Saturday, October 29, 2011

West Ham 3 Leicester 2

West Ham welcomed back Robert Green in goal. Baldock came in for Diop.

Leicester managed a shot in the first 20 seconds of the game but Nugent's effort from the edge of the area flew wide of the right hand post. The quick start was a bit of a false dawn for Leicester and, after that effort, West Ham dominated the half.

West Ham's dominance was rewarded in the 20th minute. Noble carried the ball forwards before passing to Carew. Carew crossed the ball from the byline and Baldock headed home at the far post from 6 yards.

Two minutes later it was 2-0. Noble took out Konchesky with a great long pass over his head to O'Brien. O'Brien pulled the ball back to Faubert, who shot home from the edge of the area.

In the 30th minute Carew was replaced with Piquionne. Carew was limping as he left the pitch but the fact that the ref had already booked Carew and was penalising him every time he came within two yards of the opposition Allardyce might have been a little worried that he could have seen a red at some point.

In the last five minutes Leicester showed a little more threat going forward. In the 44th minute Vassell crossed low into the area and Beckford managed to divert the ball goalwards forcing a good save from Green.

West Ham had a great opportunity to extend their lead at the start of the second half. In the 47th minute Noble sent Piquionne through. Piquionne could have set up Baldock but chose to shoot instead. His shot was blocked and the ball fell to Faubert whose shot was also blocked.

With West Ham looking in total control of the game Leicester, in the 59th minute, managed to get back into the game. Wellens crossed the ball into the area and King headed home at the far post. Two minutes later and Leicester could have been back on equal terms after Bamba headed a corner goalwards. Green got the ball away but it fell to St. Ledger who fired wide from close range.

In the 63rd minute Faye was replaced with Tomkins. The substitution happened a couple of minutes after Faye was booked. Something tells me Allardyce doesn't trust this referee.

Then in the 70th minute, with Leicester looking the most likely to get the next goal, Robert Green kicked the ball the length of the pitch, Piquionne flicked it on and Baldock shot home from 12 yards. Route one at its best!

West Ham thought they could breathe safely again but five minutes later Leicester took a leaf out of the Allardyce coaching manual. A long ball forward fell to King who got his second, shooting in from the edge of the area.

Leicester continued to throw everything forward. In the 81st minute Howard headed goalwards a Konchesky cross. Tomkins just managed to head the ball off the crossbar. A minute later and Green was forced into a good save to keep out a Peltier header.

In the 85th minute Nugent shot just wide. In the 87th minute Baldock was replaced with Sears.

In the end West Ham managed to just hold onto their lead. Baldock looks a great find. It's bottom of the table Bristol City next. Can we have an easy game please!

Friday, October 28, 2011

West Ham Chase Alan Smith

The Daily Mail say West Ham are interested in taking Newcastle's Alan Smith on loan.

The Mail say West Ham are also looking at Chelsea youngster Josh McEachran, who is also wanted by Swansea.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Green Returning to Action

The Daily Express says that Robert Green is nearing a return to match fitness. They say Green played in a friendly against a Sp#rs side this week.

Manuel Almunia's loan spell is due to end after this weekend's match against Leicester.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bentley Cost £90,000 per Game

KUMB claim that David Bentley's five games for West Ham will eventually cost West Ham in excess of £400,000, which KUMB says is £90,000 per game. KUMB say that there are no get out clauses in Bentley's loan contract with West Ham so the club will have to pay his wages for the full season.

Presumably however Bentley is insured against injuries so I would suspect the true cost of his appearances for West Ham will be a lot less than the £90,000 calculated by KUMB. (BTW - £400,000 divided by 5 is £80,000 per game not £90,000)

In other news West Ham youngster Robert Hall is in sparkling form on loan at Oxford. Hall has now scored 6 goals in nine games for the division two side.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Brighton 0 West Ham 1

Watching Brighton under Poyet reminds me a lot of West Ham under Zola. Brighton like to play possession football and pass the ball out from defence. Most of the time this is very nice to watch but when it goes wrong it can be very ugly.

Brighton should have learnt in the first five minutes that sometimes you just have to hoof the ball clear after defenders were caught in possession by a pressing West Ham team more than once. Brighton however continued to try and play the ball out from the back and in the 17th minute Nolan caught Bridcutt in possession and ran through on goal, clear of the defence. Nolan shot from just outside the area and beat Harper to open the scoring.

After taking the lead West Ham did well to stifle Brighton's passing game for much of the rest of the half. However in the last five minutes before the break Brighton won a series of corners and came very close to equalising when Mackail-Smith's first time volley needed a superb save from Almunia.

Brighton continued in the second half as they ended the first. They dominated possession and forced a number of corners but never really looked like scoring.

West Ham seemed happy defending and never really pushed on to get a second. They had a couple of penalty shouts, when Faubert looked to have been hauled down in the box and then when Sears seemed to be pushed over. However highlights in the half were few and far between.

So a professional if uninspiring game from West Ham see the team pick up another 3 points on the road and send the side back into second place. It's Leicester next on Saturday at home, who today sacked Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

El-Hadji Diouf on Trial at West Ham

Karren Brady, in her column in The Sun, says,

"With so many injuries I am calling around and texting for a 'real' emergency loan from my friends in high places across the Premier League."

The Daily Mail report that Lansbury is one of those injuries. They say he is facing at least two months on the sidelines with a medial knee ligament injury.

Most of the newspapers today report that West Ham are looking to sign El-Hadji Diouf until the end of the season. The Sun quote Sam Allardyce as saying,

"There is something missing from our squad and Diouf could be that missing link. He has played for two of my teams before so I know exactly what kind of quality I will be getting."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Poor Defending and Poor Finishing

Sam Allardyce blamed poor defending and poor finishing for West Ham's loss to Southampton last night,

"It was disappointing to lose our unbeaten away record but even more disappointing to lose it off a set-play. We didn't really do anything in the first half although still had some chances. We conceded a soft goal from a situation we practice regularly. We are one of the biggest sides in the league but that didn't stop us going one-nil down.

"It is disappointing for me because we were so clinical on Saturday but were woefully short of being clinical today. Baldock got a chance in the six-yard box and should have scored that. Carew put a header wide when he should have worked their goalkeeper.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Southampton 1 West Ham 0

West Ham managed to hold onto 2nd place in the Championship despite losing 1-0 to a Jos Hooiveld goal at Southampton.

Southampton have now opened up a 5 point lead at the top of the league. Below that it is very tight. In fact Hull in 11th place could join West Ham on 21 points if they win their game in hand over the Irons.

West Ham will now hope to get back to winning ways against Brighton next Monday.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

West Ham 4 Blackpool 0

Cole didn't even make the bench for this game, with Big Sam going for Baldock and Carew up front. Noble started on the bench with Diop slotting into midfield with Nolan, and Taylor and Collison on the wings.

West Ham opened the scoring in the 12th minute, with John Carew heading home a Faubert cross into the bottom left hand corner of the goal. In the 13th minute Baldock tried a long range effort, which was saved by Gilks in goal.

In the 23rd minute Collison and Carew played a nice one-two on the edge of the box that resulted in Collison getting in behind the defence, only for the referee to stop play for a foul on Carew.

In the 27th minute Carew created another great opportunity for himself but the shot was saved. In the 43rd minute a Carew shot was blocked by Gilks' legs, the ball fell to Baldock who blasted over from only a few yards out.

With a few minutes of the half remaining Blackpool managed to get their first shot on target, however Shelvey's shot was saved by Almunia. Over all it was a good half from West Ham with Carew and Baldock always looking threatening. The only disappointment was that they didn't manage to convert more of their many chances.

West Ham started the second half on the front foot. In the first minute after the restart Taylor shot over from just inside the area. West Ham however didn't have to wait long before extending their lead as a minute later Baldock got in behind the defence and beat Gilks to get his first for West Ham.

Four minutes after that and Baldock got his second. Carew managed to tap the ball past Gilks, Blackpool had two players on the goal-line but Baldock ran in to beat them both to the ball.

Four minutes after that and it was 4-0. Collison got his first goal of the season from about 12 yards out. After the fourth goal Big Sam had the opportunity to give Faye and Sears a good run-out and give Tomkins and Taylor a rest. Faye came on for Tomkins and Sears came on for Taylor.

In the 78th minute Baldock had a great chance to get his hat-track. Faubert crossed into the area, Baldock shot and Gilks just managed to get a hand on the ball. In the 79th minute Noble was brought on for Carew.

What a glorious day. The sun is shining on east London, West Ham are in the automatic promotion places and a win at Southampton on Tuesday will see West Ham go top.

It looks like Cole might have to fight to get his position back after this display from Carew and Baldock.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

West Ham Refuse to Pay Transfer Fees

The Daily Telegraph claim today that West Ham are refusing to hand over €1 million (£875,000) owed to Danish club FC Midtjylland for the defender Winston Reid. The paper say West Ham are also refusing to pay fees owed to two other foreign clubs.

West Ham are apparently refusing to pay the fees until Fifa make Brescia cough up £1.5 million that they owe for the transfer for Alessandro Diamanti. This move by West Ham seems geared to put pressure on Fifa to force Brescia to pay the money they owe West Ham.

Bentley Out for Six Months

West Ham have confirmed that David Bentley will be out of action for up to six months after undergoing knee surgery.

The West Ham official website says that West Ham are 'hoping' to be able to call upon Winston Reid, Mark Noble and Matt Taylor for this weekend's game against Blackpool.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gary O'Neil Injury Update

The Newham Recorder has a nice interview with Gary O'Neil this week. The good news is that after Nigel Reo-Coker almost ended his career back in April O'Neil is ahead of schedule in his recovery programme.

O'Neil is back running and asked when he was likely to be back playing answered,

"We haven’t really set a date. When I first did it, it was about a year, so I am a long way ahead of that providing everything goes well.

"I guess we are talking about January or February time. Getting back to running and training is one thing, but having been out so long, getting ready to play is going to take a while as well."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Olympic Stadium Deal Collapses

The government has halted West Ham's move to the Olympic Stadium after the Olympic games.

The board of the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) has ended negotiations amid concerns over delays caused by the legal dispute with Tottenham. The OPLC, government and Mayor of London have instead agreed the stadium will remain in public ownership.

West Ham and Newham Council have responded to the news with this statement,

"... we would welcome a move by OPLC and government to end that uncertainty and allow a football and athletics stadium to be in place by 2014 under a new process. If the speculation is true, West Ham will look to become a tenant of the stadium while Newham will aim to help deliver the legacy."

"Our bid is the only one that will secure the sporting and community legacy promise of the Olympic Stadium - an amazing year-round home for football, athletics and community events of which the nation could be proud."

Leyton Orient has also said that they would like to rent the stadium, possibly on a ground share basis with West Ham.

Any interested bidders for the stadium will have to submit proposals by January. It seems likely that West Ham will remain the preferred bidders.

It is therefore more than possible that West Ham will end up selling the Boleyn ground and renting the Olympic Stadium. History suggests that when clubs sell their grounds and instead rent a stadium things end disastrously.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Injury Worries for Collison and Bentley

Jack Collison was withdrawn from the Wales squad because of a knee injury. Hopefully this is just a precautionary measure and he isn't going to face another long period out of the game.

There are also rumours that David Bentley may need an operation on his knee. If he does need an operation he may well be out of action for much of the season.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Ilunga: I Lost the Confidence of the Manager

Local Doncaster newspaper The Star has some interesting quotes today from Ilunga on his three month loan move to Doncaster Rovers.

"It is a chance for me to get my career back on track. The deal is for three months and I hope I can do well and stay all season. I would have signed for the whole season.

"I have to play well during this three months and after that we will see what happens.”

“It was difficult to be there (West Ham) because I lost all confidence from the manager and the players. Maybe the best solution was for me to come here."

In the same report Doncaster's manager Dean Saunders says,

"West Ham (are) letting us have him for a sixth of his wages. He is earning a lot less than the players who are here."

The Telegraph say West Ham are still keen on signing Carlos Tevez on loan but the club say their chances of succeeding are around one per cent.

TalkSport claim West Ham are keen to sign AZ Alkmaar midfielder Rasmus Elm in January. The Sweden international however is apparently being tracked by a number of clubs.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Ilunga and Piquionne to Doncaster Rovers

The Mirror claim that Freddie Piquionne and Herita Ilunga are both 'ready' to be loaned to Doncaster Rovers.

The Mail say Ilunga has already joined Doncaster on loan and that West Ham will continue to pay the majority of his £33,000 a week wages.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

October - It's Make or Break Time

Despite Man City having already rejected West Ham's loan offer for Carlos Tevez, Sam Allardyce seems to be the only person in football who still has a good word for the striker,

"He wouldn’t be a problem to me. I have handled a lot worse than him in my career.

"Why wouldn’t you want him? If the chairman agrees to pay his wages and if he wants to join us, then I would love him here. Players like him have the ability to win you games and when you need a goal, they produce it. His goal record is tremendous."

October looks like it could be the defining month in our season. This month we face some of the toughest teams in the league. After yesterday's draw away to Palace West Ham have fallen behind Allardyce's two points a game target.

With home games against Blackpool and Leicester and away trips to Southampton and Brighton remaining in October it's going to be tough to get back on that two points a game target. West Ham would need to win three of those games and draw in the other to get the ten points needed to meet the target.

If West Ham manage to do that we will end the month in the automatic promotion positions. However anything less than six points could leave us a little behind the pace .

No wonder Allardyce is keen on Tevez.

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