Sunday, August 31, 2008

West Ham After Stendardo

Sky Sports say West Ham are after Lazio defender Guglielmo Stendardo. The defender has had a series of rows with coach Delio Rossi and spent the second half of last season on loan at Juventus.

Sky say West Ham are interested in taking Stendardo on loan.

Robert Green and Matthew Upson have been named in England's squad for the matches against Andorra in Barcelona next Saturday evening and Croatia in Zagreb the following Wednesday.

West Ham Transfer Rumours

According to The News of the World West Ham are favourites to sign the Swedish striker Henrik Larsson for £1m. The News of the World also claim that despite giving West Ham their best start in nine seasons the club are ready to replace Curbs with Bilic.

The Sunday Mirror say that West Ham have targeted Arsenal defender Johan Djourou as a replacement for Anton Ferdinand and are willing to pay £8m for the 21-year-old.

A few sources are claiming that Sunderland will be making another bid for McCartney and that Villa are to bid £17 million for Dean Ashton. The rumour that West Ham are chasing the £5m rated midfielder Stephen Appiah from Fenerbahce continues to bubble under.

West Ham Win Not Reviewed

I can't be bothered with the newspaper write ups for this West Ham victory. This match was built up by the press to be a game where working class cockney types would be confused by their hatred for both team's managers. That fact that neither manager was eaten alive by the West Ham fans was never going to stop the media ignoring the football on offer and having a pop at the West Ham fans anyway.

After trying to whip up the West Ham fans all week to give Ince a proper East End welcome it isn't much of a surprise that the newspapers failed to notice that Ince was largely ignored. Similarly the fact that Alan Curbishley wasn't harangued from the stands didn't stop The Mail calling West Ham fans the 'most fickle in football'. But that's just what we've come to expect from a newspaper that is the 'shittiest in Fleet Street'.

Disappointed that West Ham didn't lose, The Mail was forced to fantasise instead,

"Make no mistake: if West Ham had lost, or even drawn this match, Curbishley would have been as much of a target as Ince."

So that's not much then. Make no mistake: if The Mail had any integrity they wouldn't be having wet dreams over fantasises of West Ham losing.

Hopefully after the next game the newspapers will review the football and not the terraces.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

West Ham 4 Blackburn 1

West Ham opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Davenport rose at least a foot higher than everyone else in the box to meet a Faubert corner and head home from 6 yards. In the 19th minute Faubert pulled the ball back on the right wing to the edge of the penalty area. Noble hit the ball goalwards, the ball seemed to brush Samba and maybe Ashton on its way into the back of the net. Ashton claimed the goal, it was given as an own goal off Samba but the dodgy goals panel may well give it to Noble.

In the 21st minute Jason Roberts scored from 11 yards to make it 2-1. In the 30th minute Derbyshire put the ball in the back of the net again for Blackburn but was given offside.

For the rest of the half West Ham seemed to be coasting without creating much. In the 36th minute Etherington broke down the left and crossed into the box. Cole beat two defenders to the ball but headed over from 6 yards. Then with a minute to go before half-time Samba seemed to bring down Cole in the box but the referee gave nothing.

Two minutes into the second half and a Blackburn free-kick hit the raised arm of Cole and Blackburn were awarded a penalty. Roberts took the penalty and Green saved well low down to his right.

In the 62nd minute Davenport fired across the mouth of the goal from out wide on the right and just missed wide of the far post. A minute after that Derbyshire was put clean through. Green came out and from seven yards Derbyshire lifted the ball over Green and over the crossbar as well.

In the 67th minute Bellamy came on for Ashton. In the 71st minute a cross from Derbyshire was met by Emerton 6 yards out but his downward header was saved by Green with his feet.

In the 93rd minute Behrami pumped the ball up field and Bellamy fired home from 12 yards from the right side of penalty area. Two minutes later and Cole made it 4-1 after Parker passed the ball inside from the edge of the box to find Cole four yards out. All Cole had to do was smash the ball home.

Third place in the league, West Ham's best league start in nine years and Sp#rs bottom.

Curbs out Now ;)

West Ham Face Watford Away

West Ham have been drawn away to Watford in the Carling Cup third round. The game will be played in the week beginning Monday 22 September.

West Ham v Blackburn Live Streaming

LiveFooty has links to TVUPlayer, JustinTV and SopCast streams.

FSICrew has links to Veetle and TVUPlayer streams.

West Ham Linked to Pandiani

The Daily Mirror say Aston Villa are poised to make a bid for West Ham's Dean Ashton after failing to sign Blackburn's Roque Santa Cruz. The Mirror also claim that West Ham 'could' make a bid for former Birmingham striker Walter Pandiani, who is at Spanish side Osasuna.

Friday, August 29, 2008

West Ham to Draw

Mark Lawrenson, Sky and Setanta are all agreed this week that West Ham and Blackburn will draw tomorrow.

Lawro thinks West Ham are in limbo and struggled to get behind Man City last week. Blackburn on the otherhand are playing with freedom.

Lawro predicts a 2-2 draw

Sky expects both managers on Saturday to be roundly jeered by the home crowd. They say that Valon Behrami is expected to play despite breaking his front tooth against Macclesfield but think that Bellamy probably won't feature.

Sky predicts a 1-1 draw

Setanta expects Ashton to be partnered up front by Sears - but don't explain why they think Curbishley is going to prefer him to Cole.

Setanta predict a 2-2 draw

West Ham to Make New Signings

The Independent claim that there is an 'hysteria' surrounding West Ham. They say that Slaven Bilic is understood to be interested in succeeding him at Upton Park should he be sacked.

The Independent also claim that West Ham hope to announce the signing of midfielder Stephen Appiah from Fenerbahce for £5m today. They say two new Nani signings, both on year long loans, are also expected to be completed before the transfer window deadline on Monday.

The papers says that the loan signings will be an attacker and a defender with the leading candidates including Henrik Larsson and Pegguy Luyindula for the attacking role and Gaël Givet in defence. However The Daily Mail today claim that Larsson is being linked with Everton and Sp@rs.

The Times, on the other hand, say West Ham could sign Uruguay striker Walter Pandiani, who is hoping to move back to the Premier League.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cole Committed to West Ham

Carlton Cole has pledged his future to West Ham after some newspapers reported that he was going to be the next player moving north. Cole said,

"I am happy at West Ham ... and when the time is right the deal will be done."

The official site and Alan Curbishley have also claimed that Craig Bellamy could be in contention for a place in Saturday's team against Blackburn Rovers.

Anton Hits Back

Anton Ferdinand has hit back at West Ham's claim that they had to sell him because he refused a new contract. Ferdinand says he was offered a new contract by West Ham but the offer was withdrawn as soon as Sunderland made an offer for him.

Obviously it is hard to know the truth about the situation but Ferdinand's take on events does tally with rumours that the owners were desperate to take £6-7 million out of the club.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

West Ham 4 Macclesfield 1

Oh Dear!

It took extra-time and Macclesfield to be reduced to ten men before West Ham were able to win this game.

Goals from Bowyer, Cole, Hines and Reid.

To put this score in context here are Macclesfield's results in League Two this season:

Accrington 2-0 Macclesfield
Macclesfield 0-2 Bradford
Shrewsbury 4-0 Macclesfield

Anton Gone

Anton Ferdinand's move to Sunderland has finally been confirmed for an 'undisclosed fee'. Alan Curbishley said on Ferdinand's departure that "I am also looking to bring in one or two players."

However Curbishley's statement, as well as the statement of Scott Duxbury, is full of assurances that the club has adequate back-up and that this will be an opportunity for some of the youngsters at the club.

Expect lots of hand wringing after the transfer window closes about not being able to find the right players at the right price.

West Ham Seek Loan Deals

The West Ham board, gracious as ever, today are trying to deflect all criticism over Anton's sale by blaming it all on the player. The board claim that Ferdinand was demanding more than £50,000 a week.

The Independent say that West Ham pointed out to Ferdinand that he wasn't a first team regular so didn't deserve it. I wonder how regularly you have to play to become a first team regular?

The paper also say that West Ham are trying to secure two loan signings. Nani has identified the Marseilles defender Gael Givet and the Paris St-Germain striker Peguy Luyindula. Both French clubs would, however, prefer to negotiate permanent deals.

Ferdinand to Leave Today

It is being widely reported that Anton Ferdinand's move to Sunderland will be announced today. The move is also widely being reported as a sign of Alan Curbishley's troubles at West Ham, as his squad seems to be being dismantled without his consent.

Ferdinand's departure seems to have been forced on the club after the defender refused the terms of a new contract by the club. Ferdinand was reportedly one of the lowest paid members of the first team squad, so it would be interesting to know how much the club was offering him.

West Ham have been keen to suggest that Ferdinand's sale is 'good business' as he only has two years left on his present contract. If that is the reason for Ferdinand's sale then presumably the club will have £6-8 million to reinvest in other players and presumably will have earmarked a replacement. If the club don't complete any more purchases by the close of the transfer window on Monday I suspect Ferdinand's sale will be seen as asset stripping and I think the board will be in for a very rough ride from some already seriously disgruntled fans.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

West Ham Deny Bellamy Sale

West Ham have today reacted to a story that Craig Bellamy is in talks with Man City. West Ham United CEO Scott Duxbury said,

"West Ham United have absolutely no intention of selling Craig Bellamy. He is under contract and is committed to the club. Craig remains a very important part of our plans for the future.

"The club is being run on sound football and business principles in order to develop a squad which can deliver success this season. No player would be bought or sold unless that helped to achieve that aim.

"We are not interested in selling players who are committed to the club and essential to our first-team squad.

"If a player refuses to sign a new contract or is not crucial to the manager's plans then we will look at offers on a case by case basis. It is the only sensible way to build for the future.

"We have invested in players this summer identified by the manager who add to the quality of the squad and we will continue to do so as and when appropriate."

The clear suggestion here is that Anton Ferdinand is being sold because he has refused to sign a new contract.

One Loss and the Sky Falls In

West Ham may have only lost one game but from the media reaction (and from the reaction of some of the fans) it certainly seems that not only have the wheels come off but the doors and the engine too.

Cue the Daily Mail!

In an article subtly entitled "Hammers Meltdown" The Daily Mail seem to think that the club's owners are positioning to replace Alan Curbishley. They claim that "Gudmundur Oddsson and Thor Kristjansson and technical director Gianluca Nani were seen talking in hushed tones at City after their embarrassing defeat," obviously implying that they were plotting to replace Curbishley. However it would have been more suspicious if the three of them didn't talk but sat in silence pretending that they didn't know each other.

Where The Mail is right to raise suspicions is over the sale of Anton Ferdinand (who it now seems will move as soon as he recovers enough to pass a medical). Curbishley has hinted that he did not wish to sell Ferdinand and it seems the clubs owners did not inform Curbishley that they were touting the player around.

Even more worringly The Mail claim that West Ham have been touting around Matthew Upson and he also may move before the end of the transfer window. They claim also that West Ham are in talks with Sunderland over the sale of striker Carlton Cole and also that he has an option to join Hamburg.

Monday, August 25, 2008

McCartney On Verge of Return

West Ham defender George McCartney has returned to training and could even feature against Macclesfield Town on Wednesday. Alan Curbishley, when asked which of the injured West Ham players might be fit for Wednesday replied,

George McCartney may feature, but other than that we're a bit light on the ground with regard to one or two of the others coming back.”

Carlton Cole is one of the injured players who won't be playing Wednesday,

It's a straight blow to his back. I don't think he's twisted anything so hopefully he'll be OK for the weekend, but we've got Wednesday to get through,” said Curbishley..

West Ham Thin on the Ground

Alan Curbishley has confirmed that West Ham have accepted an offer for Anton Ferdinand and that if he leaves West Ham will have a weak squad,

"The board have accepted the bid - he's not renegotiated his contract - and the decision was taken out of my hands. I don't know where Anton is in terms of signing for Sunderland - but once the club accept the bid it moves on. We are thin on the ground. If we lose another defender we will have to react to that."

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Man City 3 West Ham 0

If West Ham's intention was to hold on for a 0-0 draw then they did reasonably well in the first-half. At least they did up until the point when Mark Noble got himself sent off. Until then West Ham restricted City to just two shots, although both of those shots were close to being goals.

In the 12th minute following a bit of a pinball scramble from a corner the ball fell to Ben-Haim 6 yards out, his shot deflected off Davenport up onto the bar and then to safety. In the 22nd minute Petrov hit a 25 yrd free-kick over the West Ham wall and with Green motionless the ball bounced off the right-hand post.

Then in the 36th minute Noble, having already been booked for a deliberate handball, was shown a second yellow for a bad lunging tackle. From then on it was all City for the rest of the half, although West Ham did reasonably well to restrict them to long shots. However West Ham went in at the break without having had one effort on goal.

In the second half it was all City. In the 64th minute a sliced clearance from Upson fell to Sturridge 7 yards out who smashed the ball into the roof of the net. In the 69th minute Elano fired the ball into the bottom left corner of the net. In the 75th minute Ireland made a mug of Neill before pulling the ball back to Elano who got his second from 8 yards.

Looking at the positives - West Ham managed to have a shot on goal in the 88th minute and even managed to win two corners in the game.

West Ham in the Sundays

The News of the World say that West Ham will fly to Italy this week to attempt to lure Ghana midfielder Stephen Appiah to Upton Park.

Curbishley has told the Daily Mirror that Behrami is as good as two signings, "We've lost two players on that side and he can replace them both. He's a raiding fullback and a winger."

A couple of the papers are reporting that Blackburn are trying to hijack Sebastian Pinto's move to West Ham. "Ince stepped in when the Santos hit-man walked out on the Hammers after a row between boss Alan Curbishley and technical director Gianluca Nani."

The Guardian Series say Parker and Ashton 'should' be in West Ham's squad for today's game.

Man City vs West Ham Live

With West Ham's game being live on Sky today there are a number of streams available.

LiveFooty currently has five links to streams of today's game.

FSICrew also has a number of links to streams on all the major streaming software.

Radio Five Live is providing radio commentary of the game (UK only).

Ashton on His Fitness

The Times have an interview today with Dean Ashton in which the West Ham striker discusses his faltering England career. More interesting than Ashton's assessment of his England hopes is his assessment of the medical team at West Ham,

I’m not a physio, but I have my opinions. Let’s just say that I didn’t use the medical team here for my rehab, I used my own man, Jon Green, who has worked with Michael Owen as well.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Man City vs West Ham Predictions

I think this could possibly be a world's first. Mark Lawrenson has predicted West ham to win for the second week in a row. Lawro is worried about City at the moment and thinks Ashton is a 'good' player.
Lawro predicts a 1-2 West Ham win.

Sky don't fancy Man City without Bojinov and Richard Dunne. Sky say West Ham 'hope' to have Ashton available.
Sky Sports predict a 1-2 West Ham win.

Despite noting City's problems up front Setanta obviously don't rate West Ham's defence as they predict that West Ham will concede twice.
Setanta predict a 2-2 draw

Friday, August 22, 2008

West Ham Rumours

The Daily Telegraph seem to think that Anton Ferdinad has finally made up his mind on his proposed move to Sunderland and is set to sign a four year contract with the club.

Various reports suggest that Roy Keane is also willing to bid £5 million for West Ham's Carton Cole but Sunderland's signing of David Healy yesterday should scotch that rumour.

Various sources today claim that Curbihley and Nani have had their first bust-up. Reportedly Nani is responsible for offering a trial to Pinto but Alan Curbishley has refused to play the striker in a trial match.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Neill Has Offers

Lucas Neill, who is in contract negotiations with West Ham, claims he has other offers,

"Officially I’m on my last year of my contract," he said. "I’ve had preliminary talks and there’s been interest from elsewhere. But I'm captain of West Ham and very proud of that and I don’t see it being any different this season."

Neill is perceived to be one of the highest earners at West Ham and despite being club captain now has serious competition for his right-back slot from Behrami.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

West Ham England Team

I don't know if this is anything to crow about considering tonight's performance was one of England's worst ever displays, (Joe Cole has to start) but Capello could have almost fielded an England eleven with former and current West Ham players against Slovakia.

Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, David James, Jermain Defoe and John Terry (West Ham youth) all started whilst Joe Cole featured in the second half. Add to that Matthew Upson who was in the initial squad but not named today and Dean Ashton, who would probably have been in the squad if he wasn't injured at the weekend then you are getting to the better part of a full team.

Mind you how Lampard still gets picked is beyond me.

West Ham in for Pinto

According to today's Daily Mirror West Ham are due to have talks with Chilean striker Sebastian Pinto. They claim he has been invited for a brief trial with a view to a year long loan.

The paper says Pinto, who currently plays for Brazilian club Santos, has fallen out with his present coach and is available on a season-long loan. He is keen to come to England and has accepted the West Ham invitation despite rival offers.

Elsewhere, Sp#rs have ruled themselves out for any bid for Anton Ferdinand. Ferdinand is said to be considering an offer from Sunderland.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

West Ham Pair Back in Action

James Collins and Nigel Quashie both completed 45 minutes in a behind closed doors game against QPR. The game ended 2-2 with Boa Morte getting both of West Ham's goals.

Mark Noble had a good game in England U-21's 2-1 win against Slovakia. Noble played the full 90 minutes and was captain for the second half, after Milner was substituted at half-time.

West Ham Turn Down Anton Bid

After telling the world that West Ham had accepted a bid for Anton Ferdinand from Sunderland the newspapers are now saying that West Ham turned down the bid. The Daily Mail however say that Sp#rs are preparing their own bid for the player. After their performance on Saturday they certainly do need to shore up their defence.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ashton Should Be Fit for Sunday

Dean Ashton has been given the all clear after a medical on Sunday. It was feared that Ashton had pulled a hamstring but a scan to his leg has confirmed that he only suffered severe cramp.

"It was just cramp," Ashton said. "I should be training with the team on Tuesday. I am really glad that is not a bad injury. I am looking forward to joining in training tomorrow and getting on with playing. Overall, I am really pleased with how pre-season has gone for me and then to get off to a good start in the first game - especially with two goals. Hopefully I can keep that going on Sunday."

West Ham Agree to Sell Anton

According to The Independent West Ham and Sunderland have agreed an £8 million fee for Anton Ferdinand. However the paper says it is not clear if Ferdinand will want to move to the North-East.

Even though Ferdinand has not been a particular favourite of the fans over the last couple of years I think things could turn very ugly for the Icelandic owners if this goes ahead. I'm pretty sure we were promised that the club would no longer be selling off it's best young players. If Ferdinand goes and no more players are brought in I think it will be a clear signal that the new owners are out to milk the club.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Anton to Leave West Ham?

There have been rumours floating around about West Ham being prepared to sell Anton Ferdinand for most of the summer. The latest rumour comes from The News of the World which says that Sunderland have tabled an £8m bid for the West Ham centre-half.

The paper repeat the rumour that Ferdinand has recently turned down a contract offer and say West ham are therefore willing to offload him.

West Ham Reviews

Most of the newspapers noticed that West Ham had the better of the first half yesterday but Wigan had the better of the second. Most of the newspapers were obviously impressed by Ashton and most point out that he will be undergoing a medical this morning - quoting Curbs saying 'We hope it is cramp.'

The Daily Mail think Ashton is looking slimmer this season. They say Wigan looked 'disinterested' before the half-time break but 'were as impressive in the second half as they were awful in the first'.

The Telegraph believe that Ashton furthered his England claims by scoring twice in front of Capello. They say his first goal was the best moment of the game.

The Guardian called it a 'classic game of two halves'. "West Ham could not have made a better start - and Ashton could not have done more to impress Capello."

The Independent say that "until Ashton limped off in the 72nd minute, he was the significant figure of a bright match. ... Exuding style and panache, Ashton scored twice within the first 10 minutes."

The Times say West Ham "were immensely lucky to hold on to a 2-1 lead that seemed more fragile from minute to minute." Although The Times do concede that West Ham for the first "10 minutes ... looked irresistible."

Saturday, August 16, 2008

West Ham & Match of the Day

The first day of the season and Match of the Day upholds one of the oldest traditions in the English national game by putting the West Ham game on last. By ensuring the West Ham game was the only one not discussed by the panel as well I think the BBC may be starting another proud tradition. It's enough to bring a tear to the eye.

I'm sure it must be possible now to just digitally remove the West Ham players from the screen. It hardly seems fair on the other teams in the league for them to have to miss out on their highlights just because they happen to be playing West Ham that week.

Ashton Dropped from England

Dean Ashton has not been named in the England squad for Wednesday's friendly against the Czech Republic. Capello watched Ashton and Heskey play today and decided not on the player who got two goals but the one firing blanks.

Presumably this means that Ashton, who was subbed with a calf problem today, has been made unavailable through injury. The BBC say he "has been ruled out" which seems to confirm Ashton is injured once again. Hopefully he will be fit again for next Sunday.

Matthew Upson, on the other hand, obviously did enough to impress the England manager as he has been recalled to the squad. Robert Green was ignored once again, whilst Robinson, who apparently continued his poor form of the last year today, was recalled.

West Ham 2 Wigan 1

Wigan looked good for the first two minutes of this game then West Ham won the ball in their own half and broke quickly down the right wing. The ball came to Faubert who crossed and found Ashton on the edge of the Wigan box. Ashton received the ball with his back to goal and turned and shot to get the first goal of this Premier League campaign.

It took West Ham just seven minutes to extend their lead. West Ham won a corner on the left. Cole met the corner on the edge of the five yard box and flicked the ball on, Davenport hooked the ball goalwards and Ashton had a fairly easy tap-in on the far post for his second of the game.

Wigan scored a minute into the second half. Amr Zaki volleyed the ball past Green left-footed from the centre of the penalty area, 12 yards out. After the goal West Ham created a couple of chances. Cole headed wide and Faubert shot wide from a Behrami pull back from the right wing.

However, from about the 55th minute, Wigan bombarded the West Ham penalty area. In the 71st minute Sears was brought on for Ashton and Mullins for Parker. In the 75th minute Green was forced to make a good save from a Palacios shot from just outside the area.

In the 86th minute Davenport had the chance to secure the points from a corner. However his header from 5 yards just missed right. In the 92nd minute, with seconds remaining and after some more sustained pressure from Wigan Zaki had a golden opportunity to square the match. The ball came to him five yards out but he managed to fire over.

So it was a far from convincing win for West Ham. They should be a little worried at the way Wigan looked the better side for much of this match but thanks to Ashton they did enough to get the points. On the positive side Behrami and Faubert showed glimpses of what looks to be a very good pairing down the right and Ashton is looking deadly.

West Ham also look dangerous from corners for the first time in a long while.

Made Up West Ham Story of the Day

According to The Sun there are 'powerful' people at West Ham who think that Harry Redknapp is the Son of God and are looking forward to the Second Coming of 'Arry. The paper claims that an 'insider' (although they don't say inside what) told them,

"There are powerful people here who would love to see Harry make a comeback. It would be like the return of the messiah for them."

So The Sun say that when Curbishley is given the push West Ham will go for Croatian manager Slaven Bilic.

I know it doesn't make sense but we are talking The Sun here.

West Ham vs Wigan - Live

LiveFooty have a SopCast link for today's game.

FSIcrew have TVAnts and SopCast links for TrueSport 5 and Balldee Sports 5 channels.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Neill to Play Left-Back

Alan Curbishley says that Lucas Neill will play at left-back tomorrow in place of the injured McCartney. Calum Davenport looks set to replace the hamstrung Ferdinand in the centre of defence.

The rest of the starting line up is likely to be very much as started against Villareal. For Wigan Chris Kirkland and Emile Heskey have been passed fit.


Lawro says he worries for West Ham this season but that 'Wigan will be fine'. Therefore he predicts a 2-0 win for West Ham. Go figure. What a .... (fill in the blank).

Setanta think that with Ferdinand absent for West Ham, Heskey will run riot. Setanta predict a 1-1 draw.

Sky think that Wigan have bought well this summer and also predict a 1-1 draw.

Lucas Neill Interview

Lucas Neill discusses the season ahead for West Ham:

West Ham Preview

West Ham feature today in The Guardian's Premier League Preview. The analysis of West Ham's current strengths and weaknesses is pretty fair - it is a bit surprising then that the paper ends up predicting a 16th place for West Ham in the league this season. Especially when they also say,

"The quality is there in West Ham's squad to make a decent fist of things among the second tier of Premier League clubs, and maybe even to push on for a Uefa Cup spot."

The Guardian notice that West Ham lack decent cover up front, "If Ashton is absent and Bellamy is having one of his leaner spells, it's still hard to see exactly where the goals are going to come from."

The analysis is rather let down however by the claim that the squad's weakness "is the continuing absence of a regular left-back.". Actually McCartney was hardly ever absent last season.

Elsewhere captain Lucas Neill says that West Ham are aiming for a top eight finish,

"Tenth was probably more than we deserved. But this season you will probably see the West Ham everyone wanted to see last term.

"Finishing in the top six is achievable but we're going to focus on the top eight and hope we're there or thereabouts.

"The squad - on paper - can compete with the teams around us trying to obtain fourth, fifth or sixth spot."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

West Ham Bid for Dele Adeleye

Sky Sports say West Ham, Man City and Fulham have all made bids for Nigerian teenage defender Dele Adeleye. Adeleye has looked impressive playing for Nigeria in the current Olympic games and seems to have caught the interest of a number of clubs.

The 19-year-old currently plays for Sparta Rotterdam in Holland but has attracted interest from clubs in Germany, France and England.

West Ham vs Macclesfield

West Ham have drawn Macclesfield Town at home in the second round of the Carling Cup. I understand the ticket office has been overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of enquiries since the draw was announced.

The game will be played in the week commencing Monday 25th August.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

West Ham Season Prediction

The bookies have Alan Curbishley down as the first manager to be sacked this season. Which presumably means they think we will struggle.

Mark Lawrenson says that the 'great problem' for West Ham is 'the wage bill' and consequently West Ham will finish in the bottom third. Presumably the players will be weighed down by their bulging wallets and be unable to perform. What a ... (fill in the blank).

The Times say West Ham should have a top half finish this season and Joe Lovejoy's prediction is 8th.

Sky Sports think West Ham will have a similar season this year to last. Strangely they say that the majority of West Ham's rivals have been busy in the transfer market. I thought that most sides had been fairly quiet in the transfer market this year. Anyway Sky predict West Ham will finish 11th this year.

Listening to what the West Ham management and players have been saying over the summer I think the club have earmarked 7th position as the target for this year and this looks achievable.

West Ham have not been that active in the transfer market over the summer. Despite what the club says about players returning from injury being like new signings I'm afraid it is unlikely to be true. Bellamy, Dyer and Parker aren't likely to suddenly become less injury prone and will probably all miss large chunks of the season through injury. However Etherington and Behrami and Faubert I think will give us more pace and width this season and if Ashton remains fit then we certainly shouldn't struggle.

I think that our main rivals this season are the teams that finished fifth to twelfth last year. Of those sides Newcastle and Sp#rs will probably have better seasons than last year and City and Blackburn could struggle to match last year's performance.

Villa have been active in the transfer market and look to have improved their squad.

Everton have sold Johnson but haven't brought anyone in. However Everton are solid and should be around 5th and 6th spot again this year.

Man City have got rid of a lot of squad players and bought in three new signings. The team looks to have slightly improved but off the field problems are likely to affect their season. I can see City slipping back this year.

I keep reading predictions of Sp#rs doing well this season. However they look like they will have sold their best two players in Keene and Berbatov and whilst they have bought well on paper their new players outside of Bentley are unproven in the Premier League. Much may rest on Darren Bent being able to step up this season and he has been looking good in pre-season.

Newcastle look to have brought in Coloccini which means their defence should be a lot better this season. Up front Owen still seems plagued with injuries. It looks like Newcastle will have their normal roller coaster ride with Keegan in charge.

Blackburn have lost Bentley and not really brought in any quality. More importantly they have lost Hughes and replaced him with Ince. I suspect Blackburn will move backwards this season.

Portsmouth have bought Crouch and will probably be challenging for fifth, sixth or seventh this season.

West Ham should be in this group. I think sixth position is possible this season but so is 12th, however eighth or ninth is most likely.

Joe Cole Back at West Ham?

According to KUMB West Ham have made an approach for Joe Cole. Apparently Cole is out of favour at Chelski under Scolari and is facing a season on the sidelines. Presumably West Ham's approach is a loan offer, I'm sure the club wouldn't stump up the transfer fee.

KUMB say Liverpool are also considering an offer.

Anton Turns Down Contract

The Daily Mirror claim that Anton Ferdinand has turned down a new contract offer from West Ham. The paper says that West Ham and Ferdinand have been negotiating an extension for the past few months and the defender's snub leaves his long-term future at the club in doubt.

However The Mirror claim that the offer Ferdinand has turned down would have trebled his wages. I thought everybody knew West Ham were trying to reduce the wage bill.

West Ham Trial for T & T International

West Ham have handed a trial to Trinidad & Tobago international Keon Daniel. The 21 year old midfielder whilst a teenager had a trial with Man Utd. The trial is due to take place after the 20th August, when T&T face Cuba in a World Cup qualifier.

"It's going to be a great opportunity for me and it's one I'm looking forward to," said the United Petrotrin midfielder. "I'm not worried as once I get over there I will give it my best and show what I can do."

They [West Ham] actually wanted me to come earlier this month but I couldn't because of the matches we have now leading up to Cuba. So arrangements have been made for me to go up after the Cuba game.

"If things work out for me we also have to look at the transfer deadline which is August 31."

West Ham Don't Sign Thatcher

It looks like West Ham might be avoiding another PR blunder by not signing Ben Thatcher. Ipswich manager Jim Magilton says that Thatcher is set to sign for him today,

"It's moving forward now and we hope to bring it to a conclusion on Wednesday."

Thatcher was given a place in West Ham's starting line up at the week-end so it was presumed by many fans that West Ham were going to sign the free agent. However Thatcher was taken off at half-time and Lucas Neill replaced him at left-back.

West Ham will probably now start against Wigan with Neill at left-back, Behrami at right-back and Faubert on the right-wing.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Losing Weight for England

England manager Fabio Capello has revealed how he had to tell Ashton last season that he was too fat for England.

"We followed Dean in a lot of games last season and he was very good - but he had injury problems before that," said Capello.

"I spoke with him in Trinidad and I told him he had to lose weight and be better physically because technically he is good but he is not quick. But he has since told me he is fit now."

Tilbury 0-3 West Ham United XI

Young goalkeeper Jan Lastuvka made his first appearance for West Ham last night as a Keen managed West Ham Xi beat Tilbury 3-0. Jack Jeffery, Junior Stanislas and Anthony Edgar were West Ham's scorers. Keen said,

"It was a good performance by a young team in a competitive environment. Jan did very well. He made a very good save in the opening minutes to keep us level. I was very pleased overall. We played some good football, they had a strong crowd out and made some money."

Monday, August 11, 2008

West Ham Players Back Curbs

Matthew Upson insists that West Ham manager Alan Curbishley has the full backing of the West Ham United squad.

"Curbs seems a bit more relaxed and he most definitely has the backing of the players," said Upson in The Sun.

"I can understand why he is under criticism. He's taken a job at a football club who had a huge financial injection.

"People expected big things at this place and, so far, those massive things have not been delivered.

"But people need to be aware that it is a process and no matter how much money you throw in, there has to be a foundation."

Nigel Quashie Found At Last

The location of Nigel Quashie has finally been revealed in this Daily Mail article. Or at least I think it has. I really couldn't be bothered to actually read the trash.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

West Ham Consider Mane

According to Setanta West Ham are after Almeria left back Mane. However West Ham could face competition from Villareal and Real Betis for the 26 year old.

West Ham Sunday Gossip

The Sunday People say West Ham are after Paris SG left winger Jerome Rothen. They also claim that West Ham are lining up a bid for Chilean striker Sebastian Pinto if they sell Ashton to Sp~rs.

The People however give this fictional tale of transfer rumours away by saying that Nobby Solano is training with Watford ahead of a possible move. Unfortunately for the People Solano has already signed for Greek side Larissa.

Damn those verifiable facts.

Alan Curbishley has told the BBC he is unsure whether he will sign Ben Thatcher. Playing Thatcher yesterday seemed to indicate that he was definitely in Curbishley's plans but Curbishley claims he is still thinking about it.

"We've a few injury niggles at the back and I am looking for some experienced cover," Curbishley told BBC Sport.

"Ben is steady but he has a couple of clubs interested in him and I will have to have a think about it."

Saturday, August 09, 2008

West Ham 1 Villareal 1

West Ham started the game very well. Within the first minute Upson sent Etherington free of the defence just inside the left side of the Villareal penalty area. Etherington crossed the ball low from the byline back into the five yard box, where Cole arrived and shot home.

After the goal West Ham showed that they were taking this goal seriously with a series of hard tackles (OK fouls). In the 27th minute Cole was booked for a diving lunge from behind on Rodriguez.

For most of the first half the game was fairly even. However after about half an hour Villareal started to look more threatening and in the 35th minute they worked an impressive equaliser. Santi Cazorla put the ball past an out-rushing Green from eight yards, after playing a neat one-two from just outside the box.

After the equaliser it was all Villareal for the rest of the half, with West Ham desperately trying not to concede a second.

In the second half West Ham replaced Ashton and Thatcher with Faubert and Lee Bowyer. West Ham again started the stronger of the two teams. In the 53rd minute Cole made a good run on the left wing, beating a couple of players to work his way into the area before having his path blocked. The ball worked its way out to Noble on the edge of the area, who was then taken out by the defence. From the free-kick Faubert bent the ball around the wall low down but the ball was saved by Lopez in goal.

In the 57th minute a long ball forward from Neill was met by Cole wide left in the area. Cole tried a half-volley but his effort was well wide. In the 62nd minute Reid came on for Etherington. Two minutes after coming on Reid crossed from the left and found Cole wide left in the six yard box. Cole shot across the goal with Faubert just a yard off reaching the ball.

In the 80th minute Hines replaced Noble. In the 81st minute a move straight out of the academy almost led to a goal opportunity. Davenport played a long ball forward to Reid. Reid crossed from the left wing. Hines in the six yard box laid it back to Sears. Sears shot first time from seven yards and Lopez did well to save. A minute later and Sears actually put the ball in the back of the net, only for the goal to be ruled offside.

In the end it was a good effort from West Ham. Behrami looks a good buy on the right. Etherington is looking good again on the left and Reid did well when he replaced Etherington. Also it looks like Noble and Parker might be the first choice in central midfield now (nothing against Mullins I just think he and Parker don't work as a partnership in the centre).

I'm optimistic again!

West Ham vs Villareal Live

LiveFooty seem to have a live feed that won't require any stream players (Flash).

The feed looks like it is showing Canal Spain. I've checked their schedule and it says Newcastle vs Valencia / West Ham vs Villareal - the program is four hours long so it looks like they are showing both matches, one after the other.

Looking at the schedule on Justin TV it does look like the West Ham game will be a re-live stream starting at 5pm.

West Ham PR Nightmare

West Ham decided to round off this week's series of public relations cock-ups by issuing a public statement on Alan Curbishley's role in the signing of Freddie Ljungberg. Earlier this week Curbishley stated that he had nothing to do with negotiating Freddie Ljungberg's wages when the Swede was signed.

This statement seemed to be contradicted yesterday by co-owner Asgeir Fridgeirsson when he openly criticised Curbishley and blamed him for Ljungberg's signing,

"It's the manager and his management team who are responsible for paying out the player’s salary. It is their judgement about how to use the money they paid to Ljungberg in a wiser way.

"We all have our personal opinion about Freddie and his efforts for this club."

Now Scott Duxbury has issued an official statement exonerating Alan Curbishley from any blame in the club's efforts to enrich Freddie Ljungberg,

"The signing of Fredrik Ljungberg in July 2007 was negotiated by the former chairman Eggert Magnusson and the financial discussions relating to the transfer had nothing to do with the manager Alan Curbishley, who has never been involved in player transfer and contract negotiations.

"All financial matters are controlled by the Board with the manager playing a full role in the identification and recommendation of players.

"As stated previously, the termination of Ljungberg's contract was agreed mutually and was in the best interests of West Ham United and the player. This was a footballing decision based on the fact the 31-year-old midfielder's first-team chances would have been limited for the new campaign and allows the club to redirect the wage-saving elsewhere."

Quite clearly Curbishley has demanded that the club officially state that he was not to blame for Ljungberg's extortionate wages. Quite clearly Eggert Magnusson is going to be blamed for the invasion of Iraq, the consequent rise in fuel prices and the collapse of the world's economy.

Eggert Magnusson is expected to hold a press conference tomorrow in which Terence Brown will be blamed not only for Ljungberg's contract but for the rise in global warming.

But that's not all. West Ham have also decided to use today's showcase match to showcase their complete lack of respect for the game of football. That's right according to the West Ham official site,

"Curbishley may also give another run-out to free agent Ben Thatcher."

My thinking is we should not retire Booby Moore's shirt today but hand it to Ben Thatcher. That would more effectively symbolise all that West Ham stand for in the modern game.

Friday, August 08, 2008

West Ham Don't Have Much Choice

The Daily Mail say West Ham are set to Give Youth a Chance against Villareal tomorrow, in a headline that should read West Ham Don't Have Much Choice. It appears that Anton Ferdinand has joined the growing list of players who won't be fit for the start of the season so Alan Curbishley has little choice but to field an inexperienced side.

Curbs is putting a brave face on the situation,

'The youngsters have done well in pre-season and players such as Junior Stanislas, Zavon Hines and Kyel Reid deserve their chance.'

However it is fast becoming apparent that West Ham's culling of the squad in this transfer window has left the side seriously weak, especially up front.

At least one of the players released has now found another club. Nobby Solano has signed a two year contract with Larissa in Greece. Solano said on joining his new club,

"It was a joint decision with my family and that is why I am going to Greece.

"I am grateful to Newcastle where I reached the peak of my career. I am happy for what I gave to Aston Villa and I finished well at West Ham. I am leaving England very consistent in what I did."

West Ham Fire Sale

Kumb are today reporting that West Ham may accept a bid for Dean Ashton. They say the club's inability to offload the majority of the fringe players has led the owners to the decision that all players at the club now have their price. They may therefore accept an offer for Ashton.

Kumb say that Alan Curbishley was against the sale of Zamora and was unaware that Ljungberg was to be released until a couple of hours before it happened. Kumb read this as evidence of Curbishley's waning influence at the club. Kumb's interpretation has been supported by co-owner Asgeir Fridgeirsson openly criticising Curbishley today and blaming him for the fiasco over Ljungberg,

"It's the manager and his management team who are responsible for paying out the player’s salary. It is their judgment about how to use the money they paid to Ljungberg in a wiser way.

"We all have our personal opinion about Freddie and his efforts for this club."

This completely contradicts a statement by Curbishley this week that he has not taken any part in salary negotiations and that he merely tells the board of players he is interested in and they undertake transfer and salary negotiations.

Perhaps the bookies were right after all in naming Curbishley as favourite for the chop. Perhaps the new owners are fast becoming as popular as ex-chairman Terence Brown.

One thing is certain that selling Aston would be hugely stupid and probably bad economics. It would mean that West Ham would be reliant on the mostly injured Bellamy and a misfiring Cole and could quite possibly lead to a relegation battle.

West Ham to Sign Givet

The Daily Mail say West Ham are closing in on a £1.75m deal for Marseille central defender Gael Givet. The paper give this an 'insider rating' of 5/5 which translates as a 'done deal'. However this is The Daily Mail and why would West Ham be 'closing in' on a 'done deal'. Surely it is either a done deal or it isn't.

The last I heard was that Givet was in the process of discussing personal terms with Panathanaikos. So unless those discussions have broken down or West Ham have gazumped the Greek club I think it is more likely to be The Mail's usual 2/5 for accuracy.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Bellamy Out for a Month

In an interview with the West Ham official site Craig Bellamy has confirmed that he will be out of action for at least a month. Because West Ham have sold Zamora (seemingly to raise cash to release Ljungberg) the team is beginning to look very threadbare up front.

Freddie Gone

West Ham have issued an official statement to confirm that Ljungberg has been released by the club. So it seems that Zamora was sold to buy out Ljungberg's contract (at least if you believe the £6 million figure being banded about by the media).

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

West Ham to Release Ljungberg

The Daily Mail claim West Ham will pay £6 million pound to release Ljungberg from his contract because they no longer wish to pay his wages.

The paper say West Ham pay Ljungberg £85,000 a week and he would cost the club £8.84m in wages if he sees out the remaining two years of his contract. They say Curbishley has told the player he no longer figures in West Ham's first team plans but Ljungberg was happy to sit out his contract so West Ham have been unable to sell him and are forced to buy out his contract.

The paper seems certain that Ljungberg is now a free agent. They say he has not been part of West Ham's pre-season programme and is understood to be back home in Sweden 'weighing up a number of options'. Presumably the club are waiting for season ticket holders to renew their tickets before telling the fans.

Not to doubt the veracity of The Daily Mail's reporting but they reported that Ljungberg was on £65,000 a week when he signed for us. I therefore think that there is an element of truth in all this (Ljungberg can't really have been hiding out in Quashie's pad all summer) but I suspect that The Daily Mail have wildly exaggerated the sums involved.

The Daily Mail also claim Kieron Dyer is out until November and that Craig Bellamy is out for up to two months. I'm sure there could be some creative accounting go on here as well by The Daily Mail.

Ashton the 20 Million Pound Man

A lot of the newspapers this morning say that West Ham have turned down a £15 million bid from Sp~rs for Dean Ashton. Now the media are saying Sp~rs will up their bid to £20 million.

After Spu~rs have spent most of this transfer window complaining about Liverpool and Man Utd and reporting the clubs to the FA it is strange how these stories are getting into the media so quickly.

Thatcher Plays For West Ham

Ben Thatcher was given a West Ham trial last night in a West Ham XI 2-0 win over Bishop Stortford. There seems to have been quite a reaction from West Ham fans to Thatcher's presence considering his not so lily-white past.

Not only has Thatcher been involved in a few instances when opponents have been hospitalised in what seemed like intentional GBH he simply isn't good enough for the Premier League. For some reason West Ham seem hell bent on dragging the club's name through the mud at the moment.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Bellamy in Trouble Again

Craig Bellamy is apparently in hot water today after allegedly calling a female fan 'an Ipswich prostitute' as he left the field and after being barracked by a section of the home fans. I don't want to condone what Bellamy has done but it seems to me certain fans are happy to hurl vitriol at opposing players and then appear mortally offended if the players react and are quick to inform stewards and the police that they have had their sensibilities upset.

Carlton Cole has been named in the Nigeria squad for a World Cup qualifier against South Africa next month. Cole won 19 caps for England's Under 21 side.

Setanta are reporting that West Ham are interested in Saha. Yesterday I would have dismissed the rumour but now that Craig Bellamy seems to have injured himself again perhaps West Ham are finally waking up to the fact that we need cover up front for the injury prone Bellamy and Ashton.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Bellamy Worry for West Ham

Sky Sports are reporting that Craig Bellamy seemed to suffer a hamstring injury in tonight's friendly against Ipswich. Bellamy was forced off after just 20 minutes at Portman Road.

Ipswich 3 West Ham 5

Upson returned to the defence for this game and Ashton returned to partner Bellamy up front. Richard Wright started in goal for Ipswich

It took Ashton just four minutes to get on the score sheet, cannoning in a shot off the crossbar from an Etherington cross. Two minutes later and Ipswich were level after Garvan beat Green from eight yards.

In the tenth minute Bellamy chipped Wright from 20 yards to restore West Ham's lead. After 25 minutes Garvan beat Green to get his second of the match.

In the second half Ashton got his second of the match shooting low past Wright from ten yards after 57 minutes. In the 75th minute Ashton completed his hat-trick after converting a Reid cross. In the 78th minute Noble made it eight with a spectacular 25 yard effort.

In the 89th minute Lee headed in Ipswich's third of the evening.

West Ham: Green (Stech 60), Neill, Ferdinand (Davenport 39), Upson, Widdowson, Behrami (Mullins 62), Noble, Parker, Etherington (Reid 46), Bellamy (Hines 23), Ashton (Stanislas 82).

West Ham Retire No 6 Shirt

The official site have confirmed West Ham United will retire the No6 shirt at this Saturday's game. The game against Villarreal is for the inaugural Bobby Moore Cup. A billboard in the corner of the stadium will also feature a permanent No6 this season to remind of the significance of the half-century since a 17-year-old Moore broke into the first team.

Lastuvka Completes One Year Loan Deal

Shakhtar Donetsk goalkeeper Jan Lastuvka has finally completed his one year loan move to West Ham.

West Ham also have an option to make the deal for the Czech keeper permanent at the end of the season.

West Ham have also signed 17-year-old Austrian midfielder Georg Grasser from Grazer AK.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Dyer Out For Two Months

The official site has reported today on some of the club's injuries. The good news is that there is no mention of Kieron Dyer fracturing his leg again. However the site does say that Dyer is still six weeks off 'pre-season style training'. Which means presumably that Dyer will not be playing for West Ham for at least two months.

The site also says that the club are 'hopful' that Dean Ashton will be in the starting line-up against Ipswich.

Dyer Fractures Leg Again

As of yet I have not seen this story printed elsewhere so I am hoping this is untrue.

According to The News of the World Kieron Dyer has fractured the same right leg he injured this time last year. Dyer was scheduled to play his first match tomorrow against Ipswich but the NOTW claim he fractured his leg in training and will be out for four months.

If true it is strange that the story doesn't seem to have been picked up by anyone else. Also, The News of the World quote Scott Duxbury about a supposed Sp#rs bid for Dean Ashton, so why didn't they ask Duxbury about the Dyer injury at the same time?

Asked what West Ham's response to a supposed £18 million Sp~rs bid for Dean Ashton would be Duxbury replied,

Hell would have to freeze over for us to sell Dean to a major rival. It would be no surprise to us if there are certain clubs who would be interested in him.

“But we worked very hard to put together a deal to keep Dean at the club and he remains a massive part of our ambitious plans.

West Ham Transfer Rumours

Shakhtar Donetsk goalkeeper Jan Lastuvka has passed a medical with West Ham so an official announcement of him joining the club on a year's loan should be imminent.

Long time West Ham target Nickey Shorey seems set to leave Reading next week. Steve Coppell says that Reading have turned down an offer last week but expect their valuation of the player to be met next week. He refused however to name which club had made the offer.

"We had a good talk yesterday, there was a little bit of interest last week and the chances are he will be gone by next week. I am 60-40 convinced that he will be gone."

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Ashton's Illness

Alan Curbishley says that Dean Ashton trained on Friday after an 'illness',

"We are hoping over the weekend that he gets his strength back up and he can play. (on Monday against Ipswich)" .

Curbishley also acknowledged that West Ham's passing could have been better. It certainly seems that when Parker and Mullins partner up in midfield West Ham have a problem linking the play from the defence to the attack and seem to end up hoofing the ball forward.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Southampton 2 West Ham 2

West Ham started with Stech in goal. Cole and Bellamy started up front, with Ashton not even in the squad. Behrami, Davenport, Upson, Neill, Faubert, Mullins, Parker and Reid also started.

In the first half West Ham struggled against a side who just avoided relegation from the Championship on the last day of the season. Stech was the busier of the two goalies, with West Ham only mounting the occasional quick counter attack.

In the 33rd minute Southampton got a deserved opener when James crossed from the right to find the unmarked McGoldrick. The striker, unopposed headed past Stech. In the 37th minute McGoldrick got his second after chipping Stech. A minute after that McGoldrick nearly got his hat-trick when he again arrived in the box unmarked only to head straight at Stech.

In the 45th minute West Ham got one back when Devenport headed home a Faubert corner. Despite the goal and despite this being only a friendly this was a fairly poor first half performance from the Irons.

At half time Bellamy was replaced by Noble, leaving Cole up front on his own. Why am I getting deja vu already?

At the start of the second half Southampton continued to look threatening. However in the 52nd minute West Ham had a double chance to pull level. First Cole's header from Faubert's cross was saved, with the rebound falling to Parker but his follow-up shot was deflected wide.

Soon after that West Ham started ringing the changes. Ferdinand replaced Upson, Widdowson came on for Reid, Cole (who might have been injured) was replaced by Zavon Hines and Parker was replaced with Collison.

In the 65th minute West ham drew level. Behrami passed to Hines with his back to goal. Hines turned and shot from 12 yards into the back of the net. Faubert then made way for Stanislas.

Both sides had chances to take the lead in the closing minutes of the game but the game ended a draw.

Nearly West Ham Related

Ex-West Ham goalkeeper Stephen Bywater is rumoured to be signing for the small club in North London.

Rob Schneider (Duece Bigelow) has been snapped in a West Ham shirt. It appears he has been spending a lot of time with Russell Brand.

Ex-West Ham manager Harry Redknapp is a target of the Russin mafia. At least it is reported that CSKA are willing to pay Redknapp £4m a year to take over for Valeri Gazzaev. However Redknapp gets a nose bleed if he has to travel further north than the Watford Gap, so he is unlikely to move to the Russian capital.

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