All the background information and team news ahead of Saturday afternoon's
game with Brighton
WEST HAM UNITED V BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
SATURDAY 14 APRIL 2012
FULL AUDIO AND TEXT COMMENTARY - WEST HAM TV
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• West Ham United go into Saturday afternoon's game with Gus Poyet's
Brighton sitting in third place in the npower Championship having produced a
stunning second half comeback against Birmingham on Easter Monday.
• Brighton, in their first season in the Championship, sit in seventh place
just two points off a play-off position.
• The last time Brighton visited the Boleyn Ground was in 2007 for an FA Cup
third round tie. Goals from Hayden Mullins, Carlton Cole and a first senior
strike for Mark Noble saw the Hammers run out 3-0 winners.
West Ham United
• George McCartney will miss out after a clash of heads against Birmingham
City left him with concussion.
• Joey O'Brien is likely to still be out with a thigh strain and Julien
Faubert is doubtful with a hamstring injury.
• The good news is Jack Collison is back in full training and John Carew
could also return on Saturday.
• Guy Demel is in line to make his first start at the Boleyn Ground and Papa
Bouba Diop could make his first start since returning from injury.
• Liam Bridcutt will return to the Brighton squad after sitting out the last
two matches through suspension. Craig Noone missed Tuesday's defeat by
Reading with a hamstring problem so is a doubt, while full-back Joe Mattock
is back in training and could feature
• Gary Dicker will hope to keep his place having made two appearances since
recovering from the broken leg he suffered against the Hammers in October.
Last Time Out
Monday 9 April 2012
West Ham United 3-3 Birmingham City
West Ham United: Green, Reid, Tomkins, Faye, McCartney (Collins 34), O'Neil,
Noble (Baldock 82), Nolan, Vaz Te, Cole, Maynard (Lansbury 46)
Sub not used: Taylor, Demel
Goals: Vaz Te (45), Cole (70), Vaz Te pen (89)
Tuesday 10 April 2012
Brighton & Hove Albion 0-1 Reading
Brighton & Hove Albion: Brezovan, Calderon, Greer, El-Abd, Reyes, Dicker,
Vicente, Navarro, Barnes (Assulin 82), Buckley (Lua Lua 66), Mackail-Smith
Subs not used: Painter, Ankergren
Last six meetings
(Championship unless stated)
24 October 2011 - Brighton & Hove Albion 0-1 West Ham United
6 January 2007 - West Ham United 3-0 Brighton & Hove Albion (FA Cup third
23 April 2005 - Brighton & Hove Albion 2-2 West Ham United
13 November 2004 - West Ham United 0-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
10 April 1991 - Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 West Ham United (Division Two)
17 November 1990 - West Ham United 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion (Division Two)
Overall record v Brighton & Hove Albion (all competitions) W 9 D 5 L 5
West Ham United
2010/11 Premier League 20th (relegated to Championship)
2009/10 Premier League 17th
2008/09 Premier League 9th
2007/08 Premier League 10th
2006/07 Premier League 15th
2005/06 Premier League 9th
2004/05 Championship 6th (promoted to Premier League via Play-Offs)
2003/04 Championship 4th
2002/03 Premier League 18th (relegated to Championship)
2001/02 Premier League 7th
Brighton & Hove Albion
2010/11 League One 1st (promoted to Championship)
2009/10 League One 13th
2008/09 League One 16th
2007/08 League One 7th
2006/07 League One 18th
2005/06 Championship 24th (relegated to League One)
2004/05 Championship 20th
2003/04 League One 4th (promoted to Championship via Play-Offs)
2002/03 Championship 23rd (relegated to League One)
2001/02 League One 1st (promoted to Championship)
• Saturday's referee will be Roger East.
• East has taken charge of one Hammers game this season so far. East was in
charge when Portsmouth visited the Boleyn Ground in September 2011 and the
Hammers won a thrilling match 4-3.
• East has also taken charge of one Brighton game this season, their 2-2
home draw with Cardiff City at the beginning of March.
• In total, East has refereed 12 Championship games this season handing out
35 yellow cards and three red cards.
• East rose to the top of the game as an assistant referee, running the line
at the Millennium Stadium for the FA Cup Final between Manchester United and
Millwall in 2004 and the Community Shield in 2006 when Chelsea met
• He was also on the FIFA International List of assistant referees for two
years and ran the line in the Premier League for four seasons.
• The assistant Referees on Saturday will be Michael George and Mark
Russell. The Fourth official will be Carl Brook.
Us and Them
• Mark Noble scored his first senior goal in West Ham United's 3-0 FA Cup
third-round win over Brighton & Hove Albion at the Boleyn Ground on 6
• John Carew scored Stoke City's opening goal in their 3-0 FA Cup
fifth-round victory over Brighton & Hove Albion at the Britannia Stadium on
19 February 2011.
• Sam Baldock was a second-half substitute in the Dons' 1-0 League One
victory over Brighton & Hove Albion on 26 February 2011. Baldock appeared
against the Seagulls five times during his time with the Dons.
• Joey O'Brien appeared for Sheffield Wednesday in the Owls' 2-0 League One
defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion on 9 April 2011. The match was the last of
O'Brien's four during a loan spell at Hillsborough.
• On-loan Arsenal midfielder Henri Lansbury was linked with a move to
Brighton & Hove Albion in June 2011.
• Among the other players to have played for both clubs are Sam Jennings,
Paul Kitson, Bertie Lutton, Herbert Lyon, T.McAteer, George Parris, John
Payne, Walter Pollard, Mike Small and Sam Small.
West Ham United face a trip to Bristol City on Tuesday 17 April with
kick-off scheduled for 7:45pm. Away tickets for this game have completely
sold out. Brighton will play host to Watford on the same evening with kick
off also set for 7:45pm
Weather-wise, Saturday is set for a cloudy day with sunny spells and
temperatures are set to reach a maximum off 11C. There are still pay on the
day tickets remaining for the visit of Brighton, click here for more
Big Sam demands Seagulls shut-out
Sam Allardyce is keen for a solid defensive performance when Brighton visit
the Boleyn Ground
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has spoken of the need for his side to
keep a clean sheet on Saturday afternoon against Brighton and Hove Albion.
In recent weeks, West Ham's issues in front of goal have disappeared with
the Hammers scoring eleven goals in their last four matches. Unfortunately,
this has coincided with a lapse in concentration at the back that has
allowed Reading to score four goals and Birmingham to score three. Allardyce
is keen to get both ends of the pitch right ahead of Saturday's huge game
at the Boleyn Ground. "The strikers have started performing for us again,"
Big Sam said. "Vaz has come in and scored some important goals for us as has
Nicky Maynard. Carlton Cole has started scoring again and Kevin Nolan has
been popping up with important goals all season. "Now we have started being
clinical in front of goal, we need to make sure our defence at home is water
tight and that way we can ensure we win the game." The Hammers manager also
spoke of the pressure the players face now as the season draws to a close
and urged his team not to look at other team's results and focus only on
putting in excellent performances to get all three points. "We need to
forget about other teams results and concentrate solely on our own
performance on Saturday. We have to use the pressure as a positive and use
it to bring the best out of us. The best performances should come under the
biggest pressure; just recently we've had the performances but not the
result. "We totally dominated that second half against Birmingham and that's
what we need to continue on Saturday. On Monday there were a lot of chances,
a lot of good play a lot of energy given in the second half and if we do
that for 90 minutes on Saturday then we won't be far away from gaining three
West Ham v Brighton
13 April 2012
Last updated at 16:51
Venue: Upton Park Date: Saturday 14 April 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
West Ham will check on George McCartney after the on-loan Sunderland
defender suffered mild concussion during the draw with Birmingham. Danny
Collins is likely to start at left-back if the Irishman misses out, while
on-loan Arsenal midfielder Henri Lansbury could be handed a rare start.
Liam Bridcutt returns to the Brighton squad after he missed the last two
matches through suspension. Winger Craig Noone will be checked due to a
• West Ham boast a 50% winning record against Brighton. They have been
triumphant in 10 of 20 competitive meetings, drawing another five, and
• Skipper Kevin Nolan scored the only goal of the game at Amex in
October, to give West Ham the chance of a first double over the Seagulls.
• Brighton picked up their first ever league win at Upton Park on the
last visit, in November 2004.
West Ham United
• If West Ham miss out on an immediate return to the Premier League
through automatic promotion, it will be down to their home form. They are
striving for a first win in eight games at Upton Park, after six draws and
• The defeat to promotion rivals Reading is the Hammers' only loss in
14 Championship games. It was their eighth league reverse of the season. No
club has lost fewer games in the division.
• Ricardo Vaz Te has scored five goals in four games.
Brighton & Hove Albion
• Brighton lie immediately outside the play-offs, two points adrift of
sixth-placed Cardiff and without a win in four.
• Gus Poyet's side have suffered back-to-back 1-0 defeats to Burnley
(a) and Reading (h) and are in danger of three defeats in a row and their
worst sequence since ending 2011 on four straight losses.
• The Seagulls have scored just 16 goals on the road; only Coventry
(12) and Bristol City (15) have fewer.
West Ham home fortunes hard to predict, says Allardyce
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce says he does not know if his side are capable of
ending their home form hoodoo. The Hammers have not won any of their last
seven games at Upton Park. He told BBC London 94.9: "I just don't know if
the team is going to go out and get that victory because it has been so long
that we've waited.
"The longer it goes on the harder it is. We can only do it by continuing to
do the right things in and out of possession and not making mistakes." He
added: "The best teams in the country are the [ones that are] best at
defending and winning the ball back. "If we want to win automatic promotion,
we've got to get both ends right."
West Ham host Brighton on Saturday, and Allardyce has encouraged his players
to learn from their shortcomings in recent games against fellow promotion
candidates Reading and Birmingham. "When we actually start getting our front
men putting the ball in the back of net, our defensive side goes under," he
continued. "That surprises me a great deal. "We let it happen against
Reading when we got in a fantastic position. To lose the way we did was
shocking. I went home and couldn't believe it. "To repeat it against
Birmingham surprised me yet again. "We must not gift the opposition goals."
West Ham Utd v Brighton & Hove Albion
Filed: Friday, 13th April 2012
By: Preview Percy
With all the fuss about the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic
everywhere you look, Preview Percy would just like to deny that he was
actually on board that night. Anyone that was seen barging their way past
women and children en route to the lifeboats just happened to look a bit
like him, ok? Here's the wizened one's look at this weekend's visit of
Brighton & Hove Albion with statistical input as ever from John Northcutt...
And so as the season limps wheezing and coughing towards its conclusion, we
prepare to entertain Brighton & Hove Albion. Kick-off is 3pm (hurrah) on
Saturday (double hurrah), the bad news being that this is the last of the
Saturday 3pm kick-offs of the normal season.
Tubes? Well the southern bit of the District line is out all weekend – which
may cause particular issues for visiting supporters using Victoria. Go to
London Bridge & pick up the Jubilee is my advice. There's large chunks of
the DLR also suspended all weekend if you prefer toy trains.
The visitors arrive in 7th place with 63 points from 42 matches. They
murdered Reading and somehow lost 1-0 the other night (them and many others
this season), missing a penalty in the process. This leaves them two points
shy of Cardiff, who currently sit precariously in the last of the playoff
spots. They are also level on points with Boro' in 8th, one point clear of
Leicester in 9th and two clear of Hull in 10th. Lots to play for then.
They brought in some loan signings as the transfer window proper closed back
in January. Gonzalo "Jara" Reyes and Joe Mattock both arrived from West
Brom. It's the second spell with the Seagulls for defender Reyes who has
been capped over 50 times for the Chilean national side.
Whether or not he earns any more caps is something that is in the balance at
present. He's been suspended since before Christmas having turned up for a
training session somewhat the worse for wear alongside some similarly
sizzled teammates who included Wigan's Jean Beausejour amongst their number.
A far cry from my playing days when a few pre-match "liveners" in the bar
were virtually compulsory.
We like a good bad boy story hereabouts and Reyes co-Baggie Mattock also has
a bit rep (as I believe you kids call it). He was a promising youngster with
his original club Leicester with whom he made his debut as a 16 year-old.
Indeed we ourselves stuck a bid in for the player when he was still four
months shy of his 18th birthday. He joined West Brom in 2009 the manner of
his transfer annoying Leicester boss Nigel Pearson in the process.
Around the time of his move to The Hawthorns he got into a spot of bother in
a Leicester nightclub with some Foxes supporters giving the player "grief"
over the move. The "debate" descended into affray with the player getting a
10 month suspended detention order, 150 hours of unpaid work and £1,500 of
costs into the bargain. He also spent the latter part of the 2010/11 season
on loan at Sheffield United, though it is believed this wasn't actually part
of the sentence.
As well as a good crime story, we also like a good player name here at the
Avram Grant Rest Home for the Bewildered. Normally we'd get a good few
paragraphs of schoolboy humour out of goalkeeper Michael Poke. Unfortunately
he's been at Bristol Rovers on loan since the turn of the year so we'll have
to let that one pass. Slovakian Peter Brezovan was preferred to Dane Casper
Ankergren between the sticks. Ankergren also missed out on the reverse
fixture last year when they signed Steve Harper on the day of the game.
They have another January loan arrival up front in the form of Welsh
international Sam Vokes. Normally one would think that being sent out on
loan for much of the season by your parent club (Vokes had a month or so at
Burnley before Christmas) would be a sign that you might be out of favour.
However, since Vokes' parent club is Wolves the player probably sees every
minute spent away from Molineux as a plus at the moment.
Vokes came on as a late sub for one-time Hammers target Craig Mackail-Smith
who has had a mixed season thus far. He had a bright start to the term
following his summer move from Peterborough netting five in eight. However
the goals dried up over the winter and he managed just the one between
November and February and Brighton were probably hoping for a bit more of a
return than the ten goals he's got from his 46 league & cup matches this
The top scorer with 13 from 46 matches in all competitions is Ashley Barnes,
though his efforts are bolstered by the fact that he's the first choice
penalty taker. It was he, damn him, who saw his spot-kick saved in the
Reading match having been brought down to win the kick in the first place.
The obligatory ex-Hammer in the opposition ranks is the semi-legend Mauricio
Taricco whose Irons career lasted less than half an hour thanks to a torn
hamstring. Despite this, the player won many friends by tearing up his
contract rather than sitting in the treatment room for the duration of his
contract and collecting his salary. He's made 12 appearances for the
Seagulls this season though his primary role at the club is that of
assistant to manager Gus Poyet.
Us? Well the good news is that the play-offs are mathematically the worst we
can do. The bad news is that they're also likely to be the best we can do.
The season looks almost certain to head into overtime which, given the
averageness of those that are likely to finish above us in the final table,
is a major disappointment.
If, as now seems likely, we miss out on automatic promotion, we will only
have ourselves to blame. We ought to have won both of our last two home
matches and, splendid though the comeback against Birmingham was, it
wouldn't have been necessary had we not continued this bizarre habit of self
inflicting wounds to our metatarsals.
It's an unbelievable seven games since we won at the Boleyn and, although
events elsewhere may make this result irrelevant in terms of auto-promotion
(and good luck to whoever has to referee the Southampton v Reading
dive-fest), it's still important that we get some sort of momentum going in
the run-up to post season. The visitors are, if it's any consolation, in an
even worse position.
Disappointed though we are with currently being third they'd swap positions
in a flash and they'll need to be thinking in terms of a win rather than
avoiding defeat. With us in the same boat this has all the potential to be a
cracker. So, for my prediction this week, the whole of next year's Rest Home
budget for batteries for the Carbon Monoxide detectors (£2.50) is going on a
home win 3-2
Enjoy the game!
When last we met: Won 1-0. Kevin Nolan's early strike was enough to give us
all three points on our inaugural visit to the Amex Stadium, and, although
we spent most of the rest of the game defending that lead it was notable
that on-loan 'keeper Almunia had virtually nothing to do.
Referee: Roger East. His second time in charge of one of our matches. He was
last seen in the middle for the 4-3 defeat of Portsmouth at the Boleyn, a
match in which Lawrence saw red for a couple of horrible challenges and
Piquionne saw red for staring at Halford with such venom that the defender
went down clutching his face in agony.
Danger Man: Craig Mackail-Smith. Although the season may not have quite
worked out as the player would have hoped he'll still be something of a
Daft fact of the week: Brighton is of course the setting for much of the
splendid film Quadrophenia. This was, of course, based on the story of the
concept album of the same name by The Who, who were managed by Bill
Curbishley, whose younger brother Llewellyn is better known to all and
sundry as Alan who, as I am sure John Northcutt is about to remind us,
played for both us and the Seagulls during his career. There is probably
some significance to this coincidence but it eludes me for the time being.
Stat man John: Northcutt's corner
Head to Head
Pld 19; West Ham Utd 9, Brighton & Hove Albion 5, Draws 5.
6th Janaury 2007: West Ham Utd 3-0 Brighton (Boleyn Ground, FA Cup 3rd
16th September 1989: Brighton 3-0 West Ham Utd (Goldstone Ground, Division
3rd February 1923: Brighton 1-1 West Ham Utd (Goldstone Ground, FA Cup 2nd
Last Five Meetings
24th October 2011: Brighton 0-1 West Ham Utd (Falmer Stadium, Championship)
6th Janaury 2007: West Ham Utd 3-0 Brighton (Boleyn Ground, FA Cup 3rd
23rd April 2005: Brighton 2-2 West Ham Utd (Withdean Stadium, Championship)
13th November 2004: West Ham Utd 0-1 Brighton (Boleyn Ground, Championship)
10th April 1991: Brighton 1-0 West Ham Utd (Goldstone Ground, Division Two)
23rd April 2005: Brighton 2-2 West Ham Utd (Withdean Stadium, Championship)
Tomas Repka was always a bit of a hot-headed sort. We knew this long before
he was arrested for an altercation with his neighbour and even before he was
sent off in his first game for the club. Therefore it was no surprise when
he fell out with our own supporters as the players left the (track and)
field after this 2005 match at the Withdean 'Stadium'. Alan Pardew's West
Ham had conceded a 90th minute equaliser, dropping two vital points in the
chase for a play-off spot. Whilst Pardew kept his head down despite being
called 'a f*cking disgrace' by some of the 700 travelling fans perched in
the temporary stands, the Czech defender was rather less inclined to keep
his own counsel and retaliated when he was called similar. Fortunately a
physical altercation was narrowly avoided, West Ham eventually won the
play-offs, Repka was restored to 'cult hero' and everyone lived happily ever
August 1988: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 West Ham Utd
August 1979: Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 West Ham Utd (Jennings)
November 1962: Brighton & Hove Albion 0-5 West Ham Utd (Scott 2, Crawford,
January 1962: Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 West Ham Utd (Woosnam)
January 1959: Brighton & Hove Albion 3-3 West Ham Utd (Keeble 2, Dick)
They Played For Both
Alan (Llewellyn) Curbishley; Sam Jennings; Paul Kitson; Bertie Lutton; Dave
Sexton; Mike Small; Bobby Zamora; Archie Macaulay; Sam Small; Dennis
Burnett; George Parris; Brian Dear; Greg Campbell; Almer Hall; Tommy Dixon.
You're Off! Red Cards Received
Matt Kingsley (a) 1904-05; Frank Lampard (a) 1982-83; Hayden Mullins (h)
Archie Macaulay was the Brighton manager between 1963 and 1968 - as was Liam
Brady between 1993 and 1995.
Sam: it aint over 'til it's over
Filed: Friday, 13th April 2012
By: Staff Writer
Sam Allardyce has told his team to ignore what's happening elsewhere in the
Championship and get back to winning ways against Brighton at the BG
With Southampton and Reading meeting in what promises to be the Championship
decider at St Mary's this evening, West Ham will find themselves nine points
behind the leaders should either side win the game. However a positive
result either way would prove beneficial to United who would close the gap
on second place to just three points - should they manage to end the
shocking run of seven home games without a win and beat Brighton tomorrow.
"All we can do is make sure we win all our games and see what happens,"
Allardyce told whufc.com. "We have slipped up enough in recent weeks by
drawing too many matches and that has to stop now.
"We are more than capable of winning four games on the trot and it has to
start with winning the most important game of the season so far on Saturday
against Brighton. Otherwise we risk throwing a fantastic season down the
drain. "I have no doubt that there will be slip ups between the top three
before the end of the season but they can afford to drop points whereas we
no longer have that luxury.We just need to make sure we win our four games
starting with Brighton."
Meanwhile Brighton boss Guy Poyet says he is looking forward to seeing how
his team cope with playing in front of what promises to be another 30,000+
bumper crowd at the BG. "I absolutely loved playing at West Ham. Ninety-nine
per cent of the time the stadium is full, there is always plenty of noise
and most footballers enjoy playing in that environment," he told
seagulls.co.uk. "There is always something special about playing there
because it's a magnificent place to play football. The pitch is always
perfect and that's what you play football for. The players will be in a
great situation on Saturday and I'll learn a lot from them. "I'm looking
forward to seeing how this set of players react to playing at West Ham. It
will be a great test and a chance to learn for the future of this club."
Supporters without tickets for tomorrow's game will be able to play on the
gate at turnstiles 17, 18 and 46.
Saints choke as Reading roll on
Filed: Friday, 13th April 2012
By: Staff Writer
West Ham will be just three points away from the automatic promotion places
should they beat Brighton at the Boleyn Ground tomorrow afternoon. Reading's
remarkable run continued at St Mary's this evening as they brushed aside
Nigel Adkins' Southampton 3-1 - a result that takes the Royals three points
clear at the top of the Championship table, despite having been under the
cosh for the majority of the game. The win means that Brian McDermott's side
need just four points from their remaining three games to be absolutely
certain of promotion to the Premier League - but it was a result that also
gives West Ham a lifeline in the race for automatic promotion. Southampton,
who have led the table for most of the season are currently six points ahead
of West Ham albeit having played a game more. And Sam Allardyce's side have
the opportunity to halve that gap when they face the Seagulls at the Boleyn
tomorrow afternoon. The Saints, who were promoted from League One last
season have now won just one of their last four fixtures, having been
thrashed 3-0 at Blackpool on March 31st before conceding a last minute
equaliser at home to deadly rivals Portsmouth that cost them a further two
points. Sandwiched between those games and tonight's defeat was a 2-0 win
at a woefully out-of-form at Crystal Palace. Unfortunately for West Ham,
Southampton's superior goal difference - +34 compared to United's +25 -
could yet be worth an extra point come the end of the season, meaning that
two wins from their final three games of the season - away to Peterborough
and Middlesbrough then at home to Coventry - will, bar a miracle, be enough
to see them promoted. However the Saints' recent disappointing form,
combined with a win for West Ham against Brighton tomorrow could mean that
their return to the Premier League is not quite the foregone conclusion it
appeared to be just a week ago.
West Ham v Brighton preview
Last updated: 13th April 2012
Team news ahead of Saturday's Championship clash between West Ham and
Brighton at Upton Park. West Ham will check on George McCartneyahead of the
visit of Brighton. The on-loan Sunderland defender suffered mild concussion
in a clash of heads during Monday's 3-3 draw with Birmingham. McCartney was
replaced by Danny Collins,who is likely to start at left-back if the
Irishman misses out. The Hammers could therefore be without both of their
first-choice full-backs as right-back Joey O'Brien has been struggling with
a thigh injury and missed out against Birmingham. On-loan Arsenal midfielder
Henri Lansbury could be handed a rare start after his introduction as a
half-time substitute helped the Hammers come from 3-1 down to pick up an
unlikely point. Guy Demel and Papa Bouba Diop could return to the squad
after being rested, having only just returned from long lay-offs.
Liam Bridcutt returns to the Brighton squad after sitting out the last two
matches through suspension. Brighton lost both those games so Bridcutt has a
good chance of an instant recall. Craig Noone will be checked over having
missed Tuesday's defeat by Reading to rest a hamstring problem, while
full-back Joe Mattock is back in training after an injury ruled him out in
midweek. Defender Tommy Elphick is the only long-term absentee with an
Achilles injury. Gary Dicker will hope to keep his place having made two
appearances since recovering from the broken leg he suffered against the
Hammers in October.
View from a Brighton fan
Alfs 5:31 Thu Apr 12
West Ham Online
Thanks to Tom Warren for taking time to give his view.
How's Brighton's Season Been?
Positive. We began hoping for a mid table finish but after a great start and
the way Gus Poyet had us playing the expectations soon rose to a play off
place, which became a real possibility, though we have a tough run in so
hopes are fading fast.
Who's Been Your Best Player?
The audacious Craig Noone began the season very brightly but injuries
stunted his progress. After that, Will Buckley's trickery and goal scoring
kept the momentum going. Vicente's experience has also been key.
Who Should We Watch Out For On Saturday?
Ashely Barnes. He's a lot to prove after missing the penalty against Reading
- who were very lucky to beat us.
What Do You Make Of West Ham's Season?
You've underachieved. You can score goals but your defence has been
questionable. It's odd, we play the better football but you have the better
What's Your Opinion Of Big Sam?
He's tactically aware but he takes the Bolton methodology where ever he
goes. Not always nice to watch but produces the results. I thought it very
harsh that the fans booed him after a nil nil draw, yet you were at the top
of the table. It's a predicament Brighton would love to be in. There is
massive expectation from West Ham fans, where with us there is none, which
takes the pressure off.
Which West Ham Players Do You Fear?
Nolan is the first who comes to mind with his aerial and physical presence
and ghosting runs. I'm a big fan of Carlton Cole. He's not the most
technically gifted player but he must not be taken lightly. I'm very
impressed with Tomkins who could be a future West |Ham captain - and if you
get promoted, England caps could follow.
Is It Just The Brighton Supporters Who Are Gay Or Are The Team Inclined That
Way As Well?
Do You Think We'll Get Promoted?
No. Birmingham will win the play offs.
What Would You Prefer, Three Points On Saturday or a Blow Job From Jennifer
Could I take a draw and a hand job?
And Finally, What Is Your Favourite Potato Or Corn Based Snack.
McCoys salt and vinegar
Match Preview: West Ham v Brighton
By Iain Dale About 13 hours ago
West Ham Till I Die
Sam Allardyce says today 'it ain't over till it's over' may have right on
his side, but let's not kid ourselves, if we don't beat Brighton we will
have to settle for the play-offs. Having said that, even if we do beat
Brighton, if Reading get anything out of the Southampton game, it may well
be over anyway. The gap after tomorrow's game needs to be no more than three
The one thing I hope tomorrow is that we have a starting eleven where each
player plays in his best position. This means that Danny Potts must replace
the injured George McCartney. Or Matt Taylor would be another option. The
last thing we need is for another match where we play centre backs right
across the defensive line. And Guy Demel should play at right back, with
James Tomkins and either Faye or Reid alongside him. Glad we've got that
sorted out then.
The other big question is who to play up front. Isn't it always? I am
assuming Sam will contine with the 4-3-3 formation, in which case I would go
with Cole/Baldock/Vaz Te. Baldock needs to have a run of games. When he had
one earlier in the season he scored five or six goals in very few games.
It's hard on Nicky Maynard, as I do think he can do well for us, but a nippy
little player like Baldock may be better to play off Cole. I have to say Vaz
Te has been a revelation so far. Who;d have thought he would turn out to be
the best signing of the season? Still a dodgy haircut, though.
Finally, I wonder if we will ever see Ravel Morrison play at Upton Park. I
don't know exactly what has happened, but it's clear something is amiss. I
was told there was no bust up with Kevin Nolan and he hadn't returned to
Manchester, and that there had been an issue of him going in very hard on
Abdoulaye Faye in training. But that was weeks ago. It seems very odd that
he hasn't even been on the bench for the last few games, when it is clear
that we could use his playmaking talents.
So, let's make some noise tomorrow and ensure that we spur the players on to
achieve what we all know they can. This game is make or break.
Predicted lineup: Green, Taylor, Demel, Faye, Tomkins, Noble, Nolan,
Lansbury, Vaz Te, Cole, Maynard
UPDATE: Reading beat Southampton 3-1. Probably the worst possible result for
us. If you look at the games Southampton have left, you just can't see them
losing more than one, if that. I think we're doomed to the playoffs.
Karren Brady's football diary
By KARREN BRADY
Last Updated: 14th April 2012
ROBBIE SAVAGE is seeking the taxi driver for whom he has promised a new cab
if Newcastle finish in the Prem top four. Savage laughed off the driver's
prediction made last summer and didn't take his name. Today Newcastle win at
Swansea, now lie fifth — and there's a mile-long queue of taxis outside his
front door! West Ham's hopes of re-joining the elite rise after Saints' draw
with Portsmouth a day after my team break their away-win record with the
12th at Barnsley.
OH dear! Roberto Mancini suggests Mario Balotelli could have played his last
game for Man City after being sent off at Arsenal, the fourth time this
season. But we all remember the manager saying Carlos Tevez would never play
for City again and look what happened. Mancini has forgotten James Bond's
maxim "never say never." Balotelli is a young fool but both players could be
at the Etihad next year — with the manager missing. Such are football's
scales of justice.
TIME to draw some consolation from another Upton Park draw. While I am
utterly in support of Sam Allardyce and West Ham, I respect Chris Hughton at
Birmingham. He's re-fashioned Blues in difficult times to produce an
efficient team who have a habit of making other sides pay for their
mistakes. But I'll be a 100 per cent Hammer should my present club and old
one meet in the play-off final at Wembley and I'm confident we would win.
After all, we'd be away from home.
IT IS suggested today that football clubs should be charged for policing
fans well beyond the proximity of their home grounds. Clubs already pay
enormous sums for security. It cost West Ham hundreds of thousands of pounds
to police home matches last season. Just how much more police over-time
would be required for intensive cover of goodness-knows-how-many extra
square miles — and would they catch anyone, anyway? No doubt ticket prices
would reflect the extra costs. And football clubs collectively pay millions
in rates? The proposal is not only useless and impractical, it's also
I'M often asked to put things in my diary by other club directors, rivals,
managers, players, staff, owners or fans but mostly I ignore them. But I did
get the following long but funny text: I was hurrying towards my goal, a tie
shop, in Oxford Street when I felt a gentle tap on the shoulder so,
naturally, I fell down. As I did so I looked over my shoulder to make sure
there was a policeman watching and shouted: "That man assaulted me. Arrest
him." He did. He said he saw the incident and there was almost definitely a
slight nudge. He expected the young man who had been selling the Big Issue
would be barred from Oxford Street for a few weeks and marched him away. A
crowd surrounded me saying "well done."
All imaginary, but now you know how Ashley Young feels at training today,
pumped up after hearing that the FA had to all intents and purposes cleared
him of the blatant chicanery that was obvious to all of us who watched him
win a penalty and a sending-off against QPR. No doubt he'll bring honour to
the wearing of the England shirt this summer.
Not bitter then!
A WEST HAM fans group would like a poll on whether the club should move to
the Olympic Stadium. Let me assure them there is no chance of a move there
without wide consultation with all supporters. Before we can do so, though,
we have to wait until May 21 when legal restrictions are lifted and then we
can explain in fullest detail what a transfer in 2014 would mean to fans and
the club. The owners will not sanction a move unless they are satisfied in
every respect it is a world-class football stadium.
IN Marbella with the kids for a few days and we go to Puerto Banus for
dinner. On the front I spot a very famous ex-footballer chatting with a
tall, dark-eyed beauty. "Hello," I call out and the reply came in a voice as
deep as Pavarotti's — from the woman. She was such a looker I later texted
him to say she should be entered for the "Miss Universe" competition. I
wasn't joking, either. Donald Trump, the owner, has opened it up to
Buckley Targets Season Highlight
Posted on: Sat 14 Apr 2012
By Adam Tighe
Will Buckley is confident that Albion can make today's trip to Upton Park
one of the season's highlights, as the side look to get their play-off hopes
back on track.
Despite experiencing back-to-back defeats during the past week, the former
Watford man believes that the squad can take confidence from their
performances and record a win against promotion-hopefuls West Ham United.
Buckley told seagulls.co.uk, "We can win and we are going to take the
confidence from our recent performances, especially against Reading on
"If we want to go up then we have to go to places like Upton Park and get
points. We have just four games remaining so we need to win games now.
"I'm looking forward to the match as I have never played at West Ham and I'm
expecting a great atmosphere with our fans filling the away end behind the
goal. It will be a memorable day and hopefully that will be because of a
The speedy winger admitted that both teams will be entering the game feeling
pressure at the business end of the season, but has targeted this game to
banish the recent away-day blues.
"I can't put my finger on the away form. We have been trying to look at it,
trying to change things but it has not really worked recently. We have two
away games left and we just need to play how we do at home, take the
confidence out of Tuesday's game and hopefully we can turn it around.
"West Ham are a massive club and they belong in the Premier League, and
because of that their fans might demand they beat Brighton. The pressure is
on them because they are fighting for the top two but we are going to put
pressure on ourselves to get the win too.
"There is not so much pressure from our fans as we have already exceeded
expectation this season, but we still have a chance for the play-offs and we
are going to push right until the end. The pressure from within our camp is
greater than that from the outside because we want to win every game."
The 22-year-old had a turbulent start to the Championship season, suffering
from a persistent hamstring injury, but he is now feeling fully fit and has
praised the club's medical team, under the guidance of Dr Helge Riepenhof.
"I feel fit and that definitely means 90 minutes in my locker, so I'm ready
to play every week. I was having problems earlier in the season but
everything seems to be fine now.
"We brought in the new doctor and we've all adopted some different
techniques which have seemed to help all the players. I am continuing to do
strengthening exercises in the gym but at the same time every other player
has something they need to work on too."
Poyet stokes up the pressure on Hammers
5:00pm Friday 13th April 2012 in Sport By Andy Naylor
Albion boss Gus Poyet has sidestepped a war of words with West Ham chief Sam
Allardyce ahead of the clash at Upton Park tomorrow. But he has stoked up
the pressure on the Hammers by declaring there is no excuse if they miss out
on promotion. Allardyce responded icily in a recent interview when asked
about Albion fans shouting 'hoof' throughout the Hammers' 1-0 win at The
Amex in October, because of his long ball style. Allardyce told the Daily
Mail: "We didn't hoof it. We sat in and played on the break, won 1-0, did
them tactically. So when Gus Poyet criticises us, he's done well. Fabulous.
Let's see him in 20 years."
Poyet insists his only remarks referred to Albion's domination of the game.
He told The Argus: "If people respect me I respect the rest. Because I don't
have any proof he said what the newspaper printed I am going to give Mister
Allardyce the benefit of the doubt, then we'll see. "The only thing maybe
people take personally is when you say one team was attacking, one team was
defending. "That doesn't mean I try to be offensive, try to lie or change
things around. I just said what everybody saw in England, because the game
was on TV. "That is the only part maybe someone can take personally but it's
not like that. It's not me to go against how the other teams play, how the
other managers prepare for games or formations. "I never accuse anyone. I
respect the players and the managers, because I like to get the same respect
back, so at the moment he has got the benefit of the doubt."
West Ham are six points adrift of the top two in the Championship,
Southampton and Reading, who play each other at St Mary's tonight. Asked if
they should go up, Poyet said: "I think they know that and there is no
excuse. It doesn't matter your style, it doesn't matter how. "It's about
winning games and if you win games somehow you are successful and you get
what the owners and chairmen of clubs want and that is what you are in the
job for. "Then there are different ways but every single way is respectful.
There is not one way to play football. I comment on the way that we play, I
am not going to comment on the rest. "We've got our way and we try to be
ourselves. Sometimes it's enough sometimes it's not. "Everybody plays to win
games. The truth is if we talk about West Ham they are one of the teams that
need to go up, because of their strength. "Then it's not only in their
hands. There are other clubs involved as well."