Reid: “We are pleased to take a point”
Our Kiwi centre back, Winston Reid has praised his fellow team mates after stopping Romelu Lukaku from breaching our defence for the first time in ten games. With Lukaku in such fine form, leading betting tips site BettingTips4U.com are advising on backing the Hammers not to keep a clean sheet. The 28-year-old was the captain in Mark Noble’s absence, as he returned from injury after just under a month sidelined with an abductor problem and was in buoyant mood after our clean sheet against the Toffees saying: “We are pleased to take a point; it was good to be back out there today”. When asked about trying to contain the Leagues top scorer, Reid replied: “With a player like Lukaku, you try and keep him away from goal- it’s pretty boring but it’s simple and effective”. The New Zealand international has endured a tough season in claret and blue but has often been the shining light in poor defensive displays, and it is no lie that the former Midtjylland man needs to stay fit if we are going to continue to keep clean sheets for the run in.
Nordtveit praises Bilic’s tactics
Our Norwegian central defensive midfielder was full of compliments for his gaffer at full time on Saturday, after the Croat gave him his first start since September. Nordtveit was all smiles in his post match interview, after aiding his teammates to a clean sheet against Ronald Koeman’s men, with a solid performance sitting in front of the back three. The former Borussia Monchengladbach captain had this to say to WHUFC.com after the game: “We were superb defensively. I felt I came more and more into the game as it went on”. Nordtveit was also full of praise for the Hammers faithful at the London Stadium on Saturday, later going on to say: “It was a great atmosphere here, and we are growing into the Stadium as our home now”. Despite his lack of game time this season the 26-year-old is clearly eager to continue our run of two home League clean sheets in a row when we face Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, in our final two home Premier League games of the 2016/17 campaign.
U21’s thrash WBA
Our bright, young PL2 division 2 side enjoyed a fantastic 0-4 victory over West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Monday night. Terry Westley’s side thought they had blown their chances of qualifying for the playoffs when they lost to Boro last week, but the emphatic win ensured the young Hammers nicked the final playoff position, finishing fifth and in some style too. Dan Kemp set the tone in the third minute with a well placed low finish past Alex Palmer in the Baggies goal. Martin Samuelsen doubled our lead in the 17th minute with a terrific solo effort. It was three just after the 30th minute when Nathan Holland curled in a free kick from range and Samuelsen rounded off the victory 20 minutes from time with a perfectly timed diving header. The starlets will now be hoping to continue their run to make it two trophies in as many seasons when they face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the playoff semi-final.
Noble recognised for legendary feat
Mark Noble was finally formally recognised for making 400 appearances in claret and blue, by being presented with a trophy from fellow Hammers legend Sir Trevor Brooking before our Premier League clash with Everton. Brooking himself has made over 500 appearances for us and was full of praise for the skipper saying “For Mark to get to 400, it’s fantastic”. Noble wasn’t playing against the Toffees due to a two game suspension for the accumulation of yellow cards, but is set to return to make his 401st West Ham appearance at the Stoke City FC Stadium in three days time. Another player who reached an admirable accolade but on Saturday against the Blue Boys of Merseyside was Winston Reid, the Kiwi captained us to a clean sheet in his 200th Hammers appearance.
Hammers eye Super Lig duo
It has been rumoured this week by TalkSport that we are interested in a summer move for Trabzonspor goalkeeper Onur Kivrak. It isn’t the first time Bilic has tried to sign the Turkey international, during his time with Turkish side Besiktas he had a bid rejected for the shot stopper. According to reports, we have also had an initial approach turned down by the Turkish side. Kivrak is nicknamed the Butterfly for his miraculous saves, so could the former Karsiyaka man be knocking Adrian off of the first team throne next season? It has also been reported this week by TalkSport that we are readying an approach for another Turkish international, but this time its Fenerbahce left back Hasan Ali Kaldirim. The 27-year-old has impressed this season for his role in Fenerbahce’s Super Lig title bid and Europa League campaign, resulting in interest from both us and Celtic. Kaldirim is also a personal friend of our boss Slaven Bilic, so will the Croat be successful in bringing the former FC Mainz 05 man to the London Stadium in the summer?
On this day in 2013, we were beaten by the defending Premier League Champions 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium. Sergio Aguero opened the scoring for the hosts before Yaya Toure doubled City’s lead with 7 minutes remaining, Andy Carroll managed to scramble a late constellation over the line but it meant nothing as we were made to pay for a slow start by Roberto Mancini’s men. We would go on to finish tenth in our first season back in the top flight under Sam Allardyce, whereas The Citizens would narrowly miss out on a second consecutive title.