He said what he is supposed to say in the present situation, but to be quite honest I was expecting an even vaguer statement.
This actually strengthens my belief thet there will be no weakening of the squad during the transfer window and as things lie, that's good enough for me.
I may be a bit naive since he has more or less lied to our faces previously, but now the credibility of Zola, Clarke and Nani is connected with these "promises" so it is a bit harder to do a 180 this time.
And for the sake of clarity I'll state the obvious: I don't think there are any untouchables in the squad. For the right money, go ahead and sell if an improvement is lined up.
I'd hate to see our young talents go, but since that won't happen we don't have to worry about that.
West Ham is linked with a BUY of a decent player!
OK, so the news was really that we have failed in the bid, but still. If the agent isn't just full of it, it tells us that we show some activity in the transfer market after all!
It could be interpreted in several ways, but I fail to find one that is worrying.
But he certainly sounds like a West Ham transfer since he has been out for most of the season so far...
According to the Mirror (OK, I know...), Scott Duxbury (OK, I know...) has talked to key players in the squad assuring them there will be no "fire sale" this January.
Robert Green, presumably a T-ham target, said: "We've been assured as senior players that there won't be a fire sale.
That's something the "Duck" has to tell the players, whether he intends to sell or not, just to keep key players from demanding a transfer.
But this is also the reason for me trusting the rumour, if the Club indeed starts to sell regular starters, the rest of the most important players will start an exodus by themselves requesting and pursuing transfers, and that the club cannot have.
Zola has repeatedly threatened to quit if the Club do sell, what he considers, the important players and even though these comments have been somewhat softened lately, they are still firm enough for me to believe Zola thinks there will be no such "asset stripping".
We will se some "sellable" players go during the window, but I believe the backbone of the team will be intact, and the quality of the squad will be no worse come February 3:rd.
I certainly don't mean the daft and ”rehearsed" celebrations, the ring kissing, the God-pointing (or Mum-pointing), the (sometimes so obviously) hypocritical badge kissing or that cradle nonsense, not to mention the corner pole dancing.
However, what happens right after a goal may tell us something about what is going on in a team.
Sometimes you see some big ego player running alone toward the corner post after a dead simple tap in, not even bothering to recognise the brilliant pass that made it possible, and sometimes you see someone really making sure that everybody recognises were the credit should go by ducking the other team mates to find the "brain" behind the goal.
After Tristans goal, a ball deflected off his legs, everybody jumped him almost as if he had pulled some great magic number. Tristan must really be appreciated by his team mates since everybody were genuinely happy for him. Cole, a player under a lot pf pressure lately, showed no grudge either, proving that he may be at least as big a person as he is a striker.
If a player of Tristans pedigree has made himself this popular even when he has not been played, who on the bench can be complaining!
I'd like to thank Ricardo Fuller today! Not mainly for the three points. Because, it's not easy to play against a team with ten players who defend like an handball team, but Ricardo Fullers action today will at least ease the shame our player's Bowyer and Dyer (probably) still feel, when people are talking about fighting footballer's. From now on everyone will name Fuller instead.
So Happy aren't we? Both Bellamy and Cole scored and young Collison as well, we came from behind and we won!!! So important! For Zola, for our players, for us! Three points already this Christmas Weekend. Four goals, the first time since the Blackburn game in August. Can we hope for another threepointer on Sunday?? Well, for now... let's stay HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY!
If I, against better judgement, asked for something more it would be that at least one our strikers found the back of the net.
If I were totally unrealistic I would have asked for a goal by Cole, to end his drought and prove his critics (myself included) wrong.
If I were totally outrageously pushing my luck I would secretly ask for a reasonably comfortable win.
But I know I should just hope for a ball in the woodwork from Bellamy and another decent performance.
A Merry Christmas to all Hammers out there!
Unluck. Villa won on a goal they did not deserve. They were very, very lucky. West ham did one of the better games this term. At least at home. So we were unlucky then? Partly. But it's not just unluck when you loose these kind of matches. Cole could have had three (or even four), Bellamy two and Davenport three. So 8-1 to us!
I think Collison and Noble put on admirable performances and good enough against Chelsea should be good enough against Villa.
I'm ever so pleased that all the reports from the reserve game have said that Lopez had a brilliant game. It's understandable that one hopes that the next player will be the Messiah, and I'm sure Lopez will get opportunities to shine for the first XI but I think it's a little bit too much to hope that a good run out in the reserves equals a starting position today. Actually I hope that Zola sticks with the same midfield that started the game last week and connected quite well I think.
This season we've seen a lot of changes in the team. Without having looked, I doubt that we have started with the same team two times in a row and many of our players have been asked to play in several positions.
One of the things that is typical of many successful teams is consistency, the ability to start the same players many games in a row. To act as a team it surely helps to know what the people around you are doing, and also what the players around you expects of you.
So don't throw in Lopez just yet, give Behrami, Noble, Parker and Collison another game together, they can only gain from experience.
The World's 6th richest man, the Indian Anil Ambani has according to reports been seen at Heathrow. Well, I guess he is a common guest to the biggest airports around the globe. But still, there is now renewed rumours that he came to meet our East End boys. And that he will use some of his money to purchase West Ham. The 49-year old telecom-capitalist has earlier said that he was interested to buy Tottenham. But as West Ham now is for sale, and of course has a much bigger potential that Scum ever will, there may be something to this story. I guess if this do have any substance, Zola do not have to worry any longer who to sell and buy. Abanis money will make it possible to be a top club. If the Indian wants to. And we (!?). But I'm sure I've heard those word's of promise before. Being a top club... At least I don't think Eggert ever made it to the cover of Time.
It's not the first time he has been connected with a takeover of West Ham, as you can see here.
Josh will complete his three-month loan stay with Cheltenham Town after this weekend's home match against Walsall and has up till now made 10 starts and two sub showings.
He scored on his debut in the 2-2 draw with Stockport County and is said to have played particularly well in the 1-0 home defeat by Leeds United.
Josh is described as an "energetic player who has good close control and an eye for goal". Fellow midfielder Ian Westlake rates Josh highly, comparing his style of play to Gus Poyet, even if he may have to work a bit on his skills to make it all the way.
Westlake, an experienced player, in Cheltenham on loan from Leeds, also says "He can go on to be a really good player, he just needs to know when you use magic and when to give it simple."
Josh joined West Ham from Portsmouth in 2006/7 and captains the under 18's when at home.
Allen says about Josh "He's a lovely lad but more importantly, I know he's a good player."
In a court hearing it was announced that Hansa ehf, the company through which Björgolfur Guðmundsson owns West Ham, was surprisingly granted a prolongation of the moratorium (background HERE).
This is bad news for the ones wanting a forced and quick sale of the Club since it, as far as I understand, gives BG until March before he formally can be forced to sell.
But interestingly it was stated that "...the sale process of the most valued property of Hansa, WH Holding ltd. that owns the football company West Ham united has now begun."
As the faithful reader knows, this is in line with what we have been saying at Bubbleview, but it has been a much slower process than I anticipated that I some days almost lost hope.
At the very least, this is one step closer to the club finally being sold. However, even if I firmly believe that it does not make any sense to either buy or sell the club after the transfer window, I cannot help but to worry about the fact that the moratorium is past Feb. 2nd.
I don't feel totally at ease quite yet.
The information from the court hearing has forced BG to send out his spokesperson - Asgeir Fridgeirsson – to give us his take on the situation.
Fridgeirsson says that BG is looking at offers (what else is new…) and he doesn’t miss the opportunity to tell us that there is a lot of interest in the Club.
He also said that "We are reviewing the asset, looking at what might be the value of the club''.
But fortunately, he doesn’t decide on the value of the Club. The value will be what is agreed upon between him and a buyer.
And I don’t think it’s all aces in BG's hand.
Fridgeirsson also tries “We don’t have to sell…” but I think that depends on what time frame you are talking about.
Come March (if the Court will not grant another extention of the moratorium) BG will actually have to sell, or at least give up his control of Hansa ehf and West Ham holding.
Former West Ham midfielder Paul Ince has to find a new club. Again. He was this Tuesday sacked as manager from Blackburn after just three wins in 17 games. And not any three-pointers since September 27th. At this moment Blackburn is five points beyond West Ham. I don't mind if they continue their bad run...
The topic of this post is a wide open door, but it has been spotted closed recently, so I figure I could use some cyberspace to violently try to kick it open.
It's not exactly a hot topic but the 5 year deal we handed Cole a few weeks ago can be used as an example, as it is in this context long term deals has been discussed lately.
Cole is a player I think is below starting XI quality, his first touch has improved but is still below par, his dribbling is non existent, his in the box abilities are questionable and he doesn't score on a regular basis but...
Signing Cole, as well as most other players, on a long term, is good business.
This gives us some much needed security, not constantly finding ourselves in a "blackmail" position when players (or at least their agent) demand a pay rise or threatens to quit since the contract runs out in less than a year. But even in a not so "blackmaily" situation, Who is in the best spot to renegotiate his contract, a player with 4 years or one with 2 years left on his contract?
The contract, nowadays, is more like options really. By having long term deals we are giving our selves some control over the player situation. We are still, most of the time, able to sell the player if finding him surplus to requirements, not risking him going on a Bosman. It's not like everyone in the PL stays the duration of his contract, is it?
We have to many under par first team players at the club at the moment, we pay their rather high salaries every week, and we are unable to find buyers for them. This could be an argument for shorter deals but the wage bill problem we find ourselves in at the moment has it's roots in the desperate situation 2 years ago. With the spending happy Eggert Magnússon at charge of the wallet we did some lousy business, but this shouldn't be taken as a sign that most long contracts are evil.
Obviously there are players that shouldn't be handed long contracts. Players past their best or known injury prone ones can be exceptions but as a rule handing a decent player a long term contact should be applauded.
Next topic: Signing players on long term deals if the PL bubble bursts can be a catastrophe...
These numbers obviously also reflects the way he is used, and I am more than aware that these kinds of summaries do not give us the complete picture.
I have collected numbers from his last 3 games and will present them shortly but I will post this now as a post game analysis.
Discuss if you wish, disregard if you want. Variables described below.
Headers won 8, lost 4
Head to teammate 3
Feet won 10 lost 9
Attacking with feet 5 (out of the 10 won)
Shots on or off 3 (including that ball that hit him just in front of the goal)
He wasn't used as much as a long ball receiver today, maybe because of the increased creativity on the midfield, so he headed the ball less than in previous games. His success rate, 3 out of 12,(meaning the amount of headers that turns into something positive) is approximately his average.
Today he surprised me by not losing the ball as soon as he had it at his feet, and tried to attack with it more than usual. Or is that my misconception of him...
Headers - hardly needs explanation. "won indicates all plays with his head, "lost means that somebody beat him in a duel.
Head on - headers that are directed to team mates or areas where a teammate should have been (I have given Cole the benefit of the doubt)
Feet - if he used his feet to deliver the ball to a teammate or a shot it's a "won", if he lost the ball to the opponents it's a "lost"
Attacking feet - if he played an attacking ball (Cole gets benefit of the doubt)
(Disclaimer - obviously I have missed one or two, nothing substantial I'm sure)
This was far from the panic stricken display at Liverpool. Even though we cannot claim that we controlled the game, we controlled the ball once in a while and the passing was so much better. One shouldn't be that surprised maybe, since Zola gave Parker some creative help by fielding Collison and Noble instead of Mullins and Faubert.
Prince H has given you a nice match report so I'll confine myself to comment on the "newcomers".
Hats off to Zola for having the guts to play Collison, and Collison repaid the faith by having a great game. His ability with the ball and total lack of respect for these high profile players is admirable.
Davenport also put on a great show! Even though I still want Collins in the team it's really impressive that Davenport can do his part in the defence. The "chemistry" between him and Upson may not quite have been there but that is not to be expected. They were playing Anelka, JC and Drogba!
Noble seem to have benefited from the times on the sidelines. This was one of his better performances this season. When he is at his best he is quite a nice combination of hard work and flare. Build on this son!
With the exception of Collins instead of Davenport, this will be the starting XI we'll see for quite a few games. But we should really try Sears in stead of Cole.
I was not the only one who thought that Chelsea would win quite comfortably. Not after West hams act of apathetic display and lack of any energy against Tottenham. But it's like that. West Ham surprises you when you least expect it.
Fortunately nothing has happened, there is no new signal from the board and it still doesn't make any sense to sell players that will be needed for staying up.
BG, more than anybody, needs this club to stay up or at least or at least look like it has a good chance of staying up.
We seem to agree that BG is not selling the club at the moment because he is hanging on for a better bid than the one (ones) that he has seen so far.
If that is the case, do you think that he will get more or less for the club if key players are sold?
A new owner wants to buy a PL club, not a championship club, so they realize that they need to invest in the club, just as BG and Eggs did 2 years ago. This makes it likely that the squad will be as good or even better after the transfer window than before it opens.
The only reason for a sale of players that we consider important to the team is that Zola makes another evaluation.
For example, he may be inclined to bring in a prolific striker and sell one of our midfielders.
I may not necessarily agree with his judgement, but that's another post.
Noone expects West Ham to come home with anything from their visit to Stamford bridge today. After three games with points we were once more desillusioned against Tottscum, a game which ment so much for many of us. Not mainly becuase we lost on Boleyn once more, not that we did it against a pretty blunt neighbours but the way we did it. Where were the aggression when most wanted, most needed? The Energy?
I can't help nourishing a naive hope that the return of Dyer will be the rebirth of the West Ham midfield.
However, the most important thing coming out of that game can very well be the return of Sears to the starting lineup.
Maybe not for the Chelsea game, I can't see Zola putting Cole on the bench for this one, but scoring two goals in front of the manager, when the focus was supposed to be on someone else, cannot be bad.
We are desperate for a player that has scored outside practice, even though they played an inexperienced American XI.
Sears and Bellamy had some pretty good things going on during Coles 3 match ban, and they deserve another shot at it.
Another positive is that Collison seems also to have had a good game, and it could be enough to force his way back into the team, again I think Zola will settle for Hayden's defensive style again against Chelsea, despite his shortcomings (but he had a decent first half against T-ham).
That reserve game can have been what was needed to persuade the manager that Sears and Collison are more than our future!
At least that´s what Carlton Cole thinks about his partnership up front with fellow striker Craig Bellamy. His feeling is totally contradicting what I´ve seen when I watched them play together this season. Their understanding is nowhere to be seen!
He continues to talk about the partnership and how to develop it "Once we´ve worked on our relationship then I think we can enjoy success if we start getting more chances. /.../"
If my memory doesn´t fail me I´ve read these kind of statements before from CC. It was last year from Christmas and onwards when he and Dean Ashton played together quite a lot and they didn´t seem to be able to connect.
Fair enough that he wants to work on it but how long is it supposed to take to be able to understand each other? How hard and difficult could it be? And what have they actually been doing on the Chadwell Heath before? Answers on a postcard...
It makes me wonder...
Neill, one of the highest if not the highest earner at the club at a claimed £70000 a week, pushes his luck or at least pushes his way out of the team.
We all know that there is no chance that the current board will agree to this.
Their aim, for the last year, has been to reduce the wage bills and the board will not let Lucas wreck that project.
Obviously Neill knows this and since he will not be offered anything close to his current salary anywhere else, the only explanation must be that he is forcing his way out of the club, he plainly wants out.
To get something out of this the club will have to let him go this January, if a decent offer is tabled.
As a true captain he is abandoning the ship first...
Please tell me Times got it wrong, but it seems like the Times have a decent record of getting these board related things right.
Giampaolo Pazzini is described as a powerful striker (and for once not very short) and is currently warming the bench at Fiorentina, firmly kept there by fellow strikers Mutu and Gilardino.
Issuing a "come and get me plea", as it is described, is never a good indication of a transfer, but Zola knows him from the Italian U-21 and will be a good judge of his value for us.
Speaking of values, the price tag mentioned (£5-10M) is obviously too stiff for us at the moment but a loan deal may work for all parties?
I usually have an opinion on the credibility of transfer rumours but not the Bellamy one.
Craig Bellamy is one of the few that can generate some money and (maybe) not completely vital for the team.
I'd hate to see Bellamy go, he is worth a shot with a decent striking partner!
EDIT: 11 Dec, Nani denies any interest in the player saying "The truth is that Pazzini does not interest us, he is absolutely a player that does not enter our plans."
A statement strong enough for even me to believe.
A brief brush up:
Hansa holdings ehf, the company through which BG owns West Ham, is under the threat of liquidation and as a result of that BG in November asked for Hansa to be put in a one month "moratorium".
This means that the legal system gives the company some time to sort out its business before the company that wants their money from Hansa can force Hansa to sell its assets to come up with the money it owes.
The moratorium expired yesterday and BG of course tried to renew the moratorium to give him even more time "on the ball".
And here is the real news: MP bank, as I understand it one of the claim owners, objects to a renewal of the moratorium, wanting to get what Hansa owes them. This would mean that BG loses the control over Hansa and Hansa will request bankruptcy, go into liquidation.
Now a judge of the district court of Reykjavik have 7 days to rule in this matter, but a similar request to extend a moratorium was turned down when BG's other holding company - Samson - went through the same process.
The odds are therefore decent that BG will lose control over Hansa, meaning he will no longer be deciding what will happen with the West Ham shares that Hansa owns.
Does this mean the claim owners want as much money as possible and are willing to wait, or some money as soon as possible?
As BG, the administrators of the bankruptcy will weigh pros and cons of a deal, trying to get as good a deal as possible. But since at least one claim owner is not willing to give BG more time to sort it out, one can speculate that these claim owners are more inclined to cash in as soon as possible. They may well be in a desperate situation themselves.
My bet is that if the application for extension of the moratorium fails, we will be sold as soon as any even close to decent bid comes along.
I can't wait!
Why dont you just admit you havent got a clue what your talking about, It will still take time for the team to get used to Zola'a Tactics, did you really expect it all to change over night.You should really support the Spuds as you seem to think nobody is yup to your standard.Idiot!!
I doubt that everyone dissatisfied with our game last night is a Spurs fan, but that's maybe not the major issue here. I even doubt that Zolas tactics (regular 442) is the problem, especially when it looked pretty decent in the first half.
Last night I think we saw a team that totally lack confidence and revert to panic football when they feel they are losing the game. First half was reassuring in my view, but then the problems set in.
We fall back into old sins, playing chance-ball, giving the ball away with rushed passes to players already covered. Forcing us to immediately deal with the next attack from T-ham, and the next and the next. Building their confidence and deflating ours.
It is important to use the speed of Bellamy, and try to move the ball up swiftly but I think it's equally important to let the team be confident with the ball, getting themselves into positions and not being forced to defend in panic with a lot of players out of position. Choose the times to play on the brake, but don't do it all the time.
I must confess to thinking the midfield is not quite what I was hoping for and that we do lack a "man in charge" and some tecnical quality on the ball as well as in the passes.
However, I feel we don't give the players an opportunity to show what they can do when they are forced to waste so much mental and physical energy on an unstructured game.
It must be better to fix the hole in the boat than to ask the crew to man the bilges.
Basically the theory behind that seems to be to give the initiative to the other team and show off our present trade mark lack of a passing game and returning the ball as soon as we recover it.
After 30 minutes of not having the ball in the second half Zola decides on Di Michele!
We're not lacking a striker (oh well actually we are, but that's not relevant tonight) we are lacking people that are able to build an attack and feed the strikers (and then we probably need a striker).
If Di Michele had scored instead of hitting the only thing between him and the goal line, Zola would have looked like a genius but to me it was a lousy call. Get Collison in and Mullins out when there were still some time on the clock.
After being sidelined for over a year and following the stress fracture backlash he got this summer, he is obviously a bit short off his best. But that may still get him close to a first team comeback since the competition comes in the form of Bowyer, Mullins and Collison.
Bowyer has not impressed me in his latest games, he works hard but in some strange way it seems like he needs the team to have a good game for him to have one. Not a player to have a powerful impact on the game at the moment. Bowyer is my bet to be leaving in January.
Mullins is known as the underrated defensive midfielder. People have been saying this for as long as I can remember and I am still afraid I underrate him since I don't realy rate him that high, no matter how hard I try. I still can't get over that Pardew picked him before Masherano. Pretty good 78 minute sub when we need to buckle up, but not a starter unless in a game where we hope for a nil nil draw (and even then I think I prefer possession).
Collison Is the future, but not quite the present. He is brilliant for his age, but needs to be allowed to play second fiddle for some time yet. Also Parker needs someone alongside him that can take more of the weight of his shoulders than Collison can - yet.
How I wish I could be at that reserve friendly to see how far off Dyer is!
(Btw, why behind closed doors? What is the secret to be kept? That Dyer is nowhere near fit? And why should that be a secret, are they trying to sell him? Or is someone else there we shouldn't be aware of? Some Italian youngster?)
He certainly is our future, but the tall (6'3'',190) centre half broke into the West Ham first team already last season.
Admittedly partly because of the less than optimal injury situation last spring, he has so far made six appearances for the club. And bar some rookie mistakes he didn't look out of his depth in those games. I liked the way he was totally unfazed by the situation and his obvious friendship with the ball.
Tomka, as his team mates call him, is a product of our academy having been in the club since the age of 8!
Last season he signed a new long-term contract that keeps him in the club until 2011.
The U19 international starter is now on a 5 week loan deal with Derby, starting Nov 27.
Embracing the opportunity to get hardened in a tough league, he comments the stay with Derby "...I can then come back to West Ham and stake my claim for a place". Well said!
The 5 week loan at Derby, starting Nov 25 will do him good since splendid games from Collins and Upson keeps him out of the starting XI.
Josh_Payne - Cheltenham
Junior Stanislas - Southend utd
Loaned 6 weeks starting Nov 27
Jordan_Spence - Leyton Orient
An 8 game loan stint starting Nov 25.
Kyel Reid - Blackpool
Got off on the right foot for the "Seasiders" by setting up the winning goal in his debut!
Nigel Qusahie - Birmingham City
Jimmy Walker - Colchester utd
Just a list at present, durations and progress coming up, will be updated.
Sometimes it's harder for a foreign footballer to deal with English journalists that are desperate for readers and sensations, than playin in the PL.
I'm talking about "West Ham need to sell during the January transfer window" and clones thereof.
It didn’t take that many days on the job until Zola realized that there would be no transfer funds to his disposal. He acted as most new managers do and said what the owner wanted him to – “The squad is too big and it would be better if it could be trimmed”. Making a case for quality over quantity. That’s when it took off, “Zola will have to sell” was the headlines two months ago, and we can observe that it unfortunately still is.
We can also establish that there is nothing new in this latest version of the story, it’s still “West Ham needs money so they will off load players” + speculations on who will leave.
Zola has repeatedly stated that he is not obligated to sell any players that he want to keep. He has said this so many times that he has invested a fair amount of his credibility in this statement. So much in fact that I think he believes it to be true. And I choose to believe he is right, mainly because it makes no sense to sell players that are needed to keep us up.
The latest repackaging of this story uses Ashton as eye-catcher. The Mirror seems to be in the center of the rings on the water this time around. Their take is that Ashton will leave together with Quashie, Bowyer, LBM, Davenport, Gabbidon and Spector.
Apart from the fact that there is nothing new in this story, I dare them to come up with buyers for these players at the moment. If there are any buyers out there the headline would in my view be “West Ham happy to cash in on the surplus”. Take Gabbidon for an example, who would like to buy a player that has been out for that long and with no return date set ?Now, Dean Ashton may not be surplus to requirements, especially with the present striker situation, but to find a buyer for him today, that is willing to offer him anything close to his present pay and also gamble on his abilities and fitness, seems like an impossible task.
Should we worry that these players will leave in January? – with the possible exception of one or at best two of these, unfortunately not.
SBOBET, an asian on-line betting site finally struck a deal with us, rumoured to be worth 2.5 million pounds and lasting until the end of the 2009/2010 season.
I grew attached to the number plates but they also felt like a constant reminder of our economic state - a plate of shame...
SBOBET were implicated in some matchfixing business but were, as I under stand it, only the tool of the match fixers.
NB the pic (photoshoped) is courtesy of Hammer9 at KUMB and is his guess what the shirt may look like.
We are now out of that cup too, as conceding 3 goals and bagging one (Ahmed Abdulla 77') usually have that effect in a cup.
The team is reported to have had the initiative for much of the game without being able to convert it into anything - sounds a bit like the first team a couple of games ago.
West Ham: Street, Modelski, Brown, Brookes (McNaughton 81), Fry. Kearns (Abdulla 62), Okus (Grasser 71), Lee, Montano, Edgar, Bajner. Subs: Loveday, Hall.
How shall I put this...
I don't want anybody to think that I am, in any way, blaming any individual youth players, and it's just one game, but I think this at least is not contradictory to my thesis that our Academy at the moment is not a great force in English youth football.
Prevous post on this topic HERE
Last night we saw three types of passes from West Ham players. One was the futile long ball towards Cole with little precision, and when it actually found its target (12 times) he immediately lost it (10 times). The second kind of pass is the one I talked about after the Sunderland game – a short pass to an already marked player, resulting in the immediate loss of possession. The third was the backward pass, sometimes combined with the features of pass number two…
In sharp contrast was the ability of the Liverpool team to deliver long passes with precision, but more importantly they knew how to find an unmarked player with a simple pass, constantly changing sides to pull apart the West Ham defense.
To find an unmarked player with a pass unfortunately demands an unmarked player, not easy to find last night, and that takes at least some (albeit not much) of the blame off Parker.
Both Faubert and Behrami were found in central positions for much of the game, not offering the possibility of the cross or the changing of side during the buildup (although one can argue that a long pass to Faubert would be a waste of effort).
Behrami works his socks off but I find his work paying off mainly when he chases the ball. Mullins will not be discussed in this context.
When an attack was launched on one side the ball was always going to be lost on that side.
We look like a team that practices on a 5-a- side pitch to improve the first touch but then fails to adapt to the bigger field during the game.
Granted, the Liverpool midfield were also working hard to cut off our passing opportunities, but we didn’t make it very difficult for them to do so.
Prince H’s post was spot on in my opinion, maybe Bellamy, in my humble view, showed what he can do even if the game was not in his favor. I don’t primarily mean his dead ball abilities, rather his work rate and his ability to find a way to charge at the goal over and over and over again – tirelessly.
Tip for next weeks training: Crosses!
Harald sent me a text on the signal: Peace of cake! We can also see that it takes some hours to bake that cake. Steve Clarke has built one now. With help from James Collins, Matthew Upson and Yo-Yo. But after the good result, 0-0 against the PL-leaders on Anfield we can also see how much we lack a strong influence in the middle of the park.
Barnsley! Well, last year the CC-team won 1-2 away against Liverpool and in the Quarter Finals they even made the only goal (Odejayi) against Chelsea and went on to the Semi. So Barnsley know how to chock their PL-opponents in the FA-cup. Still I will go for a win for West Ham when we meet in the third round. Barnsley look a bit weaker this year. They even fell to Nottingham this weekend. But who knows? West Ham have a bad habit to loose to worse teams. To play too cowardly. The Tykes are certainly no easy opposition in this cup.
I've been waiting for that story to emerge for some time since it makes perfect sense that both parties, at this time, would like to have this settled and to stop the uncertainty.
There is no doubt in my mind that talks like these are ongoing, but to keep the pressure on the other team and to cover for a "no deal scenario" the other, official, routes must be proceeded.
Here are some reasons for Sheffield to go for an out of court settlement:
1. West Ham will drag this "case" to every legal body thinkable and then some, we've shown our determination to do so already. The new Tribunals verdict (the amount to be payed) will of course also be appealed against to all instances, dragging this painful story into and maybe beyond the summer transfer window. If Sheffield are promoted, money would be a great boost for their bid to stay in the premiership. A decent sum now may also enable them to bolster their squad already in the January transfer window, increasing the chances of a promotion.
2. There is still an outside chance that this can be taken to CAS and that possibility may persuade Sheffield to accept a lower "payoff", instead of risking it all.
3. There is the chance/risk that the new Tribunal will come up with a very low sum for West Ham to pay, and that may also be a reason for Sheffield to settle for something less than their original bid, just to secure as much as possible. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
A knee jerk reflex would be to say that "we owe those **** nothing so we should pay them nothing"! But let's look at some reasons for West Ham to take a lesser blow now:
1. The uncertainty of this issue is most likely a big stumbling block for the sale of the club. Any potential buyer would like this sorted before agreeing on a takeover price, and I want this club sold as much as BG does!
2. A potential payoff would be reflected in the price of the Club, so the money is gone for BG any way you see it. To let this affect the takeover now, for a profit in the summer when he is not around is just not in his interest.
3. In analogy to the Sheffield point number 2 and 3 above, there is good a chance that CAS will never handle this and that the Tribunal will come to the conclusion that the absurd £50 m claim is justified. I mean this bunch have come to some mind boggling conclusions already, do we really want this in their hands?
4. To drag this around the legal system costs us money! If this would drag on until the summer, the fees for Maurice and his lot will not be counted in thousands...
5. The players need to be reassured that there is a financially viable future at the club, otherwise those we would like to stay may start to jump ship at first chance.
But what is the amount that is the highest amount West Ham would find agreeable, and what is the lowest Sheffield would consider?
Let's hope they overlap!
This isn´t the first time we hear about players going out during the season getting into trouble. That makes me think that it´s probably quite common (they can´t end up in trouble every single time, can they?). Why? Why don´t the take their carreers seriously enough to sacrifice such things during the season during their relatively short carreers? Why don´t they do everything in their power to become as good as possible like so many other athletes would have done (at least in individual sports).
James Collins might not have been drunk and he might have been in the neighbourhood with his wife just to grab a nice meal but at 3 o´clock in the morning?
I´d really like to see a change in mentality of the pro footballers. A couple of years ago, when David James played in West Ham, he was asked if he´d done anything to improve since they´ve seen him raise his standards the last couple of games. He told them that he´d been of the "boose" since New Years Eve or something like that. He did it to enhance his game and be a better goalkeeper. I think it was before the world cup. How come he didn´t realise this sooner in his carreer (and why didn´t he continue? He might have, I don´t know).
I guess this has something to do with individual sports vs team sports. In a team sport you get away with it when you in individual sports don´t. When there´s 11 players on the pitch you can get away with a lesser performance. When only you are in focus you won´t. Why don´t they make the best of the great opportunity they´ve received by being good in a huge sport like football?
I hope Zola took the opportunity to talk about principles and morale and how to behave like an elite athlete when he got this golden opportunity. If so, then something good might come from it. I don´t want to read about incidents like this every other month. I just want the players in ”my” team to behave like professional athletes in the future. Is that to much to ask?
Quite often I find that the first time I read it was on the lading West Ham site/forum - KUMB.
This could mean that the posters on KUMB gets information soon to be unveiled in other media on before hand, or it could be that the so called authors of these newspaper articles have found an easy way to get information. KUMB is never more than a click away. A coming Bubbleview post on potential buyers will be one good example.
I think we can agree that most people that are really interested in what people say about West Ham, would check out KUMB.
Do you think that the group at West Ham responsible for the information flow to the press and the fans are interested in what people say about West Ham, and do you think that they are any different than other interested parties? I thought not.
Ergo, West Ham press people are looking to KUMB, as one source, to find out what is going on out there and to check which rumors are flying - and which are not!
Now let's take this argumentation one step further. If you were to do a multi million pound business, would you not only know but even like to influence what is said?
OK, how would you do that?
You could post a statement by Duxbury on the official site (or let him send an e-mail to all employees...) or you could send out a spokesperson to talk to the press). These ways have the drawbacks of all official statements- we know this is only what the Club or owner wants us to know.
Another common "trick" is to drop some information on the doorstep of a "trusted" journo that usually writes a piece on what you throw at him - it serves a purpose for both parties.
Yet another way would be to feed someone at strategical places, maybe someone considered to be ITK . However, a more direct way would be to actually plant a story by posting a hint at the appropriate forum. Are they that shrewd or am I just paranoid?
Can you really be sure I'm just paranoid?
West Ham continue to plan for the future. I hope. At least giving another of our players a new improved five year contract make us all believe so. And happily it's Freddie Sears that now is ready to bang goals for us until 2013. (Well, he has only scored once in the PL so far, in his debut last March, but anyway... we all know he will be PL:s top scorer 2011 )
Still with me? No? Study previous blog entries HERE
This means (I think) that the High Court will now decide the future of this injunction/CAS appeal, come January. So there will be no CAS-case until then (if ever).
My first reaction was to wonder if it was in our best interest to keep the uncertainty about this alive. But since the new_"Tribunal+" will not come up with their verdict on how much, if anything, West Ham is to throw at Sheffield, until March, it really doesn’t change anything.
At least the legal team led by Maurice_Watkins gets to play another day.
Check out the presentations of Josh and Jordan by clicking their names or by clicking the "One for the future" label to the left of the posts.
This obviously alerts the press (and some blogs), and as he has played for Zola in the Italian U-21s, and said to rate Zolas advice as “invaluable”, the connection to West Ham is inevitable.
Being an attacking midfielder he plays in a position where we are in a close to desperate need, which obviously fuels the rumors further.
Another fact that may make this rumor more believable than others, is the loan del concept. We will not buy a player this January that can significantly bolster our squad, but to get one on loan may be a possibility.
This may be especially reasonable if we are about to dislodge some of the midfielders during the coming transfer window, and I fear we might.
Not being much of a fan of Italian football I must say I have no first hand information about his abilities, and it may be a hard time to find games to gamble on an unproven player, but if Zola says he is OK I won’t argue.
Quashie extending his stay at St Andrews is another piece of good news!
First I must join the chorus of appraisals for Collins and Upson (and Neill!) but apart from that, what sticks in my mind is that there are at least 2 fundamental problems with the game we played yesterday.
First : The midfield lacks a passer that possess the ability to play the ball to someone that is not already covered.
Parker receives the ball and mostly dwells on it until the enemy midfielder is all over him and he needs to just “get rid of it”, resulting in a 5 yard pass. The poor fellow on the other end of that pass is then, for obvious reasons, not more than a couple of yards away from quite a few enemies, in addition to the one marking him, giving him no time.
For a couple of games I was blaming our 3 man midfield for not being able to get some width in the play. I still think that was one reason, but the lack of ability to open the game is apparent also in a 442 setting.
It was even more obvious yesterday since as soon as Sunderland gained possession they immediately played it away from that central congested area which allowed them to get possession of the ball in our half of the pitch. Thankfully they failed to convert it into anything useful…
This problem is of course intertwined with lack of passing opportunities presented by his team mates, but still.
Second: I wrote in a recent post that most defenders and midfielders know how to strip the ball from Cole. Apart from the fact that they really didn’t have to do that yesterday, since he lost it more or less on his own most of the time, it turned out to be true again.
Cole is over-used in these games. It seems like that the first thought of many players is “feed the Cole” but unfortunately he will not score, or deliver the ball to someone in motion, or keep it up long enough to let the team advance.
Bellamy was more or less invisible yesterday, and even though all players have to answer for their own shortcomings, he was not given much to work with. How many balls delivered behind the back 4 for him to chase did you see? I cannot remember more than one!
No, the presence of a below par target player ruins our and Bellamy’s game. If Sunderland had been any better in front of goal or if Collins/Upson had not been brilliant, this would have been called the catastrophe it was. We were saved by their incompetence.
For a few hours Tottenham was ahead of us in the table after a scrappy win against Blackburn. Our win was not the prettiest either, but to sooo much relief. It's like Zola said, football is a strange game, sometimes you play beautiful and come out with nothing... So I guess we have all learned that fighting is always number one, playing pretty football number two... Even if we wan't everything - always including three points. But this win was really great as we are still better off than Tottscum, and that this win with another cleen sheet make us feel so much better. Not at least as our forthcoming games will be tougher than tough.