|An archive of Cockney Hammer's West Ham-related daily news digests.
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West Ham consider move for Sol Campbell
Gianfranco Zola insists he would thank his bosses if they dipped into their own pockets to strengthen his squad.
The West Ham manager yesterday claimed he was unaware of reports that claimed Hammers chief executive Scott Duxbury and technical director Gianluca Nani had made personal contributions to ease the signing of free agent Guillermo Franco.
Zola also rejected claims the club is facing a financial crisis despite the problems that hit them following the Icelandic bank crisis and prompted the takeover by CB Holdings.
But he says that if Nani and Duxbury did help fund a transfer, he would welcome the gesture.
He said: "They have a lot of passion for what they are doing. They are committed and they believe in what they are doing and it would be a great gesture if they did.”
And he added: "I don't think the financial situation is as bad as everyone is trying to say.
"We're obviously not the kind of club that can spend £20m on players, but we are a club that is solid and we have stability and we can look forward with optimism."
A tight transfer budget means Zola has been restricted to finding bargain buys and free agents in the transfer market.
Zola admits he would consider a move for free agent Sol Campbell in January if he felt his squad needed an injection of experience.
And with skipper Matthew Upson expected to once again be the target of bids from rival Premier League clubs in the next transfer window, the former Notts County defender is likely to move up Zola's wish-list.
The manager said: "Sol was a good player, he still is a good player. He's got experience and everything needed to be a good footballer.
"It's just down to him. With him it's personal and down to his desire whether he wants to be a top player. But other than he has got everything.
"So if I was in the need of an experienced player, I would be thinking about him."
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce may decide to sell Kenwyne Jones if the striker's form does not improve.
Full story: Daily Mirror
West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola says he would be interested in bringing Sol Campbell to Upton Park in the January transfer window. Daily Mirror
Arsenal striker Robin van Persie says ex-team-mate and Manchester City forward Emmanuel Adebayor has yet to apologise for an alleged stamp on him when their two teams met recently.
Van Persie says he does not dive but does exaggerate his reaction to fouls.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has defended Jamie Carragher over criticism of the centre-back's form and fitness so far this season.
Reds midfielder Steven Gerrard was cleared of affray after an incident at the Lounge Inn in Southport but he says the experience has changed him and that he will never celebrate in a bar again.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes the fear of life without football is the driving force behind the impressive early season form of veteran Ryan Giggs.
The takeover of League Two club Notts County has been cast into doubt as part of the new ownership of the club may not pass the Football League's 'fit and proper persons' test.
But that does not appear to be putting off director of football from bringing former Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini to the club as a replacement for manager Ian McParland.
Burnley striker Robbie Blake is waiting for the right occasion to pull down his shorts and reveal his lucky charm Bad Beat Bob underpants. He has changed them from red to white because of the club's promotion to the Premier League.
Zola expecting Franco to impress
West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola believes new Hammers striker Guillermo Franco could take the goalscoring burden off Carlton
Zola could hand Franco his debut on Monday night in the Premier League clash against Manchester City at Eastlands.
The 32-year-old Mexican, who has scored six goals in 19 international appearances, joined West Ham after his contract with Villarreal expired.
Zola insists he could form a formidable partnership with Cole.
"It would be fantastic if Franco could start on Monday," said Zola. "He is going to be very important for us.
"He has all the experience and he's got presence on the pitch and I'm really impressed with him. He's going to be a very good signing for us."
West Ham have not won in the league since the first day of the season and have gleaned just four points from five matches, but Zola remains confident.
He said: "We know we are not getting the points we should but we are playing well and improving.
"I'm the first to say that points-wise we are not doing great, but I am not working just on three points. I am working on a project. I see the big picture.
"It is just a matter of time before we start picking up points with consistency."
Premier League referee Mark Halsey is fighting cancer.
It is the second blow for him and wife, Michelle, who was diagnosed with leukaemia six months ago.
Mr Halsey had surgery to have a tumour removed from his throat on Monday and he faces an anxious wait to see if the cancer has spread.
Mr Halsey, who lives in Little Lever, was told he had a tumour on Thursday and had treatment at the Beaumont Clinic in Chorley New Road, Bolton, two days after he refereed Arsenal’s 6-1 win at Everton on the opening day of the Premier League season on Saturday.
Mrs Halsey yesterday said her husband had been taking painkillers for a sore throat and ear infection for the last three months.
She said: “We went private last week and the doctors found the tumour on Thursday.
“They have removed his tonsil and we now have to wait until Friday to find out what kind of cancer it is.
“It has come as a real shock, especially after I was diagnosed with leukaemia on New Year’s Eve and I don’t think anything can prepare you for it.
“Mark is holding up okay and we have to just nurse each other the best we can.”
The couple’s daughter, Lucy Mia, was born in April, 2006, after two courses of IVF treatment.
Mrs Halsey said: “We are staying strong for Lucy’s sake because you have to when you have a three-year-old daughter.
“The doctors have said it is at the primary stage, so we are just keeping our fingers crossed that it hasn’t spread.”
Mr Halsey, aged 48, was born in Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire. He was appointed to the Football League list of referees in the mid-1990s and was promoted to the Premier League list in 1999.
He has officiated three times at Wembley, taking charge of the 1998/99 League One play-off final between Manchester City and Gillingham, refereeing the 2007 Community Shield between Chelsea and Manchester United and the 2008 Carling Cup Final between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
Mr Halsey and his wife own the Sottovento Italian restaurant in Worsley Road, Farnworth.
good luck mark
i can't see upson signing a new contract now that he's in his final year and he can run his contract down before the world cup to be honest....saying that not sure about sol campbell - doesn't seem to have the desire any more but he could be good for the youngsters to learn from...wouldn't surprise me if the club tried to unload Upson for £5m to get something and bring campbell in for 2nd half of the season but whether upson would go is another matter entirely as he stands to gain more in wages if he sits tight until the summer....
Good luck to him, yet again we're reminded that there are matters more important than football...
Good luck to both of them, fate can be pretty shitty sometimes.
How very true,
Thanks CH appreciated as always
8 posts • Page 1 of 1
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