Friday 31 July 2015

The True Cost of Your Ropey League Hits Home

The picture says it all. Already stretched in terms of attacking options, the last player that Boss Slaven Bilic would have wanted to pick up an injury would have been Enner Valencia. Having just scored the comeback goal that Hammers fans expected to be the start of a scoring spree, he twisted awkwardly and now looks crocked for six months or more according to leaked reports after his scan today.

 As a result, the first of the VERYWESTHAM predictions for the coming season (i.e. that Valencia's second season would be terrific and prolific) has gone into the dustbin. The prediction that we would finish fifth in the Premiership also looks a little ambitious now!

However, perhaps this incident is what's needed to re-energise our efforts to find a new striker (or two?). Chaz Austin is still very much available and as the transfer deadline approaches the game of poker around the transfer fee and his  personal terms should come to a conclusion. The absence of competition for a starting place will also surely make the Hammers an attractive club for a player on the verge of the England set up, and then there's the King's Landing London versus Winterfellish Noocassell issue in terms of lifestyle.....Case closed!

A proven Premiership goalscorer who is relatively lucky regarding injuries.....the £15 million signing on fee would bring our Premiership predictions back to life and is surely a small price to pay for the honour of competing in one of Europe's leading football competitions.  


Hammers Find Solution to Red Card Problem with Freudian Slip

Fortune's always hiding....Indeed. 2-0 up and cruising, one fan captured the mood with a tweet that we should push on for 3-0 and finish the tie as a competition....DOH!!! Thirty minutes later our European 'dream' was in tatters as reduced to ten men by yet another twitchy Your Ropey League referee, we conceded two goals and will travel to Southern Romania needing to win in order to progress!

To add to the misery, Enner Valencia picked up a serious injury and then our manager decided to join his troops in the suspension block by getting himself sent to the stands. Big Sam may have been boring, but there can be no doubting that we lack discipline since his departure, having already picked up three red cards this season. Pretty ironic for the 'fair play' champions!

This morning, Hammers fans woke up to the reality that our European adventure has been seriously derailed, with Bilic indicating that he considers the Arsenal game higher priority than the second leg. As such, the kids really will get an opportunity to show what they are made of as we can expect Payet, Noble, Sakho, Kouyate, Cresswell et al to be rested for what will be a massive task against Astra next week.

In a show of allegiance with the team, the official club website also suffered a malfunction this morning, referring to our new sponsors as 'Betwat'!!! In what is a classic example of Freudian slippage, it's hard not to agree that some of our players are behaving like ill disciplined twits.

At VERYWESTHAM we consulted with our top sports psychobabbleologist, Dr Hansi Von Hoggslicer, who has come up with an ingenious solution to our red card problem. he has designed a special shirt to be worn for the duration of any disciplinary ban by players who receive a red card.


Tuesday 28 July 2015

Dobson's Choice is no Morton's Fork!

George can start wearing his favourite scarf in public again!

The football community raised an eyebrow yesterday as top Arsenal prospect George Dobson abandoned the Gooners for their London rivals over at West Ham. Dobson was captain of the Arsenal under 18 side last season and his defection to East London serves as further evidence that the lack of oppportunity at the Gooners is inhibiting the growth of young talent.

Just like with the Carl Jenkinson situation, Arsenal's loss will be very much West Ham's gain as the energetic central defender come holding midfielder looks set to join an exciting group of youth prospects in the Hammers development squad. Any mystery around Dobson's choice was cleared up today as he revealed on twitter the Hobson's choice that he faced given the opportunity to switch allegiance to his boyhood club..."delighted to have signed for the team that i have supported all my life"

With Dobson expected to become a major force in the next few years, his decision is certainly no Morton's fork! 

Hammers make Guinness Book of Records attempt on another night to forget for Rudi Van Maigaswinkel!

West Ham attempt to enter the Guinness Book of Records for most simultaneous substitutions

Hammer’s fans were reminded this evening how precious confidence is to that footballing creature commonly known as 'the striker'. Picture the scene, half way through the first half of a lively tussle…”Maiga, it’s a wonderful turn, he prepares to shoot……..ooogh it seemed to bobble up just as he was going to hit it”. Familiar story for the down on his luck forward who has been forced by financial circumstance (i.e. he was given a long and lucrative contract!) to return from his loan period at Metz to the Boleyn for another dose of despair. 
With just 5 goals in 31 games, Maiga’s record is relatively unimpressive (but statistically better than that of Enner Valencia who has only 4 in 32 games!), although many Hammers fans would say that it has been the quality of his all round play that has really disappointed. Spare a thought for similarly afflicted Rudi Van Wolfswinkel who has returned to Norwich after a loan spell at St Etienne to try to enhance his appauling strike rate of a single goal in 25 previous apearances for the Canaries. By far and away the best opportunity in the first half of tonight’s friendly was when the Dutch forward beat the offside trap to find himself one on one with Adrian. You can guess what happened next!
Both Maiga and Van Wolfswinkel need to get away and start afresh but the salary craziness of the Premiership is such that both are trapped as high earning flops until their respective contracts expire.
In the end the misfiring forwards were outdone by defensive starlet Harry Toffolo who managed to deflect a West Ham corner into his own net as the Hammers emerged as 1-0 victors.

In other news, how nice to see ex-Hammers Gaz O’Neil (midfield) and Dean Ashton (goals) plying their trade with the Canaries these days!

Kids Don't Cut the Mustard in Colman's Country

Tonight's friendly with Norwich is being shown by Mustard TV. Coming just 2 days before the crucial Europa League home leg with FC Astra, we expected a makeshift development squad full of youngsters but NO, the Hammers are starting with a relatively experienced eleven.

The team gives some important clues as to Bilic's favourites, especially after David Gold's promise to field our strongest eleven available versus the Romanian's on Thursday.

With Kevin Nolan, Matt Jarvis and Morgan Amalfitano starting tonight, we can assume they won't be mainstays in Thursday's starting side. The bench is also strong and may provide some warm up time for players looking to return to action on Thursday such as Enner Valencia and Carl Jenkinson.

Adrian, Burke, Tomkins, Henry, Page, Nolan, Amalfitano, Poyet, Maiga, Jarvis, Sakho.

Bench: Spiegel, Noble, Ogbonna, Valencia, Cresswell, Jenkinson, Oxford, Payet, Kouyate.

BTW for those who have never taken the time to read the label, the home of Colman's, the makers of the finest English mustard is.....Norwich!

Monday 27 July 2015

Bilic Faces Selection Headache for Astra Clash

As West ham prepare for the first leg in their third round Europa League qualifier on Thursday, chairman David Gold has given an assurance on twitter that the Hammers will field their strongest side.

However, due to a combination of injuries and suspensions this still makes for a patched up team. Their opponents, Romanian side FC Astra have looked solid to date with their away performance against Inverness Caley Thistle serving as ample warning that they will be no pushovers as they not only emerged 1-0 winners, but also dominated play for long periods.

One area of contention in the Hammers line up will be at centre back where Winston Reid is doubtful and James Tomkins banned. James Collins is having an unconvincing preseason while newbie Victor Ogbonna has looked a bit uncertain in his new surroundings.

In midfield, we can expect Noble and Kouyate in the holding roles, with Diego Poyet available as a replacement should either struggle.
Matt Jarvis has looked sharpish so far and may retain the left-sided position with Dimitri Payet behind the striker. The right-sided midfield and striker positions look most uncertain and will test Bilic's creativity. Any of Valencia, Amalfitano, Lanzini, Zarate and even misfit Modi Maiga might be slotted in? as there are no obvious frontrunners for either role. The Hammers will be looking to build a decent cushion in order to avoid the histrionics of the last round where they scraped through on penalties against Maltese minnows FC Birkirarara!

We predict the following 4-2-3-1 starting line up:


O'Brien  Ogbonna  Collins   Cresswell

                 Kouyate   Noble

Amalfitano                             Jarvis




Sunday 26 July 2015

Narky Nolan Edges towards the Exit

Since his arrival four years ago, Hammers fans have enjoyed a strange relationship with Kevin Nolan. Even the begrudgers would have to admit that as Allardyce's captain and on the pitch general he was a vital element in our promotion and initial bedding in as a Premiership club. However, Nolan's inherent style is based upon aggressive route one football where he imposes his presence by slotting knock downs and other 'scraps' - an approach that is decidedly different from the fabled West Ham way.

With the departure of big Sam it has seemed inevitable that Nolan would soon follow. However, with Allardyce enjoying a well earned break from the game, there is no natural destination for Nolan. His 'first' club Bolton Wanderers apparently expressed an interest, but were scared off by his wage levels. So far, an alternate suitor has not emerged. With just one goal in 29 appearances last season, many feel that his 33 year old legs are gone. Without the goals, Nolan has little to offer apart from leadership as his levels of mobility and passsing ability are not major strengths - shortcomins that have become an obsession amongst some sections of the faithful who have become embarrassingly vocal in their dissatisfaction with 'SuperKev'.

Watching his performances in the Europa league against modest opposition does not convince one that a drop down to Championship level will allow him to be a force once again. Moreover, with the new 4-2-3-1 formation favoured by Slaven Bilic, it's hard to see any role for Nolan at West ham. With a midfield that is likely to be drawn from Payet, Noble, Kouyate, Obiang, Lanzini, Amalfitano, with a host of exciting kids also looking for action (Poyet, Cullen, Oxford) there's no obvious role for our former captain.

Nolan has indicated that he wants to leave if he cannot get game time which, given the situation outlined above, is essentially a transfer request. Let's hope that the club can progress this tidily - Nolan HAS been a valuable servant over four crucial years but time is merciless and our perceived needs have changed. The Davids managed Sam's departure with considerable grace, let's manage the Nolan situation similarly.

Maybe the club needs to consider subsidising his wages elsewhere for the remaining year of his contract as his strong character could become a liability if he becomes idle in the squad. It would be a pity if what is essentially a very positive story of his time at the club were to end badly. We are bigger than that and he has been a good servant.

Kev: Job well done, but done now.

Thursday 23 July 2015

Dicks is our Eurosaver!


The unthinkable almost came to pass this evening as an out of sorts West Ham were forced to go to penalties after losing 1-0 on the night to Maltese side Birkirkara! Luckily, one of Slaven Bilic's Summer recruits made all the difference as the Hammers were forced to look deep into their soul for a result.

As extra time progressed, the Maltese side (who are sponsored by McDonalds) looked happy to let it go to penalties but obviously hadn't done their homework properly. With West Ham's (and probably the Premiership's) greatest ever penalty taker as first team coach, the Hammers calmly slotted all five of their penalties whilst the Maltese skyed their third penalty over the bar.

All's well that ends well? No - Slaven Bilic will have much to ponder ahead of the third round where West Ham will meet Romanian side Astra who saw off Inverness Caley Thistle earlier today. Few of the starting eleven did themselves any favours, with the early substitution of Kevin Nolan especially telling in terms of where Sam's captain sits in Bilic's plans. Poor Modi Maiga had another dreadful outing, and even when he appeared to finally do something right by slotting home an apparent winner just before the end, it was ruled offside in what looked like a very tight decision. Mauro Zarate again looked like he was trying too hard and persistently held on to the ball for too long. Amalfitano was equally ineffective before being withdrawn early.

It has been noted that Besiktas' title challenge under Bilic last year was derailed by their poor disciplinary record - they picked up TEN red cards during the campaign!!! Bizarrely, the Hammers have picked up two already this season. That's one thing that has definitely changed since the Allardyce regime where, for all the tough physical football, the Hammers qualified for the Europa league via the fair play system.

In truth, tonight's side consisted mostly of Sam's troops who looked unsure of how to impose a non-Allardycian style on the game. We can thank our lucky stars that we crept through tonight as there will be opportunities to improve upon this side with the likes of Payet, Ogbonna, Obiang and Lanzini. We clearly still lack firepower up front and need to capture a striker or even two if we can offload the likes of Maiga and Nolan. Charlie Austin remains an ideal candidate to fill that void.

Early days. Early days...another night of European excitement beckons next week. thank God we have time to get our house in order before we face the Gooners and some heavyweight Premiership opposition.

What's the Score, Jules Dawes?

Bloody Hell, what a shocker! The results may have been awful but much much worse was the totally clueless performance.

It seems almost unbelievable that at this point we found ourselves relying upon Modi Maiga to be our Eurosaver. Sadly, once again, the hapless 'striker' has had nothing useful to offer.

The stats after 90 minutes of action reveal that Birkirkara have had ten shots to our miserable 2!!!

It's extra time...anything is possible......let's hope Julian Dicks has been holding some penalty taking practice sessions with the lads.


Uvavu!!! Maltese Nightmare unfolding as Hammers trail and are down to ten men!

In horrible scenes from the Europa cup West Ham are in real trouble against Maltese minnows Birkirkakakaka!!!

They arrived with a slender 1-0 lead from the first leg but looked well out of sorts struggling to get any momentum before conceding to an early Miccoli strike - 1-0 down!!!

And then, in a truly disastrous development, just before half time, James Tomkins received a red card after what seemed to be an innocuous tussle with one of the Maltesers!

This is definitely GAME ON!!!

With the heat and the wobbly referee against us, we look in real trouble.

However, an away goal would surely kill off the tie.....the bench is pretty light with the likes of Maiga and some kids.....


Wednesday 22 July 2015

Hammers Ready for the Strypes!

The mighty Hammers Euro adventure continues tomorrow as they take on Maltese giants Birkirkara (known as 'the Stripes') holding a slender one-goal lead from last week's first leg. Slaven Bilic will be hoping that his side can do better when as is expected the maltese outfit chase a giantkilling scalp and loosen the heavily-manned defence that proved so effective in the first leg.

With ex-Italian International Fabrizio Miccoli in the side, Birkirkara should not be underestimated, especially from set pieces where his shooting ability could pose a problem. With attacking options limited by bans (Sakho, Payet) and injuries (Carroll, Valencia), Mauro Zarate and Elliot Lee will be hoping to shine up front.

Meanwhile, on the subject of 'Small Victories', Cavan rockers the Strypes release their second album this week. Having listened to a sneak preview, VERYWESTHAM can confirm that it is a proper stunner!

Expect the Cavan Strypes to have considerably more success than the Maltese Stripes as the Hammers march on in Europe!

Monday 20 July 2015

Are West ham facing the unthinkable?

King Mark and his merry men!

All the activity around West ham right now is certainly exciting. With the OS switch presenting the opportunity to become a truly major European club, its hard to grumble.

However, as the flow of new talent coming into the club continues, one wonders if the unthinkable might it possible that there might be no place for Mr West Ham Mark Noble?

Nobes is easily the most popular player on our staff and has been pretty much ever present for the past 5 years. However, there can be no doubting that last season was not his greatest ( he wasnt even in the running for Hammer of the year) and in comparison to the 2013-4 season his squawka stats were very modest.

New manager Slaven Bilic is a big fan of the 4-2-3-1 formation. Nobes is hard working and industrious but lacks the pace to play anywhere other than in the two deep midfielders in that formation.

As such, it looks like he will be in firect competition with Kouyate, Obiang and Song, not to mention young Diego Poyet.

Are we facing the unthinkable? If so, and Nobes plays an intermittent role in the side, then who will replace Kevin Nolan (there is no place for Kev nowadays in a 4-2-3-1) as club captain?

And who will be our first choice penalty taker?

And who will be out there to remind us that "the West Ham Way" includes creating our own talent...

We live in interesting times!

Our money is on Nobes to rise to the occasion.

More Payet Action: Is this guy our new Di Canio?

In recent memory there has hardly been as impressive a West Ham debut as that of Dimitri Payet on Saturday. Both his all round play and shooting accuracy were of a level Hammers fans normally only dream of!

We were stimulated by his two excellent strikes against future Hammer's keeper Dan Bentley to check out his 'previous' and encountered all sorts of exotic outrageousness! For sure, it's "only" the French League, but it's pretty clear that Dimitri knows where the goal is and if given a yard of space can inflict mayhem.

We have put together a series of clips along with some helpful backing music from Mr Jack White Esquire.

Bring on the Gooners!


Sunday 19 July 2015

That Payet Free Kick Again....ENJOY!!!!

The question on everybody's lips right now is whether he will be the new Di Canio?

BTW for the Kids who didn't listen to music in the eighties, that classic tune in the background is Echo and the Bunnymen playing "Over the Wall"

Right now Hammers fans cannot wait to see him against Premiership opposition.

Visit the Olympic Stadium for Yourself!

The deal for affordable football in West Ham's new OS certainly looks attractive on paper. The 'cheap' seats are being offered at £279 which works out at just over a tenner a game. Season ticket holders also become founder members of the Stadium. Sweet.

However, pictures released yesterday suggest that fans might want to think carefully about which category of seating they choose as the action seems an awful long way away!

The club have provided computer generated images of the view fans should expect from their selected seats, but those who have ever purchased items off the internet will be only too familiar with the potential disappointment of relying on such imagery to make such an important choice.

Luckily, Hammers fans can take in the real experience on August 29th when the OS hosts a rugby union match between the Barbarians and Samoa. The game will almost certainly be exciting as both sides are renowned for their open and attacking style - something that Hammers fans will be hoping to become familiar with under the new Bilic regime!

The Barbarians are celebrating their 125th anniversary with a series of games. Members of VeryWestHam attended their match versus Ireland in Thomond Park a few weeks back and can vouch for the experience!

Tickets start at £20 for category D which are the seats that are likely to be going for £279 as season tickets.

Discerning fans will find the match an ideal chance  to test the OS experience in person.

Saturday 18 July 2015

Let Go Lletget is LA's Get Goal Guy!

USA Soccerballs at it's best!

As West ham struggle to find goals in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League, ex-Hammer Seb Lletget's impressive goal run for LA Galaxy continues. Playing alongside Steven Gerrard in the Liverpool leg-end's debut against St Jose Earthquake, Lletget scored his fifth in eight appearances since joining the Galaxy from West Ham.

Of note, 47 year old striking veteran Robbie Keane scored a hat trick, which perhaps indicates that the standard in the MLS is not especially demanding, but is certainly on a par if not better with the likes of Andorra and Malta's finest - sides that the current Hammers have found difficult to score against.

Either way, we wish Seb continued success and it's great to see that there's life after his honest commitment to the West ham cause.


Manboobs Spare Hammer's Blushes

Thursday nights encounter with Maltese outfit left Hammers fans frustrated but ultimately relieved as we managed to snatch a late winner and some Premier League pride.

Thanks to James Tomkins 'header' the Irons will take a slender one goal lead to Birkirkara for the second leg. However, the goal was not technically truly a 'header' as it seemed to come off Tomkins torso region.

In these times of endless stats datailing the precise source of attacking successes, fans are understandably keen to clear up whether the goal should register as an aerial success or might be better attributed as a lower limb effort.

While some observers have put the goal down to James well shaped Pecs, thus claiming the first ever manboob strike, others have suggested that Tomka may have notched up a 'middle  leg' success citing that the principal goal bound force behind the effort was 'mid central' rather than left or right footed. Either way, this is the kind of creative attacking play that the Hammers need to overcome their offensive difficulties.

Moreover, Tomka's efforts again emphasize how he has responded positively to the challenge for places in the Hammers defence by turning out a classy clean sheet plus goalscoring performance.

There's nothing like pressure for places to bring out the best in the squad. Top footie young man!

Friday 17 July 2015

Super Caley Optimistic But Astra Are Precocious!

Ok, its not as good as the original Celtic bashing Jockball headline, but given that West Ham (or Birkirkara) will meet the victors of Inverness Caledonian Thistle vs Romanian Superclub Astra FC in the third round of the Europa League, we cud nae resist Morag!

The Romanians managed a 1-0 away win on Thursday and are clearly now the favourites. However, the highlanders will give it their best and a trip up North would be more fun than a jaunt across Europe to the Romanian-Bulgar border.

Err...not that Satanic really
Add to that the terrifying nugget that the Romanians are nicknamed the Black Devils and its no surprise that most Hammers would turn a blind eye to the kilts and gladly embrace a trip up Ben Nevis.

Oi...isnt that the new Daggers kit?
Slaven Bilic's troops will need to watch out for the prolific Tichie Foran who has returned after 18 months of injury hell and could be the spark that reignites their European dreams!

OUCH!!! Sakho gets three game ban!

Unlikely scenes

In emerging news West ham's top striker Diafra Sakho has received a whopping three match ban for his involvement in an off the ball tussle with an Opponent during the recent victory over FC Lusitanos in Andorra.

Given the disturbing impotence of our attack in last night's second round tie vs Maltese outfit Birkirkara, the ruling is all the more concerning.

With Modi Maiga and (midfielder) Mauro Zarate leading the line, the Hammers may well need a big contribution from their defence if they are to avoid an embarrassing result when they travel to Malta for the away leg next week.

On the plus side, our predicament will surely persuade the board to dip into tge war chest and hopefully get Chaz Austin on board.

Monday 13 July 2015

Ravel back in Claret n Blue

Suits you, Sir!

As the launch of the Hammers new away strip gets ever nearer, news has emerged of the return to form for ex-Hammers 'bad' boy Ravel Morrison.

Since departing the Boleyn, his reputation for trouble is such that he has had to take employment at Italian Serie A outfit, Lazio. Ironically, the Rome-based club's delightful new away outfit (shown above) brings them into the foreign claret n blue club, along with Trabonzspur and Drogheda United.

In his recent debut for the club he netted twice in a MOTM performance that has raised eyebrows back in England. However, the match was a preseason friendly that finished 14-0!!!

Hammers fans know the drill by now, early shapes suggest a real jewel has been discovered but they will be wondering how long it will be before he starts appearing in the media wearing a Roma or Juve  jersey?

Either way, good luck to the lad. He is undoubtedly talented but needs to grow up in time to make some use of his abilities before its too late.

Sunday 12 July 2015

New Strip Shocker: Hammers Beware East London Flumadiddle!

As Hammers fans anxiously await their new away strip, our East London neighbours at Dagenham have demonstrated how horribly wrong things can go!

You have to look twice to appreciate this shocker in its full awfulness -its  a real eyesore with the stripes all lopsided and getting leaner and leaner from left to right....Yeuch!

Lets hope that our guys keep it simple - a nice traditional sky blue with double claret hoops will do nicely. And no unsightly V-necking nonsense either!

Saturday 11 July 2015

SAKH-OH!!! Important lessons learned from Europa League encounter

One of the selling points of the Europa league for West ham was the opportunity it provides for younger players to get game time and different experiences of the beautiful game. To that end, the tie with Andorran side FC Lusitans certainly delivered and even better, highlighted some important issues for our new manager.  

Thr first game provided the chance for a host of youngsters to get their first starts and also for some senior players who were injured towards the end of last season to make an early start to their preseason. The game was euro-niggley and the kids quickly discovered the need to move the ball quickly in order to get purchase against a heavily manned defence. 

The second leg was also a learning curve as star striker Diafra Sakho discovered with his dismissal in the fourteenth minute for contributing to an off the ball tussle after, as the dislikeable Lusitanian manager described it, being 'provoked' by one of his players. The incident turned the game and provided our kids with a chance to play off the back foot and get some under-the-kosh game time. 

For manager Slaven Bilic the incident will provide a chance to address disciplinary issues with his squad. Undoubtedly, the failure of his previous club Besiktas to seize the Turkish Premier League title last season was related to their incredible tally of ten red cards during the campaign! Clearly this is an area that will need to be policed carefully during the coming season during which the Hammers will need their squad to be fully available as much as possible.

A two match ban is likely to apply such that Diafra won't travel to Malta (and wont therefore get the chance to visit the island's premier tourist attraction at the Popeye Village!). Interestingly, the Hammers opponents during the next round Birkirkara also had a man sent off during their first round tie.

The Maltese will undoubtedly contribute more than Lusitans in terms of actual football. Ultimately, for all the managerial hot air the Andorrans managed their first shot on goal in the tie late into the second half of the second leg! With the skillful Fabrizio Miccoli as offensive playmaker the Maltese outfit will provide a much sterner test.  

Either way, job done and a few lessons learned. Perhaps most importantly, Sakho's absence highlights the need to bring another striker into the ranks. 

Thursday 9 July 2015

Europa League Olympic Stadium Shocker

Just as the furore after the first leg of West ham versus Andorran giants FC Lusitania was settling,  sources close to West ham have moved to scotch emerging rumours that could further aggravate relations between the clubs.

It appears that the Lusitanic manager Xabi big balls was angered not only by Slaven Bilic's decision to observe the first leg mauling from the safety of the stands, but also was peeved by rumours that some of his part time staff may have used the fixture to try and pick up some work in the current building of the Hammers new magnificent Olympic Stadium! With plumbers and electricians increasingly difficult to find, the Lusitanian squad is a perfect recruiting ground as pressure mounts to complete the project in time for 2016.

Hammers sources have denied the rumours and also ruled out any likelihood that Jordan Dunn could get a call up for the fixture. Jordan, who narrowly avoided a lifetime ban from the Boleyn after coming on as an unlisted substitute during last season's Tottenham tie, is just the kind of set piece specialist who could settle the tie with one of his trademark banana kicks.

Otherwise, West ham will be hoping that their youthful side will be able to hold onto their slender three goal lead as the Lusitanians seek revenge for the first leg thumping. As an added incentive, they will be allowed to stop off at Eurodisney on the way home if they get the desired result in the Cauldron that is the Andorrans stadium where, after accomodating their managers hypersensitive and inflated ego, there is seating left for 899 punters.

Wednesday 8 July 2015

After all the tosh, here comes Josh!

If the kids are United...

The Europa League doubters are eating their words as the Hammers Euro adventure continues tomorrow night with an exciting squad ready to seize their opportunity with more first team experience as they face mighty FC Lusitans in Andorra.

The first leg was marred by an unsavoury attack on the Hammers new boss by the Lusitans manager, who was upset by Slaven Bilic's generosity in allowing Tery Westley to commandeer his young warriors through the first leg.

The small story is that Bilic will watch this leg from the dugout rather than the 'stands', possibly because action in the 899 capacity venue is best observed from a decent seat.

The big news is that once again our youngsters get the type of experience they were denied during the Allardyce regime, with a host of academy graduates selected for the matchday squad. Once again James Tomkins will get to captain the side while Ireland U21 captain, Josh Cullen, gets his first start for West ham.

Josh is an exciting prospect who marries considerable creative skills with a leadership ability that is rare in players of his age. Having tattled the bar during his cameo as a substitute in the first leg, it would be delicious if he could go one better in tomorrow night.

Happy days for the Hammers where we are once again lapping up the opportunity that comes with the 'West ham way' - creative, forward thinking football with home grown talent at the heart of things!

Good luck to Josh and the lads and let's hope that the Lusitans players dont succumb to the negativity of their curmudgeonly manager.


Saturday 4 July 2015

Davies in shock recall for Hammers

As the furore continues to grow around West ham's alleged slighting of Andorran superclub FC Lusitanos, news has emerged that in a peacemaking gesture the East London minnows plan to reintroduce a fans' favourite into the matchday squad for next Thursday's return leg.

The Hammers will be desperately trying to hold on to their slender three goal lead from the first leg and their chances would be considerably enhanced if they could snatch a precious away goal.

To that end it appears that they are planning to make an audacious swoop for ex-fan-squadinterloper, Steve Davies. Steve, who is no relation to the Romford-based snooker playing namesake, was 'signed' by gaffer Harry Redknapp during a pre-season friendly with Oxford United in 1994.

Unlike Marco Boogers, Davies was signed without Redknapp even watching a video of him in action! However, the crafty manager's faith was more than repaid when Davies scored the all important fifth goal in seven goal win.

Concerns have been expressed that Davies, who is now in his forties, might struggle with his fitness levels at this top level but a source confirmed that he is confident he can put in a shift and has been having a few kick abouts in the back garden with his kids to add that extra level of sharpness. He will be hoping to avoid the embarrassment of succumbing to cramp that befell several of the Lusitanos players in the first leg.

The Hammers will be hoping that this demonstration of how dangerous they perceive the Andorran's threat might appease outspoken manager Xabi Roura and his squad of salaried players.

Friday 3 July 2015

Hammers React Angrily to Bilic Slur

"No act of kindness goes unpunished"    [Theodore Wiseman]

Football fans were reminded last night that precious and hypersensitive prima donnas are not restricted to the top leagues and can also be found in abundance at amateur and part time level.

The post match comments of FC Lusitanos manager Xavi Roura claiming that Slaven Bilic's failure to sit in the dug out for last night's tie was arrogant and disrespectful of his club have sent waves rippling as West ham have become the early tournament bad boys.

Even worse, the angry outburst included a suggestion that the Hammers were somehow unworthy of their fair play status as a consequence of their behaviour!

Clearly the excitement of playing to more than the 899 capacity of the Lusitania got to the previously unknown manager who seized the opportunity to deflect attention from the pointlessness of his club's participation which included only a single shot on goal from their second half kick off!

 In a robust retaliation, our backroom staff at VERYWESTHAM reacted angrily to Roura's comments;

George, our part time cleaner and pizza collection consultant, wanted to know how Lusitanos managed to sneak a host of 'ringers' into their side including Suarez, Benitez and sub goalie - Fabien Barthez! The Andorrans were so arrogant that they didnt even bother to alter the names of these impersonators!

Cheryl, who is our occasional type-ist, wanted to know why Jim Carrey was refereeing the match under the ridiculous pseudonym of Vadis Directthegame-o?

Andy, who pops in from time to time to borrow our printer, wondered why the Andorrans insisted on naming one of their players - Meleana (known to doctors as a term for 'bloody stools') after the club's style of play rather than giving him a proper surname. "Surely that geezer would have been better served as their club mascot?" He opinioned.

Pete, who runs VERYWESTHAM's preferred taxi-providers, wondered how Lusitanos felt about being complicit in the child abuse outrage that unfolded as West ham insisted on playing a host of youths who should have been substituted  before their 9pm bedtime. "More than half of the side would be refused entry to any self-respecting lapdancing club".

It seems that West ham's campaign of disrespect will continue into the second leg as rumours emerge that they plan to add salt to the Andorran's imaginary wounds by shamelessly using the fixture by selecting Reece Toddler, who at 16 months and 12 days would set a new record for youngest ever debutant.

Bob, our back to work scheme employee and chief pot-pourri arranger, went even further by suggesting that Bilic should take the helm for the second leg and and recall Modi Maiga to play as a lone striker up front!

Our chief offensive weapon

Either way, the generosity with which West ham showed mercy by limiting the spread to a mee three goals seems unlikely to be repeated in the second leg.

Thursday 2 July 2015

Sakho's twenty goals: is that in both the Premier League AND Europa Cup?

Man of the match Diafra Sakho opened his season's goalscoring account with a brace against FC Lusitanos. In fact, thr prolific Senegalese could have scored more as he missed two excellent opportunities before scoring in the 41st minute.

Diafra has vowed to score 20 goals or more this season, and tonight's tally will certainly get things moving in the right direction, but with three qualifying ties (i.e. six games) before the competition even starts in earnest, you'd have to wonder if he could get into double figures for goals scored in that competition alone!

Either way, the begrudgers will be very quiet tonight as the Hammers participation in the much-maligned competition was full of feelgood factors with a host of youngsters impressing, including Reece Oxford who at 16 is the youngest full team debutant ever for the Hammers!

One issue was that the energetic Mauro Zarate seemed to pick up a thigh injury before he was substituted.