WHO Poll

Alan 11:44 Mon Sep 20
Monday newspapers ( includes West Ham)

Barcelona are preparing to bid for Borussia Dortmund and Norway striker Erling Braut Haaland, 21, Manchester United's France star Paul Pogba, 28, and Spain playmaker Dani Olmo, 23. (Mundo Deportivo - in Spanish)

With Pogba's Manchester United contract set to expire next summer, the club are prepared to offer a £400,000-a-week deal to make him the highest paid Premier League player of all time. (Express)

England midfielder Jesse Lingard, 28, and Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly, 27, are among seven players who could be sold by Manchester United in a January clearout. (Sun)

Chelsea will go head-to-head with Juventus for Monaco's France under-21 midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, 21, in January. (Tuttomercatoweb - in Italian)

Liverpool, Tottenham and Juventus are set to battle it out for Bayern Munich and France winger Kingsley Coman, 25. (Fichajes - in Spanish)

Chelsea are also interested in Coman after Bayern Munich's ex-sporting director tipped him to leave the club. (Mirror)

Barcelona head Ronald Koeman does not know what his future holds amid reports that president Joan Laporta is drawing up a list of replacements. (Express)

Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane, 28, may still be feeling the effects of his failed Manchester City transfer this summer. (Talksport)

Juventus were set to sign Gianluigi Donnarumma, 22, on a free from AC Milan this summer, but had to withdraw for financial reasons, allowing Paris St-Germain to bring in the Italy goalkeeper. (Goal)

PSG sporting director Leonardo has dismissed suggestions that Argentina forward Lionel Messi, 34, will earn more than £30m per season during his three-year contract. (Mail)

Manchester United are in contact with England midfielder Jesse Lingard, 28, over a new contract. Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes, 27, and England defender Luke Shaw, 26, are also on the club's 'contract list'. (Fabrizio Romano)

Arsenal are lining up a £20m bid for Dutch Under-21 and Club Bruges winger Noa Lang, 22. (Fichajes via Mirror)

Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane has defended England winger Jadon Sancho over the 21-year-old's slow start to his Old Trafford career following his £73m summer move from Borussia Dortmund. (Sky Sports, via Star)

AC Milan director Paolo Maldini is hopeful the club can agree a contract extension with 24-year-old Ivory Coast midfielder Franck Kessie, whose deal with the Serie A side runs out next summer. (SportsMole)


Lingard fires Manchester United to win as West Ham sub Noble’s penalty saved

Nick Ames at the London Stadium

Mark Noble was offered one shot and it was of the kind that, throughout his career, he has dispatched with chilling reliability. A handball from Luke Shaw had offered West Ham the chance to salvage a draw during an extraordinary finale and, in fairness to David Moyes, he thought he was on to a sure thing. Noble had taken 42 penalties since turning professional and missed just four; in fact he had not fluffed his lines since 2016. So Moyes turned to his one-man cavalry and, barely breaking stride, Noble jogged from the substitutes’ bench to the spot.

By coincidence, David de Gea had not repelled a penalty for nearly five and a half years. But perhaps this pile‑up of encouraging statistics, coupled with the self-consciously dramatic act of loading the fate of an entire afternoon on a player’s only kick of the game, tilted the odds another way.

There was certainly the sense, as Noble took aim deep into added time, that this might not end well: it was borne out with a poorly struck shot, too close to De Gea, that was batted away to the keeper’s left and proved the final act.

Declan Rice had expected to assume responsibility before Noble was sent out on his mercy dash, Ole Gunnar Solskjær observing that once he saw the new taker’s identity he had resigned himself to a point. It was tempting to conclude Moyes had overthought the situation but he offered no regrets.

“Not at all, because Mark Noble is one of the best penalty takers we’ve got,” he said. “We had time to think about it, time to make the choice. I’d have been more disappointed with myself if I hadn’t taken the decision. Because of his record I felt he’d be most suited to take it.”

Moyes admitted England’s failure after sending players on cold in the Euro 2020 final had crossed his mind, but ultimately he was spooked by his team’s patchy record from 12 yards. Rice was one of two players who missed a penalty for them last season; the other was Jesse Lingard and, as if the Noble twist had not been cruel enough, it was compounded by the fact that West Ham’s former loanee was now guaranteed to be the match‑winner.

Lingard had been warmly applauded by his former public when he replaced Paul Pogba 17 minutes from time as Solskjær attempted to unlock a game that, tied at 1-1, had meandered. Covid-19 meant West Ham’s support had caught the merest in-person glimpse of Lingard’s half-season spell here, which brought nine goals in a thrilling renaissance for the 28-year-old.

Now they were given a precis: receiving possession from Nemanja Matic, he turned inside Kurt Zouma before lasering a vicious finish into Lukasz Fabianski’s top left corner. He offered the obligatory non-celebration and, with a minute of regulation time left, the game appeared to have been won.

Had Noble not then erred, Lingard’s reticence might have appeared wise. But the outcome was secured and Solskjær could enjoy his player’s contribution, particularly as Lingard’s sloppy back-pass had caused their midweek defeat at Young Boys. “Jesse was quite clear he wanted to fight for his place and be part of a United team he thinks is going places,” the manager said. “I’m so happy and pleased for him. He’s becoming a grown man and he’s a very good player.”

Solskjær confirmed Lingard will start on Wednesday, when these sides meet again in the League Cup, at Old Trafford. Those who began ahead of him here had taken time to warm up, coming close when Fabianski brilliantly tipped Bruno Fernandes’ half-volley on to a post but deserving to fall behind on the half-hour.

West Ham had posed most of the questions and struck when, after a slick combination between Vladimir Coufal and Jarrod Bowen, space opened up for Saïd Benrahma to shoot from range. His effort, aimed towards the far corner, cannoned off Raphaël Varane’s elbow and nestled in the opposite side of the net.

Until that point Cristiano Ronaldo had been subdued, trying and failing to escape his markers and attack a succession of crosses. Then Fernandes delivered an accurate one and Ronaldo, just onside after drifting beyond Aaron Cresswell, beat Fabianski at the second attempt. His four goals since returning to United have all been scruffy, not that such trifles ever weigh heavily.

Ronaldo was denied by Fabianski after half-time and later had three penalty claims of varying extravagance turned down, of which Solskjær thought two were valid. The late award to West Ham, given after Martin Atkinson used the pitchside monitor to reverse his initial refusal, was more consequential and there were contrasting views over the eventual serving of justice.

“I felt we deserved the win, we played some very good football and created big chances,” said Solskjær, although their momentum had slowed before the winner and West Ham, less than 72 hours after facing Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia, seemed worthy of a point.

For Moyes, that was the silver lining. “We’ve tried to go toe to toe with Man United today as much as we could and made a decent account of ourselves,” he said. They were one ill-fated roll of the dice from being inseparable.


Noble and Moyes share the blame after West Ham throw point away

Hammers went toe to toe with Manchester United and shouldn’t have been relying on a late penalty to earn a draw

Jonathan Liew at the London Stadium

Something about it just felt wrong. Brave and heroic and wrong. Suspenseful and theatrical and wrong. This isn’t simply hindsight talking: the introduction of Mark Noble deep into injury time at the London Stadium, for the sole purpose of taking a crucial penalty with West Ham 2-1 down to Manchester United, was greeted by the home fans with the sort of qualified exultation that you might expect at a party when one of the guests turns up with a live goat. Obviously, you know, this is a very cool surprise. Well done on making the effort. We can’t wait to see what happens next. But, um – are you sure you’ve thought this through?

You don’t hear a lot these days about Calum Giles, the former stalwart Great Britain hockey player, and probably not without good reason. But back in the 1990s, Giles was a master of the drag flick who in the wake of the sport’s new rolling substitution rules carved himself out a hugely profitable niche as a specialist penalty-corner taker.

As soon as the corner was awarded, on Giles would trot to great fanfare and ceremony. Once the corner was invariably dispatched, off he trotted again, waving to his adoring audience like a Victorian conjuror. This tactic would work a treat until Giles missed a crucial strike in the biggest game of his life – the opening game of the Sydney Olympics against the world champions, the Netherlands – and retired soon afterwards.

As Noble’s well-telegraphed penalty was saved by David de Gea and the point slipped away from West Ham, perhaps it was possible to identify a broader lesson in all of this: in the dangers of tempting the sporting fates, of playing too fast and loose with established convention, with trying to be just a little bit too clever.

Certainly this felt like the dominant train of thought in the immediate aftermath of the game: that somehow the fault lay with David Moyes, whose reckless decision to send on Noble with just seconds remaining put his midfielder in an invidious position, piling extra pressure on an already-crucial kick.

At which point it is probably worth taking a step back, out of the noise and the swirl of instant judgment, and examining Moyes’s decision with a little coolness. As with Gareth Southgate’s unsuccessful decision to send on Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho before the Euro 2020 final penalty shootout, it was tempting to conclude that the decisive factor was Noble’s lack of prior game-time, as if running around for 90 minutes is the perfect preparation for taking a single shot from 12 yards.

Besides which Noble is, you know, a professional footballer. And not only that, but quite good at this penalty business: a veteran of more than 500 games, a spot-kick specialist who has taken literally hundreds of these things under all sorts of pressure. Talk to professional athletes and they tell you that this is the sort of scenario they dream about, a set of circumstances they live and train for, the sort of pressure they relish.

Had, say, Andriy Yarmolenko missed the penalty instead, then you can well imagine the opprobrium that would have been heaped upon Moyes for precisely the opposite reason. Sometimes in this game, you really have to judge the outcome rather than the process. If you miss a free shot at goal from 12 yards with no defenders present, then maybe it’s not the fault of the guy standing 60 yards away in the tracksuit.

To his credit Moyes stood by his decision, and perhaps the real frustration here was not the missed penalty but the fact it had been required in the first place. Until Jesse Lingard’s spectacular winning goal, West Ham had been every inch the equal of their opponents: defending bravely, moving the ball up the pitch with intelligence, taking the initiative and packing the United area with bodies. Even Moyes’s decision to go with a back four rather than a back five felt like its own statement: a vote of confidence in his defence and a determination to hit United where they were most vulnerable.

And yet, in the absence of Michail Antonio through suspension, you got the sense that this was going to be one of those afternoons when West Ham would need to create several chances to score one. Saïd Benrahma’s deflected first-half goal was a stroke of luck, but Pablo Fornals, Nikola Vlasic and Jarrod Bowen all missed good chances from inside the area, and several more promising attacks came to nothing.

This, perhaps, was the real point of contrast: between West Ham’s promising but misfiring forwards and the point-and-shoot precision of Cristiano Ronaldo, who aside from his customary goal seemed to spend most of the afternoon walking, grimacing and trying to win penalties.

The main difference between this West Ham team and their immediate predecessors – even from the last season or two under Moyes – is that they now genuinely seem to believe they can win these games. Even the way they slumped crestfallen to the turf at full time felt instructive, the hallmark of a team that knew they deserved at least a point. The denouement may have been crushing and cruel. But perhaps the real story here was of a team still growing into themselves, who even in profligate defeat came within one fateful kick of stealing the show.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Thanks Irish 9:23 Mon Sep 20
Re: Monday newspapers ( includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Mex Martillo 5:26 Mon Sep 20
Re: Monday newspapers ( includes West Ham)
Repetitive maybe, but that second attempt by Jonathan Liew was spot on.
Thanks Alan

Texas Iron 1:12 Mon Sep 20
Re: Monday newspapers ( includes West Ham)

ted fenton 12:43 Mon Sep 20
Re: Monday newspapers ( includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Coffee 12:40 Mon Sep 20
Re: Monday newspapers ( includes West Ham)
The Guardian's a bit repetitive.

Thanks, Alan.

Thanks Alan 12:34 Mon Sep 20
Re: Monday newspapers ( includes West Ham)
Irish Hammer 12:18 Mon Sep 20

To be sure.

Irish Hammer 12:18 Mon Sep 20
Re: Monday newspapers ( includes West Ham)
Thanks a million Alan

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