Monday, 31 January 2011

Liverpool's Bid of £35million for Carroll is Madness!

What the hell is going on? I know they are set to pocket £40million for Torres, but £35million for Carroll? Really?

Yes the guy is good. Yes he will be an England player into the future. But he could also be the front man in a real life Vinny Jones Mean Machine. He is a bastard. And bastards don't change. Dalglish may believe he can manage him but he will come unstuck sooner or later. Watch that space because Carroll will be head butting the bridge of a nose in it soon!

Assuming, of course, that Newcastle part with him. But can they really turn that sort of offer down? £35million for a player who has scored a grand total of 14 Premiership goals?

It puts our debts into perspective! The total money owed stands at two Any Carrolls and one Scott Parker. Or three Darren Bents and one Robbie Keane! Or 3500 Benni McCarthys!

It looked as if sanity had returned to the transfer market - outside of Manchester City. But not now. Now the game has well and truly gone crazy all over again!

Piquionne to move to Sunderland?

Cole, Keane, Ba, Piquionne and Obinna, not to mention Hines, Sears and McCarthy; the question is, why do we need five, six, seven or even eight players to cover at most three positions?

I can see trouble ahead. Keane is a very good, very experienced striker, but he is not the easiest to partner up, as both Rafa and 'Arry have discovered. He doesn't take kindly to working the flanks in a 4-3-3 formation and isn't a target man. Play him and you effectively confine yourself to 4-4-2, ideally using a target man to feed him.

So, Piqionne or Cole would appear to be Keane's perfect partners. In which case, what do we do with Obinna and why have we signed Ba? Ba seems to think he is here to fire us to safety, which assumes he will be starting games, but I can see him being disappointed. If Keane gets off to a good start alongside of one of Cole or Piquionne, the first choice partnership would  be established and Ba may be confined to cameo substitute roles.

Obinna? It looks as if he could be asked to play wide left as we still have nobody to play down that flank. So Hines might as well go out on loan if Collison is back in training.

Of course, there is still time to sell somebody. Piquionne would appear to be the favourite with Sunderland rumoured to be interested and £5million being mooted. That would mean we could sign Keane, effectively, for £1million in the summer should we stay up. Would Ba and Keane work? Or Obinna and Keane?

There's not long to sort this out. We have to win on Wednesday in what is now a Premiership donkey derby.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Burnley at home - More practice for the Championship!

Is the FA Cup trying to tell us something? Three rounds and three home draws against teams in the Championship. Burnley are now coming to Upton Park in the next round. Win that and, never mind the road to Wembley, things are looking promising should be go down!

West Ham 3 Nottingham Forest 2 - Obinna's a Winner!

It's not often that this team manages to score three goals between them, so for one player to bag a hat trick is pretty remarkable! The goals weren't down to great team play - a stabbed finish deflecting home a Noble shot that was going wide, a brilliant flash of opportunism or an outrageous slice of luck with a "cross shot", and a penalty - but no matter, the net bulged three times. And but for Lee Camp we could have scored another three. He was on tip top form.

The problems, of course, are at the other end - how often have we kept a clean sheet this season? - and yet, all the talk is of bringing in more attacking players instead of the defenders we so desperately need. Gabbidon is crap and, whilst Reid had a much better second half, Forest still had two good opportunities to score; one, inevitably, a header from a corner. We now play three crucial Premiership games that will determine whether or not we survive. If I am managing Blackpool, Birmingham or West Brom, I'm going route one. Win corners and free kicks in our half and you can score at will! Forest's error today was they they came to play football!

Barerra had a dreadful first half but looked better in the second. If we go down, he could be useful in the Championship. Reid may have found his level too - for now. We know Sears can play at Championship level, although once again, he failed to make the net bulge despite having good opportunities. Jacobsen and Ilunga also look as if they can cope in the division below but Gabbidon and Kovac need to go down another level still. They really are hopeless!

As much as I love the Cups, today really was irrelevant so Grant was sensible to rest Tomkins, Bridge, Parker, Upson and Cole. The season starts and may effectively end on Wednesday. We HAVE to take 7 points from the next three games and preferably nine. The margin of error is close to zero now!

Player Ratings:

Green 5; Jocobsen 6, Reid 6, Gabbidon 4, Ilunga 6; Barerra 5, Kovac 3, Noble 6, Sears 6; Piquionne 5, Obinna 8 Subs: Boa 5, Hines and Nouble not on long enough to rate.

Half Time West Ham 2 Nottingham Forest 2 - We need defenders!

Somebody needs to rethink our priorities in this window! Sure Keane would be good, although accommodating him, Ba and Obinna will be a challenge, never mind Piquionne and Cole, but this team is crying out for defenders!

Jacobsen is back today but we are still shipping goals against a Championship side. Gabbidon and Reid are not good enough and Upson is just playing out his contract and looking to avoid any injury. That leaves Tomkins as our only decent centre half and he isn't playing today. We need a big, brave, uncompromising centre back. Collins anybody? What an inspired decision it was to sell him!

For all the numbers, the midfield is also weak. Sears has looked ordinary in the first 45 minutes and Barrera is on the pitch, but you wouldn't know it! As for Kovac, well he looks just as crap against Championship players as he does against Premiership opposition. I'm amazed that Noble is playing. He looked knackered after 60 minutes against Birmingham, his boots must be feeling like lead at the moment.

2-2 sounds pretty thrilling but all the football in the first 45 has come from Forest. Our first was a lucky stabbed finish from Obinna with a Noble shot flying wide. Our second was brilliant, assuming Obinna meant it, but there was no teamwork involved.

The midfield is producing nothing and is being over run. The defence is crap.  Green is looking nervous. Up front, Piquionne hasn't woken up yet. It's all very worrying given we will have to beat the likes of Forest week in week out next season.

Trial Run For Next Season

And it aint going well so far! Early lead, then retreat into the shell. Well, we are playing the mighty Nottingham Forest at home! Noble is furious because there is no joined up play. Gabbidon and Reid are playing like strangers and the Welshman is already on a yellow for a crude body check on the edge of the box. Barerra is looking crap, Piquionne is looking disinterested, the team are playing like a bunch of strangers and we are struggling to keep it at 1-1. Shocking stuff!

West Ham Land £80million Man!

Aston Villa big spenders? Pah! Chelsea big spenders? Pah! Man City big spenders? Pah! Only West Ham have an £80million man, and we are getting him on loan!

It looks as if Keane is arriving at long, long last. He was meant to be joining us in August but the tripartite agreement came apart at the seams when Spurs went for Van der Vaart instead of Parker, forcing Scotty Mr West Ham United Parker to belatedly sign that inflated contract, his dream move to Tottenham in tatters. Anybody who doubts that the deal was about to happen should note the willingness of Liverpool to allow the makeweight in the deal in August, Babel, to go now. In fact, they have been desperate to offload him just as Spurs have been desperate to see rid of Keane!

So, we get Keane until the end of the season. If we stay up, the deal becomes permanent, and if we go down, the Irishman returns to Tottenham. Simples. But who else will be heading to the Lane if we go down do you think? Would that be Scotty at a cut down price do you think? Well we can't afford to pay those crazy wages in the Championship can we?

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Let's have a 24 Hour Transfer Window!

What's the point of having a whole month? It seems the clubs spend 30 days extracting a finger from a mucky orifice before they get down to doing any business. Villa apart, every club has sat on their hands, and then suddenly...

...Chelsea have bid for Torres and he has slapped in a transfer request, Liverpool are closing in on Suarez, we may be about to land Keane, West Brom have taken Vela on loan, BUPA and Accident Lawyers4U have assumed joint ownership of Dembones Ba, O'Hara is heading for Wolves...and a host of other deals will be registered at 10.58 on Monday night.

What other industry would operate like this?

Groves Admits Dembones Ba is UNFIT and a RISK

Brilliant. Talking about the signing of Dembones Ba, Groves has admitted,  "When you sign anybody it is a gamble – there are one or two things to clear up – but we will concentrate now on his work and conditioning because he has been out for five weeks. He has proven himself in a top European league and will add competition for places up front.”

The guy hasn't played since he failed the Stoke medical and, even worse, "has barely trained".

There are risks and risks. This is like having unprotected gay sex in an orgy with half a dozen guys diagnosed with AIDs! If this doesn't go wrong, it will be a bloody miracle!

Altogether now,

"Dem bones, dem bones, Dem's knee bones,
Dem bones, dem bones, Dem's knee bones,
Dem bones, dem bones, Dem's knee bones,
Now shake Dem's skeleton bones!

The toe bone's connected to the foot bone,
The foot bone's connected to the ankle bone,
The ankle bone's connected to the leg bone,
Now shake Dem's skeleton bones!

The leg bone's NOT connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone's NOT connected to the thigh bone,
The thigh bone's connected to the hip bone,
Now shake Dem's skeleton bones!"

Friday, 28 January 2011

West Ham Debt Free in Three Years?

Interesting to read that the debt has supposedly shrunk to just £80million. Now whilst I wouldn't like that sort of mortgage on the family home, you have to wonder how big of a problem it is to a club like West Ham when, in a recession and with the team struggling abysmally on the pitch, it is still possible to wipe £30million off the debt mountain in just 12 months!

Now, we haven't sold anybody for a significant sum over that period. Behrami, Diamanti and Daprella haven't yielded more than £6million between them. Meanwhile, fees have been paid to bring in McBenni, Piquionne, Reid, Barerra and Jacobsen, plus loan fees for Ben Haim, Obinna and Bridge. I suspect money in and out have roughly balanced each other out so far.

The wage bill is also due to fall next year. Dyer will be off the payroll and so will Upson. That's £140k a week or £7,280,000 a year!

So, if we can survive in the Prem, it will only take three years at this rate to clear all debt. Financial Armageddon? Were the Davids selling us a line by any chance?

Perish the thought!

BArking Mad. West Ham Buy Another Dyer!

Oh dear God, what is it with West Ham Disunited? Can we never learn from experience? Stewart Robson, Don Hutchison, Dean Ashton, Craig Bellamy, Kieron Dyer, McBenni McCarthy, many injury prone pups do we have to buy before the bloody penny drops? Yet another it seems, given we have signed Dembones Dembones Demdrybones Ba on a three and a half year deal! How much does a bed in a BUPA ward cost for 42 months exactly?

I trust there is something in the contract that covers us in the event of premature retirement. Hang on, what did I just say there? I trust? Trust? With the shower of shit currently in charge? With the shower of shit who have always been in charge for that matter?

Ba is an accident waiting to happen. He failed the Stoke medical and his knee will give out sometime and probably, given our luck, sometime very soon. Ladbrokes have opened a book already and if I was offering a spread bet, I wouldn't predict more than half a dozen appearances personally.

Ba Ba Black Sheep? Lamb to the slaughter more like!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Tug of War Battle to Retain Dyer

Contributed by Claret & Blue

Chris Powell has confirmed that he is looking to bring in Dyer sometime in the near future. Powell believes that Dyer has enough knowledge and determination for the game and that he can help boost their chances of being promoted to the Championship this season. West Ham United are trying their best to keep hold of Dyer but it remains to be seen whether they will convince him to stay.

Wait, hold on a minute. Stop right there. WHU are trying their best to keep hold of Dyer? Am I hearing that correctly? Surely last night’s performance is proof that he just doesn’t have the talent in this day and age and that selling him would be the perfect solution, and take a chunk out the weekly wage payouts? Surely his constant injuries are a sign that he is finished in the business?

Finding someone who is interested in Dyer is very, very, very rare. I’d snap Powell’s hand off if I was a senior decision maker at West Ham. Gold, Sullivan, Grant, you might all be down after last night but come on, that’s an offer you should be taking up right away. You should be sending a taxi to Dyer’s apartment and telling him to make his way over to Charlton immediately. Come on, pull your fingers out guys, we need the money…

…huh? They aren’t buying Dyer? They’re going to pay a bit of compo and get him on a free instead. How can West Ham sit back and allow this to happen? Dyer is worth more than that, surely, even if he does spend 90% of his time on the treatment table. He has a contract too and must have at least 2 years remaining on it. I mean BUPA would pay a fee just to use him as parts!

Oooooh, it's Alex Dyer… the well respected reserve team coach, not Kieron the unispiring, overrated waste of space. Of course, it all makes sense now. Damn…and I thought Kieron Dyer was finally on his way out the club. First the signing of the wrong O’Neill and now this. Next we’ll be signing Wright Phillips and Bradley will turn up!!"

Sullivan, Gold & Brady - All the Wrong Moves!

Submitted by Sav.

What were the critical management decision issues that the new owners had to make this year? In sequence, the West Ham Board should have done the following:

1. Do a clean up: Identify players in our squad that have repeatedly proven themselves to be more liabilities than assets and put together a plan for getting rid of them; and replacing them with competent Premier League players.

2. Make available a budget that would enable a skilful manager to achieve survival this year and build a good team in the next few years capable of competing for a European place.

3. Sack the current manager for failing to make a team of West Ham and for keeping us bottom of the League all season and repeatedly proving himself to be not up to the task.

4. Seek to appoint a new proven manager (such as O’Neill), one that can motivate and organize the team.

5. Move to the Olympic Stadium, or plan to build a new stadium, to ensure that the economics for long term survival are in place.

Now, if you read the five decision issues backwards from the 5th to the 1st and add to it a gross general mishandling (one that made the Club the laughing stock of the Premier League), you will end up with “all the wrong moves” by the West Ham Board!

They started with, and are almost totally pre-occupied by, the Olympic Stadium project. When they finally realized that we are reaching the point of no return, they sought to appoint a new manager before sacking the existing one and before making available an adequate budget to make a revival possible. Last but not least, they persevered with trusting the future of the Club to the hands (or should I say feet) of players who have proven, beyond any reasonable doubt, that they are not fit to be playing in this League. I will not mention any names because we all know who these players are; all except perhaps the owners and Avram Grant.

Avram Grant Entirely to Blame

There we were, a goal up in the game, and two goals ahead three quarters of the way through the tie, and Wembley was beckoning. The players trooped back to the dressing rooms at half time and the managers got to work. Grant faced an easy task. Away from home, a two goal advantage what did he have to say? Put yourself in his shoes?

"Okay, the game is ours, go out and wipe the floor with them"? Or, "Keep it tight for the first 15 minutes, then the game is ours"? Or, "Let's keep what we have!"? Any one of the three would have been valid.

McLeish? Well there was only one script, "You've played like a bunch of useless tossers and are going out of the Cup unless you get stuck in. Now get out there, get the ball forward as often as possible, win set pieces, attack every ball in the air and find me two goals!"

Clearly Grant was to blame. It's impossible to lose a two goal lead in 45 minutes. It's impossible to then concede a winner in extra time. Only the most incompetent manager in the world could do that. And the manager of the other side would have to be a motivational  and tactical genius to pull that off.

2005. Champions League Final. Half Time. A C Milan 3 Liverpool 0. The managers? That useless tosser Carlo Ancelotti and that motivational and tactical genius Rafa Benitez.

But that's an unfair comparison - just look at the terrible players Ancelotti had at his disposal! Dida, Cafu, Stam, Nesta, Maldini, Pirlo, Gattuso, Seedorf, Kaka, Shevchenko and Crespo. And on the bench they only had players like Costacurta, Serghino, Klaldze and Rui Costa. Now, if Ancelloti had had the likes of Dyer and McCarthy to call off the bench, well I'm sure it would have been a completely different story!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Birmingham 3 West Ham 1 Lay Down and Dyer!

Well the dream is over. Once more the bubbles have died or, in this case, Dyered. I know it's not all about Kieron, I know others are culpable, I know we have to ask questions about what happened in the two dressing rooms at half time, but fcuk me, how easily was Dyer knocked off the ball for Birmingham's winner and how pathetic was his effort that could have won us the tie? How appropriate that this good for nothing £83,000 a week tosser should be involved in the two incidents that ultimately cost us the game! I loath the guy, just as much as I loath that other shit Bowyer, who, inevitably got himself onto the score sheet!

I'm not sure I'm in any mood to write a match report to be honest. I feel sick with depression. At half time we were in complete control. Then on came Zigic and we had no answers. How weak was Upson when Johnson scored to bring Birmingham level? How pathetic was Dyer when Carr ran through him to set up the winner, and how dozy was Hines when Bowyer was left unmarked in the box to score the first? Bowyer, of all people! For Christ's sake, you superglue somebody on Bowyer in the box! But not West Ham! No, he is a complete surprise package when he pops up in the box apparently! Well done Wally!

To be fair, Birmingham deserved the victory. They hit the post twice and Green pulled off a couple of superb stops. Apart from Cole's wonder goal, for all our possession, we didn't create many clear cut opportunities. Noble played the pass of the match but Hines was at a difficult angle to score and didn't have the presence of mind to check back or look for a cross. Cole was played in too but he was at a tight angle and under pressure. There was the Cole cross too, after another lovely piece of play by Noble, but nobody gambled. And the Hines cross that found Boa completely flat footed and dreaming. Birmingham had cleared the ball before Boa reacted. Had that been Bowyer, it would have been a goal.  And the acrobatic effort from Hines but did he mean it? All those were in the first half.

Second half, we were truly inept. Once again there were no captains out on the pitch and no leadership from the sidelines. We retreated deeper and deeper and it was always just a matter of time before Birmingham scored. We desperately needed a second but we saw the same old nonsense of long aimless balls or players running, running, running until they lost possession. Noble tried to link play but looked out on his feet second half. Cole did his best to bring others into the game. Bridge worked the left flank well. But Boa, Parker, Hines, Dyer and Spector forgot that there were team mates on the pitch who you could pass to. The game was crying out for somebody to put his foot on the ball and tell everybody to calm the fcuk down, but it didn't happen. It never does with this bunch.

Did Tomkins deflect that third goal or did it dip viciously? I'm not sure. Ferguson should have been sent off for that kick at Dyer, it was every bit as bad or worse than Obinna's in the first leg. I mean Dyer is fragile so kicking him deliberately on the shin after the ball had gone was dangerous in the extreme! Shame he didn't kick him harder, the forced withdrawal of KD might just have won us the game!

Did anybody come out of the game with credit? Tomkins put in a stirling performance, except for that dreadful moment where he didn't know where the ball was. Green was impressive but I felt it could have kept the third goal out - it seemed to be eminently deflectable unless it had taken a deflection off Tomkins. Cole also ran his heart out and did score that sensational goal. Bridge was good going forward but Zigic kept pulling onto his shoulder and gave him a torrid time in the air. Faubert tried but his crossing was woeful. O'Neil? Not sure. Again his final ball wasn't great.

Let's face it, Arsenal would have stuffed us in the final so it's probably best that we focus on the Prem . The trouble is, we don't seem to be trying to sign any defenders and this team cannot defend corners or crosses into the box. And it struggles as soon as a team goes route one.

And Grant? How hopeless was he before extra time started? Why wasn't Sears used for God's sake?

Player ratings: Green 7; Faubert 6, Tomkins 7, Upson 5, Bridge 6; Hines 5, Parker 5, Noble 5, Spector 5, Boa 6; Cole 7 Subs: Dyer 1, O'Neil 5, McCarthy 1

Official Site Tells Half the Story over Behrami

So Valedictory's injury strike has paid dividends and he has been allowed to swan off back to Italy. He won't be missed by me. In that first season, when West Ham fans wet their pants over this new "genius", I said he was a huff and puff merchant with no end product. The howls of derision echoed around the internet but would anybody disagree with me now? He is a right back who can't tackle, a midfielder who can't pass and a winger who can't cross. Jack of all trades? More like a two of clubs of all trades if you ask me!

It will be interesting to see if Behrami is fit to play at the weekend. If he does make it on to the pitch, it will prove what some of us have long suspected, that this "hip" injury is, in fact, a ploy to secure his exit visa. If so, Behrami deserves to join the likes of Wince, Reo-Choker and The Foe in the all time West Ham rogues gallery. Not that we are ever likely to see him playing at Upton Park for the opposition anytime soon. He won't be coming back to England and we are not exactly bound for Europe! Unless we win the Carling Cup of course!

Anyway, the Official Site has informed us of his departure but one little detail was overlooked. How much did Fiorentina pay for him? It can't be much or we would be trumpeting the fee wouldn't we?

Tottenham Hotspurs to move to Milton Keynes?

Well Levy has well and truly thrown a handgrenade into the party with his announcement that, come Hell or high water, Tottenham are moving out from White Shite Lane. "What's in a name?" Levy seems to ask, "So what that we are Tottenham Hotspurs, that doesn't mean we have to play in a shit hole like Tottenham!"

And so Tottenham are moving out. They don't know where they are moving out to yet, but they are moving out regardless, packing up their old kit bags and hitting the high road to...well if they keep following the yellow brick road they're sure to end up somewhere eventually.

Follow that star! Listen to that pipe and fall into line with the other rats! Let's all do the conga! Wagons ho!

Up and down the country, clubs are on the watch out for this new breed of traveller invasion, this new Diaspora. Levy and Redknapp, towing their caravans to the new Promised Land. How many years will they spend in the wilderness, feeding upon manna, 'Arry hitting rocks with his stave to release water?

What's that sound of constant moaning? It's the Tottenham boys, coming over the hill, homeless, in search of a place to park up and call their own! No city is safe from possible invasion!

I have a suggestion. Move to Stratford. Stoney Stratford, a borough of Milton Keynes! The soulless city of roundabouts and concrete cows already has the MK Dons so why not the MK Hotspurs too? Let's face it, London would be a much better place without them!

And they have the nerve to call us the Pikeys? So, Tottenham fans, who are the Pikeys now exactly?

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Wigan and Blackpool Lose and Arsenal Await...

Kind of relieved about Arsenal making the final. Had Ipswich caused a shock, it would have been absolutely unbearable if we were to go out to Birmingham in the second leg. Now, if the worst happens, we can shrug our shoulders and say, well at least we've avoided a mauling!

Good news about Wigan and Blackpool. The Tangerine Dreamers were two goals ahead at half time and who knows, this second half collapse may just knock the stuffing out of them. Fingers crossed!

Ba Ba Missing Sheep

Typical isn't it? We have a striker crisis and desperately need somebody to play up top in a Cup semifinal, but new signing Demba Ba won't arrive in time for the game. Hello? Priorities anybody? It makes you wonder:

A) If the guy is fit to play?


B) If he really cares?

In Ba's boots, I would be at West Ham training and proving myself worthy of selection. But then I love the club.

But Ba? Maybe it's  just a way of earning a wedge and putting distance between himself and his present manager.

Big Spenders West Ham Lead the Way in January Window

In the land of midgets, Ronnie Corbett is a giant, and that's how things should be viewed as we look at our activity in the transfer window so far. People will point to the £18 million Villa have spent on Bent, but forget that the Villains are sitting on a £25million war chest from the sale of Millner. That gives them a £7million profit so far. We can ignore Man City of course, they live in a fantasy world so, outside of the Arab playthings, who has spent any money this window?

Tottenham have landed Pinnear, but they enjoyed a £4million windfall from the sell on clause attached to Bent so are quids in. Sunderland shelled out £3million on Fuller but the rest of the Bent funds are earning interest in the bank. Fuller has been replaced at Stoke by a loan signed from Villa. There's been a lot of talk about who Birmingham are buying, but what has materialised? West Brom are fighting for their Premiership lives but who have they bought? The same applies to Wolves and Wigan. Fulham have bought Sidwell but only after Brady decided we didn't need him.

People moan about Sullivan and Gold, but in a window where clubs have been looking after the pounds, we have brought in three players so far. True two are loanees, but Bridge's wages alone amount to a transfer fee. There may still be one or two more players to come and it looks as if only Behrami is going to be sold. Given the debt and the size of our squad, I think the Davids deserve some credit personally.

Monday, 24 January 2011

West Ham Close In On O'Neil!

It's back on! O'Neil is coming! And for real this time! It was all true. O'Neil was discussed at a Board meeting and an agreement was reached to make an approach for him. The information was leaked to the press. The record of the text is fine. The club are happy to confirm it after all. And we can expect O'Neil to join this week.

Martin O'Neill? No! Gary O'Neil, the Miserableborough midfielder.

The lengths the Brady Bunch will go to in order to cover their tracks!

Karren Brady, Andy Gray & Richard Keys. The Full Transcript.

"So Andy, how do you see it panning out today?"

"Well Richard, the teams are setting up very much as you would expect. It's 4-4-2 for both sides and I can see both teams cancelling each other out so it will come down to who wants it the most. But the position that interests me most is that of the assistant referee. Now normally you would expect this sort of movement, up and down this line, keeping very much to one side of the pitch, but I suspect we could see a change of tactics today. For the first fifteen minutes, I anticipate the assistant referee holding this position here."

"Really? That would be unusual. What would be the thinking behind that exactly Andy?"

"Tactics Richard. Tactics. You see I have positioned an ironing board at this point here and a laundry basket full of shirts and a duvet cover."

"I see Andy. And after the first fifteen minutes?"

"Well Richard, I understand that the executive boxes could do with a hoovering and I suspect the lure of the kitchen may prove too great, so I see the assistant referee crossing the pitch at this point here, disappearing down the players tunnel here...and if we move to this graphic over here...running up the stairs here, retrieving a Dyson..."

"A Dyson Andy?"

"Yes Richard, no expense spared in the Premiership these days, so as I say, retrieving the Dyson from the cupboard here...

"Would she be up to using a Dyson Andy?"

"She may struggle with how to switch it on Richard but I'm sure there will a man on hand to explain the operation of the on off switch. It has one of those ball things so controlling it may present a few problems but I'm sure she will get the hang of it."

"Skirting may take a bit of a hammering then Andy?"

"Very possibly Richard, very possibly. But you know, you have to take a chance sometimes. How can they learn if you don't give them experience? You can bring in cheap foreigners but how are we ever going to blood English talent like that?"

"Talent Andy? Would she qualify as talent?"

"Not in that sense Richard. Looking at her, I think the only roasting she can expect is when she cooks a joint of pork."

"Joint of pork eh Andy? Bit of a porker eh?"

"Not a porker as such Richard, in fact a bit on the streaky bacon side but a face like a pot belly if you catch my drift?"

"So you wouldn't want her going in for any headers then Andy?"

"Well if you pull the sheets up over her head Richard. And she has a great pony tail that you could establish the rhythm with."

"So not a Jacqui Oakley then Andy?"

"You could say that Richard. Now Jacqui Oakley could go down on my microphone any day of the week and blow my whistle whenever it takes her fancy."

"What about Karren Brady?"

"Not sure I could deal with finding her dentures still clenched around my Avram Grant afterwards mate."

"Involuntary circumcision Andy?"

"Red card offence in my book mate!"

I haven't seen the full transcript but presumably, given the the fuss being made, it must have been something like that!

Women not understanding the offside law? Do they even know why there are fishing nets at either end of the pitch?

;  }

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Move Over Dyer & Hitz - Here Comes Demba Ba!

What is it about West Ham? Why does the club NEVER learn? Hasn't the premature retirement of Ashton taught us anything? Doesn't the log jam in the treatment room register at all? Brady proposed changing the name of the club to West Ham Olympic but West Ham Paralympics would be more appropriate!

But regardless of history, regardless of the absurd wages we are still paying Dyer to sit on his arse, we are now signing Ba on loan until the end of the season, agreeing to pay his wages whilst he "proves" his fitness, even though he wasn't fit enough to pass Stoke's test. But then, Pulis expects his players to run and run, to show commitment to the cause, to close, to run for the full ninety minutes. No such physical duress if you join West Ham eh?

One report suggests Ba will not be fit for 5 months, round about the time he is due to return to Germany. He joins us on Monday, in time to play on Wednesday if fit. But that is a huge if!

I tell you what, I would love to work for Dyno Rod in Newham. Sooner or later the club is going to need somebody to unblock the money they keep tipping down the drain!

Same Old Defensive Frailties

Okay, our job was made so much more difficult by the sending off but, nevertheless, Everton came away with a point because this team cannot defend for their Premiership lives. Before showing the highlights on MOTD last night, Lineker shared two interesting stats: West Ham were, prior to kick off, the ONLY team in the Prem not have conceded a goal from outside the box; and we had conceded more goals from headers than any other team in the Premiership.

Well Everton did score with a shot from just outside the box and didn't score from a header, so why the headline?

Because for the first goal, we had the opportunity to clear the ball but a weak defensive header - from Piquionne? - put the ball beautifully into Barbiegetthemoff's stride and all he had to do was swing his foot. And for the second, somebody made the mistake of pulling Spector back into our penalty box and assigning him defensive duties. That was only going to end in disaster! Sure enough, Spector allowed Fellatio to sucker him and blast home the equaliser. Why don't teams score from outside the box? Because passing and crossing to players inside our box is so easy to do that nobody needs to swing and hope from outside the penalty area!

So where is Wally Downes exactly? He was heralded as a Messiah when he arrived as our defensive coach but like all Messiahs, he seems pretty poor when it comes to crosses - or so the stats suggest. The last 10 minutes of yesterday's game were agony and, in truth, they would have been agony even if Piquionne had stayed on the pitch. The team were always going to go back into their shell and, when we invite a team on, we are a disaster waiting to happen.

Part of the problem is that our midfield are a collection of short arses. Parker, Noble and Boa all come up to Fellatio's chest and Spector, as we know, should not be allowed anywhere near his own penalty box. As a result, teams know that they can pump the ball into our box time and time again and trust simply to the law of averages. Sooner or later it will end up in the net.

It doesn't bode well for Wednesday. Birmingham will look to exploit their aerial superiority and if Cole is ruled out along with Piquionne, we will be horribly vulnerable defending set pieces.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Merson Says West Ham Were Robbed By Crazy Sending Off!

Merson said:

"Seriously, the lad's going to get a winning goal in the 84th minute and he runs into the crowd. He doesn't take his shirt off and he gets sent off for a second yellow.

"It's common sense, it's just common sense. The laws have got to change. These people are playing pressure football every single week and all of a sudden that happens.

"A minute before that Seamus Coleman missed an absolute open goal and West Ham went up the other end, but the sending off was the turning point.

"If he doesn't get sent off they keep the 11 men on and Everton can't bomb forward so much. West Ham didn't have a forward, but if Piquionne had stayed on the pitch they'd have to keep two players back."

Shearer Says It's Ridiculous!

"It's ridiculous. No it's ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. It's ridiculous. It's stupid Gary. Absolutely ridiculous!"

What a shame Referee Walton doesn't have any common or footballing sense.

What did you think of it again Alan?


Undertaker Avram Cracks A Trade Joke!

Angered by the ludicrous dismissal of Freddie Piquionne, for celebrating scoring what looked likely to be the winning goal, Upton Park Undertaker Avram Grant has come out with a "funny", telling the BBC, "Next time I will tell my players to go to a funeral when they score".

Well, last week we all thought it might be Avram's funeral,  next week our hopes of taking over the Olympic stadium could be dead and buried and, unless our luck changes quickly, this season will see our Premiership status buried six points under.

So if the players want to go to a funeral, there's likely to be quite a few they could pick from!

Everton 2 West Ham 2 - Thanks to Referee Walton!

How bloody ridiculous. Football is entertainment, it is about joy and celebration and spontaneity, it is about huge outpourings of emotion. So how the hell can you collect a red card for celebrating a goal you have just scored? I don't care what the rule book says, what matters is common sense, what matters is exercising judgement as a referee. Common sense? Judgement? What am I saying? We can't expect this from Premiership referees!

What do the details of the game matter after this? The result had very little to do with the 22 professional footballers who started the game and those who came on as substitutes. It has little to do with the managers either. Or the fans who paid to watch the game. The result is down to one man, Mr Walton who, in an act of supreme jobmansworth, reduced West Ham to 10 men because of celebrating what should have been the winning goal. Of course Piquionne was stupid. Of course by the letter of the law, Walton was within his rights. But if the letter of law was applied as rigorously in every walk of life, none of us would have driving licenses! What a twat! Dear God, since when has being happy and sharing that happiness with others been a crime? Not apply the letter of the law? More than Mr Walton's job's worth!

And what a shame! Piquionne's goal was a beauty and worthy of dancing naked through Liverpool. It was a lovely cross from Bridge and a wonderful header. To take the lead again after being pulled back to 1-1 so late in the game was a fantastic tribute to the spirit of the team, and for Walton to burst that bubble was so so so brutal.

Of course, going down to 10 men does not mean that conceding is inevitable and we SHOULD have dealt with the ball into the box that eventually led to Fellani scoring - and we KNEW it would be that hateful son of a bitch didn't we? - but when the luck is going against you, a blow like that inevitably knocks the stuffing from you. And the terrible thing is that we DESERVED to win. Apart from picking the ball out of the net twice, what did Green have to do exactly? Well, there were two saves in the second half, one of which set Coleman up with an open goal! Our first goal was well worked, with a lovely pass from Noble, a superb cross from Boa to Spector and an excellent finish from the born again American, and the second merited winning the game. We had more shots than Everton, we had more shots on target too, we hit the post, had a "goal" disallowed for offside and were denied a penalty. But step forward Walton to level things up with the perfect handicapping system!

That sending off could relegate us. It could result in us going out in the semifinal of the League Cup because Piquionne is now suspended. Was Piquionne cheating? Did Piquionne's actions endanger anybody? The rule is stupid and Walton is even more stupid for applying it stupidly. A great day turned sour in the very moment of joy. Thank you Mr Walton, please collect your Jobsworth award on the way out of Goodison Park, along perhaps with a pair of tickets for a holiday of your choice anywhere in the world courtesy of Everton Football Club!

Player Ratings: Green 6; Faubert 6, Tomkins 7, Upson 6, Bridge 7; Spector 7, Noble 6, Parker 7, Boa 7; Piquionne 8, Hines 5 Subs: Not on long enough to rate!

Half Time - Everton 0 West Ham 1 - Chewing Toffees for 45 minutes

Whisper it very quietly but, not only are we winning, we deserve to be at least two ahead! The team are playing well, as a team, with the midfield hunting in packs when not in possession and finding team mates with neat passes when we do have the ball. Everton have had more of the possession but, thus far, we have used it the better of the two teams.

Boa has had the ball in the net but was offside. Piquionne was so unlucky with a header against the base of the post that then ran across the face of the goal and out for a goal kick, and we could have had a penalty when Neville tripped Bridge in the box.

At the back, Tomkins and Upson are looking pretty solid and Bridge and Faubert are acquitting themselves well. All the other results are going our way too except for Fulham leading! The only cloud in the sky is Parker's booking for another stupidly needless foul with our goal under no threat whatsoever. When will he learn?

This can't last of course. No doubt we will come out second half and hand the initiative to Everton and it will be 2-1 to the home team before we know it. Then Wigan will equalise at the Emirates, Birmingham will hit five at Old Trafford and Blackpool will smash three second half goals against Sunderland. But, for now, the bubbles are quivering delicately in the air and...Nope, I'm not tempting fate!

I forgot the bloody goal! Boa, yes Boa, crossed perfectly for Spector and the American buried the chance for his first Prem goal. Give him a contract quick!

No Cole, Sears or Jacobsen

Avram The Untouchable is at it again! This time he appears to be moving Specs to the right of midfield, using Boa to protect Bridge after his awful showing against Arsenal, and playing Hines up top in the absence of Cole through injury.

I would rather see Sears paired with Piquionne personally, he has looked the better player in recent games but Hines may surprise us.

The team:

Green; Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Bridge; Spector, Noble, Parker, Boa; Hines, Piquionne

Subs: Boffin, Reid, Gabbidon, Barrera, Sears, McBenni, Nouble

Another Game, Still No Signings!

At the end of December I wrote:

"According to Gold we are tracking 15 players. That would be Beckham, Pugh, Pugh, Barney, McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grubb plus seven others! Never mind fire sales, we need a fire brigade and a living legend!

We can forget Becks for a starter. I don't want us paying for him and Posh to stay over at the Dorchester, only for Beckham to sign for 'Arry at the end of the week. Let's keep things realistic this time shall we?

Hopefully there are no fat Egyptians floating around in the Dead Sea to be scooped up next time Avram pops over to Israel. And any player coming with a booklet of Burger King vouchers should also be given a wide berth, or girth for that matter!

Sidwell seems like a reasonable first signing. True he is ginger. True he isn't good enough for the Villa team - and Villa are in the bottom 5 - but he has an engine, is full of enthusiasm and scores goals. I'd take him over Spector, Kovac, Behrami and Boa.

Who else? Keane? I doubt he will come, even on loan. Luke Young? Got to be better than Faubert. Bridge aint coming apparently so name me a left back, any left back! And a left winger too. Why exactly did Zola sell Matty?

Anyway, whoever we sign, we have to sign early. The relegation clock is ticking and we can't afford to fart around and pounce at the end of the month. If they are coming, then get them in and get them playing, with the Barnsley game a useful match to stitch a new team together. "

And what has happened subsequently? Well Bridge has signed short term but, based on his only performance to date, it would have been better if he hadn't! And apart from that nothing, zilch, nowt, not even Sidwell thanks to Brady's interference. We have been hammered against Newcastle and Arsenal and now face Everton with a team still hamstrung by injuries and with morale and our chins on the floor. We know what happens when these players have to travel even when spirits seem high, so the prospects don't look great do they, even though Everton are without Saha, Cahill and Pinnear. Fellani is still available sadly.

There's still plenty of talk of course, but as we know, Sullivan & Gold talk mostly out of their arses. So much time has been wasted. Relegation is stalking us like a predator stalking his lame prey and as each day and game passes, so the chances of survival diminish further.

But there's no need to worry, there's still all those Irons in the fire apparently. Expect a great bargain signing soon as Gold asks Sulllivan who he has lined up and Bruiser replies, "I have heard that Talk is cheap!"

Friday, 21 January 2011

Behrami Situation Stinks

We know Behrami wants out. We know he is homesick. We know his wife and child have legged it back to Italy and Valedictory wants to join them. We know West Ham value him at approximately £5million. We know Fiorentina only want to pay £2million. And now it looks as if Behrami is feigning injury to secure a move.

Feigning injury? Well how else do you explain this statement from the club? "The player says he is homesick. We have a real problem as the player really does miss his wife and child who couldn't settle in London and have returned home to Italy. He has also been injured. We have only 25 players to name in our squad and, if he continues to be injured then it's not worth keeping him, so he might now be sold."

Now, presumably, Fiorentina are not trying to buy a permanently injured player so this appears to suggest that Behrami's is an injury of convenience. Sell me, or I won't play? That's certainly how it sounds!

£40 Million Loan to West Ham Approved

What a disgrace.  Newham Council have approved a £40 million loan to West Ham United to support the bid for the Olympic Stadium, supposedly to protect local jobs. O yes? So why would Tottenham moving to the stadium threaten local jobs exactly? Won't they need stewards, burger sales vans and the like? In fact, won't MORE jobs be created by knocking down the original stadium and building a new one?

With local services being cut left, right and centre, is this really an appropriate use of public funds? Sorry, we have had to close the local library, the local swimming pool and the local relief care facility for disabled children, because we have loaned £40 million to West Ham United football club. Crazy.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Squad Caps are Stifling the Transfer Market

I know there is a recession and that funds are tight, but Villa have just pumped £18million into the transfer merry go round, so why aren't we seeing more activity in the market? Sunderland have to buy a replacement for Bent, especially with Wellbeck succumbing to a long term injury, and Tottenham have benefited from a surprise windfall thanks to the sell on clause that West Ham always forget to insert, so why is the market still as frigid as a shy Eskimo nun in the land of the midnight sun?

The problem is, of course, the 25 player cap. Designed to help the smaller clubs and limit the scope for the likes of Man City to run 35 player squads, it is doing the exact reverse. All the clubs moved heaven and earth to populate their squads to the limit before the August window closed so, now, they have to sell before they can buy. But every other club is in the same Catch 22 and why would you sell if you can't be sure that another club will part with a player to replace the man you let go? Sunderland now have a gap in the squad but before they can buy somebody, the selling club has to know that their man can be replaced, and the next club down the line is in the same position, and so it goes on. It's like the housing market all of a sudden. You can't buy if you can't sell and you can't sell until you can buy. The chain is frozen stiff.

So we can't sign anybody unless we find takers for Behrami, Cole, Gabbidon, McCarthy or Ilunga. We had to let Ben Haim go back to Pompey to sign Bridge and until another gap appears, we are buggered. The cap was introduced with the best intentions but, like all artificial restraints on trade, it has hideously distorted the market. What is a player now worth? Well some are available at knock down prices to create space in the squad, whilst others, like Bent, are absurdly over valued as the selling club has the buying club over a barrel. We don't want to sell him, and there is nobody else available on the market, so if you want him, pay double his true value. And Villa, still flush with the Milner cash, have coughed up!

The only way of thriving in this market is to SELL a prime asset. In the summer, Parker would be worth £5m tops if we go down; but if Liverpool persuade Babel to move on, they may well offer £15m this January. I wonder if that might be enough to persuade Sullivan and Gold to think again and part with Scotty.

Other than that, we have to hope that the Mafia release some funds to Fiorentina so they can afford Behrami and that QPR decide to take McCarthy, Cardiff relieve us of Gabbidon and Monaco gamble on Ilunga. But what happens if we can't then replace them? The squad would then be paper thin!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Monaco Want Ilunga!

Well L'Equipe say so, ce doit ĂȘtre vrai. Crazy things happen in the January transfer window remember. Clubs lose all control of their senses. Remember the mighty Real Madrid PAID US to take Faubert on loan two years back and, last January, we signed Mido and McCarthy in a bid to be renamed Fat Club.

But even allowing for January madness, why would any club consider Ilunga? How many games has he played over the last two years? As malingerers go, he is up there with Dyer! And when he has played, he has looked slow and disinterested.

Bloody hell, why would anybody want to sign a left back who has barely kicked a ball this season and who, when he has played, has looked off the pace and, at very best, rank ordinary? Would ANY club be THAT stupid?

O hang on, we've signed Bridge haven't we!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Bridge debut provokes bid for Ben Haim!

Tal Ben Haim - West Ham United v Oxford United - Carling Cup
You couldn't write it! With Avram on his way out, Ben Haim was sent packing back to Pompey and a cool £2million invested in 5 months of game time from Wayne Bridge. But, after one nightmare performance from Bridge, coinciding with the shambolic attempt to replace Avram, we are now trying to sign Ben Haim on a permanent basis!

So much for shuffling the bleeding pack, one Iron in the fire is an Iron we already had! Does this mean Upson is off I wonder?

Sullivan Talks S**T. And Avram? He's Untouchable Now!

Listen to him: "The entire board is 100 per cent behind Avram." Well God help Avram if the Board ever has any doubts then!

He continues: "He is a really decent person who deserves our support." Really? So when did he become decent and start deserving that support? It must have been around about the time O'Neill told West Ham where to stick the job offer. Coincidence that.

He adds: "West Ham United is a club that does the right thing and the right thing at this time is to support the manager." At this time? Is that time very precise? At 2pm on January 18th, 2011 West Ham does the right thing and the right thing at 2pm on January 18th, 2011 is to support the manager. Tomorrow? Another day, another time, Allardyce may want the job so who knows?

He states: "We will do all we can to bring in players over the next 12 days and, once we have achieved that, we hope it will keep us up." Well it's a bloody shame Sullivan, Brady & Gold have wasted 18 days of the window and made the club into an absolute laughing stock. Who, in his right mind, would want to sign for Grant and West Ham now? Note that word "hope". That screams confidence doesn't it!

He concludes: "I urge all the supporters to rally behind the club at this difficult time." Well what a fcuking nerve! Rally behind what "club" exactly? I can't see a "club" unless it is a heavy implement Sullivan is using to beat Avram around the head with. The other "club" suggests fellowship and people working together towards a common goal. There is no "club" in that sense left. There is a business, and a badly run business at that, but there is no club.

Fcuk them. I have defended Sullivan and Gold until now but this "difficult time" is of their making. They appointed Avram and within 7 months they are trying to replace him. I have said all along that the guy has to be given time and, for better or worse, he now has that time - although how on earth he asserts any authority after what has happened, I have no idea. If we lose the next 10 games in a row, how can Avram be held accountable? If we go down, how can Grant be blamed? He is literally untouchable!

Sullivan, Gold and Brady haven't just shot themselves in the feet, they have shot off their own bollocks. Which in Brady's case must really have cracked her up!

The Brady Bunch Shoot Themselves In The Foot Over O'Neill!

Was O'Neill ever coming? We will probably never know now, but somebody clearly thought he was and, by trying to jump the gun, blew off a toe or two when landing on the trigger. Of course, the bullet still hit poor Avram so now we have the worst of all worlds, sticking, it seems for the time being at least, with a lame duck manager.

My position on Grant has been consistent throughout. I am neither for the man, nor against. I believe he needs time to sort out the mess Zola left behind and, in the light of all the injuries, I don't think he has done badly so far despite our league position. We are on the doorstep of Wembley and that hasn't happened too many times in the club's history.

But tell me, who will join us now? If you are Keane, do you want to sign for a manager who may not be there next week? If you are Jol or Allardyce, do you want to replace Grant as the obvious second choice, knowing just how appallingly you will be treated as soon as anything goes wrong?

I predicted that O'Neill wouldn't be able to work with Sullivan and Gold for very long but even I didn't expect the divorce before the engagement party! As cock ups go, this one is huge and somebody needs to be held accountable. But given either Sullivan or Brady are probably to blame for going semi public too early, the likelihood of anybody being brought to book for this mess is very remote indeed.

So Grant is still our manager and all those celebrating his dismissal have to pack away their party hats, for the time being at least. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Grant now led us to victory in the League Cup and to Premiership survival?

Monday, 17 January 2011

£18million for Bent!

Remember when Turds bid £18million for the guy? We all thought he was off his trolley! Spurs got him for £16m and 'Arry subsequently reckoned his wife was a better finisher!

To be fair, he has done well at Sunderland but is he really worth £18million? Houllier seems to think so and Randy is backing him! Randy and Bent, now that should attract the pink pound in Birmingham!

But if you were Bent, why would you want to swap Sunderland for Villa? Seems like an odd call to me, but he has slapped in a transfer request in response to Villa's bid, suggesting he fancies the move. Perhaps he is hoping another club might come in for him? Chelsea maybe? Or Liverpool?

Not good news for us if he joins Villa. They look too strong to go down anyway but this would surely secure their safety. Unless, of course, he rediscovers his Tottenham form!

Official Site Breaks The News We've All Been Waiting For! - At Last!

So at long last, the speculation is over, the guessing can stop, the position has been clarified and we all know where we stand. What's that? The position regarding Grant? No, not that. Clarification regarding O'Neill? No, not exactly.

No, far more importantly, the OS has announced that Facebook fans now top 100,000 and new stadium tours  have been announced - that's new tours of the current stadium in case you thought something important had happened in relation to our Olympic Stadium bid - and Bridge is looking forward, which is most unfortunate because he really could do with looking sideways along the line of the defence to avoid playing opponents onside in future!

Dear God, how do they have the audacity to insult our intelligence like this? 100,000 Facebook fans? They have some bloody face to keep churning out this PR bullshit when we don't even know if we have a manager! Disgraceful. The club should be maintaining a dignified silence at the very least.

Hang on, what am I saying? West Ham and dignity are sadly words that no longer go together in a sentence!

Grant Sleeping It Off As Chaos Reigns

Does anybody know what is going on at Upton Park? The newspapers are still guessing. Our friends over at KUMB have been trying to piece together something that sounds credible, using my guesswork in the process (see the jumping the gun reference).

One thing is for sure, either the likes of Sky and Dale have made themselves look bloody stupid, or something went tits up at the weekend. KUMB have now floated the idea that O'Neill has got cold feet but may yet still take the job. But in case that is wrong, they link Allardyce to the role too. That's a bit like the weather girl telling us that it may be brilliant sunshine but then again it may hack it down with rain but there is a possibility of snow and blizzards!

For what it is worth, I reckon O'Neill has been waiting on news of the Liverpool job and that the Merseyside draw yesterday and our hammering on Saturday have not aided his decision making process. Things are still up in the air. As for Big Sam, a move to the mighty metropolis may not suit this black pudding eating heathen. Talking of eating, who is that working his way through a great line of pies. You must be Jolking!

Meanwhile, Avram is waking up and rubbing the sleep from his eyes. Another day. Bagel, cup of coffee, potter around in dressing gown and slippers. "What's that dear? Today? Nothing special. Same old, same old. Worried? What about? I'm sure we will get out of trouble. My job? Why would I be worried about that? The newspapers? Since when have we ever believed anything they write in the newspapers?"

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Why would Arsenal want Upson?

After Saturday's woeful performance, why on earth would Wenger want Upson? The guy was fully exposed as the yard dog we know him to be. Where was the leadership of the back four? What was he doing standing with his arm in the air whilst Van Persie set up the second? Why the Hell was he letting Bridge hold hands with him, leaving Walcott with the freedom of Upton Park down our left?

How many times did Upson concede possession? How many times, in contrast, did he complete a tackle? His stats must have been pretty awful over the course of the 90 minutes and, of the two, Tomkins looked much the better centre back. Unfortunately, we need Upson. But Arsenal? If Upson is the answer, then the Gunners really don't stand a cat in Hell's chance of winning the title.

Imagine, for one hilarious moment, Upson playing against Barcelona!

Did somebody jump the gun over O'Neill?

That's looking increasingly likely. How's this for a scenario? Meetings took place and O'Neill indicated he would take the job, subject to sorting out a few details. Then, alerted to our interest, maybe another club made contact. Maybe somebody at Liverpool put in a call?

"Look Martin, no promises, but if we lose against Everton tomorrow, Kenny's bubble will be burst. Hold on 24 hours son. The Liverpool job could be yours."

Now, if you were O'Neill, which job would you prefer?

West Ham are perfect fit for Olympic Stadium!

Well we all know the saying about the Olympics, "It's not about the winning, it's about the taking part"!

And to be honest, the further away you are from the pitch, the better. With any luck, you won't be able to see what is happening on the bloody field of play!

Who is the rat in Upton Park?

Let's be clear here. If there is a plan to replace Grant, only the people at the very top should know about it. You don't tell your plans to a player you are hoping to sign, who is not even restrained by a contract, you sign that player AFTER you have replaced the manager. You don't tell anybody on your staff for fear the confidential information will be leaked, especially when journalists buzz round football clubs like flies around a fresh stool. You keep it close. Close. Closer.

So, only three people could possibly know, outside of anybody the club may have approached. The three are Sullivan, Gold and Brady. Now, who has been decidedly luke warm about Grant from the off? Who has suggested on a couple of occasions that his job could be on the line? Who leaked that we would not be signing Sidwell before Grant was even told? Same person every time. Who has a newspaper column and friends inside the media and press? Same person again. Who was on her mobile during the game last night? But perhaps that was to book a manicure!

Who is the rat inside Upton Park? No one knows apparently. But based on physical appearance, Grant is definitely the Toad, Gold looks like Badger, Sullivan is small enough to be Mole and bloody looks like him, which only leaves Brady to be Ratty!

Brady Bemused. Why is Grant still here?

Time for goodbyes? Avram is hanging on to his job... but for how much longer?
Is poor Karren Brady confused? Apparently she was bloody sure Avram was being pushed out today, with Martin O'Neill ushered through the Upton Park managerial revolving door. But lo and behold, there's not yet any sign of motormouth O'Neill and the lugubrious Grant is still croaking as if he remains the resident Toad of Boleyn Hall.

Look at this for a juicy quotation from Karren! "Nothing has happened. I don't know where the rumours have come from but nothing has happened." That almost sounds as if she is out of the loop herself for the time being, feeding on scraps of information herself. No statement that "Avram Grant is our manager and Avram Grant will remain our manager", just "Nothing has happened." Perhaps her statement was a polite way of saying, "Nothing has happened and I'm fcuked if I know why nothing has happened." Nothing will come of nothing dear Karren. Speak again! All these double negatives? Is that an insight into Karren's state of confusion perhaps?

Poor Karren, how can she be expected to work like this? She has a newspaper column to produce remember!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

West Ham 0 Arsenal 3 - Bridge Over The Frikin' Why?

On Wednesady I wrote about Bridge: “This very average left back will set us back over £2million pounds in wages during his six month stay! We could have had a real bridge for that! Madness. Sheer bloody madness.”

When challenged, I wrote: “I don't think Bridge is very good regardless of the salary. This notion that he can save us from the drop seems way wide of the mark to me. No better than Ben Haim, and lacks the versatility is my assessment of the guy. I still keep replaying his performance for Man City against Burnley last season over and over in my head. And how much competitive football has he played this season? There must be a danger that he is ring rusty. He's not getting any younger so the edge may have gone off what little pace he had in the first place. Is he cup tied out of interest?"

Well, now you're going to believe me! Today wasn't all about Bridge - there is a bigger issue than a hopelessly overpaid rank ordinary left back - but he was at fault for ALL THREE Arsenal goals. As debuts go, they don't come much worse than that!

For the first ten minutes, I was asking what the fcuk Bridge thought he was doing. He was playing so close to Upson that they could hold hands with each other, and leaving a third of the pitch for Walcott to wander around in unmarked. There was only going to be one outcome and, sure enough, the ball was played to Walcott and he had 90 minutes to pick his pass before Bridge even thought of closing. The ball to Van Persie was perfect and the Dutchman turned and fired home brilliantly. Tomkins did his best to close the shot and Green tried valiantly to reach it but the execution of both pass and finish were perfect. 1-0.

Goal two and Bridge was TEN YARDS behind the last West Ham defender, playing Van Persie onside on the other side of the pitch. Upson thought he was back at Arsenal and stood with his arm in the air, not believing that a West Ham defender could be so dozy as to play Robin onside when he had started his run fifteen minutes ago. As a result, Van Persie this time had 90 minutes to pick out Walcott, who ran in on the blind side of, you've guessed it, Bridge and buried the chance. 2-0.

Then, a simple ball out to Walcott, who was in yards of space yet again. He ran at Bridge, made it into the box and invited the foul. And Wayne duly obliged. Penalty. 3-0. And Bridge had handed all three on a plate to Arsenal!

£90,000 a week! £90,000 for that! More in wages in six months than a Yank paid for London Bridge! Like I said on Wednesday, "Madness. Sheer bloody madness!"

And what else is there to say about a truly abysmal performance? Blame Grant if you like but what did he have left to pick from? Dear God, Faubert and Kovac actually played quite well - in comparison to the rest, with the honourable exception of Tomkins and Green.

If this is Grant's last game in charge, his penultimate decision was perverse. Why take off Sears when he looked our only decent forward player, especially when Hines was truly hopeless? That one staggered me. Why stay 4-5-1 for so long when it clearly wasn't working, even when Noble came off injured? I was calling at that stage for Boa to go wide left and either Hines or Sears to join Cole up top, but Avram thought he knew better.

We had four chances. Cole made a complete hash of a header after a superb cross by Sears. Hines fired narrowly over after Sears had set up an attack down the left with a lovely flick. Cole was clean through and his shot was blocked far too easily. And Sears forced a save from an intended cross. Apart from that we were hopeless.

The possession count second half was 80-20 in Arsenal's favour. The pass completion rate first half was 199 to 85 in Arsenal's favour. Fabregas touched the ball more times in the first half than the five players in our midfield combined. The gulf in class was huge!

At the end there was no affection for Grant, from the crowd or the players. He is surely on his way out. But can anybody do anything with this shower of shit? I doubt it!

Player ratings: Green 7: Faubert 6, Upon 3, Tomkins 6, Bridge 1; Sears 6, Kovac 6, Spector 1, Noble 4, Hines 1; Cole 2 Subs: Boa 4, Barrera 1

Parker out! Piquionne out!

The injuries increase by the minute. God, if Grant pulls off a victory in the circumstances and then gets the sack, he will exit as the unluckiest man in football history!

The team to terrify Wenger reads:

Green; Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Bridge; Sears, Kovac, Noble, Spector, Hines; Cole

Looks like 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 to me. Let's hope Hines, Spector and Sears can get into the box!

Barrera and McCarthy are on the bench, and so is Nouble.

Anybody confident?

Come on you broken and bleeding Irons!

Has O'Neill had a last minute rethink?

Suddenly there are mutterings about Jol. No news from the club as yet. Maybe there has been a last minute hitch. Well that would be West Ham all over wouldn't it?

What could it be? Brady has refused to have sex with Grant as part of his termination package?

O'Neill misunderstood what Sullivan said? It was £20 for new players, not £20million!

Maybe O'Neill met Sullivan face to face for the first time and both left the room saying, "I'm  not working with that obnoxious, gobby, big mouthed cnut!"?

West Ham Target Ba Fails Stoke Medical

Ba Ba Injured Sheep!

It seems just being LINKED with West Ham  is enough now to crock a player!
We are cursed!