WHO Poll
Q: 2023/24 Hopes & aspirations for this season
a. As Champions of Europe there's no reason we shouldn't be pushing for a top 7 spot & a run in the Cups
b. Last season was a trophy winning one and there's only one way to go after that, I expect a dull mid table bore fest of a season
c. Buy some f***ing players or we're in a battle to stay up & that's as good as it gets
d. Moyes out
e. New season you say, woohoo time to get the new kit and wear it it to the pub for all the big games, the wags down there call me Mr West Ham

Irish Hammer 2:53 Sat May 21
Article: Why Andriy Yarmolenko’s love for West Ham runs deep
Can’t see this one going down too well 😬

When most players leave West Ham United they often refer to it as a family club, and in the case of Andriy Yarmolenko, he will always be appreciative for what they have done to support him during his darkest moments.

The forward will leave at the end of the season when his contract expires. His outing in the 2-2 draw against Manchester City was his last appearance at the London Stadium as a West Ham player. When the squad re-emerged from the tunnel with their families, Yarmolenko, his wife Inna and their two sons applauded supporters and posed for pictures with the Ukrainian flag.

The 32-year-old joined for £17.5 million from Borussia Dortmund in July 2018. After seeking advice from Andriy Shevchenko and former West Ham striker Sergei Rebrov, Yarmolenko was excited about his new challenge. A move to Liverpool collapsed four years prior so he was keen to make up for lost time. The only issue was that the forward struggled to find accommodation. His family initially stayed behind in Germany, which made it harder for him to settle.

Six weeks after sealing his move, Yarmolenko’s wife and sons moved to London. The club eased his concerns and helped him find accommodation near Canary Wharf. But it was a difficult first year for the forward. He registered two goals and one assist in his first nine league games, before sustaining a season-ending achilles injury in the 1-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur. After the game, Richard Collinge, West Ham’s head of medical, spoke to Yarmolenko and his wife about the severity of his injury.

Although it was an unfortunate start to his career in east London, the club ensured proper support would be made available for his family. Yarmolenko even spoke to a psychologist during his recovery. Midway through the 2018-19 season, Yarmolenko’s wife and kids went on holiday to Dubai but the Ukraine international stayed behind at the training ground in Rush Green. He was keen to repay the help he received.

Yarmolenko returned to full training in May 2019 and took staff — mainly the physios — out for dinner to say thank them for what they had done for him. Many of his team-mates had gone on holiday, which meant he would have been the only senior player at Rush Green. But this would also prove to be the start of Yarmolenko’s bond with players from the under-23s.

Many thought he had been demoted whenever he played for the youth team. But it was Yarmolenko who occasionally asked David Moyes, or a member of his coaching staff, if he could play for the under-23s so he could maintain his fitness. At the start of the season, he featured in their emphatic 6-1 win over Arsenal and scored twice.

There is also another reason he is appreciative of players from the under-23s. When Yarmolenko recovered from his injury, some players from the academy delayed their holidays so they could help the forward do extra training. In the summer of 2019, he featured in pre-season games against SCR Altach, Manchester City, Newcastle United, Fulham, Hertha Berlin and Athletic Bilbao. Yarmolenko’s hard work had paid off. He was ready for the new season.

He scored in his third game back against Norwich City and ran to the bench, hugging members of the physio team. They were there for him during the most challenging period of his career, and Yarmolenko’s appreciation shows the type of person he is.

A tear of an abductor muscle meant he faced another spell on the sidelines during the second half of the season. Injuries often curtailed Yarmolenko’s progress, hampering his ability to play regular football. But as he departs the club, the memories of his winners against Chelsea, Aston Villa and Sevilla in the last 16 of the Europa League remain uppermost on the minds of supporters.

Before that fixture against Chelsea, West Ham lost eight of their previous 12 league games, drawing two and winning two. But Yarmolenko’s goal in the 89th minute was the catalyst for the club’s survival. They won two of their remaining six league fixtures, drawing three and losing once. A huge contrast.

There was a mixture of emotions for Yarmolenko in March. He was the unlikely hero on two occasions, but matters off the field impacted his personal life. He came off the bench to score in the 2-1 win against Aston Villa, leading the stadium announcer to say, “A goal for West Ham and for Ukraine.” Following Russia’s invasion of his country, Yarmolenko was granted compassionate leave. The constant reminders of trouble in his country and concerns over the safety of Inna and their sons were far too challenging.

(Photo: Paul Harding/Getty Images)
But the unity among the coaching staff, supporters, board and squad enabled Yarmolenko to find the confidence to play. Karren Brady, the club’s vice-chairman, offered support and “United for Ukraine” was printed on the match-day programme before the win against Aston Villa. Captain Mark Noble organised a tribute before the 1-0 win against Wolves on February 27. Yarmolenko’s name was printed onto every player’s warm-up top. Declan Rice also held up the shirt as both sides lined up to express support.

“I just want to say thank you to my team-mates, who support me all the time, every day,” said Yarmolenko. “To West Ham fans, they also support me and Ukrainian people and also to all British people, because we feel you support us. Thank you, really.”

When Yarmolenko scored in extra time against Sevilla, euphoria gripped the London Stadium. But once the referee blew the final whistle, Yarmolenko spotted a supporter with a Ukraine flag and gave them his shirt. Although it was one of his finest moments in a West Ham jersey, the forward was still thinking of others, which brings us to the aftermath of the recent draw against Manchester City.

Before the fixture, Yarmolenko and his wife invited 16 Ukrainian refugees to the last home game of the season. They were given gifts and posed for pictures, memories they will never forget.

So what next for Yarmolenko? In an interview with UA Tribuna, he addressed his future.

“Before the war, I was seriously thinking about returning to Dynamo Kyiv,” he said. “Now I am in touch with the president of the club, with all the players. This is the dearest team in my life, the No 1 team for me. Of course, if we talk about ending my career, I would like to finish it in this team.

“No one knows what will happen with the next championship of Ukraine. I want to return to Dynamo. I want to play and enjoy football. In the last two to three years, I haven’t played as much as I wanted. I miss playing every week.”

Yarmolenko scored 13 goals in 85 appearances during his four-year spell. When the club announces his departure, many will thank him for those memorable moments against Chelsea and Sevilla. But for Yarmolenko, the club’s support during his lowest moments is something he will always cherish.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

swindon hammer 4:40 Sun May 22
Re: Article: Why Andriy Yarmolenko’s love for West Ham runs deep
Good luck to the lad especially with everything that is going on in his homeland.

I’m quite shocked at some of the comments and suggestions that he should be given an extra year though.

He’s 32 years old, Injury prone and is reportedly on over a 100k a week.

There will be a number of free transfers available this summer that we could get that are younger, quicker and less injury prone than him for the same wages if not less.

Why anyone would think keeping on a player that is passed his best, on a huge salary and has been injured for big chunks of the last 6 years of his career is beyond me.

epsom 4:09 Sun May 22
Re: Article: Why Andriy Yarmolenko’s love for West Ham runs deep
Thanks Irish

daveyg 7:33 Sat May 21
Re: Article: Why Andriy Yarmolenko’s love for West Ham runs deep
I've seen a lot of U23's games this year and every time Yarmolenko plays there's a bond and friendship that should be tapped on. The players respond to him and visa versa he really seems to enjoy himself playing with them all. Watch the
Surely we strike a deal for the next season and have him involved more so with the U23's but somehow feature with the 1st team squad. I bet he has more of an effect than Mark Robson does,to me there's something no quite right about him. Dimitri and Westley changed the U23's to a winning team. I fear we may go backwards under Robson. No U23's playing this year says a lot. I think having Yarmolenko will have a good effect. Not many teams will be in for him as his wages are a problem. But staying with his family here for a year will help him and our U23's stabilize.

Lily Hammer 5:01 Sat May 21
Re: Article: Why Andriy Yarmolenko’s love for West Ham runs deep
Really good player, who’s had shit luck since he came to us.

That Everton game, when he tore them a new one, was a sign of what could have been. He’d just begun to get into a groove, and not long after his ankle exploded. The rest we know.

Bloody shame. Respect for the effort he made, as mentioned in the article, which I also didn’t know about. I wish him all the best, which would be for the shit show in his homeland to end, and for him to give D.Kiev a good couple of seasons for a swan song.

Thank, Irish. 👍

⚒️ 4:21 Sat May 21
Re: Article: Why Andriy Yarmolenko’s love for West Ham runs deep
Superb signing, all things considered.

Still think we should keep him around for next season’s Euro campaign.

Stevethehammer 3:52 Sat May 21
Re: Article: Why Andriy Yarmolenko’s love for West Ham runs deep
Shame he got those injuries as I think he would have been a real good player for us.

madeeasy 3:16 Sat May 21
Re: Article: Why Andriy Yarmolenko’s love for West Ham runs deep
Nice balanced piece Irish.

Shame as feel he could have done so much better for us but just didn't pan out. But wasn't a terrible signing and will always thank him for that feeling he gave us in the Seville game...

Pentonville 3:16 Sat May 21
Re: Article: Why Andriy Yarmolenko’s love for West Ham runs deep
Thanks for this. Our clubs PR is wank. I always thought him being played in Under 23 was punishment or demoted so my opinion of him was affected. To now read this and find out why completely changes my opinion of him!

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