Thursday, November 30, 2006

West Ham's Olympic Move

Eggert Magnusson yesterday met with Olympics minister Tessa Jowell and London mayor Ken Livingstone to discuss West Ham's possible move to the Olympic Stadium post-Olympics. There seem to three main conditions over the possible move:

1. The stadium should still be able to host major athletics events after the games. For which Magnusson seems to favour retractable seating.

2. The stadium would need to be available for different community groups post-Games.

3. West Ham would have to contribute £100million towards costs of any possible conversion after the games.

After the meeting a spokesman for Magnusson said,

"It was a very useful meeting and we fully take on board the points made by the secretary of state and will look at all the options to move forward."

And a spokesperson for Tessa Jowell explained,

"It was agreed that the ball was in West Ham's court. They would reflect on the discussion and decide how they wished to proceed."

Tevez Wants to Stay at West Ham

Speaking on Argentinian radio Tevez claimed he would love to return to Boca Juniors but wants to succeed at West Ham,

"I would love to go back to Boca but it's impossible at this moment. I have been in Europe for only four months. I am going to keep working hard to have a chance of playing more frequently. I am a person that likes to fight for everything until the end."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

West Ham Youth Out of Cup

West Ham Youth lost in extra time tonight in the FA Youth Cup against Charlton. This is only the third loss of the season for the young Hammers. Charlton's Dane Springer scored the winner in the 99th minute.

Tevez Sees Yellow

It seems that the punishment meted out to Tevez by his West Ham team mates involves him having to wear a Brazilian shirt in training. For an Argentinian this is presumably even worse than being made to don an England shirt. The player has also been made to donate around £1,000 to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Mascherano to Athletic Madrid

Reports from Spain suggest that Mascherano has been in contact with players at Athletic Madrid and told them he wants to leave West Ham. Athletic Madrid are amongst a number of clubs believed to be interested in both Mascherano and Tevez.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

West Ham Goal

Monday, November 27, 2006

Gabbidon Out For a Month

West Ham head physiotherapist Steve Allen today confirmed that Danny Gabbidon pulled his hamstring on Saturday and will be out for around four weeks,

"Danny has suffered a grade two tear to his lateral hamstring muscle and the estimated recovery time before he is back playing again is around four weeks. We are hopeful that he may be back sooner than that but his recovery won't be rushed.

"We arranged the scan for yesterday so that he could begin his rehabilitation as soon as he arrived for training this morning and he is already responding well to treatment."

Tevez Apologies to West Ham Players

Tevez has apologised for walking out of West Ham on Saturday and Pardew has decided that the West Ham players can decide the size of his fine. Tevez said,

"I would just like to say that I left the ground in anger on Saturday. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, which I regretted almost straightaway. I know I did very wrong in going and I have made it clear to the manager and my team-mates that I in no way meant to disrespect them."

Redknapp Let Fan Play for West Ham

I have never heard this story before, so I have no proof of its authenticity, but I hope it is true. According to The Soccer Weblog Harry Redknapp once let a fan play for West Ham in a pre-season friendly.

"Lee Chapman was playing for us at the time," recounts Redknapp. "All through the first half some tattooed skinhead behind me was giving Lee terrible stick. At half-time I turned to this bloke who had West Ham etched on his neck and asked 'Can you play as good as you talk?' He looked totally confused. So I told him he was going to get his dream to play for West Ham. We sent him down the tunnel and he reappeared 10 minutes later all done out in the strip. He ran on to the pitch and a journalist from the local Oxford paper sidled up and asked 'Who's that Harry?' I said 'What? Haven't you been watching the World Cup? That's the great Bulgarian Tittyshev!' The fella wasn't bad - actually, he scored!"

Apparently the fan was a 27-year-old called Steve Davies who had given up park football six years earlier.

West Ham Want To Keep Argentinians

Alan Pardew has been quick to insist he is keen to keep Tevez at Upton Park after speculation that Tevez' anger at being substituted on Saturday would hasten his departure. The West Ham manager said yesterday,

"Carlos is a great player. He is just starting to get to grips with what The Premiership is all about. It would be nice if we could keep that class of player at the club because that's the kind of players we want to bring in to improve the club.

If we can keep him and Javier Mascherano then we are going to get the best out of them and it will benefit us next season."

Tevez to be Fined?

A number of the papers today report that Tevez is set to be fined for leaving the ground after West Ham's game on Saturday. This assumption presumably comes from Pardew's post match comments,

"The first time was when I first arrived at West Ham and I fined the player a week’s money because I think it is disrespectful to me, my staff and the players. I will have to listen to his excuse – I’m sure it is just disappointment but that is no good reason. We don’t have that kind of discipline here."

Although Pardew never actually stated he would fine the player Tevez's outburst presumably will hasten his departure from the club. At least one website is speculating that he and Mascherano may feature in some kind of swop for Shaun Wright-Philips. The FIFA rule that a player can't play for more than two clubs in twelve months seems fairly clear but doesn't seem to have stopped speculation that the two Argentinians will soon be leaving West Ham.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Eggert on Sportsweek

Eggert Magnusson appeared on Radio Five's Sportsweek this morning. You will be able to listen to the podcast of the interview by clicking on 'Football Podcasts' in the grey Grazr box on the right of this page.

Magnusson reveals on the programme that he has ambitious plans for West Ham but also that he has a knowledge of the traditions of the club. He revealed that he will be 'a hand's on' chairman and he called the club, "a sleeping giant. I can take to the next step." European competition seems very much a part of his plans for the club, "Not today, not tomorrow, not the day after. I want West Ham challenging for the European Cup. It is a necessary step."

Magnusson seems certain that Pardew is the man to help take West Ham to the next step, "He is very much part of the future of West Ham. He has ambitions, he wants to do well. I have full belief in him." Magnusson also made clear that Pardew will have full control of the team. He said he will sit down this week to talk about who Pardew would like to bring to the club and confirmed there will be money available in January for transfers.

Magnusson praised Shaun Wright-Phillips, "He is a good player. He has great possibilities to do well," and suggested that if Pardew wants him a deal might be possible, "I know Peter Kenyon well. We will just sit down and try work out the right fee."

Eggert Magnusson also confirmed in the programme that he will be talking to government ministers in the next few weeks about West Ham taking over the Olympic stadium. He says the stadium is, "my dream at the moment. It is definitely where we want to go."

West Ham & The Olympic Stadium

The Guardian today argue that Eggert Magnusson is determined to move West Ham from The Boleyn to the new Olympic stadium. It claims that West Ham's new chairman will meet in the next few weeks the Olympic Delivery Authority and government ministers.

Apparently Magnusson is prepared to accept a permanent running track, to be covered over with retractable seating. The paper suggest that West Ham and the government could agree that the club buy the £100 million stadium in instalments.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

West Ham 1 Sheff Utd 0

The new era at West Ham started off well with a nervy win against a gutsy Sheffield Utd side. The West Ham players started the game as if they were keen to impress the new owner but showed more enthusiasm than real class. The best of the early efforts fell to Bowyer, after Zamora dribbled into the box from the right wing to find the midfielder unmarked six yards out. Bowyer's shot was deflected wide. However from the resulting corner Mullins arrived unmarked to head in his second goal of the season from three yards out.

In the second half The Blades will feel they created enough chances to earn the equaliser. Christian Nade had a good chance when he shrugged off Gabbidon on the edge of the box, only to see Gabbidon recover and get his foot in just as the forward was about to shoot. Three minutes later Nade had an even better chance when Gillepie picked him out with a perfect cross, but the unmarked Wade shot wide from only seven yards out.

The Blades peppered West Ham's box at the death and were unlucky when Robert Kozluk rose to beat Green to a cross only to see his goal disallowed for a foul on the goalkeeper.

That however was the end of West Ham's good fortune as Mullins, who was injured half way through the second-half, was found to have torn a hamstring and could be out for nearly six weeks. And Tevez, who looked up upset at being substituted, immediately left the ground, much to the annoyance of Alan Pardew.

West Ham vs Sheff Utd

There are a number of sites showing delayed coverage of the West Ham game. Guandong is showing the game at 5pm and then ESPN and Ghangzhou are showing the game at 5.30pm. Links can be found here.

I haven't had much luck watching the game live on the internet this year but the site linked to above has an embedded player (follow the 'FSI Player' link at the top of the home page) for most channels so it might be worth a look.

Live Radio: Live commentary of the game is on BBC Radio London. Tune to BBC LONDON DAB Digital Radio, Sky Channel 0152 and 765 Medium Wave to listen. The BBC don't mention if it is available over the internet but it might be worth giving it a go - here.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Reo-Coker Dismisses Criticism

On Sky Sports Nigel Reo-Coker has dismissed criticisms of his performance this season. Unfortunately for West Ham the interview also seems to hint at some underlying problems between the team captain and the club,

"There are things that have happened that people are not aware of. Because of the back injury, I missed most of pre-season, and I had to come back earlier than I should have.

I just had to get on with it. I have always been satisfied with my performances, and there are situations people do not know about."

West Ham Interest in SWP Confirmed

Chelsea chief-executive Peter Kenyon has confirmed that West Ham have made enquiries about Shaun Wright-Philips. The enquiries seem to have been made pre-take over, on the basis that West Ham would put in an offer if transfer money became available.

"We have had some interest from West Ham but not an official offer. We are not looking to sell players but if we receive an official offer then we will review the situation.

The interest came in the context of the pre-takeover period at West Ham in terms of whether there was any possibility of something happening and that funds may be available if the takeover went through. Any discussions about figures is purely speculative though as there has not been an offer."

West Ham vs Sheff Utd

All West Ham matches are becoming must win games but it is even more essential that West Ham pick up maximum points against other struggling teams. Alan Pardew reflected on this yesterday,

"The message from Eggert has been loud and clear about building a positive future for the club and we need to match that in terms of getting points on board now and moving up the league table. It's not going to be easy, as we have a tricky game in front of us against Neil Warnock and his Sheffield United side, who have been buoyed lately with some good results of their own."

The Blades currently lie only one point and two positions below West Ham. So far this season Sheffield Utd have not travelled well, picking up the one win at Newcastle and scoring only one goal away from home. West Ham on the other hand should be positive after winning in their last game at The Boleyn and the crowd will surely be in full voice to welcome the new owners.

Alan Pardew was full of praise for Tevez after his performance last weekend so it will be interesting to see if he gets another run out this week. Unfortunately for Tevez Pardew is likely to return to a 4-4-2 formation for this match and the manager may return to playing Harewood up front with Zamora, and Benayoun is likely to return to the right wing. Aside from that the team is likely to be as normal, the only other query being whether Bowyer can push out Mullins or Reo-Coker.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Wenger Admits Misconduct, Pardew Appeals

Arsene Wenger has admitted improper conduct for his part in the touchline argument with West Ham manager Alan Pardew. Pardew has denied the charge. Wenger refused to apologise after the incident but now seems to have realised he was at fault. Pardew on the other was quick to apologise after the game but obviously feels he did little wrong.

West Ham Youngsters Loaned Out

Kyel Reid and Hogan Ephraim have both been loaned out on one month loans. Reid, who has only made one first team appearance this season, in the Carling Cup, has joined Barnsley. Ephraim has joined Championship side Colchester.

West Ham Transfer Rumours

Now that West Ham are under new owners the transfer rumours are starting to fly. Today's Daily Mirror quotes Eggert Magnusson as saying,

"I want every year to be competing for places in the Champions League. That is my ultimate ambition. It will not happen today or tomorrow or the day after. We will take it slowly and build on the foundations already here."

With such lofty ambitions presumably Magnusson will be handing Pardew a fairly substantial transfer kitty in January. Pardew himself is quoted as warning the players,

"They are going to have to get on their toes and perform. That's what happens when new owners take over."

The rumour that seems to have the most legs is that Shaun Wright-Phillips will be soon winging his way to West Ham and then up and down the right flank. Wright-Philips has made no secret of his unhappiness at being used as a bench warmer at Stamford Bridge and The Independent, along with nearly every other newspaper, claims that the player will join West Ham for £10 million. The paper claims he will join on loan in January and that a permanent deal will be made in the summer. Alan Pardew has been looking for a right winger for a while and Wright-Phillips certainly fits his preference for young British players. Add to that Wright-Philips' discontent at his current club and what The Independent claims is Pardew's good relationship with Jose Mourinho and this story certainly rings true.

Brown Thanks West Ham Fans

Terence Brown spoke yesterday about the take over of West Ham, praising the new owners and West Ham fans,

"I think it's very exciting. We always promised that, when the right type of investors, those who could take the club forward, came along, we would talk to them and see if a deal could be done. I think we've found the right people and we're pleased to conclude the transaction. I'm sure it will be good for the Club.

His backers are world class businessmen and that was very clear to see. I'm absolutely sure the Club is being passed into good hands. And I'm very pleased he has taken the Club on, I'm sure he will be a tremendous success.

I'd like to thank the fans. When I first took over as Chairman in 1992, in my first games in charge I think we had gates of 10 and 11,000. We had just been relegated and it looked a very tough job. But we've seen it through and now we can fill this stadium with 35,000 people. There are few clubs who would be able to do that after suffering relegation and having to sell their young stars.

I don't think we could have asked for more from the fans, they have been tremendous and are what the Club is all about. You would have to go a long way to find better ones."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

West Ham's Carroll & Anton in Trouble

According to the Daily Mail West Ham goalkeeper Roy Carroll is battling drinking and gambling problems. They quote Alan Pardew as saying,

"We are aware that Roy has problems and we are fully supporting him in any way we can," Pardew said.

"He has gone about tackling the issues in the right way and is seeking expert help to sort him out. I understand he will leave the clinic today (Wednesday) and will be back in training with us on Thursday."

Anton Ferdinand will appear before magistrates in Redbridge on Friday relating to an alleged incident outside Faces nightclub in Ilford, east London, on October 2. Anton's agents have issued the following statement,

"We confirm that Anton Ferdinand, the West Ham and England under-21 international, has today been charged with assault. Anton looks forward to having the opportunity to explain in court the incident and nature of his actions on the night in question, October 2 2006.

He maintains his innocence and believes his actions were justified and that because of this he believes he has not done anything wrong."

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

West Ham Look To The Future

Alan Pardew and Trevor Brooking both responded positively today to the take over of West Ham. Brooking has been impressed with Magnusson's comments about continuing the West Ham tradition.

"I think today more than anything there is a lot of relief around the West Ham fraternity that the matter has been resolved. It had been going on for several weeks and most people have said it has been affecting performances.

To be fair to the consortium that has now completed the deal, they have said the right things about the tradition of the club and developing young players so West Ham fans are comfortable with it."

Alan Pardew on the other hand is looking more towards the future of the club,

"We are very pleased Eggert has bought the club. We have this new consortium in place and we can move forward. Like all organisations, you need leadership from the top with a new vision of what they want to do. I have been enthused by that in my conversation with Mr Magnusson.

He has a strong feeling he would like to see European football here at Upton Park. We had a brief taste of it and unfortunately drew the best team in Italy. But there is no reason we can't try and achieve that this year with a great cup run or very strong finish to the league programme.

You have to set your goals high, we have always done that here and hopefully we can achieve those aims in the next three or four years."

In more good news Hayden Mullins has signed a new four year deal with the club. There had been rumours that contract renewals at West Ham had been put on hold during take over talks, which had caused some discontent amongst the players. So it is good to see the new consortium getting straight down to contract renewals.

It is Official

So it is good bye to Terence Brown and a big welcome to Eggert Magnusson, as West Ham have this morning announced the acceptance of Eggert Magnusson's £85m takeover bid for the club.

Outgoing chairman Terence Brown (who will remain as a director of the club and honorary life vice-president) said this morning,

"The offer reflects fair value considering our history, recent performance and prospects. Eggert Magnusson is fully committed to ensuring the Club can continue its great tradition of success both on and off the field, to the benefit of supporters and the wider community."

New chairman Eggert Magnusson released the following statement:

"I am both delighted and honoured that Terry Brown and his colleagues wish to support our offer for West Ham. We can now end the uncertainty of recent weeks and move forward into the next phase of development of this great club, with Alan Pardew leading our efforts on the pitch.

I fully appreciate the personal responsibility that will come with becoming chairman of West Ham and pledge to the staff, the players and the fans that I am here to serve and to do all that I can to deliver genuine success on and off the field.

I will be continuing talks with Alan Pardew on how he sees the future on the playing side. This is very much his domain and he has my full confidence and support.

He already knows that funds will be made available for the January transfer window but we need to discuss his needs and the investment that might be required to strengthen the squad.

The main financial supporter of our bid, Mr Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, has given me full backing and responsibility to take the club forward. He and I have known each other through football for many years and we share a passion for the game, particularly here in England.

Mr Gudmundsson's commitment to the club is vital and he also believes that we can build something very special here at West Ham. There is a genuine excitement in the club about what we can achieve together, which I hope the fans will share.

This club has so much to be proud of and I want everyone who loves and supports the club to bring their pride and passion to help build this next stage of West Ham's future.

As we move forward we must not forget the club's great traditions, particularly in the training and development of young English players.

All the way back to 1966 and the World Cup winning team of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, this is something that I have admired about the club. I am very committed to protecting and growing this part of the club's work."

Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, the chairman of Icelandic bank Landsbanki, is the financial backer of Magnusson's consortium and he will become honorary life president of the club. The consortium was rumoured to be prepared to take on the club's £22.5m debt, although there is no mention of this in the club's announcement today.

Thor's Hammers?

The main player it seems behind Eggert Magnusson's consortium seems to be Icelandic businessman Björgólfur Guðmundsson. It has been rumoured that his incredibly rich son Thor Bjorgolfsson might also be involved in the deal, but at least one other West Ham site has received letters from his lawyers stating that this is untrue, so I won't dwell on that rumour.

However the wealth of Thor is something to behold. The Times listed him in their 2005 Rich List as the 125th richest person in the UK, which makes him worth about £400 million. Forbes on the other hand claim he is Iceland's richest man and is worth at least £1.4 billion. I'm sure a lot of West Ham fans will hope that Thor does become involved in the club and that even a small percentage of his riches find their way to Alan Pardew's transfer kitty. I'm also fairly certain a lot of fans won't be too interested in how Björgólfur Guðmundsson and his son became so successful.

Last year The Guardian carried an article on the rise of three Icelandic businessmen, two of them being Björgólfur Guðmundsson and his son Thor Bjorgolfsson's and their incredible success in post-communist Russia. The article carried some thinly veiled hints at how they might have succeeded in creating a successful brewing company Bravo International, which they later sold to Heineken for $400 million, at a time when their competitors in St. Petersburg's mafia-ridden brewing business were being murdered or having their factories mysteriously burned down.

The last thing West Ham fans want is to go the way of Chelsea but it seems in at least one aspect we now have something similar; we are both being bankrolled by successful businessmen who struck it rich after the fall of communism in Russia.

Monday, November 20, 2006

West Ham Sold

According to The Daily Mail Eggert Magnusson has completed the £105 million takeover of West Ham. The paper claim the deal will be officially announced to the Stock Exchange tomorrow morning.

Apparently the take over was unanimously agreed at a two hour board meeting this afternoon. The Icelandic consortium took control of 84 per cent of the club’s shares, including the 40 per cent family holding of chairman Terry Brown. The consortium will officially take charge of West Ham next week.

Magnusson has vowed to respect West Ham’s identity, saying:

"West Ham are a great club with a great history. They have a good manager with good players and a strong fan base. I have always had a soft spot for West Ham — their trademark for many years was good, attacking football, and that’s what I like.

It is also unbelievable how many good talents they have honed in east London."

Are We There Yet?

Most of the papers seem to believe that Eggert Magnusson will make a formal offer for West Ham today. Magnusson sat with Terence Brown during West Ham's game on Saturday and The Guardian claim that "final adjustments to the paperwork will be made today to take account of the discussions held at the weekend."

The paper claims Magnusson will make a formal offer of just £100 million for 75% of the club's shares. Alan Pardew's job as manager is believed to be safe and the paper says Brown will be given the position of honorary vice-president.

A stock-exchange announcement could be possible on Wednesday if the bid is accepted.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

West Ham in the Papers

The Sunday papers today seem split between 'exclusive' stories that Tevez and Mascherano are on the move in January and 'exclusive' stories that the pair are happy at West Ham and are staying.

The Sunday Mirror and Sunday People both report on a clause in the Argentinians' contracts that allows either the players or West Ham to terminate the contract in January. The papers claim that West Ham are ready to let the players go.

On the other hand The News of the World quotes Tevez as being very happy at West Ham and has no plans to leave,

"I do not know anything about leaving and I am very happy here."

Pardew Remains Upbeat

Speaking after yesterday's game Pardew claimed that West Ham are returning to last year's good form.

"We've just pushed the champions to about our maximum. That was bordering on our optimum performance and, although we didn't get a result, I'm happy with my group of players. I can see that we're getting back to our levels of last year.

Our fans were brilliant, too. I thought that our performance matched their support and we all now need to take that into next week's game against Sheffield United because that's going to be a massive match for us."

Pardew also found time to praise Tevez's performance against The Blues,

"Today, Carlos was up to full speed and he showed just why he has such a high reputation. Hopefully we'll now see that again against Sheffield United and during the weeks after that, too."

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Chelsea 1 West Ham 0

West Ham started with a five man midfield of Etherington, Reo-Coker, Mullins, Boyer and Tevez, with Zamora up front on his own. Early on the system worked well for West Ham and they had the better of the first 15 minutes.

Chelsea looked nervous at the back, with a series of misunderstandings between Cudicini and his defence. However West Ham failed to capitalise on their possession and Chelsea's nervousness. The Irons' best chance came from a Tevez corner, which Spector headed from just outside the box over the bar.

After 15 minutes Chelsea started to attack more consistently and in the 20th minute Gabbidon put his hand on Drogba's shoulder just on the edge of the West Ham box and, to the surprise of no-one, Drogba went to ground. Geremi scored from the resulting free-kick, curling the ball over a stretching Green into the top right corner.

After the goal West Ham continued to play well and just before the break almost scored when Etherington volleyed the ball from 25 yards and just missed past the right hand post.

West Ham started the second half brightly but again failed to create any clear goal scoring opportunities. In the 63rd minute Bobby Zamora shot right-footed from 25 yards, over the bar and a couple of minutes later Bowyer did the same. Chelsea's best chance came to John Terry in the 75th minute when he rose to meet a corner but headed the ball into the ground, which then bounced over the bar.

In the 71st minute Harewood came on for Zamora and in the 80th minute Etherington and Bowyer were replaced by McCartney and Sheringham.

In the last couple of minutes West Ham penned Chelsea back and kept the ball in the Chelsea half but couldn't get the deserved equaliser.

West Ham Changing Hands on Monday

The Independent are today reporting that West Ham will be sold on Monday to the consortium headed by Eggert Magnusson, although the story will not be officially released till later in the week. The paper are reporting this as fact and report in detail on the fine print of the deal, so it seems believable.

The take over is costing £97.5 million. Alan Pardew will remain as manager and be given a transfer kitty for January. Magnusson will become chairman. Terence Brown will be given an honorary role at the club, possibly club president, and the rest of the board are expected to continue serving as board members.

The Independent claims that Magnusson's consortium are buying 75% of the club's shares for £75 million and taking on the club's debt of £22.5 million.

Friday, November 17, 2006

West Ham Sign Kiraly

West Ham have signed Crystal Palace goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly on an emergency two-week loan deal. The West Ham site reports that,

"The 30-year-old stopper has been brought in as cover following injuries to Roy Carroll and Jimmy Walker, and will go straight into the squad for tomorrow's Premiership clash against Chelsea."

The loan deal runs out on December 3rd but could be extended.

West Ham to Sign Kiraly

Sky Sports claim that West Ham are on the verge of signing Crystal Palace's out-of-favour goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly. Sky Sports report that "Kiraly is expected to sign a one-month loan deal with West Ham which could be extended if he impresses Alan Pardew."

Chelsea vs West Ham

In the corresponding match last year West Ham scored an early goal, saw Maniche sent off after seventeen minutes but went on to lose the game 4-1. With West Ham's poor away record this season and Drogba, in particular, on fire for Chelsea it is hard to see West Ham getting much out of this game. Chelsea have also now gone 50 games unbeaten at home in the Premiership.

In West Ham's favour many of the Chelsea squad were on international duty this week whilst the West Ham squad were mainly rested. With Chelsea in action in the Champions League next week and an important game against Man Utd coming up next weekend Mourinho may also see this game as an opportunity to rest some players. Also in Premiership head to head encounters between West Ham and Chelsea honours are fairly even with Chelsea slightly ahead only by 10 wins to nine.

Khalid Boulahrouz and Joe Cole may be doubtful for this game, both seeming to pick up slight knocks on international duty. For West Ham Collins and Ashton seem to be the only players out of contention.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pardew on West Ham Take Over

ESPN today report on Alan Pardew's reactions to his meeting with Eggert Magnusson,

'It went very well. West Ham fans would like to have heard the things he said to me - I think he has got a good concept of what he wants to do at the club. I have to say, coming out of it I was enthused, as I was when I met Kia. So the two potential owners of the club both have sound views on what they want to do.

I'm all ears for that because I want to take this club forward, we want to try to compete in the Champions League and that is some distance away from where we sit right now. But as proved by other clubs, Aston Villa in particular, that takeover process when it is finished can take you forward very quickly.'

Pardew also said he would appeal against the FA's charge of improper conduct during the game with Arsenal and reported that Yossi Benayoun is fit for Saturday's game against Chelski.

Mascherano Wants to Stay at West Ham

Javier Mascherano's agent has moved quickly to scotch rumours of a possible loan move to Brazillian side Flamengo.

Walter Tamer is reported by as saying, "I believe the possibility of Mascherano signing for Flamenco or any Brazilian club is zero. He elected to go to Europe, and that is where is he likely to stay.

"I have seen nothing that would indicate any negotiations [with anybody else]."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

International Hammers

Yossi Benayoun scored and seemed to come through the Israel vs Croatia game uninjured. Croatia won this high scoring game 4-3. With Russia winning as well England have dropped to third place in the group.

Alan Pardew has commented today that West Ham's international absentees should all be fit by the weekend,

"None of them would have been fit enough for their international matches, but we are hoping that they can make it back in time for Saturday's game. The boys have been working hard this week and obviously the Chelsea game is going to be a very different one to the one at Middlesbrough."

West Ham Take Over Saga

The Independent are today reporting an end to West Ham's take over. They claim that the Magnusson consortium will make a formal bid by Friday of this week and that the West Ham board, if they are satisfied with the offer, will recommend the offer at the beginning of next week.

New West Ham Coach

Former Charlton and Reading defender Steve Brown has joined the staff at West Ham as reserve coach. However his first game in charge was not enough to halt the reserves poor performance this season, as they lost 4-1 to Fulham Reserves last night.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Pardew Meets Magnusson

Alan Pardew is reported to have met Eggert Magnusson this afternoon to discuss the Icelander's plans for West Ham. Magnusson has already said that the West Ham managers job would be safe if his consortium was successful in its bid to take over the club. Today's meeting seems to confirm that Magnusson is keen to keep Pardew at the helm.

International Duty

West Ham players seem to be suffering from a number of niggling injuries and it seems most of them won't be reporting for international duty this week.

Anton Ferdinand and Nigel Reo-Coker are both unavailable for England U-21's match against Holland tonight (live on Sky Sports).

James Collins has pulled out of the Welsh squad after he suffered a torn abductor muscle in the final minute of West Ham's 1-0 defeat on Saturday and could be out for several weeks. Danny Gabbidon could also pull out of the Wales squad because of a knee problem that has been troubling him for several weeks.

Benayoun however seems to be determined to play for his country. An MRI scan has revealed that Benayoun is suffering from a partial cruciate ligament tear but Benayoun has insisted he will still play for Israel.

"Despite the injury and the pain I want to play, even if that means I will have to rest for a long time afterwards," Benayoun has been reported to have told the Israeli media.

This is an important game for Israel, either Israel or Croatia have the chance to go three points clear at the top of England's group if they win this game. However Benayoun will obviously anger Pardew if he is unavailable for West Ham's game against Chelsea this weekend.

Monday, November 13, 2006

How Long for Tevez & Mascherano?

Flamengo vice-president Kleber Leite is due to meet with Kia Joorabchian tomorrow. Leite has admitted to being interested in West Ham's two Argentinian players

"If you are asking me if I will ask about the two of them (Tevez and Mascherano), we will ask about them. It would be illogical if we meet Kia and didn't try to find out about their situation."

Flamengo are only the latest in a long line of clubs that seem keen on Tevez and Mascherano. Now that Joorabchian's attempt to take over West Ham seems to be dead in the water and Alan Pardew's attempts to integrate the players into the first team squad seems to be unsuccessful there is an obvious doubt about how long Joorabchian will keep them at Upton Park. Tevez in particular has a history of creating trouble when he hasn't been a first choice pick and Joorabchian will obviously be unprepared to see two of his prize assets dwindle in value on the West Ham bench.

Many West Ham fans probably expected the two players to last only a season at West Ham, what price now for a January exit?

Aston Predicts a January Return

Dean Aston has told Sky Sports that he hopes to be back in the West Ham team after Christmas,

"Hopefully, I'll be back in the New Year. It's been a terrible few months, but hopefully, it won't be long now. The first few weeks after the injury were really hard, especially when I had to watch the England match in hospital.

But now I feel fine and I'm just looking forward to getting back as soon as possible to help the team."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Cottee in West Ham Bid

The Sunday People reports today on the rumour that Tony Cottee is heading a third consortium in the battle for control of West Ham.

The paper claim that Cottee is ready to match the West Ham board's £75million asking price, wipe out the club's debts and hand Pardew a transfer treasure chest so he can strengthen the squad.

A number of papers also report today that Pardew is preparing a January bid for Colchester's 21 year old defender Greg Halford.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

West Ham Reaction

Alan Pardew speaking after today's game claims Wets Ham were unlucky not to get something out of the game,

"We had a couple of blows today, with injuries, suspensions and flu. But we have to start picking up points away from home. It's absolutely important if you're going to be a strong side in the Premiership.

It was a tight affair. The home team set up 5-4-1 and there wasn't a lot of room to play. I can hardly think of a chance in the first half for either team - they didn't create a lot and restricted us from being able to play through them.

It was always going to be a tight affair. You felt that one goal was going to be the difference - if indeed there was going to be a goal - and the break unfortunately fell for them, and they took it."

Middlesbrough 1 West Ham 0

Anton Ferdinand and Bobby Zamora both failed to recover from ankle injuries in time for this game. Collins replaced Ferdinand and Sheringham and Harewood started up front as Pardew returned to a 4-4-2 formation.

Boro had the better of a pretty dismal first half. In the 7th minute Rochemback shot over the bar and, two minutes later, Pogatetz headed wide. In the 22nd minute Morrison managed to beat Ehterington on the Boro right wing but his shot sailed wide. In the 30th minute Yakuba shot from the edge of the penalty area but Green managed to tip the ball wide. Two minutes later a Downing shot was also saved by Green. Just before half-time a Collins mistake let Yakuba through but Gabbidon just managed to recover in time.

West Ham's only real efforts were an early shot from Sheringham, which flew over the bar, and a Harewood shot in the 15th minute, which failed to trouble Schwarzer.

The second half started a bit more lively. In the 48th minute Rochemback shot over the bar and West Ham broke immediately through Etherington. His cross into the area was lunged at by Harewood but the striker just failed to reach the ball. . In the 57th minute Sheringham held the ball up well on the edge of the area before setting up Harewood for a volley but Harewood fired over the bar.

In the 63rd minute Tevez was brought on for Harewood. Tevez immediately made a run down the right into the box but his shot was blocked by Pogatetz. Maccarone was then brought in for Rochemback and Boro changed to a 4-4-2 formation. In the 77th minute Benayoun pulled back Downing on the edge of the area, Benayoun was booked and Boro won a free-kick. James Collins just managed to head the free-kick wide. From the corner Maccarone managed to drag the ball past Green and shot from a tight angle to score for Boro.

West Ham's inability to score away from home proves costly again. Against a poor Boro team West Ham should expect to come away with at least a point.

Middlesbrough vs West Ham

I can't find any internet TV feeds anywhere for this game.

If you live in London BBC Radio London is covering the game on 94.9FM and 765 Medium Wave (internet coverage as always is given to the spuds).

The game is on Radio Five Live with Internet coverage.

Friday, November 10, 2006

West Ham Team News

Anton Ferdinand and Bobby Zamora face fitness tests before the Boro game. Ferdinand suffered an injury to his Achilles tendon in last Sunday's game and a scan this week revealed some bruising. Bobby Zamora also suffered a knock to his ankle against Arsenal.

James Collins returns to the squad after recovering from a groin injury.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Middlesbrough v West Ham

Hopefully West Ham can make it three wins in a row with this trip to Teeside. West Ham have yet to beat Boro away from home in the Premiership and have gained only one point on the road this season but will take solace from the fact that the Teesider's record in the league is as poor as West Ham's.

Boro have lost their last two Premiership games and have not scored in three hours and five minutes of Premiership football. West Ham on the other hand have re-found their scoring touch in the last two games. It will be interesting to see if Harewood makes the starting line-up, after his goal last Sunday, and Sheringham could also be in for a shout after his impact in the last two games.

The losers in West Ham's return to winning ways seems to be the two new Argentinian players, Mascherano and Tevez as Pardew appears to have more faith in his established players.

The big absentee for Boro should be their manager Gareth Southgate as his dispensation for not being a qualified coach runs out on Saturday. However expect the FA to give Southgate an extension to his dispensation, shortly followed by a three match ban for Pardew for daring to beat Arsenal.

Cottee Involved in Magnusson Bid?

Today's Independent claims that Tony Cottee is 'believed' to have encouraged Magnusson to bid for West Ham but is no longer involved in the consortium. The paper also speculate that he might be now involved in trying to create another consortium with other parties left behind by Magnusson to mount their own bid for West Ham.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Pardew Charged for Being Pushed

Alan Pardew faces a Football Association improper conduct charge for being pushed by Arsene Wenger and having his pro-offered hand ignored by the Frenchman. If the charge is upheld the West Ham manager is likely to be given a touchline ban.

West Ham have responded with anger to the charge. Managing director Paul Aldridge said the club would vigorously contest the charge,

"We believe Alan Pardew did no more than celebrate in a passionate manner following a crucial goal in a London derby. Alan Pardew has the full backing of the board with regards to this charge, which will be defended vigorously."

West Ham Bidders Inch Forward

The takeover consortium fronted by Icelandic businessman have begun inspecting the West Ham's accounts. Magnusson was given permission to conduct the process of full due diligence after a 'rival bid' failed to materialise. It is expected he may make a formal offer sometime next week.

Rumours also suggest that an anonymous American businessman is also interested in purchasing West Ham, but with a serious Joorabchian bid looking less and less likely these rumours might well be exaggerated in order to boost the Magnusson bid.

West Ham Reserves

West Ham reserves suffered another loss tonight, this time against Southampton reserves. West Ham fielded a strong side that included Mascherano, Tevez and Cole (rumours suggest that Ronaldinho and Kaka are January transfer targets to help push us up the Reserve League South table). Despite losing the game 3-2 there was good news as Tevez scored twice, one coming from a penalty kick.

There are some rumours that the game was arranged so that Southampton could have a look at Cole, whom they are interested in taking on loan.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

West Ham News

I've created a one stop page for West Ham news called West Ham Search. The page gathers together all the latest West Ham news from NewsNow, the BBC, Google and also the latest West Ham fans' contributions to the West Ham Mad and Kumb fans forums.

These are the sites that I trawl at least twice a day for this blog and I've become increasingly frustrated at having to crawl through at least five different sites for the latest West Ham news. So I created this site to ease my own searching and it gives a great overview of all the latest West Ham news and gossip all on one page. Check it out here.

West Ham Talk to Magnusson

Apparently West Ham officials met with Eggert Magnusson yesterday and are expected to discuss the club's takeover at a full board meeting today. However a West Ham spokesperson dismissed talks of an immediate takeover of the club and claimed,

"There will be an update on the takeover talks but there will be no significant development after the meeting and no announcement is planned.

The position with regards the takeover is well-known. We've made announcements on that; the position is unchanged, and there will be no announcement in the immediate future."

According to the Independent Magnusson has resubmitted his £75m offer to the club, plus taking on the club's debts of £22.5m, with a greater proportion of the money being paid in equity. The Scandinavian has also now confirmed to the Hammers that Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, the head of the Icelandic bank Landsbankithe, will be the main financial backer.

For some reason club chairman Terence Brown seems to favour the Joorabchian backed bid. West Ham however are presumably growing more frustrated by Joorabhian's inability/refusal to meet their asking price. Joorabchian has previously claimed that the club have used the Magnusson bid as a red herring and they may well be using the Icelander's bid to pressure Joorabchian. On the other hand there is every possibility that Joorabchian's main financial backer, Israeli property magnate Eli Papoushado, has been put off this week by news that West Ham may not be able to move into the Olympic Stadium after all.

Arsenal respond to West Ham Defeat

Arsenal Football Club issued the following official statement today in response to Sunday’s game.

"Arsenal Football Club would like to clear up any misunderstanding relating to the unfortunate incident that occurred between the respected managers of West Ham United Football Club and Arsenal FC on Sunday the 5th November.

Arsene Wenger’s annoyance at Alan Pardew’s celebration of his team’s goal, his subsequent pushing of Alan Pardew, his later refusal to shake Pardew’s pro-offered hand at the end of the match and his lack of apology after the game must be understood in the context of the long history of Arsenal Football Club.

Since the appointment in 1983 of Don Howe as manager, Arsenal Football Club have striven hard to eradicate the goal from English football. Throughout the latter part of the last century Arsenal worked hard on establishing the tactic of what became known as ‘Total Non-Football’. It was a tactic that involved boring opposing teams and fans into submission and destroying any semblance of joy that might be taken from the game. It was a tactic that was taken up by Howe’s successor George Graham and one that the football club have been trying hard to re-establish this season.

In recent games the club has managed to recreate some of the mind knumbingly tedium of those famous 0-0 draws and have been able to reflect proudly as some of its now leading players, like Thiery Henry, have realised that scoring goals is not a part of the Arsenal tradition.

You can then imagine the frustration of Arsene Wenger when Marlene Harewood actually scored a goal on Sunday and his ensuing disgust when the West Ham manager, players and fans, saw this as a reason of celebration. It is in this context then that you must view Wenger’s reactions as not being those of a miserable, sour faced twat but as the justified response of a frustrated manager."

Arsene Wenger also issued the following statement today,

"I was disgusted at the treatment we received at West Ham. Our players are used to playing in a quiet, respectful atmosphere (Al Qaeda Stadium) in which we can discuss tactics, compare our nice gloves, and scream loudly to let the referee know we've been tackled and need a free kick.

The atmosphere at Upton Park was little short of hostile. The opposing fans sang, shouted and cheered in a manner we are not used to. Almost all of them stayed for the whole game, too. This was strange to us; it doesn't happen back at the Al Qaeda Stadium.

In addition, our bag man left the team's glove bag back at Gonforaburton Grove, meaning that many of our players were playing with cold hands."

Ok – the last one might not be true, but it was reported as fact by Headless on the West Ham Mad board.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Harewood's Goal

West Ham Keep a Clean Sheet

In the post-match press conference Alan Pardew was obviously very pleased with West Ham's first clean sheet of the season and picked out Danny Gabbidon for special praise. He also suggested that Anton Ferdinand's injury is probably not that serious.

"Anton? He has a problem with his achilles. He’ll have a scan during the week but we don’t think it’s too serious. Gabbidon – I’m glad you asked me about him – I made a note that I wanted to say he was the best player on the pitch today. Absolutely awesome and he was instrumental in getting us our first clean sheet."

Rob Green also put in another impressive display for West Ham and seems to have secured the goalkeeping position for himself.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

West Ham 1 Arsenal 0

Alan Pardew decided to match Arsenal with a five man midfield of Etherington, Mullins, Bowyer, Reo-Coker and Benayoun. In the first half this tactic seemed to work as West Ham harried Arsenal on the ball and, although the opposition probably had the most possession, it was West Ham who created the best chances.

In the 6th minute Etherington, on the right wing, knocked a curling cross to the far post which Zamora just failed to connect with. In the 22nd minute a Spector cross, also from the right wing, was met at the near post by Benayoun, but he headed just wide.

Arsenal were largely restricted to long shots but in the 27th minute Henry found Rosicky in acres of space but his shot from just inside the penalty area missed wide right by a couple of yards. Just before half-time Ferdinand picked up an ankle injury and was replaced with McCartney.

The second half started slowly but came alive after the 60th minute, when Sheringham and Harewood came on for Zamora and Bowyer. The subs made an immediate impact when Harewood crossed from the left wing and Sheringham pulled the ball back for Mullins, who shot straight at Lehmann. In the 66th minute Spector seemed to take down Hleb in the box but the ref judged correctly that Spector just got a touch on the ball. West Ham immediately broke and Harewood again crossed from the left for Sheringham who met the ball just inside the area at the same time as Clichy and the ball deflected wide.

In the 76th minute Sheringham headed a Green clearance on and Harewood found himself clear. Lehmann just managed to get enough on Harewood's low shot to prevent what should have been a goal. However he couldn't stop Harewood's 88th minute shot. Etherington broke on the left, played a one two with Sheringham, and then knocked a lovely low cross between the defence and the keeper right into Harewood's path, who scored from six yards.

Pardew's celebrations seemed to upset Wenger and an argument ensued between the two managers, which continued after the final whistle when Wenger refused to shake Pardew's hand. Somehow I think Pardew won't be too upset, as he seems to have found the measure of Wenger and his Arsenal team.

Come on you Irons!

Glenn Roeder for England

Remember you heard it here first. In a surprising development the FA have woken up to the fact that Steve McClaren, despite his previous long record of success of management in the Premiership has been found wanting at international level, and have decided to appoint a new manager of the England national side.

Following in a long tradition of spotting managers with astute tactical prowess, Eriksson and McClaren only being the latest managers to lead the England team to unimaginable heights, the FA have decided that Glenn Roeder is the natural replacement for Steve McClaren. Despite Newcastle's expected loss yesterday against a hard to beat Sheffield Utd side, who have been next to unbeatable on the road (yesterday they managed to increase their away goal's tally to an amazing one goal) the FA have decided to replace McClaren with the Newcastle manager.

An FA spokesman claimed that Roeder has an unsurpassed ability to find excuses for his teams' dismal form, which will serve him well in the national role,

"No other manager in the English game has as much experience as Roeder in taking over a talented squad and underachieving. Glenn Roeder now has months' of experience in realising 'We probably would of won the game if Michael Owen weren't injured'. That kind of experience is invaluable and will serve him well on the international stage."

West Ham Live

For the second week running we are live on Sky 1 - K0 1.30pm.

The game is also available live on radio Five Live.

And for non-UK based fans this week you have a huge choice of live internet streaming of the game. myp2p has a good listing of the available feeds.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

NewsNow West Ham Feed Added

As many of you know NewsNow is probably the best source of West Ham news. However NewsNow refuse to provide free RSS feeds for their site, which has always annoyed me as it seems to go against the spirit of the Internet.

However, thanks to an old hacking trick called data scraping, I have found a way of creating my own feeds from their West Ham page. Data scraping basically involves just scraping the data from the actual web page.

I have added two feeds from NewsNow to this page, NewsNow Upcoming West Ham News and NewsNow Top West Ham News. Both the feeds can be read from the white box in the right hand column of this page.

If you want to add the feeds to your own feed reader or to your own websites the RSS addresses are:

NewsNow Upcoming West Ham News

NewsNow Top West Ham News (top stories)

Just don't tell NewsNow!

West Ham Takeover

At the risk of seeming obsessed by the potential takeover of West Ham here is another posting on the subject gleaned from an article in The Guardian today.

Basically The Guardian claims that the hold up in the takeover is due to the outstanding fees still to be paid for Ashton and doubts over whether Barclays is willing to transfer the club's debts to the new owners. This seems to support last week's rumours that the Joorabchian consortium will not clear West Ham's debts if they take over. The paper also claims that the consortium will not substantially increase the transfer fund if they are successful in their bid.

However The Guardian says that the takeover is still likely to proceed and should be finalised next week.


Well another deadline has been and gone with no news either way of a takeover. According to The Independent the deadline has been shifted "until the middle of next week as the consortium, headed by Israeli property magnate Eli Papoushado, attempted to resolve continuing wrangles over matters including outstanding liabilities and bonus payments."

Alan Pardew when asked about yesterday's deadline pleaded ignorance of the whole affair,

"When's that then? As far as I am concerned I have no knowledge of a deadline and no knowledge of whether it has happened or not."

But the West Ham manager did respond to suggestions he has a feud with the Gooners' manager,

"I think they are a fantastic club, and Arsène will be the first person I will shake hands with on Sunday. During my time as Reading manager I visited him two or three times and he was very accommodating to me so I would like to think I've got a good relationship with him."

Friday, November 03, 2006

West Ham Takeover Hold Up

The Sun claim that the Joorabchian consortium, whilst carrying out due diligence, have uncovered another £10-15 million of debt at West Ham. This is on top of the declared debt of £25 million. If this is true then presumably the buyers will either pull out or want to renegotiate their offer.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

West Ham vs Arsenal

It seems likely that Pardew will stick with the team that won last weekend. So that probably means a second start for Sheringham and Mullins keeping Mascherano out of the starting eleven.

Arsenal have begun to fire in recent weeks and after a shaky start managed five wins in the league on the spin. However draws last week in the league and then in the Champion's League will give the Iron's hope of an upset. To achieve this Henry will have to continue his recent indifferent form and we will probably have to keep our first clean sheet of the season.

Lauren and Eboue are out of Sunday's game for Arsenal. Pardew, for the first time in a while, has nearly a fully fit squad to choose from. West Ham performed well against the Gooners last year and will hope to better the draw from the corresponding match last season and repeat the success we managed at Highbury.

Here's a little reminder,

West Ham Reject Barca Offer for Tevez

According to The Daily Mail Barcelona have contacted West Ham about taking Tevez as cover for their injured striker, Eidur Gudjohnsen. However the Spanish side have been knocked back by West Ham.

Or have they? The Daily Mail actually report that "Joorabchian was contacted about the possibility of Tevez joining Barcelona but it is understood he rejected the idea". Which just underlines the confusion around the ownership of Tevez and Mascherano and the kind of future we may have to look forward to.

If Joorabchian becomes chairman of West Ham and also the agent/owner of some of the club's players how much influence would the club manager have in the buying and selling of players? Will Joorabachian as chairmen act in the best interests of West Ham, the players or himself?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

More Podcasts

There doesn't seem to be much in the way of West Ham news this week. I guess everyone is waiting for Friday.

So instead of news I've added some more football podcasts (playable from the white box on the right of this page).

The new podcasts are:

Sporting Issues from The Telegraph, which as the name suggests is not exclusively concerned with football.

The Treble, in which three American women talk about football (not quite as awful as it sounds).

Football Weekly "If its played out on grass and isn't George Michael than it must be Football Weekly.

Or listen to Marlon Harewood being intervied in the latest edition of Sportsweek.

West Ham Kick Start Their Season

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