Ireland striker Robbie Keane has become the fourth new face at West Ham
United this month
West Ham United are delighted to announce the signing of striker Robbie
Keane from Tottenham Hotspur. The Republic of Ireland captain has joined on
an initial six-month basis, which will continue for a further two years
provided the club are in the Premier League next season. He described the
Hammers as a "fantastic club with a great tradition".
Keane, who watched the second half of Sunday's 3-2 FA Cup fourth-round
victory over Nottingham Forest from a Boleyn Ground Executive Box, spoke of
his excitement at joining the Hammers. "I am really pleased to have signed
and now I just can't wait to start training and playing football," he said.
"I am ready to help West Ham United to stay in the Premier League, which is
the most important thing for this club. "I feel as fit as I ever have done
in my life and I feel I have plenty left to offer at the highest level for
at least the next four or five years. "I want to help anywhere I can help
the football club, whether that is in training, in the dressing room or on
the pitch on a matchday. We have some good players here and I am sure we can
stay up. "When I went on loan to Celtic I scored 17 goals in 19 games and if
I can do even half as well as I did there, then I'll be happy."
The 30-year-old is the fourth recruit this transfer window joining Wayne
Bridge, Gary O'Neil and fellow forward Demba Ba. He passed a medical on
Saturday night before putting pen to paper after the FA Cup match on Sunday
evening. Keane, who has scored 45 goals in 104 internationals, could make
his debut in Wednesday night's trip to Blackpool with a possible home bow
coming next Sunday against Birmingham City. Keane brings plenty of top-level
experience to the Boleyn having previously played for Inter Milan, Liverpool
Grant welcomes Robbie
The manager spoke with Robbie Keane on Sunday evening and is excited about
his new forward
Avram Grant has hailed the signing of Robbie Keane as the Hammers returned
to winning ways with a 3-2 defeat of Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.
"Robbie Keane is not just a good player, but a good character," he said,
before confirming that the club's fourth recruit this transfer window might
not be the last. The manager spoke with his new signing after the
fourth-round success against Forest, not least to check his readiness for
Wednesday night's game at Blackpool. "I am really happy to have him," he
added. "He can help us a lot and brings plenty of quality."
The manager is expecting a relatively quiet last day of the transfer window
on Monday but said there was a possibility of another arrival at the Boleyn
Ground. "The squad is not bad but, because of the injuries we've had, we
needed more players for competition and fresh legs. We had injuries in the
first half of the season. Things didn't go for us. "We were looking for
players to make up the 18 on a matchday, so it was very difficult. But wait
a little more to see our squad. There is maybe one more to come in."
The Hammers are through to a FA Cup fifth-round against Burnley, courtesy of
Victor Obinna's hat-trick against Nottingham Forest. Grant was delighted
with the forward's contribution on his return from a three-match
suspension. "He's a good talent, great quality. He's young and hasn't played
too many games over the last year, but he's getting better and better as I
expected him to be."
The manager was pleased to have a home draw with Burnley on 19/20 February.
"It's always good to play at home in front of our fans. They know how to
support and push us. Any draw at home is good. All the other Premier League
teams seemed to get similar draws. "The FA Cup is important because it's the
FA Cup. Of course our target is the league, and the most important thing is
that. We'll do everything we can to succeed in the league. But it's good to
be involved in this."
Hammers draw Clarets
West Ham United will host Burnley in the FA Cup Sponsored by EON fifth round
West Ham United have been drawn at home to Championship side Burnley in the
FA Cup Sponsored by EON fifth round. The Hammers will face opposition from
the second tier of English football at home for the third consecutive round,
having defeated Barnsley and Nottingham Forest to reach the last-16. West
Ham last hosted the Clarets at the Boleyn Ground on 28 November 2009 in the
Barclays Premier League, when the Hammers ran out 5-3 winners. Burnley have
reached the fifth round this season by defeating Port Vale and Burton Albion
at Turf Moor. The two clubs have met just twice before in the FA Cup.
However, one of those meetings came at the sixth-round stage in 1963/64,
when the Hammers went on to win the cup. Johnny Byrne scored twice and John
Sissons once in a 3-1 home win for West Ham on 29 February 1964. West Ham
also won the other time the two sides met in this competition, 3-1 at Turf
Moor on 27 January 1968. Martin Peters scored twice that day and Brian Dear
once. The Clarets have won the FA Cup once in their history, in 1914, and
finished as runners-up in 1947 and 1962. West Ham, of course, have lifted
the trophy on three occasions, winning in 1964, 1975 and 1980 and finishing
as runners-up in 1923 and 2006.
FA CUP Sponsored by EON fifth-round draw
Fulham v Bolton Wanderers or Wigan Athletic
Manchester United v Crawley Town
Everton or Chelsea v Reading
Leyton Orient v Arsenal
Birmingham City v Sheffield Wednesday
Stoke City v Brighton & Hove Albion
Notts County or Manchester City v Aston Villa
West Ham United v Burnley
Demba settling in
Demba Ba is determined emulate his heroes and become a star in English
If Demba Ba can make half the impact his two heroes made on the Barclays
Premier League, West Ham United supporters are in for a treat. The Senegal
striker, who completed a permanent transfer from German club TSG 1899
Hoffenheim on Friday, named Thierry Henry and Didier Drogba as his
footballing idols. However the 25-year-old, who has signed a contract until
summer 2014, wants to forge his own reputation by scoring the goals to keep
West Ham in the top-flight. "Thierry Henry was my hero for a long time and
after he left I looked up to Didier Drogba. He is big and powerful and has
everything a striker needs and he scores goals. "I have my qualities and
I'm looking to play and enjoy my game and score my goals."
While Ba's individual performances could go a long way to helping the
Hammers, he is a team player who believes every squad member has a part to
play between now and the season's end. "I'm not here to be a hero. I'm here
to help the club to keep in the Premier League with the good squad that we
have. I won't be a hero if West Ham stays in the Premier League - the whole
team will be heroes. "I love playing football. I like being in a team and
having the ball and playing good football. "I think I need maybe a couple of
weeks to adapt myself to the Premier League. It is a really good league. It
is strong and fast but I think I can adapt as quickly as possible. "I hope
to keep West Ham up. I want to score as many goals as we need."
Ba also played down speculation over reports that he has a long-standing
knee injury that could limit his appearances. The Paris-born forward was an
ever-present in the Bundesliga before Christmas, scoring six goals in 17
appearances for Hoffenheim. "Everybody is talking about a problem but I
played the first half of this season really good and with no big problems.
It is just about muscles and building more muscles and is no big deal. In a
couple of weeks, everything should be 100 per cent. "I really thought I
would pass the medical easily because in the first half of the season I
played well and with no big problems, so I was really surprised."
Ba admitted he was itching to pull on a claret and blue shirt for the first
time. The new No21 revealed that a chat with manager Avram Grant about his
vision for the club and the team's playing style convinced him that a move
to the Boleyn Ground was the right one to make. "I had no second thoughts at
all. As soon as I heard that West Ham had an interest me I was happy because
it's a big club. I had a talk with the coach and had a really good feeling.
"This situation is not easy for West Ham but I'll give everything in the
last 14 games to win as many games as possible. "The first conversation I
had with Avram, I asked him about his concept of football. When he gave me
his answer I was like 'OK, that's good'. "I spoke to him first late in
January - I don't remember the exact date. The manager gave me a lot of
messages and he wanted me to sign. "To be honest, when you watch West Ham
games, most of the time they are in the lead at half-time or in the first
half. They always score. Now we have to be focused more to keep the result,
because if we concede less goals then we're going to score some. "We have to
be positive otherwise we will be dying. The coach was the first one who was
positive and I'm sure that's what is going to help us quickly is that we
have another league game on Wednesday and this is the most important thing."
West Ham 3 - 2 Nott'm Forest
By Saj Chowdhury
BBC Sport at Upton Park
Victor Obinna scored a hat-trick to send West Ham into the fifth round of
the FA Cup at the expense of Championship high-flyers Nottingham Forest.
Four goals were scored in a frantic first half before the Nigerian forward
settled the tie after the break with his third, scored from the spot. Some
fans may have missed Obinna's opening goal in the fourth minute as they
arrived late after London's transport system did its best to hamper their
journey. But those who did witness the goal saw the 23-year-old deflect in
Noble's wayward shot past stranded visiting goalkeeper Lee Camp. It was not
the only goal of the match that benefited from a touch of fortune. The
strike should have settled the Hammers but instead their opponents, who have
won their last five league and cup matches, grabbed the tie by the scruff of
the neck. Burly journeyman Dele Adebola proved to be a nuisance for
defenders Danny Gabbidon and Herita Ilunga, while man-of-the-moment Lewis
McGugan and Chris Cohen were beginning to combine well for the visitors on
the right. Their equaliser came courtesy of Adebola, who timed his run to
perfection en route to picking up David McGoldrick's pull-back and slotting
past Rob Green in the West Ham goal.
McGugan then tried to add to his own goal of the season collection with a
volley from inside the area that went a couple of feet over a relieved
However, luck deserted the Hammers when the England keeper was forced to
parry a header from his own team-mate Ilunga and the loose ball was bundled
in by McGoldrick. The lead lasted two minutes and on this occasion it was
Forest who were on the wrong end of a fluke. Understandably, Obinna did not
celebrate his second, which started out as a cross from way out on the right
but ended up flying over the head of Camp and into the goal.
There was more goalmouth action to follow moments before the interval, Mark
Noble coming close to putting the the home side ahead when he forced a great
save from Camp, before the east Londoners finally took the lead again
shortly after the restart. On this occasion the ball was fed back into the
crowded area from a cleared corner and defender Joel Lynch, who had
performed well up to that point, pulled back Winston Reid, who was about to
shoot. After a gentleman's agreement, hat-trick hungry Obinna was handed the
duties of putting the West Ham ahead, which he did with a well-placed kick.
On this occasion the Hammers did settle and Forest had Camp to thank for
keeping the deficit at just three. First Frederic Piquionne had a low shot
from 25 yards beaten away by the 26-year-old, before Mexican Pablo Barrera
struck a shot with the outside of his boot that had to be tipped over.
Forward Freddie Sears, who deserved a goal for his limitless endeavour on
the day, then forced Camp to make another fabulous save with a fierce
strike. There was slight panic among the West Ham backline in the last few
minutes when Green, largely untroubled in the second half, produced a good
save to deny Chris Gunter, while McGoldrick headed two yards wide from a
corner. But the Hammers held on for a result which may soften the pain of
their Carling Cup semi-final exit at Birmingham in midweek.
West Ham manager Avram Grant:
"It was very disappointing, the result on Wednesday, [Carling Cup semi-final
defeat against Birmingham] but the most important thing is the reaction and
it was very good. "We didn't play well in the first half but in the second
half we dominated. It's always good to play at home, they know how to
support us and push us. I hope to be in the quarter-finals and then it will
be interesting. "But our target is the league, that is the most important
thing, but winning in the FA Cup or the Carling Cup is also a good feeling."
Nottingham Forest boss Billy Davies:
"It's nice to come to the academy of football and play the way we did in the
first half. We lost a terrible goal after two minutes or so but then
deservedly got in front and it looked as if their second goal was fortunate.
"We played fantastic football in the first 45 minutes, flowing, chances
galore. In the second half we gave away a goal and after that we were
chasing things. "I am proud of the players. We showed fantastic stuff, but
in the end it was down to experience."
West Ham confirm loan deal for Tottenham's Robbie Keane
By Saj Chowdhury
Relegation-threatened West Ham have completed the loan signing of striker
Robbie Keane from Premier League rivals Tottenham until the end of the
season. The Hammers say they have an option to extend the 30-year-old
Republic of Ireland international's deal by two years if they avoid
relegation. "We're delighted to sign a world-class striker," chairman David
Gold said. Keane added: "I feel I have plenty left to offer at the highest
level for at least the next four or five years."
West Ham have also recruited defender Wayne Bridge, midfielder Gary O'Neil
and striker Demba Ba during the January transfer window. Keane has had
limited first-team opportunities since returning to White Hart Lane for a
second spell with the north Londoners from Liverpool at the start of 2009.
"When I went on loan to Celtic I scored 17 goals in 19 games and if I can do
even half as well as I did there, then I'll be happy," continued Keane,
referring to his loan spell with the Glasgow club last season. Hammers boss
Avram Grant added: "Keane is not just a good player, he is a good character
that we need in the next 14 games."
The Upton Park side, who are bottom of the Premier League, signed forward
Demba Ba from Hoffenheim on Friday. Keane, attended the Hammers' 3-2 win
over Nottingham Forest in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday and will
earn in the region of £70,000 a week. Gold said: "Tottenham chairman Daniel
Levy drives a hard bargain but we've got our man."
Despite the deal, Spurs boss Harry Redknapp does not expect his midfield
target Scott Parker to move in the opposite direction. "Scott Parker? No
chance," the Tottenham manager stated. "I love Scott Parker but we haven't
got a chance with him." Gold has said that West Ham would resist any offers
for the likes of Parker and defender Matthew Upson. "Nobody can leave. You
can see our situation. We would fight off any club pursuing our players,"
"The next 14 games will be as important a 14 games as there have been in the
history of the football club."
West Ham's plight was not helped by intense speculation earlier in January
that Grant is on the verge on being sacked as manager, with Martin O'Neill
lined up to replace him. But Gold insisted: "I can tell you now that we have
a board that is fully behind Avram. "We have a major board meeting every two
or three months and Avram's name did not come up in the meeting. I think
that speaks volumes. He's our man."
Hammers land rising star
Filed: Sunday, 30th January 2011
By: Staff Writer
West Ham have landed a fifth January signing as the transfer window enters
its final 24 hours. 17-year-old striker Paul McCallum is said tonight to
have opted to sign for West Ham, who have beaten off stiff opposition to
land the Dulwich Hamlets youngster. The south Londoner was being chased by
up to 12 Premier League clubs including Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea - but
according to reports, is set to confirm his move to the Boleyn Ground.
Speaking last week, Dulwich boss Gavin Rose said: "The best thing that can
happen is that someone signs him and puts him and us out of our misery!
"They are all massive clubs but some of them are more proactive about
wanting to come and see him. He never thought he was going to get this sort
of interest and he is riding with it rather than turning it into a massive
Details of the fee involved are unknown at present. Avram Grant, speaking
after this afternoon's 3-2 FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest admitted that
he was still hoping to sign at least one more player, in addition to striker
Robbie Keane whose loan move from Spurs was rubber-stamped today.
Grant on... Nottingham Forest
Filed: Sunday, 30th January 2011
By: Staff Writer
Avram Grant's lucky cup run continues; the question is, can he transfer it
into league form? The manager takes questions from the press after this
afternoon's 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest...
Avram: Victor Obinna back and firing on all cylinders?
He's a good talent, great quality. But we need to remember he's young and
hasn't played so many games in the last year but he's developing and that's
what I expected him to do, to become better and better. He scored three
goals so it's enough but we need him to be efficient in the league games.
Does this make up, to a certain degree, for the defeat [at Birmingham] this
I think we cannot say that we played much better than Wednesday but it was a
good response. We came to the semi-final; it's a long time since West Ham
was in a semi-final of any competition.
The players played great games before, against Manchester United, Stoke and
Sunderland but it was still very, very disappointing, the result -
especially after the first half when we felt everything was going how we
But the most important thing is the reaction and the reaction today was very
good. We didn't play well first half, Nottingham played well first half.
Also the reaction to this was good as in the second half we dominated and
could have scored more goals.
Burnley in the next round, at home?
Yes; it's always good to play at home in front of our own fans as they know
how to support us and to push us on. Any draw at home is good. I saw that
most of the Premier League teams have draws against teams in the lower
leagues; I hope we come to be in the quarter finals as then it will be
How important is the FA Cup?
It's important because it is the FA Cup, but of course our target is the
league. The most important thing is the league and for us to do everything
that we can to succeed in the league. But when you come to a competition
like the FA Cup or Carling Cup, it's also a good feeling to win.
You've had some luck in the cup that you haven't had in the league; perhaps
the first goal today? What is it about the cups?
I don't know, you need to ask him (points skywards)! [laughs]
Avram, do you hope to have any new signings in the next day?
Yes. Robbie Keane is one of them. He's not just a good player, he's a good
character which we'll need in the next 14 games.
Was he here today?
I don't know, was he here?
So you've spoken to him?
Not today, I was at the game. I hope he will sign.
So will that be on loan?
I don't know what the deal is, I can't discuss this now. I don't know...
Has he had a medical?
He's had everything, yes. But I can speak only about him as a player, not
How happy are you with the depth of the squad?
The big problem we had was with the injuries, again and again, and we needed
more players for competition, more fresh legs. We had injuries in the first
half of the season and it was not good for us because we didn't have players
to fill the squad.
A few of the games we were looking for players to fill the 18 so it was
important for us to get more players, because of the situation. And I think
it's ok; we need to wait and see tomorrow and then we'll see the full squad.
You said Robbie Keane is one; how many more players might you be looking at?
Will you have to let players go because of the 25-man rule, to accomodate
the new signings?
I think now we have 25, so if one more player will come then we'll think
Your big summer signing was Tomas Hitzlsperger; how close is he to actually
making his debut?
He was one of our big signings, him and Freddie Piquionne. He's a very, very
good player and I think he's close, around two or three weeks if everything
is going well and then he needs to be in good condition for the games, to be
fit for the games.
Is he in full training?
Yes, he's started to train with the team. Not full training, but he's
started to train.
And how big a boost will that be?
It'll be very good because we try to play football and he likes to play
football. He's a midfielder who can score. We've got one more player who can
pass the ball - an intelligent player and one who can score and give
assists. It's a big advantage.
We need that; I think the game today has become very intense, compared five
years ago to now it's a big difference. More intense, more physical and
because of this we need more intelligent players that can make the
A big game against Blackpool on Wednesday?
Everybody knows that the next game is very important to us. Against
Blackpool I'm sure the players will give everything they can, they're
waiting for this game. It's important for both teams, but it's more
important for us.
Keane confident of survival
Filed: Sunday, 30th January 2011
By: Staff Writer
New Hammers striker Robbie Keane has backed the club to retain their Premier
League place. Speaking to SkySports after United's 3-2 defeat of Nottingham
Forest - a win that sent West Ham into the fifth round and a tie against
Burnley, a game in which he is eligible to play - Keane insisted that the
team has the necessary quality to avoid relegation. "If you look at how
close it is down there - there are six or seven teams down there - it's been
one of those seasons," he said. "The top has been fairly close and the
bottom is very close. You get a couple of results and you move fairly
swiftly up the table. Tht's something I'm here to do and hopefully help the
The 30-year-old Irishman - who was the subject of a £9million bid from the
Hammers 10 years ago - added that he was delighted to make the short move
across town - and to have the opportunity to play first team football once
again, having been frozen out at White Hart Lane. "Obviously I'm delighted,
I'm just happy to get back playing football again," Keane added. "It's been
frustrating for me, I don't like to be paid for sitting on the bench, I like
to play and hopefully I'll get a lot of opportunities here to help this club
move forward. "It feels right; it's a fantastic club with great tradition.
At the moment they're not in the best position but I'm here hopefully to
help the squad. I'm sure, with the other players we have here, we can do
£10million Parker bid rejected
Filed: Sunday, 30th January 2011
By: Staff Writer
West Ham are said to have rejected a bid from Tottenham for vice-captain
Scott Parker. The combative midfielder has long been linked with a move to
north London, with Harry Redknapp long known as a keen admirer. However West
Ham's board appear determined to stand by their previous statement that
Parker - who recently signed a new five year contract - would not be allowed
to leave the club. Spurs' £10million bid is said to have come after they
agreed to loan Robbie Keane to the Hammers. They had previously offered
Keane plus £2million for the 30-year-old former Charlton player - a bid that
was rejected outright. We'll have more for you on this story as it
West Ham Utd 3 Nottingham Forest 2
Filed: Sunday, 30th January 2011
By: Staff Writer
West Ham are through to the fifth round of the FA Cup after narrowly beating
Championship side Forest at the Boleyn Ground. Victor Obinna - who has been
out of action since he was sent off against Birmingham in the first leg of
the Carling Cup semi final - hit all three for the Hammers as they sent a
second successive Championship side packing, following the defeat of
Barnsley here in round three. The on-loan attacker, making his first
appearance since his idiotic sending-off against Birmingham turned from
villain to hero within the space of 90 minutes as he single-handedly swept
aside a Forest side who went into the game unbeaten in all competitions
since November. His first, after only four minutes owed a great deal to good
fortune as Mark Noble's mis-hit shot cannoned off Obinna to send the Hammers
into the lead. However early joy was soon dampened as parity was restored on
18 minutes when veteran striker Dele Adebola converted a David McGoldrick
centre to make it one a-piece.
Forest - whose manager Billy Davies was in charge of the Preston side West
Ham beat in the 2004/05 play off final to return to the Premier League -
stunned the home crowd five minutes ahead of the half time whistle when
David McGoldrick put the underdogs 2-1 ahead. Captain-for-the-day Robert
Green failed to deal with a fairly standard ball into the box and the
striker had the simplest of chances to turn the ball over the goal line, to
his and the healthy travelling support's great delight. However Forest's joy
was to last little more than a minute. Obinna, racing away down the right
channel delivered what appeared to be a misjudged cross that flew over
'keeper Camp's head into the top, far corner - a mirror of Paul Konchesky's
goal in the 2006 FA Cup final.
2-2 at half time, and to much relief United finally managed to buck the
recent trend of capitulating after the break. As it was they managed just
one further goal - but created a hatful of chances that more than made up
for an insipid first half display.
The goal that won the game came just seven minutes into the second period
from the penalty spot. Centre-half Winston Reid, restored to the side for
today's game was needlessly tugged over inside the box by the hapless Joel
Lynch, who received a yellow card for his efforts. Obinna, as is tradition
for those with a brace already in the bag stepped up to send Camp the wrong
way and secure his first hat-trick in English football - and fire the
Hammers through to the fifth round.
Boa Morte - Grant is right man
Winger admits Grant has been acting as a psychologist
Last updated: 30th January 2011
West Ham midfielder Luis Boa Morte remains convinced manager Avram Grant is
the right man to keep the club in the Premier League. The Hammers are
currently propping up the table and were denied a day out at Wembley after
losing to Birmingham in the Carling Cup semi-final on Wednesday night.
However, the midfielder has revealed Granthas been acting as a psychologist,
telling players not to have negative thoughts of relegation. "The rumours
all year about our manager leaving and players heading for the exit have not
been good," Boa Morte told The People.
"We need to stay calm and improve our football because I am adamant that
this squad is not the worst in the Premier League. "Avram Grant is working
with great effort and so are the players, but this season we have not had
any luck in many matches. "The coach is like a psychologist in our group,
and he says it is possible to save our league status. "So I am convinced
that if we can put back-to-back wins together then our whole outlook can
Hammers seal Keane deal
Irishman agrees loan move
Last updated: 30th January 2011
Robbie Keane has sealed his loan move to West Ham United from Tottenham
until the end of the season. The Hammers have confirmed they have brought in
the Republic of Ireland international with a view to making the deal
permanent at the end of the season. After watching West Ham's FA Cup win
against Nottingham Forest, a delighted Keane said he was happy to be given
the chance of playing regular football again. And the 30-year-old believes
his new club, currently sitting rock bottom in the Premier League table, can
avoid the drop. "Obviously it's been frustrating for me - like it would for
any player. You just want to be playing," Keane told Sky Sports News. "I
don't like to be paid to sit on the bench. I like to play and hopefully I
will get plenty of opportunities here to help this club move forward. "The
move feels right - it's a fantastic club with a great tradition. "At the
moment we're not in the best position that we would like to be but I'm here
to help the squad. I'm sure with the players we've got here we can get into
that position. "We can stay in the Premier League. Look how close it is -
there are six or seven teams down there. "If you get a couple of results you
move fairly swiftly up that table."
Keane has made just seven Premier League appearances for Spurs this season
after falling down the pecking order under manager Harry Redknapp.
But Hammers boss Avram Grant was delighted to add the star to his squad. He
said: "I like him as a player - he is a good player and also a very strong
character. "He's an intelligent player and one who can score goals so it's
good for us."
Obinna treble fells Forest
Hammers book fifth round tie against Burnley
Last updated: 30th January 2011
Victor Obinna bagged a hat-trick for West Ham as they edged out Nottingham
Forest 3-2 in the FA Cup fourth round. After a bright start by the hosts at
Upton Park, Forest hauled themselves back into the game and led at one stage
courtesy of goals from Dele Adebola and David McGoldrick. They were unable
to protect that lead, though, and Obinna ensured he would be leaving with
the match ball as he notched his first treble in English football.
With Avram Grant having strengthened his squad with the signings of Gary
O'Neil and Demba Ba, plus Wayne Bridge on loan and possibly more to follow
before the transfer window closes, the Hammers manager was hoping for a
much-needed cup boost. There was no doubting where his priorities lay,
however, making nine changes to the side knocked out of the Carling Cup in
the semi-final by Birmingham in midweek. Scott Parker started on the bench,
kept in reserve for the league match against Blackpool on Wednesday. The
Hammers could hardly have enjoyed a more encouraging start, taking the lead
after just three minutes.
The goal came following a corner when the ball was rolled back to Mark Noble
whose right-footed shot looked to be flying well wide until Obinna deflected
it past Forest goalkeeper Lee Camp. Forest, however, responded well,
Radoslaw Majewski in particular causing the West Ham defence problems. The
inevitable equaliser came after 17 minutes following a period of sustained
Forest pressure during which 35-year-old Nigerian striker Adebola showed the
most determination to drive into the penalty area to send his shot past
Hammers goalkeeper Robert Green for his first goal of the season in the 22nd
match in which he has been involved. In truth, West Ham's defenders
struggled to cope in that first half with a lively Forest attack. All the
incisive football came from Forest and it was no surprise when they took the
lead after 39 minutes. This time it came from a free-kick on the right
floated in by Chris Cohen. The ball was flicked up in the air by a flapping
Green, only for McGoldrick to head home from close range.
It was not Green's finest moment but two minutes later West Ham were back
level and this time it was a spectacular effort, although there appeared to
be more than a touch of fortune. Obinna charged down the right and sent in a
30-yard shot from an acute angle which flew over the head of goalkeeper
Camp. Only Obinna knows if it was really intended as a cross but it was
certainly a goal with a freakish quality to it. When the hat-trick goal
arrived in the 52nd minute it was more down-to-earth, with Joel Lynch
bringing down Winston Reid and referee Michael Oliver having no hesitation
in pointing to the spot. Obinna stepped up to coolly complete his treble,
before wheeling away and treating the crowd to half a dozen somersaults in
celebration. The Hammers might have had more, Camp saving brilliantly twice
from Frederic Piquionne and once from Pablo Barrera. And in the end they
deserved their place in the fifth round. Grant even managed a smile. Things
must be looking up.
Obinna earns Grant praise
Hammers boss hails match-winner
By Chris Burton Last updated: 30th January 2011
Avram Grant was happy to hail Victor Obinna on Sunday after his star showing
against Nottingham Forest. The Nigerian was the centre of attention at Upton
Park as his hat-trick helped the Hammers book their place in the FA Cup
fifth round. His treble condemned Forest to a 3-2 defeat, preserving West
Ham's impressive record in cup competition this season in the process. Grant
was delighted to see Obinna steal the show and help his side progress, with
the African ace more than capable of tearing the best defences to shreds on
his day. He said: "He is a good talent. He has not played so many games in
the last few years and he is developing. "He will get better and better. He
scored three goals but we need him to be efficient in the league games."
A meeting with Forest provided West Ham with an immediate opportunity to
make amends for their Carling Cup semi-final exit in midweek, and Grant was
delighted with the response of his players to that setback. He said: "It was
very disappointing, the result on Wednesday, especially after the first half
when we thought everything was going like we wanted it to. But the most
important thing is the reaction and today it was very good. "We didn't play
well in the first half but in the second half we dominated."
West Ham will face Championship opposition once again in round five, with
Grant's men handed a home date with Burnley. On the draw, Grant said: "It's
always good to play at home, they know how to support us and push us. I hope
to be in the quarter-finals and then it will be interesting. "But our target
is the league, that is the most important thing, but winning in the FA Cup
or the Carling Cup is also a good feeling."
West Ham 3 Forest 2
By CHARLIE WYETT
Published: 30 Jan 2011
TO support West Ham, it's vitally important to have a sense of humour. And
yesterday afternoon summed up what continues to be another comical, farcical
and, at times, surreal season in the East End. West Ham are in deep trouble
at the foot of the Premier League, remain involved in a row with Spurs over
the Olympic Stadium and have kept the services of under-fire boss Avram
Grant having failed to get in someone else. Yet, equally, having already
reached one cup semi-final, you would not rule out West Ham's chances of
getting to another one.
Victor Obinna scored a hat-trick to knock out Forest before they received
another decent draw - at home to Burnley - and then came the confirmation
that Robbie Keane was about to sign. Hammers fans must wonder whether to
laugh or cry but it would certainly be hilarious if the club stays up
courtesy of the goals of a former Spurs player. Whatever goes on over these
next few months, you can be certain that life in E13 will never be dull.
Just three minutes and five seconds were on the clock when this
incident-packed match caught fire as Obinna deflected in Mark Noble's shot.
Yet Forest soon took control and Dele Adebola stuck out a foot to poke the
ball past Robert Green for his first goal of the season. The visitors'
second came after Chris Gunter's free-kick caused total chaos in the home
Frederic Piquionne's only effort on goal in the opening half was at the
wrong end and, while Green delivered a decent save from his own player,
David McGoldrick reacted first and headed home. West Ham's players were
booed off at half-time but at least they were level - courtesy of a cracker
from Obinna. He fired his effort from such an angle that at first it looked
like a cross. Yet he had clearly spotted keeper Lee Camp off his line and
his shot sailed into the far corner. For the second time there was no
celebration from Obinna. West Ham started the second half well and Joel
Lynch was penalised for a foul on Winston Reid. Obinna made no mistake from
the penalty and, on this occasion, he went crazy and started backflipping
like an Olympic gymnast. Something else to have a good chuckle at.
DREAM TEAM STAR MAN - VICTOR OBINNA (WEST HAM)
WEST HAM: Green 7, Jacobsen 6, Gabbidon 4, Reid 5, Ilunga 4, Barrera 4
(Hines 5), Kovac 6, Noble 7 (Boa Morte 5), Obinna 8, Sears 7, Piquionne
(Nouble 5). Subs not used: Boffin, Tomkins, Parker, Bridge. Booked:
NOTTM FOREST: Camp 6, Gunter 7, Morgan 5, Chambers 7, Lynch 6, McKenna 7
(McCleary 4), Majewski 6 (Tyson 5), Cohen 8, McGugan 6, Adebola 7 (Earnshaw
5), McGoldrick 7. Subs not used: Smith, Moussi, Moloney, Rodney. Booked:
REF: M Oliver 6
Keane so happy to be a Hammer
By PAT SHEEHAN
ROBBIE KEANE has joined West Ham's battle against the drop in a deal that
will cost £6million if Avram Grant's side stay up. Striker Keane, 30, will
be on loan from Spurs until the end of the season but the Hammers will have
to buy him if they beat relegation. West Ham co-chairman David Gold said:
"He's world class and we have a player we've tried to sign for a long while.
"How many good strikers are around in the Premier League that are available?
Very few. You wait your moment and it was thought he was going to Birmingham
but, fortunately, we got the timing right. "We've been tracking him the
entire winter. Robbie knows our club, players and structure."
Republic of Ireland captain Keane, who gets around £65,000 a week, will make
the Hammers his 10th move after it became clear he no longer figured in
Harry Redknapp's White Hart Lane plans. His capture is also a big boost for
under-fire West Ham boss Grant, who has now been backed heavily during the
transfer window by his board at Upton Park following the earlier arrivals of
Demba Ba and Wayne Bridge. Keane, set to make his West Ham debut at
Blackpool on Wednesday, said: "I can't wait to start training and playing.
I'm ready to help West Ham stay up. "I feel as fit as ever and have plenty
left to offer at this level for the next three or four years."
Tottenham look to have failed in a £25m bid to sign Athletic Bilbao striker
Fernando Llorente. A pal of the Spain international said: "Not only do the
club not want to sell for less than his £40m buyout clause, Fernando doesn't
want to leave during mid-season."
Vinny's Nottingham Forest Report
Vinny - Sun Jan 30 2011
West Ham Online
FA Cup 4th Round
West Ham United 3 Nottingham Forest 2
A hat trick from Victor Obinna saw West Ham progress to the 5th Round of the
FA Cup after a tight game at Upton Park.
I have struggled to get over the events of last Wednesday where a spineless
second half performance at Birmingham denied us the chance to go to Wembley
for a League Cup final.
It was such a soul destroying game that I do not think I have felt that low
about West Ham in my life and there have been some pretty low moments. What
I saw on Wednesday didn't make me angry it just made me feel let down by a
club I love dearly but am fast becoming totally disillusioned with.
Every week there seems more negativity surrounding the club whether it is
the fact we are still bottom of the league, playing poorly, losing games,
the Olympic Stadium, our struggle to buy players or Karen Brady dragging the
clubs name through the mud whilst mouthing off continually.
There has been one new signing confirmed since Wednesday night and that is
the purchase of Demba Ba from German club 1899 Hoffenheim. I had never heard
of the player only that he was going to sign for Stoke City a few weeks ago
only to fail a medical.
It would also seem as I write this that we have also captured Robbie Keane
on loan from Tottenham Hotspur which I really cannot see as a bad signing.
He can do it in the Premiership and needs a club to kick start his career.
Whether he still has the desire for it anymore is questionable but this is a
good signing and one that is needed given our lack of quality striking
This was a game which I am aware many West Ham would have cared little for
the outcome given the horrible feeling left after the Birmingham game and
that we have a league game in midweek away at Blackpool which is vital to
say the least.
I continue to remain a Cup sentimentalist and always look forward to cup
games especially against clubs that we do not play often. A club like
Nottingham Forest will always be seen as a 'big club' in my eyes with a
strong fan base and a strong history.
The last time we played Forest in a FA Cup tie was back in 2002-03 season
when were eventually relegated from the Premiership. We coincidentally also
won that game 3-2 after coming back from 2-1 down with Jermaine Defoe
scoring two goals.
I had thought that we may struggle to deal with the quick passing and
enthusiasm Forest would bring and looking at the much changed starting line
up my confidence was not exactly encouraged.
Many players were rested (although I think some of them should have been
dropped or even shot) and our entire backline was different.
At left back Herita Ilunga made a surprise return with Lars Jacobsen also
returning from a lengthy spell on the sidelines at right back. Winston Reid
and Danny Gabbidon were the centre halves.
In midfield Pablo Barrera started on the right wing with Freddie Sears on
the left. Scott Parker was on the bench with Radoslav Kovac replacing him
and starting alongside Mark Noble in the centre of mifield.
Up front saw the return of the suspended pair. Victor Obinna came back into
the side after three games out and he was along side Frederique Piquionne.
Starting for Nottingham Forest was former Hammer and youth team product
Chris Cohen who made his debut for the club under Alan Pardew in 2003-04
season. He went on to make 18 appearances but only started four of those and
eventually left for Yeovil Town in 2006.
Forest were back by a fine following who took the top and bottom tier of the
Trevor Brooking Stand. They may have been in full swing when the game was
kicking off but their team were not as the Championship club started poorly
and allowed us to come at them in the opening stages of the half.
With just three minutes on the clock we came close to taking the lead when a
good cross to the back post from Ilunga found Piquionne who nodded the ball
back for Sears who seemed to find the ball stuck in his feet and when he did
get the shot off it was blocked and away for a corner.
The corner was taken by Lars Jacobsen who played the ball quickly to the
edge of the area for Mark Noble to smash towards goal but his shot was way
off target and going wide but fortunately found Victor Obinna who diverted
the ball past the keeper to make it 1-0.
Initially I had thought he was standing in an offside position but replays
suggested he was clearly onside and Obinna had his fourth goal of the
That goal should have seen us settle down and take control of the game but
it was not to be the case as Forest went on to dominate the half.
The were close to being back on level terms just a minute after the opening
goal when the ball was worked to Lewis McGugen who saw his left foot effort
fly over the bar.
McGugen again had a chance when he got past the static Kovac and hit another
left foot shot past the post and Forest looked to get back into the game
We were struggling to get hold of the ball and they were gaining more
confidence with every attack. Our desperation to get the ball back saw the
foul count rise and the away side had chances in dangerous areas from set
It was clear that Reid was struggling to deal with the presence of Football
journeyman Dele Adebola as the 34 year old seemed intent in giving the young
defender a lesson which I felt he did all day long and only showed how much
the New Zealander has to learn.
Despite Forest not having many clear cut goal scoring opportunities you
always felt a goal was coming due to their approach to the game and our
inability to keep the ball for longer than a few seconds.
On the 18 minute mark they did get their equaliser as McGoldrick found
Adebola in the area who had found too much space and he poked the ball past
Robert Green to send the away supporters into delirium.
As the West Ham fans looked on uncomfortably yet again straight from the
kick off the ball was gifted back to the opposition by Kovac in an awful
passing attempt and Majewski ran towards our area only to be cynically
brought down by Danny Gabbidon who was booked for the foul on the edge of
The resulting free kick was taken by Majewski and it was deflected, flying
wide of the post for a corner kick which was claimed by Green.
Things seemed to be getting worse for us and this was summed up when Danny
Gabbidon attempted to play a back pass to Robert Green but only managed to
knock it out for a corner.
From the corner it was cleared to Cohen who hit a shot which was cleared off
the line by Barrera. Forest were dominating the game and we seemed to have
no answer to what they were asking.
Pressure was being applied and we looked so very poor it was horrible to
watch. It was similar to the second half at St Andrews where you just
thought it was a matter of time before another goal went in.
Tactically we seemed to have no answer although Avram Grant did swap Freddie
Sears and Pablo Barrera but this unsurprisingly made no difference to
Going forward we offered little although another good cross from Ilunga saw
Forest defender Lynch volley away for a corner.
Most of the corners we did have were poor with Jacobsen, Ilunga and Noble
all taking corners in the first half. It was quite clear that we do not have
a set corner kick taker or at least one that we have confidence in. It is
shocking that we continue to struggle with the act of putting the ball into
the area beating the first man in the process. I've seen players in the park
have the ability to do this.
With a number of fouls creeping into the game there was a flatness which
took hold of the first half. Our best form of attack was down the left
through Ilunga who again did well this time pulling the ball back for
Freddie Sears but his shot was way off target.
With five minutes of the first half remaining more celebrations could be
heard from the Nottingham Forest end as they took the lead.
Ilunga went to ground in a challenge with Gunter and the Forest man got to
the ball first with Ilunga bringing him down.
The free kick was taken by Cohen and saw Ilunga get his head to the ball but
only diverted it towards goal with Green making a save which looped into the
air for McGoldrick to bundle over the line and make it 2-1 to the visitors.
With more disappointment looming and the threat of another dismal result
this time to a lower division side we had to get back into the game quickly
as Forest were playing the better football.
Many of the West Ham fans had flooded downstairs for half time drinks and
they would have missed a bizarre equaliser.
The ball was played down the right for Victor Obinna who had little to aim
at in the area other than Piquionne but Obinna went for the cross anyhow but
his attempt was wayward but somehow flew into the back of the net making it
There was no way that Obinna meant for it to be a shot but they all count
and this was a defining moment of the game as without this goal just before
half time I am sure we would have lost.
The second half needed to see us start well and that we did as Forest
started the half slowly again.
And with just seven minutes of the second half on the clock we got the goal
which put us back into the lead.
It started with a needless corner being given away by Gunter who hacked his
clearance behind. The corner was cleared and lifted back into the box by
Sears for Winston Reid to be tugged back by Lynch and a penalty given.
Regular Penalty taker Mark Noble was of course on the pitch but the ball was
given to Victor Obinna to step up and secure his hat trick as he sent the
keeper the wrong way and make it 3-2.
This was the first time a West Ham player has scored a Hat Trick since
Marlon Harewood way back in 2005.
Forest were shaken by this goal and we should have wrapped the game up with
a host of chances with the best coming from Piquionne when the ball was
worked to the French Striker and his powerful shot was well saved by Lee
Camp when it seemed as though a goal was inevitable.
Another corner from Ilunga found Piquionne who attempted to bundle the ball
into the goal but it went just inches wide.
A good move saw Obinna play the ball down the right to Jacobsen who pulled
the ball back for Sears to fire over the top when he should have at least
hit the target.
Forest made a couple of changes and one of those involved removing Adebola
which I am sure Winston Reid was pleased about. Robert Earnshaw came on in
his place with Forest adding another striker in Nathan Tyson moments later
as they looked to get themselves back in to the game.
Luis Boa Morte was our first substitution used and he replaced Mark Noble
whom I can only presume was taken off with the midweek game at Blackpool in
The away side had a few half chances but there was not to be what you would
call that golden chance which they should have taken.
Despite being unable to add a fourth goal we managed to see the game out and
get through the four minutes of injury time which I did not know where the
referee had got from.
In a season which has seen us win so few times, any victory is welcomed. The
FA Cup may not be high on the list of priorities for many but it is still
something I wish to do well in and I still want my trip to Wembley which was
taken from me in midweek after a disgusting second half display.
He must be used to conceding goals as he seems to have them flying past him
in every game. Another two conceded and whilst I am not blaming him for the
second goal it was a messy goal he won't want to see too many times.
On the whole this was a good performance from Jacobsen. Most of his decision
making was spot on apart from one time in the second half when he wanted to
let the ball run out of play but was challenged. With him now back to
fitness I expect to see him always starting ahead of the dismal Julien
Not a fan of this display as Gabbidon looked uneasy and trouble all game
long. His distribution of the ball was poor and some of his clearances were
so ugly and uncultured they made me wince. Maybe it was me but his body
language seemed to suggest that he really doesn't give a shit anymore about
playing for West Ham.
How much did we pay for this fella again? Was getting ripped a new one most
of the time by fucking Dele Adebola who beat him in the air and shrugged him
Rusty at times but overall he had a good game. Ilunga is a strange one in
general as his West Ham career has gone rapidly backwards. I did not think
he was even back to fitness but with Wayne Bridge at the club now it is
unlikely we will be seeing much of Ilunga in the coming weeks.
Very lively despite his final ball being poor. This was a good performance
from Sears who since his time out on loan has improved in a number of areas.
His willingness to track back and close players down was good during this
game and with a bit more composure he would have got himself a goal.
He worked hard but again he lacked quality. His passing was at times
atrocious and no matter how many times he acknowledges this to his team
mates it does not make up for his constant lack of ability. People wonder
why we have signed Gary O'Neil or have been linked to other midfielders but
when Scott Parker is out of the team Kovac is what we have and he is not
If Mark Noble was little quicker he would be a phenomenal player. Some of
his passing was really superb and he does have great vision. It is just a
shame he cannot be more consistent as he tends to look knackered in the
second half of games.
A performance which we have become accustomed to from Barrera. Some nice
bits here and there but the final ball is often lacking. Drifted in and out
of the game but if this display was anything to go by I wouldn't expect him
to be starting in the league any time soon.
Decent showing from Piquionne who didn't really have many chances to get
himself on the score sheet but one great opportunity in the second half when
his powerful shot was well saved. With Demba Ba, Carlton Cole, Victor Obinna
and very possibly Robbie Keane looking for a place in the side it will be
down to who can keep their form consistent and for a player like Piquionne
this should see us get the best out of him and he strikes me as a player who
could become very complacent.
After his stupid sending off in the first leg of the league cup game this
was the perfect way to say sorry to the fans. It wasn't what you would
consider a classic Hat Trick but if they go in they go in and Obinna has
another three cup goals to add to his tally. Of the six goals Obinna has now
scored this season five of them have been in cup competitions. He was
excellent today and our man of the match.
Luis Boa Morte (on for Noble 74 mins)
Into the centre of midfield the Boa worked hard in his time on the pitch and
put himself about as he usually does.
Frank Nouble (on for Piquionne 87 mins)
With so many strikers now looking for a starting place it seems unlikely
Nouble will be having much of an impact at the club any time soon. He came
on for the last few minutes and ran about as much as he could but he wasn't
able to get any goal scoring opportunity.
Zavon Hines (on for Barrera 90 mins)
Did little accept fuck me off when he failed to boot the ball away instead
gifting possession to the opposition.
Subs Not Used: Boffin, Parker, Tomkins, Bridge
Man Of The Match: Victor Obinna
Nottingham Forest:Camp, Chambers, Morgan, McGugan, Gunter, Cohen, McGugan,
Adebola (Earnshaw 66), McGoldrick, McKenna (McCleary 78), Majewski (Tyson
Subs: Smith, Moussi, Moloney, Rodney
Attendance: 29, 287
After a horrible week I cannot say that this game makes up for the feeling
left after the second half capitulation at Birmingham. But a win was needed
to raise spirits ever so slightly and the team did in the end provide this
New signing are coming and I would expect a couple of players to join Valon
Behrami in leaving the club before the end of the transfer window closes in
a few days time.
Next Game - Blackpool (a)
The start of three games which will surely give us further indication to how
we are going to finish this season. These same three games earlier in the
season were the ones we looked at to get us away from danger yet we managed
just three points.
Blackpool are not going to be easy and they have caused most teams problems
this season. In games like this you really need to show some fight as we
have all seen we have little of it within our squad.
Hopefully the new additions can lift the players and in turn lift the fans
as I am getting tired of being so depressed about West Ham all the time.
Grant on Robbie Keane Signing
Robbie Keane is not just a good player, but a good character," "I am really
happy to have him," he added. "He can help us a lot and brings plenty of
quality." "The squad is not bad but, because of the injuries we've had, we
needed more players for competition and fresh legs. We had injuries in the
first half of the season. Things didn't go for us. "We were looking for
players to make up the 18 on a matchday, so it was very difficult. But wait
a little more to see our squad. There is maybe one more to come in." [On
Obinna] "He's a good talent, great quality. He's young and hasn't played too
many games over the last year, but he's getting better and better as I
expected him to be." [On the Cup Dra]} "It's always good to play at home in
front of our fans. They know how to support and push us. Any draw at home is
good. All the other Premier League teams seemed to get similar draws. "The
FA Cup is important because it's the FA Cup. Of course our target is the
league, and the most important thing is that. We'll do everything we can to
succeed in the league. But it's good to be involved in this."
Hammers chief lauds Keane capture
Published 23:01 30/01/11 By Darren Lewis
Jubilant David Gold last night toasted the capture of Robbie Keane. The West
Ham joint-chairman revealed his club have snapped up Spurs' Republic of
Ireland marksman on an initial six-month loan. Keane is guaranteed a further
two years on a permanent basis if West Ham avoid relegation. The Hammers
have paid an initial £1million to take the 30-year-old on loan with a
further £5million involved in a complex deal. The Irishman has been
registered in time to play at Blackpool in the Premier League and is
eligible to face Burnley in the next round of the FA Cup. Gold said: "Look
at his CV. He is an outstanding professional, he is an international.
Wherever he has been he's scored goals. "How many good strikers are around
in the Premier League that are available? Very, very few." Gold also denied
the club's other new striker, Demba Ba, failed a medical last weekend. He
added: "There are issues but in this world nothing is perfect. Sometimes
you take a gamble." West Ham are meanwhile in a £5million scrap for Stoke's
Tuncay and last night made a bid for Southampton's 21-year-old centre-half
Grant determined to carry on Cup love affair
Published 23:00 30/01/11 By Darren Lewis
Avram Grant is determined to continue his love affair with cup
competitions. Victor Obinna's hat-trick saw off plucky Nottingham Forest
and set up a fifth round tie at home to Burnley. And although West Ham
remain bottom of the Premier League, manager Grant is desperate to wipe out
the memory of last week's Carling Cup semi-final defeat to Birmingham. He
said: "The FA Cup is important because it's the FA Cup. "Of course the most
important thing is the league, but it's good to be involved in this too.
"Its always good to play at home in front of our fans. They know how to push
us. Any draw at home is good."
Grant was also full of praise for Obinna. He added: "Victor has great
quality. He's getting better and better as I expected him to."
Celtic and Rangers in race for Gabbidon
Sunday, 30 January 2011 6:32PM GMT | Sport, Football
It has been reported that bitter rivals Celtic and Rangers are both
interested in signing Daniel Gabbidon from West Ham. The Welsh defender, who
is to be out of contract at West Ham in the summer, has attracted attention
from the Hoops and Gers. Celtic are thought to be extremely interested in
signing the West Ham centre back, as Neil Lennon is in the market for
another defensive option after several injury problems and loaned out
players. Glenn Loovens and Daniel Majstorovic are both out with injuries,
while Darren O'Dea and Jos Hooiveld are out on loan. Gabbidon has become
surplus to requirements at West Ham under Avram Grant and is believed to be
keen on a move away from Upton Park to secure regular first team football.
However, Gabbidon may favour a move back to Wales with Championship side
Cardiff also reportedly interested in signing the Welsh man.
West Ham seal signing of Keane
January 30, 2011
By Harry Harris and ESPNsoccernet staff
Robbie Keane has signed a four-and-a-half year contract with West Ham, but
the deal will be ripped up if the club are relegated at the end of the
West Ham will pay a fee of £5 million for Keane, providing the Premier
League's bottom club survive the drop. The 30-year-old has agreed a two-and
a half year contract guaranteed plus an option in the club's favour to take
up for a further two years. West Ham are showing enormous faith in the
striker, who could be at his last club in the top flight in English football
if he sees out the total years on the deal. In addition, the Hammers have
agreed to pay Spurs a £1 million loan fee for the rest of the season, and
the deal has gone through just as ESPNsoccernet has been predicting
throughout the transfer window after a £4 million move to Birmingham
collapsed. Finally, the Hammers will pick up Keane's £65,000-a-week wages,
which makes it a huge investment in the Republic of Ireland international -
but well worth it if they stay up. A West Ham insider confirmed: "The deal
becomes permanent only if the club stay up."
West Ham have made four signings, and they now have 27 players and would
like to sell or loan out two on the final day of the transfer window.
Manager Avram Grant said: "He (Keane) is not just a good player, he is a
good character that we need in the next 14 games.''
West Ham co-owner David Gold told BBC Sport: "We're delighted to sign a
world-class striker. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy drives a hard bargain
but we've got our man.'' Keane told his new club's official website: ''I am
ready to help West Ham stay in the Premier League, which is the most
important thing for this club. I am really pleased to have signed and now I
just can't wait to start training and playing football. "I feel as fit as I
ever have done in my life and I feel I have plenty left to offer at the
highest level for at least the next four or five years. I want to help
anywhere I can help the football club, whether that is in training, in the
dressing room or on the pitch on a matchday. We have some good players here
and I am sure we can stay up. "When I went on loan to Celtic I scored 17
goals in 19 games and if I can do even half as well as I did there, then
I'll be happy.''
He could make his debut in Wednesday's match at Blackpool. Grant insisted he
also intends to add another signing to the reinforcements he has already
made to his squad before Monday's 11pm deadline. Gary O'Neil, Demba Ba and
Wayne Bridge have all arrived at West Ham during the transfer window.
Obinna scored two goals in the first half against Forest and completed his
hat-trick with a penalty in the second after Joel Lynch had brought down
Winston Reid. Grant said of Obinna: "He is a good talent. He has not played
so many games in the last few years and he is developing. He will get better
and better. He scored three goals but we need him to be efficient in the
Dele Adebola and Dave McGoldrick scored the goals for a Forest side who were
the better team for large periods of an entertaining cup tie which served to
highlight West Ham's defensive shortcomings. Grant, however, was delighted
with West Ham's response following their Carling Cup semi-final defeat
against Birmingham. Grant said: "It was very disappointing, the result on
Wednesday, especially after the first half when we thought everything was
going like we wanted it to. But the most important thing is the reaction and
today it was very good. We didn't play well in the first half but in the
second half we dominated.''
On a tie against Burnley, Grant added: "It's always good to play at home,
they know how to support us and push us. I hope to be in the quarter-finals
and then it will be interesting. "But our target is the league, that is the
most important thing, but winning in the FA Cup or the Carling Cup is also a
Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies was generous towards West Ham
although he felt his side could easily have won. Davies said: "It's nice to
come to the academy of football and play the way we did in the first half.
We lost a terrible goal after two minutes or so but then deservedly got in
front and it looked as if their second goal was fortunate. "We played
fantastic football in the first 45 minutes, flowing, chances galore. In the
second half we gave away a goal and after that we were chasing things. "I am
proud of the players. We showed fantastic stuff, but in the end it was down
Davies believed it demonstrated what Forest, currently in the Championship
play-off positions, could expect to face in the Premier League. Davies said:
"Look at their bench and it has got depth and quality. This is a fantastic
football club with a great squad of players. Irrespective of their league
position they have got some great players here, real talent. We have got to
realise that is what we are facing. "In the first 45 minutes we looked a
very good side, in the second half our inexperience and our tired legs
showed, but it was a real big effort.'' Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp said:
"I'm afraid the deal is done, we have lost Robbie. I think the chairman has
done a deal where we have loaned him and if they stay up then they have to
buy him. They have paid the money that the chairman is asking for.''
Obinna delivers timely hat-trick just ahead of Keane signing
West Ham United 3 Nottingham Forest 2
By Nick Szczepanik at Upton Park
Monday, 31 January 2011
West Ham signed one international striker in Demba Ba last week and another
after yesterday's game in Robbie Keane, so Victor Obinna's match-winning
hat-trick against Nottingham Forest could not have been better-timed.
Keane will sign, initially on loan, with the deal being made permanent for a
further two years at an estimated cost of £6m if West Ham succeed in
avoiding relegation. He joins Ba, Frédéric Piquionne, Carlton Cole and
Obinna in a battle for forward places at Upton Park. That probably leaves
Obinna, 23, the Nigeria striker on loan from Internazionale, some way down
the pecking order, but at least his treble was a reminder to Avram Grant,
his manager. "He's a good talent, great quality," Grant said. "He's young
and hasn't played too many games over the last year, but he's getting better
and better as I expected him to be."
But if Obinna was the hero, the rest of a much-changed team also found
reserves of determination that has not always been present this season. Few
would have been surprised if West Ham, bottom of the Premier League, had
lost to a promotion-chasing Forest team only five league places below them.
Instead, Grant's men fought back from a 2-1 deficit to give their supporters
some consolation for their defeat by Birmingham City in the Carling Cup
semi-final in midweek.
"It was a good response," he said. "We didn't play well in the first half,
but the reaction to this also was good."
But although Grant was pleased with a home draw against Burnley in the fifth
round of a competition in which he seems as lucky as he has been ill-starred
in the league, he acknowledged that his focus is on imminent matches against
Blackpool and Birmingham. "Of course our target is the league, and the most
important thing is that," he said.
Both managers made enough team changes to confirm that their priorities lay
elsewhere, but Forest had the better of an entertaining first half, even if
it began badly for them – Mark Noble hit a shot that was going about 10
yards wide until Obinna stuck out a foot to divert it past goalkeeper Lee
West Ham, though, have seldom defended leads with any comfort this season,
and Forest were level after 18 minutes. David McGoldrick's flick was clever,
but it opened up the right side of West Ham's defence far too easily,
leaving Dele Adebola free to slide an angled shot past Robert Green.
That, as usual, was the signal for a crisis of confidence in the home side.
Passes went astray, needless fouls were committed, pressure was invited and
it was inevitable that Forest would score again. After 40 minutes,
Piquionne, attempting to clear Chris Gunter's free-kick from the right,
produced a glancing header that looked an own goal all the way. Green
managed to get a hand to it, but only scooped it up into the air, McGoldrick
nodding home from a yard out.
Just as Upton Park was drawing breath for a half-time chorus of jeers,
Obinna scored a remarkable equaliser. Charging down the right, he looked up
in search of a team-mate. Seeing no-one, he simply let fly and the ball
sailed over the outstretched arm of the surprised Camp and into the far
The scorer's slightly embarrassed reaction suggested it might have been a
wayward cross rather than a brilliant shot. But his celebration was far more
flamboyant seven minutes into the second half as he completed a hat-trick
with a confident penalty after Joel Lynch felled Winston Reid.
Now it was West Ham who looked dangerous in every attack. Camp blocked a
rocket from Piquionne, fingertipped a curling shot by Pablo Barrera round
the post, and clawed away a corkscrewing effort from distance by Freddie
Billy Davies, the Forest manager, was pleased with his team's performance in
the first half and, you suspect, relieved to avoid slotting a replay into a
congested fixture list. "It's nice to come to the Academy of Football and
play the way we did in the first 45 minutes," he said. "The England manager
was here, and I don't pick his side, but Lee Camp showed some wonderful
But Davies's satisfaction was nothing compared to that of David Gold, the
West Ham co-owner, in confirming the signing of Keane. "We have brought in a
midfielder in Gary O'Neil, a good player, and we have brought in Demba Ba
and of course Robbie Keane," Gold said. "We are in a much, much better place
today than we have been all season, whether it is the management structure,
the board or the players. I think this is the best place we have been."
West Ham United (4-4-2): Green; Jacobsen, Reid, Gabbidon, Ilunga; Sears,
Noble (Boa Morte, 74), Kovac, Barrera (Hines, 89); Piquionne (Nouble, 86),
Obinna. Substitutes not used Boffin (gk), Tomkins, Parker, Bridge.
Nottingham Forest (4-2-3-1): Camp; Gunter, Morgan, Chambers, Lynch; McKenna
(McCleary, 77), Cohen; McGoldrick, Majewski (Tyson, 68), McGugan; Adebola
(Earnshaw, 65). Substitutes not used Smith (gk), Moussi, Moloney, Rodney.
Possession West Ham 54% Nottingham Forest 46%.
Shots on target West Ham 6 Nottingham Forest 5.
Man of the match: Obinna Match rating 7/10.
Referee M Oliver (Northumberland).
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