WHO Poll
Q: Manuel Pellegrini
a. A great signing for the Club and maybe the change of direction we all need
32%
  
b. It will only be a great signing if the Board back him with decent funds
51%
  
c. This is West Ham so it will only end in farce
15%
  
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
2%
  



Alan 11:23 Sun Dec 24
Christmas Eve newspapers (+ West Ham)


Happy Christmas to all WHOers





BBC

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is ready to launch a double January transfer move for Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, 24, and Manchester United full-back Luke Shaw, 22, to revive his side's bid for honours. (Sunday Express)

Manchester United have delayed handing manager Jose Mourinho a new contract, with his side falling further behind in the title race. (Mirror)

Olivier Giroud's agent is due in London for crunch talks this week over the 30-year-old Arsenal striker's future. (Mirror)

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, 25, is back in Gareth Southgate's England World Cup plans after returning to the Gunners' first-team. (The Sun)

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has an interest in Shakhtar Donetsk's 24-year-old midfielder Fred as City plan to bolster their midfield options next summer. (Mail on Sunday)

Arsenal have moved ahead of Manchester United and Chelsea in the chase for 20-year-old £30m-rated Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey. (Mirror)

Inter Milan want to take out-of-favour midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 28, on loan from Manchester United. (Mail on Sunday)

Defender Virgil van Dijk, 26, was left out of the Southampton squad on Saturday, but manager Mauricio Pellegrino would not say anything about a possible January move to Liverpool. (Liverpool Echo)

West Ham have had a £8m bid for 27-year-old Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter rejected. (Sunday Express)

Meanwhile...

Manchester United's plans to increase Old Trafford's capacity have hit a stumbling block due to the £750m costs. (Sun on Sunday)

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is being lined up by Paris St-Germain as the French giants look to replace Unai Emery. (Mirror)

Tony Pulis, who was sacked by West Brom last month, is favourite to take over at Middlesbrough following Garry Monk's departure. (Mail on Sunday)

Manchester City's Vincent Kompany believes the positive mentality shared throughout the squad has contributed to their Premier League unbeaten run. (Manchester Evening News)

A party of 75 Borussia Moenchengladbach supporters will leave Germany on Christmas Day by coach for their 25th annual pilgrimage to support Liverpool at Anfield. (Liverpool Echo)

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson is convinced forward Wilfried Zaha would be better equipped to deal with a high-profile transfer now than when he joined Manchester United four years ago. (Mail on Sunday)
Best of Saturday's gossip

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is growing disillusioned under Pep Guardiola, with the 29-year-old's long-term future at the Premier League leaders in the balance. (Mail on Sunday)

Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez agreed a deal to stay at the club a year ago but changed his mind after the Gunners lost 10-2 on aggregate to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. (Times - subscription required)

Manchester United are preparing an opening offer of £25m for Fulham left-back Ryan Sessegnon, with Jose Mourinho ready to let Luke Shaw leave Old Trafford in order to sign the 17-year-old England youth international. (Guardian)

Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev says he is not thinking about selling Thomas Lemar, 22, next month with Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool all keen on the France winger. (Daily Star)






Guardian

Christian Atsu gives Newcastle edge over West Ham in five-goal thriller

Jacob Steinberg at the London Stadium

For a manager of Rafael Benítez’s pragmatism, it is unlikely that this chaotic game fitted into his vision of how football should be played. Sometimes, though, getting the job done matters more than questions of philosophy and even Benítez could put his obsession with control to one side after Newcastle clambered out of the relegation zone thanks to their first victory in 10 matches.

The Spaniard could not allow the celebrations to last too long, though, even after seeing his players ensure that the team in the famous black and white stripes would not spend Christmas Day in the bottom three for the first time in Premier League history. Ever the perfectionist – or, perhaps, ever the politician – Benítez made a point of stressing that Mike Ashley still needs to reach for his wallet when the transfer window opens, saying that Newcastle’s survival hopes remain dependent on bringing in additional quality next month.

This gutsy performance was not enough to convince Benítez that the worst is over. Newcastle are only two points above the bottom three and they had to ride their luck at times, with Rob Elliot’s save from André Ayew’s tame penalty preventing West Ham from making it 2-2 moments after Mohamed Diamé had put visitors in front. Better opponents might have punished their sloppy defending.

On the balance of play, however, it was difficult to argue that Newcastle were undeserving winners over West Ham, whose revival under David Moyes came to a messy end on a manic afternoon. Marko Arnautovic’s early opener counted for nothing in the end as the home side tumbled to 17th after Henri Saivet and Christian Atsu scored either side of Diamé’s strike. “Totally error‑strewn game,” Moyes said. “We should have capitalised. We didn’t perform well enough.”

The madness began when Saivet, making his first Premier League start of the season, inexplicably sent a simple pass straight to Arnautovic in the sixth minute. Arnautovic burst forward from the halfway line, with Ciaran Clark exposed, and the Austrian displayed his new found confidence by swerving to the centre-back’s left before clipping a fine shot past Elliot.

Yet West Ham were unable to build on Arnautovic’s third goal in his past four games. Saivet, who was having an eventful start, equalised four minutes later. Winston Reid caught Atsu and the Senegalese took advantage of a questionable wall by whipping a low free-kick beyond the cumbersome Adrián.

The chances kept coming. Michail Antonio spurned two free headers, yet West Ham stuttered in midfield without Manuel Lanzini, who was serving the last match of his retrospective ban for diving, and Newcastle were aggrieved not to be ahead at the interval.

DeAndre Yedlin’s combinations with Matt Ritchie caused plenty of problems down Newcastle’s right. Ritchie curling shot from 20 yards struck a post and the winger created two excellent opportunities for Dwight Gayle, who crashed one against the bar before wastefully scooping the other over.

Arnautovic came close to restoring West Ham’s lead shortly after half-time, whipping a shot inches wide from 18 yards. Yet Newcastle were playing with impressive belief and the second goal they had been threatening arrived in the 53rd minute. Atsu skipped past Pablo Zabaleta, nutmegging the defender for good measure, and his cutback found Diamé, whose finish against his former side was emphatic.

Then came a moment of controversy, Antonio latched on to a loose ball and Clark lunged to bring the forward down. Lee Mason, the referee, initially awarded a free-kick, only to point to the spot on the advice of his assistant. “I was watching the replay and I think it is outside,” Benítez said. “The referee was pointing for a foul more than a penalty.”

However, Ayew stepped up in the absence of the injured Mark Noble and Elliot made a straightforward save from his casual effort. “We’ve missed one at Everton and here,” Moyes said. “It’s hard enough to get the chances.”

That was the turning point. Newcastle broke from a West Ham corner, slicing through the home team’s wheezing back three at will, Joselu teeing up Atsu to beat Adrián from close range.

West Ham refused to lie down and Ayew made up for his earlier profligacy when he pounced after a corner caused confusion in the Newcastle area in the 69th minute. The visitors would not be denied, however, and the noisy travelling supporters finally had something of substance to celebrate.





Telegraph

West Ham 2 Newcastle United 3: Rafa Benitez's men secure first win in 10 games to move out of relegation zone

Matt Law, Football News Correspondent, at the London Stadium

West Ham did their best to drown out the boos with Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You but there was no silencing Newcastle’s travelling army after Rafa Benitez’s team secured their first win in 10 league games to climb out of the relegation zone.

Newcastle have never spent Christmas Day in the bottom three of the Premier League and goals from Henri Saivet, former West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame and Christian Atsu ensured that record will continue.

Nobody would have seen this victory coming. Newcastle had last won against Crystal Palace in October, had failed to pick up three points on the road since beating Swansea City in September and have lost more Premier League games in London (71) than any other club outside the capital.

Benitez has spent the past couple of months warning that his players are not good enough and that he needs money to spend in the January transfer window. But he shook them all enthusiastically by the hand after they had hung on for this win.

“It’s difficult when you have a bad run,” said the Spaniard. “You lose confidence and it was important to win. It’s important not to be in the bottom three at any time, not just Christmas. We were doing well. We had 15 points and after that very bad run we were in the bottom three. With these three points, I hope we will have more confidence.”

Benitez reiterated his desire for new signings by adding: “We have to keep winning to make sure we stay in the Premier League. More than the team, it’s the belief we can win games and we can compete. Does it mean we don’t need players? It is two different things. It doesn’t mean we don’t need some players to make sure we have something different and can compete.”

A three-game unbeaten run had got West Ham looking up the table, but they are now watching nervously over their shoulders again. They are only a point ahead of third-from-bottom Bournemouth, who they square up to on Boxing Day at the Vitality Stadium.

“It was a totally error-strewn game,” said manager David Moyes. “We should have capitalised. The first goal was always going to be important and when we got it we thought it would work in our favour.

“We made big mistakes for their first. There’s an offside for the second, which the linesman should give, but we didn’t perform well enough. And we missed a penalty kick as well. I’m disappointed, but it will happen. I think the games between teams at the bottom end will be quite similar.”

Due to a shortage of available midfielders, Benitez handed Saivet his first Premier League start of the season and the Senegal international was heavily involved during a breathless first 10 minutes of this match.

It was Saivet who passed straight into the path of Marko Arnautovic to gift West Ham the opening goal. The Austrian still had plenty to do as he went round Ciaran Clark and fired the ball past Rob Elliot to score his third goal in four top-flight goals.

The £25 million record signing had been a symbol of what had gone wrong under former manager Slaven Bilic, but has been reborn under Moyes.

West Ham, however, failed to build on their perfect start as Saviet quickly made up for his mistake. Just four minutes after the home side had gone ahead, the 27-year-old gave Adrian no chance with a free-kick into the bottom corner of the net.

Saviet’s equaliser buoyed Benitez’s team, who could have been out of sight at half-time.

DeAndre Yedlin and Matt Richie caused the home team all kinds of problems with their pace up the right, and the pair combined to present Dwight Gayle with a superb chance but the striker’s shot smacked the crossbar.

The woodwork saved West Ham again in the 34th minute. This time Gayle was the provider, as he held the ball up for Ritchie, whose curling effort had beaten Adrian but hit the post.

Michail Antonio twice headed off target, once from a corner and another time from an decent Arnautovic cross, but it was Newcastle who squandered another good opportunity before the half-time whistle.

Yedlin raced up the pitch and pulled the ball back for Ritchie, whose low cross was lifted over the bar by Gayle.

There was an encouraging start to the second period for the hosts, as Arnautovic almost doubled his and West Ham’s tally with a shot that fizzed narrowly wide.

But Newcastle finally took one of their chances to go ahead in the 53rd minute, as Diame netted against his old team. Atsu nutmegged Pablo Zabaleta before picking out Diame with a low ball into the penalty area and the midfielder made no mistake from 10 yards to send the travelling fans wild.

Their joy almost turned to anguish two minutes later, as Lee Mason awarded West Ham a penalty that should never have been on the advice of his assistant Constantine Hatzidakis.

Mason appeared to be pointing for a free-kick on the edge of the area after Clark had brought down Antonio, but he glanced at Hatzidakis and gifted the spot-kick.

Replays showed that the foul had taken place outside the area and justice was done, as Andre Ayew allowed Elliot to save his weak effort. Benitez could not hide his fury at the penalty award on the touchline, but his mood was quickly improved as Newcastle gave themselves a two-goal cushion.

This time it was Atsu who scored, as the former Chelsea winger tapped in Joselu’s pass after West Ham had been caught on the break.

Moyes had sent on Andy Carroll shortly before Newcastle’s third goal and the substitute helped the home side get back in the game with just over 20 minutes remaining.

Former Newcastle striker Carroll rose to meet Aaron Cresswell’s outswinging corner and, although Elliot saved, Ayew reacted quickly to smash the ball into the net. Carroll almost set up an equaliser when he found Pedro Obiang with a headed knock-down, but the midfielder could not hit the target and Moyes sent on Javier Hernandez for Ayew.

West Ham pumped ball after ball into the area in the hope of finding an equaliser, but Newcastle managed to hold on and the visiting supporters at least hung around long enough to sing along with Mariah.





Guardian

Premier League fans’ half-time verdict - West Ham

It was a poor start: three away games and three defeats. Then came a brief recovery, and after that a terrible home defeat to Brighton. The usual injury list, stupid sending-offs for Arnautovic and Carroll, letting the points slip in the 97th minute at Palace and conceding from our own corner against Liverpool spelt the end for Slaven Bilic, though he wasn’t helped by the chairman’s public utterances. But we’ve been looking much more resilient under David Moyes.

Stars and flops: Zabaleta has always given everything and although slowing a little, is the sort of player the fans love. Arnautovic has transitioned from flop to star recently, and could now become a cult (I think that’s what the Stoke fans were calling him.) Arthur Masuaku has looked excellent going forward and Rice is a great prospect. Joe Hart, meanwhile, has mixed great saves with errors and his confidence looks shot. Cresswell started poorly, while Obiang and Kouyaté struggled in midfield until the arrival of Moyes.

Happy with the manager? Bilic will always be remembered for what he did in the final season at the Boleyn. He got the West Ham Way but by the end he looked exhausted. Despite the initial derision Moyes has been impressive. Playing Masuaku on the left and making Cresswell a third centre-back has looked inspired, and Arnautovic has started working really hard and scoring. The fans won’t tolerate defensive football forever but have really got behind the team recently as they can see the effort. 7/10

Moment of 2017: Bakary Sako winning the Crystal Palace September goal of the month competition with their only goal of the month.

– Pete May, Author of Goodbye to Boleyn, hammersintheheart.blogspot.co.uk




Mirror

West Ham eye Everton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin as they also keep tabs on Bournemouth's Harry Arter

New Hammers boss David Moyes has identified a midfielder as his top priority in the January transfer window

West Ham are ready to ramp up their move for Harry Arter - but have also sounded Everton out about Morgan Schneiderlin .

Mirror Football understands that new Hammers boss David Moyes has identified a midfielder as his top priority in the January transfer window.

He is believed to have a budget of around £20million to play with, with Bournemouth ace Arter possibly costing around the £15m mark if a deal is agreed.

West Ham do still have interest in Sporting Lisbon ace William Carvalho but it is understood they have enquired about Schneiderlin’s availability.

Toffees boss Sam Allardyce is keen on Sevilla’s Steven N’Zonzi and could be prepared to allow Schneiderlin to leave Goodison Park to free up room.

Schneiderlin started in Everton’s 3-1 win over Swansea last Monday before being replaced by Tom Davies on the hour-mark.

The former Manchester United star recently admitted that he has bridges to build with Everton fans after the backlash he received following reports he had to be sent home for training two months ago.

The 28-year-old said: “It was a thing coming out from nothing. I was surprised that this story came out because I didn’t really do anything.

“It was the choice of the manager not to put me in the squad, it was not because I behaved bad or something. It was just a choice for him [Unsworth].

“For myself I was surprised but there will always be some people who are going to believe what they read in the press.

“My only thing is to show them on the pitch that I’m 100 per cent focused. I can assure everyone that I am focused, that I’m just thinking about Everton and to improve the results and myself everyday.”


Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

normannomates 3:04 Wed Dec 27
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (+ West Ham)
Cheers Alan.

Good man

The_Phantom 1:08 Mon Dec 25
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (+ West Ham)
Merry Christmas Alan and thanks for the great service you provide all year round.

All the best

norwaytips 2:58 Mon Dec 25
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks, Alan. Merry Christmas and a happy new year, to you and all WHOers.

gph 1:17 Mon Dec 25
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (includes West Ham)
Have good holiday and full recovery in the New Year.

Even though you seem to be trying to give everyone epilepsy.

cockney hammer 7:45 Sun Dec 24
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (includes West Ham)
thanks alan good luck for the new year mate

Mart O 6:35 Sun Dec 24
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers, Alan. Hope you have good Christmas.

Tomshardware 5:43 Sun Dec 24
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (+ West Ham)
Thanks Alan.

Alfs 4:56 Sun Dec 24
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (includes West Ham)
Happy Christmas Alan. Thanks for all of your endeavours,

Queens Fish Bar 2:06 Sun Dec 24
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (includes West Ham)
ted fenton 1:52 Sun Dec 24

ted fenton 1:52 Sun Dec 24
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan Have a great Christmas and hope all is going well with the treatment.

stats 1:49 Sun Dec 24
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan, great work as always.
Happy Christmas.

Cicero 1:40 Sun Dec 24
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (includes West Ham)
Alan, thanks and Merry Christmas.

BRANDED 12:28 Sun Dec 24
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (includes West Ham)
The gifs look like they're from about 20 years ago

charleyfarley 12:19 Sun Dec 24
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (includes West Ham)
Merry Christmas Alan thanks for all your work, hope everything works out ok for you in the new year

tazman 12:05 Sun Dec 24
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (includes West Ham)
love the Moose, Have a good christmas.
Thanks Alan.

Thanks Alan 11:56 Sun Dec 24
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks, Miike and Sven, same to you both.

Sven Roeder 11:49 Sun Dec 24
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan, enjoy your one day of the year off tomorrow

£20m budget? I thought we were prepared to pay £40m for Carvalho on the last day of the summer window?
Same old same old

Takashi Miike 11:43 Sun Dec 24
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan, Happy Christmas to you too

Mex Martillo 11:36 Sun Dec 24
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (includes West Ham)
Merry Christmas
Thanks Alan

Thanks Alan 11:25 Sun Dec 24
Re: Christmas Eve newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan and a very happy Christmas to you!

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