Sunday, February 28, 2010

West Ham News on Sunday

Green, Upson and Parker have all been named in England's squad to face Egypt on Wednesday.

Jack Collison has been called up for Wales, Spector is in the USA squad and Valon Behrami has been picked by Switzerland.

The News of the World say that Robert Green will be allowed to leave West Ham if one of the top four make an approach for the keeper in the summer.

They say that asource at West Ham said,

"We have no rigid policy on Robert except that if any of the top four came in and he wanted to move we would allow him to.

"We may be in the business of offering increases to our very best players despite the well publicised cost-cutting exercise.

"But we would expect plenty of interest in him and wouldn't stand in his way if he wanted to advance himself."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

West Ham Tried to Buy Zayatte in January

In an interview with The Daily Star, that will annoy all Hull fans, defender Kamil Zayatte said West Ham offered to buy the player in January.

"I almost left Hull during the last transfer window. Two big clubs, Tottenham and West Ham, were interested, but Hull wanted too much money for me.

"But I won't give up. I'll work hard to regain my form and finish the season strongly, and we'll see what happens in June. If all goes well, I see myself at a bigger club than Hull."

I'm sure this will ensure he gets a great reception the next time Hull are at home.

Kieron Dyer got another hour's football under his belt yesterday playing for West Ham reserves against Chelsea Reserves. West Ham won the game 2-1 with goals from Anthony Edgar and Olly Lee.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nani Sacked

The Times are reporting today that Gianluca Nani has been sacked as technical director of West Ham.

During Nani's two year reign at West Ham his one successful signing seems to have been Valon Behrami. However Nani will probably be remembered more for his signing of Savio for a large fee and big promises about his future, only to see the player have little impact and soon return to Italy.

Since the club were taken over in January joint chairman David Sullivan has taken a more active role in player transfers. The result of which seemed to leave Nani with no real role at the club.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Man Utd 3 West Ham 0

Noble came in for Parker and Dyer was named on the bench.

West Ham started the game very well and all the early shots came from the away side. In the 14th minute Cole shot well wide from just outside the area. In the 20th minute Behrami shot from just inside the area, wide right and the ball flew just wide of the left hand post. In the 21st minute a Diamanti shot from 25 yards out took a deflection and looped up and goalwards, Foster parried the ball and the ball dropped down on the line but bounced up for Foster to catch.

Man Utd had to wait until the 26th minute to get their first shot on goal. Valencia shot from 10 yards and Green saved but spilled the ball. Berbatov then shot from 10 yards and Green again made a meal of the save but managed to keep the ball out.

This was really the turning point in the half and Valencia in particular started making inroads down the right against Spector. Gibson had a couple of long range efforts that didn't trouble Green much. However his third effort in the 34th minute forced Green to make a good save diving to his right to just tip the ball wide.

In the 38th minute Man Utd got the opener. Berbatov passed to Valencia just inside the left of the area, he volleyed the ball first time to Rooney at the far post, who headed home from 7 yards. In the 42nd minute Rooney came close to grabbing his second with a half-volleyed effort from 20 yards, that just clipped the bar in going over.

Mido came on for Franco at the start of the second half. Straight from the kick off Man Utd drove forward and Park ending up smashing the ball against the bar from 10 yards. West Ham then managed a couple of shots from Behrami and Cole that both flew high and wide. However in the 55th minute Valencia again lost Spector crossed the ball to Rooney who headed home his second from 6 yards.

In the 58th minute a corner hit Cole in the six yards box and bounced wide of the left hand post. In the 60th minute Green and Rooney ended up chasing a ball along the byline away from the goal. Rooney beat Green to the ball and curled the ball goalwards but Faubert got back to clear the ball off the line.

In the 60th minute Cole had a good chance from a Behrami cross. But clear through on goal he just couldn't reach the ball with his head two yards out. In the 68th minute Diamanti forced a save from Foster from 20 yards.

In the 80th minute with Noble down and injured Man Utd played on, Scholes found Owen who scored Man Utd's third from 6 yards. In the 83rd minute Upson had a great chance to get one back for West Ham but shot over from 4 yards.

West Ham had a good 20 minutes at the beginning of the game but in the end it was an easy win for Man Utd.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Faubert on his Return to Form

Julien Faubert has really turned his game around this season and his recent performances have definitely contributed to West Ham's current good form.

Faubert says that part of this transformation is due to having undergone fitness training in Italy,

"I have been waiting a long time for that goal. Maybe it's a surprise that I haven't scored before. Mentally and physically I am on top of my game now, because I can get forward more now. I am at my best level now."

"I was overweight. I worked hard on my fitness last summer. I have worked hard to keep my weight careful. My wife Pamela booked me a week at Merano in Italy, where we went and I did some fitness work.

"I lost five or six kilos and had a good pre-season. It has worked out. She likes it when I play regularly because I come home happy."

Olympic Stadium Move

Olympics minister Tessa Jowell and Sebastian Coe have both insisted in the last week that the 2012 Olympics Stadium must remain an athletics stadium after the Olympics.

Strangely David Gold has interpreted this as an indication that the stadium doesn't have to have an athletics legacy after the games.

Speaking to Radio 5 Gold said,

"I'm sensing an easing of the stance that it should be a legacy to athletics," said the Hammers co-owner.

"We have to be more pragmatic. Do we want to have a stadium like we have at Crystal Palace which just deteriorated and rotted away because it wasn't sustainable?

One other possibility is to abandon the athletic idea altogether and maybe build a small athletics stadium that can be used forever

"We believe there is a serious possibility that we could strike a deal that would take West Ham to the Olympic Stadium. If that can be done, we would have a super stadium that could take the club to the next level."

"One other possibility is to abandon the athletic idea altogether and maybe build a small athletics stadium that can be used forever," he said.

"Not as an Olympic athletics stadium but a regional stadium with seating facility commensurate to their requirements which would be about 5,000."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

West Ham in the Sunday Papers

The Daily Mail say that West Ham have been ordered to resume paying Calum Davenport. However as it is is the Professional Footballers’ Association and Davenport’s lawyers who have ordered them to do so there is no reason that West Ham have to comply.

Except, that is, for the obvious prospect of a lawsuit.

The People claim that West Ham are interested in Manchester United youngsters Matty James and Danny Welbeck.

The Mirror has some nonsense about Green being inspired by darts legend Phil Taylor.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

West Ham 3 Hull 0

Franco and Spector both started for West Ham. For Hull Bullard was not deemed fit enough to make the squad.

West Ham came out of the blocks flying. Just a minute and half into the game Diamanti nearly caught out Myhill at the near post with a freekick from wide out on the right wing. However it was only a short reprieve for Hull as forty seconds later Behrami scored from ten yards out after a one-two with Franco on the edge of the area.

West Ham then went on to create a number of good chances in the half. Behrami came closest to extending the lead in the 27th minute when he headed a Diamanti cross goalwards from five yards out at the far post. He was only denied his second by a brilliant Myhill save.

Hull finally created some pressure on the West Ham goal in the last five minutes of the half. Their pressure was nearly rewarded when Boateng fired in a shot from the edge of the area forcing a great save from Green, at the expense of a corner.

West Ham started the second half a little nervy but they were helped out in the 53rd minute when Fagan got himself sent off for a second yellow card. Things got even easier six minutes later after Cole got West Ham's second goal of the game. Faubert played a ball forward along the ground from the half way line. Cole ran onto the ball in the area and scored from seven yards.

In the 70th minute Diamanti tried a speculative long shot from inside his own half that forced Myhill to save, at the expense of a corner. Hull then made three substitutions. The change was almost rewarded in the 73rd minute when Altidore shot just wide from 10 yards. However Hull then lost Gardner to an injury and had to play the rest of the game with nine men.

In injury time West Ham chalked up their third goal of the game. Kovac passed to Faubert, who brought the ball into the penalty area and fired home from 12 yards to get his first goal for the club.

A good West Ham win and finally we have a little breathing space between us and the relegation places.

West Ham vs Hull

Guillermo Franco could be back for today's game after being out injured for two months. Benni McCarthy however is still out with a knee problem. The big news for Hull is that Jimmy Bullard could make a return after being out for 11 weeks.

A win today would mark West Ham's first successive league wins in almost a year. The last time West Ham won two league games back to back was in March of last year.

Lawro for the second week running is predicting a West Ham win. He feels that with Cole fit again and with new striking options West Ham are about to hit a run of good form.

Lawro predicts a 2-0 West Ham win

Sky are less optimistic about West Ham's chances.

Sky predict a 1-1 draw

Friday, February 19, 2010

Gold Offers Pompey £10 Million

West Ham chairman David Gold has offered to loan Portsmouth £10 million to help stop them go out of business.

"West Ham have taken four points off Pompey this season and were they to go out of business we'd be in the bottom three," said Gold.

The Sun asked Matthew Upson if he was considering his future at West Ham. Upson replired 'not really', which the media have responded to by suggesting he is refusing to commit his long term future to West Ham.

When asked if he was considering his future at West Ham next season, Upson replied,

"Not really.

I've got a World Cup I'm focused on. My club form will dictate how successful I am in terms of going to that.

I've a lot of responsibility and I'm glad of that. I want more and us to do well."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

West Ham & Curbishley Reach Agreement

West Ham today issued a statement to say that they have settled with Alan Curbishley over his wrongful dismissal claim against the club.

The FA upheld Curbishley's claim against the club. Neither Curbishley or West Ham have revealed how much the settlement is worth.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's All about the Money

David Gold speaking to Sky yesterday said that the days of big salaries at West Ham are over.

"For this club to run on a sound financial basis we aim to reduce costs by 25%. As contracts run out, they'll be renewed at a more sensible level," he said.

The Daily Mail are a little scathing today about West Ham's attempt to raise £40 million from investors. They say that the club have given little information to prospective investors and no clue has been given at this stage as to how the money raised will be spent or what investors might receive in the form of shares or securities.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cole Rejected Two Transfer Offers

The Daily Mail has today published a rumour that has been floating around on KUMB over the last few days that Carlton Cole turned down two transfer offers in January.

The Mail quote Cole as saying,

My only priority is to get back to full fitness and do my best on the pitch,' said Cole.

"I wasn't in the least bit interested in entertaining offers, my only focus was and still is to do the best I can for West Ham for the rest of the season in the situation we are in.

"There has been speculation about my future, however, I am not one to shirk my responsibility."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

West Ham's Plan to Save Pompey

The Mirror say West Ham were behind a plan to save Portsmouth. The Mirror say West Ham proposed that the other 19 clubs in the Premier League could each loan Portsmouth £500,000. However the Premier League rejected the plan as it was against the league rules.

The Mail say that David Gold insists that the Premier League has an obligation to save Portsmouth. Portsmouth should be saved from extinction by an emergency cash advance from the Premier League if all other avenues fail, according to David Gold.

If Portsmouth go out of business it means that all points won by clubs against Portsmouth this season will be deducted. If this happens West Ham will drop to second from bottom in the league.

In other news the NoW claim that Valon Behrami needs to pen a new contract at West Ham leaving the door open for Lazio, Roma, Juventus and Manchester City who are all keen on the midfielder.

They say Palermo hope to tie up a deal for Behrami in the summer.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sullivan Takes Credit for Win

David Sullivan claims that his comments earlier this week were aimed at firing up the players and getting them behind the manager. In an official statement on the West Ham website he says his words were necessary and that the tactic worked.

"There has been a lot written about my comments this week but I knew that whatever happened against Birmingham City on Wednesday, the players would be fired up and behind the manager. That was the least Gianfranco Zola deserved for all his hard work.

Although not popular with many, my words were the last resort. It was necessary to do whatever we could to give us that something extra that we didn't have against Burnley, Blackburn or Portsmouth in the previous matches."

Players Speak Out in Support of Zola

David Sullivan this week said that Gianfranco Zola was "too nice" to take tough decisions. He later claimed that he was trying to get a reaction out of the team.

It certainly seems to have worked as a number of West Ham players have been keen to openly declare their support for the manager.

"We are all behind the boss. He works very hard and is a top guy and is always the one who takes responsibility when we don't play well. He is always there for us, always encouraging us and always on our side. We don't forget this, so I was extremely pleased to win and when I scored, my first thought was for the boss."

"Everyone has massive respect for the manager and that was clear to see. We're all pushing in the same direction. We just want him to do well. He's a good man."

"We are fully behind the manager. I can see how everyone loves him around the place. He's a great character and the players wanted to fight for him."

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sears Sent to Coventry

Freddie Sears has joined Coventry on loan for the rest of the season. Sears featured twice as a sub for West Ham after returning from a loan spell with Crystal Palace.

As with Frank Nouble however the arrivals of Mido, Ilan and McCarthy means that Sears was unlikely to get any first time action with West Ham for the rest of this season.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

West Ham 2 Birmingham 0

West Ham started with Kovac, Diamanti, Mido and Ilunga. Diamanti was actually played on the left wing, where he looked much more effective.

The first half started quite well for West Ham. In the fist eight minutes Mido had a couple of early headers that didn't trouble Hart unduly. Diamanti also played Cole clean through on goal only for Cole to be given incorrectly offside.

In the 13th minute Tomkins had a shot from 25 yards saved by Hart diving to his left. In the 32nd minute Cole did well out wide left in the penalty area, worked the ball inside and fired across the goal, missing outside the right hand post.

At the other end West Ham occasionally looked nervy in defence and Birmingham had a couple of good efforts at goal. In the 28th minute Jerome shot just wide left from 12 yards and in the 38th minute a Philips effort from 20 yards forced a save from Green.

With seconds to go in the half Parker did really well to run at the Birmingham defence. He got to within a couple of yards of the Birmingham area before he was cynically brought down. Diamanti took the freekick and placed the ball beautifully in the top right hand corner of the net to give West Ham a deserved lead.

At the start of the second half Spector was brought on for Ilunga. The second half started rather slowly. In the 50th minute Ferguson shot well over from 25 yards. At the other end Diamanti had a couple of long range efforts, which didn't trouble Hart.

In the 66th minute Behrami played Faubert into the box on the right wing, Faubert drove to the byline and pulled the ball back into the six yard box, where Cole headed West Ham's second from four yards out.

After that Birmingham enjoyed a lot of possession but never really looked like scoring. Upson made a great lunging tackle on Philips four yards from the West Ham goal and there were some appeals for a penalty that wasn't given. Apart from that Ferguson and Gardner both had long range efforts that flew high and wide.

So Lawro called it right. West Ham finally got a win and have now climbed to 14th in the league. Come on you Irons!

West Ham vs Birmingham

Despite West Ham's poor form I have been oddly optimistic ahead of recent games, only to be hugely disappointed at the results.

I'm full of dread however going into the Birmingham game. I have to agree with David Sullivan that West Ham are on paper a bigger club than Birmingham. I'd even argue that West Ham have the better players.

However Alex McLeish has got the best out of what looks a distinctly average team and he seems to have the knack of getting his team to win games. Something West Ham have struggled with all year. On recent form this looks a difficult game for West Ham.

It is Sod's Law then that when I have lost hope of West Ham winning this game that Lawro suddenly favours West Ham.

Lawro says that on Saturday West Ham had enough chances to win three games of football. He also believes that David Gold and David Sullivan's desperation to beat Birmingham will transmit itself to the team.

Lawro predicts a 2-0 West Ham win

Sky are less optimistic about West Ham's chances.

Sky predict a 1-1 draw

McLeish Says Sullivan has Done his Team Talk

Alex McLeish has thanked David Sullivan for effectively having decided his team talk for today's game.

Yesterday David Gold said, "I really want to whack Birmingham" and David Sullivan added, "I hope they get thrashed five-nil".

When asked about these comments McLeish said,

"I'll pin them up. They've done my team-talk for me. Thanks a lot the two Davids."

So that is both Zola and McLeish who effectively think that West Ham's new owners have given a huge advantage to Birmingham ahead of today's really important game.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Rift Opens Between Zola and Owners

It seems that I'm not the only one to question the logic of telling the players they face a huge pay cut in the summer on the eve of a really important game.

This afternoon West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola launched a scathing attack on David Sullivan.

"I think the article should have been done at another time, not just before a match like tomorrow," said Zola.

"It would have been better to say that at another time and maybe talk to us before talking to a newspaper. That is my feeling."

"When an article like that comes before a big match like tomorrow, I'm not happy about that because I don't think it is any good for the whole team.

"I just read the article this morning and that's it. The match is all that matters to me and the players.

"I'm not thinking about relegation at all. I'm thinking about getting the points that we should have had on the table. That is my only focus. That is why I am here.

"Since I have been here it has been a repetition of speculation and problems. To be honest, I'm fed up with that. I just want to carry on with football. The players are committed to what we are doing. They believe in it and are determined.

"The defeat against Burnley was unexpected and a big blow. But the fighting spirit is there and we will never give up."

"Personally I can say I am not here for the money. Last year when I signed a contract I didn't even know how much I was going to earn. I had a plan and a project and I liked what I was going to do. I didn't know what I was going to earn and then after a while the club called me in about a new contract.

"It's not about money. It is about working for something positive. I always enjoy working for this club. The money was something that came after."

Sullivan to Cut All Players' Wages

I thought it a bit of a strange move by David Sullivan to announce last week that Green and Upson were most likely to be sold in the summer. Telling players that it doesn't really matter if the club get relegated because they won't be here next year didn't strike me as the best way to get the best out of them in a relegation battle.

Now on the eve of a must win game Sullivan has publicly announced that all the players will be asked to take a pay cut this summer.

"Everyone at the club will be asked to take a salary cut in the Summer," Sullivan told The Sun.

Sullivan made much of his honesty when he took over West Ham. However, I think Sullivan needs to be a bit more wary of completely demoralising the side at a time we need them to step up and start winning games.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Nouble Joins West Brom

Frank Nouble has joined West Brom on an initial month-long loan.

This looks like a good move to me. The arrival of Mido and McCarthy alongside Cole's recovery from injury means that Frank Nouble would be unlikely to get a game with the West Ham first team. This move will hopefully mean he gets more match practice.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

West Ham in the Sundays

The Sunday People say that Matthew Upson will be sold to the highest bidder in the summer. David Sullivan says,

"If we can get a substantial sum for him then we've got to take it. It's business sense. He wants to have one last crack at the big time - Champions League football - and you can't begrudge him that."

Sullivan says that Upson wants to leave. There is of course the possibility that the new West Ham owners aren't prepared to meet Upson's wage demands to sign a new contract.

The People also claim that Man City's Benjani failed a medical at West Ham before sealing a loan move to Sunderland.

The Daily Mirror say that West Ham's decision to withhold Calum Davenport's wages my be illegal. They say West Ham have received letters from the PFA and the Premier League asking for an explanation.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Zola Claims Mido is Not Fat

The Express in a story title 'Mido Ready to Lose the Pounds' seem to be desperate to suggest that Mido is overweight. However, as many West Ham fans have already noted Mido doesn't seem to have a weight problem at the moment. Sadly for The Express Zola seems to agree with that assessment,

“Mido is a talent and he doesn’t look fat or overweight to me. He has already shown a good attitude on the training ground and if he wants to get a new contract, he has to earn it."

In other news West Ham have appointed Shore Capital and Corporate to try and raise £20-40m. The purpose of the fund-raising is to strengthen the club's balance sheet. The fund-raising is currently aimed at professional investors. So if you have a spare £40 million lying about ....

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Sullivan Says Dyer Should Retire

David Sullivan is calling for Kieron Dyer to retire from football. Sullivan told The Telegraph that,

"There is one player who hardly plays at all who might have to accept retirement."

Sullivan went on to add that the player earned "£60-70,000 a week". The player concerned is clearly Dyer.

Sullivan also revealed that West Ham have had to give Dean Ashton a year's wages as part of his retirement from football.

"There is one player who has accepted retirement but we have to give him one year's money."

Dyer still has over two years left on his contract so it unlikely that he will consider retirement without West Ham also offering him some kind of compensation.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Green & Upson - Contract Renewals

Gold and Sullivan promised to be honest with West Ham fans when they took control of the club and they have certainly spoken with candour about the club's financial state.

Now David Gold has given a fairly open warning that Matthew Upson and Robert Green may be sold in the summer.

"Our priority was to work hard until the transfer window closed," Gold told the Daily Star. "

We wanted to get a few players in. Now we've done that we have to ensure Premier League survival.

"We can now sit down and look at players' contracts. With regards to Upson and Green, it depends on our finances. We will do everything we can to retain our best players, but at the same time we can't spend money we don't have."

The implications of this seem fairly straightforward. Upson and Green will be offered new contracts but West Ham will not be breaking the bank to meet their wage demands. The players may in fact have to take pay cuts if they want to stay at West Ham. If they don't then they will be sold.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Keane 100k a Week More than Mido

David Sullivan has revealed that bringing Robbie Keane to West Ham would have cost £104,000 a week more in wages than what will be paid to Mido.

"We simply can't afford Robbie Keane. Of course, we'd have liked him, who wouldn't? But it would have worked out at £105,000 a week for the rest of this season, as well as a transfer fee. We simply cannot afford it.

"Then we have Mido. It would be one of the most amazing deals of all time.

"He doesn't want to be known as a 'has been' of English football, so he willing to come here to play for a nominal fee, just £1,000 a week."

Faubert Thanks West Ham Fans

Julien Faubert's mother sadly passed away last Thursday. Faubert travelled to France last week but returned to England to play in West Ham's Blackburn game. Faubert not only played but put in a really good performance and showed his feelings towards the end of the game when he encouraged the West Ham fans to get behind the team.

Faubert has now thanked the West Ham fans for the support that they have shown him in this difficult time.

"I am so pleased to have received these messages from our supporters. I can't tell you what it means to me."

"It is so nice. It just shows that the fans don't only get behind the players when we are playing on the pitch. Also when we have difficulties in our own lives, they make an effort to send in a message. This has helped me a lot, especially at this time.

"This is why I love England and West Ham so much. It is not just the team but everyone else behind the players, it is very special."

"I definitely wanted to play. There was no question for me. This is what I wanted to do for my mum and for West Ham.

"She would have been saying, 'whatever happens, I want you to play'. She would say 'you have to go on, go forward with your life and with your football - you have a job to do and a son of your own to look after'.

"I am a professional footballer with a duty to West Ham. It was hard but I didn't want to let West Ham down either."

"My mother was an inspiration. She was the one there for me when I was growing up, I lived with her all the time and she supported me in every way, whether it was buying me boots or driving me to training or games.

"I was born in a poor area of Le Havre, so it was difficult and she made a lot of sacrifices for me. I know she is happy and proud of me and I have good memories.

"It's a difficult time for me and my family, but I have my wife and son helping me through this as well as the fans and everyone here at West Ham. This will help me to go forward."

Monday, February 01, 2010

Ilan Transfer Confirmed

West Ham have signed Ilan from St Etienne on a free transfer. The deal is initially until the end of the season with the option for a permanent two-year deal to be put in place at the end of the season.

Ilan said on signing for West Ham,

"I am extremely happy to be here and I hope to play as soon as possible. I look forward to the challenge. It was an easy decision to come here. It is one of the biggest leagues in the world.

"My aim is to the best I can and score goals. I want to start with a bang. I am delighted to be here and I am looking forward to enjoying a long-term relationship with West Ham."

Mido Joins West Ham

Mido has joined West Ham on a four month loan deal from Middlesbrough after cancelling his loan deal with Egyptian club El Zamalek.

Mido said to Sky Sport News on signing for West Ham,

"I'm here to prove a point. It is a great club."

Sky Sports News also report that a deal has been agreed with Ilan and the contract just needs to be signed.

West Ham Buy McCarthy

Benni McCarthy has joined West Ham from Blackburn Rovers on a permanent contract for an undisclosed fee. His contract runs until 2012 and he has been granted a work permit

McCarthy seems happy to have left Blackburn and Fat Sam behind,

"This is a great club. The reason why I am happy that it has finally happened is because about five years ago I had a disappointing experience when I thought I was going to be a West Ham player until Porto pulled out and I had to go back.

"I would have loved this to be my first Premier League club, I went to Blackburn instead but West Ham kept on pursuing me and eventually I am here."

Sky Sports News has also being showing pictures of Brazilian striker Ilan arriving at West Ham United to finalise his move. Sky are saying that Ilan is set to sign a two-and-a-half year deal after he ended his contract with St Etienne.

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