Sunday, 4 December 2016

The Player Who Should be Top of Our January Transfer List - and he wants to PLAY for West Ham!

Still ridiculous!
For many Hammers fans the image of James Tomkins playing in Crystal Palace colours is simply repulsive. Even worse, his fine form for the Eagles since his shock Summer move from his boyhood club has only served to further emphasise how poorly West Ham did in the Summer transfer lottery.

At the core of West Ham's problems is the lack of stability in defence. What we would give for a defender who can play in the centre or at right back and who has positional sense and tackling as his main attributes. Tonks may not be so great at flying down the wing but he proved last year that he brings stability and cohesion to the defence. His versatility would also allow for consistency in defensive personnel.

Having now established himself at the heart of the Palace defence, Tonks is now weighing in with goals - three already this season which, as Hammers fans know, is more than our six strikers have managed all season!

Tomkins allegedly departed because the club couldn't guarantee him a starting spot - ironically, our injury problems have meant that he would have played in the vast majority of our games to date! At £10 million the club imagined they were getting a decent deal. Now we are constantly rumoured to be in the market for another centre back - at what price one wonders?

And then there's the identity issue - letting one of our dyed in the wool Hammers leave was truly bonkers as we faced an identity-testing move to a new stadium. Superslav says we lack dedication and intensity - hardly attributes that Tomkins could ever be accused of lacking.

While some might suggest that Tomkins would be unlikely to move back so soon, here's one Hammer who suspects that it's part of his long-term plan and with all the nonsense these days with agent, we all know that a player who wants to leave will depart no matter what their contract says.

Sadly, Hammers fans are likely to embrace that reality in the near future in respect of Mr Payet.

So, it's time to beak the news to Palace that we want our boomerang back, and soon!



To Whom is Bilic Directing Training Ground Criticism?

After another humiliating trouncing to add to the midweek thumping at Manchester United, Hammers fans are becoming increasingly disgruntled with our porous defence. Yesterday's showing was revealing example of what lies at the heart of our woes.

Apart from Angelo Ogbonna, it would be hard to criticise any of Reid, Masuaku or Arbeloa. Reid repeatedly saved our bacon with last ditch tackles, Masuaku has a hard act to follow in Cressy but was tenacious in the tackle and looked confident on the ball, while for a player of his age with so little game time this season, Alvaro Arbeloa managed admirably with the endless flow of traffic down the right wing.

The real problem this season is that our defence has lacked stability - both in personnel and formation. We have certainly been unlucky with injuries, but the chopping and changing at right back has been painful to take in. It has been hard to watch Michail Antonio's upbeat demeanour being eroded by repeatedly finding himself played out of position in a role he clearly isn't suited to.

There can be no doubt that defensive stability is developed on the training ground and Bilic is simply getting to the crux of the matter before the posse inevitably realise that something is wrong. In his post match interview, Bilic alluded to the source of our difficulties saying "Somewhere down the line we lost the intensity in training". What was less clear is who he was referring to - players, his coaching staff or himself?

SuperSlav is a hands on coach - unlike some of the top managers who engage only minimally with the squad in the day to day grind. He also brings with him an experienced team of assistants in assistant manager Nikola Jurcevic, first team coach Edin Terzic and performance coach Miljenko Rak. Are these the focus of Bilic's concerns?

In addition, there is the Julian Dicks factor. A club legend, his recruitment by Bilic soon after his arrival was a masterstroke that helped to forge a bond between the fans and the new club set up. Dicksie is famed for his high energy and direct approach to football but one wonders what he makes of our defensive merry go round?  

One senses that for all his sophistication, Superslav is an emotional man who was hurting big time after the game. He captured the thoughts of the fans but may have inadvertently revealed that he believes a fundamental shake up is needed in our coaching set up.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Did George Weah Recommend Simone Zaza?

Uncannily similar running off the ball

Deep into the second half of Wednesday night's encounter with Man United there was a moment of fantastic realisation for Hammers fans . With SuperSlav's boys looking for a way back into the game, Italian hit man Simone Zaza was sent on to save the day.

Within moments he managed an amazingly awful effort on goal that actually went out for a throw in! Such was the incredible shitness of the shot that the gathered DergHammers, who had previously been silently harbouring thoughts of a Jim Jones style group suicide, burst into laughter that then progressed to full applause and a round of celebratory bevvies. Comedy at it's football finest!

All of which begs the question - how did we get him? Is Zaza really an Italian international? It isn't only his lack of prowess in front of goal that raises concern, but his general running off the ball and ability to compete is similarly unimpressive.

The last time we witnessed such hilarity was surely the Ali Dia saga. as the story goes, Southampton manager Graeme Souness signed Dia on the strength of a telephone call from somebody purporting to be the then World player of the year George Weah. Dia was spectacularly inept such that he managed to play once for the Saints coming on as a substitute, prancing around cluelessly and then being substituted himself!

However, unlike Zaza, Dia was given his marching order two weeks after his arrival and Southampton definitely did not pay anybody £25 million for his services.

Arsenal next. Hmmmm. We knew this series of fixtures would be tough. Dig in. There will be better timers ahead for sure.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Sak-Blow: Hammy Injury for Hammers Hero

David Gold has revealed that Diafra Sakho's problem is a hamstring injury and the prognosis will not be clear until a scan tomorrow. Sakho's principal injury problem over the past six months has been to his back but has also previously struggled with thigh and groin injuries.

After his excellent performance today - where he scored one and had another headed effort just glide over the bar, Sakho deserves a bit of luck. Let's hope his injury is just a grade 1 in severity as West ham really need his abrasive and direct style.

Andy Carroll continues to edge his way back and may be available for the bench on Wednesday night but Ashley Fletcher looks set to lead the line against his former club. It seems that Simone Zaza is now truly out of the frame as he is close to a mandatory buy out if he reached 14 appearances.


Jon Moss - Where have you been all of our lives?

Oops! Sorry Jon
Bet you can't wait to have another go at Man United on Wednesday? After a pretty open and exciting encounter, the Hammers came away from Ye Olde Trafford with a deserved point after an early strike from the returning Diafra Sakho was levelled by I-Zlatan. United huffed and puffed and had plenty of opportunities, but similarly West Ham had a few excellent opportunities to steal al three points as the second half witnessed a ding dong toe to toe encounter.

For once, the man in the middle was excellent. Hammers fans quite rightly feel that over the years the Old Trafford crowd have persuaded referees to award dubious decisions to the home side, but Moss was having none of their simulation and whinging for free kicks and penalties at every possible opportunity. Even better, he expelled I-Jose to the stands for petulantly kicking over a bottle while wandering outside his technical area. Hilarious!

At the back Ogbonna was excellent while Dazza Randolph was simply sensational in pulling off a series of wonderful stops to keep it level. Across midfield the Hammers passed the ball well and kept the Man United defence on their toes. Up front Diafra Sakho provided the kind of directness that has been lacking and will hopefully be ok after going off with a twinge (?) just after the hour. Ashley Fletcher clearly relished his opportunity and so nearly pulled off a dramatic winner in the final minute of normal time.

Ultimately, West Ham fans will applaud referee Jon Moss for his confident performance as he made a series of excellent calls to keep the game entirely honest. He has obviously forgiven the Hammers for Joe Cole clattering into him a few seasons back! Can we have him officiate on Wednesday as well?

Holy Moley Its Sakhoooooooooo

There has been a major shocker at Old Trafford already this afternoon - not that West Ham have scored BUT IT WAS A STRIKER WHO NETTED!!!

Diafra Sakho latched on to Dimi Payet's tantalising free kick in the second minute to put the Cockney Boys one up.

Welcome back Mr Sakhoooooooooooo