Poll Results: Zola

December 31, 2008

Do you think Zola will still be manager of West Ham at the end of the season?

Yes 84%
No 16%

If West Ham sell one of their star players in January do you think Zola will resign?

Yes 41%
No 59%

Do you think Zola is the right man to lead West Ham through this period of instability within the club?

Yes 76%
No 24%

Do you agree with these statements?

Zola was the wrong man at the wrong time – 14%

He must be given time to prove himself and all this talk about him leaving is just destabilising – 65%

He can only work with the tools available to him – 50%

His tactics have been wrong and he is incapable of adapting – 3%

I have total confidence that Zola will come good and we will soon be clear of the relegation zone – 36%

I think we should cut our losses now and replace him – 4%

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Tomkins Returns from Derby Loan

December 31, 2008

Gianfranco Zola has recalled James Tomkins from his loan spell at Derby. The Rams had wanted to keep him. This is a firm indication of Zola’s intention to sell Calum Davenport, I would say.

Incidentally, does anyone know how far Danny Gabbidon is from returning to fitness?


In Praise of The Independent

December 31, 2008

It’s not often I post a reader’s comment as a main blogpost, but I thought this comment from SJ Chandos was worthy of it…

The only paper worth reading on the transfer situation is The Independent. No ‘fire sale’ nonsense there, just impartial reporting. Even the likes of The Times, Telegraph and Guardian have been infected with the tabloid diseases of lazy journalism, speculation and sensationalism.

It is worth noting that the Independent is stating that bids for all key players are being rejected and that funds are to be raised via the sale of fringe players. It has also made it clear that only bids of 15m plus received will be referred to Zola for decision. Presumably to see whether he thinks a sale will fund the purchase of better players, options that exist, but cannot be funded at the moment. So to all intents and purposes, Zola appears to be in control of situation.

It has also been reported that Parker and Upson have been told that they are staying and that Bellamy is not up for sale. Only the Independent reported that Duxbury had told Spurs that Bellamy was not for sale. Proably because they were the only paper with the journalistic standards to actually bother asking him!

I think that the club are not going to undermine Zola by selling players against his wishes. The board genuinely appear to believe in him and Clarke and want them to lead the regeneration of the club. Even if that was not the case, they cannot afford to have Zola walk out on them! That would be very damaging to the reputation of the board and the club.

I suppose this could still be Machavellian manipulation and manouvre by the board, but the signs look good so far. Lets hope they are going to support Zola and Clarke and, as promised, keep our best players. Keep the faith!


Faubert Set for Nantes?

December 30, 2008

The Mail report that French premier Legaue outfit Nantes have expressed an interest in Julien Faubert. Their manager Elie Baup said: ‘If I had to sign anyone in January, the priority would be Julien Faubert.’

Now that Jonathan Spector and Kieron Dyer are returning to fitness, we’re OK on the right. Talking of Spector, I have never understood the antipathy towards him which people have expressed in the comments on this blog. He’s certainly not a flamboyant player, but he is solid and rarely let us down. I’d far rather see him at right back than Lucas Neill or Julien Faubert. He can also cover at left back, in the centre of defence and, if necessary in midfield. Every team needs a player like him.


Poll Result: HOTY & Player Ratings So Far This Season

December 30, 2008

Who do you think will get Hammer of the Year?

Matthew Upson 39%
Robert Green 25%
Valon Behrami 19%
Scott Parker 9%

Give your player ratings out of 10 so far this season

Matthew Upson 8.17
Robert Green 8.10
Valon Behrami 7.59
Scott Parker 7.30
James Collins 7.21
Herita Ilunga 7.13
Craig Bellamy 7.03
Calum Davenport 6.40
Mark Noble 6.39
Hayden Mullins 5.93
Freddie Sears 5.76
Matthew Etherington 5.16
Luis Boa Morte 4.77
Carlton Cole 4.67
David di Michele 4.65
Julien Faubert 4.10


Staying & Going

December 30, 2008

The Sun says we have turned down a £12 million bid for Craig Bellamy from Spurs – double their original bid. Cheeky buggers. I’m glad they didn’t accept the revised bid, although you have to say £12 million is an awful lot for a player who has been injured for most of the last eighteen months.

They also speculate that Calum Davenport is on his way to Bolton for £1.5 million. That is way to cheap. He cost £3 million and we should be looking to recoup that. Poor sod. Imagine having to play for Gary Megson. A fate worse than death.

Channel 4 say that David di Michele may be returning to Turin. If so, that would leave us a striker short. One player who has been limked with us is Giampaolo Paxxini from Fiorentina, although The Sun reckon he could be on his way to Everton.


If One Player Has to be Sold, Then it Should be…

December 30, 2008

You’ve got to feel sorry for James Collins, who is now fit again. Calum Davenport is in storming form so he can’t get back in. This is why I reckon if we do have to lose one of our star players, Matthew Upson should be the one to go. We have four excellent central defenders (Davenport, Collins, Tomkins & Gabbidon) plus Lucas Neill, who is better there than at right back.

We do not have the same cover for Bellamy or Green, and Upson is the only one who would raise real money.

Don’t get me wrong. but if we really do need the money Upson, is the one to go… Just sayin’, like…

[battens down the hatches]

UPDATE: Yes, I did write this before the Stoke game. My point was that any business can go through tough times and have to capitalise on its assets. Of course I don’t want Upson to go, any more than you do, but if we do have to sell one our three star assets, all I am arguing is that it should be Upson rather than Green or Bellamy, purely because we have cover in his position.