Sunday, 21 June 2015

West Ham News

Slaven Bilic defends his record as a manager. 

David Gold said only a few weeks ago that West Ham United planned to appoint a manager who had achieved success in one of the major European leagues. It came as quite a surprise when Slaven Bilic was announced as the new manager. Although he did well with the Croatia national team he was far from impressive when he was with Lokomotiv Moscow and Besiktas. 

Bilic has hit back at criticism of his lack of silverware from fans and says the only reason he did not win the league in Turkey is because the club did not have its own ground. Besiktas' Inönü stadium was being rebuilt during his two years there and will not reopen until next season leaving them to travel miles to play their "home" games in Istanbul, Konya and Ankara. He told Fanatik: "I can say this without any reservations one of the key factors behind Beşiktaş not winning the league was not having a stadium. (21st June, 2015) 

Will Charlie Austin sign for West Ham?

The striker Charlie Austin is wanted by West Ham with relegated Queen’s Park Rangers looking for a fee of £15m from the transfer of their most saleable asset. Other clubs are also interested in Austin who made an impressive impact in his first season in the Premier League with 18 goals. This includes Chelsea but it is believed that Austin will reject the champions because he wants to be a regular starter. 

Newcastle United have made the first bid but Austin went on Twitter to suggest that he is not attracted to the idea of living in that area of the country. Crystal Palace are also interested but Austin is likely to be more willing to go to a club that can offer him European football. Southampton, who are also rumoured to want him, can indeed offer him that but they cannot make a bid for him until they sell Morgan Schneiderlin. 

This morning it is reported in the Daily Express that Liverpool are interested in signing Austin. This of course depends on them selling Raheem Sterling first. Charlie Austin lives in London and I suspect that if a bid comes in early West Ham could get him to become their main striker next season. (16th June, 2015) 

Slaven Bilic's first signing might be Croatia's new young sensation, Alen Halilović.

It is being reported that Slaven Bilic's first signing might be Croatia's new young sensation, Alen Halilović. He is the youngest ever debutant for the Croatian national team, and is considered to be one of the most promising young talents of European football and has been described as the “Croatian Messi” due to his overall skill and ability. 

When he was seventeen Halilović signed for Barcelona in March 2014 for €2.2m. However, he still has not played for them and the increasingly frustrated Halilović might be tempted to join his fellow countryman at West Ham. 

It has been suggested that other Croatian youngsters are worth looking at. For example, Andrija Balić and Nikola Vlašić both play for Hajduk Split. Some of the top European clubs have shown interest in these players and Valencia have already offered €10m for Balić and Vlašić. Balić's six goals in 18 matches from midfield looks especially impressive. (14th June 2015)