Reader Poll: Transfer Targets & Player Ratings

December 31, 2007

As 2008 beckons and the transfer window opens I’ve opened a new poll, in which you’re asked…

For your player ratings so far this season
To pick your West Ham first eleven
Which positions in the squad need strengthening
Who you think Curbishley should sell in January
Who you think he should buy
For your inside leg measurement (just my little joke!)

Click HERE to take part in the poll. I’ll post the results in a few days.

Another reminder to watch ESPN Classics at 11pm tonight when they’ll be showing two more programmes in their West Ham Happy Endings series.



December 30, 2007

It’s the first of ESPN’s West Ham HAPPY ENDINGS tonight at 11pm, where last year’s final game of the season is analysed by various pundits, including little old moi. I think it’s on Sky Channel 442.

Credit to our Defenders

December 30, 2007

Did you know that outside the Big Four of Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool we have the best defensive record in the Premier League?

Man U 11
Liverpool 12
Chelsea 15
Arsenal 16
West Ham 17
Portsmouth 20
Everton 22
Man C 22
Blackburn 27
Newcastle 31
Tottenham 36
Reading 43

However, in the goalscoring charts we are way behind in 14th place, having only scored 25 goals.

Snatch of the Day

December 29, 2007

Just watched the coverage of our match on Match of the Day. I suppose it was predictable but the whole analysis centred on Man U having had an off day, rather than the fact that at times we played them off the park. That buffoon Lawrenson couldn’t even bring himself to say anything about our performance and wittered on about how Sir Alex would just treat it as an off day and move on to the next match. Nothing about us winning despite going a goal down and two players going off injured. No word about Cole or Solano. And this is what we pay our licence fee for. If you’re not one of the big four you just don’t count. Now I know what it is to be a Liberal Democrat!

Man U Match Report: Proud to be a Hammer

December 29, 2007

Somehow it was just meant to be. I purposely got to the stadium early to soak up the earlt atmosphere. It’s easy for me to say now, but as I sat down I felt it might be our day. I didn’t say it to anyone for fear of jinxing us.

The reception for Carlos Tevez was astonishing. I suspect I wasn’t alone in having a tear in my eye. The whole crowd rose as one and sang ‘One Carlos Tevez’.

At first sight the team selection looked odd, with Deano being dropped to the bench. But with five across midfield Man U just couldn’t cope.

From the word go we got stuck in and harried them.Parker, Mullins and Noble were not just putting in some tough tackles but being creative too.

Our play in the first twenty minutes made us look like the top four team, rather than Man U. We should have scored when Mullins hit the crossbar and Noble hit the ball over the bar with the follow up. A few minutes later Man U broke down the left and Ronaldo scored with a powerful header. Previous West Ham teams might have folded there and then but not this one. For the rest of the half we played well, dug in and created chances. Carlton Cole held up the ball superbly and Nobby was inventive down the right. We also had two good penalty shouts.

The second half saw Man U come into the game more and when they were awarded a penalty after a Spector handball it seemed it might well be Game Over. Not so. Robert Green seemed to put Ronaldo off and he skewed the ball wide. That was the turning point. I screamed at Curbishley to put on Deano and take off Ljungberg. He duly obliged and I turned to my mate and said ‘we’re going to win this’. He didn’t look convinced!

Meanwhile Anton had replaced the injured Scott Parker and John Pantsil came on for Nobby, who also was injured.

Anton didn’t look rusty at all and made some telling headers before popping up at a Mark Noble set piece to grab the equaliser. And theb, what do you know but Matthew Upson headed a winner seven minutes from time from another Mark Noble free kick special. We went delirious.

John Pantsil was tremendous in the last ten minutes, tackling, harrying, running the ball to the corner flag. At last he’s been given the chance to show what he can do.

So a fabulous day and by far the best home performance of the season.

Now, can anyone name me the last club to beat Man U in three successive league meetings? No? Thought not!

29 points, eh? Woo hoo!!

Green 9 Awesome
McCartney 9 Brilliant
Upson 9 Stupendous
Spector 8 Great
Neill 7 Untroubled
Noble 8 Back to his best
Mullins 8 Powerful
Parker 8 Midfield general
Solano 9 Inventive
Cole 9 Man of the Match
Ljungberg 6 The only average performance
Pantsil 8 Supersub
Ashton 8 Held ball up well
Ferdinand 8 Super goal!

PS Tevez also played apparently!

One Carlos Tevez…

December 29, 2007

There’s only one Carlos Tevez
One Carlos Tevez
There’s only one Carlos Tevez

Just in case you have forgotten the lyrics…

My West Ham: Peter Oborne

December 28, 2007

Peter Oborne is Chief Political Columnist for the Daily Mail
How did you become a Hammer?
It often surprises people that I support West Ham, since I do not come from the east End. The reason is as follows. My father was in the British Army and almost always abroad, mainly in Germany. When I was eight I was sent back to prep school in England and this was where I first came across soccer. Most of the boys at this school supported Spurs, Chelsea or Leeds, who were then dominant. Out of perversity I chose to become a West Ham supporter. It was then the great days of Moore, Hurst and Peters. I have remained loyal ever since.

Your first game?
This must have been Cambridge United versus West Ham in the late seventies. I think West Ham won. I have a memory of Cross being furious with co-striker Goddard for failing to pass the ball when he had a great chance in front of goal.

How many games do you get to?
I haven’t been to a West Ham game for ten years. We live in Highbury and my children support the Arsenal. I apologise for this.

Most memorable moment?
West Ham are always memorable. Any number of Houdini like relegation escapes. I still feel furious about the way we exchanged Peters at the height of his skills for Jimmy Greaves who was at the end of his career and retired almost at once. And beating Sunderland 8-0 (G Hurst scoring 6 of them)

Have you met any Hammers players?
I once met the late Bobby Moore for a few moments at the Cheltenham Festival of horse-racing. It was wonderful to be in the presence of greatness, and he seemed such a nice and modest man.

Favourite current player?
I’m afraid I don’t have one.

What’s the football banter like in the bars of the House of Commons?
There’s something bogus about it. Politicians pretend to be interested in football in order to engage with voters.

Describe last season. How did it affect you?
It was just fantastic. Even by West Ham’s standards it was an awesome escape. A journey from despair to elation. I think Curbishley is wonderful.

What are your hopes for this season?
To avoid relegation. Anything else is a bonus.

Choose your all time Hammers Eleven
Standen, Martin, Dicks, Ferdinand, Moore, Bonds, Devonshire, Brooking, Peters, Hurst, Di Canio. (manager: Greenwood)

What do your colleagues make of your support for West Ham?