored in his first four Premier League games in London for the Reds but has since failed to find the net in his last nine matches in the capital.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Diop, Balbuena, Ogbonna; Zabaleta, Rice, Noble, Cresswell; Snodgrass, Antonio; Haller.

Possible Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, van Dijk, Matip, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Origi.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


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