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 1:03 Mon Nov 23
Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane, 27, was named by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola as a player he wants the club to target during negotiations over his new contract extension. (Independent)

Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson, 23, will pursue a loan move to enhance his England claims for next year's European Championships, with Leeds and Brighton linked with a January switch. (Sun)

Manchester City have ended their pursuit of Barcelona and Argentina playmaker Lionel Messi, 33, according to Spanish football expert Semra Hunter. (Sky Sports)

France striker Olivier Giroud, 34, has admitted his lack of playing time at Chelsea is "worrying" and he will have to make a decision about his future in January. (Mirror)

Former Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen, 28, is free to leave Inter Milan in January, the Italian club's chief executive officer Beppe Marotta has confirmed. (Goal)

Manchester United could be interested in a move for Eriksen. (Corriere dello Sport, via Star)

Chris Wilder, whose Sheffield United team are rooted to the foot of the Premier League table with only one point from nine matches, insists he does not fear the sack. (Sky Sports)

Arsenal have received a boost in their pursuit of Turkey midfielder Yusuf Yazici after his agent admitted a big-money move is a target for the Lille midfielder. The 23-year-old has been likened to out of favour Gunners midfielder

France centre-back Dayot Upamecano, 22, will leave RB Leipzig next summer, with Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United all competing to sign him. (Bild, via Mirror)

A cruciate ligament injury to Barcelona's Spain defender Gerard Pique, 33, could change how they approach their January search for a new centre-back. The Catalan giants have a long-term interest in Manchester City's Spain defender Eric Garcia, 19. (Manchester Evening News)

Pique will ask for a second opinion on his injury from Dr Ramon Cugat, a knee specialist in Barcelona. (Sport)

West Ham have been offered Real Madrid striker Mariano, 27, on loan in January, with an option to buy. (Corriere dello Sport - in Italian)

Barcelona first team technical secretary Ramon Planes will meet with coach Ronald Koeman to discuss their defensive transfer options. (Marca)

Rennes and France midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, 21, has been linked with a move to Tottenham and admits he would like a move to a big club, though is also happy to stay. (Football London)

Sevilla's French centre-back Jules Kounde, 22, says he had talks with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola about a possible move this summer. (Canal Football Club, via beIN Sports - in French)

France Under-21 midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, 21, on loan at Hertha Berlin, claims he has regained the confidence he lost under Mikel Arteta at Arsenal. (Telefoot, via Star)

West Ham and England midfielder Declan Rice has admitted being released by Chelsea as a 14-year-old benefitted him, both as a player and a person. (Football London)

Lyon are lining up moves for Leicester and Algeria striker Islam Slimani, 32, and Reims and Senegal forward Boulaye Dia, 24, as replacements for Netherlands forward Memphis Depay, 26. who is linked with Barcelona. (Le10Sport - in French)

Chelsea will consider allowing England centre-back Fikayo Tomori, 22, out on loan in January. (Telegraph - subscription required)


Sébastien Haller gives West Ham victory to leave Sheffield United in trouble

Louise Taylor at Bramall Lane

Sébastien Haller is mobbed by teammates after scoring the winner for West Ham at Bramall Lane. Photograph: Ryan Browne/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

West Ham’s backroom staff queued up to embrace Sébastien Haller at the final whistle and every hug, high five and pat on the back spoke volumes. The French centre-forward has his critics but, for once, he had succeeded in silencing his detractors, leaving Chris Wilder’s players the ones wallowing in misery. Haller’s stunning second-half goal blew a gaping hole in Sheffield United’s already slender looking survival hopes, ensuring that nine games into the Premier League campaign, they are still without a win.

No one, least of all Wilder, wants to be stuck on one point in late November. “I’m disappointed, there wasn’t much in a tight game decided by a fabulous finish,” he said. “We can’t seem to find a way to turn the tide but, if you don’t show the necessary quality, the Premier League’s ruthless.”

Not surprisingly, David Moyes was considerably happier after his side rose to eighth. “We can play better,” he said. “But we can look up, not down.”

At kick-off, the sky above Bramall Lane was blue and the sun bright but, on a late November day demanding winter gloves, boots and scarves, it carried precious little warmth. Indeed, Lukasz Fabianski was probably grateful for the early call to arms which necessitated him saving George Baldock’s third-minute half-volley with an outstretched foot after Moyes’s defence – and Arthur Masuaku in particular – had been deceived by John Egan’s superb long ball.

West Ham arrived without a win here in 52 years and their cause apparently hampered by Michail Antonio not being deemed sufficiently fit for even a place on the bench. In the absence of their attacking talisman, they started shakily with Masuaku looking a definite weak link.

As the minutes passed, though, the left-wing-back pulled himself together and began, incrementally, fathoming out how to handle Baldock. Meanwhile his teammates’ passing improved appreciably with Declan Rice excelling but, unfortunately for Moyes, things tended to come undone in the penalty area where Haller, Antonio’s understudy, initially proved deceptively ineffective against Egan.

Although Aaron Ramsdale remained largely under-occupied, Sheffield United’s goalkeeper was required to dive low to divert Vladimir Coufal’s shot. Yet despite Tomas Soucek subsequently getting his feet in a tangle and miscuing with Ramsdale surely beaten and Jarrod Bowen’s goalbound shot being deflected by Egan, Wilder’s players could easily have been ahead at half time.

More specifically, the width of a post came between David McGoldrick and a goal when he nodded against that upright after Oli McBurnie had flicked on a corner won in the wake of Fabianski somehow keeping out another McBurnie header.

Neither side looked in control when, early in the second half, Haller vindicated his manager’s faith by scoring the most eye-catching winner. It all started with Coufal’s interception of a long clearance from Ramsdale and involved some pleasing interplay between Pablo Fornals and Bowen before the former was tackled as he shaped to shoot on the edge of the area and the ball rebounded for Haller to lash, first time, and unerringly, into the roof of the net.

In an instant a French forward who had seemed half a yard off the pace proved to have had the sharpest, and most technically assured, of reactions as Haller registered his first goal scored from outside the penalty area in almost 200 Eredivisie, Bundesliga and Premier League matches.

It leaves Sheffield United without a clean sheet all season but they very nearly equalised when McBurnie, generally well subdued by Angelo Ogbonna, saw his left-foot shot rebound off the underside of the bar following substitute Rhian Brewster’s clever ball.

That near miss coincided with the advent of an icy rain shower sweeping in off the Pennines and soaking everyone in its path. On an afternoon which seriously dampened any lingering optimism surrounding Wilder’s chances of masterminding one of the great relegation escapes, it seemed strangely emblematic.


SHEFF UNITED 3-5-2: Ramsdale 6.5; Basham 6 (Lundstrum 76, 6), Egan 6, Ampadu 6 (Robinson 62, 6); Baldock 6.5, Berge 6, Norwood 6 (Brewster 65, 6), Fleck 6, Lowe 5.5; McGoldrick 6.5, McBurnie 5.

SUBS NOT USED: Verrips, Jagielka, Burke, Osborn

MANAGER: Chris Wilder 6

WEST HAM 3-4-2-1: Fabianski 7; Balbuena 6, Ogbonna 6, Cresswell 7; Coufal 7, Rice 8, Soucek 7, Masuaku 6.5; Bowen 7 (Noble 90+2), Fornals 6 (Lanzini 76, 5); Haller 7.5.

SUBS NOT USED: Randolph, Johnson, Diop, Snodgrass, Benrahma

GOALS: Haller 56,

MANAGER: David Moyes 7

REFEREE: Martin Atkinson 6

Evening Standard

West Ham finding consistency as David Moyes tactics and transfers down Sheffield United

By Jack Rosser

West Ham took another step in their transformation under David Moyes as Sebastien Haller’s thunderous strikes made it back-to-back wins either side of the international break.

Hammers sides of the past have always been rather adept at folding after impressing results against big sides.

After defying the odds in their opening run of games this season - pulling off free-scoring wins over Wolves and Leicester before taking a point from each of Manchester City and Tottenham - Hammers fans were ready to come crashing down to earth against Fulham and Sheffield United. Two games either side of the international break that any West Ham side could bottle in order to undermine their showings against the big boys.

Moyes has spoken of wanting to shun the “flaky” tag often attributed to the Hammers and slowly but surely they’re edging towards consistency.

The east Londoners cut it fine against Fulham before the break, but were far more controlled and dominant here.

Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek were dominant in midfield, providing the platform for Jarrod Bowen, Pablo Fornals and Haller to thrive ahead of him, causing untold problems before the second half winner.

In truth, they could and should have had more. Bowen dallied over a chance not long after Soucek had fired wide from close range while Rice headed onto the bar.

A couple more would have given Moyes a far more comfortable afternoon, but the sharp end of the pitch is not the one he has been working so hard to overhaul. Aside from one moment when Ollie McBurnie managed to slip through and strike the bar with the hosts chasing the game, West Ham looked confident and controlled at the back, marshalled by the unwavering Angelo Ogbonna with Fabian Balbuena and Aaron Cresswell excelling either side of the Italian.

Clean sheets had been few and far between last term, they kept just two during Moyes’s tenure last season, but have begun to pile up this time - managing a fourth in nine games at Bramall Lane.

The run against the big boys to start the season caught the attention and suggested things might be changing under Moyes at the London Stadium, results like this are the proof of that theory.

Haller makes mark in Antonio absence

The big question for West Ham fans settling down to watch their return after the international break was whether Michail Antonio was ready to come back and lead the line following his hamstring injury.

After hinting that he could well return to the fold after training this week, Moyes elected to leave his talisman in London ahead of what is a jam packed schedule in the coming weeks.

Haller, the club’s record signing, has struggled to replicate the impact Antonio has on this side, managing just one Premier League goal all season before today - the final goal in a 4-0 win over Wolves.

It was not all down to him. Often those around Haller do not play to his strengths and leave him having to go wandering for the ball. On the one occasion he was found in the middle in the first half, Soucek wasted a wonderful cushioned header to only fire wide.

But after a switch in tactics at the break, the forward remained more central and soon reaped the rewards. He was quickly involved in exchanges with Bowen and Rice which came to nothing, before moments later making his mark on the game.

After a fine driving run from Bowen the winger fed Fornals, whose effort was blocked but not cleared. Finally in the right place at the right time, Haller was on hand to thunder home from the edge of the area and scoring a first ever league goal from outside the box in 190 appearances across Eredivisie, the Bundesliga and the Premier League. A long wait but some strike.

Coufal continues to impress

Vladimir Coufal looks another shrewd addition from Moyes during his second spell at the club.

To have added the Czech right-back and Soucek (both signed from Slavia Prague since Moyes’s return) for around £20million is superb business.

When Coufal arrived his international teammate promised a lot of running and hard work, but few expected the 28-year-old to hit the ground running quite like he has.

The full-back looks like a seasoned Premier League professional and, while keeping things tight at the back, he’s also posing quite the threat in the final third and could well have had his first goal for the Hammers here at Bramall Lane.

Right-back had been somewhat of a problem position for Moyes last term and Coufal has more than solved that.

Evening Standard

Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek are West Ham’s ‘beating heart’ helping to drive club to a new level

Midfield partnership invaluable as the Hammers make strong progress under David Moyes

By Jack Rosser

Keeping Declan Rice was viewed as one of the biggest successes of West Ham’s summer transfer window.

In truth, their resolve was never tested after a bid from Chelsea did not materialise despite strong interest from Frank Lampard.

But West Ham always made it clear they had no interest in selling Rice and this season the 21-year-old has taken his game to a new level.

Handed the captain’s armband by David Moyes in Mark Noble’s absence, Rice has been central to their brilliant start and he excelled in Sunday’s 1-0 win at Sheffield United.

But he has not done it alone.

Rice’s positioning and protection has always been exemplary, but his work is being matched by Tomas Soucek alongside him.

The Czech midfielder, who made his loan move from Slavia Prague permanent over the summer, has covered more ground than any other Hammers player in all but one game this season, when Pablo Fornals outran him by 0.2 of a kilometre.

Much credit has, rightly, gone to Aaron Cresswell, Angelo Ogbonna and Michail Antonio during West Ham's good run that has lifted them up to eighth and just four points off the top four. But Rice and Soucek in the middle of the park are the beating heart of the team.

Their hard work and knack - especially in Rice’s case - of always being in the right place at the right time to snuff out any attempt at a counter-attack is invaluable to those around them. It gives West Ham a platform which allows not only the forwards to thrive, but also gives Vladimir Coufal and Arthur Masuaku the confidence to fly forward and cause problems, safe in the knowledge that their backs are covered.

“I’ve played in midfield for the last three seasons and I think a lot of people get carried away with what they want me to do,” Rice said before the Sheffield United game.

“My role is a holding midfielder and there’s not really any flair in that. I’m disciplined, I make sure I’m always available for the team, I’m always in position, I get my passes off quick, I intercept and I tackle. I think a lot of people want to see things like stepovers and I’ve got that in the locker, but that’s not my role.”

It may not be Rice’s responsibility to chip in going forward, but neither he or Soucek are shy when the chance presents itself. Both could have scored at Bramall Lane, with Soucek firing wide from close range and Rice heading against the crossbar from a corner.

Rice, who came back to West Ham fresh from scoring his first England goal against Iceland, has namechecked Patrick Vieira, Claude Makelele and Yaya Toure as midfielders he wants to emulate with driving runs from deep, while Moyes wants to see more goals from his game. The odd goal would be nice, but the work he and Soucek do week in, week out is more valuable than anything.

Rice is going from strength to strength for club and country, and alongside Soucek he is forming one of the most effective midfield double acts in the Premier League.

"He is such an improved player," Moyes said of Rice.

“The role, his responsibility he takes on the pitch because of his young age, his leadership qualities will build. He has learned from Harry Kane, Mark Noble - I really think he is doing a great job as a player and we are building up hope that he will be an outstanding captain.

"My bigger concern - and I know he is young - would be that I don't want us to rely too heavily on him. But you would have to say that Tomas Soucek as well is doing a great job.

“Sometimes maybe being British we look at the players who are doing well here, but Tomas Soucek has done a brilliant job alongside."

With the transfer window reopening in January, West Ham could be fending off more interest in Rice in the coming months. But there is no chance they will let their crown jewel go mid-season and, for now, Moyes can watch on in delight at what he and his midfield partner are doing to help drive the Hammers to another level.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Texas Iron 5:16 Tue Nov 24
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)

RM10 12:29 Tue Nov 24
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Haller 7.5 ogbonna 6. 🙄

the exile 8:51 Mon Nov 23
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Still banging the same old drum, Vexed? Embarrassing.

brabrook 6:12 Mon Nov 23
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Mex Martillo 5:16 Mon Nov 23

Mex Martillo 5:16 Mon Nov 23
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
bill green 3:41 Mon Nov 23

bill green 3:41 Mon Nov 23
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
ted fenton 2:51 Mon Nov 23

Russ of the BML 3:06 Mon Nov 23
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Ta Al.

ted fenton 2:51 Mon Nov 23
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 1:43 Mon Nov 23

Thanks Alan 1:43 Mon Nov 23
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Vexed 1:06 Mon Nov 23
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
"Keeping Declan Rice was viewed as one of the biggest successes of West Ham’s summer transfer window."

Proper small time thinking this innit? Little old West Ham managed to keep a player. Largely because nobody came in for him but still, these writers piss me off.

Vexed 1:03 Mon Nov 23
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Good work sir

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