Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

West Ham v Spurs

The game against Spurs on Saturday was one of West Ham best performances over the last few years. Definitely better than anything Zola ever achieved. The first signs of change took place after West Ham gave Chelsea a two-goal lead. Although there was no coming back, they showed some good battling qualities. The same was true against Stoke. They are also a team with a fair amount of skill. This combination will get West Ham results against the very best. They were even more impressive against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in the Carling Cup. This was a competition that Sunderland desperately wanted to win and therefore played their first-team whereas Avram Grant brought in several reserves.

I watched the Spurs game live via the internet. The Upton Park crowd really appreciated this new combination of strength and skill. There does not seem a weak link in the team, (except for maybe Boa Morte). We also have Thomas Hitzlsperger to come into the team. All his new signings look like good acquisitions. Both Pablo Barrera and Victor Obinna look to be players with an excellent future.

Kieron Dyer seems to have recaptured the form he showed that made him an England international. Although he went off suffering from “dizziness” at half-time. I reckon that he was really suffering from shock after surviving as long as 45 minutes without injury.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Allesandro Diamanti

Allesandro Diamanti has been sold to Serie A side Brescia for a fee of approximately £1.8m.
Another financial disaster as the Italian came from Livorno for £6m. The transfer therefore represents a loss of over £4m on the player, who spent only one year at the Boleyn. I cannot recall a club in the premiership making so many mistakes in such a short-time in the transfer market.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Victor Obinna

West Ham are expected to complete the signing of Inter Milan winger Victor Obinna, 23, on a free transfer on Thursday.


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Avram Grant in Denial

Another very flawed performance on Saturday by West Ham against Bolton. Grant seems to have Zola's problem of not understanding the English language. After the game he said: "We played like a team at the top. I am very happy with the performance. I am very disappointed with the result." If he does not realise we have serious problems in defence he is in denial. A person in denial does not make a very good football manager.

Friday, 20 August 2010

West Ham: 2010-2011

I only saw the highlights of the Aston Villa game but they were indeed poor. However, I do think that Grant is better than Zola and think we will finish mid-table.

Rob Green: Confidence is unstandably low but think he will come back.

Winston Reid: Thought he was very good in the World Cup. However, he needs to be played in his right position as centre-half.

Danny Gabbidon: Needs to retire.

James Tomkins: Should go out on loan for a year.

Kieron Dyer: It is just a matter of time before he is injured again.

Scott Parker: Our best player but should be sold if the offer is over £10m.

Carlton Cole: With the right service and no injuries this will be his season. I hope they don't sell him.

Jack Collison: Very promising. I hope the injury does not have long-term condequences.

Thomas Hitzlsperger: Looks a class act and a great free transfer. Could be the buy of the season.
Pablo Barrera: Have not seen enough of him to comment.

Luis Boa Morte: Amazed that he was given a new contract. Must have accepted a major pay-cut.

Radoslav Kovac: Moderate. I hope they manage to sell him.

Matthew Upson: I thought his form was poor last season. He had such a poor World Cup that we will not be able to sell him.

Mark Noble: Needs to play in the centre of midfield. A good replacement for Parker.

Benni McCarthy: He is probably the main reason that Zola got the sack. He told Sullivan and Gold that he had to have him. Why did Zola not check out his fitness?

Jonathan Spector: Not good enough for the premiership.

Freddie Sears: Was unimpressive on loan with Crystal Palace. I expect he will go out on loan again.

Julien Faubert: Puts in the odd good cross but will never be good enough at full-back.

Valon Behrami: Like his energy and effort but clearly wants away.

Manuel Da Costa: Promising. Should play instead of Tomkins.

Herita Ilunga: He was good when on loan but now he does not look interested since he was signed. Hopefully, he will eventually return to top form.

Frank Nouble: Very raw. Needs to go out on loan. He might be another Cole in two or three years.

Junior Stanislas: He must do well in training but I have yet to be convinced he can do it in games.

Zavon Hines: This is his second serious knee injury in his short career. Have grave doubts about whether he can come back again. It is a shame as I thought he had great potential.

Jordan Spence: He is highly rated and might breakthrough this year.

Frederic Piquionne: Strange signing. Another Heskey but I am not sure we have the right people to play with him. Surely we cannot afford to have another striker who does not score goals.

Alessandro Diamanti: A class player. However, he does not work hard enough to be a success in the premiership.

Fabio Daprela: Has a lot of potential. In my opinion he should be given a run in the first-team.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Benni McCarthy

The weight loss regime will continue for five weeks as the Premier League club have finally lost patience with the South African striker, who has struggled for fitness since he moved to Upton Park.

Club chairman David Sullivan told Telegraph Sport: "Benni has a rigorous weight loss programme and if he doesn't lose the weight we will be fining him. We are not being unrealistic. We've given him a target of losing a kilo – 2.2lb – a week. He has to lose five or six more kilos.

"He's training very hard so he must be eating or drinking something very wrong. Short of spending 24 hours a day with him, we have to assume that.

"With the amount of training he is doing his weight should be going down with a normal diet. We are not starving him. It's just don't eat ice cream, don't eat cakes, don't drink wine. Who knows when they go home what they do.

"They say he's lost five kilos but he still looks heavy to me. But we are very optimistic. I can fine him. I can't be unrealistic and say half a stone a week but a kilo a week is a realistic target for a man of his size.

"It's like a jockey turning up overweight. He can't ride a horse can he, and no one is going to pay him? I think we are fully within our rights to say 'you are not honouring your side of the contract'. You expect him to turn up in a state to be a footballer."

McCarthy, 32, is the club's fourth-highest earner and has two years left on his contract having arrived from Blackburn Rovers in January for £2.2 million. His weight problems meant he was left out of South Africa's World Cup squad. It remains to be seen whether he survives the overhaul of the squad Sullivan and new manager Avram Grant are carrying out this summer.

"In a perfect world I would love to have been able to throw every player out, get all the money that was paid for their transfers in a pot and start again," Sullivan said. "I look at some of the money the club has paid for some players and it does not make sense."


Felipe Caicedo

According to several newspapers, the 21-year-old Manchester City striker Felipe Caicedo is heading to West Ham on a season-long loan, having fallen out of favour under Roberto Mancini. Caicedo, an Ecuadorian, signed when Sven-Goran Eriksson was in charge in 2008. I am surprised that Grant seems to think that he needs another striker. I hope that this does not mean he plans to sell Carlton Cole, who in my opinion is just coming to his prime.

Scott Parker

Scott Parker is close to signing an improved deal at West Ham so ending speculation that he could move away from Upton Park. David Sullivan told the Evening Standard: "I have promised the fans I will not let Scott Parker go and I will not waver from that. If Scott came to me, said he wanted to move and was prepared to put in a transfer request, I would say, 'I'm terribly sorry, Scott, but I've made a promise to the fans'. I would remind him that it is too late to find a replacement now and ask him for one more year's commitment."

Parker is expected to sign a new five-year deal within the next week. The club will offer the 29-year-old improved terms that will reportedly be worth up to £20m.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Miralem Sulejmani

West Ham United have been forced to abandon their bid for Ajax's Miralem Sulejmani after he failed to secure a work permit. The Hammers had agreed a deal with the Dutch club to sign Sulejmani, who is Ajax's record signing after they paid Heerenveen more than £13million for his services just two years ago.

However, Sulejmani - a Serbian international - has just eight caps to his name and they have been spread over two years, meaning he did not automatically qualify for a work permit under Premier League criteria.

West Ham appealed the decision, but an independent football panel ruled against Avram Grant's side, who had been hoping to include Sulejmani in their squad ahead of their opening game at Aston Villa this weekend.

Thomas Hitzlsperger

Thomas Hitzlsperger has picked up a thigh injury, and is now doubtful for his team's season opener. The 28-year-old was injured during Germany's 2-2 draw with Denmark yesterday, and had to be withdrawn after 66 minutes. "I hope it is not that bad because I really want to play at the start of the season," he told reporters. He will undergo medical tests later today, but remains in a fitness race ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash with Aston Villa.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Carlton Cole

After all the rumours it seems that Carlton Cole will stay at West Ham. Avram Grant is adamant that Cole will not be sold. Yesterday he said: "The new 4-3-3 system has helped him. We also have a team that knows how to play football, so they can pass to him at the right time."

Monday, 2 August 2010

Freddie Sears

Freddie Sears scored four goals in a game for the reserves last week. Will it be his season this year?

Carlon Cole is also in good form with three goals in four games. I fully expect him to be selected in England's game against Hungary. I think he could create a great partnership with Rooney. Like Heskey he is an unselfish striker which will make things easy for Rooney. Unlike Heskey he also scores goals.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Frank Nouble

You can see Frank Nouble's two goals for England Under-19s, who beat Austria 3-2 in the European Under-19 Championships at the link below. The 18-year-old Nouble, showed great finishing by scoring both goals from difficult angles. The match against Holland today can be seen on Eurosport at 5.pm


Monday, 12 July 2010

Len Blavatnik

It is claimed Russian billionaire Len Blavatnik is poised to make a £30m offer to buy a 35% stake in West Ham. If this goes ahead it is likely that West Ham might have the money to buy Loïc Rémy, a promising young player who made waves at Nice last year. It is even possible that they will have enough money to buy Brazilian wonderkid Neymar, the 18-year-old Santos forward who has been called the next Pele. On the other hand, these might just me false rumours that intend to increase season-ticket sales.

Sunday, 13 June 2010


Tony Carr: MBE

Hammers academy chief Tony Carr was awarded an MBE yesterday for services to football.
The club chairman, David Gold, commented: "I can't tell you how thrilled I am. It is so rare that people working quietly in the background get honoured in football. Here is a proper gentleman of football who has done an amazing job over nearly 40 years and rightly he has been honoured. It is richly deserved. The mere fact that we could win the World Cup with a third of the squad having come through the Academy under him says everything about the work he has done for football in this country."

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Gianfranco Zola's Record

Now he has been sacked I thought it might be worth posting the revised win stats.

Billy Bonds (43.61) 1990–1994
Charlie Paynter (41.25) 1932–1950
Alan Pardew (41.10) 2003–2006
Ted Fenton (39.75) 1950–1961
Alan Curbishley (39.44) 2006–2008
John Lyall (39.12) 1974–1989
Syd King (38.87) 1901–1932
Harry Redknapp (37.00) 1994–2001
Lou Macari (36.84) 1989–1990
Ron Greenwood (35.07) 1961–1974
Glenn Roeder (31.40) 2001–2003
Gianfranco Zola (28.75) 2008–2010

Monday, 22 March 2010

West Ham Managers

I thought it might be worth looking at Zola's record as manager of West Ham. His win record in comparison with other recent managers since the formation of the club:

Billy Bonds (43.61) 1990–1994
Charlie Paynter (41.25) 1932–1950
Alan Pardew (41.10) 2003–2006
Ted Fenton (39.75) 1950–1961
Alan Curbishley (39.44) 2006–2008
John Lyall (39.12) 1974–1989
Syd King (38.87) 1901–1932
Harry Redknapp (37.00) 1994–2001
Lou Macari (36.84) 1989–1990
Ron Greenwood (35.07) 1961–1974
Glenn Roeder (31.40) 2001–2003
Gianfranco Zola (29.17) 2008–

It is true that some of the best performing managers spent most of their time in the lower leagues. However, even if you only look at performances in the Premier League, Zola (29.17) is still bottom and the man he replaced, Alan Curbishley, is top (39.44).

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Who was the Mole?

From Tribal Football:

Portsmouth goalkeeper David James has revealed how a mole inside the West Ham United dressing room influenced their relegation.

Discussing football's relationship with the media in his column for the Observer, James revealed: "At West Ham, the year we went down, we had a mole who kept shooting his mouth off to the press. It put everyone on edge, looking round the changing room, trying to figure out who it was.
"One afternoon we all sat together on the training field and one of the senior players stood up and made a lengthy speech about how we should root out the mole and expose him. It was moving stuff. Little did we know that he was the mole. It still makes me chuckle thinking about what a good performance he put on."

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

David Gold and David Sullivan

It has just been announced that David Gold and David Sullivan have taken control of 50 per cent of West Ham. Sullivan has just given an interview on Sky Sports News where he has stated that he will not sack Zola as manager (one of the rumours being spread via the media over the weekend).

It is good to have two, long-term West Ham fans in charge of the club. However, they clearly do not have the funds to turn us into a top four club. In his interview Sullivan made it clear that he would welcome other wealthy West Ham fans to buy the other 50%. It has been suggested that Tony Fernandes, might be interested in joining Gold and Sullivan in the project. If that happens, we could well be a force to be reckoned with in the future.