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Q: Manuel Pellegrini - What should we do
a. A good man & a good coach we should stick with him
b. A busted flush & he's outstayed his welcome, time to go
c. What difference does it really make who's in charge while the current owners are still in control

Alan 1:13 Tue Jul 30
Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Leicester City defender Harry Maguire is losing patience with the club and the England centre-back wants the Foxes to push through his move to Manchester United. (Mail)

United are willing to pay as much as £70m for 26-year-old Maguire - but not the £90m Leicester want. (Mirror)

Arsenal's £72m deal for Lille winger Nicolas Pepe will involve the Gunners paying £20m up front for the 22-year-old Ivory Coast international and the other £52m in instalments within five years. (Mail)

Neymar's Paris St-Germain team-mate Marco Verratti says the club must sell the 27-year-old Brazil forward if he is unhappy at the Parc des Princes, despite coach Thomas Tuchel's desire to keep the player. (Express)

Real Madrid have told 28-year-old Colombia attacking midfielder James Rodriguez he will be staying at the Bernabeu. (AS - in Spanish)

Juventus have confirmed there have been offers for 25-year-old Argentina forward Paulo Dybala, amid interest from Manchester United and Tottenham. (Mirror)

Arsenal have received an enquiry from Monaco about the availability Germany defender Shkodran Mustafi, 27. (L'Equipe, via Mirror)

Argentina defender Marcos Rojo, 29, will consider a move away from Manchester United if he believes first-team opportunities will be limited next season. (ESPN)

Lazio president Claudio Lotito says he is open to the idea of selling 24-year-old Serbia midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic - a United target - if the right offer is made. (Mail)

Crystal Palace are set to make a £5m bid for Newcastle United and Republic of Ireland centre-back Ciaran Clark, 29. (Sun)

Magpies manager Steve Bruce does not believe the club's fans will boycott the first match of the season against Arsenal. (Talksport)

Everton are considering moves for Southampton and Gabon midfielder Mario Lemina, 25, and Chelsea's England Under-21 defender Fikayo Tomori, 21. (Sky Sports)

Real Madrid have received offers from Roma and Monaco for Dominican Republic forward Mariano, 25. (AS - in Spanish)

Real's Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois, 27, is doubtful for the start of the La Liga season after sustaining a sprained ankle. (Evening Standard)

Former Germany striker Jurgen Klinsmann is in talks with VfB Stuttgart to become the club's first chief executive. (Bild - in German)

Guardian Rumour Mill

Nick Ames

Would you like to be the world’s most expensive defender? Course you would! So would Harry Maguire, and he’s getting quite the hump with Leicester City for standing in his way if this morning’s stories are to be believed. Manchester United are ready to top the £75m fee paid by Liverpool for Virgil van Dijk – which seems a touch strong to the Mill but then who are we to stand in the way of market forces – but Leicester are holding out for at least £85m and Maguire thinks it’s time they honoured a gentleman’s agreement to let him go for the right price. If they eventually do, James Tarkowski and Lewis Dunk, neither of whom looks like considerable downgrades and would be far cheaper, are among those in the fashion parade for his replacement.

United might find it easier to make up that extra £10m if they can move on Romelu Lukaku, with Juventus moving ahead of Internazionale in the queue for his signature. There’s never really been any great indication Inter can afford him but Juve, who are having quite the summer, look deadly serious and would include Paulo Dybala as a very tempting sweetener. And might another United star be heading off to a global superpower? Brace yourselves Red Devils fans … because Matteo Darmian is on Barcelona’s list as cover for Jordi Alba, according to a Spanish report.

Arsenal are about to tie up the signing of Nicolas Pépé, and there’s a chance their transfer window might be about to get even better. We jest, of course, but Monaco are said to be sniffing around Shkodran Mustafi and a princely £27m sounds a reasonable deal in anyone’s money. With this and the Darmian news, we promise you it’s not 1 April. Sami Khedira has also been linked with an inwards move after choosing, as you do, to take in the Emirates Cup on Sunday, but Unai Emery reckons it was merely coincidence.

Pépé, of course, arrived after Arsenal tried and failed to get hold of Wilfried Zaha but Everton may not be giving up their own chase for the Crystal Palace winger. They were reported to have stuck £55m under Palace’s nose, but not only that! Cenk Tosun and James McCarthy were supposedly ready to jump in a private car to Selhurst Park as makeweights, if the south London club said yay, although the Toffees have categorically denied that was the case.

Marco Silva has enough to bother him at the moment with Idrissa Gueye’s departure for Paris Saint-Germain and the latest name tipped to replace the all-action midfielder is Celta Vigo’s Stanislav Lobotka.

In the Football League, Birmingham are in for Las Palmas winger Mateo García while Ipswich want to hijack Blackpool’s move for Joe Nuttall of Blackburn, perhaps offering Bartosz Bialkowski in exchange.


Sebastien Haller: Why West Ham have pulled off a real coup by signing a player who has similarities to Liverpool star Roberto Firmino

With the transfer window giving us plenty of exciting signings this summer Total Football Analysis are helping talkSPORT.com run the rule over the best of the bunch

SCOUT REPORT - Lee Scott, Total Football Analysis Magazine

In terms of attacking players, the overriding narrative over the course of last season surrounded the performance of the Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic.

The Serbian was prolific throughout the campaign and has since sealed a big-money move to Real Madrid.

While the focus was on the goals scored by Jovic there was another player who was key to the German side’s attacking play, forward Sebastien Haller.

With Haller joining his former strike partner in leaving the club, for a reported £45million fee to West Ham, it is a sign of his talent that Frankfurt may well miss Haller far more than they do Jovic this coming season.

The 25-year-old has had an interesting career path, to say the least. Originally a product of the prolific Auxerre academy in his native France the forward took the somewhat unorthodox path and moved to the Netherlands to join FC Utrecht, originally on loan before making the move permanent. It was during these two years that Haller really started to develop as a player.

It was also during this time that West Ham were said to have expressed an interest in taking the player to London. The transfer never materialised and Haller found himself moving to join Frankfurt in the German Bundesliga. This move turned out to be the making of the player as he nurtured a reputation as a fearsome opponent.

Equally comfortable receiving the ball in space or with a defensive player in close proximity Haller holds the ball up and manipulates it in tight space before bringing others into play. This was what made Haller and Jovic such a fearsome partnership.

The movement and incisive finishing of the Serbian matched with the selflessness of the Frenchman were a potent combination.

With that said, however, Haller has the ability to play as a lone forward and his own finishing ability should not be overlooked. Equally comfortable dropping in towards the midfield to link play or pushing back against the last defender and looking to receive the ball in behind, West Ham have signed a multi-faceted forward player.

We can see from the Haller’s heatmap over the course of last season he is a striker who likes to link with the midfield. He spent a lot of time showing in space to allow deeper teammates to progress the ball forward.

The Frenchman spends a lot of time identifying and moving into pockets of space. As we have already said though we should not discount the ability of Haller to get into the penalty area.

Over the course of last season, Haller scored 20 goals and registered 10 assists. His expected goals total for the season was 18.04. This shows that Haller was intent on taking high-value shots that were clustered around the centre of the penalty area.

You can see from his shot map that the vast majority of shots taken by Haller do in-fact come from in the penalty area.

In this tactical analysis, we will look at Haller in more depth to show West Ham fans just what they can expect from their new signing.

Ability to break beyond the last line

One of the key strengths needed for modern strikers is the ability to take up positions and make runs that allow them to get past the last line of opposition defence. We will go into more detail later on his ability to drop deep and link the play. First of all, though, let’s look at the types of movement that West Ham fans can expect to see.

In the above image, we see the way that Haller is able to adjust his movement to stay onside to wait for the pass to be made. As Haller makes his initial run towards the defensive line the ball is shifted forward towards his teammate in the wide area.

Haller changes the angle of his run to stay onside and run across the defensive line. This means that when the pass is played over the top he is not only still onside but in a pocket of space between two opposition defenders. This means that as Haller makes the movement beyond the defensive line it is harder for the opposition to track him

A slightly different situation here as Haller is moving from a wide position to support a teammate running centrally in possession of the ball.

In these situations, it is easy for a forward player to neutralise themselves by getting the timing of their run wrong and being blocked by the isolated defensive player.

Haller, however, is intelligent enough to hold his run initially. This gives the ball carrier the option of passing out to the wide area. As the attention of the defensive player is fully turned towards the man with the ball though we then see Haller make his forward run. As this is now on the blindside of the defender the ball can be played through and Haller has a clear run on goal.

Intelligent Interplay

If Haller is a dangerous player when looking to get on the end of the final pass he is equally as important when making that final pass.

Haller stands at 6ft 2in but is the very embodiment of the term ‘good feet for a big man’ he moves well whether through space or in tight areas and is extremely good at finding angles to play through the opposition defence.

Here we see Haller in a dangerous position in the middle of the penalty area. As the ball is crossed over to him he takes the ball down with his first touch and then with the second he cushions the ball back across into a pocket of space that allows an advancing midfielder to break into the area. This pass results in a shot at goal for his team.

This time we see Haller taking possession of the ball deeper in the opposition half. This is a fairly common position for the French striker to find himself in.

He is excellent at timing his drops to pull opposition defenders with him and create gaps in the defensive line for others.

Here we see the forward take possession and control the ball instantly. He then holds off the pressing defender and waits for the other forward to make a run. As he does so Haller plays the ball perfectly over the top into the path of the runner.

Deep link up

It is likely that West Ham will line up with Sebastien Haller playing as a lone forward in either a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 system. Haller will hold the ball up but and look to create space and opportunities for others.

This is especially beneficial for the likes of Pablo Fornals, Felipe Anderson and Manuel Lanzini, all of whom will look to make runs to more advanced positions to take advantage of any space created.

When Haller drops off of the front line he also creates passing lanes and opportunities that his teammates can take advantage of to progress the ball.

We see an example of this here. As the Frankfurt defender is in possession of the ball and looking for a vertical passing lane we see Haller drop off of the front line to take up a deeper position.

This movement allows the defender to play a driven pass through to an advanced platform. From that point, Frankfurt were able to threaten the opposition defensive line.

A lot is made of defenders having the ability to play these types of passes but it is equally important that forward players are able to identify and find space to make these passes possible.

We see a similar example in this situation. This time Haller takes an advanced position in a pocket of space that is between four defensive players. This once again allows a driven pass into the feet of Haller.

As the French forward takes possession he only has a few seconds to use the ball. The four defensive players will quickly collapse on him to engage the ball. His touch is so good he receives the pass and then plays it wide before the defenders can react. This creates an opportunity for his team to access the penalty area.


In my mind, West Ham have pulled off a real coup in the signing of Haller.

He profiles in a similar way to Roberto Firmino at Liverpool and takes up similar positions to the Brazilian as he drops off into deeper areas.

He should prove to be a key player for a West Ham side with aspirations of breaking into the top 6. West Ham fans should also quickly take to the French forward.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Texas Iron 4:23 Wed Jul 31
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Jasnik 3:15 Wed Jul 31
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
never liked Roberto Firmino no idea why!?

Thanks Alan 9:46 Tue Jul 30
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Sydney_Iron 1:25 Tue Jul 30

geoffpikey 5:22 Tue Jul 30
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Mex Martillo 5:14 Tue Jul 30
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

jimbo2. 5:06 Tue Jul 30
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
That was a lengthy analysis of Haller, but good. Thanks Al.

Fivetide 3:37 Tue Jul 30
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
This is very cool.

Thanks Alan.

gph 1:40 Tue Jul 30
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks, Alan

Looking forward to the first spotting of "Haller is too good for West Ham"

Is Baron Griffiths still around to punish us for having him?

SUM A DING WONG 1:25 Tue Jul 30
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Whoah, were half way there

Whoa Sebastien Haller!

Score a goal and we'll make it I swear

Whoa Sebastien Haller!!

Sydney_Iron 1:25 Tue Jul 30
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Takashi Miike 1:16 Tue Jul 30

Takashi Miike 1:16 Tue Jul 30
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

love the analysis

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