Thursday 31 December 2015

Proof: The Referees a Merchant.....Hammers Bottom of Good Fortune League

Time and again we are told that those game changing decisions all balance out eventually. At the end of the day, the best rather than the luckiest sides come out on top. Indeed.

But is that really the case? Few fans would agree, but they are hardly neutral. So what happens when we get the opinions of neutrals using all the technology that is denied to match officials?

The dudes at run an ongoing table that monitors key decisions - red cards / penalties etc. It makes for fascinating reading and will do little to quell the paranoia of many fans who believe that the 'bigger' clubs get a disproportionate number of close calls going in their favour! The table shows that the top six 'lucky' sides include an obvious five, along with top of the table Leicester. Hmmm.

As for the Hammers, we are the joint unluckiest team in the Premiership just now with a whopping 80% of key calls going against us. In fact, the teamtalk guys only based their Gestede/Ogbonna decision on the contact that led to the penalty but overlooked the blatantly illegal shirt pull on poor Ogbonna immediately before the contact!

Adjusting for that we are officially the most unlucky side in the league! One can only imagine where we would be in the league if a few of those calls had gone our way!

Let's start a campaign. We demand a fair deal from the match officials or we will refuse to play in the Europa League ever again. Also, maybe Slaven needs to be less 'reasonable' with the referees? Take a look for yourself...

A Stampede of Legends Awaits the Boleyn

As we enter the final calender year of activity at the Boleyn Ground, Hammers fans will be thinking of how to maximise their experience of our home. Just like Hans Solo's spaceship, the Millenium Falcon, the old ground is a bit rickety here and there, but when the place hits warp speed the house can really rock! As Captain Claret Mark Noble recently put it, Upton Park is a place where we have all "laughed, cheered and cried".

The recent announcement that Noble has been granted a testimonial on Easter Monday (28th March) comes as wonderful news. Even better, it's clear that a host of Hammers heroes and legends are queing up to join in the fun. That man Di Canio is already confirmed and now the question is who will join him? Tevez? Repka? Miklosko? Cole? Ferdinand? Dicks? McAvennie? Cottee?...the list goes on and on!

The game is scheduled for a 2PM kick off and surely represents the most enticing event of the season? Not surprisingly, former Hammers are hitting social media with congratulations for our most loyal servant over the past 15 years.

Who would you like to see in claret and blue for one last time on Easter Monday?


Wednesday 30 December 2015

Revealed: The Truth Behind Alex Song's Goggles

Star wars latest a-MAZ-ing character
The St Stephen's day tussle with Aston Villa was livened up by the vision of Alex Song sporting a pair of colourful goggles. However, in all the banter about Andy Carroll's new braided haircrime, Messr Song has not quite generated the attention he might have expected.

Is it a Barca thing?
There has, however, been some speculation as to the source of his new 'look'. Some quarters have suggested that he is continuing the tradition set by Former Ajax, Barcelona and Tottenham midfielder Edgar Davids, who wore the goggles to protect his glaucoma-affected sensitive eyes.

Cool, or NOT cool?
Song seems to have dittched the goggs already, suggesting that they may be more fashion than medicinal in purpose, raising questions as to his position on the Bono-U2 cool or twats debate that has divided music followers for decades.

Lady Brady, being held hostage by some Spurs fans

However, here at VERYWESTHAM we can reveal that, in all likelihood, Alex has simply been taken up by the Star wars fascination that is sweeping West Ham. While Karren Brady is said to be obsessed with her likeness to Princess Leia, Alex is much more taken with the most interesting of all the new characters from the Force Awakens, namely Maz Kanata - the ancient space pirate who runs a watering hole in a castle on the planet Takodana.

Yes, YOU!!! now get off...

Let's hope that Alex's performances lead to West Ham erecting a statue of him in front of the Olympic Stadium, just lime Maz has at her abode in the film. That failing, let's hope he doesn't end up at mighty Barnet just like Edgar Davids!

Carroll undecided about future plans

He's had his Pink Floyd stage, posing as a Dave Gilmour lookalike, then been through a Jesus fascination and even been the victim of a Russell Brand Bromance, but Hammers Head Hair Honcho Andy Carroll has gone full Star Wars with his new hairstyle!

After a recent phase posing as Chewbacca, the lofty striker has reverted to the Jar Jar Binks style that he first favoured whilst enjoying his most prolific goalscoring period at Newcastle.

It seems Andy can't quite decide between his favourite Star Wars heroes, unlike his footballing preferences where rumours of a return to Newcastle have been scotched by the Hammers chairman, while a return to the Evil Empire at Anfield is totally out of the question!

Although Andy may be receiving no end of slating for his new hairstyle, Hammers fans wont be too worried as long as he stays fit and starts slotting a few more vital goals in our push for a European slot to christen our debut season at the Olympic stadium.

May the force be with you big man, whoever you choose to look like!!!

Tuesday 29 December 2015

Ten Major Learning Points From The Southampton Victory

The Hammers tussle with Southampton at Upton Park yesterday evening certainly was a game of two halves. Southampton could and should have been two or three goals up at half time as a clueless Hammers lacked a clear plan and stumbled in at half time looking dazed. However, Slaven Bilic was brave and made two major substitutions at the break bringing on Carroll and Lanzini for Zarate and Song. This delivered a remarkable result as the Hammers slowly took over and totally turned it around for a 2-1 victory where, in fact, they could have won by more at the end! The performance was very revealing about the nature of our squad and among the important insights gained were;

1. Michail Antonio can be a major Premiership force. The lad has struggled for game time since moving from Notts Forest. There have been glimpses of his ability but he is far from the finished product. Last night he deservedly won the MOTM award after terrorising Southampton's defence in the second half where, once he received some decent possession, he ran at a hapless Southampton back line to devastating effect. Sides will adapt to his directness (probably) but his innate physicality and enthusiasm will give his mentors much to work with. How you wish Teddy Sheringham was still helping out as a forward's coach!

2. Alex Song is better suited to a more defensive role. Bilic played Song in an unusual position at the front of a midfield triangle but the experiment did not work out as we looked sluggish moving forward and did not create a single decent scoring chance in the first half. Song has a career total of just 11 goals in 411 games which speaks volumes for his relative offensive versus defensive abilities. BTW, that record should read 12 goals but his perfectly good strike against Arsenal was bizarrely disallowed last season.

3. Carl Jenkinson is regaining his confidence. Jenks has had a torrid season - despite scoring twice, his defensive performances have been erratic and resulted in him being dropped in favour of James Tomkins at right back. He has featured as a sub in our two previous matches where he performed well but Last night Jenks was given the daunting role of starting at left back and then switching to the right. He was solid in both positions (if a little one-footed for the left sided role) and looks to be returning to his former performance levels. Let's hope that this trend continues. 

4. Bilic can weather a crisis and use it to develop his squad. In contrast to Sam Allardyce, who responded to adversity by parking the bus and bringing in over the hill journey men (Roger the Relegator springs to mind!), Bilic has been realistic about the impact of our injury epidemic and adapoted our style accordingly. We have had little joy over the past eight games with refereeing decisions and the likes but still maintained a decent defensive record and blooded some new talent with Antonio finally getting his opportunity to show what he can do. In addition, Reece Oxford has slipped in some game time while Song and Valencia are getting back to match fitness.

5. Lanzini has a crucial creative ability and should be signed on a permanent deal as soon as possible. There is much to like about the Noble-Kouyate-Song combo in midfield which makes it super-difficult for opposition sides to score against us, but we need an incisive force if we are to create enough decent scoring opportunities to win games. Lanzini looked a bit off the pace for the first few minutes after he eneterd the fray last night but soon adjusted and suddenly we started to tick in atack and started to ask serious questions from a Southampton defence that had been cruising up to that point. Returning to the Lanzini-Payet combo as our offensive engine is a delicious prospect that we will hopefully get to realise over the near future. Tasty!

6. Mauro Zarate does not justify a starting place when we have a fully fit squad. The little Argentinian is certainly a better performer than his time under Allardyce suggested but he is a frustrating player who holds on to the ball too long and often tries to dribble out of dangerous situations in his own half. His concession of the ball to Davis towards the end of the first half last night very nearly provided Southampton with the two goal cushion they deserved! With a full squad available he presents primarily as a useful impact substitute.

7. Bilic can get it wrong sometimes. James Collins had fallen down the pecking order since Bilic arrived and looked set to join Big Sam at Sunderland until injuries forced Slaven's hand and the Ginger Pele got to strut his stuff. Is he the best shot blocker in our defence? Yes, he is! His recent two year extension may not be big media news but it represenets very good business for the club. With Tomkins impressing at right back, Collins has a more obvious role in the squad.

8. Mark Noble's set pieces are very average. Lanzini took over responsibilities once he came on and suddenly we looked more dangerous. Noble's corner kicks all too frequently fail to get past the first line of opposition defence and lack the 'whip' that creates better opportunity. Payet and Lanzini will assume primary responsibility for firing in our set piece missiles. Captain Claret is our heartbeat but he can't do it all himself!

9. James Tomkins should be in the England set up. The lad has grown in maturity and positional sense over the past two years and that TOWIE incident is well behind him. Maybe Alex Song should loan Roy Hodgson his funky spectacles so that the England boss can see some of the talent at West Ham that he has been ignoring.

10. Mark Noble should play for Ireland (We couldn't resist this one!). At 28 and with Hodgson looking comfortably ensconced as head honcho at International level, it's time those Cork relatives explained to Nobes the many delights of the Emerald Isle. Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane are still smarting over the Jack Grealish affair and would love to capture Noble's services as they lack a natural partner for James McCarthy in midfield ahead of the Euros where they are in the group of death with Italy, Belgium and Sweden. It's approaching last chance saloon for Noble and it seems a terrible waste that such a quality player may not get a single run out at full international level. Hmmm. Stop this nonsense - sign him up, NOW!

Monday 28 December 2015

Cyclopsian Centre Back to Start for Injury Ravaged Hammers

Yippee! Tomka can start. Ogbonna switches to left back, while Jenkinson gets an opportunity to reaffirm his place at right back.

Carroll and Lanzini await from the subs bench as Bilic's boys prepare to launch an almighty second half  assault on the saints.

Courageous stuff from Tomkins that should inspire his team mates to break our eight game winless streak... We can do this.

Adrian, Jenkinson, Ogbonna, Collins, Tomkins, Song, Noble, Kouyate, Antonio, Zarate, Valencia.

Subs: Randolph, Obiang, Cullen, Oxford, Carroll, Lanzini, Hendrie.

The Force Reawakens as Stars return from the Wars

West ham will be needing to offer a little more in terms of offensive effort this evening if they are to stop a rampant Southampton. Against Villa, the lack of a forward capable of holding up the ball resulted in a miserable 40% possession for the Hammers who ultimately conceded under the pressure of wave after wave of Villa attacks.

With that in mind, the likely return of Andy Sicknote today is a real boost for Slaven Bilic. David Gold has tweeted to suggest that the physical frontman should be available. Here at VERYWESTHAM we can reveal the full extent of Mr Gold's efforts to ensure that Andy be available for the match - which required intense negotiations in order to free the multitalented star from his duties as Chewbacca in the latest Star Wars blockbuster.

With ace Pilot Manuel Lanzini also possibly available, the Hammers may yet spring a surprise victory against an understandably cocky Southampton! Either way, the imminent return of Dimitri Payet will surely reawaken the powerful force that was the Irons at the start of the season.

Kick off this evening is at 5.30.


Full back dilemmas key to Southampton visit

Which will it be today?

The Hammers may be unbeaten in five games but the visit of Southampton will severely test Slaven Bilic's troops ability to avoid defeat. The injuries to key offensive players are well documented, with Payet, Sakho, Lanzini, Moses and Carroll in the sick bay of late, but the Villa game threw up additional concerns with the early exit of James Tomkins at right back and Aaron Cresswell at left back. With the Saints buoyant after thumping the Gooners 4-0 on Boxing day, this will be an anxious test.

At right back, Carl Jenkinson did well after coming on for Tomkins after the makeshift right back sustained an eye injury due to a clash of heads with Alan Hutton. Jenks has had a difficult season strewn with defensive errors, but does offer options coming forward (including two goals this year!) and if he can tighten up defensively can be the phenomenon that we almost splashed out £10 million on in the Summer!

At left back we are the victims of Cresswell's reliability as the normally injury-avoidant star tweeked a hamstring and looks unlikely to be risked today. Enter Stephen Hendrie - a player that impressed for Hamilton Academicals and was courted by West ham for a sustained period before finally arriving after the Summer. His opportunities have been restricted by Cresswell's presence.

If Tomkins is fit, one option would be to switch Angelo Ogbonna to left back - a position he has played in to good effect in the past with Juventus. However, Bilic will hardly want to break up the Collins-Ogbonna pairing, especially with Shane Long in sparkling form. Long is the type of forward that Collins is least comfortable playing against and Ogbonna's pace will be in demand against the pacey Irishman.

Joey O'Brien has provided useful cover at full back in the past but looks to have fallen off the radar under Bilic. A January exit, perhaps again joining up with Sam Allardyce at Sunderland, looks increasingly likely.

Southampton are favourites to win with the bookies at 7-5 versus the Hammers at 21-10. At 11-5 the draw looks attractive.

Expect Adrian to be busy!

Sunday 27 December 2015

Dean's Decision: He Bottled It Big Time!

First up, the draw was probably a fair result testerday as West ham were once again meek in attack, while Villa lacked the quality to seize a winning position aftr they levelled.

It's also tiresome to listen to managers whinge about refereeing decisions when often their team haven't performed well enough. However, Slaven Bilic is a refreshing exception - he is more candid than any other Premiership manager and calls it as it really is - good or bad. His post match interview yesterday included a totally justified moan about referee Mike Dean' s three penalty decisions.

The Villa penalty was a stinker as it was clearly a free out as Gestede manoevred himseld ahead of Ogbonna by pulling his shirt. Moreover, if it was a true penalty, then there could be no other outcome for the already yellow-carded Ogbonna than an early bath. Strangely, Dean didn't deliver...had he realised that his call was an error and was trying to soften the injustice? With Tomka's eye injury and Reid still crocked, we can be thankful for small mercies as we lack another established centre back.

The two shouts for handball looked decent; the first because the ball was headed goal bound before Bacuna's raised arms intervened, while the second by Westwood was gilt edged as his hand reflexively moved to the ball. The referee's assistant really should have been key to both decisions but had nothing to report.

It all balances out over the season though, doesn't it?

Saturday 26 December 2015

The real issue with West ham's recent performances

The clash with Aston Villa today brought yet another draw for Bilic's boys - that's five in a row now! Some would say respect the point, especially away from home, but Villa are bottom of the league and really lacking a punch up front since trading Christian Benteke.

Yes we have injuries, especially up front where our best five attacking threats (in order: Payet, Sakho, Lanzini, Carroll, Moses) are all out injured. Undoubtedly this has contributed to our recent goal drought, but perhaps more concerning is our reversion to Allardycian negativity. Against Swansea we managed 27% possession, while today it was a mere 40%. On both occasions our opponents were relegation-positioned opponents. In simple terms, we are being outplayed in midfield.

The second half today was embarrassing as for much of the time we could hardly string together a few coherent passes. Villa simply grew in confidence and should have gone on to win after their goal. You can argue that the penalty was unjust (and it certainly was) and that we had two strong calls for handball offences in the Villa box ignored (both good shouts for a penalty), but otherwise Adrian kept us in it as we parked the bus and looked increasingly desperate for the final whistle.

So are new recruits the solution? Or does Bilic need to change our system a bit? With such low possession percentages the latter needs to be given careful consideration. For sure, the return of our better players will help in terms of pass accuracy etc but we need to have a more coherent plan if we are to avoid being dominated by modest outfits like Villa.

On the plus side, great to see young Oxford back in the mix, while Song, Valencia and Antonio all got useful game time under their belts. Jenkinson looked steadier when he came on and will need to rediscover his form if we are to match Southampton.

Tuesday 22 December 2015

Zaza Rumours Grow...

With recent events highlighting the need for considerable depth in terms of attacking options, Italian press are suggesting that Juventus benchwarmer Simone Zaza may be heading to London to either West Ham or Crystal Palace in search of first team action. Previously the subject of much discussion as a possible Summer recruit to the Boleyn, Zaza has found few opportunities for action at Juventus this season with only 3 Serie A starts - activity that has seen him struggle to add to his seven Italian international caps.

The Hammers injury ravaged forward line will certainly provide hope for the star that he will be given opportunities as Carroll, Valencia, Zarate and Sakho are all injury-prone, while recent action suggests that Nikica Jelavic may not be the solution West ham need.

Zaza will be looking for opportunities to rediscover the Serie A scoring record with Sassuolo where he netted twenty times in the previous two seasons. With an aggressive style that includes substantial aerial prowess, he could fit into Bilic's set up quite easily. The Mohawk-prone forward could provide perfect back up for Diafra Sakho - both in playing style and punky optics!

With the January transfer window soon to be upon us, Zaza might well choose to sample London life for a few months on loan and Bilic has revealed that the club does not plan to make major long-term signings until next Summer. Given our experiences of January purchases, caution would seem prudent.

i miei amici , vedremo!

Good Tidings We last!

At last we have some good news on the injury front with word that the Hammers squad for the St Stephen's day clash with Aston Villa will be graced by the presence of Andy Carroll, a ninety-minute ready Enner Valencia, and most importantly, Manny Lanzini.

Good news indeed as we have had to resort to Allardycian tactics over the past few games where goalless encounters have been hailed as success given the lack of attacking resources. Nonetheless, accumulating just 27% of the possession against third from bottom Swansea is hardly a champagne-opening event! Moreover, it points to more than just offensive deficiencies as Noble and Company in the midfield can surely do better?

On the plus side, we have demonstrated how strong our defence can be, with the Ginger Pele reminding us all why he must stay at West ham for another two year contract. Up front, however, it's frustrating to watch Jelavic occupying a spot which young Elliot Lee has patiently waited for over the past few seasons but finds himself on loan at Blackpool just when his big chance arrives.

Villa really is a must win fame as they are struggling big time. Reports suggest that they are even desperate enough to take on the dubious talent that is Morgan Amalfitano.

The return of Lanzini can bring that spark that has been lacking. The Argentinian has been a revelation since arriving in the Summer and has especially demonstrated his worth during the Payet absence where he has been our most creative force.

In other good news, Goldie has revealed that superhero Dimitri Payet is recovering ahead of schedule and should return mid January.

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la

La la

La la.

Monday 21 December 2015

Srnicek in Critical Condition. Please read this important information

The injury 'crisis' at West Ham was put into perspective by the sobering news that former keeper Pavel Srnicek has suffered a cardiac arrest at only 47 years of age.

The incident occured whilst jogging near Ostrava. He is reported as having been unconscious for twenty minutes, placing him in the poorer prognosis category.

Srnicek provided back up services for the Hammers during their Championship campaign of 2004, appearing in three games, as he reached the twilight of his career. Best remembered for his period in Kevin Keegan's flamboyant Newcastle side of the 1990s, he has been working for Sparta Prague as a goalkeeping coach since 2012.

The very best of luck, big man!

For Hammers fans who may be worried about their risk of heart disease, smoke, are overweight or have a family history of heart attack we recommend you read the useful information at

Sunday 20 December 2015

Monk Bounces Back with New Role

It's an exciting days action at Camp Hammer where we have managed to slip in a viewing of the new Star Wars movie before the footie action begins.

Nice to see Gaz Monk has a new role already, heading up the first order!


Time for Jelavic to Shine

Despite being the busiest club on the final day of the transfer window, and in the process amassing possibly our strongest ever squad, West ham find themselves short up top with Sakho, Moses, Payet, Lanzini and Carroll all on the treatment table at present.

All of which presents a rare opportunity for Nikica Jelavic to start today as the Hammers head to Swansea looking to break a six game sequence without a win. However, Jelavic has yet to find the net for his current club after eight appearances as a substitute.

At one level, Jelavic's arrival made good sense - revisiting his very useful partnership with Slaven Bilic, where Jelavic was a formidable forward for the Croatian national side. However, Bilic's tactics at West ham have thrived upon solid defense with pacey counterattacking - a system that Jelavic is not innately suited to.

A physical presence who is strong in the air, Jelavic is relatively lacking in pace and not by any means a poacher. His most prolific period was during a two year stint at Rangers where he averaged a goal every 1.5 games, provoking a battle between West Ham and Everton for his services which the Toffees won. However, his subsequent record in English football is much less impressive with 29 goals in 113 games - i.e. one in four.

With Zarate and Antonio providing the principal support up front today, West ham need to get their full backs further forward if they are to provide Jelavic with the type of service that he is likely to thrive on. With that in mind, the failing form of Carl Jenkinson is disappointing as the Tomkins 'experiment' is destined to end in failure - both in terms of his lack of attacking prowess down the wings as well as his (relative) lack of pace in defence. Tomkins is an excellent centre back and should play there.

With West Ham so blunt up front, we can expect Swansea to push forward in search of a rare goal as a single strike could well settle this one.With just 15 goals so far this season, the Swans are the third least prolific side in the league - thus matching their third from bottom status. Meanwhile, there is no getting away from the fact that our form of late is relegation standard.

The draw at 23/10 looks attractive!


Saturday 19 December 2015

Irons Irony Ends in Ironing!

One possible solution to the injury issue

After much reflection about the latest Hammers injury pandemic, the crew at VERYWESTHAM were just getting ready to do a piece on the sheer irony that our attacking line had become dependent upon the one and only Andy Sicknote,  when lo and behold the inevitable came to pass!

This time its not knee ligaments or ankle damage or shinsplints or Rocky Mountain Yellow Spotted Fever (yes, such a condition does exist!), but a simple groin strain. The prognosis: one week and review. Hmmm. Anyone heard that about Andy before?

In truth, Michail Antonio's performance last week gave cause for offensive optimism. Enner Valencia is also back in the mix, and may yet deliver upon his undoubted potential. Victor Moses is apparently also fit but the real shocker is that Carlton Cole doesn't play for us any more, and that's a fact!

Another must have accessory for the West Ham merchandise collection.
With the injuries continuing to pile up despite the training transfer to Rush Green, it's back to the Ironing board. Maybe it's our training methods or the gear we use?

Or just darned pesky bad luck! On the plus side, tomorrow's opponents Swansea are in disarray and will hopefully lack the discipline to take advantage of our currently toothless-again squad.

Another low scoring draw looks likely. 

Friday 11 December 2015

West Ham's Foolish Oversight

The intrepid VERYWESTHAM crew took a visit to the Olympic Stadium today. Pleasant. Hard not to notice that there's an astoundingly impressive aqua arena only a stones throw from the entrance. Handy that, especially for the amohibian Bubbles amongst us.

It hot us thinking of Hammers merchandise. There's all manner of useless dirge on sale at superinflated prices, just cos Andy Carroll put it on for 2 minutes for a photo. The sad truth is that Andy and Billie and Arlo actually won't be decked out in that stuff come Yuletide. Sorry to break the news. I guess that makes me a Grinch of some sorts. Sorry again.

But what about Hammers swimwear. Both kinky and practucal at the same time. We could do super claret n blue trunks with claret framed goggles and sky blue tonted shades. Cool ot what?

And maybe model the swim cap on our fabled blue with double claret hooped away kit. Bloody decent or what.

So get to it Davids. Less gnomes/shots glasses/ cuddly toys and more crucial stuff, like swimwear. Ideal for working off some annoyance after a disappointing performance. Perfect.

More top tips on how to optimise the benefits of the OS later, but in the meantime its Ryan Shawcross and Stoke City to dinner. Bad time to have Winston Reid missing.

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Time for Noble to rediscover Attacking Focus?

Interesting Sponsor logo or what?

Back in his early days in the Hammers squad, young Mark Noble was seen as an attacking presence in midfield. However, as the years have progressed his greatest asset to the team has become as a busy but mostly defensive midfielder (spending most of his time under Allardyce covering for the increasingly immobile Kevin Nolan!).

Under Slaven Bilic, he has pushed further forward but is still primarily a holding midfielder as one of the two deep central presences in the 4-2-3-1 system. With Payet and Lanzini crocked until the New Year, and Martin Samuelson out on loan at Peterborough for at least another month, Nobes may pose the best attacking midfield option for the Hammers.

What's the bets he is spending a considerable amount of training time practising his shooting? With our wide players on the treatment table, Slaven Bilic will need to think hard to find a way of getting decent service to the likes of Carroll and Jelavic - a strong midfield with the full backs acting as surrogate wingers? Time for Cressy to step up and Jenks to rediscover his form!

Maybe young Josh Cullen might bolster the attacking threat from midfield? either way, we are deep into yet another injury crisis - but unlike two years ago, this one is up top. Speaking of which. Roger 'the Relegator' Johnson is now with Indian 'Super' League side FC Pune City. At just 32 years old, it seems an early tailing off of his career.

Right now, we need reinforcements out wide and up top.....Let's hope Victor Moses' scan tomorrow is positive and thar the Michail Antonio scare is just noise.


Sunday 6 December 2015

Never mind Schweinsteiger, what about Ffffellaini?

Hardly one to be proud of, Marouane!
With all the furore over Sebastien Pigslicer escaping a caution for his 'elbow' into Winston Reid's upper torso and head region, many observers have overlooked the one truly malicious challenge of yesterday's 0-0 draw.

Marouane Fellaini has form in terms of stamping and yesterday's proceedings were marred by another nasty challenge on James Tomkins that referee Mark Clattenberg failed to see.

Fellaini felt confident enough to follow through having lost a 40-60 challenge, presumably because referees almost always coveniently miss such incidents when they involve the home side as perpetrators.

Luckily, Tomka was able to continue but when all the debate around the Schweinsteiger-Reid handbagging incident has settled it would be nice if someone could review the incident involving Fellaini.

On the up side, two gilt edge chances missed, hitting the post twice, and two strong red card calls.....under Bilic we have no fear. On another day the Hammers would have taken all three points!

Saturday 5 December 2015

Missing Jewel: Weakened Hammers Prepare for Battle

Kiss your chances goodbye...

The injury curse continues to impact upon Slaven Bilic's plans as Manuel Lanzini is absent from the side.

Carl Jenkinson moves to the bench for Janes Tomkins, as Angelo Ogbonna joins Winston Reid in Defence.

Mark Noble is back and Alex Song starts as Lanzini is entirely absent.

Adrian, Tomkins, Cresswell, Reid, Ogbonna, Kouyate, Song, Noble, Moses, Zarate, Carroll.

Subs: Randolph, Jenkinson, Collins, Obiang, Oxford, Antonio, Jelavic.

Tevez, Rio, Teddy, Cantwell and even 'the Guvnor' all still Welcome in Starting XI

Ahead of today's visit of giant-killing West Ham to Old Trafford we consider the merits of a team comprised of players who have played for both clubs making up the impressive ‘West Man United XI’. Ultimately, will these performers be considered Hammers or Devils? How many would get a start in either of today's teams?

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 Hammer nor Devil. Would not get a start for either today!

Hammers debut at the tender age of 17, Rio soon forced his way into the regular 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 was a fantastic servant for a decade and was key to the many successes of the past decade.Verdict Devil. Yep - both sides would love to have him at his peak.

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. Would not make either side today.

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. Would glide into either side today and as a likely captain.

Hmmm. One that got away having impressed at youth level but nicked by Man United. He might have fared so much better had he stuck with the Hammers and gotten a better shot at first team football. Many observers would say that he has never lived up to his potential. Verdict Neither Hammer nor Devil. Wouldn't get a start for either today.

Industrious and gamey, the 'Guvnor' was never found wanting in the Hammers shirt after replacing Billy Bonds in 1987. He didn’t handle his Hammers departure very well 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. Both would find space for him if at his peak.

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 been a stalwart. Solid. Verdict Devil. Yes, we'd have him back, even now!

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. Initially farmed out for a season to grow up at Birmingham City, 'Raveldo' has failed to realise his potential and is now in the cold at Lazio having followed a familiar downwards trajectory of emotional lability and discipline issues. Verdict Neither would have him.

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. Verdict Devil. Both sides would be delighted to have him starting today. 

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 Hammer and Devil, probably would make the bench today but not either starting XI.

Arrived at the Boleyn in a bizarre deal in 2006. Bemused Hammers faithful endured two-thirds of a season of Carlos trying to inspire a lacklustre side and then it all clicked into gear for the final 10 games where he couldn’t stop scoring, including a final day 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. Ultimately moving to City was the final straw.Verdict Hammer. Both would find room at the inn if he was available - even now!
So, more than half of this best of gropup would make the starting sides today - are standards really rising or is it just the costs?

Hammers Look to McCool for Old Trafford Clash

With his squad having being severely depleted by injuries, Slaven Bilic has turned to Irish mythology ahead of today's trip to Ye Olde Trafforde.

In a cunning move designed to trick the unusually gullible LVG, the Hammers have released pictures of their 'giant' sized squad to confuse and befuddle the Mancunians. Just like Oonagh McCool, the wife of Irish giant Finn McCool, Bilic is trying to create the belief that the Hammers are unassailably huge - thus provoking panic in the Red camp.

In Irish legend, McCool quarrelled with a Scottish giant who travelled over from Scotland via the Giant's causeway planning to settle matters through physical combat. McCool had underestimated the size of the Scot, who was considerably bigger and stronger than he, and therefore jumped into a cot and pretended to be a baby! When Angus arrived, Mrs McCool told him that Finn had gone out for a bit. Upon seeing the size of the 'baby' McCool, Angus panicked and fled, smashing up the Causeway as he went to prevent McCool from following after him.

The photo of Adrian in front of miniature goals will undoubtedly bemuse the foolhardy Van Ghoul and his Red Devils. In an effort to add further support to Bilic's rouse, we have released these poctures that reveal how the Hammers can score against an increasingly parsimonious Man United defence even without top forwards Dimitri Payet and Diafra Sakhoooooh. It's pretty clear that Chris Smallperson will be unable to cope with the physical presence of Andy McCarroll who we expect to land at least a brace.

Meanwhile, Van Ghoul has launched his own confusion campaign, releasing pictures of himself dressed as a sexy woman - presumably to distract the lads from their on field duties. However, like many of his stunts this season, it is unclear who is most discommoded by the tactic.

In further good news for the Hammers, perpetual Hammers tormentor Dwayne Rooney is unavailable for the big match.

Kick off is at 3.00 (yes, some games are still played at that time on a Saturday!).

A final thought...

It's that time again...

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Sullivan and Gold Best Losers in Premiership!

In shock developments that will undoubtedly irritate and annoy Hammers fans, the clubs owners have been deliberately and systematically robbed of their rightful place as top chairmen in the Premiership in two consecutive polls!

Having been ranked as only third best in terms of club garden accessories for their Davidgnomes that can be purchased through the club shop for a mere £11.99 each, they have now been ranked as best losers in a Telegraph poll of Premiership suits!

The survey ranked each Premier League club owner on five categories - investment, popularity, enthusiasm, avoiding controversy  and communication. The Joint-Chairmen scored at least 8/10 on four out of the five categories, leading them to equal second place tied with the owners of Swansea City and Crystal Palace, and just behind winners Manchester City in the overall table.

Hammers fans will have little problem working out which of the five categories they were marked down in!

With two defeats in a week in pointless polls, its time the Davids indulged in some decent controversy courting. Be honest, we'd be bored without it!