West Ham are still being affected by the sickness bug that contributed to their 5-0 rout by Fulham on Sunday.

David Moyes has revealed that some players are struggling with illness as the Hammers look to finish top of Group A of the Europa League by securing at least a draw against SC Freiburg on Thursday night.

The London Stadium clash is the first of four matches in three competitions over 10 days for West Ham, who have already qualified for the knockout phase but are hoping to progress as top seeds and thereby avoid the burden of a play-off over two legs.

“We’ve had a few people with a bit of illness. We’ve still got a few lingering with it in the last day or two, but we think we’re OK,” Moyes said.

“I don’t think it’s anything that will keep people out for weeks or anything like that, there has just been a bit of sickness and all sorts going on. It’s just been keeping us under the weather a little bit.”

West Ham leaked five goals at Craven Cottage, ending a six-match unbeaten run which had lifted them to ninth in the Premier League as well as offering sight of direct entry into the Europa League’s round of 16.

“I obviously didn’t enjoy the weekend’s game. Whatever happened before that doesn’t make it any easier,” said Moyes, who gave his players two days off at the start of the week in anticipation of the hectic period coming up.

“We’ve had a really gruelling schedule and the trips we’ve had caught up with us a little bit.

“Hopefully we can correct that and get back to our normal way which is winning and playing better than we did do.

“We had a little bit of illness that didn’t help with the chopping and changing. Hopefully we can get back to normality.”

West Ham are the current Europa Conference League champions after toppling Fiorentina 2-1 in the final in June and Moyes sees the competition as an important stage for his team.

“The last few years we’ve had some really good nights at London Stadium. I think back to Seville and Alkmaar,” he said.

“Some of the games have been special, special nights for us. But we’re not quite at that stage yet, it’s still the group.

“We’ve won the group for the last two years and winning it three years in a row would be really tough because Freiburg are a good team.

“We’re in Europe after Christmas and that’s the most important thing, whether we’re first or second. We’ll try to be first, but that’s the big thing for us.

“The Premier League will always be first and foremost for me, but the cup competitions are something that we take as seriously as we can.”

What the papers say

Conor Gallagher, 23, could be used to raise funds for new arrivals at Chelsea in January. The Daily Mail reports the club are willing to consider offers for the England midfielder with Brentford striker Ivan Toney, 27, and Napoli forward Victor Osimhen, 24, among the potential targets.

Brentford are looking for a new striker, regardless of whether Toney stays, according to The Daily Telegraph. USA international Brandon Vazquez, 25, who is at FC Cincinnati, is among the players in their sights.

Manchester United are open to offers on a string of internationals, according to The Guardian. England winger Jadon Sancho, 23, France striker Anthony Martial, 28, and defender Raphael Varane, 30, Brazil midfielder Casemiro, 31, and Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek, 26, could all be allowed to leave Old Trafford in January.

David Moyes retains the confidence of West Ham says The Daily Telegraph. The 60-year-old manager saw his side lose 5-0 at Fulham on Monday.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Mason Holgate: Everton want to recall the defender, 27, from his loan spell at Southampton due a shortage of playing time, reports The Sun.

Reuell Walters: Clubs in the Premier League and Europe are watching the English defender, 18, but Arsenal have held talks to keep him according to the Evening Standard.

West Ham sacked manager Alan Pardew on this day in 2006.

Pardew had joined the Hammers in September 2003, having resigned as Reading boss after the Royals rebuffed West Ham’s initial request to speak to him about their vacant position.

In his first season, Pardew guided West Ham to the Championship play-off final but fell at the final hurdle against his former club Crystal Palace.

They were back in the play-off final the following summer after a season in which they failed to sustain a strong push for automatic promotion, albeit going up anyway after beating Preston 1-0 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

The Hammers made an encouraging start to life in the top flight as Pardew guided them to ninth place and the FA Cup final, where they were beaten on penalties by Liverpool at the end of a match which finished 3-3 following extra-time.

Optimism was high at the start of the following season as Argentinian pair Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano arrived at the club, but with European football added to their commitments, West Ham took a backward step.

An eight-game losing streak matched a 74-year-old club record and included an exit from the UEFA Cup at the hands of Palermo and a humiliating League Cup defeat to League One Chesterfield.

When Eggert Magnusson’s consortium arrived as new owners in early November they initially backed Pardew, but patience ran out with a 4-0 defeat to Bolton and Pardew was shown the door two weeks before Christmas.

Former West Ham player Alan Curbishley was named as his replacement two days later, having recently ended a 15-year spell in charge of Charlton, and he steered them to safety.

Fulham boss Marco Silva hailed his side’s 5-0 thrashing of West Ham as even better than the display that had seen them beat Nottingham Forest by the same scoreline four days earlier.

The floodgates have certainly opened for the Whites in recent weeks, with David Moyes’ men the latest side to be put to the sword as five different scorers struck in a fine home win.

Raul Jimenez opened the scoring to take his personal tally to four in five games having previously not scored a Premier League goal since March 2022, when he was a Wolves player.

Willian and Tosin Adarabioyo goals then had the hosts coasting at the break before a fine effort from substitute Harry Wilson and late effort from Carlos Vinicius added the gloss.

Jimenez’s upturn in form has dovetailed nicely with Fulham’s as a whole – in their previous three outings heading into this London derby they had scored three to beat Wolves, three in a losing effort at Liverpool and five to down Forest in midweek.

Silva said he had “no doubts” that the overall performance of his side eclipsed Wednesday’s win, adding: “It was a brilliant performance from us. A great one at a very, very good level.

“We were the best team on the pitch, not just because we won 5-0 but also the way we performed from the first minute and the players understood the plan and executed it so well. The way we did it was almost a perfect afternoon for us.

“First of all of course, confidence builds confidence and the best example of this is Raul – since he scored the first goal against Villa.

“We are not really different now, we changed and adjusted some things but the faith in our players was always there.”

While he was able to celebrate 10 goals across the last two games, Silva was also delighted his side kept two clean sheets as Fulham moved into the top half of the table.

“I think it is crucial,” he added.

“Apart from the goals it has been the best feeling, it was crucial this afternoon and I told them at half-time when we were winning 3-0 that the main goal was to keep playing in our way, score the fourth if you can but the clean sheet has to be the challenge for the second half.

“It is really important to create this mentality, try to win games but also try to be as solid as you can…I’m really pleased for it and it was one of the best feelings we got.”

West Ham boss David Moyes bemoaned the short turnaround between Thursday night’s comeback win at Tottenham and their trip to Craven Cottage.

“I think just the carry over from the game,” he said when asked why he felt his side had fallen to a heavy loss.

“We used up too much energy in midweek and we weren’t able to get ourselves back, another Thursday fixture. No excuse for the result.

“(It is) disappointing but we have had two difficult away games this week, three points from those two games is not a bad return.”

The Hammers have had to get used to Thursday Europa League games followed by Sunday Premier League kick-offs this season but Moyes believes having a squad carrying a few injuries has not helped.

“We haven’t normally had to try and play all the same players, we could have easily had a game on Wednesday but we didn’t – it was Thursday.

“(Lucas) Paqueta has been carrying an injury, there is an illness in the camp so we have had to deal with that as well.”

Fulham hit five goals for the second time in a week as they thrashed West Ham at Craven Cottage to move into the top half of the Premier League.

The floodgates have certainly opened for the Whites in recent weeks, with David Moyes’ men the latest side to be put to the sword as five different scorers struck in a fine 5-0 home win – just four days after Fulham beat Nottingham Forest by the same scoreline.

Raul Jimenez opened the scoring to take his personal tally to four in five games having previously not scored a Premier League goal since March 2022, when he was a Wolves player.

Willian and Tosin Adarabioyo goals then had the hosts coasting at the break before a fine effort from substitute Harry Wilson and late effort from Carlos Vinicius added the gloss.

Jimenez’s upturn in form has dovetailed nicely with Fulham’s as a whole – in their previous three outings heading into this London derby they had scored three to beat Wolves, three in a losing effort at Liverpool and five to down Forest in midweek.

A rasping free-kick from James Ward-Prowse had Bernd Leno diving across his goal to make an early save, but that would be as good as it got for West Ham.

It was Fulham who missed the first gilt-edged chance of the afternoon, Jimenez picking out Willian with a perfectly-weighted ball over the top of the West Ham defence only for the forward to shoot tamely at Lukasz Fabianski.

With the hosts enjoying more of the ball, they took the lead as Jimenez’s fine run of form in front of goal continued as he crashed home a header from Joao Palhinha’s cross to the back post.

The lead was doubled just after the half-hour as Willian curled home into the far corner after possession had been recycled following Fabianski’s save from an Alex Iwobi strike.

Bowen passed up a decent opportunity to get West Ham on the board as he shot straight at Leno when picked out in space in front of goal.

The visitors were struggling at both ends as an Iwobi half-volley deflected off Aaron Cresswell to flash wide of the post only for Adarabioyo to rise high and steer the resulting corner past Fabianski to extend Fulham’s advantage.

There could have been another before the interval but Fabianksi’s outstretched leg prevented Iwobi’s cross from reaching its target.

While Willian was forced off injured at half-time, replaced by Wilson, Moyes made two alterations to his West Ham side as he introduced Emerson and Konstantinos Mavropanos.

Wilson should have scored 10 minutes after the restart as a slick move ended with the midfielder inside the box but unable to guide his effort beyond Fabianski.

He more than made amends as he hit the fourth goal on the hour, curling a superb 20-yard strike beyond the reach of Fabianski to send Craven Cottage into raptures.

Moyes made further changes, more likely to rest the weary legs of the likes of Mohammed Kudus and Kurt Zouma, and they did dominate possession in the latter part of the game but still managed to ship another late goal.

Harrison Reed, whose own goal settled the corresponding fixture in favour of the visitors last season, picked out Wilson with a raking pass forward and the Wales international showed an unselfish touch to square for Vinicius to complete the rout with a tap-in.

Son Heung-min has brandished Tottenham’s five-match winless run as “unacceptable” but eased fears over his own fitness.

Spurs suffered a 2-1 defeat at home to West Ham on Thursday night despite taking the lead through Cristian Romero’s 11th-minute header in the London derby.

It was the fifth match in a row Ange Postecoglou’s team had taken the lead, but failed to hold on for victory, which has set an unwanted Premier League record.

“You are winning five times in a row and then you lose that game like that, it is just unacceptable,” captain Son told SpursPlay.

“I am angry because it shouldn’t be happening. Five times in a row is just unacceptable and I think we are soft.

“This shouldn’t be happening and I love them as boys, I love working with the guys, but it shouldn’t be happening.

“In the Premier League 1-0 is never enough, 1-0 is never enough. The players should know and I should know as well.

“We had the chance to kill the game and we were just soft when we play the final third passes or even someone makes good runs and we don’t find it.

“We have to be ruthless and I also feel the responsibility. It was very sad that the fans were turning around and going home. They didn’t look very happy so a big, big sorry and yeah I take responsibility.

“Every single player; young player, experienced player, good player, superstar, you have to take responsibility and move on stronger.”

Son failed to finish the match with West Ham after he was substituted in the 88th minute.

Tottenham’s top goalscorer limped off after a blow to the back, but was hopeful of being fit for Sunday’s visit of top-four rivals Newcastle.

He added: “Yeah I hope so. I had a big kick on my back, in the bone so we’ll see. I didn’t have time to assess so we’ll see what happens.


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“Look, we have to bounce back as strong as ever and it is another home game.

“I know it sounds crazy five games in a row. I hope it was a good lesson and look we have to take the loss and there is no time to regret what we done.

“There is no time to regret so we have to move on, put the chest out, take the responsibility and Sunday we have to make a big step forward.”

Ange Postecoglou called on wasteful Tottenham to not feel sorry themselves after they suffered a fourth defeat in five matches with a 2-1 home loss to West Ham.

Injury-hit Spurs appeared on course to claim a first win since October 27 at half-time after Cristian Romero returned from suspension to score in the 11th minute.

David Moyes’ side produced an impressive second-half turnaround, with Jarrod Bowen netting on the road again after 52 minutes before James Ward-Prowse fired a 74th-minute winner after an error by Tottenham defender Destiny Udogie.

It extends Spurs’ winless run to five matches despite them taking the lead in each of those fixtures, which is a new Premier League record but Postecoglou urged them to bounce back on Sunday when Newcastle visit north London.

“There’s no point in feeling sorry for ourselves, looking for a cuddle anywhere,” Postecoglou insisted.

“There’s only one way to change our circumstances and that is to come here on Sunday and put in a performance. Not just play good football but go out there and show some conviction about ourselves as a team.

“Sometimes we can disguise how we’re going by playing some nice stuff but like I said from day one, that’s not what I’m about.

“I want to win and that’s why I came to this football club and that’s the message.

“We’ve still got a long way to go, I’ve said that from the start. We’re still right at the beginning of what we need to create and days like today just give me further evidence and fuel of how much we need to do.”

Spurs produced another impressive first-half display, which has become a trademark during the past month but they only had Romero’s goal to show for it after several openings were squandered, while Lo Celso’s late cross was deflected onto the woodwork by West Ham captain Kurt Zouma.

It was a different story in the second period after the Hammers levelled through Bowen, but Tottenham substitute Richarlison did send a free header wide from six yards in the 70th minute when the game was finely-poised at 1-1.

Postecoglou admitted: “I think it’s another game where we’ve dominated a game of football and haven’t turned our dominance into something more tangible and kept the opposition in the game.

“I thought we were really poor in both boxes tonight – both with our finishing and both goals were terrible to concede.

“Us being good means us being 3-0 up. This isn’t about us playing good football, it’s about us winning games of football. That’s what I’ve said from the start.

“1-0 at half-time was not a good performance. A good performance would have been 3-0 or 4-0 up, as was the case against Villa, and when you don’t, and give up goals you shouldn’t like today, then you get what you deserve.”

West Ham boss David Moyes was delighted with his team after they earned a fifth win in six games with Bowen netting on the road again.

The England international only returned from a knee injury in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace and while he missed a late chance in that draw, he bounced back in this derby to score in a seventh consecutive Premier League away game.

“Jarrod was a little bit off it at the weekend and he’d been out three or four weeks, so he looked a bit rusty,” Moyes reflected.

“When it fell to him, I thought, ‘oh wow he’s got himself another goal,’ and
obviously I want Jarrod to keep doing it for us, but also as long as he keeps doing it, he will keep in Gareth’s (Southgate) mind as well because he’s someone who can play forward or wide and score goals.

“In a competition this summer where you are going to need people to score goals, hopefully Jarrod will be part of that, but as long as he keeps scoring for me at the moment that’s the most important thing.”

Jarrod Bowen and James Ward-Prowse struck after half-time to help West Ham turn the tables on Tottenham with an impressive second-half display to earn a memorable 2-1 win at their rivals.

Cristian Romero put Spurs ahead in the 11th-minute and had Ange Postecoglou’s side on course for a first victory since October 27 at the break.

David Moyes’ men had other ideas and after Bowen scored for the seventh away Premier League game in a row, Ward-Prowse capitalised on an error at the back with 16 minutes left.

It consigned injury-hit Tottenham to a fourth defeat in five matches, while ninth-placed West Ham are now only three points behind the hosts following this fifth win in six games.

Both club’s had coped admirably despite the summer departures of talismanic duo Harry Kane and Declan Rice, but injuries were beginning to take their toll on Spurs, while West Ham were without first-choice goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

It meant Lukasz Fabianski earned a first league start of the season and he was involved in the opening 60 seconds after he collided with Dejan Kulusevski in the penalty area, but Kulusevski had strayed offside anyway.

While Spurs remained without a number of players, Romero did return at the heart of defence and he set about atoning for his red card against Chelsea with the opener in the 11th minute.

From Tottenham’s second corner of the match, Pedro Porro’s curled delivery was met by a towering header from Romero, who impressively outjumped Kurt Zouma before directing his looping effort into the corner.

Romero held up his hands to the home fans behind the goal in seemingly a gesture of apology after he missed the whole of November due to his three-match ban.

West Ham did threaten immediately from kick-off, but Mohammed Kudus fired wide and was adjudged offside.

Tottenham were dominating possession, but West Ham provided a reminder of their threat when a Ward-Prowse corner was bundled wide by Zouma under pressure from Guglielmo Vicario.

Kudus did test Vicario moments later with a 25-yard effort after Destiny Udogie lost possession, but back came Postecoglou’s side.

Porro lashed over before Giovani Lo Celso’s volley was parried away from goal by Fabianski.

Fabianski was required again with 40 minutes played and brilliantly punched clear Lo Celso’s cross with Ben Davies ready to pounce and Kulusevski and Yves Bissouma both failed to hit the target with follow-up shots.

There was still time for Lucas Paqueta to head West Ham’s best chance of the half horribly wide after excellent play by Kudus and Spurs then hit the woodwork when Lo Celso’s cross was deflected onto the stanchion by West Ham captain Zouma to ensure it stayed 1-0 at the break.

It would prove a crucial intervention as seven minutes into the second period the Hammers levelled.

Kudus’ low effort hit Romero and deflected off Davies before it rolled perfectly into the path of Bowen, who smashed into the bottom corner to score on the road again.

Moyes’ team appeared a different proposition now and Paqueta squandered a good opening before a succession of corners were survived by Spurs.

Postecoglou turned to his bench with 23 minutes left as Oliver Skipp and Richarlison entered the fray and the latter should have made it 2-1 soon after.

Porro produced a superb floated delivery to the back post, but Richarlison steered his header wide from six yards.

It was a guilt-edged chance and after Fabianski denied Porro minutes later, West Ham capitalised on a Tottenham error in the 74th minute.

Udogie’s back pass was short and while Vicario dived at the feet of Bowen, Ward-Prowse was first to the loose ball and although his initial effort hit the post, it rolled back for the Hammers midfielder to tap in.

Spurs huffed and puffed during the final exchanges with Pape Sarr curling over before a brief VAR check turned down a penalty in stoppage time, but West Ham held on for a first away win at their rivals since 2019.

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou has doffed his cap to the intuitiveness of West Ham vice-chair Karren Brady after she predicted in May he would take the Premier League by storm.

Spurs host West Ham on Thursday aiming to end a four-match winless run, but they still sit fifth in the table after an excellent start to the campaign.

Postecoglou has been without a host of players during the past month but earned plaudits for an unwavering commitment to his attacking philosophy, which resulted in Tottenham fighting back to earn a 3-3 draw at Manchester City last weekend.

Back in May, Brady used her column for the Sun to tip the then Celtic boss to flourish in England if given the chance.

Asked if he had seen Brady’s “love letter”, Postecoglou said: “Ha ha, no. I don’t know Karren, I’ve never met her and I don’t think I’ve ever come across her, but in many respects, wouldn’t that make her fairly ahead of the game?

“I reckon she’s a pretty smart operator! I’m not sure about the love letter stuff, mate.

“I guess me moving to Celtic kind of brought me closer to this part of the world.

“I was aware, particularly Celtic-Rangers, everyone down here watches it and it gets into people’s consciousness. I guess if Karren knows, then all credit to her.”

Tottenham head into Thursday’s London derby having ended a three-match losing streak.

Dejan Kulusevski 90th-minute effort at the Etihad Stadium earned a draw for Postecoglou’s injury-hit team, who were predicted by some pundits to lose heavily at the Etihad if he continued to adopt his bold tactics.

“With a game like that, when you come out of it, what you want is to give the players something,” Postecoglou said.

“Show them something to say, ‘look, you did it. It’s not just words, this is not just an idea, you did it’. And it may have only been for small parts of the game, but if you can do it for small parts, then the challenge is can we extend that to bigger areas?

“Whereas if you never even try it, you never know. So, if I changed my approach for the Man City game, that’s where I would have lost. I wouldn’t have had any opportunity to give that feedback to the players.

“So, from that perspective, we got a lot of good information out of that game. Good and bad, like areas where we really struggled.


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“Like I explained it to the other coaches, when you’re panning for gold, there’s a lot of dirt there, but you’re just looking for that little speck.

“And we’ve got quite a few specks of gold that I can show the players after the game that say, you know, if we keep digging here, this will get some nuggets eventually.”

Tottenham will have Cristian Romero back for the visit of West Ham and Richarlison returned after minor surgery on his groin to make a cameo in Manchester in a welcome boost after their list of absentees had entered double figures.

It has forced Postecoglou to use the majority of his squad, but one player without an appearance this season is former captain Hugo Lloris, who had been expected to depart the club this summer.

Postecoglou has kept Lloris part of the first-team fold, but it is widely accepted he will depart in 2024, either during the January transfer window or once his contract expires next summer.

Postecoglou added: “Whilst Hugo hasn’t been playing, he hasn’t changed his demeanour in any way. He is very professional and great for the other keepers to have him there with his experience.

“January? It’s a decision for Hugo and the club. I don’t have that power and don’t want that power (to release him).

“Hugo is a member of this squad and how he trains every day is important to me. If he wasn’t then I’d be dealing with it but I haven’t had to. He has been absolutely first-class and as a manager, I don’t take that for granted.”

Ange Postecoglou is pleased to have Tottenham vice-captain Cristian Romero back from suspension for the visit of West Ham, but has not felt the need to speak with the defender about his discipline.

Romero was sent off in Spurs’ costly 4-1 loss at home to Chelsea on November 6, which resulted in the Argentina international serving a three-match ban.

It was Romero’s fourth red card during his 75-game Tottenham career and, while he is recognised as a fine centre-back, the occasional rush of blood has proved costly.

Postecoglou said: “I’ve not had to have a word with (him) about discipline. It’s part of who he is as a player, he brings a physicality to it.

“When he oversteps mark the whole group pays a price so it’s up to him to maintain discipline I know he can show, but more importantly he’s such a strong presence on the field and in during the week, so good to have him back.

“His training has been good but he’s been frustrated because – not just the fact he has missed out – but he has understood the situation we’ve been in.

“It was not like he was the only one missing. All of a sudden post-Chelsea we lost Micky (Van de Ven), we lost Destiny (Udogie), we lost pretty much our whole back four, we lost Madders (James Maddison) and he knows how important he is.

“He was frustrated and he had the international week which was good for him because he got a couple of games in there and away from here, but he’s been ready to go.

“The last week he has trained really well and I know he is happy and I know the rest of the group are happy to have him back in.”

Romero’s return was always going to boost Spurs, but occurs at a time where their fringe centre-backs are also suffering fitness issues.

Youngster Ash Phillips sustained an ankle injury last month, while Eric Dier is absent for the foreseeable future with a groin problem he picked up last week.

“Romero’s the only recognised centre-half fit at the moment because Micky van de Ven, Eric Dier and Ashley Phillips are all out,” Postecoglou added.

“At this stage, because Eric hasn’t trained for over a week now and we’re working on the issue, I assume when he does get back, he’ll need a bit of time. It’s a groin issue.”

Spurs are set to be without Pape Sarr (hamstring) for the midweek clash with West Ham, but the midfielder could return for Sunday’s visit of Newcastle.

Meanwhile, Postecoglou played down speculation Maddison could be out until February with his ankle injury after the England international told Amazon Prime this week he could be out until beyond his anticipated January return date.

He added: “I’m not sure about James’ medical qualifications, whether we should go with his diagnosis. I’ll leave it to the medical team. As far as I know, it’s going along OK.”

Tottenham entertain West Ham after battling back to earn an excellent point at Manchester City, which ended their three-match losing run.

Postecoglou added: “I don’t like losing, it doesn’t sit well with me and I like winning, but for me last week was not about getting a result, it is the manner in which you do it.

“While it has been three losses and the draw last week, I still think our performances are the most important thing that sustains you through that period.”

Michail Antonio, the veteran Jamaica striker, has spoken about the dangers of English Premier League players using snus.

The 33-year-old, who suffered a knee strain during last month’s CONCACAF Nations League home tie against Canada, was forthright about the tobacco product snus within football.

Snus, a pouch that is placed under the lip to release nicotine into the bloodstream, is illegal to sell in the United Kingdom yet not against the law to use.

Antonio, who made his Jamaica debut in September 2021, confessed during a recent episode of the BBC’s Footballers' Football Podcast that he detests snus. He admitted that he tried it twice with alarming effects.

Antonio said on the podcast: “I put it (snus)in my mouth, within five minutes the whole entire room was spinning.

“I’ve started barging people out of the way into the toilets and I’m projectile (vomiting), throwing up everywhere.

“The reasons why players do it is because of the pressures of football and life. It really starts to get to people, so they need that stimulus.

“Clubs want players to be able to deal with things in any way they can. I haven’t seen any club be against it because clubs see players doing it and it isn’t illegal, it's not a banned substance in the game.”

The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) in England, an organisation that solely prioritises players’ needs, revealed in March that a growing number of players are using snus. The PFA and Loughborough University are currently conducting a study into the use and effects of the substance on football players.

Antonio, who appeared in West Ham’s first dozen Premier League games before sustaining injury inside Kingston’s National Stadium, is expected to play an integral part for Jamaica next year when they tackle the Nations League finals and the prestigious 2024 Copa America that will features South American giants Argentina and Brazil.





David Moyes hit out at the “terrible” defending which cost West Ham in the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace

The Hammers were leading through a fine goal from Ghana winger Mohammed Kudus and heading for a fifth straight win in all competitions.

But West Ham’s Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos came bearing a gift early in the second half when his crazy, no-look, back-pass let Odsonne Edouard in to equalise.

Once again the Hammers’ inability to keep a clean sheet cost them – they have managed just one in the Premier League this season.

It was also the 16th time they have conceded a goal in the 15 minutes after half-time this calendar year.

Hammers boss Moyes said: “I’m aware of that. But it’s not as if we are having a pie at half-time and coming out feeling rubbish.

“It was a tough game for us, we scored a good goal early on but we didn’t perform well in the first half. It was a tight Premier League game.

“When the games are tight, you are hoping you can hang in, but to give away a goal the way we did, from our point of view, it was terrible.

“Probably the biggest thing was we couldn’t play with enough personality, we couldn’t get the atmosphere going, we needed to play better.

“I thought we were playing safe, wanted to take more risks and get the ball into the forward players. But Mo was fantastic, probably the best player on the pitch. His attacking was excellent today.”

Palace boss Roy Hodgson was relieved to see out a nervy finish as West Ham went in search of a late winner.

“For large periods I was really quite pleased with way we were defending and attacking. It was an even game,” he said.

“You have to go through the anxious last moments but that’s understandable, we’ve just lost two games to late goals.

“I could have done without that 10 minutes, but the team showed a lot of resilience and I could understand the anxiety. Had we lost another game to a late goal, it would have had massive consequences on the team’s confidence.”

Palace were without Eberechi Eze, who suffered an ankle injury last week, and Hodgson is unsure when his star forward will be back.

“The update is a bit up in the air,” he added. “Eze is seemingly of the opinion he is going to be over the injury quicker than you can say ‘Jack Robinson’, but the medical people think it could be longer.”

Woeful West Ham defending handed Crystal Palace a point in a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium.

The Hammers were leading through a fine goal from Ghana winger Mohammed Kudus and heading for a fifth straight win in all competitions.

But West Ham’s Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos came bearing a gift when his crazy back-pass let Odsonne Edouard in to equalise.

Once again the Hammers’ inability to keep a clean sheet cost them – they have managed just one in the Premier League this season.

Palace looked there for the taking, especially without the attacking threat of Eberechi Eze, who suffered an ankle injury last week.

But they went close to opening the scoring when Joachim Andersen headed Michael Olise’s free-kick back across goal and Edouard volleyed wide.

However, the Hammers took the lead with their first real chance after 13 minutes.

Kudus started the move when he spun away from Will Hughes in the centre circle and found Lucas Paqueta.

The Brazilian fed the ball to James Ward-Prowse, who switched the play out to Vladimir Coufal on the right.

Czech full-back Coufal pulled the ball back for Kudus, who had continued his run into the area and thumped a first-time shot past Palace keeper Sam Johnstone.

Jarrod Bowen, back in West Ham’s attack after missing two games with a knee knock picked up on England duty, could have doubled the lead when he latched onto Nayef Aguerd’s ball over the top but his attempted lob did not beat Johnstone.

Palace went close to an equaliser before half-time when Andersen’s free-kick was deflected off the back of Edson Alvarez and looped narrowly wide with home keeper Alphonse Areola stranded.

Kudus had the ball in the net again moments after the break but Tomas Soucek was offside and interfering with play when he swung a boot at the ball.

Edouard was denied by a Ward-Prowse header underneath the crossbar as he tried to get his head onto Marc Guehi’s cross, but moments later came Mavropanos’ brain fade.

The former Arsenal defender, only in the team as Kurt Zouma was missing due to a family issue, sent a no-look back-pass straight into the path of Edouard.

The French striker could not believe his luck as he strolled forward, evaded Alvarez’s last-ditch tackle and fired low into the bottom corner.

Bowen could have won it in stoppage time, and continued West Ham’s recent run of last-gasp winners, but planted his header straight at Johnstone.

David Moyes wants West Ham to finish the job off and top their Europa League group.

Tomas Soucek struck late on yet again as the Hammers secured their passage into the knock-out stages with a 1-0 win against Backa Topola in Serbia.

Now they need to avoid defeat to Freiburg at the London Stadium in a fortnight to ensure they top Group A and avoid a two-legged play-off in February.

“We’re thrilled at West Ham that we’re going to play in Europe after Christmas time for the third season,” Hammers boss Moyes said at his post-match press conference.

“Even playing Freiburg in the last game to win the group is hugely important. But I’d have taken this at the start of the season, if you’d said we’ll finish second I’d have taken that.

“Freiburg are a good side and we are going to have to play well.”

Czech midfielder Soucek, who struck with an 89th-minute volley to settle a poor match, has now scored in his last five matches for club and country.

Soucek also hit the late goal which secured a 2-1 win at Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday.

“Tomas is in great form, not only for us but for his country as well,” added Moyes.

“Let’s continue. His first season he got 10 goals for us and it’s seven now so he has a chance to reach that figure again.

“We made a few changes, some with illness, we were always going to try some other players tonight to give them game time.”

“We scored two late goals on Saturday to beat Burnley and as a manager sometimes it’s good to win game late.”

Tomas Soucek struck late on yet again as West Ham secured their passage into the knock-out stages of the Europa League despite a Serbian snooze-fest against Backa Topola.

The Czech midfielder has now scored in his last five matches for club and country after an 89th-minute volley earned a scratchy 1-0 win.

Now they need to finish the job against Freiburg at the London Stadium in a fortnight to ensure they top the group and avoid a two-legged play-off in February.

Around 320 hardy West Ham fans made the 2,000-mile journey out to the Balkans, including a 100-mile trek up the motorway from Belgrade to the TSC Arena.

Many of them had got their wish, in the absence of injured forwards Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio, of a first start of the season for 19-year-old FA Youth Cup-winning striker Divin Mubama.

But the youngster barely got a sniff of the ball as West Ham struggled to rouse themselves in the sleepy Serbian town.

The hosts came into the encounter on the back of a 4-0 win over Super League leaders Partizan at the weekend, and they made a confident start with Uros Milovanovic forcing an early save from Lukasz Fabianski.

Then an error from Aaron Cresswell, handed a rare start in one of seven changes from the side which snatched a late win at Burnley thanks to Soucek’s goal, gifted Aleksandar Cirkovic a shooting opportunity with Fabianski saving again.

West Ham registered their first shot on target after half an hour, a tame effort from Said Benrahma on his 150th West Ham appearance which was easily dealt with by Veljko Ilic.

But it was a mind-numbing first half neatly summed up by former player Joe Cole, on TNT Sports, as “dross” and “appalling”.

Boss David Moyes turned to Danny Ings and the lesser-spotted Maxwel Cornet just after the hour, replacing Benrahma and Mubama, in a bid to inject some life into his unconvincing side.

And as the game ticked into stoppage tie Cornet crossed from the left and Soucek hammered in a volley to win it.

West Ham have enjoyed a thrilling run in Europe over the past three seasons, including their historic Europa Conference League final triumph in Prague.

Although this was not one which will live long in the memory it was an 18th win in 20 matches in Europe, job done for Moyes and his side.

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