Wednesday, 10 July 2019

The image that Hammers Fans most want to see right now!

With our last post recalling the Incegate fiasco where the Guvnor had his picture released in his new clubs colours before the deal was official, switch forward to 2019 and such misleading imagery is so much easier to put out there!

So, as Italian press reveals that Sebastien Haller is on his way to the London stadium for E40m from Eintract Frankfurt the Hammers are looking forward to welcoming a player often referred to as the new David Trezeguet. Fast and powerful, he looks well suited to the Premier League and notched 19 goals last year in the Bundesliga along with a hoist of valuable assists- stats that outperform Mr Maxi Gomes!

Fingers crossed, here is how he will look in the handsome new kit!

Traitor-Rator: Who is West Ham's biggest Ever Judas?

After all of the positivity of last season when after a poor start the squad found its mojo and delivered a host of good results playing attractive football, once again we now face falling back to where we started. 

With Marko Arnautovic's departure, the club are struggling to identify a forward who can provide the regular supply of goals that would allow the club to push to the next level and maybe even European football. 

With the Maxi Gomez deal all but dead, its hard to see who might come in. As a much needed distraction, let's focus our fury on Arnie and ask - is he the worst ever Judas to play for the club?

To add a little objectivity, we have rated our top four traitors according to the following characteristics; 
1. How two faced was the departure?
2. How self serving was he in making it happen?
3. How much damage did it do to the club at the time?
4. How unpleasant was he after the 'escape'?
5. Looking back, can there be any forgiveness?

Let's start with that 'Big time Charlie', Paul Ince. A childhood Hammer, Ince was one of the few positives to emerge in the Post-Billy Bonds era and despite decent personal performances was part of the relegated side in 1989 which saw John lyall depart after 15 years at the helm. Ince aws photographed in a Manchester United shirt to save him having to come back from holidays for a new signing photograph for the press, the deal was postponed as he failed the initial medical. However, the tabloids still published the picture and all hell broke out! Ince escaped after a second medical and one game into the 1989-1990 season. The departure was badly managed but Ince has cited that at 21 years old he was naive. In truth, the club was in a mess and had a yoyo period for the following 4 seasons getting relegated and promoted twice and Ince was a wanted player at a selling club. He enjoyed playing the panto villain in matches between Man utd and the Hammers but has not spoken negatively of the club over the years.
1. How two faced was the departure? 2/5
2. How self serving was he in making it happen? 2/5
3. How much damage did it do to the club at the time? 3/5
4. How unpleasant was he after the 'escape'? 2/5
5. Looking back, can there be any forgiveness? 2/5
Total score 11/25.

Next up is Jermain Defoe. Also 21 years old, he was a bright young star of an amazing Hammers squad who somehow managed to get relegated in 2004 with a squad teeming with stars but low on luck! While the Hammers can claim the greatest ever escae from relegation in 2007, 2004 was surely the stupidest relegation from the Premiership? Defoe reacted badly to the relegation and within 24 hours made a written request for a transfer. Distressed fans focused their annoyance on his insensitivity and he was turned down by the club. He stareted the following season at West Ham but refused to sign a new contract and had an obviously poor attitude, picking up three red cards in 22 appearances before the club lost patience and sold him to Spurs. Over the years he has repeatedly  apologised to supporters for mishandling the move due to his young age and often expressed a desire to return to make amends. 
1. How two faced was the departure? 2/5
2. How self serving was he in making it happen? 4/5
3. How much damage did it do to the club at the time? 3/5
4. How unpleasant was he after the 'escape'? 1/5
5. Looking back, can there be any forgiveness? 1/5
Total score 11/25.

Et maintenant, c'est Dimitri Payet. Surely the most naturally gifted Hammer of recent times. Payet arrived in June 2015 and quickly established himself as a fans favourite with a series of impressive performances that woshortlisted him for PFA player of the year while he received the Hammer of the year award. A lucrative new contract arrived then suddenly in January 2017 (aged 29) he refused to play for the club stating that he wanted to return to Olympic Marseille. After much huffing and puffing he left for a modest fee. He later stated that he felt the club lacked ambition and that he was 'bored'.
1. How two faced was the departure? 2/5
2. How self serving was he in making it happen? 5/5
3. How much damage did it do to the club at the time? 4/5
4. How unpleasant was he after the 'escape'? 4/5
5. Looking back, can there be any forgiveness? 4/5
Total score 19/25.

So finally, Mad Marko Arnautovic. We cant say that we weren't warned by Stoke fans after he smahed his way out of their club to join the Hammers. He arrived in Summer 2017 and after a poor start switched to a new central attacking role that proved a piece of David Moyes genius. 11 goals and Hammer of the year award followed. On to this season and he started getting restless before Christmas as rumours of Chinese interest surfaced. After much stealth, using his agent brother Danijel to voice the Mr Hyde half of his persona, he seemed placated by a big new deal. He denied ever wanting to leave but then submiited a transfer request in mid Summer and forced a bargain purchase for Shanghai SPG where he will presumably see out his career being paid huge money in a pointless league. As yet there have been no noises from Marko about his departure but the series of incredibly two-faced statements in his final six months will surely annoy fans for a long time! The difficulty replacing him is currently hurting the club but Manuel Pellegrini has a talent for bringing in top players so we wait in hope!

1. How two faced was the departure? 5/5
2. How self serving was he in making it happen? 5/5
3. How much damage did it do to the club at the time? 3/5
4. How unpleasant was he after the 'escape'? 1/5
5. Looking back, can there be any forgiveness? 5/5
Total score 19/25.

Wow!!! A draw between Marko and Dimi!!! Arnie will be furious as he loves to hog the limelight. It's interesting how our old skool traitors are lightweight compared with the two-faced mercenaries of the modern era! 

Monday, 29 April 2019

Julien's Faux Pas #14: Neighbours...

Oh yes, after the sensational events of the weekend let's celebrate with a JFP to commemorate the occasion of West Ham becoming the first away side to score at Tottenham's new home and, of course, the first to slay the Hotspurs!

How many celebrity Hammers can you identify and one cheeky sod has made a double appearance?


Why not have a little sing along as you savour the scene?

Everybody needs good neighbours
Just a friendly wave each morning
Helps to make a better day
Need to get to know eachother
Next door is only a footstep away
Everybody needs good neighbours
With a little understanding
You can find the perfect blend
Should be there for one another
That's when good neighbours become good friends


Sunday, 28 April 2019

Bobby Bubbles Player Ratings as Hammers Humble Hotspurs

Lukasz Fabianski - 10

Has had an outstanding season and once again was impeccable between the sticks. Pulled off a number of crucial saves with early two stops when Son looked set to score possibly the most important.

Ryan Fredericks -10

Really starting to find his feet in the past few games. His pace was important today and he used to Great effect on a number of occasions including an absolutely crucial block towards the end.

Issa Diop - 10

Most West Ham fans are of the view that our best centre-back partnership consists of Balbuena and Diop (Sorry Angelo!). Today's performance cemented that view as Issa looked back to his best and even showed some attacking prowess with a barnstorming run towards the end. Young players are prone to periods of loss of focus and he has come through his!

Fabian Balbuena - 10

A towering presence at the back and at this stage looks back to full match fitness after his injury over the Christmas period. Topped things off with the crucial for clearance off the line at the very end. Outstanding!

Arthur Masuaku - 10

Only a month ago he looked to be on his way out of the club, but after a series of excellent performances (where he's looked much steadier in defence) he looks to have a real future of the club next season.

Declan Rice - 10

Absolutely brilliant once again. Seems to have boundless energy. Another memorable performance as he put himself about with Eric Dier's late entrance only serving to underline how much better Dekky is as a defensive midfielder option!  He really is good enough to build team around over the next couple of years.

Mark Noble - 10

it's hard to imagine life  without Captain Claret  and today was just the latest example of his total commitment to the club. Above all other players of recent times, Noble deserved to be on the West Ham team that goes down in history as the first to beat Spurs at their new ground. Class.

Robert Snodgrass - 10

Has totally turned it around at West Ham and is now a fans favourite. Not afraid to put in about a bit and picked up a yellow card for his troubles today. Ran his socks off until he was substituted.

Felipe Anderson - 10

Absolutely brilliant again and a constant threat to Spurs. Hasn't scored for a while but had z couple of close efforts and, as always, can hold onto the ball when needed with his superquick feet.

Michail Antonio - 10

Put simply, he has recovered his pace after all those hamstring issues of last year and is thoroughly enjoying himself. Superb finish for a memorable goal and almost nabbed a second!

Marko Arnautovic - 10

His best game in a while - looked up for it again....who knows what will happen in the Summer.  

Saturday, 27 April 2019

That One's for Sir Alf!

Garnett, not Ramsay!

The famous West Ham fan of TV fiction, Alf Garnett is credited with the phrase "Football is a working class ballet". If it is, West Ham were the best dancers today as Michail Antonio scored the only goal as West Ham made their way into the history books as the first side to win at Spurs new ground!

Ironically, Warren Mitchell - the actor who played Garnett was a Spud in real life and must have found it hard to cheer on the Hammers instead of his beloved Spurs but the scriptwriters wanted a club that truly represented the working class and between West Ham and Spurs there could be no competition in that regard.

Antonio's goal was a stunner and fit to grace any game but as Jean-Paul Sartre once commented “In football everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team.” In this case, the opposition were fitting recipients of such a work of art.


Sister Sledge Time for Tragic Spurs

Michail Antonio cemented his place in the history books as he scored the first ever goal against Tottenham Hotspur at their new stadium - and what a goal it was, as West Ham went on to inflict the first ever defeat at their new stadium on their greatest rivals - tragic Spurs.
The goal was an outstanding work of art - Marko Arnautović picked up the ball out wide on the right, he shimmied and turned before delivering a delicately weighted pass over Toby Alderweireld onto the chest of Antonio, who gently took it down before smacking a stunner past the helpless Hugo Lloris to give West Ham the lead.

There then followed the latest in Antonio's crazy goal celebrations as he engaged in some bull taming-style antics that he later revealed were a take on one of Dan Rue's dancing moves! If you thought stroking the pitch, doing a Homer Simpson or a cha cha dance were crazy, this one was on another level!!!

The heartbreak for Spurs looks set to continue as the defeat allows their close rivals to gain crucial ground in the fight for a champion's League spot for next year. Given their propensity for choking when under pressure, its stating to look bad for them to hold on to a top 4 spot!

Meanwhile, the Hammers are off to celebrate their latest triumph over their nearest neighbours - this one is up there with the best!!!



Pelle Springs a Surprise for the Barry McGuigan!

Here we go - as the perpslang goes, it really is the big un! 

Pelle has, as usual, pulled a surprise by changing his defence, bringing Issa Diop back into the starting XI. Along with Ryan Fredericks who comes in for Pablo Zabaleta, will be lookibg to shore up a Hammers defence tgat just keeps leaking goals. Otherwise, the only (minor) surprise is tgat Arnautovic holds on to his starting berth - a real measure of where reinforcements are needed as most clubs would have dropped the totally out of sorts striker by now but Pellegrini lacks a suitable replacement. That said, this would be a perfect game for Arnie to remibd us all that he has the ability if not always the temperament!

West Ham United: Fabianski, Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Masuaku, Rice, Antonio, Noble (c), Snodgrass, Anderson, Arnautovic.

Subs: Adrian, Zabaleta, Obiang, Chicharito, Wilshere, Ogbonna, Perez.