Thursday, August 31, 2006

Media Sports Investment

Media Sports Investment is the international fund of investors that runs Brazilian football club Sport Club Corinthians Paulista.

Corinthians signed a controversial deal with MSI in 2004 that grants the company a large degree of control of the club, in exchange for large investments. The deal lasts for 10 years. This brought many good quality players to the team, such as former Boca Juniors star Carlos Tévez, midfielders Marcelo Mattos, Gustavo Nery, Roger, Javier Mascherano and Carlos Alberto, and defenders Seba Dominguez and Marinho, as well as coaches Passarella, Márcio Bittencourt and Antonio Lopes. In exchange for paying off the clubs £20 million debts the company were given control over all of Corinthians assets, including the players.

At the beginning of the 2005-06 season, MSI was behind an attempt by Kia Joorabchian to take over English club West Ham United. The plan was officially abandoned in November of the same year, when agreement on a valuation of the club could not be reached. They were also rumoured to be considering a buyout of Aston Villa around the same time.

MSI was registered as a company in London on 31 August 2004 with Joorabchian and Nojan Bedroud listed as directors in filings at Companies House.

Rumours persist over the involvement of Russian oligarchs Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky behind the scenes of MSI, with Chelsea FC owner Abramovich reputedly owning a 15% share of the investment group.

This article is licensed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License

Tevez & Mascherano Sign Permanent Deals

West Ham United have confirmed that Tevez and Mascherano have signed permanent deals with the club.

The official web site reports that,

"The pair have been signed for an undisclosed fee and put pen to paper on permanent contracts with the club this afternoon. All other aspects of the transfers will remain confidential and undisclosed."

This should put paid to rumours that because of Media Sports Investments supposed contacts with Abramovich the Argentinians were coming to Upton Park for a season in preparation for a move to Chelski next season. However the "confidential and undisclosed" parts of the contracts will obviously increase speculation about a possible buy out of the club by Media Sports Investments.

The club website also says that both players "will be available for selection when Hammers return to Premiership action against Aston Villa next week." The club will make also make a further announcement later regarding the official unveiling of both players. With both players involved in the Argentina and Brazil game at the weekend they are unlikely to be unveiled at Upton Park until next week, possibly on Tuesday.

Tevez's Website

Carlos Tevez's website can be seen here with a nice picture of the player beside the West Ham badge. The text beneath the picture I believe says "Carlitos signs contract with West Ham United of England". As Tony Gale said this morning, "I can't see what's suprising about it. Two of the best players in the world have signed for one of the best clubs in the world."

West Ham Confirm Signing of Argentinians

According to Sky Sports News West Ham have confirmed the signings of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano. Apparently the club will issue an official statement later today. The rights to both players are currently owned by Media Sports Investments, who were rumoured last year to be in take over talks with the West Ham board (there is obviously more to this story).

22 year old Carlos Tevez was being hunted by Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Milan. FourFourTwo once labelled the young player the new Diego Maradona. Tevez first emerged on the world stage during the 2004 Olympic Games, when Argentina won the gold medal and Tevez scored eight goals in six matches to be the top scorer of the competition.

The Argentine Football Writers chose him as Footballer of the Year in 2003 and 2004, and also Sportsman of the Year 2004. He was named Futbolista latinoamericano mas destacado ("Most notable Latin American footballer") in 2003 by Latin American Fox Sports, and in 2004 was the world's second top goal scorer in international competitions. When Tevez moved to Corinthians in 2004 for a £20 million deal it was a record transfer in South American football.

Manchester United reportedly were tying to strike a deal of around £25 million for the signing of Tevez, and were also reported to be keen on signing Javier Mascherano.

Javier Alejandro Mascherano is a defensive midfielder who can also play on the right wing. Whilst at Corinthinas, Real Madrid, Deportivo de La Coruna, Man Utd and Inter Milan have all tried to sign the player.

Champions League Next Year for the Hammers

Oh my God - please let it be true

Tevez in Action

Mascherano in Action

And if you want to see more - both Tevez and Mascherano could well be playing on Sunday in the Argentina vs Brazil game at the Emirates Stadium this Sunday.

Tevez & Mascherano For West Ham

West Ham look to have landed Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano both on a year long loan from Brazilian club Corintians. There have been lots of rumours linking West Ham with Tevez but most pundits have believed he would move to Arsenal or Man Utd. Media Sports Investments owns the rights to both players and it is rumoured that the deal could become permanent if all parties are happy, and West Ham can stump up the likely £15 million.

The BBC is reporting that,

"Argentina striker Carlos Tevez says he and team-mate Javier Mascherano have agreed to sign for West Ham. The World Cup duo, who both play for Corinthians in Brazil, are set to move to Upton Park on a year-long loan.

Tevez, 22, claims on his website he and Mascherano, 22, have signed contracts with West Ham despite being linked with moves to Manchester United and Arsenal."

Collins Happy To Bide His Time At West Ham

James Colins is interviewed in today's Sun and revealed he is happy at West Ham. He acknowledged how well Gabbidon and Ferdinand played last season and how well they have begun this season but he is happy to wait for his chance for first team football. This is because he thinks West Ham are a club that are going places.

Collins believes that West Ham could have a long season ahead, with the possibility of a long European campaign and feels he will have the opportunity to get first team football.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Injury Blow for Paintsil

John Paintsil is a doubt for West Ham's home UEFA tie against Palermo, after damaging knee ligaments in the Liverpool game. It looks like Paintsil will miss the home game against Villa a week on Sunday and will have to wait and see if he recovers for the UEFA game four days later. Pardew said today,

"It's a big blow to us because we've just got John settled in really well. He will be out for a bit. He has come into the team and has made a really good impression, not only for me, but everyone.

He has played his part in our good start to the season and it's another knock for us, especially following the injuries to Deano (Ashton) and the likes of Matty Etherington before the campaign started."

Malbranque is a Spud

According to today's Sun Steed Malbranque will today sign for the Spuds in a £2.5 million deal.

This can only be good news for West Ham, as the last thing we need is a crocked player on high wages who refused to play for his previous club because he over-rated his own abilities.

Green Plays for West Ham Reserves

Robert Green played for West Ham Reserves last night in their 1-0 defeat to Watford Reserves. Jonathon Spector also made his first appearance for the club and Dailly made his comeback from injury.

Watford scored the only goal of the game in injury time at the end of the first half, when winger Diagouraga beat Green with a fierce low shot into the corner of the net

West Ham: Green; Spector (Fitzgerald 61), Ngala, Tomkins, Widdowson; Ephraim, Collison, Dailly, Reid (Hunt 75); Jeffery (Hales 83), Hines. Subs unused: Blackmore, Stanislas, Sears

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

West Ham Offering £2 million for Steed

According to today's Times West Ham have agreed a £2 million with Fulham for Steed Malbranque. The paper claims the player would prefer to play for the Spuds, who have not yet met the asking price or his £40,000 a week wage demand.

Another problem with the player is his injury problem that may well require an operation that would keep him sidelined for up to three months.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Bywater Finally Leaves West Ham

Stephen Bywater's transfer to Derby County has finally been completed. The goalkeeper signed for the Rams today, with West Ham receiving a fee of £375,000. West Ham's recent signing of Rob Green effectively demoted Bywater to fourth choice goalkeeper, at Derby it is believed that Bywater will be first choice keeper and ensured regular football.

Palermo Quaking

West Ham's opponents in the UEFA Cup have admitted that West Ham were the team they wanted to avoid. On the club's website the coach, Francesco Guidolin, said,

"It will be really hard. I was certainly expecting a better draw."

Club captain Eugenio Corini also admitted that they face a tough game,

"It will surely be a good away match even if we have been paired with the most difficult opponents of the ones that were in the pot.

West Ham, like all English sides, are surely a tough, physically strong team. To get through the round Palermo will need to show real quality.

The only thing that could give us the chance of qualification is maybe the fact that we will play the second leg at home."

West Ham Goal

Zamorra's goal for West Ham and some dodgy defending.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Reo-Coker Wanted

According to The Guardian both Man Utd and Arsenal are keen to sign West Ham's captain Nigel Reo-Coker. The paper claims that the player has a clause in his contract which allows him to leave West Ham if any of the teams finishing in the top three in the premiership come in for him. It is also claimed that Reo-Coker could triple his present salary by moving to either club.

The Guardian also claims that Alan Pardew is willing to allow the player to leave if West Ham are offered the right price.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Liverpool 2 West Ham 1

West Ham started the game with Benayoun back in the side and Paintsil remaining at right back. The first half was a pretty one sided affair with Liverpool on the attack and West Ham defending deep. In the opening 10 minutes the Reds created a number of chances. Their first came on four minutes when Gerrard shot from just outside the area and missed by about two yards. On 5 minutes Crouch headed over the bar, on 8 mins Garcia shot wide left. Thirty seconds later Fabio Aurelio fired in a free kick from the edge of the penalty area which Konchesky managed to head off the line.

Against the run of play however it was West Ham who opened the scoring with an incredible goal from Zamora in the 10th minute. He had the ball on the right wing about 5 yards in from the goal line and his shot come cross beat the goalkeeper inside the right post as he, anticipating the cross, came off his line.

West Ham then defended well as Liverpool had the most of the possession and continued to push forward. After 20 minutes they again managed to create a number of chances. In the 26th minute Bellamy shot across the face of the goal from out wide on the left. Two minutes later Aurelio did the same from almost the same spot. In the 32nd and 34th minute Aurelio and then Garcia both shot from just outside the box, both straight at Carroll.

In the 40th minute Harewood won the ball from Aurelio in the Liverpool area and shot the ball past Reina only for the ref to judge he had fouled the defender. Instead of the game being 2-0 Liverpool immediately attacked and Agger scored a 30 yard shot from the centre of the pitch, with Carroll rooted to the spot. Then just before half time Garcia fed the ball through to Crouch in the box, Crouch took the ball past Carroll and shot under a diving Ferdinand to make it 2-1 to Liverpool.

West Ham had the better of the second half in terms of possession, but Liverpool continued to look good on the break. Both Bellamy and Kuyt were unlucky on a couple of occassions when close offside decisions went against them when they were clean through on goal. At the other end West Ham's best chance came in the 79th minute when Bowyer just poked the ball inches wide of the left post from 4 yards out. Before that, in the 53rd minute, Benayoun shot just wide of the post and in the 56th minute Bowyer just failed to connect with a Paintsil cross.

Overall West Ham were unlucky to lose this game. The foul that Harewood was adjudged to have committed in the first half, when his goal was disallowed, was fairly soft. However the decisions were evened out in the second half when West Ham were favoured by a couple of tight offside decisions against Kuyt and Bellamy.

J Reina, S Finnan, S Hyypia, D Agger, F Aurelio, J Pennant (82 B Zenden), X Alonso,
S Gerrard, S Luis Garcia (60 M Gonzalez), C Bellamy, P Crouch (52 D Kuyt)
J Dudek, J Kromkamp, M Gonzalez, D Kuyt, B Zenden

West Ham:
R Carroll, J Paintsil, A Ferdinand, D Gabbidon, P Konchesky (81 T Mears), L Bowyer,
H Mullins, Reo-Coker (82 T Sheringham), Y Benayoun, B Zamora, M Harewood (73 C Cole)
J Walker, T Mears, T Sheringham, C Cole, J Collins

West Ham vs Palermo

You can view a video of Palermo's ground, the Stadio Renzo Barbera, embedded in a Google map at my other blog Virtual Tourism. It looks a pretty nice ground, uncovered on three sides, and overlooked by some Sicilian mountains on one side.

Click on the red tag on the map to view the video.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Liverpool vs West Ham

By all accounts this is a good time to be visiting Anfield. Surprisingly (not really) Liverpool have been talked up this year as possible premiership contenders by a whole host of reds friendly pundits who were players in the 70's. This is presumably because of their FA cup win over the Hammers last year and their European success the year before, as it can't be for any strengthening of their squad over the summer. For me the present Liverpool team looks no better than the also rans of the last few years.

For today's game Jamie Carragher, John Arne Riise and Gabriel Paletta are still injured, but Gerrard is expected to recover from his midweek sickness.

For West Ham Bowyer has a slight groin injury while Benayoun has an infected toe, though Alan Pardew hopes both will be available.

As in the cup final the big difference between the two teams is the aforementioned Steven Gerrard. Take Gerrard out of the equation and not many would be surprised with a West Ham away win, as it is this will be a difficult game. Hopefully this will be a tight game but it's difficult not to see Liverpool edging the game.

Radio: Live commentary is available through Five Live (UK only)

Video Streaming: TVAnts, SopCast and PPStream streams are all available for this match. Links to all of them can be found here. (registration required but it is free to register).

This year PPStream has worked well for me. There has been litle lag in the streaming and where there has been lag coverage has picked up from where it stopped, so you miss none of the action.

West Ham Draw Palermo

West Ham have been drawn against Italian team Palermo in the UEFA Cup First Round. The first leg will be played at Upton Park. The first-round matches are played over two legs on 14 and 28 September. The winners of this tie will qualify for the group stage.

Unione Sportiva Città di Palermo finished 8th in Serie A last year. Palermo also played in the UEFA Cup last year as well (for the first time in their history). Palermo topped their table in the group stage and were defeated in the last sixteen by Schalke 04 (3-1 aggregate score).

The town of Palermo (Palermu in Italian, Paliermu or Paliemmu in Sicilian) is the principal city and administrative seat of the autonomous region of Sicily.

Newcastle have been drawn against Latvian team Levadia (away in the first leg). Blackburn have drawn Salzburg (away in the first leg). Rangers have been drawn against Molde (away in the first leg). Hearts have drawn Sparta (away in the first leg). Tottenham will play Slavia Prague (away in first leg).

West Ham Unseeded

West Ham are unseeded for the UEFA cup draw that takes place in Monaco at lunchtime today. This means that the Hammers will be drawn against one of the top 40 seeds.

To be honest West Ham have nothing to fear from any of the seeded teams, but names to watch out for in the draw include holders Sevilla, Ajax, Parma and Rangers.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pardew Confirms Interest in Malbranque

Alan Pardew has confirmed that West Ham are interested in Steed Malbranque and are hopeful of signing the winger or another player of 'his stature' before the transfer window closes,

"We have made it clear he is a target for us and has been (during the summer).

Conversations have taken place but there is such a complexity around that particular player - and complexities around other players - that at the moment we can't clarify anything.

We just think that in the next seven days (before the window closes) it will clear up and we will either secure Malbranque or another player of his stature.

Fulham have made it very clear he is not going to play for Fulham. His future lies elsewhere and he is a quality player and I am sure there are a number of clubs interested, not just ourselves."

UEFA Draw on Friday

Matthew O'Greel over at KUMB has worked out the results West Ham need in tomorrow's UEFA cup second round in order for West Ham to be one of the top 40 seeds going into Friday's draw. If we are seeded in the top 40 it means we will avoid being seeded against one of the other top 40 seeds.

Basically it all boils down to West Ham needing three of the teams in bold below to lose their tie tomorrow night (the scores after the first leg are given).

Auxerre 0 OFK 1
Litex 0 v Omonia 0
Vaduz 0 FC Basel 1
Brøndby 0 Flora 0
Maribor 1 Partizan 2
Ameri Tbilisi 0 Hertha Berlin 1
Kula 0 v CSKA Sofia 0
Marseille 3 Young Boys 3
Beitar 0 Dinamo Buchurest 1
Newcastle 1 Ventspils 0
NK Domžale 2 Hapoel Tel-Aviv 1
Slavia Prague 2 Karvan Evlakh 0
Wis?a Krakow 1 SV Mattersburg 1
Grasshoppers 1 FC Fehérvár 1
Club Brugge 2 FK Suduva 0
Rapid Bucharest 0 FC Sarajevo 1

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Pardew Wants Two More Hammers

Alan Pardew has reiterated his desire to bring in two more players before the transfer deadline,

"It is a difficult market at the moment. Everyone is chasing people, but we want quality - and that is hard to find. I am hoping to sign one, or maybe two players before the window shuts."

One of these players could be Steed Malbranque, who it is now rumoured may halve his wage demands, which has been the main sticking point in his transfer to West Ham. Expect some news either way before the weekend.

West Ham Were Lucky

Alan Pardew admitted after the game that West Ham were lucky not to lose to Watford last night,

"If you were a neutral you probably would have said they deserved to win that."

Pardew refused to blame the 5-3-2 system he played last night for West Ham's poor performance. With West Ham's fullbacks pushing forward, Paintsil and especially Konchesky delivered some quality crosses into the opposition box, however this allowed Watford whenever they won the ball to pump the ball into the spaces they left behind. This stretched West Ham's three centre backs and the Hornets looked particularly dangerous from the freekicks, throw-ins and corners they won deep in West Ham's half. Pardew replied to any implied criticism of his formation though by saying,

"We had some extra warriors in the team ... and we had an extra centre half in so the system was okay."

The real reason for West Ham's experimentation with the system apparently could have been enforced, as Pardew revealed, "We were a bit worried about Yossi." So Pardew obviously felt that Yossi was either still not fully match fit or the player was still carrying a bit of an injury. As Yossi came on with 30 minutes to go it seems as if Pardew was ensuring that Yossi is fit for the more difficult game away to Liverpool at the weekend. If so expect West Ham to return to their normal 4-4-2.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Watford 1 West Ham 1

Yossi was dropped to the bench for this game and Collins was given a start. Playing three centre backs was presumably intended to give Pantsil and Konchesky license to push forward on the wings. However the change in system didn't really work in the first half as Harewood and Zamora too often found themselves isolated upfront and unable to retain the ball when they did get it.

West Ham looked reasonably comfortable in the first twenty minutes but didn't create many clear cut scoring opportunities. Their best chance came on 16 minutes when Harewood won the ball in a tackle on the halfway line and then ran with the ball straight into the penalty area, however at the final moment his touch let him down and pushed him too wide. The defence were therefore able to recover and when he did get his shot away it was easily blocked.

As the half progressed Watford seemed to grow in confidence and had the best of the play after the first twenty minutes. In fact they had the best chance of the half in the 25th minute when Hameur Bouazza ran the length of the pitch down the Watford left wing, completely unoppossed (Pantsil having lost the ball at the other end of the pitch). He hit a perfect cross for Marlon King but luckily his shot from 12 yards out hit West Ham's left hand post and fell to the West Ham defence.

West Ham stuck with the same formation in the second half and Watford reponded by pumping the ball into the space behind the attacking full-backs. There seemed a sense of inevitability that Watford would score and the goal came in the 62nd minute from King's scorching shot from 25 yards which curled past Carroll and inside his left post.

However West Ham responded immediately when Zamora ran onto a Konchesky cross from the left wing and volleyed the ball home from 2 yards. Pardew now changed the system by replacing Gabbidon with Yossi and Harewood with Cole. This seemed to even the game out a little as both sides now found more room and more chances were created by both sides.

In the 67th minute Paintsil almost scored an own goal from a Watford long throw. From the resulting corner Shittu headed over the bar from 12 yards. A minute later it was Ferdinand who almost put the ball in the back of his own net when he mishit a cross straight at Carroll.

In the 70th minute Sheringham cut back a Konchesky cross for Zamorra, who shot just past the right post from 5 yards. In the 78th minute Henderson met a cross but headed over the bar from 12 yards. In the 82nd minute Cole replaced Zamorra.

Not the most convincing display by West Ham but we're top of the league.

Watford: B Foster, Doyley, J DeMerit, D Shittu, C Powell, H Bouazza (73 T Priskin, D Francis, G Mahon (45 M Spring), A Young, M King, D Henderson

West Ham: R Carroll, J Paintsil, A Ferdinand, D Gabbidon (66 Y Benayoun ), J Collins, P Konchesky, L Bowyer, H Mullins, N Reo-Coker, M Harewood (66 T Sheringham ), B Zamora (83 C Cole )

Cole and Bowyer Are Happy Hammers

After making their debuts for West Ham on Saturday both Lee Bowyer and Carlton Cole have revealed their delight at being at Upton Park. Bowyer who is keen to prove to West Ham fans he has more to offer than in his first injury hit stint at West Ham says he would like to end his career at the Boleyn,

"That would be the ideal scenario. To finish my career on a high note at Upton Park. In order to do that I realise I've got to play well and prove that I can be a good asset to the team. I think it is going to be a good season for us."

Carlton Cole on the otherhand seems keen to kick-start his career with West Ham. Fed up with his chances at Chelski, Cole has revealed he asked West Ham to buy him,

"I wanted to leave last year but Jose Mourinho persuaded me to stay. I wasn't even in the squad half the time so it was hard for me to take. I didn't really want to be involved in that again, which is why I got in touch with West Ham and they took me.

Zamora and Harewood

These stats were posted on the KUMB forum yesterday:

Zamora has scored 16 goals in the last 24 starts for West Ham.

In their last 17 starts up front together, Harewood and Zamora have scored 21 goals, with 14 goals for Zamora and 7 goals for Harewood. And in these 17 games, West Ham United have won 13, drawn 2 and lost 2.

Impressive stats if they are correct. Let's hope they create a few problems for Watford today.

Monday, August 21, 2006

West Ham Under 18's Off To A Flyer

West Ham under 18's kicked off their season with a 4-1 victory over Stoke City under 18's. Lorcan Fitzgerald, Jack Collison and Bondz Ngala all scored in the opening twenty minutes. Freddie Sears came on as a substitute and got West Ham's fourth.

Watford vs West Ham

West Ham travel to Watford tomorrow with the Hornets looking for their first win in the Premiership. The home side will be desparate to give their fans something to cheer about in their first home game in the top flight, so this could be a tough game for the Hammers.

Watford are without the injured Carlisle for this game and West Ham look to travel with the same squad as Saturday, with the addition of Jonathon Spector, who has recovered from his shoulder injury. The only likely change to the team itself could be Paintsil replacing Mears at right back, after his impressive performance in the second half on Saturday. However I think Pardew might feel Mears is the better defensive player and stick with the same starting line up.

West Ham should be brimming with confidence and if Bowyer puts in another impressive display I can see a 0-1 win for the Hammers.

Radio: Five Live Sports Extra as of this moment says it is featuring one of the Premiership games - as there a only two games on I guess it is 50/50. (UK only)

Radio London is providing full commentary on the game. (UK only)

Streaming TV

The game is available on SopCast, TVAnts, PPstream. Links to all of them are here (registration is free).

Sunday, August 20, 2006

West Ham Goals

Great debuts from all the new players today, especially Bowyer setting up all three goals.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

West Ham 3 Charlton 1

An eventful first half ended with West Ham a goal down to the Addicks. Charlton were gifted a penalty in the 14th minute when Danny Gabbidon handled the ball in his own area. Bent scored from the resulting penalty. Charlton however were soon reduced to ten men when Traore in the 22nd minute, having already been booked, tried to stop a West Ham free kick. He was duly given a second yellow card and was off.

For most of the rest of the half West Ham pressurised the Chartlon box. In the 27th minute West Ham had a goal disallowed when Carson parried a Zamora header and Harewood in burying the rebound was deemed by the referee to have fouled Bryan Hughes. In the 34th minute Harewood was himself fouled in the area but the referee inexplicably booked Harewood for diving. West Ham's best chances came from Marlon Harewood, whose 40th minute shot from 18 yards was saved by Scott Carson and from Tyrone Mears thirty seconds later whose shot from almost the same position just missed the left post.

At half time Mears was replaced by Paintsil. West Ham started the second half as they ended the first penning Charlton back in their own half. West Ham's pressure soon resulted in a goal when in the 57th minute Bowyer crossed and Zamora scored with his left foot. Immediately from the restart Gabbodon fouled Hasselbaink and from the free kick El Karkouri tried an incredible shot from all of 35 yards which Carroll just managed to save.

In the 55th minute John Paintsil crossed from the right wing and Zamora from the centre of the penalty area headed over the bar. In the 65th minute Bowyer crossed for Zamora and his half-volley straight into the ground bounced over the diving Carson and deflected off the post and just spun over the line for West Ham and Zamora's second.

In the 75th minute Bowyer shot from 18 yards and his shot just clipped the right post as it went wide. Five minutes later Chartlon themselves had a goal disallowed as Bent fouled Carrol with the ball in his hands, forcing the ball loose and poking it home. In the 85th minute Sheringham replaced Zamora. Two minutes into the four minutes extra time given Carlton Cole came on and was immediately put through by Bowyer and scored almost with his first touch. 3-1 to the Hammers and just the start to the new season that West Ham had hoped for.

West Ham
R Carroll, T Mears (45 J Paintsil) , A Ferdinand, D Gabbidon, P Konchesky, L Bowyer, H Mullins, N Reo-Coker, Y Benayoun, B Zamora (82 T Sheringham) , M Harewood (90 C Cole). Subs: J Walker, T Sheringham, C Cole, J Paintsil, J Collins

S Carson, L Young, T El Karkouri, H Hreidarsson, D Traore, D Ambrose (29 G Sorondo) , M Holland, A Faye, B Hughes (71 A Reid) , J Hasselbaink (64 M Bent) , D Bent. Subs: T Myhre, A Reid, M Bent, D Rommedahl, G Sorondo

Att: 35000

West Ham vs Charlton

I can't be bothered with a match preview, the BBC has one here and there are many more out there on the wild wild web. Your guess on the final teams is as good as mine, we've got some injuries, Charlton have got some injuries, we've got some new players, Charlton have new players, we know we have the better team but it won't be a stroll in the park.

Pre-season (still feeling confident prediction): West Ham 3 Charlton 1

Radio link: BBC London (last year internet coverage from the BBC was restricted to UK listeners only - there is no warning of this on the BBC site this year but I assume the same applies.

Streaming Video: There doesn't seem to be any free live streaming of the game, but there is delayed coverage of the full game from 17.30 via PPstream, PPlive, SopCast and TVAnts - links to all of these can be found at Football Streaming Info (requires registering but is free to do so).

Friday, August 18, 2006

This Year's Aim - A Major Trophy

In a statment to the West Ham official website Alan Pardew said West Ham's aim this season was to win a major trophy. He also gave a useful update on all the injured players,

"Obviously we are going to be without Deano for a few months but, all in all, the injury situation isn't terribly worrying," says Pards.

Matty Etherington isn't going to be ready for Saturday's game, but he has improved dramatically this week and we feel he has an outside chance of being ready for the next two matches.

Jonathan Spector is not yet available after his shoulder injury, but he trained today and so I would hope to see him back in action very soon.

Robert Green is also very close to full fitness, and he trained well on Thursday morning. I feel he is going to settle in well here, he has got a great opportunity but he will have to work very hard now to displace Roy Carroll.

Apart from those guys being absent, we are looking very good going into the new season. I would obviously prefer to have my strongest possible side available on Saturday, but I don't think we should be downbeat. We turned it around against Blackburn on the opening day last year, when we had a set-back at the start - I don't think we had a kick for the first 20 minutes - but then we clicked into gear.

The one thing I know about this team is that we have character. No team came from behind to win as many times as we did last season, we have that in our locker and we can always call upon it if needed. What I'm hoping is that we don't have to call upon it so often this year, so we get ourselves in a stronger position in terms of not conceding the first goal. Obviously we had some great results last season, but I'd like some more this season.

We must look on the positive side. We came within a coat of paint of winning a major trophy last season and you would have to say that has got to be our aim this year. Whether that puts pressure on us or not I don't care - I want us to move forward."

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sky Season Prediction

Sky predicts West Ham to finish seventh this season. They claim that Pardew is a future England manager and that Cole will finish top scorer at Upton Park. They predict that West Ham will start the season with Cole and Harewood up front rather than Zamora. They also claim that Tyrone Mears is the player to watch at Upton Park this season.

Yossi Set To Sign New Deal

Yossi Benayoun, talking to revealed he was about to sign a new deal with West Ham,

"I am very happy that I will be signing a five-year deal with West Ham because I am enjoying every moment at the club."

So that should end the rumours linking Yossi with other clubs.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

West Ham Internationals

Anton Ferdinand, Nigel Reo-Coker, James Collins, Danny Gabbidon, John Paintsil and Yossi Benayoun all featured last night for their countries.

Ferdinad and Reo-Coker both played the full 90 minutes for England U-21, with Reo-Coker captaining the national side, in their 2-2 draw against Moldova. James Collins played the full game for Wales and Danny Gabbidon played for 70 minutes, following his first 45 minutes of pre-season action against Olympiakos on Saturday. The game against Bulgaria ended 0-0.

John Paintsil played for Ghana in their 2-0 friendly win over Togo at Brentford's Griffin Park. Yossi Benayoun in his first game as national captain came on in the 75th minute to get Israel's equaliser against Slovenia. The games ended 1-1.

Yossi's goal for Israel

West Ham Sign Green

Robert Green has succesfully passed a medical and signed a four year contract with West Ham, in a transfer which could eventually be worth £2m.

West Ham claim that Green is "almost fully recovered" from the torn groin muscle which ruled him out of the World Cup.

Green has responded to his move by saying,

"It's such an exciting time for everyone at West Ham. They've got exciting players and a young English manager.

In terms of getting back in the England squad, it's one step at a time. I've got a couple of good keepers in front of me at West Ham in Roy and Jimmy but an overall aim is to get back in the squad.

I'm back in full training now and it feels good."

West Ham Team Against Charlton

I haven't been so excited pre-season about West Ham's chances for a few seasons. Dean Ashton's injury has dampened my excitement quite a bit, as I had this feeling he was going to set the Premiership alight this season. However we have strength in depth, particulary in attack.

With this in mind I would go for an attacking line up against the Addicks on Saturday. With Etherington injured I would also experiment with Benayoun playing just behind two strikers. So here is the team I would play in a 4-3-1-2 formation:



Hopefully Green will be fit soon and will seriously challenge Carroll for the number 1 shirt.


Paintsil Ferdinand Gabbidon Konchesky

Paintsil should get the nod over Mears, has by all accounts done well in the few friendlies he has been involved in and I think will finally solve our problems at right back.


Reo-Coker Mullins Bowyer

If Etherington was fit I would say Bowyer should start on the bench, and have to prove his right to start by coming on and doing well as a sub. As it is Bowyer gets my nod over Reid because of his experience. Having Reid on the bench still gives us the opportuity to revert to a 4-4-2, with Reid on the left and Benayoun on the right.

Attacking Midfield


I think with Reo-Coker Mullins and Bowyer we have a strong enough tackling midfield to allow Benayoun to be given more freedom and a more central linking role.


Harewood Zamora

Harewood's scoring record last season gives him the right to start and I think Zamora's pre-season form should place him ahead of Cole.

So that's my choice (not my prediction, as I think Pardew will stick to a 4-4-2).

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Ashton Injury

Sky Sports tonight report that Ashton could be out for twelve weeks. This would mean that Ashton would miss the first ten Premiership games for West Ham and September's UEFA cup first round tie.

Ashton Breaks Ankle

It looks like Dean Ashton's injury is more serious than first thought. Ashton broke his ankle in a training session with England and will now miss the start of the season and could be out for two or three months. Alan Pardew said this afternoon on the West Ham official site,

"We are absolutely devastated. It's a massive blow for Deano and his family, and for everybody here at West Ham United. "We are extremely disappointed by the news but, on a positive note, we still have four quality strikers at this club, which will suppress the blow somewhat.

"We look forward to a speedy recovery from Deano and hope to see him back in action very soon."

Ashton Out of Friendly

Dean Ashton will unfortunately not make his debut for England tomorrow as he has suffered an ankle injury in training with the national squad. New England manager McClaren said,

"It's disappointing when a young player is given his chance and gets injured. Dean is having a scan at the hospital and we're awaiting the outcome."

There must be serious doubts whether Ashton can recover in time for West Ham's opnening game of the season against the Addicks on Saturday.

The Genius of Yossi

BBC Predict Mid-Table Finish For West Ham

The BBC's club guide to the new season predict West Ham will finish mid-table this season.

They highlight the quality added to the squad in the transfer window and provide a good overview of the ins and outs at Upton Park over the summer.

In: Lee Bowyer (Newcastle, undisclosed), Carlton Cole (Chelsea, undisclosed), Tyrone Mears (Preston, £1m), John Pantsil (Hapoel Tel Aviv, £1m), Jonathan Spector (Man Utd, £500,000), George McCartney (Sunderland, £600,000 + Clive Clarke)

Out: Darren Behcet (Yeovil), Chris Cohen (Yeovil, undisclosed), Carl Fletcher (Crystal Palace, £400,000), Shaka Hislop (FC Dallas), Trent McClenahan (Hereford), Elliott Ward (Coventry, £1m), Ishmael Welsh (Yeovil), Clive Clarke (Sunderland, player-exchange), Matt Reed (Bristol City), Stephen Bywater (Derby, loan)

In addition to this list it looks like Green will be joining and Noble will be out on loan.

Good luck tonight for Reo-Coker and Anton Ferdinand in the England U-21 European qualliy against Moldova (Live on Sky, kick-off 8pm). This should give the boys some much needed match practice (just don't pick up any injuries).

Monday, August 14, 2006

West Ham Sign Green

West Ham look to have outmanoeuvered Charlton in the signing of Norwich keeper Robert Green. West Ham have this afternoon issued the following statement,

"We can confirm that we have had a bid accepted by Norwich for England goalkeeper Robert Green. The deal, which could eventually rise to £2million, is still subject to a medical and the player agreeing personal terms."

Green made his England debut against Colombia in May 2000. However the young keeper will miss the start of the season as he is still recovering from the groin problem he picked up playing for England B against Belarus in May and has only recently returned to light training.

'Cowardly' Lumpard

Reading striker Dave Kitson had a right old go at Fat Frank in yesterday's People for cashing in on England's World Cup failure and criticising an England set-up that he was a part of,

"Why say things after the event when you were part of the problem and when you are just as culpable as the manager? It is disgusting. Does Frank want to tell his story or does he want to make money? It is cowardly - he was not brave enough to stand up at the time and admit we were going wrong.

That is the self-obsessed world football has become."

Fit And Raring To Go

Alan Pardew speaking on the official site has confirmed that bar Matty all the West Ham players should be fit for Saturday's game against the Addicks,

"We hope that Matty Etherington will be available after the first three games of the season, and I think Yossi has a very good chance of being fit for next Saturday. It really depends on the involvement he has with Israel this week - he has just been named their captain but I am hoping he not pushed too far.

Paul Konchesky and Carlton Cole picked up slight knocks against Olympiakos, so we will have to keep an eye on them this week but, other than that, everyone looks fit and ready for the new campaign."

More Keeper Rumours

Tribal Football has West Ham bidding for every keeper under the sun.

They claim West Ham and Charlton are both interested in Norwich City goalkeeper Robert Green. They also claim that the Hammers are keen on out of off contract Deportivo La Coruna goalkeeper Jose Molina and Lazio keeper Matteo Sereni, who is available for £1 million.

We certainly won't have any keeper problems if all these rumours are true.

Harewood Scores for West Ham

There's more quality in the goal than the video, but the video is better than nothing.

Harewood Scores for West Ham

There's more quality in the goal than the video, but better than nothing.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Keeper Rumours

Now that Bywater has departed West Ham are being linked with a number of goalkeepers.

The Sunday Express claim that West Ham are after Matteo Sereni. The former Ipswich Town keeper is available from Lazio and Alan Pardew is set to offer £1 million to land the Italian, the paper claims.

West Ham Fans link West Ham with a year's loan with Jerzy Dudeck who is becoming frustrated with his lack of first team opportunities. The site also claim that Bywater's initial two week loan before signing for good is to allow West Ham to recall the keeper if Pardew is unable to bring in a new keeper.

West Ham Season 05-06

There was a lot of traffic on this site yesterday from the Kumb forums looking for a video of last season's highlights. Unfortunately that video has been removed from YouTube, but I did find this one instead.

Let's hope this season is as great as the last.

And I'm stopping pissing about with the template for this site as of now. Sorry about all the farting about but Blogger does some weird things when publishing HTML.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

West Ham 1 Olympiakos 1

West Ham fielded a strong attacking line-up for this game, featuring three strikers in Ashton, Harewood and Zamora.

West Ham started the half well with Reo-Coker forcing a save from the keeper in the first minute of the game. West Ham's next good chance came in the 20th minute when Zamora volleyed high from an Ashton chipped cross.

West Ham opened the scoring in the 24th minute with a superb individual goal from Marlon Harewood, who dribbled past three defenders, before scoring with his left foot from eight yards.

Olympiakos had their best chance in the 32nd minute from a Djordjevic free-kick. However Carroll blocked the shot and Mullins cleared the ball from danger.

In the 37th minute Ashton set Harewood up who shot over the bar from only six yards. In the 43rd minute Djordjevic's long shot took a deflection that wrong footed Carroll but the ball just missed the outside of the post.

Second Half

At half-time Gabbidon replaced Ferdinand and Paintsil replaced Mears.

Olympiakos started the second half well with three good chances in the first five minutes. First from a corner a good chance was headed wide by Zewlakow. Then in the 51st minute a low cross across the face of the goal by Castillo just evaded the on-rushing Borja. A minute later Castillo fired a left-foot shot just wide of the post.

In the 54th min Bowyer was set up by Ashton but fired narrowly over from 20 yards. In the 64th min Sheringham replaced Ashton, Cole replaced Harewood and Reid came on for Zamora.

In the 68th minute Olympiakos equalised when West Ham failed to clear the ball from the area and Castillo fired low past Walker despite the best efforts of Collins to get across and block the shot.

In the 72nd minute Cole forced a good save from the Olympiakos keeper after being set up by Sheringham. In the 75th minute Tomkins relaced Collins and Ephraim came on for Reo-Coker.

In the 76nd minute Djordjevic's fierce free-kick from 25 yards out was well held by Walker at the foot of his post. In the 79th minute Castillo's low cross from the left found Djordjevic, but he shot a close-range effort wide of the target.

In the 84th minute West Ham were reduced to ten men as Konchesky was forced off after a heavey challenge from Okkas, and the Hammers had already used all their subs.

In the 87th minute West Ham almost snatched a winner, as Sheringham found Cole clean through on goal, but the striker was denied by Nikopolidis as he tried to round the goalkeeper.

Attendance: 14,065

Starting XI: Carroll; Mears, Collins, Ferdinand, Konchesky; Bowyer, Mullins, Reo-Coker (c); Harewood, Ashton, Zamora.

Subs: Gabbidon, Tomkins, Pantsil, Cole, Reid, Ephraim, Sheringham, Walker.

Bywater to Join Rams

Derby County have signed West Ham goalkeeper Stephen Bywater on an initial emergency loan deal. The transfer for the 25-year-old will be made permanent on 27 August when he will sign a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee. There have been rumours about this transfer with Lee Camp moving in the opposite direction but none of the reports on Bywater's transfer today mention this.

This leaves West Ham with only Walker as cover for the injury prone Carroll and means that the West Ham squad has seen more departures than new arrivals this close season. Let's hope that Pardew is ab;e to bring in the two more players he wants.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Noble Joins Town On Loan

Mark Noble has joined Ipswich on loan for an intial three months. Town boss Jim Magilton said today,

"I've been trying to get Mark here for a few weeks and we're delighted to have finally sorted things out. I spoke to the lad during the week and he's keen to come here and we're looking forward to having him here."

Kumb report that West Ham are believed to have a recall option, so that he can return if he is needed at Upton Park.

West Ham's Ashton Called Up for England

As widely tipped Dean Ashton has been named in McClaren's squad to face Greece. With Owen injured McClaren has been forced to make changes up front and consequently Defoe has been recalled to the squad.

David Beckham and Sol Campbell have not been named in the squad.

After Ashton, perhaps the best pick today was Terry Venables, who has been unveiled as assistant manager. The FA's choice of the inexperienced McClaren as manager seemed a ridiculous gamble to me, so it makes sense to appoint someone with experience of international management as his assistant.

Malbranque Almost Joins West Ham?

The Sun are reporting that Steed Malbranque "has seen a potential move to West Ham collapse in a row over a groin injury". There are rumours saying that Malbranque was close to moving to West Ham last night for a cut price £2.5 million, but the deal collapsed because Malbranque needs an operation. However I think the important word in The Sun quote is the word 'potential', and the paper are just trying to add more spice to the continuing saga between Coleman and Malbranque.

Apparently Chris Coleman is upset that Malbranque has refused a quick-fix operation that would keep the player out for three weeks. Instead he wants an operation that will keep him out for three months. Malbranque has said he wants to move to a club playing Champions League football. Barring that move, which seems unlikely, I reckon he will hold out for a big Bosman payout (hence the three month operation).

West Ham's Noble Set for Ipswich

According to the Ipswich manager Jim Magilton, Mark Noble is due to join the Tractor Boys on loan on Monday,

“I have spoken to Mark and he wants to come here but he has a slight groin injury at the moment, he is a West Ham player so we have to go with their wishes obviously but I'm confident that he will be with us on Monday.

We have been trying to get him here for a few weeks and it would have been nice to have had him available for the weekend but we're very close now and he should be here on Monday and ready to play.”

Game On

The West Ham official website has this afternoon revealed that the Olympiakos game is on,

"The match was in doubt after the Greek team encountered problems with travelling to Britain after the security alerts brought to light yesterday. However, West Ham officials have been working hard with Olympiakos to overcome those issues with success and the Greek team are now due to take a later flight this evening and the match will kick-off as planned at 3pm tomorrow.

Should the situation change West Ham supporters will be informed immediately via the official website but we are confident this will not be the case and look forward to staging the friendly as planned.

Tickets will be available to purchase on the day with prices starting at £15 for adults and £5 for concessions."

Olympiakos Game Off?

Kumb are today reporting that West Ham's game on Saturday has been cancelled because of today's security alert in London. Babelfish translates the story from as,

"Because the last makes and the special conditions that have been created, programmed for Saturday friendly with the Goye'st Ham in London, it is postponed."

So it looks like the boys at Kumb were right as usual.

There is no confirmation or denial of this story as yet on the West Ham official site.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Matty Out of West Ham's First Three Games

Mathew Etherington was injured in a challenge with Marlon Harewood in a training session and will miss West Ham's first three games of the season. The striker fell on Etherington, who damaged his knee in the collision. Pardew has responded to the injury by stating his desire to sign another wide player,

"I have made it quite obvious I need a wide player in the group. I want a player who is of the same calibre as Matty and Yossi Benayoun," he said.

"We have had a few routes closed on us. There are still a few options but I want to make sure I bring in the right player."

It is hoped that Matty will be fit in time for West Ham's opening UEFA game on 14 September.

Noble May Go On Loan

Ipswich Town are claiming that West Ham have agreed to a loan deal for Mark Noble and they are waiting on a decision from the player. Like many West Ham fans I was hoping Noble would feature in the senior squad a little more this season. By most accounts he has been one of our better players in the pre-season friendlies and this could be his year to break into the first team.

As West Ham are a little short of cover in central midfield, I hope this news means West Ham have plans to buy another central midfielder soon.

New Design for the New Season

I thought I'd try a new design for this blog (I have the old one saved if this gets the thumbs down). At the time of writing Blogger is having trouble loading YouTube videos in Internet Explorer, so the post below may appear blank. The videos load fine in Firefox, so if you haven't converted already click the link on this site and improve your surfing experience, it is worth it. Hopefully Blogger will sort this problem out soon.

On another note there are rumours that West Ham may make one more signing before the close of the transfer window. Personally I'd like to see us bring in another central midfielder, that appears to be the area that we lack cover for at the moment.

West Ham's FA Cup Campaign '06

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

West Ham Two to Represent England

Both Nigel Reo-Coker and Anton Ferdinand have been called up for the England under-21 squad for next week's European Championship qualifier against Moldova. Dean Ashton has been widely rumoured to be named in the England squad and his chances have been boosted by both Darren Bent and Theo Walcott being called up to the under-21 squad.

Work Permit for Pantsil

John Pantsil has been granted his work permit to play for West Ham.

The 25-year-old told the official website,

"I am so happy to have signed for West Ham. It was one of the easiest decisions I have ever made to come here."

Ashton Aims For Top SIx Finish

Dean Ashton, writing in his on-line diary at, says that West Ham are aiming for a top six finish this season.

"Obviously losing the FA Cup was a big disappointment but getting to the final and playing so well proved just how far we had come. We could all look back and say there was nothing more we could have done to win the cup and in the end it was one great player who beat us.

That performance and our league position proved what we believed at the start of the season, that we were good enough to compete in the Premiership. Next season I think we should be looking for a top six finish, to do well in Europe and another good cup run;and that's the minimum.

We're all really looking forward to the kick-off against Charlton and running out in front of the fans at Upton Park. They were amazing all season and absolutely fantastic in the FA Cup final and we hope to give them more to cheer about this year. Our success last year has put pressure on us for this season, but it's the sort of pressure you want to be under."

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

McCartney Signs for West Ham

According to the BBC West Ham have signed Sunderland defender George McCartney for four years. There is no mention of a fee or the rumoured part exchange, with Clive Clarke moving in the opposite direction. West Ham have paid £600,000 plus Clarke to secure the services of the 25-year-old left-back, who progressed through the youth ranks at the Stadium of Light to become club captain.

The Northern Ireland international is injured for at least another ten weeks so the signing is a gamble by West Ham on McCartney recovering fitness.

This news has yet to be been confirmed by the club.

Monday, August 07, 2006

West Ham Youngsters Shine for England

West Ham United Academy players Jordan Spence and Tom Harvey played for England this week in the Faroe Islands as part of England's Under-17 squad in the annual Nordic Tournament.

Defender Jordan Spence captained England and Tom Harvey featured in all the games as England youth made it through to the final, where they were beaten by Denmark.

Both players joined the full-time playing staff at West Ham this summer as first-year Academy scholars and are both expected to feature for England in the FA International tournament taking place in late August and early September.

Yossi Named Captain of Israel

Yossi Benayoun has been named as captain of the Iraeli national side. Israel are in the same qualifying group as England for Euro 2008 and open their campaign against Estonia next month.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

PAOK 2 West Ham 1

There was good news tonight as Roy Carroll played his first game for the Hammers since he was injured in January. The rumours were suggesting that Carroll would not be fit before October so his appearance was a welcome sight.

PAOK took the lead in the game as early as the twelve minute when Yiasemakis rounded Carroll and shot against the post, Rebosio got to the rebound first to score an easy open goal. West Ham equallised in the 26th minute when Cole headed down Hogan's cross for Ashton to shoot home from twelve yards.

Four minutes after the break, PAOK retook the lead when Zegarra scissor-kicked the ball into the top left corner.

Aris vs West Ham

Ashton for England

West Ham's Dean Ashton is being heavily tipped by nearly all the newspapers to be called up for England's friendly game against Greece a week on Wednesday. With Owen injured and Rooney suspended from England's opening European qualifiers new England manager McClaren is believed to be ready to give the young Hammmer his first senior game.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

West Ham Fans Praised by Gerrard

It is interesting to compare what Steven Gerrard had to say about West Ham after the FA Cup final with the bile Lumpard published in The Sun yesterday,

"After I finally laid off spraying people with champagne and was leaving the Millennium pitch, Alan Pardew stopped me and shook my hand. ‘I’d hoped you were saving that for the World Cup,’ he said with a smile. Top man. Pardew’s players were also first-class. They came across, man after man, concealing their agony to say, ‘Well done.’ Everyone associated with West Ham behaved with real dignity in Cardiff, just like the way I try to be in defeat. If they had won, Liverpool could not have complained. Too many of our players were too disappointing. West Ham were desperately unfortunate to lose. Having played so well, it must have been gut-wrenching to go home without the FA Cup, yet they were all gracious. It really moved me that in their hour of utter desolation, West Ham fans stayed behind to applaud as I lifted the FA Cup. I’ll never forget that sporting gesture. I’m Liverpool through and through, head to toe, but I have a place in my heart for West Ham supporters after Cardiff. Fans like West Ham United’s make football special. Usually when we do a lap of honour with a cup, the opponents’ section is empty. The fans have disappeared, dragging their heartache with them. Not in Cardiff on 13 May 2006.

The West Ham fans were tremendous, clapping us as we paraded the cup. Both sets of fans were brilliant, which made it such a terrific occasion."

Thursday's Guardian carried a review of Lumpard's biography. Here are some of the comments that won't be published on the cover of his book,

"... we are condemned to turn the pages of volumes like Totally Frank with a mixture of ennui and mild revulsion. Naturally, it's all there. Frank's riches-to-riches story, the impression that he's the first person ever to become a father, the charity work. I dare you to give a stuff.

The sole effect of this tide of self-regarding tedium is to take the edge off any excitement about the start of the season.


Consider Lampard's reflections after a fortnight spent on Roman Abramovich's yacht. "I suppose people imagine that as a Premiership footballer, my life is quite special," he hazards. "I would agree, but those two weeks opened my eyes to another world." Ah, a millionaire yearning to be a billionaire ... is there anything more charmless?


Frank's capacity for self-delusion is least alluringly deployed when he turns his thoughts to the infamous Ayia Napa video, in which an unnamed man films him, Rio Ferdinand and Kieron Dyer "romping" with two girls they have picked up in the resort before ordering them to perform a lesbian sex show. It subsequently found its way to the News of the World.

I have no idea whether Frank has seen this tape since it was made, but he would have done well to have forced himself through a viewing by way of background research. Its details were heavily sanitised to protect the News of the World's fabled reputation as a "family newspaper", but as someone who has seen the uncut version I find it fairly remarkable that he was able to simply dismiss the episode as "an error of judgment", and - as my colleague Martin Kelner noted on Monday - fail to offer any expression of regret for the humiliation caused to the girls involved."

Gerrard - top bloke and excellent footballer
Lampard - twat

West Ham After George McCartney

There have been rumours for a couple of weeks that Clive Clarke could be on his way to Sunderland and today report that West Ham are interested in a part exchange deal with George McCartney moving the other way. It is believed that Pardew is an admirer of the Northern Ireland international, however McCartney has a knee injury that means he can not play for three months. It would seem sensible for West Ham to wait for the January transfer window but the website claims that the Hammers are prepared to take a gamble on McCartney's injury.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Aris 2 West Ham 2

West Ham started the game with an enforced experimental central midfield of Sheringham and Mullins. It was not suprising therefore that Aris had the better of the first half, creating a number of chances, and were unlucky not to end the half with the lead.

However West Ham started the second half more commandingly. Within a minute of the restart Etherington crossed the ball from the left and Harewood scored from close range. In the 67th minute Noble, playing at right back in the second half, found Zamora with a long ball and Bobby ran at the keeper before coolly slotting the ball past him.

Within a minute Aris had pulled a goal back from a Javito shot from just outside the box, which beat Walker just inside his right-hand post. In the 72nd minute Aris drew level when a cross found Reyes who side-footed it into the net from 5 yards out.

Lumpard the Disloyal

The Sun today reveals that in his autobiography Frank Lampard reveals how he would look out for West Ham results,

"I remember when Joe Cole first came to Chelsea he would turn away in disappointment if West Ham lost. I would smile. That's how deeply I felt. I wanted West Ham to lose."

Now I've never had much of a problem with Lampard before. I've called him Lumpard more as an affectionate joke than in bitterness as I have long given up expecting players to show any loyalty to their teams. However, Frank Lampard can only have grown up supporting West Ham, the club nutured him as a player and gave him his break into premiership football.

Therefore my new disrespect for the man owes nothing to my being a West Ham fan or Lampard's poor performance in the world cup, it is the same disrepsect I have for any person who changes the club he supports and has no gratitude for those who nutured him.

I can only say that at Chelski he has found his natural home.

Seagulls Swoop for Stokes

West Ham's Tony Stokes has joined Brighton for an initial month long loan, that it likely to be extended. Seagulls boss Mark McGhee told the club's official website. "He's a footballer. He'll get on the ball and make things happen. The reviews that have come out of Rushden have been excellent. Whether he'll play on Saturday we'll have to wait and see, but certainly we would expect him to play his way into the team quickly."

With rumours that Clive Clarke is close to signing for Sunderland and that Mark Noble may be loaned out to Ipswich it looks like West Ham could have a smaller squad than last season.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Clive Clarke to Sign for Sunderland?

According to Sunderland manager Niall Quinn West Ham's Clive Clarke is close to leaving the Hammers. Quinn says,

"We've another 24 hours to see if we can get a left-back. Clive Clarke is pretty close to signing and we hope that comes off but if not we have another solution or two."

In order to play in Sunderland's opening game of the season, on Sunday, Clarke must sign tomorrow.

Brighton Loan Tony Stokes

19 year old West Ham player Tony Stokes has joined the Seagulls on loan. Stokes made his senior debut for West Ham last season, in September, in the 4-2 Carling Cup win at Sheffield Wednesday . However he spent much of last season out on loan to Rushden and Diamonds.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

No Money From Carrick Sale

The Sun have revealed today that West Ham did not include a sell on clause when they sold Carrrick to the Spuds, consequently the club will receive no money from his recent transfer. As Carrick only had a few months left on his contract at West Ham the club were forced to sell Carrick on the cheap. The paper claims however that Carrick turned down his dream of playing for the Toon, who wanted to sign the player for free after his contract expired, in order to ensure that West Ham received some money from his sale.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Cambridge 0 West Ham 4

West Ham won their last pre-season friendly against English opponents 4-0, with goals from Ashton, Noble, Cole and Kyel Reid. Cole and Ashton struck up a good partnership in this game, with Cole's clever pass in the 14th minute setting up Ashton's 12 yard goal and Ashton returning the favour by squaring the ball for Cole's six yard goal just before half-time.

Noble like Cole got his first goal for West Ham when in the 40th minute he connected with O'Neil's pass and clipped the ball over Crichton from eight yards out. Soon after the break Kyel Reid also got his debut goal scoring from Konchesky's cut back from 12 yards out.

Pantsil Signs for West Ham

At 4pm today West Ham finally revealed the signing of John Pantsil from Israeli side Hapoel Tel-Aviv in a deal that could rise to £1 million. Pantsil has signed for four years, although the club is still waiting on his work permit application and international clearance before he can play for the Hammers.

Pantsil is West Ham's fifth signing of the summer following the arrival of Lee Bowyer, Jonathan Spector, Carlton Cole and Tyrone Mears. Wikipedia have a full biography of the player here.

West Ham Head to Greece

West Ham yesterday announced that they will be playing two pre-season friendlies in Greece this weekend. The trip has been organised partly so that the players can get expperience against European sides. The games are:

Friday 4th August - Aris FC

Sunday 6th August - PAOK FC

Both games kick off at 9.45pm local time.

If you're lucky enough to be in Greece this weekend more information on the clubs can be found on their websites:

Aris FC


Pantsil Awaits Work Permit

Israeli newspapers are reporting that Pantsil has signed for West Ham subject to a successful work permit application. The deal won't be confirmed by West Ham until the application has been approved. Pantsil is quoted as saying,

"I'm very thrilled. (West Ham is) a very nice, friendly club - just like Hapoel Tel Aviv.

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