Tuesday, November 30, 2010

West Ham 4 Man Utd 0

West Ham started with a central midfield of Spector and Kovac. Faubert and Ben-Haim were named full-backs and Cole and Obinna started up front.

Spector as a replacement for Parker in midfield was a revelation. In the 16th minute Spector picked up the ball on the halfway line, drove forward and passed the ball to Obinna on the edge of the area. Obinnna fired the ball home left-footed.

At first the goal was given but the linesman pulled it back as he had spotted a deflection off an offside Spector. Six minutes later however and West Ham took the lead for real. Obinna chipped a ball into the area and Spector headed home from 10 yards.

In the 37th minute Spector got his second. Again he drove forward from the halfway line and passed the ball into the area. Obinna was just beaten to the ball by the defence but the ball fell to Spector who shot home from 8 yards.

West Ham really dominated the half and Man Utd's first half performance was probably best epitomised by an O'Shea shot from 30 yards that went into touch on the far side of the pitch some way behind the position the defender had shot from.

Spector had a quieter second half but Cole stepped up to the plate and Obinna carried on being exceptional. In the 56th minute Obinna crossed the ball in from the left and Cole scored from 5 yards with a diving header.

The two combined again in the 67th minute when Cole used his strength to turn Evans and shoot home from 8 yards after some more good work from Obinna on the left wing.

Man Utd might have had a little more of the ball in the second half but they rarely troubled Green in goal. Probably their best chance was gifted to them by Green when he kicked the ball against Macheda but Green recovered in time throwing himself in front of the ball to clear.

All in all this was a great all round team performance but Spector, Obinna, Cole and Boa Morte all stood out this evening. West Ham also had the added bonus of being able to give Hines a 20 minute run out as well. This has to be have been one of the best evenings at the Boleyn for quite a while.

I suspect I wasn't the only West Ham fan to look at a central midfield of Spector and Kovac before the match and fear that we might have been on for a bit of a hiding. I never dreamed that it would be Man Utd who would end up being thrashed.

"Kovac and Spector, I apologise sirs, for ever having doubted you."

West Ham Still Awaiting FA Compensation

The Daily Mail and The Guardian both say that Scott Parker is out of today's game with the chest infection he has been suffering. The papers also claim that Valon Behrami and Danny Gabbidon are both out with injuries.

The Sun say that West Ham will hit the FA with a £10.5million over the injury to Dean Ashton. The FA have so far refused West Ham's claims for compensation.

The Sun report that West Ham are suing the FA for the £8m insurance Ashton had, plus the £2.5m payout from the club when he was forced to call it a day in December 2009, aged just 26.

The Sun also say the club are considering their position with regard to the solicitors who advised them in the Carlos Tevez affair.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Intrerest Shown in Gabbidon

Sky Sports report that Birmingham and West Brom are among a number of clubs interested in signing Danny Gabbidon. Gabbidon's current contract expires at the end of the season and as yet no new deal has been agreed.

The Daily Mirror report that Dave Jones is top of West Ham's shortlist to replace Avram Grant.

West Ham Get Barnsley in Cup

West Ham have been drawn at home against Championship side Barnsley in the third round of the FA Cup. The ties will be played the weekend of 8 January 2011.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cole Crocked

The Express say that a Wally is a good thing. They bizarrely claim that the appointment of Wally Downes led to West Ham keeping a clean sheet yesterday. The Express have never let the facts get in the way of a non-story.

I'm not saying Downes hasn't had some impact at West Ham but Wigan scored one goal, had a perfectly good goal disallowed and missed a penalty. I think the defensive frailties at West Ham were still there for everyone to see.

The News of the World claim that West Ham fear Carlton Cole is suffering from a chronic injury which is hampering his form. The club want to send Cole for tests on his knees to find out the reason for his lack of goals and fitness.

The People say that despite yesterday's win West Ham are still compiling a list of potential replacements. The list includes Glenn Hoddle and Dave Jones.

The People also claim that West Ham will sell Cole in January to keep hold of Scott Parker. It isn't exactly clear why Scott Parker would suddenly become an ex-West Ham player if Cole stays at the club. I think that their reasoning is that Parker will leave if West Ham are relegated and therefore West Ham need to sell Cole in January to buy players who will keep West Ham up.

The People also say that Gabbidon will be sold in January. Gabbidon is apparently wanted by West Brom and Birmingham and only has six months left on his contract.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

West Ham 3 Wigan 1

Grant rang the changes for this game. Cole was dropped to the bench and Parker, Behrami, Tomkins, Stanislas and Barrera all started. Hines was also named on the bench.

A scrappy first-half looked for a long time that it might stretch to half-time without any highlights. However in the 34th minute Piquionne headed down a cross from deep and Behrami ran on to score from 6 yards.

Having scored from their first real effort on goal West Ham then managed to carve out a few more chances. In the 38th minute Stanislas forced a good save from Al Habsi with a shot from the edge of the area. From the corner Al Habsi did well again to save a powerful header from Piquionne from 5 yards.

In the 39th minute, from another corner, Upson fired wide from 5 yards. Wigan's only real effort in the half was a Cleverley shot in the 9th minute which was saved by Green.

Four minutes into the second half and Piquionne missed a golden opportunity to extend West Ham's lead. From 8 yards, with only the keeper to beat, Piquionne fired the ball wide right of the goal. A minute after that and Jacobsen was replaced by Reid, with what might be a hamstring injury.

In the 56th minute Obinna got West Ham's second firing low from wide left in the area into the bottom right corner of the net. In the 63rd minute Upson bottled a challenge on Cleverly allowing the Wigan player a clear run at goal. Gabbidon hacked Cleverly down giving a penalty to Wigan. Green then saved Boselli's penalty diving to his left.

In the 75th minute Parker won the ball in midfield and drove forward. He played a one-two with Obinna and got West Ham's winner from 6 yards. In the 86th minute Wigan got a goal back to ensure that West Ham weren't entirely comfortable going into the last few minutes. Cleverly beat Green from just inside the penalty area.

In the last few minutes of the game Gohouri scored from a corner. The goal was disallowed for offside but Kovac was clearly playing him onside.

So a West Ham team that looked a bit more threatening in front of goal managed to get a second win of the season. Come on you Irons!

West Ham Wait on Parker Fitness

Many of today's newspapers claim that Avram Grant has hit out at West Ham's owners and told them to stop piling on the pressure. His statement, on the whole, actually seems supportive of the owners but he does seem to be a little annoyed about the importance they are placing on today's game,

"Look, we have a long way to go. After 14 games there is still a long way. Nobody needs to tell us how important the game is.

"How people describe it will not change the fact we are playing at home against a good team and we need to do everything to win.

"If people say it is Save Our Season or not Save Our Season, for us it is less important. We want to win the game. But even if we win we have a long way until we say, which I believe we will, that we can do it."

In other news many of the papers say that West Ham will wait until today to decide on Scott Parker's fitness. There is also much speculation over whether Carlton Cole will be dropped after his midweek outburst.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Noble Out Until 2011

The BBC report that Mark Noble will be out of action until the new year. Noble suffered a hip injury during the Liverpool game. The BBC say that it is unclear exactly how long Noble will be out for, although it is hoped he will be back playing in early January.

ESPN are reporting that Cole will be dropped for the Wigan game as punishment for criticising Avram Grant's tactics against Liverpool. ESPN claim that Grant called a players' meeting and told his squad that he will not tolerate public rebukes from West Ham players.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Noble Faces Five Weeks Out

The Daily Mail say that Mark Noble is facing five weeks out after suffering a leg injury against Liverpool. However they also say that West Ham are waiting for the results of a scan so the five week time period is obviously speculation on The Mail's part.

Sheffield Utd have published for the first time in their annual accounts the amount they will be receiving from West Ham over the Carlos Tevez affair.

The Daily Mail say that the Blades will receive in total £18.1m from West Ham in stage payments that will be completed by 2013.

TalkSport have an interview with Ray Winstone in which he slates West Ham's players for not caring.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Disarray at West Ham

The Daily Mail quote some comments by Carlton Cole expressing his dismay at West Ham's performance at Liverpool as an attack on Avram Grant's tactics. Cole's comments do suggest that he isn't happy with Grant's formation for the game.

"The game plan was for me to stay as the longest person away from everybody and try to hit me on the diagonal or something, but we weren’t even doing that, so that went out of the window and we didn’t have a Plan B.

"In the first 10 minutes we had lost the game, psychologically anyway. That was diabolical. We didn’t even turn up for this game.

"The first 10 minutes we dropped so deep. I can only remember one time when the ball came up to me and I kind of miscontrolled it, but we still retained possession, then I looked to my left and there was no-one attacking – there was nobody there at all.

"I think I had just one cross, apart from that I had nothing and as a striker, that’s starvation, that’s famine – what am I supposed to work on?

"When we changed to 4-4-2 in the second half, I felt more comfortable because someone was up there with me and I felt that we were starting to get on the ball a little more."

The Daily Express claims that the West Ham players are also upset with Gold and Sullivan. They claim that senior players at the club believe the owners have weakened the squad since they have arrived and that the players bought are not good enough for the Premier League.

West Ham to Appoint Wally

The Daily Mail say that West Ham are set to appoint Wally Downes as Avram Grant's new No. 2.

Downes was a member of Alan Pardew’s backroom staff at Southampton last season. The former Wimbledon midfielder was previously a member of Steve Coppell’s coaching staff at Reading after nearly two years in charge at Brentford where he was sacked in 2004.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Di Canio Won't Save West Ham

The Daily Mail report that West Ham have sacked Avram Grant's No 2 Zeljko Petrovic and now want to bring in two new coaches.

The paper claims that "West Ham icon Paolo Di Canio has been considered as a forwards' coach but his appointment is thought to be unlikely". However The Mail believe that former Brentford boss Wally Downes has been lined up to work on the defence.

The Mail claim that the owners are reluctant to sack Grant.

Monday, November 22, 2010

West Ham Find a Scapegoat

According to The Standard "West Ham will today sack Avram Grant's unpopular No. 2 Zeljko Petrovic in an attempt to stop the club's slide towards relegation."

However the rumours on KUMB are that Petrović has got a job in Japan working for Urawa Red Diamonds. So it seems that the present owners may be presenting what is a resignation as a proactive step by them to take some action at the club.

West Ham in Disarray

With West Ham seemingly doomed to relegation this season the newspapers have begun to start seriously questioning what is wrong at West Ham.

The Sun says that part of the problem is that the players dislike Avram Grant's number 2, Zeljko Petrovic. The paper quotes 'a West Ham insider' saying,

"I think to a man the players don't like him. They think he is full of himself for someone with so little experience of football over here."

The Daily Express have started considering who West Ham could get in to replace Grant,

"Martin O’Neill? Out of work, though surely not out of his mind to take on such an onerous task. Alan Pardew? Available and apparently keen to return, but he could not arrest Charlton’s decline in a similar position. Alan Curbishley? Not an appointment to unite disgruntled supporters given the acrimonious circumstances of how his previous reign ended."

However the paper also say that, "It says much that Grant’s tenure may run simply by default, a lack of replacements and a hefty contract keeping him in place."

The Independent quote David Gold saying that Avram Grant will not be replaced,

"We have to accept we are bottom of the league but there's no question of a change of manager now. But we must do better."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Liverpool 3 West Ham 0

Kovac came in for Parker in central midfield and Grant started with a 4-3-3 formation. Obinna and Piquionne however on the wings both continually drifted infield and both failed to track back giving Liverpool's full-backs free rein to get forward.

West Ham were completely outplayed for the whole of the first half and looked clueless both with and without the ball. Liverpool's first goal came in the 17th minute when Johnson had time from a corner to chest the ball down in the area and score from ten yards.

The second came from a penalty after Gabbidon handballed in the area. Kuyt shot down the middle from the spot to score with Green diving to his left. In the 35th minute Liverpool got their third after an unmarked Rodriguez headed in from 8 yards.

West Ham's only effort on target was a soft header from Cole which was straight at Reina in goal. So an embarrassed West Ham went into the break a deserved 3 goals down.

Barrera came on for Obinna in the second half and West Ham changed to a 4-4-2 formation. The change in formation suited West Ham and they were far more in the game in the second half.

The change in formation however didin't lead to any more threat going forward for West Ham. In the 50th minute Noble did have a long range effort that flew wide.

At the other end Green made two excellent saves in quick succession to keep the goal difference down. In the 72nd minute Green made a brilliant save diving to his right to save from Torres. Thirty seconds later Green made another brilliant save, this time diving to his left to save a Paulson shot.

West Ham were probably always going to struggle at Anfield today but they weren't helped by Grant getting his tactics completely wrong from the start.

Parker Out of Liverpool Game

Apologies for my absence. I've had computer and internet access problems all week. Hopefully they have all now been sorted.

Anyway, West Ham wouldn't be West Ham if they didn't have some devastating news to welcome me back online:

According to the official West Ham website Scott Parker will miss the Liverpool game with a chest infection. Steven Gerrard will also miss the game with a hamstring injury.

In other news KUMB report that West Ham have started placing adverts saying that the Boleyn Ground is for sale. Presumably any sale will be dependent on West Ham winning their bid for the Olympics stadium.

The Sun report that Manuel Da Costa had an operation this week on an ankle injury, picked up against Arsenal, that will keep the defender out of action until the new year.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

West Ham 0 Blackpool 0

Noble returned to central midfield for West Ham and Cole missed out after his hamstring injury.

A fairly even first half saw chances for both sides but West Ham just shading it on clear cut penalty decisions. In the 20th minute Barrera (brought on for Dyer) was taken down in the area in what looked like one of the clearest penalty decisions you are ever likely to see. I guess the ref didn't see it.

In the 27th minute Obinna fired a shot goalwards from just inside the area only to see it saved by a defender's hand. It looked a certain goal if it hadn't hit Cathcart's hand but the ref again bottled the decision.

West Ham's other best chance fell to Barrera after West Ham broke quickly from a Blackpool corner. From just inside the area Barrera shot narrowly over the crossbar. At the other end Blackpool themselves had a few chances to take the lead. Their best chance probably fell to Varney who shot across goal from ten yards just missing wide of the far post.

The second half saw both sides create some really good chances and the only surprise was that neither side managed to score. On balance Blackpool probably created the better chances. In fact in the 69th minute Harewood actually put the ball in the back of the net from 8 yards but was given offside when he looked to be just onside.

In the 53rd minute Adam shot just over from yards inside the West Ham half with Green well beaten. In the 83rd minute Harewood missed a sitter from 6 yards and shot wide when he should have scored.

At the other end West Ham started the half brightly and in the 48th minute Boa Morte just shot wide of the far post from 10 yards. In the 70th minute a Barrera shot from ten yards was blocked on the line. In the 72nd minute Cole hit the post from 2 yards after some great work from Barrera on the left touchline.

Late on in the 79th minute Noble forced a good save from the keeper from the edge of the penalty area and in the 91st minute McCarthy headed over from 10 yards.

I'm not sure West Ham could attract a manager good enough to get anything more out of the current squad but Avram Grant's position is looking increasingly tenuous.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fortress Upton Park

Scott Parker and Kieron Dyer have both been speaking on the official West Ham website of West Ham's need to improve in defence.

Parker says that,

"The whole team needs to be more defensive-minded. When we get into a winning position we need to see the game out and we are struggling to do that.

"It's one thing to concede from a 40-yard screamer or when a player beats four defenders and curls one in to the top corner. But when an opponent gets a free header three yards from goal - like West Brom's equaliser on Wednesday night - that is just not acceptable.

"We can't keep on allowing sloppy goals like these if we are going to turn draws into wins."

West Ham are very poor at defending crosses. I'd like to know the stats for how many goals West Ham have conceded from headers in the last couple of seasons.

Kieron Dyer has also spoken of West Ham having to stop making mistakes in defence,

"Against Blackpool we need three points or people will start saying we might be doomed. Blackpool are going to come to Upton Park and have a right go at us, so we have to be confident and match their desire.

"It is all about playing with no fear. I am a confident player and I don't let things affect me, but you can see that some players are affected.

"We have got to stop making mistakes or it is going to cost us dearly. If we are going to stay in the Premier League, we are going to have to make Upton Park a fortress."

The Star report that Avram Grant is in danger of losing his job if West Ham don't beat Blackpool tomorrow. The Mail also claim that the axe is hovering over Grant's head.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Grant - Under No Pressure

Avram Grant claims he is not under any pressure from West Ham's owners,

"The owners have not caused any problems. They are trying to help. We share the same vision and know the difficulties. On the pitch we have had problems but off it there are none and I don't want to point the finger at anyone."

It has been widely reported that Grant has been told that he needs seven points from four games. Two games have gone and he has so far achieved two points.

The Mail say West Ham have been handed a boost in its bid to take over the Olympics Stadium. Lord Moynihan, chairman of the British Olympic Association, said the country must not betray the commitment it made to the IOC to keep an athletics track on the site. West Ham's bid is the only one to make a commitment to keep the track.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

West Ham 2 West Brom 2

West Ham started with Barrera in for Obinna and Dyer in for Behrami (Behrami reportedly nursing a minor hip injury).

Both sides started the game a bit tentatively. After 20 minutes West Ham had won a couple of corners but had failed to make any attempts on goal. Going the other way West Brom managed a rather weak attempt on goal from Odemwingie from just inside the area, which was straight at Green.

In the 21st minute West Ham created their first opportunity of the game when a Barrera pass to Cole led to a shot into the side netting from just inside the box. In the 29th minute Cole had another chance when he headed just over from 8 yards from a corner.

In the 38th minute Boa Morte was penalised at a corner for a push in the West Ham penalty area and the ref gave a penalty to West Brom. From the penalty Odemwingie sent Green the wrong way and got the opener for West Brom.

The West Brom goal finally brought West Ham to life and five minutes later Scott Parker came to West Ham's rescue once again. Cole won the ball for West Ham and Parker shot straight into the top left hand corner of the goal from 25 yards.

A few minutes later and Gabbidon headed straight at the keeper from a corner and then Boa Morte robbed Morrison and forced a smart save from Carson. So it was all square at half-time with West Ham ending the half with at least five minutes of attacking football.

Four minutes into the second half Dyer was brought down in the area and this time West Ham won a penalty. Piquionne grabbed the ball and scored, shooting into the top of the net. A few minutes after taking the lead Boa Morte was replaced by Kovac for West Ham.

In the 62nd minute Dyer rolled a beautiful flick to Piquionne who fired the ball wide from just inside the penalty area. Five minutes after that and Cox replaced Dorrans for West Brom. His first action of the game was to immediately fire a long range shot wide of the West Ham goal.

In the 71st minute Brunt crossed from the right and Pablo headed in from close range to get West Brom back on level terms. In the 76th minute Cole was replaced by Obinna with what looked like a hamstring injury. In the 78th minute Dyer forced a save from Carson.

In the 88th minute Barrera was taken off for McCarthy. Four minutes time was added on at the end of the game but West Brom looked the more likely to get the winner as they forced a succession of corners.

It would be nice to win the occasional game. Oh well, we won't be out of the relegation zone on Saturday night then.

Out of the Drop Zone by Sunday

Avram Grant has told The Sun, "We want to be out of the bottom three by Saturday evening. That is our target."

The next two games are certainly must win games for West Ham but to achieve this feat West Ham will also need results to go their way elsewhere.

The Daily Express are among a number of papers who say that the next two games are must win games for Grant as well. The papers say that Grant was given a target of seven points from four games before the draw at Birmingham. That leaves him searching for six points from the games against West Brom, Blackpool and Liverpool.

The Daily Mail says that Mark Noble is returning to light fitness work this week after having his appendix removed. They claim he will still miss the next two games.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Relegation "Would Be Simply Horrific"

Speaking to The Evening Standard last week David Sullivan said that West Ham's debts have been reduced from over £100 to around £85 million. However Sullivan warned that despite the reduced debts the club would struggle to survive relegation,

"The debt is around £85m currently. It's difficult because you're in negotiations with banks who have vetoes and if you do certain things you're in breach and they can call in the debt. They've been as supportive as they can but they don't work for West Ham, they act for their shareholders.

All the time the debts have come down but we've had lots to cope with. For example, before we came the club took two years' season-ticket money up front so we've had to roll that for another year.

We've still got players on contracts which really aren't sustainable. Also there were no options on players so when the contracts run down you lose them. Some are on such money that we can't afford to renew on their existing terms.

If we get relegated the financial implications would be simply horrific and I would feel I have failed."

Cole Targets Goals

The Guardian report that Avram Grant is on borrowed time. They repeat the rumour that Grant has been given an ultimatum to get at least a minimum of six points from the next three matches.

Carlton Cole says he is desperate to get back into goal scoring form,

"I don't want to be known as a striker who does not score. All I want to do now is to get back to where I was. My game has always been about getting the ball and holding it up and bringing others into play.

"That's how I got into the England team, it was not about my goals, but my hold-up play. If I can get back to that, and also start scoring some goals on top of that, then I should be a threat in the future.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Upson to be Sold in January?

The People claim that West Ham are after Swansea winger Joe Allen. It says West Ham will make a £2.5 million bid for the player in January. The paper also says that QPR player Jamie Mackie is a target but is too expensive at £3 million.

The People also claim that West Ham will sell Matthew Upson in January for a small fee as they can't afford for him to leave on a free at the end of the season. The paper says West Ham will let him go for £3 million.

According to Talk Sport Junior Stanislas is set to be loaned to Leeds for the rest of the season.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Birmingham 2 West Ham 2

West Ham started with Upson back in defence and Behrami in for the injured Noble.

The first half saw a pretty good all round display from West Ham. At the back West Ham restricted Birmingham to only two attempts in the first 45 minutes and at the other end the Irons managed to carve out a few clear cut goal scoring chances.

West Ham came closest to taking the lead when Cole was only denied by a brilliant save from Foster in goal. The opportunity came in the 18th minute when an Obinna cross was deflected goalwards by Cole. Foster got down really well to divert the ball onto the post.

Cole came close again in the 40th minute when he turned and shot in the box from 8 yards. Cole however was unable to get much power on the shot and Foster was just able to get down and save again from the West Ham striker.

West Ham had a number of other efforts on goal in the first half and after largely dominating the game would probably have been a little disappointed going into the break still on level terms.

West Ham took just two minutes to grab the lead in the second half. Boa Morte played a great ball forward from the half way line to Piquionne who fired a low shot into the back of the net from 12 yards.

In the 58th minute West Ham went two up when Parker played a ball forward to Cole wide left of the Birmingham penalty area. Cole then played a square ball just outside the area to Behrami who fired home from 12 yards. A couple of minutes after that Obinna worked his way into the box and fired a shot that Foster might just have got a touch on to deflect it onto the crossbar.

If that goal had gone in I think the game would have been all over but unfortunately for West Ham that seemed to wake Birmingham up. In a space of eleven minutes Birmingham attacked the West Ham area and with their first two shots on target in the game were back on level terms.

In the 64th minute Zigic rose in the area to knock the ball down to Jerome to fire in from 5 yards. In the 74th minute Green did well to save a Larsson 30 yard freekick but the ball fell to Ridgewell who scored from 4 yards.

After that the game really opened up and both sides created good chances. For Birmingham a Jerome shot from close range was just deflected against the post by Gabbidon. At the other end Behrami shot over from 10 yards and Piquionne headed over the same bar from 10 yards.

A pretty amazing second half saw four goals and, although West Ham could be seen to have thrown away a two goal lead, all-in-all it was a pretty good performance. It's a real shame the team didn't pick up the three points that the performance deserved.

It is beginning to look like it is going to be a battle between West Ham, Stoke, Wigan and Wolves at the bottom. Hopefully a few more performances like this and we can fight our way clear.

Shake Up Coming in January

According to The Daily Mail David Sullivan has told manager Avram Grant that West Ham must take seven points from their next three matches.

"If we don't achieve that we know we have a real problem and that we have to shuffle the pack," he warned.

However The Express have a full interview with David Sullivan that reveals that the manager's job is safe and that Sullivan is actually talking about selling and buying players in January.

"In five or six games, if we take stock and say, ‘We are a relegation side’, then in January we have to bring people in.

"We will have to find the money from somewhere – sell a few, buy a few, shake the pack up. If the hand we have got hasn’t delivered enough points in the first half of the season, then we have to change our hand."

"We have a history of standing by our managers because that is the moral thing to do and because, statistically, it is no more successful changing your manager than it is sticking it out."

“I don’t see any sign whatsoever that he (Grant) has lost the dressing room."

Thursday, November 04, 2010

West Ham Sued Again

According to The Sun French club Toulouse are taking legal action against West Ham over the signing of Herita Ilunga.

The Sun says that West Ham have been accused of not paying in full for Ilunga and Toulouse are demanding £220,000 in the High Court this week.

West Ham paid Toulouse two initial instalments of £400,000 and £1.5million. West Ham have paid what they consider a final sum of £700,000 to Toulouse - but the French club want another £220,000.

The Mirror claim that Matthew Upson is set to leave West Ham as a free agent at the end of the season. They say that West Ham are resigned to losing the England defender on a free transfer next summer.

West Ham have tried to tempt Upson, 31, with fresh terms after Scott Parker penned a new deal at Upton Park. But the England centre-back, who has 21 caps, has refused to extend his £60,000-a-week deal at the club.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Behrami Committed to the Cause

The Daily Mail have taken Carlton Cole's absence from West Ham's usual starting eleven as a sign that he will be offloaded by West Ham in January. They claim that Avram Grant will look to cash in on the player before his value plummets.

Valon Behrami is probably hoping that he gets a bit of run in the team now that Mark Noble is sidelined for a month. Behrami says he is committed to West Ham,

"I am feeling good. I have had some bad luck in the last two years with injuries and it seems I have spent a lot of time in this situation. It is normal that my confidence is not so high but I have been working hard and if I keep giving this effort, it will be okay. I am thinking positive.

"It is not always easy but it is great to be back with the team and ready to play again. It is very important for me to get back to playing. A lot of things have been written and said. The only place I can prove my commitment is on the pitch and I am here for that."

The Daily Mail report that West Ham defender Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson has joined Steve McClaren's Wolfsburg on a four-day trial.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Noble Out for a Month

Mark Noble has been ruled out for a month after having surgery to remove his appendix last night.

This is really bad news for West Ham. Not only has Noble looked really good in the last couple of games West Ham are also really light in central midfield. Thomas Hitzlsperger is also ruled out until the new year which leaves West Ham with the hapless Kovac to partner Parker.

West Ham really need to pick up points in November. That task now look a lot harder. I'm beginning to think that we are doomed to relegation this season.

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