Monday, June 30, 2008

West Ham Season 08/09 Prospects

The Telegraph today look at West Ham's prospects for next season.

Their assessment of West Ham's squad is that the team need "additional firepower up front, ... another full-back and a midfield playmaker."

Tee Telegraph say Nani has been given the task of bringing in Europe's wonder kids but that Curbishley's wish list is headed by Kevin Doyle and Andy Johnson.

The paper claims that Slaven Bilic will be quickly drafted in if Curbishley has a bad start to the season.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

West Ham Goals 07/08

The best goal has to be Ashton's overhead effort against Man Utd. My favourite though is Sears' career first, it comes from a great Ashton back heel and just seemed to say 'a new hero is born'.

Who is the song by?

Villa in Bid for Ferdinand

The Sunday Mirror claim that Aston Villa are closing in on a £10million move for West Ham's Anton Ferdinand. The Mirror say West Ham are prepared to sell Ferdinand to raise transfer funds for Alan Curbishley.

The Mirror also claim that West Ham are ready to make a £7.5m bid for Reading's Kevin Doyle, who they say was regularly scouted by West Ham last year.

The News of the World and The Sunday Mirror both say West Ham will hold showdown talks with club captain Lucas Neill over his future. They say Neill's contract runs out next summer and the West Ham board are reluctant to let him leave on a free transfer.

West Ham News Round-Up

West Ham defender James Collins has been talking about recovering from cruciate knee ligament damage in time to play for Wales in September,

"I hoped to come back for the start of the Wales campaign," said Collins. "The way I'm going it looks do-able so as long as I keep progressing I don't see a reason why I can't have a chance of playing in those games."

"If someone had told me when I did it I'd be back playing again at the start of September I'd have taken it. I may play a few reserve games in the middle to the end of August and then be available for full first team games, probably at the start of September."

Kumb say that West Ham are set to announce the signing of highly-rated teenager Hólmar Örn Eyjólfsson early next week. The young centre-half is a regular in Iceland's U-21 squad. He was also named in UEFA's team of the tournament at last year's under 17s Championship.

The Sunday Express say that Barcelona striker Eidur Gudjohnsen is now wanted by Portsmouth as well as West Ham. They say he is available for £5m.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ljungberg Quits International Football

On the day that Frank Lampard is reported to have quit Chelsea to concentrate on his career with Inter Milan Freddie Ljungberg has announced his retirement from international football to concentrate on playing for West Ham.

Ljungberg said, on hanging up his boots for his country,

"I have come to the decision to concentrate on playing for my club West Ham United, and that is where my focus will be in the future."

Frank Lampard probably said, "Show me the money."

Friday, June 27, 2008

West Ham Linked with Vivano and Bobadilla

Brescia keeper Emiliano Viviano has stated his desire to move to the Premier League.

"The reality, at least at the moment, is that nobody wants me in Italy. I wouldn't mind an experience abroad at all."

Whilst Vivanio says Sp#rs have been monitoring him he has also been linked with West Ham. New West Ham technical director Nani's link with Brescia and the fact that it looks like Richard Wright could be off to Ipswich soon might suggest a move to West Ham is the more likely.

The Daily Mirror today claim that West Ham are after Zurich Grasshopper striker Raul Bobadilla. Argentinian Bobadilla, 21, scored 18 goals last season and is said to be available for £3 million.

West Ham vs Sheffield Utd - No Result Expected

The FA have made a strange announcement concerning the arbitration between Sheffield Utd and West Ham in the case of the fork makers flight from reality. An FA spokesman said,

"This is a private arbitration between two parties at which the FA has no involvement.

"It would be up to the parties to decide as and when they wanted to announce any outcome.

Two things strike me as odd about this statement. Firstly, the FA have appointed the arbitrators and whilst strictly speaking they don't work for the FA, it is stretching it to say the FA has 'no involvement.'

Secondly saying that it is up to the two parties to announce any outcome is just weird. Does this mean that West Ham and Sheffield Utd have come to some arrangement that will never be released to the fans?

If that happens I don't suppose the fans of either club will be particularly happy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

West Ham to Face Villareal (Part 2)

The official West Ham web site has confirmed that the team will face Villareal in (the now) traditional last pre-season friendly at home.

The game will be on Saturday 9 August at the Boleyn Ground. The game should be a tough test. Villarreal finished ten points clear of Barcelona last season and only just behind Real Madrid.

West Ham News Round-Up

You can tell that there is a serious absence of any real transfer rumours when the big story on Sky concerning West Ham is that one of the players is not leaving.

That's right West Ham fans favourite John Pantsil says he plans to stay at Upton Park,

"Some clubs have made attempts to lure me. But what I can say for now is that I am happy at West Ham United and I am prepared to stay on.

"My manager Alan Curbishley is highly impressed with my output so far and is not prepared to let me go - therefore I will stay at the club.

Keiron Dyer says that Lucas Neill is 'the best captain I've ever had'.

As a player, if you have got a problem, he will sort it out,” said Dyer. “He is a great man.

“He thought the players were low
(after the 4-1 defeat at Manchester United in May) and suggested a get together to build team spirit up. That’s the kind of man he is.

Meanwhile new Blackburn manager Paul Ince is looking forward to returning to West Ham as a manager,

“I looked at the fixtures and noticed straight away that West Ham was the third game. The trip to Upton Park was the one that stood out to me for some reason. I can’t think why!

“But we’ve got Everton and Hull to play before then and it will be an exciting time for me.

“Not long ago I was thinking about games against Darlington and Rochdale, no disrespect to them.

“Now here I am looking at when we are going to be playing against Manchester United and Chelsea – and West Ham, of course.”

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gudjohnsen Close to West Ham Deal?

Kumb are reporting on a couple of interesting developments concerning West Ham target Eidur Gudjohnsen.

Firstly, Kumb say that a party from Barcelona, including vice-president Marc Ingla, met with West Ham last week to discuss a fee for Gudjohnsen.

Secondly the West Ham fan site claim that Eidur Gudjohnsen visited London himself last week.

Ipswich Make Wright Bid

Ipswich Town manager Jim Magilton has confirmed that they have made an offer for West Ham back up goalkeeper Richard Wright,

"An approach has been made but it is early days and if it does not happen then we have other irons in the fire," said Town manager Jim Magilton.

"Richard is a very good goalkeeper and I feel he would be at his best playing for Ipswich Town. There is no secret that I wanted him 12 months ago, but it did not happen possibly because something was lost in translation.

"You will have to ask him if he made the right decision to move to West Ham, who were of course in the Premier League.

West Ham Target Signs New Deal

West Ham had been rumoured to be keen on Wolves winger Michael Kightly. Kightly however has has ended the speculation by signing a new four year contract with Wolves.

Speaking to the Wolves website, Kightly said, "I'm really pleased that the deal has been completed. I hope it will stop all of this talk about me wanting to leave."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

West Ham Want £8 Million for Ferdinand

Yesterday The Daily Mail made up the story that West Ham were asking for £8 million for Anton Ferdinand. In fact, what they said was that West Ham did not want to sell Ferdinand to Sp~rs or Villa but wouldn't turn down £8 million.

The story has today been taken up by nearly every other news source as if it is fact. The story has even been embellished slightly today with the reporting that West Ham don't want to let Anton go but his agent "hasn't been in looking for a new contract so they may be forced to sell".

The last news I can find about Ferdinand's contract is from July 2005 when it was reported he had signed a three year deal. If he has signed no new deal since then West Ham won't be asking for £8 million - because he will be available on a free.

Monday, June 23, 2008

West Ham to Face Villareal

According to the Echo News West Ham's final pre-season home friendly will be against La Liga runners-up Villarreal CF.

The game is scheduled for Saturday, August 9.

Ljungberg Staying at West Ham

Despite all the rumours linking Ljungberg with moves away from West Ham the player's agent has been insisting that the Swedish winger is staying at West Ham. Claes Elefalk has now told Setanta that this has been confirmed by West Ham chief executive Scott Duxbury,

I met with Scott Duxbury and the new general manager Gianluca Nani and they explained Fredrik is very important for the future,” Ljungberg's agent told Setanta.

He is one of their most important players so they don’t want to lose him.

West Ham Monday Rumours

Sportingo claim that West Ham have had a £1.5m bid for Ipswich attacker Danny Haynes turned down. The sight also claims that West Ham are interested in signing Brazilian front man Fred but will be beaten to his signature by Sp#rs.

Various sources are still linking West Ham with Everton's Andy Johnson. The fact that Johnson is valued at £9 million and Curbishley looks set to partner Ashton and Bellamy up front suggests that this is little more than rumour. I don't think West Ham are prepared to spend that asmount of money on a back up striker and Johnson wouldn't move to become a back up for yet another team.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Southampton in for Richard Wright

The News of the World claim Southampton are keen to sign West Ham goalkeeper Richard Wright. Ipswich are also said to be eager to snap up Wright.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

West Ham After Kapo

Various sources claim that West Ham are keen on signing Olivier Kapo, after his agent said he wanted to quit Birmingham.

Did you see that?

Apparently his agent said Kapo 'wanted to quit Birmingham'. Now West Ham, Blackburn and Wigan are all said to be vying for his signature. Now who is doing all the talking here? And really who is going to believe it?

Now you could ask me why I repeat all this rubbish.

And I could counter why do you keep reading it?

And read it you do. The daily visits to this site are up by about 20% since the end of the season. Let me save you the trouble - take a break - come back at the beginning of next season. Nothing is going to happen. West Ham aren't going to sign any superstars whilst you are away.

At the beginning of August the club will sign someone you think that you have heard of (but you wouldn't swear on it). He will have a brilliant compilation video on YouTube which will be five minutes long (and will consist of the only five minutes of good football he has ever played). The new signing will then be injured in training before the season starts. You will then have to wait another year before you get to watch him anyway.

So what are you going to miss - seriously now - go away, there are far better things you could be doing with your day.

Anton to Uganda

West Ham's love fest with Africa contiues next week when Anton Ferdinand and two academy players visit Uganda. This is part of an exchange program which will also give some Ugandan kids the chance to visit the West Ham Academy for training stints.

Ferdinand will be coaching and training all week at a football clinic organised by Unilever Uganda.

Friday, June 20, 2008

West Ham Chase Coloccini

The Sun claim that West Ham and Newcastle will 'battle' to sign Deportivo La Coruna’s Fabricio Coloccini. The Sun then ruin a perfectly good rumour by saying that the Argentinian centre back is available for £12 million.

I think that could be a very short battle.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Villa Interest in Ferdinand

The Birmingham Mail claim that Aston Villa are considering a move for West Ham defender Anton Ferdinand. They repeat the now oft quoted claim that West Ham 'are willing to listen to offers for Ferdinand.'

Either journalists are just lazily rehashing each other's fantasies or West Ham are trying to force the hand of Sp#rs, who were also reported to be interested in Ferdinand, or Villa really do fancy another West Ham player.

The truth is out there.

West Ham's Green in Demand

The Times claim that Aston Villa and T#ttenham H#tspur are monitoring Robert Green’s contractual situation. The paper says that "Green is paid about £28,000 a week, which is significantly less than many at the club earn", although I fail to see what that has to do with the length of his contract.

Green has at least two years remaining on his current contract, so Sp#rs and Villa will be 'monitoring' the situation for a very long time.

West Ham Should Start the Seaon on Fire

West Ham captain Lucas Neill believes that West Ham have been given a fixture list that should ensure West Ham get off to a flyer.

"It is good to be starting at home (against Wigan on August 16) as it should mean we get off to a positive start and state our intentions for the season.

There are obviously two newly-promoted teams who will also be finding their feet and Fulham, Bolton and Wigan all finished at the wrong end of the table last season so, on paper, it does look like we could start very well, but there are no easy games in the Premier League as we all know."

His thoughts have been echoed by George McCartney,

"If we have a good pre-season and get up to standard quickly then there's no reason why we can't get plenty of points on the board from our first eight or nine games," the left-back said confidently. We're certainly capable of winning the majority of those opening games. If we can do that then that will take the pressure off when we face the top teams."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

West Ham Pair Called Up for England

Freddie Sears and James Tomkins have been named in the provisional England squad for the European Under-19 Championship in the Czech Republic.

The current selection of 23 players selection will eventually be cut to 18 before the tournament. Tomkins believe that England have the ability to win the tournament,

"We are going to go out there to win it, I don't see why we can't. Especially after the way we played in Belarus. We are going to go to the Czech Republic with full confidence that we can win this tournament. I am really looking forward to it."

Bellamy in Sierra Leone

Reuters have an interesting article today about Craig Bellamy's opening of a children's academy in Sierra Leone.

What is perhaps most interesting about a rather detailed and lengthy article is that there is no mention of Bellamy hitting a charity worker. Yesterday's Sun reported that Bellamy had fought with a charity worker in a casino in Sierra Leone. Now I wouldn't like to say that The Sum made that story up - everybody knows that The Sun never invents stories to sell papers - but I would like to suggest that their report was wildly inaccurate. Coincidentally The Sun has a very similar story today concerning Rio Ferdinand in Tel Aviv.

Anyway congratulations Craig on your good work.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Curbs the Favourite to be Sacked

WEST Ham boss Alan Curbishley has been installed as the 6/1 favourite to be the first Premier League manager to be sacked next season by bookmakers William Hill. William Hill made it clear that it was not Curbishley's sucess as a manager that influenced this deciscion but the fickle nature of some of the West Ham fans.

"It's nothing personal against Alan Curbishley and injuries disrupted West Ham's season lat time round," stated a Hill spokesman.

"However, if he doesn't get off to a decent start we have a feeling the fans might make their displeasure known, which would exert unwelcome pressure on him."

For many fans, after Curbishley helped save West Ham from relegation and after last year's solid season, it is inexplicable that he is seen as being under fire.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rumours, Lies and Damn Lies

The Daily Mirror and The Sun say that Portsmouth are set to snap up Nolberto Solano. Solano has been released on a free by West Ham. There are also some reports that Chivas USA and LA Galaxy are interested in the 34 year-old. However Solano's desire to be in or near London for family reasons would suggest those reports are wide of the mark.

Various sources claim that West Ham, Bolton and Portsmouth are chasing Newcastle old boy Stephen Carr.

Other rumours say that Sunderland manager Roy Keane has set his sights on West Ham forward Carlton Cole as he prepares for life without key front man Kenwyne Jones. Jones looks set to miss six months of the season after being injured in Trinidad and Tobago’s friendly against England.

West Ham Face Wigan at Home

West Ham have been drawn at home yet again for the opening fixture of the season, in what looks like an easy start against Wigan. The game will be played on Saturday 16th August 2008 at 3pm.

The following Saturday 23rd August West Ham will travel to Man City, followed by Blackburn at home on the 30th August. The last game of the season is also at home - this time against Boro on Sunday 24th May 2009

The official West Ham website now has the full fixtures list.

Here are the dates for some of West Ham's other games:

Arsenal at home - Saturday 25th October 2008 followed by Man Utd away on Tuesday 28th October 2008.

Liverpool away - Saturday 29th November 2008

Sp#rs at home - Saturday 6th December 2008

Chelsea away - Saturday 13th December 2008

Boxing Day - Portsmouth away

Arsenal away - Saturday 31st January 2009

Man Utd at home - Saturday 7th February 2009

Sp#rs away - Saturday 11th April 2009

Chelsea at home - Saturday 25th April 2009

Liverpool at home - Saturday 9th May 2009

West Ham Injuries Update

Today we should hear the fixtures for next season. Before that news from the Premier League however West Ham have released an update on the injuries at the club.

Craig Bellamy appears to be over his abdominal condition and has made two appearances for Wales. He is expected to commence training with the rest of the first-team squad in early July. Matthew Etherington and Calum Davenport are also reported to have fully recovered from injuries and will commence training with the rest of the squad.

Danny Gabbidon, who has not played since November with a stomach and pelvic problem, has been in Italy receiving alternative therapy including osteopathy and strengthening techniques to help his spine to articulate. It is hoped he could return to training during pre-season. James Collins, meanwhile, has again received a positive report from surgeons in his recovery from a cruciate knee ligament injury suffered in January and should feature in pre-season training. He could return early in the season.

Kieron Dyer is on course to start pre-season with the rest of his team-mates, as are Lee Bowyer and Matthew Upson after they continued to focus on their respective groin and calf problems after the end of the 2007/08 season.

Julien Faubert is also fully fit after his previous hamstring trouble. Nigel Quashie missed the entire 2007/08 campaign but is aiming to join in fully from the start of pre-season after extensive efforts to overcome his foot injury.

The bad news is that Jonathan Spector has had hip surgery after being diagnosed with torn cartilage and will be out for up to six months. As it stands, he looks set to be the only West Ham United first-team player who will definitely not take any part in the summer programme.

West Ham After Harper

The Sun are a one of a number of papers reporting today that Reading's James Harper wants to play in the Premier League. The Sun like most of the papers have cut out the part where Harper says he is happy fighting for his place in the Reading team in the Championship next year.

So, having made up a story that Harper wants to leave Reading, it is only a matter of picking the names of a few clubs out of the hat.

Therefore according to The Sun West Ham, Portsmouth and Bolton are all chasing the Reading midfielder. Remember you didn't hear it here first.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

West Ham Told It's £10 Million for Cisse

Both The Sunday Mirror and The Daily Star say West Ham will have to pay £10 million if they want to sign Djibril Cisse. Lucky they don't then.

No West Ham News Again

For about the fourth day in a row there seems to be no real news concerning West Ham.

So for my drivel today I'd just like to say how much I'm enjoying UEFA 2008. For me this has been the best international tournament (World Cup or Euro) for many a year. I'm obviously not alone in being impressed by Holland, Spain and Portugal, all of whom are playing fast and attractive football.

The fact that England didn't qualify on its own would suggest we are behind some of the other European footballing nations. However watching some of the quality of football on display might even convince some of the pundits who still talk about 'this generation' of players being good enough to win the World Cup that that is simply not true. I can't help but think England would have looked as ponderous and as slow (if not as old) as the Italians if they had qualified.

Looking at the present England team I can't name one player who can attack the opposition at pace with the ball at their feet. Joe Cole lacks pace but is perhaps the only current England player who can take an opponent on - of course he was named on the bench for England's last game.

I hope Walcott is given some first team football at Arsenal this year - I think England are going to need him. I'm struggling to think of any other English players with speed and the ability to beat someone with the ball at their feet.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Zamora to QPR

The Sun have reprinted the rumour that Bobby Zamora is off to QPR. This time however there is no mention of an initial one year loan. The Sun says QPR will pay West Ham £2.5 million for the striker.

No New Signings at West Ham

Everything seems to have gone very quiet indeed.

I think I read on one of the West Ham forums that apart from Scott Parker West Ham haven't signed a player before June for many a season.

My feelings are that there will be no big signings this window but one or two squad players might be brought in. Before this happens I think we are likely to see two or three players going in the opposite direction.

I also wonder if West Ham are waiting for the outcome of Sheffield United's compensation claim. The decision is supposedly due some time at the end of this month - and the club may wish to ensure that they don't have to cough up millions to SUFC before splashing out on bringing players in.

Which is a rather long winded way of saying I have no news and nary a clue.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Chelsea Finally Replace Ken Bates

Since Ken Bates left Chelsea things have never seemed the same down Fulham way. Admittedly being owned by a Russian gangster did go some way to appease the deluded of W1 but Abramovich has never made enough barmy public statements to qualify as a genuine right wing nutter.

The appointment of Phil Scolari however has promoted Chelsea back into the front line of the genuinely scary politically insane ( Iain Dale - seriously no offence intended ). Scolari has been a fearsome defender of Chile's murderous dictator Augusto Pinochet (and they don't make dictators like that any more).

In 2002 Scolari announced that "If I found out that one of my players was gay I would throw him off the team." Now it would be hypocritical for me to out any Chelsea players at the same time as slagging off Scolari's homophobia but if the rumours are to believed more than one Chelsea player will be worried by those insane mumblings.

Ken Bates, infamously, wanted to electrocute his fans by erecting a fence and plugging it into the mains. With Chelsea's most recent appointment an electric fence is no longer needed,

(butchered from The Independent)

Solano Would Like To Manage Newcastle

A little debate has developed below concerning the possible departure of Ljungberg. I'm actually a bit more upset about the departure of Solano. I think his ageing bones played a bigger contribution to West Ham's season last year than many of his younger team mates.

Football is obviously no longer a sentimental game but I think West Ham owe Solano another year's contract. OK - maybe not owe - but I think Solano did enough for West Ham to deserve another contract.

Solano himself today talked about the possibility of managing Newcastle in the future. For a club that has appointed Fat Sam you've gotta say they've done worse. And considering the revolving door that says 'Manager' at Newcastle he must have a fairly good chance of getting the opportunity sooner or later.

"I am looking for another club," said Solano. "I hope to stay in England for another two years and after that, I will return to Peru. Everybody knows what I feel about Newcastle and those fans, but it would be difficult to ever return there.

"The reason I was forced to leave Newcastle was because of family reasons, and that situation has not changed. But one day, I might be back at Newcastle as manager."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

West Ham's Ljungberg Close to Roma Deal

Tuttosport are saying that Roma have tabled a pre-contract agreement with West Ham's Freddie Ljungberg. Ljungberg is one of the top earners at the club and it has been rumoured that West Ham are keen to lessen the wage bill by moving Ljungberg on.

Solano Leaves West Ham - Official

West Ham have revealed that Nobby Solano has been released by the club. Solano is one of five players released by West Ham since the close of the season.

Irish youth international defender Lorcan Fitzgerald and midfielder Lee Hales have also been given free transfers while scholars Robbie Blackwell, a full-back, and striker Ben Hunt have not been offered pro contracts.

Zamora to QPR

The Daily Mirror say that Bobby Zamora is on the verge of signing for QPR. They claim that Zamora will join Rangers on an initial one-year loan, with QPR and West Ham splitting his £15,000-a-week wages.

All of Lampard's Relations Are Called Frank

With most of the footie journo's away on their free jaunt to Switzerland and Austria the crazy rumours seem to have more or less dried up.

The big story yesterday was that West Ham weren't signing Djibril Cisse. The big news today is that we aren't signing Robbie Fowler.

I did find something yesterday. It is non-West Ham, but interesting nevertheless. It is a Euro 2008 Diary on Football 365 - but a diary from an alternative universe where England managed to qualify for the competition.

The big news is that "Gary Neville has withdrawn his labour and is picketing England's hotel dressed as Che Guevara and clutching a goodwill message from Hugo Chavez. When interviewed Gary said: "It is an insult to the working class that we footballers should live in such luxury while the poor and oppressed are crushed by the wheels of capitalism."

The diary contains a lot more news and even contains a useful TEN FACTS YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOUR ENGLAND HEROES. Number six is that all of "Frank Lampard's Relations Are Called Frank." Now I didn't know that - although I do have a vague memory of a chap going by that name once playing left back for West Ham.

Read more at Euro 2008 Diary.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

David Beckham to Face West Ham

On-line balloting of fans accounts for 25% of the MLS All-Star First XI selection to face West Ham in the annual MLS All-Star Game to be held in Toronto on July 24th.

At the moment David Beckham is the overwhelming leader in fan voting. Nearly a month into the balloting, the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder is way ahead of the other players.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

West Ham Rumours

Palermo have stated that reported West Ham target Edison Cavani could be available for loan. West Ham and Torino are amongst a number of clubs said to be keen to secure the services of Cavani.

Kumb are reporting today that Anton Ferdinand could be allowed to go to Sp~rs in an exchange deal for Aaron Lennon. Although The Metro claims, this afternoon, that the rumours linking Ferdinand with the smallest club in north London are false.

West Ham Eye Cavani

Here are two rumours I missed from The Mail on Sunday over the weekend:

1. West Ham are lining up a move for Uruguayan Edison Cavani. The 21 year old striker currently plays for Palermo for whom he scored five times last season.

2. West Ham are keen on Reading central midfielder James Harper.

More rumours soon ...

Monday, June 09, 2008

Capello Backs Ashton for England

Fabio Capello insists that West Ham's Dean Ashton has a place in the England squad. Ashton has come under some criticism for his performance against Trinidad and Tobago but Capello says he remains in his plans,

"Yes, he will be with us for the next games as long as he is fit. I don't understand the criticism of Ashton because the England shirt brings a lot of pressure. He is a good player," said the England manager.

West Ham for Bullard

The People say Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is willing to sell midfielder Jimmy Bullard. It is believed that West Ham made enquiries about the midfielder last year and might still be interested.

The People say Bullard will be available for around £3 million.

West Ham Begin Arbitration Hearing

Sheffield United's disgraceful compensation claim against West Ham begins its hearing today.

The three man panel considering the dispute are made up of Lord Griffiths, a former president of MCC, Sir Anthony Colman, a former High Court judge, and Robert Englehart, QC. The hearing is expected to last several days and the panel is likely to take a couple of weeks before announcing a judgement.

The panel has the authority to award any penalty, including compensation.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

West Ham to Offload Ljungberg

The Italian press are claiming that West Ham have offered Freddie Ljungberg to Serie A side Roma. There have been numerous rumours suggesting that West Ham see Ljungberg as an expense no longer worth keeping.

However it is believed that Roma are reluctant to match West Ham's reported asking fee of €3million (£2.4million).

Zamora and Ferdinand to Leave West Ham?

The News of the World say that QPR's Iain Dowie has been given the go-ahead to sign three strikers with West Brom's Kevin Phillips, Bobby Zamora of West Ham and Wolves star Freddy Eastwood his targets.

Various sources quote The News of the World (although I can't find it in the NoW) as saying that Anton Ferdinand is set to join Sp~rs after their bid for Dunne fell through. They say that Curbishley is forced to cut the wage bill and has an abundance of talent in defence, so West Ham will sanction the deal.

Tenorio Claims West Ham Interest

This story is so tenuous that I wasn't going to bother mentioning it - but there seems very little else to report about at the moment - so here goes.

Both Sky and Setanta are reporting that Ecuador striker Carlos Tenorio is finally hoping he will get a move to England this summer.

The 29 year old striker is clearly desperate for one big final pay day - so it just seems obvious that "the reports (which) in Ecuador suggest West Ham, Wigan, Manchester City, Sunderland, Birmingham, Bolton and Blackburn Rovers could all be interested," all stem from the player's agent.

More Non-West Ham News

A couple of weeks ago I did an interview with the sonorous Eddie Mair for BBC Radio 4's iPM programme. The interview was held on the afternoon of the FA Cup final - so I missed seeing the final for the first time in about 20 years.

When I got home from Broadcasting House the final had just finished but iPM was just starting. I sat through the programme waiting for the interview to air - but you guessed it - they cut me!

Today however I discovered that iPM actually posted the interview on their BBC website.

The interview was about Google Maps' Street View and the prospect of it arriving in Europe (one of my other blogs is Google Maps Mania - so I know far too much about this stuff). I have embedded the interview below - in truth more to boost my own ego than anything else.

To listen just press play on the image below:

If the embedded player is taking too long to load (it seems very slow today) don't bother waiting for it - it really isn't that interesting.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Football Stadium

No news today.

Instead here is a map of some 3D models of football stadium from around the world.

Just on the off chance that West Ham do ever get the go ahead to move to a new stadium - what stadium would you like to see the New Boleyn modelled on?

(to view the map you will need to agree to download the new Google Earth for the browser plug-in. The plug-in comes from Google - and is completely safe)

GudJohnsen Prefers West Ham to Barcodes

Last week the Newcastle Mad website were creaming themselves over the prospect of signing Dean Ashton, even calling him the new Shearer. The day Ashton signed a new deal with West Ham they were calling him an overweight England failure.

I must check out their website today to see what they are now calling Eidur Gudjohnsen after he has said he would prefer signing for West Ham rather than Newcastle. Gudjohnsen was asked by Catalunya Radio where he would rather play next season. The Icelandic striker said in no uncertain terms that he would prefer West Ham over Newcastle any day.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Eidur Linked With West Ham Again

The Sun says that West Ham and Newcastle are on the alert after Eidur Gudjohnsen was told he can leave Barcelona. The paper claims he is available at around £4 million.

Gujonshsen has been linked with West Ham ever since the club were bought out by their new Icelandic owners.

West Ham Prepared to Lose Zamora

Now that Ashton has signed a new contract with West Ham the newspapers seem loathe to make up stories about him - therefore their attentions have turned elsewhere.

First off the mark are The Times who say that West Ham are prepared to let Bobby Zamora leave. But The Times only get a 'C' for effort as they can't even be bothered to invent some teams to link him with.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

West Ham Pre-Season Friendlies

West Ham have announced their pre-season friendlies. They start with a visit to Hampton & Richmond before two games in North America. The friendlies will end with a home game against a team yet to be confirmed.

Thursday 17 July, 7.30pm - Hampton & Richmond Borough v West Ham United
Sunday 20 July, 5pm - Columbus Crew v West Ham United (Columbus, USA)
Thursday 24 July, 7.20pm - MLS All-Stars v West Ham United (Toronto, Canada)
Tuesday 29 July, 7.45pm - Peterborough United v West Ham United
Wednesday 30 July, 7.45pm - Cambridge United v West Ham United XI
Friday 1 August, 7.45pm - Southampton v West Ham United
Monday 4 August, 7.45pm - Ipswich Town v West Ham United
Saturday 9 August, 3pm - West Ham United v TBC

West Ham SIgn Joorabachian!!

West Ham have persuaded Kia Joorabchian to drop his High Court claim against the club for £7.1 million. As part of the settlement Joorabchian will act as a consultant for West Ham on future transfers, for which he will be paid a fee. In this way it is likely that Joorabchian will recover the money he says he is owed in the next few years.

Arbitration proceedings by the FA between West Ham and Sheffield United begin on Monday.

Joorabchian's employment by West Ham on the eve of the arbitration proceedings is a huge coincidence. Sheffield United have often hinted at evidence that Kia Joorabchian has against West Ham. I guess Joorabchian won't now be appearing for the northern club.


Dean Ashton Signs Five Year West Ham Deal

Dean Ashton has signed a new five year deal with West Ham. Hopefully this will stem the rumours linking Ashton with other clubs.

Ashton said of his new deal,

"I am delighted. I said all along that I wanted to sign. I feel I have still got a lot to show the football club and the fans. I am really happy that I have signed and now I can look forward to next season.

"It is a fantastic way to end the season for me. It is not going to be on my mind and now with a five-year contract, the future is here. I said I wanted to stay at the end of the season and I am really glad it has been done so professionally and sorted now."

West Ham United Chief Executive Scott Duxbury said,

"I am delighted that we have agreed this new contract with Dean. It underlines the ambition of the club to progress and challenge at the top end of the Premier League. Dean is an important part of our plans for the new season and beyond. We are looking forward to seeing him scoring plenty of goals for West Ham United in the future."

As is custom West Ham did not reveal the details of the deal. However yesterday's Sun speculated that Ashton would be given a deal of £50,000 a week.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

West Ham Watch Roland Linz

Sky Sports say West Ham have been scouting Austrian hit-man Roland Linz. However they say West Ham are not the only club interested in the striker as "five clubs were in attendance to see Linz smash home two goals in Austria's warm-up against Malta last week."

Linz currently plays for Portuguese outfit
Sporting Braga, for whom he scored 11 times last season.

Ashton's £50,000 West Ham Deal

According to The Sun Dean Ashton is ready to sign a deal with West Ham which will see his wages rise from £13,000 a week to £50,000.

The Sun also claim that Nolberto Solano will be leaving the club after West Ham decided against renewing his contract.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

West Ham Fans Not Renewing Season Tickets

According to research by Virgin Money 25% of West Ham fans are not going to renew their season tickets because of the increase in prices. A combination of a recession in the economy and the far from exciting style of football produced by West Ham last season might be the final straw for a number of fans.

However what fans say in a survey and what they actually do may be completely different. I would be surprised if the number of actual non-renewals was as high as 25% by the start of the new season.

Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the Football Supporters Federation, said,

"In the difficult financial climate we all face the football industry must wake up and smell the coffee. The huge amount of money pouring into the Premier League means there is absolutely no justification for any price rises at all at the top of the game.

"For too long some Premier League clubs have believed there is no limit to the extent to which they can exploit the brand loyalty of their supporters. They may now find this greed will come back to bite them on the backside."

West Ham Injuries Continue

Jonathon Spector faces up to six months out because of a hip injury, according to the BBC.

Spector was diagnosed with a torn labrum while training with the US team and is likely to require surgery.

Alan Curbishley has been ordered to cut the size of the West Ham squad. Considering West Ham's injury record and the fact that clubs can name seven substitutes next year (I think) it looks like this might be an unwise move.

Hopefully one player who will be fit is Craig Bellamy. Bellamy says he is giving up his between seasons break to get fit for the beginning of West Ham's next campaign,

"I will be keeping up with my fitness and training regime during the summer and I am looking forward to a full pre-season.

"I have not got a holiday planned because I am itching to get back already.

"I will continue doing my fitness work. My wife wouldn't want me around the house all day anyway, I will need to get out.

"I need to keep going so that I can go back to West Ham next season in good shape."

Euro 2008

I'm just back from Geneva where the TV screens and beer tents have gone up in preparation for Euro 2008. On Sunday driving around Lake Geneva every bridge was covered with flag waving Portuguese fans (Portugal were due to fly into Geneva airport - and drive to their base for the tournament Sunday afternoon).

There is a strong sense of anticipation and excitement in the city which had me cursing McClaren's name more than once over the weekend. However most of the English people I met expressed their relief at the fact that England didn't qualify - something about not wanting to see the city become an open toilet for drunken thugs).

Geneva is a very international city. Over the weekend I also met some Spaniards who, through the tactic of keeping my glass full, managed to persuade me to support Spain for the tournament.

Being out of England for the weekend did mean that I missed Ashton's performance for the national side but I hear he had a solid half. Ashton himself sounded a little disappointed with his performance,

"Personally I probably could have done a little bit better
," Ashton said.

"It would have been nice to get a goal, but it wasn't to be. I was pleased with how it went and happy to get 45 minutes.

"It's been a long wait to get that first cap and it feels brilliant. Nobody can take it away from me, but hopefully I've done enough to impress for the next squad."

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