Thursday, June 30, 2005

 

More rumours...

FansFC is claiming that West Ham are trying to nab Danny Gabbidon from under Blackburn's nose. The Wales and Cardiff centreback is likely to cost around the £2 million mark.

Sky Sports have linked us with Ed De Goey. His contract at Stoke is about to run out and apparently Pardew wants him. I have no idea what the reasoning behind this is, unless he signs on a 6-month contract. We don't need four keepers, and there's no reason not to keep the ones we've got, all of whom I reckon are Premiership quality. If we must get another keeper, why not bring Shaka Hislop back as cover? He's out of contract as well, and younger than De Goey.


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

 

Farina quits

It's just been announced that Frank Farina has... oh let's not be kind, he jumped before he was pushed. He's gone, outta here, a dot in the distance.

We welcome a new era with whoever we get as coach, be it Wenger or Roeder.


 

New Links

There are now tons of links on the sideboard for your perusal.

Two very notable ones are NZD-WEB, which is a very comprehensive list of links to everything imaginable (and obviously run by a West Ham fan - thanks NZD, hope you don't mind me stealing a couple of your links!) and West Ham Stats which is an up to date page of West Ham statistics, also very comprehensive. Brilliant sites, check 'em out!

 

Pre-Season Dates

*** UPDATED ! ***

Looks like the boys will be doing yet another tour of Sveden against teams only Svedes can pronounce (although I think FC Trollhattan sounds like something from a Tolkien novel, but I digress).

They follow this up with an away friendly against the fearsome might of Yeovil Town, a Cup Winners Cup grudge match against Munich 1860, a possibly uneasy and tense match against relegated Crystal Phallus, and finally some team called TBA at home AC Den Haag in Holland.

Thursday 14th July 2005
West Ham United v Falkenbergs FF (Sweden)
Falkenbergs, Sweden 7.00pm kick-off

Saturday 16th July 2005
West Ham United v FC Trollhattan (Sweden)
Trolhattan, Sweden 4.00pm kick-off

Tuesday 19th July 2005
West Ham United v Vastra Frolunaif (Sweden)
Kungsbacka, Sweden 7.00pm kick-off

Saturday 23rd July 2005
Yeovil Town v West Ham United
Yeovil Town FC, Yeovil 5.00pm kick-off

Wednesday 27th July 2005
TSV Munich 1860 v West Ham United
Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany 7.30pm kick-off

Saturday 30th July 2005
Crystal Palace v West Ham United
Selhurst Park, London 3.00pm kick-off

Saturday 6th August 2005
West Ham United v TBA
Upton Park, somewhere in London


BREAKING NEWS (29 June): KUMB has reported that the final pre-season friendly will be as follows:

Tuesday 2nd August 2005
ADO Den Haag v West Ham United
Zuiderpark Stadion, Netherlands

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

 

Silence from Figo

As the rumours get stronger, Luis Figo's agent is neither confirming nor denying reports that West Ham have made an offer for the Galactico winger.

"At his moment there are several clubs interested in Figo," agent Louis Douens said. "But the key question is reaching agreement with Real Madrid. This is not an auction and Figo will not just take the biggest offer. Luis will decide and he has already rejected several approaches. We have offers from England, but we cannot name the teams as we are working seriously on them. If the player decides to leave Real then some money conditions will have to be met - Luis is a worldwide star."

Do we really want a player for whom money is clearly the biggest incentive?


 

Five TV Slots for the Hammers!

Excellent news for Australian Hammers fans. Sky have selected no less than five West Ham matches to be televised for the first half of the coming season.

Four of them are away matches, and three of those are against London rivals.

The rescheduled matches are: Fulham (a) on 19th Sept, Tottenham Hotspur (a) on 20th Nov, Blackburn Rovers (a) on 2nd Dec, Newcastle United (h) on 19th Dec, and Charlton Athletic (a) on 31st Dec.

The match at White Hart Lane promises to be the most interesting, with Defoe, Carrick, and Kanoute possibly lining up against their former employers for the first time since being transferred across London.

Monday, June 27, 2005

 

Transfer News

There will be some to disbelieve, and some to doubt, and yet a few who will find much to ponder upon in the rumours here graven with... well, with a keyboard.

As I write, Pardew is supposedly rapping on Bastia's chamber door, in the hope of signing Pascal Chimbonda for evermore (or alternatively, a two-year deal). The 26 year old midfielder is apparently seeking a move to England and Pardew is requesting an obligation-free-quote from the French outfit. Clearly the East End of London is far more appealing than the Meditteranean island of Corsica.

There's also a ridiculous rumour that West Ham are in talks with Luis Figo. With wage demands of £60k a week plus a daily cask of Amontillado and a trowel, it just ain't gonna happen.

Fulham have purloined Heidur Helguson. Chris Coleman has beaten off about five other clubs (including - wait for it! - the Black Cats) in a scramble for the Icelandic striker, who cost him
£1.3 million. Supposedly he couldn't come to personal terms with the Irons, despite West Ham having agreed a fee with Watford.

In pace requiescat!

 

Hammers make a grab for Butt

West Ham have reportedly made a £2 million bid for Nicky Butt. The former Man Utd midfielder looks to be out of favour at Newcastle, and wants first-team football. While I do rate him, is he really any better than Mullins and Fletcher for that price? He hasn't played remarkably well since the World Cup. I guess we do need more strength in depth, but I'd rather either buy another cheaper midfielder for cover, or try to get somebody with some real class for that kind of dosh.

In the same article, the Mirror also call Mark Noble "highly rated" and suggest that other Premiership clubs have been looking for his services. They also praise Pardew for being "shrewd", which I'd agree with.

That's your lot. Jog on!


 

Palace snub Everton

This is not West Ham related, but gave me a laugh on a slow news day. Everton have made a £6 million offer to Crystal Palace for Andy Johnson. And if that isn't enough to get you chuckling, how about Palace chairman Simon Jordan's response: "What does Everton chairman Bill Kenwright think he will get for £6m? Andy Johnson's trainers?"


Saturday, June 25, 2005

 

Billionaire Bid?

Not exactly all over the web yet but this article http://www.sportnetwork.net/main/s456/st75806.htm says The Sun have reported a bid for West Ham by Iranian Billionaire Kia Joorbachian, owner of Brazilian side Corinthians.

Probably about as likely as finding a Man United supporter who is actually from Manchester but the news is the news...

 

Hate-meter goes up a notch...

The FA has announced a new "cash for points" scheme for the upcoming Premiership season.

Well, they might as well. It looks like Chelsea and Spurs have come to an "undisclosed agreement" about the Arnesen scandal. Spurs get in the vicinity of £4 million, and Chelsea get off the hook.

What kind of scumbag arrangement is this? Break the rules, and buy your way out?

Chelsea have behaved abysmally of late. Spurs have acted almost as poorly by negotiating this cash deal instead of lodging a complaint.

If Spurs hadn't agreed to this, Chelsea might have been docked points in the upcoming Premiership season. But cash means more to both these clubs than honour.

 

Funny Captions

Maybe it's my sense of humour but I found these captions to be rather amusing.

Friday, June 24, 2005

 

DPL News article

Here's a news article on the man who brought us the Playoff coverage. What a bloke.

 

OZ Supporters Tour

DPL has arranged for a OZ West Ham Supporters Tour. Here's the itinerary:

Wed 10 Aug - depart OZ - overnight in Singapore
Fri 11 Aug - arrive London 6am
Sat 13 Aug - we are Home for Blackburn - will have corporate tickets for 20-40 of us and have a full day of WHU corporate functions!
*Sun 14 Aug - other London (Arsenal v Newcastle , Fulham v Birmingham) or Birmingham game (Aston Villa v Bolton)
Mon-Tues 15-16 Aug - Upton Park Tour, London tours
Wed 17 Aug - Australia v Columbia @ Craven Cottage , special functions relating to the game.
Thurs 18 Aug - WHU Academy?
Fri 19 Aug - fly to Newcastle
Sat 20 Aug - Newcastle v WHU @ St James Park! With WHU away fans.
*Sunday 21 Aug - return to London to see Chelsea v Arsenal , or Tottenham v Middlesbrough
Monday 22 Aug - depart for OZ
Tues 23 Aug - arrive Sydney

The cost will be A$5,495 for everything except the extra 2 Prem matches on the Sundays (with asterisks).

If you're interested click here.


 

Noble pens four-year deal

Young Hammers hero Mark Noble has signed a new four-year deal. The 18-year-old Academy graduate has made 10 starts and 6 substitute appearances for West Ham so far; expect more from the young hotshot in the coming season. "We think very highly of Mark," quoth Pardew. "If he keeps on working hard and continues to develop as he has, there is no reason why he cannot become a top player for this club. He and his family love this club and he has made a terrific start to his senior West Ham United career."

Cue a bunch of headlines saying things like, "Noble Gesture for West Ham."

Will this be a common sight in years to come?

 

Premiership Fixtures Announced

We kick off the new season at home against Blackburn, 13th August. Then it's Newcastle away, followed by Bolton at home.

Some notable fixtures:

Fulham (a) 17th September
Arsenal (h) 24th September
Sunderland (a) 1st October
Liverpool (a) 29th October
West Brom (h) 5th November
Spurs (a) 19th November
Man Utd (h) 26th November
Portsmouth (a) 26th December
Wigan (h) 28th December
Charlton (a) 31st December
Chelsea (h) 2nd January

Our final game of the season is against Spurs at home on 7th May. Give 'em hell, lads!

You can see the complete list of fixtures at this link.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

 

Where have all the strikers gone?

One of the key positions that needs filling for West Ham is up front. Marlon's got what it takes, potentially, but Z-Man is likely to be a squad player at best in the Premiership. Teddy's going to be our super-sub, so we really need a proven Premiership goalscorer to help keep us up. You may have noticed that not many of the players we've been linked with are strikers. What few the rumour mill has mentioned have not been Premiership level.

I don't know about you, but I'm getting nervous.


 

The Ruf is... off

Onetime Hammers favourite Rufus Brevett has signed a one-year deal with Plymouth Argyle. His injury nearly two years ago threatened to end his career permanently but it looks like he's made a recovery, so that's good. At a sprightly 35, he should still have a year or two ahead of him. Good luck, Ruf!

Another former Hammer who has left is Greg Pearson, who has signed with Rushden & Diamonds for two years. The striker only made one or two substitute appearances for West Ham. Said he, "I have one ambition, I want to score goals, its as simple as that. It is all I have ever wanted to do as a footballer." Well, he'll get his opportunity now.

In other news, West Ham are now linked with Sam Ricketts. The 23-year old Welsh rightback has a year left on his contract with Swansea City. He got the first of his three caps earlier this year, following good performances for his just-promoted club, and is in talks about extending his contract.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

 

Super, Super Tom & other news

Super Tommy Repka has signed a two-year deal with the Irons, on what his agent calls "considerably less" than what he previously earned. I don't doubt it, Pardew wouldn't sign him on the same terms. His agent said, "Tomas signed a new deal with West Ham o­n Friday. He had a lot of offers, from Panathinaikos, from Duisburg in Germany, from Leverkusen, Trabzonspor, Shakhtar Donetsk. But he spent four years at West Ham and was successful last year. He loves the club and he loves the fans, he is very happy to stay in the Premiership. If he wanted more money, he would have signed for Shakhtar, but in his eyes the quality of the Premiership is the best in the world." It's good news as we needed both a right back and a centre back and Repka plays well and is experienced in both positions. He's committed too - a good player and a good example to the youngsters (except his temper of course, but he's been much better in that respect in recent seasons). Put a tenner on him scoring his first for us against Arsenal - you heard it here first.



Tomas, still a little hung over from the promotion celebrations

Jagielka
In other news, Warnock has "warned" us off Jagielka. "If you try to sign him, there will be dire consequences. Look out, I'm warning you - you'll regret it. If you even make an offer for him, you don't even want to think about the unnamed things that will happen to you, but let me assure you they will be nasty," said Warnock. Well, no, but he did babble a bit.

Anton Ferdinand
Meanwhile, our Anton has pledged his commitment to the team. "I have been with West Ham since I was eight years old and I am happy there. Yes, there is talk in England that Liverpool are going to buy me. But that's just talk at the moment. For me, it's just sensational to be part of taking West Ham back to the Premiership." Good lad.

Ze "don't call me Fidel" Castro
Rumours say that Pardew is about to offer £1m to Academica Coimbra for Portugese U21 centre half Ze Castro with the view to signing him on a four-year deal.

Roeder
Fan favourite (ahem) Glenn Roeder has gone back to Newcastle as youth coach. "I am looking forward to unearthing some talented youngsters who I hope will eventually make it into the first team," he said. Lousy manager, but a good coach - shame he didn't stay at West Ham as coach instead of being shoved into a managerial position he didn't really want.

Helguson
Finally, Wigan may have won the race for Helguson. Wigan will pay abound £1m. Sunderland and Sheffield offered more, but didn't want to pay it all up front. West Ham and Fulham didn't make a bid but showed some interest. No great loss for us, perhaps.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

 

Download the goal

Which goal? THE goal. The file is about 5.5 megs. WMV format. If someone can grab the audio from this I'd appreciate it.

I wish it went a little longer to watch the boys celebrate. Wahoo! Go the Z-man!

Monday, June 20, 2005

 

Another day, 28 more rumours...

Sky Sports reckons we're either about to offer, or have already offered, about £3 million to Sheffield United for 22 year-old centreback/midfielder Phil Jagielka. They've already knocked back an offer of £1.5 million from Charlton a month ago, and Portsmouth have supposedly made a £2 million bid.

Also, we're linked with defender Thomas Helveg (Norwich) and striker Heidar Helguson (Watford). The former wants to play in the World Cup for Denmark, so he'll be itching for a first team place in a high profile team. The latter is going for £1.2 million.

As much as I enjoy all the speculation, is it too much to ask that we just splash out on Jay Jay Okocha? (Well, probably, yes.)

And now, the striker who is half the man Jay Jay is, or at least has half his name. Jay Bothroyd is being hunted by West Ham and Manchester City. He's currently on loan at Blackburn from Perugia but Hughes doesn't want him permanently. He was out for a couple of months with a torn thigh muscle, and has fallen out of favour, but wants to stay at Rovers.

Darren Purse has stated that he wants to stay with the Baggies and fight for a first team place rather than make the switch to the Irons in the Premiership. Well, to each his own, I say.

Meanwhile, off the field, Alan Pardew has brought physiotherapists Steve Allen and Paul Hunter from Cardiff City.

And that's your bloomin' lot.


Friday, June 17, 2005

 

Roy speaks



Interview with Roy Crane, er, Carroll on the official site. Here be link.

 

Why I Left Reading

Niall Clark talks about why he left Reading. "I am ambitious and I want to help West Ham become a regular top-six side in the Premiership." Nicky Shorey is in the photo on the article - we have been tenuously linked with him as well, but Reading don't want to sell.

Also this is a good read - Vinny's player ratings for the season on WHO. "Mark Noble: The best young player to come out of the youth team since Joe Cole? You better believe it. This guy has the potential to go all the way." Stuff that, he's already better than Joe. :-)

 

Konchy

Now we're linked with Paul Konchesky. Curbs wants £1.5 million for the left back, while Fulham and Celtic are also sniffing about.


Thursday, June 16, 2005

 

The Greek Connection

I have no idea what that title means either, but it's all I could think of.

Here's some blather from a Greek Iron, just because it's been a slow day for news: Can we get this defender Alan?


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

 

Q&A time with Super Teddy Sheringham

Does football still give you the buzz it did when you were at your peak for England?
Yes. I still love it. I couldn’t think of a better way to have spent my life. Every time I step onto the pitch I still get that same buzz and I know that I’m very lucky to have experienced it.

What did it feel like to put on a West Ham shirt and score your first goal against Reading in front of a packed Upton Park?
It was brilliant. I used to support West Ham as a kid and I remember standing on the north bank with my brother, so obviously to score my first goal at Upton Park was fantastic.

What do you think it is that has enabled you to continue to play at the highest level for so long?
I think that a big part of it is that I’ve been very fortunate with injuries. Obviously that has had a massive bearing on the longevity of my career and also I’ve never lost the enthusiasm to play. I’m just as hungry to play now as I was when I was first breaking through.

Do you have aspirations to go into management when you finally decide to call time on your playing career?
I think I would like to one day, but at the moment I’m having such a good time playing that I don’t really want to think about it.

Have you got any favourite songs that the West Ham fans sing?
Of course, it’s got to be ‘Oh Teddy Teddy’.

Do you have any pre-match rituals or superstitions?
Yes, I always wash my face three times before I leave the dressing room to go out onto the pitch.

What is your favourite car that you have had and why?
I think that for pure class and fun it would have to be the Ferrari 355 Spider, because it was convertible, fast and flashy, so it had a bit of everything really.

Do you play any other sports and if so do you excel at any of them?
I like to play a bit of golf but I wouldn’t say I excel at it. I have my moments. I play off of eight but it can sometimes be better and can be a lot worse as well.


Excerpt from Hammers News July 2005

 

Rumour Mill in overtime!

Here's a quick list of what's simmering away in the world of rumours. I reckon Kuqi, Harte, and Hoyte (sounds like a team of lawyers!) would be worthy targets.

Shefki Kuqi (Ipswich Town) - yes please, on a Bosman too
Ian Harte (Levante) - yes please, if cheap
Justin Hoyte (Arsenal) - yes please!
Ivar Ingimarsson (Reading) - no thanks
Darren Purse (West Brom) - maybe
Grzegorz Rasiak (Derby County) - maybe
Sam Sodje (Brentford) - maybe - we've been linked with him for a while now.


 

No Jackie

Only Jackie McNamara knows why he went for a second rate club in a second rate division instead of a first rate club in a second rate division or a first rate club in a first rate division. Confused? That's Wolves, Celtic, and West Ham respectively. He said, "I gave Celtic an opportunity to sign me to a new contract but I was a little surprised and disappointed it took them so long." Can't help but think Pardew missed the boat on this one.


 

Promotion Wallpapers

The official site has put up some wallpapers celebrating promotion. There's one of Z-man and Noble, one of Ethers, one of Mullins, and a couple of others. Some are good, some are crap. See the offish for links.


 

Some idiot's season review

I don't know what this guy is thinking, but if Don Hutchison can get a 4 for this season, what do you have to do to get a 1 or 2? Why did Malky get the same rating for goodness sake?

Why did Z-man get a 9 when he did precious little all season (except work hard), and then get lucky with tap-ins and one awesome goal in the playoffs?

Why did Pardew get an 8 when we only barely scraped into the playoffs? People were tipping us for the title at the start of the season!

 

Season review DVD available

It's 16 pounds, plus about 3 grand for delivery to Australia probably.

Follow this link.

 

Two signings

One player and one support staff.

The player is Roy Carroll. According to the club website he left Man U because of "limited first team opportunities". Har har. Anyway, he's still only 27 so we could get a few good years out of him, and it's nice to have 3 keepers. Wonder what his wages are. Looks like Bywater will be relegated to the bench again, and when Jimmy is fit Stevo will most likely go to 3rd string. Bit rough for a good keeper. Well, he's still young, maybe we can loan him out.

Pardew has also signed a new Head of Technical Support, a guy called Niall Clark, previously a Sports Scientist at Pardew's old club Reading. Quoth Alan, "I'm absolutely overjoyed to have reacquainted myself with Niall. He joins West Ham United as Head of our Technical Department, where he will oversee the fitness, injury and psychology of the group. In my opinion, Niall is a very important signing this summer. He will enhance every part of our Club."

Anyway, Pardew's looking at "three or four" more signings. One of these is, according to rumour, Fulham striker Steve Marlet, but I doubt we can pay his wages. He's available on a Bosman next year but of course we can't wait that long.


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

 

Anton staying

We all thought so, didn't we? (sigh of relief anyway)

From the official website: "West Ham United would like to categorically deny recent rumours that defender Anton Ferdinand will be leaving the Club in a £3 million deal. The Club's Legal Director Scott Duxbury said: 'These rumours are utter nonsense. Anton has come up through the Club's Academy and made tremendous progress this season. He was a vital part of the side that won promotion, and our aim is to now build on that side and take the Club forward on the pitch.' "


 

Oh dear

These aren't particularly funny but here's the link anyway.




Also, following up on this article, Barthez has been banned from ALL football for the next six months and not just in France, so Carroll is almost certain (rumours say he'll sign today). I'd rather get Antti Nieme though.

 

New comments

Just a quick note to inform and explain some stuff about comments. The format is changed slightly. On the main blog page, if you click an article's header it will take you to the article page; but if you click on the "comments" link at the bottom of the article it will show the comments in the existing page.

If that's confusing... ah, just try it. :-) I'm trying to figure out if it's possible to post comments directly from the main page or the article page, so if anyone is good with blogs & HTML and can help, by all means let me know!

Monday, June 13, 2005

 

Anton being eyed by Liverpool

I hope it's a load of bollocks but according to the Sun, Liverpool might make a move for Rio's younger brother :-

'REDS WANT FERDINAND'

Not Rio, but West Ham's Anton, says The Sun. Liverpool need centre-halves and the Hammers man could be available for around £3m. Rafael Benitez will keep an eye on contract negotiations at Upton Park.



 

Edgar Davids Joins the Rumour Mill

We want him but apparently Pardew is relying on Inter subsidising his wages.

Arfur, I really want that motor but would you mind paying 1/2 my petrol bill and MOT?

Inter Milan midfielder Edgar Davids is being chased by West Ham United. The former Juventus ace has turned down offers from Ajax and AZ Alkmaar, ruling out a return to Holland for at least another two years. Davids almost joined Everton in January, but the Blues baulked at his wage demands.

West Ham boss Alan Pardew is keen to bring Davids to Upton Park, but will be relying heavily on Inter supremo Massimo Moratti to cover a large percentage of the Holland international's wages for the deal to go through.


 

Jackie McNamara

The UK Sunday Mail reckons West Ham, Wigan, and Wolves are all hunting the Celtic skipper, on a Bosman. Maybe dicanio could tell us more about how well he'd suit our squad.

Also, Sky Sports have linked us with Levante striker Edwin Congo, who is low on the pecking order for the just-relegated Spanish club. They are trying to get him off the books to save wages - sound familiar?

 

Carroll to join Hammers tomorrow?

The People is reporting that Roy Carroll will sign with West Ham tomorrow.

Reportedly on £30K per week at Old Trafford, speculation is that negotiations with the Hammers are in the £15K-£20K ballpark. That won't be music to the ears of Jimmy Walker as it would be hard to imagine West Ham paying that sort of dosh for a bench warmer.

 

Sheringham and Dailly Sign New Deals

Teddy Sheringham and Christian Dailly have both signed new deals to see them playing premiership football again.

Teddy's one year deal will see him playing at the top level into his 40's while I haven't seen the length of Dailly's deal quoted yet.

 

Tractor Boys Request Rules Change

Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks has called for a change to the play off system that would see the team finishing 3rd go straight into the play off final with 4th,5th and 6th scrapping for the remaining play off birth.

If he gets his way, lets hope Ipswich finish 4th, 12pts clear of 5th and still don't make it to Cardiff :)

Here de link (edited by admin)

 

East, East, East London

West Ham neighbours the London City Airport won the UK Airports Football Championship at Upton Park in a tournament co-ordinated by Hammer's favourite Alvin Martin. London City Airport defeated Newcastle Airport 3-0 which hopefully won't be the last time the geordies leave the Boleyn empty-handed in the coming season.

http://www.luchtzak.be/article8939.html

Friday, June 10, 2005

 

OT: OZ v NZ

Just my player ratings.

Schwartzer (6) not much to do but came out of the box well to snuff out a danger on his right.
Muscat (5) Anonymous apart from trying to break some Kiwi legs.
Moore (7) Solid as usual, cleaned up well. Taken off due to tight hamstring I think.
Popovic (7) Dominating, reliable.
Neill (7) Not much got past him and linked well with Chipperfield in attack.
Cahill (6) Tried but couldn't find form.
Skoko (6) Did a job, passing was fairly poor.
McKain (6) Did OK but gave the ball away way too often.
Chipperfield (7) Man of the Match. Poor first half, but good second half. Took the wrong option too often but was Australia's only real attacking threat. His marker was inexperienced and it showed.
Sterjovski (6) Couldn't get into the game. Was not able to play his usual style due to poor team tactics.
Emerton (5) Awful game by his usual high standards. Got the ball but didn't do anything with it. Missed an easy header.
Kalac (6) Nervous early but made a good save and looked solid. Has a good reputation - might be worth a look at for Pardew!
Milicevic (6) Played a bit.
Colosimo (7) Ran about and got a good goal.
Thompson (6) Good replacement for Moore. Would not want to mess with him!
Elrich (6) Promising.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

 

One chop or two?

We have been re-linked with the gangly useless waste of space Paulo Wanchope

http://www.fansfc.com/westhamfootballclub/news.asp?newsid=140645

 

Great pics from the final

Fox Sports have some good pics on their site from the playoff final, some of which I haven't seen before. The best is at this link:

http://msn.foxsports.com/soccer/pgStory?contentId=3650880&pageNumber=5

Can you spot the miserable git in this photo? What's HIS story?

Anyway, if anyone can find a higher resolution version of this pic I'd be a very happy chappie. The photographer's name is Mike Hewitt and the source is Getty Images - but they don't have it on their site.

Also, now is a good time to re-post GeeDee's pics site from the final. www.geedee.smugmug.com - includes our very own pics from the Pig 'n' Whistle. Yay!


 

When the ball hits the net....

£2.50 will get you a copy of the Mark Adams song It's Zamora. Adams plays Dean Martin in the West End musical Ratpack and the song was part of a montage he sang before kick off in the play off final. Apparently the £2.50 downloadable version won't get you the bonus track Ain't Ted a Kick in the Head...

http://www.whufc.com/article.asp?article=279300&Title=IT%27S+ZAMORA!&lid=_News+Headlines&navlid=

 

TAXI!

You're not gunna believe this one. Fabien Barthez.

Yes, rumours say that the bald French geezer is hailing a taxi all the way to England, and possibly Upton Park. He's been banned from France for the rest of the year after spitting at a ref, but that doesn't stop him from playing elsewhere. Probably as a loan, which suits us since heroic Jimmy should be back in action by the time he goes back.

I reckon he'd be a real coup. He was the closest ManUre ever got to a replacement for the Great Dane. He's prone to errors in big matches but so was DJ and we got on fine with him - and I reckon Barthez is more consistent. He's still a good age for a keeper too (33).

It will be interesting to see what the fans think.

Yet another rumour is Derby's Polish striker Grzegorz Rasiak, who I won't pretend I know anything about.


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

 

Who's going down?

We all want it to be Spurs, Birmingham, Newcastle, Villa, etc. but who is it actually going to be? Hard to tell from here, but I'll try anyway. I'll add a proviso here that I don't know shit about football, and am probably utterly wrong, but here goes.

If you look at the bottom half of last season's table, there are a few in trouble.

Portsmouth, Blackburn and the Brummies could all be key contenders for the drop. I think the wheels have almost fallen off Fulham and Birmingham and they will be struggling. Newcastle are struggling but rumours say that Sourpuss has quite a lot of money to spend; it really depends on who he can bring in.

Big Sam at Bolton has nothing to spend with his club being in debt. Great manager but how long can he hold on? Same deal with our Curbs at Charlton. They could both hold on, or could drop dramatically. But I don't think they'll be relegated just yet.

What about our fellow promotees? The Irishman at Sunderland has only 5 million to spend, and not a particularly promising squad. Wigan has more than us to spend and from what little I've seen of them from 4,000 miles away, they should be relatively safe.

And now my verdict. I think Sunderland will go back down. I reckon for the other places pick any two from Portsmouth, West Brom, Fulham, and Blackburn. Maybe Birmingham.

And, of course, it could be us - and that's what we really want to know. Will West Ham be better than at least three of those teams? I think we're in with a shout, at least an equal chance as most of those. Right now, with our squad, we'll be relegated, no doubt. With 20 million spent on good signings, then we'd be almost certainly safe. It all hinges on Pardew's talent in the transfer market and I personally think that he's actually pretty sly - if he does as well with big money as he previously has on a shoestring, then we should be sitting well.

Thinking about that, I think if West Ham aim for a 13th or 14th place, or thereabouts, it's not unrealistic. I reckon we're likely to end up about 15th to 17th, with about a 30% chance of relegation.

What do YOU think?


 

The Italian Job

There's some rumours in Italy that striker Andrea Caracciolo is set to leave Brescia following their relegation. There's interest from other Italian sides, but rumours say he may instead be swapping tagliatelli and olives for bangers and mash. In other words, he's the 2,867th player to be linked to West Ham in the last five minutes.


 

More on Roar seating & tickets

We're still concerned about the Queensland Roar seating arrangements - well, I have just been sent a photo of what the view of the pitch is like from the cheaper (Maroon) seats. You can see it at this link.

 

OT: Queensland Roar tickets

The prices have come out (these are for adults, see their website for more details):

Season Ticket Prices
Orange seating $225
Blue seating $180
Maroon seating $135

Individual Game Prices
Orange seating $25
Blue seating $20
Maroon seating $15

What a crock - you can see the allocations (and further pricing details) here.

I will now defer to Dave who had this excellent rant about it:

That’s outrageous! This is gonna bite them on the a*se! They shouldn’t even be using the Maroon areas until other allocations are sold!!! They’d be better off with fixed price entry and you sit first come first serve basis with the prime seats offered first. Idiots – that’s why football will never work in this town. 15 bucks is fair enough. But what the hell do they have to offer in order to segregate the prices in that manner? Surely they’re gonna put everybody close together in order to try and create some atmosphere? If they are gonna have different classes of ticket then they must be thinking of spreading the fans out which will be a disaster. You can’t have a 15 buck seat next to a 25 buck seat so they must have different sections which will dilute the crowd round an empty stadium.[1]

[1] Brisvegas, David N. (2005), Detailed fiscal benefits analysis of season ticket price variation and seating allocation for Queensland Roar in the forthcoming A-League season, Whingeing Pom Press.


Too bloody right mate!

 

Stuff!

The agents have been talking, but whether you believe them or not is another story. Teddy's agent has said that it's 95% certain that the youngster will remain at Upton Park. Here's hoping. And Repka's agent claims that Hitman has received a renewed contract offer from the club. Depending on what the wage offer is (ie less than about 15k, or something with a relegation clause), I hope he accepts.


Another rumour is that the Hammers are linked with the gloriously named (if you're a fan of Australian beer) Carlton Cole. I always rated this lad and think he could do the business with us, despite his recent downturn in form. He's only very young still and would slot right into our side.

Finally, some good news for young Reo-Coker. He's captained the England u20s to a 3-0 win against South Korea, scoring a goal himself in the process. Well done Nige.


 

Rebrov definitely off

Gone back to Kiev on a 3-year deal. Seeya, Sergei.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

 

Oh my GOD - Paolo to return to Claret and Blue?

No, not that one. Gotcha! According to the Mirror, Mr Wanchope wants to come back to the Premiership, and West Ham are leading the race. (Pretty slow race, but never mind.) He's been playing mainly in the rain in the plains of Spain, for Malaga, apparently. He's still only 28 years old. He said, "I still have sufficient quality to play for a club in the Premier League and this is my wish." Pompey and Sheffield Utd are also looking at him. Would he be welcome? Would he score goals? He might do us as a squad player, I guess, but isn't going to set the world on fire. His transfer to Malaga was only half a million squids and they want rid of him, so he'd be cheap. I say, bear him in mind but keep looking, Alan.

 

Brisbane play-off photos on GeeDee's

GeeDee has added my photos from the Pig N Whistle to his site.

http://www.geedee.smugmug.com

GeeDee used to take photos of all the hammers games but was forced to cease and desist after pressure from the FA. They wouldn't know there was a bus up their ar$e until the passengers started getting out but they're on top of the big issues like fan photos...

 

OT: A-League coverage

Stolen from theworldgame forum:

So we're gonna get, what, a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 games televised Live each week, and that's all good. Buggered if we know who the commentators are likely to be, but has anyone ever heard anything from Fox about whether or not they will have an interactive feature for any of these games?

Virtually all of Foxtel's AFL and NRL games now have interactive features for Digital users.

And it's farken brilliant, too. Particularly the different camera angles on offer. They have stats, a main view, sideline view, highlights reel (if you start watching late), a player tracking view, a split screen view and the one I'm really keen on for football viewing, a 'Coaches view' which is basically a zoomed back picture giving a more thorough view of the field at large, kinda like the view you get from sitting half way up the side in a stadium.

This would be a HUGE plus for football viewing IMO. Normal TV coverage of football does little to give an overall view of off screen movement, positional and tactical play IMO. You miss out on so much by only having the cameras focused on the ball and such a small and limited section of play.

I really hope that if they don't start with interactive coverage, they introduce it quickly.

(someone replied:)

as a foxtel employee i know they will have at least one live and active game a week for the new A league


 

Teddy to Queensland Roar

Don't make me laugh.

 

New rumours

Kelvin Davies (from Ipswich) and Geremi from Chelsea.

Didn't notice much about Davies but he seemed OK - for a million squids. Not that there are many good keepers around, but I think Davies could do fine in the top division. If we sign him then that means we'll have 3 good keepers, but none that are great. I'm a bit ambivalent about this one.

Geremi could be a good signing. Proven Premiership ability and, from what little I remember, a pretty good attitude and workrate. If we could get him and Nicky Butt (or someone similar) then I reckon our midfield is sewn up.

We need a natural striker to partner Harewood. Dean Ashton and Peter Crouch have both been mentioned, but have you got any other ideas?

 

Site name?

Anyone got any better ideas than WHU-AU? di canio suggested West Ham Obsession or West Ham Obsessive.

I thought maybe WHUBRIS (West Ham United BRISbane; & "hubris" means "overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance". Pretty appropriate. :-)

Monday, June 06, 2005

 

Hammers in for Lee Bowyer?!

Is Pardew REALLY going to sign this idiot? I see on WHO that a lot of fans reckon he'll be a good signing.

Oh yes, this "gen-yoo-wine" Hammer who single handedly did absolutely bugger-all in our relegation season, and then couldn't get the hell out of the club fast enough. Oh, and in his spare time he's some kind of a nut case.

Pardew's gone this far getting the team spirit up. Signing Bowyer is going to undo all of that. I don't want to venture into libel this early into our blog, but some say there are indications that Bowyer might be racist. I wouldn't know anything about that. I'm sure Anton, Bobby, Chris, Marlon, and Shaun would get along with him just jim dandy.

Even if he just acts like your average prick, as I'm sure we've all seen, then he won't exactly be a welcome sight in the same dressing rooms as our young players. (On the upside, I'd like to see him with a Repka's-head-sized dent in his face.)

Not if they paid us, Alan. Please!

 

WE ARE PREMIER LEAGUE! SAY WE ARE PREMIER LEAGUE!

What a great time to start a West Ham United blog! This is my first post of course, and I hope to get a couple of others involved to get things rollin'.

I will try and get a fuller update on here tonight.