Jussi's green fingers
West Ham United's Jussi Jaaskelainen has swapped his goalkeeper gloves for
gardening gloves this summer
West Ham United stopper Jussi Jaaskelainen has swapped his goalkeeper gloves
for gardening gloves during his close-season break. While many footballers
pack up their suitcases and head off to sunnier climes during the months of
May and June, Jaaskelainen instead headed to the family home in Lancashire.
With his children still at school, the 39-year-old celebrated signing a new
one-year deal with the Hammers by indulging in a spot of weeding in his
"My boys are still in school, so I've been up north before we're going back
to Finland for two weeks," said the popular Finn. "Before then, I'm going to
do some work around the house and get my garden sorted!"
While he enjoys messing about on his own lawn, it is on a different type of
grass that Jaaskelainen excels on a daily basis. Pre-season training ahead
of the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League season is now less than a month away
and the 39-year-old has already begun preparations for his 23rd campaign as
a professional footballer. "It's nice to have a break. When I was younger I
used to go away with the national team and only have about ten days to two
weeks off. I have been at home, but I've been training to make sure I'm
ready when we come back and work hard in pre-season training on 3 July. "I
am looking forward to coming back, definitely."
Part of West Ham's pre-season schedule will take them to New Zealand for the
two-match Football United Tour in late July, where they will take on
A-League sides Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC. Jaaskelainen is not only
looking forward to visiting and playing in a new country, but also the fact
that temperatures in New Zealand will be much lower than those he has
experienced on previous pre-season tours. "It's going to be a great
experience. I've never been to New Zealand before so I'm definitely looking
forward to it. I was hoping it wouldn't get too hot for us, but then I
discovered it would be winter down there, so that's brilliant. I'll have to
bring my hat to go along with my gloves!"
That Was The Season That Was 2013-14 - Part Two
Filed: Friday, 13th June 2014
By: Gordon Thrower
Having got pre-season out of the way, in part two of our look back on the
2013-2014, Gordon Thrower covers the first three months of the season. Will
Andy Carroll be making his first start of the season? Is Harry Redknapp's
grasp of the truth even more tenuous than that of Joe Kinnear? The answers
are "No" and "Probably". For further detail read on......
And so the season starts. Joe Cole and Kevin Nolan are on target as serial
whipping boys Cardiff are dispatched with some comfort. The 2-0 win looks
like putting us top for a bit until Aston Villa add a late goal to win 3-1
at the library. Which almost compensates for not being top. Billy Bonds
receives his lifetime achievement award and seem genuinely touched by the
warmth of the reception he receives.
We head north for our next match where we draw 0-0 with Newcastle. Which
sounds about right. No goals conceded then in two. The same weekend sees
Cardiff beat a strangely complacent Man City 3-2 at home. Funny old game.
With the window closing any day now we get linked with Honduran striker
Roger Rojas. Ramjet (as nobody else will call him) arrives in London with a
loan with option to buy deal on the table. Jack Sullivan tweets that the
work permit paperwork has gone in for the player who has 21 goals in his
last 18 matches to his name. Nothing can possibly go wrong with this one.
The club announces – again initially via Jack Sulivan's twitter account –
that something has gone wrong as the deal to sign Rojas collapses when the
player fails his medical.
Back on the pitch we safely negotiate the 2nd round of the League Cup
beating Cheltenham Town 2-1. A stunning Vaz Te free-kick and another
Morrison effort give us a 2-1 win at the Boleyn. The one down side of the
win is the knee ligament injury sustained by Alou Diarra, which is thought
to be serious enough to keep him out for the season.
Vaz Te follows up his League Cup goal with a transfer request. Guess whose
twitter account breaks the news. Allardyce agrees that the player can go if
an appropriate bid is received.
The club comes out of a tribunal hearing potentially £2m richer from the
sale of Rob Hall to Bolton. The complicated structure involves a fee of
£450,000 plus so much a game up to the maximum of £2m. Plus some sort of
share of any fee from any future transfer.
We get our first defeat of the season courtesy of a lack-lustre performance
v Stoke. It still takes a dodgy dive and some blocking in the wall from the
resulting free-kick to beat us. So the departure of Pulis has changed little
Transfer deadline day interrupts everything. Vaz Te is off to Palace, then
Swansea. We are linked variously with loan moves or Dember Ba, Ronan Lukaku,
Jermain Defoe and a clutch of mystery unnamed players. None of whom arrive
in time for the deadline.
The failure to sign a new striker prevents Vaz Te from leaving and it is
announced that Carlton Cole, who, as a free agent, is outside the scope of
the transfer window, will be rejoining the club having failed to find new
employment following hi release at the end of last season. Cole announce
that he is overchuffed at the deal. Unfortunately, the club's fitness staff
announce that Cole is actually "overfed" and confirm that the player will
not be rejoining the club after all. Or maybe he will if he can get fit.
With an England break in the offing, those not involved jet off to Barcelona
here they defeat Espanyol 1-0 in a friendly, courtesy of a Noble penalty.
England, for their part, stroll to a 4-0 win over Moldova followed by a
laboured 0-0 draw against Ukraine.
There's another setback for Andy Carroll as his troublesome heel lets him
down once more in training. The news prompts a move for free-agent Mladen
Petric, who, like Carlton Cole, is not fit enough to make an immediate
appearance in the squad.
Strange goings on in Wales where James Collins is left out of the squad for
their Word Cup qualifiers. When injuries hit, the Taffs manager Coleman
claims Collins has refused to join up with the squad. Which comes as news to
Collins who doesn't get so much as a text message asking him to turn up in
the first place. As if they have mobile phones in Wales anyway.
As we return to League action the affair has upset Collins so much that he
misses a sitter away at Southampton. Nolan also has a goal incorrectly
disallowed for offside. Jaaskalainen has a decent game to keep the home side
at bay as the match ends up goalless.
Matchday announcer Jeremy Nicholas throws in the towel. With Mrs N being
unwell, a 60% pay cut from the club means that he can no longer afford to
turn down other work on matchdays. Good timing there Ms Brady.
The already poor standard of refereeing in this country is confirmed as for
the third match in a row, decisions from the officials cost us dearly. We
lose 3-2 to Everton, thanks largely to having to see out the match with 10
men when Mark Noble picks up a second yellow, referee Lee Mason deciding
that winning the ball in a tackle is worthy of a second yellow whilst
Barkley's stamp on Morrison isn't worth a first. Morrison and Noble (pen)
are on target as the ref goes unpunished.
Back to the League Cup and an "experimental but still stronger than the last
round" team defeat perennial whipping boys Cardiff 3-2 despite letting a 2-0
lead slip. Morrison – in under 20 seconds again opens the scoring. Jarvis
with a comedy finish to round off an otherwise splendid move adds a second.
The game should be sewn up well before Cardiff pull back two dubious looking
efforts – a foul and an offside – level the scores. Vaz Te celebrates not
ending up at Crystal Palace with a last minute header to spare us from extra
time and see us through to the next round where Burnley await.
We thought the refereeing had been poor in the Everton match but it was spot
on compared with the efforts of Kevin Friend in the next match. Hull's Brady
stands waiting for a challenge and when none comes he throws himself to the
floor anyway. A bemused Joey O'B is adjudged to be the culprit, presumably
on the grounds that he was the only player with in six feet of the diving
cheat. Brady manages to recover from the imagined foul to convert the
penalty. Up the other end Livermore plays basketball in front of the ref who
ponders "I'm sure the law says something about that but I'm buggered if I
can remember what" as we are denied a spot kick and any share of the points
by refereeing incompetency.
The interaction of the officials in the last three league games has left us
ending the month one spot above the relegation places. Those who are stupid
enough to believe that "these things even themselves out" ought to be
booking tickets for next season's so-called Champions League final.
The month ends with Collison and Henderson being shipped out on loan to
Bournemouth whose first opponents are going to be Millwall. Enjoy yourselves
Collison and Henderson feature as Bournemouth give Millwall a two goal start
before sticking away five without reply. A Bournemouth player is hit by a
coin thrown from the scum section. The standard statement from the club
about how they're hard done by and they've worked wonders to distance the
club from such moronic actions is notably absent.
It's all doom and gloom as the prospect of going to White Hart Lane looms.
Even the thought of being able to laugh at the most deluded set of
supporters outside Anfield doesn't lighten the mood. Which makes what
happens next even more glorious. The first half is pretty even with Nolan
arguably having the best chance of the half, putting a clever Noble
free-kick just wide. Jaaskalainen denies Defoe early in the second half
before we gain a corner. Reid's heaer is cleared off the line by Nolan but
the Kiwi stabs away the rebound. Vaz Te plays a one-two off the keeper to
double the lead and Ravel Morrison waltzes down half the pitch and through
the Spurs "defence" to make it three at what is now known at the 03 arena.
The match is a tactical triumph for Allardyce who effectively plays with no
strikers in a Spanish stylie.
A former Spurs manager has his new book out and his memory is selective and
unreliable as ever. He bemoans the failure of an FA committee to give him
the England job saying that they "don't know anything about football" -
meanwhile he claims to have been "the people's choice " for the job. I don't
know about you but I'm old fashioned enough to think that I'd prefer Sir
Trevor to pick the England manager rather than a few Sun readers who have
been asked "would you like Redknapp as England manager or shall we stamp on
England get over a frustrating first half to beat Montenegro 4-1 before
turning over Poland 2-0 to seal qualification for the World Cup in Brazil.
Since we've now beaten Poland in just about every qualification group since,
is there any chance we can stop showing the highlights of the 1973 Wembley
draw that stopped us going to Germany?
Gus Poyet takes over at Sunderland from Paolo Di Canio who gets the tin tack
after a string of unimpressive results and rumours of mutiny amongst the
playing staff. Blimey. Never saw that coming. Failed politician and genocide
apologist Dave Miliband is sadly (and that word is used quite incorrectly)
unavailable for comment.
Also on his bike in October is Ian Holloway whose walks when his Palace side
gets a thumping from an average Fulham team. Meanwhile the Redknapp
autobiography is roundly ridiculed as even the usually taciturn Billy Bonds
MBE is moved to point out that the tome bears about as much relationship to
the truth as a Joe Kinnear press conference. "He's been a bit liberal with
the truth" and "pathetic" are two of the comments that Billy makes during
the excellent kumb.com podcast which gets widely quoted in the national
papers, some of whom even remember to give us credit.
Brendan Rodgers is the latest person to query the book. "When I took over
the England job Rodgers was going to be my no.2". Says the book."Was I?"
said Rodgers, pointing out that all he had said was that he might think
about it in the event that Redknapp actually got the job.
Back on the pitch we go down 3-1 at home to Man City. Vaz Te's overhead kick
is the one bright spot of the game as the "false no.9" tactic is shown up to
be effective only against really poor teams like Tottenham.
The snappily-named Asteroid 2013 TV135 is discovered and it is announced
that it has a 1:63,000 chance of colliding with Earth. Queues form at
bookies nationwide as punters dither as to whether to put their money on a
Fernando Torres goal or the asteroid.
A storm in a teacup brews as it is revealed that a load of tickets were sold
to community groups for the Man City match for a fiver. The row erupts as a
group of Muslim supporters hold a prayer session during the match underneath
the Sir Trevor Brooking stand. Some supporters feel that the prayer session
is out of place whilst others are more naused-off by the fact that tickets
for a top category (and therefore rather expensive) match were given away
for a fiver. The club denies that any particular religious or racial group
were targeted for the tickets and issues a wide and extensive list of groups
that have benefited from the scheme, though the revelation that a local
doctor was amongst the recipients of the cheapos didn't improve the mood
amongst those priced out of the match.
Much needed light relief comes courtesy yet again of Henry Redknapp esq. Who
is persuaded by someone who hadn't quite thought it through to do a Q&A on
Twitter. The whole thing grinds to a halt as a stream of questions appear
"Please can you help train my dog? I can't get him to sit, or beg, yet you
got yours to open an off-shore bank account."
"I've dropped a load of pins. I don't want to tread on them. Can I ask about
tacks avoidance?" and
"Is it coincidence the building you owned in Southsea burnt down after you
were denied planning permission to turn it into luxury flats?".
One final question of "have you sacked your PR yet" also goes unanswered,
though we can make an educated guess.
The league month draws to a close with a 0-0 draw away at Swansea. The lack
of striking options is all too prevalent as defenders and midfielders miss a
number of good chances to give us all three points. Forward options are
reduced even further by the news that Ricardo Vaz Te has dislocated his
shoulder resulting in a lengthy absence.
There's just time in the month to fit in a trip to Burnley who are beaten
2-0 in the League Cup at Turf Moor. Taylor and Collison are both on target
from the spot to send us through to the quarter finals, where we are given a
bye into the semis courtesy of us being drawn away to Spurs.
So the first three calendar months of the year leaves us a point above the
drop zone. Our strikers consist of a confidence-free Maiga and two free
agents of limited fitness.
Favourite West Ham highlanders
Filed: Saturday, 14th June 2014
By: Staff Writer #3
At the moment, Scotland is hotter than a fried Mars bar wrapped in fried
The independence referendum is in the news and come September we may see a
historical split between England and Scotland. Change is already in the air.
A couple of weeks ago it could be read that some Scots had already jumped
the gun and created a Scottish lotto – a true sign of independence if
anything. Signs of sectarianism have also been seen, not least on the
It's not yet clear whether an independent Scotland would be part of the EU.
Should they decide to opt-out, Scottish players would most likely have to
apply for a work permit to play for West Ham or any of the other clubs.
We could see a situation where Scottish players face the same restrictions
as, for example, South American players. Would this make it harder for us to
get Scottish talent to join the squad?
West Ham United has had several iconic Scots on the squad. Who is your
favourite Hammers highlander? Here are ours...
1. Christian Dailly
This is the Scot who rose through the ranks to become a celebrated cult
hero. Dailly played seven years for the Hammers and recorded over 190
appearances. His curly hair together with some truly exceptional footballing
skills have made him part of the West Ham legacy. When was the last time you
sang "Oh Christian Dailly / You are the love of my life / Oh Christian
Dailly / I'd let you shag my wife / Oh Christian Dailly / I want curly hair
too" in the shower?
2. Frank McAvennie
Who can forget about hard-partying, KUMB Awards-guesting, playboy Frank
McAvennie? The boys of 86' almost made what no other West Ham squad have
done before. Frank McAvennie was one of the key members of the squad who
ended up third in the highest division, an all time high for Hammers.
When the fairly unknown St. Mirren player joined the squad he created a
formidable partnership with Tony Cottee. McAvennie was somewhat of a playboy
at the time and could be seen donning impossible silk suits, always a
bombshell blonde by his side. Was McAvennie the greatest Scot that ever
played for West Ham?
3. Ray Stewart
His nickname was Tonka and he scored penalties. Lots of them. He was a
pretty good full back too, back in the days when Scottish footballers were
still decent and regularly featured in what is now known as the Premier
John Lyall bought the 19-year-old Stewart south of the border in the summer
of '79, when he signed the young full-back from Dundee for a fee of
£400,000. Stewart scored the first of over 50 penalties for the Hammers in a
2-1 win against Burnley that year, but it is his spot-kicks against Aston
Villa (FA Cup quarter-final 1980) and Liverpool (League Cup Final 1981) for
which he is most fondly remembered.
4. John Lyall? No - King Kenny
John wasn't really Scottish even though his middle name was Angus and his
parents hailed from the Isle of Lewis and Kirriemuir, which kind of sounds
like an ITV period drama. So by declaring John's entry void so we'll have
Kenny Dalglish instead, who spent a week on trial at Chadwell Heath before
settling for second best at Anfield...
5. Don Hutchinson
It is remarkable that West Ham has had two of the most controversial top
Scottish footballers on the squad. On an ill-fated holiday in Ayia Napa in
1994, pictures surfaced depicting Hutchinson - then at Liverpool - naked,
save for a Budweiser label. When West Ham drafted him he was hence nicknamed
after the American brew. In a separate incident, he was spotted flashing a
group of video-filming female students, telling them to "Zoom in on this!"
How do you think Hutchinson stood up as a footballer for his squad? Let us
know in the comments section below.
Some other Scottish Hammers
Bob Allan (79 appearances for the Ironworks and West Ham, 1899-1903); Tommy
Allison (165 apps, 1903-09); Jimmy Andrews (120 apps, 1951-55); Sandy Clark
(34 apps, 1982-83); Norman Corbett (103 apps, 1936-50); Dave Gardner (80
apps, 1904-07); Billy Grassam (179 apps, 1900-03, 1906-09); Lawrie Lesley
(61 apps, 1961-63); Tommy McAlister (100 apps, 1981-89); Archie Macauley (91
apps, 1937-47); Robbie Stockdale (9 apps, 2003/04); Peter Grant (Alan
Pardew's former assistant); Steve Clarke (Franco Zola's former assistant) -
then there's Tom McAlister; Tommy McQueen; Jimmy Lindsay; John Cushley;
James Jackson; Neil Orr; Bobby Ferguson; John Dick...
West Ham set to swoop for Ecuador's £4million-rated winger Jefferson Montero
Jun 15, 2014 09:00 By Alan Nixon
The Ecuadorian has impressed Big Sam and his scouts as he looks to bring in
some new faces as he sets about re-inventing the Hammers attack
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is making a £4million move for Ecuador's World
Cup winger Jefferson Montero, writes Alan Nixon in the Sunday People.
Allardyce wants speedy Montero at Upton Park – who plays on either flank –
to join from Mexican side Monarcas Morelia. The Hammers chief sent his top
scout to watch 24-year-old Montero against England in the recent World Cup
warm-up and has been trying to sort a deal since. Montero, who spent his
early years with Valencia and Real Betis in Spain, wants a switch to
England. Allardyce has turned to Montero after failing to land French
starlet M'Baye Niang from AC Milan.
EXCLUSIVE: Kouyate deal – the latest
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 15, 2014 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh
ClaretandHugh can confirm the deal to bring Cheikhou Kouyate to West Ham is
unwinding and the chances of it happening are now around 25 per cent!
Rumours have been circulating in the European press all day that the deal
was in trouble and that has now been confirmed to us by a trusted Upton Park
source. The Anderlecht defender – heavily wooed by Valencia before the
Hammers stepped in – now looks likely to opt for the Spanish club after they
returned with a bid of around none million euros. The big
defender/midfielder had been expected to arrive in London for a medical
tomorrow but Valencia made a late move and appear to have hijacked the deal.
The ClaretandHugh's source said: "The deal began to unwind on Friday night
and has gone from 90 per cent to 25 but we have many players we are trying
to bring in."
Hammers respond to Montero speculation
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 15, 2014 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh
West Ham United have today all but dismissed stories that Sam Allardyce is
to make a £4 million move for Ecuador's World Cup winger Jefferson Montero.
The report in a Sunday newspaper claims the Hammers boss wans to woo the
player to Upton Park from Mexican side Monarcas Morelia. And it adds that a
club scout watched the 24-year-old in the recent World Cup warm-up and has
been trying to sort a deal since. However, when ClaretandHugh put the story
on our club source today, the response was immediate and firm: "No more
than one per cent interest or chance of getting him if it were stronger." He
added: "There are many names on our list and we are pursuing some of them
strongly. "We have read the story but to suggest we are keen would be
misleading to the fans and to put the interest higher one per cent would be
Irons alert to Downing and Demel "rumours"
Posted by Hugh5outhon1895 on June 15, 2014 in Whispers
Claret & Hugh
West Ham have saved around £5.5 million on their wage bill so far this
summer! And there's a possibility that another £4.5 million could be freed
up if rumours involving Guy Demel and Stewart Downing prove a reality and
are seen as acceptable sales. The Hammers have released George McCartney,
Joe Cole, Jack Collison and Matt Taylor which has freed up the £5.5 million.
And we were told that although no inquiries or bids have been received, the
club is aware of rumours concerning the right full back and winger. A source
told us: "We are aware of reports linking Guy with a move back to Hamburg
and there is a story we've heard about Stewart Downing. It's no more than
that at this moment. "And whatever happens on those fronts will be
managerial decisions but I guess it's fair to say that something could
happen in those positions if te rumours turn out to be correct."
Cheikhou Kouyate edges closer to West Ham move, following Anderlecht
defender's medical with Hammers
West Ham hope to announce signing of Anderlecht's Cheikhou Kouyate on Monday
following a medical
Kouyate is a defender by nature but can fit into midfield role
Hammers look to have seen off competition from Valencia
By SIMON JONES
PUBLISHED: 23:40, 15 June 2014 | UPDATED: 00:01, 16 June 2014
West Ham hope to complete the signing of Anderlecht's Cheikhou Kouyate on
Monday following a medical. The Senegalese defender was on the wish-list of
La Liga's Valencia but it seems the Hammers have fought off competition to
bag the 24-year-old. A £7million deal is expected to be hashed out for the
player who can also play in a midfield role. Sam Allardyce has been given an
ultimatum by West Ham's co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan. The pair
have demanded the Hammers boss provides more entertainment next season, and
that would start with more flair in the side. Teddy Sherringham has joined
the Upton Park outfit as an attacking coach, while Argentinian striker Mauro
Zarate joined on a three-year deal from Velez Sarsfield. At the other end,
Allardyce has his eye on Manchester City defenders Joleon Lescott and Micah
Richards, and also goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon.
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