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Alan 12:16 Sun Feb 4
Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Arsenal are expected to join the race to sign unsettled Leicester midfielder Riyad Mahrez, 26. (Daily Star Sunday)

Leicester manager Claude Puel says he is "not thinking" about Mahrez, who has not been seen by the club since his proposed move to Manchester City collapsed on transfer deadline day. (Mail on Sunday)

The Professional Footballers' Association has offered to help to resolve the situation between Algeria international Mahrez and Leicester City. (Sun on Sunday)

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is considering paying Maurizio Sarri's 8m euro (£7m) release clause to appoint the Napoli coach as his club's next manager. (La Gazzetta dello Sport - in Italian)

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte could be sacked if his side lose at Watford on Monday. (Sunday Express)

Conte has told Chelsea they need two or three truly world-class signings to regain the Premier League title next season, and cites the arrival of too many players as one reason behind their failure to mount a defence of their title this term. (Sunday Telegraph)

Manchester City's 30-year-old England keeper Joe Hart, who is on loan at West Ham, will be a target for Chelsea if Thibaut Courtois, 25, leaves the club in the summer. (Sun on Sunday)

Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley, 24, may have suffered a hamstring injury which, if confirmed, would make the Englishman the eighth player at the club to suffer such a problem this season. (Sunday Telegraph)

Manchester United are in advanced talks to bring Ajax's 18-year-old Dutch winger Justin Kluivert - son of former Barcelona forward Patrick - to Old Trafford in the summer. (Sunday Mirror)

Tottenham's England striker Harry Kane, 24, is ready for a move to Real Madrid but his club and international team-mate Dele Alli, 21, is not, according to ex-Liverpool midfielder Graeme Souness. (Sunday Times - subscription required)

Real Madrid are prepared to raise Cristiano Ronaldo's salary to 30m euros a year from this summer, putting the 32-year-old Portugal forward alongside Neymar in terms of annual earnings. (ABC, via Marca)

Napoli have joined the pursuit of Mauro Icardi, the 24-year-old Inter Milan and Argentina striker who has been linked with Manchester United and is wanted by Real Madrid. (AS)

Edin Dzeko says he snubbed Chelsea in order to stay at Roma because of his "unreal" life in Italy, though the 31-year-old Bosnia and Herzegovina forward says the Blues' interest was a "compliment". (Klix, via Mail on Sunday)

Everton have given former caretaker boss David Unsworth, their Under-23 coach, permission to speak to Oxford United about their managerial vacancy. (Sky Sports)

Toffees boss Sam Allardyce says he has relegated new signing Cenk Tosun to the bench because the 26-year-old Turkey forward is struggling to adapt to the Premier League. (Liverpool Echo)

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has again criticised the atmosphere at Old Trafford, and claims the noise made at Portsmouth's Fratton Park is better. (London Evening Standard)

Mourinho has set his sights on signing Bayern Munich's Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal, 30, in the summer amid concerns about his lack of options in the centre. (Manchester Evening News)

West Brom boss Alan Pardew wants Baggies officials to persuade Jonny Evans to agree a new deal to keep the 30-year-old Northern Ireland defender from the clutches of other Premier League sides. (Birmingham Mail)

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insists striker Sadio Mane is not jealous of fellow forward Mohamed Salah and that the Senegalese and the Egyptian "are best friends". (Sunday Mirror)

Klopp says he does not feel under pressure from Liverpool's owners as they don't say, "next year, you be champions or you can go" but rather "it's outsiders who say, 'if he doesn't bring silverware in, he's under pressure'." (Mail on Sunday)

Former Liverpool midfielder Didi Hamann believes the club are still lacking defensive cover, despite the £75m January capture of Dutch centre-back Virgil van Dijk, 26. (Omnisport, via Liverpool Echo)

Crystal Palace's Mali international forward Bakary Sako, 29, ruled out for the rest of the season with a fractured ankle and damaged ligaments, has sent a message of optimism on social media.

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil declared Rihanna his "lucky charm" after the singer watched the victory over Everton. Rihanna also celebrated Germany's 2014 World Cup win with Ozil and his team-mates in Brazil. (London Evening Standard)

Best of Saturday's gossip

Former Everton and Southampton manager Ronald Koeman will be named the new coach of the Netherlands next Friday. The 54-year-old Dutchman has been out of work since he was sacked by Everton in October. (De Telegraaf - in Dutch)

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho will only sell Spain goalkeeper David de Gea, 27, to Real Madrid if Wales forward Gareth Bale, 28, travels in the opposite direction. (Diario Gol, via Daily Express)

De Gea is one of four goalkeepers under consideration at Real Madrid. Chelsea's 25-year-old Belgian Thibaut Courtois, Atletico Madrid and Slovenia stopper Jan Oblak, 25, and AC Milan's 18-year-old Italy international Gianluigi Donnarumma are seen as potential alternatives to David de Gea. (Goal.com)


José Izquierdo’s stunning strike lights up Brighton against weary West Ham

Jacob Steinberg at the Amex Stadium

It had already been a bad week for West Ham, featuring yet another deflating conclusion to a transfer window and the dismissal of their head of player recruitment following his remarks about African footballers, and the atmosphere surrounding them had descended to new levels of toxicity once it was over.

For David Sullivan and David Gold, West Ham’s deeply unpopular owners, the temptation to close their eyes and stick their fingers in their ears must have been overwhelming long before the final whistle of this damaging defeat. “RIP WHU” was the message on one banner in the away end, where the travelling supporters needed little encouragement to increase the volume of their protests.

West Ham offered meek opposition in the face of a robust performance from Brighton, whose first victory since 23 December eased their relegation fears, and it was a match when the visitors’ self-destructive tendencies in the transfer market were ruthlessly exposed.

David Moyes spent a dismal second half turning to backroom staff in despair. West Ham had travelled to the Amex Stadium hoping for some respite after sacking Tony Henry, their transfer chief, on Friday night.

With their messy efforts at strengthening their squad still fresh in the memory, the mood darkened when Brighton scored after eight minutes. Chris Hughton’s team made a pulsating start and it was a slick counterattack that culminated in Glenn Murray beating a shoddy offside trap.

The move developed at impressive speed after a West Ham attack fizzled out and Brighton were grateful to Roger East, the referee, for playing on when Aaron Cresswell brought down Anthony Knockaert with a poor tackle.

Unfortunately for Cresswell, the ball was already nestling in West Ham’s net by the time he was booked. Pascal Gross released Murray, who was played onside by Declan Rice, and the striker slipped the ball underneath Adrián to claim his fifth goal in his past seven matches. Both managers denied any knowledge of Cresswell and Knockaert clashing in the tunnel at half-time.

West Ham were protecting a six-match unbeaten run in the Premier League and they crept back into the game, equalising through Javier Hernández in the 30th minute.

The Mexico forward retrieved possession, Mark Noble fizzed a pass into João Mário and the Portuguese midfielder’s deft flick found Hernández, who sidestepped Lewis Dunk and Gaëtan Bong before lifting his shot beyond Mathew Ryan’s reach.

Brighton regained control after the break and were rewarded for their pressure when José Izquierdo stunned the visitors in the 59th minute. West Ham failed to clear a corner and the winger took a touch before whipping a magnificent effort into the far corner from the left of the area. “I knew we had to raise our game again,” Hughton said. “I thought the second half was close to being as good as we’ve been this season.”

Izquierdo celebrated wildly and was booked for whipping off his shirt. Brighton did not mind. Despite introducing Michail Antonio, who was dropped for last Tuesday’s draw with Crystal Palace for arriving late to a team meeting, West Ham lacked guile without Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini. They are three points above the bottom three – Brighton trail them on goals scored – and are in danger of losing momentum.

“We just never seemed to get a grasp of the game in the second half,” Moyes said. “It was disappointing.”

Moyes, who denied that Henry’s dismissal had distracted his players, was preparing to give Jordan Hugill his debut with 15 minutes left. But the striker’s jog up the touchline merely granted him a better view of Gross thumping a superb shot past Adrián from 18 yards.

Brighton had failed to score in nine of their previous 13 league matches, yet they have scored six in two games against West Ham.

“Where’s the money gone?” the West Ham fans chanted. It was a good question.


History repeats as Chris Hughton's side pick apart sorry east Londoners

Ben Rumsby, Amex Stadium

A wretched week for West Ham United, who collapsed to a repeat of October’s nightmare defeat to the same opponents. Knocked out of the FA Cup at Wigan Athletic – with Arthur Masuaku banned for spitting there – held at home by Crystal Palace, a transfer deadline day to forget, and forced to sack director of player recruitment Tony Henry for comments about Africans, their misery was compounded when they were sucked back into a Premier League relegation battle.

But there has not been a better day for Brighton & Hove Albion since their 3-0 win at the London Stadium as they finally scored three times in a game again to move level on points and goal difference with their opponents and ease their own fears of the drop.

How West Ham must wish they could be rid of Glenn Murray and Jose Izquierdo as easily as Henry, with October’s nemeses tormenting them once more, with one strike a goal of the season contender.

Murray took less than eight minutes to net his third goal this term against these opponents, fifth already in 2018 and third in three games following his arrest in connection with a suspected tax fraud.

Referee Roger East played a good advantage when Aaron Cresswell cut down Anthony Knockaert. The loose ball fell to Pascal Gross, who threaded it through to Murray, and Albion’s top scorer coolly tucked his finish under Adrian.

West Ham could easily have been further behind before Sam Byram woke them up with a header blocked close to the line by Shane Duffy. And they crafted a superb equaliser on the half-hour mark, Javier Hernandez starting and finishing a quick-quick-slow move involving lightning exchanges between Mark Noble and Joao Mario before the Mexican made space to rifle the ball into the roof of the net.

Following a quiet start to the second half, West Ham’s capitulation was kickstarted by a wonder-goal from Jose Izquierdo. A corner found its way to the Colombian on the corner of the area and he bent a quite magnificent right-footed shot into the top-left hand corner of Adrian’s goal.

After heading over an Ezequiel Schelotto cross and dragging another effort wide, Gross then made it third time lucky, cutting inside from Davy Propper’s pass and drilling past Adrian.

West Ham manager David Moyes insisted the Henry scandal “had no effect” on the performance of his side, who, he said, had been the architects of their own downfall. He added: “We’re going to have to win a lot more games to stay up, but so will other teams.”

Opposite number Chris Hughton, who proclaimed Brighton’s second-half display to have been as good as any this season, said: “It will be the teams that can get the three pointers that manage to get themselves away from that bottom three.”


Moyes: Our performance didn’t merit a result

West Ham United’s showing in the 3-1 defeat by Brighton and Hove Albion didn’t warrant winning any points, according to manager David Moyes.

Despite a sixth Premier League goal of the season from Chicharito the Hammers were bettered by Albion in Saturday’s match, as finishes from Glenn Murray, Jose Izquierdo and Pascal Gross handed the Irons a first league defeat in 2018.

Although two of the goals from Brighton were of real quality, Moyes didn’t look to shy away from what he felt was a disappointing showing from his players.

“Today wasn’t very good,” Moyes honestly said. “Our performance didn’t merit a result. Brighton were the better team in the end. At half-time we had fought our way back into the game but they scored a worldy to make it 2-1, which made it very difficult. I think prior to that we hadn’t done enough anyway.

“I’m disappointed with the defeat. We’ve been on a really good run recently and we’ve picked up points and we’ve stuck at games. But we were never really in the game today. Right from the start, I never felt it. We gave the first one away, we gave the third one away and, actually, I think we should have dealt with the ball from the corner before the second goal.”

The Hammers named the same starting XI from the side that drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace in the week, and Moyes admits having to use the same players in such a short space of time could have had an impact on his team’s performance.

But the manager refused to lay any blame on the injuries his squad is currently experiencing, saying there can’t be any excuses for the loss.

“Maybe to have to play the same team again, could have been the case,” Moyes said when asked if his selection had a role in the defeat.

“We put out a team on Tuesday and got a result, albeit it wasn’t three points, but we got a result from the game. It was always going to be tough today to do that and I think it showed in the players today.

“But Brighton played in midweek as well, so there’s no excuse from it, and we’re not going to look for excuses because we’ve got injured players. Every club has got injured players and the quicker we get them back, it will help us.”

Moyes believes the defeat on Saturday was ultimately down to his own side’s mistakes, and is now looking to the coming fixtures for the opportunity to put things right and collect more points.

“I’ve said for a while that any given team on any day could beat each other in the bottom half of the league, but on another day, there will be draws and points taken off of each other. It’s going to be tight.

“We’re all working hard together. We’re in a difficult position and we’ve got to make sure we stay away from the bottom end.”

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

COOL HAND LUKE 5:34 Sun Feb 4
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers Al,

It's a doubly tough task reporting when the cloud of doom hangs over the club right now. Thanks mate.


BubblesCyprus 5:01 Sun Feb 4
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 10 out of 10 for effort sadly 1 out of 10 for content

Texas Iron 4:17 Sun Feb 4
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Depressing reading...

Queens Fish Bar 3:47 Sun Feb 4
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 12:18 Sun Feb 4

Mart O 12:56 Sun Feb 4
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Sven Roeder 12:31 Sun Feb 4

Sven Roeder 12:31 Sun Feb 4
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

ted fenton 12:18 Sun Feb 4
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan.

Thanks Alan 12:18 Sun Feb 4
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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