Daily News: Two players on trial at the club!
Author: Matthew Kirk. Published: 31 January 2016 at 10:20pm
Liverpool 0 West Ham United 0 – West Ham Official Site
Darren Randolph was the West Ham United hero to help the Hammers earn an Emirates FA Cup fourth round replay after a 0-0 draw at Liverpool.
With Adrian returning to Seville as he awaits the birth of his first baby, Randolph once again showed why he is rated so highly at the Boleyn Ground with a superb display to keep his sixth clean sheet in eight Claret and Blue appearances.
The Republic of Ireland international certainly enjoys playing at Anfield after he played his part in helping the Hammers come away with an emphatic 3-0 win in the league back in August.
And he was unbeatable once again as he made a number of impressive saves including a late triple stop from Christian Benteke and Joe Allen to ensure the Hammers will be in the hat for the fifth round draw on Sunday evening.
West Ham also had their chances to win the tie and came the closest when Pedro Obiang fired a volley inches past the post early in the second period.
The Hammers got off to a bright start and could have opened the scoring after just nine minutes when Dimitri Payet tried an audacious free-kick from outside the box which almost caught out Simon Mignolet in the Liverpool goal.
The away side came even closer on 16 minutes following a great move which saw Aaron Cresswell break clear down the left-hand side. The Hammers full-back crossed the ball in for Enner Valencia who was unmarked inside the box but the presence of Steven Caulker meant the No11 took his eye off the ball and headed well off-target.
Liverpool also had chances to break the deadlock and came close on 22 minutes. A corner was curled in by impressive young midfielder Cameron Brannagan and a flicked header from Benteke was cleared off the line by Cresswell on the post.
James Tomkins was forced to leave the action after 34 minutes after he clashed heads with Joe Allen in an aerial challenge. Tomkins was replaced by Joey O’Brien who was making his first appearance since 30 July 2015, when the Hammers drew 2-2 with Astra Giurgiu in the UEFA Europa League.
The Hammers suffered another injury blow on 37 minutes when Cheikhou Kouyate picked up a knock and was replaced by Nikica Jelavic.
Bilic was forced to change the shape of the team with Payet switching flanks with Moses and Valencia playing up front with Jelavic in a 4-4-2 formation.
The changes did not affect West Ham initially and they created their best opening on the stroke of half-time when the ball fell to Obiang on the edge of the box and he fired a volley just past the post.
West Ham came close again on 50 minutes when Winston Reid flicked Payet’s free-kick goalwards, but Jelavic just failed to slide the ball past Mignolet.
Replays showed that Steven Caulker may have handled the ball twice in the melee, but there was no action taken against the Liverpool defender.
The home side also had their chances and Allen had a good chance on the hour mark when the ball fell to him on the edge of the box but he fired a cross from Clyne high into the Kop.
Randolph then came to the Hammers rescue on 63 minutes when he made a fine save to parry Teixeira’s half-volley around the right-hand post.
The keeper was at his best once again when he made a triple save to keep the Liverpool players at bay. Randolph first saved from Benteke, then kept out a shot from Allen and once again kept out a follow-up from Benteke as the Hammers held out.
There was late drama when Michail Antonio saw his header strike the post, but the referee blew his whistle for a push inside the box by the substitute on Jose Enrique.
Both teams had to settle for a replay which will take place at the Boleyn Ground on Tuesday 9 February, unless the tie is selected for TV coverage the following night.
Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Caulker, Lovren, Smith, Stewart, Allen ©, Brannagan (Sinclair 86), Ibe (Ojo 79), Teixeira (Enrique 89), Benteke
Subs not used: Ward (GK), Ilori, Randall, Chirivella
West Ham United: Randolph, Tomkins (O’Brien 34), Reid ©, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Obiang, Song, Kouyate (Jelavic 37), Moses (Antonio 69), Payet, Valencia
Subs not used: Howes (GK), Collins, Oxford, Cullen
Referee: Martin Atkinson (Bradford)
Bilic – We deserved the replay – West Ham Official Site
Speaking after the 0-0 stalemate with Liverpool away at Anfield, West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said his side’s defensive efforts had earned the FA Cup fourth round replay.
The draw means both sides will do battle again under the lights at the Boleyn Ground on Tuesday 9 February.
Reflecting on the hard-fought result, Bilic said: “Overall, I am happy with the result and I congratulate my guys. Drawing at Anfield is tough; it is also tough to keep a clean sheet an Anfield.
“They had a few moments, we had a few moments. From my point of view there were a few moments when we were missed the final ball to put us in a great position.”
Standout players for the Hammers included goalkeeper Darren Randolph who made a string of fine saves, including a fantastic triple save to keep his side in the tie.
Winston Reid, captain in Mark Noble’s absence, put in a typically dominant and courageous performance at the heart of the defence.
Bilic continued: “Second half, yes they were better. They could run more; they were better on second balls and were starting to be a bit tired.
“Nobody wants to play a replay because of the schedule, but we can live with that. It’s much worse for them. We didn’t deserve more than a replay tonight, but we also deserved it because we defended really well. We were dangerous at times but I would like us to be more dangerous more of the time.”
As a result of the replay, the Hammers trip to the St Mary’s Stadium to face Southampton has been brought forward to Saturday 6 February, kick off is 5.30pm.
West Ham striker Nikica Jelavic set to join Ramires in moving to China once Emmanuel Emenike completes switch to Upton Park – Daily Mail
Nikica Jelavic has received a lucrative offer from Guangzhou Evergrande
Croatian is expected to move once Emmanuel Emenike signs for Hammers
Newcastle United midfielder Cheikh Tiote would also like to play in Beijing
West Ham United striker Nikica Jelavic will be the latest Premier League name to head for a final pay day in China once Nigerian international Emmanuel Emenike completes his loan move from Fenerbahce.
Emenike has done his medical at Upton Park with West Ham just needing to complete the paperwork with his Turkish club and Abu Dhabi side Al Ain where he is currently on loan.
On completion, The Hammers have decided not to stand in Jelavic’s way with the 30-year-old Croatian the subject of a lucrative offer from Guangzhou Evergrande.
He will follow the likes of Chelsea’s Ramires who moved east earlier this month to join Jiangsu Suning in a stunning £25million deal. Newcastle United’s Cheikh Tiote is also wanted to play in Beijing.
Jelavic joined West Ham from Hull City in the last transfer window and has scored three goals in 13 appearances, 11 of them as substitute.
Despite already playing for two different clubs this season, his move to China is permitted because their Super League starts in February and is classified as 2016 rather than 2015-16.
The transfer deadline for Chinese clubs runs until February 23.
Randolph – I enjoy playing at Anfield – West Ham Official Site
Darren Randolph has joked that he would love to play at Anfield every week after he produced another superb display to help the Hammers come away with a 0-0 draw with Liverpool in the Emirates FA Cup.
The Republic of Ireland international produced a man of the match display as he made a number of fine saves including a superb triple save in the second half to stop Christian Benteke and Joe Allen getting on the scoresheet.
Randolph certainly enjoys playing on Merseyside after he also played a crucial role in helping West Ham record an emphatic 3-0 over Liverpool back in August.
The Hammers keeper showed his quality once again on Saturday and is confident the club can now secure a victory in the replay and have a good run in the competition this season.
Randolph said: “We have had two decent results this season at Anfield. We have had two good performances from the team and I like coming here!
“I am happy to play whenever I can. The manager told me at the start of the week that I was going to start as it was the FA Cup. I am just happy to play.
“Every game is an opportunity for me. When I get the chance I need to show the manager what I can do. It would be nice to have a good cup run.
“We are full of confidence going into the replay. We are in good form and want to keep winning. It builds confidence. We have already had two victories against Liverpool this season and we came here thinking we could get a result.
“It is never easy playing at Anfield and they have a good squad. It was always going to be tough regardless of who was playing and they have a point to prove if they are not getting much game time.”
Randolph says he will be keeping in close contact with fellow keeper Adrian over the weekend after the Spanish keeper flew back to Seville to be with his family ahead of the birth of their first baby.
He added: “Adrian still travelled up with us but he had to leave first thing on Saturday. I told him to text me when something happens.
“The first I knew about him leaving was at 5am in the morning when he sent me a text message saying he was on his way to the airport.
“I told him to let me know if there are developments. I will keep in touch with him to see how he is going.”
Young Hammers sink Swans – West Ham Official Site
Midfielder Dan Kemp netted his third goal in as many games as the West Ham United U18’s secured a 2-1 win over Swansea City at Little Heath.
The visitors went ahead early in the first half through Brandon Griffiths, before Kemp found the back of the net for the third game in a row to level the scores.
Then, for the second week running, it was England U17 international Jahmal Hector-Ingram who fired the hosts to victory.
In this, their penultimate game of the regular season, Grady Diangana started his first Academy game for a month, while Swiss midfielder Noha Sylvestre was named on the bench after recovering from injury.
In the opening ten minutes, chances were limited at both ends, although when they did come, both sides could’ve broke the deadlock. First, Swans star Matthew Blake was denied by the upright, before Hammers’ centre-half Declan Rice headed narrowly over the bar from Kemp’s corner.
The opening goal of the game came on 14 minutes when Griffiths latched onto a long ball allowing him to race through on goal, only for Rice to catch up and make a last ditch tackle that unfortunately put the ball past Rihards Matrevics, giving the visiting forward the opportunity to roll the ball into an empty net.
However, it only took just over ten minutes for the hosts to level. After a spell of possession where the Academy were pushing for the equaliser, the ball finally found Idris Kanu on the left hand side of the penalty area where he was tripped, allowing Kemp to step up and bury into the corner past Swans keeper Lewis Thomas.
After the break, West Ham appeared to be much the dominant side as they looked to come from behind for the second week in a row, with Hector-Ingram spurning several opportunities to score.
The hosts continued to push, but the young Hammers seemed to struggle to find the final pass.
That was until the 70th minute when Idris Kanu beat the offside trap, rounded Thomas and fired a low shot across the face of the goal which was finished off by Hector-Ingram at the back post.
Straight after that, West Ham went forward to attack the Swansea defence yet again, but Diangana, Hector-Ingram and Borg could not get enough on the ball to find the back of the net.
With just one minute left, Diangana had a golden opportunity to seal the points when he smashed a low shot off the base of the post from 12 yards, yet it did not matter too much as the hosts held on to win the match 2-1.
The win takes West Ham to fourth place in the Barclays U18 Premier League South with just one game left of the regular season, which is a trip to Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday 6 February.
After all teams have played their 22 Southern fixtures, the North and South leagues will split into three four-team groups based on league position where Northern and Southern teams will compete against each other for their final 2015/16 league position.
U18: Matrevics, Eggleton, Akinola, Rice, Borg, Carter (c), Lewis (Sylvestre), Kanu, Diangana, Kemp, Hector-Ingram.
Subs not used: Coventry, Leonard, Henry, Hammam.
Surely Bassey will take up trial opportunity – Africa Football
West Ham are reported to have invited Nigerian forward Ezekiel Bassey for trials.“Bassey has been invited for trials by West Ham,” a report claims on the Africa Football website.
Last year, Nigeria defender Azubuike Egwuekwe also trialed with ‘The Hammers’ but his club Warri Wolves later turned down a £1m bid for Egwuekwe. “We rejected a bid from West Ham because we had disagreement with the agent handling the issue,” his club spokesman told the press.
Bassey has already been capped at full international level by Nigeria, when he made his debut in a 2018 World Cup qualifier against Swaziland in October in Port Harcourt.
The left-sided player is claimed to have ‘dazzling footwork and dribbling’ which earned the nickname ‘Hazard’ after his first season at Nigerian champions Enyimba.
Sander Berge trains with the Hammers – Nettavisen Sport
LA MANGA (Manager): The burly midfielder arrived late Saturday night at Valerengas training camp at La Manga in Spain. The last week he has spent in London, on a “get acquainted visit” by the Premier League team West Ham.
The big club wanted him over to both talk and see him in training. The interest will be great for the youngster who has taken huge steps in the last year.
– It was a nice experience and it was great to get there. West Ham is one of the biggest clubs in the world, and one top club in the Premier League right now, says Berge.
Felt it went well
He conducted a few sessions with the U21 team, and three sessions with West Ham’s A-team during their stay.
Currently, it shall have ticked a bid for 17-year-old.
– How do you think it went?
– I felt it went well. I came nicely into the group, they were nice to me and took me fine pitches. Then it was just letting loose. The level was good, but they focus well most of the fighting, says Berge.
Kjetil Rekdal start shaking slowly on the head when Manager takes up Sander Berge as a theme as we speak with VIF boss at La Manga. Rekdal is namely extremely so impressed by 17-year-old who got 11 Tippeligaen (Norway’s top league) matches last season.
“What the boy has done … he had an insane development. We are not surprised that he got good feedback from the training field in West Ham. For me it’s entirely logical”, says Rekdal.
West Ham satisfied
The English Premier League club, according Rekdal have been very impressed by Sander Berge during the week.
“He has done well, and they like what they see. But they have seen him many times and he is not even 18 years yet. He has an impressive physique and a potential that is absolutely huge”, says Rekdal.
Berge turns 18 on 18 February and is the 1998 model, like players like Martin Odegaard and Kristoffer Ajer.
The 17-year-old himself was impressed by several of the individual players at West Ham. As Berge correctly points out. “Payet and the guys can play ball”.
– What happens next?
– Now I focus on Valerenga. Now it’s pre-season here and I take with me motivation and a lot of learning from a week at West Ham, he says.
VIF boss has not yet received information about what West Ham want further with Berge.
– To say neither A nor B is not a joke, we take it as it comes. The boy certainly had a good stay and had the opportunity to learn a little. There are few 17-year-olds who get to experience how life is in the Premier League, says Rekdal.
– Are you in a position where you have to sell if you get a bid alright?
– No. But it’s part of our everyday life. We want us to get players who are too good for us, it’s part of having success, says Rekdal.
– Much faster than people think
VIF boss would rather not speculate on price or say anything about what Valerenga requires for the 17-year-old, but hints that the club would not stand in the way if it receives what he describes as a “sensible offer.”
West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell tipped for England call-up by Kenny Sansom – Sky Sports
West Ham left-back Aaron Cresswell is good enough to play for England, according to former international defender Kenny Sansom.
Cresswell was named Hammer of the Year and Players’ Player of the Season after his first campaign at Upton Park, and was rewarded with a new five-year contract less than 12 months after joining from Ipswich Town.
Sansom won 86 caps for England and, like Cresswell, rose through the divisions to play at the top level, and the former Arsenal defender believes the West Ham man has the ability to feature for Roy Hodgson’s side.
“I like Aaron Cresswell,” said Sansom on Goals on Sunday. “He’s a young lad and I think it’s up to him as a player. Obviously he has got to play for West Ham but he’s got to go out and perform and show people how good he is.
“He’s got to do something a little bit different. It was a very close call between me and Derek Statham. It was either me or him and I got the nod which was the manager’s choice. But when there’s not much difference you’ve got to do something a bit different and a bit special if you want to upgrade to international football.
“I think Cresswell has got the ability. If he really pushes himself and the manager at West Ham gives him the confidence, he has a really good chance.”
Leighton Baines, Kieran Gibbs, Ryan Bertrand and Luke Shaw were all used by Hodgson during England’s Euro 2016 qualification campaign, and Sansom believes Baines could get the nod if Shaw fails to recover from his long-term injury before the tournament.
“I think Baines experience-wise [would replace Shaw],” Sansom continued. “I think with his experience he’s going to be involved. There’s no doubt about it.”
Baines’ prowess from set-pieces is an added bonus for Hodgson and club manager Roberto Martinez and, while Cresswell has one goal and three assists in 22 Premier League appearances so far this season, Sansom says adding more goals to his game could prove crucial to winning international recognition.
“From a full-back’s point of view if you are scoring goals, for an international team that’s very important,” said Sansom. “Obviously he’s got to defend first, but it’s an added bonus.”
Four clubs chasing Santon – Tuttosport
On August 30th 2011, Davide Santon left his boyhood club Inter Milan to join Cesena on loan. Later that same year, on August 30th, Santon moved to Newcastle United, on a permanent contract. After a few years in England, Santon returned to Inter Milan on February 2nd 2015.
The Italian defender is used to deadline moves and Tuttosport believe another one is possible. In their Sunday newspaper, Tuttosport explain that several clubs are interested in signing Santon at the last minute.
Genoa are said to have a watching brief, with their current need for a fullback, but the bigger interest is coming from the Premier League. All of West Brom, West Ham and Norwich City are said to be interested in signing the 25 year old.
Tuttosport say that would then allow Inter to go back into the market and make another purchase themselves, whether permanent or loan. Given his previous deadline moves, Santon is probably packing a suitcase right now, just in case.