Thursday, August 17, 2006


The grass is Greener at West Ham

The goalkeeper situation at West Ham has just become a whole lot better with the signing of highly-rated Robert Green, who has joined from Norwich City on a four-year contract.

The deal, worth a potential £2 million, continues Alan Pardew's policy of bringing talented young English players (Green is 26) to the Boleyn. "He is another young English talent who will be pushing to continue his international career this season and I am sure he can achieve that aim at West Ham United," said the gaffer. "He already has Premiership experience and is an established member of the England squad, so it is obviously fantastic to have him here in our squad. At 26, he still has his best years ahead of him and we are all excited about what he can bring to the club. We now have a stronger pool of goalkeepers than we had last year, with Roy Carroll and Jimmy Walker also competing for the first-team jersey, and it can only be healthy for the squad. I've no doubt that Robert will relish that challenge and it will hopefully take all three goalkeepers to a higher level."

* Danny Gabbidon has spoken to reporters about the devastating injury to Dean Ashton on the eve of the new season. "I'm gutted for Dean. When I heard he was in hospital after being injured in training I just prayed it wasn't serious. Sadly it is, [and] that's devastating," he said. "He has looked really sharp in pre-season, scored some goals and looked really good. It's so disappointing, he was so excited about being called up for England and that had underlined how well he has been doing. This will be a big blow for him and us. Let's hope we can get him fit quickly and back into the team. These things happen, it's unfortunate, but that's the way it is with internationals at this time of the year. He's a massive player for us and we need him so I wish him a speedy recovery so he can get back scoring goals."

* England beat Greece 4-0 overnight while Australia ensured their qualification to the Asia Cup with a 2-0 defeat of Kuwait in a rather ho-hum game.

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