Friday, February 29, 2008

West Ham vs Chelsea - The Predictions

Mark Lawrenson and Sky seem to think that West Ham will bear the brunt of Chelsea's defeat last weekend. Only Setanta think West Ham have any hope this weekend.

Mark Lawrenson thinks West Ham will face the backlash from Chelsea's loss of the Carling Cup. He predicts a 0-2 loss for West Ham.

Sky point out that West Ham have lost only one league game at home in the last nine. However they also notice that they have a very poor record against Chelsea in the Premier League, with May 2003 being the last time they have won this particular derby. Sky predict a 1-3 loss for West Ham

Setanta feel that Chelsea are not in the best of form, having only picked up one victory in their last five games in all competitions. They also point out that West Ham have become very hard to beat at home. Setanta predict a 0-0 draw.

West Ham Team News

It seems that the reason Bobby Zamora was subbed at half-time during Monday's reserve game was because he suffered a blow to the knee. He is therefore doubtful for Saturday's clash with Chelsea. Midfielders Lee Bowyer and Matthew Etherington (both groin) are still out of contention.

West Ham Injury Update

It seems Scott Parker could be back in action in a couple of weeks. West Ham manager Alan Curbishley believes he is not far off making his return.

"He's in full training and we're trying to get him a game next week," said Curbishley. "He's not far off again. We're a little bit disappointed because if he had got himself right for last week he could have played in that game on Monday and been that much further forward.

"But he's in full training, and he's trained for the last eight days so he'll definitely be back before the end of the season."

Curbishley also said that Craig Bellamy will be out for six more weeks,

"Craig has had an operation on this groin injury and stomach injury that he's had for some time," he said.

"We've been trying all other routes to try and get him fit but in the end we've had to go for the operation.

"He'll be out for about six weeks and we hope it's successful. He's had a tough time of it over the last six months."

Thursday, February 28, 2008

West Ham Deny Barnes Bid

The Daily Mirror today claimed that West Ham were poised to "snap up Derby teenager Giles Barnes for £3.5million when the Rams are relegated."

Alan Curbishley however was quick to deny that the club were after Barnes.

"There's no truth in that," Curbishley told Sky Sports. "There are lots of players out there that we like, but there's no truth in that newspaper article."

Daily Express Exposes West Ham Bollox

The Daily Express today is trying desperately to ignite some interest in Joorabchian's attempts to wring more money out of West Ham.

The Express claims that they led the way last year when 'a series of exclusives exposed suspicions' that a secret deal may have been struck by West Ham after they were fined.

They are in effect boasting about printing Joorabchian's lies. I think I might start 'a series of exclusives' exposing my suspicions that The Express is a crap newspaper.

I have asked this question before but why do the newspapers continue to print Joorabchian's obvious lies? He keeps claiming he has documents, he keeps failing to produce them and the papers keep printing his delusions.

His latest lie, that The Express are willing to give an 'exclusive to', is that he has text messages and voice mails between him and the club that prove that the club 'may have' negotiated fees with third parties for Tevez’s continued stay at Upton Park.

I'm pretty certain that text messages aren't legal documents so I'm not really sure how they can be used to prove West Ham have negotiated anything.

The Express also makes much of the fact that West Ham have refused to deny the allegations. However the club's response, “this is now a matter for the court", is of course the standard and only proper response.

Perhaps the paper would be better to ask why Joorabchian is claiming these things exist 24 hours before West Ham lodge their defence to Joorabchian’s writ. If they had asked this simple question before writing this rubbish they might have come to the conclusion that Joorabchian is a slimy little chancer who would do and say anything to line his greasy pockets. The paper's readers could then have avoided being exposed to such obvious bollox.

West Ham Love the Big Games

West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green seems to have noticed that West Ham's home record is better against the big four clubs than it is against some of the lesser teams in the league.

"In true West Ham style it seems to be these games where we excel", Green says.

"Chelsea had a big game on Sunday and they have a big game on the Wednesday after our game and you know they won't be looking forward to coming to Upton Park. I don't think anyone every does really.

"Between ourselves and the fans we can make it as intimidating as possible and really get stuck into them."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

West Ham Still Aiming for Europe

West Ham manager Alan Curbishley says West Ham are still looking to achieve European qualification via the Premier League.

"We have to win at least half of our remaining games - and perhaps do a little bit more than that," said the West Ham manager. "I feel very confident. We need a bit of stability because in the last four or five years we've had a play-off final we lost, a play-off final we won and then last season was played out across the back pages."

Alan Curbishley also tried to put pressure upon Avram Grant ahead of this weekend's game,

"Everything Avram Grant does is going to be analysed and that is something he has to handle. I looked at the cup final and the start was the most important thing and Tottenham made much the better start. If you are lucky enough to be a manager of a top-four club then that comes with the territory.

"Being a manager is getting tougher. That honeymoon period has gone."

Holmar Eyjolfsson

Reports are coming out of Iceland (not the shop) that Holmar Eyjolfsson could make a summer move to West Ham. The young centre-half recently spent a week on trial at West Ham and seems to have impressed.

Eyjolfsson is already a regular for the Iceland U21 side and Bayern Munich are also said to be keen.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

West Ham Not Appointing Nani - Yet

Last night The Times claimed that West Ham had offered the job of technical director to Gianluca Nani, general manager of Brescia. Today The Mail claims that although West Ham have interviewed Nani and are impressed with his achievements they are still some way off from making a final decision about the job.

Blues to Bid for West Ham's Zamora

According to The Daily Mirror Birmingham City are preparing a £4 million bid for Bobby Zamora. However you can spot that the story is a complete fabrication when the paper claims that "Zamora's lack of first team action has alerted City boss Alex McLeish."

Does The Mirror really think that McLeish sees that a player is injured and think to himself "I must have him"? It is interesting that these stories keep appearing concerning Bobby Zamora. None of the papers have tried to claim that Dyer's lack of first team opportunities at West Ham has made him a target for other clubs.

Monday, February 25, 2008

West Ham Offer Nani Job

According to The Times West Ham have offered the job of technical director to Brescia general manager Gianluca Nani. The paper claim he is likely to accept the role.

The Times say Nani will be responsible for overseeing the development of the proposed new stadium and the move to a better-equipped training facility, as well as finding players and conducting transfers.

Alan Curbishley was part of the interview process so the club hope to avoid some of the clashes between first team managers and technical directors that have been seen elsewhere. Nani comes with a reputation of being a tough negotiator with an extensive knowledge of players in South American football.

Ashton and Sears Shine for Reserves

West Ham Reserves won 1-3 away to Sp@~s with goals from Sears and Ashton. West Ham put out a strong side with Pantsil and Zamora also in the starting line-up. West Ham also had a young Ludek Miklosko on the bench, who at 46 years of age is obviously a goalkeeper to look out for in the future.

Tottenham opened the scoring in the 34th minute through Rose (not Archibald-Henville as the West Ham official site has it). However West Ham drew level through Sears on the stroke of half-time. Sears received the ball with his back to goal and turned and shot home from ten yards.

In the 68th minute Sears set up Ashton to score from close range. In the 73rd minute Ashton repaid Sears by setting him up as he sped into the box where the youngster calmly slotted the ball home.

With Sears in this sort of form he must be getting very close to at least a place on the first team bench. Worryingly Zamora didn't emerge for the second half.

I liked this little exchange on the KUMB forum tonight:
  • We are going to turn this kid into Jesus II on here, aren't we?
  • No, he's God already.

Zamora Targeting Chelsea

Bobby Zamora is hoping to finally return to the West Ham first team for Saturday's match against Chelsea. Zamora is due to play against Sp@~s in a reserve team fixture today. If he gets through today's game he expects to be named in the first team squad on Saturday.

West Ham Are All About Attack

Alan Curbishley has been defending West Ham against charges that all they do is defend. and had denied claims that he stops the players attacking.

"No one is stopping them," Curbishley says. "We've got players like Freddie Ljungberg, Luis Boa Morte and Mark Noble and you can't tell me they're defensive.

"I've got two full-backs who like to get forward. Lots of teams want a goalscorer, which is fine, but you have to stop letting them in as well.

"Our defensive record is fantastic and we're just outside the top four for our defensive record.

"Most of our players are attack-minded but it's just the way it is at the moment. We have a strong base and hopefully the attacking stuff will come through, but it's not for the want of trying. In training it's all we do."

In defence of Curbishley West Ham did create a number of chances on Saturday and Carlton Cole should probably have got a hat-trick. I also think that Zamora should at least make the bench for West Ham's next match and his reintroduction to the team should lead to more goals.

West Ham Youth Continue Winning Ways

West Ham Under 18'8 beat Crystal Palace Under 18's 2-0 to make it five wins and a draw in six games. West Ham opened the scoring late on with a goal from Tom Harvey in the 75th minute. Freddie Sears then came off the bench and scored the second with five minutes to go.

Sears has scored 21 goals in 17 games at Under 18 level this season.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Boa Morte & Sears on Life at West Ham

There is little gossip in the papers today concerning West Ham.

Freddie Sears spoke to WHUTV about his hopes of breaking into the first team this season or gaining some experience on loan,

"It is great playing with Premiership players like Bobby Zamora," Sears said. "I played with Craig Bellamy at the start of the season and they both talk to you and really help your game. It is better, they really help you out.

"I am a West Ham fan. It would be great to run out to the fans. It would just be unbelievable."

"I have just got to keep getting noticed. I am on the fringes at the minute. I just need a chance or if not then maybe I will get some first-team experience somewhere else. It is going good so I have just got to hope for the best really. You have got to come into the reserves and score goals, just like I have been doing in the Under-18s."

Yesterday The Independent carried an interview with Boa Morte. Boa Morte says he is worried about his lack of goals for West Ham,

"It's been one of my most difficult periods in football since I came to West Ham," he says. "But I'm always able and ready and up for the fight, you know, I'm not going to turn my back away.

"We are in a better position as a club this season, so of course I feel better. Personally I just need to score one or two goals to get the thing going because I have been putting in the hard work to get back from my hamstring injury but it is just the scoring bit that hasn't come along. It's been my fault because I have had a few chances, so I'll keep working hard."

Reflecting upon his misses against Liverpool, he adds: "The first one probably was the easiest one to hit the target, but my body was in the wrong position. The second one – I didn't really expect the ball to come to me.

"But I will take the blame. That's a side of football that exists, and we are here to take that. My back is big enough to take the boos for missing chances. But it is not big enough to take the boos for not working hard. That I won't take from the West Ham supporters or any other person. If someone says that, I won't turn my face away."

"Whatever people think of me, my way to be on the pitch is my way and I'm not going to change. My way to be in football is working hard and fighting, because whatever I have got in life in these days, it's because I did work hard and fight for it.

West Ham in League with the Royal Family

With West Ham winning the game from a controversial goal who can blame the hacks for making some obvious jokes at the expense of conspiracy theory nutter Al-Fayed.

The Independent found it 'hard to comprehend' why the referee allowed Solano's goal and felt that it was 'worthy of a conspiracy theory.' The paper felt the first half was 'uninspiring' but were impressed in the second half by Mark Noble's 'quality'.

The Guardian felt that West Ham 'dominated from the start'. They felt that Fulham 'huffed and puffed but produced nothing.' The Guardian has a lot of fun at the expense of Fulham fans. Obviously they are learning a lot about conspiracies from their owner,

"A non-penalty, a non-foul, a non-throw. There were conspiracies everywhere and referee Webb ... was at the heart of them ... a Diomansy Kamara shot hit Anton Ferdinand in the area - 'Penalty!' they screamed. A Bullard shot was diverted - 'Penalty!' they screamed again."

The Daily Mail felt that it was a 'dire game at Craven Cottage'. They felt that West Ham 'had the better chances' whilst (like The Guardian) they weren't impressed by the 'huffing and puffing' from Fulham. Mark Noble 'was the pick of West Ham's players.'

The Daily Telegraph felt that it was a 'scruffy game won with a scruffy goal.' The Telegraph say that only two players emerged with any real credit from the game. Bullard for Fulham and Noble for West Ham. They felt that Cole should have had a hat-trick.

The Times wasn't impressed and felt 'it was a deeply dismal, mediocre game with few moments of illumination.' West Ham made more chances, Noble 'showed pace and initiative' but in the end they say it was 'a game of often stupefying dullness.'

Not for the Happy Hammers though! Nor for Prince Philip, who with the aide of M16, managed to take out Fulham goalkeeper Niemi seconds before he reached the ball ahead of Nolberto Solano.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Fulham 0 West Ham 1

Julien Faubert got his first start for West Ham but it was Fulham who started this game the better with Jimmy Bullard at the centre of most of their play. In the 7th minute Fulham broke quickly with Bullard setting up Dempsey just outside the box. Dempsey's shot was deflected wide to Konchesky, who from a tight angle shot straight at Green.

After ten minutes West Ham started coming into the game more and, whilst the game remained fairly even, West Ham created the better chances. Cole had the best of West Ham's opportunities. In the 12th minute he did well to beat the defender to a Noble cross but his snap shot from 12 yards was directed straight at Niemi in goal. In the 21st minute Cole volleyed right-footed from 18 yards out and his shot clipped the bar on its way over.

In the closing minutes of the half Fulham managed a couple of half decent chances. In the 44th minute Dempsey half-volleyed a Stalteri cross. But his shot from just inside the area was straight at McCartney. Thirty seconds into the time added on Andreasen shot from wide left 25 yards out and forced a save from Green.

Fulham started the second half strongly and created a couple of chances in the opening minutes. The chances fell to Camara and then Bullard but both had their shots deflected wide by the West Ham defence.

West Ham finally got going and in the 60th minute Noble played a good one-two with Faubert on the edge of the Fulham box before shooting just wide. In the 62nd minute Solano came on for Faubert. Solano made a big difference to West Ham's play but it was Dempsey who had the first chance after his introduction.

In the 64th minute Dempsey was put clean through but tamely shot almost straight at Green. Dempsey should have scored, as should Cole 12 minutes later when Ljungberg crossed from just inside the penalty area to Cole four yards out and completely unmarked. Cole however headed straight at Niemi.

In the 84th minute Bullard also should have scored when he was put clean through but Green narrowed the angle and saved well low down to his right. With all this wasteful finishing it looked like the game would end up goalless but in the 86th minute Ljungberg crossed from wide right. Boa Morte headed the ball down behind the Fulham defence. Solano and Niemi both raced and dived for the ball and Solano got their first and elbowed the ball home.

The goal was given and in the ensuing Fulham complaints Andreasen was sent off. West Ham were very lucky to pick up three points today but will gladly take them and happily move up to 9th in the league.

West Ham vs Fulham Live Streaming

LiveFooty has links for SopCast and TVUPlayer.

FSi has a link for Fox Soccer Channel via TVUPlayer (so I assume English commentary) and a link for RTST via Real Player and Max TV.

Radio London is covering the whole match. The match can be heard on BBC London 94.9FM, DAB Digital Radio and Sky Channel 0152 (but not via the internet).

Here are few more links that I picked up from a forum - so I don't know if they will work or not:

Star Sports: Sopcast channel 6029 sop://
TVU channel 10006 tvu://10006/
TVAnts tvants://
PPMate ppmates://playpps/id=PCASS427
FSC: TVU channel 21500 tvu://21500/

Friday, February 22, 2008

West Ham's January Bid for Brown

Manchester United chief executive David Gill has revealed that West Ham enquired about purchasing Wes Brown in the January transfer window. He also says that Newcastle had a bid turned down for the player.

Brown's contract talks with United have stalled and Brown's present contract runs out in the summer.

Fulham vs West Ham - The Predictions

Mark Lawrenson says that "West Ham have an outside chance of qualifying for next season's Uefa Cup." It must have hurt him to admit that. He even says that "Considering the squad Alan Curbishley has to work with and the injuries his team has suffered, the Hammers have had a decent season so far."

Mind you Lawrenson still doesn't believe West Ham has what it takes to beat the worst sides in the league. Lawro predicts a 1-1 draw.

I've been analysing Lawro's predictions for a while now. He averages less than three correct results a week. You could beat that by just putting each game down as a home win.

Sky note that Fulham will be without midfielder Hameur Bouazza but should have McBride in attack. They also say that because England top the Fair Play League if Chelsea win the Carling Cup on Sunday then seventh place in the league will be good enough to qualify for Europe. So West Ham are still fighting for European qualification.

Sky Sports predict a 1-2 win for West Ham

Setanta note that a victory for West Ham will move them into ninth place and potentially to within four points of fifth place.

Setanta also predict a 1-2 West Ham win.

West Ham Youth Will Get Their Chance

A couple of weeks ago I raised the question of whether Freddie Sears might get a chance in the West Ham first team before the season was out. Some of the West Ham forums have also been debating about whether one or two West Ham youngsters should get some experience with the first team.

It is nice to see then that the official West Ham website have raised the question with the West Ham manager and that Alan Curbishley seems to think that the idea has merit.

"We are really pleased with Freddie (Sears) - the last couple of months he has come on a bundle," said Curbishley. "He has been around the first team and has been around the squad training with us. We have got high hopes for him. I would not be afraid to play Tomkins, Collison and Sears.

"We have got 13 games left and I need to look at one or two things - other clubs will do the same. Obviously Tomkins and Collison have been around it for the last couple of months. Freddie has been in the squad on a couple of occasions. I am not afraid to put them in. I will put them in if I think it is right."

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bellamy's Operation Yesterday

Craig Bellamy underwent another operation yesterday which will keep him out of action for at least six weeks. This means he is likely to miss another eight games before returning to action in April.

West Ham manager Alan Curbishley reports,

"Craig has had an operation on this groin injury and stomach injury that he's had for some time. We've been trying all other routes to try and get him fit but in the end we've had to go for the operation.

"He'll be out I think for about six weeks and we hope it's successful. He's had a tough time of it over the last six months."

Curbishley had better news about Bobby Zamora and Scott Parker,

"Bobby's played the last two reserve games and he's looking strong. We're happy he's back. Scott Parker's running so we think he will be joining back in quite soon."

West Ham the English Team

Sorry to get all little Englander on you all but The Mail had an interesting article the other day that I've only just discovered via the Hammers Mad forum.

The article starts by asking who were the last all English team to win the FA Cup. The answer is of course West Ham in 1975 (The Mail even claim that all the team apart from Alan Taylor were 'born locally').

The Mail then look at the 210 English players currently in the Premier League and who they play for. Here is the break-down:

West Ham 18

Tottenham 17

Middlesbrough 15

Manchester United, Aston Villa, Bolton Wanderers, Derby County 13

Everton, Wigan 12

Newcastle 11

Portsmouth, Sunderland 10

Chelsea 9

Birmingham, Reading 8

Manchester City 7

Fulham 6

Blackburn, Liverpool 5

Arsenal 4

I think EUFA / FIFA should introduce their requirement that teams have a certain quota of English players in every side immediately ;).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

West Ham Reserves 2 Fulham Reserves 0

West Ham Reserves beat Fulham Reserves 2-0 tonight, with goals from Sears and Hines. West Ham left it late to score. The first came in the 81st minute when Zamora set up Sears in the box only for the young Hammer to be brought down by the Fulham defence. Sears successfully converted the penalty.

West Ham's second came in the closing seconds. Hines pounced on a rebound from his own shot to tap the ball home from close range. Bobby Zamora got a full 90 minutes under his belt but Faubert was not in the squad.

West Ham Reserves in Action Tonight

West Ham Reserves are in action against Fulham Reserves tonight at Bishop Stortford. The reserves will go second of their group if they win the game.

Admission is £5 for adults, £2 for concessions with season-ticket holders getting in free of charge. Directions to the ground are available here.

Intertoto Cup

I hear on the grapevine that Aston Villa, Sp@~s and Blackburn have applied for the Intertoto Cup. It seems West Ham doesn't think the extra competitive matches in the summer are worth the effort.

I think that this might be the last season for this back door entry into Europe (it is ending in 2009, so it might be the penultimate year).

West Ham won the Intertoto in 1999. It seemed to work as good preparation for that league season as we went onto to win six of our opening nine games.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Green Not in Capello's Plans

Fabio Capello, speaking to an Italian radio station, has bemoaned the lack of goalkeeping options available to him,

“Only 38 percent of the players are English. The pool is reduced. I have had to reinstate a 37-year-old goalkeeper [James] but I have spotted one in the Under-21’s who is very interesting.”

Clearly Capello needs to watch a few more West Ham games.

Sky Sports News are reporting that Bellamy's latest operation is likely to keep him out of action for only six weeks. We may therefore see Bellamy back in action for West Ham before the season finishes.

Zamora Back, Bellamy Not

Head physiotherapist George Cooper reports on the West Ham official site that Bobby Zamora is more or less back to full fitness but Craig Bellamy is likely to be out for a while.

"He (Zamora)is as strong as an ox now," said Cooper. "His legs are really good and he is in good nick. Bobby is always in early, has been working very hard and been very patient. It looks to have paid off. His running fitness is as good as anybody's at the club, if not better."

Craig Bellamy however is due to to have an abdominal strengthening operation that will put him out of first team contention for awhile. The official site doesn't mention how long so I suspect we may have seen the last Bellamy for this season.

Scott Parker however has "totally recovered from his posterior capsule rupture". The midfielder has started his running programme and could be back in full training in a fortnight.

Monday, February 18, 2008

West Ham's Season Starts Now

I'm going a bit stir crazy with West Ham's two week rest from football. Another by-product of the rest is that there is very little West Ham news around at the moment.

However after the poor results in the last two games maybe a rest was what the players needed. On the official site Lucas Neill said that the break has given the team a good chance to 'recharge the batteries'.

"The best way to look at it now is to start our season from when we get back," said the West Ham captain.

"We have got 13 games left, how many can we win, how far can it take us. Let's forget about everything that has happened and hope that we have got an 80 to 90 per cent squad fit to choose from and start the season now.

We have to keep a small eye on our rivals Tottenham now who seem to be gaining momentum and seem to be getting things right. They are only five points behind as a result of our last two performances and not picking up enough points. We don't want to drop out of the top ten, that is the first thing. We have lost opportunities but there is still the opportunity to strive for fifth or sixth place."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

West Ham in the Sunday Papers

The People in an 'exclusive' (exclusive in the sense that all the other papers covered this story last month) report that Paolo Di Canio wants to manage West Ham. Paolo says he will quit playing at the end of this season and then get his coaching badge.

"I will take up managing next year. I hope to have the same success as a coach that a did as a player," the West Ham legend said.

"My dream would be to manage in the Premiership because English football is the best in the world. My dream in particular would be to manage at West Ham, that would be perfect.

I spent four seasons there and I would love to go back and win something with them. The fans are fantastic there and the atmosphere at Upton Park was always special.

I haven't been back for a few years but I hope to go and watch a match in the Bobby Moore Stand before the end of the season.

It would be incredible to go there as a manager. Every weekend I watch all the English games on the TV but I have a special place for them in my heart for West Ham.

I watched the game against Liverpool the other week with four friends, all Italian West Ham fans, and we celebrated when Mark Noble scored the penalty in the 94th minute.

When I watch the Premiership I am always proud to see players that were young boys when I was at West Ham, like Joe Cole, Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand.

i saw them grow up into men. The standard in the Premiership was always good but these old West Ham players, Jermaine Defoe as well, stand out for me as the best English players."

The People also claim that West Ham not only want Chelsea's Sidwell but are after Wayne Bridge as well. They claim that Bridge, like Sidwell, is tired of being a perpetual substitute. West Ham are ready to make a £10 million bid for the two players.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

West Ham Under 18's Beat League Leaders

West Ham's Under 18's travelled to Southampton and beat the league leaders 1-0. Junior Stanislas got West Ham's winner after having missed an earlier penalty.

The West Ham youngsters have now won four and drawn one of their last five games. The win also moves West Ham to within one point of Southampton Under 18's in Group A of the Premier Academy League.

Newcastle Target West Ham's Ashton

The Daily Mirror are today rehashing the rumour that Kevin Keegan wants to sign Dean Ashton in the summer. The problem with this rumour is that with Keegan's current record at the club and Newcastle's history with managers Keegan is unlikely to be in charge come the summer.

West Ham loanee Joe Widdowson is expected to make his debut for Rotherham against Wycombe today. Widdowson joined the Millers on a month-long loan deal from West Ham this week. He turned out for their reserves mid-week and will probably be in the first team today.

The Marie Curie Cancer Care charity wants people to sign up for a freefall abseil from the roof of the Bobby Moore Stand at West Ham United's stadium on Saturday March 8. The West Ham United stadium abseil is open to anyone over the age of 16 and offers a great opportunity to raise vital funds for charity in one of the most exciting ways possible, said a spokeswoman.

Participants do not need to be particularly fit or have any experience of abseiling- they just need to be a bit daring and prepared to go over the edge for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

All money raised will be spent on providing high quality nursing, totally free, to give terminally ill people across Newham the choice of dying at home supported by their families.

For more information about the abseil contact Natallie Walters on (020) 7599 7790 or visit

West Ham Round Up

West Ham's elimination from the FA Cup has had the benefit of giving the team a week's rest. Mark Noble will relish the opportunity more than most. Noble played for England Under 21's before last week's Birmingham game and then had to withdraw from the team shortly before kick-off.

"It wasn't a pulled hamstring, it was a little bit of fatigue over the last week or so that I have been feeling," said the West Ham midfielder.

"The manager said 'don't risk it, it is better to miss one game than miss four'. I just took a decision to rest it and I will be back for the next game I am sure. You need the little breaks. I can rest the hamstring and I will be fully fit for Fulham."

West Ham Under 18's take on the leaders of their league group, Southampton today. Freddie Sears, who has scored eight goals in his last five appearances, could play an important factor in the result.

Perpetually 'linked with West Ham' Nicky Shorey seems to have once again stalled in his contract negotiations with Reading. Therefore most of the papers are dusting down their tired old lines about 'West Ham keeping a close eye' on proceedings'.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Davenport Will Make Full Recovery

West Ham's head physiotherapist George Cooper says defender Calum Davenport will make a full recovery after breaking his neck while on-loan at Watford.

"I have to complement Watford for the impeccable way they handled it. Calum was lucky to have such a good team around him when it happened," Cooper said.

"The loss of power and pins and needles has now disappeared and he is expected to make a full recovery."

James Collins, on the other hand, is targeting as quick a return as possible from his serious knee injury with surgery due next week. It is hoped that Collins will recover in time to play some part in this summer's pre-season training.

Jack Collison is eyeing a place in the West Ham first team. Collison found himself on the bench last Saturday after Mark Noble was pulled out of the squad at the last moment.

"Nobes pulled out with a tight hamstring and I found out I was on the bench maybe 15 minutes before the game. I was absolutely buzzing and just hoping to get on the pitch, but unfortunately I didn't," Collison said.

"I am really trying to do my best to force my way in. It is hard because the boys are performing really well - especially Hayden [Mullins] and Nobes in midfield, they have been superb. I have just got to wait my chance and keep doing what I am doing."

West Ham After Michael Owen

The Daily Mirror in their second unlikely story of the day say West Ham are monitoring Michael Owen's situation at Newcastle. The paper claims that Owen wants another four year contract at the club on his present salary of £5 million a year. If the barcodes don't agree to his terms then The Mirror claims they face losing him on a free at the end of next season.

Just what West Ham need, another ex-Newcastle player on high wages who might be fit enough to manage three or four games a season.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sidwell to West Ham

The Daily Mirror say that Steve Sidwell will join West Ham in the summer for £5 million. The paper claims that Sidwell, who joined Chelsea on a free last summer, is fed up with the lack of first team opportunities at Chelsea and has thrown a hissy fit after being left out of the Champions League squad.

The Mirror claim that Sidwelll has been quietly offered around and that West Ham are prepared to match his current £3 million a year contract.

Canadian team Vancouver Whitecaps have announced that they have agreed to play a 'top ten' Premier League side this summer. West Ham's opening of a North American Academy last year has led everyone to jump to the conclusion that the Premier League club could be West Ham.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

West Ham Dream Alive

Lucas Neil says West Ham's one point from the last two games has dented West Ham's hopes of achieving European qualification this season, but they aren't giving up yet.

"We have obviously lost ground, we lost points and what should have been a really exciting month for us is now starting to look a little bit anti-climatic," Neill added.

"We are all very disappointed but also we had a good chat about what we are going to do here on in. As we all know last year we won seven out of nine games so all is not lost yet."

West Ham Casino

A leaked letter has revealed that Newham will be allowed one of the sixteen new gambling palaces proposed by the government.

Favourites at the moment to host the casino are ExCeL in the Royal Docks, Stratford City and West Ham United's Boleyn Ground at Upton Park (although I have no idea what Stratford City is).

Young West Ham left-back Joe Widdowson is joining Rotherham United on loan. Widdowson, 19, is reportedly travelling up to Millmoor today.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Zamora Back With a Bang for West Ham

Bobby Zamora demonstrated what has been missing up front for the first team by scoring a hat-trick for the reserves. What was even more cheering for West Ham fans was that he and Faubert seemed to have an instant understanding as between them they steered West Ham to a 4-1 win over Birmingham Reserves.

Zamora and Faubert combined well in the lead up to West Ham's first goal before Collison was set up to score from the right side of the penalty area. The second goal came when Zamora spun on the ball leaving the Birmingham defence for dead before smashing the ball home.

Goal numbers three and four both came from Faubert crosses from the right wing, both of which Zamora converted expertly.

Bowyer Appeal Successful

West Ham's appeal against Lee Bowyer's red card has been successful. The red card, given by Mark Clattenburg in the game against Birmingham City, has been rescinded by an FA Panel.

West Ham Technical Director

The Times say West Ham have short-listed two candidates for the post of technical director and expect to make the appointment this month. The role will include scouting for players, transfers, work on the new stadium and training-ground projects.

One man it is unlikely to be is Giovanni Trapattoni. The former Italy manager has been linked with the West Ham post but the BBC say he is set to be unveiled as Republic of Ireland manager on Wednesday.

Cole Admits Ashton Partnership Not Working

Carlton Cole has admitted that his partnership up front with Dean Ashton is not working.

"We will be looking at the ProZone stats and the videos to see how we can work better together,” the West Ham striker says.

“We need to look at our movement as sometimes we find ourselves in the same position and the communication is not up to scratch. We will start on the relationship on Monday. We have not actually looked at it before.”

Monday, February 11, 2008

West Ham's Bellamy Facing the Knife

The Times say Craig Bellamy is to undergo two surgical operations that are likely to keep the striker out for the rest of the season. The West Ham striker is to have surgery on a knee and his groin.

Despite playing and scoring in a recent friendly Bellamy apparently felt uncomfortable after the game. It now seems he is unlikely to add significantly to his seven starts for West Ham this season.

FA to Hear Bowyer Appeal

The FA are to hear Lee Bowyer's appeal Tuesday lunchtime (Tuesday), with the result expected to be announced later the same day.

West Ham News Round-UP

It seems that Robert Green has the legend 'England's No.6' stitched into his goalkeeping gloves. However the West Ham No.1 has been quick to declare that the joke is not a dig at the England manager,

"My glove manufacturer was having a laugh on my behalf," said Green.

“(The glovemaker’s) been to games, heard the banter with the crowd and thought it would be funny to have ‘England’s No 6’ on my gloves. I wasn’t having a go at anyone. If it is anyone, it is against myself."

Alan Curbishley has said that Dean Ashton has to be patient after being out of the game for so long but believes he will recover his form and be in contention for an England place once again,

"Deano just has to keep going. We have been easing him in, and it is difficult getting fit in the first team, but there has been no other way.

"He had the injury and it took a year to recover from it. He had another set-back once he got himself going and I think you can see that he has a bit to do."

The games are watched every week and Matthew Upson got himself in there, so it is performances I think, nothing else. First things first, Deano has got to get himself absolutely right and he will know when he is absolutely right.

"Deano has done well to get where he is after a big injury. He's worked ever so hard at it. Sometimes players can be affected by team selection, the way the team is playing, results, scoring goals. We've all got to get on with it."

West Ham and England legend Geoff Hurst has announced his support for the EPL's proposal to play one game abroad every year.

“I come from a club and a background under Ron Greenwood where he very much believed that football was a global game,” he told the BBC.

“In principle, I am not against taking football, and our great teams that are watched all over the world, all over the world for other fans to see live. If they see that as a good idea, then I’m not against it.”

Sears on Fire for West Ham Under 18's

Freddie Sears got a hat-trick and set up another goal as West Ham Under-18's beat Norwich City 4-1.

Tony Carr has said in the past that "Freddie has got what it takes to force himself into reckoning with the first team." If West Ham's problems up front haven't been overcome by the end of season it might do the lad some good to give him some first team experience in one of our end of season games (that is if we aren't battling relegation or fighting for a European place).

Sunday, February 10, 2008

West Ham to Appeal Bowyer Red

Alan Curbishley has said that West Ham will appeal Lee Bowyer's red card,

"We have asked (the referee) to look at it and I think he will," Curbishley said. "Hopefully he will overturn it because when it happened I didn't think it was that serious. The referee on the spot sees it a little differently. If he is suspended it will be a bit tough."

The West Ham manager was also upset with the referee's giving of a penalty,

"I can't even see an arm around McFadden. I was really surprised when the referee gave it. We have seen it and we don't think it is a penalty at all."

West Ham's Perfomance Rated

Talk of moving Premier League football abroad may be a little premature. Based on Fleet Street's assessment of West Ham and Birmingham's game yesterday there won't be many bidders to stage the EPL overseas.

The Daily Telegraph called the game 'a dismal match'. In fact they felt Birmingham 'thoroughly deserved their point' as they made 'West Ham look very ordinary'.

The Daily Mail were also unimpressed with West Ham's performance yesterday. They thought the game was 'a drab affair' in which all West Ham's 'huffing and puffing' was not enough to secure a win.

The Guardian concurred that the game 'failed to excite' and The Independent quoted Curbishley saying that the game 'fizzled out on us.' They then go on to say that Curbs may as well have been talking about West Ham's season as the game had an 'end-of-season feel to it – and we're still three months away.'

The Times felt that both teams put on 'a patchy performance' and that 'Dean Ashton, particularly, wasted chances'.

After the last two games I am reminded of Curbishley's Charlton teams that always performed well up until Christmas and then seemed to run out of steam. Presumably Curbishley would counter that argument with West Ham's run in last season. Let's hope we do have a few performances to come.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

West Ham 1 Birmingham 1

Cautiously Curbishley could have had a heart attack at the start of this game. The match had a very lively beginning and the play at Upton Park was for a change excitingly open, with West Ham looking the more dangerous.

West Ham won a corner in the first minute and Ashton had a good chance from Ljungberg's set-piece only to swing his foot at the ball and miss it completely. Two minutes later Ashton actually made contact with a Neill cross but his volley flew straight into Taylor's arms.

In the seventh minute West Ham's early pressure was rewarded with Ljungberg's first goal for the club. McCartney made a long throw in from the left wing and the ball was flicked on by Cole and Ljungberg ran in at the back post to score from two yards.

The game then swung back and forth with Bowyer and Cole both just firing wide with good efforts before Birmingham in the 16th minute got their equaliser. The goal came about when McFadden escaped Neill in the box and the Australian dragged him down to give away a penalty (it was almost as if a leaden footed Neill had spent half the week on long-haul flights). McFadden then stepped up to take the kick. Robert Green guessed right and dived to his right but McFadden's shot flew into the bottom left of the goal.

West Ham didn't let this set back get them down though and continued to pepper the Birmingham box. In the 26th minute Mullins lobbed the ball over the top of the Birmingham defence and into space. Etherington ran onto the pass but shot tamely wide. Three minutes later the lively Etherington put a low cross into the box and a stretching Bowyer shot straight at Taylor.

In the 35th minute Forsell and Cole at different ends had a chance to snatch the lead with close range headers. However both forwards headed straight at the opposition goalkeeper.

In the 38th minute McCartney and Etherington both managed shots on goal. McCartney's shot flew well wide from 20 yards but Etherington's shot required a good save from Taylor diving to his left at the expense of a corner. A few minutes later Mullins tried a shot from twenty yards out but Taylor saved the shot easily.

The two sides went into the break with honours even but West Ham probably felt that they had done enough to be in the lead.

Whatever the managers said to the players at half time it was enough to kill the game. The highlight of the first twenty minutes after the break was the substitution of Cole for Faubert.

Faubert's entrance into the game seemed to lift West Ham a little and in the 66th minute West Ham managed their first shot of the half when Mullins shot from 25 yards, only to put the ball wide of the right hand post. In the 69th minute Faubert found space at the back post but hooked the ball across the box instead of going for goal. The ball eventually found its way to Ashton but he mishit his shot from 10-yards out.

In the 74th minute Matthew Etherington's free kick from wide right was met by Upson with his head from the centre of the penalty area 12 yards out but Taylor got down well to save. A minute later Ashton tried a long range effort from 25 yards but never troubled Taylor in goal.

In the 76th minute Forssell had Birmingham's best effort of the half, but his effort from 6 yards shot across the face of the West Ham goal and past the far post. That was Forssell's last contribution to the game as he was then brought off for Jerome.

Two minutes before the final whistle Lee Bowyer was given a straight red for having both feet off the ground in a tackle. Seconds before full-time Ashton was subbed and was booed by a small section of the crowd. Birmingham probably had the best of the final ten minutes but West Ham were the better side for most of the game.

I think we have probably seen the end of West Ham's European dream for this season.

West Ham vs Birmingham - Live Streaming

So far it seems that only Truesports 5 are showing the game. This stream is available through TVAnts.

LiveFooty and FSi both have links to the stream.

Or you could try this which I think is a direct link.

Friday, February 08, 2008

West Ham vs Birmingham- The Predictions

The big surprise this week is that Lawrenson predicts a West Ham win. What isn't surprising is that he manages to get a dig in at West Ham's expense claiming that the club won't achieve a UEFA place.

Lawro predicts a 2-1 home win.

Sky Sports obviously have a better understanding of West Ham's defensive record and believe that we will keep a clean sheet against a Birmingham side with an awful away record.

Sky Sports predict a 2-0 home win.

Setanta have obviously hit the juice a little early this weekend. In an article that only talks about how rubbish Birmingham are they end by predicting a draw.

Setanta calls a 1-1 draw.

Bellamy Out for Season

The Daily Mail, having last week wrongly informed the world that Scott Parker was out for the rest of the season, now claim the same for Craig Bellamy. They say Bellamy has has had a recurrence of his abdominal problems. They even have a quote from West Ham manager Alan Curbishley this time,

"Craig is still feeling sore. We will have to assess things all over again."

This seems to be the sum total of their evidence for this 'season ending' injury so hopefully the story is as big a pile of Mail journalism as the Parker story.

Making A Mockery of the Game

Not that there was much doubt about it but the Premier League have finally proved that football in this country is no longer a sport but a business as it looks to sell its soul to the highest bidder. At a meeting in London yesterday all 20 Premier League clubs agreed in principle to extend the season by one game creating an extra ten games in total. Those extra ten games would then be played abroad after being auctioned off to the highest bidding cities around the world.

This money spinner would of course make the league a farce. It means that the worst teams over the season possibly won't be relegated. Instead the team who draws one of the top clubs for their extra game could then see their relegation opponents draw one of the weaker teams.

It means fans will no longer be buying season tickets but 'part of the season tickets'. It means loyal fans who want to see every match of their club will be fleeced even more by rich foreign owners. Ultimately I expect it could mean the relocation of some clubs overseas.

If anyone know of a fans' campaign to oppose this move please leave a comment.

  • I have found and signed an online petition against these proposals.
  • I have e-mailed my disgust to the Premier League
  • The Football Supporters Federation also have a poll about these proposals. It is only a poll but I guess if thousands vote then it might spur them onto some proper campaigning on this issue.

West Ham Boss Is In Charge

Alan Curbishley, responding to suggestions that some of the West Ham players are unhappy with his tactics, responded that his only concern is to get results,

"My only aim is to get a result, its not to keep people happy," said the West Ham manager.

"When I pick a side to do a job I expect certain things and I have changed formations during games - it's a team effort, not for individuals."

If that worries Dean Ashton then the West Ham forward will be even less pleased with the news that Craig Bellamy is now also fighting for a first team place,

"The make up of Carlton Cole and Dean Ashton is that they've got to work at it a bit more because as a pair they can be similar," he said.

"Craig looks to get in behind the defence - he offers us something else. He came through the reserve game and is a bit sore but still did enough in the game to suggest that, even though he's not 100 per cent, he's still not too bad."

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Lucas Neill - Club or Country?

Lucas Neill says he will continue to play for Australia if picked. Australia's next game is on March 26th, sandwiched between West Ham's away fixtures to Everton and Sunderland.

People will say 'why would you want to go and play for Australia in the middle of two English Premier League games?' Because I'm playing for Australia and I want to go to the World Cup," the West Ham captain said.

"It's an honour, it's a privilege and I'm sure there are millions and millions of others who would want to be doing what we are doing. I'm not taking it for granted.

"If it was him (Curbishley) going to represent England he wouldn't have an argument and that's the only case we have to put forward to him."

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

West Ham Internationals

Apparently Matthew Upson partnered Rio Ferdinand in central defence during England's training session yesterday. It could be that Upson is in line for a place in the starting eleven.

Mark Noble did play a starring role in England Under 21's 3-0 win against the Republic of Ireland in their 2009 European Under-21 Championship qualifier yesterday. England now lead their group by nine points but Portugal have two games in hand in second place.

James Tomkins helped set up a goal for England Under-19s friendly win against Croatia. With England already 1-0 up Tomkins set up Aston Villa's Ciaran Clark in the second half for England's second goal in this 2-0 win. Freddie Sears looked lively when he was brought on as a substitute.

Jack Collison got Wales Under 21's third goal in their 4-0 defeat of Malta. Wales now top their European Under-21 Championship qualifying group.

Joorabchian Still Trying to Screw West Ham

West Ham have responded to last week's claims by Joorabchian that West Ham owe him £7 million in unpaid fees. Joorabchian says that his lawyers will lodge a claim at the court today seeking an outstanding sum of £4.5 million, plus a further £2.6 million which, he alleges, was due to be paid to him by West Ham on Jan 31.

Jooorabchian claims he has documentary and taped evidence for his claims. This is a familiar claim from the greasy little chancer. In the summer he tried to claim he had a signed contract from West Ham for Tevez's services which turned out to be a contract that he had had written up and which had never been signed.

With the FA due to rule on Sheffield Utd's appeal next month and with a Premier League chairmen's meeting tomorrow expected to prohibit the third party ownership of players this seems a desperate measure by Joorabchian to try and screw some more money out of football before his business is swept from under his feet.

A West Ham spokesperson responded to Joorabchian's allegations by saying,

"We have been aware of this claim from Mr Joorabchian for some time ... there is no substance to it and, if necessary, we will defend our position in court."

According to The Telegraph Joorabchian believes he is owed £4.5 million from promises made by the club's former chairman, Terry Brown, and managing director, Paul Aldridge. He also believes he is owed £2.6 million because of a verbal agreement he had with Eggert Magnusson.

Now I'm pretty certain I had a verbal agreement with the oily little tyke for him to pay off my mortgage.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Faubert Points to Holes in West Ham Training

Julien Faubert has pointed to holes in West Ham's tactical preparation for games and hinted that Giovanni Trapattoni may be on the way to Upton Park.

“I have a person at the club who speaks French and helps me with the translation and he is Italian and speaks to me about [Trapattoni’s possible arrival],” the French winger said.

"He would be a huge boost for our tactics because we have gaps in that area of the game, on the defending and positioning aspects.

“His arrival is possible, it is up in the air. I don’t know if it will happen or not.”

“For the moment only bad things happened to me, first the injury, then the robbery. It was difficult, especially when you move to a new club, but it is part of the past and I am looking for better days.

“Being a starter is the next objective, but I have to pass stage after stage. I have been waiting for six months so I can wait for a few more weeks. I am not at my top form yet so I won’t risk being stupidly injured again.

“They do everything upside down and everything is different here and the league can’t be compared to the French one.

“They fight for every ball and the refs don’t whistle often. Then, the games are much quicker, they are not focused on tactics at all, there is no time to rest.

“You arrive at the stadium an hour before the game, contrary to in France where you are away with the team in a hotel a night before.

“It shows you if you are a professional or not because you are your own boss. It’s up to you to eat well, to drink enough, and to rest to be ready on D-day.

We rarely speak tactics at training. It’s only based on little games and since I’ve been here we have just done two tactical training sessions, we just do games, try to play in little spaces with everybody in the front.

“They had ideas about French players so they tested me when I arrived; kindly kicked me (laughs). What is good here is that they kick you, then you kick them, but nobody complains, it’s just part of the game.

“Honestly, you have to be physically strong; everybody is big in my team, apart from the small strikers. They don’t like cry babies, players who stay on the grass. You have to accept being kicked and give it back to them.

“It’s their game and if it happened at training in France it would finish in brawls, but here the mentality is different.

“I think that we haven’t been lucky from the start of the season because many players have been injured, a lot of recruits have been injured, but players are starting to come back, Craig Bellamy for example.

“I think that we can qualify for a European cup, that is the club’s aim. I think that we can do it.

“They want to create a new training centre and within two or three years to create a new stadium a little less big than Emirates Stadium but the same kind.”

Davenport Thought Career Was Over

Calum Davenport has revealed that he is happy and relieved that he will be able to play football again. Davenport broke a bone in his neck in his first game on loan to Watford and at first worried if he would ever walk again.

"I'm definitely going to have a different aspect on everything that I'm doing to be honest," the defender said. I think there was a lot of swelling and bleeding around my neck and obviously I broke a bone.

"It was quite worrying for me, but thankfully I'm still walking because some people don't come through it.

"I'm going to be alright. It's a long road but I'm going to come through it. It's made me a better person. Even in the last two weeks since it happened I look at things differently. I was lying there thinking the worst.

"I'm just thankful that I'm still going to be able to play football which is something I love."

West Ham Internationals

Mark Noble represents England Under 21's today in their European Under-21 Championship qualifier against the Republic of Ireland in Southampton.

Jack Collison plays for Wales Under-21's in their Under-21 Championship qualifier against Malta this afternoon. Junior Stanislas and Freddie Sears are in the England Under-19 squad for the friendly against Croatia.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Zamora & Bellamy Score for West Ham

Bobby Zamora and Craig Bellamy both scored in today's 'behind closed doors' friendly against QPR. Julien Faubert and Nolberto Solano also played in the game that West Ham won 2-1.

QPR opened the scoring in the first minute with a long range effort from Antonio German. Zamora equalised in the eighth minute after Bellamy pulled the back for him to volley home form 12 yards. Bellamy got the winner himself pouncing on a rebound from his own shot which bounced back off Crowther in the QPR goal.

Di Canio Wants to Manage West Ham

The Daily Mail who last week claimed Parker was out for the rest of the season are now quoting Alan Curbishley as saying that the West Ham midfielder will be back in four to six weeks.

"Contrary to some stories I've seen," said the West Ham manager, "Scott will be back in about four to six weeks. He's had problems with knee injuries but he hasn't been ruled out of the run-in."

The Mail doesn't deem it worthwhile to mention that it was them who made up the story in the first place.

The Daily Mail also quote Paulo Di Canio, who says his dream is to manage West Ham.

"I am going to retire at the end of the season, I'm a little too old to carry on playing so I will take up managing next year. I hope to have the same success as a coach that I did as a player.

"My dream would be to manage in the Premier League because English football is the best in the world and my dream in particular would be to manage at West Ham - that would be perfect.

"I spent four seasons there and I would love to go back and win something with them. The fans are fantastic there and the atmosphere at Upton Park was always so special.

"Every weekend I watch all the English games on TV but I always look out for the West Ham score, I have a special place for them in my heart.

"When I watch the Premier League I am always proud to see players that were young boys when I was at West Ham - I'm talking about Joe Cole, Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand and Trevor Sinclair.

"When I was there they were really young so I saw them grow up into men and players and I am proud to watch them playing at the top level in the Champions League.

"The standard in the Premier League was always good but these players and Jermain Defoe also stand out for me as the best English players."

Sunday, February 03, 2008

West Ham News Round Up

Craig Bellamy and Danny Gabbidon have pulled out of Wales' friendly this week because of a 'lack of match fitness'. Both players are due to play in especially arranged friendly today against QPR. Julien Faubert and Bobby Zamora are also expected to feature in the friendly.

West Ham Under 18's earned an impressive 0-2 win away to Arsenal under 18's on Saturday. The Arsenal youngsters beat West Ham 6-1 in the home fixture earlier in the season so this was a good come back from the Under 18's. Daniel Kearns and Freddie Sears scored West Ham's goals.

Pantsil played well today in helping Ghana through to the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations. Ghana came back from 1-0 down against Nigeria to win 2-1 despite playing the last 30 minutes with only ten men after John Mensah was dismissed.

West Ham Can Get Bigger

Alan Curbishley talking on Sky's Goals on Sunday says that West Ham can grow as a club.

"I didn't realise how big West Ham was until I got inside it. I obviously played there and managed against them but until I actually got to the club I didn't realise how big it was.

"It's a big club and we feel we can become bigger. There's plans for a new stadium and for us to push on but obviously we've got to lay the foundations for that to happen.

"We have 35,000 capacity and we've got 8,000 waiting list for season tickets, we know we can attract more fans and if we move a couple of miles into Canning Town near the olympic stadium in Stratford then once the infrastructure goes in we can attract 60,000.

"That's the plan and if we can do that then we might be able to push on and become a bigger club."

Wigan vs West Ham - The Reviews

Unsurprisingly most of the papers single out the state of the pitch as one of the biggest contributors to this game but even so most of the papers were unimpressed with West Ham's performance.The general consensus being that Wigan's midfield were quicker and harder to the ball.

The Daily Express say that chances 'were at a premium on a ploughed field of a pitch'. Whilst The Daily Mail claim that "West Ham struggled to get going" in this match as 'both sides struggled to string a couple of passes together on a dreadful pitch.' They say that if Bellamy had scored then it would have been an 'undeserved point'.

The Daily Telegraph say that "there was a sense right from the kick-off that it would be Wigan's day with the Honduran Wilson Palacios and the irritable Michael Brown snapping into tackles in the centre of midfield." After Wigan scored "the visitors' response was negligible."

The Times agree that West Ham were "never given an inch to play in the face of a committed Wigan team."

The Guardian tries hard to be fair to both teams saying that "the general tempo and quality of the game in such difficult conditions was a credit to both teams." Whilst The Independent takes the opposing view that "the action was forgettable."

Upson Survives the Cut

Matthew Upson has survived the cut of Capello's first England team as he has been named in the final 23 man squad. Upson has seven caps but has not played for England since a November 2004 friendly away to Spain.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Curbs Blames West Ham Loss on Pitch

Wigan 1 West Ham 0

West Ham started with Ashton and Cole up front, Bellamy and Solano on the bench and no Boa Morte in the squad.

West Ham started reasonably brightly and within four minutes Ljungberg forced a save from Kirkland with an 18 yard shot. That action proved to be a false dawn as on an appalling pitch and in a scrappy game that was about it for goal mouth action for most of the first half. Wigan did manage a few shots that flew way off target but neither goalie was unduly troubled.

However in the dying seconds of the two minutes time added on Wigan were given a free kick 30 yards out. Taylor chipped the ball into the box where Kilbane unmarked met the ball with his head 6 yards to the left of the West Ham goal and about a yard in from the touchline. Somehow his header (probably an attempt to just knock the ball into the five yard box) looped over Green and into the back of the net to give Wigan the lead.

The second half was a more entertaining affair. In the 55th minute Brown managed to get into the box and squeezed a shot off from eight yards. Green saved the shot with his feet and West Ham immediately broke up field where Ashton won a corner. From the resulting corner Upson headed over.

In the 64th minute some interplay between Ashton and Cole led to a Cole shot from 11 yards from the right of the goal but the ball flew high and wide. That was the end of the action for Cole as Bellamy came on to replace him.

In the 75th minute Bellamy had a chance to draw level when Ljungberg chested the ball down to him in the box but his shot from 5 yards flew left of the Wigan goal. Either side of Bellamy's effort Wigan had the chance to extend their lead. In the 71st minute Wigan had a corner, the ball was cleared out of the area to Valencia 30 yards out and his shot hit the left hand post and flew across the goal line and off the other post and then into Green's arms.

Late on in the 88th minute Bent had the best chance of the game when he was put clean through but with only Green to beat he put the ball over the bar.

In the end a combination of Wigan's greater desire and a mess of a pitch did enough to disrupt West Ham's game.

Next week apparently they are going to start playing rugby on this pitch. There should be some kind of penalty for team's who can't muster a playable pitch. I propose the castration of Wigan chairman Dave Whelan. That would seem a fair and just punishment.

Wigan vs West Ham Live Streaming

The only live stream I can find today is on LiveFooty which has a TVAnts link for today's game.

Radio commentary is available on BBC London DAB Digital Radio & Sky Channel 0152.

Parker Back in Four Weeks

According to Setanta, and in direct contradiction to today's Mail and Sun, Scott Parker will be back in action in four weeks. The site claims that Alan Curbishley stated to the press yesterday that Parker would be back next month.

If it is true that Curbishley stated this yesterday it is hard to see where The Mail and Sun have invented this story form.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Parker Out For The Season

According to The Daily Mail Scott Parker's knee injury will now keep him out for the rest of the season. Parker was hurt in West Ham's 2-1 victory over Manchester United in December.

The official West Ham website actually printed today that 'Scott Parker could be back in four weeks.' However the official site often seems to lag behind Fleet Street and The Mail presumably has some inside information on this.

Why Does Lawro Hate West Ham?

With West Ham's excellent recent form, our amazing away record and Wigan's poor form you would have thought this game had away win written all over it.

Not if your Mark Lawrenson it doesn't. Lawro risks rectal bleeding through straining to praise West Ham who have been 'ticking along' and he reluctantly concedes Curbishley has 'done a decent job'. However he can't quite concede that West Ham might win a game of football and has obviously forgotten Wednesday's result already (coincidentally Liverpool who have not won any of their last five Premier League games are predicted to win 2-0).

Lawro predicts a 1-1 draw.

Sky Sports show a bit more awareness of West Ham's current form, "West Ham have only lost three league games in their last 15 and are quietly mounting their challenge on Europe."

Consequently Sky predict a 1-2 away win.

Setanta think West Ham are "consistent and (have) only lost three league games ... since October." However they seem unimpressed with West Ham's attacking options.

Setanta achieve a world first by agreeing with a Lawrenson prediction. They also think it will be a 1-1 draw.

Boa Morte Hits out at West Ham Boo Boys

Luis Boa Morte has hit back at the West Ham fans who were booed his below par performance on Wednesday,

"The supporters were booing, but I don't know why," he said. "If they feel I did not work hard enough, we're probably not watching the same game. Things have not been going my way. I just have to dig in and keep working hard because I know the goals will come."

I think Boa Morte has a point. He is admitting that his form has dipped but that the fans can't fault his work rate.

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