Friday, 28 February 2014

More Ravealling Pics of Morrison’s “nightlife” Released

As the latest media interest on the off-field activities of British soccer’s new ‘bad boy’ kicked off again – with Ravel Morrison posting a photo of himself on a ‘good night with my homies’ , VERYWESTHAM have moved to reassure his new minders at QPR that while Ravel may be of a gangsta propensity, in fact his preference is for the newest and considerably less terrifying genre: geekgangsta! 

Since escaping the tough streets of Manchester, Ravel has started to hang out with ‘kids’ who are much more suited to his new celebrity lifestyle and although he likes nothing better than a night in cybersurfing or challenging his astrophysicist buddies to a game of fakegangstershootout in the safety of his home, he recognises the need feed the hunger for scandal and outrage. Luckily, reports indicate that his friends in Hollywood have hooked him up with an endless supply of ‘mean looking homies’ for him to pose with while looking really really super tough.

Hopefully he can do better in his next appearance for the out of form Queens & Park Rangers!

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Cottee calls for Hammers to ignore the nonsense!

In an absolutely astonishing and quite uncharacteristic outburst earlier this week, Hammers legend Tony Cottee lashed out at all the ‘nonsense’ statistics that he believes are over used in today’s game.  Describing the trend towards measuring player performance according to print outs from a motion device is too crude and frequently gives a misleading impression to gullible fans and team managers.

Take, for example, the Hammers recent form, with 13 points out of a possible 15 in their last five games they are the highest performing team in the Premiership! But Hammers fans will want to know why? Is this a mere fluke? Or can we identify factors that we can focus on in training and squad selection? In a blatant show of defiance towards TC, we decided to take a look at the Squawka stats that relate to the Hammers – and boy, they were very revealing!

First up, the defensive league tables tell their own story, with the parsimonious Hammers way out in front – just look at the number of clearances! And more than 25% more shot blocks than any other Premiership side !!!  Poor man United, who have lapsed back into the early eighties mediocrity, are languishing in 8th.

As we look at defensive records, again we can see a pretty clear picture, with both James Collins (2nd) and James Tomkins (8th) in the Premiership top ten.  Disappointing;ly, the computer had some sort of gremlin moment as bizarrely 'cheating' Chico Flores was places as tenth in the rankings! Maybe he managed to fool the computer in the same way that he hoodwinked referee Hoards Webb into sending poor Andy Carroll off earlier this month!

And as for Goalkeepers, Adrian is quickly becoming the latest in a long line of fantastic shot stoppers for the Bubbles boys and is ranked the best goalie in the Premiership since January!

But even your underpowered home desktop can tell you that success also requires attacking prowess – and Kevin Nolan’s recent 100% shot accuracy serves as a key lesson for all aspiring forwards – make the keeper make a save!!!  

But there also needs to be the link men, those who grab possession and then create the chances for the target men – Mark ‘Duracell’ Noble stands at the top of the rankings for tackles made and for successful passes, while the impressive Stewart Downing is the player who most ‘hurts’ the opposition with his 82% pass accuracy and a whopping 10 key passes made!


So there we have it, West Ham’s recent sensational run of form is based upon solid defence aligned to hard work in midfield and taking your chances up front – three observations that we could NEVER have made without the assistance of computer technology!
However, one issue that remains unsolved, is why TC has such antipathy towards statistics? In consultation with our in-house nerdtastic stats and related boffin-issues expert – Norbert McWhirlybits – and we think the brainbox has stumbled upon a statistic that still riles our hero of the team of ’86!!!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Lampard Releases Collection of Childish Stories

Little did his mentors down at the Boleyn know it at the time, but the ‘token’ educational sessions provided at the academy for the young Frank ‘destined to be a major star’ Lampard would reap the benefits of a top publishing deal and join the long list of footie literary heavyweights. However, in the latest twist in the incredible Lampard tale, Frank has released a series of childish stories about football that parents can use to induce sleep in their kids at bedtime. Sources have revealed that the stories are really insomnia inducing – up there with counting sheep and the like!
ZZZ...Lamps saves the day again!

Loosely based upon his own experiences as a top flight professional footballer, readers who will be hoping to get some insight into the saucy goings on in the Chelski dressing room will be disappointed as the stories are said to be mostly based upon the well tested Roy Race / Fulchester Rovers theme with ’our’ Frankie starring as the hero. The majority are thought to  involve a storyline along the lines of Frankie being unable to make the start of a crucial Chumpions League tie due to flight delays / military coups in one of the many African countries where he is involved in important charity work, but amazingly, gets back just in time to score a double hat-trick and save the day, de blah blah…

Meanwhile, Irish soccer pundit, Eamonn Dunphy, who penned possibly the greatest football book of all time “Only a game?”,  is said to have lashed out at the project as a pointless waste of time, even for a washed up has-been, before using the whole debacle as yet another prime example of the seemingly boundless narcissism of our football ‘stars’.
However, in a surprising twist, Lamplard is rumoured to have broken from the tedious constraints of the ‘i am the hero – come worship at the museum of me’ theme, to take on a more controversial plot in the finale of the series. In the ‘challenging’ episode, our Frankie , turns nasty and rails against his formative club, forgetting those who helped him during his crucial early years and even vowing to score a goal to relegate his former club!!!. Happily, Frankie is brought back down to Earth when he finds himself surplus to requirements at his chosen club who are merely the plaything of an evil and ruthless villain.

Other rumours suggest that Lampard may embrace a range of new roles when he finally deems to quit top flight football including as a peace negotiator in war torn zones such as Somalia and Newham, as well as an astronaut in a planned mission to Uranus. It seems for polymathic Frank that the options are infinetessimal…

Meanwhile, VERYWESTHAM have started a campaign to get our very own ‘Frankie’ – the legendary Frank McAvennie – to pen a series of ‘adult’ stories about a cheeky but loveable footballing rogue who manages to score on and off the pitch. Now that would make for a proper bedtime read!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Andy Who? Hammers march on as Saints flounder

When Andy Carroll received red card after an innocuous tangle with Chico ‘Cheating’ Flores, you could sense the deflation of Hammers fans who realised that the following three games would be crucial to determining the outcome of a stuttering season – and without Carroll, both offensively and defensively we would be up against it.

However, all the talk about Carroll had distracted from the much more significant factor that had contributed to a series of bad results – the lack of a solid defensive platform had left Allardyce’s troops with no base from which to build results. However, just as AC was being sent to the sidelines, Collins, Reid and Tomkins were finding match fitness again after a variety of injuries.

Against Villa we simply had more to give, and with a little good fortune and assistance from the woodwork, we headed for home with a precious away victory. Then Norwich came and despite bossing possession, we ultimately prevailed with a performance that was more typical of visitors than the home team. And then today, we pushed onwards with a confidence that comes from a series of good results. Even though we fell asleep for Southampton’s opener in the eighth minute, we hit back and with Matt Jarvis, Carlton ‘Killer’ Cole and Captain Kev all scoring we pushed into the top half of the table and towards freedom! And all that despite only 31% possession as the home team!
Next up are Everton at Goodison. Never a happy hunting ground for the Hammers but right now anything is possible. Put your money on Carroll starting on the bench. Sadly (!?!), not such a good day for the Hammers reserves, as Green, Maiga, Benayoun, and new recruit Ravel Morrison lost to lowly Charlton and slipped further down the Chumpionship table. Hmmmm.

Héroe español Adrian espera unirse a leyendas de porteros Hammers

Fans de Los Leones y las láminas tienen caras como el culo de un perro

Después de menos de una docena de juegos, verano de porteros fichaje del West Ham desde el Real Betis , Adrián San Miguel del Castillo, que ya está a punto de unirse a la élite Hammers en los libros de récords , mientras se prepara para la visita de hoy de Southampton y la oportunidad de establecer un nuevo oeste record Jamón de cinco Premiership consecutiva sábanas limpias.
Como un par de semanas pueden cambiar las cosas ! Después de haber sido redactado en comenzar una transición hacia la vida después de la parada del portero Jussi Jaaskelainen veterano , pobre Adrian sufrió la ignominia de encajar 11 goles en dos partidos como los Hammers trató de poner buena cara durante un período en los tres de sus defensas centrales preferidos eran no está disponible debido a una lesión
Pero después de una serie de actuaciones musicales , como los Hammers redescubrieron su parsimonia defensiva andachieved outs totales de cierre contra el Chelsea , Swansea , Norwich, y Villa , que ya está configurado para igualar el récord de Phil Parkes ' desde 1985 , mientras que el establecimiento de un nuevo récord para la Liga Premier Bubbles!

Adrian to join list of Hammers' goalkeeping legends...Kitchen, Standen, Day, Parkes and Dicks?!?

West Ham’s summer goalkeeping recruit from Real Betis, Adrian San Miguel del Castillo, is already poised to join the Hammers elite in the record books as he prepares for today’s visit from Southampton and the chance to set a new west Ham record of five consecutive Premiership clean sheets.
How a few weeks can change things! Having been drafted in to begin a goalkeeping transition towards life after veteran Jussi Jaaskelainen, poor Adrian suffered the ignominy of conceding 11 goals in two games as the Hammers tried to put on a brave face during a period where all three of their preferred centre backs were unavailable due to injury

                                                                           Tomka - well acquainted with the challenges that face modern day bouncers
But after a string of sensational performances, as the Hammers rediscovered their defensive parsimony andachieved total shut outs against chelsea, Swansea, Norwich, and Villa , he is now set to match Phil Parkes’ record from 1985, whilst setting a new Premiership record for the Bubbles.  

However, as the Spaniard will soon discover, he is not alone in being out standing in a field and will be joining a whole legion of record holding Hammers goalkeepers.

Merve the Swerve, Day – our goalkeeper in the 1975 Cup-winning side is the only goalkeeper to ever win the PFA Young Player of the Year  
Moreover, during his time, Phil Parkes was the most expensive signing at a whopping £565,000 in 1979 from QPR - even though he had dodgy knees!!!

On the less positive side of things, On 10 October 2009, West Ham United goalkeeper Rob Green became the first ever England goalkeeper to be sent off during a match for his professional foul on Ukrainian Artem Milevskiy.

Adrian recently revealed that he also has a passion for the sport of Padel – or ‘Spanish squash’ and also joins the ranks of Hammers goalies with second sporting careers:

Another routine outing for the Sixties Bubbles
West Ham United’s keeper during the 1960’s, Jim Standen, played cricket for Worcestershire during the summer months and topped the county bowling averages. He could allegedly hurl a football 60-70 yards –m quite a thought for a quick break during a time when the Hammers were blessedwith a series of pacey wingers!

                                                                                  "My olde man's a dustman..."

Meanwhile, George Kitchen, who played in goal for the Hammers before the start of the First World War, was a professional golf player at the age of 14 and became a club pro after retiring from football.

More recently, Shaka Hislop used to work for NASA, while that other Hammers goalkeeping favourite, David James,  is an avid collector of seventies superstunt bikes the good old Raleigh Chopper. James not only holds the Premier League record for most clean sheets, with 173, but also the most-silly hairstyles.

                                                                                Oops! Valdo just sneaked in there!

But undoubtedly, still our most memorable net minder was none other than...


Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Ravel Reverse as Harry left with egg on is face!

The whole Ravel Morrison going out on loan to QPR business has been a weird saga that has dragged on and on and thus created a vacuum of rumour and counter-rumour. In all the talk about disputes over agents, exaggerated groin strains and dissatisfaction with his 'miserly' weekly pay packet, nobody has thought to consider what is really ailing the troubled youngster.

Ravel does some charity work at the Hammers retirement home

After careful consideration of all the facts of the matter, it appears that the real problem is that Ravel doesn’t like the Hammers current away strip. The bland white affair really doesn’t match up to the traditional alternative - majestic sky blue with double claret breast hoops - that has become a footie fashion icon over the years. We can only imagine the frustration that any young soccer dandy might experience when, having signed up for East London’s finest, to then be cruelly denied the opportunity to strut their stuff in the sartorially elegant away outfit!

                                                                      Not exactly "Gangsta" is it?
And it is on this very issue that the much-mooted Fulham transfer floundered, as their home strip is undoubtedly among the most banal in world soccer. Now, apparently within hours of making the switch to QPR, comes the realisation that the prison garb that Joey Barton and Co turn out in is utterly disagreeable and, by virtue of it’s horizontal stripes, makes one look more rotund than the effect that a vertically striped equivalent would achieve. Even worse, when he realises that the blue hoops are ‘royal’ rather than ‘navy’ blue, all hell will break loose.
For Harry Rednapp, the Morrison affair could provide a chance to show what he could have achieved as England National team manager. His popularity was based mostly upon his perceived ability to ‘communicate’ with the spoilt brats who pose as top soccer stars these days (it certainly wasn’t due to his tactical nous). Having tamed Joey Barton into wearing an Ena Sharples-style hair piece, anything is possible, but his comments about Ravel kick-starting QPR’s season will surely come back to haunt him. Automatic promotion? – they could struggle to make the play offs!

And a word of warning to Morrison; when it kicks off don't expect Harry to be a discrete as Sam et al have been. It looks like we are set to finally hear what those 'attitudinal problems' really are!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Roma Ace Hails Adrian’s Wall

Marco Borriello, the Roma striker who joined West Ham on loan during the transfer window, has hailed fellow European Adrian for his goalkeeping heroics that have allowed the previously leaky Hammers to go more than six hours without a single defensive breach!

They shalt not pass.......except if they play for Man City or Notts Forest

“Not since the times of Emperor Di Canio have the Hammers ranks been so swollen with talent” an observer outside the Chadwell Heath training complex commented. “This side are meaner than Ray Stewart’s parsimonious Uncle Hamish who was so tight that he made a squeaking noise when he walked  
As the side close in on the Hammers previous 5-game clean sheet record that was achieved by the glorious Boys of ’86 side, the pressure is mounting, but Adrian stands solid – rather like the ancient stone wall that he is named after. Already the cool-headed keeper is eyeing up Edwin Van der Saar’s 2008-9 Premiership record of 1,311 minutes without conceding and then, the 22 clean sheets season-long record held by Phil Parkes (1980-81)

Meanwhile, it’s also happy days for Hammers previous netminder Jussi Jaaskelainen who, after a stunning and lengthy career between the sticks, finally has time to devote to his second career as a car wash attendant. 

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Hammers on Red Alert as Star flown home in critical condition

West Ham’s recent red hot run of form has been closely linked to the return of their experienced defender James Collins. It is no wonder, therefore, that Hammers fans have been left sweating by reports that he has returned home from the training camp in Dubai and said to be in a critical condition after sustaining second degree burns during a game of beach football.

Collins, who is nicknamed ‘Ginge’ due to his preference in tasty biscuit snacks, is especially vulnerable to such problems having previously sustained similar sunburn injuries during the pre-season trip to Southend on Sea FC two years ago.

The unlucky Hammers medical team will be cursing their bad luck as the East End side are lacking in ‘ginger experience’ having had a dearth of red-haired players over the years. Apart from rubicund Steve Lomas, only Hayden Foxe and Robbie Slater’s brief periods at the club the only previous need for high factor sun screen in living memory.

Elsewhere, concerns have been expressed for the safety of the resurgent Matt Taylor after it was revealed that Colombian soccer star Juan Pablo Pino was recently jailed for displaying a tattoo of  Jesus whilst visiting neighbouring Saudi Arabia. 


It is thought that along with Jack Collison, as the most Ink-Adorned Hammers, the pair could easily be singled out to be made an example of by the ever so strict UAE authorities.

                                                       The Portsmouth tattoo will really attract the ire of the UAE police
The Hammers squad have been warned about excessive displays of affection during goal celebration trainings and reminded about the British couple who were jailed in 2010 for one month for ‘kissing’ on the beach in Dubai. In order to set an example, open shows of emotion have been banned – even amongst the West Ham suits!

Undoubtedly, the visiting Hammers will be invited to engage in kick-abouts with local football outfits – an experience they may find unexpectedly challenging as the UAE players are known for their trickery. The prime example was that of UAE legend Theyab Awana who scored an audacious back heeled penalty goal during an international versus the Lebanon in 2011.
                                                      Top that if you can - 'Raveldo'
However, Hammers #1 stopper Adrian has some tricks of his own and will surely be capable of dealing with such tomfoolery having now passed over five consecutive hours of Premiership action without conceding! 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Hammers in late surge for Europe!

                                                    'Old West Ham' - with blatant towel wasting!

As the buoyant West Ham squad head to Dubai for some well-earned sunshine and relaxation before their next match in ten days’ time, it has emerged that they have gotten a taste for travel and are planning a late bid to seize one of the Premiership European places. Presently resting in the top half of the Premiership table, and a mere 19 points behind the unpredictable and eternally shaky Hot spurs of Tottieham, the Hammers have a new found champions-level form that puts them top of the Premiership ratings on their performances over the past 4 games with a whopping 10 points – a recoed blemished only by Chelsea’s flukey home point against what was a swashbuckling and dominant visiting hammers side.
Moreover, the Hammers will be only too welcome in any of the top hotel  resorts across Europe as they are incredibly eco-friendly, having kept the most clean sheets in the Premiership this season – with their present ‘no skid marks or other blemishes on the linen’ record resting at 13 occasions this year! It is rumoured that the squad use the least amount of hotel towels when on tour of any Premiership club, with some players apparently doubling up on towel use to conserve laundry efforts.

At such times, however, it is incumbent upon the fans of the altruistic East End club to spare a thought for the less fortunate amongst our footballing brethren. Even as we look towards our future swanky European engagements, we thank our lucky stars that we aren’t struggling like poor Sheffield United, who despite receiving a donation of trillions in compensation from the Hammers,  are now facing an arduous encounter with the mighty Brentford that is crucial if they are to stave off yet another relegation (this time the old fourth division looms) and, perhaps most tragic of all, desperate Millwall in freefall at the foot of the Chumpionship.

Thankfully, both sides are grim enough to endure these terrible times. I’m sure Big Sam and the lads will bring them back a stick of rock from their travels…

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Classic Allardyce as Hammers stun Canaries

Poor Norwich - having had by far the better of proceedings up until the final ten minutes, suddenly West Ham struck with a piece of rare class and James Collins had given the home side the lead. Then, as the Canaries pushed forwarrd to try and salvage a point, Momo Diame broke free and settled matters with a viciously deflected shot. 2-0, 10 points from their last four games, and a thirteenth clean sheet of the season. Suddenly we are in the top half of the table!!!

Top marks again to Adrian, who made a few excellent saves and is rapidly becoming a trusty replacement for Jaaskelainen, while Tomkins and Collins again demonstrated how 'proper' centre backs position themselves. We were left almost wishing we could get another crack at Man City, almost but not quite! 

Maybe it's just as well that Andy Carroll was missing because one can only imagine the hype if he had been playing in the last two games comparing with versus without Carroll - at the very least this demonstrated that we can grind out results as long as we have two of our preferred three centre backs on the field.

Crisis, what crisis?

Monday, 10 February 2014

What is REALLY going on with Ravel Morrison?

With the intense growing speculation regarding the latest twist in the  Ravel Morrison saga – with rumours ranging from a simple 'niggly groin' injury, to a desire to abandon the West Ham cause for a bigger stage, and even, laughably, to join the sinking ship at Fulham!!! – our intrepid undercover reporters have been examining the evidence in order to finally set the record straight for the bewildered Hammer’s faithful - the truth is definitely somewhere amongst the following:

1. He is taking time out to secretly attend a special course in how to pass the ball.
Although young Raveldo oozes  audacity and can light up otherwise dull encounters (read: most Hammers matches these days) with his swashbuckling runs, he still has not learned when to release the ball – with frustratingly wasteful results as he so frequently runs up blind alleys in search of openings that only come with quick ball. The net result of most of his trickery is being surrounded by a host of opponents who inevitably rob possession and move on.
2. Ravel has been abducted by Manchester United!
Perhaps not as crazy as it sounds - don’t you think it strange that the last sighting of young Raveldo was at Old Trafford? In the tradition of making audacious raids for rising Hammers stars, the greedy and arrogant Mancunians have once again swooped to steal from our crèche. Thankfully, his pre-Hammers roots mean that there is a ready supply of photo shots of Morrison in Devils merchandise so that he can avoid the wrath of the Ince-haters. Moreover, given Man United's recent desperate run of form, who would begrudge their loveable fans the pick-me-up of gaining England’s brightest prospect since Gazza? 
3. He has undergone plastic surgery to create the appearance of being Matt Taylor.
                                                            An obvious photoshop job!
This explanation has particular credibility given the inexplicable form of the ageing star. Widely predicted to exit the Boleyn last Summer, “Taylor” has patiently waited on the bench before suddenly returning to play a massive role in the Hammers revival. However, his new found mobility and pace have raised the suspicions of Hammers faithful who have only ever known him as a committed pro with a decent left peg but, crucially, lacking pace. Furthermore, have you ever seen the two on the pitch simultaneously??? Word is that Morrison finally got fed up of his every last step being hailed as the future of English football and has decided to go undercover in order to get on with the business of playing well without so much fuss.

4. He has run away with the circus.
Again, perhaps not so crazy – the youngster has more tricks in his bag than a performing seal and could keep most top hats enthralled for hours on end with his stunning array of flicks and clips and general artistry. Moreover, his time at Birmingham City undoubtedly introduced him to the carny lifestyle where his circus antics would be more than enthusiastically received.
WTF is that shirt like - yeughhhh?
5. He has abandoned football to become a ‘gangsta’ rapper.
Morrison has a particular fascination with music – possibly due to sharing a surname with the original Lizard King, Jim. Other theories suggest his musical bent is just a Madchester thing. Either way, there’s no doubting that young Ravel is full of the kinda attitude that can only serve to make friends and influence people.
                                                              My time is now, mofo!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

West Ham overcome Villa in 7-4 thriller!

After yesterday's lively encounter where an increasingly buoyant Hammers dragged their Claret and Blue cousins into the relegation-mire, Dave Hammer offers his verdict on a first XI who have represented both clubs and asks – at the end of the day will they consider themselves primarily Hammers or Villains?
Dave Hammer says:
Mervyn Day
Merve the Swerve was an Essex boy who had the world at his feet after minding the nets for the Hammers triumphant 1975 cup winning side. Then suddenly the crosses started spilling and he had to go…he endured a quiet spell at Villa for two seasons reaching 30 appearances but never quite realised the early potential. Decent spell at Leeds followed and he is now a scout with Brighton. Had a whole album named after him by Indie popsters St Etienne! Verdict: Hammer
James Collins
Seemed perfectly settled at West Ham until a mysterious transfer to Villa in 2009. Upon returning, he commented that he wasn’t really sure why he left in the first place. Neither were we! He now has more appearances notched up for the Hammers than Villa which is only proper given that his heart is with the Bubbles boys. possibly the best shot blocker in the league? How the Hammers have benefitted from his return and how well he marshalled the physical presence of Benteke yesterday. Verdict : Hammer
David Unsworth
Prone to homesickness and the influence of his ‘hard to settle’ wife, Unsworth had a decent season with the Hammers in ’97-98 before moving to Villa for few weeks before decideing to bounce on up the motorway back to Everton! Never actually appeared for Villa and they got their 3 million fee back in the whole crazy saga! Verdict : Hammer.
Liam Ridgewell
London boy who came through the Hammers youths but was ‘let go’ to Villa where he was part of the team that won the 2002 FA youth cup. A six year career at Villa ensued before stints at Birmingham City and West Brom. Rather embarrassing episode where pictures were released of him using pound notes when simple three-ply toilet paper should suffice did little to endear him with cash-strapped footie fans. A journeyman that the Hammers let get away. Verdict: Villain.
Gary Charles
Troubled Bubble – was the other half of the famous Gazza Cup semi final ‘lunge’ that changed Gascoigne’s career. Both men subsequently have admitted to severe alcohol-related problems and in Charles’ case prison time for ‘foolish’ activities. Had a decent 4 years at Villa. Conversely, bobbled through the Boleyn with 5 appearances before other distractions took priority. Verdict: Villain.
Alan Curbishley
Back when the Hammers turned out stylish creative midfielders for fun - a Late 70s Hammer who wasa Boleyn Boy at heart and did well to notch up 85 appearances in an era where Brooking, Devonshire etc were competing for places. Later returned as a manager in a disappointing but not unsuccessful spell that ended in acrimony. A single un-noteworthy season at Villa on his way to Charlton where he established a second home.  Presently contributing to the relegation-bound farce at Fulham. Verdict : Hammer.
Nigel Reo-Coker
Energetic midfielder who had a productive 4 years at the Hammers before being snathched by Martin O’Neill to join his Villa crusade. Clocked up 120 Hammers appearances compared to 102 for Villa. Period at Upton Park was marginally more successful but ended unhappily. Verdict: Hmmm…Villain - just!
Thomas Hitzlsperger
Picked up a crazy half-Brummie acacent during his 4 years at Villa park in the early noughties – classy midfielder with a ‘hammer’ shot. Much loved by the Midlands outfit before returning home to Germany for a 5 year spell. Came to West Ham many years later for a season that was ruined by injury and ultimately managed only 11 appearances for a relegated Hammers side. Recently took the brave step of 'coming out' regarding lifestyle preferences. Verdict: Villain.
Marlon Harewood
Powerful striker – managed almost a goal every third appearance for the Hammers over a four year and 150 match spell in the mid noughties. Less happy time at Villa where he was used as a back up forward and managed only 30 appearances Has drifted since – to places as exotic as Turkey and China! Verdict: Hammer.
Carlton Cole
Travelled striker who has finally made the Hammers his spiritual home. Had a season on loan at Villa in 04-05 before joining the Hammers in 2006 where he has remained. Not the most prolific but a committed and loyal club servant who even took a pay cut to stay at the Boleyn during our recent season ‘out’. Has remained at  the club despite all sorts of contractual tomfoolery and has provided decent cover for the often- absent Andy Carroll. Hammers fans have warmed to his robust and sometimes amusingly forthright style. Verdict: Hammer.
Frank McAvennie
Hammers legend after two wonderful periods at the Boleyn. Formed a much feared partnership with Tony Cottee, which reached a peak during the 1986 season where the Hammers finished third. ‘TC and God’ had highly complementary skills. Had a brief spell at Villa but latter part of his career was punctuated by an increasing fondness for the high life. Another troubled bubble who at one point received a 4 month suspended sentence for affray. Verdict: Hammer's Legend.
Final Score
Hammers 7 vs Villains 4

Substitutes: Ray Houghton; David James; John Carew; Nobby Solano; Robbie Keane, Stewart Downing

So, the Hammers come out on top – just like in yesterday's encounter.