Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Who is picking the West Ham team exactly?

How inflated an ego has this guy Duxbury got? Now I know he has risen to heady heights despite ample displays of incompetence but I didn't know he was now responsible for team selection. Try putting these two quotations side by side! On the one hand, as I say in an earlier post, he implies that Zola does not rate Ashton by talking about Cole in the "English spine" of the team and not mentioning Beano. Yet, in an earlier breath he says, "I'm not selling him (Ashton) to Stoke and Dean Ashton is not £10million in any way. I want Dean Ashton here, I want him fit, I want him playing and it'll be nice to see him. So he is not being sold."

Now look how many times Mr Duxbury says "I" in that brief quotation. That's funny because I thought Zola was responsible for team affairs, I thought Zola decided who was bought and sold. So, either Duxbury is a complete megalomaniac (which I suspect is true) or he is engaged in double speak and is covering his own back ready for when Primadeano is sold. Wait for the justification when it happens that it was a "footballing decision" made by Zola and for Duxbury claiming that, in his interview, he said that he, personally, did not want to see Beano leave the club. This interview has "Don't blame me" written all over it!

Swallow it if you choose to do so but anybody with an ounce of intuition will understand what is going on here. If you trust this guy, more fool you!

Ashton and Dyer On Their Way

Full marks to those responsible for the Duxbury interview, it is throwing up some very interesting stuff. As I have said, I would no more trust the guy than I would Gary Glitter in an orphanage, but there is plenty of scope for reading between the lines, of extrapolating conclusions out of Duxbury's omissions. Take this quotation:

"Gianfranco understands the heartbeat of the club has to be English because we are in the Premier League and if you look at our players – Collison, Noble, Tomkins, the spine – Green, Upson, Parker, Cole it’s English. He’s happy with his squad and he would go into battle with it again but what he wants to do is get three players with a much higher standard than perhaps what we’ve got, which will raise everybody. We are in dialogue, and we have been to be fair, with English players, who fit that bill, but for a variety of reasons, mostly economic, we’ve not been able to secure them."

Now the thing that screams out to me here is the naming of Cole in "the spine", not Ashton. Ask most fans who express a preference, and they would nominate Beano as the main man up front, but Zola and Duxbury apparently think otherwise. How else can you explain the identification of Carlton and the failure to even mention poor old Primadeano? How will this play with Ashton when he reads it I wonder? If I was him, I would not be best pleased!

And the other omission? Well Dyer of course! Where is he? He has more England caps than all the others put together (albeit most were awarded for 10 minute appearances as a substitute) and yet he does not merit a mention as part of the English core of the team.

Now it may be that Duxbury has simply forgotten that the guys exist. Who could blame him based on the minutes either have spent on the pitch? But surely the £120,000 or so that disappears in wages each week should prick the guy's memory. My interpretation is that Beano's and Dyer's days may be numbered, despite what Duxbury says about not selling Ashton.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Moon Walk To Upton Park

There was some disbelief at the weekend when this blog revealed that Michael Jackson was a West Ham fan - despite the obvious clue provided by the naming of his pet chimp Bubbles. Now a few people might feel like apologising following the revelation that we are in for a player called Moon in tribute to the King of Pop.

Jackson, of course, is famous for his Moon Walk and there can be no doubt that this move for Bryce Moon is a response to Michael's death. It seems that the club are determined to keep the memory of Jackson alive at the Boleyn Ground.

Football pundit Lee Vitout was quick to point out that uniting Moon with Neill would be the perfect tribute. "Lucas rarely gets above walking pace so put the two together and we would have the Moon Walk!" he laughed.

On the other hand, having missed out on Fanni and Master Bates, this may just be the club's latest attempt to help journos and irritating blog authors to write silly headlines.

Upson's off to Man City and Anton's Coming Home from Sunderland

Now I know that Anton is a controversial character and is not everybody's cup of tea, but I think it would be a very clever move to bring him back, albeit I would worry about a Ferdinand and Tomkins central pairing for now. The best of both worlds, in my opinion, would be to retain Upson and pair him with Anton, using Upson's experience to nurture Ferdinand for a further year until he, in turn, is ready to guide and support Tomkins. They could then form a central defensive partnership for club and country in years to come.

Why Ferdinand? Because, despite his ganga breaks in concentration, Anton is a good defender and has the potential to be so much better - and Steve Clarke is the man to give him the focus that would turn him from good to very good. I fear that Upson is on his way to Unreal City, so the rumours circulating that Lucas has "returned" offer another option - a central defensive pairing of Neill and Ferdinand, using the skipper's experience and Anton's pace to compensate for the loss of Matty. That could work too, especially with Tomkins and one of Collins or Gabbidon in reserve.

The World Cup of 2010 will probably come too early for Anton, but if I was Zola, I would be trying to sell him the dream of being there alongside brother Rio. If anybody can get Anton on the plane, it is Steve Clarke. Anton's stock has gone down since he joined Blunderland and he knows it. The days of Liverpool and Tottenham being interested in him seem to be in the past and he is not a Steve Bruce type of defender so we would pick him up cheaply. It would be a gamble, I accept, but I believe the gamble would pay off. £14m for Upson and £5m for Anton sounds like good business to me.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Coming Clean?

So now Duxbury is telling us how it really is, undergoing some wonderful conversion on the road to Damascus. Apparently the thrice delayed accounts are a "disaster", just as you were warned on this blog.

Bye Bye Sunderland; Ferdinand is coming home! Like I predicted!

The News of the Imagination is reporting that we are about to bid to bring Anton home, just as I predicted on this blog.

It is late so, for now, I will just say, "I told you so!"

God I hope Anton returns if only to delight Grumpy King!

Saturday, 27 June 2009

West Ham, Tottenham and Jackson

Following claims that Michael Jackson was a West Ham fan, Tottenham Hotspur have issued a statement affirming the links that the North London club have with the recently deceased Pop superstar.

Speaking from the carpark at White Hart Lane, the spokesman said: "In many senses, Tottenham Hotspur is the Michael Jackson of the Premiership. Like Michael, we have lived for many many years on the back of former glories. It is no coincidence, in our view, that Thriller was written in 1981, the year of our epic Cup Final victory over Manchester City with Ricky Villa moonwalking through the City backline. Like Michael, we came again in the 90's but our barren period has coincided broadly with his."

He continued: "Just like Michael, Tottenham Hotspur spend money like it is going out of fashion and, like him, we invariably buy glitzy looking tack for absurdly inflated prices. Our Top Four Finish and Champions League football is the equivalent of Michael's Never Never Land. Our double win of 61 is our Bubbles, a monkey on our back. And remember, Michael fell in love with a rat. He had Ben, we have Jermaine Defoe."

He concluded,: "And just like Michael, we are attracted to young talent, but as with him, parents would be well advised to warn their children not to get in bed with us, unless all that matters to them is a big fat compensation payment. If all you want is the money and don't care about your son being taken advantage of, send him along to the Tottenham Hotspur Never Never Land Academy!"

Buying on Tick or the Never Never

Duxbury has come out and said that the Jimenez deal will be the model for all future transfer deals at Upton Park because it is great for "cash flow". Well of course it is, £8m payed in twelve months time is obviously more attractive to a club in financial difficulties than £6 up front now - especially if you never intend to complete the purchase.

Littlewoods & Gratton catalogues have made millions by exploiting poorly educated working class people who happily cough up 20% interest rates in return for being able to buy on the basis of weekly or monthly installments; and the entire banking crisis is based on the buy now, pay later culture. It is great to wave that credit card and walk out of the shop with a new outfit or flat screen home cinema system, great until you have to settle the bill; then the problems start.

As I understand it, there is an agreed formula for spreading the costs of buying a player over a five year period. Pay £8m now, and he appears in the accounts for £1.5m (or thereabouts) for each of the next five years. The beauty of buying him up front is that you cash in on future resale value, providing you are buying an appreciating asset. Look at Pardew's deals: Reo-Coker, Harewood, Zamora, Paintsil - we turned a nice profit on each and how much would we make if we sold Green and Cole now. The trouble with the Duxbury approach is that you are simply deferring the cost for a year and I cannot believe there isn't a cost involved in this arrangement. Inter Milan are not waving £8m for 12 months out of a sense of charity for West Ham are they? If we offered £6m up front, would they take it? I bet they would!

Buying on tick is all very well providing the ticking isn't the sound of a financial time bomb. The problem of buying on the Never Never is that if you never actually own a player, it becomes difficult for the manager to build his team with any certainty. Even if Jimenez does superbly, does that guarantee Zola that he will be "in funds" to make the signing permanent in 12 months time?

As Jacko has just discovered, all bills have to be settled eventually. Never Never Land can appear like a wonderful theme park, but it often masks something very sinister. Duxbury may still be shafting us all!

Friday, 26 June 2009

West Ham Face Darkest Hour

West Ham United have issued a statement following the shock death of the greatest talent ever to have walked upon the face of the moon. The spokesman said: "In common with every single person in the world, we are in a state of shock following the death of Michael Jackson. At the moment we are struggling to come to terms with this and to believe it has actually happened. How can a god die? Like everybody else, we thought Michael was immortal."

He continued: "Many people do not understand the ties Michael has with our club. He was in fact a fanatical West Ham fan and wrote his greatest ever hit "Thriller" after watching a game at Upton Park, a League Cup third round replay at home to West Brom in 1981. We lost 1-0 but Michael was gripped by the game and said over and over, 'That was a thriller, thriller night, Killer, diller, chiller, thriller here tonight'. Sadly, we believe our defeat and shock exit from the cup distressed Michael more than anybody realised at the time and it is perfectly possible that this was the event that triggered Michael's subsequent mental instability."

He added: "This was not Michael's only visit to the club. He was very keen to see our training facilities and particularly to see the work done by Tony Carr and his team. You can imagine how excited the young Hammers were when Michael arrived to watch them training. I think it is safe to say that Michael reached out and touched every single one of the Academy boys."

He continued: "Michael was also a great fan of our club song. He really did love his pet chimp Bubbles and sang 'I'm forever blowing bubbles' with tremendous gusto."

He added: "And now that Michael has moon walked off this mortal coil, we are free to reveal his closest guarded secret, the explanation for his face changing operation. This was his ultimate expression of support for the club as he strove to look like his all time favourite Hammer, Iain Dowie."

He concluded: "This is the club's darkest hour. We are planning to turn our first home game of next season into a Memorial Game for Michael and, in tribute to the guy, all nonces will be allowed in at a 50% discount. How tragic that this great man is no longer with us."

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Luis Boa-Morte Unfairly Criticised.

I have heard it all now. Poor Luis. Not only was he the target of the Upton Park boo boys, it appears that the people of Portugal do not appreciate his talents either.

Luis has complained: "In Portugal, a lot of heed is given to what the critics and what people say. There are people involved in football for over 20 years, be they journalists or commentators, who don't think things through. They always say the same thing. They are used to seeing the likes of Nani and Simao in the side, and they don't respect others. I think they don't respect me or my work."

Outrageous! He continued: “It doesn't matter if you are experienced, if you have played many years in the same championship, if you often win, if you have a good season. They find it strange to see you in the line-up and there is criticism."

Criticism of Boa? How? He added: "There is no jealousy in the national team. Regardless of who plays, the atmosphere is always very good. I went 2 years and 9 months without being called up, but does that make me a stranger?"

Two years and nine months? Isn't that just about how long it has been since he scored? He concluded: “I have played many games for my country, but there are many people who do not want to see that."

How can those "many people" not want to see Luis Boa-Morte in the national side? Do they not appreciate the virtue of commitment? Do they not understand that the game isn't all about silky passing, shooting on target and tackling without giving away free kicks? Idiots!

Poor Luis and poor Faubert. Isn't it about time the fans and critics shut up and accepted that these guys are actually much better than they ever appear to be when on the pitch? Luis and Julian understand the game on a higher plain, they see the game differently. Each has a talking mirror that is programmed to respond appropriately to the morning challenge, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most brilliantest of them all?" No wonder they are both bemused by all the misinformed criticism!

If Beano Joins Stoke...

...what will that say about the guy? I have been a very harsh critic and received plenty of flack because of it. I think the guy is a legend in his own mind and is lazy and selfish. There I've said it.

People blame Curbishley and his fitness team but they forget that Ashton arrived from Norwich with more bandages about his thighs than an Egyptian Mummy. He wasn't fit then and hasn't been fit since - well not in his own mind at least. Beano is the new Darren Anderton, a sicknote who needs a lie down as soon as he feels the slightest twinge. He looks after number 9 and says sod the rest of you.

I feel that Zola has his number. He came out in April and said he hoped to see Beano in action before the end of the season. Woken from his slumbers, Beano promptly informed journalists that he would only return when HE was good and ready. We didn't see him of course, whereas Carlton demonstrated his desire by meeting his target return date.

Even when he has played, Beano has looked laboured and out of condition to me. In fact, for a couple of months he looked positively fat. If he is as good as his supporters claim, why is he being linked with Stoke City exactly? Why aren't the Mancs, the Cockyfools or Unreal City showing any interest?

I said back in December that Cole would collect more England caps than Beano and the orgsters scoffed. Cole is already ahead and not many Stoke City players get selected for England. How must Beano be feeling at the moment? A superstar striker at Stoke City? Not quite what he imagined. But still, providing the treatment room is well equipped and cosy, I'm sure that Primadeano will be happy!

Why Have Tottenham Held The Knapp Hand Over West Ham?

Given how dreadfully Tottenham have performed over each of the last two seasons, it is perhaps something of a mystery as to why they have claimed five wins over us from the last six head to head contests. Indeed, that word "contest" might be overstating the case when it comes to the 4-0 thumping we received at the Lane the season before last - that wasn't a contest, that was an out and out massacre. So what's going on?

We can, to a certain extent, fall back on the injuries argument. I know Tottenham fans will claim that is lame, but to a certain extent, that's the point! Go back to that 4-0 thumping and we were without Bellamy, Dyer, Upson, Collins and Gabbidon. Ferdinand was roundly blamed for losing his man at set pieces but he was trying to hold Tottenham at bay with Spector alongside him. Of course, losing Boa-Morte to a red did not help but it was obvious he was going to get his marching orders so Curbishley must carry the can for leaving him on! Or for picking him in the first place! Go back to the 3-4 Upton Park defeat and we lost Upson inside the first ten minutes and had to bring on Davenport. Last season at the Lane, we virtually fielded our youth team!

But so what? You have a squad because you suffer injuries and that squad coped pretty well over the whole season. Indeed, we gloat about stopping Tottenham from finishing fourth because of that epic FA Cup Final warm up game victory which proved such a sickener for Spurs, but the Cockyfools can gloat back that they, in fact, kept us out of Europe last season. Had we shared the six points with them, we would have finished above Fulham. In fact, our two surrenders against Tottenham were major factors in keeping them in the division. Shave off those six points, achieved at critical points in the season, and 'Arry might not have found life quite so comfortable. Ignore our head to heads and we were, in fact, TWELVE points better than Tottenham last season, despite all the money they have spent!

So why? I suspect it comes down to the state of mind of the two sets of players. For us, it is just another game against a run of the mill mid table team. For Tottenham, it is a fixture of far greater significance, a match against a key rival that, over the years, has emerged from Tottenham's shadow and started to stake a claim to replace them as London's third biggest club. Poor Tottenham. They have seen Arsenal pull away from them, Chelsea overtake them and leave them in their wake and West Ham pull up onto their shoulder. They are like a marathon runner without a sprint finish. Even Fulham look like leaving them in their wake!

So, to win we have to view this game as a form of Cup Final, just as Tottenham do. Let's face it, we don't go on to the Fulham and Blunderland boards and gloat about doing the double over them do we? But look at how many Cockyfools come on here "boasting" about taking six points off us last season. The poor Cockyfools - those two Cup Final victories were all that they had to gloat about last season, that and avoiding a relegation that seemed likely until Christmas. In a way, we should let them enjoy their petty victories but I think it is now time for us to assert our superiority - as a team and as a club. Next season, Zola needs to stress the importance of the fixture and to point our to our lads that Tottenham step up their game because it is against the mighty West Ham, just as we raise our game when we play the Mancs. If we understand the rivalry and achieve the same intensity, we will put these sad Cockyfools squarely in their place!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Who Says We Need A New Right Back?

Now I may wake up soon but I think I have just witnessed the USA knock Spain out of the Confederations Cup with a 23 year old West Ham player playing at the back for the Yanks. Yep Mr Spectator or The Wank, as he has been cruelly nicknamed, played his part in keeping the best team in the World at bay. He looked neat, he looked unfussy, he got in blocks, he got in the way, he helped organise at the back, he got in a good tackle in the box without conceding a penalty - he did his job.

Now Zola may have other ideas about who will play right back next season but Spector did himself and West Ham proud tonight!

Groundhog Day At The Lane!

Just as I predicted, it looks like 'Arry is installing the revolving door in the Tootatthem dressing room. Now we all expected 'Arry to wheel and deal, to move this player in and that player out, how else is he going to earn his summer bonus? But did any of us really expect him to make exactly the same mistakes as Oneday Ramos just 12 months after the Spanish tactical genius offloaded all his strikers and left the Cockyfools as potent as a geriatric eunuch?

Yes we expected Bent to go. OK, it was unlikely that 'Arry would want to keep Pavlova. But, incredibly, it is looking increasingly likely that Robbie Keane may be about to be offloaded yet again. Now I posted on here and the org last summer that the sale of Keane made no sense for either the player, the buying club, nor the selling club. Keane was never going to justify the £19m Liverpool paid for him; whilst Tootatthem were never going to find an adequate replacement for a guy with cult status amongst the Cockyfools. So why on earth is 'Arry thinking of getting rid yet again?

Personally I don't like Keane - I don't like his face for some reason - but I do rate him as a player. He remains a big figure at Tootatthem and perhaps that is the problem, perhaps 'Arry doesn't like somebody else commanding centre stage and influencing the other players.

In Groundhog Day, Bill Murray says, "I was in the Virgin Islands once. I met a girl. We ate lobster, drank piña coladas. At sunset, we made love like sea otters. THAT was a pretty good day. Why couldn't I get THAT day over, and over, and over..?" Sadly for the Cockyfools, they won't be getting THAT day over and over and over; but they are about to get One Day over and over and over...Oneday Ramos over and over and over! What price a new manager for Tootatthem some time in late October?

Stunning News

Those guys at TribalFootball really break the big stories don't they? What I want to know is, where do they get their inside information from? Surely they must have a secret plant squirreled away in every club in the Premiership. How else can you explain the earth shattering news they reveal on a daily basis?

Today's headline news for West Ham, courtesy of TribalFootball is...wait for it because the news is truly stunning...incredibly, amazingly, awesomely, on the 24th of June 2009, TribalFootball have broken the news that we will not be giving Di Michele a permanent deal! Bloody hell! I've just been knocked over with a feather! How on earth have they managed to break that story so soon after the end of the season?

Be ready for more stunning TribalFootball stories in the coming days! Who knows, Diego Tristan might not be returning! We may not capture the signing of Ronaldo ahead of Real Madrid! Julian Faubert may not be retained by the Spanish giants! Lucas Neill may leave! Dear God, any day soon they may announce that Billy Bonds has announced his retirement!

Faubert to Tottenham

Now there have been some daft rumours banging around but surely this is one of the daftest of the lot! Tootatthem are apparently trying to sign the mighty Julian Faubert, the Cockyfools trying to sign our very own TGV!

Now this must be wrong on SO many levels. Why would Faubert, so recently on loan to Real Madrid, agree to join a club like Tootatthem? This is a player who until Ronaldo became available, was being courted by the biggest club in Europe, so as HUGE as the Cockyfools consider themselves to be, they are simply not in Julian's league. He would never fit his head through the door to the dressing room, never mind his backside! Manchester United perhaps, but Tootatthem? You can hear Faubert's derisory "phefff" from here!

And, of course, Duxbury has already made clear that the days of us selling our best players to the Cockyfools are over. There is no way in a million years that Duxbury will take Tottenham's money!

Unless, that is, we West Ham fans start a petition!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

West Ham Land Jiminy Cricket!

OK, we missed out on Master Bates, Terry Mancini, Fanni and probably Aquefresca, but we have landed one player with a funny name already this summer, Jimenez Cricket!

I suspect that this is a brilliant marketing ploy from the Board. With the news that the Disney Corporation have taken over the Setanta contract, how appropriate that we should suddenly land a leading Disney character.

We have Jiminy Cricket, so who is next? How about Pinocchio to play up front with him? Well Van Nistelroy is rumoured to be surplus to requirements at Real Madrid!

Altogether Jiminy, "I'm for ever blowing bubbles!"

Faubert - The New Cantona Or The New Bishop?

French international superstar Julien Faubert has revealed that he wants to rediscover his appetite for football at West Ham, offering himself up as the new Cantona in the process, as he adopted the slightly strange language of existentialist philosophy.

The 25-yeard-old French winger, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Real Madrid, is back at West Ham after the Spanish club surprisingly failed to take up the option to exercise their option to buy, preferring Ronaldo instead.

Faubert admitted that, before the switch to Real Madrid, he had become disillusioned with life at West Ham having found himself out of favour. But he is now raring to go, aiming to prove that former manager Alan Curbishley was right to invest £6m in him.

"I don't want to waste any more time," he said. "I want to recapture the taste for football because for a moment I had lost it."

"It has been difficult because I never received an explanation about my [lack of] playing time. I had to be patient, but it was easy to attack me - the Frenchman who never played. I was the scapegoat."

"I sense a great willingness from the management to keep me. I know that the club are looking for a right winger and I see myself in that position. I especially want to settle down, to stop endlessly moving, for me and my family."

Faubert also said that he enjoyed his spell at Real Madrid, even though he made just two appearances during his four months on loan.

"I have the taste of incompleteness in my mouth, but I still enjoyed Real Madrid," he added. "A great club with great players.

"When I realised I would not be playing I concentrated on myself. Now I move on to something else."

Personally I am left wondering what exactly was meant by the "taste of incompleteness" in Julian's mouth. Was that his desperate attempt to get into the Real Madrid team, the footballing equivalent of the casting couch as Julian sucked up to One Day Ramos?

But a taste of "incompleteness"? It appears that as well as not being able to cross or tackle, he's a useless header too!

West Ham, Liverpool, Man City and Tottenham In Race for Jokéro

Details are emerging of an agreement between West Ham, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City in relation to the potential signing of Brazilian wonderkid, Jokéro. Negotiations have been on going for more than 9 months, with agreements apparently in place for charitable payments to the impoverished street kids of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro as part of the deal.

A spokesman for Ethics In Sport stated: "The four clubs reached an agreement not to get into a bidding war for the player. We felt that it was in everybody's interests to agree a valuation for the player, then to match that with an equal sum for the charity providing for the street children forced into prostitution and crime in the big cities of Brazil."

This departure from "win at all cost" was kept carefully under wraps whilst negotiations with the respective football associations, government agencies, the player's family and the charity were ongoing. In return for the charitable payment, it was agreed that the four clubs would have a "free run" at signing the player.

"It is basically a case of who can offer the best for the boy in terms of first team opportunities, personal development, etcetera. It is hoped that this deal might be a model for the future, with the wealthy Premiership clubs doing their bit to relieve world poverty when recruiting players from Third World or Developing World countries by matching the transfer or signing on fee with a charitable payment," the spokesman added.

The 16 year old Jokéro is a prodigy and is widely tipped to be the new Pele, so the combined fee to Gremio and the charity of £8m is regarded by experts as something of a bargain. "Obviously there is an element of gambling involved when you sign a kid of this age but, no matter how he performs, the money can never be claimed back from the charity. Some fans might feel resentment if their club miss out on this signing but we would hope that they can see the bigger picture. Despite what Mr Shankley said, football is not more important than life and death. It is a shame that Real Madrid did not take that into account when paying those huge sums for Ronaldo and Kaka."

Monday, 22 June 2009

Should we get the Christmas Tree out in August?

We played 4-4-2 for most of last season, but that was because Zola realised that he did not have the personnel to play his preferred 4-3-2-1. As he now has the opportunity to mould the squad in his own image, will we go back to this system?

I felt that when we tried to play this way we lacked width, whether it was because the backs were not breaking forward enough or that the two behind Cole were not breaking out wide I don't know, but I often found myself expecting to see a ball played wide into space only for the short passing to eventually break down.

With new players arriving, this or even a 4-3-3 may be on the agenda. Stanislas and Savio look to have the sort of game that would suit this system and with Mancini being touted as a loan signing, perhaps we will see a slightly different style this year. The diamond midfield is effective but we often seemed to concede the wide areas to the opposition last year.

The short passing, one touch play is good to watch, but one of its strengths is that it makes the opposition ball watch, the space this creates is just begging for a player who can play a killer pass, someone who can see the bigger picture, someone in fact like Gianfranco Zola.

El Martillo

Are These Transfer Rumours A Smoke Screen?

Is it me, or does anybody else think that we might be being duped here? Remember the headlines last week? West Ham tie up Mancini and Jimenez! Well, if we tied them up, Mancini seems to have wriggled free and Jimenez's knots don't appear to be unpickable yet.

Then there was Balotelli. He was going to be our Inter signing number one, then number three and now...well it appears that Liverpool or Tootatthem may get in ahead of us.

Never mind, after sniffing around Fanni, there's still our favourite mouthwash Acquefresca. But hang on, he may be on his way to the Cave In Cottage.

OK, then there's always young Master Bates. What's that? He's signed a new contract with Miserableborough? But they have been relegated!

Anybody left? Well yes actually, Neill has gone and Sears is out on a season long loan, so that's reduced the wage bill nicely. Quashi may follow, and Bowyer, and Downpipe. Oh, and Upson has his house up for sale and Green hasn't signed that new contract yet! Hmmmmmmm.

Hang on, what does that smoke signal say? W-H-A-T D-O Y-O-U E-X-P-E-C-T I-F Y-O-U A-R-E O-W-N-E-D B-Y A B-A-N-K-R-U-P-T B-A-N-K? What on earth could that mean? Must be a Tottenham Indian!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Sods Law With A Capital S Hits Hammers!

Typical isn't it? We should be gloating now after Italy crashed out of the Confederations Cup on the back of their three goal defeat against Brazil and the Yanks' three goal thumping of Egypt. How long have we waited for this sort of humiliation of the Italian national football team? Going out of a second rate competition in the first round, their place in the semifinal taken by the mighty US of A, with Spectator playing at right back no less! It is the stuff of dreams.

So what's the problem? Well, quite simply, Zola and Nani are apparently concentrating their recruitment drive on Italy. Typical! We get a foot in the door of the Italian market and suddenly Italian football goes backwards faster than an Italian regiment!

So we get taken over by a billionaire banker and then along comes the banking crisis and now...

It could only happen to West Ham!

The Games Gone Crazy Makes Talk Sport!

Oh dear God, according to the guys on the Mordant Org, TalkSport are now pillaging my spoofs for headline news articles! Now it doesn't surprise me that these guys turn to my refined wit to feed their inane banter but I do object to the morons on the station giving voice to my ravings! The very least they could do is credit me when they do so!

Still the reputation of the blog is spreading. Mind you, if TalkSport are using my material, I guess there may be some truth in the Jim Davidson jibes. Come on Radio 4, pick up on this blog quickly or I might start to believe that I really am cut from the same claret and blue cloth as the other orgsters!

Giga mate, if you want me to, I can proof read your articles for you. A few missed commas and apostrophes make the article on Unsteady Freddie appear a little amateurish in my humble opinion.

By the way, is that two of the presenters from TalkBollocks or two of the Bruvs from the org. in the picture above? I reckon the one on the right might be Tony W!

Trev Says Ex Man City Boss Pearce Is Next England Manager.

According to Trevor "I'm an arrogant sod who doesn't sign autographs" Brooking, Stuart Pearce is next in line to the throne as England manager. Really? Is Brooking aware of Pearce's record as a manager at Forest and Unreal City?

To be perfectly frank, Psycho hasn't exactly covered himself in glory when given the top job has he? Excuses will be offered by his supporters, but really good managers don't need to be defended, their records speak on their behalf. Capello was always going to be a success - a CV like his screamed "appoint me"; the wally with the brolly arrived with a reputation as a great number two, and lived up to the title perfectly when given the top job!

But never mind what he has achieved as a manager - we know that, ultimately, that counts for sweet FA when it comes to picking the England manager. That's why Clough never got the job. The FA ballsed up twice when they appointed Revie and Taylor, when they should have known that with regional accents like that, they could never succeed. If Psycho wants to be appointed, he should forget his coaching badges and pay for something much more important, elocution lessons - because, with that voice, he doesn't stand a Boa Morte inside the six yard box chance!

And quite right too if you ask me. Capello has learnt a whole new language to prove his commitment to the job; Pearce isn't even prepared to learn how to pronounce his vowels and THs correctly! Brooking should give him a good talking to. The only player at West Ham ever to get any O Levels hasn't quite mastered received pronunciation, but he has developed the male Royal habit of joining his words with that strange errrrghhh noise. Now Pearce could perhaps start with this and build up from there. "The errrghhh rain in errrrghhh Spain falls errrghhh mainly on the errrghhh plain". Come on errrghhh Stewie, you can errrghhh do it!

In fact, he could do worse than watch hours and hours of Family Guy and model himself on his Psycho infant namesake. Say after me: "Did you hear that Meg? Guys can marry other guys now. So...this is awkward, but I mean, if they can do THAT, that is pretty much it for you, isn't it? I mean you may as well pack it in. Game over."

Call Me Ishmael

We Europeans used to say that you could tell who were the English tourists; they were the bloated pink ones that fell over shortly after 11pm. However, with the advent of 24 hour indulgence, the inhabitants of the US Aircraft carrier Great Britain have reserved the right to fall over whenever they feel like it. In case we are no longer able to spot them they now make us aware of their presence by disporting themselves in that modern fashion icon; the replica shirt.

Now when I was a lad, wearing the colours meant sporting a bit of "knit one, pearl one" around your neck that your mum had knocked up for you. The skinheads took it a step further and tied a rather natty little silk job around their wrist. But since football has been sponsored by Mammon, middle aged men seem to feel compelled to deck themselves out in highly coloured polyester.

And why not? Everyone knows that 3 metres of synthetic Chinese fabric turns Moby Dick into a leaping salmon, and talking of salmon, anything in red is set off beautifully by cancerous pink skin especially when sprinkled with a dusting of peeling epidermis.

So are we missing a trick here? With footballing allegiance no longer limited to the local club by a fashion conscious youth, should we not get in first with a designer football shirt. Hugo boss came up with a very elegant little number for the Third Reich during their oh so nearly successful European campaign back in the forties or perhaps, with our Italian connection, Versace might like to Mussolini in on the act.

I'm off on holiday next week and though my heart may be claret and blue, I will not be wearing it on my sleeve or my expanding waistline! No chance of me getting into an argument with Captain Ahab.

el martillo

Should Noble Be Our Captain?

With the defection of Lucas (it seems he joined us for the money after all!), we are currently captainless. The two leading candidates for the role at the moment appear to be Upson and Parker but there are important question marks against each. In the case of Upson, he may not be a West Ham player come the big kick off. If Unreal City want him, Unreal City will get him because they will simply offer more and more until we cannot say no. As for Parker, can you really afford to appoint a guy who only makes it through 50% of your matches? What kind of example does that set?

Step forward Mark Noble. He has pushed himself up the pecking order with the U21's to the point where he has displaced vice captain Nedum Onuoha. Pearce clearly rates him as a leader and Pearce knows a thing or two about leadership.

I suspect that Noble would bring a vital ingredient to the leadership of the team. Zola offers the optimism and the spirit of adventure and Clarke offers the organisation and cynicism vital to achieving success; Noble would bring to the table passion and a genuine love for the club and its fans.

Appoint Noble and we would have a long term leader for the West Ham Project and a true 100% Hammer leading the Hammers. He has my vote for one!

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Parker On Holiday With Club Physio

Interesting to read that Scotty Parker is on holiday with a club physio. Apparently Zola is determined to have the tough tackling midfielder back fit and firing come the start of next season. Given the problem is a deep seated groin strain, I wonder if the physio will be keeping an eye on any holiday bedroom action? If so, I hope he's not standing ten yards wide of the bed when Scotty shoots, otherwise he might get an eyeful!

Behrami also has a physio at home with him in Switzerland. It is amazing the lengths the club will go to when it values players isn't it?

So, Parker and Behrami have personal one to one care because the club value them so highly; but what does that then tell you about Beano and Dyer? Unless they are holidaying in a BUPA hospital, it seems odd that these two are not receiving the same level of one to one care. Maybe they regard a holiday as a holiday and don't want to be bothered with tiresome things like fitness regimes?

Another slice of pizza Beano? What, one THAT big?

Boa's Staying Put.

West Ham's Portugese international playmaker Luis Boa-Morte has announced that he has no intention of walking out on the club, despite the best efforts of the boo boys to drive him away. Speaking to Desporto Boa explained: "I thought I should stay and fight for my place. I still intend to play three more years abroad. I have one more year at West Ham and then two more after that. Where I play those two years, assuming all goes well, we will see."

West Ham fans will be hugely relieved that goal machine and midfield maestro Boa-Morte is not about to trigger an exodus of international talent from Upton Park. Back in January, with Boa out of favour with the new management team, a move to Hull City seemed likely, but the Hammers ace declined to leave, preferring instead to show his commitment to the West Ham cause rather than jump ship along with fellow star Craig Bellamy.

Football pundit Lee Vitout explained that January was a dangerous time for the club. "Had we lost Luis on top of Bellamy, heaven only knows who might have followed," he said. "Players are only human. They see one top player leave and they feel anxious. If another goes, then often it has a domino effect. Boa's decision not to defect to Hull was possibly the biggest single factor in West Ham pushing for a place in Europe rather than battling against the drop."

And just as in January, so the dressing room has been unsettled by the loss this month of captain Lucas Neill. Vitout continued: "That is two top top players who have left West Ham since Christmas. If Luis were to go too, the message would be clear - West Ham cannot hold on to the very best players. There are rumours about Green and Upson but, hopefully, they will see the example being set by Luis and think, 'If the club is big enough for Boa then it's big enough for me'. Don't forget, the guy has over 20 caps for Portugal."

With rumours of top class South Americans joining West Ham this summer, it might have been expected that Boa would consider a move to ensure first team appearances and further his international prospects; but the playmaker clearly feels a deep seated love for the club. Vitout added, "Like all Boas, Luis is difficult to shake off. He will cling to the club for as long as he possibly can and certainly until that £56,000 per week contract has expired. If he then walks away on a free transfer, who could blame him?"

West Ham Order Michael Owen's Dossier!

Rumours emanating from West Ham suggest that the Board are poring feverishly through the Michael Owen "Sign Me Please" brochure, not because they are looking to land the ex Liverpool sprat, but for tips on how they might off load Beano and Diarrhea.

The claim that Owen is NOT injury prone is of particular interest. A source close to the club said: "The Board have been thinking about putting together a similar brochure for each of Ashton and Dyer but were concerned about how to present the injury problems. It would appear from Owen's brochure, and the claims made regarding fitness and well being, that the Trades Descriptions Act may not apply when in comes to the buying and selling of footballers."

Owen's brochure sets out to refute all negative presentations of the player and it seems West Ham could apply the same techniques as they seek to persuade another club to take on Beano's and Diarrhea's BUPA bills. The source said: "We can legitimately refer to Kieran's 'fighting spirit' for example, and clever wording will enable us to refer to Primadeano as a 'heavyweight of the modern game'."

He continued: "Naturally we would talk about Dean's preference for a 'Mediterranean diet' rather than refer to his liking for 24 inch Meat Feast pizzas and in Dyer's case, we have identified a whole host of bones that he hasn't yet broken or splintered. We will also talk about how he is always 'straining' to succeed and 'tearing' his way across the pitch. We can also stress their team ethic. Both have shown a remarkable willingness to allow others to play in their stead and have occupied the substitute's bench without complaint."

The idea is to market the players as two separate packages so, targeted clubs like Tottenham can expect to get a copy of The Beano through the post shortly with "What To Do About Diarrhea" following quickly afterwards.

Inter Milan's Finishing School Or Jose's Dumping Ground?

If we can believe any of the rumours knocking around at the moment, it would appear that we are in for / have signed / expect to sign / are dreaming about signing no less than three of the Inter Milan squad - Mancini, Jimenez and Balotteli. To be honest, things seem to have gone a little quiet on the Mancini front so, perhaps, journalists were getting their wires crossed; but who knows?

The big question is, will it be good news for West Ham if we forge a link with Inter and The Special One. Presumably, the connection goes back to Jose's time at Chelsea, where Zola was a god on a par even with the self anointed plastic Zeus. Having friends in high places is never a bad idea but Jose is not the sort of guy you would trust to share a holiday villa with your wife is he? You have the feeling that despite the smiles, somebody is being shafted. Are we being stitched up here?

The initial rumours about Balotteli suggested he was a player very highly thought of in Milan. Now it appears that Jose has "lost patience" with him and regards him as "lazy". Now, if you would back anybody to motivate a young player, it would be Jose, so if this boy's ego is resistant to the motivational charms of Mourinho, then you have to wonder if he is somebody you would want in your dressing room. Clough didn't make many mistakes with players and I put Jose in the same league. It may be that Balotteli is toxic.

In the case of Mancini, the question, with all due respect, is why he would join West Ham. We have been scorched once before by a deal that looked too good to be true. Never mind the Tevez compensation, Mascherano arrived with an attitude and "played" without any heart until he had crossed the bridge to Liverpool, where suddenly he looked the dog's danglers again. Who wants to be a stepping stone?

Jimenez, meanwhile, has been indifferent since moving to Inter. He is surplus to requirements in Milan and Jose is obviously happy to offload him. Still, an ex Inter player sounds good doesn't it, until you remember how poorly Italian club sides are now performing in Europe. The days when Italian football lorded it are now over and their game is in a mini crisis - with falling gates and corruption.

So, as exciting as the rumours sound, I hope Zola is going in to this with his eyes open. I am not sure I want West Ham to be Inter's finishing school; I am absolutely certain that I don't want us to become Jose's dumping ground!

Friday, 19 June 2009

West Ham, Tottenham, Man City and Liverpool To Enter New F1 Competition.

Following the decision of the leading teams to pull out of F1, Tottenham, Liverpool, Man City and West Ham have announced plans to enter cars in their club liveries in next season's competition. Bernie Ecclestone said in a statement: "This is an exciting development, a genuine fusion of two sports and we are hopeful that other teams will follow the lead. Season ticket holders at the four clubs will qualify for 50% reductions on entry prices for the British Grand Prix and the clubs anticipate benefiting from various opportunities from cross over marketing and advertising."

There are genuine concerns, however, about the possibility of redirection of transfer funds into the development of the cars. "Formula 1 is an expensive business," explained Nigel Mansell, "and I'm not sure that the clubs fully appreciate what they are getting into. You don't just buy a car and spray it in the team colours."

Speculation is now rife as to what model of cars will represent the football clubs. Car and football expert Lee Vitout outlined his ideas. "Liverpool's car is likely to be modelled on the Ferrari obviously - bright red naturally and very exciting looking. Unfortunately it is unlikely to make much progress with piles of bricks under each wheel arch."

"The Unreal City car will probably be a second hand Astra picked up for a bargain basement £36m from a car lot in Brazil."

"West Ham would have had little hope if entering the caravan towing brown Volvo of Alan Curbishley but Zola's Mazda may be a genuine contender if it doesn't keep breaking down in mid race. It may be that certain key components need to be replaced."

"The Tottenham car is something of a mystery. Despite looking good in last year's trials, it seems a complete overhaul is being planned this summer. Hopes of finishing on the podium are likely to be frustrated when the car stalls yet again on the starting grid! A change of driver six or so races into the season is unlikely to help, unless success is measured by finishing half way down the field yet again!"

Can we believe what the Board are saying?

Looked in this morning to find myself headlining and attracting the usual "you can't be a proper hammer" rubbish. All I'm doing is collating the available information and asking the questions that arise. GZ has said that he wants 20/21 outfield players but neither of the two proposed signings fill any of the 5 vacant posts.

Mancini must surely play as a wide mid. and Jimenez is a creative mid. So where does that leave Behrami? He must surely be a first choice, but not RB, so where does he play?

There has been speculation about Parker and Upson and given their wages and age it's not surprising. I think both players have an exemplary attitude and in an ideal world I would keep both. Their injury history however, makes me feel that if the right offer is there we should take it. Upson I especially like, Parker for me is full of passion and endeavour, but he too often runs into space which he should pass into and consequently makes Noble look a lesser player.

With the small squad that we aspire to we just cannot afford a bunch of sick-notes, which while it puts a question mark against Parker and Upson, surely opens the exit door Dyer if Jimenez comes.

Ashton? Again, his wages and injury prone past, suggest to me that if the right offer came in we would take it. He's a good player, not as good as he thinks he is, but will he ever be fit and can we take a chance on him breaking down again? Gabbidon was excellent two years ago but I don't think many of us think he will come back.

So where does that leave us? We still have to fill five squad places, but if these two sign it will leave us with two players more than we claim to want. So who leaves and where does Behrami play?

I have serious concerns about a small squad which contains Dyer, Gabbidon, Ashton, Upson, Parker and, to a certain extent, Collins. Our very existence as a club depends on not propping up the table at the end of October. If that were to happen the "asset stripping" option starts to rear it's ugly head. The owners are only interested in maximising their investment and it is likely that if we are not doing too well they will feel that they don't want to throw good money after bad.

On an amusing note to end, they say that imitation is greatest form of flattery. Plymouth Hammer on West Ham Mad has taken to signing himself "el martillo ingles" ! Cheeky fatherless one!

The Real El Martillo!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

West Ham Reject Reo-Choker To Join Tottenham

If this is true, just imagine the atmosphere when Tootatthem come to Upton Park! As if the rivalry isn't intense enough, the sight of The Foe and Reo-Choker in the Cockyfools strip would get the locals baying for blood. Never mind Fat Lamps and Son of a Shoplifter, these two figures of hate wearing the flag of surrender would breed bile and invective not seen since Jesus and Barabbas were up for potential reprieve!

'Arry shouldn't stop here! Why not put in a daring bid for Lampard and Bellyache and appoint Ince to the backroom staff? Maybe Warnock could become Director of Football and Roeder assistant manager to complete the set!

Meanwhile, Ruud Van Nilstelroy has turned down the Trotspurs. Is the guy mad? Doesn't he understand how big a club Tootatthem are?

Ashton, Gabbidon, Dyer, Parker and Upson On The Way Out

GZ has said he wants a 20/21 man outfield squad, which must pretty much come down to two players for each position, so where are these two new South Americans intended to fit in? We are currently short of a first choice right back and striker and back up left back, defensive midfielder and striker. We've landed a right sided midfielder where we already have Behrami and an attacking midfielder, where we have Noble, Savio, Dyer and Stanislas. So who's going to play where and who is on the move?

I can see Behrami covering the defensive midfield spot, I think it may well turn out to be his best position, so will we take the money for Parker if it's forthcoming?

And what about Noble? Could there be some truth in the rumour? Or has GZ come to the conclusion that many of us have; that Dyer will probably never make a telling claret and blue contribution? If he has then he may have come to the same conclusion about Ashton and Gabbidon. That would mean we also need another striker and centre back. With Upson on his way too, we could see a very different squad next year.

Mind you, that can't be Ashton, Dyer or Gabbidon on that exit sign; the guy is running!


Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Jimenez and Mancini in the bag?

OK, I will probably wake up and find this is all a dream but, according to The Sun (I know, I know) but anyway, according to The Sun, we have landed both Jimenez and Mancini from Inter Milan. Yes, that's right, two fully fledged South Americans who, it is to be hoped, we are allowed to play without paying compensation to Shafting United.

I must admit that I don't know a huge amount about either of them, but Mancini played 20 times for Inter this season just gone, so that would imply that the guy can play a bit. He plays right midfield or on the wing so this suggests that Faubert's days are up if we can find a taker. What-is-more, the guy has played for Brazil 6 times.

Jimenez, meanwhile, is a creative / attacking midfielder who has played 19 times for Chile. Hopefully he will prove a little more effective than our last Chilean import, Javier Margas.

Now, let's sort out a right back, recruit Sturridge, keep Ashton and Dyer fit and then launch a bid for the Premiership. Hang on, have I walked through a portal into Championship Manager?

Rewarding The Feeder Clubs - Fair Rewards For The West Hams Over The Likes Of Tottenham

The sale of Glen Johnson to Liverpool for a ludicrously inflated £17m has got me thinking. The directors of our club were, of course, crassly stupid when they failed to build in resale clauses when accepting knocked down bids for Rio, Cole, Carrick, Defoe and Johnson, but shouldn't the system build in an automatic reward for the club that develops the player in the first place? Wouldn't this encourage clubs to bring through young talent, if they realised that huge profits could accrue in future years for doing so?

The idea is simple enough. Without cutting across the Bosman ruling, FIFA could introduce a system where a player becomes registered "for life" to the club that gives him his senior first team debut. Any transfer fees paid for his first move would go exclusively to that club, and for all subsequent transfers, the club holding the player's debut ownership would receive a 25% cut. Suddenly, teams like Tottenham, who act as "middle men" for players like Keane, Berbatov, Carrick and Modric, would find their profits hit, whilst teams like West Ham who invest in youth and develop home grown talent, would receive a fair reward.

Let's take Robbie Keane as an example. His debut club was Wolves and he was sold to Coventry City for £6m, a huge sum actually given the buying club. But look at what has happened since. He then moved to Inter Milan for £13m, then to Leeds for £12m, then to Tottenham for £7m, then to Liverpool for a reported £20.3m, then back to Tootatthem for £12m (potentially rising to £19m). Rumours suggest that he could yet be on the move again. Add that little lot up, and Wolves would have collected a further £15.75m for giving Keane his league debut!

I accept that Keane is an extreme example because he is so widely travelled but if we look at West Ham, then we would be due a further £3m for Ferdinand, £5.25m for Johnson, £4m for Carrick and £6m for The Foe. Add that lot up and we would nearly have enough to settle the Tevez compensation agreement!

This isn't intended as a swipe at Tottenham and I know it opens me up to taunts of "Feeder Club sour grapes". This is a genuine proposal, however, a way of rewarding clubs for developing a player through to his first team debut and so encouraging clubs to invest more in their youth teams and to give kids their first team opportunities. It might also be a way of redistributing money from the bigger clubs to the smaller ones and so helping the likes of Crewe to survive. Sporting would certainly be smiling if they were receiving a cheque for £20m for the sale of Ronaldo!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Ex Hammer Johnson On Move As Liverpool Take Leave Of Their Senses - Again!

What is it about the close season that makes Rafa Benitez lose all sense of perspective? The guy comes from Spain so it surely can't be the heat! Last season it was Keane, overpriced and so obviously a square peg in a round hole; this year it is Johnson.

Did Rafa see the Kazakhstan game? We are not talking world beaters are we and Johnson was made to look a complete mug. Ok he was good against Andorra but 'Arry's wife could have done a job against those mugs. The fact is, Johnson is OK going forward but, defensively, he can be a complete liability.

More money than sense - but that's Rafa all over isn't it. Even with the Mancs seriously weakened by the loss of Ronaldo and probable defection of Tevez, that run without winning the Prem is destined to stretch out still longer!

And the West Ham connection? Like so many, he was made in West Ham; and like so many he was sold without a sell on clause.

'Arry Enfield And Tottenham Hotspur

It has just occurred to me that 'Arry Enfield must have based the bulk of his act upon Tootatthem Trotspurs. Remember that obnoxious couple, "I think you will find we are considerably richer than yow"? Doesn't that sound like every Cockyfool who comments on here?

Then there is Loadsamoney! That's 'Arry to a T! Bosh, bosh, bosh, how much? Loadsamoney!!!!!!

Of course Levy would be "You-Don't-Wanna-Do-It-Like-That"...before he sacks yet another manager!

The Double-Take brothers would look repeatedly amazed when they see Keane and Defoe back in Tootatthem shirts next season whilst Pleat and Hoddle can appear on TV as Smashie and Nicey.

Jurgen The German is self explanatory of course!

Nice But Dim - Bentley - the stupid sod thought joining Tootatthem would enhance his England prospects!

Kevin and Perry? Every Tootatthem fan when he looks at the table..."This is so unfair!!!!!!!"

OK, so we can lay claim to the Slobs!

Ferdinand To Return From His Sunderland Hell?

Blunderland are after Dunne and Unreal City seem to have their sights set on Upson, so does anybody fancy closing the triangle and bringing Anton back into the fold? People forget that the Great Escape was based on the Ferdinand and Collins centre back pairing. In fact, had we maintained the same winning ratio with Ferdinand out of the team as we did with him in it, then we would have completed that nightmare season with 50 points, without drawing any games. Great Escape? We would have been pushing for Europe!

Now I know Anton suffers from ganga breaks in concentration, but so did his big brother until he mysteriously forgot to take that drugs test. Since then, Rio has emerged as the real deal, the best England centre back since...well probably Tony Adams. He never has quite made it as the new Bobby Moore. Anton has all the necessary requirements to be as good as Rio - tall, pacey, strong in the tackle and an excellent passer of the ball. He just needs his head sorting, and I think Clarke and Zola could play the bad cop / good cop routine to get him focused.

Anton must be regretting his move to Blunderland and he isn't Steve Bruce's cup of tea as a centre half. I reckon a bid of £4m plus Davenport would probably secure his return to the fold - and I am convinced that he will be in the England team in 3 to 4 years time once he has matured. The deal makes sense to me! Anybody agree?

Oneday Never! Compensation For Daylight Robbery!

You couldn't write it could you? Tootatthem have just agreed compensation for stealing Oneday Never from Saliva! It's kind of like paying somebody compensation for giving you the HIV infection!

I wonder how they arrived at a final figure. Was it based on what might have been for the Spanish club or what actually happened at Tootatthem? Did the £50m that was spent to keep the Cockyfools in the Prem form part of the final calculation? Did the Tootatthem lawyer cite the decision to recruit Faux Pas for Real Madrid as proof that Oneday has no idea whatsoever? How about the outstanding performance of Martin Jol since his departure from the North London "giants"?

Surely Oneday should now consider a legal action of his own. His reputation was so badly damaged by his time at Tootatthem that he was forced to accept a position at little old Real Madrid! Why do you think it is that managers do well either side of their 18 month stint at the Trotspurs, yet fail utterly whilst they are there? Bit of a mystery that. Perhaps the club is SOOOOOOOOOOOO massive that nobody can manage them!

Monday, 15 June 2009

Luis Jiménez the first piece in the jigsaw.

According to a number of sources, we are close to finalising a deal to sign Jiménez on a one year loan deal with a provision to sign him permanently in 12 months time. If true, this looks like a clever piece of business: we get a player worth £7m without having to stump up the Euros, giving Straumar enough time to find a buyer both for the club and the player.

Most importantly, Jiménez is the attacking midfielder that we have been yearning for since the defection of Yossi. Two footed and fast of thought, "El Mago" should give us the guile that we have been missing in midfield, but his record to date does not suggest that he will actually fire the bullets himself. 32 career goals in over 150 games is not bad but early reports that this guy is an out and out forward are clearly as wide of the mark as a Luis Boa-Morte shot. We will still need a forward to play off of Cole or Ashton.

Is this where Sturridge and / or Caicedo fit in? The rumours connecting us to a move for one or the other are so persistent that I am beginning to believe them. I would love to see us sign both personally. Suddenly, with Behrami, Collison, Savio, Noble, Jiminez, Cole, Ashton, Sturridge and Caicedo, we would be blessed with attacking options. We would still need to sort out the right back berth and add defensive cover for both full back positions but an exciting squad would suddenly emerge almost overnight, at very little financial outlay.

It may not happen of course but, at the moment, things are looking promising. Who knows, somebody might even come in with a bid for Luis Boa-Morte!

These Names Are Being Made Up!

OK, I thought it funny when we were being linked with a Master Bates. The Fanni rumours made me smile. But this is getting sillier and sillier. Somebody is having a giraffe, which is enough to make Davenport's eyes water!

The latest "name" we are being linked with is Robert Acquafresca. Robert who? Now I am not having that this guy is a footballer! A type of fruit flavoured fizzy water perhaps, or a mouthwash? This isn't West Ham's shopping list, somebody has stumbled on Nani's notes on oral hygiene - after fanni, aquafresca to remove the nasty after taste!

Revenge on Sheffield United at last!

Oh dear God, please let it be true. It would appear that Shafting United are CHASING Nigel Quashie! Now then, running as quickly as possible in the opposite direction might make sense, but chasing the guy? It's a bit like advertising for unprotected sex with a confirmed HIV carrier!

Please let it happen! We could offer them Davenport too as part of the stage payment deal for that little Tevez trick. Just imagine, we could then say that not only did we relegate the Blunted Blades by playing Tevez illegally, but we equipped their squad to stay in the Fizzy Pop permanently!

Chasing Quashie! They would do better if they found Nemo and gave him the anchor midfield role! I know Sheffield is famous for its knives but I didn't know they were tooling themselves up to open their own wrists!

Newcastle Don't Want Curbishley

What? Newscastle United don't want Alan Curbishley as their new manager? I always knew the carToons Board were a bit mad but now they seem to have taken complete leave of their senses. How can a club like the Barcodes afford to ignore the claims of Curbishley, a man whose record is beyond question?

Newcastle have not won a trophy in God knows how many years (Early 1970s Fairs Cup wasn't it?)and neither has Curbishley. So instead of the crazy surge in expectation that accompanies the appointment of any Newscastle manager, if Alan were appointed, everybody would be resigned to things continuing much as they have done for the last 40 or so years. Curbishley could sweep into Newcastle promising a "year of two of consolidation" before building towards a sustained period of mid table mediocrity.

All ridiculous notions of playing exciting flowing football could be consigned to the rubbish bin overnight because Alan knows only too well that attacking play can leave you open at the back. Why pass ten times when a simple lump from your centre half can put you in the position where, if it falls to one of your players, you might have a shot on goal? Let's face it, if the ball is in the opposition half, and better still so high in the air that it is almost in orbit, then you can't concede can you?

Better still, by appointing Curbishley, Newcastle could possibly trigger a return to the fold of a host of old favourites. Bowyer, Dyer, Solano, Bellyache...you can bet your overdraft that Curbishley would do his best to sign all of them. And we all know how Newcastle fans idolise a returning hero! Then there are Davenport and Quashie, mysteriously deemed surplus to requirements by new West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola - surely they could do a job in the Fizzy Pop? And who knows, Alan might use his powers of persuasion to entice Freddie Lungburst back into the English game. Curbishley knows from his time with Eggert that a fool and his money are easily parted so he would fit in perfectly at Newcastle!

It seems to me that Curbishley and Newcastle would be a marriage made in heaven. He could guarantee the Geordies mid table obscurity for the next 20 or so years. So what that it would be in the Fizzy Pop? Alan knows that stability and certainty and consolidation are what counts. Shearer? What does he know about winning nothing?

Saturday, 13 June 2009

West Ham Overlooked By Queen In Honours List

West Ham have been cruelly overlooked in the Queen's Birthday Honour's List. With knighthoods and gongs awarded to sportspeople, actors, artists and, in the words of a civil servant on the BBC, "ordinary people", West Ham players and employees of the club are conspicuous by their absence.

Social commentator Tar Teetupp said: "There is a strong sense of bias here based upon the hatred of the media and the upper classes for little old working class West Ham United. It seems absurd that Delia Smith, the woman famous for being a director of Norwich City, can be honoured in the year that the Canaries drop into the old Third Division, whilst nobody at West Ham gets a mention after such a brilliant season."

He continued: "What has Nick Faldo done to earn a knighthood? He puts a little white ball down a hole during a gentle stroll. I would like to see him cope in the hustle and bustle of the Premiership. He even has somebody to carry his bag for him!"

He warned: "West Ham fan President Obama will not be pleased about this. I fear the Queen has put the special relationship at risk by this outrageous slight on West Ham."

Football pundit, Lee Vitout agreed: "Ignoring West Ham is stupid. Why wasn't Green knighted after keeping clean sheets against Kazakhstan and Andorra? What about Scotty Parker? Hammer of the Year without a doubt so why no gong from the Queen?"

He continued: "What about rewarding bravery? Does Her Majesty not understand the courage of Dean Ashton when he risked his ankle five times last season? They gave awards to disabled sportsmen so why didn't Dean get one of those?"

He finished: "And what about the West Ham medical team? They got Dyer out onto the pitch! Surely that deserves a knighthood! I'm taking the picture of the Queen off my living room wall in protest!"

It is expected that questions will be asked in the House of Commons but, in the meantime, Hammers fans find themselves in a fog of incomprehension. After a stunning season which saw the Hammers climb one place in the Prem and plunder three extra points, why on earth wasn't Zola honoured?

Friday, 12 June 2009

England As Seen By A Man City Fan

(Submitted by an Unreal City fan)

Looking at the England side against Andorra and comparing with the best City side that we could select just now, I asked myself which of the England players would I bring in to replace any players in my best current City lineup of:

Given, Zabaleta, Kompany, Onuoha, Bridge, DeJong, Barry, SWP, Ireland, Robinho, Bedlamy (tough on Dunnie)

Well, I decided that Nedum would go to make way for Terry, Bridge make way for Cole, Bedlamy for Rooney and, a tough one, probably Irish to make way for Gerrard. You could argue Lampard for Barry, but I like Barry's left foot and rather more disciplined approach to defending. With both Gerrard and Lamps in the side, there's too much going forward and not enough solidity in front of the back four.

That means only 4 players get into a side that finished 10th in the Premier League and probably on end of season form was possibly 7th best behind Rags, Sibneft, Pool, Arse, Toffees and Harrods. Villa were in freefall, Spuds and Wham about the same as us. That puts England into perspective for me, fourth favourites for the World Cup say the bookies but probably not good enough to get into the Champions League from the Premier League.


Hammersfan adds: Presumably you would swap Capello for Hughes? I'd have Walcott over SWP, Ferdinand over Kompany and Lampard over De Jong personally mate! And if it is an away game, 'Arry's wife ahead of Ribena! So with Barry playing for both, not much change!


Dear God, the season really IS over. No Premiership, no Champions League, no end of the pier Punch and Judy FA Cup Final, no England games, no major tournament that England have already been eliminated from. Suddenly, apart from the U21 stuff, this huge great void opens called the summer. Well it does for some of us. Beano Ashton won't see any change of course!

For those of us who love football, there is still the Friday night game on the astroturf, our artificial field of dreams. I may be 50, but I still managed to get more minutes action under my expanding belt this year than Beano Ashton and Dyer combined. It did involve playing on with a broken nose and with severely bruised ribs but, when you love the game, you play through the pain barrier. When you only play for the money, you don't!

Such are the withdrawal symptoms and my hypocrisy, that I am at Lords on Sunday to watch the Twenty/20 Rounders fiasco, cheering on England in our very own form of baseball. Anybody else going? We could meet up for a beer during the break between games. As stupid as the version of the game is, it will serve as an amusing warm up both for the Ashes and for my 20 night trip to the States and Canada in July and August.

And here I have a confession. Last time the Aussies were over, I signed a pact with the Devil agreeing to terrible things happening in return for England putting one over on the Aussies: World banking crisis, MPs expenses scandal, Tootatthem's incredible recovery for two consecutive seasons, the divorce of Sir Paul and Heather - all down to me folks, guilty as charged.

What would I give to see it repeated this year? Did you see that model of what would happen if Mars span off its orbit...? The Devil keeps upping his prices!

Faubert Shocked By Recent Events

Julian Faubert is reportedly in a state of shock after discovering that Real Madrid do not see him as value for money at £6m. After giving it his best shot whilst on loan to the Spanish giants (it passed ten yards over the bar!), Faux Pas is puzzled by the decision to purchase Ronaldo and Kaka for a combined fee of £136m rather than invest the last numeral in himself.

The player's agent, Pierre Grandderriere told reporters: "Julian has been stunned to discover that Madrid consider Ronaldo and Kaka to be better options. He would like to know when either of them has filled in at right back. Madrid have failed utterly to grasp Julian's versatility."

He continued: "If Madrid think that either Kaka or Ronaldo will be happy sitting on the substitute's bench then they have another thought coming. You can only field 11 players at any given time so you have to have somebody who is comfortable starting games on the bench. Julian is so relaxed about it that he fell asleep during one game. Ronaldo would simply throw a hissy fit in that situation!"

He added: "Still Madrid's loss is West Ham's gain. The substitute's bench was very lightweight towards the end of last season. Now, by putting five players at one end and Julian and Ashton at the other, the team will have a balanced bench for the start of the new season."

Ashton's Return Delayed By Events in Germany

Following the dramatic news of a teenager narrowly escaping death after being struck by a meteorite in Germany, a source close to West Ham striker Dean Ashton has announced that all plans for an early return have been put on hold. Ashton, alarmed by the prospect of being hit himself, is apparently nervous about taking to the pitch in the light of the instability of the Universe.

The source revealed: "Dean has read about how Gerrit Blank was on his way to school in Essen when he saw a massive fireball heading straight towards him from the sky. The white-hot meteorite bounced off the schoolboy's hand and hit the ground so hard it left a foot-long crater in the tarmac - as well as a three-inch scar on his hand."

He continued: "Dean is understandably concerned by this development. He has had more than his fair share of injuries in recent years and is worried about how a meteorite strike might damage him. Dean is very particular about his training regimes and, as he has repeatedly stressed, will only return to playing when he is good and ready. To risk a massive setback caused by being hit by a meteorite seems, to him, to be unwise. To be honest he is a pretty big target and does not have the facility to get out of the way quickly should a meteorite be spotted heading in his general direction."

However, Ashton was concerned to learn that meteorites can also hit you when indoors. There is only one other known case of a human being surviving a direct hit from a meteor when a grapefruit-sized piece of space rock crashed through the roof of a house in Alabama, in the USA, in 1954. After smashing through the top of the building, it bounced off furniture and then hit a woman who was asleep at the time. In the light of this, Primadeano Ashton has requested a reinforced meteorite proof roof be built over the treatment room. The source stated, "This is a perfectly reasonable request given the amount of time Dean spends in there!"

Spurs Seeking UAE Sponsorship!

Now that is a headline I didn't expect to read. Why stop at the UAE, why not go the whole hog and look for a Palestinian backer to sponsor the new stadium? The club could then carve off two chunks on either side of the new ground and build walls around them, forcing anybody who comes originally from the N17 district to watch the game on flickering black and white TV sets from inside the walled areas. They could even name one of the sections after former star Paul Gascoigne - the Gazza Strip sounds like a Lap Dancing club I know, but former manager David Pleat would find it appealing! All in all, just like the homeland!

Apologies, this honestly isn't meant to be racist, but to point out the irony of Tootatthem looking for Arab backers given the supposed Jewish connections of the club. It is intended to highlight the human rights abuses in Israel, however, a country I visited before the creation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Back then, the big worry was that by 2010, Israel could vote itself out of existence due to the falling birth rate of Jews and the maintained birth rates of Arabs. The solution? Carve off two chunks of the nation, give them the status of separate states but not the means to exist, and disenfranchise all the Arabs inside the territories. Clever eh? Just like the ghettos in Poland after the Nazi occupation. And if the locals get uppity, send in the tanks.

Well done to Obama for having the courage to speak out on this issue and tell it how it is. What happened to the Jews must never be forgotten; but it must not be used as an excuse for them to abuse the human rights of the Palestinians half a century and more after the event.

Meanwhile, the idea of Arabs sponsoring Tootatthem has a deliciously ironic appeal. As ironic as little old bankrupt West Ham being taken over by a bankrupt Icelandic bank!