Saturday, September 30, 2006

West Ham vs Reading

Internet streaming: The game is on both ESPN and Guandong tomorrow so there is a choice of streams available.

TV Ants Guandong
TV Ants Guandong
TV Ants Guandong
PPStream Guandong
Sopcast Guandong

Hopefully one of these will work. There seemed to be a problem on Thursday with streams saying the game wasn't licensed. It took me until half-time to find a link to work.

Radio Five Live are only reporting that they are commentating on a Premiership game tomorrow. The program starts at 2pm so it could well be West Ham. (UK only)

Friday, September 29, 2006

West Ham vs Reading

After the recent run of poor results this is a must win game for West Ham against newly promoted Reading. Reading have started the season well with twice as many points as West Ham and currently lie 8th in the Premiership having won 3 games, drawn 1 and lost 2. Whilst Pardew is good friends with Reading manager Steve Coppell their fans will be desparate for the team to play well against Pardew's side after the acrimonious manner in which he left the club.

The two sides have only met five times and at the moment the record is equal with two wins each and a draw. At Upton Park West Ham have won the two games played. This will be the first meeting of the sides in the Premiership.

Reading's only injury worry before this game is captain Graeme Murty (hamstring), with Ulises de la Cruz on stand by to fill in. West Ham could be without Tyrone Mears and Anton Ferdinand.

Alan Pardew has admitted that the negotions happening behind the scenes have been disruptive to the team so he will be pleased to hear that a decision is on the cards. A source at the club has indicated that the proposed take over of the club will be decided soon, "A decision will be reached, one way or another, in the next 10 days." This will probably happen after Sunday's game but the club's future ownership now looks to be decided before the Portsmouth game.

West Ham Hot Property

Eli Papouchado has told an Israeli newspaper that he is interested in buying West Ham only to make money from a property deal. This presumably means the consortium looking to buy West Ham have plans to sell off The Boleyn.

Considering the property values in London and the surrounding area I can't imagine that much money could be made from re-locating. So this suggests the consortium is either planning a ground share or, more likely, moving into the Olympic Stadium after 2012.

Either way it is likely that West Ham would end up not owning their ground. Alongside the players, the ground is a football club's major assett and I can't think of a club that hasn't had major difficulties after selling their ground.

Papouchado's revelation indicates that the consortium are interested in West Ham because they want to make money out of the club. They are therefore unlikely to be the cash cow that many fans hoped they would be. Mr Terence Brown may be the safer pair of hands after all.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Palermo 3 West Ham 0

Palermo won this game at a canter with a goal in the first half and two in the second. Fabio Simplicio scored two of Palermo's goals, his first a low shot that skidded past Roy Carroll, his second a cool lob over the keeper from David Di Michele's pass. Di Michele completed the scoring with a powerful shot from close-range.

So no suprises in a another lacklustre display from West Ham. We look a team lacking ideas up front at the moment. Whilst comfortable passing the ball around at the back we lack the vision to create goal scoring chances. Again West Ham went a whole second half without hitting the target, whilst at the back defensive errors allowed the opposition to score twice. To make things worse Cole was stretchered from the ground after injuring himself heading wide from five yards.

The most interesting statistics were that Palermo committed twice as many fouls as West Ham and had four men booked to West Ham's one. Now you could see Palermo in one of two ways; as a team of dirty Italians or a team showing more commitment and desire to win. It certainly looked the second to me.

Pardew again put out a different team for this game and I think he now needs to decide on his starting eleven and stick to it as far as possible. He now has the advantage of being able to concentrate on winning the league - or is that avoiding relegation.

West Ham Fans Clash with Palermo Fans

Italian police have arrested 20 West Ham United supporters after overnight clashes with Palermo fans in Sicily before Thursday's UEFA Cup match. Police in Palermo said around 300 rival supporters fought street battles and then clashed with police in the city centre, hurling glass bottles and other objects at them.

West Ham however have been handed some good news ahead of tonight's game. Tyrone Mears and James Collins have passed medicals and are available for tonight's match. They are exprected to replace Daily and Ferdinand in defence.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Palermo vs West Ham Live Streaming

Nicked this off the West Ham Mad board and I think it should work as it is a live stream of Setanta North America who are showing tomorrow's game live.

To use open Windows Media Player. Click on File and then Open URL. Then copy and post the following address into the window that opens.


(copy and paste both lines separately with no spaces in between - so the address is one continuous line)

To get rid of the vertical picture choose options, devices and then display and change the window size.

Pardew Issues West Ham Rallying Call

Speaking ahead of tomorrow night's UEFA cup tie Alan Pardew has called for his team to attack the opposition,

"I feel this is a great opportunity to put in a really top-class performance, which I don't think we've given since the game when we lost at Liverpool. We're due something to come out of this team and hopefully in this game it will.

We felt very aggrieved to come away with a 1-0 defeat, as good as Palermo are. We entered this competition with our eyes wide open. It's fantastic for this young team, we've drawn a tough team and I think the game is still very much in the balance.

We need to attack this game, our aim must be to score two goals and hopefully that will be enough to see us through."

Teddy Urged to Stay at West Ham

Alan Pardew is keen to keep Teddy Sheringham at the club. Teddy's first team opportunities have been limited this year by the arrival of Tevez but Pardew is still keen to keep the experienced forward at West Ham.

"I am desperate to keep Teddy at this club. I want to keep his focus here and have been talking to him about it. But Ted is very much his own man and all I can do is hope he stays all year and be a big part of what happens at this club."

Pardew Wants Take Over Decided

Speaking in today's Telegraph Alan Pardew shows his impatience with the length of time being taken over the potential take over bid,

"I have made it clear to the chairman that if we can resolve this as quickly as possible, that would be the best scenario for everybody. He is aware of that and I believe that is what he is trying to achieve."

The paper also quotes Macherano emphasising the importance of European competition,

"Things aren't going well for Tevez or myself, but we are not despairing. This is all a matter of time and a matter of not worrying anybody at the club. West Ham have a good enough squad to be a lot higher in the table than we are right now.

The tie against Palermo isn't lost. If they can win in London, we can still do the same in Italy.

The game against Palermo is very important for us because we want to play in Europe. The fans are excited about it and we can't disappoint them any more."

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Palermo vs West Ham

Radio: Full commentary of the game is on BBC LONDON 94.9FM and 765 MW (the Spuds are on internet and digital radio - for some reason BBC London have a commitment to broadcast every Spud and Charlton home game and only throw West Ham the occasional bone - now why do I pay my licence fee?)

The BBC say they have 'coverage' on the BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Five Live.

TV: Channel Five are showing highlights of the game at 11.35pm Thursday.

Live Streaming: No links yet. The game is being shown live on Setanta in America so I remain hopeful there will be internet coverage.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Chesterfield vs West Ham

West Ham's game away to Chesterfield in the Carling Cup has been scheduled for Tuesday October 24th ko 7.45. The game has been picked up by Sky, so will be on live.

Palermo Want to Lose

After their loss in Series A this weekend Palermo chief Maurizio Zamparini said he hoped his side loses against West Ham on Thursday,

"I hope West Ham kick us out of the UEFA Cup, otherwise I am sure we will lose again on Sunday against Chievo. This team cannot compete in two different tournaments and I honestly couldn't care less about the UEFA Cup – I prefer the Serie A championship."

The Scilian team lost by two goals against Empoli and have looked very weak defensively. West Ham on the otherhand have not scored in two games and managed only three shots on target in those two games.

Palermo Lose

Palermo have lost their top spot in Series A after losing 2-0 to Empoli. Worryingly for West Ham this loss was partly due to the Scilian team resting a number of players for Thursday's game.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Pardew Not Worried

In a News of the World interview Pardew has talked about the possible takeover of West Ham. Some of the media reported that the consortium in talks with West Ham were unhappy at some of the remarks he made about keeping hold of the West Ham 'tradition', but Pardew insists he is not worried,

"I'd like to think that whoever comes in here would see the record I have here - and my results at Reading - and that would suggest they could do a whole lot worse than stick with me. I believe I can work in this game at the highest level. Nothing fazes me.

If we didn't have players like Tevez and Mascherano then we wouldn't be able to dream of what we can now achieve, but the demands of the new consortium will raise the bar. If they complete their takeover soon, they will set a target of Champions League qualification this season."

Ferdinand Out of Palermo Game

It has been confirmed that Anton Ferdinand picked up a hamstring injury in yesterday's game and will not be available for the West Ham side on Thursday. Alan Pardew is now facing a bit of a crisis at the back,

"We had a couple of big defensive blows today, though, and to lose Anton Ferdinand at a time when we'd got our foot on the game and quietened the crowd was crucial. I don't know when he'll be back but it's an absolute certainty that Anton will not be available for the Palermo game.

"Unfortunately, we just can't get a settled back four at the moment. We've had to use Tyrone Mears, John Pantsil, Christian Dailly and Hayden Mullins at right back."

Spector and Colilins however may be fit for the UEFA cup game.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Man City 2 West Ham 0

Harewood started for West Ham in place of Tevez. Dailly was picked at right back and Bowyer started on the bench.

In a fairly even first half City created the better chances. Their best chance came after Etherington lost the ball about 35 yards out to Richards, who then ran unopposed into the West Ham area. He squared the ball for Corradi 2 yards out but Konchesky just managed to get across to block the shot. A few minutes before that Samaras had fired a low cross/shot from the right touch line that Carroll just managed to divert wide. From the resulting corner, Miller rose unchallenged but the ball hit his shoulder and deflected wide.

For West Ham Harewood was nearly put through by Reo-Coker but the City defence just managed to beat him to the ball. West Ham's only other real chance came from a Zamorra headed flick back from the right hand post, but none of the West Ham midfield had gambled with a run into the box. Konchesky and Mascherano also both had long range shots, both of which flew high and wide. In the 22nd minute Ferdinand seemed to pick up a hamstring injury and Mullins replaced him.

The second half belonged to City. They got their first after five minutes after a good run from Miller on the left wing was blocked and the ball fell to Samaras to score from the edge of the box. Samaras got his second in the 62nd minute when he was put clean through. Carroll rushed out to meet him but the forward cooly chipped it over the out-rushing keeper.

I can't remember West Ham troubling the City keeper in the whole game. We look like a side bereft of ideas at the moment. Hopefully Paintsil will be back soon and Ferdinand hasn't picked up a long term injury.

West Ham Carling Cup Draw

West Ham have been drawn away to Chesterfield in the third round of the Carling Cup. West Ham received a bye in the second round because of our European involvement.

The game will be played either on Tuesday 25th or Wednesday 26th October.

Man City vs West Ham

Man City vs West Ham Live Streams

TVAnts is streaming a re-live of the game at 5.30pm. Link

The game is also scheduled on Guandong at 5.30pm so it should be available on most major P2P services. I can't find any links yet but will post them if I find them.

Another re-live stream of the games is available at LiveFooty. The game is on at 8.30pm, which is late but it looks very good quality and doesn't involve any downloads.

West Ham Defenders Out

According to Vital Football West Ham seem to be lacking a right back for the Man City game. Collins aggravated a groin strain in midweek while Mears has a calf strain. Both injuries expected to be short term.

Jonathan Spector is the most obvious choice to cover but Hammers boss Alan Pardew revealed he will not start due to a lack of match fitness. Mullins or Dailly could be asked to cover the position or Pardew could experiment with three at the back again.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Football Podcasts

You can now listen to football podcasts on Hammered.

The featured podcasts are Radio Five's phone in show 606 and Sportsweek, and a more amateur (but still interesting) broadcast called The Premiership Podcast.

To listen to the podcasts click on the links in the grey box in the right hand sidebar of this page and press the green play button.

If you know of any other football podcasts leave a comment and they will be added.

Latest on the West Ham Takeover Bid

According to toaday's Independent Israeli businessman Eli Papoushado has confirmed that he is willing to help to fund the £100m takeover of West Ham United. He is quoted as saying,

"This is to confirm that Mr Kia Joorabchian has spoken to me about leading a consortium of investors in football projects. After considerable thought, I have agreed to participate if Kia decides to go forward with any such project."

Joorachbchian's bid through MSI last year failed because the two sides could not reach an agreement on the club's value and there were concerns that MSI lacked sufficient backing. It is believed that with Papoushado's backing Joorachbian may now be able to offer the £70m to buy the club's shares and the £30m to clear its debt.

To succeed in his bid Joorachbian needs to buy out chairman, Terence Brown, who controls 40 per cent of West Ham's shares, plus Charles Warner, who owns 21 per cent, and Martin Cearns, who controls 9.1 per cent of West Ham.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Man City vs West Ham

West Ham have yet to keep a clean sheet this season but face a City side who have scored just three goals in five league games. City's 2-1 loss to Chesterfield midweek was the club's 13th defeat in their last 16 games and a loss against West Ham could see them drop into the relegation zone.

West Ham have conceded the first goal in four of their five League games this season without managing the talismanic comebacks of last season. Key to this game will be keeping a clean sheet and hopefully getting someone apart from Zamora on the score sheet.

For City Darius Vassell , Sun Jihai, Nedum Onuoha, Andreas Isaksson and Hatem Trabelsi are out of the game through injury. West Ham have no new injury worries.

In the corresponding game last season West Ham lost 2-1 but beat City well in the FA Cup quarter-final.

Paintsil Update

West Ham manager Alan Pardew says Ghana fullback John Paintsil is nearing a return from injury,

"He is now running around the track and I think he will probably be back in full training in around 10 days which is great news for us."

Pardew also confirmed the news that new left back George McCartney is on the mend,

"He is two or three weeks away from full training, but he looks pretty good and he has settled in really well."

Palermo on Fire

West Ham's UEFA cup opponents, Palermo, lead Serie A after their third successive league win against Catania. Palermo won the game 5-3 and have so far earnt maximum points in the league.

They have now scored 11 goals in just three league games. However there is still hope for West Ham because as well as being Series A's top scorers they also have the league's worst defensive record, having conceded 7. The Scilian side also have a tough game on Saturday against second placed near-neighbours Messina before facing West Ham next Thursday.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

West Ham's McCartney Passes Medical

George McCartney has said that he is 2 to 3 weeks from getting back to full training. McCartney has passed a second medical and has started light training. McCartney will also need to get some reserve games in before he begins to challenge Konchesky for the West Ham first team.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Panorama Allegations

In tonight's Panorama investigation into corruption in the Premiership Sam Allardyce was named by three different agents as taking bungs. An allegation that Fat Sam denies. At least one of the bungs involved Sam's agent son, who since the filming of the programme has resigned.

Chelsea's Head of Development and Scouting Frank Arnesen was also filmed apparantly attempting to tap up Middlesbrough's Nathan Porritt. He was filmed offering the player £150,000 spread over three years.

No suprise to anyone was the inclusion of former West Ham manager Harry Rednapp, who was filmed discussing his interest in Blackburn's Andy Todd. The coverage shown on the programme seemed to only involve Rednapp talking of his liking of Todd as a committed player, "he's a hard bastard".

Eighteen past and present Premiership managers were named by individuals who spoke to the Panorama investigations.

The FA have asked to look at the footage not shown by the the BBC because they were worried of the legal repercussions.

West Ham Videos

You can now watch West Ham videos at Hammered via the West Ham Feeds silver box in the right hand side bar.

Click on the West Ham Videos link and simply choose the video you wish to watch. If you find the screen size too small open up a new video by clicking on the Launch Window icon in the top right hand corner. A new window will open which you can resize for optimum viewing pleasure.

To return to the video menu simply click on the blue bar that runs down the left hand side of the Feeds box. Keep clicking on the bar to return to the feeds list.

You can also view West Ham news feeds from the BBC, Sky and Google News. If you know any West Ham related feeds I haven't featured use the comment option to pass on the link.

Matty Remains Upbeat

After starting his first game for West Ham this season on Sunday Mathew Etherington is remaining positive despite the loss,

"It happens to all sides, you go through phases like this, where the team is not doing as well as you like, but you get on with it and make sure you work hard to put it right and that's what we'll do.

We have no match until Saturday and yes, after a defeat you want the next game to come along straight away sometimes, because you want to put the other one behind you, but having the whole week, is also a good chance for all the lads to get together in training all week and put things right.

That's what we'll be doing and you can be sure we'll be raring to go against Man City."

Monday, September 18, 2006

No Excuses

Speaking on the West Ham official site Alan Pardew admits West Ham's recent performances have been below par,

"I don't want to use any excuse to the paying public for the performance that we put in today. We're just not having too much good fortune and things aren't going our way at the moment, but there can be no disguising the fact that this was a sub-par performance from us.

We've been well-supported for all three games but while we've been competitive, we haven't given our fans a real stirring, showboating West Ham United performance and that's a big disappointment for me."

Obviously bedding in two new players does take time. Tevez in particular is a different type of forward than Ashton, Zamora and Harewood and needs the ball to his feet and a little deeper. It will take a while for the other players to get used to his style of play.

However I think West Ham's current poor form started before the arrival of Tevez and Mascherano. Of the new arrivals Paintsil looks to have solved our right back problems and when George McCartney recovers he will hopefully be given a chance at left back, which Konchesky seems to be making our problem position this year.

Luckily West Ham's next two league games are away to a struggling Man City side and a home game against Reading. If we can get at least four points from these two games this will hopefully restore some confidence to the team.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

West Ham 0 Newcastle 2

West Ham had the better of the first half but didn't manage to get the vital first goal. The Hammers' two best chances came from Tevez free-kicks both from the edge of the area. He hit the crossbar with one and forced Given to save low down with the other.

Tevez was replaced in the second half by Harewood. However it was Damien Duff who soon opened the scoring for the Magpies. The goal was made though by Martins, who won the ball 30 yards from his own goal and ran half the length of the pitch before laying a pass into the path of Duff, who shot and scored from the edge of the area. Martins scored himself after a mix-up between Bowyer and Gabbidon fell his way and he fired a low shot past Carroll.

West Ham's only chances in the second half fell to Bowyer, who came close to scoring from the halfway line after picking up a poor clearance from Given and Harewood who headed wide from a Yossi cross.

Worried? You bet.

West Ham: Carroll, Mears (Mullins 67), Ferdinand, Gabbidon, Konchesky, Bowyer, Mascherano (Benayoun 67), Reo-Coker, Etherington, Tevez (Harewood 45), Zamora.
Subs Not Used: Green, Cole.

West Ham vs Newcastle

Radio Commentary: Five Live Sport.

TV Stream: None found as of yet.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Non-Story of the Week

Today The Daily Mail claim Tevez threw 'a tantrum' over the temporary accommodation given him by West Ham in Canary Wharf. They report that West Ham responded by moving him "to a bigger apartment". So even if Tevez did complain (which I assume is conjecture by the reporter) the fact that West Ham have responded to his request suggests there was no 'major row' as the shit rag reports.

This seems sympyomatic of the controversy that the newspapers want to create around the Hammers at the moment.

I think there are two major points here:

1. West Ham have landed Tevez and Mascherano in a deal that might probably involve the players still being owned by their agents. If this is true West Ham have landed two very good players on the cheap for a year and Tevez and Mascherano hopefully increase their value in the European market. As far as I can see no one loses, everyone's happy - no controversy.

2. West Ham are in talks about a possible take-over. The individuals involved behind this deal may be not as white as the driven snow. Fair enough - investigate away - West Ham fans are as interested, if not more, in the characters who might end up owning our club. And hats off to The Guardian for the investigative journalism that they have been carrying out on some of the rumoured men behind this deal.

But today's story in The Mail is the kind of half arsed, conjective and (I assume) fabricated crap that most of the media have been throwing West Ham's way in the last couple of weeks.

Which brings me back to a point I made two day's ago. The Spuds and Slavia Prague, who played each other this week, are owned by the same people. Now, and someone please correct me if I am wrong, but this is expressly against UEFA rules. So why FFS are the newspapers obsessed with a possible take-over at West Ham when there appears to be real corruption already in existence.

Roeder At Fault

Speaking in today's Sun Glenn Roeder admits it was his fault that West Ham got relegated under his managership.

"I still take responsibility for what happened when the club was relegated. But, looking back, I would say that in football terms I hit the post. I accept that responsibility and I don’t go hiding. The buck stops with me. We got relegated and I ended up losing my job at the start of the next season."

However Roeder still has excuses for how he managed to take a side that contained what is essentially now a third of the Endland national squad from seventh place in the Premiership to the Championship in one season,

"... in my second season we were without our two main strikers — Freddie Kanoute and Paolo Di Canio — for six months and without strikers you can’t expect to win games."

Having lost Owen to injury and Shearer to retirement we would forgive Roeder for feeling a sense of deja-vu. His side have failed to score in successive Premiership games away from home, and last netted a League goal on the road at the Stadium of Light on 17 April, when they played already relegated local Sunderland.

Friday, September 15, 2006

West Ham's Italian Job

Alan Pardew remains upbeat about West Ham's chances in the return fixture against Palermo and clearly thinks we are still in with a shout. Speaking on the West Ham official site, Pardew praises the performance of his players and also has some harsh words about the refereeing,

"I feel a bit hard done by. Although, Palermo's organisation and ability to press the ball was always going to make it difficult for us, I thought that we played well under pressure.

The performance level was high from both sides but things just didn't go our way and we even stopped, momentarily, for their goal because we thought that the ball had gone out of play. It would be so easy to say that we got caught out, but I honestly believe we could have got something out of tonight's game with a couple of breaks.

And without making excuses, I was unhappy with the referee during the opening stages, too, because some of the Italian tackling should've been punished with more yellow cards. That would've put one or two of their players under serious wraps for the rest of the game and although neither side came out of that late, heated pushing and shoving match with any credit, that whole incident was a build-up of events that had gone on earlier.

Even though we lost, Palermo will still be in some fear of us. As far as I'm concerned, this tie is still very evenly poised."

Roeder' s Return

Glenn Roeder returns to Upton Park on Sunday with his struggling Newcastle side. The Geordies have failed to replace the retired Shearer and have scored only three goals this season compared to West Ham's six. West Ham are unbeaten at Upton Park so far this season in the Premiership and the Magpies are yet to win away. The barcodes also picked up a couple of injuries in their European game last night and both Titus Bramble and Steven Taylor are doubts for the game. Nobby Solano is also out for three weeks.

West Ham could remain unchanged from the team that lost last night but are likely to return to playing a 4-4-2 system. However Mullins, Etherington and Harewood are all knocking on the door of the first team and Pardew will not be able to keep everyone happy. It might be hard for Mullins to get back in the side as Pardew was clearly impressed with Mascherano's performance last night, saying "Mascherano's delivery of pass raised us a level.".

West Ham have now won only one of their last five games so this is a must win game for the Hammers. West Ham were beaten 2-4 in the corresponding fixture last year, so revenge is needed and probably like most Hammer's for me beating a Roeder side would be just as sweet. Another incentive for West Ham is that if they win this game it will be their 100th home win in the Premiership.

Harewood & Walker Renew West Ham Contracts

Marlon Harewood and Jimmy Walker have both signed new contracts with West Ham. Marlon's has signed on till 2010 and Walker has signed a one year extension to his contract keeping him at the till 2008.

Harewood told the official site,

"I am enjoying playing football for West Ham and this is where I want to stay. I have had three good seasons at the Club and I hope to have many more to come.

The future is looking good here and I want to be part of it, this is a great club with a great bunch of lads and a great team spirit that I want to remain involved in."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

West Ham 0 Palermo 1

Tevez and Mascherano started the game for West Ham. Pardew picked Mascherano in the centre of a three man midfield with Bowyer and Reo-Coker. Zamora was picked up front with Benayoun and Tevez playing a little deeper and wider behind him. Mears remained at right back.

For the first thirty minutes West Ham had the better of the possession but failed to create many goal scoring opportunities. In the 18th minute Tevez dinked a lovely pass past two defenders into the area but Bowyer just failed to meet the ball. On the 25th minute Reo-Coker shot wide from the edge of the box.

The play opened up a little after 30 minutes. In the 35th minute Konchesky's shot from a short free kick from 25 yards was deflected wide. From the resulting corner Ferdinand had a clear header but sent the ball wide. Two minutes later Breschiano shot straight at Carroll at the other end from 20 yards. On the 39th minute Breschiano met a cross with his head which Carroll, at full stretch, managed to tip wide. One minute later Reo-Coker shot over the box from the edge of the area.

West Ham's best chance came in the 41st minute when Zamora out wide on the left wing crossed a lovely ball for Tevez. Tevez tried to place his volley from five yards but the shot was well saved by the keeper. From the corner Mears had a free header, but headed straight into the ground and the ball bounced up nicely for the keeper to catch.

Then on the stroke of half-time Benayoun lost the ball near the half way line on the left wing and Diana crossed the ball low behind the West Ham defence for an easy tap-in for Caracciolo.

Both sides remained unchanged for the second half. In the 48th minute Konchesky, from another short free kick,shot just wide from 25 yards. In the 57th minute Caracciolo was put clean through but Carroll rushed out and managed to just block the ball on the edge of the area.

In the 58th minute Etherington came on for Bowyer and West Ham changed to a 4-4-2. The tactical change seemed to work well for West Ham who looked to have more penetration for the rest of the half. Unfortunately Palermo defended well and West Ham were never able to make their possession count.

In the 61st minute Ferdinand headed over the bar from a corner. In the 76th minute Harewood came on for Tevez and Cole came on for Zamora. Harewood's first touch was a half-volley from a Benayoun cross, which beat the keeper, but hit the post. In the 85th minute Harewood headed well wide from a Konchesky cross. Then in the 89th minute Gabbidon did the same.

In the end West Ham were unlucky, they deserved a draw from the game and Tevez and Harewood were unlucky not to score. Masherano I thought was real class, breaking up Palermo's attacks and passing well. I also think all the players came out of this game with credit and did not look out of place on the European stage, although Konchesky was a bit wasteful in possession in the first half.

Palermo now have the important away goal but at home may not play quite so deep, so West Ham are still in this tie but it is going to be a hard task now.

West Ham vs Palermo

Today's game is on ITV4 (available on free view).

There is also live commentary on Radio Five (UK only).

This site has links to live streams of the game for SopCast and TVAnts - AsiaPlate

West Ham Bid

The Guardian today has a published an interesting story on the men rumoured to be behind the attempt to buy out West Ham.

The key man seems to be Boris Berezovsky, who Kia Joorabchian often acts as a frontman for. Mr Berezovsky has lived in exile in the UK since the Russian authorities charged him with plotting a coup. He now holds a British passport under the name of Platon Elenin, a name he borrowed from the lead character in a film loosely based upon his life.

Berezovsky is also rumoured to be a key figure in MSI, the company which took over Brazilian side Corinthians and which is being investigated by Brazillian authorities for money laundering. The Sao Paulo prosecutor's report says that some of the money allegedly being laundered through Corinthians was "principally [that] of Boris Berezovsky". Berezovsky however denies any involvement in MSI.

Berezovsky made his money with Abramovich, who was first his protege, and then partner in the biggest privatisation deal in Russian history, which saw the creation of Sibneft, a massive oil company, 10 years ago.

According to The Guardian "(Russian president) Putin rounded on many of Russia's leading businessmen six years ago, in an attempt to retrieve the Russian state from the oligarchy, he went first for Mr Berezovsky, the richest and most powerful of them all. Since that point, Mr Abramovich appears to have outplayed and outmanoeuvred his former mentor at every turn.

Mr Berezovsky was forced into exile then pressured into selling many of his assets back to the state. Today he is estimated to be down to his last £800m. The Chelsea owner, on the other hand, remains on Putin's good side, is close to the president's likely successors and spends much of his time in Moscow."

Strangely The Guardian and all the other British papers seem more interested in the rumoured take-over at West Ham than the real dodgy dealing going on with the Spuds.

Tottenham today play Slavia Prague in the UEFA cup. Slavia Prague is 96.2% owned by ENIC Sports Limited who also have a significant if not controlling interest in Tottenham. ENIC managing director David Levy is also chairman of Tottenham and the registered address of ENIC is at Tottenham. In my understanding UEFA rules state that no organisation can own more than one football club, yet no-one seems to be kicking up the same amount of fuss over this as the possibility that West Ham might get taken over.

I for one wonder who ENIC would rather win in the UEFA cup tie between two of their teams and will be looking with interest at the result of this game.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

West Ham in Bid for Real Madrid Player

According to fansfc West Ham are keen to sign Real Madrid's Brazilian full-back Cicinho. The site claims Alan Pardew said at the weekend,

"I shall try to sign him again in January and hopefully, I'll be successful."

The Brazillian player is currently out of favour at Real Madrid, however West Ham will face competition from AS Roma who have also declared an interest in buying the player in the January transfer window.

West Ham vs Palermo

West Ham are nearly at full strength for this game. John Paintsil is still out with a knee ligament injury, Teddy Sheringham has had an upset stomach and of course Ashton is out for a while yet. But Carroll, Benayoun and Mears who were all worries on Sunday managed to come through the Villa game unscathed.

The big selection headache for Pardew is whether to play Tevez and Mascherano, and if so, who does he drop. There are no excuses about the two not being used to the pace of the English game for this match, although Pardew may have some worries about changing his established midfield partnership of Mullins and Reo-Coker. Mullins seems the most likely to be dropped of the two as Mascherano plays a similar defensive midfield role. In the away leg in Scily Pardew may well go for two defensive midfielders but Reo-Coker's more attacking role will probably be the preferred option at home.

Pardew should have no problems with who to pick up front. Zamora is on fire and Harewood has looked out of sorts. On Sunday we saw a glimpse of the role Pardew expects Tevez to play, coming deep and running at defences. Tevez looks more able to open up a tight Italian defence than Harewood.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Yossi to Sign Five Year Deal with West Ham

Yossi Benayoun has said he will sign a new five year deal with West Ham this week. He also spoke about the rumours linking him with other clubs over the summer,

"I never said I wanted to leave, it is normal to have speculation in the press. But I am very happy at West Ham, everything has been agreed on a new deal and I will sign for five years.

Liverpool and Arsenal are two big names, but this shows I am very happy here and also that the club are happy with me."

Benayoun also spoke favourably about the new arrivals at Upton Park,

"Of course if somebody comes in with a lot of money of course it will help the team. They brought two world class players here in Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, so I think this club is going to make a big step forward."

West Ham Game on ITV4

Correction: Contrary to the claim last week it appears that West Ham's UEFA Cup game is not on ITV1 but remains on ITV4. The confusion seems to have risen from the announcement last week that the kick-off had been moved to 8 o'clock because the game was to be televised by ITV.

UEFA Attack West Ham

Uefa's president Lennart Johansson has attacked the precedent he sees West Ham setting with the deals involving Tevez and Mascherano. He claims that only clubs should be allowed to own players,

"We know what's going on and this West Ham case illustrates the problems. We have to do something to make the authorities aware of what's happening and I hope they do something."

Which obvioulsy begs the question of who are the 'authorities' if not UEFA? Johansson continues,

"Take illegal betting. If two clubs in the same competition are owned by the same person through 'daughter companies' then you know how much money they can earn through betting. I am also not happy with individuals or agencies owning players and we are doing our utmost to change the system.

For me, it also increases the risk of illegal betting when an individual owns a player."

West Ham Can Improve

Reo-Coker speaking on the West Ham official site admits that the team played poorly on Saturday but says the players are looking forward to Thursday's UEFA tie,

"I think it is good we have a game so soon on Thursday to put things right, it will obviously be a very different match as it is a European game and they will have their own style of playing football, but we can take some pointers from yesterday's game and hopefully get a good result.

I am looking forward to it so much, evening games under the floodlights at Upton Park are always very special, but it will be even more so this week with it being our first UEFA Cup game. This is our reward for getting to the Cup Final last year and we intend to make the most of it. The boys are so fired up already for the game and we are determined to go as far as we can.

We were a whisker away from winning a trophy last season, this season we have got an extra opportunity to win one and that is exactly what we intend to do."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Take Over Talks

The Telegraph today carries an interview with Kia Joorabchian and names his potential Israeli investor as property magnate Eli Papouchado. An associate of Popouchado has claimed that the businessman is only interested in the Hammers as an investment, saying, "He wouldn't know West Ham from West Brom."

Part of the interview with Joorabchian includes an interesting biography of his business career. Most relevant is his take over of Brazilian side Corinthians. At first Joorabchian reversed the flow of top players departing the club. He bought Tevez and Mascherano, after which the club's attendances soared. He also boosted sponsorship contracts. In only his second season, Corinthians won the domestic championship.

However since then the club has been hit by boardroom rows, seven managers have come and gone and the club have faced an investigation into possible money laundering. Joorabachian has now quit MSI, and therefore Corinthians taking with him their most valuable assets Tevez and Mascherano.

Palermo Start With a Win

West Ham's Uefa cup opponents Palermo have started their Series A campaign with a 4-3 win against Reggina. The Scilian team started the game with all guns blazing and were 3-0 up within twenty minutes. Reggina pulled 2 goals back with a goal either side of the half-time break. Reggina then had a player sent off before both sides added a goal each.

It all bodes well for a cracking game on Thursday. Like West Ham they look to be good in attack but liable to let in goals at the back. It looks like West Ham will have a tough task stopping them getting an away goal this week but they will also find it difficult to stop the Hammers scoring in the away leg.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

West Ham 1 Villa 1

West Ham started the game with Tevez, Mascherano and Etherington on the bench.

Villa made their height advantage count in the first half causing West Ham problems in the air, particularly from corners. Their goal came in the fourth minute from a right hand corner, Carroll did well to block a three yard header but Ridgewell was first to the rebound to score from a couple of yards. On the 15th minute Angel should also have scored from a corner when he rose unopposed and headed over from just 4 yards out. In the 35th minute Angel had another chance when he met a left wing cross with his head on the edge of the box, but just put the ball over the bar.

West Ham's best chance fell to Harewood in the 7th minute when Sorenson miskicked with his left foot straight to Marlon 4 yards out. Harewood, with only the keeper to beat, poked the ball just past the right post. The only other real chance for the Hammers came from a surging run by Reo-Coker who ran from the half way line to the edge of the box, but his hurried toe-poke missed outside the left post by about 4 yards.

It took West Ham just 5 minutes to draw level in the second half. Reo-Coker pulled back a cross from the touchline that a Villa defender just beat Zamorra to. From the resulting corner Bowyer's deep ball was met by Konchesky on the edge of the box. His header back into the penalty box just brushed Zamorra's thigh to divert the ball wide of the keeper. Almost straight from the kickoff Petrov managed to evade the West Ham defence and chip Carroll only to see Mears brilliantly clear the ball off the line. In the 55th minute Barry fired in a shot from out wide on the left. Carroll at full stretch managed to palm the ball wide, the ball was fired back across the box but Davies just couldn't reach the cross.

In the 60th minute Tevez came on for Harewood. In the 70th minute Tevez managed to beat a defender on the right wing and pull a nice ball back from the touchline into the box, but none of the West Ham midfield anticipated the ball and it was easily cleared.

Having looked ineffective in the first half West Ham had the better of the second but never really looked like winning the game.

West Ham Finance Director Quits

According to today's Sunday Mirror West Ham's finance director Nicky Igoe has quit West Ham after a boardroom row with Brown over the takeover deal fronted by Iranian-born businessman Kia Joorabchian.

According to the Mirror Joorabchian will announce tomorrow the name of the Israeli billionaire who is his main backer. If Joorabchian can prove his group's financial standing this week, the takeover could be finalised by the end of October.

The Israeli financier could well be football agent Pini Zahavi who is attempting to put together a £100 million fund to sign young footballing talent. The players will then be leased to clubs and the fund will retain ownership of their contracts. Already around 80 per cent of players in South America are partly owned by investors as well as the clubs they play for and it is rumoured this is the sort of arrangement that has seen Tevez and Mascherano join West Ham.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

West Ham vs Villa

Today's game is live on Sky 1 starting at 3pm (ko 4pm).

It is also available on radio from Five Live.

It ia also being streamed live by TVAnts, PPStream, PPLive and SopCast. Links to all can be found here.

The other big news today is that Swedish club Allsvenskan are keen on signing Teddy Sheringham. Teddy spent time at the club early in his career when he was loaned out to them by Mill@#~@!

Personally I can't see Teddy being too interested. Because of West Ham's signing of Tevez, Sheringham is obviously not likely to get much first team action this year. However it is well known Pardew values Sheringham's experience and I imagine Teddy is keen to get coaching experience - a role that we would hope West Ham are considering for the player.

Mascherano Claims They Are Staying

Mascherano, who looks likely to start in tomorrow's game, claims that he and Tevez are not using West Ham as a shop window in order to impress European clubs,

"We are fully committed to West Ham and we don't see this move as a stop over to any other club as it was said at some point.

I know West Ham produced many of the players that currently play for England and that the gaffer had a big influence on the current good form of the club thanks to his strong personality. I know about its long history and some of the trophies they have won and I always knew about its youth scheme that produced so many world-class players.

Both of us had the final say about coming here and we both discussed how firm the West Ham offer was. At the end of the day that's what counted for us.

West Ham showed a true desire to sign us and that's what mattered."

Press Conference

Reo-Coker Happy at West Ham

Despite rumours suggesting that Nigel Reo-Coker was 'furious' that West Ham turned down offers for him from so called 'big' clubs he insists he is happy where he is,

"I am still a West Ham player and am happy to be here and looking forward to tomorrow's game. That's football and there is going to be speculation and situations that happen."

Friday, September 08, 2006

West Ham Live

West Ham's home game against Palermo next Thursday has been bumped up from ITV4 (ffs) to ITV1. This is surely a reflection of the worldwide media interest in the club since the signings of Tevez and Mascherano.

The West Ham vs Villa game is live on Sunday on Sky Sports 1 at 3pm (ko 4pm). Yossi and Carroll are both doubtful for the game after picking up injuries on international duty. Etherington and Green however have recovered from their injures and are back in contention.

Tevez May Not Play

Alan Pardew has hinted that Tevez may not be first choice against the Villans on Sunday. Speaking on the West Ham official site he has suggested that Tevez is not yet fully fit.

"We have taken a good look at both players and they are shaping up well. Carlos has only had 2 light training sessions in the last 3 weeks and looks just short of full fitness. However, Javier is a couple of weeks ahead and is looking in great shape," Pardew told the club official website.

My gut feeling is that Carlos won't be able to catch up in time for this weekend's game and therefore I won't risk him if he's not ready. I don't want him stretched until he is fully fit.

But I have to say his attitude and desire are 100 per cent, so as far as I'm concerned, both will be considered for selection against Aston Villa on Sunday. I am obviously looking to integrate them as fast as possible, but with a number of our players away on international duty that is proving a little difficult.I know our supporters can't wait to see them play in West Ham colours and neither can I"

Thursday, September 07, 2006

West Ham vs Aston Villa

West Ham won the corresponding fixture 4-0 last season, but everyone expects O'Neill's Villa to be a different proposition this season to Villa under O'Leary. Stilian Petrov is set to make his debut for the Villans, who have made a good start to this year's campaign. A draw away at Arsenal and home wins against Reading and Newcastle see them lying third in the table.

However West Ham have two new additions themselves in Mascherano and Tevez. It remains to be seen if Pardew will throw them both straight into the first team. West Ham's midfield has looked very solid this season and Pardew may not want to disrupt the established midfield pairing of Reo-Coker and Mullins. Up front Zamora has been on fire so far this season, so it is hard to see him being dropped, however Harewood has yet to find his form of last season so he may give way to Tevez.

The Argentinian duo are obviously on the minds of the Villa team. Gareth Barry has certainly writen about them on the club website,

"They are quality players, they are Argentinian internationals, but the Premiership is a different ball game and them being involved is not going to change us thinking we can get a result.

We will be getting the first of them and hopefully we can shown them what the Premiership is all about and making the headlines."

I expect the Villans will play a tight, defensive game at the Boleyn and look to pack the midfield. However Tevez should feature at some point in this game and what little I've seen of him he looks a fiery player who will be desparate to make an impact in his first game for the club.

I predict West Ham will have a tough game but expect us to win by the odd goal.

Roy Carroll Injured - Again

Roy Carroll was substituted only eleven minutes into Northern Ireland's game with Spain last night. He appeared to pick up a groin strain and is doubtful for West Ham's game against Villa on Sunday. Luckily for the Hammers Rob Green appears to have recovered from injury, having turned out for West Ham reserves last week.

Yossi Benayoun was on the score sheet again for Israel in their 4-1 defeat of Andorra. Yossi got Israel's first in the ninth minute with a twelve yard header. He was substituted in the 66th minute.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The South American View

The Guardian have interviewed four South American journalist's about how they rate West Ham's new Argentinian signings and how well they think they will adapt to English football and life.

Bruno Freitas UOL (Brazil)

"Tévez is a match winner, but he's also a troublemaker. At Corinthians he was influential in many victories but had problems with other players, coaches and the fans. He's quick, creates a lot of chances and can score with both feet but West Ham must know that he'll probably make a lot of noise off the pitch. Mascherano is a more quiet player but seems to be smarter than Tévez and is definitely more friendly."

Julio Gomes TV Band (Brazil)

"Mascherano has more fame than proven ability. He's a really good destroyer but not a good passer. Tévez is one of the best young Argentinian players to come through but he's got a bad temper. He's not the type of player who will learn English and he's not even studying the language because his idea is to go to Spain."

Fernando Spannaus ESPN (Argentina)

"Like many South American stars, Tévez is very volatile and I doubt he'll settle in England. Mascherano is a mature player, even though he is only 22, and performs the defensive midfield position better than many experienced players."

Matías Albina Fox Sports Latin America (Argentina)

"Mascherano is a very fit player, he always brings the ball out of defence safely and keeps running for 90 minutes. Tévez has great natural talent, always looking for possession and it doesn't bother him if he makes mistakes. The only factor preventing this from being a successful move will be their ability to settle into English society, adapt to the weather and learn the new language."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

West Ham Unveil New Pair

At a press conference today West Ham unveiled their new signings Tevez and Mascherano. Alan Pardew was quick to dispel some of the myths surrounding the players, claiming they have signed for four years and repeating the assurance that they are not contractually obliged to be picked for the first team,

""People forget that they have signed four-year-deals, they are not going anywhere in the next transfer window, let's enjoy their quality and see where it takes us. We want to go to another level and challenge the big clubs and I think we're going down the right route to doing that.

What I want to say to West Ham fans is this, forget the negativity that's surrounded this transfer, look at the positives. We are looking towards getting a great season under our belts with a great team and so let's stick together to support that goal."

Scaloni Available on a Free

Lionel Scaloni has been released by his club Deportivo La Coruna and is available on a free signing. Because the Argentinian is out of contract it means he is available, even though the transfer window has closed. Scaloni most wants a return to West Ham,

"To play with Tevez and Mascherano will be magnificent," he declared.

However West Ham having bought defenders Tyrone Mears, Jonathon Spector and John Paintsil (who seems to have made the right back position his own after just two games) are unlikely to see the benefit in now signing Scaloni.

Bush Gunning For West Ham

The Guardian today reveals that Neil Bush, the brother of the President of the United States, was at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday as a guest of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky. Berezovsky is one of a number of businessmen believed to be behind Iranian businessman Kia Joorabchian's bid to take over West Ham.

Since Thursday the Irons have been linked with Arab's, Iranians, Israeli's, the Russian mafia and now someone with close family connections with the American government.

I sense a conspiracy here. Is West Ham being positioned to become the new Middle East? Have the world's power brokers decided to battle over the sacred turf of the Boleyn? Is there a huge reserve of oil lying under Upton Park that we have never been told about?

We demand the truth.

Monday, September 04, 2006

West Ham To Unveil New Stars Tomorrow

West Ham's new Argentinian stars are to be unveiled at a special press conference tomorrow at Upton Park. The club issued the following statement today,

"New signings Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano will be officially unveiled as West Ham United players at a special press conference being held tomorrow (Tuesday, September 5th) at Upton Park.

Doors will open at 8.30am and press are asked to be ready and seated in the Carlsberg Suite for the conference to begin at 9am.

Only accredited members of the broadcast and print media will be allowed to gain access to this press conference and will be asked to show relevant identification upon arrival.

There will be an opportunity for pictures out on the pitch once the press conference has finished but no open training."

West Ham Welcome Our New Fans

It has come to our attention that many Chelski fans, having seen the way the wind is blowing, have decided to switch their allegiance to West Ham this season.

As always we welcome new fans of our illustrious club and to show our appreciation we have decided to publish the following Beginners Guide To Supporting West Ham.

1. Getting to the Boleyn Ground

Take the District Line underground to West Ham tube station. On exiting the station turn left and follow the railway line on the right hand side as far as it takes you.

2. Speak Appropriately

To blend in with your fellow "Irons", all of whom are cheeky Cockney chappies (even the women), dress up in an authentic Pearly King outfit. You will fit in with your neighbours in the Bobby Moore stand and your efforts will be much appreciated. Try to join in their jolly East End banter by speaking in a proper 'gorblimey' accent. Dick Van Dyke, in Mary Poppins, does it superbly - just copy him.

3. During the Game

An important part of being a football fan is to take part in some jolly and clean banter. Try shouting some of the following, "Paul Ince for manager", "Come on you pikeys" or "Brown In".

4. Half-Time

Be sure to ask for the Iron's famous Prawn Sandwiches or seven course banquets at matches.

5. Banners

Most importantly it is essential that you keep that blue flag up your arse.

Adapted from an original idea by Claretdave on the Kumb Forum.

West Ham Do Not Have To Select Duo

One of the more ludicrous stories reported by the papers over the weekend was the report that Tevez and Mascherano's contract with West Ham included a clause that Pardew has to always select the pair. Despite the fact that this would be practically unimplementable I can't see any club agreeing to this.

Businessman Kia Joorabchian, who engineered the transfers of both players from Corinthians has confirmed the fabrication of this story. He told the Guardian, "There is no clause for them to play or not to play."

The media is also now trying to convince us that despite their claims last week that West Ham had beaten nearly every major club in Europe to the signing of the two Argentinians in fact none of them ever really wanted them. I think some serious spinning has been taking place by some British clubs trying to appease their fans.

West Ham Pair Vs Brazil

Tevez and Mascherano both featured for Agrentina against Brazil but both the West Ham players were substituted before the end (Mascherano at half-time). Macherano played a Hayden Mullins defensive midfielder role, playing deep and mopping in midfield. He looked a tidy player but unfortunately his biggest impact was to stand and watch a soft pass roll past him allowing the Brazillians to attack the box almost undefended.

Tevez had a fiery game and I can't see him having any problems adapting to the physical nature of the English game. His partnership up front with Messi was fairly unsuccessful, both players being too similar of stature and style but I think he will work well with a stronger, taller striker like Harewood or Ashton.

The Times:

"Tévez gave Lucio a testing afternoon. He forced the defender to concede a corner when he almost outpaced him and was unfortunate not to win a free kick when the same player seemed to impede him. He also demonstrated good acceleration to nip past Juan, the other central defender, in the penalty area before winning a corner, and overcame his lack of inches to rise above Gilberto to deliver a firm header that was well saved by Gomes, the goalkeeper.

At 22, Tévez could be said to have the impetuosity of youth, but Mascherano is the same age and he patrolled the Argentina midfield with a restraint and maturity that helped to explain his moniker of “The Chief”. An undemonstrative player, he mopped up loose balls and rarely attempted anything more ambitious than a ten-yard pass."

The Telegraph:

"If Tevez plays in permanent tempest then Mascherano is serene. Joorabchian believes Mascherano is "remarkable for being tactically and technically perfect at 22". You could see where he was coming from with his clever positioning and patient distribution from his holding midfield role.

No player touched the ball more often in the first half it was just a shame his contribution was attenuated by a half-time substitution."

The Guardian:

"The principal English interest in things Argentinian yesterday lay with the new West Ham signings, Carlos Tévez and Javier Mascherano, both of whom were substituted after fitful performances. At least Tévez showed plenty of his natural aggression and was as much a threat near goal as anyone else in a ring-rusty attack. Mascherano merely completed 45 minutes of sentry duty in front of the back four before being replaced by Walter Samuel after half-time.

Mascherano was ineffective before being withdrawn at half-time, Tévez was frustrated by close marking that stuck with him all afternoon."

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Man Utd Rate Reo-Coker Above Mascherano

Man Utd's chief executive David Gill in response to criticism from fans at the lack of transfer action (the club are the lowest net spending club in the premiership this summer) claim that they had the opportunity to sign Tevez and Mascherano but were not interesred.

"We were never interested in Tevez. Mascherano, we were offered him. We watched him throughout last season and he played at the World Cup, clearly. We were offered him at the start of the summer transfer window for a significant sum.

The manager and his staff did not want to pursue that. We were also offered him towards the back end of last week in a loan-type deal for a year, and again we were not interested in that.

From Manchester United's perspective, Tevez was never on the shopping list. Mascherano we watched closely and very carefully and the experts on that area in our club determined that we did not want to go for him."

Considering that United were reportedly offering substantial money for West Ham's Reo-Coker that suggests they rate him higher than Mascherano. Or is it just sour grapes.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

West Ham Take Over

According to The Sun Kia Joorabchian's deal to take over West Ham could be in place in as little as six weeks.

They claim he is presently assembling a City consortium to move in at Upton Park ready to offer £70m plus another £30m to buy out debts.

Corinthians Manager Happy With Transfer

The Corinthians 'technical director' Emerson Leao has said that he is "very happy" that Tevez and Mascherano have been transferred to West Ham. He saw both players as a disruptive influence at the club and claimed,

"Now I am with people who obey orders and that have the will to work with Corinthians the atmosphere is better."

One of Leao's first decisions when appointed manager of the team was to take the captainship of the side away from Tevez, claiming that no-one in the team could understand what he was saying. In August of this year Tevez refused to play for the club and a Corinthian's fan organisation responded with a statement speaking out against the player.

However Tevez remains popular in Argentina and not just for his football. He is also humourously admired for his off-pitch project of performing as frontman in his "Shantytown" Cumbia / Reggaeton musical group Piolavago with his brother Diego.

West Ham Stars vs Brazil

Tevez and Mascherano are in action tomorrow in the Argentina and Brazil international at the new Emirates stadium. The match is on live on BBC 1 starting at 3:35 pm. The kick off is at 4pm and the game is also available on PPLive, PPStream, TVAnts & SopCast. Links to all these can be found here.

Although this is a friendly the Argentinians have much to play for as the Argentinian man of the match will be awarded a new Mazarati by the commercial sponsers of the Aregentinian FA.

Argentian newspaper La Voz reports today how Tevez and Mascherano avoided an unnamed West Ham director yesterday thinking he was a fan. The director approached the players intent on presenting them with their first West Ham shirts. Apparently he struggled in vain to make himself understood as Tevez and Mascherano managed to make their escape, presuming him to be a crazed autograph hunter.

Friday, September 01, 2006

West Ham the New Chelski

Kumb today report that MSI are promising to give West £100 million to spend on players if they take over the club.

"Today's edition of Folha carries an article in which they claim MSI's takeover bid is worth a total of £200m; a figure that would clear any debts the club held, pay off existing shareholders - and most importantly, grant Alan Pardew a transfer budget of around £100m with which to improve his squad."

How do you respond to this? My support for West Ham has never been about success, how could it be as the club have won so little. For me supporting West Ham has always been about the way our teams have played. On hearing the news of Tevez and Mascherano joining West Ham I have dreamed about us reaching the Champions League this season, but more importantly I have been creaming myself about the football we will see at Upton Park this year.

For me Trevor Brooking is the spirit of West Ham. Whilst a God on the football pitch, my admiration for the man comes just as much from the fact he stayed with the club throughout his career, even when the club was relegated and his own international career was in treat. Conversly I will always tune in to watch Chelski when Joe Cole is playing. Although Cole left the club when we were relegated for me he also represents the 'spirit' of West Ham and the sort of player we have always produced. In fact I hate the way the pundits credit Mourinho with making him a better player. I much preferred the Cole who didn't give a fuck about defence or never worried about losing the ball.

And that is essentially the argument. Although my Chelski friends never believe me I would never want to win the league if I had to watch the dross that comes out of Stamford Bridge every other week. Apart from Cole (and Robben on a good day) I wouldn't pay to watch any of their players.

So this is the dilemma we now find ourselves in. If we are taken over we could reach the heights we have only ever dreamed about. What would you give for Champions League football at Upton Park? Honestly I really don't know - and at the moment anything seems possible. Believe me I haven't stopped smiling for the last 18 hours but I am beginning to feel nostalgic for the club we have always been.

So what do you think? Would a take over be a good thing or are you happy for West Ham to remain the home of football as it should be played - even if that means the occasional relegation? (OMG I wish all my dilemma's were like this)

(And one final point - all I've heard about MSI leads me to think I wouldn't let any of these guys look after my kids let alone my football team - and yes I may have got my priorities wrong here,)

West Ham Confirm Take Over Talks

The West Ham official site printed this statement from the board today:

"The Board of West Ham (the "Board") notes today's press speculation concerning a possible bid for the company following the signing of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano on 31 August 2006.

The Board confirms that it has had exploratory discussions in relation to a possible bid but these discussions are at a very early stage and there can be no certainty that an offer for West Ham will be forthcoming. The Board also confirms that there is no contractual link between the signing of the players and the bid discussions.

In accordance with Rule 2.10 of the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the 'City Code'), West Ham announces that it has 20,202,352 Ordinary Shares of 25p each in issue.

A further announcement will be made as appropriate."

Pardew's World Cup Diary

Here is what West Ham manager wrote about Tevez in his World Cup Diary for The Independent (24th June),

"I saw in less than 10 minutes that Tevez can be a star for the next 10 years. He will be a top, top player. Tevez has an assurance about his ability. He's got good agility and looks like a striker who has every tool. He's a decent size too. He's more explosive than Lionel Messi. He's really a Maradona-type player. He has more goals in him than Lionel Messi and works higher up the pitch. Tevez will always be at the sharp end and I like that."

Tevez a West Ham Fan

Speaking on the official West Ham web site Tevez has revealed he has knowledge of West Ham through his close friend Lionel Scaloni.

"I first heard about the possibility of joining West Ham United 48 hours ago. I had followed the club quite a bit last season because I am a close friend of Lionel Scaloni. We watched every West Ham game in Argentina because of our friendship and he spoke very highly of the club, its supporters and the manager.

Yes, it's true, other clubs in the Premier League and around Europe were interested in signing both myself and Javier. But when we met Alan Pardew the choice was simple - he made us both feel really wanted.

I know there will be a lot of fuss around us because we are two new players from Argentina, but we see ourselves as team players, not individuals. That was another attraction for coming here - Mr Pardew explained that there is a great team spirit at the club, and we want to be a part of that.

When you are thousands of miles away from home, team-mates become like family, and it is important to have a good spirit - it shows we are all working together. We both want to learn English, because it is important to integrate with the team and our new colleagues."

Mascherano also spoke of his liking of Pardew,

"Mr Pardew's enthusiasm rubbed off on both of us. He talked about his vision for us and the club, and we both became very excited. He is organised, with a clear idea of what he expects, and I was very impressed with his approach.

I am also aware of some of the great players at West Ham. I know of Anton Ferdinand - he is talked about a lot in Argentina as a great player of the future, while I also like Nigel Reo-Coker, who is a very dynamic captain and displays the work ethic that is clearly in place at West Ham.

We also like the sound of English football being quicker, with a lot of pressure. We will both improve as players because of that. And I am excited about playing in the UEFA Cup. In Argentina, European competition matches are watched with great enthusiasm, and it will be a wonderful experience for us."

Tevez will wear number 32 on his West Ham top, while Mascherano will wear number 16. The first question they asked upon being presented with a West Ham United shirt was: 'Tell us about the Hammers - where does that symbol come from?', while as Chairman Terence Brown revealed, Javier even asked to be given the number six shirt because of Bobby Moore.

Pardew Creaming Himself

Alan Pardew has been talking about the arrival of Tevez and Mascherano, and can barely contain his excitement,

"It is a massive coup for us. I've no doubt this will give us a real chance to compete with the very best teams in the Premiership and in Europe.

"I didn't have to sell West Ham to them. They knew all about our success last season and our style of play."

Pardew watched Tevez in the World Cup against Serbia and Montenegro and described himself as being "blown away by his talent" after Tevez came on as a substitute and scored.

I know West Ham fans will take to him straight away. He is in the same bracket as Paolo Di Canio in terms of what he can bring - charisma, high skill and excitement," Pardew added.

"Mascherano is a different player - he brings a calming influence in possession and is an intelligent player on the pitch.

Not only am I excited by the arrivals of Carlos and Javier, but the entire squad is too, and I am sure our supporters feel the same. What a day for West Ham United.

I've already had three or four of our players on the phone. They are all very excited by the news, and I'm sure there will be a real buzz around the place when we report back for training on Tuesday morning.

I've said all along that, while signing young English players remains very important to our transfer policy, I want to take this club forward and will get talent from wherever it is available.

Our chairman Terry Brown came to me on Monday and gave me the opportunity to go for Carlos and Javier - and you don't turn down the chance to sign two world-class players."

Tevez & Mascherano Could Cost £60 Million

According to The Telegraph the transfer of Tevez & Mascherano could cost West Ham up to £60 million (or £35 million if you believe The Guardian), but only if they try to keep the players. The paper claims that West Ham's deal with Corinthians has involved only a small fee, but West Ham have agreed to hefty sell-on clauses in the event of another club making a bid. It is believed that if a £30 million bid for either is tabled, then West Ham must sell or pay Corinthians the same amount to keep them.

If West Ham do sell they will only get a small percentage of any sell-on fee. Corinthians are also understood to have negotiated an option to buy them back at the same price West Ham have paid.

The paper also reports that Kia Joorabchian denies this is part of a takeover plan and insists the deal came about because of the good relationship built up with West Ham chairman Terry Brown during negotiations to buy the club last year,

"A lot of it was to do with the relationship we had with them from last year. That made it very easy to get the deal done."

West Ham Take Over Bid

West Ham have confirmed that Kia Joorabchian, the man who it appears has a controlling interest in Brazilian club Corinthians, was acting as the agent for Tevez and Mascherano and negotiated the deal in London.

According to The Independent,

"The deal was negotiated with very few at West Ham in the loop - it is understood the chairman, Terry Brown, and managing director, Paul Aldridge, were the only men in the know until yesterday."

Sky Sports News contradict this slightly by reporting that Pardew was informed of the opportunity on Monday and obviously grabbed it with both hands. The Independent also say that the Iranian agent Pini Zahavi was at Upton Park yesterday with Joorabchian. Both men have been, or are, involved with the company Media Sports Investments. Spanish newspaper AS has reported that Roman Abramovich also has a 15% stake in the company, but Joorabchain has consistently denied that the Chelsea owner has any link to MSI. According to the Spanish paper however, Abramovic's yacht was in Buenos Aires shortly before the Tévez deal was announced.

According to Sky Sports News both The Independent and The Telegraph today are reporting that this is the start of a £200 million blueprint to buy out West Ham. However this may be based purely on the knowledge that MSI tried to buy the club last year. According to the Hammers Mad forum Pini Zahavi was heard on Radio Five yesterday evening denying MSI were involved in a take over bid. However Brown has consistently said that the board would only sell to a bidder who would invest in players and take the club forward. I guess this deal could be part of an effort to prove that very point.

One thing I suspect is that in some way MSI have managed to retain some interest in the players and if they move on at the end of this season, as many people believe, West Ham might not see much of the transfer fees. The Guardian claim that MSI have sold their shares in the players to West Ham and The Telegraph have revealed some of the details of the deal (see story above).

As much as I agree with Tony Gale that we are one of the best clubs in the world, there is obviously more to this deal than those involved are revealing. Whether it emerges that this deal is part of a take over bid, or that it is just a one year shop window for the players before moving on, West Ham fans have every right to be excited and what already looked to be an exciting season for the club just got a whole lot better.

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