WHO Poll
Q: 2023/24 Hopes & aspirations for this season
a. As Champions of Europe there's no reason we shouldn't be pushing for a top 7 spot & a run in the Cups
b. Last season was a trophy winning one and there's only one way to go after that, I expect a dull mid table bore fest of a season
c. Buy some f***ing players or we're in a battle to stay up & that's as good as it gets
d. Moyes out
e. New season you say, woohoo time to get the new kit and wear it it to the pub for all the big games, the wags down there call me Mr West Ham

Alan 12:05 Fri Feb 24
Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Arsenal have put West Ham's England midfielder Declan Rice, 24, at the top of their wanted list this summer as the Gunners are unlikely to have the funds to compete for Borussia Dortmund's £150m-rated England midfielder Jude Bellingham, 19. (Football.London)

However, Rice would transform Liverpool's midfield if he joined the Reds, according to the club's former midfielder Dietmar Hamann. (Talksport)

Bellingham, meanwhile, has not been put off by Liverpool's recent poor results and remains an admirer of both the club and Reds boss Jurgen Klopp. (Athletic - subscription required)

Inter Miami boss Phil Neville says the Major League Soccer club are interested in signing Paris St-Germain's Argentina forward Lionel Messi, 35, and Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets, 34. Both will be out of contract in the summer. (Times - subscription required)

Barcelona president Joan Laporta is increasingly confident that Messi can be persuaded to return to the Nou Camp. (90 Min)

Croatia defender Josko Gvardiol has been linked with a move to the Premier League but RB Leipzig manager Marco Rose expects the 21-year-old to still be at the German club next season. (Goal)

Manchester United want to strengthen their defence by signing Napoli's South Korea centre-back Kim Min-jae, 26, who has a £42m release clause. (Corriere dello Sport - in Italian)

Meanwhile, United are keen to offer a new long-term contract to Argentina Under-20 forward Alejandro Garnacho. The 18-year-old is out of contract in the summer of 2024 and the club want to reward him with a significant pay rise. (Mail)

Liverpool's Brazil midfielder Fabinho, 29, could be facing the exit after five years at Anfield as boss Jurgen Klopp looks to refresh his squad in the summer. (Mirror)

Tottenham are leading the chase to sign Leicester City and England midfielder James Maddison, 26. (Football 365)

Belgium forward Romelu Lukaku, 29, is not keen to return to Chelsea after his loan spell at Inter Milan ends at the end of the season. (90min)

Everton could move for Udinese's Portuguese forward Beto, 25, in the summer after having a "huge" bid for the player turned down in January. (Liverpool Echo)

Arsenal submitted a 70m euro (£61.7m) offer to Barcelona for the Brazil forward Raphinha, 26, in January. (Sport - in Spanish)

Former West Ham and Everton forward Enner Valencia is close to joining Brazilian club Internacional from Fenerbahce, with the 33-year-old Ecuador international set to move on a free transfer.(Fabrizio Romano)

Chelsea are close to reaching a verbal agreement with Independiente del Valle to sign 15-year-old Ecuadorian midfielder Kendry Paez, who will be able to join when he turns 18. (Fabrizio Romano)

Sky Paper Talk


Phil Neville has admitted that Inter Miami are interested in Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets.

England's "big six" clubs face paying millions of pounds each year to fund the new independent regulator for football under plans announced by the government.

Jordan Pickford's new contract at Everton does not include a relegation release clause.

Steve Borthwick and England players are pushing the RFU to relax the overseas player rule.


An enhanced owners' and directors' test, one of the central components of a proposed independent regulator for football, would not have prevented the Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle and would not block a Qatari buyout of Manchester United, the government has confirmed.


Liverpool have received a timely boost with Ibrahima Konate returning to training after three weeks out.

Referee John Brooks will return to duty in the FA Cup after being dropped following a high-profile error in the Premier League.

Real Madrid's David Alaba faces a month out injured with a right hamstring injury.


Chelsea stars have reportedly been left unconvinced by the new haul of transfers.

Darren Fletcher's sons bizarrely played against each other in a youth international clash.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has reportedly been thrown a transfer lifeline by Fenerbahce.

Tommy Fury has accepted an £8m bet from Jake Paul on the outcome of their fight in front of media in the Middle East.


Bukayo Saka has told Arsenal he wants to stay, with the Premier League leaders closing in on securing their brilliant forward to a new contract worth a minimum £10m a year.

Newcastle's players will share bonuses of £1m if they win the club's first trophy in 48 years in the Carabao Cup final against Manchester United on Sunday.

Furious Newcastle fans have ripped into former Magpies striker Nile Ranger after he was seen trying to sell 100 tickets to their Carabao Cup final on social media.

Manchester United academy graduate Andreas Pereira has debunked the theory that Jose Mourinho limits chances for young players.

Conor Benn could still be hit with a ban of up to two years for his positive drugs tests despite being permitted to return to the World Boxing Council rankings this week.


Football's new independent regulator will have up to 200 staff members.

Napoli defender Kim Min-jae has emerged as a Manchester United target once more, a few short years after Jose Mourinho turned down the chance to sign the centre-back.

Sergio Ramos has confirmed his retirement from international football after a call from Spain's new manager Luis de la Fuente.

There were ugly scenes at the end of PSV Eindhoven's Europa League play-off clash against Sevilla on Thursday evening after a fan invaded the pitch and confronted a player.


Josko Gvardiol's Premier League suitors have been warned RB Leipzig will not give up the £100m-rated defender without a fight this summer.

Sergio Garcia has expressed his "sadness" at the breakdown of his close relationship with Rory McIlroy, saying that the Northern Irishman "lacked maturity" when abruptly ending their friendship over the LIV Golf breakaway.

The All England Club's much-delayed plans to expand into neighbouring Wimbledon Park Golf Course are likely to receive a verdict from the local councils - namely Merton and Wandsworth - in the week beginning April 24.


Chelsea star Mykhailo Mudryk is 'not in a good mood' at the club according to Shakhtar Donetsk director of football Darijo Srna as the 40-year-old joked he would buy the player back.

Tottenham are reportedly keen to sign Lecce star Morten Hjulmand at the end of the season, with the midfielder attracting plenty of interest due to his good form in the Serie A.

Chelsea attacking duo Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Christian Pulisic are targeting a way out of Stamford Bridge this summer.


Crystal Palace are among a number of English Premier League clubs who are keen on Rangers youngster Calum Adamson.

Dundee United have made a move for US international keeper Bill Hamid.

Cho Gue-sung could be set for a move to Glasgow in the summer transfer window - albeit to the blue half of the city, with Rangers being touted for a move by Jeonbuk sporting director Park Ji-sung.

Hearts have opened contract talks with Robert Snodgrass over extending the veteran's stay in Gorgie.

The Athletic

West Ham have been ‘too good to go down’ before. It didn’t end well

By Roshane Thomas

“That team is the ultimate example that there’s no such thing as being ‘too good to go down’. The problem is you think there’s plenty of time — ‘Oh, we’ll win the next game, we’ll turn it around’. Before you know, it you’re relegated.”

Former West Ham United defender Scott Minto is reflecting on the 2002-03 season. West Ham amassed 42 points and remain the only club to be relegated from the Premier League with more than 40 points.

Despite a team boasting Declan Rice, Nayef Aguerd, Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen, and a summer expenditure of over £160million ($192.2m), David Moyes’ side are in the relegation zone following the 2-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.

Minto sees plenty of similarities between the 2002-03 squad and the endangered class of 2023.

“We were tipped to finish top six at the start of the season, just like Moyes’ team,” says Minto. “We had David James, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, Jermain Defoe, Paolo Di Canio, Trevor Sinclair, Steve Lomas — and that’s just half the squad.

“Most teams would probably finish 14th with 42 points these days but that squad in 2002-03 was just as good as this squad under Moyes.

“It was one thing after another that season. We didn’t get our first home win until January (a 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers), key players were out of form, we didn’t go into games feeling confident, and then we had to deal with injuries. We just couldn’t kick on.”

Similar to West Ham’s 2002-03 vintage, Moyes’ side are widely considered too good to go down but they have suffered 13 losses in the league, the second-highest behind Southampton (15). There are games where decisions have gone against them, like the 2-1 loss to Chelsea in September, with VAR ruling out Maxwel Cornet’s goal, or the 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest in August where West Ham attempted 19 shots, five of which were on target.

Home form was an issue for Minto’s side while away form has been an issue for West Ham this term. Their last away league win was against Aston Villa in August. No side has won fewer away points (six) in the top-flight this season than them and, at 10 games, this is also West Ham’s longest winless run on the road in the top flight since May 2015 (12 games).

“Our away form, I can’t put my finger on it,” says Moyes. “In recent seasons, we’ve been much better.”

If you compare and contrast the 2002-03 and 2010-11 seasons, where West Ham were relegated from the Premier League, and 2022-23 after 23 league games, there is a similar theme.

In 2002-03, under Glenn Roeder and later Sir Trevor Brooking, West Ham yielded 17 points in their first 23 games, having suffered 12 losses. It was 20 points in 2010-11 under Avram Grant with 11 losses. Moyes’ side have 20 points too, but have suffered 13 defeats.

“I still think this side will be fine,” says ex-West Ham midfielder John Moncur. “When you’re down there, especially around Christmas, that’s when it starts to become a problem. I’m certain it will be in the back of the players’ minds, no doubt. The season before (2002-03), we had a great home record. It was only Manchester United who had a better one.

“But we lost confidence after our first home game against Arsenal (which ended in a 2-2 draw). Freddie Kanoute missed a penalty (to put West Ham 3-1 up) and we conceded a last-minute goal. We just didn’t recover. We should’ve won and then we lost the next three games.

“If you struggle to win your home games, you have no chance. That also played a big part in us going down. It started to hit home when we had chats about staff potentially losing their jobs if we get relegated.”

On April 21, 2003, Roeder collapsed after West Ham’s 1-0 win against Middlesborough and was subsequently diagnosed with a brain tumour. Club legend Brooking was appointed caretaker manager and oversaw the last three games of the season against Manchester City, Chelsea and Birmingham City.

“We turned a corner but it was too little too late,” says ex-West Ham defender Nigel Winterburn. “No matter how we played, we’d always end up doing something stupid and it would cost us the game. The season was a disaster. I don’t believe the theory that you’re too good to go down. You’re down there for a reason. Any team that thinks they’re too good to go down will get relegated.”

Moyes is under pressure ahead of this Saturday’s game against Nottingham Forest.

He retains the board’s full support, but earlier in the season they enquired about the availability of former Liverpool and Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez, and ex-Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco. West Ham’s decision-makers are aware of the financial calamity relegation would bring and it was telling that American billionaire and shareholder Albert Tripp Smith attended the 1-1 draw against Chelsea.

In 2010-11, West Ham’s board were so concerned at the club’s form that they were prepared to offer Martin O’Neill a £3million bonus if he replaced Grant and kept them in the league. Grant, who still had three and a half years to run on his deal, made it clear he would not be resigning. In the end, O’Neill was disappointed that his potential arrival had been made public.

“During the (2010-11) season, it was so patently clear that the club was heading into trouble,” says former West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green. “Us players were pleading, screaming, trying everything we could to fix the situation. In the end, it wasn’t enough, and it was so painful having to deal with that. We knew relegation was coming and we couldn’t do anything about it.

“We could’ve signed Cristiano Ronaldo and we still would’ve gone down. MK Dons in pre-season (West Ham won 2-0 against their League One opponent) is when I knew we were in trouble. That is when the alarm bells started ringing. I turned to someone and they asked me, ‘What do you think?’. I said, ‘Avram Grant is either a genius or we’re knackered’. That was my first game back because I’d come back late from the World Cup but I’d seen enough to be worried about our season.”

Green’s recollection is not too dissimilar to the concerns Moyes had in pre-season last summer. West Ham won two of their seven pre-season games (against Servette and Ipswich) and only scored eight goals.

“We’re here half-cooked at the moment, trying to get everyone back fit and ready for the season to start,” said Moyes after their 2-0 win against Servette in Switzerland.

In the 2002-03, 2010-11 and 2022-23 seasons, West Ham won once in their opening seven league games, and after their 2-0 home loss to Brighton & Hove Albion in August, Moyes said: “I am concerned but also, I’m having to bed people in. I’m not quite sure we are ready yet. We haven’t got everything in place and there is a little bit of a change coming.”

That uncertainty has been a theme of this season, too. Rice questioned West Ham’s tactics after Sunday’s defeat to Tottenham and this is something that goalkeeper Green did countless times in 2010-11.

“Me, Scott Parker, Matt Upson and Carlton Cole were stood in the tunnel against Arsenal (West Ham went on to lose 1-0 at the Emirates in October 2010) and I went, ‘Are we playing the formation I think we’re playing?’,” said Green. “Then the others said, ‘You know what, I’m not sure. What do you think it is?’. This discussion went on in the tunnel for ages because we weren’t sure what formation we were supposed to be playing.

“In the end, the manager said he wanted to play a 4-2-4 formation and then, when we got on the pitch, it changed to a 4-5-1 formation. Just pure madness. We actually lost in pretty much the last minute. The manager was about to bring on Julien Faubert and most of us went, ‘No! We’re OK, we’ll see the game out. Don’t bring him on’.

“Arsenal broke down the left and scored (via Alex Song) and Julien was playing on the right. I remember thinking to myself, ‘Bloody hell. The gaffer just had one job. All Julien had to do was stay on the bench’.”

A game similar to Green’s experience with Faubert was the 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace in November. West Ham were close to earning a much-needed point but in the dying stages of stoppage time, second-half substitute Antonio crossed the ball straight to Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita. This led to the visitors breaking on the counter and scoring a winner via Michael Olise in the 94th minute.

History tells us no club can be considered too good to go down. West Ham have 15 games to secure their Premier League status for another term but the table never lies, and 2002-03 and 2010-11 seasons are examples of that.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Texas Iron 5:01 Fri Feb 24
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Texas Iron 5:01 Fri Feb 24
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Thanks Alan 12:31 Fri Feb 24
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
ted fenton 12:08 Fri Feb 24

ted fenton 12:08 Fri Feb 24
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
bill green 12:06 Fri Feb 24

ted fenton 12:07 Fri Feb 24
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan.

bill green 12:06 Fri Feb 24
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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