West Ham All Stars Tonight!

September 24, 2007

Tonight West Ham United face Reading as the First Round of the Premier League All Stars tournament continues at the All Stars Arena in North Greenwich. Premier League All Stars is a star-studded pro-celebrity charity event screened live on Sky One every night this week. The event is endorsed by all 20 clubs in the top division and is a part of the Premier League’s Creating Chances charity initiative. The prize fund of £300,000 will be distributed among the clubs’ nominated charities.

Each All Stars squad is made up Legends, Celebrities and fans. Ex-players representing West Ham tonight in a very strong side are Tony Cottee, Frank McAvennie, John Moncur and Allen McKnight. Also playing in Claret and Blue are a trio of Brit hardman actors – Danny Dyer, Geoff Bell and Tamer Hassan, while the fans lucky enough to be playing for their club are Julian Hilaire, civil servant and brother of ex- Palace winger Vince, Matthew Crook, an account manager for a publishing company and student Chris Whitelock.

Free tickets are still available for tonight’s game and throughout the rest of the tournament which reaches its climax on Sunday with the Grand Finals night. Details are available from skyone.co.uk/allstars or from the ticket hotline 0871 987 1234.

Tickets subject to availability.


Newcastle Match Report

September 24, 2007

From an attacking viewpoint Cole and Ashton combined rather well yesterday, but defensively we were a shambles, with Lucas Neill and Anton Ferdinand the main culprits. Overall I thought we played reasonably well, but with Etherington playing his vanishing act again and the lack of a right winger to get crosses in Cole and Ashton did well to fashion as many chances as they did. I don’t think anyone should get too depressed over this defeat, but I am beginning to wonder if James Collins might be a better partner for Upson than Anton. Your views?

Green 7 Couldn’t be blamed for the goals
Neill 5 All over the place for two of the goals
McCartney 7 Some good attacking play
Upson 7 Fairly solid
Ferdinand 5 To blame for the opening goal
Noble 8 Again, man of the match
Mullins 7 Solid
Etherington 5 Anonymous
Bowyer 7 Should have had a goal
Cole 7 Great in the air
Ashton 7 Really getting back into form
Curbishley 7 Subs used well, but perhaps Freddie should have been on from the start to give more width

If Mourinho Needs Advice…

September 20, 2007

A friend of mine (a Spurs supporter) has just phoned me from inside Stamford Bridge. He’s there for a non football related business meeting. Hilariously, Job Centre Plus are holding a seminar at Stamford Bridge this morning too. I wonder if the ‘special one’ will show up.

Tommy Repka Lashes Out

September 19, 2007

This is what happened immediately after Tomas Repka was sent off playing for Sparta Prague at the weekend. He doesn’t change, does he?!

Eggert to Take a Back Seat

September 18, 2007

So what do we make of the announcement in the last hour that Eggert Magnussen is to take a back seat and become non executive chairman? The club’s owner, Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson will now be taking a more executive, hands on role.

We could of course take the club’s statement at face value, but I have to say that in my experience there is usually more to things like this than meet the eye. I hope there hasn’t been a falling out as Eggert Magnussen has really become a fans’ favourite in a very short time. And there aren’t many chairmen that can say that. Indeed, maybe that’s the problem. Maybe he has become too popular for the owner’s liking. We’ll see.

UPDATE: This is on an Icelandic website from Eggert M…

“When we took over the club last year, it was never my intention to take care of the daily running of the club, 24 hours a day. However, I took that on to begin with. A lot has been going on in recent months but we thought this was the right time for us to make these changes. In fact I needed some time to breathe. I have been very busy and now I can concentrate on other things relating to the future vision of the club.”

We are 4th!

September 15, 2007

By my reckoning our emphatic victory this afternoon has put as at fourth in the table, behind Man U, Arsenal and Liverpool. Our goal difference of +5 is the third best in the league and we are one of only two clubs still to concede an away goal. And even better than that – if we win our game in hand by two clear goals we’d go top. The downside is that the game in hand is against Liverpool – away.

I suspect most of us would have settled for three wins, one draw and one defeat from the first five games. It didn’t look like that after the Man City game though, did it?

I wasn’t at the game this afternoon so i will wait to see the reports, but surely the scoreline speaks for itself.

What a blow, though, for Craig Bellamy to have to be subbed. From the BBC live ticker it seemed as though Carlton Cole did reasonably well, and had a hand in two of the goals. And isn’t it great to dee Dean Ashton get off the mark?

All in all, I shall be able to enjoy may pasta tonight, now!

Middlesbrough Preview

September 15, 2007

We have a good home record against Middlesbrough – 5 wins out of the last 5 meetings I believe. And we need nothing less than a victory today. Craig Bellamy is on fire and Dean Ashton will be hingry for his first league goal in eighteen months. I don’t expect many changes in the team line-up. Scott Parker is available for selection but it would surely be wise to put him on the bench and give him a run-out in the last 15 minutes. It may be that Lucas Neill is rested after an exhausting flight back from Australia, but probably not. Will Solano get a runout on the right after his trip back from South America? If so, it looks like Lee Bowyer would be the man to be sacrificed. here’s the team I expect Alan Curbishley to pick…

Robert Green
Anton Ferdinand
Matthew Upson
George McCartney
Lucas Neill
Mark Noble
Hayden Mullins
Nolberto Solano
Matthew Etherington
Craig Bellamy
Dean Ashton

The subs bench is perhaps even more difficult to pick than the first team. Here’s my punt…

Richard Wright
Jonathan Spector
Scott Parker
Henri Camara
Bobby Zamora

We shouldn’t underestimate Middlesbrough. On the face of it they have a pretty unimpressive side, but Mido seems to be on fire. They are the sort of team who can be rubbish one week and score a hatful the next (remind you of anyone?). I still think they will be near the bottom of the table at the end of the season. If we win today we’re in the Top Ten, which is where we’ve got to aim to stay.

I am so annoyed I am still on holiday and will miss this game. Think of me following it on my laptop this afternoon as I retire to my hotel room for ninety minutes of tension. Anyone know if I can get commentary on it anywhere?