Sunday, November 30, 2008

West Ham in the Sunday Papers

The Guardian (and just about every other newspaper) go with the non-story that Zola likes a player and West Ham would quite like him on loan but the player isn't available for loan. Zola is keen to sign Sebastian Giovinco from Juventus but doubts that the attacking midfielder can be prised from the Serie A club.

The People report that Kieron Dyer is set to return to action in a behind-closed-doors friendly this week. West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola says he is thrilled with the way Dyer has fought his way back to fitness following such a difficult period.

"We're going to try and arrange a game for Kieron Dyer to play in this week," said Zola. "He is progressing very, very well. He is training the best he has this week and he is doing really well."

The Observer have an interesting statistic. West Ham are fourth in the passing accuracy table, just ahead of Liverpool.

1. Chelsea - 85.46%
2. Arsenal - 84.21%
3. Man U - 82.81%
4. West Ham - 80.20%
5. Liverpool - 79.73%

Now if only we could get the West Ham players to pass the ball into the opposing team's penalty area we might actually get somewhere.

Barnsley in the Cup

West Ham have drawn Barnsley at home in the FA Cup third round. The teams last met in the Premier League on 10 January 1998 when the Hammers were 6-0 winners at the Boleyn Ground. At the moment Barnsley are 17th in the Championship.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

West Ham Injury Update

The official West Ham website says that Dean Ashton is making good progress in his rehabilitation work, but it seems like we won't see much of Ashton for yet another season. Ashton himself says,

"There are no targets as such, I just want to carry on with what I am doing and keep progressing every day and then playing some part in the season for West Ham. That is the aim and I am working hard to achieve that."

The official site says that Danny Gabbidon is the only other long-term absentee now at West Ham. Does this mean West Ham have given up entirely on Dyer, or are they saying he is now fit to play?

Blades Have Lost £8m but Claim £60m

The Times say that now Sheffield United have been forced to allow West Ham access to their financial books it has emerged that the club have suffered a drop of about £8 million in income since being relegated two years ago.

Almost every month now the shame of the north bump up their claim. The Blades are now claiming compensation of £60 million. The Times seem to think that now it has been revealed that Sheffield United have only suffered a drop in income of £8 million it is more likely that West Ham and Sheffield United will settle out of court.

The Times seem to think that Sheffield United will be shamed into accepting something between £10 and £15 million plus costs. That's still far too much for a team who were simply not good enough for the Premier League.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Guess What - It's West Ham's Fault

Sheffield Utd made an operating loss of £3.5m last year. Guess who they are blaming.

One day McCabe will hold his hand up to his responsibility in the dire football and the dire running of a football club that has occurred under his stewardship of a once respectable club. I bet you one thing - that will be a cold day in Hell.

Meanwhile Sheffield Utd are once again taking the moral high ground. This time over Chris Morgan’s GBH against Barnsley striker Iain Hume. Blades assistant manager Sam Ellis says,

“We think people have made a little bit more out of it than they should have.”

Is he talking about Iain Hulme making such a fuss over a mere fractured skull?

Here is the Mirror's take on Sheffield United's position over Iain Hulme,

"It must be that Sheffield United are referring to Barnsley Football Club as the people who have made too much of the unpleasantness at Oakwell. It is, after all, Barnsley who are threatening to bring a civil action against Morgan and his club. United obviously think this is all wrong, and that the FA’s ruling should be a final end to the matter.

This, by the way, is the same Sheffield United who refused the official ruling on the West Ham saga, and are using their own lawyers to try and grab £30 million. The double standard at work here is both hilarious and pitiful.

If Sheffield United can have their day in court, then why can’t Barnsley? If an official ruling is the end of the matter in one thing, then why not in everything?

Why not? Because Sheffield United’s talk of fairness only applies when it’s fair to them, that’s why. Anything else gets the elbow."

Perhaps the sports hacks at The Daily Mail should take lessons from the journalists at The Daily Mirror.

Liverpool vs West Ham - The Predictions

The omens don't look good for this game. Not only are Liverpool finally looking as if they can mount a serious title challenge but they are defending the longest unbeaten home sequence in the Premier League. West Ham last got maximum points at Liverpool on 14th September 1963. West Ham have also lost their last five games against 'Big Four' clubs

Fernando Torres won't feature for Liverpool after suffering a hamstring injury this week. Lawro as always is on the ball and reports that "it looks like all their players are fit and I can't see West Ham getting anything out of this one." Let's hope you are wrong on both counts then Lawro.

Lawro predicts a 2-0 West Ham loss

Sky & Setanta to come

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Mail Vomits Over West Ham Again

The Daily Mail in true Sheffield Utd arse-kissing mode are reporting that the White Knights of Sheffield United are prepared to save the financially insecure West Ham by settling for £25 million.

In the view of The Daily Mail "McCabe is being pragmatic as well as magnanimous."

No he isn't, he is feeding The Daily Mail leaks and they are bending over backwards to kiss his arse.

I really hope the Arbitration Panel do eventually meet to decide on a compensation package. I suspect they might be really annoyed by the consistent leaking by Sheffield Utd to The Daily Mail of what was supposed to be a confidential decision. I hope that they are so annoyed they decide on a compensation award in the area of a half a million pounds.

I hear The Daily Mail are also supporting the Hitler's in their claim against the UK. They claim that England only survived the second World War by their fielding of two illegal countries (the USSR and the USA) who were clearly not properly registered as allies at the beginning of the conflict.

Walker Loaned to Colchester

West Ham goalkeeper Jimmy Walker has joined League One outfit Colchester on loan until the end of the year.

Walker is the fifth West Ham player to go out on loan; Josh Payne (Cheltenham Town), Nigel Quashie (Birmingham City), Bondz N'Gala (MK Dons) and Jordan Spence (Leyton Orient) Kyel Reid (Blackpool)

Reid to Blackpool

According to Sky West Ham winger Kyel Reid is set to join Blackpool on a month's loan. They say Reid will make his debut at Plymouth at the weekend.

Freddie Sears Signs for Five Years

Freddie Sears has signed a five-year contract with West Ham tying him to the club until 2013.

Sears said of his new deal,

"I am obviously delighted to have signed for another five years with West Ham. I am looking forward to concentrating on football now and getting ready for the next game that is coming up. It's nice to know the club wants you here, for that long as well. I am enjoying my football and all that I have been doing and hopefully I can now show there is more to come."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blades Win Temporary Injunction

Sheffield United have won a temporary injunction stopping West Ham appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the FA's Independent Tribunal ruling. West Ham have requested an appeal against the injunction, while Sheffield United will seek a permanent order next year.

CAS is currently deciding whether or not it could have jurisdiction to hear West Ham's appeal and is expected to make an announcement later this month. This decision by the High Court in London will presumably have some bearing on their decision. It would be very strange if CAS decide that they can hear the case and the UK courts say that they can't.

Giovinco Agent Claims West Ham Interest

Yesterday it was reported by Setanta that West Ham were interested in loaning Juventus midfielder Sebastian Giovinco.

The agent of Giovinco is today trying to stoke that rumour. Claudio Pasqualin says,

"It is true, and it is useless to hide it, Zola highly appreciates the characteristics of Sebastian."

I guess that's another player coming up for contract talks with his present club then.

It seems I was being unfair to Giovinco's agent and far too trustful of the UK media who deemed to leave out the ending of Pasqualin's comments, which read,

"However, he won't leave in January and we have recently renewed his contract with Juventus."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reserves Win, Spence Joins O's

18 year old West Ham defender Jordan Spence has joined Leyton Orient on loan until January 1.

West Ham Reserves have beaten Portsmouth 2-0 tonight with goals from Di Michele and Kyle Reid. Tomkins, Sears, Boa Morte and Diego Tristan all started for West Ham.

West Ham Linked With Player Shock

With West Ham expected to have to offload players in January even the fevered imaginations of Fleet Street hacks have struggled of late to link the club with possible targets. Setanta have now steeped into this void.

Setanta claim that West Ham are interested in 21 year old Sebastian Giovinco of Juventus. Zola knows the player from his days working with the Italian Under-21 squad. What adds credence to the story is that Setanta claim West Ham are looking to bring the midfielder in on loan.

However it looks like Giovinco may feature in Juve's European Championship game today so it doesn't exactly look like he is surplus to requirements for the Italian club.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Cole Signs New Five Year Deal

Carlton Cole has signed a new five year contract with West Ham.

Carlton Cole said today,

"I am very pleased to sign. It is nice that I can just focus on playing good football for the club. I know now I am here for quite a while so it is time to knuckle down. The manager has 100 per cent faith in me and I have got 100 per cent faith in him and our team as well."

Now for the bad news: West Ham legend Nigel Quashie has agreed a month extension to his loan with Birmingham City. Those West Ham fans who were hoping to see Nigel add to his eight appearances for West Ham will now have to wait at least another month before they can see their hero in Claret & Blue. I'm beginning to suspect we may never see 'Nige' back at The Boleyn again :(

Zola Praise for the Defence

Gianfranco Zola has singled out the West Ham defence for praise after yesterday's success,

"The centre-halves were outstanding. We knew we were going to have problems because they have Jones who is very good with his head and Cisse as well. We knew they were very good playing off each other so it was vital that we defended properly. I don't think they lost one challenge. They were absolutely perfect but the whole team supported them.

"I told Matthew that if I had to give a vote to him from one to ten I couldn't do it because I would have given him eleven! He didn't lose one challenge but also he was aware, he didn't stop talking, commanding the defence. He was perfect. That is Matthew Upson and he deserves to play in the national team."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunderland 0 West Ham 1

Behrami, playing on the left wing for a change, should have had two goals for West Ham in the first half but ended up with only one. Sunderland started the game the brighter of the two teams but did not create much in the way of chances.

West Ham themselves didn't look too threatening in possession and, as seems normal these days, frightened to put the ball in the opposition's box. However in the 19th minute West Ham won a free-kick on the right wing. For a change West Ham decided against passing the ball back from a forward position to midfield then to the defence and then finally to the keeper. For a change they decided to cross the ball into the box. The ball was cleared to Behrami on the edge of the box. He made room for himself to shoot and his low shot through the penalty area was deflected into the back of the net.

Sunderland almost hit back immediately when Cisse rose unchallenged for a header just six yards out but his header flew wide. For the last ten minutes of the half Sunderland created a bit of pressure on the West Ham box without really creating any clear cut chances and the best chance of the half actually fell to West Ham.

With Sunderland attacking, West Ham hoofed the ball clear from defence. Ferdinand tried to control the ball but lost it and Bellamy's pace allowed him to leave Ferdinand for dead. Bellamy ended up rounding the keeper and passing the ball back for the onrushing Behrami. However from 5 yards Behrami blasted the ball against the crossbar.

In the second half it was nearly all one way traffic, with Sunderland dominating possession and territory. However West Ham set up camp in front of their own box and largely forced Sunderland to knock balls into the box from deep. This tactic worked well for West Ham as Upson and particular Collins won nearly everything in the air.

The only save that I can remember Green having to make was in the 83rd minute when Whitehead managed a back flicked header from 8 yrds but Green managed to save the ball well.

With neither trainer having had to come on the pitch once and the game having flowed non-stop in the second half West Ham had to endure a few more minutes of defending when the fourth official conjured up four minutes extra time from nowhere. But West Ham held out to get their first win in eight games.

West Ham vs Sunderland - Live Streaming

Today's game is live on Sky which more or less guarantees there should be some live streams around.

LiveFooty have a SopCast link and a link to a TVUPlayer stream.

FSiCrew have links to SopCast, TVUPlayer, TVAnts and to a Ustream link.

Live commentary will also be on BBC Radio 5 Live (live on-line UK only)

West Ham in the Sunday Papers

The Daily Star and The Express say Arsenal will make a £6 million bid for Matthew Upson in January.

According to The News of the World James Collins has urged West Ham not to sell their best players. He says that Upson and Bellamy are too important to lose and that Anton Ferdinand didn't want to leave West Ham.

Anton didn’t want to go. It was a tricky situation because he had been here since he was a young kid. But it was destined to happen and, unfortunately for us, it did happen. We have missed him but we will be looking to score a few past him today.

The People claim that the West Ham board now think they made a mistake in appointing Zola and are running out of patience with the West Ham manager. Hmm, I hear someone called Alan Pardew has been sacked by Charlton.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cole to Sign New Four Year Deal

Carlton Cole has been talking to The Daily Mirror about the new four year deal he is to sign with West Ham this week and his ambitions to get into the England team.

Cole claims that his problems off the pitch are behind him and he is now concentrating on his football. He also reveals his ambition to get Match of the Day to stop putting West Ham games on last.

"I've noticed on Match of the Day, West Ham are always last. I don't know if it's a 'W' thing but we are always last. And I know the fans aren't happy. Even if we play well, we are always last!

"I'm going to have to score to get on there because the fans want to be first on Match of the Day. Not last. It's up to us to get up there!"

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sunderland vs West Ham - The Predictions

Sunday's game sees Anton Ferdinand face West Ham for the first time since his transfer. Fellow ex-Iron George McCartney looks set to miss the game with an injury. Kenwyne Jones, who always seems to do well against West Ham, has scored in his last two appearances for Sunderland, whilst the whole of the West Ham team have managed just two goals in the last six games.

Lawro says that West Ham have been struggling in all areas and he thinks we will continue to struggle against Sunderland.
Lawro predicts a 2-0 West Ham loss

Sky say West Ham are without a win in seven games and have not won outside London since December. Sunderland on the other hand have only kept one clean sheet at home in the last twelve games, and last week's win ended a run of three straight defeats. Sky convince themselves that both sides are equally poor.
Sky predict a 2-2 draw

Setanta note that West Ham have only scored two goals in six games and have only won two away games out of the last sixteen.
Setanta predict a 3-1 West Ham loss

No Players Leaving

Gianfranco Zola has reiterated that he will not be forced to sell players in January. Zola said,

"We are absolutely not looking to sell our best players. I have been told that is the situation."

What he didn't say was whether it was Scott Duxbury who told him this. I remember Curbishley being told something very similar days before McCartney was sold in the summer.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Where's Quashie (Part 324)?

Despite getting himself sent off for Birmingham last weekend the Midland's club say that they keen to extend Nigel Quashie's for a month. Quashie's current loan deal with the club runs out tomorrow (Fri) at midnight but Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish says he wants to extend the deal,

"We are renewing that (Quashie’s loan deal) so we will be looking to get that tied up," said the Birmingham manager.

"We’ll be looking at another month again to take it as it comes and get Nigel to a level to make a good contribution, he did that last weekend (against Charlton Athletic) apart from his sending-off."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Upson England's Man of the Match

It was an impressive performance from England tonight (only let down by the glaring error of not having Robert Green on the bench to replace James and the strange decision to bring on a Sp#rs forward).

Upson fully deserved his man of the match award, even without his opening goal. He was everywhere in defence tonight.

Makes me wonder how West Ham could have gone so long without keeping a clean sheet.

I hear Craig Bellamy also scored for Wales tonight.

Makes me wonder why West Ham can't buy a goal at the moment

West Ham Close to Going Under

West Ham United's holding company Hansa has begun the process of going into administration. Vice-chairman Asgeir Fridgeirsson says that Hansa has 'started the process of administration' but claims that it would have no day-to-day impact on West Ham.

According to Sky
although Hansa are the club's holding company, West Ham United Holdings Ltd and West Ham United plc all have a stake in the Hammers.

"West Ham United plc are recognised as the member organisation by the Premier League, meaning that the possibility of a sporting sanction against the team would not be considered due to the financial issues of the holding company."

Fridgeirsson says, "It is not affecting the operation of West Ham, there is no debt within West Ham from Hansa or vice-versa. However it seems that this latest development in West Ham chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson's finances means that he will be even more desparate to sell the club.

Let's hope he can find a buyer before Christmas, other wise there could be a fire sale in January.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bellamy to Celtic

The Daily Mail claim that Celtic want to take West Ham's Craig Bellamy on loan and that West Ham will let him go to get him off the wage bill.

The second part of that sentence is the clue that The Daily Mail have moved in with the fairies again. With Dean Ashton out for what looks like most of the season it is incredibly unlikely that West Ham would loan out Bellamy.

Mind you when did The Daily Mail ever let the truth get in the way of a crap story.

Green to Sp#rs

The big rumour today is that Harry Redknapp wants West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green as a replacement for error prone Heurelho. Heurelho cost £8m million over the summer which would make Green worth at least double that.

The big problem for Zola is that he needs to sell players before he can bring any more in. I suspect Zola may be tempted to make one big sale in January to raise funds for transfer targets.

Monday, November 17, 2008

West Ham to Develop East Stand

The BBC are reporting that West Ham have all but given up plans to build a new stadium. Problems with the Parcel Force site at West Ham and the ridiculous decision to destroy half the main stadium being built for the London Olympics has led to the board starting to favour a third plan.

The new plan is to develop the east stand and to build around the corners of the ground. This plan would increase the attendance to 50,000 and increase income by about £12 million. The cost of the new build would come to around £50 million.

The article also says that West Ham have had enquiries from potential buyers but nothing like an official offer and that the club is not for sale.

Scott Parker Called Up for England

Scott Parker has been called up for the England squad now that Frank Lampard and Steve Gerrard are pretending to be injured. Parker joins Upson in the England squad but Green has been overlooked in favour of Robinson.

It is being suggested that Jack Collison will make his full international debut for Wales against Denmark on Wednesday.

West Ham Injury Update

The official West Ham website has provided a brief injury update under the Manager on Monday story.

James Tomkins, Calum Davenport and Jonathan Spector are all back in training. Only Danny Gabbidon and Dean Ashton are on the long-term injury list now. Mark Noble could be in contention in a fortnight and Kieron Dyer will hope to get another week of full training under his belt this week.

American website Bleacher Report are saying that Spector has signed a new three year contract with West Ham. Clearly Spector is not one of the players that the club is planning to offload in January.

Update: Spector has actually signed a one year extension to his contract which will keep him at West Ham until 2011 (or at least until January).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Gossip

The News of the World say that West Ham, Boro and Newcastle are all still chasing Appiah. The NOW also say West Ham are after Reading striker Simon Church.

The Mail say West Ham want to sign Crystal Palace midfielder Ben Watson.

The People say West Ham want Brooking to work with Zola after he has been fired by the FA.

WBA are after James Collins, according to The People.

The Sun reckon West Ham will be holding a fire sale in January - basically the whole team is available.

The Sunday Mirror say Curb's £1 million compensation claim against West Ham will be heard by a Premier League Tribunal.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Upson Gets England Call

Matthew Upson has been named in Capello's squad for England's friendly international against Germany on Wednesday. Rio Ferdinand is currently suffering from a back injury so Upson could well feature in the game.

West Ham 0 Portsmouth 0

It was a rather subdued first half performance from West Ham. Both teams had their fair share of possession and both teams created a few half chances, with Portsmouth shading territory and probably having the clearer chances.

After 8 minutes Defoe should have scored after some good work by Johnson down Portsmouth's right wing. But from 6 yards Defoe shot wide with ILunga doing well to put him off the shot. In the 37th minute Defoe had another chance from the edge of the penalty area, which Ilunga deflected wide. In the 41st minute Diop headed over from 5 yards after Behrami had given a free-kick away on the left wing.

West Ham managed a few shots on goal themselves. Sears shot from nine yards from the right of the penalty area but James saved. Collison shot well wide from 25 yards after 26 minutes. In the 36th minute West Ham's best chance of the half fell to Cole four yards out but he completely missed the ball with his attempted volley.

Portsmouth started the sharper in the second half with Defoe twice having the chance to snatch the lead in the opening minutes. In the 46th minute Green saved well when Defoe tried to chip him from the edge of the area. Two minutes later and Defoe was put clear again. Again Defoe tried to chip Green and again Green was just able to reach the ball.

West Ham's best chance of the whole game came when Behrami drew a foul on the edge of the Portsmouth box. Bellamy hit the crossbar from the resulting free-kick. The ball rebounded off the bar to Collison on the edge of the box, Collison volleyed the ball back at goal only to see James save the ball low down.

Late on Defoe, with eight minutes left on the clock, was put clear once again and Green did well to save Defoe's shot from 6 yards.

West Ham will probably make a lot about keeping a clean sheet but in all honestly to say Defoe could have had a hat-trick would be unfair he should have had a hat-trick.

West Ham vs Portsmouth - Live Stream

LiveFooty and FSIFooty both only have one feed today.

Both are linking to this UStream feed (currently showing Bolton vs Liverpool @ 12.40pm).

OK - the above link doesn't seem to be working. The only stream I can find is for SopCast:


Friday, November 14, 2008

West Ham vs Portsmouth - The Predictions

Carlton Cole has served his three match suspension, so should be back in the starting eleven. Valon Behrami is available again after his calf injury. Calum Davenport is also back in contention but Mark Noble is still out. Despite these returning players none of the pundits think that West Ham will actually beat Portsmouth.

Lawro thinks West Ham were mugged last week and have 'quality' in the team. Consequently he thinks we won't win tomorrow.
Lawro predicts a 1-1 draw

Sky say Portsmouth have yet to lose a Premier League match at Upton Park. Sky say Kieron Dyer is still sidelined for West Ham despite returning to first-team training this week.
Sky predict a 0 - 1 loss for West Ham

Setanta say that Portsmouth could be without Campbell (toe) and John Utaka (stomach virus) but will still have enough to beat West Ham, who have lost four of the last six contests between the two clubs.
Setanta predict a 1-2 loss

Zola Reads the Riot Act

Gianfranco Zola says that he has confronted the West Ham players about the team's recent run of form,

"We had a chat and confrontation and I think that was a positive thing, and now on the pitch we will see whether it gives us positive results or not," said Zola.

"We are aware of the situation. We know what we need to improve if we want to end matches on the winning side instead of the losing side. The players believe in that and they want to react and sort out the situation. That is encouraging."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bondz to Dons

West Ham's 19 year old central defender, Bondz N'Gala has joined Milton Keynes Dons on a month-long loan.

West Ham reserve-team boss Alex Dyer says,

"It's an excellent move for him. He's trained well all season and has been around the first team.

He deserves his chance at being in a first-team squad and playing in League One will be excellent for him. Hopefully he can come back a better and more confident player.

James Collins Arrested

James Collins was 'wrongfully arrested' Tuesday night outside a London nightclub. Collins was handcuffed by the police after an incident outside the Funky Buddha in Mayfair.

Collins claimed he was simply passing the popular club after a meal at Nobu with his wife. He was subsequently 'de-arrested'.

It seems West Ham are convinced that Collins is telling the truth,

"We have received a full explanation from the player of the events of Tuesday evening. We accept the explanation he has given," said a West Ham spokesperson.

West Ham vs Everton Highlights

Great quality video highlights of the Everton game (good quality football as well - if you only watch up to 3.20).

West Ham United V Everton

Tip for Portsmouth:

Let West Ham dominate possession and territory for 70 minutes. Just set up shop on the edge of your penalty area and let West Ham dazzle you with their 'attractive triangles'. But don't worry they actually pose no threat to your goal.

After 70 minutes of running around the West Ham players' legs will begin to feel like iron and they will begin to start dropping like flies. Now is you chance. With the energy you have saved by doing nothing for the last 70 minutes you will be able to run rings around the West Ham players and you will be able to score at will.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Favourites for the Drop

The Sky Sports website claim that West Ham are one of the three favourites to be relegated this season.

Here's what they say about why West Ham will be relegated:

"At the time of writing, West Ham have collected just one point from an available 18. If Alan Curbishley had still been in charge, he would have been shown the door fairly quickly. By way of comparison, when West Ham were relegated last in 2003/4 they had 11 points after the same number of games - and in a far less competitive division. The sense is that Gianfranco Zola is simply not the man for a fight. One of the nicest men in the game and will play excellent football for sure, but will that be enough for a relegation battle? Also, given that it would be rather generous to describe the Upton Park finances as 'dicey', there's every chance key men will be sold in January."

Scott Duxbury said in reply:

"There are no problems at West Ham. Our performance on the pitch speaks for itself and manager Guianfranco Zola agrees we have too many players so we will be selling our best players in January. That should ensure the long term future of the club."

(I might have made some of this up)

West Ham to Examine Blades' Accounts

West Ham have won the right to a forensic examination of Sheffield United's accounts.

At a hearing yesterday, Lord Griffiths, the chair of the three-man independent Football Association tribunal, agreed that this process should take place. Griffiths has set a deadline of mid-March for the examination to be completed, while both sides will now discuss how it is to be undertaken.

Hopefully West Ham will have a close look at the papers concerning Steve Kabba. Sheffield United's official website admitted that they had a contractual stipulation that prevented Steve Kabba from playing for Watford against them. After people started pointing out that this breaks Rule U18 (they same rule West Ham have already been punished for breaking) Sheffield United suddenly started denying the stipulation existed. I'd like to forensically examine that contract.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Judge Needs a Month to Decide

The judge hearing Sheffield Utd's injunction appeal has come to a decision. The decision is he will have to think about it for a month.

Mr Justice Teare said he would need to consider the evidence before reaching a judgement "at some point before Christmas".

God only knows how this will affect the FA tribunal in its coming to a decision on how much compensation West Ham will have to pay or how it will affect CAS in its decision as to whether to hear West Ham's appeal.

To avoid any confusion here is my definitive guide to the present situation:

The FA Tribunal will not make up its mind about compensation until CAS makes up its mind, CAS will not make up its mind until Mr Justice Teare makes up his mind and Mr Teare will not make up his mind until he has bought all his Christmas presents.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hearing Concludes Tomorrow

Sheffield Utd's attempted injunction against West Ham taking the FA tribunal panel's decision to CAS will not be decided upon until tomorrow.

No decision was taken today and the private hearing will continue tomorrow at the High Court.

West Ham Need to Defend

Gianfranco Zola says West Ham need to 'tighten up' as a team. The Irons have not kept a clean sheet since February and this, as well an an inability to convert the chances made at the other end, is contributing to West Ham's poor recent form. Zola said,

"We should have beaten Everton 1-0 but the lack of clean sheets means we have to score two or three goals to score to win and that's not easy in this League. We have to tighten up as a team."

Despite the poor results the West Ham players don't sound too despondent. Lee Bowyer said after Saturday's defeat,

"After we went in front we felt we could hit them on the break with the pace and score another one.

'They nicked an equaliser though and it went downhill from there. I don't think our confidence is low, though, because we felt should have beaten Middlesbrough last week and Everton.

'The way we're playing at the moment is exciting. We're moving the ball well and we've all got options. we haven't had that for a while now. As an attacking player I'm enjoying it."

Sunday, November 09, 2008

West Ham to Receive Bid Tomorrow

The Telegraph claim that a major overseas investor will make contact with West Ham tomorrow to try and buy the club off embattled Icelandic owner Bjogolfur Gudmundsson. West Ham reportedly value the club at £150million.

Also according to The Telegraph, West Ham's potential new sponsors are at the centre of a Football Association match fixing probe. The betting firm West Ham are trying to secure as their new shirt sponsor, SBOBet, are one of the Asian bookmakers involved in the Football Association's match-fixing investigation. How dare they take bets!

The Mail say that Everton and West Ham are both takeover targets for Middle Eastern wealth.

And in most of the papers - West Ham manager Gianfrano Zola is worried about the team's form. - Well, no sh~t Sherlock!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

West Ham 1 Everton 3

In what is becoming a familiar pattern, West Ham dominated the possession during the first half, without being able to convert their chances.

For the first 20 minutes West Ham were restricted to a number of long shots. In the 28th minute however, after a good run by Sears down the left wing, the ball worked its way to Bellamy on the edge of the area but his half-volley flew over the bar.

Two minutes after that Bellamy dummied Yobo, ran around the defender, collected the ball and pulled it back for Sears. Sears' rasping effort from 8 yards was tipped by Howard onto the crossbar and over. In the 42nd minute Boa Morte made a good run across the penalty area before putting Sears clear. Sears was 6 yards out, left of the goal but his low effort missed wide of the left hand post.

In the second half West Ham were again made to pay for not taking their chances. Before Everton's two goals West Ham were in command and asctually took the lead from a brilliant Collinson goal. West Ham broke quickly down the left wing. The ball was chipped into the box where Parker ran onto the ball and deftly backed heel the ball into the path of Collinson. Collinson then placed the ball into the top right of the net from eight yards out to the left of the goal.

Everton then began to create pressure on the West Ham goal for the first time in the game. The game was calling out for Mullins to be brough on for Sears to shore up the midfield but the management decided not ot change anything.

So in the 82nd minute Saha crossed the ball into the box and Lescott headed home unchallenged from 6 yards. In the 84th minute Saha scored with a shot from inside the box that was deflected into the bottom left corner of the goal.

Thenb int eh 87th minute West Ham gave the ball away in defence and Saha scored Everton's third from 30 yards.

Don't panic though. West Ham's squad is so big that we will have to sell players in January. So that's all right then.

West Ham vs Everton - Live Streaming

LiveFooty has three streams for today's game. SopCast, TVUPlayer
and UStream

FSICrew have the same plus a TVAnts stream

Are West Ham Close to Financial Ruin

The Telegraph say that the resignations of Mike Lee and Gudmundur Oddsson from their directorships with West Ham football club,

"were partially fuelled by the uncertainty surrounding owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson's financial position and the potential impact on fellow directors.

If, for example, the club became responsible for any debt relating to the holding company or could not provide any required investment, all of the directors could have responsibility and potential personal liability. "

In other words, according to The Telegraph, Lee and Oddson have resigned to avoid personal liability should West Ham go bankrupt.

On the other hand Scott Duxbury has issued a statement saying that,

"West Ham United would like to assure all supporters that the club is financially sound and running as normal."

So that's all right then.

Friday, November 07, 2008

West Ham vs Everton - The Predictions

At the time of writing West Ham's Scott Parker has recovered from a calf injury, while striker Diego Tristan and defender Calum Davenport are being assessed. However, with more than 24 hours to kick-off, there is more than enough time for another West Ham player to pick up an injury.

Lawro thinks that West Ham 'were unfortunate last week' and had enough chances to win the game. He therefore predicts that West Ham will lose tomorrow. But then we all know what Lawro is.
Lawro predicts a 0-2 loss for West Ham

Sky say with two consecutive victories that Everton are in good form. Everton have snatched winners in the last minutes of the last two games whilst West Ham have been conceding goals late in games.
Sky predict a 1-1 draw

Setanta say that West Ham are bottom of the form table whilst Everton are now hitting their stride. Callum Davenport and Diego Tristan are pushing to be in contention for West Ham whilst Everton's key player will be Louis Saha.
Setanta predict a 2-2 draw

Club For Sale

It looks like West Ham is now unofficially for sale.

West Ham vice-chairman, Asgeir Fridgeirsson said yesterday,

"He [Gudmundsson] is evaluating all of his business interests, including West Ham. West Ham is a well-run club with no debt and is one of Mr Gudmundsson's most important investments."

"He needs to review in light of what is going on. If you give a call to the owners of all clubs, 60-80 per cent would be considering their stance in the present climate."

The Independent say that despite all the rumours there have been no bids made for West Ham but there 'is understood to be one cash-rich billionaire in particular who is closely monitoring developments.'

Cmonyuirons are reporting that non-executive director Mike Lee has quit the Hammers board but will still carry on his role as director of communications. Mike Lee was of BG's appointments - is his stepping down a sign that something big is about to happen?

There are also rumours around that betting firm SBOBet could be close to a sponsorship deal with West Ham. Considering the West Ham players have been keeping the betting firms afloat for the last couple of years it is the least they could do.

West Ham Invite Obama

West Ham have quickly tried to gain some publicity on the back of the election of Barack Obama. Obama attended a West Ham game in 2003 and the club are inviting him to attend again.

West Ham director Mike Lee told BBC Sport,

"We are very proud of what Barack Obama has achieved and respect what he has done," .

"We plan to send him a letter of congratulations and invite him to come to a game at Upton Park the next time he is in London.

The BBC neglect to report the post script added to the bottom of the invite, which reads.

"When you have saved the world's economy can you come and sort out our finances as well?"

Can we go bankrupt?

Yes we can!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Zola Not Worried

Gianfranco Zola says he is not worried about the fresh financial troubles said to be affecting West Ham chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson.

That doesn’t change anything for me,” he said. “I’m going to keep working with my players and focus on making them play the best they can. The club doesn’t have any problems.

“I’m going to work with these players and I want to work with these players. Right now we don’t need to buy anybody because we have a big, big squad when I have everybody back from injury.

“Then I’ll be thinking maybe I need to sell some players because not all of them are going to get a game. I don’t have concerns. My job is to work with this team and improve them to make a better team.

“Everything I need is in this squad and I’m going to be working with it. That is where the manager comes in.”

West Ham's Financial Crisis Deepens

Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson's Samson Holdings, the company that I think holds Gudmundsson's West Ham stock, has apparently filed for bankruptcy.

The Daily Mail are suggesting that this means the noises coming out of West Ham are no longer so confident about Gudmundsson not selling the club.

Didn't Samson Holdings lend West Ham millions of pounds (obviously at a high interest rate)? Do the club have to pay back money borrowed from a company that goes bankrupt?

Damn, it seems that you do still have to pay off a debt even to a company that has gone bankrupt.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tristan Fit and Raring to Go

It seems that Diego Tristan's foot injury that forced him to retire from Monday's reserve game is not serious and he will be fit enough to play against Everton. Given the liveliness of Bellamy and Sears partnership against Boro I suspect that Tristan may start on the bench again but this may be the game he gets his first action for West Ham.

Balint Bajner picked up an Achilles injury in the same match but his injury is not thought to be as serious as first thought.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

West Ham Search Links

If you can't find the West Ham news that you are after on Hammered you can always check the places that I check for West Ham news.

The first thing I check each morning is this Google Gadget that I created a long time ago. I tend to check the News and the KUMB forum feed (it is amazing the news that fans pick up that the newspapers either ignore or don't think is interesting enough to print)

Secondly, I check the West Ham page on NewsNow. Recently blog spam has started to show up on NewsNow more than it used to but they still provide the best round of news from the traditional media and the better websites.

Thirdly, I have created RSS feeds for the West Ham Official website and for Hammers Headlines. Both of these websites don't provide their own RSS feeds so I screenscrape their pages for these feeds.

Fourthly, if I'm really desperate for a West Ham fix I check the BBC's Football Gossip page (much better on Saturday and Sunday than midweek).

The Daily Mail Lies Again

Two days after a judge forced the The Daily Mail to cough up over lies they printed about Materazzi they are printing lies again.

Today in a report claiming that Neil Warnock is to join ex-Sheffield Utd players in suing West Ham the paper claims that "The Londoners (West Ham) have been ordered to pay a £30m fine." I guess we no longer have to wait for the FA arbitration panel to make it's settlement known.

Will this rag ever tire of printing lies about West Ham?

West Ham Reserves Lose

Diego Tristan got 45 minutes under his belt for the reserves tonight. Tristan played the first half in West Ham Reserves 2-0 loss to Sp@rs Reserves. Tristan was subbed at half time, hopefully as a precaution, after taking a knock to one of his feet.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Boro vs West Ham - Highlights

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Boro vs West Ham - The Reviews

The Sunday papers seem in agreement that West Ham dominated two-thirds of yesterday's game but in the end paid for not adding a second goal to Mullins' superb strike.

The Daily Mail say Boro were second-best for two-thirds of the game. They say Mullins scored 'a super volley'.

The Telegraph claim that Ross Turnbull pulled off some key saves to deny West Ham United a victory. "Inspired by the pace and direct running of feisty front pairing Craig Bellamy and Freddie Sears, the visitors dominated the first half and should have had more than a 21st minute Hayden Mullins strike to show for their overwhelming dominance."

The Guardian say, "a first point in five games is scant consolation for West Ham's dominance of two-thirds of this encounter, as they paid dearly for their failure to build on Hayden Mullins' first-half strike."

The Independent felt West Ham 'dominated for almost the entire 90 minutes' but 'West Ham still drew. It felt like points dropped. Justice it was not.'

The Times felt that Sears was "outstanding not only in his striking role but in linking up the play as West Ham formed their familiar pleasing triangle shapes all over the pitch."

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Boro 1 West Ham 1

West Ham went with Plan B today and reverted to a 4-4-2 formation. The change in formation worked brilliantly in the first half as West Ham dominated the possession, the chances and actually scored.

The goal came in the 20th minute after Bellamy won the ball high up the pitch on the right wing. His cross worked its way through to Boa Morte inside the left of the penalty area. He pulled the ball back to Mullins, who was so unmarked he had enough time to throw a foot at the ball, completely miss it, turn round and fire it into the top of the net at the second attempt.

Before that Sears and Bellamy had looked lively. Sears missed one long range effort just wide left and also just failed to connect with a Faubert cross, which was nicked off his toes by Riggott. Mullins himself had a long range effort in the 43rd minute which missed wide right.

The first twenty minutes of the second half followed the same pattern as the first with West Ham in control. In the 52nd minute West Ham had a superb chance to extend their lead when Bellamy cushioned a Sears' cross down for Collinson running into the box but Collinson shot lamely at the keeper when he should have scored.

After twenty minutes Boro brought on Arca and Mido which changed the game in Boro's favour. Boro then created a lot of pressure on the West Ham area, which finally paid off when Collinson fouled Mido on the edge of the box with ten minutes to go. Mido's free-kick found the back of the net.

The last ten minutes saw both sides nearly snatch the win. Green did well to deny Mido and then with seconds remaining Bowyer had a seven yard shot saved but the ball rebounded to Collinson, who also fired in a low shot only for Turnbull to make a second good save.

Boro vs West Ham - Live

A good SopCast link is all I have.

If you are in and around London you can listen to live radio commentary of the game on BBC London 94.9FM.

Or if you are in or around Middlesbrough you can catch the game on Radio Tees 95FM.

Add to Google Add to My Yahoo!