WHO Poll
Q: 2020/2021 Where will we finish up this season?
a. Top Four, Champions League here we come
b. 5th-7th Europa League is well within our grasp
c. 8th to 14th anywhere in mid table is about right
d. We're in a dog fight before a ball has been kicked and we'll do well to finish 17th or just above
e. GSB have derailed our season before a ball has been kicked, the Championship beckons

Alan 12:12 Fri Oct 23
Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and current Real Madrid reserve team boss Raul are contenders to take over at the Spanish giants if they decide to sack Zinedine Zidane. (AS)

Arsenal's out-of-favour ex-Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil could move to the MLS in the United States, with DC United interested in the 32-year-old. (Sun)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is hopeful he can "seduce" Spain defender Eric Garcia, 19, into extending his contract. (Independent)

Arsenal are considering a potential deal to re-sign Donyell Malen, 21, from PSV Eindhoven, three years after they sold the Netherlands striker from their youth ranks for £540,000. (Soccernews, in Dutch)

Liverpool could turn their attentions to Schalke's Turkey international defender Ozan Kabak, 20, as the search to find a replacement for the injured Netherlands centre-back Virgil van Dijk, 29, continues. (Sport Media Set, via Sport Witness)

Argentina keeper Sergio Romero, 33, found out via social media he had been left out of Manchester United's Premier League squad and wants to speak to the club about his treatment. (Star)

Everton's deal to sign England striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, 23, from Sheffield United in 2016 was "a lot less" than the reported £1.5m, according to Toffees under-23 boss David Unsworth. (Sky Sports, via Mail)

Tottenham pushed down the price of Wales defender Joe Rodon, 23, by £5m after refusing to meet Swansea's asking price on EFL deadline day. (Football Insider)

Everton's unsettled Bosnia midfielder Muhamed Besic, 28, will not push for a move to Portugal - the last major European league with an open transfer window - and will wait until January to decide his next club. (Liverpool Echo)

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, 33, agreed to lower his pay by 50% for the rest of this season, because of the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis. (Sport)

Spain defender Sergio Reguilon, 23, says former Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho was a key factor in his move to Tottenham. (Sky Sports)

Arsenal have given a trial to the son of their former Netherlands forward Dennis Bergkamp. Mitchel Bergkamp, 22, has spent the week training at London Colney with Steve Bould's under-23 side. (Goal)

Manchester United defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka wants to regain a place in the England squad and will resist switching countries to represent DR Congo. (Telegraph - subscription required)

Werder Bremen chief Clemens Fritz insists 20-year-old Dutch winger Tahith Chong, who is on loan at the German club from Manchester United, will get plenty of first-team football after making only one start so far this season. (Deichstube, in German)

Newcastle have offered French triallist striker Florent Indalecio, 23, a contract until the end of the season. (Newcastle Chronicle)

Chelsea summer arrival Hakim Ziyech, the 27-year-old Morocco midfielder, says the chance to win trophies by playing "beautiful football" was the reason for his move to Stamford Bridge. (London Evening Standard)

Former Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher, 36, is back at Manchester United in a temporary coaching role to help his development. (Manchester Evening News)

Aston Villa's Scotland midfielder John McGinn, 26, says he is feeling back to full fitness after a difficult opening season in the Premier League. (Birmingham Mail)

Fans will be able to watch West Ham's match against Manchester City this weekend in a cinema just a stone's throw from where the game will be taking place in an empty stadium. (Times - subscription required)

Football's lawmakers have agreed to January trials for concussion substitutes before their potential introduction from the start of next season. (Mirror)


West Ham backed to save Mesut Ozil from Arsenal nightmare with blockbuster transfer
Could West Ham move for Mesut Ozil in January?

Former West Ham striker Carlton Cole believes Mesut Ozil would be an attractive player for the Hammers as they have always liked 'magician-like players'.

Ozil has been cast out from the Arsenal squad after being omitted from their Premier League and Europa League squads by manager Mikel Arteta.

The German is still training with the first-team but cannot feature in any matches until the new year.

Ozil continues to maintain he wants to play for Arsenal and will see out his contract at the Emirates.

Nevertheless, he could be an attractive player for clubs in the transfer window.

And Cole reckons his old club could be among the teams interested in Ozil.

He told talkSPORT: "West Ham have always liked those kind of players, those magician-like players.

“Arsenal would have benefitted from having him in their squad, but he clearly doesn’t fit in at the moment.”

Meanwhile, former Manchester United player Owen Hargreaves claimed Ozil's omission is due to reasons outside of football.

“A football player wants to play football - that’s the only reason he signed a contract," he said.

"He probably had a ton of options, but he wants to play for Arsenal.

"He’s at home right now, he’s been here for eight years. Outside of Messi, I think he’s had the most assists in Europe in that time.

"We’re talking about a guy who’s won the World Cup and he’s done it on the biggest stage.

"It’s a shame he can’t play football. He should be in the Premier League squad and the Europa League squad, he isn’t, probably for other reasons.

"I love watching Mesut Ozil play football - he might not be everyone’s cup of tea - but he’s my cup of tea.

"If you get the right pieces of the puzzle around him, like he had at Germany and Real Madrid, then he functions.”


Coufal enthralled by Benrahma

Vladimir Coufal has – like his Czech countryman and good friend Tomas Soucek – adapted to life in the Premier League to the manner born.

The right back problem position was quickly forgotten as he produced a top display against Leicester City, equalling it at Spurs where he was responsible for the shot which led to the own goal and brought the score to 3-2.

His experience of Champions League football at Sparta Prague and his wealth of experience now ensures that Ryan Fredericks will have a tough time reclaiming his position as No 1 and be a great help to Ben Johnson as he progresses in the game.

Having Soucek at the club has been a huge help to the player who in his first interview on the club site he refers to the 25 year old as “my right hand” who has helped him with absolutely everything since his arrival.

And he has watched enthralled as new signing Said Benrahma has gone through his paces on the training ground this week.

Speaking at https://www.whufc.com/news/articles/2020/october/23-october/vladimir-coufal-we-will-do-everything-prepare-success-against he said: “Yes, very good. He showed his quality on the ball. Dribbling past two or three players is no problem for him.

He has very good finishing and a very good final and pre-final pass. He’s a very good player and he’s very confident.”

And of his big pal Soucek he declared: “Tomáš is my right hand! If I don’t understand something, he translates it into Czech for me and after that it’s very easy for me.

“When I came to West Ham, he immediately met with me and he showed me the training ground and helped me with everything.”

“I think it’s five years since he came to Slovan Liberec. At that time he showed his quality and he was very good for our team, for Slovan Liberec, and after that he became a leader for Slavia and the Czech national team.

He showed his quality for them and now he is showing it in the Premier League. He can run for 24 hours a day every day!”

And commenting on stories that Soucek told manager David Moyes to sign him he added: “I heard about it, but I have known him a long time and it’s normal, if I am Czech like Tomáš, that the manager would ask him about my character and my football quality. It’s clear and it’s the same at other clubs, I think!”


Jamal Baptiste: I’m just enjoying my football

It’s hard to believe that it was just over a year ago that Jamal Baptiste was making his West Ham United Under-23s debut.

Then a 15-year-old, Baptiste – considered a promising prospect ever since joining the Academy of Football as an eight-year-old – became the second youngest player ever to play for the Irons’ development squad, behind only fellow scholar, Jayden Fevrier.

The centre-back is not the kind of player, however, to let an occasion get the better of him; grounded, diligent and humble, 16-year-old Baptiste knows he has a long road of hard work ahead of him to reach the top level in the game.

It is the kind of attitude which has seen him train and travel with the first-team squad in recent months, first to Scotland for a pre-season training camp, before subsequently playing the full 90 minutes of the pre-season warm-up win over Wycombe Wanderers.

He has continued his development this season as a regular in the U23s’ ranks, where he and his teammates are playing their first season back in Premier League 2’s top-flight.

“I feel like everything’s come on so quickly,” Baptiste reflected on his last year.

“Just last season I had my first-ever game against senior opposition in the EFL Trophy [against Exeter City], and since then I’ve just been around men’s football with the first team, made my debut in pre-season against Wycombe – another men’s team – and I think I’ve just gradually adapted to it. It’s been good.

“This season, in the EFL Trophy again, I’ve had some really good experiences against men’s teams, playing up against experienced strikers, and I’ve tried to challenge them and deal with what I have to deal with.

“It’s a lot easier with top players in front of you and around you, guiding you through. You just get the ball to them and let them do what they have to do!”

After his recent first-team squad involvement, Baptiste has become used to holding his own with senior professionals but – as his star continues to rise – is keen to retain the enjoyment of the game which has seen him through thus far.

He explained: “I signed for West Ham at just eight-years-old. They gave me a six-month trial at first, but ended up signing me after just one week. I had no idea what I was getting in to, but I was buzzing. I’m a first year scholar now.

“It’s been a great experience so far. I’m such a young player still, and I know I still have a lot to learn, but I also have to just enjoy playing the game, which I do, to be fair.

“I’m used to pressure. I’ve sent a lot of time playing with older age groups and with that there is a lot of pressure and attention on you. If you want to go to the top in football you have to be able to deal with it.

“I deal with pressure before a game in a few ways. I listen to music, visualise what I am good at and call my mum before a game. I do everything in my own time.

“My advice to other young players is to keep on enjoying the game. Even when pressure does come, just think about where you’ve come from and how hard you’ve worked.”

Now a dependable, regular fixture in the U23s’ line-up, Baptiste could be in line to make his sixth appearance of the season when the young Irons host Blackburn Rovers at Rush Green Stadium on Friday afternoon.

The defender will be hoping to help the development squad record their first win of the Premier League 2 season, as well as build on the impressive performances which saw them score two wins from two games in the EFL Trophy so far.

“We definitely want to improve in Premier League 2 and get further in the EFL Trophy and do our best to win it,” Baptiste confirmed.

“Then, if I keep working hard, I’d love to try and get around the first team and maybe even get my debut by the end of the season.”

West Ham United Under-23s take on Blackburn Rovers Under-23s on Friday 23 October in a behind-closed-doors fixture. Kick-off is at 2pm; you can follow all the action with our live blog on whufc.com from 1.30pm.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Lato 12:30 Sat Oct 24
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)

geoffpikey 7:21 Fri Oct 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thank you Alan#1

If we move for Ozil.,.. bloody hell. We can't be madder.

eusebiovic 6:10 Fri Oct 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
You can always rely on The Daily Express to publish the journalistic equivalent of stagnant stool water of the most pungent variety ever inhaled...

Cheezey Bell-End 1:32 Fri Oct 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Not sure I would ever refer to another man as "my right hand", but I think I know what he means.

BillyJenningsBoots 1:25 Fri Oct 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
What a load of rubbish Carlton Cole talks... Ozil at West Ham, hmmm just Moyes's type young, hungry and hard working...

Dubious reporter then refers to him as Andy Cole.. If only!

Lee Trundle 12:55 Fri Oct 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan.

I'll forgive you for not showing yesterday.

Lily Hammer 12:51 Fri Oct 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Seeing as I love Carlton, I beg him to lay off the crack pipe.

Side of Ham 12:44 Fri Oct 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
I bet when Tomas showed Coufal the training ground, he said in Czech "Look, just like home my friend"

Moncurs Putting Iron 12:42 Fri Oct 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Ayubowan Alan

Thanks Alan 12:40 Fri Oct 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Lily Hammer 12:13 & 12:14 Fri Oct 23

Lily Hammer 12:14 Fri Oct 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Ah, yes, thanks, Alan.

Lily Hammer 12:13 Fri Oct 23
Re: Friday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Erm....thanks, Alan?

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