Wednesday, February 5

Daily WHUFC News - 5th February 2014

Hendon happy with run-out
Ian Hendon was pleased to see the Club's new recruits get minutes under
their belts against Southend

First team coach Ian Hendon believes West Ham United squad members were
given valuable game time during Tuesday's behind-closed-doors friendly
against Southend United. A trio of new signings made appearances at Chadwell
Heath, while there were run-outs too for Ricardo Vaz Te and Winston Reid to
aid them on their comeback trails. Italian duo Antonio Nocerino and Marco
Boriello both played 77 minutes, while Abdul Razak lasted the full 90,
pleasing Hendon and his fellow coaches. Hendon told West Ham TV: "It was a
very worthwhile game. The two Italian lads who've come in have been a bit
short on games and minutes so it was nice to get them a good bit of time on
the pitch and get them used to the other lads. "The Italians are technically
very good and I think we saw that a little bit in today's game. Abdul Razak
played, albeit out of position at right-back, but he fitted in well and
looked very comfortable. "It was a good run-out and the manager was there to
cast his eye over them for the weeks ahead."

The first team coach is also happy with how the new recruits are settling
into life at the Club and expects they will likely need more games to adjust
to life in English football. "It's always going to be difficult in the first
few games or so. It was a bit of a mixture out there and later in the game
we had a few of the younger ones come on so it was a bit of an adjustment
for everybody. "We've seen already that Antonio has come on in two games and
not looked out of place, so they'll be fine."

The game was also notable for the appearance of last year's Hammer of the
Year Reid, who followed up his eleven-minute cameo against Swansea City in
the Barclays Premier League on Saturday with another 70 minutes here. Hendon
was pleased to see the centre-back make it through the match unscathed and
believes it is now just a matter of building up his match fitness. "Reidy
was fine," he said. "Like I said before, it's just about getting minutes on
the pitch for Reidy. We'll get his fitness up, his match-fitness up and he
came through the game with no problems. We gave him 70 minutes and he was
fine, so he'll be back in training tomorrow."

As for the result, West Ham were defeated 1-0 through Jack Payne's
first-half goal. The Hammers went closest through Borriello, who hit the
base of the post with a free-kick and saw another shot deflected narrowly
over. The Italy striker was also denied a penalty despite appearing to be
tripped inside the box in the second half, while Ravel Morrison curled a
free-kick inches wide of the post.

Carroll appeal dismissed
Andy Carroll has been banned for three matches following his sending-off
against Swansea

West Ham United can confirm that forward Andy Carroll will serve a
three-match suspension following his sending-off against Swansea City on
Carroll was shown the red card by referee Howard Webb following a challenge
with Chico Flores just before the hour-mark in West Ham's 2-0 Barclays
Premier League win at the Boleyn Ground. The Club launched an appeal against
the decision, but a three-man Football Association regulatory commission
decided to reject the claim for wrongful dismissal after assessing written
evidence from the match officials and the Hammers, as well as video footage
of the incident. The No9's three-match suspension will rule the forward out
for the Barclays Premier League matches at Aston Villa and at home to
Norwich City and Southampton.

'We defended so well'
Clean sheet number eleven of the season thrills Hammers defender James

James Collins says West Ham United will be battling as much as ever as they
go in search of more vital points over the next few weeks. The Hammers
defender was once again in the thick of the action to help his team win 2-0
against Swansea City on Saturday, and his efforts were rewarded as he was
voted Man of the Match by the match sponsors Bureaulogic Recruitment, an
award that West Ham fans inside the ground readily applauded when it was
Collins, along with his team-mates, defended strongly again for the second
time in three days after preventing Chelsea from getting on the scoresheet
last week and then against Swansea. Captain Kevin Nolan notched a brace for
the victory but such was the solid nature of the Hammers at both ends, that
a home win, in spite of Andy Carroll's dismissal, rarely looked in doubt. "I
know we went down to 10 men late on, but we never felt that Swansea was
going to score as we defended so well," explained the No19. "The way we
defended again was a lot to do with the confidence we got from the 0-0 draw
at Chelsea earlier in the week. We knew we are good enough to get the goals
and thankfully Kev came up with the goods on that. "Kev linking up again
with Andy is great to see, we all know what they can do and how they work
together, so if we keep going strong at the back as well and now scoring
more goals, we know we can get ourselves in a better position in the league
sooner rather than later."

The Welsh international is now looking forward to facing his old club Aston
Villa this Saturday, but his focus is on making sure the Hammers pick up
another good result on the road and he says the victory over Swansea will
stand them in good stead. He added: "We went into the game with Swansea with
a lot of confidence, which we gained from the match at Chelsea and can now
take this win into our next one again. The more we defend as we do and
hopefully nick those chances if we can at the other end, then we can look to
get even stronger."

Hammers confirm 25-man squad
West Ham United's 25-man squad has been confirmed for the rest of the season

West Ham United have confirmed the make-up of their 25-man squad for the
closing four months of the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season. The
January arrivals of Pablo Armero, Marco Borriello, Roger Johnson and Antonio
Nocerino have bolstered the Hammers' options for the crucial run-in to the
Under-21 players are eligible over and above the limit of 25 players per
squad, so the likes of Ravel Morrison and Abdul Razak are not required to be
listed yet are available for selection. No more than 17 players who do not
fulfil the Home Grown Player criteria can be named in the squad. A Home
Grown Player is defined as one who, irrespective of his nationality or age,
has been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or
the Football Association of Wales for a period, continuous or not, of three
entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the
season during which he turns 21).
With only nine players defined as non-Home Grown in the Hammers squad, Sam
Allardyce's men comfortably meet the criteria.

West Ham United 25-man squad
Pablo Armero
Marco Borriello
Andy Carroll
Carlton Cole
Joe Cole,
James Collins
Jack Collison
Guy Demel
Mohamed Diame
Alou Diarra
Stewart Downing
Stephen Henderson
Jussi Jaaskelainen
Matt Jarvis
Roger Johnson
George McCartney
Mark Noble
Antonio Nocerino
Kevin Nolan
Joey O'Brien
Winston Reid
Adrian San Miguel del Castillo
Matt Taylor
James Tomkins
Ricardo Vaz Te

Charlie completes her Big Challenge
TV presenter Charlie Webster ended her marathon run at the Boleyn Ground on

Television presenter and Women's Aid ambassador Charlie Webster completed
her epic Big Challenge at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday - after running to
40 football clubs over seven days to raise vital funds for Women's Aid. The
final leg of her challenge ended at the Hammers, where Charlie finished her
marathon feat of endurance on the pitch during half-time as West Ham United
played Swansea City. Charlie's finish on the centre circle marked the end of
a tough week, during which she experienced a virus at the beginning of the
week, and a serious foot injury midway through it - but being a true fighter
Charlie made it to the end. Since beginning her Challenge at Burton Albion
FC on Sunday 26 January, Charlie visited 40 football grounds, gaining
support from clubs, players and fans across the leagues and uniting the
beautiful game in taking a stand against domestic violence. Finishing at
West Ham United is particularly pertinent for Charlie, as the club and
players have been hugely supportive of her endeavour.

Upon completing the challenge, Webster said: "I entered the stadium just as
West Ham scored their first goal, which was amazing. West Ham Joint-Chairman
David Gold and his wife greeted me and gave me some flowers before I went on
to the pitch at half time and kissed the centre circle to signify my
completing the challenge. I had finished! "They played a 90 second video of
what I've been doing and the fans were incredible, they all stood up and got
the phones out to donate. West Ham also presented me a cheque from the
first-team players, which was so kind and meant so much to me. As the second
half kicked off I went inside to use their plunge pool to try to get some
circulation back in my leg. "I just can't believe that I have done it. It is
really crazy because I thought I'd never make it with so many up and downs
along the way.

Kevin Nolan, West Ham United captain said: "Everyone here at West Ham United
is more than happy to support Charlie's Big Challenge in raising awareness
and money for such a good cause. We hope that as many people and
organisations as possible back Charlie and we can get the message out

The Challenge sponsor, Alpari FX Trading, is also principal sponsor of West
Ham United FC. Alpari UK Sponsorship and Events Manager Elizabeth Bacon
commented: "Having partnered with West Ham United since 2011, we have strong
ties to football and a commitment to sporting excellence. Charlie has
completed an incredible test of physical endurance this week, raising
valuable funds for a very worthy cause. We are proud to have supported her
on this inspirational journey."

Karren Brady, Vice-Chairman of West Ham United added: "Charlie has shown an
incredible determination to unite football players, clubs, and fans against
domestic violence around England. Domestic violence increases around big
football matches, and that it will only stop if everyone who loves football
comes together to make that unacceptable."

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women's Aid said: "We are incredibly pleased
that West Ham United FC and the football community are working with Women's
Aid to raise awareness and put a stop to domestic violence. We are
encouraging all footballers and fans to speak out publicly against domestic
violence, making football a place where perpetrators of domestic abuse are
not welcome.

"Charlie has really pushed herself to the limit over the last seven days to
raise an amazing £100,000, this will enable Women's Aid to support thousands
of survivors of domestic violence over the coming year and we are incredibly
grateful to Charlie for working so hard to complete this astounding
The Challenge will now kick-start Football United against Domestic Violence,
a Women's Aid campaign launching in June which aims to encourage the
football community to give domestic abuse a red card once and for all.

Support Charlie at

U18s duo receive England call
Kyle Knoyle and Reece Burke have been called up to the England U18 squad to
play Belgium later this month

West Ham United Under-18 duo Reece Burke and Kyle Knoyle have been selected
to represent their country once again when they play Belgium later this
month. The pair have been selected in Neil Dewsnip's England U18 squad,
having previously appeared in a 4-0 win against Hungary at St George's Park
back on 14 October 2013. Knoyle played the full 90 minutes at right-back
against the Hungarians with Burke making his entrance from the bench into
central defence. Ahead of the game against the Belgians, the squad will meet
up on Saturday 15 February and have three days of training before the match
takes place at St. George's Park on Tuesday 18 February. The call-up is just
reward for the Hammers pair, who have been mainstays in Steve Potts' U18
team this season. The young Hammers are currently second in the Barclays
Under-18 Premier League, having lost just once in their last 13 matches.

Andy Carroll: West Ham striker's red card appeal rejected

West Ham striker Andy Carroll has failed to overturn his red card against
Swansea on Saturday after the Football Association dismissed his appeal. The
25-year-old was sent off after clashing with Swans defender Chico Flores
during his side's 2-0 win. He will now miss the Hammers' Premier League
games against Aston Villa, Norwich and Southampton.

In apparent reaction to the decision, Carroll, who set up both goals on
Saturday, tweeted: "Disgraceful."

A year to forget
In the 12 months from the start of March 2013 to the end of February 2014,
Andy Carroll will have played only 15 games, scoring four goals. According
to the FA, West Ham failed to prove to a three-man panel that referee Howard
Webb had made "an obvious error" in dismissing Carroll after the forward's
arm hit Flores's forehead. However, West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was
certain that Webb made a mistake. "There has to be somebody to look at that
in the cold light of day and say that is certainly not a red card," he said
on Saturday. Allardyce refused to comment on Flores's reaction to the
challenge, although several of his players protested at the time that the
Spaniard had exaggerated the contact made by Carroll. Swansea manager Brian
Laudrup said the decision had been "a bit harsh". Carroll, who has made only
five appearances this season and is yet to score after a lengthy recovery
from injury, will next be available for the trip to Everton on 1 March. With
Modibo Maiga loaned out to QPR, the Hammers' striking options are limited to
on-loan Italian Marco Borriello and Carlton Cole. West Ham are 18th in the
Premier League, one point from safety, with 14 games remaining.

Carroll: FA decision 'disgraceful'
Filed: Tuesday, 4th February 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United's appeal against Andy Carroll's dismissal last weekend has
been dismissed by the Football Association. Carroll - who described the
decision as "digraceful" in a brief Tweet this afternoon - saw red for the
first time since joining West Ham after becoming involved in a tangle with
Swansea's Chico Flores during Saturday's 2-0 win, in which Carroll had
already provided two assists. The Spanish defender threw himself to the
floor theatrically, clutching his face as the two tangled following an
aerial challenge - despite Carroll's flailing hand having only made contact
with the Spaniard's forehead. That was enough for experienced referee Howard
Webb to dismiss the England international for violent conduct - a sanction
upheld by a three-man panel hearing West Ham's appeal earlier today. All of
which means that Carroll - who has only just returned to first team action
following a lengthy injury that prevented him from playing previously this
season - now faces three matches on the sideline; the crucial fixtures
against Aston Villa (a), Norwich (h) and Southampton (h).

The news was confirmed this afternoon by the FA who said via a statement:
"Andy Carroll will serve a three-match suspension with immediate effect
after his claim of wrongful dismissal was rejected by an Independent
Regulatory Commission." As of yet, there have been no sanctions announced
regarding Flores, whose disgraceful actions have led to Carroll's subsequent

Swansea shirts up for grabs
Filed: Tuesday, 4th February 2014
By: Staff Writer

The shirts of nine West Ham players who featured in last weekend's 2-0 win
over Swansea have gone up for auction to raise funds for a children's
charity. member Iain Page almost lost his baby daughter Willow when she
suffered a stroke and three heart attacks last year. He and wife Denise were
warned that should she survive, she would face being left brain damaged as a
result. However following months of hospital care, little Willow has made an
amazing, unexpected recovery and is now a healthy one-year-old.

Caring for Willow has meant that Iain and Denise have had very little time
for themselves or the rest of the family, which is where West Ham captain
Kevin Nolan stepped in. Having been made aware of the family's plight
previously, the skipper arranged for the couple to be guests of honour at
last weekend's clash with Swansea - the first time they'd had a day out
together since Willow was taken ill.

And immediately following the game, Nolan kindly delivered nine match-worn
shirts from the match to be auctioned for Heartlink Children's Charity,
which is seeking to raise £40,000 in order to purchase a new ECMO machine -
the same as that which saved Willow's life.

Bidding for the nine shirts - belonging to Adrian, Andy Carroll, Stewart
Downing, Matt Jarvis, George McCartney, Kevin Nolan, Mark Noble, Matt Taylor
and James Tomkins - began on the KUMB Forum this morning. To place a bid for
any of the above worn shirts, simply reply to the thread stating your bid;
please note that only registered members may bid.

For Willow: Current Highest Bids

Adrian - £250
Andy Carroll - £300
Stuart Downing - £250
Matt Jarvis - £200
George McCartney - £100
Kevin Nolan - £300
Mark Noble - £225
Matt Taylor - £100
James Tomkins - £160

West Ham's Andy Carroll loses appeal and will serve three-match ban
Last Updated: 04/02/14 6:11pm

West Ham striker Andy Carroll has lost his appeal against the red card shown
to him in their 2-0 victory over Swansea on Saturday. Carroll was dismissed
after he was adjudged to have deliberately caught Swansea defender Chico
Flores with a flailing arm. But the Football Association has rejected the
appeal and Carroll will now be unavailable to manager Sam Allardyce as he
serves a three-match ban. "West Ham United's Andy Carroll will serve a
three-match suspension with immediate effect after his claim of wrongful
dismissal was rejected by an Independent Regulatory Commission," read an FA
statement. "Carroll was dismissed for violent conduct during West Ham's game
against Swansea City on Saturday (February 1, 2014). "As stated in the Rules
and Regulations of The FA, an Independent Regulatory Commission must apply
the test of whether the decision to dismiss a player was 'an obvious error'.
"The decision of an Independent Regulatory Commission in relation to a claim
of wrongful dismissal is final and binding on all parties and is not subject
to appeal."

Carroll will miss West Ham's away game with Aston Villa on Saturday, as well
as home fixtures with Norwich and Southampton. The West Ham striker was
quick to vent his apparent disappointment at the verdict on Twitter, with a
post on the social media site which simply read: "DISGRACEFUL!!!"

West Ham confirm 25-man squad for remainder of season
Last Updated: 04/02/14 7:16pm

West Ham's January signings Marco Borriello, Antonio Nocerino, Roger Johnson
and Pablo Armero have been included in their 25-man Premier League squad.
The Hammers have confirmed the players who will be available to Sam
Allardyce for the final four months of the campaign as the club battles
against relegation. The likes of Ravel Morrison and Abdul Razak are
available but do not need to be listed as Under-21 players can be selected
on top of the original 25-man party. Allardyce's party has nine players who
are not regarded as Home Grown, which is comfortably within the Premier
League's parameters of 17.
West Ham are currently 18th in the table after 24 games of the season, but
are just one point from a position of safety and only three adrift of Stoke
in 11th place.

West Ham squad

Pablo Armero, Marco Borriello, Andy Carroll, Carlton Cole, Joe Cole, James
Collins, Jack Collison, Guy Demel, Mohamed Diame, Alou Diarra, Stewart
Downing, Stephen Henderson, Jussi Jaaskelainen, Matt Jarvis, Roger Johnson,
George McCartney, Mark Noble, Antonio Nocerino, Kevin Nolan, Joey O'Brien,
Winston Reid, Adrian, Matt Taylor, James Tomkins, Ricardo Vaz Te.

By Iain Dale 4 Feb 2014 at 17:34
West Ham Till I Die

Three game ban for Andy Carroll. Licence to divers everywhere. Travesty. I
am sure Chico Flores is proud of himself. That is all.

By Sean Whetstone 4 Feb 2014 at 13:45
West Ham Till I Die

The deadline for West Ham United to present all evidence on the Andy Carroll
sending off to the appeal panel passed at 1pm today with the decision
expected this afternoon via a joint statement by the FA and West Ham United.

This might sound melodramatic but the consequences could be massive for West
Ham if we lose the appeal, it could be the difference between survival and
relegation this season. On Saturday, Andy showed us he can make the
difference and the the next three games and nine points are both crucial and
winnable . Relegation could cost West Ham as much £40 million in lost
revenue next season as the gulf between the two divisions becomes larger.

The Daily Mail are reporting today that "World Cup referee Howard Webb is
standing by his decision to show a red card to West Ham's Andy Carroll"

Howard Webb is supposed to be the FA's best referee and was recently chosen
to officiate at the World Cup Finals. I find it difficult to believe he
would be unprofessional enough to brief the Daily Mail and potentially
prejudice the independent appeal panel hearing. His official match report is
the only evidence which should count during the appeal.

A three-person independent regulatory commission will be convened to assess
written evidence from the match officials and West Ham, as well as video
footage of the incident. The so called 'FA three wise man' usually include a
former football man often a former player/manager, a former member of a FA
association sometimes a previous chairman and a person with a legal
background who understands the rules of football. It is these men who will
decide our fate behind closed doors.

Sam Allardyce has said on the matter: "We will hope that the appeal will
work. Hopefully we don't lose Andy for three games. He's gutted. He's
absolutely beside himself. We'll just have to go through the process and see
what happens in midweek. All I can hope is that the panel, in the cold light
of day, see it for what it is.He [ Howard Webb] can't be absolutely certain
of what's happened, except that Chico Flores is over-exaggerating, which is
generally the norm for him unfortunately."

After the watching the video a number of times myself I firmly believe the
panel should downgrade the incident to the yellow card for reckless use of
an arm rather then any real intent to strike Chico Flores. Flores should
also be awarded a yellow card too for unsporting behavior as his act was
simulation intended to deceive the referee, although I understand these kind
of booking cannot be issued retrospectively.

Yesterday the Daily Mail claimed "[West Ham United] Club officials believe
the FA's appeals procedure is flawed under European law" suggesting the club
could take the argument to the law courts if they fail in their appeal. I
see this as unlikely as the FA will be reluctant to suspend the ban while it
takes months if not years to go through the European courts.

Andy Carroll labels FA's decision to uphold his three-match ban as
Feb 04, 2014 16:53 By Alex Richards
The Mirror

West Ham United striker Andy Carroll will miss the Hammers next three
matches after losing his appeal against his sending off against Swansea.
The England striker, making his first start of the season at Upton Park, was
sent off by referee Howard Webb in the 59th minute of his side's 2-0 win
over Michael Laudrup's Swans, after appearing to swing an arm at defender
Chico Flores. The Spanish defender, who earlier this season was publicly
laughed at by West Ham boss Sam Allardyce for embellishing a challenge from
Carlton Cole, appeared to be caught on the head by Carroll's flailing arm
and stayed down.

Carroll himself tweeted what he thought of the decision not to overturn his
ban with one word: "DISGRACEFUL!!!"

West Ham decided to appeal Webb's decision, and had been hopeful of having
Carroll's ban overturned - having slammed Chico for 'squealing'.

DISGRACEFUL!!! — Andy Carroll (@AndyTCarroll) February 4, 2014

Allardyce said: "We will hope that the appeal will work. Hopefully we don't
lose Andy for three games. "He's gutted. He's absolutely beside himself.
We'll just have to go through the process and see what happens." Carroll,
West Ham's record purchase, will now miss the Premier League matches against
Aston Villa (a), Norwich City (h) and Southampton (h). He'll next be
available for the away fixture against Everton on March 1. The ban came just
weeks after Andy Carroll returned to full match fitness after a lengthy
spell out of action.

Ban both Chico and Webb
Filed: Monday, 3rd February 2014
By: Gary Portugal

I'm not sure who is worse - they deserve each other.

Both Chico Flores and Howard Webb have form with West Ham, and without West
Ham, of substandard behaviour and judgement respectively. Enough is enough.
It is time that these inept losers be held accountable.

Let's start with Webb. You cannot give a red card unless you are absolutely
certain of what the offence was and if indeed it was actually even
committed. Not dissimilar to innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
It cannot be done on the basis of hearsay, pressure from opposition players
or fans, or merely the say-so of another official.

A red card should be reserved for the most grievous offences, not 50/50
situations. The impact of red cards goes well beyond the match in which it
occurs. It could potentially have contributed to our relegation if we lost
the match - and still could, if the card is not rescinded.

And a referee with World Cup pedigree should, if anything, be held to a
higher standard of accountability, not be given a get out of jail card based
on reputation.

As for Chico, where do I start? Rolling around the pitch like an infant? Is
that what the Premier League wants to promote and broadcast worldwide? An
image of not only a cheat, but a coward. It is shameful and embarrasses the
player, his club, the league and the sport in general. It is outright
dishonest, period. Video evidence CONCLUSIVELY shows that Carroll did NOT
hit Chico's face or forehead. He grazed the TOP of his hairbun, no more no

And it was Carroll's whole ARM that grazed, NOT a bent ELBOW. In short,
there was NO intent whatsoever. If he had wanted, or intended to hit Chico,
Carroll would have bent his elbow or hit him squarely in the face as opposed
to grazing his hairbun. This was simulation of the highest order. As bad as
diving to try to win a penalty. Yet on his Twitter page, Chico still has the
nerve to deny his guilt. Totally unethical, dishonest and cowardly

Yesterday's events point to the need for firm action to be taken. For a
start, the Premier League should make all simulation a straight red card
offence with a minimum, but not maximum, of a three-match ban. That includes
feigning injury, not just diving to try to win a penalty or free kick. And
such bans should be given retrospectively if referees fail to spot it at the

The integrity of the game is at stake. There is no place for simulation in
the game and the only way to stamp it out is through heavy penalties.
Hundreds of millions of pounds are at stake with relegation and European
places etc. The cost of such injustices is too high. Referees should also be
subject to three-match bans for such bone-headed, erroneous decisions that
get overturned.

Webb should have to face the music for his woeful judgement which could have
materially affected the outcome of the match and still could affect West
Ham's survival hopes. Referees must be shown that they are not God, and that
they should be held accountable, as everyone else in the sport is. In Webb's
case, should Carroll's card be overturned, his qualifications as a World Cup
referee should be scrutinised. As an aside, Webb allowed Bony to back into
our defenders all day long without penalising him. Double standards.

A major solution to yesterday's travesty would be the introduction of an
in-game review process which already exists in most sports now. Give each
team the ability to challenge one refereeing decision per half. This would
have no adverse impact on the flow of the game but it would help avoid
farces like yesterday.

Goal-line technology is not enough. An on-the-spot review process,
applicable anywhere on the pitch is required, involving video technology
that can be used to assess any contentious decision. This would force both
players and referees to be more accountable and to avoid being humiliated
for inane behaviour or terrible judgement

Any rational person reviewing footage of the incident would admit that
Carroll didn't deserve to go. Even Michael Laudrup, to his credit, admitted
it - as did Match of the Day's Alan Hansen, Steve McManaman and other
pundits. One can only hope that this will help sway the FA to do the right

But what will really prevent this circus from happening again? The threat of
lawsuits against a player for simulating and referees who allow themselves
to be conned? In a general sense there are precedents for players taking
legal action in response to matters on the pitch. Players have sued in
response to blatant attempts to cause them injury. And although a totally
different issue, we don't need to be reminded about Tevezgate.

If a a club or player were to sue for wrongful dismissal from a match, it
would put the fear of God into simulators and referees. It is entirely
possible, with hundreds of millions of pounds at stake, that we could see
lawsuits in the future in response to blatant acts of cheating. Human beings
don't tend to change their behaviour unless hit with a heavy legal stick.
Leopards not changing their spots comes to mind.

Observe Chico, for example. How many times has he pulled this charade
before? Numerous times.

Finally, on a different note, if managers can be brought to book for
insulting referees and bringing the game into disrepute in press
conferences, then surely the same should apply to slagging off an opponent's
tactics , a la Jose Mourinho with his weak-breasted "19th century" garbage.
Who is Mourinho to be passing judgement on how we choose to play?

If he doesn't like it, he can lump it and go manage somewhere on the
continent again. He should be given a touchline ban for putting his two
penneth in where it wasn't required. Press conferences needn't be bland or
humourless, but nor should they be juvenile slagfests either. When Mourinho
returned, I thought that it would add spice to the League. Now I'm sick of
the sight of him already. A whinging, sore loser.

Sadly, although West Ham picked up four huge points this week these fixtures
displayed so much of what is wrong with the game today. Cheating players;
inept, gullible, arrogant referees; whinging managers; not a pretty sight.
Especially given how much that these primadonnas get paid, It's an absolute

Now is the time for the Premier League and the FA to get off their rear ends
and take decisive action to exterminate this substandard behaviour from the

Carroll caught in the FA's Webb
Filed: Wednesday, 5th February 2014
By: Paul Walker

You sensed it was only going to end one way, however much we all hoped and
prayed that Andy Carroll was going to have his red card overturned.

So much of the opinion and anger revolving around Chico Flores' disgraceful
behaviour on Saturday was irrelevant to the issue.

It boiled down in the end to whether the FA were going to accept the
evidence and word of their very best referee Howard Webb, or tell him that
he got it very, very wrong from a matter of 20 yards away when Carroll's
flaying arm caught Flores in the pony-tail.

Webb could have handled it very differently. He could have penalised the
Swansea man for his challenge on Carroll in the first place, the clattering
from behind and the arm round the neck as the pair fell in a heap.

But would that have stopped Carroll bringing his arm round the way he did a
split second later? All that mattered in the end was Webb's interpretation
of intent, his opinion as to whether Carroll meant to clip the Spaniard or
whether it was an accident.

He could have booked Flores for ungentlemanly conduct once the half dozen
forward rolls had stopped, but he didn't. And although the FA have rules
that govern diving, I am not sure they have any that covers such theatrical

Maybe they should look at Flores' conduct in isolation, and charge him for
blatant cheating. But they probably won't.

The player should be hounded out of the game as a cheat, pilloried by every
fan in the country and have it made very clear to him that he is not wanted
in our game. The PFA can condemn him, if they dare. Swansea can sack him,
which they won't.

But nothing will help Carroll at this moment. He misses three crucial games
we must win to build on the good result against Swansea, a result that
Carroll had much to do with achieving.

Flores, though, should be booed on every ground in the country. But none of
that will have any impact on the fact that Webb thought Carroll intended to
clip the defender in the way he did.

Once Webb has decided that in his view Carroll meant it, it is very hard to
prove he made a mistake. It is his view alone that matters to the FA. That
is what they trust him to do, what he is there for.

The wording of the law that covers such a red card says 'strike or attempt
to strike an opponent.' You do not have to connect in anyway. It does not
matter whether Carroll made contact or not. If you throw a punch at a player
and miss, it is still a red card offence.

Now Carroll may not have intended anything of the sort. Opinion is divided.
But what does not matter at all is what Flores did, however distasteful.

His behaviour was appalling. Rolling around, clutching his face when no
contact was made at all with that part of his body is as distasteful as
anything I have seen on a pitch for a very long time. His fellow
professionals should condemn him.

But I actually doubt that all of that blatant cheating had any impact on
Webb's deliberations. He took advice from the fourth office, that was
obvious, but you can bet your life that all the officials were interested in
was Carroll's intent, or not.

Only Carroll knows whether he was trying to make contact. We can all have an
opinion, mine was that his action was one of frustration, sheer annoyance at
the initial challenge. I have wanted to believe that ever since, but deep in
my stomach I knew how the FA would react, despite all the uproar and twitter

What has surprised me is how many players, current and past, do not
understand the wording of the law.

But my opinion and theirs is as irrelevant as anyone else. Only Webb's view
is of interest to the FA.

And did we really expect that they were going to tell Webb, the World Cup
Final referee and our only official going to Brazil, that his opinion was
wrong. I doubt it, this was not one of the new mickey mouse referees on the
Premier League list, it was Webb, their very best.

He is just like the policeman in court that the magistrates always believe.
I have seen suggestions that West Ham could take the case to court. We have
also had Carroll's own "disgraceful" reaction on Twitter.

Frankly I hope we don't further antagonise the FA with any more action, and
I wish Carroll could have just held his silence. No good will come of any of

What we must do is regroup, find a way to play without Carroll and not use
it as an excuse for failure over the next three matches. We have an
admittedly short of match fitness Italian in Marco Borriello to play up
front, that is unless big Sam reverts to type and plays Carlton Cole. But
Ricardo Vaz Te can also play as a striker, and I am sure like me, you are
not too bothered about Mo Maiga being at QPR, fat lot of good he has been
for us this season anyway.

I am gutted with the decision by Webb and the FA but if I am really honest I
am more gutted that Carroll allowed himself to be put in such a position in
the first place. It really would be nice is we could keep 11 players on the
pitch for a change.


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