Sunday, September 30, 2007

West Ham in the Papers

ESPN, in a woefully poor article, go for the racist approach, likening the walk to West Ham to "a stroll down Baghdad high street." West Ham fans are of course "East End thugs".

The People say Andy Johnson could be on his way to West Ham. Hw went to see David Moyes last week to seek assurances over his future and West Ham are monitoring the situation. West Ham had a bid rejected in the summer.

The Guardian felt Arsenal had an 'extra bit of class'. Curbishley was unhappy though because he felt 'We had one taken away from us and one which we should have had.'

The Mail felt Noble's tackle on Hleb was horrendous. Overall they weren't very impressed with West Ham,

"Ashton was caught offside so often that his team had little opportunity to build a platform. Add a lack of decent movement off the ball and poor passing, and it became a frustrating afternoon."

The Times have an interesting interview with Teddy Sheringham who clearly has a gripe with Curbishley,

"He enjoyed Alan Pardew’s reign at West Ham and the buzz of reaching the FA Cup final on their return to the Premiership, but then complacency set it. “We thought we were going to have exactly the same season, but there wasn’t the same commitment. There was a lot of whingeing going on about not playing in the right position and little things like that and we got ourselves into a very sticky predicament.”

He did not see eye-to-eye with Pardew’s replacement, Alan Curbishley. “I don’t know what it was,” Sheringham says. “Maybe he had preconceived ideas about me. I asked him several times, ‘Why aren’t I playing? We’re losing games. Why am I not involved?’ And his response was, ‘Well, I’m trying different things and you’ll get your chance’.

“Pardew wanted to take me to Charlton just before the [winter transfer] deadline but he [Curbishley] wouldn’t let me go. He said, ‘If you go there and score the goals that keep them up and we go down, that won’t look good on me’. I said, ‘Well, if you are worried I will score goals, why don’t you play me?’ He said, ‘I want you to stay, you’re still part of my plans’. But there’s absolutely no way I was part of his plans.”

West Ham Gave Too Much Respect

Alan Curbishley, in his post-match comments, says West Ham gave Arsenal too much respect,

"My half-time talk I told them we were giving Arsenal too much respect. We were allowing them yards on the ball to take quick free-kicks and throw ins. If you let them pass and move you’re going be chasing.

The injuries are coming back to us again. We got another couple today so we’re doubly disappointed.

It’s a tough old game. We’ve managed to get the goal and beat people on the break a number of times ourselves. We’re disappointed we didn’t get back in it especially as we know Freddie’s goal wasn’t offside. I’m not sure if it would have stayed 1-1 but at least we would have been in with a chance."

Saturday, September 29, 2007

West Ham 0 Arsenal 1

West Ham started reasonably well but Arsenal scored in the 12th minute, against the run of play, when Van Persie cut across Upson and beat him to a Hleb cross. Green got his hand to Van Persie's header but could only palm the ball into the net.

Arsenal has the better of the rest of the half with West Ham never really troubling Almunia.

For the second half Parker was replaced by Mullins. A minute into the second half Ferdinand pulled a hamstring and was replaced by Gabbidon.

West Ham finally came alive around the hour mark. In the 57th minute Ashton should have got the equaliser for West Ham when he met Lee Bowyer's cross but from 12 yards headed straight at Almunia. A minute later Ljungberg got the ball in the back of the net only for his goal to be disallowed for offside. A minute after that Senderos pushed Bowyer over in the area but no penalty was given.

With the game opening up both sides started to create more chances. In the 65th minute Ashton shot right footed from 25 yards wide and missed left by about a foot. In the end though West Ham didn't have enough creativity going forward and ended up with their second consecutive Premier League defeat.

West Ham Carling Cup Draw

West Ham have been drawn away to Coventry City in the Carling Cup. The game will be played the week commencing Monday 29 October.

West Ham vs Arsenal Live Streaming

Live streaming is available for today's West Ham game on all the major formats.

Click here for links

Radio commentary of the game is available on BBC London 94.9FM.

Radio Five, at the time of writing, hasn't chosen a game yet. You would think a London derby would have a good chance of being chosen as the main game. So they will probably go with Chelsea vs Fulham.

I understand the BBC have been in a quandary this week. Match of the Day normally gives the West Ham game a four second slot after the end credits and Arsenal are normally given a 50 minute slot at the top of the programme. The BBC have solved the problem by deciding to show the West Ham vs Arsenal game as one of their main games but the West Ham players will be pixellated out via CGI.

West Ham's Ashton Wanted by Wenger

Picture of Dean Ashton
Arsene Wenger admitted to Sky Sports that he tried to buy West Ham's Dean Ashton from Crewe and adds his voice to those saying he should play for England,

"When he was at Crewe, they played against us in the FA Youth Cup and he was outstanding. I tried to get him here, but they had an agreement with Liverpool.

Ashton is an intelligent player and uses his body well and is good in the air. In my opinion, yes [he can play for England]."

Friday, September 28, 2007

West Ham Target's Seal Dribble

Brazilian West Ham target Kerlon is well known for his 'seal dribble', where he runs whilst heading the ball. If he does move to West Ham and tries this in the Premiership he is liable to receive the same treatment as he gets here;

West Ham Injury Update

In an interview with Alan Curbishley about tomorrow's game West Ham's manager gave an update on the current status of the players who have been injured.

"Freddie is fit, Scott Parker too and Craig Bellamy is back in full training so I've got a bit of thinking to do.

Apart from that, Bobby Zamora is out as he has just had a knee injury and we are still without Julien Faubert and Kieron Dyer, who are long terms injuries. Calum Davenport is recovering from his calf injury and Nigel Quashie has been out since the Spurs game with a injured foot but both are back in training."

Ashton England's Saviour, No he Isn't.

The Mirror says that Sir Trevor Brooking believes West Ham striker Dean Ashton is the answer to England's problems up front ahead of their Euro 2008 qualifiers.

The Daily Star disagrees and says Brooking has warned England not to expect Ashton to be their Euro 2008 saviour.

Of course you could make up your own mind. Here are Brooking's comments on Ashton,

"He's only got back in the side in the last three games. He's been out for over year, which is a long time.

We all know he has ability, he's just got to work on that match fitness, do it consistently and get that sharpness back, along with his spring and confidence. After a long time out it will take a bit of time."

West Ham vs Arsenal

West Ham have a home banker on Saturday in a game that could decide the title race.

OK, I may be overstating the case a little but Arsenal have beaten West Ham only once in the last six Premier League games, West Ham did the double over Arsenal last year and West Ham would move within three points of the league leaders if they win this game. Arsenal however are unbeaten in 17 games since West Ham beat them on the 7th April.

With three goals in three games Ashton is on fire and if Bellamy plays we will look very strong up front. Midfield is a little more worrying. A not yet match fit Parker coming up against Fabregas gives some cause for concern. Alan Curbishley has publicly stated his concern about West Ham's defence and they will have to be at the top of their game against Adebayor who has five goals in five league appearances.

It's going to be a tough ask for West Ham and personally I would be happy with a point.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Zamora Undergoes Operation

Half way through Alan Curbishley's match report on the official site the West Ham manager revealed that Bobby Zamora has undergone an operation, the good news is it sounds like Bellamy is back for the weekend,

"Bobby Zamora has had an operation to wash out his knee and it'll take about three or four weeks until he's ready. Henri Camara was cup-tied and I just couldn't risk Craig Bellamy ahead of the Arsenal game even though he was itching to play."

West Ham Under Attack Again

Birmingham City co-owner David Sullivan has launched a scathing attack on West Ham's board in today's Guardian. Sullivan owns a small percentage of West Ham, so he may have some inside knowledge of the club's financial dealings, which he claims are out of control,

"I could see a scenario where the Icelanders, in two years' time or 18 months, making no money out of West Ham having cocked it up, they might want to walk away.

They might want to say to me, 'Come and buy half the club and make it work for us,' because they have done some appalling things at West Ham. The wages they are paying both to staff and players - I cannot see how the business model works. And they have done it as an investment, no other reason."

Or, Sullivan, who is desperate to find another club as he eases himself out of Birmingham, might just be living in cloud cuckoo land. After all I can see a scenario where the Icelanders come to me and ask me to brush off my boots because the club is in desperate need of a new forty something striker to replace Teddy Sheringham.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

West Ham 1 Plymouth 0

Dean Ashton enhanced his reputation again by scoring West Ham's stoppage time winner. His volley from right of the goal into the bottom left of the net saved West Ham's blushes and the prospect of extra time.

Plymouth did not look out of place at Upton Park and created nearly as many chances on goal as West Ham.

Unfortunately just as Ashton's star continues to rise Carlton Cole's role as anti-hero with some of the fans seems to also grow with every game.

Ashton's Goal Against the Toon

West Ham's goal ... and a couple of lucky ricochets off the fat blob in the box.

Zamora Injury Update

Alan Curbishley has been speaking about his concern over Zamora's knee injury,

"Since the Bristol Rovers game Bobby's knee keeps swelling up. It's not the same problem he was struggling with last season but we have tried one or two things and it hasn't quite happened so we will have to re-assess that now.

"He has been out for three weeks and he is still not training. If Craig doesn't make it we have only two recognised senior strikers. We could bring in youngsters if we wanted but I can also play Freddie Ljungberg or Luis Boa Morte up there. We can cope."

West Ham vs Plymouth Argyle

After Kieron Dyer's horrendous injury in the last round of this competition Alan Curbishley could be forgiven for resting key players, especially with a hard Premier League game against Arsenal at the weekend. However Curbishley has reiterated his desire to win this competition this week so West Ham look likely to field a strong squad.

Nolberto Solano and Henri Camara are cup-tied so won't feature in the game and Zamora is ruled out with his knee injury. Bellamy probably won't be risked.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Parker to Make Debut

Scott Parker looks set to make his full debut for West Ham tomorrow night in the Carling Cup. Alan Curbishley claims West Ham are treating the competition seriously and will be fielding a strong side,

"Scott Parker will be in the team against Plymouth, but there won't be too many changes to the side. Scott's back in the team but we're still sweating on the fitness of Craig Bellamy, we're not sure whether to risk him or save him for the clash with Arsenal on Saturday."

West Ham - Newspaper Round-Up

The Daily Mirror interview Kieron Dyer, who is expected to be out injured for six months. Dyer thanked West Ham fans for the support he has received and insisted he expects to be back playing for West Ham and England,

"They don't give exact time scales with this type of injury because some people heal a lot quicker than others. The doctors were delighted with the way my surgery went.

Djibril (Cisse) had precisely the same injury as me. He has obviously come back and made a full recovery. I plan to do exactly the same and be back playing for West Ham and England."

The Daily Telegraph quotes Dean Ashton's desire to break back into the England squad,

"Above all, I want my team to do well and I'd like to think that my progression will help us climb the table.

I just have to play well for West Ham and it's down to Steve McClaren who he picks and I would be delighted if I was one of the players chosen for next month's Euro 2008 qualifiers. I wouldn't be playing if I wasn't ready for an England call-up. I have been ready for a long time."

The Daily Mail link West Ham with a supposedly unhappy Andy Johnson. Johnson is reportedly homesick for London and would welcome a move back to the capital.

West Ham's New Stadium Edges Closer

According to Sky the London Development Agency have granted West Ham exclusive negotiating rights on the ex-Parcel Force land near West Ham station. Sky says "Negotiations are moving towards agreement on securing the land and the club are optimistic of playing in the stadium by 2011."

Monday, September 24, 2007

We Were the Better Side

Alan Curbishley believes West Ham were the better side yesterday and were only let down by our defending.

"We're obviously disappointed because we thought that we could have got something and should have got something from the game. To be honest, I felt that the scoreline was a bit harsh on us in terms of the overall match but our defending obviously cost us dearly.

Once Dean Ashton equalised, I thought we were the better side but three or four minutes before half-time - just when we were looking to get back into the dressing room to sort one or two other things out - we gave away a poor second goal.

We've been beaten 3-1 yet I can't remember Robert Green having to make a decent save for us.

Deano still needs more football but when you compare his performances against Newcastle and Middlesbrough to his first start of the season at Reading three weeks ago, then you can see the difference in his fitness levels."

Parker and Camara for Plymouth

What happened to Parker yesterday? He player 90 minutes for the reserves midweek but didn't make the bench against the Toon. Hopefully he hasn't had an injury setback and will feature in the Carling Cup.

I also think Camara should get a start up front. I thought Cole did well to set up Ashton's goal yesterday and West Ham fans have to remember he is our fourth choice striker and not bloody Carlos Tevez. However it can't help to see what Camara is made of.

The Carling Cup game also gives Curbishley the opportunity to give Ljungberg some match practice. It is a hard call at the moment to say whether he should replace Etherington or Bowyer as they are both playing well. If Parker isn't fit Curbishley might be tempted to do what he did yesterday in the second half when he replaced Mullins with Bowyer in the middle.

It would also be nice to hear something official on the fitness of Bellamy and Zamora.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Up the Irons

Because the Premier League have become so quick in forcing video sites to take down goals we are forced to show you old highlights.

Newcastle 3 West Ham 1

We looked good in the first half and Ashton took his goal well. I felt Lucas Neill was at fault for the two goals, losing possession for the first and way out of position for the second.

I'm not sure what happened in the second half. We seemed to rely too much on the long ball when we had mixed it up well in the first, with a mixture of long balls and pace down the wings.

If we defend like this against Arsenal we will get mullered.

West Ham's Steady Season

Alan Curbishley has reiterated his desire for a steady season. With West Ham's excellent start to the season the West Ham manager seems determined that the fans' expectations don't become unrealistic.

"We need a steady, consolidating season. That might not sound like the sexiest thing, especially with the expectations in football now, but that's what we need.

When I arrived I said my first aim was to keep us up and the second to build something in the long term. That's where I'm at."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Newcastle vs West Ham Live

The game is being shown live on Sky 1. This means there are a number of live streams of the game. Links to streams are available here.

Radio Five has online radio commentary of the game here (UK only).

Ashton's Suit a Year Late

Dean Ashton has revealed that the England suit that he received last week was the suit he should have received last year. The Daily Mirror ran a story saying that the suit suggested Ashton would replace the injured Heskey in the England squad.

"That suit was from when I was in the squad before I got injured. They happened to put my measurements down to get my suit done before the ankle break, and it has taken a year to get to me!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Magnusson Taking Time to Breath

Eggert Magnusson has revealed that West Ham's boardroom changes this week were only to allow him time to concentrate on important projects and to give him a break after the hectic pace of last season.

"There is no drama in this. We are strengthening the foundation of the club. I just needed time to breath. A lot has been going on and taking up my time but now I can focus on taking West Ham into the future.

I never intended to run the club this way, being a managing director and chairman. But things turned out that way when I took over from Terry Brown, as I had to respond to a surprising situation when Paul Aldridge left. He had been managing director for 10 years."

Dailly Loaned to Saints

West Ham's Christian Dailly has joined Southampton for a one month loan. Dailly is already included for the Saint's squad to face Barnsley tomorrow.

Craig Bellamy Injury Update

Alan Curbishley on the West Ham official site has given an update on Craig Bellamy's injury,

"The problem, as we understand it, is that he has been wearing orthotics in his boot to correct discomfort he's felt in certain areas. It has cleared up the problem he had, but created another.

We thought it might be a hernia but it's just that the mouldings have put more pressure on certain parts of his body that before. It's just something we'll have to work through."

Curbs also confirmed that Anton Ferdinand and Danny Gabbidon are back in training and in contention after their respective injuries.

Newcastle vs West Ham

If Craig Bellamy, Scott Parker, Nobby Solano and Lee Bowyer turn out on Sunday Newcastle fans could be forgiven for feeling a little confused as to which side they are supporting. Add the injured Dyer to the list and West Ham have half a team of ex-Toon players.

Perhaps this experience will help West Ham feel at home at St James' Park and aid us in achieving our first Premiership win over the Magpies in eight games. One of the most important factors in determining the win will be the fitness of two injured strikers. Newcastle have been making positive noises all week about Michael Owen's prospects of playing whilst the rumours about Bellamy have not been so promising. Zamora and Viduka both also face late fitness tests for the game.

West Ham have won their three away games this season (two in the league) whilst Newcastle are unbeaten at home in the league. I think most West Ham fans would be happy if we remain unbeaten away after this weekend.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Upcoming Fixtures

I've added West Ham's Upcoming Fixtures to the bar on the right. It has been created with the Google Calendar Data API which was released today which means the fixtures should update automatically. So far it actually seems to work.

Ashton For England

This story from The Daily Mirror is a couple of days old now but I missed it at the time and there is little in the papers beside Mourinho this morning. Anyway The Mirror claim Ashton has been sent a suit by the FA. This they believe is a sure sign that Ashton is being lined up to replace the injured Emile Heskey.

More like a Mirror hack was scrambling around for a story towards deadline time and let his imagination run riot.

Mourinho Quits

Non-West Ham I know, but Jose Mourinho has become the first manager to part company with his club in the Premier League this season leaving Chelsea last night. It is widely being reported that he quit the job but the Chelsea website says he left by mutual consent so he may well have been sacked.

Avram Grant, recruited in the summer as director of football at Chelsea, is expected to take charge of the side for Sunday's Premier League clash with Manchester United. There are strong rumours saying that he will be named as the permanent new manager of Chelsea this afternoon with Steve Clark named as his assistant.

Already there are rumours linking him with the manager's job at Sp@~rs. However these rumours are just leading from the continuing speculation over Jol's position and Mourinho is likely to be sought by some of the major European clubs.

West Ham Against the Toon

All talk seems to have turned to West Ham's game on Sunday. Fat Sam is insisting that Michael Owen will be fit. The rest of the media seem to be staking a claim for Camara in the starting eleven for West Ham after his two goals for the reserves Tuesday.

There seem to be worries that Bellamy will not be fit for the game but Zamora is rumoured to be fit again. Toon defender David Rozehnal has also declared himself fit.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

West Ham Backing Arsenal Takeover

The Daily Mail say that Bobby Zamora has recovered from his injury and will be fit to play on Sunday.

The Daily Mirror say that West Ham will buy Barnes from Derby for £5 million and then loan him back to the club for the rest of the season.

According to The Guardian West Ham could be financing the takeover of Arsenal. Alisher Usmanov's decision to increase his stake in Arsenal to 21% is being backed by the billionaire Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, the West Ham owner whose bank Landsbanki acted as broker for Usmanov's investment vehicle, Red & White Holdings.

It is believed that Gudmundsson wants to turn The Emeirates into a car park and introduce a park and ride scheme for West Ham fans travelling from the north.

Repka Being Repka

Just in case you haven't seen Repka's latest bit of fun yet.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

West Ham Reserves Win

West Ham's new striker Henri Camara got two goals as West Ham Reserves beat Portsmouth 2-1. Scott Parker also got a full 90 minutes work out.

West Ham's New Management Team

The Daily Mail have revealed a little more of the new management team being put in place at West Ham. Club owner Gudmundsson will remain chairman of the board of West Ham United Holding, with his close aide Thor Kristjansson as both vice-chairman of the holding company and executive vice-chairman of the club.

Scott Duxbury remains chief executive and an expanded executive team will be announced in the near future.

The Mail claim that Mike Lee, the former communications chief of the Premier League, UEFA and the London 2012 Olympic bid, may be in line for a director's role after advising Magnusson on PR strategy over the last year.

Eggy Stands Down As Executive Chairman

Today West Ham made an official statement saying that Eggert Magnusson has stood down as Executive Chairman. Eggert Magnusson will remain chairman of the club but in a non-executive capacity. Magnusson today said,

"I have enjoyed my time as Executive Chairman but feel the moment is right to stand back a little as we move into a new and exciting period."

The official statement talks about strengthening the management team to support the West Ham's owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson. This seems to be a bloodless revolution, which keeps Eggert Magnusson in place as the public face of the club whilst strengthening Gudmundsson's direct control of the club.

Bellamy Doubtful for Saturday

The Daily Mail, in an article with no quotes from the club or player, claim that Craig Bellamy is doubtful for Sunday's trip to Newcastle. Meanwhile Newcastle are making positive noises about Michael Owen playing in the game after he was forced off against Derby yesterday.

McCartney Fined

West Ham defender George McCartney has been fined for his part in a fight with Northern Ireland team-mate Keith Gillespie.

The IFA issued this statement,

"Issues surrounding the incidents which occurred involving certain players within the Northern Ireland squad during the trip to Iceland have now been addressed and resolved.

"The IFA wishes to apologise to any members of the public who were affected in any way by the behaviour of these players."

Parker to Start for Reserves

The reserves are in action at The Boleyn tonight against Portsmouth Reserves. Scott Parker is due to start. Kick off is at 7pm and I think only the Dr Martens Lower Stand is open.

Monday, September 17, 2007

England Through to Quarter Final

Congratulations to the Women's England team who beat Argentina 6-1 this afternoon to win a place in the quarter-final of the World Cup.

The quarter-final is being shown live on the BBC on Saturday at 1pm.

West Ham in the Papers

The Daily Mirror says Craig Bellamy is "facing a lengthy lay-off." They also claim Scott Parker has "suffered a setback in his recovery from a knee injury." However the claims come in an article entitled "We're Jinxed" so I think there is an element of stretching the truth to fit the story.

The Daily Mail
say Dean Ashton could profit from Emile Heskey's injury, "If Steve McClaren wants to persist with the big man-little man approach in attack he could do worse than casting an eye over the resurgent Ashton."

The Independent were also impressed with Ashton, "there is no doubting Ashton's importance to the team and his popularity among supporters, who greeted his goal – a mere tap-in – that crowned Saturday's victory over Middlesbrough almost as enthusiastically as they had his previous strike, in the 2006 FA Cup final defeat by Liverpool."

The Daily Telegraph report that Curbishley wants a "nice, solid" season and that Dean Ashton had attained near mythical status at West Ham during his injury.

The Guardian
were impressed by Cole's second half performance especially as "for the fickle fan Cole is a natural fall guy."

I Expect to Score in Every Game

Dean Ashton, pleased to have opened his account this season, still thinks there is room for improvement.

“When I scored, I felt a bit of everything. It had been a long time since I scored a Premiership goal so this was special for me. Even though it was only from a few yards it meant a lot.

I could set myself targets for the season but I expect to score in every game. That is the aim. If I don’t score, I am always disappointed. There are still improvements I can make. I feel fit, while you have to play games to get sharpness.

It’s always nice to get the first goal and an important win which puts us right up there. The international break was a good thing as it meant I could get a few reserve games under my belt. It made the difference as I felt a lot better in the game."

A Trick Question

Which goalkeeper this weekend made no saves in a full ninety minutes, faced only two shots on target yet still managed to concede three goals?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

West Ham vs Middlesbrough Goals

I can't find a link to the Bowyer goal but here are the other two:

Own Goal

Dean Ashton

Barnes on the Way in January

The People claim West Ham and Derby agreed a £7.5 fee for Giles Barnes. West Ham had agreed to pay £5.5 million for Barnes on the eve of the transfer deadline with a further £2 million depending on appearances. However the move was shelved at the last minute because of doubts over Barnes' short term fitness.

West Ham now expect to buy Barnes in January.

Everbody Loves West Ham

For a change the media loves us:

"An effervescent West Ham, helmed in midfield by the admirable Mark Noble and led from the front by the rejuvenated Dean Ashton, ... crushed Middlesbrough."

"The main plus points for West Ham were strong performances from Carlton Cole - filling in admirably for the in-form Craig Bellamy after the Welshman went off with a groin injury in the 25th minute - and a hungry-looking Dean Ashton who scored the third goal, his first since the 2006 FA Cup final." - The Daily Telegraph

"The much needed goal came within a minute of Curbishley's team-talk. A clever flick from substitute Carlton Cole allowed Lee Bowyer to sneak in and prod the ball past Mark Schwarzer. Suddenly West Ham were buoyant, and minutes later they were dancing on air when Cole was once again the provider chipping another clever ball into the box that Luke Young diverted past his own goalkeeper." - The Observer

"An effervescent West Ham, helmed in midfield by the admirable Mark Noble and led from the front by the rejuvenated Dean Ashton, ... crushed Middlesbrough."

The Sun - no review but good photos

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ashton Off The Mark

A 3-0 scoreline was probably a bit flattering today with the defence looking distinctly dodgy at times. After the game Curbishley said the defence looked a bit 'leggy' because three of the back four had played international games midweek.

Bellamy was another player who seems to have suffered from his international commitments. Curbishley's explanation of Bellamy's injury was a little incoherent but it doesn't sound too worrying,

"Bellamy? He’s been complaining about his groin and he needed a fitness test before Reading. We all knew what he did midweek and he just felt he couldn’t run. Shattered. We’ll have to assess that tomorrow. We’ll just have to get on with it.

But that is enough with the negatives because everything else is rosy. Ashton is off the mark, Bowyer got his second, Etherington is still looking good, Cole set up two goals and West Ham are fifth in the league with a game in hand over the two teams immediately above.

p.s. £16 million for Darren Bent - Sp@~rs you were robbed.

West Ham v Middlesbrough Streams

Live streaming of the West Ham vs Middlesbrough game is available for all the major streaming software. Links to the streams can be found here.

Radio commentary of the game is available on BBC London digital radio and Sky channel 0152.

West Ham Responsible for Formula 1 Spying

Today The Daily Mail try to make a very tenuous link between West Ham and the current spying case in Formula One (whilst also connecting us to the McCann family, who have apparently approached West Ham's former PR adviser Phil Hall).

Whilst in no way suggesting that West Ham were directly involved in spying on Ferrari the story is symptomatic of the papers hate campaign against West Ham.

The conclusion of the story is that McLaren got off lightly with a record fine.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Ashton Can Better Heskey

Dean Ashton says he can play the same role for England as Emile Heskey,

"The way he played is a way I feel I could do myself. It's underestimated how important the little touches are that Emile gets. It's so important that everyone links up and that Michael Owen can get in behind into the spaces.

"Without setting the world alight, Emile put in a hell of a performance which from a striking point of view was very significant. I wouldn't say I missed a golden opportunity but I do wish it had been me rather than him. I had been out for a year and hadn't played enough football to show that I'm fit enough.

"I haven't spoken to Steve McClaren for quite a while now so I'm not sure of his views on how he sees me or if he has been to watch me. He liked me enough to pick me in that first squad, but that was a long time ago. A lot of things have happened since then and he has picked Emile Heskey."

West Ham vs Boro

With West Ham still looking for their first home win of the season Alan Curbishley wants some 'oomph' from the players,

"Near the end of last season we had teams on the back foot from the first minute, and perhaps we haven't had that oomph yet. We're not lacking anything, but it was just a bit flat."

To achieve this Curbs has a number of players available for selection for the first time. Scott Parker has recovered from injury and Freddie Ljungberg has returned to training following his groin injury. Also new signings Henri Camara and Nolberto Solano will also be looking to make their débuts.

For Boro Mark Schwarzer faces a late fitness test after picking up a knee injury while on international duty with Australia. Boro's main threat comes from Downing and from new signing Mido who should prove a decent target for Downing's crosses.

West Ham sit just above Middlesbrough in the league and both sides have picked up seven points out of the last nine (win, draw, win). This suggests a close game but West Ham have lost only one of nine home Premiership meetings with Middlesbrough, and have won the last five.

Therefore West Ham will be confident of achieving their first home win of the season.

McCartney is Innocent

It appears that George McCartney is the innocent party in the aeroplane brawl with Keith Gillispie. Reports say that Gillispie boarded the plane drunk and within seconds lashed out at McCartney landing a number of punches to the West Ham player's face and body.

Gillespie slept for the rest of the flight home and was said to be dishevelled and disorientated when the plane landed three hours later.

It is reported that West Ham are to sue Sheffield United for £50 million in compensation.

Gudjohnden Still Happy

West Ham target Eidur Gudjohnsen, seems to be determined to fight for his place at Barcelona and has again insisted that he will not return to England. Yesterday he said "I’m happy where I am."

However with Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto’o all above him at Barcelona there is still time before the January window for the Icelander to change his mind.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

George McCartney in Airplane Brawl

According to The Belfast Telegraph George McCartney was involved in a fight with Keith Gillespie on the flight back from Northern Ireland's European Championship qualifier in Iceland.

The brawl started apparently because of an argument over a passport. An eyewitness said,

"Initially, Keith Gillespie and George McCartney had words and then punches were thrown."

West Ham Internationals Return

Alan Curbishley has welcomed back the West Ham players who have been away on international duty,

"I think they've all come through fine, we've had no calls to say otherwise," said Curbs. "The Welsh boys don't land until five o'clock tonight so we'll see them tomorrow.

"In some respects you fear the international break a bit, but all our players have come through it well. It wouldn't be such a bad idea if we played on the Sunday after internationals, rather than the Saturday, but I'm sure a few traditionalists would have something to say about that!

"We've had Jonathan Spector playing in Chicago, Nolberto Solano out in Bolivia and Lucas Neill playing in Australia. To then come back and play on Saturday is a big ask.

"The break has given other players an opportunity to regain fitness and focus on training. Dean Ashton has played two reserve games since Reading, Scott Parker has had 80 minutes for the reserves and Freddie Ljungberg is back in full training, so we're clearing up a bit."

"Craig had a great night with Wales. He desperately wanted to play for them after missing out on Saturday. He wants to play all the time. We were going to rest him for the Bristol Rovers game but he wanted to play. He is always raring to go."

Bellamy Shines

John Toshack has hailed West Ham striker Craig Bellamy's performance against Slovakia,

"Normally, there are 22 football players on a field battling it out but tonight there was 21 and one player who gave an unbelievable individual performance," said Toshack, "Bellamy was scintillating this evening. It's a long time since I have seen an individual display and one player influence a result like he did."

Bellamy scored twice for Wales, set up two other goals and was unlucky not to get a hat trick, with another effort hitting the post.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

West Ham Home Form is Crucial

Although West Ham have yet to win at home this season Matt Upson believes the side have the ability to be as impressive at home as they have been away.

"At home we probably haven't performed as well as we would have liked to have done." said the defender. "Definitely looking at the first game, and against Wigan, we have a long way to go to really get in at teams and stamp our authority on them at home.

"Away from home I've been impressed with our performances. We've set up well, defended well and showed we can hit teams on the break with the pace we have."

"Usually you find it easier to play at home, but this is a club that comes with a high level of pressure. It is just a case of dealing with that in a healthy way. I think maybe we can improve on that and just go out there and relax, get on autopilot, enjoy the game and let what happens come naturally.

"If we do that, we've got enough talent and ability in the side to really hurt teams at Upton Park. This is a season of building on something positive and our home form is crucial."

Moore Player of the Century

West Ham legend Bobby Moore has been voted the player of the century. Givemefootball readers voted Moore into the team of the century as part of the PFA's Centenary celebrations and also named him as the greatest player ever.

Which is as good a reason as any to show this tackle again.

Noble Scores for England

Mark Noble scored in England U21's 2-0 defeat of Bulgaria last night. Noble also picked up a booking which means he will be suspended for England's next game.

Tevez and Mascherano Could Face Jail

According to The Daily Mail Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano could face five years in jail for tax evasion whilst playing in Brazil.

The country's authorities are investigating alleged financial irregularities at the Sao Paulo club, involving players supplied by Iranian tycoon Kia Joorabchian and his company MSI. Police are seeking to establish whether the stars were involved in a scheme to dodge Brazilian taxes, and are investigating both current and former Corinthian officials as well as Joorabchian.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Parker Plays for 80 Minutes

Scott Parker played for 80 minutes tonight in a friendly game at Upton Park. The game was a specially arranged behind-closed-doors game with Championship side Colchester United.

Calum Davenport, Dean Ashton and Christian Dailly also played in the game.

Collins Stays Whilst Ephraim Extends Loan

James Collins has confirmed that he turned down a loan offer from Cardiff to fight for his place in the West Ham first team.

"I am not interested in a loan at the moment, I want to prove myself at West Ham and win my place back," said Collins. "I was in the side that avoided relegation and just wanted to start this season the way the last one had ended, but I picked up a calf injury right at the beginning of pre-season training and it has held me back.

"It has kept me out of the West Ham team, and now they are playing well at the back it is going to be a fight for me to get myself into the side. That is what football is all about, you must enjoy the challenge of such things."

Hogan Ephraim however seems to be enjoying his time on loan at QPR and his loan has been extended for another month.

Parker is Back

The Sun say Scott Parker will line up for West Ham in a behind-closed-doors game with Colchester today as he bids to return from a knee injury.

The paper also report that West Ham skipper Lucas Neill says he will continue to play for Australia despite pressure from the club not to make long trips for friendlies.

The Mirror finally get to the story that most of the other tabloids carried yesterday. They say West Ham boss Alan Curbishley will make a move for Arsenal's unhappy Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner in the next transfer window.

West Ham Internationals

West Ham's Craig Bellamy has joined the Welsh squad in their trip to Bratislava now his daughter has been diagnosed out of danger. Bellamy missed the 2-0 defeat by Germany and, according to manager John Toshack, had "not been eating or sleeping very well".

Meanwhile in Australia Lucas Neill has revealed that West Ham tried to dissuade him from travelling half way round the world this week,

"As always, there's pressure (not to play). I can understand the club's feelings but it's the ultimate goal to play for your country in games like this one."

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sheff Utd Throw £1million Down the Drain

According to The Daily Mail Sheffield United have spent over £1 million on their lawyers in fighting their lost cause against West Ham.

With Sheff Utd just three spots above the relegation positions in The Championship that is £1 million that I bet Bryan Robson wishes he had been able to spend on new players. Unfortunately for Robson, McCabe is intent on continuing his vendetta against West Ham and his January transfer window kitty is dwindling by the day.

West Ham News

Craig Bellamy's wife and daughter are due to be released from hospital this morning. Bellamy has informed John Toshack that he may well be able to travel with the Wales team to Slovakia.

West Ham captain Lucas Neill has been named captain for Australia's friendly against Argentina tomorrow.

The Daily Mirror say West Ham will move for Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner when the transfer window opens.

Bendtner signed a new contract with the Gunners this summer so this seems unlikely. However, the Mirror say the striker is unhappy after being overlooked at Arsenal so far this season.

West Ham Statistics

Because there isn't much news around at the moment I've spent some time searching around on the West Ham Stats site. It's a great site for those obsessed with West Ham statistics or who just want to wallow in a little nostalgia.

The site has season summaries going back to the 1895/1896 season (actually there is only one result available for that year - a stonking 5-0 victory away to Chatham). The records for Hammer of the Year go back as far as the 1957/58 season (Andy Malcolm) and there are player statistics for just about every player I can remember.

A little information I gleaned from the site was that the first game I attended was over 31 years ago. It took place on 20th March 1976 away to Arsenal. We lost 6-1. The West Ham side that day included Alan Curbishley and Mervyn Day. It obviously wasn't one of Mervyn's better days.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

West Ham in the Papers

The People say that West Ham are chasing Plymouth Argyle's young midfielder Dan Gosling 17. The Irons want first option on the youngster who was outstanding in England's run to the world cup under 17 quarter final.

Gosling has been to Chelsea for training and Everton and T*******m have made tentative offers for the rising star but West Ham want to enrol him in their academy before he becomes a first team squad man next season.

The People also say that Nicky Shorey will be sold to boyhood heroes West Ham (which is a poor start as he actually supports Arsenal) in January when the new transfer window opens if he continues to snub Reading's contract offer.

Shorey is refusing to sign a new two year deal.

The People continue with the speculation by claiming that Southampton boss George Burly has offered West Ham's Christian Dailly an escape route from the reserves.

Burley is looking for a defender on loan because of injuries to Claus Lundekvam and Darren Powell.

Finally The People say that Nolberto Solano has shocked West Ham by revealing he wants to return to international football with Peru two years after he retired from the national team.

Solano 32 says he wants to answer new coach Jose Del Solar's call for world cup qualifiers against Colombia and Bolivia. It means he risks missing crucial games for the injury ravaged Hammers.

The Sunday Star say Brazilian star Mancini is set to snub interest from Liverpool and West Ham by signing a new contract with Italian giants Roma. West Ham were close to making a swoop for the player before transfer deadline day.

The Star also believe that West Ham are ready to axe defender James Collins even though he wants to fight for his place at Upton Park. Cardiff City could take the Welshman on loan (it has been reported elsewhere this week that Collins turned down a loan move to Cardiff to fight for his place at West Ham).

The Sunday Star also claim that Portsmouth will sign Eidur Gudjohnsen in January.

West Ham, Manchester City and Newcastle United are also keen on signing the striker.

The News of the World say that striker Henri Camara 30 has told Wigan he does not want to return from his loan spell at West Ham.

The News of the World say that Cardiff City have asked about taking Collins on loan but Collins wants to fight for his place at West Ham.

The News of the World say Nobby Solano made a deadline day free transfer from Newcastle because he was desperate for a return to the Peru national team. With the world cup qualifiers against Colombia and Bolivia looming Solano risks missing vital games for West Ham.

The Sunday Mirror say that Curbishley is aiming for a UEFA spot. He believes the troubled times are over at West Ham and is backing his team for a UEFA cup spot.

Craig Misses Welsh International

Craig Bellamy withdrew from the Welsh international side yesterday because of concerns over his new-born baby daughter.

Bellamy missed training on Friday after he was called to hospital after his third child, born on Monday, developed a minor feeding complication. It was hoped by Wales manager John Toshack that he would be able to return to the squad but Bellamy understandably decided he wouldn't be in the right frame of mind for the game.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Mark Noble : I Want To Push For Europe

Mark Noble, who played in England U21's win yesterday, is interviewed in this month's FourFourTwo. Here's a taster,

Strengths - Passing and tackling. I used to try a few more skills when I broke into the team but I've developed into a holding midfielder these days. I reckon it's my best position now. I play a bit like - Steven Gerrard or Paul Scholes. They're the guys I've always looked up to.

Highlights - I'm only 20 but I've had a few highlights already. I played 20 minutes in the FA Cup Final but to stay up last season when no one thought we could was amazing.

Lowlights - losing the FA Cup at the last gasp was horrible and that T*tenham game when we lost 4-3 was really shattering, too. But the worse part of my career so far has been having to cope with injury and not being selected in the team. I hate to miss out.

Best player played with - Last season Carlos Tevez was amazing.

Biggest influence - Teddy Sheringham has always been there with advice. I count him as a friend - though I stay out of his card schools. My dad was another big factor in my progress. He's been there from the moment I first kicked a ball.

In five years time
... - I want to break into the senior squad for England and push for Europe with West Ham. That, and stay healthy.

"James Collins crying like a schoolgirl "

Robert Green has written an interesting article for The Independent in which he tries to answer the age old questions of "Why did you become a goalkeeper?" and "are you Mad?"

Part of the answer apparently lies in the pleasure of hearing "James Collins crying, "Catch it, Greeny" like a schoolgirl during the final minute at Old Trafford."

Friday, September 07, 2007

West Ham's Recruitment Drive For US Fans

Due to the break in domestic football news is a little thin on the ground at the moment. So, instead, we bring you West Ham's latest promotional film to recruit naive American fans.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Bellamy & Ashton the New Cottee & McAvennie

Dean Ashton and Craig Bellamy could become the new Cottee and McAvennie according to Tony Cottee himself. Writing in the East London Advertiser Cottee said,

"When he's (Dean Ashton) fully fit I think he could form a really good partnership with Craig Bellamy - something West Ham haven't had since John Hartson and Paul Kitson and before that, myself and Frank McAvennie.

Dean was a real miss last season and there is no way we would have been in the trouble we were in if he had been fit.

The club have bought in another striker in Henri Camara on loan which is good business. He's very quick and a good finisher and will do well if given the chance."

Shorey in January

The Sun believe that Nicky Shorey is hoping to sign for West Ham in January. The player has said,

"It would be daft for any player to say they would be here or there this time next year. All I know is I will continue to work as hard as I can and give my all to Reading.".

It has been reported that Reading have offered a contract that would make Shorey the highest paid player in the club's history. The Sun however believes that he still wants a move.

West Ham's Champions League Form

Alan Curbishley has more than once said that last season's 4-3 loss to Sp@#s was a turning point in West Ham's fortunes. Despite the side losing he claimed that what he saw in the team that day convinced him we would avoid relegation.

Since playing Sp@~rs West Ham have played thirteen games and the team's record is ten wins, one draw and two losses. That is certainly the kind of form that will see us fighting for European qualification if we can sustain the pace over most of the season.

That is a big 'if' I know but it is nice to feel optimistic again.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

West Ham Happy With Dyer Progress

After successful surgery on Kieron Dyer's double fracture West Ham believe he will make a quick recovery.

West Ham's head physiotherapist George Cooper says,

"The Club doctor and myself watched the surgery being carried out. Kieron had a pin and screws put in the leg and already we know there is an excellent fixation in the leg.

"That means the prognosis is very positive for a quicker recovery.

"He is resting up now, but will be off the crutches in around two weeks' time, when we aim to have him up and walking."

Home Wins Will Come

West Ham have now won their last five away games but have not won at home yet this season. Anton Ferdinand however says the home wins will come,

"A lot of teams are coming to Upton Park now and sitting back because they know we are an attack-minded team. So it can prove quite difficult for us to break them down.

We are looking better away from home because we are being allowed to play a bit more and catch teams on the break which suits our game as there is a lot of pace in the team.

"But we are confident the home form will come starting with Middlesbrough (a week on Saturday) and the away form will continue as it is which should hopefully see us where we want to be in the table."

West Ham Reserves Held By Reading

West Ham Reserves were held to a 1-1 draw by Reading. Carlton Cole got a late 30 yard equaliser for West Ham to draw level after a James Henry freekick gave Reading a first half lead.

Dean Ashton played the full game. Christian Dailly and Luis Boa Morte also played.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Dyer's Operation Goes Well

Kieron Dyer, speaking on the official site, has revealed that the doctors were pleased with his surgery and expect him to make a full recovery.

"I've been trying to stay as positive as I can," he said. "The physios and the specialist were really pleased with how the operation went and said there is no reason why I shouldn't make a full recovery.

"I am just focusing on that for now and getting some rest before I hopefully beginning my rehab and treatment some time next week.

"They don't really give exact time scales with this type of injury because some people heal a lot quicker than others and there can be complications when you have screws put in so you just have to play it by ear really, but as I said I am staying positive and just focusing on being back and playing for West Ham sooner rather than later."

The official site also revealed that Dean Ashton will play in tonight's reserve game against Reading in order to help him return to full match fitness.

West Ham in the Papers

The Daily Mirror say that Reading will offer Nicky Shorey the biggest pay deal in the club's history to stop him joining West Ham in the next transfer window.

The Daily Star say that Matthew Etherington is back to his best after admitting his gambling addiction year,

"I hit rock bottom last season and that was probably a reflection on my form. I suppose you get a time in your career where things do not go right for you and last year was one of those years.

But I dealt with it and all that is behind me now. I have made a great step forward.

I wasn't happy last year and I am moving on, hopefully I'll keep taking the right steps. I have the ability and I've just got to maintain it."

(Non Whu) The Times say that Middlesbrough estimate that at least 60 pubs on Teesside show their home matches live, and illegally, on Saturday afternoons. They claim this affects attendances more than ticket prices. - Like that's the reason they have no fans.

Collins NOT off to Cardiff

There have been rumours floating around for the last couple of days suggesting that West Ham's James Collins was going to join Cardiff on loan this week. Cardiff City chairman Peter Ridsdale has admitted that he did attempt to loan Collins but was knocked back by West Ham,

"We did enquire about James three weeks ago regarding the possibility of bringing him in on loan," Ridsdale said. "But West Ham told us there was not a cat in hell's chance of doing it."

Monday, September 03, 2007

Matty to Fight for His Place

Matthew Etherington prepares to take a corner
Matthew Etherington has rightly kept Boa Morte out of the starting line up since coming off the bench against City and the on form winger is determined to keep his place in the West Ham team. With Ljungberg to return from injury and with the arrival of Solano Matty is aware of the competition for places,

"There is a lot of competition for places here at the moment and the manager brought in a lot of good quality over the summer so we all have to work that much harder to win our place in the team," said Etherington.

"I got my head down over pre-season and worked hard, came off the bench against Manchester City and got my place in the team and now I just need to make sure I keep it."

West Ham Arbitration

Recently The Daily Mail has gone a bit quiet on their attacks on West Ham but today they claim that West Ham face a massive compensation payout in the FA arbitration.

They claim the Premier League hearing sympathised with Sheffield Utd but couldn't reinstate them whereas the FA arbitration has unlimited power. They are clearly implying that the FA arbitration could reinstate Sheff Utd. I would like them to explain how the FA could reinstate a club to another organisation's competition half way through a season.

The Mail does include a quote from an 'FA source' (just once I would like The Mail to name a source),

"The panel will have whatever powers they need. They can order recompense."

The whole tone of the article suggests that West Ham will have to pay a huge compensation. Why they think the FA will see this any differently than the League appeal is never explained.

West Ham Goals

Bellamy's Goal

2nd Half Highlights

Everybody Loves Bellamy

picture of Craig Bellamy in training
Alan Curbishley told Craig Bellamy that he would be loved by the West Ham fans. Well he's well on the way.

"I had to sell the club to him and promise I was getting other players in," said Curbishley. "And the one other thing I said to him was that the West Ham fans would love him for his endeavour, his passion and his finishing.

I told him his career could lift off at West Ham and we are delighted he decided to come. He drives you mad at times when he keeps dropping off because he is so dangerous on the last man but he is a better player than I first thought when he came here.

I haven't had a minute's problem with him and we are all delighted with him. He is a talented, talented player."

Sunday, September 02, 2007

West Ham Hooligans

Now that the Premier League are taking down goals and games as quickly as people are loading them onto YouTube I thought you might like instead a rogues gallery of some West Ham hooligans in action.

West Ham Managers Always Lead By Example

Julian Dicks Beats Two

And An Iron is Never Above A Little In-Fighting

Sunday Papers

The Star think that West Ham should change the hammers on their badge to walking sticks. Since Curbishley became manager there has been a curse on West Ham's new signings, with injuries to Matthew Upson, Lucas Neil, Scott Parker, Julien Faubert, Kieron Dyer and Freddie Ljungberg.

The News of the World and The Sunday Mirror both have the 'exclusive' that West Ham offered Adriano £140,000 a week to move to West Ham. Actually, the NoW say Adriano refused to move to West Ham because he wanted £140,000 and West Ham only offered £125,000, whilst The Mirror say West Ham offered £18 million to Milan and £140,000 to Adriano but the Brazilian turned us down.

"We Can Win the Premier League"

In an interview in today's Observer West Ham's Icelandic owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson talks about his plans for the club.

The interview starts on a surreal note with Gudmundsson asking us to 'think of Eggert as the Coca-Cola sign!'. Which I can only assume is an indiscreet insight into plans to monetise Eggert's shiny forehead through advertising.

However as the interview continues it is clear that Gudmunsoon and Eggy are singing from the same hymn sheet. Like Magnusson the Icelandic banker believes West Ham should be aiming for the top,

"I believe we can become one of the top English clubs, and in Europe, again. We want Champions League football and believe we can win the Premier League in time. Why not? Of course we do not think it will happen tomorrow, it will take some years. But definitely we are heading there. And I think we now have all that's needed for that."

Gudmundsson revealed that 'there is also a good response from the local council,' to move to a ground close to the present one.

Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, the owner of West Ham, has told Observer Sport that a major reason why the club will be successful is because he and chairman Eggert Magnusson 'feel almost semi-English.'

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Reading 0 West Ham 3

Dean Ashton made his first start for West Ham since the 2006 FA Cup Final. However it was his strike partner Craig Bellamy who got the first goal for West Ham. Bellamy scored in the 6th minute when he shot from 18 yards into the bottom left of the Reading net.

The early goal seemed to set the pattern of the first half, as West Ham sat back and let Reading dominate the possession happy to hit them on the break. Reading's best chance fell to Hunt on the edge of West Ham's area in the 44th minute but his shot hit the crossbar. With Reading pushing numbers forward West Ham always looked dangerous on the counter-attack.

The second half started the same way as the first with an early West Ham goal. In the 48th minute West Ham broke down their left wing which ended with Bellamy feeding Etherington who shot left-footed into the top-left of the goal from 12 yards.

Ten minutes later Lee Bowyer had the chance to make it 3-0 when he found himself one on one with the keeper but his left-footed shot from the centre of the penalty area 12 yards out missed left by a couple of yards. In the 66th minute Etherington was the one who found himself clear. His left-footed from 18 yards was well saved by Hahnemann.

With fifteen minutes to go in the match Green took down Kitson in the box to give Reading a penalty. Doyle took the penalty but Green saved the ball diving low to his left. Then in the closing minute of injury time Etherington broke clear again and got West Ham's third.

Today Anton Ferdinand was excellent in defence, Green was brilliant in goal, Etherington and Bellamy were both superb going forward and Sp*~rs threw away a two gaol lead. Come on you Irons.

West Ham Draw Plymouth

West Ham United have been drawn at home to face Plymouth Argyle in the third round of the Carling Cup. The match will be played at the Boleyn Ground, on the week commencing the 24th of September.

Reading vs West Ham

The only live TV stream of the game I can find is LiveOnlineFooty which is a pay site (normally £2.50 for a day pass).

Radio commentary is available on Reading 107fm. Live streaming on their Internet site may well not happen due to the normal licensing rules.

Radio London is also providing live commentary on 94.9FM.

Two World Class Signings

On deadline day last year West Ham signed two young upcoming international stars who had just impressed in a world cup. This year we have signed a 32 year old Peruvian and a striker who is deemed surplus to requirements at Wigan.

However we all know what the signings of Tevez and Mascherano led to and considering the horrendous injuries to Dyer and Faubert the signing of Solano has to be seen as a blessing. In fact Solano will hopefully prove to be the best crosser of the ball West Ham have seen for a while.

That aside, Eggert Magnusson has only himself to blame for any disappointment that West Ham fans feel at this year's signings. He promised the fans two world class players and has failed to deliver on that promise.

On paper though, despite the lack of world class signings, the club have progressed in the close season. Parker for Reo-Coker, Ljungberg for Konchesky, Bellamy for Harewood, Faubert / Dyer / Solano for Benayoun all seem to represent a trade up. But that is only on paper. The big worry has to be how many games we will get from the new signings. Dyer is already out for the season and Parker is yet to make an appearance for the club. Personally I can't see Ljungberg and Parker completing the season without more time lost through injury.

So the jury is still out. West Ham on paper have progressed but have yet to convince on the pitch. However with Parker, Ashton and now Solano to come into the team there is still hope that Curbishley has the nucleus of a good team.

Nobby Solano and Camara Sign

Nobby Solano has joined West Ham on a free transfer. With the injuries to Dyer and Faubert, Solano will provide good temporary cover.

Henri Camara has also signed on a year loan. Wigan today loaned Charlton striker Darren Bent for a year and have loaned out Camara to West Ham for the same period.

Both these deals have now be confirmed by the official site. Neither player is eligible to play against Reading tomorrow.

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