Saturday, July 27

Another win in Germany

It's all going too well - another win in Germany this afternoon, 3-0 at the snapilly-named Eintract Braunschweig. Good to see Modibo Maiga get a couple of goals (the first a lucky rebound but it will get his confidence up) and Diame got the other one. Maybe we should join the Bundisliga?

Hammers big in Germany

Über Iron Mike O'Brien reports from Germany: "We made front page and back of Flensburger Tageblatt, both lead stories. Ginge v van der Vaart pic here. Stayed overnight and witnessed the stunned disbelief as the defeated drank heavily to forget. Hamburg always play a pre-season at this ground and after our 4-1 defeat in Mainz everyone was expecting to lose. Hammers much fitter than the opposition and defended brilliantly."

Thursday, July 25

Hamburger stuffed

Good win at Hamburger SV this week and credit to Mystic Matt, Lisa and Mike for getting there. Matt says his trip made the Highway to Hull look like two stops on the District line. The game wasn't actually played at Hamburg but at Flensburg (a bit like WHU playing in Walsall), While the ground appears to be in a forest looking at the pictures of the game.

Matt reports that nearly every HSV fan wore a Van der Vaart replica shirt and he enjoyed pre-match drinking in 30C at the Beach Club. First-half goals from Diarra and Tomkins (both from corners) and a penalty from Ravel Morrison ensured an impressive win. He texts that SV had most of the ball in the second half but Jarvis hot the post and "Big Sam not looking good in shorts". I'd rather not think about that…

Tuesday, July 23

Prince Bobby?

Shouldn't the Royal baby be named in honour of our greatest sporting triumph? Prince Bobby would be nice, or Prince Martin or Prince Geoff. Though as Wills is a Villa fan we might end up with Prince Gabriel (Agbonlahor), Prince Christian (Benteke), Prince Andreas (Weimann) or Prince Darren (Bent).

Monday, July 22

Rat spotted in WHU ticket office

No wonder we signed Razvan Rat as he does two jobs for the price of one. West Ham have got Rat working in the ticket office. Can see the hand of Karren Brady in this. And he seems pretty good at it too. Click on the link to view.

Striker light

"We are happy with the rest of the team - all we need now is pace and goals," reveals David Sullivan in a Q and A session on 13-year-old son Jack Sullivan's Twitter account. Which is quite important really. Without pace and goals we'll struggle. Andy Carroll is a good signing but he's not likely to be fit for the start of the season. Modibo Maiga is promising and played in the 4-1 defeat of FC Mainz in Germany, but is not the big forward Sam likes to build a team around. 

After that there's nothing unless you count Vaz Te who is more of a wide player and youngster Elliot Lee (who missed a couple of chances at Colchester) and Paul McCallum who scored at Cork and might be promising. Looks like the Zapata deal has fallen through over work permit issues so the lack of depth is starting to look alarming. Joe Cole and Ravel Morrison give us new potential goalscorers from midfield but we desperately need another striker before August 17, otherwise WHU's whole season is going to depend on Andy Carroll. Anyone know any strikers out there? 

Monday, July 15

Land of the giants?

Sounds like we're definitely after a work permit for Colombian striker Zapata, who is six foot two, which alongside Big Andy would surely give WHU the largest strike force in the Premier League.

Friday, July 12

Hamburger Hammers

My fellow-season ticket holder Matt was going to Hamburg for the Hamburger SV v WHU pre-season game on July 23, though reports it's not in Hamburg at all, but in Flensburg, "a bit like HSV playing West Ham in Walsall." So he's now going to Flensburg, while my best chance of seeing Hamburger is at Belly Busters in Green Street in August.

Tuesday, July 9

Downing street?

Not sure why WHU are talking to Liverpool about Stewart Downing when we already have left sided players in Matt Jarvis and Joe Cole. We might be able to get him at much less than the £20 million Liverpool paid for him, but surely the priority is another striker? Downing has a good left foot but looks like a player who lacks belief in his own ability to me. Maybe BFS could rectify that, but at 28 he's a gamble…

What a Corker

Got a text from Mike O'Brien who was in Cork for our 6-2 win, though he missed the first 15 minutes, presumably while having a medicinal Guinness. This is a man who's seen the Hammers play in China, so Cork must seem like an easy jaunt. Interesting to see that Diarra is still with us and scored. Surely we can use an experienced French international in our side somewhere, particularly now O'Neil has gone? Ravel Morrison also played and scored, and having toughened up at Birmingham you hope this might be the season he makes a Premier League breakthrough. Sam gave virtually everyone a run-out and Titus Bramble, Rat and Adrian all got half a game too. Nobes missed a penalty but later scored one and apparently plenty of Hammers fans in the crowd. While Morrissey scored for Cork, though you'd have thought he was a bit old for football these days.

Monday, July 8

Andy Murray: the Irons man of tennis

Don't think he's actually a Hammers fan but Andy Murray was once photographed with an XL (Dean Ashton's shirt size) Hammers shirt....

Saturday, July 6

Zapata in?

We've agreed a £10 million fee to sign Colombian striker Duvan Zapata from Estudiantes in Argentina according to today's Daily Mirror. Though the whole deal depends on him getting a work permit. He looks like a much better and more mobile Carlton Cole on YouTube, although my greatest five-a-side goals would look good on YouTube too, so we have to be careful. If it comes off we could have a very potent strike force, though South American players and English football don't always mix. Otherwise that Radamel Falcao would do…

Friday, July 5

Nobes goes underground

Interesting video released by West Ham of Mark Noble taking the tube from Canning Town to Stratford to visit the Olympic Stadium. Is he the first West Ham player to travel on the tube since Paolo Di Canio got on at Chigwell? And does this mean the players are going to forsake their Baby Bentleys in favour of Oyster cards? It's exciting to see Nobes on the pitch and he even manages to tuck home an imaginary penalty on our new pitch. There's no goal or opposition, so WHU should be good for at least a draw. Click on the link to view.

Wednesday, July 3

Harry's Games

My review of John Crace's book on Harry Redknapp, Harry's Games, is in the Independent today. Doesn't tell us a lot beyond what was revealed in Harry's autobiography… Click on the link to read.

Tuesday, July 2

Midnight Bramble

Pre-season training has started early at Chadwell Heath with the Hammers one of the the first clubs to return to work and more man bags than you can shake a bottle of hair gel at. Even unreconstructed Kevin Nolan was pictured with one.

Meanwhile Titus Bramble, who sounds like a character from a Thomas Hardy novel, is training with West Ham, allegedly in a bid to retain his fitness after being released by Sunderland. He might fit the profile of a Big Sam signing though. Plenty of Premier League experience at 31-years-old and available on a free. He made a lot of well-publicised mistakes at Newcastle, but where expectations were lower at Wigan he proved a decent centre back and was their player of the year and also did OK for Bruce at Sunderland.

He comes with baggage though, having frequently been caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, though in his most recent court case he was found not guilty of groping a woman in a nightclub. It's easy to have an instant reaction against signing Bramble, but he's a player who might benefit from tough love.

We're also rumoured to be interested on Liverpool's Jonjo Shelvey who looked very promising at Charlton but has been frozen out at Anfield. Although of course he made the winner for Liverpool at Upton Park last season, so might be worth a punt. And we might be able to pick up Peter Odemwinjie from QPR's car park.