International Round up- Lanzini, Arnautovic score, Rice MOTM for Ireland

There was some good news for West Ham fans in the first set of matches during the March international break. Star playmaker Manuel Lanzini made his first start for Argentina at the Etihad Stadium in a friendly against Italy and scored an absolute screamer to help Sampaoli’s men beat the 2006 World Cup winners. His goal came shortly after Ever Banega had finished off a team move to put Argentina 1-0 ahead.

Marko Arnautovic netted twice as Austria beat Slovenia in a friendly.

Versatile midfielder Declan Rice was named Man of the Match in the Republic of Ireland’s game against Turkey, despite them ending on the losing side thanks to Mehmet Topal’s second half strike.

Lanzini is however expected to be a doubt for Argentina’s next game after picking up a knock in the fixture against the Azzurri. [Read more…]

Rival watch- Palace win, Stoke lose

West Ham’s league game over the weekend against Manchester United was postponed due to the latter’s FA Cup commitments but how did the Hammers’ relegation rivals fare in their games this weekend?

Palace were away at Huddersfield while Stoke were at home against Everton [Read more…]

Pedro Obiang on Fiorentina radar if Milan Badelj fails to sign contract extension

Fiorentina are weighing up a summer move for Pedro Obiang if Croatian midfielder Milan Badelj fails to pen a new deal at Stadio Artemio Franchi. Badelj, 29, is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal, and reportedly wants Champions League football, with Roma looking like his next destination, although Milan have also been linked with him in the recent past.

According to the Italian press, while Fiorentina are making last ditch attempts to persuade Badelj to sign a new deal, the Viola’s efforts are unlikely to yield fruit. The club have therefore drawn a shortlist of four replacements- Obiang is one, with Slavia medio Tomas Soucek, young Polish star Szymon Zurkowski and Federico Viviani being the other three.

Obiang has previous experience of playing in Italy- he was plying his trade for Sampdoria before moving to West Ham in 2015. However the 25 year old is contracted to the Hammers till 2022, having penned a fresh deal at the beginning of this season, which leaves West Ham with plenty of negotiating power should Fiorentina come in with a bid. [Read more…]

West Ham transfer target Anguissa impresses in Le Classique vs PSG

Marseille’s Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, reportedly a summer target for West Ham and several other Premier League clubs like Newcastle and West Brom, stood out for L’OM in last night’s Le Classique against Paris Saint-Germain. Rudi Garcia’s side lost 3-0 at Parc des Princes.

In French newspaper L’Equipe’s player ratings, Anguissa was given a 6/10, the highest for any OM player on the pitch. The likes of Thauvin and Payet got 3 and 4 respectively while no one in OM’s back four got more than 3.

The website SoFoot gave him a 7/10, calling him the best Marseille player on the pitch. [Read more…]

West Ham player ratings vs Liverpool (A)- How did the Hammers perform at Anfield?

West Ham slumped to a 4-1 loss at Anfield on Saturday– a disappointing, but not unexpected result for most fans. Liverpool crossed 100 goals for the season across all competitions during the game and West Ham’s solitary strike came from Michail Antonio, who netted 70 seconds after coming on as a second half sub.

How did Patrice Evra fare on his debut for the Hammers, with the Liverpool fans booing every touch of his given the French defender’s past history with ex Reds player Luis Suarez? How did Manuel Lanzini go on his return from injury?

Most of the papers seem to agree that Marko Arnautovic was West Ham’s best player at Anfield, and rightly so. The Austrian tested Karius with a couple of good efforts in the first half and did his best despite playing alone upfront. Antonio, a second half replacement for Lanzini, was their second best player on the park.

Angelo Ogbonna, who has been one the mainstays of the back three under Moyes, had an off-day at Anfield, as shown by the ratings. [Read more…]

James Milner Adrian obstruction?- Emre Can goal v West Ham 2018

Was Liverpool’s James Milner guilty of obstructing West Ham goalkeeper Adrian during the Reds’ first goal in their 4-1 win at Anfield?

West Ham had survived for nearly half an hour before Emre Can got the better of debutant Patrice Evra at a corner and headed home. But should this goal, Can’s sixth & Liverpool’s 100th of the season across all competitions, been allowed to stand? Was Milner obstructing Adrian? Clever play because the medio doesn’t move that much. Would it have been called if Adrian had made more of an effort to get past him? Perhaps yes. [Read more…]