WHO Poll
Q: Manuel Pellegrini
a. A great signing for the Club and maybe the change of direction we all need
b. It will only be a great signing if the Board back him with decent funds
c. This is West Ham so it will only end in farce
d. I'm not sure about this one, I'll wait until SKY is back to hear what Gary Neville thinks, then I'll voice my opinion

Alan 11:44 Sun Dec 18
Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Leicester City want to sign England and Manchester City goalkeeper keeper Joe Hart. The 29-year-old is on loan at Italian side Torino. (Sun on Sunday)

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 35, is set to turn down a £120m offer from the Chinese Super League and extend his contract at Old Trafford until 2018. (Mail on Sunday)

Former England manager Sam Allardyce wants a return to management in 2017. (Sunday People)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is preparing a £25m bid for Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 23. (Sun on Sunday)

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil, 28, is pushing for the club to sign his Germany team-mate, winger Julian Draxler, 23, from Wolfsburg. (RMC Sport)

Arsenal are prepared break the club's £200,000-a-week wage barrier to keep forward Alexis Sanchez, 27, in a deal worth £10m a year. (Mail on Sunday)

Everton will allow midfielder Ross Barkley, 23, to leave Goodison Park for £30m to help fund their bids for Manchester United midfielders Memphis Depay, 22, and Morgan Schneiderlin, 27. (Sunday Express)

Four Premier League clubs, including Stoke and Tottenham, are monitoring West Brom striker Saido Berahino, 23. (Sunday Star)

Real Madrid forward James Rodriguez, 25, is being targeted by Chelsea in a £75m bid to replace Oscar, who is set for a move to the Chinese Super League. (Sunday Mirror)

Midfielder Oscar, 25, has already said goodbye to his Chelsea team-mates before his move to CSL side Shanghai SIPG. (ESPN - in Portuguese)

Manchester United have launched a £38m bid for Benfica defender Victor Lindelof, 22, and want to bring him to the club in January. (Sunday Mirror)

United forward Anthony Martial, 21, is annoyed at being left out of the starting line-ups. (SFR Sport via Manchester Evening News)

Striker Wayne Rooney, 31, would not be allowed to sign for any other English club under the terms of his current United contract, according to an Italian football agent. (Liverpool Echo)

Everton want to sign Thomas Delaney, 25, from German side Werder Bremen despite him never playing a game for the side.(Sunday People)

The Toffees are also interested in Charlton Athletic forward Ademola Lookman, 19, but are reluctant to agree on a deal that would allow the player to return to the League One side on loan. (Mail on Sunday)

AC Milan could sign Chelsea midfielder Mario Pasalic, 21, permanently after he joined the club on loan in August. (Football Italia)

Midfielder Philipe Coutinho, 24, could return for Liverpool's game against Manchester City on New Year's Eve, according to manager Jurgen Klopp. (Sky Sports)

Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen, 24, has been told to be more assertive by manager Mauricio Pochettino. (FourFourTwo)

Pochettino has also said midfielders Eric Dier, 22, and Dele Alli, 20, are not for sale despite interest from domestic and European clubs. (Sunday Times - subscription required)

Goalkeeper Iker Casillas, 35, said a "strange atmosphere" at Real Madrid forced him to leave the club after 16 seasons with the La Liga side.(AS)

Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony, 28, who is on loan at Stoke, is considering a £12m-a-year offer to move to Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG. (Sun on Sunday)

Best of social media

West Ham captain Mark Noble received a rare award at half-time during their victory over Hull on Saturday.

And finally

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli, 20, has moved best friend Harry Hickford into his £2m mansion, as a thank you to his old school friend's family for looking after the England international as a teenager. (Sunday Mirror)


Mark Noble penalty earns West Ham fortunate win over dominant Hull

Paul MacInnes at the London Stadium

Hull City produced a display of scintillating passing and movement, created an endless succession of chances and lost to West Ham in a result that leaves Mike Phelan’s side bottom of the Premier League at Christmas.

There was something inevitable about the result: a classic case of footballing sod’s law. Hull hit the post three times, squandered two one-on-ones and generally saw their positive, well-drilled endeavours founder at the final hurdle. West Ham were largely disjointed even after changing shape and personnel at half-time, but earned a soft penalty when Tom Huddlestone pulled Michail Antonio down and now have seven points in a week.

“Were we lucky? Yes,” said Slaven Bilic. “For a long period of the game it looked like they deserved something. Through the first half, even to 60 minutes. Our start wasn’t good enough.

“In the last half hour we had good composure, good balance in the team. We built pressure and from the pressure we got the penalty. I would like and love that we’d played better but we knew these two games [with Burnley in midweek] were all about the results. We got six points out of the games, the main object for us.”

For Phelan, there was little comfort from what he felt was his side’s best performance of the season. “The game should have been out of sight before the penalty,” the Hull manager said. “Everything that could have gone against us did.

“I should believe, being in charge of this group, that performances like that will eventually bring results. But you have to be clinical, you have to be ruthless. Teams in the past have come into the Premier League – a few spring to mind – and have been very good at attacking games, but have got relegated.”

Robert Snodgrass had already scuffed his shot with only Darren Randolph to beat before Dieumerci Mbokani was presented with the game’s best opportunity in the 21st minute. Aaron Cresswell underhit a blind back pass into the path of Hull’s Congolese striker who intercepted the ball and dinked it over the advancing Randolph. He then watched helplessly as the ball hit the near post, bounced along the line and then out again.

Within three minutes Hull had another chance as Harry Maguire connected forcefully with a Snodgrass corner, forcing Randolph to scramble the ball wide.

Another five minutes later a sweet, smart break ended with Mbokani playing in Sam Clucas, who blazed the ball over the bar.

In the second half the pattern continued. A powerful Andrew Robertson cross was turned on to his own post by Mark Noble’s diving header. Two minutes later Robertson’s 20-yard shot cannoned off the other post. Maguire had another header cleared off the line, Angelo Ogbonna made a last-ditch tackle to deny Clucas and Snodgrass landed a 25-yard curler on the roof of the net.

West Ham did have the ball cleared off the Hull line, André Ayew’s header meeting Robertson’s right boot.

The penalty came in the 76th minute, converted nervelessly by Noble for his second goal in two matches. After that, Hull wilted and West Ham came alive.

Bilic hopes that back-to-back wins will finally ease the mental pressure on his side, who face Swansea next. For Phelan it is a case of hoping that luck will change and that reinforcements will arrive and make the difference in January.

“It’s hard. Even some clubs at the top are wanting that player who will change their fortunes,” Phelan said. “We’re at the other end of the table and have to advertise ourselves to players who have got grit, determination, courage to battle it out. There are players out there who will do that. It’s the Premier League at the end of the day.”


Slaven Bilic admits luckless Tigers deserved a result as Hammers steal victory

Sam Dean London Stadium

When you are having a season as underwhelming as West Ham United, you snatch at any points you can get your hands on. But even the most blinkered of home supporters in the London Stadium would struggle to deny that this was one of the most scarcely-deserved victories they will see.

Not for the first time at their cavernous new home, West Ham produced a performance largely lacking in fight, energy or creativity against a side they would expect to beat. How grateful they must be, then, to the cool head of their captain, Mark Noble, and Hull City’s wastefulness in front of goal.

On paper, this was the perfect end to a positive week for West Ham manager Slaven Bilic. After securing a hard-fought draw at Anfield and then a midweek victory over Burnley, a second win in a row appears to be the latest significant step in their recovery from a dreadful start to the campaign. In reality, they were lucky not to have lost this game by half-time.

Hull have now suffered seven successive away defeats, and this will be the hardest for their manager Mike Phelan to stomach. Three times they struck the post, there was an effort cleared off the line, and a string of other openings fell by the wayside before Mark Noble’s penalty - given in soft circumstances, to say the least - gave West Ham the three points.

“That’s the nature of the industry we are in,” said Phelan, whose side will now spend Christmas at the foot of the table. “To lose that game is difficult when the game should have been out of sight before then. We had more than enough chances to win a few football matches today. We didn’t take them. You get punished if you don’t do the job right.”

The first big opportunity fell to Dieumerci Mbokani, who could only hit the post after being put through on goal by a dreadfully underhit back-pass from Aaron Cresswell. Defender Harry Maguire then had a header well saved, while there were also chances for Sam Clucas and Jake Livermore.

After half-time, they struck the woodwork twice more. First when Noble accidentally headed towards his own goal, and then when Andrew Robertson’s torpedoed strike cannoned off the post with Randolph beaten. Moments later, another Maguire header was cleared off the line.

That it was not going to be Hull’s day had become evident long before West Ham’s Michail Antonio twisted to the floor under minimal contact from Tom Huddlestone. Referee Lee Mason saw enough to award the penalty and give Noble the chance to score his second winner in four days. Against Burnley, his spot kick was saved before he slammed in the rebound. Here, he rolled it past Hull’s David Marshall with ease.

“For a long period of the game they looked like they deserved something,” said Bilic, who added that his team’s start was not good enough. “At the end of the day I would have liked to have played better but we knew that these couple of games would be all about the results. We got six points from them, which was our main objective.”

As the final whistle went, Hull’s players stood motionless. A couple squatted on their haunches, a few others covered their heads with their shirts. How they had lost this, let alone failed to win, will haunt them over Christmas and beyond.


West Ham (3-4-3): Randolph 7.5; Kouyate 7.5, Reid 7, Ogbonna 7; Antonio 6.5, Noble 7, Obiang 5 (Fernandes 46, 6.5), Cresswell 6.5; Lanzini 5 (Ayew 46, 6.5), Carroll 6.5, Payet 7 (Nordveit 90, 6).

Unused subs: Feghouli, Adrian, Fletcher, Quina.

Booked: Obiang, Noble.

Manager: Bilic 6.5

Hull (3-5-2): Marshall 6.5, Maguire 7, Dawson 7, Davies 7; Elmohamady 6.5, Livermore 7 (Henriksen 70, 6.5), Huddlestone 6.5 (Bowen 86, 6), Clucas 7, Robertson 8; Snodgrass 7.5, Mbokani 7 (Diomande 70, 6.5).

Unused subs: Meyler, Maloney, Jakupovic, Weir.

Booked: Livermore, Dawson, Maguire, Henriksen.

Manager: Phelan 7

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire) - 5.5

Attendance: 56,952

Man of the match: Robertson

Ninety Minutes

West Ham offering midfielder to Premier League rivals

By Gareth McKnight

West Ham United have lost patience with summer signing Sofiane Feghouli and are offering the playmaker to Premier League rivals, according to The Daily Mail.

The gifted Algeria international moved to the Premier League club on a free transfer in the summer after his contract with Spanish side Valencia culminated.

#WestHam see ambitious loan approach rejected by Premier League rivals #WHU #WHUFC #COYI – https://t.co/YGMJ1vCszk

— NinetyMinutesOnline (@90MinsOnline) December 18, 2016

At the time, Feghouli’s capture was seen as something of a coup for the Hammers, with the attacking midfielder said to have been in demand.

However, the African attacker has failed to adapt to English football thus far and has been blighted by injuries during his time in London.

Feghouli has only made six Premier League appearances so far this season, all from the bench, with Slaven Bilic obviously preferring the likes of Dimtiri Payet and Manuel Lanzini in his side.

The report suggests that the 26-year-old will be available in January and that West Ham are ready to do business with a Premier League rival to offload the Algerian either on loan or permanently.


West Ham and Chelsea in talks over transfer deal for Ruben Loftus-Cheek

WEST HAM are in talks over a move to take Chelsea youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek on loan until the end of the season.

By Tony Banks and Joe Short

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic, who is looking to strengthen his struggling squad with loan signings in the January transfer window with cash deals likely to be limited, has targeted the England Under 21 star.

Loftus-Cheek, 20, has made only one league appearance, as a substitute, this season under new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.

He signed a new contract in February tying him to the club until 2021.

Chelsea currently have 37 players out on loan and have come under fire for their youth policy.

Loftus-Cheek made his Chelsea debut back in December 2014 and enjoyed a stint of appearances under interim manager Guus Hiddink last season.

Conte has already conceded the player could leave in the January transfer window.

“I'm sure that Ruben has great potential," he said earlier this week.

"I think it's important to show this, to improve a lot on different aspects. Now he's in our squad. This season, he had a few injuries.

"But now he's in good form and I count on him.

"There will be a moment when I speak with my club and take the best decision, but I count on him because I think he has good potential."

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

stomper 9:17 Sun Dec 18
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

KLM 8:51 Sun Dec 18
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Loftus?? If true, bilic clearly is watching some different from the rest of us.
Sullivan would be advised to get shot of bilic, before he cocks up another transfer window

Takashi Miike 7:49 Sun Dec 18
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Son of Anarchy 3:14 Sun Dec 18
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers Alan

ted fenton 3:01 Sun Dec 18
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 12:00 Sun Dec 18

BubblesCyprus 1:59 Sun Dec 18
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan much appreciated.

Thanks Alan 12:00 Sun Dec 18
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Far Cough 11:45 Sun Dec 18
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Big Al

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