WHO Poll
Q: 2020/2021 Where will we finish up this season?
a. Top Four, Champions League here we come
b. 5th-7th Europa League is well within our grasp
c. 8th to 14th anywhere in mid table is about right
d. We're in a dog fight before a ball has been kicked and we'll do well to finish 17th or just above
e. GSB have derailed our season before a ball has been kicked, the Championship beckons

Alan 1:59 Tue Feb 16
Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Liverpool and Tottenham are studying Aston Villa defender Ezri Konsa, 23, with a view to making a summer move for the England Under-21 centre-back. (Athletic - subscription required)

Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham are all monitoring Schalke's American striker Matthew Hoppe, 19. (90min)

France forward Kylian Mbappe, 22, has told Paris St-Germain he intends to see out the remainder of his contract, which ends in the summer of 2022. (Sport - in Spanish)

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho's position is not under immediate threat but he is being increasingly scrutinised by the club after the side's recent poor form. (Mail)

Manchester City and Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, 30, says he wants to move into management once his playing days are over. (Goal)

West Ham and England midfielder Jesse Lingard says he "didn't get his chance" at Manchester United when football resumed after the first coronavirus lockdown. The 28-year-old is on loan at the Hammers until the end of the season. (BT Sport)

The FA Cup and Carabao Cup finals are being lined up as test events for the return of crowds before major sporting events this summer. (Times - subscription required)

Crystal Palace have picked out Swansea manager Steve Cooper as a potential replacement for boss Roy Hodgson. (Sun)

Chelsea are the only Premier League club to have offered a contract to Bayern Munich and Austria defender David Alaba. The 28-year-old's deal expires at the end of the season and he is free to speak to other sides. (90min)

Southampton are interested in signing Angers' French midfielder Angelo Fulgini. The Saints tried to sign the 24-year-old in January. (Le10 Sport - in French)

Norwich have told Bayern Munich they will have to pay £30-35m if they want to sign English defender Max Aarons, 21. (Sky Sports)

Uruguay striker Luis Suarez has a clause in his Atletico Madrid contract that would allow him to leave for free in the summer - but the 34-year-old has no intention of triggering it as he is happy at the club. (Marca)

England Under-21 midfielder Jamal Musiala, 17, is to sign a new five-year deal at Bayern Munich. (Guardian)

Bayern are also set to sign Reading's 17-year-old defender Omar Richards. (Kicker)

AC Milan are eyeing a summer move for 21-year-old Lens central defender Facundo Medina, who is also a target for Manchester United. (Mail)

Tottenham captain Harry Kane has privately told friends that under-pressure manager Jose Mourinho has his full backing. (Football Insider)


Rice and Diop lead in-form West Ham to win over Sheffield United

Paul MacInnes at the London Stadium

A Jesse Lingard-powered West Ham continued their season of exceeding expectations with a clinical win over a surely-doomed Sheffield United.

Declan Rice converts his penalty to give West Ham the lead. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/NMC Pool/The Guardian

The hosts climbed above champions Liverpool with 24 games played in this relentless season, and while David Moyes said talk of the top four “makes me feel uneasy”, good performances in the five matches his team face before April could have their fans’ dreams turning into something other than bubbles.

Lingard was at the forefront of the win, the loanee rescued from the Manchester United scrapheap turning the match with his energy and incision. He won a penalty late in the first half before Issa Diop doubled the score an hour in and substitute Ryan Fredericks wrapped it up in injury time.

Lingard’s all-round play, however, was too much to handle throughout for a Sheffield United side with no cutting edge and the odd, crucial mistake in their play. Their manager, Chris Wilder, was in particular made to rue a succession of missed opportunities from striker David McGoldrick.

“Some of Jesse’s stuff was great,” Moyes said of his former United charge, though he was keen to keep the individual praise to a minimum. “He was a great outlet, though if he had released the ball a bit quicker he could have had more opportunities,” he said. “Jesse’s ability has always been there, and overall he’s a talented footballer who can give us something in the final third.”

The first half was bookended by two penalty calls, both horrible in their own way. The first was just four minutes in following a free-kick given away cheaply by Sheffield United’s Ben Osborn. Declan Rice forced a save from Aaron Ramsdale with the set piece, but it was not a very good one and Craig Dawson was on to the rebound, getting his toe to the ball just before Enda Stevens and going over from the subsequent contact.

Referee Simon Hooper pointed to the spot but that was just the start, of course, as VAR got to its assiduous, tedious, will-sapping work. The foul was marginal but cleared the video-assisted bar. Stockley Park then worked backwards though, to the free-kick itself, and lines started to appear on Dawson’s knee. The West Ham man had got ahead of Stevens and, as defined among the small print of Rule 11, the goalkeeper’s intervention had not prevented him from eventually being offside.

So that was that. The penalty that was came as West Ham grabbed control of the game as the first half came to a close. This time it was horrible in the way Sheffield United coughed it up: mugged of possession on halfway by Lingard and cut open from there.

Lingard pinched the ball from Chris Basham, and Jarrod Bowen drove the ball to the box before squaring to Lingard. As the attacker angled to get a shot off, Basham emerged stage left to bring him down. A clear penalty decision, it provoked no digitised officiating and this time Rice had the chance to step up and sweep the ball home.

McGoldrick had opportunities in the first half, opting to take the ball on his toe rather than with his head early on when a goal could have changed the dynamic entirely. In the second half, it got far worse. Two headers, first bounced off a defender and then down into the arms of Lukasz Fabianski, when it would have been easier to score. Meanwhile at the other end, Diop flicked an Aaron Cresswell corner beyond Ramsdale and Fredericks, following tricksy work from fellow sub Saïd Benrahma, drove home the third with the last kick of the game.

Wilder berated mistakes from his team and chances not taken. They remain bottom of the league and the performance “epitomised our season,” he said. “It was a long walk from the technical area to the dugout,” he added, and that was only partly the fault of the stadium.


Jesse Lingard runs the show as West Ham leapfrog Liverpool with simple win over doomed Sheffield United

Sam Dean, at London Stadium

There were moments at the London Stadium when Jesse Lingard appeared to be playing this match on fast-forward while everyone else was stuck on the default speed. Rejuvenated and liberated by his move to the capital, Lingard cruised through the night with a drive and invention that made one question how he could ever have fallen out of favour at Manchester United.

This is the version of Lingard that English football had come to expect, in those days when he was one of the country’s most exciting attacking players. In recent months those have felt like distant memories but here he issued another reminder, following his two goals against Aston Villa earlier this month, that he is no spent force. Lingard is back, with a smile on his face and a noticeable skip in his step.

West Ham United’s loanee ran this game from an attacking midfield position, playing with a speed of thought and foot that Sheffield United were simply unable to handle. He surged in behind, he threatened from range, he dribbled at will. He dominated the occasion, providing the attacking spark as David Moyes and his players secured the three points that took them above Liverpool in the table and continued their push for Europe.

Even without main striker Michail Antonio, West Ham keep on rolling forward. A different attack brought a different sort of threat but, with Lingard in this form and Jarrod Bowen darting around him, there was danger for the visitors at every turn.

“Jesse’s ability has always been there,” said Moyes, who believes his team still have another gear to move into. “He is a talented footballer and we knew he could give us something different in the final third. We needed a few more attacking aspects to our game and he has done very well.”

Chris Wilder’s side could not get close to their opponents in the key moments. Lingard’s brilliance brought about a Declan Rice penalty, before Issa Diop headed home a second after the break. Ryan Fredericks then added a late third to underline their dominance on the night. In all, it was another gruelling match for the Premier League’s bottom side, who also lost key defender John Egan to what looked like a serious injury.

“At this level, you can’t make it easy for the opposition,” said Wilder. “We gift-wrapped two goals. If we continue to make the mistakes we did tonight, there is no chance for us.”

Sheffield United’s aggressive approach to matches has been fundamental to their success in recent years but there is a fine line between combative and rash. They crossed that line as early as the fifth minute, when Enda Stevens clattered Craig Dawson in the penalty box, but they were saved by a Var review that showed Dawson to be marginally offside.

The overturned decision prevented Rice from taking an early penalty, although it was not long before another chance prevented itself. Once again it was Lingard tearing upfield, stealing the ball and charging into the penalty area, where he was wiped out in agricultural fashion by Chris Basham. No need for a Var review this time. There will not be many more obvious fouls this season.

Lingard fancied taking this one himself, and appeared to express that view to his captain. But Rice swiftly exerted his authority on the newcomer, telling him they would be “battered” by Moyes if they upset the agreed hierarchy.

The visitors pushed forward after falling behind but all the effort in the world cannot compensate for an inability to do the basics at the back, and no Sheffield United defender was capable of preventing Diop from doubling the lead from Aaron Cresswell’s delivery.

Diop’s goal was West Ham’s eighth from a corner this season. No team has scored more from such situations, and no team has conceded more goals from corners than Sheffield United. Such weaknesses explain why Wilder’s side remain at the foot of the table.

West Ham’s third, driven home by substitute Fredericks in stoppage time, did not flatter the home side. This was another step forward for them, and another night of excitement for a team that looks all the better for the addition of Lingard to their attack.


Arsenal teenager Levi Laing played against Gunners today, he’s joined West Ham as a trialist

Olly Dawes

West Ham United’s first team picked up another win on Monday night, beating Sheffield United 3-0 at the London Stadium.

Today, it’s the turn of their Under-18’s, as West Ham’s youngsters take on Arsenal in an Under-18 Premier League clash.

Arsenal claimed a 1-0 win thanks to a late Khayon Edwards winner, leaving West Ham gutted at the final whistle.

The likes of Krisztian Hegyi and Kai Corbett started the game for West Ham, and there was a surprise name in the back four today.

West Ham started with England youth international Levi Laing at centre back alongside Iyiola Adebayo, with the youngster featuring as a trialist.

Laing, 17, has mostly featured as a right back or centre back for Arsenal’s Under-18’s this season, showing real versatility to even play in midfield if needed.

Arsenal landed Laing from Brentford in 2016, seemingly tabbing him as one for the future, but it looks like his time with the Gunners is coming to an end.

Laing signed scholarship terms with Arsenal in 2019, but with that two-year spell coming to an end, West Ham could land him for free.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Mex Martillo 7:53 Wed Feb 17
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
brabrook 7:03 Tue Feb 16

brabrook 7:03 Tue Feb 16
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
bill green 6:21 Tue Feb 16

bill green 6:21 Tue Feb 16
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
ted fenton 2:14 Tue Feb 16

ted fenton 2:14 Tue Feb 16
Re: Tuesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan.

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