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 12:53 Thu Dec 31
Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Paper Talk

Manchester United are closing in on a huge £35m deal for Lazio's Felipe Anderson.
Manchester City are preparing to launch a £32m bid for the services of Real Madrid whiz Isco,
Arsene Wenger is ready to see of the challenges of Manchester United and Liverpool and pounce for Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell.
Sunderland have agreed a £5m fee with French club Lorient for centre-half Lamine Kone.
Juan Iturbe has begun training with Bournemouth after agreeing a £1.1m season-long loan from Roma as he awaits international clearance.

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri is learning English as he prepares for one of the Premier League's top jobs and is keen on Chelsea and Manchester United.
Red-hot Watford strikers Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney will be handed bumper pay-rises to keep them at the club.
Southampton boss Ronald Koeman is ready to cut short the season-long loan of Queens Park Rangers' England defender Steven Caulker.

Mathieu Debuchy is set to leave Arsenal with both Lyon and Roma interested.
Leicester have targeted Dynamo Kiev defender Aleksandar Dragovic after the Ukraine club intimated they would sell him in January for £16m.
Guus Hiddink insists Cesc Fabregas is happy at Chelsea following transfer speculation.
Arsenal could face another 10 years without a title if they fail to win the Premier League this season, says Jamie Carragher
Jonjo Shelvey wants to remain part of Swansea's battle for Premier League survival, caretaker manager Alan Curtis has insisted.
Norwich City have made enquiries for Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia and are willing to pay £7m.
Sunderland are weighing up a bid for Stoke utility player Marc Wilson.
Derby County are showing interest in Reading's Nick Blackman.

Manchester United are in talks with James Rodriguez over a proposed £59m move to Old Trafford, according to reports.
Steven Naismith will have to wait for Everton's fixture congestion to ease before he can make a final decision on a move to Norwich, says Roberto Martinez.
Manchester United and Everton are competing for the signature of AC Milan defender Cristian Zapata.

Guus Hiddink has slammed Remi Garde's pursuit of Loic Remy after the Aston Villa boss declared his interest in the Chelsea striker.
Sunderland will make Lorient defender Lamine Kone their first signing of the January transfer window.
Louis van Gaal was wrong to let Javier Hernandez leave Manchester United last summer, says Old Trafford great Rio Ferdinand.

Leicester City are set to offer Jamie Vardy a new contract in an effort to kill off interest from Chelsea and Manchester City.
Guus Hiddink has accused Remi Garde of being disrespectful after the Aston Villa manager admitted that he wants to sign Loic Remy.
In his first interview since taking charge of Valencia, former Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville says "it's absolutely not true" he has taken on the role so he can pounce on either the England or Manchester United job.

Louis van Gaal has a potential escape route if he is forced to leave Manchester United, with Netherlands coach Danny Blind raising the idea of him becoming technical director for his country.

Shani Tarashaj, one of the brightest young talents in Swiss football, has been lined up for a move to Everton as the club prepare to let Steven Naismith move to Norwich City.
Guus Hiddink says Cesc Fabregas will not be leaving Chelsea during the January transfer window.

Remi Garde, the Aston Villa manager, has confirmed that Loic Remy, the Chelsea forward, is among his targets for the January transfer window.
Tottenham Hotspur have valued Andros Townsend at £14m in a proposed swap deal involving the England winger and West Brom's Saido Berahino.

Rangers boss Mark Warburton will make Doncaster man Harry Forrester his first signing of the January sales.
Hearts manager Robbie Nielson reckons his biggest task in January will be keeping the stars he's got rather than bringing new players in.


Manchester United are closing in on a £35m deal for Lazio's Brazil international midfielder Felipe Anderson, 22. (The Sun)

Arsenal and Liverpool will have to wait until the summer if they want to sign Paris St-Germain winger Ezequiel Lavezzi as the 30-year-old is unlikely to leave the French champions in January. (Radio CRC via Daily Express)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is considering a £4m bid for Leicester's England under-20 international Ben Chilwell. (Daily Telegraph)

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri, 48, is learning English and would like to manage Chelsea or Manchester United. (Daily Mirror)

Premier League champions Chelsea, who currently languish in 14th place, have not put relegation clauses into the contracts of their star players, meaning they would be committed to a wage bill of around £200m if they were demoted to the Championship. (The Times)

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says right-back Mathieu Debuchy, 30, could leave the club after losing his place to 20-year-old Hector Bellerin. (Daily Star)

Debuchy wants to leave so he stays in contention for a place in France's Euro 2016 squad. Roma and Lyon could be possible destinations. (Daily Mail)

Leicester want Dynamo Kiev defender Aleksandar Dragovic, 24, as Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri prepares to sell Yohan Benalouane, 28, to Sampdoria. (Daily Mail)

Paris St-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 34, says he has no intention of leaving the club, despite his contract expiring at the end of the season. (AFP)

Everton have offered Grasshopper Zurich's Switzerland forward Shani Tarashaj a four-and-a-half-year contract. Grasshopper want the 20-year-old loaned back to them for the rest of the season if a deal is agreed. (Guardian)

Crystal Palace's injury problems could force the club into action during the January transfer window, says co-chairman Steve Parish. (Croydon Advertiser)

Troy Deeney, 27, says Watford owner Gino Pozzo would not sell fellow forward Odion Ighalo and that the Hornets "laugh" at speculation linking the 26-year-old with a move. (Evening Standard)

Deeney and Ighalo will be offered big pay rises to keep them at the club. (Daily Mirror)

Chelsea scout Piet de Visser believes the talent of striker Bertrand Traore, 20, is being "wasted on the bench". (Daily Express)

Harry Redknapp has told former club Spurs not to sign West Brom striker Saido Berahino. The White Hart Lane club had several bids for the 22-year-old rejected by the Baggies last summer. (Talksport)
Best of social media

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was asked how he felt about ex-team-mate El Hadji Diouf calling him "the biggest turkey I've seen on a football pitch". Carragher said: "It's better than a Donkey & plenty have called me that before!"

Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam welcomed the knighthood of AP McCoy but remarked on some absentees with his tweet: "surprised to see no David Beckham or @andy_murray being knighted from the Queen."

West Ham striker Andy Carroll posted a family portrait on Instagram with the words: "Where have the months gone!! Can't believe my little AC is a tank compared to the new addition to the family!!"

Stoke playmaker Bojan Krkic posted his own review on Twitter: "Very thankful for everything in 2015. Despite the injury which I overcame and learned from, it's been a great year."

And finally

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says his team are struggling to adapt to his tactics because of the wind in England. (Sport Bild via Daily Mail)

Islington Council may have got a little bit excited when it tweeted that Arsenal's parade if they win the Premier League will take place on Sunday, 22 May - before later deleting the post. (Evening Standard)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Jacob Steinberg

Manchester United are hunting for a creative player who doesn’t mind having all his imagination drained out of him by Louis van Gaal’s fun football. Lazio’s Felipe Anderson will do, as long as Ed Woodward doesn’t squander the £35m given to him by the Glazers, perhaps on some magic beans or a state of the art comb for his natty beard or Andros Townsend.

Turns out Claudio Ranieri’s nice guy act is all for show. Yohan Benalouane has only been at Leicester for two seconds, but is already being ushered towards the exit. His departure will allow Leicester to sign Dynamo Kyiv’s Aleksandar Dragovic, while they’re looking to tie Jamie Vardy down to a hefty new contract in an attempt to stave off interest from United and Chelsea.

Arsenal and Liverpool are clearly both in need of a support striker, someone who can drift around on the flanks flattering to deceive, and Paris Saint-Germain’s Ezequiel Lavezzi sounds like the answer to their problems. Arsène Wenger famously loves to sign players who are the wrong side of 30, after all, so this one looks like a goer, as does Arsenal’s pursuit of Basel’s Mohamed Elneny. A deal for the Egyptian midfielder is close to being completed, which means that Arsenal will sign Kim Kallstrom on 30 January, while Mathieu Debuchy fancies a move. Roma, Monaco and Lyon are all interested in the Arsenal reserve.

Here, Big Website done a story! Everton are going to sign Shani Tarashaj from Grasshopper Zurich as a replacement for Norwich-bound Steven Naismith.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has announced he plans to stay at PSG, even though his
contract runs out in the summer. “I have a beautiful relationship with PSG.
I have no intention of leaving,” he said, resisting the urge to refer to himself in the third person, notes the Mill.

Juventus boss Max Allegri has spotted that Chelsea are going to need a new
manager in the summer, so he’s taking English lessons. However it’s unclear
how many he’ll need for his three-month stay in England.

Ronald Koeman has decided that he doesn’t like the cut of Steven Caulker’s
jib, who has made only one start for Southampton in the Premier League
since joining them on loan in the summer. The one-time future of England’s back four will be sent back to Queens Park Rangers as soon as possible.

One more day, readers, one more day and then the real fun begins.

The 72

Bradford loanee Burke is destined for the top

Fans are optimistic, the players believe and The Bantams can climb up the table with victory in their games in hand.

However, much of this relies on one vital cog in Bradford’s defence in West Ham loanee Reece Burke.

The 19 year old centre back, highly regarded at Upton Park, has taken to League One like a fish to water.

Reservations could well have been raised about how a young ball playing defender would cope in the third tier of English football, due to the physicality of strikers and the long ball style used by so many teams at that level.

However, Burke has taken to League One exceptionally well. He now looks like the leader amongst Bradford’s defensive line and he has managed to transfer to the third tier, whilst still keeping his playing style at the forefront of his game.

He plays out from the back, brings the ball down in defence and on the ball, is as good technically as any of The Bantams outfield players.

Not only this, his defensive skills are also superb. Burke has been strong in the tackle and in the air since signing for The Bantams, adding much needed solidity to the backline after the loss of Andrew Davies. He was part of a defence who conceded just two goals in 15 hours of football.

His 6′ 2″ frame is a valuable addition to any side and also makes him a threat at the other end of the pitch, with the youngster unlucky to have not added to his tally of one goal for The Bantams.

Burke also is yet to make an error which has led directly to a goal for The Bantams, incredible considering he is a young player who is experiencing his first consistent spell of first team football. He has dealt with the pressure of performing for one of the biggest crowds in League One very well and has shown a maturity beyond his years with performances of strength, composure and professionalism.

With his parent club West Ham apparently keen for him to find Championship football on loan in January, rather than staying in League One, the next step for Burke could be vital.

What he needs now, more than anything, is a club who will give him the game time he so desperately needs, as well as allowing him to play the way he wants- out from the back, on the floor and with composure and guile.

West Ham fans may well have their reservations about Burke. They have seen him feature for the first team and do a decent job, but the lesson he got taught by Romelu Lukaku towards the end of last season also serves as a reminder that he is far from the finished article.

However, Burke has proven in his Bradford loan spell that he has all the raw attributes to make it as a top level defender, who is also capable of playing an attractive brand of football.

Bradford have had other stand out players this term, particularly Tony McMahon, but you would be hard pressed to make an argument against Burke being their player of the season so far.

His loan deal runs out after City’s trip to Gillingham on Saturday and it is important that the decisions made after this are correct, as Burke needs to continue playing regular football.

He is far from the finished article but if the correct decisions are made and Burke is afforded game time and opportunities, the sky really is the limit for the 19 year old from Newham.

This is a boy with all the attributes to go to the very top…


Manuel Lanzini brings surprise face to West Ham training - his brother Tomas

Olly Dawes

West Ham loan hero Manuel Lanzini was in training on Wednesday - and brought his brother Tomas along to join in ahead of the club's game against Liverpool this weekend.

Lanzini, 22, signed for West Ham on a season-long loan deal from Al-Jazira over the summer, and he has taken the Premier League by storm so far.

The Argentine playmaker has hit four goals and one assist in 13 appearances for West Ham this term, and fans are desperate to see him sign a permanent deal with the club as soon as possible.

After an extended period out through injury, Lanzini played the second half against Southampton on Monday evening, and helped turn the game around, as West Ham rallied back from 1-0 down to claim a 2-1 win.

Now, Lanzini is in line to start against Liverpool at Upton Park this weekend, the club he scored his first West Ham goal against back in August.

He was gearing up for that game in training on Wednesday, and took to Instagram to show a surprise face in training with him - his brother, Tomas.

A fellow attacking midfielder who also came up through the ranks at River Plate, Tomas is currently playing in Chile with Nublense, and came in to join West Ham in training having visited his brother, whilst he can also keep fit before returning to South America.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Takashi Miike 4:54 Fri Jan 1
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
thanks alan for all your hard work over the year, always a great read, happy new year

Fivetide 4:04 Fri Jan 1
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Many thanks as always Alan. Happy New Year!

Harlow Hammer SNR 9:47 Thu Dec 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan and a Happy New Year to you and fellow Hammers.

the exile 9:42 Thu Dec 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan - much appreciated. Happy New Year!

Gazza_AZ 9:14 Thu Dec 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
I want to fourth and fifth what Lily said. I too read your roundup of the news everyday.
Thanks for all of the work you do Alan and Thanks Alan.

Happy New Year to all WHO ers

teddyp 6:19 Thu Dec 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan , Legend

Lily Hammer 4:05 Thu Dec 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
I don't bother saying it every day, even if I read the Daily Alan every day, but thanks, thanks and thrice thanks, Alan, for all the great work year in; year out. It's the only excuse I need to pop on WHO each day,

All the best for 2016, and COYI!

jimbo2. 3:14 Thu Dec 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Gday Al & a very happy Oz New Year to you cobber.

Keep dreaming 2:44 Thu Dec 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
medwayhammer1 2:27 Thu Dec 31

medwayhammer1 2:27 Thu Dec 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks for all your work during the year Alan and happy new year.

Athletico Easthamico 2:26 Thu Dec 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Alan is a legend.

Whitester. 1:53 Thu Dec 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
I fucking love you Alan.

Vexed 1:51 Thu Dec 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers Alan, you mainly bad news bringing motherfucker.

Thanks for your efforts this year and try to not be so fucking lazy and bring us some better news next year.

Mart O 1:39 Thu Dec 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks, Alan.

norwaytips 1:29 Thu Dec 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Happy new year Alan and thanks for your efforts during the old one. :-)

Far Cough 1:13 Thu Dec 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Al and Happy New Year

gph 1:09 Thu Dec 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks, Alan.

Coffee 1:04 Thu Dec 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks, Alan.

Hugh Monteith 1:02 Thu Dec 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
THankYou Alan.

Hugh Monteith 1:02 Thu Dec 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
THankYou Alan.

Thanks Alan 12:57 Thu Dec 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

...for another year of top class, consistent, quality service. Keep up the good work.

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