Thursday, July 31, 2008

West Ham Sign Laštůvka

According to Czech newspaper iDNES West Ham are on the verge of signing goalkeeper Jan Laštůvka on a year's loan deal.

Laštůvka is due to fly into London for a medical.

"Agreement was made. If there is no problem during the medical, I will join West Ham", confirmed Laštůvka.

Laštůvka will provide back up for Robert Green. There is already one Czech keeper at West Ham, 18 years old Marek Stech who signed a new five year contract recently and the goalkeeping coach Ludek Miklosko is also Czech

Laštůvka spent a season on loan with Fulham two years ago and last season he was loaned out to Bochum in the Bundesliga. Laštůvka now seems keen to be heading back to the Premier League,

"I hope everything will be fine. I am eager for the experience to train under Ludek Miklosko. The Premiership is the best league in the world, so I would like to fight for a chance", said Laštůvka.

Laštůvka is a student of philosophy, so he should fit in behind a defence that includes Anton Ferdinand, whom it is rumoured, prefers nothing more than a quite night in reading Wittgenstein. I also hear that Anton is big fan of Kant.

Young Hammers Speak

Anton Ferdinand says all the pre-season talk of him leaving West Ham has not affected his preparation for the new season with West Ham,

“I'm under contract and I love playing for the club. Now I'm just concentrating on getting fit for and looking forward to the start of the season.

Speaking after West Ham's 2-0 win over Peterborough, Ferdinand also praised West Ham's front line,

We need Craig Bellamy to stay fit because he is looking really sharp and took his goals well. But Carlton Cole also looked very good and they played well together.

“Of course there is also Dean Ashton, who missed the game because of illness, so from our point of view, the front line is looking really strong going into the new season.”

Mark Noble, a regular in the England Under-21 team, says he wants to break into the England team this year,

My main aim this season is to break into the England set up, that’s what I want and hopefully I can achieve that,” said Noble. “I want to establish myself but I’m still learning and still growing and hopefully I can really push on this season.

Curbs Dismisses Dismissal Talk

The Daily Mail say West Ham and Man City are after Nancy's Michael Chretien. However as The Daily Mail's approach to football reporting seems to be to pick a player at random and then say that West Ham and Man City are keen to buy him I don't hold much stall with this. Besides Chretien plays right back or right midfield and I'm fairly sure Curbishley isn't looking for players in those positions.

Alan Curbishley has dismissed the bookies' claims that he is the favourite to be the first manager sacked this season,

I’m not a gambling man so I won’t take too much notice of it,” said Curbishley of his unwanted status. “I had 15 years when I was the outsider [to be sacked] at Charlton so I’ve just got to get on with it. I’ve been here 18 months and I’ve yet to pick my best team or what I would consider to be my best team.

“Last year we just had to get on with it and people have underestimated what we did last year. That’s life and it’s part and parcel of football.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

West Ham to Buy Benayoun?

The Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph are the first of the mainstream newspapers to bite at a rumour that has been floating around for a couple of days. They claim that West Ham have enquired about the availability and price of Yossi Benayoun.

Considering the competition for places down the right hand side at West Ham this rumour seems highly unlikely. The Mail claim Liverpool are desperate for cash, after splashing out for Keane, and still wish to buy Barry. While Curbishley is keen to appease disgruntled Hammers fans by making Benayoun a returning hero.

Again to me that sounds dubious. Curbishley is unlikely to buy a player just to please the fans.

Peterborough 0 West Ham 2

West Ham put out a much stronger team than I had expected: Green, Behrami, Ferdinand, Upson, Neill, Faubert, Parker, Noble, Reid, Cole, Bellamy with subs: Stech, Widdowson, Davenport, Mullins, Collison, Stokes, Stanislas, Sears. Apparently Dean Ashton was feeling unwell so sat this game out. Neill started at left back with new boy Behrami taking the right back slot (interesting).

Alan Curbishley had obviously planned to rest a few players tonight and his post match comments seem to suggest he is not entirely happy with West Ham's pre-season schedule of friendlies,

"We were all feeling a bit rough from the America trip,' he said. 'I wanted to rotate my side a bit more but I can't because I've got quite a few out already with little niggles. That means some of the players are getting flogged, which should not be the way during pre-season."

Anyway - back to the game itself.

Craig Bellamy, after missing the All-Stars game, immediately resumed his promising pre-season good form by scoring in the 3rd minute. Scott Parker's pass sent Craig Bellamy past the Peterborough defence and he rounded Lewis in goal before slotting the ball home.

In the 42 minute Bellamy got his second goal of the match. A long pass by Neill saw Bellamy again race clear of the defence only this time he chipped Lewis to get West Ham's second goal of the game.

In the second half the expected roll call of changes to both sides led to a more disjointed second 45 minutes. Parker and Noble looked much more impressive in central midfield than Parker and Mullins had against the All-Stars. However the difference in standard of opposition means that any comparison is difficult to make.

A fuller report of the game is available on the official site.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cass World Premiere & Trailer

I'm sure some West Ham fans will be interested in Cass. Here's the red carpet treatment,

And here's a trailer,

Peterborough vs West Ham

West Ham are in action tonight at Peterborough United. The kick-off is 7.45 pm.

Barry Fry has claimed that West Ham will be fielding a full strength squad for the game. I expect that Behrami will get his first run out with the team and that Bellamy and Noble, who were not risked on the artificial pitch in the All-Stars game, may also get some sort of run out. However with another game on Friday, away to Southampton, West Ham will presumably rest many of their players tonight.

Monday, July 28, 2008

West Ham News Round-Up

Yesterday a West Ham team featuring Freddie Sears and Matthew Upson beat Thorruck by three goals. West Ham's goals came from a Zavon Hines penalty, a second half shot from Sears and an own goal by Thorruck's Young.

The Daily Mail continue to link West Ham with Palermo's Mark Bresciano. They say that West Ham, Blackburn and Fulham are all after the Australian midfielder who is available for £5m.

For those wondering where Craig Bellamy was during the MLS ALL Stars game it appears that he didn't like the artificial surface at the BMO Field and didn't want to risk an injury.

Nolberto Solano seems not to have much sympathy with Robert Green. When asked about Green's £20,000 a week salary Solano replied,

"The figures may be speculation, but it not bad for a goalkeeper. He had a chance to get more last year (when he signed a new deal)"

Solano is currently considering offers from Southampton, Norwich City and LA Galaxy.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

West Ham Weekend Rumours

Newcastle United Mad say The Times are reporting that West Ham are on the verge of signing a "big name central defender" and that Keegan will be back in for Ferdinand. Of course I can't find any mention of this in The Times. However various make-it-up-as-you-go-along websites have been reporting for a couple of days now that West Ham are vying for the signature of Deportivo La Coruna defender Fabricio Coloccini.

I have been waiting for this story to be confirmed by a reputable source but it hasn't yet. All I have found is a mention in The Daily Mail (who long ago gave up on being reliable in their reporting of West Ham).

The Mail says,

"West Ham are said to be considering a move for tough-tackling Argentina defender Fabricio Coloccini - but could face competition from Newcastle United for his signature."

Elsewhere it is widely being reported that Man Utd are close to signing Tevez for £32-35 million.

Friday, July 25, 2008

West Ham get Tough on Fitness

The official website has announced a number of appointments to the medical team at West Ham.

Nikos Tzouroudis has been appointed chief medical officer. He has worked for several leading European clubs including Panathinakos, Fiorentina, Verona and Steaua Bucharest. Tzouroudis role will be to take a strategic overview of operations.

The club have also appointed a leading osteopath from Italy, Marco Cesarini and rehabilitation physiotherapist Giorgio Gasparini.

West Ham Close on Goalkeeper

According to Shakhtar Donetsk goalkeeper Jan Lastuvka he was on the verge of a move to West Ham this week but negotiations between the two clubs seem to have stalled.

"The offer from West Ham is there. The club wants me and going back to the English league is definitely interesting and alluring," the keeper said.

"Unfortunately, the negotiations have become very complicated on certain matters.

"I will not comment on any figures, but in general we were almost agreed with West Ham when the transfer fee increased very much all of a sudden.

"Since Monday the discussions have appeared to me very strange and under those conditions I don't rush into anything."

However Lastuvka said that the talks were continuing,

"We have not ended the talks, they still go on, but we cannot delay it much."

MLS All-Stars vs West Ham Video

Despite last night's defeat West Ham manager, Alan Curbishley remained upbeat about the game,

"I think for everyone concerned it's been a success," said Curbishley. "There were goals scored and the chances that were created there could have been a bit more of a scoreline but I think everybody came away with something.

"We needed the fitness work and we certainly got it tonight. The MLS players scored two terrific goals and it was a good evening. Everybody can be well pleased with their efforts."

MLS All-Stars 3 West Ham 2

West Ham got the opening goal, probably against the run of play, in the 23rd minute. A long ball forward was flicked on by Cole to put Ashton clean through. Ashton calmly powered the ball home low into the bottom left of the goal from about 8 yards. MLS scored almost straight from the restart. Beckham passed the ball onto Blanco, whose deft little flick put Gomez through to beat Green.

In the 43rd minute Blanco cut inside Parker in the box and curled the ball from wide left into the top right of the goal to give MLS the lead at half time.

In the 67th minute an Ashton long shot from about 25 yards took a big deflection to draw level. However, as in the first half, MLS responded almost immediately, when Neill brought down De Rosario in the area. De Rosario powered the penalty in off the crossbar to give MLS a 3-2 lead.

In the 89th minute West Ham almost drew level when Parker drove forward in the middle and played Boa Morte on but Boa Morte's shot flew across the goalmouth.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Neill on West Ham vs All-Stars

Lucas Neil has been speaking ahead of West Ham's friendly tonight,

"We're close to 70/80 minutes of good footballing stamina. It's going to be a tough game for us, I think later on in the game we'll probably look a little bit jaded.

"But I think the adrenaline and the excitement that surrounds the game will keep us going. There's a lot at stake, trans-Atlantic pride. We've got some of our weapons back so we're excited now that we're going to have threats all over the field. We've got goalscorers, pace down the wings and we can defend quite well.

"If we can put all that blend together it's going to be en exciting season for West Ham."

Behrami on West Ham Move

Behrami has been speaking about his move to West Ham and says he remembers the West Ham fans from last season's pre-season friendly between the club and Lazio,

"At Lazio, the supporters are very passionate and let you know what they think, good and bad. But I remember there being so many supporters from West Ham at the match last year who came to see the team. They seemed very passionate too.

"I am very much looking forward to playing in front of them at the stadium this season as I am told the atmosphere is very good."

"I know that there are very good players here, like Craig Bellamy and Dean Ashton and many more who I am looking forward to playing alongside. While most of the players are away on the tour, I will be at the training ground working hard so I can be in the best condition to start work with everyone when they return."

Behrami also said he talked to former Lazio team mate Paolo Di Canio about West Ham and the Premier League,

"I talked to Paolo many times. He talked a lot about West Ham but also about football in this country and in particular the Premier League. So that is why it is a dream come true for me and I am very happy to be here."

West Ham have brilliant prospects for the future and that was one of the very important things for me in making the decision to come here and play. I am an ambitious person who has goals and I want to play for a team who wants to win things and I can see that ambition is here at the club.

Dean Ashton has also been talking to the press ahead of tonight's friendly. Asked whether he thought a Premier League AllStars team would be possible Dean Ashton said,

"I think it could be, yes.

"Coming over here I was quite surprised at how big an event it is and all the media surrounding it. So if it's such a big deal over here I can't see why something like that can't be really good over in England.

"It's a great event and we're definitely looking forward to it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Beckham Looking Forward to West Ham Game

David Beckham has spoken about looking forward to Thursday's game between the MLS AllStars and West Ham,

"I am looking forward to it. I always liked playing against West Ham, especially being an East End boy as well. I played against them a few times with Manchester United. I always especially liked playing at Upton Park, because it is a place obviously near my house and near where I come from. Also, I usually scored against West Ham at Upton Park which was always nice!"

"It’s great, being an East End boy, playing against West Ham so many times for Manchester United, and also scoring against West Ham, which didn’t go down well with a few friends.

Behrami Signs for West Ham

West Ham have signed Valon Behrami on a five year contract. West Ham have paid Lazio £5 million for the Swiss international.

The West Ham official site says Behrami will wear the No21 shirt next season. Behrami, on signing for West Ham, said,

"I am very happy to last be able to sign for West Ham. For me it is a dream come true to play for the club and in the Premier League. I am very much looking forward to becoming part of the team here.

"After the European Championships, I spoke with West Ham who expressed their interest in me coming here. It was important for me to talk with everyone here and, when I did, I was very pleased to see what they wanted from me and what the plans are now and in the future for the team. It was something that enabled me to make my decision very quickly and now I can't wait to train and play for West Ham."

West Ham CEO Scott Duxbury said of the signing,

"We are delighted to have signed Valon. We beat off a lot of interest from other clubs to get him and we are very pleased to now have him here at West Ham United. He is a player who will be a valuable addition to the squad as we aim for a successful season ahead."

"Valon's signing is also an indication of the club's positive ambitions and shows that, contrary to some reports, we are firmly committed to strengthening the playing staff. There will not be a mass exodus and fans can be assured that we are working hard as always to ensure high-calibre competition in all areas of the team."

Hopefully, barring injury, Mr Curbishley is going to have some great selection headaches, especially on the right hand side of the team sheet.

City to Bid for Bellamy

According to The Daily Mail Man City want to buy the West Ham first team. The Mail have been keen to suggest that Mark Hughes is after Lucas Neill, the 'newspaper' now say that City will make an £8 million offer for Craig Bellamy.

Alan Curbishley has been speaking about the departure of Zamora and Pantsil,

I think the lure of first team football was big for both of them,” said the West Ham manager.

I think John Pantsil was very happy at the club, but didn't play many games last year, while Bobby may have looked at Craig Bellamy coming back, I don't know.

“But I think it was a good deal for everybody really. Bobby has left on great terms with everybody and so has John and I wish them well.

"We all move on, so you will have to see what we do. People are talking about us and what we are doing, but just have a look at what we do by the time the window closes, and see where we are at.”

West Ham to Sign Behrami Today

According to The Independent West Ham will today complete the signing of Swiss international Valon Behrami for £5 million. The Independent claim that the signing does not mean that West Ham will sell captain Lucas Neill, although intriguingly the paper says "they are expecting to receive bids for the Australia international".

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

McCartney Signs New West Ham Deal

Sunderland target George McCartney has signed a new five year deal with West Ham. McCartney joined West Ham from Sunderland in 2006 in a four-year deal worth £1m.

In other news, Nolberto Solano looks like he might be joining David Beckham at LA Galaxy. Solano's agent says that Galaxy manager Ruud Gullit is keen on Solano.

"Solano is not against moving to the United States league, where there's genuine interest from Los Angeles Galaxy," Smith said.

"We've already held talks with Ruud Gullit and everything seems to be going well."

Dyer Delighted to be Back

Kieron Dyer said he is 'delighted' to be back in training with West Ham after being out of the game for eleven months.

"I joined in with everything. We had a warm-up, a keep-ball session and finished off with a little match," he said.

"It's been a very long time but it felt good and I'm absolutely delighted to be back. I got through the session with no setbacks or reaction. It's just so good to be involved again. I had a few setbacks but have been able to put all that behind me now. I've worked hard to get through it all.

"Once the pre-season fixtures came out, I noticed we were playing Ipswich. I thought that would be a good game to pencil in for my return."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wright Leaves West Ham

The Ipswich Town website says that the club have signed West Ham's back-up keeper Richard Wright for 'an undisclosed fee'. Wright has signed a two year contract with the Tractor Boys.

West Ham Confirm Behrami Approach

Gianluca Nani has confirmed that West Ham are hoping to sign Swiss international Valon Behrami. However, whilst it had been reported that West Ham were hoping to pick Behrami up on the cheap, Nani said they were not looking for Nani to buy out his contract.

"I hope the negotiation will be concluded," Nani told the Italian press. "We have worked to do what is possible for a solution that doesn't consider Fifa article 17."

West Ham are believed to be ready to pay a fee in the region of £5.2million to sign Behrami.

The official site today says that Kieron Dyer will join in fully with pre-season training for the first time as of today He will be working hard with George McCartney and Matthew Upson, who both missed the US tour for precautionary reasons.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Columbus Crew 1 West Ham 3

West Ham started with Green, Neill, Ferdinand, Davenport, Widdowson, Faubert, Noble, Parker, Reid, Bellamy, Ashton.

West Ham started well applying some early pressure. Bellamy got an early shot in, which flew wide right in the fourth minute. Two minutes later Ashton turned and shot from the edge of the penalty area. His shot was too good for Gruenebaum in goal who was unable to do anything to stop the shot flying home.

It was a superb goal from the West Ham striker, a shot that even Zamora would have been proud of.

In the 15th minute Bellamy crossed from the right and Ashton's headed shot just missed the Crew goal wide right. Zamora would probably have converted the effort, but then again Zamora is good enough to play for England.

With West Ham dominating play it was only a matter of time before Crew got on the score sheet. In the 20th minute Jason Garey beat Ferdinand to meet Elenio's right-wing cross with his head to even the score.

West Ham, despite the lack of Zamora up front, refused to let their head drop and regained the lead five minutes later. The goal was an own goal by Crew's Brad Evans, who under pressure from Mark Noble gifted the lead back to West Ham. Crew were left to rue the fact that they didn't have Zamora in defence.

After West Ham's second goal both sides looked fairly even for the rest of the half. Bellamy and Ashton looked good up front with Bellamy working the flanks well and pulling the Crew defence out of position.

In the second half Cole came out in place of Ashton. Crew had an early effort when Elenio smashed a ball against the bar in the 46th minute. In the 52nd minute however Bellamy raced forward with the ball from the half-way line and squared the ball for Reid to shoot home. A few minutes later and Reid was replaced by Stanislas and Noble was replaced by Mullins.

In the 70th minute Davenport was replaced by Jordan Spence whilst Parker was replaced by Jack Collison. Six minutes later and Walker came on for Robert Green and Tony Stokes replaced Faubert. A few minutes after that N'Gala came on for Ferdinand.

In the end West Ham deserved their win with Bellamy, Ashton and Faubert all looking sharp.

Attendance: 9,117

West Ham in the Sunday Papers

Various sources are reporting that West Ham United will complete the signing of Valon Behrami tomorrow for around £5 million. However 'various sources' know about as much as you and I.

Julien Faubert has said he hopes to reward the patience of the West Ham fans.

“Craig and I have been very unlucky,” Faubert said. “I hope Craig and I will be luckier this season with injuries and that our pace can help the club into European places.

“I think we have we have great players and a great team. I think we can play very well and play for the first six places. We also have the players here to win a cup too.

“The supporters and the manager have been patient and waited for me. Now I hope I’ll have no more injuries and I’ll be able to play very well for West Ham.”

Barcelona director Rafael Yuste said on a TV show in Spain that Eidur Gudjohnsen has no future at the club.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

West Ham Close on Behrami and Angry at Green

The Independent claim that West Ham are close to securing the signature of Behrami. They say that Nani has played 'a major role' in the arrival of the 23 year old. Whilst Behrami's arrival has led some papers to speculate that Neill could be on the way to Man City The Independent say that West Ham insist that both Neill and Behrami can play in a number of positions.

The Independent claim that West Ham are aware that Neill can play at left back and that Sunderland may make another offer for George McCartney that will be too good to refuse.

The paper claims that West Ham are so angry with Green's comments to The Sun that they are considering fining and disciplining the player. The Independent say that West Ham are on the look out for a young keeper as back-up for Green and already have a shortlist of five drawn up by Curbishley and Nani.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Valon Behrami Latest

Sky Sports have today caught up with the rest of the world and are saying that West Ham are favourites to clinch the signing of Valon Behrami. However, whereas reports early in the week said West Ham would pick him up for £2-3 million compensation as Behrami would buy out his contract, Sky suggest that Lazio have agreed to sell the right sided player for £5.2 million.

Speaking after yesterday's opening pre-season friendly Alan Curbishley indicated that West Ham were looking to bring in one or two players before the transfer window close,

"There's a long way to go before that window closes and we want to improve the squad.

"I feel that if I get my best XI out there we've got a decent side. I want to add a little bit more to that to get a bit more competition and we're working very hard to do that."

West Ham Statement on Robert Green

Over recent weeks some sections of the national press have been suggesting that Robert Green has been frustrated because West Ham were not renewing his contract and that the club were therefore likely to sell him.

Robert Green was quoted in The Sun this morning as saying,

"No matter what the figures are in the workplace in terms of wages, you either feel a valued member of your staff or you don't. At the moment, I don't and clearly West Ham don't care about me.

"If you put the strongest West Ham XI out, I'd be the lowest earner by a long, long way. I do not even want to be close to the top earner at the club - I don't care about that. I would just like some parity.

“I am not getting in the England squad at the moment and I’m not getting European football, but I love it here, which is why I want to sign a long contract. The fans here are fantastic. Why would I want to leave? After asking for a long-term contract, the club turned around and said ‘no’ without a real explanation.

“It wouldn’t have been as bad if they had said no and then given their reasons. The club might say ‘you don’t need to sign a new contract as you’ve got three years left’. Fine. But how highly do they value me as a player? Realistically, look at Dean (Ashton) who has signed a new contract this summer. Good luck to him. Brilliant.

“He’s a great player and I have no doubts he will become an England regular. Obviously, West Ham value him a hell of a lot more than they value me. In fact, I feel completely under-valued.

"Generally, the situation here leaves a question mark whether the club are rewarding success and you end up questioning yourself and questioning your future.

“I know there are clubs interested in me. If it turns out they value me more, then I will have to make a decision. It is strange because if it was the other way round, and I was holding fire after being offered a new contract from West Ham, the club would be making sure I was getting hammered by the fans. Surely, it works both ways.”

West Ham have released the following statement in response to the growing speculation about Green's future,

"Less than a year ago, Robert Green entered into a five-year contract with West Ham United. The club were delighted to recognise his status as our No1 goalkeeper and rewarded him with this long-term deal.

"At the time the player entered into the new contract, he requested a mechanism to review the terms in summer 2009. This was and remains the appropriate time to review. We value Robert Green highly, that is why we gave him a five-year contract less than 12 months ago. We have no intention of selling him and do not propose to comment on this further.

Hampton and Richmond 2-4 West Ham

Craig Bellamy scored in both halves, whilst Noble and Hines both also got on the score sheet in West Ham's first pre-season friendly against Hampton and Richmond.

West Ham now jet off to the USA and then Canada for the next two friendlies against Columbus Crew and the MLS All-Stars.

West Ham United
: Green (Walker 70), Neill (Spence 83), Ferdinand, Davenport, Widdowson, Faubert (Stanislas 65), Mullins (Parker 46), Noble (Collison 46), Reid (Stokes 79), Bellamy (Hines 79), Ashton (Cole 46)
Subs: Miller, N'Gala

Thursday, July 17, 2008

West Ham to Make New Signings

West Ham have told the BBC that they do intend to make some summer signings and that they don't necessarily have to sell players in order to buy. However the 'senior source' at West Ham did acknowledge that the club were trying to reduce the squad and the current wage bill.

"We effectively have four teams on the payroll - that is far too big a squad," a senior club source told BBC Sport.

"We will be signing players and have specific requirements. We don't have to sell before we buy necessarily.

"The optimum squad size is probably about 26 or 27 players. Our squad has become so big for a couple of reasons - the relegation battle we had in 2006/7 and the spate of injuries of 2007/8."

The source also told the BBC that there has been a focus on improving the training and fitness facilities at the club. Several new appointments have been made to the medical staff and the club is in the final stages of purchasing land for a new training complex.

West Ham Kick-Off Pre-Season Friendlies

West Ham play their first pre-season friendly tonight against Hampton and Richmond before flying out to America at the weekend for the games against Columbus Crew and the MLS All-Stars.

Non-league Hampton and Richmond are managed by Alan Devonshire. Tonight's game has sold-out.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

West Ham Need the Readies

Most of the media have jumped on a statement from Bobby Zamora as proof that West Ham are feeling the pinch more than most. Zamora said,

"West Ham are my club, always will be and I love it to bits. But it's business. The club need money. How much is anyone's guess."

No one in the media has speculated that Zamora might have only meant West Ham needed to sell him in order to raise transfer funds.

West Ham to Sign Behrami?

The Daily Mail, who two days ago claimed West Ham were so poor they would have to sell half their current team, now say West Ham will sign Lazio right-back Valon Behrami.

Behrami has repeatedly denied that he would move to West Ham but according to The Mail the 23-year old Switzerland defender flew into London for a medical yesterday. What's more The Mail say that West Ham will sign Behrami for less than a third of his initial £11m valuation after he informed Lazio he was invoking article 17, which gives players nearing the end of their contracts the right to move on without costing a fee.

West Ham will have to pay Lazio compensation, which will probably be around the £2 million mark. The Mail claim that Behrami's arrival will mean West Ham will then sell Lucas Neill to Man City.

The rumours linking Behrami with West Ham have been furthered by the claims of Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini. Zamparini said,

"For Behrami, I tried to establish contact with (Lazio president) Claudio Lotito some time ago, but have not received any answers.

"I now believe that the player will go to West Ham."

However it seems that Behrami's agent is less sure. Today Alessandro Beltrami said,

I’m speaking with three clubs in London and I’ll let you know when there’s something concrete.

West Ham Bid for Mattock

Both The Sun and The Mirror are claiming today that West Ham will make a £2 million offer for Leicester defender Joe Mattock. Both papers say that Curbishley failed with a £1.5 million bid for the player in January.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

West Ham Sell Zamora and Pantsil

West Ham have sold Bobby Zamora and John Pantsil to Fulham for £6.3 million, a deal that could rise by a further £1m depending on appearances. Zamora has signed a four year deal with the west London club, whilst Pantsil has signed for three.

West Ham fan Zamora joined the Irons in January 2004. His winning goal in the 2005 play-off final and his obvious passion for the club made Zamora a firm favourite with the fans.

Judging by the comments on this site and on other West Ham fan sites it seems that many fans think that £6.3 million represents good business for West Ham.

City Want Bellamy As Well

The Daily Mail's doom laden article about West Ham's perilous financial state has spread to The Sun and The Telegraph. Today both papers claim that Manchester City are likely to land both Bellamy and Neill as Curbishley is being forced to cut the wage bill at West Ham.

The Daily Mail Losing Their Heads Again

The Daily Mail are predicting that the world will come to an end at lunch-time on Thursday. Apparently the only way to avoid the end of all life as we know it is for West Ham to sack their manager, sell all their players and get the fans to stick their heads up their own backsides whilst simultaneously whistling the national anthem.

The cause of this apocalypse, according to The Mail, is the collapse of the Icelandic economy. They say that Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson is so strapped for cash that West Ham will be forced to sell their club captain, Lucas Neill to Blackburn for £750,000 after failing to flog him off to Galatasaray or Portsmouth.

According to The Mail Gudmundsson holds Alan Curbishley personally responsible for the collapse of the subprime market in America, so he will soon be shown the revolving door at Upton Park.

West Ham will then be forced to sell Freddie Ljungberg, George McCartney, Anton Ferdinand and Robert Green (and any other player The Mail have seen linked to other clubs this summer). Gudmundsson will then presumably use the £10 million raised to prop up his Icelandic bank, which will in turn revive the Icelandic economy and spur the world economy to such an extent that recession will be avoided and the world will live as one again.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Czech Republic 2 England 0

The Czech Republic beat a poor England side 2-0 in the European Under-19 Championship.

Tomkins looked reasonable in defence for England. Up front Sears was starved of the ball and in the second half occasionally ended up coming deeper than his own midfield in an effort to get a touch of the ball.

The Czech Republic had two players sent off (both for getting two yellows). However, even against nine men, England failed to create anything up front.

West Ham to Sign Polish Striker

Kumb say that Bobby Zamora has agreed personal terms with Fulham and should sign for Fulham today. Sky and Setanta are both reporting that Zamora is undergoing a medical at Craven Cottage today, so his transfer does look imminent.

Kumb are also reporting that West Ham are signing 16-year-old Polish striker Filip Modelski. Modeleski spent a week on trial with West Ham at the start of July.

Modelski will be the third young player West Ham have signed this summer, after the recent signings of Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson and Balint Bajner.

England Under-19 kick off their campaign to win the European Championship this afternoon at 4.30pm. England are playing the host nation, the Czech Republic. James Tomkins and Freddie Sears are both likely to play. The game is live on Eurosport.

The People claim that Sp#rs are after Upson as they are worried about the risk of injury to Ledley King and WJonathon Woodgate.

The Scottish Daily Record say that West Ham are after Rangers goalkeeper Neil Alexander and may bid £1 million. They claim it could be because West Ham will be without Robert Green who is garnering interest from a number of clubs. However it is far more likely to do with Richard Wright leaving for Ipswich. Ipswich boss Jim Magilton says that Wright's £500,000 move to the club has been delayed as West Ham refuse to release Wright until they have found a replacement.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

West Ham in the Sunday Papers

The News of the World continue to live in cloud cuckoo land and claim West Ham have offered £11 million for Andrew Johnson. They also claim that Man City have offered £1.6m to tempt West Ham full-back Lucas Neill to Eastlands.

According to West Ham Till I Die there are rumours that Ferdinand will move to Newcastle with Damien Duff moving the other way. Etherington and Boa Morte are also being touted around.

Elsewhere there are rumours that Paintsil is refusing to move to Fulham, which could scupper Zamora's move as well.

The Guardian claim John Cleese has outed himself as a West Ham fan.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Obua Offered Trial

African news source are reporting that ex-Kaiser Chiefs player David Obua had a trial with West Ham on Friday.

Obua has claimed he ‘needs a new challenge’ and will no longer be playing in South Africa,

"One thing is for sure, I’m not returning to South Africa. I have nothing to prove in South Africa because I believe I’ve won everything as an individual. I need a new challenge that will only be realised in Europe."

Obua can play at left back or on the left wing. That is two left backs West Ham have been linked with this week. Earlier this week rumours were suggesting West Ham had made an approach for Leicester City's Joe Mattock.

Green on Kilimanjaro

The Independent has a write up by Robert Green of his attempted climb of Kilimanjaro. In the article the West Ham keeper tells the story of his journey, from losing a porter on the first day, through holding up the climb 'after stopping for his fifth toilet stop of the morning' to finally collapsing from a 'lack of oxygen to the brain, combined with a lack of water, diarrhoea and vomiting for two days, and a general inability to adapt to altitude.'

You can find out whether Green succeeded in conquering Kilimanjaro by reading the full article.

Friday, July 11, 2008

West Ham Live on Sky and Setanta

Sky and Setanta have released their schedule of live Premier League games. West Ham are featuring in four live games on Sky before Christmas, including the second game of the season against Man City.

Sky Games

Man City vs West Ham 4pm Sunday 24th August

West Ham vs Bolton Wanderers - 1.30pm Sunday 5th October

West Ham vs Arsenal - 4pm Sunday 26th October

Sunderland vs West Ham - 4pm Sunday 23rd November

Setanta Game

Liverpool v West Ham - 8pm Monday 1st December

Setanta only showing one West Ham game has to be questioned. Looking at some of the teams who finished below us last season does make you think that someone at Setanta doesn't like us.

Newcastle are being shown live three times, Sp~rs get two live games, Wigan and West Brom (ffs) get two live games.

West Ham Settle With Terry Brown

West Ham and former chairman Terence Brown have reached an out of court settlement in relation to their respective legal claims. "The settlement brings to an end all outstanding disputes between the two parties."

West Ham's new chairman and owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, said on the settlement,

"It is time to move on from old disputes and legal battles. My focus, and that of the whole Board, is on the future. To do that we need to draw a line under past issues and also recognise that what matters is building a successful football club.

"Terry Brown has a long history with West Ham United as former Chairman and leading shareholder and there is no reason for the club and Terry to be at odds with each other. We have settled our differences and Terry will be a welcome guest at the club as we move forward into the new season.

Terry Brown, former Chairman, said,

"I am pleased that we have brought these matters to a sensible conclusion. Mr Gudmundsson has made clear his focus is on the future not the past and I totally support that vision. West Ham United has always been a special part of my life and I am delighted that I will again have an opportunity to show my support for the club.

"The new Chairman and Board genuinely believe in this great club and I wish them every success in the years ahead.

West Ham After Another Left Back

According to The Times West Ham have made an approach to Leicester City regarding Joe Mattock, the England Under-21 player. Matlock plays at left-back, a position that West Ham currently have no cover for.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

West Ham Sign Hungarian Striker

Here is a signing that seems to have been missed by most of the media and even the West Ham official site. According to yesterday's Sun West Ham have signed young Hungarian striker Balint Bajner from Romanian second division side CF Liberty Oradea.

The 17-year-old striker was on trial at Upton Park in April and apparently impressed by scoring two goals in a friendly. He may face James Tomkins and Freddie Sears in the UEFA U-19 Championships, which start next week, as he is a part of Hungary's squad for the tournament.

Hungary coach Tibor Sisa said this about the youngster,

"Balint is a very good young player who is heading for the top. He is technically gifted and developing well.

In spring his club sent him over to England for a trial. He did well then and I am sure he will be a success.

West Ham Compensation Result in September

Sheffield United chairman Kevin McCabe, obviously not the most trustworthy of sources, has indicated that the arbitration between West Ham and the northern spoon worriers has not quite finished and that the result won't be heard until September,

"It's down to the panel to make their award which should be September. The formal arbitration hearing was concluded last month but there'll be one more day at the end of July for further oral submissions."

Beckham vs West Ham

David Beckham has won the fans vote and is joint top with Landon Donovan of the media vote for West Ham's MLS Allstars game. The eleven players chosen by the fans and media will be augmented next week by five more players chosen by the appointed coach for the game, Steve Nichol and two players chosen by MLS Commissioner Don Garber.

David Beckham said of the game,

"I’ve played against a few of the players before in the Premiership and it’s always going to be a tough game. They’re preparing for the season, it’s their pre-season, so they’ll be working hard to get their fitness and it will be an interesting game."

The game, on July 24th, is being shown live on Setanta.

Zamora in Parking Ticket Scam

According to today's Sun Bobby Zamora has admitted in court that he paid ex-West Ham player Shaun Newton to “have a look” at a speeding ticket. Zamora and Teddy Sheringham were both arrested for their part in a speeding ticket scam which seems to have centred around Shaun Newton.

Whilst at West Ham Shaun Newton received a seven month ban for testing positive for cocaine. Sheringham and Zamora were both witnesses yesterday at Newton's trial. He stands accused of nine charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Interestingly The Sun refers to Bobby Zamora as an 'ex West Ham' player. I wonder if Zamora's day in court had anything to do with West Ham allowing him to talk to Fulham?

McCartney Happy at West Ham

George McCartney has dismissed reports that he would welcome a move back to Sunderland, saying he is happy at West Ham,

"I would like to stay at West Ham," McCartney told the Belfast Telegraph. "I have no desire to leave. When clubs show an interest in you it is flattering but I have enjoyed my time at West Ham and I have played in every league game for them since February last year.

"But it's really up to the two clubs and what West Ham want to see happen. If they choose to sell me then it's up to both clubs to agree a fee and we'll see if that happens but I have no desire to move."

"I haven't really given the thought of going back to Sunderland much consideration because I am still a West Ham player.

"I had a lot of good times there but it was time for me to move on and I embarked on a new challenge. In football you never say never but at the minute I can't say that will happen to me."

Wright to Leave West Ham

There are reports that Richard Wright's long rumoured move to Ipswich will go ahead 'within days'. The rumours say that Wright has said that there are no obstacles to him leaving West Ham and that the transfer is expected to go ahead in the next ten days.

A price of £500,000 has been mentioned.

Zamora the Six Million Pound Man

The Mail claim that Zamora is being sold to Fulham for £6.5 million. The way the story is written it is a little unclear whether that is £6.5 million for both Zamora and Pantsil but I think that is what they are implying.

The paper claim that West Ham fans will be surprised at the sum. I'm not particularly surprised, especially when you consider how much a likely replacement for Zamora is likely to be.

West Ham Reject Bid For McCartney

The other big news regarding West Ham yesterday was that the club had turned down a £4.5 million bid for McCartney from Sunderland.

Today The Guardian say that the deal will be revived if West Ham manage to land Nicky Shorey from Reading.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Zamora and Pantsil Being Sold to Fulham

The West Ham official site say West Ham have allowed Bobby Zamora and John Pantsil to discuss personal terms with Fulham.

West Ham United CEO Scott Duxbury said,

"We recognise that Bobby Zamora and John Pantsil have had limited first-team opportunities last season at West Ham United. They want to play regular first-team football and we have given permission for them to speak to Fulham with a view to concluding a move."

West Ham say that the club is "looking forward to a new season with a fully fit squad." Obviously the experience of last season hasn't taught them that you often pick up injuries before and during the season.

Selling two of the most popular players with the fans whilst seemingly having little interest in bringing in replacements will presumably not got down too well with West Ham supporters.

I really hope the club are on the verge of signing a new striker. The official site claims that Zamora has limited first team chances because the club has Craig Bellamy, Dean Ashton, Carlton Cole and Freddie Sears. I think Zamora would be the third striker in that list and being third behind two injury prone front men would presumably mean he would got a lot of playing time next season if he stayed fit himself.

I have this really nasty feeling in my bones that we could be facing at least another half season watching Carlton Cole playing up front on his own. Oh the humanity!

West Ham Target Arango

According to Setanta West Ham have been keeping tabs on Mallorca midfielder Juan Arango.

Arango himself has talked about his desire to move to the English Premier League,

The transfer window will close its doors in two months and many things can happen. I am aware of many rumours but nothing has been decided yet.

“I owe respect to my current club; as a consequence, speaking of my preference would not be correct. At the moment the English league is the best in the world, above all including the Spanish one and I would welcome moving there if it’s good for me.”

Of course Setanta might just have read that the player is interested in a move to the Premier League and picked an English club at random to link him to. Or am I just being cynical.

West Ham Keeper Targetted

The Times claim that Aston Villa and Sp#rs are monitoring Robert Green’s contractual situation. The West Ham goalkeeper is paid about £28,000 a week, which is significantly less than many at the club earn.

Green has four year's left on his current contract, so as I have said before, Villa and Sp#rs are going to be monitoring this situation for a very long time.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Noble Wants Full England Call Up

Mark Noble speaking to BBC London 94.9 said he wants to start for West Ham every week but also wants to play for his country,

"Apart from my name on the team-sheet each week my main target is to get a call-up for the England team.

"Hopefully if that happens it would be great but I want to play every week for West Ham and that's my main target at the minute. I played near on 30 games last season, 25 starts I think.

"I still want to improve and do better. I want to be more consistent, hopefully with age that comes.

"We know what we need to do this season and we know we've got to do better than we did last season. If we can get our better players fit and keep them fit it'll be a good season."

"We came 10th last year. I know we were there for a long while but we came there with a lot of players injured. I'm sure we can push on and get into those Uefa spots."

Neill Staying at West Ham

Lucas Neill's agent has again made a statement saying that the West Ham captain is staying at the club. Paddy Dominguez said,

"It doesn't make sense that a manager who brought Lucas to the club and has installed him as captain would look to sell him.

"It would be very strange. Lucas' relationship with Alan Curbishley is good and he is relishing the role of captain.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Behrami Not Joining West Ham

Alessandro Beltrami, the agent for Lazio midfielder Valon Behrami says that the player will not be moving to West Ham.

“The truth is that I read the news in the press, but the West Ham link is pure invention,” Beltrami told

“The player is on holiday and will be back this week to decide his future. No meetings are planned, but we have received offers from Germany, Spain and England as well. The player’s wish is to play in the Bundesliga. As a consequence, England is not a priority at all.”

West Ham Need To Be More Exciting

West Ham favourite Mark Noble has called on the West Ham team to give the fans a bit more entertainment next year. He has also laughed off suggestions that he might be moving to Arsenal,

"Hopefully it'll be a bit more exciting than last year - and we can push on into the UEFA Cup places," he said.

"I want to concentrate on West Ham and hopefully let them people keep saying those sort of things. I think it's (the link with Arsenal) just all rumours and I'm firmly happy where I am at the minute."

Sunday, July 06, 2008

West Ham Target Silvestre

The Manchester Evening News say that West Ham are keen to sign Mikael Silvestre. Apparently Roma and Club America of Mexico are also interested in the French defender.

The paper say that Silvestre is looking for wages of around £60,000 a week. As Curbishley has been ordered to cut the wage bill at West Ham this could be a huge sticking point to any possible deal.

Silvestre also qualifies for a testimonial next year at Man Utd which may also encourage the player to stay put.

The News of the World as usual are on another planet. They say West Ham are set to pay £9m for Lazio right-back Valon Behrami of Switzerland.

Ferdinand Doesn't Know What's happening

Anton Ferdinand seemed a little confused yesterday when Sky Sports asked him about him being linked with Aston Villa.

"I don't know what is happening. I am happy at West Ham and until I get told I am not a West Ham player I remain a West Ham player," he told Sky Sports News.

"Hopefully that will get resolved soon. I had a little chat with him (Curbishley) this morning, which went well and now we are looking to see where we can go from here."

Well that clears things up then.

Well I guess it does tell us that West Ham are not completely opposed to the idea of selling Anton.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A Quiet Weekend at West Ham

There doesn't seem much gossip around this weekend.

Pennant has been linked with West Ham by a couple of websites.

Monday should see the release of the TV schedule for the first half of the Premier League next year.

Before that why not read this excellent interview with James Tomkins on theJust Like My Dreams

Friday, July 04, 2008

Galatasaray Bid for Neill

According to Sky Galatasaray have made an offer to buy West Ham captain Lucas Neill.

Neill came under fire from some West Ham fans last season whilst many of his team mates have spoken about his inspirational leadership on and off the field. Neill is rumoured to be one of the highest earners at the club and Curbishley has reportedly been told to reduce the squad and wage budget.

Could we see Faubert at right back (or even Pantsil (sadly Spector could be out for five months)) and Parker becoming club captain?

West Ham Confirm Signing of Eyjolfsson

West Ham have confirmed the signing of 17 year old Icelandic central defender Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson.

Eyjolfsson spoke to the official West Ham website today,

"I am really happy to sign for West Ham. I have heard of many good players that have come from the club's academy. When I was on trial in February I really enjoyed the tempo and style of training and it helped me take my talent to the next level.

"It is obviously very scary to move away from my family but it is my dream to play in England and what I have always wanted to do so that outweighs any apprehension I had about moving here.

"Playing for the [Iceland] Under-21s has been the best experience for me and I am so grateful to the coach for giving me that opportunity as it has helped me develop my game so much quicker. I am sure that is part of the reason West Ham signed me."

Eyjolfsson has signed for West Ham on a 'long-term contract' from HK Kopavogur.

Stech Signs New West Ham Deal

Czech youth international goalkeeper Marek Stech has signed a new five year deal with West Ham.

Stech told the West Ham official site,

"I am really pleased with the new contract. I am looking forward to the season. I am so happy I have signed for five years. It is great for me and a good opportunity."

"The aim is to get in the first team. We have just started back training and I have to work hard and push the other goalkeepers."

"The fans mean so much for me. Every game I get goosebumps hearing them. They are unbelievable. I just want to play here for them and show what I can do."

Thursday, July 03, 2008

West Ham Team Report Back for Training

Today the West Ham first team reported back for pre-season training. It is two weeks until the first pre-season friendly and this was the first day back since the squad broke up at the end of the season on 11th May.

So far West Ham have reported no injuries.

In other news Freddie Sears and James Tomkins have both been named in the England 18 man squad for the European Under-19 Championship in the Czech Republic between 14-26 July.

The opening game is against the Czech Republic on Monday 14 July.

Sweet Home West Ham

Not bad.

Ferdinand Says he Loves Playing for West Ham

Anton Ferdinand has been continually linked with a move away from West Ham this summer. Ferdinand himself has told Sky Sports that he is unaware of any interest from other club.

"It's just speculation," Ferdinand told Sky Sports News.

"Until I get back to London I don't know what is going on. For me personally, until Alan Curbishley says I am not a West Ham player, then I will be a West Ham player. I love playing for the club."

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Josip Tadic Wants West Ham Move

The Croatian papers claim that Josip Tadic is on the verge of signing for West Ham. Tadic is a 20-year-old striker for Dinamo Zagreb. The player himself says he is flattered by West Ham's interest,

“I don’t know what to say, I'm very surprised. In a positive way of course,” he was quoted as saying in the Croatian press.

It would be nice to play for the club for which Slaven Bilic and Igor Stimac once played.

The quote sounds to me like someone responding to a question about being linked with West Ham rather than someone who is about to a sign a contract with them.

West Ham vs Allstars Live

Setanta will broadcast live West Ham's pre-season friendly against the MLS AllStars on 24th July. The game will kick-off at 7pm EDT - which I think is midnight in the UK.

West Ham Keeper Targeted by Villa

The Guardian claim that West Ham's Robert Green is being targeted by Aston Villa following Scott Carson's return to Liverpool at the end of last season.

The Guardian claim that Green is "likely to command a fee in the region of £6m". Somehow I think it would take a lot more than that to prise Green away from West Ham.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

West Ham Sign Hólmar

Kumb are the first to break the news that West Ham have signed Hólmar Örn Eyjólfsson. Kumb noticed today that Eyjólfsson's (now previous) club, Handknattleiksfélag Kópavogs had announced the sale of Hólmar to West Ham on their website.

Kumb say that Eyjólfsson was set to fly in to London on Tuesday before being unveiled by West Ham later this week.

Hólmar spent a week on trial at West Ham in January. He also spent a week on trial at Hertha Berlin in August while Bayern Munich have also shown a keen interest in the young defender. At 17 years of age he is already a regular in the Iceland Under 21 squad.

Lanzafame Joins Palermo

West Ham's hopes of luring Davide Lanzafame on a year's loan have finally be scuppered.

At one point it seemed like a deal between Juventus and West Ham had been reached which would have seen the young striker move to West Ham for a year. However Juve then made a move for Palermo's Amauri and Palermo apparently asked for 50 per cent ownership of Lanzafame as part of the agreement.

Lanzafame, however, made his thoughts clear when he said,

"Palermo and West Ham are both huge clubs. But at my age I think it would be beneficial to get experience abroad, which would enhance me not only as a footballer, but also from a linguistic and lifestyle point of view."

Palermo have in the end actually bought Lanzafame outright and he will now have to suffer the sun and beaches of Sicily rather than enjoy the traffic jams of Barking Road.

West Ham Sign ...

... a fitness coach (see what I did there?).

West Ham have signed Colchester fitness coach Donough Holohan. Holohan has been appointed as a 'strength' coach at West Ham.

Holohan told the Colchester United website,

"They had a lot of injuries last year and what has come out of their end-of-season review was that they realised they wanted to increase the size of their fitness department and get more specialists in.

"There is much to be excited about, not least working in the pressure environment of the Premier League.

Sky Looks at the Season Ahead for West Ham

Sky Sports are looking at West Ham today in the last of their Shaping up for the Season articles.

The article doesn't really carry any new information. They say Curbishley will have to sell before buying any new players. They claim West Ham may offload Ferdinand to Villa, Ljungberg to Roma and Gabbidon to Stoke.

They say that Nani is charged with bringing in young talent from Europe, that promising youngster Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson could be on the way and that West Ham are also keen on Harper.

They also say that the pressure is on Alan Curbishley with Slaven Bilic waiting in the wings.

In other words almost exactly the same as The Telegraph published yesterday.

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