Category Archives: English Premier League

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West Ham United to increase security ahead of Southampton game

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There will be police standing guard at the London Stadium for West Ham’s game on Saturday and more stewards as the club attempts to prevent the disorder that marred the previous game there.

Details of the additional security measures for Southampton’s visit were released on Thursday and will cost around £60,000, but the fee will be covered by the taxpayer under the deal agreed with West Ham before they moved to the stadium in 2016.

The stewards will be in the stands and at pitch-side following a series of pitch invasions during West Ham’s home defeat by Burnley this month.

Additionally, free flow around the stadium will be reduced in response to events at that game, which included supporters gathering below the directors’ box to protest and, in some cases, throwing missiles.

The Hammers has also announced their intentions to place a security barrier near the directors’ box to stop fans from getting too close, after David Sullivan was struck on his glasses by a coin and he and his co-owner David Gold left their seats early for their own safety.

The security plan reinforcements were agreed by the Safety Advisory Group, which features West Ham, the Metropolitan police, the London Legacy Development Corporation and the stadium operators, LS185.

Almost 20 West Ham fans have been issued with lifetime bans for invading the pitch or throwing missiles during the match against Burnley.

West Ham United captain Mark Noble has also appealed to supporters for unity on Saturday at a game of paramount importance in the battle to stay in the Premier League. West Ham are one place, and three points, above the relegation zone and Southampton are the team immediately below them.

West Ham captain Mark Noble urges unity amongst club fans

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West Ham’s Mark Noble has written an open letter to fans pleading for unity after disturbances at their last home match against Burnley.

Angry fans invaded the pitch and congregated below the directors’ box to protest against the club’s owners David Gold and David Sullivan, with the latter reportedly being struck by a coin.

Noble, 30, confronted a supporter who went on to the pitch during the 3-0 loss at London Stadium on 10 March. “We need everyone to be together,” he wrote in a letter published on the club’s website.

The Hammers captain added that the scenes in the match against Burnley was “one of my toughest days in nearly 20 years at West Ham, and I never want to see scenes like that again”.

Further protests has been planned outside the ground before Saturday’s match, but Noble urged fans to get behind the team during the game or face the prospect of dropping into the Championship.

“We need you all, full-stop, and we cannot perform to our best and win the matches we need to win without you. When you are on song, there really are no supporters better at inspiring their team than West Ham supporters,” he said.

“I can understand the frustrations some of you are feeling. This season has not gone how we’d all hoped it would, but I would ask you to channel your passion to get behind the team, help us get through the season with our Premier League status intact, and we can sit down and reassess things in the summer.”

“We need the London Stadium to be buzzing for our five remaining home games, so please unite behind the lads and give us the best possible chance to deliver the results we need to stay up.”

West Ham are 17th in the Premier League, one place and two points above Southampton and the relegation zone, with eight games remaining.

Their next Premier League home match, against Southampton this Saturday will be the first since that defeat, after 20 fans were given life bans by the club.

Andreas Christensen: defender sought John Terry advice after slump

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Andreas Christensen had sought out former Chelsea captain John Terry for advice this month after experiencing a first slump since establishing himself in the first team amongst the Blues.

The Denmark international returned from a two-year loan spell with Borussia Monchengladbach last summer and immediately found himself a place in Antonio Conte’s backline, effectively ousting David Luiz.

However, the 21-year-old centre-half, 21, was culpable for Barcelona’s equaliser in the first leg of Chelsea’s Champions League knockout tie last month and for concessions in subsequent defeats by Manchester United and Manchester City.

Therefore, Christensen had duly sought out Terry, now at Aston Villa but a visitor to Chelsea’s training ground this month, for reassurance.

“I try to keep things inside the club, not bringing anything home with me,” Christensen said. “I have had a smaller talk with John Terry: he has also experienced setbacks and it is always nice to talk to someone watching it from the outside and to learn that they have experienced the same.”

“He told me that it is natural to make mistakes and he tried to put it in perspective for me saying that, if a forward misses a chance, he can make it good again by scoring when he gets the next opportunity. But (as defenders) we can’t change a goal scored against us, so when we make mistakes it is more crucial and it is easy for people to point fingers. I have realised it, looked at it and now I have moved on.”

Christensen subsequently impressed in Chelsea’s 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final win at Leicester City on Sunday — where he was substituted for Gary Cahill in extra time following his midweek exertions at Camp Nou, and continues to benefit from his head coach’s support.

Mohamed Salah could get better before end of season — Jurgen Klopp

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes that Mohamed Salah still has more to offer the team this season.

Salah, 25, scored 36 goals for Liverpool in all competitions this season, including four goals against Watford on Saturday as he leads the Premier League top scorer rankings with 28.

However, Jurgen Klopp still demands further improvement despite also admit that Salah’s talents as a striker are proving as revelatory to Klopp as to the man himself.

“He [Salah] played more on the wing for Roma, where he had a very dominant striker in Edin Dzeko,” Klopp said. “Nobody could know [that he could play as a striker]. We learned it step by step. We didn’t know exactly that he’s capable of playing in the centre.”

“But we will not treat him like: ‘You don’t have to train, Mo – just come on Saturday for the game and we’ll see you there at Anfield or whatever.’ He doesn’t want that. He’s in the moment of his career but he knows there is a lot for him to come. He wants to learn and he wants to improve.”

During the Watford game, Salah could be seen chasing back towards his own half — one of his few attempts at adding something defensively to Liverpool’s cause, but Klopp believes that others such as Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are also putting in a lot of effort so Salah can concentrate on the offensive.

“He does it. But sometimes he needs a little … [reminder],” Klopp said of Salah’s defensive skills. “A lot of my players need that. Don’t misunderstand me, it’s only a thing, it’s not exactly the same strength. If you talk about Roberto, he loves running in that direction and chasing the players. If I said to him ‘Stop it’, he couldn’t.”

“That’s why I took him off, because he will never rest. He runs all the time but then Mo didn’t stop as well tonight — in the other direction. He took each sprint like the 100-metre final in the Olympic Games. That’s what I mean: the team adapts to the strengths. Nobody is talking and saying, ‘Mo, but you have to …’ At the moment, nobody is saying anything to Salah other than “carry on”.