Wednesday, October 1

No action on Sakho

The FA won't be taking any retrospective action against Diafra Dakho for an alleged butt on Man United's Luke Shaw, which is a relief. Sakho has been more impressive than Enner Valencia so far, scoring four in four games. Could be a bargain at a reported £3.5 million. Valencia scored a stunning goal at Hull, but still looks to be adjusting to the pace of the English game, as we saw when he blazed over when through at Man United. When he does adjust we could have a formidable strike force. Both Sakho and Valencia like to play in the channels and this has prevented West Ham lumping the ball towards Andy Carroll up front and allowed Downing to play at the top of a midfield diamond. Indeed, you wonder if Big Andy will get his place back.

Monday, September 29

James Tomkins: He pleads guilty when he wants…

James Tomkins has pleaded guilty at Southend Magistrates Court to being drunk and disorderly, assaulting a police officer and obstructing the police outside Sugar Hut in Brentwood. You can take the boy out of Basildon… Tomka has been fined £3500 plus costs. The court accepted that he had been pushed heavily by a member of Sugar Hut's staff, though he had responded "inappropriately". A bizarre place for this to happen as footballers, Sugar Hut and Towie normally go together like Mark Wright and Arg or Andy Carroll and Billi Mucklow. Let's hope Big Sam gives him a lecture on being in the wrong place at the wrong time and improving his refuelling habits. You're potentially a great player James, but best stick to watching dvds in your Hutton Mount gaff from now on.

Model footballer Andy

Just been sent an item from the Guardian fashion blog, with a picture of Andy Carroll modelling for Alexander Wang's (whoever he plays for) range for H&M,  Andy is wearing a fetching pair of baggy grey shorts and a "sporty top". He's joined by supermodels Joan Smalls and Isabeli Fontana in the campaign. Click on the link to read.

Will FA get Sakho in the morning?

Worrying report in today's Guardian that the FA might charge Diafra Sakho for an alleged butt on Man United's Luke Shaw that left the full-back with a black eye. Any charge would depend on video evidence and Match of the Day certainly didn't spot it. Great start from Diafra, but he needs to avoid off-the-ball incidents.

Sunday, September 28

West Ham denied a point after Wayne sees red

Manchester United 2 West Ham 1

Managed to listen to the game on Absolute Radio and you could certainly hear the West Ham fans singing “Cheerio!” when Wayne Rooney was sent off for a stupid and dangerously high hack on Stewart Downing. Match of the Day confirms we were unlucky not to get a point in the end as Nolan’s goal is disallowed by a dubious offside flag.

Noble is injured and Poyet makes his full league debut, while United have to give a debut to Paddy McNair at centre back. The Mancs go ahead after seven minutes and it looks like the Irons are in for their normal spanking. Creswell doesn’t boot ball and man into touch as Van Persie tussles with him, allowing Rafael to nick the ball past him and rampage down the right. The full back’s cross is met by Rooney who fires a great first time shot over Adrian. Yes, our defence should have been tighter, but it’s a quality strike.

West Ham should equalise almost immediately, as a bad back pass lets in Valencia, only for the West Ham man to fire way over the bar. We’re two goals down when Song gets dispossessed in midfield, and Falcao finds Van Persie, who fires a first time shot across Adrian and into the corner.

But this is not the invincible United of old. Demel wins a corner. Valencia heads on to the bar and Sakho heads in the rebound for his fourth goal in four games.

BYE BYE ROONEY
At the start of the second half Adrian makes a good save from Falcao’s deflected shot. Cresswell crosses and Sakho volleys first time to bring a great stop from De Gea. Rooney’s silly sending off, with the ball 70 yards from United's goal, gives us the chance to do a Leicester. “Oh no, we’re up against ten men!” I text to Matt, remembering how we always seem to play worse after an opponent is dismissed.

I’m not sure that bringing on Carlton Cole for Amalfitano is a good decision, as it encourages West Ham to go more direct. Sakho has another header into the side netting and we force an endless series of corners. It’s not often West Ham have United desperately defending at Old Trafford. Debutant McNair has to make a great headed clearance to prevent a goal. The key moment is in the 89th minute, as lively sub Jenkinson crosses from the right and Nolan prods home. His body is in line with the last defender and his head a fraction in front. It’s a very harsh decision.


This was our chance to finally get something at Old Trafford and in that sense it’s disappointing, but if we can finish better it’s still an encouraging sign how close we pushed a side that has just spent £150m. 

Saturday, September 27

No defence

So West Ham are taking on a team with no centre backs. What could possibly go wrong? Interestingly, for the first time in living memory our centre backs would be an upgrade on those at Old Trafford: I'd back Reid, Tomkins and Collins to do a better job than Smalling, Evans, Jones and Blackett. Just this once I'd like to see West Ham really have a go at that dodgy defence and players like Valencia, Sakho and Amalfitano to use their pace to get behind them. Then all we have to worry about is Di Maria, Falcao, Van Persie, Rooney, Hererra and Mata…

Friday, September 26

Valencia joins the Green Street Elite

Enner Valencia has told the Daily Mirror that he learned about West Ham from watching dvds of films like Green Street. "I knew about West Ham mainly from watching films and I knew the supporters were very passionate, I don't remember all the films, but I remember Green Street," said our Equadorian striker. So don't be surprised if Valencia starts hanging out with hooligan Hobbits, adopting a terrible cockney accent, going down the boozer with Bovver and taking trips over to Millwall to sort out Tommy Hatcher. And when he scores his first goal in front of the Bobby Moore Stand he may well go looking for Elijah Wood in the crowd. Stand your ground, Enner!