Friday, 30 September 2011

The Great West Ham Rip Off

I've just received my tickets for the Blackpool game. One each for my son and I and one for my 13 year old Grandson at £24. You can imagine how pleased I was to see on the OS that this game is now "Kids for a quid"

I see they did that on the day for the Peterboro' game as well.

We are encouraged to renew our season tickets, which we gave up during Zola's fiasco, and also to book early as "tickets are selling fast!" What a way to treat your supporters.

This is my 50th year supporting the Hammers and I have never felt so badly about the management and owners. After going on Tuesday and seeing what a good job Jewell is doing with his bunch of has-beens and might have beens I may decide to turn left on the A12 and head for Portman Road for my football.

Contributed by John VP

Can somebody please Twatter this to David Gold to see how he responds?

Que? Manuel Almunia arrives looking for his hamster!

Remember the outrage along Green Street when somebody mooted the possibility that Manuel Almunia might be selected for England, replacing England's 666, Robert Slippery Fingers Green? How ironic, therefore, that the blunderful Arsenal keeper has arrived on a month's loan to replace the injured Green.

Now as regular readers will know, I am no fan of Robert Green. He is, in my estimation, a good shot stopper but a decidedly avaerage all round keeper. But even Green looks international class in comparison to Oops I've Done It Again Almunia.

So our problems have just increased. We allowed Stech to leave and promply lost our first choice keeper. Boffin aint up to it so suddenly we are up shit creek without a stopper!

We have lost Coco the Clown in goal but have replaced him with Manuel the Clown. But still, every time he makes a mistake, Basil Allardyce can at least hit him on the head with a spoon and explain to the press, "You'll have to forgive him. He's from Barcelona!"

Mind you,at the first hint of an error, Manuel can expect an abusive phone call from celebrity West Ham fan Russell Brand!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Captain Nolan still talking the talk!

Gone: Last season's captain Kevin Nolan has joined West Ham
You have to love the guy don't you? Hot on the heels of another inept personal and team performance, Captain Kev has come out and told the OS how we are targeting victory at Palace on Saturday.

Or are we? Sadly not. Nolan talks about digging people out and waving the finger in the dressing room, building up to a Scotty Churchill big finish. But when it comes to the crescendo, it all falls away as something of a damp squib.

Is Captain Kev predicting three points on Saturday? Maybe. But not definitely. One point would do apparently! Nolan says, "If we react in a positive manner on Saturday and go away and get something, whether it is a point or all three, we can't afford to give sloppy goals away."

So expect another conservative display. Doctor Evil and Smiling Kev seem to think we are still in the Premiership, their targets are so low! Kick an advertising board or two, grumble about mistakes at set pieces and late goals, then carry on like before.

Where is the bloody ambition? When will Nolan stop talking the talk and start walking the walk exactly?

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Tottenham's £17million support funding for new stadium is a disgrace!

What the hell? When libraries and swimming pools are being closed, when public sector workers' pensions are under attack, when life saving drugs are being withheld because they are too expensive, why in the name of YHWH is public money being pumped into support infrastructure for a football club's new stadium?

Were Arsenal helped in this way? I don't think so! The other London clubs should demand a judicial review instantly. Bloody Tottenham is where the riots started. Why pump good money after bad into that shithole? If Tottenham want a new stadium, they should stump up the funds for the stadium, the infrastructure, the whole shebang.

Somebody should put up a petition on the House of Commons website demanding this is discussed in Parliament. You only need 100,000 electronic signatures. The average gates at Arsenal, West Ham and Chelsea could amass that number comfortably.

Stop the public funding of Tottenham's stadium now!

Come Home Tevez!

After his latest blow out with Mancini, Tevez is as welcome at Unreal City as genital warts at an orgy. But where can he go? The transfer windows around Europe have slammed shut and so, other than a loan to a lower league club, Carlito may have no escape route. Unless we offer him one!

Bellamy shocked the football world when he rocked up at Cardiff City, so why shouldn't Tevez make a three month switch to a club that he claims he still holds dear to his heart? The wages wouldn't be an issue because Man City would pay them just to get rid of a player who will undermine Mancini at every opportunity.

A loan move to West Ham would surely suit everybody down to the ground. Sullivan and Gold have promised us Beckham and Neymar in the past; what a coup would it be if they were to deliver Tevez? And who knows, if he joins until January, Man City may prefer to extend the loan until the end of the season rather than see him join a rival.

KUMB in the rear

On September 22nd, I posted an article entitled "Nolan the obstacle to 4-4-2" and 6 days later KUMB have caught up and are asking "Is Kevin Nolan part of the problem?" Whilst Mr Dale may be delighted that KUMB is in the rear, I am shocked at how long it is taking for the penny to drop with those supposedly in the know about our floundering club.

It was only a few days ago that Daniel Nussbaum on KUMB told us that everything was hunky dory at the Boleyn and that we were on course for promotion. I slated that article then and look how stupid it reads now. Asking if Nolan is part of a problem, that apparently did not even exist 3 days ago, is a bigger volt face than that cnut Clegg made on tuition fees.

The truth, of course, is that yesterday's result simply confirmed what I have been saying for the last couple of weeks. We are playing poorly and Allardyce is, in truth, no closer than Grant and Zola to finding a way of successfully blending his ingredients into a half decent dish to set before the loyal fans.

McCartney is carrying the can for last night's defeat but the truth is that we lost because we had all the punch going forward of Walter the Wimp in the Beano. If you don't score, you struggle. How many goals did Grant's team score in 3 home games against Championship opposition? So much for the corner we have turned under Doctor Evil!

But well done to KUMB for catching up with The Games Gone Crazy. I wonder how many of this site's back threads they will regurgitate over the coming months of the season?

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

West Ham 0 Ipswich 1 - Hammers on course for promotion!

So there you have it! We played Cardiff at home and lost 1-0. We played Leeds and were lucky to draw 2-2 courtesy of an own goal. We played Pompey and needed a player sent off to win the game. We played Peterborough and needed a dubious penalty to steal three points.

So I was critical. I warned that no corner had been turned. I said that we lacked creativity. I warned that the team lacked shape, that Nolan was misfiring, that Cole wouldn't get us enough goals, that the squad was packed with has beens and nearly beens and will never ever bees! I said the failure to score at home would cost us promotion. I warned that we had beaten nobody yet. I told you that you were all buying a line, that we were in the top four because we had been blessed with an incredibly easy set of fixtures at the start of the season.  I told you that we would hit trouble when we met a decent team.

And what did you say in reply? Want to check back on the comments? We were simply taking time to gel. That we would get fitter and fitter under Allardyce. That we were on course for promotion. That I was a negative mug for daring to question the success that we had enjoyed so far.

Fitter? How many goals have we now conceded in the last 10 minutes of games? On course for promotion? When you can't put more than one goal in the opposition net when playing at home against 11 men? Turned a corner? Really?

And did I warn you about Bowyer before the kick off?

But never mind eh? The squad is brilliant. We are storming this division. Allardyce is a genius and a winner. Everything in the garden is coming up claret and blue and smelling of roses.

I hate to say I told you so but....

To all you "Don't panic" mugs, how about listening instead of gobbing off in future?

You heard it here first, Baldock starts!

Exactly as revealed by TGGC, Sam Badock makes his first start tonight, although it remains unclear if this is truly 4-4-2 or an adaptation of the 4-5-1, with Baldock pushed wide. My money, unfortunately, is on the latter.

The side reads:

Green, O'Brien, Tomkins, Faye, McCartney, Lansbury, Noble, Nolan, Bentley, Baldock, Cole.

The absence of Taylor through injury suggests to me that we will line up like this:


O'Brien, Tomkins, Faye, McCartney


Nolan     Lansbury

Bentley                      Baldock


Collison has escaped the clutches of his alien abductors and is on the bench where he is joined by Diop, Carew and Faubert. So no Reid. What happens if Tomkins pulls up lame?

Beware the Law of the Ex: Bullard returning home, and Bowyer is back too.

Two of football's bad boys may line up for Ipswich tonight against former employers West Ham. Bullard never really got a break at Upton Park, never kicking a ball in anger for the club. For a few seasons, he looked the real McCoy at Wigan and Fulham and even made it into the England squad, so it was unquestionably a serious error to let him go for nothing whilst still a kid. If he starts, we will have to take care not to concede free kicks in shooting range of goal.

Bowyer is a different kettle of shit. I never wanted him at the club in the first place after the incident involving Woodgate and an Asian, but strangely I was disappointed when he was shown the door by Zola. It seemed to me that Bowyer offered what was so obviously lacking at the time, and lacking still, goals from midfield. Want a reminder of Bowyer's importance, then think back to the League Cup semifinal last year, and indeed to the final against Arsenal when he was robbed of the most nailed on penalty I have ever seen not given in my life!

It would be a real choker if either Bullard or Bowyer were to score tonight and rob us of points. But the Law of the ex says...well these days that intimate videos will, sooner or later, be posted on the Internet. And who would be surprised if a video suddenly appeared with Bullard and Bowyer teaming up in the bedroom? Do we know yet why Jimmy was shown the door by Hull City?

Baldock Starts Tonight!

Word on the street has it that Little Sam will get the nod from Big Sam to start tonight's game against Ipswich. With fans growing restless about the lack of forward momentum and none of Carew, Cole nor Piquionne looking like goal machines, Allardyce is set to turn to the new Michael Owen to make the net bulge.

The big question is how he will be accommodated? Will he be played out wide like Sears and Hines? Let's hope not because the experience damaged those two. If it is 4-4-2, who plays alongside Baldock? If not Nolan, what happens to Captain Kev? Will it be a diamond, or will Doctor Evil demand that last year's true Player of the Year sheds some pounds over the course of 90 minutes by putting in a proper shift?

Will Bentley replace Faubert? Will Collison get a look in? Will Tomkins start? How about three centre backs with Taylor and O'Brien as wing backs? They are perfectly equipped for the role but can anybody see Allardyce being that inventive? I tell you what, that would be my way forward with a team reading:


Tomkins, Faye, Reid

O'Brien                                    Taylor

Bentley              Collison


Remember, this Ipswich team shipped seven at Peterborough. We should go out to murder them tonight.

Monday, 26 September 2011

QPR's Warnock Wins Preliminary on Points

Bristling with rightful indignation, Neil The Gob Warnock won a crucial preliminary bout with cruiser weight Armand "Dangerous" Traore on route to his title showdown with Joey "The Cnut" Barton yesterday. Enraged by Traore's dismissal for a "stupid" foul, Warnock promised to fine his young defender the "maximum amount".

The world now sits on the edge of its ringside seat, eagerly awaiting Barton's first dismissal and the Warnock response. Imagine for a moment Barton marching from the pitch to be confronted on the touchline by Warnock's contorted, insult yelling mush. Picture the twitch of the biceps. Picture the closing of the fist and the pulling back of the arm. Picture the moment of release as Warnock yells into Barton's face that he is a stupid fcuking cnut. And picture the impact of fist and gob, Warnock's teeth flying out to left and right, his lip exploding like an orange hit by a high velocity bullet!

Roll up, roll up and buy your ringside seats! For one night only! It's almost worth buying a QPR season ticket to be able to say you were there when Warnock finally got his comeuppence!

The Big Fat Allardyce West Ham Love In

Ah, Doctor Evil has suddenly come over all mushy. Never mind recent results - Uncle Sammy focuses on the four goals scored at Forest and Watford anyway - what matters is that the players have bonded socially and enjoy each other's company apparently!

True the team hasn't gelled, but no matter, the buzz word for this week is bonding. It's all beginning to sound like an Arts and Crafts National Childbirth Trust get together isn't it?

Sam the New Man reveals: "The players have built a very good dressing room very quickly, down to firstly the captain and then the rest of the players joining in and building a unity between them that's a good bond, so that they can communicate with each other on a day to day basis and enjoy their own company." How sweet!

It's so good to know that Captain Kev is focusing on bedding in the new arrivals rather than on his own performances on the pitch. Not scoring Kev? Never mind, have a chat with Henri about the problems he is having with his girlfriend will you? And explain to him how the girlies can be a bit tetchy at times. And I'm sure Matty would like a nice cup of  Earl Grey and some advice on home furnishings. And do share your recipe for Thai Green Curry with David. The boy is really struggling in the cooking department. Once that is sorted out, we might start looking at his finishing and crossing.

How they must be chattering in the dressing room! Can you believe the price of a loaf of bread? And butter! I remember when you could buy a pat for under a pound, now it is, what, £1.40! And did you see Scotty's haircut on Match of the Day? That is SOOOOOO last year!

Now then boys, in a circle, lotus positions, Ummmmm, Ummmmmm, Ummmmmmm. Feel those pelvic floors and deep breaths!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Nussbaum on KUMB Knocks Hammers Fans

I'm not a big fan of KUMB - it plays the party line 99.9% of the time - but  Daniel Nussbaum's latest article really takes the biscuit. According to the Allardyce brown noser, the fans don't understand what is going on and shouldn't be criticising the negativity displayed in playing 4-5-1 at home to little old Posh. We should marvel at the genius of Doctor Evil apparently because he is grinding out results and turning around a losing mentality.

Well, typically, this Daniel who sits in judgement overlooks a key fact. Losing mentality or not, Grant's team beat every Championship side they played last season - and with ease. No grinding out of results then, the psychologically destabilised Hammers scored goals for fun, hitting 11 in three homes games against teams in the second tier of English football. The way Nussbaum writes, you would think we were still in the Prem! Of course away games no longer instill us with terror  and we no longer live in dread of thumpings - we are playing crap teams!

Apparently Nussbaum is also party to a secret rule change. He claims, "big Sam is on course to lead the club to automatic promotion". Is that so? Funny, I missed the news that 4th place secured you promotion. A play off place yes, but a play off place is the minimum expectation isn't it?

Of course, Nussbaum the Toad also fails to comment on the fact that we have beaten nobody of note thus far and overlooks that the last 180 minutes of football have yielded just one goal - scored from a dubious penalty award. Nor does he recognise that the Pompey game apart, we have not scored more than a single goal in four home games this season, including that humiliating defeat at home to Aldershot.

Daniel may be happy but I am with the fans who are voicing concerns. Our start has been, at best, stuttering. I have seen nothing to suggest that we have truly turned a corner. Nussbaum may be right when he says we will get fitter and stronger as the season goes on, but he may equally be wrong. The season only really starts when we play the likes of Leicester, Southampton, Middlesborough, Derby and Brighton. Only then will we see if Allardyce has done a job or simply done a number on us.

The squad is strong enough to win the title but only if they are allowed to play to their potential. Thus far, at Upton Park, they have played in a corset of Sam's design. He needs to take off the whale bone restraints and let the quality players basque in the glory of goal making and scoring. Then, and only then, will the fans take Doctor Evil to their collective hearts.

Our loss is Newcastle's gain. Sacking Pardew is where it all went wrong!

The blame has been dished around. It was Eggert's fault. It was Brown's fault before him. It was Turds and Nani and Zola and Grant. Spector was to blame. Noble is to blame. The players couldn't be arsed. The tactics were wrong. Blah, blah, blah.

Well I have maintained all along that we shouldn't have sacked Pardew and one glance at the Premiership table shows you why. I know it is early doors. I know Newcastle may be in a false position. I know Pardew failed at Charlton and wears controversy better than he wears his underpants, but the guy knows how to buy players and organise a team to suit the players at his disposal.

Look at who he brought to West Ham. Green, Cole, Bowyer, Harewood, Zamora, Reo-Coker, Etherington, Ashton, Benayoun, Konchesky, Sheringham, Pantsil...

OK there were a few pups - Spector for one - but when you look at how little Pardew spent - except for Ashton - his transfer dealings were amazing. Harewood, Zamora, Reo-Coker, Etherington, Benayoun, Pantsil and Konchesky all turned a tidy profit for the club after Pardew left and Pards took a relegated team and produced a top 10 Prem team that very, very nearly won the FA Cup.

His dismissal was crass and absurdly premature. Yes we had made a bad start to the season but there was ample time to recover. It was Turds who took us on a losing run that all but condemned us to the drop.

Now look at Pardew at Newcastle. How little of the £40million collected for the sale of Carroll and Nolan has been spent? And yet they are riding high in the division playing the fast and direct football that Pardew fashioned from his charges at Upton Park. And remember, he has lost Barton too.

People are praising Allardyce because of the squad he has assembled. Compare it to the squad Pardew put together. How many of Allardyce's men will cut it in the Prem? Where Pardew bought potential, Doctor Evil has signed players who have already been found wanting in the top division. And remember too that Pardew was robbed of Cole, Carrick, Johnson and Defoe. Allardyce has only lost Parker following relegation from the top division.

True Pardew took two seasons to get up but that would be preferable if it meant building a team capable of surviving and prospering in the top division. Southampton are enjoying the benefits of his astute player recruitment now and so are the Magpies. It was a sad day when we sacked him!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Why have we bought Baldock exactly?

If there was ever a game that cried out for 4-4-2, with Baldock up top alongside a big man, it was today's game against Peterborough. We went into the game on the back of a sterile performance at Millwall but were still clear favourites to put Posh to the sword; not surprisingly, given Peterborough arrived with an away record of drawn one and lost two.

But Allardyce bottled it again, sticking with 4-3-3 which is, in truth, 4-5-1 because the wide men lack goal scoring punch. So, it comes down to Nolan and Cole to score from open play with the present formation and we all know that Carlton isn't going to bag the necessary 25 to 30 goals to make this system work. Nolan isn't firing, never mind scoring, so, as I said in midweek, we are going to struggle to score unless Baldock is drafted in and is effective.

So why the reluctance on Doctor Evil's part? Well, as I argued, it comes down to accommodating Nolan. If Baldock plays, we either play the diamond or Nolan is dropped - unless Captain Kev is played up front alongside Little Sam. And Allardyce is naturally reluctant to use Noble alone at the base of the diamond whilst he is still learning the role.

Faubert / Bentley on the right with Taylor on the left can only work with two goal scorers up front. Clubs are getting wise to us already and the Pompey game apart, we have failed to score more than once in any of our home games. That is a terrible record and will cost us promotion without question over the season. Allardyce needs to act and fast!

West Ham 1 Peterborough 0 Well that was pathetic!

I didn't see the game but a 1-0 win care of a dubious penalty is not good enough. The die hards will claim we haven't gelled yet but when are we going to gel exactly? Next season?

Nolan still isn't firing. Cole was replaced by Carew but there was no attempt to go 4-4-2 again. Faubert was pulled off again. Again we lacked invention and penetration.

Kid yourselves by looking at the table but, as I warned midweek, we have beaten nobody of calibre so far and I count Peterborough in that.

We don't appear to be promotion quality yet but if we were to sneak it, then God help us in the Prem if we keep playing like this!

Team Speculation - Much ado about nothing!

Still 4-5-1 / 4-3-3 with no change from the team that started against Millwall, except Faye replaces Tomkins who is presumably still feeling his injury.

Baldock, Carew, Tomkins and Bentley on the bench. Has Collison been abducted by aliens perhaps?

Fry Mocks QPR

It comes to something when an overweight intellectual homosexual intrudes a digit into the ocular orifice of  your association of football practitioners. Verbalising his cerebration on the One Show last night, Stephen Fry compared the reaction to promotion in Norwich to the muted response to winning the Championship in Shepherds Bush. In effect, Fry implied that QPR are not a proper football club because they do not possess an indigenous supporter platform. Is it simply that Fry doesn't like playing in the bush? Or does he have a point?

Not a bit of it according to I'm Tony, Fly Me. The venerable majority share holder of the Rs has fondly recalled watching Rangers in the early 1980s whilst living in London, delighting in the skills of the incomparable Stanley Don't Fly Me Bowles. The only trouble is, Bowles left QPR in 1979! Oops Tony, you really should check out the facts before you spout your PR bullshit!

Less QI and more Queer Street at QPR these days it seems! But with Barton tweeting Orwell, perhaps he should guest on Fry's intellectual banter fest. Then Fry would really understand what is meant by a poke in the eye!

Friday, 23 September 2011

What is it with Noble?

Why is it that Mark Noble divides so many West Ham fans? I don't think any of us believe he is a future England player now, but it comes to something when people claim he isn't good enough to play in the team in the Championship!

Some would have you believe that Noble is the cause of all our troubles. It's nothing to do with Zola apparently. Grant is to blame, but only in equal measure with Noble it seems. Nor are tactics to blame, and Parker wasn't at fault at all, nor was Behrami allegedly. The entire midfield unit has misfired for two seasons and a bit now entirely because of Mark Noble.

In fact, it was even Noble's fault when Noble didn't play! Remember when we lost 6 games in a row under Zola and plummeted towards relegation? Noble only played in one of those games. Remember the draw at Everton and the victories over Sunderland and Wigan that effectively kept us up? Noble played in all three games. And last season, remember that vital defeat at Wigan and the pathetic home draw against Blackburn? Noble missed both of those with injury. Oh and Noble played in the 3-1 victory over Liverpool and the 3-0 win over Stoke and the 0-0 draw at Tottenham and of course took the corner that saw Piquionne head home the winner against Spurs at Upton Park. Noble also played in the 0-0 draw at Stoke, the 2-1 victory in the League Cup at Sunderland, the 3-1 victory over Stoke in the League Cup, the draw at Wolves, the narrow 1-0 defeat at Arsenal (Faubert's fault we lost), the 2-0 victory over Wolves, the 2-2 draw at Everton, the FA Cup victories against Forest, Barnsley and Burnley, the 3-1 away win against Blackpool and set up ALL 3 second half goals in the 3-3 fight back against West Brom.

Incredibly, given Noble is the problem, the only games we won last season when Noble WASN'T in the team were when we beat Wigan, somewhat fortunately, at home, when we went to Craven Cottage and harvested our usual three points  despite being played off the park for 75% of the game (only Zola has lost a game against Fulham since 1963!) and when we thumped Man United's reserves 4-0 in the League Cup! Amazing.

And who triggered our revival in Zola's first season? Noble with that late, late penalty against Liverpool.

Shit, it is all so simple you wonder why Zola couldn't spot that Noble was the problem and why Grant kept him as a fixture in his team. Crikey, it does make you wonder too why Curbishley brought him into the side and kept him there! And why he was capped 18 times for England at U21 level, wearing the captain's armband. All these managers blind to the utter incompetence of the guy! And the biggest mystery of all is how we achieved the Great Escape with Noble in the team.

So why is Noble selected exactly? Because he is an East End hero apparently and good with the PR. Yet Zola picked him, even though he favoured Italian speakers according to Ilan - and Noble doesn't strike me as the bilingual type!

And now Allardyce has rocked up and Noble is an ever present under him. That's Sam Allardyce, the guy who is worried sick about what the fans think, the guy who simply does what he is told and picks players because the Chairmen say that it is important for PR. You know that Sam Allardyce. Self effacing, timid, unsure of his own mind...

People ask what Noble offers. Watch the tape of that 5-1 victory over Burnley. Watch the second half against West Brom. What Noble offers is a passing range that Parker and Behrami could never aspire to. And that is why Allardyce wants him at the hub of the team. Because Noble can go long with accuracy.

So now Noble is being remodelled for the second time in his career. He started as a tricky wide player but Pardew saw he lacked the pace for that role and beefed him up and pointed him towards a more combative central role. Curbishley saw his potential and made him a key member of the Great Escape team. We all remember that pass to Tevez against Bolton surely? Zola, idiot that he was, asked Noble to play on the right and left of midfield and undermined the kid's confidence. Last season he was rehabilitated but played alongside Parker in a poor team.

Doctor Evil sees Noble as the holding midfielder. He is the fourth West Ham manager in a row to regard Noble as a first choice player. Kid yourself that he is selected for PR purposes if you will. Maybe Zola would have done that. Maybe Grant. But Curbishley and Allardyce? Let's get real can we?

Under Allardyce, the Champions League is just around the corner!

What a sensational start Doctor Evil has made as manager. Picking up the chaos left behind by Zola and Grant, he has transformed the club from top to bottom in a matter of months, and built a squad of players equipped to storm through the Championship and challenge for the Champions League as soon as we have claimed our rightful place back in the Prem.

Just look at the squad!

Robert Green - a top international keeper so unlucky to have been born into a generation of top English keepers. Carson, Robinson, James, Hart, names all to stand alongside the greats of the past. How Green must wish it was only Shilton, Clemence and Parkes he had by way of competition as he would surely be heading towards 100 caps by now!

Joey O'Brien - Capped 3 times by the Republic of Ireland.

George McCartney - A £6 million man when sold to Sunderland. 34 caps for Northern Ireland.

Winston Reid - Capped 6 times by new Zealand! A former star of Danish football.

James Tomkins - F.E.C.

Mark Noble - Capped no fewer than 18 times by England at U21 level and a veteran of nearly 200 league appearances already.

Julien Faubert - French international. Just check out that YouTube video of how good he was before he joined us! This is the man who was wanted by Real Madrid!

Matty Taylor - Top Premeirship player who has spent his entire top division career so far at mighty Portsmouth and Bolton. Uncapped but God knows why!

Henri Lansbury - An Arsenal star of the future. Outstanding for Norwich last season, although they didn't try to sign him for this season in the Prem.

Carlton Cole - England international and goal machine.

Kevin Nolan - Robbed of Player of the Year last season when Parker was given the nod instead.

Jack Collison - Top international player with Wales.

Abduolaye Faye - No fewer than 12 caps for Senegal.

David Bentley - Sullivan and Gold said they wanted Beckham but they signed the next Beckham instead. Enough said!

Papa Diop - 32 international caps for Senegal!

Freddie Piqiounne - Like Faubert, capped by France!

Herita Ilunga - 9 caps for the Congo!

Guy Demel - 27 caps for the Ivory Coast!

Sam Baldock - the new Michael Owen with 35 goals in 105 league games in the bottom two divisions.

John Carew - 73 caps and 23 goals for Norway!

And there's others in reserve too!

The squad is now bristling with international quality players. Allardyce has cut out the dead wood and shipped out the journeymen, replacing them with a kaleidoscope of top international stars from around the globe.

True the team have not yet truly gelled but my God, when they do, Man City and Man Utd had better beware!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Nolan the obstacle to 4-4-2

With Doctor Evil apparently contemplating a switch to 4-4-2, the thorny issue of what to do with Captain Kev resurfaces. Just as Parker posed selection problems because managers refused to use him in his best role - as a holding midfielder instead of a midfield general - so Nolan has now emerged as our star player who potentially stands in the way of playing the best "shape".

To play 4-4-2, using Baldock up top alongside Cole, we need two wide men in midfield. That would presumably be Taylor on the left and either Faubert or Bentley on the right. So we come down to two midfield berths to fill. One of those has to be a holding midfielder which would come down to a straight fight between Noble and Diop, unless Allardyce fancies Collison in that role all of a sudden. So now there is only one place to fill and three players chasing it - Nolan, Lansbury and Collison.

Now, if you are looking for a mobile, box to box player with good vision and a great passing range, would that man be Nolan? There will be a Lansbury lobby based on his flair and a Collison lobby based on his energy and drive, but who would be in the Nolan camp? His strength is in and around the opposition box, it is not in covering acres of ground and pinging passes all over the park. Yes you want Nolan arriving onto pulled back crosses from the flank, poking through balls from the edge of the penalty area and poaching in and around the six yard box, but is his game really opening up the opposition defence from deeper positions? If so, he hasn't shown it since he donned the Claret & Blue.

It seems to me that we are still trying to blend ingredients that don't truly compliment each other. Playing Baldock logically means dropping Nolan, but Allardyce aint going to do that in a hurry. Play Nolan, and the situation cries out for 4-3-3 but, outside of set pieces, our wide men do not offer enough of a goal threat when that formation is played. How many of Taylor's 23 goals for Bolton came from open play? Bentley, meanwhile, has only scored 18 league goals in his entire career! And Faubert? Well he pushes Bentley close with a paltry 14.

Now, given Cole isn't exactly a goal machine, you start to wonder where the goals will come from when we set up 4-3-3 if Nolan is misfiring. Nolan's 12 in the Prem last season and 29 from 85 games for Newcastle overall show why you need him in the opposition penalty area, but will 4-4-2 allow this without leaving us horribly exposed when the opposition get the ball? You solve one problem by drafting Baldock into the team and you create another because then Nolan is either left out or withdrawn from the area where he is most effective.

Doctor Evil is on the horns of a dilemma. It will be intriguing to see how he tries to resolve it!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Reality Check Two - Look who West Ham have played so far!

People really are getting carried away. Why did we start last season so dreadfully? Well, loads of us predicted it when we saw the fixture list. Villa away, Bolton at home, Chelsea at home, Man Utd away, Stoke away, Tottenham at home. Where were the gimme points in that fixture list?

And what holds true for last season holds true in reverse this. Yes we are in a play off place but, given the easy start we have been given to the season, we should be top and pulling away. What decent sides have we played exactly? Cardiff. And what happened? We lost!

Now look at the rest. Yes we won at Watford but Watford are 7th from bottom. Yes we won at Forest but Forest are third from bottom. Yes we won at Doncaster but Doncaster are rock bottom. Yes we won at home to Portsmouth (courtesy of a sending off) but Pompey are 6th from bottom. Yes we drew at Millwall but Millwall are 9th from bottom. And yes we drew at home to Leeds but Leeds have lost their other two away games, shipping 6 goals in the process without reply.

The table might suggest a goodish start to the season but the truth is that, when tested, we have been found wanting. The big challenges - Southampton, Brighton, Leicester, Blackpool and Middlesborough - lie ahead and form lines suggest we might struggle.

Has Doctor Evil turned us around or is the table a chimera? With level headed posters talking as if Taylor is the English Messi, I think it is time to sound a warning. We have beaten NOBODY of calibre so far this season and we lost at home to the one team we have played in the top ten.

Time for another reality check guys!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Reality Check as Wolves Reserves Annihilate Millwall

Events in the West Midlands kind of put our result at the weekend into perspective. All those getting carried away with the "quality" of our squad should take careful note of how ordinary the Championship teams look against the Premiership's "reserves". Leeds are being thumped at home to the Man Utd also rans, Millwall are being taken apart by the stiffs of Wolves and Newcastle's reserves are drawing at Forest as I write.

If the understudies at Wolves find it so easy to wipe the floor with Millwall, why did we find it so hard to overcome them on Saturday?

A Broken Bentley?

So Doctor Evil reckons Bentley needs some tender loving care. He thinks that good management will turn the lad around. He believes that inside that very ordinary looking player is a super star bursting to get out. We will see.

The trouble is, Bentley has now been shown the door by two of the best man managers in the British game. If Wenger and Redknapp have both given up on him, might it not be time to recognise that Bentley is not as good as he thinks he is?

The lad has fallen a long way since he was heralded as the new David Beckham but there is plumbing the depths and plumbing the depths. How low have you sunk when you are second choice to Julian Faubert in the Championship for pity's sake?

We all hope Sam is right of course, but I reckon the odds must be pretty long on Bentley ever looking the real deal again. This hasn't been inspired by that miss against Millwall, it wasn't such a sitter because of the challenge anyway, it is because he has been in a trough for so long now. It may be that Bentley is just like Keane, a shot bolt farmed out to us by Redknapp in preference to having him sulking in the dressing room and depressing everybody.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Suggestions for New Stadium Name Requested

Katie Downs Glamour Girls, including Katie Downs, pictured posing in sexy underwear for the cameras at the launch of the second flagship store for Ann Summers in London.
The club have rushed out a statement denying rumours that the OS will be rebranded the Ann Summers Stadium after our move there. What a bloody shame! It would have been great to see all the female staff dressed in Ann Summers lingerie in the middle of winter, their faces claret and their extremities blue.

The name was obviously a joke but some newspapers mischievously ran with the story regardless. As if Sullivan and Gold would sanction such a tacky name for the new super arena! No, the Dildo Brothers are sure to go with a much classier name.

Any suggestions? How about Dildo Mansions? Or The Theatre of Wet Dreams? Or The Water Sports Arena? Or Cock Up Park?

Who knows, they might show some respect and name it the Bobby Moore Arena or the New Boleyn Ground. Yeah and pigs might fly!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Has Liverpool's Dalglish Joined the Sack Race?

Dear me. Tottenham 4 Liverpool 0. Two dismissals and 'Arry cheekily claims that he would have preferred playing eleven against eleven because Tottenham were so superior to the once mighty Liverpool anyway. Talk about rubbing salt into the wound!

How much has Dalglish spent since offloading the misfiring Torres? There were suggestions that this Liverpool team might just give Man Utd a run for their money this season but after back to back defeats at Stoke and Tottenham, the reality check must be hurting Liverpool fans like a DHSS invalidity benefit interview.

Much more of this and King Kenny will walk out again and the Scousers will start to pine for Woy!

QPR's Barton Twattering himself into trouble!

He can't help himself can he? Just as you could put your mortgage on Kieron Dyer claiming squatter's rights on the QPR treatment table, so it was a very safe bet that Barton would be in trouble with the footballing authorities before the end of September. His latest Twatter rant about Henry seems to have done the trick!

What's really odd about the guy is that he has a brain! I was very impressed when he appeared on 606 and fessed up to getting it wrong over allegations that Gervinho had taken a dive in the box, whilst his habit of quoting the likes of Orwell on his Twatter posts suggests the guy uses his knuckles to hold books as well as to drag along the ground.

However, there is very obviously a screw loose somewhere. Of course, his brother is a fair representation of the Barton "blood line" so to expect anything other than a schizophrenic is probably a tad optimistic. Warnock reckons he is looking forward to having a bust up with Joey. Not as much as West Ham fans are Neil! Warnock is long overdue a broken jaw and if he goes off on one at Barton, he is odds on to get what has been coming to him for years.

Meanwhile, Barton has courted controversy four or five times already this season. He has been sacked by one club and the odds on him enduring gobby Warnock for a full 9 months must be very slim indeed. Just wait until QPR lose and Warnock blames Barton! Ding ding, round - Warnock is on the canvass already!

Di Canio going for a Burton!

The Claret and Blue Klan repeatedly called for him to be appointed manager of West Ham, but it is beginning to look as if Paolo may be out of his depth at little old Swindon. Defeat at the mighty Burton Albion sees Di Canio's Swindon slip to 14th, eight points behind Eric's Morecombe. What do you think of it so far Swindon fans? Rubbish!

Poor Paolo is "Very sad today" because he doesn't have a centre forward. How many more games before he walks out in a sulk and heads back to Italy? He will be long gone by Christmas!

Well said Millwall's Kenny Jackett!

Remember Parker moaning a couple of seasons back that the anxiety of the Upton Park crowd was spreading to the players on the pitch, using it as an excuse for our sub standard performances? Well Jacket had the perfect riposte today when he said, "It's the players' responsibility to bring the crowd into play". Spot on sir!

Jackett spoke much more impressively than McClaren, who was more red faced than Brian Clough after two bottles of scotch in his post match interview, following the home defeat to Nigel Clough's 10 man Derby. "Shock" McClaren muttered. "Shock". How the hell was this idiot ever made England manager? O hang on. He was up against Allardyce and Curbishley wasn't he?

Saturday, 17 September 2011

QPR Beware!

QPR fans are probably feeling pretty chipper at the moment. Five games played, 7 points banked, 9th in the table, new owner, Barton scoring, Wright-Phillips...What could possibly go wrong?

Well check out recent history guys. Blackpool were doing rather well at this stage of last season and, perhaps more pertinently, Sheffield United were as good as safe with six games to play in The Great Escape season, but Warnock contrived to get them relegated.

It is a long, long season and there is plenty of time for things to go horribly wrong. The Rs were lucky to catch Everton early in the season when they traditionally underperform and Wolves were very, very poor today. My money is still on all three new boys to struggle despite their victories today. But that said, outside of the Manchester clubs, it is a very, very ordinary Premiership this season.

The Great Sack Race!

Wenger, Keen or McClaren, who will be first for the tin tack? We all know at West Ham how leaving a failing manager in charge for too long can do catastrophic damage - look at Zola - but it does seem remarkably early for supporters to be hitting the panic buttons.

Incredibly, Arsenal fans are using the relegation word. Despite Van Persie, Metzlesacker, Walcott, Ramsey, Song and company, the Gooners appear to think that relegation is a possibility. That seems like an absurd over reaction to me but realistically Champions League qualification is looking like a massive challenge already. Indeed, Arsenal fans should probably pray for a Tottenham victory over Liverpool tomorrow as the Reds seem better equipped for a sustained challenge for a top 4 place than 'Arry's mob.

But irrespective of all that, Wenger's bolt is increasingly looking shot. His dilly dallying in the transfer market, even when it was obvious that he was losing Nasri and Fabregas, was absurd. Arsenal weren't good enough last season so how, exactly, did he expect them to cope without two of their best players? When the signings belatedly came, they were second rate. Arteta is good but he is a poor man's Fabregas and Benayoun is not in the same league as Nasri. Metzelsacker is a reasonably good defender but he is not out of the top drawer and the new left back is certainly no world beater. Whisper it quietly but little old Stoke City have a better balanced - though less technically proficient - squad.

Does Wenger deserve to be sacked after all he has done for Arsenal? Well the brutal truth is that he has presided over a demise and whilst he can hardly be blamed for billionaires pumping money into Chelsea and Unreal City, he has displayed absurd stubbornness over the last three years, refusing to admit what was obvious to everybody else. In fact, since the departure of Henry, Wenger hasn't really had an answer to the big question of how Arsenal can succeed rather than simply sit at the top table. But will sacking Wenger change anything? How can it? Who would Arsenal appoint? O'Neill? Is he the right man to manage the egos at Arsenal? Moyes? Where is the evidence that he can win anything? George Graham? Tony Pulis? Sam Allardyce?

As for Keen, you have to feel for the guy. No matter what he does, a section of the Blackburn crowd will hate him. Despite today's victory, there are still Blackburn fans calling for his head. That's rough. Even Avram would have enjoyed a weekend of praise had we rammed four up the Arse!

And meanwhile, down in the Championship, nobody's friend Steve McLaren can't see the wood for the Forest. Defeat at home to 10 man Derby may be enough to see him jettisoned. And would anybody feel any sympathy for him? Not in a million years!

The wheels are off at Arsenal!

Tottenham fans must be loving it as things go from bad to worse for the Arse. They may have been unlucky not to pull off a superb victory in the Champions League in midweek, but their defence was at sixes and sevens and eights and fours again today, as they slumped to defeat at Blackburn.

Wenger, of course, was moaning about refereeing decisions again but the truth of the matter is that the decision making of the French whiner is to blame for Arsenal's plight. The fact that two of Blackburn's goals were scored by Arsenal men just shows the extent to which they are currently architects of their own demise. Mertesacker was supposed to be the man to plug the gaping holes in the Arsenal defence but the German is nothing special, and even Adams would struggle to lead these clowns to a clean sheet.

People have been warning Wenger for over 2 years now that he needed two solid centre backs, a quality keeper and a midfield enforcer; but he knew best. Well eight goals shipped at Man Utd and a further four at Blackburn mean that the cry of one nil to the Arsenal has an ironic ring to it now. Much more of this and Arsenal fans will start to pine for Bruce Rioch!

Millwall 0 West Ham 0 Firing blanks in a phoney war

Well that was a damp squib in every sense of the term. The corner count suggests that Millwall had the better of the game but the real chances fell to West Ham. Lansbury had two chances in the first half. Bentley missed a great opportunity to score, putting wide from six yards and had a good shot from outside the box, Faubert had a goal struck off for offside, Nolan headed tamely at Forde and Cole had a header saved. But the best chance came from the kickoff when the referee blew for the start whilst Forde was still checking his net with his back to the play! If that had gone in and we had claimed the goal, it would have kicked off big time!

The worrying thing was the lack of quality. This is a workmanlike Millwall team and we should have beaten them comfortably. The standard of crossing today was awful, from both sides, with Faubert and McCartney, in particular, showing all the direction and accuracy of a blind sniper after ten pints of the amber liquid. Piss poor.

Once again, Nolan was close to anonymous. He isn't firing and isn't linking the play as he should. Baldock came on and played in Faubert for the disallowed goal, which is promising, but the former Newcastle man is a big worry. Bentley's confidence won't have been helped by his miss either.

Was Taylor injured? He lacked his usual spark and was withdrawn early, allowing Bentley to join the fray. Lansbury was also disappointing but the decision to repeatedly go long may explain that. There's not much point in having a quality midfield if you lump the ball over their heads.

The injury to Tomkins is a big worry. Faye and Reid coped defensively against a distinctly mediocre Millwall team but they lack the quality on the ball to initiate attacks from the back. Fingers crossed that Tomkins has a minor groin strain and not something more debilitating.

All in all, a disappointing day on the pitch. Let's hope it remains all quiet on the streets after the game.

Reid dropped, Faye starts

Well that's a surprise and a bit disappointing because I was hoping Tomkins and Reid would be developed as a solid pair ready for a return to the Prem. Faubert starts so Bentley is still on the bench. That's not what he expected when he joined us from Spurs!

4-5-1 again. Baldock still benched. Let's hope the best footballing team wins - because that is West Ham - and that football is the winner at the end of a GAME instead of a war.

It's about points not cracked skulls you fools

What else is there to say about today's game? It is a match that most intelligent fans - and there are some of us on both sides of the divide - wish wasn't happening for fear that the idiots will once again tarnish the names of our clubs. The memory of the bloodbath at Upton Park is sadly too fresh in the mind and Green Street the movie is a pathetic clarion call to the morons.

The police have issued their warnings, as if that will make any difference, and the prisons are bulging at the seams anyway with this summer's rioters. Irrespective of what is said and done, some dicks will seek notoriety by putting their own selfish agendas above those of the clubs they purport to support. If one team or the other is losing heavily, some might even see the agendas merge, thinking that if they can create bovver, it may result in the opposition losing the points from the game. God help us!

But putting all that aside, this is just another match, a game with 3 crucial points at stake. There is the little matter of a team to pick. Does Allardyce stick with the personnel used against Pompey, or does he go for changes? Most of the team surely picks itself. Green, Tomkins, Reid, McCartney, Nolan, Lansbury, Taylor and Cole will all start if fit. O'Brien will probably get the nod at right back and some will argue that to question his place in the team is unfair given how well he has played, the Pompey game apart. So Doctor Evil is scratching his head over two positions. Does Faubert or Bentley start on the right? And who holds, Noble, Collison or Papa Diop?

The knives are being sharpened even as we speak. Let's hope it passes off without trouble and that we return home with the points!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Somebody drop a bomb, quick!

Opportunities like this don't come along every day of the week! Richard Keys, Andy Gray and Glen Roeder all in the Talk Bollocks studio at the same time! Where are al qaeda when you need them?

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Will Gold risk going to Millwall?

After his unhappy experience on the opening day of last season, when Villa fans attacked his Rolls, David Gold must be uneasy about the prospect of travelling to the New Den. He might try going incognito, but anything other than a white van with "Clean Me" scored into the filth stands out like a sore thumb down there. Given his health hasn't been the best over the last 12 months, the sensible thing would probably be to stay away.

What about the Gobby one? To be honest, he looks like a Millwall fan so if he hitched himself to the leash of a pit bull, he could probably slip through the crowd unnoticed. Karren Brady would have to be careful though. Half way down Zampa Road she might be mistaken for a pedigree bitch and find herself mounted by a staffordshire bull terrier.

The owners should probably set the example by staying away therefore.

The result matters on Saturday but more important even than the three points is that the game passes without any "bovver". What are the chances of that? Sadly they are slim thanks to Green Street and the paucity of brain cells shared between the two sets of supporters. The team may come home with the points but the fans may well ensure they are docked subsequently. And how stupid would we look if we missed promotion because of the idiotic behaviour of the yobbish element in our fan base?

O Savio, Savio, wherefore art thou Savio?

Nani leans over the balcony of his multi million pound villa in Brescia and laments,

O Savio, Savio, wherefore art thou Savio?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love
And I'll no longer be a Nani.
'Tis but thy name that is my enemy:
Thou art thyself, though not a Nsereko.
What's Nsereko? It is nor hand nor foot,
Nor arm nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O be some other name!
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet;
So Savio would, were he not Savio call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Savio, doff thy name,
and for thy name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.

Interpol are now searching for the Ugandan wonderkid (in the sense of we all wonder how Nani kidded us into buying him) after he has gone missing. Of course there is potentially a human tragedy here but the more you read about this twat, the more incredible it is that we shelled out good money to buy him. In Uganda they abduct kids from villages and draft them into the rebel army, but we paid £9million for ours and if given a gun, he would probably blow his own brains out! Bloody marvelous!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

TGGC Fantasy League Taking Shape!

Who is this Alex Thomas guy? He must know his stuff because he is heading up TGGC Fantasy League with a very dodgy sounding team name of The Mighty Lions FC. Do we have a Millwall fan leading the table? Fess up mate and explain the name!

And who is sitting on the shoulder of the Lions? Well is is none other than Avram's Avengers! Given yours truly apparently knows sweet FA about football, I seem to have hit quite lucky so far. If I only I hadn't swapped the captaincy back to Nolan from Lambert, I would now be heading the table!

And bugger me, who is coming up in my rear? None other than Stani Army, his points boosted by copying some of my key selections, the sly so and so! And he has Lambert as captain!

Meanwhile, Turds Out! has gone quiet because he is floundering in 29th with the appropriately named Zola's Zealots. Involve Zola and you are heading for disaster mate! 38 points, that's Gianfranco pathetic! Mind you Matt W clearly has a liking for the wooden spoon, propping up the entire table with a truly Zola and Grantesque 15 points!

Keep checking on your team guys and take advantage of the transfer system. How awful would it be if I ran out the eventual winner?

Window? What window? West Ham plan new signings!

Well we thought that it was it! The window had slammed shut and we all took a deep intake of breath thinking, bloody hell, we have a half decent squad all of a sudden. But now it seems, although we thought it was all over, it isn't yet!

Two trialists may be on the point of signing. One, David Carney, is a left back with Premiership experience with Blackpool. His arrival should ensure that Ilunga will never again fail to put in a shift for the team. Perhaps we could buy Rita a ticket to Senegal and tip off the pirates that there is a "top international footballer" sunbathing on the beach. He would be easy enough to catch because there's no bloody way he would run! Maybe they already have Savio because he has gone missing again!

How good is Carney? Well he can't be as bad as Ilunga and Spector. In fact, defensively, he can't be any worse than Bridge! I'd sign him and I suspect Doctor Evil will too.

The other is a Brazilian defensive midfielder who specialises in dead ball situations. Well Doctor Evil will fancy a bit of that and so perhaps we can expect Juca to be offered a contract too. And there's talk of a centre back arriving on loan too!

It's all happening isn't it? And we play Millwall at the weekend! This Championship malarkey is pretty good fun isn't it? Premiership? Who needs it?

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

An Unhappy Coincidence

So, in the week that the Westfield Shopping Complex (resplendent with all those wonderful glass shop windows) opens, West Ham travel to Millwall for the next much anticipated installment of the ritual bloodbath immortalised by Green Street. Anybody see the potential for a PR disaster here?

I wonder, is Hollywood working on the Green Street sequel even as we speak? Westfield Stratford City!

And all this in the week that tickets for the Paralympics went on sale. I'm not buying one, they're bound to cost an arm and a leg!

 I'll get my coat....

Arsenal's Lansbury Pricks Hammers Bubbles

Well Henri Lansbury may be at West Ham on loan but that hasn't stopped him signing a contract extension at the Arse. So much for all those hopes that we had secured "first option" to buy as part of the loan deal!

This news should make people sit up and think. Whilst it is great to have the likes of Lansbury and Bentley on loan, we don't want them hampering the development and progress of our own young players, in particular Jack Collison.

There appears some doubt as to whether Collison was rested after his exploits for Wales or dropped for the game with Pompey. Two things are certain. One he acquitted himself well against England and served notice that he can hold his own with the big boys. But two, he faces stiff competition if he is going to hold down a regular place at West Ham. And being good enough to play at international level but not good enough to be a regular for West Ham in the Championship is something of an oxymoron!

Collison only recently signed a contract extension himself. It would be a serious poke in his eye if his loyalty played second fiddle to Lansbury's one season break.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Pontificating Poll Admits Referee Bias Against West Ham

Well not West Ham per se but Poll reckons that referees show a bias to the bigger clubs when it comes to awarding penalties - and West Ham aren't big enough to be in receipt of the bastard in black favours! Indeed, analysis shows that we were on the wrong end of more decisive incorrect decisions than any other club in the Prem last season.

Why do referees show this bias? Well according to Poll, it is not deliberate, it is more a "subconscious" thing and a reluctance to award pens against the big boys unless they are "stone wall" because of the "fall out" from the media and the managers.

Poll postulates that no penalty should ever be awarded unless it is absolutely certain that it is a penalty, with "no doubt" in the referee's mind at all. That is an absurd position, of course, because it is a charter for cheats. How many times would defenders foul a striker slyly if the criteria for awarding a penalty was beyond ALL doubt? We see enough cheating at every corner anyway, without this load of Pollocks being introduced.

The answer is simple, of course - referral to a 4th official at a television monitor.

Mind you, Poll has no right to talk on this subject. I have met him and he boasted over drinks that he had once denied Arsenal a nailed on penalty because his brother in law was a "Gooner" and had upset him the day before the game. So there you have it from Poll's own mouth. Referees deliberately cheat. Now there's a surprise. Kenny Dalglish probably has an opinion on that after the game at Stoke!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

What is it with Piquionne and red cards?

I'm not convinced Piquionne is worth a place on our bench following the recruitment of Carew and Baldock but you have to say that the guy is bloody unlucky when it comes to red cards. Last season he was shown red for celebrating that goal at Everton and the one he collected on Saturday was just as absurd. Yes there was a marginal coming together but there was no malice, no punch, hardly even a nudge. If the FA don't rescind that card then the appeals system is a joke!

You have to wonder what Piquionne has done to upset the referees union. Fly tipped in their front garden perhaps?

Has the Nolan Problem replaced the Parker Problem?

Oh the irony! Regular readers of this blog will know that I was no fan of Parker and, before he joined us, a great advocate of Kevin Nolan but, already, people are offering excuses for Nolan's subdued or downright poor performances. Something seems amiss with the former Newcastle talisman and, just as with Parker, his inclusion in the team is presenting problems with "shape".

The Parker Problem centred on Scotty's inability to play the midfield general role effectively and the failure of successive managers to use him in the holding role to which he was best suited. The problem presented by Nolan is that he now appears to be more of a second striker than an out and out midfielder, forcing Dooctor Evil to look for the extra insurance of a 5 man midfield for fear that we will be cut to ribbons if Nolan is included as one of four.

That was fair enough when we didn't have a striking pair that would work together but now, following the arrival of Baldock and the resurgence of Cole, we suddenly have a strike force that could fire us to promotion and beyond. None of us know how good the kid is, but we never will know if he isn't played and one sure fire way of blunting a young striker is to leave him on the bench. As Cole shows, confidence is king with strikers and Baldock arrived on the back of a goal glutted start to the season. Leave him brooding too long on the bench and he will snatch at chances when he gets on the pitch and anxiety and tension will suffocate his potential.

But if you want a holding midfielder, a creative general in midfield and two players naturally suited to playing on the flanks, how can you accommodate Nolan, Cole and Baldock? The most "natural" 4 in midfield, if looking at what they can bring to the "midfield" team, would appear to be Diop as the holding midfielder, Taylor on the left, Faubert or Bentley on the right, and Lansbury in the middle - and interestingly Lansbury is scoring goals, the job Nolan did for Newcastle.

It may seem an odd point to be making when we are smashing in 4 goals a game and some will say, if it aint broke, don't fix it, but something still isn't right. Pompey scored three and Forest would have scored three too if their strikers were better. This is the Championship, thank God, so we are not coming up against real quality but, looking ahead, Premiership teams would have a field day against us. Maybe introducing Diop at the hub of the 5 man midfield is the answer. In which case Baldock already looks surplus to requirements.

One thing's for sure, Nolan is looking like a shadow of the player who led Newcastle so superbly over the last two seasons and, already, his inclusion may be presenting problems to team shape. Sam needs to sort his captain out, and quickly.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Liverpool Cheated As Clattenbung Plays Another Blinder!

Remember the penalty given against Upson in the Man Utd game at Upton Park last season? Well there was an action replay today but Clattenbung apparently had his money on Stoke so the outcome was no penalty. I reckon he was right with that one, but he was hopelessly wrong with his two other penalty calls, awarding a dodgy one to Stoke which won them the game, and denying Liverpool a nailed on penalty just to uneven things up still further.

Somebody might check on unusual betting patterns on the match in Clattenbung's home town of Gosforth. It really does happen too often with this clown.

Allardyce Signals Introduction of Papa Diop

So Doctor Evil has just paved the way for the introduction of Papa Doc by criticising the midfield for Portsmouth's second goal, pulling no punches as he said, "We were disappointed we conceded the second on the break as the midfield didn't do their job and we got caught out." Now given Noble is the holding midfielder, I suspect we can take this as a big hint that the steel of Diop will be added to the team's backbone for the next game.

And if Noble loses that holding midfielder role, what hope has he of finding a place in the team with Lansbury, Collison, Nolan, Faubert, Taylor and Bentley chasing the other midfield positions? I very much suspect that Markie will then find himself out in the cold, so much so that he may be shipped out in January.

Nailing the Boleyn Hoodoo

Mark Noble
Well it was close - far too close - but we won at home for the first time in 6 months and the hope has to be that we will now feel more at home the next time we run out at the Boleyn. Critics will rightly say that to ship three goals at home to Portsmouth is unsatisfactory, especially when we had a one man advantage for a chunk of the game, but a win is a win and we are developing a rather nice habit of scoring 4 goals in a game! If we keep doing that, we will win a lot more games than we lose or draw!

I haven't seen the game or the goals as yet but the defence has to be a worry. OK one of the Pompey goals was a penalty and another was apparently a bit flukey, but the reports I have read suggest that Green came to our rescue a few times. We all know Noble isn't a holding midfielder so perhaps he remains a weak link in the team, even though he netted his penalty.

One player who is certainly proving his critics wrong is Carlton Cole, who scored yet again. His confidence must be sky high at the moment and, just as importantly, opposing defenders will be terrified of the prospect of coming up against him. The team selection was conservative given all the new faces, with only Lansbury getting a start. Not sure what Collison will make of that if he was fit. He acquitted himself well for Wales against England on Tuesday but he isn't good enough to start for West Ham, even after the defection of Parker. He might be knocking on Doctor Evil's door on Monday!

A win is a win and we are sitting pretty in fourth spot in the table, with Leicester 5 points adrift of us. But problems remain to be sorted!

West Ham are Juventus in reverse.

Juventus began what they hope will be a brighter era for the club by opening a new stadium with a drawn friendly against Notts County. - 3
Interesting to read that Juve have just opened their OWN new stadium, a move designed to financially strengthen the club because, in Italy, clubs rent rather than own stadiums. This should open a few Claret and Blue tinted eyes. I have warned all along that if a football club doesn't own its own stadium, it doesn't own anything of substance so, if you hit stormy waters on or off the pitch, you are in big trouble.

Sullivan and Gold don't give a damn about this of course. These two West Ham fans like Parker, may be in it for the money. Sell the Boleyn and pocket the dosh, then sell the club for double what they paid for it to any money laundering scumbag who happens to be in the market at the time. Cushty.

There's another lesson to be gleaned from the new Juve stadium as well. It has a capacity of 41,000 with the front seats only seven metres from the pitch in order to provide an intimidating atmosphere, standing in stark contrast to the old ground which was often half full and where players complained that the crowd's distance from the pitch created a subdued atmosphere. If Juve ever come to play a friendly in the OS it will be a case of back to the future for them then!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Parker admits Redknapp tapped him up?

I know I promised to let it go, but how can you when Parker comes out and says that he was not prepared to join anybody other than Spurs - even if it cost West Ham money in transfer fees - and hints that Redknapp tapped him up? This is the Claret and Blue legend you have all idolised!

Of course, Parker is diplomatic enough not to bad mouth West Ham - his Dad and Uncle hadn't been sacked by the club after all - and was cute enough not to slap in a transfer request the day after we were relegated; why should he when the window didn't close until the end of August? He also didn't appear at White Hart Lane in a Tottenham shirt before the transfer was completed - although sitting in the stand next to Redknapp junior watching Chelsea play Spurs is surely the next best thing! Nor did he do an on pitch interview after the last game of the season saying he wanted a transfer - but how could he, given he didn't even play in the last game of the season?

So, Parker has been diplomatic, but the facts remain. He signed that extended contract, securing a reported wage rise of £23,000 per week, and a year later reneged on it. He has moved to hated rivals Spurs. He put in a transfer request because we were relegated. He invited bids at the end of last season by saying he wanted to play in the Premiership. And now he has admitted that he was not willing to talk to any clubs other than Spurs. Yes he wanted to keep his children in their London schools but that, apparently, didn't just rule out Fenerbache and Stoke but also QPR. Odd that.

I quote Parker: "I think Tony Pulis and Neil Warnock have come out and said they wanted to sign me, but like I said, once I knew Spurs were interested it was the place I wanted to come."

As for the relationship with 'Arry, Parker is wonderfully frank, telling Sky Sports, "I think it always helps when you feel the manager wants you, and over the last few years Harry has stated that he likes me as a player." And Jamie is a best mate of course!

I really, really, really hope that Wolves beat Spurs with a goal scored from a free kick conceded by Parker.

What now for Mark Noble?

Noble is a figure who, along with Carlton Cole, divides West Ham fans more than any other. 98% of the Claret and Blue Klan were Parker acolytes, 70% still claim Green is an international keeper and 100% will now accept that Ilunga should be put out of our misery. But Noble is another matter.

How good or useless is the guy. Some are convinced that Noble is hopeless. He is too slow. He loses possession too often. He gives away too many free kicks. He has stamina problems and can't see out a game.

Others claim Parker and Noble were a bad fit, clashing rather than complimenting when paired together. Noble's fans will point to the fact that he came through the Academy, that he captained the England U21s and will highlight his passing range. Parker got the credit for our comeback at West Brom last season but it was Noble who had a hand in all three goals.

Noble is undoubtedly slow, that's why Pardew remodeled him from a tricky wide player to a center midfielder. And Noble carries too much upper body muscle. He found the gym in his early twenties and bulked up like a rugby player - and that, in my opinion, was a mistake. And his goals have dried up.

Allardyce has been using him as the holding midfielder but Diop has now arrived and we suddenly have an abundance of midfielders. Will Noble find a place in the starting line up? He must be sweating on the possibility of being dropped.

I have defended Noble against his harshest critics and hope that he may now prosper following the departure of Parker but this is a huge season for him. If he loses his place early doors, the future for Noble looks bleak. It is time for him to impose himself, to stamp his imprint on the team. There has been talk of potential for too long, Noble must now deliver or go elsewhere.