Friday, 30 December 2011

Big Sam's List of 25?

Much has been spoken about Big Sam's list of 25 targets for the January transfer window

The tabloids, twitter, facebook, West Ham forums and blogs have speculated on what names might be on the list.

I thought I would join in with this speculation and release my list of 25 targets I expect to be on Sam's list.

The names come from a combination of paper stories, forum rumours, blog articles, twitter, insider Clunge and some wishful thinking.

There are 9 defenders, 9 midfielders and 7 strikers in the list!

Kane Ferdinand          Defender/Midfielder from Southend 
Liam Ridgewell           Defender from Birmingham
Andy O'Brien              Centre Back formally for Leeds before going on strike

Danny Simpson          Defender/Right back from Newcastle
Vedran Corluka          Right Back/Defender from Spurs
Ricardo Costa             Defender from Valencia
Sébastien Squillaci     Defender/Centre Back from Arsenal
Sol Bamba                  Defender/Centre Back from Leceister City
Moustapha Bayal Sall Defender from St. Etienne

Craig Noone              Midfielder from Brighton  
Mervan Celik             Midfielder from GAIS
Jonjo Shelvey           Midfielder From Liverpool
Ryan Hall                  Midfielder from Southend
Andros Townsend     Midfielder/Winger from Spurs
Peter Whittingham    Midfielder/Striker From Cardiff
Albert Adomah          Midfielder/Winger from Bristol City
Victor Moses             Midfielder/Winger from Wigan
George Baldock        Midfielder from MK Dons (Brother of Sam Baldock)

Jordan Rhodes         Striker from Huddersfield   
Andy Johnson           Striker from Fulham
Bobby Zamora          Striker from Fulham
Billy Sharp                Striker from Doncaster 
Nicky Maynard         Striker from Bristol City
Wilfred Zaha            Striker from Crystal Palace
Ryoichi Maeda         Striker from Jubilo Iwata

Feel free to shoot some of these down and/or replace some of your own names

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Why Jordan Rhodes is unlikely to come to West Ham!

There have been a lot of rumours about Huddersfield's Jordan Rhodes on twitter and the Hammers forums that West Ham have made enquiries & possibly a bid for the 21 year old Huddersfield goal machine.

He has scored 20 goals in 20 appearances this season which has put him on the radar of Spurs, Celtic, Liverpool and Newcastle.

Yesterday there were rumours that West Ham had made an official enquiry and Huddersfield Town had put a price tag of £4 million on him. Another rumour had West Ham making a £3.5 Million bid for him.

West Ham insider Clunge  confirmed an official bid was in for Jordan  Rhodes but as of 9pm on Wednesday 28th December it was not accepted or rejected!

The Sun also printed a story today 29th December saying we had bid £3 Million but it had been rejected

However Huddersfield Chairman Dean Hoyle interview puts some doubt that they would part with his services on the cheap. 
“We have no intention of selling and we are not going to,” said Hoyle, who says the club are braced for another round of speculation over the striker’s future.
“We could sell Jordan, but where’s that going to get us?
“If we let him go we would have to find another striker in his place and, let’s be fair, we won’t find one as good as him to come to Huddersfield Town – so straight away our chances of promotion would be decreased.
“This club needs to get promotion to be more self-sustaining, so selling Jordan would be short-term gain for long-term pain.
“We need Jordan Rhodes and all our other very good players to win us promotion.”
The boardroom chief added: “Whether Jordan is in League II, League I, the Championship or the Premier League he will score goals, because nearly every chance he gets he finishes.
“He will put the ball in the back of the net and, that being the case, if we get up into the Championship he will be worth even more money.
“So what I’m saying is it doesn’t make any sense – both from a football point of view and economically – to sell one of our very best players in Jordan Rhodes at this point.
Of course his words might mean nothing as everyone has their price, but with Liverpool, Spurs and Newcastle interested I doubt we would be able to compete with their spending power. Sullivan & Gold will not get in a bidding war and pay over the odds for the youngster.
One story says Liverpool could pay as much as £9 Million for Rhodes services.
Time will tell whether I will have to eat my words or not but I am afraid I don't expect us to land him in the transfer window. 

Huddersfield Examiner Story

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Early January Target Rumour List (Out & In)

Roundup of the early rumours of who is targeted and who we are targeting for the January transfer window.


Freddie Piquonne will leave if any sensible offers are received   

Freddie Sears will leave if anyone offers his vaulation of 2 million  

Frank Nouble will be released or sold for a modest fee                                                      

Carlton Cole is wanted by Sunderland.  He will only be sold if he hands in transfer request, offered a price significantily above his valuation or we buy someone better.                              

Rumoured that Mark Noble may go to Fulham  and swapped for Bobby Zamora. Sam does not want to swap. Mark Noble will commit his future to the club & in return be offered a new contract.               

Sam Baldock to Chelsea after rumours surfaced of being watched by Chelsea Scouts on three occasions. Don't see it myself.

James Tomkins  to Newcastle. Pardew is interested in Tomkins but the West Ham board say he is not for sale at any price.That said there is little we can do if he puts in a transfer request. West Ham will put a new deal on the table before January transer window opens. 

Inbound Targets:

Andy Johnson remains our top target from Fullham


Bobby Zamora from Fulham but not as part of a swap deal.
Liam Ridgewell from Birmingham remains a target. Birmingham are dire financial straights but. However a number of premiership clubs want him too. 

Kane Ferdinand  remains a target from Southend United

Wilfred Zaha from Crystal Palace is a target and said to be valued at £5 Million by Crystal Palace

Alex Rodrigo Dias da Costa from Chelsea was rumoured to be a target.  West Ham did look at him have decided his wage demands were too expensive.

Nicolas Anelka . Big Sam confirmed he did speak to Anelka but his wage demands were too high. We could not complete with Chinese team Shanghai Shenhua

Andy O'Brien from Leeds could still be a target.  He will be off loaded by Leeds in January.

Mervan Celik from Swedish clun GAIS is said to be a target


Ryoichi Maeda is a japense striker who plays for Júbilo Iwata is said to be a target

Thursday, 1 December 2011

David Gold Twitter Question Time v Clunge

In this week's Moore Than Just A Podcast  Episode 13 we covered David Gold's week of answers to West ham fans as well as inside information from Clunge.

Clunge News

Last Tuesday I said that Big sam confirmed that Matty Taylor will start on Saturday 
if he comes through 45/60 mins today in reserve match.

I got this one wrong as they didn't want to risk him for the whole 90 minuites. He did come on though

A Westham insider on ESPN website confirms james tomkins not for sale and will be offered a new deal even though he  still has 3 years left. Wonder who the insider is and where they got that from then ;-)

Leeds may still sack O'Brien and if so he'll sign for us

Henry lansbury hopes to be back for the boxing day game away to Birmingham.

David gold confirms we will buy players in jan and not sell our important players

Very strange rumors that chelsea have had sam baldock watched on 3 occasions and may bid for him in the transfer window.

Carew may be fit for saturdays game vs burnley. Still 7k tickets left

Winston reid out for a further 5 weeks. Baldock hopeful no more than 3 weeks.

As baldock is also injured whu will decide if they will recall hall from oxford.

David Gold confirms he hopes to sign 3 players in Jan. Andy Johnson is Sam's main target but blackburn also want him. No chance with Zamora.

David Gold Twitter Question Time:

@rpburton: how many hammers fans are coming to boro tuesday night?” 

DG: 1,500 dg

@jaydorgan_96: how are derby away tickets selling? Can't wait.. 

DG: 4200 tickets available just over 1000 sold so far. DG

“@Andrew_whu:  you going Reading on the 10th David?” 

DG: Yes I will be there DG

@DaniGood How long will Sam Baldock be out injured?

DG: I don't no how long Sam Baldock will be out, we will have a better idea on Monday but hope its only a grade one torn hamstring DG

@DBernstein1 Will be be top of the league by christmas holidays?

DG: A draw on Tuesday and a win at home to Burnley would leave us in a great position. However that's easier said than done dg

Fan: What fo you think of Karren Brady's comments on football racism? 

DG: I am not defending Karren Brady she is very capable of doing that for her self but she did not say WH fans threw bananas at Clyde Best dg

@Tommy_Ernest If you had to pick the best thing about being a west hanm

DG: Loyalty and passion for West Ham United plus a sense of history. DG

@Jaws2home I remember seeing Clyde Best when he first played for West Ham in 1970 and there was racism at that time. DG. 

@JoeAppleby95: David , how long will it be till Winston Reid is fit?

DG: 4 to 5 weeks before he will be available for selection dg

@Centrallinedan: Do we still have Bentley & Lansbury 

DG: Bentleys contract has been terminated Lansbury is with us to the end of the season dg

@OSBORNE1973: @DavidGoldWHU what is the best vibrator on the Market?” 

DG: Rampant Rabbit from Ann Summers dg

@1andrewlee i paid good money for season ticket but it seems like I'm getting bad deal as the deals for games work out cheaper

DG: It's cheaper to buy a season ticket and you get to choose you seat dg

@ScardSanity What percentage are you confident of promotion at this stage?

DG: We are still the bookies favourites for promotion dg

@Mister_Kirby Hi David, what are your views on safe standing - would it be poss in OS or redeveloped UP? Thanks.

DG: I am in favour of small areas of controlled safe standing dg

@richielevis  if the OS goes pear shaped are you going to go down the bond scheme? I love this club and trust you 100%

DG: thank you for the trust dg

@tekkers84 in business would you say if you don't put your balls on the line you ll never get anywhere??

DG: Adam i wouldn't put it quite like that but you do need determination perseverance and most of all courage good luck dg

@whu647580 Is it true that Ba refused to sign for us without a relegation clause.

DG: that's true without the clause he would not have signed and we didn't think we would be relegated .... Mistake dg

@Sam1993WHUFC: @davidgoldwhu can you see many incomming players in january?

DG: I hope to see some new faces dg

@JonNewsham: @DavidGoldWHU do you pay for tickets? 

DG: DS and I receive no salary or expenses but we do get a free seat. DG

@ClaretNBlues I am mortified if you or any West Ham fans believe I would renege on a promise. Doubt my judgement but not my integrity dg

@dandadon21: @DavidGoldWHU are we looking to further strengthen the squad in jan or do we need to sell 1st? 

DG No need to sell dg

@HP14WHU: @DavidGoldWHU Do you go to every match? Would be great if you do!

DG: I go to every match home and away dg

@robwood4: @DavidGoldWHU @westhamchef Do you fear the mighty BORO. 

DG: No but I respect them they are a good side. DG

@davym66: @DavidGoldWHU hi david, is there any chance of Sam Baldock being sold in january? thanks. 

DG: Extremely unlikely dg

@Coxy25 Is there any truth in the rumour that you once tried to style your hair like Alan Titchmarsh in an attempt 2 fool a librarian?

DG: Good evening Coxy dg

@clem132: has Marek signed a new deal and fee been agreed with old club he was back on the bench on Saturday 

DG: No new deal has been done dg

@lukemullen2: As a West Ham fan I would like to know where WE will be playing our football in Two years? 

DG: It will be at the OS or UP dg

@harris2011_s: why did we get rid of hines and stanislas though they were decent young players 

DG: Sams decision must say I agree DG

@tekkers84: would you be interested in Lansbury should we go up and should he be available? 

DG: Lots of "shoulds" it's Sams call DG

@Coxy25 David, have you ever walked into Argos and pretended to be Rod Stewart in an attempt to get a free Fireman Sam 

DG: what do you mean Coxy "pretend to be Rod Stewart" I am Rod Stewart RS

@TalltreesCarp: is there any sort of clause in Scott Parkers contract for us to be able to buy him back if we are promoted? 

DG: No dg

@GeorgeWestHam:  say no to the oylmpic stadium! The atmosphere will be poooor!”

DG: I'm not sure your right dg

@Kevo0982: are you planning to add to the squad in January? Have you thought bout making beckham an offer? 

DG: We are looking to strengthen dg

@JoshSnow1:  when will Gary O'Neil be fit enough to play?

DG: I hope he will be available in early February dg

@PetersNick: @DavidGoldWHU Do you currently enjoy the style of football west ham play? 

DG: I want to get back to the PL. I enjoy winning dg

@paulturner67 Do you think west ham fans should be balloted on the move to the OS?

DG: There is a consultative committee of about 120 West Ham Season ticket holders who are involved in the process. DG

We covered both on our West Ham Podcast at

Podcast Powered By Podbean

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

West Ham Record Breakers

Last night (Tuesday) we broke Middlesbrough unbeaten home record, in fact they were unbeaten for16 games at the Riverside since losing to last season's league leaders QPR in February this year.

Apparently it was also Big Sam's first management career win at the Riverside also which is surprising considering the teams he has managed.

It bought West Ham's consecutive wins to four but also a record of six wins and one draw out of seven totalling 29 points from a maximum 31 in our last 7 league games. Only the mighty Bristol City have held us  to a draw recently.

The last time we won four league games in a row was the great escape of 2007 when we won our last four games of the season with help of Carlos Tevez and a last gasp win at Manchester United away.

Before than it was the last time in we dropped to championship  in 2003 when we won 4 league games back to back early on in the season.

If we continue the winning streak to five games by beating Burnley this Saturday we will be heading to towards our 2006 run of 7 back to back wins between January & February.

Beyond that we enter boys of 1986 territory. They won 9 back to back games between October and December 1985. They also had another run of 6 back to back wins in the same season. 

It still it seems a strange feeling winning the majority of the time but a feeling I could get used to.

Come on you irons

Friday, 25 November 2011

Big Sam's use of SaberMetrics at West Ham

Using statistical analysis to recruit players rather than rely on the subjective judgement of coaches and scouts, sabermetrics was an idea developed by American baseball fan Bill James.

It was an idea put to the test with some success by the Oakland 'A's general manager Billy Beane and author Michael Lewis wrote the book "Moneyball" about the story, which has been made into a film released this month starring Brad Pitt.

Sam Alladyce has been a long fan of this and went to America to meet Billy Beane to be one of the first to pioneer a Football 'SaberMetrics' system at Bolton.

Sam using a company called Prozone to provide much of this data & statistics.

This what Sam said of Prozone while manager of Blackburn

"I have been using and helping Prozone to develop over the last nine years. It is without doubt one of the most important pieces of information in modern day football. We simply can not do without Prozone to help us be the best we can be."

Big Sam has embraced the use of technology throughout his career and is one of the pioneers to integrate the use of sports science and specifically performance analysis into the coaching process. He first installed Prozone at Bolton Wanderers at the start of the 2000/01 season and shortly after achieved promotion to the Premiership after a three-year absence for the Lancashire club. Blackburn & Newcastle has since seen Sam Allardyce utilise Prozone there also.
"The system provides a vital source of information for our coaching staff to draw upon including a mass of statistics and the unique animation, which means nothing is missed during the game."

Although I can find no official confirmation it is a safe bet that Sam is using his old friends Prozone again at West Ham.

When I met Big Sam last week he spoke frequently about statistics and what he learnt in America. He also explained that West Ham players wear GPS vests in training. I assume these are sourced from GPSports 

These GPS vests have the capacity to measure distances, speeds, heart rates, bodyloads and impacts all in real time. Information is sent in real time to a laptop.

About Prozone

Hidden in the stands at most games in the Premiership and Championship are cameras belonging to  sports analysts Prozone. These cameras track every element of each player’s movement, distance covered, high-powered runs and defensive positioning. 

The overall mileage of players is no longer a key stat for the men looking to find the extra percentages between winning and finishing second. 

Clubs are increasingly enlisting the services of these analysts to create profiles of potential transfer targets
Analysts at football clubs are interested in a player’s ability to reach a threshold speed of 22ft per second. 

They also want to know the number of chances a player creates, his successful pass percentage in the final third of the field and his recovery rates from sprints. If they can put all this information into one equation, then pub arguments may well be over.

Clubs download data from Prozone the day after a game, in the form of Excel documents or in video format. Prozone provides the video evidence, and football data supplier Opta offers statistical analysis and breakdowns. 

Clubs are increasingly enlisting the services of these analysts to create profiles of potential transfer targets. 

English football clubs are using companies such as Opta and Prozone (as well as, Scout7, WYScout, Sportstec and Amisco) to supply information that should help them do for football what Sabermetrics has done for American baseball.

I did a Skype interview with Mike Parry on Sports Tonight TV LIVE on SaberMetrics & Big Sam which is available on YouTube here.  

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

David's Gold Twitter Question Time

David Gold is the only football Chairman to my knowledge who interacts with fans to answer so many questions.

Yes, he picks and chooses which questions to answer but he is pretty honest.

It can sometimes be hard to keep up with the amount of Questions and Answers.

Below is a transcript of the interesting questions and answers over the last few days. Saturday, Sunday and Monday. We also covered this on Moore Than Just A Podcast Episode 12.

Fan: Is there any truth in QPR's interest in Tomkins?

DG: It's academic, he's not for sale for 3m

Fan: Surely he should not be for sale full stop

DG: We will do nothing that will jeopardize our promotion bid DG

Fan: How do two clubs agree ticket allocations for away days do you have to negotiate with the other club or is it a set number

DG: They must give a minimum of 10% of there capacity most clubs give more, police also have say dg

Fan: How many have you sold for Middleborough away?

DG: We were given 3000 sold 1500 so far DG

Fan: Could you name five players from every championship club?

DG: No dg

Fan: Great result yesterday. I hope you will be winding Jack Collison up for missing that sitter?

DG: I already have but he is a good lad DG

Fan: Would it be possible to build a ground in another location on the Olympic park

DG: I don't see that as a possibility DG

Fan: with such great away support, do you ever wish you were standing in with the away fans at a game?

DG: I did for many years DG

Fan: Do you plan to sell any of young players in January

DG: don't be so negative there is no plan to sell our good young players. DG

Fan: How do you feel about Spurs getting government funding after complaining Newham were giving us 'State Aid'?

DG: Some would say ironic DG

Fan:why Demel wasn't even on the bench yesterday?

DG:Mangers decision lacks match fitness dg

Fan: We need to concentrate on our own games and keep winning instead of worrying about Southampton, agreed?

DG: Yes of course DG

Fan: do any of our current squad have a clause in their contract that lets them leave 4 free if we fail to get promotion?

DG: No

Fan: do you believe we can still catch Southampton? COYI!”

DG: Yes I do, beat them at UP and it's all to play for DG

DG: It must be remembered that the previous governments plan for the OS to remain as a 
25000 seater stadium after the games was flawed DG

Fan: Would you take second now or go up as champs?

DG I would take 2nd place now but I would love to go up as champions

DG For over 40 years we have sold our best players we must find a way to reverse this 
process, and compete at the top level DG

Fan: We are not playing at are best again  but geting the result, the league should be scared when we hit top form.

DG: I agree DG

Fan: Do you like the 4-5-1 formation?

DG: I hate 4-5-1 too but we must trust Sam DG

Fan: Will any players be sold?

DG: Please, we must be realistic, remember Ronaldo "was not for sale at any price", went for 80m and MU went on to win the PL. DG
Fan:  any idea when matt Taylor should be back? Missing him in The middle #hammers”

DG: He will be available next week
Fan: what your view on sepp blatter comments

Dg: Most unfortunate comments, a honourable man would resign DG

We covered many of these David Gold Questions on Moore Than Just A Podcast Episode 12 

You can listen to Episode 12 of Moore at or search ITunes for Moore Than Just A Podcast

Monday, 21 November 2011

Clunge Question and Answer

West ham insider codename Clunge has been revealing lots more West Ham inside information all week including a two hour Q&A session via Adam Jackson @Adzman89 in twitter on Saturday between 9am and 11am .

George McCartney will be offered a permanent deal in the summer whatever league we are in. Big Sam is very impressed with him.

West ham will bid for Kane Ferdinand in January. Big Sam has told the West Ham board he needs 3 players in January and if we get them we will go up.

West Ham has promise big sam a decent transfer budget of several million in January if required. All sales if any will also be handed to Big Sam.  The West Ham board are backing Sam big time.

Number 1 target  in Januray is Andy Johnson.

Still just over 6000 tickets left for home match vs derby. Derby have sold 940 tickets only for Saturday's game.

West Ham tell Marseille Carlton Cole not for sale after approach last Thursday. French club will put in a 4 million bid in Jan still though.

Carlton Cole happy to stay and does not want a move.

West Ham speaking with Leeds united today over a deal for Andy Obrien. Ex fat sam player. O'brien on strike at leeds to force move

Freddie Piquionne will be allowed to leave in jan if we land another striker. Sears too could be out.

Clunge can confirm story in the sun whu still trying to loan arsenal centre half sebastien squillaci. Arsenal want to sell

With regards to Liam Ridgewell, 3 other Prem clubs in for him so now doubtful we'll get him BUT we will try our best and u never know

Clunge watched the Coventry game on Saturday from a corporate box but this is their Q&A Session on way to the game.

Do we have any chance with Mervan Celik with Parma sniffing around? What do BS think?
"Hopefully yes"

Zamora? Any truth in this rumour?
"Unlikely as international premier strikers rarely drop down divisions"

What really happened with Bellamy leaving us? "We needed the money, we forced him out - Icelandics"

Is Robert Green signing a new contract, he told me West Ham are stalling negoiations when I met him in a pub "His contract been on the table for months. He won't be negative to a fan will he?"

Why did Ludo leave? "Let's just say medical grounds"

Does Sam have any chance with Anelka again if not getting a game at Chelsea? "Absolutely no chance"

Could we get Nicky Maynard at a more realistic price than quoted in the summer. "yes out of contract soon but been poor"

Who looks most eager to get away from the club at present? "Green & Faubert"

Are we really trying to sell sears? "We'll accept the right offer. Somewhat disposable"

Will SA be applying for the England job? "That is his ultimate ambition and we respect that"

When will contract talks be opening with the likes of green and tomkins? "Green on table. JT v.soon"

How come we ended up agreeing so little for Parker? "He DEMANDED to go Spurs only. We were held to ransom"

Will we sell Tomkins? "We do not want to sell Tomkins at any price"

Are any bids expected/anticipated for our players in January? "Of course, we have class players"

Will SA be sacked If we only make the play-offs, if so before of after? "No. Who doesn't love the play offs?!"

Where does the debt stand? Obviously significantly reduced from £100M+ "Approx £75m"

Does Clunge know if we will ever fix the clock at the Bobby Moore end? "No as we have a big scoreboard"

How much wages are we still paying for Ilunga? "We paying 90% of his £38k pw

Can you confirm how much Robert Green is on per week? They were rumoured to be £30K "£28k (plus bonuses)"

We have 3 very capable young reserve keepers but obv they need 1st team footy. "Stech preferred. Jury out on Boffin"

What's our ultimate intention with the current 'surveillance' case with Spurs? "Justice and honour"

Wage bill was £50 million last year, what is it this year?  "approx £35Million with the likes of Dyer, Upson, Ba, Parker gone'

Do you know if Julien Faubert will be signing a new contract. "Another refusing 2sign new deal. Likely free

What are our January targets?   Andy Johnson & LIAM RIDGEWELL

Whats going on with the training ground? "Depends on resolution with OS. All options open"

Why was Stech recalled? Will we ever pay the additional fee due so he can play. "Yes, he expected to be on bench

Clunge can we bring Julian dicks back in any way? "Totally upto SA. We know JD be a massive popular choice

Any news on a new contract for Rob Green? "Refuses to sign new deal. Will asses in the summer"

Question for Clunge. Is the Pavon deal off? "Pavon released as wouldn't sign short term deal"

How much is Karren Brady paid by West Ham? "Nothing. G&S pay her wages out of their own pockets"

How much are we paying Lansbury? "£10k from us, £10k from Arsenal"

Is retractable seating a real option or just PR? "Genuine option. Issue will b resolved or we don't go"

What provision is there in place of one of the chairmen die? "Club will be well looked after in a worst case scenario"

If we go up, what will our transfer budget be? "75% of Sky money as a provision"

Are Gold Sullivan any closer to buying the club outright? When will Straumur b gone? "Straumur gone by 2013

What bonus is Big Sam on for promotion? £1m+, plus contract offer extension and basic pay rise"

How much is Nolan paid per week "Highest paid at club. £60k+

Who is the best player we have come relatively close to signing recently bar Tevez? "bid for Henry b4 he went to MLS"

What did you think of avram grant. "Lovely man but not for us (!) In running to get N.I job"

Who and when are we taking a new CB? "Pavon has turned down deal. Demel can play CB, Reid back 4 wks 

Whats the story with Mervan Celik? #Clunge "Hoping to do perm deal In Jan. Parma also want him"

We covered many of these Clunge stories on Moore Than Just A Podcast Episode 12 

You can listen to Episode 12 of Moore at or search ITunes for Moore Than Just A Podcast