Monday, 31 December 2012

West Ham January Transfer Window Targets (49 & counting)

David Gold was recently asked on twitter by Marc Wickham how many players Sam would like to bring in during the January Transfer window. DG playfully answered about fifty!

With the transfer window open from New Years Day here are 49 rumours or potential targets with their sources  in brackets that ' I Understand' could be on Sam's famous transfer list as the silly season goes into full swing. We just one away from the fifty mark! 3 of these rumoured were proved to be correct and have since signed.

The List

Marseille midfielder Charles Kabore (Sky Sports)

Defensive midfielder Etienne Capoue (France Eurosport)

Everton Defender Sylvain Distin (The Sun)

Juan Agudelo Striker Chivas USA (Talk Sport)

Graham Zusi US midfielder Sporting Kansas City (Talk Sport)

Wigan Athletic full-back Maynor Figeuroa (Daily Mail) 

Thorgan Hazard (Little brother Eden Hazard) on loan (@Skyports_Alfie)

Anderson Luiz de Carvalho, aka Nenê  from PSG (Tribal Football)

Martin Olsson Left Back (Daily Mail)

Cameroon international left-back Gaetan Bong (The Sun)

Rinor Nushi forward  for Stockholm-based club AFC United. (Sky Sports)

Martin Olsson (Daily Mirror)

Wellington Paulista (Team Talk)

Chris Solly Charlton defender (Talk Sport)

Nicolas Anelka Striker  (Talk Sport) 

Osvaldo Alonso  Seattle Sounders midfielder (Talk sport)

Kilmarnock’s Liam Kelly (Daily Mail)

Arsenal's striker Marouane Chamakh (Metro) Confirmed

Bayer Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling (Telegraph)

Darren Bent Aston Villa Striker (The Sun)

Faouzi Ghoulam, St Etienne  (The Sun)  

Joe Cole , Liverpool  (The Sun)  Confirmed

Andreas Cornelius , FC Copenhagen (The Sun)

 Nathan Dyer, Swansea Winger (@hughsouthon)

 Wayne Routledge, Swansea Midfielder (@hughsouthon)

Aston Villa left-back Stephen Warnock (@hughsouthon)

Swansea Striker Danny Graham (Daily Mirror)

Marseille's Striker  Loïc Remy  (Daily Mirror)

John Mensah (Daily Mail) 

Southampton's Rickie Lambert (Sun)

Ajax winger Miralem Sulejmani (Daily Mirror)

Birmingham City goalkeeper Jack Butland  (

Rio Ferdinand, Manchester Utd (Daily Mirror)

Croatia striker Andrej Kramaric (Talk Sport)

Nordsjaelland goalkeeper Jesper Hansen (Talk Sport)

David Beckham, LA Galaxy (Daily Mirror)

Lille forward Salomon Kalou   (Daily Mail)

Former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson (Daily Mirror)

Galatasaray's Burak Yilmaz (Sun)

Marseille's winger Andre Ayew (Daily Mirror)

Martin Harnik Striker (Telegraph)

Nick Powell from Man United (@EXWHUEmployee)

Charles Austin Striker from Burnley (@ExWHUEmployee)

Marc Muniesa Barcelona Defender  (@ExWHUEmployee)

Danny Simpson Defender from Newcastle (@ExWHUEmployee)

Blackburn Rovers French defender Gael Givet (Daily Mail)

Loan Deal for Manchester United Defender Alex Buttner (Ian Abrahams @BroadcastMoose)

Frank Lampard (International Business Times)

Sean Macquire (Kilkenny People)  Confimed

I will update this list through the transfer window to see how silly it all gets!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Keep Calm & Support #Westham after Reading faux pas

I was disappointed as anyone with yesterday's result but it taught us things I guess most of us already knew. Reading continue to be a bogey team for us. In our short history of playing each other they have the vast majority of wins for some strange reason. They did the double on us last season in the Championship as well as beating us in 2007 6-0 at home which remains their largest win in the premiership to date. We have to look back five years to September 2007 when we last beat them 3-0 courtesy of a brace from Etherington and an early goal from Bellamy. That poor form against reading continued yesterday despite us dominating in the second half with lots of possession.

James Collins showed yet again he can be a liability for us, while Ginge is a good, he is no longer the 'Ginger Pele' we once called him. Sam must finally realise this fact and stop playing Tomkins out  of position. Tomkins should partner again in centre with Reid and Collins be dropped to the bench for yesterday's game changing school boy error. Yes, Collins has had some good games and saved us points but he is not consistent enough for me.

The other thing which should blindingly obvious to Sam now after yesterday is Mark Noble should not be taking free kicks! Yesterday saw some of his worst free kicks and maybe Matt Jarvis should step up and earn the 10 million we invested in him. What can we lose?

The Vaz te miss was disappointing but I guess he has just returned back in a hurry so harsh to slate him too much. Not sure it helps with Sam saying it was the worst miss in 10 years in the Premiership. Scoring goals is a confidence thing as we know from Carlton and surely that won't help Ricardo's confidence with the label of the worst miss of the decade! Vaz Te is a strong character and I am sure he will bounce back.

Next moan is why Mark Noble continues to take free kicks? He isn't very good at it and Sam seems to be the only person who is oblivious to this. We paid 10 million for Matt Jarvis, it's about time he earned our investment and shows us what he can do with free kicks.

It is also very obvious we are missing Diame, most of our good form this season is when Diame played and had a good game. When he is missing or he has an off game like Wigan we have suffered. When I met Diame just before Christmas he  said he would be back in training from early January so we should see him back very soon so hopefully he could turn things around again soon.

It seems public knowledge now that he is on a £4 million exit clause coupled with a £10K per week hike in wages from his current £40K per week. I was told this some time ago but thought it wasn't in West Ham best interest that it be published. The club are negotiating an extra £5K or £10K per week to keep him. There has been no official approach from any club for him and Gold believes agents are trying to unsettle him. You have to remember that Diame has a known heart deflect and his form has been patchy at times like the Wigan game. I think we will retain him through the transfer window.

One win in eight games is not good enough for premiership survival. Although just 6 points above the relegation zone we are still 12th and others are joining us by pressing the self destruct button mid season.

Newcastle are leaking goals everywhere and might live to regret handing former West Ham manager a eight year contract. Ba who left West Ham on an exit clause seems to have done to same at Newcastle with a 7.5M exit clause of which he gets 2.5 Mil. The agent gets a nice fat fee from Newcastle as well. Newcastle could well find themselves in trouble very soon.

Fulham, Sunderland, Wigan and Villa are also struggling and seem set for a relegation dog fight.

QPR, Reading & Southampton remain in the relegation zone and I would expect at least two of these three to be doomed so just one final relegation place up for grabs from eight clubs in the bottom half including us. 

I am sure we all remember newly promoted Blackpool in 2010 which made a unlikely and great start in the top 10 at the beginning of the season only to be relegated along with us in 2011.

Blackpool were found out and teams worked out quickly how to beat them. The same could be said of Sam's tackles now. We have been found out. While it is unfair to say our tackles only consist of knocking it up to the big lone striker up front we must vary our tactics to ensure survival.

Lets hope history doesn't repeat itself!

What we desperately need is a proven goal scorer. It just hasn't happened for Andy Carroll and I would be surprised if it happens in the second half of the season for him. Carlton Cole has stood in well for Carroll he doesn't score enough to warrant being the lone striker in my opinion.

Hopefully yesterday's result will hammer home in no uncertain terms to Sam, Karren, Sullivan and Gold that we need to invest in the transfer window and maybe sell on some of the miss firing squad using up valuable wages.

That said I am still convinced others are worst that us and we will survive in the bottom half of the table this season. It may not be pretty though. We must Keep Calm and Support West Ham.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Our day on Soccer AM as West Ham Fans of the week

Last Saturday (22nd December 2012) we spent the morning at Sky's Soccer AM's studios in Grant Way, Isleworth next to Heathrow.  Earlier in the week a fellow member of the SAB contacted me on twitter to say he had three spare places on Soccer AM fans of the week and would I and my fellow podcast presenters like to join them. I didn't hesitate and told Ben, (TwistandShout) on twitter we were in.

Sky kindly sent a taxi to pick us at 7.30am Saturday morning. A requirement of the show is all the fans wear matching football shirts with the proper shorts and socks. The club gave us a 20% discount to purchase the pieces that were missing which for me was everything. Still £51 for the whole kit isn't too bad!

We were then met by the producer Ash around 8.30am and asked to get changed in the toilets, no plush dressing rooms or green rooms for the fans of the week on this show. We were asked to wait in a small canteen area while the proper talent rehearsed.

After having our kit checked over by the producers we then signed our lives away by signing our release forms and were given a producer pep talk about no swearing LIVE on TV, nothing offensive and no scratching balls on camera but to enjoy ourselves.

Despite being told by previous guests of the show we would get a breakfast buffet we got nothing. After I protested we were hungry he muttered about budget cuts and gave us the left over bacon sandwiches from the crew. (Nice!)

Next we had our limited rehearsals which consisted of running around the car park in the rain and very waterlogged Astro turf to remember our three different camera positions while bubbles and snow where fired into the air. All very surreal!

We are not allowed to practise penalties as the show's producers insist everyone does them cold turkey to add to the pressure.

After freezing outside for 10 minutes we came back inside to practise our run in and sit down. The original idea was to have bubbles from a bubble machine but this didn't show up on camera so was ditched in rehearsals.

We were then asked by producers to think of five chants for the beginning and after each advert break. We decided to start with Bubbles, followed by Big Sam's Claret and Blue Army, East East East London, Over Land and Sea and finally My Name is Ludo Miklosko

With one minute to go we were arranged in height order, shortest at the front. One advantage in my whole life of being under six foot so I got the bottom right slot in the Luther Blissett stand.

We did our run in at 10.03am sung our west ham songs, laughed at their jokes and added atmosphere on cue when asked to by the producers. All part of showbiz I guess but it is a fun show to watch being made and be a part of.

When our moment of glory came for the car park game it was still raining with at least half of inch on standing water on the Astro turf. We tried our best and 60 seconds is such a short time. So OK we only managed two penalties and League 1 but it could have been so much worst and some fans have seen their teams relegated so we were grateful for small mercies.  It is lot harder than it looks!

Post show we quickly had our pictures taken with the presenters and guests which you can see below then Sky paid for a taxi to the Boleyn ground to watch West Ham v Everton. Shame the afternoon didn't live up to the morning entertainment but it was a day of two halves as the saying goes.

The names of the eight West Ham fans which will also appear in the Manchester United FA Cup programme on 5th January 2013.

Sean Whetstone
George Bucci
Steven Lecocq
Ben Surdeau
Shucong Fu
John Thomson
John Thomson (Junior)
Matt Dynan

Here is a play list of videos from the show on youtube

All of us in the Luther Blissett Stand with Hairy Striker Andy Carroll
     Sean, George, Rocket and Steven

     Myself with 4 time Gold Medal Champion Dave Weir

Thursday, 27 December 2012

The day I met Momo Diame & Ricardo VazTe

Just before Christmas, the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board had a few pre Christmas Drinks in the Legends lounge at the Boleyn and Momo Diame and Ricardo Vaz Te were special guests who kindly met with and spoke with the fans.

The guys spend over an hour and a half speaking to the 50 or so SAB members who turned up.

I spent around ten minutes myself chatting to both Momo Diame and Ricardo Vaz Te.

I asked both of them to record a Christmas message for our MooreThanJustAPodcast  podcast. Not sure Ricardo knew what a podcast was but both agreed and you can hear them on our Christmas special at

The next question I asked if when they both would be fit, Diame said the hamstring tear was not as bad as first thought and he would be back in early January. Vaz te said he should be fit in the same time frame. The gathering was the day the Arsenal was confirmed to be postponed and both were confident they would be fully fit and available for selection by time of the re-scheduled match against the gooners.

Next I asked Momo whether he would be staying at West Ham. He replied 'I do hope so!" Nice cryptic answer. I said he was my player of the year so far and 'Hammer of the year' would be a formality if his form continues.  Vaz Te interrupted playfully saying 'Diame would stay if the chairman paid him more' and pretended to be wounded that I was saying Diame was a better player than Vaz Te. I thanked Vaz Te for play off final goal but said he needed to get fit and playing if he wanted to get 'Hammer of the year runner up'

I wished them both all the best for the rest of the season and they agreed to pose for a photo with me which you can find at the top of this post.

Diame & Vaz Te Christmas Message on SoundCloud

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Guest Post from Max Kellar on our Current Form

Looking up or down?
I’ve just finished watching Chelsea romp Villa 8-0 and quite frankly make them look incredibly embarrassing while doing so. This is the same Chelsea side that we beat 3-1 at home less than a month ago and dominated in the second half. However, with home defeats against Liverpool and Everton and a snore draw away at West Brom since then, things are not looking quite as rosy for us as we enter the thickness of the festive period.

Despite the 3-1 score line, I felt we were incredibly unlucky against Liverpool and we deserved at least a draw, having bossed the match for 75 minutes before Diame’s injury. The West Brom draw was yet another hard-fought, Allardyce-style draw which, to be rather honest, is not a bad result against a West Brom side who have upset many big teams this year. We all know that the Everton defeat was an absolute travesty of justice, to an even greater extent to the Liverpool loss as we had a very impressive result (possibly a win) stolen from our grasp by trigger-happy referee Anthony Taylor who was desperate to make a name for himself. He did so by producing a ludicrous red card against Carlton Cole for a tackle which I still don’t even feel merited a yellow card.

Despite the amount of justified finger-pointing we are able to do from the last few matches, the record states that we have gained only 1 point from our last 3 games, two of which have been at home. This quite frankly is not good enough. But before you let fly with your comments of "you miserable *&$@^*", I would say that results such as our wins against Chelsea and Newcastle and our draw against Man City mean that we can afford to drop some points against teams like Liverpool and Everton.

However, with us now sitting in 12th, 8 places  clear of the relegation zone, we are still in a position which we would have certain have taken at the start of the season. 12th would certainly be considered a success if we were to still be there come the end of the season. Despite the positivity, with Reading and Norwich coming up, we need too start picking up some points before losing becomes something of a habit. We have an opportunity to look upwards and possibly achieve a top half place before our recent hellish run of games repeats itself in March

Just before I finish, a note on something completely unrelated to football. I’d really appreciate it if you had a watch of this video. I’m not trying to kill your computers with any viruses or goad you into purchasing something, just have a watch. It really puts things into perspective this Christmas:

As always, follow me on twitter @maxkellar for any West Ham news, chat and updates. A very Merry Christmas to you and your families