Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sears to Stay, Ba to Go

The Sun report that Freddie Sears wants to remain at West Ham,

"As a West Ham fan, I want to stay and play for the club. Hopefully we can keep a good core of players together here and have a real go next season."

Demba Ba looks unlikely to be part of that core as The Sun suggest Newcastle 'look set to beat Sunderland and Everton' in signing the striker.

The Mirror says that Demba Ba's wage demands are too high for Everton. The Mirror claim that Ba is looking for a major pay-day from his next move, which is putting off the bidding clubs.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Allardyce It Is

Most of the newspapers are saying today that Sam Allardyce has agreed to become West Ham manager.

Allardyce is reported as saying,

"Everything has been agreed in principle and I look forward to taking charge after I have had a family holiday.

"It’s always difficult dealing with the aftermath of relegation, but I want to get West Ham back into the Premier League as quickly as possible."

If you told me 12 months ago that West Ham would be in the Championship next season with Sam Allardyce as manager I think I would have given up on football and West Ham as a lost cause.

I really, really have hated watching Sam Allardyce managed teams in the past. There seems to have sprung up a bit of a revisionist movement lately arguing that Allardyce's teams have actually played some attractive football. I guess they may have done so occasionally but I haven't seen much evidence.

However I want to see the positive in this move by West Ham.

First off, I think Allardyce will bring some much needed organisation into the club.

West Ham really need a manager who can stand-up to the West Ham owners, Brady and what seems to have been the pernicious influence of agent Barry Silkman at the club. Allardyce is just such a manager.

I'm sure he will have only agreed to join West Ham on the understanding that he can bring in his own staff and that he is in charge of signing new players.

Secondly, West Ham have to get back into the Premier League. Allardyce does create teams that get results. His teams may play percentage based football but they also have passion and organisation. Things that the current West Ham side need in abundance.

Being a Championship club now West Ham would probably struggle to find a manager with more experience than Sam. So, much as I hate to say it, I think the appointment of Sam Allardyce is probably a great thing for West Ham in their current situation.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sam Allerdyce Poised to Accept West Ham

The Sun claim that Sam Allardyce was last night finalising a deal to be the new manager of West Ham. The paper says that he has met Hammers' co-owner David Sullivan and is promised a £1m bonus if he wins promotion.

The Express claim that Sam Allardyce has already accepted a three year deal with West Ham.

KUMB however are reporting that Allardyce also has an offer to work in Abu Dhabi. KUMB also say that West Ham are still waiting on Martin O'Neill who has been offered the West Ham job.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Someone Considering Manager's Job

David Sullivan, speaking at last night's Supporters' Advisory Board meeting, said that he had offered the West Ham manager's job to someone and that he expects an answer today.

Gold said that despite offering a £50,000 per week contract and a £1 million bonus for achieving promotion he expects the offer to be turned down. He also revealed that one manager had already turned down an offer from the board to take charge at West Ham.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

West Ham Report Sunderland

West Ham have reported Sunderland to the Premier League for an illegal approach towards Demba Ba. The Independent say a Premier League spokesperson has confirmed that they have received a complaint from West Ham which will now be considered.

He said,

"We have received a letter from West Ham United. We will look into their complaint to see if there is a case to answer."

The Mirror say that West Ham believe Steve Bruce telephoned Ba directly on Tuesday and that Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn has spoken to Ba’s brother, Cire, and to an unlicensed agent regarding the striker.

TalkSport report that West Ham first-team coach Wally Downes has not been offered a new deal at Upton Park. Downes was on a short-term contract which the club have decided not to renew.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dave Jones the Bookies' Choice

Most of the betting for the next West Ham manager seems to be on Dave Jones of Cardiff, who now has the shortest odds.

Martin O'Neill has finally come to an agreement with Aston Villa over his settlement for leaving the club.

O'Neill said,

"I'm now looking forward to the future and getting back into football management."

The Mirror claim Stoke are leading the race to buy Carlton Cole. The Mirror also claim Middlesbrough want to sign Demba Ba.

Rob Green has been called into the England squad after the withdrawal of Fulham's David Stockdale.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The West Ham Exodus Set to Begin

KUMB are reporting that West Ham have offered Hitzlsperger and Ba new contracts.

With Ba's track record of getting out of contracts I really can't see him still being at West Ham next season. However KUMB say that Thomas Hitzlsperger "is understood to be giving the contract offer serious consideration. Having stuck by him during his long spell on the sidelines, Hitzlsperger is said to feel he owes the club at least one full season."

It looks likely that West Ham are going to be left with a lot of young home grown players next year and the side will be crying out for 2 or 3 experienced players - so I really hope the Hammer can be persuaded to stay.

The Evening Standard claim that Robert Green will hold talks with Aston Villa this week. They also say that Parker will also soon leave the club, with Sp#rs leading the chase.

David Sullivan says that the club will only sell three players. However a number of players, such as Upson, will be out of contract and will presumably be leaving on a free.

"We have had no bids yet for any players but we'll probably only sell three and, when they are gone, that's it", said Sullivan.

"If we don't get a realistic price, whoever the player is and if he is under contract, then he'll start next season playing for West Ham."

The Sun claim Stoke are targeting Victor Obinna.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

West Ham 0 Sunderland 3

Avram Grant is gone but the same old dodgy West Ham defence was on display today. It could have been 3-3 in the opening ten minutes. Both Sears and Hitzlsperger forced saves from Mignolet in goal, whilst at the other Green was also very busy.

In the thirteenth minute Zenden headed over Green from 13 yards to give Sunderland the lead. That was the cue for a spirited West Ham fight back in the last game of the season. A cue that West Ham fluffed once again.

In the most part West Ham looked sloppy and resigned to defeat after the Sunderland goal. However in the last couple of minutes of the half West Ham did manage to show a little fight. First Collison did well to get his head to a Sears cross, only to head wide from 7 yards. Then Hines gathered a Piquionne cross and forced a good save from Mignolet from 7 yards.

It took Sunderland just ten minutes of the second half to get their second. In the 49th minute Collison forced another save from Mignolet from a freekick but within 30 seconds Sessegnon received the ball on the halfway line and was incredibly able to run unchallenged straight at the West Ham goal before shooting and scoring from 20 yards.

Keen responded to the second goal by bringing on Obinna and Jacobsen for Hines and Tomkins. Shortly after Parker was brought on for Boa Morte. That substitution was probably the highlight of the second half for West Ham.

The season was rounded off with almost the last kick of the game when Riveros scored from 10 yards, with five West Ham players in the box standing frozen to the spot.

Well we didn't learn anything new this afternoon. The game confirmed that this side isn't good enough for the Premier League and needs strengthening in every department.

The West Ham fans were in magnificent form and you have to say they were let down spectacularly once again by the players on the pitch.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Di Canio Not the Next West Ham Manager

Swindon Town have announced the appointment of Paolo Di Canio as their new manager.

Swindon finished bottom of League One this season so it looks like the ex-West Ham favourite has got a bit of a job on his hands.

Talking of jobs - Glenn Hoddle is the latest manager (who no-one has linked with West Ham) to announce he has no interest in the West Ham managers job.

The Mirror claim that Karl Robinson of MK Dons is being considered by West Ham. Mind you The Mirror say that Stoke are going to make a £9 million bid for Carlton Cole so what do they know.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fernandes Wants to Invest in West Ham

Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia claims he is in talks with the West Ham owners about investing in the club. Speaking on Twitter he said,

"If the fans want me to get involved I will. It’s a great club and we fans have suffered too long. Discussions have taken place. Long way to go but a good frank start."

This morning he posted this,

"All Hammer fans told you as much as I can. Have to go on radio silence now out of respect to the owners. I know what I need. Let’s see if we can do it. From dark days come lots of positive. Has happened too many many times. Love to all Hammers."

Despite Demba Ba's agent spending the last couple of week's hinting that his player will not be at West Ham next season the player himself says he hasn't yet thought about a move.

Speaking to Sky Sports the striker said,

"I haven't thought about it, to tell you the truth. I haven't thought about it because I was playing and thinking that West Ham was not going to be relegated. I wasn't thinking about next season here or something else.

"I am just going to have some days off with my family and after that I will start thinking a little bit."

The Telegraph are reporting that a 'close friend' of Avram Grant says that six managers were offered the West Ham manager job in January, including Martin O'Neill, Steve McClaren and Sam Allardyce.

The 'friend' says that all of the six managers turned down the job because 'they knew the situation there.'

Monday, May 16, 2011

West Ham End of Season Gala Kicks Off

You couldn't make it up.

West Ham hold their End of Season Gala the day after the team get relegated. So who would have thought that if you threw a bunch of disgruntled fans together with a team of over-paid and under-performing players then all hell would break lose.

Sky Sports News are reporting that police have been called to tonight's Gala at The Grovesnor Hotel after fans brawled with security guards. The trouble is said to have started after Demba Ba refused to sign autographs claiming that he was too tired.

Obviously the club, when booking the venue, were unaware that West Ham would be relegated the day before the Gala was due to take place. However this fiasco just seems so typical of the West Ham of the last few years.

The club motto should be "If it can go wrong, it will go wrong."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Grant Sacked

The West Ham owners have acted swiftly to try and avoid relegation ... oh no wait ...

West Ham has released a short statement saying,

"The club can confirm that Avram Grant is no longer the manager of West Ham United.

First-team coach Kevin Keen will take charge of the team for the final home match of the season against Sunderland on Sunday 22 May."

The statement doesn't say whether Grant has resigned or sacked. Recent comments by Grant saying that he wouldn't resign presumably means that he was fired. The statement from the club is pointedly devoid of any thanks for Grant's 'service' to West Ham.

The Great Escape - Over

Wigan 3 West Ham 2

The first half was all about Demba Ba at one end of the pitch and Robert Green at the other. Wigan dominated the possession and had numerous attempts on goal but thanks to Green and Ba West Ham went into the break two goals to the good.

Green made his first good save inside a minute, diving to stop a deflected shot. Any West Ham nerves from Wigan's early pressure were calmed a little in the 12th minute after Ba headed home a Hitzlsperger cross from 7 yards.

Those nerves were calmed even further in the 25th minute when Ba made it 2-0. A Hitzlsperger freekick from deep was headed back across the six yard box by Tomkins at the back post. The ball may have been going in but Ba made certain by heading home from a yard out.

At the other end Green was forced into a number of good saves. He saved from a Rodallega overhead kick from just inside the area, from a Diame shot from 6 yards and from a Rodallega header from 4 yards.

So with Birmingham losing at home by one goal West Ham went into the half-time break with their Premier League survival still showing a glimmer of hope.

Three minutes into the second half Birmingham went two goals down to Fulham. However in the 56th minute with things looking rosy for West Ham Tomkins gave a freekick away 20 yards out and dead centre. N'Zogbia stepped up and fired the freekick home to give Wigan a foothold in the game.

With Wigan now dominating the game Grant replaced Spector with Parker. In the 66th minute Ba was clean through but from 12 yards a weak shot was saved by Al Habsi. Two minutes later Hines lost the ball in the Wigan half Wigan broke and Sammon scored from 10 yards.

After that both sides had good chances to get the winner. In the 80th minute Moses shot into the side-netting from 6 yards. In the 83rd minute Hines had two great chances to get the winner but both his shots from within the area were blocked. Almost dead on 90 minutes Watson shot from 12 yards, beat Green, only to see the ball bounce back into Green's arms.

In the 91st minute Parker has a good chance from 12 yards out but shot tamely at Al Habsi. A minute later Cole had a great chance from 2 yards out but managed to fluff the chance. Then with seconds left N'Zogbia ghosted in from the right wing and beat Green with a shot across the area from 15 yards.

There was lots to question about Grant's tactics today. Starting with Parker, Upson and Cole on the bench seemed a questionable move. However playing the young and inexperienced Spence at right-back with Hines in front of him seemed a recipe for disaster.

After throwing away a 2-0 lead in the end it is hard not to agree with the plane that flew over the ground bearing the legend 'Avram Grant - Millwall Legend'.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Scott Parker - Player of the Year

Scott Parker will tonight collect his Football Writers Association Player of the Year award at a ceremony at the Royal Lancaster Hotel.

With West Ham firmly rooted to the bottom of the table Parker's achievement is even more amazing. Playing in a team that has been struggling all season Parker has stood out.

Sadly it looks likely that the talismanic midfielder will not be at West Ham next year. Speaking to The Evening Standard Parker says,

"I have the utmost respect for the fans. Yes, I'm winning awards because I'm playing the best football of my career. Why? Because I feel wanted here and it feels like home.

"I'm like every player, I want to be playing at the highest level I can and in the Premier League. I don't know what the future holds for me but, for the moment, I'm still keeping everything crossed that West Ham stay up. Otherwise . . ."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

West Ham - Worst Debts in Britain

David Sullivan says that West Ham are in a "worse financial position than any other in the country."

Sullivan claims that if West Ham are relegated then the club will need up to £40 million of bail out loans just to stay afloat.

"All the debts are football or bank debts secured on the stadium and training ground so there is no route via administration. West Ham really is a club where the football and bank debts exceed the value of the club."

"Should the worst happen, we will have to inject loans of £20m-£40m, depending on circumstances, which will probably never be repaid. I don't believe the supporters realise the potential real cost to us."

Monday, May 09, 2011

Rebuilding West Ham

It has been a pretty miserable weekend. My morning was brightened only a little by the gallows humour displayed in the The Sun's West Ham match report, which opens with,

"The last time West Ham were relegated the big fear was their players would all leave.

The concern this time is that they might stay."

With relegation being all but a certainty many West Ham fans have probably already given a thought or two to how many of the current players will be here next season. The owners have already indicated that West Ham's 'England players' will be sold in the summer.

With West Ham's huge debt it also seems certain that the current owners are already preparing for a fire sale of the current squad.

Upson is out of contract and seemed destined to leave the club anyway. Parker will obviously be a big target for other clubs, with rumours that Sp#rs are still interested in signing the West Ham midfielder. Demba Ba, with 5 goals in 10 games, looks to be a likely target for a number of other Premier League clubs. Green also will presumably be in demand.

Hitzlsperger I assume will be moving on and, if anyone wants him, I assume Carlton Cole will also be sold.

West Ham will almost definitely be desperate to move on Faubert, Dyer and Barrera.

Obviously this is all speculation but it seems to me that West Ham will be left with something like,

Goalkeepers: Marek Stech, Peter Kurucz

Defence: Jacobsen, Tomkins, Da Costa, Gabbidon, Reid

Midfield: Collison, Noble, Spector, Kovac, Boa Morte, Stanilas, O'Neill

Attack: Piquionne, Hines, Sears, Nouble

This looks like a reasonable spine but it will need strengthening in all departments.

So (barring a miracle escape from relegation) which players do you think West Ham should be targeting to help them escape from the Championship?

Saturday, May 07, 2011

It's Make or Break Time

A win today and we still have a chance of staying up, lose and we are as good as down.

I haven't bothered looking at Lawro's predictions for a while but he actually has us down for a 2-1 win today. His prediction actually looks a bit perverse, as he praises Blackburn's performance last week and more or less writes off West Ham as a football team.

Blackburn's win last week was their first since January, so on paper this looks like West Ham's easiest game for a while. However for West Ham too much rests on the fitness of Scott Parker.

It really is a sad predicament that so much rests on one player. If Parker plays I think we are odds on today, if Parker is unavailable I think it is 50/50. It is time for the rest of the West Ham team (and yes we are looking at you Matthew Upson) to man up and take some pride in the shirts on their backs.

This really is make or break time. If we go behind today Avram has to finally go for broke and get the team to go all out in attack. I wish I believed he had it in him to spur the team on against all odds.

On a more positive note Blackburn are the only Premier League team yet to come from behind to win this season. It therefore looks like the first goal is all important today. I find it hard to believe that either Blackburn or West Ham will be able to get three points if they concede first. So West Ham really have to come out of the blocks running today .

Come on you Irons!

(and yes @anonymous I know I'm an effing bunt and that it is my fault we sold Zamora).

Friday, May 06, 2011

Gold Blames Himself for West Ham Position

West Ham co-Chairman David Gold has been interviewed by the BBC. The interview will be shown tomorrow on Football Focus (BBC1 11.30 am).

In the interview Gold says that West Ham will try and keep their 'England players' if relegated but only have a '1 in 10' chance of succeeding.

Gold also says he 'blames himself' for West Ham's position. He says that after the January transfer window he felt that they had done enough but in hindsight they realise they hadn't.

You can view a brief clip of the interview on the BBC website.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

The West Ham Managers Shortlist

According to The Guardian West Ham has drawn up a shortlist of seven managers to approach to replace Avram Grant at the end of the season.

The paper says the shortlist consists of Neil Warnock, Paul Lambert, Malky Mackay, Chris Hughton, Slaven Bilic, Ian Holloway and Martin O'Neill.

If West Ham are relegated I can only see Malky Mackay and Chris Hughton being interested in the job. The Guardian say that Hughton, a lifelong West Ham fan, has been in the directors' box for the last three home games at the Boleyn Ground.

There are rumours that Warnock may be sacked by QPR even if he gains promotion to the Premier League. If that happens then he also could be tempted by the West Ham job.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Parker Breaks Down in Training

The Guardian are reporting that Scott Parker "broke down in training on Tuesday". They say the midfielder is now undergoing a course of injections to try and get him ready for the Blackburn game.

The Sun claim that Matthew Upson (dead leg) and James Tomkins (knee) are also injury doubts for the game. West Ham have therefore recalled Jordan Spence from his loan spell at Bristol City.

Parker Fit for Blackburn

The Sun says that Scott Parker is fit for West Ham's important home game against Blackburn. The Sun also claims that Matthew Upson will have recovered from the dead leg that forced him to sprint off the field on Sunday.

The Sun is busy in the search to find Avram Grant's replacement. The paper claims West Ham believes they can land Neil Warnock even if QPR are promoted and West Ham are in the Championship.

The paper says that Norwich boss Paul Lambert is also on the West Ham wish list.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Man City 2 West Ham 1

Any hopes West Ham had of getting anything out of this game seemed to be squashed by two City goals in the opening fifteen minutes. The fist came in the 11th minute when a long range De Jong effort flew through a crowd of players and beat a diving Green. Four minutes later and Silva chipped a ball over the West Ham defence. Zabaleta took the ball on his chest and his shot could only be knocked into his own net by Jacobsen.

West Ham were given a glimmer of hope when Keane was played clean through after half an hour. However Hart rushed out of goal and Keane was unable to dink the ball over the keeper. West Ham then managed to keep the ball in the City half and five minutes later got a goal back. City failed to clear a Hitzlsperger deep ball into the area and Ba was able to smash the ball home from 10 yards.

In the second half Balotelli had two great chances to extend City's lead. In the 55th minute the striker hit the crossbar from 14 yards. Then in the 63rd minute, after Silva had beaten Green and laid the ball on the plate to Balotelli, his shot from 10 yards was blocked by Tomkins on the line.

In between Balotelli's two chances Da Costa forced a save from Hart with a header from 10 yards. Apart from those chances the only other clear cut chance came from a deflected shot by Silva, which Green managed to tip over the bar and a late effort from 20 yards by Cole which was blocked five yards from goal by the City defence.

Today was another reasonable performance from West Ham with nothing to show for it. There are now three games left and it looks like West Ham will need at least two wins and a draw to have any chance of staying up.

Add to Google Add to My Yahoo!