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


Thursday, 29 November 2012

Spursgate v Watergate: What did they know & When did they start knowing it?

Forty years ago Howard Hunt (HH) put together a team of private investigators nicknamed the Plumbers to break into the Watergate hotel. An act that would turn into a massive cover up which ended the reign & career of President Richard Nixon. 

A few days after the break-in, Nixon was recorded saying,, "This fellow Hunt, he knows too damn much." 

Howard Hunt later put pressure on the White House  for cash payments to cover legal fees, family support, and expenses, for himself and his fellow burglars

In 2011 another HH (Howard Hill) is alleged to have put together a team of private investigators to obtain phone records belonging to West Ham Vice Chairman Karren Brady.

These phone records were passed to Tottenham Hotspur's lawyers in early March 2011, although Spurs continue to claim that it did not receive copies itself.

At a high court hearing in 2011 lawyers for Karren Brady and West Ham won an order requiring accountants PKF, hired by Spurs to conduct "due diligence" on the first bidding process for the Olympic Stadium, to hand over "unlawfully obtained" copies of Brady's itemised phone bills.

Spurs lawyers were gathering material for a possible judicial review, which eventually reached court in October 2011 but was then halted in its tracks when the government and the OPLC pulled the plug on their deal with West Ham and Newham council in the face of delays caused by legal challenges from Spurs.

The records are believed to show details of phone calls between Brady and OPLC board members, including the then chief executive Andrew Altman.

In his witness statement the Spurs finance director Matthew Collecott said: "I understand [Howard] Hill produced Brady's phone records to the lawyers. When asked he confirmed they had been received anonymously. The lawyers claim they made it clear to Howard Hill it was imperative that all investigations were carried out within the law."  

Matthew Collecott confirmed that PKF was engaged in February 2011 to carry out "due diligence" on the process. Spurs were concerned details of their tender for the Olympic Stadium had been leaked.

West Ham's legal counsel, said his reading of Matthew Collecott's desciption of the sequence of the events was that Howard Hill was being painted as a "rogue agent" who had "exceeded his authority". Both PKF and Howard Hill claimed not to know where the phone bills came from, saying they had been sent anonymously.

"I did not attach any significance to Howard Hill's reference to receiving telephone records," claimed Matthew Collecott.

The 2011 court case brought by West Ham heard an individual calling themselves "Thomas Brady" with a fictional West Ham email address had managed to obtain Brady's itemised Vodafone mobile phone bills from its customer services department.

PKF claimed not to know where the documents had come from and said that its partner Howard Hill had claimed the telephone records arrived "in the proverbial brown envelope".

Howard Hill admitted passing the records to the Sunday Times, which used them as part of the basis for an article. Hill later apologised to the Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, after the Sunday Times article appeared, the court was told.

The judge had described how West Ham and Brady were given the "traditional runaround" by Spurs and PKF as they attempted to establish whether the phone bills existed and who had access to them. 

Yesterday (Wednesday 28th November 2012) Howard Hill along with Richard Forrest & Lee Stewart finally appeared in court charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

They were all bailed to appear at Southwark Crown Court on 1 February 2013

It is claimed that Howard Hill, a former partner at accountancy firm PKF, employed private investigators to get the information while Tottenham Hotspur FC were bidding for the stadium.

In the seventies the New York Times asked  'What did Nixon Know & When Did He Know It?'

I would like to ask that same question to Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy and finance director Matthew Collecott.

Will this turn out to be Spursgate?  I guess we might find out in February next year.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Safe Standing at the Olympic Stadium with West Ham

On Thursday evening my I joined Sports Tonight TV on Sky Channel 498 via Skype to askark Palios, the former FA Chief Executive and West Ham Chairman David Gold a question on Safe Standing.

Like I said in my question on you tube linked above, I am  an old South Bank terrace boy, I now stand in front of my seat in Sir Trevor Brooking Lower at every game like everyone else in Sir Trevor Brooking lower.

However I understand other parts of the Boleyn West Ham fans are asked to sit down or face eviction from the ground.

The law says football clubs must have a seat for each fan. It doesn't say the fan must sit down in it.

The football league rules say fans must sit down when matches are being played and clubs can eject any fan that doesn't comply.

This is enforced differently from club to club, ground to ground and in some cases like West ham it is different from stand to stand.

I believe it is time that the government, the FA and clubs should re-look at these rules.

I also support the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) campaign for Safe Standing.

This is the Safe Standing Roadshow

It is interesting that David Gold says he will consider Safe Standing at the Olympic Stadium should West ham get it.  I would certainly apply for a stand standing area season ticket.

Other Safe Standing quotes related to West Ham

“We actually wish we could have fans like that back in England who stand up behind the goal and sing all the way through, fantastic atmosphere really enjoyed it.” West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce after his team visited Dynamo Dresden

I am in favour of safe standing the key is in the title 'safe'. DG” West Ham United co-owner David Gold on twitter

“In this world the customer has the right to choose and if some fans would prefer to stand, fair enough.” West Ham United chief executive and vice chairman Karen Brady

My question prompted a small piece in The Guardian over the weekend

You tube Video on Safe Standing

Saturday, 17 November 2012

West Ham Supporter Advisory Board Update

I attended last Monday's West Ham Supporter Advisory Board along with over 100 other members on the 124 strong advisory board.

The full power-point presentation from the evening can be found on the link below,,12562~178571,00.pdf

Special Guest

Surprise guest of the night was Sam Allardyce who spent around one hour doing a private Q&A with SAB members. My question to Big Sam started with a statement. I said ' I am sure you are aware you weren't everyone's cup of tea when you were appointed but hopefully I speak for the majority of West Ham fans when I say you did a bloody good job last season and your start to this season is none too shabby either' The statement was received with a round applause for Sam's achievements. My following question was 'It is rumoured you entered into a two year contract, if this is true have you started re-negotiating with the board to extend your time as West ham manager'

Sam smiled and said 'It is a 2 year contract which expires at the end of this season but negotiations had not started yet' he then hinted that West ham needed to be sure they had secured premiership survival before a proper deal could be done.

SAB Myths

I know many think the SAB is full of hand picked supporters who agree with the club, or that it is some kind of secret society with funny hand shakes. Others think it is a marketing gimmick that gives lip service to fans views only and is a waste of time.

The club are very clear, it is not and was never intended to be a Supporters Trust. The club is not a democracy and not trying to be like AFC Wimbledon.

However the two Davids understand it is a very stupid business that doesn't listen to it's customers and the advisory board is there to do just that, feed back views of customers who will vote with their custom on match days, season tickets and purchases in the club shop.  

If you attended any of the SAB meetings you would instantly know the hand picked accusation is a complete myth as well. There are plenty of SAB members who don't see eye to eye with the club on a numbers of issues. The idea of the SAB as puppets with the two Davids pulling the strings is frankly laughable. Membership of the SAB includes two committee members of WHUSVIEW who are opposed to the move to the Olympic Stadium.

The Olympic Stadium was not discussed on Monday as the discussions are still at a delicate stage and the club are under strict confidentiality restrictions. However we were promised an emergency SAB meeting when the decision is made (which ever way it goes!)

As for the SAB having no teeth and just a marketing ploy to pay lip service to the fans here are twenty of the things SAB involvement helped changed last season.

1) The 20% discount  for STH promised by previous owners was bought to the attention of the West Ham board by the SAB. The SAB asked us the board to honour the promise.

2) The SAB were consulted on membership and benefits and the (0-6) year membership was launched earlier this season as a result

3) Request for a token gift for ST holders like members. West Ham Pin badges being sent out this season.

4) Viagogo deal came as a result of the SAB to allow STH to sell back tickets.

5) 2 for £20 T Shirt range extended after SAB feedback

6) By the Fans for the Fans extended from SAB feeback

7) Season Ticket holders ability to upgrade to Corporate without re-purchase 

8) Junior ST holders mascots and Christmas party. There will be another one this year.

9) SMS for poor behaviour to be on big screen and in programme

10) More Bubble machines

11) Season Ticket holders Bar (trialed  but unsuccessful) Looking at it again.

12) New Mascot Hammerhead (SAB ‘less scary’ comments effected final look)

13) Brand – ‘Forever United’ was too generic and didn't focus on heritage so it was dropped due to SAB feedback

14) Moore than a Football Club was chosen as new brand from SAB feedback

15) More focus on the crossed Hammers/Irons from SAB feedback

16) Armed Forces offer – this scheme is now up and running

17) More links with Bobby Moore Fund and family

18) Looking into West Ham Loyalty scheme 

19) Move from pints to bottles in bars to speed up serving times

20) Ability for STH to bring along friends at discounted rates and site next to them

New SAB Format in the coming year

Going forwards the SAB will concentrate on four areas with sub groups outside any OS decision which will would involve the whole SAB membership. 

Media Group (New website, fan blog writer, twitter, facebook and research)

Community/Charity (benchmarking, what more could be done, Bobby Moore Fund)

Season Ticket/Membership benefits (research other products, what would we like to add e.g. extra priority day, pack content)

Match day Experience

Names of The 2012/13 Supporter Advisory Board
Keith Alder-Barber
Stuart Allen
Graeme Archer
Satvir Atkar
Steven Barlow
Tony Barritt
Catherine Bayford
Rachel Beagles
Daniel Bloom
Jack Boteler
Tim Boughen
Peter Bruce
Steve Burton
Peter Caton
Will Cheeld
Neil Clack
Daniel Clement
Marcus Clement
David Clements
Andy Connacher
Tina Cowen
Lesley Craig
Colin Crowe
Michael Crowhurst
Stuart Dean
Jill Dower
Tom Dowsett
Neil Duggan
Kevin Dunckley
Gavin Dunstan
Dee England
Saul Ettridge
Michael Evans
Tricia Evans
John Farren
Rob Ford
Paul Fox
Richard Francis
Michelle Gabriel
Jonathan Gaffney
Paul Gibson
Sherrie Goldsmith
David Hall
David Halston
Tony Harries
Graham Hatt
Benjamin Hawkes
Ian Henderson
Jack Hess
Graham Howlett
Craig Hughes
Peter Hunt
Anthony Hyams
Deniz Jaffer
Steve Joyce
Nigel Kahn
Diane Keleghar
John Kemp
Warren Kober
Adrian Leahy
Victor Lindsell
John Llewellyn
Phil Llewellyn
Kevin Markham
Ryan Marsh
Steve Marsh
Neil Martin
Dan Mason
Suzanne Mason
Gerry McCarthy
Norman McGuire
Steve Medhurst
Antoni Miziolek
Darren Morgan
Colin Morris
John Norman
Michael Nuciford
Leigh O'Connor
Cecilia O'Herlihy
Wallace Onnie
John Parry
Jonathan Penfold
Eamon Quinn
Kevin Radley
Paul Reynolds
Paul Richardson
Pete Richardson
Jason Rose
James Rutherford
Steve Ryder
Nigel Salvage
Nick Scott
Barry Shelton
Stuart Slaney
Mark Steele
Terry Stokes
Ben Surdeau
John Sussex
Dave Tate
Mark Taylor
Kishan Teli
Simon Thomson
Eleanor Tilley
Mark Tilley
Stephen Todd
Stephen Trowers
Kathryn Upton
John Walker
Ian Wearne
Sean Whetstone
Anne-Marie White
Peter Whitelock
Nick Wood
Richard Wood
Ali Worth
Ian Wicks
Trevor Wisdom
Daniel Yallop
John Yewman
Jason Zammit

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Who scored a hat-trick against 3 different goalkeepers?

On 21st April 1986 in the old Division 1 at Boleyn Ground West Ham beat Newcastle 8 goals to 1!
It is a pub quiz teaser that still baffles everyone except West Ham United fans.
Who scored a hat-trick against three different goalkeepers? 
Answers on a post card!
Of course the answer is Alvin Martin's amazing triple in the 8-1 victory over Newcastle United. 
"It's not often that a centre-half gets a hat-trick and that was probably the worst one anybody has ever scored," confessed the modest Alvin Martin. "But it's in the record books!"
Flying high in fifth spot at the time, John Lyall's soaring side may have gone into the game as favourites, but Willie McFaul's tenth-placed team had just left a massive dent in Chelsea's championship aspirations following their 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge two days earlier.
Some conspiracy theorists later alleged that the Tynesiders' capitulation had been caused by their over-zealous celebrations in the Blackmore pub owned by their London-born skipper - and future Hammers boss - Glenn Roeder.
 But it was obvious to the 24,735 inside Upton Park that their goalkeeper Martin Thomas, who had sat it out at Chelsea with a shoulder injury, was simply still not fit.
On-loan from Hibernian, his replacement David McKellar had damaged his hip at the Bridge and the reluctant Magpies' goalkeeper had no option but to take his place back between the sticks. Within five minutes, he was picking the ball out of the net after Martin volleyed home Alan Devonshire's free-kick into the six-yard box.
The hapless Thomas was then beaten by speculative long-rangers from Ray Stewart and Neil Orr before Roeder inexplicably flicked the ball into his own net. With both his shoulder and pride hurting profusely, Thomas failed to emerge for the second period.

Rookie midfielder Chris Hedworth pulled on the green jersey for the restart but he was soon in trouble, too, after falling awkwardly and cracking his collarbone.
Midway through the half, Martin headed in Tony Gale's flick-on following Mark Ward's corner and as the brave Hedworth returned outfield before subsequently retiring, Peter Beardsley donned the gloves. Although Billy Whitehurst pulled one back for the visitors, Paul Goddard and Frank McAvennie then made it 7-1.
"I only came out to buy a loaf of bread!" bewildered, beleaguered and battered defender John Bailey famously shouted to the South Bank as he guarded his third goalkeeper of the night in readiness for another Hammers' bombardment. Sure enough, with six minutes left, the handling Roeder gave Martin the chance to claim the match ball and make it 8-1 to the Hammers, who were destined to go on and finish their best-ever campaign in third spot.
Despite his later claims that his England team-mate was Beardsley was pulling funny faces at him, the Mexico 86-bound Scouser successfully stroked in from the spot.
"Our normal penalty man Ray Stewart had picked up the ball to take the kick but once the crowd started chanting my name, it became embarrassing not to have it," wrote Martin in Boys of '86. "Afterwards, John Lyall said that goal difference could have counted come the end of the season and that we should have been more professional and still let Ray take it. Everyone was saying: 'C'mon John, it was 7-1 and it was his first hat-trick' I think he went a bit too far that night!"
West Ham United Team on that Day: Parkes, Stewart, Parris, Gale, Martin, Devonshire, Ward, Orr, Dickens (Goddard 80) Cottee, McAvennie
Here is the Youtube video of that magic day

Thursday, 1 November 2012

A week in the life of the Olympic Stadium Pantomime

What a week in the Olympic Stadium Pantomime and it is not even the Christmas season yet!

So first story of the week told the future of the Olympic Stadium retractable seating £200 million rebuild was reported to be thrown into doubt after Old Eton boy George Osbourne in the Treasury ruled out handing any of the £377 million London 2012 surplus over to Old Eton boy Boris Johnson for the project. This would leave a £120 Million hole in the current rebuild budget.

Hot on the heels of that story was that NFL American Football franchise would gazump West Ham to be anchor tenants of the Olympic Stadium. Bizarre story as the bidding process is closed and I sure a third bidding process would be required to make this legal.

Although the Daily Mail later claimed West Ham would share the OS with NFL.

Now today news has been reported in the Independent that West Ham have bid £8.08M per year for the 99 year lease committing us to £880M over 99 years.

To me this is the most concerning of all three stories if true. The richest club in the world Man City pay £3 Million per for their 50,000 capacity state owned stadium and make £8 Million per year profit from the naming rights. However if the Independent story is true we as one of the most debt laden clubs will pay £8M per year with no rights to the naming rights, catering rights or rental from other tenants.

Doesn't sound like a good deal to me (if true)

The result of the bidding process is expected on the 5th December.

Here is a link to my previous post on the Olympic Stadium Story So Far

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Everything you wanted to know about Savio Nsereko

Savio Arrested, Deported and Charged
Former Hammer Savio was arrested last Friday on perjury charges over his kidnap claim,  Thai police have said in the Bangkok post.
Savio who now plays for Unterhaching in Germany's Bundesliga , was arrested in a rented room in Pattaya, Thailand.
Police said they were contacted by the German embassy which asked them to help Savio who had made a phone call to his relative in that country to transfer 3,000 euros  to his account claiming that he was abducted in Thailand.
Police said that after receiving the complaint they began their investigation and found that Savio, who arrived in Thailand on Oct 14th, had spent all one million baht he brought with him from Germany.
As a result, Savio then made up the story in the hope that his relative would transfer money to him. Police said Savio would be deported to face charges in Germany on Saturday.
Interpol Search
Just last year it was reported that Interpol were looking for Savio after he went missing in Italy while on loan to Juve Stabia from Fiorentina. He texted his coach to say he would not make training for "personal reasons".
Juve Stabia sporting director Salvatore Di Somma said: 'The player's mother lodged a complaint with Interpol and the police have released a photo of him to try to find him soon. 
He later turned up in London unharmed.
The £10 Million Deal that Never Was
Savio joined West Ham in January 2009 and reports in the Telegraph story below suggested that we paid £10 million for him. However many believe this was a smoke screen to deflect where the £14 million went after we sold Craig Bellamy to Manchester City. It is thought the exaggerated £9m to £10M package was mainly made up of add ons with West Ham needing to play Champions League football to get anywhere a £10M package. Many believe Savio cost West Ham a more modest £1M to £2M before the swap deal for Da Costa & some cash.
Nani Sacked
There is possibly more murkiness with the deal  we shall never know with the then West ham Technical Director Gianluca Nani masterminding the deal with his brother in law who was the owner of Brescia who owned Savio. Surely a massive conflict of interest there in anyone's books?  It has been suggested by some online in forums there was something dodgy going on there. Gianluca Nani was dismissed by West Ham in February 2010