Friday 29 August 2014

Noble Would be a Sensational Capture for Ireland!

                                                                Just a few Irish lads having the craic
The mystifying exclusion of Mark Noble from the England set up took a new turn today with speculation across the media that the management team for the Republic of Ireland, Martin ‘Earnest-person’ O’Neill and Roy ‘Cuddly’ Keane, have finally persuaded the Hammers superstar to opt for the Republic.

West Ham fans have become increasingly perturbed as midfield maestro Mark Noble continues to be overlooked for England duty despite his consistently excellent performances as one of the few English-born midfielders in the Premiership and history of impressive contribution at underage level to the England set up. Moreover, the industrious Noble is consistently at the top of statistical ratings in respect of ground covered per game and goal scoring opportunities created by a midfielder.

Given the shortage of midfield talent in the current Irish squad, Noble would be a massive capture and would undoubtedly find himself in much demand rather than waiting for a sympathy call up from the myopic-minded Hodgson. Noble continues to be overlooked in favour of a variety of unknown kids and past-it geriatrics like  Stevie Gerrard. With Noble positioned beside the ever-improving James McCarthy the Republic would be a force to reckon with as they prepare for the European Championships campaign.

VerywestHam met with Noble in 2013 during the Hammers fabulous preseason tour to Ireland and, ironically, to Cork – apparently the birthplace of Mark’s grandmother, making him uber-eligible for the Irish National side. We took the opportunity to question Mark about a possible Irish call up but he opted to stay silent on the matter, raising our suspicions that it is to the forefront of his thoughts! No doubt the prospect of having some away days in the company of Joey O’Brien, and former Hammers, Robbie Keane and Stephen Henderson would appeal given that European football has eluded the Hammers for this year!
                                                              Ah Go On, ah go on, Ah Go On!!!!

A representative close to the Irish Football Association of Ireland remarked, ‘we’ve been waiting to get revenge for the whole Rooney business – bloody mad that he was allowed to play for England given his obvious Irishness – and then there’s Kevin Nolan with the bloody map of Ireland written all over his face and his talents wasted on a country that wouldn’t even be bothered to give him a run out even when he was at his peak!’

                                                            Suspiciously Irish looking

Other Irish sources confirmed that they consider both ‘Morrison’ and ‘Carroll’ to be naturally Irish surnames, and that James Collins looks just like many young  farmers from Roscommon.

C'mon Ireland!!!

Will Noble be Joining the Emerald Hammers XI?

With Mark Noble apparently about to sign up to Martin O'Neill's Republic of Ireland squad based upon his grandparents from Co. Cork , we take the opportunity to celebrate all things Irish and seize the opportunity to consider how a team comprised of the greatest Irish Hammers (s0 far!) might look.

So here it is, after detailed trawling through club records, a team coddled together from the most notable Irish players to turn out in the claret and blue.

The Irish brigade
Back Row: Breen, Brady, Henderson, Moroney, Keane, Cantwell
Front Row: O'Brien, McCartney, Dowie, Lomas, Hughes

Goalkeeper: We have had a lot of short stay Irish netminders at the club with no single player really making the position their own. Allen McNightmare was certainly the most memorable, sadly for all the wrong reasons – possibly making the greatest contribution of any single player to our relegation in 1989. Will we ever forget all those crazy moments when he came running off his line only to get stranded in no-man’s land!

We got a slice of Gerry Peyton towards the end of his career, mainly in a covering role while Roy Carroll performed pretty solidly until personal problems interrupted. David Forde never really got a proper chance and Noel Dwyer was well before our time.

As such, we have given the netminder role to (now) ex-Hammer Stephen Henderson who endured a frustrating time at West Ham as he dislocated his shoulder while on loan in a collision with Notts Forest's fellow Irish International Simon Cox and  had to watch as Adrian seized the gap presented by Jussi Jaskelainen’s gradual retirement, but he gets the nod and hoepfully will get every chance to justify this selection  over the coming years….fingers crossed!

The defence was… well, frankly, worrying! Unbalanced and not endowed with aerial presence. There would undoubtedly be much sweating at set pieces.

Joey O’Brien at right back is the man of the moment (and had no real challenge from former players). The uber consistent and ydnamic defender has become a Hammers favourite and is set to return to action having recovered also from a dislocated shoulder. It's surely time for Martin O'Neill and Roy 'gentleman' Keane to bring him into the Republic of Ireland squad.

Centre back is a real patch up…..Gary Breen and Clive Clarke…Hmmm. At times we saw Georgie McCartney provide pretty solid cover in that position but the disatrous injury-fest that beset the club last December demonstrated how Georgie is better suited to full back as the likes of Man City ran riot through a porous central defence. Never the less, we are going with Gazza Breen and Georgie. They may lack aerial prowess, but Colin Clarke was too lacking in mobility and not suited to 21st century footie.

Left back provide a more challenging call – We got a useful turn out of Chris Hughton at the twilight of his career but Noel Cantwell was a much more formidable left full from long ago and a previous club captian - he gets our selection.

Midfield is by far our strongest zone. Steve Lomas as enforcer and water carrier and a nice partner for Chippy Brady. Although Brady is primarily a Gooner, we got two very decent seasons out of him that included some cracking moments such as a delightful strike against the Gooners!.

Wee Michael Hughes was a great seizure from Wimbledon - gamey, if lacking in physicality, and with a useful habit of scoring at key moments. Both Frank O’Farrell and Tommy Moroney were key contributors in the early fifties but Tommy Moroney gets the final nod, mostly based upon his presence on the glorious Ireland team that was the first foreign team to beat the old enemy on their own turf at Goodison Park in 1949.

Of note: Kevin Nolan should be on this list but no manner of persuasion has been able to  get him to use the Parents rule as qualification. Perhaps luckily for West ham since the extra mileage of International football might have caught up on those now ageing legs.

So who would be sacrificed to accommodate Mark 'O'Noble' if he decides to opt for Ireland? Maybe we could kop out and go for a 4-5-1?

Up front, David Kelly underachieved – too light for top-level English football. David Connolly was too, well, David Connolly (i.e. perfectly average). Robbie Keane came and went in the blink of an eye, with most of that time spent on the injury room table, but on the basis of what might have been (and forgiving him the goal-line miss against Blackburn that could have spurred a more meaningful survival bid two years ago) he gets the nod, just!

                                                             The new Tony Cottee???

Hammers fans will be hoping that young Sean Maguire, who is presently on loan at Sligo Rovers in the League of Ireland, will make the step upwards into the first team. he's still a mere 19 and has lots to learn, and so far has notched up there appearances for 'the bit of Red' (as Rovers are called). Again, fingers crossed!

And finally, the terrifying Iain Dowie – a true Hammer who was not prolific by any means but always gave 100% and created opportunity for those around him. A real servant who had two determined spells at the club and is one of the more refreshing TV pundits about. Loyalty – a rare thing amongst our footballing folk these times.

So, a team that would by no means be worldbeaters, but we might expect plenty of effort with O'Noble pulling the strings from his defensive midfield berth, lockpicker supreme Liam Brady always likely to find a moment of magic, while Michael Hughes would be sure to spoil a few Man United celebrations and Robbie could always organise the post match party!

Thursday 28 August 2014

West Ham Look to the Record Books

Sam Allardyce has been criticised for all sorts of things during his time at West Ham - with playing unattractive 'effective' football and being too conservative in blooding up and coming talent  the two most recurring gripes.

With that in mind, the old trickster shocked the footballing world by naming 15 year old Reece Oxford on the bench for the midweek Capital One Cup encounter with Sheffield United. The England under 17 captain is a stylish centre back in the mould of Rio Ferdinand and can hold his own against the older boys even though he is not 16 until the 16th of December!

The move is much more than a media stunt as Sam tries to prevent Man United and Arsenal from attracting the youngster away from west Ham. A key element of his new deal is that he will get to play more football at the higher level.

Moreover, he still has almost 6 months to force his way onto the Premiership pitch if he is to beat the current record for the youngest player which is held by Matthew Briggs who played for Fulham at the tender age of 16 years and 65 days.

Interestingly, the third youngest ever did make the Upton Park pitch on Tuesday as Sheffield United's Jose Baxter  made his Premiership debut for Everton on the opening day of the 2008/09 season aged 16-years and 191 days!

If Oxford is to break the record, he will have to leapfrog another Reese - Burke who also got another decent run out in midweek to follow up on his Preseason heroics!

Extra time: That'll take it way past my bed time!

Whatever happens, the 'academy' feeling is definitely back!

No Surprise as Big Sam Resigned After Sheffield United Defeat

Tuesday nights clash with Sheffield United was another example of the sort of exciting spectacle that Hammers fans have demanded from Sam Allardyce. In a ding-dong battle where the two sides went toe to toe for 90 minutes, then fought out another half an hour before the dreaded penalty shoot out.

However, the Hammers came out unlucky and not surprisingly manager Sam Allardyce was downbeat in his press conference today and resigned to the reality that there will be limited chances for his younger stars to get the kind of run out that the Capital One cup provides.

Even worse, new signing and goal hero Diafra Sakho picked up an injury and may be unavailable for the visit of Southampton at the weekend.

In better news, he indicated that there will be one more quality signing in BUT NO FURTHER DEPARTURES!

Reid and Diame will presumably both be available for Saturday's fixture.

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Shocker: West Ham and Sheffield United Share Football Excellence!

West Ham - Sheffield United XI

With all the rivalry between the two clubs, along with all the banter beforehand, it was perhaps something of a surprise that the game lived up to all expectations as West Ham and Sheffield United went toe to toe in front of a packed house at Upton Park!

One could have been forgiven for imagining that these clubs have shared a longstanding hostility but  the ill-feeling is only recent and in fact, despite their geographical separation, they have shared a team full of former players!

One wonders how these players were inclined to call this evening's match?

Anybody got any substitutions or additions?

Eur message for t' visitin football fans fra Dee-Dar.

Sa far, t' match 'as bin eur teight affair wi' alsooarts o' pushin ad shovin. t' lads fra Dee-Dar are geein thea orl bur it's 'ard fettle against t' stylish londoners fra west 'am. t' crowd are enjoyin much gran' natured fun wi' t' cockney boys wearin carlos tevez masks.

Jus fert fun o' it why dooant we preten' 'a' dis is eur scheduled play-off ta finally settle t' whole tevezgate affair for once 'n for orl wi' t' winners assumin eur position int' premiership 'n t' losers slottin i' teur t' blades current position i' league 'un?

Just kiddin!!! bur we will tek back t' twenty million-somethin quid theur lot borrowed off wee!

Wham Bam Bamboozling Sam: Hammers pull child-ish stunt on visitors

Ahead of tonight's crucial encounter between 'old friends'- the Uniteds of West Ham and Sheffield, Big Sam Allardyce has pulled a sensational stunt to confuse and befuddle the Northern visitors. Just when Nigel Clough expected to face a full strength Hammers side, Sam has side-stepped him by fielding a surprise XI that includes new signings Valencia and Sakho up front, with Ricardo Vaz Te, Ravel Morrison, Momo Diame and Diego Poyet all looking to impress from starting berths in midfield. At the back, veteran Jussi Jaaskelainen will be protected by Guy Demel, Rese Burke, Dan Potts and captain Winston Reid.

But perhaps the biggest surprise is on the substitutes bench where Reece Oxford - all of 15 years old - has been included!!! Presumably this is to come on and rub a little salt into wounds if the Hammers find themselves well ahead with 10-15 minutes to go. Also on the bench are Zarate, Downing, Noble Lee, Spiegel and another mystery kid, Lewis Page.

Reece Oxford and Lewis Page, Probably...

Meanwhile, Sheffield United have been keeping mighty quiet and may have a few tricks up their sleeves, having dumped a few big boys last year in the Cup.

The excitement has left all at VERYWESTHAM almost entirely speechless.

Let the games commence!

Monday 25 August 2014

Sheffield United Fans Advised to Stay Away

Two bloody relegations, yes I said TWO!!

As the most eye catching clash of this round of the Capital One Cup draws ever-closer, plans for many fans have been scuppered by a health alert advising Blades fans to protect their mental well being by avoiding the psychologically-treacherous encounter.

While Hammers fans practise a variety of hilarious taunts and rehearse other forms of healthy banter to 'engage'  their Northern visitors, top sports psychobabbleologist - Dr Hansi Von Stressbasher - has warned that Sheffield United fans are almost certainly facing into a psychologically-humiliating encounter as they take on the Premiership big boys. Dr Von Stressbludgeoner who is a certified mindlessness therapist, has pointed out that the Blades are not even a second rate outfit as they in fact inhabit the third tier of English football.

Some Tevez Cash get's put to good use by a blade
However, even though it is hoped that most sane Sheffield United fans will stay at home, trauma-counselling will be stepped up throughout the East London area as after so much disappointment many Blades fans are likely to attend as they are now addicted to trauma after double relegations - a theory that explains why some folk tend to repeatedly get themselves given a right good spanking.

"The Blades had a useful little run in the cup last year", he offered in a more than slightly patronising tone, "but this is a decent West Ham side who actually have something to play for and will want to keep their intelligent fans both highly amused and entertained".

West Ham have no particular injury problems to report amongst their expansive and highly talented squad. In contrast, having squandered the Tevez gazzillions, tragic Sheffield United are down to the bare bones.

Sunday 24 August 2014

You'd have to fear for Sheffield United

In the spirit of getting things suitably heated prior to the encounter with our adversaries from the Tevezgate affair, we at VERYWESTHAM have decided to cut loose on our thoughts for the game. So far this season we have witnessed that West Ham are a sold unit who are more attack-minded than before and quite capable of dominating possession as poor Crystal Palace found out at the weekend.

In contrast, Sheffield United are mid table in League one after 4 games and have sunk and sunk despite receiving compensation money in excess of £20 million. With headlines like 'Blades aiming to NAIL Hammers' you've simply got to laugh, as the gulf between the Premiership and League one is truly vast.

Normally, the Capital One Cup is a dull affair in which most Premiership teams try out youngsters and typically field a reserve side. Normally, Sam Allardyce ignores the fans and does whatever he thinks will benefit his side's push for Premiership success.

However, events of the past few months have indicated that even Big Sam can be forced to bow to fan pressure and it seems likely that he will field a strong side against Sheffield United in recognition that many fans would like to see them put to the sword as revenge for their endless whinging about their relegation and West Ham's survival.

For once, both our hearts and our heads suggest that the Hammers will go for it. Let's hope the healthy competition for places within the squad encourages the players to really push for a big result.

Ooooogh, the excitement is building!


With Teddy It's Official: A New Era is Upon Us

Hurray!!! After just two games it is already apparent that this season will be tangibly different from last year. For starters, both the best (three victories over Spurs) and worst (losing six points to mighty Palace) points of last season have already been overturned. We were promised more open football and already we have scored two stunning strikes while failing to keep Sam's beloved sheets clean on both occasions! 

Yesterday's game put the Spurs defeat in context - in all honesty, we deserved to beat Spurs and although the first sending off was fortuitous, we should have strolled home ad were battering them in the period up to the penalty. Enough said, it was one of those smash n grab raids that you just have to chalk down to experience.

Sam finally revealed a more expansive set up yesterday. One wonders if this is partly because in Kouyate we have a midfielder with presence to partner Noble? His all round play was again impressive and perhaps most noticeably, his mobility allowed us to quickly switch into attack. Similarly, Zarate buzzed around the place posing a constant irritation to Palace and was pleasingly involved in defensive as well as attacking efforts (with one 'naughty' Nolanesque challenge duly noted!).

Cresswell also looks excellent - and he can cross the ball with that crucial bit of 'zing' that makes for a real goal opportunity rather than a simple collect and catch that follows Jarvis' usual floated efforts. Nice feet going forward and it looks like he can defend a bit as well, but let's see some more before we firmly commit on that.   

Palace were well outplayed throughout and apart from a are piece of quality from Chamakh, looked flat and rudderless. They need a manager asap. Maybe the board should eat humble pie for the sake of the club and bring Pulis back? Better to be a little embarrassed now than damned by their league position at the end of the season?

It's unclear how long Nolan's shoulder injury will keep him out. Perhaps much more intriguing is how long Zarate's performances will also keep him on the bench when he is fit again?

No such worries for the Duracell-powered Mark Noble. Diego Poyet is clearly being groomed as a back up for the midfield engine room but Noble has plenty left to give and surely it's time he was given the Captain's role he so clearly deserves?

And also, it was great to finally get a glimpse of Teddy Sheringham in his new role - we were beginning to wonder if he really had taken up the role as attacking coach!

As always, it's great to see Carlton 'Killer' Cole on the score sheet. The big man has been a loyal servant to the club through thick and very thin. However, the arrival of Diafra Sakho, who looked a real livewire and a proper nuisance when he came on, probably signals that Carlton's contribution will diminish as we move on.

Finally, wasn't it a treat to have Bazza Davies doing MOTD old-school with that eerie silence after the away team scores (which was quite a lot yesterday!). He's a legend, truly!

Saturday 23 August 2014

West Ham-Crystal Palace XI: The pick of former players

As the mighty Hammers of East London prepare for the short trip across to their South London neighbours at Crystal Palace, it's a huge match for both clubs after both endured disappointing defeats on the opening day fixtures. For Palace, matters are further complicated by the on-going issue of finding a new manager after the sudden departure of Tony Pulis. However, for some the fixture will provoke mixed emotions, including those players who have played for both clubs. Here, we consider the finest players to have served for both Eagles and Hammers-the West Eagles XI.

Steve Mautone. Selected mostly because he is the only 'keeper to have played for both with a single appearance for West Ham versus Notts Forest in September 1996 and a massive two league appearances for Palace in 1999. Now back in his native Oz as a coach with Melbourne Victory.

Paul Brush: A Plaistow lad who emerged from Hammer's famed academy system and went on to make over 150 appearances over a nine year spell before switching to Palace where he added another useful three years and 50 appearances.

Tony Gale: Silky centre back who made 300 appearances for the Hammers before a brief but Premiership-winning spell at Blackburn. Just two appearances for Palace at the end of a super career. 'Galey' is a busy football pundit who pops up on TV, radio and in the print media with his reflections on all things footie.

Neil Ruddock: Hilarious! Talented player who always played on the edge of legality. Multiple clubs 'enjoyed' his services in a long career - 'Razor' had a two year spell at the Boleyn and a further year after that at Palace. The one major blemish on his copybook is the two appearances for Millwall  back in 1988-9. Hard to miss his sizeable presence as a popular pundit on TV these days.

Chris Powell: Mr Charlton Athletic actually started life at Palace and his highest appearance tally is for the Shrimpers at Southend! Excellent and very competitive left back, Powell also had a useful spell at West Ham during our promotion campaign of 2004-5 where he (probably) learned the skills that have made him such a successful team manager at Charlton. Recently linked up with the Hammers again as the mighty Premiership side signed last year's player of the year at Charlton, young Diego Poyet.

Michael Hughes: 'Cheeky' was a firm favourite at the Hammers and always remembered for a certain final day of the season goal against Man United. Hughes arrived from FC Strasbourg in 1994 before the move was made permanent by virtue of a Bosman ruling in 1996. The diminutive (five foot six) midfielder made up for his lack of stature with his all-action style and a tasty left foot. Had a lengthy spell at Palace making 126 appearances and also acting as team captain for a year.

Hayden Mullins: Tactically savvy defensive midfielder who learned his trade under Terry Venables at Palace where he made over 200 appearances before moving to the Boleyn. Had to endure losing a play off final for West Ham against his former Eagles in 2004. Amasses 180 appearances for the Hammers before moving to Portsmouth and now at Notts County.

Carl Fletcher: A combative midfielder, he arrived at the Boleyn in 2004 after a lengthy spell at Bournemouth. He managed 44 appearances over two seasons with his last game in the FA Cup final draw with Liverpool. He moved to Palace where he was installed as club captain and enjoyed three seasons. He recently returned to Bournemouth as youth team coach after a disappointing spell at Plymouth Argyle as manager.

Ray Houghton: What were West Ham thinking when they let the young Houghton leave after a single appearance as a substitute! He went on to have a stunning career at Liverpool and Villa and is eternally famous for his goal for Ireland against England at the European Championships of 1988. Palace got a decent run out of him at the end of his career. A busy pundit with RTE sport.

Iain Dowie: Popular forward, albeit more hardworking than prolific! Enjoyed two spells at his beloved Hammers and is perhaps best remembered for a stunning headed own goal in dreadful conditions away to Grimsby! Had a prolonged spell a Southampton before a short stint at Palace and then back to West Ham. Forthright management style has had some successes and include a spell at Palace that ended acrimoniously with a legal case. Most of his time is taken up with punditry for Sky Sports these days but  return to management is more than possible.

Ian Wright: Talented athletic striker who started at Palace as part of the Wright-bright partnership. Then endures seven seasons with the Gooners before a 15 month spell at West Ham. Famously vandalised the referee's room at Upton Park after being sent off! Prolific just about everywhere he went but remembered by most fans for his accuracy with the Gooners. Top pundit who never fails to entertain, Wrighty doesn't do boring!

Substitutes: Freddy Sears   /   Marouane Chamakh   /  Clive Allen  / Matthew Upson / Danny Gabbidon  / Paul Kitson.
It is interesting that most of these players went to Palace after West Ham has dispensed with their services rather than vica versa.

So there we have it - in their heyday this side would probably have thumped either of today's West Ham or Palace sides!

We fancy West Ham to get revenge for last year's defeats against Palace with a 1-0 smash n grab raid.


Friday 22 August 2014

Ravel Morrison: Ice-T or Iced Tea?

The past fortnight has witnessed both sides of Ravel 'Raveldo' Morrison with his pending court case for alleged naughtiness of the out of control gangsta variety as well as the playful charity activity of a young man having some harmless banter with his boss.

But Hammers fan are still wondering which Ravel we will ultimately realise?

It seems that relationships are a little less frosty at the Boleyn between Ravel and his boss  but amongst all this fun wouldn't a run out off the bench for this weekend's Crystal Palace match be an ideal olive branch for the under-fire youngster? 

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Hammers Freaking Fabulous Fantasy Football

Welcome back fellow Hammers!!!  It’s that time of year when you can indulge your dweebtastic side by assembling a make believe team of players with freakish abilities that accumulate points towards a meaningless tally of tosh – all of which ultimately amounts to nothing other than a pointless points score when pitted against the might of unemployed tossers from Rochdale and the likes who have time to constantly follow the bogus stats and switch players every week.
However, fear not intrepid Hammersfans because at VERYWESTHAM we have designed a footy competition that allows you to test  your knowledge of the ‘real’ skills of the modern game – the VERYWESTHAM Freaking fantastic Fantasy Football League!!!!

Yes indeed, the FFFF emphasizes those aspects of performance that really benefit the club -  instead of giving points for boring balderdash like ‘goals scored’, ‘assists’ and ‘clean sheets’,  we are allocating points according to much more revealing aspects of players performances to test the more astute observer. Entrants will select a five-a-side team drawn exclusively from Hammers players (past and present) and each week their selections will be rated in terms of the following;
Even Hammers fans find the chicken dance annoying!
(1) Annoyingness for opposition fans:

This is rated from a highest score of 3 (equivalent to a full Kevin Nolan, including the really irritating Chicken dance goal celebration) down to a paltry 0 (allocated to ‘nice’ players like Paulo Wanchope and Shaka Hislop who were generally viewed as ‘likeable’ by fans of other teams). Persistent hectoring of opposition players when they have possession is a solid points earner, but over indulgent and prolonged goal celebrations are allocated top points! We have already witnessed how  new midfield enforcer Cheikidh Kouyate will be a high scorer on the annoyingness scale

(2) Earnest expressions during the match:

This ranges from a top score of 3 for performances as passionate as the uber-earnest Tomas Repka to a lowly 0 given to any player who smiles during proceedings or makes any other gestures that suggest it’s only a game rather than a battle to the very death.  Under Big Sam, the current squad tend are consistently high performers on this attribute and are said to have derived no fun or pleasure from last season - just like most of the watching fans!
(3) Throw-in excellence: 

A much under-rated skill as Glen Johnson (scored minus 1) discovered in the World cup with his embarrassing foul throw incident (didn’t Tony Carr and the lads teach him how to throw the ball in at the academy?). Top scores are allocated to players with the overarm missile capacity of Hammers and Millwall legend Steve Lomas

(4) Maintaining strip etiquette:

As punk legends the Damned would say: Neat, Neat, Neat!
The modern game has witnessed a serious deterioration in adherence to on-field dress codes with some (mostly foreign) players daring to turn out wearing gloves and under armour. In an effort to encourage better etiquette, we will be allocating points for players who keep their kits free of muddy blemishes and maintain proper sock height during matches (the ever ‘tidy’Scott Parker was a regular high scorer on this item) . Rolling up of collars or other pretentious behaviour will be severely punished with minus points, as will any ‘it’s a bit parky out there, I think I’ll wear mittens today’ pooftyness! Aaron Cresswell has been reported to keep a particularly tidy dressing room locker and on the evidence from his excellent Premiership debut on Saturday will probably be pretty tidy in his on-field efforts as well

(5) Credibility of innocent gesturing after deliberate skulduggery:

The nonchalant raised hands for a ‘sorry mate, did that hurt?’ or ‘Oops, I might have been a little late in the tackle there!’  are classics that will be awarded points but the pained ‘we don’t have to make a big deal about this in front of all those West Ham fans’ that typically precedes a deserved red card for a penalty box ‘coming-together’ is the highest points earner in this category. James Collins confused the earnest ("I will kill you if necessary") with ("twas just a minor accident gov, harmless stuff really") in his efforts to avoid a red card on Saturday and duly got his marching orders and nil points in this section for his club!
Classic Noble 'honesty'
(6) Amusing hairstyles:

At £50 a pop to attend matches we expect players to at least give us a laugh. Carlton Cole and Ricky Vaz Te have been the best performers from the current squad and set the benchmark for follicular frolics over recent years. Newbie Diego Poyer looks well capable of dreadlocks and may be a clever choice. Coloured hair or silly shaving will earn points, but top scores are reserved for ridiculous hair extensions. Obviously, David James remains the all-time top scorer for the club in this challenging category.
Despite repeated attempts, James never quite reached the level of Valderama (bottom right)
 And so there we have it, a new fantasy game to distract us from the on-field tedium. Participating fans can purchase a weekly points calculator for a mere £99 through ‘Arry’s  Appstore!
Happy Hammers-watching out there folks!!!


Sunday 17 August 2014

West Ham Player Recovering after Shooting Tragedy

Happier times relaxing with the Verywestham team
The Hammers medical team have been working around the clock after yesterday's bizarre and grotesque shooting incident at Upton Park. Lead Psychobabbleologist Dr Hansi Von Windyballs has described how a programme of extreme debriefing has been used to assist spot kick supremo Mark Noble in his recovery after an apparent miss* whilst taking a penalty against Spurs.

*Note Police are still awaiting forensic reports on the match ball which they suspect may have been tampered with and as such the 'miss' remains technically unconfirmed.

Mark wanted to hold onto his kecks so we had to forcefully remove them in keeping with top international standards for psychological debriefing. Happily, Mark responded quickly to the therapy and appeared on Match of the Day last night to confirm that he will be stepping up without hesitation to take the next penalty that comes the Hammers way.

Debriefing was initially trialled as a therapeutic option in rugby
Dr Von Windyballs has emphasized that the sooner Mark gets a chance to banish his demons the better and, along with offensive coach Teddy Sheringham, is working with the team to optimise the chances of West Ham getting another penalty as soon as possible. Tom Daley, Team GB's Olympic hero, has been flown in to assist, as has Chico 'squealing' Flores who will help with the aural element of 'penalty achieving' behaviours.

I get knocked down, and I get up again....

We expect the Hammers to get another penalty soon and for Noble to slot it away without hesitation.

Meanwhile, West Ham have been linked with the supporter who invaded the pitch and stepped up to take a Spurs free kick. Although security staff ended his involvement prematurely, his undoubted ability was noted by Big Sam and it is rumoured that he may be the subject of a bid before the transfer window closes in a fortnight's time.



Saturday 16 August 2014

West Ham Legend Victim of Bizarre Shooting Incident

The football world was in shock today after news that a West Ham midfield legend had been victim to a shooting incident during a daylight robbery in East London. Despite a strong police presence, there was simply nothing anybody could do as events seemed to spiral out of control and ended tragically.

Mark Noble has occupied the position of most consistent penalty taker in Premiership history until he stepped up in his own back yard to slot away a spot kick. There was no sense that anything was amiss as he duly sent the hapless Hugo Lloris the wrong way but, in a bizarre turn of events, the ball was captured by some mysterious centrifugal force and pulled wide of the post.


Recent incidents involving laser pointers and the like have alerted police to the possibility that similar technology, incorporating magnets or such like, may have been employed by the criminals. The match ball has been removed for forensic tests and Police are appealing to any members of the public who may have witnessed the incident to call their incident hotline at 0208-ROBBERY.

The FA have also launched an investigation into another incident during the game wherein it seems that Tottenham may have fielded an ineligible player who took their second half free kick after the dismissal of James Collins for deliberate ginger-hairedness - an offence that  warrants a mandatory RED card. The player, employed the Roberto Carlos-style long run up before thumping the ball Jonny Wilkinson-like over the wall into the hands of the ever-vigilant Adrian in the West Ham goal. The effort as considerably better than that of Christian Ericksen who lashed the re-taken effort high over the crossbar and into the stands. As usual, the on-bail Ravel Morrison is being held responsible.

Meanwhile, the record keepers at Upton Park have been busy calculating the impact of today’s events upon the all-time penalty-taking stats. Noble has tumbled from first to third in success rate and down to fourth in the all-time ranking! As always, the Hammers legend has vowed to fight on and will undoubtedly be back slotting them away next week in training.  Meanwhile, Police are focusing their enquiries around the North-East London area.

Hammers Penalty Supremos

Total penalties and conversion rate
Confidence, crucial conversions vs misses, cheekiness rating 
Overall Rating
33/36 = 92%
35/39 = 88%
81/86 = 94%
18/19 = 94%