Monday, January 31, 2011

One More In & Two Out?

I'm pretty sure that the club's owners said yesterday that no players would be leaving West Ham today. However KUMB are reporting that Ilunga and McCarthy could both be on the move before the end of the transfer window today.

KUMB also say that West Ham have signed 17-year-old striker Paul McCallum. The Dulwich Hamlets youngster is seen as a very hot prospect and has been chased by a number of Premier League clubs. As yet there seems to be no official confirmation of this.

West Ham Till I Die claim that West Ham are said to be interested in Swansea winger Darren Pratley.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

West Ham Sign Keane

Robbie Keane has signed with West Ham for the rest of the season. The official site says he "has joined on an initial six-month basis, which will continue for a further two years provided the club are in the Premier League next season."

Avram Grant also hinted today that there may be one more addition to the squad before the deadline on Monday, saying

"There is maybe one more to come in."

West Ham Face Burnley in the FA Cup

West Ham were first out of the bag to get a nice home game against Burnley in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Crawley Town got a great draw away to Man Utd and Leyton Orient face Arsenal at home.

West Ham 3 Forest 2

This was yet another game of two halves for West Ham. A very early goal for Obinna gave West Ham fans the hope that this might be an easy game. However West Ham very quickly reverted to type and sat deep and let Forest dominate most of the half.

Forest's dominance in the first half was rewarded by goals from Adebola and McGoldrick and they looked like they would head into half-time with a deserved lead. However a few minutes before the half-time whistle Obinna got West Ham back into the game with a wonder goal. Obinna flew down the left wing and then unleashed a shot from tight on the touchline which beat Camp in goal.

After the break West Ham were a different team and took charge of the game. It only took West Ham seven minutes to grab the lead. Reid was clearly pulled back by Lynch in the area and the ref gave a penalty. Lynch deserved to be sent off but escaped with a yellow card. Obinna then stepped up and fired the ball home to claim his hat-trick.

As the half progressed West Ham had a number of other chances to extend their lead but failed to convert. This resulted in a bit of an uncomfortable finish to the game when Forest had a few good chances, from Gunter, Morgan and McGoldrick, to get back into the tie.

However West Ham managed to hold on and go through to the next round.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Behrami Sold

I seem to have missed this one yesterday. Behrami has been sold to Fiorentina.

Fiorentina's sporting director, Pantaleo Corvino said,

"In the end we closed for €2million (£1.7m) plus a percentage of (Manuel) Da Costa, who we still part owned."

So West Ham seem to have sold Behrami for £1.7 million with whatever West Ham still owed for Da Costa being written off.

West Ham Sign Ba

The official West Ham website has announced the signing of Demba Ba on a permanent contract until June 2014.

The 25-year-old joins from Hoffenheim, for whom he netted 40 in 103 appearances over the past three-and-a-half seasons. As ever these days the fee West Ham paid is undisclosed, although the West Ham website says that Ba's wages will be heavily dependent on appearances.

The West Ham website also says that, "the club are aiming to further strengthen the squad before Monday night's deadline."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

West Ham to Sue FA

ESPN are reporting that West Ham are about to serve the FA with a writ for compensation for the injury suffered by Dean Ashton whilst training for England.

The FA claim that Ashton went on to play 40 times for West Ham after his injury and therefore feel happy that they can dodge their moral duty. ESPN say the writ will be for £10.5 million. That is £8 million for insurance costs and £2.5 million for the pay-out that the club paid Ashton when he was forced to quit in December 2009.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Birmingham 3 West Ham 1 (4-3)

For much of the first half, like most of the first leg, there was only one team in this game. Both teams probably shared the territory and possession of the ball but only West Ham really looked like scoring.

For West Ham, Cole and Hines both had early chances that both the strikers would probably feel they should have done better with. After half an hour of the game gone all West Ham really had to worry about was that they had not extended their lead and so, despite their dominance of the goal scoring chances, the game was still evenly poised.

However in the 32nd minute Cole scored a beautiful goal from distance that curled around Foster and landed sweetly in the back of the net. Six minutes later, Hines, with his back to goal, 10 yards out, managed to audaciously hook the ball goalwards, only to see the ball clip the post as it went wide.

At the other end Birmingham managed to get the ball on target from a freekick, which Green managed to easily gather. But that was a rare effort from Birmingham and West Ham went into half-time with the tie seemingly sewn up.

Birmingham brought on the man-freak Zigic for the second half, so it was fairly obvious that West Ham were going to face an aerial bombardment. The tactic worked brilliantly for Birmingham. In the 53rd minute Zigic chested the ball down for Gardner, whose shot from the edge of the box hit the bottom of the post and rolled across the goal-line and wide.

In the 58th minute Bridge clearly handballed in the area but the ref gave a corner. From the corner Bowyer reacted first to the second ball and fired home from 10 yards.

Most of the second half continued to be one way traffic and Birmingham got the seemingly inevitable equaliser (over the two games) when Johnson headed a corner in from 7 yards. With seconds left in the half Gardner hit the post from 25 yards. That miss ensured the game went to extra time.

Four minutes into extra time Gardner got another chance from exactly the same spot and this time, despite Green getting a hand to the ball, he got a goal.

After Birmingham's goal West Ham huffed and puffed a bit and Noble and Parker both had efforts on goal, which didn't trouble Foster unduly. Birmingham therefore strolled through the first period of extra time without much trouble.

In the second period of extra time Parker had a tame effort on goal which flew wide. West Ham's best chance was a Cole hooked shot from 6 yards which was saved by Foster.

So again West Ham demonstrated that they are incapable of holding onto a lead. West Ham probably played the better football over the two legs. The major difference between the two side was that when Birmingham went behind they seemed able to lift themselves and get back into the game, whereas the one time West Ham went behind in the tie they never really looked like they could get back on even terms.

Behrami Edges Out the Door

The Telegraph say that West Ham have agreed a £1 million loan fee for Robbie Keane with West Ham prepared to cover his wages of £65,000 a week for the remainder of the season. The paper say West Ham have also committed to buy Keane for £6 million if they avoid relegation.

The Mail quote Avram Grant as saying that Behrami has almost been sold,

'The deal (for Behrami to Fiorentina) is nearly done. I think everything will be OK. It is just formalities and of course money.'

The Daily Mirror report that Sunderland are ready to offer £3.5m for Piquionne.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

West Ham Sign O'Neil

West Ham have signed midfielder Gary O'Neil from Middlesbrough on a two-and-a-half year contract. Having signed today he will be eligible for Wednesday night's Carling Cup semi-final return at Birmingham City. As usual the fee is 'undisclosed'.

The official announcement from the West Ham official site also contains a nice little nugget at the end, reading,

"Thomas Hitzlsperger ... is now training fully with the club's reserve squad."

O'Neill and Demba Ba Set to Sign Today

Many of today's papers think that West Ham are likely to sign and register Gary O'Neil and Demba Ba by midday today, allowing both players to be in the squad for the semi-final, second leg against Birmingham.

The Telegraph claim that as well as signing winger Gary O’Neil from Middlesbrough for £1.5 million West Ham are also considering a £4.5 million move for Stoke City striker Tuncay Sanli. The paper suggest that any move for Tuncay depends on West Ham's success, or non-success, in signing Robbie Keane.

The Mirror say West Ham still want El Hadji Diouf from Blackburn.

Sky Italia report that Valon Behrami has arrived in Florence and could sign for Fiorentina today.

West Ham to Sign O'Neil

The Middlesbrough official website say that the club have accepted an undisclosed bid from West Ham for midfielder Gary O'Neil.

West Ham have been given permission by Boro to discuss personal terms with the former Portsmouth player.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Demba Ba Signs for West Ham

Sky Sports are reporting that Demba Ba has completed his loan move to West Ham. Sky reported yesterday that the move includes an option to sign the player permanently in the summer. As yet the official West Ham website has no news of the signing - although apparently it has been confirmed on Demba Ba's own website.

Sky Sports also report that West Ham have turned down an approach by Sunderland for Piquionne.

The Mail report that West Ham are confident that Carlton Cole will be fit to face Birmingham in the semi-final on Wednesday.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Demba Ba to Sign Tomorrow

'Sky Sports understands' that Demba Ba is set to sign for West Ham on loan for the rest of the season.

Sky also report that despite the striker failing a medical at Stoke last week the Potters were still keen to sign him on loan. Hoffenheim however are not keen for him to go out on loan without a view to a permanent deal. Something which West Ham have apparently agreed.

Semi-Final Striker Woes

Piquionne's sending off against Everton has left Avram Grant with a real head ache up front for the Carling Cup semi-final second leg. Grant says on the West Ham official site,

"Now like Victor Obinna, Frederic Piquionne is suspended for the semi-final at Birmingham City, while Carlton Cole is injured.

"I don't know if he'll be available because he's only got four days to get fit. At the moment, I'm down to Freddie Sears, Zavon Hines and Frank Nouble."

The People claim that West Ham are close to signing Demba Ba in a deal worth up to £5 million. They say because of Ba's knee problems, that saw him fail a medical at Stoke last week, West Ham will pay the fee in stages.

The Mail say Everton are also still in the race to sign Demba Ba who 'may not be fit to play until April'.

Friday, January 21, 2011

West Ham Target Crocks and Has-Beens

The Mail claim West Ham are considering a free transfer for El-Hadji Diouf.

The Sun claim West Ham will sign crocked striker Demba Ba on loan for the rest of the season. Demba Ba's move to Stoke recently fell through after he failed a medical.

The Mirror claim Sp~rs are refusing to allow Keane to move to West Ham on loan. They say the club will only sanction a permanent deal.

Obinna's agent says the player will not be moving to Birmingham.

The Sun run a shock exclusive that the Tottenh#am manager doesn't want the Olympic Stadium to go to West Ham. Who would have thunk it?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Da Costa Charged

The Daily Mail say Monaco are lining up a £1.5million bid for West Ham defender Herita Ilunga.

The Daily Star claim West Ham are targeting Sporting Lisbon’s attacking midfielder Simon Vuksevic.

Manuel Da Costa has been charged with sexual assault following an alleged incident in October at Faces nightclub. Da Costa will appear at Redbridge Magistrates' Court on January 25 charged with sexual assault and common assault on a woman.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Frenzied Transfer Rumours

Sky claim that Blackburn and Aston Villa have both lodged bids for Sebastian Larsson. They also say that West Ham United have 'made an enquiry'.

The Daily Telegraph say West Ham are considering a loan bid for Nicklas Bendtner. Arsenal however would prefer to sell.

The paper also say that West Ham have made a tentative inquiry to bring Joe Cole back to the club. Finally The Telegraph report that West Ham's hopes of signing Robbie Keane 'have faded'.

The Mirror however say that West Ham will raise £10 million (??????) from selling Valon Behrami to ­Fiorentina and will spend £8 million of that on buying Keane. The Mirror also claim that Hoffenheim are set to sign Liverpool’s Ryan Babel freeing Demba Ba to move to West Ham.

The Sun report that Paris St Germain striker Peguy Luyindula is tempted by a move to West Ham. They quote the 31 year old saying,

"West Ham is London, and I have half my family in London. In football, nothing is impossible. If a club offers something that PSG cannot refuse...I will leave it with my agent."

The Mail say that West Ham striker Benni McCarthy will hold talks with QPR today.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

West Ham Committed to Avram Grant - Ha!

West Ham have finally released an official statement about the future of Avram Grant. Contrary to all rumours the club claim that they 'are committed to retaining Avram Grant as manager and have identified potential transfer targets to give us the best possible chance of retaining Premier League status.'

The statement also says it denies 'allegations made in today's Daily Mirror with regard to Karren Brady' and has placed the matter in the hands of their lawyers.

The Mirror claims that Brady has been talking to senior players at the club asking them if they wanted to demand the manager’s head.

Most of the newspapers seem to think that West Ham are far from committed to Avram Grant and have only been forced to retain him because of their whole mishandling of the situation. The leaking on Saturday that Grant was about to be sacked seems to have put off O'Neill and other managerial targets.

Obviously I don't want to get involved in any legal battles over the claims that Brady has been trying to get the players to revolt against the manager. However I can't help wondering if Parker's absence on Saturday had anything to do with his feelings over the way Grant was being treated by the club.

I have also heard pretty strong rumours that the BBC's 'inside source' on Saturday was Karren Brady and that she was personally responsible for the rumours that Grant was to be replaced by Martin O'Neill after the Arsenal game.

Whatever has happened behind the scenes at West Ham one thing is certain. The present owners have completely mishandled the situation, have seriously damaged the reputation of West Ham, have seriously undermined Avram Grant and also seem to have pissed off a number of senior players.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The No Real News - Round-up

There is still a deafening silence from West Ham over the future of Avram Grant. Which leaves the papers free to speculate and throw around their 'senior sources' claims.

The Express say that West Ham boss Avram Grant has already negotiated a pay-off on his four-year deal.

The Telegraph say West Ham have decided to sack Grant this week but Martin O'Neill has yet to agree terms to take over.

The Sun claim Avram Grant has told friends he will never resign. They also say Martin O'Neill will not consider the job whilst Grant is still in charge.

The Daily Star claim West Ham are offering Martin O'Neill a summer war chest worth up to £20m.

Lots of the papers write that Martin O'Neill has serious misgivings over the West Ham job.

The Daily Mail report that West Ham and Fiorentina are likely to agree a transfer fee for Valon Behrami this week.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sky Sports Understands - Very Little

For what it's worth:

After yesterday announcing that a 'senior source' at West Ham had told them that Grant would be replaced after the Arsenal game Sky Sports now claims a 'senior source' has today told them that Grant's future will be decided this week.

Sky don't say if this the same 'senior source' saying something completely different to what was said yesterday, or a different source who is contradicting their other senior source.

Here's my lack of understanding of the situation:

1. Some journalists are trying to sell copy by second guessing Grant's position and trying to gain some authenticity by inventing some anonymous sources.


2. The club are leaking this stuff to the media in an attempt to force Grant to resign and therefore avoid paying him compensation.


3. The club have failed to convince any of their managerial targets to take over at West Ham and won't sack Grant until they can name a replacement.


4. There is some disagreement on the board about whether to replace Grant or not, so certain board members are trying to the force the issue by releasing stuff to the media.

Turmoil at West Ham

It has been a shocking 24 hours at West Ham.

I'm not even bothering with the Sunday papers today as it seems that no-one really knows what is going on at the club.

The speculation yesterday that Grant was to be sacked and Martin O'Neill is to be named as his successor for all I know may not have emanated from West Ham. However, whether the talk of of Grant's sacking is true or not, the club should by now have released an official statement to settle the matter one way or the other.

A lot of supporters seem to be getting fed up (as Grant seems to be) with Karen Brady's Sun column. Grant seemed to take particular umbrage at Brady using her column to announce that Sidwell was not signed because of West Ham's depth in midfield.

Looking at the midfield that finished yesterday's game proves the fallacy of that claim. What the club needs now is not the drip feed of self-interested news from Brady's column but an official announcement about Grant's position and some positive action in the transfer market.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Unlucky Avram

It is definitely a day to feel sorry for Avram Grant. This morning all the rumours were saying that this was likely to be Grant's last game. If this was his last game the God's conspired to ensure that he didn't leave with a bang.

An ankle injury to Parker forced Grant to play a central midfield of Noble and Kovac. Once the game started an early injury to Noble meant that West Ham had to play most of the game with a midfield of Kovac, Hines, Sears and Boa Morte with Cole up front on his own and Spector playing in some sort of hole behind Cole.

Despite the potential of Hines and Sears that is a midfield and strike force that I think would struggle in the Championship, let alone against a team contesting the Premier League title.

Before the game Grant probably thought that for the first time this season he at least had some strength at left back. However Wayne Bridge had a nightmare of a first half and in the second half things went from bad to worse, with Bridge giving away a penalty before picking up an injury and being substituted.

After the game Grant waved to the crowd and threw his scarf into the West Stand which certainly looked like the actions of a man who thought that this was his last game.

If Grant is replaced I think he will be remembered fondly for the dignity he has shown under pressure, if not for the performance of his team on the pitch. His reign at West Ham, from the pre-season injury to Hitzlsperger to the injuries that forced him to put out a very weak side today, has been plagued with bad luck.

O'Neill to Replace Grant

Both Sky Sports and the BBC are reporting that Martin O'Neill will replace Avram Grant as manager of West Ham after Saturday's Premier League match against Arsenal. However The Guardian say that they have contacted West Ham and that a 'senior board member' told them,

"I can categorically say that it is not correct. I do not know where that has come from."

It had been reported this week that Martin O'Neill was not convinced that West Ham could avoid relegation this season and was therefore less than keen to become manager. If rumours of O'Neill's appointment are true then it may mean that the board have promised him money to spend in the current transfer window.

Considering West Ham's current position the recruitment of O'Neill would be a huge accomplishment by the board.

Friday, January 14, 2011

West Ham Transfer News

West Ham have apparently given a trial to Guinea winger Pascal Feindouno, who is currently out of contract.

The Mirror claim Arsenal are only prepared to pay £500,000 for West Ham captain Matthew Upson.

The Daily Mail say West Ham are favourites to sign Robbie Keane.

Various reports suggest Stoke are trying to hijack West Ham's move for Hoffenheim striker Demba Ba.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Avram Survives

So it appears that the much heralded meeting of the West Ham board yesterday has not led to the replacement of Avram Grant as manager.

Sky Sports today report that West Ham talisman Scott Parker says the players are fully behind Avram Grant. Asked if the players were united behind Grant, Parker said,

"Yes, definitely. The lads are fighting as much as the gaffer is fighting. We're all in the same corner.

"We're all trying to do our best for ourselves, for the manager, for the club. The manager's got tons and tons of experience and he's doing a good job.

"If you believed everything you heard about this club, you'd be rather a stressed man. Avram's demeanour seems quite relaxed and chilled out and I think that filters down to the players."

The Daily Express suggest that Grant remains in place because Martin O'Neill does not want to manage West Ham.

They claim that West Ham have been informally told that O’Neill "has serious misgivings about whether the Hammers squad, who are bottom of the table, are strong enough to survive and doubts whether the club have enough money to achieve his ambitions."

The Express however say that Grant is still only just clinging onto his job and that the club are still considering Sam Allardyce or Chris Hughton as a potential replacement.

The Sun however claim that Martin O'Neill is still a West Ham target. They claim that if West Ham lose badly against Arsenal then the board will replace him.

They say that despite O'Neill's worries about West Ham's position he "remains desperate to get back into top-flight management and increasingly realises there may be few, if any, other job opportunities in the summer."

The Sun say that O'Neill is overwhelmingly the West Ham board's preferred replacement.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bridge Signs on Loan

West Ham have announced the signing of Wayne Bridge on loan until the end of the season.

Bridge said of his temporary signing,

"I am delighted to sign for West Ham United. I am just looking forward to meeting everyone at the training ground, starting work and getting out on the pitch and playing in front of the fans. I am glad the loan is sorted and I'm ready to play.

"It will be great to play a part in helping keep West Ham in the Premier League. It would be a big achievement."

Bridge Deal Not Done

Wayne Bridge underwent a medical at West Ham yesterday. With Bridge also conspicuously watching West Ham's game last night I think everyone assumed that Bridge's loan move to West Ham was done and dusted.

Sky Sports are today quoting Avram Grant as saying that the "The deal isn't done." However Sky still report that Bridge is expected to sign in time to face Arsenal.

The Sun and The Daily Mirror are reporting that Stoke have made a £4 million bid for West Ham’s Mark Noble.

The Independent claim that Arsenal are showing interest in West Ham captain Matthew Upson.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Grant Gambles Again

Avram Grant gambled once again with his cup selections. Before the game the selection of Upson at left back and what looked like the selection of Spector in attack seemed strange to say the least.

As it turned out Spector actually played more of a midfield role than as an out and out striker and West Ham's total dominance in the first half seemed to justify Grant's selection.

After the first half the only thing West Ham would have been worried about was that they only lead by one Noble goal. However Birmingham came out the much better side. Then after they equalised Obinna's insane kicking out seemed to ensure that Birmingham would go on to win the game.

After storming out of the ground on Saturday Obinna certainly owes his team mates a huge apology for his behaviour this week. As it turned out Foster's mistake at Cole's scuffed shot saved West Ham's evening.

Going into the second leg the tie looks fairly even and the final is still in West Ham's sights.

Bridge Set for West Ham

The Star and The Mail both say that West Ham will sign Wayne Bridge on loan in time for him to play against Arsenal on Saturday. Both papers say that West Ham have agreed to pay Bridge's £90,000 a week wages in full.

Elsewhere there is the now normal speculation about Avram Grant's job and some of the papers have also noticed, once again, that Matthew Upson has not renewed his contract with West Ham.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Grant Hits Out

The Telegraph quote Avram Grant today claiming that someone inside West Ham is trying to undermine him. This seems to be a thinly veiled attack against Karen Brady. I wonder who will win that battle?

"When the rumours are coming from inside the club it doesn’t create much stability. This is the main problem, we need to create stability. Of course I know where the rumours come from and I know there’s people trying to hurt the club.

"Rumours are part of the job but people need to understand more what we are dealing with this season. All the things I have to say to the people at the club, I say to them directly.

"If you don’t have stability, you can’t do your job the same. A club should be like a family.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

West Ham in the Sunday Papers

Yesterday West Ham Till I Die reported that Martin O'Neil was seen at the Boleyn. The Sunday Times are also reporting today that Martin O'Neill is on West Ham's radar. My feeling is that the lack of transfer funds available to any new manager will put off O'Neill.

The News of the World report that Karen Brady has written about how she pulled the plug on Sidwell's transfer to West Ham. She claimed that the owners believe that midfield is not an area that we need new players.

The NoW suggest that Avaram Grant's post match comments yesterday suggest he is far from happy at not having the final choice over the players he feels he needs. The NoW claim that the board will meet on Wednesday but have already taken the decision to fire Grant. However they do not yet have a replacement lined up.

The People and The Star say that West Ham are ready to offer Fat Sam a six month contract.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

West Ham 2 Barnsley 0

Avram made wholesale changes for this game. Only Noble, Tomkins, Green and Piquionne managed to retain their places as Grant took the opportunity to rest players.

Despite the unfamiliar line-up West Ham settled down well. Noble soon began to pull the strings in midfield and West Ham took the game to Barnsley.

In the 25th minute Barrera had a great opportunity to grab the lead but missed with his head from close range when it looked easier to score. Just as West Ham might have begun to worry that they hadn't taken advantage of all their possession cup hero Jonathon Spector stepped up to the plate. In the 28th minute Spector pounced on a blocked shot from Noble and passed the ball into the back of the net.

In the 35th minute a mistake from Tomkins allowed Lovre behind the defence but he wasted a golden opportunity to equalise by shooting straight at Green. Two minutes later Obinna was clearly taken down in the area by goalkeeper Steele, however the ref decided to only give a corner.

In the 40th minute Hines had a great chance to extend West Ham's lead. Hines appeared to have an open goal from close range but Steele somehow managed to recover in time and block the shot. The ball fell back to Hines but Steele also managed to block his second attempt.

A great first half from West Ham ended with the home team wondering how they went into the break only one goal to the good.

Barnsley started the second half strongly. In the 56th minute Tomkins fouled Hammill in the area but the referee evened things up by denying the second clear cut penalty of the game.

Barnsley continued to perform much better in the second half, sending the game into a bit of a stalemate. In the 70th minute Nouble did manage to break behind the Barnsley defence but could only scuff the ball past Steele and Hassell was able to get back to clear.

With Barnsley continuing to press forward Avram Grant was forced to being on Parker for Obinna and then Piquionne for Nouble. I'm sure Grant would have preferred to have kept both players on the bench but West Ham's second half performance demanded the change.

In the final minutes the game came back to life again. First Edgar, with his first involvement of the game, had a great opportunity but shot wide from ten yards. Then Barnsley had a great chance at the other end and Hammill was unlucky to see his shot hit the crossbar. West Ham then broke in turn and Piquionne claimed West Ham's second with a shot from the edge of the area.

This really was a game of two halves. West Ham were in total control in the first half and should have had the game wrapped up by the break. In the second half Barnsley showed a bit more adventure and West Ham returned to type. In the end though West Ham probably just about deserved to go through to the next round.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

West Ham's New Front Line

West Ham have targeted up to 15 players in this transfer window.

I can exclusively reveal that West Ham are planning to buy three forwards all from the same club, Greek side Veria.

Here is footage of the three players in action:

Transfer News - All Bad

It seems that West Ham target Steve Sidwell is now talking to Wolves. Sky report that 'the midfielder's proposed move to West Ham hit a stumbling block' and it appears that Wolves are now favourite to sign the player.

West Ham target Demba Ba has been told by Hoffenheim general manager Ernst Tanner to forget any plans he has of moving this month. Demba Ba has been told that after going on strike he will never play for Hoffenheim again and, according to Tanner,

"He will be fined and have his contract terminated, but he will not be able to play for any other club.

West Ham's owners have promised two or three signings in January but it appears that their top targets are proving elusive. I wonder how the hunt for a new manager is progressing :)

Indecision at West Ham

After last night's performance I felt pretty sure that Avram Grant would be replaced before Saturday's FA Cup game against Barnsley. However according to Sky Sports indecision reigns at West Ham.

Sky claim that they have been told by a 'senior figure' at the club that the owners are undecided whether to replace Grant or not. Sky do say that there are no plans to hold an emergency board meeting today so that suggests that Grant's position is safe, at least until the next game.

Harry Harris on ESPN says that the West Ham board are now considering who will be Grant's replacement. He claims that Sam Allardyce and Chris Hughton are the favourites but because of cup games West Ham have a week to make the decision before the next Premier League game.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Newcastle 5 West Ham 0

Newcastle came out with all guns blazing and created a flurry of chances in the first five minutes. Their best effort fell to Best who headed wide from 6 yards.

West Ham then seemed to have weathered the early pressure and started to get a foothold in the game. The Irons even managed to get a shot on target in the 13th minute when Parker forced a save from 20 yards.

However in the 18th minute Piquionne lost the ball in the Newcastle half, the ball was pumped forward and Loverkrands sent Best clear and the Newcastle striker buried the ball from 8 yards.

Newcastle got their second in the 39th minute when West Ham went to sleep at a freekick, allowing Loverkrands to get to the byline and fire the ball across the box for Best to grab his second from 5 yards.

In the 44th minute a poor clearance by West Ham fell to Nolan at the edge of the area and he passed the ball into the back of the net for Newcastle's third.

West Ham brought on Behrami and Obinna for Kovac and Piquionne at the start of the second half. The changes didn't have much immediate effect however. In the 59th minute Best was left completely unmarked and was given a free shot on goal just inside the area to get his hat-trick.

In the 64th minute Barton crossed the ball from the right wing. Loverkrands strolled past Upson and fired the ball in from four yards. In the 70th minute Hines came on for Noble. In the 72nd minute a Cole overhead kick from 5 yards was saved by Harper.

In the 73rd minute with only Green to beat Ranger fired the ball well wide. In the 82nd minute Obinna played Cole into the area but Cole couldn't put the ball past an out rushing Harper. In the 90th minute Sears dribbled round Harper but was driven wide. He managed to screw the ball back across the goalmouth but no West Ham players were following up.

You have to say that this was a shambolic performance from West Ham. It was the kind of performance that you would think demands some sort of reaction from the owners. I just wonder if Avram will still be in charge for the Barnsley game?

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Demba Ba and Other Rumours

Many of the newspapers today report that Newcastle's Andy Carroll will miss tomorrow's game against West Ham.

The Telegraph report that West Ham have made a £6 million offer for Senegal striker Demba Ba (The Sun say £5 million).

The Telegraph also say that Aston Villa midfielder Steve Sidwell has undergone a medical at West Ham but it is understood that two other Premier League clubs are also interested in him.

The Sun claim Benni McCarthy is looking to move to America and the MLS.

The Mirror say West Ham are leading the chase for Middlesbrough's Tuncay.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Coe Backs West Ham Bid

Sebastian Coe appears to have backed West Ham's case for taking over the Olympics Stadium, hinting that Sp#rs' bid doesn't meet the requirement of having an athletics legacy after the Olympics.

Coe said,

"We are told that West Ham are happy to play football within a track and Tottenham have clearly said not. Conclude from that what you want.

"We have had assurances that the tenders will be underpinned by the recognition that commitments were made to the IOC and to the international federations about a track and field legacy, and we have no reason to believe the OPLC will do anything to contradict that."

The Sun and The Mirror both claim that West Ham have tabled a £4 million bid for Liam Lawrence, who has just joined Portsmouth. The midfielder, 29, only completed a permanent move from Stoke yesterday.

The Sun and Mirror both make this ludicrous claim even while both acknowledge that you cannot buy and sell the same player in a single transfer window.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

West Ham 2 Wolves 0

For the first half hour of this game both sides seemed intent on demonstrating why they are occupying the bottom spots in the league, with some pretty awful football from both teams.

In the 30th minute however Scott Parker played a lovely ball in behind the defence for Cole but, with only the goalkeeper to beat, Cole screwed his shot just wide of the left hand post from 10 yards. Although Cole should have at least hit the target this sight on goal did seem to spur West Ham into action.

Although West Ham dominated the final quarter of an hour of the half they only really managed one more clear opportunity. In the 41st minute Sears fired in a low shot from 8 yards only to see his effort cleared off the line.

At the other end Wolves looked dangerous from corners. Outside of set pieces however they only managed one weak shot on goal when Ward shot from 20 yards in the 14th minute. But his effort was straight at Green in goal.

For the first five minutes of the second half Wolves bombarded the West Ham goal. Ebanks-Blake had two shots on goal blocked by Upson and Green was forced into two saves from close range headers (one by Cole I think).

After holding out Wolves' initial flurry West Ham were then handed an own goal. A cross from Piquionne left Cole with an open goal from 8 yards. Cole however completely missed the ball but Zubar decided to save Cole's blushes by putting the ball into the back of his own net.

Wolves then had enough possession to make for some nervous moments for West Ham. Their best chance fell to Ebanks-Blake in the 77th minute but his header from 7 yards cannoned back off the crossbar.

In the 79th minute Sears made the result safe by shooting home Ben-Haim's cross from 10 yards.

So West Ham jump 5 places in the league and are out of the bottom three (at least temporarily). Come on you Irons!

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