Gianfranco Zola's men are up to 13th place in the table after a convincing
home win against ten-man Hull
West Ham United 3-0 Hull City
Valon Behrami, Carlton Cole and Julien Faubert scored to make it
back-to-back wins for the first time this season and send West Ham United up
to 13th place in the Barclays Premier League.
Switzerland midfielder Behrami struck as early as the third minute before
Cole made the game safe on the hour mark with his ninth goal of the season.
Faubert underlined his sparkling form with the best of the bunch - a rasping
effort in added time from fully 25 yards - to mark his 50th league game for
the club with his first goal in claret and blue.
The win surpassed the scoreline against Birmingham City ten days ago and was
the biggest success of the season, while there was the further positive of
Robert Green being able to keep a fourth clean sheet in six league
Alessandro Diamanti had laid down a marker of the Hammers' intent with a
free-kick on 80 seconds that nearly beat Boaz Myhill at his near post. A
couple of minutes later and the deadlock was broken, Behrami finishing off a
one-two with Guillermo Franco, back in the starting lineup for Mido.
The goal owed much though to Radoslav Kovac's crunching tackle on Tom
Cairney in midfield and such tenacity set the mood for the home side's
Cole and Scott Parker both tried their luck from distance in the first
quarter of an hour before Hull began to find their feet. The closest they
came was a tame header from Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink that never troubled
Behrami then twice had the chance to add to his first-ever goal at the
Boleyn Ground. On 23 minutes, he surged forward and let fly but Myhill was
equal to it. Five minutes later, the keeper produced a stunning save when
the former SS Lazio man headed goalwards from barely six yards out after
Diamanti's dinked cross to the back post.
By now Craig Fagan had been shown his first yellow card of the contest while
George Boateng was lucky not to have his name taken for two crunching
tackles on Parker and Franco. Boateng soon showed his ability in the right
way, pouncing on a loose ball before sending a fierce effort goalwards -
only for Green to claw it away to safety.
The second half began with West Ham marauding forward through Parker and
Jonathan Spector - the other change in the starting lineup for the injured
Herita Ilunga. The first real incident of note came when Fagan earned his
second yellow card for a foul on Diamanti on 53 minutes. Parker picked up a
caution two minutes later for a mis-timed tackle.
If that was all scrappy stuff, there was nothing untidy about the second
goal when it came. For the second match in a row, a perfect pass from
Faubert - this time a slide-rule ball down the line - played in Cole and the
England striker did brilliantly to roll in his eighth league goal of the
The forward was to make way for Mido so there was to be no chance of a
first-ever double at senior level. The closest the team had come to a third
goal before then was Diamanti's spectacular effort from the halfway line
that Myhill just about tipped away for a corner.
That had virtually everyone of the 33,971 packed into the Boleyn Ground on
their feet and their hopes of a victory were further boosted by Hull
unfortunately going down to nine men when Anthony Gardner went off with a
serious-looking injury to his left ankle, having earlier taken off Cairney,
Stephen Hunt and Amr Zaki for Jozy Altidore, Nick Barmby and Seyi
Man of the match Diamanti was the last to go off, with Jack Collison
entering the fray for the closing stages. The last word went to Faubert
though, with the right-back smashing in his first goal for the club before
taking the applause from the Boleyn Ground faithful. A trip to Manchester
United on Tuesday suddenly holds no fears for the Hammers.
West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Spector, Behrami, Kovac,
Parker, Diamanti (Collison 85), Franco (Ilan 63), Cole (Mido 79)
Subs unused: Stech, Da Costa, Noble, Stanislas
Hull City: Myhill, McShane, Mouyokolo, Gardner, Dawson, Fagan, Boateng,
Cairney (Altidore 65), Hunt (Barmby 65), Zaki (Olofinjana 65) ,Vennegoor of
Subs unused: Duke, Zayatte, Kilbane, Garcia
Cole on a high
Carlton Cole was happy to see Valon Behrami and Julien Faubert net their
first goals at the Boleyn Ground
Carlton Cole was delighted for his fellow scorers after watching Valon
Behrami and Julien Faubert score their first goals at the Boleyn Ground.
Behrami set West Ham United on their way to a vital 3-0 Barclays Premier
League victory over Hull City with a calm finish within the opening
two-and-a-half minutes. Faubert then put the icing on the cake with an
unstoppable, 25-yard screamer deep into added time at the end of the second
half. In between, Cole had netted his ninth goal of the season with a neat
finish from the Frenchman's inch-perfect through ball. "Valon took his goal
well and could have got a hat-trick," said Cole. "Everyone was up for it
before the game and we followed the manager's instructions. "Julien has been
fantastic. He's been on fire recently. He's set up my last two goals and he
got his goal, and fair play to him. I'm so happy for the lad. He's been
through a lot recently, with his Mum passing away, so I'm well pleased for
him. "As I said before the game in a pre-match interview, the boys were up
for this one and that the manager had got everyone up before the game, and
we all responded in the right way."
Saturday's success marked a second consecutive home victory for the Hammers,
following the 2-0 win over Birmingham City ten days previously. Cole will
now prepare for Tuesday's trip to face champions Manchester United at Old
Trafford, "Home form is vital for us. We got a lot of home games coming up
and we've got to keep on winning and get the victories that we need. "We are
sharper and have more energy. Everything is going in righ direction and tyo
can't ask for much more. Before, I think we were a bit unlucky. Some results
could have gone our way and didn't and we went on a bad run. "That can
happen in the Premier League - if you don't put teams to bed early like we
did today, it can come back to haunt you."
Cole was pleased to net for the second straight home game, but admitted that
he had not enjoyed his best game in a claret and blue shirt against the
Tigers. With the likes of Ilan and Mido available on the substitutes' bench,
the England striker knows he has to keep scoring if he is to maintain his
place in Gianfranco Zola's starting lineup. "I'm getting games following my
injury, but I don't think I played that well, by my own standards. I got my
goal, though and in some ways it covered up my performance. "We've got a
massive game coming up at Manchester United on Tuesday, but I looked at the
bench today and we've got an array of attacking options, so the manager has
the choice to bring me off if I'm not playing too well, like he did today.
"We go to Old Trafford and it's going to be tough, but we've won our last
two games and anything can happen."
Zola on the up
The manager had plenty of reasons to be cheerful after back to back wins for
the first time this season
Gianfranco Zola said his team "are getting better and better" after a
thoroughly professional display saw off the challenge of Hull City on
Saturday. The manager was delighted with a second clean sheet in a row as
his team moved on to 27 points and up to 13th place in the Barclays Premier
League with a 3-0 victory. Added to the 2-0 triumph against Birmingham City
last time out, there was naturally plenty of reason for his high spirits.
"We controlled the game very well," he said. "We are getting better and
better. It was an excellent game for us. Especially the way we started - it
was fantastic. We needed to set the tempo straight away."
However, Zola is mindful that there is the small matter of Manchester United
ahead, with Tuesday's trip to Old Trafford one that will test his improving
squad. With 38 points believed to be a potential safety mark, the manager
said that he will not start to relax until at least 40 are on the board. "It
is too early to say we have turned the corner. The Birmingham and Hull wins
are two big results, not only in terms of points and the table but in terms
of the confidence. We have massive games coming at home especially and we
have to stay focused. It is a very good indication today."
The manager singled out several players for special mention but reserved
highest praise for his centre-forward Carlton Cole, whose ninth goal of the
season was sandwiched by great strikes from Valon Behrami and Julien
Faubert. "It is a big boost to have him back, absolutely. Carlton is such an
important player for us. He gives the team a different dimension but I must
say that the whole team performed very well. It has been a team performance.
"If we had Carlton [in December and January] it would have been a big thing
for us. You can see when he is in the team, we always pose a threat but he
also affects the team defensively. It has also been massive losing Guillermo
Franco for a while. He is a player that sometimes doesn't take all the
credit he deserves. "He works so intelligently and his link-up play between
Coley and the midfielders is fantastic. It is crucial to keep him fit. It is
important that we have him. We are looking better. Don't forget we have
players like Benni McCarthy out as well. Faubert has provided an assist for
Cole in each of the last two wins and his displays at right-back are making
plenty of people take notice - let alone the stunning late strike that saw
him point skywards in a tribute to his late mother. "Julien has been playing
very well for us. He had difficult times and now he is proving himself in a
different position. "That is a good thing for him and the club. He has more
confidence. We have been trying to help him because last year this was the
thing that was letting him down. This year he looks more mature and that is
The manager revealed he had asked for the pitch to be watered before the
game to aid his team's snappy passing game against an industrious Hull side.
Key to the performance as well was Behrami's tireless running, summed up by
his burst forward and one-two with Franco for his third-minute goal - his
first at the Boleyn. "He could have scored a hat-trick," Zola added. "He had
a great save from a header and a good shot. Valon is a player that I can
play in different positions and in different ways. Hs contribution for the
team is always massive. Playing in that position he will have more chances
to score." Looking to the champions on Tuesday, Zola revealed he may "make
some changes" but was clear that whoever gets the nod will be up for the
fight. "I haven't decided [my team]. But we are going to go there to battle.
There is no doubt about that."
While Manchester United is a tough test, he reminded that much would depend
on the form at home with Bolton Wanderers, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Stoke
City, Sunderland and Wigan Athletic all due to arrive in east London before
April is out. "The home games are going to determine it. It is a tricky one
because having such difficult matches away, you don't want to slip up at
home. This is a team that when it plays with confidence it can be a surprise
Holmar still a loan star
Another good day for Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson on Saturday saw him help his team
move closer to safety
Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson played a full 90 minutes for KSV Roeselare as the
Belgian side moved out of relegation danger for the first time since his
January move. The Iceland Under-21 centre-back has been a revelation for
Roeselare in the early stages of his loan until the end of the season. He
more than played his part on Saturday in the 1-1 draw away to sixth-placed
SV Zulte Waregem. With bottom club R. Excelsior Mouscron confirmed in 16th
and last spot after their financial woes saw them forfeit their league
participation, Roeselare had been sitting one place above in the relegation
play-off position. However, the weekend point has moved them a point ahead
of KSC Lokeren OV and pushed their rivals into trouble. Roeselare can move
further away from the risks of a two-legged survival tie against a team from
the second tier on Wednesday night when they welcome KRC Genk. Eyjolfsson,
18, also has a Belgian Cup two-legged semi-final to look forward to against
Cercle Bruuge KSV later this month and the small matter of a visit from
league leaders and Belgian giants RSC Anderlecht next Sunday.
Back in England, loan striker Freddie Sears was an unused substitute for
Coventry City as they won 1-0 away to Crystal Palace to move within five
points of the Championship play-off positions. Frank Nouble, also out on
loan, will hope to figure for West Bromwich Albion when they go to Bristol
City in a match to be televised live on BBC 1 at 2pm on Sunday. Finally,
Josh Payne did not figure at all for League 1 strugglers Wycombe Wanderers
as they did their survival hopes the world of good with a 1-0 home win
against seventh-placed Millwall. Wycombe are now just five points from
U18s battle back for point
Tony Carr's men returned to action with a solid point against Ipswich Town
at Little Heath on Saturday
Dominic Vose scored with virtually the last kick of the game to give West
Ham United a 1-1 draw at home to Ipswich Town on Saturday. The midfielder
continued his good run of form since stepping up from the Under-16s with a
neat finish to secure a point for Tony Carr's side. It was the first match
for a fortnight with Carr having travelled back in midweek from an
international tournament featuring the Academy in Bermuda. Ipswich took the
lead in the closing stages and had looked set for the victory until Vose's
late intervention. The young Hammers are back in action away to Southampton
next Saturday before welcoming Crystal Palace to Little Heath in a
West Ham 3 - 0 Hull
By Les Roopanarine
West Ham turned on the style to make it two wins in a row for the first time
this season as fellow relegation strugglers Hull were reduced to 10 men.
Valon Behrami capped a surging run with a third-minute opener after
exchanging passes with Guillermo Franco. And Hull's problems increased
shortly after the break when Craig Fagan was sent off for a second bookable
offence. Julien Faubert fed Carlton Cole for a slotted second before
completing the win with a thumping late effort. It was West Ham's fourth
consecutive clean sheet at home, and the emphatic scoreline - not to mention
the buoyant nature of the display against a relegation rival - will surely
please manager Gianfranco Zola. The Hammers came out of the blocks at
lightning speed and although they did not build on their overall superiority
until after Fagan's dismissal, their performance was brimming with a brio
and belief that have too often been missing this season. They were aided and
abetted by a Hull side who, rarely in it apart from a brief spell of
pressure before the break, were left with a mountain to climb after Fagan's
departure. The result leaves Phil Brown's side just a point above the drop
zone. As for West Ham, who now sit four points clear of trouble in 15th,
after a season of seemingly endless turmoil both on an off the pitch this
was hardly the first game to invite the label 'must-win'.
However, with Hull fast closing on the dubious distinction of going a full
calendar year without away league victory, few previous fixtures had merited
that billing with such authenticity. With a dozen games left and some
daunting away assignments ahead - Tuesday night's visit to Old Trafford is
followed by trips to Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool - West Ham's
Premier League future is likely to be shaped at Upton Park. No one will be
more aware of that reality than Zola, so it was a measure of the West Ham
manager's faith in Franco that the Mexico international was preferred to
Mido in attack. The Egyptian striker has been an influential performer in
his two appearances since arriving on loan last month, and his omission will
doubtless have had some supporters scratching their heads. Yet Zola's
confidence in Franco, who was restored to the starting line-up at the
earliest possible opportunity after a two-month layoff with a muscle
complaint, was vindicated in two minutes and 10 seconds. That is how long it
took Franco to capitalise on Behrami's surging run into the area by somewhat
fortuitously feeding the ball back to the Swiss international, who fired
home his first Premier League goal since November 2008.
It was the cue for an inspired performance by Behrami, whose zest and
incisive runs might have yielded a hat-trick by half-time but for the
excellence of Boaz Myhill. The Hull keeper parried a firm shot from Behrami
before showing wonderful athleticism to claw away another effort at the near
post, twisting in mid-air with his momentum carrying him in the opposite
direction. With the Hammers starting swiftly, Myhill had been on overtime
from the opening minute, when he reacted sharply to paw away an Alessandro
Diamanti free-kick. Not to be outdone, Robert Green made a vital save from a
meaty George Boateng effort on the stroke of half-time, but it was a rare
moment of concern for the West Ham keeper. Reeling from Behrami's early
opener, Hull became increasingly tetchy, Paul McShane going nose-to-nose
with Franco before Fagan picked up a booking for a foul on Scott Parker. The
cost of the latter incident for Hull's hopes of taking anything from the
game became apparent shortly after the break when Fagan was dismissed for
pulling back Diamanti. The Italian perhaps made the most of what little
there was in the challenge, but Fagan should have known better and, with
Hull depleted and the Hammers still in effervescent mood, a second goal felt
It arrived when Faubert delivered a beautifully-weighted pass to Cole from
just inside his own half, the ball rolling perfectly beyond Hull left-back
Andy Dawson for the England international to slot an assured finish across
Myhill. The claret-and-blue confidence that had flowed all game went into
overdrive, the excellent Diamanti almost scoring from his own half with an
audacious effort that had a red-faced Myhill scrambling backwards
desperately. Myhill avoided a moment to rank alongside Neil Sullivan's
infamous embarrassment at the hands of David Beckham, but not long
afterwards Faubert stormed into the area before firing a vicious curling
effort beyond the Hull keeper. By then Brown had made a triple substitution,
which meant a serious late injury to Anthony Gardner, who was stretchered
off after falling awkwardly, only compounded Hull's misery on an afternoon
when they were outclassed.
Hull manager Phil Brown: "It was self-inflicted, we had a game plan but it
was unhinged by poor decision-making. "The sending-off was also
self-inflicted, it was a poor decision by Craig Fagan to make the tug
because he was already in the book. "The first diagnosis of Anthony
Gardner's injury isn't good, he has a problem with both his tibia and
"It was a bad day at the office to say the least."
West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola: "It was a good performance; we can do
better, but the difference was the way we started. "We were solid throughout
the game and the second goal was important for us. "Robert Green's save was
worth a goal to us, because it allowed us to reorganise at half-time. "The
whole team is getting better; the more confidence you get, the more the
players can give."
Zola on ... Hull
Filed: Saturday, 20th February 2010
By: Staff Writer
A happy Gianfranco Zola shares his thoughts on today's comfortable win
against Hull City...
On the game...
We needed to set the tempo straight away and the way we started was
excellent. That made the game easier for us. It was very professional.
When there was a little bit of doubt in the game it was because we allowed
those doubts. I'm talking about the last five minutes of the first half when
they came back and had a couple of chances; it was because we made it easy
Other than that I think we controlled the game very well. We are getting
better and better, it was an excellent game for us.
On his two strikers...
Carlton is an important player for us, he gives the team a different
dimension. You can see when he's on the team we always pose a threat. It's
important that we have him fit.
Also I think it's been massive losing Guillermo Franco for a while. He is a
player who sometimes doesn't get the credit he deserves. He's so intelligent
and his linking between Cole and the midfielders is fantastic.
But I must say that the whole team performed very well. Today was a team
performance, especially the way we started the game. It was fantastic.
On Valon Behrami...
He scored a goal today but he could have had a hat-trick, because he had a
great save against him in the first half with the header and then another
good shot. Valon Behrami is a player who I can play in different positions
and different ways and his contribution to the team is always massive.
Playing in that position I think he will have more chances to score.
On Julien Faubert...
Julien has been playing very well for us and I'm pleased for him, because
he's had difficult times and now he's proving himself. In a different
position actually, and that is a good thing for him and for the club.
We've been trying to help him because last year there were little things
letting him down. But this year he looks so much more mature and focused.
Not only the goal, but the pass for Carlton Cole.
We wanted it [the pitch] watered a little bit because you can see it is very
bobbly and we wanted to reduce that. That's why we watered it more than
On relations with the bosses...
It's been good. I think they were pleased with the victory against
Birmingham and I think they will be even more pleased with the win we got
today. At the end of the day they want the best for West Ham, we want the
best for West Ham - so we will be alright.
On end-of-season targets...
I think it's too early to say. Certainly these two results are big, not only
in terms of points and position in the table but in terms of confidence for
the whole team. But we've got some massive games coming up, at home
especially, and we have to stay focused. Today was good, but it's not over
We don't know whether 37/38 points will be good enough to be safe. It
depends. There's been some surprise results - for example, Tottenham losing
against Wolves. We think it might be 37 or 38 points but we will try to get
40 if we can.
On the forthcoming trip to Old Trafford...
We will see. I have to consider making some changes to refresh the team a
little bit. I haven't decided at the moment but we're going to go there and
battle, there's no doubt about that.
This is a team that when playing with confidence can be a surprise - so who
West Ham Utd 3 Hull City 0
Filed: Saturday, 20th February 2010
By: Staff Writer
The Irons are up to the giddy heights of 13th in the Premier League
following a second successive home win.
Goals from Valon Behrami, Carlton Cole and Julien Faubert made it a great
day for West Ham, who equalled their Premier League record with a fourth
successive clean sheet at the Boleyn - although Hull hardly helped
themselves by having a man sent off and losing another to injury having made
all three alloted substitutions.
Valon Behrami opened the scoring for West Ham - and his own account for the
season - just two minutes in when finishing from close range. Radoslav Kovac
won the ball in midfield before feeding Behrami, who in turn found the
Guillermo Franco, returning from injury. The Mexican's pass somewhat
fortuitously made its way back to the Swiss midfielder who beat Boaz Myhill
fom close range to gift United a dream start.
The Hull stopper was then on hand to deny the Hammers a second goal with two
superb saves from Behrami - a header and a fierce drive - before Rob Green
showed his credentials at the opposite end of the field with an even better
save from George Boateng on the stroke of half time.
The visitors, still without an away win in the Premier League this season,
were reduced to ten men shortly after the half time whistle when Craig Fagin
was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence. Having been
booked for a lunge on Scott Parker in the first half referee Martin Atkinson
had no option but to issue a red card for a cynical pull at the shirt of
Alessandro Diamanti, who had left his marker for dust on the touchline.
Of course, West Ham's record against ten men this season has been, quite
frankly, awful. Thankfully it was a different story today as Hull held out
for just eight minutes with their numerical disadvantage before conceding a
second goal. A slide-rule pass from the excellent Julien Faubert found
Carlton Cole who finished with aplomb across the face of Myhill.
With 25 minutes to go Hull boss Phil Brown decided to make three
substitutions at the same time which initially saw them come back into the
game. However that policy meant that they could afford to sustain no further
losses, much to the chagrin of full back Andy Dawson who would almost
certainly have been substituted after going down heavily shortly after.
Instead he had no choice but to play on.
Alessandro Diamanti, who had been having trouble finding team mates with
short range passes then narrowly missed scoring what would have been one of
the greatest goals ever witnessed at the Boleyn when he fired at goal from
inside his own half; Myhill was just about alert enough to tip the Italian's
effort wide for a corner.
More trouble then followed for Hull who were reduced to nine men (or
eight-and-a-half if taking the injury being carried by Dawson into
consideration) after Anthony Gardner was left writhing in agony after
falling awkwardly inside his own box. Sympathetic applause followed from the
home crowd as the former Tottenham man was carried off on a stretcher.
Even though there were little more than ten minutes left to play another
goal was perhaps inevitable, and it was with great delight that Julien
Faubert accepted the opportunity by smashing home his first for the club in
the third of five added minutes. Having turned the injured Dawson inside out
the Frenchman sent a scorcher into Myhill's far corner; Faubert celebrated
by raising his hands to the heavens in memory of his mother, who passed away
With both Wolves and Sunderland losing it couldn't have been a better day
for Zola and his side who rise to 13th in the table, some four points clear
of the relegation zone (albeit having played a game more than both Bolton
and Burnley, who along with Portsmouth take up the three relegation spots).
The win was perfectly timed ahead of the midweek visit to Manchester United;
with the pressure now off, Zola can afford to make one or two changes to his
team - although hopefully not too many, given the Premier League's recent
unfathomable decision to fine Wolves for having the temerity to use squad
players for their trip to Old Trafford.
Zola hails Hammers' vital win
Good shape for trip to face champions says Italian
By Hayley Paterson Last updated: 20th February 2010
Gianfranco Zola said the 3-0 win against Hull was an important victory for
West Ham, who have now climbed to 13th in the Premier League. The Italian
was impressed with his team's performance at Upton Park against a nervy City
side which took just three minutes to break through. Valon Behrami scored
his first Premier League goal of the season for the Hammers to not only give
them a great start but put West Ham in good stead for the win, said Zola.
"It was such an important game for us. I think the way we started basically
determined the way the game's finished," he told Sky Sports. "It's been a
fantastic start with the goal and the many chances. I'm very, very pleased
with the three points. "It was so important to make them understand that
today wasn't their day and the players have been fantastic, total credit to
them because it wasn't easy. "Fortunately they were fired up today and their
performance was excellent."
The Tigers did not do themselves any favours when Craig Fagan was sent off
for two bookable offences and Julien Faubert's defence-splitting pass found
Carlton Cole who slotted home in the second half. Faubert rounded off the
rout in stoppage-time and Zola believes the result puts them in good shape
for the impending trip to Old Trafford on Tuesday to face Manchester United.
"It is a tough game obviously because we are playing the champions and they
are always a difficult team to play against but we go there with confidence
as well," said the ex-Chelsea striker. "We can come in from two good results
and the players are lively so we'll go there and see what happens." He
added: "The fixtures that we have at home are the games that we can win, but
the away games are very difficult so we will have to be very focused, that's
why I was saying to the players we need to maintain the focus because if we
perform like this we're going to be alright but we need to keep performing
Hammers thump 10-man Tigers
Fagan sees red as Hammers claim big win
By Hayley Paterson Last updated: 20th February 2010
Man of the match: Tough one really because the Hammers were rampant but I'd
say Faubert had a stunning game and opened his account for the club.
Moment of the match: Craig Fagan receiving his marching orders for a second
bookable offence after a silly challenge killed off a City comeback.
Attempt of the match: An absolutely stunning effort from Alessandro Diamanti
who saw Boaz Myhill off his line and attempted a halfway line strike which
the keeper did well to palm wide.
Save of the match: Myhill somehow tipped Valon Behrami's far post header
away from his line despite ending up in the net for his troubles.
Talking point: Will Hull recover from this further setback? Can the Hammers
push on and climb up the league?
Goal of the game: Cole's goal for me just purely for the pass from Faubert
which clinically found the England striker who slotted home.
West Ham secured a much-needed three points with goals from Valon Behrami,
Carlton Cole and Julien Faubert to defeat 10-man Hull City. In a tense game
which saw both sides needing a win prior to kick-off, it was the Hammers who
struck the first blow when Behrami rode his luck. The Swiss midfielder
attempted a one-two in the box which cannoned off a Hull City leg which
Behrami latched on to and slid the ball past Boaz Myhill for his first
Premier League goal of the season. The game became heated in the second half
when Craig Fagan was given his marching orders for a second bookable
offence. West Ham pounced on the extra man advantage through Cole's
perfectly-weighted strike and Faubert made sure of the win in stoppage-time
with a powerful effort into the top corner. Gianfranco Zola's side climbed
to 13th place in the table after being gifted a dream start by a
nervous-looking Hull side which struggled to cope with the pace of the home
team's attacks in the early stages. The Hammers could have had a dramatic
opener in the first minute when Alessandro Diamanti tested Myhill at his
near post, but the Welsh shot-stopper managed to push the Italian's effort
out for a corner. The home side did make their pressure count just two
minutes later when Behrami combined with Guillermo Franco and his lay-off
was deflected into the Swiss' path who fired past Myhill.
The visitors were slightly shell-shocked following the early opener and took
some time to get back into the game as Scott Parker began to dictate
possession in the middle of West Ham's midfield. West Ham were in complete
control and Cole should have done better with a 20-yard volley but he failed
to trouble Myhill's goal and sent his effort well wide.
Referee Martin Atkinson had a long chat with both Paul McShane and Franco
after the Hull defender complained he was the victim of an elbow from the
West Ham striker during a feisty collision which the pair had on several
occasions throughout the game. Diamanti fired wide of the target with a
close-range volley in the 21st minute and seconds later he watched his
25-yard shot fly high over the crossbar. Hull had Myhill to thank in the
23rd minute when Andy Dawson lost possession to Behrami but the Tigers
goalkeeper punched his fierce volley to safety. It was the home side's best
moment since opening the scoring as Hull were becoming more frustrated by
the minute. In the 24th minute, Fagan saw his first booking of the afternoon
for a clumsy foul on Parker. Myhill pulled off another sensational save in
the 27th minute when Diamanti's cross was met by a Behrami goalbound header
at the far post. However the City keeper somehow steered the effort away
from his line. Hull's only response was a poor effort from youngster Tom
Cairney who sent a shot well wide of the target from eight yards after
McShane found the 19-year-old unmarked with a curling cross. A poor
challenge by Faubert on a below-par Stephen Hunt down the left allowed Hull
a chance to put some pressure on the home goal but they had to settle for a
corner when Parker headed the ball to safety. Robert Green punched away
Hunt's corner and seconds later the England goalkeeper ensured West Ham
preserved their lead when he tipped away a rising drive from George Boateng.
Hull's plight got worse in the 52nd minute when Fagan collected a second
yellow card for a careless foul on Diamanti as the frustrated forward tugged
the Italian's shirt and was sent-off. Parker was then booked for a foul on
Amr Zaki as the tempo of the game increased. West Ham soon went 2-0 up a
minute before the hour mark when Faubert's inch-perfect through ball put
Cole in the clear and the England international ran on to the ball to slot
an angled shot under Myhill. The home side continued to dominate with
Behrami proving a continued threat to Phil Brown's men. He switched to the
left flank in place of Franco who was replaced by Ilan. Diamanti almost made
it three for West Ham with an audacious shot from the halfway line as he
spotted Myhill off his line. The goalkeeper scrambled back to palm away the
effort out for a corner. Hull then went down to nine men with 10 minutes
remaining when Anthony Gardner was stretchered off with an ankle injury
after an innocent challenge with Mido, however the centre-back fell
awkwardly and failed to get back to his feet. City had already used their
substitutes after replacing Hunt, Cairney and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink
with Nick Barmby, Jozy Altidore and Seyi Olofinjana. It made their task
impossible and West Ham made it three in the final minute when Faubert fired
beyond Myhill in stoppage-time to open his Premier League account.
The final goal compounded Brown's misery as the Tigers failed again to win
on their travels and stay firmly rooted to the bottom of the table as the
Hammers climbed to 13th.
Brown - We punished ourselves
Tigers boss adamant his players can bounce back
By Hayley Paterson Last updated: 20th February 2010
Phil Brown wants to forget Hull City's 3-0 defeat against West Ham which he
put down to costly mistakes from his own players and believes Craig Fagan's
sending-off was "ridiculous". The Tigers boss admitted that unnecessary
errors compounded his side's misery as Valon Behrami, Carlton Cole and
Julien Faubert capitalised on a nervy City side at Upton Park. Brown told
Sky Sports his players put themselves under pressure which brought another
away defeat this season. "It wasn't a case of not being committed, it was
just the case of the thought process of a lot of the decisions that were
going on out there," he said. "It looked like a lot of the players were
playing with a lot of pressure on their shoulders and it certainly wasn't
the pressure that we had heaped on them. It was the pressure that they put
on themselves with the start that we had. "We've worked on getting the ball
into the front two, we've worked on the possibility of West Ham leaving two
versus two at the back, we've worked on where the space was to play into the
space and the space was certainly behind the West Ham centre-halves today
but we didn't do it."
City barely had time to get their tactics together when Behrami opened the
scoring in the third minute after Andy Dawson was robbed on the ball. But
despite the early setback the Tigers showed their best form towards the
final stages of the half when George Boateng was denied an equaliser by the
fingertips of Rob Green. However Brown's men were dealt an uphill task early
in the second half when Fagan was sent-off for a second bookable offence
which the City boss said was "ridiculous". "It's one-nil and they've got
their tails up, the crowd get behind them and before you know it, it's going
to be a tough day," he said. "But it's compounded with a ridiculous
sending-off and inexcusable behaviour at times."
Hull suffered further bad luck when Cole slotted in the second of the game
and City were then left with nine men when Anthony Gardner was stretchered
off with a suspected leg fracture and Andy Dawson had to stay on the field
and battle through a painful gashed knee. However Brown feels his side can
bounce back from their latest league defeat and believes they can still
survive the drop. "We still have a big bite of the cherry. We've got plenty
of games to go," he added. "Performances like this have to be put on the
backburner, fortunately for us in the last four or five games they have been
uncharacteristic." He went on: "Today was certainly not one for the purists
in terms of Hull City fans and the sooner we put this behind us the better."
West Ham 3 Hull 0
Published: 20 Feb 2010
CARLTON COLE'S ninth goal of the season gave West Ham breathing space at the
bottom. Cole doubled Valon Behrami's opener before Julien Faubert sealed the
Hammers' first back-to-back wins of the season. Gianfranco Zola's men
climbed two places in the table to 13th but the result piled the pressure on
Hull, who suffered their third straight defeat.
The visitors were not helped by Craig Fagan's red card just before the hour
for a second booking. Hammers boss Zola warned his team they must keep their
focus for the full 90 minutes after almost allowing Hull a way back into the
game before the break. The Italian said: "It is too early to say but the
last two results have been big for us not only in terms of points and
position in the table but in terms of confidence for the whole team. "But we
have some massive games coming up, especially at home, and we have to stay
focused. It is a very good indication today that it is not over yet. "When
there was a little bit of doubt in the game it was because we allowed those
doubts. I am talking about the last five minutes of the first half when they
came back and had a couple of chances. "It was because we made it easy for
them. I think we controlled the game very well. We are getting better and
better. It was an excellent game for us. "We are looking better but need to
keep a focus. This is a team that when it plays with confidence, can be a
West Ham almost scored in the opening minute but Alessandro Diamanti's
free-kick was saved at the near post by Boaz Myhill. But the home side went
ahead against their fellow strugglers moments later when Behrami combined
with Guillermo Franco before firing past Myhill for his first goal of the
season. West Ham were in complete control and Carlton Cole should have done
better with a 20-yard volley that was closer to the corner flag than
Myhill's goal. In the 21st minute, Diamanti was wide of the target with a
close-range volley and seconds later he watched his 25-yard shot fly high
over the crossbar. Hull had to Myhill to thank in the 23rd minute when Andy
Dawson lost possession to Behrami but the Hull goalkeeper punched his fierce
volley to safety. Myhill pulled off another sensational save in the 27th
minute when Diamanti's cross was met by Behrami at the far post. Behrami's
header looked goalbound until Myhill somehow managed to claw the ball away
on the line. Hull's only response was a poor effort from Tom Cairney who
sent a shot well wide of the target from eight yards after Paul McShane
found him unmarked with a curling cross. And in the closing stages of the
first half, Robert Green tipped away a rising drive from George Boateng.
Hull's plight got worse in the 52nd minute when Fagan collected a second
yellow card for a foul on Diamanti and was sent off. Fagan was furious with
referee Martin Atkinson's decision and left the pitch reluctantly. West Ham
took advantage and went 2-0 in front in the 59th minute when Faubert's
pin-point through ball put Cole in the clear and the England international
ran on to slot an angled shot under Myhill. Diamanti almost made it three
for West Ham with an audacious shot from the halfway line which Myhill just
palmed away. Hull were forced to play the last 10 minutes with nine men
after Anthony Gardner was taken off on a stretcher with an ankle injury,
with all three subs already on the pitch. It made Hull's task impossible and
the home side made it three in the final minute when Faubert sent a rising
angled drive beyond Myhill.
Tigers boss Phil Brown fears Gardner may have broken his leg. He said:
"Anthony's injury is not good. "I don't know the full extent of it but there
was a tibia and fibula mentioned, so that does not sound too clever." Brown
blamed the defeat on his players failing to start the game quickly enough.
He added: "The performance was self-inflicted from minute one. What we did
in the first couple of minutes was inexcusable and inexplicable as well.
"One-nil down in two minutes gave them a fillip and us a mountain to climb.
"We steadied the ship to certain extent and got a grip of the game in the
last 15 or 20 minutes of the first half and then more self-inflicted damage
came with the red card.
"Consequently I had to make three substitutions and bring players on who
could add some energy to the performance and then we find ourselves down to
nine men by a cruel twist of fate. That highlighted a bad day at the office,
West Ham: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Spector, Behrami, Parker, Kovac,
Diamanti (Collison 85), Franco (Ilan 63), Cole (Mido 79). Subs not used:
Stech, Noble, Da Costa, Stanislas. Booked: Parker. Goals: Behrami 3, Cole
59, Faubert 90.
Hull: Myhill, McShane, Mouyokolo, Gardner, Dawson, Fagan, Boateng, Cairney
(Altidore 64), Hunt (Barmby 65), Zaki (Olofinjana 65), Vennegoor of
Hesselink. Subs not used: Duke, Garcia, Kilbane, Zayatte. Sent off: Fagan
(53). Booked: Fagan.
Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).
Stylish West Ham ease past relegation rivals Hull
West Ham 3 Hull 0
No threatened pay cuts, not a mention of fiscal Armageddon. Presumably David
Sullivan reckoned West Ham could win this one without the benefit of their
new owner's masterful reverse psychology. Better to leave it to "nice guy"
manager Gianfranco Zola and the traditional values of early energy, quality
passing, and a refusal to let relegation rivals into a high-stakes game.
Teetering on the edge of the drop zone at kick-off, West Ham finished four
points and five places clear, their assurance growing throughout a
confident, comprehensive win. Hull City were reduced to nine men, remain
without a Premier League away win this season, and left with a red-faced
manager questioning his players' mental strengths.
"It was self-inflicted from minute one," said Phil Brown. "You work all week
on a certain way of playing and what we did in the first few minutes was
inexcusable and inexplicable.
"I don't want to talk about points totals. I'm thinking about the way one or
two performed under pressure today. All I want people to do is understand
the severity of the situation."
Brown blamed Boaz Myhill and Andy Dawson for conceding inside three minutes,
criticising keeper Myhill for throwing the ball across Hull's goal and the
left-back for placing teenage midfielder Tom Cairney in the mire. Radoslav
Kovac's snap tackle sent Valon Behrami, inset, rolling toward goal and after
an inadvertent one-two with Guillermo Franco, the Swiss midfielder continued
into the area to find the bottom corner.
If Hull's main tactic was to hit their muscular forwards with crosses, they
were too busy scrapping with opponents to deliver many. Craig Fagan was
booked for a lunge at Scott Parker, while Paul McShane engaged in a
touchline wrestling bout with Franco. Only as half-time approached did
George Boateng test Robert Green, the West Ham keeper, with a raking shot.
Their anger did not dissipate with the break. Fagan had already been excused
a petty kick at Diamanti when he hauled the left-winger back by his shirt.
This time referee Martin Atkinson used his red card. Five minutes after
Fagan's exit, Julien Faubert bent an exquisite 50-yard pass around Anthony
Gardner's feet and plumb in front of Carlton Cole. The striker drew out
Myhill and slid the ball across him for the second.
Brown attempted a triple substitution, but West Ham were assured enough to
begin showboating. As Hull lost able bodies — Dawson handicapping himself in
a tackle and Gardner being carried off after landing badly on his left leg —
the home side scored again, as Faubert sidestepped Dawson and fired in from
"It's too early to say we've turned the corner, but these results are big,
not only in terms of points and position in the table but in terms of
confidence for the whole team," said Zola.
"I think [the owners] were pleased with our victory against Birmingham and I
think they will be even more pleased with the win we got today. At the end
of the day they want the best for West Ham, we want the best for West Ham.
It will be all right."
Star man: Julien Faubert (West Ham) Yellow card: West Ham: Parker Red card:
Hull: Fagan Referee: M Atkinson Attendance: 33,971 West Ham: Green 7,
Faubert 7, Tomkins 6, Upson 6, Spector 6, Behrami 7, Parker 7, Kovac 7,
Diamanti 7 (Collison 81min), Franco 6 (Ilan 63min), Cole 7 (Mido 79min)
Hull: Myhill 6, McShane 5, Mouyokolo 5, Gardner 5, Dawson 5, Fagan 3,
Boateng 6, Cairney 6 (Altidore 65min), Hunt 5 (Barmby 65min), Zaki 5
(Olofinjana 66min), Vennegoor of Hesselink 6
West Ham 3-0 Hull: The Sunday Mirror match report
Published 21:37 20/02/10 By Colin Malam
The threat of relegation may finally be fading for West Ham as victory over
Hull lifted the Hammers to 13th place – the highest they have been all
season. With new owners trying hard to knock the club into shape off the
pitch, Gianfranco Zola's team are pulling away from the danger zone.
Unbeaten now in their last five home Premier League games, the Hammers toyed
yesterday with rivals Hull, who stand only one point above the bottom three.
Coming after the 2-0 win against Birmingham at Upton Park in midweek, this
was the first time since March last year that West Ham have put together
back-to-back victories. "It was an excellent game for us," said Zola. "We
needed to set the tempo, and when there was a little bit of doubt in the
game, it was because we allowed those doubts."
But, with visits to Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal to come, the
West Ham boss refused to concede that a corner had been turned. "There are
some massive games coming up," he added. "We have to stay focused." West Ham
go to Old Trafford on Tuesday with Zola thinking about "refreshing" his
team. "But we're going there to battle," he warned Sir Alex Ferguson's
side. The home fans, reminded by the stadium announcer before kick-off just
how important this game was to West Ham's hopes of avoiding relegation,
could not have wished for a better start. Pouncing on a loose ball some 30
yards out, Valon Behrami drove hard into the penalty area. Guillermo
Franco's touch was a bit heavy as they played a one-two, but the ball still
ran perfectly for Behrami to slot it home. A goal up in little more than
three minutes, West Ham went looking for more. Behrami could have had a
hat-trick inside the first half-hour as Hull were swamped by the Hammers'
attacking fervour. Only goalkeeper Boaz Myhill kept the visitors afloat.
Not long after beating away Behrami's thunderbolt after the midfielder had
robbed Andy Dawson, Myhill somehow contorted himself to claw aside
Behrami's far-post header from Alessandro Diamanti's cross. This was all
on top of the scrambling save Myhill made to keep out a free-kick that
Diamanti had swerved at him in the first minute. So desperate did Hull's
defending become, referee Martin Atkinson had to halt the match after 19
minutes to lecture players from both sides. The visitors did not get into
the game until shortly before the interval. They might have equalised, too,
when George Boateng chested down a clearance and shot powerfully, but
Robert Green tipped the ball over at full stretch. Nobody could quite
believe that Hull, strangely passive for most of the match, still had a
chance of winning in the second half. That all changed when Craig Fagan was
sent off eight minutes after the break.
Booked in that frantic first half for a foul on Scott Parker, Fagan was
shown a second yellow for bringing down Diamanti. Departing with a volley
of abuse at one of the assistant referees, Fagan could only watch as his
depleted team went 2-0 behind. Carlton Cole's goal came courtesy of a superb
through- ball from Julien Faubert. It left Anthony Gardner struggling and
allowed Cole to slip the ball past Myhill. Faubert rounded it all off in
stoppage-time by advancing down the right and sending a right-footer
screaming into the far top corner. Hull boss Phil Brown said: "The
performance was self-inflicted. What we did in the first couple of minutes
was inexcusable and inexplicable as well. "One-nil down in two minutes gave
us a mountain to climb. But we steadied the ship to certain extent, and then
there was more self-inflicted damage with the red card."
Robert Green using Darts ace Taylor as inspiration in bid for England World
Published 05:00 21/02/10 By Marc Isaacs
Robert Green is following the example of darts legend Phil Taylor in his
attempts to secure his place as England No.1 at the World Cup this summer.
Green managed to establish himself as first-choice keeper under Fabio
Capello in the World Cup qualifiers but was sent off against Ukraine and
then lost his place in the side. Capello opted to start with Ben Foster in
the last game against Brazil and Green was forced to settle for a place on
the substitutes' bench. The West Ham keeper has come under fire in recent
months following mistakes against Bolton and Burnley. But Green has refused
to let the criticism affect him and has turned to 'The Power', 15 times
world darts champion, to help him show he is the best keeper in England.
Green said: "I had a look at myself about a month ago and changed a couple
of things. A couple of things I felt I needed to improve and I feel the
results of that and feel I am better again for it. "I listened to Phil
Taylor after he had won his umpteenth darts title and he said, 'You know
what, you have to try 100-odd things to get that extra per cent and not all
of it may work, but one thing could make a small improvement'. "Here is
someone who is at the very top of his sport. "It might not be the most
energetic sport, but he is still trying everything to improve himself to get
an edge over people even though he has won 15 world titles. "If I can't do
it, that is my fault. You have got to take a little look at yourself and one
or two things that you could be better at and do something about it.
Mentally as well, if you go about certain things a bit differently, it can
help you. "It is easy to get complacent when you play at this level and
think you are OK doing what you are doing. But you can't improve without
looking at yourself and making changes when needed, trying new things."
Zola cautious over revival of fortunes
Published 08:21 21/02/10 By Pa Sports
Gianfranco Zola insists it is too early to judge whether West Ham's season
is turning around after they posted back-to-back victories in the Barclays
Premier League for the first time since March 2009. West Ham's 3-0 victory
over nine-man relegation rivals Hull was achieved with goals from Valon
Behrami, Carlton Cole and Julien Faubert. But the victory was helped by the
dismissal of Hull's Craig Fagan in the second-half and, after the visitors
had used all three of their substitutes, the loss of City captain Anthony
Gardner with a serious leg injury. "It is too early to say but the last two
results have been big for us not only in terms of points and position in the
table but in terms of confidence for the whole team," said Zola. "But we
have some massive games coming up, especially at home, and we have to stay
focused. It is a very good indication that it is not over yet. "When there
was a little bit of doubt in the game it was because we allowed those
doubts. I am talking about the last five minutes of the first half when they
came back and had a couple of chances. "It was because we made it easy for
them. I think we controlled the game very well. We are getting better and
better. It was an excellent game for us.
"We are looking better but need to keep a focus. This is a team that when it
plays with confidence, can be a surprise. "We don't know whether 37 or 38
points will be good enough to be safe. There have been some surprise results
like Tottenham losing against Wolves, but we will try and get 40 if we can.
"I must say the whole team performed very well. It was a team performance,
especially the way we started the game was fantastic. We needed to set the
tempo straight away and the way we started was excellent. It made the game
easier for us."
HOT COLE LIGHTS HAMMERS' FIRE
West Ham 3 Hull 0
News Of The World
By Rob Shepherd, 20/02/2010
THERE are times when Carlton Cole displays the subtlety of a panel-beater.
The next minute, he looks like a world-beater. Hot or cold though, West Ham
are always a better team when Cole is leading the line. Even on days when
his first touch is a stray pass, Cole's sheer physical presence keeps the
opposing back four occupied and gives his team-mates a focal point. When
Cole was out of action for two months after damaging his knee at the end of
November, the Hammers looked lost without him, winning only one game at home
to rock-bottom Portsmouth. In the three matches he has started since coming
back, he has scored twice in two victories. And this success over Hull
handed West Ham back-to-back wins for the first time since March last year.
It has been Cole's return, as much as the impact of new owners David
Sullivan and David Gold buying the club, that has given the Hammers an
adrenalin boost. After Valon Behrami had provided the Hammers with an early
lead, Cole ensured West Ham did not let things slip by striking in the 59th
minute with a goal that emphasized his qualities. Julien Faubert added a
third in injury time - by which time Hull had been reduced to nine men after
Craig Fagan's silly sending off and then skipper Anthony Gardner being
carried off on a stretcher. The win lifted the Hammers to 13th place in the
table with some daylight beginning to emerge between themselves and the
bottom three, leaving Hull still hovering just above the trap-door. Zola,
though, was keen not to start breathing too heavily with relief. The Hammers
are still only four points above the drop-zone and three of their next four
games are against Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal - all away. But the
doom and gloom that has dogged the club for so long is starting to lift. It
helps when a talisman player such as Cole is back and also that, with the
addition of three other forwards, the player has not returned to the added
pressure of carrying the entire front-line on his shoulders. The Hammers set
out in positive mode. Zola had ordered a heavy watering of the pitch to
flatten bobbles and so add extra zip to the balding surface. The idea was to
speed the pace of the game from the start. And it worked a treat. In a
goalless draw at White Hart Lane last month, Hull had frustrated Tottenham
by killing the speed of the match at every opportunity. But with the ball
fizzing about, West Ham were able to establish a frenetic tempo, forcing
Hull to make mistakes. After just three minutes, young midfielder Tom
Cairney was fed a hospital ball and was easily dispossessed by Radoslav
The Czech midfielder instantly fed Behrami, who rasped a pass into Guillermo
Franco on the edge of the box. The Mexican striker, so much better with Cole
by his side, showed his experience with an instant touch down the corridor
that Behrami was running into. It proved the perfect one-two as Behrami
latched onto the return and lashed his shot past keeper Boaz Myhill. For a
while, the Hammers threatened to overwhelm Hull, who found themselves
stretched given that they had to start chasing the game so soon. In the 24th
minute, Myhill did well to beat away a fierce Behrami shot after the Swiss
international had robbed Andy Dawson. Four minutes later, Myhill pulled off
an even better save as he dived across the goal-line and clawed away
Behrami's well placed header from Alessandro Diamanti's deep cross. But the
Hammers then lost the early momentum, started to get sloppy and it required
a superb Robert Green save to keep out a fierce George Boatang shot. In the
52nd minute Fagan, booked for a late tackle on Scott Parker, needlessly
tugged back Diamanti when the tiring Italian was going nowhere, got a second
yellow card from referee Martin Atkinson and was sent off (below left).
Seven minute later, Cole showed why England boss Fabio Capello likes him so
much. Faubert played a pass down the right wing channel, Cole hunted the
ball down, pounced as Gardner slipped, strode on with composure and rolled
his shot past Boaz. It was his ninth goal in 18 league appearances. Three
minutes later, Cole got his legs tangled up in the box when it seemed Parker
had set up another opening. He is never going to be easy on the eye all the
time. But while the samba skills of Joe Cole failed to save the Hammers from
the drop in 2003, this Cole looks as though he will keep them up. Gardner
suffered a suspected broken leg when he fell awkwardly in the 79th minute
and Hull went to a 3-3-2 formation.
But Right-back Faubert exploited the gaps when he strode forward to score
with a 20-yard drive, his first goal for the club in three years. If West
Ham's next three away games are effectively bonus balls, the next three at
home against Bolton, Wolves and Stoke will make or break the season. The new
owners have decided to restore the club's risqué dance troupe, The
Hammerettes, for pre-match and half-time entertainment after they were
dumped by the last regime. If it's not quite sexy football down here just
yet, Gold and Sullivan will be pleased things are starting to look up.
New West Ham owners David Gold and David Sullivan ordered to resume paying
Calum Davenport's wages
By Rob Draper, Mail on Sunday Chief Football Writer
Last updated at 12:04 AM on 21st February 2010
David Gold and David Sullivan's attempts to impose aggressive cut backs at
West Ham have hit their first obstacle. The new West Ham owners halted the
wages of Calum Davenport after the defender was charged with actual bodily
harm following the domestic incident in which he was stabbed in both legs by
his sister's boyfriend. The Professional Footballers' Association and
Davenport's lawyers are of the opinion that West Ham's actions are illegal,
as Davenport has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has not yet been
tried. Davenport's lawyers pressed the issue with West Ham last week and
expect to see the club resume paying his wages by next week.