There has been positive news this week regarding the fitness of versatile
defender Guy Demel
Guy Demel is making good progress and cannot wait to make his mark on the
West Ham United first team. The defender has been putting in long hours at
Chadwell Heath in order to overcome a troublesome hamstring injury that has
blighted his first two months at the club. Although Demel featured on the
bench at Crystal Palace last month, he has yet to make his senior Hammers
bow. He took a major step forward in this week's development squad friendly
at Gillingham, playing the first half as planned. It remains to be seen if
he will be involved in next Tuesday night's match away to Whyteleafe FC, but
he is getting closer to his first senior appearance.
"I am much better now," he told West Ham TV. "I played 45 minutes with the
reserves last Tuesday. It was good, so I feel much better. I have started
training with the team. I think I need another week and hopefully I will be
back after the international break. "I still need to work on my fitness and
gain my condition back. I think it is a good moment for me. It is still the
international break so I have enough time to work hard. "
Demel was quick to praise the efforts of all those behind the scenes at
Chadwell Heath, who have been focused on getting him fit. "The medical staff
have done great work with me. It wasn't easy for me but of course it is the
same for them too. "They keep pushing me to work hard and now I am fit ai
have to thank them. I can't wait to play. I am happy to be fit and looking
to play. "It was a hard situation. I want to help the team because when I
came the players were really nice to me and made me welcome. "I want to play
for the fans and every one, and of course for me. It was not easy but injury
is a part of football. I know how to handle this and I have come through
Hammers hail 2017 success
The 2017 World Athletics Championships will be coming to the club's home
borough of Newham
West Ham United have welcomed the award of the 2017 World Athletics
Championships to London. The capital will stage the prestigious track and
field event at the Olympic Stadium in the Hammers' home borough of Newham
after beating Doha in a vote held by the International Association of
Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Friday. The championships will come five
years after next summer's Olympic Games are staged at the state of the art
Stratford venue in the heart of the Olympic Park.
The club said: "West Ham United are delighted the 2017 World Athletics
Championships are coming to our borough. We hope we can form a great
partnership with UK Athletics in three years' time. We'll be the best team
Wolves first in Youth Cup
The young Hammers will take on Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Youth Cup
West Ham United have been drawn away to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA
Youth Cup third round. The tie is due to be played by Saturday 17 December.
Tony Carr's youngsters will hope to go further than they did in last
season's competition, when they lost 1-0 to eventual winners Manchester
United in the fourth round.
West Ham have won the FA Youth Cup on three previous occasions, lifting the
trophy in 1963, 1981 and 1999. This year's competition will be the 60th
staging. The U18s are back in action on Saturday morning when they go to
Norwich City. A full report will appear on whufc.com later over the weekend.
Hammers honour Armistice Day
The players took time out from their morning session to take part in a
nationwide silence for Armistice Day
The players and staff of West Ham United paused at 11am today to mark
Armistice Day. The two-minute silence was observed out on the Chadwell Heath
practice pitch, with coaching staff bringing a halt to the morning session
to observe the two-minute silence. All present gathered in a circle for the
impeccably-observed tribute on an overcast morning in south Essex. The
silence always happens at 11am on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, to
reflect the time that guns along the western front fell silent for a final
time at the end of World War I in 1918. Since then, Armistice Day is a way
for people to remember those who gave their lives in the two world wars and
all subsequent conflicts. West Ham United players wore shirts featuring the
poppy emblem of the Royal British Legion for their last match and these will
be signed and auctioned off for the charity at a later date.
Bonzo remembers Ron
Billy Bonds remembers Ron Greenwood, who would have been 90 today.
Billy Bonds says he will always be grateful for the influence that the late
Ron Greenwood had on his legendary career at the Boleyn Ground. Bonzo was
brought to the club by Greenwood in May 1967, signing in a £49,500 deal from
Charlton Athletic and is quick to pay tribute to the impact Ron made on his
playing abilities. "I could talk all day long about Ron and the influence he
had on me as a player," he told whufc.com. "He signed me as a big, strong
20-year-old right-back in 1967 and turned me into a central midfielder - the
position in which I believe I enjoyed the best years of my career. "I think
Ron had first seen me playing in the old London five-a-side tournament at
Wembley, and he then came to watch me for Charlton. We were playing against
Birmingham and, after the game, our manager Bob Stokoe told me that Mr
Greenwood from West Ham would like a word. "As a young, naïve 20-year-old, I
wasn't sure what I should say, but I thought I'd be honest and tell Ron that
two other clubs, Leicester and Sunderland, had also shown an interest in me.
Afterwards, Bob Stokoe went mad and said to me: "You've said the wrong thing
"At that point, I thought I'd blown it, so I drove over to Upton Park in the
hope that Ron would still be interested. We met after West Ham had played
Manchester City, and there was a little problem because a couple of players
were meant to be going to Charlton in exchange, but apparently didn't want
to move, so Ron just said he'd pay the full £49,500 instead."
Bonds went on to become one of the greatest players in West Ham United's
history, making a total of 793 league and cup appearances between 1967 and
1988, and he admits the teachings of Greenwood during his early years at the
club were unlike anything he had experienced before. "He was a great coach
who was years ahead of his time, and I think any player who worked under him
would say that he helped to make them a better player," he added. "Everybody
respected his knowledge and vision of the game. "As a coach, he was always
planting little seeds in your mind, and using simple little terms like:
'Always be on the half-turn', 'Have a picture in your head before you
receive the ball' and 'If the space isn't in front of you, it's behind you.'
"They were only little sayings but, when you thought about them, you
realised how clever and simple they were. His most famous line, of course,
was 'Simplicity is genius' and that summed up how his teams played the game.
"And to Ron, football was an entertainment. He never once compromised his
beliefs or changed the style of the team. I suppose you might say that,
after the success of the mid-60s, West Ham slightly under-achieved in the
years that followed, but Ron wouldn't have changed his methods or approach."
Bonds, who in 1990 followed in Ron's footsteps by becoming manager of the
club, always looked upon his former boss as a father-figure, and insists
that his contribution will never be forgotten by anyone connected to West
Ham United. "He always called me 'William'. To everyone else, I was Bill or
Bonzo, but Ron was a stickler for formality and called everyone by their
full name. Later on, when I became manager of the club, he would come to the
games and pop his head in the dressing-room. "He'd come into the manager's
office with his grandson, but he never interfered or told me if I was doing
anything wrong. I'm sure he would have loved to got involved, but it just
wasn't his style. "The traditions and philosophy he put in place back in the
early 60s have remained at the club ever since. "It's impossible to
over-estimate the impact he had on the club and, as someone who played for
him over a lengthy period of time, I'll always be grateful for the influence
he had on me. He was a pleasure to work for, and there was certainly
something very special about Ron Greenwood."
Ron Greenwood factfile
whufc.com looks back at the remarkable life of the late, great Ron Greenwood
Ron Greenwood factfile
1921 - Born on 11 November, in Burnley, Lancashire.
1931 - Moved with his family to Middlesex at the age of ten, and became an
apprentice signwriter with his father at Wembley Stadium upon leaving
Alperton school at the age of 14.
1940 - Signed for Chelsea after impressing for a local team and made his
senior debut in December, but was immediately called up to the RAF at the
start of the Second World War, during which time he played as a guest for
Hull City and Belfast Celtic.
1945 - Joined Bradford Park Avenue after failing to win his place back at
1949 - Moved to second division Brentford, and became an astute and talented
centre-half, forming an impressive half-back partnership with a young Jimmy
Hill. Went on to win an England 'B' cap.
1952 - Returned to Chelsea and went on to play in the first half of their
Championship-winning season in 1954/55, before moving to Fulham on a free
1956 - Retired as a player and became a full-time coach, having already
qualified and tutored the Oxford University side and non-league Walthamstow
1957 - Offered his first managerial post at Eastbourne FC.
1958 - Became assistant manager at Arsenal, and coach of the England youth
and under-23 sides, after England manager Walter Winterbottom described him
as the 'best young coach in the game'.
1961 - Was appointed as the fourth manager in West Ham United's history on
13 April and took charge of a 1-1 draw against Manchester City at Upton Park
in his first game. Led the Hammers to eighth place in the old First Division
in his first full season at the club.
1964 - Managed West Ham United to the first major domestic cup triumph in
the club's history, as Preston North End were beaten 3-2 in the FA Cup final
1965 - Masterminded his dream of glory on the continent, as Hammers became
only the second English club to win a European trophy, lifting the UEFA Cup
Winners' Cup after a classic 2-0 victory over TSV 1860 Munich at Wembley - a
match described by many as the finest display in the club's history.
1966 - Saw his captain, Bobby Moore, and young protégés Geoff Hurst and
Martin Peters play a key role in English football's finest hour, as Alf
Ramsey's England team won the FIFA World Cup with a 4-2 victory over West
Germany. Also served as a technical adviser to FIFA during the 1966 and 1970
1973 - Led the Hammers to sixth place in the old First Division, our
highest-ever league position up to that date.
1974 - Handed over the managerial reins at Upton Park to his assistant, John
Lyall, and stepped upstairs to become general manager, working alongside his
young apprentice as Hammers won the FA Cup for a second time a year later
against Fulham and then reached the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final in 1976,
losing 4-2 to Anderlecht.
1977 - Was appointed by the Football Association as manager of the England
national team following the departure of Don Revie, taking charge for the
first time in a 0-0 draw with Switzerland at Wembley in September.
1980 - Led England to the UEFA European Championship finals.
1981 - Appointed a CBE by HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace.
1982 - Took England to the World Cup finals in Spain and, despite going out
in the second round group phase, became only the second England manager
after Ramsey to remain unbeaten in a World Cup finals tournament. Retired
from the game full time upon returning home.
1983 - Received a Football Writers' Association Tribute Award for
outstanding contribution to the national game.
1985 - Received a Professional Footballers Association Merit Award.
2002 - Inducted into the Football Association Hall of Fame.
2006 - Died on 9 February, at his Suffolk home after a long illness.
Sam 'staggered' by Green omission
Filed: Friday, 11th November 2011
By: Staff Writer
Sam Allardyce has criticised England manager Fabio Capello for leaving West
Ham's Robert Green out of the squad. Green, who recently returned from
injury has excelled for his club in recent weeks - including during last
weekend's 2-0 win at Hull where he pulled of a string of world-class saves.
However that wasn't enough to persuade England's Italian coach to select his
for this weekend's friendly against Spain - much to the annoyance of
Allardyce. "I'm staggered because Rob's right back at the top of his game
following his knee operation," said the West Ham manager, speaking to the
Evening Standard. "I would even say Rob is better than before because his
knee hadn't been 100 per cent for some little time before he had the op. "If
Fabio is looking for the friendlies with Spain and Sweden as principally
preparation for Euro 2012 next summer, then I can't see beyond Rob. Joe Hart
is currently the first choice for the England goalkeeper's jersey but if
they want someone capable of challenging the Manchester City man, then I
can't think of anyone better than Rob. I don't believe that playing in the
Championship with West Ham should be a handicap for him. It's far better for
a keeper to be playing regularly in the Championship than sporadically in
the Premier League."
Despite his omission from the latest squad, Allardyce believes that Green
will have plenty of opportunitities to add to his handful of caps in future.
"From an experience point of view, I don't see anyone better equipped to be
challenging Joe than Rob," he added. "I would say categorically that, just
because Rob has missed out this time, that it's not the end of his
international career. I am sure he will be back."
Rob Green: Five of the best
With accompanying match notes from KUMB.com's reporters.
5. Nottm Forest 1 West Ham Utd 4 (August 2011)
"Had he not made two stunning saves in the first half it could have been a
very different game indeed."
4. West Ham Utd 1 Manchester City 0 (April 2006)
"Made two top-class saves; one from Sinclair was a contender for
3. Hull 0 West Ham Utd 2 (November 2011)
"Some excellent saves both in the first half and late on preserved a clean
sheet and, in the process, rammed those oh so tedious World Cup chants down
2. Man Utd 0 West Ham Utd 1 (May 2007)
"Dealt with everything thrown at him – unbelievable to think we actually
dropped him for Carroll earlier this season!"
1. Arsenal 0 West Ham Utd 1 (April 2007)
"Simply outstanding. Simply one of the best goalkeeping displays you're ever
likely to see."
Demel set for debut
Filed: Friday, 11th November 2011
By: Staff Writer
Guy Demel is finally ready to make his debut for West Ham - more than two
months after he joined the club. The 30-year-old French-born defender, who
operates primarily at full back but can also play at centre half and in
midfield became Sam Allardyce's 12th signing of the summer when he joined
West Ham on transfer deadline day back in August. However he has been unable
to play for United since due to a string of niggles, including a hamstring
strain that proved particularly difficult to shake. But according to manager
Sam Allardyce today, the Ivory Coast international is finally ready to take
to the field for West Ham, his fifth club as a professional. "This
international break has come at just the right time for West Ham because it
has enabled us to try to get a few of our players fit," Allardyce told the
Evening Standard. "Guy Demel is one who has benefited and hopefully he will
be ready for our match at Coventry on Saturday week. He has had hamstring
problems since signing for us in August and has yet to make his competitive
debut, but hopefully his problems are finally over."
Allardyce is also hoping to have further good news with regards to his
injury list, with Matthew Taylor also expected to return in time for next
weekend's trip to Coventry - a match for which West Ham have already sold in
excess of 6,000 tickets to travelling fans. * West Ham have been linked once
again with a move for Southend United's Kane Ferdinand. The 19-year-old was
first linked with a move to east London in June. Should he move to West Ham,
Kane would become thefourth member of the family - following Rio, Les and
Anton - to play for the Irons.
Kurucz eyes loan deal
Keeper would drop down divisions to find first-team action
By Juha Pal. Last Updated: November 11, 2011 4:15pm
West Ham goalkeeper Peter Kurucz has revealed he is willing to go out on
loan to a League Two club in order to find first-team football. The
23-year-old has made just one substitute appearance for the Hammers since
joining from Hungarian side Ujpest, initially on loan, in 2009. However, a
year of his spell in east London has been spent on the treatment table after
suffering a serious knee injury in August 2010, forcing him to miss the
entire 2010/11 campaign. Upon returning to fitness the former Hungary
Under-21 international has found himself down the pecking order behind
Robert Green and Ruud Boffin and concedes he may have to move away from
Upton Park in order to get some regular game time. "It's one-and-a-half
years since I was last sitting on the bench at West Ham United. It was a
wonderful feeling when I was again on the bench against Bristol City," he
told Nemzeti Sport. "My aim is to play as much as I can because it would be
ideal for my career. My club is a partner in this so in case of a suitable
offer they would let me go. "I'd like to stay in England because here I can
stay in the spotlight. I'd be willing to go on loan even to League One or
League Two - just to play at least."
Who are Our Loan Targets?
November 11th, 2011 - 8:44 am by S J Chandos
West Ham Till I Die
There is quite a bit of current speculation about the centre half loan deals
that Sam Allardyce is allegedly targeting during the present international
First up, we had the story yesterday that West Ham were setting up a deal to
take, highly rated, Nedum Onuoha on loan from Man City. Nedum is an
EnglandU-21 international and recently completed a successful loan at
Sunderland. However, the situation at City means that his first team
chances have been severely restricted so far this season. The player is
apparently open to another loan deal and it would certainly be interesting
to see how he combined with, U-21 team mate, James Tomkins to form a new
central defensive partnership.
However, there are also other, non-specific, rumours circulating that we
also have two other, more experienced, centre-halves lined up. Apparently,
both are established PL performers, who are currently not getting much first
team action of late. Who are the targets? We can but speculate on their
identity? There was also an interesting link made in the press, earlier
this week, between Rio Ferdinand's future at an Utd and a possible move back
to Upton Park. The speculation is that Allardyce wants to recruit a top
class, experience, centre-half to play alongside Tomkins, if we are promoted
back to the PL next season. So, any such deal, if it has any realistic
chance of happening, would occur in the summer, rather than as a loan this
season. But thepossible return of Rio is an intriguing prospect and one
that will excite many supporters.
Talking of the Ferdinand clan, there are also some reports that West Ham are
lining up a anuary move for Rio and Anton's cousin, Kane Ferdinand. It has
been suggested that he will join from Southend Utd, for an initial c.£700,00
fee, and will be cultivated as a longer term prospect by the club. Kane
Ferdinand certainly seems to be a decent prospect and a number of other
clubs are said to be interested, but I would guess if West Ham come calling,
the family link with West Ham will prove decisive in clinchnig a deal,
especially if Couz Rio is back on board next season and available to mentor
him. Kane can play at centre-half, but can also be deployed in midfield, so
he could be a good addition to the squad. Although what would the signing
say about the prospects of the likes of Jordan Spence and Matt Fry making a
first team break through?
Another report this week has West Ham preparing a January bid for Swedish
U-21 winger, Mervan Celik. Celik currently plays for GAIS in Gothenburg and
scored 14 goals last season, as his club achieved a strong 5th place finish
in the top league of Swedish football. He can play on either flank, has
pace and, obviously, the ability to plunder goals. If true, this could be
an interesting signing of yet another highly promising wide man. It could
be the case that a deal is being lined up in case none of Sears, Montano or
BMM make a sufficient impact at first team level. Alternatively, perhaps,
it is with one eye on the club's future needs after our anticipated
promotion back to the PL, with the emphasis being upon strength in depth and
creating more quality competition for places on the flanks. No doubt we
shall see in the fullness of time.
Elsewhere, West Ham are giving a week long trial to promising Boreham Wood
youngster, Pelly Ruddock. He is a 17 year old midfielder, who has also
attracted interest from QPR and Watford. Apparently, he is doing the rounds
and in the next two weeks will also have trials with the aforementioned
clubs, after which he will sit down with his advisors and make decision
based on the offers received and his preferences. If a deal happens,
Ruddock will be marked as one for the future and, probably, will join Tony
Carr's Academy and be developed via the U-18s and, eventually, the
Finally, Sam Allardyce has made a public statement about West Ham's youth
products. He has acknowledged that it is special for any club to bring
through its own players, but is especially important at West Ham Utd FC,
with its first class Academy and tradition of youth development. Allardyce
has emphasised the fact that the likes of Potts and Moncur have been
promoted to the bench is recent week, while others are being developed out
on loan, and cites this as evidence of a commitment to the club's famous
youth system. He also stated that it takes a lot of hard work, commitment
and patience to successfully bring through your own youngsters and confirmed
that the club remain committed to continuing to doing it in the future.
I do not necessarily agree with those that argue that Allardyce's past
record is not good at promoting youth at his former clubs. Arguably, he had
no option but to recruit at Bolton, because they did not have suffiient
quality at youth level; while he proved at Blackburn Rovers that he will
play youngsters if they have sufficient quality, as demonstrated by the
emergence of Phil Jones and Junior Hollett under his managerial regime.
Allardyce knows that the youth development set up and tradition at West Ham
is in a different class to his previous clubs. He will also know that West
Ham have real quality coming through the Academy and that needs to be
nurtured and capitalised upon.
In my view. Allardyce will play youngsters if they are ready for the
opportunity. However, the emphasis is firmly upon the likes of Montano,
Lee, Brown and BMM to prove that they ready for the step up. They will only
do that by shining on loan and impressing in both training and in the
Development Squad. In that respect, arguably, the ball is very much in
Maybe Drawing at Home with Bristol City Was Not Such a Bad Result?
November 10th, 2011 - 9:45 am by S J Chandos
West Ham Till I Die
It is not an exaggeration to state that the introduction of Carlton Cole's
in the 2nd half decisively turned the Hull City match in our favour. In the
1st half, the Hammers worked hard and looked a solid unit, but much like in
the Brighton match, the amount of possession and the pressure exerted by the
opposition was unsettling for the West Ham faithful. We looked far more
dangerous going forward when Cole started running at and unsettling their
defence. He then proceeded to make the first West Ham goal for Sam Baldock,
with a well won headed knock down to the far post, which Baldock
opportunistically snapped up. While he also combined well with Noble and
laid a beautifully weighted ball in to the path of Jack Collison, who,
similarly, buried the chance with some aplomb.
Carlton Cole has his critics, but there is no doubt that when he is in that
type of form he is very hard for the opposition to play. The frustrating
thing is that, hitherto, he has not really tended to maintain that kind of
form consistently. If only he could be more consistent over a whole season,
he would prove his worth beyond any shadow of a doubt. Obviously, Cole can
play with his back to goal, winning and holding the ball, but for me he is
at his best when the ball is played in to his feet and he uses his strength
and power to run at defenders. Anyway, welcome back Carlton, you have been
missed in recent weeks and we look forward to seeing you terrorise more
Championships defences, in tandem with the ever more impressive Sam Baldock.
Baldock has the ability to excel as an opportunistic striker in the classic
Pop Robson or Tony Cottee model. The way in which he hung on the far post
and pulled slightly wide to adjust his body to receive and dispatch the
knock down, for the first goal, was indicative of a class goal poacher. The
great Pop Robson, himself, would have been pleased to have scored that one
and that is very high praise indeed! The youngster has now scored five
goals in six appearances and you cannot fail to be impressed by that
statistic. Perhaps, finally, we have secured the mobile, goal poacher, that
we have been missing for so many seasons; a striker that can regularly score
20 plus goals a season. No one is getting too carried away just yet, but
equally, no one can deny that Baldock has done outstandingly well and the
signs look good for the future.
The 0-0 home draw with Bristol City was disappointing. Yet crucially, once
again, the team went on respond positively to a poor home result by winning
another three away points at Hull City. And that is a very reassuring trend,
because it is our away form that is the real foundation of our promotion
challenge so far this season. While, we continue to let ourselves down at
Upton Park. Allardyce and his coaches must work to rectify that situation
as soon as possible, because we must drastically improve our home results to
go on to win the title. At the moment, we are well positioned in 2nd place
and hopefully the next three or four fixtures will see us, as a bare
minmium, keep pace with the Saints and, crucially, put some distance between
us and the third placed team.
One of the most impressive recent promotion campaigns was undoubtedly
Newcastle Utd storming to the title in 2009-10. However, when we now recall
their charge to the title, we tend to forgot that they also had a few poor
results along the way. If you look at Newcastle Utd's results that season,
you will see that they had a barn storming start, winning all of their first
five fixtures (8 Aug-13 Sept 2009). They then suffered their first defeat
(2-1) away to Blackpool (16 Sept 2009), before getting back on track with
two successive victories. However, in the following four matches, they
suffered a marked dip, with home draws against QPR (1-1) and Bristol City
(0-0 – does that result seem familiar?) and two successive away defeats to
Notts Forest (1-0) and Scunthorpe Utd (2-1). So, in that four match
sequence of the season they only took 2 from a possible 12 points.
However, as we now know they overcome that and went on to win the title with
a grand total of 101 points. It is interesting to note that West Ham
currently have 31 points from 16 Championship matches, while at roughly the
same juncture, 6 November, in 2009-10, Newcastle Utd had 33 points from 16
matches. Similarly, an examination of QPR's promotion last season also
reveals that by 6 November, they had amassed 33 points from 15 matches. QPR
also won the title by a healthy margin that year, but along the way, they
suffered notable away defeats to Scunthorpe Utd (4-1) and Millwall (2-0).
Significantly, they also drew 2-2 at home to Bristol City!
In fact both Newcastle Utd and QPR only picked up 2 points from Bristol
City, out of a possible 6, home and away! Mmmm ….. perhaps a home draw
with Bristol City was not such a bad thing after all!! Who knows, far from
being a poor result, perhaps it is a very good omen for our promotion
prospects this season, if you believe in those type of things of course?
Which, as we all know, a lot of football fans do!
The key common denominator between West Ham, so far this season, and
Newcastle Utd and QPR in the past, is their ability to instantly bounce back
from any poor results and keep firmly on track. Our prospects of winning
the Championship could hinge upon Southampton's inability to maintain their
current pace and/or cope with any injury absences in the coming months?
Winning the title would be nice, and I suspect that we could well do it come
next May. However, the bottom line is to stay in the top two and win
automatic promotion, something that we are currently on course to achieve.
We have coped admirably with our injury crisis, but the biggest danger is
our relative underperformance at home and the added pressure that places
upon us to continue winning our away matches. Hopefully, that situation
will be rectified soon and any such potential dangers averted.
I see that Christian Montano has returned from early his loan period at
Swindon Town. Apparently, Paulo Di Canio was not happy with Montano's
application in training. Yet, in contrast, Martin Allen praised both his
attitude and application when the player recently left Notts County. Maybe,
Montano felt that after his good performances at Notts County, he had
nothing to prove or, indeed, learn in League 2. Possibly Montano feels that
he had earnt the right to compete for a place on West Ham's left flank,
especially in Taylor's injury absence. There may be some justification in
those views, if indeed he holds them, but surely the best thing would have
been to demonstrate that he was too good for that level by putting in good
performances and scoring goals! In addition, as a young forward, is it not
worth being at Swindon Town just to be coached and advised by Di Canio? I
would have thought so, but never mind, he is back now and lets see if he can
excel in the Development Squad and force his way in to the first team
However, he could have serious competition in the form of Brian
Montenegro-Martinez. The young Paraguyan under-21 international is doing
very well in the Development Squad, scoring again this week in a fixture
against Gillingham. The lad has pace, technique and certainly knows where
the goal is. Perhaps, with Montano's return, there may be a case for giving
BMM a short loan and, arguably, Paulo's Swindon Town would be the perfect
destination. If his loan agreement allows West Ham to, in turn, loan him
out, then a stint with Paulo could be very productive? Then again, perhaps
BMM is coming on so well that a call, in the not too distant future, to the
first team bench is not out of the question. Regardless, all things being
equal, we could have another future star in this lad.
Of the other loanees, I am glad to see Oliver Lee back at the club. We need
creative midfield cover for Mark Noble and Lee could possibly provide that.
While, it seems to me, Jordan Brown was not playing much at Aldershot Town
and that is not acceptable. But you have to ask why that was the case? Was
he not getting a fair crack or was he just not showing enough in training to
warrant inclusion? A left-back of his undoubted potential should really be
nailing down a starting place in a League 2 side, if he is to be expected to
come in, at Championship level, and cover for McCartney at left full-back.
Thankfully, there have not been too many non-productive loans of that type
this season. The likes of Nouble and McNaughton are playing and gaining
valuable league experience that will hopefully help them progress their West
Ham careers. In those circumstances they should stay out on loan, because
it is a learning experience and actively helping them improve.
Has Sam Allardyce given our promising young players sufficient first team
opportunities this season? That may or may not be the case, but what I do
know is that the Manager, and his coaching staff, need to be 100% sure that
a youngster is ready to perform at first team level. Because to introduce
one pre-maturely, like Callum MacNaugton may have been in the recent League
Cup defeat, can be devastatingly counter-productive. So, my view is that
Allardyce and the coaches are best placed to monitor the performance and
progress of youngsters in training and Developmental Squad matches. We
really have no option but to accept their ultimate judgement, even if as
fans, we suspect that they are being too conservative in their selection
Fans are not always wrong in these matters. I well remember watching Ray
Houghton in reserve matches in the late 1970s and thinking that it was only
a matter of when, rather than if, he broke in to the first team. John Lyall
obviously thought differently and released him on a free transfer, at the
end of a season in which he had scored 29 goals from midfield for the
reserves. Lyall did not make that many mistakes, but that was perhaps the
biggest single misjudgement of a youth player in his distinguished Hammers
managerial career. Happily for us it was balanced up by the acquisition at
around the same time, out of left-field, of Alan Devonshire from non-League
football, but one still wonders 'what if,' on occasions!
Finally, during the international break, I thought I would conclude with a
thought or two about the England manager position. We know that the likes
of Allardyce and Redknapp covet the England job and aspire to replace
Capello after next summer's European Championships. This question is will
the FA continue its experiment with overseas coaches? Both Eriksson and
Capello had great success in getting us qualified for major tournaments, but
have then failed to deliver in the actual Finals. Of course, the worst
domestic England managerial appointments, like Revie, Taylor and McLaren do
not have even that claim to fame!
Yet, Hoddle did well in his brief tenure, it is a tragedy that Terry
Venables never fulfilled his true potential as a national coach and Ron
Greenwood was inspirational in the role. Greenwood was born to be an
international manager, he was probably better suited to it than the 'nitty
gritty' of club management. It annoys me that Greenwood's tenure is
invariably mentioned in tandem with the FA's decision not to appoint Brian
Clough to the post. In my opinion, Clough was the opposite to Greenwood, he
was far better suited to club management, than the very different managerial
demands of international football. I have always suspected that Clough's
England set up would have struggled and then imploded, in a torrent of
controversy and under-achievement. That theory will now never be tested and
that leaves a space for the 'best manager England never had' conjecture to
However, what I do know is that Ron Greenwood had one of the best win
ratios of any England Manager (60% – P55, W33, D12, L10) and we qualified
for two consecutive tournaments in 1980 and 1982, after the abject failures
of 1972, 1974 and 1978. Those of us old enough, will remember the pride
that Greenwood restored to England, after the dark days of Don Revie. How he
formulated a squad, and forged an exciting team, based on an attacking 4-2-4
formation, with the Brooking-Keegan combination at its heart, and restored
our self-belief, a process that, along the way, saw the defeat of the
reigning world champions, Argentina, in a friendly at Wembley in 1980.
Yes, Greenwood had his bad results, like the famous defeats to Norway and
Switzerland, but the crucial thing is that he overcome them and prevailed,
like with Brooking's subsequent great performance (including two goals and
an assist) to beat Hungary 1-3 in the NEP stadium. Greenwood's England
teams performed well in both the 1980 Euro-Championshps and 1982 World Cup,
without progressing to the final stages. He was particularly unlucky to
lose both Brooking and Keegan to injury in 1982, for most of the tournament,
and exit unbeaten at the end of the 2nd stage.
Who will succeed Capello? Overall, I do not care about nationality, as long
as they can deliver. If the FA go for an Englishman, I am not adverse to
Harry Redknapp getting the job. I know that he is not popular with Hammers
fans at present, but no one can deny that he knows how to build a team that
plays good football. He has always encouraged flair and it may well be that
his philosophy and approach will be well suited to international football?
I was always disappointed that John Lyall never followed Greenwood as
England boss, I think that he would have excelled at that level.
Unfortunately, we will now never know?
Could it be that it is time for another former graduate of the West Ham
Academy of football to step up to the top job? Could Redknapp emulate
Greenwood's late and successful acquisition of the role? Putting all
anti-Spurs bias to one side, difficult though that may be, I say why not?
And, as a post-script, it is good that FIFA finally saw sense and reached an
accommodation on England, and the Home Countries, wearing the British Legion
Poppy on their black arm bands in their respective matches this week. It is
only right and fitting that our international teams should commemorate and
honour the sacrifice of our armed forces in two World Wars and other
subsequent conflicts. We must give rare praise to the FA for continuing to
lobby FIFA's bureaucracy and eventually getting a concession on the issue.
Karren Brady's football diary
KARREN BRADY - First lady of football
Saturday, November 5
BY refusing to allow poppies on the England shirts next Saturday, FIFA are
displaying all the finer feelings of compassion and obligation for which
they are renowned.
But I suppose that's the kind of decision you'd expect from Switzerland,
where they have always let others do the fighting for them. Yes, it's all
right if players' shirts carry the manufacturer's logo. But to wear a simple
reminder of our war dead, well, that's not in the regulations. West Ham
players will display the poppy. Some things are bigger than football.
Sunday, November 6
SPITTING at an opponent — there's an offence that has been blessedly absent
from football recently. It returns today by way of Wigan captain Antolin
Alcaraz who delivers a mouthful at Wolves defender Richard Stearman. It's
odd, isn't it, that women who, like me, barely wince at a two-footed tackle
(on someone else, not me) or a thump from behind, are revolted by spitting.
Men who do it — Tiger Woods is one — instantly lose any appeal. Alacaraz,
who clearly is one 't' short of Alacatraz, will no doubt get the equivalent,
a few matches watching from the stands.
Monday, November 7
MEMBERS in the London Assembly are sceptical about viewing football in the
new Olympic Stadium. I've heard the comment dozens of times before. But
whereas the public don't have access to plans for the 2014 occupation by a
football club — hopefully West Ham — members do. And if they had taken the
time to look they would have seen that the design engineers have a solution
by placing fans in retractable seats right up to the touchlines, if
required, to provide a fantastic football solution whilst maintaining the
track perfectly for athletics. That wasn't possible in stadiums like the old
Wembley but technology and the world moves on.
Tuesday, November 8
I COLLAPSED in laughter at the Young Apprentice boardroom table on reading
keeper Tomasz Kuszczak's claim that he is being treated like a slave at Old
Trafford because he isn't being allowed a loan move to Leeds. Maybe the law
in his native Poland is different. Maybe it permits a worker, paid five
figures a week, to sign a contract with one employer and work for another
when he feels like it. Before he uses such a word — and I understand he's
now claiming he didn't say it — Kuszczak should read how many of his
compatriots were treated in the Second World War. That was slavery. He
enjoys freedom of speech and should value it.
Wednesday, November 9
WE'RE busy trying to borrow players to ease our injury woes. It can be a
complicated business as we found after the last-minute collapse of
negotiations today for one from Man City. In the Championship a club may
make three kinds of loan — standard (four under-23 and four over), emergency
and youth — and five may be named on a team sheet of 16. There's more like
this but I won't go on. Now we are close to agreement with Arsenal for a
foreign defender. The problem is this could disqualify him from a permanent
move abroad in January and another move bites the dust.
Thursday, November 10
AT 5.30am I receive a text from Ed Warner as London bids for the 2017 World
Athletics Championships. And I can report West Ham have sold 6,200 tickets
for the match at Coventry. While all 4,300 tickets for our game at Reading
in 4½ weeks are sold out within days of going on sale. Two thoughts occur to
me: The first is that such wonderful support reinforces my belief we'd be
able to fill the Olympic Stadium pretty regularly to its 60,000 capacity.
The other is fans who criticise Newcastle offering name sponsorship for St
James' Park don't have responsibility for making both ends meet. While I
agree Sports Direct Arena conjures up images of a warehouse off the M6, the
value of an endorsement shouldn't be shrugged aside.
Friday, November 11
OVER the years I've been asked to be a witness is all sorts of legal cases.
But today, even by my standards, a very unusual request comes in from a top
London legal firm concerning a certain well-paid Premier League director.
The request is simple. Would I go to a court and give a statement to this
gentleman's appearance. It transpires he has had a bad face-lift and is
suing the surgeon. I call the lawyer and simply ask if I will have to answer
the question 'Is he as handsome as he thinks he is' as I won't perjure
myself for anyone! Our World Athletics Championship bid for the Olympic
Stadium strikes gold for 2017 and I'm chuffed to bits. Now I hope West Ham
can form a great partnership with UK Athletics in three years' time. We'll
be the best team around.
Kane Ferdinand targeted by West Ham, again: 'Sam Allardyce is ready with
By westfield shrimper
Updated Friday, 11th November 2011
Southend United RSS Feed
Half-a-million, the bar has gone down for Southend United's talented
youngster, any truth though? We will see in a couple of months when the
transfer window reopens for the January sales. The irony is of course that
he's not been anything like the best player in the Shrimpers recent great
run that has taken two points clear of League Two, possibily not even the
club's best Irishman, (though, of course, midfielder Kane Ferdinand was born
in Newham, East London, so he'll know the area), yet with Big Baz injured we
can't prove that one! However, they've all been lining up according to the
tabloid press, including now Championship neighbours West Ham, standing
second in the second tier and a return to the Premier League very much on
the cards. www.thesun.co.uk wrote: 'West Ham are hoping to score a famous
hat-trick and snatch the third footballing Ferdinand. Hammers chief scout
Martin Glover has watched Southend's Kane Ferdinand in his last three games
for the League Two leaders. Shrimpers midfielder Ferdy, 19, is the cousin of
stars Rio and Anton, who both stepped out on the road to stardom through
West Ham's famous youth academy. Now Hammers boss Sam Allardyce is ready
with £500,000 to snap up the latest offspring from one of soccer's most
successful bloodlines — and give him a shot at the big-time.'
Well, we wouldn't say no, Uncle Ron certainly wouldn't and, who knows, the
dosh could help secure promotion, and it's certainly more than Fat Fry's
300k for League One Peterborough, but what happened to the three quarters of
a million Hammers! (See that summer story below!)
They went on to tell us: 'Big Sam faces competition from several other
clubs, though, after Kane caught the eye with three goals in his last six
matches. Allardyce kept a close watch on him during the summer and is now
ready to make a firm move in January for the versatile youngster, who can
also play at centre-half like his famous relations. at the Shrimpers but has
been tipped to follow in the footsteps of his cousins and play at a much
higher level. Ferdy Jnr is unlikely to go straight into the first team.
Instead, he would be groomed to pull on a claret and blue shirt next season
with the club hopefully back in the top flight.'
How, of course they can know all this, unless they've picked up some habits
from their former colleagues at the now defunct Sunday the News of the
It could, as ever, all be bollocks, as we've been here before, the Daily
Mail this time last summer, and that was £750,000, recession of what!
West Ham fail in Onuoha bid
November 11, 2011
By Harry Harris, Football Correspondent
West Ham have failed in a bid to bring Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha
on loan to Upton Park. Sam Allardyce urgently needs another central defender
after Winston Reid was ruled out for six weeks with a dislocated shoulder.
"My main priority is to find a central defender to loan for the next two or
three months," Allardyce said. A bid for Onuoha - who has made just one
appearance for City this season - would have offered a good solution, but
the player has rejected the move. A West Ham source told ESPNsoccernet: "I
suppose he doesn't fancy moving south or doesn't want to go out on loan."
Onuoha had a successful loan spell with Sunderland last season.