June 30, 2007
This is only single-sourced, but it is from the same person who told me Calum Davenport was about to sign for us in January, so I passi ton for what it is worth. It seems Eggert Magnusson has lodged a sizeable bid with Spurs to ecure Jermain Defoe’s services. He knows Defoe is nervous about returning to West Ham because of the likely reaction from a section of the fans, but Magnusson is hoping it will be clear to him that he will be fourth in the running for a first team place at Spurs now they have signed Darren Bent.
I remain of the view that Defoe is a class player who would be a brilliant acquisition for us. He scored plenty of goals for Spurs last season despite not being in the team some of the time. He would provide a good contrast to Dean Ashton and ought to play well off him. I hope this rumour has some truth to it.
June 25, 2007
The rumours about Marlon going to Man City are surely wide of the mark. If Sven Goran Ericksson becomes the new Man City manager I suspect he will go for players he once chose for England. Marlon is not a ‘Sven’ type of player. Remember, he was on fire the season before last and didn’t get so much as a call-up from Sven.
I know tabloid journalists have space to fill in these barren months, but let the rumours at least have some semblance of truth!
June 24, 2007
Things seem to have gone rather quiet on the transfer front since the Bent snub. He’s signing for Tottenham tomorrow. I’d love to think we had a chance of signing Benni McCarthy but I suspect he will be setting his sights at Stamford Bridge. Eggert Magnusson has made clear we are after a pacy player and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Defoe move was reactivated. Yossi seems to be on his way to Liverpool and we are said to have tabled a £10 million bid for Shaun Wright Phillips. On his day he is a world beater but there are too may days when he is not on his day. Wayne Bridge and Nickhy Shorey are rumoured to be left back signings. Bridge is beyond his best so I hope we stick to Shorey for that position. In terms of players leaving, Marlon seems to be attracting the most interest and it looks as if we will get around £4 million for him. Reo Coker must be disappointed that a big club hasn’t come in for him and we are surely right to hold out for £8-10 million for him.
We’ll see what the coming week has in store…
June 20, 2007
I’ve expressed great scepticism about West Ham signing Craig Bellamy in several recent posts. Alan Shearer has now revealed exactly what kind of a troublemaker he can be. This is what Mr Shearer had to say today, warning Sam Allardyce not take him back to St James’s Park…..
Has no-one learned their lesson about signing him? If only Rafa Benitez had rung me I would have told him exactly what he was like. I was having a few days away in France with my former Newcastle team-mates Gary Speed and Steve Harper and the wives and I picked up the newspaper. I was having a fantastic day. But when I read Bellamy for Newcastle I thought I would definitely have to have another drink. I had several. I hope there’s nothing in it.
June 17, 2007
Yet another big feature on Mark Noble, this time in the Sunday Times HERE.
June 16, 2007
I’ve never heard of the Daily Mirror’s Brian Reade, and in many ways I am quite thankful. Today he’s written a ridiculous column which seeks to blame West Ham for football’s ills. Read it HERE if you must. Here’s an extract…
West Ham chairman Eggert Magnusson says he’s doing nothing wrong apart from trying to take on the top teams. But he is. Forget morals if you will and look at economics. When Viduka was offered £75,000 a week by West Ham he used it as a bargaining tool with Newcastle, who were forced to pick up an extra £2.4m tab on his contract. Not that all players snub the Icelandic sugar-daddy, who is rapidly earning the nickname of Father Christmas. Look at Lucas Neill. He could have been playing in a European Cup Final with Liverpool last month, but chose a relegation fight for £60,000 a week. Think of the knock-on effect when agents thump these new numbers into their calculators. Andy Johnson and Craig Bellamy have reputedly been offered £90,000 a week by the East End Santa.
They might not take it but they may use it to win even heftier salaries. Salaries their agents will use as starting points when other clients’ deals are up for renewal. West Ham’s obscene rewriting of salary bands won’t affect the Big Four. They will still draw men who want medals as well as cash. But it will dramatically hit the teams below them who need a form of sanity in the wage market to operate. When the extra TV billions poured into the Premiership there was talk about significant cuts in ticket prices. A few clubs have, the majority haven’t. Instead they’ve decided the best way to stay viable is to hand the new wealth to agents and players. Magnusson’s Law says that the only guaranteed way of keeping your head in the Premiership’s deep trough is to bribe players with outrageous offers. And the likes of Newcastle have been forced to comply. But at what price?
The trouble is he is completely wrong. Magnusson has a £55,000 a week wage cap. The papers all seem to act, as Tony Blair might put it, in a herd. If one of them mentions Lucas Neill is on £70,000 a week, the rest follow like sheep. These feral beasts of the sports pages must be held to account. Brian Reade, hang your head in shame.
June 15, 2007
From the gossip website Holy Moly…
Charlton striker Darren Bent struggled to hit the net last season, but his aim was rather better in the toilet cubicle of the Hammersmith Apollo, where he pinged a beauty of a lazy lob (on) right into the chattering anus of Charley from this year’s ‘Big Brother’.
Charley is fast turning into the Paul Ince of the BB house; cocky, self-opinionated and quite prepared to play the race card when it suits her. She has about the same amount of friends as… well, her only real ‘celeb’ friend (if you don’t count her cousin Kieran Richardson – and you really shouldn’t!), being that bright shining star Louise Beckham, who is famous for… nepotism. Well I never.