Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Hammers in secret scouting mission to Eastern Europe

 
Even as the Hammers sit majestically in fourth position in the World's greatest league, VERYWESTHAM have headed off on a secret mission in search of the next Ludo Miklosko and Tomas Repka.

SuperTom's new role
Braving the late October conditions, a crack team of scouts - all well-versed in the so-called WEST HAM WAY have been czeching out the very best that the Czech League has to offer and have compiled a detailed report for the Hammers board regarding opportunities to invest in the Czech footie market based upon their three-day mission.




After a series of clandestine communications involving secret passwords (e.g. "two more Budvar there Pavel, whenever you are ready mate") our undercover agents found their way to the stadium of Dukla Prague - well known to Hammers hipsters as the subject of the half-man-half-biscuit 1986 classic "All I want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague away kit"


Check it out at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBmFuySb_Qw

Dressed up as Dukla ultra-casuals, our agents viewed a whole match but came away feeling that their presence must have been rumbled as the teams played out a rather drab match with few incidents to comment upon. In fact, the game felt as if it was being played between two sides composed entirely of Vladamir Labant clones! No sign of the Dukla heroes who dispatched an able Hammers side in the America's Challenge Cup final of 1963, winning 2-1 on aggregate!



However, our intrepid sleuths did take the opportunity to get a feel for watching footie in an athletics stadium and have duly decided to apply for an upgrade to the front row of the new stand in order to cut down on binocular costs.


either way, our heroes have vowed to continue in their efforts to identify the very best of Czech soccer culture by virtue of a sustained undercover mission into the underbelly of Prague tonight!

WH pose beside the statue of Dukla's most famous player: Josef Masopust-
European footballer of the year in 1962
 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Amalfitano and Valencia Join the Moonies!

Dumbfounded Moonies get a visit from the Hammers hit squad!
In scenes reminiscent of Eric Cantona's terrifying assault upon a Crystal Palace fan, jubilant Hammers' players Morgan Amalfitano and Enner Valencia lost the run of themselves after combining for West Ham's opener in yesterday's conclusive destruction of the Mancunian side.

Apparently mistaking the Moonies of Man City as Hammers fans (?!?!), the pair ran into the crowd to celebrate, much to the horror of the City fans who were in a state of complete shock after just conceding a goal in a match they probably thought they would easily win. 

Their surprise was undoubtedly exaggerated by the 11-0 haul they amassed over three games against the Bubbles brigade last year, and as a result they were more than dumbfounded as the Hammers took the game to them and out punched them in a thrilling toe to toe confrontation.




Later on the Moonies were to suffer further embarrassment as Alex Song decided to rub in his total dominance of midfield by performing a variety of ball juggling tricks and even completed a rabona inside the City box.

The incident has provoked much joviality amongst the VERYWESTHAM crew, but has also opened old wounds regarding the longstanding dispute in the team as to who is the most amusing member of the crowd in the famous snapshot of the Cantona incident? We have circled the preferred three and are running a fans' poll in an effort to try and resolve the matter for once and for all.




Which one do you find the most amusing?

A. Mr Blue: "Gggggordon Bennett!!!"
B. Mr Yellow: "Wot a lark, fantastico!!!"
C. Mr Pink: "Oh my Gawd, that's right awful that is Mildred"

Send your answers on a postcard to:
Mr Neil Warnock, 
Director of Outrage and Righteous Indignation, 
Crystal Pulis Football club, 
Sarf London, 
Innit.

Sakho Deemed fit to continue scoring run

In the aftermath of yesterday's annihilation of tragic Man City, Hammers fans' celebrations were dampened by the news that ace striker, and scorer of the winning goal, Diafra Sakho had picked up a nasty shoulder injury.

With reports suggesting that he had been 'rushed' to hospital, in fact it has emerged today that his hospitalisation will not prevent him from continuing his goalscoring spree. Professor Angus Ramsbottom, consultant in football-related sorcery at Basildon University Hospital revealed that the indefatiguable Senegalese hit man plans to continue thumping in goals even from the comfort of a hospital bed.

In other reports, Paddy Poormaker bookmakers have installed Sakho as the 1-2 favourite to score first in today's big match between Chelsea and Man United, even though Sakho won't be playing in the game! Sakho's status as the seventh son of a seventh son who has scored seven goals in seven appearances brings with it the unusual capacity to score in any game at any time he so pleases!

Either way, VERYWESTHAM wish Diafra a speedy recovery.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Oi Ferguson, THIS is the West Ham way!

In order to assist Sir Alex Ferguson in his efforts to discover what the 'West ham way' is before he dies, we at VERYWESTHAM have composed a video of footage from a typical(ish!) day of footie mayhem at Upton Park.

We sincerely hope that it serves to cheer you up, you curmudgeonly old has been!

video


COYI!!!

This is Outrageous, This is Contagious!!! Watch as Hammers Own Premiership Champions on and off the pitch!

video


Oh yes, today's victory over man City is almost beyond words... and as a consequence VERYWESTHAM have turned to the word of music to capture the shenanigans at Upton Park today as the buoyant Hammers ran out 2-1 winners in an absolute thriller!

Right from the pre-match formalities, during which the young Hammers mascot achieved legend status by dissing Joe Hart with a thumb salute.

Then Enner Valencia took off, rocket style, to leave the Moonies defence for dead, before threading the ball across for Morgan Amalfitano to tap in.

The Diafra Sakho scored his inevitable goal - and what a stunning cross from young Aaron Cresswell and thumping header from the unstoppable Sakho.

City tried to claw back, but we held out, triumphantly.

and Big Sam was treated to a full on post match interview THANKYOU.

We have mashed it with Jez from Peep show's classic "This is outrageous"

and it is.

THIS is the WEST HAM WAY, Mr Ferguson!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Diafra Disappointment as Scoring Run Fails to Extend to Europe

After a sensational record breaking run of scoring on six consecutive footballing outings, including West Ham’s last five Premiership fixtures, prolific striker Diafra Sakho’s could not maintain his scoring run last night despite a series of Champions league fixtures. Even as Shatkar Donetsk slipped seven goals past mighty BATE Borisov and Bayern Munich pelted Roma 7-1, Sakho failed to appear on any of the night's scoresheets and couldn’t even muster a shot on goal all evening!

eX BBC footie icon person Alan ‘hint of the darkness’ Hansen jumped to Sakho’s defence “personally, I think it’s a wee bit harsh to judge the lad’s performance on a game he hasn’t actually played in” emphasising why BBC chiefs had to axe the non-committal and overly conservative filibustering Scot from the Match of the Day line up.

Cronic Bubbles-watcher, Les Windybottom, was not so reticent in expressing his viewpoint “It’s a pity his freescoring record came to an end on a Champions league night and during such a big tie as between Barcelona and Ajax” he further hit the nail on the pointy end in his observation that “Ultimately, Sakho may turn out to be like so many former Hammers strikers who just don’t turn up for the big games”.

Hammers next opponents, the hirsute Man-chested City, enjoyed another night of Eurovision success picking up a valuable point away to CSKKK-Moscow that should help them in their efforts to claim third place in their Champions league group and a free ticket to the much loved Europa Cup competition that is especially designed as an outlet for the oversized squads of Europe’s more grotesquely affluent clubs.

West ham will take encouragement from the ease with which Moscow cancelled out a two-goal head start for City who are said to be totally exhausted from their efforts and the really tiring trip home. In particular, poor Sergio Aguero was forced to play a full ninety minutes in the snowy conditions by beastly Manuel Pellegrini and is thought to be doubtful for the trip to Upton Park at the weekend.

“It’s time that Sakho delivered a decent match haul to improve on his mere goal a game average with at least a brace against City next weekend” concluded Windybottom before tucking in to a delicious slice of Battenberg cake.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Who wants to get rid of Sam now? Six months on from the fans poll Allardyce is laughing his socks off!

My Oh My! 

Here we are just six months on from the poll of fans in which 80% of the 13,000 West Ham fans who responded indicating that Big Sam should be sent on his merry way to allow for a return to the much lauded “West Ham way”.

The poll was also supplemented by fan’s comments – with one fan capturing the principal recurring theme that:

 Sam's style of football is too one-dimensional. There is no plan B and he is adamant that he will not consider changing his style”.

The board received the results and we waited their response. One thing for sure about the David’s is that they are VERY media-sensitive, and if anything sometimes overtwitting on twatter!

And their response duly arrived – to many fans disappointment we were informed that Sam would be staying and that a new coach would arrive to bolster our attacking efforts. Many viewed this as a fudge.

Then Andy Carroll got injured and we managed to throw away a winning position at home to Spurs. Grrrr. Inevitably, the calls for action returned. Sullivan and Gold held firm-ish.

Then unexpectedly we suddenly morphed into the current swashbuckling outfit that is not just delivering open, attacking and VERY EXCITING football, but also getting results!
We lie fourth in the table this morning – and with a little luck we could be even higher! It’s nice to genuinely look forward to playing the bigger clubs knowing that we can really compete with them. The cup embarrassments against Man City and Nottingham’s Florist seem a long time ago now!

So Folks, aren’t you glad Sam put up with our carping, including some OTT abuse from some sections amongst us?

On behalf of VERYWESTHAM we want to say a big Happy 60th Birthday Sam – and in particular thanks for:

(1) Rescuing our beloved club who were in freefall when you arrived.
(2) Ejecting the underperforming and overpaid brats who had taken over the squad.
(3) Getting us back to the Premiership at the first time of trying.
(4) Establishing our position as a stable Premiership club with mid table finishes over the past two seasons.
(5) and most of all........Reintroducing the delightfully entertaining football that binds us as a group of fans who believe in their club and are passionate about its footballing philosophy.



COYI!!!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Burnley vs West Ham: Team sheets reveal probably alien abduction episode

The starting line ups are in and there are quite a few surprises as the in-form James Tomkins has been ruled out with a thigh injury (and replaced by the ever-dependable James Collins with youngster Reece Burke joining the bench). Mark Noble is back but Cheikidh Kouyate is not yet sufficiently recovered to challenge for a place on the lively Hammers side. Enner Valencia has recovered after his goalscoring heroics during the international break and will hope to continue his form for Ecuador with the Hammers. Kevin Nolan starts from the bench. 

Mauro Zarate has mysteriously been omitted from the matchday squad and may have become the latest victim of alien abduction at the Boleyn.

The decidedly psychedelic-sounding pairing of Kieran Trippier and Danny Ings are fit for Burnley. 

We reckon 1-3 as the away side impose their new found attacking prowess

and, of course, Sakho to go 6 in 6...

COYI!!!


West Ham Utd: 

Adrian, Reid, Cresswell, Jenkinson, Collins, Song Downing, Noble, Amalfitano, Sakho, Valencia.

Subs: Jaaskelainen, Nolan, Jarvis, Vaz Te, O'Brien, Cole, Burke.

Burnley: 


Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Mee, Duff, Kightly, Arfield, Jones, Boyd, Ings, Jutkiewicz 

Subs: Gilks, Long, Ward, Barnes, Chalobah, Wallace, Sordell. 

Burnley and West Ham: Sharing the Claret and Blue


Gerry Peyton
Tyrone Mears    Mitchell Thomas     Joe Gallagher     David Unsworth
Zavon Hines   Luke Chadwick    Matt Taylor    Junior Stanislas
Alan Taylor   Ian Wright

Subs: Reg Attwell, Jon Harley, Ian Thomas Moore, Tony Parks.

Goalkeeper:
Gerry Peyton – who started out at Burnley (30 apps over 2 seasons) before being snapped up by Fulham where he enjoyed a decade of consistently good performances before moving on to continue at Bournemouth. Bounced around after that, including an 11 game spell at the Boleyn in 1993-4.
Defence:
Tyrone Mears: Managed just five appearances for West Ham after his Summer arrival in 2006 but did better when he moved to Burnley (via Derby County and Marseille!) where a couple of good seasons ended with relegation and a move to Bolton in 2011.
Mitchell Thomas: Never quite lived up to expectations after arriving at West Ham from Tottenham in 1991 and was let go back to his home town clu Luton after a patchy three years. Joined Burnley when Luton ran into financial trouble and put in a decent 99 game three year spell before retiring in 2002
Joe Gallagher: A domineering old-style centre half who enjoyed years of success at Birmingham but was crocked by the time he arrived at the Boleyn and soon after was offloaded to the unsuspecting Burnley where he served mainly as part of the training staff!
David Unsworth: Lengthy career that took in a variety of clubs – mostly Everton and then Everton again!- that included West Ham (32 apps – 2 goals) and Burnley (29 apps – 1 goal) each for a season.
Midfield:
Luke Chadwick: A graduate of the Man United academy who didn’t quite make it at the highest level - enjoyed a season on loan at Burnley in 2003-4 before being signed on a free transfer by the Hammers where he dipped in and out of the side for two years before moving on. Best spell was for five years at MK Dons and has now movedon to finish out his career at hometown club Cambridge United.
Junior Stanislas: Once the next big thing at west ham having developed through the academy from age ten, junior is a skilful player but never quite achieved the required consistency for the Premiership and was an early casualty of the Big Sam regime who was offloaded to Burnley in 2011. Left for Bournemouth last year despite being offered a new contract. Still only 24 but definitely in the underachiever category!
Zavon Hines: Pacey and, on his day, an exciting attacking threat but poor Zavon’s career has been blighted by injuries. 22 Hammers appearances before he joined Burnley in 2011 but couldn’t get first team game time and has drifted ever since. Now at the Daggers but sadly out with injury again. We will never forget watching him terrorise Liverpool in 2009.
Matt Taylor: Classy performer with a cultured left foot. Much travelled but a committed pro for all of his clubs. Hammers will always be grateful for his through pass that changed the play-off final three years ago! Doing well for Burnley since moving in the Summer but is (thankfully) injured for today’s clash.
Up front:
Alan Taylor: Arrived at West Ham from mighty Rochdale where his modest goalscoring record provided little clue as to what was to follow as Taylor went on a sensational goalscoring spree that included a brace in the 1975 FA Cup final! Never quite sustained those dizzy heights and succumbed to injuries. Put in a decent two years at Turf Moor between ’84 and ’86 where in 64 games he scored 23 goals.

Ian Wright: Some Hammers fans were sceptical when the 35 years old Wrighty arrived at Upton Park in 1998 but after 15 years of goal scoring mayhem at Palace and Arsenal he proved still able to find the net on a regular basis. His powers had dwindled still further a year later at Burnley and finally he had to hang up the boots and move on to punditry – where he is also a top performer! 

Friday, 17 October 2014

Taylor out as Clarets face the blues: West ham to add to away points tally


As we prepare for this weekend's clash with mighty Burnley, it's increasingly clear that ex-Hammer Matt Taylor will not be present to do a Chamakh on the visiting Hammers as he remains sidelined by an achilles problem that now requires surgery. No doubt the loss of Taylor will dent Burnley's confidence as he put in some decent performances during their first four games of the season before missing September through injury. 

Otherwise, the Clarets have a number of players returning, with Danny Ings possibly the most notable. West Ham will hope to have Cheikidh Kouyate and Mark Noble available and have avoided any injury problems during the international break.

Never the less, the match will provide an opportunity for Hammers fans to recall Taylor's crucial contribution for the Bubbles when his determined run from defence in the championship play off final against Blackpool, was followed by a deft pass to Carlton 'Killer' Cole who slotted away the all important first goal that settled our nerves after a shaky start to the match. 



Hammers will also experience further PTSD when they recall the many knicker-wetting moments that followed before we crawled home and made it back to the Premiership!

Best of luck Matt in your efforts to regain fitness. 

We reckon on another classy performance from the buoyant Hammers, but not without a gutsy effort from Burnley.....Nostradamus says to put your cash on a 3-1 away win as the Hammers exotic strike force will prove too tasty for Burnley!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

A Message for Alex Song and Winston Reid: moving to Liverpool FC can damage your career

Liverpool can be a real drag.....

With the growing speculation that Liverpool are preparing to swoop for two key members of the current Hammers squad - ace defender Winston Reid and on-loan Barcelona midfielder Alex Song - we at VERYWESTHAM have taken some time out to examine what happens to players who make the trip to Anfield and the effect it has on their careers... 


Actually, we just had to think up a list of players who have signed for Liverpool in the post Dalglish era! .....arriving on the crest of a wave....only to find themselves labelled as flops by the unforgiving and demanding scouse footie public. Who knows what it is - the expectation, the water, the incredibly vibrant nitelife (?!?) or just the whingy scouse accents? Either way, moving to Anfield has been a real career-killer for so many decent players!

Ridiculous - and they make you wear sh*t kits
Try: Robbie Keane, Jari Litmanen, Harry Kewell, Alberto Aquilani, Albert Riera, Bruno Cheyrou, Fernando Morientes, Stan Collymore, Andy Carroll, Andrea Dossena, Jermain Pennant, Djibrill Cisse, etc etc etc the list is simply endless.

and then there's the Hammers who have regretted going to Liverpool...Cole, Konchesky even that ultimate Hammers legend Julian Dicks found he was unappreciated and underperforming at the reds...Hmmmm.

Why not just ask current teammate Stewart Downing - written off by Liverpool and now he's one of the best midfielders in the Premier league!

Stay where you are lads.....you can be the spine of the team that occupies the Olympic stadium!

Naked Antics shocker at the Boleyn: Something must be done ...BY YOU!!!


In the latest of our series of Thineself art thon Referee – an entirely novel take on football policing – we pose a number of challenges that are of a most delicate nature and that will surely test the decision-making abilities of even the shrewdest ref…

 
A1. Errr, how foxy? Maybe let things roll and see how it proceeds…
 
A2. That’s awful! If he is wearing boxer shorts a mere yellow should suffice, but Y-fronts (or less!) warrant a full red.
 
A3. You need to establish that you are the biggest bully on this playground. Squirt the disappearing foam into the toughest-looking player’s face and then stamp on his toes, REALLY HARD…TWICE!! They should all get the message!
 
 
A4. He’s off – that's totally disgraceful behaviour on his part. Also, it’ll be one less contender for her affections! She deserves a prolonged talking to before taking down her name and details into your trusty notebook.
 
 
A5. Abandon the game, it’s time for a cold shower for everybody concerned. Also, a life ban for her is the only appropriate option  in order to emphasise that this is a football field not a bloody top international fashion catwalk!
 
 
A6. WTF!!! Are you Mark Clattenberg or something? Stay away from the babes - they're trouble. Maybe just retire mate!
 
 


 

Monday, 6 October 2014

You are the Referee - West ham Style Part II: Three Irons for the Crest?

In the latest of our super-challenging refereeing conundra for all you Clattenburg wannabes out there, VERYWESTHAM poses a teaser as to whether a player should be punished for speaking out - even if it is the truth AND in the national interest?


A. Send him off in an effort to create a media storm and endless debate that might finally wake Hodgson up to the obvious truth! Even Referee's are patriots, don't you know.


 

Sunday, 5 October 2014

You Are The Ref: West Ham Style!



Answers:

1. Disallow the goal. You'll never get out of the ground alive if you let it stand. In either case, Nolan has been whinging and whining all afternoon and you are right fed up with him. It's a case of two-birds with one stone!

2. Do nothing - he's Sir Alex for God's sake!

Oops, that should be He's God, for Sir Alex's sake.

3. QPR are pitiful and Green is a liability - they need a break. Besides, the modern footie pitch is no place for random acts of kindness. Disallow the goal - it's only West Ham after all!

Business as Usual as West Ham Sacko Sorry QPR

Five in a row for Diafra Sakho...
After the various teaser games had served to whet the appetite, the big clash of the day finally kicked off a little later than the scheduled 4.15 kick off. However, the Hammers were more than ready and cam flying out of the traps to take a deserved lead after just 5 minutes as poor QPR defender Nedum Onouha was forced to concede an own goal under considerable pressure from the ever lively and physical presence of Diafra Sakho.

The opener was followed by continued West Ham pressure with QPR mustering a single decent chance before the break, while a dominant West Ham patiently controlled the game creating a number of further half chances and went in perhaps a little disappointed to be only a single goal to the good at half time.

QPR boss Harry Redknapp must have said something right during the half time dressing room as QPR came out much more motivated for the start of the second half and were just starting to get on top of things when West ham suckered them with a goal, somewhat against the run of play,  as after some chaotic defending in the QP box, Sakho popped up to head home from a James Tomkins cross.

Two-nil with a half hour to go - could QPR mount a comeback?

No.

They couldn't.

Their only chance of note was a Nico Krancjar free kick that had Adrian diving to his bottom left hand post to push it wide.

Otherwise, West Ham could have extended the lead, and seemed to have been given a present from retuning ex-Hammer Rob Green who generously rolled a ball out to Enner Valencia who duly obliged by stroking it into the QPR net but the referee disallowed the goal because QPR were already losing and he wanted to keep the game alive for the many thousands of viewers. Probably.

This ruined the chances of Hammers starlets Reece Burke and Elliot Lee getting a run out as a 3-0 score line would surely have allowed Sam to empty the bench and give the youngsters some much needed game time.

Next up, another International snoozefest. At least with Hodgson at he helm we wont get many injuries to our lads whilst on England duty!

Burnley away after that...

Emergency Services Intervene To Save Hammers Hitman Ahead of QPR Clash

In the week that saw the 'Tomkinsgate' trial finally put to bed, those friendly folk at the other end of the 999 line were again called into line to provide a crucial intervention for a Hammers star. Reports have emerged that West Ham's new record making striker, Diafra Sakho, decided to come over all prodigy-like and managed to set fire to an apartment complex which houses four of the current squad!

Sam Allardyce was recently full of praise for his backroom support staff for their efforts to prevent another newbie - Ecuadorian superstar Enner Valencia from mistakenly eating 'dog food'!, but obviously did not reckon upon his new recruits being unable to manage simple electrical appliances! 

It is not known whether Tomkins was visiting at the time, but if so its likely that he would have hidden in the wardrobe rather than face another encounter with emergency services.

Meanwhile, Sakho et al survived the incident and will look to set the game alight today as they face a selection of retied Hammers currently playing part-time for the Queens and Park Rangers club.

Will Sakho make it five consecutive scoring appearances since his West Ham debut? We are predicting a 4-2 thriller, with a brace for Sakho as the Hammers underline their new attacking style.



 

Queens Park Hammers: The definitive West Ham and QPR XI

As these two clubs go head to head in today’s crucial 'up and coming wannabes' clash, we are reminded of the many players who have had the privilege of playing for both. Verywestham gives the verdict on how well these players performed during their spells on the East side of London.




 

 





 





Safe as houses. Had it all – presence as well as shot stopping, and a cool head to boot! We ‘stole’ him from QPR and he then formed a key part of the mid-80s teams, including the formidable boys of ’86. Ridiculous England cap haul at a mere 1!!!. 10/10.


 





Was unhappy to leave QPR and found it hard to settle at West ham after angering fans by airing his discontent in public. On field, his performances were disappointing given his record at Loftus road and he departed after a single soulless season. 4/10.


 





Came through the west Ham youth system and was soon strutting it in the first team. However, got a bit of a name for ‘socialising’ and found himself out the door to Sunderland. Has never really fulfilled the promise of his time at the Hammers where he excelled and seemed destined to duplicate older bruv’s achievements. He hasn’t. 7/10


 


 



Possibly the best product of the academy over the past 20years. Came crashing through the youth system into the first team and quickly established himself in the side. Nicked by Leeds for a large transfer fee, he rapidly moved on to Man United as one of Ferguson's most astute acquisitions. A fairytale return to the Boleyn was foiled by QPR as well as his perceived loss of pace. 9/10.


 





Great hairstyle!!! Actually was a pretty decent  recruit to the doomed side of 2003 but helped in the promotion push that followed before age caught up on him and he retired to the lower leagues. 6/10.


 





Always gave 100% and inspired those around him with his determination over a spell that lasted over seven years, 200 appearances, and many as the club captain. 8/10.


 





Uncompromising! Added much needed bite to our midfield but undoubtedly at times a loose cannon. My greatest memory is of him getting sent off against a rampant QPR side in 1995 and having to endure a desperate backs to the wall performance that earned a valuable point due to some classic Julian Dicks endeavour as the referee seemed too timid to send off a second Hammer! 6/10


 




Fantastic player – skilful and quick, he always brought a sense of excitement to proceedings. Another ‘steal’ from QPR. Had 5 decent seasons but forced to leave as we were relegated in 2003. Scored some cracking goals (with overhead kicks and volleys a specialty!) but also remembered for floating the crossfield pass for ‘that’ goal by Di Canio! 9/10


 





Something of a legend at the Hammers – determined to play for his beloved boyhood team he came in 2004 and made a major contribution to our promotion, including a stunning goal in the play off semi final and the winner in the final. Followed that with another excellent season but struggled on and off with injuries thereafter and left suddenly, even mysteriously in 2008. 9/10.


 





Stopped in on the Hammers towards the end of his career (1992-4) and played a big part in the promotion season of 92-93 but struggled in the Premiership the following season and was off on his merry way again. Did a shift at pretty much every London club and his time at the Hammers was a useful stint. 7/10.


 





Arrived as an intended saviour for the remarkable relegation side of 2003 but couldn’t prevent the doomed side from slipping down a league and left for Leicester who had moved in the other direction with promotion. It was a privilege to have him wear the claret and blue but in reality his contribution to the cause was very modest indeed. 5/10.


 





Fantastic manager –artful, creative, humorous, motivating. Left suddenly and under a cloud, as he does. Strangely settled at QPR and stuck it out despite a relegation. 9/10


 


 


 


 

Substitutes: Paul Goddard, Hogan Ephraim, Kieran Dyer, Neil Ruddock, Rob Green, Danny Gabbidon.