Sunday, 19 February 2017

Hammers Star Breaking Bad in Hat Trick Heroics!

In shock developments it has emerged that the West Ham squad are finding their mid-term break at a £500 a night luxury resort in Dubai both energising and a valuable boost to team morale! Michail Antonio has released pictures of the trip that capture the relaxed atmosphere within the group - so relaxed that some of the players have taken to trying out a variety of costumes and other fun paraphernalia!

Robert Snodgrass appeared for the evening meal adorned in a semi-frilled shirt that would fit perfectly on any Shakespearean thespian, while our main striker looks to have recovered from his groin strain and has turned out in perfect Andy-Cap pose. Meanwhile, chief netminder Dazza Randolph looks like he is ready to head out for  a game of polo with a piece that looks like a horseriding helmet!

However, undoubtedly the star of the show is breaking bad wannabe James 'Heisenberg' Collins with a superb wide-brimmed number. Ginge is taking no risks in the hot desert climate as he does not want to ruin the trip by needing to visit the local burns unit. Meanwhile, Sam Byram is doing a pretty decent Jesse Pinkman impersonation.

Happy days - let's hope the break brings a solid push up the table starting with a win against Watford.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Hammers Ready to Swoop for Rakitic

Please can I play in your team Mr Bilic...

As the rumours of discontent in the Barcelona camp continue to gather pace, a major focus has been the apparent falling out between manager Luis Enrique and star midfielder Ivan Rakitic. The Croatian dynamo has found himself largely excluded from the starting XI over the past two months and despite putting a brave face on in the media, it is known that his agent is exploring options beyond the Nou Camp with a host of Premiership clubs interested.

Rakitic is an experienced international with over 80 caps and was Croatian footballer of the year in 2015. Although he grew up and represented Switzerland all the way up to U21 level, he was persuaded by Slaven Bilic to declare for Croatia in 2007. The pair enjoyed a successful relationship for five years until Bilic moved into club management in 2012.

Rakitic is now reaching the prime of his career at 28 years old and although his contract runs until 2019 he is reported as deeply unhappy at Barca, with many observers struggling to comprehend exactly why he has fallen out of favour. To add insult to injury, Rakitic was brought on during Tuesday's mauling by PSG in the 73rd minute after the game had ended with the Parisians ahead at 4-0.

West Ham have indicate a determination to bolster their squad this Summer and with the attacking midfield now firing well with Lanzini, Snodgrass, Antonio and Feghouli all offering options, attentions are likely to turn to the engine where Rakitic is a world beater. Moreover, the acquisition of a mobile ball-winning midfielder would free up Cheik Kouyate to return to his previous more offensive role in the side.

With Man City and Chelsea all watching carefully, Hammers fans will be warmed by the reminder that Rakitic has a favourite English club - having revealed in 2015 that he would love to see West Ham win the Premiership. 

As this crazy season continues to unfold it looks like circumstances are moving towards a new Bilic-Rakitic partnership at the Olympic Stadium for the 2017-18 season.


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Hammers Provide Fun For All The Family!!!

Nearly 10,000 West Ham United supporters enjoyed a record breaking Family Fun Day at London Stadium – the biggest free fan event in the Club’s history.
Arranged during half term to give thousands of avid Hammers of all ages the opportunity to watch their heroes train up close, the Family Fun Day saw fans flock from all over the country to London Stadium.
West Ham’s commitment to affordable family football meant a children’s season ticket for the inaugural season at London Stadium was just £99, with adult prices starting at £289. As a result, the Club has almost 10,000 Junior Season Ticket holders, many of whom were in the crowd for the history-making event.
Slaven Bilic put his players through their paces, with captain Mark Noble, top-scorer Michail Antonio and new signings Jose Fonte and Robert Snodgrass all impressing the crowd, while Andy Carroll and Aaron Cresswell chatted about the day on the giant screens.
Following the training session, the squad took part in a series of light-hearted challenges, cheered on by supporters, before posing for the biggest team photo in West Ham United history - which incorporated every player, fan and member of staff present at the Family Fun Day.
This was followed by the squad then joining a group of 300 lucky Junior Hammers for a Junior Party on the indoor running track at London Stadium, fully equipped with a disco, face-painting, table-tennis tables, a FIFA station and also enjoyed the opportunity to stage their very own press conference with the manager Bilic and captain Noble.
Noble said: “We don’t get many opportunities to say thank you to the supporters, but today provided the perfect opportunity to show how much we appreciate them and the incredible support they have given us home and away this season.
“You could tell by the smiles on the lads’ faces how much they were enjoying it and I think it’s important for us to thank the fans for all their efforts, because wherever we go, they’re always there giving us their full support.
“Hopefully we’ve generated some good memories for them to take away. If you think about Andy’s wonder goal against Crystal Palace or Reidy’s last-minute winner against Sunderland, we’ve already had some great days here at London Stadium and today was right up there with them.”
Manager Bilic said: “I am never surprised by how passionate and devoted our fans are – and today was another example of that. When I first heard about the Family Fun Day, I was excited and to get 10,000 turn up is really something special.
“Today just further proves how important West Ham is to the community, so for us to be able to say thank you, and show our appreciation, of course we are happy.”
Reflecting on the hugely successful day, Vice-chairmen Karren Brady said: “Today’s Family Fun Day was another shining example of our ongoing commitment to the supporters who have been so exceptional in our first year here at London Stadium.
“We wanted to ensure that as many families and young children could attend, so having the opportunity to host the Fun Day totally free of charge and during the February half-term was ideal, and to have nearly 10,000 attendees was incredible.
“I am absolutely delighted at the success of the Family Fun Day and, judging by all the smiling faces, our young supporters certainly had a great time and will take away countless treasured memories.”
When all is said and done, we are still a family club committed to family values.

Tomkins Not Royalty at the Palace

Reports today suggest that ex-Hammer James Tomkins has fallen out with Eagles fans after Palace slipped ever closer to relegation at the weekend. Apparently frustrated with the strong and persistent criticism of the team, Tomkins verbally remonstrated with fans in the time-honoured way. Tomkins has done well since his surprise £10 million move last Summer but subsequent events have demonstrated how the move was bad business for West Ham as they have greatly missed his versatility.

With Palace's Premiership position ever more precarious
and West Ham still struggling for cover at right back
and James Collins well into the autumn of his career
and Jose Fonte no spring chicken at 33 years of age
and the fact that Tomkins is clearly too good for Chumpionship football
and the need to infuse the squad with a sense of local identity after the Payet saga
and the fact that Tomkins would almost certainly jump at a return to his boyhood club (is that enough reasons?),
we suspect that the Summer will see Tonks do a boomerang.

Just saying...


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Captain Claret Commits for all of Eternity...

In developments that are in no way surprising, Captain Claret Mark Noble has revealed that he plans to remain at West Ham for all of eternity. Having finally graduated as a Hammers legend, Noble is expected to sign up to a new 325 year playing contract at the club. Fans have expressed their delight at what is widely perceived as only ample reward for his many years of loyalty and commitment.

While some critics have expressed surprise at the length of the contract, club sources have revealed their logic “Mark’s agent explained to us that he has Timelord abilities and thus the capacity to represent the Hammers ad infinitum and simultaneously across time. As you might expect we were initially quite sceptical but a search of club records provided conclusive proof of Marks repeated presence at the club over its full history”

Rumours have been circulating for some time that Noble’s commitment to West Ham is so great that he has appeared for the Hammers in a number of previous incarnations that predate his 'official' first team debut in 2004. Here below, for example, he is with the Cup winners cup winning team – unbelievably back then the young Noble was reimbursed at a mere two shillings and sixpence a year for his pre-Bosman efforts!

And again, here (back row, left), turning out for an early Thames ironworks side – Noble is readily recognised by his trademark nonchalant sideways glance

And here arriving at Wembley with fellow West Ham fans arriving for the 1923 FA Cup final pitch invasion. This incarnation was unusually untalented at soccer and therefore expressed his club devotion by leading the ironically named ‘casuals’

At a press conference earlier today Mark was able to reveal some startling developments in football into the future. As the Captain of our famous future three in a row Eurozone championship team in 2145, he noted “It’s all got so much easier since Man United and Chelsea abandoned football altogether and became a space basketball team”

Sadly, Noble's special abilities do not allow him to influence referees and as such Michael Oliver's outrageously poor performance at the weekend will stand and the Hammers recent push towards a much-deserved European place will remain stunted by the series of incomprehensible decisions that allowed the Sagging Baggies to seize an undeserved draw. There are some things that even a timelord cannot do.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Carroll to Feature Against Baggies but Defence is the Key for Hammers

The mood is good at Planet Hammers right now with 6 wins in the last nine and plenty of the first team hitting good form. Perched in 9th position in the league, Slaven Bilic's men are 5 points behind today's opponents West Brom.

Looking at the overall table, Slaven Bilic was coy during Thursday's press conference when asked what final position/points haul he was hoping for, identifying 40 points as 'the first target'. With Man United 14 points clear of the Hammers in sixth, a European spot looks a tall task.

In team news, the big question has been whether Andy Carroll will play today. On that subject Bilic was not able to offer a definitive response but confirmed that Carroll has not trained all week.

However, David Gold has hinted on twitter that the big man will appear at some point and with Gareth Southgate likely to visit fir a look at Carroll (and Antonio) and the prospect of a Dubai break to follow Bilic may be tempted to take a risk.

Meanwhile, Cheik Kouyate looks set to continue at right back and along with Aaron Cresswell will hold the key to today's encounter. The Baggies are tough customers under Pulis and with Matt Philips and Nacer Chadli out wide can be a real attacking threat as the Hammers discovered at the Hawthorns earlier this season where they were 4-0 down just after half time. A spirited comeback was quelled by the intelligent Pulis and the game ended in a frustrating 4-2 defeat for Bilic.

Pulis likes to defend on numbers and hit opponents on the break. West ham will thus need to be patient and draw the Baggies out or else risk a repeat of the Hawthorns visit. West Brom are also potent from set pieces so the Hammers will be hoping that Jose Fonte and Winston Reid are getting to know eachother quickly in order to organise what is still a makeshift defence. If not, Soloman Rondon will be waiting!

However, West Brom haven't won away to the Hammers in their last 7 visits - with 2 defeats and 5 draws during that time. The pundits are predicting a draw which is understandable but with the Hammers on a run and Snoddy looking to open his account, we reckon the Hammers might shade it.


Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Twenty-Plus Goal Per Season Striker To Return to Hammers?

Back in 2013 a young 18 year old forward joined the West Ham youth squad from Waterford United in the League of Ireland. Sean Maguire was considered to be a major prospect after a series of prolific seasons in Irish football and was snapped up by the Hammers. With a style reminiscent of Tony Cottee, Maguire was even likened to Lionel Messi by his youth coach at Waterford!

However, it never quite worked out at West Ham and he was let go at the end of 2015 after loan periods at Colchester, Sligo Rovers and Accrington. Maguire's shoot at the limelight looked to have slipped away.

However, after a bedding in season at Dundalk in 2015 he moved to Cork City at the start of last season and finally at 22 years of age found his stride. Maguire was top scorer in the Airtricity Premier League last year with 18 goals and managed a total of 28 goals in 43 appearances for the club last year, not surprisingly making the Premier League team of the year. Maguire has also become a regular in the Republic of Ireland's under 21 team and talk is of a return to England.

Who knows, maybe he might make a triumphant return to the Hammers? Either way, as an Ex-Hammer we wish him the very best for the coming season.