Category Archive: West Ham United FC

West Ham United FC News

May 23

Teenager Rice called up by Republic

West Ham’s Declan Rice, 18, is called up for the Republic of Ireland’s upcoming friendlies and World Cup qualifier against Austria.

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May 22

A Premier League season of soap opera where football felt like background music | Barney Ronay

The 2016-17 season still had its drama – moments of brilliance and booming narrative arcs to be resolved – but it was less title race than well-ordered title jog

Farewell, then, to the year that almost was. This was a Premier League season that sparked with a controlled excitement, never quite caught fire but still dished up another digestible slice of high-end product.

Things kept on almost happening. Leicester City almost completed the most dramatic title-plus-relegation act of all time. But then it was all sort of OK. Marco Silva almost pulled off a minor managerial miracle – but somehow not quite. To great fanfare Tottenham Hotspur pulled to within one victory of being quite close to creeping up on Chelsea’s shoulder at the top – almost but not quite, leaving for the third season in a row not so much a title race as a well-ordered title jog.

Related: Premier League 2016-17 season review: our writers’ best and worst

A season billed as a meeting of the super managers became a season of struggle for José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola

Related: Premier League 2016-17 review: signing of the season

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May 21

West Ham’s André Ayew spoils Burnley’s end-of-season party

André Ayew headed a second-half winner as West Ham United gatecrashed Burnley’s party by snatching a 2-1 victory at Turf Moor.

Already assured of Premier League survival and their highest finish since 1975 the Clarets were in the mood to celebrate on the final day and Sam Vokes enlivened the atmosphere further by putting them ahead.

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May 19

Burnley v West Ham United: match preview

Tony Pulis recently described Sean Dyche as “one of the league’s top three managers”, and his achievement in securing Burnley’s first consecutive season of top-flight football since the 1970s is certainly impressive. West Ham have had a vastly disappointing season, and Slaven Bilic will be well aware that a loss on the final day will do nothing for his managerial future at the club. Both sides would receive additional financial rewards if they were to win and leapfrog those above them. Freddie Paxton

Kick-off Sunday 3pm

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May 16

Vodafone abandons West Ham stadium deal

The telecoms giant had been in talks with the stadium’s owners for six months.

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May 16

Vodafone pulls out of £20m naming-rights deal for West Ham stadium

• Telecoms company abandons plans to sponsor the London Stadium
• Breakdown of talks over terms of deal, not over HMRC investigation

Vodafone has abandoned plans to sponsor the London Stadium in a £20m deal, dealing the latest blow to the venue’s troubled conversion to West Ham United’s home.

The company was believed to be on the verge of a six-year deal to take on the naming rights, several years after the London Legacy Development Corporation, the publicly funded joint venture that owns the stadium, began looking for partners.

Related: West Ham’s first season at London Stadium: a ‘terrible’ experience or a step forward?

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May 15

Philippe Coutinho’s deep impression underlines importance to Liverpool | Sachin Nakrani

Positioned in a different role, the Brazilian was again outstanding in the win at West Ham and showed why they cannot contemplate selling him this summer

As Philippe Coutinho departed from the pitch on a warm afternoon in east London, his 89th‑minute substitution met by raucous applause by those who filled the away end, he was embraced by Jürgen Klopp. Nothing surprising there given the frequency with which the Liverpool manger hugs his players but this one felt a little different: tighter, longer, stronger. A thank you in physical form and, perhaps even, the warmest of pleas to the Brazilian to stay exactly where he is.

In the past week Coutinho has yet again been linked with a move to Barcelona, despite having signed a new five-year contract with Liverpool in January, with the city’s leading daily newspaper Sport running a front page headline on Tuesday that suggested in unequivocal terms that the player has agreed a €90m move to the Camp Nou in the summer. Liverpool immediately insisted he is not for sale but the rumours refuse to die and will have only grown on the back of how the 24-year-old performed against West Ham United. He was yet again brilliant and the hope for Klopp and everyone at Anfield must be that, having contributed greatly to the club in all but securing a return to the Champions League, Coutinho will deem his immediate future does indeed lie on Merseyside.

Related: Philippe Coutinho strengthens Liverpool’s grip on top four at West Ham

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May 14

We proved we can cope with pressure, says Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp

• Manager delighted with players after 4-0 victory at West Ham
• Victory against Middlesbrough would guarantee top-four spot

Jürgen Klopp insisted Liverpool have proved they can handle the pressure after a convincing win against West Ham United tightened their grip on a top-four finish. The manager hailed a “perfect afternoon” as his team defeated West Ham United 4-0 to climb to third position and within three points of securing a place in the Champions League next season.

Philippe Coutinho scored twice and also set up the opener for Daniel Sturridge, with Divock Origi grabbing the fourth goal on a day when West Ham imploded. Another win against Middlesbrough at Anfield on Sunday will guarantee Liverpool Champions League football.

Related: Philippe Coutinho strengthens Liverpool’s grip on top four at West Ham

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May 14

Philippe Coutinho strengthens Liverpool’s grip on top four at West Ham

It was an afternoon when just about everything went right for Liverpool, who now know that they will return to the Champions League next season if they can beat Middlesbrough at Anfield in seven days’ time. The equation is that simple for Jürgen Klopp and his players after this emphatic victory over an abject West Ham United side, and it is hard to see Liverpool passing up the opportunity of a top-four finish on the evidence of this performance.

Philippe Coutinho was outstanding, scoring twice after setting up the first for Daniel Sturridge, who was making his first Premier League start since 2 January, and Divock Origi completed the rout with Liverpool’s fourth. That was the cue for many home supporters to leave their seats, with nearly a quarter of an hour remaining, and it was tempting to wonder what the ramifications of this woeful defeat could be for Slaven Bilic, the West Ham manager.

Related: West Ham v Liverpool: Premier League – as it happened

Related: Liverpool’s Divock Origi: ‘Maybe if I wasn’t a footballer I’d be a psychologist’

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May 14

West Ham v Liverpool: Premier League – as it happened

Goals from Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and two from Philippe Coutinho gave Liverpool an easy win; if they can beat Middlesbrough next week, they will qualify for next season’s Champions League

4.11pm BST

So, that’s that – but do join Simon Burnton to see grown adults cry.

Related: Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United: Premier League – live!

4.09pm BST

So, Liverpool need one more win, at home to already-relegated Middlesbrough, to secure their place in next season’s Champions League. They played very well indeed today, imposing their speed of movement, thought and foot upon a weak and listless West Ham side. Philippe Coutinho played especially well on the right of a diamond, while the wit and pace of Daniel Sturridge gave them an added dimension in front of him.

4.06pm BST

The PA plays Teenage Kicks. Perhaps as some sort of John Peel, Liverpool tribute.

4.05pm BST

90+2 min So what do West Ham do about this? They need several players to improve, but their efforts at signing them this last year have not gone well. Will Manuel Lanzini want to stick around?

4.03pm BST

90 min There shall be two added minutes.

4.03pm BST

90 min West Ham have been absolute urinal cakes today. This has been a real London Stadium of a performance.

4.01pm BST

89 min Two more changes for Liverpool. Coutinho, Carragher’s man of the match, and Lallana leave; Grujic and Woodburn arrive.

4.00pm BST

87 min Change for Liverpool: Sturridge, who’s had a fine afternoon, is replaced by Lucas.

3.59pm BST

86 min “First year at Leeds University in Feb 1990,” emails Daniel Barnett, “tickets arrived in the post on the morning of West Ham’s League Cup semi-final at Boundary Park. Thing was, I had a date set up that night with a very attractive third-year student at a Valentine’s party. Obviously, blew her off, drove over to Oldham with a mate, and witnessed our 6-0 tonking in the freezing rain. Clearly a sign I should have gone on the date, I thought. Subsequently pursued her, wooed her, and we got married three years later. Of course, we ended up divorced. I’ll finish paying off the child maintenance in August. Thanks, Andy Ritchie.”

I’ve no hilarious addendum for this.

3.57pm BST

84 min Feghouli swings over a cross from the right, met by the left boot of Snodgrass – the connection is decent, but the ball flies over the top.

3.57pm BST

82 min “The Problem Of Sturridge is more complex than whether he’s a top player, or a top, top player,” reckons Matt Dony. “THAT season alongside Suarez, he held his own and did some outrageous, special things. He placed himself in that Aguero, etc bracket. But it was just the one season. Apart from that, he’s been a very good striker (certainly the best scorer-of-goals-albeit-nothing-extra on the books currently), but never been pushed to scale the previous heights. Or, more damningly, never pushed himself. One of those players who is talked about as ‘full of potential’, until everyone realises he’s the wrong side of 26.”

I’m not sure we know whether or not he’s pushed himself, or been pushed. I think things looked as they did in 13-14 because he was next to Suarez, in a team for whom everything was working.

3.53pm BST

80 min Oh dear. Origi picks up the ball in the inside-left position and has Sturridge waiting for pass. But he opts to shoot, lashing a shot over the top, earning himself a tongue-lashing from his mate, because his mate is renowned for selflessness in such circumstances.

3.52pm BST

79 min I wonder how Liverpool will strengthen in the summer. A left-back for sure, but will they replace one of Lovren and Matip? I’m not sure if they will, though think they should if they can. Otherwise, are they looking to enhance their first XI or buttress their squad? Presumably a centre-forward to go straight in to the team, but otherwise?

Oh, and Ayew has been replaced by Snodgrass.

3.50pm BST

Brilliant from Sturridge, isolating Cresswell, standing him up, and dragging the ball down the side of him. He then cuts back a cross, Lallana can’t score from six yards when Adrian flies at him, Wijnaldum miskicks, and Origi rams home. West Ham’s defending has been ludicrous today, and plenty of their supporters have seen enough to haunt them through the summer thank you very much, so are heading home.

3.46pm BST

73 min “Went to see United at Preston in the FA Cup in the 60s,” emails Dave McMurrugh. “Dad had a crap car, it broke down so he flagged down as random car who took us to the game. So complete strangers drop us off. At the end a tannoy announcement says ‘Can the McMurrugh boys go to the nearest policeman’. The policeman takes us to Dad three hours after he’s left us to strangers.”

3.45pm BST

71 min Worth noting, while Liverpool have been struggling to score of late (before today of course), they also had 3 clean sheets in 4 games and allowed just 3 goals in their last five games,” emails Kevin Smith. “Before the 2-1 defeat of Stoke, they had just seve clean sheets in 31 games, allowing 39 goals. So while I still don’t trust their defending, they may have improved?”

It’s possible, but also worth noting that in that time, they’ve faced a murderer’s row of West Brom, Palace, Watford and Southampton.

3.43pm BST

69 min The farewell that the London Stadium deserves, one might say. But anyway, Matip steps out when Can stays, and Lanzini’s pass finds Fletcher in space behind the defensive line. He zones towards goal but is at an acute angle to it, so it’s fairly simple for Mignolet to block his shot.

3.40pm BST

67 min “Going to home ground to get tickets for a final, I fell asleep before I had to change trains at approaching train station,” emails Raymond Reardon. “Awoke to hear the departing train was express for another dozen stations so decided to bail out onto platform with sleeping bag and thermos that were soon to be rendered useless. Ended up with gravel rash and bruising to body and ego when rolling amongst office workers on platform. Got tickets to final painfully waiting in queue overnight with nothing to sleep on or to drink. Team got beat in final two weeks later.”

Exceptional work.

3.38pm BST

65 min Origi finds space outside the box and lamps a shot that clips the back of the bar. Liverpool are playing really well today, abject though West Ham are.

3.37pm BST

63 min Collins is booked for complaining.

3.37pm BST

Well! Over comes West Ham’s corner and Wijnaldum, leaping with Fernandes, plays the ball with his arm. He looks guilty, and well he might – that was handball and then some. But the ref decides to the contrary, so Liverpool break with Coutinho, he finds Wijnaldum who finds him back, and he strolls into the box then canes a shot past Adrian and the man on the line. Whatever the wrongs of the penalty call, and they are multifarious, he’s played very well in this deeper role.

3.34pm BST

60 min West Ham win a free-kick on the right which Lovren heads clear … but only onto the laces of Feghouli, who thrashes a first-time shot deflected behind by Matip.

3.33pm BST

59 min I think Liverpool might win from here.

3.32pm BST

This is a brilliant goal! First, Wijnaldum meets a weak clearing header on the volley, absolutely shmicing an instep-outside of the right foot foot effort onto the top of the bar – think Essien v Arsenal, to picture his body shape. Reid then backheads not very far clear, whereupon Coutinho seizes the loose ball, just outside the box and left of centre, and with the defenders expecting a shot, he strolls past and across two men, then guides a shot back into what’s now the far corner! Liverpool look set for the Champions League!

3.29pm BST

56 min “Totally agreed with your disagreeing with poor Clive,” emails Drew Gough. “Sturridge is not in the same league as Aguero and Sanchez and co. But he’s certainly a cut above a lot of his teammates, and his fuming at that last West Ham corner is a good read of that and a good representation of the Liverpool season. Excellent in attack and undermined (nearly here) by silly defending. I mean, a crab nearly scored.”

Yes, I think that’s fair. I wonder if he can save his Liverpool career.

3.28pm BST

54 min Bilic has seen enough: Feghouli and Fletcher are soon to come on; in fact they’re coming on now, Fonte and Calleri departing. So that’ll be a back-four – and four in midfield, with two up front. How quaint!

3.25pm BST

52 min Nice from Sturridge, coming deep to slide a ball in behind Collins for Origi. His low cross is sliced behind by Fonte, but Coutinho overhits the resultant corner.

3.23pm BST

50 min Coutinho wriggles free inside the centre-circle, so Fernandes taps his ankle, watches him crumple, and accepts the yellow card.

3.23pm BST

48 min Julie Tunney, sat next to me in the office, has just recounted a yarn of that time she went to watch Ipswich away at Sheffield Wednesday on a Sunday, went home, then on Monday went up to Motherwell for a testimonial.

So, what’s the most grief you’ve gone to getting to a game? Send those, and your tales of ridiculous obsession, to the address above.

3.21pm BST

46 min Liverpool pile forward straight away, causing mayham in the West Ham box. First, Sturridge has Adrian flying across his goal to pluck away a deflected raspser, then he stops with his boot from Lallana, and finally he shoves Origi’s drive around the post. So it looks like Bilic’s half-time gee-up went down well.

3.18pm BST

46 min We go again.

3.17pm BST

Out come the players…

3.12pm BST

Half-time bantz: “Have this ‘hi-vis’-wearing Liverpool side tried passing the ball to a steward yet?” chortles Steven Hughes.

No, but look out for glow-sticks and unnecessary novelty hats at some point in the second half.

3.04pm BST

Liverpool have played well enough, dominating possession and gradually picking their way through a massed but disorganised defence. But their own defending is also somewhat haphazard, and if West Ham can find it in them to attack, simply forcing some corners might be enough to get them back in the game.

3.02pm BST

45+2 min My internet vanished; you missed nothing.

3.02pm BST

45 min There shall be two added minutes.

3.00pm BST

44 min West Ham need to get Lanzini on the ball, but in the meantime find Ayew, who jabs a high cross up to the back post. Clyne might’ve let it go, concedes the corner, AND WHAT IS THIS! Liverpool defend the corner as badly as they do, Ayew is there right in front of the goal, maybe three yards out. BUT SOMEHOW HE HITS THE POST! Then, when the ball comes back to him, HE HITS THE POST AGAIN FROM A CRAB FOOTBALL POSITION! THAT IS PHENOMENAL BEHAVIOUR!

2.57pm BST

41 min Liverpool are piecing West Ham up now, their passing and movement too slick for their hosts. Lallana wins them another corner, again the delivery is good, and again Matip wins the header – quite who’s responsible for him is unclear. But again, the ball sails over the bar.

2.55pm BST

40 min Liverpool win a corner down the right, swerved out for Matip – he heads over, ad would’ve done better to leave it for Lovren, just behind him. West Ham’s marking is a mess.

2.53pm BST

38 min West Ham – or Slaven Bilic – now have a choice: do they try and keep things tight to stay in the game, or do they try and put some pressure on Liverpool’s defence, thereby risking a kicking? My guess is the former.

2.51pm BST

Well done Jurgen Klopp! Coutinho picks up possession in his deeper role and slides a superb pass through for Sturridge, on the shoulder of the last man. At the same time, Cresswell steps up while Fonte stays, so Sturridge hares clear, rounds Adrian, and slots home a crucial opener. That was very nicely done.

2.49pm BST

34 min Clyne goes down the right and cuts back a cross that passes through and by various legs, arriving into the path of Milner. But, on his left foot, he thunders into a drga that sends the ball wide.

2.49pm BST

33 min West Ham are defending deep, and Liverpool haven’t yet found the speed of passing or movement to disquiet them. I wonder if their problem is a lack of elite talent – players so good that they render the opposition irrelevant.

2.46pm BST

30 min Arsene Wenger will be satisfied with how this is going. Liverpool look likelier scorers, but are hardly peppering the goal. That said, they are pressing well, and Sturridge catches Reid dallying in possession then sets off towards goal. But he’s not got that killer speed anymore, or at least not yet, so winds up tripping over the ball before recovering it and finding Coutinho, who shoots wide.

2.44pm BST

32 min “Never cried at a football match. I don’t really let negative results impact on me at all, and I definitely didn’t sulk for two weeks when England lost to Portugal at the 2006 World Cup, thus ruining my honeymoon,” asserts Felix Wood.

Heh – I got married the summer after my team threw away the league title, thus allowing it to be won by their local rivals. On that fateful day, I wondered how I was meant to dance and affect happiness two weeks later; on that next fateful day, I realised that I’d have to get married every time that it happened.

2.41pm BST

26 min Milner wins the ball back high up the park for the second time in three minutes and finds Coutinho, who stretches across the face of the box before crunching a shot a couple of feet over the bar. It’s been a while since West Ham mustered anything decent going forward.

2.40pm BST

25 min Lallana finds Milner, who contrives to let the ball run into touch. The home crowd approve. In commentary, Jamie Carragher discusses how Liverpool’s new formation still afford them very little width.

2.38pm BST

23 min Lallana pulls wide and finds the marauding Milner, who cuts inside Byram and drives a shot that flicks off Reid into the arms of Adrian.

2.37pm BST

20 min “Another United ‘99 memory unfortunately,” laments Jack Roe. “My seven-year-old self had been sent to bed early by my father, lifelong United fan, who wanted a chance to watch the big game in peace, probably with a jar or three. Although I now understand that was a reasonable thing to do, at the time I was beside myself with the injustice of it all and so hatched a scheme to ‘accidentally’ fall off the top bunk of my bed. I somehow managed to land on my eyebrow and quite seriously hurt myself, whenceafter I spent the entire game blubbering on my dad’s lap and began crying in earnest once Ole did his thing and my Dad launched me across the room amidst his celebrations.”

Exceptional behaviour. I was banned from the 1990 FA Cup semi-final when, in excitement at Palace beating Liverpool, I bent a free-kick around my bed and through the window. My parents hadn’t heard a thing, so having to tell them what’d happened was fairly daunting; I look back now and wonder why I didn’t save it until full-time in the Oldham-United game.

2.34pm BST

19 min Fonte is slightly late on Origi, snapping into his Achilles, and there’s a break while he’s treated; in the meantime, Klopp hands out water and instruction.

2.33pm BST

17 min Both sides are doing a pretty decent job of exposing the other’s weaknesses. West Ham are switching play quickly, to get down the sides of Liverpool’s diamond, while Liverpool are picking up possession in the space between West Ham’s wing-backs and wide centre-backs.

2.31pm BST

16 min “I cried when West Ham won the FA Cup in 1964,” emails Tom Shaw. “Two years later I considered myself too grown up and sophisticated to blub over a football match, but Bobby Charlton did when collecting his World Cup winners medal from the Queen and that started me off.”

2.30pm BST

15 min This game is not going to finish 0-0. Milner’s cross is not properly cleared by two headers, and the ball arrives at Coutinho, just outside the box, left of centre, and his shot thuds into Adrian’s midriff.

2.29pm BST

13 min “If Everton lose to Arsenal (as we do at the end of a season) to deny Liverpool a CL place, Blues will be crying with laughter,” tweets Gary Naylor.

I’m beginning to wonder if Jose Mourinho had United lose on purpose at Arsenal last week, to similar end. There’s got to be some explanation for the putridity of his team’s performance.

2.27pm BST

12 min This is a good game so far, and after Liverpool half-clear a free-kick, the ball ends up with Fernandes, whose shot is deflected behind. The ensuing corner comes to nowt.

2.26pm BST

11 min …over it comes, and Matip’s up early and high at the back post! Completely free, he steps back, heads down, and the ball cracks the bar! No one is on hand to tuck home the rebound, but really it oughtn’t to have been necessary; that was a bad miss.

2.25pm BST

10 min Coutinho, who Klopp said earlier this week might eventually play as an attacking midfielder, slides a pass to Lallana, whose shot is deflected behind for a corner…

2.24pm BST

8 min “Crying at football?” asks Dr Headgear on Twitter. “It’s acceptable when Abide By Me is sung at the FA Cup final.”

In the early years at Wembley, the hymn was just the end of the community singing. I’d happily see that back, but perhaps with more modern tunes – not I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts and the like. What should be on the list?

2.24pm BST

6 min Excellent from West Ham! Two quick passes, from Lanzini then Calleri, take the ball from left to right, moving past the man on the left side of Liverpool’s diamond. Suddenly, Byram is in space inside the box … he takes a touch, composes himself, and drags a shot wide of the far post!

2.20pm BST

5 min Clyne sells himself following a crsosfield switch and Cresswell sashays past. His cross is claimed by Mignolet, though, who clatters Lovren in the process; there’s a break while he regenerates.

2.18pm BST

3 min Liverpool are, in fact, playing a diamond. That’s a bold move from Jurgen Klopp, given its inherent weakness of too many men ahead of the ball allied to a dodgy defence. But given the likelihood that West Ham will make them force the issue, it makes good sense.

2.17pm BST

2 min West Ham build down the left, and Cresswell tries a cross which ends up behind.

2.16pm BST

2 min The, er, London Stadium is far from full. I’m not certain, but I think that according to the rules which now govern our society, that is tantamount to treason.

2.15pm BST

1 min Off we go!

2.14pm BST

Sky reckon Sturridge will be on the right with Origi in the middle. We shall see.

2.14pm BST

Oh, by the way, the players are out. The hype is hyping.

2.12pm BST

“I’m there completely with the referees and where they lived,” emails Tony Crawford. “My thing is FA Cup finals, I know all the teams, scorers and most of the line-ups from Chelsea v Leeds 1970 to Brighton v United in ’83, but can’t remember who played just a couple of years ago. Haven’t cried at football since I was about 11, but was inconsolable and totally unable to speak for at least six hours after Manchester United beat Bayern in that Champions league final.”

When my old fella was at school, he and his mates took it upon themselves to learn every Cup Final since 1923, the first at Wembley. I was in the Nou Camp that night; I was not crying, but was blissfully catatonic for the rest of my life.

2.10pm BST

On Sky, they’re saying that Daniel Sturridge is as good as any striker in the league on his day. Surely that’s so of every striker in the league, but assuming they mean he’s top-level, er, not for me Clive. He’s good, but he’s not in the same league as Aguero, Sanchez or Kane.

2.07pm BST

Jurgen Klopp would prefer not to be without Roberto Firmino. Slaven Bilic is keen for a good result. More news as I get it.

2.06pm BST

Gosh, what a fest today might be. If Liverpool lose, outside chance of away end tears, while at White Hart Lane they’ll be calling for the lifebelts whatever the score.

2.03pm BST

“I cried at Brian Clough’s last home game v Sheffield United that sent us down from the razzle-dazzle Premier League in 1992,”


confrags Simon Frank. “If I remember right, even the Blades fans were singing ‘Brian Clough’s a football genius’ from their 2-0 up moral perch.”

I wonder what Cloughie would’ve made of such emotion.

2.02pm BST

“Can’t let this by chance to shoehorn in a Half Man Half Biscuit lyric, Daniel,” emails Mark Lloyd. “Y is for Yate. The kind of town referees come from.”


2.00pm BST

“Crying over football might be one of the few contexts in which showing emotion is possible in Britain,” tweets Harry Kennard. “Cry early, cry often.”

Am I propagating strong and stable football? If I so I retract everything.

1.55pm BST

Email! “Upon reading the West Ham line-up,” says Felix Wood, “I realise that there are at least three players I don’t know at all, and a further two that I’m not sure I’ve watched in the flesh. Me, you could tell you which towns referees hailed from in times gone by. Ashby-de-la-zouch, Newscastle-under-Lyme. Can’t for the life of me remember which refs were from these places, but I did at one point. How has it come to this? Is it just life taking over, or is it a result of football, like the world in general, definitively peaking in 1996 and getting crapper and less interesting from that point on? Or is it me? These, these are the questions.”

Whenever my group of mates drives to a north-east away, Spennymoor always receives fingers on account of George Courtney. And only this week I was in Tring, so naturally regaled my wife with tales of Graham Poll.

1.52pm BST

Ok, go on then: it is my contention that crying over football, though better after winning than losing, is not really on. So, when and why have you cried at the game?

I’ll start: I almost cried when Jesse Lingard scored the winning goal in last season’s Cup Final, due to complex family reasons and, er, the half-bottle of Jura consumed.

1.49pm BST

Elsewhere, Palace lead Hull 3-0; Hull will soon be relegated. So, eyes down for some grown adults crying over football.

1.47pm BST

For those following in black and white, Liverpool will be playing in hi-vis jackets. And isn’t it something to think about how admirably we coped through those 120 or so years of league football, without the capture every pre-match fart and belch? Humans are amazing!

Inside the away dressing room.

1.44pm BST

So, West Ham – or “Slav”, according to Twitter – make two changes from last week’s win over Spurs: Noble and Kouyate are both out after surgery, so Nordtveit and Fernandes come in. Liverpool, meanwhile, are without Lucas – he’s replaced by Lallana, which sounds ok – and Firmino is replaced by Sturridge.

1.30pm BST

West Ham United (a festivus sapling): Adrian; Fonte, Reid, Collins; Byram, Fernandes, Nordtveit, Cresswell; Lanzini, Ayew; Calleri. Subs: Randolph, Feghouli, Snodgrass, Ogbonna, Fletcher, Quina, Rice.

Liverpool (gegenpressing): Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Matip, Milner; Can, Wijnaldum, Lallana; Origi, Sturridge, Coutinho. Subs: Karius, Moreno, Grujic, Alexander-Arnold, Lucas, Klavan, Woodburn.

11.58am BST

It’s been a strange old season; of course it has, it’s been a season. But it’s been an especially strange season for your West Hams and your Liverpools. West Ham’s move from Upton Park, though necessary, was executed with such artlessness as to be nonsense. As such, both team and support have endured a largely miserable season, elevated by memorable wins over Chelsea and Spurs, along with the swift elimination of relegation fears.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have been resident in the top fourTM since the middle of September, thanks in significant part to the stylish beatings imposed upon the country’s best sides (such that they are). But after threatening to contest the title, their challenge collapsed with alarming speed, they also lost at home to Wolves in the FA Cup, and probably need a win today to secure their spot in next season’s Champions League.

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