Popular midfielder Jack Collison has signed a new long-term contract with
West Ham United
The club are delighted to announce that Wales international midfielder Jack
Collison has signed a new long-term contract with West Ham United. The
22-year-old, who has been with the Hammers for six years, has chalked up 53
first-team appearances and five goals since making his debut at Arsenal on
New Year's Day 2008. He was voted Young Hammer of the Year for 2008/09.
Collison has also earned ten senior caps for Wales, appearing most recently
in Wednesday's 2-1 friendly defeat by Australia in Cardiff. The player was
naturally delighted to commit his future to the club that snapped him up
from non-league Cambridge United in summer 2005 and spoke positively about
the foundations being laid by manager Sam Allardyce. "Obviously it's great
for me personally to know that I can now get my head down and concentrate on
my football," he said. "That's the most important thing for me to do now -
get my head down, do my business on the pitch and have a good season.
"It's nice to have the security of knowing my future is with West Ham
United. I look around and see what they are building and I want to be part
of the future. Fingers crossed, I'll work hard and hope I can do the
Collison himself returned to club action in July after a long lay-off with a
knee injury. Now fit and ready for duty, the No10 made three appearances at
the tail-end of last season before appearing as a substitute in Sunday's
npower Championship opener against Cardiff City. With the likes of Scott
Parker and Mark Noble complemented by new signings Kevin Nolan and Matt
Taylor, Collison knows he will have to play well to earn a place in
Allardyce's starting XI. "We definitely have competition for places in the
midfield, but that's what you want because it brings the best out of
everyone," he added. "We're all fighting to get into the starting XI, but
it's a long old season and the manager has already said it's about having a
good squad and a big squad and we feel we have that here and we are working
together and looking to get promoted."
While the Watford-born player was pleased to pull on the red of Wales in
midweek, he is now eager to don the claret and blue on a regular basis,
starting with Saturday's trip to Doncaster Rovers. "It was nice to get a run
out for the Welsh team. Obviously it was a few more minutes of pre-season
for me because I haven't played too many minutes yet. I'm obviously looking
to be involved on Saturday and to keep progressing."
Squad determined for Doncaster
The Hammers travelled to Yorkshire eager to put the first points of the new
season on the board
Sam Allardyce and his West Ham United players are determined to make amends
at Doncaster Rovers after their disappointment last weekend. As the Hammers
headed up to Yorkshire on the train, there was a collective commitment
within the squad to finally get the season up and running on Saturday after
a frustrating week.
After Tuesday's Carling Cup tie with Aldershot Town was postponed, the
manager will relish the match action having been denied the opportunity to
run the rule over all who did not figure against Cardiff City last Saturday.
Allardyce has to make late decisions about Julien Faubert and Pablo Barrera
for the Hammers first-ever game at the Keepmoat Stadium, and the first trip
to Doncaster since 1958. Faubert only returned to training this week after a
hamstring injury and Barrera had to contend with a long-haul trip back from
the United States after international duty. New recruits George McCartney
and John Carew have definitely not made the trip, while homegrown winger
Junior Stanislas is pushing hard for inclusion having had a particularly
impressive summer. Abdoulaye Faye, Jack Collison and Carlton Cole are also
eager to make the first eleven. The manager admitted he was still assessing
his squad, and only matches would give him the answers he needs. "The need
is to try and find continuity. I am really not sure yet in these early
stages what my best side is and once you find that out you try to stick to
it. Then, the only way I will want to change that is either through a
drastic loss of form or an injury. "I have to adjust to players and they
players have to adjust to me. I believe that what I can give them is a
structure and a working process that helps them improve as an individual and
hopefully collectively as a team."
The manager said nothing should be read into Carlton Cole beginning last
week on the bench, and he had praise for the popular No9's commitment to the
claret and blue cause. "It wasn't tactical [to leave him out last week]. It
was a lack of game time. "Because of little problems and niggles he had, he
hadn't been out on the training ground as long and often as we would have
wanted. "Carlton turned down Stoke so he has to be commended for that. He
turned down a chance of playing in the Premier League and turned down the
chance of earning far more money than what he earns at West Ham. So when
every player is ridiculed that all they do is they play for money, he is the
opposite of that."
Allardyce also acknowledged the attitude and application of Herita Ilunga,
who turned in a strong display on his first league appearance since 28
December 2010. Although the left-back was part of the defensive lapse that
allowed Cardiff their winner, the manager said he had faith in the always
professional No23. "You have to bear in mind where he has come from and
where he was last season. He was a cast-off and he wasn't a part of West Ham
United in terms of the first-team squad.
"That has a psychological and mental effect on you. You have to turn that
around and get his ability to come through. Apart from that unfortunate
error at the end, I thought he showed some good qualities in the game and
got better as the game wore on. He can only get better from where he has
come from. "Herita has got to shake it off. You have got to put it to one
side learn a lesson and make sure you don't repeat it when the opportunity
arises to deal with it in a different way. We all make mistakes."
He also had positive words for right-back Joey O'Brien's form after his
return to action following two years of injury "devastation". The manager
added: "I can see a big improvement. We haven't seen the best of a lot of
Captain's Blog - 'Stick with us'
Skipper Kevin Nolan gives his thoughts on the week and looks ahead to the
Everyone was hurting after the Cardiff game. At the end of the day, although
it might not have been a fantastic game, I felt we bossed it. We were on top
throughout and we thought there would only be one winner and that would be
us. We were disappointed that we didn't put away the chances we created but
if we continue to boss games like we did on Sunday, we will be OK come the
end of the season. We have watched the video this week. It didn't look good
- conceding what was a sloppy goal by us near the end. It doesn't matter
what league you are playing in, you get punished if you do that and we can't
give goals away. But we are all big enough and ugly enough to take it on the
chin and we are very much together as a team. We feel that if we continue to
work like we have been doing during the pre-season and last Sunday then we
will win a lot more games than we will lose. I think that is a massive
positive on our behalf, it was just disappointing not to get off to a
winning start. The bottom line is when we get chances we have to put most of
them away. We have to learn from that and we will. I'd also like to say how
unbelievable the support from all of you was on Sunday. When I led the team
out on to the pitch for what was obviously my first game and debut at home,
I couldn't believe how the passionate the people were. It was fantastic and
I am sure with you all behind us, it will make it that bit easier along the
way to try and get out of this league. Don't underestimate the impact you
If I am asked to described the support, I say it is Premier League support.
That is where you deserve to be, so we will be trying to get those results
on the pitch to ensure you get back there. I know this week that the trouble
in the streets has taken up all the headlines. It was sad to see what people
were doing to the very places and areas in which they live themselves. All
they were doing was hurting their own communities. At the moment, the whole
country is tarnished with this. I don't know London yet as well as say
Liverpool where I was born and brought up, but I know this is also a
fantastic city and it was another attraction for me moving here.
The police have done as good a job as they can in difficult circumstances
and we thank them as they are trying to make it a safer environment for us
all to live in.
Hopefully we can come together as a massive football community - fans,
police and all the people who want to just live their lives and work hard -
to help each other along and get through this. We can help to make everyone
proud again. The problems meant Tuesday's cup game against Aldershot was
Sometimes when you get a late shout that a match is off, it does put a
dampener on things because you've been preparing and doing all the things
you would ahead of the game. But our bread and butter this season is the
Championship and at least it wasn't a league game. That would have put us
behind the other teams at an early stage. As it is, everyone has played one
game each and things are obviously still close. On behalf of all the
players, we thank all of you who will be making the trip to Doncaster to
support us on Saturday. We are looking forward to it and the lads are in
good spirits and wanting to put the wrongs of last weekend right. I have
spoken to a few people who can't get hold of any tickets, so that underlines
again the support we have. All I would ask of you is that you be patient and
stick with us. We definitely want what you want and understand what you
expect. We will start showing that when we put the ball in the back of the
net and getting those Ws on the board instead of Ls!
Come on you Irons!
Doncaster v West Ham
Venue: Keepmoat Stadium Date: Saturday, 13 August Kick-off: 1500 BST
Coverage: Watch highlights on The Football League Show; Listen on BBC Radio
5 live and BBC local radio; text commentary on the BBC Sport website
Doncaster Rovers are again beset by injuries, with on-loan Tottenham player
Ryan Mason (ankle) having joined the casualty list. Billy Sharp, James
Hayter, James O'Connor, James Chambers, Martin Woods, Brian Stock, Adam
Lockwood, Shelton Martis and Mark Wilson are all out.
West Ham's recent signings George McCartney and John Carew will not be
involved as they are not yet fit. Julien Faubert could return, but Gary
O'Neil and Jordan Brown are out.
• All 22 previous meetings have been in the old Second Division, with
Doncaster winning 10, West Ham seven and five drawn.
• These clubs last faced each other 53 years ago.
• Doncaster's most recent victorious trip to Upton Park was in
• Pressing for a first win in 14 league games, since a 3-1 away
triumph over Derby on 1 March.
• Gained three of last season's 11 Championship wins in the first six
• Not lost successive opening fixtures of a league season since 1997,
when they went on that season to lose their league status.
• Chasing a first win in 11 Premier League and Championship matches,
having suffered an opening day 1-0 loss to Cardiff.
• Kicked off last season with four straight Premier League losses.
• Sam Allardyce has never lost the first two league games at a new
club, in his managerial career.
Jack Collison signs new long-term deal with West Ham
Page last updated at 14:37 GMT, Friday, 12 August 2011 15:37 UK
Wales international midfielder Jack Collison has signed a new long-term deal
with West Ham. The length of the 22-year-old former Hammers academy player's
new contract is undisclosed. Collison has made 53 first-team appearances,
scoring five goals and has also won 10 international caps in a career
blighted by injury. He told the club website: "It's nice to have the
security of knowing my future is with West Ham."
In a 14-month spell on the sidelines, the midfielder underwent knee surgery
in May 2010 before returning the following year in West Ham's 1-1 Premier
League draw with Blackburn on 7 May. Collison had been linked with a move
away from Upton Park the summer following West Ham's relegation to the
Championship but he said he was delighted to be part of the club's future
plans. "I look around and see what they are building and I want to be a part
of the future," he added. "We definitely have competition for places in the
midfield, but that's what you want because it brings the best out of you."
JC signs new deal
Filed: Friday, 12th August 2011
By: Staff Writer
Jack Collison has signed a new contract with West Ham United. The
22-year-old midfielder - who has made just four competitive appearances for
the club in the last 18 months due to injury - is understood to have signed
an improved contract that keeps him tied to the club for the next few years.
Collison, who made his debut against Arsenal on New Years' Day 2008 has made
a total of 52 appearances for the first team since.
Jack Collison: career stats
2011/12: Pld 1, Gls 0 (1 cap)
2010/11: Pld 3, Gls 0 (1 cap)
2009/10: Pld 23, Gls 2 (1 cap)
2008/09: Pld 24, Gls 3 (1 cap)
2007/08: Pld 2, Gls 0
Total: Pld 53, Gls 5 (3 caps)
Doncaster Rovers v West Ham United - Match Preview
Filed: Friday, 12th August 2011
By: Preview Percy
As you can imagine, being an elder statesman Preview Percy had more than a
few things to say about the recent outbreaks of civil disorder. Thankfully
we had to go before he could tell us any of them. Here's what he had to say
about this weekend's visit to Doncaster Rovers before we made our excuses
Next it's off oop North as we visit Doncaster Rovers. It's one of those 3pm
kick-off on Saturday things which is precisely how things should be.
This is a new venue for us – Doncaster is a club we haven't faced since 1958
and they moved into their new Keepmoat Stadium in 2007 after over 80 years
at the Belle Vue ground. Formed in 1879 it's fair to say that their history
over the next 120 or so years was pretty undistinguished, being one of those
clubs that liked to spend its time flitting between the third and fourth
levels of the professional game. They reached what was probably a low point
in 1998 when they were relegated to the Conference, since when things have
improved under the ownership of John Ryan.
Ryan made a mint out of the cosmetic surgery business prior to buying Rovers
and he became the oldest player in English professional history when coming
on as a late sub in a Conference match against Hereford in 2003. Ryan was 52
years old at the time, though given his profession it is possible that parts
of him were much younger.
Doncaster were promoted from the Conference at the end of that season and
since then have made steady progress. The well-regarded Sean O'Driscoll took
over as boss in 2006, coming in from Bournemouth. During his playing days he
gained a reputation as a quiet, private man to the extent that his
team-mates christened him "Noisy". Footballers – they're such wags aren't
O'Driscoll spent something like 22 years at Dean Court, the last six as
manager where he worked minor miracles on what would have been a shoestring,
if only the club had been able to afford such items as shoestrings. Since
arriving in Yorkshire he has presided over the 2007 Johnstones Paint Trophy
win and guided the team to promotion to the second tier for the first time
in half a century, endearing themselves to just about every football
supporter who was around in the 1970's in the process by beating Leeds 1-0
in the play-off final. This will be their fourth successive season in the
division, having survived a relegation fight last time out. That they
survived at the expense of Sheffield United in the process is something that
will have pleased them as much as it did us.
Their season so far consists of a 2-1 defeat at Brighton and a 3-0 win over
Tranmere in the League Cup. The defeat at Brighton came after they had led
for much of the game and, even as they ran out of steam, a draw looked on
the cards until Brighton netted the winner in the 8th minute of stoppage
time. The win over Tranmere, on the other hand, was every bit as comfortable
as it sounds.
In the squad they have veteran 'keeper Neil Sullivan. Sullivan's been about
a few years and was ever-present in the league last season. Despite a career
that has seen him pick up 20 or so caps for Scotland the player is probably
as remembered for being the 'keeper on the receiving end as some youngster
called Beckham scored from the halfway line for Man Utd against Wimbledon
all those years ago. Sullivan is probably beginning to wind down now at the
age of 41. Gary Woods was first choice at Brighton last weekend and
O'Driscoll eschewed the modern trend for swapping 'keepers for League Cup
matches by keeping Woods in goal for the midweek demolition of Tranmere.
Having kept a clean sheet in the League Cup win Woods is likely to retain
the jersey this weekend.
The captain's armband belongs to Welshman Brian Stock. Stock arrived from
Preston in 2007 and was part of the play-off winning side. He has featured
in the full Welsh international side a few times and has a bit of a
reputation for having a powerful shot from distance – none of which will
cause us any problems this weekend as the poor chap is out for a few months
having had an op on an ankle injury at the end of last season.
Stock's is not the only injury in the squad. In fact the injury list is so
bad that O'Driscoll has been muttering stuff about having run over a whole
litter of cats. Still every cloud has a silver lining and I understand that
the cost of getting a tennis racquet restrung in the Doncaster area is at an
all time low.
Striker Billy Sharp is something of a talisman for the club and it will have
been a major blow to Rovers to have seen the player stretchered off during
the defeat at Brighton with damaged ankle ligaments. Sharp has been linked
with moves away from the Keepmoat all summer with Ipswich Town and
Southampton both reportedly having had bids rejected. Not that it will be
much consolation to the player perhaps, but his injury may actually work in
the club's favour as rumours had been circulating that Newcastle were
considering a bid. The injury might cool such interest which may mean that
Rovers will be able to keep Sharp's services for a bit longer once the
ligaments have healed up.
Another player stretchered off at the weekend was James Hayter. Hayter's got
an interesting past which includes a bizarre record. That he managed to
score the fastest ever (2 mins 20 seconds) Football League hat-trick was, in
itself, impressive enough. However, the feat was made even more remarkable
by the fact that the player had come on as an 84th minute substitute.
Famously his parents missed the feat having left a few minutes to catch the
last ferry back to their Isle Of Wight home, all of which makes me glad that
my rest home is on the mainland (though Transport For London do their best
to make the journey back from the post office on pension day a trial).
Hayter's knee problem is being monitored but at the time of writing he is
still rated as doubtful.
Yet another on the injury list is Ryan Mason, an attacking midfielder who
can also be used in a striking role. Mason has gone up in the world of late
having wangled a season-long loan from Spurs. This spell follows a couple of
previous spells last season, the second of which saw him return to the
Keepmoat in January for the rest of the season. Mason fell victim to a late
tackle against Tranmere which saw him end up on crutches. It was a double
blow for the player – not only does he have ankle ligament damage but the
injury means having to return to Tottenham for treatment.
With such a long injury list (in addition to the aforementioned three there
are another six potential first team players cluttering up the treatment
room) we may see a start for alleged former Hammers target, the Barking-born
Giles Barnes. Barnes is, of course, the nephew of former Hammer Bobby Barnes
who was a member of the 1981 FA Youth Cup winning side and is currently
doing something frightfully important for the PFA. Barnes The Nephew first
came to prominence as a youngster with Derby County but it's fair to say
that his career has failed to live up to the early promise shown. The blame
for this can probably be laid at the door of injury, with him suffering
long-term absences at key moments during his career. A loan spell at Fulham
under Roy Hodgson failed to result in a permanent deal – first team
appearances again being hampered by fitness concerns - and the player signed
for West Brom in February 2010, his Derby contract having been terminated
the previous December. The fact that Barnes did not make a single first team
appearance for the Baggies after the arrival of Roy Hodgson as manager in
January 2011 probably signifies something, and the player was released by
West Brom at the end of last season, signing for Doncaster a couple of weeks
ago. He was on the bench at Brighton and for the Tranmere game but, as
mentioned, injuries may see him play more of a part on Saturday.
The postponement of this week's League Cup and international matches won't
have affected preparations in our camp too much. It was likely to have been
a second string XI that faced Aldershot Town in the first place and messrs
Parker and Green will have benefited from not getting injured against the
I for one am glad to see the return of George McCartney to the left back
spot. Herita Ilunga looked ok to start off with against Cardiff but halfway
through the second half he was doing a passable impersonation of a goldfish
out of water. One would have thought that Linda, as a registered player with
Sunderland, would have done a pre-season with the Mackems and thus would
have been ready to start or at least play some part in proceedings this
weekend. However reports emenating from the club suggest that the player
won't be ready, which is a disappointment. Hopefully Ilunga will have been
doing stamina work during the week then.
Our other recent signing, John Carew, has at least got the excuse of having
spent all summer on the phone for a lack of fitness. Meanwhile Julien
Faubert, who lasted less than half of the Zaragoza friendly, is said to have
recovered from the tweaked hamstring from which he was suffering, though I
wouldn't expect him to start.
Pablo Barrera had the longest journey of those who actually did get involved
on the international front during midweek, playing as he did in the
Mexicans' 1-1 draw with the USA in Philadelphia. If my last experience of
flying through Heathrow is anything to go by, he should clear immigration
just before Christmas.
The lines I scribbled down for the postponed match against Aldershot Town
(thanks rioters, I missed a whist drive to write all that) still ring true –
and not only because it's easier to recycle rather than come up with new
rubbish. Apart from Ilunga's fitness, the lack of creativity and variety in
attack were the things that concerned me most. When substitutions were made
it represented less of a plan B, more of an extension of a Plan A that
wasn't working that well in the first place.
During his opening weeks as boss much was made of Mr Allardyce's preferred
style of play. When asked about this the manager suggested (and I paraphrase
somewhat here) that whilst the side might play a passing game at home things
might be different on the road. This being our first away fixture of the
season it will, therefore, be interesting to see the approach that the side
adopts against Rovers, a side that under O'Driscoll has a reputation for
playing a passing game.
Coming up with predictions in this league is going to be a bit of a
balancing act. On the one hand when you look at the resources available to
the two sides we ought to be looking at three points, especially when you
consider Doncaster's injury list. On the other hand we'll be facing the "cup
final" factor - and I mean no disrespect to our opponents in saying that.
The crowd will be behind them and there will be one or two players who will
be itching to show that they ought to have been in the starting line up
injuries or no injuries.
Nevertheless I still fancy us to open our account for the season and, as a
result I'll go for a 3-1 win as we take what are hopefully out first steps
on the road to promotion.
Enjoy the game!
Last season: N/A
Player to watch: Giles Barnes – Barking lad, a point to prove. Face it, it's
nailed on that he'll have a half decent game against us if he plays.
Referee: Scott Mathieson - Mr Mathieson has been officiating at this level
for about 18 years. This means either:
a) he is a decent ref who doesn't have the inclination to drop his day
career to go for select group status;
b) he is a decent ref whose face doesn't fit with the idiots in charge of
the select group; or
c) he's at the right level.
His last outing saw him take charge of the Rochdale v Chesterfield League
Cup match in midweek. This went to extra time despite which Mr Mathieson
showed only one yellow card. Even that came in the 115th minute suggesting
that Mr Mathieson may not be one of the more card-happy members of his
profession. Further research tells us that:
a) he is very short;
b) that he has recently been sent to Triple A (minor league) baseball team
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs by his parent club the Philadelphia Phillies, and
c) I need to be more careful on the internet when I look up referee details.
Daft fact of the week: Doncaster supremo John Ryan is, sadly, not the same
John Ryan responsible for such legendary (and cheaply produced) kids'
animations as "Mary, Mungo & Midge" and "Captain Pugwash". If ever you fancy
winning yourself a really easy pint, just wait for your resident pub bore to
spout the oft-repeated but totally incorrect fallacy that amongst the crew
of Captain Pugwash's ship "The Black Pig" were Master Bates, Roger The Cabin
Boy and Seaman Staines. There were no such characters and those responsible
for running the late Mr Ryan's estate get very annoyed when anyone repeats
the rumour in print. So much so that they actually managed to successfully
sue no less than the Guardian newspaper a few years ago for printing the
story as fact
Collison commits to Hammers
Midfielder signs new long-term contract at Upton Park
Last Updated: August 12, 2011 3:29pm
West Ham have announced that midfielder Jack Collison has penned a new
long-term deal with the club. The 22-year-old has been with the Hammers
since the start of his professional career and has become a central figure
in the side. There had been speculation he could leave Upton Park following
last season's relegation, but skysports.com revealed earlier in the summer
he had entered into contract talks. An extension has now been signed and the
Welshman is delighted to have committed his future to the club. "Obviously
it's great for me personally to know that I can now get my head down and
concentrate on my football," he told West Ham's official website. "That's
the most important thing for me to do now - get my head down, do my business
on the pitch and have a good season.
"It's nice to have the security of knowing my future is with West Ham
United. I look around and see what they are building and I want to be part
of the future. Fingers crossed, I'll work hard and hope I can do the
business." Collison has only recently returned from a long injury lay-off
and knows he faces a fight for a regular starting berth under Sam Allardyce.
"We definitely have competition for places in the midfield, but that's what
you want because it brings the best out of everyone," he added.
"We're all fighting to get into the starting XI, but it's a long old season
and the manager has already said it's about having a good squad and a big
squad and we feel we have that here and we are working together and looking
to get promoted."
Gers warn clubs off Lafferty
Rangers issue hands off warning on striker
Last Updated: August 12, 2011 4:30pm
Skysports.com understands SPL champions Rangers have issued a 'hands off'
warning on striker Kyle Lafferty. Championship hopeful West Ham have
reportedly shown an interest but Gers are not looking to do business at any
price. The Northern Ireland international is currently on the sidelines
after undergoing surgery on a groin problem last month. Lafferty, 23, still
has two years remaining on the five-year contract he signed upon leaving
Burnley in June 2008. The striker scored 11 league goals last season as
Rangers piped arch-rivals Celtic to yet another SPL title
Big Sam on ….. Carlton Cole and Herita Illunga
August 13th, 2011 - 3:20 am by S J Chandos
West Ham Till I Die
Carlton Cole and Herita Illunga are two players that often divide opinion
amongst Hammers supporters. So, I found Sam Allardyce's pre-Doncaster
Rovers match comments (published on the official club website) regarding the
two players interesting and well worthy of reproduction:
'Carlton turned down Stoke, so he has to be commended for that. He turned
down a chance of earning far more money than he earns at West Ham. So, when
every player is ridiculed that all they do is play for the money, he is the
opposite of that. '
'You have to bear in mind where he has come from and where he was last
season. He was a cast-off and was not part of West Ham Utd in terms of the
first team squad. That has a psychological and mental effect on you. You
have to turn that around and get his ability to come through. Apart from
the unfortunate error at the end I thought he showed some good qualities in
the game and got better as the game wore on. He can only get better from
where he has come from.' 'Herita has to shake it off (the error). You have
to put it to one side, learn a lesson and make sure you don't repeat it when
the opportunity arises to deal with it a different way. We all make
In the article, Sam Allardyce makes it clear that Cole started on the bench
against Cardiff City because of some minor problems that reduced his time on
the training pitch in the lead up to last Sunday's match. While the manager
also shared my observations that (a) it must be recognised that Illunga did
not get much first team action last season and (b) that apart from the
error, the Congolese international left-back had a good game and can improve
still further. It would indicate from these comments that far from casting
Illunga out from the fold, Big Sam will stick with him and try to harness
his undoubted ability. Supporters should take their lead from that and cut
Illunga some slack, because as we all know, Big Sam is a good judge of a
Here's to victory today at Doncaster Rovers! COYI.
Karren Brady's football diary
KARREN BRADY - First lady of football
Saturday August 6
STRANGE summer. The start of it was about appointing a manager and the rest
about recruiting an Apprentice for Lord Sugar. So I had no room for a
holiday but I was offered a trip on a luxury yacht by a Premier League pal.
In his world, everyone is rich but some are richer than others. We must
learn it's a case of the haves and the have-yachts. West Ham's former
scales-buster Benni McCarthy described me from South Africa as "a devil with
tits." Nice of him. But Benni, I'm meant to have tits, you aren't! At home,
the Football League are at war with the Press so they are flexing their
muscles by telling clubs to bar newsprint reporters. Potty. Brighton let the
lads in, so will we.
Sunday August 7
A FEW seasons ago Sam Hamman at Cardiff phoned David Sullivan for advice on
where to find a blow-up sheep. It was Sam's idea for a joke to play in
Wales, where I suspect it would have gone down like a dead sheep. Cardiff
are at Upton Park today and shock themselves - and us - by winning in the
dying minutes. It is a travesty of a result but we play with style and it's
a trifle early to worry yet.
Monday August 8
MORE stories today that the delay in confirming West Ham's move to the
Olympic Stadium threatens to thwart the nation's bid to host the world
athletics champions there in 2017. Spurs have taken their baton home on
this. And I don't like the way they are behaving. When a club reportedly
stoops to employ private detectives to dig dirt on another, they're
discrediting the game and themselves. I've told police my phone has either
been hacked or private records acquired in what I'm sure will be a
frustrated attempt to blacken my name and West Ham's.
Tuesday August 9
EVERYONE at our club agrees with the decision to call off tonight's match
with Aldershot. No doubt Sam Allardyce would have hoped for a few goals to
remove some of the sour taste of Sunday's defeat - but it'll soon be a
frustrating memory for him. Sam's a man's man - direct, logical and
thorough, not like some managers I could mention. He knows what he wants but
he's far from the bludgeoning Black Country bossman characterised by critics
of his football approach.
Wednesday August 10
ARSENAL pay eight figures for a raw lad with a hyphen and yet no one has
embarked on negotiations for one of our three England squad players. We need
to sell for our accounts - but not desperately. I understand, with the
nation's Premier League addiction, our acquisitions, John Carew, Kevin
Nolan, Abdoulaye Faye, Joey O'Brien, Matt Taylor and George McCartney, get
few column inches. What bugs me and millions of fans is that unless your
club is one of the big five it's almost as if it doesn't exist. Stories
about Barca's tug-of-war with Arsenal for Fabregas bored me.
Thursday August 11
I'VE never worked out why companies in financial trouble should be fined. It
makes a difficult problem worse. The Football League are now threatening
penalties and new sanctions for clubs deemed to be living beyond their means
in the Championship, over-paying players. It's far too much like nannying
and for West Ham, carrying a debt of £100m after crazy spending by former
owners, complying with the terms would be impossible. The League think the
Championship survives as a lone entity unconnected to the Premier League,
where you have to pay competitive wages. And, as my club find, it's not easy
to sell top players on big wages.
Friday August 12
IN light of the Financial un-Fair plans a few of us concerned football
executives and chairmen gather at a summit in a wine bar. I do a double take
when I see one long-standing chairman who has undergone a Shane Warne style
makeover. Frankly I've never seen such a changed man. And I don't mean in a
"What the hell's happened?" I ask. To cut a long story short, he left his
wife, went on holiday to Ibiza, met a girl whose opening line was "I want to
And obviously she did. Silly old fool. Tattoos, on over 50s, doesn't look
Donny boss relishing Hammers tie
Published 09:44 12/08/11 By MirrorFootball
Doncaster boss Sean O'Driscoll will send his side out against West Ham with
no fear when they meet the recently-relegated Hammers at the Keepmoat
Stadium tomorrow. Both teams lost their opening npower Championship fixtures
last weekend, however that is where the similarities end. As Sam Allardyce
brings Premier League stars such as Kevin Nolan to Upton Park, O'Driscoll
remains beset by injuries to his threadbare squad, but the former
Bournemouth boss refuses to be intimidated. Discussing West Ham, he told
doncasterroversfc.co.uk: "They're a good club with great tradition and,
whoever you are in the Championship, you will relish playing against them.
"From fans to chairman to coaches, managers and players, we're all looking
forward to coming up against them. This is why we're in the Championship -
for games like this and we don't fear it. I think we're quite excited. "They
have an experienced squad. Nolan has been brought to the club to help
replicate what he achieved at Newcastle when they were looking to do a
similar thing there."
Leeds also lost their opening fixture, going down 3-1 against newly-promoted
Southampton, and their manager Simon Grayson has bemoaned the international
fixture scheduling ahead of their clash with Middlesbrough. "It's
frustrating how it's fallen," Grayson said. "You play your first game, lose
the lads for the next week, including a cup game, then have them back for
one day before we play again. It's ridiculous scheduling in terms of
fixtures. I don't know how they come up with it."
Leicester youngster Jeff Schlupp is hoping to displace some of Sven
Goran-Eriksson's expensive summer acquisitions after his hat-trick against
Rotherham in the Carling Cup on Tuesday night. The Foxes beat Coventry 1-0
in the first game of the new season and host Reading this weekend, and
German-born Schlupp told the club's official website he is targeting a place
in the squad. He said: "It's the first home game of the season and, after
seeing the reception the team got at the Real Madrid game [a pre-season
friendly], I'd love to be involved. "It's a massive game for us in front of
our own supporters, so I hope I've done enough to put myself in the pecking
order, whether it's as part of the squad, on the bench or whatever. "The
manager has a lot of options up front and a very strong squad, but hopefully
I've put myself in the mix now and have given him a bit of a headache."
Elsewhere, Ipswich host Hull at Portman Road while Southampton, who
impressed on their return to the second tier, travel to Barnsley. Troubled
Birmingham face a tough derby fixture against Coventry, with newly-promoted
Brighton looking to build on their opening-day win against Doncaster when
they travel to Portsmouth.
Crystal Palace play against Burnley and Millwall have a home game against
Nottingham Forest, while Watford play Derby at Vicarage Road.
Sunday's matches see Blackpool host Peterborough and Bristol City travel to
Former Huddersfield Town midfielder Lee Richardson playing mind games at
by Dougie Thomson, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
Aug 13 2011
LEE RICHARDSON has become a key man in West Ham's bid for an immediate
return to the Premier League. The former Town midfielder (38 appearances and
three goals between 1997-99) has been added to Sam Allardyce's backroom team
– as a psychologist. The 42-year-old, right, also played for hometown
Halifax, Watford, Blackburn, Aberdeen, Oldham, Livingston and Chesterfield,
where he was manager from 2007-09 . He's since been working in sports
psychology, earning praise from Lancashire cricketers and Warrington rugby
league players. "I'm interested in Lee because he's been a player, a coach
and a manager who now has an honours degree, said Allardyce, also an ex-Town
player. "I believe what's between our ears is important and it's the first
time I've found a psychologist with a proper football background."
Bid threats for Scott Parker are a distraction for West Ham
12 Aug 2011
Sam Allardyce is bracing himself for bids for Scott Parker and other
high-profile members of his squad over the next couple of weeks. Parker,
valued at £7million by West Ham, is set to be in the team at Doncaster
tomorrow along with goalkeeper Robert Green, who is also likely to attract
interest before the transfer window closes on August 31. Tottenham are
expected to come in with a late offer for Parker while Chelsea, Aston Villa
and Stoke have also been linked with the England midfielder.
Boss Allardyce said: "I'm expecting bids for Scott, it would be foolish of
me to say otherwise. "It would be wrong to say I still think he will be here
after August 31. I hope he is but there will be somebody who decides they
need a player of Scott's ability, quality and experience. "The same thing
could happen with Robert Green, Carlton Cole or any other of our players.
When and if it happens, we will deal with it. It's a big distraction for us
Tony Cottee column: West Ham should have too much class for Doncaster
Tony Cottee, London24 West Ham columnist
Friday, August 12, 2011
It was a very disappointing start to the season for West Ham and it was not
what I was expecting. I was at Upton Park for the game and I thought that
the team started nervously, which is understandable, as many of the players
haven't played in the Championship before, so it was a new experience for
them. The fans definitely played their part in welcoming the team and after
the first 15 minutes we settled down and looked like quite a dangerous side,
creating chances and controlling the game. However, we failed to score when
we were on top and ultimately we paid the price in the 91st minute when
Kenny Miller grabbed the winner for Cardiff. I think that Sunday showed that
if you don't score when you get the chance in the Championship then you can
live to regret it.
Some fans have been quick to blame Sam Allardyce's system, but I felt there
was nothing wrong. Allardyce claimed that he played 4-3-3, but at some
points it didn't work like that. I feel that Freddie Piquionne is not the
right man to lead the attack for the Hammers. The role of the front man is
to hold the play up and win the ball and I think that Carlton Cole or John
Carew are much better at that. Don't get me wrong, I think Piquionne is a
good player, the role is just not for him. If Cole was to play there, then
the system would work. He is strong and wins the ball in the air and is good
at bringing others into play.
The three debutants on Sunday were impressive, but for me one of them really
stood out. That was Matt Taylor. I thought he had an excellent first game
and deserved to be named man of the match. He gave us that balance on the
left, which we have been missing since we sold Matty Etherington. Joey
O'Brien did exactly how I expected. He did the simple things really well,
was strong in defence and got forward too. Out of the three debutants, I
feel Kevin Nolan was the most disappointing.
He is a great player and he showed flashes of brilliance, but he was too in
and out of the game for me.
The loss was harsh on the team, and some may blame Rob Green for not saving
Miller's shot, but I don't think that you can. There will be times this
season, as there has been in every campaign, where Green produces
world-class saves that win you games, so I think it will even itself out.
The club has to look forward and we still have 45 games to play. Just look
at two seasons ago, when Norwich lost their first game of the season 7-1.
They then went on to get promoted.
This weekend gives the Hammers the perfect opportunity to put things right
at Doncaster. They play in a nice new stadium and it is one of the away
games that you expect West Ham to go out there and win. Doncaster play nice
football, which will suit us, but I think we will have too much class for
them. With the injuries to their front men I expect us to go there and get
the win. If we can compete and win the battles on the pitch then we will
take home the three points. The only change to the side I would make is to
replace Piquionne with Cole in the Hammers' attack.
Other than that, I thought our defence looked solid and the midfield three
is the best in the Championship.
Tony Cottee was talking to
West Ham boss Allardyce unlikely to make major changes for Doncaster
Dave Evans, West Ham correspondent
Friday, August 12, 2011
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has admitted that the postponement of Tuesday's
Carling Cup clash with Aldershot Town will make it difficult for him to make
changes for Saturday's Championship trip to Doncaster Rovers. Allardyce was
looking to blood youngsters against the Shots, but also to give valuable
time on the field to some senior players who missed out on the opening-day
defeat at Cardiff City only to have his plans scuppered. "That was going to
be the big thing on Tuesday night," revealed the manager. "Abdoulaye Faye,
Carlton Cole and even Julien Faubert might have made it and to get into a
competitive game like that would have upped the game time for the players.
"It does make it difficult to pick them from the start on Saturday. We need
to try and get a bit of continuity and in the league to play your best side
all the time, but I'm not really sure at these early stages, what my best
Carlton Cole was only substitute last Sunday, but Allardyce confirmed that
was a lack of match practise more than anything else that saw him sitting on
"It was a lack of game time," he said. "He had little problems and niggles
and so he hadn't been out on the training ground as often as we would have
wanted and hadn't got the game time in."
Jack Collison will be vying for a start at Doncaster after playing 45
minutes for Wales in their friendly defeat against Australia, while
Allardyce is still waiting on the fitness of winger Pablo Barrera who was
with Mexico for the friendly with the United States in Philadelphia. "We are
waiting to hear whether Pablo Barrera is okay," said Allardyce. "If he is,
it is only about the cost of the journey on him. Is the cost too great to
get him ready for Doncaster?"
George McCartney has arrived on a season-long loan from Sunderland, but will
not feature and that means Herita Ilunga is likely to keep his place,
despite the mistake that proved so costly against the Bluebirds. Allardyce
stressed that he has been impressed by the Congo international full back. "I
thought Herita, apart from the unfortunate slip at the end, got better as
the game went on and you have to bear in mind where he was last season,"
said the boss. "He was a cast off, wasn't part of West Ham in terms of the
first team squad and that ultimately has a big mental effect on you as a
player. He showed some good qualities in the game and for me that will only
get better. "He's got to shake off that mistake, it's like anything else.
You've got to put it to one side, learn the lesson from it and make sure you
don't repeat it when it crops up again. "We all make mistakes and as
defenders what you hope when they happen is that you can get away with
Doncaster injury crisis could give West Ham a boost
Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Friday, August 12, 2011
West Ham will look to bounce back from their opening-day defeat at home to
Cardiff City when they travel to the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Only a week into the new season and already Doncaster Rovers are suffering
an injury crisis. With James O'Connor, James Chambers, Martin Woods, Brian
Stock, Adam Lockwood, Shelton Martis and Mark Wilson all currently on the
treatment table, Rovers were dealt a double blow at Brighton on Saturday.
Leading 1-0 thanks to Billy Sharp's strike, all looked rosy for Doncaster
until Sharp was stretchered off, fellow striker James Hayter hobbled off and
Brighton won it in the 98th minute!
However, they did bounce back on Tuesday night with a thumping 3-0 home
Carling Cup win over Tranmere. Sean O'Driscoll has been the Rovers boss for
five years now, masterminding their rise to the heady heights of the
Championship, but he is likely to be severely tested by this injury list.
While the Hammers have splashed some cash during the summer, O'Driscoll has
contented himself with free transfers, the most notable of which is Giles
Barnes, nephew of former West Ham star Bobby Barnes, who is looking to
resurrect his career after a torrid time at West Brom. He has always been a
tricky player, much as his uncle was, and that should make him the one to
watch. Chris Brown was another free capture from Preston and the former
Norwich striker is likely to lead the line. Rovers were fourth from bottom
last season, finishing six points clear of the bottom three and that was
largely due to home form that saw them collect 30 points, including a 3-1
victory over Premier League-bound Norwich City.
They did blow hot and cold though and a 6-0 home defeat by Ipswich Town
merely emphasises that. West Ham have not played Doncaster since 1958 when
they won 2-1 at Belle Vue, though they did lose 3-0 to Rovers two years
before that. That epitomises the gulf that used to exist between these two
teams. They have not met in over half a century and if West Ham go into the
game thinking a league game against Rovers is beneath them, they are likely
to come unstuck.
Possible team: Woods, Naylor, Spurr, Friend, Dumbuya, Gillett, Coppinger,
Oster, Bennett, Barnes, Brown.
Prediction: Doncaster Rovers 0
West Ham United 2