Friday, October 31, 2008

Boro vs West Ham - The Predictions

The Daily Mail say that Diego Tristan will be on the bench for West Ham tomorrow and that Neill and Parker could return to the starting eleven. The return of Parker may auger well as Parker scored the winner in West Ham's 2-1 win at the Riverside Stadium last season.

If West Ham can repeat last season's win we will leapfrog Boro, who are currently a point and two places above us.

The return of Parker and Neill isn't enough for Lawro he thinks that Zola will have to buy in January. Lawro is also impressed with Boro's attack.

Lawro predicts a 2-1 loss for West Ham

Sky say a win tomorrow could see West Ham climb to seventh in the league. If they lose however it will be the first time they have lost five games in a row in eighteen months. Sky also say that Herita Ilunga is struggling to be fit for tomorrow's games.

Sky predict a 1-1 draw

Setanta say Boro will be boosted by the return of Justin Hoyte after a three-match absence. Setanta think that Afonso Alves is in fine form, with two goals in two games and could take advantage of West Ham's lack of confidence at the back.

Setanta predict a 2-1 loss for West Ham

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Behrami Out for a Month

Valon Behrami could be out for a month with a calf injury picked up in last night's game.

With Noble, Ashton, Gabbidon, Spector, Dyer, Neill and Parker all out injured as well West Ham have opened up a well deserved lead at the top of the injury table. West Ham have held the top position for the last 30 months, which is believed to be an all time record.

Fahey Wants West Ham Move

Last week it was reported that West Ham scouts had been keeping an eye on St Patrick's Athletic midfielder Keith Fahey. KUMB today are reporting that Fahey seems to be keen on a move.

Fahey said on the speculation linking him with West Ham,

"I would like to move on. I don't think I can do any more at Pats. I would like to move on if someone comes across.

"There is speculation but I know as much as you. There are a couple of things going on. Hopefully something will happen towards the transfer window.

Blades Players to Sue

The Daily Mail claim that fifteen Sheffield Utd players have instructed a leading sports lawyer to pursue their claim for a loss of earnings against West Ham.

Apparently the players have employed Chris Farnell of IPS Law in demanding up to a year’s money per player.

Here's hoping they receive nothing from West Ham and a huge bill from IPS Law. They are an embarrassment to their profession and no doubt will become a laughing stock to one and all.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Time for Plan B

West Ham have played some very good football in the last four games and have lost all four games. The 4-3-3 system can look very good at times and with the right players (Collison?) could be very successful. It just seems that West Ham don't have a plan B at the moment.

One of the problems with Zola's 4-3-3 system (apart from the lack of goals) is that the players are having to adapt to accommodate the system and the system is not adapting to accommodate them. Hence we have Faubert struggling at right back (can you tell this was written at half time - awesome second half from Faubert) and Etherington's strengths as a winger lost playing more in field.

Also when the system is clearly not working against teams Zola and Clarke seem to do nothing to change things around. It is always going to be difficult to play teams like Arsenal and Man Utd off the park. Whilst the system could work well against teams like Boro, who we play on Saturday, we need to be able to adapt in games.

A big problem for West Ham could be if we get sucked into a relegation battle. In a relegation fight teams have to play to their strengths. They also have to fight for the ball. The current system probably wouldn't be the one wanted in a fight.

Of course the main solution to these problems would be for the board to give Zola the money to bring in players who can play the system. To be honest at the moment Zola is trying to make a silk purse with a few too many pigs' ears in the mix.

A mix of Curbs' pragmatism with Zola's idealism is possibly what is needed at the moment. Oh, and a plan B.

Man Utd vs West Ham - Live Streaming

LiveFooty have a number of links of streams of today's game. The links are for Sopcast, TVUPlayer, JustinTV and UStream.

The UStream link is currently working very well.

Curbs to Sue West Ham

According to The Express Alan Curbishley is the latest to take up the new national sport of suing West Ham. The paper claims that Curbs is to sue West Ham for £1million over breach of contract.

As much as I have sympathy for the way Curbs was treated, the fact that he resigned from the club would suggest he would find it hard to claim breach of contract. In fact West Ham could sue him for breach of contract.


According to the BBC West Ham have told Alan Curbishley that they will fight any compensation claim. The club say he waived any right to compensation when he resigned.

According to the BBC, Curbishley argues the club broke a clause in his contract guaranteeing him a say in all transfer dealings. The former Charlton boss says this was not the case during his final months at Upton Park, when he argues the club sold defenders Anton Ferdinand and George McCartney against his wishes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Man Utd vs West Ham - The Predictions

The BBC, Sky and Setanta all agree today that West Ham are going to lose against Manchester United and even agree on the scoreline.

According to Lawro West Ham have got themselves into 'a bit of a pickle' . He still can't see where West Ham's goals are going to come from and thinks Man Utd will want a big win.

Lawro predicts a 3-0 loss for West Ham

Sky point out that West Ham go into this game on the back of a three game losing streak. They say Tristan will not start but may feature at the weekend against Boro. Valon Behrami will be back but won't be enough to stop a potent Man Utd attack.

Sky predict a 3-0 loss for West Ham

Setanta notice that West Ham have lost six of their last seven away league games and don't see them bucking the trend today. The form guide points to Man Utd scoring against West Ham. Man Utd have scored in their last 21 league games at home, while the Hammers have gone 21 games without a clean sheet.

Setanta predict a 3-0 loss for West Ham

Tristan Not Ready for West Ham

Zola says that Diego Tristan will not feature against Man Utd tomorrow. Zola believes that Tristan is still a couple of weeks away from match fitness,

"I don't think he will be ready for this match,” Zola says.

West Ham will be without the suspended Cole, and with Ashton also injured, Zola doesn't seem to have the ready made target man that he likes to use as a spearhead in his 4-3-3 formation.

West Ham Accept Red

West Ham have decided not to appeal Carlton Cole's distinctly dodgy sending off on Sunday. This means Cole will miss tomorrow night's game at Manchester United plus the games against Middlesbrough and Everton.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Where's Freddie Ljungberg?

Having recently discovered the location of Nigel Quashie (Birmingham) West Ham fans might like to know that the lesser spotted Freddie Ljungberg has also now been spotted.

According to reports in Sweden Ljungberg has signed a two year deal with MLS side Seattle Sounders.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Zola Praises West Ham Players

In case you missed West Ham at the tail end of Match of the Day (I wonder when one of the 'top four' last were put on so late) here is Zola being interviewed by the BBC.

West Ham 0 Arsenal 2

West Ham started the game quite brightly and retained possession and passed the ball quite well during the opening 20 minutes. However the only real attempt on goal that they could muster in that period fell to Di Michele whose shot forced Almunia to tip the ball over the bar

In the 20th minute Walcott broke into the box on the right and his shot hit the crossbar. This seemed to lift Arsenal and for the rest of the half Arsenal had the best of the possession.

Parker however was looking up for the game in midfield and did well on occasions to win the ball back for West Ham. In the 28th minute Parker won the ball just outside the West Ham area. The ball fell to Cole who passed back to Parker. Parker played a first time ball forward that split the Aresenal defence and put Bellamy clean through on goal. Bellamy shot low from about ten yards and Almunia did well to get a foot to the ball and deflect it over the bar.

Arsenal's best chance of the half fell to Walcott five yards out but Green did brilliantly to save. Green also did well to save from Bendtner who shot from wide left of the goal from eight yards.

In the second half Arsenal dominated the play. Despite some great defending from Collins and brilliant goalkeeping from Green West Ham couldn't keep a clean sheet. In the 56th minute Van Persie was played clean through but Collins rushed back and just brushed him off the ball.

In the 70th minute Van Persie shot from 11 yards and Green saved expertly low down to his right. However two minutes later Arsenal were ahead as Adebayor's shot, which was heading wide, was deflected by Faubert into his own goal.

In the 79th minute Green was forced into another superb save when Adebayor shot from just inside the area. In the closing ten minutes West Ham created a little pressure. Bellamy shot high and wide from 9 yards in the 80th minute. In the 84th minute Collins also shot high and wide from just outside the area.

In the 90th minute Sears turned and shot just inside the area. The ball was blocked by the defence and played up field. Adebayor was put clean through on goal, he dribbled past an out-rushing Green and scored Arsenal's second.

To end a bad day for West Ham the ref, for reasons only known to him, decided to send Cole off for a foul seconds before the final whistle.

The biggest positive for West Ham today was the return of Collins. He and Upson together look much more solid than Neill and Upson.

West Ham vs Arsenal - Live

LiveFooty have a number of streams for today's game. SopCast, TVUPlayer, JustinTV (although last week the EPL seemed to manage to get the West Ham streams closed on JustinTV), UStream (last week's UStream stream of West Ham's game was very good quality).

FSICrew also have links to lots of streams.

If you are in the UK you can also watch today's game live on Sky Sports 1. BBC 5 Live have second half commentary of the game. Radio London think a London derby between West Ham and Arsenal will be of no interest to Londoners. Instead they are concentrating on the bore fest fringe interest sport of NFL - what this has to do with London is anybody's guess).

West Ham in the Sunday Papers

The News of the World have been speaking to Craig Bellamy. Bellamy says new boss Gianfranco Zola has transformed the club since he took over and claims he is already a better player under the Italian's influence.

The Sunday Mirror say Chelsea and West Ham have gone to war over Steve Clarke's defection to Upton Park.

The People think ex-West Ham manager Alan Curbishley could soon be managing Charlton once more.

Old 'Arry for the Spuds

T#ttenham, with their normal impeccable timing, have sacked Ramos hours before an important game. According to Harry Redknapp Sp#rs have agreed a £5 million compensation package with Portsmouth and he will be their new manager.

Sp#rs have also sacked sporting director Damien Comolliand and first team coaches Gus Poyet and Marcos Alvarez.

Doris, the tea lady, will take charge of today's game.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Return of the Walking Wounded

With the news that Noble could be out for the month and Ashton for most of the season there is some good news regarding the progress of Kieron Dyer and Jonathan Spector.

Dyer was involved in Friday morning's first team training session. Zola says,

"He is not far away but this is the most delicate time. He is progressing very well. We are bringing him with us to do the first part of the job that we do (in training) but he still needs a little bit of time. He can't really tackle and do things like that. He is doing OK and we are really pleased."

Jonathan Spector is due back at West Ham this weekend. After summer surgery Spector has been working on his recovery in the United States. He is expected to resume training with the first team soon.

West Ham Scout Easton

Scottish newspaper The Daily Record claim that West Ham have been checking out Hamilton's 20-year-old full-back Brian Easton. They say West Ham scouts were at New Douglas Park for last week's match against St Mirren.

Iain Dale on the West Ham Till I Die blog has some interesting stats today that show West Ham's top tackler is Behrami, who is way ahead of Parker and Noble in the number of successful tackles made. There you go Gianfranco there's your ready made replacement for Noble in central midfield.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ashton Out for Season?

Dean Ashton has been discussing his latest ankle surgery on his official website. In the article Ashton seems to be hinting that he won't be back until the very end of this season, if that,

"The papers have said I´ll be returning in March but I don’t know where they have got that from. I haven’t been given a date myself yet. It´s more a case of it being at the end of the season and I´ll be really happy if I can play my part in the team then. That’s looking more likely at the moment."

Noble out for a Month

The Echo are reporting that Mark Noble has torn a hamstring in training and will be out of the West Ham first team for a month.

"We have Mark Noble who is going to be unfortunately out for a few weeks with a tear problem in his calf," said manager Zola.

Mullins looked good for West Ham reserves midweek and would seem the obvious replacement. Jack Collison and Luis Boa Morte also played for the reserves this week so should be match fit. Bowyer is supposedly also fit but has had much match practice.

Arsenal, on the other hand, have Gallas and Toure back for Sunday's game. Their defence looked pretty woeful without them midweek.

West Ham vs Arsenal - Predictions

As you would expect all the pundits are predicting West Ham to hammer Arsenal this Sunday. Only kidding ... in fact everyone thinks West Ham will lose by at least two goals.

Lawro doesn't think West Ham will see the ball on Sunday. Although he does concede that West Ham deserved something against Hull last week.

Lawro predicts a 0-2 loss for West Ham

Sky seem to think Zola may reconsider his striking options after last week's failure to score. They claim Sears and Di Michele are the alternatives but that Tristan still is not match fit.

Sky predict a 1-3 West Ham loss

Setanta say West Ham have not kept a clean sheet in twenty games and with Arsenal in fine attacking form don't believe this game will be goalless. Setanta say West Ham would be second in the league if games finished at half-time, whilst Arsenal have scored three times in the last five games in the 90th minute. So West Ham could start strong but Arsenal will last the distance.

Setanta predict 1-4 loss for West Ham

Collins Staying at West Ham

Reports yesterday were suggesting that James Collins is available for transfer in January. Today The Mirror claim that West Ham have refused to loan Collins to Cardiff because he is needed at West Ham. Hopefully this means that Collins will not be put up for sale in January.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tristan to Feature Against Arsenal?

Reports are suggesting that Diego Tristan could be named on the bench for this Saturday's Sunday's Boleyn clash with Arsenal. West Ham have failed to score in their last two matches and are desperate for some fire power up front.

Whilst Arsenal looked impressive going forward in the Champions League this week, their defence looked very weak and Fenerbahce had a lot of success with balls played in behind the defence. That tactic might not suit Cole who likes to hold up the ball but could suit the pace of Bellamy.

James Collins may also be in contention for a place on the bench after featuring for the reserves midweek.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

West Ham Scout Fahey

According to the Irish media West Ham are scouting 25 year old Irish midfielder Keith Fahey. Fahey, who currently plays for St Patrick's Athletic, seemingly caught the eye of Zola during Athletic's recent UEFA Cup games against Hertha Berlin.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Quashie Found

West Ham found Nigel Quashie today and quickly loaned him out to Birmingham City. Quashie has joined the Midlands outfit for an initial one month's loan.

Quashie has not played for West Ham in nineteen months and the fact Birmingham have only taken him on a month's loan suggests there may still be slight concerns about his recovery from persistent foot injuries.

West Ham Reserves 1 Arsenal R 0

An experienced West Ham Reserves side containing Mullins, Boa Morte, Sears and Collins beat a young Arsenal side by a single goal tonight.

The West Ham goal came in the 24th minute when Mullins switched the ball from the right wing to Lopez on the left, Lopez then crossed the ball beyond the far post where Stanilas ran onto the ball and smashed it low into the back of the net from about ten yards.

West Ham had a few chances after that in the first half to extend their lead. Sears forced a save from the keeper from nine yards out and Collinson came close from the edge of the box with a shot that missed just left.

West Ham had fewer chances in the second half but Stokes should have scored when put clean through in the 72nd minute. Unfortunately he shot weakly wide.

Herita Ilunga Super Hero

When West Ham sold George McCartney I thought that left back would be our weakest position this season. The fact that it is arguably now our strongest position is down to one man, Herita Ilunga. The problem is that if Ilunga keeps playing so well West Ham won't be able to afford him once his loan period finishes.

Today I received a message about a new Herita Ilunga blog. The blog is written with the help of the man himself and the owners tell me they are thinking of adding videos of Ilunga speaking. Unfortunately the blog is in French but you can check out it in English via Google translate.

Neill Looking for New Contract

Lucas Neill is looking for an extension to his current contract,

"My contract runs out next summer and I am open to them giving me a few more years at the club. If it doesn't work out, so be it. But I would love a long-term commitment."

Neill is rumoured to be one of the highest earners at West Ham and with West Ham's current financial crisis has probably not picked the best time to negotiate a new contract.

If you have Setanta you can watch West Ham reserves tonight on Arsenal TV. Kick-off is at 7pm.

Monday, October 20, 2008

We Could Have Won

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola thinks West Ham were lucky to come out of yesterday's game with no points but was pleased with the return of Craig Bellamy.

"I feel like we could have got more than one [point] looking at the game that we played and the way we played," said Zola. "I didn't think we were going to come away with nothing. I am convinced that we could have won this game but this is football. Sometimes it's not very logical."

"One definite positive was the form of Craig Bellamy on his first start in claret and blue for more than a year. "I was pleased. Especially in the first half he played very well. He's been out for a long time so I didn't expect him to be at his best but I'm confident he will be back soon at his full level."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hull 1 West Ham 0

West Ham were unchanged from the Bolton game, except for Bellamy in for Di Michele.

Hull started the brighter of the two teams but after 15 minutes West Ham started to control possession and the game, with Hull restricted to the occasional hopeful long ball forward. Despite West Ham's possession they didn't create much in the way of goal scoring opportunities.

In the 16th minute Bellamy made a great run forward down the left before crossing for Cole. However Cole's first time shot from 7 yards was straight at the keeper. In the 17th minute Myhill, in goal, threw the ball in the air ready to hump it up field but Llunga did brilliantly to steal the ball and score a goal from an overhead kick. For some reason the ref decided to disallow the goal and book Llunga.

In th2 25th minute Marney took Noble's feet away from under him inside the penalty area but the ref decided to ignore West Ham's appeals. The ball went out for a corner and from the corner Llunga had a free header from 6 yards. However he headed just wide of the right-hand post. A couple of minutes before the break Cole headed the ball down for Bellamy 7 yards out but Bellamy skied the ball well over.

Five minutes into the second half Etherington gave away a corner. From the corner Turner rose above Upson and headed Hull into the lead from five yards. A minute later and Behrami made a great run down the right wing and crossed for Cole. Five yards out and Cole turned and shot against the crossbar.

That was as much of a fight back as West Ham could muster though. Whilst West Ham had looked good in the first half in the second they looked pedestrian. Cole created a chance for Parker in the 66th minute which Parker managed to put well wide. In the 67th minute Cole made a good break down the left and crossed to the far post but Etherington couldn't pull his volley back far enough and shot wide.

In the last few minutes West Ham managed to create a bit of pressure but never threatened the Hull goal.

West Ham seem to have entered Alan Curbishley's Bizarro world. Instead of playing crap football and picking up points we play good football and win nothing.

The West Ham we all know and love are back!

West Ham in the Sunday Papers

Today's Sunday papers are full of the most ridiculous invented stories about West Ham that I have heard for a while. Here is today's thinly veiled tissue of lies:

The People claim that James Collins could join Cardiff on loan or go on a 'free' transfer. You couldn't make it up. Oh, they did.

The News of the World say it is feared that Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson's 95% share of West Ham could have been snatched by the British or Icelandic government. The paper quotes a 'senior West Ham source' claiming that nobody knows if his stake in West Ham has been seized by Britain or Iceland.

Of course not! Of course Gudmundsson wouldn't know if someone had seized his West Ham assets. He's that rich that he wouldn't notice Gordon Brown sneaking off down the garden path with West Ham in his back pocket.

The People have the earth shattering news that Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is not going to buy West Ham. I wish to state publicly, once again, that I'm still not considering buying West Ham.

Hull vs West Ham - Live

LiveFooty TV have a SopCast link for today's game.

FSICrew have links to JustinTV, TVAnts, TVU, SopCast and PPMate.

BBC Five Live have live radio commentary on-line.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Zola Won't Buy in January

Zola has revealed that new West Ham signing won't be in contention for the first team for a fortnight,

"It's too early for Tristan. It will take him a couple of weeks to be fit for the Premier League," Zola said. "I brought him to the club firstly because he is a good player and secondly because Dean Ashton is injured."

Zola also revealed that he won't be looking for new players in January,

"Right now I'm really not concerned about buying anybody. I think, right here, I have got everything I need to achieve our target.

We have a lot of players here and I can only play eleven players plus seven on the bench. It is a big squad when I have everybody back from injury. Certainly I will have to make some choices."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hull vs West Ham - The Predictions

Lawro is worrying for West Ham again. He says West Ham didn't look like testing the keeper against Bolton and Diego Tristan will take time to settle. However Lawro fails to take into account the fact that Bellamy is available for selection now or that Hull have worries up front themselves with Marlon King a serious doubt for the game.

Lawro predicts a 1-0 loss for West Ham

Sky say West Ham are inconsistent and say they were poor in their last game.

Sky predict a 2-2 draw

Setanta seem to disagree with Lawro that West Ham will have trouble finding the net. They say West Ham have looked good this season and "have been one of the more exciting sides around for a while. Only Manchester City (18) have scored more than West Ham’s 14 goals this season."

Setanta predict a 1-1 draw

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Green Fit For Hull

Buried in a feature on Marek Stech the West Ham official site have revealed that Robert Green is fit to face Hull on Sunday, despite pulling out of the England squad with a knee injury,

"Robert Green will retain the No1 jersey on Sunday after resuming full training following his withdrawal from the England squad with a sore knee."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

West Ham - A Strange Choice of Location

Watch the following news item and explain in ten words why the BBC chose this particular location.

I assume they think they are outside Anfield.

CAS to Rule on Whether it Can Rule in November

In an indication of what could be to come, CAS have announced that they will take until late November to decide if they can arbitrate between West Ham and Sheffield United. If it takes them more than a month just to decide if they can hold a hearing then any resulting hearing is likely to take a very long time.

I can't see Sheffield United robbing West Ham any time soon.

West Ham in for Mancienne

Various websites today report Chelsea defender Michael Mancienne saying,

"My education at Chelsea has been top class, but I am at a stage now where I need to play first-team football. I feel ready to test myself at the highest level.".

Somehow from this quote the websites have deduced that West Ham will be making a loan bid for the player in January.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

West Ham Sign Tristan

West Ham have completed the signing of 32 year old Diego Tristan. Tristan who was a free agent has been on trial at the club for the last two weeks whilst the West Ham coaches assessed his fitness.

Tristan had this to say on signing for West Ham,

"The manager has spent lots of time working with me. He has helped me a lot and I want to say thanks to him by scoring lots of goals and doing well for the club. I am very grateful to the manager for giving me the opportunity to play here.

"I have been really impressed from the moment I arrived at the training ground. The coaching staff and the players have all helped me to settle in. I had a lot of offers to go to other countries and play for a lot of money but I feel that I still have lots to offer and I want to show West Ham fans that I can still play at the highest level. That is why I am here."

Zabeel Investments in for West Ham

Despite West Ham using yesterday's Independent to once again deny reports that the club is for sale The Daily Mail are reporting that West Ham have been approached by Zabeel Investments. The Dubai royal family owned company made an 'indicative offer' for Charlton last Friday but The Mail say they have now approached West Ham.

The Mail claim that Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson has rejected Zabeel’s offer, although is still in talks with the investment group. But why would anyone believe the Daily Mail. Zabeel themselves certainly think The Mail are spouting rubbish,

“There is no truth to reports that Zabeel Investments made an approach to West Ham yesterday", said a Zabeel spokesperson. "Zabeel Investments has not approached any club since it made an indicative offer for Charlton Athletic last Friday, nor has it authorised any approach on its behalf. "

Sky are today reporting that Birmingham chairman David Gold will not be making a bid for West Ham. If Sky are going to start listing everyone who isn't going to make a bid for West Ham this story will run for the rest of the century.

If Sky want they can list me next. I also won't be making a bid for West Ham.

Monday, October 13, 2008

West Ham Appeal to High Court

The Times say that West Ham will lodge an appeal in the High Court this week against the FA tribunal panel's decision. The High Court appeal needs to be submitted by Thursday.

The Times say that West Ham "will have to show that the panel made an error of law or came to incorrect findings of facts when it made its judgement last month." The High Court appeal is in addition to the appeal already launched with CAS.

In other news, The Telegraph are reporting that West Ham are close to a new shirt sponsorship deal. The Telegraph claim that the new deal "will at least match the estimated £4m a year paid by XL, and possibly exceed it."

You would think that the club were trying to persuade people that they are on a sound financial footing.

Green Injured

Robert Green has pulled out of the England squad with a knee injury. He therefore will not be travelling with England for their World Cup qualifier against Belarus on Wednesday.

Hopefully the injury will not force Green out of West Ham's game against Hull on Sunday. The FA are describing Green's injury as
a "soreness in his knee".

West Ham Not for Sale

West Ham appear to be using today's Independent to try and allay fears that the club is facing financial meltdown. The Independent says that,

"West Ham are furious at suggestions they face the threat of administration because of the economic crisis."

The club deny weekend reports that the the investment house Seymour Pierce has been appointed to sell West Ham. They also say that Gudmundsson has restated that he has no intention to sell the club.

West Ham are said to be annoyed that they have been deemed a crisis club and claim that they have worked hard to control spending and the excessive once wage bill.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

West Ham Sunday Gossip

The Daily Mail say that Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson has privately admitted in the last 24 hours that West Ham is up for sale. However considering the fact that The Daily Mail is the official mouthpiece for Sheffield United's lies I strongly suspect that The Mail is the last paper that Gudmundsson would speak privately to.

The Daily Mirror claim that Indian tycoon Anil Ambani is in no rush to buy West Ham. A 'source close to Ambani' (in other words invented by The Mirror) said,

He is in no immediate rush to make a move for West Ham given their present financial plight. As things stand he believes the club is overpriced and will eventually be forced to sell for a great deal less than the current asking price.

The News of the World believe that West Ham have a month to find a buyer or they face the htreat of administration. The paper claim that brokers Seymour Pierce are in contact with a prospective buyer who is said to be “cash rich” and wants to buy.

An 'Upton Park insider' (inside Rob Shepherd's imagination) says,

“We’ve been told there is somebody waiting to buy but also that it has to happen quickly or the club is in a desperate situation.”

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tristan Still on Trial?

Diego Tristan seems to be rivalling Quashie in the missing man stakes. It was reported this week that Tristan had headed back to Spain because he and West Ham could not agree on a deal. However the British press are now reporting that Tristan is still on trial at West Ham.

To support this claim the papers are quoting Zola as saying,

"Diego’s working very hard and we’re pleased with him. He could be a good alternative. He’s got a lot of experience and skills. He can do well, as long as he gets fit."

That looks very similar to something said by Zola a couple of week's ago. I wonder if one journalist just quoted Zola a week late and the others are all just rehashing it.

As for Quashie himself. It seems that now Birmingham are unsure where he is. It has been widely reported for at least a month now that Quashie will join Birmingham on loan. However Birmingham keep delaying and delaying any final decision. Now they are delaying again.

Karen Brady now says,

"Our fans are waiting for us to sign West Ham midfielder Nigel Quashie on loan for a month but I’m afraid they’ll have to stew a little because we want the 28-day loan period to start when he’s playing, not training."

Friday, October 10, 2008

Gudmundsson to Sell West Ham

The Mail and The Star both say today that Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson is ready to sell West Ham and that there is a cash rich buyer in the wings. Both seem to think that the Iclandic Government's threat to freeze the assets of some of its top businessmen will lead Gudmundsson to sell.

However WH Holdings Ltd is registered in the UK and out of the reach of the Icelandic government so the logic doesn't really hold.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

West Ham Turn Down Take Over Bids

According to The Daily Mail West Ham's now not so rich owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson turned down three bids to buy the club last week from a 'foreign bidder, who is a West Ham fan.'

The Mail say that Gudmundsson is coming under government pressure in Iceland to 'repatriate' his overseas assets to help save his country's crippled economy. There have also been rumours that the Iceland government has been exerting private pressure on Gudmundsson to sell his foreign assets.

The Strange Logic of The Blades

West Ham say that a FIFA rule allows decisions of national football associations to be appealed to CAS. Sheffield United are arguing that the recent arbitration had nothing to do with the FA.

Sheffield United's stance is that the FA was not a party to the arbitration process and that the arbitration process was the outcome of a private dispute resolution process.

If this is just a private matter then presumably West Ham can just tell the Blades to do one.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

CAS Give West Ham Preliminary Hearing

CAS have apparently agreed to give West Ham a preliminary hearing to decide whether they will hear the appeal in full.

Yesterday it was reported that Sheffield United had until Friday to explain in writing why they felt the matter shouldn't go to arbitration. However it appears that CAS have gone even further than this and told Sheffield Utd that there will be a preliminary hearing and that they have until Friday to provide an arbitrator. If they fail to provide one for the preliminary hearing, CAS will appoint one on their behalf.

West Ham have already appointed an arbitrator and submitted a 12-page legal document to CAS which argues that they haven't had the chance of appeal.

West Ham Decide Against Tristan

Setanta say that Diego Tristan will not be joining West Ham after his recent trial with the club. It is not clear whether Tristan was offered a deal which he refused or that the club decided his fitness was not at the required level.

And Now the Good News

According to the Daily Telegraph the Court of Arbitration for Sport has not automatically turned down West Ham's appeal. It had been widely reported that CAS would immediately rule that it could not arbitrate without the consent of both parties and that Sheffield United would not agree.

Apparently CAS have asked Sheffield United to consent to its jurisdiction or provide written reasons against it by Friday. This, of course, does not mean that CAS won't accept McCabe's sudden dropping of the sword of justice when he doesn't give his consent.

However, West Ham are said to be encouraged by this as CAS has, in other cases, immediately ruled out its power to adjudicate and it seems to put the onus on Sheffield United to convince CAS that arbitration isn't needed.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

No Money for Transfers

Scott Duxbury has issued an official statement on the official club website. The statement starts by saying that the position of Landsbanki will have no effect on West Ham.

Unsurprisingly everything Duxbury says after that contradicts the statement. Duxbury in effect confirms that there will be no money available for Zola in January and strongly hints that Zola will have to sell players.

Duxbury claims that,

"Since his appointment, Gianfranco Zola has made it quite clear that his first-team squad is too large and needs to be reduced so he can effectively coach the team."

Obviously Zola has been saying nothing else apart from 'I want to play attractive, entertaining football so sell all my players and leave me with Quashie.'

Dubury concludes by saying,

"Mr Gudmundsson remains fully committed to the success of this football club."

Why would anyone doubt anything Scott Duxbury says?

Hmm, watch this space ...

No Cash for Zola

West Ham vice-chairman Asgeir Fridgeirsson has appeared on Sky Sports News to offer reassurances that the club is in safe hands. However his reassurances included the news that Zola won't have any money to spend in January,

"We have a very big squad. Our manager feels it is not necessary to be that size so if further transfers are needed money would need to be generated from sales.

There is no intention to invest further in the club at the moment, but the club is standing strong."

Fridgeirsson also insisted that Gudmundsson will not take money out of the club and that he is not "actively in the process of selling the club."

Hmm, watch this space.

For Sale Signs Go Up at West Ham

Björgólfur Guðmundsson's bank Landsbanki has been nationalised and the board of directors has been dismissed and the bank put into receivership.

Whilst Guðmundsson owns West Ham outside of Landsbanki, the stock is held within the same holding company, Samson Holding as half of his Lansbanski stock. There are rumours floating around this morning that the upshot of this is that Guðmundsson is looking for a buyer for West Ham but that he doesn't need to accept 'any offers'.

The BBC are reporting that a West Ham board member has told them that,

"West Ham is definitely not for sale. Mr Guðmundsson is not looking to sell the club and he is as committed as ever."

Despite losing his bank and (presumably) the £163m he lent to XL, West Ham board members are also claiming that Guðmundsson is still sitting pretty,

"This is not affecting West Ham," a senior boardroom member told BBC Sport.

"One of Mr Gudmundsson's investments has gone bad, but he is still standing and has a lot of other investments."

Another board member said,

"West Ham is protected by Mr Gudmundsson. He has considerable personal wealth in a number of sectors, such as construction and shipping, and most of these assets and investments are overseas."

Hmm, watch this space ...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Quashie Loan Move Closer

It looks like Birmingham might finally be willing to offer Quashie a loan move.

Quashie has spent almost a month training with the Blues. Now manager Alex McLeish has said,

"We will try to do something after the international break. We have had him on a fitness programme because he has been out of the game for a long time, and he has looked good. He is on the verge of being able to play at the top again."

T#ttenham Sinking like the Titanic :)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Upson and Green For England

Robert Green and Matthew Upson have been named in the England squad to face Kazakhstan and Belarus in the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers.

England face Kazakhstan at Wembley this coming Saturday, before travelling to Minsk to face Belarus the following Wednesday evening.

West Ham 1 Bolton 3

With a chance to go top of the league (if only for a short time) West Ham put in a pretty abject performance this afternoon.

Bolton started the stronger of the two sides. After 25 minutes however West Ham started to take control of the game but then two howlers from Green in the space of five minutes gave Bolton a 2-0 lead. The first was a complete cock up by Green who went to catch a ball unchallenged and just dropped the ball at Davies' feet for an open goal. For the second Green managed to get down well to save a Steinsson's shot but he couldn't hold onto the ball and Cahill had an easy tap in.

In the second half West Ham had a flicker of a hope after Cole managed to head home a corner in the 68th minute. In the 86th minute however Taylor struck an amazing 30 yard free-kick to restore Bolton's two goal lead.

Overall this was a pretty abject performance from West Ham. For me only Ilunga of the West Ham players came out of the game with any credit.

West Ham in the Sunday Papers

The News of the Word and The Telegraph both report on Sheffield United's claims that it is now West Ham's fault that they can't get promotion to the Premier League. They now want £50 million in compensation because they are too useless to achieve promotion.

The Sunday Mirror say that Anil Ambani, the Indian billionaire looking to buy a Premier League club, has short-listed T*ttenham and West Ham. Ambani is the sixth richest man in the world with an estimated fortune of £20 billion. Ambani, 49, has been told the Hammers could be purchased for £150 million, some £350 million less than he would be asked to find to take control of T*ttenham.

The News of the World report on Zola's training methods, "When they enjoy training, their performances are much better and when they are playing with a smile on their face then I’m sure the people who are watching will enjoy it too," says Zola

The Independent also have a lengthy report on Zola's football philosophy, "Entertainment is what we're here for. It's vital. It's not just a war where you need to get a victory at all costs. What we're doing is trying to give a smile to people and make it enjoyable."

Saturday, October 04, 2008

West Ham Unchanged for Bolton

Various reports are suggesting that Zola is set to name an unchanged West Ham team for tomorrow's clash against Bolton. This will see Bellamy remaining on the bench with Cole leading the front line ahead of Di Michele and Etherington.

James Collins, who came through a mid-week reserve game, should also make it to the bench, as Zola continues with Neill at centre back.

Bolton have a fully fit squad to choose from after Matthew Taylor's recovery from a broken toe.

Friday, October 03, 2008

West Ham vs Bolton - Preview

Lawro believes Zola is a lucky manager after wins in his first two games. Obviously West Ham need luck to beat Newcastle and Fulham and would never beat either side without it. Lawro however doesn't believe that Bolton have any goals in them and does believe West Ham's 'luck' will hold.

Lawro predicts a 2-0 West Ham win

Sky point out that Bolton have failed to win any of their last 15 Premier League trips to the capital. However Sky thinks there will be goals - West Ham having gone 18 games without keeping a clean sheet.

Sky predict a 1-2 West Ham loss

Setanta worry whether Zola's attractive game will stand up to Bolton's physical game. Despite noting that Bolton haven't won since the first day of the season, have not won in 15 trips to the capital and that West Ham are unbeaten in their last six games at home Setanta can't quite bring itself to predict a West Ham win,

Setanta predict a 1-1 draw

Thursday, October 02, 2008

West Ham Takeover Bid

Various reports are suggesting that the current owners of West Ham have turned down a takeover offer. Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson is said to have rejected the bid and insisted that the club is not for sale.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

West Ham Win Tribunal Delay

The FA Tribunal Panel has agreed to a request from West Ham to postpone the direction hearing that was due to be held on Thursday. West Ham's new legal team, led by Maurice Watkins, argued that they needed time to study the panels findings.

The direction meeting would have started the process of calculating how much West Ham would pay in compensation.

In the next couple of days West Ham are also submitting the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Ashton Out for Rest of Season

Various newspapers are reporting that Dean Ashton could be out of action until April after having surgery on his left ankle. Ashton will be on crutches for six weeks. It is hard to know if the rumours are just speculation as the official West Ham website seems to be staying silent over his injury.

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