Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
West Ham's Ashton Talks Drag On
West Ham say they have held another "very positive" meeting with Dean Ashton's representatives. No agreement seems to have been reached yet but the club say they hope "to conclude a new long-term contract for Dean Ashton next week."
I wonder how much a hat-trick tonight for England will add to his demands?
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
West Ham Top The League
The BBC has an interesting article today on the number of English players playing in the Premier League. Only 34.1% of the players who started matches in the top flight in 2007-08 were English.
It probably wouldn't surprise many to learn which side played the most English players and which the least.
Arsenal, in last place, averaged 0.34 English players starting per match (presumably that was Walcott's little toe).
In first place are West Ham with an average of 6.61 English players starting every match.
The pool of English players in the English Premier league had actual grown in the previous four seasons - only to fall to an all time low last year. Without a doubt the England national team has suffered as a result.
The situation in the Premier League will probably be worse next season. The arrival of Nani at West Ham, with a brief to scout foreign talent, presumably means that the future is also not so bright for English players at West Ham.
Dailly Confident of Staying at Gers
Christian Dailly seems confident that he will be at Glasgow Rangers next season,
"I have spoken to the manager (Walter Smith) already and we have more or less agreed to do it again next season.
"I haven't spoken to the chief executive (Martin Bain) or anything like that and I haven't signed anything but in principle there is a good chance of me signing again for next season."
West Ham Linked with Tarik Elyounoussi
It seems that little changes in a year. Last June West Ham were linked with Norwegian striker Tarik Elyounoussi. Now West Ham, Tottenham, Chelsea and Portsmouth are all rumoured to be interested in the forward, currently playing for Fredrikstad.
It is believed that Elyounoussi is available for around £4 million.
West Ham are also rumoured to be monitoring the situation of French youngster Mouhamadou Habib Habibou. The 21 year old Charleroi striker is currently on loan at Romanian side Steaua Bucharest.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Sears - West Ham and England Hero
Freddie Sears scored both of England Under-19's goals in their 2-0 over Poland. It was Sears' first start for the Under 19's. His first goal came in the 29th minute, his second was from the penalty spot in the 85th minute.
James Tomkins also played, helping England to keep a clean sheet.
Sears & Tomkins for England
James Tomkins and Freddie Sears are in action this morning for England Under-19's against Poland. The kick-off is 11.30 (UK time).
It is England's first game in a four-nation Group mini-tournament, the winners of which will progress to the European Under-19 Championship finals this July in the Czech Republic. Serbia and Belarus are the other two teams in England's group.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
West Ham Gossip
The News of the World say that West Ham are leading the chase for Everton striker Andy Johnson.
Various sources are linking West Ham, Liverpool and Sp~rs with Lazio's Swiss International Valon Behrami. Behrami's agent has said that Behrami "wants to play the Champions League" so it doesn't seem likely that he is bound for Upton Park.
In the run up to England's friendly against the USA Jonathan Spector has been praising West Ham team mate Dean Ashton,
"It was really disappointing for him to get such a serious ankle injury.
"It took him a long while to get back from it but in the last few games of the season he was in great form and it is great to see him back in the England set-up.
"He is very nearly back to his best, if not there yet. He is a great finisher - so who wouldn't want that on their team? He has great technical ability as well."
Friday, May 23, 2008
West Ham to Face Saints
It must have been my mention yesterday of two players who came through the Southampton youth set-up (Walcott and Bale) but today it has been announced that West Ham will play the Saints in a friendly.
The game is scheduled for Friday, August 1. Kick off is at 7.45pm.
These are the pre-season friendlies scheduled so far:
Thursday, 24th July: MLS AllStars XI (a)
Saturday, 26th July: Thurrock (a)
Tuesday, 29th July: Peterborough (a)
Friday, 1st August: Southampton (a)
Monday, 4th August: Ipswich Town (a):
Thursday, May 22, 2008
West Ham's Sears the Rising Star of the Season
West Ham's Freddie Sears has been named in Sky's season selection as their 'Rising Star'. They say,
"Sears enjoyed what can only be described as a memorable debut for West Ham. Five minutes after his introduction against Blackburn, the young striker showed predatory instincts to score at the second attempt after Brad Friedel had saved his initial effort to secure a thrilling 2-1 victory. The latest product of the Upton Park Academy will be one to watch next term."
Sears' goal scored within five minutes of his debut and his amazing goal-scoring run for the reserves and youth teams last season ensured he became an instant hero at The Boleyn. I'm fairly hopeful that Sears will progress to be a first team regular in a couple of seasons. However I'm fairly surprised that he is Sky's pick of the young players who emerged last season.
I know I'm going to get slaughtered for this and I hate the club he plays for but Gareth Bale would actually be my 'rising star' of last season. I think Bale scored three goals in his first four games for Sp#rs. Maybe having had a successful year as a 16-17 year old in the Championship makes him ineligible.
And I know Theo Walcott seems to have been around for years but I actually think in the last couple of months of the season he actually began to live up to some of the excitement around his future.
I am going to get slaughtered aren't I?
Caution ... John Terry
When I was slagging off Terry last night for instigating a ruck that led to his own player being sent off I was going to say "... and I bet he is lauded as a hero in the British press tomorrow".
Of course that is exactly what happened.
All I can say is Rio for England captain.
Not that I give a flying ... it's just an excuse to post this picture.
Boa Morte to Sunderland
The only rumour this morning that seems to have even a shred of credibility is one linking want-away West Ham player Boa Morte with a move to Sunderland.
Black Cats boss Roy Keane is said to be keen on the Portugal international.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Shorey to West Ham
Reading have confirmed that long time West Ham target Nickey Shorey has been placed on the transfer list.
The irony for West Ham could be that now Shorey is available they might not have the money to buy him. It is believed that Aston Villa and Newcastle are both also interested in acquiring the full-back and probably have bigger war chests.
On a completely different tack it was nice to see Chelsea tonight finally reach their stated goal of becoming a global brand.
They are now hated in every country.
After John Terry created a ruck out of nothing which directly led to their top goal scorer being sent off - perhaps they will learn their lesson.
No, of course they won't.
Lanzafame Wants West Ham Move
Yesterday it seemed that Davide Lanzafame was going to move to Palermo as part of a deal that saw Amauri moving to Juventus. Apparently that deal would involve Lanzafarme becoming part owned by Palermo and presumably joining the Sicilian club next season.
However like most young footballers Lanzafame wants to play at West Ham. Today he is widely reported as saying,
"Palermo and West Ham are both huge clubs," he said. "But at my age I think it would be beneficial to get experience abroad, which would enhance me not only as a footballer, but also from a linguistic and lifestyle point of view."
Good on you lad.
Spector to Face England
Jonathan Spector has been named in the United States squad to play England in the international friendly at Wembley next Wednesday. On of Spector's duties could be to mark Dean Ashton, who has been named in the England squad.
West Ham to Sell Ashton for Johnson
The Daily Mirror obviously haven't been speaking to The Guardian. The Guardian say West Ham are buying Saha and El-Hadji Diouf.
Now The Daily Mirror say West Ham boss Alan Curbishley is selling Dean Ashton and Anton Ferdinand in a bid to fund moves for Everton striker Andrew Johnson and Newcastle defender Steven Taylor.
Despite West Ham being cash-strapped and not in the market it looks as if we are in for a long summer of silly and ridiculous rumours.
Of course West Ham would sell a player in the current England squad for one who struggles to get in the Everton team. That makes perfect sense.
West Ham Reasonably Happy
West Ham left back George McCartney believes that West Ham have had a reasonable season and admits to feeling tired after playing in every one of West Ham's games.
"If the injuries hadn't been so bad I think we'd have been challenging for Europe, but that wasn't the case," he said. "So tenth place is not the worst place in the world to finish."
"It's been a tough season and they're all good teams in the Premier League and we've managed to stay away from trouble.
"Everyone in the dressing room is reasonably happy with tenth place and we can go away and have a couple of months off and then come back in pre-season with everybody fit and hopefully we can push on and finish higher up the table.""I've played 44 games this year and after about 35 I was feeling a bit tired, but it's great that I was able to get through all the games and compete in each one.
"I'm looking forward to a few weeks off now and re-charging my batteries."
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The Guardian's April Fool's Day
The Guardian are a little late with their April Fool's joke this year - but it was worth the wait:
The paper says that West Ham are preparing a £10 million bid for over the hill and injury prone Louis Saha.
It made me laugh anyway.
However they slightly ruined the joke by taking it a step too far and claiming West Ham were after El-Hadji Diouf as well.
If only we had £10 million to spend.
In other news various sources are reporting that West Ham's loan move for Italian striker Lanzafame is off. It had been reported that the player was close to agreeing a one year loan deal with West Ham. This has apparently been scuppered by Juventus' bid to lure Palermo's Amauri to Turin.
Palermo are willing to part with the Brazilian-born forward, but are reported to want £10 million cash, ownership of midfielder Antonio Nocerino and 50 per cent ownership of Lanzafame as part of the deal.
It is reported that this deal will go ahead today and presumably means Lanzafame will be playing for Palermo next year.
SPARC Report on West Ham Injuries
West Ham have received a report from Roehampton University's Sports Performance Assessment and Rehabilitation Centre containing recommendations on how the club can reduce the number of injuries at the club.
SPARC spent a week at the club and investigated all aspects of the club, from diets to the training pitches. SPARC director and physiologist Jackie Dabinett said,
"A presentation of the main findings was made to the board on the Friday of the week that we were there and a full report was sent to the club last Friday.
"We are not in a position to disclose the findings but there are a number of recommendations, that if acted upon, should reduce the likelihood of injury in the future and also enhance performance."
Monday, May 19, 2008
Boa Morte Still Unhappy With West Ham
Boa Morte's weekly moan about life at West Ham has been released,
"I've got two years left [on my contract] at West Ham but I don't like the situation and we'll see what happens in the summer," said Boa Morte.
"I will sit down with the chairman and the manager and speak to them about it and find the best solution.
"Nobody likes to get booed every week when your name is read out and when you touch the ball, so it is not a good situation."
With West Ham being forced to reduce the size of their squad this summer it seems that Boa Morte wants to be the first out the door.
Ashton Keen to Stay at West Ham
With rumours of a possible £15 million bid for Dean Ashton from the small club in north London West Ham have issued a statement about Friday's talks with Dean Ashton. Whilst nothing has been signed the club are quick to point out that talks are on-going and both sides are eager to come to terms,
"We had a very productive meeting. Dean wants to stay and we want him to stay. We are committed to finding agreement on a new long-term contract," said West Ham United Chief Executive Scott Duxbury.
A second meeting between the club and Ashton's representatives is scheduled for the week after next.
West Ham Old Boy's Moscow Reunion
The Guardian today have noticed that nearly all of the English players in this week's Champion's League final emanate from one club, West Ham. They have interviewed West Ham Youth academy director, Tony Carr about the game,
"I don't know who to support," said Carr, who travels to Hong Kong tomorrow with West Ham's youth players. "We'll all be very proud at West Ham because the boys started out here and now they are at the top of their profession."
"Joe was always destined to be a very good footballer but the expectations were a big burden for him. When he was put in the team [at 17] everybody expected him to set the world alight immediately but that is not the reality for a young player.
In a strange way, though, all the hype surrounding Joe allowed Michael Carrick to develop. Michael had moved down from the north-east and was very homesick at first. If it wasn't for Bob and Val Rayson in our club house he might have gone home. But we felt the same way about Michael as we did Joe."
"It's a nice dream to think what might have happened if we could have kept them but it was never going to be a reality. We couldn't turn down Leeds' [£18m] offer for Rio; Frank's dad and uncle [Harry Redknapp] had just left the managerial staff when the offer from Chelsea came in for him and the harshest of relegations in 2003 meant that we had to sell our assets."
Oh well, that won't stop a lot West Ham fans wondering about what could have been.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Ashton £15 Million Target for Sp#rs
Our friends at The Daily Mail say that Dean Ashton 'is expected to move across London to join Tottenham this summer."
If you are an unscrupulous journalist I suppose it isn't hard to look at the immanent departure of Berbatov from T#ttenham and pick Ashton out of the air as a possible replacement, after all two and two on Fleet Street often adds up to twelve.
Any way The Mail say that Ashton is a £15 million target for the smallest club in North London.
West Ham Monitor Stefano Guberti
The agent for Ascoli midfielder Stefano Guberti’s claims that West Ham are monitoring the player's progress,
Hmm, sounds like someone's trying to get a better contract.
West Ham News Round-Up
Ipswich Town have announced a pre-season friendly against West Ham. They say West Ham will visit Portman Road on the 4th of August with a 7:45pm kick-off.
I wonder if this announcement is related in any way to Ipswich boss Jim Magilton's saying this week that he wanted to buy Richard Wright? Sometimes a friendly might be thrown in when a club is trying to buy a player off a smaller club not the other way around. Perhaps this is a sign of West Ham's desperation to offload players - take one of our players off our hands and we'll throw in a friendly.
Carlos Tevez today revealed that a film of his life is being made in Argentina,
"In June a film about my life will be started and that will be a thrilling project to be involved in."
The climax of the film will be the fulfilment of his life-time ambition to play for West Ham United (or maybe they'll go with the European Champions League final instead.)
Friday, May 16, 2008
West Ham Again Linked With Bresciano
West Ham are once again rumoured to be making an offer for Palermo midfielder Mark Bresciano. The Daily Mirror say West Ham are ready to offer £4 million for the Australian player and that the Serie A club are willing to let the 28-year-old go for the right price.
Bresciano almost joined Man City last summer but the deal fell through at the last moment.
West Ham Place Ferdinand Up For Sale
The Times say West Ham have put Anton Ferdinand up for sale. They claim that Ferdinand had a transfer request denied last summer but "the West Ham manager appears to have lost patience with Anton Ferdinand, who has been made available for transfer."
The Times claim West Ham are prepared to offer £6 million for Man City's Richard Dunne as Ferdinand's replacement. Dunne, according to the article, is unhappy with the what is happening under the current City owner Thaksin Shinawatra.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Lanzafame Told to Reject West Ham
The managing director of Italian club Siena, Giovanni Lombardi Stronati, has urged prospective West Ham loan signing Davide Lanzafame to reject the Irons, presumably for Siena.
“The real problem is that Lanzafame has received a resounding offer from West Ham,” Stronati says. “Here, it must be for the player to decide what is best for him – to remain in Italy and grow gradually, as I believe Siena will allow, or to earn more money immediately with major risks. Young people in Italy perhaps are convinced there will be more opportunities abroad, but that is not always the case.”
Wales Call Up Two West Ham Players
Jack Collison and Craig Bellamy have been named in the Welsh squad for the friendlies against Iceland and Holland. This is the first time that Collision has been named in the full Wales squad.
Craig Bellamy has spent the last week training with FA Cup finalists Cardiff City and has obviously done enough to prove his fitness to Wales manager John Toshack.
West Ham Chairman Expects Success
The West Ham chairman, Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, has sent a letter to season ticket holders in which he says he is happy with the progress the club has made this season but expects the team to be 'competing for honours'.
"Although certainly less eventful than the previous season I have been pleased with our progress and it gives the club a platform from which to progress further," he said.
"I share the frustration expressed by Alan [Curbishley] about the scale of our injuries but endorse his view that the squad he has assembled should be given a chance to play together while allowing the exciting young talents emerging from our Academy the chance to establish themselves in the first team squad."
"When I first purchased the club in December 2006 I was keen to emphasise my long term commitment to building the club. It was always my intention to invest further funds in the club to strengthen the first team squad.
"To this end the club has invested at net £40m in the squad since the takeover - and I hope that next season we will finally see a settled side with a realistic chance of competing for honours."
West Ham in for Dunne
This story is a day late.
Yesterday various web sites (including the BBC) were saying that The Daily Express were reporting that West Ham were offering £6 million for Man City's Richard Dunne. I couldn't find the original story - and the fact that the same sources said that Dunne's current contract could be bought out for £1 million but West Ham were offering £6 million anyway made the story seem a little dubious to my tired and ageing eyes.
However the story seems to be getting off it's feet and jogging around the park. So there you are - I don't believe it - and don't think Dunne is worth £6 million - but I wouldn't say no at around the £3 million mark.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Ljungberg Makes Sweden Squad
Despite suffering a cracked rib against Newcastle United Freddie Ljungberg has been named in the Sweden squad for the European Championship this summer.
Young West Ham midfielder Jack Collison is part of the Wales side taking on England in an Under-21 friendly on Thursday. Mark Nobel had to pull out of the England side for the same game because of back and hamstring trouble picked up against Villa.
Terry Brown Claims for Loss of Chauffeur
The Daily Mail are reporting that ex-West Ham chairman Terence Brown is claiming £5m-plus from the club through a High Court writ for damages and compensation.
The contract and benefits Brown agreed with the new owners when he sold the club were terminated in May 2007 following the unravelling of the Tevez registration fiasco. Brown is claiming loss of annual salary of £492,000 and bonuses with two years running on his director's contract plus pension provision of £42,240 per year. Also in the claim are the loss of a chauffeur and mileage allowances and the use of on-site parking spaces at home and away matches.
The Mail says that West Ham have written to Brown advising him of a significant counter-claim against him over the cost to the club from the Tevez wrangling that includes the record Premier League fine of £5.5m and legal expenses.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Ashton to Be Offered New Contract
West Ham have announced that the club will sit down with Dean Ashton this Friday "to discuss terms for a new long-term contract at the club."
West Ham United Chief Executive Scott Duxbury said: "The end of the season was the appropriate time to discuss such matters and to meet Dean Ashton and his representatives. We will sit down on Friday with a view to agreeing a new long-term contract to keep Dean Ashton at Upton Park. Everyone at West Ham United is committed to taking the club forward and we will keep all supporters up to date with developments via the official website as and when we have them to report."
West Ham Close on 'New Ronaldo'
According to Sky Sports West Ham are close to clinching a loan deal for Italian starlet Davide Lanzafame.
The 21-year-old striker is a product of Juventus' youth system and made his first-team debut for them last season. He has spent this season on loan at Bari, whose coach Anontio Conte believes he could be the next Christian Ronaldo,
"Lanzafame has improved tactically," he told the Gazzetta dello Sport. "He is explosive, he sniffs the goal, and imposes his speed outside the area. If he improves and learns he can become like Cristiano Ronaldo."
Sky say he is set to sign a one year loan deal with West Ham.
On the evidence of this video he looks like he is happy with the ball at his feet and can score from anywhere.
Monday, May 12, 2008
West Ham Fifth in Average Attendance League
Someone on the KUMB forum produced this table showing stadium capacities - this year's average attendance and that average as a percentage of the capacity (the percentage of tickets sold).
The figures come from an ESPN table of this season's average attendances, that has West Ham eleventh with an average attendance of 34,601. I prefer this table, not only because we come higher :), but because it is probably a better indication of how well a club is supported.
For example, even though Everton average 300 more fans than us a game - they have a far higher capacity and only sell 87% of their tickets. Considering the season they have had that it a shocking lack of support.
Compare that to Derby, whose fans have only had one victory all season, but who sold nearly 10% more of their capacity than Everton.
1. Man Utd-------------------------76312----------75961-----------99.54%
5 West Ham Utd-------------------35146---------34601-----------98.45%
10 Derby County------------------33597---------32432-----------96.53%
12 Aston Villa---------------------42640---------40372-----------94.68%
14 Manchester City---------------47726---------42126-----------88.26%
19 Wigan Athletic-----------------25138---------19046-----------75.77%
West Ham New Away Shirt
Ashton Pitches for New West Ham Contract
Dean Ashton has spoken about his desire to 'talk' to West Ham about his future. Despite having two years left on his current contract with the club he claims to be unaware where his 'future stands at the moment'.
There have been previous rumours that Ashton has been unhappy at earning a lot less than players signed last summer and in January 2007.
"I suppose it is flattering to be linked with United, but you don't really read a lot about what goes into the papers," said Ashton. "The thing I'm more worried about is what West Ham think of me and whether they want to keep me.
"As far as I know I'll be here. I haven't heard anything myself and the only worry is that the club haven't spoken to me yet so I don't know where I stand with the club at the moment.
"Obviously I'd like to speak to the club about my future. I'd just like to know where my future stands. I haven't really been told particularly where my future stands at the moment.
"West Ham is the team I play for. I've got two years (left) here and I want to talk to the club because I've really enjoyed myself here and that's all I'm really thinking about."
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Green for West Ham, Ashton for England
Robert Green has been named West Ham Player of the Year and Dean Ashton has been named in England's 31-man squad to face the United States and Trinidad and Tobago.
Robert Green took 52 per cent of the poll, carried out by the West Ham United Supporters Club. Fellow ever-present George McCartney was the runner-up, getting 31 per cent, with Matthew Upson in third place.
"I am very pleased. I have got a good rapport with the fans," said Green.
"I love playing in front of them, I love playing for the club ... It is a wonderful achievement for myself, it is something I failed to do in ten seasons at Norwich so I am really pleased to do it in my second season at West Ham."
Ashton scored five goals in his last eight games. Overall Ashton netted 10 goals in 23 starts in all competitions this season.
West Ham 2 Villa 2
Ferdinand was back from injury to partner Tomkins at the back with Neil returning to right back. Solano started on the right wing and Boa Morte on the left.
In glorious sunshine the game started at a fair crack. The first chance of the game came to Zamora on 60 seconds. However Zamara could only head Solano's cross wide and high of the Villa goal. Two minutes later, at the other end of the pitch, Ashley Young fired in a right-footed shot from the right side of the penalty area 12 yards out and the ball hit the far post.
In the seventh minute West Ham won a free-kick just outside the Villa area when Ferdinand was brought down by Bouma. Solano curled the free-kick into the net for a goal for West Ham. Carson should have done better in goal.
After the West Ham goal Villa started to pile on some pressure and in the next few minutes both Parker and Neil were booked for rash challenges. It took Villa only five minutes to get the equaliser. Ashley Young's earlier effort that hit the bar should have warned West Ham, but no - they let him have another go from roughly the same spot and this time his effort hit the back of the net. Young was played in by a little midfielder whose name eludes me.
In the 15th minute Boa Morte was clean through on goal but the referee decided to stop the game because Tomkins was down injured. In the 23rd minute Carew just failed to connect properly with a Petrov through ball, a decent connection and Villa would have taken the lead. In the 23rd minute Young's picked out Agbonlahor with a through-ball, but he lashed his shot well wide.
In the 35th minute Zamora shot right-footed from the right side of the penalty area, 18 yards out, but his shot was blocked by Bouma. In the 37th minute Mark Noble shot right-footed from 20 yards but missed right of the goal. In the 43rd minute Carew got his head to a Young cross but sent his near-post effort wide. A minute later Zamora shot from 18 yards and missed left.
In injury time at the end of the first half Zamora's shot left-footed from just outside the box. His shot beat Carson in goal but just flew wide.
After the break Pantsil came on instead of McCartney (hamstring). Within 40 seconds of the restart Boa Morte forced a save from Carson after a run at the Villa defence and a 20 yard effort. In the 49th minute Carew shot right-footed from the left side of the penalty area from 12 yards and Green saved. Then in the 52nd minute Carew had a header cleared off the line by Noble.
In the 56th minute Reo-Coker (I remember his name now) shot from twelve yards, his shot was parried by Green. Barry pounced on the rebound and scored from 12 yards.
Two minutes after the Villa goal Solano took another great free-kick. This time Carson managed to tip the ball around the post. From the resulting corner Ashton got his head to the ball only to see Mellberg block his shot on the line. Two minutes after that and Zamora headed a Boa Morte cross against the post from 12 yards.
West Ham continued to pile on the pressure. In the 62nd minute Parker shot over the bar from 20 yards. In the 65th minute Mark Noble forced a save from Carson with an 18 yard effort.
At this point elsewhere Sp#rs decided to roll over and die - and Liverpool scored two goals in five minutes to secure tenth place for West Ham.
In the 73rd minute Cole came on for Zamora. However an exciting game up until this point then seemed to peter out. In the 80th minute Sears came on for Solano. In the 81st minute Ashton shot from 12 yards but missed right.
With two minutes left of the ninety minutes and the game seemingly over - enter Deano. Dean Ashton drilled a right-footed shot first time into the bottom right of the goal from 20 yards to earn West Ham their final point of the season.
A reasonable result to end a reasonable season.
Man United win the title. Reading, Birmingham and Derby are relegated.
Boa Morte Not Happy at West Ham
It looks like Boa Morte could be one of the players out of the door in the summer. The News of the World quote Boa Morte as saying,
"I've got another two years on my contract. I can't say I'm completely happy at West Ham. In the end we'll see."
Which doesn't sound like the sort of thing someone staying at the club would say. Of course the quote could have been taken slightly out of context. He might well have been asked something about whether he was happy with the way the West Ham fans have reacted to him this season.
West Ham vs Aston Villa
The only links I could find for live streaming were posted on a forum. I have no idea whether any of these will work.
As of 3pm none of the below links seem to be working:
Sopcast: Truesports1 sop://126.96.36.199:3912/3606
Sopcast Ben1 sop://broker.sopcast.com:3912/22260
TVants Truesports5 tvants://list.tvants.com/tvants/?k=297d ... f9f91fb51f
Tvants Truesports1 tvants://list.tvants.com/tvants/?k=3505 ... 6859370068
Windows Media Player Truesports1 mms://188.8.131.52/sport3
I can't find radio commentary for today's game. Being the last day of the football season and today's games being hugely important BBC Radio London are commentating live on two rugby games!
If anyone does have any leads to live streams please leave a comment!
West Ham Keeping Ashton
West Ham manager Alan Curbishley says that Dean Ashton will not be sold during the summer break. Curbishley is under orders to reduce the size of the West Ham squad but he insists the club won't be selling their star players.
"Every club outside the top four has this problem every summer. Even Spurs and people like that are going to come under pressure," said Curbishley."But since the new group took over West Ham we have tried to push forward and I don't see selling players as a way of pushing forward. The people who left last summer (Nigel Reo-Coker, Marlon Harewood, Yossi Benayoun) asked to go and we wanted to have a change around.
"I want to see certain combinations of players that I haven't had a chance to see. I want to play Craig Bellamy with Dean Ashton. I am enthusiastic about when we join up again."
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Bellamy Training With Cardiff
The West Ham official site has announced that Craig Bellamy will train with Cardiff in the lead up to their FA Cup final. Bellamy has been out injured since playing against Wigan in February and will be training with The Bluebirds in a bid to regain full fitness.
Alan Curbishley said,
"Bellamy is in full training and has been doing everything. We're going to hopefully continue that.
"Obviously we finish at the weekend but kindly Dave Jones has allowed Craig to train with them for a week as they prepare for the cup game so he can get another week's football in."
West Ham Contract Renewals
It is reported that West Ham will hold a board meeting on Monday which will include chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson and manager Alan Curbishley. One item on the agenda is the three players out of contract this summer. Alan Curbishley said,
"We've only got a couple of contracts up this summer. Young Tony Stokes, Nobby Solano, who came in on deadline day, and on-loan Henri Camara, who will go back to Wigan."
Curbishley has been told by Gudmundsson to cut down his 34-man squad and slash the club's wage bill. At 33 years of age Nobby Solano could well be the first player to suffer from West Ham's belt tightening.
Friday, May 09, 2008
West Ham Bid for Diego Confirmed
Antonio Fiuza president of Gil Vicente claims the club are negotiating with West Ham for the transfer of 26 year old centre back Diego Gaucho.
Portuguese sources claim the move could initially be on loan from August with a view to a permanent deal for the Brazil-born defender, who is hoping to complete the process of becoming a European citizen.
Coincidently Gil Vicente are managed by Paulo Alves who made four substitute appearances for West Ham on loan to the club in 1998.
West Ham vs Villa: The Predictions
West Ham are confirmed tenth place tomorrow if we beat Aston Villa. If we lose and Sp#rs beat Liverpool at WHL then Sp#rs will snatch tenth spot.
The omens aren't good as far as the Curse of Lawro goes. He actually predicts West Ham to win and Sp#rs to only draw.
A 2-1 win for West Ham against Villa
A 1-1 draw for Sp#rs vs Liverpool
Result: 10th spot
A 0-2 loss for West Ham
A 1-1 draw for Sp#rs vs Liverpool
Result: 10th spot.
A 2-2 draw
A 3-2 win for Sp#rs vs Liverpool
Result: 11th spot
BBC Say West Ham to Cut Costs
News of the West Ham's owners orders to Curbishley to reduce the squad size has reached the BBC.
The BBC are reporting that West Ham boast "a first-team squad of 40 players - one of the biggest in the Premier League - and a wage bill approaching £50m a year." They say that "turnover for the 2006/7 season was £57.3m", so West Ham are far from reaching their target of "being self sustaining".
The BBC say they have been told by a senior source at the club that Curbishley will still be in charge at the start of next season but has to trim the wage bill and sell players before he buys new ones.
"Mr Gudmundsson is used to looking at long-term factors and knows you don't judge a manager in any business after 18 months," the source said.
"Now is a time to stabilise, because we are convinced that success comes through stability. The ratio between wages and turnover is too high at the moment. We have probably the biggest first-team squad in the Premiership and our transfer strategy has to be carefully planned going forward.
"West Ham have a first-team squad of 40, so there is considerable room for manoeuvre. The last thing you should do when you have a problem is to throw money at it."
However this frugality is not due to Gudmundsson's finances, which remain healthy,
"Lansbanki is still running with considerable, healthy profits," the source insisted.
"Gudmundsson also has interests in several other companies and they are doing well. In the Forbes rich list last April he was the second wealthiest man in Iceland (behind his son) and one of the 1,000 richest men in the world.
"We finalised the financial arrangements of West Ham before the credit crisis hit and the club is on a very stable footing. That financial framework hasn't changed a bit."
The source also said that West Ham are looking to improve the medical facilities at the club.
"The medical and training facilities are better than those at a lot of other Premier League clubs but not as good as AC Milan's, which is the level we are aiming for," the source said.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
West Ham Offer Ljungberg £3 Million for Contract
The Times are reporting this morning that West Ham have offered Freddie Ljungberg £3 million to tear up his contract with the club. The paper claims that he has three years remaining on the four-year contract - which ensures him £3.9 million a year at £75,000 a week.
The Times claim that West Ham could make similar compensation offers to Lucas Neill and Luís Boa Morte, stating that West Ham have been looking for a new right back to replace Neill.
Green on England
West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green has spoken again of his desire to be in the England squad.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Sunderland Bid for Cole
The Daily Mirror say that Sunderland are bidding £2 million for West Ham's Carlton Cole. They say that Keane sees Cole as the perfect partner for Kenwyne Jones. However Celtic and Middlesbrough.
The Mail say that West Ham could offload big earners Lucan Neill (sic), Freddie Ljungberg and Kieron Dyer. I hear there is a big market for players that have been out for a season injured.
Spurs in For Ferdinand
According to The Sun T#ottenham have offered £6 million for West Ham's Anton Ferdinand. They claim that under Jol Sp#rs had a £4 million bid rejected.
The Sun mentions that Curbishley has been told to trim his squad and with six centre backs, including the emerging Tomkins, he may be tempted to sell.
This summer looks set to be a test of the new owners. Have things really changed at West Ham or are we still a club that sells our best young talent?
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
West Ham to Bid for Kightley
The Daily Mirror say West Ham are preparing a £3.5 million bid for Wolves winger Michael Kightly. What gives the story the ring of truth is the fact that Kightly missed five months of this season with an ankle injury. He therefore has all the experience he will need to warm up the treatment bench at West Ham.
Our friends at The Daily Mail say that the arrival of Kightley could see the end of Zamora because he is upset at not being one of the club's top earners.
OK - guys you're not even trying any more - Zamora he striker, Kightley he winger, he rumour, your story it bollox.
West Ham Friendlies
Thurrock announced yesterday that they had lined up a pre-season friendly with West Ham. The game will take place on Saturday, 26th July (kick off 3pm).
Last week Peterborough United announced a friendly with West Ham on Tuesday, 29th July.
West Ham will also be appearing in a match against an MLS AllStars XI in Toronto on Thursday, 24th July. This suggests that the Thurrock and Peterborough games may feature mainly reserve and youth team players from West Ham.
The Times has a good report on Craig Bellamy's plan to set up a football academy in war torn Sierra Leone. Of course, Bellamy isn't the only West Ham player interested in Africa and the official site has news about how you can join Robert Green on his climb of Kilimanjaro.
Monday, May 05, 2008
West Ham After Turkish Youngster
A lot of the Turkish press are talking about a £1 million bid by West Ham for 17-year-old Muhammed Demir.
Demir, currently plays for Bursaspor. He came on late yesterday in Turkey's Under-17 game against the Netherlands and scored Turkey's third goal in a 3-0 win. He also scored a hat-trick last year in an Under-17 game against Italy,
West Ham All to Play For
Sunday's game against Aston Villa remains an important game for both West Ham and Villa. West Ham need to win to ensure they finish in tenth spot, above T#ttenham. Villa need to win and hope Everton lose to qualify for Europe.
Mervyn Day says that West Ham's chances could be boosted by the return of Ferdinand and Upson,
"Ferdinand was running on the pitch (at Old Trafford) before the game so we're hopeful that he might have a chance of being fit. Matty did some running on Friday so we're hopeful but we've been hopeful of a few of them for three or four weeks."
West Ham could also be boosted by the return of Julien Faubert.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
West Ham Goal of the Season
Ashton's goal on Saturday is probably my goal of the season. Ashton seems to be getting back to his best, which isn't exactly perfect timing with only one game to go. But a hat-trick from Ashton against Viila to ensure we stay above Sp#rs will do for me.
Apparently the West Ham players will receive a £10k bonus if they finish in tenth spot. Perhaps that might spur them on a little at home to Villa next week. If the thought of an extra ten thousand doesn't work, then reading the reports of yesterday's game should help them to realise they have to win back a little pride next Sunday.
The Sunday Express says that the "Hapless Hammers ... yesterday raised the white flag of surrender." The paper is obviously thinking of time-travelling back to the first world war because they also say "You wouldn’t want this West Ham side in the trenches with you." Me neither - I think I'd choose a few soldiers instead.
The Mail's relentless campaign against West Ham has rarely been expressed so openly as today. They say West Ham are a team "we have come to know and loathe, who lose heart at the first road sign saying 'The North'. Ah, The Daily Mail, the feeling is mutual, we loathe you too.
The Mail also call West Ham an "indolent, inadequate London team." I call The Daily Mail 'a tired, sad excuse of a newspaper.'
The Daily Telegraph say West Ham "went down like lambs" and that "Curbishley was too embarrassed to turn up for the post-match press conference."
The Guardian say that West Ham showed "a marked lack of appetite" but don't see anything dodgy in this because "West Ham have shown a marked lack of appetite since around Christmas."
The Independent are the only newspaper to acknowledge that West Ham were "missing ... six central defenders, including Anton Ferdinand and Matthew Upson." The paper therefore conclude that West Ham were never likely to trouble Man Utd.
The Times says that "West Ham were so feeble that the outcome was never really in doubt." They note that "playing against 10 men for the second half, West Ham ... failed to muster a single shot."
Saturday, May 03, 2008
West Ham After South American Star
As we know player's agents are always the most trusted of sources and never have an agenda when linking their clients with football clubs, and I'm sure the same is true of Vincenzo D'Ippolito the agent of Uruguayan starlet Bruno Fornaroli.
D'Ippolito says that West Ham are interested in the Nacional striker, claiming that Gianluca Nani has contacted him about the 20 year old South American,
"In England recently there is also West Ham that have shown their interest, Gianluca Nani, who will soon be working for them, asked me about information on him," said D'Ippolito.
Fornaroli at the moment is in the process of applying for an EU passport. Without the passport is is unlikely the player would be given permission to play in the UK.
Sky Sports claim that Jussi Jaaskelainen will be available on a free in the summer and that West Ham have shown an interest in the player in the past. Rumours this week have suggested that Richard Wright could be sold in the summer - Jaaskelainen could be a cheap back-up for Green. I'm not sure, however, that Jaaskelainen will move to a club where he will be the second choice goalkeeper.
Football Focus on the BBC are showing an interview with West Ham's Dean Ashton today. The programme starts at 12.10 pm.
Man Utd vs West Ham - Live Streaming
Friday, May 02, 2008
Capable of Beating the Best & Losing to the Worst
The Daily Mail has printed an article outlining some of West Ham's important victories against Manchester Utd over the years.
In the article Tony Gale says that West Ham are "always capable of beating the best and losing to the worst."
That sounds as good a description of this season as any other West Ham season.
Man Utd vs West Ham Predictions
As expected all the major pundits are predicting that West Ham will thrash Man Utd this weekend. Ok maybe not.
Sky say Upson and Ferdinand are still out for West Ham and that Faubert is a doubt with a tight hamstring.
Sky predict a West Ham 2-1 loss
Lawro, whilst reflecting that West Ham are a bogey team for Man United, still thinks West Ham will be 'steamrolled' by the northern monkeys.
Lawro predicts a 3-0 loss for West Ham
Setanta say that despite the fact that Rooney and Vidic are likely to miss the game West Ham will still be hammered.
Setanta say West Ham will lose 3-1
I see Ronaldo has been named the Football Writers' Association footballer of the year for the second consecutive year - which gives me the chance to repeat this joke from I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.
Dear Mr Ronaldo,
You must have been bowled over by your Player of the Year trophy, even though it clearly never touched you.
Kind regards, Mrs. Trellis
Humphrey Lyttleton RIP
Man Utd After Ashton
The Daily Star say that Manchester United are preparing a summer bid for Dean Ashton. The paper says that Ferguson is keen to add some physical presence up front - so obviously Wayne Rooney is about to undergo some sort of summer diet.
Is this a Ferguson attempt to undermine West Ham's morale before the game?
The Sun on the other hand say West Ham are keen on £5m-rated midfielder Gary O'Neil, who is set to quit Middlesbrough just 10 months after signing.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Noble Called Up for England Under-21
Mark Noble and Jack Collison look set to be on opposing sides as England Under-21 take on Wales in a friendly match in Wrexham on May 15th. Noble has been named in the England squad and Collison in the Welsh.
Tomkins Signs New West ham Deal
James Tomkins has signed a new contract with West Ham. The official site has not revealed how long the new contract is for but Tomkins is clearly delighted with his new deal,
"I have signed a contract extension to my existing deal. It is obviously good that West Ham have come to me and offered me one. It is really great news and it has been a good end to the season for me. I have got the contract and that gives me confidence going into the games. It shows what West Ham think of me."
Robert Green Staying at West Ham
The rumours linking T#ttenham with a bid for West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green continue. The price talked about now seems to have risen to a cool £10 million. Alan Curbishley has said however that he expects to keep all his players, including Robert Green.
"The club will be keen to keep all the players. Rob's done very well this year and has been very consistent," Curbishley said.
"I don't think there will be any problems."
This seems to contradict slightly Scott Duxbury's statement that he has to trim the squad down to around 22 players but hopefully means that only fringe players at the club will be on the move.
Robert Green however has dismissed the rumour that was circulating last week that he and Dean Ashton are about to sign new contracts with the club.
"No, nothing has been discussed," said Green. "I think it is purely paper talk about a new contract, just as much as there is talk from people saying that I'm going to various other clubs as well.
"It's not something I've talked to the club about, but if it comes along, it comes along."
No Bilic for West Ham or City
Reports in the Croatian press say that ex-West Ham defender (and the man linked to every managerial position in the Premier League) Slaven Bilic will sign a new contract next week with the Croatian FA.
Croatian federation spokesman Davor Gavran said the new two-year contract will be signed on Monday. "It's a done deal," Gavran said on Wednesday.
However having publicly stated that he wants to remain Croatia's manager and extending his contract for two years isn't enough for the English press. Some of the papers are already suggesting that the Croatian FA are only extending Bilic's deal so that they will get a bigger compensation payout when he becomes a manager in the Premier League.