Saturday, March 31, 2007

West Ham 2 Boro 0

Tevez! Tevez! Tevez! It's all Tevez.

The first half was dominated by Carlos Tevez. As early as the second minute Tevez's low cross from the right wing fell to Zamora six yards out and Zamora knocked the ball home with his left foot. In the 5th minute Tevez went on a 20 yard dribble into the penalty area, beating a couple of defenders on the way, but eventually ran into Xavier.

At the other end Boro were largely ineffective. Their first half was perhaps best summed up by a Viduka free-kick from the edge of the area, which was one of the worst free-kicks you're ever likely to see, flying high and wide.

West Ham on the other hand deserved their second goal, which came on the verge of half-time. McCartney swung in a cross from the left, the ball flew over Tevez's head but was kneed back into the six yard box by Taylor and Tevez side-footed the ball home from four yards.

In the second half neither side ever really looked threatening. The highlight of the half was another cameo by Tevez. In the 62nd minute the little Argentinian received the ball with Pogatetz all over his back. Pogatetz wrestled Tevez to the ground but Tevez managed to control the ball, get to his feet and then nutmeg Pogatetz. Pogatetz wrestled Tevez to the ground again and was booked for being made to look a mug.

West Ham on a winning run...

West Ham vs Boro

Star Sports is showing the game live so there should be a number of live streams. Check here for links.

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

Friday, March 30, 2007

West Ham to Avoid Big Point Loss

Although the disciplinary hearing into West Ham's signing of Macherano and Tevez isn't sitting until the end of April the BBC claim to know the outcome. They say that West Ham will not receive a big points deduction (3 points at the most) and will receive a six figure fine.

West Ham vs Boro

If West Ham are to have any hope of avoiding relegation they must win this match. Of West Ham's eight remaining games five are against teams in the top six in the league.

Luckily Boro are as bad as West ham on the road, with a victory at Charlton their only win away from home this season. West Ham have started to recover the goal scoring knack and Tevez in particular looks to be at the top of his game. However if West Ham are to win this game they will need to perform better in defence. West Ham have conceded 11 goals in their last six home games so it is vital that the defence has a good game.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

KUMB Eggy Interview Pt2

Kumb has now published the second part of its interview with West Ham chairman Eggert Magnusson.

In the interview Magnusson says there will be no fire-sale of players if West Ham are relegated but says there are too many players at West Ham currently so some players will be sold. One player Eggy insists won't be sold is Dean Ashton.

..... read the full interview at KUMB

QC to Hear West Ham Case

The Guardian claim that the disciplinary commission judging West Ham's supposed breaking of Premiership rules will sit before the end of April. The commision will be chaired by criminal lawyer Simon Bourne-Arton QC. He will be accompanied on the panel by a 'respected' independent football figure and a third member with regulatory experience, possibly a retired policeman.

It goes without saying that West Ham will be "vigorously" contesting the charges.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Gerrard Saves McClaren's Job

With the England fans singing for McClaren's head after just twenty minutes its hard to see how McClaren can survive as England manager. However Gerrard's second-half performance may well have temporarily saved his job.

After the game McClaren claimed qualification is still in the team's hands. If his tactical naivety wasn't bad enough we now find he can't even read a table. England need to beat Russia and Croatia both above us, and hope they lose their games in hand.

Mark Noble Interview

The West Ham official site is carrying an interview with legend in the making Mark Noble. In the interview he explains his feelings at being substituted at half time in West Ham's last game,

"Me and Nigel Reo-Coker were both playing in the centre of midfield and we're both attacking players. It didn't really work so the manager had to change it for the good of the team. I understood and obviously I was disappointed because I wanted to keep playing. But we got a win at the end of the game and that was most important.

I just want to play every game I can here and I just want to give 100%. I want to play for this club, I want to play every week and I want to be here. I think it shows on the pitch."

Mears on the Way Out

It is being reported that Derby are close to signing West Ham fullback Tyrone Mears for £1 million.

Mears, is on loan at Derby and boss Billy Davies has made moves to secure the defender on a permanent deal. Davies worked with the 24-year-old at former club Preston and Mears who has made only three starts at West Ham is believed to be keen on the move.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

KUMB Eggy Interview

KUMB have an interview with West Ham chairman Eggert Magnusson. In the interview Magnusson confirms that West Ham will be looking to find a new site in the next three or four years and therefore there are no plans to develop the existing stadium. He revealed that he envisaged the new stadium having a capacity of 60,000.

Magnusson also said that within ten years West Ham will be one of the top clubs in Europe.

Tony Carr on West Ham's Future

Tony Carr believes that the West Ham Under-18's, currently second in their league, can provide West Ham's senior team with the players of the future,

"With Mark Noble establishing himself in the team in the last couple of years and the names before him, which don't need to be repeated. We've got James Tomkins coming up on the rails and he'll be there or there abouts. We've got some very good players in our young teams so I think the state of our conveyor belt of players is quite healthy."

Ferdinand's West Ham Future

Anton Ferdinand has hinted that he will stay at West Ham even if the club are relegated. Ferdinand told the Evening Chronicle,

"Even if you get relegated it isn't the end of your international career, as David Nugent has proved with Preston this season."

All Quiet on the West Ham Front

With the international break there isn't much West Ham news around.

Anton Ferdinand thinks "we've still got a good chance of staying up" and wants to play for England. Curbishley is also feeling more confident with a win under his belt, "... the players must have some more confidence after the result and we're all looking forward to the Middlesbrough game."

Boa-Morte is just happy to be fit again.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Ashton Rumours

A 'journalist' at The People has told close friends that the paper is a soiled wank-mag written for sad old men too scared to buy real porn.

The same journalist yesterday claimed Ashton had told close friends he would leave West Ham if relegated. Coincidently, whilst we are on the subject of sad readers of wank-mags, it is now being reported that Sp#rs will bid for the striker in the summer.

Linesman Punished

Hammer of the Year candidate Jim Devine (the assistant referee who mistakenly allowed Zamora's goal) has been demoted from officiating in the Premiership for a 'while'. He is the fourth Premiership linesman to be temporarily suspended from the Premiership this year.

Sheringham Too Old

Australian side Sydney FC have dropped their interest in signing West Ham's Teddy Sheringham because they suddenly worked out how old he was. Sydney FC chief executive George Perry said,

"We were concerned about his ability to play on a regular basis in the Australian climate."

Sunday, March 25, 2007

West Ham Newspaper Rumours / Lies

The Mirror and the NoW both claim that Everton are to make West Ham an offer for club captain Nigel Reo-Coker.

The People say that Dean Ashton has told his close friends that he will leave West Ham if they are relegated. Ashton believes he needs Premiership football to get back into the England team. The paper claim it would be good business sense for West Ham to cash in on the striker (presumably they haven't heard that Eggy and his backers are cash rich).

The Star contradict The People by pointing out that Eggert Magnusson has insisted that Ashton is staying at West Ham, however there is little he can do to stop Tevez leaving. The Star also claim West Ham are tracking Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Lacklustre England

England started this game with some more strange selections from McClaren. The England manager obviously thinks his best chance of frightening the opposition now is by picking the ugliest player in the Premiership. It's hard to imagine what other reason he had for picking the inept Phil Neville.

England again put in another lifeless performance. However with twenty minutes left and with Russia winning their game, although a win looked necessary, it also looked easily possible against an unambitious Israeli side. Rooney and Johnson were largely anonymous up front so the England manager had the opportunity to make a decisive impact on the game by bringing on Defoe. McClaren rose to the challenge by bringing on a defender.

To be fair to McClaren he did bring on Defoe for nine minutes at the end of the game and was justified in this choice by Defoe having more chances in the dying minutes than Rooney and Johnson in the rest of the game.

McClaren in his post-match conference said "Poor decisions cost us the game." In his England career McClaren has finally got something right. Let's hope he makes another right call and resigns from the post. The poor man is way out of his depth.

Dailly Slams Young Hammers

Speaking ahead of today's Scotland game Christian Dailly has criticised some of the West Ham team for their lack of dedication,

"There is no doubt some boys at West Ham took their foot off the gas this season and we have ended up in trouble.

What we have at West Ham is a lot of young boys, quite inexperienced as well. It's a learning curve for them. One thing they have learned is that if you take your foot off the pedal even slightly - say at pre-season training in the summer - then you can end up in a mess."

Youths Continue their Winning Ways

Tony's Carr's West Ham Under-18 team beat Sp#rs Under 18's last night to give them their sixth win in seven matches. A penalty in the 70th minute from Lee Hales was the only goal in the match.

This win means that West Ham have closed the gap on Arsenal, at the top of the league, to just one point.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Yossi Deserves Better Than West Ham

According to Yossi Benayoun's agent, Pini Zahavi, he deserves to be playing for a bigger club than West Ham.

"He is playing with a team with all the tension and pressure, and he is not showing last season's form but nobody there (West Ham) is playing the way they were last season. I'm sure Yossi will still continue to progress, he is worthy of a bigger club."

Agents - don't you just love them.

West Ham Captain First at New Wembley

Nigel Reo-Coker is in line to make history tomorrow, as the first captain to lead out an England team at the new Wembley Stadium, when the Under-21s host Italy in a friendly ahead of the European Championship finals in the summer.

Reo-Coker said of the possibility,

"If I do get selected and handed the armband it will be an honour for me to be the first person to captain a team at the new Wembley and I will take the role as seriously as I always do."

You can view a satellite image of the new Wembley and a video of stadium here.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sheringham Fit and Able

Ashton Staying, Tevez Going

Eggert Magnusson insists that Dean Ashton will be staying at West Ham next season regardless of whether the club is relegated or not.

"Dean Ashton is here to stay as I see it. He hasn't played all season, so I have no doubts that he will be a West Ham player for years to come. He has to start playing games before he can interest other clubs, then you can start to speculate, but he has to reach the level he was at before."

However Magnusson says Argentinian forward, Tevez, who is still part-owned by Kia Joorabchian of Media Sports Investment, would be able to leave the Hammers and there is not a lot he can do about it.

"I'm sorry, but I have no control of that. It is not West Ham who owns Tevez.

I would never enter into contracts where the club does not own the player. You'll have to ask the former owners why they did.

I don't see that the Premier League has any case to deduct points from West Ham. As I see it there are no problems with registration of these two players. My lawyers tell me so and that is our thinking.

There are other problems, but at this stage I cannot speak publicly because of the inquiry. I hope now that a decision may be a matter of two weeks away."

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

West Ham Return to Winning Ways

Following on from the first team's win at the weekend the West Ham reserves last night managed their first win of the season. West Ham managed to beat Charlton Reserves 2-0 with goals from Junior Stanislas and Freddie Sears.

Ashton Out for Rest of Season

The West Ham official site today issued a statement saying that Dean Ashton won't return to first team football this season. On Monday Ashton underwent further minor surgery on his injured ankle. Following this operation it is expected to be six weeks before Dean can run again, meaning that he will not be fit for a return to competitive football this season.

However Ashton will be completely ready to resume full pre-season training with West Ham in the summer.

Premier League to Throw Book at West Ham

The Guardian today claims that the Premier League is preparing to throw the book at West Ham over the alleged irregularities in the contracts of Mascherano and Tevez. The Guardian is largely supportive of West Ham in its defence against the charges, pointing out that the contracts were materially little different from loan deals between clubs.

It points out that Liverpool chief executive, Rick Parry was happy to take Mascherano on the same conditions that applied to West Ham. Parry also clearly thought that the player's ownership by a third party clearly did not break rule U18 (having a contract that could "materially influence the policies or the performances of its teams").

However The Guardian claims that Liverpool were open in showing the contractual documents to the League whereas as West Ham did not do so until January. This is what seems to be what has annoyed the League and the paper claim that a fine and points deduction seems to be the likely outcome.

Sheringham's Life Time Achievement Award

Teddy Sheringham received an HMV Lifetime Achievement Award tonight. Speaking at the presentation event at the Hilton Hotel Sheringham revealed his disappointment at being continually left out of Curbishley's teams,

"It is not a blast at the manager as such but I want to play football. But I understand the manager's situation. I have had a couple of chats with him. He's trying every option, which, at this moment, does not include me.

I am disappointed but everyone is disappointed with the situation we are in."

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

West Ham Players' Lack of Effort

Danny Gabbidon, returning to West Ham after being declared unfit to play for Wales, has claimed that the players' lack of effort has contributed to West Ham's poor season. Gabbidon ends by hinting that he may be amongst the players looking to jump ship if West Ham end up being relegated,

“We have all got to look at ourselves and say ‘have we performed like last season?’ And the answer is no. Maybe there was complacency, maybe believing in the hype. We had such a great season last term and then when you come back after the summer you expect everything to be the same.

Maybe our achievements were too high, we thought we could do it again. We should have been looking at making sure we survived rather than thinking we could win all the time. Because we did so well we over-achieved and expectation was so high. Even as players we probably thought we were a bit better than we were.”

The thought of the Championship is not a good one. In the top flight you play against great teams and players every week and that is where you want to stay to play your football.

I’m at the stage of my career when I want to keep progressing. I’m 27, I’m not at an age where I want to drop down a level. I want to be in the Premiership, that’s where the best players are. And being in the top division will help me at international level. Anyone in the team would say we want to stay in the Premiership after what we achieved last season, but there still time to get ourselves out of it.

If not, the players I’m sure will be assessing the situation.”

Warnock in West Ham Claim

Neil Warnock in his rant against Middlesbrough fielding a weakened team against Man City also claims that they may do the same against West Ham. Boro left out Woodgate, Arca and Viduka against City and Warnock says,

"They play West Ham on Saturday, that's another pal of his (Hammers boss Alan Curbishley) so they'll probably not bother there."

Unfortunately Boro's loss to Man Utd in the FA cup last night means they no longer need to rest players against West Ham. Warnock has also obviously forgotten his own comment on the 28th December,

"I don't really want to change too much, but squad rotation may come into it. I will have to be careful who I select against Arsenal and may even play a second XI."

West Ham Youth Win

West Ham U-18's 3-0 win over Bristol City at the weekend moves them to within seven points of Arsenal Yth at the top of the Under 18's League. West Ham Yth are securely in second place in the league with a four point lead over third placed Chelsea Yth.

Although the immediate future may not look bright for the first team its nice to know that West Ham Academy director Tony Carr is still developing the Hammers of the future.

Just Like My Dreams

Just My Like My Dreams is another new West Ham blog. Yesterday it published an interesting article about West Ham legend in the making Carlos Tevez.

Just Like My Dreams...: The Boy From Fuerte Apache

Monday, March 19, 2007

Tevez Post Match Interview

Tevez being awarded man of match and impressing with his command of English (apologies for the poor quality of the video but it is worth watching just to hear Tevez speak at such length).

Carlos Tevez Interview

Add to My Profile | More Videos

West Ham Cup Final Appearance

Not much news around today but I did find this video of last year's cup final.

Requires Windows Media Player. Right Click on player and choose zoom for full screen.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

NoW Stirs Up Mascherano Deal

The News of the World claims to have documents detailing a £339,000 payment in relation to the Mascherano deal, which was not disclosed, as required, to the FA. However West Ham have responded to the allegation by saying,

"All documents relating to the Mascherano and Tevez transfers have now been submitted to the Premier League to assist with their ongoing inquiry. That includes the so-called third party agreements and all payments relating to them, which were passed on by the club's new owners in January."

West Ham in the Papers

The News of the World claim that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is West Ham's top target for the summer whether they are relegated or not. The News of the World also claim the barcodes will be in for Ferdinand and West Ham will be happy to see the back of a disruptive player.

The Star say that Tyrone Mears believes his West Ham days are over and hopes to land a permanent deal at Derby. The People claim that QPR winger Lee Cook is a target for West Ham and that Teddy Sheringham turned down the opportunity to join Millwall.

West Ham Goals

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Curbishley on West Ham Win

Blackburn 1 West Ham 2

The footballing Gods smiled down on West Ham today as they earned their first away win of the season.

Blackburn had the better of the first half without creating too many goal scoring opportunities. Pedersen should have scored for Rovers in the 39th minute when he was put clean through but his 12 yard chip over an out rushing Green just missed right of the post.

West Ham's best opportunities involved Tevez. As early as the first minute the Argentinian created space for himself and shot from the edge of the penalty area, but in the end it was an easy save for Friedel. In the 26th minute Tevez chased a long ball forward and managed to pull the ball back for Harewood whose 10 yard shot flew well wide of the left hand post.

At half time Mullins was brought on for Noble but the half started badly for West Ham as within two minutes Rovers opened the scoring. Samba headed home a corner from one yard rising to meet the ball practically unopposed.

West Ham however responded brilliantly to this poor start and began to dominate the half. Their persistence paid off in the 69th minute when Reo-Coker played an excellent ball to Tevez in the penalty area. Tevez was brought down and the linesman awarded a penalty. Tevez fired the penalty into the bottom right of the goal with Friedel diving the wrong way.

In the 74nd minute, after a period of sustained pressure on the Rovers' goal, Mullins fired in a right wing cross and Collins' header from six yards was tipped over the bar by Friedel. From the corner a Bowyer flick was hacked off the line but the ball flew straight to Zamora, who from five yards smashed the ball at the goal. The ball was blocked on the line by Tevez, however a West Ham friendly linesman wrongly decided the ball had crossed the line to make it 2-1 to West Ham.

West Ham then hung on gamely to earn what in the end was a deserved win.

Blackburn vs West Ham

Today's game is available on Sky pay-per-view.

Radio commentary of the game is on BBC London DAB Digital Radio & 765 Medium Wave.

A number of live streams of the game are available here.

Anton Stopped By Cops at Gunpoint

The Sun in a bizarre story claim that West Ham's Anton Ferdinand was stopped by police wielding guns and forced to kneel on the ground with his hands in the air. Apparently the car he was driving had been borrowed from Carlton Cole and was a lease car that had previously been linked to a firearms crime.

Anton is reported to have repeatedly asked, "Don’t you know who I am?". The cops obviously didn't until Nigel Reo-Coker who had been following Ferdinand turned up and verified his identity.

Blackburn vs West Ham

This is a tough game for West Ham against a Blackburn side who have won nearly as many games in a row as West Ham have lost. In fact since Lucas Neil left Blackburn they have improved greatly in defence and have gone on a winning run that West Ham are praying they can emulate. West Ham however have failed to beat Blackburn away in the Premiership in twelve years.

For West Ham Nigel Reo-Coker returns from suspension giving Curbishley options in midfield. Aside from the win against Man Utd the two games that Mark Noble has played this season have also been West Ham's best performances under Curbishley. It seems unlikely that the team captain will be left out but just maybe Noble will get the nod ahead of Quashie.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Tevez on West Ham

Today's Mail carries an interesting interview with Carlos Tevez in which he discusses life at West Ham,

"This is a beautiful league. Sure, it was difficult when I first came, but I am very happy to be here, in England.

It’s true, I struggled at first. You must be in supreme physical condition. If your body isn’t right, you cannot play in the Premier League. I could not find my rhythm, playing right midfield, left midfield. I was told to mark opponents! This is not my game. I am a striker, a goalscorer. That is my art.

I can see the league table, I can see we are in trouble, but I will not accept relegation. In the last twenty days, my condition is great. I want to score the goals to keep West Ham in the Premier League. I will do all that I can. It will be hard, but I need to repay the supporters for their love.

I cannot allow the thought to enter my head. What I want is that we can pull together and save the season. So I can’t answer your questions about playing in the Second Division (Championship).

I have no regrets. This has not been a bad transfer for me. I came here, to a progressive club, to join forces with the young, home players. I thought we could go to the next level. But we have not. Yes, I was frustrated when I wasn’t being selected, when I was being asked to play in different positions.

Alan Curbishley, the coach, has spoken often with me. He is very good. It has been difficult for him, with all the injuries, but I have a respect for him, because he has given me confidence. Pardew was here before me and he too helped me, he tried to get me to adapt, he wasn’t bad to me.

My team-mates have been supportive, they are with me. We are not a dressing room at war, we are a group of players who haven’t had very much luck. I haven’t seen anything bad inside the club, but we have not functioned well.

I am very grateful to the fans. This is another experience for me and one that I will learn from. I have not been used to such adversity.

I say here to you that I want to repay the fans. I will do whatever I can to keep the club in the Premier League. For them, for the people. When I scored against Tottenham, I went to the people and celebrated with them. They have supported me, the goal was for them, the emotion was for them.

But I have also been used to playing for clubs where the supporters come from the ground, like me (local support). This is why I like to be at West Ham. I understand the needs and demands of the people and they understand me. I hope I can give them special moments.

I can say this. If I can play at West Ham in such a difficult position, then it’s easier to play for a bigger club, with players such as Rooney, Ronaldo or Drogba. I would be capable of playing at any English team, because the English game is no longer a problem for me."

Let's hope we see a few more goals before he departs in the summer.

Anton Ferdinand Fined

West ham have fined Anton Ferdinand £45,000 for his Granny-Gate jaunt. Alan Curbishley on,levelling the fine said,

"It’s been sorted out. I don’t have any problem about it at all, but he has apologised to the players. I was disappointed it happened, particularly before such a big game. But we move on.

He understands he let everybody down, he has been disciplined and has accepted that."

West Ham Respond to Charges

West Ham have met the Premier League's deadline of two weeks to respond to fielding ineligible players with a dossier that the club says forms a 'robust defence'. Club officials and lawyers have spent the full 14 days permitted to compile their detailed response and West Ham believe that they will escape the charges unpunished.

However having charged West Ham the Premiership obviously feel the club broke League rules so it is unlikely West Ham will escape scot-free.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ashton Update

Alan Curbishley's squad update on the official site confirms that James Collins is back in contention for West Ham's game against Blackburn and that Upson is definitely out.

He also revealed that Dean Ashton is to be examined this week and there are hopes that he will be able to return soon,

"He's had a couple of knock-backs but this week he's going to see another couple of specialists who will review his situation and I'm confident that by the time he's had that done he won't be too far away. I think that it's just another little hurdle he'll have to get over. He's in training every day and he's doing everything he can."

Reo-Coker's Wembley Honour

West Ham captain Nigel Reo-Coker is set to be the first player to lead out a team at the new Wembley. Reo-Coker is expected to captain England Under-21 against Italy next week in an international friendly.

Anton Gallery

The results of The Guardian Anton Ferdinand photo competition. Visit The Guardian site to view the results in full size.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

City Drawn Into Relegation Battle

Man City's home loss against Chelski sees them get further drawn into the battle to avoid relegation. Stuart Pearce's troubles give a little hope to West Ham but City remain ten points ahead of West Ham and have a game in hand. With only nine games of the season left West Ham's chances of survival remain slim.

Lazaradis Tests Positive for A Banned Substance

Ex-West Ham player Stan Lazaridis has tested positive for finasteride, a substance that can be used for a masking agent for other performance enhancing drugs. Lazaradis and his Australian club however claim that Lazaridis was given permission by the Australian Sports Drug Medical Advisory Committee to use the treatment containing the banned substance because of a medical condition. The medical condition in question is believed to be hair loss.

Use of finasteride normally carries a maximum two-year ban.

Blatent Self Promotion

As mentioned yesterday, I have created a Cricket World Cup site where I hope to feature highlights of each of the games as they are played. I have just added highlights of yesterday's West Indies vs Pakistan game.

To be honest the videos are the usual YouTube fare (Sky, who usually allow sharing of their videos, seem to have disabled this feature for the world cup, but I am working on hacking this).

However it is worth visiting just to check out Shaggy's Official World Cup song alone (OK it isn't that hot but it is better than the usual tame football world cup songs).

Reserves Don't Lose, Neill Ponders Blackburn

West Ham reserves managed a 0-0 draw against Chelski. James Collins got a run out but was substituted in the second half.

Lucas Neill on the West Ham official site reveals his thoughts about returning to Blackburn two months after leaving them for West Ham. Alongside the usual 'it will be strange' and 'the fans were great' comments, Neill, one of (maybe the only) Curbishley good January signings, also suggests West ham can advance from the Sp#rs game,

"We can take a lot of heart out of that game, even though we didn't take any points. It was one of the better games I've been involved in emotionally and in terms of atmosphere.

You couldn't have asked anymore from anyone, apart from maybe just a tiny bit of composure at the end. If only we could have fast-forwarded the last five minutes so we could get the points we so desperately needed and I thought we deserved.

Certainly if we play the way we did and believe in ourselves the way we did then we'll be looking good for the last 9 games. But it's important that we get back up to that level."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

West Ham Trial for Hadden

West Ham have given a one week trial to Scotland U-17 international Scott Hadden. Hadden has been released by Rangers and is looking for a new club. Apparently he can play either in defence or attack.

Benayoun Pledges to Stay at West Ham

Yossi Benayoun has pledged to stay at West Ham despite interest from a number of other Premiership clubs. The Guardian quotes Yossi as saying,

"I think this is a great club with the history and the passion of the fans. It was definitely the right move for me. I live in an area where there are a lot of West Ham fans. I do get stopped quite a lot but I don't mind. The supporters are always very polite and nice to me and at the moment they are saying they believe we can survive. This season may not be going the way we would have hoped but I am still happy at West Ham and hope to have a long future here.

In January the manager brought in a lot of good signings who have a lot of quality. The luck does not seem to be on our side in terms of injuries with Matthew Upson and Lucas Neill both suffering so quickly. Hopefully players will come back, stay fit and we can start to have a more consistent team. And that will help get results."

Monday, March 12, 2007

Cricket World Cup

This one is just for cricket fans. I've created a website where I hope to add the highlights of each of the games.

The site is Cricket World Cup. At the moment, as the games have yet to start, it features little more than videos of the opening ceremonies, but I hope to add videos every day.

Gabbidon Returns to Training

The West Ham official site reports today that Danny Gabbidon is returning to full time training this week. However it looks more likely that he will see action for Wales before returning to the West Ham first team.

Gabbidon looks set to be drafted in to John Toshack's squad ahead of their game against the Republic of Ireland and San Marino next week and Gabbidon is unlikely to be match fit for West Ham's game against Blackburn.

Brown Refutes Allegations

Former West Ham chairman Terence Brown has said the offer made to him and former Hammers chief executive Peter Aldridge of £9.3million in salaries and bonuses, by Kia Joorabchian, was not a secret deal and the board as well as all the shareholders knew about it. Brown said,

"I don't think it's greed. Remember this was not a secret deal, the whole board and all the shareholders knew about it.

The offer was made to me but the board and shareholders felt it just didn't look right."

Sunday, March 11, 2007

West Ham Show Interest in Chris Blunt

Sky News are reporting that West Ham manager Alan Curbishley watched Wednesday's 1-1 draw with QPR yesterday and conclude he is interested in Wednesday striker Chris Blunt. Blunt a Northern Ireland international has netted 11 goals this season.

Invented Story of the Week

The Sunday Mirror claim that Shaun Newton and Nigel Reo-Coker had to flee the ground during West Ham's game against Sp#rs after being racially abused and physically threatened by a group of West Ham fans.

Reo-Coker's current popularity with the fans means that it is very believable that he would be abused by the home support, but it would be more likely to do with his performances this season and his claims of being too big for West Ham than to do with his race.

Meanwhile the media's open season on West Ham continued in the News of the World who claim that Brown and Aldridge tried to to swindle more than £9m out of the sale of West Ham United. The allegations seem to centre around an e-mail from Brown to Joorabchian suggesting that he increase his original offer by nearly £5m in order to grant Brown a package worth £6m over the course of three years. Aldridge it is claimed would have stood to land more than £3m in the event of a successful takeover by Joorabchian - a £1m lump sum and a £1.1m salary for two years, representing a 400% increase on his salary at the time.

West Ham Loan out Newton

As reported on Friday West Ham's Shaun Newton has signed for Leicester City on loan until the end of the season. Leicester boss Rob Kelly said of the signing,

"We are really pleased to have got him. There were a number of other Championship sides who were in the chase for Shaun, but I think he has seen that we're a club moving forward."

Saturday, March 10, 2007

West Ham Till I Die

"We are going to die. I will die, Alan Curbishley will die, Alan Pardew will die, Anton Ferdinand will die but through West Ham we get a shot at eternal life. The Claret and Blue army will march on, infantry will come and go generals will depart but the colour and the aim will remain. They are more constant than life, bigger than death. So Shankley's famous maxim ain't so glib - football is more important than life and death - it transcends both."

I've become a big fan of Russell Brand's column in The Guardian. He wrote the above piece after the Charlton game. Today's article on the Sp#rs game "Why Tony Cottee's call has left me in a dither" is also well worth a read.

Friday, March 09, 2007

West Ham Loan Newton

West Ham midfielder Shaun Newton is set to join Leicester City on loan until the end of the season. The move is dependent on Football League approval so Newton is unlikely to feature in Leicester's trip to Crystal Palace tomorrow, but the deal is expected to go through within the next 24 hours.

Lucas Neill on Life At West Ham

Thursday, March 08, 2007

West Ham United

According to a statement by Lucas Neill the West Ham dressing room is united and there are no rifts amongst the players. In a (these days surprisingly positive) interview with Sky Sports News Neill also says he wants to be at the club 'long-term'.

"The club are very professional and there is no rift in the dressing room. I came here to further my career - I’m committed to the club and until they tell me otherwise I’m happy to stay here long-term - I don’t want to be a failure, I want to be a success."

Sp#rs in for Boa Morte

A number of sources are claiming today that Sp#rs are ready to offer £2 million for West Ham's Luis Boa Morte in the summer. Although that would represent a loss of £3 million on the player it could prove tempting to West Ham as the player is on wages of more than £50,000 a week and has yet to impress in the Claret & Blue.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

West Ham History Website

A great website that looks at the early history of West Ham United FC called History of West Ham United has been set up by a history teacher.

One of West Ham's earlier grounds was at the Memorial Grounds, now a park near West Ham Station, and is quite near the proposed new stadium at the Parcel Force site on the other side of the underground line from the station.

Currently the site covers the years 1895 to 1905.

Gabbidon - "We Weren't Hungry Enough "

In an interview with the Wales Echo Danny Gabbidon suggests that the West Ham players lost their desire to win this year,

"Just maybe we, the club, all thought we had made our mark in the Premiership last season and complacency crept into the whole set-up. Maybe we started off the season not hungry enough.

But at present, the atmosphere is strange and everyone's heads are down. It's all a major contrast to last season. The whole confidence thing is missing but we need to stop looking at the ground and start looking up while there remains the slightest chance of staying up."

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

West Ham the Aftermath

West Ham Racism Row

The latest charge to hit West Ham is against the fans. The club now face a joint police and FA investigation into anti-Semitic chanting before the Sp#rs game. Some idiot actually posted footage of the chanting on YouTube as evidence for the police and the FA.

Some West Ham fans are today trying to defend the chanting, pointing out that the term 'yids' is actually used by some of Tottenham's own fans. The problem is that the chanting not only used that racist term but was more deeply offensive.

West Ham - Phoenix from the Ashes

The Telegraph carry two stories about West Ham today, one is a rehash of the problems facing the club but the other is far more optimistic about West Ham's future after our likely relegation.

The paper points out that the new owners were aware that West Ham faced relegation when they took over the club and are in for the long haul. They say that sources at West Ham say the club will save £10 million next year because of relegation clauses written into players' contracts and the club will also receive a £12 million relegation parachute payment.

The paper also reason that relegation will give West Ham the opportunity to clear out the players that are a disruptive influence at the club. The big difference though between now and our relegation four years ago is that this time the club has money to bring in decent replacements.

Another sign of the owners long-term commitment to West Ham is their intention to pursue a move away from Upton Park to a new site in the London Borough of Newham.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Tevez's Goals

The goals have been a long time coming for both West Ham and Tevez but the little man finally scores.

Sheringham to Sydney

Australian side Sydney FC have offered a deal to West Ham's ex-England striker Teddy Sheringham. He is believed to have been offered a year's contract and the option of a second year at the A-League club.

And the Good News

On a more positive note (read the two posts below). Mark Noble today showed the passion and vision in central midfield that West Ham have been missing and hopefully we can build a new team around him next season.

I wonder who out of Reo-Coker and Quashie the manager will drop for Noble in the next game (sorry I let my optimism run away with me there).

West Ham Troubles Continue

Today's Observer has a long article on the tensions that are tearing West Ham apart.

In brief they highlight the gambling problems, which has seen three players seek professional help. Not only have the players been getting off the coach to away games owing each other huge sums of money, and presumably bearing grudges, but have been involved in all night games.

There are cliques within the squad. "Nigel Reo-Coker, Bobby Zamora, Marlon Harewood and Shaun Newton all hang out together. And Reo-Coker is constantly saying he is too good for the club, that he should be at Man United or Arsenal." There is also apparently huge resentment at the wages earned by Curbishley's new signings, particularly Matthew Upson and Lucas Neil.

Curbishley is said to have 'given up' on some of his players. 'He often stays in his office with his assistants. Sometimes we see him, other times we don't,' said an insider. As for Magnusson, the players 'think he is clueless and a bit lost.'

West Ham to Discipline Ferdinand

Anton Ferdinand broke club rules by visiting America for his 22nd birthday. Apparently he flew out for a party two weeks ago, when the players had four days off but had been told not to go abroad.

West Ham manager Alan Curbishley says,

"I've spoken to him briefly and he will be disciplined. I asked him if it was true, he said it was and apologised. But that is the least of our worries at the moment."

You have to feel Ferdinand's days are numbered if Curbishly remains at West Ham. Ferdinand was at fault today for needlessly giving away a free-kick on the edge of the box from which Berbatov scored. He gave a silly penalty away a couple of games ago and is rumoured to have had an argument with the manager after the game against the Addicks.

I can't seem him being in Curbishley's good books at the moment. especially as Curbishley has been moaning he has had to impose more club fines since arriving at West Ham than during his whole time at Charlton.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

West Ham 3 Sp#rs 4

Curbishley finally decided to give Mark Noble his first Premiership start this season and the youngster took just fifteen minutes to repay the manager's faith. Kurbishley crossed the ball from the left to Tevez on the edge of the box, Tevez chested the ball down for Noble who volleyed the ball into the bottom left of the goal.

However West Ham were only on level terms at this point due to some outstanding keeping from Green. A minute before West Ham's opening goal Berbatov was twice in quick succession denied by the West Ham keeper.

In the 40th minute West Ham doubled their lead when Tevez finally opened his account at West Ham. Tevez won a free-kick on the edge of the box and chipped the ball over the wall and over a diving Robinson to score off the underside of the crossbar.

If the first half belonged to Noble and Tevez the early moments of the second half belonged to Aaron Lennon. In the 49th minute Lennon ran into the box and was taken down by Bowyer. Defoe scored from the resulting penalty. In the 62nd minute Sp#rs crossed from the right wing and the ball flew over the box to Lennon who back-flicked the ball to Tainio who scored from 8 yards.

Towards the end of the second half West Ham started to come forward a little more and in the 84th minute won a free-kick out wide on the right. Tevez crossed the ball into the box where Zamora scored with his head from 6 yards with his first touch.

However West ham were unable to hold onto the lead for long. In the 87th minute Ferdinand needlessly gave away a free-kick on the edge of the West Ham box and Berbatov scored despite Konchesky's despairing attempted headed clearance.

In the 95th minute Sp#rs broke from a West Ham corner and Defoe ran into the West Ham box and shot. Green saved the shot but in doing so palmed the ball into the path of Salteiri who slotted the ball home to win the game for Sp#rs. So for the second time this season West Ham were beaten by a goal that came a minute after the official added on time was over.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Newspaper Supports West Ham Shocker!

The Telegraph claim that if West Ham are guilty over the signing of Mascherano and/or Tevez then so are the Premier League. They claim that the Premier League obviously knew about the details of the contract between West Ham and Kia Jorbachiaan and decided to look the other way.

The paper says that "If West Ham are guilty of endangering the game's integrity, so are the Premier League and FA." The Telegraph point out that the problems over the contract between West Ham and Joorbachian were well known and a points deduction,

"would be fair only if the Premier League had done their job and warned the club not to field Tevez and Mascherano."

Tevez Plays

Alan Curbishley has confirmed that Tezez will start on Sunday despite West Ham having been charged over the signing of Tevez and Masherano.

Meanwhile Kumb are suggesting that because West Ham are likely to be relegated this season any points deduction will only apply once West Ham return to the Premier League.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Arsehole Jol

Martin Jol has today launched an astonishing attack on West Ham which seems to stem from West Ham having the temerity to beat them last season.

Before West Ham's clash earlier in the season some Sp#rs players were reported as saying that they wanted 'revenge' on West Ham for last season. At the time this seemed a little odd. OK they were beaten last year and this year they wanted to win, but talking about revenge seemed a bit like George Bush wanting to invade Iraq for pissing off his father.

Now Martin Jol has taken the issue further. He claims that because West Ham beat them last season he was pleased West Ham lost in the FA Cup final, "Gerrard scored in the dying seconds and that was good at the time because I was still disappointed."

Now with West Ham facing relegation and being charged by the Premier League we have this twat trying to put the boot in, I don't think many West Ham fans would argue that on our form this season we deserve relegation, or that there was something dodgy about the deal that brought Mascherano and Tevez to the club.

But it is difficult to see any justification for Jol's rant. West Ham beat Sp#rs. For f~@ks sake that is the whole point of the game, what else do you expect the opposition to do but win the game.

So come on Curbishley - you have found it difficult to motivate the players so far - if this doesn't do it nothing will!

West Ham Charged

The Premier League has charged West Ham with breaching the rules in the signings of Argentine duo Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano in August.

West Ham have fourteen days to respond the allegations after which the league will decide on its punishment. With West Ham's current ability to defend a points deduction seems inevitable.

The league's statement can be read on their official site.

West Ham's response to the charge has been to announce a deal with Umbro to produce the club's kits from next season.

West Ham have now officially responded to the charge by saying that "the Club will vigorously defend itself against the charge".

West Ham vs Sp#rs

With Reo-Coker still suspended we may see Lee Bowyer straight back in the side in a more familiar central midfield role. However it is hard to see Bowyer making any difference to a demoralised West Ham side.

SP#rs have won their last two games in the Premiership and seem to be rediscovering some form. However their best hopes of success this season now lay in Europe and in the FA Cup. Their two games after West Ham are away to Braga in the UEFA cup and next week away to Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. Sp#rs therefore may see this game against the team with the worst form in the Premiership as a chance to rest key players.

Other than that it seems hard to remain optimistic about West Ham's chances. It seems that half the side have already decided that they won't be at the club next season and appear beyond caring what happens to the club.

The game is being shown live on Sky Sports One, so perhaps the prospect of being embarrassed on TV will instil some pride in the players.

West Ham Face Verdict

Steven Gerrard claim West Ham were mad to let Javier Mascherano go. However we may find out today why West Ham were so quick to offload the Argentinian as The Guardian say that the Premier League will announce the verdict of their investigation into his and Tevez's signing today.

Having now seen Mascherano in training Gerrard claims he is a future world beater,

"He is class. He is one of the best young players in his position anywhere in the world, which makes what happened to him at West Ham surprising.

You can see his quality on the training pitch, and I am positive he is going to become a great addition to what we have already. I think he has got everything in his game to succeed at Liverpool.

He is quick over the ground, he plays passes with intelligence, and he gets stuck into a tackle when he needs to. I saw a fair bit of Argentina at the World Cup and he was one of the best players they had. People raved about them in the group stages and a lot of that was down to how Javier controlled games."

Thursday, March 01, 2007

West Ham's Ferdinand Gets Trial Date

Anton Ferdinand attending his plea and case management hearing at London's Snaresbrook crown court was ordered to stand trial for assault against Emile Walker.

The date for the beginning of his five-day trial is November 12th.

Anton to Leave West Ham?

According to The Sun Alan Curbishley has told Anton Ferdinand he has no future at West Ham.

The Sun claim that after the Charlton game Curbishley had a dressing room rant and told the players that several of them would be leaving the club in the summer. Anton Ferdinand then asked him to name names and Curbishley replied 'You!'.

Although The Sun is never the most reliable of sources there have been other rumours this week about a row between Curbishley and Ferdinand after Curbs locked the players in the dressing room after Saturday's game.

Ashton Not Ready to Play

Dean Ashton has attempted to explain the misunderstanding that he was fit enough to play for West Ham again,

"I had a cortisone injection to get rid of some scar tissue about five weeks ago and after that everything was feeling really good. My ankle was actually feeling the best it has felt. So I started doing fitness work again. I was feeling great. But because I came out on to the training pitches, looking really good and being really optimistic, perhaps people got the wrong end of the stick. People got caught up in how well I had done in training."

Unfortunately it appears he still come way off being ready to play,

"I'm not even thinking about match-fitness at the moment. I am just trying to build myself up slowly. It's not a case of 'There you go, it's fine. Off you go, you can play again'. It's very complicated and it takes a long time for your ankle to get used to having weight on it."

No West Ham Player of the Year

A campaign that seems to have gathered pace on various on-line West Ham forums has been picked up by today's Sun. A petition started by West Ham season ticket holder Joe Chapman calls for the club to cancel this season's Player of the Year Award. Another suggestion that has been raised on the West Ham forums is that the award should go to Dean Ashton, who of course has been unable to make an appearance for the club this season.

The Sun quotes supporter Joe Chapman as saying,

"They're disgusting and the whole idea of voting for one being the best is a joke. The message is undeniably clear — they are not fit to wear the shirt.

All season we have been treated to disgraceful display after disgraceful display from players that simply don't seem to care other than where to go as soon as they're off the pitch. We've had players mocking the fans when they score for daring to criticise sub-standard performances. We've had cliques dividing the dressing room and causing friction and we've had a total lack of effort and commitment on the pitch.

All of these things just go to show why so many feel there should be no Hammer of the Year. It should go to the fans that pay to watch them every week."

Unfortunately the paper does not have an on-line link to the petition but I'm sure it will be available to sign outside the Boleyn on match days.

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