Saturday 26 September 2015

Hammers must harness Hooligan

Just as our early away fixtures have looked difficult on paper, most Hammers fans would have considered the opening set of home matches against lesser clubs as an opportunity to get points on the board. As it has turned out, our home form has been patchy with defeats to Leicester and Bournemouth, while our away record is unsullied as we have slain Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City.

As such, today's clash with Norwich raises the question; which West ham side will turn up? Our last Premiership home tie against Newcastle broke the trend of counterintuitive results, as the Hammers dispatched the Toon with ruthless efficiency. Central to that performance was the growing understanding between Dimitri Payet and the other players, as well as the speed and aggression of Victor Moses.

Payet came on towards the end to try and swing Tuesday night's game against Leicester in the Capital one cup and should be fresh, while Moses may need to be rested after his busy contribution in midweek. Andy Carroll was pretty quiet during his hour-long stint and will probably be used from the bench today. It's a toss up between Kouyate and Obiang as to who will partner Captain Claret in midfield.

The Hammers will need to wary of Wes Houlihan, who is Norwich's Payet. The creative midfielder has the capacity to spoil the fun for Hammers fans and will need to be harnessed by Noble and Kouyate. Matt Jarvis is ineligible which is no bad thing given the scoring record of ex-Hammers when they return to face their old club!

We predict a 3-1 cracker!

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Team News: Bilic fields strong team as Hammers look for Cup run

Slaven Bilic has revealed his desire to bring some cup excitement to the Boleyn this season in his selection of a strong side to take on Leicester City at the King Power Stadium tonight. The biggest surprise is a start for Andy Carroll who didn't even get off the bench at the weekend! Elsewhere, Duracell-fuelled Captain Claret Mark Noble is denied a rest and can therefore add to his remarkable fouls against tally this season which currently stands at 19 free kicks from the six Premiership fixtures!

Elsewhere, the good news is that Mauro Zarate is back and will play off Carroll up front. Winston Reid takes a break from his heroics to give game time to James Collins. We expect Cheikidh Kouyate will be sprung from the bench to work on his fitness after a one match break at the weekend due to a minor niggle.

Darren Randolph doesn't make the starting XI, presumably to allow Adrian to regainmatch sharpness. let's hope Josh Cullen, Reece Oxford and Elliot Lee all get runs out.

Starting XI: Adrian, Jenkinson, Tomkins, Collins, Cresswell, Obiang, Noble (c), Moses, Lanzini, Zarate, Carroll

Subs: Randolph, Reid, Kouyate, Payet, Oxford, Lee, Cullen

Oxford to climb back on the horse

The single biggest story after our opening fixture against the Gooners was the remarkable performance of 16 year old Reece Oxford. Outplaying Mesut Ozil while hardly putting a foot wrong, the lad looked to have made a major step up the pecking order.

However, Oxford soon came crashing back to Earth as he looked out of sorts during the following fixture with Leicester and was duly subbed at half time by the ruthless Slaven Bilic.

Since then, he has been troubled by a niggly injury and his contribution has been limited to cheering from the bench. However, tonight's Capital One Cup clash with same Foxes provides the ideal opportunity to return to the fray and puck up where he left off against Arsenal.

David Gold has hinted at a strong side for tonight, while Bilic has emphasised the need to rest some players after Saturday's heroic victory over Man City at the Etihad.

Expect Oxford, Cullen, Zarate, Collins, Kouyate, Randolph and Carroll to come in with a feet up for Payet, Reid, Noble, Adrian and Sakho. Jelavic and Antonio are cup tied.


Monday 21 September 2015

With Slaven its all Girls Girls Girls!!!

West Ham's victory over Man City was indeed a beautiful sight to behold, with the Visitors playing to the perfect game plan in order to overturn a City side who were being described as unplayable!

Hammer's boss Slaven Bilic was clearly well pleased with the performance of his side and like many struggled to find superlatives that could capture the moment.

That is until he stumbled upon a remarkable comparison, describing the victory at the Etihad as pleasing as walking into a pub full of girls!!! does this fit with his previous comments about the relationship between attractive members of the fairer sex and the beautiful game.....""With the greatest respect to women, football is the most beautiful thing in the world"

Bloody hell...make your mind up man?

There will be a chance to watch the latest enthralling episode of Bilic at the Boleyn as West Ham take on foxy Leicester City in another away game tomorrow night in the League Cup (or whatever it's called this year!).

Crazy days all round!!!

Saturday 19 September 2015

Prince Harry Pulls one back! It's a one goal game again.

Grrr..... 55million Gingerkid Kevin De Bruyne has poulled one back just before half time for Man City with an excellent strike after a delicious pass from Sergio Aguero....what a game!

Sakhooooooooo!!!! It's Two Nil! sensational developments, the mighty Hammers have gone two up at the Etihad as Diafra Sakho drilled home the ball from 3 yards after City were unable to clear a tantalising Dimitri Payet corner kick.

West Ham were 9-1 against to win before the game started!

Holy Moses It's One Nil!

See wot i mean?
Yesssssshhhh! The Man City goal has finally been breached as Victor Moses tore up the script with a stunning long range strike after six minutes!

Top shot of the goal shenanigans was Slaven Bilic's mildly pleased gesture - Hey, it's no big deal eh?

What next?......City are responding as you might expect but the Hammers are harrying and hassling to prevent them from getting their momentum going. Sakho, once again, is proving a major irritant for the opposition.

Man City have won their last eleven consecutive home Premiership fixtures in a run stretching back to April.

With Silva injured in the warm up, it's Jesus versus Moses out there!


Scoreboard Inferno at the Etihad Stadium!

Greater Manchester fire brigade services are on red alert this evening for the Premiership clash between high flying  sharpshooters Manchester City (first) and West Ham (fifth). Having each netted on eleven occasions during their five games to date, there is a definite risk that the overworked scoreboard could go on fire! While both sides have demonstrated the capacity to score goals aplenty, the difference has been West Ham's concession of six goals compared with City whose goal is yet to be breached in the Premiership.

However, West Ham have kept both Arsenal and Liverpool goalless during their away trips this season. Moreover, Juventus showed just how to topple City at the Etihad scoring twice late on to take victory in their midweek Champions league tussle. captain Vincent Kompany picked up an injury during the match and is expected to sit out today's tie, adding to the belief that the Hammers can pose a veritale threat up front against a city side who have looked unstoppable so far this season.  

There has been much speculation as to how West Ham will line out - with the more defensively adept Pedro Obiang expected to start ahead of Manuel Lanzini. James Tomkins will slot in seamlessly in replacement for the hamstrung Ogbonna, with Karl Jenkinson returning to a starting position at right back. Darren Randolph has performed with great distinction during Adrian's suspension, and many believe has a shout at retaining the starting berth even though Adrian is available again, but we expect the Spaniard to start. Either way, the Hammers team selection will say much about what Slaven Bilic considers to be his best starting XI from the palyers available at present.

As always, Man City's bench is strong, but Monday night demonstrated how much strength in depth the Hammers now have with a substitutes bench dripping with gamechanging talent - with Andy Carroll providing an option that looks very enticing given Kompany's absence. Less reassuring for the Hammers faithful is the news that Sergio Aguero has recovered from injury and is likely to start. However, behind all the interest in the performances of Payet et al up front, Winston Reid has been a defensive rock so far this season and wil be relishing the encounter with the Premiership's most prolific striker.

As contrarians, we predict a dour goalless draw, with Bilic demonstrating his ability to frustrate top class opposition.


Friday 18 September 2015

West Ham Embroiled in Web of Deceit

With all the media hoohaa about the Olympic Stadium deal, the last thing that the Hammers need right now is more evidence of deceit and subterfuge at fortress Boleyn.

However, startling revelations from prominent Hammers historian Steve Marsh suggests that the club have been feeding the nerds with incorrect dweebfodder for years!

In his book which details just about every last statistic about the club, Marsh has revealed that simple and fundamental facts about the club are erroneous. For example, the attendance records show that a 1970 FA cup tie against Spurs accomodated the fullest house at the Boleyn with 42,322. However, Marsh has revealed that fixtures in 1927 and 1932 both exceeded this, with the actual record standing at 43,455.

We await further revelations as this web of deceit is unravelled. The current Dimitri Payet situation, for example, seems too good to be true!

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Chelsea Leg End Slams Black Sheep Payet!

Mon Dieu!!! A war of words has broken out between West Ham's Dimitri Payet and France boss Diddy-eh Des Chomps. Payet described his feelings of confusion at how he might find a way back into the French set up where the door seems firmly shut despite his consistently excellent (and at times jaw-droppingly impressive) form at club level. Des Chump responded today by insinuating that Payet was a mere lamb with the following quote "Everyone deserves a shot in life. But I do not have only lambs. I have players with character.”

The ex-Chelsea leg end will be remebered by English football fans for his massive contribution to an overrated Chelsea side during the 1999-2000 season who had a good run in the cup but lacked the character to maintain a meaningful run at the real prize of Premiership champions. It's thought that Deschamps may still be bruised by his description at the time as a mere 'water carrier' by the stylish and truly gifted Eric Cantona.

Whatever Payet represents it is considerably more than a water carrier but his impressive tally of assists and goals after a mere five games in the top league in the world suggests that Des Chumps may have shot himself in the foot by alienating the talented attacking force. Undoubtedly fans of Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle will testify that, at the very least, Payet is a Wolf in Sheeps clothing!

Meanwhile, Diddy-eh can focus upon the outstanding talent in the French league - where even Modi Maiga can look like a decent striker! He'll be needing to utilise the best of what is available if he is to avoid another embarrassing performance at the Euros in 2016 as his side have now slipped to 24th in the FIFA international rankings - their lowest since the rankings were first published! Even worse, the tournament will be held in France where the public will surely demand that their side both get results and with a degree of style that is sorely lacking at present.

Monsieur Deschamps, Tu as une idée de combien tu es ridicule depuis hier?


Monday 14 September 2015

Bring on the Moonies...NOW!!!

Ooogh. It's finally clicked into gear folks. A solid defensive formation with lightning speed on the break - Bilic's Hammers are finding their style. Tonight's performance was certainly helped by the inept opposition which, along with the early goal, allowed West Ham to patiently dismantle their opponents such that a bigger scoreline would have been well justified.

Payet was undoubtedly the star of the show, with two goals and a string of breathtaking moments of sublime skill, but the Hammers looked like a happy side spraying the ball about with abandon. Mark Noble celebrated his elevation to club captain with a fantastic performance that sent out a clear signal that he is back to his very best form of 2012-4. Nobes was EVERYWHERE!!!

At the back, the Hammers looked calm and in control. They absorbed an unfortunate injury to the excellent Ogbonna by simply shuffling James Tomkins into the centre to accomodate the returning Jenkinson. Kouyate had a stunning first half as he is increasingly demonstrating that he has an impressive array of skills to match his physicality.

Moses looked tricky while Sakho was his usual narky self, harranguing the Newcastkle back line and keeping them constantly on the back foot. In goals, Darren Randolph was asked to deal with three tricky moments and came ourt with flying colours on each occasion.

Perhaps the most uplifting aspect of the match was when the Hammers made a substitution on the hour. Bilic fastened down the important three points by bringing on Pedro Obiang for Manuel Lanzini - thus refusing to get carried away and keeping his eye on the bigger picture of the three points and a first home win. As the board went up and Hammers fans looked at the subs bench full of top quality talent, the strength in depth of this squad became apparent. With no Valencia, Song, Zarate or Adrian, the bench had endless options in each position.

And to top it off.....Andy C returned to the fray, immediately imposing his presence upon proceedings......Champion!!!

Man City next away. We are 9-1 against to win. Need we say more?


Say Hello to Captain Claret!

About bloody time!!! After more than a decade of loyal service Mark Noble has finally been rewarded with the permanent Captain's role at West Ham.

Although it looks like an obvious choice, the competition for midfield places is such that the announcement sheds some light on Slaven Bilic's perception of his assets.

The new Captain has already celebrated by creating the opening goal for Dimitri Payet against Newcastle tonight.

You'd still have to wonder what will happen when Alex Song becomes available to compete with Noble, Kouyate, Obiang et al for the key holding berth.

Sunday 13 September 2015

Amalfitano and Bilic to kiss and make up

After all the excitement of the end of the transfer window, followed by the boredom and emptiness of the international break, Hammers fans are getting ready for Monday night's visit of Newcastle. With all sorts of speculation as to the likely return of Andy Carroll, along with the exciting prospect of seeing debuts for new attacking threats in Michael Antonio and Victor Moses, its an exciting time. Meanwhile, in the background the Morgan Amalfitano situation ticks along, still unresolved more than a month after he was banned from training with the first team for alleged indiscipline.

Morgan: out in the cold
The dispute seemed to be coming to a conclusion when the Frenchman did not exit during the transfer window and was subsequently given a new squad number (#18). However, there is still no sign of a return and with the arrival of Moses and Antonio, Amalfitano's skills are less in demand. Bilic is clearly content with his wide options as he allowed Matt Jarvis to go on loan to Norwich, which would suggest that Amalfitano has a long way to come back from the cold if he is to get into the starting XI.

with an annual salary of £1.5m and 18 months of a contract to run it is hard to see who is losing out most as the row continues. However, Bilic appears determined to impose a culture of discipline at the club and Amalfitano has become the fodder for that message. With 6 red cards (and Noble's recent rescinded one) already this season, Hammers fans will be hoping that Bilic can also improve our on field discipline as we chase a Champions League place.

For Amalfitano, at 30 years of age, the clock is ticking on his career and it seems a terrible waste to spend crucial time not being in a position to ply his trade. It's time for the pair to kiss and make up, metaphorically speaking of course!

Steady on lads!


Saturday 12 September 2015

Bilic, Belic and 'The Little Bolic'

Slaven Bilic's arrival at West ham has brought an exciting new era at the club. He has wasted no time in assembling an impressive squad that to date has demonstrated considerable attacking prowess.  Second only to Man City in goals scored so far in the Premiership, Bilic has demonstrated that he is not one to rest on his laurels and is constantly seeking new striking options.

West ham fans were pleased to see Bilic recruit his fellow Croatian Nikica Jelavic in the transfer window and now are seeing the start of what will hopefully be a healthy influx of the best upcoming talent from his native country and thereabouts. It is therefore no surprise that news has emerged of the immininent arrival of Luka Belic - a Serbian U19 international who is widely thought to be one of the most promising young talents from the Baltic region.

Bilic Plans to Lead the Hammers to Champions League Glory
Reports indicate that the 19 year old is arriving on a free transfer after his contract at Serbian top league side OFK Beograd recently ended making him a highly sought after free agent. The signing of the youngster provides clear evidence that Bilic is looking to the future in what has been predicted will be a lengthy and productive stint as manager at the East London megaclub.
Meanwhile, VERYWESTHAM recently undertook a scouting trip to Croatia where they have unearthed another potential Hammers target - young Rori Maric. Our top scout reported how the kid reminded him of Ivica Bolic - the Bosnian who ended Man United unbeaten home record in the Champions league by scoring for visiting Fenerbahce in 1996!

The impressive Bolic in action!
We wholeheartedly agree and given his antipathy towards all things Manchester United, we think he is gonna be a proper little Bolic!

'The Little Bolic' and his agent, Davor.

Sunday 6 September 2015

Ex-Hammer hits European heights

Truly Evergreen!
The international break can be a real snoozefest, broken only by the opportunity to reflect upon why Wicked Woy Hodgson has so little time for all things Hammers, while hoping none of our stars from other countries get injured.

The current West Ham squad is blessed with a healthy contribution from the Republic of Ireland with Darren Randolph in goal, Joey O'Brien at full back and young Josh Cullen pushing into the first team squad.

But its ex-Hammer Robbie Keane who has grabbed the headlines by scoring a brace as Ireland piccked up three points against Gibraltar. That in itself is no big deal apart from the fact that it brings his international haul to a massive 67 goals in 140 appearances!!!. Keane is now ranked 5th in the all time list of European international goalscorers. He is one goal short of Gerd Muller in fourth and three from Miroslav Klose in third. However, at age 35 he is unlikely to pass out top scorer Ferenc Puskas who amassed 84 goals.

Sadly for West Ham, Keane was not able to translate that form to his brief nine match contribution to the club. Playing in the doomed Avram Grant era he struggled for fitness and managed just two goals as the Hammers took a deserved dive into the Chumpionship.

Either way, well done Robbie!

Tuesday 1 September 2015

And finally, perhaps the most significant signing of all for West Ham today...

Amidst all the transfer madness today one event that slipped somewhat under the radar was the signing of exciting midfield prospect Josh Cullen on a deal running until 2018. While there has been mush talk about the two Reece's, Josh has been quiety pushing up the ranks and after some decent Europa League appearances he was rewarded with his debut as a substitute towards the end of the Liverpool triumph last Saturday.

Josh has been captaining the U21s for some time and is a regular in the Irish U21 set up. It looks like this season will provide a chance to push to a new level. As a skillful and tenacious central midfielder he will surely learn heaps from his senior colleagues in the squad.

Josh with the VWH crew during preseason
Onwards and upwards...a future Hammers and Republic of Ireland captain in the making?

Who's Leaving: Jarvis or Amalfitano? Norwich or Spurs?

Its gonna be pretty tight in the Hammers dressing room

Jarvis or Amalfitano? That is the question on Hammers fans minds as late incoming news suggests that there may be a departure before the 8PM admin deadline!

With all the action arriving in midfield West Ham can let either or both go now. However some fans are wirried that after the reported falling out earlier this week that James Collins could be the target! Let's hope not as we never seem to have enough fit CBs come January!

Word from Norwich is that Jarv is set to become a season-long Canary. Other reports suggest that we might sell a player to Spurs to alleviate all the whingeing after their fruitless search for new talent.

 We will know for sure in the next hour.

Still Time for Austin Swoop...

The Charlie Austin saga looks to be over with the striker tweeting that he plans to remain as QPR #9 for the season. In truth, QPR should thank Hammers Chairman David Sullivan for scaring off the posse of Premiership clubs by suggesting that his £15 million valuation was excessive given his alleged injury concerns but one suspects that a thankyou card may be slow in coming!

Austin's contract with QPR expires in the Summer and that now looks the right time to swoop for the prolific striker. He can use the interim to prove that his ligaments are intact!


Spuds Mashed as Greedy Hammers Feast

Dear me, poor old Tottenham. Having been linked with hijacking almost every West Ham move during the transfer window and even attempting to unsettle top Hammer Cheikidh Kouyate in the process, Spurs find themselves without a high profile signing with only 15 minutes left of the transfer window.

Even worse, they have been outmanoevred by their East london rivals over the Adebayor issue as the Hammers realised that they were in the driving seat over the future of the want-away outcast and look likely to be offered his services at a cut price if they absorb the hit of ending his costly contract - currently estimated at a mere £5million!!!

The Hammers bosses will be delighted to mark the continued rise of the club who clearly plan to usurp Spurs in the London footballing aristocracy over the coming year. Twinned with the Olympic Stadium negotiations, Messrs Gold and Sullivan have demonstrated their ability to drive the club to new heights.

Sorry Spurs, its our time now!

No Room at the Inn!

In what has been a sensational day of activity at West Ham the club have made four top level signings over the final 24 hours of the transfer window. One target who looks to have missed the boat is poor old Emmanuel Adebayor who is now 'desperate' to join the Hammers party but there is no squad place left for him!

With Andy Carroll soon to return and Mauro Zarate shrugging off a short term injury, the club probably has enough reinforcements for Diafra Sakho as Nikica Jelavic signed form Hull today.

Sorry Sir, there's just no room at the Inn!!!

On a significant other note, top prospect Josh Cullen also signed a contract extension today that keeps him at the Boleyn until 2018. Happy days my bubbles buddies!

West Ham to bring in Two Wingers and a Whinger as Tumultuous Tuesday Begins

Buy Buy Buy!!!

With less than ten hours to go it's hotting up on the transfer hunt. Having nailed down a loan deal for Alex Song yesterday, according to Chairman David Gold West Ham are aimimg for three more signings today.

The Spuds are on the prowl again, apparently looking at a £15 million swoop for Cheikidh Kouyate, but more realistically will be glad to offload Togolese whinger Emmanuel Adebayor who has fallen out with the club and is sitting on wages of £100K per week. Hammers are hoping to doa  deal whereby Spurs pay a percentage of his wages and he gets a chance to play understudy to Diafra Sakho and the returning Andy Carroll. Hmmmm.

Meanwhile, a deal for forests wide midfielder Michail Antonio is apparently sealed with a loan deal with Chelsea for Victor Moses the principal piece of outstanding business. Spurs are again reported as trying to hijack the deal but the needy North Londoners look overstretched as they try to grab players from all over the place while also needing to offload bodies from the No Heart Lane cemetary.

Let the real battles begin!

Anyone for Amalfitano? Or Will Peace and Forgiveness Intervene...

West ham were well pleased when they captured the services of Frenchman Morgan Amalfitano on a two year contract back in March. High profile goals in the victories over Man City and Liverpool last season had highlighted the strengths in his game but as this season loomed it all went pear shaped when he was banished to train with the development squad after a bust up with Slaven Bilic.

Initial reports suggested that this was a week long sentence, but there is no sign that Amalfitano has been forgiven and allowed to rejoin the first team squad. Moreover, the club's frantic efforts to sign attacking wide midfielders suggest that his time at the club may be over.

However, amidst all the transfer window speculation there has been little mention of a potential suitor for the Frenchman. His wages are punitively high and limit the possibility of a return to France, while West Brom et al seem otherwise preoccupied. Hull City were previously interested which raises questions as to whether a swap might be part of a Jelavic deal? However, Our money is on a cost-cutting loan deal to move him outside of the club.

Unless of course we fail to get adequate wide cover in which case the olive branch of a 'second' chance may well be offered!