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 10:55 Fri Sep 11
Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Paper Talk

Wayne Rooney has been praised as a "once in a lifetime" talent by none other than Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.
Everton will offer John Stones a new contract - but he will only sign it if there is an escape clause included.
Arsenal's cash crisis during the last decade nearly left them penniless and cost them the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, who later conquered Europe with Manchester United.
Gareth Bale missed out on millions by choosing to play for Wales over England, his agent says.
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is set to sanction James Wilson's loan move to the Championship.

John Stones will ask for a £38m release clause - the size of Chelsea's final failed bid - when he starts talks with Everton over a new contract.
Bastian Schweinsteiger's former club TSV 1860 Rosenheim claim Manchester United signed the German international for just £6.52million from Bayern Munich rather than the reported fee of £15m.

Southampton fear the Netherlands will send an SOS for manager Ronald Koeman following a dismal start to Danny Blind's reign.
Thibaut Courtois has picked up a knee injury ahead of the trip to Everton to give Chelsea another headache.

Wayne Rooney fears for his international place, despite becoming the first England player to score 50 goals.
Harry Kane believes his partnership with Rooney can fire England to Euro 2016 glory next summer.
Dick Advocaat has warned Jermain Defoe he will not start up front as long as Sunderland are playing with a lone striker.

David de Gea has been given 48 hours to win back his Manchester United place in time for Saturday's huge game against Liverpool.

Wayne Rooney is so impressed with Harry Kane's talents he fears falling down the pecking order for England.


Paris St-Germain have been quoted £728m if they want Real Madrid's 30-year-old forward Cristiano Ronaldo. (Mail via Cadena COPE)

After opening talks about a new contract, Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea, 24, is poised to see his income rise to £200,000 a week. (Mirror)

QPR striker Charlie Austin, 26, says there was no truth in reports linking him with a summer move to Manchester United. (Talksport)

Former Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard, 35, says he would have stayed at the Reds had they offered him the right job. (Mail)

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, 23, is set for an extended spell on the sidelines after injuring a knee in training. (Evening Standard)

Some Manchester United players are unhappy with the club's performance analyst, as they think they spend too much time reviewing videos. (Mail)

Many United players were also angered by manager Louis van Gaal's treatment of Rafael. The 25-year-old Brazilian defender was sold to Lyon in August. (Telegraph)

Members of the Red Devils squad also took issue with Van Gaal's public criticism of 20-year-old defender Luke Shaw last season. (Times)

England international Shaw says he read too much into the criticism and his form suffered as a result. (Star)

Defender Marcos Rojo, 25, says United's players are afraid of Van Gaal and his 'bulldog face'. (Sun - subscription required)

Barcelona forward Neymar, 23, is to open contract talks with Barcelona over doubling his salary after being linked with a move to Old Trafford. (Mirror)

Former Liverpool winger Steve McManaman feels both the Reds and Manchester United have "lost their identity" as the two sides prepare to meet in the Premier League on Saturday. (Independent)

Manchester United striker James Wilson, 19, will be sent out on loan next week, with 14 Championship clubs keen to sign him. (Telegraph)

Derby manager Paul Clement says his club are interested in signing the England Under-21 international, describing the move as "a possibility but not a certainty". (Guardian)

Manchester City midfielder Fernando, 28, is pain-free for the first time in about a year as he nears full fitness from a groin injury. (Manchester Evening News)

Former Everton manager Howard Kendall says Chelsea's pursuit of defender John Stones, 21, could work in the Merseyside club's favour when the two sides meet in the Premier League on Saturday. (Liverpool Echo)

Toffees boss Roberto Martinez says he holds no grudge against Blues counterpart Jose Mourinho over the pursuit of the England defender. (Guardian)

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has likened midfielder Idrissa Gana, 25, to a robot, saying "when you cut him wires come out of him." (Star)

Swansea manager Garry Monk says Ashley Williams, 31, is one of the best defenders in the Premier League. (South Wales Evening Post)

Sunderland striker Fabio Borini, 24, admits he had a "very difficult time" at Liverpool and feels "good to be back" at the Stadium of Light. (Sunderland Echo)

Black Cats manger Dick Advocaat feels he has brought in enough quality to see the club rise from the bottom of the Premier League. (Mirror)

Former Newcastle full-back Olivier Bernard thinks midfielder Moussa Sissoko, 26, has the quality to play for a Champions League side. (Chronicle)

West Brom director of football Richard Garlick has called for the club to recruit lower-league players at a younger age to give them more time to become ready for the Premier League. (Birmingham Mail)

Leicester City have taken full-back Dwight Tiendalli, 29, on trial after the Dutchman was released by Swansea on transfer deadline day. (Leicester Mercury)

Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross, 27, has started jogging and swimming as he looks to recover from back surgery. (Stoke Sentinel)

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe says there is no animosity between the Cherries and Norwich following their reported pursuit of 27-year-old striker Lewis Grabban. (Bournemouth Echo)

Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores says striker Matej Vydra, 23, went out on loan because he did not adapt to the Spaniard's style of play. (Watford Observer)

Norwich striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel, 26, is aiming to resurrect his career while on loan at La Liga side Real Betis. (Norwich Evening News)

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has described Glenn Murray, 31, as a "club icon" after the striker joined Bournemouth on transfer deadline day. (Croydon Advertiser)

Brighton manager Chris Hughton is surprised by the club's strong start to the season, winning four out of five games to sit top of the Championship. (Sky Sports)

Former Rangers winger Peter Lovenkrands thinks the club can go the whole season unbeaten. (Express)

Best of social media

It looks like Leicester winger Jeffrey Schlupp's favourite meal is rice after getting a packed lunch when visiting his mum and sister. "I'm not leaving empty handed," he wrote on Twitter.

And finally...

New Tottenham signing Son Heung-Min has been told by club officials he can't buy a red car - because of the team's rivalry with Arsenal. (Korea Joongang Daily)

The Gunners will donate £1 from every ticket sold for their Premier League game against Stoke City to help with the refugee crisis. (Arsenal.com)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Ian McCourt

Laurent Blanc is a happy man. Happiness can come from all sorts of sources – be it seeing someone else unhappy or seeing someone walking into a glass door face first when singing Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees – but Blanc’s happiness comes from his shiny new Crosley Cruiser Record Player sitting in the corner of his office. Even the fact that he wanted it in pink, but the girl in the store with the nose ring and the words ‘You aren’t a waste of space’ tattooed on to her right wrist said they only had dark turquoise left, cannot sour his mood. On the floor, next to the turntable, there is rack that people generally use to put lifestyle magazines that they once bought to impress the person behind the counter but have not looked at since and will never throw away just in case someone should come over and be impressed by their reading material.

But this time it is not filled with back issues of Kinfolk or radical philosophy or Tiny Pencil but with old albums whose covers look like they have been Instagrammed to within an inch of their lives. He is most proud of the original Music from the Original Motion Picture Coffy that he got a long time ago in Music City Records, a small shop near the corner of Florence and Broadway in Los Angeles. He only bought it as he was tickled by the tagline – “They call her ‘Coffy’ and she’ll cream you!” – but that record was the beginning of his love affair with jazz. But he’s very specific about his love. He does approve of that beige jazz you suffer in elevators and he has problems with Whiplash (though not as many problems as he had with Her) – in fact, with increasingly few exceptions, he will listen to listen to nothing released after the late 1960s. Anyway, there is another reason Blanc’s is happy and it has nothing to do with his dark turquoise friend. He has just put down the phone from a conversation with the suits at Real Madrid. “Give us £728m and Cristiano Ronaldo will be posing in a PSG shirt sooner than you can say the smell of green apple and refreshing cucumber, combined with peony and violet and a hint of cedarwood offers all the excitement of new beginnings …” they said. Only the reception in Blanc’s office is as bad as his Spanish he didn’t quite hear it right. “£72m? Sure, we’d be making money,” he thought to himself.

Meanwhile, in a move that will come as a shock to just about nobody in this world, with the notable exception of Ed Woodward, it seems that Neymar will not be moving to Manchester United and will in fact be staying with Barcelona. You see, Mister Ed flew to Barcelona on a promise. What sort of promise? One involving a wink and a nudge and a I’m-game-if-you-are sort of promise. It wasn’t from the player himself – these things never are – but it was from someone who had crawled all the way across the world just to touch the hem of Neymar’s garment and who told Ed that he now had access to the star before adding that said star, despite his relationship with Jesus, would like to shine for the Red Devils. Thing is, once Ed arrived in the Catalan capital, neither the hem toucher or the Brazilian were anywhere to be seen and Ed felt rather foolish standing in the airport all alone with the box of chocolates and the bunch of flowers, not least because the flowers had brewers droop. He gave the number he had been given a call but all he got was the machine who answered back with the sound of that video of the donkey laughing. Anyway, it seems that it had all been a ploy to earn Neymar more money at his current club. Who would of thought that?

Elsewhere, Yoann Gourcuff is sitting outside his new favourite coffee and bread shop, with the song from the Lion King dancing around his head. Dressed with blue jeans, white trainers and a green jumper he bought from a pleasant Danish man with greasy, unpleasant hair and who had the most fabulous north American accent this side of South Dakota, he has turned his face to the September sun. Beside him, there is a man dressed in a short-sleeved Gucci floral shirt with just one too many buttons undone and a woman wrapped in dark circular sunglasses and a Norwegian yellow jumper. They are talking about food – “… lately, though, I’ve been, I’ve been buying the generic brand of waxed beans. I rip off the label. I can hardly tell the difference …” – but Gourcuff is finding it hard to concentrate on their conversation. His heart is thumping like a hard house beat that has taken five too many of those dusky little thingymebobs from the guy in the shades and flag wrapped around his face. Before he left the house, he got some news. Some good news. Some very good news. Everton and Watford have come calling for his signature. The girl in Norwegian yellow leaves and another in Swedish blue arrives. She is wearing the exact same sunglasses and the conversation about food continues apace. “… So when I saw George on the street with an 18 pound turkey and a giant box of wine, I thought: ‘what a coincidence. We’re just about to eat.’”

Finally, free agent Shola Ameobi is going to sign a deal with Huddersfield, Dwight Tiendalli is being eyed up and down by Leicester and a job lot of Championship clubs are pawing at Manchester United’s young cat, James Wilson. Yeah, you’re right. The Mill has officially bottomed out.


Former Hamilton defender Stephen Hendrie says he needs to be patient as he waits for West Ham breakthrough

By Andy McGilvray

Talented Scotland under-21 left-back Hendrie is playing for the east London club's development side.

Stephen Hendrie will have to wait for his chance at West Ham

Stephen Hendrie says life is very different in London than it was for him at Hamilton Accies.

The 20-year-old left for West Ham United at the end of last season and made the move down to the Premier League giants.

The prospect of playing in what is arguably the best league in the world is a bonus for Hendrie, but facilities at West Ham are somewhat different to what he was used to, with the east London club boasting three training grounds — Beckton, Rush Green where the development squad is based, and Chadwell Heath, where the first team train.

Next season the Hammers will also swap their 35,016 seater Upton Park ground for a 99-year lease of the former Olympic Stadium, more than doubling their capacity at 80,000.

Hendrie is patiently trying to knock on manager Slaven Bilic’s door, but knows he needs to be patient.

He said: “Life in London is brilliant, it’s a great place and a new thing for me, so it’s going well.

“It’s about being patient. I need to play a few more games, get my fitness levels up, play with the development squad and just keep working hard.

“If I’m playing well hopefully things will work out for me. I don’t know if I’m close to getting a game, the manager knows that, so all I can do is keep working hard and see where it takes me.”

Hendrie knows he needs to work hard to make his dreams a reality and added: “It’s a big move, West Ham are a massive club and we’re moving into the Olympic Stadium next year, getting a new training ground and things like that.

“It’s a big move for me, I know the fanbase at West Ham and it’s huge, because they are a massive club.

“It’s a bit different to what I’m used to. The training ground, for example, is unbelievable and they’re getting a new one that will be even better, so I’m looking forward to that next year.”

Stephen was back up to watch Hamilton’s dramatic 3-2 win over Hearts and says he always keeps an eye on his former club’s results from down south.

He said: “What a game that was, it was a good game to come up to! I’m happy that Accies came out and won 3-2.

“I keep an eye out for their results; I will never forget this club, they have done loads for me and I appreciate that.”


Exclusive: West Ham boss Slaven Bilic and 'wally with the brolly' set to lock horns again

EVERY cloud - even the Wembley ones that emptied their contents over Steve McClaren's infamous umbrella nearly eight years ago - has a silver lining.

By Matthew Dunn

Steve McClaren became known as 'the wally with the brolley' after losing to Bilic's Croatia in 2007

Trust Slaven Bilic, the former England manager's nemesis that day and now the West Ham manager, to find it.

"You killed him for the brolly of course!" he recalled. "But on the flip side, I got really wet!"

"You" is the English media, a few representatives of which met with Bilic last December when he was still the manager at Besiktas. The prospect of Monday's rematch with McClaren seemed a distant one.

Then again, the pair have continued to bump into each other in unexpected places.

When McClaren joined the staff of QPR in July 2013, Bilic's Besiktas were their first pre-season opponents, for example.

However, their most significant meeting came three years after Croatia's 3-2 win over England ended hopes of qualifying for Euro 2008 - an afternoon spent talking football that left both men with a mutual regard.

"I respect him big time," said Bilic. "He was at Wolfsburg when I was still Croatia coach and Mario Mandzukic was there.

"I went once and had long chat with him. I felt really sorry for him. You need to treat the guy with respect. Steve did really well in his career, he knows football, is very polite.

"That game between us was one of the most famous in Croatian history, too. I remember we were 2-0 up without really deserving it. It should have been 0-0, or England 1-0. But we scored that second goal and then it was really hard to play us.

"In the end, the umbrella thing didn't help him, of course. But if it hadn't been that then it would have been something else."

The FA-issue red-and-blue canopy seemed to exacerbate rather than hide McClaren's shame - a cataclysmic event in a burgeoning career that Bilic had followed surprisingly closely, thanks to Croatian pals Igor Stimac and Aljosa Asanovic who worked with McClaren as first team coach in the mid-1990s before he was hand-picked to become the assistant at Manchester United.

"I knew him from Derby," said Bilic. "The manager Jim Smith and other people told me even then what a good coach he was. And Sir Alex Ferguson doesn't take a bad coach."

McClaren's performance when he moved into the hot seat at Middlesbrough - winning the League Cup and reaching the UEFA Cup final - earned him the England job. His CV after that Croatia defeat is more indicative of McClaren's unending resilience.

All-but-exiled from his native country by public perception, McClaren set about rebuilding his reputation with FC Twente in Holland before a less auspicious venture into the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg.

A miserable run of eight points from 10 games on his return to England with Nottingham Forest cast McClaren back away to Twente.

Unable to replicate his success, he took a step back from the front line to serve under Harry Redknapp at QPR before doing enough as Derby manager to persuade Newcastle owner Mike Ashley to hand him the poisoned chalice at St James' Park.

And as for Bilic? He finally said farewell to Croatia after a positive Euro 2012 finals and, after a poor spell at Lokomotiv Moscow, he won plenty of friends at Besiktas, but ultimately not enough games - twice missing out on Champions League football.

West Ham snapped up their former player in the summer but thrilling early away wins at Arsenal and Liverpool have been counterbalanced by home defeats by Leicester and Bournemouth. Consequently, the pressure is on for a performance at Upton Park.

McClaren's Newcastle, meanwhile, may have earned a creditable draw at Manchester United but they are still without a much-needed win this season.

The weatherman says that it will be fine and pleasant for their rematch on Monday evening. He doesn't say for whom, though.

Sky Sports

Michail Antonio at West Ham: Winger's journey from non-league

Adam Bate

Michail Antonio could complete his journey from non-league to Premier League when West Ham host Newcastle United on Monday Night Football. Adam Bate got the views of ex-team-mates and coaches to find out more about the Hammers' new signing…

With Slaven Bilic's West Ham facing Steve McClaren's Newcastle, much of the focus ahead of Monday Night Football will be on events that happened in November 2007. It's indicative of how far he's come that West Ham's new £7m signing Michail Antonio was lining up for Tooting & Mitcham United in the second tier of the Isthmian League at the time.

Antonio's route to the top has been far from typical. There was no academy life for him. Even when the big break did come with Reading, he made more appearances out on loan at five different clubs than he did in four years for his parent club. Former West Ham man Martin Allen, then in charge of Cheltenham, was one of the coaches to give him a go.

"I took him on loan," Allen told Sky Sports. "He was a very pacey right-sider with a long throw. A good athlete and a down-to-earth lad too." But he was raw. During a later loan spell at Colchester, manager John Ward described his finishing as "very wayward", bemoaning Antonio's unfortunate habit of "knocking it on the A12".

There was potential but it would not be realised with the Royals. "Reading took him and then let him go, surprisingly," added Allen. "They didn't really sell him for enough money." It was in a Sheffield Wednesday shirt that Antonio's development would really become apparent - off the field as well as on it.

David Prutton, now a pundit with Sky Sports, was a team-mate for much of Antonio's stay at Hillsborough and remains in touch. "I rang him before the Forest game at the start of the season for a bit of insight," said Prutton. "He was as good as gold and had plenty of time for me. Let's just say some players might have been too busy.

"That non-league experience gives him perspective and the grounding you want in a player. When he came to Wednesday, there was a bit of maturing that happened that first season that endeared him to the lads too. He really grew into it. That temperament is going to stand him in good stead."

It's not that Antonio didn't have an ego, but that it was a positive - "you need that to perform in front of 20,000 people" - and it wasn't long before he emerged as Wednesday's most important player. In one of the Championship's struggling sides, Antonio was the man who provided the threat.

"He was a tremendous team-mate because of the attributes that he's got," said Prutton. "He's tremendously strong and quick. He's just so direct. When you're at a team like Wednesday were at the time, what you want is that kind of outlet like Antonio who can carry the ball 40 or 50 yards up the pitch. He was a massive player for us."

A move to Nottingham Forest followed in 2014 and Antonio proved just as vital to his new club. He scored 14 goals in the Championship last season and ranked in the top three in the division for completed dribbles. Prutton, a former Forest midfielder himself, feels that solo work should not be underestimated - it's teamwork of a different type.

"There was one stage at Forest last season when Andy Reid and Britt Assombalonga were out where it was literally, 'Let's give it to Antonio and see what he can do with it'. That might sound like fun but when it's 90 minutes, twice a week for 10 months, that's going to take its toll. But he understood and embraced that responsibility." And then some.

There was the goal against Bolton last season where he ran from inside his own half before cutting inside to score with his right foot, having already done something similar with his left foot against Brentford earlier in the campaign. The control and composure to equalise against Fulham last September was top class too. He's already scored four goals this season.

Now Antonio's lengthy journey from non-league to Premier League is complete. In contrast, it's a relatively short one via the London Underground from Tooting & Mitcham's Imperial Fields in Morden to West Ham's Upton Park and while Antonio admits he's thrilled to be "back in London", the challenge ahead of him is rather different now.

Antonio was among the top three dribblers in the Championship last season

"West Ham brings the instant glare of the Premier League and competition for places," said Prutton. "He's not going there as the main man as he was at Wednesday and he became at Forest. He'll have to harness his performances for the team but he can do that and it's all part of the learning curve."

Nevertheless, Antonio is confident of making an impact. "What I bring to the table is pace, power and goals," he told his new club upon signing. Allen agrees. "I think it's a very good signing - and a very exciting signing - for West Ham." Bilic has no Luka Modric this time. But maybe it'll be a man from Mitcham that can help ruin McClaren's night eight years on.


West Ham agree deal for Serbia U19 striker Luka Belic - sources

West Ham have agreed a deal to sign highly rated Serbian forward Luka Belic on a free transfer, sources have told ESPN FC.

Belic, 19, is a free agent after seeing out his contract at OFK Belgrade earlier this summer.

The talented forward was the youngest player ever to make his debut in the Serbian Premier League at the age of 16 in 2012 and is regarded as one of the best prospects in Serbia after catching the eye for club and country in the last 18 months.

Belic has played for Serbia at under-17 and U19 level and is tipped to make the step-up to the senior team in the near future.

A number of clubs across Europe have been keeping tabs on him, but sources told ESPN FC that West Ham have moved to lure him to Upton Park.

Belic holds a Belgian passport so will not require a work permit to make the move to England and he is likely to be brought into the club's youth setup before trying to break into Slaven Bilic's first-team plans.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

manic 3:47 Sat Sep 12
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan
One from the Daily Mash

Andy Carroll has forgotten almost all the rules of football
Soccer - Barclays Premier League - West Ham United v Hull City - Upton Park

WEST Ham striker Andy Carroll has returned from injury but has been asking teammates elementary questions about football.

Teammates revealed Carroll watched yesterday’s training session with childlike wonder, as if he was experiencing a brand new world.

Central defender James Tomkins said: “He was asking what the six-yard box is and why we were all wearing claret shirts.

“A lot has changed since Andy last played a game. There’s some new faces, a new kit and we’ve changed our name from Thames Ironworks.”

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic said: “At the moment we’re focused on making sure he doesn’t pick up the ball and try to eat it.”

terry-h 4:07 Fri Sep 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Isn't a fair chunk of Chadwell Heath training ground needed for Crossrail in 2018? We need another reminder of Network Rail purchasing this from the club. Or is this being kept secret by our owners?

Thanks Alan 11:52 Fri Sep 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
ted fenton. 11:31 Fri Sep 11

Westcliffhammer 11:49 Fri Sep 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

ted fenton 11:31 Fri Sep 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan.

Mr. Burns 11:23 Fri Sep 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Al.

"Next season the Hammers will also swap their 35,016 seater Upton Park ground for a 99-year lease of the former Olympic Stadium, more than doubling their capacity at 80,000."

Far Cough 11:06 Fri Sep 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Eggbert Nobacon 11:00 Fri Sep 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Hammers start moving on new training HQ
Posted by Sean Whetstone on June 6, 2014 in Whispers

Claret and Hugh has learned that a major upgrade in training facilities at the Rush Green site is underway.

We have been told exclusively that two first class Premier League quality pitches will be built over the summer which will be available for the first team to use.

This is the first stage in a major redevelopment of Rush Green which will see an investment of around £13m to make it the primary training facility for the Hammers ultimately causing the closure of Chadwell Heath.

The major redevelopment and moving of first team training will not happen until 2017 to coincide with the move to the Olympic Stadium.

The club has been at the Chadwell Heath training ground since 1955 and the club is now ready to move into a new era given that it is a mere 10 acres in size

The Hammers entered d into an option agreement to purchase the freehold interest in the 29 acre Rush Green Ford Sports Ground from the Ford Motor Company in the February of 2009 and later completed the acquisition of the property for a sum of £1.4 million.

The original plan was a new state of the art training facility with the club submitting a planning permission application to Havering Council.

Eggbert Nobacon 10:58 Fri Sep 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
We're expanding Rush Green FC

Far Cough 10:57 Fri Sep 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan, do you know where the new training ground will be?

Eggbert Nobacon 10:56 Fri Sep 11
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
are those not Thursdays stories? I'm sure i've seen those!

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