Tag Archives: West Ham

Arsenal Star Determined To Fight For His Place & Reject West Ham’s Approach

Arsenal have enjoyed a busy summer so far, bringing in Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette, but their changes have led to uncertain futures for many players already within the squad.

The Gunners current longest-serving player Theo Walcott is one of many who has seen his future thrown into speculation this summer, especially with reports indicating that Arsenal are looking to strengthen their wide options this summer as they pursue Monaco’s Thomas Lemar and Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez.

With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck to compete with, as well as the next generation of youngsters ready to step-up, 28-year-old Walcott faces a battle to find his place within the squad.

However, The Daily Star indicates Walcott is not prepared to turn his back on a club he’s spent 11 years with, despite suggestions that a move to West Ham could occur for a fee worth around £20m.

Having jetted out to Sydney with the rest of Arsenal’s 25-man squad for a pre-season tour in Australia and China, Walcott has the chance to make an impression ahead of the new season and could secure a spot for himself.

Is it the right move?

Walcott’s 11 years have been surrounded with a general consensus of ‘what might have been’, especially after he remarkably made England’s World Cup squad in 2006 at the age of just 16-years-old; an opportunity he later admitted came too early in his career.

Amidst a wealth of injury problems, Walcott has struggled to find stability at Arsenal but he has made his impression within the squad, although it’s been difficult for him to find the opportunities to consistently star for the Gunners- as he eyes a role as a central striker which hasn’t been regularly forthcoming, whilst not quite putting in the same performances on the wing though.

Next season could well be Walcott’s chance to shine though as a switch to a three-man defence late last term may hand the England international a new lease of life, especially if the Gunners fail to hold onto Alexis Sanchez.

Whilst the signing of Lacazette means central-striking opportunities won’t be forthcoming, he could fill Alexis’ position in the side by moving centrally to play behind Arsenal’s new record-signing and would thrive playing alongside Mesut Ozil.

Will he be a star?

That’s up for debate, as Walcott needs to find his position in the side. If a central opportunity becomes available, then the England ace may finally fulfil his potential. On the flip-side though, he may find himself an outcast unless he somehow converts to a wing-back; which seems increasingly unlikely.

Walcott is certainly more efficient through the middle and he may get his chances this season as Arsenal could rotate heavily due to their involvement in the Europa League, which is significant for Walcott as he could show he’s capable of filling the void left by Ozil or Alexis if either player leaves in the next 12 months.

Competition is rife though as Oxlade-Chamberlain is also eyeing a central position, whereas Aaron Ramsey may feel he can step forward into a more attacking role if the Gunners find the right replacement for him alongside Granit Xhaka.

4 Home-Grown Players Who Could Follow Walker to Man City This Summer

Manchester City’s debut campaign under Pep Guardiola is set to end without a trophy, which is increasing the pressure upon the former Bayern Munich boss to invest heavily this summer.

Guardiola is set to oversee a major reshuffle in his squad, as he replaces players who aren’t cut out for the challenge and looks to replace the ageing guard- which includes his array of full-backs, which has led to the Citizens eyeing big recruits in this area.

Tottenham Hotspur ace Kyle Walker is reported to be the priority signing for Guardiola this summer, who’s understood to be eyeing home-grown talents to add to his squad as the Citizens look to battle up the Premier League standings.

British players come at a premium price this days but City can certainly afford to pay what’s necessary and we’ve identified four more home-grown players that could follow Walker to the Etihad Stadium.

Jordan Pickford

The England international is one of few Sunderland players who can hold their head high following the club’s relegation to the Championship and Pickford is more than likely going to be on the move this summer, as he battles for the number one jersey in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

With Joe Hart set to be ousted and summer-signing Claudio Bravo struggling, Pep Guardiola’s side have been linked to signing a new goalkeeper and Pickford could be the perfect fit for the Citizens as he’s young, homegrown and should be relatively easy to capture.

Sunderland v West Ham: Team News, Match Preview & Likely Line-Ups

Competition: Premier League Date: Saturday 15th April 2017 Venue: Stadium of Light Kick-Off: 15:00 GMT

Team News

Sunderland are without influential midfielder Sebastian Larsson, who serves the first match of his three-match ban following a red card against Manchester United last weekend.

Adnan Januzaj and John O’Shea return to selection for David Moyes’ side but Bryan Oviedo is unavailable with a hamstring injury.

West Ham were handed a huge blow this week with the news that Michail Antonio has been ruled-out of the remainder of the season.

Captain Mark Noble is also unavailable, after picking up his tenth yellow card of the season last weekend.

Match Preview

Sat ten points from safety, Sunderland’s relegation to the Championship seems inevitable and Jermain Defoe’s two-month span without a goal won’t help their chances. The Black Cats have failed to find the net in ten of their last 11 matches, which has only increased their woes.

West Ham ended a woeful run last weekend with a vital victory over relegation rivals Swansea City, which put them eight points clear of the drop. Whilst safety is not yet secured, another victory here would go a long way to securing that aim.

The Hammers have struggled on the road recently, losing all of their last three matches away from the London Stadium, but Sunderland’s awful form leaves little for the hosts to be confident about.

Likely Line-Ups

Sunderland
Pickford; Jones, Kone, Denayer, Manquillo; Ndong, Cattermole, Rodwell; Januzaj, Defoe, Anichebe.

West Ham
Randolph; Nordtveit, Collins, Fonte, Masuaku; Snodgrass, Fernandes, Kouyate, Lanzini; Carroll, Ayew.

Key Stats

Sunderland have not won any of the past seven meetings with West Ham, losing the last two matches 1-0.

Sunderland have lost ten of their last 14 Premier League matches, winning just one.

The Black Cats have not won at home since a victory over Watford in mid-December.

West Ham’s clean-sheet last weekend was their first in 11 Premier League matches.

Prediction
1-1

2 New Signings & New Formation: How West Ham Could Line-Up Under Jaap Stam Next Season

Jaap Stam has been linked with a move to West Ham this summer, with uncertainty growing over the future of Slaven Bilic at the club. Whilst West Ham have publically backed Bilic, poor results for the rest of the season would surely give the club no choice but to look at other managers.

Here’s a look at how the Hammers could line-up under Stam, who is having a fantastic season at Reading currently.

GK – Darren Randolph

Randolph has worked his way into the West Ham team ahead of Adrian and in my opinion, will keep his place in the West Ham team next season. He’s earned the right to play a full season as the Hammers keeper. He’s had some games to forget (Man City), but also some to remember (vs. Southampton and Bournemouth). West Ham would be better off spending their budget on other areas of the pitch and leave Adrian to compete with Randolph for the goalkeeper spot.

Premier League Boss Confirms He’s Interested In Signing Jack Wilshere

Arsenal are set for major changes this summer and a host of big-names could leave the Emirates Stadium amongst a squad overhaul.

Whilst the Gunners have been public in their desire to keep 25-year-old Jack Wilshere, the England international is rapidly approaching the final 12 months of his contract and is seeking first-team assurances before he puts pen-to-paper on an extension.

Having struggled during recent years with a wealth of injury problems, Wilshere has impressed on-loan with Bournemouth and Cherries boss Eddie Howe has confirmed he’d like to sign the midfielder on a permanent deal this summer.

However, interest in the Arsenal academy graduate is high and Wilshere’s signature this summer could fetch a premium price.

What’s been said?

Quoted by The TelegraphHowe said after the weekend’s goalless draw with Southampton:

“I’ve always said we would love to sign him. But that decision will rest with Arsenal. He’s played so many games. This is just a little spell where he’s been out of the team but he’s still coming on to great effect.”

Is Bournemouth the right fit?

Jack Wilshere may have found his feet in Bournemouth but moving to the Cherries on a permanent basis could effect his chances of making the England squad next summer, where Wilshere will aim to represent the Three Lions at the World Cup.

Moving to a bigger side may end up being the best course of action for Wilshere and he has options ahead of him, with The Sun stating this weekend that West Ham will offer £30m to Arsenal and give the midfielder the opportunity of remaining in London.

Wilshere could also have the option to move abroad, with The Daily Mail stating last month he’s open to a move to AC Milan- where he’d follow in the footsteps of former England captain David Beckham, who spent successful loan spells in Italy with the club.

West Ham Consider Move For Championship Boss With Changes Afoot

West Ham have struggled to remain competitive this season following their move to the London Stadium and they could seek major changes this summer.

Following the news that manager Slaven Bilic will not be offered an extended deal at the end of the current season, when his current contract enters it’s final 12 months, The Telegraph reports that the Hammers are considering an approach for Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner.

German ace Wagner, a close friend of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, has impressed with his guidance of the Yorkshire outfit, helping Huddersfield to third in the Championship standings and given the club hope of securing promotion to the Premier League for the first time.

Wagner’s efforts have not gone unnoticed, as he’s earned praise across English football, and West Ham are considering the option of giving him the reigns if they decide to move on from Slaven Bilic.

Will Bilic stay?

The question on everybody’s lips at the moment is whether Slaven Bilic will be allowed to see out the final year on his deal, as the Hammers have suffered three consecutive defeats in the Premier League and sit mid-table.

For a side that pushed for European involvement last season, bowing out at the qualifying stages of the Europa League this term, that decline is seen as inexcusable and the Hammers face a real challenge to establish themselves as contenders for continental future again in the coming years.

West Ham’s decision on Bilic could see the Croatian boss moved on in the summer and the Hammers could adjust their plans, eyeing a young, exciting manager like David Wagner instead of the big-names they’ve previously targeted.

Would Wagner be a good fit?

West Ham are in need of a new lease of life and giving the chance to a young manager could end up being an extremely good move for the Hammers, with the club in search of a new identity following their move away from the Boelyn Ground to the London Stadium.

Passionate, determined and with a style similar to Jurgen Klopp, Wagner is a hands-on manager who focuses on pressure and fitness with his players, often holding two training sessions a day that mimic weekend kick-off times.

That approach could provide the spark that the Hammers are lacking and would give the club something different, creating a tightly-knitted bunch that has the capability to cause real problems for the opposition and having a bond that is incredibly difficult to break down.

West Ham Line-Up Championship Manager As Bilic Replacement

West Ham have been struggling in recent weeks, with three consecutive losses piling the pressure on Slaven Bilic, and according to the press, the club have a replacement lined up, should Bilic move on. 

West Ham have identified Reading boss Jaap Stam as their number one target to replace Slaven Bilic according to The Sun.

‘A run of three consecutive losses has left the Hammers sliding down the table into 12th spot, intensifying the future surrounding the Croatian’s job.’

With the Hammers in no real threat of relegation and Reading in a promotion race, any move for Stam will more than likely have to wait until the end of the season. Stam has built a new identity of football at Reading and not only have they been pleasing to watch, but they have been getting results that have put them in the play-off positions.

Bilic came under strong criticism in the early months of the season when West Ham were languishing close to the bottom of the table, in the winter months the team recovered and has found particularly good form away from home. But West Ham are again struggling with three consecutive losses leaving Bilic’s future in doubt. West Ham have ambitions to be playing European football each season and it appears that under Bilic that will not be possible. But is Stam the right man for the job?

Stam would bring with him an interesting philosophy, and it does feel as if West Ham still need to find their identity, especially in their new stadium. Stam encourages playing out from the back and controlling games with midfielders and defenders that are capable of keeping the ball.

A move for Stam would be extremely interesting. He’s not a short-term fix, he would be a long term investment. West Ham would need to be commited to changing their style of play and be willing to back Stam in the transfer market, as to implement his style, he would probably need to make significant changes to the current starting eleven.

One thing Stam has done at Reading though, is show faith in youth players. I would expect young players like Reece Oxford to be integrated into the first team under Stam and this is something that Bilic has failed to do during his time as manager.

Bilic is no doubt a good manager and has done great things at the club, but this season has shown that perhaps he has done all he can at the club. West Ham need to be taken to the next level. Is Stam the man to do that? He’d certainly be a wildcard option rather than a proven solution, but maybe a complete change is what the club need right now.

West Ham Come To Huge Decision Regarding Future Of Key Figure

West Ham United have undergone huge changes this season following their move to the London Stadium last summer but further alterations could be on the horizon.

The Telegraph reports that the Hammers have decided not to hand manager Slaven Bilic an extension on his contract this summer, when he enters the final 12 months of his current deal, due to concerns about the club’s form.

After pushing for European football last season, West Ham have struggled to remain competitive in the current campaign and flirted with relegation prior to the New Year, before suffering a huge blow in January when Dimitri Payet pushed for a move to Marseille.

Whilst the Hammers have fought back, currently sat in mid-table, they’ve failed to reach their objectives this season and it’s left a lot of work to be done over the course of the summer.

Does Bilic deserve a new deal?

It’s difficult to argue that Bilic should earn an extension this summer as West Ham’s issues have to fall at someone’s feet. Whilst he deserves credit for turning things around and handling the Payet situation well, his transfers from last summer have hardly been inspirational.

Loanee Simeone Zaza struggled and is now gone and the rest of his £70m extravaganza haven’t helped West Ham push towards being regular contenders for European football and they could suffer as a result of this season, as they now face added competition with the likes of Everton and West Brom excelling this term.

Over the summer, Bilic will have work to do to ensure his side is competitive for next season and he’ll have a year to convince the board he’s still the best man for the job.

What does it mean for West Ham?

Right now, nothing. Bilic could still extend his stay in East London if he turns things around next season and the door has not been closed in that aspect. However, there is a danger of Bilic improving drastically next season and attracting the interest of another side- with the Hammers risking losing him in 2018.

They’ve got their eyes set on potential replacements though, one of which is Newcastle United’s Rafael Benitez, and they should be able to find a top-class manager next summer if it came to it. For now though, they’ll have to back their Croatian boss in the market this summer to ensure their troubles don’t continue.

‘A Machine’ Chelsea Fans Heap Praise Onto This Chelsea Man Following West Ham Win

Chelsea opened up the gap at the top of the table to ten points once again as the league leaders beat West Ham 2-1 on their first Premier League visit to the London Stadium.

West Ham started the match strongly as they looked for Andy Carroll up top, who aimed to cause the Chelsea defence problems all night. However, it was Chelsea who took the lead on 25 minutes. N’Golo Kante nicked the ball to spark a Chelsea counter-attack. Eden Hazard stayed onside before rounding Darren Randolph and slotting into an empty net to give the Blues a first half lead.

The home side failed to create any notable chances before the end of the first half as Chelsea went into the break one goal to the good. It was Chelsea who extended their lead just after the break. Diego Costa couldn’t believe his luck as he was left with a tap-in from a corner to hand Chelsea a two-goal lead.

Antonio Conte brought on Nemanja Matic and pushed Hazard up front alongside Costa to hold onto his lead. He was successful in doing so, but failed to keep a clean sheet as Manuel Lanzini pulled one back just a minute before the full-time whistle.

One player that impressed once again for Chelsea was Kante. The defensive midfielder has turned out to be one of the signings of the season, and put in yet another trademark performance in the Chelsea midfield on Monday night.

One of the areas where Kante has picked up criticism in the past is with his passing. But in this game he managed to impress with a 90% pass success rate. As usual, he was running around blunting the home attack throughout, and he managed 4 tackles and 1 interception in Chelsea’s 2-1 win against a West Ham side that has improved in quality recently.

Kante may have felt hard done by by not being awarded PFA Player of the Year last season, but after (almost certainly) winning back to back titles and being an integral part of both teams, surely Kante will be awarded the best player in the division for this campaign. He’s been phenominally consistent for Chelsea, and on the back of last season, he has shown that he, unlike some other Leicester City players, was not a one season wonder.

Premier League Team Of The Week: ft. 3 Everton, 3 Arsenal & 2 Chelsea Players

Here is the Fresh Football Team of the Week for the most recent gameweek (21). We’ve opted for a 4-4-2 formation.
Simon Mignolet – Liverpool
It has not been a regular theme that Mignolet gets praised and included in TOTW after a tough few months for the Liverpool man, but after a sublime performance at Old Trafford he deserved all the plaudits.
 He is now the Reds No.1 and made numerous saves against Manchester United helping his side leave the Red Devil’s with one point.
Seamus Coleman – Everton
Coleman, as always, was fantastic against Manchester City and helped his side get all three points in an  afternoon to remember for Ronald Koeman’s men.
He was superb in all phases of play helping his side both attacking and defensively, the Toffees man managed two blocks, 67% tackles and showed why he is also an outlet going forward creating one chance.
Laurent Koscielny – Arsenal
The Frenchman signed a new contract with the Gunners last week and ended the week in style after an immense performance vs. Swansea.
The impressive Arsenal man managed  100% aerial duels, nine clearances, four interceptions and finished the game in true Arsenal style, with 94% passing.
 The 31-year-old has been one of Arsenals best players for a number of years, and is the true rock in the Arsenal side.
Shkodran Mustafi – Arsenal
Mustafi is yet to taste defeat in the Gunners shirt extending his impressive run to 20 games in total, which is an incredible record to hold.
The Arsenal man was yet again brilliant against Swansea and contributed with five interceptions, two clearances and finished the game with an impressive 88% passing.
Arsene Wenger will be relieved he is back from injury and will hope he stays fit as they look to close the gap at the top of the table.
Marcos Alonso – Chelsea
Well, it is not often a wing-back produces two goals, and is whiskers away from a hat-trick in one game, but that is exactly what Marcos Alonso managed in Chelsea’s win on Saturday.
The Blues star was superb offensively/defensively and was always an outlet going forward, turning out to produce the goods in front of goal in a perfect game for the Spaniard.
Pedro – Chelsea
The Chelsea man has been a revolution this season since a very disappointing opening campaign to life in England last year.
The former La Masia has thrived in Antonio Conte’s new system and was superb for the Blues against Leicester City.
He showcased some skill you will probably not see again this season in the build up to his goal and finished the game with 95% passing accuracy, which is superb.
The Spaniard is enjoying life at the Blues and has certainly played a massive part in the topping the table thus far.
Tom Davies – Everton
Well, what a star Everton have on their hands.
The 18-year-old was superior to most players on the pitch in a very disciplined, mature display against Manchester City.
He scored his first senior goal for the Toffees and completed two take on’s whilst playing the all round midfield role perfectly.
His goal was a thing of beauty, his run, timing, finish, everything was majestic and if Lionel Messi scored it, you’ll watch it for years to come.
Koeman has a thing for talented young players, doesn’t he? and the Dutchman has another gem on his hands.
Ross Barkley – Everton
Despite coming under strong scrutiny in recent months and being dropped by Ronald Koeman, Ross Barkley showed why he is so highly rated against Manchester City in a fine performance.
The English international was influential going forward and created four chances, whilst having that burst from midfield to attack completing four take on’s too.
After helping his side batter the depleted City, he will not be dropped anytime soon.
Alex Iwobi – Arsenal
Alex Iwobi was the most impressive star on show for Arsenal this weeking as they beat Swansea 4-0 away from home.
The 20-year-old was unfortunate not to score himself after his deflected effort was put down as an own goal, but the Nigerian went on to create two chances and finished the game with 89% passing.
Iwobi was running at players at will and was showcasing his fine talents. He is already starting most weeks for the Gunners and will become a future star if he continues to develop at his rapid pace.
Harry Kane – Tottenham
Tottenham Hotspur’s impressive run continued against West Brom after running riot in a 4-0 routine victory on Saturday afternoon.

England international Harry Kane was immense throughout and bagged himself a hat-trick, whilst creating once chance and completing four take on’s.
If Spurs are to push on for the title they’ll be reliant on their prolific goalscorer to keep firing in the goals, and of course staying fit. If he does, then maybe, just maybe Spurs could push for the title.
Andy Carroll – West Ham United
Since his return from injury, Andy Carroll has been a very positive sign in a glum few months for the Hammers, and his impressive form continued on Saturday.
The Hammers beat Crystal Palace 3-0 and Carroll was at the heart of it all, and scored one of the goals of the season in a very solid display.

Defender Left Out Of Squad, Fuels Speculation Of A Transfer To Manchester United or West Ham

It looks as if a former Manchester United fans favourite is on the move, and he might well be going back to his old stomping ground. 

Evra is now 35 and his contract at Juventus is due to expire at the end of the current season, thus allowing foreign clubs to begin negotiations over his signing.

West Ham and Manchester United have been linked with the experienced full-back and with the player now left out of Juventus’ squad, it seems more likely that a move back to England may be on the horizon.

Evra has only made 6 Serie A appearances this season, with the younger Alex Sandro now seemingly the clubs favoured left back option. It is not clear whether Juventus intend to extend Evra’s contract beyond the conclusion of this season and that would allow either West Ham or Manchester United to sign him for free, or pay a small fee in January and get him now.

However, his agent Federico Pastorello played down the chances of the France international departing the Italian champions midseason.

“It’s not certain he will leave Juventus,” Pastorello told Juvenews. “We’ll see what happens over the next few days.”

It’s probably silly to bother looking at Evra’s statistics from this season considering how little he has played, so let’s go back to last season, where he was still a fairly regular presence in the starting eleven.

Making 26 appearances in Serie A, Evra proved that despite his age, he is still a very reliable defender, averaging 1.49 interceptions and 1.53 aerial duels won per 90 last season. He was also influential going forward, as always, completing on average 23.92 forward passes and on 1.01 key passes per 90, a good amount for a full back.

His attacking influence may fade as he continues to age, but the experience and defensive know-how that Evra has is mental and will only get stronger with age. As West Ham’s ship continues to shake, you can see why they would like a player of his ilk and experience in their defence.

For Manchester United, they do not have an established left back at the moment, with Luke Shaw struggling to return to form since his long term injury and Darmian seriously struggling to impress. Marcos Rojo is another option in that position but he is playing a lot better in central defence and I’m sure that Mourinho will be keen to try and keep him in that favoured central role.

If Evra has an offer from both clubs it’ll be interesting to see what decision he makes. At West Ham, he is more likely to play regular football, but his history at Manchester United will surely have a huge impact on his decision. I think if United’s interest is genuine, then Mourinho will be keen to add Evra for his off the pitch contribution as much as anything else.

West Ham Plot January Moves For Manchester United, Liverpool & Chelsea Stars In New Year Shake-Up

It is fair to say that this season has not gone to plan for Slaven Bilic and West Ham. In a bid to turn the Hammer’s fortunes around, the club have reportedly sent letters asking their Premier League rivals for help in the January transfer window, according to The Telegraph. 

Tottenham are the only one of the Premier League big hitters not to receive a letter from West Ham chiefs as the Hammers plan some very smart January transfer business. Letters were reportedly sent to Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City asking if any of those clubs have fringe players that the Hammers can sign on loan for the rest of the season.

With many players not becoming available that Slaven Bilic will want to sign until the summer transfer window, this plea to sign players with Premier League experience at the top clubs would seem like a good plan. Having sent a general letter to those five clubs, The Telegraph claim that West Ham have further enquiries regarding loan moves for Michy Batshuayi, Daniel Sturridge, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial as their search for a striker to sign in January begins.

In addition to this, the Hammers are also going to make enquiries over the availability of Chris Smalling, Branislav Ivanovic, Mamadou Sakho, Mathieu Debuchy and Carl Jenkinson. However, many of the highlighted players above are unlikely realistic targets for West Ham for two reasons.

First of all, it is well documented that clubs are often not prepared to loan out or sell players to Premier League rivals, unless it is at the right price. With loan moves being proposed by the Hammers, it is unlikely that clubs such as Manchester United and Liverpool will allow key players such as Sturridge and Martial to leave the club, even if it is on a loan basis.

Secondly, I feel the wages that West Ham would have to pay these players would not be within their price range, they simply would not be able to compete with the Premier League big boys. Would the players highlighted take a pay cut in favour of a move to West Ham when many get regular game time anyway? Probably not.

Although West Ham’s idea of taking Premier League players on loan for the rest of the season seems good business at first glance, the proposed deals not only look unlikely, but they look impractical as well.

There are some players there that are more realistic though, with the Gunners reportedly willing to allow Debuchy and Jenkinson to leave should the offer be right. But Jenkinson’s most recent spell at West Ham didn’t go too well, so I’m not sure how the fans would feel about that one should it happen. Smalling is also an interesting one should Manchester United sign their reported target, Victor Lindelof. The young central defender is being linked with a big-money move to United and with Eric Bailly already at the club and Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones impressing at the heart of defence at the moment, how much football will Smalling be playing in the new year?

Arsenal Linked With January Move For West Ham Ace: Why He’d Be A Great Signing

Arsenal’s squad looks stronger than ever and considering their performance to date, the Gunners fans must surely be happy with the team’s performance and their summer activity in the transfer market.

But with the title race so close this season – Arsenal could always benefit from additional talent. But signing a player in January is always a risk, especially if it is a player that will have to adapt to a new league and possibly a new language – so winter signings can often have an adverse effect on momentum. But the possible signing I want to talk about is Dimitri Payet, who has been linked with a move to the club in recent weeks. The experienced West Ham midfielder rose to prominence last season and excelled in England and on the international stage at Euro 2016. But this season he has seriously struggled in a very poor West Ham team, he looks disinterested and appears to be pushing for a move away from the club. Aged 29 it would be understandable if Payet was eyeing a move to one of Europe’s bigger clubs before the sun sets on his career. West Ham are seriously struggling this season – after their European adventure was cut short, they are now languishing around the relegation zone and it does not look like they will be able to match the player’s ambitions moving forward – he wants to be playing Champions League football and his quality deserves it.

Should he become available I’m sure there would be a long list of admirers. The likes of Real Madrid and Paris-Saint Germain were linked in the summer, but if Arsene Wenger were to offer him an option to stay in England and London then I think he would certainly be interested.

Do Arsenal need Payet? Should he join the club I think he would have to settle for a role on the wing, but I think he can still play very well in that position. Whilst Arsenal do have plenty of wide options, they are all still very inexperienced and inconsistent, I think a player of Payet’s quality would certainly aid the squad in their title quest and in Europe moving forward. The likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alex Iwobi and Jeff Reine-Adelaide would not see their development damaged too much with the arrival of Payet. Iwobi is still only 20 and has proven that this season he cannot perform at a high level consistently, he still has a lot to learn and players like Payet are brilliant to learn from. Jeff, aged 18, is not yet ready for the limelight – a loan spell would do him good. Whilst Arsenal are looking to give the Ox a new contract, the 23-year-old is also one who struggles for consistency. Welbeck (26),  Lucas (28) and Walcott (27) are the other wide options with Alexis Sanchez now finding his best form through the middle. Walcott and Welbeck can both be considered injury prone after their records in the recent past and Lucas is still settling in to English football, with his best form coming in the Champions League.

A player of Payet’s quality is always welcome in my opinion. He’s proven his quality in the Premier League and for France – and Wenger will not have missed that.

Yes Arsenal’s options would be crowded should Payet join, but Arsenal so often suffer from injury problems in the latter stages of the season and that derails their title challenge. They also struggle when trying to contend in Europe, the league and the FA Cup, with the squad being stretched and tired legs seeing the team drop points. Not only would Payet be an option out wide, but he’d provide a great rotation or backup option for Ozil at number 10. Arsenal have no natural replacement for the German should he suffer an injury and trying to shoehorn Ramsey or promote Jeff too quickly would surely not be a good idea. Payet could provide that extra bit of quality that helps Arsenal go all the way in the title race, and perhaps to the next stage in Europe.

Arsenal fans, would you pay £30million for Dimitri Payet should he become available for that price in January? Let me know in the comment section below.  

Arsenal Fans Delighted With This Man’s Amazing Display vs. West Ham

Arsenal put in an outstanding performance at the London Stadium on Saturday evening, making light work of West Ham, brushing their London rivals aside, winning 5-1 in a completely dominant display.

Alexis Sanchez took full advantage of a defensive error from West Ham to give Arsenal the lead in the first half, laying the ball across to Mesut Ozil, who was left with the easiest of tap-ins.

Arsenal continued to dominate proceedings going into the second half, and Alexis Sanchez managed to double the Gunners’ lead in the 72nd minute, and then scoring Arsenal’s third on the 80th. West Ham managed to pull a goal back through Andy Caroll, but this was quickly cancelled out by an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain goal to put the Gunners 4-1 up.

It was a beautiful performance from the Chilean and you don’t need statistics to show you that, but here’s some anyway. Crucially he scored 3 goals and made 1 assist. He had 5 shots, 4 of them on target and 3 goals. He was also very creative, making 5 key passes on the night. He completed 3 dribbles, 2/2 long balls and 47 passes in total.

Sanchez completed the Arsenal rout with just four minutes of normal time to go, with an exquisite chip over the goalkeeper. Here is how the Arsenal fans on Twitter reacted to the Chilean’s performance.

Although West Ham are not in the best of form, the 5-1 win sends a real statement out to the rest of the Premier League. Sanchez has been a key figure for the Gunners this season, and you can certainly question where the Gunners would be without him. As long as he plays well, the team plays well and Arsenal will need him to stay fit, as the Premier League title is within their reach, especially following this emphatic win.

Report: West Ham ‘Preparing’ £25million Offer For Premier League Ace

With the January transfer window right around the corner, clubs  are preparing themselves to sign the right players, whether that be to push them for the league title or to guide them to a European place / relegation freedom.

One rumour in England that has caught everyone’s eye is that West Ham United are apparently preparing to offer up to £25 million for Bournemouth hot shot Callum Wilson once the transfer market reopens in January, according to the Guardian.

The Hammers have been injury riddled thus far this season with injuries to the likes of Andy Carroll and a fresh injury to Diafra Sakho, which will see the West Ham forward miss six weeks. They’re stretched for depth in the forward department, with England born Wilson leading the list of potential incomings to reduce the problems for Slaven Bilic.

After fighting hard for a European place last season, their poor start to the season see’s the Londoners just one point ahead of the relegation zone after struggling to settle into their new home after leaving Upton Park.

Summer signings Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri have struggled to settle in the Premier League and are both shadows of what abilities they posses, with the former coming under strong criticism from the Irons faithful with a new petition going around with fans willing to pay for his flight back to Turin.

Although West Ham are willing to offer up to £25 million for the striker, Bournemouth will remain resilient and not flirt with any ideas of a sale for their top goal scorer, especially after the start they have made sitting 12th in the league after some great displays. After rejecting a £15 million offer from West Ham back in May, it’ll be interesting to see what happens after the player signed a 4 year contract in July.

Wilson himself seems happy in Bournemouth and is a key player to Eddie Howe’s impressive project, he would certainly challenge the likes of Zaza and Calleri to become number one at West Ham but we take a look at how he compares with the Hammers forwards.

Playing the number 9 role is all about scoring goals, of course. But, in modern day football you are also relied upon to create chances too with Zaza coming out on top in this trait by creating 1.56 chances per 90 minutes thus far this season, Wilson is in second place with 0.72 with Hammers man Calleri third 0.65.

Speaking of more responsibilities than just scoring goals in the number 9 role, assists is another key ability to possess as an attacking player and the attacking trio are yet to manage a single assist between them in the league with 13 games gone, which, to be honest is quite a worrying stat to say the least.

When you receive the ball in between the lines as a striker you can often be expected to pick up the ball and run at the defence. Zaza again impresses significantly with successful take on’s managing 60% with West Ham compatriot in second place on 50%, Cherries man comes last in this race with 26.32%.

Of course, now the most important trait deadly strikes must carry, goals. Bournemouth hot shot Wilson annihilates his two opponents in this genre with 0.41 goals per 90 minutes thus far, with both West Ham players hitting blanks, scoring zero goals so far this league campaign. This is one stat which will certainly sparkle in Bilic’s eye as goals for the London side have dried up, and Wilson will certainly add to that.

At 24-years-old, Wilson would be an immense purchase for West Ham, he is still young and will only improve as times goes on. The problem for them is, Eddie Howe will be reluctant to sell and has no need at all, after the TV money injection last summer clubs the size of Bournemouth are in no need or desperation for money, money which 5 years ago they would only dream about.

The plus side for Hammers fans is the club look set to sign a striker in January, but in my honest opinion I don’t think they will persuade Bournemouth to sell, better yet, I do not think Wilson will want to leave either with his current club currently in a promising place under the talented Eddie Howe.

Fans Call For This Defender To ‘Never Play For Manchester United Again’ After West Ham Draw

Manchester United hosted West Ham on Sunday afternoon in a game they had to really win to keep pace with their title rivals after Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City all ground out wins at the weekend. 

It wasn’t the case though and it started so terribly for the home side when Sakho headed in from a Payet cross just 90 seconds into the game. United did equalise from a Ibrahimovic header but there were no more goals in what proved to be United’s fourth consecutive draw at home in the league. One player who stood out for Man Utd on the day was defender Matteo Darmian – but not for playing well.

Darmian was widely praised in his debut season for Manchester United but since then he has really struggled in the Premier League. The fans were not happy at all with his performance on Sunday and it seems the defender has lost his way, with some fans even calling for him not to play for the club again.

West Ham winger Antonio had the beating of Darmian all night. The English midfielder excelled over the Italian both defensively and offensively and the United mans crossing was a cause for particular frustration from the United faithful. Here’s some statistics to back up these thoughts: Darmian was pretty ineffective defensively, making 0 interceptions, 0 blocks and just 3 tackles. Going forward he wasn’t much better, completing 0 dribbles, making 0 key passes, 0 through balls and 0 accurate crosses. Those statistics make for pretty grim reading for the defender and this was certainly not a case of where statistics didn’t tell the whole story because they told the exact story – Darmian was completely useless on the day.

Why is he starting ahead of Luke Shaw after a series of poor performances? This is just one of an artillery of questions that the United fans are now asking. Here’s how the fans reacted on Twitter to his performance.

Manchester United now sit a massive 11 points behind league leaders Chelsea, and with the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and even Arsenal also hitting form lately, it may not be unreasonable to already write Mourinho’s men off in the title race. Just 13 games in that is a pretty horrific performance from Mourinho and United. Something needs to change quickly and whilst I don’t for one second place all the blame on Darmian, he certainly appears to be one of a number of problems currently at the club.

‘World Class Footballer’ Twitter Reacts To Tottenham Midfielder’s Sublime Performance vs. West Ham

Spurs looked as if they were about to lose their Premier League unbeaten record at the hands of West Ham, and it took a very late comeback from Spurs to seal the win and maintain that unbeaten record.

Slavan Bilic’s side found themselves 2-1 up with just a couple of minutes to go, but saw their lead evaporate before their very eyes, two Harry Kane goals robbing West Ham of the three points at the death.

Mauricio Pochettino made two changes in the second half, Dele Alli and Heung-min Son coming on in place of Vincent Janssen and Mousa Dembele, and it was Son who made a huge impact when it mattered.

He broke free down the left-hand side and delivered a delightful low cross for Harry Kane to convert with just a couple of minutes of normal time left to play. That was not his only key contribution. Son caused trouble again down the left and was brought down in the box. Mike Dean pointed to the spot and Kane stayed cool to win the game for Spurs.

Tottenham fans were delighted with the South Korean’s display, and here is how they as well as other fans reacted on social media to Son’s game changing display.

Son has been one of Tottenham’s best performers this season. He stepped up and played well when Harry Kane was out injured, and has continued his excellent form. He will be one of Spurs’ most important players when they travel to Monaco in midweek in a must-win fixture.

This West Ham Midfielder Has Created More Chances Than Anyone In Europe

West Ham haven’t had much to cheer about this season but here’s a stat that will certainly make the fans smile a little. 

One player who helped West Ham to a European place last season was Dimitri Payet. He took the league by storm and was arguably one of the best players in the Premier League last season. Admittedly he has been a little less effective this season, not scoring as many goals and in particular, his free kicks haven’t been hitting the back of the net.

Some fans have even started to call him a one season wonder, dubbing him ‘Dimitri Quiet’ this season. But is this criticism fair? Statistics suggest that although his goals may have dried up a little, Payet is still as creative as ever and perhaps his teammates are the people letting him down. This statistic from Squawka shows that in Europe’s ‘top 5’ leagues, the West Ham man has created the most chances with a whopping 4o already. Payet is in good company too with Mohammed Salah (39) and Angel Di Maria (37) making up the top three.

The statistics continue to back up Payet. He has an average league rating of 7.65 on WhoScored, that’s more than any other West Ham player. He’s also managed a respectable 4 league assists in 9 league games. He only has one goal but after a long summer playing in the Euros for France, you cannot expect Payet to immediately pick up the same form he showed last season.

Even the very best players suffer a bit of a post-tournament hangover and take a while to click back into gear. I actually think Payet has continued to play well, certainly one of if not West Ham’s best player so far this season. Admittedly that is not saying much because of West Ham’s poor football at the moment, but if Bilic wants to see the best of Payet again he needs to get the players around him performing to a higher level, the club cannot afford to be dependent on one player.

The worry now for West Ham and their fans is that Payet could look elsewhere. The 29-year-old Frenchman will not want to spend the prime years of his career at a club that looks like they have no chance of finishing in the European spots this season. He has been linked with the likes of Real Madrid and Paris-Saint Germain, so should a club like that come knocking, I cannot see Payet wanting to hang around for much longer should the current climate at the club be sustained.

3 West Ham Players Bilic Needs To Get Rid Of In January

West Ham have endured a far from perfect start to the Premier League season. With the clubs ambitions far outweighing their current performance, Bilic needs to change something in January, and before he looks at making new signings he needs to get rid of the players that are not pulling their weight. Here’s three players he needs to bin.

1 – Gokhan Tore

He might only be on loan but the deal is very pointless. The Turkish winger just doesn’t look right at West Ham and cutting the loan deal short seems a sensible solution. It would allow for a more effective replacement to come in and stop the club wasting any more money or time on this deal. I think Bilic needs to replace Tore with a Premier League proven wide man – as Tore appears to not be well suited to the English game. It seems the West Ham hierarchy are not happy with his performances so far, however reports suggest that the club will have to pay a £2.5million fee to send Tore back to Besiktas early… ouch. West Ham do not want to become the QPR of the Premier League though and harvesting players that are not good enough can often be the start of a slippery slope.

3 Attacking Signings West Ham Should Complete In January To Turn Their Season Around

Things haven’t been going to plan so far for Slaven Bilic and West Ham United this season. They crashed out of Europe at the first hurdle (again) and are languishing in the bottom half the Premier League. Despite making several additions in the summer, it just hasn’t worked out. The Hammers need reinforcements in January, but they need to be the right ones. I take a look at three signings I feel would be suitable.

1 – Jermaine Defoe

A lot of the experimental signings West Ham have made from outside the Premier League have not worked out. That, and the fact that the next transfer window is in January, the middle of the season, shows that Bilic should not take risks and invest in some proven Premier League players. Few come more Premier League proven than Jermaine Defoe. His previous with Tottenham may irk a few fans, but the fact is he would greatly improve West Ham’s attacking options – even if he is just used as a sub. He wouldn’t cost a lot of money and with Sunderland (even at this stage) looking certain to go down, Defoe would surely jump at the chance to play for a club like West Ham.

‘He Ruined Chelsea’s €35m Signing’: Fans Rave About West Ham Forwards Quality Performance

West Ham reached the quarter finals of the FA Cup with an impressive 2-1 win over London rivals Chelsea on Wednesday night. 

One player who did impress on the night was West Ham’s Michail Antonio. The Englishman has played at both right back and right midfield this season, but on Wednesday night he led the line as a striker. The Hammers have struggled to find a reliable number 9 this season, and that has just been part of their big early season problems. But Bilic has obviously seen potential in Antonio as a striker, he has strength and pace and is also very good in the air. He’s scored a lot of goals from the right and it seems sensible to give him a go upfront. He’s played there a few times already, but it was on Wednesday night where he really excelled there, and certainly looked more useful than Simone Zaza in that position.

Antonio played as a lone striker and came up against new Chelsea summer signing David Luiz, who cost €35million. But on the night Antonio made the Brazilian look nothing like that value.

Here’s how the fans reacted to his performance on Twitter.

Antonio worked tirelessly up front, humiliating David Luiz several times throughout the game. It is great for West Ham that they have a player like him, who is so versatile and willing to work hard no matter where he plays. Excelling in striker just shows how Antonio was certainly not a right back. His defensive abilities are not great at all, but he has so much to give going forward. He really works hard, has a great leap, strength and pace, whilst his dribbling skills are also of a very high quality.

Premier League Team Of The Week: 2 Chelsea, 2 Arsenal, 1 Everton & 1 West Ham Player Feature

Maarten Stekelenburg – Everton

Well, I doubt Stekelenburg has quite had a performance like he did at the Etihad stadium in his whole career. The 34-year-old was absolutely fantastic for his club and saved two penalties which he made look routine, there comes a stage in the game where City must have thought they weren’t going to score, he was near on unbeatable between the sticks and was unlucky not to keep a clean sheet which he thoroughly deserved.

César Azpilicueta – Chelsea

Reverting back into right-back in a back three seemed to be very more comfortable for Azpilicueta, we have seen him occupy the left-back position more often than not in recent seasons but he looked very much at bay in his new (old) position in the back three and showcased a solid performance against the Premier League champions.

Azpilicueta gained possession nine times against the Foxes, more than any other Blues player and helped his side keep a clean sheet.

Winston Reid – West Ham United

Finally, West Ham gets back to winning ways after an impressive display at Selhurst Park in their 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

Winston Reid was very impressive and was solid at the heart of the Hammers defence which went on to help the club keep a clean sheet on away soil, in a tough physical battle against Christian Benteke Reid come out on top overall and helped his side take the three points, a exceptional performance.

David Luiz – Chelsea

Much like Azpilicueta, Luiz found himself in a back three under Conte’s new formation for the Blues which inevitably worked. Luiz was absolutely sublime during the course of the 90 minutes and gave the Foxes hitman Jamie Vardy a very tough afternoon after pocketing him quite comfortably.

He won his duels, swept up any attacks and played the ball efficiently from deep, a solid display whilst nearly getting him-self on the scoresheet…. At both ends.

José Holebas – Watford

Scored an absolute thunderbolt striker in Watford’s 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough, scoring form outside the box to the top left hand corner of the goal giving the goalkeeper no chance.

Holebas was efficient going forward and was just as instrumental defensively giving the Boro’ players a very tough afternoon after a superb performance.

Joe Allen – Stoke City

Joe Allen has been majestic all season and is single handily winning games for the Potters, three goals in four games thus far for the Welsh Pirlo whilst being a real nuisance for the opposition to cope with.

He has kick started his career after having a tough time under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and is slowly becoming one of the most key players in Mark Hughes squad, and if the Stoke man can keep up his consistent form I can certainly see himself get in double figures for the season.

Manuel Lanzini – West Ham United

West Ham looked much back to their old selves against Crystal Palace on Saturday evening and star of the show was their majestic Argentinian Lanzini who was a real problem for Palace all game.

He scored a well taken goal and drifted between the attack midfield and winger role throughout, he retained possession up the pitch with a 90% pass accuracy and linked the attack and midfield exquisitely making four key passes whilst having two shots, both of which tested the keeper and one paving out to be the winning goal.

Dele Alli -Tottenham Hotspur

Dele Alli scored Spurs’ equalizer as the North Londoners remained unbeaten thus far this season. The English international caused havoc all afternoon and tested the West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper numerous times, including one beautifully taken goal in the second half, showing composure and coolness whilst being surrounded in the penalty area.

The 20-year-old has become key in the Spurs’ side and has continued to shine again this season, scoring in back to back Premier League games for the first time since April 2016 he is starting to find his goal-scoring boots again.

Mesut Ozil – Arsenal

After a slow start to the Premier League campaign Mesut Ozil is starting to pull the strings again for the Gunners and has started to add more goals to his game too.

The German international has been excellent in recent weeks and scored the winning goal in the exhilarating 3-2 victory over Swansea, his winning goal come from a volley after a perfect ball from Alexis Sanchez, a partnership that could see Arsenal go far this season.

The Arsenal playmaker completed 53 of his attempted 58 passes against Swansea in the opposition half, as always brilliant.

Theo Walcott – Arsenal

Is this the year Theo Walcott finally shows his worth? The Arsenal forward score two well taken goal, and show have had a hat-trick or even four goals after hitting the post / crossbar twice in the 90th minute.

Walcott has often come under strong criticism for not nailing down a starting position for the Gunners on a consistent basis, but after a summer of hard work he looks set to score double figures this season.

When he is in this form he is arguably impossible to defend against, something Arsenal will relish in the coming months.

Junior Stanislas – Bournemouth

Bournemouth or Barcelona? After their comfortable 6-1 demolishing of Hull it didn’t look like a side that would be in a scrap for survival come the end of season, maybe they won’t?

Stanislas was the best of the bunch scoring two goals and also grabbing an assist in there massacre of the Tigers.

The Bournemouth man could have scored more after hitting the woodwork and going close on another occasion during the game after an exceptional performance by the Cherries forward.

‘He’s World Class’ Twitter Reacts To West Ham Midfielders Performance vs. Crystal Palace

West Ham moved out of the relegation zone on Saturday evening, picking up a vital 3 points away to Crystal Palace thanks to a Manuel Lanzini goal.

The Hammers played much better than they have of late, though they were maybe fortunate to pick up the three points after Cristian Benteke fluffed his penalty. With Creswell sent off in the latter stages, it meant West Ham had to hold on to get only their 2nd win of the Premier League season.

They have a lot to thank Lanzini for for winning this game. Not just the goal, but the little Argentine was majestic throughout. He played in an attacking midfield role, mainly on the right hand side but drifted throughout. He helped West Ham retain possession high up the pitch with a brilliant 90% pass accuracy, and linked midfield with attack so well making 4 key passes. He had 2 shots, both of which were on target and one resulting in a goal.

It may be somewhat surprising, but Lanzini actually has a very good workmate and can do a lot of defensive work as well as attacking. We saw that box-to-box ability showcased against Palace on Saturday evening where he put a lot of pressure on the Crystal Palace midfield, in total making 5 successful tackles, a huge amount for an attacking midfielder. It was refreshing to see because in this bad period of form for West Ham, it is important that their players show desire and he epitomised that word in this game.

Here is what the fans have had to say about Lanzini’s performance on Twitter.

After a mixed season on loan last time around, Lanzini seems to be flourishing now that he has signed for the Hammers permanently. He understands the team, his role and seems settled into London life. It is important that Slaven Bilic can continue to get the best out of the youngster as he has a huge amount of potential and with Dimitri Payet aged 29 and perhaps likely to leave next summer, West Ham will need a new star in their midfield and Lanzini looks like he has the potential to fill that void.

It will be important now that Lanzini shows that same desire in future matches for West Ham, as they need him to be as influential if they are to lift themselves into the top half of the table, something that must be their absolute minimum expectation for the season.

Hammers Hampered With Property Problems: What West Ham Need To Change

– Article by James Ash – 

The proverbial storm clouds are gathering at the Olympic Stadium and there is little sign of the sun piercing through them to help change the miserable forecast for West Ham United. The Hammers, who thrilled many last season with their performances, are struggling in their new home – but it shouldn’t be a surprise. 

Moving stadiums is never easy. Moving into a stadium that it is perceived to be relatively cheap is even harder, and moving into a stadium at the tax payers’ expense is intimidating. Not only is the club involved faced with the difficulties of adapting to new surroundings, there are heightened levels of public scrutiny and expectations.

As I tweeted yesterday, it would be a tough task to put a list together of football clubs that deserve to move into a stadium, but I don’t think West Ham United would have been on it. The club’s move to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford from Upton Park is hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons at the moment, and results on the pitch are not helping.

A club with, for better or worse, strong traditions and a universally recognised history was never going to settle into an Olympic venue overnight. However, the issues the West Ham board is now facing are bigger than just teething problems – they are attacking the club’s soul. Now, let’s be clear, I am not saying West Ham is less deserving than any other club, but the club is now facing an internal struggle that many from the outside believe could have easily been avoided.

Despite all of last season’s suggestions that Upton Park was a beloved as the club’s legendary players, the move to a bigger ground was the right decision to make. It had to be. Bigger crowds, more income. It’s one of the few ways to properly compete in modern football. Let’s ignore how the stadium was acquired for the time being.

However, once the deal to move to the Olympic Stadium was confirmed, West Ham had a duty to make the transition easy for its fans and its players. Let’s take the new rules and restrictions effecting the paying punters. There’s been violent infighting and even when the side won a Europa League qualifier in July, some fans weren’t overly convinced with their new home.

But here’s the biggest problem so far: don’t stand, and try not to sing too loudly. It’s hardly the right way of re-creating the Boleyn atmosphere. We can understand that a key to getting attendances up is to bring more children into the ground with family-friendly atmospheres – but to telling fans to change their habits before they’ve had the chance to remember where the loo is isn’t exactly a warming welcome.

This sort of change needs to be organic – an evolution not a revolution. The club could have slowly introduced new rules after discovering which areas of the ground suited its range of supporters instead of dictating terms to the people it relies on to make this move work.

The players are also struggling. Could it be the manager; could it be the stadium? It’s hard to tell right now, but it’s very likely some of the squad will blame the stadium – and their new training facilities – on the poor form rather than themselves.

There’s no doubt that a few good results will help lift the clouds, but for now, West Ham needs to decide what sort of club it wants to be and set out a clear plan on how to make that happen. Otherwise, the Olympic Stadium could be home to a club that isn’t just losing football matches but losing its identity.

Player Ratings: West Ham 0-3 Southampton – Saints Midfield Excels

These are the Fresh Football player ratings for West Ham vs. Southampton. 

Southampton

Forster 6 – Forster had little to work for with thanks to the Southampton defence, but as always, he claimed each and every cross with confidence

Cedric 6 – Cedric took up some superb positions but failed to come up with the goods. He so nearly could have had an impressive game.

Fonte 7 – Fonte was back to better form today with some intelligent passes and well timed interceptions. Much more of this please.

Van Dijk 8 – calm on the ball and physically dominant. Van Dijk is well and truly placing himself amongst the League’s best defenders.

Bertrand 8 – Bertrand was incredible in all areas of the pitch. As ever, he was strong in his decisions and in carrying them out. West Ham found no joy down the left side of the pitch.

Romeu 9 – Romeu was my man of the match. Not only did he win the ball back on numerous occasions, but he also built from deep, constantly offered himself as an option when others are on the ball and he even initiated multiple counter attacks.

Hojbjerg 7 – the more Southampton fans see from this man, the more they love, and rightly so. He was controlled, classy and positive on the ball.

Davis 7 – Davis covered his ground superbly, however, he stalled a number of attacks with some slow decision making. He was brilliant on all other areas.

Tadic 8 – Tadic is flourishing under Claude Puel and it seems like he’s loving every last minute of it. He found pockets of space and his team mates with absolute ease throughout the game. In addition, he was as cool as you like with his finish too.

Redmond 7 – Redmond is already showing growth at Southampton. His movement and ability to work the channels cause the West Ham defence multiple issues.

Austin 8 – Austin done what Austin does best, and that’s find the back of the net. It must also be noted that he played a sensational pass into the feet of Tadic for the Serbian’s goal too.

Subs: Ward-Prowse 6.5 – he scored a valuable goal in the closing stages of the game, helping to put the final nail in the coffin.

Long 6 – he had little time to impact the game, but he hurried the West Ham defence in the final minutes.

West Ham

Adrian 7 – without Adrian the game could have finished 6-0. He made a number of very impressive stops, in particular one save against Tadic whilst the game still had all to play for.

Nordtveit 4 – he was playing out of position and boy did it show. Nordtveit was at fault for the first goal and was continually troubled throughout the game.

Ogbonna 5 – Ogbonna was dragged out of position on too many occasions with thanks to Tadic and Redmond’s movement.

Reid 5 – like Ogbonna, he is capable of performing far better. The Southampton attack gave him a real test throughout.

Arbeloa 5 – Arbeloa failed to make an impact and was under pressure all afternoon

Noble 4.5 – Noble was played in a packed midfield to help nullify Tadic, but that plan clearly didn’t come to fruition.

Kouyate 5 – the Southampton midfield had Kouyate running around mindlessly on many occasions.

Antonio 5 – he’s been in superb form in recent weeks, but Bertrand showed his class today.

Payet 5 – In truth, it’s hard for Payet to play well when everyone around him is struggling so badly, but nevertheless, he failed to impact the game.

Lanzini 5 – Romeu ensured that Lanzini had almost no joy through the middle.

Zaza 4 – it’s been one to forget for Zaza as his worryingly poor start at West Ham continues.

Subs: Feghouli 6 – he found some nice areas in Southampton’s half but couldn’t quite make that final ball.

Fletcher 5 – not much more can be expected from such a young player when others are failing to carry out the most simple of tasks

5 Quality Midfielders To Put In Your Fantasy Football Team For Under £7.5m

As values of players increase and prolific consistent points-scoring players start to become clearer to Fantasy Premier League players, managers may have to save a little money in the midfield area in order to sufficiently strengthen the defence or the attack and stick with the strict £100m budget.

Here are five low priced midfielders that we feel will not only keep the cost down, but also bring vital points into your squad.

1) Robert Snodgrass- Hull City
Value- £5.7m
16/17 Total Points- 31

Robert Snodgrass is one of the main attacking threats for Hull this season, and following his move from relegated Norwich, the winger has overcome a horrific injury and is back to his his best.

The Scotsman has scored three goals this season in five games, and at just £5.7m, he is a bargain who will score you points in the midfield, having picked up 31 this season, making him the highest scoring Hull City player.

Hull have a couple of tough fixtures coming up. They make the trip to Anfield on Saturday before hosting Chelsea the week after. However, fixtures start to get a little less harsh after the October international break with a trip Bournemouth followed by a home game against Stoke. Plenty of opportunities for Snodgrass to score more points.

3 Fantasy Football Players To Avoid This Week: Ft. West Ham, Swansea & Tottenham Players

As gameweek six approaches, Fantasy Premier League managers will be looking at who to transfer in ahead of the sixth instalment of Premier League action, but here are three players that we strongly advise avoiding including in your squad ahead of the 11:30 deadline on Saturday morning.

1) James Collins- West Ham

The West Ham defence has been to blame for West Ham’s recent troubles. Although some of the goals scored against them have been of high quality, shipping over three goals per game over their last three is not a record that will please Slaven Bilic.

Watford and West Brom have not looked like teams who are likely to score four in a match, but they have managed to do that in matches against the Hammers.

If you are looking for clean sheet points, then James Collins, or any of the West Ham defensive unit for that matter, are not players to have in your squad. They come up against Southampton this week, who have not been clinical in front of goal thus far, but that could change against a shaky West Ham defence.

Player Ratings: West Ham United 1-0 Bourenmouth

Here are Fresh Football’s ratings for the Hammers first Premier League game at the London Stadium against Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth.

West Ham United

Adrian – 7.5

Cannot remember him touching the ball in the first half. Had more to do in the second-half though, great save on the 52 second minute to deny king followed by two brilliant reflex saves in stoppage time.

Sam Byram – 7

Solid defensively and offensively, put in some dangerous crosses but was booked for some rash tackles.

Winston Reid – 6.5

Very quiet first half but was solid against a quick attacking line, had plenty to do in the second half and continued to be dominant at the back.

James Collins – 6.5

Much like Reid, quiet on the defensive front in the first half, but composed on the ball and had the better of his man.

Arthur Masuaku – 7

Very good first start for the left-back, kept Ibe at bay and was solid defensively, was always an outlet going forward too.

Havard Nordtveit – 6

Strong in the middle of the park and kept things ticking, struggled a bit in the second half as Bournemouth found new life.

Cheikhou Kouyate – 7

Played as the box to box midfielder with Nordtveit sitting, supported the attack and defence well, all round good performance.

Gokhan Tore – 8

Brilliant play and skill on the right flank and often got the beating of his marker. nearly scored an acrobatic volley in the 58th minute and assisted brilliantly in the 84th, after getting the better of his man and putting in a perfect cross.

Mark Noble – 7.5

Was at the heart of most things in the first half and struck some quick counter attacks with exquisite passing, was more quiet in the second half but another good game from the Hammers captain.

Michael Antonio – 8.5 (MOTM)

Playing in midfield after his horror show against Chelsea at right back, was ok in the first half but did switch off at times, touch wasn’t great but was always looking to make something happen. Scored the winning goal in the 84th minute heading in Tore’s cross which saw him just edge his West Ham teammate (Tore) to MOTM.

Enner Valencia – 6

Quiet and frustrating afternoon for Valencia, was kept at bay by the Bournemouth defence and certainly didn’t do enough as a lone striker.

Bournemouth

Artur Boruc – 6

Made a few good saves and more or less dominated his area, could not do much for Antonio’s goal.

Adam Smith – 5.5

Did not support the attack like he did last week and was a rare outlet for Ibe, had his hands full with Antonio.

Simon Francis – 6.5

Very solid first half, often had the ball and tried to build up the play, much the same in the second.

Steve Cook 6.5

Much like Francis, was good on the ball and did not give the West Ham attack a sniff on the ball.

Charlie Daniels – 5

Had a very tough afternoon against Tore who got the beating off him to regular.

Jordon Ibe – 5.5

Frustrating first half, always looked positive on the ball and looked to run his man, needs to release the ball quicker. In the 50th minute he hesitated to shoot and fluffed his pass.

Harry Arter – 4

Was very quiet in the first half and got himself sent off for two ridiculous yellow cards, Howe will be fuming.

Andrew Surman – 6.5

Found it difficult to control the game as Nordtveit and Kouyate dominated the middle of the park, come more to life in the second half and was at the heart of the midfield battle.

Ryan Fraser – 5.5

Byram kept him quiet in the first half but the winger certainly showcased his speed at times, much the same in the second half too.

Callum Wilson – 5

Poor first half, did not create anything and was easily marked out of the game, was a passenger again in the second half.

Joshua King – 6.5

Likewise, similar to Wilson in the first half, poor showing from the striker. Came to life in the second half and saw a brilliant shot saved in the 52nd minute, he nearly got the Cherries a point in the 92nd minute but a fine save from Adrian again denied him.

Subs

Jonathan Calleri – 5

Was anonymous apart from missing a one on one in the 94 minute.

Ashley Fletcher – N/A

Pedro Obiang – N/A

Lewis Grabban – 4

Did not do much when he come on.

Nathan Ake – N/A

Dan Gosling – N/A

Deal Close: West Ham Agree Fee For Electric Premier League Forward

West Ham are closing in on the transfer of an exciting Premier League attacker after agreeing a fee with the club.

According to Sky Sports, West Ham have met Swansea’s £20million valuation of Andre Ayew. The versatile forward is likely to complete a move to the London club before the season starts next weekend. A week ago Sky Sports reported that Swansea were set to bid £20million and now they report that Swansea will accept that bid should Swansea secure the signing of a replacement. Swansea are eyeing Borja Baston as a potential replacement for Ayew according to Wales Online, and they have already signed Fernando Llorente.

Ayew would probably have no hesitation in signing the contract at West Ham. The location of London is an obvious draw whilst the clubs new stadium and ambitious recruitment will also be attractive to the player.

Swansea will be happy to net £20million from Ayew’s sale considering he didn’t cost them a penny just 12 months ago.

Although West Ham have been searching for a central striker, Ayew can play there quite well. WhoScored note that he scored 6 goals in 9 starts at centre forward, not a bad return at all. In total Ayew scored 12 Premier League goals and made 2 assists last season.

With the Hammers lack of quality central striking options it is possible that Ayew could be signed to play up front. So how does he compare to West Ham’s options from last season? We took a look at the stats.

Firstly I wanted to take a look at goals scored per 90. That is the main thing the Hammers were missing last season afterall. Ayew managed a very respectable 0.37, that’s very good when you consider he played many matches in wide areas. Andy Caroll tops the list on 0.56 but the other strikers are behind Ayew (Valencia – 0.35, Sakho – 0.30). There is a similar pattern when you look at shot accuracy, Carroll leads the way again with 57%, whilst Ayew is 2nd on 50%. In terms of key passes, it is Carroll who leads the way again on 1.12 per 90, Ayew is last in this area on 0.65.

The problem with Carroll is, despite his impressive statistics he struggles against the lower Premier League clubs and his consistency is troubled by injuries. West Ham fans will hope Ayew can be more consistent if he did arrive.

Is Ayew a nice middle-ground between Carroll and the more agile strikers? The statistics certainly paint that picture. Enner Valencia leads the way with successful take ons (1.33) and Carroll is last on just 0.44. Ayew managed 0.86 and he certainly has more pace than Carroll.

One area for concern is potentially Ayew’s lack of creativity. Despite playing in a wide forward role last season, Ayew managed just 2 assists in 34 games. That certainly is a worry and it is backed up by his poor key passes tally of just 0.65 per 90. Carroll uses his body and touch to create openings for others and leads the way between the four forwards in terms of key passes (1.12).

Of course statistics don’t tell the full story and we don’t know exactly how well Ayew will fit in at West Ham if he does join, but it’s clear that the player is a proven Premier League talent that certainly has the potential to improve Bilic’s starting eleven.

Bilic is likely to demand more running from Ayew who was often perceived as lazy by many Swansea fans during many games last season. West Ham fans will know though that Bilic has the potential to motivate players and get the most out of them physically.

It’ll certainly be interesting to see how Bilic decides to line up next season with the likes of Feghouli and potentially Calleri and Ayew in a new look Hammers attack. Will it be enough to take them into the top four? We’d love to hear your thoughts, tweet us @FreshFootball on Twitter.

Deal Close: West Ham Set To Sign €28million Natural Goalscorer

West Ham United finally look set to land a new high-profile striker this summer after having several setbacks in bid to find the right man to lead their forward line.

According to ESPN, the Hammers are now in advanced negotiations over a potential £24 million move for Carlos Bacca.

The AC Milan hit-man is available this summer and the Hammers have identified him as a key target, Bacca is looking to leave Milan this summer due to the club’s failure to qualify for Europe.

Slaven Bilic has been desperate to land a top quality striker this summer and has missed out on number 1 target Michy Batshuayi who has completed a move to Chelsea, they also look set to lose out on Alexandre Lacazette after the player himself rejected the Hammers three times and now Arsenal, PSG, and Atletico Madrid have joined the race to sign the French international.

But, a deal for Bacca is a real possibility this summer, the 29-year-old has reportedly entered negotiations with the club and the deal is now deemed at an “advanced stage”.

West Ham will be desperate to get the deal done and dusted as Champions League sides Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are also said to be interested in signing Bacca.

West Ham have failed to land a number of high-profile strikers this summer and are desperate to sign the Colombian international in the coming weeks.

Bacca has spent just one season in Serie A after joining AC Milan last summer, he enjoyed a successful season and found the net 18 times in his debut campaign.

Milan signed Bacca from Sevilla in 2015 and he has made 38 appearances for the club, the Colombian international has also represented his country 33 times scoring 13 goals.

Bacca, who is and out and out striker really likes to dribble with the ball and try to get at defences, he is a pure number 9 and has a good goal to game ratio at every club he has been at, this doesn’t come as a surprise at all as his main strength is his finishing, something that has definitely caught the eye of West Ham manager Slaven Bilic.

Bacca is a real old fashioned centre-forward, a poacher in the box who offers a fantastically lethal threat in front of goal, but the natural striker does not offer much else in terms of build-up play.

West Ham will not worry too much about his build-up play though, they have one of the best creators in Europe, Dimitri Payet and will want Bacca using his killer instinct in front of goal.
The 5 ft 11′ striker does show a few obvious weaknesses though, Bacca’s passing is deemed quite weak and he only managed 13.98 successful passes per 90 minutes last season, this is outshone by Andy Carroll, West Ham United’s current striker who managed 16.72.

Carroll, who played 11 games less than Bacca last season also managed an impressive score of 0.56 goals per 90 minutes, which is once again superior to Bacca who scored 0.51.

Carroll who found fine form last season burst into life after scoring a hat-trick against Arsenal, he managed several impressive performances for West Ham and also managed to create chances as well as score goals, he created 1.25 chances per 90 minutes which once again sees him high-ranking than Bacca who managed 1.17.

Another weakness of Bacca’s play is his offside awareness, he is often caught flat-footed when receiving the ball and is not quick enough to get in an onside position, this is of course a worry for the Hammers but it is something Bilic will be able to work on in training.

Bacca has a £24 million release clause in his contract with Milan, and his agent Sergio Barila claimed the Hammers have already had one bid rejected but discussions are ongoing.

Sergio Barila revealed that Atletico and PSG are interested in Bacca, but also said there is interest elsewhere without naming West Ham.

“All I can say is that these clubs are not the only ones who have made a move for him,” Barila said. “Other big clubs have enquired about him.”

Barila added: “There was firm interest from China in January with substantial offers, but Carlos wants to be a protagonist at the highest levels in Europe still and he has no intention taking [China] into consideration. There will be time for this kind of choice later, certainly not now.”

Bacca is on holiday following the Copa America Centenario, where he helped Colombia to a third-place finish, and Barila said: “When he gets back, we’ll talk to Milan and evaluate the situation.”

Bacca has been spoken about for several years around Europe and has been linked with a move to England before as Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United were all reportedly interested in his signature.

West Ham certainly look set to finally land a high-profile striker after showing real signs of intent so far this summer but not managing to complete the deal, Bacca, who is 29-years-old will certainly add goals and experience to West Ham’s forward line and help the club have a successful season, not just in the league but Europe as well.