Thursday, 28 February 2013

Allardyce or Di Canio?

(Article submitted by Steve Heighton)
The big question BFS v PDC . The holder v the pretender. The experience v the new boy . The drab v the flair and so I could continue but I won't . The important thing here is to forget the press and the clamor of isolated fans with hero worship as their main argument rather than any football logic. The main block of true supporters know two things . Sam has so far got the points on the board playing in his style and secondly he makes some shocking decisions that make no sense and he speaks nonsense in his after match statements be it on tv, radio or the club website. 

So point one. Well the truth is we have the points on the board. For whatever reason we have them. At this stage perhaps not enough of them but we are still in a better place than we might have expected  and certainly better than those below us. The general rule of thumb is you must have 3 worse teams than you below you . So if QPR, Reading and Villa are worse than us can they, with Wigan and the Toon , still be worse than us by seven points at the seasons end. I don't trust Reading or Wigan to give up and Villa may squirm out of it although I hope not . This puts us in a relegation position if we don't get more points. We are the typical Jekyl and Hyde and this is solely down to Sam. At home we force the game and pick a team with strike power ( obviously exempting Nancy Cole and his two whole goals) and look good. We play it about better and at a higher tempo until the opposition buckle. A good trend to have and so far its worked. However away from home we are abysmal and again this is down to the manager.

Take Villa , a poor team of kids ready for taking . We could have taken the game to them with Jarvis and Cole flanking Carroll and been brave, and then if we had lost you do it with some pride, but we would more than likely have won. Instead of this Sam chickened out and played for a draw and as expected we got turned over. Not only that, we were shocking . We could hardly pass a ball, it was worse than the lower leagues. So my conclusion of Sam is he is lucky so far and sooner or later will get found out. The Dubai jolly shows what he is about . Sun and frolics rather than hard work at home . 

So why don't I want PDC then ? Well I might at some point and that may be in May . He is pssionate and fiery. None of the players even understand what that means these days. We have really poor players at the moment and a rollicking from Paolo will be water of a duck's back. What is worse, the current squad has no flair. Even Joe is not enough. Matt Jarvis could excite but have we seen it consistently yet ? No. The rest of the squad are just workers and this is just not a Paolo squad. If Sam goes, so will Nolan and Carroll . Carlton and the Piq are useless and Chamakh is a loanee. As Di Canio is a positive attack minded person, this is bad news . The defence at times is steady but no more than that  and again the middle is screaming out for a player with an eye for a pass. Its all toil but no flair. This will ruin Di Canio and will send us on a downward spiral, that is assuming we haven't already got relegated. 

So for me its down to the rest of the season. Whether we like it or not, if we can stay in the Prem, we are happy with that, even with crap football, in which case Sam has earned (and some!) his right to stay .In a second Premier season he may even get it right!  If we go down, then take Di Canio and let's go on a journey or more likely rollercoaster of a ride. At least it will be fun! And so the remainder of the season is crucial for all of us, from Sam down to the tea lady, with a passing reference to us the supporters.

It's never dull being West Ham!!

Monday, 25 February 2013

West Ham 2 Tottenham 3 - Narrowly Mullered!

Well if we are honest, Tottenham could have scored six in that second half. Jussi was truly inspired and kept Spurs out time and time again as Tottenham created chance after chance from corners and we chased shadows as Bale went into overdrive. Allardyce did a great job of motivating Arsenal when he said they couldn't cope without Van Persie and he repeated the trick for this one when claiming Spurs were over reliant on Bale. Wouldn't we just love to have a player like him to be overly reliant on?

Until we went ahead we were in the game, but once Taylor missed his chance when clean through, we dropped far too deep and it was only a matter of time before the valiant Jussi was beaten. To be fair, the equaliser was a scrambled affair, but it came from a free kick ridiculously conceded by the utterly inept Pogatetz. Tottenham's third, however, was sheer class: Bale is now the finished article, truly brilliant.

Allardyce must take his share of the blame for the defeat: The decision to send on Pogatetz was absurd. The guy is shit. End of. He should never wear the shirt again, but what options do we have? What in God's name is wrong with Demel? Why can he only last 70 minutes in a game? If he isn't fit, why did we extend his contract? He's had two weeks off for pity's sake but still he is withdrawn with a quarter of the game to play!

Our second goal was wonderful, great movement and finish from Cole and a delicious ball from O;Brien to set him up. But that apart, and the Taylor miss we weren't really in the contest in the second half.

So we sit six points above the drop, we are shipping goals alarmingly and we are in a nightmare run. Relegation isn't just a threat, it's becoming a probability.

Player ratings: Jussi 9 (could he have saved the second?); Demel 5, Collins 5, Reid 5, O'Brien 7; O'Neil 5, Nolan 5, Diame 6, Jarvis 6 Cole 7, Carroll 6 Subs: Taylor 5, Pogatetz 1, Collison not on long enough to rate.

Half Time: West Ham 1 Tottenham 1 - Rare Upton Park Assist For Parker!

Well it could have been worse! Allardyce opened his big gob pre match to announce that Tottenham are overly dependent on Bale, so that guaranteed the Welsh Ronaldo would score. And sure enough he did, courtesy of a strange intervention from Demel which sent the ball across his own box right to Bale's feet. But, and I'm whispering this, thus far, Tottenham haven't threatened that much, the goal apart - except for a superb save from Jussi to keep out a Caulker header.

When we have the ball, we have stretched Spurs. The movement of Joe Cole and Jarvis has posed problems for a none too impressive Tottenham back four, and Carroll is a constant thorn in the side. Mind you, for all the space we have found in the Tottenham half, we haven't created that much. And but for Parker's classic feet off the ground scything foul on Carroll in the box, we would be behind. Parker a West Ham legend? He will be if we get a result from this one! Classic Scotty!

The worry is that we will start the second half as we did against Arsenal. Bale and Lennon can skin Demel and O'Brien at will so as the game gets stretched, we could find ourselves cruelly exposed. Fingers crossed. I would take a point at this stage!

Depressing Team Screams Allardyce Conservatism

Give Osborne control of the economy and the nation loses its triple A rating; let Allardyce run your club and austerity bites deeper and deeper when in comes to attacking intentions.

Tonight's team makes depressing reading. No Noble - is he injured? O'Neil plays ahead of Collison. Tomkins doesn't even make the bench. Demel starts so Bale will be licking his lips!

Where's Vaz Te? Injured or jettisoned? The OS tells us nothing!

Does this team inspire?

Demel, Collins, Reid, O'Brien
Diame, Nolan
Cole                                       Jarvis
I would love to be proved wrong but it looks the wrong team to me. Is Paulista still at the club?

Sliding Closer to Catastrophe

When I warned a few weeks back that we still faced a battle to stay up, the optimists scoffed. We were sitting comfortably in mid table. Reading had started winning but wouldn't keep it up. Villa were useless. QPR couldn't hope to catch us. Wigan were doomed.

Well it's looking very different now. The gap is down to six points. Reading will end up with 36 points at least. Wigan have begun their annual Great escape. Allardyce played Villa back into form and they looked decent at Arsenal.

Norwich's victory at the weekend was bad news too and whilst Newcastle's win meant Southampton lost, I would have much preferred a draw and two points lost to both teams.

Tonight's game takes on an ominous significance. Lose it, and we will be up to our shins in shit. Where is our next win coming from? Wigan at home? Remember the Capital One Fan Cup? Reading at home? Do you know our record against Reading? Southampton away? Bloody unlikely! And so it goes on.

These are dangerous times. Allardyce may have lost the plot. Please God Bale has a quiet night and we pull off an epic victory, otherwise...well remember what happened to Sheffield United during our Great Escape season?

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Doris in tears as West Ham trial Bolton tea lady

With news that Ricardo Gardner may be about to join the Bolton émigrés at Upton Park, 88 year old tea lady Doris Garnett was found in floods of tears yesterday morning after discovering that Allardyce is thinking of bringing in Nora Bates from Bolton as her replacement.

Husband Reg, 93, a life long West Ham fan, told reporters: "Doris was inconsolable went she got home yesterday afternoon. She arrived at work to find a strange woman with a strange urn next to her kettle and teapot. The manager, Mr Allardyce, told her that there was to be some sort of "Tea off" where he was going to assess how many cups of tea each could brew and pour in a fifteen minute period."

Reg continued: "Doris was distraught. Tea is a labour of love for her, it isn't about how many cups you can pour to the minute. Doris has made tea at West Ham for them all. Bobby Moore, Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst, Trevor Brooking, Billy Bonds. You name them, they've drunk Doris's tea."

He added: "There was a bit of bother when the foreign players started to arrive demanding coffee but Doris soon stopped all that nonsense, telling them it was tea or nothing. Even Di Canio gave in eventually but only after spitting his first cup into Doris's face. The manager, Mr Redknapp, made him apologise and slipped Doris a tax free bonus to compensate."

It hasn't all been a bed of roses as Reg explained: "There was that time when Mr Pardew took a bit of a shine to her and that fair turned Doris's head for a few days, but every woman has her little fling, and she got over it quickly enough."

Manager Allardyce denied that any final decision had been made but explained: "The tea making game has moved on. Where exactly has the Doris Way ever got the club? Relegation. My statistics show that using an urn and pouring tea directly into each cup up to the brim is much more effective than this nonsense of pouring in a bit, moving to the next cup, pouring in a bit, then moving to the next cup, pouring in a bit, then back to the first cup and pouring in a bit more."

A source close to Allardyce said: "West Ham fans might not like the idea but times change. Bobby Moore died twenty years ago. This is Sam's club now, not his."

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Should Allardyce Start Sweating Following Di Canio's Resignation From Swindon

Well he lasted 12 months longer than I predicted, but Di Canio has walked away from the Swindon job, exactly as I said he would do. There's no denying that, based on results, he has done a fabulous job, but in terms of high maintenance, he is Joan Collins, Liza Minnelli and Jordan rolled into one. Talk about flouncing in and flouncing out again, in a little over 18 months, the Italian has thrown more hissy fits than a whole school of adolescent girls.

So, where will the Italian end up - the eventual asylum excepted. Many West Ham fans will start banging the Paolo drum. Let's face it, the guy is revered at Upton Park and his infamous Nazi salute to the Lazio Ultras won't represent a problem to the moronic faction that shame the club every time we play Spurs.

The timing is bad for the Di Canio Wannabe Hammers, because Sullivan and Gold are not going to gamble on the Italian as we move into the death throes of the season. Much better trust to safe hands will be the prevailing wisdom. But if we escape the drop on the final day, or worse still go down, then Paolo will be very much in the frame unless somebody has nabbed him first. Leeds United perhaps?

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Sheffield United Prove There Is A God!

So West Ham continue to underwrite Shafting United's flounderings in the old Division Three! With the final stage payment of the Tevez compensation due this year, the Blunted Blades sit in fifth place in the table, adrift of the mighty Bournemouth, Doncaster, Tranmere and Swindon, and level on points with Brentford and Yeovil Town!

All that money, and what good has it done them? Some might say that it just goes to show that shit finds its level. Colchester travel to Sheffield United in the next round of fixtures and it would be bloody marvellous if Freddie Sears were to bag a shock winner.

Warnock apart, we had no gripe with Sheffield United before, but now long may they suffer!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

West Ham can't afford to sack Big Sam

Allardyce is no doubt smiling at reports that Poyet might succeed him at Upton Park. Apart from the fact that the Uruguayan has achieved nothing as a manager to date, Doctor Evil might point to an aggregate score of 7-0 in head to head games between them last season. West Ham fans might not like Allardyce's style of football, but his teams don't ship six goals in a game too often! Hopefully those days are in the past, but with Poyet in charge, I wouldn't be so sure.

As Newcastle, Bolton and Blackburn have all discovered, there's only one thing worse than keeping Allardyce as a manager, and that's showing him the door. The trouble is, he assembles a squad that can only play one way, so if you sack him, you have to build an entirely new squad.

We already face a big enough problem replacing Carroll next season. A decent replacement will cost £10m+ and that's before we attempt to sign alternatives. Carlton's days are numbered and Chamakh isn't good enough, so by the time we have signed three forwards, the coffers will have been emptied of close to £20m.

Then there's the need for a left back, a right back, a centre back, two midfielders and at least one keeper if you change the manager. That's one hell of a bill!

Allardyce, on the other hand, will mix and mend, signing yard dogs and fitting them into a system that will bruise its ways to points. I hate it, you hate it, every West Ham fan with a sense of heritage hates it, but we hate the Championship too!

So before we jump at Poyet or Di Canio, we need to understand that relegation will almost certainly follow without a massive investment in the squad. You sup with the Devil with a long spoon for a reason. Unfortunately, Gold and Sullivan ushered Satan through the door and greeted him with open arms.

Bolton went down after Allardyce and Megson (Satan's footballing twin!) left. Newcastle went down after Allardyce left. And Blackburn went down after Allardyce left too. There's a pattern for a reason!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Allardyce's Negativity Plunges West Ham Back Into Danger

Dear God, has this man got any balls? Apparently, we set up in the first half to see what Aston Villa had to offer, and once we established not much, only then did we go out to try to win the game!

What a confession from Allardyce. You are playing against a team that ships goals like the Titanic shipped water after rubbing shoulders with that iceberg, and you play a containment game! Look at the bloody team! Taylor selected ahead of Jarvis and Paulista and the Brazilian not even on the bench. Taylor did pretty well as a left back against Swansea, a far better team than Villa, and offered an additional attacking threat. But Pogatetz was brought in instead and Taylor moved up into midfield to offer additional defensive screening.

Allardyce complained afterwards that anybody watching the game would have to admit that we deserved to take something from it. Well I didn't watch the game as I was up in the mountains enjoying a winter wonderland weekend, but I don't care: if you hand the initiative to a team terrified of its own shadow, you deserve absolutely nothing from the game.

This is the same old problem that dogged us all last season. Allardyce, for all his massive ego, has an inferiority complex and doesn't understand that sometimes, just sometimes, you should set up to win a game, even if it is away from home. I called for Paulista's inclusion earlier in the week and Allardyce talked after the game of how the Villa keeper had to perform heroics at the death to hold us at bay. Well maybe, just maybe, if we had tried to score from the first minute rather than from the forty sixth minute, we might have helped ourselves to a few goals, like every other team playing against Villa has done!

Please tell me, why is Paulista at the club? With seven subs allowed on the bench, why isn't he there as a surprise package at least?

Three points from this game and we would have been in the clear. Now, with difficult fixtures to follow, we could be sucked back in to the mire. And why? Because Allardyce is a coward!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

All Hail Frank Lampard For Cracking The Brazil Nut

The guy just can't stop scoring! Ever since Chelsea indicated that they no longer wanted him, Lampard has scored goal after brilliant goal, and with his winner last night, he created just another little bit of history.

Sadly Fat Frank, as he is unaffectionately known, will never receive the credit he deserves down West Ham way, but after Moore and Peters, he surely has to be the best player the club has ever produced.

So many honours, so many goals - the guy truly is a phenomenon. Heading for the USA at the end of the season? Woy will hope not! I would love to see him back in a West Ham shirt, but sadly that will never happen.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Allardyce Hit Where It Hurts

Eight grand, I ask you! Eight thousand for calling the ref a coward and coming as close as a manager dare of suggesting that the bastard in black was a cheat.

I bet the guy, who pocketed a million pound bonus for securing promotion last season and stands to double that if we stay up, is destined for a sleepless night tonight.

How will he ever pay a fine of  that magnitude? Some might even hope he walks away from the game in disgust!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Mark Noble - Fourth Highest Successful Tackle Rate In Prem!

Another embarrassing stat for Noble's critics. Not only does he complete more passes than any other West Ham player, not only does he complete more tackles than any other West ham player, not only does he average more miles per game than any other West Ham player, not only does he sit fourth in the Premiership table for average miles covered in a game...but he also completes more tackles per game than all but three players in the Prem.

Thus far, Noble has completed 88 tackles at an average of 3.83 per game, which sits him behind only Sidwell, Zabaletta and Schneiderlain. So, above Sandro, above Diame, above Arteta, above Carrick...

Not bad for a useless yard dog!

By the way, anybody know where Stani is hiding after Noble's assist on Saturday?

Monday, 4 February 2013

Paulista Must Start At Aston Villa

Two games played and two goals scored. OK, it is only for the Academy team but so what? This guy has a record of scoring and his tail is up. Our away record is abysmal so previous formations and personnel have not worked. It's time for something different.

Allardyce has to abandon his negative mentality at Villa Park. Going forward, this Villa team is half decent, with Benteke and Ivebonkedawhore a more than lively pairing, but put them on the back foot, and they are dreadful.

We should get at them, attack them, lacerate them, destroy their confidence from the off. Take the lead and we will win, fall behind and Villa's confidence will surge.

Villa's game at Everton showed all their strengths and all their weaknesses too and the way they folded when under pressure in the final third of the game should decide Allardyce's tactics for him. They won't be able to handle Carroll if we exploit his strengths in the right way, they will lose Nolan every time he gets into the box, and JC and Paulista have the potential to terrify them.

Win at Villa and we are safe. Lose and there's still work to be done. Let's attack and back ourselves to come out as the better team!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Il Duce Di Canio Throws Toys Out Of Swindon Pram

So poor old Paolo is upset because the administrator, on behalf of the new owners of Swindon Town, sold a player to Bournemouth without getting the OK from Il Duce first which is, according to the combustible Italian, in breach of his contract.

This has echoes of Alan Turds Curbishley who walked out on West Ham after the sale of McCartney for over £6m and successfully sued the club for constructive dismissal afterwards. The fact that the sale of Linda for that figure must represent one of the most astute pieces of transfer business ever done by the club didn't come in to the calculations seemingly.

Never mind that Turds paid £7m for Dyer, £2m for Ljungberg, £2m for Callum Downpipe, £6m for Boa-Morte...

Di Canio seems to have made his peace for now. But his spats are increasing in frequency and it is surely only a matter of time before he pushes his chairman to the floor!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

West Ham Ram Warnock's Comments Down His Throat

Poor old Stephen Warnock. He claims he joined Leeds United because they are a bigger club than West Ham, but whilst we bullied Wales' first team into submission, Warnock Junior's new employers slumped to defeat against second string Welsh team, Cardiff City.

Poor Warnock Junior must be scratching his head in bemusement. Whilst West Ham attracted a full house of over 34,000, despite a run of disappointing results, the 'mighty' Leeds United were watched by just 19,260 despite their epic victory over Spurs last week and a game against the leaders of the Championship.

Warnock Junior expected Leeds to charge towards the Prem whilst West Ham slumped towards the Championship, apparently. Well Leeds are now 12 points shy of an automatic promotion place, ten points behind fifth place and six points adrift of play off qualifying sixth place; West Ham, meanwhile, are nine points clear of the team third from bottom in the Prem and sit a place higher in the top division than Leeds occupy in the Championship.

Decision making has never been one of Stephen Warnock's strong points of course - as Leeds fans will discover when he eventually makes it off the bench to play for a club owned by an Arab bank that counts its reserves in camels and sand rather than gold or oil.

And talking camels, Warnock Junior and Warnock Senior probably both have the hump tonight.


In the light of the comments below, if any west Ham fans want to know just how dense some of our northern brethren are, follow this link and read the comments! Some are pure gold!

Match report for Swansea game here:

West Ham 1 Swansea 0 - A HUGE 3 points!

West Ham's Andy Carroll scores
Bloody hell, we needed that. Swansea were unbeaten in seven and had beaten Chelsea over two legs without conceding anything more than a ball boy, so certainly were no soft touches, but anything less than a win today would have seen us knee deep in the relegation mire. Now, it barely touches our ankles thanks to Everton's and Wigan's late equalisers and the 0-0 draw between QPR and  Norwich. Villa next week is huge, but QPR are as good as gone and Norwich still don't know where their next win is going to come from so we can all breath a little easier.

Of course, those two home grown yard dogs, Noble and Tomkins, will receive no credit from their critics, but it was a Noble corner - for some reason he has displaced Joe Cole and Taylor on set piece duty again - that set up Carroll for a thumping header whilst Tomkins was a commanding figure at the back, with Jussi rarely called into action.

In truth, we should have won by a more comfortable margin. Carroll had one effort saved by Tremmell's legs and put another great chance over. Diame also made a hash of two reasonable opportunities, whilst Nolan forced two good saves in the first half and Vaz Te called the German into action either side of the break. Meanwhile a wicked Joe Cole cross from the left should have been buried but Vaz Te failed to connect.

At the other end Jussi made a couple of half decent saves but even with Taylor as a makeshift left back, the defence coped well. Swansea passed and passed and passed but too often forgot to penetrate the box, and Allardyce will love the possession to shots count after this one! Vindication he will claim! And give him his due, we always looked the more likely to score and win.

There are still concerns looking forward. Carroll was excellent today but Jarvis was again desperately disappointing and all but the blinkered will see why Arsenal and Spurs decided not to stump up for Diame. Yes he is a bull but his ball control and vision are not really top drawer, and his finishing is woeful.

Those on Noble watch might have noticed how many passes he completed, that he assisted the winning goal, and that he put in a fantastic block in the first half to prevent a Pablo cross that would almost certainly have led to a Swansea opening goal. Oh, and who was that running the ball clear deep into injury time, only to be fouled by a desperate Chico? No surely not that carthorse Mark Noble?

Player ratings: Jussi 6; O'Brien 7, Tomkins 7, Reid 7, Taylor 5; Noble 7 Diame 6; Jarvis 3, Nolan 7, Vax Te 6; Carroll 9 Subs: Cole 6, O'Neil 5, Pogatetz (Didn't touch the ball!)

Half Time West Ham 0 Swansea 0 - Whilst Villa and Wigan are Winning!

Look at the possession count and we are second best, look at the shot count and we are unlucky not to be winning. Nolan could have scored twice, forcing a good save on both occasions, and Vaz Te had a rasping shot from outside the box turned around the post, but as against Arsenal, we are being passed off the park at the moment, and, as with Arsenal , we are likely to be undone down the flanks. Pablo is torturing Taylor in the same way as Warnock was tormenting O'Brien. The order will go out at half time to isolate the Spaniard one on one against Taylor as often as possible, and sooner or later a cross will be buried.

Strangely, given the 4-3-3 formation, 67% of our attacks are straight down the middle of the pitch. Both Jarvis and Vaz Te have struggled to get in the game and, in consequence, Carroll is receiving poor service. And he aint happy, as he constant moaning verifies.

Our best two chances have fallen to Nolan, one from an O'Brien cross, and the other a lovely flick on by Taylor. But we haven't had enough of the ball to put Swansea under any sustained pressure.

This is certainly a must not lose game and is arguably a must win game. Cole for Vaz Te is the obvious change with a view to making something happen.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Sleepwalking Towards Relegation

Hush now. Be very quiet. David Gold has been unwell and needs a nap. David Sullivan is having a kip too. And Big Sam and his squad were up early after that Arsenal tonking and so are having forty winks. Transfer window? Ease it gently shut, there's a dear, don't want anybody to get a chill or to hear the sound of emergency sirens do we? There, that's better.

But who is this? Princess Brady dressed as Goldilocks? This full back is too expensive. And this full back is too expensive too. But this full back is just right. Cheap as chips. But hang on, he wants to join Leeds instead!

OK. This full back is too expensive. This full back is too expensive too. But this one is just right. Cheap as chips. But hang on, the rat doesn't want to come to England.

But this full back is just right! Cheap and happy to sign on loan. He's crap. But what does that matter? Our full backs have been crap for years!

What about a forward?

Hush! keep your voice down, you might wake somebody up! A forward? We have Carlton and Carroll and Chamahk. The three C's! And what other word starts with C? "Class?", asks Princess Goldilocks twisting her hair around her fingers in a very winning way.

And pace?

Shusshhhhh. Pace? What do you have to keep sounding off for? Don't you know the importance of beauty sleep? If you really feel you have something to say, whisper it very quietly.

Erm, ok,