Saturday, January 31, 2009

West Ham on Match of the Day - Just

It was very surreal watching Match of the Day this evening. When it got to 10.30 and the Arsenal vs West Ham game still hadn't been shown I convinced myself I must have nodded off without realising it and missed the highlights of the game.

West Ham fans are used to our team going out last in the running order on Match of the Day but when was the last time Arsenal were shown last on Match of the Day? Without checking I would guess it was the last time they played West Ham.

West Ham fans have joked for a few years about the hatred that someone in the Match of the Day team must have for West Ham. West Ham are invariably one of the last two teams in the running order, except on the odd occasion we play one of the so called 'big four'.

On Wednesday, after West Ham played some of the best football I've seen by any team this season, West Ham were put on second to last and it was the only game not discussed by the pundits.

Tonight there was the huge story of Arsenal needing a win to stay in touch with the top four. If Arsenal had been playing any other team I would assume there would have been a lengthy discussion about Arsenal's failure to score at home and the danger of them not qualifying for the Champions League. However for the second game in a row Match of the Day had no discussion of the West Ham game, even at the expense of one of the 'big four'.

At least Match of the Day proved tonight that I am not paranoid and they actually do hate us with a vehemence.

Now does anyone know why?

Arsenal 0 West Ham 0

Arsenal dominated the possession in the first half but with Upson and Collins looking immense in defence I can't remember Green having to make a save.

West Ham even had a good chance to go into the break a goal to the good. Seconds before half time Noble took a corner from the left which was met firmly by Collins head eight yards from goal and Clichy was forced to clear off the line.

The second half was very similar to the first. Arsenal dominated possession but West Ham restricted them to very few chances. Parker was dominant in midfield and Behrami was everywhere.

In the 49th minute Collison was forced to head the ball off the line after a Green punch was chipped back over the West Ham keeper. Apart from that Arsenal's only chances were an Adebayor shot from 4 yards after a quick Arsenal break, which flew wide, and a 6 yard header from Adebayor, which was easy for Green to save. Oh, and van Persie had a chance late on that he put wide.

The only West Ham shot on goal was a rather weak effort from Cole from 20 yards which was easily saved.

Tis was a completely different performance from the magic of midweek, but just as impressive, if for different reasons.

Come on you Irons!

Parker & Noble

The Guardian have a great new tool that allows fans to look at player stats for passing, tackles, shooting etc in any match. It also allows you to compare players.

For example, this breakdown shows the passes of Scott Parker and Mark Noble in the game against Hull. It shows how Parker is at the centre of nearly everything for West Ham and how Noble has more freedom to get forward and support the strikers.

Arsenal vs West Ham - Live Streaming

LiveFooty have a SopCast link, a TVU Player link, a USee link and a TVAnts stream.

Iraq Goals have flash player streams (Iraq goals often gets stopped mid game).

have a lot of links for most of the streaming formats.

There is also live commentary on BBC Radio 5

Friday, January 30, 2009

Faubert to Real Madrid, Kovac to West Ham

The official West Ham site has confirmed that Julien Faubert is in talks with Real Madrid about a possible loan move for the rest of the season, for which West Ham will receive £1.5 million.

Scott Duxbury said about the move,

"I was first contacted by Madrid on Friday morning and after extensive negotiations we have agreed in principle a deal that would see them paying us a £1.5m fee to take Julien until the end of the season. His long-term future would then be reviewed in the summer with a significant transfer fee payable should Madrid want to take up their option. If Julien does go on loan, then we will look quickly to bring in a replacement."

F~~k me! (Sorry, but I can't think of any other response to this news)

The official site has also confirmed that West Ham have signed Czech Republic midfielder Radoslav Kovac on loan until the end of the season with a view to a possible permanent transfer.

Gianfranco Zola said on the deal,

"I am pleased to have Radoslav here. He has a lot of experience with the national team and he will give us competition in a midfield which is already very strong. I am sure he will help us with what we are trying to achieve this season."

Arsenal vs West Ham - The Predictions

Arsenal are without Silvestre whilst West Ham will presumably stick to their now familiar line up. Cole and Di Michele are presumably on too hot a spree for Zola to give Savio a start.

First off there is absolutely no surprise in the fact that Lawro notices West Ham are in great form at the moment and then concludes by predicting we will lose. Arsenal have in fact picked up only one less point than us in the last six games, having won three and drawn three.

Lawro predicts a 2-0 West Ham loss

Sky say Arsenal are unbeaten in nine games. They say that now they are five points behind Villa they know they have to win this game. They therefore think Arsenal will be too strong for even an in form West Ham team.

Sky predict a 2-1 West Ham loss

Setanta think this is a battle between the Premier League's two in form strikers, Carlton Cole and Robin van Persie. In the end they say that because Arsenal are at home van Persie is likely to have the bigger impact.

Setanta predicts a 2-0 West Ham loss

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Kovac Confirms West Ham Loan

Czech international Radoslav Kovac has confirmed that he is moving to West Ham on loan until the end of the season with a view to a permanent £3million move in the summer.

Kovac can play either in defence or midfield and seems an ideal replacement for Mullins. Kovac said about the move,

"The last decision was for me to choose West Ham over Celtic, but my decision was because of the Premier League. West Ham's manager and executives want me. West Ham love Czechs, they already have Jan Lastuvka and Marek Stech in their squad.

"This year I will be 30 and I only have a few years left before I become known as a veteran, so I want to realise my dream of playing in one of the main championships."

I do approve of this new policy of test driving players before purchase.

West Ham vs Hull - The Reactions

Last night's performance seems to have woken the newspaper's up to the Zola revolution at West Ham.

These are "sweet, sweet times" for West Ham according to The Independent. '"The difference was their two strikers," Brown said. He could have added the goalkeeper, back four and midfield also. Move after move tore through Hull.'

The Express say that "West Ham (were a) side fizzing with both energy and ideas."

The Mail say that the "partnership (Di Michele) has struck up with Carlton Cole already appears every bit as good as anything the former Chelsea striker enjoyed with Bellamy."

The Guardian say "Victory here was their sixth in seven games and was delivered by arguably their best performance of the season."

The Times believe "this was an evening to emphasise how West Ham are developing confidence and fluency under Gianfranco Zola."

Roll on Arsenal and Man Utd.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kovac to Join West Ham on Loan

West Ham have agreed a six-month loan deal and the possibility of a permanent move with Spartak Moscow for Radoslav Kovac, according to the player's agent.

West Ham 2 Hull 0

The biggest surprise at the end of the first half was that West Ham weren't going into the break at least three goals to the good. In what was nearly all one way traffic West Ham had enough chances to put the game beyond Hull's reach by half time.

In the 14th minute Noble scuffed a volley from the edge of the penalty area which was deflected out for a corner. From the corner the ball was cleared to Collison on the edge of the area, his low shot was just saved by Duke diving to his right. From that corner the ball was cleared to Di Michele who curled a shot from the left of the area, the ball seemed to be curling into the top right corner of the goal but bounced off the post and across the goal area.

In the 20th minute Cole received the ball on the six yard box with his back to goal, as he tried to turn he was taken down and the ref gave a penalty. However Noble's shot was saved by Duke diving to his left.

In the 28th minute Di Michele was played clean through on goal but his shot flew wide. Three minutes later however Di Michele had a shot from the edge of the area saved by Duke who pushed the ball out to Cole wide left of the goal. Cole retrieved the ball and shot across the goal, Duke palmed the ball out again but this time the ball fell to Di Michele at the far post who bundled the ball into the back of the net.

In the 39th minute West Ham nearly extended their lead after a quick one two between Di Michele and Cole ended with a low cross from Di Michele to Collison, whose shot from four yards hit the near post. Two minutes from the break and West Ham got one more chance in the half as Cole was played clean through. His shot from ten yards however was again just saved by Duke.

West Ham took only five minutes to extend their lead in the second half. A free-kick was taken long to the back post where Di Michele shot low across the goal from the left hand side of the area. The ball hit the post and bounced out to Cole who scored from four yards.

Bullard and Fagan were then brought on for Hull. Three minutes after being introduced Bullard shot well from the edge of the area forcing a good save from Green. In the 70th minute Cole was played clear by Neill, Cole decided to play the ball back inside giving the defence time to get back. Cole still managed to get his shot away but it was deflected just wide of the left hand post.

In the 74th minute West Ham won a corner, the ball was headed down to Cole, who turned and shot from five yards, his shot was blocked and flew out to Di Michele who fired his shot back in low, only for Duke to save again. In the 78th minute Noble tried to chip the goalkeeper from 20 yards but Duke just got back to tip it over the bar.

In the 84th minute Cole played Faubert through on goal with a little back heel on the edge of the area. Faubert's shot from 8 yards was saved by Duke. In the 87th minute Savio was brought on for Di Michele. In the 89th minute the ball fell to Boa Morte who should have scored from 5 yards but he sliced the ball wide. Then in the 93rd minute Duke saved the last kick of the game from Cole.

Ideally I would have liked one more goal to put us into a positive goal difference but I think there were enough positives in this game.

Savio on Joining West Ham

Savio has been given international clearance to play in tonight's game.

West Ham Bid for Kovac

West Ham have made a bid for 29 year old midfielder Radoslav Kovac according to Spartak Moscow.

Spartak Moscow general director Valery Karpin said,

"We have received a formal proposal for Kovac from West Ham in London, as well as another one in England and Spanish clubs."

Kovac can play in midfield or in central defence.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

West Ham vs Hull - The Predictions

Hull will hand a debut to their new signing Jimmy Bullard tomorrow. Savio Nsereko could make his debut for West Ham if international clearance arrives in time. However Zola will probably choose not to disrupt a winning team. Savio could therefore start on the bench.

Lawro says that "West Ham are one of the form teams at the moment and they are very confident." He therefore predicts we won't beat at home a team that have lost their last five league games. Unbelievable.

Lawro predicts a 2-2 draw

Sky & Setanta predictions to follow.

Duxbury on Sky Sports News

Scott Duxbury has appeared on Sky. In the interview he re-emphasised West Ham's project, part of which is not to sell players to Sp~rs,

"We need to be aware of our fans expectations, and we need to be aware who our local rivals are. There's a masssive rivalry between ourselves and Tottenham. As I've said, it's nothing against Tottenham but why on earth should we sell any player that would strengthen their team? It just makes no sense to me.

"We're competitive, we're in a competitive league. I want to finish above Tottenham year after year and I want to deliver success - so I won't be selling any of our players to our local rivals, it just makes no sense to me."

Duxbury also said that Craig Bellamy never went on strike at West Ham and that his not training on the last Friday he spent at the club was a joint decision.

Zola Welcomes Savio

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola has been singing the praises of the club's new record signing, Savi Nsereko (the N in the surname is silent apparently).

"The reason we signed Savio is that we see in him the potential that belongs to very good, special players. That's the reason we bought him and we're looking forward to working with him and making him a better player.

We have expectations of him but we don't forget that the boy is 19 years old and has come here for the future. We're going to try to improve him to make him a better player."

Nsereko himself says he believes Zola can help him improve as a player,

"I am very happy to be here and am proud to have the possibility of playing for a club like West Ham. I was happy (to move to England) because West Ham is a big club and a big story so I was very excited. I know a lot about the manager. I saw him play and he was a great player and I think he is also a great manager and can improve me a lot."

West Ham Sign Savio

West Ham have confirmed the signing of Savio Nsereko from Brescia on a four-and-a half-year contract. The fee is undisclosed but the rumours have suggested a figure as much as £9 million which would make Savio West Ham's record purchase.

West Ham United CEO Scott Duxbury said,

"We are delighted to sign Savio, particularly with the fierce competition for his services across Europe. He is an exciting prospect, who Gianfranco Zola believes will prove a valuable asset for this club now and in the years to come. It is a significant investment and shows our determination to continue moving this club forward."

Savio was the player of the tournament at the 2008 UEFA European U19 Championship.

The Telegraph say that subject to international clearance he will make his debut in the Premier League clash against Hull on Wednesday.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Savio To Sign for West Ham

Sky say that,

"West Ham United director of football Gianluca Nani has confirmed that the club are set to sign Savio Nsereko, but not Mario Balotelli."

Sky have a direct quote from Nani, which says,
"We are working on Savio of Brescia, and we are well advanced," so it seems that nothing has actually been signed yet.

However Savio's agent Patrick Bastianelli expects the deal with West Ham to go through soon,

"The player is very close to West Ham,"

"Savio will go away soon, and the boy is happy to find Zola, a great coach and with him he will only embrace an important technical programme from which he will only grow and improve. West Ham have accelerated the negotiations."


The BBC are now saying "West Ham have landed Brescia striker Savio Nsereko and will announce his signing later on Monday."

Juventus After Cole

According to Sky Sports Juventus manager Claudio Ranieri, who managed Carlton Cole at Chelsea, is keen to buy the West Ham striker.

Cole has scored 18 goals in 80 appearances for West Ham but his recent spate of five goals in five appearances seems to have elevated his reputation substantially.

Mullins Leaves West Ham

Hayden Mullins' sale to Portsmouth for a 'substantial' but undisclosed sum has been confirmed by West Ham.

Zola does seem to have settled on a midfield of Collison, Noble, Parker and Behrami. If Faubert stays at the club he also has the option of moving Behrami onto the other wing or even into the middle.

If Dyer can remain fit and West Ham secure the services of left winger Savio Nsereko then Zola will definitely have a real choice in midfield.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

West Ham to Sell Mullins to Pompey

According to The Daily Mail West Ham have agreed to sell Hayden Mullins to Portsmouth for £2 million. The paper claims the deal will be finalised after a medical and Mullins agreeing financial terms.

Whilst Mullins no longer regularly makes the starting eleven he is often used as a substitute by Zola.

West Ham vs Boro in the Cup

West Ham have been drawn against Middlesbrough at home in the 5th round of the FA Cup.

The game will be played on the weekend beginning 14th February.

West Ham Sunday Gossip

The People say that West Ham are after Middlesbrough right back Matthew Bates as a replacement for skipper Lucas Neill. They claim Neill can leave Upton Park for around £2 million and if a buyer comes in they will go for Bates - and Boro have enough cover in his position to let the 22-year-old go.

The News of the World say that West Ham will offer new deals to Scott Parker and Robert Green immediately and renew Matthew Upson's contract in the summer. However the same article claims West Ham will make a move for 'Fiorintina’s Italian under-21 forward Pablo Daniel Osvaldo'.

Unfortunately for The NoW Osvalso signed for Bologna five days ago.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hartlepool 0 West Ham 2

Hartlepool did very well for 42 minutes of the first half, then in the 43rd minute, after some good work by Collison the ball found its way to Behrami on the edge of the box and his first time left footed shot flew straight into the bottom right of the goal.

Three minutes later Michael Nelson handled the ball just outside the area and the referee decided to give a penalty. Mark Noble stepped up and scored his second goal in two weeks.

Before the goals Hartlepool had looked fairly comfortable without really troubling the West Ham goal. Their best chance of the half came from a header that Parker just managed to clear off the line.

In the second half West Ham always looked in control. Hartlepool came close only once in the half when Liddle's header from eight yards forced an instinctive save from Green.

However as the half progressed West Ham looked more and more in control and looked comfortable for their victory.

Hartlepool v West Ham - Live Streaming

Today's game is live on ITV1.

LiveFooty have a SopCast stream and a TVU Player stream of today's game.

West Ham Gossip

The Sun claim West Ham have signed Savio Nsereko for £9 million and say the player will be unveiled on Monday.

The Independent repeat the rumour that Sp*rs are after Carlton Cole but West Ham have rejected their £8 million offer.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sp#rs Bid for Cole

According to The Daily Mail Sp#rs have made an £8 million bid for Carlton Cole. Sp#rs obviously don't believe Duxbury when he says West Ham won't do business with them.

The paper say the bid has been rejected but that Sp#rs may now offer Bent as part of the deal.

Elsewhere the KGB's Evening Standard say that West Ham are in advanced negotiations to sign Savio Nsereko from Brescia. They claim it is likely the player will be unveiled as a West Ham player early next week.

The Mirror claim it is already a done deal. They say West Ham have smashed their transfer record and have signed the player for £10 million.

Lawro Predicts a West Ham Win

Lawro is actually predicting a win for West Ham this weekend. He says that West Ham will play a strong team against Hartlepool. He says we can afford to because we are "comfortable in the league at the moment."

However Lawro isn't overly confident that we can beat a team two divisions below us and predicts a narrow 1-2 win.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

West Ham Bid for Watson

Sky Sports claim West Ham have made an offer for Crystal Palace's Ben Watson. Sky say that Middlesbrough agreed a fee with Palace for Watson on Wednesday but that news of Boro's bid being accepted has triggered interest from West Ham, Fulham, Blackburn and Wigan.

Sky say that Watson is now expected to listen to what is available from the five clubs before deciding where he will go.

West Ham have obviously been outbid for Watson because Neill Warnock has confirmed they have accepted another offer for the player and that it isn't from West Ham or Fulham.

Reports are suggesting that Wolves are close to completing the loan signing of Nigel Quashie, where he would join fellow West Ham loanee Kyel Reid. Quashie has just come back from a two month loan spell with Birmingham.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

West Ham Show Interest in Nsereko

Savio Nsereko's agent has confirmed that West Ham have shown interest in the 19 year old winger but insists no bids have been made yet.

"There are a few clubs currently knocking on the door and asking about his situation and West Ham is one of them," he said.

"We have not started negotiations yet. The former general manager of Brescia (Gianluca Nani) now works at West Ham and therefore he knows him."

"Savio can be a big, big player. Zola has a great reputation with developing young players so that is in West Ham’s favour."

Elsewhere, it looks like Julien Faubert could get his wish in securing a move back to France. The player claims that West Ham and Lyon are in negotiation over a move,

"I am crossing my fingers - the two clubs are in talks," Faubert told Aujourd'hui Sport.

"Lyon would really be great. I would rediscover Ligue 1 and France but also the Champions League and the eyes of the national team coach. Because my aim still remains the 2010 World Cup.

"I really hope this is going to sort itself out.

Sky Sports claim that Lyon are keen to take Faubert on a six month loan.

Cole for England

According to The Times Fabio Capello is considering naming Carlton Cole in the England squad to play against Spain in Seville on February 11. Cole has scored five goals in as many games and seems to have impressed the England manager.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

West Ham Lose Out on Osvaldo

Supposed West Ham target Osvaldo has completed a move from Fiorentina to Bologna. It was rumoured that West Ham were keen to sign the player on loan until the end of the season.

Lyon have talked about their interest in signing Julien Faubert,

"Faubert is a player that is capable of getting our attention," said Bernard Lacombe. "The right full-back position is our priority."

Gianfranco Zola however has said that he would like to keep Faubert,

"I believe in him and he can be an important player for us. If he wants to stay, then I would like to keep him."

West Ham Make £10 million Bid for Striker

According to The Independent West Ham have made a £10 million bid for 19 year old, Serie B striker Savio Nsereko.

The German striker currently plays for Brescia and is apparently highly rated by Gianfranco Zola and technical director Gianluca Nani, who was previously at Brescia.

The Independent claim that West Ham have also been in talks with 23-year-old Daniel Pablo Osvaldo, to take him on loan from Fiorentina until the end of the season, with an option to acquire the former Italian Under-21 international, for around £7m in the summer.

Meanwhile The Daily Mail say Newcastle are about to bid £2 million for Lucas Neill. Newcastle withdrew their interest in Neill at the end of last week when West Ham more or less accused the club of trying to tap up their captain. The Mail claim fresh injuries have forced Newcastle into a rethink.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bellamy Signs for City

Craig Bellamy has signed a four-and-a-half year deal with Man City for an undisclosed fee (believed to be around £14 million).

In two seasons at West Ham Craig Bellamy played 24 league games for the club and scored 7 goals.

West Ham United CEO Scott Duxbury said,

"We wish Craig well for the future and thank him for his efforts. We had refused him permission to talk to Tottenham last week and were determined to keep him despite repeated interest from them and Manchester City. However, on Friday, he again made it clear to the manager and myself that he wanted to move on.

"Late on Sunday night, Gianfranco and I met and he said it was in the best interests to accept the player's request to leave and therefore Manchester City's bid. I agreed with this so that we could focus our energies on bringing in exciting players who want to play for the club and who will improve the squad.

West Ham Monday Rumours

Everyone seems agreed that West Ham have agreed to sell Bellamy to City and that the player is in Manchester today agreeing personal terms and undergoing a medical.

So how will Zola spend the cash?

The Sun claim that West Ham will use some of the Craig Bellamy money to fund a £5m bid for Cardiff midfielder Joe Ledley.

The Times believe West Ham are considering Pablo Daniel Osvaldo as a replacement for Bellamy. Osvaldo would cost West Ham £7m from Fiorentina.

The Telegraph say Craig Bellamy's last act as a West Ham player will be to receive a fine from the club for the way he threw his toys out of the pram.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

West Ham Accept City Offer for Bellamy

According to the BBC (Match of the Day) West Ham today received increased offers from Man City and Tottenham for Craig Bellamy. However Scott Duxbury said West Ham would not do business with Tottenh#m.

West Ham have instead accepted a lower offer from Man City and Bellamy will be travelling to Manchester tomorrow to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical.

The Times say Zola has been told he can spend the proceeds from Bellamy's sale in the transfer market (although elsewhere in the very same article they claim West Ham have to sell Bellamy to reduce their bank overdraft by £10 million this month). The Times claim West Ham are considering Pablo Osvaldo as a replacement after the former Italy Under 21 striker was told that he can leave Fiorentina if they receive a £7 million transfer fee.

Bellamy's Leaving Present

Championship Ground GuidesI hear the rest of the West Ham first team have clubbed together to buy Craig Bellamy this excellent Guide to the Coca Cola Championship Grounds.

The team thought long and hard about an appropriate present. For a few days they were considering a golf club but eventually decided he would get most use from a guide to the grounds in what used to be the English First Division.

Update: After tonight's developments I understand the players are heading back to the shops to see if they can exchange Bellamy's guide to English Championship grounds for a bench warmer.

West Ham 3 Fulham 1

The first half was all about West Ham players, past and present (and partly about one who didn't turn up). The first of the ex-Hammers to make an impression was Pantsil. Seven minutes into this game Pantsil tried to chest a ball back to his own keeper and Di Michele nipped in, rounded the keeper and scored.

West Ham then looked comfortable and even looked like they might extend their lead until Konchesky scored from a stunning 30 yard effort that flew straight into the top left corner of the goal.

Apart from a late cynical foul by Pantsil on Ilunga, for which he was booked, there wasn't much else of excitement in the first half.

In the second half Fulham were looking comfortable and were even beginning to dominate play when in the 58th minute the ball was pumped long by West Ham. Konchesky had an age to clear the ball but dawdled on the ball. Cole nicked the ball off his toes, ran into the box where Konchesky brought him, down. Noble smashed the ball into the back of the net, with Shwarzer diving the wrong way.

In the 62nd minute Cole lashed a shot just wide of the left hand post from 35 yards. West Ham then took control of the game. In the 75th minute Collison intercepted a Fulham pass in his own half, passed quickly to Di Michele, Di Michele then picked out Cole's run into the area and Cole slotted home from 10 yards.

So Di Michele scored one and set up another. Bellamy on the other hand wants to leave a club eighth in the league for the team right at the bottom - mug.

West Ham vs Fulham - Live Streaming

Today's game is live on Sky, which means there are also lots of live streams of the game.

The best Flash player stream I've found is here.

IraqGoals (Password 2500) have a live stream of today's game in a Flash player. The last two West Ham games that they have streamed however have both gone off air in the middle of broadcast.

FSIcrew have a lot of links to streams on all the different formats.

LiveFooty have a Sopcast stream, a TVUPlayer stream and a TVAnts stream.

Radio 5 has live commentary of the game.

West Ham Sunday Gossip

The News of the World publish 'leaked' documents that show how West Ham terminated Tevez's 'third party' clauses.

Man City have upped their bid for Craig Bellamy to £14 million (various).

The Sunday Express claim Sunderland's wanted list includes £3.5m-rated West Ham defender James Collins.

The Sunday Mirror say that West Ham lead the race for Brescia prodigy Savio Nserenko and could move for Sweden Under-21 star Mikael Lustig. Lustig is a replacement for Lucas Neill who 'is certain to leave Upton Park'.

West Ham Defence Against FA

Finally West Ham have begun to use the media in defence of the endless propaganda campaign waged by Sheffield Utd. Today's News of the World publishes a number of documents which show how West Ham terminated the controversial third party agreement with Carlos Tevez.

Of course they do not prove that West Ham did not then give 'oral cuddles' to MSI claiming that they would hold to the original agreement. What I don't understand is when exactly 'oral cuddles' become a valid agreement under contract law.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

West Ham vs Fulham - The Predictions

It looks like Craig Bellamy has gone on strike, so the big question for West Ham is who will partner Cole up front. Will Zola give Dyer a start and play with one up front or will Di Michele, Tristan or Sears get a start.

For Fulham midfielder and driving force Jimmy Bullard will be out with a hip injury.

Lawro is sitting firmly on the fence for this one. He says both teams are on form at the moment so it is too close to call. I can't remember the last time Lawro predicted West Ham to win.

Lawro says it will be a 1-1 draw

Sky point out that Fulham are unbeaten in nine games and West Ham have only lost twice in nine. However Sky point out that Fulham have only scored twice on the road this season and have not won once.

Sky predict a West Ham 2-1 win

Setanta point to the fact that four of Fulham's last seven league games have been 0-0 draws, and two of the other three were score draws. You can see where this is going ...

Setanta predict a 0-0 draw

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dirty 'Arry's Game

It is about time the FA and the Premier League acted against the blatent tapping up being carried out by Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs have already annoyed Portsmouth, Middlesbrough and Sunderland this month with moves for their players but in tapping up Bellamy Tottenham have gone way beyond just bending the rules.

Despite being told that Craig Bellamy was not for sale Tottenham held a meeting with Bellamy on Thursday afternoon, according to The Mail (Thursday evening according to The Independent). When Bellamy was subsequently told by West Ham he did not have permission to talk to other clubs he then stormed out of training and, it is rumoured, is now refusing to play for the club.

Harry Redknapp claims he is innocent of tapping up Bellamy,

"I haven't done anything wrong. If Craig Bellamy says he wants to go to Tottenham because someone has told him we've made an offer then that's up to him. It's not my fault."

However holding a meeting with another team's player is about as clear a case of tapping-up as you can get. For the player then to refuse to play for his current club is very, very suspicious. I wonder where that idea came from Harry?

Now let's see how quickly the Premier League launch their investigation into Tottenham Hotspur.

Zola Admits Difficulties With Bellamy

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola has said that the situation regarding Craig Bellamy is ‘difficult’.

Speaking to Setanta Sports News said,

"What can I do about it? As far as I am concerned, I want to keep him – and the club want to keep him. But if a player wants to go it is difficult."

"At the moment, he is a West Ham player ... However, I do not know if he will play on Sunday [against Fulham]. We will see what happens."

"It is a club matter. What I have to do is focus on is the game."

Bellamy Storms Out of Training

The Mail is now reporting that Craig Bellamy has stormed out of a training session, upset at not being able to move clubs.

"Craig Bellamy looks set to leave West Ham after angrily storming out of the club's Chadwell Heath training ground."

The Evening Standard also say,

"the Welsh international told officials that he wanted to discuss a deal with Harry Redknapp and, when permission was denied, stormed out of the club's Chadwell Heath training ground.It would seem unlikely that he will now play in Sunday's match at home to Fulham after not taking part in today's training session. "

Setanta are running an interview with Zola in which Zola says,

"At the moment he is a West Ham player. What happens in the next few days I don't know."

Which does suggest there is some truth to the rumours.

Meanwhile it is being reported that Sheikh Mansour has told friends that Kaka has agreed to join Man City from AC Milan in a world-record transfer deal. This is superb news for the English Championship who now can't wait until next season.

Apparently they are already preparing their adverts, announcing that "The best player in the world plays in the English Championship."

Bellamy Offered a New Contract

So far there seems to have been little official response from West Ham to the rumour that Craig Bellamy has handed in a transfer request.

However Setanta say that a West Ham spokesperson has said,

"We can confirm that Craig Bellamy has been offered a new contract. We can also confirm that he has no permission to talk to other clubs, including Spurs and Manchester City."

So not exactly a denial that Bellamy has asked for a move.

Bellamy Hands in Transfer Request

Despite The Mail last night claiming West Ham had agreed to sell Bellamy to Sp@rs for £12 million they (and the rest of the media) are now claiming that West Ham have turned down that offer and are refusing to let Bellamy to leave the club.

Sky say,

"Bellamy was offered a new contract by the club on Thursday, but turned down the extension after talks with chief executive Scott Duxbury.

He also asked Duxbury to be allowed to leave the Hammers for the club's London rivals, but his request was knocked back.

This week The Mail have claimed West Ham were greedy and holding out for a ludicrous fee for Bellamy, they then claimed we had agreed to sell him, they now claim we are refusing to sell him.

I guess one of these scenarios could be true. This is The Mail's new school of journalism - throw enough shit and eventually you will hit the target.

West Ham Agree Fee for Bellamy

The Daily Mail say West Ham have agreed a £12 million package with Sp~rs for Craig Bellamy. They claim Bellamy was in talks with Sp~rs last night.

The Mail also claim that Man City are expected to match the offer, leaving Bellamy with a choice of clubs.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Don't Tap Up Neill

West Ham issued the following official statement this evening:

"West Ham United would like to make it clear that Lucas Neill is a contracted West Ham United player and that we have received no approach from any club for his services including Newcastle United.

We are astonished by reports today that a Premier League manager has claimed contact with one of our contracted players.

As stated on 31 December by CEO Scott Duxbury, talks over a new contract with Lucas Neill - who remains committed to West Ham United - are due to be held in due course when appropriate for all parties.

So in other words, "We know that someone has been tapping up one of our players and we are not happy about it".

This lead Newcastle United to release this following official statement:

"With regard to Lucas Neill, West Ham United has made it clear he is a player they value as a highly important member of their squad and who they have no desire to sell.

“Newcastle United respect West Ham’s position and will therefore not be pursuing the matter.

In other words, "We admit it. Please don't report us"

Newcastle Bid for Neill

It is being widely reported that Newcastle are about to launch a £2 million bid for West Ham captain Lucas Neill.

Neill has just six months left on his contract and is reportedly one of the highest earners at the club so any bid might prove tempting.

Kyel Reid has joined Wolverhampton Wanderers until the end of the season. Reid has only just returned from a loan spell at Blackpool, where he made seven appearances.

Boa Morte to Stay at West Ham

The Express are reporting that Luis Boa Morte's proposed £1m move from West Ham to Hull City has fallen through after the forward failed to agree personal terms.

It seems that West Ham may be stifled in their bid to reduce the wage bill at the club precisely because they pay too high wages.

The Mail Campaign Against West Ham

It seems that West Ham have turned down a third offer from Man City for Craig Bellamy.

The Mail say that it is "understood" that City have had bids of £12million for Wales striker Bellamy and £10m for midfielder Parker turned down. Now rather than report that West Ham have continually insisted that the two players are not for sale The Mail are reporting this story as if West Ham have an obligation to sell their players to Man City and are now just being greedy.

They report that "Manchester City (are) losing patience", that "Manchester City could walk away ... as they become increasingly exasperated" and "they are not frightened to walk away from ludicrous demands."

I understand that the failure of West Ham to spontaneously combust causes no end of consternation at The Mail but where does it say we have to sell our players to other clubs.

If The Mail were not so biased against West Ham they might not have missed the real news story here. The real story isn't West Ham's greed but City's inability to sign quality players despite their apparent endless wealth.

To keep their fans happy the club made a ludicrous bid to sign Kaka for £100 million knowing full well the offer would fail or if it was successful the player would never agree to play for them. Now every other club in the world know that City are prepared to pay silly money.

So to sign players City are going to have pay silly money.

Perhaps The Mail are upset because when City had a £9.5 million offer rejected for Bellamy they ludicrously claimed the move would be "wrapped up soon for around £10 million." Don't they get bored with being endlessly proved wrong.

West Ham Offered Bent

According to The Independent Sp#rs have offered West Ham Darren Bent for Craig Bellamy.

I wonder if anyone has consulted Bent about a move to West Ham.

The Independent also claim that West Ham are set to reject any bids below £15 million for Bellamy. If anyone makes a bid of £15 million the board will then "put it to manager Gianfranco Zola who, ultimately, will decide which players are bought and sold at the club."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Faubert Blows it Big Time

I think Julien Faubert is showing an incredible amount of disloyalty to West Ham. The club paid his wages for a year whilst he was injured. Now he has missed a couple of game because of his own poor performances and he throws a hissy fit.

Here's what he told French radio station, RMC,

Zola has said he relies on me, but I don’t see anything coming. I didn’t play against Newcastle and I don’t know what he is up to.

“Right now my agent is discussing with clubs. Playing for a club such as Lyon is my priority to re-launch my international career. But the problem is that my selling price is very high.

It's about time Faubert did some talking on the pitch.

West Ham Want Bojinov

West Ham are interested in buying Man City's Valeri Bojinov, according to Valeri Bojinov.

"Two days ago, Zola called me on my mobile and told me that he wants me in West Ham," Bojinov said.

"I answered that I feel great in Manchester City and don't want to leave the team. I'm happy the City management values me. The only thing I want is to be healthy again, so that I can prove myself.

"Mark Hughes told me that Zola wants me but City made it perfectly clear that they don't want to sell me."

This does raise the question of whether West Ham have been considering a swap deal fo Craig Bellamy, who Man City have already made two bids for.

It is widely being reported in the papers this morning that Herita Ilunga has become a target for Liverpool, who are going to hijack the player from West Ham. I just wonder if this rumour has started with Ilunga's agent, who a couple of weeks ago was claiming that West Ham were on the verge of offering the player a permanent contract.

Besides Ilunga's agent revealed that West Ham "have an option to sign him until April." So it seems Liverpool couldn't sign Ilunga yet anyway.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

West Ham Close to Selling Boa Morte

Hull City manager Phil Brown has said he is hopeful of completing the signing of Luis Boa Morte by the end of the week. The BBC are saying that a fee has been agreed with West Ham for Boa Morte.

The sale of Boa Morte will leave West Ham without a recognised left midfielder.

The Daily Mail have a headline that says "Sp#rs and Hammers Battle for Bellamy". However considering that Craig Bellamy is already a West Ham player it looks like The Mail has just made another of its daily errors. The article then goes on to talk about Man City and Sp#rs bidding for Bellamy so I think you can see what their headline should have read.

Anyway the article says that West Ham have rejected a bid from City for Bellamy of £9.5m but the deal "should be wrapped up soon for around £10m". That's right The Mail believe West Ham are holding out for £0.5 million. Muppets

Monday, January 12, 2009

Quashie to Newcastle - Hee..Hee..

Isn't it great to know that there is at least one club in the Premier League that is worse run than West Ham?

How else can you explain the fact that Newcastle are set to buy Nigel Quashie? The Daily Mirror claim that Joe Kinnear wants Quashie, who is available for around £500,000.

Meanwhile it looks like Birmingham are about to renew their interest in Calum Davenport, now he is not moving to Bolton.

"I will have to pose the question to (managing director) Karren Brady, she had been talking with West Ham United and we left our proposal with them," Alex McLeish told the Birmingham Mail.

West Ham Goals on Your Mobile

24-7 Football lent me a Nokia mobile phone with £20 credit (thanks guys) to check out their Premier League goals on your mobile phone service.

Here's a video of some Barcelona highlights:

The poor quality of the video is my dodgy camera work rather than the video that was downloaded to the phone.

I wasn't expecting to like the service much but I actually really like it. The service costs £5 a month or 50p a clip. So for 50p it is possible to download West Ham goals to your mobile phone.

Goals are unavailable between 3-5pm on Saturday's (due to EU regulations), but match highlights are available from 5.15pm.

If my mobile phone wasn't older than the ark I think I would actually use this most weeks to download West Ham goals.

If you want to check it out then visit 24-7 Football to get a link for your phone.

Disclaimer: 24-7 Football haven't paid me for this review. However they did lend me a phone with £20 free credit to review their service. They made no stipulation that I had to review the service or that I had to like it.

West Ham Reject Another Bellamy Bid

According to Sky Sports West Ham have rejected another offer for Craig Bellamy from Man City. The new bid, Sky claim, was for £9 million.

Meanwhile Gianfranco Zola says his substitution of Bellamy on Saturday was merely precautionary and the striker will be fit for West Ham's next game.

Jimmy Walker has extended his loan spell at Colchester United for an additional month. The 35-year-old goalkeeper will stay with the League One side until the middle of February.

Walker has made six appearances for Colchester so far.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

West Ham to Sign Amarilla and Aguilar

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola wants to sign two Paraguayan youngsters after their current trial with the club. Nelson Amarilla, 20, a defender, and Juan Aguilar, 19, a midfielder, both play for Guarani in Paraguay but have had a week of training with West Ham.

The Daily Mail claim that Zola is keen to sign both players,

"The project is to make a team capable of a high level," said the West Ham manager. "We cannot compete by spending £200million so we have to do it through getting young players.

Not all the time will we be looking abroad. We have good young English players here like Freddie Sears and Mark Noble and we are trying to improve them."

West Ham in the Sunday Papers

The News of the World say West Ham have turned down offers from Coventry and Watford to take teen stars Freddie Sears and James Tomkins on loan.

The Daily Star claim that Manchester City will increase Scott Parker's wages by £22,000 a week if they can prise the England international from West Ham.

The Sunday Mirror say Arsenal are poised to sign Jack Collison.

The People say that West Ham want £2million for Lucas Neill after putting his Upton Park future at risk by offering him a cut-price contract.

The Mail claim West Ham are now under the control of an unnamed bank who will make the final decision on whether and to whom the club will be sold.

Sky Sports claim that West Ham midfielder Julien Faubert has admitted he is flattered to be linked with a move to Lyon.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Newcastle 2 West Ham 2

A fairly even and free flowing first half was punctuated by goals from Owen and Bellamy.

In the 19th minute Owen picked up the ball unmarked 25 yards out and had a free run to the edge of the area where he shot into the bottom left of the West Ham goal. Green got a hand to it but couldn't keep it out.

Ten minutes later Bellamy got the equaliser after Parker played him clear. Bellamy chipped the advancing Given from close range.

With a few minutes left in the half Noble was denied when Given saved his shot with his feet. The ball rebounded to Bellamy out wide, who could only find the side of the net with his shot.

At the start of the second half a combination of the referee and Given managed to keep Newcastle in the game. Seconds from the restart Bellamy was puled down in the area. It was the clearest penalty you are likely to see all season but the referee decided somehow not to give it. Then Cole, Collison and Noble all had shots in the matter of a couple of minutes, all of which were saved by Given.

However in the 54th minute Cole did beat Given. Ilunga pumped the ball forward from the West Ham half. The Newcastle defence stood and watched as Cole ran onto the ball in the area and fired past Given from 7 yards.

In the 67th minute Lucas Neill scored a great own goal with a slashed left foot but the referee blew his whistle and denied the goal for a reason known only to himself - maybe to make up for the denied penalty.

In the 78th minute Duff crossed from the left and Carroll climbed above the West Ham defence to head home the equaliser for Newcastle. Straight after the restart Taylor should have been sent off for a deliberate kick at Cole but again the referee bottled the decision.

Late on Newcastle had a couple of chances to win the game but West Ham held on to make it six games unbeaten away from home.

Newcastle vs West Ham - Live Streaming

LiveFooty have a TVUPlayer stream of the game.

FSICrew have links to lots of different streams of the game in different formats.

West Ham Trial for Zoro

Benfica defender Marco Zoro claims he is due to undertake a five-day trial at West Ham.

"I will spend five days on trial at West Ham," Zoro said.

"At the moment I am in the UK, but I am not supposed to say anything else at the moment. Benfica? I don't know what is happening. I have never been given an opportunity to prove myself. The Premier League would be a dream for me, so let's wait and see what happens. I will talk more next week."

Kicking West Ham Whilst We're Down

The media have decided today is kick West Ham whilst we're down day.

Even though no-one knows who will own West Ham by the summer The Express have a world 'exclusive' that Zola will have to sell the entire squad in the summer and rebuild the squad from scratch. The Express say that West Ham have told them that they are confident of winning the latest inquiry but The Express say that makes no difference and evyone from Doris the tea lady up will be sold.

Why they think this is anyone's guess.

The Guardian say that Craig Bellamy is holding out for a move to Tottenham in face of Man City interest. Psst Guardian have a look who Defoe has signed for.

The Times are reporting that Fulham and Wigan are waiting in the wings to sue West Ham for lost prize money - the two bob muggy clubs that they are - if West Ham lose this latest inquiry.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Newcastle vs West Ham - The Predictions

For Newcastle Nicky Butt is suspended but Danny Guthrie is fit to play after recovering from flu and Charles N'Zogbia is expected to shake off a dead leg.

For West Ham Scott Parker is available again after suspension. Kieron Dyer is also available and should get some minutes on the pitch against his previous club.

Lawro ignores the form that has seen West Ham unbeaten away from home in five games. He notes that West Ham won twice over Christmas and Newcastle lost twice. He therefore predicts West Ham to lose.

Lawro predicts a 2-1 loss for West Ham

Sky acknowledges the form is with West Ham but say that Newcastle were unbeaten in six before losing to Liverpool and Wigan.

Sky predicts a 2-2 draw

Setanta note that Owen likes to score against West Ham. He has scored 11 goals in 13 Premier League games against West Ham. They also note that West Ham have not won in any of their last seven trips to St James' Park. However Setanta believe that Craig Bellamy could be the key player against one of his previous clubs.

Setanta predicts a 2-2 draw

Bowyer Joins Birmingham on Loan

Lee Bowyer has joined Birmingham City on a loan deal until the end of the season. 

Alex McLeish said of the signing,

"Lee's a dynamic player and I want to bring a dynamic look back to the team. Roy Aitken, one of my assistants, has worked with him at Leeds and knows him as an attacking midfielder but he also knows that Lee can give a lot to the team as well."

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Perhaps Some Good News, Maybe ... Hopefully

Most of the newspapers seem to be hinting that West Ham are screwed because of this new inquiry. Not least because it means the owners will find it almost impossible to sell the club now.

However The Telegraph seem to think there is some doubt over whether the inquiry will find against West Ham,

"League sources say the decision to look again at the issue was taken on the advice of legal officials at the Premier League and the FA, but there is scepticism as to whether the inquiry will reach a definitive conclusion. The League also remain convinced that West Ham met the legal requirements of the rulebook by terminating the third-party deal.

That prompted MSI to sue, and West Ham eventually settled out-of-court for £2 million, a move that satisfied the League that the club's assurances were genuine.

Any ruling that undermined that view would be catastrophic for confidence in the leadership of the League."

This is the only bit of positive spin to the story I can find. I also doubt it's true - if the League 'remain convinced' that West Ham met the legal requirements why are they holding another inquiry - surely they must actually think West Ham lied.

Of course if it is true and the inquiry don't find West Ham guilty in having lied to the league the FA will find it very hard to award compensation against West Ham for supposedly doing that.

The Mail are suggesting that West Ham will face a points deduction next season if found guilty by this new inquiry.

Here we go again ...

The FA and Premier League have decided to launch a fresh inquiry into Carlos Tevez' eligibility to play for West Ham at the end of the 2007 season.

A joint statement for the FA and the EPL said,

"The joint inquiry will examine whether the conduct of West Ham United immediately after the independent disciplinary commission's decision of 27 April 2007 amounted to further breaches of Premier League or FA rules."

A West Ham statement said,

"West Ham United will co-operate fully with the joint inquiry convened by the FA and Premier League. We have acted in good faith throughout the various inquiries and investigations into this matter and fulfilled the undertakings given to the Premier League following the initial penalty.

"We have nothing to hide and will ensure that this is once again reflected in our evidence to the FA and Premier League.

A West Ham Fans' statement said,

"FFS - enough already!"

My very limited understanding of this is that it all comes down to what physical evidence exists that West Ham lied to the Premier League when it said it had torn up the original Tevez contract.

The independent panel appointed by the FA came to the conclusion that West Ham had told Kia Joorabchian that the contract was still in place even though West Ham told the league the opposite.

On what evidence was this decision based? Was it just on the spoken evidence of Kia's lawyer Graham Shear or did he also submit written evidence.

As a club West Ham have to wonder if the announcement of this fresh inquiry has been deliberately timed to cause the maximum damage to the club. It comes at the beginning of a transfer window when it is well known West Ham are having to convince its star players that it worth staying at the club.

At the same time the owners are actively trying to find buyers for West Ham.

The timing of this fresh inquiry will therefore cause the maximum damage to West Ham whether they are exonerated by the inquiry or not.

Etherington Leaves West Ham

Matthew Etherington has joined Stoke from West Ham for an undisclosed fee.

Etherington was West Ham's longest-serving player. He signed in August 2003 and was Hammer of the Year in his first season. Despite Etherington's well documented problems off the field during his time at West Ham he will be remembered fondly by a lot of fans, not least for his play-off semi-final goal against Ipswich.

Davenport Deal

Bolton boss Gary Megson was a bit enigmatic when asked about the move of Calum Davenport to the club.

"We've spoken to West Ham about Calum and there is an agreement," he said, "but there's not just one player we're looking at. So that one remains to be seen whether it actually goes through."

So it looks like West Ham and Bolton have agreed on a fee but that the deal isn't certain yet.

Meanwhile The Daily Mirror say that Davenport told Zola, "I'm not f*****g playing for you," when he was dropped to the bench for the Stoke game.

Davenport was suspended for two weeks and fined two weeks' wages by the club but Zola has vowed that he won't play for West Ham again.

Boa to Hull, Bowyer to Brum

The Independent are reporting that Luis Boa Morte is moving to Hull in a deal worth £2 million. They say the deal 'may' be finalised today.

The Birmingham Mail say that Lee Bowyer has been spotted at Birmingham City's training ground this lunchtime where it is thought he held talks with the management team. The Mail say the fee will be around £1 million.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

West Ham Transfer Rumours

The Daily Mirror claim that Matthew Upson has said he will only quit West Ham for a Champions League club. Which they say clears a way for a possible move to Arsenal. However it is quite surprising that the Mirror don't actually have any direct quotes. If Upson did say this why not quote him?

Elsewhere most of the papers claim that the departures of Etherington and Davenport will be concluded today.

The Times claim West Ham are going to make a double swoop on Series B, signing 17 year old midfielder Bartosz Salamon for 1.5 million Euros and young striker, Savio Nsereko.

Davenport & Ehterington Save West Ham

The Independent say that the sale of Matthew Etherington to Stoke City for £4m and Calum Davenport to Bolton Wanderers for £3m in deals is expected to be completed today or tomorrow.

The Independent also claim that the £7 million raised mean that the club do not need to sell any other players as "any savings that had to be made have now been completed."

So we will see no more West Ham transfer rumours in The Independent for the next 24 days then.

Bellamy Keen to Leave West Ham

The Guardian today are featuring an article on West Ham in which they claim to have spoken to an executive close to Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson.

The executive says that West Ham might not be sold,

"We don't need to sell the club – other alternatives in liaison with our banks can be examined about how else to proceed if we need to. We could hold out for a year or two years. It is important to know we do not need to sell."

Which probably means that he does need to sell but doesn't want to accept just any offer.

The executive also said that the club are also keen to keep hold of Upson, Parker and Bellamy, "though the club accept that Bellamy is the most likely of the trio to leave as he is keen to depart."

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

West Ham FA Tie Live

West Ham's FA Cup fourth-round tie against Hartlepool United will be screened live by ITV1.The game will be played at 12.40pm on Saturday 24th January.

Two Players Leaving West Ham

KUMB are reporting that Matthew Etherington and Calum Davenport will be sold before the end of the week. The website claims that Etherington is a £4million target for Stoke City and that Calum Davenport will complete a £3million move to Bolton Wanderers.

KUMB say both players have been transfer listed by West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola.

West Ham After Nsereko

West Ham are interested in buying Savio Nsereko, one of the world’s best young strikers, according to the player’s agent. The agent claims he has spoken to Nani about his player,

We talked about Savio no more than a week ago. In those talks Gianluca confirmed his will, and that of Zola’s, to bring the player to West Ham."

"I believe that Savio will stay in Brescia until the end of the season, but there is a possibility that he could be bought in January and left in Brescia.

West Ham to sign Ilunga (or not)

Setanta are reporting that Herita Ilunga is soon to sign a permanent deal with West Ham. They quote the player's agent Daniel Striani as saying that West Ham intend to use their buy out clause.

However if you read the full text of what the agent says it is clear that there is as yet no agreement for West Ham to sign the player.

His situation is crystal clear: Herita is on loan from Toulouse to West Ham, who have an option to sign him until April. What I can reveal to you is that West Ham fully intend to use their buy-out clause, but I can’t tell on what day or at what time.

As far as Herita is concerned, he is happy to stay at the club and at the moment he is waiting for them to use their option to sign him on a permanent basis. He could commit his future to the London club in January, but until that day no meeting has been arranged with West Ham’s directors.

West Ham have the situation under control and are free to do what they want. As far as we are concerned, Herita’s agents have not contacted other clubs who could be interested in signing him because we respect West Ham.

But of course if they don’t make a move to convert his loan deal into a permanent one, then we will adopt a different attitude. The club’s economical situation doesn’t worry me at all, I’m sure they will be able to face the challenge. And they have important players in their squad that could help them raise some cash if needed.

West Ham Reject Upson Bid

The media are reporting that West Ham have rejected an £11 million offer from Aston Villa for Matthew Upson. Sky are reporting that Villa will come back with a better offer.

West Ham have now fended off offers for Parker, Bellamy and Upson. It is becoming clear that West Ham are trying to hold onto their better players and will only let them go for a huge amount.

Or maybe not - Martin O'Neill has ridiculed the suggestions that he made an approach for Upson,

"There is not an ounce of truth in it whatsoever," O’Neill told the Villa official website.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Parker Not for Sale

Sky Sports, who yesterday had an exclusive that Scott Parker was close to agreeing personal terms with Manchester City, today have an exclusive that West Ham have told them Parker is not for sale.

Sky say,

"With Parker known to be one of the club's top earners, and West Ham struggling to cope in the current financial climate, it seemed the club would be ready to let the former Chelsea and Newcastle man move on.

But now The Hammers have told Sky Sports News that Parker will not be leaving the club."

Or in other words - we completely ballsed this story up.

Don't worry there's only another 26 days of this.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Parker in Talks With Man City

Sky Sports News are reporting that Scott Parker is close to agreeing terms with Man City and his transfer will be completed within 48 hours. The rumours suggest that Parker will be sold for £12 million.

The Guardian are also now reporting on this,

"A £12m deal for Parker was close to being finalised last night and if, as expected, the former Chelsea player agrees personal terms, it will take Mark Hughes's spending to more than £100m since he was appointed manager seven months ago."

The sale of Parker could obviously have a big effect on the desire of Upson and Bellamy to stay at West Ham. Not to mention Green and Zola.

The board will obviously say that Zola agreed the deal. However Zola did not attend yesterday's post match conference and Clarke, in his place said,

"I would hope and expect them (West Ham's top players) to still be here this time next week."

I think that clearly states what the management team's position has been on the sale of players.

Whether you think Parker is worth £12 million doesn't really come into it. It is extremely unlikely that a penny of that money is going to be reinvested in the squad by the current owners.

I also think this could be an extremely bad move for Parker. City will no doubt bring in another manager and spend big in the summer. If Parker moves I think he may find himself next season in the same position he found himself at Chelsea - playing reserve team football.

Although Sky are now reporting that Parker's personal terms "will substantially improve his current deal of £70,000 per week should the move be pushed through."

West Ham Get Hartlepool Away

West Ham have been drawn away against Hartlepool Utd in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Hartlepool beat Stoke 2-0 at home in the third round. The game will be played on the weekend starting Saturday 24th January. It will be the first game between the two clubs.

West Ham Sunday Gossip

The Mirror claim West Ham will attempt to use Matthew Upson as bait to land Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner (shurley some mishtake). Zola sees Bendtner as the natural replacement for Bellamy who will be moving to City for £15 million this week.

The News of the World disagree and say Aston Villa are in talks with West Ham to sign Matthew Upson for £10m, but the Hammers want £15m for the defender.

West Ham No.2 Steve Clarke disagrees with both of them. Clarke said after yesterday's game,

"I would hope and expect them to still be here this time next week. The January transfer window is there and you have to put up with it. There's going to be a lot of speculation about players coming and going. We come in every day and try and do what we can.

"Gianfranco is in close contact with Scott Duxbury and technical director Gianluca Nani and so we have an opinion on transfers. But the performance showed how committed the players are. We can talk about speculation in the transfer window all day but it's only speculation.

The People say that West Ham have rejected an £8m bid from Chelsea for Swiss international Valon Behrami. But the midfielder, a £5m buy from Lazio last July, is still set to quit Upton Park this summer. Behrami's agent Alessandro Beltrami said: "We have received offers from Chelsea, Juventus and Sevilla. Valon will probably move to a top club during the summer."

Most of the press are also still linking Bellamy and Parker with City.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Neill at AC Milan

You can see photographs of today's game at Getty Images.

The first picture they are featuring today for 'West Ham' is this picture of Lucas Neill.

The photo is subtitled

"JANUARY 03: Lucas Neill (C), captain of West Ham United, watches on from the stands during a training session at the AC Milan Winter Training Camp at the Al Nasr Sports Club on January 3, 2009 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates."

Anyone know why Neill is in Dubai?

West Ham 3 Barnsley 0

West Ham played well this afternoon to defeat a flu decimated Barnsley team. Zola took the opportunity to rest Upson and Behrami, neither of whom made the squad, and Parker was suspended.

Mark Noble took his starting opportunity well and was the man of the match in the first half. In the 9th minute Noble crossed a free kick into the box and Ilunga shot home from close range. In the 38th minute Noble turned Mounir El Haimour in the box. Haimour took Noble down and Noble converted the penalty.

In the second half Carlton Cole had one amazing Maradona type run, beating half the Barnsley team as he weaved his way into the area. Unfortunately he was unable to convert the opportunity. However in the 68th minute Cole headed a Ilunga goal home from six-yards.

Dyer came on in the 70th minute. He had two good shots. Just missing with his very first touch and hitting the woodwork late on.

You have to love the cup. Chelsea failed to beat Southend at home (1-1) and Man City lost 0-3 at home to Forest. Who would want to move City?

Elsewhere the Leyton Orient vs Sheffield Utd game was suspended because of the weather. It is understood that Sheffield Utd have already filed a claim in the high court against West Ham.

There is a planned one minute's silence in this evening's Preston v Liverpool game in support of the Steven Gerrard is Innocent campaign.

Neill to Blackburn

The Sun say that Blackburn are prepared to take on Lucas Neill, who they claim West Ham are desperate to get off the wage bill.

They say Neill is on £60,00 a week and that Blackburn are offering him £50,000 a week. They don't say why he would want to take a £10,000 a week pay cut.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Dyer to Play Against Barnsley

The BBC say that Kieron Dyer will play tomorrow in West Ham's cup tie with Barnsley. They quote Zola as saying that Dyer would like to play but it would be difficult to play him from the beginning. Therefore if Dyer does feature, it looks like it will be from the bench.

"He's focused and he's very excited to play," said West Ham manager Zola.

"He's been working well in the last few weeks and we will try to get him back because he's an important player. I've seen him training, he's trying very hard and he's got a lot of qualities.

"I know it's been a big injury for him and I know it's frustrating because he's training, training, training and he would like to play. After such a long time out it would be difficult for him to be involved from the beginning."

West Ham Face Nine Point Deduction

According to today's Guardian West Ham have until the 6th March to find new owners, if not Hansa, the West Ham holding company, will probably be declared insolvent by the Icelandic courts.

If that happens The Guardian says that West Ham would then be hit with an immediate nine points deduction by the Premier League. My understanding of the situation, previous to this Guardian story, was that Hansa going into administration was not the same as West Ham going into administration and that West Ham would not be seen as being insolvent just because the holding company was (but in truth I have no real idea).

Sources have told The Guardian that there are as many as nine potential buyers for the club but none are willing to meet Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson's £250 million evaluation of the club. The Guardian says there has been little progress towards a takeover in recent weeks. Their source said,

"Mr Gudmundsson will not accept an unsatisfactory amount, he is prepared to wait for the right offer to come along."

He also said Hansa had options for paying back creditors other than selling West Ham.

Widdowson to Grimsby

West Ham left-back Joe Widdowson has joined Grimsby Town on an initial one-month loan deal.

The 19-year-old defender is expected to go straight into Grimsby's squad for tomorrow's game against Barnet.

Day Two - Neill and Parker on the Radar

The Daily Mail claim that West Ham have offered club captain Lucas Neill to Galatasaray for free. However The Mail say the offer is unlikely to be taken up. Good word that 'unlikely'.

Meanwhile The Times say that West Ham have turned down a combined £15 million pound from City for Parker and Bellamy but are now considering a revised offer for Parker. The Times claim that Parker's £75,000-a-week wages are problematic for West Ham.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

West Ham Open to All Offers

Sky Sports and most of the newspapers are reporting that West Ham chairman Scott Duxbury has said the club will listen to all offers for West Ham players.

The general opinion on West Ham forums this morning is that the media are being a bit unfair to Duxbury, who said that West Ham did not have to sell any of their players but would obviously have to consider the age of a player, his desires and the length of his contract when listening to offers.

However Duxbury's statement clearly stated that West Ham will listen to offers and seemed to indicate that all players have their price.

It could be a long and painful January.

Duxbury Speaks, The Times Interpret

The Times have interpreted West Ham CEO Scott Duxbury's statement yesterday as an open offer to other clubs to come and get Parker, Upson and Bellamy.

Scott Duxbury said yesterday that “Each approach will be considered in terms of fee, fitness, form and where the manager thinks the player is in his career."

The Times interpret this to mean that West Ham are prepared to cash in on Bellamy and Matthew Upson, both 29 and Parker who is 28.

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