Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Sofiane Fades Away, & Pardew Interview

*Youssef Sofiane's contract has been torn up by mutual consent. The young French striker, who was signed by Glenn Roeder in 2002, failed to live up to anyone's expectations and only made two substitute appearances in his time at West Ham, and has spent most of the last three years floating between the reserves and various clubs on loan.

*Also, I've, er, borrowed Alan Pardew's post-Bolton comments from KUMB, so hold on tight, cause here they are. "There are a lot of positives to come out of today's game - they are a very good side. I said before the game that we felt this would be a big test for us. We play differently to them and I thought we played really well at times. They're always going to test your character and strength at set plays and the first goal was going to be crucial. We had two or three chances to have taken the lead but as it was they took the lead and they caught us on the break for the second, which was a shame because I thought that flattered them at that time.

"I thought Anton Ferdinand was terrific, Paul Konchesky was terrific, Benny [Yossi Benayoun] is getting better for us so we're a bit disappointed that we haven't come out with anything from that game - that's the level we're at. Them chances have to go in.

"[on Aliadiere] That's not his natural position. We looked at stocking that bench with plenty of physical specimens in case we needed them. He came on to the right side of midfield and he did a good job. He approached the game in the right manner and I think you could see technically how he'll fit in with our style of play. I think he's going to be a big player for us.

"[on Campo] Well you're bringing on experience. He's a fantastic player but at that time I still thought it was very very even and the first goal was going to be the key. It was disappointing to defend all the set plays we'd had really well then to concede at that one.

"I don't want to be too harsh on our strikers today. Teddy was excellent, Marlon probably didn't have the best game he's ever had for us, on another day he might have scored for us. Bobby Zamora hasn't had a go and Aliadiere can play in that position so we've got players. I think it's a bit harsh to say we're desperate for a striker. It would be nice to add another player to the squad. You look at us and you have to say we're competitive. Bolton were at their maximum and we need to force every team we play to be at their best.

"We're going to reflect on the three games. We've done a good job. The fans are desperate for success and they've got to be patient. Today was always going to be a reality check because of the quality of Bolton. We've stood up well to that and on another day we might have won if things had gone our way. I'm proud of their efforts and the fans should be proud of their efforts.

"I feel we have a bit more quality in the team than we had which encourages passing. We have to be patient at times and I think for the first time since I've been here the crowd were urging us to get it forward quickly. We try to move teams around, If you have players of the quality of Yossi Benayoun you have to play to people's feet - the same with Teddy. Although we didn't play as well as we did against Blackburn we played at a high level against a very good team - due respect to Bolton they did what they do. They got their set play, defended it well and had that little bit of quality to add the second.

"[on Gabbidon] I think he's fine. The only problem we really had today was Matty - he was feeling poorly and wasn't at his best which was a shame. That took something away from us today in all honesty. We took a chance on him but he didn't feel too clever and was subbed."

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