Saturday, August 17

We are third in the league!

West Ham 2 Cardiff 0

Full match report to follow but off on hols early tomorrow morning. A solid professional performance. Joe Cole was a threat throughout and took his goal well, turning to stroke home Jarvis's low cross.While Nolan made some fine blocks in defence and chipped in with another subtle finish. Reid and Collins, bar one slip, were excellent at the back and Downing had a fine cameo, looking like a proper skillful winger.

Kim looked a decent player for Cardiff, but apart from one late miss from Nicky Maynard, Jussi barrely had a save to make and Bellamy was subdued. Vital game as it sets the tempo for the season. Maiga had one decent effort saved by the keeper, but isn't a target man in the Carroll mould and at times looked lightweight, though could be a decent second striker. Joe Cole wafted one chance over and so did Jarvis, but generally a solid win. Bigger tests to come but nothing like starting with a win. And credit to Mr Moon too, who was entering and leaving the stadium throughout the second half. "He's here. he's there, he's every effing where!" to quote the chant that went up.

Friday, August 16

We're gonna win the league?

West Ham are 2000-1 to win the League according to today's Evening Standard. Surely worth a wager just in case the rest of the PL is struck down by bubonic plague or alien abductions… and we do get a lot of crosses in as Big Sam keeps saying.

Wednesday, August 14

Downing street

Nice of the Hammers to celebrate my birthday by signing Stewart Downing. He's a good price at £6m knocked down from £20m, but still not sure about this one. He's one of those players who has always been promising but is now 29. Downing has 34 England caps and had a good few years at Villa but has been in and out of the Liverpool team, though he finished strongly last season after a boot up the backside from Brendan Rodgers. Downing looks like a confidence player to me, so will need all Big Sam's motivational skills. Can we play Jarvis and Downing in the same team? And are we going to sign a striker as well? Otherwise we only have two strikers, one currently unfit!

Saturday, August 10

400,000 up!

And thanks today to anyone who's logged on to the blog recently to take the all-time views total up to 400,000. Quite a landmark. It's all done for love, though if you want to buy any of my books via the links it might help keep me in cups of Rosie Lee at Ken's Cafe. Come on you Irons!

Europe's elite come to Upton Park?

Mystic Matt points out some rather over-zealous marketing from WHU for today's friendly against Pacos de Ferreira. He writes:

We were persuaded by the West Ham website's promise that "Europe's elite come to the Boleyn" to book for Saturday's friendly. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that, rather than Barca or Bayern Munich, it was a team from somewhere near Porto that is so obscure that even anoraks with a working knowledge of the Faroe Islands  and Uzbekistan leagues have never heard of them. Still, on the plus side, the crowd is likely to be so small as to all be able to fit into Ken's without causing Carol to have a breakdown. And it is nearer than Flensburg (although the part-time Mayor's Tube and rail closures actually make it harder to get to).

Meanwhile we're reviving our interest in Stuart Downing, which seems strange when Matt Jarvis was a £9m  signing. Are we going to pay £5m for a reserve left winger? Or does Sam plan to play Jarvis and Downing together? Surely a striker is still the priority. Meanwhile Anton Ferdinand has been freed by QPR on the day Rio celebrates ten years at Man United. Looked a decent player under Curbishley. At 28 can he revive his career? Quite a comedown for Anton.

Friday, August 9

Andy Carroll: Ragged Trousered Philanthropist

Today's Daily Mail has photos of Andy Carroll out in Soho handing a fifty pound note to a beggar. Small change to a footballer, but still a generous gesture. And if you're ever at Ken's Cafe Andy, please spare us the price of a cup of tea, which is about fifty quid, honest.

Carlton Cole: double agent?

Bizarre news in Metro that Carlton Cole has been spotted training with Spurs. For all his qualities, CC with his dodgy knee is hardly a striker for Champions League contenders. Is this our payback for Robbie Keane? Or is Carlton just trying to stay fit at AVB's outfit?

The Butterfly Collector

Thanks to Nigel for spotting this article in The Independent on lepidopterist (that's a butterfly spotter to you and me) Matthew Oates. It's perhaps the only article on a lepidopterist ever to mention West Ham. Persevere and you'll find the WHU mention two thirds of the way through. Click on the link to read.

Tuesday, August 6

The real Ravel revealed?

Good to see Ravel Morrison get a couple of goals in the 3-2 win at Sporting Clube de Portugal last night, the second a cracking long range strike. He played 27 times and scored three goals in the Championship for Birmingham last season and made three cup appearances, so he now has a full season behind him. City watchers also praised his work rate after some initial problems with Lee Clark, so it seems like he's maturing as a proper player. And remember he was supposed to be the most gifted player to arrive at Man United since Paul Scholes, so let's hope he fulfils that potential in E13.

Monday, August 5

Sign on with hope in your heart?

All quiet on the striker front. It appears Solomon Kalou has turned us down because Sam won't guarantee that he plays down the middle (seems BS's tactical inflexibility has cost us there) and Luic Remy looks set for Newcastle, though with the possibility of a rape charge against Remy following his arrest in May, I don't think we should have him anywhere near Upton Park until that case is resolved.

There's also a rumour we're interested in Werder Bremen's Marko Arnutovic. Doesn't seem like BS is interested in Darren Bent either. All rather worrying as we're left with an unfit Andy Carroll and Modibo Maiga as our only established strikers. On a more positive note, Joe Cole has introduced Razvan Rat to Roland Rat videos on YouTube. Indeed, Roland Rat may have to play up front for us at this rate.