Adrian – That was for Enzo! – West Ham Official Site
It has been a memorable few weeks for West Ham United goalkeeper Adrian.
The birth of his first son Enzo has been followed by consecutive clean sheets at home – and Saturday’s against Sunderland was particularly special given his baby was in attendance for the first time!
The Hammers are now unbeaten at home since August and Adrian knew it was a massive result.
He said: “I go home so happy as we kept a clean sheet, and it was the first time my baby son Enzo has come to Upton Park, so it’s three points and a first clean sheet for him!
“It was a massive three points for us because we didn’t take the maximum points in the last league game.
“We were playing at home, so we knew we had a great chance and I think we deserved the win.
“Sometimes you can’t play as long as well as you want, but you have to keep on defending your result. We were 1-0 up, so we had to defend well. We had a chance too when we hit the crossbar.
“When I had the chance to make the save to help my teammates I did it, and sometimes you can’t go with your hand because you don’t have time so I had to kick the ball away with my foot.”
Young Hammers five unbeaten – West Ham Official Site
West Ham United U18s opened their Group One Play-Off campaign with a 2-2 draw with Fulham at Little Heath on Saturday 27 February.
Cottagers’ midfielder Luca de la Torre put the visitors ahead after 15 minutes, before England youth international striker Jahmal Hector-Ingram headed level twenty minutes later.
The hosts took the lead when Tunji Akinola shinned home captain Noha Sylvestre’s free-kick on 81 minutes, however Fulham stole a share of the points late on through Ryan Sessegnon’s outstanding volley.
U16 midfielder Alfie Lewis started in the middle of the park, while fellow U16 Mason Barrett stepped in at the back.
Further forward, Anthony Scully started, while Tim Brown replaced Rihards Matrevics between the sticks.
On the bench, defender Reece Hammam was hoping to make his first competitive U18 appearance, as was U13 goalkeeper Serine Sanneh.
The game was very competitive, as both teams looked to secure a good start to the play-offs.
Fulham pushed themselves into an early lead after quarter of an hour when full back Sessegnon found a route past Barrett down the wing and cut back to de la Torre, whose shot just managed to beat Brown and Akinola.
The visitors almost found a second goal in similar fashion to their first, although Brown made a strong save.
West Ham tried to bring themselves level on a number of occasions, Scully’s free-kick travelled just wide of the bottom corner and Hector-Ingram was denied by a fantastic last-ditch covering tackle.
West Ham’s equaliser came ten minutes before the break as a pass into Grady Diangana was dummied, allowing the ball to travel into the path of Danny Kemp, who whipped in a cross that was headed home powerfully by Hector-Ingram.
Into the second half and clear-cut chances on goal were limited until the 68th minute when Hector-Ingram was tripped when he was through on goal, Kemp fired his free-kick from 18 yards just over the crossbar.
Six minutes later and Hector-Ingram was at the centre of the action again as he was felled inside the box yet the referee was unmoved.
West Ham’s attacking pressure finally told with nine minutes left when a free-kick from Sylvestre on the left found Akinola in the box, who managed to divert it into the far corner.
Into the third and final minute of stoppage time Cottagers’ left back Sessegnon fired an unstoppable volley into the top corner of the net, giving Brown no chance of saving.
The Hammers next play-off fixture is away to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday 5 March at Rovers’ Brockhall Training Ground.
U18: T Brown, Barrett (Hammam), Akinola, Rice, Eggleton, Lewis, Sylvestre, Kemp, Scully (Kanu), Diangana, Hector-Ingram (Coventry).
Subs not used: Sanneh, Johnson.
West Ham eye summer move for £14m-rated Premier League goal ace – Daily Star
West Ham have added Swansea striker Andre Ayew to their list of summer targets.
The Ghana captain is set to quit the Welsh club after coming close to leaving in January following Sunderland’s approach.
The Hammers have drawn up a shortlist ahead of their move to the Olympic Stadium with Marseille’s Michy Batshuayi the No.1 target.
The list also includes Zlatan Ibrahimovic – with initial enquiries for the striker already made.
Batshuayi, 22, is rated at £30m by Marseille and has also interested Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund – but £14m-rated Ayew, 26, is seen as a more realistic option.
Geoff Hurst praises brilliant West Ham star Dimitri Payet – BT Sport
You can see that Dimitri Payet is a star player within seconds of seeing him, West Ham United legend Geoff Hurst has told BT Sport’s Fletch and Sav.
Payet, a summer signing from Marseille, has been the star of the show for the Hammers this season with a series of impressive displays making him the star man at Upton Park.
Many have praised the Frenchman, with him now being talked about on the same level as the likes of Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil.
And Hammers legend Hurst is one of those who has been impressed, saying that Payet’s quality is clear for everyone to see.
“He’s brilliant,” he told Fletch and Sav.
“Anybody who watches football, within seconds you go ‘wow’ what a player we’ve got here. We can all see that, whether you played the game or not.”
“His record was great abroad in making and scoring goals. It’s all about quality players, and if you can get quality players, including him, it all gels particularly well.”
Manager Slaven Bilic will now be keen to see Payet maintain his fine form for the remaining games this season as they eye a place in the top six.
Even more interestingly, they are now just four points away from Manchester City in fourth, who do have a game in hand, but could be caught if his side finish an impressive campaign strongly.
Slaven Bilic explains what will act as a magnet for West Ham in the summer transfer window – London 24
Slaven Bilic has told London24 that West Ham United’s ambition last summer will encourage more players to join the club in the future.
West Ham made some excellent additions before the start of the campaign, with the likes of Dimitri Payet, Angelo Ogbonna and Manuel Lanzini signing up.
And Bilic believes that the trio could be trend setters, as he expects the Hammers to make more big-name signings over the coming seasons.
“Last year we got Payet, Lanzini and Ogbonna who are already big, big names,” he said. “The players that are here already are the best recommendation for new players, they act like a magnet for new players.”
The additions of Payet, Ogbonna and Lanzini have unquestionably strengthened West Ham, and they have shown great ambition in the transfer market since Bilic took charge.
With the London club set to move into the Olympic Stadium next term, they are set to be backed with further funds in the summer, too.
West Ham have made no secret of their desire to mount a push for the top four in the coming years, and Bilic has made a great start.
West Ham have performed above expectations so far this term and they currently sit in fifth place in the Premier League table.
If they can qualify for Europe they should be in an even stronger position in the summer, when Bilic could look to add even further class to a squad which is already littered with quality.