Transfer Gossip

Meireles available for cut price deal

According to the Daily Star, West Ham have been offered Raul Meireles for a cut-price deal of £3 million.

Sam Allardyce is known to be fond of the Portuguese World Cup midfielder after he tried to signed him in January from Fenerbahce.

The deal was blocked by the Turkish club so West Ham signed Italian midfielder Antonio Nocerino.Fenerbahce are looking to reduce their large wage bill meaning he likely to be available. Meireles is one of the clubs’ highest earners at Fenerbahce.and they are likely to take a major financial hit should the Hammers take him off their hands on the cheap. His wage demands could be an issue.

The former Chelsea and Liverpool man Raul Meireles started his career as a trainee with Boavista but was loaned to Desportivo das Aves in the Liga de Honra, where he made his professional debut. After a two-year loan spell he returned to Boavista where he made his Primeira Liga debut. His performances brought Meireles to the Portuguese powerhouse, FC Porto, winning three Primeira Liga titles in a row, adding two Portuguese Cups and three Portuguese Supercups. In 2010 he moved to Liverpool for £11.5m where he won the 2011 PFA Fans’ Player of the Year award following a very successful first season in Premier League. In 2011, Meireles signed for Chelsea for £12m, joining his former manager André Villas-Boas with whom he had spent a short period of time. During his debut season at Stamford Bridge, he won the 2012 UEFA Champions League and the 2011–12 FA Cup, his first titles since his arrival in England. In 2012 Chelsea agreed to sell Meireles to Turkish club Fenerbahçe for £8 million. Meireles earns €3 million per season (around £45k per week) in addition to a €10,000 (£8k) per-match bonus at Fenerbahçe.

In international football Meireles’ national career began at youth level when he represented the Under-16 side at the 2000 UEFA European Under-16 Football Championship in Israel. In November 2006 he was called up to the senior squad for the first time. He later represented Portugal in the UEFA Euro 2008, 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012. Meireles got absolutely clattered mid-way through the first half by US midfielder Kyle Beckerman, before Beckerman appeared to elbow him in the face.After lengthy treatment, Meireles got up and quickly checked his beard was neat in place, being spotted stroking it on TV.

Someone close to the club confirmed that Meireles was offered to us at a discounted price, whetether we are seriously interested is harder to determine.

Talking Point

Building upon our great iconic badge

Guest Post by Steven Johnson

With all the opinions relating to the rebranding of a potential new badge and the clubs recent video dissection, does it appear that the club already know what they want?

The graphics used within the clubs presentation makes you assume we will have a generic shield shape “similar to the Arsenal shield”. As a die hard hammers fan but also owner of amber&green studio, a graphic design and branding company who specialises in crest design, I would like to share my version of the club badge and my rational behind my design.

My approach is to build upon the existing badge which is already strongly recognised and loved, even our co-chairman David Gold has said he likes the existing badge.
My design has a bigger, bolder prouder version of the crossed hammers, I have used the dynamic angles to create a unique shape rather then a generic shield shape or standard circle. Incased within the new dynamic shape is the most important factors of our club. The date the club was formed and a classically styled football symbolising what we are renowned for – The Academy of Football.

There has been much talk about keeping the castle, it’s what I grew up with. It wasn’t always part of our identity and whilst it’s important not to forget our history before the castle, it is indeed one of the most iconic elements of our badge. Ask any junior hammer what is most recognisable, they will scream ‘the hammers and the castle’

They are the future of our club so I have chosen to keep part of the castle and revert it to white similar to that seen on the kit used in the 1964 FA cup final, this lets the crossed hammers become the true centre piece.

From what we have read David Sullivan seems very keen to incorporate the word London. Maybe it could work? but cramming this onto a design could lead to a misunderstanding of our name and dilute our brand. London West Ham United, West Ham London I can hear our American friends mistakingly calling us!

They say football is a game of opinions, well the club badge seems to be dividing us all. With or without London I hope my design shows we will always be West Ham United.

Talking Point

Countdown to the football begins

In just ten days the West Ham squad will report back to Chadwell Heath for the start of their pre-season training.

Our first pre-season friendly kicks off the Lamex Stadium against Stevenage on Saturday 12th July 3pm.

Ticket Prices are Adults: £15 Concessions (60+, U22s, disabled, armed forces): £12 U18: £10 U12: £5

Four days later we face old foes Ipswich Town at Portman Road, 7.45pm on Wednesday evening 16th July

The two clubs have met regularly over recent years in pre-season action with the last encounter seeing Ipswich come out on top, 3-1, in August 2012

We have played Ipswich 62 times in competitive football with West Ham winning 24 games Ipswich 21 games and 17 draws. Out biggest win 4 – 0 was achieved in the 1954/1955 season while Ipswich beat us 5-1 in the Championship in 2012.

Ticket Prices Adults – £15.00, Concessions – £10.00, Under 16’s – £3.00

West Ham then fly off to New Zealand to take part in the Football United NZ Tour 2014 along side fellow premier league competitors Newcastle.

The fun starts on Wed 23rd July against Wellington Phoenix at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand, (7.45pm local time 6.45am Kick Off UK time)
Ticket prices for the West Ham v Wellington fixture start from 59 NZD (£30.20) for Adults and 20 NZD (£10.25) for Children.

This is followed by a match against Sydney FC at the Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand on 26th July (2pm local time 1am UK time)

Silver ticket prices for the Westpac Stadium double-header are priced at 95 NZD (£48) for Adults, 45 NZD (£22.80) for Children and 235 NZD (£119) for a Family (Two Adults/Two Children).Gold seats are available for 129 NZD (£65.30) for Adults, 59 NZD (£29.90) for Children and 319 NZD (£160.60) for a Family (Two Adults/Two Children).

Add to this a return airplane ticket of between £750-£1000 for the 23,000 mile round trip (if you are not in that part of the world already) plus another 150 NZD per night for a hotel. Could the most expensive away game ever!

BT Sport have announced both New Zealand matches will be screened in the UK for those who can get up early enough or decide to Sky+ it or tape on VHS.

The Hammers then return to Europe to play two matches in Germany at the beginning of August

On Saturday 2nd Aug we take on Schalke 04 in the Schalke 04 Cup, Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Kick Off 5.30pm local time 6.30pm UK time.

Then on Sunday 3rd Aug we play Malaga in the Veltins Arena with a 3.30pm kick off local time 4.30pm UK time

Ticket Prices Over 12s £32 per day ticket Under 13s £8.50 per day ticket

The Hammers are finally back in old blighty for the Marathonbet Cup against UC Sampdoria at Boleyn Ground, 3pm on Saturday 9th August.
West Ham have met Sampdoria just once previously, but we will be hoping for better than the 6-1 Makita International Tournament defeat suffered at Highbury in August 1991.

Tickets for the game are £15 for adult Season Ticket Holders and £5 for Under-16s with a Season Ticket. Non-Season Ticket Holders can buy their tickets in advance at £20 for adults and £10 Under-16s. Matchday prices rise by £5 in both categories.,,12562,00.html

One week later the season starts for real against Spurs at the Boleyn ground on Saturday 16th August 3pm.

Come on you irons!

Transfer Gossip

Michu Signing Said to Be Close, But Should We Also Sign Peter Crouch?

Now, soot me down in flames if you like, but hear me out.

Peter Crouch is available from Stoke for a knockdown £1 million. OK, he’s 33, but don’t we need to learn the lessons from last season and have like for like cover for Andy Carroll? He plays much the same game as Carroll, has scored consistently wherever he has played. Now that we have made our Allardyce bed, we need to lie in it and recruit players who can play to a system, even if some of us don’t like it.

I have always thought Crouch was a very underrated player. Just because he isn’t pretty to watch doesn’t mean he isn’t skilful. In fact he has a very good first touch and if you look at some of the spectacular goals he has scored over the years it is testament to what a good player he actually is. He’s certainly not prolific, but like Carroll, contributes much more to the team than just goals. But his 32 goals in 116 games at Stoke isn’t bad. Having said that, last season he only scored 8 in 34 in the Premier League.

He’s surely got to be worth paying £1 million for, as long as his weekly wage demands aren’t too horrific.

The papers are full of rumours of us signing Michu from Swansea. This would be a risky signing bearing in mind he, like Carroll is very prone. There’s no doubt he knows where the goal is – look at his record the season before last where he scored 18 Premier League goals in 35 games. Last season he only scored 2 in 12, but also bagged 4 in 7 Europa Cup games. The club is said to be looking at paying £6 million for his services and negotiations have reached Board level. £6 million for a 28 year old striker who has proved he can score at the top level. Doesn’t seem too bad.

I think we need five strikers this season. If we pulled these two off we’d have a front line of Carroll, Zarate, Carlton Cole, Michu and Crouch. Well it’s certainly better than last year, but three of those five are very injury prone – which is why we’d need 5 strikers in the squad rather than 4.

Talking Point

Leaked picture of new home kit reveals retro look

The new West Ham home kit for 2014-15 will revisit the famous pin stripe kit of 1986 according to a new leaked picture.

The Hammers team of in the mid eighties finished in their their highest ever league position coming a close third behind Liverpool and Everton thanks to the boys of 86. We collected 84 points, two behind Everton and four behind eventual winners Liverpool having won 26 of our 42 games.That all left us eight points clear of Manchester United in fourth place and of course ahead of every other London club.

Maybe this is the secret weapon to get us a top six finish this season.

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