Welcome Steve Clarke

Sorry for the radio silence over the last forty eight hours. Have been at the LibDem conference and the hotel couldn’t get the internet connection to work. The things a boy has to do…

Anyway, the new team is now confirmed with Steve Clarke’s arrival from Chelsea. I am delighted Kevin Keen will be staying. I am looking forward to Saturday more than I have looked forward to a game for ages. On the face of it, it’s a great time to be playing Newcastle – unless of course they re-appoint Keegan before then, but that looks unlikely.

I haven’t seen any of the highlights from the West Ham game, but from what I have heard Di Michele looked very lively and Ilunga had a solid debut at left back. It’s also said (whisper it) that Boa Morte didn’t do too badly. But all that apart, it is a game we should never have lost. Careless play costs points.

I suspect Zola will not have been very impressed by the defending. Upson in particular, I gather, had a shocker. Although having said that, what does Zola know about defending? 🙂


21 Responses to Welcome Steve Clarke

  1. Woking Hammer says:

    I hope Zola & Clarke get a resounding welcome on Saturday, we talk about not signing the best players around but with Clarke we have captured possibly one of the best No2’s around and someone who can help Zola out big time.

    As for Saturday not only did poor defending cost us but poor finishing as well on the clear cut chances that went begging for both sides it should of been 6 – 11 to us.

    On the new boys I thought Ilunga had a dodgy first 20 while he found his feet then after that he grew and looks like he could develop into a really good left back. He is a solid lump who can head a ball gets stuck, has some skill and vision and can cross a great ball. I think he is a more than adequate replacement for Linda. Just hope they find some shorts that fit him!! Di Michele I thought was playing a bit to deep, his movement was something that I hope Cole and Ashton were watching as he was always on the move, you can see he has something there and I hope it will come out once he used to the style of play, lets hope he has got all the overhead kicks out of the way in one game.

    I felt sorry for Upson he was having to play alongside Davenport who was haveing a game not to dislike the way he played in that fated away game at Charlton he was getting done left, right and centre by ordinary players. I am sorry but he is not good enough, couple that with Neil thinking he was back in the bush and going on walk about all the time Upson was having to cover everything to the right of him as well as concentrating on his own game.

    One worry, which I hope Z man sorts out is Parker and Noble they seemed to keep getting in each others way and falling over each other. Nobs should be closer to the front line linking things up.

    A posative is that we tried to play football Green passed or through more balls short in that one game than the whole of last season.

    Looking forward to Saturday!!


  2. Gorgonzola says:

    Yep, Upson was back to his brilliant worst….looked tired for some reason. So you can write something positive about LBM Iain….even though you had to whisper it.

    Di Michele looks quality. Should have put away at least one of his chances but was his first game so is understandable.

    Don’t know if anybody’s noticed but doesn’t Davenport do well when he goes forward.

  3. Van Der Elst says:

    Iain, do you know who Nick Clegg supports? And does anyone know if Sir Trevor had a say in the Zola/Clarke selection process?

  4. Yep, Clarke could be the best signing this year. Exactly what Zola needed!

  5. Connor says:

    Boa morte was man of the match in my eyes :O

  6. Biffo the bear says:

    Frankie Zoooola Stevie Clarke …Frankie Zoooola Stevie Clarke from stamford bridge to Upton Park Frankie Zola-Stevie Clarke

    Anyway, yes we have one of the best coaches in Europe. There were very positive comments from Frank Lampard saying he should be allowed to come. I can’t really understand why theey never used him more or allowed him to progress at Chelsea, maybe it’s because he didn’t cost millions of pounds and come from somewhere exotic. Ok St Mirren may well be exotic, but not high on the list of Mr. Abramovich or mr Kenyon (small m for mister) He has , apparently, taken a wage cut to be with us. Given the defending on Saturday, he may want to re-negotiate that when he realises just how much work he’s got to do!

    I hope everyone makes him welcome on Saturday. I think we will start to see the potential of our squad take shape on the pitch in the months to come.

    I agree the two new boys looked good last Saturday. Davenport does look good going forward, sadly, he needs to defend as well and therein lies the rub, he can’t.
    I think we suffered from ‘impress the new manager’ syndrome a bit and lost team cohesion as a result. Hopefully that will be put right in the coming weeks as it will take a while for the new regime to begin to get results.

    Overall I have to say my confidence is creeping back.
    Backing Aston Villa to beat the spuds on betfair definitely cheered me up as well!

  7. Paul Nixon says:

    It was Lucas Neill who stood out for me a shocker: after he was passed for one of WBA’s goals, the camera panned on Zola: if you can lip read, Zola said – no pace…

    Good analysis for one game. Time for Neill to focus, improve his fitness and work on his pace.

    I’m looking forward to Saturday: I expect a lot of hiccups with these “easy” fixtures until Zola, Clarke and the team bed in…expect confusion, over lapping roles and different combinations. I’m all for it though. And remember, folks, it could be worse – we could be Spurs supporters!! 🙂


  8. Hammered in Singapore says:

    Zola recognizing he needs a strong English No. 2 can only be a good thing for everyone. Although I was disappointed in the way the Club treated Curbishly it has to be said the Board has moved with some certainty and confidence in replacing Curbishly with what looks like a strong managerial line up. Contrast this with what is going on at Newcastle!

    Zola, Clarke and Pintus the fitness guru is an exciting line-up the players can only benefit from. I hope they get players like Bellamy, Dyer, Gabbidon, Ashton, Collins, Spector and Bowyer fit and motivated or move them on. Another season starring at a long injury list is just unacceptable. As is buying average (or past it) players at questionable fees; LBM, Quashie and Neill (and Llunberg).

    I hope the impatient section of the West Ham fan base get behind the new management set up, the players respond to a new regime and we get to see great football. It is time West Ham were back on the sports pages for the way they play the game.

    Back to Newcastle. The game will be on telly here in Singapore, (as has every game this season)! I am looking forward to it. What’s really interesting is which of the two teams will respond best to their recent turmoil. The West Ham board has most certainly won the race to rebuild the management of the team. Now the players have to show the new management and the fans they can make a positive change too. Question is: ‘can they?’ Saturday will tell us which of these two teams needs the biggest player shake out as well.

    Indeed it is an interesting time to be a WHU fan.

  9. Plaistow54 says:

    Yeah, my heart said Di Canio but my head said Clarke. Zola has got who he wanted. This is good. Boa Morte did play better. He tries hard. So does Cole. Carlton just doesn’t put the ball in the net much. Zola can fix that. He seems a serious man & a real pro. With the squad that we have & some positive thinking, i don’t see why we can’t better last years finish. We just need to score more than we let in. Back to the old West Ham that we knew. That would actually work. It will take time for Zola & Clarke to sort things, but inside i get a sense of excitement & expectation.

  10. E1 says:

    Happy Day’s ! I just hope the players feel the way we all do and pull out the stops, we need a big performance with a clean sheet and a few goals on saturday, hey after watching totscum play last night we are looking good, just shows money can’t buy a team that has to be created. SO GOOOOD LUCK FRANKIE AND STEVE plenty of arse kicking and plenty of support lets get this show on the road. COYI !!!!!!

  11. Tony says:

    Gorganzola, that was a good point about Davenport.
    I was thinkin the same thing on Saturday, he looks a better player when he was pushed up front.
    Same thing against Blackburn, he looks a goal threat.
    Not a Premier League defender though.

  12. Paul Nixon:
    To miss that Neill has no pace you need to sleep throug an entire game!
    Neill will never have pace, to use him in a position that needs it is just bad coaching (given there is some kind of alternative). Either play him with a winger with a lot of defensive responsibility (doeesn’t sond like attacking football does it?) or in the center (if he must play at all).
    My worry is that Behrami doesn’t seem to have much of it either!

  13. chris says:

    davenport neil ,,,,,,,they are crap!!!! ZOLAS already spotted neils lack of pace,,thank god!!!!! been going on about this for ages glad other people are now going on about it…
    If you play lucas neil you might as well just throw the game yourself!!!! hes the slowest premierplayer by miles!!!!!!

  14. irontc says:

    Zola and Clarke (and us) will have to go through the pain barrier in the next couple of months – sorting out the mess, especially at the back. Neill is not very good. Also his internationals take him to the ends of the earth. He seems jetlagged 24/7.

    Hopefully we can offload him in January without too much disruption.

    Still, exciting times!

  15. E1 says:

    We could play 3 across the back with Mullins just in front that might tighten it up a bit,then we could have parker di micheal and noble in the middle, cole, ashton and bellemy up front. 3 – 1 – 3 – 3. Not sure who the three would be at the back upson centre with who ? NOT NEIL !!!!!

  16. chris says:

    ASHtons out as usuall,,,,i’ve lost patience with him sell next jan hes another destined to be a sicknote all his career,so it looks like cole and di michele for the rest of the season,I didnt say bellars coz you know its only a matter os time before his amstring goes!!!!! hurry up january!!!!!

  17. irontc says:

    Such a shame about Ashton and Bellers, I agree career sick-notes.

    Can we afford to keep them and invest in another top striker in january?

  18. Ian Smith says:

    Sorry for going off the subject, but this is important. What ever is happening with our sponsors, at the moment, please sign the petition that is flying around at the moment. The petition simply asks the club that they considering putting the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK on the front of their shirts for the rest of the season. The petition has already attracted over 3,000 signatures. Just go to http://www.PetitionOnline.com to sign up. What a great idea. I am sure it will sell more shirts than enough. Plus the club can donate 50p for every shirt sold.

  19. irontc says:

    Lets try and off load Ashton on the barcodes at the weekend.

  20. supernumbersix says:

    Good idea irontc. We need a clear out of ALL the sick notes. Fed up of trying to IMAGINE how good we could be with every one matchfit at the same time. Get rid of Bellamy, Ashton, Dyer(who?), Parker, Gabbidon etc Should pick up a few quid for that lot and bring in some new un crocked-and-up- for-it-we-wanna-play-for-Zola footballers. Yeah yeah I know it’s just bad luck but for f***s sake! How are we going to progress if this lot just keep dropping like this?
    Much as I like the aforementioned players when fit, I say ship ’em out.

  21. Gorgonzola says:

    Yes, agree Tony, he is probably championship quality when it comes to defending. I personally think Danny Gabiddons been such a huge loss for us. I think he’s our best defender. His reading of the game is superb. Collins aint bad either…also good going forward on set pieces.

    Upson needs to be quicker on his feet though he is good in the air even though he didnt show it in our last game. A tap-dancing class wouldnt do him any harm – seriously I’m not joking. It’ll quicken him up, from lead boots to twinkle toes.

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