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Date set for Cup quarter-final – West Ham Official Site

West Ham United’s Emirates FA Cup quarter-final tie at Manchester United has been confirmed for Sunday 13 March, with a 4pm kick-off.

The Hammers will travel to Old Trafford looking to book their first semi-final since 2006, having already seen off Wolverhampton Wanderers, Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers in this season’s competition.

West Ham have been allocated 9,000 tickets for this fixture, with details here.

Meanwhile, April’s fixture changes in the Barclays Premier League have been confirmed.

West Ham United’s home meeting with Arsenal on Saturday 9 April will now kick-off at 12.45pm, instead of the original 3pm start.

Finally, the Hammers’ away fixture at Leicester City has been moved to Sunday 17 April, with a 1.30pm kick-off.

Preview – Sunderland – West Ham Official Site

The background

Sam Allardyce makes his first – and last – return to the Boleyn Ground on Saturday as West Ham United look to get back to winning ways in the Barclays Premier League.

Big Sam will bring his relegation-threatened Sunderland side to E13 for the lunchtime kick-off, with the Hammers hoping to move back into the top six.

The last two league outings – away matches at Southampton and Norwich – yielded a single point – but Slaven Bilic’s men should be full of confidence after bouncing back with a 5-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers in the Emirates FA Cup last weekend.

Dimitri Payet was in imperious form, scoring twice and setting up another to help the Hammers to the quarter-finals, and the Hammers certainly have plenty to play for over the closing months of the campaign.

Sunderland, too, have lots to fight for, and their last two results have brought them right back into the mix.

After coming back from 2-0 down to draw at Liverpool, they followed that with a 2-1 victory against Manchester United and are now just a single point from safety, with 23 points to their name.

The history

Saturday’s game will be the 90th meeting between West Ham and Sunderland in the clubs’ histories.

The head-to-head record is evenly balanced, with West Ham just holding the edge with 34 victories to the Black Cats’ 31.

West Ham are unbeaten in the last five Sunderland clashes, winning at the Stadium of Light in March 2014 and at home in March the following year.

The most recent meeting, in the north east in October ended 2-2, with Carl Jenkinson and Dimitri Payet scoring the visitors’ goals.

The match

Team news

West Ham United

Sam Byram comes back into the Hammers squad after missing last weekend’s FA Cup victory at Blackburn Rovers due to being cup tied.

Fellow defenders James Tomkins and Joey O’Brien remain sidelined, and although Winston Reid returned to training this week, this game is likely to come around too quickly.

Elsewhere, Cheikhou Kouyate’s red card at Blackburn was overturned, meaning he is available on Saturday, while Andy Carroll has also resumed training.

Sunderland

Jan Kirchoff has recovered from the hamstring problem which forced him out of Sunderland’s game against Manchester United.

Billy Jones, Sebastian Larsson and Younes Kaboul are also available, although they are unlikely to start.

Duncan Watmore and Jeremain Lens are out.

Match info

Saturday’s match referee is Mike Dean. His two previous West Ham assignments this term have ended all square – the 2-2 draw at home to Norwich and the 1-1 stalemate at Aston Villa. His assistants will be John Brooks and Simon Long. The fourth official is Mike Jones.

West Ham have only lost one of their last seven games against Sunderland, although four have been drawn (W2, D4).

The Hammers have won seven and lost just one of the last 10 Premier League home games against the Black Cats.

The Hammers are unbeaten in their last 12 home games in all competitions (W7, D5).

Victory would give West Ham their highest total of points after 27 Premier League games.

Sam Allardyce’s side have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 13 league and cup games, conceding a total of 27 goals.

Sunderland have allowed their opponents 158 shots on target against them this season, more than any other team in the top flight.

Ticketing, coverage, travel and other info

Tickets for Saturday’s game have SOLD OUT, although tickets may become available online as Season Ticket Holders relist.

The District and Hammersmith & City lines are set to serve Upton Park station as normal on Saturday. Supporters travelling in from East Anglia and Essex to Stratford or Liverpool Street should note that trains will only run as far as Wickford or Ingatestone. Replacement buses will run. Click here for the latest news on the tubes and here for National Rail.

A dull day is expected in east London on Saturday, with cloudy skies and temperatures of 6C (43F) greeting the teams at kick-off.

If you’re not coming to the game, make sure you stay abreast of all the action on our digital channels. We’ll have live audio commentary and text updates on the whufc.com Live Match Centre,  along with in-running photos and stats. You can get involved in the conversation on social using the hashtag #WHUSUN

Phillips relishing Play Off challenge – West Ham Official Site

Having beaten Brighton & Hove Albion on the their final day of the season, the Hammers faced an anxious wait to see if other results meant they finished in the top four and thereby finish in the Elite Play-Off group.

Thankfully, Tottenham Hotspur’s win over Arsenal was exactly the result the young Hammers were looking for, leaving them in the coveted fourth spot with 37 points from their 22 games.

Reflecting on the achievement, Academy coach Mark Phillips said: “It is going to sound terribly big-headed but I actually predicted we would finish in the top four a few weeks back. I always said 37 points would be about enough.

“A big congratulations to everyone involved because it is something to celebrate! We’re all looking forward to challenging ourselves against the best teams in the country.”

Reflecting on the U18s’ regular league campaign, Phillips was pleased with another productive season.

He continued: “I think when he’s played Declan Rice has been outstanding. Grady Diangana has had a very consistent season, and of late Noha Sylvestre has had more consistency as captain.

“Alfie Lewis is another that has impressed me. I’ve known him since he was eight or nine and he’s always had that vision and awareness on the ball. He’s a massive asset to the Academy and I think he’ll be a big asset for the club in the future.”

The experienced coach is also an avid Hammer, who travelled to watch Reece Burke and Josh Cullen feature in Bradford City’s 2-2 draw with Rochdale.

The two loanees have flourished since joining the West Yorkshire club, with Burke a candidate for their player of the season while the Bantams are unbeaten since Cullen joined.

Phillips continued: “I saw Reece after the game he said he thought it was the worst game he’s had for Bradford but I don’t think he was particularly poor.

“Speaking to some of the fans and the staff there, he has done really, really well. I spoke Wendy, their player liaison officer and she said they are both two of the nicest, genuine players she’s worked with.”

The U18s open their Play-Off campaign on Saturday 27 February with a home tie with London rivals Fulham.

Chadwell Chatter – West Ham Official Site

Hello everyone,

I am extremely proud to announce and have to admit that I am blown away that tickets for my Testimonial has now sold out – that is something special.

When we first announced it I thought I would be lucky to get 20,000 with the amount of money that the fans have to spend during a season, but when I think about the support that our fans show, nothing surprises me.

I am grateful and humbled by it and I just want to make the day special for everybody.

I have got some great names playing and can announce that Gianfranco Zola wants to play some part! He called me and I was over the moon to speak with him. He asked about the Testimonial and I said I would love him to be there.

I have also spoken to Glen Johnson and Paul Konchesky recently and he wants to play which is great because they were in the Academy.

There are still some Corporate Hospitality packages available from £99 – don’t forget we will be raising money for three great charities in the DT38 Foundation, Richard House Children’s Hospice and Help for Heroes.

It has been an amazing few weeks for the Club, especially the feeling around the place after our FA Cup victory over Liverpool which was an amazing night for the players, staff and the fans.

We then went to Norwich and went two goals down which was undeserved, but we showed a great reaction to come back into the game and everyone, including the substitutes, played their part.

We then had the FA Cup win at Blackburn last weekend which was another special day for the 7,200 fans who made the long journey to Ewood Park. It felt like a home game for us. We don’t want to stop there and want to keep progressing.

The players we have got now and the players who are coming back from injury shows the quality we have got in the squad.

We have now got four of our strikers fit which is phenomenal and everyone is pulling their weight and you are going to need that for the cup run that we are going on and the Premier League.

We need all the players and we have got some real quality here.

The intensity goes up in training because everyone is playing for places in the side. We have also got players coming back from injury who need to get fit and the standard of training this year has been really high – with the squad we have got now it is a little bit special.

We believe as a squad and as a team that we can score goals. We believe in our ability and in our players.

We have got some players who are playing at the top of their game and we just need to make sure they keep enjoying their game and we keep winning.

With the way it has gone this season we have been behind in some games and have come back. The Premier League is a rollercoaster and nothing is guaranteed at all.

We need to keep that belief going and as Julian Dicks has said about the boss, he makes his feelings known when he needs to, but he really believes in his players.

I am looking forward to seeing Big Sam back at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday. I spent four successful years playing under him and we got promoted under him, which was massive for the Club.

He was brought into the Club to get us promoted from the Championship back into the Premier League and he did that. He then stabilised us in the top flight.

I will look forward to seeing Sam, but hopefully only after we have beaten his Sunderland team.

Finally, we are honouring Bobby Moore and our heroes from the Sixties this weekend. As a West Ham fan, an Academy product and being from Canning Town, I always heard stories of what Bobby achieved and what sort of player and man he was.

It’s an honour for me to be following in his footsteps and captaining this great Club of ours.

Come on You Irons!

Nobes

Boleyn Memories – Roberta Moore – West Ham Official Site

Roberta Moore has special memories of the Boleyn Ground and seeing her father Bobby become one of the greatest ever players to have performed for the east London club.

This week marked 23 years since the former England World Cup winning captain sadly passed away but he will never be forgotten at West Ham United.

The 1960’s themed game against Sunderland on Saturday sees a number of Bobby’s former team-mates make a return to the Boleyn Ground and Roberta says it promises to be a special day as she looks back at some magical memories.

Roberta said: “I remember on Saturday lunch-time dad would have a steak at home and then we would wave him off to the game. We always parked in the same parking spot and everyone was so friendly. It felt like we were going home.

“We would always sit in the same three seats and keep our eyes on dad the entire time.

“He would lift his arm up and give us a secret wave every match – at half-time we would always go downstairs to the wives lounge and I don’t think I ever made the second half!

“My dad used to own the shop directly opposite the ground and I had a Saturday job so along with my cousins we would sit outside selling rosettes and we used to work there during half-term.

“On Christmas Day the training would be at the ground and I also used to sweep the terraces and help the groundsman. I don’t think my mum was too impressed when I used to come home grubby.

“The ground has lots of memories for me and it is where my father spend the majority of his career. For us a family it is all about West Ham United. I feel a lot of warmth from everyone at the club.

“I remember when my father passed away it was very special seeing all the flowers and tributes and it is a very special place.

“I remember coming over for the 20th anniversary and when everyone lifted up the Bobby Moore cards and had the number six shirt I felt that my dad was here!

“I will be back for the Sunderland game on Saturday and it will be very special to see the players from the 1960’s again. To be moving onto the new Stadium is a fantastic opportunity and I am sure my father would be 100 per cent behind the move.”

Former Player Blog – Tony Cottee – West Ham Official Site

Tony Cottee is rated one of the best ever strikers in the club’s history scoring 146 goals in 336 appearances and came the closest to winning the top flight title when he was part of the famous Boys of 86′ team which finished third back in 1986. Cottee is still an avid Hammers fans and feels the club have the ideal chance to make it a memorable end to the campaign.

It has been a brilliant season for the club. They made a really good start and need to continue that in terms of their league form and pick up as many points as possible.

The good start has enabled the team to focus their efforts on the FA Cup and they have had some good performances in the last few games.

I think it is fair to say that former West Ham teams might have gone under in some of those games – I’m thinking of the West Brom result last year when everyone had such high hopes.

We went to Blackburn last Sunday and came through with flying colours. We can look forward to the quarter final with Manchester United and the league is still very important.

If we could manager to win a few games in a row who knows where we could end up?

We have got to keep ticking away with the games and we have got some big fixtures coming up against Sunderland and Tottenham at the Boleyn Ground.

I am down at the training ground and there is a real camaraderie among the boys and a great team spirit. It is almost like a bit of a throw-back to thirty years ago with the team that I was part of which finished third. Everyone is very relaxed.

You look at the performances on the pitch and they don’t seem to fear playing against anyone.

The wins at Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City have given the players great confidence and hopefully they can do the same against Manchester United.

In my experience of the game, I only had that 1985/86 season when I was part of a team that had good individuals around you and on our day could beat anyone in the country.

I always say that we didn’t think we could win games, we knew we would win games. Myself and Frank McAvennie knew we would score goals and the defence knew they would not concede goals.

It feels the same with this team that if they do concede like they did against Blackburn last Sunday, they will still score two or three. There is the belief there and you only get it two or three times during your career – this is one of those seasons.

The boys have got the belief. It is probably the best squad we have had for the last 15-years.

You have to get all aspects right. It is okay to have the creative players but you need your goalscorers and defenders and a good goalkeeper. All the ingredients need to be merged together.

Dimitri has been fantastic and I have enjoyed watching Lanzini when he has played this year. The Kouyate’s and Obiang who are in the team don’t always get the praise but they do a great job in the midfield.

I am a big fan of Mark Noble and he has been consistent and this has probably been his best season.

He is the captain and is a huge influence in the dressing room. He is a leader and I can’t think of anyone better who I would want to see lift the FA Cup this season.

We have got four or five very good forwards at the club and it is a very good squad. You have to seize the chance. As good as our season was thirty years ago we only finished third and didn’t win the FA Cup.

When the chance comes along you need to take the chance and the moment. My advice to all the guys is take your chance and try and qualify for a European spot.

Don’t just reach the semi-finals – try and get to the FA Cup Final and win a trophy.

I have special praise for my two mates Slaven Bilic and Julian Dicks who have done a fantastic job this season.

1960’s boys are back in town – West Ham Official Site

The 1960’s will be always be remembered as one of the greatest decades in the history of West Ham United after the team managed to win the FA Cup and European Cup Winners Cup.

Talk to most West Ham United fans and they will say that the Hammers also helped England to win the World Cup in 1966 after Sir Geoff Hurst scored a famous hat-trick, Martin Peters scored the other goal and the legendary Bobby Moore lifted the trophy.

The success of the players to lift the FA Cup following the 3-2 win over Preston North End and the Cup Winners Cup victory over TSV Munich 1860 within the space of 12 months cannot be under-estimated and the success will never be forgotten.

Only seven players in the history of the Club have won the FA Cup and a European trophy and a number of the 60’s heroes will be back at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday for the Sunderland game to celebrate that successful era.

Former West Ham United striker Brian Dear, who scored 39 goals during that memorable period will never forget that period playing with some of the greatest players in the Club’s history.

Dear said: “Ron Greenwood set the standard for how we played and it was a great team to be a part of. I only lived a quarter of a mile from the ground and I used to go to junior school with Ronnie Boyce.

“I played London schoolboys, England schoolboys with Martin Peters. We all came here as kids. Geoff was on the groundstaff and there were loads of lads.

“Eight of the 1964 team came from the groundstaff and the next year we won the Cup Winners Cup was amazing.

“To then see three of our lads play in the 1966 World Cup Final was incredible. Over the four trophies that this club have won, you are looking at 50 players and 17 of those were groundstaff boys who came through the ranks when they were 15-years-old. It doesn’t happen today.

“For the fans who watched it back then, they would probably say that the 1960’s was the best football they have seen at the Boleyn Ground, but I’m sure the fans who watched the Boys of 86′ also saw them play great football.

“We didn’t win things because we were lucky, we won because we were a great side. We have always played good football.”

Dear also has nothing but praise for the way Bobby Moore led the side and feels his legacy will never be forgotten.

Dear added: “I think Bobby was our main man. Through the years we have had great players like Sir Trevor Brooking and Billy Bonds, but Bobby was iconic.

“To go three seasons at Wembley and walk up the stairs and pick up a bigger medal is fantastic.

“It is unfortunate that Bobby was taken from us too early. He was a great player and a gentleman. He was a big loss to West Ham United and the game of football. Nobody has a bad word to say about him.

“I look at pictures now and he always used to tell me to stand next to him so I would get photographed!!”

Former West Ham United winger Peter Brabrook, who made 215 appearances for the Club during the 1960’s, also has fond memories of that time and the special team spirit that saw them achieve so much success.

Brabrook said: “It was fantastic to be part of the Club during that time. I arrived from Chelsea just before we won the cup and that was down to Ron Greenwood.

“He seemed to like my style and what we did was unbelievable. We had seven or eight internationals in the team and we showed our quality by winning the FA Cup and European Cup Winners Cup.

“I don’t think I can say anymore than what everyone else has already said about the great Bobby Moore. He was a fantastic footballer and a fantastic person.

“People didn’t just like Bobby Moore because he was Bobby Moore, they liked him for what he was and he was probably the best player that this club will ever have. He was the best of the lot.

“What made him so different is that he had no pace, but he was a great reader of the game and a fantastic passer of the ball. He never missed a tackle and used to scoop balls backwards and forwards as if no-one else was there.

“That was Bobby Moore at his best.”

Dimitri Payet: I’m not bothered about France snub because I’m so happy at West Ham – Evening Standard

West Ham star Dimitri Payet has revealed he is enjoying life with the Hammers so much that he isn’t thinking about his omission from the France squad.

Payet has been heavily praised since joining West Ham from Marseille in the summer, and has scored nine goals in all competitions – including two in the club’s 5-1 FA Cup win over Blackburn Rovers on Sunday – while having created several others for his teammates this term.

Such has been the Frenchman’s impact since arriving at the Boleyn Ground that Payet was handed a new contract by West Ham earlier this month, although his form for the Hammers hasn’t been enough to earn the forward a call-up to the France national team.

Les Bleus coach Didier Deschamps explained his decision to overlook Payet as being down to his belief the 28-year-old doesn’t play as well for the national team than his club side, but denied suggestions the Hammers star’s behaviour has been a contributing factor to his snub.

Payet, though, isn’t worrying about the prospect of missing out on the European Championships in his homeland this summer despite having labelled his lack of game time for France as an “injustice” recently.

“I’m so happy at West Ham I don’t want to spoil my enjoyment by getting bothered at being left out,” he said.

“I’m living a boyhood dream. I’m being rewarded for my hard work and getting recognition for the way I play in the toughest league in Europe.”

West Ham striker needs fans support to thrive says ex Fenerbahce boss – NTV

Emenike joined the Hammers on a six-month loan last month from Fenerbahce were he struggled last season.

Former Fenerbahce boss Ismail Kartal does however, believe that the reason Emenike underperformed is because he fell out with the fans.

Kartal underlined that Emenike thrives on confidence and that his form can vary drastically based on emotional factors.

“Emenike is a player that thrives on confidence, our fans made him lose his confidence and as a result we could not get what he expected from him,” Kartal said speaking on NTV.

Kartak stated that Emenike was technically his best striker but that because of the circumstances with the fans he failed to reach his potential.

“Emenike was clearly our most dangerous player but we could not get the crowd behind him. Had the crowd got behind him I am certain he would have thrived.

“I just wanted him to score a few goals and get the crowd back on side. I knew if he got a few goals the fans would have been behind him again but it just did not work out unfortunately.”

Emenike fell out with Fenerbahce fans during the Istanbul derby last season when he missed a great chance early in the first half to put Fenerbahçe ahead and was heckled by the the home supporters afterwards.

The 28-year-old reacted by taking off his shirt and abandoned the game.

Fenerbahçe manager Ismail Kartal and his technical staff had to stop Emenike from walking down the tunnel.

Kartal eventually managed to convince Emenike to put his shirt back on and return to the game.

West Ham’s tribute to the late Dylan Tombides – Socceroos.com

Dylan Tombides will have his memory immortalised at England’s Olympic Stadium after EPL club West Ham United announced he’ll form part of the club’s memorial at their new ground.

The former Olyroo, who passed away in April 2014 after bravely battling testicular cancer, will have his name engraved on a stone outside the ground, which the Hammers will move to next season.

The honour was voted on by West Ham fans and is indicative of the special standing Tombides has at his former club despite only ever making one senior appearance.

“The dearly departed Dylan Tombides completes the line-up, as the second anniversary of his tragic passing approaches.

“The prodigiously talented Dylan, who lost his brave battle with testicular cancer in April 2014, will forever be remembered with great affection by the Club he loved,” read a statement on whufc.com.

Tombides will join West Ham’s World Cup winning trio Bobby Moore, Sir Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters along with other club legends as part of the landmark.

The Perth-born striker joined the Hammers’ academy at the age of 15 and has also had his number 38 jersey retired by the London club.

A similar tribute stands outside Perth’s nib Stadium, which Glory unveiled in September last year.

The statue depicts Tombides’ special goal celebration tribute to his mother, where he revealed a shin-pad saying “Happy Birthday Mum” after scoring for the Joeys at U-17 World Cup in Mexico in 2011.

The statue’s inscription says Tombides “stands here as a symbol of inspiration, courage and determination”.

Dylan’s family has also established the DT38 Foundation, which is aimed at raising awareness on testicular cancer and to change the way it is diagnosed.

You can find out more on the foundation and donate at: dt38.co.uk

Sam Allardyce warms up for West Ham return by taking swipe at supporters – The Telegraph

Sunderland manager will be back at Upton Park on Saturday after bemoaning way fans turn on the team

Sam Allardyce has accused West Ham United supporters of making it difficult to play for the club because of the spiteful way they turn on their own players.

Allardyce endured a difficult relationship with West Ham fans, many of whom were glad to see the back of him when he left at the end of last season. Having said his new club, Sunderland, are supported by fans who are far more “lenient” when things go badly, Allardyce claimed the biggest challenge for him at Upton Park was trying to repair the damage done to morale by abuse from the terraces.

Allardyce spent four seasons at West Ham, guiding the club back into the Premier League in his first season via the Championship play-offs, before successfully stabilising them in the top flight ahead of their move to the Olympic Stadium later this year.

However, some supporters were openly hostile towards the 61-year-old because of the style of football he played, and although Allardyce claimed they were only a “small minority” there is no doubt things turned sour for him in East London.

“I think I was appreciated by the majority of fans,” he said. “It was a small minority who made themselves very loud and very clear about how they felt about me at the time. That wasn’t just me, it was all the managers who have been at West Ham.

“Appreciation from the fans is always very important. Nobody wants to be booed or be told to get out or get off, but it happened. It happened at Newcastle, too.

“You want to try and deliver what the fans want. At Sunderland, they want to stay in the Premier League and I want to keep them up, too. They’re appreciating how hard we’re trying to do that, I think.

“I think they’ve been very lenient with our players, compared to West Ham’s. Sometimes the players at West Ham suffered far greater than me. When I was there the fans used to get on their backs.

“It is easy for me to take it on the touchline because I’m not playing. Man management, a lot of the time at West Ham, was calming them down about the criticism they were getting off the fans, that they didn’t actually think they deserved.

“In many cases they didn’t, but I told them they had to accept it. You can’t let it affect your game or you’ll get even more stick.”

Allardyce knew what to expect when he agreed to take the West Ham job in 2011 and claimed that everyone in football knows their fans are difficult, even if they do not admit it in public.

“You accept that’s the way it is at that football club,” Allardyce added. “And because it’s like that, no matter what you do, at some stage you’ll get criticised. I knew that before I went there, because you ring people up who used to manage and that’s what they’d tell you.

“I don’t suppose, if you spoke to Harry Redknapp or Alan Pardew or Alan Curbishley, that they would admit that, because they are West Ham boys, but I’m not and they’ve said it to me privately.”

Allardyce is adamant he will return to West Ham with Sunderland on Saturday with his head held high because all they did while he was manager “was get better”.

He continued: “Hopefully people will appreciate what I’ve done there. In the main, going around East London on several occasions, nobody ever expressed anger or ill feeling, it was just a small minority at certain times.

“It might have been personal to me at a certain time, but that’s West Ham. That’s the way it was there for me. As a manager, when you get home at the weekend and you’ve won the game, that’s the most important thing. That’s what makes you feel good about yourself.”

Chelsea set to rival West Ham to the signature of Sheffield Wednesday man – Daily Mail

Sheffield Wednesday look set to face a summer battle to keep hold of academy star Geroge Hirst amid Premier League interest, according to the Daily Mail.

The 17-year-old, who is the son of Hillsborough legend David Hirst, has admirers from clubs such as Chelsea, W

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