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
24%
  
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
17%
  
c. Buy some f***ing players or we're in a battle to stay up & that's as good as it gets
20%
  
d. Moyes out
37%
  
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
3%
  



Alan 12:59 Mon Nov 13
Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
BBC

Manchester City are interested in Chelsea and England defender Reece James, 23, as a long-term replacement for 33-year-old compatriot Kyle Walker. (Independent, via Manchester Evening News)

Saudi Pro League clubs are willing to offer about 100m euros for Manchester United and Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes, 29. (Fichajes - in Spanish)

Bayern Munich and Canada defender Alphonso Davies, 23, remains a summer target for Real Madrid. (Fabrizio Romano)

Liverpool and Tottenham will have to pay up to £30m for Bournemouth's English defender Lloyd Kelly, 25, in the January transfer window. (Football Insider)

Inter Milan are interested in Borussia Monchengladbach's Swiss forward Winsley Boteli, 17, who is also a target for Everton. (Inter Milan Live via Liverpool Echo)

Corinthians midfielder Gabriel Moscardohas been linked with Arsenal but the 18-year-old Brazilian says Chelsea tried to sign him during the summer. (Metro)

Liverpool have sent scouts to Leeds on multiple occasions to follow 17-year-old English midfielder Archie Gray. (Caught Offside)

Spanish winger Nico Williams does not want to leave Athletic Bilbao and will renew his contract with the Spanish club, which would make it tough for Aston Villa to sign the 21-year-old in January. (Birmingham Live)

Barcelona are interested in signing 26-year-old Nigerian midfielder Wilfred Ndidi when his contract with Leicester City expires at the end of the season. (Sky Sports)

Getafe want to extend 22-year-old former England forward Mason Greenwood's loan stay from Manchester United. (Sun)

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who owns French side Nice and is the prospective new owner of Manchester United, is interested in bringing 17-year-old Swedish midfielder Roony Bardghji to his Ligue 1 club after he came off the bench to score the winner for FC Copenhagen against United. Chelsea, Newcastle and Crystal Palace are also admirers. (Sun)

Ratcliffe, 71, is closing in on a £1.3bn deal for a 25% stake in Manchester United. (Mail)

Napoli are set to sack manager Rudi Garcia, with Igor Tudor, Fabio Cannavaro and Walter Mazzarri the possible options to replace him. (Football Italia)

Former Spain, Chelsea and Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas, 36, is set to be appointed as new Como head coach in his first senior managerial role. (Fabrizio Romano)

Chelsea are looking to sign a forward in January despite Senegal forward Nicolas Jackson, 22, scoring four goals in his past two Premier League games. (Football Insider)

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he would "never" block one of his players moving to a rival, which could pave the way for 27-year-old England midfielder Kalvin Phillips to join Liverpool or Newcastle. (Talksport)

Arsenal could offer English attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe, 23, in a cash-plus-player deal with Aston Villa for their 25-year-old Brazilian midfielder Douglas Luiz. (football.london)





Sky Paper Talk

DAILY MIRROR

Pep Guardiola insisted he has no problem with Mauricio Pochettino after the Chelsea head coach failed to shake his hand following Sunday's dramatic 4-4 draw.

Crystal Palace sporting director Dougie Freedman is reportedly being targeted for a major role in Sir Jim Ratcliffe's £1.3bn shake-up at Manchester United.

Arsenal are lining up a move for Julian Brandt. The Gunners want to bring the 27-year-old to the Emirates.

Former Premier League star Jonjo Shelvey took a leaf out of Harry Kane's book with an incredible goal from his own half for Turkish team Rizespor.

YouTube boxer Logan Paul is hanging up his gloves after beating Conor McGregor's team-mate Dillon Danis last month.

DAILY MAIL

Pep Guardiola poured scorn on claims Manchester City were the makers of their own downfall at Stamford Bridge, insisting Chelsea's £1bn spend means they should be among the Premier League's top contenders.

David Moyes admitted he is relieved that James Ward-Prowse has been overlooked for England as West Ham continued to reap the benefit from his wicked deliveries in their 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest.

No documents have been signed yet in Sir Jim Ratcliffe's £1.3bn deal for a 25 per cent stake in Manchester United but the end of a saga that started almost a year ago is in sight.

Maheta Molango, chief executive of the PFA, is due at St George's Park this week to speak to England's players about commercial negotiations.

Napoli are thought to be discussing Rudi Garcia's managerial position internally after Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Empoli, according to reports.

Rotherham United are set to sack manager Matt Taylor following Saturday's 5-0 defeat away at Watford.

THE SUN

The Glazer family will not attend Sir Bobby Charlton's funeral due to fears of abuse from angry Manchester United fans, according to reports.

Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus is set to fly to Brazil for international duty - despite being injured.

Locals living by Wrexham's stadium say they are trapped in their homes and overrun with tourists since the club's "Hollywood" takeover.

DAILY EXPRESS

Emma Raducanu continues to tumble down the WTA's world rankings as her absence from the court goes on.

England manager Gareth Southgate has warned the government that their plans for an independent regulator for football could become the new VAR and will cause confusion among stakeholders.

Thiago Silva's 15-year-old son could be the key to his father extending his contract at Chelsea by a further year.

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has reportedly left staff stunned by working 12-hour days to fix the Red Devils' woeful form.

Chelsea are reportedly set to cut Andrey Santos' loan spell with Nottingham Forest short, with the Brazilian teen having been handed just seven minutes of Premier League football since arriving at the City Ground.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe will follow Liverpool's lead by opting to redevelop Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium instead of building a new ground.

DAILY TELEGRAPH

Mauricio Pochettino apologised to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, referee Anthony Taylor and the officials for "crossing the limit" at the end of Chelsea's thrilling draw with the Premier League champions.

THE TIMES

Graham Lee, the only jockey to have won both the Grand National and Gold Cup at Ascot, remains in intensive care after suffering a neck injury in a fall at Newcastle on Friday evening.

Jude Bellingham has given England cause for concern before their remaining Euro 2024 qualifiers this week after missing Real Madrid's La Liga match on Saturday night because of a shoulder injury.

THE SCOTTISH SUN

Graham Carey admits it was fate he'd score St Johnstone's winner against Ross County. The Irishman slammed home a stunning second-half strike to lift Saints off the foot of the Premiership just days after it was revealed wife Rachel Borthwick is battling breast cancer for a fourth time.

A former SPL referee has been left baffled after VAR's failure to intervene after a huge penalty call in Rangers' win over Livingston.






Guardian

Tomas Soucek strikes late as West Ham edge Nottingham Forest in thriller

John Brewin at the London Stadium

To establish Nottingham Forest as a Premier League club – and keep Steve Cooper, a manager beloved among its fans in situ – an improvement in away form is desperately required. A game lost from a winning position, albeit one held for just 43 seconds of play, was a severe blow to both objectives.

Even though they knew precisely what was coming, Forest’s failure to deal with James Ward-Prowse’s expert delivery from corners and Tomas Soucek’s aerial prowess cost them the point to which they had been clinging since Jarrod Bowen’s headed equaliser. That, too, arrived via Ward-Prowse’s boot. One win from seven, just four points away from the City Ground, and 15th place with Bournemouth improving fast, spells imminent danger.

“We’ve not done our jobs and been punished for it,” said Cooper, for whom Ward-Prowse’s “fantastic” delivery offered no excuses. “If you are not willing to stay with your man and head the ball then you are at the risk of conceding goals. I am really disappointed that we have not won, and it’s all our own fault.”

While speculation over the widely admired Cooper may seem odd to outsiders, Evangelos Marinakis is an owner with his own, wilful mind, even if retaining the Welshman’s steady hand seems a worthy route to becoming the next Brighton or Brentford. Or indeed a West Ham, even if David Moyes’s team have lately been enjoying cup competitions and European expeditions rather than the Premier League. This was a first win in five league matches.

Ward-Prowse received his manager’s compliments, gloved in criticism of his colleagues. “He is world class at his deliveries, if I was him I’d be disappointed that the other boys haven’t scored more headers,” Moyes said.

Forest’s initial damage was self-inflicted rather than via Ward‑Prowse. As Cooper became only the second Forest manager, after Frank Clark, to make it to 50 Premier League games, his team were down by the third minute. Nicolás Domínguez, trying to pass upfield, succeeded only in hitting the rear end of his teammate Ibrahim Sangaré and Lucas Paquetá required no invitation to smash beyond Odysseas Vlachodimos. The Greek goalkeeper, impressive as a debutant the previous week, could not bail out Domínguez before Paqueta performed a celebration to recall the 1990s dance sensation the Lambada.


It was the perfect start for West Ham, who were engaged in Europa League action on Thursday


Lucas Paqueta (left) celebrates with Tomas Soucek after firing West Ham ahead early on

Forest’s first-half response was admirable, their first big chance to pull level in the first half coming in the 12th minute, Alphonse Areola getting plenty of hang-time to claw away Taiwo Awoniyi’s header. Vladimir Coufal against Anthony Elanga, down the Hammers’ right flank, was becoming the key battle. Coufal’s early yellow made his afternoon’s work harder yet it was from the other flank that Forest’s equaliser bookended a first half of which they had slowly gained. Sangaré pinged Morgan Gibbs-White clear and Areola could only palm into the path of Awoniyi.

After so many years of sterling service, Michail Antonio is being phased out as the leader of West Ham’s line. Bowen’s direct running is now the central foil for the twinned creative talents of Mohammed Kudus and Paquetá. Though with neither Paquetá nor Kudus much committed to pressing – Kudus providing zero protection to Coufal – such artistry comes at cost. “I don’t want us to lose that toughness,” Moyes said, characteristically doubtful of marrying verve with endeavour.

Forest almost took the lead in slow‑motion fashion as the second half began. Elanga and Awoniyi combined, and home fans sighed with relief when the striker failed to hit the target. To take the lead, Ola Aina, pushing up from full-back, angled the ball to Elanga, who had again escaped Coufal.

Yet Elanga’s lengthy, elaborate celebration was followed immediately by Bowen, performing an unlikely impression of Antonio, climbing to divert Ward-Prowse’s arrowing corner. “I can’t believe how easy the goals we have given away were,” Cooper said.


Bowen was the most determined in a packed penalty box as Forest's lead proved short-lived

For Bowen, that made it 11 goal involvements in 13 games, including nine goals. A bull-like physique honed in the potato fields of his native Herefordshire, as well as Ward‑Prowse’s nine assists and two goals in 15 games represent Moyes’s best hope of arresting his team’s slide from a decent start to the season.

Antonio, old dependable, was thrown on in search of a winner from a Forest team that had begun to sag and look to the clock. All 11 Forest players were in their box as Ward‑Prowse repeatedly aimed for Antonio and Kurt Zouma but Soucek, just as dangerous, much improved after last season’s dip in form, would prove the matchwinner.

First, he went headlong to produce a save from Vlachodimos, before Bowen forced another corner. This time, Vlachodimos, diving low, could not deny him. There was still time for Areola to save from Divock Origi but Forest’s away travails were soon confirmed as an ongoing, troubling concern. A better away performance than usual was cold comfort for Cooper. That “we have just thrown this away” was as much as he could offer.

MATCH FACTS (Mail)

West Ham United (4-2-3-1): Areola 7; Coufal 6, Zouma (c) 7, Aguerd 7, Emerson 6; Alvarez 6.5 (Antonio 79), Ward-Prowse 7; Kudus 6.5 (Ogbonna 90+5), Soucek 7, Paqueta 7.5 (Cresswell 90+9); Bowen 7

Substitutes not used: Fabianski (GK); Fornals, Mavropanos, Ings, Benrahma, Kehrer

Manager: David Moyes 7

Scorers: Paqueta 3; Bowen 65; Soucek 88 Booked: Coufal, Kudus

Nottingham Forest (4-3-3): Vlachodimos 6.5; Aina 7 (Aurier 76), Niakhate 6, Murillo 6 (Boly 76), Toffolo 6.5; Sangare 7 (Origi 90), Mangala 6, Dominguez 5.5 (Danilo 46, 6); Gibbs-White (c) 6.5, Awoniyi 7 (Wood 76), Elanga 7.5

Substitutes not used: Turner (GK); Williams, Kouyate, Yates

Manager: Steve Cooper 6

Scorers: Awoniyi 44; Elanga 63 Booked: Niakhate, Elanga

Referee: Michael Salisbury 6





The Athletic

James Ward-Prowse has been a brilliant signing for West Ham – but he compounds their problems

By Liam Tharme

At the StatsBomb conference in 2021, Ian Graham, then Liverpool’s head of research, gave a talk. It was about transfers, and why many of them fail.

He outlined seven issues why:

The new player is worse than the one they replace
They are not as good as first thought
They do not fit the team’s style
They are played out of position
The manager does not like/use the player
They have fitness issues
They have personal issues

Even with a 90 per cent chance of each of those not occurring, there is still just a 53 per cent chance of the transfer being successful.

But James Ward-Prowse’s move in the summer from Southampton to West Ham was a transfer that nobody expected to fail. His early season success, creating 46 chances and assisting nine times in his first 16 West Ham games across all competitions (the most of a player at a Premier League club), can be explained through Graham’s categories.

Ward-Prowse was half the Declan Rice replacement, bought to add energy in a box-to-box profile and end product alongside defensive midfielder Edson Alvarez. There are few midfielders better than Rice in Europe, but Ward-Prowse’s creative output shows he is already meeting expectations.

How about style? Last season, 40.5 per cent of West Ham’s league goals were from set pieces — only Brentford scored a higher share of goals from such situations. For a good set-piece team to buy the best taker in the division made perfect sense.

Ward-Prowse’s technique is unique, most notable when he takes direct free kicks (he is yet to score one this season, but will equal David Beckham’s Premier League record when he does), but he strikes crossed set pieces the same: a run-up at a wider angle than most, hunched as he strikes, followed by a swift pulling away of his left (non-kicking) foot, to make space for his right (kicking) foot to land. The result: whip, dip and bend.

Since 2018-19, Ward-Prowse has been the best in the Premier League for set-piece chances created (189), assists (19) and expected assists (16.4). He delivers.

Head coach David Moyes likes him, describing his leadership qualities as a “huge plus”; Ward-Prowse ranks fifth for minutes played in all competitions, and has started 15 of West Ham’s 18 games, with no team-mate having started more. He captained West Ham in the 3-2 defeat to Brentford.

Fitness issues? Ward-Prowse has played the most minutes of any Premier League player since the start of 2019-20.

Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper said afterwards that Ward-Prowse’s set-piece delivery is “as good as there is”. Moyes was even more glowing: “Let’s be fair, he is world class at his deliveries,” he said afterwards. Ward-Prowse has already assisted five different team-mates from set pieces, with four inswinging corners and three outswingers.

Against Forest, the near-post delivery he whipped for Bowen — just 43 seconds after the game had restarted after Forest had gone 2-1 up — was reminiscent of the inswinger he assisted Tomas Soucek with against TSC Backa Topola. The outswinger for Soucek, which gave West Ham a first league win since September, was just like the ones for Nayef Aguerd and Kurt Zouma against Chelsea and Luton Town.

Comparing West Ham’s per-game output to the past five seasons, this campaign is their best for the proportion of corners leading to shots (28.8 per cent), and it is taking them just 14.8 corners to score, their most efficient rate in that period.

In many ways, Ward-Prowse was the perfect West Ham signing, but there’s one downside: he compounds their problems.

In open play this season, he ranks below the Premier League central midfielder average for passing accuracy, progressive passing and progressive carrying, as well as tackling and defensive duel success.

Against Forest, his best moments came in midfield-third regains when he could launch counter-attacks or join in with them — not the primary skill set needed against compact opposition: the ability to play or receive midfield splitting passes, combine with a full-back/winger or lock-pick a defence with a dribble. Twenty-three of his 28 chances created and four of his five Premier League assists have been from set pieces.

Ward-Prowse has the best goal/assist return of West Ham’s midfielders, but also the most specific and unique profile. Soucek is better in both boxes than him (aided by Ward-Prowse’s delivery in the opposition box), and can operate as a box-crashing No 10 or a ball-winner deeper downfield.

Lucas Paqueta and Mohammed Kudus are more positionally versatile, capable of playing centrally or out wide, have better press resistance and are better dribblers. Alvarez’s positional discipline is superior, and his distribution against a mid-block is more varied, precise and incisive.

West Ham struggled to control the midfield against a Nottingham Forest team that came into the game with the most Premier League away losses since the start of last season (17) and who had failed to score in more away games than any team in that run (13).

Ward-Prowse had the most touches of any West Ham player against Forest (91) but was overly safe in possession — Paqueta, Alvarez and Soucek all had a higher proportion of their passes go forward. Paqueta and Kudus made more ball recoveries than him, and Soucek and Alvarez made more clearances.



Moyes tried to evolve West Ham into a possession-based side at the start of last season, sensibly abandoned it and reverted to defence-first performances, which brought European glory. He has again faced critique for stubbornness and tactical predictability this season. “We’re trying to change a little bit how we play,” Moyes said afterwards, adding, “I don’t want to lose that toughness and that ‘hard to play against’. And sometimes, you know, you have to win it — I don’t know if I would use the word ‘ugly’ — in other ways.”

For West Ham to control games, Ward-Prowse is not the right type of midfielder, and it is the reason that Gareth Southgate overlooks him for England, despite a lack of creative depth in that role/position. He has won just 11 caps since his senior debut six and a half years ago.

That seems to be mutually beneficial, though. Moyes spoke afterwards about West Ham trying to be competitive in three competitions (Premier League, Europa League and Carabao Cup) and within knockout competitions, set pieces become all the more important.

When asked if he was disappointed about Ward-Prowse’s exclusion from Southgate’s squad for the November qualifiers, Moyes responded, “I’m quite pleased because he’s going to get a bit of rest this week.”

He is simultaneously one of the best players in the league (at his skill set) and also a luxury player. A midfield diamond, with Ward-Prowse at the top or on the side, would be the best way to accommodate him, but almost every current manager likes a midfield three.

Approval or not of his (and West Ham’s) style ultimately comes down to how anyone wants football to be played. Ultimately, he spent over a decade at Southampton as a senior player, had no buyers after they recorded five consecutive bottom-half finishes, and only left the club after relegation.

Ward-Prowse is evidence that the modern central midfielder, more than ever, has to be an all-rounder rather than a specialist, yet he guarantees a level of creativity that so many managers crave. A footballing paradox.






Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Mex Martillo 5:24 Mon Nov 13
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Texas Iron 5:11 Mon Nov 13
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers…





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