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 1:11 Sun Nov 8
Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Manchester City's England attacking midfielder Phil Foden, 20, is set to be offered a new deal which will treble his existing wages. (Star)

City are also interested in signing France legend Lillian Thuram's highly rated son Marcus, but they face competition from Barcelona and Juventus for the 23-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach forward. (Sun)

West Ham United are set to make a £30m offer for Lyon's France forward Moussa Dembele if the Ligue 1 club decide to sell the 24-year-old. (Sun)

Lyon general manager Vincent Ponsot has revealed Arsenal were one of three clubs bidding to sign France midfielder Houssem Aouar in the summer transfer window, but offered below the French club's valuation for the 22-year-old. (Sport Witness)

Bayer Leverkusen declined to even open talks with Manchester United over the prospect of selling 21-year-old French winger Moussa Diaby in the transfer window. (Bild, via Inside Futbol)

Former Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski, now with Turkish side Antalyaspor, has criticised the Gunners and coach Mikel Arteta for their treatment of out-of-favour 32-year-old midfielder Mesut Ozil, his former Germany team-mate. (Bild, via Goal)

David Beckham wants to sign his former Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos for Inter Miami when the 34-year-old Spain defender's contract ends next summer. (AS)

Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero, 33, is training alone at Manchester United and hoping to be allowed to leave on a free transfer in January. (Sun)

Southampton and Brentford are interested in signing LASK's 24-year-old Austrian winger Husein Balic. (Mail)

Tottenham Hotspur and England striker Harry Kane, 27, believes Spurs have a good chance of winning a wide-open title race this season. (Mirror)

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard insists now is not the time to discuss a new Ibrox deal for midfielder Steven Davis, the 35-year-old Northern Ireland captain. (Scottish Herald)

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has no regrets about allowing Argentine goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, 28, to stay in the Premier League with Aston Villa. (Mirror)

Marseille have dropped out of the race for Strasbourg's £20m-rated Villa transfer target Mohamed Simakan, the 20-year-old French defender. (Birmingham Mail)

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy had a long-standing £15m valuation of English right-back Kyle Walker-Peters but allowed the 23-year-old, now flourishing at Southampton, to leave for £12m in August. (Football Insider)


Soucek's late strike earns West Ham win as Lookman fluffs Fulham penalty

Paul MacInnes at the London Stadium

This was a good game until the 90th minute and an exceptional one thereafter. Still 0-0 going into four added minutes, West Ham had time to score a well-worked goal, concede a poor penalty and then watch as Ademola Lookman took a truly awful penalty to blow Fulham’s chance of a point with the last kick of the match.

West Ham move up to 11th with the win, courtesy of Tomas Soucek’s slammed side-foot finish from a Saïd Benrahma cutback. The new Hammers signing, making his home debut, then nipped at the toe of Tom Cairney in the box with seconds remaining. After a long interaction with VAR a spot-kick was awarded and Lookman stepped up to take. He chipped a Panenka that was so bad it barely had enough power to bounce off the chest of Lukasz Fabianski. There were cheers and laughter, even in an empty stadium.

It is tempting to read too much into this result – and so let’s do that. West Ham’s recent run of exemplary form has come from sticking it to the big boys. Standing tall, playing tough and sticking to a plan. Against Fulham, for long stretches, it looked like something else was required as the visitors – boosted by their first win of the season, against West Brom on Monday night – played with confidence and more verve than their opponents.

In the end, however, West Ham did find that little extra, when David Moyes brought on Benrahma with around 20 minutes of the match remaining. He replaced Pablo Fornals, who has technical ability, but not the x-factor with the ball at his feet that the Algerian showed for so long with Brentford.

Benrahma jinked his way into the area to force a double save with minutes of normal time remaining. Then when the Hammers were given one last opportunity to play their way through the spaces of a retreating Fulham defence, Benrahma found the right touches to let Soucek apply the finish.

Moyes expressed solidarity with his opposite number after Scott Parker complained about the lack of an offside call against Sébastien Haller in the buildup to the goal. “If I was Scott Parker I’d be really disappointed. I think the whole offside rule, where they’re delaying the flag, it’s a terrible rule‚” he said.

Despite criticising his team’s play, however, Moyes was pleased with a victory that could teach an important lesson in resilience. “We stuck at it tonight and got the result,” he said. “We were given a task to win in a different way, we tried but didn’t pass or cross the ball well enough, our buildup was slower than we would have liked and they’re all things we have to improve. Let’s hope this is not the flaky West Ham of old.”

For Fulham there were lessons in that dreadful final moment too. Lookman was as bright a light as any in white on the night, but his ability is not always matched by his decision making. This was a charge that could be levelled at others in the team too, André-Frank Zambo Anguissa a case in point. Both players have the qualities to be valuable weapons in Fulham’s fight against relegation but to make that reality that may need to take a leaf out of the pared-back, efficient West Ham that narrowly edged them out here.

“The boy has made a mistake, that’s clear‚” said Parker of Lookman, on loan from RB Leipzig. “You can miss a penalty, but you can’t miss a penalty like that. He knows that. When you’re young you have to learn quick.

“At the moment it’s so raw, my emotions are of disappointment, and anger a bit. Addy is a young player and he’s been fantastic since he’s been here. He’s got to learn from tonight, but he’s not going to hide from that. I’ve not got an issue with missing a penalty, but when you decide to take it like that you put yourself right on show.”

West Ham had started brightly and could have taken the lead when Jarrod Bowen’s deflected strike hit the Fulham crossbar but the visitors improved in the second half before the late drama left them agonised and empty-handed.


WEST HAM (3-4-3): Fabianski 6; Balbuena 6, Ogbonna 6 (Diop 63, 6), Cresswell 6; Coufal 6, Soucek 6.5, Rice 6, Masuaku 6; Bowen 6 (Lanzini 72, 6), Haller 6, Fornals 6 (Benrahma 72, 6).

Substitutes not used: Randolph (GK), Yarmolenko, Snodgrass, Fredericks

Scorer: Soucek 90+1

Booked: Ogbonna

FULHAM (4-2-3-1): Areola 7.5; Aina 6, Andersen 6, Adarabioyo 6, Robinson 6; Zambo 6 (Cavaleiro 90), Reed 6 (Loftus-Cheek 83); Reid 6, Cairney 6.5, Lookman 7; Mitrovic 6.

Substitutes not used: Rodak (GK); Hector, Kebano, Ream, Bryan

Missed penalty: Lookman 90+8

Booked: Mitrovic, Loftus-Cheek

Referee: R Jones (Cheshire) 6


Ademola Lookman sees woeful injury-time Panenka penalty saved as West Ham clinch victory over Fulham

Lookman fluffs penalty with the last kick of the match as Tomas Soucek's stoppage-time goal earns West Ham three points

By John Aizlewood at London Stadium

A first goalless draw of the season beckoned for both West Ham United and Fulham. Then, with the game in added time, Fulham lost concentration and Tomas Soucek rifled home what was surely the winner.

It was, but the drama was far from over. In the 96th minute, Fulham were awarded a penalty when Said Benrahma tripped Tom Cairney. Surely now they would avoid defeat. Regular penalty-taker Aleksandar Mitrovic’s hamstring was tight, so after a Var delay, second choice Ademola Lookman stepped up. Alas, his lamentable powder-puff Panenka trickled into the arms of Lukasz Fabianski. Referee Robert Jones instantly blew his whistle, the inconsolable Lookman fell to the ground and Fulham had lost again.

“It’s so raw,” said Scott Parker, the Fulham head coach. “I’m angry and disappointed. You can miss penalties, but you can’t decide to take it like that and then miss it. Ade knows that. He’s disappointed, but rightly so.”

“I’ve seen a lot of things in football, but nothing like that,” said West Ham manager David Moyes.

Lookman, you suspect, will not be taking any more penalties in the foreseeable future, but for both teams the curve is gently upwards. West Ham ought to have been out of sight in the first 10 minutes and until the extraordinary denouement were thwarted by a combination of profligate finishing, the excellence of Fulham’s Alphonse Areola and, until they enjoyed some very good luck indeed, old-fashioned bad luck.

“Some of our crossing was terrible and we didn’t make as many chances as I’d like,” said Moyes. “I hope we can keep winning like this: I’m seeing a resilient team now.

Times change and they change quickly. A week ago Fulham were winless and a publicity-seeking bookmaker had paid up bets predicting an immediate return to the Championship. Monday’s victory over West Bromwich Albion, and the continued failings of those around them, meant Fulham kicked off in the sepulchral gloom of East London out of the relegation slots. They finished out of them too, but they now go into the international break scratching their heads. They crated precious few chances, but they have a new-found defensive solidity, a midfield for whom the hard yards are a given and, penalty catastrophe notwithstanding, a maverick will o the wisp in Lookman. “Overall, I’m impressed with the way we’re going,” said Parker. “We weathered the storm and caused problems.”

Keen to expedite matters as soon as possible, West Ham began as if the game was a sprint rather than a marathon. Before 10 breathless minutes had passed, they had fashioned four clear-cut chances. Ola Aina flung himself in front of Arthur Masuaku’s drive, the excellent Areola foiled Aaron Cresswell and then, with a marvellous mid-air adjustment, blocked Jarrod Bowen’s drive which clipped Mitrovic’s head on its way to goal. Finally, Sebastien Haller did beat his fellow Frenchman, only for his header to cannon off the bar following Cresswell’s corner.

All things must pass and so too did this, for West Ham could not maintain their all-out assault. Yet their transformation from speedboat to galleon was not without compensation. Declan Rice, so often left unchaperoned, began to dictate the game from midfield and Bowen was a one-man dynamo.

Fulham, though, had ideas of their own. Their latest central-defensive pairing, Joachim Andersen and Tosin Adarabioya, were untroubled by Haller and the more mobile Pablo Fornals. With Andre-Frank Zamba Anguissa exuding ball-holding serenity and Antonee Robinson ensuring the hungry Lookman was regularly fed, they began to press back and the out-of-sorts but often marooned Mitrovic ought to have done better than head Cairney’s curling 25th-minute cross wide. A team who could have been four down were almost one up.

History didn’t repeat itself at the beginning of the second half, but it did bend in a similar direction. Areola’s bar was rattling again after 49 minutes after a vicious Cresswell free-kick.

West Ham pushed and probed, but Areola was still standing firm and a late, athletic double save from Benrahma encapsulated what had seemed to be splendid evening for him and his team.

Instead, West Ham had one last flourish. Two minutes into added time, Vladimir Coufal crossed from the right. Distracted by Haller, whom both Parker and Moyes agreed was offside and interfering with play, Andersen inadvertently headed on to Benrahma. The Algerian crossed low for Soucek to gleefully sweep home. Had there been a home crowd, they would have gone momentarily wild.

They would soon, however, have been rather subdued when Benrahma scythed down Cairney. The wait was long before referee Jones consulted his monitor and pointed to the spot. With 97 minutes, 45 seconds on the clock, Lookman stepped up and what happened will surely haunt him for the remainder of his career. West Ham couldn’t quite believe their luck. Neither could Fulham.


ON THE MOU-VE West Ham chasing Moussa Dembele transfer as Lyon prepare to sell £30m-rated Man Utd target

Exclusive Alan Nixon

WEST HAM are on red alert as French giants Lyon prepare to sell striker Moussa Dembele.

Hammers boss David Moyes is a big fan of the former Celtic striker, who is frustrated with being left on the bench recently.

Frenchman Dembele, 24, could be open to a second crack at English football after cutting his teeth at Fulham in his younger days.

And insiders claim Lyon are now willing to sell the player, who was a regular for France’s Under-21s.

However, the price on Dembele’s head will still be a problem for any Premier League suitors, which also include Manchester United.

Lyon could be persuaded by a bid from about £30million but which goes higher with bonuses.

West Ham have money to spend after the last window, when they failed to buy a new frontman.

Moyes has not been keen to use Sebastian Haller and the chance to replace him appeals.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

COOL HAND LUKE 11:14 Mon Nov 9
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Mr Anon 2:29 Sun Nov 8

No, YOU are missing the point, fella. My comment was nothing to do with 'the rule' per se, nor if I agree with it / understand it or not, etc, blah blah.
My comment was purely about the hypocrisy of Lineker and Co, on MOTD, who were gushing about the goal last week and it being perfectly acceptable, yet then immediately decided the Soucek goal should not have stood due to Haller's being where he was.
At least Haller played no part in our goal, whereas you could make an easy argument for offside last week as the player was influential in their goal in several ways.

Texas Iron 8:32 Mon Nov 9
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)

twoleftfeet 6:41 Sun Nov 8
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Dembele 😂😂😂

threesixty 5:44 Sun Nov 8
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Isn't it the issue that the whistle isn't blown for Haller's offside position because they now only blow the whistle after the phase of play ends.

So normally the flag would have gone up for Haller's position regardless. But if you wait till the end of play, a goal has gone in and Haller didn't touch the ball at all and wasn't interfering in the line of sight of the goal keeper for the goal. Therefore the late blowing of the whistle allows for the goal.

Which is absolutely crazy and I doubt it will be there next season as a rule. This is what happens when you change the way the game is referred simply to accommodate VAR and its lack of instant decision making.

Mr Anon 2:29 Sun Nov 8
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
COOL HAND LUKE 1:41 Sun Nov 8
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers Al, trust you are doing okay?

**Distracted by Haller, whom both Parker and Moyes agreed was offside and interfering with play...**
WTF!! Haller, who had no involvement, direct or indirect, in our goal, is deemed "offside / interfering with play", yet last week, Mané (who was offside, in the six yard box, blocking Fab's view AND preventing a defender getting to the ball) was okay? If the rule is good enough for LiVARpool, it's bloody well good enough for West Ham.

You're missing the point, both Haller in Mane were deemed not interfering by the current interpretation of the law, but it's the current interpretation people have a problem with, even Moyes said it should be deemed offside

ted fenton 2:00 Sun Nov 8
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 1:24 Sun Nov 8

Sven Roeder 1:58 Sun Nov 8
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

M Dembele is a more mobile striker more suited to our style
A swap for Haller who may be more at home in France?

Cicero 1:52 Sun Nov 8
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks, Alan.

COOL HAND LUKE 1:41 Sun Nov 8
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers Al, trust you are doing okay?

**Distracted by Haller, whom both Parker and Moyes agreed was offside and interfering with play...**
WTF!! Haller, who had no involvement, direct or indirect, in our goal, is deemed "offside / interfering with play", yet last week, Mané (who was offside, in the six yard box, blocking Fab's view AND preventing a defender getting to the ball) was okay? If the rule is good enough for LiVARpool, it's bloody well good enough for West Ham.

Thanks Alan 1:24 Sun Nov 8
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

With Kind Regards 1:17 Sun Nov 8
Re: Sunday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thank you Alan.

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