Tuesday, October 31, 2006

West Ham Reserves Lose Again

West Ham reserves lost 2-0 to Chelsea reserves last night and now have a five game losing streak. West Ham played a strong side including Mears, Dailly, Pantsil and Mascherano but were unable to respond to goals from Ben Sahar and Miroslav Stoch.

The malaise at Upton Park obviously runs deep. The Independent yesterday reported that all player contract negotiations have been put on hold until the possible takeover is decided one way or another and that this has caused some dissatisfaction amongst the players.

Friday Deadline for West Ham Takeover

Both The Independent and The Sun are today reporting that the consortium fronted by Kia Joorabchian is set to meet the Friday deadline imposed upon them by West Ham to launch its takeover of the club. According to The Independent the consortium will not be paying off the club's debts and both papers seem to think that Alan Pardew will be replaced.

The Sun claims that Terence Brown can expect a windfall of £27m and earlier reports suggested he would still maintain a position on the board and still be taking a hefty wage from the club.

Apparently the West Ham board have refused to hold any negotiations with, what looked to be, the highly creditable consortium headed by Eggert Magnusson.

Monday, October 30, 2006

King Teddy

At 40 years and 210 days old Teddy Sheringham has not only beaten his own record of oldest Premiership player, but also beaten his record for oldest Premiership scorer. More importantly Pardew's assessment that he would give West Ham more guile in the opponent's half proved correct and we have escaped the relegation zone.

Pardew himself praised Teddy and the fans for their response at the beginning of the game,

"I was moved when the crowd chanted my name at the start of the game. It was a nice moment and a great fillip for both the team and myself.

I felt that I might be opening myself up for a bit of trouble by getting a 40-year-old to come and save the day but Teddy's a special character and I have a lot of trust in him to take care of the ball in the forward areas.

He did that for me today and was very effective for us. Teddy has leadership qualities that are important for the team and it's nice to have a senior player who you can lean upon. This quite young, inexperienced squad do look towards him."

Sunday, October 29, 2006

West Ham 2 Blackburn 1

West Ham started with last year's established midfield of Benayoun, Reo-Coker, Mullins and Etherington. As rumoured Sheringham was picked up front with Zamora, and McCartney stayed in for the suspended Konchesky. Despite his apologies to Pardew after the Chesterfield game Paintsil was dropped from right back and Spector was given the nod.

In Pardew's pre-match comments the manager explained how West Ham's lack of touch up front had been a factor in our inability to score and he expected Sheringham and Benayoun to provide this for West Ham.

West Ham's first chance came in the 8th minute from a corner, when Ferdinand flicked the ball back from the near post to Zamora, at the back post, who then headed wide. In the fifteenth minute Sheringham worked the ball on the edge of the area to Mullins who then shot straight at the keeper. A minute later Zamora pulled the ball back from the touch line and a diving keeper almost palmed the ball into the path of Sheringham. Blackburn failed to clear the ball and it finally fell to Reo-Coker, on the edge of the box, who shot just wide. West Ham's pressure paid off two minute's later when Pardew's assessment of Benayoun and Sheringham proved correct as the two combined for a goal. Benayoun dinked a little cross from the right of the penalty box for Sheringham to head it home.

Blackburn's only real chances came from three Peter and Bentley free-kicks all from a little wide of the West Ham penalty area and all of which were fired wide.

For the first twenty five minutes of the second half Blackburn dominated possession. In the 56th minute McCarthy even put the ball in the back of the net, only for the goal to be ruled offside. However despite their possession they didn't create many more chances. In the 75th Green pulled off a brilliant close range save, the ball was then cleared and Zamora found himself clean through on goal but shot tamely at the keeper.

In the 76th minute Harewood came on for Sheringham. Harewood made an immediate impact by firing a cross into the near post, although Zamora was just beaten to the ball for a corner. From the corner Mullins arrived in the five yard box to get West Ham's second. Bowyer then came on for Benayoun and late on Dailly replaced McCartney.

Just into the two minutes time added on McCarthy shot from the edge of the area. Green parried the shot and Bentley ran on to get a goal for Blackburn. Then in the dying seconds Jeffers just headed over.

We looked a little nervous for a lot of the second half but we are out of the relegation zone!

West Ham vs Blackburn

Seems like an age since we've had a home game, but those who can't get to The Boleyn today can watch the game live on Sky Sports 1 (3.30pm).

Or perhaps you feel like 'JC', a regular poster on another West Ham fan website. Who, after hearing that some fans had been banned for the next two home games (because they were caught standing) wrote,

'I hope I've been banned, I could do with a break from that rubbish.' (source The Observer)

Radio coverage is available on Five Live. (UK only)

Live streaming of the game is available in a number of formats. The Streaming Lounge has a number of links to these (requires registering).

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Pards Backs Reo-Coker

Speaking to Sky Sports West Ham manager Alan Pardew has backed his under fire captain Nigel Reo-Coker, so it looks like the player will be given another chance on Sunday.

"Our captain I'm expecting to lead us on Sunday the way he led us last year with that drive and commitment. He has done an incredible favour to play on the side of the team for us for the last two games. That has restricted him, but he will be back to his best on Sunday."

Most of the other papers seem to have picked up hints from Pardew that Sheringham will start up front and that Dailly will play at right back for West Ham.

Friday, October 27, 2006

West Ham vs Blackburn

On Sunday West Ham have the chance to end their run of eight successive defeats. However they face a Blackburn team who have not lost away in their last six matches. The good news for West Ham is that Blackburn have lost their last two games, both played at home.

After Tuesday's defeat club captain Reo-Coker, who has so far been immune from Pardew's rotation policy, might make way for Lee Bowyer, who is expected to be fit again. Konchesky is suspended for this game so McCartney should get another chance at left back. Etherington is likely to return in place of Kyle Reid and Marlon Harewood might get another chance up front after getting his first goal on Tuesday, since last year's FA Cup final.

For Blackburn Robbie Savage is suspended. West Ham won the corresponding fixture last year 3-1. It takes a massive leap of faith however to see West Ham getting three goals in their present form.

Carlos Alberto On the Way to West Ham?

A story that has been around on the Internet for the last couple of days has now been picked up by The Sun, although I'm not sure that gives it any more legitimacy, is that Corinthians player Carlos Alberto is on the way to West Ham. It appears the player had a row with the Corinthians' manager after being subbed and now wants to leave the club.

As MSI own the contracts of most of the Corinthians' players, including Alberto, he is therefore being strongly linked with West Ham. The Sun go as far as to say that "the deal is being organised by Kia Joorabchian, head of the consortium bidding for the club."

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Pardew Gets Vote of Confidence

Terence Brown and Alan Pardew have been quick to respond to suggestions in the tabloids yesterday that Pardew was furious with the chairman when he entered the dressing room after the Chesterfield game. Pardew says,

"I would like to rubbish these suggestions straight away. The Chairman came down to the dressing-room area after the match, put his arm around me and said: 'Come on, we've been here before, we'll sort things out and turn it around.'

"He then went and spoke to some of the players and gave them similar encouragement. He was nothing but positive and supportive, and the claims that have been made in some papers today are completely untrue.

Terence Brown also responded to the accusations,

"I went down to the tunnel area to make sure that Alan was okay after what had been a very difficult night.

We talked about a couple of positive aspects involving the performances of one or two players, but nothing negative or critical was said.

"Of course Alan was hurting, but I put my arm around him and told him that everything would be fine. It is disappointing that one or two sections of the media have made such suggestions, but they will not distract us from working hard to turn round the team's current situation."

Despite these quick denials it has not stopped the papers today speculating about Pardew's successor. Alan Curbishley, Sven-Goran Eriksson and Claudio Ranieri have all been linked with West Ham today.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Guess the Players

OK, there are no prizes for this one, but see if you can guess the two players alluded to in this Daily Mail report.

According to the paper "...one unnamed player was brusquely shot down by another senior member of the squad for daring to suggest that he should have been allowed to leave when the club fielded inquiries from Manchester United and Arsenal.

'You? You think you could play for Manchester United in the Champions League? Take a look at yourself, son.'."

The Daily Mail obviously thought the clues were a little hard so the young player in question just happens to be the next name mentioned in the article. Now who could be the most senior member of the West Ham squad?

The Desire & Passion Were There?

Alan Pardew claims that the "The desire and passion were still there against Chesterfield." Which is a little worrying, as he was obviously watching a different game from the one I saw.

I agree with the caller to Sky Sports last night who said the players should give their week's wages to charity, as they didn't earn them last night. However the rest of Pardew's interview with the official site reveals he does still have a grip on reality, as he acknowledges the poor form of the players,

"That isn't acceptable to me, the players or West Ham United and I'm now getting to the stage where I'm looking at individual players within this group and wondering why they're putting in performances like this.

They certainly can't look around the dressing room and start pointing the point the finger at other people, they have to look at their own individual displays tonight and say is that good enough for West Ham United and the Premiership?"

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Chesterfield 2 West Ham 1

West Ham started with McCartney at left back and Reid on the left wing. Dailly, Mullins and Reo-Coker made up the rest of the midfield and Zamora and Harewood were picked up front.

Another new line up from Pardew again resulted in a West Ham side being completely at sea. In fact the first half was embarrassing to watch for West Ham fans as they saw their side outplayed by Chesterfield. The home side won six corners to West Ham's none and had about six shots compared to West Ham's one. Luckily for the Hammers their one shot, was a superb volley from Harewood from just outside the area, in the fourth minute which gave the visitors an early lead.

Chesterfield showed their attacking intent as early as the 2nd minute, when they eased through a static West Ham defence, only for Larkin's shot from eight yards to be well saved by Green. Larkin had another shot in the 25th minute, this time from just outside the area, which just flew over the bar. A minute later Allott, running onto a cross, shot way over the bar. In the 36th minute Niven flufffed a shot from the edge of the area that sailed well wide and then in the dying seconds of the first half Allen's shot from just inside the area was blocked by Ferdinand.

West Ham therefore ended the half with an undeserved lead and Chesterfield ruing their bad luck in front of goal.

West Ham started the second half as they played in the first, ie bloody terribly. Chesterfield's pressure soon bore fruit when in the 53rd minute Folan ghosted past Gabbidon as if he wasn't there. His shot was superbly saved by Green but the rebound fell to Larkin who drilled the ball home for Chesterfield's equaliser.

Pardew changed the side around by replacing Harewood with Sheringham, Reid with Etherington and McCartney with Konchesky. But the changes made little difference as Chesterfield continued to play the better football. In the 70th minute Hurst shot from outside the box and Green fumbled the shot to give Chesterfield another corner.

Zamora had a couple of chances. One from a Konchesky cross in the 72nd minute, which Zamora did well to chest down, but his volleyed shot from six yards just flew over the bar. Then in the 83rd minute Sheringham put Zamora clean through but Zamora's shot from just inside the area was deflected wide by the keeper's leg.

However it was the West Ham goal that remained under the most threat and Chesterfield got their deserved winner when a Sheringham header from a freekick hit the back of Ferdinand and Folan drilled the ball home from five yards.

Supporting West Ham I've seen us lose to lower league oppostion a number of times but I can't remember many more abject performances than this.

West Ham Search

Google have today created customisable search pages. I've set up a search engine that searches Kumb, Hammers Mad, the official West Ham site and this site.

The home page of West Ham Search is here.

Anyone can add to the list of sites it searches. So if you know of any good West Ham sites you know and trust add them to the list. To add sites click on the 'edit this search engine' link.

The West Ham Curse

The Daily Mirror , playing on a Halloween theme, has run a quite funny story today about the curse of West Ham on Premiership managers. They cite in evidence the following managers, all with a past link to the Hammers:


Three points out of 24 for the former West Ham striker, who is staring relegation in the face - if he survives that long - just five months after walking out on Crystal Palace to join Charlton.


Losing the respect of the Toon Army as the Geordies head towards the drop zone. Newcastle have picked up one point out of 15 in the five weeks since they won at Upton Park.


Wound down his playing days in the East End but not even his daughter's good luck Beanie could save Psycho at Wigan on Saturday. Only one point away from home so far and the win over Arsenal is long forgotten.

Obviously in our current position Alan Pardew belongs in the list, but Harry Rednapp's run at Portsmouth seems to belie the idea of a curse.

Chesterfield vs West Ham

West Ham manager Alan Pardew says he plans to make "three or four changes" for the trip to Chesterfield. This could involve Matthew Etherington returning on the right or possibly a start for Kyel Reid. George McCartney may well make his debut at left back and Pardew will probably stick to his game plan of trying a different strike force for every game, possibly dropping Zamora for Tevez.

Chesterfield will be without regular defender Phil Picken who picked up an injury at the weekend.

The game is being shown live on Sky.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Reasons to Be Cheerful - Part One

We may be second from the bottom, have not scored a goal in ten hours of football and face a future of watching football from behind an athletics track but there are still reasons to remain hopeful:

1. Our losing streak and goal drought should end tomorrow against Chesterfield.
2. Dean Ashton will be available for the second half of the season.
3. The club's debts could be wiped out this week and there could be a substantial transfer fund available in January (if takeover rumours are true).
4. We're only six points below Liverpool and two points below Newcastle.
5. We play Blackburn at home on Sunday - whose two missed penalties and legitimate goal disallowed yesterday suggest their luck is worse than ours at the moment.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Spurs 1 West Ham 0

West Ham started with Green in goal, Paintsil at right back and a midfield of Reo-Coker, Mullins, Benayoun and Mascherano with Zamora and Harewood up front. However despite another different first eleven from Pardew it was Spurs who had the better of the first half

In the 9th minute Aaron Lennon was put clean through by Defoe but Lennon shot well wide when he should have scored. In the 15th minute a Defoe shot was well saved by Green.

In the 25th minute West Ham managed their first shot in anger when Harewood turned Dawson and forced Robison to tip the ball wide. Five minutes from half time Mascherano fouled Defoe and then went down when Defoe squared up to him. All the players then got involved in a heated debate, the result being bookings for Mascherano and Defoe.

Two minutes into the one minute added on to the first half by the fourth official Mido flicked the ball up for himself, turned and scored for Spurs.

Spurs had the better of the first twenty minutes after the break. However Pardew brought on Tevez for Mascherano and a little later Cole on for Benayoun. With West Ham now playing with four recognised forwards the game opened up and the game livened up. Harewood was then replaced by Dailly but the game continued to be a fast two way affair. However despite some West Ham pressure, which was refelected by the ten corners we won in the game, we again failed to really trouble the oppossing keeper. West Ham piled on the pressure in the last few minutes but never got the break they needed.

Five Premiership losses in a row, we need a good win against Chesterfield and then against Blackburn. We have Arsenal and Chelsea in November and are in danger of being points adrift in the relegation zone by December.

Spurs vs West Ham

I don't suppose this will end the debate over who is the bigger club but I found this interesting. If you compare the number of searches for West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur on Google Tottenham consistently have under half as many searches as West Ham.

I can't imagine what has caused the recent spike in West Ham searches.

Spurs vs West Ham

I can't find any live tv feeds of today's game.

Radio commentary is available from BBC London as they claim to have commentary of every Spurs game. This must be a tough one for the BBC, how can they reconcile their commitment to ignore West Ham games whilst maintaining their promise to broadcast every Spud home game. FFS they even have a permanent link on their site to listen to Spurs commentaries. You can't beat the independence of the BBC.

West Ham Ignore Finn

With rumours circulating that West Ham could be taken over next week The Guardian reports that the board denied the consortium led by Eggert Magnusson the chance to study their books so that he can make a full, formal offer to take over.

The consortium led by Kia Joorabchian has been allowed to conduct due diligence, however, fuelling speculation that the West Ham board are close to selling.

The paper also states that the West Ham players have been watching a video designed to create a 'warrior mentality'.

"It covers a lot of excuses we have used. It's a message that excuses are not good enough," said Alan Pardew. Apparently the players are also under orders to shoot earlier and more often in a bid to end the goal glut.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Curbishley Linked to West Ham

Today's Sun, in an article that contains no direct or indirect quotes to support the story, claim that Kia Joorabchian plans to replace Alan Pardew with Alan Curbishley.

The paper have however interviewed Pardew and he reveals that West Ham have been working on goal scoring in training this week,

"Scoring goals has been high on our agenda in training but I’ll take nil-nil. It’s time for the players to roll up their sleeves and put in a dogged performance.”

More Takeover Talks

The Guardian today report that Terence Brown has met with Kia Joorabchian's consortium and that it is likely that the takeover panel will be informed within a fortnight that a recommended offer has been received by the club's bankers, Hawkpoint.

They claim no formal talks have yet taken place between West Ham and the consortium led by Eggert Magnusson.

Friday, October 20, 2006

West Ham Negotiating Over Olympic Stadium

According to the sports minister Richard Caborn West Ham have entered into 'serious negotiations' over moving into the Olympics 2012 stadium. This news comes suspiciously soon after Spurs last week rejected the idea because of concerns that fans would be separated from the pitch by the athletics track.

There have also been reports that Caborn has been encouraging West Ham to talk to one of the club's potential bidders. A potential move into an 80,000 capacity stadium plus the revenue produced by selling The Bolyen seems to be one of the major attractions for both consortiums. News of West Ham's negotions over the Olympic Stadium and support for the bid from a government minister should prove attractive to potential bidders for the club.

Richard Caborn however denies he is acting for either of the consortiums,

"It is completely untrue and totally without foundation to say that I am either supporting or am in any way involved in a potential bid for West Ham. I have not had any contact with either of the reported bidders at any point - nor would I if they approached me as this would be totally inappropriate."

What is true however is that West Ham taking over the new stadium would be good news for everyone apart from Hammer's fans. The present board would potentially make more from selling the club, the new owners would have a guaranteed future pay off from selling The Boleyn and the government would secure the future of the Olympic's showpiece stadium. The fans however can look forward to sitting some distance from the pitch in a potentially half empty stadium.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Spurs vs West Ham

This is a must win game for both sides as a loss for either team will mean they have made their worst start to a Premiership season. A win for West Ham would mean they leapfrog Spurs in the table and would hopefully lift them out of the relegation zone.

A high scoring game seems unlikely as both sides are struggling to score in the Premiership, Spurs actually having found the net once less than West Ham this season with only five goals. Both managers this season have rotated their strikers but Spurs may start with Berbatov after his goal in the UEFA cup this week and Marlon Harewood may start for West Ham after netting a pair in a reserve match.

Last season's corresponding game ended 1-1 and on present form West Ham would probably settle for a draw.

Pardew Nominated for Manager of the Year

Alan Pardew has been nominated for the BBC London Sports Awards as the London manager of the year. His competetion is Martin Ling and Adrian Boothroyd.

You can vote for Pardew here.

No West Ham Statement Today

It seems someone at West Ham reads The Mail as the paper have quickly changed their earlier story about a statement from the club today on the Eggert Magnusson bid. Their story now says there will be no announcement today and quote a club spokesperson as saying, "This is absolutely, categorically not the case.".

The Mail refrain from mentioning in their new story that they were the ones who claimed a statement was going to be made today. That's one way to create a story I suppose, make up something and then print the denials. Damn - and they've got me doing it as well.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

West Ham Statement Tomorrow

According to The Daily Mail West Ham are expected to make an announcement tomorrow on Eggert Magnusson's proposed £75million takeover of the club.

The paper says his initial bid was turned down last week but he has returned with an improved offer. It is understood that an announcement on the matter, either through the Stock Exchange or the club, will be made on Thursday.

West Ham Pair Named in Hall of Fame

West Ham legends Ron Greenwood and Martin Peters have been named in the list oon Greenwood is one of only two managers inducted, while 1966 World Cup winning midfielder Peters joins players list.

The awards ceremony is being held at the Liverpool Crowne Plaza Hotel tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Harewood Nets Two for Reserves

Marlon Harewood seems to have rediscovered his goal scoring form for West Ham Reserves. Although the Hammers lost 3-2 to Villa Reserves West Ham were pleased to see Harewood score twice. His first was a stunning 25 yard effort and his second was flicked in from a Mears shot.

Despite taking a two goal lead the Reserves lost the game after Kabeya (43), Gardner (65 pen) and McGurk (74) scored for the visitors.

Marlon in Reserve

Marlon Harewood and Carlton Cole have been named in the squad for West Ham Reserve's game to face Villa tonight. Tyrone Mears and John Paintsil have also been named in the squad and George McCartney is expected to make his first appearance for the club.

Former England striker Chris Sutton is expected to make his first appearance for Villa.

West Ham Takeover Latest

According to The Times Eggert Magnusson is ready to increase his offer after West Ham rejected a £60 million bid from his consortium. The paper claims West Ham will meet with both Magnusson and Kia Joorabchian this week in an attempt to thrash out a deal.

The Times also report that Joorabchian has preliminarily offered contracts to Brown and Paul Aldridge, the managing director, to stay on at the club should he take over. So the Brown era may not yet be over.

Monday, October 16, 2006

West Ham Promote From Within

West Ham have promoted first team coach Keith Peacock to replace former assistant manager Peter Grant. Reserve team boss Kevin Keen has been promoted to replace Peacock as first team coach.

"I have always promoted from within, and this enables us to move on quickly from Peter's departure," said Pardew.

"Kevin is West Ham United through and through. He cares deeply about the club and has proven himself to be a very able coach during his time here."

"Keith and I go back a long way and, having been involved with us since the start of the season, he is now fully settled in here.

"I am sure both will play key parts in helping us to get back on track."

KUMB Poll Says West Ham Fans Support Pardew

My gut feeling that Pardew still has the backing of West Ham fans has been backed up by a poll by KUMB. 80% of voters in the KUMB poll, which was taken following yesterday's 2-0 defeat, backed Alan Pardew and only 14% thought that he should be replaced.

After getting West Ham promoted and leading the club to a successful first season back in the Premiership Pardew also has considerable support from the West Ham board. However if West Ham are taken over his position could be less secure. Kia Joorabchian doesn't seem to have been too impressed with Pardew and I don't believe he would sit back and allow a manager to leave out his two Argentinian players. The Magnusson bid already seems jittery by West Ham's current position in the league and if they were to take over the club I presume they wouldn't give the present manager much time to turn things around.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Pardew Fears for Job

After suffering six successive defeats in which West Ham have failed to score Alan Pardew has admitted that his job may not be safe,

"I think any manager who has lost six games has to have a certain amount of fear about his job - otherwise he would be silly.

"The media attention will be very strong I'm sure leading up to our next game against Spurs but you have to be big enough and strong enough to take it. I am, and I hope the players are. I try to be consistent whatever the results but six defeats in a row must be the worst run I've ever had and it is not acceptable."

However Pardew seems to have the backing of the present board and the support of the majority of the fans.

West Ham Bid Falters

A sixth consecutive defeat for West Ham without a goal being scored has seen West Ham drop into the relegation zone, and sudddenly the club doesn't look such an attractive proposition to potential buyers.

The Independent on Sunday claim that Icelandic businessman Eggert Magnusson has told them that it could be simply far too risky. The thought of spending £70m and taking on debts of £23.5m for a team that could be relegated they suggest has made Magnusson think again about his bid. However there is distinct absence of any direct quotes in the article.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Portsmouth 2 West Ham 0

The first half of this game followed the pattern of recent Hammers' games with West Ham looking comfortable in possession and almost controlling the game. However for all West Ham's possession they seem unable to create goal scoring opportunities.

West Ham's only real attempts on goal were two long range efforts from Konchesky, who at the moment has difficulty finding his own player with a 15 yard pass, let alone hitting the target from 20 yards. But at least he took the gamble. The inevitable happened half through the first half when Kanu managed to get the wrong side of Anton Ferdinand to head in a cross from four yards. Kanu had another couple of wild shots on goal in the first half, which could have extended the lead but, luckily for West Ham, both sailed well wide.

In the second half West Ham had a couple of chances in the tenth minute when Sheringham was just beaten to an Etherington cross by Campbell and from the resulting corner Koncheshky actually hit the target from just outside the box, only for James to save low down to his left. Portsmouth themselves had a couple of good chances half way though the second half when Carroll saved well at close range from Campbell only to see the ball rebound to Dejan Stefanovic, whose close range shot was also blocked.

In the 70th minute Sheringham and Zamora were replaced by Cole and Harewood. But it was Rednapp's substitutions that had the greater impact as Cole came on for Mwaruwari and got Portsmouth's second after riding Spector's challenge in the box and then spinning and beating Carroll with a shot into the right corner.

After the game Alan Pardew acknowledged West Ham's problems up front,

"In that last third we are lacking a bit of genius and flair that can change the whole face of the team. Most of my strikers are pretty good on paper - but at the moment none of them are producing the goods for us."

West Ham's failure to keep clean sheets suggests there is also a problem at the other end and the failure to create chances for the strikers indicates problems in midfield as well. One of the problems up front seems to be that Zamora, Tevez and Sheringham all like to come deep or wide and seek the ball. Even though Harewood has not scored since last year's FA cup semi-final it might be worth starting with him and getting him to sit on the last defender, this would at least give us a target up front.

Apart from that it's a long wait until Ashton returns.

Portsmouth vs West Ham Streaming

The only live streaming of the West Ham game that I can find today is via Sopcast, here.

West Ham's Peter Grant Leaving

It seems that West Ham assistant boss Peter Grant is about to be named manager of Norwich City. Tribal Football say that Grant, who made 75 appearances for the Canaries between 1997-1999 before joining West Ham, will be officially named on Monday once the two clubs agree a compensation package. Thay quote Grant as saying,

"I'm absolutely delighted at the opportunity to manage a great club like Norwich. I can't wait to get started - I'm raring to go and looking forward to getting stuck into the challenge of getting the club back up the table and challenging for promotion.

"It's the fantastic people around the place as well as the massive potential of the club that's combined to tempt me away from the Premiership."

Friday, October 13, 2006

Portsmouth vs West Ham

West Ham travel to Fratton Park perhaps at the right time, just as Portsmouth's excellent start to the season is in danger of coming off the rails. Having won four and drawn one of their opening five games Portsmouth have lost their last two games. However Pompey still have the joint best defensive record in the Premiership and West Ham are proving shy in front of goal. West Ham will probably be happy to achieve the draw they earnt in the corresponding fixture last season.

West Ham have the perennial problem at right back, with John Paintsil not returning to the country until Monday (West Ham claim he is injured anyway) but Mears has hopefully recovered from injury. Collins is out with a groin injury but Gabbidon and Ferdinand seem to have recovered from injuries. Tevez could be doubtful after he picked up a knee injury on international duty.

Ferdinand Arrested

First John Paintsil is refused re-entry to the UK and now Anton Ferdinand has been arrested after an alleged assault outside a nightclub. Anton was formally arrested when he attended an east London police station on Thursday. Police confirmed a "man in his 20s" was held on suspicion of assault following a disturbance outside Faces nightclub in Ilford, early on 2 October.

I remember hearing about this incident at the time. It was reported that a man had attempted to steal Ferdinand's watch and when the player attempted to stop the robbery all hell broke lose. I assume the attempted thief has now decided to press charges.

Paintsil Refused Entry to UK

According to Kumb John Paintsil has been refused re-entry into the UK because he did not have his work permit documents with him when returning from international duty. It is hoped that he will be able to sort this out before the Portsmouth game as Tyrone Mears is injured.

The Takeover Panel yesterday rebuked West Ham for not informing the London Stock Exchange that they had been in talks with Eggert Magnusson about a takeover. The Times reports that West Ham have turned down an offer of £60 million. West Ham were quick to issue a statement today confirming the Magnusson bid.

Alan Pardew has admitted for the first time that West Ham's refusal to listen to Arsenal's inquiry on the last day of the transfer window about Reo-Coker may have annoyed the West Ham captain,

"I’m not saying that it has not affected him.There was an inquiry. He stayed. Any club in the country would be interested in him. I am hoping we move forward enough to fulfil the ambitions he has for himself. We all want to win trophies. Unfortunately, if you don’t see a chance of that, you move on."

Pardew's comments could well be in response to the lies that were published in the press claiming that Reo-Coker threw away his captain's armband after being substituted in West Ham's last match.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tevez Hurt Knee

Carlos Tevez picked up a knee injury in Argentina's 2-1 friendly defeat to Spain. Tevez reported after the game,

"Early on my knee hurt and I did not play 100%."

However it is believed the player should be OK for West Ham's game at the weekend.

West Ham Takeover Bids

It appears there are worries about the finances behind both West Ham takeover consortiums. According to The Guardian Kia Joorabchian's bid is understood to be on the precipice after two elapsed deadlines, the latest on Monday. The paper also claims there are concerns that the bid fronted by Eggert Magnusson involves creating more debt for the club.

However Magnussen denies this and his consortium is believed to be backed by a 'Scandinavian financier' who has personal assets in excess of £500m and could comfortably afford the debt-plus-equity deal that values West Ham at almost £100m.

Kia Joorabchian's bid also seems to have been helped by the announcement yesterday by Pini Zahavi, the broker in Abramovich's Chelsea purchase and an associate of Joorabchian, in which he said he is seeking two clubs at which to install other Russian oligarchs.

So do the West Ham board want to sell to a 'Russian oligarch' or to Magnusson, who has been the head of his country's football federation for 18 years, is on Uefa's executive committee and is director of an Icelandic investment bank? Rumours suggest Terence Brown and Paul Aldridge prefer the former.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

West Ham Chairman's Salary

Now the full report of West Ham's accounts have been published it seems that our chairman Terence Brown made a cool million pounds out of the club last year and will now be able to afford many more swimming pools for his country pile.


Salary/Fee: £490,800
Bonus: £310,000
Benefits in kind: £13,807
Pension Contribution: £202,240 (including 130,000 in lieu of bonus)
Total: £1,016,847

In other words Terry Brown costs the club 3.3% of its total wage bill. And I thought footballers were overpaid.

Dean Ashton on Comeback Trail

Some welcome good news has emerged from the West Ham camp today. Dean Ashton has finally had the plaster removed from his leg and is walking on it without any problems. The player says,

"To be able to walk freely again and come into the training ground is fantastic. I won't rush things - I want to come back as strong as I was pre-season."

However Aston is still not expected to be match fit before Christmas.

The Face Behind the New Bid

The man behind the second takeover bid of West Ham is Icelandic businessman Eggert Magnusson. He is a former owner and CEO of an import/export and bread and biscuit manufacturing company. He is also president of the Football Association of Iceland (KSÍ), and a former president of Valur Reykjavík (1984-89).

Yesterday Magnusson hit back at suggestions from the Joorabchian camp that his bid was a 'red herring' ,

"I would not be wasting my time if we were not serious and whatever comes out at the end, we are serious now."

However a Magnusson bid may not be as ready as The Guardian has been suggesting, as the Icelandic businessman also added,

"We have shown an interest but there is some way to go. We need to see everything before we make a bid. West Ham are a great club, backed by fantastic support. I am a football man and this is about football, nothing else."

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

West Ham Show Profit

As reported in yesterday's Guardian West Ham have published their yearly accounts for the year ending May 2006. The Guardian claimed that this was a sign of the board's willingness to listen to takeover bids, as the accounts have to be made public before a bid can go ahead.

The accounts showed that West Ham have returned to profit with,

• A turnover of £60.1m (2004-05 - £31.8m)
• An operating profit before player trading of £13.4m (2004-05 - £1.9m operating loss)
• A pre-tax profit of £6.0m (2004-05 - £5.1m loss)
• Net assets of £39.8m (2004-05 - £35.9m)
• Net bank borrowings of £22.5m (2004-05 - £29.4m)

What the accounts don't show are share/bond holder dividends and board salaries.

Mullins Willing To Fight For HIs Place

Hayden Mullins, in an interview with the West Ham official site, reveals his thoughts on the competition for places at Upton Park and his desire to fight for his place,

"I've just worked hard in training and prepared for matches in the same way I always have. That's all I have tried to do, and I was quite happy with my performance against Reading, even if we did end up on the losing side.

Javier is a world-class player so if that is not competition for places, then I don't know what is! Of course he is going to get the chance to show what he can do, and so it's up to me to show that I am good enough to keep him out of the team if we are vying for the same position.

You have to make it hard for the manager to leave you out when you do get your chance, and that is all I am trying to do."

West Ham Court Rival Bidder

Today's Guardian claims that the West Ham board could be close to a deal with the consortium that is rivalling Kia Joorabchian's bid.

The paper claims that,

"£70m would be made available for the shares, exclusive of the club's £20m-plus debt, with more set aside for team strengthening. That package matches Brown's ambitions personally and for the club. He will also be encouraged by the fact that the new group has been represented by keen West Ham supporters and would not initially seek to replace the manager Alan Pardew, who remains popular at boardroom level."

The Guardian says that West Ham have been in talks with the second consortium for over a month and appear to be satisfied that they have the necessary finances for the deal to progress.

Monday, October 09, 2006

West Ham - Everyone's Leaving

If you believe the gossip The Boleyn will soon be a deserted and empty wasteland as our management team and players move on to pastures new.

Addickted.net report that Pardew was spotted three times at The Valley last week and conclude he is set to become their new manager. While assistant manager Peter Grant will soon become manager of Norwich and Teddy Sheringham manager of Orient, according to Tribal Football.

Despite Mascherano and Tevez claimng they want to stay at West Ham The People claims that Terence Brown will soon call off takeover talks and sell the Argentinians in the January transfer window. However The Mirror claims that Kia Joorabchian has now found a backer for his bid and the deal is back on.

The Mirror also claims that the other group interested in buying West Ham is led by football financier Keith Harris, who are ready with an £85m bid for the club.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Tevez Pledges Future to West Ham

Like Mascherano before him Carlos Tevez has slammed suggestions he will leave the club at the first opportunity. Clubcall.com quotes him as saying,

"I am not someone to throw the towel in easily. I am here for the long-term. It hurts so much to read I can go in the January transfer window - that is nonsense.

Neither Javier or I have come to West Ham to be saviours or just to make ourselves look good as individuals - this is football not tennis. I have come to Europe for a lot of things. The first is to prove I can play here, having shown what I am capable of in South America.

I want to be a success in the Premiership and I am convinced things will work out for me here - it is just a matter of time. Javier and I are receiving the support of all our team-mates at West Ham and if I had not believed in this West Ham project I would not have come here."

Yossi Out

Yossi Benayoun seems to have aggravated his injury in yesterday's 1-1 draw between Israel and Russia. He is quoted in Israeli papers this morning as saying he won't be able to play for a few games,

"I was very weak today, but I didn't want to miss this important game. All I want to do now is to take a few weeks' rest, as this injury has significantly affected my performance.

It's safe to assume I'll now sit out the next few weeks until I regain my fitness."

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Zamora Signs New Deal

Bobby Zamora has signed an extension to his contract at West Ham that will run until 2011. He told the club website,

"I'm delighted to have extended my contract and I'm now looking forward to spending my long-term future at Upton Park. I've been here for almost three years now, and there is really no other place I would rather be.

This is my club and wearing a claret and blue shirt is all I have ever wanted to do.

Personally, the season has started well for me and, although results haven't been great recently, I'm confident that the team will get back to winning ways soon.

The spirit among the squad is still excellent and we are all working hard to turn things around. As long as we stay focused and believe in ourselves, I'm sure the results will come soon."

West Ham Round Up

Anton Ferdinand has recovered from his injury and Yossi, Mears and Paintsil are expected to be fit for the Portsmouth game. Collins is touch and go for the Portsmouth game and McCartney is almost ready to turn out for the reserves to build up his match fitness. Lee Bowyer has suffered a shoulder injury in training and is probably likely to be out for more than ten days. Dean Ashton is still at least two months away from resuming training.

Anton Ferdinand and Nigel Reo-Coker both played in England under-21s victory over Germany in the first leg of the European Championship qualifying play-off last night.

West Ham United's under-18s beat Ipswich 3-2 today with goals from Freddie Sears, Bondz Ngala and Jack Collison.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mascherano Happy With the Hammers

It is interesting to compare the Argentinian coach's comments suggesting West Ham's Argentinian stars should quit West Ham at the first opportunity with Mascherano's own thoughts expressed in last week's match programme.

"I came with the idea of staying a long time. I think when you arrive, and more so in a club like this, you need time to adapt, to get to know it all.

Maybe the first year is just about getting to know it. My idea is to stay a long time. It's not right for a player to spend a year in one country, another year in another, another in another - that's too hard. Not just in terms of football, but the life you lead, for your family, everything. I want to be here for a long time."

Mascherano has impressed me both on the pitch and off. On signing for the club the Argentinian showed he had at least enquired about the history of West Ham by requesting Bobby Moore's number and every time he speaks to the press he says the right things.

Obviously West Ham fans are not completely naive, and of course Mascherano will leave the club if he gets an opportunity that he feels will further his career. Yet despite West Ham's recent poor form Mascherano, as a young player, has impressed me both on and off the pitch.

Conversely I have been slighty disappointed with the impact of Tevez so far. In retrospect I think this is because of the high expectations that have come with the player. On Sunday I think Tevez showed glimpses of his ability against Reading and I have spoken to some Argentinian friends today who are convinced that Tevez is close to being a world beating player.

So I think it is time for Pardew to take the gamble and give the Argentinian's some regular football. Pardew has chopped and changed the team around this season, partly because of injuries, but I think he now needs to decide on his best team and pick a consistent side. The next two games are away to Portsmouth and the Spuds, which are two games we may well lose, but let's at least come out of these games with an established first team. A first team which for me should include Mascherano and Tevez.

Comments please! - dropping Harewood for Tevez doesn't bother me much but I do feel sorry for Mullins.

Second Consortium

According to yesterday's Independent a second, anonymous, consortium has entered the race to takeover West Ham.

Predictably rumours have already started about who is involved in the second consortium. Michael Tabor, the east-end-born racing magnate and Tony Cottee, both of whom have expressed interest in the club in the recent past, are just two of the names doing the rounds today, but the consortium so far have been successful in maintaning their anonymity.

Tevez & Mascherano Urged to Leave

Alfio Basile, the manager of the Argentinian national sie, has urged Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano to leave West Ham.

I hope both leave that club as soon as possible. I think they are half-hearted and I'm really worried about that. They play as if they are unenthusiastic. I hope for God's sake that Mascherano can go to Juventus as it has been said, even if he has to play in the second division. And Tevez can play in any position in the attacking line, but not as a left-winger like he is currently playing."

Thursday, October 05, 2006

West Ham United - United

Teddy Sheringham speaking to the Daily Mirror has denied that there are problems in the West Ham dressing room.

"There are no cliques - we are good team-mates, massively so. There is no turmoil - we just haven't started as well as we would have liked and we need to put it right quickly. I would like to play a bigger part and I think I should be playing. Unfortunately five other strikers think the same way.

I still have something to offer - but the manager made me aware of the situation at the start of the season and I have no qualms."

West Ham Videos From Google

Today Google launched a new API (Application Program Interface) that allows websites to carry out a Google Video Search and play the videos within a web page. I've quickly thrown together a selection of West Ham videos on a page I've called West Ham Goals.

The problem is that not so many people load football videos onto Google Video as they do on YouTube, but it is worth having a look and beats having to search through Google Videos yourself.

Or if your tired of football (tired of life) try the google video search in the right hand column of this page to search for any video.

Pardew Denies Quit Threat

Alan Pardew has denied that he told the board he would quit West Ham if the club was taken over. Whilst this morning some sites are reporting that the board, who met yesterday to discuss the possible takeover, have given Kia Joorabchian more time to raise the necessary funds.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Pardew Quit Threat

According to today's Daily Mirror West Ham have reportedly decided to scrap plans for a £70 million takeover after manager Alan Pardew threatened to resign. The paper claims that Pardew had to be talked out of going after two days of inquests in the wake of Sunday's home defeat by his former club Reading, which left the Hammers out of the relegation zone only on goal difference.

One insider said: "The board wasn't left with very much option. It either let Alan walk out, or did the right thing for the club."

This story doesn't make much sense to me because if the board agree to the takeover and are no longer in charge of West Ham they wouldn't be affected by whether Pardew quit or not. However Pardew could well be a major factor in the board apparently telling Kia Joorabchian to put up or shut up.

Anyway hopefully manager, players and fans will learn either way in the next two days.

Tevez Shows His Support For West Ham

Speaking in today's Sun Tevez has reiterated his committment to the club,

"We have felt great support from everybody at the club, starting with the manager.

We are desperate to succeed in the Premier League and I would love to win it with the club and repay all the trust and care everybody has been giving us from the minute we arrived.

West Ham is like a big family and we would love to repay their confidence in us with success and by winning something. They told us this is a no-nonsense league with plenty of tough tackling and challenges. I’m sure we can cope with it, we just need time to adjust to its high tempo.

When we met Alan Pardew, the decision to sign was simple. He made us both feel really wanted. We know there will be a lot of fuss around us but we see ourselves as team players, not individuals.

That was another attraction for coming here. The manager explained there is a great team spirit at the club and we want to be a part of that."

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Robert Green Debuts For Reserves

Robert Green played in West Ham Reserves' 2-1 defeat against Arsenal tonight. This was the reserves third successive defeat in the Premiership Reserve League South.

West Ham put out a young side for this game with only Kyel Reid, Hogan Ephraim and Stokes with any first team experience. The Hammers conceded the first goal just before half -time when Aliadiere scored from six yards out.

West Ham equalised in the 67th minute through a Stokes header from eight yards out. Joe O'Cearuill however got the winner for the visitors in the 80th minute.

West Ham Deal Near to Collapsing

According to today's Independent the takeover bid being fronted by Kia Joorabchian is struggling to raise the money to buy out West Ham. The paper claims that a price of £70m had been agreed but that the Iranian businessman may not be able to raise the funds.

West Ham have a scheduled board meeting tomorrow at which it is believed the board will issue Joorabchian with an ultimatum to come forward with the cash immediately or drop his interest. Sources are "99 per cent sure" he will be unable to go through with the deal and that the situation will become clear by Thursday.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Scolari Rubbishes NoW Lies

Unsuprisingly Portugal manager Luiz Scolari has denied rumours linking him with West Ham, revealing he has not spoken to the News of the World,

"The English newspaper News of the World published an interview this Sunday with the coach Luiz Felipe Scolari that did not happen. Scolari only granted one interview this week and that was to the daily newspaper Diario de Noticias de Portugal.

Through this official notice of assessing the press, we reaffirm that the interview with this tabloid is false."

International Break Welcome

Alan Pardew has welcomed the international break believing it might help West Ham turn around their fortunes. The Hammers have lost their last five games, have not kept a clean sheet this season and have gone 488 minutes since scoring. Although West Ham will lose some of the squad to international duty the break gives some of the injured players time to recover,

"After the international break Anton Ferdinand will be back, I think Tyrone Mears will be back, possibly John Pantsil and George McCartney will give us an option. The squad will look a lot healthier and our defence will strengthen over the next two weeks, which is what we need.

We have the makings of a very good team here but at the moment the results are not reflecting that. I can't fault their endeavour and application but I look at the team and the rhythm of our passing and until we get a settled back four I don't think we will be at full speed." "

Sunday, October 01, 2006

West Ham 0 Reading 1

Alan Pardew again changed the team around for this game. He started with Tevez and Cole up front, Etherington on the right and Mullins in for Mascherano.

West Ham's run of bad luck continued from the kick off as Reading scored in the first two minutes. From a short free kick 30 yards out Seol jinked past Benayoun and scored a screamer from 25 yards.

That was Reading's last real chance of the half as they then sat deep and let West Ham monopolise possession. West Ham created a number of chances and Tevez in particular looked good on the ball, however the Hammers failed to convert any of their chances.

In the tenth minute Tevez and then Spector both had shots from outside of the area but both were drilled straight at the keeper. In the 32nd minute Etherington sent Konchesky almost clear but the Reading defence just mangaged to recover in time and block his shot.

Just before half-time Benayoun scooped a shot wide right from outside the area and Reo-Coker had a shot deflected wide.

West Ham started the second half a little flat. Mullins had a long shot saved and Tevez shot well wide. In the 78th minute Sheringham came on for Tevez and Zamora replaced Cole. The substitutions almost had an immediate effect as within a minute of coming on Teddy nutmegged a defender, passed to Zamora and Zamora rolled the ball on to Etherington, whose shot was well saved. A minute later Sheringham knocked a lovely reverse pass to Etherington, who pulled his shot across the goal and Zamora rushing in just failed to connect.

In the 84th minute Harewood came on for Reo-Coker. In the closing couple of minutes West Ham created some pressure on the Reading penalty area but the final ball into the box again let West Ham down. Benayoun almost got the goal right at the end when he lobbed the keeper but Sidwell managed to clear the ball off the line.

West Ham have not kept a clean sheet this season and have not scored since September 10th. Desparate times.

Phil Scolari Next West Ham Manager

According to The News of the World Portugal manager Phil Scolari could be the next West Ham manager. Scolari, thought by many to be one of the top coaches in the world, is a close friend of Kia Joorabchian and has admitted to having talks with the head of the consortium attempting to buy West Ham,

"Kia is my friend, we have been talking a lot recently, in fact almost every day. He has approached me to work for him before and every offer he makes is respectful and deserves my attention.

Right now, I am still coaching Portugal but no door is closed."

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