Monday, 30 November 2015

Unique Opportunity for Hammers Fans

Who's on TOTP then?
Ever wondered what's the greatest Hammers song? Better still, ever wondered why the Cockney Rejects version of Bubbles isn't played at the Boleyn ground on match days? It would certainly seem to make sense as their version released as a single in 1980 is a right stonker.

If you keep you eyes open you can sometimes pick up a stray copy but now you can go on step further and catch lead singer Jeff Turner speaking at a punk literary festival on Saturday 12th December at the Cockpit Theatre on Gateforth Street (Nr Edgware Rd Tube).

The event includes an impressive line up of speakers that also includes Rick Buckler (The Jam), Garry Bushell(Grandfather of Oi), Segs & Dave Ruffy (The Ruts), Pete 'Manic Esso' Haynes (The Lurkers), Ian Snowball (Medway Punk) and headlining John King (Football factory, Headhunters, England away).

It promises to be a great day, kicking off at noon and running until 6pm. Tickets are a very reasonable £15. It is sponsored by Human Punk, Cadiz Music, London Books and the splendid Vive Le Rock, whose editor Eugene Butcher will be conducting the interviews. Tickets are available at:

...See you there!

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Sakho Update 'Not Good'

Hammers fans were disappointed by the failure of their team to capitalise upon a rampant first half performance against West Brom this afternoon where they put last week's dismal display against Tottenham well and truly behind them.

However, they conceded a soft goal in the 55th minute to as a Ricky Lambert strike cannoned off Winston Reid leaving Adrian helpless as it spun into the West Ham goal. In truth that was the Baggies first real effort on goal and even that was heading wide before the fortuitous deflection.

But worse was to come as they were unable to reassert their dominance and Sakho pulled up 13 minutes from time with a thigh injury.

Speaking after the game, Slaven Bilic revealed his thoughts saying that "it doesn’t look good....It’s a big blow for us, he’s a key player.”

It seems highly unlikely that the Senegalese hitman will be fit to face Manchester United at Old Trafford next week, leaving the Hammers light up front and compounding the loss of talisman Dimitri Payet.


Sakho-oh! Hammers Ace looks Sidelined for Man United clash

More injury trouble for West Ham as Diafra Sakho has again pulled his thigh and hobbled off towards the end of the disappointing 1-1 draw with West Brom.

Sakho was through on goal but pulled his shot and hit the deck clutching his thigh immediately signalling the need to be substituted. It looks very unlikely that he will be sufficiently recovered to make next week's tie.

This may well be a recurrence of the thigh strain that has bugged his season to date, causing him to miss the recent game against Everton.

With Man United up next, Slaven Bilic will be disappointed to lose his most prolific striker. Moreover, Sakho seems to represent the best option for away games where his mobility and aggression off the ball can be a real asset.


Ding Dong...Here we go!

Bloody typical....after totally dominating the first half West Ham have managed to squander their hard earned lead to a fortuitous Ricky Lambert strike which bounced off hapless Winston Reid into the net.

West Brom smell another unlikely victory and have shifted to two up top, while Slaven Bilic has switched Obiang for Andy Carroll as both sides push for all three points.

It's toe to toe out there right now. Sakho has just hobbled off to be replaced by Jelavic...COYI!!!

Zarate!!! Hammers dominate but fail to adequately nail down advantage

It's half time at the Boleyn and the Hammers have a well deserved lead after a super Mauro Zarate free kick. The cobwebs from last week look well cleared as the East Londoners are bouncing the ball around with great momentum. With 62% possession and a 7-2 shots tally, Slaven Bilic's men will be hoping that a single goal advantage is enough as they face the second half. Lanzini looks VERY lively while West Brom look almost disinterested. No doubt Tony Pulis will have plenty to say at half time!

It's Baggies versus the Saggies! Prematch Selection Surprises Await.

If the solution is Song then the problem isn't too bad?

Hammers fans will be hoping that last weekend's nightmare of No Heart Lane was a temporary blip as they look to put their sagging Eurospot ambitions back on track today. However, Tony Pulis' West Brom are no pushovers and after slaying the Gooners last weekend will be looking to bounce in to the top half of the table with a win today.

Meanwhile, West ham are trying to adjust to life without Dimitri Payet and have a host of options at Slaven Bilic's disposal with Song, Obiang, Ogbonna and Antonio all looking to enter the fray.

Manuel Lanzini will almost certainly be asked to provide direct replacement for Payet as the central attacking midfielder, but many feel it is time to unleash the increasingly frustrated Michail Antonio as a wide option. With Mauro Zarate also available, much of the prematch speculation is around who will partner Lanzini and Moses in midfield.

With Mark Noble suspended, Pedro Obiang and Alex Song will be competing for the vacant central midfield berth. With both short of match fitness, expect whoever starts to give way around the hour mark.

Up front, Sakho and Carroll will be competing for a start leading the line. It remains unclear which one of theae options is favoured by Bilic and when, so today's selection will tell a lot.

At the back, Victor Ogbonna will feel that a starting spot should be his and maybe James Tomkins will move to right back as of the back four, Jenks  looks most out of sorts right now.

We would all love to see the Hammers go at it from the off in an effort to erase the painful thumping from last week, but that rarely works well against Pulis sides who love to soak up pressure and hit on the counterattack. Slaven Bilic is a canny operator and is unlikely to get drawn out so easily so we might expect a cagey encounter.

The last five Upton Park meetings of these two clubs have produced 3 draws and two victories for the home side.

Btw, Mark Lawrenson is predicting a Hammers victory....which augers badly given his knowledge of our abilities!

Kick off is at the unusual time of 14:05.

Predicted starting XI: Adrian, Jenkinson, Cresswell, Reid, Ogbonna, Kouyate, Song, Moses, Zarate, Lanzini, Sakho.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Reshuffled Hammers can Nail down newfound Supremacy

Just gimme a chance...
Today's tussle with neighbours Totttenham Hotspur provides the Hammers with an ideal opportunity to demonstrate how they are dast becoming the top dogs on the east side of the city.

Despite the loss of playmaker Dimitri Payet, Slaven Bilic's squad appears to have adequate depth to reshuffle and adapt. Today's game will allow Bilic to roll out his preferred solution with Manuel Lanzini likely to move to the central position that Payet has patrolled to such great effect so far this season.

That would mean Mauri Zarate - an outcast during the Allardyce reign - taking up a starting position out right. However, an intriguing alternative would be to unleash the so far unrealised talents of Michail Antonio upon the Spurs defence.

Speaking of which, after a lukewarm start Spurs are on a decent run with Harry Kane banging in the goals again with 5 in his last three games.

For West ham, Diafra Sakho is back and ready to add some pace an aggression to the Hammers attack.

We predict a 2-1 scoreline in favour of the visitors.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Hammer's Ace Stars in Indie Rock Revival!

Although some fans continue to express their disappointment at Roy Hodgson's determined exclusion of West Ham players from the England set up, many others point to the Dean Ashton story as evidence that international involvement is fraught with potential disaster

However, there can be no doubting the value of international experience to Hammers back up keeper Darren Randolph. 'Randy' followed up his assist for Shane Long's strike in the Republic of Ireland's victory over Germany with another assist for Robbie Brady as the Irish claimed a valuable 1-1 scoreline in the first leg of their Euro championships play off tie in Bosnia on Friday.

The second half was played out in remarkable scenes where a blanket of thick fog led one wiseass to comment that he hadnt seen so much smoke since Echo & the Bunnymen played Dublin's SFX in 1983!

Brady's goal means that if Randy can keep up his excellent form between the sticks and prevent Edin Dzeko et al from beaching the Irish goal then the Irish will provide a double North and South act at next year's finals.

With Josh Cullen's star on the rise and rise, maybe the Hammer's ace can add some much needed creativity to the Irish midfield.

For now, let's hope Randy can keep a clean sheet tomorrow night.

Did someone say Joy Division?

Bilic Ponders Payet Solutions

Every cloud....err...sometimes that 'silver' lining is actually Iridium and Strontium...

Many Hammers fans are of the view that the international break poses an annoying interruption upon the (considerably more) important issue of Premiership football. Often times, just as we ae getting some positive momentum, the snoozefest that is Eurovase qualification intervenes.

However, with injury issues bringing a need to find a solution to the 12 week loss of midfield talisman Dimitri Payet, the break provides time to reshuffle things. Should we push Lanzini into the Payet role and let the returning Alex Song fill the extra berth? Or can Mauro Zarare slip seamlessly into the role? Maybe Lanzini's switch could aloow Michail Antonio to replace him out wide and ease Song back in from the bench? And then there is the opportunity for the rising talents of Josh Cullen, Reece Oxford and Martin Samuelson to get some game time?

All of which serves to highlight the strength in depth of the current squad. There's possibly a silver lining to the apparent disaster that losing Payet presents. Or maybe its just a measure of our new found positivity under Slaven Bilic that we can see solutions to all possible challenges!

Either way, get well soon Dimitri.

What do you favour as the solution to the Payet crisis?

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Slaven's message for the Toffees...

After just one win in their last seventeen encounters with Everton, its not surprising that the pubdits are predicting that the Toffees will win or at least draw when they visit Upton Park for the last time today.

However, Slaven Bilic has demonstrated little regard for historical trends so far in his tenure as Hammer's boss and will have no fear facing Roberto Martinez's men.

With Windton Reid available to replace the suspended James Collins, West ham will hope to end Romelu Lukaku's remarkable record of having scored in all of the last 6 meetings with the East end outfit.

Andy Carroll will be looking to exploit the aerial weakness created by Phil Jagielka's absence and make up for a disappointing day at Watford last week. Meanwhile the battle between Kouyate and McCarthy will be fascinating as the Hammers will look to create space and possession for Dimitri Payet to demonstrate his impressive skillset. Various training ground videos leaked this week suggest that Payet is truly on fire!

We predict that the Hammers will push on from their cup win against the Toffees last season - but only if they can avoid yet another late concession against Everton.

Either way, it should be a high scoring affair as Everton betted six against Sunderland last week while West ham have averaged over 2 goals a game so far this season...


Hammers Blowing Bubbles to '86

The latest copy of Blowing Bubbles is out just in time for the Everton clash. It features supergood interviews with TC and God as we get right back into the mood of 1986.

In a year that gave us Some Candy Talking, Levi Stubbs Tears, Walk this way and World shut your mouth, why not settle down with the latest copy accompanied by some of the best tunes of the era and immerse yourself in the sense of excitement as to what might happen next as a rampaging Hammers takes on the world.

It includes a round up of recent events where VWH's David contributes to the pub talk section.

Also look out for an interview with Andy Carroll after his Chelsea performance and the usual column from George Parris.


Monday, 2 November 2015

Hammers Prepare for Barcelona Visit

Under Slaven Bilic the Hammers really have reverted to the fabled West Ham way in terms of excitement and unpredictability. The topsy-turvy season continued at the weekend with another Diana Ross performance, where the upside down Hammers were well beaten by a gamey Watford.

Following from the emphatic win over Chelsea, Hammers fans are bamboozled as to what is going on! Our supergood results against the big boys of Arsenal, Man city and Liverpool have been interspersed with highly disappointing performances against the likes of Leicester, Norwich and Bournemouth which have denied us of a higher Premiership position.

It's really hard to identify the reason for these conflicting performances as the lesser sides have not caught us with sucker punches, but rather, have outfought and largely outplayed us. As such, it seems like an issue of motivation rather than ability.

Slaven Bilic needs to look to his on field leaders (yes, you Mark Noble) when we next face lesser opposition. We also need to find a level of intensity that seems lacking against the smaller clubs.

Next up we have Everton, a club who have enjoyed an unusually good run of results against us over the last 15 years. We can expect another top result but then face the Baggies where we need to close our eyes and pretend that we are up against one of the big guns...

It will take quite an amount of imagination to pretend that the Hawthorns is the Nou Camp, or that Berahinho is Neymar but if we want to realie our dream of Champions League football we need to start thinking more 'European'!