Derby County are the visitors to the Boleyn Ground this weekend as West Ham
United look for a victory
Barclays Premier League
Saturday 19 April
Referee: Steve Tanner
WHUTV - Pre-match press conference and live commentary to come
WESTHAM.WAP.COM - All the news, on the move
* West Ham United, tenth in the Barclays Premier League, welcome already
relegated Derby County looking to get back to winning ways and preserve
their long-standing hold on a position in the top half of the table.
* A win would keep United at least three points clear of Tottenham Hotspur
in eleventh with just three fixtures remaining. Of those final games, two
are at home (Newcastle United, 26 April and Aston Villa, 11 May) and one is
away (Manchester United, 3 May).
* George McCartney is in line to make his 50th consecutive appearance in all
club competitions dating back to the 2-1 win at Blackburn Rovers on 17 March
* At least two wins from the final four games would take West Ham United to
the 50-point mark in the top flight - something the club has only managed
seven times in the previous 14 seasons since 1992/93.
* West Ham United have been in the top half of the table for all but one
week since the middle of November.
* The last time West Ham United finished a top-flight campaign with a
positive goal difference was the 1985/86 season (+34). The club is currently
* West Ham United have not won the last two meetings between the clubs at
the Boleyn Ground - both came in the Championship. A 2-1 defeat in the
2004/05 campaign was preceded by a 0-0 draw in the 2003/04 season.
* The last home win was a 4-0 top-flight success on 26 December 2001 with
goals from Sebastien Schemmel, Paolo Di Canio, Trevor Sinclair and Jermain
Defoe, with Derby having Benito Carbone sent off on 53 minutes.
* Alan Curbishley's men lost 1-0 at Bolton Wanderers in their last outing,
with a solitary strike from Kevin Davies on 47 minutes separating the sides
at the Reebok Stadium.
Bolton Wanderers 1-0 West Ham United (12 April): Green, Spector, Upson,
Ferdinand (Pantsil 4), McCartney, Parker, Collison (Cole 50), Mullins,
Ashton, Zamora (Sears 66), Boa Morte.
Subs not used: Walker, Tomkins.
Goal: Davies 47
Derby County 0-6 Aston Villa (12 April): Carroll, Todd (Earnshaw 54), Moore
(Leacock 54), Stubbs, Lewis, Mears, Ghaly, Savage, Jones (McEveley 59),
Subs not used: Price, Feilhaber.
Goals: Young 25, Carew 26, Petrov 36, Barry 58, Agbonlahor 76, Harewood 85
* Matthew Upson should continue after coming through 90 minutes for the
first time since 5 March against Bolton. Anton Ferdinand is expected to miss
out with a hamstring injury suffered early in that contest but he could be
back for Newcastle United on 26 April.
* Jonathan Spector moved to the centre after Ferdinand's substitution having
replaced Lucas Neill in the starting lineup. The club captain missed out
with a twisted ankle but could be back against Derby. James Tomkins is also
in contention for his first start at home, as are fellow youth-team
graduates Jack Collison and Freddie Sears.
* Mark Noble and Freddie Ljungberg have both trained all week after
recovering from hamstring injuries that caused them to miss the last two
* Julien Faubert played 45 minutes for the reserves in a 2-1 win against
Derby's second string on 9 April. He is fit again after calf muscle trouble
and could play before the end of the season, having not figured since 1
March. Matthew Etherington, after his abdominal problems that have kept him
out since 9 February, is also on the comeback trail but his return is not
* With regard to long-termers James Collins (knee), Danny Gabbidon
(abdominal), Calum Davenport (neck), Nigel Quashie (foot), Lee Bowyer
(groin), Kieron Dyer (double broken leg) and Craig Bellamy (abdominal), all
are said to be making progress.
* Bellamy, like the other six, is not likely to return this campaign as he
looks to pre-season while Welsh international team-mate Collins is back at
the training ground and stepping up his rehabilitation from his cruciate
ligament injury after a positive surgeon's report.
* Derby could have Mile Sterjovski (achilles), Marc Edworthy (rib) fit again
but are without long-term victims Danny Mills, Claude Davis and Giles
* Derby, on eleven points, need to get five more to avoid finishing with
lowest Premier League points total. Sunderland finished with 15 in the
* After 34 games last season, West Ham United were five points from safety
and had just 29 points compared to the 44 they have achieved from the same
number of matches this campaign.
* West Ham United and Derby last met at Pride Park on 10 November 2007 in a
convincing 5-0 victory for the away side - equalling the club's all-time
winning margin for a top-flight away fixture, a 6-1 success at Manchester
City in September 1962.
* Lee Bowyer hit the first-half opener with a close-range shot and his
second in the second half came after he provided an assist for Matthew
Etherington and Jonathan Spector had made it three with a sharp strike that
went in off Derby's Eddie Lewis. Nolberto Solano confirmed the rout when he
struck a perfect free-kick into the corner of the net.
* The lineups were:
Derby County: Bywater, Mears, Moore, Edworthy, Griffin, Barnes, Oakley,
Pearson, Teale (Howard 52 ), Miller (Fagan 75), Lewis (Earnshaw 58)
Subs not used: McEveley, Jones
West Ham United: Green, Neill, Gabbidon, Upson, McCartney (Pantsil 14),
Solano, Spector, Bowyer (Collins 72), Etherington, Cole, Boa Morte
Subs not used: Richard Wright, Ljungberg, Camara
* McCartney has now made 40 appearances this season in all competitions. He
has not missed a match since sitting out the 4-3 home defeat by Tottenham
Hotspur on 4 March 2007 - an unbroken run of 49 games.
* McCartney is the only West Ham United player who has featured in every
league and cup game to date, starting in each one.
* In terms of the Premier League, only Green has played every minute of the
* Carlton Cole, on nine cautions for the season, is no longer under the
threat of a two-match ban as suspensions for ten yellow cards stopped taking
effect after the second Sunday in April - which comes with the trip to
* No Derby player has appeared in every top-flight game this season.
* Ashton, with eight goals, seven in the league, is the club's leading
scorer. Kenny Miller, with five goals, three in the league, is Derby's top
marksman. Matthew Oakley and Emanuel Villa have also scored three league
* Derby goalkeeper Roy Carroll played 31 league games for West Ham United
between summer 2005 and summer 2007. Club-mate Stephen Bywater, another
former United player, is on loan at Ipswich Town. Full-back Tyrone Mears
spent last season at the Boleyn Ground, playing five league matches.
* West Ham United will next be in action on Saturday 26 April when Newcastle
United arrive at the Boleyn Ground. Derby play host to Arsenal on Monday 28
Last six league meetings
10 November 2007 - Derby County 0-5 West Ham United
23 January 2005 - West Ham United 1-2 Derby County
29 September 2004 - Derby County 1-1 West Ham United
10 April 2004 - West Ham United 0-0 Derby Country
4 October 2003 - Derby County 0-1 West Ham United
26 December 2001 - West Ham United 4-0 Derby County
All-time record versus Derby: W 25 D 25 L 23
Tickets: This match is SOLD OUT. For general ticket information, click here.
For details of getting to the Boleyn Ground, click here
Weather: The forecast is for rain and a chilly afternoon. The temperature is
set to peak around the 8C mark.
Tenth the spur for Sears - WHUFC
The chance to finish above Tottenham Hotspur is just one reason why Freddie
Sears will keep going
Freddie Sears sees plenty to play for between now and the end of the season
- not least the chance to finish above Tottenham Hotspur.
While he may have been frustrated on his last three substitute appearances
after the goalscoring heroics of his debut a month ago, Sears will keep
going for goals if selected against Derby County - especially if it helps
keep the gap between West Ham United and old rivals Spurs. The north London
side are just three points behind as they go to Wigan Athletic and the
biggest threat to a top-ten finish.
Speaking to WHUTV, Sears said: "We have got to win against Derby, it is a
big game. We need the result. We are still pushing for tenth," the
18-year-old said. "We have got Spurs just behind us so we want to finish
tenth don't we! If we can get any higher that will be a bonus now." He also
has good recent memories of playing Tottenham, having scored two and made
one for Dean Ashton in a 3-1 reserve-team win on 25 February.
Sears could make his full debut this weekend at the Boleyn Ground, having
watched fellow Academy graduates James Tomkins and Jack Collison both get
their chance from the off for Alan Curbishley in recent games. "Hopefully I
will feature, whether from the start or coming on but I just need to get a
start now really," he said. "I would like to think I am in contention but
you don't know. It is up to the gaffer."
Spector eyes Derby delight - WHUFC
Jonathan Spector said West Ham United owe it to the fans to get a positive
result at the Boleyn Ground
Jonathan Spector has happy memories of the last meeting with Derby County as
West Ham United welcome this Saturday's visitors looking to finish the
season on a high.
The US international defender played as a central midfielder in a 5-0 win at
Pride Park on 10 November. He also 'scored' his side's third although it was
later credited as an Eddie Lewis own goal, after hitting the Derby player on
the line. This time around, Spector will not be worried one bit who gets the
goals, as long as they come. "I am just hoping that anyone gets on the
scoresheet, to be perfectly honest. It is a team we should beat and it
doesn't matter who gets the goals, as long as we get a win."
With Derby, Newcastle United and Aston Villa all to arrive at the Boleyn
Ground before the end of the campaign, Spector said there was the chance to
put the disappointment of recent weeks behind the club. "We all want to show
the fans that we haven't given up this season," he said. "We have been tenth
for so many months now and trying to push on to a UEFA Cup spot but that
hasn't happened. We owe it to ourselves and the fans to hold on to that
tenth-place spot and win the rest of our games."
The versatile 22-year-old started last Saturday's game at Bolton as a
replacement right-back for Lucas Neill before being switched inside to cover
for Anton Ferdinand. Seconds after changing position, he was on hand to
clear off the line from Kevin Davies and overall he turned in a positive
display alongside Matthew Upson. Both men were involved in Davies' winner
though which came after a scramble in the penalty area that ultimately left
Robert Green with no chance to save.
"It was just disappointing really, not to get a result. The last few games
have been frustrating and disappointing for us. It was not until they scored
that we really started to get going, passing the ball around, moving about
and creating some opportunities ? These games are difficult against teams
who need to win to stay up. We were in that position last season and that is
what we were able to accomplish but we don't want to let the season slip
away, we want the season to finish on a high like it did last year."
All the odds for Saturday - WHUFC
JAXX.com have plenty of special bets lined up for this weekend's home
encounter with Derby County
Ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League meeting with Derby County,
here's what on offer from JAXX, the club's official online sports betting
West Ham United have scored nine goals in their last two games against Derby
County and after the Rams conceded six at home to Aston Villa last weekend,
Alan Curbishley will hope that the visitors' aversion to claret and blue
Derby are already planning for next season's campaign in the Championship,
while Curbishley is looking to give some of West Ham United's bright young
stars an opportunity or two - and that's great to see. United won 5-0 at
Pride Park in November - their biggest win of the season thus far. They have
a great record against Derby County, having lost just twice in their last 13
Barclays Premier League meetings, both of them coming away from the Boleyn
Ground. Five of those games finished in a draw.
Derby are on offer at 17/2 to earn their second to-flight victory of the
season. They have yet to win away from home and have taken just three points
from their 17 away games this term. Despite West Ham United's indifferent
form of late, they are considered heavy favourites to hand Derby their 26th
defeat of the season. United are on offer at 7/20, while the draw is
available at 13/4.
Backing West Ham United to win by two clear goals might be a better option
for some. They are on offer at 4/5 on the handicap, meaning a successful £50
bet on that outcome would produce a return of £90. Derby have not been in
particularly bad form of late. Prior to their 6-0 defeat by Aston Villa,
Paul Jewell's men had lost three games by a single goal (Manchester United,
Middlesbrough and Everton) and earned a 2-2 draw with Fulham.
There might be some value in the half-time/full-time markets. West Ham
United have come from behind at half-time to win the match on one occasion
this season - when Manchester United were in front at Upton Park in November
and second-half goals from Anton Ferdinand and Matthew Upson ensured a 2-1
victory. The odds for Derby to be leading at the interval and West Ham
United to ultimately win the match are 29/1 - a successful £20 bet on that
outcome would produce a return of £600.
Don't forget, JAXX offer several markets for every West Ham United game,
including a number of exclusive Season Specials. West Ham United currently
have 44 points with four games remaining (three of them at home). JAXX offer
3/4 that the Hammers gain 50 points or more, and it is 17/20 that they get
49 points or less. The Hammers are 7/10 to finish above Tottenham in the
season-long match bet. Spurs are three points behind going into the weekend.
Spurs are 9/10 to finish in front of the Hammers.
And that's not all. Register with JAXX, place your first bet and you will
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West Ham v Derby - BBC
Venue: Upton Park Date: Saturday 19 April Kick-off: 1500 BST
Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Five Live & highlights on Match of
West Ham look set to welcome back captain Lucas Neill (ankle) as well as
midfielders Freddie Ljungberg and Mark Noble (both hamstring). Winger
Julien Faubert may feature after a calf problem but defender Anton Ferdinand
is out (hamstring) so John Pantsil or Jonathan Spector stand by.
Derby County manager Paul Jewell will give a late fitness test to midfielder
Mile Sterjovski (Achilles). But veteran defender Marc Edworthy (cracked rib)
is definitely ruled out.
West Ham have held on to their top 10 status for all but one week since the
middle of November. But three successive defeats means that that top half
berth is now under threat.
Just four matches to go in this nightmare of the season for the relegated
cellar dwellers Derby. Not only could it be the most unsuccessful campaign
ever in the Premier League, it could be the first in English league football
for 109 years so devoid of victories.
The Hammers crushed the Rams 0-5 at Pride Park in November, and beat them
4-0 in the most recent Premier League meeting at Upton Park on Boxing Day
WEST HAM UNITED
Highest achievable after Saturday's matches: 10th
Lowest could fall: 11th
All statistics and sequences refer to the Premier League only, unless
1. Lost six of eight, including the last three. Another defeat would make it
their worst run since five successive losses between 30 January and 4 March
2. The 2-1 home victory over Blackburn on 15 March is their only maximum in
3. Chasing a 25th victory in all competitions under Alan Curbishley.
4. The current tally of 44 points is 15 more than were accumulated after 34
games last season; already bagged three more points than in total for the
whole of last season.
5. Only two of their 35 goals have come direct from outside the penalty
6. Their 34 games have produced just 76 goals (35 for, 41 against). At 2.24,
it is the lowest goals per game return in the division.
7. Third bottom in the "form" table, with four points from the possible 18.
8. Not lost at home to a Midlands' club in this league since the defeat to
Birmingham on 5 October 2002.
9. The run-in is:-
Manchester United (a)
Aston Villa (h)
Highest achievable after Saturday's matches: 20th
Lowest could fall: 20th
All statistics and sequences refer to the Premier League only, unless
1. Overtaken Leicester's record for the earliest relegation in this league
by some eight days. It's Paul Jewell's first relegation as a manager. Since
his arrival on 28 November, Jewell has overseen no wins, five draws and 15
2. Four matches remain to gain the five points required to avoid officially
becoming the worst side in the history of this league; a dubious honour
currently held by Sunderland, with 15 points in 2005-06. The Rams are one
point behind the Wearsiders' at this identical stage.
3. Need to score five more goals to avoid becoming the outright lowest
scorers in the Premier League (Sunderland totalled just 21 in 2002-03).
4. Averaging 0.47 goals per game. The lowest in English league football
history was 0.53 by Loughborough College at second league level in
1899-1900, when they mustered 18 goals in 34 games.
5. Just four opportunities remain to avoid becoming the second club to go
through an entire season of English League football with just one victory,
and first since Loughborough College in 1899-1900.
6. Conceded six goals three times this season, five goals twice and four
once. Been outscored by 58 goals and in danger of setting a record low goal
difference in the Premier League, eclipsing Ipswich Town's -57 in 1994-95.
7. On the record longest winless sequence in this league of 28 games; drawn
seven and lost 21 (seven points out of 84) since their solitary victory; 1-0
over Newcastle at Pride Park on 17 September.
8. One victory, 25 losses, 91 points dropped, 16 goals scored at one every
191 minutes (three hours 11 minutes) on average, and 74 conceded at one
every 41 minutes on average; just three clean sheets, failed to score in 21,
netted first in eight and allowed the opposition to open the scoring in 24;
bottom in all nine categories.
9. The only club without an away win. Lost the last four away, and not won
on the road in 21 trips in this league, since winning 1-3 at Bolton on 16
10. The remaining fixtures:-
KEY PLAYER NOTES
WEST HAM UNITED
Dean ASHTON is West Ham's top scorer with eight goals.
ASHTON is also the Hammers' top Premier League marksmen with seven.
The club's Premier League goalscorers list is predominately comprised of
English players (nine of 13).
Robert GREEN is the only remaining player to have been on the field for
every minute of every one of West Ham's Premier League matches this season.
Lee BOWYER is a double shy of 50 career Premier League goals (Leeds,
Newcastle and West Ham).
Nol SOLANO needs a double to total 50 Premier League goals (Newcastle, Aston
Villa and West Ham).
Fredrik LJUNGBERG is two shy of 50 Premier League goals (Arsenal and West
Matthew UPSON will be playing the day after turning 29.
James COLLINS will be making his 100th career league appearance (Cardiff and
If on the field from the outset:-
Lucas NEILL will be making his 350th career league start (Millwall,
Blackburn and West Ham).
Kenny MILLER is Derby's top scorer with five goals.
MILLER, Matt OAKLEY and Emanuel VILLA are the clubs' joint top marksmen in
the Premier League, with three each.
Roy CARROLL will be facing a former club. The 30 year old Northern Ireland
international keeper made 35 appearances (31 in the league) for West Ham
between June 2005 and his move to Pride Park in the January transfer window.
Tyrone MEARS will also be playing against former club-mates. The 25 year old
defender made just six appearances (five in the league) in a one-season stay
with West Ham before his move to Derby last July.
HEAD TO HEAD
Derby won their last visit to Upton Park 1-2 in the Championship on 23
The Hammers have achieved the double over the Rams once in the Premier
League in 1998-1999, with a 7-1 aggregate.
Home and away
League (inc PL): West Ham wins 20, Derby 22, Draws 23
Prem: West Ham 6 wins, Derby 2, Draws 5
at West Ham only
League (inc PL): West Ham 11 wins, Derby 6, Draws 15
Prem: West Ham 3 wins, Derby 0, Draws 3
THIS SEASON'S REVERSE FIXTURE
Derby County 0-5 West Ham United
10 November 2007 - Ref: Mark Clattenburg
West Ham scorers: Bowyer 42, Etherington 51, Lewis 55 og, Bowyer 59, Solano
Steve Tanner (Somerset)
Premier League referees' table
Steve Tanner's 2007-08 Premier League card count
West Ham v Derby preview - SSN
Hammers entertain Rams at Upton Park
By James Pearson Last updated: 18th April 2008
West Ham 3 Derby 0
SKY BET odds:
West Ham 4/11 Draw 3/1 Derby 13/2
One to Watch: Scott Parker
Two out-of-sorts teams meet at Upton Park on Saturday as West Ham entertain
relegated Derby County. While The Hammers have won one of their last nine
Premier League outings, The Rams have only won all season. West Ham boss
Alan Curbishley will be keen to see his charges finish their season on a
high note, Derby manager Paul Jewell will be desperate to avoid another 6-0
thrashing. With West Ham trailing ninth-placed Blackburn by seven points it
seems unlikely the East Londoners will be able to improve upon their current
standing, while Derby need five points to surpass Sunderland's feeble
15-point haul in the 2005/06 season. Hammers boss Curbishley is set to
welcome back Lucas Neill (ankle) as well as midfielder Freddie Ljungberg and
Mark Noble (both hamstring) following their 1-0 defeat at Bolton last time
out. Neill is likely to replace Jonathan Spector at right-back, although the
American could switch to centre-half with Anton Ferdinand missing with a
hamstring stain. John Pantsil is also in contention to replace Ferdinand
after coming on as substitute for the 23-year-old defender at The Reebok.
Rising star Freddie Sears could well be drafted in up front alongside Dean
Ashton following a disappointing outing by Bobby Zamora against the lowly
Trotters. Kieron Dyer, Daniel Gabbidon, Lee Bowyer, Calum Davenport and
Nigel Quashie all remain long-term injury victims for Curbishley.
Jewell is likely to ring the changes to his starting XI following their
embarrassing home mauling at the hands of Aston Villa last weekend. Dean
Leacock may well come in for Darren Moore, although his introduction against
Villa failed to stem the tide against Roy Carroll's goal. Carroll had a
nightmare of an outing against Martin O'Neill's men and could well be taken
out of the firing line with Lewis Price possibly getting his seventh league
appearance of the season.
Rob Earnshaw could be drafted into Jewell's strike force, although there is
every chance Emanuel Villa and Kenny Miller will keep their places up front.
Jewell remains without long-term injury victims Giles Barnes, Danny Mills
and Claude Davis.
The Redknapp years - a personal opinion and an appeal for info (warning -
it's long!) - West Ham Online
clack - Wed Apr 16 2008
There's been a lot of highly critical posts and articles on Harry Redknapp
over the last week or so, but I felt many opinions were based on
unsubstantiated rumours and misrepresentation of stats and facts.
I doubt there's a subject that divides West Ham fans more. According to the
honourable Billy Blagg, it was pretty much 50/50 (on WHO) for and against
the sacking of Redknapp at the time, so I'd like to offer a more favourable
analysis than has been seen of late, and, once again, use this opportunity
to appeal for information regarding some of the 'goings on' at the club.
For me, personally, the Redknapp years coincided with a happy time in my
life and I thoroughly enjoyed going to West Ham during that period, so I
accept that I could be looking back through rose-tinted specs here, but,
even so, I was taken aback by how critical some posters were of the style of
football we played and I was amazed to see it described as 'long ball'.
That's certainly not how I remember things. Infact, the main reason I rate
Redknapp highly as a manager is simply that - I like his style of play. It
didn't always come off, just as it didn't always come off under Greenwood
and Lyall, but I thought the spirit was there and that Redknapp strove to
play all-out attacking football, with an emphasis on skill and flair,
dribbling and passing the ball along the floor, the traditional West Ham
Of course, it never reaches our high ideals, and I am aware there is a
certain 'romanticism' attached to the so-called 'West Ham way', and neither
am I blind to it's faults - with so many players pushed forward, an exposed
defence produces some crazy results. We could be on the receving end of a
right hammering one week, but then out-play opponents and score a few
ourselves the next. As Ron Greenwood himself put it, "if the other team
score three then we'll try and score four!". For me, that is the kind of
football I always want to see.
The Guardian got it spot on last week I thought when they took a trip down
to Portsmouth's training ground:
--On a blustery day at Portsmouth's borrowed training ground in Eastleigh
this week he drilled his players with relish.....only intervening when a
short pass was overlooked in favour of a hopeful long option. Schooled in
the West Ham philosophy of Ron Greenwood and John Lyall, he has an abiding
faith in a passing game but is astute enough to have incorporated the power
and pace necessary in modern football in a squad containing several athletic
I have to disagree with this idea that Redknapp simpy flung his sides
together any old how and it was a mess. Di Canio just did as he wanted and
was popping up all over the place they say....well, yes, that was the idea!
The skilful players, the creators who are your matchwinners, should be
trusted to roam where they want and encouraged to play with freedom in my
opinion. I'm not going to compare the likes of Di Canio, Berkovic, Joe Cole
or Trevor Sinclair to Cruyff or Maradona, or Cristiano Ronaldo even, but one
of the main reasons those greats became what they were/are was because their
managers recognised they were intelligent enough to work things out for
themselves on the pitch. They were given loosly-defined roles in the final
third, as was Trevor Brooking by Ron Greenwood for both West Ham and England
I think it's more difficult, and requires a lot more tactical awareness, to
find a system that creates a base for flair players to operate than just
setting up your team in a rigid formation where every player has a clearely
defined role - negative tactics that are sadly in vogue with many English
managers nowadays. Allardyce, Bruce, Boothroyd (now that is a 'long ball'
manager if ever there was), although successful to a degree, are taking
English football backwards in my opinion.
John Hartson, in his prime, was a powerful header of the ball, but he also
had good ability when balls were played into his feet, as they often were at
West Ham. Maybe we need a clearer definition of what exactly constitutes
'long ball', but, honestly, if you accuse Redknapp of being route one then
you might aswell say the current Arsenal, Liverpool, and Chelsea teams are
all 'long ball merchants' for the amount of high balls they hit long for
Adebayour, Torres and Drogba.
A central midfield partnership of Bishop and Moncur, long ball? I remember
how some of the crowd groaned when Rio gave the ball away a couple of times
in one match. "I'd rather he tries to play the pass and makes a ricket than
just hit it long", said Redknapp after the game.
Hartson was a a bit of a nutter who sadly went off the rails with alcohol
and gambling problems, culminating in an arrest for assaulting a plant-pot
in his home town in Wales. I think it's unfair to blame the manager for all
that. Discipline was generally good under Redknapp. He banned alcohol from
the players' lounge, introduced the concept of a fitness triainer for the
first time at West Ham and had a reputation for dishing out a rollocking
when it was needed (and still does at Portsmouth according to a Tony Adams
in a recent interview in the Sun), but sometimes if you have a player with
serious problems, who is a liability, then there's not a lot a manager can
do? Except perhaps get rid of their influence as Alex Ferguson has done
several times with Keith Gillespie, Lee Sharpe, Norman Whiteside, Japp Stamm
and a few others, inspite of their popularity with the crowd.
We got excellent money for Hartson (7 million), ripped Wimbledon off really,
and bought Di Canio and Viven-Foe with the proceeds (oh, and Scott Minto -
not so good, obviously!). Hartson did very little at Wimbledon before a
renaissance at Celtic in the inferior Scottish league, but he never did much
in the Prem again.
But style of play is so subjective, just personal taste really, noone is
right and noone is wrong, so I'd like to take a closer, more factual look,
at some of the other accusations made.
Redknapp never won a trophy (not quite true - we won the Intertoto, and I'm
sure all those who went to Metz will testify that was a great day out and an
excellent laugh). But, seriously, what managers outside the big 4 have won a
trophy over the last 15 years? A couple of Carling Cups for Tottenham, the
5th biggest spenders, a Carling cup for Steve McLaren after spending
millions at Boro, and Martin O'Neill at Leicester in a Carling final against
Villa (when it really should have been us who were the opposition - and I
don't blame Redknapp for the Omoyimini cock-up - it's not the manager's job
to check admin.). And that's it! - David Moyes, no trophies in 7 years at
Everton, not a sniff of one - what a bad manager, ay!!!
Let's remember where the club was when Redknapp tookover. We were relegation
material, and remained so for a couple of seasons. We had a relatively small
ground and no outside investment, unlike some of our rivals; Boro, Fulham,
Like a politician you can play with statistics and balance sheets to suit
your argument and Terrance Brown certainly did in his first post-Redknapp
chairman's report, as did Steve Blowers in his book, 'Nearly Reach the Sky',
which was quite damning of the Redknapp era.
Brown is correct. There was a point (Redknapp's last season) when we had the
7th largest wage bill in the premier league and were not too far behind
Arsenal in 6th in that one season (although we were way behind the top 5 -
Man U, Leeds, Chelsea, Newcastle and Liverpool).
But what rarely gets mentioned is that there were a whole host of clubs
whose wage bills were not a lot lower than our own at that point -
Middlesboro, Fulham, Sheff Wed, Aston Villa, Bradford, Tottenham, Nottm
Forest and Everton. Infact our wage bill had been significantly lower than
all of those clubs during most of the Redknapp years and it was only in his
last season that West Ham's reached those levels. And it's just ludicrous to
say that our wage bill was double our competitors.
All those clubs were getting themselves heavily into debt. It was not only
us. You had to have a high wage bill, just to be able to compete at that
But this is the crucial bit that rarely gets mentioned either- during his
whole time as maanger, Redknapp was never given money to fund transfers.
Every transfer fee had to be financed by a sale.
Hammers News ran a complete list of all the ins and outs during Redknapp's
time that revealed he had actually made a profit on transfer fees. The
Observer newspaper also published an article that showed that overall, ins
and outs, only two prem league clubs, West Ham and Southampton, did not have
a big minus figure in their total transfer balance during the previous 5
All the other 15 clubs mentioned above had spent massively on trensfer fees
during that period so, overall, taking into account wages aswell, they had
all spent a lot more money than West Ham. By rights, we should have been
struggling down the bottom of the table, 16th at best, season after season,
but by finishing 8th, 5th, 9th in consecutive seasons we were over-achieving
by a long way.
And I think therein lay the problem. Harry Redknapp was a victim of his own
success and the goalposts got moved. A team that really should have been
battling down the bottom was finishing consistently in the top half,
including a 5th place. Of course, Redknapp was an ambitious manager and
naturally wanted to keep the club moving forward, Brown himself was also
ambitious, stating in one chairman's report during Redknapp's reign that his
aim was to establish the club as a top 8 side and, of course, the fans are
always going to expect more of the same. But, with no investment and a small
ground that was unrealistic, ne impossible.
After years of successful wheelng and dealing eg. Matty Holmes, Cottee,
Bilic, Rieper, Hartson, Lomas, Ian Pearce, Hislop on a free, Sinclair,
Viven-Foe, Kanoute, Sinclair, Lazaridis, many of whom were sold on for big
profits, nooone can dispute that Redknapp spent some of the Rio money badly.
Less than 7 of the 18 million received for Rio went on transfer fees, but,
yes, there are wages to consider aswell (the decision to sell Rio was taken
by the board as they feared an EU law was going to abolish transfer fees and
that the defender might leave for free at a later date - according to Nick
Igoe at Fan Forum Feb 2005 - he also said Redknapp was given a 300k bonus
"for good service to the club and his good work in the negotiaitions during
the Rio sale").
Christain Dailly at 1.75 milliion was a good signing in my opinion. A handy
squad player for seven seasons, twice having his contract extended under
Pardew in the Prem league, and, as Pardew often alluded to, Dailly was an
excellent influence around the training ground.
Rigobert Song was sold on for a small profit on his transfer fee after a
year so we didn't lose too much money on him (Cologne were probably paying
some of his wages when he went on loan there for a few months before being
sold to Lens). He has gone on to have a decent career at a decent level,
currently captain of Galataseray and Cameroon.
Todorov, Foxe, Soma - all youngsters bought for their potential - the sort
of players Nani will be bringing to the club I expect, but better hopefully!
Unfortunatey injuries have blighted Todorov's career so it's difficult to
judge him, but he does have a good goals to appearances ratio in the prem
and CCC. It's probably fair to say that both Todorov and Foxe (a virtual
ever present for Pompey romped the ccc) found their correct level in the
CCC, but neither Todorov, Foxe or Soma could have been earning that high
wages at West Ham as we would not have been able to offload them so easily a
year or so after they all joined.
Titi Camara was by far the worst of all Redknapp's signings, the one that is
refered to most and the one on which hangs the most suspicion. It's
impossible to defend this signing, but at 2 million, he did cost less than
the 3.5 million Liverpool paid for him 18 months earlier. Camera had
actually made a good start to his premiership career at Liverpool, finishing
top scorer behind Owen in 99/2000 and the fans had taken to him up there,
but something went wrong and he fell out with Houllier.
This, from a Liverpool fansite at the time, makes interesting and quite
hilarious reading with hindsight - the scousers were actually disappointed
to see him go and thought we had got a bargain!
I'm not for one moment defending the signing of Camara but all managers do
make bad signings. Ferguson and Wenger have made a few, wasting millions on
the likes of Veron, Forlan and Jeffers, but I can see the logic behind the
Camara deal. Redknapp probably thought, wrongly, that he could get the
striker back to what he was in France, where he had a very good scoring
record. I believe Redknapp was acting in the best interests of the club when
he made that signing.
Not part of the Rio money, but another signing that often gets lumped in
with it is Gary Charles, a skilful ball-playing defender and ex England
international. Again, classic Redknapp, believing he could get a player
whose career had lost it's way, back on track. Of course, Redknapp was wrong
again here, and I am not pretending it was anything other than a bad buy,
but I can see a logic to the signing.
Fortunately, West Ham sensibly took out insurance on Charles' dodgy knee. It
may well have been serious alcoholism that finished his career, but
officially it was the knee and the insurance compnay paid up the remainder
of his contract when it was terminated. To put that in perspective, Charles
cost the club, in transfer fee and wages, less than Vladimir Labant, whose 4
year contract was also ripped up but paid up in full by the club.
It is the accusations and rumours that Redknapp took bungs that leaves a bad
taste for all of us. Who really knows what went on, if anything? Maybe
Terrance Brown doesn't actually know, though he suspects and has told, or at
least insinuated it, to a few people.
It's so difficult to seperate rumours from facts, or to know who or what to
believe? That Mark Redkanpp was involved in his father's dealings is one of
the most repeated rumours that appears on WHO but, as far as I can see, has
no real substance.
I once spoke to Paul Aldridge about this and he dismissed it out of hand,
although he did say he was aware of rumours doing the rounds as he did look
at the message boards. He said that on match days he used to chat openly in
the players lounge with Mark Redknapp, who regularly attended games, and he
thinks maybe that's how this false rumour started (I am aware, of course,
that Aldridge could well have been lying, but my gut feeling is that he was
Tom Bower investigated Redknapp's transfers as thoroughly as anyone,
especially the Rio sale and Song and Camara deals. Bower had access to
documents but makes no reference to Mark Redkanpp in his book 'Broken
Dreams'. I'm sure Bower would have said something if Redknapp's son had been
involved as it would add to the sense of scandal he was trying to create. He
makes a very big deal of the relationship between Arsenal's David Dein and
his agent son in another chapter.
The BBc programme 'Fergie & Son' mainly concentrates on Alex Ferguson's
transfer dealings but also mentions Allardyce & son, Mick Macarthy & son and
Howard Wilkinson & Son, as have several newspaper articles, which have also
revealed how Kevin Keegan and Stuart Pearce, manager and assistant at Man
City, both had shares in an agency that Man City had bought players from.
Again, why no mention of Redknapp & son in these programmes and aticles? It
would be such an obvious choice if it was true?
Redknapp has been condemned on here for using the 'unscrupulous' agents Pini
Zahavi, Willie Mckay and Rene Hauge. I don't like the way these agents
operate, but the sad fact is Zahavi and Mckay are two of football's most
established and connected agents and you have to use people like them them f
you want to bring good players to your club, especially foreign players.
Infact, by condemning deals involving Zahavi and McKay you are condemning
every manager and chief exec in the Premier league.
But, behind the sweeping statements, do we know exactly which players were
signed through these agents?
As far as I am aware, the only Zahavi player signed by Redknapp was Eyal
Berkovic. However, since Redkanpp left, Zahavi has been the agent in a
number of West ham's signings - Rebrov, Benayoun, Katan, Pantsill, Tevez and
This story that Redknapp introduced Rio to Zahavi just seems to have been
made up as far as I can see? Surely, it could just easily have been
Berkovic? - Berkovic was the friend Rio turned to the day he 'forgot' his
drugs test at Man U - or mabe it was Paul Aldridge as he has close ties with
Zahavi, or maybe, most likely in my opinion, it was Zahavi himself, tracking
down a good young player and persuading him to sign for him as he does all
over the world?
As far as I am aware, there were only three Willie Mckay players signed by
Redknapp?- Viven-Foe, Song and Camara. Some posters have said Dailly aswell,
but last weekend, when the player was asked by a friend of mine who is a
journalist for the Scotish Sunday Herald and knows Dailly well, Dailly said
McKay had never been involved in any of his transfers?
According to Bower's 'Broken Dreams', it was actually O'Leary (George
Graham's prodigy) who insisted on Rene Hauge being involved in the Rio deal.
Hauge's ban was over so there was nothing ilegal about it and, as far as I'm
aware, I don't think Hauge was involved in any other West Ham deals does
anyone know? Soma perhaps?
I am suspicious and have been since all the rumours first surfaced, and
obviously, it will be very interesting to see if anyone is actually charged
as a result of the City of London police investigation, although that
appears to be about clubs not declaring tax rather than bungs as such?
Anyone who has any information on anything touched upon above, please send
me a whomail and, as always, I promise I will be very discreet about where
the info has come from. I am very sceptical and don't believe there are
journalists out there who came close to nailing Redknapp as has been
claimed. I can't help feeling that there are just rumours and gossip that go
round like a big game of chinese whispers, getting more embelished as
they're pased on.
As a West Ham fan I would just like to know the truth about my club, that's
It's very long already, but a few more points:
The club's accounts show the wage bill actually rose under Roeder.
25 million of the debt upon relegation in 2003 was money spent on the new
It's a myth, in my opinion, that we were nearly relegated in Redknapp's last
season. We actually went 6th after beating Charlton 5 0 on Boxing day, but
after the FA Cup run (wins at Old Trafford and Sunderland), key players were
rested for two league games before the big quarter final with Spurs. We
lost, everyone was gutted, and the seson just petered out into nothing as
there was nothing to play for - a bit like the current situation. There were
some crap games and we slipped down the table, not mathematically safe until
three (or two?) games to go, but I never felt we were ever in danger of
But finally, and this is is the ultimate irony, in the end, the size of the
wage bill and debt didn't matter!! (as long as we had remained in prem
Scudamore at the Prem League and the TV companies, with their professional
financial forecasts of a never ending TV bounty, were right after all. Brown
and Deloitte Touche's fears of the TV money drying up were completely
unfounded and wrong.
Brown got it all so completely wrong about the TV money drying up and the
debt and high wage bill being a problem, but irony of ironies, as a result
of those masssive TV deals that he never saw coming, Brown was able to sell
the club and make a cool 40 million pound profit for himself!!
Curbishley insists Hammers squad is his to change
WEST Ham boss Alan Curbishley has admitted that he may need to trim his
squad in the summer - but insisted that he has not been forced into clearing
out the club's big earners. Players such as captain Lucas Neill, Freddie
Ljungberg and Kieron Dyer are all believed to be picking up vast wages in
excess of £60,000 a week. Now Curbishley (pictured) is said to be under
strict instructions from billionaire chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson to
reduce his playing staff and slash the club's wage bill. However, he
confirmed he is under no obligation to show any particular player the exit
door. "I'm under no pressure whatsoever to do things that I don't want to
do," he said. "I've not been speaking to the chairman and specifically
people have been put up to that situation. No individual players have come
on my radar."
West Ham currently list 33 first team players and 20 more youth team
professionals on its books. But club officals revealed on a fans forum site
this week that the squad needs to be cut back to only 24 players. And,
although an unprecedented level of injuries has seen the squad decimated for
large parts of the season, Curbishley knows that it is likely he will have
to cull the numbers in the close season. "As we've been applauding the fact
we've got a big squad - and it has held us in good stead - obviously when
the players get fit I have got a big squad. "I've not the headache at the
moment of people knocking on the door saying 'why am I not playing?'. "A
squad is what you need and it's shown that this season, it's just that I've
got 28 senior players. "Like all clubs, we want to improve so we might wheel
and deal in the summer. We'll see what happens."
Two players almost certain to leave the club in the summer include Henri
Camara, whose season-long loan deal from Wigan expires next month, and Nobby
Solano, who is out of contract. Meanwhile, Curbishley has once again moved
to quash rumours that he had no involvment in the appointment of new
technical director Gianluca Nani. The Italian has been brought in with the
task of expanding the club's global scouting network, as well as overseeing
the development of the academy and training facilities. He begins the role
at Upton Park in June once his contract with Serie B club Brescia is up.
There has been constant rumour that his appointment has ruffled a few
feathers with the club's management. But Curbishley has denied that there is
any conflict between himself and Nani. "Nani has my full support," he said.
"I'm a bit disappointed because there's a couple of stories come out this
week that I had nothing to do with the appointment, which is nonsense. "I
had everything to do with it - I was involved from the start. "I was out (in
Italy) last weekend and I could well be out there to meet him this weekend.
"He's still with Brescia so obviously we're talking as much as we can."
Irons out for repeat of Pride Park romp - Echo News
ON November 10, 2007, West Ham left Pride Park having thrashed Derby County
5-0 and matched their biggest ever away win in the top-flight. That evening
the Irons sat ninth in the Premier League table, just a point and a place
below Everton and six points adrift of title-chasers Liverpool and Chelsea.
Five months on and Derby have already been relegated, while Everton are
odds-on for a UEFA Cup place and both Liverpool and Chelsea look set to
secure spots in next season's Champions League. West Ham, meanwhile, have
drifted listlessly in mid-table and head into tomorrow's game with little
more than pride and their end-of-season bonuses to play for. A run of six
defeats in eight matches has extinguished any hopes manager Alan Curbishley
- whose efforts have been curtailed by a crippling injury crisis that was
already in full-swing last November - had of taking his team to a top-eight
finish. Since their grand day out in the East Midlands, the Hammers have won
just seven of their 22 Premier League matches, spending the entire time
marooned in the no man's land of 10th place. And while many supporters are
happy to have been spared a repeat of last season's relegation battle,
midfielder Hayden Mullins - one of the few Irons players to remain
injury-free for the majority of the season - is looking for Curbishley's men
to finish strongly. "I think compared to last season when we would turn up
to places and not look like we were going to get anything, this time in a
lot of games we have turned up and we've looked like the team who are
forcing it," said the midfielder. "We went to Everton (and drew 1-1 on March
22) who are a very good side at home and for 60 or 70 minutes we were
running the game and with Freddie hitting the post, we were very unlucky not
to get the win there. "So a lot of times this season we have played very
And Mullins believes that if the Irons can end the season on a high, it will
stand them in good stead ahead of a 2008/09 season that should see Kieron
Dyer, Craig Bellamy, Danny Gabbidon, Matty Etherington and Lee Bowyer all
back in action. "We have to get on with it. The injuries we have had this
season are something I have never seen before at this club," said the
29-year-old. "Hopefully if everyone stays fit next year, we can be looking
at a top six place, which is what we are all aiming for."
Curbishley could be boosted by the return of captain Lucas Neill (ankle) and
midfielders Julien Faubert (calf), Freddie Ljungberg and Mark Noble (both
hamstring) tomorrow. However, Derby's visit has come too soon for winger
Matty Etherington (groin), who is due to return to full training next week,
but Henri Camara is out.
West Ham: (from) Green, Walker, Neill, Spector, McCartney, Ferdinand, Upson,
Tomkins, Mullins, Parker, Noble, Collison, Pantsil, Ljungberg, Faubert,
Solano, Boa Morte, Ashton, Cole, Zamora, Sears.
West Ham willing to cover Ljungberg wages to smooth exit
tribalfootball.com - April 18, 2008
West Ham United are ready to take an unusual step for Premiership clubs in
order to offload Freddie Ljungberg in the summer. The Mirror says the
Hammers are ready to subsidise Ljungberg's £80,000-a-week wages to get him
off the Upton Park books.
PREMIERSHIP - WEST HAM v DERBY COUNTY - ZADKOVICH: RAMS CAN BOUNCE BACK -
Ruben Zadkovich has promised "heart and attitude" in a bid to see Derby make
an immediate return to the Premier League. Rams manager Paul Jewell began
the rebuilding of his squad on Thursday by signing the 21-year-old Australia
international on a two-year contract. Zadkovich, who became a free agent
after deciding to leave Sydney FC, was snapped up following an impressive
spell on trial. However, he is ineligible to make his debut until the start
of next season when Derby face life in the Championship after a wretched
campaign in the top flight. Zadkovich was easily convinced of Derby's
potential and said: "Things haven't gone the way the club wanted this
season. "But everyone is looking to the future and I want to be a part of
that. "Now the team is relegated they can only start building as there is no
point dwelling on the past - what has happened has happened. "But this is
such a massive club with great potential and we can only expect bigger and
better things. "I can only see them going back to the Premier League, which
has to be the goal."
Zadkovich began his career in QPR's youth and reserve teams prior to a short
spell with Notts County before then moving to Sydney. He feels he has
matured as a player since his early days in England, adding: "I was very
young then, and very inexperienced, but things have changed. "Since then I
have played a lot of international football with my age group and I've been
called up to the national side, so I'm ready to play. "There are points to
prove, especially to some people, but I love a challenge and I'm ready for
Zadkovich will be given a helping hand by another Aussie at Derby in Mile
Sterjovski, who joined in January. Speaking to Derby's official website,
Zadkovich added: "Mile has been such a big help and he is one of the reasons
why I wanted to come here. "He is such a nice person off the field and such
a good player on it that I can only learn from him. "To have a mate like
that here, a fellow Australian, will be good for me. "Obviously the
facilities here are great, I saw that for myself, but Mile also spoke very
highly of the club and gave me a lot of positive feedback."
West Ham ready to show Ljungberg, Neill and Dyer the door as Curbishley is
ordered to slash club's wage bill - Daily Mail
Last updated at 11:41am on 18th April 2008
West Ham are ready to show midfielder Freddie Ljungberg the door in a bid to
balance the books at Upton Park. Manager Alan Curbishley is reportedly
under strict instructions from Icelandic owner Eggert Magnusson to slash the
club's wage bill. And Ljungberg, Lucas Neill and Kieron Dyer will all be
potential casualties this summer as they are all on £80,000-a-week-plus.
WEST HAM v Derby: Trio in contention for Hammers - Daily Mail
Last updated at 13:59pm on 18th April 2008
West Ham look set to welcome back captain Lucas Neill (ankle) as well as
midfielder Freddie Ljungberg and Mark Noble (both hamstring) for the visit
of relegated Derby in the Barclays Premier League. Winger Julien Faubert
has also returned to training after a calf problem and could feature.
However, centre-half Anton Ferdinand has been added to the long list of
absentees following a hamstring injury suffered during last weekend's defeat
at Bolton, so John Pantsil or Jonathan Spector are set to stand in.
West Ham (from): Green, Neill, Upson, Pantsil, McCartney, Parker, Collison,
Mullins, Ashton, Zamora, Boa Morte, Walker, Tomkins, Spector, Cole, Sears,
Noble, Ljungberg, Faubert.
Captain Neill set to leave Irons? - Echo News
By Rob Pritchard
WEST Ham captain Lucas Neill could leave the club in the summer, according
to a report in the Australian press. The Melbourne Herald Sun speculated
that the 30-year-old could be sold as Irons chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson
seeks to trim the club's massive wage bill. Neill joined the Hammers from
Blackburn Rovers for around £1.5million in January 2007 and went on to play
an influential role in Alan Curbishley's side's escape from relegation.
Handed the captain's armband following the departure of Nigel Reo-Coker to
Aston Villa, Neill has struggled to re-capture the same level of form this
Now it appears that the East Enders may be willing to listen to offers for
the defender, whose weekly salary is around £65,000-a-week. The Australia
international had wanted to sign a new contract earlier this season, but
talks were put on hold and no new deal has been completed. Neill may not be
the only high-earner on the way out of Upton Park, however, as reports also
suggest that Sweden captain Freddie Ljungberg could be sold for the same
Two players who look certain to be on their way are Senegal Henri Camara,
whose season-long loan from Wigan Athletic ends next month, and Peru
midfielder Nobby Solano, who is out of contract. Club officials told a
midweek fans' forum that the Irons want to trim their first team squad down
from 33 to around 24 senior professionals. Next season, managers will be
allowed to name seven substitutes for Premier League games, and supporters
were told the summer sales would also improve morale among the squad as
players would feature more often in the matchday 18. Ironically, both Neill
and Ljungberg are set to return from injury for the Hammers Premier League
clash with Derby County tomorrow.