Sunday, May 31, 2009

West Ham in the Sunday Papers

There are no great revelations in today' papers:

Lee Bowyer could join Birmingham on a free.

West Ham are interested in Inter Milan teenage striker Mario Balotelli.

West Ham are poised to be taken over by Icelandic bank Straumur.

But we may have made our first signing of the summer! Peter Kurucz, the 20-year-old Ujpest FC keeper who has been on loan at West Ham since January, just might have been signed on a full time contract by West Ham.

Rumours out of Hungary are suggesting that the young keeper has now joined West Ham and the rumours out of West Ham have been suggesting that he has really impressed the coaching staff during his time at West Ham.

However there is no official news on any signing yet.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Green Turns Down West Ham Contract

The Daily Star claim Robert Green has turned down West Ham's latest contract offer. Green has two years left on his current contract but the paper say West Ham have been trying to tie him down to a longer term deal. The Star says that Green wants the club to increase their wages offer and he is not looking to move clubs.

The Daily Mail
, seems to have given up on their claim that Clarke and Zola are off to Chelsea in the summer. Instead they say that Clarke is now being linked with the manager's job at Celtic. The Mail claim that Clarke would be keen on the move.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Balotelli Interested in West Ham

The Sun say that Mario Balotelli is interested in a move to West Ham, after becoming frustrated at his lack of opportunities at Inter Milan. The paper say that West Ham were interested in the young striker during the January transfer window.

Balotelli said,

"There were times when I wanted to play and I would have joined a smaller side in a foreign league rather than sitting around on the bench here.

"But that's just normal and it's part of who I am. If I don't get to play then I want to leave.

"If the club agrees and a big team want me in the future then I would be happy to move abroad and try something different."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

West Ham Video

Here's a video of some of West Ham's best goals this season,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

West Ham in Court Again

A report in The Guardian this morning says that West Ham are facing a claim for £115,000 by an agency who say they brokered the deal between the club and new sponsor, SBOBET. Samson Sport Consultancy lodged a demand for payment at the high court on 24th April over what it alleges is unpaid commission.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Upson & Neill to Stay

Gianfranco Zola is confident that Lucas Neill and Matthew Upson will be at West Ham next season. When asked if Lucas Neill would be leaving the club this summer Zola said,

Hopefully not. I think that in the next few days there will be meetings and something will happen and I am positive it will be something positive.

Zola also dismissed talks that Matthew Upson would be leaving the club,

“I don’t know anything about that. Matthew looks to me that he’s very happy here and he wants to stay and so it shouldn’t be an issue for us.

West Ham Players for England

Robert Green, Matthew Upson and Carlton Cole have all been called up for the England squad for next month's 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Andorra.

England face Kazakhstan away on Saturday 6 June and will play Andorra at Wembley on Wednesday 10 June.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

West Ham 2 Boro 1

A surprisingly languid performance from Boro in the first half made it a bit of a stroll in the park for West Ham. Despite West Ham's own lack of effort it was probably a fair reflection of the half that they went into the break a goal to the good. The goal came from an Ilunga cross across the six yard box in the 32nd minute. The ball eluded the Boro defence and Cole slotted the ball home from seven yards.

Boro came out in the second half with a bit more fire in their bellies and within five minutes of the restart they were on level terms. Tuncay picked the ball up in midfield and strolled with the ball into the West Ham area. He passed to O'Neill to the right of the goal and he struck the ball across the six yard box into the bottom left of the net.

Boro's more attack minded approach however created more space for West Ham to play their passing game. After Boro's equalising goal West Ham began to dominate possession and territory. In the 57th minute, after a good passing move down the left wing, Stanislas shot from 20 yards into the bottom left of the Boro goal.

All in all a good end to the season in the glorious East End sun.

After the game Scott Parker was named Hammer of the Year. Robert Green was runner up.

Jack Collison picked up the Young Player of the Year.

West Ham v Middlesbrough - Live Streaming

Today's game is live on Setanta in England. This should ensure that there are a few live streams around.

Fsi currently have links for TVAnts and a Flash stream. has not yet posted any links but some will be added as kick-off approaches.

Last Game for Hammers

Today could be the last time that Neill, Kovac, Di Michele and Tristan play for West Ham.

The Mirror say West Ham are not prepared to pay the £6 million that Spartak Moscow want for Radoslav Kovac. Kovac will therefore return to the Russian club after his loan deal ends.

Lucas Neill has yet to sign a new contract with the club and his wage demands seem to be a mjor sticking point.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Neill Talks Tomorrow

According to The Sun Lucas Neill is to hold last ditch contract talks with West Ham. The paper says that Neill wants to stay at West Ham as long as they offer him a two year contract at £60,000 a week.

The Sun say West Ham want a longer deal with a lower salary.

The Daily Mail today have a long interview with West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green. Green says he is impressed with what he has seen of Zola this season,

"There has been some upheaval here this season with a change in manager,’ says Green. ‘But after what looked like a real baptism of fire for him, the new manager has
done tremendously well.

‘He’s introduced a new brand of football. Changed the way we play. I think everyone has benefited, including me when it comes to distribution.

‘Now that we are being encouraged to play football, and the guys have the confidence to play the ball, I have been able to release the ball from the hand a lot more."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nani on Savio

The East London Advertiser has an interview with West Ham technical director Nani, who argues that Savio is a player for the future.

"Savio is a young player with a big future. He's still a young boy and he's coming from another country, but we are really confident about him. Savio will be part of our future.

"But he has not had one day of rest during the last year - last summer, he was in the European Under-19 championships, then without any rest he was back at Brescia, then in January he had no time off before coming here. He needs time."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Neill Wanted by Olympiakos

The Mail claim that West Ham captain Lucas Neill is wanted by Greek side Olympiakos. Neill is out of contract in the summer and West Ham want Neill to take a large pay cut if he signs a new contract with the club.

The Mail also say that Everton have shown an interest but his wages demands are too big for them.

Green for England

Matt Hughes of The Times says that Robert Green is in line to start England's World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Andorra, on June 6 and 10. David James has decided to go ahead with shoulder surgery which means that Green could be asked to take his place in goal.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sears to be Loaned Out

Gianfranco Zola has indicated that Freddie Sears will probably be loaned out to another club next season.

"I think that the right thing to do for him will be to go on loan to play," Zola said. "He has worked hard here but has not been playing enough, sometimes ten minutes, sometimes a full game.

"Probably he never got what he wanted. He has improved as a player but he needs to play regularly. Unfortunately here it is difficult for him. Next season he will have the possibility of going on loan and to prove himself.

"Then he is will come back here as we believe that he is an important player for us in future."

Joe Widdowson has signed for Grimsby Town on a three year contract. The young defender spent the second half of the season on loan at the club and as West Ham declined to renew his contract he has signed permanently with Grimsby.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Manager on Monday

In his Manager on Monday column on the West Ham official site Gianfranco Zola is looking forward to next season.

Zola said:

"I am sure that the team will be better and don't forget that we will have Ashton back and that will be a big thing for us. Plus all the players will be better next season."

"There are difficult decisions to be made but I have to take the decisions. And I will do that with the interest of the club to take us forward. When the moment comes I will make them."

In the papers Zola is also quoted as saying that Danny Gabbidon is back in training this week, after a very long injury break.

"This is very, very good news that he will be training with us next week," said Zola.

"He is looking forward to next season, which is good. I am not sure whether he will be on the bench this season as he has been out for such a long time but it will be fantastic to have him train with us."

Friday, May 15, 2009

Everton vs West Ham - The Predictions

Carlton Cole is back in the squad but could well start on the bench after such a lengthy absence. Kieron Dyer (hamstring), Scott Parker (groin) and James Collins (calf) are all still out injured. Everton will be without Mikel Arteta (knee), Phil Jagielka (knee), Victor Anichebe (knee), Tony Hibbert (neck), Nuno Valente (knee) and Yakubu (Achilles).

Lawro thinks that "David Moyes will try to gee up his players for the last home game before the FA Cup final," and that West Ham will 'fall short'.

Lawro predicts a 2-0 West Ham loss

Sky say that West Ham are 'playing some eye-catchingly attractive football and the club hope to reap the rewards at the end of the season.' Everton on the other hand 'have won just once in four Premier League games since their semi-final'.

Sky predict a 1-1 draw

Setanta point to West Ham's poor showing against the top six teams this season. Everton will also be desperate for a home win in their last home game of the season.

Setanta predict a 1-0 West Ham loss

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cole is Back

The official West Ham website says that Carlton Cole has been back in full training this week and will be in Zola's squad to face Everton on Saturday.

Zola said today,

"Carlton is doing very well. He will be in the squad. He is fit and it's good news for us. He might start the game. We will decide on Friday about that but he is definitely in the squad."

West Ham Goal of the Season

The home page of the West Ham official website has a video compilation of the goals listed in this year's Goal of the Season.

The compilation does show some great goals. We may not have scored many goals this season but many of the goals we have scored have been pure gold.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hammer of the Year Award

The West Ham official website will be adding a voting page for Hammer of the Year sometime this afternoon. Fans will have until 10am on Thursday 21st May to vote for their player of year and for the goal of the season.

The award will be presented to the winning player at the home game against Middlesbrough on Sunday 24 May.

Sky say that West Ham were amongst a number of clubs scouting Anderlecht player Lucas Biglia this last weekend. The 23 year old, Argentinian midfielder has just secured an Italian passport and so no longer needs a work permit to play in the Premier League.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Zola Wins Damages from the BBC

The BBC have apologised to West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola and his assistant Steve Clarke and paid undisclosed libel damages for a BBC Radio Five programme that claimed they were planning a move to Chelsea.

During a Radio 5 Live show in February, a contributing journalist, Harry Harris, claimed wrongly that they had both had an interview with the Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich about taking over at Chelsea next season.

The BBC have also published the statement of apology that was read out in court.

Tristan Wants La Liga Return

Setanta say that Diego Tristan wants to return to Spain. Tristan is under contract with West Ham until June 30th but wants to return to La Liga next season.

This topic is back following my last few performances, but there are still two games to go and I do not want to comment,” he said.

It depends on what happens at West Ham ahead of next season and what my family decides. I have already received some offers, but I keep the ambition to return to enjoy my football in the Spanish league.

“My dream is to score 100 goals in La Liga. It would be something exceptional.

The Sun claim that Liverpool have contacted Carlos Tevez's agent as his future at Manchester United remains in doubt.

Monday, May 11, 2009

West Ham's Lack of Goals

Gianfranco Zola has been speaking about West Ham's weaknesses up front and is looking forward to the return to fitness of Carlton Cole,

"That probably has been the weakest link (lack of goals). We are a team that creates a lot of chances but doesn't score as many as it creates.

Di Michele remains a key player. Maybe he doesn't score many goals but he makes the team play very well … when we lost Scott Parker he was the one who was really helping the manoeuvre of the team. He is an important player for us and I am 100 per cent sure about that.

In the last few weeks, Diego Tristan was giving those goals we need. When we have Cole it is a big thing for us. We will see."

Zola also explained why he didn't use Savio duing Saturday's game,

"Savio didn't train all the week and also it is just I made a decision that when the game was nearly finished I wanted to give a young player the possibility to play in the first team. It is as simple as that. Savio is still a player that we trust and believe in and I am sure he will make an impact with West Ham."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Vela to Join West Ham on Loan

The Daily Mirror claim that Arsenal's Carlos Vela is joining West Ham on loan next season. The Mirror say that Arsene Wenger feels that the 20 year old striker will develop under the tutelage of Zola.

West Ham in the Sunday Papers

The News of the World have the startling news that Zola and Clarke have compensation clauses in their contracts, so that if they leave for other clubs West Ham will receive over £3 million. The News of the World have put two and two together and come up with fifteen.

They seem to think that this compensation clause, which every other manager in the Premier League presumably has, means that they could join Chelsea in the summer. Bizarrely, in the very same issue, the NoW also claim that Carlo Ancelloti has signed a pre-contract deal with Chelsea to become their next manager.

The News of the World also claim that Carlos Tevez has said he is leaving Manchester United in the summer but wants to stay in the Premiership.

Other news (for any teams that might be in need of forwards) - the newspapers claim that Darren Bent, Michael Owen and Didier Drogba are all leaving their clubs in the summer.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

West Ham 0 Liverpool 3

The first half provided some great examples of how to gift goals to the opposition. The big difference between the two teams was that Liverpool accepted their gifts and West Ham didn't.

Just 76 seconds into the game Torres played a through ball from just inside the West Ham half and the defence stood and watched as Gerrard ran clear and rounded Green before scoring.

West Ham's second gift came about 30 seconds after the ref didn't give a clear foul against Boa Morte just outside the Liverpool penalty area. Liverpool broke immediately and Boa Morte, still seeing red, pulled Torres down in the area. Green saved Gerrard's penalty but Gerrard pounced first on the rebound.

In the 43rd minute Carragher gifted a ball to Di Michele. Di Michele was played clear through by Carragher but instead of shooting the Italian decided to throw himself to the ground.

In the second half West Ham pushed forward a little more, whilst never really creating any chances and Liverpool looked the more dangerous of the two teams on the break. West Ham gave run outs to Collison (59), Sears (70) and Payne (80).

In the 84th minute Liverppol broke down the right. The ball was crossed to Babel unmarked six yards out. Green saved his initial header but Babel pounced on the rebound and scored from 4 yards.

West Ham should now be spared having to stretch their small squad for a European campaign next season.

West Ham vs Liverpool - Live Streaming

With the game being shown live on Setanta today there should be a number of live streams available.

LiveFooty currently has four streams listed and FSi have about 15 streams listed in all the major formats. MyP2P hasn't listed the game yet but they should have a number of links available nearer kick-off.

Full radio commentary is on BBC London DAB & BBC Radio Merseyside 95.8 FM, 1485 MW and DAB.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Final Push for Europe

Gianfranco Zola has been speaking about West Ham's determination to achieve qualification for Europe this season,

"If we didn't believe we can reach the Europa League, we would not have fought so much against Stoke City. My players and myself believe we can achieve that and we are going to give everything on the pitch to make sure that happens.

"We know that every game in the Premier League is difficult, even if we were playing West Brom who are already relegated. We know there are difficulties but we know how much we care, how much fight we have put in so far.

"We are going to give it everything, if it is enough then that is ok, if not then we will try again next year."

West Ham vs Liverpool - The Predictions

According to the BBC Savio is back in the squad but Parker and Dyer are still out. After coming on as a reserve last week Kovac will presumably start this week.

For Liverpool Xabi Alonso is a doubt. Torres however should be back from his hamstring injury.

OMG, for the first time ever Lawro has predicted Liverpool to lose a game and West Ham to win a game. Only kidding. However he does think we will get a goal.

Lawro predicts a 1-2 West Ham loss

Sky think that the incentive of going back to the top of the league should be enough incentive for Liverpool in this game. However they say that West Ham are a tough nut to crack under Zola and are chasing a European spot.

Sky predict a 0-1 loss

Setanta point to West Ham's record against the big clubs this season. "Zola’s men do not fare well against the big sides. Of the top six, all five have won at West Ham."

Setanta predict a 0-1 West Ham loss

Thursday, May 07, 2009

£301 million in Debt

The owner of West Ham, Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, has slipped from being one of the richest men in the world to surely one of the world's poorest. Gudmundsson has told an Icelandic newspaper that he is £301 million pound in debt.

The outcome of this, for West Ham, will be that at the end of the season the club will come under the control of Icelandic bank Straumur. The bank will then appoint a new board, although it is believed they will keep the existing executive team. However the club will be expected to be self-financing and will be run on a cost neutral basis until the economic cycle turns and West Ham can be sold at full market value.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Technicality Won't Halt European Dream

West Ham have been granted an extended deadline for the UEFA license needed to play in Europe. The original deadline was the 30th April, which West Ham couldn't meet because of uncertainly over the club's ownership.

The ownership of the club will change at the end of the season, either because the club has been sold or because control of the club has passed to Icelandic bank Straumer. West Ham now have until the end of the season to complete the application.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

West Ham Four Points from Europe

West Ham manager, Gianfranco Zola, believes that four points from the remaining three games should be enough to qualify for Europe,

"I still believe 52 points will still make it," said Zola, "I am sure that the club is going to be ready to face the challenge and trust me, we don't need much investment in what we have."

"We have a good base here. Of course, if we qualify and play in Europe it will be more important to have a bigger squad so that might be a possibility.

"Don't forget the most difficult job this year was to get the base right. In my opinion, it is going to be easier to do something in the future. I believe that it won't be necessary to have big spending but some players I am sure the club will consider buying.

"I don't know how much money I will have to spend, but, I've been assured if we need to get a couple of players, or three players, to improve the squad they will, so that is enough for me."

Monday, May 04, 2009

Di Michele Faces Italian Trial

The Sun claim that David Di Michele was named in a preliminary hearing today in Italy as having been part of an illegal betting syndicate while at Udinese between 1998 and 2005.

Several other players are also involved, with all those named accused of placing bets on Serie A matches as well as other games from different leagues.

The first hearing is set to take place on October 2.

Green Reveals Stoke Tactics

Before Saturday's game Stoke had only lost three times at home this season. One reason for Stoke's good home form is their continued aerial bombardment of the opposition area.

Robert Green has revealed how West Ham decided to counter this tactic,

“The management decided to keep it less clustered in the box. A lot of the goals Stoke have scored from the long throws and set-pieces have been second balls. It’s better to have a clearer area and someone to head the ball. We went man to man and said, 'We’ll win the ball’. To a man, everyone stood up.”

Sunday, May 03, 2009

West Ham in the Sundays

The Daily Mirror say that West Ham's future is hanging in the balance. The club have until June before the Icelandic government takes control of the club. West Ham currently have two potential buyers but the best offer on the table is £80 million, way short of Gudmundsson valuation of the club.

The News of the World say that West Ham are keen on signing Italian defender Daniele Portanova. Dario Canovi, the agent of the 30-year-old Siena centre-back, says,

"West Ham are extremely interested."

The News iof the World also say West Ham are amongst a number of clubs keen to sign Croatian winger Danijel Pranjic from Heerenveen. He has scored a remarkable 20 goals in 30 games playing as a left wing back.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Stoke 0 West Ham 1

Stoke started the game the brighter of the two sides, even if they were, as usual, over reliant on long balls and Delap long throws. In the 10th minute, from one of Delap's long throws into the West Ham area, Fuller rose and bundled Green over before kneeing the ball into the net. Luckily the ref spotted his use of the elbow and gave the foul.

This seemed to spur West Ham into action and they began to control possession of the ball. Two minutes after Fuller's disallowed goal West Ham had a goal disallowed themselves. Tristan chested down the ball just inside the Stoke area and passed to Di Michele, who then slotted the ball home. However the ref deemed Tristan had hand balled whilst chesting down the ball.

In the 31st minute West Ham again got the ball in the back of the net only this time the goal stood. Tristan was fouled 25 yrds out, just to the right of centre. Tristan then took the free kick himself and shot straight into the top left of the Stoke goal. Straight from the restart Stanislas broke forward and back heeled for Di Michele on the edge of the area. Di Michele shot over from wide left in the area.

After that West Ham controlled the ball well for the rest of the half. There was a slight scare in the 38th minute when Fuller received a cross six yards out and pushed the ball forward but Green did well to bravely save at his feet. The other big talking point of the half was when Boa Morte went in late into a challenge with Delap and Delap kicked out at Boa Morte. Both players were booked.

Early in the second half West Ham controlled the game well. Stoke weren't able to create much and the closest they came was from a Fuller long range effort that flew well wide. West Ham didn't create much themselves. In the 67th minute Neill did well down the right and got to the byline. He pulled the ball back for Stanislas around the penalty spot, but Stanislas skied the ball way over.

From around the 70th minute Stoke did begin to create some pressure on the West Ham box, mainly from long throws and corners. In the 75th minute they had perhaps their closest chance when Faye's header from a corner was cleared off the line by Noble with his head.

In the 82nd minute Collison replaced Boa Morte. In the second minute of extra time Tristan broke clear but with only the keeper to beat he just put the ball wide. A minute later and Fuller had a great chance to get the equaliser for Stoke but from 7 yards shot well over.

A good win by West Ham gets us back into European contention.

Stoke vs West Ham - Live Streamng

I'm not confident there is going to be a working stream of today's game. All the sites seem to be linking to the same JustinTV stream. MyP2p currently has a link to a SopCast stream, which could be the best bet for the game.

Currently LiveFooty has one link to a JustinTV stream.

FSi have one link to a JustinTV stream (presumably the same as above).

MyP2P has a link to the same JustinTV stream and to a SopCast stream.

Full radio commentary is available on BBC London 94.9FM, BBC London online & BBC Radio Stoke DAB.

West Ham Saturday Gossip

The Express (and others) report that Ginafranco Zola believes West Ham keeper Robert Green should be number 1,

Robert Green is doing very well for me and, as far as I can see, he can be among the best players in this country.

“He can easily be the No1, and that doesn’t come because he is my goalkeeper or whatever, it’s because I see he’s a very good goalkeeper – he gives you so much security.

The Mirror say that Alan Curbishley's case against West Ham has been set for November after preliminary hearings ended without an agreement.

The Daily Mail say that Alan Pardew is a candidate for the QPR manager's job.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Stoke vs West Ham - The Predictions

The BBC say James Beattie faces a fitness test on his injured thigh but could return for Stoke. Full-back Andy Wilkinson remains doubtful with a back problem while Amdy Faye, Danny Higginbotham, Mamady Sidibe and Salif Diao are all ruled out.

Yesterday Zola said that West Ham had the same squad available as last week.

Lawro says that it is hard going to Stoke with their home record and support. Lawro again thinks that West Ham's injury problems will have an effect on the result.

Lawro predicts a 2-1 West Ham loss

Sky say West Ham face a 'daunting trip' to Stoke where they are currently unbeaten in seven home league games. However with Fulham playing Chelsea West Ham will be trying hard to make up lost ground.

Sky predict a 1-1 draw

Setanta say the signs are ominous for Stoke, they have not beaten West Ham in a top-flight fixture in 26 years. However Setanta are also impressed with Stoke's home form.

Setanta predict a 2-1 West Ham loss

Zola Has No Get Out Clause

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola has insisted that the new contract he signed last Saturday has no get out clause.

Zola has responded to suggestions linking him, again, with the Chelsea job that he has no intention of leaving West Ham,

"There is no get-out clause in my contract. I have a contract and I want to respect it and work for this club and finish the project I have started.

"I don't know what will happen in the future. Nobody knows that, but my only aim just now is to make this club as successful as possible. That is my task."

Parker May Miss Rest of the Season

Scott Parker may miss the rest of the season because of the groin strain that has kept out of the West Ham squad for the last month.

Gianfranco Zola said today,

"I don't know if he will play again this season to be honest. He is working very hard on his fitness so that he can play again this season but it is unsure whether he can.

The problem is he has a chronic inflammation in the groin and this has caused him problems, it is as simple as that.

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