Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Official Site Fails To Explain Daprela Departure

The Official Site's account of Daprela's departure is as illuminating as a broken light bulb. The site fails to mention that Daprela is a rising star in the Swiss U21 team and does not confirm whether or not a fee was paid by Brescia. Apparently his opportunities have been "limited" by the return to fitness of Herita Ilunga and the emergence of "first year professional Jordan Brown". Yes, you know, Jordan Brown, that guy who has not yet been tested against Arsenal twice, Chelsea and Manchester City!

Well that's alright then, we have Jordan Brown as a stand in should Ilunga not be ever present this season! And there was me thinking that Spector was our replacement left back! Silly me!

A Brown in the Boardroom and an untried Brown at left back. Are we in the shite or what?

Transfer Window? A dreadful missed opportunity!

So what was all that about then? We may have signed Jacobsen at the last minute but, apart from that, nothing, nowt, zilch, zero.  So let's get this straight. If Ilunga picks up a long term injury, Spector is our left back. That's reassuring! And if Cole is injured? Well we have Piquionne and Benni to smash home the goals. And if Green is injured? Well we have Stech. And who is going to get the goals from midfield? Parker and Noble obviously! And meanwhile we can field six centre backs if we want to! And what about Behrami? Well he can sit and sulk presumably. And if the Jacobsen fax didn't get through? Well Spector can play right back too!

To say I am dumbfounded is the understatement of the millennium! We know the team is crap so what do we do? Nothing. Gold and Sullivan were on Radio 5 Live having a laugh with Hearns and Whelan tonight - you know, the same Dave Whelan who wanted us relegated over the Tevez affair. It is their "destiny" to own our club apparently. Well that makes every one of us, Destiny's Children! It feels more like Groundhog Day to me, one long repetitive nightmare.

Hammersfan Wrong About Parker!

Endorse here if you think he is a twat! (Hammersfan, not Parker!)

Deadline Day - A Scream Ride In Prospect!

Yobo on loan? Why? We have centre backs coming out of our ears! Behrami to Palermo? Probably for six bob and two empty Tizer bottles. Upson shipped out? But where? Who wants him? Apart from Capello of course!

Da Costa must be leaving surely? He is a Nani man and they seem to be carriers of the Bubonic Plague as far as Goldfinger and Scullimanga are concerned. A 28 year old left back who will cost us £1.5million? Well he must be brilliant mustn't he?

A beanpole striker from Brescia?  Another deal involving Nani? How many times do we want to be shafted exactly?

Parker to Tottenham, Keane to West Ham? Well I've been predicting that for some time and the papers have caught up with me at last. Will it happen though? I can see Parker going but I'm not so sure Keane will agree to the deal.

Cole to Liverpool? Well Woy has bought Onecapchesky so it looks like he is recruiting journeymen.

By the end of today we will have a much clearer picture of what is happening at the club we love. We could end up with a team fit for the Fizzy Pop or we could be equipped to storm into, well 17th is just about the best we can hope for!

Fasten the seat belts, it is going to be a bumpy ride!

Monday, 30 August 2010

Coming Up In The Rear Until I Die!

1847, TGGC publishes an article entitled, "Daprela Sold. Why? For God's Sake, Why?"  Thirty minutes later, WHTID comes up with "Daprela Off On a Free. Staggering."

2043 TGGC publishes "'Arry Redknapp Blows His Top In Interview". One hour later, WHTID comes up with "Harry Loses His Temper".

What do they say, "Emulation is the sincerest form of flattery"? Who would have thought it, Dale and his boys coming up in the rear! Honestly, these cowboy sites!

Time for Sullivan and Gold to explain. Something stinks!

Dear God, even WHTID has expressed amazement at the decision to allow Daprela to join Brescia on a free. When Pravda publishes an article critical of the Party, you know something stinks in Moscow.

This Daprela deal, on top of the one that took Diamanti to Brescia for next to nothing, simply has to be explained to the fans. Sullivan has said that West Ham are no longer a selling club and, I suppose, he is proving true to his word: we are now a Give Away Club!

Sullivan was quick to use his email when he wanted to engineer Zola's departure and also laid bare his soul over Tottenham's approach for Parker. He is big on straight talking directly to the fans, so let's hear his explanation of why he sanctioned two deals that will stagger 99% of West Ham fans.

If no sensible explanation is forthcoming then we will draw our own conclusions. The involvement of Nani invites all sorts of speculation. I want to know what the Italian knows and how many dodgy deals we have to rubber stamp before our "debts" are settled.

'Arry Redknapp Blows His Top In Interview!

Absolute classic! Next time the interviewer should say, "So 'Arry, you've made your name as a bit of a tax dodger..."!

Pardew Sacked by Southampton - But for what exactly?

So Pards has been shown the door at Southampton but the big question is, why? It's not so many months ago that he won the lower division F.A. Cup and, but for the points deduction, Southampton would have comfortably finished in the play off zone last season. Southampton have won one, drawn one and lost one in the old Division Three and ran out 4-0 winners in their last game.

So why has Pards been shown the door? Up to his old tricks perhaps? You can't be a saint and a sinner it seems!

Daprela Sold. Why? For God's Sake, Why?

What the hell is going on? Daprela started 5 times for the club, including twice against Arsenal, once against Chelsea and once against Man City, and he wasn't shown up personally in any of those games. The kid is only 19 and has oodles of potential, so why in God's name sell him?

As things stand, if Ilunga picks up an injury, we will have Spector at left back against Chelsea again!

I am close to speechless. I have defended Sullivan & Gold up until now but I cannot, for the life of me, make sense of this deal. Brescia and Nani are involved again of course. Does this guy know something dangerous? Is he blackmailing the club? That's the only thing that makes sense to me. Both Diamanti and Daprela have been given away - and neither were on huge wages so that's not the answer.

I'm willing to have good money on Daprela joining a big Italian club in the future. This sale is madness!

Sack Moyes!

Given the hysterical reaction of our fans to 3 defeats, shouldn't the Everton Board be considering the position of Moyes? Okay, Everton have one more point than us, but they have had a much easier start to the season.

It just shows how things need to be kept in perspective. Yes we have started poorly but we are not down - yet. Let's see how we perform once Hitz is fit and we have finished trading. Our season begins once the window closes.

Come On You Irons!

West Ham Fans Taken For Mugs - Yet Again!

(Article submitted by Sav)

There is a very strong paradox in English football. It is called West Ham United. Over the years the famous East London club has produced some of the best talent in English football and yet the Club’s performance has remained one of mediocrity, to say the least. Why is this paradox? Why is it that the club that produces so much talent has hardly achieved anything significant over the years (with the exception of winning a few Cups and a European Cup Winners Cup)?

Some West Ham supporters will also argue that West Ham has won the World Cup. I disagree: England won the World Cup, not West Ham. West Ham players were used to win the World Cup in 1966 just as they are today (and through the years) by other clubs to win trophies - Man United with Tevez, Ferdinand and Carrick, Chelsea with Lampard, Johnson, Terry and Joe Cole, Tottenham with Defoe, etcetera. What generates this acute paradox then?

The answer is an almost total lack of ambition by the owners and low expectations by the supporters. The two, combined together, create a ground which is fertile for promoting personal gain. Over the years, owners, agents, lawyers, even financiers and other intermediaries have taken advantage of this situation to make private fortunes.

And history repeats itself. Since it is almost impossible to alienate the loyal fans of West Ham United it is easy to use the club to make deals that create personal wealth, rather than building an infrastructure and a team that can make West Ham great. West Ham United fans (myself included) are just so easy to fool. We are all passionately in love with a dream team which, in reality, doesn’t exist. So many supporters travel all over the country despite the fact that their team more often than not will disappoint them. They spend so much money out of their limited income, because they live and breathe West Ham United. And unlike Fulham and some other London clubs, West Ham has a very strong supporter base which could easily fill a 50,000+ capacity stadium (such as the Olympic Stadium). Moreover, West Ham fans are so understanding and forgiving. It is like they have been conditioned to accept their fate. Survival is everything, anything else is just bonus.

So, lack of ambition and low expectations are the root of the problem. Attitudes need to change before a real change takes place. This is easier said than done. It takes many years, and sometimes generations, for attitudes to change. In the meantime, the owners and other people close to, or associated with the Club, who are proficient in promoting their self interest, will always take advantage of this situation. They will know that they can get away with anything as long as they package it properly so as to be palatable to the ever understanding, passionate and forgiving West Ham fan.

Sadly, Sullivan & Gold are just the latest in a line of owners who have taken the great West Ham fan base for mugs! Let's face it, even if we sell Parker and Cole and then go down, the fans will still turn up and cheer on the team, blowing Fizzy Pop bubbles that seem destined to forever fade and die!

Parker to Spurs, Keane to West Ham

It's a bit like that game that ten year olds play with each other, "You show me yours and I'll show you mine." West Ham don't want to sell Parker but are desperate for Keane, Spurs supposedly don't want to lose the Irishman but are desperate for Scotty. There's far too much, "You first...No you first...I will if you will...Go on, I will if you will" going on.

Brady should just give 'Arry a flash and steal Keane away whilst Redknapp's 'ead goes into spasm. Levy could say, "I wasn't sure if you were saying no or your head was just twitching Harry"!

For all those who have insisted that Parker will not leave, what do you make of this last minute declaration of interest in Keane? Spurs would be perfectly entitled to claim that West Ham are deliberately unsettling the player wouldn't they? Levy rang West Ham with an offer, Grant has spoken to the press. Tell me, which is worse?

Of course, we may have "cocked" it all up with our posturing and delays. Defoe is injured and Tottenham may not be happy to let the Irishman go now. It may be a case of £8million for Parker or go to hell. You couldn't blame Levy and 'Arry could you?

How stupid is our club? West Ham never cease to amaze - but almost always for the wrong reason.

Green Operation Hits Snag

Robert Green's planned operation has been put on hold after hitting a last minute hitch. Although keen to earn additional income and announcing that he was willing to sell organs for money, it seems that Peter Shilton has drawn the line at letting the hapless West Ham stopper have his brain and hands.

A spokesman for the England great said: "People do not understand that footballers of Peter's generation did not earn the vast sums paid to modern footballers. Peter's financial problems are well documented and he had hoped to supplement after dinner speech income by selling some unnecessary organs - like a spare kidney perhaps. It was only when we inspected the small print of the contract that we appreciated that Sullivan and Gold were after Peter's brain and hands."

The West Ham co-chairmen are reportedly furious at this last minute volte-face by the former Hammers substitute keeper. A club spokesman said: "What use is Green to us with his present brain (pictured above) and hands? I ask you, without a keeper's hands and brain, who in God's name is going to pay big money for him? It's like trying to sell a forward who can't score and a wide midfielder who can't cross. Bloody impossible!"

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Capello's Back To The Future!

Sack him! What a prize plonker! OK, he hasn't reverted to Scholes (who probably opted against returning on the advice of Ferguson) but, apart from that, his squad is same old, same old!

Shaun Wright-Phillips is back! Why? Upson is back. Why? Carson is back. Why? Lescott is back. Why? Darren Bent is back. Why?

Where is Wilshere? Where is Rodwell? Where is...the future of England?

Just sell Parker and get on with the season!

I am sick to death of the club dancing around the Parker handbag. We all know Sullivan is going to let Levy have what he wants, so why don't we just get on with it? The same probably goes for Cole and Liverpool! Being coy is no good when everybody in the night club knows, from past experience, that you come across for a Bacardi and coke and the promise of a ticket to Thorpe Park!

It's not as if Parker is a world beater anyway. I keep saying he is part of the problem because of his limited vision and poor goal scoring return. He obviously doesn't want to stay - otherwise that contract would be signed - so retaining him is just dragging out the inevitable and slowing down the process of restructuring. The decision of Grant to start with a team made up entirely of Zola men yesterday says it all. They weren't good enough last season and they won't be good enough this. If we can't buy without selling, then we had better sell, and fast!

Gera was only used as a sub again yesterday and he would be my man to replace Parker. I mooted the Keane exchange some time back and I still think that would be a good option. We must be anticipating another domestic loan signing or we would have had Caceida by now. Who is the earmarked man? Hutton? Keane himself? O'Hara?

In Grant's shoes, I would clear out Behrami, Parker and Cole. It pains me to say this about Carlton but he isn't worth keeping if Liverpool offer £12m or above. Who do we buy or sign on loan? To be honest, anything will be better than what we have. These players are stuck in a pit of despair and the more we move out, the better.

No fight, no guile, no leadership, no heart.

Three games in, and we are already being sucked towards the Fizzy Pop. Looked at one way, we have only lost one game that we would be expected to collect points from, so there's no real need to panic, but looked at another way, we are rock bottom and already three points behind Wigan and four behind Blackpool, two teams nailed on for the drop.

That Wigan victory at Tottenham sent a chill through my heart. Can anybody see us keeping a clean sheet at White Hart Lane? Not a hope in hell the way we are playing at the moment. Can anybody see us sticking six goals past anybody as Newcastle managed against Villa of all teams. Who would score the goals in our present team?

The pre season hope has evaporated completely and part of the problem is Avram's decision to play the "Zola players" rather than the new recruits. The team at Villa only featured one Avram man (and he was poor) and yesterday we started with a Zola 11. If the new recruits are so poor that they cannot force their way into the team at this stage, why did we sign them?

I cannot believe that Reid is so poor that he does not merit selection ahead of Spector. Nor can I believe that Barerra is not worth a start ahead of Boa or Faubert. Once again, Grant went for graft over flair, choosing to leave out Barerra and Piquionne. The decision to give away Diamanti suggests a lack of trust in talent, a prioritisation of perspiration over inspiration and guile. That would be fine if the players being selected had any heart, but they don't. It's not blood, sweat and tears with this lot, it's just sweat and tears! Once again, as soon as the first goal went in, we knew the result. And by knowing the result, I don't mean that we knew we would lose; I mean we knew we would be thumped. When this team goes a goal down, all the stuffing is knocked out of them and we fold.

Apart from an injection of flair, what we need most of all are leaders, players with a voice, players with a stomach for a fight and with a nasty streak. My son made the point yesterday that we are too nice, that there's nobody in the back six who intimidates opponents. We found ourselves yearning for Lucas Neill, for a captain who would bawl out his own team, kick an opponent as a warning and lead by example. It is only when you lose a player like Luckless that you truly appreciate his value. Collins is another, a player that you just would not want to mix it with in a bar. Bellamy is, of course, a third. None of these "fighters" have been replaced. Parker and Noble apart, how often do we collect yellow cards? Given 12 months of struggles, we should be having players booked left, right and centre but it doesn't happen because we are a team of kittens, not tigers. And in Parker's case, the yellows come because of poor tackling technique, not because of genuine intimidation.

Look at yesterday. Rooney started out of form and edgy. Who in our team was going to chip at him, punch him in the kidneys, kick him on his dodgy ankle, remind him of his World Cup failings? It's a dangerous strategy to wind up somebody like Rooney because it could go either way, but it is more likely to succeed than our policy of easing him back into form by treating him with too much respect. The same with Scholes. He can be riled but did we ever get in his face? No chance.

It was all summed up for me when Green made his save from Fletcher. Now, in a team of leaders, the keeper would have stood up and screamed at his defenders. "Why the **** did he have so much time to shoot? Why wasn't he closed? Why are you dropping so deep? Get further up the ******* field you useless *****!" What did Green do? He smiled! Yes, he smiled! Would Schmeichel have smiled? Would Hart smile? Not a chance in hell!

Then look at the penalty. It was a diabolical error from Spector but did anybody tell him? Did Parker turn on him, aka Roy Keane and bawl, "I was 5 yards away you stupid ****, why the **** did you bring him down in the box?" Nope. Did a clutch of players surround the ref trying to dispute the decision? Nope. Was there any attempt to get inside Rooney's head, anybody playing any tricks to get a delay, anybody telling Rooney "You haven't scored since April you granny *******  ******!"? Nope. Instead there was a collective shrug of shoulders, a collective sense of, "Well here we go again, it's amazing we have kept them out until now!"

When Barerra actually got a cross into the box, late in the game, there were four red shirts and the keeper depending the cross and the ONLY West Ham player in the box was Carlton Cole. Chris Waddle said on commentary, "There's only one man in the box, how are you going to score if you don't get men in the box?" Well if you pick Parker and Noble together, that's what's going to happen.

Then when Parker did get the ball in the box (was it really Spector who played that lovely pass?) what happened? He planted it wide with a pathetically tame shot. As Waddle said, "Take another stride and he could have bought a penalty." The trouble is, Parker doesn't think like that and panics when near goal. We desperately need a goal scorer in Parker's position, that's why I would sell him.

Maybe Der Hammer will help, he is a leader. But Parker isn't, and Upson isn't, and Cole isn't and Green isn't. The spine is like an overstretched strand of Blue Tac. This is a team without spite, without fire, without courage, without intelligence and without guile. Never mind Avram Grant, this team needs to journey to the Wizard of bloody Oz to try to find a brain, a heart and some ferocious courage. The trouble is, Lucas Neill has gone and nobody has been brought in to replace him. We are a team of bleedin' Dorothys and our manager is Avram Lloyd Webber!!

Manchester United 3 West Ham 0 - On course for Target 114!

Well congratulations to Avram's boys for achieving something that no West Ham team has achieved for 50 years - three games played at the start of the season and three goals conceded in each. If we keep this up, we will ship 114 goals over the 38 game season; now that's entertainment! Mind you, I say Avram's boys, but the starting eleven were all at the club last season! Gold and Sullivan must be wondering why we bothered signing anybody in the summer!

People said Grant would learn from the Villa game, but from what I saw today, he learnt nothing! The team selection was depressingly negative again and, incredibly, against the Mancs of all teams, he CHOSE to play Spector! Dear God, why, why would you CHOOSE to play The Wank, unless you had put a bet on the opposition to score three!

Now can anybody explain what Spector thought he was doing when he brought down Giggs? The Welshman still had to round Parker before he posed any threat to the goal whatsoever, so Spector made the decision to bring him down from behind. How many appalling errors does Specs have to make before he is consigned to the rubbish heap where he belongs?

Not that Spector was alone in looking useless of course. In truth, Ferguson's boys toyed with us throughout the second half and you had the sense that the worst thing we could do was score. Had we angered them, I fancy they would have notched seven or eight. Three goals was par for the course and meant that Avram matched Zola's score at Old Trafford last season!

The Nani goal was brilliant and the Berbatov goal even better but the defending was woeful in the build up to both. Offensively we offered little or no threat. Dyer ran around a lot but the end result was more often than not disappointing. The shot against the post was good and was brilliantly engineered, with a lovely ball into Cole and a superb lay back by Carlton. But that was it wasn't it? 90 minutes of football and that was the best we could muster.

The substitutions were perverse. Piquionne and Barrera came on too late to alter things and the Stanislas substitution with a minute to play was surreal. Was Avram wasting time to keep the score down to three perhaps?

It was all so depressingly predictable. We weren't crap, we were just mediocre, and when mediocrity meets Manchester United, mediocrity suffers. It is too early to panic but we are rock bottom and if Sullivan & Gold think Parker is the answer, then we are in desperate trouble. Cash in now and use the money to restructure!

Player ratings: Green 6 (He made a hash of that Nani shot that hit the bar. One good save from Fletcher) Spector 3, Gabbidon 6 Upson 6, Ilunga 5 (Still not closing crosses!); Faubert 5, Noble 5, Parker 5, Boa 4, Dyer 7, Cole 5 Subs: Piquionne 5 Barerra 5

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Man Utd away. No worries!

A trip to Old Trafford, what's the problem? We arrive on an unbeaten run of one game with the Mancs reeling from a one game run without a victory. Our defence was water tight last game, where as Ferguson's misfits shipped two goals and only snatched a draw courtesy of an own goal. We scored the last penalty we were awarded, Nani missed from the spot. The 5.30 start helps too, Man Utd don't do so well in these early evening kick offs: it's probably down to nerves, knowing that they are being watched by a huge television audience.

What's to stop us repeating that never to be forgotten victory in the last game of the Great Escape? True we haven't got Tevez, but we have Piquionne instead! Or that memorable Di Canio inspired victory? True we haven't got Di Canio but we have...well Piquionne instead!

Never mind Bubbles and all that "Fortune's always hiding" stuff, let's try a new anthem for today!

Here's a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don't worry, be happy.
In every life we have some trouble
But when you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy.
Don't worry, be happy now.

Ain't got no points to start the day
Bolton came and took them away
Don't worry, be happy.
Landlord says your rent is late
He may have to litigate
Don't worry, be happy.

Ain't got no cash, ain't got no style
Ain't got no striker to make you smile
Don't worry, be happy.
'Cause when you worry your face will frown
And that will bring everybody down
Don't worry, be happy.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Avram Grant unwilling to be the Parker fall guy after sale to Spurs!

After Noble's plea for the club not to sell Parker, Avram Grant has taken steps to put himself into quarantine ahead of the probable sale of Parker to Spurs. With Goldfinger and Sullimanji hoping that Parker would request a transfer or that Grant would accept responsibility in the interest of "squad restructuring", the Israeli has very deliberately distanced himself from the deal.

Grant chose his words carefully saying, "But in football anything can happen" and "As far as I know the club wants him [to stay] for a long, long time and Scott wants to stay here". That "as far as I know" says so much! That contract remains unsigned and lawyers don't peruse small print over the weekend. No deal today so we move to next week. Does anybody really believe now that Parker will be a West Ham player when the window closes? Even Avram has his doubts!

Nsofar signing so good?

Well we have been here before methinks! West Ham sign an exciting young forward from a Champions League side, subject to work permit. Let's hope the BNP don't stick their noses into this deal! And whilst we await the work permit decision, the Nigerian has returned to Italy to top up on pizzas!

Lording it for a change

Apologies that the site is effectively off air for the day. I am at Lords, watching England try to put together a total of over 300 to secure the series against Pakistan. Here's hoping Essex man Cook can notch a good solid ton! How refreshing to have an Englishman batting in the top 6 in the England team.

Of course, if Capello has his way, the football team could follow the lead of the cricket boys. Arteta for England? I'd rather not qualify thanks very much!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Parker Swap Imminent

Interesting to see The Metro linking us with Hutton and Keane - kind of like I was suggesting a couple of weeks ago. Parker has still not signed that contract and now Noble has opened his gob on the topic of Scotty, urging the club NOT to sell him. You have to wonder why Noble feels the need to beg, given Sullivan has promised that Parker will not be sold, no way, not for any money, not now, not tomorrow, not never, ever, ever, ever, ever.

But we can't afford to pay for Hutton and Keane, and I doubt Tottenham would agree to letting us have both for Parker, without some form of cash adjustment. The deal, however, would suit 'Arry because he wants the Irishman out and doesn't rate the Scot, so I can see a swap for Parker and Keane, maybe with a cash adjustment in our favour, with Hutton or O'Hara coming on a season long loan as part of the package. That would explain why the Caceida deal was called off at the last moment and why the Santa Cruz deal came to nothing, given the limit on the number of domestic loans.

When will it all happen? I fancy tomorrow.

Noble and Parker Telepathic

Talking to the Daily Mirror, Mark Noble said,

"Me and Scott have played together in the centre of midfield together in the last couple of games, I've really enjoyed it as a two and we bounce off each other. I know if he goes forward then I will sit and the other way round. It's like being telepathic and it's great to have that sort of understanding."

What a bloody joke! I watched the pair very closely against the might of Oxford on Tuesday and the closest Noble came to the truth was when he said, "we bounce off each other". You bet they do, they are so close to each other for most of a game that they could hold hands! Never mind a blanket, you can throw a tea towel over the pair for most of a match!

The truth is, both "hold" rather than attack space and, as a combination, they are more pathetic than telepathic. We need goals from midfield and a Parker/ Noble combination are not going to provide that. In any case Hitz is going to feature at some point presumably, which means that the centre midfield pairing will either be broken up on diluted with the third man.

Why has Noble come out and said this? Well The Mirror reach their own conclusion here: "After stalling on signing a new five-year contract, Noble fears that Parker may opt to leave West Ham, something which he feels would be a huge blow to the club."

Tottenham have qualified for the group stages of the Champions League now. If you were Parker, what would you fancy, Champions League football or relegation battle? Not a tough call that one is it? Why hasn't he signed that contract? It's been on the table for 3 weeks now! Those lawyers must be sounding out every letter, never mind reading every word!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Obinna having a medical. Well McCarthy passed it!

How easy must it be to pass a medical at Upton Park? Dyer, Upson, Ljungberg and McCarthy have all passed in recent years and apparently Stephen Hawking only failed because the MOT on his wheelchair had expired!

As I said before, Obinna looks on the fat side to me. Maybe it is the Nigeria kit - Yakubu looks like a Sumo wrestler too - or maybe Obinna is on the same diet as McCarthy. Either way, I hope we are not buying him to have a balanced attack with Victor playing alongside McCarthy, very much "up front"!

Maybe Avram's interest is explained by Obinna's first name. It's beginning to look as if that's the only way we will see a Victor in a West Ham kit this season!

Captain Scott? Yeah let's all pole dance around the South Pole!

So, we saw the much vaunted Captain Scott in operation last night, and it was not a pretty sight. People moan that Upson lacks leadership skills but Parker is no better. True he scored the winner in the final minute, but I had no sense of him captaining the team over the course of the 90 minutes.

In fact, if there was a leader out on the pitch, it was the much maligned James Tomkins, who defended well, carried the ball into midfield and, at one point in the second half, had a thing or two to say about the lack of movement and options ahead of him. For a boy suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome after the Wolves and Villa games, he looked remarkably in control.

Parker, on the other hand, like the proverbial 9 year old, was reduced to trying to win the game on his own, running up blind alleys with the ball time and time again. I don't recall him interacting with the rest of the team verbally over the course of the whole game. He was clearly "in the zone" and could not see five yards beyond it - certainly when it came to spotting a pass!

But then, when you hear him speak, it strikes you that Scotty is not university material. It's not just the London accent and the use of "done" instead of "did", there's something slow and faltering about his speech, like a guy with Special Needs.

Reading his comments on the upcoming game at Old Trafford is certainly not inspiring! Scotty admits to "dreading" the game and compares our challenge to that of Oxford at Upton Park! Funny, I had the idea that we are in the same division as the Mancs, not playing a team three divisions above us. Of course it is a challenging game, but to equate West Ham with Oxford is insulting.

But Scotty doesn't stop there! He goes on to say, "It's going to be a difficult season and that's the way it is." Great, so after 2 league games, Captain Scott has resigned himself to a relegation struggle if he stays at the club! With leadership like that, what chance do we stand? Apparently, half way through the interview, Mark Noble shuffled out of the ground, with the parting words, "I am just going outside and may be some time."

Go for Gera!

Apparently Zoltan Gera is unhappy at Fulham; if so, we should seize the opportunity and buy him! Gera offers exactly what we are looking for, an attacking midfielder with an eye for goal.

Gera has netted 76 club goals so far and a further 18 at full international level. He isn't Frank Lampard, but he is as close as we are going to get given what we can afford. At 31, he is not young, but then Parker is no spring chicken either!

In Grant's shoes, I would offload Parker and bring in Gera, who scores more and is a much more creative midfielder than Mr Scurry Scurry Scotty Parker. Team Gera up with Noble and Der Hammer in centre mid, with Barrera and Piquionne as the wide men, and I think we would have an effective and potentially high scoring midfield unit.

How much would he cost? Can't be more than we sold Diamanti for surely?

West Ham 1 Oxford 0 Why Parker SHOULD BE SOLD

Well, the morning after the near nightmare before, I am convinced that retaining Parker, should we receive an offer of over £10m, would be madness. Yes he scored the winner and yes, he also forced the Oxford keeper into a brilliant save, but those two contributions simply illustrate that Parker is a large part of the problem at the moment. Why? Because they were the only times he got into the box all night!

Watching him and Noble together against such weak opposition was very enlightening. For most of the night, you could throw a tea towel over the pair of them, never mind a blanket. They were both parked in the centre circle when we had the ball and the first move, after releasing possession, was invariably to move back or sideways, rather than break forward.

Time and again, especially in the first half, we worked good positions down the left of the Oxford defence, but when it came to putting in a cross, there was only Piquionne and Sears in the box for Faubert or Barerra to pick out. With five or six great Oxford lumps crowding the box, the chances of picking out a West Ham man were slight, especially given Sears' very poor movement in the box. A quality midfielder would be breaking into the box, offering a pull back, but Parker so rarely spots these opportunities.

During Five Live commentary of the Fulham draw with the Mancs, Graham Taylor talked about how Scholes "takes pictures" during a game, how he is aware of the whole pitch and is able to read the game, second guessing where openings will appear. That was a lovely term and explains what sets a quality midfielder apart from the humdrum midfield dynamos who offer huff and puff but little in the way genius.

Parker is definitely in the huff and puff category, which is why he has so few caps and why he failed to impress at Chelsea. Time and again last night he missed the opportunity to play killer passes because his field of vision is so restricted. On one occasion, Barerra was in acres of space down the right, but Parker dribbled the ball into a blind alley down the left, then released a five yard pass to Spector who was immediately closed on the touchline. On another occasion, Sears, for once, actually peeled away from his defender and was set to break into space beyond the Oxford defence, but Parker did his pirouette and passed the ball sideways instead.

How often does Parker play a forward pass with his first or even his second touch? Watch him! Yes he plays the five yard pass sideways or backwards first touch, but any pass forward usually follows a touch to control, a touch to steady, a touch to let him look up and see what is available and only then comes the pass. His first instinct is actually to run with the ball rather than pass it! The result is that the defence has time to mark up and any forward player, hoping to break the offside track, has to check his run and so, if the pass is played, is on his heels rather than breaking forward.

The failure of Parker to move into space in the opposition half is also responsible for the gap that appears between our forwards and the midfield. Last night, Sears kept coming back into that space because neither Parker nor Noble were willing to move forwards into it. We were playing Oxford for pity's sake, yet neither of our centre midfielders were willing to gamble and move into advanced positions. When Sears did come deep, somebody from midfield should have been breaking beyond him, but that doesn't happen when Parker is in the team - again because he doesn't read the game.

The two times that Parker broke into the box resulted in a goal and a brilliant save by the Oxford keeper. The trouble is, it took him until the 70th minute before he dared to advance that far forward! Had Lampard or Gerrard been playing in Parker's position last night, they would have scored goals for fun. The space for a player breaking forward behind the strikers was obvious all night, but nobody had the gumption or vision to exploit it.

THAT is why Parker and Noble can't play together. As my son said after 30 minutes, "They are the same player", they do the same things, in the same areas, and with Noble now rehearsing the Parker pirouette, they even have the same tricks.

Why sell Parker and not Noble? Well firstly, nobody is going to pay £10m for Noble are they? And secondly, Noble's range of passing is actually better. I don't have the stats, but I bet he played more completed passes of 10 yards or longer over the night. Yes he conceded possession at times, but at least he is trying to open up the opposition. Noble is also the better tackler and is more suited to anchoring midfield than Parker.

I have complained about Parker's poor goal scoring return for a long time now. His failure to get into the box for three quarters of a game against a Division 4 team shows exactly why he has such a poor goal return over his career. Yes he is a dynamo but the guy lacks vision and so will never be a truly top drawer player. When his legs go in two years time, he will be ordinary in the extreme. Sell him and invest the money in a player with the vision to get into the box and into goal scoring positions!

The Academy of Football 1 The Oxford Dons 0 - Embarrassing!

Well, roll back two years and we struggled to overcome a very poor Macclesfield side in extra time, needing a Bowyer goal after 70 mins to pull us level and avoid utter humiliation. That night Sears started alongside Ashton and Turds needed to turn to Cole to fire us through. Not much changes at Upton Park it seems, apart from the managers; although this time twice as many mugs paid to get in.

Before I go on, I would like to pay tribute to Oxford and their fans. At times it sounded like an Oxford home game as they took up the whole of the Trevor Brooking Lower! Well done - tremendous spirit which deserved better than a 1-0 defeat with a cruel goal in the final minute.

As for our shower of shit, well on the night that Diamanti was sold, we looked utterly bereft of guile, imagination and creative flair. Our corners were hopeless, our free kick delivery consisted of rolling the ball to a team mate standing five yards away, and our one direct free kick opportunity was an off target shot from Noble.

I KNOW that with Diamanti playing, we would have won this one comfortably, even with Barerra giving away the ball every time he touched it, Parker running up blind alleys all night and failing to spot any player on the team who was available for a pass but more than 10 yards away, Stanislas utterly and completely invisible (he was certainly never on the left side of midfield where he was selected to play!), Sears looking as dangerous as a fangless gnat and Piquionne showing exactly why he has scored so few goals over his career! McCarthy came on and got involved in a heated argument with an Oxford player over who was the fattest and Cole arrived too, slamming home a great finish which was unfortunately ruled offside. Apart from that, Cole was hopeless!

Stech was made man of the match which was a joke. He made one good save which was not on a par with a brilliant stop from the Oxford keeper (from a rare on target Parker shot). The response of the Oxford fans to that save by their keeper was excellent, immediately bursting into "Are you watching Robert Green?". The real man of the match was Tomkins. He was the one player who looked "different class" from the Oxford journeymen, the one player who looked in control, untroubled and who appeared always to have time. If only he could play like this against Premiership opposition.

Apart from Tomkins, Piquionne's movement was again impressive and he set up Parker's goal superbly - indeed it was his pull back that also led to Parker's shot and that superb save earlier. Mostly, however, his final ball and finishing were poor. Noble had a good game and showed a much greater range of passing than the hurrying, scurrying Scotty Parker. First half, Faubert looked good too, but he arrived on the pitch late after the break, two minutes into the second half, perhaps after finishing his half time Gallois, and appeared out of puff for the whole second 45. Perhaps he was on strike at the thought of extra time!

Spector also did well. I think he has found his level! Mind you, the poor sod did not deserve the boos that greeted the announcement of his name in the team immediately before kick off. I don't hold with booing players at the end of the game, to do it before the match has started is utterly deplorable. Some West Ham fans have really moved into the gutter!

Which leaves one player I have not mentioned. Ben Haim! My God, what a joke! The guy doesn't run, in fact he barely moves. Early on Faubert encouraged him to go up for a corner - we fielded a short team and only had Tomkins and Piquionne as real targets in the box - but the Israeli point blank refused. You would have thought the opposition half was the Gaza Strip, rendered out of bounds by a 20 foot high concrete wall! He didn't go forward for a single corner and his passing from the back was utterly dire. Can we send him back to Pompey before the loan deal runs out because, based on tonight, the guy is a complete waste of space! Stephen Hawking can move quicker without his bleedin wheelchair!

Bring on Man Utd and Chelsea!

Player ratings: Stech 6, Faubert 6, Ben Haim 3, Tomkins 8, Spector 6, Barerra 4, Noble 7, Parker 6, Stanislas 1, Sears 4, Piquionne 6 Subs McCarthy 3, Cole 4

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Diamond Geezer Sold

Okay, he was more Cubic Zirconia than a genuine 18 carat gem, but I am very disappointed to see Diamanti go, especially for the paltry sum of £2million. I never bought that "unfit" nonsense to explain his absence against Bolton so am not surprised to see him go.

In a way, the Bolton game at Upton Park epitomised Diamanti. He scored a brilliant goal when it was too late to make a significant difference and went AWOL every time Bolton attacked down his flank.

I remain convinced that we never saw the best of the Italian because he was always played out of position, parked out wide and assigned defensive responsibilities when we were without the ball. Hoddle couldn't defend, nor could Currie, nor could Brooking for that matter. Diamanti isn't that good, of course, but he was more creative than anybody now left at the club. Maybe there is no space in the modern game for craftsmen in midfield, maybe they all have to be artisans, but if that's the case, it's a crying shame.

Diamanti scored 7 goals last season in a struggling team. We will miss him and at £2million, Brescia have got an absolute snip!

West Ham Target Fathy & Gerrard

You what? Doesn't Avram know that Frank and Stevie can't play together in the same team? How many times has this been tried by England managers without success? It just will not work, end of!

The ambition in trying to sign the England captain and the free scoring Chelsea midfielder is, of course, highly commendable and speaks volumes for the ambition of the Davids. Who needs Parker with these two competing to play alongside Kovac and Der Hammer in West Ham's centre midfield? This is exactly what we need, competitive midfielders with a great eye for goal - and British to boot!

Hang on. What was that? It's not Stevie G, it's Tony G! Who does he play for then? Cardiff City? Well, to be precise, he sits on the Cardiff bench! Oh, not so exciting then. Never mind, the return of Fat Frank is...You what? It's not the former Hammer? Who is it then? An Egyptian? An Egyptian called Fathy? Is Mido really coming back?

It's beginning to look as if the Davids have decided to build a team fit for the Championship, based on the evidence of the first two games of the season! I hear we want an Orient striker too!

My Hammer Search For Players

With the search for players becoming increasingly desperate, Goldfinger and Sullimanji are considering placing as ad on the appropriately named myhammer.co.uk.

The site, which promises the UK's best Tradesmen and Handymen, seems ideal for the club's purposes. You post an ad, saying the job you need doing, and hey presto, a skilled workforce offers their services.

Avram could post:

Needed, a keeper who can catch crosses, defenders who can mark and defend, midfield players who can see more than three feet in front of them and forwards who can score goals.

You never know, it may work. One thing's for sure, it can't be any less successful than our present recruitment policy!

Rensing signing up in the air!

Brilliant. The deal to sign Michael Rensing is another, "Why bother?" move. I know our second choice keeper is injured but what's the point of bringing in a carbon copy of Green, a good shot stopper who is prone to gaffs and is weak in the air?

I know, why don't we sign a right back who can't tackle and is prone to giving the ball away, a left back who doesn't close down crosses and who is prone to injury, a centre forward who can't score and can't take penalties, a midfield player or two who play head down and can't spot a pass, a wide midfielder who can't cross, a centre half who has no positional sense and can't mark for his life and a second striker who lives in Macdonalds? Like that, we would have the perfect understudies for the entire first eleven!

Does that picture of Rensing remind you of anybody playing against the USA?

One point behind Liverpool!

With fans and pundits writing our premature obituary, it is worth noting that we are currently just one point behind Liverpool. Now times are hard up on Merseyside I know, but I don't see Woy's Weds going down, do you?

Mind you, I don't see them challenging for the title either! Chelsea already have a 5 point advantage after just two games. So, Joe Cole has joined Liverpool to win the title has he? Some hope!

Monday, 23 August 2010

The Empire Strikes Back - Obinna Kenobi? No thanks!

Excuse me for not getting excited about the idea of signing Victor Obinna. I can remember the last player we took on loan from Inter Milan and this one promises to be no better! His scoring record isn't great and he looks a tad on the McCarthy side of fighting fit! If he was any cop, Inter would keep him.

As CP3O says, "Sir, the possibility of successfully signing a player on loan from an Italian club is approximately 3,720 to 1". Hopefully Hansingloves Solovan doesn't reply, "Never tell me the odds"!

Tell Brescia to take a running jump!

I don't believe this! Brescia are in talks with Diamanti but they can't afford to buy him and they can't afford to pay his wages either! Have we become Manchester City overnight, able to fund players to perform for other clubs whilst meeting payments on our £100million debt?

This is a bloody nonsense. Diamanti was our second highest scorer last season and that was without Zola ever using him in his best position. If nothing else, he is a useful sub to replace Dyer when Mr Tesco Value Battery drains down after 70 minutes!

Grant clearly doesn't fancy Diamanti but I can't believe we are even considering this deal. Of course, our old friend Nani is behind the approach. Boy has the Brescia Godfather taken us to the bloody cleaners one way and another!

That Cole Penalty!

Why? Why did he take it? Yes he scored one last season, and yes he netted from the spot pre season but I can't have been alone in saying "He will miss it" as Cole put the ball on the spot.

It certainly wasn't planned. Avram expressed surprise that Cole took it and said "It happens".

What this shows is the complete lack of leadership on the pitch. Who is the captain? Where were Upson and Parker when they were needed? All they had to say was, "Come on Carlton, really? Leave it to somebody else eh?"

That miss cost us the game. Had we scored, I am confident we would have gone on and won. The penalty miss spoke volumes for the collective failing of the team. They cross the line and are rudderless. We need a captain. We need Hitz!

Duxbury Scores For West Ham At Last!

How many of us felt the need to follow the OS link entitled "Duxbury at the double"? Oh dear God, Brown is back, surely the Great Puppet Master hasn't slipped in through the back door too?

Happily, it isn't Scotty. The headline referred to 'Tracey Duxbury', Scotty's TV manifestation, who netted twice for the "West Ham Ladies" at the weekend against the hairy chested belles of Colchester.

As with the guys, the match turned on a missed penalty, although this time West Ham benefited from the failure to convert from 12 yards. Good to see the club winning a game, although it sort of supports my assessment that the team lacks balls!

Hang on a minute. Scott Tracey, Scott Duxbury, The Grand Puppet Master, Tracey Duxbury, female Managing Director...do I smell a rat here? Has anybody seen Scott Duxbury since his departure from Upton Park?

He hasn't gone, has he? Have you seen that picture of "Tracey"? She aint exactly a looker is she?

What was that Scotty? "I'm not Scotty, I'm Tracey, I'm a lady."

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Time for a rule change at corners evidenced by Blackburn v Birmingham and Stoke v Spurs

Watching MOTD last night, I think we need to see a rule change for corners. The PUgiLISt and Allardyce merchants are turning the game into a variant of rugby by deliberately crowding the keeper and turning the six yard box into a scrum. I think the disallowed Stoke goal against Spurs should have stood but only under the current rules, which allow Blackburn and Stoke to bring the game down to the level of a thugs' lottery.

The rule change is simple. No player other than the keeper should be allowed in the six yard box for any set piece - including long throws! To prevent a cavalry charge into the "keeper's zone" following the launching of the ball into the area, the rule should state that if any player plays the ball inside the six yard box (other than the keeper) prior to contact outside the protected area, then it should result in a free kick to the opposing side.

Suddenly hand balls on the line, as in the Uruguay v Ghana game, would become a thing of the past, as would the "scrambled goal" such as the Stoke disallowed effort yesterday. Attacking sides would actually gain as much as defending teams, because of the removal of defenders stationed on the line. The option to bend it in direct from a corner would still be there, but the keeper would not he hampered as he attempted to take the ball.

Football is meant to be a game of skill, not of brute force and thuggery. I am sick to death of seeing players utilised to block the keeper and think the game would be hugely improved by this simple change.

Where does Grant go now?

The natives are getting restless. Two games played, two thumpings, and there are serious calls for Grant's head already. Just wait for the clamour after we have lost to Man Utd and probably to Chelsea too. We all knew the computer had been unkind to us when that fixture list came out, but that will be quickly forgotten. To be fair to Zola, the Wolves game apart, he was not handed the easiest of starts either.

There are some who seem to have forgotten that they support West Ham. So intense was the argument over Zola that a section of our fan base seem to be wearing Zola colours rather than West Ham colours these days. How long before fans arrive at Upton Park wearing Italian national scarves to make a point to Goldfinger and Sullimanja? This body of fans seem delighted to see us losing; I'm getting the feeling that they would happily see West Ham relegated so they can say, "See Zola was better than Grant, he kept us up."

Let's get something straight at this point. We will not be relegated. Blackpool and Wigan are doomed, that means there is just one place up for grabs. We are better than Sunderland, West Brom and Newcastle certainly and at least as good as Stoke, Birmingham, Fulham, Blackburn and, despite yesterday, Bolton.

The trouble is, games are not won on paper and the theoretical strength of your team sheet. What is really worrying about this team is their brittleness, the way they snap and crumble when the going gets tough. We saw it under Zola and we are seeing it now under Grant.

Against Villa, it was panic stations from the first minute as Villa came at us in wave after wave of attack. Grant was watching a different game from me because he said Villa created three chances and scored twice. In the game I saw, Villa scored three and hit the woodwork four times. Grant won't get anywhere by treating us as mugs!

Against Bolton, we were in total control of the match for the bulk of the first half, but as soon as Upson put the Thugs ahead, the team turned into mulch, like a Digestive dunked too long in a cup of tea. There was no leadership on the pitch as players started chasing the game on their own and stopped playing like a team. It was like watching a bunch of kids! Bolton, meanwhile, simply went route one, bypassed our midfield and centre backs, and helped themselves to two more goals.

So what does Grant do? Well that Parker and Keane exchange is being mooted again and that would help but will not sort out our defence. Luke Young is a possibility but Faubert wasn't at fault yesterday, it was the middle and left of the defence that was the problem. Where the hell is Da Costa? I am convinced that he is Upson's best partner but he wasn't even on the bench yesterday! And why wasn't Diamanti there as the natural replacement for Dyer, who we knew wouldn't last 90 minutes? Are Sullimanja and Goldfinger trying to purge the club of Nani players perhaps? To hell with that, get Da Costa in the team now! Or maybe, keep him out for the game in Manchester; there's no point in destroying the kid's confidence is there?

The nonsense of prevarication in the transfer market has to end too. If we are going to sign players, let's sign them now, not next week. Yesterday's game was winnable and the three points sacrificed can never be recovered. One thing is for sure, hating Grant because he is not Zola is not going to help anybody! Grant has had two games and needs longer before we can judge him and assess him against the Italian. Gianfranco is ahead in the Grantazola Index after two games but I am certainly not eating humble pie over Zola yet; anyway, I don't think it would go with pasta!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

West Ham 1 Bolton 3 - Picture 2

This isn't so clear cut but, with some airbrushing, you could play "Spot the ball" with this one. Never mind Ilunga, he has just made a hash of a clearance, and ignore Reid who looks like he has just crapped the ball, focus instead on Green through the tangle of bodies.

Now Elmander is hitting this with his left foot towards the right hand side of the goal as he looks at it. But in what direction is Green moving? He is committed to HIS right, the opposite side of the goal to the direction of the shot!

West Ham 1 Bolton 3 - Two Pictures Show Why! Number One.

Look at that picture! Tell me, what exactly is Gabbidon doing standing watching as Elmander heads home? And why is Reid BEHIND both Davies and Elmander? Poor Faubert is the only player in a position to challenge for the ball but what hope does he stand of out jumping the two Bolton players? Both of our centre backs have their feet planted firmly on the ground whist the men they are supposed to be marking are airborne! It was obvious what Lee was going to do as soon as Ilunga failed to close him, so how have our two centre backs lost Davies and Elmander so comprehensively. Criminal defending!

West Ham 1 Bolton 3 - Four Months On, No Change!

At half time I wrote, "Gabbidon needs to put his chin on Davies' elbow early in the second half to get the bastard sent off". Instead Upson got his head on the thug's boot and he headed the ball into his own net as part of the bargain! Of course, Davies shouldn't have been on the pitch by that stage!

Elmander scores two - that says it all! Has Elmander scored two in his whole Bolton career up to now? After a hugely impressive first half, as I warned in the half time report, it all went "tits up" big time! The Bolton goals were so typical. Knock down for Davies to run on to, Green in no man's land, Upson heading past his own keeper. Simple Elmander header from a Lee cross from the Bolton right for the second. Scramble in the box following Davies challenging for the ball in the air, ball falls to Elmander, who buries the chance for the third. Three Bolton sucker punches and we are flat on the canvass and counted out!

Nobody was particularly at fault for any of the goals, it was just general ineptitude at the back. Gabbidon was done in the air for both the first and the second, Ilunga was too slow to close Lee for the second and had the last scrambled touch before Elmander scored the third. Upson, of course, has to take responsibility for heading home the opener. Green didn't make an error as such but how many saves did he make, and he still conceded three goals!

Second half, after that stupidly soft own goal, the team went to pieces. We lost cohesion, we lost shape, we lost heart. It didn't help that we were down to 10 men for a few minutes as they tried to patch up Upson. That meant Bolton kept the initiative and pushed us onto the back foot at the very time we needed to go at them.

All the positives were in the first half so if we want to read the good news, look at the half time report. Second half, Parker got himself booked for a stupid foul from behind and won a very soft penalty which Noble converted. If only he had stepped forward for the one in the first half, everything could have been different!

Bottom of the table and the next two Prem games are against Manchester United and Chelsea. It looks like it is going to be a long winter!

Player ratings: Green 6; Faubert 5, Gabbidon 4, Upson 5, Ilunga 4; Barerra 7, Noble 5, Parker 6, Dyer 6; Piquionne 7 Cole 3 Subs: McCarthy 4, Reid 4

Half Time West Ham 0 Jussi Jääskeläinen 0

Well that is the best we have played since...well since were 5-0 up against Burnley certainly. Some of our play has been nothing short of scintillating, with Barerra and Piquionne impressively to the fore.

What a pity Cole has been listening to his shrink and thinks he can take penalties. As soon as I saw him lining it up, I knew he would miss. What did he say yesterday, "Sometimes footballers think too much". His great goal against Spurs was, on his own admission, because he just turned and hit it. That long delay before he took the penalty was always going to be a problem for Mr Bag of Nerves in Front of Goal".

How many shots have we had on goal? More than in half a season under Zola, but we still haven't scored. Jääskeläinen is showing Green how it is done, sadly, and you have this horrible feeling that it will all go tits up second half. We really needed to turn our superiority into a lead before half time, especially as Dyer will depart before 70 minutes are up.

We are using the flanks superbly and Parker is pulling the midfield strings brilliantly. Piquionne's movement has been superb and his lay back for Dyer was pure class.

Bolton, meanwhile, should be down to 10 men. That Davies foul on Ilunga was a potential ankle breaker. Gabbidon needs to put his chin on Davies' elbow early in the second half to get the bastard sent off.

Lee and Petrov remain threats and Noble is still an accident waiting to happen based on that shocking free kick played square on the half way line that so nearly led to the Bolton opener. Thank God it was Elmander who was clean through!

Green on the brink of redemption or humiliation.

What must be running through Green's mind at the moment? He plays today and, if Upson wins the toss and has any sense, we will kick towards the Bolton fans to try to spare Green from ridicule for the first 45 minutes.

If Green has a blinder today, all sorts of ghosts will be buried. But if he drops a cross early doors or fumbles a shot, it threatens to be an agonising 90 minutes. Let's hope he has Velcro on the palms of his gloves and not butter! If Bolton kick off, expect a cross into the box inside the first 30 seconds!

West Ham v Bolton - Grant is going for it!

Barerra, Piquionne, Gabbidon and Dyer all start. Reid, Tomkins, Boa Morte and Kovac dropped. Who is at right back, Dyer or Faubert?

Zola's Reputation Takes Another Dent

Poor little Gianfrnaco, through all the downs and downs, he always had one feather in his cap, he was the man who remodelled Carlton Cole, he was the man who released the goal scoring beast from inside the gentle giant's wrapping. But now Carlton has told the world differently.

It wasn't Zola at all, it was Daniel Abrahams, a sports psychologist. Carlton tells us, "“I became involved with a sports psychologist, Daniel Abrahams, and that was the turning point in my career. Games are won and lost beforehand. I left no stone unturned."

“He said to me, ‘Be a monster on the pitch’. He gave me the freedom to go out there and express myself. For instance, I had never scored a goal like I did against Tottenham last season. I just turned around and hit the ball. Players think too much sometimes and it brings them down.”

I'm not sure if Abrahams also told him he could play defence splitting passes through the middle of his own defence!

I hope Carlton gets the reception he deserves today. Unlike Parker, he has shown 100% commitment to the club. At 27, he is talking about ending his career with West Ham. Parker, on the other hand has maintained a deathly silence. Maybe he will sign that contract on the pitch before today's game? That would give everybody a lift before such an important match, wouldn't it?

Remy has a dodgy heart!

Well that was a narrow escape! Hard to imagine, a Frenchman without the heart for a battle! Perhaps the whole French national team should undergo tests!

I well remember the Asa Hartford hole in the heart business, with Leeds pulling out of a transfer when the heart defect showed up on the medical. Hartford went on to have an illustrious career regardless, and was of course involved in that deliciously offside goal that robbed Revie's Leeds of the the League title.

Hartford lasted just three games with Clough at Forest. Apparently, after a disastrous Forest performance, Clough laid into the Scotsman verbally, telling him he was "A useless cnut". Hartford allegedly responded by spitting full in the face of Clough. He was dispatched to Everton the following week!

Maybe missing out on Remy is an indication that our luck has changed. Or maybe the heart problem can be put down to a day in Stoke. That's enough to give anybody a heart attack!

Friday, 20 August 2010

More Redknapp Mind Games over Tottenham's Pursuit of Parker

So 'Arry has stirred the pot again, this time by saying that he doesn't think anything will happen regarding Parker because the club do not want to sell him. Note how carefully he chose his words. West Ham don't want to sell Parker, but what about Parker himself? And 'Arry hasn't said that Tottenham don't want him, just that West Ham won't sell him.

Don't be surprised if this triggers a transfer request from Parker, especially if we fail to beat Bolton tomorrow and Tottenham overcome the Brats of Bern and make it through to the group stage of the Champions League. That contract, which Sullivan said would be signed on Tuesday, still hasn't been autographed by Parker. Should Parker demand to leave, Sullimanja would be in the clear of course. "I did my best but blah, blah, blah"

Time will tell but 'Arry has gently nudged the sleeping dog rather than leave it to lie.

Bolton - A Must Win Game! Drop Green and Tomkins.

O dear God, second game in and, because of the tough start to the season, tomorrow's game against the Dirtiest of the Northern Illegitimates has already assumed the mantle of a must win game. Anything less than 3 points from this one and we may well be rock bottom through September.

Avram has surely learnt a few lessons from Saturday. Coyle arrives, meanwhile, knowing how he and Bolton did a number on us at the Boleyn last season. Both managers will have the frailties of both Green and Tomkins at the front of their thoughts as a result.

Bolton are, of course, Green's bogey team. He had a mare at the Reebok last season and at the Boleyn against Bolton's thugs the season before. He wasn't wonderful against them at Upton Park last season either, although Spector and Tomkins were most at fault for the three goals we shipped. Mind you, the decision of Upson to leave Tomkins to mark Davies means that he was not above blame.

To win, we have to push Bolton on the back foot. None of this 5-5-1 nonsense, with a negative midfield. Let's see 4-4-2, with Piquionne or Diamanti operating just behind Cole, aka Di Michele. Tomkins has to go surely. Da Costa is my pick to handle Davies, although Ben Haim's experience may be preferred, especially as there is no great pace in the Bolton front line. I fancy Ilunga to handle Lee better than Spector managed, but I wouldn't be hugely surprised to see the American return at right back, so poor was Reid at Villa.

My team would read:

Stech: Reid, Da Costa, Upson, Ilunga; Faubert, Noble, Parker, Barerra, Diamanti, Cole.

Stech is a risk I know, but Green was a bag of nerves against Villa and will be even worse as he faces all his worst nightmares at once. Coyle will want Grant to pick him, so Avram shouldn't oblige.

Can we win? Of course we can! Will we win? Recent results suggest not!

Upson Anybody?

Is this an old story recycled or has Goldfinger really come out and tried to encourage offers for Upson again?

If it wasn't our club, it would be hilarious. At the beginning of the summer, the porn merchants declared a clear out and, so far, not a single plastic sausage has sold. That's the bugger of all this TV coverage I suppose - clubs can see what they are buying rather than trust to the word of an agent!

You wouldn't have thought Goldfinger was a successful business man listening to him. We would sell if somebody bid "six or seven million" apparently. Well, after hearing that, who is going to bid £7million exactly?

Remember those heady days when £20m was being talked about for Cole, £17m for Behrami, £12m for Upson and £10m for Green? Seems a long time ago now.

So Upson's contract is running down; so what? Even if he was available on a Bosman, would anybody be rushing to sign him? His best days are behind him. In fact, he's the sort of player who traditionally turns up at West Ham at this stage in his career so, we must be odds on to sign him next June anyway!

By the way, Sullivan was "confident" Parker would sign that contract on Tuesday of this week. Goldfinger is now just "hopeful". Interesting shift in the language there methinks.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Joe Cole's Dream Start at Liverpool!

Wonderful stuff! Sent off on his debut and misses a penalty tonight. Serves the mercenary little runt right! Oh and he's been given a driving ban too. But that's irrelevant. Being a Cockney in Liverpool, he won't have any wheels on his car anyway!