Monday, November 30, 2009

Behrami to Undergo Keyhole Surgery

According to The Evening Standard Valon Behrami is to undergo keyhole surgery this week on his knee. The Standard say that the injury is not serious and Behrami is expected to return before Christmas.

Carlton Cole was also due to undergo a scan on his knee today. Some of the West Ham discussion boards have been reporting unconfirmed rumours that the scans have revealed a cruciate ligament damage and that Cole will be out for at least ten weeks.

The Daily Mirror Put Green Up For Sale

The Mirror say that West Ham are looking to sell Robert Green and that the England keeper is "open to a transger (sic)." They say West Ham are willing to let him go for £4 to £5 million.

They claim West Ham are keen to sell rather than risk losing him or see him buy out the last year of his deal.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

West Ham Draw Arsenal in FA Cup

West Ham have been drawn against Arsenal in the third round of the FA Cup. It is a tough draw for West Ham and will presumably mean we will be one of the featured live games on ITV in January.

West Ham in the News

The Daily Star claim that David Gold will step up his attempt to buy West Ham this week. If he succeeds he will ask Robert Green to sign a new contract and if he refuses sell him in January.

The People say that Sp~rs are lining up a £10 million move for Matthew Upson and The Mail say that West Ham are resigned to losing the defender.

The Express say that Zola is laying the blame for West Ham's poor defensive record on the midfield,

"We also have to look at the midfielders who are not covering the defence very well. We know the problem and have been working the whole week to sort it out."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

West Ham 5 Burnley 3

West Ham started with Gabbidon in for the injured Upson and Ilunga back at left back. Kovac and Parker started in midfield with Franco once again partnering Cole up front.

Burnley started the brighter of the two sides and forced a succession of early corners and in the 5th minute Bikey forced Green to save at his near post with a shot from 8 yards. Four minutes later and Parker was forced to clear off the line from a seven yard header.

In the 17th minute Parker was fouled just inside the Burnley half. Parker quickly took the freekick, catching the Burnley defence napping and sending Collison free. Collison brought the box into the penalty area and calmly slotted the ball home from 10 yards.

In the 33rd minute Franco played a neat ball inside the defence from the edge of the penalty area to Stanilas. Stanilas only had to beat the keeper from seven yards but his shot hit Jensen in goal. The ball rebounded out to Stanilas and from a tighter angle Stanilas slotted home West Ham's second.

In the 41st minute West Ham made it 3-0. Collison disected the defence with a lovely pass for Spector. Spector charged into the penalty area and was pulled down. The ref gave the penalty and from the spot Cole side footed the ball home.

Cole was taken off at half-time and replaced with Hines. In the 50th minute West Ham won a freekick on the right wing. Stanilas fired in the freekick and Franco got his head to the ball to get West Ham's fourth goal from seven yards.

In the 59th minute Jimenez replaced Franco. Three minutes later and Parker passed to Jimenez in the box, Jimenez just got to the ball before Jensen who then took Jimenez down for another West Ham penalty. Jimenez scored from the spot.

With five goals in the bag West Ham should have then coasted home but Jimenez and Hines up front were unable to keep the ball as well as Franco and Cole had done and the rest of the half largely belonged to Burnley.

In the 67th minute Eagles crossed from the left of the area low across the goal and Fletcher ran in on the far post and slotted home from 5 yards out. In the 74th minute Eagles and Fletcher combined again in a similar fashion to make it 5-2.

In the 86th minute Hines was taken down in the Burnley area but this time the ref didn't give the penalty. However in the 91st minute Hines and Caldwell both found themselves chasing down a long ball forward and Caldwell took down Hines just outside the Burnley area. Caldwell was sent off. Stanilas then fired the freekick into the wall.

In the 94th minute Eagles got Burnley's third when he slotted home a cross from the right wing by Mears from seven yards.

So in the end what should have been an easy win for West Ham was a little nervy in the second half, but a win is a win, and this was a must win.

West Ham vs Burnley - Live Streaming

Fsi seem to have the most links for today's game, including links to Sopcast and Flash streams.

MyP2P has links to a couple of Flash streams and a TVU player stream of the game.

Full radio commentary is on BBC London 94.9, DAB, DSAT & Online.

Friday, November 27, 2009

West Ham vs Burnley - The Preview

West Ham's poor home form (one win in six games) comes up against Burnley's poor away record (no wins away from home). With a small gap now appearing at the bottom of the league this is a must win game for West Ham.

Matthew Upson has picked up a hamstring injury in training so is out. I suspect Zola may move Gabbidon to centre back but there is also the option of bringing back Tomkins. Dyer scored twice for the reserves in midweek so may feature in this game, possibly from the bench.

Burnley have no new injury concerns and will probably play the same team for the fifth week running.

Lawro agrees that this is a must win game for West Ham. He says that Burnley struggle away from home so a win is likely.

Lawro predicts a 2-0 West Ham win

Sky predict a 2-1 West Ham win

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

No January Purchases

Yesterday West Ham Director of Football Gianluca Nani said that West Ham didn't need to sell players in January. Today he seems to be hinting that we won't be buying anyone either. When asked about West Ham's interest in Bologna striker Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, Nani replied that West Ham were not looking for another striker,

"Daniel is not one of the players we are following," Nani told Radio Tau.

"He is a great striker and we followed him before he went to Bologna. But since last year, we have not followed him and even now we are not interested in him.

"We have the fifth best attack in the Premier League for the number of goals scored and so it is certainly not the offensive zone when we need to intervene.

"Generally, we are happy with our squad.

"Our job is to watch all leagues, but right now we are not following anybody in particular in view of the market. I can say that we're not planning a squad revolution, we are just looking around and not following anyone in particular, either in Italy or in other leagues."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quashie Out, Everyone Else In

Nigel Quashie has been loaned out to MK Dons until the 3rd January. Reports at the weekend however suggested that West Ham will still be paying a large percentage of his wages whilst he is on loan.

West Ham sporting director, Gianluca Nani has repeated that West Ham will not be selling any of their major players in the January transfer window,

"I want to reiterate that we have no intention nor do we have the need to sell any of our top players.

"Everything is good as it is and that also goes for Behrami, a great player that will remain here."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

West Ham in the Papers

The Mail say that West Ham will continue to pay Nigel Quashie £20,000 a week when he joins MK Dons on loan next week.

The News of the World say that December 11th is D-Day for West Ham. This is the day that an Icelandic court will decide whether to grant the club's owner, Straumer, more time to sort out its web of debt.

The NoW say that West Ham could face administration, a nine point deduction and certain relegation.

The Telegraph however paint a more rosy picture of life at West Ham. The Telegraph claim West Ham have held take-over talks with three parties, Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes, former Birmingham City co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold and the Intermarket Group.

They claim Fernandes has come the closest to agreeing a deal and came close to taking a 51% stake in the club. A price couldn't be agreed but Fernandes remains interested.

As far as Straumar are concerned The Telegraph say that another extension beyond the December deadline should be agreed. They say West Ham themselves have debts of £38 million which are wholly manageable with a turnover of around £90 million.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hull 3 West Ham 3

Cole was back from injury for West Ham and Gabbidon came in for the injured Ilunga.

West Ham started the game really well. Behrami had a shot on target as early as the 50th second. However his shot from just outside the area was straight at the keeper. In the 5th minute Stanilas crossed from the left and Cole's shot from 7 yards was deflected wide for the corner. From the corner Franco headed the opener from 7 yards.

Six minutes later and it was 2-0 to West Ham after Franco lobbed the ball forward from deep to Collison. Collison from around the penalty spot did brilliantly to loop his header over Duke in goal to make it 2-0 to West Ham.

After that early flourish from West Ham however Hull dominated the half. In the 26th minute Hull won a freekick just outside the West Ham area to the left of the goal. Bullard's freekick was blocked by Parker but skipped up and Cole's instinctive header flew back and into the back of the net for an own goal.

In the 43rd minute Hull won another freekick, this time on the left wing. Bullard's freekick this time was fired low into the six yard box and Zayatte got to the ball first and fired it in first time from six yards. Two minutes later and Faubert and Fagan both went up for a ball just inside the West Ham area. Fagan went down from the merest of touches and the ref gave Hull a penalty. Bullard duly scored from the spot to make it 3-2 to Hull going into the break.

West Ham had the first shot in anger in the second half when Franco shot just wide of the right hand post in the 48th minute. In the 53rd minute Scott Parker was clean through on goal when he was brought down cynically just outside the Hull area. Mendy was sent off for the foul. From the freekick Stanislas fired well wide right of the goal.

In the 68th minute from a Stanislas corner there was a scramble in the box, the ball fell to Da Cosat and he fired home left-footed from six yards. After the equaliser West Ham looked the most likely to score.

Their best chances to the win the game both came from headers. In the 86th minute Stanislas should have got the winner but his header from six yards was straight into the ground and bounced over the bar. In the 91st minute Collison did a little better and his header from ten yards at least forced a save from the keeper. West Ham also came close to a winner in the 81st minute when Jimenez just missed wide of the right hand post from the edge of the area.

So a six goal thriller, with a sending off and a dubious penalty should be enough to see West Ham given last slot again on Match of the Day tonight.

Hull City vs West Ham - Live Streaming

There doesn't seem to be too many streams for today's game. and FSi both only have links to a SopCast stream and a Flash stream from IraqGoals.

Full radio commentary is available on BBC London 94.9 fm & online.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hull vs West Ham - The Preview

Hull may be without Boaz Myhill in goal and captain Ian Ashbee is out.

The West Ham official website says that Carlton Cole is in the West Ham squad for this game but that Ilunga is doubtful. They also say that Tomkins "is facing a race against time to be fit for the trip to Hull."

Lawro says that "with West Ham you never know what you are going to get." He also claims that Carlton Cole won't be fit and without him we will struggle.

Lawro predicts a 2-1 West Ham loss

Sky predict a 1-1 draw

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

No Offers for West Ham

West Ham have confirmed that the club has received no formal offers to buy the club. A club source said today,

"There have been no significant developments at all, and no formal offer from any party. The club still envisage the sale will be a medium to long-term initiative."

David Sullivan however claims he has offered the owners a huge offer of zero money to take over 50% of the club. For that incredible offer of nothing Sullivan expects the present owners to leave him in charge of the club. He also insists that Straumur would still be responsible for paying off the club's debts.

According to a source, "There is no room for negotiation. If they reject his plan he'll look elsewhere."

It is rather strange that Sullivan wants to take over West Ham without taking on any of the debt. This week he has been attacking the new Birmingham owners and stating publicly that it is normal practise for the new owners of a club to take on the old debt.

New owner of Birmingham Carson Yeung has instructed his lawyers to go through the Blues accounts with a fine tooth comb, dating back to 2007. Yeung and his group were left with unexpected bills of around £6 million when they took over the club.

David Sullivan has responded angrily to this, saying,

"If you think about it, we have done nothing different to any other Premier League club. It’s said there’s £6 million in unpaid bills for transfers, agents, on players, but that is not unusual. Every club does things on the drip.

"I think they are naive to be shocked by it. I would bet that when Aston Villa were bought, it didn’t just cost £60 million but there were other liabilities the new owner had to meet."

Except Sullivan doesn't want to meet any liabilities in taking over West Ham.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Upson Staying at West Ham

Matthew Upson has said that he is staying at West Ham. However inevitably some papers are already beginning to spin this as him saying he wants to leave West Ham.

"Losing at West Ham is not affecting my performance," said Upson. "You take pride in that no matter where the team is.

"It is not easy and it probably is better to be somewhere where you are winning matches, but West Ham is where I am at. I have a job to do for them.

"I won't let that affect my international aspirations. I am at West Ham. That is my club. If something is put in front of me, and I have to make a decision about my future, then I will.

"At the moment it is not something I am thinking about. I am a West Ham player. Unless something happens, I am fully concentrated on them."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cole, Behrami & Upson to be Sold

If the Sunday papers are to be believed West Ham will be left with no players by the end of January.

The News of the World claim West Ham will sell Matthew Upson to Liverpool in January and buy Chamakh from Bordeaux.

The Daily Mirror claim that Behrami has stated his intention to leave West Ham. Behrami said,

"I know that the people at West Ham have confidence in me. Maybe one day I will play for a bigger club than them.

"However, in order for me to do so, I will need to be at the peak of my abilities. I just play my football from day to day. There is no point in me talking about my medium-term future when I don’t know what might happen tomorrow."

The Daily Mirror claim that Dean Ashton & West Ham will formally announce the retirement of the striker this week. But then they said that last week as well.

The good news is that Sky say West Ham have made it known that Carlton Cole is not for sale at any price. They claim that Man Utd are set to make a £20 million offer in January, with Liverpool also keen.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Gold to Make £45m Bid for West Ham

The Daily Express say that David Gold is prepared to make a £45 million offer to buy West Ham. This is about a third of what the present owners are asking for and therefore the bid seems doomed to fail.

It is becoming clear that none of the parties currently interested in West Ham are anywhere near meeting the current owners' asking price. CB Holdings and Straumur have repeatedly said that they are prepared to wait for the present economic downturn to improve before selling the club.

Whether Straumur's creditors are prepared to also sit back and wait has yet to be decided.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Carr Calls for Rule Changes

This is London have an interesting article today in which Tony Carr calls for rule changes around the signing of young players.

Tony Carr argues that the present rules, which state that young players between the ages of nine and twelve have to live within an hour's travelling time of their club's training ground and 90 minutes between the ages of 13-16, are restricting the development of young players.

Carr argues that if the present rules had existed in the past West Ham would not have been able to develop Michael Carrick and Man Utd would not have been able to school David Beckham.

Carr argues that the present restrictions need to be relaxed. You just have to look at the present England Under-21 squad and the full England squad, both full of players developed by Carr, to realise that no-one is better qualified to speak on this issue than the West Ham youth coach.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Intermarket Claim They Are Serious

Intermarket say they have proved to Rothschilds that they have the funds to make an offer for West Ham.

David Byrne, Intermarket's company secretary, says,

"Some people were dismissing us as not being serious bidders but we are. We have satisfied them [Rothschilds] that we have proof of funds."

Intermarket's valuation of West Ham at £100 million mean that the present owners would only receive about £30 million. This presumably means that any offer will be turned down.

Intermarket remain hopeful however and say they are keen to try and finalise a deal before Dec 11th.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Liverpool to Bid for Cole

Valon Behrami has been called up for the Switzerland national team, despite wanting a rest to help his recovery from his recent leg injury.

"I’m going to play for Switzerland for the first time in a while and for me it’s not really the best time to go,” said Behrami. "I still need to work on my problem and I’m not really too happy to have got the call.

"I am getting better every game but I am not 100 per cent. I need to strengthen my injured leg and that will come with games. It’s a difficult moment and I think about these things. I really like to give all I have to West Ham to be honest.

"I want to stay here and, like I said before, everyday I want to stay here. I enjoy everything at this club and team and I want to stay here 100 per cent.

The Daily Mirror claim that Liverpool are to make a bid for Carlton Cole in January.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Ashton to Announce Retirement

The Daily Telegraph posted an article on its website today saying that Gianfranco Zola had dismissed suggestions that Dean Ashton's career is over. However within minutes they pulled the article and replaced it with one that says the player will announce his retirement later this week.

This news is also being reported widely elsewhere. The Telegraph article says that Ashton has been warned that he may end up being unable to walk properly if he continues to try and play football.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

West Ham 1 Everton 2

Zola brought back Parker and dropped Noble for Jimenez. Hines and Spector replaced the injured Cole and Ilunga.

West Ham started by far the brighter side. They dominated the first twenty minutes without creating many clear cut chances. Their best chance came in the 7th minute when Faubert fired in a low cross from the right wing. Franco got to the ball first but his glancing shot from six yards missed far right.

West Ham's only other chance in the first half hour was an effort from wide left and close to the byline from 9 yrds which was straight at the keeper. In the 26th minute West Ham failed to clear the ball on the edge of the box. Cahill won the ball and passed the ball to Saha who shot first time from the edge of the area straight into the bottom left hand corner of the goal. Everton therefore scored with their first shot of the game.

After the goal Everton sat back even more. West Ham struggled to find any space in the final third and only managed to create chances from a couple of freekicks. However Jimez shot one straight at the wall and Da Costa fired the other well wide from 30 yards.

Everton did push forward a bit in the last minutes of the half and Saha headed a corner wide from 9 yards and Cahill shot wide from the same distance.

Stanilas came on at the start of the second half for Collison. The passage of play in the second half followed the same pattern as the first. West Ham dominated possession and territory but never really looked like they could open up the defence.

In the 61st minute the ball fell to Stanislas on the edge of the area and his shot flew just wide left. Then, just as in the first half, Everton scored with their first real attack. Gosling shot from 8 yards to the left of the goal. Green saved the shot but the ball rebounded back to Gosling who then scored with his second attempt.

West Ham however responded immediately. Diamanti played a long ball forward to Stanislas in the area. Staislas chipped Howard and Hibbert running back could only smash the ball into the net in trying to stop the ball on the line.

After that Diamanti drove West Ham forward and West Ham created a number of opportunities to equalise. In the 71st minute Diamanti broke in from the right wing and tried a curling shot from the edge of the area, which just missed the top left of the goal. In the 74th minute Parker played Hines into the box and his toe-poked effort just missed wide left. A minute later and from around the penalty spot Hines then shot wide right.

In the third minute of extra time Parker dinked a nice little ball into the path of Stanislas but from three yards out and under pressure he couldn't get anything on the ball.

West Ham certainly missed Cole's fire power up front and will be disappointed to have lost to two sucker punches from a largely defensive Everton side.

West Ham in the Sundays

The News of the World say West Ham will make a £4 million bid for Newcastle's Andy Carroll in January.

They also say Nigel Quashie has been told to not turn up for training, that his contract will not be bought out and that the club are just waiting for his contract to run out in the summer.

The paper also claim that Sunderland will try to buy Green in January.

Finally the NoW say that the Intermarket Group have now entered into the first stage of due diligence and will decide in a fortnight whether to make a firm bid for West Ham. Gold and Sullivan however are waiting to see what West Ham are ordered to pay Alan Curbishley before considering a bid.

The Mail report that Intermarket have also held talks with the Olympic organisers about West Ham moving into the Olympics stadium in 2012.

The Sunday Mirror claim that West Ham have already opened talks with Valon Behrami about offering him a new contract even though he has only just started the second year of a five year contract. They say that Jack Collison is also poised to sign a new five year contract.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Ashton to Hang Up Boots

The Daily Mail say that Dean Ashton is poised to announce his retirement from football. They say Ashton has been been told "by two world-renowned ankle specialists his chances of making a full recovery are not good."

The paper claims that West Ham has been told that Ashton's injury problems originate from his injury whilst on England duty. However any claims against the FA may be difficult as Ashton has made 31 appearances since that injury.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

West Ham 2 Aston Villa 1

Zola dropped Tomkins and Spector for this game, bringing in Da Costa and Faubert. Parker also returned after his suspension.

West Ham started the game brightly and camped themselves in and around the Villa penalty area in the opening couple of minutes. Unfortunately the only effort West Ham managed in this period was a long range effort from Cole that flew high and wide.

In the 7th minute Ilunga pulled up with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Spector. In the 15th minute West Ham's best chance of the half from free play was created by Noble on the edge of the penalty area. Noble made room for himself, shot and forced a save from Friedel.

After about 20 minutes Villa started to look the more dominant team. Their best chance in the half came from Petrov who hit a powerful volley from 25 yrds. Green, was already moving one way when the ball took a deflection about seven yards in front of him and Green had to change direction and pull off an amazing save, tipping the ball over the bar.

When Carlton Cole was forced off (possibly with a hamstring injury) in the 31st minute it looked like it was going to be another one of those nights for West Ham. Villa began to dominate the game even more but Cole's replacement Hines did manage to worry Villa a little with his pace. In the 44th minute Dunne was forced to lunge in on Hines in the box. He won the ball but there were calls from West Ham for a penalty.

This incident may have played on the referee's mind when in injury time Franco played Hines into the box. Beye did well to get back and win the ball, only to see the ref give West Ham a penalty. From the spot Noble shot the ball high into the net to Friedel's right.

Three minutes into the second half Da Costa climbed astonishingly about 5 feet higher than Collins to win a header in the West Ham area and clear the ball. Amazingly the ref decided that heading the ball was a penalty offence. From the penalty spot Young shot to the bottom right of the goal but Green diving to his left saved the shot.

West Ham's celebrations didn't last long however as three minutes later Young cut in from the left wing and from about 5 yards outside the corner of the penalty area curled an amazing shot into the top right of the West Ham goal.

After the goal West Ham rallied superbly and it is was mostly one way traffic for the rest of the half. Collison, Franco and Hines twice both had good efforts on goal. Villa's only effort on goal came in the 90th minute when Young forced a save from Green from 20 yards.

In the 84th minute Beye was sent off for a a foul on Spector (second yellow). West Ham then pushed on even more. Noble forced a great save from Friedel with a blistering 35 yards effort and Hines came close with three efforts on goal. In the second minute of injury time Parker dribbled into the box, poked a good ball forward to Hines. Hines then did superbly to dig the ball out from under his feet onto his right foot and then grab the winner from 7 yards.

Let's just hope that Cole isn't out of action for too long.

West Ham vs Aston Villa

A win today would see West Ham climb out of the relegation places. A win for Villa will see them climb into the top four.

Scott Parker returns from suspension to replace the suspended Kovac. For Villa Craig Gardner is out with a groin injury and Carlos Cuellar is suspended. Stiliyan Petrov (shin) and James Milner (calf) both face late fitness tests. This means that, as well as the returning Collins, Reo-Coker might just get a game (but I doubt it).

Villa are unbeaten in the last four league games. They are also unbeaten in the last six games against West Ham. West Ham have not won a game in nine league outings. Not unsurprisingly then Sky predict a 1-2 loss for West Ham.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Curbishley 1 West Ham 0

Alan Curbishley has won his case of constructive dismissal against West Ham. A tribunal will now decide on the level of compensation. For reference, Kevin Keegan won £2million in damages plus £1.5million in legal costs against Newcastle.

Curbishley said today,

"I am obviously delighted with this result. I very much enjoyed my time at West Ham and never wanted to leave, but on joining the club I insisted that my contract contained a clause confirming that I would have final say on the selection of players to be transferred to and from the club."

"The club completely ignored my contract when selling Anton Ferdinand, and when George McCartney was then sold, the club having given me assurances that no players would be leaving the club after the sale of Anton Ferdinand, I had no alternative but to resign.

"My authority and integrity were undermined and my position was made untenable. I now wish to put this entire matter behind me."

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Upson 'For Sale' Sign Goes Up

According to The Daily Mirror West Ham are looking to sell Matthew Upson for £15 million in January. With Upson's contract due to run out in 18 months the Mirror say that West Ham privately see the sale of Upson as good business.

The Mirror also claim that West Ham nearly sold Upson to Liverpool on transfer deadline day but Liverpool wouldn't match West Ham's asking price.

The News of the World agree that Upson will be sold. However they say he will be sold for £10 million, with Liverpool being the likely buyers. They say West Ham will then buy Moroccan striker Marouane Chamakh for £6 million.

The News of the World also claim that the American backed consortium headed by Jim Bowe held formal meetings with the club's Icelandic based owners on Thursday and have instructed Rothschild to oversee their buyout bid. If the bid is successful they say West Ham won't have to sell Upson.

A 'source' revealed to the paper,

"At first West Ham did not respond to the interest but they have now been satisfied by the consortium's proof of funds. There was a satisfactory meeting on Thursday and matters should now move forward quite quickly.

"Within the next couple of weeks, it will become clear about the true state of West Ham's finances and whether or not the consortium will continue with their offer. If they are satisfied that 100 million is the right price then they will continue. If not they will walk away.

"Should they continue with the takeover then they are ready to allocate funds of up to £30 million for new players in the January transfer window."

The Daily Mail claim that David Gold has been approached by three clubs but not by West Ham.

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