Friday, 31 May 2013

Reading's Kebe to West Ham?

Really? Jack Collison will break his nose every time Kebe bends down in the dressing room to pull up his socks!

I prefer Vaz Te personally.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

The return of the Bentley boy from Spurs?

David Bentley anybody? Thought not. But with bloggers desperate for news, the former Arsenal, Norwich, Blackburn, Tottenham and West Ham dud has been linked with a return to the club.

If ever there was a guy who flattered to deceive, Bentley is the man! Even his name has pretensions of grandeur. Most fans of West Ham would agree that we have had enough of Bentley Boys at the club thank you very much!

Mind you, Spurs may decide to keep Bentley as a natural replacement for Bale following his departure to Real Madrid!

Insane business at West Ham?

Has anybody ever heard of Ludovic Sane? It sounds like a made up name to me but according to one tenuous report, we are chasing the defender come holding midfielder come butt of all sorts of punning newspaper headlines.

Sane business or otherwise? Anybody got any idea? How good is he on Championship Manager? I understand from my son that Joe Cole ends up playing for Ipswich reserves next season according to the game and that Martinez replaces Moyes at Everton! Those guys do know the game!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Martinez to Everton? Who cares, it's the badge that counts!

So, unless he backs out as he backed out when offered the Villa job, Martinez is destined to be the next manager of Everton FC. It is, at the very least, an interesting appointment.

I wonder, when was the last time that a manager, who had just overseen relegation, given the chance to take over a top 6 team? You have to wonder what, exactly, the criteria is at Everton.

OK Martinez has done what Moyes couldn't do, he has won a trophy, but season after season, Wigan have dug themselves into a hole in the Prem and have needed a Great Escape to remain in the division. And when they have gone on a winning run, they have proved that they have had the quality to do such much better all along.

So the evidence suggests that Martinez struggles to motivate his players when the chips aren't down. Where, exactly, was the Wigan team that took Everton apart in the FA Cup Quarter Final at Goodison through the Premiership season? And where was the team that matched up to and outplayed Man City in the Cup Final when Wigan had to compete in the Prem?

Martinez is a nice guy and plays the game in the right way, but he doesn't get results. But Everton fans don't care, they are too preoccupied with the badge to worry about who manages their club next season!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Joe Cole in Dreamland!

I've heard it all now! Joe Cole was never really good enough even in his prime, but now he has set himself a target of being in England's squad for Brazil!

First of all, England have to qualify, and that's no forgone conclusion, and then there's the little matter of Cole being too old, too slow and too injury prone.

Remember the good old days when players like Hoddle and Waddle released singles? Perhaps JC could cover that old Supertramp classic...

Dreamer, you're nothing but a dreamer,
Can you put your hands in your head
Oh no!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Watford's Zola admits he deserved the tin tack at West Ham

Good on GianFredo. He had the opportunity to criticise Gold and Sullivan and gloat about our subsequent relegation under Avram Grant, but he resisted, confessing that he lacked the experience necessary and therefore that the decision to remove him was right.

Of course, some West Ham fans will still argue that Zola could have gained that experience whilst still managing the club - and let's face it, he couldn't have done worse than finish bottom in the following season aka Grant.  Meanwhile, Stevie Bibs and Cones has done pretty well in his first season at West Brom, adding fuel to the fire stoked by those opposed to the pair's sacking.

The trouble is, we deserved to go down the season before under Zola and Clarke. Our points total that season was a pathetic 35, just two more than Grant's team achieved, and the lowest points total any team has stayed up with in the Prem. Zola and Clarke inherited a top half of the table team and in two seasons turned that team into a shambles.

And that must be a concern for Watford and West Brom fans. Will the pair suffer second season syndrome next year? Some managers - like Pardew it seems - are great when the wind is in a team's sails, but they are found wanting when conditions turn against them.

Zola thinks he is a better manager because of his sabbatical, but it may well be that the lend lease strategy employed by the Pozzos has simply given him a much better hand than has been dealt to any other manager in the division; in which case, third place may actually be an underachievement.

Should Udinese Calcio win the Play Off final, nobody will judge Zola too harshly if the Calabroni come straight back down, but should Holloway's charges triumph, the lovable Italian will be under huge pressure next year and it will be interesting then to see how he copes.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

West Ham must stop signing players from Arsenal!

Dear God, if reports are right on the net, we have been paying 40k per week for Marouane Chamakh  to do next to nothing for the last 5 months. What a monumental waste of dosh!

And it's not as if the guy is an isolated case. Arsenal FC stitch us up almost every time we go shopping in North London!

The most famous example is, of course, Ljungberg who cost us close on ten million in transfer fees, wages and a buy out of his contract, in return for which he played 28 games and scored two goals. Three of those appearances were as a sub and he was withdrawn in no fewer than 11 of his 25 starts. Step forward for a picture Freddie, and say "Cheese"!

Then there was John Radford. He didn't cost a lot, it is true, but as a centre forward, he scored precisely no goals in 30 appearances for the club, making Carlton Cole look prolific!

And talking forwards, we mustn't forget Davor Suker who, to be fair, scored three times more than Radford but who completed even less games than Ljungberg, starting just 8 games and finishing only 4 of them. Clearly Davor was not a fan of the Mastermind Mantra, "I've started so I'll finish!"

Mind you, Suker looks like a veritable workhorse alongside that donkey, Aliadiere, or Ali's Derriere! He didn't finish a single game, nor did he score a single goal, the perfect combination of Radford and Suker it seems. In fact, a mirror of Chamakh! For the record Jeremie started just one game and came on as a sub 7 times.

Stewart Robson was going to be a future England captain when we signed him for a bank busting 700k but Arsenal knew he had a deep seated injury, Four seasons and 84 appearances later, he left for Coventry on a free.

Lansbury was another "future England star" but he also fell well short of expectations with his most memorable performance being in goal! He only made 13 starts in all competitions and was withdrawn in four of those. His goal tally? One.

To be fair, we got one good season out of Ian Wright, Wright, Wright and his 9 goals for the club are more than the combined total of Ljungberg, Chamakh, Aliadiere, Suker and Radford. It was fun having Wrighty around but, although he won't go down in the Arsenal's Anals of the club, he doesn't deserve a place in the annals either!

Which brings us to Nigel Winterburn who was a trier and who, although slowing up badly by the time Arsenal released him, did start 89 times in Claret and Blue and managed to score more than Chamakh, Aliadiere and Radford combined - ONE!

Even when we got a good one, Leon Britton, we let him go without him playing a single game!

Then there was, of course, the exception to the rule and so the man I managed to forget, Hartson. 33 goals from 72 starts, and a 4 million profit when we sold him on to Wimbledon. He made the rest worthwhile, unless you name is Eyal Berkovic!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Rat Arrives And Starts Talking Retirement!

Welcome to Boleyn Mansions Residential Home for the Elderly and Infirm! No sooner has he signed than the Rat is talking of ending his career at West Ham!

Speaking from deep inside a cosy armchair, Rat expressed disappointment about the views from the Green Street ground -it's about as green as Bucharest he moaned - but was enthusiastic about the possibility of trips into Essex, Suffolk and Kent.

Sipping on his hot chocolate and nibbling on a Hob Nob the Romanian smiled broadly when explaining how compatriot Florin Răducioiu had told him of the joys of shopping in Harrods on a Saturday afternoon and also that the club do not expect much in return for huge wages.

With the Rat having already arrived and laid claim to an arm chair close to a radiator, Ambrossini is scheduled to be next through the door, just as soon as the club have purchased him a top of the range mobility scooter.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Is Carroll's injury a clever ploy to put off rival bids?

It's all very convenient isn't it? With Newcastle rumoured to be interested in reclaiming their former centre forward and suggestions that his performance against Reading might force up his price, Carroll has suddenly been struck down with an injury that will supposedly keep him out for four months. Who will buy him on that basis? How convenient.

But if the rumours are true, we should be very careful. Carroll is injury prone and, remembering Ashton, we really don't want to splash out big money on a striker carrying an unresolved injury. If we strike a deal with Liverpool, it should be on the basis of only paying when Carroll is fit.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Sad Exit For Carlton Cole

OK, he wasn't Carlos Tevez nor Paolo Di Canio, but Carlton Cole always gave 100% for West Ham. At one stage he was linked with an unlikely £12m move to Inter Milan and, of course, he was called up for England - and not many West Ham players have worn the three lions in recent years.

A forward who can't score isn't ideal, but Carlton led the line with courage, commitment and skill. All too often he was left isolated, but he did his best to keep three defenders occupied single handedly, running the channels, dropping deep and chasing down every single over hit lost cause.

Only rarely did he complain and when we were relegated, he took a 50% pay cut and shunned the opportunity to prolong his Premiership career by moving to Stoke City.

His exclusion from the party against Reading was both sad and shameful. Carlton deserved better and should not have been ushered out of the door without the opportunity of a proper farewell. He has worn the Claret and Blue in more than 240 games and scored 59 goals.

His high point was probably the play off final goal against Blackpool, which people forget was just as important as Vaz Te's.  But his match winning performance against Chelsea this season will live long in the memory, as will his cracking goals against Wigan and Newcastle under Zola. And, of course there was that Cup thumping of Man Utd when he and Spector shared our four goals between them.

Cole has played under Pardew, Curbishley, Zola, Grant and Allardyce. None of them really fancied him - though Zola loved him - but Carlton outstayed them all except Doctor Evil.

He will be missed, especially by barn doors on Green Street who saw him as their benefactor! Along with them, I would like to thank Carlton for the memories.

UKIP's Nigel Farage to protest after West Ham sign Romanian Rat?

It's bad enough that 21.3m Romanians and 7.476m Bulgarians are planning to flood into Britain to claim benefits in January of next year, without the nations' bloody rodents joining them. Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP and the bookmaker's favourite to be Primeminister in two year's time will, no doubt, be outraged by the arrival of a Romanian Rat at West Ham.

A source close to Farage raged: "This is a disgrace and proves what we have been saying all along. Our research shows that every man, woman and child in Romania and Bulgaria have already booked their flights on Wizz, Tarom & Blue Air and will be signing on in a Benefit Office near you by the end of January 2014; and we all know that rats abandon sinking ships."

He continued: "Tell me, what are the disease carrying rodents going to live on when all the humans have left? It doesn't take a genius to work out that they will be following their meal tickets to the UK and living off our benefit system too does it?"

"This Romanian Rat is the tip of an iceberg. And it's no good the Tories promising a referendum on Europe in two year's time because all these immigrants will be entitled to the vote, and when they are over here, they are not going to vote against their own meal ticket are they?"

He concluded: "What is poor George McCartney going to do now? He is a model professional and an international footballer. Why are we allowing this Romanian Rat to come over here and take George's job? It's an outrage!"

Monday, 20 May 2013

Creamed Rice Beyond Sell By Date To Sign For West Ham?

Will we never learn? How many clapped out has beens looking for a soft landing into retirement have we signed? This season alone, we have taken on Diarra and Joe Cole. Now, we are being linked with Ambrosia Creamed Rice, a very good player in his day, but a player who has never been tempted to the Premier League...until now.

So why the sudden enthusiasm for a stint in England? Well no other team is going to meet his wage demands!

Meanwhile, the Romanian invasion is about to begin, just as UKIP predicted, with the arrival of Roland Rat.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Nolan brings back memories of September 2005!

I may be wrong, but I think you have to go back to September 2005 for the last time a player in a West Ham shirt scored a hat-trick.

The opposition were Villa, and the hero that day was none other than Marlon Harewood. We won that one 4-0 and before we get carried away by tenth place with 46 points under Allardyce, it might be sensible to remember that we ended 2005-06 by taking Liverpool to penalties in the best Cup Final ever and finished ninth in the table on 55 points.

And we all know what happened the following season, don't we?

West Ham 4 Reading 2 - What a difference a year makes!

Twelve months ago, Reading stormed into Upton Park and took us apart. We were shocking, they were brilliant, and we were consigned to the play offs - a miracle combination of results apart - as Reading chased down the title.

Twelve months on, and Reading arrived with Adkins in charge instead of McDermott and already down. But for 15 minutes at the start of the game they looked the better side, and for the first 20 minutes of the second half, it was like a replay of last season. 2-0 became 2-2 in the blink of an eye and until Noble released Nolan with a brilliant pass, setting up an equally brilliant finish, there was only going to be one winner - and it wasn't West Ham!

But with the arrival of Collison in place of Cole, order returned. The Noble pass for Nolan was, as I said, brilliant and Nolan's control and finish were sublime. Then Maiga came alive! For the first time since October he crossed the ball onto the head of a West Ham player, and Captain Kev did the rest. 4-2. Job done. Game over. Tenth place secured. And poor McCarthy's reputation was in tatters despite a brilliant save from Nolan in the first half. Today showed why you don't want a kid in goal!

The victory was pleasing but flagged up all sorts of concerns for next season. If Carroll doesn't stay, we have problems. Defensively, we struggled when Le Fondre arrived, begging the questions why the hell he doesn't start games for Reading and how the hell we will cope against quality strikers next season. Vaz Te was in and out, but mostly out. Cole looked old and on the wane. Jarvis didn't start. Jussi is getting very old.

There's lots of work to be done!

Player Ratings: Jussi 6; Demel 6, Collins 6, Reid 6, O'Brien 5; Noble 6, Diame 6; Vaz Te 6, Nolan 8, Cole 5; Carroll 8 Subs: Collison 6, Maiga 6, Taylor (Came on!)

Half TimeWest Ham 2 Reading 0 - Carroll the Giant dominates Reading's Lilliputians

Well, considering our dire record against Reading, that first 45 was pretty damned impressive. Yes Reading might have scored in our typically dodgy opening 15 minutes, but for the last 20 minutes, we have utterly dominated and it could be 4-0.

McCarthy has pulled off a brilliant save from Nolan, after a superb header back from Carroll, but was dreadfully at fault for our first. Credit to Carroll for charging down the keeper's attempted clearance and to Nolan for his calm finish, but Reading are like suicide bombers every time they have the ball in and around their own penalty box. The Met will shoot them if they try to get on the Underground after the game!

Vaz Te's goal was finished well, and followed more excellent work from Carroll who controlled a deep cross from Diame and set up RVT superbly.

Vaz Te has also hit the post, Diame has forced a save from McCarthy and Cole has sliced two chances wide. We're looking good for 10th at the moment!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

On loan star in shock exit from West Ham

Oh my God. Fans the length and breadth of Green Street and the Barking Road were shaking their heads in bewilderment and dismay today after manager Sam Allardyce revealed that top transfer target Emanuel Pogatetz will not be at the club next season.

After a string of startling performances in a West Ham shirt, Pogatetz will unquestionably be missed. Indeed, some fans were planning a campaign to get the number 6 shirt reinstated in recognition of the brilliance of the most influential Austrian since Hitler.

Quite how Allardyce proposes filling the void left by Pogatetz remains to be seen. However, my 83 year old Mum would perhaps be the closest to a like for like replacement!

Friday, 17 May 2013

England call up proves Carroll can achieve his ambitions at West Ham but...

In one sense, Carroll's call up by Woy is good news because it proves that he can achieve his ambitions at West Ham.

However, the timing is unfortunate. If he is picked, and plays a starring role, other clubs may suddenly look to sign him and his price may be jacked up to a level that we cannot afford.

Meanwhile, Carroll may think he is worth every penny of his 100k per week wages and refuse to negotiate a more realistic contract.

Will he be with us next season? We need to sort it out quickly because we don't want to go into August with only Maiga and Carlton as options!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Leeds set for Bournemouth, Wigan, QPR, Reading, Doncaster and Brentford or Yeovil

No wonder GFH Capital did a deal on season tickets given the profile of the Championship next season. Apart from Leeds themselves and Leicester, Nottingham Forest, Birmingham, Derby, Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday, the division has suddenly taken on a distinctly mediocre look.

Home fixtures against the likes of Bournemouth, Wigan and Brentford or Yeovil are not going to set the pulses racing are they? It is true that Doncaster offer the prospect of another derby game, but Hull City are a more mouth watering prospect than little Donny aren't they? And as for Brentford or Yeovil, well Leeds might as well be back in the old Third Division for the glam factor in those fixtures.

The big London clubs are all in the Prem, meaning that a trip to the nation's capital will only involve games against relative minnows QPR, Millwall, Charlton and either Palace or Watford. And even amongst the "big 7", outside of Yorkshire, Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday would not trigger much excitement for rival fans.

Still, Leeds fans can look forward to a few days at the seaside - with games at Bournemouth, Blackpool, Wigan and Brighton. And if Yeovil win their play off final, it would be a relatively short pilgrimage down to Cornwall to pay homage to the Warnock sitting beneath his Bohdi tree.

Of course, fans of Ipswich, Middlesbrough, Blackburn and Bolton will object that they belong in the same bracket as Leeds, Leicester and Nottingham Forest, but outside of their fan bases, everybody knows that's not so.

The marketing men have a big job in selling the Championship next season because, apart from the parochial conflicts centered on Yorkshire and the Midlands, it all looks very much like a low budget cast.

Apologies, accidentally posted on wrong site.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Could Scotty Parker really be on his way to QPR from Spurs?

How the mighty have fallen. Butterfingers Green thought he was too good for West Ham, or worth more than we were prepared to pay him, and his Premiership career has predictably slipped through his fingers.

Mark Hughes quickly understood Green's limitations, and brought in Cesar, but despite limited appearances, the signing of Green was still a key factor in QPR's relegation. The Hopeless Hoops never recovered from the opening day thrashing - with Green at fault for at least two of the goals - and England's 666 still had time to concede one of the most laughable goals scored in the Prem all season, with Calamity Green flapping pathetically a the ball from behind his own goal line. Green was a key factor in our relegation and he carried his "form" over to QPR. That's three clubs that Rob has been relegated with now - and that's not coincidence!

Now, it seems, Scotty Parker may be about to join him in the Championship. Thank God Allardyce is a strong manager, otherwise the Davids might have courted popularity by bringing the "West Ham Legend" back to the club - but Allardyce will have none of that. He quickly understood that Parker had no appetite for the Championship and that he was hell bent on joining his beloved Spurs. And he appreciated the guy's limitations too! Well Parker got what he wanted and, now, Karma may be about to kick him in the bollocks too!

Mind you, it is hard to understand how QPR can afford him, given the Financial Fair Play rules. And it is equally hard to understand what Redknapp thinks Parker will bring to the table. As our wardrobe, Diop, showed, you don't need a great holding midfielder in the Championship, just somebody who stands watch in front of the centre backs. Parker, as we well know, offers nothing offensively - how many goals and assists for Spurs? - and so would be an expensive option for the "stopper" role in midfield.

But he's a mate of 'Arry's isn't he?

Has Upson retired yet? Perhaps Redknapp could sign him too! What about Spector for left back? And bring Faubert back from France! Come on 'Arry, give us all a laugh at QPR's expense. The gRRRRs have already savoured Ben Haim, Ferdinand, Dyer and Zamora, in addition to Green, so go the whole hog and assemble an entire team from West Ham rejects!

Monday, 13 May 2013

West Ham should target West Brom's Odemwingie

QPR's loss could be our gain. The guy is not getting any younger but he knows where the goal is, and his pace would really add something to the team.

West Brom fans won't ever accept him back and Bibs and Cones Stevie has all but conceded that he will leave. There's a bargain basement deal to be done here if we move quickly!

Allardyce Unfair to Collins &, Heaven Forfend, Nolan

I'm not surprised he was upset by the team's performance, but Allardyce was harsh on Collins and Nolan when he said only one player did himself justice - Jussi.

I agree that Jussi was superb and just about everybody else was a shower of shite, but Collins saved as many goals as the Finn, throwing himself in front of shot after shot, and Nolan was involved in most of our, all too few, moves of substance.

It was a very bad day at the office collectively but if I was Collins, in particular, I would feel pissed off reading Allardyce's comments. 

Match report via this link:

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Everton 2 West Ham 0 - Shameful Cowering Before Moyes's Maruaders

Bloody hell, I left a lido in 80 degree temperatures to watch that! And I think half the team stayed in the bloody pool!

Collins and Jussi apart, we were a disgrace. Collins prevented three certain goals with fantastic blocks, and the Finnish keeper saved at least four efforts worthy of a goal. The midfield was non existent and, time and again, it was two men against eleven. And it was a cruel twist of fate that saw a Collins deflection provide Everton with their second goal.

OK Joe Cole came on and forced a save from Howard. OK Nolan forced a better save in the first 45. And OK, Demel came to life and burst into the Everton box at one moment. Oh yes, and Carroll thumped a header against the base of the post when Jarvis, at last, got in a cross. So we could have scored four. But Everton could have scored ten!

Diame was withdrawn at half time, 44 minutes too late. Collison quickly followed, and boy he was crap. And O'Neil was called off far, far, far too late. Jarvis stayed on, but only because we were only allowed three subs.

Mind you, the decision to go 4-4-2 for the second 45 was perverse. Everton over ran us in midfield for the first 45, so where was the sense in giving them even more space? Only in the last ten minutes did we find any kind of footing in the game, and that's because Everton had eased off, withdrawing the superb Miralles and playing out time. Even Fatty Dowd got into the party mood, generously allowing Collins to stay on the pitch when he could so easily have seen a second yellow and declining to book Nolan for a frustrated trip from behind.

Moyes is probably in our dressing room now, thanking the players for giving him such a superb Goodison send off. Let's face it, Everton have scored more goals against us than any other team in the Prem, and have taken more points off us too, so we were never going to spoil the party were we?

Player Ratings: Jussi 10; Demel 4, Collins 10, Reid 5, O'Brien 4; O'Neil 1, Diame 1, Nolan 6; Collison 2, Carroll 5, Jarvis 4 Subs Carlton Cole 3, Joe Cole 6, Noble 4

Half Time Everton 1 West Ham 0 - Only half the team has shown up!

So why does it take us 15 minutes to switch on? In fact, in the case of today's game, why did it take us 30 minutes to switch on?

It seems to me that apart from Collins (who has been superb), Reid, O'Brien, Jussi and Nolan, the team think they are on holiday. Collison has been dire. O'Neil has been worse than dire. Jarvis has been direst of all. And Diame has been diarrhoea! And Demel? He's just been dozy. Carroll has had next to no service so it's unfair to judge him.

Allardyce will be laying in to them at half time and surely we will see a change or two. Otherwise Everton will run out three or four goal winners.

And yet, despite only half the team showing up, it could be 1-1, because Howard made a superb save to stop Captain Kev scoring after a lovely ball from O''Brien.

Collins has made three fantastic blocks and Jussi two excellent saves, one at point blank range with his bollocks - and he still jumped up in case of a follow up!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Will the Moyes send off help West Ham at Everton?

It's a bit of a strange one isn't it? Moyes is off, his bags are packed, and he is heading up the road to disliked rivals Manchester United, but he remains in charge of Everton for our game and the one that follows. Will the fans give him a great send off, or will dissenting voices make themselves heard?

The wisdom seems to be that the fans will express their love and gratitude to a man who has failed to deliver a single trophy in his entire time at the club, but should Everton start poorly, the worms may turn. The first 15 minutes will be absolutely crucial because no teams have conceded more goals in the first quarter of an hour of games than either Everton or West Ham - which is a strange stat given both Moyes and Allardyce insist on disciplined approaches from their teams.

Even if there is a positive party atmosphere, that may help. Take away the intensity, and Everton may prove as soft as their nickname suggests; and Allardyce would love nothing better than to put one over on the man who has, in his mind alone, unfairly got the Manchester United job ahead of him. Bloody hell, why else did Sam the Man delay signing that contract extension at West Ham? Fergie is a mate and so would have confided in him. Now there's only the Manchester City and Real Madrid jobs to tempt Allardyce away from the Boleyn!

There's little to speculate about in terms of team selection. Allardyce now knows his first team, and the only issues are probably whether Collison starts ahead of Vaz Te and if Noble may get the nod over O'Neil. I expect the same team that started against Newcastle, however.

We are, of course, absolutely safe now but the incentive of a top ten finish remains. Lose this one, and that's unlikely; win or draw and it's a real possibility. Everton, however, are a bogey team and we have a terrible habit of shooting ourselves in the arse at Goodison Park. Can we forget Mido's missed penalty or Piquionne's red card? Mind you, it's no better at Upton Park: the Green and Gabbidon mix up anybody?

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Congratulations to Reid, condolences to O'Brien, Diame & Jussi

No quibbles from me about the winner, the home game against QPR apart, Reid has been superb all season. Avram won't be remembered too fondly but he was in charge when Reid was signed - albeit he did his best to destroy him by playing him at right back against Villa on his debut. Great credit is also due to Allardyce, who took hold of the rough diamond and polished it superbly whilst ensuring that the experience of Faye and Collins were there to guide the boy. After Bale, and everybody is after Bale this season, Reid has to be the most improved player in the division.

But he is not the only hero this season. With no Scotty Parker hogging the headlines unfairly, the whole team have pulled together, with Allardyce, to his immense credit, producing a team much stronger than the sum of its parts.

For me, O'Brien deserves a special mention. He is a limited player, but my God he tries his hardest and has rarely let the team down. True, when against the best - Walcott and Bale - he has been exposed but, considering he has been covering at left back, he has coped manfully and his never say die spirit has been infectious.

Diame too has been consistently impressive. OK, there was that nonsense period where it looked as if he was trying to engineer a move to Spurs or Arsenal, but that never stopped Scotty being Hammer of the Year did it?

And finally, Old Father Time Jussi should be acknowledged. He has made more saves than any other keeper in the Prem this season and the new found confidence of the defence is down to knowing what the guy behind them is going to do - which was never the case when Robert Please Don't Cross the Ball Green was flapping inside his six yard box.

But, and I will say this through gritted teeth, the real Hammer of the Year was Allardyce. The games at Stoke, Newcastle, Liverpool and Southampton showed what he has brought to the West Ham table. It aint pretty at times but it bloody works!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

West Ham Should Buy McCarthy

(Article submitted by Stani)

As the season draws to a close and we begin to look to next season, the goalkeeping position is one we will be looking to strengthen over the summer with Jussi Jasskelainen now in the twilight of his career.

Yesterday I read an article linking us with Brad Guzan, who without doubt is a good goalkeeper. It would be an improvement if we did get him, but how much of an improvement? Though the American international has been keeping Shay Given out of the Aston Villa side, Villa have struggled this season and shipped in a few goals on more than one occasion. Obviously the goalkeeper cannot be entirely blamed for this, but Guzan has always come across – to coin a phrase from an ex-West Ham 'keeper, David James – as a bit camerish to me.

My choice? Well there's one young 'keeper that has really caught my eye in the few appearances he has made this season, and that is Reading's Alex McCarthy. Tall, brave, agile, alert, and just 23 years of age. In my view he will be worth more than £15 million before too long and will be the one to take over from Joe Hart as England's number one. I am astonished he hasn’t already been snapped up by a bigger club, and leaves me quite anxious that we could be missing out on a future superstar.

Manager Sam Allardyce should act now. We have already missed out on another promising young 'keeper in Jack Butland, who signed for Stoke in the January window for a bargain £3.5 million whilst we stood there twiddling our thumbs.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Desperate Newcastle boss Pardew needs to check rule book!

Pull your pants up Pardew and stop talking out of your arse! Was the Cisse effort over the line? I've no bloody idea. I watched it in real time and thought it was, but then watched replays and freeze frames and was convinced it wasn't. Or it may have been. But then again it wasn't. But perhaps on reflection it could have been. But no, no it wasn't. Or maybe...

But after the game, Pardew was ranting that the linesman should have given the goal. Why? Because Pardew "thought it was in, at the time". Time to check the rules of football because I have never seen the sub clause, "A goal should be awarded when the manager of a team thinks, at the time, that the ball has crossed the line". That was presumably introduced at the insistence of Ferguson!

I don't have the exact wording in front of me, but it has something to do with "the whole of the ball being over the whole of the line" as Jimmy Hill used to delight in telling Brian Moore, and for an assistant to award a goal, he has to be convinced that has happened. Even with TV replays, nobody can be sure either way, so had the goal been awarded, it would have been, as they say, "a travesty".

I know times are desperate at Newscastle but Pants Down shouldn't be making himself look even more ridiculous than he already does!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Half Time West Ham 0 Newcastle 0 - A Tale of Tiny Margins

Well was Cisse's shot over the line? If not, it was bloody close, but Reid deserves huge credit for the clearance. Most would have given it up, and the few who bothered to chase it back wouldn't have had the speed to catch it up, nor the skill to kick it clear - so even if it was just over, Reid deserves the luck.

At the other end, we had a "goal" struck off after a late, late, late offside flag. I think the linesman was dozing and had no idea which, if any, of the three West Ham players chasing down the ball was offside. Carroll's cross was excellent and Nolan finished in typical fashion. Perhaps justice was done.

But justice wasn't done when Fatty Dowd failed to book Jonas for feigning injury to relieve a bout of pressure from West Ham. The arrogance he showed when getting to his feet as soon as O'Neil put the ball out was shameful. But more fool O'Neil. There's so much feigning these days that players should only stop the game if they hear the crunch of a bone snapping.

Newcastle were the better side in the first half but tension may cut in with Wigan having equalised at West Brom. A point would suit Pardew's posers so they may be tempted to consolidate, and that may give us the footing we have struggled to get in the game.

Yeovil can blitz Sheffield United at Huish Park

Shafting United fans shouldn't get too cocky after their narrow first leg victory over Yeovil. It is true that the Glovers would have liked an away goal, but I have been on the terraces at enough games at the old Huish to know what an intimidating atmosphere can be generated by the cider swilling yokels.

There will be memories of epic cup victories from the past - not least because of the Blunted Blades' kit - and the Shafting United players will need nerves of steel if they are to progress to Wembley.

My money is on a 3-1 Yeovil victory in the second leg!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Would ex Swansea star Scott Sinclair fit the bill at Upton Park?

I've always rated the guy, even when he was a Chelsea player out on loan in the lower divisions. He has barely had a kick all season at Unreal City and Mancini has hinted that he will be allowed to leave this summer, and I would love to see him at Upton Park.

At the moment, a return to Swansea is being mooted, but like Carroll, Scott should take note of the old adage, "Never go back".

A return to London might suit the GB Olympian and Allardyce might just be the man to prise out the guy's undoubted potential.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Does Carroll want to relegate Newcastle?

Given he is being strongly linked with a move to Newcastle in the summer, Andy Carroll will find himself in a very strange position if, as expected, he is selected to lead the line at the weekend. If he scores the winner, and pushes Newcastle closer to the relegation trap door, then he could either scupper a dream move back to his home town club, or condemn himself to another season in the Championship.

Mind you, a confused Carroll is still a more exciting striking prospect than a committed Carlton!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Official Site Ducks the Big Question!

Fascinating interview with Trevor Morley except for the failure to ask the big question!

You would have thought the interviewer might at least have had a stab at it! Favourite player when you were at West Ham? Favourite chess piece? West Ham fans still talk about your special relationship with Ian Bishop, any particularly fond memories?

Still, Newcastle are coming to town so perhaps the Official Site is saving the big question for Pants Down Pardew!

West Ham's best signing of the summer!

I don't care who else we bring in, the  two year extension to Reid's contract is fantastic news. How this boy has progressed since that nightmare debut at Aston Villa when Avram played him as a right back! Under Allardyce, the lad has barely put a foot wrong and his pace and speed of thought have been key factors in our successful return to the Prem.

Great start, now let's see who else we retain and bring in!