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West Ham United

Three West Ham players ready to grab the headlines at Russia this summer

Ruari Macneil



West Ham United have endured a tough season this year, first under Slaven Bilic and now under David Moyes. Moyes has done a decent enough job to stabilise things in East London, as he goes about trying to rebuild the reputation left in tatters after spells with Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland.

Nevertheless, the Hammers will have a strong representation at the World Cup this summer with their international squad, a typical characteristic of any Premier League team. The following three players are West Ham stars who will be hoping to grab the headlines in a positive manner with quality performances for their national team.

Javier Hernandez

All time leading Mexico striker Javier Hernandez will be hoping to extend his international tally and fire Mexico through the group stages. The World Cup is where Hernandez drew attention back in 2010, earning himself a move to Manchester United where he has since kicked on to enjoy a fine career in Europe, playing for the likes of Bayer Leverkusen and Real Madrid.

Hernandez has experience mixed fortunes with the Hammers this season. He arrived with much expectation but has not made the impact he was hoping for. The Mexican should be settling for nothing less than a 20-goal season every time, and his eight strikes so far have been disappointing.

Nevertheless, this is all the more reason why Hernandez will be looking to put his woes behind him and remind everyone just what a handful he really is.

Manuel Lanzini

Argentine attacker Manuel Lanzini only recently made it into the national team, picking up three caps in the last 12 months. The 25-year-old is by far one of West Ham’s most talented players and, with some seriously stiff competition in the Argentina set-up, Lanzini will surely be content with making it on to the pitch for some game time at a major tournament.

Lanzini will likely be a bench option but, with his bags of quality, he could be a really strong impact player for Jorge Sampaoli. A convincing showing from Lanzini in Russia this summer could kick-start the international career that the former River Plate star has been crying out for.

Joao Mario

Euro 2016 champion Joao Mario has become a regular in the Portugal side in the last few years since his rise to prominence at Sporting Lisbon. The Inter Milan loanee has been plying his trade at the London Stadium since joining up with Moyes in January. Having taken the Euros by storm in 2016, Mario will be hoping his Ronaldo-led side can make a similar impact at the World Cup this summer.

At 25, Mario probably imagined himself to be settling into life as a first-team regular at one of Europe’s top clubs. However, this season has proved that things have not quite gone to plan. Nevertheless, if the midfielder does himself justice in Russia, he should in theory have both West Ham and Inter dying for him to commit his future to them, and will be looking to bring his World Cup form back to the domestic scene in the coming season.

Life long lover of sport in general with a soft spot for football. A consistent defender of Scottish football as a spectacle. Desperately waiting to see my country qualify for a major tournament.

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Manchester City

Manuel Pellegrini’s poor China record should give West Ham cause for concern

The Chilean international looks set to join the Hammers.

Max Cohen



Photo: Getty Images

As Manuel Pellegrini inches closer to being named West Ham United’s new manager, many have applauded the potential appointment of a Premier League-winning boss.

With spells at some of the world’s most successful clubs, the Chilean is certainly an impressive acquisition for the Hammers.

Yet Pellegrini’s most recent coaching assignment has been nothing short of mediocre, a sign that should slightly worry West Ham supporters.

Pellegrini officially left Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune on Saturday, after just under two years at the club.

The Chilean was appointed in August 2016 and registered an unspectacular record at the club.

Pellegrini’s first season ended with Hebei in fourth position, yet the club missed out on AFC Champions League qualification by one place.

This year, the team has taken a dramatic step back in the opening months of the season.

(Photo by Geoff Caddick/Getty Images)

Under Pellegrini’s management, Hebei China Fortune currently sit eighth out of the 16-team Chinese Super League.

The side has only picked up just 15 points from 11 matches to date, a disappointing return considering Pellegrini has talents such as Ezequiel Lavezzi, Hernanes, and Gervinho at his disposal.

As the Chinese Super League is a far less important and internationally relevant league than La Liga or the Premier League, Pellegrini can perhaps be forgiven for not taking his job as seriously as his past assignments at Malaga, Real Madrid, and Manchester City.

Yet, his Chinese struggles are worrying nonetheless, as ideally West Ham supporters would like to be acquiring the services of a manager who enjoyed success at his most recent club.

In all, the ex-Manchester City manager still has a Premier League title to his name, a fact that makes his recent tough spell in Asia less concerning.

Nevertheless, Manuel Pellegrini’s underwhelming time at Hebei China Fortune reveals that the manager still possesses flaws and should not be expected to work immediate wonders at West Ham.

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Crystal Palace

West Ham can’t afford to lose Michail Antonio to Crystal Palace



Photo: Getty Images.

Uncertainty surrounds West Ham United as a summer rollercoaster looks inevitable with big changes on and off the field. That is starting with a change in the dug-out, where The Times say that former Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is favourite to replace David Moyes. The club could pay a heavy price though, with Michail Antonio potentially at risk.

The Guardian say that London rivals Crystal Palace are looking to do their transfer business early and could pounce on the chaos at the London Stadium to poach the winger away from the Hammers.

The former Sheffield Wednesday man missed much of the 2017/18 season with on and off injuries from bruised ribs to calf strains and a pulled hamstring, which may suggest that now could be the right time to cash in on the explosive 28-year-old who relies on physicality and dynamic pace.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images,)

Yet despite that, West Ham cannot afford to be tempted into selling. Despite being sidelined by injury at various points throughout the season, when fit Antonio was always one of the first names on the team sheet under both Slaven Bilic and David Moyes.

Antonio’s tenacity and determination shows why a new manager, whether it is Pellegrini or not, should look to build their team around the winger. Able to play in a variety of roles and a real fan favourite, the unpopular Irons board would be taking a huge gamble by allowing Antonio to depart.

It is no surprise that Palace are interested, and had it not been for injury some much more high profile clubs could have come calling, but West Ham must retain the services of Michail Antonio if they are to pursue hopes of pushing for Europe.

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West Ham United

West Ham should look to Valencia’s Rodrigo Moreno to evolve their attack



Photo: Getty Images.

A summer of change is on the horizon for West Ham United this summer with the board currently on the look-out for a new manager. On top of that, the Daily Mail recently reported that attacking duo Javier Hernandez and Andy Carroll both want out of the club, meaning that one of the first challenges for the new man in charge will be to revolutionise his attacking set-up. And one man he could turn to would be Valencia striker Rodrigo Moreno.

There have been no reports linking Rodrigo with a move to the London Stadium and it would take a strong financial package to convince the Spanish international to give up Champions League football, but Calciomercato recently claimed that he would cost just £30 million with Tottenham and Everton among the clubs to be hovering.

Having been Valencia’s top scorer this season with 19 goals to date, Rodrigo’s pace and intelligent movement up-front would offer exactly what his side have been crying out for in a one dimensional attack all season long.

(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

David Moyes even resorted to fielding Marko Arnautovic as a makeshift centre-forward at time purely for his pace and strength, something that Rodrigo has in abundance. Having shone up against the defences of Barcelona, Real Madrid and many other top European sides in Spain, he could relish the chances to do so away from the Iberian peninsula.

Valencia themselves could be open to a deal if the offer is right, according to MARCA, and it is hard to see why West Ham would be put off. The club have tended to focus on players with experience of British football of late but that has not produced results.

The 27-year-old has shown that his ability to dribble and create chances out of nothing would bring back entertainment to east London, something that has been sorely missing for the Hammers and their fans ever since Dimitri Payet left in January 2017.

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