Friday, April 29, 2011

Sullivan Attacks Spoit Players

Danny Gabbidon has followed Carlton Cole by being charged by the FA with improper conduct over his clever use of Twitter. Gabbidon Tweeted 'F##k the lot of you' after the defeat against Villa.

The Mail report that Swindon want Wally Downes to replace sacked manager Paul Hart.

The Mail also report on David Sullivan's remarks yesterday about the consequence of West Ham being relegated,

"There would be a £40million hole in our cash flow, which would have to be met by myself and David Gold.

"There would have to be a dramatic change in players coming and going as we could only keep those who are committed to the club and willing to play in the Championship.

"We would also be totally committed to getting promoted immediately."

In The Telegraph Sullivan lays into the spoilt players at West Ham, taking a particular dig at those leaving free transfers in the summer,

"I think some players are spoilt, I don’t say just with our players, I’m saying with all clubs. How do you motivate millionaires? It's a problem all managers have.

"Alex Ferguson has got that fear factor and I do think that a manager needs that fear factor. You look at Alex Ferguson, Arsène Wenger and Jose Mourinho. The players are a little bit frightened of them.

"But I’m sure a few of the players are already looking at where they will be next season — their contracts are up, they’ll be off.

"It means the manager might have a hard decision to make if we go into the last game of the season needing a win to stay up — do you trust the fate of the club to them or do you make the decision that you will not play those players?

"It’s a very difficult decision. Do you go for players who are committed to the club? If you look at that last game and someone is on a Bosman, will that player risk injury? Some will, some won’t. It depends on the mentality of the player."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

O’Neill or Lambert to Replace Grant

The Daily Express claim that West Ham will sack Avram Grant in the summer and try again to sign Martin O'Neill. If O'Neill still isn't interested they will then turn to Norwich City boss Paul Lambert.

The Express claim that if West Ham are relegated O'Neill will be offered a £3 million bonus if he can get the team promoted at the first attempt.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Time for Collison to Return

With Scott Parker a major doubt for Saturday's game things are not looking too good in midfield for West Ham. The Independent say that Mark Noble is undergoing a scan today on a suspected hernia.

The Independent claim that West Ham are hoping he just has a muscle strain but "the more likely scenario is that Noble has suffered a hernia, which would rule him out for the rest of the season."

The good news for West Ham is that Jack Collison now has some much needed match practice for the reserves. Provided Collison comes through today's reserve fixture against Wolves unscathed I think he should at least make the bench for the Man City game this weekend.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Parker Will be Back for Blackburn Game

Avram Grant says that Scott Parker will be back for the Blackburn game on the 7th March and could possibly be fit for Man City. With West Ham presumably targeting the last three games it seems likely that Parker will be rested for the City game.

"I don't know about next Sunday, but he will definitely be fit for the week after. I want him to play against City. I wanted him to play against Chelsea also but it depends on his condition.

The good news is maximum two weeks he will be fit, maybe next week also. Every player wants to play with a good player - he's the player of the year. But he didn't play and we need to play also without him."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Avram Out, Warnock in

The Mirror claim that Neil Warnock will be replaced if QPR get promoted. They then speculate further by claiming that he will be a target for a relegated West Ham who will look to the promotion specialist to get them back in the Premier League.

The Star think that Avram Grant will be Chelsea's Director of Football next season and his first job will be to replace Carlo Ancelotti with Harry ­Redknapp.

The People, The Star and The Mirror both claim that West Ham are interested in Newcastle's Kevin Nolan but Newcastle are unlikely to sell.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chelsea 3 West Ham 0

The first 20 minutes of this game looked very ominous for West Ham. As early as the 3rd minute Malouda got behind the West Ham defence and was only denied by a good save from Green.

However after being forced to defend for the opening period West Ham then started to retain possession and even looked threatening going forward. In the 24th minute Ba forced Cech to tip the ball over the crossbar.

In the 26th minute Sears made a good run down the left and crossed to the far post and Spector's diving header from 6 yards was only denied by a full stretch save from Cech. In the 30th minute a corner from Noble found it's way to Sears who tried a cheeky back flick volley from 6 yards, which was again saved by Cech.

However with minutes to go to half-time Cole crossed from the left and Lampard shot home from 8 yards. This was one of those rare occasions this season when West Ham went into the break actually not deserving to be behind.

The second half was a really open game. Both sides created numerous chances. Da Costa had two good headed chances. In the 53nd minute a 9 yard effort was cleared off the line. In the 78th minute he headed over from 6 yards.

In the 74th minute Keane was clean through on goal and should have at least hit the target from 15 yards but shot wide. In the 69th minute Ba forced a save from Cech with a long range effort.

At the other end Lampard should have got his second but tamely passed back to Green from 6 yards. Luiz hit the crossbar from long range in the 69th minute. With the game in the balance however Torres came on and duly got his first goal for Chelsea from 10 yards.

Then deep into injury time Malouda got Chelsea's third shooting from a few yards outside the penalty area.

For the last few games West Ham have been paying like a team destined for relegation. They still look destined for relegation but at least today they played like a team who want to stay up.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Scott Parker - Player of the Year

West Ham's Scott Parker has won the Football Writers' Footballer of the Year award.

FWA chairman Steve Bates said that,

"Parker has been so consistent this season with his performances in a West Ham team battling for Barclays Premier League survival and as such has forced himself back into the England national set-up.

"He has been an inspirational figure for the Irons and hopefully his professionalism will be rewarded with West Ham staying up at the end of the season."

O'Neill May Never Play Again

The Telegraph report that Gary O'Neill has been told he only has a 50% chance of playing again after Nigel Reo-Coker's two footed challenge last weekend.

The Telegraph say that the ligament was ripped from O’Neil’s ankle in the challenge, which was not even given as a foul by the ref. The paper say that O'Neill is facing at least eight months out, if he recovers at all, and is now considering suing Reo-Coker.

Reo-Coker won the ball in the challenge, which Halsey obviously deemed fair. However Reo-Coker lunged in with his studs showing and I remember thinking at the time that it was a career threatening challenge and that the ex-West Ham player should have been shown a straight red.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cole Fined, Dyer Finished

Wow, here's a shock. Kieron Dyer could miss the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury in a reserve game. Dyer managed 20 minutes of football in Tuesday's game against Bolton before limping off.

Jack Collison however managed a full 90 minutes against Bolton.

Carlton Cole has been fined £20,000 by the FA for a Tweet he made during the England and Ghana international game. His 'joke' about immigration surrounding Wembley Stadium was deemed 'improper conduct' by the FA.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Obinna Off to Napoli?

Today most of the West Ham news is concentrating on the court appearance of a certain West Ham defender yesterday.

The only other news seems to be a rumour that Victor Obinna will move to Napoli at the end of the season.

Obinna will become a free agent during the summer. It seems certain that he will leave West Ham at the end of his loan spell. Obinna no longer seems an automatic choice for the first team so I can't see him wanting to sign for West Ham.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Da Costa Admits Assault

Manuel Da Costa admitted in court today to assaulting a woman in Faces nightclub. The West Ham defender appeared in court wearing a plastic cast on his leg, presumably a result of the injury picked up against Villa on Saturday.

Da Costa was remanded on conditional bail to stand trial on September 12.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

West Ham 1 Aston Villa 2

The first half started so well for West Ham. In the second minute Villa failed to effectively clear a West Ham corner. The ball was knocked back to Keane to turn and score from 7 yards. However, in the 14th minute Da Costa was forced off and, with no Tomkins on the bench, West Ham were forced to bring on Gabbidon.

In the 24th minute Villa thought they had grabbed an equaliser when Bent scored with his head from 6 yards. The ref however decided Bent had used his arms to climb above Jacobsen. West Ham were not so lucky in the 36th minute when Noble decided to try and dribble out of the penalty area rather than hoof the ball clear. Noble was robbed by Heskey, Young crossed to Bent and Bent headed in from 8 yards.

West Ham's luck was no better at the other end of the pitch. In the 16th minute Cole was clean through on goal and Dunne clearly fouled the striker just outside the area. Instead of giving the foul and sending Dunne off Halsey allowed play to continue. In the 40th minute a Villa defender passed back to Friedel from just five yards out. West Ham should have been given a freekick but again Halsey pretended that he was blind.

The only real surprise in the second half was that it took Villa until injury time to get their winner. From the restart West Ham were on the back foot. In the first 3 minutes of the second half Green was forced to save from Bent and Young.

Throughout the half Villa dominated possession and territory. Young in particular had a number of opportunities on goal. Ironically in the last ten minutes of the game West Ham actually managed a couple of chances. Hitzlsperger shot wide from 25 yards, Cole missed just wide from 8 yards and Ba shot a freekick under the wall but straight at Friedel.

Then in the 91st minute Downing shot from wide right, Green saved but the ball was knocked back into the box and Agbonlahor headed in from close range.

I have to say again West Ham look like a side destined for relegation. It isn't just the tactical ineffectiveness of the team and the lack of quality, at the moment this looks like a side with no fight and no desire to win.

Parker Out

The Sun and The Daily Mail both claim that Scott Parker will miss today's game with an Achilles injury. The Sun even say that Parker will miss the next three games because of the injury.

The source for this news seems to be Thomas Hitzlsperger, who has said,

"We’re missing Scott but I’m optimistic we’ll have a good game. Unfortunately, we miss him and possibly the week after."

The Star however quote Avram Grant saying that Parker could still play,

"It was like before the game against Liverpool when he could not play. In the end he did – and played well. We have to wait."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Benni's Gone

Benni McCarthy has been released by West Ham. The official West Ham website says,

"West Ham United have mutually agreed with Benni McCarthy to part company with immediate effect.

The striker moved to the Boleyn Ground on 1 February 2010 and went on to make 14 appearances for the Hammers.

The club would like to wish Benni well for the future."

The Sun claim that McCarthy "agreed a £2m payoff to quit the Hammers just halfway through his 2½-year contract." The Mail claim he has received £1.5million.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

We Need Nine Points

Avram Grant believes West Ham need to win three of their six remaining games to avoid relegation,

"We can win three of our last six games. We need to get to 41 points. The players are very committed to the team and we can win three of our last six games.

I still believe that we can stay in the league. What you saw in the first half at Bolton is not something that you see every day in our team. It was an exception."

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dyer Returns

The News of the World and The Mirror report on yesterday's bust up between Mark Noble and Robert Green. Both papers claim the bust-up was caused by Green accusing Noble of failing to close down Daniel Sturridge for Bolton's first goal.

The Mirror also claim that Sp#rs are still chasing Scott Parker. They say if West Ham are relegated an offer of £8.5m offer is likely to be ­accepted.

The People say West Ham will replace Avram Grant with Birmingham's Alex McLeish at the end of the season.

In other news Kieron Dyer has returned to West Ham after a month's loan at Ipswich. Town boss Paul Jewell said,

"I spoke to West Ham about Kieron on Friday with the intention of trying to keep him on loan until the end of the season.

"I received some encouragement but then Kieron came up after training and said that Avram Grant had been on the phone and told him he wanted him back at West Ham."

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Bolton 3 West Ham 0

West Ham had some early warnings as Bolton created a number of chances in the opening 5 minutes. After that initial flurry West Ham seemed to settle a little and Ba got a tame long shot in. Then Bridge got into the area but dallied on the ball and was blocked before he shot.

However within seven minutes Bolton put the game seemingly beyond West Ham with two goals. First, in the 13th minute, Sturridge scored a really good goal, curling the ball into the top left hand corner of the net from just inside the penalty area. Then, in the 20th minute, Lee headed Bolton's second from 7 yards.

Bolton continued to dominate the game and created numerous goal scoring chances. Cahill headed wide from 8 yards. Elmander put the ball just wide of the right hand post from just outside the area. Sturridge headed straight at Green from 6 yards.

West Ham's highlight of the half was probably a long range effort from Hitzlsperger that was straight at Jaaskelainen in goal. It was truly an awful 45 minutes from West Ham.

At half-time Grant brought on Cole and Jacobsen for Piquionne and Upson. Immediately from the restart Cole won the ball for West Ham and set up Ba. However Ba was given offside, with Jaaskelainen saving his shot anyway.

In the 50th minute Sturridge got his second and Bolton's third. His shot from just outside the area beating Green and nestling in the right corner of the goal. After the third goal West Ham actually began to play some football.

In the 67th minute Hitzlsperger hit the post from the edge of the area. In the 73rd minute Da Costa headed goalwards from 8 yards only to see the ball cleared off the line. In truth though Bolton still probably created the better chances.

In the second half West Ham weren't as awful as they were in the first, unfortunately they had lost the game before half-time. Worryingly over the last two games West Ham look like a side destined for relegation.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

De Canio Lined Up as West Ham's Manager

According to Football Italia Lecce coach Luigi De Canio is being linked as a successor to Avram Grant. Luigi De Canio currently manages Lecce in Serie A.

Hmm - Lecce currently sit in 17th place in Serie A, just above the relegation places.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Parker for PFA Player of the Year

Scott Parker is one of six players on the PFA Player of the Year shortlist. As well as Parker the list includes Tottenham's Gareth Bale, Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri, Man City's Carlos Tevez, Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic and Blackpool's Charlie Adam.

The Daily Mirror claim that West Ham are lining up a surprise £1.5million bid for Chelsea’s Jack Cork. The 21 year old midfielder is currently on loan at Burnley.

West Ham this week said they were investigating claims that family members of Piquionne and Obinna were subject to racist abuse outside the Boleyn. This seems to have come as a bit of a surprise to the players themselves. Victor Obinna didn't even know he had any family in England,

"Nothing happened - I do not have any of my family members in England," he said.

"There is no point asking me to confirm or verify an incident that never happened - I was in total shock when I heard and read about it in the papers.

"I didn't have any of my relatives at the game and I do not know anyone who complained of any racial incident at the game."

Monday, April 04, 2011

Avram Grant Banned for Two Games

The FA has handed West Ham manager Avram Grant a two-match touchline ban and a £6,000 fine for comments he made about referee Mike Jones after the Stoke game.

The ban takes immediate effect, which means Grant will have to watch the Bolton and Aston Villa games from the stands.

In other news the BBC report that West Ham are investigating a report that the families of Victor Obinna and Frederic Piquionne were racially abused by fans at Upton Park on Saturday.

An official statement on the club website says that West Ham are "with the police ... reviewing CCTV footage and gathering witness information."

Saturday, April 02, 2011

West Ham 2 Man Utd 4

The first 45 minutes couldn't have gone much better for West Ham. Despite Man Utd dominating possession and forcing a number of corners West Ham went into the break two goals to the good.

The first goal came in the 11th minute, after a long ball forward played Cole in to the area. Cole tried to chip Evra and the defender handled the ball. Noble stepped up and placed the penalty into the bottom left corner, with the keeper diving the other way.

In the 24th minute Cole tried to beat Vidic on the edge of the area. Vidic brought Cole down on the edge of the penalty area and the ref gave another penalty. This time Noble smashed the ball into the top right corner of the goal.

In the 33rd minute West Ham had a great opportunity to make it 3-0 after O'Neil played a great cross to Hitzlsperger, who half volleyed the ball just wide of the left hand post. In the 41st minute Hitzlsperger came even closer from a freekick from 25 yards, when he put the ball inches wide of the right hand post.

At the other end, despite Man Utd's dominance of possession, they didn't create many clear cut chances. Green was only really called into action the once, when he made a great save from Park, shooting from just inside the area.

Man Utd brought on Hernandez for Evra at the start of the second half. The change almost paid immediate dividends, as within the first minute the Mexican put the ball over from 7 yards.

In the 64th minute Noble gave a freekick 25 yards out. From the freekick Rooney curled the ball around the wall and into the net, wide of the diving Green.

In the 73rd minute Rooney got Man Utd's equaliser from just inside the penalty area, shooting into the bottom left of the goal. Six minutes later and Upson was harshly deemed to have handled the ball in the area and Man Utd were given a penalty. Rooney stepped up and grabbed his hat-trick shooting into the bottom right.

Grant responded by bringing on Keane and Obinna. However, within minutes of the changes, a Giggs shot found Hernandez at the far post, who scored from 5 yards.

West Ham will be very disappointed to have given away four goals in the second half. The first half saw a great defensive display but in the second West Ham went missing.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Avram: 'We Was Robbed'

Alex Ferguson has been moaning recently for ever about the bad decisions Man Utd has suffered from referees. Avram Grant clearly feels that this is an attempt by Ferguson to influence the referee before Saturday's game and has responded in kind, claiming that bad decision have cost West Ham 10 points this season.

"I think we have suffered more than any other team because in the very deciding moments, as everyone has seen on the television, the decision was against us too many times."

"This is part of the game, sometimes there are decisions against you. You can accept one decision that was for us, but most of the decisions were against us."

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