Sunday, December 31, 2006

West Ham Wish List

The Sunday papers, as would be expected on the eve of the transfer window, are awash with rumours. Most of the papers rehash West Ham's interest in Wright-Philips, Mark Viduka, Joey Barton and Darren Bent. The News of the World however claim West Ham could lose Teddy Sheringham to Blackburn or Charlton and The Sunday People claim that Marlon Harewood could be on the way to Middlesborough.

The Star and The Sunday People both claim that West Ham are one of a number of clubs chasing Lucas Neil. The 28 year old Blackburn defender is out of contract in the summer and looks likely to move clubs. Liverpool are favourites to sign the defender but it is rumoured that West Ham are offering him a higher wage.

Javier Mascherano in an interview with The Sunday People seems to confirm that he won't be at West Ham for much longer,

"It is normal that if I am not in the team at West Ham then I will have to leave to continue my career elsewhere. At my age I cannot afford to let my career stay on hold. I came to England to succeed but I have not had the necessary opportunities to succeed.

I don't think Tevez will leave because some days ago he said to everyone that for him the word 'fail' did not exist."

An Unhappy Xmas & A Miserable New Year

After last years successful season, with the signing of Dean Ashton, an FA Cup final and qualifying for Europe, this season promised so much for West Ham.

The season started with a lacklustre win at home against a ten man Charlton side but then the signing of two World Cup stars Tevez and Mascherano raised expectations sky high again.

However it soon became clear that Pardew had no idea how to incorporate the Argentinians into his team and things went from bad to worse on the pitch. Despite this there were things to cheer off the pitch as the unpopular Brown finally sold the club and new owners came in promising a bright future.

The immediate future however saw West Ham performing even worse and it soon became apparent that there was discontent amongst some of the players. The club's new chairman acted quickly and decisively in sacking Pardew and then in appointing Alan Curbishley. The first game under the new manager saw a good home win against the league leaders but again this proved a new false dawn and West Ham soon returned to the same half-hearted approach to games that was seen under Pardew.

So what next? Obviously the club needs to bring in some new blood and the chairman seems keen to spend. We also have the return of Dean Ashton to look forward to. However I have seen my confidence raised and dashed too often this season and remain pessimistic about the rest of the season.

Dean Ashton's return now looks to have been put back until at least mid-February and it will be difficult in West Ham's current position to attract players of quality during the transfer window.

But it is New Year's Eve, so fuck it! Go out tonight, get off your head and have a Happy New Year. Things can only get better.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

West Ham 0 Man City 1

Today the West Ham players gave up their right to wear the Claret & Blue.

Highlights: f@#king none!

West Ham Step Up Chase for SWP

According to today's Independent West Ham may have come close to a £10 million deal with Chelsea for Shaun Wright-Philips. However it seems that the right winger is not keen to leave. A number of other clubs are reported to be interested in SWP but West Ham are the most likely to meet the asking price and it is understood the player would like to stay in the south.

West Ham's bid to buy Mark Viduka may depend on Villa's attempt to buy Aliadiere and Mascherano looks set to leave either for Juventus or Liverpool. Julio Grondona, the president of the Argentina Football Association, will use his influence as vice-president of Fifa to override the rule that prevents players signing for more than two clubs in one year.

Friday, December 29, 2006

West Ham vs Man City Live

Sopcast and TVAnts both have live streams of the West Ham vs Manchester City game. Links to both can be found here.

Radio Commentary is available on Radio Essex 103.5FM, 95.3FM and Radio Manchester 95.1FM, 104.6FM. Neither station however is streaming the game online.

West Ham vs Man City

Win this game and West Ham aren't guaranteed survival, lose and we aren't definitely relegated, however the game does have the feeling of a season decider and it is hard to see West Ham recovering if they lose this relegation battle at home. If we win this game we will escape the relegation zone, if Sheffield United are beaten at home by Arsenal.

Claudio Reyna and Joey Barton are out for Man City and Reo-Coker and Paul Konchesky for West Ham. Paul Dickov (toe) and Darius Vassell (groin) are also both major doubts for City. McCartney is likely to come in at left back for the Hammers and presumably Bowyer rather than the seemingly out of favour Mascherano will play in central midfield.

West Ham are defending an unbeaten home Premiership record against City of five wins and one draw. Man City's 0-1 victory over Sheffield United on Boxing Day was their first win in five and they go into this match in search of back-to-back victories for the first time in 49 Premiership matches.

More January Rumours

The Daily Mail seems to want to connect West Ham with half the Premiership. Today, as well as repeating the rumours that Curbishley is after Bent and Barton, they claim that West Ham are looking to bring Mark Viduka to The Boleyn.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Konch Loses Appeal, Ashton in Training

Paul Konchesky has lost his appeal against the red card picked up against Fulham and will be suspended for West Ham's game against Man City. City will themselves be without Joey Barton who also lost an appeal.

Sky Sports News are today reporting that Dean Ashton is beginning training but won't be available for the West Ham first team until the end of February or beginning of March.

Mascherano Rumours

Liverpool are rumoured to be join Juventus in the battle to sign West Ham's Mascherano. However, according to FansFC West Ham want the midfielder to stay. The website claims Mascherano has been informed by West Ham manager Alan Curbishley that he has a future at the club and will feature more in the first team in the new year.

Alan Pardew's Sacking

There have been a number of rumours flying around suggesting that Pardew was sacked not only because of West Ham's poor form. Someone has now posted these rumours on YouTube. I won't embed the video on this blog because the allegations are about as libellous as you can get, but you can watch the video yourself, if you are interested, here.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

West Ham Rumours

According to The Daily Express West Ham's new manager Alan Curbishley has drawn up a transfer wish-list of Mark Viduka, Joey Barton and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

The Daily Mail claim new Charlton boss Alan Pardew is set to offer old club West Ham £2m for Hayden Mullins.

According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, Juventus will meet Kia Joorabchian to work out a £5 million to take Mascherano to Italy.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

West Ham in the Papers

West Ham have appealed against the red card received by Konchesky yesterday, freeing him to play against Pompey on Boxing Day.

According to The Sunday People Curbishley will attempt to sign Scott Parker from the barcodes with Reo-Coker going the other way. The paper also claim Curbs is after Middlesbrough right back Stuart Parnaby, who would cost around £1 million.

The News of the World claim that Mark Hughes wishes to buy Teddy Sheringham for Blackburn.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Fulham 0 West Ham 0

West Ham started with one change from last week with Dailly in for the injured Collins.

There was a lively start to the game with both sides creating a couple of chances in the opening three minutes, which both sides failed to convert. After that West Ham had the better of the first 30 minutes, dominating possession and territory. In the 13th minute the Fulham keeper punched the ball from a West Ham corner straight at Etherington and his looping header over the goalie clipped the underside of the bar and was cleared. In the 17th minute Harewood smashed the ball from the corner of the penalty area and Reo-Coker tried to deflect the ball into the net but the ball flew a couple of yards high and wide.

In the 36th minute Bowyer crossed the ball into the box from the left wing. Harewood brought the ball down well with his right foot on the five yard line and then shot with his left but the ball clipped the left hand post and went wide.

In the last 15 minutes of the half Fulham finished the stronger. In the last couple of minutes they has two good chances. First Volz was put clean through but Green got down well to save at his feet from a couple of yards. Thirty seconds later Brown shot from the edge of the area but straight at Green for an easy save.

Fulham probably had the better of the second half although West Ham had two clear chances to win the match. In the 62nd minute Reo-Coker was put through by Etherington. His 9 yard shot was saved but rebounded to Harewood whose close range shot was cleared off the line by Rosenior. In the 77th minute Harewood fed Benayoun inside the full-back but Benayoun's shot was straight at the keeper.

Fulham's best chances were a Routledge volley from 11 yards which was well blocked by Konchesky and a 57th minute eight yard header by McBride which was straight at Green.

The game looked liked it was going to come to a boring end until in the 84th minute Etherington gave the ball away deep in the Fulham half, Fulham broke and Routledge looked to be clean through only for Konchesky to get across and win the ball. Unfortunately the referee deemed that Konchesky had fouled Routledge and sent him off.

West Ham held on for the remaining nine minutes and have managed to crawl out of the relegation zone, at least for the next two hours.

West Ham in for Barton?

Rumours today claim that West Ham could make a £6 million bid for Man City's Joey Barton. Barton has a clause in his contract which allows him to talk to any club who offer £5.5 million. Rumours that West Ham could be in for another midfielder have reignited the rumour that Nigel Reo-Coker may leave.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Curbs Transfer Worries

Alan Curbishley has reiterated his concerns about attracting quality players to West Ham during the January transfer window,

"I've obviously kept my eye in but as I've said, the big four tend not to get involved in the window because it's fraught with difficulties and it's so hard to bring players in.

The chairman has said that if we can do some business we'll do it, but how attractive are you when you're third from bottom? The players who you think can improve your side are looking at a team who are struggling.

I've only been here a week and have to see how we perform before the window opens, if anything needs to be done, we'll be in there trying to do it. I'm hopeful that if we do get involved we're successful, but I can't say what's going to happen."

Pardew Not Ready For Charlton

The Addicks' chairman Richard Murray believes Alan Pardew may need time before returning to management. Following Charlton's shock loss to Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday evening it has been widely rumoured that Les Reed would be replaced by ex-West Ham manager Alan Pardew. However Richard Murray has said that Reed's job is safe and that Pardew needs time out of the game,

"People say why don't we get Pardew next, but maybe he needs some time out of the game."

Murray may have spoken to Pardew and been told he is not interested or the Charlton manager may have already accepted that the Addicks will be relegated this season and decided they can't afford Pardew.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Curbs Says 'Get Behind Captain'

Alan Curbishley has made a plea for West Ham fans to get behind Nigel Reo-Coker. Speaking in response to the letter Reo-Coker received this week the West Ham manager urged the fans to spur the team on,

"I am asking all the West Ham fans to get behind the team and get behind Reo-Coker as well. I don't want to make a big thing about it. We are not in the best of positions and we do need to win some games to pull ourselves away from the position we find ourselves in.

However in defending his under fire captain there also seemed a hint of annoyance that the letter was made public by Reo-Coker's agent,

" I don't want make something big out of something that was not so big. I know it has been put out in the open but it is not such a big deal. If I declared every abusive letter I got then I would be in the papers every other day. It has got out. I don't even know whether it was a West Ham fan who sent it, who knows? We all get letters like that so let's just get on with it."

Fulham vs West Ham

Last season West Ham managed to beat Fulham home and away. So can West Ham earn their first away win of the season against a recently struggling Fulham team? The Hammer's cause is strengthened by the probable absences of Jimmy Bullard, Papa Bouba Diop, Luis Boa Morte and Ian Pearce for Fulham.

Following last week's win the prospect of escaping the relegation zone should be enough to spur West Ham to earn maximum points from this game. Whilst West Ham have put in their best performances this season against the top teams the presence of the Sky cameras may also provide an incentive to the players.

With a busy schedule of matches over the Xmas period Curbishley could be tempted to rest players for this game but is more likely to start with the same eleven that performed so well last weekend.

Newton Back but Mascherano Walking

The Newham Recorder this week reports that Mascherano walked out of Upton Park after he was not named in Curbishley's first squad. It also reports that Shaun Newton has now competed his seven month ban, but will not feature against Fulham because of lack of match fitness.

The paper claim that Curbishley will not sell anyone in January and that despite Magnusson's big plans in the transfer market Curbishley thinks it will be hard to attract anyone to a West Ham side in the bottom three.

More West Ham Transfer Rumours

Alan Curbishley is rumoured to be interested in Fulham midfielder Claus Jensen. Jensen is another player whose contract runs out at the end of the season. Fulham may therefore be forced to sell in January.

West Ham will face competition in the signing of Shaun Wright-Philips as Harry Redknapp becomes the latest Premiership manager keen to sign the pacey winger.

Derby County are apparently keen on West Ham United fullback Tyrone Mears.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

West Ham Transfer Rumours

Today's rumours claim that West Ham are amongst a number of clubs interested in Birmingham's Mathew Upson. Upson's has so far refused to sign a new contract and so Birmingham may be forced to cash in on the player in January.

Arsenal have apparently gone cold on West Ham captain Nigel Reo-Coker. The Gunners were rumoured to have made an enquiry about the player on the last day of the summer transfer window but their interest is now said to lie elsewhere.

Ex-West Ham scout Paul Montgomery has revealed that West Ham nearly signed Didier Drogba. Drogba had apparently agreed to join the Hammers as long as West Ham stayed in the premiership, unfortunately that was the season we were relegated.

Mascherano Wants a Chance at West Ham

In today's Guardian Mascherano claims that he wants to remain at West Ham and that he wants to play in the first team,

"I don't know anything about our new coach, Curbishley, but I hope that he starts from scratch with all of the players and each one has a chance to play. They've given me great references about our new coach, but my only concern is to prove that I'm not a bad player as some would like to have you believe.

I've nothing to lose because they don't give any privileges to anybody here. They say he is an experienced coach and I suppose that he will get to know each of us in time and now more than ever during training. Then he will decide who to play.

Pardew was very excited when Tevez and I first came but slowly his trust in us diminished and we were left out of matches. It was frustrating for me to be left out of the team on a lot of occasions, but as a professional I have to accept it and keep working each day and continue to play with the second team. This wasn't fair, in my opinion, but I was hoping for more of a chance and this hurt me.

It hasn't crossed my mind to leave the Premier League after being unsuccessful here. But if I'm still not playing, things get complicated.

Our team-mates have welcomed us well and, what with the language problem, I can't complain as to how they've treated us. I came to the Premier League really excited about it all, because I wanted to be successful at West Ham. This was my aim and it still is, but I haven't had enough opportunity to see if this will be possible."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tevez And Mascherano Going Nowhere

Eggert Magnusson, whilst criticising the way in which Tevez and Mascherano were signed, has said that the two players are staying at West Ham until the end of the season,

"I have seen them play with Argentina and they're good. Tevez has shown what he's made of and I just hope they start to show us what they can really do.

I cannot comment on whether the arrival of the Argentinians is the reason for the problems on the pitch this season. I would never have done a contract like that - but now they are here they won't be leaving in the transfer window."

This news will obviously displease the players' owners who have been claiming that FIFA would allow Mascherano to leave, despite rules not allowing players to play for more than two clubs in twelve months. It also remains to be seen how much the two Argentinians feature in Curbishley's plans. Tevez was dropped to the bench for the manager's first West Ham team and Mascherano wasn't even picked in the full squad. Will Magnusson want to continue paying their reportedly very high wages if they have no part in Curbishley's plans for the team.

West Ham Goal

West Ham Captain's Agent Can't Shut Up

Last week Alan Curbishley told the West Ham players not to talk to the press. This did not stop Tevez slagging off Alan Pardew at the weekend nor has it stopped Nigel Reo-Coker's agent from continuously trying to engineer the player's transfer away from West Ham by planting stories in the papers.

Tony Finnigan now claims that the West Ham captain has received hate-mail from West Ham fans. Whilst this story may well be true, no-one is under any illusion that this is just his latest attempt to justify a money-spinning move for his client. In fact Finnegan lost no time in turning this story around to Reo-Coker's tenure at West Ham,

"He is under contract and he is happy there but I don't know how long he wants to play in front of boos. We will be sitting down with the manager to talk about him in a clear-the-air meeting. If you got approached by one of the top sides in Europe then of course you would be flattered - but I don't want to talk about something that is hypothetical."

Of course you don't Tony! Kumb today reports how Tony Finnegan earlier this season was accused of engineering Cameron Jerome’s move from Cardiff City to Birmingham City.

"The £3m move eventually went through but prompted one Birmingham City fanzine, Joys and Sorrows, to describe the move as 'smacking of an agent - in this case Tony Finnigan - trying to generate interest in his client and earn himself a few bucks.'"

Now Finnegan is at it again.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Ashton May Not be Back Until February

West Ham manager revealed today that the injured Dean Ashton is not likely to return until February. Curbishley is quoted in today's Evening Standard saying that,

"Dean will not begin serious training until the end of January or even early February."

Tevez on Pardew

Carlos Tevez yesterday tried to blame sacked West Ham manager Alan Pardew for his lack of form. He told the News of the World,

"I was surprised to see how long Pardew held on to the job in the end. I don't think Pardew had a clear idea about my game or what to do

It was clear the team did not react as he wanted - it wasn't going right. I was never given the chances I thought I would be given and I was told to play out of position against my will. I don't think Pardew had a clear idea about my game or what to do. He was a good football man but more suited to coaching English teams without foreign players with big reputations. I think that was a big problem for him.

I want to win with this team and a lot of people have told me great things about the new coach, so I want to start scoring for him and start helping West Ham win matches."

Unfortunately for Tevez he may find the new West Ham manager even harder to please, as Curbishley immediatley dropped Tevez from the starting eleven.

Chelsea in £9 million Purchase of Watford Points

Chelsea moved to the top of the Premiership this morning after successfully buying Watford’s points. The £9m transfer came as a surprise to the rest of the Premiership, but with Watford already having given up any hope of staying in the Premiership, the audacious purchase of all their points benefits both clubs.

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon commented ‘These ten points are exactly the sort of boost the club needs at the moment and could be the difference that helps us retain the Premiership. For Watford, the money will allow them to rebuild their squad to have another tilt at promotion next year. As they say ‘you can’t take them with you’.

The champions now have 45 points, although their goal difference has of course suffered, particular considering the four goals that Chelsea have now ‘conceded’ against Chelsea. But the transfer puts them four points ahead of Manchester United who are now rumoured to be in negotiations with Charlton over a loan of some of their points until the end of the season.

Chelsea’s share value rose after the news. However the company fell several places on the FTSE 100 index after they were deducted points for fielding an illegible accountant.

(shamelessly stolen from NewsBiscuit)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

West Ham 1 Manchester United 0

Hopefully with a sign of things to come Curbishley starts with a famous win over the league leaders.

Leaving the flair players, Tevez and Benayoun, on the bench signalled the new West Ham manager's intent of remaining solid and trying to deny the opposition goal scoring chances. And the tactic largely succeeded as, although Man Utd dominated possession, they hardly created more clear cut chances than West Ham.

In the first half honours were largely even, with two clear chances to each side. In fact whilst both Man Utd's efforts were two relatively hopeful long shots from Saha, both well saved by Green, Zamora should have scored for West Ham. Initially Zamora did well to out muscle Ferdinand but then, when clean through on goal, he shot straight at Van Der Sar from 6 yards.

In the second half Man Utd started to turn the screw a little more. They had a good chance to open the scoring when Saha put Ronaldo through on goal but his shot was superbly saved by Green low down to his left. Giggs also came close when the ball fell to him unmarked 6 yards out but his snap shot sailed over the bar.

Curbishley then brought on a bit of flair in Sheringham and Benayoun and they both played a part in creating the West Ham goal. Benayoun worked the ball to Sheringham on the right wing who then crossed low to Harewood in the box. Harewood did well on the touchline five yards from goal to turn and cross the ball low across the goalmouth where an onrushing Reo-Coker arrived to smash the ball home from 3 yards out.

West Ham on the way back!

Magnusson Explains

Eggert Magnusson in The Independent explains his decision to sack Alan Pardew as West Ham manager,

"When I came here, I said the future of this club was with Alan Pardew. I'm sorry to say how quickly that changed. Sheffield United was my first game here and to be honest we were lucky to win that game [1-0]. At Everton [0-2] we had a very good first half and were unlucky not to score a goal, but that Everton side had a lot of injuries and were not very strong, so I thought before the game that was probably a chance for us to do something.

Then came the Wigan game [a 2-0 home defeat] that was very disappointing, and the Bolton game [0-4], that was indeed shocking. I think many of you saw my expression on the television, I am like this [grimaces]. I never hide my feelings at a football game.

After the Bolton game I felt it was my responsibility to act. We have five very important games until the new year and the January transfer window coming up, so I felt it was my responsibility as chairman to make this decision. It was very tough, but sometimes you have to take tough decisions."

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Toffees Deny Reo-Coker Interest

Everton assistant-manager has denied that Everton have made an offer for West Ham captain Nigel Reo-Coker,

"I am sure most clubs would like to have him but I am not sure why he has been linked to us. It has certainly not come from our end."

The story seems to have emanated from Reo-Coker's 'advisor' Tony Finnigan. He informed Sky Sports and The Sun that he was unaware of any approach from Everton for his player and of course the media responded to that by reporting that Everton were interested in buying the player. Furthermore the media are now reporting Everton's denial as a confirmation that they are interested in the player.

Obviously Tony Finnigan is only likely to make serious money from his client if he is transferred, it is in his interest then to create distrust between Reo-Coker and West Ham. For the life of me I can't understand why the media would print his rubbish when there is a bigger story in reporting the truth; Reo-Coker is trying to engineer a move away from West Ham.

Players Owe It To Pardew

Alan Curbishley has informed the West Ham team that they need to put in a performance on Sunday for Alan Pardew,

"They have taken even more criticism after Pards left and if they want to do something, let’s have a performance for Alan Pardew.

I’ve told the players ‘Let’s not hide’. Don’t avoid dropping the kids off at school just because there might be a West Ham fan there asking what is going on — and don’t not go out shopping with the wife because results haven’t been good.

We’ve got four games before the transfer window and it won’t be easy to attract people if we are still in this position. Everybody knows we have money to spend but on Monday afternoon I was still sitting at home and not thinking about management."

Friday, December 15, 2006

West Ham Search

West Ham Search has been given a redesign and the latest West Ham News from KUMB and TalkNow has been added along with the latest posts to Yahoo West Ham Chat.

West Ham Search has proved to be very popular. This blog is little more than my choosing and commenting on the most interesting stories I find through West Ham Search. So if you want the latest West Ham news unfiltered by my comment check it out and bookmark it.

At the moment I'm working on a way for readers of this blog to vote for the most interesting stories and comment on them. The idea is to create a Digg type site about West Ham. So if you are not a regular visitor to this site check back in the new year, if I succeed this will be very exciting.

Curbishley to Stick by Players

According to The Daily Mirror Alan Curbishley is keeping Nigel Reo-Coker as West Ham captain. He also reassures the players that he has not prejudged them,

"I know quite a lot of the players already, and it is a clean slate for everybody. I have not got any preconceived ideas."

Whether this will reassure Konchesky, whose 'friend' informs The Guardian that the left back left Charlton because of Curbishley, is another matter.

Mascherano to Leave West Ham

The Times, in a story claiming Juventus are keen to sign Mascherano, claim that in a recent meeting Eggert Magnusson told MSI that the player had no part to play at West Ham in 2007. The paper also claim that it might be possible for Mascherano to play for more than two clubs in 12 months if the FA and the Italian FA, or perhaps the Argentine FA — agree to waive the FIFA rule.

It seems a very unlikely thing for the West Ham chairman to have said, unless he is desperate to reduce the player wage bill. Again it appears that footballer's agents are trying to engineer transfers in order to line their own pockets. The clue in The Times story is the claim that "MSI may argue a case of restraint of labour" to get around the FIFA regulations. It sounds like they are already laying the groundwork through The Times.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

West Ham vs Man Utd

West Ham will be hoping that they can achieve the traditional post-sacking / new manager win. However it would be asking a lot for Curbishley to immediately turn around a demotivated and of late poor West Ham team. It has also been well documented this week that Curbishley has never beaten a Man Utd team as manager. In fact his last game as a manager was Charlton's 4-0 defeat to United at Old Trafford on 7th May.

On form this looks like a home defeat for the Hammers. West Ham lie bottom of the 'last six' form table whilst Man Utd sit comfortably at the top. Konchesky for one is probably shaking in his football boots at the prospect of having to defend against an on form Ronaldo. However we can at least expect some motivation in this game as the players try to impress the new manager. Also seemingly 'want away' captain Nigel Reo-Coker may just be looking to impress one of the teams his agent has convinced him are looking to buy him.

However it is probably harder to pick the team than the result for this game. Will Curbishley give Mascherano another chance? Will Curbishley stick with the blank firing Tevez and Zamora up front? More importantly will Gabbidon recover in time for this game?

Perhaps the most we can hope for is that Curbishley inspires West Ham to at least a half decent performance.

Everton After Reo-Coker?

Everton are the latest club to be linked with West Ham captain Nigel Reo-Coker. However the main source of this story seems to be Reo-Coker's 'advisor' who issues a statement denying that he had heard about any bid for the player, therefore creating speculation around his client's future. Coming only a few days after Reo-Coker's statement that everyone is blaming him for West Ham's predicament this obvioulsy raises questions about the West Ham player's commitment to the club he captains.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

West Ham Press Conference

West Ham Press Announcement

At a press conference this afternoon Eggert Magnusson welcomed Alan Curbishley as the new West Ham manager,

"I am absolutely delighted that Alan has agreed to join us. He is a manager with a proven track record and a real love for this Club. He did a fantastic job at Charlton and I know how highly regarded he is throughout the football world.

We are also delighted that Mervyn Day will join the Club as Assistant Manager, and I am aware of how much this Club means to him. This is a great day for West Ham United and I am sure that we now have the right management team in place to take the Club forward.

On behalf of everyone at West Ham United, I welcome Alan and Mervyn - two of our former players, who are now back where they belong."

Alan Curbishley also spoke of his appointment,

"I'm deeply, deeply delighted. It's a privilege to be here. I'm looking forward to lifting us out of the position we are in. I never really fulfilled my potential as a player I hope to as a manager.

I have been made aware that there are some funds. First of all I need to meet the players. Everybody needs a lift. West Ham as a club should be looking towards the top end of the table. Everybody has got a clean slate."

When asked about Alan Pardew's dismissal Magnusson said, "I was really shocked about the motivation showed against Wigan and Bolton. I took a decision, it was very tough."

Mervyn Day Appointed Assisstant Manager

Ex-West Ham goalkeeper Mervyn Day has been appointed assistant manager alongside new West Ham manager Alan Curbishley. Mervyn day was first team coach to Alan Curbishley at Charlton Athletic for many years but left the Addicks when Curbishley decided to resign.

Alan Curbishley Appointed West Ham Manager

This afternoon Alan Curbishley was appointed the new West Ham United manager. The appointment has been confirmed on the West Ham official website (although the press conference has been delayed until 3.30pm). His appointment has been met with a mixed response by West Ham fans. Whilst many welcome the appointment of the ex-West Ham player many feel that Curbishley is not the man to take the club to the next level.

However in a season that has promised many false dawns, from European football to the arrival of Tevez and Mascherano, Curbishley is probably the safe pair of hands that the club needs. West Ham's immediate priority must be to avoid relegation. Relegation could well see West Ham go the way of Leeds Utd. With West Ham having to pay back £100 million to the new owners over ten years plus £5 million a year in interest relegation could prove a financial disaster for the club. Curbishley's experience of the Premiership and his success at keeping Charlton in the top flight for a number of years suggest he is just the man to save West Ham's season.

At Charlton Curbishley proved a successful manager with very little transfer money and continually being forced to sell his top players (just look at their current plight only a season after he left). Make no mistakes Curbishley will be determined to show what he can achieve at a bigger club.

West Ham Press Announcement

West Ham are to make a press announcement at 3pm this afternoon. Now I wonder what that will be about.

The press conference has now been put back to 3.30pm.

Reo-Coker Fears the Sack

In an astonishing statement West Ham club captain Nigel Reo-Coker has claimed he fears the new West Ham manager will get rid of him.

"Now Pardew has gone it's only going to get worse for me with people pointing the finger. Whoever the new boss is, it will be down to them whether I will still be here next year. I have no idea what is going to happen in January.

Everyone keeps saying I should be sacked and it's all my fault we've been doing so badly."

Whilst not quite accepting that his performance on the pitch this season has obviously contributed to West Ham's decline Reo-Coker seems to acknowledge that 'everyone' else seems to think so. To me it reads like a 'come and get me' cry to other teams. Reo-Coker doesn't seem to have taken on board the response of a senior member of the West Ham squad to his claim he should be playing for Man Utd,

"Do you know what it takes to play for Manchester United, son? You want to take a look at yourself."

Curbishley Set to Join West Ham

The Telegraph report that Alan Curbishley’s appointment as the new West Ham manager will be made at a press conference this afternoon provided the club meet two of his demands. The first demand is a £2 million annual salary and the second is a war chest of £25 million to spend in the January transfer window.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

West Ham Positive After Curbishley Meeting

According to The Times Magnusson met with Curbishley today and an announcement could be made as early as later today or tomorrow confirming him as the new West Ham manager. The Times claim "the negotiations so far have been extremely positive." The paper also say that Curbishley would be handed at least £10 million for the purchase of new players in January.

Curbishley Lobbying for West Ham Job

Alan Curbishley has admitted that he has been approached by West Ham and that he would be keen to take the job,

"West Ham want to talk to me and I would love to know what they want to say, of course I'm interested. I suspect we'll get together over the next day or so when the dust settles. This chance would be a massive honour.

West Ham are my club. I come from Canning Town, grew up as a trainee, became a first-team regular and sat at the feet of the incomparable Bobby Moore. The England captain would often give me a lift into training and I've never forgotten the lessons he taught me on and off the pitch, especially how to conduct myself in public.

Once you are brought up in a background like West Ham, the affection you have for the club never goes away. I can easily tap into the fans' passion for the club, what they want and what they stand for."

The Next West Ham Manager ...

Alan Curbishley remains the bookies' and the newspapers' favourite to replace Alan Pardew as the new West Ham manager. Today's Independent claims that West Ham have already made an informal approach to the former Addick's manager and will make an official approach later today. The paper claims the club want Curbishley in place before the Man Utd game.

Whilst The Independent also state that Curbishley's agent has denied any approach by West Ham, and point out that he has turned down the role in the past, they claim he is now ready to return to Upton Park. The Sun also claim to have inside knowledge and say that Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson and Eggert Magnusson hope to hold talks with Curbishley within the next 24 hours. However they say that Curbishley has major concerns about the influence of the Icelandic owners over the team.

The Times however trump the other papers by carrying a direct quote from Curbishley that seems to confirm that West Ham have already approached him about the vacancy,

"I suspect we will get together over the next day or so when the dust has settled. I would love to know what they have to say — of course I am interested. Once you are brought up in a background like West Ham, the affection you have for the club never goes away."

The Telegraph also claim that Curbishley is the front runner and reveal a little about Pardew's dismissal. Apparently Magnusson called Pardew on Sunday, asking him to attend a meeting at Upton Park after training yesterday. Pardew was told he had to go and the pair then agreed a compensation package for the remaining three years of his contract, signed last year, thought to be worth around £1 million.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Alan Pardew Magnanimous on Departure

Sacked West Ham manager this afternoon issued the following statement,

"I am proud of my achievements at West Ham United. When I took the helm they were in the Championship and struggling to find direction. In two consecutive seasons we qualified for the Play-Off final, ultimately achieving the Premiership status the club so richly deserve.

I am also proud of our first season back in the top flight in which we finished ninth and came so close to winning the FA Cup. The supporters have stood by me and I will always cherish memories of their support and loyalty during the difficulties of this season.

I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart. They really are a special set of fans. I am proud most of all of the players, many of whom have developed into top Premiership performers under the tutelage of myself and my backroom staff.

The coaching and medical staff at Upton Park are second to none and I want to wish the new Chairman, Eggert Magnusson, and the Club every success for the future."

Whilst Pardew has perhaps shown some tactical naivety he must feel let down by his players this season. It is a measure of the success he achieved at West Ham that Pardew's name was still being chanted by the fans even as the team struggled on the pitch. And whilst many fans will probably agree it is time for a new manager, many will also believe he was let down this season by certain young West Ham players, who owe much of their present reputation to his management.

West Ham Sack Pardew

Alan Pardew has been sacked as manager of West Ham. The club issued the following statement today,

"Alan has made an important contribution since joining in September 2003 but this season's results have been disappointing. Chairman Eggert Magnusson and the board feel it is the right time to make a change in the club's best interests.

The search for a successor is now under way in order that a new manager can be in place ahead of the January transfer window. First-team coach Kevin Keen will take temporary charge of team affairs until a new appointment has been made."

Alan Curbishley is the bookies' early favourite to replace Pardew. However Magnusson, previously head of the Icelandic FA, has many contacts in European football so a non-British manager could be more likely.

Pardew Apologises Again

For the second time in four days Pardew has apologised to West Ham fans for the abject nature of the teams' performance,

"It's the first time we've had a result like this. I felt we were a bit naive in dealing with that, and we have to learn that you just can't chase a game like that at this level.

But I thank the fans that travelled up here, I apologise to them on behalf of my squad and my staff and we look to cheer them in the next game, which is obviously a toughie."

West Ham Fan on 606

I came across another blog by a West Ham fan called Benji's Balls this evening. I thought I'd give it a mention not only because it's an interesting blog but because the author also phoned into 606 this week to vent spleen about one Nigel Reo-Coker.

You can listen to the podcast of the programme by clicking on the Football Podcast link in the grey box on the right of this page. Benji's call is about 50 minutes into the 6th December edition. I think Benji articulates well what a lot of West Ham fans feel about our club captain at the moment.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

West Ham Will Win In January

Add Jan 16th to your new 2007 diary because according to the West Ham official site West Ham will beat the barcodes 2-0 on this date.

And there is more - West Ham can not only predict us beating Brighton in the fifth round of the cup, drawing and beating Newcastle in the following round but according to the match report we will also have two new players. Damien Duff and Obafemi Martins are credited with the goals in this 2-0 win, so it looks like Pardew is about to launch a raid on Newcastle's players as well.

West Ham in the Papers

With West Ham in serious trouble a number of newspapers have decided that Pardew's days are numbered. The Sunday People and The Sunday Mirror both speculate that Pardew may soon be replaced, with the People repeating the rumour that Magnusson has recently been seen with ex-England manager Eriksson. The Mirror claims that Magnusson will be meeting Pardew tomorrow and that this could be "the final throw of the dice for Pardew." However the paper also quote Magnusson as repeating the fact that West Ham are too good for relegation,

"I am not worried about going down you can keep asking but I say the club is not going down. As far as I am concerned the players are far too good but it will help if we can improve the squad with a few more players.".

The People also claim that Konchesky wants to leave West Ham in January, although they fail to mention if anyone would actually want to buy him on current form.

A number of papers also speculate on who West Ham are likely to buy in January. Apart from the unlikely prospect of Shaun Wright-Philips West Ham are linked with Colchester United right back Greg Halford (£2.5 million), WBA defender Curtis Davies (£8 million), Reading's Steve Sidwell (£4 million), Ajax's right back Zdenek Grygera.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Bolton 4 West Ham 0

Bolton vs West Ham

Live radio commentary of the Bolton vs West Ham game is available online on Five Live Sports Extra

Live internet streaming of the game is also available in a number of P2P formats. Links to the streams can be found here.

West Ham Contemplate Relegation

Alan Pardew has revealed that Eggert Magnusson has contingency plans for West Ham in case of relegation. Although the club may be forced to sell some players the principal savings will be made in the £42m wage bill. Alan Pardew, confirmed yesterday that all the players have a clause in their contracts stipulating significant salary reductions in the event of relegation.

"The new owners already have a plan if we get relegated," said Pardew. "They had to have that in place because we were in the relegation zone when they came in, so it would have been foolish not to.

There's a common misconception that players will be okay in the event of relegation but that's not true. The financial situation of every player here will change if we go down. That's why it is so important for us to fight this now rather than in February, when it could be too late."

Friday, December 08, 2006

West Ham's New Owner Speaks

WHUFC.COM have an interview with new owner and Honorary Life President of West Ham United. In the interview Icelandic businessman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson talks about why he was attracted to the Hammers,

"West Ham United is one of the 10 biggest clubs in English football. It has a strong and solid group of supporters who are ambitious on behalf of the club.

The club has a tradition and foundation for being one of the big clubs in England and in Europe. The reputation of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters from the team of 1966 World Cup champions lives on - and I know that is important for future successes.

West Ham has also a remarkable Youth Academy that, in the last decade, has created a full squad of world ranking football players. That is tremendously valuable.

It is obvious that, without my interest in football, I would not have invested in West Ham United. On the other hand I believe that investing in an English football club is nowadays a good business opportunity.

Football, and live football on TV, is one of the fastest growing sectors in the leisure and entertainment industry. The worldwide popularity of the English Premier League and the Champions League is a clear indicator of the business potential of game."

Let's just hope that BG (as he likes to be known) is ready to invest another £20 million in January otherwise he could see the value of his investment dwindle very quickly.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Bolton vs West Ham

West Ham meet a Bolton side whose current form is even worse than the Hammers. They've won only one of their last seven Premiership games and are second to bottom of the Premiership's form table. Unfortunately West Ham haven't had much success against struggling team's this season and so far no successes away from home. Bolton beat West Ham home and away last season in the league but we were able to knock them out of the FA cup.

Pardew hinted after the Wigan game that some of his established players may be dropped for this weekend's game and is probably unlikely to start with the same eleven who performed so dismally on Wednesday night. Bolton have used fewer players in Premiership matches this season than any other club so are likely to remain largely unchanged.

Bolton have failed to score in four of the last six home Premiership games whilst West ham have scored just two goals on the road. This would suggest a low scoring game apart from the fact that both team's defensive records are equally poor.

We Are In Big Trouble

Alan Pardew apologised to the fans after West Ham's poor performance last night and pointedly also warned the players that their Premiership status is under threat,

"We haven't had too many displays this year where you have thought 'my God, that was no good at all'. We did not give a display worthy of ourselves. On behalf of the players I apologise to the fans, who have paid good money tonight.

We have had a good long chat in the changing room about the examination we will get in the next two games (against Bolton and Manchester United). It will be a test of our character and spirit.

Our status is now under threat, their status as Premier League players is under threat and we have to stand up and be counted. They had better realise it. When they get home tonight and see the league table it will soon sink in."

Pardew also dropped a hint that there might be changes for the game against Bolton,

"After the performance against Wigan, I'm tempted to change things around. So far, I've been pretty loyal to my tried and trusted players but I've got to decide between now and Saturday whether I'm going to stay that way. After all, this is the time when I now need to see a reaction from my players."

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

West Ham 0 Wigan 2

West Ham started with two changes from Sunday with Yossi Benayoun and Marlon Harewood in for Lee Bowyer and Bobby Zamora. Mascherano wasn't even picked as a substitute. Wigan left their leading goalscorer Camara on the bench.

West Ham made a nervy start and in the first minute Wigan hit the woodwork from a Kilbane header. Wigan then had the better of the first twenty minutes with Marlon Harewood's 6th minute speculative 20 yard shot, tipped round the post by Chris Kirkland, their only real threat on the Wigan goal.

After the 20th minute West Ham started to have the better of the play. In the 25th minute Konchesky crossed from the left and found Benayoun 12 yards out and his left-footed shot from the right side of the penalty area was blocked by Leighton Baines. In the 30th minute Harewood had another shot which just missed wide of the right hand post.

In the 42nd minute Kilbane nearly put the ball into his own net from an attempted headed clearance. From the resulting corner the ball fell to Tevez five yards out but he could only poke the ball wide. West Ham just shaded the first half in terms of chances created but Wigan were always in the half, and in fact shaded possession with 53%.

In the 50th minute Tevez ran at the Wigan defence and shot from the edge of the area and hit the post. Wigan immediately broke and Kilbane crossed into the West Ham penalty area and David Cotterill's left footed shot from 12 yards beat Green.

In the 58th minute Leighton Baines' 30 yard shot deflected off Jonathon Spector to give Wigan a 2-0 lead. Alan Pardew immediately brought Sheringham on for Benayoun. However Sheringham failed to make any difference to a poor West Ham side and Wigan continued to look the more threatening. In the 66th minute Scharner put the ball into the net for the third time for Wigan but the goal was disallowed for offside. West Ham it must be said had no answers to a solid Wigan side and thoroughly deserved to lose this game and leave the pitch to a chorus of boos from the fans.

And if a 2-0 home defeat to Wigan wasn't bad enough Newcastle's 3-2 win over Reading mean they move above West Ham and have a game in hand over the Hammers. West Ham now equal Charlton in the number of games lost and find themselves firmly in the relegation zone.

You have to think that Pardew's days are numbered. It looks like the new owners of West Ham expect to take up to £15 million a year out of West Ham (£5 million a year in interest and £100 million to be repaid over ten years). Relegation therefore would be financially disastrous for the new owners (there aren't many Cole's, Carrick's or Defoe's in the current squad who could be sold off to restore financial security). With Magnusson being spotted with a certain Sven-Goran Eriksson on Saturday things certainly don't look rosy for Pardew. On the other hand if the new owners want to guarantee West Ham's survival in the Premiership they may now dig a little deeper in their pockets for new players in January.

West Ham Now Owe £100 Million

According to The Sun West Ham will have to pay back the £100 million plus interest that the Icelandic consortium used to buy the club. Every year West Ham will have to pay the consortium around £5 million in interest, the first payment being due on March 31st, and pay off the £100 million by 2016.

So in effect the consortium will end up having bought West Ham for nothing. The article also does not mention how much the new owners will be taking out of the club in the form of share dividends and how much Magnusson will be taking in the form of wages. All ways up it looks like that far from saving the club the new consortium has merely quadrupled the club's debt in one fell swoop.

This may be fine if the consortium's January investment in players brings success on the pitch and West Ham can achieve regular European football. If we are relegated, an outcome that is not unknown in West Ham's history, then we are well and truly screwed.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

West Ham vs Wigan

Wigan have beaten West Ham at home two seasons in a row now and will be keen to bounce back from a 4-0 hammering at the weekend. Unfortunately for Paul Jewell Gary Teale and Antonio Valencia are still out with hamstring injuries so he will probably be forced to field the same starting eleven as featured in the loss against Liverpool.

On the other Pardew has options to change things around. Benayoun has apparently recovered from his injury and hopefully will start. Nigel Reo-Coker is the only West Ham player to have started all Premiership matches this season and there are many fans who believe he should be given a rest. Mascherano hasn't featured in the starting eleven recently and would give West Ham more strength defensively than Reo-Coker.

With Gabbidon, arguably our best defender, out with a hamstring injury a more combative defensive midfield might not be such a bad idea. West Ham dominated possession on Sunday but still conceded two goals. Arguably Reo-Coker gives us more options going forward than Mascherano but on present form that is debatable.

West Ham to Good to Go Down

Well we've heard it before but the new West Ham chairman Eggert Magnusson believes West Ham are too good to go down,

"My ambition is to finish in mid-table and take it from there next season. I think we are good enough to be in a much better position than we are at the moment and hopefully we will have some improvement over the rest of the season.

I am not worried - I honestly think we are far too good to go down and it's a long season and there are many points to be won. Any team like us that has won our last three home games should have confidence.

It is not even in the back of my mind that we will not be in the Premier League next season. Of course we know it can happen and there is a plan if it did happen but it is not in my mind."

Magnusson also revealed that West Ham will be making an offer for Shaun Wright-Philips,

"Peter Kenyon knows I'm interested and we will sit down to have a chat in the not too distant future. In terms of other targets for the transfer window, the list is not finalised. I have had a meeting with Alan Pardew about it and we will continue to meet and discuss the future."

Magnusson also seemed to confirm that Tevez and Mascherano will stay till the end of the season but perhaps not beyond that,

"My understanding is that there is a FIFA regulation that says players cannot play for more than two clubs in one season, so they should be staying with us until the summer. After that it is not up to us because we don't own the players. There is a consortium that owns the players.

In the summer we have to talk to them because they can take them away to another club if they want to."

Monday, December 04, 2006

Tevez Hitting Form For West Ham

Tevez has definitely begun to show his promise at West Ham and the striker himself feels that he in developing in the right direction,

"I definitely feel that, little by little, I am getting to where I want to be in terms of the level of my performances. I feel more and more comfortable with every game I play but as a striker it is scoring goals that defines you as a good player, which I am yet to do. I hope that is coming soon.

I feel good in myself, I have had a few kicks and knocks but I understand that is part and parcel of the Premiership so it is not a problem.

"It makes me stronger as a player and as I said before I do feel like I am improving with every game I play."

Looking Forward to Wednesday

I can't help feeling it is crunch time for Pardew, luckily for the West Ham manager the next two games against Wigan and Bolton should be winnable. West Ham are now perched just above the relegation zone and Newcastle, just one point behind, have a game in hand. So it is imperative that West Ham pick up at least four points from the next two games, starting with a win on Wednesday.

Wigan like West Ham are struggling in their second season back in the Premiership and their defence in their 0-4 defeat on Saturday looked like they wouldn't even be able to stop a West Ham striker. Wigan have lost their last three games and West Ham have begun to find some form at home, so on paper it looks an easy home win. But West Ham are not finding anything easy at the moment.

With only two days rest Pardew has the perfect excuse to give certain players 'a rest' on Wednesday. Konchesky certainly looks like he needs a rest and McCartney seems a reliable replacement. I also feel that Mascherano deserves another start and Benayoun, if fit, should replace Bowyer on the right wing.

Benayoun has been adamant in the papers that he has not fallen out with Pardew and that he didn't travel to Goodison Park because he was injured. However Benayoun doesn't seem to have featured much in Pardew's plans since he played for Israel, claiming that the threat of worsening an injury wouldn't stop him playing for his country. What is certain is that Bowyer has not looked comfortable on the right wing. If Benayoun is injured Paintsil could possibly play on the right in midfield. From what little we've seen of him so far he doesn't look a worse crosser of the ball than any of the other West Ham players.

The only other option to change things around is up front. Tevez looked good, especially in the first half yesterday, but I can't remember Zamora even having a shot. Therefore it could be time to give Harewood a chance to partner Tevez up front.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

West Ham FA Cup Draw

West Ham have drawn Brighton at home in the 5th round of the FA Cup. This should be an easy start to West Ham's FA Cup campaign as they attempt to emulate last year's achievement of reaching the final.

Bobby Zamora in particular will relish the opportunity to play against one of his old teams. Zamora scored 87 times for Brighton, helping them to win two successive promotions.

Everton 2 West Ham 0

West Ham had the better of the first half, which was reflected in a corner count of 12-3 in West Ham's favour. Their best chance of the half fell to Bowyer in the 17th minute. The move started when Mullins won the ball in his own half and laid the ball off to Reo-Coker. Reo-Coker then played a quick one-two with Etherington before sending Tevez away down the right wing. Tevez's cross found Bowyer clean through five yards out. Unfortunately Bowyer shot straight at the keeper, when really he should have scored.

Tevez in particular looked lively in the first half. In the eighth minute he set up Mullins on the edge of the area, but his shot was blocked. In the 28th minute he had a shot himself from just outside the area saved by Howard. In the 30th minute he created another shooting opportunity for himself on the edge of the area but his curling shot was straight at Howard.

For Everton Van der Meyde created a lot of problems for Etherington and Konchesky. In the 34th minute in particular he turned Etherington inside out and then beat Konchesky, who was forced to bring him down on the edge of the area. Luckily for West Ham McFadden wasted the resulting free kick. Everton's best chance came in the 37th minute when a ball was chipped into the West Ham area but Green bravely saved at Beattie's feet.

Having dominated midfield in the first half West Ham started losing possession in the middle of the park in the second. In the 51st minute Beattie crossed from the right wing, Collins tried to clear the ball with a backwards header but Osman ran into the area and scored with a half volley.

West Ham seemed unable to offer much in reply until Zamora was replaced by Harewood and Sheringham came on for Bowyer in the 68th minute. In the 70th minute Konchesky crossed from the left wing but Sheringham completely missed his attempted header from five yards out. A minute later Harewood received the ball inside the box. He made room for himself and shot from six yards but Howard saved. In the last ten minutes West Ham kept possession of the ball and got the ball into the opposition penalty area on a number of occasions without really creating any chances.

Then in the 92nd minute Everton hit West Ham on the break and Vaughn shot low from just inside the area to make the final score 2-0.

A poor second half by West Ham leaves them only just outside the relegation zone and Pardew perhaps in a shaky position. Magnusson has been full of praise of the West Ham manager since the club has been taken over, but the consortium will surely see Premiership survival as essential to protect their investment. If West Ham don't pick up points in the next couple of games Magnusson may feel that if the club is about to spend £10-20 million in the transfer market it would be better to have a new manager in place before that investment is made, so that a new manager would have an input into who is purchased.

Newton Returns - Soon

West Ham's Shaun Newton is soon to finish his seven month ban for testing positive for cocaine. He will be available for the December 23rd Fulham game. Alan Pardew said yesterday,

"He´s served a punishment and was very lucky that it wasn´t more severe. He´s been terrific, to be fair. He knows he made a very big error and he´s an example of how to react in the right way.

Shaun's been training well. I told him he's been playing better since the ban, I think he realises he can't be picked so he's not as nervous. He's been terrific, to be fair. He knows he made a very big error and he's an example of how to react in the right way.

He'll start with a clean slate with us and in some way hopefully it will turn into a positive thing for him."

All West Ham Players Fighting For Their Place

Alan Pardew, clearly relishing the opportunity to splash some cash in January, has warned his players that they are all fighting for their places in the West Ham first team,

"The players need to establish themselves to nail down their position before Christmas. But they are all eager to show what they can do. We have followed a course here of buying the best English talent available but that doesn’t mean we haven’t looked worldwide and will continue to do so."

I suspect that Pardew's thinking is similar to Trevor Brooking's, who this week said that West Ham needed to be wary of having too large a squad and that the new owners, whilst seemingly ready to spend some money in January, will not want to stretch the player wage bill too far. Therefore it is likely that one or two players will also be leaving in January.

Pardew after meeting Jooarbchian two weeks ago claimed that Tevez and Mascherano were likely to remain at Upton Park. Who then will be leaving? The Sun for one claim that West Ham will sell Carlton Cole who has started just one game for the Hammers this season.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Everton vs West Ham

West Ham are without the injured Mullins for this game but James Collins, Tyrone Mears and John Pantsil are all in contention after recovering from injuries. Everton will miss Simon Davies, Tim Cahill and possibly Andrew Johnson.

Although the Hammers have now won three out of their last five games the win at home last week against a struggling side was far from convincing. West Ham won the corresponding fixture 1-2 last season but West Ham have been poor on the road this season, whilst Everton have only lost one of their six home fixtures.

West Ham are likely to miss the dependable Mullins but have the opportunity to dominate in midfield as Everton will be forced to cope without Davies and Cahill. West Ham will also be praying that Johnson doesn't recover from his hamstring injury in time for this game, although Pardew has stated that he expects Johnson will play.

Hopefully the threat of new arrivals in January will spur some of the West Ham players into action and I have a feeling Tevez might just take this opportunity to finally show his undoubted talent.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Tevez & Mascherano Likely to Stay

Alan Pardew has held talks with Kia Joorabchian about the future of West Ham's two Argentinian players and believes that Tevez and Mascerano will be staying at West Ham. Pardew said after the meeting,

"They are both likely to stay. My meeting with Kia was constructive. He showed he has a motivation for the two guys to be a success here, as I do, and we hope that is the case."

Paul Aldridge Leaves West Ham

Following last week's take over of West Ham the new board of directors will assume responsibility of the club next Monday. Eggert Magnusson will succeed Terry Brown as chairman and will act as executive chairman and chief executive. Scott Duxbury will be promoted to deputy chief executive and Nick Igoe will become finance director.

Paul Aldridge will step down from the position of managing director of West Ham. Aldridge said of his departure,

"It was a very difficult decision to decline the opportunity to join the new West Ham board. It has been a privilege to have been part of such a wonderful time in the club's history.

I wish Eggert and his new board the very best of luck, I am very confident that the club is in very good hands and that the future for all involved in the club is extremely exciting."

Ashton on the Mend

The official West Ham website published an update on Dean Ashton's recovery today. In the article Ashton reveals he made slow recovery after returning from specialist treatment in Manchester but now is beginning to see an end to his injury,

"The last couple of weeks have been really good, though. That stiffness has gone and I'm moving on to bigger and better things in my rehabilitation now. It's not a lot of work, but it is very hard work, and I'm putting in long days and long hours. It's been worthwhile, though, because I am finally over the worst.

I can see my progress now and, by the doing these exercises, I can get a feel for how the ankle is improving. It's all building up to actually running, which I hope to do sooner rather than later. It's a case of getting to that stage next, and then I will really be able to push on."

Head physio Steve Allen confirmed that Ashton is on the mend,

"Dean is doing extremely well and we are delighted with his progress. He is now up to a level where we are trying to get him to take load through his ankle joint, in the form of low level plyometric work - single-leg hopping, bounding, cross-over hopping, and speed ladder drills.

He is at exactly the level we hoped he would be by this stage, and I am confident that he will be jogging very soon."

Alan Pardew is quoted on TEAMtalk saying he expects Ashton to be available soon after Christmas.

"I expect him to be very close to that new year's game."

Hammers After Baggies Captain

According to the Sky Sports website West Ham are ready to make a £5 million offer for West Bromwich Albion captain Curtis Davies. The 21 year old defender is also believed to be a target for Spurs,

Baggies boss Tony Mowbray is keen to keep hold of Davies, but has admitted he may have to sell one of his top players in order to help him build a squad that can reclaim a place in the Premiership.

Tevez Prefers West Ham Shirt to Brazil's

Tevez revealed today that he refused the Brazil shirt the West Ham players ordered him to wear in training,

"I just couldn't train in a Brazil shirt, I wouldn't do it. It was like asking an Englishman to wear a German kit, he'd never do's too much to wear the strip of my country's biggest rivals."

Tevez also claimed that his anger at being substituted showed his desire to play for West Ham,

"The positive thing to come out of it is people understand I care. I'm not just here to fill a number, I want to stay and play."

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