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West Ham legend returns to club as coach

Julian Dicks, right, played with Slaven Bilic, left, at West Ham. Credit: PA

Former West Ham left-back Julian Dicks has joined the club as coach, the club has confirmed.

Dicks, who spent last season managing the club's ladies team, will be working under his former team-mate, Slaven Bilic, at Upton Park.

To be joining the first-team coaching staff at my club is fantastic news for me. I was with the Ladies last year and I thoroughly enjoyed that, but to get the opportunity to work with Slaven, his coaching staff and the first-team players is a dream come true.

This is a Premier League club with some very good players already in the squad and some more very good players set to come in this summer. It is exciting times for me and exciting times for West Ham.

I met up with Slaven last week and, although we had not met in person for a few years, it was like we had never been apart. We had a hug and a kiss and sat down and talked all about West Ham and all about football.

We had a great relationship when we played together in the same team here and I am sure we will work well together again as manager and coach.

– Julian Dicks


West Ham hopeful of deal for Barcelona midfielder

West Ham say they are still hopeful of completing a permanent deal for loanee Alex Song.

The Cameroonian midfielder spent last season at Upton Park on loan from Barcelona.

Co-chairman David Sullivan has stated the club will do everything it can to keep Song in East London for the long term.

Alex Song impressed at Upton Park. Credit: PA

"I can assure you we have not given up on Alex Song yet. Before Christmas Alex was outstanding and if we believe we can get him back to that sort of form and maybe with a new manager we can, we would very much like Alex to come," Sullivan said.

"We are very thin on the ground with midfielders. You do get injuries and you need back-up. We have got Europe and other games that we want to win.

"There was not enough competition for places last season and this year we don't want the same again. If the players have a bad game they will have to fight for their position back."


Jurgen Klopp takes break from football after Dortmund

Klopp is taking a break from football. Credit: PA

Former Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has decided to take a break from the game after "seven intense and emotional years" with the Westphalian club.

Klopp, who has been linked with taking over at Liverpool, made his decision after talks with his agent Marc Kosicke on Monday.

"After seven intense and emotional years, I think it's a good idea to let the numerous memories settle in before I take on a new challenge with my coaching team, refreshed and fully motivated," Klopp said in a statement published by Germany's SID agency.

"I'm going to take a break until further notice."

Striker Cole confirms West Ham exit

Carlton Cole is out of work. Credit: PA

West Ham United striker Carlton Cole has announced he has been released by the club for a second time.

Cole return to Upton Park in September 2013 having originally letting him go that summer.

The former Chelsea striker looked set to join West Brom in January, but the deal fell through at the last minute.

West Ham qualify for Europe through Fair Play table

West Ham United have qualified for next season's Europa League after finishing top of the Premier League's Fair Play table.

West Ham will play in Europe next season. Credit: PA

European football returns to the London club for the first time since 2006-07 in the final season at their famous Upton Park home before they move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016-17.

"We want to ensure the Boleyn Ground the best send-off possible, and progress in this competition will certainly help with that," West Ham co-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold said in a joint statement.

They conceded, though, that the prolonged Europa League qualification system, which begins with the first qualifying round on July 2, will "bring its challenges".

West Ham, without a manager after Sam Allardyce's exit on Sunday, will be among 104 teams entering the competition with three rounds to negotiate before August's playoff round.

England's other Europa League representatives are Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and either Aston Villa, if they win the FA Cup final against Arsenal, or Southampton.

Allardyce plans sabbatical after West Ham exit

Sam Allardyce is to take an extended break from football after parting company with West Ham.

The Hammers confirmed within minutes of the final whistle in the club's final-day 2-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at Newcastle that the 60-year-old's contract would not be renewed, ending his four-year reign at Upton Park.

Sam Allardyce won't be looking for a quick return to work. Credit: PA

Asked if he planned to be back in work by August, he said: "No, I'm looking for a break well beyond that.

"Recharging your batteries - if and when you come back if you have recharged your batteries, you are much better prepared to carry on doing the job at this level of football.

"It depends whether it's a year or whether it falls around Christmas time, or whoever might fall into trouble, whatever job you fancy doing.

"It's not just a job I'm after, it's he right job if it comes along. I certainly won't be doing that in the next few weeks. You can never say never, but I can't see myself in charge of another football club for the start of next season."

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