Head of Sports Science departs
It has been announced this week by the club that our Head of Sports Science Stijn Vanderbrouke has left to pursue a new challenge. Vanderbrouke initially joined us in 2009 and returned to us in 2014 after leaving for a spell in Russia back in 2012. The former China PR physio was clearly a popular figure around the club, as joint chairman David Sullivan had this to say about his departure: “We all enjoyed working with Stijn and we wish him and his family all the best”. Vanderbrouke was also like by fans for his weekly injury news column on WHUFC.com in which he updated fans with all of the latest first team injury affairs. However, many fans are suggesting that Vanderbrouke wasn’t well liked by Slaven Bilic who hinted at there being some back room changes at the end of the season, as our training ground move has failed to reduce the amount of player injuries. We certainly didn’t waste any time in announcing a replacement for Vanderbrouke as it was announced, just hours after his departure that former England and Arsenal physio Gary Lewin had been appointed the new Head of Medical Services. The 53 year-old is widely renowned as one of the best physio’s in modern day Football and is famed for his big personality and bizarre injury at the 2014 World Cup where he broke his ankle in celebrating Daniel Strurridge’s equaliser against Italy. The appointment is being praised by pundits and fans alike, with many hoping that this will finally be the end of annual injury crises.
Nordtveit gets Norway call
It has been announced this week that our Norwegian midfielder Havard Nordtveit has been called up to The Norway squad for matches against The Czech Republic and Sweden next month. The 26 year-old has made over 30 appearances for his national side and joins seven other of his Hammers teammates in being called up for post season internationals. Aaron Cresswell has also been called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the second time, with fellow defenders Declan Rice (Ireland) and Jose Fonte (Portugal) also getting international call ups. A midfield duo of Manuel Lanzini and Edimilson Fernandes have also been called up to The Argentina and Switzerland squads respectively, with keeper Darren Randolph also being called up to The Republic of Ireland squad for upcoming friendlies and a World Cup qualifier against Austria.
Hammers announce ladies revamp
The West Ham ladies squad have this week announced a historic and ambitious revamp of their whole team structure. The face lift comes in the light of their new pledge of reaching The WSL 1 in a matter of just five years. The son of joint chairman David Sullivan, Jack Sullivan has been unveiled as the new managing director of the side, with Karen Ray and Greg De Carnys taking up more full time roles as general manager and first team manager. Starting with this exciting new revamp, the future of West Ham United ladies really does look bright.
Young Hammers announce tough pre-season
Our newly promoted U23’s side have announced a tough run of pre-season fixtures in preparation for their first season in The PL2 Division one. It will all begin on Saturday 15th July for Terry Westley’s men when they face EFL League two side Barnet, before travelling to their fellow League two rivals Colchester United just three days later. The starlets will then make the short trip to face Dagenham and Redbridge at the familiar Chigwell Construction stadium, after that they will make the much longer trip to Slovakia to face Super Liga outfits Spartak Trnava and FC ViOn Zlate Moravce in two very tough fixtures. The final pre-season friendly will see The PL2 side face Billericay Revolution on Tuesday 8th August. At the conclusion of that exciting run of fixtures, Terry Westley’s men will then be ready for their historic first season in The PL2 Division one.
Transfer gossip: One in one out?
It has been rumoured this week by The Mirror that Everton are set to launch a summer bid for our Argentine midfielder Manuel Lanzini. The 24 year-old shined in the absence of Dimitri Payet in the second half of last season, scoring eight Premier League goals in total and winning Player’s Player of the Season at the end of season awards. ‘The jewel’s’ scintillating form has also seen him earn his first call up to The Argentina national side and win the acclaim of fans and pundits alike for the second consecutive season. Lanzini has taken to Premier League Football like a duck to water, so it is not hard to see why managers like Ronald Koeman are being linked with submitting £30 million bids for the former River Plate man. Everton are also reportedly willing to battle hard for Lanzini as they also face losing their talisman Ross Barkley in this transfer window. It is not hard to see that if we want to go further as a Football club, we must hold onto players like Lanzini this summer. It has also been reported in the last few days by The Express that Slaven Bilic is ready to attempt an ambitious swoop for Manchester United striker Anthony Martial this summer. The Frenchman was lavishly purchased by then United manager Louis Van Gaal for a fee believed to be upwards of £50 million and was an instant hit at Old Trafford scoring on his debut against Liverpool. However, the 21 year-old found game time harder to come by last season under Jose Mourinho, scoring just four Premier League goals. So could the former Monaco man be the answer to our striker problems next season?