Another "decent" loss

As I got to go to bed (well, our defence seems to have fallen asleep sometimes too...) just some brief notes from our loss against Manchester City.
3-1 was fair in a way, but again we also had some bad luck. But luck is something you deserve, isn't it? However: I can't see that De Jong should have been given a freekick when he misjudged the ball. A freekick that led to Petrovs goal and Manchester City's second. A few minutes later Carlton Cole ran away from Lescott and fed the ball to Parker who shuffled into the goal, well 2-2 , we thought. But the bad referee for the night, Chris Foy, said Carlton Cole had something to do with Lescott falling.... Can't see that. They were even lucky with their third. A cheap freekick and a close offside?
Still the new Arab Legion had better player$$$$ in their final third and on the middle so they won. They were better and we made some very cheap mistakes. All their goals came after mistakes from our boys.
Or as Zola put it: "You can't afford to come to places like this and just give presents to the opposition, they will take advantage of the smallest opportunity.".
And sure we missed Upson and Gabbidon too (and yes Collins, but he is gone, we can't do anything about that now). As well as Behrami, LBM (won't forget him a day like this) and Collison. I just believe: We had a sloppy defence sometimes, no doubt about it, but still; I'm more worried how we lost the midfield.
Da Costa came in for his first game and played along the young Tomkins, Ilunga is not totally fit as I see it, and Faubert is Faubert. So this is not our strongest back-four and they were also a bit new to each other. So: I think we'll do better allready the next game defensivly.
But how can we get the midfield to work?
I had hoped for more but 1-3 against those billionaries is a quite normal result this year. Can't see us go past them this season. Sad to say.

Green 7 - Had not much help from his fellow players in the box and made some really good saves. Should he have taken the second goal, as Petrov's freekick was in our goalkeeper's corner? It actually had a tiny defelection which may have done enough.
Faubert 5 - Sloppy sometimes and at no help at their first goal which made Tomkins work in no man's land and Da Costa too far away from anyone and Ilunga far to late on Tevez who had an easy tap in... (I really liked the way Tevez did NOT celebrate his goal. He went up to the West Ham crowd behind the goal and asked for forgiveness, but I'm still not happy that he went to the new football-destroying-team). Still, worked hard (OK, thats what he is paid for) against a couple of very fast men.
Tomkins 5 - Had a big responsibility, may not have coped with it all game, but I rather see that the organisation of the defence missed out today rather that put any blame on individual defensive players tonight.
Da Costa 5 - Could have been given a easier debut than meeting Tevez, Bellamy and SWP. I think he had a confusing game, and some mistakes looked a bit easy, but it seems that he can be OK rather sooner than later. Some good tackles. Wanted to be involved which is a good sign.
Ilunga 5 - Started really weak in this his second game after his comeback and many will blame him for losing Tevez on the first goal. I'm not sure, but were worried a couple of times when he lost his man. But he played against (a very lively) Tevez and had our new man at his side instead of Upson. Once again he grew during the game and were one of our better players late on.
Jimenez 5 - Some trickery and nice touches, and seemed to like having Diamanti in the team as they found each other at times. And he worked hard. But he was not able to put his mark on the game. Maybe next time?
Kovac 5 - Is not our answer to solve any problems at all in midfield. Together with Noble and Parker it sometimes looks like we have the slowest midfield in PL. And maybe we do. Should be a backup for Parker and/or Noble, not to play along them.
Parker 7 - I like this man and he had a decent performance. Gives and takes and you need it in these games. I give you a hug next time we see each other!
Noble 5 - Works and wants to be involved but as some sloopy shooting was an exemple of, his work never gave any dividends. When he'll be able to feed the ball with his first touch he may...
But I'm a bit worried, can he keep his place when Collison and Behrami are fit?
Diamanti 6,5 - I want to give this guy more time before I judge him, as he has his Italian style, but still seems to be able to cope very well with the English game. And I think he will. Still not there yet. He had an uneven game, but was very involved in our attacks. Liked his corners and most of his freekicks. Will hopefully learn how to find Cole soon.
Cole 7 - After a silent first 20, he started to show his presence. And had a lucky or glorious goal and showed some skills. Touré and Lescott looked sometimes like kids with Cole by their side. He was so much better than those overrated players. Good header and work-ethics. Still on the loosing side....

I liked that Zola gave Stanislas and Hines 20 minutes in the end, even if they were not able to affect the result so late in the game. ManC just held the ball and our young guys had to chase with no big chance to affect the game. Liked Hines anyway. Zola showed by giving our youngsters the chance (again) who is the real football club here. The Academy. And I think playing Stanislas and Hines will be a solution soon. And Hines should start at home against Fulham... no doubt about it.

So still third from bottom... after a result we could have seen in advance. If not Gabbs and Upson are long-absentees, I think we can close our defence and I am more worried how our midfield can improve.
Fulham next.

PS: I do really dislike Manchester City after a game like this!
(Sorry written at high speed)


A Villarreal fans view on Guille!

After seeing stats and little pieces of info on Guille Franco being used to prove that he is either crap or great I was longing for the Villarreal fans overall view on Guille and his game.

I think I found the perfect one in Kalle! Let’s hear what he has to say:

Since West Ham is my favourite team in England, I consider this a really cool transfer for me personally, since i've had the great pleasure of following Guillermo Franco during the last three seasons.

To be totally honest, he wasn't that great in Villarreal. He started really well, but got worse for every season. The biggest problem was that he didn't score that many goals. Last season he scored only two goals in Copa del Rey, none in the league or the Champions League. But he didn't get too many oppurtunities to play either.
Even though Guille Franco wasn't a success in Villarreal, I still like him very much as a football player. And why is that? Well, a more loyal player is really hard to find. He always gives 100 % and never complains. Just the kind of player that West Ham needs.

I think that Guille Franco fits very well for the Premiership. He's extremely strong and good on his head. Actually, I think that english football fits Franco better than the spanish one. It's also his biggest dream to get the chance to play there, so i'm reappy happy for him.
I'm convinded that Franco is going to do well in West Ham. This guy has played in the Champions League and the World Cup. He's really experienced.

To be honest, I haven't seen much of West Ham this season, but I believe he's going to adept really fast. Sure, there is a pretty similar player in Carlton Cole, but I'd love the idea of seeing them play together. Pure power!

My favourite memory of Franco will always be the game against Barcelona on Nou Camp in the spring of 2008. Guillermo started alone on top, and I tell you, the man never stopped running during the hour he played. I haven't seen the Barcelona defenders sweating like that for ages. Villarreal did actually win that particular game. Franco didn't score, but his performance was outstanding.

Thanks Kalle, your view is much appreciated! Please come back and comment on his performance in claret and blue!


Ability and Attitude

I saw Zavon Hines for the first time today and he totally blew me away!
Ability and attitude in a way that I cant remember seeing since...

...Junior Stanislas!
Man, do we have a bright future in these two!

A loss with much pride

I feel for the team today. So close and so far away. Two goals against Liverpool at home should mean at least one point. But no... when we had to make two early changes; Upson hurt (when Torres scored his first) and Behrami felt his old injury just after 30 minutes I wondered what was happening. This is West ham! Our no lucky day again. And so we lost 2-3. Liverpool made three goals in the end and maybe if our defence had been intact and more well together we should have taken at least one point.
Still I think this was our best game so far this season. The players showed a big heart - and so did our fans - and Hines was really terrific!

Green 6 - I do not know why he was down on his knees on the first, but things was going very, very fast with a collison just in front of him. Otherwise a good game.
Faubert 6 - I am not sure why he had to be behind Tomkins, but still higher up than him when Torres went through and scored. Has Clarke told him not to help Tomkins closer? I doubt it. When Torres scored his second and Liverpool's winner he was closest to the Spaniard, but maybe Tomkins could have been there as well. Torres is really good with his head though so if you're not there a second before the ball arrives it means trouble. So, I do not know if I should blame him or not for that one. You can call that decisive moments. Still: Otherwise a terrific game.
Tomkins 5 - Fought hard but seemed the whole game to be affected by loosing Torres at the first. Or maybe at losing Upson? Looked fatigue.
Upson - Early injury. No marks.
Ilunga 5 - Really rusty and gave the ball away far to easy the first 30 minutes. Looked nervous. But after that he was his usual self. Nice dribble in their box late on.
Behrami 5 - Off early, hopefully not to leave the team injured for another 6 months... We need you.
Noble 5 - Pretty good defensivly, totally off when it came to creativity. Fought hard but still slow.
Parker 7 - Much better today. Our man of steel.
Diamanti 5 - Nice to see him, but it was also easy to see that he has a lot to learn in the British game. Did not succed with to much beside the penalty (which maybe should not have counted). I hope he is a fast learner. And I like his hair!
Cole 7 - Good game, fought, fought and fought. But as many times before: too alone at the top. Nice little header to 2-2.
Hines 8 - Wow! So fast so smart so nice work. Kept the Liverpool defense on their toes but still managed most of the things he did. Sorry not to score when he hit the post in the 2d minute after he robbed Carragher so easy. That could have been another game. Was brought down so we had the penalty. And was brought down over and over again. Lucky he survived. Still: Great play! Can he continue to play like this he will this year's young player no doubt.

Gabbidon 6,5 - On early: Calm. Good blocks. Until next game he have to learn to "push" Tomkins though, and be the leader at the back four. His first home game in two years and it was not bad at all.
Kovac 5 - On early: Decent defensive play, awful going forward, but as he mainly played to stop Liverpool in the middle I would say he did OK.
Dyer 5 - Despite a nice rush he was never able to affect the game.

I feel for Zola/Clarke. They dared! Theyplayed Hines AND Diamanti. Nice try, but the injuries may have stopped our brave game. All honour to them! The referee was crap though...



A couple of days Eduardo said "I'm no cheater".

Today Lucas Neill announced:

"The moment I ran out of contract I wanted to get back into it but it was about having the right feeling.

"I was prepared to wait as long as it took to get that feeling."

I guess Footballers are no more liars than people are in general.

But it seems that they think people are far more easy to cheat than they are. Or maybe as stupid as they (som'of'em footballers) themselves are. Well, Eduardo was actually trusted by FA (how stupid!) in the end.

Will the West Ham fans trust Neill? Nope. You may have been our Captain, but you were no hero of mine. And - even far away from hated - will not be in the stands next time you visit.

But please, tell us what that "feeling" was then...



So Franco have signed Franco at last and the Mexican will do everything for West Ham to prove his worth to be included in the WC squad for Mexico. That's really a good driving force.

And if you look at our striking department right now, September 09 - we are actually better equipped now, than during the same time last year:
Dixon will soon be match fit,
Cole will do everything to prove his worth to Capello (and Zola), and looks stronger than ever,
Zavon Hines is a great prospect (better than Sears it seems), last year he was injured,
The new golden boot-boy Diamanti will fill the void of Solano and looks to have other weapons as well (better than Di Michele, and younger) in his arsenal and
Franco moves probably much better than Tristan and have a much bigger desire.

As back-ups we have midfielders like Dyer, Jimenez and Stanislas... (Two of them "new" from last year, one much improved)
And then I do not count Nouble (let him have a year in the Reserves without to much pressure) an of course not Ashton (who was injured last year as well).

This assumption is of course just an assumption. Let's see if it's correct come April.

By the way: Moyes signed Neill at last. I do not envy him, but longing for the day we'll meet. Stanislas and Dyer will make our old Captain Greed look like a stone statue.


Home Grown - International style

The shakiest of all shaky sources - The Sun - writes that West Ham will open an Academy in Minna, Nigeria.

If I remember correctly, we set up something called "West Ham United Football Academy USA" during the summer. More like scouting camps as far as I remember, but still. And some kind of joint effort in Australia lurks in the back of my memory.

Now wouldn't that be a cunning move - to grow talent at home but away from home!

EDIT: the distinguished site allAfrica.com backs this and says the source is the State Commissioner for Sports, Alh. Abubakar Garba Mohammed.
"Mohammed revealed that his ministry has commenced discussion with the management of west Ham football club to fine tune the modalities for the successful take-off of the academy."

We may need to fine-tune some bank accounts as well.

Apparently Everton is doing something similar.

PL defines "Home Grown"

On their official web site HERE the PL presents this definition of a "Home Grown" player as

Someone who, irrespective of his nationality or age has been trained for 3 years under the age of 21 in clubs belonging to the English or Welsh proffessional system.

The difference, compared to the previous UEFA definition, is that the "growing" must have taken place before the players 21st birthday. Naturalised older players with several seasons in the PL won't do.
So the hunt is on for talented players less than 18 years old!

Now, the limit for "Non Home Grown" players is set at 17 in a squad, the total squad being limited to 25, as I wrote in the previous post.
I doubt it will be a very strong limitation to most squads as 17 should do for most clubs.
I wonder how many clubs that use more than 17 Non-Home-Grown players in the PL today?

Some clubs, as ManU and Chelsea, that have 20+ internationals in their squad will need to face some players and tell them they will not be in the mix. What will be their reaction?

UEFA pass financial rules for clubs

On the same day as the PL Chief Executive Officer Richard Scudamore presented hints of financial rules for teams in the PL, UEFA executive committee passed a set of financial rules on how clubs should be run.
UEFA says that these rules are put in place to "improve the financial fairness in European competitions, as well as the long-term stability of European club football".
The rules, packaged under the catchy name "Financial Fair Play Concept", will be implemented over three years and have one fundamental object.

Clubs who's turnover is over a certain threshold cannot repeatedly spend more than they make.

Disguised as the best friend of clubs in financial difficulties UEFA then offers help on how to set salaries and how to spend just right on transfers...

These rules are presented as being suggested to UEFA by the Professional Football Strategy Council (PFSC) and supported by the Club Competitions Committee following approval by the European Club Association Board (ECA), mainly, I think, to show us all that UEFA has a heavy backing. (Read about the agreement between PFSC and ECA HERE)

UEFA does not go into any detail, leaving the field open to speculation, e.g. about what is the turnover threshold and what steps will be taken during the first two years.
It's clear, however, that UEFA will implement the first step of the rules for the UEFA competitions of 2012/13 i.e. they will not let teams enter their tournaments unless obliging to them. The level of the turnover threshold will most likely be around what is common for clubs qualifying for the Champions and Europa league.

One may say that UEFA, by holding the key to their lucrative tournaments, pretty much can dictate the rules for how clubs are run in Europe and I'm sure that "le président de l'UEFA" feels this is the natural way of things.

As the UEFA set of rules unfortunately may not affect us as we most likely will not qualify for any UEFA competition, the PL rules is of greater interest for West Ham fans. I'll be back on the financial rules suggested by the PL when there is decent information on it.


Home Grown Rules to be passed in the PL!

The avid reader of Bubbleview (if there are any) may/should remember a few posts I wrote last May about the "trend" in international football to force clubs to have a "local" profile. The reasons were several, one being the concern for the National team and another a concern for the local connection of the clubs.

Both FIFA and UEFA presented their own way of making this happen. FIFA called their proposal the "6+5 rule" that I presented HERE and UEFA named their version the "Home Grown Player initiative" that I presented HERE.
I did a comparison of the two proposals HERE.

You may also remember THIS post on the AFPG - the All Party Parliamentary Football Group - on their document called "English Football and its Governance". In this document they advocated a FIFA-like system in English football.

Now it seem as if the PL has taken a distinctive step in the direction of forcing teams to have "home grown" players in their squad, as PL CEO Richard Scudamore says in THIS Sky Sport interview and THIS article on the Sky website and THIS article in Guardian.
The exact wordings in their new document is not yet unveiled and can of course make a world of difference, but a good guess is that from the next season clubs in the PL will need to have a minimum of eight home grown players in a squad of max 25.

The definition of home grown player is obviously of vital importance, and I suspect that the PL will go with the UEFA definition, i.e. someone that has been registered with the club (club-trained) or has been with a club from the same association (association-trained) for at least 3 seasons between the age of 15 and 21.

This will obviously increase the value of young talent and the hunt for international youngsters (that can be transformed into homegrown before they are in their prime) has clearly increased during the last transfer window, and we have just seen the beginning of it.

So how will this affect West Ham?
One angle is that our youngsters will be seduced by rich clubs and lured away, leaving us with very little benefit from the fruits of our "famous academy", and as we will not have the financial muscle to keep them or to be able to pay for decent players we are screwed.
The other chance is that any team with a good "conveyor belt" will reap financial rewards for this as the prices will increase for players they were about to lose to big clubs anyhow.

The ones really screwed, however, must be the poor clubs with a wanting youth program.
For a club to have a reputation of being a good place to go to prosper as a footballer can not be a bad thing and I'm inclined to think of it as a possibility rather than a death sentence.

EDIT: While contemplating this I suddenly remember what I wrote in the UEFA/FIFA comparison (see link above) that Jan Fiegel - the EU commissioner for sports issues - says that the 6 + 5 rule cannot apply within the EU as it would break EU working laws.
Good interview HERE.
He said: If FIFA were to impose the ‘6+5′ rule in the EU, any professional football clubs or players who felt that they were treated unfairly by the rule could take the issue to the Court. And they would win.
In what way this also applies to the UEFA proposal is uncertain as it does not take nationality into account but still sets a limitation on workers movement within the EU.

EDIT 2; HERE is the official PL presentation

The PL seem also to have set up rules for the governance of PL teams that may have fundamental implications for teams with a dodgy economy. More on that later.


A narrow loss that shouldn't be.

Well we lost to Wigan 1-0 two years ago as well. It's not an easy away game. Still, I think we should win this game. We really should. We did not. 
I am sorry to say I was unable to see the game. So no report and no marks today. 

But is it a coincidence that the players who really thinks they can join the England squad to South Africa next year but was rejected - Parker and Noble from the squad and Cole from the first eleven - in midweek had really bad games today. And those who were really happy to get the chance - Gabbs at LB and Zavon Hines seems to have been the best?? It's a lot of psycholgy in the game today of course. 

It's less psychology in Zola's way to chose his midfield. As Collison had a knock, (like Jimenez and Dyer?) he chose to play Kovac, Parker and Noble (to the right). Three defensive players (with the exception with Stanislas on the left who had a bad game, and if I get the reports right did not try to play his ordinary challenging offensive game. Directive or just a day off?) who all are slow, slower and slowest and not so good to put pressure very high up on the field. And gives few alternatives in width. Which in the end gives Cole no or to little help. 

At least Zavon Hines seems to grow and his first start in the PL ended without a goal but with a lot of  praise. Fast, challenging and a lot of movement. So he may be what Freddy Sears now are far from the player he should be. His Crystal Palace (at loan) lost 0-4 to newboys Scunthorpe. And he was left on the bench until the 64'th minute.... Can't be happy with that. And compared to his day West Hams effort was close to decent.
Against Liverpool next week we may see Hines, Diamanti ( too late on today), Gabbs and Behrami on the field. So beware!


Guille to kill

Guillermo Franco – a naturalized Mexican but born in Argentina seem to be a likely DDM-like signing for us.
According to a site called SoloNoche he will be playing for us this season. Wiki has caught on and proclaimed the same thing.

Guillermo aka Guille has played for Villareal CF since 2006, but the club did not offer an extension this summer. His “efficacy” as a striker seem somewhat lacking of late, scoring 14 times in 81 appearances for his previous Spanish employer (but hey, they did let him play 81 times!). But he scored on average in every second of his 119 games for the Mexican side Monterey. This made him the second most prolific goal scorer of all times for the club. During his years with Monterey 2002-2005 the club finished second in Mexico’s highest division three times with Franco being their top scorer every year (as far as I understand – the Mexican league is a bit confusing and their stats as well). But at least he was the national top scorer in 2004.
Whether he can deliver in the PL is anyone’s guess, but as a backup he may do. His alternative was to play for Estudiantes so I doubt there will be any moaning if he spends most of his time on the bench.
As for now I’ll let him be a bubble and I won’t puncture it just yet.

EDIT 9/11/2009:
He is doing his medical, he is a good player," Zola told Sky Sports News.
"He is a striker, and international player and I am sure he will be a player that will give us a good contribution.
"He will start working with me next week,
"He was one of the players on our list, and in the end we finalised it."


Can we actually afford a Ferrari?

If you read his articles, Joppe on this site seems to be fond of different cars and uses them happily for different metaphors. But now he can use a Ferrari in real life!!!

At least if he'll become the manager of West Ham. 
According to the official site whufc, West Ham have signed Davide Ferrari from Brescia. He is 17 yrs old and an "attacking full-back" and was according to the same source, signed before the transfer window. So who's next? Nah, kidding. Very welcome Mr Ferrari. 
Hope we will be able to buy all those players, or most of them, we now have on loan deals...


When did we sport a pink kit?

The history of our Club has interested me about as much as it has interested the average fan I guess. I knew of the Ironworks and the origin of the hammers in our crest and once I e-mailed the oracle referred to by the OS (jnorth1@supanet.com) to ask about the origin of the claret and blue shirts. The question was about claret and blue shirts in general and ours in particular. The answer was quite disappointing, so much in fact that I can’t remember it.

But now we don’t have to dwell on these things any more, even without the books on our history!
There is a brilliant site on the internet with more information than the average fan will ever need called History of West Ham United .
I wish I knew what the blokes name is so I can give him the credit he deserves.
If you have any thoughts on his site or want to get in contact with him he is known as John Simkin on KUMB.
I link to his site on the “Sites of Interest” as I’ll most likely will visit it again and again.


A hidden agenda?

Yesterday the Guardian published an article on the dire economic situation of our Club. It appears a few days after the closure of the transfer window and is based on the Clubs account for 2008. These documents are not publicly available as yet but the Guardian has in some way acquired a copy, or at least parts of it. How is it that?
The Guardian must have gotten the documents from an inside source, and a source with some kind of motivation, or agenda.
Isn’t that funny, it’s just too late to scare any potential transfer targets or any of our most important players, but just in time to justify the meagre outcome on the transfer market. This implies that the source is someone that does not want to hurt West Ham.
What is the agenda of this source then?The accounts presented are 9 months old. As the Guardian points out (but then stops, not to bite the hand that feeds it the info) it tells the story on how the Club was run under the Icelandic hay-days. It paints a picture of financial naivety and football incompetence. And the guilt for this is left in the doorstep of Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson and Eggert Magnusson. The Club's current finance director, Nick Igoe, is stated saying that the business strategy was "fundamentally flawed". Igoe was also the financial director at that time! Still he doesn’t seem to have any part of it – the things you learn…

What the Guardian, in its turn, feeds us are numbers that according to a friend with some financial knowledge is incoherent. It does not make sense in the way it’s presented in the article and some of the figures seem to be contradictory. In his view the numbers can have been chosen and presented to paint the worst possible picture. This sounds like the doings of a scandal-hungry journalist, but it can also be the choice of the one in the Club with the agenda.

To make people happy when receiving bad news one can prepare them for worse. “Dad I was in a terrible car accident” makes daddy happy when he sees that there is only a scratch in the paint. Would he be happy if presented with the scratch right away? I think there is an analogy in the present doings at the Club. If news is presented like this – “Dad I was this close to total the car because some incompetent fool forced me of the road but thanks to my technique and competence I saved the situation and there is just this scratch” The one causing the scratch will not only get away with it, but will get praise for doing so!

What this article does NOT tell us is how the Club has been run the last 9 months. I think someone is laying out the fundament for someone to be happy with a “scratch”. The total catastrophe of 2008 will soon be compared to the much better situation we are in at present.
Who will gain from this?


To see it as a complete failiure when you're broke and it dawns on you that you couldn't afford a Ferrari is a bit daft.

Footballs fans are truly a naïve lot, myself included.
We support a team that is owned by creditors of an Icelandic bank-loser. The current owner doesn’t want to own us to begin with – they want the cash – and have publicly said that they will not inject any funds into the Club. Our CEO, Scott Duxbury has repeatedly said that there will be no extra money to invest in players and that all transfers needs to be funded by sales of players. Still we hope for high profile signings! We actually hope for the signing of a proven striker even though we all, as informed and engaged fans of football, know that proven strikers are few and far between and thus, according to basic economic laws, are extremely expensive.
Ah well, can’t blame us for hoping can you?
But to see it as a complete failiure when you are broke and it dawns on you that you could not afford a Ferrari is a bit daft.

But there is certainly a communication problem at the Club. We were (willingly I admit) led to believe that there was a possibility that if we sold a player the money would be reinvested in another player (and some of it most likely is used for the Diamanti deal now that the Chamakh deal bombed).
When the dooms-day reports about Straumur forcing us to sell were swamping every news site Duckers said in a statement on the OS that we were not forced to sell, and that we were actively looking for new players. This may have been true in the sense that Straumur did not force us to sell. But, as I said above, a sale may still have been a necessity as in our situation we need to fund our business in a self sufficient manor,.
The kind of waiting game we have chosen to play to be able to buy players above our economic league is a game of risk and it may have backfired this time. Collins were sold but the deal that the Collins-money would facilitate broke down, at least that is the benign interpretation of the situation. It could be that the Collins money was needed to build an economic buffer in a unpredictable situation and the Chamakh deal was never close, we’ll never know. But does that really matter?

Duxbury is playing a zero-sum-game with us, and has no choice but to do so. He knows that there will be no extra money so what we can bring into the club will need to suffice for all of our expenses. He may be incompetent, which I doubt, but I’m sure that he does what he think is the best for this Club. My issue with him is his slightly rubbery relationship with the truth. He tend to say things that are not actually lies, he just says things that are “designed” to give one impression while not actually saying it. In a way you can describe some of his statements as “fill in the blanks” statements were he lets us fill in the blanks with what we are hoping and yearning for. He may think this is a business necessity but it makes me dislike him. But Duxbury is not the only one to blame when I found out I didn’t get the Ferrari.


Ain't misbehavin... Thoughts after closing time.

A little bit sad and disappointed. But I will not throw my computer or telly out of the window (as some of you on the Hammer-sites seems to do).
 I am at least pleased that the transfer window now is closed and both me and Zola could concentrate on more important things than a never-ending speculation about players we think can solve all the problems in the world, including a Premier League-title and the swine flu. 
But even if we did not get any goal-machines in the last dying seconds and even if we sold one of my favorite players (talking Collins) and one that might be a star in a couple of years, I can't say we look worse than last year. 
We've brought in Jimenez and Daprela, Nouble and Da Costa, Kovac, Ilunga and Diamanti. Soon we'll have Behrami back and a "new" striker in Dixon. Hines may be a good prospect too. And Stanislas seems to progress every week. Faubert is a "new" player and Collison will develop too. Cole is now first class. So even if I look at the downside, in which I count Ashton - I doubt very much he'll ever play again - and the non-signing star we couldn't get grip on, as well as our "doubtful" economy I'm in a confident mood. 
I will not ask for Dux head on a plate. 
They put all their eggs (well, not so many...) in one basket and did not succed. They had a few hours left when they knew that Collins was sold and they had the money. The player they wanteds said no in the end. Not the club. And they did not bring in a new Camara or Di Michele as our plan B. I appreciate that and I guess they see the potential in Nouble, Dixon and Hines - three very young players who probably can make the cut and help Cole and Diamanti (as well as Dyer and Jimenez) with some minutes this season.
 I may be low, but I do not see this transfer window as the utter purgatory for either Dux or West Ham. We do progress, but a bit slow....
And: I ain't misbehavin...


Last year we got the news of the loan signings of DiMichele and Ilunga 36 hours after the closure of the transfer window.
This time the windows close at 5 pm London time so the club should at least have finished a club statement on the transfer news for us by tomorrow.
Last year we weren’t very impressed by these late signings – one of which ended up being top 4 in the official “Hammer of the Year” poll. So, whoever comes in, maybe we should at least see them play for us before we slash this year’s transfer window (and someone will be presented, I’m sure).


I was about to write something about the Collins/Chamakh hassle. But then I remember that I did just that about week ago so I might as well direct you to that post. Nothing seem to have changed since.

Collins showed incredible determination and willingness to sacrifice himself in the Blackburn game. So much, in fact, that I started to doubt the truth in the rumours. When he went down after denying Samba (?) I was fearing he would be carried off and all kinds of blasphemic thoughts were going through my mind. One was that this was the end of a deal I still thought would be good for the Club.
The arrival of Da Costa also speaks in favour of Collins actually leaving now. However, Da Costa could, for all I know, have been recruited for the right back spot. I don’t know more about the bloke than what can be read on different internet sites – never saw him play as far as I know.