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winterburnsilva

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About winterburnsilva

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    West Ham United

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  1. winterburnsilva

    Taking a Swan(s) Dive

    A relatively small squad, with a few u23 players thrown in to make up the numbers. Four players that really stand head and shoulders above the rest, but two of those are 37 and 33 so won't be around for long. Jim Fenlon's wages are also going to cripple us, with a wage budget of £520 a week, having one player taking up £210 of that is a bit of a nightmare. I'm already kind of half hoping that teams take an interest in him, along with anyone else who is on a weekly wage, rather than just appearance fees.
  2. winterburnsilva

    Taking a Swan(s) Dive

    Walton & Hersham F.C. Formed from the merger of Walton FC and Hersham FC after World War II, they were for many years my local team being less than a five minute walk to their ground, Stompond Lane. Despite this I grew up as first a West Ham United fan and then later, a supporter of Woking F.C. (after a group of friends decided in college to follow a football team that was local to all of us, Woking was the 'lucky' pin on the map). My first Walton & Hersham game wasn't until 2001 when West Ham took a somewhat dubious 'XI' to the ground for a friendly, as part of an agreement that allowed the West Ham youth team to use Stompond Lane for their fixtures. After promises of a 'strong first team' were made, Harry Redknapp proceeded to play a mixture of reserves and youth players, with Paul Kitson and Rigobert Song thrown in for good measure. My overriding memory of the game was Kitson receiving abuse from both Walton & Hersham and West Ham fans for "being on £35,000 a week and f****ng useless" for the full 90 minutes and the Hammers struggling to a 1-1 draw. Such was Walton & Hersham's dismay at the team fielded that I believe they recinded the offer to West Ham to use their ground. I didn't go back there until 2006, when Walton & Hersham played Woking in a pre-season friendly, with the hosts losing 3-0. That was the entirety of my experiences with Walton & Hersham until last season, after I heard the dreaded scourge of lower league clubs everywhere.....property developers, had the club firmly in its crosshairs. Forced out of their ground by the council and shoved into a groundshare with their bitter rivals Walton Casuals, they now play at the brand new Elmbridge Xcel Sports Hub. However, in this game the controversial move never happened, Walton & Hersham have stayed at their traditional Stompond Lane home and the property developers are still circling..... the only way they can hold them off is to become so successful the council decides they'd rather have the team there than a housing complex.
  3. winterburnsilva

    The Dictator and the Hammer

    Premier League- Match 1 West Ham United Lineup Adrian starts in goal with Joe Hart being ineligible against his parent club, with u23 goalkeeper Nathan Trott on the bench. The defence is pretty much what I consider the first choice with Pablo Zabaleta, Winston Reid, Angelo Ogbonna and Aaron Creswell lining up at the back. The same goes for the midfield with captain Mark Noble making his 349th league appearance for the club with Pedro Obiang lining up beside him. The attacking midfield is still a little bit of a patch-up job, with youngsters Sead Haksabanovic and Edimilson Fernandes being somewhat thrown in at the deep end against one of the title favourites. The two fullbacks on the bench, David Carmona and Arthur Masuaku can at a push cover the AMR and AML positions respectively, with 17-year old Domingos Quina promoted too soon out of necessity to cover AMC. Wout Weghorst is still recovering from his minor injury, so Toni Martinez gets a spot on the bench as backup for Javier Hernandez.
  4. winterburnsilva

    The Dictator and the Hammer

    Ok, that was a bit of a disasterous start for the u18s, going down 2-1 at home to Reading and having three players limp off the pitch with various injuries. It started so brightly too, with Korrey Henry getting himself on the end of an excellent Mason Barrett (Man of the Match, 8.3) cross after just 7 minutes to give West Ham u18s the lead with a bullet header. This came a few minutes after Henry had already had a great chance after a long ball hoof up the field by Tyler Forde that the Reading defence failed to deal with. It was only a great point blank 1-on-1 save by Gabriel Rosario that prevented the first goal being scored earlier. Then the injuries started, Louie Watson went off after 9 minutes with a bruised knee (out 1-3 days), Reece Hannam followed him on 21 minutes with a bruised ankle (out 1-3 days). The latter injury forced me to shuffle around at the back, bringing on Ethan Miller and switching Barrett from right to leftback which didn't seem to throw him off his game at all as he was the standout player for the Hammers. Throughout the game he seemed to be creating chances for Korrey Henry that the striker just couldn't take, bar the early goal. He managed to totally fluff two 1-on-1 chances, sending them both high and wide, as well as tamely heading straight at the keeper when anywhere else would have been a goal and then finally hitting the post for a mixed afternoon of work. Reading scored their two goals within three minutes of each other, a real sucker punch for West Ham u18s who had largely been the better side in the first half. First was the result of a fast counter-attack after Malyk Hamilton had hit the post from a cross at one end, Reading u18s broke up the field, Conor Lawless crossed for Jack Nolan with the defence all over the place to easily slot home the equaliser. The winning goal was thanks to a mistake from Mason Barrett who was caught dithering in the box rather than hoofing the ball clear. Lawless and Nolan played a quick 1-2 to take the keeper out of it and meant the former could tap into an empty net. Not great defensively from West Ham u18s for either goal which was a shame, as they were solid up until that point. There was still time for another injury, as Odysseas Spyrides, himself only brought on in the 65th minute, went off again on 81 with sprained knee ligaments leaving the Hammers down to 10 men and will now be out of action for 4-6 weeks. Then to compound matters West Ham u18s missed the last glorious chance of the match right before full-time, as Malyk Hamilton managed to outpace two defenders and surged into the box, where Korrey Henry was totally unmarked, If Hamilton had crossed it would have been an easy tap-in for Henry and a deserved equaliser, instead he selfishly elected to shoot himself at the near post which the keeper easily managed to keep out. So not the best start for West Ham United u18s, up next is an away trip to Norwich City in a week's time.
  5. winterburnsilva

    The Dictator and the Hammer

    West Ham United u18s Lineup Well I didn't realise the u18 league only allowed 5 subs, so that immediately put a spanner in my plans to cover every position on the pitch. Out went substitute goalkeeper Craig Powell, to allow me to have both right and left attacking midfield cover. Mason Barrett is versatile enough that he can cover any position in defence if needs be, so I only needed to name a backup rightback to cover him. Rosaire Longelo, arguably the best player overall during pre-season gets the start on the left side of midfield, with the also impressive Conor Coventry in central midfield. Korrey Henry gets the start up front, with Odysseas Spyrides the backup mainly because he can also play AMC if needed. Usually Domingos Quina would be the backup for every position in attacking midfield, but with the injuries to the senior squad I have promoted him temporarily.
  6. winterburnsilva

    The Dictator and the Hammer

    First International call-up of the save, as Pablo Zabaleta makes the Argentina squad to face Brazil in the Superclasico de las Americas. He'll only be away four days but gets back the day before the second Premier League game of the season against Manchester United so he might miss out on that one.
  7. winterburnsilva

    The Dictator and the Hammer

    Carabao cup 2nd round draw sees West Ham United playing away at League One Charlton Athletic, not too unhappy with that. Would have prefered a home tie, but I'll take playing away to a team two leagues below the Hammers. The Addicks advanced to the second round after a 1-0 away win at Forest Green Rovers, thanks to a goal from Arsenal Loanee striker Chuba Akpom.
  8. winterburnsilva

    The Dictator and the Hammer

    Senior Team Friendlies u23 Team Friendlies u18 Team Friendlies Pre-Season Stats
  9. winterburnsilva

    The Dictator and the Hammer

    I was rather surprised at the relative ease with which the u23 dispatched the Bayern Munich reserves, limiting them to just one shot on target in the 90 minutes. However on closer inspection of the side they put out there were a lot of teenagers with very little experience. Nothing at all happened in the opening 15 minutes, with the first chance of the game being yet another wasteful and wayward shot from outside the area, this time by Marcus Browne. Jahmal Hector-Ingram repeated the move a few moments later, leading me to think they were just ignoring my instructions on purpose by now, however after the early flurry they seemed to limit the long shots for the rest of the game. Hector-Ingram did continue to be wasteful though, fluffing a one-on-one chance against the keeper when he really should have scored. On 22 minutes Joe Powell won possession in the centre circle with an excellent well-timed tackle, he played it to Marcus Browne who slid an inch-perfect through ball to Daniel Kemp. He did well to hold off two defenders, cut inside and casually dinked it over the advancing keeper, a very cool finish to make it 1-0 to West Ham u23s. It was very nearly 2-0 barely a minute later, Josh Pask pounced on a loose ball from a corner that wasn't dealt with by Bayern, but he somehow managed to kick the ball straight into the keepers face and out for a corner. At half-time the biggest surprise was Bayern II not having a single shot on or off target in the opening 45 minutes. I took Nathan Trott off, with one eye on the opening day Premier League fixture against Manchester City, bringing on Rihards Matrevics in his place. Bayern II had their one and only real chance a few minutes into the second half, Franck Evina managed to beat Josh Pask for pace far too easily down the right flank and put a cross in aimed for Manuel Wintzheimer. His header went straight at Matrevics though, if it had been aimed either side at that close range it would (and should) have been the equaliser. Declan Rice had an almost carbon copy chance at the other end from a Powell corner a few moments later, managing to somehow aim straight at the keeper from a few yards out. The German's substitute goalkeeper made an excellent save in similar circumstances on 69 minutes. A Daniel Kemp freekick found the head of Tunji Akinola whose header WAS well placed towards the corner. Somehow keeper Ron Thorben Hoffmann managed to get across and tip the ball over with a great acrobatic one-handed save. From the ensuing corner West Ham u23s DID score though, Joe Powell finding himself totally unmarked in the box from a Daniel Kemp cross and fired into the top corner from close range, giving the keeper no chance this time. The last goal was a very well worked move, starting with an Alex Pike throw in on the right side, a series of smooth one touch passes between Joe Powell, Marcus Browne and Jahmal Hector-Ingram resulted in the latter being through on goal before the Bayern II defence could even react, beating the keeper with a low hard shot to his left side to make it 3-0, the final score. That game brought West Ham United's pre-season to a close, 14 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss being an excellent effort albeit against quite weak opposition for the most part. Most of the key players got sufficient game time under their belts and apart from the late injury to Andre Ayew, emerged unscathed and ready for the long season ahead.
  10. winterburnsilva

    The Dictator and the Hammer

    Pre-Season Game 17 West Ham United u23s vs. Bayern Munich II (Germany) Venue: Victoria Road (Capacity: 6,078) West Ham United u23s Lineup Given the experience of the last friendly I tried to arrange myself, I'm half expecting to face the Bayern Munich first team in this u23 friendly. With the Premier League opener against Manchester City three days away I didn't want to risk any of the players I had pencilled in for potential spots in the senior squad for the game. That means Jahmal Hector-Ingram getting the start up front over Toni Martinez and Alex Pike playing in place of David Carmona. The only player to feature in this game that will almost certainly be in the first Premier League squad is goalkeeper Nathan Trott, as backup for Adrian with Joe Hart ineligible to play against his parent club. There are a few senior team backups on the bench with Jose Fonte, James Collins and Sam Byram, purely because they aren't currently in my thoughts for an opening day place, however that could change if there are any more injuries. Also Angelo Ogbonna has a spot on the bench for......reasons that I can't remember, but I immediately realised that was a mistake but had already continued to the game before I changed it.
  11. winterburnsilva

    The Dictator and the Hammer

    Three days before the Premier League season starts, as I just start to think that I've had it good with injuries.....bam, Andre Ayew out for 5-6 weeks with sprained knee ligaments. Sead Haksabanovic is the backup option for the attacking left wing spot as an inside forward, although Edimilson Fernandes and Marko Arnautovic can also play there. A bit of reshuffling to the forward line will be required now... Also, this is a bit of an insight into WHY I want my players to try and cut down on shots from outside the box
  12. winterburnsilva

    The Dictator and the Hammer

    A pleasing enough performance to bring the senior squad's pre-season preperations to a close, limiting Stellenbosch FC to just 4 shots of target in the game. They did have the first chance of the match though after a slightly dull first 15 minutes, when Reyaad Mxolisi managed to outjump Angelo Ogbonna and send a header just over the crossbar. I have been meaning to alter the West Ham set-piece takers all pre-season, but I always forgot to do it, which has resulted in Mark Noble taking nearly all the corners by default. This time it worked out rather well, on 16 minutes he fired a ball towards the edge of the box, where Pedro Obiang sent a first time pass towards Marko Arnautovic, who sent a rocket of a shot flying past Stellenbosch goalkeeper Nathan Foster to make it 0-1. Two minutes later the lead was doubled, Edimilson Fernandes playing a ball out wide to player of the match Arthur Masuaku, whose first poor attempt at a cross rebounded back to him. On the second attempt he swung a low cross towards the penalty spot, where Javier Hernandez was lurking to poke it past the keeper from close range, a real poacher's goal to make it 0-2. Angelo Ogbonna took a knock to the ankle after a tackle on 23 minutes, it didn't look particularly serious and he wanted to carry on, but I took him off for Matthijs de Ligt anyway as a precaution. After the game he was diagnosed with a bruised ankle and would only be out of action for a day. West Ham United continued to create chances of varying quality. Despite instructions not to do so, Noble persisted in shooting from long range outside the penalty area with no end product. Fernandes hit the crossbar from a Masuaku cross and both he and Arnautovic sent volleys just wide from a pair of Noble corners. The only other real effort Stellenbosch FC had came with a couple of minutes left in the game, a freekick just outside the West Ham penalty area fired way over the top of the crossbar by Fikile April. Next up for the senior team is the start of the Premier League season, with a home game against Manchester City. The last pre-season fixture will see the u23s take on Bayern Munich II at Victoria Road.
  13. winterburnsilva

    The Dictator and the Hammer

    Pre-Season Game 16 Stellenbosch FC (South Africa) vs. West Ham United Venue: Athlone Stadium (Capacity: 35,000) West Ham United Lineup Minus the absences of Michail Antonio and Manuel Lanzini due to their injuries and Arthur Masuaku getting a game ahead of Aaron Creswell to get his match sharpness up, this is pretty much the strongest lineup available for the final senior team pre-season match. The gaps in the bench are filled by the usual u23 players- Moses Makasi for CM, Marcus Browne for AMC and Toni Martinez for ST. With the absence of another senior right winger, David Carmona will be the backup in that position for now should he be needed.
  14. winterburnsilva

    The Dictator and the Hammer

    No changes to the captains of the senior team with long-standing leader Mark Noble and vice-captain Winston Reid. Moses Makasi's morale initially plummeted at the start of pre-season as I took the captaincy of the u23s off him and gave it to Declan Rice, but he's since recovered from his strop.
  15. winterburnsilva

    The Dictator and the Hammer

    Perfect place for a friendly for a premier league team with a large injury list already....
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