Monday, July 31, 2006

Pantsil Set to Sign

Strong rumours suggest that Pantsil's signing for West Ham will be announced tonight or tomorrow. Apparently Pantsil's agent has played an active role in persuading Hapoel Tel-Aviv to reduce their demands for the player from £1 million to West Ham's £700,000 offer.

The contract is rumoured to be a four year deal, with Pantsil earning £500,000 a year.

Harewood Wants to Stay

Marlon Harewood has emphatically denied gossip that he wants to leave West Ham, “You take all the transfer speculation as a big compliment. But Alan Pardew brought me here and made me the player I am. I want to give back what he gave to me. It’s good to have so much competition in the squad. I don’t see it as a threat.It makes you want to go out and improve.”

Alan Pardew said: “The strikers know that in some games I will pick two and in others it might only be one. None of them want to leave and that’s the key.”

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Gillingham 1 West Ham 2

West Ham won their friendly against the Gills with goals from Teddy Sheringham and Hayden Mullins.

Sheringham scored in the fourth minute when Gillingham failed to clear a Lee Bowyer free kick. West Ham doubled their lead in the 34th minute when Hayden Mullins headed in a Matthew Etherington corner.

Andrew Crofts got a late consolation for Gillingham, by which stage new signing Carlton Cole and Dean Ashton had replaced starting forwards Sheringham and Bobby Zamora.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Carl Fletcher Leaves West Ham

Carl Fletcher has joined Crystal Palace for £400,000. Carl played over 50 times for West Ham, including the 'classic' FA cup final, playing in place of the suspended Gabbidon. With West Ham's signing of Lee Bowyer Fletcher has slipped further down the pecking order and presumably has left the club for regular first time football. Good luck Carl.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Finnish Goalkeeper Trial at West Ham

West Ham have offered a trial to Finnish under-19 international goalkeeper Jukka Lehtovaara. Lehtovaara is the second choice goalkeeper at Finnish Premiership outfit TPS but will join West Ham in the next few days.

Lehtovaara's contract with TPS expires next season, and the Hammers are thought to be one of several English clubs keeping an eye on his progress.

Toon After Harewood

The Sun today report that Newcastle now want Marlon Harewood and are prepared to offer James Milner in part exchange. However Roeder has been quick to report this morning that Milner is staying at the club, telling Sky Sports,

"I don't want to lose any players and there is definitely no reason for me to want to lose James. We want to add players, not lose any more. We have a relatively small squad and James is very versatile."

West Ham manager Alan Pardew has also made it quite clear that none of the West Ham players are going anywhere.

Carrick on the Move

With Carrick set to sign for Man Utd for a reported £15 million West Ham should benefit from a rumoured 15% sell on clause.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

New Deal for Yossi? are reporting today that West Ham will offer Yossi Benayoun a new improved contract to ward off potential suitors of the player. However the main source for this story seems to be the player's agent, who of course has no agenda of his own.

Liverpool and Arsenal have both shown interest in the winger after his fine first season in the premiership. The 26-year-old's agent Ronen Katzav admitted there was interest in Benayoun, but revealed West Ham are planning to extend his contract to keep him at Upton Park.

"All the time there is interest, but no one has called me," Katzav said. "Yossi has a contract with West Ham and he is happy at West Ham. I know there a few clubs that like Yossi, but liking a player and signing one is two totally different things.

"West Ham would fight to keep him if any club came in for him and I have talks planned with [managing director] Paul Aldridge about a new improved contract. Yossi has three years to run on his contract and I think West Ham are ready to offer him an improved deal for five years."

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ljungskile SK 1-3 West Ham

West Ham completed their pre-season tour of Sweden with victory over Ljungskile SK yesterday. The home side took the lead after 15 minutes when Martin Smedberg scored with a 12 yard shot.

West Ham equalised in the 51st minute when striker Dean Ashton cut inside to finish with a sweet shot. Bobby Zamora added the Hammers' second thanks to good work from Yossi Benayoun. Benayoun then scored himself with a superb curling shot.

Action on the Right Wing

West Ham are again being linked with a loan offer for Shaun Wright-Phillips. The sticking point however could be the player's wages, as West Ham are unlikely to take on the player unless Chelsea agree to continue to pay part of SWP's wages.

If Ashley Cole moves to Chelsea then Arsenal are rumoured to be interested in buying Yossi Benayoun for £10 million.

Meanwhile John Pantsil has impressed Alan Pardew on West Ham's pe-season tour of Sweden,

"I thought John did well. He's an experienced player and might be something that we need. We'll continue to talk and assess that later this week."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

West Ham in for Ricardo

Portuguese newspapers are reporting today that West Ham are prepared to offer £3 million for Sporting Lisbon and Portugal goalie Ricardo. The keeper has helped defeat England in both Euro 2004 and this summer's World Cup finals through his saves in penalty shoot-outs.

However, Ricardo has already begun to rubbish reports of him leaving Sporting Lisbon,

"I feel very good at Sporting who, for me, are one of the best clubs in the world," he told Portuguese sports newspaper A Bola. I feel proud to be considered one of the best goalkeepers at the World Cup but I repeat, I am at one of the best clubs in the world. I am very calm and very satisfied to be representing Sporting."

Monday, July 24, 2006

Ferdinand Will Be Fit For New Season

Anton Ferdinand's injury in West Ham's 2-1 friendly defeat to Gothenburg meant the player was forced to return from Sweden to undergo a scan on his hamstring. Happily the scan has shown he has suffered only a minor strain and will be back in training within a fortnight.

West Ham's head physiotherapist, Steve Allen, said: "The injury is not as bad as we initially thought. Anton is now back at Chadwell Heath undergoing intensive physiotherapy, and we are looking forward to seeing him resume full training soon."

West Ham's first game is against Charlton at Upton Park on August 19.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Silly Season Hits The Newspapers

Despite the fact that Pardew has recently clearly stated that no West Ham players are leaving the club a number of papers are today reporting that Newcastle will be signing Klose and Dean Ashton in the next 48 hours.

The papers seem to think that West Ham will be tempted by the offer of a part-exchange deal involving Milner. Whilst West Ham have shown interest in Milner his value to the club has been devalued now that he is cup-tied for UEFA competition. Even Shepherd wouldn't be prepared to pay the silly money it would take to prise Ashton away from Upton Park, especially having splashed out on Duff and Klose.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Ferdinand Injured as West Ham Lose

Anton Ferdinand sustained a hamstring injury during Saturday's 2-1 loss to IFK Gothenburg. He limped off just 25 minutes into the game after pulling up sharply. Ferdinand, playing for the first time since undergoing a hernia operation at the end of last season, will undergo a scan on Sunday. Boss Alan Pardew said: "He's done some damage in there, so fingers crossed that it's not too serious."

Bobby Zamora gave the Hammers an early lead, but strikes from George Mourad and a last-minute effort from Marcus Berg earned Gothenburg the win. Trialist John Paintsil, who is expected to sign for the club later this week played in an experimental West Ham side in which Jimmy Walker, Yossi Benayoun and Marlon Harewood made their first start of the tour.

West Ham United: Walker; Paintsil, Ferdinand (Noble 25), Collins (Mears 75), Konchesky (Stokes 70); Benayoun (Ephraim 52), Mullins (Clarke 55), Fletcher, Reid; Zamora (Ashton 55), Harewood (Sheringham 62).

Milner & Pantsil

Apparently the Daily Express claim West Ham will sign James Milner for £3.5 million. Sky Sports News, I have heard but can't confirm, are reporting that Pardew is keen on Milner because of the uncertainty over Yossi Benayoun's future.

Numerous papers today report that West Ham are close to signing John Pantsil for £750,000.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Pardew Says All Players Are Staying

Speaking to Sky Sports yesterday Alan Pardew reiterated that all of the West Ham players are not for sale.

former Crewe Alexandra hit-man has been linked with a big money move to Newcastle United, despite only joining The Hammers in a £7.25 million deal from Norwich City back in January.

Speaking after West Ham's 2-0 pre-season win over Trollhattan in Sweden, the former Reading manager stated he is looking forward to seeing Ashton perform for the East Londoners this season.

"All my players are here to stay. I think what people are going to have to remember is that this group were all very young last year. They've got another year under their belt and they're going to be better this year.

Dean Ashton will be one of them and he's looking like he wants to progress quickly.

We're looking forward to seeing him in the West Ham and he'll certainly be running around against Charlton on that opening day, I assure you of that."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

FC Trollhattan 0 - 2 West Ham United

West Ham made a winning start in the first of their three friendlies in Sweden.

James Collins got West Ham's first two minutes before half-time heading home a Mark Noble cross. Dean Ashton secured the result in the 77th when he slotted home a Kyel Reid cross from close range.

West Ham United: Bywater; Mears (Stokes 72), Collins, Dailly, Clarke; Noble, Mullins (Fletcher 60), Bowyer (Ephraim 60), Etherington (Reid 60); Sheringham (Ashton 60), Cole (Zamora 60).

Steve Harper the Latest Player to be Linked

A number of sites today are linking West Ham with 31 year old Newcastle keeper Steve Harper. With the departure of Shaka Hislop West Ham are in need of cover for first choice keeper Roy Carroll, who missed part of last season with a back injury. Steve Harper is in the last year of his contract and West Ham, along with newly relegated Sunderland are said to be keen to secure his services.

Victor for West Ham

Sky Sports are today reporting that Deportivo La Coruna midfielder Victor could be signing for West Ham United.

The 30-year-old is now a free agent as his contract with Deportivo has expired. West Ham appear to be in pole position to bring the Spaniard to England, with the player keen to play in Europe next season. However interest is also being shown by Bolton.

Victor's agent, and father, Jose Sanchez confirmed the interest from the two clubs but revealed a sticking point may be his reluctance to undergo a trial with either side.

"These clubs are interested in the boy and have asked for a week-long trial before making a final decision.This is a problem because Victor is in perfect condition and a trial now would be a strange situation.

Victor has not yet responded but is hoping for a solution in the next few days. The option of The Premiership has always been enormously attractive for the player and especially the option of West Ham as they are in the Uefa Cup."

Ishmael Welsh to Sign for Yeovil

West Ham youngster Ishmael Welsh looks set to sign for Yeovil after impressing the club in a pre-season trial.

Talks with his agent are scheduled for Thursday and Yeovil hope to have a deal in place before Friday. Yeovil turned their attention to Welsh after being knocked back in attempting to sign Accrington's Gary Roberts.

Anton Sets Targets

Anton has revealed his hopes for the new season, which include breaking into the England squad:

"Lee Bowyer and Carlton (Cole) are good additions and Tyrone Mears is another new recruit, so we have brought in players who can do a job. Everyone is looking forward to the new season and everyone can't wait to get going.

We set a target last year and reached it and we will be setting targets again and hopefully beating them. We want to have a better season than last year. It will be hard, but we will be trying for it.

Personally I want to keep playing well for West Ham, keep improving my game. I want to be in the England squad as soon as possible, but it does not always work out like that. It is definitely one of my aims to be in and around that squad.

Pardew Wants Another Signing

Talking in this week's Newham Recorder Alan Pardew has revealed he expects to make another signing,

"I hope to get another midfielder in before the start of the season. It may go to the wire before someone is signed but I definitely have my eye on bringing another face in."

The West Ham manager also spoke a little about two of his close season signings,

"Spector is a little way off being ready to play at the start of the season but is coming along well and as for Lee (Bowyer), I'm looking for this to be the deal of the season. He's come here to do a job for the club, taken a pay cut, and I'm expecting a lot of good things from him."

Tranquillo Barnetta Not Coming To West Ham

In a refreshing break from the traditional agent's modus operandi Tranquillo Barnetta's agent has played down talk linking the Swiss ace with a move to West Ham.

"Tranquillo has three years to run on his contract at Bayer Leverkusen and they do no want to let him go," Voege said today.

"I have not heard from anyone from West Ham, but there is interest in Tranquillo from all around Europe. I have had calls from Deportivo La Coruna, Lyon and other German clubs as well as English sides, but Bayer Leverkusen do not want to do business. I have spoken to Bayer Leverkusen and they have told me he is not for sale. Tranquillo is happy at Bayer."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

PFA Supports West Ham Stance On Newton

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor has expressed his satisfaction that West Ham United are standing by Shaun Newton.

"I'm really pleased the club have been seen to support him. All being well, he will be back before Christmas, but this is a very trying time for him. This is a lad who has had an exemplary record.

It's very unfortunate for the lad, while it is taken for recreational purposes, it is performance enhancing. There's really no mitigating circumstances now, if there's a positive test it's a minimum six months."

West Ham to Stand By Newton

Alan Pardew insists that West Ham United will stand by Shaun Newton as he serves a seven-month ban for failing a drugs test.

The Hammers boss says: "First of all, I would like to express my disappointment and sadness at the situation Shaun Newton finds himself in. He knows that he has let down his family, the Club, and of course, himself.

However, I can say now that, as a football club, we will stand by Shaun throughout this difficult time. West Ham United has always had a reputation as a family club and our belief here is that, when a member of your family is in trouble, you look after them.

Our instinct is to support Shaun and his young family, and give them all the help and encouragement we can. We will work with him to help him get through this period, and ensure that he comes through the other side.

Unfortunately, this whole episode puts a stain on our achievements as a team. Myself and my Sports Scientist, Niall Clark, feel very let down because we have always taken such care and concern with the health, condition and well-being of our players - insisting that they look after their bodies in the right way.

It infuriates me to hear of drug-use in any sport - there is absolutely no place for it. It is a belief I have always held, so for it to occur at West Ham United is something that hurts and saddens me. Although we will continue to help and support Shaun through this difficult time, we are also acutely aware of our responsibilities as a Club, and he will face internal disciplinary action when all of the information surrounding his situation is clarified.

However, I have seen at first hand the emotional and personal hell that Shaun Newton has been through in recent weeks, and our priority must be to help him - not abandon him. I hope his experience serves as a lesson to any sportsperson."

Newton, a father of three young children, says: "I have let down my family, my friends, the club and its supporters, and for that I am truly sorry.

It was an isolated incident but I must face up to my responsibilities. I in no way condone the taking of drugs and hope that my experience will act as a deterrent to others."

Shaun Newton Supspended for Seven Months

Shaun Newton has been suspended by the FA after testing positive for cocaine. West Ham today made the following statement.

"West Ham United regret to announce that midfielder Shaun Newton has been suspended for seven months by the Football Association after he failed a drugs test.

Newton, 30, tested positive for cocaine, after the FA Cup semi final game with Middlesborough at Villa Park on April 23.

He was suspended by the club on May 20 pending the FA investigation and the ban will apply from that date.

The ban applies to matches but not training and other football activities.

The suspension was announced today following an FA Disciplinary Commission hearing yesterday. The FA also revealed Newton will be target tested throughout the period of his suspension.

Newton did not travel with the club when they left for a tour of Sweden today."

Pantsil to Sign for West Ham Next Week

Israeli paper Haaretz are today reporting that John Pantsil is set to sign a five year contract with West Ham next week when general manager, Paul Aldridge, returns from holiday. The paper claims Pantsil will earn £11,000 pounds a week with West Ham, who will pay Hapoel £750,000 for the player (not the 600,000 euros per season for five seasons as reported yesterday).

Pantsil or Paintsil?

There seems to be some doubt over the correct spelling of the Ghanaian's last name. Until West Ham confirm the signing I'll use 'Pantsil', which is the spelling used in the player's Wikipedia profile. The profile has been updated recently as it mentions his link with West Ham and also reports on the controversy caused by Pantsil at the World Cup,

"Following the first and second goals in Ghana's impressive 2-0 victory over the Czech Republic on 17 June 2006, he celebrated by waving an Israeli flag which he kept in his sock. The flag was a cut off a line of flags that was given to the Israeli public free by Bank Hapoalim before Israel's Independence Day celebrations. He was also seen waving the Israeli flag as the final whistle blew. This flag waving was highly protested by several in the Arab world, who saw the act as an insult directed towards the Palestinians. Some Egypt state run newspapers described the player in question as a 'Mossad agent' or that he was paid for this without providing any basis for the allegations. When the Egyptian commentator saw the flag, he stopped his yelling of "Goal" and said, "what are you doing!?!

Before the final group match versus the USA, the Ghanian FA had John Pantsil receive psychotherapy treatment because they were worried that with all the media attention he was receiving (both negative and positive) that he would be unable to perform in the squad's most crucial match.

Pantsil, said that he simply wanted to thank the people of Israel for their support. He is even more popular in Israel as a result of his gesture and has promised to explain his actions after the World Cup."

Ashton a Happy Hammer

Today's Sun reports that Ashton is happy at West Ham and looking forward to the new season,

"Newcastle are a massive club and it's flattering but I haven't given it any thought. There's no point me shouting about it at all.

I'm happy at West Ham. I've enjoyed it for the last six months and can't wait for the season to begin. It'll be the first time I've begun a Premiership campaign and that's something I'm really excited about."

The paper also reports that Ashton is heavily tipped to play for Endgland this season.

John Paintsil to Sign for West Ham

The Kumb Forum contains a discussion this evening saying that Israeli newspapers are reporting that John Paintsil is to undergo a medical today at West Ham and, everything being well, will sign for 600,000 euros per season for five seasons (roughly £400,000 a year or £2 million in total).

Deja vu

The Independent in a wonderful piece of investigative journalism today repeats what The Evening Standard reported yesterday - so we might as well repeat it here a second time ourselves.

First, West Ham are believed to be in pole position to buy Brett Emerton and are prepared to offer around £1.5m for the 27-year-old.

Second, the Ghanaian international John Pantsil is joining the squad on its Swedish tour ahead of a proposed £700,000 transfer from the Israeli club Hapoel Tel Aviv. "Hapoel have given the player permission to come on tour and it will be an ideal opportunity to have a good look at him," Pardew has said.

And finally, Dean Ashton is going nowhere. Alan Pardew called the rumours surrounding Ashton, "absolute rubbish". He said: "There is no truth in that. Dean has settled in well and just bought a house. I can guarantee he will be going nowhere." Newcastle have also said they have no intention of bidding.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ashton Staying at West Ham

Today The Evening Standard report that Alan Pardew has slammed rumours of Ashton leaving the club and insists he is not for sale, "I guarantee Dean is going nowhere".

The paper also reports that Ghana player John Pantsil has been taken on our pre-season tour of Sweden, so that the player can be assessed. Lastly, the paper also claims that West Ham have made a £4 million bid for Swiss winger Tranquillo Barnetta. The 21-year-old currently plays for Bayer Leverkusen and goes by the nickname ‘Quillo’. Barnetta’s professional career began at the age of 17 with St Gallen. Showing lots of promise, he was signed by Bayer Leverkusen and had a brief loan period at Hannover 96 before returning to Leverkusen. As an attacking midfielder, he is currently hailed as one of the greatest young talents in Germany.

John Pantsil is normally used as a right back but can also play on the left or in midfield. He was a member of the Ghana team which finished as runners-up at the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship and was selected for full international honours soon afterwards. At club level, the versatile Pantsil has played in Israel since 2002, and he made five appearances for Maccabi Tel Aviv in the UEFA Champions League. He started all three of Ghana’s matches at the 2006 African Cup of Nations and four matches in qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He also represented Ghana at the 2002 African Cup of Nations and the 2004 Olympic Games.

West Ham Keen on Emerton, Toon on Ashton

Newcastle's interest in Dean Ashton has surfaced again, with Sporting Life reporting that the club have made an enquiry to West Ham about the player and are willing to offer in excess of £10 million. The Toon are desperate to land a decent striker after the retirement of Shearer and the injury to Owen but Pardew is believed to be keen to hold on to the player.

Brett Emerton continues to be rumoured to be on the move, with West Ham seen to be his preferred choice over Everton and Fulham. It is reported that although Pardew is also monitoring the situation of Tel Aviv's John Pantsil, Emerton is his preferred option.

Monday, July 17, 2006

West Ham Transfer Rumours

Over the weekend West Ham have been linked with a number of players. Lomana LuaLua has still not signed a new contract with Pompey and West Ham and Man City are both said to be keen to sign the player if he is allowed to leave.

West Ham are still being linked with Fulham's Steed Malbranque after Fulham confirmed that he will not play for them again. Fulham claim that the player has already turned down one club and it is believed that his wage demands are a barrier to his signing by West Ham.

West Ham have reportedly lined up a swoop for Ghanain right-back John Pantsil. The 25-year-old defender currently plays in Israel for Hapoel Tel Aviv and is out of contract next summer. Apparently the player has been recommended to Pardew by Yossi, who has continued to follow his old club's progress.

West Ham Swedish Tour

West Ham will travel this week for three friendly matches in Sweden. The games are:

FC Trollhattan v West Ham United
Thursday 20th July - 18:00

IFK Goteborg v West Ham United
Saturday 22nd July ko 16:00

Ljungskile SK v West Ham United
Tuesday 25th July ko 19:00

More details of the oppostion teams and the towns they play in can be found at WestHamOnline

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Robert Green for West Ham?

Rumours have been circulating that West Ham are interested in Norwich goalkeeper Robert Green. Green, who injured himself in an England friendly just before the world cup, has apparently come through a successful operation and is back in light training.

In exchange, Pardew is rumoured to be offering defender Clive Clarke and midfielder Mark Noble.

Two things about this rumour don't ring true. One - West Ham are believed to have pulled out of signing Charlton's Young because he failed a medical, so it is unlikely that they will gamble on Green's recovery. Two - Pardew has called Noble 'the future of West Ham' and is the kind of young homegrown talent the club has now promised to hold onto.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Captain Speaks

Nigel Reo-Coker is interviewed today on the West Ham official site and reports that the team is well rested and raring to go,

"We've had a nice break after a fantastic season last year but all that is behind us now and the lads are just looking forward to the new campaign. It was a well-deserved rest for us this year. The players who have been here for a few years have had short summers because of the play-off finals or starting the season earlier, and so the break this time has allowed us to have a good rest and the lads have all come back feeling rejuvenated.

Right now, I'm just focusing on getting back to full fitness after my back injury, and looking forward to training with the lads again. I'll be ready for the start of the season and that's all I'm thinking about. I'm just going to concentrate in the same way I did last season. It's all about West Ham United, and anything else is a bonus."

Thursday, July 13, 2006

West Ham Bid for Bret Emerton

The Daily Mail today report that West Ham have made a £1.5 million bid for Blackburn's Brett Emerton. The paper claims that Pardew has given up on Milner who the Barcodes are asking £4 million for, and who could play in the Inter Toto this weekend and therefore be cup-tied for our European campaign.

Hopes of signing Fulham's Steed Malbranque has also been abandonded because the Frenchman wants £40,000 a week net, which works out at around £60,000 a week to his future employer, and West Ham will not pay those wages.

The Mail concludes by saying,

"Emerton will join Carlton Cole, Lee Bowyer, Tyrone Mears and Jonathan Spector as new signings at Upton Park and Pardew wants to bring in at least one more buy."

Why Zidane Lost It

Today,with the help of Italian lip-reader Arturo Belladini, we can reveal what drove Zidane to self destruct; Materazzi was seen to hold Zidane's shirt on the edge of the penalty box in extra-time at which point Zidane said,

"If you want my shirt so bad you can have it!"

Materazzi responded, "I dont want your shirt you m***** f*****. you're a f****** old man"

As they jog away Zidane is seen to laugh at this. Materazzi then hit a volley of abuse "you should've quit 2 years ago, you're a f****** has-been" "m***** f*****! your mum is a f****** muslim terrorist and you are to,f*** you old man f*** you, old man, this arena is not for you anymore m***** f*****"

Zidane carries on jogging away, still apparently amused by the tirade. It is then that Materazzi delivered his final and worst insult, "You are only good enough for Tottenham now" It is at this point that Zidane lost his cool, turned and head-butted the Italian. And who can blame him. (credit to Gavrot at Hammers Mad)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sven Wanted Anton

Anton Ferdinand today revealed that he received a phone call from Sven-Goran Eriksson who wanted the West Ham player to replace the injured Luke Young on the England stand-by list. This would have meant that Anton would have met up to train with the England squad prior to the World Cup gaining valuable experience. However Anton received the call just a day after a double-hernia operation so was unable to comply,

"It was about a week after the FA Cup final and I was just sitting at home when my phone rung. It was Sven asking if I would like to join up with the squad on standby. I was shocked at first. Unfortunately I had to say no because I'd had a double hernia operation the day before.

Sven didn't know about that and said it was unfortunate, but wished me all the best for the future. It was a bit upsetting to think that having the operation cost me the chance of joining up with England."

Steed Malbranque Up For Sale

Steed Malbranque's departure from Craven Cottage seems certain after he was banished from training with Fulham's first team squad. The midfielder has refused to sign a new contract and a number of teams, including West Ham, appear keen to sign the player after he was sent on a trip to Austria with Fulham's youth team.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

F##k - Say It Aint True

Sky Sports are tonight saying that Yossi has responded to Liverpool's interest in him by saying,

"Liverpool are interested in me. Of course it's very flattering but there still has not been an official approach."

Let's hope there is no official approach. There have been rumours about Liverpool's interest in the player since the FA Cup final and it sounds as if Yossi would be interested in the move. C'mon Yossi listen to Scaloni West Ham is the only place to be.

For the Old School

This was recorded just up the road from me, in Stratford Town Hall, and I was gutted that I had to be out of town, so you can imagine how happy I was to find this. Purely for the old school, because you youngsters just don't know good music.

ITS THE COCKNEY REJECTS! (Scaloni says he wants to return to West Ham but this looks a more successful reunion to me - sorry Lionel you've got great taste and you're welcome back any time.)

New West Ham Coach

The former Charlton Athletic assistant manager Kevin Peacock has joined the West Ham coaching staff after leaving The Valley at the end of last season in the wake of Alan Curbishley’s departure. Alan Pardew said today,

"I'm delighted that Keith has joined the coaching staff here at Upton Park. He is someone I have known for a very long time. I have a huge amount of respect for and I have no doubt of the qualities that he will provide for us. He brings with him a wealth of experience and many lessons learned during his time with Charlton.”

Peter Grant has been made assistant manager at West Ham and Peacock has been appointed as senior coach. Peacock responded to his new appointment by saying,

"I have a new challenge and I am excited about the coming campaign. Knowing Alan as I do, he will be desperate to build on the success of last season and it will be fantastic to be a part of that."

Bobby Not For Sale

Alan Pardew has insisted that Bobby Zamora is staying at West Ham,

"I'll say the same thing about Bobby that I said about Marlon last week - he is not for sale. People can create as much speculation as they like, but none of our strikers are going anywhere.

We are trying to build a squad at this football club and create competition for places in all areas of the pitch. Bobby is very much a part of our plans and he will be fighting for a first-team spot on an equal footing with the other guys at the start of the season.

I'm sure he has got a very good chance of winning himself a place in the team, and I would again like to stress to all our fans that we have no intention of selling him. I have five excellent strikers here now and they will all have a part to play next season."

Monday, July 10, 2006

West Ham's SWP Bid Rejected

KUMB are reporting that West Ham's bid to loan Shaun Wright-Philips has been rejected. The stumbling block seems to have been SWP's wages, which are in the region of £60,000 a week. The site claims that West Ham were told that they would have to pay all of the player's wages.

Pre-Season Training Starts

Technical director Niall Clark has confirmed himself happy with the fitness levels of the West Ham players following their return to training. The Hammers players reported back for pre-season in full on Monday morning.

"They had a long 10-month season last year, and it is vital to get complete rest, both mentally and physically. With a European campaign to look forward to this coming season, they are going to be tested to the limit again, and that is why we demand that they have a period of total rest in the summer.

It's all about getting the balance right and, after the testing, it looks as though they all have. I'm happier than I thought I would be, we are at a better starting point than we were last year, and we also have an extra week in pre-season this year, so I haven't got to try to pack it all in, which should give us a good base for the season ahead."

Victor for West Ham?

According to West Ham and Bolton are both interested in signing Deportivo la Coruna winger Victor Sanchez. The site claims that,

"Victor Sanchez, 30, is keen for a change, after seven long years at the Riazor, and both clubs seem to be equally keen to bring him to England. Negotiations are in the initial stages, but a move is very much on, as Deportivo have shown little interest in keeping him."

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Zamora Wants Out

The Sunday Mirror are reporting that Bobby Zamora wants to leave West Ham in order to play regularly. The paper quotes a so called 'close friend' of the player,

"Bobby is not happy. He thought he did enough when called upon last season to persuade the manager to give him more of a chance. But with Carlton joining it seems he has slipped even further down the pecking order. He loves West Ham and doesn't really want to leave, but he feels he has no choice if he wants to play regularly."

I hope this story is not true. The signings of Ashton and Cole must be worrying for Zamora. However whilst The Mirror claims he is West Ham's fifth placed striker Zamora is presumably ahead of Sheringham now, and with European competition he should have ample opportunity to prove his worth over Cole.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

West Ham in for SWP?

A rumour that was circulating on a few, not particularly reliable sites, this morning has now been picked up by and Sporting Life so there may be some truth to it. Apparently West Ham are interested in taking Shaun Wright-Philips on a year long loan. Wright-Philips has been languishing in the reserves at Chelski and was disappointed in missing out on the World Cup so you would think the opportunity for first team football would be attractive. However SWP has recently stated that Mourinho has promised him a bigger role this season and that he wished to remain at Stamford Bridge. Also if Wright-Philips is available for loan there would presumably be interest from a number of Premiership clubs.

I think its time for Ian Wright to advise his son.

West Ham Seek Swiss Player

West Ham are amongst a number of clubs being linked with Switzerland's international midfielder Blerim Dzemaili. The 20 year-old has less than a year left on his present contract with present club FC Zurich and seems reluctant to sign a new deal. Zurich want £1 million for Dzemaili, who is only on £175,000-a-year at the Swiss club.

As well as West Ham, Fiorentina, Borussia Dortmund and Benfica are also reported to be keen on signing the youngster.

Friday, July 07, 2006

West Ham New Signing A Future International

Tyrone Mears' former Preston boss Billy Davies claims that the defender could soon become an England player. Davies said in February that Mears has the quality to "go international in the next two years or there's something seriously wrong". Tellingly Mears' signing included a clause that means PNE receive more money from the deal if and when Mears plays for England.

Mears' statement to the official West Ham web site confirms that he is an ambitious player,

"I finished the season with Preston and knew that I really needed to move on to a Premiership club for my career to progress. There were a few clubs who showed an interest in signing me but, as soon as I heard that West Ham had made an enquiry, there was only one place I wanted to go.

You look at West Ham now and the squad is full of young, talented British players. I've seen the likes of Danny Gabbidon and Nigel Reo-Coker step up from the lower divisions and prove themselves as top-class Premiership players, and that is the ambition I have for myself."

Thursday, July 06, 2006

West Ham's Chimbonda Bid Rejected

West Ham have had a bid, believed to be around £4 million, turned down by Wigan for defender Pascal Chimbonda. The Frenchman stunned Latics fans by handing in a transfer request on the last day of the season.

However the Latics seem determined not to let the player leave for less than £6 million. The player has three years left on his contract and the club have said that they will make him play in the reserves if he fails to show committment to the club, and will not let him leave cheaply. It is believed that the club have already turned down two bids by Spurs for the player.

West Ham Sign Tyrone Mears

More good news as West Ham sign their second player of the day in Preston North End defender Tyrone Mears.

The 23-year-old right-back has put pen to paper on a four-year deal at Upton Park and becomes Alan Pardew's second signing in the space of a few hours following the arrival of Carlton Cole from Chelsea earlier this evening.

Tyrone has signed for an initial £1 million fee, which could rise to £1.9 million depending on appearances and future international recognition with England.

Although neither Carlton Cole nor Tyrone Mears are the established players of proven quality that the fans were hoping for both have youth on their side and Pardew has so far proved astute in spotting young players of talent.

West Ham Sign Carlton Cole

Finally some good news as West Ham sign Carlton Cole for an undisclosed fee. The 22-year-old striker has signed a four-year deal. Cole made 12 appearances last year for Chelski, scoring in their FA Cup win over Huddersfield. Alan Pardew made this statement today,

"Several clubs came in for Carlton and it is a great compliment to what we have achieved here, that he has signed for us. Carlton is a powerful, skilful striker and brings another option to our forward-line as we embark on a new season and a European campaign

In my view, despite England Under-21 honours, he has not achieved his full potential yet and that is part of the excitement of signing a player like this. I believe we can bring the best out of him and make him a great asset to West Ham United.

He will also fit in very quickly with the squad because he knows players like Anton Ferdinand and Nigel Reo Coker from his trips with the young England players. I am delighted to have Carlton on board, but our search for new players is not over and I want our supporters to know there will be more signings in the coming weeks."

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Shaka Leaves West Ham

West Ham goalkeeper Shaka Hislop has joined American club FC Dallas. Hislop says,

"This is an exciting new challenge for me. I went to school in the United States and have a lot of respect for soccer in the country I look forward to bringing my experience to a great organisation and help FC Dallas win championships in America."

The move means Hislop's final game in West Ham colours was the FA Cup final defeat on penalties against Liverpool. He then went to the World Cup in Germany where he worked wonders to keep Sweden at bay in a goalless draw before being beaten by two late goals against England.

With West Ham having qualified for European competition fans had been hoping that the club would be expanding the squad. So far this close season more players have left the squad than joined. This news on the same day that West Ham issued a statement trying to quash rumours of potential transfers is very worrying. The goalkeeping position also looks a little weak now. Whilst Carrol is an excellent keeper he is also prone to injury.

We wish Shaka all the best with his future.

No New Signings Imminent

Today West Ham have issued a statement on the official website which seems to suggest that no new signings are about to be announced. The statement by Managing Director Paul Aldridge is given in full below:

"The process of signing players in the modern game is often a lengthy and drawn-out one, and we believe it would be foolish and naïve to suggest that a player is ours until all elements of his transfer are completed.

We already have experience of proposed transfers falling through for reasons of failed medicals or negotiations breaking down, and therefore we feel it to be in the best interests of West Ham United to ensure that no comment is made about additions to the playing squad until they are actually signed.

I am sure our supporters will understand the position that we must take on this matter, and I can assure them that any new signings will be announced on our official website as soon as they are finalised."

This suggests that contrary to the report in today's Independent (see story below) West Ham have not signed Tyrone Mears. This could mean that Luke Young did fail his medical on Friday but that West Ham are prepared to wait for him to recover from his ankle injury before allowing him another medical. Or it could not. Who knows?

Mears signs for West Ham, Young Stays at Charlton

This story comes from The Independent, whom Alan Pardew has been writing for during the world cup, and is being reported as fact. The paper says that West Ham have signed Tyrone Mears from Preston North End for around £1.5m. The Premiership club turned to the 23-year-old right-back following the surprise collapse of the deal to sign Luke Young from Charlton Athletic.

Young is believed to have failed a medical on Friday. The defender is recovering from an ankle injury which ended his hopes of making England's World Cup squad. He is now set to sign a new contract at Charlton. Ironically Mears, who has signed a four-year deal, was regarded as a target for Charlton once Young had completed his expected move to Upton Park.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Hammered Summer Essay Competition

Today we are proud to announce the winner of our summer essay writing competition, one Theo Walcott, aged 8 1/2.

What I did on my Summer Holiday
By Theo Walcott aged 8 1/2

In the summer holidays I went to a place called Germany with my Uncle Sven and some other grown ups. On the plane Uncle Sol sat next to me. He gave me some toffee and said he wanted to be my friend because the other boys wouldn't let him play with them. He works at the place where I do my YTS.

In Germany the grown ups are going to play football, my grandad says we beat them in the olden days before my mum was born. That is a long time ago.

One day I went shopping with Auntie Vicky. She bought me a big ice cream and got herself a little one but she said she was full before she had eaten it and then said she had to go to the toilet to be sick. Whilst she was in the toilet Uncle Frank stole my ice cream and ate it himself.

Auntie Vicky bought lots of shoes and handbags and let me play with Brooklyn. She say's she used to be in a pop band and sang me one of her songs, I think she was telling fibs.

I told Uncle Sol about my day out with Vicky and Uncle Frank and he sulked, then he bought me an even bigger ice cream with lots of hundred's & thousands on it. When Uncle Sol wasn't looking Uncle Frank stole my ice cream again. All the other grown ups have a girlfriend except Uncle Sol so he plays with me while they go out. Uncle Sven says I must keep Uncle Sol happy, that's why I got taken on holiday.

I spent a lot of time on my holiday sitting on a bench with Uncle Peter. Uncle Peter is a giant, a proper giant like you see in books. He told me that Uncle Sven preferred a potato head. I don't like the man he called potato head because he trod on another man's willy. Uncle Peter also gave me an ice cream but Uncle Frank stole it again.

On the last day of our holiday Uncle David, the one who talks like Orville, hurt his leg so Uncle Lennon was allowed to play for a while instead. I think Uncle David cried like a girl because Uncle Lennon was better than him.

On the plane home Uncle Frank moaned that everybody was picking on him and that it wasn't fair. He said he played a good game two year's ago and everybody had forgotten that. Then he stole my ice cream again.

Tyrone Mears for West Ham?

West Ham are reported to be buying Preston North End defender Tyrone Mears after the player failed to report back to Deepdale for pre-season training. PNE manager Paul Simpson says on the club's website,

"He's gone down to London for talks and we've just got to wait and see what happens. The situation was that Tye decided that he wanted to go and get an opportunity to play in the Premiership so he's gone for talks and we'll just wait and see. A fee has been agreed and it's a little bit awkward with him going today in all honesty. It would have been better if it was all sorted before now but that's life, we have to get on with it and deal with it."

Monday, July 03, 2006

Harewood Staying at West Ham

The bad news is that the rumoured signing of Young and Cole has not been confirmed but the good news is that Harewood has claimed his future lies at West Ham. Harewood issued a statement today saying,

"I am completely happy at West Ham and I've got no intention of leaving the Club. I'm looking forward to seeing all the boys again when we return to pre-season training later this week and I'm excited about the new season. I'm sure we'll all be fired up and raring to go, because we've now got another point to prove - we want to build on the success of last season and go one step better next year.

I want to be a part of that, and I also want the West Ham fans to know that I am fully committed to the Club and looking forward to the new season."

Alan Pardew also dismissed the rumours,

"I am not surprised to hear other clubs are interested in Marlon. He had a terrific season last year and was our most improved player. His pace, power and strike rate would be an asset to any club. But Marlon is not for sale. The fans love him here and he has become a hero with his many goals, not least of all the winner in our FA Cup semi final win over Middlesborough.

"He is on a long contract with us and, like the rest of the squad, is looking forward to the club's European campaign and improving on our successes of last year."

Bids for Harewood

The News of the World reported yesterday that Spurs, Newcastle and Portsmouth have targeted Marlon Harewood as the player has stalled on signing a new deal with West Ham.

The News of the World claims that Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp made a bid for Harewood last week and Tottenham's sporting director Damien Comolli has registered their interest.

The People say the Toon, desperate to sign a top-class striker, are preparing their own bid and could include their England U21 international James Milner in the deal.

These papers seem to have forgotten that West Ham are looking to build their squad and have a tough European campaign ahead.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Never Ending Story

The Daily Mail are reporting that West Ham have agreed a £2 million deal with Chelski for England U21 international Carlton Cole. The paper claims that West Ham will confirm the deal in the next couple of days. They report that the player has agreed personal terms of around £20,000 a week and just needs to pass the medical for the deal to be finalised.

Luke Young Not Almost A Hammer

Despite rumours that West Ham have already completed the signing of Luke Young Charlton are claiming that they wish to keep the defender. Young has yet to sign a new three-year deal which has been on the table for the last few weeks but the Addicks insist Young is still a Charlton player and the club have no intention of selling the player and remain hopeful he will agree terms on the contract offer.

Young handed in a transfer request after becoming frustrated at the length of time it was taking to sort out a new contract and further talks are expected next week to clarify the situation. So looks like his transfer won't be announced tomorrow.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Malbranque too Rich for West Ham

The Daily Mirror today reports that West Ham have withdrawn their transfer offer for Steed Malbranque because of his pay demands. The player's wage demand was apparently in excess of £35,000 a week "which would have smashed the Hammers' pay structure."

Luke Young Almost a Hammer

Luke Young is rumoured to have finally signed for West Ham. Apparently the deal was agreed in principal some time ago but Charlton were keen to find a replacement and were negotiating over the fee. West Ham were waiting till today (1st July) to officially announce the signing in order for the deal to fall in the second half of the fiscal year which starts today.

Now, however, West Ham are waiting until Monday before announcing the signing as they feel the news will be overshadowed by the England vs Portugal game.

Carlton Cole's transfer is not so certain as he is rumoured to be considering his options. At West Ham he would find himself behind Ashton and Harewood and perhaps Zamora and he is keen for first team football.

However say they have contacted the Hammers press agent about both moves, and have been told "more than one new arrival" will be reported when the club have the official press call (hopefully on Monday).

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