Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Transfer window about to close...
As I write, the transfer window is 24 hours away from closing. Alan Pardew hasn't made the big money striker signing that he, and we, were hoping for. Given the loan signings of Aliadere and Bellion, it's unlikely that this transfer will take place before the window closes. Without a doubt Pardew will be looking for at least one new signing when the window reopens in January.
Jeremie Aliadere (Arsenal, loan). A good acquisition on the face of things. I'd rather a permanent signing of course but this kid looked good in his debut and might prove an important player for us. Maybe he'll want to stay.
David Bellion (Manchester United, loan). Pardew now has lots of options up front but it's unclear as to the role that Bellion will play in a team with lots of fairly good strikers but no stars. Probably a bit-part player behind Sheringham, Harewood, Zamora, and Aliadere.
Yossi Benayoun (Racing Santander, approx £2.5 million). Creative Israeli midfielder who has a delightful class about him but also isn't afraid to get stuck in. Slightly built, he should try and put on a few pounds to be really effective in the league. However, he looks to be a fantastic signing and could well be a Hammers favourite.
Roy Carroll (Manchester Utd, free). Looks great between the sticks so far. A quality signing and you can't argue with the price.
Clive Clarke (Stoke £275,000). Squad signing. Not sure about his role in the club, but it's not too likely we'll be seeing much of him.
James Collins (Cardiff, approx £1 million). One for the future, and quite a good squad signing. Can play up front. Expect to see a couple of sub appearances, but I doubt he will displace Ward.
Danny Gabbidon (Cardiff, approx £1.5 million). Excellent signing. Looks Premiership quality at the back partnered with Anton Ferdinand. Time will tell if he can keep his place though.
Shaka Hislop (Portsmouth, free). The Shak comes back, and will be sitting on the bench for most of the season. When Walker comes back from injury, expect Shaka to hit the reserves and Jimmy to be benched.
Paul Konchesky (Charlton, approx £2 million). From the three games we've seen him play he looks to be an improvement over the outgoing Chris Powell. Could be a good signing. Looked great in his debut so if he can keep that form he'll be a legend in no time.
Petr Mikolanda (Viktoria Zizkov, less than £1 million). The young Czech striker is keen to impress but we haven't seen him play a competitive match yet. Possibly one for the future. Repka should help him get settled.
Darren Blewett (Hereford, season-long loan). The youngster has been loaned out to get some experience. He wouldn't have made the first team anyway.
Rufus Brevett (Plymouth, free). Gave good service while he was here and will relish the chance to come back after his horrible injury. Good luck Ruf.
Stephen Bywater (Coventry, loan). From languishing in the reserves and on loan for years, Steve found himself first choice keeper when DJ left, and now he's gone back out on loan. Looked good while he was in the first team but couldn't keep his form and Walker overtook him. Now that Hislop has signed, I don't expect to see Steve playing for us this season, although it's likely we'll see him next season, or the next... He's still very young.
Luke Chadwick (Stoke, loan). Didn't impress greatly, and will be available for a callback if we have injury problems, otherwise, won't be missed.
Don Hutchison (released). Finally gone. Had no place under Pardew's management and leaves the club after long periods of injury and personal problems. Won't be missed on the pitch.
Chris Powell (Charlton, free). A surprising release, Chris couldn't agree terms for a new contract with the club and went back to Charlton. Looks like we got the better end of the Powell/Konchesky swap, but it would have been nice to have Powell stay. I can't comment on the contract deal that West Ham offered him, but he would have been a good player to have as backup behind Konchy.
Sergei Rebrov (Dynamo Kiev, free). Won't be missed. Too lightweight for the Championship, it was unlikely that he'd impress in the Premiership.
PLAYERS WE HAVE BEEN LINKED TO:
Lots! But at the moment we're only going to be signing a striker, if anyone, and many (Baros, Crouch, etc) have made their moves. The only ones left who we could realistically sign are Dean Ashton, Andy Johnson, and Benni McCarthy. Of these, I'd be happy with any.
Pardew's made some great signings without splashing a lot of cash around. He's been clever in the market but may have made a mistake in letting Powell go. He has also failed to make a big name striker signing so far, and it's been somewhat surprising that he hasn't made a big money bid for a name like Dean Ashton. He's had many an offer turned down, though, and he could also be concerned about players like Ashton and Johnson losing their flavour, as they haven't been long term proven goalscorers. Ferguson made that mistake with Saha and Pardew may want to be more careful with the money, especially after prior West Ham signings Repka and Hutchison haven't brought their value back to the club. (OK Repka is a good player, but was he really worth that much? I don't think so.)
We have a great midfield; Mullins and Reo-Coker are showing fine form and Etherington and Yossi are both looking good too. Defence is also looking solid with Gabbidon and Ferdinand developing a good partnership, while Repka, Ward, and Dailly all provide quality backup. We have a few players up front but nobody really truly classy except Teddy. I think Pardew's done for now, and will make a bid for someone in January. The team may prove a little toothless in attack but if Harewood and/or Zamora have a good run of form, which they are both more than capable of doing, we should be fine.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Ferrante the face of Melbourne
Melbourne Victory midfielder Michael Ferrante is the face of the club in a multi-million dollar marketing campaign to promote the Hyundai A-League. Many observers would be surprised to find the face of Melbourne Victory is not an Archie, a Muskie or a Danny, but former West Ham star Michael Ferrante.
Melbourne born and bred, Michael has lived the dream of all footballers, having captained West Ham reserves to a 5-0 FA Cup triumph before embarking on a stint in Italy.
Resident Melbourne Victory scribe John Bonacci took time out to get to know the man behind the face of Melbourne Victory's advertising blitz.
Congratulations on signing for Melbourne Victory. You must be pleased to have been one of the first few signings?
I had been talking to the club before Archie had officially signed, and it was pretty much a done deal straight away. The whole time I'd been back from overseas I'd been waiting hopefully for the phone call. I'd been waiting for six months and when the call came, I wasn't prepared to stuff around and negotiate ridiculously. I'm just happy to have been selected.
Describe your amazing West Ham days, and winning that lucrative FA Youth Cup?
We had an amazing team, and people were saying we were going to be the next Manchester United. That was the talk of the whole of England. The thrill wasn't just the actual final, but the whole tournament was special. We were beating teams like Arsenal and Everton five nil and we were unstoppable.
Did that tag of the next best thing in English football put any added pressure on the lads?
It did, but we were incredibly confident and pretty arrogant really. In the final, we'd beaten Coventry 3-0 in the away leg, and then with the tie practically sealed, we won 6-0 at home in front of a sellout crowd of 26,000 at Upton Park. That's the sort of team it was, and I was lucky enough to captain that team. We had Joe Cole, Michael Carrick in the team, and Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand were a year older. I made some great friendships with guys I still catch up with.
How crazy was Paolo Di Canio?
He was a weird guy. He was so professional that he was crazy. That is how he was. Most of his outbursts regarded the professionalism or lack thereof. He was passion personified. I was fortunate enough to be able to speak Italian to get to know him a little better than most, and we spoke for hours about Serie A and his days at AC Milan.
So it sounds like you learned a great deal from the experienced heads at West Ham.
Absolutely. Ian Wright was the best example. As much as he looked like a larrikin on the pitch with the things that he did and the way he celebrated his goals, he was the ultimate professional. The guy who freaked me out the most was Frank Lampard, and the amount of extra training he'd do on his own was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen. I'm not surprised he's been Chelsea's best player for the last two years and is scoring goals regularly.
You then moved to Benevento in Italy. How was that experience?
In England, I was a big ball player, but my physical fitness was probably my flaw there. Lately I've been able to correct that, so I might be referred to as a late developer. I'd tried out England, so then I thought I'd give Italy a go. I don't like putting things down, but State soccer in Australia that I've played recently doesn't compare with what it was like in Italy. There were players who played in Serie A and B, and guys who played 300 games in Serie C, so that made it a better league. What was amazing was the stress and the mental game in Italy. A Serie C1 team would do well against most teams in the world.
You were one of the youngest members of the Joeys and Young Socceroos. How important was being selected at that young age for your confidence?
When I went to the Under 17 world cup qualifiers, I was only fifteen which was an incredible experience being one of the youngest guys. It happened again with the Under20s, when I was one of the youngest. Making the national team is amazing. I earned it three times, and it was an amazing thrill.
What was your first recollection of Melbourne Victory?
I was here when they won the bid. I made my decision to come back when the announcements were due to be made for the new A-League, which was meant to be last year. I came back in hope the new league would be announced straight away, but it happened late in November. I was rapt that Melbourne Victory got the nod, because it seems that they have the right people on board.
You must have a good working relationship with Ernie Merrick from your days at the Victorian Institute of Sport?
I had Ernie as a coach from when I was 13 years old. I've played under him for some time and it was fantastic when he got appointed. Thankfully enough, he knows what I am capable of, and hopefully I can repay him for his confidence in me.
Are you excited by the opportunity of playing with Archie Thompson?
I'm going to go as far as saying that behind Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell, Archie is one of the best Australian strikers going around. I'm not being biased, because I've always said it and will continue to say it. He's exciting, quick, scores goals, and has just about everything a good layer needs. I'm looking forward to playing with him, and hopefully he is looking forward just as much to playing with me.
If no A-League offer came about, what were your plans in 2005?
I would have given the VPL another shot with Fawkner, and would have showed the A-League clubs what they missed out on. Now that I have this chance, I want to do as well as I can, and if all goes well, I'd like to see out my career with Melbourne Victory.
Michael Ferrante Profile
Full name: Michael Ferrante
Date of birth: 28th April, 1981
Height: 171 cm
Weight: 70 kg
Preferred position: Centre midfield
Former clubs: Fawkner (VPL), Benevento (Italy), West Ham United (England), Victorian Institute of Sport
International honours: Australian under 17 (1997) and 20 (1999, 2001) representative
Most memorable match: FA Youth Cup final (9-0 aggregate win)
Match day superstitions: None
I joined Melbourne Victory because...
I want to win the A-League in front of my home Melbourne crowd.
My greatest football achievement is...
Winning the FA Youth Cup and making the bench for the West Ham first team.
If I wasn't a footballer I'd be...
I really don't know the answer to that one.
What team do you select when you play FIFA soccer games?
I usually pick Real Madrid.
What is the most you've paid for yourself in a manager game?
I can never buy myself, West Ham were always reluctant to sell me.
What did you do in the last 12 months waiting for the A-League to start?
I played Victorian Premier League for Fawkner.
What is the last football shirt you bought?
I bought a Pescara shirt in 1999.
Funniest rumour you've heard of yourself?
I can't say I've ever heard a rumour about me.
Childhood football idol?
Favourite current footballer?
What do you get inspiration from?
Music, my family and scoring goals.
Do you watch footballers' wives?
Nah, it's all false.
What message do you have for Melbourne Victory fans?
You have to come to games, simple as that!
Sofiane Fades Away, & Pardew Interview
*Youssef Sofiane's contract has been torn up by mutual consent. The young French striker, who was signed by Glenn Roeder in 2002, failed to live up to anyone's expectations and only made two substitute appearances in his time at West Ham, and has spent most of the last three years floating between the reserves and various clubs on loan.
*Also, I've, er, borrowed Alan Pardew's post-Bolton comments from KUMB, so hold on tight, cause here they are. "There are a lot of positives to come out of today's game - they are a very good side. I said before the game that we felt this would be a big test for us. We play differently to them and I thought we played really well at times. They're always going to test your character and strength at set plays and the first goal was going to be crucial. We had two or three chances to have taken the lead but as it was they took the lead and they caught us on the break for the second, which was a shame because I thought that flattered them at that time.
"I thought Anton Ferdinand was terrific, Paul Konchesky was terrific, Benny [Yossi Benayoun] is getting better for us so we're a bit disappointed that we haven't come out with anything from that game - that's the level we're at. Them chances have to go in.
"[on Aliadiere] That's not his natural position. We looked at stocking that bench with plenty of physical specimens in case we needed them. He came on to the right side of midfield and he did a good job. He approached the game in the right manner and I think you could see technically how he'll fit in with our style of play. I think he's going to be a big player for us.
"[on Campo] Well you're bringing on experience. He's a fantastic player but at that time I still thought it was very very even and the first goal was going to be the key. It was disappointing to defend all the set plays we'd had really well then to concede at that one.
"I don't want to be too harsh on our strikers today. Teddy was excellent, Marlon probably didn't have the best game he's ever had for us, on another day he might have scored for us. Bobby Zamora hasn't had a go and Aliadiere can play in that position so we've got players. I think it's a bit harsh to say we're desperate for a striker. It would be nice to add another player to the squad. You look at us and you have to say we're competitive. Bolton were at their maximum and we need to force every team we play to be at their best.
"We're going to reflect on the three games. We've done a good job. The fans are desperate for success and they've got to be patient. Today was always going to be a reality check because of the quality of Bolton. We've stood up well to that and on another day we might have won if things had gone our way. I'm proud of their efforts and the fans should be proud of their efforts.
"I feel we have a bit more quality in the team than we had which encourages passing. We have to be patient at times and I think for the first time since I've been here the crowd were urging us to get it forward quickly. We try to move teams around, If you have players of the quality of Yossi Benayoun you have to play to people's feet - the same with Teddy. Although we didn't play as well as we did against Blackburn we played at a high level against a very good team - due respect to Bolton they did what they do. They got their set play, defended it well and had that little bit of quality to add the second.
"[on Gabbidon] I think he's fine. The only problem we really had today was Matty - he was feeling poorly and wasn't at his best which was a shame. That took something away from us today in all honesty. We took a chance on him but he didn't feel too clever and was subbed."
Monday, August 29, 2005
Carling Cup draw
West Ham have drawn Sheffield Wednesday in the Carling Cup.
Sheff Wed v West Ham
Watford v Wolves
Wycombe v Aston Villa
Wigan v Bournemouth
Charlton v Hartlepool
Fulham v Lincoln City
Yeovil v Millwall
Doncaster v Man City
Blackburn v Huddersfield
Leicester v Blackpool
Rotherham v Leeds
Norwich v Northampton
Scunthorpe v Birmingham
Burnley v Barnsley
Grimsby v Tottenham
Cardiff v Macclesfield
Mansfield v Southampton
West Brom v Bradford
Gillingham v Portsmouth
Crystal Palace v Coventry
Barnet v Plymouth
Shrewsbury v Sheff Utd
Sunderland v Cheltenham
Reading v Luton
Ties to be played weekend of September 19.
West Ham 1-2 Bolton
Bolton Wanderers have ended West Ham's long undefeated streak over the weekend with a 2-1 defeat of the London club.
West Ham paid for their profligacy in front of goal (and Bolton keeper Jaaskelainen's fine form), with Marlon Harewood missing some fantastic chances, once lifting the ball over the bar when a simple touch would have put it in the net. Yossi Benayoun had a shot well saved by Jaaskelainen after he lost his marker with a sublime dummy shot and turn, and followed up with a curling left-footed shot, which was touched away at full stretch by the Bolton keeper. Benayoun also had a bullet header well saved, while Etherington, Konchesky, Reo-Coker and Gabbidon (with a brilliant backheel) also tested the keeper, but nobody could get beat him. Sheringham also saw his superb free-kick deflect off the underside of the bar after substitute Aliadere was brought down 20 yards out.
Carroll was also in fine form, denying substitute Ivan Campo, whose long shot was deflected onto the woodwork by the Northern Irish keeper.
The Irons midfield had a battling display, winning the ball brilliantly at times, but sometimes guilty of giving the ball away a little too easily. At other times, the movement and passing was excellent. Neither team really dominated the match, both teams playing well and needing to absorb periods of pressure. although West Ham probably looked the better team by a small margin. The result could have gone either way until Campo found himself in acres of space for the winning goal late in the match.
Harewood and Konchesky both had poor games. Harewood still shows little confidence in front of goal and had one of his worst games I've seen him play, rarely troubling the Bolton defence. Hopefully he will be back to his best by the next match. Konchesky's passing was poor, and was adequate defensively, except for a horrendous error where he went completely missing for Campo's winning goal, leaving substitute Ward to handle two Bolton players on his own. I still don't know what happened there. Konchesky's crossing was also poor, although he did get into good position.
Sheringham scored a late penalty after Mullins was brought down in the box, but Bolton held on comfortably to pick up their three points.
Despite the loss, West Ham fans can take heart that the team is showing much more fight and bottle than in our relegation season. Never at any time did the Irons give up; even during periods where they weren't playing well, they did not look complacent. However, it is imperative that we get a top class striker or, failing that, we need Harewood and/or Z-man to have a good run of form.
Pardew said after the match, "You would have to say we look competitive. I think Bolton would give us respect today for the way we approached the game, and for making them play at their maximum level. It's vital for us to make everyone we play against perform to their best. They might not have thought they were at their best today, but we were certainly a tough nut for them to crack.
"I don't want to be too harsh on our strikers today, even though Marlon did not have his best game. But on another day, he might have scored for us. We also have Bobby Zamora and Jeremie Aliadiere. There are players who have done so well for us, that I think it would be harsh to say we needed a new striker on the evidence of this game. I don't think we are desperate for a striker - although the chances we created have to go in at this level."
Friday, August 26, 2005
Pardew Goes After Benni
It is believed that McCarthy has a £6 million buy-out clause in his contract, and it is possible Pardew could go that high for the South African.
Side note from BBC
"There is a reason I didn't go to West Ham, as I'm sure everyone can work out - I didn't want to leave my brother on the bench!" - Darren Ward explains why he turned down a move to the Premiership and opted for Crystal Palace, because he didn't want to upstage brother Elliott at Upton Park. Or be upstaged, perhaps?
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Upton Park has more atmosphere than Old Trafford!
Well we all knew that anyway. On both my visits to the theatre of clowns we have out sung the minnows of Manchester (well in the singing dept they are anyway), and they attempted on both occasions to drown us out by playing their shit songs on their over elaborate PA system. I guess they had to try and block out the noise form the West Ham faithful somehow and they certainly weren't gonna do it with their voices - retards ;-).
From the official site Roy said: "Upton Park obviously can't match the capacity of Old Trafford, but after playing in front of 33,000 fans there against Blackburn Rovers it is a lot noiser and a really enjoyable ground to play football in."Doing well at home will be important this season, but it doesn't really affect the way we approach the game. We go into every game with the confidence that we can do well and if we play to our potential then we have every chance of coming away with a good result."
"It's been a good start for us with the results against Blackburn and Newcastle and we'll be aiming to keep that run going against Bolton. They'll be another tough test, but we've had a good week's preparation and we're going into the game with our confidence high."Getting off to a good start is important and we're pleased with the way things have gone so far. But we know there's a lot of hard work ahead and we're just going to make sure we're totally focused on the next game and hopefully we can come away with another good result
Aliadiere loaned to Hammers
Arsenal striker Jeremie Aliadiere has joined West Ham on loan. The 22-year-old French striker moved to Celtic in July for a season-long loan, but returned to London after failing to start a competitive game in Scotland.
West Ham has taken over his contract. "I am very disappointed this has not worked out the way I thought it would," Aliadiere said. "The Celtic supporters and the Scottish people made me feel very welcome and I am upset I never got the opportunity to show why I was brought here." Aliadiere joined Arsenal in 1999, but was mainly used in cup competitions. He was injured for much of last season
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Konchesky Red Rescinded
It's all good and well to admit there was a mistake and rescind the card but what about the possible points those teams may have missed as a result? What about the fans who don't get to see the same attacking spectacle they would otherwise have had?
Monday, August 22, 2005
Some of you will know that Brisbane Hammer Carol Baker-McEvoy is expecting a baby on 22 January 2006. This date happens to clash with the Fulham game so Graham has suggested this P in P scenario. :-)
Reo-Coker on Blackburn
I know it's a bit late, but here's what NRC had to say about the game against Blackburn. (from icons.com)
"What a start to the season! Our 3-1 win against Blackburn was the perfect way to begin our Premiership campaign and we're feeling really proud about our performance.
"As players we worked incredibly hard for the three points, but I have to say that we owe a great deal to the West Ham fans who gave us unbelievable support on Saturday. Upton Park was absolutely rocking, and the atmosphere undoubtedly inspired us. If the fans can recreate that volume of noise in every match, nobody will fancy playing West Ham away from home. They can help us so much.
"Our own expectations were high before we played Blackburn, so our display wasn't a surprise to us. Alan Pardew made sure we knew exactly what was expected and every player to a man went out onto the pitch and delivered for him. We played how we planned to play; it's as simple as that.
"On a personal note, I must admit I was happy with how things went. The adrenalin was certainly flowing and I was particularly ecstatic at scoring such a nice goal on my Premiership debut!
"I've waited my whole life for the chance to play at this level, so it's hard to sum up the excitement I felt when the ball hit the back of the net on Saturday. Without doubt it has to be the highlight of my career so far. For sheer happiness I've not felt such high emotion before at scoring a goal. Hopefully it's just the start for me, but when I look back I will enjoy Saturday's strike for the rest of my life.
"All of the new players had good debuts, but I suppose Yossi Benayoun's outstanding performance caught the eye more than most. Yossi is a technically gifted footballer who will make a name for himself this season I'm sure. He's very exciting to watch and extremely creative too. Not many people knew about him when he signed, but he's heading for bigger and better things in a West Ham shirt that's for sure."
Corinthians, Kia, and West Ham United
The 34-year-old businessman owns the Brasilian team Corinthians. Since he took over that club they have made record signings, but fans and the manager Tite haven't been entirely happy with the situation. "Kia brought me players I didn't want - that's why there was an incompatibility between us," said Tite.
Things weren't helped by the oligarch marching down to the dressing room following a 5-1 defeat, and giving a verbal serving to the players and Tite, who later said, "The dressing-room is a sacred place and is not where the club hierarchy should do their business."
He was sacked within a week. His replacement, none other than former Argentina national coach Daniel Passarella, lasted just 15 games. He made the mistake of criticising one of Joorabchian's player purchases and was sacked two days later. He now claims that the club has not paid him fully. The new coach Marcio Bittencourt- most likely in the interests of self-preservation - has said, "Kia is always supportive and takes an interest in us."
The players aren't too impressed either, and there have been reports of discontent within the side, including punch-ups on the training field. One player told a Brasilian newspaper, "Kia doesn't know anything about football." Despite this, and a poor start to the season, Corinthians are now heading for the pointy end of the league table.
Joorabchian's interest in West Ham United has upset Corinthians' president Alberto Dualib, who is angry about hearing of the interest through the media. He said, "He is using Corinthians to present himself as a Mr Football abroad. How can a small club like West Ham be worth six times as much as the biggest club in Brazil?" (As much as that comment irks me, I'll refrain from comment!)
And now reports say that due to the imminent takeover bid, West Ham are legally unable to make new player purchases despite recent claims on the official website that it will be "business as usual". According to Tony Pullinger, Deputy Director-General of the so-called "Takeover Panel", a company cannot increase its price when a takeover is imminent. This includes the buying or selling of material assets, and in this case, that includes players. This has reportedly stopped Alan Pardew's proposed £6 million bid for prized Norwich striker Dean Ashton.
The Club, of course, are trying to get this decision overturned. If they fail, they will be in a precarious position, with the transfer window closing at the end of the month. Should Joorabchian have a change of heart West Ham will need to wait until January to bring in new players, and even if the takeover bid is successful the Club cannot take advantage of the promised transfer bounty until then.
Media Sports Investment, the firm Joorabchian is using for his bid, was created in September 2004 and has not yet filed any accounts or shareholder returns. However, the Iranian, who holds a British passport, also owns a car dealership and a gym in England, both of which are, of course, very small businesses in comparison to the Premiership club.
* Bobby Zamora has turned his back on the chance to play for Trinidad and Tobago at the World Cup in 2006, preferring to concentrate on West Ham's bid to remain in the Premiership. Trinidad and Tobago coach Leo Beenhakker approached Z-man, asking him to play in a qualifier against Guatemala next month, but the striker turned the offer down. "Trinidad is my dad's country and to play in the finals would be a dream but West Ham are more important," he said. "I am only thinking about the club at the moment and do not want to be distracted from that. The Trinidad manager went to the effort of watching me and asking the boss about me. But the club mean everything to me and if I can help us have a good season that is all that matters." Zamora earned six U21 caps for England in his youth.
No Roman Style Spending Spree
KIA JOORABCHIAN, the Iranian-born businessman trying to buy West Ham, the Premiership football club, has warned fans he won’t be going on a Roman Abramovich-style spending spree to achieve success.
In his first in-depth interview since news of his interest in the Hammers broke last week, Joorabchian told The Sunday Times he would not emulate Chelsea’s owner: “Our aim is not to win a title by spending £500m or £700m. Our aim is to create a title-winning team but by being smart — investing correctly like Manchester United and Arsenal.”
He warned that if he succeeded in buying West Ham or any of the other clubs his firm Media Sport Investment (MSI) is eyeing, there would not be a bottomless pit of money thrown at it.
“We are not just about spending money to win the title. We want to have the stars but be able to capitalise on them. Look at Real Madrid; they buy a star like Zinedine Zidane or David Beckham but on the back of it, they increase their revenues twofold. I don’t have unlimited resources. If we were to invest in a club in the UK or anywhere in Europe we would need (to invest) at least £100m to compete with the top four teams in each of the European leagues.”
Joorabchian refused to comment on his talks to buy West Ham although after the London club issued a statement on Friday evening that it was yet to receive a proposal from MSI, the would-be bidder affirmed that a takeover of the newly promoted side was something he was considering.
“We are at a very primitive stage of due diligence,” he said. “If we feel it is the right thing to do, we will move ahead.”
He scotched rumours that one of his backers was Boris Berezovsky, the Russian oligarch residing in London. “No; he’s not an investor in MSI,” said the 34-year-old
businessman, who holds a British passport and is said to be an Arsenal fan.
“Quite simply, he does not want to invest in football at the moment. He has totally different goals. He is a good friend of mine but he’s not involved in many businesses any more.”
Joorabchian also declined to disclose the identities of the investors in MSI. “First, these people don’t want to be publicised and be interrogated on a daily basis. Second, and more importantly, we operate like any other fund in the world — 99.9% of all funds never reveal their investors, so why should we be any different because we are in the football business? I am the fund manager.
“When Tony Cottee (a former West Ham player) is reported as leading a consortium to buy the club, you don’t find out who the individuals behind the consortium are.”
But Joorabchian did say that the investors who would back a takeover of a European club, such as West Ham, were likely to be different from those who had backed his purchase last year of Brazilian side Corinthians, who now top their domestic league. There are investigations by Brazilian authorities into allegations that the club is being used to launder money.
Joorabchian denied the allegations and branded the probes into his business as “political rubbish”. He said: “All it does is slow our growth. We have to spend a lot of time and energy answering this kind of rubbish.”
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Pardew confronts the ref with video
Pardew went straight to see referee Dermot Gallagher on the final whistle armed with a video replay of the full-back's 55th-minute tackle on Jermaine Jenas - the man dismissed in similar circumstances at Arsenal last Sunday only to have the decision rescinded.
However, Pardew is not holding out much hope after being told by the official he still believed it was a foul despite Konchesky clearly winning the ball.
"If you are a football person and you think that was a foul, then I do not know, that does not wear with me because I felt he went to ground and won the ball cleanly before he even touched the player," Pardew said.
"I have seen it a few times from a few different angles and my opinion, I do not think, is going to change. I hope Dermot's opinion does because he seems to think that it is still a foul.
"He has seen the replay. I showed him three or four times. At the moment, I do not hold too much hope out because he seems adamant that it is a foul, and I have got to be honest, I just cannot fathom that.
Surely the FA or somebody has to have a quiet word in Gallagher's ear and say "you fucked up son, now put it right".
Hard Working Hammers Earn Point At St James' Park.
Still unbeaten, still looking good.
Come on you IRONS!!!!!
Saturday, August 20, 2005
West Ham Official Statement
"On 18 August 2005, Media Sports Investments Limited (MSI) announced that Kia Joorabchian and his consortium are interested in making an offer for West Ham United. This follows recent speculation in the press, which has continued since the announcement was made.
"There is currently no proposal for the Board to consider.
"The Board can assure shareholders of West Ham United and fans of the club that, should any proposal be made in the future which could result in a change of control, the Board will take into account all relevant considerations, including the status of the potential offeror as well as the value and financial structure of any offer and any impact these considerations may have on the future operation of the football club.
"In the meantime, the shareholders of West Ham United and fans of the club may be assured that the club remains active in the transfer market and will take advantage of appropriate opportunities to strengthen its squad."
Newcastle Injury Woes
Good news for us as we bid to get our first win at St Jame's Park since 1998.
Newcastle have been dealt a double injury blow with Kieron Dyer (back) and Emre (hamstring) missing.
Craig Moore (hamstring), Shola Ameobi (suspension), Titus Bramble (fractured elbow) and Michael Chopra (knee ligaments) are also out.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Iranian businessman Kia Joorabchian says he would make £100m available for new players if his takeover plans for West Ham are successful.
Joorabchian, who heads the London-based Media Sports Investment firm, is planning a £200m takeover bid.
"There is huge potential there," said the 34-year-old.
"There's no point in buying West Ham unless you are going to invest in turning them into one of the top teams in the country."
Joorabchian was taken for a tour of the stadium when he visited West Ham for preliminary negotiations last month.
However, Joorabchian's £45m valuation of the club's equity is believed to be £15m short of the board's valuation.
"My West Ham project has to be worth around £200m," he added.
"That breaks down as £45m on buying the club, £30m on its debts, another £30m to keep the cashflow going and around £100m on new players.
"At one point we are going to make a bid, although at the moment we have not done anything.
"The fact that I want to buy a European club is obvious and there is still a possibly it could be another Premiership club other than West Ham."
Joorabchian insists that if any formal takeover is launched, it would not take place this year.
"If there is any bid made, it will only be for next year," he said.
"But if next week the board of directors decides that they want to start to make a bid to take over in January, then we may do that."
West Ham marked their return to the Premiership with a 3-1 opening-day victory over Blackburn at Upton Park.
And in his programme notes, chairman Terry Brown admitted the club would look at any serious offers.
"Any serious proposition will be carefully studied," he said. "I am not about protecting my position. I know I am a mere custodian of the club."
Last year MSI bought a 51% stake in Brazilian club Corinthians.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Hammers Sign Bellion!
What is Pardew playing at??? I can half see some sense in getting a loan signing until the transfer window and then see if either Andy Johnson or Dean Ashton become available depending on their respective clubs' league fortunes. But if Wigan end up signing Dean Ashton next week - I am going to be mighty pissed off.
Also is Bellion better or as good as what we already have in Sheringham, Harewood & Zamora?? I honestly don't think he is! Man U want him to get first team action which is why they have loaned him out - so does that mean he gets a chance over Zamora for a first teram start? I hope not. I think Zamora deserves his first team start before Bellion and I hope he gets an oppotunity soon to have a fair crack of the whip after his playoff heroics.
When you look at the strikers we've been linked with, the signing of this Sunderland reject is a killer blow!
Pardew Loses Job?
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Various bits & bobs
* Marlon Harewood has signed a new five-year contract with West Ham. The 26-year-old striker, who was the Hammers' top scorer last season, said, "I'm delighted to have signed a new contract. The atmosphere and spirit within the squad is fantastic at the moment. I'm proud to be part of this team. I've thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Club so far and winning promotion last season was without doubt one of the best moments of my career. Hopefully, we can look forward to more success like that in the future. We got off to a great start with the result against Blackburn on Saturday and it's given us a lot of confidence going into the trip to Newcastle. It's a great starting point for us to build on this season."
* Teddy Sheringham has praised new teammate Yossi Benayoun in an interview with the Club's official website. "Making your debut in the Premier League is not easy because the pace of the game can come as a bit of shock," he said. "Yossi was probably a bit surprised in the first 10 minutes, because that was an intense match with a really high tempo. But even then he showed some excellent touches in tight situations and in the second-half he really started to get on the ball and show what he can do. He showed really good awareness to set-up two goals and he did very well. The same goes for all the players. It was a complete team performance with everyone playing to a high level. For some of the players it was their first game at this level, but they all acquitted themselves well and that is encouraging for the rest of the season. Now we face a tough trip to Newcastle this weekend, but we'll go there confident after what was a strong opening performance."
* Veteran Malky Mackay is reportedly set for a transfer to Watford, having seen his chances of a first team start dwindle to almost nil now that the club has approximately six other players who are ahead of him in the queue for the two centre-back positions.
* Nigel Reo-Coker and Anton Ferdinand have been called up to the England U21 squad to face Denmark this week. Just reminds you how young these players really are, and how much better they could be when they hit their peak.
* Fellow Hammers Carl Fletcher, Danny Gabbidon, James Collins and Gavin Williams have all been called up to the Wales squad for this week's match against Slovenia. Unforunately Collins has had to pull out due to a minor calf injury.
* Youngsters Moses Ashikodi, Darren Blewitt and Trent McClenahan are all set to go on loan, to Gillingham, Hereford United and MK Dons respectively.
Hammer Blow - Job Fee Agreed!
So it would appear that Pardew has taken the only Job in Middlesbrough - sorry. At least we don't have to waste money on printing him a shirt - he can just wear the current one back to front and just cross out the "serve" part of the sponsor - again sorry just couldn't resist.
If this signing doesn't work out for Pardew he may lose his Job - I'll get me coat ;-).
Monday, August 15, 2005
Pardew on Blackburn
"This is a great day for the club. I felt we looked a bit nervous, a bit edgy early on. There was a huge crowd, there is always expectation at Upton Park and I felt we were giving them too much respect and made mistakes. It could have been a horrible afternoon because they could have got a second. But once we got through that I felt confident we could get something out of the game.
"We spoke at half time about belief and for the first 20 minutes we didn't have that, we then had a good spell towards the end of the first half and at half time we talked about the need to keep passing the ball - we felt that they wouldn't be able to keep going at that rate and that proved to be true.
"We had three things going for us. First we had the character of the team which we showed last season and that came through again. We had pace in the team and that was a key factor today, and also the fitness levels and power in the team. We had those things last year but it was a question of whether we had the quality and it was nice to see the quality out there today.
"Although we got the victory the most important thing is that we were competitive today and we can take that into the season. It's a bonus to get the win and to win in such a measured way and with the stadium jumping up and down like that it is a great day for West Ham. We should enjoy it and then we move on to Monday morning.
So there were some real good pluses to come out of this game and we can look forward to Newcastle with a win under our belt which is a nice feeling."
When asked about individual performances, the West Ham boss replied, "I don't want to sit here and pick anybody out. I've been here about 18 months and I've never seen the stadium like that. It was a fantastic day for us. We're not getting carried away - it's one win and we are all pleased with that because you can wait a long time for a first win in the Premier League. We have got that under our belts but the stadium has really given me heart. If they can be like that every week it'll make things difficult for the opposition.
"The two centre halves had a tough time today and I thought they were terrific. Hayden Mullins had one of the best games I've seen him play at West Ham and obviously Marlon Harewood up front had one of his most complete performances in the Premier League.
"Teddy's personality is so potent to us. The period before half time was crucial to us and it was Teddy who was setting things off for us.It's no good having all pace and power if you have no-one to think for the team. Teddy does that and Yossi has been brought in to do that which he did towards the end of the game in a position that's more natural to him just behind the front two. Teddy's never pleased to come off - he's a superstar on my eyes. I don't like taking him off but at this level sometimes we need to seal the game. He's never pleased when I take him off so I expect I'll be getting some stick!"
* Photos from the match at On-The-Terraces.
* Yossi Benayoun has pulled out of the Israel squad in order to rest and train with his new club. The 25-year-old playmaker, who got two assists for his club on the weekend, asked his national team coach Avraham Grant if he could miss their match against Ukraine at Kiev tonight so that he could concentrate on West Ham's upcoming trip to Newcastle.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Hammers Do It In Style
Teddy Sheringham, Nigel Reo-Coker and Matty Etherington all got onto the scoresheet as West Ham United romped to a well-deserved win after going a goal behind early in the first half.
The London club started very nervously and could not keep the ball for much of the first half, failing to string even a single pass together, let alone two or more, although Marlon Harewood was guilty of missing a good chance when he pulled his shot wide. West Ham's passing was diabolical and even their first touch looked amateurish. It was during this period that Blackburn scored, when unmarked Andy Todd calmly shot into the net from a corner. Only a pronounced lack of creativity prevented Blackburn from scoring again, but West Ham's stage fright gradually slipped away as the Irons started passing the ball about with more and more confidence as half time beckoned, and both Marlon Harewood and Teddy Sheringham missed good opportunities to score. Robbie Savage's early yellow card helped keep the midfielder relatively subdued as Hayden Mullins and Nigel Reo-Coker dominated the middle of the park.
That confidence turned into some truly sublime movement after the break and suddenly West Ham were in front when Yossi Benayoun's run exposed the Blackburn defence; his final pass came off Andy Todd's boot favourably for Teddy Sheringham. For a striker with his experience the finish was bread-and-butter and the Hammers had drawn level within a minute of the start of the second half.
For the rest of the half West Ham dismantled Blackburn piece by piece as their passing, movement and creativety gave them chance after chance, and Rover's defensive substitution failed to stem the tide. On 62 minutes Matty Etherington's pass found Nigel Reo-Coker, who had quietly moved out of reach of his marker. The diminutive midfielder made a calculated half-turn and released an unstoppable striker's shot into the net to fire the Hammers into the lead.
Blackburn had some periods of possession in this half but West Ham looked far more dangerous, moving the ball about with speed and precision, and defending well when Blackburn had the ball. On 80 minutes Marlon Harewood was teasing the defence near the corner flag when he lost the ball, but Blackburn's loose pass was picked up by the lively Yossi Benayoun, who put in a perfect ball across the goalmouth for the onrushing Matty Etherington. That made it 3-1 and the Hammers had it in the bag.
Dickov was given a straight red card soon afterward after a potentially crippling challenge on Konchesky, but the defender was soon back in the thick of it and West Ham comfortably held on for the win.
West Ham have pronounced that they are definitely Premier League and shown their intent. Whether things continue like this remain to be seen, but for now, the Hammers can be proud that they have won, and won in great style.
Player ratings don't include the horrendous first 20 minutes because they all showed the same nervousness.
Carroll (6) - Confident when he had to act, but didn't have to do that often. Couldn't do anything about the goal.
Ferdinand (7) - Grew in stature and made some important interceptions. Kept Kuqi quiet.
Gabbidon (8) - Solid. Looks at home in the Premiership so far. Good signing.
Dailly (6) - Caught out once or twice, probably our weakest link, but got forward a bit.
Konchesky (8) - Was the only outfield player who didn't seem blinded by the lights in the early first half, and went from strength to strength. Looks to be a fine signing by Pardew. Gets a bonus point for shoving Savage into the hoardings.
Reo-Coker (9) - Poor early in the first half but showed his class with some awesome passing and a sublime goal in the second half. Nearly got a card but got away with it.
Mullins (8) - Tough performance and kept Savage honest.
Benayoun (9) - Lively, creative, and intelligent play. Showed guts and some strong challenges that belied his small stature. Great signing.
Etherington (8) - Looked reluctant to skin his opponents but passed the ball well and followed up to open his goal account for the season.
Sheringham (8) - Showed huge commitment to the cause with some good attempts and a goal. Didn't want to come off the pitch for Newton.
Harewood (7) - Didn't get his goal, but played brilliantly with some lightning fast running and good touches. Scared the shit out of Blackburn's defence and drew players when it mattered. A 7 is probably a bit too low, but he wasted some fantastic chances. Needs to show a little more hunger for goal.
Newton (7) (on for Sheringham) - Fitted into the side well.
Noble (6) (on for Mullins) - Nearly got a goal on his Premiership debut after a goalmouth melee but little chance to impress otherwise.
Subs Not Used: Hislop, Ward, Zamora.
Goals: Sheringham 46, Reo-Coker 62, Etherington 80
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Here's a top article to read while you're waiting.
Friday, August 12, 2005
Hammers Vs Blackburn Live on Fox Sports!!!!!
It's now confirmed that West Ham United vs Blackburn will be shown on Fox Sports 1 this weekend, at midnight Saturday night (EST). Check your local guides, blah blah.
At the first whistle, West Ham United will be Premier League again. Bring it on!
COME ON YOU IRONS!!
According to a thread on WHOnline The live Saturday match is West Ham vs Blackburn. Damn - I still don't have my fox subscription!!! Should be getting in approx 3 weeks time!! I suggest we (Brisbane Hammers) get together and watch this somewhere. I may call the Pig N Whistle or something and see if they are showing it :-).
COME ON YOU IRONS!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fans scupper Fredi move
Alan Pardew has shelved plans to make a move for Tottenham striker Fredi Kanoute after fans voiced their displeasure at bringing the Mali international back to Upton Park.
"The situation with Fredi is that there has been some negative attitude from the fans towards Fredi coming back here and I would be foolish to ignore that," explained the Hammers boss. "If I felt he was the man to keep us in the Premiership I'd have a tough decision. I want to make sure we keep this positive feel about the place. I don't think it is a recipe for success if we start off on that foot.
"Maybe it stems from when West Ham got relegated. I am just going by the reaction that I have had from the fans. There has been a negative feeling among our fan base here that suggests that it might not be right to bring him back."
Pardew insists that if he had felt strongly enough about the situation he would not have let the fans' opinions sway him. "I would not be scared or reluctant to bring Kanoute to this football club, but I have to consider that fans reaction," he said. "If I thought he was the right player I would go all out for him."
"Fredi is in a pool of two or three, maybe even four, that we are looking at. He's one of a number of options and maybe I would do better to challenge one of the other options. I'm looking at it closely, I wouldn't say anything for definite, but at the moment maybe our thoughts are elsewhere.
"We are still trying to get the right player who is right for West Ham. The deadline is August 31 and I am not going to get in a situation where I take someone I don't think is right for the club. One of the criteria for a striker to come in is that he has got to be better than Teddy, Marlon and Bobby otherwise there is no point. Those three are very good players and Kanoute would be one of those players you would suggest might be better than those three. That is what the players want, they want competition. Teddy has had it all his career. Marlon has had a bit of a free run at this place for a little while and now he might get some serious competition.
"In some ways I am quite pleased because the players that got us up deserve their chance. This Saturday against Blackburn will be a game for them to set down their claims."
Pardew also commented on the possible effect of the looming takeover speculation. "Ask Manchester United players, these things don't really affect the squad too much," he said. "It affects me of course, and the staff, so I like to be kept informed. But this is a public limited company so I can't comment on it too much."
Staying on this topic, KUMB has relayed reports from the Daily Telegraph that identify one of the key players in the takeover proposal is football agent Pini Zahavi, who has acted for some of West Ham's players in the past. Zahavi is reported to be the intermediary between the Club's board and potential buyer, businessman Kiavash Joorabchian. Joorabchian told the press, "At the moment we are considering a bid. We have American and Middle Eastern consortiums behind us. When we met the West Ham board we were looking to pay £45m plus debt, which is around £30m. But the West Ham board were looking for £60m plus debt. The West Ham board are clever and they are back in the Premiership."
Joorabchian, who is the head of Media Sport Investment, revealed that he intends to invest large sums of money into the Club after their recent promotion to the Premier League. "To get back is one thing - to stay there and to compete with the likes of Chelsea is quite different," he said. "It is not a question of just taking over a club, it is also a question of making an investment in the club so West Ham could compete with the likes of the big four. You are looking at investment of around £50-£60m in addition to buying the club. If we could make that sort of investment only then would we make a bid for West Ham."
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Teddy Sheringham (not Sherrington as some dodgy eBay sellers would have you believe) is raring to go for the new season and intends to battle for a regular place in the first team. The sprightly youngster said, "I feel in great shape and I'm ready to play against Blackburn on Saturday."
Teddy has also dismissed rumours of him going into management, saying that he wants to remain on the pitch. "Why haven't I gone into management? Because I don't want grey hair! Seriously, I am enjoying myself playing football at the moment and why I am still doing that I see no reason why I should stop. Management is a stressful job and you have to take a lot on. I don't want that at this moment in time. Maybe I will look down that route in the future, but right now I have a very exciting time at West Ham United to concentrate on."
Alan Pardew explains the strategy behind playing Teddy in the Premiership. "Last season we tried to play Teddy as much as we probably could, and I think his return on that of 20 goals proved what an influence he had on the squad. Of course, we missed him for the final games of the season and we'll learn from what we did last season to make sure Teddy is looked after and we get the best out of him. It will be a different challenge this season and I'm sure the number of games will help, plus there will also be more time between games to rest. Teddy is certainly important to us and we're hoping he can have another good season."
In other news, yesterday we failed to report that Petr Mikolanda signed a permanent contract with the Hammers. The Czech U21 striker enthused, "I am very happy to have signed at West Ham United. Teddy Sheringham was my hero when I was growing up. I remember watching his goal against Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final. I never dreamed that I would meet him, let alone be training alongside him. It's a fairytale."
West Ham Academy player James Tomkins has been called up to the England U17 squad for the upcoming Pepsi Tournament, against Italy, Portugal and the United States. I don't know anything about him but maybe in a couple of years time...
Finally, KUMB reckon that Melville, Lomas and Sofiane are all out of the Boleyn for good, and that Pardew is definitely interested in (gawd 'elp us!) Fredi Kanoute. More on this as it happens.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Bywater off to a Good Start at Coventry!
As Norwich lead 1-0, Bywater produced a magnificent diving save to foil Leon McKenzie from extending the lead, before Coventry started to impose themselves on the game. After a long period of Coventry pressure Dele Adebola forced an equaliser as he bundled the ball over the line.
The Norwich player who beat Bywater was, guess who, Dean Ashton - FFS Pardew sign him up at all costs!!!!! Forget signing some foreigner (and that includes Kanoute), this boy is the ducks nuts! If we have 6 or 7 million burning a hole in our pockets, I think it's high time we put in a cheeky bid for young Deano. This young lad is going places, and if we want a striker that is going to appreciate in value then look no further. I'd hate to see us squander 6M on Kanoute who can only do a Don Hutchison and dwindle down to a value of slightly less than fack all.
Monday, August 08, 2005
Hammers lose on Pens; Ward signs new contract
Anton Ferdinand is baptised by Tomas Repka after scoring the opener against Osasuna
Elliot Ward has become the latest youngster to have signed a new contract with the Hammers, (hopefully) keeping him at Upton Park till 2009.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the Iranian investor Kia Joorbachian who, according to rumours, is poised to make a £70 million bid for West Ham. Details are sketchy but the bloke reckons he's talked to Brown & Co. - we'll see what happens. He said, "I want to buy a Premiership club and West Ham seem the most likely because they are in London and the price would not be too prohibitive."
Friday, August 05, 2005
Chadwick to Stoke!!
Maybe a stunning right winger is on his way?? They don't come more stunning than Chadwick I hear you cry ;-)
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Monaco Shafts West Ham & Bywater on Loan
Despite having reached an agreement with West Ham over the player's price and the player himself having agreed to come to London, Monaco have cancelled the deal. This is quite a kick in the teeth for the player, who was apparently excited about the move, and for Alan Pardew, West Ham, and West Ham supporters.
Paul Aldridge explained the shenanigans to the Club's official website. "West Ham United approached Monaco regarding the player’s availability. At first we were told by Monaco that the player was not for sale unless the fee paid was substantially over the market price. However, over this weekend the club contacted us again saying that they were now prepared to discuss the possibility of the player’s transfer at a price closer to our own valuation.
"After initial discussions went well, Alan Pardew and myself flew to Monaco on Monday to meet the club’s Vice President Mr. Brianti. After discussing the deal at length we reached an agreement on the valuation and payment structure for Emmanuel Adebayor’s transfer to West Ham United. Mr. Brianti then contacted Monaco’s President, who sanctioned the deal and gave us permission to speak to the player.
"We moved quickly to meet with Emmanuel. Alan had a long conversation with the player, which went extremely well, and Emmanuel was very keen to agree personal terms and conclude his move to West Ham United.
"Late on Monday evening we agreed personal terms with the player and his agent, with all parties seemingly satisfied at the deal we had reached.
"Early on Tuesday morning we were completing the paperwork and making arrangements for the player to travel back to England with us to undergo a medical and visit the Boleyn Ground and Chadwell Heath Training complex.
"It was then that we received a telephone call from Monaco saying that the club had changed their minds and that Emmanuel was no longer for sale. Obviously this is extremely disappointing, not only for West Ham United, but also for the player, who was very excited about the possibility of moving to England and playing for West Ham United. Unfortunately, unless Monaco change their decision the deal cannot be completed and Alan Pardew will now move on to look at other transfer targets."
Who those targets are remain to be seen, with previous targets Crouch, Baros, Ashton, and Johnson all transverred or declared unavailable.
In other news, the goalkeeper issue looks to be totally resolved with Stephen Bywater joining Coventry on loan until January. It seems Carroll will be first choice and Shaka second, and when Walker returns from injury we should have four keepers available and Pardew can pick his favourites from that lot. Bywater seems pretty keen on the loan move, probably since he wasn't expecting much first team action this season. He said, "The prospect of playing under Micky Adams in a new 32,000-seater stadium at Coventry was too good to turn down. I have heard from a number of players what a good boss Micky Adams is and I was very happy to learn under him." Lining up for a permanent move, maybe? I hope not.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Z-man on target & transfer news
TEAMTalk says that Alan Pardew has admitted that he doesn't want to pay Milan Baros's wages, fearing that such a signing could trigger a "wage spiral". So now the papers are linking us with 21-year-old Togo international striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who currently plies his trade with Monaco but is unhappy with his place in the squad. The hitman, variously reported as 6'3" and 6'5", is a regular for his club but wants an improved contract, and Monaco boss Didier "Beaker" Deschamps won't come to the party. West Ham's main opponents in the battle for the £6 million rated striker are Aston Villa and, worryingly, Arsenal, who reportedly have already had an offer turned down.
Monday, August 01, 2005
Clive Clarke signs
West Ham have signed Irish left-back Clive Clarke from Stoke City for £275,000. The 25-year-old has a single ROI cap under his belt (or should I say, on his head), and can also play in midfield or central defence.
So Pardew has signed another fairly versatile player. Is it my imagination or is he deliberately going for this kind of player? Are we going to see Total Football at Upton Park? Anyway, we now have cover for all outfield positions (Collins can play as a forward), although a striker should still be Pardew's priority.