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 11:55 Mon Mar 22
Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)

Juventus managing director Fabio Paratici says the Italian club intend to keep Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo, 36. (Sky Sport Italia, via Mirror)

Norway striker Erling Braut Haaland, 20, has told his agent that he wants to leave Borussia Dortmund if the club, who are fifth in the Bundesliga, do not qualify for the Champions League. (AS)

Liverpool are unaware of any pre-contract terms for Barcelona to sign Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, 30. (Liverpool Echo)

Manager Mikel Arteta has said Norwegian Martin Odegaard is Arsenal's team leader and has hinted at a permanent deal for the 22-year-old Real Madrid midfielder. (Mirror)

Crystal Palace are looking at a move for Juventus's 19-year-old Romanian centre-back Radu Dragusin. (Sun)

Juventus are willing to offer Everton a players-plus-cash deal to lure Italian forward Moise Kean, 21, back to the club. (Tutto Juve via Teamtalk)

Udinese's Argentine goalkeeper Juan Musso, 26, is set to turn down offers from Inter and AC Milan to join Roma. (Todofichajes - in Spanish)

Belgian side Mechelen want to sign Celtic's on-loan Ukrainian winger Marjan Shved, 23, on a permanent deal. (Sportarena - in Ukrainian)

Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has ruled out any chance of Hansi Flick replacing Joachim Low as Germany manager. (Welt - in German)

Former Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri says he turned down an offer from Real Madrid in 2018 while he was in charge of the Serie A side. (Sky Sports Italia, via Mail)

Sheffield United assistant manager Alan Knill has been given an offer to stay at the club following the departure of Chris Wilder. (Sheffield Star)


Lacazette's leveller completes Arsenal's comeback for 3-3 draw at West Ham

Nick Ames at the London Stadium

Sometimes the journey brings more pleasure than the destination. The bare fact that West Ham and Arsenal took a point each tells nothing of a contest that may not be improved upon all season and left everyone involved torn between joy and regret. Essentially this was two games in one: the 35 minutes in which the team managed by David Moyes overwhelmed their opponents and looked certain to burnish their top-four credentials handsomely; then the hour or so in which Arsenal stepped up several gears, overhauled a three-goal deficit and mustered their best football of a see-sawing campaign.

Nobody who had watched West Ham perform so redoubtably since September would have looked past them when Tomas Soucek scored their third goal, inadvertently deflecting Michail Antonio’s header past Bernd Leno. They were in complete control: Arsenal had barely posed them a question and looked every inch an inconsistent mid-table side dogged by the added burden of Thursday night Europa League assignments. The away side looked leggy, sloppy, sluggish in mind and body; that only made the upturn in their output even more remarkable and it said plenty that, by the end, they looked the more likely winners.

If this match can be reduced to anything then perhaps it was a battle of two loanees, both stationed nominally in the No 10 position but given freedom to roam. Jesse Lingard was an electric presence for West Ham, cracking in a blistering opener and thinking quickly to create a second goal for Jarrod Bowen. While Martin Ødegaard’s influence will not be recorded quite as clearly for posterity, the Norwegian was the outstanding individual on the pitch as Arsenal worked their way back. It was the kind of display through which a player makes his own teammates better: Ødegaard had a hand in all of Arsenal’s goals, his gliding movement and weight of passing proving impossible to stifle.

“He had an incredible performance,” said Mikel Arteta of Ødegaard. “He showed how much he wants to win. When everybody was trembling a little bit, he gave us that ability and composure on the ball, and he created chance after chance.”

Never mind trembling: Arsenal were rocked wildly in those early moments by an attack-minded West Ham team that scented blood. This was another occasion to buck the expired cliche that Moyes’s offerings are pale and stale. Soucek had missed two headed half-chances before Lingard, found perceptively on the edge of the box by Antonio after the striker had made ground down the left, sliced across the ball and sent it rocketing into the far corner.

Loanee Jesse Lingard gave the home side an early lead with a brilliant half volley from the edge of the area

Within two minutes Arsenal were on their heels after Bukayo Saka fouled Antonio. Lingard knew it and played a quick free-kick to Bowen, whose angled shot went through Leno. The goalkeeper had to do better but he was hardly alone in that. Kieran Tierney, usually so reliable, was the next culprit when failing to control a Leno ball out to the left. Several passes later Vladimir Coufal was swinging over a dipping cross that Antonio, beating David Luiz in the air, converted via Soucek’s toe.

Jarrod Bowen doubled the lead with a near post finish after Lingard had played him through with a quick free-kick

Michail Antonio (L) headed theball towards goal before Czech midfielder Soucek (R) scored their third in the 32nd minute

Those concessions were “unacceptable”, Arteta said. From West Ham’s perspective it was, according to Moyes, “as well as we’ve played in a while”. He justifiably felt that a less profitable snick off Soucek, helping Alexandre Lacazette’s 37th-minute shot past Lukasz Fabianski, was the turning point. Ødegaard had fed a galloping Calum Chambers to create the chance and it set the tone for what followed.

Saka could have scored twice before half-time and, moments after the restart, Issa Diop cleared heroically off the line from Lacazette. It had become that kind of game, largely controlled by Arsenal and Ødegaard but with West Ham packing a punch on the counter. Moyes and his players were furious before the hour when the referee, Jon Moss, refused to play advantage on a promising break; moments later their tempers worsened when Bowen thought he had won a free-kick but instead saw it awarded to the visitors. This time Arsenal were the alert ones, moving possession on instantly, and Ødegaard sent Chambers clear again with a cute reverse pass. The deputy right-back’s wicked delivery was volleyed into his own net at full pelt by an unfortunate Craig Dawson.

“The officiating was tough for the players today,” said Moyes in a thinly veiled attempt at diplomacy. That would have been forgotten if Antonio, sliding in front of goal after bewitching approach work from Saïd Benrahma, had not hit the post when given a golden chance to settle West Ham’s doubts.

Instead Arsenal kept coming and, by the time it came, the equaliser seemed inevitable. Nicolas Pépé had just come on when, found by Ødegaard, he made rare good use of his weaker right foot and whipped across a ball that Lacazette converted with a thundering far-post header.

“Probably the best that I have seen us play,” Arteta said when assessing the final hour. “Looking at the chances, we could have scored six or seven.” Pépé could have won it but shot at Fabianski; Declan Rice had his own late opening but saw Leno parry. What a long road to such a prosaic outcome, but what a scintillating exhibition along the way.


'Two faced' Arsenal come from three goals down to earn remarkable draw against West Ham

By Sam Dean

If ever a single match could encapsulate the modern Arsenal, summarising the baffling nature of a team that can veer between appalling and excellent within the same game, it is this one.

For 30 first-half minutes, Arsenal played like a side with no identity, no ideas and no hope of ever making significant progress. For the rest of the match, they played some of the best football they have produced this season. “This game is going to give me a few nightmares,” said manager Mikel Arteta. “We cannot have two faces.”

How to make sense of all this? How to find reason and logic in such a wild, ludicrous afternoon? How to explain that West Ham United, one of the league’s most resilient sides, scored three goals in the opening 32 minutes but did not go on to claim three points?

Maybe the best explanation is that this is just what happens when Arsenal are involved. Shambolic one minute, sublime the next. Two faces indeed. The opponent almost does not matter sometimes: Arsenal either play their own game or they undermine their own cause.

This is not to downplay the excellence of West Ham in the first half when Jesse Lingard was largely untouchable. Fresh from his England recall, Lingard was the game’s standout player in the opening half an hour, scoring one and creating another as Arsenal sleepwalked into terrible trouble.

From there, though, it was all about Arsenal’s comeback and the creative efforts of Lingard’s opposite number: Martin Odegaard. The on-loan Real Madrid midfielder led the thrilling charge for Arsenal, picking the passes that caused so many problems for the hosts. “An incredible performance,” said Arteta of the 22-year-old. “When everybody was trembling, he gave us that stability and composure on the ball.”

David Moyes has seen it all in football management, unlike Mikel Arteta, but he will not have experienced too many afternoons like this. With Lingard, Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek all scoring in that half-hour blitz, his side looked set to continue their push for Champions League football.

But Arsenal eventually woke up, and they woke up raging at their own incompetence. Odegaard was instrumental, and he was supported by Alexandre Lacazette and Calum Chambers as Arsenal forced West Ham into submission.

“We showed that face we still have and then, after that, for the next 60 minutes, we probably played the best I have seen us play,” said Arteta. “We started to do what we had to do.”

Even by Arsenal’s standards, the opening 30 minutes here were calamitous in the extreme. This was not a tactical issue, seemingly, but an issue of motivation. Arsenal were slow, hesitant and laughably dozy at the back. “We didn’t respect the game plan from the coach,” said Lacazette.

The height of their ineptitude came for West Ham’s second, scored by Bowen. You could take your pick of who to blame, with at least three Arsenal players standing still after a free kick was awarded on the edge of the box. Lingard, as sharp as Arsenal were dull, found Bowen with a quick pass and his low finish squirmed inside Bernd Leno’s near post. Awful defending, awful goalkeeping, awful all round. “Unacceptable,” said Arteta.

Arsenal were already trailing at that point, with Lingard continuing his spectacular resurgence with a wonderful opener. Picked out on the edge of the box by Michail Antonio, he steadied himself with his first touch before lashing a finish into the top corner.

West Ham would not have been this dominant even in their wildest dreams, and there was an air of disbelief at the London Stadium when Soucek then diverted Antonio’s downward header into Leno’s net for the third. “We played very well for long periods,” said Moyes. “We showed we are up there, competing with the best teams.”

Arsenal’s first, late in the first half, was a crucial moment. Chambers found Lacazette, whose shot deflected into the top corner off Soucek. It buoyed Arsenal and, before long, Odegaard was running the game. His disguised pass found Chambers, enjoying himself in the final third, and the right-back’s cross was slashed into his own net by Craig Dawson.

West Ham thought they should have had a free kick in the build-up to the goal, but it would not have mattered if Antonio had then been able to convert Said Benrahma’s cross from close range. Just a few yards out, he somehow hit the post rather than the net. “A key moment,” said Moyes.

Arsenal were not yet done, and West Ham were running out of ways to stop them. Nicolas Pepe, on as a substitute, raced onto Odegaard’s pass and crossed for Lacazette at the back post. His header completed the comeback on an afternoon in which Arsenal took their erratic inconsistency to even greater heights.


West Ham teammates think Keenan Appiah-Forson is a future star, comparing him to Kante

Olly Dawes

West Ham United love a homegrown talent – and they may have a real star prospect coming through in the near future.

Declan Rice is a fan favourite, whilst Mark Noble has been a fixture of the side for many years, with Ben Johnson no doubt looking to follow suit.

Now, The Athletic have profiled Keenan Appiah-Forson – a player who West Ham teammates are comparing to N’Golo Kante.

His work rate, diminutive frame and ‘humility off the field’ have resulted in those Kante comparisons, which are certainly lofty.

It’s even stated that the likes of Jamal Baptiste and Bernardo Rosa think that Appiah-Forson deserves more recognition as one of West Ham’s top talents.

The 19-year-old defensive midfielder has managed two goals in 11 Premier League 2 appearances this season, with excitement really building.

David Moyes hasn’t been shy when it comes to playing youngsters; eight prospects have made their first-team debuts under Moyes at West Ham, including now-Watford talent Jeremy Ngakia.

West Ham may consider midfield additions this summer to support Rice and Tomas Soucek, and Appiah-Forson is now pushing to prove that he can be a homegrown solution.

If he can become even half the player of £30m superstar Kante, West Ham will certainly deem Appiah-Forson as a huge success.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Mex Martillo 7:48 Mon Mar 22
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Nice balanced report from the Guardian. I do like their sport journalism. However, I think someone could have pointed out to Arteta that we were closer to scoring 6 or 7 then Arsenal.
Thanks Alan

ted fenton 2:38 Mon Mar 22
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
bill green 1:09 Mon Mar 22

bill green 1:09 Mon Mar 22
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 12:01 Mon Mar 22

Thanks Alan 12:01 Mon Mar 22
Re: Monday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

Copyright 2006 WHO.NET | Powered by: