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West Ham must evolve 'to move onto next level'

Sam Allardyce says "underachieving" West Ham will need to evolve if the club are to "move onto the next level" next season.

The east London side finished 10th in their first season back in the Premier League but have struggled for long periods this term.

Sam Allardyce admits his side have underachieved this season. Credit: PA Wire

Speaking ahead of Saturday's trip to West Brom, Allardyce said: "Last season was an over achievement and I think this season has been an under achievement up to now.

"The players and I are always learning and always know that we have to try to develop the team and move onto the next level. To change, but not change too much.

"You have to get value for money and quality players that are better than you have already got, that is just the process of this business if you want to improve and get better."

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Minute's silence for Dylan Tombides after death

Crystal Palace football club will hold a minute's silence after the death West Ham player Dylan Tombides, who died today of testicular cancer.

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Following the passing of @whufc_official striker Dylan Tombides, age 20, there will be a minutes applause ahead of game at Upton Park.

Read: West Ham player's tattoo tribute to Dylan Tombides

Read: Samuel L Jackson tweets on West Ham player's death

Players and friends pay tribute to Dylan Tombides

Fellow footballers and friends of Dylan Tombides have been paying tribute to the West Ham star on Twitter. The club has confirmed his death today after a lengthy battle with cancer.

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Such heart breaking news. Dyl you were a great friend, a great player and most of all a great person. I'm blessed and privileged to have...

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Life's just crazy! Stay strong big man @taylor_tombides All here for you.. Rip @dylantombides will truly be missed? x http://t.co/oRivQZ6HMw

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Incredibly sad to hear the news about Dylan Tombides. He was always so positive despite his illness. All my thoughts are with his family. dg

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Dylan Tombides was a "larger than life character"

Dylan Tombides, who has died aged 20, was a "larger than life character" who was "respected by everyone who knew him", West Ham United said in a statement.

The striker had been battling testicular cancer for nearly three years.

A club statement said:

"Dylan's amazing resilience and positivity saw him through months of surgery and chemotherapy, while his outstanding talent saw him make his first-team debut in a League Cup tie with Wigan Athletic at the Boleyn Ground in September 2012.

Away from the pitch, Dylan did a huge amount of work to raise awareness of male cancer, supporting the One for the Boys campaign at a number of high-profile events alongside the likes of Hollywood star Samuel L. Jackson, snooker star Jimmy White and fellow Australian Peter Andre.

Dylan was respected by everyone who knew him for his intelligent views on the game and his larger than life character. He was a loving son, amazing brother and well-respected member of the West Ham squad. He will be hugely missed by everyone who had the honour of knowing him."

– West Ham United Football Club

West Ham footballer Dylan Tombides dies

West Ham United striker Dylan Tombides has died aged 20 following a long battle with testicular cancer.

The club confirmed that the Australia-born player, who was diagnosed with the disease in summer 2011, died on Friday morning with his family by his side.

Dylan Tombides in 2012 Credit: PA Photos

There will be a minute's applause in tribute to the young footballer at West Ham's game against Crystal Palace tomorrow at Upton Park.

West Ham players will also wear black armbands in his memory.

Arsene Wenger hopes Everton slip up in top four race

Arsene Wenger said he hopes Everton slip up in the race for Champions League football next season.

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring their second goal of the game with team-mate Santi Cazorla. Credit: PA Wire

Two goals from Lukas Podolski and a wonder strike from Olivier Giroud helped Arsenal beat West Ham 3-1 and move back above Everton into the Champions League places, but the Blues have a game in hand on their rivals.

"We know we have to win our games and hope that Everton will slip up somewhere. Let's focus on our job and not look too much at Everton," Wenger said.

"If we need that we'll see when we need it, but at the moment we can only do it if we win our games, so let's focus on that."

Arsenal's 3-1 victory at the Emirates

Arsenal have moved back ahead of Everton in the race for fourth place in the Premiership. Two goals from Lucas Podolski helped Arsenal come back from a goal down to beat West Ham 3-1 at the Emirates.

Arsenal's Lukas Podolski and West Ham United's Guy Demel battle for the ball
Arsenal's Lukas Podolski and West Ham United's Guy Demel battle for the ball Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

West Ham took the lead in the 40th minute through Matt Jarvis but two from Podolski and another goal for Olivier Giroud ensured all three points for the Gunners.

Defeat leaves West Ham in 11th place, seven points clear of the relegation. Everton can leapfrog ahead of Arsenal again if they beat Crystal Palace tomorrow night.

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