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Alan 1:41 Sat Sep 21
Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is considering former Liverpool and Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso, 37, as a potential replacement for manager Zinedine Zidane. (Mundo Deportivo - in Spanish)

Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and ex-Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri are also being lined up as replacements for Zidane, if the Frenchman is sacked. (Marca)

Wolves are in advanced talks with 33-year-old Portugal midfielder Joao Moutinho over a new two-year contract at Molineux. (Telegraph)

Watford hope to beat Hull to the signing of Malmo's 19-year-old Swedish striker Kevin Harletun, who will be available for a compensation fee of around £140,000 when his contract expires in November. (Sun)

Liverpool are monitoring the progress of 20-year-old Netherlands striker Donyell Malen, who has scored 10 goals in 12 appearances for PSV Eindhoven this season (Calciomercato - in Italian)

Manchester United have opened talks with 19-year-old England Under-20 midfielder Angel Gomes over a new deal at Old Trafford. (Manchester Evening News)

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy insists a refinancing deal on the £637m debt on their new stadium will have no impact on the club's transfer activity. (Standard)

Newcastle are interested in their 25-year-old Paraguay forward Miguel Almiron's former Atlanta United team-mate and Venezuela striker Josef Martinez, 26. (Newcastle Chronicle)

Belgium defender Thomas Meunier admits he is frustrated at his lack of game time at Paris Saint-Germain. The 28-year-old was linked with Arsenal and Manchester United over the summer. (RMC Sport, via Mirror)

Everton boss Marco Silva says the club are exploring the possibility of signing a central defender in the January transfer window. (Liverpool Echo)

Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will take on a technical role at world governing body Fifa in the coming weeks, but still has a desire to return to management. (ESPN)

Aston Villa have set aside £20m to spend on a new striker in January after missing out on a number of targets over the summer. (Football Insider)

Former Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari is in contention to become the first manager of David Beckham's MLS expansion side Inter Miami. (BeINSports on Twitter)

Barcelona need to raise an additional 100m euros (£88m) of player sales in order to balance the books and comply with financial fair play regulations. (Marca)

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola expects his assistant and former Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta to succeed him when he leaves Etihad Stadium. (Evening Standard)

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, 26, has asked his team-mates to improve with the Eagles struggling for form. (Sun)

Manchester City's Etihad Stadium has been ranked as the best in the world by a new study of teams who won their national or regional leagues, beating the likes of Barcelona's Nou Camp and Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena. (Mail)


Halajko: U23s always have a chance

The level of quality within West Ham United U23s’ ranks means they always have a chance of turning a game around, according to lead coach Dmitri Halajko.

The U23s looked to have lost their unbeaten run under their new coach after two quickfire goals at the start of the second half had given Middlesbrough U23s a 3-2 lead at Bishop Auckland FC's stadium.

That was how the score remained until 16 minutes from full-time, when Anthony Scully pounced on a loose ball to draw the Hammers level, before Dan Kemp converted a low cross with five minutes left to stretch the team's run to 15 fixtures without defeat.

Goals from Nathan Holland and Scully had leant the young Hammers the lead at half-time in a match which saw West Ham move top of Premier League 2 Division 2, now three points ahead of closest challengers Manchester United, who play on Monday.

“After two clean sheets in our last two games, we were disappointed to concede as many as we did,” Halajko admitted afterwards.

“However, we always feel that we’ve got a chance. We were 3-2 down late in the game, but we always feel that we’ve got enough attacking quality in our side to go and turn it around.”

Whilst managing to maintain their fine form, the U23s have played through an intensive fixture programme so far this month, with the visit to Middlesbrough their fourth match in the space of 20 days.

Halajko attributes West Ham’s slow start to the second half to potential cumulative fatigue, but was pleased with their powers of recovery in turning the game around.

“I think we’ve played a lot of games in a short period of time, so I think tiredness can come into it,” he admitted.

“We played on Monday and we're playing again on Friday, so I think there were lulls in the game where we looked a little bit tired, and we took our foot off the gas. We got a little bit sloppy, and that allowed them into the game, but then we turned it around and were able to dig it out.

“We felt that in the last 20 minutes we could make a few changes to try and get the momentum back in our favour at a time when it was against us. That worked, and then we managed to push on to get the win.”

Crucial to the U23s’ latest win was left winger Holland, who not only opened the scoring on the night, but also set up Scully’s first-half effort and Kemp’s late winner.

Holland’s slalom runs to draw in opposition defenders have been a regular feature of the U23s’ attacking fulcrum so far this season, and Halajko was full of praise for his winger’s contribution to victory in the North East on Friday night.

He said: “Nathan Holland was outstanding – he was the best player on the pitch.

“I think he’s quite possibly the best left midfielder in the league. He's in fantastic form. He scored a goal and had a massive part to play in all three other goals, and he’s been doing that all season."

Holland: Every team’s out to beat U23s now

West Ham United U23s should expect their opponents to be up for a scalp against them, warned Nathan Holland.

The in-form winger was in electrifying form against Middlesbrough U23s on Friday night, contributing a brilliant solo opening goal before laying on assists for Anthony Scully and Dan Kemp in a dramatic 4-3 victory.

The result extended the U23s’ unbeaten run to 15 games under lead coach Dmitri Halajko, and Holland believes his side’s fine form will be an additional source of motivation for the Premier League 2 Division 2 teams they come up against in the future.

“The lads are buzzing,” Holland said afterwards. “We’re on such a good run so to get another win under tough circumstances is a great feeling for the boys..

“We know that teams are going to put us under the cosh. Everyone wants to beat us at the minute because we’re in such good form, and that will make our job harder, but we have to just deal with it and, above all else, always find a way to win – like we did tonight.”

Holland has now registered three goals and four assists in seven competitive appearances for the U23s this season with a quarter of the league campaign gone.

The 21-year-old, who made his first-team debut against Bolton two years ago in the League Cup, recognised that he had enjoyed a fine individual match against Middlesbrough, but credited it to the backroom staff’s prior preparation.

“We watched clips beforehand and we saw how they play,” Holland explained. “We looked at their weaknesses, and if you like, capitalised on those tonight.

“I was confident going into the match, tried to get at them throughout, and got my goal, but it was also an all-round great performance from us as a team.”

West Ham U23s had been facing up to the prospect of their first defeat of the season with 15 minutes remaining of the match against Middlesbrough, but instead secured three unlikely points through Scully and Kemp’s late goals.

The game bore a striking resemblance to the Leasing.com Trophy turnaround at Newport County a fortnight ago, and Holland attributes the team’s tendency to recover from challenging situations to their strong collective mentality.

He said: “I think tonight was a mark of our character, and how we can dig points out under tricky circumstances.

“Tonight we were under pressure for several spells, but we switched it around, and to come out with three points again is brilliant. There’s room for improvement also, so hopefully we’ll just keep getting better.

“To go on a run like this isn’t easy, and with us switching the squad around too, with big players going on loan or out on international duty, everyone has to be doing well. It’s a really talented squad and the vibe around here is great too.”

West Ham U23s return to Premier League 2 Division 2 action next Sunday 29 September at their home ground – the Chigwell Construction Stadium – and Holland is looking forward to the prospect of a fixture a little closer to home.

“It’s going to be a long bus journey home now!” he smiled. “But we’ll have a good weekend, recover and get ready to go again next Sunday against Sunderland.”


Manuel Lanzini is one of the most creative midfielders in the league - Manchester United must beware

JJ Bull

Despite laying out £45million on the signing of Sebastien Haller and £25million on Pablo Fornals, it is the return to full fitness this season of Manuel Lanzini that could make the biggest difference to West Ham’s fortunes.

Having missed most of the 2018/19 campaign with a cruciate ligament injury and subsequent niggles, Lanzini is back to doing what he does best and has created 15 chances in five games - the third most of any player in the Premier League so far, just below Kevin De Bruyne (19) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (21). Lanzini is West Ham’s real danger man.

West Ham usually line up in a 4-1-4-1 with Lanzini one of the two ‘eights’ alongside Mark Noble, a position that allows him to roam into space protected by his midfield partner and Declan Rice in a holding role further behind. Lanzini isn’t the type to make tackles (only three attempted so far) but works hard to win - and keep - the ball by attacking loose passes and slack control to steal the ball and drive West Ham up the pitch.

Manchester United are West Ham’s opponents on Sunday and must be extra careful with the ball in the middle third of the pitch. Pellegrini’s side have an average of 47.4 per cent possession this season by design - letting the opponent have more of the ball gives West Ham the chance to exploit mistakes and hit teams in transition.

Lanzini and Noble will look for opportunities to win turnovers in midfield as United bring the ball forward, with Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko poised on either wing to spring counter-attacks. By darting into wide areas to create overloads, Lanzini helps West Ham's passing go forwards rather than being forced sideways, slowing down play.

This movement was evident in West Ham's goal against Brighton at the start of the season as Lanzini drifted to left wing rather than a central attacking space (the circle), effectively doubling up with Fornals in that area.

After riding a challenge, Lanzini runs towards the central space he has left vacant.

As Brighton's defenders retreat, Javier Hernandez makes a run from inside to out. Lanzini slips him in and the striker slots past the goalkeeper to open the scoring.

It's not that Lanzini is a visionary passer, more that he is incredibly effective in quick moves and can carry the ball at speed to exploit gaps in a defence. Only Wilfried Zaha has completed more dribbles than him this season and this ability to go past a man one v one means defending players tend to stand a yard off rather than get tight, something which can create space for a killer pass or cross in the final third.

That is exactly what happened when Lanzini assisted West Ham’s goal in a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford last season as two United defenders, clearly worried about his trickery, allowed Lanzini just enough time to send a ball to the back post for Anderson to score.

By moving to a wide position Lanzini creates a two vs one situation against the United right back, quickly made a two v two as Chris Smalling comes across to support Diogo Dalot.

Manuel Lanzini takes on two United defenders

Neither player steps in to tackle for fear of being skinned. Lanzini drags them one way, cuts back onto his right foot and has space to cross.

Anderson lurks at the back post as Lanzini tricks his way past the defenders

With the back four all out of shape and drawn towards Lanzini, Anderson ghosts in at the back post to finish unmarked.

Anderson slots in at the back post

The other thing United must be wary of is conceding set pieces and particularly corners. Lanzini's delivery is superb, always struck with pace from either side and usually aimed towards a running defender just behind the penalty spot. Of the 15 chances he has created so far this season, nine are from open play, with the rest the result of tricky crosses sent into the area.

Harry Maguire gives United a little extra in the air but if Lanzini can target an area defended by Victor Lindelof, there are more chances to be had. United have been warned.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Mex Martillo 9:00 Sat Sep 21
Re: Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

thecockneyboy 3:52 Sat Sep 21
Re: Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers Al

The_Phantom 3:22 Sat Sep 21
Re: Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan, always appreciate you doing this thread, great job.

Eddie B 3:17 Sat Sep 21
Re: Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Alan, thanks.

Texas Iron 3:13 Sat Sep 21
Re: Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Cicero 2:58 Sat Sep 21
Re: Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks, Alan.

Alan 2:23 Sat Sep 21
Re: Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)
scouse kid 2:11 Sat Sep 21

Be grateful for anything sent to me, SK

scouse kid 2:11 Sat Sep 21
Re: Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Do you want stuff from the Athletic? Mostly it's psuedo intellectual takes.

But they do have some interesting stuff. There was a interesting article with ex west ham lads at Luton. Who seem to love Mark Noble.

Sajmo1 2:02 Sat Sep 21
Re: Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Cheers alan great to hear that

Alan 1:59 Sat Sep 21
Re: Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Sajmo1 1:48 Sat Sep 21

"How's Cardoso doing for u23's?"

Brilliantly, according to reports.

Thanks Alan 1:51 Sat Sep 21
Re: Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Sajmo1 1:48 Sat Sep 21
Re: Saturday newspapers (includes West Ham)
How's cardoso doing for u23's?

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