Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Gabbs Out For 4 Weeks!
** Carlos Tevez has issued an appology for storming off after the game at the weekend and says his fellow players can vote on how large a fine he should receive with the money going to Great Ormond St Hospital. He said he meant no disrespect to his manager, team mates or the club's fans.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
West Ham 1-0 Sheffield United
I didn't see the game, so can't really comment on it, although Tevez's reported spat as he was substituted is not a good sign. Yossi was not played at all, so hopefully he is working hard in training to get a spot. So far this season he has not realised the potential we saw of him last year.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Carroll in Rehab
West Ham boss Alan Pardew has confirmed Roy Carroll has checked into rehab
to try and sort out some personal problems.
Carroll is thought to have admitted to having a gambling and drink
problem after holding talks with Pardew.
The Northern Ireland international was not at training on Monday as the
club give the former Manchester United ace time to deal with his problems.
West Ham's surprise loan signing of Crystal Palace's Gabor Kiraly
raised eyebrows last week and it appears he was drafted in to provide cover for
Carroll until he is ready to return to action.
Pardew insists Carroll has the full support of the club and he is
hopeful that he will be back in training soon.
"We are aware that Roy has problems and we are fully supporting him in any
way we can," Pardew told the Daily Mail.
"He has gone about tackling the issues in the right way and is seeking
expert help to sort him out.
"I understand he will leave the clinic today (Wednesday) and will be back
in training with us on Thursday."
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Ashton: Bourbons all round
There was big news for West Ham this week, when our much talked about takeover went through. The Icelandic businessman Eggert Magnusson is now our new owner and from what I can see, it can only be good for the club. I've heard he is a good guy and he has the interests of the club at heart, which is the main thing. I don’t know a great deal about him or the takeover though, so it's a bit hard for me to go into it much further.
The takeover is something us players do talk about. But we only talk about things like that in as far as wondering when or if they will happen. We don’t worry about it though – it's the business side of football. It will have an effect on the players though; everyone will have to be on their toes, and perform at their best, because obviously the new owner is going to make funds available for January. So we have to be aware that replacements could come in.
One thing I do know about the new chairman is how he made his money, he's a biscuit baron! When I heard that I was overjoyed, and I thought "Yes! Bourbons all round." You may or may not know this, but I have got a bit of a superstition about eating biscuits the night before a game.
I don’t really know where it came from; I think it must have started when I began travelling to away games. In the hotels they always have those little packets of biscuits, and I started having a couple before the game. I always seemed to do well so I carried it on, and it stuck.
When I come back from my injury maybe the chairman will be able to sort me out with a supply, he could well be the perfect chairman. I won't get a goal bonus like everyone else; I can get a biscuit bonus. There doesn’t have to be any money for me, just biscuits! Bourbons are my favourite by the way…
On the subject of coming back, my ankle has got to the stage now where it's kind of plateaued off a bit. It seemed like I was making lots of progress last week, but it has levelled out now.
This is the time for working really hard. I am building my calf muscle back up and trying to get the strength back, that’s going to take a few weeks, so it's quite tough. I try and mix it up as much as I can though, because it does get boring, but I am doing new things all the time. Now I am able to skip, hop, jump and things like that. I'm just trying to get that last couple of degrees of stiffness out of my ankle, which is my main aim at the moment.
The weekend's game will be an important one for the boys; they will be facing Sheffield United who are in the bottom three. It's probably not going to be the prettiest of games but it's one we have to win, so I'm sure the team will go out and put in a good display. If they play anywhere near as good as they did against Chelsea, they'll do well.
December is going to be busy month so it'd be nice to set themselves up for it with a win. The Christmas period is going to tell a lot about who is going to stay down the bottom, and hopefully it isn’t going to be us.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
"I am both delighted and honoured that Terry Brown and his colleagues wish to support our offer for West Ham United. We can now end the uncertainty of recent weeks and move forward into the next phase of development of this great club, with Alan Pardew leading our efforts on the pitch.
"I fully appreciate the personal responsibility that will come with becoming Chairman of West Ham in due course and pledge to the staff, the players and the fans that I am here to serve and to do all that I can to deliver genuine success on and off the field.
"This change of ownership comes at a very important time in the history of the club. Terry Brown and his fellow Directors have done a great job in recent years strengthening the club's foundations - I want to build on that, ensure continuity in the running of the club and help West Ham move to a new era.
"As we move forward we must not forget the club's great traditions, particularly in the training and development of young English players. All the way back to 1966 and the World Cup winning team of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, this is something that I have admired about the club. I am very committed to protecting and growing this part of the club's work.
"My mandate once I become Chairman is to oversee real progress at every level of the club's operations. This is a football deal to help the football club become even more successful. One part of that has to be securing the long-term future and we will look at various ways in which this can de done.
"In terms of the club's location we are buying what we see, which is West Ham United at Upton Park. However, if there is an opportunity to discuss a long-term move to the Olympic Stadium I would like to explore that, recognising that there will also need to be an athletics legacy from the London 2012 Olympic Games.
"I will also be continuing talks with Alan Pardew on how he sees the future on the playing side. This is very much his domain and he has my full confidence and support. He already knows that funds will be made available for the January transfer window but we need to discuss his needs and the investment that might be required to strengthen the squad.
"The main financial supporter of our bid, Mr Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, has given me full backing and responsibility to take the club forward. He and I have known each other through football for many years and we share a passion for the game, particularly here in England.
"Mr Gudmundsson's commitment to the club is vital and he also believes that we can build something very special here at West Ham.
"Our partnership is now working with the club's officials and advisers to complete all of the necessary documentation on the takeover deal as soon as possible. We have made fantastic progress in recent days and once the formalities are completed I will assume the role of Chairman.
"There is a genuine excitement in the club about what we can achieve together, which I hope the fans will share. This club has so much to be proud of and I want everyone who loves and supports the club to bring their pride and passion to help build this next stage of West Ham United's future."
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Takeover (still) imminent
The good news is that Magnusson is making the right noises - short of claiming to have stood on the North Bank as a kid. "West Ham is a great club with a great history. They have a good manager with good players and a very strong fan base. I have always had a soft spot for West Ham - their trademark for many years was good attacking football, and that's what I like. It is also unbelievable how many good football talents they have honed in east London. They have a lot of history, which is important for a football man like myself who has been interested in the game for a very long time. They have had so many good players - Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters were the basis of England winning the World Cup in 1966, and they had a great manager at the time in Ron Greenwood. I have been involved in football and business all my life and this is something that just came up and like everything you get interested and I decided to look into this."
It seems he's a true football supporter from way back, and not just some business man who's looking to make a quick krona. Time will tell but I'd be surprised if West Ham fans saw much difference in the way the club is run.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Irons lose but things are looking up!
Thanks to this stupid daylight saving business and Foxtel's annoying habit of only naming the times for Southern states (combined with my laziness I guess), I missed the entire first bloody half so I can't comment on that. But in the second half we looked really good, and gave Chelsea a real run for their 3 points. I thought the home side deserved to win, as they had better chances than us and their defence was magnificent, but it wouldn't have been much of a surprise if we had scored an equaliser. The best thing was that we looked like a team and lots of players got lots of ball, which is brilliant to see. If we could bring Tevez into the game like we did Bowyer and Etherington we'll be a fearsome side.
Player ratings (second half)
Green 8 - Once again, super confident. I like this guy a lot.
Konchesky 7 - It must be said, again, that his crossing is absolutely dire. However, he defended very well and when he comes forward it forces the opposition midfield back and provides space for Etherington to work his magic. I'd still rather see McCartney there as he seems to do both jobs well.
Ferdinand 7 - His only error was letting, I think, Lampard through for a shot, but he must have known Tubby would send it skywards.
Gabbidon 6 - Gave the ball away horribly at one point and failed to make amends but got lucky. Otherwise was a good performance.
Spector 6 - Caught out of position again once or twice but I think he's learning. Did well against a difficult opponent.
Etherington 8 - Caused all sorts of problems and desperately unlucky to be subbed.
Reo-Coker 6 - Buzzed about and got involved.
Mullins 7 - I don't generally see why people rate Mullins so highly but he did very well today and got stuck in. Passing needs improving.
Bowyer 7 - Looked like he could have been our best player early on before tiring. Influential.
Tevez 7 - When he got the ball he looked threatening. Unfortunately he didn't get it often but it wasn't through lack of effort. Starting to meld with the team for sure.
Zamora 7 - Lots of effort and I thought he might have got a goal if he'd stayed on.
Harewood 6 - Not involved at all.
McCartney 7 - Not much chanced but looked good in a brief appearance.
Sheringham 6 - Don't remember seeing him with the ball.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Hammers teenager shines for Under-19s
West Ham youngster Hogan Ephraim scored a fine goal for England under-19s as they ran out 3-2 winners against Switzerland on Tuesday.
The match, played at Crewe's Gresty Road stadium, got off to a break-neck start with Liverpool's Adam Hammill opening the scoring in the fifth minute before the visitors grabbed a quick equaliser.
Ephraim put England in the lead for a second time with a wonderful individual strike before one more goal from each side decided the result.
Ephraim's eye-catching performance puts him firmly in the frame for a place in the European Under-19 Championship in Austria next year.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
A Noble Return!
On a personal note I feel that Mark has a lot to offer and hopefully he can put pressure on Reo-Coker for that midfield spot. I'd like to see him in the first team having a go as I think he can add quality and might get the best out of Reo-Coker by offering some serious competition.
Welcome back Mark and good luck!
Ashton Hoping to be Back in January!
Deano has been much missed in the side and it will be like last season when we signed him in January and hopefully give our season a new dynamic. Are we ever going to see a full season from him though? :-(
Monday, November 13, 2006
Boro strike again
Green 6 - Decent other than for the goal, where he could have done better.
Konchy 5 - Totally off the mark.
Gabbs 6 - Uncomfortable and partly at fault for the goal.
Collins 6 - A few errors.
Spector 6 - Lacking in quality a bit but almost made up for it in effort. Almost!
Ethers 6 - OK but unremarkable.
Mullins 6 - OK but unremarkable. Boro didn't seem to find our midfield to be a problem.
NRC 6 - Put in the effort for a change and we started to see a bit of the NRC we all know is in there somewhere. But not effective.
Yossi 6 - A couple of decent attacking moments but otherwise pretty damn ordinary. Ineffective cover for Spector.
Teddy 6 - Average.
Harewood 6 - Poor game by his standards and deservedly subbed.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Middlesbrough Away @ the Pig n Whistle!
I understand there is a fair sized Brisbane Boro contingent so it will be interesting to match up again after last years semi final of the FA Cup in which we narrowly won 1-0.
We shall be at the Venue from about 10pm so be there or be square!
Pig 'N' Whistle
123 Eagle Street
Monday, November 06, 2006
What Pardew said to Wenger
Post a comment with what you think he might have (or should have) said.
I'll start the ball rolling with :-
"What country is Marlon from again Arsene?"
West Ham 1-0 Arsenal
Arsenal pretty much looked the better side but lacked their sharp edge, while West Ham were honest and hardworking but with very little imagination. Still, the victory wasn't undeserved after we had undoubtedly the better of the chances - about four that I can think of, two in each half, including the one that Marlon wonderfully buried.
I wasn't impressed with Pardew's tactics in this game. Zamora cut a lonely figure up front and was holding the ball up for nobody. Yossi had a poor game but played the full 90, while Bowyer was subbed. Still, a win's a win and we were certainly in the game for the entire time. The confidence in the team is starting to come back. Plus we got to see Wenger all pissed off, which is always a pleasing sight.
Boro next - Come on you Irons!
Green 8 - very confidence inspiring.
Konchy 7 - a good game, I thought, but with some dodgy passing still.
Gabbers 7 - poor at first, but rose to the task after Anton's injury.
Anton 7 - looked really good before his injury, hope he's OK.
Spector 6 - an eventful match, looked slightly outclassed but put in the effort. Improved as the game went on.
Ethers 7 - Looked up for it, and a good game spoilt by the lack of end product, at least until the goal. But would be devastating against a lesser side.
Reo-Coker 6 - I'm quite frustrated with NRC. His defensive work was good, but his passing was poor.
Mullins 6 - did OK. More shit passing.
Yossi 5 - very poor. Not really in the game considering the freedom he had with four other midfielders.
Bowyer 7 - showed some class and worked hard, getting forward to help Z-man when he could.
Zamora 7 - really did well on his own, winning headers and corners, and all that stuff a target man should do, but with nobody else around he was pushing shit uphill to try and score.
McCartney 6 - didn't look out of place.
Sheringham 7 - looked class all the way. You could see he wanted to beat his old enemy.
Harewood 7 - in the game immediately and should have scored with a one-on-one, but that just turned out to be a sighter for his goal. Great to see him score.
Finally some inspired tactics by Pardew. Starting off 4-5-1 against Arsenal was exactly the right thing to do despite being at home. And then following it up with a confident double sub midway through the 2nd half to go after all 3 points!
I know I have been on record all week as sad sack preaching doom & gloom and bagging AP, but I am as happy as a pig in brown sticky stuff to be proved wrong.
Bobby was everywhere. Green was as solid as a rock. McCartney deputised incredibly well in the centre for Anton after he went off. Gabs was back looking confident. Spector was awesome again.
Happy fucking days.