Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mascherano Leaves West Ham

Sky Sports claim that Macherano has now signed on loan for Liverpool. His registration problems appear to have been sorted out and all documents are with the Premiership authorities awaiting their clearance.

Mascherano hardly set the world alight on his few appearances for West Ham but was hardly given a fair crack at the first team. Who out of Quashie, Reo-Coker, Mullins and Mascherano do you think is most likely to develop into a world class player?

Matthew Upson Signs For West Ham

Matthew Upson has signed for West Ham for an initial £6 million deal. The deal could rise to £7.5 million depending on appearances. He has signed a four and half year contract.

Problems With Mascherano

Apparently Mascherano's loan move to Liverpool is being held up because no-one knows who owns the player (lol). Javier, get another agent fast!

Sheringham on Verge of Leaving West Ham

Sky Sports are reporting that Teddy could be on the move to Sp~rs. However the deal seems contingent on Sp~rs selling Mido today. Other rumours doing the rounds suggest Teddy is off to Fulham.

Update: Sheringham's agent is also Upson's agent and apparently he has told Sky Sports that Sheringham is going nowhere.

Upson Deal Almost Done

Sky Sports are reporting that West Ham have agreed a fee for Upson and that he is currently undergoing a medical and negotiating personal terms.

Upson Update

There is a rumour (of the "I heard it from my friend's dog" kind) on the West Ham forums that Upson is currently undergoing a medical at West Ham. Sky Sports have reported that Upson is absent from Birmingham training today.

West Ham in for Andy Cole

Sky Sports claim that West Ham have made an enquiry for Andy Cole. They also say that Everton are trying to land the Portsmouth striker.

Update: Sky sports are now saying West Ham have made a loan offer for Cole.

Will West Ham Get Upson?

According to the Birmingham Mail a West Ham bid of £8 million for Matthew Upson is due to be accepted. Upson has publically stated his desire to join West Ham and has looked out of sorts in Birmingham's last two games. So the Birmingham board may well have decided to cut their losses with Upson.

Tick, Tick, Tick Goes The Clock

With a little over twelve hours to go before the end of the transfer window there aren't many rumours of West Ham activity, apart from a couple of sites rehashing the "West Ham are thinking of making an improved £8 million bid for Matthew Upson." Well they haven't got much time left to think about it.

The most interesting news of the day comes at the end of long roll call of excuses from Curbishley on the official site (he's had to cope with a lot of injuries),

"We'll have to see what the final day brings because everyone will be scratching around trying to do things. Here at West Ham we've been linked with all sorts of people and some of it's been quite outrageous.

And we've made our position clear, too. We're trying to bring people in rather than let them go and that's why I'm still not too sure about Javier Mascherano's reported move to Liverpool. We'll just have to see if we do anything on the last day."

Curbishley isn't sure about Mascherano's move. Does this mean Curbishley actually wants to play Mascherano but isn't being allowed to by Magnusson or MSI? If not why would he stop the player moving to a team where he might actually get a game?

One Big Signing?

So we enter the last day of the transfer window without any miraculous signings. It was always going to be hard attracting big players whilst in the relegation zone but so far the new boys have failed to impress. Boa-Morte and Quashie have had the most games now and have hardly set the Boleyn on fire and we had a brief glimpse of Neill before the curse of West Ham struck. On the positive side, despite his mistake yesterday Davenport has looked as good as we've got at the back and Blanco has had one chance and took it well.

If we compare West Ham to the Portsmouth side of this time last year however there may be cause for some hope. Portsmouth with a new manager, Redknapp, bought nine players in January. However that didn't seem to change the club's fortune. Players such as Sean Davis, Dean Kiely and Mendes brought experience with them but like West Ham's new players weren't the stars that some fans thought the new owner's money would buy. In fact Portsmouth had to wait until March 11th and a late goal to defeat City before things began to go their way. After that they managed five wins and two draws in eight matches to ensure their survival in the Premiership.

The lesson here is that it takes players time to learn each other's game and to fit into the ethos of a new club. The problem is West Ham's best chance to pick up points come in the next six games. If we can get a couple of good performances in then we can still go on a run.

It looks like Watford are certain for the drop, and one team out of West Ham, Charlton and Wigan to survive. You've got to pick West Ham out of those three to survive. But only if we start picking up points now.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Down? - No, Not Yet

Come on be honest you never thought we were going to win this game. And, despite our defence still looking laughable at times, there were some positives in this game. Reo-Coker looks to be rediscovering some form and Blanco scored on his début. Plus Wigan at the time of writing look like they will lose 3-1, which keeps us in touch with them.

However it is crunch time for West Ham and the next few games will determine whether we survive or not. Here are the next six games;

Aston Villa away
Watford at home
Charlton away
Tottenham at home
Blackburn away
Middlesbrough at home

Our confidence is low but (and it is beginning to look a bigger 'but' with each game) if we can put a run together and get twelve points from these games we might ensure our survival. If we can't get ten to twelve points against these teams then we really don't deserve to stay up.

West Ham 1 Liverpool 2

In the first half hour West Ham were nervous and wasteful in possession but committed in defence and in the tackle. Liverpool dominated possession and territory but failed to create clear goal scoring opportunities. Liverpool's best chance came in the 30th minute when a scuffed cross from Bellamy found its way through to an onrushing Gerrard but Quashie managed to deflect his shot wide.

After the half hour mark West Ham began to come into the game a bit more. In the 33rd minute Harewood broke on the right wing, drifted inside and shot from just outside the penalty area forcing a diving Reina to make a good save. In the 37th minute Boa Morte curled a free kick from wide on the right wing forcing Reina to touch the ball over the crossbar.

Just before half-time Harewood dribbled well from just inside his own half, the ball eventually found itself to Benayoun who played a nice one-two with Harewood on the edge of the box and scuffed a shot forcing another save from Reina. So despite a nervous start West Ham grew into the half and in the end created the better chances.

Ten seconds into the second half Davenport left an easy headed clearance, Crouch ran onto the ball, passed to Kuyt and his shot from outside the area dipped over Carroll and into the net. In the 51st minute McCartney crossed into the box and Cole headed wide from ten yards. Two minutes later Riise squared the ball to Crouch and his first time shot from 20 yards beat Carroll to make it 2-0. In the 55th minute Bellamy received the ball in the area with his back to goal but had time to turn and shoot. He just missed the left hand post.

In the 57th minute McCartney tried a speculative 25 yard shot which was a fairly comfortable save for Reina, despite an onrushing Harewood. In the 60th minute Reo-Coker tried a speculative shot from about the same distance and with the same result. In the 62nd minute Benayoun dinked a cross from the right wing and from 10 yards Reo-Coker headed just wide. A minute later Bellamy put Kuyt clean through but his shot was well saved by Carroll.

In the 70th minute West Ham had a half shout for a penalty when Hyypia appeared to tackle Harewood from behind in the box, but the ref was probably right to judge that Hyypia got some of the ball.

In the 72nd minute Zamora was brought on for Cole. In the 74th minute Harewood received the ball on the corner of the penalty area and turned and shot wide and high. That was the last bit of action for Harewood as he was immediately subbed for Blanco.

Blanco's first touch of the ball was to put the ball into the back of the net from a Zamora cross. This gave West ham a chance for the last quarter of an hour but despite some urgency from West Ham they never looked like getting the equaliser.

West Ham Deny Bent Bid

Sky Sports are reporting that the Addicks have rejected a huge £18 million bid from West Ham for Darren Bent. The Sky Sports website has no evidence or source for this claim and Curbishley only yesterday stated,

"We have not made any bid for Darren Bent. It was made quite clear to us by Charlton Athletic that the player was not for sale, and so that is the end of the matter."

West Ham have now issued an official statement denying they made a renewed bid for Bent,

"West Ham United can once again confirm that no bid has been made for the services of Charlton Athletic striker Darren Bent.

Following a report on the Sky Sports News channel earlier today, claiming that Charlton had rejected an £18million offer from West Ham United, we can categorically deny the story.

Both West Ham United and Charlton Athletic issued statements on Monday, confirming that no bid had been made, after Charlton made it clear that the player was not for sale, and the situation remains the same.

For the benefit of both clubs and our supporters, we hope this will bring an end to the matter."

Macherano Leaving West Ham

FIFA have finally agreed that to relax their 'three club' rule for Javier Mascherano. Rafa Benitez has revealed that,

"We have an agreement to take him on loan for 18 months then we have an option to sign him permanently. He is a top class player and the only question is whether he can play to his level in England. But I know he can play a lot better than he did at West Ham."

Mascherano made just three starts for West Ham as Alan Pardew and Alan Curbishley, for whatever reason, chose to leave him out of the team. This sorry episode was presumably caused by ex-West Ham chairman Terence Brown signing/loaning the player on some ridiculous contract.

Good luck Javier and, a word to the wise mate, get yourself a different agent.

Monday, January 29, 2007

West Ham Knocked Back By Addicks

Alan Curbishley claims West Ham are not attempting to sign Bent but Sky Sports report that they have had a bid of £2.5 million turned down for Charlton defender Hermann Hreidarsson.

As an Icelandic international Hreidarsson is presumably well known by West Ham chairman Eggert Magnusson.

Neill Out For Two Weeks

Lucas Neill will be out of action for around two to three weeks. Head Physiotherapist Steve Allen says,

"Lucas suffered an inversion sprain to his right ankle. Following MRI scans on Sunday, his estimated recovery time is two to three weeks, but we are hopeful that he could be back sooner."

The good news is that Yossi Benayoun was passed fit for tomorrow night's Premiership clash against Liverpool and Carlos Tevez has also made a return to training after recovering from a calf injury.

Meanwhile, Alan Curbishley has revealed that West Ham have not made a bid for Darren Bent.

Mascherano the Forgotten Man

Rumours circulating at the weekend suggested that West Ham would have to pay MSI £25 million if Mascherano played a certain number of games for West Ham. Today Rafa Benitez, in a statement in which he says he remains confident that Mascherano will be allowed by UEFA to leave West Ham, hints at the fact that the player is unable to play for West Ham,

"We know the rule says he cannot play for three clubs, but he is unable to play at West Ham and we must take into consideration the law, and the law is more important than the rules. He is unable to work at the moment, nobody can say you cannot work."

So what is it that Benitez knows and the rest of us can only guess at?

Dean Ashton Update

The West Ham official site today reports on Dean Ashton's progress. Hidden in the positive spin of the story is the news that Ashton 'has recently suffered some minor complications that have prevented him from making a return to full contact training'.

However the site reports that West Ham have enlisted the help of one of the country's leading sports rehabilitation specialists Alan Watson. Head Physiotherapist Steve Allen says that Watson carried out a three hour evaluation of Ashton's injury and,

"The results led Alan to describe Dean's strength and power levels as higher than any other athlete he has assessed in 20 years. However, he also discovered an area of scar tissue that was impinging on the front of Dean's ankle, causing him discomfort when running at a certain pace.

This has subsequently been injected under an ultra-sound scan, and Dean is now to rest for four days before being re-assessed at BiMAL, when he hope he will be given the all-clear to resume his fitness work and push on to full training."

West Ham in For Gravgaard

The Icelandic papers today claim that West Ham are after F.C. Copenhagen centre back Michael Gravgaard. Gravgaard is a Danish international and known by Copenhagen fans as the 'The Copenhagen Airforce' because he is difficult to beat in the air.

The player was linked with Newcastle in the Scandinavian press last week.

Upson Wants West Ham Move

Matthew Upson, whose agent at the weekend publicly announced he wanted to leave Birmingham has now personally stated his desire to join West Ham,

"I think the fee that has been offered by West Ham is a realistic offer, a good sum of money, £6million plus bits and pieces. I think Birmingham have had a pretty good offer for me and yet they have decided to decline it.

I think the fee that has been offered by West Ham is a realistic offer, a good sum of money, £6million plus bits and pieces. I think Birmingham have had a pretty good offer for me and yet they have decided to decline it.

A move to West Ham is an attractive possibility to me. With the injection of money they've had, in the next couple of years they could really build. I think figures of £8-£10million for me are silly money given I've only got 17 months left on my contract and I've declined any offers of a new contract"

West Ham vs Liverpool

On current form this looks a no brainer to call. West Ham have lost three of their last six home games and have won just two, whilst Liverpool have won four of their last six away games. Add to that West Ham's defensive injuries and it is hard to predict a West Ham win. Liverpool enjoyed a nice break at the weekend while West Ham suffered a demoralising loss against Watford and also lost Neill to an ankle injury.

However West Ham have performed much better against the top clubs at home this season than against fellow strugglers and will hope that the return of Benayoun and a possible début for Kepa Blanco will give them some much needed fire power up front. West Ham will also be praying that Lucas Neill manages a quick recovery from his ankle injury and that Ferdinand is also fit to play. Calum Davenport will also return after being cup-tied at the weekend. Apart from Luis Garcia and Harry Kewell, the Reds are likely to be at full strength.

The game is live on Sky Sports 1. The game is also being streamed by Radio Five (UK only).

Sunday, January 28, 2007

West Ham Transfer Frenzy

With four days left before the end of the transfer window and with a cash rich West Ham in a perilous position in the Premiership the club are being linked with a host of players.

Sky Sports claim that West Ham have entered the race to sign St Etienne striker Frederic Piquionne. Piquionne appears to have played his last game for Les Verts after falling out with club officials over his desire to move to Lyon.

Gerard Houllier has been keen to land the 28-year-old throughout the January transfer window, but St Etienne are unwilling to sell him to their rivals.

According to the Sunday Mirror Charlton are ready to let West Ham sign Darren Bent but the newspaper reports the deal could cost the Upton Park club £17million and they may have to include Marlon Harewood and Hayden Mullins in part-exchange.

The Observer report that Nigel Reo-Coker is annoyed that Lucas Neill, on a reputed £65,000-a-week, is earning several times his salary. Obviously on his current wage Reo-Coker can only buy bling whilst Neil can now afford the bling-bling.

In the 'never going to happen' file are rumours that Gudjohnsen, unhappy at Barcelona could move to West Ham, who are prepared to better his wage.

Upson Wants West Ham Move

Matthew Upson's agent has claimed that Birmingham have reneged on a promise that Upson could leave if the club received an offer over a certain amount.

"Matt is disappointed after having been told he could leave Birmingham for a certain amount - and what has been offered has gone way past that. There's not really much more I can say other than I'm disappointed and I'm disappointed for Matt.

As to whether he would be interested in a move to West Ham, that can't be answered until a bid has been accepted."

This sounds like typical agent bollocks, if Upson had a minimum transfer fee clause in his contract then there would be little Birmingham could do to hold onto the player. However with 18 months left on his contract and the player now actively campaigning for a move Birmingham may now have to seriously consider a rumoured £8 million bid for the player by West Ham.

Curbishley's Post Match Interview

(Requires Windows Media Player, press play to watch)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

West Ham 0 Watford 1

Just as you thought West Ham had turned a corner in their season they remind you how abject they can be. In the first twenty minutes Watford gave West Ham an early warning that they wouldn't be able to just drift through this game, as their effective long ball game ensured they had the better of the play. In the 15th minute Damien Francis even put the ball in the net for Watford but his effort was disallowed for offside.

This seemed to be the shock that West Ham needed to wake them up and the Hammers then began to create some chances of their own. In the 18th minute Quashie has a 25 yard volleyed shot saved by Foster. Three minutes later Shaun Newton had a right-footed shot from the centre of the penalty area 12 yards out saved by Foster's feet. West Ham's best other chance was a 25 yard shot from Carlton Cole in the 38th minute which just missed wide of the right post.

Then with minutes to go before half-time Carroll made a howling mistake. He came out to meet a cross and missed the ball almost completely leaving Anthony McNamee an easy shot from 18 yards to give Watford the lead.

After picking up an ankle injury in the first half Neill was replaced two minutes into the second half by Paintsil. In the opening 20 minutes of the second half West Ham peppered the Watford box. In the 49th minute Zamora dribbled into the box and shot, but straight at Foster. In the 55th minute Newton crossed into the box and Zamora met the cross with his head but the ball flew just over the bar.

In the 58th minute Carlton Cole sprinted into the box with the ball and went down under a challenge, Cole was booked for diving. Two minutes later Boa Morte had a good chance but shot just left when he should have scored, the linesman ruled him offside anyway to spare his blushes. In the 62nd minute Shaun Newton shot from 18 yards and just missed wide of the left post.

In the 65th minute Sheringham came on for Newton. In the 71st minute Foster dropped a corner but Boa Morte shot wide. Two minutes later Henderson just missed the opportunity to put Watford 2-0 up as he failed to properly meet a cross. In the 76th minute Etherington replaced Boa Morte. In the 81st minute Cole fired way over the bar from 20 yards.In the 84th minute Sheringham had a good chance from 6 yards but lobbed the ball instead of smashing the ball home and the Watford defence managed to scramble the ball behind.

So it was a better second half performance from West Ham but never really that convincing. FFS beaten at home by Watford.

West Ham Look Abroad

Today The Daily Mirror rehash the rumour that Alan Curbishley is interested in Dutch defender Ruud Knol but start a new one in linking West Ham with Portuguese centre-half Rolando from Belenenses.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Eggy Loses UEFA Role

It has been widely reported that Michel Platini has been elected as Uefa's new president, ahead of Lennart Johansson. However not so widely reported is the news that West Ham chairman Eggert Magnusson has lost his bid to be re-elected to UEFA's executive committee.

Magnusson had decided to step down as president of the Icelandic FA following his successful takeover of West Ham but wanted to keep his seat on UEFA's ruling body. However, with UEFA delegates wanting to keep the executive committee for national association heads rather than club chairmen, Magnusson was voted out.

Bowyer Back in February

Lee Bowyer is set to return to full training in three weeks time.

"I had the shoulder brace removed this week and the injury has healed well," says Lee. "Now it's a case of strengthening the muscles around the shoulder and building up towards full training.

I've had a problem with the shoulder since September but an operation would have ruled me out for the rest of the season, so I played on with it. I've been told that, if it goes again, I would definitely have to have the op, but hopefully I will be able to get through and help the team in any way I can in the remaining games.

I was originally looking at a lay-off of around six weeks, and that is still on schedule. As long the rehabilitation work goes to plan, I should be available again before the end of February."

West Ham vs Watford

A nice home game against the Premiership whipping boys should see West Ham through to the next round. Curbishley changed the squad around for West Ham's previous FA Cup outing against Brighton but since that game he seems to have decided on who he trusts. However with defensive injuries and Harewood suspended Curbishley will be forced to make some changes.

At the back Gabbidon and Collins are injured and Davenport is cup-tied. Anton Ferdinand is also a doubt after suffering a calf injury. Up front Harewood is suspended. Therefore it seems almost certain that Blanco and Neill will make their débuts for West Ham.

West Ham have an excellent record against Watford having won 18 of the last 21 meetings in all competitions and Watford's abysmal away record this season rivals West Ham's. This game should ensure that West Ham extend their unbeaten run to four games and set us up nicely for the more important Premiership games to come.

There are only two all Premiership ties in the FA Cup this round so you would think that the West Ham game would be chosen as one of the three live games shown by the BBC, especially after West Ham's participation in last year's 'best final for decades' clash. However if you thought that you would be wrong!

Live commentary is available on BBC London 94.9FM, 765 Medium Wave and via the internet (in the UK)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Green Understands Being Dropped

Sporting Life are carrying an interview with Robert Green which seems to nicely contradict today's Guardian report that he wants a move away from West Ham,

"Up until the Reading game I thought I had done well and it is always disappointing to get dropped. But you pay the price for losing 6-0. I know the size of the task just to play for West Ham. You have one bad game here and you are out.

Ever since I came here my aim was just to get into the team and if England happens, then it happens. It is ridiculous to get down about these things. You are no good to anybody if you get depressed and start moaning and groaning.

Sometimes people who kick up a fuss get their own way but you have just got to get on with it and work hard. The club is bigger than any individual and if Roy can come in and keep West Ham up then that is a wonderful thing."

West Ham Exits

According to The Guardian West Ham are willing to listen to offers for Konchesky, Etherington and Green. The paper claim that Konchesky and Green have both had arguments with Curbishley. They say that Konchesky 'asked Curbishley for a transfer two weeks ago after being told he might be called upon to play in left midfield'.

The Guardian also says that Everton and Fulham are battling over the signing of Matthew Etherington, who Curbishley is also willing to let leave.

West Ham Up Upson Bid

It has been widely reported today that West Ham have had a third offer for Matthew Upson turned down by Birmingham. The Daily Mirror claim that West Ham offered Tyrone Mears plus £6million and a further £1m based on appearances for the experienced defender.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Reo-Coker On The Way?

Iain Dale of West Ham Till I Die, who was the first to break the story that Calum Davenport was to sign for West Ham, claims that his source for that story has told him Nigel Reo-Coker may well sign for Sp~rs before the transfer deadline.

Apparently Sp~rs are trying to sell Tainio to Villa to raise the funds for this deal. Iain's source says that this rumour doesn't have the 'same degree of certainty' as the Davenport signing but has the whiff of authenticity after Reo-Coker's agent's stirrings yesterday.

Interviewed on Sky Sports Tony Finnigan claimed that "For the
next 14 games Nigel will give his 110 per cent that is what I can guarantee every single West Ham supporter." This had been widely interpreted as meaning that Nigel no longer sees his future at West Ham and would be moving on at the end of the season. There is every possibility that Magnusson and Curbishley decided after meeting Finnigan that there is little point holding onto a player who is not committed to West Ham's cause.

However Magnusson also seems to be prepared to spend whatever it takes to keep West Ham in the Premiership. My feeling is he may well let Reo-Coker go but only if he and Curbishley can find a replacement.

Kepa Confident

Kepa Blanco is confident that he can excel at West Ham,

"I am confident that my style of play can fit into the Premiership, and I am excited by the prospect of playing against the best teams in England."

Alan Curbishley is also confident that the player has what is required to succeed in the Premier League,

"One of his main assets is that he is an old fashioned-type centre forward who will get his head on balls that come into the box. If you look at the goals he has scored, they are predator's goals and some games are settled like that, particularly in relegation battles.

He is something different compared to what we already have."

Kepa Blanco certainly looks like a player who will fit into the Premiership but it remains to be seen if West Ham can provide the delivery from out wide that he obviously needs.

Mears Wants Out of West Ham

In an interview with The Sun, a clearly unhappy, Tyrone Mears claims he needs to leave West Ham to get first team football,

"I think it’s time for me to get out of club. I have been training hard and playing for the reserves but nothing has come of it. My confidence is really low and the best thing for me to do is get out.

We have not had a proper right-back all season and I’ve still not featured. I spoke to the gaffer and he told me I just had to wait for new bodies to come in.

I think the club has had a few calls but I’m just waiting for an offer so I can go out and get a few games. I think a loan move would be good for me because I reckon I could still have a future at the club. I just haven’t had the chance to prove myself.

When Alan Pardew was manager it wasn’t really working. He (Curbishley) has brought a bit more discipline to the squad. He’s changed it and is doing his own thing. Hopefully that will keep us up."

West Ham's Upson Bid

West Ham may well make a third bid for Matthew Upson as Birmingham look like they could sign Sheffield Wednesday's Algerian centre-half, Madjid Bougherra. The Wednesday chairman, Dave Allen, said he was keen to go ahead with the transfer, providing Birmingham met his valuation,

"If Birmingham come in properly, we'll be able to do a deal because I know their directors very well. It depends on what happens with Matthew Upson. I'd like Bougherra to stay, everyone would, but if we get £3 million for him, it will be a deal well done."

If Birmingham are looking for cover at centre back it seems they may be prepared to sell Upson after all, but it seems that West Ham will need to bid at least £8 million.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Neill Defends West Ham

Lucas Neill has hit back at critics of his decision to join West Ham. Many have questioned Neill's choice of joining West Ham over Liverpool and have claimed he only joined us for a huge weekly salary. In reply Neill states he joined West Ham because he claims he would be guaranteed first team football rather than warming the bench at Anfield,

"At no stage did the issue of money enter into the footballing decision I was making." he said.

"Yes, I want to be secure, like everyone, but more importantly I want to know that I am going to be content, happy and playing football every week.

Some of the figures that have been mentioned are just ridiculous and the whole thing was blown way out of proportion. Anyone who thinks I joined West Ham simply for money is way off the mark.

People have questioned why I signed for West Ham and not Liverpool but I don't understand that.

Yes, Liverpool is a great club with a fantastic history but, equally, West Ham have produced people like Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters, Trevor Brooking and Billy Bonds over the years. If West Ham was good enough for those guys, then it's good enough for me.

If people want to insult my decision to play for West Ham, then they are insulting some of the greatest players the game has produced, including the three men who led England to the World Cup in 1966."

Upson Bid Rejected

West Ham have had a £6 million bid for Matthew Upson rejected. West Ham had a bid of £4 million rejected last week and Birmingham seem keen to keep hold of their star defender.

Monday, January 22, 2007

West Ham Loan Blanco

Hot on the heels of the signing of Lucas Neill West Ham have announced the loan signing of Kepa Blanco from Sevilla. The deal will see Blanco on loan for the rest of the season with an exclusive option to complete a permanent transfer in the summer.

Blanco, an under-21 Spanish International, has scored 3 times in 5 appearances in The Liga and 3 times in 3 appearances in the UEFA Cup this season. However the forward has had few opportunities recently because of the good form of ex-West Ham player Frédéric Kanouté.

Looking at Kepa's goals below he looks to be a goal poacher and exceptionally good in the air. In fact if the video is a true representation about 90% of his goals are headers so we just need to sign a decent crosser of the ball now.

Neill Deal Done & Dusted

Lucas Neill has finally put pen to paper and signed for West Ham for an undisclosed fee. It has been widely rumoured that Neill, who was also a target for Liverpool, has been offered generous personal terms to tempt him to West Ham, but these also remain undisclosed.

Neill is recognised as a right-back but is comfortable in the centre of defence and could well find himself initially at the centre of West Ham's defence due to injuries to Gabbidon and Ferdinand.

West Ham Watch Knol

Sky Sports say that West Ham had scouts watching Vitesse Arnhem defender Ruud Knol at the weekend. Knol is out of contract at the end of the season and doesn't seem to want an extension.

Lucas Set to Sign

Sky Sports report that Stephen Warnock is undergoing a medical at Blackburn today. Rovers manager Mark Hughes will sanction Neill's £1.5million move to Alan Curbishley's team once he has secured the signature of Warnock. Therefore as long as everything goes well with Warnock's medical Lucas Neill should sign for West Ham today.

West Ham Captain Speaks

In an interview with Sky Sports Nigel Reo-Coker says he has rediscovered his form,

"I feel like I am back to my best and I'm doing it consistently now. So much has been said about me, things said about my future and a lot of things that people don't know about.I have been unhappy about things that have been said but my major disappointment is that nobody came out and backed me earlier.

It would have been nice if a few more people from the club and management had got behind me but it is fine now and all settled and in the past.

However, I think the whole situation has made me stronger and now I feel I can get back to doing it on the pitch.

We feel we have let ourselves down because of the position we found ourselves in early on.

We haven't found ourselves 2-0 ahead for a long time and have to learn to keep leads like that. We have to be hard on ourselves and can't afford to concede soft goals if we're going to get out of the mess we're in.

At least we are scoring goals again now which always gives you a chance - and there is more than a belief that we can stay up."

Uriah Rennie Faces Relegation

According to The Guardian Uriah Rennie faces demotion to the fizzy pop league for his howling error in allowing Newcastle's offside goal against West Ham. However, whereas his decision may play a part in West Ham spending a year in the first division, his demotion may be as little as a fortnight. The decision will be made by the referees' chief, Keith Hackett.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Eggy on West Ham

Eggert Magnusson and Curbishley were interviewed by Icelandic newspaper Morgunblaðið, here are some of Eggy's thoughts on West Ham. The full interview can be read at KUMB.

On Pardew's dismissal

"'The key factor was that something just wasn’t right in the dressing room. Tension had been building between the players and the manager for a while. That was a cancer we had to cut off.'

Eggert feels that the West Ham players weren't trained properly and feels the preparations before the season were mishandled because of the tension that was building. 'That was entirely unacceptable.'"

On West Ham's transfer policy

"We are focussing on getting older players in at this point in time. Fierce players who will drive these young players forward. We have already bought Nigel Quashie and Luis Boa Morte, and we are working, day and night, to get more players in. The best scenario would be three or four more players in during the transfer window."

The future

"We will build our model, based on the top clubs of European football, Chelsea, Man Utd and Barcelona. The ambition is strong and we aim to take West Ham right to the top. We know it will take time but we are in no rush. The goal is to be playing Champions League football within five years."

On the Olympic Stadium

"'I'm going to meet Ken Livingston, the mayor of London, about this issue tomorrow (last Thursday). We are also looking at building a stadium on a land near to us but Livingstone has mentioned that possibility to us. The third option would be to enlarge Upton Park but that is probably the toughest option of them all because of land issues.' Asked when West Ham could be able to to play their first game in a new stadium, Eggert answers: 'Within three to five years.'

On Reo-Coker

"'We will emphasise to keep our best players, especially those who have grown up at the club, that is, if they share the shame future vision as us. If they don’t, they can pack their bags and will find suitable replacements.'

A lot has been written about the future of West Ham captain, Nigel Reo Coker, in the last few weeks and he has been linked with a number of clubs. 'Reo Coker stays with us. He sat in the same chair you are sitting in couple of days ago and we reviewed his situation at the club. The conclusion is that he will stay at the club. I don’t deny it was a difficult and sensitive subject because some of our supporters had turned on him because of many rumours surrounding the player. However this issue has now been settled.'

Hughes Says Neill Not Leaving - Yet

Despite it being widely reported that Lucas Neill is on the verge of signing for West Ham Mark Hughes reiterated yesterday evening that Neill will not be allowed to leave until Rovers find a replacement,

"We allowed Lucas to go down and speak to West Ham yesterday, and he had a medical while he was down there. As I have always said, I want to know we are not going to be weaker as a consequence of Lucas leaving, so exactly as we were.

We are not going to let Lucas join unless we get a replacement, and nothing as yet has been agreed."

Unfortunately for West Ham Andre Ooijer suffered a serious injury for Rovers yesterday which will presumably mean Hughes will be even more reluctant to see Neill leave.

West Ham To Loan Kepa

The Daily Mail claim that West Ham will finalise the loan signing of Sevilla striker Kepa Blanco tomorrow. A club official said Manchester City had shown interest but West Ham’s offer was the best. He said, "Kepa is excited about playing alongside Carlos Tevez."

Saturday, January 20, 2007

West Ham Goals & A Disgrace

Uriah Rennie What a .............

Uriah Rennie's decision to allow Newcastle's first goal after an offside Parker clearly stepped over the ball right in front of Carroll looked at the time to be a shocking decision.

What I missed during the game however was that the linesman raised his flag and Uriah Rennie even went over and consulted with him before allowing the goal. So Rennie clearly thinks an offside player dummying a ball three yards out is not interfering with play - incredible.

And, whilst I'm on a rant, how come Roeder was never able to inspire West Ham to make a second half come back like the barcodes produced today?

Neill Signs for West Ham

Although there still seems to be no official confirmation of this the BBC, who usually only report deals when they have been confirmed, say that Lucas Neill has signed for West Ham.

The BBC say that Neill confirmed the move in an interview with Sydney's Sunday Telegraph, which has been reported on a number of other sites and I assume the BBC have actually confirmed this news with West Ham.

In the interview with The Telegraph Neill claims he signed for West Ham because,

"West Ham moved heaven and earth to sign me while Liverpool gave me the impression that I might not even get a game if I went there.

People who have raised their eyebrows at me for making this decision are in for a surprise because West ham have a shopping list of players which almost blew me away."

Newcastle 2 - West Ham 2

West Ham dominated most of the first half. In the first twenty minutes Benayoun managed a couple of shots which both flew over the cross bar. However in the 17th minute West Ham won a corner that was crossed to the far post where Davenport rose and headed the ball back across the six yard box and Cole smashed the ball home for West Ham's first.

Five minutes later it was 2-0, the ball came to Harewood on the edge of the box and he held off Ramage, let the ball run, turned and shot the ball home from nine yards. West Ham then held on to the lead well, with Reo-Coker looking to be back to his best and breaking up the play well in midfield.

Newcastle had a few chances, Martins shot wide from six yards, O'Brien had a 15 yard shot clip the post and go wide and Milner fired a shot over the bar but their goal, when it did come should have been disallowed. Milner fired a ball from the edge of the penalty area out wide on the right which flew across the box and through the legs of an offside Parker and into the back of the net. For reasons only known to Uriah Rennie he decided to allow the goal.

The second half began disastrously for West Ham as in the 53rd minute Boa Morte was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box and Solano scored the resulting penalty, to make it 2-2. Newcastle then had the better of the second half, with Martins in particular having a number of chances. His best chance came in the 90th minute when he turned and shot from 10 yards but Carroll dove to his left and tipped the ball over the bar.

West Ham though still managed to create chances of their own. In the 60th minute Cole was taken down on the edge of the box but Rennie gave the free-kick rather than a penalty and Benayoun shot the free-kick high and wide. In the 65th minute Davenport rose and headed a corner into the goal but it was disallowed as Davenport was adjudged to have climbed on the defender.

In the 75th minute Etherington (on for Cole) was put clear by Quashie, Etherington could have shot, but decided to take the ball wide of Harper (on for Given) but in beating Harper he took the ball too wide of the goal, and then failed with an attempted cross as well.

So for the second week running West Ham have had a win denied them by appalling refereeing.

Newcastle vs West Ham

There seem to be a number of live streams of today's game. Football4Less have a number of links to streams in all the major formats.

Live radio commentary is available from BBC London DAB Digital Radio, Sky Channel 0152 & 765 Medium Wave.

Lucas Neill Where Are You?

According to the Daily Mirror there is good and bad news on the Lucas Neill front. The good news is that "Neill was pulled out of training yesterday as boss Mark Hughes finally accepted the Australian defender was going. He will miss the game at Manchester City while he sorts out his future."

The bad news, the paper claims, is that Newcastle and Everton are trying to hijack the deal between Neill and West Ham.

Pardew On West Ham Sacking

Today's Independent carries an interview with Alan Pardew in which he discusses his obvious disappointment at being sacked as West Ham manager. The interview doesn't reveal much as to what was going on behind the scenes, although he does hint that, "there were a lot of issues that made it very difficult to manage."

Pardew is at pains to defend Nigel Reo-Coker,

"Nigel (Reo-Coker, the West Ham captain) was looked at. I thought that wasn't right. It was a collective responsibility - the old board, the new board, who came in straight away and said they were going to buy players, which added to the pressure, the players, me",

and clearly feels he is being made a scapegoat by some of the West Ham fans.

However Pardew also takes time to thank the West Ham fans for their reactions to his sacking,

"It has been phenomenal and I've tried to answer all the letters. I really, really appreciate and believe that I took the club from a dire situation to a positive one."

Friday, January 19, 2007

Newcastle vs West Ham

On the current defensive form of both teams this promises to be a high scoring match. That is if West Ham can overcome their current goalless record which now stretches to nine successive away games. On the evidence of last Saturday's game Yossi Benayoun seems to be back to his best and could prove instrumental in West Ham's attack.

Newcastle have looked pretty dismal in their last two games and seem to be relying almost exclusively on the excellent form of Martins. Let's hope that Davenport fits straight into the West Ham defence and that Ferdinand is fit to play. Another major factor will be whether Parker is able to play for the barcodes, without him our midfield might even be able to dominate the game.

Before Wednesday I think most West Ham fans didn't feel we could get much out of this game, our away form is dreadful and we never seem to do well at Newcastle. However Wednesday night's 1-5 thrashing by Championship side Birmingham will give West Ham fans hope.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

What Happened to Lucas Neill?

So we've been waiting all day for the official announcement of Neill's signing and what looked to have been a done deal has seemed less and less likely as the day has worn on.

Well according to The Daily Mail Blackburn are refusing to let Lucas Neill join West Ham unless they are offered Paul Konchesky in a straight swap. The Mail report that Neill had agreed a £50,000 a week deal but Mark Hughes is blocking the move even though the Australian full back will be out of contract in the summer.

With West Ham's current defensive crisis it is understandable that Curbishley is reluctant to let any players go. So it looks like a game of bluff now, will Blackburn allow Hughes to forego a transfer fee and hold onto a player who will obviously be unhappy at having his last big pay day denied?

Upson Bid Rejected

Birmingham have turned down a £4 million offer for Mathew Upson. The bid made by West Ham falls short of the Blues' valuation - believed to be around £6million.

Davenport Signs for West Ham

Calum Davenport's signing has now been made official. West Ham have signed the central defender Calum Davenport from Sp#rs for an undisclosed fee. The 24-year-old, who spent two months on loan at Upton Park in 2004, has put pen to paper on a three-and-a-half year contract, and will be available for Saturday's trip to Newcastle.

Lucas Neill Signs

According to Lucas Neill's agent, Peter Harrison, the player has signed for West Ham,

"Lucas has agreed terms on a 2½-year deal with West Ham and is looking to the challenge ahead." He is understood to have insisted on a clause in his contract that allows him to leave if West Ham are relegated.

The Times say he has signed for £1.25 million and is expected to earn more than £50,000 a week.

Davenport, Neill and Blanco for West Ham

The Independent seem to be the first of the traditional news media to pick up on the Davenport rumour. They claim that yesterday Calum Davenport and Lucas Neill both had medicals at Upton Park while a loan bid for the Seville striker Kepa Blanco is expected to succeed late today.

The paper says that Davenport will make his debut against the barcodes on Saturday. However The Independent suggests that Neill is not so close to signing. "Although the 28-year-old travelled to London and has been offered a two-and-a-half-year contract, doubling his wages to £60,000-a-week, Blackburn remain reluctant to sell until they have a replacement and may try and hold Neill until the end of the season."

West Ham and Man City have been attempting to sign Kepa Blanco on a six month loan but the player is thought to favour West Ham with a view to a £4-5m transfer in the summer.

Kudos to Iain Dale for breaking the Davenport story first on his West Ham Till I Die blog. Iain, despite your deluded political views, you just earned yourself a permanent link to your blog. The latest story on Iain's blog has been posted from a bedroom inside Windsor Castle. He is obviously a man with some serious inside connections.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Callum Davenport to West Ham?

A rumour going around West Ham boards and on West Ham Till I Die is that West Ham have signed Callum Davenport from Sp#rs.

With King injured I would have thought that Sp#rs would want to keep hold of Davenport but he has been used as a make-weight in some of their transfer bids. However this story has not been picked up by the mainstream media so can't be authenticated - yet.

Davenport has apparently not been named in Sp#rs' team for their game tonight which has added to the speculation of his rumoured move to West Ham.

West Ham Favourites to Sign Neil

Sky Sports are reporting that West Ham are close to tying up a deal with Lucas Neil. Both Liverpool and Newcastle have also been in discussions with the player but so far West Ham seem to have offered the best package to the player.

Obviously telling the other two parties that West Ham have come up with the best personal terms so far couldn't be a negotiating tactic to secure better offers from the other two teams.

West Ham in for Kepe Blanco?

West Ham are attempting to loan Sevilla striker Kepa Blanco for six months according to his agent,

"Sevilla are evaluating two offers from West Ham and Manchester City for Kepa. Both offers are six-month loan deals. The club should make a decision soon."

Forever Young

The Daily Telegraph quote a seemingly determined Eggert Magnusson today saying he hasn't given up on signing Ashley Young. The West Ham chairman says,

"The deal is still very much alive. I don't want any players who clearly don't want to play for us, but we're still working on it and are hopeful."

The paper claim that Young turned down an offer to join West Ham on Monday, but, according to Magnusson, the deal stalled before they had the chance to discuss personal terms with the player. Magnusson obviously believes he can offer the player some tempting personal terms if he can get the chance to speak to him.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Upson Wanted at Upton Park

The Times say that West Ham have made a £4 million bid for Mathew Upson. However the paper claim that Birmingham have upped their valuation of the defender to £8 million. With Gabbidon and Collins out for awhile it seems that clubs know that West Ham are cash rich and desperate for defensive cover.

The Times also claim that West Ham have not given up hope of signing Ashley Young or Lauren. If West Ham can win a couple of league matches and move out of the relegation zone before the transfer window closes at the end of the month they believe they can tempt Young to Upton Park.

Lauren, The Times says, has turned down offers from Bolton and Newcastle United but is considering Portsmouth and West Ham or a move to Spain in the summer.

Young Hasn't Rejected West Ham

The Guardian today claim that contrary to earlier reports Ashley Young has not rejected a move to West Ham,

"the 21-year-old's advisors have indicated that those (earlier) reports are incorrect and a deal could still be agreed, with Young believed to favour remaining in London."

However the paper claim that Watford, although having accepted West Ham's £8m offer plus another £1.65m based on clauses, are waiting to see if another team will match or beat the offer. Watford would rather not sell to another club who are battling to avoid relegation.

FIFA May Allow Mascherano To Move

According to today's Independent Mascherano may be allowed to move from West Ham. A Fifa spokesman said last night: "We have received correspondence from Liverpool and a case has now been opened." The FIFA rule that says a player cannot play for more than two clubs in twelve months seems particularly harsh in Mascherano's case as Curbishley and Pardew before him hardly played the Argentinian star at all.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Young & Lauren Reject West Ham

Watford striker Ashley Young is thought to have turned down a move to West Ham after a bid of £9.65m had been agreed. With West Ham desperate to sign new players Young presumably rejected West Ham because of their current league position and not over personal terms.

The Sun are reporting that Lauren has also rejected West Ham. The paper claim "he does not want to join the relegation dogfight. He favours a return to Spain where he previously enjoyed spells with Seville, Levante and Mallorca."

West Ham in Bent Bid

The Sun suggest that West Ham have offered Marlon Harewood, Hayden Mullins and £4 million for Darren Bent. The Sun say the West Ham offer has been a legitimate approach but that Pardew feels clubs have been trying to 'tap-up' his striker,

"Let’s not twist it — I said I’m sure he is getting phone calls from people and I’m sure it is disturbing him, whether the calls are from friends or whatever."

West Ham v Fulham Highlights & Lowlights

West Ham Have Young Deal Accepted

According to The Daily Mail West Ham have had a £10 million deal for Watford's Ashley Young accepted having previously had offers of £7m, £8m and then £9m rejected. However it appears Young has yet to agree personal terms with West Ham and that Villa, financed by the millions of new owner Randy Lerner, could table a counter bid.

The paper also claims that Gabbidon and Tevez are out for six weeks.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

West Ham in the Sunday Papers

According to the The Sunday People Nigel Reo-Coker has emerged as the key player in Alan Curbishley's attempt to land Boro striker Mark Viduka. Middlesbrough have been offered the midfielder in an attempt to snare the powerful Aussie forward. Southgate is after a driving midfielder and is interested in Reo-Coker but not with Viduka as part of the deal.

West Ham have also made Watford an offer of £8 million for Ashley Young.

Derby County are after Tyrone Mears.

The Mirror
claims that Sp*rs are ready to offer £7 million for Anton Ferdinand. However they have been told by West Ham that they need to wait until the summer before they can buy him for about £8million.

Watford are poised to accept West Ham's improved £8million bid for Ashley Young.

The News of the World
say that Mathew Etherington could move to Fulham this week. West Ham's Sheringham and Konchesky are targets for Blackburn Rovers.

The Star claim that Villaare set to make a shock £3million bid for West Ham striker Marlon Harewood.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Fat Lady Aint Singing Yet

Today's draw felt like the nail in the coffin of this season - however there is hope yet. If Wigan lose their game in hand over us we are still in touch.

Our next couple of games in the league are tough, the barcodes away and Liverpool at home but February and March look promising and hopefully we will be able to put together a late run. February starts with Villa away but after that it is:

Watford at home
Charlton away
Spuds at home
Blackburn away
Boro at home

If we can pick up a few points in the next three league games these five games are all winnable. Anyway that's the straw I'm clutching at.

West Ham 3 Fulham 3

West Ham started with Tevez and Cole up front. Reo-Coker reclaimed his place in central midfield alongside débutante Quashie. The back four were McCartney, Gabbidon, Collins and Dailly.

If West Ham thought their season was cursed the opening minutes of this game would have done a lot to confirm their suspicions. First, in the tenth minute Collins, was injured and replaced by Spector, then, two minutes later, Tevez was forced off with a calf injury and was replaced by Zamora. Three minutes later Fulham won a corner which was taken by Wayne Routledge. The corner flew to the far post where Tomasz Radzinski scored left-footed from six yards.

On current form and commitment you would have expected West Ham to have folded after such a disastrous start but the Hammers fought back well and in the 27th minute got a deserved equaliser. Carlton Cole headed the ball onto Zamora in the box and his right-footed shot from the centre of the penalty area 6 yards out flew into the bottom right of the goal.

West Ham then had the better of the first half and came close when Yossi Benayoun crossed into the box and Luis Boa Morte shot left-footed from the left side of the penalty area 12 yards out but missed right of the post.

If the first half started badly the second half couldn't have started better for West Ham. Straight from the kick off Bobby Zamora passed to Benayoun in the area and Benayoun clipped the ball left footed from the left side of the penalty area 18 yards out into the top right of the goal.

West Ham's lead however only lasted for 14 minutes until McBride took advantage of West Ham's inability to defend in the air. Moritz Volz crossed the ball into the box and McBride headed in from the centre of the penalty area twelve yards out. In the 63rd minute though West Ham reclaimed the lead. Benayoun got his second, taking advantage of a mistake in the Fulham defence he pounced on the ball six yards out and shot left-footed into the bottom-right of the goal.

In the 75th minute the luck swung back Fulham's way as Zamora was sent off for a second yellow card. Then in the 81st minute Gabbidon was also injured and replaced by Newton.

West Ham were forced to defend for the closing minutes, McBride came close with another header and Carroll saved well with three minutes to go, then in the 90th minute West Ham failed to clear their lines and Christanval pounced to ensure the draw.

Oh well, at least the teams around us all lost.

West Ham Bid £8 Million for Young

According to today's Independent West Ham have bid £8 million for Ashley Young and the Watford board were meeting last night to consider the offer. The paper claim that Watford are not keen to sell to a rival club battling to avoid relegation but West Ham have so far outbid Villa and Sp*rs.

West Ham vs Fulham

Live radio commentary of the West Ham vs Fulham game is available from Radio London on DAB Digital Radio, Sky Channel 0152 and 765 Medium Wave.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Wenger Will Allow Lauren to Leave

Speaking on the Arsenal website Arsene Wenger said that West Ham target Lauren will be allowed to leave Highbury,

"The problem is that since Lauren got injured I have Justin Hoyte who got promoted, I have Emmanuel Eboue who got promoted and I have Johan Djourou who can play in there too.

It's always the same. You make room for young players and then it is difficult to leave them out again. I feel we have too many players in that position now. Lauren is free to talk to anyone because it is the end of his contract but frankly I don't know if he has spoken to West Ham.

He doesn't have to inform me if he wants to speak to anyone."

West Ham vs Fulham

Mascherano has been named in the squad for this game so Curbishley has a choice of Reo-Coker, Mullins, Mascherano, Noble and Nigel Quashie in central midfield. I suspect Quashie will make his début in this game and it will be revealing of Curbishley's plans who gets the nod out of the other three. Boa Morte should start on the wing after his own impressive début against Brighton. Anton Ferdinand (groin) is injured for West Ham and McCartney hasn't been named in the squad, so it looks like Dailly will keep his place in defence.

West Ham are on a three game losing run in the league and Fulham have had four successive draws in the league. In Curbishley's second game in charge West Ham managed a 0-0 draw at Fulham in a game that saw Konchesky sent off.

West Ham Rumours

According to Alexei Smertin's agent the player won't be coming to West Ham,

"... the team currently lie at the bottom of the league and are fighting for survival, and we don't want Alexei to join another relegation candidate. Smertin has enough strength and experience to accomplish higher things. Plus we have more attractive offers."

Sky Sports report that Liverpool, Newcastle, West Ham, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough have all enquired about Lyon's John Carew.

Icelandic newspaper Morgunblaðið claim that Eggert Magnusson has told them that Lauren wants to join West Ham,

"I spoke to Lauren on the phone today (yesterday) and so did Alan. Lauren wants to join West Ham and he would be quite a catch who would strengthen our team. We will have to go over some things first and I dont think a final decision will be made until after the weekend."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lucas Neill for Konchesky

Sky Sports report that West Ham are trying to sign Lucas Neill from Blackburn in a move that may see Paul Konchesky going the other way. Neill has turned down a new contract at Blackburn and Rovers have expressed an interest in Paul Konchesky. However Sky Sports say that West Ham face competition from Liverpool and Newcastle in signing the defender.

Ashton Making Progress

The West Ham official site today claims that "Dean Ashton is close to completing his rehabilitation" but reading between the lines it seems Ashton still won't be back for a number of weeks.

Ashton himself sounds positive that his enforced absence is coming to an end,

"The ankle is feeling good and I have been very happy with how things have gone recently. I've been running and kicking a ball, which has been fantastic, and the physios have been first class with me.

I'm not going to name a date for my return to full training with the rest of the squad, but I'm feeling very positive about the situation and I can see that I'm getting closer to reaching my goal."

Head Physiotherapist Steve Allen says,

"We have been delighted with the progress that Dean has made recently, and he really has stepped up his rehabilitation in the past couple of weeks.

To see him running and kicking a ball freely is wonderful, and we are now reaching the stage where he can really push on with his fitness work in the next few weeks."

Latics & Addicks in For Harewood

According to today's Times Wigan have made an offer of £4.5 million for West Ham's Marlon Harewood. The paper also claim that Harewood is amongst a number of players Curbishley is willing to sell.

The Daily Mirror report that Charlton are also keen to buy Harewood. The paper claim that Pardew is ready to clear out a number of players to raise the money for a £4 million bid for the West Ham striker.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

SIx Months Loan for Lauren?

Amidst rumours that Lauren yesterday walked out of training after being informed he wouldn't be playing against Liverpool the never knowingly accurate FansFC claim that Lauren is about to sign a six month loan deal with West Ham. If West Ham avoid relegation, the site claims, Lauren would then stay for an extra 12 months.

West Ham in Lauren Talks

According to Sky Sports West Ham are in talks with Arsenal's Lauren.

"Lauren is out of contract in the summer and is unlikely to be offered fresh terms with Emmanuel Eboue now firmly established as first choice right-back under Wenger.

West Ham boss Alan Curbishley wants to overhaul his squad and only has a short space of time to do so - and an experienced Premiership campaigner like Lauren could prove a valuable acquisition. Lauren is yet to play a game this season after only just returning to training last month after nearly a year on the sidelines with a knee injury."

Sky Sports are also reporting that Fulham may beat West Ham in the signing of Smertin.

West Ham in For Blades Midfielder

Sky Sports claim that West Ham's latest target is Sheff Utd midfielder Nick Montgomery. The site claim West Ham face competition from West Brom and Birmingham who are also thought to be keeping tabs on the all-action midfielder.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

New West Ham Blog

Iain Dale (of leading political blog Iain Dales' Diary and 18 Doughty St.) has started a new West Ham blog called West Ham Till I Die.

This looks a promising addition to the growing list of West Ham sites. Iain is an established blogger and has played a part in the amazing developments the Tory bastards have been making in e-politics.

As well as being a Tory Iain boasts of sitting near Glenn Roeder's brother-in-law in the Dr Marten's Stand! He also claims his is the first West Ham blog despite having a link to this one on his page - typical lying politician.

An excellent blog nevertheless.

Rumours Round-Up

West Ham boss Alan Curbishley is prepared to offer Viduka a staggering £60,000 a week. (Daily Mirror)

Arsenal's right-back Lauren is another target for a struggling West Ham. (Daily Mail)

West Ham have made a dramatic £7m bid for Arsenal's Freddie Ljungberg after missing out on Shaun Wright-Phillips. (The Sun)

West Ham face competition from Italian sides AC Milan and Juventus for the Swede. (The Express)

West Ham in For Ljungberg

According to The Independent West Ham have turned their attentions to Fredrik Ljungberg now that it seems that SWP has turned down a move to Upton Park. The paper claim West Ham are ready to match his £70,000 a week current wages but that Ljungberg is unlikely to sign without a relegation release clause.

Monday, January 08, 2007

West Ham Sign Quashie

West Ham have signed midfielder Nigel Quashie from West Brom for an initial £1.5m. West Ham will pay a further £250,000 if we avoid relegation this season or regain whilst Quashie still at the club.

Quashie has signed a three-and-a-half year deal and is available to play against Fulham on Saturday. Alan Curbishley said about his second signing at West Ham,

"We've signed Nigel because he is an experienced player who will add competition to our central midfield positions," says Alan. "I saw that Mark Noble was also capable of providing that for us on Saturday, and it now means we have beefed up that area of the team.

"Nigel comes in here - like Luis Boa Morte - knowing full well the position we are in, and he is confident and convinced that we will be able to get out of the bottom three.

I have not promised him anything in terms of first team football - he will have to earn it like the rest of the players - but he brings vast experience to the Club and has shown me that he is eager and hungry to do everything he can to help us.

I want to reiterate that new players coming in doesn't mean I've got to let people go - the competition for places is a factor that will be important to us as we fight to move up the table, and it's up to every member of the squad to prove that they deserve to be in the starting line-up."

No Go For SWP

Reports are emerging that Shaun Wright-Philips has turned down the chance to join West Ham. Despite West Ham and Chelski agreeing a transfer fee, thought to be around £10 million, and West Ham offering the winger a similar wage to his current deal it is believed that Wright-Philips was put off by West Ham's current league position.

Latest on SWP

Sky Sports are reporting that Wright-Phillips has had talks with West Ham. The Hammers are ready to match Chelsea's demands - which are in excess of £10million.

"Newcastle, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Portsmouth are all very keen - but they would all be loan deals initially and Chelsea are more inclined to take the cash.

It is believed a deal between West Ham and Chelsea is very close, which is why Wright-Phillips has been given permission to talk terms.

At this point it is not known how keen Wright-Phillips is on a move to East London - but the relegation-threatened Hammers will be hoping to convince the 25-year-old to make the switch."

In addition Sky Sports claim that Quashie is believed to be holding talks with The Hammers and could represent a double midfield capture with Russian star Alexei Smertin set to be confirmed as a West Ham player this week.

FA Cup Draw

West Ham have been drawn at home against Watford. Other all premiership draws were Arsenal vs Bolton and Man Utd vs Portsmouth.

Games will be played over the weekend of 27th/28th January.

Players Not Keen on West Ham

According to The Daily Mirror West Ham target Ben Haim is not keen on joining a team in a relegation fight. The Bolton player is more likely to join Chelski or Sp*rs.

The Mail claim Mark Viduka is off to either Juventus or Genoa and Smertin may reject West Ham for Portsmouth.

Oh - the Rumours

The Daily Mail claim that, despite Curbishley's protests about his commitment to his players, he has tried and failed to offload Anton Ferdinand to Chelski and Sp*urs.

The Sun claim that Reo-Coker has been told by West Ham that tomorrow is the deadline for sorting out his future. If he wants to leave then he must hand in a transfer request which means he will have to forgo £500,000. Asking to go would cost him that sum plus any loyalty bonuses due. If he is sold without requesting a transfer he receives the half-million pounds.

The Sun also say that Alexei Smertin will join West Ham for a small fee later this week.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

West Ham Goals

Transfer Rumours

The Sunday Times report that although Chelski have accepted a West Ham offer of £9.8 million for SWP the player is unwilling to sign for the Hammers. They report that Sp*rs have offered Defoe in a swap for the winger.

The Sunday Star claim Curbs wants to recruit the Arsenal defender Lauren who has just returned from a long bout of injury.

Sky Sports News and The Sunday Mirror report that Curbishley's top targets are Scott Parker and Joey Barton. He will offer £10 million for each. According to The Sunday Mirror Curbs is also willing to listen to offers for Anton Ferdinand, Teddy Sheringham, Yossi Benayoun, Matthew Etherington, captain Nigel Reo-Coker and Bobby Zamora.

West Ham in for Quashie

The Daily Mail today report that Nigel Quashie will join West Ham in the next 48 hours. The midfielder will join from WBA for £2 million and will hasten Reo-Coker's departure to Sp*rs, who the paper say are ready to pay £5 million.

The News of the World say Curbs has been handed £35 million to spend in January and claim that Reo-Coker and Sheringham both want to leave West Ham.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Curbs' Post Match Comments

"We needed a result for sure. From the outside this probably looked like a potential upset and it was a difficult game, but the first goal settled us and we were comfortable in the end.

There's nothing to read into my team selection, other than I wanted to look at some players I haven't seen yet. I need to evaluate my squad as soon as possible.

I am certainly disappointed with the way some of my recent comments have been reported, and I'm upset at the treatment of Nigel Reo-Coker as well. I want club and fans to pull together as one to help get us out of our situation."

West Ham 3 Brighton 0

As expected Curbishley changed the team for this game. Boa Morte made his début, Noble came in for Reo-Coker in midfield, McCartney replaced Konchesky and Cole and Tevez started up front.

West Ham started reasonably and in the 11th minute Boa Morte seemed to be taken down inside the box but the ref declined to give a penalty. However, as for much of this season, West Ham managed to play OK at times in the first half but seemed unable to create clear cut chances.

The best West Ham could manage was to create a couple of headed shots in the first half. In the 30th minute Carlton Cole, from the centre of the penalty area 12 yards out, headed over the bar.In the 33rd minute Yossi passed to Dailly who crossed to an unmarked Noble, but he couldn't get any power on the header from 12 yards which flew straight to Wayne Henderson.

At the end of the first half Ferdinand suffered a groin injury and was replaced by Spector. It was a bit of a half hearted performance in the first half and the half time whistle was met with some boos from the West Ham fans.

Four minutes into the second half however Luis Boa Morte crossed to Tevez, Tevez laid the ball back to Noble who volleyed the ball right-footed into the bottom-left of the net from 18 yards. Alan Curbishley then ran onto the pitch to berate his players for their over celebrations of the goal.

Nine minutes later Tevez crossed from the right wing, Cole couldn't get to the ball but Boa Morte retrieved the ball and crossed back into the box where Cole drilled the ball left-footed from 6 yards out for West Ham's second.

Cole was replaced by Zamora with about 20 minutes to go. Almost immediately Zamora tried to meet a Benayoun cross but used his hand to steer the ball goalwards. In the 70th minute Shaun Newton was brought on for Boa Morte. In the 77th minute Tevez beat Mayo and crossed for Benayoun who headed just wide.

In injury time Newton crossed from the left and Mullins headed the ball home to make it 3-0 to the Hammers.

Juventus Back in for Mascherano

According to Sky Sports Juventus have re-entered the race to sign West Ham's Mascherano. They claim that "widespread reports in Italy suggest Juve's sporting director Alessio Secco has flown to London for talks with West Ham - in order to make sure their interest is confirmed." Sky Sports suggest that Juventus are offering defender Jonathan Zebina as part of the deal.

Reo-Coker Leaving West Ham?

The Guardian today are speculating that Reo-Coker will be left out of the West Ham squad today as a precursor to a move away from the club. Unfortunately for the young player the paper claim that Arsenal and Man Utd are no longer interested in signing him.

The Guardian also say that West Ham have had a £500,000 offer for Mark Viduka turned down but Boro will probably sell for £1.5 million "as Viduka has informed them he wishes to move to Upton Park or sign a pre-contract agreement with an Italian club."

Additionally The Guardian suggest West Ham have a £10m offer on the table for Shaun Wright-Phillips and may also be on the verge of signing Alexei Smertin. The Independent claim that SWP was telling friends yesterday that his future was still at Stamford Bridge and that if West Ham's bid fails they will instead make a move for Watford's Ashley Young.

The Independent also claim that West Ham will not sell until they have brought players in and will look to make most of the departures from the club in the summer. Although they do suggest that Mascherano is likely to join Liverpool this month.

The Independent suggest that West Ham are looking to bring in five players. They mention a number of players who West Ham have been interested in but won't be joining the club for various reasons, they are Nigel Quashie, John Hartson, Lucas Neill and Sylvain Distin.

Friday, January 05, 2007

West Ham vs Brighton

Live internet radio coverage of the game is available from BBC London (after clicking on the link scroll to the bottom of the page to find the live link).

Smertin in, Reo-Coker Out

West Ham have been strongly linked with ex-Chelski midfielder Alexei Smertin in the last few days. Smertin is available on a free from Dynamo Moscow and is the type of experienced player Curbishley has been claiming West Ham needs.

Meanwhile KUMB have reported a 'rumour' that Nigel Reo-Coker has been asked to hand in a transfer request if he wants to leave. This could be interpreted as the club telling their captain to 'fuck off' but I expect it is more likely to mean 'tell your agent to shut up or fuck off'.

A certain 'hammerboy' on the KUMB forum claims to have actually seen Reo-Coker's 'texted' resignation to Curbs,

"to da boss man curbs
i's gotta leave dis punk club
me gotta get outta dis ghetto hell
fans fink i shuld be playing well
but i shuld be playing for arsenal
you git me??

- NRC (The Billionaire Boys Club)"

Other reports suggest that Liverpool may gamble on signing Mascherano despite yesterday's FIFA statement that it is unlikely they will wave their rule that a player can play for three different clubs in twelve months.

Curbs on Boa Morte Signing

Alan Curbishley speaking to the official West Ham website welcomed his first signing for the club,

"I'm very pleased that we have been able to get the deal done so quickly. I like players who are versatile, and Luis can play on the left, on the right, through the middle as a centre-forward, and even as an attacking midfielder.

He is also very experienced, which is something I think we need and have been endeavouring to bring in. We have some very exciting young players, but I just felt we needed more experience in certain areas to help them out.

The signing also puts other players under pressure, and that is what football is all about. Luis has great pace, a fantastic left foot, and he makes and scores goals. He is also very much a team player, and I am delighted to have got him.

We are currently juggling a lot of balls in terms of the players we have targeted in this transfer window, and they haven't all come down yet, but this is a good start and I am sure Luis will make a big impact for us."

Mascherano in West Ham Limbo

It is claimed that Mascherano had a medical with Liverpool and would definitely be signed by the Reds but FIFA are standing by their rule that no player can play for more than two clubs in twelve months.

A FIFA spokesman yesterday told The Times,

"The rules are very clear. Article 5.3 states that, although a player can be registered for a maximum of three clubs during the period from 1st July to 30th June, he is only eligible to play in official matches for two clubs in this period.

In the case of Mascherano or Tevez, they have already played for Corinthians and West Ham United. The rule is binding. It cannot be deactivated just because it suits the clubs and the player in a certain instance.

These rules were drawn up to protect the interests of players and clubs and to provide more stability in football. If a case was formally submitted to the Fifa bodies, then of course the Fifa bodies would look at it, but the view from our legal department is very clear that the regulations cannot be broken."

West Ham's Newest Player Speaks

In an interview on the West Ham official site Luis Boa Morte has discussed his decision to join a struggling West Ham side,

"I'm delighted to have signed for West Ham United. After spending the last 10 years in England playing for some great clubs, I now have a chance to play for another one.

Alan Curbishley has given me the opportunity to join what I consider to be one of the biggest clubs in the country, and I am really happy to be here. Yes, I considered the fact that West Ham United are currently in the bottom three of the Premiership but even with that, I quickly decided that the opportunity was too good to turn down.

West Ham is a massive club and I wouldn't have signed if I didn't think we could avoid relegation. I definitely believe we can improve, and I am excited about the challenge that is ahead.

It has all happened suddenly. I only got a call from my agent on Wednesday, but the deal was agreed very quickly between the two clubs and then it was very simple to discuss the terms and take the medical. It was sad for me to leave Fulham, I had six and a half wonderful years there, and I would just like to say thank you to the entire Fulham family - the board, the coaching staff, the supporters and my team-mates.

However, I felt it was time for a new challenge, and now it is time to look forward and concentrate on my new career with West Ham United. I am looking forward to playing in front of the supporters. I had to miss the recent match between Fulham and West Ham because of injury, but I attended the game and I could not believe the number of away fans that travelled to support their team, just two days before Christmas.

I also remember the fantastic atmosphere at Upton Park last season - it is a very special place and the support at the stadium is unbelievable. Now I want to do everything I can to help West Ham climb the table. I am the type of player who will fight for the shirt, and I promise I will do that at West Ham."

Luis Boa Morte Signs for West Ham

It is official, Luis Boa Morte has signed for West Ham for an undisclosed fee. Boa Morte agreed personal terms at Upton Park yesterday afternoon and passed his medical last night before putting pen to paper on a three-and-a-half year contract with the Club.

Boa Morte speaking on Radio Renaissance has said,

"It was the time to move to another great club of English football, also with history.
It was not difficult to make the decision. It is a good contract - better than the one at Fulham."

Let's all hope for a little of this:

Ethers Out, Boa Morte In?

The Telegraph, The Sun and The Daily Mail all today report on the rumour that Luis Boa Morte will soon join West Ham. The Mail claim that the player did have a medical at Upton Park yesterday and expect him to play tomorrow against Brighton. They say that Boa Morte will cost West Ham £6 million. The Mail also conclude that Boa Morte's arrival will ensure the departure of Mathew Etherington from West Ham.

The Sun are now claiming Boa Morte has signed in a deal that will "cost £5m cash with West Ham’s £2m-rated wideman Matty Etherington also expected to go the other way in part exchange."

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Luis Boa Morte for West Ham

Rumours are circulating that Fulham captain Luis Boa Morte was at Upton Park this afternoon for a medical, which if passed will see him move to West Ham in a £5 million deal. Boa Morte usually plays in Matthew Etherington's position, wide on the left.

West Ham Transfer Rumours

According to the Daily Mirror West Ham are trying to buy four times relegated midfielder Nigel Quashie from West Brom.

Adelaide Now claim that Italian side Genoa and Newcastle are trying to scupper West Ham's bid for Mark Viduka but also that Boro may be keen to sell to rid themselves of his near £100,000 a week wage bill.

SWP to West Ham

The Sun today claim that West Ham have agreed a £9.8 million pound deal for Shaun Wright-Philips. However the deal seems a long way from being complete as the paper claims that the deal has not been agreed by Mourinho. Mourinho is unlikely to let the player go unless he can find a replacement winger who is not cup-tied in Europe.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Free Travel to Villa

West Ham in a welcome attempt to appease fans after Monday's thrashing are offering fans free coach travel to the Villa away game. A statement by chairman Chairman Eggert Magnusson on the West Ham official site said,

"I fully understand how disappointed and upset our supporters were by the unacceptable performance at Reading, and I can only apologise on behalf of the Club to those people who attended the match.

We are offering free coach travel to Aston Villa simply as a gesture to all supporters who spend so much time and hard-earned money travelling around the country to follow the Club.

I want all fans to know that their support is greatly appreciated, especially during the team's current situation, and it will be so important to us for the remainder of the season."

Yossi Claims He Is Staying

Yossi Benayoun has claimed in Israeli newspaper Haaretz that rumours of him leaving West Ham in January are untrue,

"There may be people who are happy that West Ham isn't doing well, and that I'm not in form, but I promise them West Ham with Yossi Benayoun will stay in the Premier League. I am happy at West Ham, and I have no intention of leaving the club."

The Billionaire Boys Club

For all those who coughed up £40-£50 to go to Reading here is a little insight into how your money is spent. This is a poor quality video from YouTube entitled 'Reo-Coker`s dance with Anton', which looks like it is from MTV's 'Cribs', a show that normally features popstars and other prima dona's.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Dicks Lashes Out at Reo-Coker

Julien Dicks on Radio Five Live launched a scathing attack on some of the current West Ham squad, particularly captain Nigel Reo-Coker and Marlon Harewood,

"I think there are certain players that really don't want to be at the club. Nigel Reo-Coker seems to have spat his dummy out. He's one person I'd get rid of and also Marlon Harewood.

Certain players think they've got a God-given right to play but they haven't. They've got to earn that right to play at West Ham. He (Curbishley) has to drop those players I've mentioned because they don't seem to care what happens to the club. At least if he brought in young kids from the reserves, they would give 110%.

With Reo-Coker, it seems clubs have come in for him and West Ham have not allowed him to leave, so he's happy just to pick up his wages."

In other news Juventus have dropped their interest in West Ham's Mascherano because of his 'complicated' contract situation. Presumably this will be bad news for Curbishley and chairman Eggert who seem determined to leave him out of the West Ham squad.

Bowyer Out for Six Weeks

Lee Bowyer dislocated his shoulder in West Ham's hammering yesterday and will spend the next three weeks in a shoulder brace. West Ham's physiotherapist Steve Allen has said that,

"We are probably looking at a spell of six weeks before he is fit to play again."

World Webcams

If, like me, you fancy a break from your bleak mid-winter blues check out one of the side projects of my other blog Virtual Tourism. The Webcam Map is a number of live streaming webcams from around the world with a handy little map that tells you which cams are currently in daylight.

At the moment I'm watching the waves lap against a sunny Bondi Beach and it sure beats the hell out of what I was watching yesterday afternoon.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Reading 6 West Ham 0

West Ham started the game with Bowyer back on the right wing, Benayoun on the left, Dailly at right back and Zamora and Harewood up front. But to be honest Curbishley would have done better to field the West Ham Ladies squad.

West Ham had the best opportunity in the first ten minutes when Bowyer had time and space and should have scored but his weak left footed shot was easily saved. However that was the highlight for West Ham as the players then decided to take a nice New Year's Day stroll around the park and watch Reading play some football.

Reading's first goal came in the 12th minute when Brynjar Gunnarsson, unmarked six yards out, headed home a Nicky Shorey free-kick. Two minutes later Steven Hunt, again unmarked, headed Reading's second goal from a Sidwell cross.

In the 20th minute Bowyer was replaced by Shaun Newton after Bowyer suffered a shoulder injury.

In the 29th minute Ferdinand decided that Reading weren't having it easy enough and headed the ball into his own net from a Nickey Shorey cross. In the 36th minute Reading got their fourth goal of the half. The ball was crossed by James Harper and Kevin Doyle slotted home from six-yards.

In the second half Gabbidon was moved to left back. Harewood was taken off and Spector was brought on but the second half was still won by Reading with two goals from Lita and Doyle.

Championship football here we come.

Player Ratings:

Green: 0
Dailly: 0
Ferdinand: 0
Gabbidon: -1
Konchesky: -1
Bowyer: 1
Reo-Coker: 0
Mullins: 0
Benayoun: 0
Harewood: -1
Zamora: -1

Reading vs West Ham

TVAnts. PPStream and SopCast streams are available for this game here.

Live radio commentary is available from Radio Five online (UK only).

Reading vs West Ham

Sam Sodje is suspended for Reading and club captain Graeme Murty faces a late injury test. West Ham have injury doubts over Gabbidon, McCartney and Zamora, but welcome back Reo-Coker and Konchesky after their suspensions.

Reading, after a superb start to the season, have not won in six games, so they are lucky to face West Ham today who of late have come up against any number of depleted off form teams and lain over and died. Additionally West Ham have failed to win away this season and have now lost seven out of their last ten league games.

Curbishley seems to have stuck to pretty much the same line-up except when changes have been forced upon him. So Reo-Coker and Konchesky should walk straight back into the team, Mascherano presumably will be off somewhere hammering out a contract with another team and Tevez will be thrown on in desperation late on when the game has already been lost.

Oh well - there goes my new year's resolution to be more optimistic.

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