WHO Poll
Q: 2021/22 What competition should we prioritise this season?
a. The league is our bread & butter, so this year let's have a club sandwich
b. We're owed an FA Cup after Gerrard nicked our last one in 06, our name's on it in 22
c. A bye to the League Cup 3rd round gives us a good start, let's make it count
d. The Europa is our best ticket to the Champions League, this is the one
e. What's wrong with you, let's do the lot, has the quadruple ever been done

Alan 12:34 Wed Sep 15
Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

England striker Harry Kane could sign a new deal with Tottenham if a release clause is inserted into his contract. The 28-year-old previously believed he had a gentleman's agreement with chairman Daniel Levy to leave Spurs this summer when Manchester City tried to sign him. (Eurosport)

Paris St-Germain sporting director Leonardo says he does not see Kylian Mbappe leaving the club at the end of the season even though the 22-year-old France striker has yet to agree an extension to his contract, which expires in the summer. (Marca - in Spanish)

Juventus are considering a move for Manchester City's 24-year-old Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus but may face competition from Bayern Munich if their Poland forward Robert Lewandowski, 33, decides to move on. (Calciomercato - in Italian)

Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis says he is working on a plan for a pan-European league worth £8.5bn that will have qualification based on merit, unlike the plans for a European Super League that collapsed in April. (Mail)

Belgium midfielder Youri Tielemans says he is "keeping his options open" as he continues to negotiate a new deal with Leicester City. The 24-year-old has been linked with Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid. (Sky Sports)

Tottenham and Atletico Madrid both had bids of at least 90m euros for 24-year-old Argentina striker Lautaro Martinez rejected by Inter Milan in the summer, with Arsenal also being knocked back after making a lower offer. (Gazzetta dello Sport - in Italian)

Arsenal's England forward Bukayo Saka has been approached by a number of clubs, but the Gunners consider the 20-year-old "untouchable". (Here We Go podcast, via Sun)

Bayer Leverkusen's 18-year-old Germany midfielder Florian Wirtz has attracted the interest of a number of un-named Premier League clubs as well as Bayern Munich. (Express)

Chelsea's chances of signing Sevilla's 22-year-old France centre-back Jules Kounde will depend on whether or not 28-year-old Germany defender Antonio Rudiger's contract situation with the European champions is resolved. (Star)

Netherlands midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, 30, says he "expressed the desire to stay" at Liverpool, but eventually left on a free transfer for Paris St-Germain after being made to feel unwanted by the Reds. (L'Equipe - in French)

Arsenal have not abandoned hope of signing Lyon's France midfielder Houssem Aouar and will target the 23-year-old next summer, but the Gunners will find it difficult to bring him to London unless they qualify for the Champions League. (Todofichajes - in Spanish)

Tottenham are again expected to be among the suitors keen to sign Cagliari's 25-year-old midfielder Nahitan Nandez, who was also wanted by Inter Milan, Napoli, Roma and Fiorentina, when the transfer window reopens in January. The Serie A side are said to be open to sell the Uruguayan in the new year. (Tuttomercatoweb - in Italian)

Barcelona remain very interested in 23-year-old Argentina defender Cristian Romero, who joined Tottenham from Atalanta in the summer. (Fichajes - in Spanish)

Juventus and AC Milan could make a move for Real Madrid's 29-year-old Spain midfielder Isco in January. (Calciomercato - in Italian)

Everton are chasing a January move for Aberdeen defender Calvin Ramsay. The Toffees sent a scout to watch the Scottish 18-year-old play against Motherwell over the weekend. (Scottish Sun)

Watford are poised to sign 18-year-old free agent forward Jimiel Chikukwa, who left Leeds United in the summer. (Football Insider)


Dimitri Halajko: West Ham United U21s did brilliantly in Ipswich Town win

West Ham United U23s Lead Coach Dimitri Halajko was pleased with his team’s performance, as West Ham United U21s defeated Ipswich Town 1-2 at Portman Road in the Papa John’s Trophy group stage.

James Norwood opened the scoring with only two minutes on the clock for the Tractor Boys, but Keenan Forson equalised ten minutes later after a well worked move.

In an end-to-end game, the Hammers went in front with only a minute of normal time remaining. Jamal Baptiste was taken out by Tomas Holy after the young defender challenged the goalkeeper in the air. Armstrong Okoflex stepped up and slotted the ball home to give the east Londoners the win.

And Halajko was delighted with his team’s effort and determination at the full-time whistle.

“It was a really good performance,” he told whufc.com. “I didn’t think we were at our best on the ball today, we felt we turned it over a bit.

But when you’re not having the best day on the ball, what you’ve got to show is really good defensive determination and lots of grit to stay in the game and then chances will come your way.

“I think we did that brilliantly, the character we showed to stay in the game and to defend well, not give away any easy goals after the first two minutes. At the end, they get that little bit of luck and their reward for all the hard work they showed. It was a really mature performance in that sense.”

The young Irons faced off against a vastly experienced outfit in Suffolk, but weren’t fazed by the task at hand. They were organised and chose their moments to break forward and attack – whilst also limiting their opponents to very little.

And their Lead Coach was pleased at how well they saw off their experienced counterparts.

“How well they did against these pro’s was one of the most pleasing things, it’s the most experienced team you could probably come up against at this level.

“I didn’t think we looked out of our depth in terms of game understanding, and I thought we held our own and we managed the momentum of the game. We looked composed without the ball, and we looked organised. As I said, it’s a mature performance against a side that were far more experienced than us, so that was impressive.

“Our defensive backline are well organised, and it didn’t faze them going up against some powerful and experienced forwards tonight. They work hard on being organised out on the training pitch, it’s not a fluke, that’s a lot of hard work and hours out there.

“We have Steve Potts here, whose technical and tactical detail around defending is top draw, so there’s nobody better to learn from than him – they’ve got a defensive master who they get to work with every single day out on the grass,” he said.

There were 4231 supporters making their presence known at Portman Road. Hallajko was pleased with not only how his team reacted after going behind, but also how the team handled the occasion of playing in front of a very different atmosphere to what they’re used to week in week out.

“It was an unbelievable response to going behind, this is probably the most amount of fans that some of them have played in front of and in one of the best stadiums they’ve played in, so it’s a tough environment to go 1-0 down at any level, let alone being a young player and still trying to find your way in the game. They weren’t fazed by it at all, they got over the start and regrouped, found their composure and got themselves back level, which I thought was a superb response.

“That’s the thing in development football that you cant really recreate, hopefully we can create some of the intensity and quality, but you don’t know how certain players will react to playing in front of a crowd.

“You want them to have taste of it before they step up into a first team environment, so it’s the perfect environment for them to play In front of this crowd tonight for them to get used to it – so when the even bigger stage comes they aren’t fazed by it.”

The U23’s will now prepare to take on Derby County on Monday 20 September, looking to take this positive victory into their PL2 campaign.

Armstrong Okoflex was delighted with West Ham United U21’s strong performance in the 2-1 victory against Ipswich Town in their Papa John’s Southern Group A opener.

The 19-year-old forward scored the winner from the spot after Jamal Baptiste had been fouled in the area by Town goalkeeper, Tomas Holy.

And the confident attacker dispatched his spot-kick coolly into the bottom left-hand corner to give Dimitri Halajko’s side a well-earned win and the best possible start to their cup campaign.

The east Londoners faced off against an Ipswich side that were without a win so far in the 2021/22 season, but their starting XI was filled with experienced names.

However, this didn’t faze Okoflex or his team-mates, as they managed to get the job done and pick up an impressive win on the road.

It was a tough game against a good League One side,” the young forward told whufc.com.

“The atmosphere in the ground was really good and overall, it was a good game for us. I feel like we pushed them well and it was a really strong performance from the team.”

I feel as though the opening goal was like a shock, it happened so quickly into the game – after that we just needed to be calm, go back to basics and try and get comfortable again. Once we did that, we were able to get on the ball and start building attacks and then Keenan [Forson] scored a good goal.”

It was an end-to-end tussle in Suffolk, with both sides creating opportunities throughout the match. At times – Halajko’s men had to be disciplined and keep their shape, with the League One outfit struggling to break down a determined back line.

At the other end, Okoflex and his fellow attackers had sighters at goal to try and score the winner, but with the game looking likely it would go to penalties, the mistake from Holy presented with Irishman with the opportunity from the spot.

“I wasn’t too sure if the goal was going to come at the end of if we’d end up in a penalty shootout, but I felt like I was going to score in today’s game. Jamal [Baptiste] did well to win the penalty and when the referee gave it, I just knew I was going to score,” he said.

There was a lively atmosphere amongst the Ipswich Town faithful, who were looking to cheer their team to their first win of the new campaign, but Okoflex wasn’t fazed by the noise that they created, with the former Celtic man focused on what was happening on the pitch.

“I feel like when you’re on the pitch certain players pick up on the atmosphere more than others. I’ll be honest, I didn’t hear too much of it. People have asked me about if I was nervous about taking the penalty because of the noise and some flashing lights – I didn’t hear any of it,” he laughed.

“When the ball is in play, I don’t focus on what’s going on elsewhere, but when the ball is out I take a little bit more notice of it. They were a good crowd and they got behind the team, but I’m pleased that the players stood up to the occasion and managed to get the win.”

Next up for the development squad is a trip to Loughborough University to take on Derby County U23s on Monday 20 September. Kick-off is at 7pm and you can follow all the action on www.whufc.com!

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Texas Iron 3:38 Wed Sep 15
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)

ted fenton 2:12 Wed Sep 15
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Irish 1:22 Wed Sep 15

Irish Hammer 2:03 Wed Sep 15
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Much appreciated Alan

Thanks Irish 1:22 Wed Sep 15
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan 12:44 Wed Sep 15

Thanks Alan 12:44 Wed Sep 15
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
bill green 12:43 Wed Sep 15

bill green 12:43 Wed Sep 15
Re: Wednesday newspapers (includes West Ham)
Thanks Alan

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