But how can we get the midfield to work?
But how can we get the midfield to work?
I think I found the perfect one in Kalle! Let’s hear what he has to say:
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.
A couple of days Eduardo said "I'm no cheater".
"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...
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.