All of this news comes outside of the news contained in ExWHUEmployee’s column: http://www.thewesthamway.co.uk/#!Exclusive-Top-January-Target-is-revealed/maip4/568407410cf236d40392dd2d
Collins targets top five – West Ham Official Site
James Collins put in another heroic shift at the heart of West Ham United’s defence against Southampton and is now hoping to see his side break back into the top five again.
Collins showed once again why he is rated so highly by everyone at the Club with another outstanding display as the Hammers came from behind to record a memorable 2-1 victory.
The Wales international celebrated his new two-year contract in style as he helped the Hammers record their first win since the end of October which saw them move back up to seventh in the table.
And with the return of key players such as Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini and Andy Carroll from injury, Collins sees no reason why they cannot enjoy a successful second half of the season.
Collins said: “With the draws we’ve had, we’re delighted to get the three points.
“To finish the year with a win, after a little bit of a shaky couple of weeks with the draws, it’s massive for the Club. You see the fans in the second half, as soon as we started playing football, they were right behind us.
“One win when it’s so tight is massive. I’ve said to the boys, we’re looking at the top five again now.”
Southampton’s forwards came into the game full of confidence after their Boxing Day thumping of Arsenal, and Collins admitted that West Ham had their backs against the wall in the first half of the Bank Holiday game.
Collins added: “To be honest, at half-time, I think we would have taken another draw. They’re a good side. They knocked it about lovely first half and really made us work. It’s the worst we’ve probably played all season in the first-half.
“The gaffer made that known at half-time, made a few changes, and we came out and looked a different team. We knew we had to change it and step up at half-time, and luckily the boys have done that and got the win.”
Slaven Bilić’s team-talk and tactical changes at the back clearly had a major impact, but so did the introduction of Carroll and Lanzini and Collins was quick to pay tribute to his striking team-mates.
“You see the second half, the difference it made. Maybe for a couple of weeks, we’ve been a bit tentative, we haven’t created too many chances.
“And then as soon as Andy and little Manu came on, we scored two goals and looked dangerous again.
“So they have been a big miss, but to be fair, we haven’t been losing games. The boys who’ve come in have done very well, we’ve picked up points, and now we’re getting the injured boys back.”
With other recently-sidelined players also on the comeback trail, no wonder Collins and his team-mates are looking forward with confidence to the rest of the season.
The Big Interview – Andy Carroll – West Ham Official Site
Andy Carroll was thrilled to play his part as West Ham United produced a stunning turnaround to defeat Southampton 2-1 on Monday evening.
Carroll was a half-time substitute and scored the winner with eleven minutes to go, following in to head home after Michail Antonio struck the crossbar.
The big No9 was delighted with the goal and can see a bright 2016 ahead.
Andy, what a turnaround that was in the second half – and what an impact you had…
AC: “It felt like a different game watching and then coming on. We’re just happy we got the win in the end really.”
What did the manager say at half time to get the team going?
AC: “To be honest I was out warming up as I knew I was coming on, I don’t know what he said, but whatever was said it shook the lads up and we came out in the second half a lot better.”
Chances were much more forthcoming after half time. Maybe there was a little bit of luck with the equaliser but was that what we needed in the situation?
AC: “We did need a bit of luck and it’s been a lot of games where we’ve not had that luck. We had it for the equaliser and obviously Michail’s done great for the end one to assist for me.
For yourself it was a case of doing what all good strikers do and follow in the chances when they come…
AC: “I took one off Tonks’ toe early on when I came on, and I knew when I missed that I had to make up for it. Michail hit the bar and I just had to follow it up.
Your two goals this season have been crucial ones – both winners…
AC: “Yes. Two goals that have won important games and this was one of those important games.”
Just coming back from a little injury, it must be nice to have that impact on your first game back?
AC: “I had a little niggle in my groin, which I didn’t want, especially over Christmas as I wanted to play the games. I’ve been working in the gym and coming on against Southampton it was great to get the winner.”
From the team’s point of view, people were talking about not winning in eight, but now we can say we’re six unbeaten…
AC: “We’ve been playing good football, it’s just been very unlucky. We had a bit of luck on our side on Monday and got the win.”
With the likes of yourself and Lanzini coming back on Monday, and more to come, is there plenty of reason to be optimistic going into the New Year?
AC: “Yes, we’ve got most of our players coming back fit now which is great. The lads who have come in, like Michail, have shown their quality and that they should be in the squad. It’s a great squad to be involved in when everyone’s fighting for places.”
Lanzini wil make permanent £7.4m switch – Talksport
West Ham will buy on-loan Manuel Lanzini for just £7.4million, according to the chief executive of his parent club Al-Jazira.
Lanzini has been one of the stars of Slaven Bilic’s new-look Hammers since arriving on a season-long loan from the UAE Pro League side in the summer.
The 22-year-old has scored four Premier League goals in 13 appearances and talk has already turned to making his move permanent.
And now Al-Jazira chief executive Ayed Mabkhout says he fully expects West Ham to shell out a fee of £7.4m to complete the deal.
Mabkhout told the National: “If they decide before April 30 to buy Lanzini then they have to pay €10m.
“If they pay it we will take it.
“There have been no discussions with West Ham until now, but I think they’re going to do it.
“His performance has been very good up to this moment and they need the player, but we have to wait for something official.”
Talisca targetted – Talksport
West Ham are lining up a move Benfica’s Brazilian striker Anderson Talisca, according to reports in Brazil.
The forward has endured a miserable year at Benfica where he has scored just two goals since January following a prolific spell in 2014.
After his struggles in front of goal, the former Bahia ace has been linked with a loan switch back to Brazil, with Cruzeiro and Corinthians both interested in bringing the 21-year-old in.
But now, according to Brazilian newspaper O Dia, the two clubs will face competition from West Ham, who are also keen on landing Talisca.
This time last year, the playmaker was on the radars of both Arsenal and Liverpool, who had been told they would have to pay his £18million release clause if they wanted to sign him.
Their interest appears to have waned following his dip in form but now West Ham could still bring him to England with a loan switch most likely.
David Gold has commented on his twitter feed that he hopes that every West Ham player bar Diafra Sakho will be available for the Liverpool game this weekend.