Friday, November 25, 2005
* I don't know whether to laugh or cry. West Ham United have released the following statement:
"FOLLOWING our announcement on 19 August 2005, the Club have today released the following further announcement to the Stock Exchange Regulatory News Service. The Board of West Ham United notes the announcement made by Media Sports Investments Limited this afternoon stating that Kia Joorabchian and his consortium are no longer interested in making an offer for West Ham United. Accordingly, West Ham United is no longer deemed to be in an offer period for the purposes of the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers."
They added: "The Board is delighted with the performance of the team this season. It remains focused on ensuring that the Club consolidates its position in the Premier League in the remainder of the season for the benefit of shareholders and supporters."
The would-be investors said: "Media Sports Investments makes reference to its announcement on 18 August, 2005 of its potential interest in making an offer for West Ham United plc. MSI is now no longer interested in making an offer for West Ham, as they believe that they would not be able to reach a consensus on the valuation with the directors of West Ham. MSI continues to review other opportunities in the European football market."
Good news: we won't be a puppet in the hands of a squillionaire and get the opportunity to do it the REAL way instead of the Chelsea way. Bad news: Terry Brown is still in charge. Encouraging news: He seems to have learnt his lesson - albeit years too late - but things are definitely looking on the up.
* In other news, Petr Mikolanda has gone out on loan again, this time to Swindon Town for a month. He snubbed a move to Sheffield United to do so - heh heh heh. I guess his first team opportunities at the Boleyn are limited with the introduction of loanees David Bellion and Jeremie Aliadere, but Alan Pardew wants to keep the young Czech striker available.
* And although Pardew isn't saying so, Roy is almost certain to start against his old club this weekend. "Roy is fit again and we've worked him very hard this week," said the gaffer. "Of course, it would mean a lot to Roy to play in this game, but it would a lot to Shaka too. Roy would obviously be highly motivated against his old club, but I haven't taken a decision yet and it is a hard call. Shaka has played really well for us since he came into the side, while stats would suggest that Roy is one of the best goalkeepers in the division. Certainly one stat, shots on goal that are saved, he is the best in the League."
So, Roy is a better keeper and would be highly motivated for the match. You don't have to read between the lines to see who'll be starting against the Red Devils then. Pardew also told the official website a little bit about how and why Roy was signed.
"We had no doubts about Roy's ability when he came to the Club," he said. "He is class goalkeeper who, one high-profile incident aside, always performed excellently when I saw him play for United. He wanted to play first-team football and that is a great psychological area in which to pick up a player. We were desperate for him to come and were aware that he was not going to sign for United because he wanted to play regularly. As soon as we got through the playoffs I flew out to see him while he was on holiday, with the use of Gareth Southgate's villa, because we were so determined to bring him in. Obviously the injury to Jim in the Final made it all the more important to sign a goalkeeper. Perhaps playing for us suits him better than United, because he is busier. You need a lot of concentration to play in goal for a team like United, but that might be a little bit harsh on Roy because he is a top goalie and we're delighted to have him at the club."
* The auld warhorse (if you can call him that) Don Hutchison has left bottom-of-the-Championship Millwall by mutual consent for, of all things, lack of first-team action. That is to say, Don's unhappy that he's not playing enough, not the other way round... Equally ironically, he's gone straight to Coventry as cover for their injured midfielders. By the way, Millwall are bottom of the Chamionship - I know I already said it but it was news worth repeating.