The manager felt his team were unlucky to not take at least a point against
Bolton on Saturday
Avram Grant was rightly "happy with the performance" but "disappointed with
the result" after a baffling day against Bolton Wanderers. The Hammers were
hugely unlucky not to be in front at the interval after a barnstorming first
half inspired by Kieron Dyer, on his first start since March, and home
debutant Pablo Barrera. However, the home side were to rue their profligacy
including a missed Carlton Cole penalty as they ultimately lost 3-1 on their
home opener. Bolton took the lead on 48 minutes through a contentious own
goal by Matthew Upson, who took a whack in the face in the process while
being challenged by Kevin Davies. As with Aston Villa's offside opener last
week, it set the match firmly in the opposition's favour with Upson's forced
substitution adding injury to insult. "It was a clear foul on the first
goal," Grant said. "Davies couldn't get to the ball and he smashed his face
[with his foot]. Last week it was the same, it was not a goal for me. "Until
the goal, we had defended well. Even though they have changed the way they
play, they still play the direct ball. So they did it and we defended it
well. "Matthew was in the right place, he was in front of Davies and he
couldn't score. He pushed him."
Bolton were to score twice more through Johan Elmander, either side of a
Mark Noble penalty that gave the Hammers brief hope going into the final ten
minutes. Grant said the scoreline certainly did not tell the story of the
contest. "It was a strange game. I don't know what to think. We played
better than I thought we can play. Good football, good chances and quickly.
We played like a team that is right near the top but we missed the penalty
and a lot of chances. "We played last week against Aston Villa, they had 30
per cent less chances than we had and they won the game. I was very happy
with the performance, I was very disappointed with the result."
Of Cole's missed spot-kick on 32 minutes, Grant said the No9 had been
confident of converting. "Carlton scored a penalty two weeks ago.
Unfortunately he missed when it was the right moment for us to score because
they were not in the game. "We were all over them. But we responded well
after that. We had two or three big chances to score. We didn't do it."
Grant lamented the continued absence of Thomas Hitzlsperger, with the
already influential Germany captain watching on from the stands with his
thigh injury but was cheered by Dyer, who lasted more than 70 minutes, and
Barrera among others. "Kieron Dyer was very good. He is a brilliant player
and he played very well in the first half after a long time not playing. He
is a clever player and he did well. Of course he cannot yet play 90 minutes
but he is improving. He trained very hard and did well."
The manager knows full well the league matches get harder with Manchester
United away on Saturday and then a rampant Chelsea at home on 11 September.
He believed his men - and perhaps one or two new recruits - would certainly
give a good account of themselves. "We have a very tough two games coming
but if you saw the spirit after the game last week and even after being two
down today you know that this season we will not give up and keep fighting.
"Our squad is a little bit short and we want more players. Even today you
saw the players that played did well. More important is how we respond.
Again we were fighting and I was very pleased."
U18s lose out
Tony Carr's Under-18s were edged out 3-2 at West Bromich Albion in their
Academy League opener
West Ham United Under-18s suffered a losing start to the FA Premier Academy
League season, going down to a 3-2 defeat at West Bromwich Albion on
Saturday. The Hammers started sluggishly in the Midlands, falling 2-0 down
before staging an admirable fightback through goals from Matthias Fanimo and
Danny Subuola either side of half-time. Unfortunately, the Baggies regained
their composure and netted a late winner to leave Academy Director Tony Carr
feeling frustrated. "We started as if we were still in bed and fell two
goals down and, to be fair, it could have been more. We found our feet and
got it back to 2-2, then proceeded to dominate the second half, but we
couldn't score a third. "They took advantage when we failed to clear a long
throw and scored the winner."
West Ham's first goal was scored by England U17 winger Fanimo, who netted a
low shot across the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner shortly before
half-time. Then, ten minutes after the break, Subuola opened his account for
the new season to level matters, but Carr's youngsters could not hold on.
The Academy Director has urged his players to tighten things up defensively
if they are to get back to winning ways when Middlesbrough visit Little
Heath on Friday afternoon, kick-off 2.30pm. "I thought we deserved at least
a draw, if I'm being honest, but we got punished for starting slowly and
then lapsing defensively after getting back to 2-2. "When we equalised it
looked like we would go on and win the game, but our marking was loose and
they took advantage of it. "We seem to have to score three goals just to get
something out of a game at the moment - it was the same in pre-season. We're
going to have to get better defensively if we're going to win games."
Carr admitted Middlesbrough would provide a new and mysterious test for his
side. The Hammers and Boro are in different FA Premier Academy League groups
and have not played each other at youth level in the Academy Director's time
at the club. "We play Middlesbrough on Friday afternoon and I must admit I
don't know much about them at all, as we haven't played them since I can
remember. "I am more concerned about how we play, though, to be honest, and
I'll be making sure we are properly prepared for the game come Friday."
West Ham 1 - 3 Bolton
By Kevin Darling
Johan Elmander and Jussi Jaaskelainen starred as Bolton notched a seventh
successive win against West Ham. The Bolton keeper kept the visitors in the
game in the first half, saving a weak Carlton Cole penalty and turning
Kieron Dyer's effort on to the post. A Matthew Upson headed own goal put the
Trotters ahead and Elmander powered in Chung-Yong Lee's cross to make it
2-0. Mark Noble's spot-kick gave the Hammers hope late on but Elmander
sealed the victory with a close-range strike. It was an away win that looked
unlikely at the end of a first half the Hammers dominated, only to be
repeatedly thwarted by the heroics of Jaaskelainen. But the hosts' defensive
frailties, exemplified by Upson's unfortunate diving header past his own
goalkeeper Robert Green to break the deadlock, were once again exposed and
Bolton cemented their status as West Ham's 'bogey' team with a professional
display. Trotters manager Owen Coyle has pledged to bring a more attractive
brand of football to the Lancashire club but he is unlikely to mind that two
of his side's goals were as brutally direct as anything from the Sam
Allardyce era - with the first and third strikes both set up by goal-kicks.
The Hammers were much improved from last week's 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa
but they made a jittery start, which saw the visitors almost take the lead
inside the first two minutes. Martin Petrov pounced on Noble's misplaced
free-kick and fed Elmander but the Swede dragged a shot narrowly wide from
15 yards with just the keeper to beat. Upson then did well to block another
Elmander effort before the hosts started to take control, with new signing
Pablo Barrera looking especially lively. The pacy Mexican tried his luck
from distance three times before the Hammers were handed a chance to take
the lead from 12 yards, after Gretar Steinsson barged Cole over on the edge
of the box and referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot.
The England striker picked himself up to take the penalty but his shot was
poor and Jaaskelainen dived to his right to hold on to the ball. Cole almost
made amends moments later when he broke through and fired in a low effort
from 15 yards, only for the Finnish keeper to foil him again with a
fingertip save around the post. Cole had two further penalty shouts rejected
before the half was out, first when his cross hit Zat Knight's hand and then
when he went down under a Paul Robinson challenge, before Jaaskelainen
rescued Bolton again with another fine save. Kieron Dyer, making only his
eighth West Ham start in three years, latched on to Scott Parker's pass but
the Finn managed to turn Dyer's shot on to the post and deny the midfielder
his first Hammers goal. Not content with keeping West Ham's attackers at
bay, the outstanding Jaaskelainen then managed to set up a Bolton goal in
the first minute of the second half. The keeper's long goal-kick was flicked
on by Elmander and Upson, trying to stop the ball from reaching the lurking
Kevin Davies, stooped to head the ball past Green.
The Hammers responded by continuing to press their opponents, with
substitute Winston Reid lashing a volley straight at Jaaskelainen, before
they were stunned by a second sucker punch from Coyle's side. Kevin Davies
spread the ball to Lee and the South Korean's right-wing cross was met
superbly by the head of Elmander, who hammered past Green to double Bolton's
lead. Frederic Piquionne blazed over a good opportunity from 12 yards as the
Hammers toiled to find a way back into the game, before referee Marriner
handed them a lifeline with his second penalty award of the afternoon. This
time, Gary Cahill was the man adjudged to have shoved Parker and Noble made
a far better job of his spot-kick than team-mate Cole, stroking the ball
into the corner as Jaaskelainen was finally beaten. But just as the Hammers
fans prepared for a rousing finale, the Trotters finished the game off with
another route-one goal, albeit aided by some good fortune. Again, a long
Jaaskelainen punt caused problems in West Ham's defence and after Matt
Taylor appeared to flick the ball on with his hand, the ball fell to
Elmander who had the easy task of slotting past Green from 12 yards.
West Ham manager Avram Grant
"On the football side everything went well. The defence was good, we pushed
forward, we played high, we created a lot of chances. We played like a team
at the top. "I am very happy with the performance, I am very disappointed
with the result. It was a strange game. "There was a clear foul for the
first goal. We know they play direct football but Matthew (Upson) was in the
right place, he was in front of (Kevin) Davies, who pushed him. The referee
needs to be more awake."
Bolton manager Owen Coyle
"Sometimes there are teams you are suited to play against. We were aware of
that and we had a belief we could win the game. We did it last year and I
think we have improved since then. "We were in charge for the first 10-15
minutes but after that West Ham really got at us. Jussi Jaaskelainen had to
be in top form, he made some terrific saves. "At 2-0 when we looked so
comfortable we had to withstand some pressure after the referee awarded a
second penalty, which I think we all agree wasn't a penalty. "I am a great
believer in Elmander. Last week I said if he kept giving that level of
performance the goals would go in. He will take confidence from that today."
Grant on ... Bolton
Filed: Saturday, 21st August 2010
By: Staff Writer
New boss Avram Grant was happy with the display - if not the outcome - as
his Hammers side went down 3-1 at home to Bolton this afternoon...
All the chances you created in the first half; it should have been all over
It was a strange game, I don't know what to think. We played better than
even I thought we could play - good football, good chances, quick - we
played like a team that's running at the top! But we missed a penalty, we
missed a lot of chances.
We played last week at Aston Villa; they had 30 per cent less chances than
we had today and they won the game. So, I'm very happy at the performance -
but very disappointed at the result.
Was Carlton Cole the designated penalty taker?
No, we have two or three players that can take the penalties, he decided to
take it himself. Also, the penalty was [awarded for a foul] against him, he
scored two weeks ago and he took the penalty. Unfortunately he missed,
becasue it was the right moment for us to score as they [Bolton] were not in
the game. We were all over them.
But we responded well after this. We hit the post, we created three or four
good chances to score - but we didn't do it.
Why the change to 442 this week?
Because we don't have left midfield players at the moment. Hitzlsperger and
Behrami are injured. Secondly, we always say to the players - and even to
you - that we are not going to play in one system.
It's normal in football today to play one game 433, one game 442 - and we
were very happy how the players responded to this. They played very well in
many aspects of the game. The defence was good, we pushed forward very high,
we created a lot of chances, we played quick. On the football side it's very
strange; everything went well.
It was a clear foul for the first goal because Davies could not get to the
ball and he smashed his face. He [Upson] is having an x-ray now. We have to
wait and see, but he kicked his head and he pushed him.
Last week it was not good for me. But we played good today and until this
goal we played very well. We defended well; we know they play direct
football, even though they've changed the system they still play a direct
Until the first goal we did it well, even the first goal - Matthew was in
the right place, he was in front of Davies, Davies couldn't score - and then
he pushed him. The referee needed to be more awake in this situation because
you know Davis could not get to the ball.
I thought Dyer was very good today. He's a brilliant player, he played very
well in the first half. For a long, long time he hasn't played but he's a
clever player and he did well. He's alright. Of course he cannot play 90
minutes now but he's improving, he's trained very hard and he did well.
Manchester United away next?
The fixture is not a good fixture anyway - and not at the right time! We
lost a player to injury - injuries are part of the game but we didn't want
to start that game with players injured. So it's part of the game, but we
know that we have a very tough two games. But if you saw the spirit today
after we played the game last week, even at 2-0, you know that this team,
this season, is not going to give up. It'll keep fighting.
I don't know if [there will be any arrivals] before the Manchester United
game but our squad is a little bit short and we want more players. Today you
saw the players that played and they played well.
Is Diamanti leaving?
I don't know yet. I'll know more tomorrow.
I don't know yet, we'll see. I don't have a good history with penalties!
There are two or three players who need to decide between themselves who
will take the penalties. But again, it's happened and it's more important
that they respond after it.
We fight, we were always fighting - and I was very pleased.
Filed: Friday, 20th August 2010
By: Staff Writer
Avram Grant has insisted that contract rebel Matthew Upson will stay at West
Ham - hours after David Gold admitted he wanted to sell the England
defender. Grant, talking ahead of tomorrow's Premier League clash with bogey
team Bolton at the Boleyn, said: "Ninety per cent of the squad will stay and
Matthew Upson is in that 90% who will stay here. We like him, he's good for
us and a good captain and he will stay. Yet only hours earlier, and in
stark contrast to Grant's comments, Gold, speaking about the club captain's
immediate future, insisted that he would snap up the first decent offer for
the England international. "We want to keep Matt here but at the same time
we know we may have to sell him if he tells us he doesn't want to stay,"
Gold told the Daily Star. "We don't want to let him leave the club for
nothing. It's a difficult balancing act and a dilemma for us. "If someone
came in and bid £6m or £7m for him, we would have to sell. We want to sit
down and talk to him about a new contract - and quickly - because we are in
a tricky situation."
Upson has repeatedly refused to sign a contract extension and had hoped that
a good World Cup would have secured him a dream move to a marquee club.
However the former Luton Town trainee's hopes were wiped out in one
afternoon after he was held culpable for at least one of the German goals
that sent England packing in South Africa, since when only Sunderland have
shown a passing interest in signing him.
West Ham Utd 1 Bolton 3
Filed: Saturday, 21st August 2010
By: Staff Writer
West Ham United suffered their annual home defeat at the hands of Bolton
Wanderers this afternoon.
Avram Grant, making his home league debut as Hammers boss saw his side go
down 3-1 thanks to some sloppy second half defending - although the Israeli
will no doubt have been pleased by his team's general display.
Despite experiencing the same old defensive woes that almost cost the club
so dear last season, there was plenty at the other end of the pitch to
suggest that despite two defeats in their opening two games - and with
Chelsea and Manchester United to come next - West Ham have enough in the
tank to avoid successive battles aginst relegation.
Had Carlton Cole converted a 35th minute penalty - awarded against Steinsson
for shoving the England striker in the back moments earlier - the game could
have been so different. However a poor penalty was easily stopped by veteran
Bolton 'keeper Jussi Jaaskeleinan to ensure the teams went into the break on
The Hammers could even have had two penalties before the break for moments
after Cole's miss from the spot when Zat Knight clearly handballed inside
the area from Cole's attempted cross. No so, according to referee Andre(w)
Marriner who was obviously mindful of the fact that he had awarded one just
four minutes before.
Just two minutes into the second period it was the visitors who broke the
deadlock, albeit in controversial circumstances. Kevin Davies, who always
seems to play well against Matthew Upson forced an error from the England
defender who turned the ball into his own net as he dove to clear with his
head. Replays showed a rather suspect level of contact from Davies - enough,
at least, to signal the end of Upson's afternoon, as he was immediately
replaced by Winston Reid.
Things got worse for the Hammers on 68 minutes when journeyman striker Johan
Elmander scored the first of his two goals of the day. With the Hammers
defence stretched a near-post cross by Lee Chung-Young was met by the head
of the Swede, who beat marker Julien Faubert rather too easily to divert the
ball into the back of Rob Green's net.
West Ham forced their way back into the game and were awarded a second
penalty eleven minutes from time when Robinson was adjudged to have shoved
(the disappointing) Scott Parker in the back. This time it was Mark Noble
who took the kick - and with some aplomb, as he fired into the right-hand
corner to reduce the deficit to one goal. Noble could well be appointed club
penalty taker once again should Alessandro Diamanti, who was absent today,
complete a move back to Italy in the next few days.
As the Hammers pushed on in search of what would have been a deserved
equaliser, gaps were inevitably left at the back and it was from one such
situation that Elmander added his second and Bolton's third, killing off any
hopes of a Hammers revival. A long punt found Kevin Davies inside the box,
and his flick was met by the Swede who carefully passed it into Rob Green's
left-hand post to secure the points for the Trotters.
All in all the result was another disappointment, but the Hammers were a far
better side than that who were worryingly poor at Villa Park last weekend.
It doesn't get any easier for Avram Grant's side - playing last season's top
two is followed by a trip to Stoke and the visit of near-neighbours
Tottenham - but much heart should be taken from today's game regardless of
Fortunately for Messrs Sullivan and Gold, the transfer window remains open
for another week or so. Given the evident defensive frailties, many
supporters will be hoping the chairmen find a reason to spend the money they
suggested was available to purchase either Neymar or Loic Remy last month.
Elmander brace stuns Hammers
Swede too hot for Hammers as Coyle's side claim all three points
By Razwan Mirza Last updated: 21st August 2010
Man of the match: Johan Elmander. The Swede notched a superb brace for Owen
Coyle's side to secure all three points at Upton Park.
Goal of the match: Elmander's second goal. Lee Chung-Yong's right-wing cross
was headed home by the towering Swede in what was a delightful move.
Miss of the match: Carlton Cole scuffed his penalty straight down the throat
of Jussi Jaaskelainen in a first half dominated by the Hammers.
Gaffe of the match: Matthew Upson's own goal gifted the visitors the lead
and the defender immediately had to go off having taken a blow to the nose.
Talking point: Are West Ham genuine relegation candidates this season and
has the managerial change at Upton Park helped or hindered the club?
Bolton produced a blistering second-half display which saw the Trotters
extend their winning run against West Ham to seven matches thanks to a Johan
Elmander double. Avram Grant's side dominated the opening 45 minutes and
should have taken the lead but Carlton Cole scuffed his penalty straight
down the throat of Jussi Jaaskelainen. Pablo Barrera, Frederic Piquionne and
Kieron Dyer all had first-half chances, but the hosts could not engineer a
breakthrough. Wanderers made West Ham pay four minutes after the restart
when Matthew Upson's own goal gifted the visitors the lead, with Kevin
Davies claiming a touch. Elmander soon doubled the lead just after the hour
mark as Lee Chung-Yong's right-wing cross was headed home by the towering
The Hammers struck back, ironically through the penalty spot. Paul
Robinson's pull on Scott Parker was punished by Mark Noble's well-taken
However, the fightback was not to last as Davies' flick deflected into the
path of Elmander and the striker, who last scored twice in a match in
November 2008, made no mistake to make the game safe. Bolton are unbeaten
following their opening day draw at Fulham - but West Ham head into daunting
games against Manchester United and Chelsea without a point on the board.
Dyer, Barrera and Piquionne came into the team and they brought variety and
pace to the West Ham attack that was so sorely missing at Aston Villa last
weekend. After an early scare, when Elmander shot wide, West Ham laid siege
to the Bolton box. Parker, Noble and Barrera all fired in shots from
distance before Dyer latched on to a clever reverse pass from Piquionne to
reach the byline. Dyer pulled the ball back for Noble - but Stuart Holden
had retreated expertly and he intercepted the pass just two yards out from
the Bolton goal. West Ham continued to pile forward. Barrera rifled another
shot over the bar before Julien Faubert's volley from the edge of the box
flew straight to Jaaskelainen. The Hammers attacked with pace and purpose
but when Zat Knight failed to deal with Herita Ilunga's low cross, Dyer
curled his shot wide. Gretar Steinsson was booked after hauling Dyer down on
the halfway line as West Ham looked to counter-attack and two minutes later
the Bolton full-back conceded a penalty. Steinsson felled Cole on the edge
of the box - but the West Ham striker's side-footed effort was weak and
Jaaskelainen saved comfortably to his right. But Bolton barely had time to
catch their breath as West Ham attacked with tempo. Cole sought to make
amends immediately but his drilled cross-shot was palmed clear by
Jaaskelainen. Referee Andre Mariner then waved away appeals for a penalty
after Cole's clipped cross struck Knight on the hand. Parker picked out Dyer
in the box with a perfectly-weighted pass but Jaaskelainen tipped his shot
onto the post.
West Ham had fired in 11 shots without success in the first half - and it
took route-one Bolton less than four minutes to make them pay. Elmander
flicked on Jaaskelainen's goal-kick and Upson, under pressure from Davies,
stooped to head the ball past Robert Green and into his own net. To make
matters worse for the England defender, he took a boot in the face and was
replaced with a bloody nose by Winston Reid. The New Zealander had an
immediate chance to draw West Ham level when Noble's free-kick fell to him
in the Bolton box but his downward volley went straight to Jaaskelainen.
Bolton then had two penalty shouts turned down in the same move. Lee
Chung-yong went down in a challenge from Ilunga after cutting in to the box
before Parker was struck on the hand - but Bolton soon had their second. Lee
was given all the time he needed to swing the cross in from the right and
Elmander planted his near-post header past Green. West Ham were given a
lifeline when Parker was fouled by Robinson as he tried to latch on to a
lofted ball into the box and referee Mariner awarded a second penalty. Noble
took over the responsibility from Cole and he buried his strike to bring
West Ham back into the game - but not for long. Any home hopes of a late
comeback were wrecked when Ilunga failed to deal with a ball into the West
Ham box and Elmander drove his low shot past Green to wrap up the points.
Grant remains upbeat
Hammers boss pleased with performance despite home defeat
By Razwan Mirza Last updated: 21st August 2010
West Ham manager Avram Grant remained upbeat despite his side's disastrous
3-1 defeat to Bolton at Upton Park. The Upton Park boss was pleased with his
side's first-half display, but was soon flattened by Johan Elmander's
second-half brace which took Wanderers into the Premier League top four.
Matthew Upson's own goal and an Elmander strike put the visitors in control
after Carlton Cole's first-half penalty was saved by Bolton goalkeeper Jussi
Mark Noble pulled one back for Grant's team from the spot but Swedish
striker Elmander struck again to put the result beyond doubt. The former
Portsmouth boss defended his side despite not taking their chances in an
opening 45 minutes which they dominated. "We played very well in the first
half," said Grant. "We had many chances which came about almost every five
minutes. "We knew that Bolton would play direct football and they scored
both their goals with the same direct style. "We continued fighting. We
showed good spirit making it 2-1 and it could have been all square. "It was
a strange game because from the footballing side, we played very well."
Grant felt that Bolton striker Kevin Davies should have been punished for a
foul on Upson as Wanderers took the lead. "It should have been disallowed
for a foul on our captain. You need to see the face of Upson. "It was a
clear foul. The only thing he (Kevin Davies) could have done was to kick him
and that's exactly what he did." Grant also came to the defence of Cole
after the England striker missed a number of gilt-edged chances throughout
the game. "Cole scored a penalty two weeks ago. It happens sometimes.
Unfortunately it happened today. We created a lot of chances but that can
happen. "Last week we didn't play well. Today we did what Aston Villa did to
us and even better except for scoring goals."
West Ham 1-3 Bolton: Sunday Mirror match report
Published 23:00 21/08/10 By Steve Stammers
The jeers that cascaded from the stands at the final whistle said it all.
West Ham fans are less than convinced with the direction of the Upton Park
revolution under the Two Daves. Two matches, no points and six goals
conceded. That is not the kind of start that Messrs Sullivan and Gold wanted
and even as early as the first week of the season, the position of manager
Avram Grant may well be under scrutiny. Crazy ? Yes. Obscene ? Of course it
is. But that is the modern game – and the immediate future doesn't look too
bright either with a visit to Old Trafford next Saturday and a home clash
with champions Chelsea to follow. If there are zero points after four games,
someone has to carry the can and Grant must be dreading a public vote of
confidence from above.
True, West Ham should have been ahead by half-time and rued not taking the
golden opportunity handed to them in the 32nd minute when they were awarded
a penalty. Carlton Cole was fouled by Gretar Steinsson and he took the kick
himself. It was a tame effort that was saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen. That was
to sum up West Ham's day. Bolton, though, still needed to capitalise but did
so in convincing fashion. This is not the Bolton of old. Owen Coyle has
added a touch of culture to supplement the raw aggression of Kevin Davies.
At the hub of it for Bolton was Stuart Holden, a Scottish-born American
international who took full advantage of West Ham's somewhat disjointed
midfield. "He brought us energy," said Coyle. "I signed him on a free from
Houston Dynamos. He had some setbacks early in his career and that has given
Bolton could have taken the lead after two minutes when slipshod defending
allowed Johan Elmander a shot at goal but the effort went wide. West Ham
dominated but couldn't score. And when a West Ham player did score, it had
unfortunate repercussions. Three minutes into the second half, Elmander
forced the ball on and Davies was set to sweep Bolton into the lead.
Bravely, Matthew Upson put his head down in an attempt to clear. He
succeeded only in diverting the ball into his own net. He also collected a
kick from Davies' right boot and went off with a broken nose. Grant felt
Davies pushed the England man on to the ball. "A clear foul," said Grant.
Not clear to many others, though. West Ham looked deflated. Jaaskelainen
continued to be a source of frustration as he collected a well-struck volley
from Winston Reid. In the 68th minute came the goal that Bolton had
threatened as Lee Chung-Yong crossed and Elmander headed home. West Ham
tried to retaliate and were awarded a second penalty after Gary Cahill
pushed Scott Parker. Mark Noble managed to wrong-foot Jaaskelainen to spark
a mini-revival but that lasted all of five minutes. A poor clearance from
Herita Ilunga went as far as Elmander and the giant Swede swept calmly home
Parker poised for swap with Spurs striker
Published 23:00 21/08/10 By Steve Stammers
Scott Parker and Robbie Keane could be involved in a dramatic swap deal in
the last week of the transfer window. Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is a
long-time admirer of Parker, who has yet to sign the new contract on offer
to him at West Ham. Liverpool are also keen on Parker, but he would prefer
to stay in London. West Ham are reluctant to sell Parker, but they also
acknowledge that this is the time to cash in on a player who is approaching
his 30th birthday. Keane may well figure in the deal. The Republic of
Ireland striker is down the pecking order at White Hart Lane behind both
Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe. Indeed, Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko
started ahead of Keane last week against Young Boys. He is a proven
goalscorer, however, and that quality would be invaluable to West Ham. The
major stumbling block would be his wages, thought to be around 70,000 a
week. And West Ham would also want around £5million in cash as well as Keane
for Parker. But the deal would solve problems for both clubs.
West Ham line-up move for Bayern stopper Michael Rensing
By SPORTSMAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 9:55 PM on 21st August 2010
West Ham are looking at Bayern Munich goalkeeper Michael Rensing to provide
competition for jittery England keeper Rob Green. Rensing, 26, is available
on a Bosman free from Bayern after he was on the bench for their Champions
League final defeat against Inter Milan in May.
The Jeremy Nicholas Column (1)
West Ham Till I Die
Jeremy Nicholas is the West Ham stadium announcer. This is the first of his
weekly syndicated columns.
I moved to East London from Cambridge when I was six. I think my parents may
have done the driving, but I think I did most of the packing and dealing
with estate agents.
Growing up in Clayhall it was a no-brainer that I should be a Hammer. There
was a Spurs fan and a Chelsea fan on our street, but nobody really spoke to
When I was twelve we moved again, to sleepy Suffolk. By then I had claret
and blue flowing in my veins, but took me a while to find my way back to
London. I studied in the beautiful university cities of Bradford and then
Portsmouth, before my first job as a radio reporter in the fragrant coastal
resort of Hull.
Bradford, Portsmouth and Hull? How I escaped without a tattoo is anybody's
guess. West Ham were having their best ever season in the top flight and I
was miles away listening on the radio and occasionally watching on Ceefax.
I spent three years with the BBC in Nottingham, winning a New York Radio
Academy Award for commentating at the Hillsborough disaster. It was the
worst day of my life and we didn't go and collect the award. It felt wrong
when 96 people had died.
In 1990 I returned to London, to work on GLR, which is now called BBC London
94.9. I presented the breakfast show alongside the late, great Kevin
Greening. I used to bang on about West Ham a lot. Little did I know someone
at the club was listening and one day I would get the call.
I went freelance in 1994, and moved into television. It was inevitable. All
good looking radio presenters eventually move into TV. I fronted shows for
Talk TV and then the fledgling Channel 5. I anchored most of their sports
shows for the first couple of years. In fact a colleague described me as the
complete anchor, but I may have misheard.
In the early days the Channel 5 signal was a bit fuzzy. Once they sorted the
transmission problems, someone noticed my hair was thinning at the back.
Baldies didn't score well in the focus groups. The schedulers were aiming
for a young audience. I was replaced by Steve Scott who is slightly older
than me, but much hairier.
I would return to TV in the noughties, but in the meantime I scuttled back
to the GLR breakfast show, this time co-presenting with Claire McDonnell. I
talked about West Ham a lot again. This time something happened.
In the summer of 1998 I received a phone call from Paul Aldridge, managing
director at West Ham, asking if I wanted to be the new stadium announcer.
Curiously I said no. I enjoyed letting off steam from my seat in the West
Stand Upper. I wasn't sure shouting at the players would be in the job
Paul asked me to come in for a chat. So I did, just to poke about behind the
scenes if I'm honest.
After three days he asked again, and this time I said yes. I'd had a
recurring dream the previous nights that Rio Ferdinand would head the
winning goal in the World Cup Final at France 98. I dreamt I would announce
him as a hero at the start of the new season, like Bobby Moore, Martin
Peters and Geoff Hurst were greeted in 1966.
The trouble with dreams is their habit of fading and dying. Rio was an
unused substitute at the World Cup. England were knocked out by Argentina in
the second round. David Beckham was sent off for petulantly kicking out at
Diego Simeone and quickly became public enemy number one.
When the fixtures came out for the new season, West Ham's opener was away at
Sheffield Wednesday, followed by David Beckham's Manchester United at home.
I went to Hillsborough on the opening day, the first time I'd been back
since the disaster. It was strange and I felt very emotional. I got through
it because I was sitting next to curly haired pop star David Essex. His twin
boys had the largest bag of pick and mix sweets you ever did see.
Reluctantly at their father's suggestion they even shared some with me.
Veteran striker Ian Wright scored on his league debut for us, and I found
myself singing, 'Ian Wright, Wright, Wright. Ian Wright, Wright, Wright'.
With Wrighty a long time Gooner, it wasn't a song I ever thought I would
sing. Fortunately I discovered I knew all the words.
Driving back from Hillsborough I couldn't wait for my debut at the Boleyn
Ground the following week, announcing my team against Manchester United,
David Beckham and all.
But we'll save that for the next column.
Up the Irons.