Wednesday 15 December 2021

Moyes Throws Down the Gauntlet as Hammers Look to Nail Gooners

West ham make the short trip across London to the Emirates for tonight's crunch Premiership clash. The Hammers will be still smarting from the disappointing draw up at Burnley at the weekend but can make up for that by beating the Gunners tonight.

That will be far from easy though as they have lost ten of their last eleven trips to the Emirates. Moreover, Arsenal seem to have found their groove under Michel Arteta and are just a point behind fourth placed West ham going into the match.

There's no return for Aaron Cresswell, with Masuaku hoping to maintain his good form at left back. Pable Fornals returns, displacing Said Benrahma, with Manny Lanzini continuing in the starting XI. 

Arsenal are close to full strength despite all the in-house Covid difficulties of recent days with the exception of Augbameyang who is dropped due to discipline issues.

David Moyes will be hoping that his attacking unit kicks back into gear with eyes on Michail Antonio who has been just 'average' in recent games. 

Rory Nostradamus is going for a 2-1 away win.


West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Dawson, Diop, Masuaku, Rice ©, Souček, Bowen, Lanzini, Fornals, Antonio

Subs: Areola, Ashby, Alese, Noble, Král, Vlašić, Benrahma, Okoflex, Yarmolenko


Arsenal: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Ødegaard, Martinelli, Lacazette ©

Subs: Okonkwa, Holding, Maitland-Niles, Tavares, Lokonga, Elneny, Pepé, Smith Rowe, Nketiah

Thursday 9 December 2021

Trouble in the Bubble as Zagreb do a 'Masuaku'!

The original ' Masuaku'

It hasn't been an ideal start for the young Hammers side against Croatian legends Dinamo Zagreb as Orsic has fired in a Masuaku-style shot from the left wing to leave the kids playing catch up!

The ball sliced off Pablo Fornals ankle and looped over the helpless Areola. 

It's early days and yes, we have Arthur available on the bench to repeat his heroics of the weekend!


Kids For A Quid Scheme Gets Out of Hand!


Back when Mr Gold and Sullivan took over at West Ham they promised affordable football for all the family. Apart from budget season ticket prices, the 'kids for a quid' scheme has also helped to fill our massive new stadium. 

Tonight that scheme moves to another level as the mighty Hammers field a starting XI of kids in their Europa League phase one finale. It's a big night for our U23s as no less than five of our starters are from the academy!

Fans will get to see what we've got in defence as the complete back four are all less than 21 years old. Fans have been hearing great stories about Baptiste, Ashby and Perkins and now at the happiest club in the league they get to strut their stuff on the European stage.

Let's hope that it doesn't go all Notts Forest out there but if they get into deep water Diop, Coufal and Masuaku are on the bench while Benrahma and Lanzini are available if we need some creativity.

Whatever happens, it's a proud night for the club to be able to deliver this spectacle!

West Ham: Areola, Longelo, Alese, Baptiste, Ashby, Fornals, Kral, Noble, Vlasic, Perkins, Yarmolenko.

Subs: Martin, Randolph, Coufal, Lanzini, Benrahma, Diop, Masuaku, Swyer, Forson, Potts.

Sunday 28 November 2021

Time to bring on Gretzky?

It's all gone a bit bonkers at the Icey-had stadium as incessant snow has changed the game into an ice hockey match!

It's bordering on farcical as the ball is stopping in the depths of snow! 

None of which has bothered Moyes' men who are holding firm against Man City and can feel unlucky to be 1-0 down at the break.

You'd wonder whether this is a game suited to Coufal and Kral - the latter a veteran of Russian league footie.

The Hammers will look to keep it tight and hope to take one the the decent number of chances they are creating. 

Wayne Gretzky may not be available but surely the ref needs to find an orange ball for the second half!


Wednesday 27 October 2021

And then there were eight....Benny Buries Citeh as Hammers March on!

Wowzer! Man City came with intent fielding a strong side for tonights game at the London Stadium but a second string Hammers side stuck to their guns and held out for a 0-0 draw. The penalty shoot was coolly handled by the Hammers with Mark Noble leading the way until Said Benrahma slotted the winner. 

Special mention for Alphonse Areola who pulled off some crucial saves in the first half, as well as Issa Diop who was a rock in defence. Ben Johnson looked like a seasoned pro and in no way struggled against a tricky City attack while Arthur Masuaku raised our spirits with some typical King Arthur dribbling antics. 

Captain Mark Noble seemed to tear up as he left the field - and why not as a true legend he gave it everything and almost scored a stunner in the first half!

The draw for the quarter finals is on Saturday next at 10:30am and will be live on Sky Sports and the official Carabao Cup Twitter page. The remaining eight clubs are; Arsenal, Chelsea, Sunderland, Tottenham, Leicester City, Liverpool, Brentford and West Ham. Ties will be played on the week commencing December 20.

Final thoughts for Said Benrahma - it takes guts to step up for the final penalty and he was cool out!


Sunday 24 October 2021

Gay Abandon in the Bobby Moore Stand!

We've had a hellish time over the last 18 months but during all the awfulness, the Hammers have given us reason to smile.

And there's nothing better for West ham fans than than beating Spurs to bring a massive smiley to our faces.

Enjoy the delight in the Bobby Moore stand today as fans brought us back to the Boleyn!

Happy, happy days!


Player Ratings as Hammers Nail Hapless Spurs

It was all too easy for the Hammers this afternoon as a Spurs side lacking in ambition and craft were overpowered by a patient West ham performance. Mikey Antonio popped up with the winner in the 73rd minute to top off a performance in which Spurs were gifted lots of pointless possession while the Hammers had all the shots on target.

Here's our player ratings:

Fabianski : In truth he'll be shocked to have had so little to do but he made a few important first half saves look easy and finished off with a bossy catch from a hopeful Spurs punt into the Hammers box. 8/10

Johnson: 9/10. His best Hammers performance to date. Showed good decision making in defence and much more involved going forward. MoTM!

Zouma: Immense. As he said in midweek, Kane is a picnic when you train with Antonio every day! 8.5/10.

Ogbonna: So calm, really good partnership with Zouma. 7/10.

Cresswell: Superb again. When we finally got a corner he send in a beauty. Tenacious in defence. 8.5/10

Soucek: Having no luck with grabbing a goal but they will come again. Big presence in a midfield that gave Spurs no oxygen at all. 8/10.

Rice (C): He really is a big big player for us and what an engine. Leads by example. 8.5/10.

Bowen: What a nightmare to play against! Constantly pushing for a break and has developed into a clever head when he gets the ball. Not getting k ocked off the ball like he used to. 8/10.

Benrahma: Not his best day but almost got in a few times. 7/10.

Fornals: Sooo intelligent on the ball and a really buzzybee in defence. The movement and cohesion between Pablo, Jarrod and Said is a joy to watch. 8.5/10

 Antonio: He's the man! Silenced the noisy Spurs fans who suggested he couldn't lace Sir Harry's boots. Ha ha! Took his goal with calm assurance. 9/10.

Big Test for Johnson as Moyes Sticks with winning formula

It's the big one as Tottie Hotspuds make their short trip to Stratford to face David Moyes' in form Hammers. Moyes has gone with the same starting eleven that overcame Everton last week. 

Unusually, West ham are the more consistent side having thrived under the Moyes system while Spurs are hot and cold so far this season. Moyes started Rice, Soucek and Bowen on Thursday while Santos rested his key men - the final quarter may swing on those choices but the Hammers will be hoping to be on top by then.

Rory Nostradamus is predicting a 3-2 home win!

West Ham Starting XI: Fabianski; Johnson, Zouma, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice (C); Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals; Antonio. 

Subs: Areola, Dawson, Diop, Masuaku, Ashby, Noble, Lanzini, Vlasic, Yarmolenko. 

Thursday 21 October 2021

Time to shine for Hammers B-team

It's another fun night of European footy for the Hammers as Genk arrive hoping to halt Moyes' mens' march. 

The side is pretty predictable apart from the absence of Mark Noble who is still catching up on fitness but does make the bench.

Zouma and Oggy are rested, with Diop and Dawson getting some valuable game time, while up front it'll be interesting to see how Yarmolenko, Vlasic and Lanzini link up with Jarrod Bowen - will it be Bowen or Yarmo or Vlasic that leads the line?

Michail Antonio gets a well deserved night off and is not even on the subs bench.

Tomas Soucek is playing with his latest war wounds, while the indefatiguable Declan Rice partners him in midfield. 

West Ham confirmed starting XI:  Areola, Johnson, Dawson, Diop, Cresswell, Rice, Soucek, Yarmolenko, Vlasic, Lanzini, Antonio.

Sunday 3 October 2021

Moyes Keeps it Predictable with Starting XI

Two Young Hammers Ready to Rock!

On paper this game looks like  cracker! Two strong attacking sides who are playing fearless football and like to go toe to toe with their opposition. We can look forward to an open and free-flowing game at the London Stadium!

Can Zouma and Oggy clamp Toney and Co.?, will the Hammers be able to boss midfield and frustrate a very fluid Brentford unit?, can Brentford's leaky defence cope with the counterattacking precision of Moyes' men? 

These two sides probably have the happiest squads in the league right now with the positivity at West ham flowing through the players and fans.

Rory Nostradamus has predicted a 4-3 thriller with Ex-Brentford assassin Said Benrahma to continue his scoring spree with the deciding goal. 

Happy days - this will be a drama to savour!

WEST HAM STARTING XI: Lukasz Fabianski, Vladimir Coufal, Aaron Cresswell, Kurt Zouma, Angelo Ogbonna, Declan Rice(C), Tomas Soucek, Said Benrahma, Pablo Fornals, Jarrod Bowen, Michail Antonio

Thursday 30 September 2021

Bobby Bubbles Verdict on a night of European Joy at the London Stadium

Another great European night for the Hammers as they continued with a perfect start to top their group in the Europa League. Moys put out a mixed side giving some rest to key players like Oggy, Soucek and Coufal. The Hammers ran out 2-0 winners in a tense affair.

Here are our player ratings:

Alphonse Areola (GK) - 8/10 - A quiet night but looked composed throughout and his distribution was good. Some useful game time.

Ben Johnson (RB) - 9/10 - His best game for the Hammers ss he played on his preferred right. The penalty shout would have been cruel as he had been composed and lively all night. 

Craig Dawson (CB) - 8/10 - Still a useful part of the squad even though Zouma has usurped him. Steady with an imposing presence at set pieces, almost scoring a few times! 

Issa Diop (CB) - 8/10 - Took no nonsense from the opposition. Will be Zouma's partner as we move forward and Oggy's age catches up. Should've been given a penalty for a first half dragdown!

Aaron Cresswell (LB) - 8/10 - Looked lively all night even though Rapid's best player covered the left flank well all night.  

Declan Rice (CM) - 9/10 - When you have Rice's engine and tenacity on your side you look like you have an extra man, He hss matured into a real beast of a presence. Even pitched in with a goal!

Mark Noble (CM) - 7/10 - Decent first half but faded.

Nikola Vlasic (AM) - 6/10 - Still finding his feet. Looked a bit like Benrahma did last year. Needs more time.  

Andriy Yarmolenko (RW) - 8/10 - Cracking first half to remind us how innately skilful and clever he is. Created the opener and put himself about.

Michail Antonio (ST) - 8/10 - Always looking lively and likely. Skilfull assist for Rice's opener. Can he stay fit???

Said Benrahma (LW) - 8.5/10 - Has adjusted to the Premiership kevel and really is a handfull. Deserved his goal at the end to round off a great performance.


Manuel Lanzini (CM) - 5/10 - Little to write home about. 

Tomas Soucek (CM) - 6/10 - Solid but looks a tad jaded. 

Jarrod Bowen (ST) - 8/10 - A real ball of energy and a great asset as an Antonio alternative. Will be annoyed to have missed a golden chance to wrap it up in the closing minutes.

Pablo Fornals (LW) - 8Top player who really brings out the best in our forward unit as he is the ingredient that makes it purr! 

Sunday 26 September 2021

Three things we learned from the Elland Road Trip

Leeds fans must hate playing West ham as they followed up home and away defeats last season with another loss at home yesterday. 

Although it took a last gasp Antonio strike to separate the sides, in reality Moyes system works well against open sides like Leeds.

So poor Leeds drop into the sweaty zone without a win in their six games, whilst the Bubbles boyz lurk with intent on the edge of the top six.

There were some useful insights yesterday about the state of the squad just now;

1. We have a winning mentality. Having fallen behind the Hammers still looked confident and didn't panic. Bielsa did a good job of disrupting the Hammers rapid counterattacking system but we were patient and it payed off. Top sides tends to pinch all three points in nip and tuck games, and so it was yesterday. Gone are the days of moral victories for the Hammers - we tend to get what we deserve and sometimes a bit more. 

2. The extra burden of European football, along with a squad of players who are inevitably busy during International breaks, seems to be taking it's toll already. Soucek, for one, looked flat yesterday and maybe needs a rest in midweek. Alex Kral has looked good so far and should make a decent replacement.

3. Kurt Zouma's Premiership experience has allowed him to slot in almost seamlessly. He already looks more than comfortable in the system and playing with Ogbonna. Niko Vlasic, in contrast, needs a settling in period as he hasn't yet developed the understanding that's needed to play in our front four effectively. Time shoukd sort that out.

It's a happy time at the Hammers!


Saturday 25 September 2021

The Secret to How West Ham Can Beat Leeds today

David Moyes has been able to pick what is probably his strongest XI to start the game vs Leeds at Elland Road today. Antonio is back after a useful rest, while midfield sees the return of our two gladiators Soucek and Rice to do battle with the feisty Kalvin Philips. 

Leeds are missing Bamford while, in contrast, the Hammers have the three amigos - Benrahma, Bowen and Fornals ready to buzz about behind Antonio.

Leeds' style suits the Moyes' method so we can expect West ham to be patient and catch Leeds with turnover ball pretty much like the All Blacks do to their opposition in rugby. 

Leeds have yet to win in the Premiership in 5 attempts and are quoted at 2-1 for the win, while the Hammers despite being the visitors are 6-4.

It's always a belter between these two sides and we are going for a 2-1 win for the Hammers. 

West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Zouma, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Rice (c), Souček, Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals, Antonio

Subs: Areola, Johnson, Dawson, Diop, Noble, Král, Lanzini, Vlašić, Yarmolenko

Leeds United: Meslier, Dallas, Cresswell, Cooper (c), Firpo, Phillips, Shackleton, Klich, Raphinha, James, Rodrigo
Subs: Klaesson, Roberts, Harrison, Gelhardt, Hjelde, Drameh, Summerville, Greenwood, McCarron

It's all a load of balls!

It's been a testicular week for West Ham with back to back league and cup battles with Man United.

Fans have been treated to two zingers as last Sunday's game had everything as the sides went toe to toe, with a late Lingard stunner followed by an astonishing Noble penalty miss rounding off a classic match that you simply couldn't take your eyes off. 

Then the B-sides went at it up at Old Trafford as the Hammers second string demonstrated that they can all play the Moyes conterattacking method and grabbing a rare away win at the Red Devil's home.

But the midweek game was marred by an unpunished horror challenge by Nemanja Matic on Vladimir Coufal as her quite simply kneed the Hammers defender in the balls! How such a challenge doesn't receive a severe punishment is beyond any sensible fan. Hiding behind the fact that VAR isn't used in the Carabou cup is total nonsense as it was clearly captured on camera and was entirely deliberate and cynical. 

Then David Moyes elected to put Mark Noble's undoubted courage and dedication down to his big big balls!


A strange week but a fair reflection on how far the club has come in terms of competitiveness, organisation, commitment and squad depth.

Happy days but don't put it past the lads to make a balls of Today's visit to Leeds!

Friday 24 September 2021

Bizarre Prediction from Pundit Ahead of Leeds Clash

Hammers fans have gotten used to Mark Lawrenson's dour predictions, with a sense of inevitability that he will back just about any one-legged horse against West ham.

And so, after a cracking start to the season, a triumphant win away at Ye Olde Trafforde in midweek and a fully fit squad to choose from, Lawro reckons an injury struck Leeds will prevail in this weekend's clash at Elland Road.

With Bielsa's troops leaking over two goals a game in their five matches to date, any smart money is surely on Moyes' men to at least grab a draw.

Never the less, Lawro loves to predict doomand gloom on the Hammers and we wouldn't want it any other way!

Rory Nostradamus is going for a 3-2 classic with the visitors taking the spoils.


Thursday 16 September 2021

Moyes Shows his Flamboyant side for Europa Opener

It's a big shake up in the starting XI as the Hammers take on Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia in an hour's time.

Vlad Coufal gets a well earned rest and Vlasic gets a chance to show his stuff alongside Manny Lanzini and Fornals.

There's no rest for Antonio, Rice or Soucek.

Weirdly, Areola is on the bench along with Mark Noble and Alex Kral!!!

Perhaps most interesting is the "future" CB pairing of Zouma and Diop.

This will be interesting!

Fabianski, Fredericks, Diop, Zouma, Cresswell, Rice, Soucek, Lanzini, Vlasic, Fornals, Antonio


Substitutes: Areola, Randolph, Coufal, Yarmolenko, Dawson, Noble, Bowen, Ogbonna, Benrahma, Masuaku, Johnson, Kral


Tuesday 31 August 2021

Vítejte u našeho nejnovějšího příjezdu z České Republiky!

Vítejte u našeho nejnovějšího příjezdu z České republiky!

Alex Kral bude skvělým přírůstkem do týmu a skvělým spoluhráčem pro Vladimíra Coufala a Tomáše Součka, kteří jsou po mnoho let nejlepšími novými hráči ve West Hamu. Ať jste během svého pobytu v Londýně šťastná a prosperující a neměňte prosím svůj úžasný účes. Všichni se těšíme, až vás uvidíme hrát za tým.

Hodně štěstí Alexi!

What will Moyes' Starting XI be with new signings

It's been a good transfer window for West ham with the arrival of a number of quality signings. David Moyes vowed to only bring in players who would push for starting places in the side and with Vlasic, Kral and Zouma has delivered.

And now he has 12 days to ponder on his starting eleven as the International break means that the Hammers next outing is on September 11th at Southampton. 

The game against Palace ended with a sense of two points lost and in retrospect both of Conor Gallagher's goals were poorly defended against with our defensive midfielders nowhere in sight when you couls argue that they should have been tracking Gallagher.

In addition, Craig Dawson was too easily turned for both games, while Angelo Ogbonna is still getting up to speed. As such, it won't be any surprise if Zouma is thrown straight into the mix, with Dawson the likely loser. 

In midfield the situation is much more complex as Moyes now has the option of playing a more cagey midfield with Kral and Rice in holding roles with Soucek being loosened up to play in a more forward role.

The Hammers also need to look at set pieces as we have gone from a fearsome unit where opponents were terrified about conceding corners, to a much less threatening side. The delivery is one factor, but also the Rice, Antonio, Soucek, Dawson threat seems to be less well co-ordinated. We can expect Zouma to bolster this with his aerial prowess.

As for Nikola Vlasic, we can expect that Moyes will initially stay loyal to the effective unit of Bowen, Fornals and Benrahma, but Vlasic will be looking to get some game time in the final 15-20 minutes to show what he can do and to that end we might see a more timely and assertive use of substitutions by Moyes in coming games.

Either way, our options have greatly increased!


Hammers wary of Desperate last ditch bid to steal Rice

With 90 minutes left in the transfer window it's squeaky-bum time for many clubs ss they try to bring in much needed reinforcements while also holding on to their key players.

Declan Rice stalled negotiations on a new contract beyond 2024 waiting to see if West ham were going to match his ambition and so far that appears to be the case with the signings of Zouma, Vlasic and Kral Hammers fans can be happy that they have brought in players likely to push for places in the starting XI.

A striker would be the cherry to top their transfer window cake and many fans are hoping that a last ditch deal can bring in back up for Michail Antonio.

Otherwise, they have successfully staved off attempts to prise club captain Declan Rice from their ranks but as the picture above demonstrates, they need to beware of the brute force and determination of the likes of Chelsea and Man Utd.

Fingers crossed for one more signing - a striker - and no unwanted departures. 

It's looking like Messrs Gold and Sullivan have done well today and strengthened the team for a busy season ahead!

5pm Update: Hammers in busy deadline day shenanigans

It's almost 5pm and the excitement is building. Here's an update on Hammers-related transfer deadline day news...

Nico Vlasic: This deal looks all but done and seems like good business as at 23 years old and after two excellent seasons at CSKA Moscow, he looks ready to return to the Premiership. Both skillful and physical, he would suit the current Hammers squad where Moyes likes a bit of bite and energy. This deal looks 90% certain to go through as he is reportedly on his way to sign on the dotted line.

Nicolas Tagliafico: the Ajax left back has been a surprise latecomer to the possible 'in' list. The 28 year old has 33 caps for Argentina and would bring competition at left back. The reported fee of £12 million seems like a good deal but he is in South America at present and we suspect this one won't happen unless other signings falter.

Gaetan Laborde: Montpellier are clearly happy to let him go for circa £15 million but it is unclear whether West ham really see him as the solution to their back up striker issue. Although a 'proper' striker, he can play out wide and would seem to fit well to the Moyes rotating front line system. We rate this one at less than 50% likelihood of completion.

Jesse Lingard: the £15 million deal is apparently now stalling due to 'family reasons'Lingard  but tellingly kept apartment in East London over the Summer. Sunday's game at Wolves emphasised his position at Man Utd and with Ronaldo arriving may not even make the matchday squad as the season progresses. We reckon this will finally get over the line at the last moment!

Ruben Loftus Cheek - the energetic midfielder could reignite his career under Headmaster Moyes but the loan deal with Chelsea is rumoured to cost £10 million which seems excessive. There may be some last minute shuffling of figures as his opportunities in a packed Chelsea squad are slim. 

Conor Coventry to Peterborough game time but disappointing given his pre-season performances and need for player depth for the Europa League. Given the likely involvement of Rice and Soucek for their respective countries, and Mark Noble's slowing with age, letting Coventry go seems a poor decision

Could there be late exits for Yarmolenko, Lanzini or Randolph, all of whom look to have limited contributions to make in the coming season but have huge wages?

Monday 30 August 2021

The likelihood of 'ins and outs' rated as the final hours of the window are here

Nico Vlasic: This deal looks all but done and seems like good business as at 23 years old and after two excellent seasons at CSKA Moscow, he looks ready to return to the Premiership. Both skillful and physical, he would suit the current Hammers squad where Moyes likes a bit of bite and energy. This deal looks 90% certain to go through as he is reportedly on his way to sign on the dotted line.

Nicolas Tagliafico: the Ajax left back has been a surprise latecomer to the possible 'in' list. The 28 year old has 33 caps for Argentina and would bring competition at left back. The reported fee of £12 million seems like a good deal but he is in South America at present and we suspect this one won't happen unless other signings falter.

Gaetan Laborde: Montpellier are clearly happy to let him go for circa £15 million but it is unclear whether West ham really see him as the solution to their back up striker issue. Although a 'proper' striker, he can play out wide and would seem to fit well to the Moyes rotating front line system. We rate this one at less than 50% likelihood of completion.

Jesse Lingard: the £15 million deal is apparently now stalling due to 'family reasons'Lingard  but tellingly kept apartment in East London over the Summer. Sunday's game at Wolves emphasised his position at Man Utd and with Ronaldo arriving may not even make the matchday squad as the season progresses. We reckon this will finally get over the line at the last moment!

Ruben Loftus Cheek - the energetic midfielder could reignite his career under Headmaster Moyes but the loan deal with Chelsea is rumoured to cost £10 million which seems excessive. There may be some last minute shuffling of figures as his opportunities in a packed Chelsea squad are slim. 

Conor Coventry to Peterborough game time but disappointing given his pre-season performances and need for player depth for the Europa League. Given the likely involvement of Rice and Soucek for their respective countries, and Mark Noble's slowing with age, letting Coventry go seems a poor decision

Could there be late exits for Yarmolenko, Lanzini or Randolph, all of whom look to have limited contributions to make in the coming season but have huge wages?

Striker Signs as the Real Business Kicks in at West Ham

In a market that has been thin on available strikers West ham have signaled their intentions with a bold move today.

Desperately needing back up for Michail Antonio, the Hammers signed a new contract with starlet Mipo Odubeko and then promptly sent him on loan to Huddersfield!

While that might seem crazy given the lads potential and the need for an understudy to Antonio, it indicates that the club must be confident of bringing in a second striker before the transfer window closes at 11pm tomorrow.

Odubeko made the first team squad on 18 occasions last year, highlighting how close he is to making the big breakthrough. The domestic cup and Europa League games would surely have been opportunities for him to push on with game time but he is obviously not seen as needed just yet for the first team. His departure creates space for incoming players. 

The club have been quiet about their dealings and must surely be about to spring a surprise. With so many clubs hurting financially due to loss of revenue, who knows what players might come up for a last minute deal?

One thing is for sure, failure to bring in a second striker would be foolish in the extreme given the expanded fixture list Moyes' men face with Europa league action.

It's hotting up!


It's Striker Time for the Hammers

Definition: a striker is the player positioned closet to the opposition’s goal. The striker is responsible for scoring goals for their team and staying in space to allow other players to pass to them and create goal-scoring opportunities.

As West ham enter the final 24 hours of the transfer the biggest question on fans lips is whether they will recruit a back uo striker for the injury-prone Michail Antonio. 

After a Summer of rumours, time is running out and the latest news is far from positive for the Hammers with long term target Abdallah Sima looking set for Brighton, while Gaetan Laborde looks like to move to another French side from Montpellier.

And now the rumours are that Moyes and co are looking to bring in the ageing (and not very prolific) Salomon Rondon, who has been autumning in China of late! 

It's all pretty depressing with some fans remarking that West ham may be the only top flight club with just a single out and out striker! Hardly the stuff of success and a bizarre oversight given how strong the side is elsewhere! 

Fingers crossed, but that clock is ticking! 

Vlasic vs Lingard: who will win the game of bluff

As we enter the business end of the transfer window in earnest things are hotting up for West ham.

The long running saga of Jesse Lingard's future will soon be concluded but with news that (1) Niko Vlasic is close to signing, and (2) reports that David Moyes has met with Jesse Lingard, it's hard not to sense that there is a game of bluff going on. 

Vlasic is just 23 and has greatly matured since his disappointing spell at Everton a few years back and has won player of the year in the Russian league to underline his considerable potential. His craft and pace would fit in well with the Moyes counterattacking system.

However, Lingard has proven that he can deliver in Moyes set up and at 28 still has a few years left on the clock. With just a year left on his Man Utd contract a fee of £15million is reasonable business and it seems unlikely that he will get much first team action under Solksjaer with the arrival of Sancho and Ronaldo. 

All of which raises the question - are the Hammers preparing to sign both players? With Europa League action added to this year's mix Moyes needs back up and both Yarmolenko and Lanzini are the wrong side of career changing injuries. 

We could see a stampede of activity - both in and out over the coming days...for example, could Yarmo be offered to CSKA as part payment for Vlasic? 

Meanwhile, we still need a striker. It is simply crazy to not have back up for Antonio and will almost certainly catch up on the club as the season progresses. Moreover, the current set up with just one striker surely adds to the attractiveness of West ham for an up and coming talent?

GSB have learned from previous campaigns to keep business out of the media eye, adding to the sense of uncertainty.

Buckle up, it's about to get crazy!

Sunday 29 August 2021

Hammers push for eleventh hour signings

It's all kicking off as West ham look to boost their squad ahead of what promises to be one of the most exciting campaigns in our history. 

With the arrival of Kurt Zouma to toughen central defence, all eyes are now on the offence where there seems to be serious activity around signing promising Croation Niko Vlasic, bring back Jesse Lingard and maybe also Gaetan Laborde as back up for Michail Antonio.

Vlasic 'enjoyed' a misfiring spell at Everton as a 19 year old but has subsequently matured into a serious presence at CSKA Moscow and looks ready to make a big impact if he returns to the Premiership.

The Lingard situation gets crazier by the day but in many respects is quite simple - he would be mad not to return to West ham rather than, at best, bench warm at Man United. The lad needs to play and that will happen at West ham.

Laborde looks like a decent addition as he has the energy and power that any back up for Antonio should have. At 27, he is worth a punt and will undoubtedly get game time as Moyes tries to manage Michail's injury issues.

If all three arrive then West ham are serious contenders to push for a top four Premiership spot as well as a decent assault on the Europa League. If not, watching the inevitable toll of a thin squad will be harsh on Moyes who has really got something going at West ham. 

Its time to speculate to accumulate. Two out of these three would be good. All three and we are truly in business!


Monday 23 August 2021

Yes, we are....


and on fire!

The London stadium felt like, dare i say it, Upton Park!

There's so much to like about the team right now - wise heads that make good decisions on the ball, solid defence, a midfield to die for and a forward line that has more movement than i've ever seen in a Hammers side.

And, of course, the gift that is Michail Antonio - passion, power, skill and comedy!

Even Schoolmaster Moyes looked kinda smug!!!

What an advertisement for new players as we enter the business end of the transfer window - a happy happy team and boy did the stadium really rock tonight!

Happy days!


Sunday 22 August 2021

Payet Throws Missile at Nice fans in Scenes of Utter Mayhem

Shocking events unfolded this evening as Olympique Marseille travelled to local rivals Nice for a Ligue 1 clash. 

Nice took the lead at the beginning of the second half in a match that was tense on field but boiling over in the stands. As the final quarter began Payet was struck by a bottle as he prepared to take a corner and then proceded to indiscriminatingly fling the missile back into the Nice supporters, sparking an ugly pitch invasion!

Payet's response ignited the stadium and was followed by a full on Donnybrook! As fans, players and coaching staff traded blows the game was called off amidst scenes of total chaos. In one scene, a member of the coaching staff floored an ultra with a wicked right hook!

It's great to have fans back but this was well beyond anything that might be considered acceptable behaviour. For Payet, although he was provoked, his actions will surely see him once again in mighty hot water! 

Let's hope folk get home from the game safe and sound as it looked pretty wild as the players left the pitch.

Revealed: the striker West Ham can and should buy

There has been much speculation about potential striking recruits for West ham with an ever longer list of 'suitable' players suggested in the media.

However, when you step back one player stands out as a near perfect fit for the Hammers - Odsonne Edouard.

Here are five reasons why he should be on his way to West ham by this time next week.

1. He really is a striker. Not an 'attacking midfielder' or 'wide playing forward' but a proper striker. His strike rate at Celtic with 76 goals in 147 matches gives a scoring rate of 0.52 goals per game which, although it isn't in the Premiership, is in a league where a similar style of football is played such that the transition should be relatively easy.

2. He would be an ideal understudy to Michail Antonio. Mikey is not a natural striker but has intelligently dedicated himself to continually improving his game. He does not just rely on his physicality as his positioning and link up play is clever and he would be a fantastic asset for Edouard as the 23 year old continues to develop his skillset. 

3. Even better for an incoming striker, Antonio needs to manage his game time due to his hamstring issues which means Edouard would not just be warming the bench.

4. He's ready to leave Celtic now as he has won everything in Scottish footy. With one year left on his contract Celtic are realistic about the likelihood of him moving on and want to cash in. A fee of £15 is bandied about which would work for the Hammers and having jettisoned Felipe Anderson they would have funds to cover his wage demands. 

5. He's a likeable upbeat guy! This may sound fatuous but Moyes focuses upon bringing in players who will fit in and are keen to work hard and enjoy their football. It's no coincidence that the current Hammers squad are the happiest in the league and Odsonne looks like he would fit in well. Also, having spent time in Glasgee, he should have no problem understanding what the boss is saying!

So, forget all these unknowns from European leagues, this one is a no-brainer. 

Get it done!!!

What's Behind the Smokescreen at West Ham?

Scanning through the media just now it's pretty clear that nobody really knows what is going on in the minds of David Moyes and the board in respect of new signings. 

While that may be unsatisfying for fans, and of course the media, it's a marker of improved transfer politics at the club. Cast you mind back to some of the messy non-transfers of recent years and it is reassuring to note that it has clearly become club policy to play stonefaced poker in the transfer market. 

That makes for better business and also avoids a repeat of some of the embarrasing spats we have seen in recent years where there have been nasty exchanges with the likes of Charlie Austen and most amusingly the Sporting Lisbon president who famously called the Davids the 'dildo brothers' in the row over William Carvalho's non-transfer. Those incidents did little to enhance our reputation as a club to do business with!

So, right now we are left with hollow speculation as, hopefully, behind the scenes the club are busy seeking new recruits. Beyond all the makey-uppy bullsh** there are a few givens about the transfer situation. 

Firstly, we have 40+ million to spend. We still haven't cashed in the money from Haller's departure and have substantially reduced our wages bill with the departure of Anderson et al. 

Secondly, GSB are getting close to selling up. They have largely achieved their goals for the club and however else some fans may feel we have been transformed from a bankrupt Championship side with a crap squad to a top six Premiership outfit with a strong group of players and a huge stadium in a desirable location. We are perfectly placed for new owners to invest in. 

Thirdly, the party line from the club about only bringing in players who will compete for places in the starting XI sounds good but is just a delaying tactic until the market hots up next week. There are very few players who would genuinely displace Antonio up front  or Rice/Soucek in midfield but we clearly need decent cover in those positions. In the covid era clubs across Europe are desperate for cash and what has been a thin market will almost certainly open up. 

Finally, ultimately GSB are business folk and will know that the West Ham brand will continue to grow only with further investment. The failure to replace Haller in January and bring in another midfielder almost certainly cost the club the 2-3 points that would have sealed a Champion's league spot. 

Strap yourselves in, it'll be a busy week...


Sunday 15 August 2021

Here we go! A season of hope and expectation

For the first time in a decade Hammers fans face into the new season with a massive dollup of genuine expectation. On the back of last season's heroics, in which David Moyes assembled a side with huge quality able to play a number of different formations, it really is time to kick on.

Add to that the fact that none of our top players have been poached by Europe's top clubs and we have a settled feel that should help to overcome our usual underwhelming opening day performances. Preseason demonstrated that we are up to speed and ready to go.

However, the remarkable lack of transfer activity means there is no new blood to keep up the pressure for first team places and no doubt as the season progresses the lack of cover in midfield and up top will catch up on us. Thankfully, there is still time to address that and as we all know, for clubs like the Hammers we usually wait for last minute deals. Hmmm.

Newcastle will be no pushovers and of course did us for 6 points last season. With fans back, St James' will be buzzing but that could work as an advantage either way. Moyes will need to drill his defence to avoid the (?inevitable) Callum Wilson goal but with our front men in cracking form we probably wont need a clean sheet to get a result. 

Rory Nostradamus is going for a 2-1 win for the Hammers with Benrahma continuing his wildfire antics of preseason.


Monday 26 July 2021

Five things we learned from West Ham's 6-2 thrashing of Celtic

Preseason continued with an unexpected thrashing of Celtic in Glasgow. The game lacked the romance of the last meeting of these sides in 2000 for the so-called Di Canio celebration when Harry Rednapp's side lost 2-1.

Bit it was a different story on Saturday as the Hammers smashed in six goals and tormented an inexperienced Celtic back line.

The game may not have provided the test Moyes was hoping for but none the less there were some revealing insights to be taken from the match

  1. West ham are a serious Premiership standard outfit. Even with a below full strength team they coasted against a Celtic side that are already into their season having started their Champions League campaign last week. With Rice, Soucek and Coufal all missing they still dominated and were able to uo the intensity at will.

  2. Said Benrahma is facing into a big season in 21/22. He was impressive last year but gave the impression that he never quite hit top gear. Saturday's performance highlighted his hunger and sharpness with the bonus of a superbly taken goal to underline how much he is ready to step into the gap left by Jesse Lingard's departure. 

  3. Michail Antonio is a top striker - and now that he has taken on the number 9 jersey will hope to hit double figures in goals next season. After a Summer break he looks fit and ready to tear things up. The arrival of a decent back up and / or striking partner can allow for careful game management of his dodgy hamstrings and keep him fit. 

  4. We are still some distance from capturing new recruits that will challenge for first team place. David Moyes indicated that the club were not yet close to any major signings but it is clear that holding on to Declan Rice will require some decent transfer activity. In reality, there's still plenty of time for business and the real transfer action starts in August. 

  5. This looks to be a big season ahead for the impressive Issa Diop and also time for Conor Coventry to make the transition to the first team squad. Both have made strong cases for game time with their preseason form.


Thursday 27 May 2021

Adrian To Advise De Gea on Penalty Technique

There was major drama in the Europa League final last night as Villareal took the trophy after extra-time and a prolonged penalty shoot out. After all 10 outfield players successfully converted their spot kicks, it cam down to pistols at dawn between the goalkeepers with Man Utd's David De Gea fluffing his kick to hand the trophy to Villareal!

All of which brought back fond memories for Hammers fans of the night in January 2015 when under similar circumstances Adrian thumped home the winning penalty in a shoot out that ended 9-8 as the Hammers overcame the sticky Toffees of Everton. 

Comparing techniques, it is immediately evident that De Gea made a crucial error in takibg his kick - while Adrian took a long run up during which he jettisoned his gloves in a symbolic gesture of transition from netminder to outfield player, in contrast De Gea kept his gloves firmly on as he took the kick!!!

The message is clear - don't think like a keeper when you are the penalty taker. 

Meanwhile, hearty congratulations to 'little' Villareal who have shown that a club from a town of just 50,000 inhabitants can seize Europe's second most coveted trophy - should be easy for the East London giants next year!

Sunday 23 May 2021

Bobby Bubbles Rates West Ham Heroes on day to Remember!

It's been an amazing season and today saw us rack up our 19th win and nail down a European place with a 3-0 victory in front of 10,000 ecstatic fans. Once again, the standard of performance across the team was consistently excellent. Here's Bobby Bubbles ratings:

Fabianski: Had to be sharp as Southampton enjoyed a decent first quarter but Fab was alert and made it hard for Minamato when faced with a one on one and then pulled off an acrobatic save to keep it level until the Fornals goals settled our nerves. 8.5/10

Coufal: Topped off a tremendous season with another cracking performance both defensively and getting forward with an assist for Fornals second. Unusually, got roasted by Redmond towards the end which by my calculations brings his error count to a mere three all season! The most coolheaded right back in the league? 8.5/10.

Dawson: Has snapped back to top form in the final two games after a few middling performances in the 3-4 games before that. 8/10. 

Ogbonna: So much talk about the absence of Rice contributing to our stumble in the run in but Oggy's return has been quietly crucial. 33 today but surely has another two years in him? 8/10.

Cresswell: Can feel hard done by not to be going to the Euros as he has had his best season ever for the club and was quietly brilliant again today. 8/10.

Rice: Massive presence and back to full sharpness today. So composed nowadays and took his goal with aplomb. 9/10.

Soucek: Simply everywhere. Enjoyed having Rice back as it allowed him to push forwards more and so nearly scored again. A real team player 8.5/10.

Fornals: He has really come into his own in the back half of the season. He gets into so many good positions and at times his link play is breathtaking. MOTM and two crucial goals.  9.5/10.

Lingard: Looks so happy in the team, loves linking with Fornals et al. Looked sharp and almost scored. We reckon he'll stay as long as Rice doesn't leave. 8/10.

Bowen: Physically he has finally adjusted to the Premier league and has gotten so much smarter at knowing when to hit the deck and take a free. We suspect Noble has been givibg him tips! 8/10

Antonio: Looked tired but still gave it his all as always. Incredible to think he was (ab) used in a right back role only a few seasons ago but his transformation to a striker reflects his innate intelligence and dedication. 7.5/10. 


Benrahma: A fantastic option to shake things up and he looks more confident having opened his scoring account. Went very close with one effort. Next year will be a massive one for him - he needs to get more crafty at pulling penalties! 8/10

Noble: Ah stop! Amusingly, He was playing up top for the final few minutes but sadly a break on goal didn't come his way which would have been hilarious. Future club manager without question! 7/10.

Diop: errr, not sure if he touched the ball. Great to see him back though and let's not forget that he is still only 24 years old. Not rated. 

Moyes: There can be no doubting that he knows how to get the best out of his players and now that he has nailed down his style and team formation you get the sense that he will be able to bring in the right type of players to push forwards over the coming years. It should also be noted that despite his headmaster-like demeanour, he has transformed an unsettled club into a happy band of warriors. Simply outsmarted Southampton today. 10/10.