Sunday, July 31, 2005


Hammers Win Again & Anton Signs

Good news: Matty Etherington has helped West Ham continue their unbeaten pre-season run with goal against Crystal Palace overnight.

Better news: Anton Ferdinand has signed a three-year contract extension. "Achieving promotion with West Ham United last season was the greatest moment in my career so far," said the young star. "Hopefully I can continue to play well this season and ensure that we stay in the Premier League. There is a fantastic atmosphere around the club."

Friday, July 29, 2005


Super Shaka is back - Confirmed Skysports C&P

Shaka Hislop has rejoined West Ham after leaving Portsmouth on a free transfer, just three years after departing Upton Park.
The Trinidad & Tobago veteran had been searching for a new club after being released by Pompey, and Hammers boss Alan Pardew has now afforded him the chance to reignite his Premiership career.
The 36-year-old has been an almost constant presence in the top flight ever since his move to Newcastle ten years ago, and had been on trial with Championship side Crystal Palace in a bid to prolong his playing days.
Hislop will now look to put pressure on fellow new recruit Roy Carroll and admitted to being delighted at his return to London after securing a one-year deal.
"It is great to be going back to West Ham," Hislop told
"I had four great years there, really happy times.
"We had a successful team too, we finished in the top half of the table three seasons out of four and played some great football.
"It was a strange situation last season, I felt as though I was playing as well as I had done for a while, but sometimes when a new manager comes in he has different ideas and it was pretty clear I wouldn't be staying at the club beyond the end of the season.
"Now I am just looking forward to getting the boots back on again and competing for a place in the side.
"There are some good goalkeepers here and I will have to be on my toes, but I am confident in my ability and I know I am still good enough to be a very consistent goalkeeper in The Premiership." Palace had already withdrawn their interest in the experienced shot-stopper after failing to offload current second choice Julian Speroni, and chairman Simon Jordan previously indicated that Hislop was close to sealing a move.
"I think Shaka will sign for someone else - I do not believe we are doing a deal with him," Jordan told Sky Sports News.
"We have two goalkeepers and the idea was for one of them to depart before we signed another one.
"That situation has not manifested and, although I don't know whom Shaka will sign for, he is no longer playing for us."


Shak-Attack: Back?

The tabloids are reporting that Alan Pardew is making a move for former Hammer Shaka Hislop, who has been released by Portsmouth. I, for one, would love to see ole Shak back at the Boleyn - but not really for footballing reasons. He is still quite a good keeper, though probably not as good as when he was last with us. The problem is what happens now to Steve Bywater? The youngster really stepped up to the plate after David James left, and now it looks like he will fade into the background again, especially with Carroll in the team and then when Walker recovers. Football is harsh, I know, but surely he deserves a bit more of a chance. Surely Shaka won't sign just to play in the reserves or get loaned out - he would want to be on the bench at the very least. At any rate, if Bywater doesn't get into the first team this season, I hope he goes on loan (say, to a Championship club) but sticks with West Ham. I like the lad and think he will have a lot to offer us in years to come.

In other news, Marlon Harewood, like everyone involved with West Ham, is looking forward to the new season. "There's a buzz around the place and the spirit is fantastic," he told the Club's website. "The lads have been great in training, everyone is looking forward to the start of the season and you can feel the excitment around the Club. We feel that we've got a squad capable of doing well in the Premier League. Our first aim is survival, but the manager has made it clear that he wants more than that and there is plenty of belief in the squad that we can achieve a good finish. It won't be easy, it's a long season playing against some of the world's best players. But when you look at last season we always really enjoyed ourselves on the big occasions and put in some great performances against the top sides. This season every game will be a huge occasion and I think that will bring the best out of this squad."

Thursday, July 28, 2005


Hammers held

West Ham has drawn 1-1 with 1860 Munich at the Allianz Arena. The Irons led at the break after Marlon Harewood scored from Matty Etherington's cross, but Harewood, Reo-Coker and Sheringham all wasted some chances and Munich fought back for the draw. All of West Ham's new signings played, with Roy Carroll and Danny Gabbidon in good form, while Yossi Benayoun made his debut. Squad: Carroll; Repka (Chadwick 74), Konchesky (Ward 60), Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Mullins (Licka 74), Newton, Sheringham (Benayoun 78), Reo-Coker (Dailly 60), Harewood, Etherington (Williams 74). Subs unused: Bywater (GK).

In other news reports are getting stronger that Czech U21 striker Petr Mikolanda will sign for the club after impressing as a triallist.

Finally, notice the new "Fixture Helper" at the top of the menu bar. It'll let you look at the time of the next fixture in local and London time, a countdown to the next fixture, and also the current time locally or in London. Took me hours to put it together, but by gum it's worth it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Davids to Spurs?

According to the BBC site (link here), Spurs are claiming to have captured Edgar Davids. This was all a horrifying read until I noticed this little bit towards the end:

Hughton is also confident Davids is bound for White Hart Lane - despite still needing to agree personal terms and pass a medical.
So they haven't even agreed personal terms? Aren't they celebrating a little too early?

Anyway, I don't care if we don't get him - I just hope Spurs don't get him either.


Pardew aims high!

Alan Pardew has told reporters that he has set the standards high for the new season, although he hasn't specified how high exactly.

"Some people have claimed that our aspirations are too high," he told the Club's official website. "Well, I don't think they can ever be too high and we're focused on bringing in the best squad of players that we can and achieving the best possible finish for the Club. The players and staff would not respond to me in the right way if I wasn't setting my sights as high as possible and wanting to get the very best for West Ham United."

Pardew has revealed that his aim is to get the squad together before the start of the season, rather than save funds for the January transfer window. He says, "It's very dangerous to try and hold back and plan for what's going to happen in January. You have to hold complete faith in the work you are doing now. If not then you have wasted half a season and the first half could be the most important half from our point of view. I want to have the best squad that I possibly can in place by the start of the season. Like everyone at the Club, I'm extremely excited about the new season and am determined to do West Ham United proud in the Premier League."

He is also pleased about the pre-season so far. "I felt the games we've had so far have been just at the right standard for us and we've performed well in all those games. More importantly we've come through with no injury problems and spirits in the squad are very high at the moment."

On the subject of Petr Mikolanda's possible signature, Pardew has dismissed reports that the deal is as good as done. "We haven’t made a decision on the trialists yet," he said. "I can’t comment until I have spoken to the players concerned."

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Petr to sign?

Sorry for the c&p but I'm tired! This is from Sky Sports..... Or so I'm told!

Czech Republic striker Petr Mikolanda is expecting to sign for West Ham United after impressing on trial. The Hammers have agreed a deal with Mikolanda's club Viktoria Zizkov after the hit-man scored three goals in two pre-season friendlies. Mikolanda is returning to his homeland and is due to head back to England at the start of next week to sign a contract.

"It is great!" a cheery Mikolanda told CTK. "I will fly home to Prague tomorrow to go through all the necessary things and on Monday I have to come here again. Maybe the coach likes that I smile all the time but the smile would not have helped me if I had not been good on the pitch."

Mikolanda's agent Ondrej Chovanec is waiting to sift through the contract from Alan Pardew's side and is hoping the young hot shot can settle in The Premiership.

Chovanec told Idnes: "Maybe it was clear [that he will move to West Ham] before last Saturday's match. Coach Alan Pardew has been observing him before and he was satisfied with his performances. They did a lot to help him adapt. Now it will only depend on how Petr will accustom himself in such a difficult competition as The Premiership."

Meanwhile, West Ham are stepping up their interest in Belenenses defender Pele, who will cost in the region of €3 million (£2 million). Pele was watched by The Hammers in a pre-season friendly last week and a delegation from Upton Park is hoping to travel to Lisbon in the coming days to discuss a deal with Belenenses.


Yossi chuffed

Yossi Benayoun has revealed his excitement about his move to West Ham in an earlier interview.

"It's a fantastic challenge to come to the Premier League and a dream move for me," he told the Club's official website. "It is the best league in the world, with some of the best players, and I am very grateful to West Ham United for giving me the opportunity to come to the Premiership. It's exciting for me to be playing at West Ham United and I am determined to do my best for the team in the coming season. The Club has only just been promoted, but the atmosphere is very positive and everyone, from the manager and coaches to the players, believes that we can achieve a good finish in the Premiership next season."

Yossi had no doubts about where he wanted to be and, importantly, the Club's ambitions had a part to play in his move. He said, "I knew Bolton Wanderers were also interested in me, but when I spoke to Eyal [Berkovic] about West Ham he said that this was the club to join. After that I had no hesitation in signing. I had already been very impressed with the ambitions of the Club and the plans of the manager, who is determined to help the Club progress on the pitch. Eyal also explained to me the passion of the West Ham United fans and the feeling of playing for such a crowd. After speaking to him I wanted to be a part of the team here and was delighted when the signing was agreed."

He also spoke of the physical demands of the Premiership, and his role as a player within the Club. "I know that the English league is very physical, but I believe in my ability to handle the pace of the game in England," he said. "I am delighted to be playing in the Premier League and I think that I can do a good job for the team. Strength is something I'm sure that I will work on during the coming weeks to make sure I am ready by the start of the season.

"I am mostly an attacking midfielder. That is where I have played for my previous clubs and also in international football. But my role is down to the manager and I will play wherever he asks me to. I know Teddy Sheringham is an excellent player and if I am competing with him for my place then it will be difficult. But there are lots of very talented players at the Club and I will just try to do my best to impress the manager.

"There are players at West Ham United who I can learn a lot from and hopefully I can do that over the season to improve as a player. There is a strong team principle at the Club and a desire to work for the good of the squad. That is definitely how it should be and I am looking forward to being a part of that."

You can read the entire interview here.

Monday, July 25, 2005


More about Yossi

Yossi Benayoun is UEFA's Player of the Year Week, and you can read all about the brow-furrowing Israeli at this link. Not much that's new, but hey...

Sunday, July 24, 2005


How'd you like that Big Fat Sam?????

C&P Skysports

West Ham United new boy Yossi Benayoun has hit back at Bolton Wanderers boss Sam Allardyce.
Allardyce voiced his disappointment at Benayoun after missing out to West Ham for the Israeli's signature.
Benayoun has hit back at Allardyce's claims and revealed he did not join Bolton because he is not a fan of their tactics.
"Allardyce is talking nonsense. If my decision had been based on money, I'd have joined Bolton as I was offered bigger bonuses there," said Benayoun.
"It's true Bolton are in the Uefa Cup, but that's not everything.
"I didn't go to West Ham for the money - I went because they play good football and I know I can do well here.
"Bolton don't play the sort of football I like. I know about West Ham's style and how they like to pass.
"Newcastle also offered me a deal. But I love the fact West Ham are already counting on me as an important player."


Yeovil 2 - 2 West Ham

The Hammers had to fight back twice to salvage this draw against lowly Yeovil after the home side initially took the Lead after just 3 minutes. The newly promoted league 1 side were determined to embarass the Hammers lofty Premier League status by inflictng defeat and twice took the lead with a goal inbetween from in form Czech trialist Petr Mikolanda. Yeovil went into the Break with a 2-1 lead and mid way through the second half Bobby Zamora had the oppotunity to restore parity from the penalty spot but spurned it. Zamora was to make amends with an equaliser in the dying minutes.

A worrying result that posibly shows the true position of our preseason although the side on display was a long way from what you would call our first team. With top names such as Etherington, Harewood, Sheringham, Yossi, Reo-Coker all mssing a truer test could be Wednesday nights clash vs 1860 Munich.

Hammers Team:

Bywater; McClenahan, Newton, Collins, Mackay, Fletcher, Dailly (Ward 80), Williams, Zamora, Mikolanda (Reid 68), Chadwick (Sofiane 45). Subs unused: Reed (GK), Blewitt.

Friday, July 22, 2005


Benni to Chelsea???

West Ham target Benni McCarthy is said to be interesting Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho after failed bids for bigger names such as Adriano. I think we can knock that idea on the head then.

It looks like we're gonna sit around and watch all the top strikers get signed up - I think we should be making an early bid to ensure we get these type of players before the big guns snap them up. You watch what happens when Baros becomes available - Valencia and others will join the race and we'll miss out. I've been impressed with Pardew's signings so far, but we are still a quaility striker and midfielder away from being a Premiership club.

I'd like to see Baros come to West Ham but failing that I would be equally happy with either Johnson from Palarse or Ashton from Norwich. 6M should prise either of those 2 away from their clubs. Maybe Pardew is going to play a last minute blinder and bring one in on the cheap if they are still at their respective clubs on August 31st??

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Zamora to Leave??

According to some threads on less reputable websites ;-) Zamora is discontented at the news that we are tracking another striker and maybe able to leave for the right fee.

If this is true I am not happy about this at all. I think he has proven in the playoffs that he is a capable goal scorer as well as providing and should be given a chance to prove himself at the club in the premier league regardless of who we sign. I would love a top class striker and I feel the more the merrier but we should not let Zamora go - he deserves a chance and we may regret it if he is allowed to leave.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Can we all just take a minute please....... laugh at Birmingham.

Brann 4 Birmingham 0

Birmingham suffered a heavy 4-0 loss to Brann in the last game of their Norwegian tour as a near full-strength side failed to perform.


And the mystery striker is.......

Well I think we all knew who it was really didn't we?

Skysports C&P.

Alan Pardew has confirmed that West Ham will be bidding for Liverpool's Milan Baros.
Baros' future at Anfield looks to be short, with the player being left out of Liverpool's European ties so far, amidst suggestions that the club do not want to cup tie him and reduce his value.
The Czech Republic international has never replicated his international form at Liverpool, and Rafa Benitez is believed to be open to his sale.
Although there are likely to be a whole host of clubs in for the young marksman, Pardew has confirmed that West Ham will make a move.
"I'm not going to talk directly about Milan because he's still under contract," Pardew told Sky Sports News.
"But we are after a striker and if someone of his quality is available I am going to go for him."
Liverpool are set to complete the signing of Peter Crouch - pushing Baros even further down the pecking order.
When asked if Baros could be sold, Benitez told Sky Sports News: "Yes, it is a possibility.
"He is a player that is important for us - but we know the market sometimes changes.
"We have more options now in attack and it depends on the number of teams we would play."


We only score 3 goals!!!!

The Hammers have ended their tour of Sweden with another 3-0 victory. This time the opponents were Vastra Frolunda. An own goal plus 2 Goals from Czech trialist Petr Mikolanda has given Pardew plenty to think about on the way back to the UK.

Think long and hard Alan - I think we should see this guy a few more times before shelling any cash on a pottentially dud striker. He could come good but we can't afford a gamble - we need instant goals from a proven Premier League (or equivalent) striker. If we can take this czech guy for a while too then so be it but we still need a top striker.


Another Defender???

Skysports C&P

West Ham United will send a representative to France to watch Pele play against Monaco on Wednesday.
The Belenenses defender has crossed Alan Pardew's radar and Portuguese sources claim the Hammers boss may leave the East Londoners' current base in Sweden to attend the friendly personally.
The clash with Monaco is taking place in Anglet, near Biarritz, and it is likely the newly-promoted Premiership side will step up their interest with a firm bid.
Pardew has already been active in the transfer market, including raiding Cardiff City for defenders James Collins and Danny Gabbidon, but he is still looking for reinforcements, despite being pleased with his side's pre-season thus far.
"We're some way down the line," he told Sky Sports News.
"Further down the line than I expected to be at this stage.
"That's pleasing.
"At the moment, the physical levels are really high, so we're really pleased."


Yossi - work permit granted.

C&P Skysports

West Ham United have completed the signing of Yossi Benayoun after the Israeli playmaker was granted a work permit.
The Premiership new boys were fully expecting Benayoun to secure the necessary paperwork due to his standing in the Israel national team.
With the work permit issue now resolved, Benayoun has tied up the formalities of his move from Racing Santander.
The Hammers have paid the Spanish club £2.5 million, with Benayoun signing a four-year deal at Upton Park, after also attracting the interest of Everton and Bolton.
Benayoun will be looked upon to supply the ammunition for the West Ham strikers this season after manager Alan Pardew admits he was chasing a creative talent for his squad.
"He's a player with flair, who will be able to open the door for us when teams sit deep," said Pardew.
"We needed a player like that and at 25-years-old he is a great signing for the club."

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


How much is left?

We were all told at the start of the silly season that Alan Pardew had approximately £20 million to spend on new players. Assuming that includes wages, we can estimate how much of the kitty is left. I make it like so:

Caroll: £0 million fee, £20k/week wages, or about £1 million/year
Konchesky: £2.5 million fee, £20k/week wages, or about £1 million/year
Gabbidon: £2 million fee, £15k/week wages, or about £800k/year
Collins: £1 million fee, £10k/week wages, or about £500k/year
Benayoun: £2.5 million fee, £25k/week wages, or about £1.3 million/year

(Of course the wages are guesses, but are unlikely to vary greatly from these amounts.)

Adding these up, Pardew's spent about £12.6 million so far, not including the costs of new contracts to Etherington, Ferdinand, Sheringham, Newton, and others. Are they included in the kitty? Who knows? Their wages might be partly subsidised from the dropping of the wages of players like Hutch, Lomas, and Powell, so I won't include them here.

So I make it Alan could have as much as £7.4 million left to spend. A lot of our touted rumour fees for a striker are in the region of £5 or £6 million. This seems about right, because we could get a £6 million striker at £25k per week, and cut in just under the rumoured £20 million total.

However, this leaves us with nothing left for the January transfer window. Would Pardew take such a risk? Possibly. He might consider that it's better off spending what you've got to start with, than to have money sitting in the bank for 5 months, during which half your season is gone. On the other hand he might want to see where the season pans out and bring in some fresh faces in January, which as you recall nearly saved us a couple of years ago, when Roeder brought in Les Ferdinand and Rufus Brevett. If we bought a £3 million striker now, at £20k a week, then we could have £3 million to spend on new players in January. But who do you get for £3 million? Not a 20-goal a year striker. So what does Alan do?

It comes down to whether Marlon, Bobby, and Teddy cut it in the Premiership this season. If Yossi and Matty both shine, then I think so. Depending on how well our midfield provide for our forwards, we could be going well enough as it is.

I think it's worth spending part of the remainder on a striker, but not a big name like Benny McCarthy - but it depends on who is available at the right price. I'd hope that out of our four main strikers (including the new signing), somebody hits a good purple patch for at least part of this season. But then again, I'm no Alan Pardew. It'll be interesting to see what he does.


Yossi in action

Here are some videos of our new boy Yossi Benayoun in action. I haven't seen the large compilation yet but from the others he looks like he was born with a ball at his feet. So to speak. :-)

Large compilation (40MB)

Peach of a shot after rounding 2 defenders (0.4MB)

Gets past about 4 defenders and squeezes in a shot (5.5MB - dodgy quality)

Rounds the keeper at high speed(3.7MB)

Taps over defender and volleys past keeper(1MB)

Monday, July 18, 2005


Newsfeeds to Firefox

OK, this is a bit off the topic, but it's pretty cool. I recently discovered that you can have live updated news feeds to Mozilla Firefox, meaning you can have links to the latest headlines in your bookmarks! And it's really easy.

Go to the Bookmarks menu and select 'Manage Bookmarks'. Under the 'File Menu', select 'Newsmark'. Create a name for the Live Bookmark and add the URL of the site's XML, RSS, or Atom feed (usually linked from a small orange icon somewhere in the news site's menu that looks like this: ). New articles from that site will appear as Live Bookmarks in Firefox.

The Atom feed URL for this here blog is The URL for BBC West Ham news is here, and the one for BBC general football news is here. Keep an eye out on your favourite news sites for the icon.

You can also set up news readers to do it, particularly if you're using Netscrape or Internet Bumdragger Netscape or Internet Explorer.


Latest Murmurings

West Ham are linked with a £5.5 million grab for Liverpool striker Milan Baros. Er, no thanks!

Also, TEAMTalk has (prior to the Benayoun capture) linked us with Jason Koumas for £1.5 million or a loan. With the capture of Yossi this transfer now looks less likely, but it's possible that Pardew would like to cover his bases with another playmaker. I reckon a striker would be first on the agenda now, though.

Chris Cohen is no longer going to Bournemouth as he has developed a groin injury, which will keep him out of action for four weeks or so - enough to force the Cherries to look elsewhere.

This was borrowed from the official match review here. Here is the squad that defeated FC Trollhattan: Bywater, Repka, Newton (Ward 75), Gabbidon (Collins 45), Ferdinand, Chadwick (Williams 45), Fletcher, Reo-Coker, Sheringham (Dailly 75), Zamora (Mikolanda 70), Etherington (Konchesky 75). Subs unused: Bucek (GK), Mullins, Harewood. Looks like Newton played at left-back - make of this what you will. Chadwick got two assists (for Fletcher and Sheringham), and Etheringtone one assist for Z-man.

Unless I'm mistaken it's now 6 goals in 5 matches for Bobby - let's hope he carries this sort of form into the Premiership!

Sunday, July 17, 2005


Davids on his way to E13?

A new link has resurfaced and it has emerged that West Ham are making a serious bid to bring Edgar Davids to Upton Park this week.

According to Skysports (I know sky again - but they seem to be reliable at the moment) he favours a return to Spain but West Ham are working hard to lure him to the Premiership. He is understood to be able to leave Inter this week so his fate should be sealed in the next 7 days or so.

Oh please let it be so. If we can attract a player of this calabre, pottential signings will chose us over other mid range premier league clubs. Who would you rather play along side Davids or Cahill?


Yossi landed - Excellent news - Flair at last!!!!

C&P Skysports

Hammers land Yossi
by James Pearson - created on 16 Jul 2005

West Ham have completed the capture of Israel international Yossi Benayoun for £2.5 million.
The Hammers and Bolton were vying for the 25-year-old's services, but it was Alan Pardew's side who won the race for the former Maccabi Haifa star.

Benayoun, who has signed a four-year deal, is believed to have undergone a medical at Upton Park on Saturday before penning a deal with the East London outfit.
"We are delighted to have signed such a highly-rated player who was being chased by a number of other leading Premiership clubs," said managing director Paul Aldridge to the club's official website.
"I am sure he will become a huge favourite with our fans."

While Benayoun played for Racing Santander last season the fee will not be paid to the club as agents Pini Zahavi and Ronen Katsav recently bought the player for around €3.5 million (£2.4 million).

The Israeli midfielder rejected a move to CSKA Moscow earlier in the summer as he was aiming to clinch a transfer to The Premiership.


Hammers Win Again

Carl Fletcher, Bobby Zamora and Teddy Sheringham have helped West Ham win their second friendly of the season, each bagging a goal against Trollhattans IF within the last few hours. More details to follow if I can!

Also, Matty has just signed a new four year deal to keep him at Upton Park till he's 27.

Finally, thanks to all those who came to the Brisbane Hammers meet tonight! See you all next time.

Friday, July 15, 2005


Pardew Coy Over Yossi

C&P from Skysports

Pardew coy over Yossi
by Ben Blackmore - created on 15 Jul 2005

West Ham United manager Alan Pardew is refusing to accept that he has got his man, even though Yossi Benayoun admitted on Thursday that The Hammers are the club he wants to move to.

Bolton and West Ham are both desperate to capture the Israeli, who will cost £2.4 million and if Pardew is confident of winning the race, he is certainly keeping his cards close to his chest.
"I think that the situation is going to be ongoing for a couple of days," Pardew told Sky Sports News. "I think there's no mystery to the fact that we're involved and Bolton are involved.
"I think he (Benayoun) is a very good player, one club is going to get lucky I think."

Meanwhile, West Ham's new goalkeeper Roy Carroll has admitted that he is not taking his position for granted since leaving Manchester United, and he is expecting a tough fight for the number one jersey at Upton Park.

Carroll revealed: "I'm looking forward to it. There are good goalkeepers who will be battling the whole way until the start of the season.
"I'll be fighting for the number one spot and hopefully we'll get a good start to the season."


Hammers Shine in Sweden

West Ham are off to a flying start to their pre-season, defeating Falkenbergs FF 3-1 a few hours ago.

Marlon Harewood scored a brace and Bobby "£20 million man" Zamora also got on the score sheet. Details of the match and the squad are sketchy, but KUMB reckon that new signings Konchesky, Gabbidon and Collins all had a run-out, while triallist Petr Mikolandr started up front with Marlon.

The next friendly is against Trollhattans IF, at 1am Sunday, Brisbane time. By then, it's possible that Yossi Benayoun will be a part of the team.

In other news, young Chris Cohen has headed to Bournemouth for a year on loan, confirming that Pardew will be seeking cover for the left-back position. Why Cohen hasn't broken into the first squad, I don't know, but it's strange that for a while there he was looking like almost a regular. He's still only 18, so hopefully he will get some good first team experience and come back a winner. It will be interesting to see whether he plays left back, left midfield, or his favoured central midfield for the Cherries.

A related story is that rumours are linking us with Clive Clarke, the Stoke captain. The 25-year-old Dubliner can play at left-back, central defence, or even midfield, and apparently has good pace and a good touch. He has a year left on his contract at Stoke and could head our way, if we can come to an agreement about the fee. Stoke want £500,000, and have already turned down a bid (supposedly £125,000) by Sunderland.


Yossi Deal Agreed???

According to Skysports Israel international Yossi Benayoun claims he has agreed a move to West Ham. Sky claim reports in Spain have linked the Racing Santander playmaker with The Hammers, with talks rumoured to have been ongoing this week.

Benayoun apparently revealed in Spanish press that terms at West Ham have been agreed and the transfer is a formality.

"I had many offers, but West Ham attracted me most," said Benayoun.
"My dream has come true.
"It is not about money. I want to be part of the club's adventure back in The Premiership."

He certainly seems to know all about us and seems keen to sign. To be honest I know nothing about him but reports suggest a high pedigree as he has been tracked by Newcastle United, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Bolton Wanderers in the past.

Skysports mentioned that Benayoun is leaving Santander after the Primera Liga club accepted an offer of €3.5 million (£2.4 million) from his agents for his transfer rights. Apparently Racing had agreed a €5 million (£3.4 million) fee with CSKA Moscow, but Benayoun rejected the move because he wants to play in the Premiership. His loyalty seems questionable, so how long until he wants to join a bigger club then?? This has apparels of Eyal Berkovic written all over it.

Skysports also stated that Pardew has also been tipped to make a move for Hammers old boy Fredi Kanoute, with a £4 million offer for the Tottenham striker being mooted.

Look I love Fredi as a player but can we really afford 4 million quid on a player that spends most of his career injured? FFS Pardew - Dean Ashton!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2005


A Dave's eye view of the opening fixtures, signings, rumours etc.

So we start the season with a bang at home against Blackburn. Can't say I'm too disappointed with that opening fixture and I think we now have the oppotunity to get the season off with a win. I think one of biggest problems in our relegation season was chalking up our first home win - Unlucky 13th league game @ Upton Park for ironically, Blackburn was our first victory of the season so hopefully we can get that first win on the first day. It is vital that we hit the ground running before we start having to face the big guns.

Finally Pardew has the oppotunity to spend some cash and hold on to our current players without the threat of being forced to sell to finance the club's debts. So far I must say I haven't been dissapointed. It's no secret Pardew has been watching the 2 young welsh centre halves James Collins & Danny Gabbidon for some time and he must be pleased to finally have the resources available to seal the deal on 2 of the most sort after young defenders in English football.

Konchesky is a welcome but suprising addition to back line for me. Good strong full back, who has played for England, so I was fairly taken aback that Curbishly would let such a prised asset go so cheaply. Obviously this signing has limited Chrissy Powell's chances of a first team place so he has felt the need to move back in the opposite direction - sounds like a fair swap to me. But having said that Pardew's comments that his contribution to our promotion challenge should never be forgotten is bang on the money. For a 36 year old he put in some stirling performances in the claret n blue last year and for that I am eternally greatful as I am every player that fought for the cause last year.

So all we need now is a flair player, and 20 goal a season proven premier league striker!

Hmmm - I think Pardew's judgement and ability to lure big names to E13 is going to come under the spotlight in the next month or so. To me we should have put in a 5m plus bid for Dean Ashton by now. And I know some people disagree but I would welcome Bowyer back with open arms as I feel he never really had the oppotunity to prove himself at West Ham. He is a proven Premier league quality hard working midfielder that would not be surplus to requirements in our current squad. If he could be brought in on the cheap then he could prove a real bargain.

But that still leaves an urgently needed to be filled void in the flair dept. I'm open to suggestion who could fill this role - after all, who is willing to let a decent playmaker go on the cheap to a club that has just anounced they have money in the bank and are in the market for a flair player??? Figo (yeah right), Kily Gonzales, Edgar Davids (and again) are just a few that have been touted around. But it sounds like we are going to let the big clubs get their squads fixed up to their satisfaction before we are forced to spend over the odds in a bidding war with clubs that sh*t more than us for resources.

I hate pre-season - roll on August 13th.

Come on you Irons!



Alan Pardew's squad is currently in Sweden, with less than a day to go till the first friendly against Falkenberg FF kicks off. This will be at 4am Friday 15th July, Brisbane time.

Meanwhile, Pardew has made some comments about the players who have left, notably Chris Powell. "We offered Chris what we believed was a fair contract for somebody who would be our second-choice left-back, but for his own reasons Chris chose to move on. We must never forget Chris' contribution to the team during his time here, especially the Play-offs and the Final against Preston when he was magnificent. He's a good friend of mine and I certainly wish him well from everyone here at West Ham United. I hope to be playing golf with him in a couple of weeks' time so there are certainly no hard feelings there."

However, he added that the Club needs to sign another left-back as cover for Konchesky, indicating that Academy graduate Chris Cohen will, at best, remain in the reserves for the bulk of the coming season. Pardew also made comments about Hutch and Lomy.

"I can confirm that Don Hutchison has also left the Club. He's a great lad, but his contract has expired and I thought that it was best for all concerned to let him move on. I certainly wish Don well for the future. I've also told Steve Lomas that he's no longer part of my long-term plans and that he's free to leave if the right club comes in for him."


Brisbane Hammers meeting!

A few of us are going to meet at the Pig n Whistle, Eagle St. for a few drinks on Saturday night, the 16th of July 2005. If any of you would like to join us for a Hammers catch up and recap that wonderful night nearly 2 months ago it'd be great to see you.

We hope to arrange a proper meeting once the season gets under way in late August early Sept, but for now it would be great to see you on Saturday night.

I'll send out a more complete update tonight.

(posted on behalf of Dave)


Pardew on Players

It's all over the Internet at the moment so there's little point in going into great detail, but Pardew has said that he wants to bring in a striker and a midfielder and, depending on their cost, possibly two of each. He wants to bring in someone with flair, who can "unlock defences and change games". The links with Kily Gonzalez and, more so, Yossi Benayoun certainly suggest that.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Rumour mill chugs away

Among the more interesting rumours going about is a little gem about Yossi Benayoun. The 25-year-old Israeli playmaker currently plies his tricky trade with Racing Santander, having previously played for Maccabi Haifa. Now, the Sun claims that West Ham are interested in him.

Yossi's play is compared favourably to Eyal Berkovic and scores a number of goals from midfield, but is mainly known for his dribbling and passing. In his youth he trained at Ajax.


Hammers in for Kily González?

One or two papers have linked us with Internazionale's Cristian Alberto González Peret, aka Kily. The 29-year-old Argentinian winger's contract with the nerazzuri ends this year, and rumours say that West Ham are sniffing about. He's talented, strong, and would make a good addition to any side, but prone to picking up yellow cards. I'd be very surprised if the rumours are true.

In other disturbing news, in my web-digging I discovered that Paul Konchesky's favourite karaoke song is "It's Raining Men"! Oh dear.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Powell returns to Charlton

In a shock move, Chris Powell has gone back to Charlton on a one-year contract. He explains, "I was trying to negotiate a deal [with West Ham] but was actually offered less [salary] than the previous year and I didn't feel that was right after the season I'd had. I feel I played a significant part in helping West Ham win promotion but things didn't work out and I became a free agent. A lot of people thought I was just on loan at West Ham, but I was a West Ham player and looking forward to building on what we achieved last season. I know I couldn't have left on a better note, but I didn't think that the play-off final would be my last for West Ham."

This places West Ham in a very difficult position and you can't help but think that they've shot themselves in the foot over this one. The only left-backs remaining at the club are Paul Konchesky (ironically, only transferred from Charlton a week ago) and Chris Cohen, and young Cohen has not been seen near the first team for a while now so is presumably not part of Pardew's immediate plans. Whereas with Konchesky and Powell in the picture we had cover for both left-sided positions, and now we have cover for only one of them. Powell might have been 35 but he made a phenomenal 44 appearances for the Irons last season and was one of the key players in the push for promotion. You can't blame him for leaving when West Ham showed him so little respect.

Good luck, Chris, and thanks for all your work for us!

Monday, July 11, 2005


Euell be soooorrrreeeee!

I know I'm late with this update, as early in the day as this is, but better late than never.

West Ham are linked with a £2 million, er, swoop for Charlton's Jason Euell, and KUMB reckon we're in for a £5 million grab for some bloke called Fredi Kanoute, who's from France but plays for Mali and some dodgy London club. Euell is a distinct possibility but I can't imagine the club matching our inbound transfer record for Kanoute. Despite my repeated observations that if Fredi worked hard he could be another Henry, the ex-Hammer continues to drag his derriere.

What of Euell? 'E'll do, I guess.

KUMB also mentioned Feyenoord's Dirk Kuijt, and there's rumours of a Melville-for-Rio-plus-cash swap deal with Manchester United. One of these is a complete fabrication, and the other is very likely to be a complete fabrication - it's up to you to work out which.

Friday, July 08, 2005


A message

To all those with loved ones in London at the moment, and to all those affected by the recent atrocities in that city, our thoughts, love and prayers are with you.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Newton signs new contract & other news

Shaun "Mr. Reliable" Newton has signed a new two-year contract with the Hammers. The 29-year-old said, "I'm delighted to have my immediate future secured at West Ham United. I've really enjoyed my time with the Club so far, and hopefully that will continue as we all look forward to attacking the Premiership." He added, "The supporters have been absolutely brilliant as well, and the celebrations in Cardiff and again at Upton Park after the promotion are scenes that will stay with me for a long time."

So that's good news. Other good news is that the club have confirmed interest in South African striker Benni McCarthy, who of course currently plays for Porto. Paul Aldridge said, "I can confirm that McCarthy is on a list of possible signings. We have received the information from one of our scouts, but we are still in a very premature phase and we have not officially spoken with anybody." I shudder to think what McCarthy would cost us, but his signature would be a monumental coup. The thought of Benni, Marlon, Bobby and Teddy tearing up Premiership defences is certainly a tantalising one. Who would you bench with a lineup like that?

Now for news which is not so happy. West Ham's longtime servant and close friend Steve Lomas is almost certain to finally leave the club. Looks like he'll be heading to Preston or Hearts. Despite having a year left on his contract, Lomy has apparently been told by Pardew that he is no longer part of his plans. A little sad, yes, but I agree that he would be a bit too far down the pecking order to be fair to him. The Northern Irish battler has been a stalwart since 1997, and has one year left on his contract.

Andy Melville may be leaving, but probably not to Swindon Town. West Ham were going to loan or sell the 36-year-old to Swindon but apparently the League One club can't afford him if we don't subsidise his wages. I remember wondering at the time why Pardew signed him on more than a one year contract, and I'm still wondering...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Confirmation of costs

The Guardian has claimed the prices for the recent transfers: Konchesky for £1.5 million, with another £500,000 depending on appearances (caps maybe?), and £3.2 million for the Welsh pair. In other words, total cost (except wages) to the club is, at most, £5.2 million.

Anyone like to guess how much of the transfer kitty is left after wages are taken into account?


Konchabbidollins Signs

As expected, the Cardiff centre-back pairing of Danny Gabbidon and James Collins have signed for the Irons, as has former Academy graduate (and West Ham fan) Paul Konchesky.

All three have been capped, Gabbidon being a regular side in the Wales squad, Collins having gained five Welsh caps, and Konchesky appearing once for England against Australia at Upton Park.

Pardew said, "Danny can compete at the highest level, James is an excellent prospect and Paul's a top player."

He is particularly excited about Gabbidon. "Danny comes to West Ham United with a lot of experience for a player of his age. At just 25 years old he is already a key player for the Welsh national team and has shown a lot of maturity in his performances. Pace and agility will be his major assets as Danny makes the transition to the Premier League."

He said of the 21-year-old Collins, "James is probably lacking experience as he joins the club, but do not underestimate his potential."

It appears that Konchesky will play the strongest part in Pardew's plans. "He is only 24 but has well over 100 Premier League games to his name and I feel he can only get better from here. His great strength is going forward from full-back and that could be a real asset this season."

Alan's evaluations of the new signings suggest that Konchesky will be a first team player at the expense of Powell, Gabbidon will be direct competition against current centrebacks, and Collins will head into the reserve squad for now. It's possible that the young lad could go out on loan.

Konchesky is looking forward to the new challenge with his favoured club. "It’s a dream come true, absolutely fantastic," he said. "As a young lad I was a mad West Ham fan and in fact I played for the Club when I was younger. To play for the team you've always supported is a big dream for any player and to come back to West Ham and get the chance to play for them in the Premiership is unbelievable. This is a real strong group of players and if we play well as a team then we'll have a great chance of not only surviving in the Premier League, but also taking the club forward over the next few seasons."

Gabbidon is relishing the chance to play in the top league. "Without doubt it’s a dream come true for me. A move to the Premiership with a massive club like West Ham United is just a fantastic opportunity and now I hope to take advantage."

His Cardiff and Wales colleague Collins waxed lyrical about West Ham and the squad. "After winning promotion through the Play-offs West Ham United are a club moving in the right direction. There is a positive feeling around the place and that’s very important for me. I was impressed with the manager and staff and their plans for the team and I want to be a part of that progress. It’s not going to be easy for either me or Danny to break in. This is an excellent squad of players and we’re going to have to perform to our peak just to make the team. Anton Ferdinand and Elliott Ward are two superb players. They had a great end to the season and played a big part in the Club’s promotion. But to have four or five top defenders pushing for places is a great thing for the Club and it means whoever is in the team is playing at the top of their game."

No doubt the Welsh pair will be welcomed into the squad by fellow countrymen Carl Fletcher and Gavin Williams.

The transfer cost to the club has been estimated variously between £4 million and £5.5 million, and all players have been signed to "long term" deals (read: probably 2-3 years). This means that probably a little less than half of Pardew's purported £20 million transfer kitty has been spent.

*Rumours say that Alan is chasing Porto's striker Benni McCarthy. The brilliant 27-year-old former Champions League (with Porto) and Dutch League (with Ajax) winner would be a spectacular, if expensive, signing.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Dicksy the gaffer?

Julian Dicks has told reporters that he wants a return to football.

"Football has always been my first love and I've been out of the game for six years now," he told the Evening Gazette. "With almost 20 years in the professional game and 400 League and cup games under my belt, I feel I have a wealth of experience to offer."

The former left-back is hoping to reach the top but is realistic about his chances.

"In my wildest dreams it would be great to finish up in a few years' time as manager or coach at Manchester United or the Hammers. It would be great to go in straight at the top, but I'm realistic enough to know that I've got to make a start somewhere in the lower leagues and I'm open now to offers."


Pop Art Wallpapers

The things people do when they're bored.

The other day I took a bunch of photos from the playoff final, picked out a couple, and magically transformed them into pseudo-pop-art wallpapers. The big advantage is that they're 1024x768, but the filesize is tiny so they don't take up much memory and are quick to load (because they use only 2 colours).

I'm releasing them for non-commercial use. That means you can stick them on your desktop, or even make T-shirts or posters for your own use, but you can't make any money off them.

If you have any other photos that would make good wallpaper, let me know!


Crouch offer rejected

Ole Harry has snubbed West Ham's offer of £6 million for striker Peter Crouch. The Saints boss said, "West Ham did make a cash bid but we turned it down," before launching into a tirade about the player's goalscoring ability in the Championship.

Also, Don "blame-Glen-for-my-contract" Hutchison has been released on a free transfer, shouting over his shoulder as Ludo shoved him through the door that he and Pardew didn't see eye-to-eye on football matters and that he was not surprised to be let go. Are you gobsmacked at these startling revelations? See more of the Don's innermost thoughts at He'll get picked up by a Championship club on a one year deal and will set the pitch alight for them - you heard it here first.


What's so special...?

Thought this was, well, not a particularly interesting or inspiring read, but a read nonetheless.

However, further down the page was this gem:

Inspired by seeing Fergie bring on Ole Gunner against Forest the day before and watching him score four from the bench in an 8-0 romp our football manager decided to bring on an extra striker with ten minutes to go, 2-0 up in a local league match. The player's first action was to give the ball away to the opposition with a sliced pass, putting the player clean through (2-1), his next action was to be tieing his shoelace in the left-back position to be playing four of their players onside, (2-2). Unbelievably the player then gave away a penalty for a reckless challenge (2-3), missed a one-on-one after rounding the keeper and to finish the game was sent off for a handball on the line from a corner (2-4).

I think I played with that guy once...


Confusion over Sky fixtures

This site, and several others, previously stated that five fixtures will be televised on Sky this year.

However, it appears that these claims were wrong, possibly falsified. Ignore the list for now.

The confirmed dates are (according to the West Ham official site):

Mon 12th Sep, Aston Villa (h)
Sun 16th Oct, Manchester City (a)
Sun 27th Nov, Manchester United (h)
Mon 5th Dec, Birmingham City (a)

On-the-terraces claims that these fixtures are in addition to the previous list of five, but this is very unlikely. Sky wouldn't show NINE fixtures from West Ham in five months, would they?

If we figure out what's going on, we'll let you know...



West Ham look certain to sign Charlton's Paul Konchesky, and are likely to bring in Cardiff pair Danny Gabbidon and James Collins.

The Irons await Konchesky's medical before the 24-year-old left-back/midfielder joins the squad, for a touted fee of around £2 million. Meanwhile rumours about Gabbidon and Collins are getting stronger, with the club supposedly in talks with the two defenders. The fee for the pair is probably also around £2 million.

If it's all true, then it looks like Konchesky will be our first choice left-back, with Powell as backup for the position. Pardew will also have the option of moving Konchesky to midfield as a replacement for Etherington if injured or out of form. If the Cardiff pair sign, then Pardew will have an interesting "problem" for the central defensive pairing, with choice between Dailly, Ferdinand, Ward, Gabbidon, Collins, and Repka. It's possible that Dailly (or Ferdinand) could even play in a defensive midfield position in tough games such as Arsenal away.

Monday, July 04, 2005


No Niang & Other News

Marmaduke (or was it Mamadou?) Niang has joined Marseille for £4.75 million, saying that the challenge was too irresistable.

The People (the newspaper, not the Great Unwashed) have made the bold claim that the Hammers want to swap Robbie Keane for our Marlon. Apparently Pardew has made inquiries about the Irish Archer and Spurs have stated that they want Harewood as part of a swap deal. Tell 'em they're dreeeamin', Alan!

The same prestigious news source has linked us with Jason Euell, although they say Charlton's £2.8 million price tag is too steep for the moment.

They're also not the only publication to suggest that we're interested in Pele. No, not the talented old Brasilian with erectile dysfunction, but the 25-year-old Portuguese defender Pedro Pele. He is supposedly about to sign a three-year contract within the next few days, while his old club OS Belenenses walk away £1.7 million richer.

Sunday, July 03, 2005


Crouch offer made

According to TEAMtalk, West Ham have slapped down a £6 million bid for Southampton's Peter Crouch. The gangly striker, who can change a light bulb without stretching and trim his toenails without bending (and can do both simultaneously if the need arises, which is a sobering sight), is also being chased by Liverpool and Manchester City.

He's good on the pitch, but that price tag is hefty. It would mean smashing our own incoming record transfer by 20%. However, we do need a target man and we do need someone who can hold the ball up in the Premiership (Z-man is yet unproven in this regard). Tentatively, sounds like a risky deal that could either pay off spectacularly, or embarass us!

Friday, July 01, 2005


Rooney: The New Dowie

A picture says a thousand words.



Strasbourg's Senegalese striker Mamadou Niang is being chased by West Ham and Marseille, at least according to the player's agent (and we all know how reliable that source is!). Apparently Pardew's been in talks with him, which suggests that he's made an offer to Strasbourg and that it's been accepted. The price being bandied about is £4 million, which seems quite a lot - I hope he's good for that kind of dough. Last season the 25-year-old started 32 (+1 sub) matches for his club, scoring 12 goals and collecting 7 yellow cards. I don't know anything else about him.

Here's a suggested song for him, to the tune of "Agadoo" (that annoying 80s song "push pineapple shake the tree"):

He comes from Sen-e-gal
Gets the ball and scores a goal
Mamadou-dou-dou... (repeat ad nauseum)

Interestingly, his namesake, General Mamadou Niang, is a highly-decorated Senegalese soldier, government minister and ambassador to the UK.

BREAKING NEWS: Sky Sports have reported that Marseille may have won the race and that he is due for talks with them today, but that he hasn't signed yet.