Monday 31 August 2015

Has Sullivan Finally Snared Austin?

At one point in the Summer all betting was discontinued on the Charlie Austin transfer stakes with West Ham at 1/4 on to sign the QPR striker. Since then its been a case of cat and mouse with QPR insisting on a £15 million transfer fee for Austin even though he has only a year left on his contract.

Austin was long considered the prime available striking talent with a proven Premiership scoring pedigree but suddenly its all gone quiet with QPR now joint favourites with Bournemouth to have his services at 6PM tomorrow.

However, as West Ham fans know only too well, its nigh on impossible to hold on to International standard players once you drop out of the Premiership. Although Austin has been in fine scoring form for QPR so far this season, they simply cannot afford to hold on to him. Can the likes of Bournemouth, Norwich, Crystal Palace and West Brom really gamble £15 million on one player? Would a move to those clubs really allow him to progress his international aspirations? 

David Sullivan may well have played a key role in silencing the activity around Austin with his 'no ligaments' jibe, which provoked a noisy 'though doth protest too much' response from the Austin camp. But Sully is a crafty businessman and just when it seems that everybody has been scared off news is that West Ham have offered Matt Jarvis plus £12 million for Austin.

It's just the type of cheeky stunt we expect from Sullivan, and its crazy enough to come off!!!

Fasten the seatbelts....Moses, Jelavic, Adebayor, Antonio, Sisto, and now apparently back in the frame is Chaz Austin.

Sisto Deal Still Very Much Alive!

Slaven Bilic is a big fan of the 4-2-3-1 formation but his efforts to develop a cohesive set up at West ham are presently limited by a lack of wide attacking midfielders. While Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini provide quality options that the fans have already warmed to, impact substitutions require a supply of creative and athletic options in this crucial position. Not surprisingly, west Ham have been linked with a host of wide attacking midfielders with Victor Moses, Michail Antonio and Pione Sisto all linked with high profile moves to the club.

Latest news is that Forest have finally accepted a fee for Antonio, while Spurs are vying for Moses signature. However, perhaps the most exciting is Ugandan-born Danish PFA player of the year last season - Pione Sisto. Lightning fast with excellent close control along with a strong aerial presence, the 20 years old looks a real prospect and has been attracting considerable attentions from the likes of Arsenal and Barcelona.

However, with 20 hours to go, West Ham have been thrown a lifeline in their efforts to capture the wonderkid as he has indicated that contrary to earlier reports, he is still interested in a move to the Londoners. Sisto specifically took to the Danish media to rebuff suggestions that he had turned down a move to West Ham. Pione currently plays for FC Midjylland - the same club from whom we signed Winston Reid so hopefully the clubs can further develop their business relationship in the coming day!

Hammers Look To Onischenko

Naughty: Onischenko and Ings
West Ham's triumphant victory over hapless Liverpool at the weekend was a signal of intent from the increasingly bold East London superclub. However, the celebrations were somewhat muted, principally because of the terrible decision by match referee Kevin (Nobodys) Friend in dismissing Captain Claret Mark Noble for a sliding tackle on Danny Ings. Video analysis vindicates the Hammers midfield lynchpin by clearly demonstrating that he not only got the ball but didn't actually make contact with the theatrical Liverpool forward.

In the outcry after the match many observers have suggested that it is time for football to embrace TMO technology. Still better, the boffins at VERYWESTHAM have comu up with an even better solution that would put an end to diving for good. Drawing from technology used in fencing, whereby contact between the epee (sword) and an opponents vest (or 'foil') is signalled by means of electronic circuitry. Our boffins have suggested that one means of eradicating the Mediterranean cheating culture from football would be to develop similar monitoring equipment for football.

In the case of 'Ingsgate', such an apparatus would have clearly demonstrated that Noble made absolutely no contact with Ings. However, the sceptics are already voicing concerns that such methodology is far from perfect and that the cheats could find a way around it just like the Russian fencing team tried during the 1976 Olympics.

During the team pentathlon, Onischenko managed to register a series of hits even though his epee did not seem to make contact with his opponent. The cheating red was found out however when British team captain Jim Fox demanded that his weapon be examined, revealing a cleverly concealed electrical device that was controlled from the handpiece! The Russians had been set for Gold but instead were sent home in disgrace, with team GB eventually running out the winners.

Let's hope that justice is seen to done and that Noble's unjust red card is rescinded. In addition, Danny Ings should be cautioned as his histrionics after the non-tackle are the very thing that turns many fans away from the modern game.


Sunday 30 August 2015

Lawro in Hammers Slur

He's having a laff!
One of the crucial flaws in the Anfield psyche that has contributed to their continued decline over recent years is the remarkable capacity of Pool followers to look inwards in the face of reality. While West ham fans are savouring a deserved victory over the reds, during which Liverpool managed only a single shot in anger over 90 minutes, top Pool pedant Mark Lawrenson has taken the opportunity to indulge in some good old fashioned begrudgery. Describing the triumphant Hammers as "not a good team" and destined "to end up towards the bottom of the league", Lawrenson has once again revealed the insular nature of the Anfield mob.

Looking around the pitch yesterday it was hard not to notice how West Ham had the edge in so many positions, with our centre backs totally stifling Benteke et al, while the midfield lapped up anything the impotent Liverpool side had to offer. even worse, Slaven Bilic was able to rub salt into the Reds' wounds by fielding some of our exciting young talent as the game drifted to an inevitable finish.

Liverpool will certainly play better this season, but to describe West Ham as a bottom of the table side is the sort of churlish and undignified comment that befits a sore loser. The travelling Bubbles brigade summed it up by chanting for a fourth goal at the end of a well earned win.

With that level of arrogance, it wont be 52 years until our next Anfield success!


Bilic shows total disrespect for the record books

In the final stages of Sam Allardyce's reign as West Ham manager the principal problem was one of terminal boredom. Fans had simply had enough and even Sam himself seemed worn out with the grind of efficient points gathering. Towards the end the ability to even manage that deserted him as the team ran out of enthusiasm managing only three wins in the second half of the season.
Slaven Bilic was brought in as a remedy to the listlessness and boy hasn't he got us watching again! This Hammers side are bonkers - beating top flight sides and then succumbing to the efforts of second tier wannabes! It's mental, but we love it!

In his brief tenure Bilic has already smashed the records on half a dozen occasions as his management team have no respect for any sacred cows. Already ranking amongst his achievements are;

A first away win against the Gooners of Middle Arse in over a decade and the first in 15 meetings!

Reece Oxford claimimg his Premiership debut at a mere sixteen years of age!

Moving along the apparently irrepressible Maiga and the fading Nolan!

A first away win at Anfield in 52 years!

The most number of red cards per game to the start of a season ever - now at seven in all competitions for the first team!

Good and bad, it makes for compelling viewing. This is truly "the West Ham way"! Let's hope that those fans who have opted to get tattoos to mark our landmark performances this season have kept lots of ink aside because the Bilic regime seem hell bent on keeping the stats boffins busy.

We predict a top half finish in the Premiership and a decent cup adventure (or two) for this season.


Saturday 29 August 2015

We've Got a Ticket to Ride!

Yeah, we parked the bus alright - except this one was a superbus with The Jewl, Saks and Captain Claret himself, Mark Noble on board!

Aren't you glad that we only got to three hours from signing Rafa the Gaffa, Mr Sullivan? Or maybe your prematch revelations were just the thing to distract the Pool from what was about to unfold?

Either way, Happy days!!! Bilic is the man!


Who's Gonna Tell Stevie G?

As the dust settles after West Ham's demolition of Liverpool at Anfield today, the jostling for safe seats has already begun as somebody has to break the news to Stevie G. Liverpool were so poor that Hammers fans took to chanting for a fourth before the end!

Liverpool lacked leaders on the pitch and having limped in 2-0 down at half time sortely needed a Stevie G to rally the troops. Instead, their best player got himself foolishly sent off and they imploded. Whatever about Lovren's crazy generosity for the second goal, Sakho's strike was facilitated by some incredibly soft defending that allowed him to seize a 50-50 ball and position himself for a shot despite the attentions of three Liverpool defenders.

The Mark Noble sending off was truly awful. Not even close to a yellow card. One would expect even the unusually partisan Reds to support Hammers fans calls that it be overturned.

For Liverpool its a shocker but they still have made a good start to the season and have, until today, defended well.

BTW, the answer to our quiz is Seb Lletget - ex-Hammer who is banging in the goals alongside Mr Gerrard for LA Galaxy. Keep up the good work stateside Seb and enjoy the moment!


And you may ask yourself.....

The words of Talking Head's 80s classic 'Once in a lifetime' are circling around in my head after the first West Ham win at Anfield during my lifetime. This is not because i am a teenager, but rather that as a foetus during the last Hammers' win, i was unable to actually experience the outside world!

52 years of disappointment and then just when you weren't expecting it, WE THRASHED THEM!!!

For sure, this Liverpool side are not of the same ilk as previous generations, but none the less West ham deservedly seized the points as Slaven Bilic again outfoxed Brendan Rodgers.

Special congratulations for Josh Cullen who got to come on for 90 seconds to record his part in the softest Hammers win over Liverpool in decades. They won't all come as easy as this young man!

It was great to see Kevin Nolan's replacement Manuel Lanzini scoring the opener while Mark Noble has rediscovered his scoring touch also since the partnership with Nolan ended. Great to see Diafra Sakho back on the right sheet (scoring not rap). The one disappointment was the silly red card for Captain Noble - surely a case for a rescindment?

The challenge for Hammers fans is to decide how best to do this victory justice??? There may be some sore heads tomorrow morning!

Insider Mole Reveals Hammers Tactical Plan for Anfield

As if Slaven Bilic doesn't already have enough to be contending with at present, it now appears that there may be an intelligence mole inside the West Ham camp.

As this photographic evidence reveals, Bilic will try to stop the slide of embarrassing defeats by literally parking the bus!

With limited striking options and a basket case defence now devoid of its first choice keeper and right back, who can blame him. Given that its 187 years (ED: actually its only 42 games, dating back to 1963) since we last won at Anfield, maybe opting for frustrating the home side and hoping to catch them on the break is the best option.

BTW, doesn't Julian Dicks make for a credible bus conductor lookalike!


Friday 28 August 2015

"Worst in the World!": Sam Slams ex-Ham

A real shit job!

In amazing developments, it has emerged that ex-Hammers boss Sam Allardyce thought that he had the "worst job in the world"! David Sullivan revealed the extent of his former manager's unhappiness in an interview quoted in the Evening Standard!

Although there can be no doubting the bottomless extent of fans expectations, with a salary of over 3 million quid a year it's hard not to question Allardyce's sanity.

With just 4 days left in the transfer window and striker resources at a critical low, his replacement Slaven Bilic will be feeling the strain but 'worst in the world' is perhaps overstating things, especially when Tottenham and Arsenal are just down the road.

Then again, with no positive news to report on the transfer front, maybe the canny Hammers board have chosen just the right moment to divert our attentions with a little harmless Sam-bashing?

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Strikerless Hammers Look to Sir Thomas (once) More!

As Edmund Blackadder once moaned "we are in the stickiest situation since Sticky the stick insect caught caught on a sticky bun!". With the transfer window closing next Tuesday at 6PM (note we will be denied the usual 11PM adrenaline rush!), West ham are seriously light on striking options with Carroll, Valencia and Zarate all nursing injuries, while Diafra Sakho is in a whole heap of trouble!

Poor Slaven Bilic could certainly empathise with Lord Blackadder's observation that "fortune has vomited upon my eiderdown once more" as it seems to be one thing after another just now with in addition to a lack of firepower up front, our trusty full backs shave been uddenly struck by Baldrickesque incompetence.

With the efforts to sign Zaza and/or Yilmaz stalled, and top target Chaz Austin having taken the hump over David Sullivan's comments about his ligaments, the Hammers are facing into an away game at Anfield with the possibility of having no available striker. To paraphrase Blackadder's Sir Thomas More "A football team without a striker is like a boy without a winkle"!

Sadly, an all too familiar story. Still, there's another 5 days, 17 hours and 44 minutes to go...time to come up with "a plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel".

Carlton Cole, anyone???


Tuesday 25 August 2015

Zaza Joins the Barmy Army!

This is how you do it properly

Hammers fans will be nervously checking in on news today in the hope that Italian international Simone Zaza will take up their offer of a season's long loan adventure in the Premiership. A deal has been agreed between the clubs and right now its up to the player to commit.

With first team football at Juventus unlikely as Zaza is ranked #4 striker on their books, Zaza will be looking for opportunities to continue his impressive Serie A scoring record with Sassuolo. The Hammers injury ravaged forward line will certainly provide hope for the star that he will be given opportunities as Carroll, Valencia, Zarate and now Sakho are all injured at present.

However, perhaps the flamboyant forward will be swung by the availability of top mohawk designers in punk rock's capital city. Recent follicular forays into territory made famous by the likes of Wattie Buchan from the Exploited suggest that the lad has a bit of attitude.

Let's hope that he signs and soon as with rumours that Diafra Sakho is again in trouble with the law, West Ham need to find back up asap.

Monday 24 August 2015

Spare a Modi-cum of sympathy for Maiga

C'est le fin. Finally, after all the disappointment and frustration, the sad saga of Modi Maiga's West ham sentence has ended. Two years of abject misery for the Mali 'striker' has ended with the news that he has signed for Al Nassr in the Saudi league and will be departing Upton Park immediately. A sense of relief has descended upon all concerned. Happily, he got to sign off with a rare goal at the weekend. We wish him all the very best.

Given that Carroll, Valencia, Zarate and now Sakho are all injured or rumoured to be doubtful for action in the coming weeks this signals that the long awaited reinforcements up front are imminent. Zaza?...Austin!?!

Undoubtedly more news will follow in the next day or two.

Au revoir Modi. Nobody can say we didn't give it a fair chance but it wasn't to be. We wont forget your winner against Spurs.

Saturday 22 August 2015

Hammers Bubble Popped by Cherries!

Got any spare Mogadon?

Errr...well it certainly wasn't boring at the Boleyn today!

Seven goals, two penalties and a red card gives some idea how crazy a game was played out. However, amidst all the excitement Hammers fans will be bemused at the sometimes farcical defending from what, at least on paper, should be a decent back line.

Cresswell and Jenkinson have received much praise during their Hammers careers to date, but today they both had nightmares gifting three goals to the triumphant Cherries.

Perhaps more concerning was the fact that our MOTM was stand in keeper Darren Randolph as West ham were totally outplayed during the first half.

The Bubbles brigade summoned a decent fight back at the start of the second half, but just when they looked set for a gutsy win they threw it all away again by conceding a penalty and, once again, going down to ten men.

Another goal followed until Modi Maiga pulled one back, but despite a brave effort from the ten men that was assisted by a passionate crowd, the Cherries held strong for their first Premiership win and a first ever victory over the Hammers.

Maiga did manage a rare goal success but he then got repeatedly caught offside as his poor positional sense again caught up on him. He doesn't move like a striker. The fact that he is still occupying the principal offensive impact sub position speaks volumes as to our lack of strength in depth.

However, having scored six goals in three games, the problems facing Bilic and Dicks are in defence. Rumours that James Collins may be leaving as part of a swap for Robert Green are concerning as newby centre back Ogbonna limped off in the first half during which our porous defence played like a circus troupe. James Tomkins can slip back into central defence but Joey O'Brien's fitness emphasizes the lack of back up at right back in the present squad.

In the press conference afterwards, Bilic urged for calm but the magnitude of achieving a top half position in the Premiership is becoming clearer. One suspects that there will be much focus upon defensive drills in training next week!

Still, at least it wasn't boring!

Bring Back Big Sam!...ish

Jenkinson has a nightmare!

It had to happen sometime, somewhere, somebody would utter the unthinkable...are we missing Mr Allardyce? This truly is the West Ham way - beating Arsenal away and then losing two on the trot at home to 'lesser' sides. Hmmm.

Despite having two knowledgeable defenders at the helm, West Ham's woes have been primarily due to defensive naivety, but perhaps much more worrying is the lack of basic discipline that has seen the Bubbles pick up an incredible SIX RED CARDS already in competitive football this year!

Allardyce may have been happy to trade excitement for boring efficiency in terms of playing style, but the rate of early departures is totally unacceptable and smacks of a lack of core discipline. While one might cite poor refereeing as a factor in some of the early departures this season (Tomkins /  Adrian), Collins and Jenkinson's dismissals have been sloppy. Worst of all,  Sakho's off the ball nonsense in Andorra was foolhardy. Even worse, Bilic himself was red carded in the FC Astra fixture - hardly good example settingf rom the gaffer!

Bilic enjoyed a frustrating time at Besiktas where a brave assault upon the Turkish title last season was ultimately upset by a massive ten red card haul. West Ham really need to get their act together if they hope to progress in the current Premiership where the quality of teams is such that playing with ten men is an unforging experience.

Time for Julian Dicks to give a masterclass in red card discipline?

BTW, we are kidding about Big Sam, obviously!

Austin comes to Cherry-Aid

'Thou doth protest too much methinks'.


But who doth thou be? Chaz Austin's response to David Sullivan's comments during an interview with KUMB proviked an unusually robust protest from the wantaway QPR striker suggesting that there may well be some flames to go with that there smoke!

Noticibly, there was no denial that Mr Austin had failed a medical at Hull and, of course, there can be no denying that Chaz underperformed during the Queens and Park Rangers tussles with the mighty Irons lasy season, capping it off with a crucial penalty miss!

On the other hand, Sullivan is an undoubted shrewdster who has reopened debate about Austin's future just when QPR fans were daring to dream that he might stay at Loftus road and lead their charge for promotion back to the top tier. Two words for you listening Rangers....Jermain and Defoe. There's no point clinging to wantaway strikers who have International ambitions to chase.

Interestingly, the bookies still rate the Hammers as joint front runners to sign him at 7/4. The other favourites are Bournemouth who, after two gutsy 1-0 defeats, are learning how hard it is to get points in the Premiership. A predator like Austin could well make the difference between staying up or not for them. One suspects that once all the more attractive suitors have gone that the Cherries will strike. Austin started out with mon-league Poole and should find a south coast location attractive.

Meanwhile, the chief Austin-chasers fight it out for three points at the Boleyn today. The Cherries will be buoyed by the possible return of Harry Artur to their midfield where Derryman Eunan O'Kane will be looking to celebrate his call up to the Repuberlick O' Oireland squad with a good performance. For the Hammers, Adrian commences his ridiculous three match ban, while all eyes will be on the starting teamsheet to see if Reece Oxford starts. Our guess is that either Pedro Obiang and Manuel Lanzini will displace the starlet, but expect him to join the sction if the Hammers can get a two goal lead.

We predict another 1-0 defeat for the Cherties with Dimitri Payet enjoying a good day.

Thursday 20 August 2015

Its Cambridge for Oxford!!!

Having been awarded the honorary title of next World class academy graduate at West ham for his stunning performance against Arsenal ten days ago, sixteen year old Reece Oxford receives his GCSE results today.

We all wish him the very best of luck, and no matter how he performs there can be little doubting that he is in the first tier of emerging footballing talents in English footie.

Good luck Reece but go easy with the  celebrations - we've got a Premiership match at the weekend!

Saturday 15 August 2015

The sorry tale of the Tinkerman and the Stinker man!

He's lovin it...
Dude, this soccerball thing sucks! A buoyant bubbles brigade welcomed the Foxes of Leicester to Uppety Park for tound two of the Premier league anticipating a continuation of last week's heroics.

Ha ha, its a funny old game indeed. Claudio Ranieri was in no mood to entertain any of West ham's loftiness the tinkerman's troops duly dominated proceedings for most of the first half, taking a 2-0 lead in the process.

But the Hammer's displeasure switched from tinkerman to stinkerman when referee Anthony Taylor turned down very strong penalty appeals as Diafra Sakho was clearly fouled by Leicester's Kasper Schmeichel.

At half time Reece Oxford learned a harsh lesson when he was substituted for newbie Pedro Obiang, thus bringing a crazy week to a conclusion for the 16 year old. The Hammers looked stronger for the change and hit back with a sweet strike from Dimitri Payet after 55 minutes. Game on.

However, despite dominating proceedings, and enjoying over 70% possession, the home side couldn't get an equaliser, with Sakho guilty of wasting two excellent chances. Even worse, wannabe hero Adrian was harshly red carded in the dying moments for a high challenge that reminded the home fans of a similarly stupid decision against Carlton Cole by Mr Taylor three years ago.

Slaven, it's a stinker, man!

Thursday 13 August 2015

Top Doc Slams ‘Dr Jose’

As the furore over Jose Mourinho’s criticisms of Chelsea’s medical team during Saturday’s psychological thrashing by Swansea continues, top Medic Harold Windybottom  has dismissed Mourinho’s behaviour as ‘totally bloody unacceptable”. Windybum, who specialises in factitious football behaviour, has suggested that Jose has no business interfering with medical support, even for known chancers like Eddie Izzard.

Jose, who has no known medical qualifications other than an arrogant and pedantic character, appears to have deemed himself an expert in the vagaries of emergency medicine. El Grincho dismissed Dr Eva Carneiro as ‘impulsive and na├»ve’ when she rushed onto the pitch to tend to Eden Hazard when he collapsed with apparent injury during the match. Even worse, her behaviour endangered his team’s chances of scrapping out a result in a game where they were hopelessly outplayed.

In a severe reprimand of the increasingly caddish Mourinho, Windybutt has referenced examples from the catalogue of medical chancers who have dared to usurp the role of real doctors over the years– a list that amounts to more than 40 documented cases!

For example, In 1992, Mohammed Saeed was jailed for five years for fraudulently practicing as a family doctor in Bradford over a 30 year period. The dodgy ‘doc’ was finally caught when his partners reported his suspicious lack of medical knowledge. Just why it took so long to spot his incompetence remains a mystery!

In 1994, Roy Grimshaw was jailed for fraud during which it emerged that he had previously posed as a surgeon in a private clinic in Lancashire and carried out a variety of surgical operations, including gynaecological procedures and multiple vasectomies!

In 1978, Gerald Barnbaum, a trained pharmacist, commenced working as a physician in California under the name Gerald Barnes. Soon, however, his mismanagement contributed to the death of a diabetic patient and he was duly sentenced to three years for involuntary manslaughter. Upon his release he again started practicing medicine and was jailed twice more for this deception. Perhaps most bizarrely, he then escaped from prison and was only recaptured after two weeks during which he had returned to medical practice whilst on the run! The medical world is braced for his release in 2018.

However, amidst all the condemnation, top International Sports Psychobabbleologist Hansi Van der Cockoo, Jumped to the Special One’s defence; “everybody knows that football is just fun and make believe. Just like wrestlemania, all the moves are carefully choreographed so that nobody really gets hurt. Just ask Eduardo, Fabrice Muamba, or closer to home, John Terry or Petr Cech”.

Make believe

Mourinho is said to be currently licking his wounds and wondering how he can find new ways to manipulate the media. Barry Needyperson, president of the frivolous football fans federation joined the debate “The traditional sledging of referees and opposition managers has become boring and the football watching public want some new nastiness.  Kicking a ball boy was an excellent example of the kind of outrage that keeps Joe Pubic from getting bored (and self destructive), but we want MORE MORE MORE!!!”

Meanwhile, the disciplinefest continues across the Premiership with news that Hammers head honcho Slaven Bilic has banished Morgan Amalfitano from the first team squad in order to ‘protect’ his players from the behaviour of the stylish winger. The precise reasons remain unclear, but are possibly for being deliberately French. With four red cards already this season, Hammers fanciers will be glad to see discipline high up on the Bubbles agenda.

Wednesday 12 August 2015

Beware of the Icarus effect!

After half an hour on Sunday we were on the back foot with three players on yellow and referee Atkinson getting more and more twitchy...For sure, it all ended in celebrations. At last, the end of an era of Gooners domination. An Anfield result beckons, and maybe give the Toffees a well overdue thrashing? ........Inevitable Champions league glory?

Bilic likes playing away. The opposition push up and leave space to hurt them on the break. Last season Besiktas played their home matches at a neutral venue while their stadium was being rebuilt. Despite this massive disadvantage, they were narrowly pipped into third place, mostly undone by their ill discipline (ten red cards in one season!!!.....err, we have four already!).

We still need attacking power. Sakho is a menace and Elliott Lee is pushing hard, albeit still in the 'promising' category. Andy Carroll has had three major periods of absence due to injury. Ask any occupational health doc and they will tell you that the prognosis for sustained and injury free activity is very poor. We still think Valencia will find his top gear in season two. Maiga.......ha!

Bilic's favoured 4-2-3-1 has many strengths.....look how Arsenal struggled to do all that tippy tappy stuff through midfield and in front of our box that they thrive upon. However, the wings are less well patrolled. Thankfully Bilic quickly recognised the Walcott threat and brought on Jarvis to support Cresswell on Sunday. Lanzini has looked VERY good so far but who else?

Amalfitano is, well, very 'French'. No offence to our creative European neighbours but in sporting terms they are 'moody'. Moreover, reports suggest that rather than being injured, he has fallen foul of the Bilic regime. Hmmm, only one winner there right now. Every manager needs a scapegoat to demonstrate their control and it looks like Morgan has offered himself up as fodder for same alpha antics.

Of note, for all the talent coming through, it is mainly central in orientation. Samuelsen looks tasty but frequently drifts centrally. Oxford and Cullen are primarily central. Kouyate pushed out right quite a bit on Sunday but its a waste of his abilities to push him out there. Jenkinson will offer plenty of pace and guile from right back but needs a partner to do real damage.

So, the solution? Bring in Charlie Austin and beg Stewart Downing to come back!


Tuesday 11 August 2015

Oh No!!! It's Biffa Barton!

A hush has descended upon the Hammers media family as rumours grow of the arrival of the media regulator to Upton Park. With news that Joey 'Basher' Barton is undergoing a medical at the club, Hammers observers are anxiously scrutinising their previous utterances about the 'controversial star' as they recall the twitter trouncing sleeky Gaz Lineker and Alan 'sensible' Shearer endured when they took on Bard Barton back in 2012.

Commenting on MOTD about Barton's sensational efforts to bring UFCinto the Premiership, they dared to suggest that Joey was out of order for his sending off and melee-inducing behaviour during a tussle with Man City. Having been red carded, to the pundits consternation young Barton decided to try and take out a few City players as he left the pitch.

However, the politics of condemnation was soon turned on it's smug head as Barton took to twitter to settle the score with Shearer and 'squeeky clean' Lineker. Barton challenged Gaz to a verbal face off, threatening to reveal all manner of skeletons from the Lineker closet. Sadly (?), the entralled twitter watchers were denied further hilarity as Lineker, despite being referred to as an 'odious toad', thought better of things and retreated into TOTAL silence!

With Joey's apparent arrival, many Hammers folk will be watching their Ps and Qs in the hope that they can avoid a similar bashing from Barton. Poor David Gold may well be wishing that he hadn't bothered with his previous comments about Barton's misdemmeanours!

At VERYWESTHAM we would like to take this opportunity to wish the skilful superstar the very very best of luck and would hasten to add that his previous difficulties have been no more than mere misunderstandings. If anything, Barton could well be the striking sensation that the Hammers need moving forward.

If that won't suffice, we will all have to get Uncle Julian to have a word in his ear!

Monday 10 August 2015

Five Reasons Why We Silenced Arsenal

It's all gone a bit crazy in the aftermath of West Ham's victory away to Arsenal yesterday. There can be no doubting that the Hammers showed a level of courage and determination that was sorely lacking during the final months of the Allardyce regime, but in truth the result flattered the visitors who caught the Gunners with two sucker punches and rode their luck at times. When James Tomkins became the third Hammer to pick up a yellow card we looked unlikely to finish with all eleven still on the pitch! Moreover, Adrian could well have been awarded man of the match for a series of super saves.

That said, Arsenal looked all out of ideas for the final 30 minutes and despite enjoying 62% possession, they found a resolute Hammers side difficult to penetrate and on another day could have been truly put to the sword as West ham had a number of excellent counterattacking opportunities in the final 15 minutes.

So what was different about yesterday? First of all, the Hammers looked fearless. A bold team selection that included Sakho, Zarate and Payet, along with the surprise inclusion of 16 year old Reece Oxford sst out a defiant stall. Secondly, we didnt allow Arsenal to settle on the ball for even a moment - up front Diafra Sakho harried and hassled the Arsenal defence, while the midfield was so congested that Arsenal couldnt move the ball with any pace and hence couldnt create the gaps in our defence that their tippy-tappy style thrives upon. Thirdly, we passed the ball out of defence whenever we reclaimed it. No hoofing but rather, neat triangles that were possible because of the consistency in technical skills of the starting midfielders yesterday. Fourthly, with Payet in the side we always had an option and were able to keep Arsenal wary of a break. As a consequence, we were able to keep the ball and gather our breath at key times when the Arsenal wre starting to build momentum. Finally, Bilic reacted quickly to anything Wenger did. The arrival of recurrent Hammers persecutor Theo Walcott on the hour was quickly responded to by switching Zarate for Jarvis - a move which seemed hard on the Argentinian, but which shored up the left side of defence.

Fortune favours the brave, and there can be no doubting the heightened sense of belief in the side under Bilic. European sides dismantle the Gooners year in year out and the Croat has no reason to doubt that he can follow the template; frustrate them and then probe for their weak spot. It worked to a treat yesterday but perhaps we were overdue some fortune in a fixture that had seen us go 15 games without winning.

Bilic likes to play away from home where the space to counterattack is greater. The next away game is at Anfield - another venue where our record is poor but where we can hope to unsettle a stuttering Liverpool side. In between we have home fixtures against Leicester and Bournemouth that present excellent oportunities to get a flying start to the season.

Its still early days, but the whole atmosphere is so much more positive.....attacking football, holding possession, and a host of younger talent coming through....its like the old days again!

Sunday 9 August 2015

We Are Claret n Blue...

This was Bilic's litmus...having shunned the Europa League, all the eggs were in a single basket...

The Croatian demonstrated his single mindedness by selecting an audacious side that weathered the Gooners assault before wrecking their buzz with a goal in the never time of the first half.

Cue....knicker wetting time. No. West ham went for the jugular and duly found a second.

Oooogh, big time stress...err, no. We suffocated their style for the remaining 30 minutes. 2-0. Reece Oxford man of the match. Yessssssss!

Under Slaven, no big deal. 

Let's Do This!!!

Yes We Can!
Europa League, Preseason friendlies, Betway cup de blah blah. Arsenal on day one of the Premiership is the real thing. Although the Hammers have only managed two draws in their last fifteen Premiership tussles with the Gooners, this side is different. After a few seasons of steady squad improvement under Big Sam, and having spent another £25 million in the off season, Hammer's fans will be forgiven for believing that they are ready to compete with the top six.

Moreover, with Slaven Bilic at the helm there is a greater sense of purpose. Bilic has been ruthless in his preparations to date, having spurned the Europa League in favour of the Premiership, including today's big kick off away at the Emirates. For sure, there's still plenty to do in terms of building a truly top class squad (Song, Austin and another winger?) but the side has class throughout and will face today's game with a level of confidence that they have not had for many years.

Bilic has given an assurance that the Hammers will not 'park the bus' today and his team selection backs that up with Sakho, Zarate and Payet leading an exciting attack. Mark Noble captain's the side, with Cheikidh Kouyate alongside him in midfield. The CB pairing of Reid and Ogbonna will be interesting, while the selection of young Reece Oxford sends out a strong message of intent and will undoubtedly please many fans who felt that the younger talent got little or no chance under Allardyce.

We are ready to rock!!!

Friday 7 August 2015

Bbbbbbbubbles!!! Slaven's fag habit revealed!

In supergood news, Blowing Bubbles is back with a stonker of an issue to launch our final Boleyn season.

Read all about Dimitri Payet and an exclusive interview with Harry Redknapp where he spills the beans on Slaven Bilic's fag habit!

Thursday 6 August 2015

Jewel of Hope!

Slaven Bilic's 'boys' are putting in the performance of men so far in Romania tonight! Having been given the tall task of winning away after conceding a two goal lead at home, the kids got off to the perfect start with a strike from their new signing Manuel Lanzini - nicknamed 'the jewel'. Lanzini has been the brightest player for the Hammers so far with a goal and a number of decent deliveries from set pieces.

Astra looked stunned but managed to restore parity on the 33rd minute and then forged ahead moments later as Romanian international Constantin Budescu notched a quickfire brace. Kevin Nolan went close from a 38th minute free kick with a header from the six yard line that flashed wide.

Up front, Elliott Lee looks lively and 'grandad' Kevin Nolan is putting in a decent shift both in terms of ground covered as well as motivating the young troops. It's hot and humid in Southern Romania, so hopefully the more youthful Hammers side will recover the ascendency as the game progresses. Maybe if they can get it back to 2-2 and force extra time then they will feel the benefit of youth. In the interim, the defence needs to close down Astra more quickly!

The bench is entirely comprised of inexperienced development squad players, so options in terms of known gamechangers are limited. The good news is that Lanzini doesn't look like he's done just yet!


Wednesday 5 August 2015

Austin: "Yes, yes, yes!!!"

The Charlie Austin saga continued to dominate discussions yesterday ahead of the new season's kick off. As the QPR boss announced that he would be likely to start the season in the Championship with his current club, the odds of him staying at Loftus road for the coming season were listed at 10/1 against.

Meanwhile, West ham have apparently upped their bid to include Matt Jarvis plus cash and although the news about Enner Valencia is more encouraging (i.e. out for 12 weeks) they remain the 6/5 favourites to meet QPRs demands.

Ex-Hammers attacking coach, Teddy Sheringham, in an 888 Sport exclusive answered "Yes, Yes, Yes" when asked if the Hammers should sign him, while Lee Bowyer suggested that Austin would be wiser to move to Newcastle United, who are quoted as second favourites to sign Austin at 8/5.

As the Javier Hernandez campign kicked up a gear with West Ham reportedly making a 12 million bid, the plot continues to thicken and raising the question of which would be a better deal for the Hammers? £12m for Hernandez or £12m plus Matt Jarvis for Austin???

Sunday 2 August 2015

Bilic Should Stay At Home and Let Yoda Take Europa Charge

'To win at Astra, Patient we must be, young padawan' 

Back in May, qualification for the Europa League seemed like an ideal pre-season warm up. However, after a chaotic July, once again we face the first week of the Premiership with a serious absence of fit strikers. Moreover, in a congested fixture list, we must make a perilous trip to Southern Romania in the Europa League on Thursday night immediately followed by a Premiership opener at the Emirates two days later. Having picked up suspensions and injuries along the way, the squad is already looking threadbare and Bilic is going to have to be very astute in juggling the available resources if we are to avoid two embarrassing defeats next week.
News from yesterday's Romanian League fixtures indicates that FC Astra rested their first team ahead of the big clash with the Hammers. Last Thursday's tie demonstrated that Astra should not be underestimated. Although their goals were unusual, there can be no denying that they dominated  once they had the numerical advantage.
Slaven Bilic has indicated that he will be prioritising the Arsenal match, which means that our kids will be put to the test out in Giurgli. Many observers bemoaned the lack of opportunity for younger talent during the Allardyce reign, and perhaps Thursday's game should be viewed in positive terms as a valuable opportunity to get real experience in games where there are high stakes. However, two ugly words come to mind......Notts and Forest.
Let's hope the kids can hold their own and maybe with some carefully chosen senior players in the team they can snatch an unlikely win. Time for Jenkinson, Jarvis and Kevin Nolan to step up? However, the curmudgeons amongst us might suggest that Bilic is misguided in prioritising the Arsenal match. Given that we have such an awful record against the Gooners over the past decade, having lost nine on the trot in the fixture, maybe we should go for it against Astra and take the inevitable defeat at the Emirates?
One interesting issue is whether Bilic himself should travel. Having been red carded last week, he will have to sit in the stands and maybe might be better sit the whole trip out. One thing that we have learned about the Croatian is that he is single minded and will do whatever he believes is likely to bring results. Maybe Terry Westley can take the helm again - the 3-0 victory over Lusitans was a  decent win and maybe we can return to that form with his help.
However, how about the exciting alternative, why not let Julian Dicks lead the team into battle? As the reports of crowd disturbances during the first leg suggest, the atmosphere out in Romania will be far from welcoming. The many fans who engage with Jules' on twitter will know that in his middle age the Terminator has developed Yoda-like wisdom and would be a capable deputy for Bilic. It seems inevitable that Dicks will become first team manager at some point in the future.
Today's match against Werder Bremen presents an opportunity to give both the Europa League and Premiership sides a run. Maybe we should start with Thursdays starting XI and switch to the Arsenal side for the second half? Our predicted sides for the two fixtures are below. If the Arsenal side is our best starting XI (apart from Jenkinson who is not eligible), it demonstrates that we still need to bring in Alex Song, a striker of the pedigree of Charlie Austin, and some wide midfielders. Letting Downing leave is looking really foolish right now.
Either way, let’s hope we don’t pick up any injuries today! Next week’s games will certainly not be lacking in excitement – we’ve certainly travelled a long way since the soul-less wind down of last season’s campaign.


Saturday 1 August 2015

Striker Breakthrough As Hammers Respond to Valencia Injury

Stop Laughing at our Jersey Sponsor!!!

Reports emerging from the Spanish media suggest that Mexican international striker Raul Jimenez is on his way to West Ham for a season long loan from Atletico Madrid. After a disappointing year at 'Los Colchoneros' (The Mattress Makers!?!), Jimenez will be hoping to rediscover the form that prompted Athletico to splash out 11 million to capture his services from Club America.

Many Hammers fans will be wary of bringing in a player who has shined in the Mexican league but struggled for game time in La Liga and although he got on the pitch on 23 occasions last year, he started only five games and amassed a total of one goal.  Jimenez is struggling for game time in an Atletico squad that has both Mario Mandzukic and Fernando Torres as striking options but notably, Diego Simeone has repeatedly commented on the 24 year old's excellent attitude.

However, Jimenez is a completely different prospect to ex-Hammer Pablo Barrera. At 6ft 3inches and with a strong physique he is a substantial presence in the air and, in so far as is possible to predict, should suit Premiership football. He also has neat feet and the ability to produce the extraordinary as his bicycle kicked goal from outside of the area for Mexico against Panama in 2013 proves. If he can rediscover the goalscoring form of his time in the Liga MX, where his strike rate was a goal every 2.5 games, he could be a hit at West Ham. As a loanee, the Hammers are unlikely to lose out on the deal and will still have spare cash left in the Charlie Austin resettlement fund.

Speaking of Barrera, he has been back in Mexico for the past two years having had a stint in La Liga after leaving West Ham. He is currently playing for Monterrey but has fallen off the register of the Mexican National team since 2012.