Saturday 27 September 2014

Breaking News: Man United Fans considerably less annoyingly arrogant than usual!

In shock developments, we at VERYWESTHAM can reveal that a detailed survey of small to medium-sized towns near nowhere in Ireland and Britain has found that local ‘Mancs’ are less confident than they have been for almost twenty years ahead of today’s season-defining encounter with the mighty Hammers of East London. Languishing in the bottom half of the table, the Old Traffordians are paying the price for putting all their eggs in the Falcao basket and reportedly have only one available centre back - hardly encouraging against a free-scoring Hammers offence who absolutely savaged Liverpool last week!

Our intrepid reporter, Pax ‘Jeremy Paxman’ Meagher has been out and around some pointless little rural hellholes in Co. Tipperary in Ireland to capture the atmosphere amongst a highly representative cohort of Man United ‘followers’ ahead of the big kick off. “There was hardly a peep out of them” said the reporter “and a few kids offered to sell cut price Man United jersey’s trying to raise money for Arsenal or Chelsea kits and get out before the ship sinks any more”.

Meanwhile, Pat O’Hooligan, Headmaster at Ballygobongos National School issued a plea to Louis Van Gaal Moyes to think of the young lads who face another Monday morning of taunting and bullying if Manchester United lose at home for the third consecutive Premiership match.

Even worse, VERYWESTHAM's prediction expert - Rory 'Nostradamus' Meagher thinks the Hammers are ready to add to their haul of victories at ye Olde Trafford and has indicted a likely 4-2 scoreline!!!


The Hammered Devils: Hammers Edge it in High Scoring Free For All!

Ahead of today's crunch Premiership clash between buoyant West Ham and an out of sorts Manchester United, we consider a team comprised of players who have played for both clubs  - the impressive ‘West Man United XI’. Ultimately, we ask, will these performers be considered Hammers or Devils?

At Man United he failed to inspire confidence - epitomised by ‘the goal that never was’. Joined West Ham in 2005 after falling out over a lack of first team opportunities. Had a good initial season but sustained a back injury in Jan 2006 and slipped into a variety of difficulties that ultimately earned him a place in the ‘Troubled Bubbles XI’! Verdict Neither.

Hammers debut at the tender age of 17, Rio soon forced his way into the  first team squad where he continued to impress until Leeds paid a record 18 million for him in November 2000. Quickly moved to Man United where he has been a fantastic servant for a decade and was key to the many successes of the past decade.Too old to make a fairytale return to the Boleyn.  Retired to QPR. Verdict Devil.

8 appearances for Man United where he was never really given a chance. A bargain signing for 500K for West ham that led to a five year career and over 100 appearances . Versatile defender who had his finest hour when scoring twice in a 4-0 victory over Man United in 2010. Ran out of road as the Hammers regrouped after relegation and moved to Birmingham. Verdict: Hammer.

Top man. Signed from Cork Athletic in 1952. Noel enjoyed a fruitful 8 years at West Ham with 250 appearances. Captained the Hammers to promotion back to the top flight for the first time in almost 30 years in 1958 . Sold to man Utd for almost 30K in 1960 where he captained a cup winning side and was part of two league winning teams. Verdict Hammer.

More than a century ago both clubs were graced with the contributions of this scottish forward who between 1900-3 scored 41 goals in 78 appearances for the Hammers, including four on his debut! A subsequent spell at Man United delivered 13 goals in 29 games, before he returned to the Hammers for 5 more years. The status of players at the time is highlighted by the fact that his date of death is unknown! Hammer

Industrious and gamey, the 'Guvnor' was a top performer in the Hammers shirt after replacing Billy Bonds in 1987. However, mishandled his Hammers departure that included  being photographed in a Man United shirt well before the deal was confirmed. Probably did not deserve the criticisms thrown his way by Fergie and after 6 years and over 200 appearances Verdict: Devil.

Another one thrown in as a teenager at 17 into the Hammers first team. Skilful but perhaps a little ‘ghosty’ at times. Happy to do the unglamorous work and stayed loyal after relegation in 2003 before losing patience and moving to Spurs for £3.5 Million and then Man United where he has never quite stepped up to the lead role in midfield predicted for him. Solid. Verdict Devil.

Trouble with a capital T during his time at Man United, Fergie tired of his disciplinary problems and Big Sam obliged for a mere 650K. 'Raveldo'  still only performs in fits and starts and has recently retuned to the championship with Cardiff for another 'development' spell.   Considered by many to be the most naturally skillful English player since Gazza? Verdict Hammer.

A hero wherever he roamed throughout his career (even Millwall!). Arrived at Man United late in his career but proved another astute Fergie signing and achieved legendary status in stoppage time of the 1999 Champions League final. Came to the Hammers not far short of pension age but still had plenty to offer by virtue of his excellent footballing brain as attacking coach. Verdict Both.

Played in a different era when United were not quite the same powerhouse they are now but picked up a cup winners medal, scoring in the 1977 final against lovely Liverpool.
Moved to the Hammers in 1979 after a nasty knee injury but still managed to play a major part in the 1980 Cup final victory over Arsenal, teeing up Trevor Brooking’s ‘stunning’ header! Verdict Both.

Arrived to the Boleyn in 2006 as part of a bizarre deal. He then underperformed for two-thirds of a season of Carlos  in a lacklustre side until it all clicked into gear for the final 10 games where he couldn’t stop scoring, including a final day 1-0 win at Old Trafford to keep the Hammers up! The Apache had some classy moments in the United shirt but got sidetracked by his own ego needs and then moved across the city in another strange transfer deal!!!!.Verdict Hammer.


Final score Hammers win 6-4, a score that could be repeated today as both side are strong in offence but struggling at the back. Will this XI change much over the coming years?

Tuesday 23 September 2014

It's that time again....Hammers Ready to Storm Old Trafford!

The tension is mounting ahead of West ham's visit to ye Olde Trafforde Stadium this weekend, where for the first time in many years the Happy Hammers travel in genuine expectation. This, in part, reflects the continued demise of Beelzebub's preferred Premiership performers who are now stranded in the bottom half of the table, but also reflects the confidence the current West Ham squad have after two stunning performances last week - unlucky to only draw at Hull city followed by the delicious demolition of Liverpool.

Not surprisingly, Hammers fans are preparing to travel in their gazzillions to witness a rare away victory over the Mancs and in anticipation of travel chaos some have already started to explore a variety of ways in which they might make it to the match.


Hammers fans setting out from the capital this morning
Our intrepid undercover reported at verywestham has infiltrated some supporter ‘cells’ in order to find out what the inventive Bubbles boys have been up to:

By far and away the most popular option appears to be to travel to the match by hot air balloon which can then hover above the stadium – in initial plans, some fans hoped to make a series of Dunkirk-style on-pitch landings before the game but after taking advice from previous Old Trafford attendees they have realised that their view of the match should be just as good from the hot air balloons as it would be from most of the ‘upper’ seats in Old Trafford. Moreover, the need for liberal use of binoculars in order to follow the game will provide excellent preparation for the new Olympic stadium experience where the nearest ‘pitch-side’ seating will be a humungous 10 metres from the on-field action!

We will fight them on the beaches

Other fans have started working on a tunnel under the ground and plan to burrow their way to emerge at the away end. However, observers have warned that with even the most minor miscalculation they could appear in the 'dreaded' Stretford end. Happily, there is little likelihood of the visiting supporters being in any danger as the home ‘fans’ are unlikely to equate non-Mancunian accents with being imposters.

Some supporters have been discouraged by the outrageous admission price at Old Trafford which dwarf those at the considerably more welcoming Boleyn ground. In an effort to gain admission without such expense, some fans have been attending crash courses at the Fregoli school of disguise and impersonation – the 19th century Italian master of surprise is still remembered in London for his stunning performances that paved the way for a generation of thieves and pickpockets across the capital!  

Of course, the art of impersonation is a familiar phenomenon to Man United fans, with obvious examples painfully close to home with a series of misfit pretenders having arrived during the Moyes era who are now idle in the stands watching Van Gaals recruits perpetuate the fumbling nonsense that has come to characterise The current Man United set up.

The possibility of posing as an on-duty policeman and mingling with the security staff is another attractive option that would require minimal skills of deception apart from mastering the capacity to glare menacingly at innocent members of the public who have committed the ‘crime’ of attending a footie match!


I'm a little (red) Devil!

Another strategy would be to dress up as schoolchildren and sneak in to the family enclosure using the considerably less expensive children’s tickets. However, some Hammers fans have expressed concerns that such behaviour could easily be misconstrued and result in the ‘perpetrators’ finding themselves on an offenders register.

Is that illegitimate or illiterate?

Other fans have decided to just ‘come clean’ and admit that the price of admission is beyond their limited means and simply beg for charity. This is considered a very high risk strategy that has already been used to death by Man United fans who are forced to endure the exorbitant price of admission to Old Trafford on a regular basis in order to squawk their approval for Wooney’s ‘undoubted class’, Wio’s ‘football intelligence’ or Wyan’s ‘latest genius offering’......... Pfaff!!!

However you get there, enjoy the fun
and maybe, just maybe..... 

Monday 22 September 2014

Nolan: Is the Fat Lady Preparing for SONG?

First of all, VERYWESTHAM are not amongst those Nolan-haters who have been of the view that our Captain falls short in terms of overall contribution to the team. No doubt, the legs aren't as able as before, and he is only slightly faster than a vintage Massey-Ferguson tractor, but you simply cannot overlook the importance of his on-field leadership (yes, he's an irritating whingy git - but wouldn't you rather have him in your corner than against you?) and goals in getting back to the Premiership and then securing our status as a top flight club.

Equally, it's hard not to think that Diame or Morrison might have prospered better if Nolan didn't have squatters rights to the attacking midfield position. Moreover, Noble's progress might have been greater with a more-mobile midfield partner, and Nobes' promotion to club captain is well overdue.

As Kev continues to recover from his shoulder injury, he must be wondering how Big Sam can justify selecting him over the sensational Kouyate and the stunning Song? Moreover, the forward 'hole' position has been occupied to great effect by Mauro Zarate...

Is that a fat lady clearing her throat I hear?

Either way, if this is the start of the end for Nolan, we should recognise his tremendous contribution to the club and acknowledge that his signing was a master stroke by Allardyce at a time when we were all at sea and descending rapidly towards Chumpionship anonymnity...

With the Hammers waiting on a scan on Kouyate after he hobbled through Saturday's demolition of Liverpool, maybe a gap might appear for Nolan again.

And there's always the African Nations Cup to create mayhem in the ranks.

Maybe he can make double figures in goals scored for the fifth season in a row - not bad for a player who doesn't take penalties.

Oh! and then there's the small matter that he is contracted until Summer 2016.

Kev relaxes with his mates at VWH


Sunday 21 September 2014

West Haggis XI: West Ham Salute their Greatest Tartan Hammers

In the week that Scotland opted to forego independence and remain within the disUnited Kingdom, we reflect on the relationship East London’s finest have had with the men from far North, and consider the greatest tartan Hammers.

In goals, the ever dependable Bobby Ferguson, who arrived at the Boleyn for a world record transfer fee in 1967, and served up until Phil Parkes arrived in 1979. 240 appearances for the Hammers – including one as a winger! Top class Hammer.

The back four includes Ray Tonka Stewart, who also serves as chief penalty taker. A solid right back who is a true Hammers legend. Also from the boys of '86 is Neil Orr, while the centre back berths are filled by SuperChristian Dailly – a loyal servant indeed, and Malky ‘Oops did I press send!?’ Mackay, once an apparent shoe-in for the Hammers manager role but now very much an outside bet.

Midfield is ‘interesting’, with Dirty Don Hutchison alongside the pacey winger Jimmy Andrews of 1950s fame (who played 120 games with 21 goals between 1951-6) and Nigel Quashie – perhaps Alan Curbishley’s least impressive signing in 2007 and who struggled to break in to a Hammers side that was itself struggling. Injuries and the emergence of Collison et al ended his time at Upton Park and he returned to his beloved QPR. He is still active as player manager of Icelandic side Bolungarvik.

Up Front, first up there’s the volatile David Speedie, who had a short stint at the Boleyn but made a vital contribution to our 1993 promotion scoring 4 goals in 11 games whilst on trial. Then there’s the amusingly-named John Dick – considerably less amusing to opponents during his 364 game acreer for West Ham between 1953 and 1962 during which he notched 176 goals making him West Ham’s third highest scorer of all time! Finally, to top it off, Frank McAvennie. There is no need for any description of Macca’s exploits apart from to say that he is a massive Hammer’s legend of considerable scoring prowess both on and off the field of play!

How would such a team fare against the current Hammers? A decent defence, albeit seriously lacking pace, and a potent attack, but the midfield lacks bite and would struggle to hold any decent level of possession. Ferguson would undoubtedly be mighty busy!

Saturday 20 September 2014

Liverpool to Lodge Complaint with the Advertising Standards Commission

The British Advertising Standards Commission were put on alert this evening as Liverpool FC were poised to lodge a formal complaint regarding misleading material having been provided to the unsuspecting public ahead of an event in London today. The event was billed as West Ham United (AKA ‘The Hammers’) versus Liverpool (AKA ‘the Reds’) and was scheduled for Upton Park this evening. Such a fixture guarantees a gutsy Hammers effort that ultimately proves fruitless as the mighty Reds take all three points and return to Anfield.

Not so today, however, as West Ham ran out 3-1 victors, with the score line more than deserved. Perhaps even more galling for the Scousers was the fact that instead of being presented with a negative and cautious Allardycian outfit, they encountered a swashbuckling ‘continental’-style Hammers who dominated for long periods by virtue of free-flowing passing footie the likes of which hasn’t been seen at Upton Park for some time! Pool were left reaching for the phone directory to get the number of the advertising standards authority as this was no ‘West ham’ as they know it!

It’s hard to know where to start with the accolades but the Sakho-Valencia strike partnership looks very impressive, with Sakho in particular a real irritant for opposition and his exquisite chip in the seventh minute the latest contender in the ever growing list of Hammers’ goals of the season! Alex Song’s partnership with Cheik Kouyate looks formidable with their speed, passing and physicality proving too much for the Liverpool midfield! It's hard to see how or where Kevin Nolan will fit in when he is fit again, ahem.......

At the back, we looked more like the solid outfit of last year and it was great to see James Collins returning to the fray. Winston Reid's opener caught Liverpool cold, but his all round performance underlined the importance of holing onto perhaps our best player as we get ever-closer to the Olympic Stadium. Mark Noble kept the whole unit ticking over and, in the presence of decent passing midfield partners, looks like the first class player Engerland need to shore up their insipid midfield. Even Adrian got to pull off a few important saves, but perhaps more tellingly. Looked confident and secure during set pieces against a tall Liverpool side.  

But perhaps the man of the match award should go to Stewart Downing – a player who towards the end of his Anfield career was cruelly (and unfairly) dubbed one of the worst players to play for Liverpool – but has been a consistently excellent performer for West Ham and this season has returned to the kind of scintillating form that a few years ago made him one of the most sought-after talents in the English game! Downing has tormented our opponents this season and has a bag-full of assists to prove the point. Even better, he has been pitching in with some canny defensive cover for the evergreen Guy Demel…Today he was simply rampant against his former employers!

Liverpool never really got going and in all honesty bring to mind the wisdom of Blackadder’s Lord Melchitt – “Liverpool without Luis Suarez is like a boy without a willy” In fairness, they simply came up against a red-hot West Ham side. Morgan Amalfitano's goal was simply the cherry for the top of a sweet soccer cake...

Next up the Red devils………simply delicious!!!

West Ham versus Liverpool: Both Managers go on the Offensive

It's at boiling point Fortress Upton as the sides have been announced - Surely the Hammers can improve on their four defeats in the last five at Upton Park versus Liverpool?

Both Valencia and Sakho up front for the Londoners, while Borini and Balotelli lead the visitors line.

Either way, both managers are really going for the win by starting with attacking XIs


Adrian, Reid, Cresswell, Tomkins, Kouyate, Downing, Sakho, Noble (c), Demel, Song, Valencia

Subs: Zarate, Vaz Te, Jenkinson, Collins, Amalfitano, Jaaskelainen, Cole.


Mignolet, Manquillo, Moreno, Lovren, Skrtel, Gerrard, Henderson, Lucas, Sterling, Borini, Balotelli

Subs: Jones, Toure, Enrique, Sakho, Markovic, Lallana, Lambert.

Liverpool Lose out to West Ham in Transfer Merry-Go-Round

Today brings together brings together many old friends as West Ham and Liverpool prepare for an intriguing battle at Upton Pak. Liverpool have stuttered so far this season while West Ham have varied from totally brilliant (Palace) to insipid (Southampton). Both sides need to kick start their season and push forward, so expect both ides to go all out for all three points.

Recent years has seen considerable transfer activity between these two clubs such that a team composed of stars who have played for both clubs makes up an impressive  ‘West Pool XI’.  Ahead of Today's big clash, Dave Hammer and Walter Scouser give their verdict on how well these players performed during their spells at each club.  

Dave Hammer says:

Walter Scouser says

Hilarious character. Very talented keeper and all round fun guy. He almost single-handedly kept the Hammers afloat during the relegation season of 2003 but stayed faithful to the cause for a season in the Championship until Man City came a calling. Verdict 8/10
The only goalkeeper to have played for both clubs and one of the most talented of his generation, ‘Calamity’ never realised his potential. Career highlight? Had to be ‘that suit’ at the 1996 FA Cup Final. Verdict: 6/10

Drafted into a sinking ship as a mere 17 year old he showed remarkable maturity but Uncle Trev’s heroes couldn’t dodge relegation and Chelsea pounced. His subsequent career has never quite realised that early potential but he was excellent for the Hammers. 8/10.
The arrival of Brendan Rodgers has finally got Glen playing like he did at West Ham. Rob Jones, whose single appearance for the Hammers in the 1999 Intertoto Cup, made him eligible for selection, almost gets the nod at right back, though. Verdict 7/10

Had a decent two year spell at Upton Park helping us to a European placing in 1998. Always pushing the limits, Naughty Neil picked up more than his fair share of bookings usually for hauling back opposition forwards as his declining pace became a millstone. Verdict 7/10.
Provided much needed steel to Liverpool’s defence when signed from Spurs in 1993 for £2.5million. Didn’t survive long after the arrival of Gerard Houllier in 1998 and was transferred to West Ham for £300,000. Verdict 6/10

Signed for £2.5m from Liverpool to replace Rio Ferdinand in 2000. Did not live up to expectations. Verdict 4/10
Performed reasonably well for the Reds but mainly as a right back. Never quite matched his International success and slipped off the selection radar before being released to West Ham. Verdict 5/10.

Absolute legend. 100% uncompromising and committed. His skilfulness was often underestimated by opponents, including a deadly left foot. Amazingly for a defender, he averaged a goal every five games over a 262 game Hammers career! Verdict 10/10.
An uncompromising left back who came to Liverpool in a swap deal involving David Burrows and Mike Marsh. Why? Verdict 3/10

Although he upset Hammers faithful during a messy departure,  he was a top performer whilst at the club. Ironically his greatest performance was probably vs Liverpool in a 4-1 League cup mauling where he scored all 4 Hammers goals. Verdict 8/10.
The ultimate box to box player. Came to Liverpool after a successful career with West Ham, Manchester United and Inter Milan. Like Neil Ruddock, was one of the infamous team of Spice Boys who did not survive the arrival of Gerard Houllier. Verdict 6/10

One half of the crazy signing that ultimately cost the Hammers much financial heartache. Appeared lost and strangely out of his depth during his spell in East London and seemed relieved to escape to Liverpool. Verdict 4/10.
Signed from West Ham in 2008 and dubbed a ‘monster of a player’ by Rafa Benitez. Two seasons that established him as one of Europe’s finest central midfielders were to follow before a £24 million transfer to Barcelona. Left a gap in midfield which Raul Meireles struggled to fill. Verdict 9/10

All round likeable guy, young Joey was a thrilling prospect who delivered lots of eye catching trickery but without major product whilst at West Ham. Another for whom circumstances conspired to force a premature exit but fondly remembered at Upton Park and even enjoyed a return before retiring to Villa Park. Verdict 7/10
Though arrived to the club as Roy Hodgson's first signing, has failed to deliver the form he showed for Chelsea. A lengthy loan spell with Lille, he returned but again couldn't find his best form and apart from scoring against West ham before rejoining them, seemed a faded presence. Verdict 3/10

Classy midfielder who performed with gusto during his two periods with the Hammers before moving to the Hammers retirement squad at Harry Redknapp's current QPR. Clever and with a good eye for breaking through defences, Yossi always kept the opposition on their toes! Verdict 7/10. 
Moved to Liverpool from West Ham in somewhat, ahem, controversial circumstances in 2007. Was starting to really develop as a player until transferred to Chelsea in 2009. Known to pub quiz afficionados as ‘the only player to score Premiership, Champion’s League and FA Cup hat tricks ‘. Verdict 8/10

An ‘interesting’ character – moody and unforgiving of underperforming colleagues but a real gamechanger with his pace and finishing. Hammers career blighted by injury and  petered out as we came off the rails (again) allowing him to go to Man City for £14million. Verdict 6/10
Joined Liverpool in 2006 and after one moderately successful season (involving an alleged incident with a putter), became West Ham United’s record signing in a £7.5 million  transfer. Returned to Anfield for another season in 2011, which saw him partner well with Andy Carroll. Verdict 6/10

A game changer who makes the Hammers a difficult team to play against due to his superb physicality and aerial presence. Persistent injuries have hampered his Hammer career to date and at this stage he looks like an astute offload by Rodgers.....Verdict 5/10
With Nando Torres on his way to Chelsea for £50 million, Andy Carroll’s £35 million transfer from Newcastle made him the most expensive British footballer of all time (hard to believe Luis Suarez cost ‘only’ £23 million on the same day). Fits and starts at Liverpool and not a Rodgers player.  Verdict 7/10

 Substitutes: Stewart Downing, Paul Konchesky, David Burrows, Don Hutchison, Robbie Keane, Titi Camara.
So, with the exception of Javier Mascherano, there is a clear pattern of players performing better whilst at the supportive and homely atmosphere at West Ham compared to the pressure of expectation at Liverpool.  

Maybe more underperformers at Anfield should head south to realise their true potential?


Hammers Finally Win Sam over to the 'West Ham Way'


After a pretty grim preseason, where West Ham struggled to score and looked shapeless going forward, it's been crazy classic old-school Bubbletastic mayhem ever since the Premiership kicked off! Last Monday's match against Hull City was the best example to date, where the KC stadium witnessed a ding-dong battle between two committed and offensively-capable sides that ended in a 2-2 draw. The neutral observer may not have deemed West Ham vs Hull to be a glamour tie, but those who tuned in were treated to a stunning battle that left observers breathless.

The good news is that the current Hammers are scoring goals of the highest quality. Zarate's super strike against Palace and Valencia's stunner against Hull are already contenders for Hammer's goal of the season! Meanwhile, Diafra Sakho is starting to look like one of those strikers who have the happy habit of popping up in the right places at the right time and who accumulate goals of all varieties.

Sakho's Premiership account was opened against Hull City on Monday after the dubious goals panel ruled that his scuffed attempt that eventually slipped over the line could be attributed to the Senegalese forward. Sakho has been a bit o a gamble as although he has been prolific over the past two seasons, averaging 20 goals a season - this has been in the French lower leagues which are a far-cry from the Premiership. So far, so good and his signing looks like an astute investment as apart from the goals, Sahko poses a big physical presence and looks deliciously direct and pacey with it!

Sakho also picked up a goal in the League Cup encounter against the team who shall not be mentioned. However, his best strike was in a development squad match against the hapless Ipswich Town where he combined with Alex Song and Ravel Morrison to finish off an audacious strike worthy of Hurst, McAvennie and even Mr Di Canio!

Check it out at:

Hammers fans will undoubtedly be enjoying the rediscovery of exciting football as promised before the season started and with a haul of 4 points after 4 games we are sitting reasonably comfortably. If we could rediscover  defensive parsimony of previous Allardyce campaigns we could be a real force to reckon with!

Next up, we will hope to improve upon traditional Hammers form against old rivals Liverpool and Man United. Both sides look out of sorts and just maybe this is a good time to improve our record against them.

Either way, let the entertainment roll......Maybe it's time for a decent run in the FA Cup!