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Alan 12:29 Thu Oct 4
Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Gareth Southgate will sign a contract in the next 24 hours to remain as England manager until 2022. (Mirror)

The deal, reportedly worth £3m a year, will keep the 48-year-old in the post until after the World Cup in Qatar. (Mail)

Southgate is considering calling up Leicester City playmaker James Maddison, 21, to his England squad for Nations League games against Croatia and Spain in October. (Guardian)

Monaco and Colombia forward Radamel Falcao, 32, has been linked with a move to David Beckham's Inter Miami when the team joins the MLS in 2020. (Sport - in Spanish)

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey's representatives say the 27-year-old has "no other option" than to leave the club as they responded to a Gunners fan on Twitter in messages which have since been deleted. (Evening Standard)

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho ranted at his players for 45 minutes on Monday in the build-up to the goalless draw against Valencia in a Champions League group game the following day. (Telegraph)

France international Paul Pogba, 25, has been stopped from speaking publicly about the troubles at Manchester United by his manager Mourinho. (Evening Standard)

Manchester United's owners, the Glazer family, are still backing Mourinho as the club's manager despite his position being called into question after the Old Trafford side's poor start to the season. (ESPN)

Mourinho wants to carry on as Manchester United manager but is worried about a lack of support from within the club. (Times - subscription required)

Manchester City have held a series of meetings with Merseyside Police and are likely to keep their route to Saturday's Premier League game against Liverpool at Anfield secret to avoid a repeat of the incidents before last season's Champions League quarter-final. (Sun)

Paris St-Germain's French midfielder Adrien Rabiot, 23, has rejected a third offer, worth 7.2m euros (£6.38m), to extend his contract at the club. (Bein Sport)

Steve Bruce was wary of getting sacked at Aston Villa but is angry the club gave in to supporters' pressure when they finally took the decision to dismiss him. (Star)

Shakhtar Donetsk manager Paulo Fonseca is among the favourites to take over at Aston Villa after Steve Bruce was sacked on Wednesday. (Birmingham Mail)

Arsenal legend and Belgium assistant manager Thierry Henry is also interested in the Villa Park job. (Mirror)

But former Chelsea star John Terry, who played at Villa Park last year, is also tipped to land his first managerial role. (Sun)

Former Hull City chairman Paul Duffen is heading a consortium bidding to purchase the club from current owner Assem Allam. (Hull Daily Mail)

Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour could have ended up buying Newcastle United instead of the Etihad club 10 years ago. (Manchester Evening News)

Real Madrid and Spain midfielder Isco, 26, says he is nearing a return to fitness after having surgery for acute appendicitis. (AS)

West Ham striker Andy Carroll is expected to make his comeback from injury after the international break. He has not featured for the Hammers since May. (Mirror)

Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley says he lacked coaching when he was at Everton and it was the right time to leave the club. (Liverpool Echo)

Bournemouth are considering a summer move for 24-year-old SPAL and Italy midfielder Manuel Lazzari. (Calciomercato)

Manchester United are considering introducing "gender-neutral" toilets at Old Trafford to make the stadium more "welcoming and inclusive". (Mail)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Barry Glendenning

The Rumour Mill is not usually one to riff, be-bop and scat all over another man’s pain, but the dismissal of Steve Bruce from Aston Villa on the back of just one win in 10 games has come as a timely blessing on a day when, without it, the gruel that is our transfer tittle-tattle would be decidedly thin. After 102 matches manning the tiller of the good ship Villa, Bruce leaves with the club’s best wishes and – more importantly – a pay-off (some might say a Brucie bonus) of about £2.3m, while the club’s chief executive, Christian Purslow, is left with the task of finding his replacement.

While Thierry Henry has already been installed as the bookies’ favourite to take the job, the Birmingham Mail reports that Paulo Fonseca is a more likely contender. The Shakhtar Donetsk manager was strongly linked with a move to Everton before they appointed Marco Silva last summer. Speculation abounds that Brentford manager Dean Smith, a Villa fan, may also be considered for the role vacated by Bruce, while the name of one John Terry is also being muttered despite his lack of managerial smarts. Newcastle United’s Rafael Benítez and Swansea City’s Graham Potter have also been mentioned as potential successors to replace Bruce in the swivel chair. It is hoped that whoever gets the gig will be in place in time for Villa’s game against Swansea City just after the international break.

A man who spent six years at Villa as a player, notching up 191 appearances, Gareth Southgate, won’t be taking the job as he’s about to ink a new £3m-per-year deal that will keep him in his role as England manager until the end of the next World Cup in Qatar.

Depending on your source of football news, José Mourinho either (a) retains the full support of Manchester United’s owners, the Glazer family, or (b) will be joining Steve Bruce in the dole queue if Manchester United are beaten by Newcastle at St James’ Park this weekend. Still looking for their first win of the season, Newcastle travel to Old Trafford on Saturday and may very well come away with all three points if the evidence of their hosts’ largely underwhelming performances on their own turf so far this season is anything to go by.

Linked with Tottenham Hotspur in this very column on Wednesday, Adrien Rabiot has turned down a third offer of a new deal from Paris Saint-Germain and his “people” are telling potential suitors not to waste their time with anything less than a four-year contract worth £9m per year for their client. Elsewhere in France, £30m-rated Lille winger Nicolas Pépé has caught the eye of Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona, Everton and Arsenal. The 23-year-old Ivory Coast international scored 13 goals in 36 appearances last season and already has five on the board after eight games of the current campaign.

Set to leave Arsenal as a free agent in the summer, Aaron Ramsey has been linked with Juventus, but the word in the porticos lining Turin’s famous Piazza Castello is that the Welsh midfielder’s wage demands are too high. The man they call “Rambo” is unlikely to be short of suitors and Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Milan are also believed to be hitching their skirts and giving him the glad eye.

And finally, Bournemouth are keeping tabs Serie A side Spal’s 24-year-old midfielder Manuel Lazzari, while perma-knacked West Ham striker Andy Carroll is about two weeks away from making his West Ham return after recovering from ankle surgery.

Football London

A tactical masterstroke, new boys settling & solid centre backs - How West Ham stopped the rot

Unbeaten in three Premier League games after four defeats to start, the Hammers are on the up

By Sam Inkersole

After the 1-0 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers at the London Stadium on the first day of September, West Ham were rock bottom of the Premier League table with zero wins and zero points.

Fast forward exactly one month later, the team are unbeaten in three Premier League games, stuck eight goals past Macclesfield Town in the Carabao Cup, have a new young star in Grady Diangana and are now up to the heady heights of 14th in the Premier League.

They have first dibs at moving up the table this week too when they take on Brighton & Hove Albion at the AMEX on Friday night.

The September fixtures were supposed to be daunting for the Hammers, with games against a previously unbeaten Everton, a then win-perfect Chelsea and finally, Manchester United who are in crisis but still, you have to beat what is in front of you.

Manuel Pellegrini's side saw off Everton 3-1 on Merseyside, produced a splendid performance to draw 0-0 with Maurizio Sarri's side and then proceeded to play Jose Mourinho's United of the park in Stratford on Saturday lunchtime with another 3-1 win.

Seven points from nine available is a return not many would have expected over the last month, especially after the start the club had to the season with four straight defeats in the league, but it's clicked for Pellegrini's men.

But how?

A tactical masterstroke from the manager

He may well have simply stumbled across it thanks to the injury to Jack Wilshere but the midfield three of Declan Rice, Pedro Obiang and Mark Noble has been a tactical piece of genius from Pellegrini.

The Hammers captain has come in for so much criticism over the last couple of seasons but his importance to this side cannot be questioned. He was superb against Everton and outstanding against United, his killer pass for Marko Arnautovic sealing the win after Marcus Rashford had reduced the arrears.

Noble is 31 and maybe doesn't have the legs anymore but he hasn't needed them as Obiang and Rice do that for him. The Spaniard is rejuvenated in a more advanced role while Rice has been magnificent since his return to the side, providing the protection Noble has needed. The skipper ran rings around Paul Pogba on Saturday.

The fluency of that midfield three has been utterly crucial to West Ham's success in their last three outings and it is hard to see how Wilshere gets back into the team when he returns from an ankle injury.

The centre back pairing is settled

Mourinho made a point of praising summer recruit Issa Diop after the Frenchman dominated proceedings against United. The Reds boss said: "(He had a) fantastic match. Congratulations to the scout that found a 21-year-old kid Diop - a monster who dominated in the duels."

That quote from the under-fire United manager made the headlines, maybe as a slight dig at his own club's recruitment, and certainly sticks out. Diop started the season on the bench, not making his debut until the defeat to Arsenal (when he scored an unfortunate own goal) but he has grown in stature since.

You can trace that back to the AFC Wimbledon game in the Carabao Cup when Diop was caught by an elbow from Dons forward James Hanson. It flicked a switch in Diop, who then proceeded to realise what the English game is about and he's been immense ever since.

Mourinho's words on Diop stand out but don't forget Fabian Balbuena, who is now looking a complete bargain at £4m. He's started every game in the Premier League and has been outstanding in the last three games. His best came against United on Saturday when he dominated Romelu Lukaku.

After the loss of James Collins this summer and Winston Reid now injury-prone, there were concerns over the centre of defence. Not any more.

The expensive recruits have found their feet

Just look at the way Felipe Anderson took his goal on Saturday, a nonchalant backheel from Pablo Zabaleta's centre - that's a man with confidence now after an up and down start.

Andriy Yarmolenko came in for his first start against Everton and bagged two goals and had a big part to play in the second against United though it will go down as a Victor Lindelof own goal.

Anderson enjoyed the freedom of the London Stadium at times against United and he punished them duly with a superb performance and while Yarmolenko was forced off in the second half, had another impactful game.

Patience was needed with box expensive recruits, particularly Yarmolenko because of his recent injury, but Anderson needed to adapt after his £42m switch from Lazio. If he can produce this kind of performance consistently he'll pay back that sum handsomely.

Senior players taking the lead

We've already mentioned how Mark Noble has stepped up but there are a couple of other players who have really come to the fore over the last month.

Right back Pablo Zabaleta is defying his 33 years of age every week and has ousted the much younger, quicker and forward-thinking Ryan Fredericks down the right flank. His support down that side to Yarmolenko has been invaluable in recent weeks.

And, of course, Marko Arnautovic. It was he, Noble and Zabaleta who took the squad to task after that defeat to Wolves and the trio have been huge in turning things around. Arnautovic even missed the game against Chelsea through injury and has now admitted he is playing through the pain barrier with a bruised bone in his knee.

The team needed to be pulled together and three of the more senior players in the squad have done just that.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

plankton 10:50 Fri Oct 5
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
"....if Manchester United are beaten by Newcastle at St James’ Park this weekend. Still looking for their first win of the season, Newcastle travel to Old Trafford on Saturday...."

I assume this means two matches in two days, then?

Kelly Smunt 4:52 Thu Oct 4
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Eggbert Nobacon 1:17 Thu Oct 4

Expecting Ronaldo back then.

Eggbert Nobacon 1:17 Thu Oct 4
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Manchester United are considering introducing "gender-neutral" toilets at Old Trafford to make the stadium more "welcoming and inclusive". (Mail)

what could go wrong

I bet the women would love to use the cubicles in the gents!

Thanks Alan 1:04 Thu Oct 4
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Mad dog 12:36 Thu Oct 4

Mad Dog 12:36 Thu Oct 4
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks alan

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