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Alan 11:36 Thu Jul 30
Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho is interested in signing Colombia winger Luis Diaz, 23, from Porto. (Record - in Portuguese)

Inter Miami, the Major League Soccer side owned by former England captain David Beckham, want to make Barcelona and Uruguay forward Luis Suarez, 33, their first big-name signing. (Mundo Deportivo - in Spanish)

Manchester City and Paris St-Germain target David Alaba's agent is asking Bayern Munich pay the 28-year-old Austria left-back 20m euros (£18m) a year to extend his contract. (Bild - in German)

Liverpool and Manchester City are both interested in 27-year-old Sevilla and Brazil defender Diego Carlos, who has a release clause of £70m. (Star)
Arsenal and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's future at the club could be determined by whether the Gunners win the FA Cup final, with Barcelona and Inter Milan watching how the 31-year-old's situation develops. (Mirror)

Talks between Manchester United and 23-year-old English goalkeeper Dean Henderson - who spent the season on loan at Sheffield United - are at a vital stage after weeks of negotiations. (Sky Sports)

Chelsea are prioritising the signing of Leicester City's England left-back Ben Chilwell, 23, over other options in that position, including Ajax's Argentine defender Nicholas Tagliafico, 27, and Getafe's Spain Under-21 international Marc Cucurella, 22. (Goal)

West Ham United are interested in Queens Park Rangers and former Republic of Ireland Under-21 full-back Ryan Manning, 24. (Telegraph - subscription required)

Atletico Madrid have rejected an improved offer of 25m euros (£22.6m), plus 21-year-old France midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, from Arsenal for Ghana defensive midfielder Thomas Partey, 27. (AS - in Spanish)

English former Burnley, West Ham and Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, 33, is close to a move to Scottish champions Celtic. (Sun)

Brazil forward Hulk, 34, is considering a move to the Premier League when his contract at Shanghai SIPG expires in January. (Talksport)

Premier League newcomers Leeds United are targeting FC Utrecht's 25-year-old Dutch right-back Sean Klaiber as they look to do early business in the transfer window. (Voetbal International - in Dutch)

However, Leeds' hopes of signing Argentina Under-20 winger Thiago Almada are fading, with the 19-year-old telling his Velez Sarsfield team-mates he wants to stay in his homeland. (Leeds Live)

Watford are in talks with Vladimir Ivic over their vacant manager's job after the 43-year-old Serb left his role as head coach at Maccabi Tel Aviv, where he won consecutive league titles. (Mail)

Barcelona are looking to offload February signing Martin Braithwaite, 29, with the Denmark forward not in manager Quique Setien's plans for next season. (Mundo Deportivo - in Spanish)


West Ham hoping to sign QPR's Ryan Manning in summer transfer window to boost full-back options

Hammers manager David Moyes is looking to strengthen his full-back options and also has Everton's Jonjoe Kenny in his sights

By Mike McGrath

West Ham manager David Moyes is hoping to land a deal for QPR left-back Ryan Manning early in the summer transfer window.

Moyes is looking to strengthen his full-back options after securing Premier League survival and also has Everton’s Jonjoe Kenny in his sights following a season-long loan at Schalke in Germany.

Manning, 24, is seen as a low-risk deal for a player who has progressed since arriving at Loftus Road five years ago from Galway United, playing in all but five Championship games this season.

He has one year left on his contract, which may lower his asking price, and along with team-mate Eberechi Eze is expected to make the step up to the Premier League after impressing in the second tier.

Mark Warburton has used Manning as a full-back for most of the season but he can also operate in midfield. Moyes would like competition in that position for Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku.

On the other flank, Kenny is known to Moyes from the Scot’s time at Goodison Park when the full-back was in the Academy.

The 23 year-old was in the first-team squad at Everton but got a full season of regular Bundesliga football under his belt under David Wagner at Schalke.

Moyes has Ryan Fredericks and Pablo Zabaleta at right-back but have lost Jeremy Ngakia, with the youngster’s contract expiring shortly after breaking into the first team. Kenny would be expected to compete for a first-team place.

West Ham are looking for another productive transfer window after landing Jarrod Bowen from Hull City in January and seeing their new signing help secure safety.

They are also admirers of Eze, along with Crystal Palace and Newcastle, with QPR looking for around £20 million for the midfielder after a season where the 22 year-old scored 14 goals.

The Athletic

How Jarrod Bowen became West Ham’s creator-in-chief – just in time to save them

By Roshane Thomas and Tom Worville

West Ham’s 2019-20 season is very much a tale of two parts: the team who began it hopeful of qualifying for Europe under Manuel Pellegrini, only to fall apart, and the one David Moyes remodelled to save them from relegation, helped largely by the January arrivals of Tomas Soucek and Jarrod Bowen.

Having finished 10th in 2018-19, West Ham’s pre-season hopes were high, with the arrival of Sebastien Haller for a club-record £45 million seen as a mark of intent. The French striker was also joined by Pablo Fornals, a £24 million attacking midfielder, as the club tried to become more of a threat going forward.

After a 2-0 win over Manchester United on September 22, their third in four games, West Ham were joint third and Europe looked like a reasonable target, but by the end of the year they were just a point above the relegation zone, Pellegrini had been sacked and Moyes rehired two years after joining in similar fashion when Slaven Bilic got the boot.

In truth, analysis of their underlying statistics had suggested that all had not been well and, as The Athletic explained, the team was not functioning properly.

Under Pellegrini, the scoring threat mainly came from Haller, who had five goals in 18 appearances before the manager was sacked following a 2-1 home loss to Leicester City on December 28.

His scoring levels were consistent with how he was playing, too, if you analyse his xG per 90 minutes, which is a measure of the quality of the scoring positions he was getting himself into when taking shots. Haller’s xG per 90 over this period was 0.36, meaning you would expect him to score 0.36 goals per 90 minutes from the positions he got himself in: as it turned out, his goals per 90 was… 0.36, so he was doing what you would expect of him.

That was not the story for everyone else under Pellegrini though, and it foreshadowed his downfall. Let’s have a look at the chart below.

Beyond Haller, the two key trends were that Michail Antonio was underperforming in front of goal and Andriy Yarmolenko was overperforming. Antonio was running at the same level of xG as Haller (ie, he could be expected to have scored the same number of goals) but in reality his scoring rate was down by 0.2 per 90, while Yarmolenko, whose three goals in the first six matches had been key to West Ham’s flying start, was scoring at 0.14 above his xG — a good achievement but to put it plainly, his goalscoring looked unsustainable.

So it proved, after scoring in back-to-back September games in that victory over Manchester United and draw with Bournemouth, he would not get another goal until July.

West Ham’s other long-running issue has been creativity.

Under Pellegrini, they would often look to Felipe Anderson to provide the spark. He looked good in flashes and had the highest assists per 90 minutes, but closer analysis again warned of what was to come. Anderson ended the season as a player it is reported West Ham would be willing to let go and his performances have drawn criticism from the fans.

The key stat here is expected assists, or xA.

To explain it simply, this is a good measure of a player’s creativity as it calculates not only how many chances they delivered for a team-mate, but also the quality of those chances — ie, how likely is it a team-mate will actually score from one of them.

This is done by assigning the xG (as above) for a chance to the player who created it. So if, for example, Anderson passes to Haller, who shoots and the chance is rated as 0.06 xG, then Anderson’s xA is boosted by 0.06.

If you now look back at the chart above you will see Anderson’s assists per 90 minutes are, relatively speaking, far higher than his expected assists. Essentially, the players he was passing to were scoring at a higher rate than you’d expect. They were making him look good.

Yarmolenko, on the other hand, was putting chances on plates for team-mates, only for few of them to be converted. His only assist of the season came during the 1-1 draw with Sheffield United in October and yet during Pellegrini’s time in charge he was creating the best quality of chances of anyone in the team.

By the time the axe fell on Pellegrini, West Ham’s team was also malfunctioning in defence too but it was the attack that Moyes modified most, bringing in Bowen from Hull City of the Championship and also changing the midfield balance with the arrival of the athletic Soucek on loan from Slavia Prague.

Moyes alternated formations between 3-1-4-2, 4-4-1-1, 4-3-3, 4-4-2 and 4-5-1 before finally settling on a 4-2-3-1 that yielded positive results. Antonio, who has been nominated for July’s Premier League Player of the Month award, excelled as a lone striker and finished as the club’s top scorer with 10 league goals. Declan Rice and Soucek formed a partnership in midfield and West Ham took 12 points from a possible 21 over their last seven games.

In his first press conference back as manager, Moyes said: “I want a strong, attacking, entertaining team and I hope to bring all those things to the table.”

Under the Scot, Anderson played only 316 minutes while Yarmolenko played just 160 — though that was in part due to a thigh injury that cost him the 12 games before lockdown. The transformation has been substantial, with Antonio the main beneficiary, emerging as by far and away West Ham’s biggest attacking threat.

To put that xG figure into context, Antonio has had the highest xG per 90 of any Premier League player since January 1, and he’s joint-second in goals per 90 alongside Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City with 0.61 (Manchester United’s Anthony Martial is first on 0.62). His finishing is letting him down marginally, but he’s getting into great scoring positions at an unmatched rate.

Soucek and Bowen have also made big differences, with the chart showing how they have averaged a higher xG per 90 (ie, carried a greater scoring threat) than more established team-mates such as Anderson.

The biggest change in the Moyes era though is perhaps how quickly Bowen has established himself as West Ham’s creator-in-chief after arriving mid-season from a club who ended up relegated having finished bottom of the Championship.

As we explained in an earlier chart, Bowen here is running a little hot but he is clearly the team’s best maker of chances and even his expected assists are at a relatively high rate. It is worth pausing here to consider just how crucial this has been. Without his goalscoring performance in the February win over Southampton and his four assists on the run-in, West Ham may well have gone down. This is a side who stayed up by only five points.

Under Moyes, Antonio has emerged as something of a dual-threat, producing good chances as well as scoring at a rate that, in effect, saved his club from relegation.

The other marked difference is the improvement in attacking threat from the club’s full-backs: the xA of Ryan Fredericks has jumped from 0.08 under Pellegrini to o.21 with Moyes in charge, while Aaron Cresswell is close to matching the xA of Arthur Masuaku (0.16 to 0.19) while also adding greater defensive steel.

The importance of Bowen to West Ham’s survival is perhaps best illustrated by these individual player charts, which highlight what each one is doing most of.

At its most basic, the key achievement of Bowen is that, more than any other West Ham attacker, he contributed to moves that led to a shot at goal, either by creating the shooting chance himself or playing a part in actions that end in one.

This is shown in the section defined as “xG from shot creation” — for which his rating is 89. By comparison, as you will see in the charts for his fellow attackers, Fornals’ is 43, Anderson’s 69, Yarmolenko’s 63. If you want to create more chances on goal more often — you get Bowen involved.

The other big difference Bowen has made is getting West Ham from one end of the pitch to another. The go-slow side who were heading for the Championship became able to hit teams on the counter and catch them out of shape — this is chiefly down to Bowen.

His carry rating is a measure of how effective he is at moving the ball up the pitch and taking players on: at 67, it compares well among West Ham’s attackers (Fornals’ is 32, Anderson’s 73, Yarmolenko’s 16). His progressive passing rating shows how effective he is in passing the ball forward (ie, moving it without having to dribble/carry it): His rating is 89, Fornals’ is 45, Anderson’s 57, Yarmolenko’s 41.

When taken together, you can see the difference Bowen makes in getting West Ham moving. The model also shows he barely passes the ball unless it’s going forward to progress attacks, which is perfect for a reactive, counter-attacking side. The weakness is his defensive side, but this seems to have been countered by Moyes by bringing Soucek in to add extra protection — and, as it turned out, a goal threat.

In the 2-2 draw away to Newcastle United at the start of this month, Fornals played a forward pass to Bowen who controlled it with his first touch then squared it across the face of goal for Antonio, who scored from close range. Bowen has provided four assists in 13 league appearances for West Ham. Only Robert Snodgrass and Fornals provided more, with five each, while playing 24 and 36 times respectively.

By comparison, Yarmolenko is far less active at carrying the ball and is the least progressive passer West Ham have. For all his qualities — and the important goals he scored — it does raise the question of how and where he can fit into a Moyes team.

Alongside Fornals, Anderson hasn’t been overly effective when it comes to creating or contributing to West Ham’s attack this season.

He has the lowest shooting volume of all their attackers, and his contributions to creating chances (evidenced by his rating of 52/99 when it comes to xG from shot creation) is lower than both Yarmolenko and Bowen, though an improvement on his 46/99 last season.

Fornals is something of a jack of all trades — nothing particularly stands out about his game. That’s likely impacted by the Spaniard being used all over the pitch this season rather than having a position he can call his own. Nevertheless, he’s not someone who has created a lot this season, or could be relied upon to build an attack around.

As a spread of skills, Anderson looks the most impressive and yet he’s the one some West Ham fans have been most disappointed by this season. It is for Moyes, the player and the club to decide what happens next, but whereas last summer Anderson’s departure would have seemed like a disaster, the arrival of Bowen means the club now have another creative outlet.

By signing two players in the winter window, Moyes was able to transform the dynamic of his team.

Results since lockdown show that West Ham are by no means fixed — they were only mathematically safe when Watford lost their penultimate match — but Bowen’s dynamism helped carry a threat and suggests he can be a serious attacking force in next season’s Premier League.


All is not lost for Eze bid

David Moyes has been reported to have met with representatives of Eberechi Eze in the past week in what has been said to have been a very positive meeting.

QPR’s Eze is greatly admired by the West Ham manager and board but they know they will not be alone in their admiration this summer.

A bid for the 22-year-old will almost definitely rely on the sale of a West Ham player to raise the necessary funds with Felipe Anderson being the most obvious candidate.

Eze is at his best in the No 10 position and finished the season with 14 goals, including a great effort when QPR ended their season with the 2-2 draw that led to West Brom winning automatic promotion last week.

The Hammers are reported to have paid €41m (£37m) to Lazio for the attacking midfielder in 2018 with a further €6m (£5.4m) in potential add-ons and another €5m (£4.5m) on agents fees.

In today’s transfer market, the Hammers may be lucky to £25m for the Brazilian but could yet be forced to take a lower amount to ship out the player and his six-figure weekly wage off the books.


West Ham chase Czech international Vladimir Coufal with Southampton and Brighton interested

David Moyes has been impressed by reports of Coufal, with the quick integration of international teammate Tomas Soucek also proving encouraging

Miguel Delaney

West Ham United are interested in Czech international right-back Vladimir Coufal, who has also attracted the attention of Southampton and Brighton and Hove Albion.

The 27-year-old has a year left on his contract at Slavia Prague, and would be available for somewhere between £2m and £4m.

Manager David Moyes has been seeking to recruit in that area, and has been impressed by reports of Coufal, with the quick integration of his international teammate Tomas Soucek also proving encouraging.

The right-back has won two successive Czech titles with Slavia Prague and started to consolidate his place in the international side, having played in his country’s 2-1 win over England in October 2019, to reach Euro 2020.

Coufal is widely expected to be part of that squad.

That has seen him attract the interest of Southampton and Brighton, but West Ham are currently ahead, with Moyes keen to do a deal.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Mex Martillo 5:15 Fri Jul 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Alwaysaniron 2:59 Thu Jul 30
Yep, loved those stats Alan

Jasnik 1:00 Fri Jul 31
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Lee Trundle 11:43 Thu Jul 30


chiff 5:59 Thu Jul 30
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Alwaysaniron 2:59 Thu Jul 30
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Loved the stats from the Athletic. Going to print it out later and wallpaper the downstairs loo with it.

With Kind Regards 2:20 Thu Jul 30
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Texas Iron 2.07

Texas Iron 2:07 Thu Jul 30
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)

bill green 1:43 Thu Jul 30
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 11:59 Thu Jul 30

"Moyes has Ryan Fredericks and Pablo Zabaleta at right-back"... journo has been working from home for too long

Thanks Alan 11:59 Thu Jul 30
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Sven Roeder 11:37 Thu Jul 30

Bernie 11:52 Thu Jul 30
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Jeez, what an enormous load of old shit all that XG stuff is.


Lee Trundle 11:43 Thu Jul 30
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
I do hope Alex V's copy of that report from The Athletic is laminated.

Sven Roeder 11:37 Thu Jul 30
Re: Thursday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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