Bouncebackability: a word coined for the play-offs that fits them perfectly

The best preparation a team can have for a play-off final is the experience of losing one the year before By Richard Foster, author of The Agony and the Ecstasy Iain Dowie coined the word bouncebackability in the 2003-04 season when describing how his Crystal Palace team had gone from the fringes of relegation in December to winning promotion through the play-offs in May. Not many managers have been responsible for adding words to the English lexicon but Dowie shared the honour with Sir Alex Ferguson in 2005 when both “squeaky bum time” and “bouncebackability” entered the Oxford English Dictionary. It is fitting that Dowie came up with the word while discussing a side promoted in the play-offs, as bouncebackability has been remarkably common in so many sides who have won promotion in these showpiece finals. Of the 10 beaten finalists who have returned to the same fixture the Continue reading "Bouncebackability: a word coined for the play-offs that fits them perfectly"

Manuel Pellegrini’s in-tray: what the new West Ham manager must tackle

The 2014 Premier League winner with Manchester City has to stiffen the defence, rebalance the squad and handle controversial owners Manuel Pellegrini has said he wants to play football that will delight the fans but nobody will be smiling if West Ham’s defending does not improve. David Moyes settled on a 3-4-2-1 system because he did not trust his ponderous side to function properly in a more open formation. Yet it was a stop-gap manoeuvre and West Ham still finished with the Premier League’s joint-worst defensive record alongside relegated Stoke, conceding 68 goals. Pellegrini will need to sort out that weakness before thinking about a more expansive style. There have been too many humiliations in the past two seasons. Continue reading...

West Ham landing Manuel Pellegrini has the look of a managerial coup

The Chilean has succeeded with a variety of budgets and his attacking style should help to soothe the disquiet at West HamWest Ham United may just have pulled off the summer’s managerial coup by appointing Manuel Pellegrini, affectionately known as This Charming Man. The Chilean’s sobriquet is borrowed from a Smiths ditty and was given by adoring Manchester City fans during the success-soaked years of 2013-16. Pellegrini was, indeed, the epitome of a genteel presence, never resorting to bitterness or sniping. More importantly, though, he combined this human quality with the hard edge required to be a winner. Continue reading...

West Ham’s hardball approach to finding a manager already looks risky | Jacob Steinberg

David Sullivan promised a ‘high-profile’ appointment but having already lost out on one, the co-owner has to get it right this time Even as late as Tuesday night, David Moyes had the backing of one of West Ham’s owners. But when David Gold appeared on Sky Sports News to throw his support behind Moyes, his words only heightened the growing uncertainty. A day earlier, after all, David Sullivan had met Shakhtar Donetsk’s Paulo Fonseca at his Essex mansion and that left Moyes feeling he had to take matters into his own hands. Related: West Ham target Manuel Pellegrini after David Moyes decides to walk Continue reading...

David Moyes leaves West Ham after club decide not to extend contract

• West Ham interested in Paulo Fonseca and Rafael Benítez
• Club aim to appoint ‘high-calibre’ manager within 10 daysDavid Moyes has left West Ham after the club decided against extending his contract. The former Everton and Manchester United manager was appointed to replace Slaven Bilic in November on a six-month deal and guided them to a 13th-place finish, having taken over with the team in the relegation zone. Related: Sam Allardyce sacked by Everton after six months as manager Continue reading...

Jack Wilshere left out of 23-man England World Cup squad

England manager Gareth Southgate shortlisted his 23-man World Cup squad on Tuesday morning and it’s arisen that Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere – according to a report published by The Telegraph – has failed to make the former Middlesbrough captain’s final cut for this summer’s tournament, a revelation which has left many baffled. Though the 26-year-old playmaker […]

West Ham hold positive Paulo Fonseca talks but manager search will go on

• Shakhtar Donetsk manager met David Sullivan on Monday
• West Ham also interested in Benítez, Emery and Pellegrini West Ham plan to interview at least three more managers this week despite holding productive talks with Paulo Fonseca. David Sullivan, the co-owner, hosted Fonseca and the Shakhtar Donetsk manager’s agent, Jorge Mendes, at his Essex home on Monday and it is understood that positive discussions took place over a 75-minute meeting. Continue reading...

Manuel Lanzini double gives West Ham victory over lacklustre Everton

It spoke volumes that the Everton fans did not spring to the defence of their manager when the locals started having fun at Sam Allardyce’s expense. They simply could not be bothered and are unlikely to shed any tears if this limp defeat marks the end of Allardyce’s unhappy tenure. The former England manager has a year left on his contract but it is difficult to see how he can hope to survive. Leading Everton to eighth place is unlikely to satisfy Allardyce’s bosses. Not when they assess this joyless performance. Continue reading...

Karren Brady under pressure to drop Sun column after ‘malcontents’ claim

• West Ham vice-chair wrote of ‘malcontents and keyboard warriors’
• Brady has been repeatedly urged within the club to drop columnKarren Brady is facing pressure to drop her weekly column with the Sun after writing that “malcontents and keyboard warriors” have undermined West Ham’s efforts to make improvements to the London Stadium. It is understood that West Ham’s vice-chairman has been repeatedly urged from within the club to end her association with the newspaper, amid weariness at the problems that some consider certain columns to have caused West Ham. As reported by the Guardian, according to a source remarks Brady made in an article last year scuppered a deal to sign Islam Slimani from Leicester City in January. Her latest comments have been met with a furious response from supporters. Continue reading...

West Ham United v Everton: match preview

David Moyes and Sam Allardyce face their former employers knowing that they could both be out of a job soon. Wayne Rooney, who has received an offer from DC United, is unlikely to feature because of a knee injury, so fans may have missed their chance to pay tribute to a legend. Moyes and Allardyce, on the other hand, are unlikely to be mourned if they are shown the door by West Ham and Everton respectively. Jacob Steinberg Sunday 3pm Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 things to look out for on the final day

A wake is in store in Swansea, Klopp faced with a juggling act and a swansong for Conte and Benítez? This feature, you will note, is called ‘10 Things to Look Out For’ rather than ‘10 Things to Look Forward To’. Thank goodness for that, because there might not be much to look forward to at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday. The match between Swansea and Stoke is likely to be a wake, with both clubs wondering how the hell they got into this mess. A number of players will be making their last appearance for both sides, seeing no contradiction in the belief that they are far too good to play in the Championship. Swansea could still stay up, but they need snookers, a miracle and, most unlikely of all, at least one goal. RS Continue reading...

West Ham make point and Manchester United confirm second-place finish

This was the kind of lethargic performance that José Mourinho has in mind when he warns that Manchester United will continue to exist in the shadow of their formidable neighbours next season. They are 19 points behind City and although this forgettable draw ensured that Mourinho’s side will finish second, a club of United’s might can only wince at the distance between them and Pep Guardiola’s record-breaking champions. The gap is vast and it will be a struggle for United to close it as long as they continue to toil against opponents as limited as West Ham, whose lack of ambition did little to further David Moyes’s argument for a new contract. Continue reading...

West Ham United v Manchester United: Premier League – live!

No changes for West Ham, eight – Eight! – for Manchester United. West Ham: Adrian, Rice, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Zabaleta, Kouyate, Noble, Masuaku, Joao Mario, Lanzini, Arnautovic. Subs: Carroll, Hugill, Obiang, Hart, Evra, Fernandes, Cullen.
Man Utd: De Gea, Lindelof, Smalling, Jones, Valencia, Herrera, McTominay, Shaw, Lingard, Sanchez, Pogba. Subs: Bailly, Mata, Martial, Blind, Young, Rashford, Romero.
Referee: Jonathan Moss.

We're unchanged, with Hart back in the squad after recovering from illness. pic.twitter.com/Bz6khYpD9X

8⃣ changes to tonight's #MUFC starting XI... #WHUMUN pic.twitter.com/ztLylXt6At

< p class="block-time published-time"> Hello world! Well, what is there to say about this game? Continue reading...