Sky Sports journalist Kaveh Solhekol has absolutely nailed it when it comes to Declan Rice’s future!
The Hammers midfielder is consistently linked away, with both Chelsea and Manchester United said to be coveting him.
Still, we have always reported that there has been no bid for him, and David Moyes has said himself that it would take mega-money – “Bank of England money” – to prise him away.
Lots of news outlets claim that clubs could pay the money to take him away but the situation surrounding COVID and the havoc it has wreaked on finances mean it is remarkably unlikely he’ll move anywhere any time soon.
Add in the fact that the Irons are chasing a Champions League place and could play in the biggest competition in world football next season, and you’ve got to ask: Why on earth would Rice want to leave?
And speaking on the Pitch to Post podcast, Solhekol, who styles himself as a bit of a transfer insider, has echoed those words in a statement that makes plenty of sense!
He said, via This Is Futbol: “If West Ham can offer him that at a new stadium that’s packed and he is somebody who’s going to be the West Ham captain in the future as well, then does he really needs to leave West Ham? I’m not so sure.
“Especially when you consider the finance situation in the game at the moment. I can’t see who could afford to sign Declan Rice. And whenever David Moyes has been asked about this, I know it upsets some people, some West Ham fans, because he does actually talk about what it would take to sign Declan Rice.
“I think he said in the past few times, it would be ‘Bank of England’ money. And people think. ‘Oh, he shouldn’t talk about it at all because he’s sort of inviting interest in Declan Rice.
“But you know, I think David Moyes is just being honest. It would take £100m to sign Declan Rice. And I don’t think anybody has got that kind of money to spend, certainly on a midfielder this summer.”
Steve Bruce reckons David Moyes HAS to be Manager of the Year this season!
The Hammers boss has guided the club into the top four, and they can move third with a win over Bruce’s Magpies in the early kick-off on Saturday.
Bruce has plenty of issues of his own on his plate as he tries to keep Newcastle in the Premier League. They are currently 17th, six points clear of Fulham in 18th and they have been in decent form, beating Burnley and drawing with Spurs in their last two games.
It remains to be seen if they can stay up, and Bruce thinks that it has to be Moyesy for the award this term!
Indeed, he maintains that the boss should be handed the prize REGARDLESS of whether the club finish in the top four or not this season.
Quoted by the Daily Mail, Bruce said: “For me, Moyesy is already the Manager of the Year no matter what happens. To keep them there or thereabouts in the top four and vying for Champions League places with six, seven games to go is a wonderful achievement by them all.
“They’ve had a great season, so it’s a big, difficult game ahead, of course.”
For what it’s worth, Brucey, we totally agree!
CandH’s exclusive blogger Ray ‘Tonka’ Stewart gives his verdict on the Newcastle v Hammers game at St James’ Park tomorrow (Sat).
Should – as seems to be the case – Aaron Cresswell be unavailable tomorrow at Newcastle, Arthur Masuaku cannot be allowed anywhere near the left back position.
I think I know a bit about full backs so let me say straight away – as many fans have already – Arthur is not one.
I was screaming for him to clear his lines last week when he played the ball that led to a goal and he has shown clearly that he’s an attacking midfielder.
Ben Johnson has barely let anyone down when he’s appeared and although is naturally right sided, is quite capable on the left hand side.
He must surely go into Aaron’s spot if needed.
It’s not going to be easy against a team battling against relegation but I still think even without Dec and Mikey we will get the result we need.
This squad is showing enormous spirit whatever befalls them and are a credit to themselves and the fans.
I’m going to be interested to see whether Said Benrahma plays although to be frank I don’t see him as a starter.
Moysie is more likely to only make enforced changes although it would be great to see Oggy back at the heart of the defence given recent events in games.
Said is very similar to the likes of Jesse and Pablo and it’s difficult to see him forcing his way past either of them as things stand.
So my team would be: Fab, Couval, Oggy ( if fit), Dawson, Johnson; Noble, Souccek Masuaku, Lingard, Fornals and Bowen.
And yes I think that’s a good enough team to get the three points.
Steve Bruce has reported injury issues ahead of the clash with the Hammers at St James’ Park tomorrow.
The latest and probably the most worrying for the Geordies will be the absence of skipper Jamaal Lascelles who the manager claimed the player is “frustrated as hell” and is in a boot.
Lascelles is a big miss for the Geordies with Bruce declaring he needs time but hasn’t ruled himself out of the season yet.
Isaac Hayden will also me missing – ruled out with a knee injury for the rest of the season.
Scotland international Ryan Fraser will also be absent after picking up a calf injury and missed out on the trip to Burnley last weekend.
He will also miss the visit of the Hammers, Bruce confirmed on Friday.
Bruce confirmed he would be missing tomorrow simply saying “Ryan’s not fit,”
West Ham take on Newcastle in yet another ‘cup final’ as the Irons aim to reach the Champions League!
The Hammers are within a point of third-placed Leicester and can ill-afford any slip-ups if we are to make the dream a reality!
Here’s everything you need to know about the game.
Newcastle v West Ham – Premier League.
The game will take place at the St James’ Park
The game will kick off at 12:30 in the UK.
The game will air on Sky Sports and Now TV in the UK.
NBC Sports in the US.
Australia: Optus Sport.
China: QQ Sports Live.
Mexico: Sky HD and Blue To Go Video Everywhere.
UAE: beIN Sports Connect.
Injury news – West Ham
Declan Rice and Mikey Antonio are definitely out.
Aaron Cresswell faces a late fitness test after a thigh injury sustained against Leicester. Mark Noble should be fit but Angelo Ogbonna is a doubt, as are Manuel Lanzini, Darren Randolph, and Andriy Yarmolenko.
Injury news – Newcastle
Jamaal Lascelles is out, as are Ryan Fraser, Fabian Schar, and Isaac Hayden.
Last 5 meetings
The Hammers don’t have the best recent record against the Magpies. They lost 2-0 in the opening game of the season this term. The previous two meetings prior to that were a 2-2 draw and a 3-2 loss.
The Hammers last beat them in March of 2019, winning 2-0, and won the meeting before that too, a 3-0 victory in December 2018.
Kevin Friend will be the man in the middle.
West Ham United and Newcastle United have played 137 times with the Hammers winning 42 games, drawing 38 games and losing 52. Newcastle won the reverse fixture at the London Stadium 2-0
West Ham have won just two of their past 16 Premier League away games against Newcastle, most recently by 3-0 in December 2018 (D6, L8).
Newcastle’s victory against Burnley was their first in eight league games. The Magpies are looking to secure back-to-back league wins for only the second time this season.
They are unbeaten in four Premier League home matches, drawing each of the last three. Their club record is four successive Premier League home draws, set from April to August 2005.
Callum Wilson has scored more Premier League goals against West Ham than versus any other side, netting eight times in nine appearances in this fixture.
Steve Bruce has won Premier League games against West Ham as manager of Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic, Sunderland, Hull City and Newcastle.
Allan Saint-Maximin has been involved in five goals in his past six league appearances (two goals, three assists), as many as in his previous 19.
The Hammers have equalled the club Premier League record for most victories in a single season. They also won 16 in 1997-98, 1998-99, 2005-06 and 2015-16.
West Ham’s solitary defeat against non-established top-six opposition this season came at home to Newcastle in September (W15, D4).
David Moyes has lost only one of his past six Premier League away matches as a manager versus Newcastle, which was with Everton in November 2011.
Jarrod Bowen has scored in three successive league appearances. No West Ham player has been involved in more top-flight goals this season than Bowen, who has scored eight and set up four.
Results change things including minds it seems.
Some supporters are disenfranchised with the ownership of West Ham after the 2016 move to the London Stadium and have vowed to never forgive them.
They are those who will never accept GSB but one of the most pleasant aspects of a wonderful season has been the absence – by and large – of hatred, abuse, protest and often disgusting and foul mouthed social media outrage.
There’s always gonna be a hard core of course but in diminishing numbers it seems.
The vast majority of fans are by and large a peaceable lot who, whilst unhappy with aspects of their club, remain logical and level headed realising twas ever thus with this fab club we support.
Before lockdown, thousands of protesters gathered outside the London Stadium with a motto of ‘GSB Out’
Last week there was a picture of just two – socially distanced with their banner – but probably many miles from where the vast majority of fans are this season.
Moods seem to have softened in recent month and protest has lost momentum with no fans at the London Stadium.
Today, a new sticker was spotted in Gidea Park proclaiming ‘GSB in’ Another sticker was seen recently around East London says ‘GSB Stay!’
Protesters will often quote the mantra ‘back the team, not the regime’ but it could be argued the two are intrinsically linked and it is hard to separate the two.
And as a ClaretandHugh FB member very wisely pointed out: “That’s a narrative to suit an agenda.”
Yes, we understand there are those who will never forgive and we respect their feelings entirely but how pleasant to enjoy a season ruled largely by peace, quiet and success.
That’s been another victory and something to enjoy as the squad has shown such an unquenchable spirit in the face of enormous top of the table odds.
Manager David Moyes remained true to form in revealing very little on the injury front at his early presser ahead of the game at Newcastle this morning (Fri).
But he insists “we’ll be as good as we can” against a Newcastle team struggling bt who registered an away win at Burnley last weekend after drawing with Spurs the previous week.
Not an easy game as team in those circumstances are battling against the direst circumstances and currently in 16th place six points clear of third bottom team Fulham.
Whilst admitting we wouldn’t have either Declan or Mikey back he claimed that Aaron Cresswell had picked up a bit of an injury and that a decision would be made today on his involvement.
However, as was revealed earlier in the week the understanding is that Cress has a pulled hamstring which could keep him out for a fortnight to three weeks.
Speaking to the media Moyes said: “We’re not going to have Declan back and we don’t have Micky Antonio either.
“We’ve got another couple of knocks that we’re looking at. Aaron Cresswell picked up a bit of an injury [in Sunday’s win against Leicester] and we need to check him out.
“Like any other club we’ve got bumps and bruises at this time of year and it’s beginning to take its toll on a lot of the clubs.
“I actually think that since the players got back from international duty it’s gone back to quite a heavy injury schedule for many clubs.
“Hopefully we’ll be as good as we can be and we’ll make a decision on Aaron today. He’s a doubt but we hope he’ll be okay.
“We’re not putting any timeframe on Declan or Michail, but we’re hopeful that both will make a contribution before the end of the season, that’s for sure.
“Declan’s training really well, but it’s all gym-based at the moment. He’s working really hard in the gym because he wants to get back as quickly as he can.”
Last week Kevin Nolan said West Ham face eight cup finals to qualify for the Champions League this season.
We have won the first cup final against Leicester City at the London Stadium last weekend and now we face our second cup final against Newcastle at St James Park this weekend with six more to play after that.
Three key players are out with Declan Rice, Michail Antonio and now Aaron Cresswell unavailable to play through injuries.
However, three other key players are due to be declared match fit for Saturday’s encounter against the Magpies.
Angelo Ogbonna is tipped for his return this Saturday after his layoff since February having trained all week.
Mark Noble who took a knock to his elbow and Arthur Masuauku who was holding his hamstring at the end of last Sunday’s game appear to have recovered and have trained all week and should be available for selection.