Could Stam be the man?
It has been rumoured this week in The Sun that David Gold and David Sullivan could be lining up Reading manager Jaap Stam as a summer replacement for Slaven Bilic. The former Manchester United legend has enjoyed a superb season with the Berkshire club who currently sit fifth in the Championship playoff spots. Bilic has come under pressure from fans after our recent poor form, we are without a win in five League games. Stam was part of the famous treble winning United side of 1998/99 and is said to be top of our list of possible candidates to replace Bilic in the summer. It is remained to be seen whether Gold and Sullivan do plan to sack the Croat in the summer but one thing is certain, our form must improve if Bilic is to keep the pressure off and stop the speculation.
International round up
Many Hammers were in action at the weekend as the International break draws to a close and attention begins to turn back to the Premier League. Robert Snodgrass played 75 minutes on Sunday night as his Scotland side left it late to beat Slovenia and keep their hopes of qualification to the 2018 World cup in Russia alive through Chris Martin’s 88th minute goal. Harvard Nordtveit played 90 minutes as his Norway side were beaten 2-0 by Northern Ireland in Belfast, the loss all but ended Norway’s hopes of reaching Russia 2018. On Friday night Darren Randolph kept a clean sheet for the Republic of Ireland in their 0-0 draw with Wales in Dublin, whereas both Josh Cullen and Declan Rice were in action also for Ireland younger sides on Saturday. Rice’s Ireland U19s were beaten 3-0 by Sweden with Josh Cullen captaining his Ireland U21 side to a 1-0 win over Kosovo also in Dublin. Reece Oxford aided England U19s to a 3-0 win over Spain on Friday at St Georges Park starting at centre back. Both James Collins and Edimilson Fernandes were unused substitutes for Wales and Switzerland against Ireland and Latvia respectively.
On this day exactly one year ago Upton Park played host to its last ever testimonial as legends past and present gathered to celebrate Mark Noble’s West Ham career. The 2 teams were made up of a team of current first team players and an all star eleven full of players from bygone times. The highlights included a sensational overhead kick from former striker and fan favourite Dean Ashton and goal from legendary former cult hero and front man Paolo Di Canio amongst other special moments. It was a truly fantastic Easter Monday occasion to celebrate the ongoing career of legendary midfielder and current skipper Mark Noble.
Byram keen to get back to League action
Our bright young right back Sam Byram has admitted he wishes we had a game sooner and not the international break. The 23 year old had this to say in an interview with WHUFC.com “We need to get points on the board so, for me, it’s frustrating to have to wait 2 weeks until the next game”. The Englishman made his first start since January against Leicester in our last League game and is clearly raring to go for our Premier League clash with Hull City at the KCOM stadium on Saturday. Since joining from Leeds in January 2015 Byram has struggled to hold down a first team place, injury as well as bad form has contributed to this. Players like Kouyate and Antonio have been played out of position in front of him many times this season, so with Byram being picked recently will he be able to hold down the place and make it his permanently? Only time will tell.
Hammers in for summer Tyman deal
It has been rumoured this week in the Daily Mail that we are planning a summer swoop for Hull City defender Josh Tyman. The 17 year old youngster has impressed, making 13 appearances for the Tigers this season and is being linked with us after failing to be offered a professional contract at the KCOM. Could the bright young Englishman be the solution to our full back problems?
Ladies to grace White Hart Lane in historic fixture
West Ham ladies will face Spurs ladies in the first ever woman’s match to be played at the Lane. Spurs are said to be returning the favour for letting them play us at Upton Park last season in the famous ground’s last season. The fixture is to be played on Wednesday 19th April and may also be the last women’s fixture to be played at White Hart Lane as we know it, with Spurs planning to move into their new stadium in a matter of just a few seasons time.