|An archive of Cockney Hammer's West Ham-related daily news digests.
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SAM ALLARDYCE admits West Ham's promotion wobble has been an alarming wake-up call.
The Hammers have lost momentum in the push to go straight back up after four home draws in a row.
They are clinging on to automatic promotion in second spot on goal difference from Reading.
Big Sam said: "There's a confidence we're good enough but there has always been a worry. Every time I wake up at 6am on Saturday I worry.
"We've got capabilities as long as things don't go against us."
Boss Allardyce was last night tying up a loan deal for Portsmouth keeper Stephen Henderson.
WEST HAM CHASE CHELSEA'S SALOMON KALOU
Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou will be out of contract in the summer
WEST HAM are planning for life back in the Premier League by making Salomon Kalou an offer to spearhead their attack in the top flight.
Chelsea forward Kalou will be out of contract in the summer and is yet to agree a new deal to stay at Stamford Bridge.
HERITA ILUNGA REJOINS DONCASTER
HERITA ILUNGA, 30, has rejoined Doncaster on a one-month deal.
West Ham Sign Portsmouth Keeper for 'Significant Fee'
West Ham United have completed the signing of Portsmouth keeper Stephen Henderson who becomes the latest player to leave the crisis club.
Portsmouth entered administration for the second time just a matter of weeks ago and have been forced to let some of their most talented players leave the club in recent weeks.
Captain Liam Lawrence joined Cardiff, while Erik Huseklepp was noter to leave Fratton Park as the club battle to survive until the end of the season.
Henderson, who has recently become a Republic of Ireland international, has been in superb form for Portsmouth all season and West Ham have moved quickly to seal his signature.
The keeper will initially join the Hammers on-loan until the end of the season and then un the summer a permanent fee will be resolved with Portsmouth.
‘Stephen Henderson will be joining West Ham on loan with a view to a permanent contract," Portsmouth administrator Trevor Birch told portsmouth.co.uk. "We still need money to get past the end of the season.
"It doesn’t just stop then, so I am trying to get in that extra cash which pushes it even further and gives even more time to achieve what we need to achieve.
"I cannot divulge how much we will receive (from West Ham), it wouldn’t be right to. But it’s a significant fee. We wouldn’t be doing it otherwise."
West Ham are looking to secure promotion back to the Premier League and will hope that Henderson can provide support for Rob Green who is currently the number one at the club.
Taylor: Fans shouldn’t panic about West Ham promotion hopes
West Ham winger Matt Taylor is focusing on the positives, despite a disappointing home draw with lowly Doncaster Rovers
The boos and jeers from the West Ham fans may well have still been ringing in his ears, but experienced winger Matt Taylor has heard it all before and he is determined to focus on the positives.
After four successive home draws, many are suggesting that the wheels are coming off the West Ham promotion bandwagon, but the 30-year-old is having none of it.
“If you had told me it was four home losses on the trot then yes, I would be worried about things, but it isn’t,” said the winger, who filled in at left back during the 1-1 draw with Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.
“So much is made about not winning at home, but you have got to understand that when teams come tom play at West Ham – no disrespect to any team we play against – we are arguably the biggest team in the league.
“It is like in the Premier League, everybody goes to Manchester United or Manchester City and they shut up shop and teams do that here. We have to be more acute in making sure we kill off teams in the way we probably should do.”
Taylor accepted that Saturday’s performance was not the best, but he insisted that the problems were not huge ones.
“We are creating chances, we are playing good football, but we are just not clinical enough in front of goal,” he said. “If I was standing here now and we were drawing 0-0 and not creating chances and scoring goals then it would be a completely different story, but we are sitting second in the league and we have to take the positives from it.”
West Ham certainly started well against Rovers on Saturday, but Taylor admitted that they could not keep up that frantic opening 10 minutes.
“We started extremely well, but we didn’t capitalise on Kevin Nolan’s goal. I think we took our foot off the gas a little bit and ultimately paid the price by not winning the game, but obviously we are not so unhappy because we didn’t lose the game.”
Taylor was drafted in at left back as George McCartney switched to the right, but he insisted that it was not a role that is new to him.
“I played there for a couple of years when I was around 21 or 22, so it is not hugely alien for me,” he explained. “I haven’t played there regularly in the past three or four seasons, but I know what to do and it is a nice compliment that the manager thinks I can do a job there.”
It certainly prevented him from delivering the sort of crosses that has seen him amass six assists this season, a tally that is more remarkable when you consider the stop start season that Taylor has had with injuries and then a three-match ban following his red card against Southampton.
“It has been a frustrating season for me, but it is not all about me,” said the wide man. “You have to put those things aside and at the end of the season I will hopefully look back and collectively we will all have smiles on our faces.
“We have got 11 cup finals from now until the end of the season and we have got to win as many as we can it’s as simple as that.”
Many fans are beginning to doubt West Ham’s prospects, but Taylor wants them to put the situation in perspective.
“If had said to everyone at the football club, especially me at the start of the season, that with 11 games to go we would be second, three points off the top with a game in hand, everyone would have taken that,” he insisted.
“I understand the fans frustrations but I can assure them that to be brutally honest, it filters down and our frustration is just as much as theirs.
“We have got to start winning games and if we can find the form at home that we have found away, I don’t see any problems.”
Perhaps things are not so bad after all!
Montano Returns To West Ham
Cristian Montano has returned to his parent club, West Ham United, following the expiry of his one-month youth loan deal.
Tano returned for a second spell at Meadow Lane in February, following an impressive three months with the club towards the start of the campaign.
After scoring four goals in 12 appearances between August and October, the Columbian performed a further four times in the black and white stripes.
Speaking on Magpie Player, Notts boss Keith Curle said: "I had a conversation with Cristian and I spoke to his agent as well, and I explained that I didn't think he would be getting as much football time and field time that a young man with his ability would require at this stage of the season.
"He's got an opportunity to go back to his parent club and if he's able to get another move where he can play games
"Players want to be playing games, especially at that age when they're still learning the game they need to be having game time.
"I didn't think at the minute I'd be able offer him enough game time and I didn't want him to be sitting kicking his heels, when there's potentially 10 games he could get under his belt for his career."
Manchester City and Chelsea target Gonzalo Higuain says he will not consider his long-term future until the end of the season. The 24-year-old Argentine says he is committed to Real Madrid's title challenge.
Fulham's loan striker Pavel Pogrebnyak is also wanted by Aston Villa
Aston Villa are ready to battle Fulham for the signature of Pavel Pogrebnyak, 28, who has scored five goals in four games on loan at Fulham from Stuttgart.
Arsenal have joined Newcastle in the race to sign £5m-rated French midfielder Benjamin Corgne, 24, after Gunners scout Gilles Grimandi watched him again on Saturday.
Rennes manager Frederic Antonetti says 21-year-old French midfielder Yann M'Vila, who has been linked with Arsenal, will leave the club at the end of the season.
Liverpool look like they are losing out to Italian giants Inter Milan in the race for Udinese's 23-year-old utility man Mauricio Isla.
French midfielder Paul Pogba, 18, could be set to sign a new contact at Manchester United after being linked with a move away from Old Trafford.
Manchester Evening News
Manchester United defender Ritchie De Laet, 23, has no intention of leaving the club on loan and has vowed to force his way into Sir Alex Ferguson's side.
Kenny Dalglish has launched an impassioned defence of his record at Liverpool, claiming he should not be judged by the club's league position alone and that kit deals are as important as victories.
Meanwhile, Dalglish wants the FA to throw the book at Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger, who recently labelled Liverpool striker Luis Suarez a diver.
Manchester United's Brazilian midfielder Anderson could be ruled out for the season
Manchester United fear midfielder Anderson could miss the rest of the season after badly damaging his hamstring.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp admits he is not sure whether he wants to be the new England boss.
Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart will not face any action from the FA for 'sledging' Swansea penalty taker Scott Sinclair before he missed at the weekend.
Chelsea striker Fernando Torres was the butt of a joke at Didier Drogba's Foundation charity ball when the winner of a training session with the Ivorian offered to give it to the goal-shy Spanish striker.
France star Zinedine Zidane's infamous headbutt on Italian defender Marco Materazi during the 2006 World Cup final has been turned into a work of art called 'Who's afraid of the big, bad, wolf?' which is being exhibited in New York.
CARDIFF will make a last-ditch bid to retain keeper Tom Heaton.
The club's Carling Cup hero is out of contract at the end of the season and set to leave on a free after playing second fiddle to David Marshall this season.
Heaton, 25, will again be on the bench for tonight's home league date with Hull.
But boss Malky Mackay said: "We will certainly be talking to Tom's representatives. He's a top performer.
"I understand the amount of football he wants to play. But I would love him to stay here.
"It has been tough, as I have two very good Championship goalkeepers."
STEVE COTTERILL warned his Nottingham Forest loan stars they are in for a shock at Derby tonight.
He believes the men who have helped Forest climb five points clear of the drop zone will be startled by the explosive atmosphere for the East Midlands derby at Pride Park.
Boss Cotterill said: "I haven't seen my players in this environment yet.
"At the end of the game I'll probably be wiser.
"You can find out a lot about them in these matches."
Rams chief Nigel Clough said: "Anything can happen in this fixture. We've been up and down and so have Forest."
WILFRIED ZAHA could be the next young England star to snub the Three Lions senior squad.
The Crystal Palace whizkid, 19, is considering playing for the Ivory Coast where he was born, despite already representing England's Under-21s.
Blackpool's Matt Phillips last month turned his back on England to opt to play for Scotland.
MARLON KING believes the Championship is so 'random' that promotion is there for the taking.
King and his Birmingham pals travel to Leicester tonight after being held 1-1 by another West Midlands rival, Coventry, on Saturday.
That draw left them just outside the top six. But striker King, 31, said: "It's all to play for still this season. This league is so random and so open.
"Leicester have spent a lot of money and they're going to be under pressure.
"A couple of wins catapults you up into third place, fourth place, right up there."
DONCASTER boss Dean Saunders insists his side are good enough to stun Championship form side Reading tonight.
The Royals have won their last EIGHT and can get into the automatic promotion places with a point.
But the result is equally important for Doncaster, who are four points from safety and have not won in four league matches.
Saunders said: "It's not just the last four games where performances were good — we have been playing well for some time. It's been a case of missed opportunities.
"We have a chance to pick up points with nine available in eight days starting with Reading."
babe of the day
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Interesting comment from Taylor: 'I think we took our foot off the gas a little bit and ultimately paid the price by not winning the game.'
So now the players are admitting what we already know, not an ideal state of affairs when the game was there for the taking.
Carlton Cole @CarltonCole1 Close
I Effin Love West Ham!! Even though some fans Hate me, I'll Always Love Ya!
Then there's a pic of him with crossed hammers. Gotta love him sometimes!
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