Daily News: Ford to join, Oxford a target for Manchester City and Rafa Silva is a target

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From the Treatment Room – West Ham Official Site

Head of Medical and Sports Science Stijn Vandenbroucke with his latest update – in association with Spire Roding Hospital…
Hello everyone,
We have had a memorable few days with our important FA Cup win over Blackburn on Sunday and it was great to see the players come away with such an emphatic victory.
It was also pleasing to see Manuel Lanzini back in action.
He is training this week with the first-team squad and will be available for selection for the Sunderland game on Saturday.
We also have positive news with the return of three key players to first-team training this week.
Diafra Sakho, Winston Reid and Andy Carroll are all back in training and will now spend the next few days building up their fitness.
Diafra has obviously been out for three months and will need a bit more time, while Andy and Winston will hope to play some part in the games that we have got coming up next week.
The planned integration of these players back into the games is very important as they enter the final stages of their rehab/training/playing.
The difficult exercise is that the players and staff don’t get carried away in the last phase, the return to play phase.
We try to integrate each player that returns from injury into games, minimising the risk of a re-injury but maximise the team performance.
But I am confident that Sakho, Reid and Carroll will all play their part in a busy schedule for the club when we face Sunderland, Tottenham and Everton in the space of a week.
Depending on injuries we will have to see game-by-game who is available and take it from there.
James Tomkins and Joey O’Brien are both working on their rehab and it will be a couple more weeks before they can start training again.
Enner Valencia has seen a specialist and is doing individual training at the moment. We will know in the next few days if he has a part to play in the three games that we face next week.

Stijn Vandenbroucke
Head of Medical and Sports Science

Slaven Speaks – Sunderland – West Ham Official Site

The manager is looking forward to welcoming Big Sam this Saturday
Ahead of Saturday’s game with Sunderland, Slaven Bilic held his weekly pre-match press conference.
During the briefing, the manager answered questions on Sam Allardyce’s return to the Boleyn, team news and …

Is it true Andy Carroll and Winston Reid could be back for Saturday?

SB: “They are back in training so that is a positive. Manuel Lanzini has been back in training for a while so that’s good, and he is getting back to full fitness. Andy is back which of course is good. Winston is improving, maybe not for Saturday but soon. But it is looking good, touch wood.”

How important is it to have players coming back at this time of the season?

SB: “Very important, the whole squad has done brilliantly throughout the season, whenever we have had injuries. They have all been great. Now we are approaching the final quarter of the season it is crucial we continue to do well.”

Cheikhou Kouyate had his red card rescinded, are you surprised at that decision?

SB: “For me it was obvious, this wasn’t a nasty or bad challenge. We hoped and we expected this decision so we are happy. It’s great to have this option in England, in most other countries you can’t even discuss it. So it is great that you can appeal these decisions, referees are only people and they can make mistakes. So it’s important because the stakes are so high, it is good for English football.”

Saturday’s game is obviously the first time Sam Allardyce is back at Upton Park, how do you think the fans should reflect on his time in charge?

SB: “Well they should respect him, he done great for West Ham. He is one of the most famous and long serving English managers, 20 years or so, very successful and charismatic one. He got us back from the Championship and then stabilised the club in the Premier League so he has done amazing job and he should be praised big time.”

Now it seems likely that the last game at the Boleyn Ground will be Manchester United in midweek, how do you feel about that?

SB: “We still don’t know for certain but it is likely. I think it’ll good, Manchester United are huge so it is a big game for a huge stadium. I think it’ll be a great night, it would be anyway. But it’ll be about Upton Park and the history so it will be a fantastic day and a fantastic occasion.”

Do you think Sam Allardyce will keep Sunderland in the league?

SB: “He has done a good already stabilising them and they are harder to beat, they are more organised. They got four points against Liverpool away and Manchester United, any club in the world would take that. Even when they were 2-0 down at Anfield, they didn’t give up. There’s still a long way to go but they have a big chance to stay up.”

Adrian wants to silence Black Cats’ roar – West Ham Official Site

Adrian is looking forward to coming up against his old boss Sam Allardyce when West Ham United lock horns with Sunderland on Saturday.
Big Sam was the man who brought the Hammers’ No13 to English football back in the summer of 2013, and as such the Spanish stopper feels a debt of gratitude to the Black Cats’ boss.
However, that will be put to one side at the Boleyn Ground this weekend as he looks for a vital three points in West Ham’s quest to move back into the top six.
He said: “I have many reasons to thank Sam Allardyce because he brought me to West Ham United.
“He went to Seville to watch me in some games before he signed me and Sunderland need to work hard to save their situation in the Premier League.
“After Saturday I hope they can keep their Premier League position because I have appreciation for Sam.
“For us every game in the Premier League is important, but this is especially important because we didn’t get the three points in our last league game [at Norwich] and we need another three points urgently to stay near the top of the table.”
Adrian is likely to return to the team after watching on from the sidelines as the Hammers took Blackburn apart in the FA Cup last weekend – and he says that result will give the Londoners plenty of confidence as they return to league action.
He added: “We are playing at home with our fans behind us, so I think we have a lot of confidence after the FA Cup game at Blackburn.
“It was a great game on Sunday, we played so well, and when you have time to score one more goal you need to score.
“We need to keep going like that in the FA Cup, but also to get the three points in the next game.”

West Ham’s Reece Oxford a target for Manchester City – sources – ESPN

Manchester City are stepping up their interest in West Ham United’s Reece Oxford, sources have told ESPN FC.
Oxford became West Ham’s youngest ever player earlier this season when he made his debut, aged 16 years and 198 days, in the Europa League qualifying tie with FC Lusitanos in July.
The following month, he faced Arsenal, becoming the second youngest player to start a Premier League game, at 16 years and 237 days.
Oxford, who can play in central defence or as a defensive midfielder, has made a total of nine appearances for West Ham this season, but his recent outings have been restricted to late cameos from the bench.
Sources have told ESPN FC that while Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool have all been keeping tabs on the England under-17 international, City are determined to steal a march on their rivals, although West Ham are currently reluctant to sell.
City are keen to bring the best young talent to the club to stay ahead of their rivals and boost their home-grown quota as they prepare for life next season under incoming new manager Pep Guardiola.
City have made no secret of their desire to begin developing their own players, having launched the City Football Academy at a cost of around £200 million in December 2014.
However, ESPN FC was told earlier this month that a number of youngsters at the club are stalling on signing scholarship deals as they fear their pathway to first-team football at the club will be blocked.

West Ham star says he’s got everything at club – well, almost – Journal of the Reunion Island

West Ham star Dimitri Payet has been in sensational form this season, and he displayed it again at the weekend against Blackburn when he found the back of the net twice to take his team to the quarter finals of the FA Cup.
Speaking to the Journal of the Reunion Island. Payet revealed he is very content at West Ham, but would like to win his first trophy. The 29-year-old has never won a trophy at his previous clubs, and is desperate to win one. 
Payet:” I’d like to raise a trophy, open my record, and play major international competitions. I saw an extraordinary year, both in terms of football and family. I am the father of a third boy, since I arrived in London I lack nothing. Everything is fine.”
West Ham are going strong at the moment, and have already setup a date with Manchester United in the quarter finals of the FA Cup, which is West Ham’s only chance of winning some silverware this season.
Earlier, reports suggested Payet is wanted by Chelsea and Manchester City, but the West Ham star recently signed a new contract that’d keep him at the club until 2021. The 28-year-old has scored 9 goals this season, and also has 8 assists to his name.

Sam Byram talks exciting Hammers start and Leeds United FA Cup regret – London24

West Ham new-boy Sam Byram admits his time at Upton Park has been ‘perfect’ so far. 
The impressive Essex-born full back joined West Ham a month ago from Leeds United for around £3.5million and is seen as one of the best young defenders in the country. After making his debut live on Sky Sports in a draw at home to Manchester City, Byram has been able to settle into life down south since then with his uncle’s roast dinners and moving to plush apartment in Canary Wharf. ‘I have really settled in well, it was strange at first moving all the way down here,” Byram told London24Sport. “My first two weeks living in a hotel was a bit different but I am in my apartment now and settled in with the staff and the players. It has been a big help having some family here. Going round for a lovely Sunday dinner made it all feel more homely for me. “At the time it was a big decision (between West Ham and Everton) and I had a few sleepless nights but a month in I don’t think it could have gone better. Everyone has been so nice and I think it has been the perfect decision. “I said to my brother the other day, he is thinking of moving down here, that the way it is going I think I could see myself living here the rest of my life. It depends how I do but if I can do well and keep my head down, there is no reason I would look elsewhere.” West Ham have enjoyed a spectacular season, battling in and around the European places in the league and into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. Since arriving in east London, Byram has had to endure watching some games from the sidelines due to being cup-tied. The 22-year-old started the FA Cup third round clash for Leeds United against Yorkshire rivals Rotherham just ten days before he agreed to join West Ham. Of course Byram was not to know the FA Cup would be the pinnacle for West Ham’s season and he simply isn’t the sort of person to refuse to play a game, but the defender admits he may have had second thoughts about playing in that Rotherham game if he knew how the months would unfold. “It has been very frustrating for me. Coming in for a week and then the next week I am missing the game,” he said. “There has been a lot of big games and results I have missed. The weekend just gone at Blackburn and then the Liverpool last minute winner. It is frustrating watching but I am new and working hard to bed my way in. “Nothing was solid at the time (of the FA Cup game) but the game for Leeds was. At the time I was a Leeds player and I wanted to give everything I could for Leeds in the game. The manager wanted me to play and I couldn’t refuse. I enjoyed every game I played for Leeds. “Looking back now I would probably have been a bit more reluctant to play but at the time I couldn’t look too far ahead.” Byram looks set to start for the Hammers against Sunderland on Saturday with James Tomkins still injured.

West Ham defender desperate for Sunderland chance but relaxed over England hopes – London24

West Ham defender Sam Byram is eager to prove his worth having missed crucial FA Cup games of late. 
The right back is cup-tied so couldn’t feature against Liverpool or Blackburn in recent weeks and so has missed out on big nights for the players and fans. Back fit and with James Tomkins and Joey O’Brien injured, Byram is likely to start against Sunderland on Saturday and can’t wait to get playing again. “Obviously it is not nice to see people injured but you have to take your chances when they come,” he told London24Sport. “Michail Antonio did a very good job the other day at Blackburn with it being a new position for him. “I know I am not guaranteed a start but there is a chance I could play and I want to show the fans what I can do and help the team.” Byram regularly featured on the right of midfield for Leeds over the past 18 months and his versatility may have been something which attracted West Ham. However, the impressive 22-year-old admits he much prefers playing at right back and that he wants that to be the spot he nails down with West Ham. When asked what his favourite position was, Byram said: “I was asked the question a lot at Leeds.” “At the time we didn’t have many wingers and I like to get forward from full back so they naturally just stuck me there to do a job. “It was more that there was nobody there and I could do a job there. I played there a bit longer than I would have liked to but for my career I can bring a lot more to the table from full back and I can progress better as a full back. “If I can do a job there then it isn’t a bad thing to have more than one position in my locker.” With the likes of Mark Noble, Aaron Cresswell and James Tomkins once again likely to be overlooked by England this summer, could Byram be the next Hammer to get a chance for the Three Lions? With only really Nathaniel Clyne and Kyle Walker seemingly in Roy Hodgson’s mind for a right back spot, a chance to impress is certainly there, however the Essex-born defender is not getting ahead of himself. “It isn’t really something that has crossed my mind,” he said. “My first focus is to get in the team here and try and nail that place down, that is my goal. “Obviously if you’re doing well you never know. “There could be chance if you’re doing well as there aren’t many right backs available at the moment but my focus is getting a place here.”


 Youngster Ford Set to Join West Ham – TWTD

Academy striker Sam Ford is set to join West Ham following his recent trial spells with the Hammers.
Ford’s two-year scholarship is up at the end of the season and TWTD understands that the former Felixstowe Academy pupil will not be offered new terms by the Blues.
But the 17-year-old has impressed West Ham, where former Blues’ youth coach Liam Manning is now on the staff, during his time on trial and is to join the East Londoners.
Last month Ford netted while playing for the Hammers’ U18s in a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa and he was on target again earlier this week for their U21s in a 1-1 draw with Wolves.

Highly rated attacker catches eye of Tottenham and West Ham officials – O Jogo

Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United sent scouts to the game between SC Braga and Sion last night, according to O Jogo. Both London clubs have been present at Braga games this season, and again the outstanding performer in last night’s Europa League clash was Braga’s young wide attacker Rafa Silva.
It’s been confirmed by O Jogo that both West Ham and Tottenham were on the scouting list for the game, in which the Portuguese side advanced to the next stage of the Europa League. The two Premier League sides were joined by other clubs from across Europe including Barcelona, Sevilla and Real Betis along with Portuguese clubs Benfica and FC Porto. Fellow Premier League sides Liverpool and Aston Villa were also in attendance.
There have been no reports of who any of the clubs were monitoring last night, but much of the attention has been on Rafa this season. The youngster made the breakthrough in 2014 which earned him his debut with Portugal, and also led to interest from England. Rafa has a reasonable £14m termination clause in his contract for any club interested in signing the player this summer.



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