|An archive of Cockney Hammer's West Ham-related daily news digests.
Fan flak doesn't bother me - Allardyce
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce insists he is tough enough to deal with Upton Park’s boo-boys.
Big Sam has come under fire from some fans in recent weeks, following disappointing home draws with Crystal Palace, Watford and Doncaster.
But Allardyce, whose third-placed side host promotion rivals Middlesbrough on Tuesday, says he can cope with the detractors – while also targeting 23 more points from their final 10 games to avoid the play-offs.
He said: “I have got two skins on top of my own.
“I could put my rhino skin on if it gets half bad, and if it gets really bad I can put my elephant skin on top of that.
“That’s life. It’s what you have to deal with no matter where you go. At one stage, you’re going to get abused.
“With playing or managing, things are going to get a bit sticky as nobody has patience now. But if you excite the fans, they’ll get behind you.
“I think 23 points will be enough, that is the realistic target if you want automatic promotion.
“It is quite simple, 90 points has been good enough these past few years. It’s a big target, but one we are capable of.”
Allardyce has urged his men to keep calm tonight and pick up a 10th home win of the season.
He added: “We have been anxious in front of our own fans recently.
“It has been difficult for them to feel comfortable in their own environment. But if we don’t stay calm, it could cause the nerve endings to jangle.
“Players want to win more than the fans, whatever the fans think.
“That’s why we do this job. We enjoy pressure – we want to win and send the fans home happy.”
Boro have lost three of their last five matches and boss Tony Mowbray is using his special wall chart for inspiration.
He said: “I break down the whole season and colour code it.
“There are red games for losses, but there are plenty of yellow and green games. Maybe too many yellows, draws.
“There’s positivity there. We must keep believing.”
Sam Allardyce has told his West Ham players to cure their Tuesday night blues at Upton Park
SAM ALLARDYCE WANTS MIDWEEK VICTORY RETURN
SAM ALLARDYCE has told his West Ham players to cure their Tuesday night blues at Upton Park.
They have not won a midweek game at home this season and boss Allardyce has demanded improvement against Middlesbrough tonight.
Big Sam said: “Tuesdays have been our Achilles heel.
“It is a great concern as we have two Tuesday matches on the trot.
“I have told the players they need a better attitude and a better mental state.”
west ham on line
View from a Middlesbrough Fan
by Josh ...
A big thank you to Gavin for finding the time to answer the questions. A supporter who goes home and away now travelling from London.
1. How do you feel the season has gone for you so far?
Better than expected, started off well but injuries have taken their toll.
2. Who is your stand out player(s) of the season?
Rhys Williams, unfortunately now injured for the rest of the season!
3. Is there a weak player in your team, if so who?
Justin Hoyte! Can't defend or attack, summerised by inability to clear the ball at Leeds
4. How do you feel West Ham’s season has gone so far?
Thought they would of started stronger, my bet for the title at the start of the season and I still think they will walk away with the title
5. What is your opinion of West Ham's support ?
Always impressive support at West Ham and even more so away
6. Which West Ham player worries you the most for the match Tuesday?
Think West Ham will win this in the midfield without Williams so would have to be Nolan. Think the pace of Ravel Morrison if played can do some serious damage
7. Who do you think will go up this season, automatic and play offs?
Southampton and West Ham in autos and Reading in play offs
8. Tell us an interesting fact about Middlesbrough.
Boro has the highest proportion of locally-born season holders in the country. 80% of match-goers were born in either Middlesbrough or the surrounding area
9. What do you think the score will be?
West Ham 2 - 0 Middlesbrough
10. Finally, and what most WHOers have been waiting for, what is your favourite potato or corn based snack?
That's a tough one....would have to go with Scampi Fries (I think they are corn bassed anyway)
HAMMERS WAIT ON TOMKINS West Ham v Middlesbrough. Click here to bet.
James Tomkins is West Ham's latest injury worry ahead of Tuesday's clash with Middlesbrough.
The England Under-21 international had to come off during Saturday's 1-1 draw at Leeds due to a calf problem and is set to miss out.
Tomkins, usually a centre-half, has been playing in midfield as Papa Bouba Diop remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Winger Ricardo Vaz Te will be out for at least another week with his hamstring problem while Winston Reid (head), Julien Faubert (groin) and Guy Demel (thigh) are still carrying knocks.
Ravel Morrison, who made his first Hammers appearance as a late substitute at Elland Road, could therefore be in line for a full debut while Gary O'Neil is also on standby.
Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray will be without influential midfielder Barry Robson once again.
The Scotland international will sit out the second instalment of the three-match ban be picked up for his sending-off in the 2-0 home defeat by Leeds.
Utility man Rhys Williams will also be missing as he recovers from the ankle ligament problem he suffered during the same game.
Faris Haroun's hamstring injury continues to be assessed, but he remains a doubt for the game at Upton Park.
Goalkeeper Danny Coyne is back in training after a calf problem, but striker Scott McDonald, while making good progress, continues his rehabilitation for medial ligament damage.
Gillingham extend Oliver Lee loan from West Ham
Gillingham have extended West Ham midfielder Oliver Lee's loan spell until 15 April.
Lee's loan at Priestfield expired on Sunday but the Gills took up an option in his contract.
The 20-year-old has made six appearances for the Gills since moving from West Ham at the end of February.
With suspensions and injuries hitting the Gillingham squad hard in recent weeks, Lee has been given an extended run in the first team.
But manager Andy Hessenthaler believes that it took until their 3-0 win over Cheltenham on Saturday for the midfielder to finally come good.
"There was a slight question mark on him and he'll tell you himself that he hasn't really got to level that he's at.
"Today he got to that level," Hessenthaler said.
West Ham’s Cole: ‘I need to start scoring goals’
The ups and downs of Carlton Cole’s season seem to mirror that of West Ham. When he is scoring, the Hammers are flying high in the league, but when he is misfiring, as he is at the moment, then things do not go so smoothly for the team.
It is February 4 since Cole hit his ninth goal of the current campaign and in the seven games since his last strike, West Ham have won just two of them.
The England striker knows that he has to make a bigger contribution.
“I need to score a goal ASAP, really, that will help the team progress,” said the 28-year-old marksman.
“When you look at my contribution this season, I think I have started 20 games and scored nine goals. I am actually happy with that, but I can do a bit more scoring goals when I come on the field.
“I need to contribute more when I come on as a substitute to win games.”
He may not have scored, but Cole certainly turned West Ham into a more potent attacking force when he replaced Nicky Maynard after 56 minutes at Leeds United on Saturday.
Manager Sam Allardyce admitted as much after Saturday’s 1-1 draw and Cole certainly came close to ending that barren run with one ball that flashed across the face of goal and a header from Matt Taylor’s free kick that went inches over.
Cole is a deep thinker about the game and he was quick to point out that West Ham’s late goal on Saturday was more than overdue.
“We have been in that position a lot of times this season and our main problem has been not scoring in the last 10 minutes,” said the striker.
“It was a good time for it to come today because we really needed it. If we are talking about the timing of the goals, we know that we need to up that.
“Whether we are winning or losing, we need to get goals in the final 10 because games are won and lost there.”
Or drawn in the case of Saturday’s match, though victories for both Reading and Southampton above them, puts the pressure on even more.
Cole believes though that things will eventually catch up with the teams in the automatic positions.
“The games are going to come thick and fast for all the teams now and let’s see how their strength in depth is,” he said.
“They are going to pick up injuries, some players are not going to be able to play and that means some of their key men when they have got three games in a week.
“We will see what they can do, but we have got strength in depth and hopefully the manager utilises what he has got.”
Bold words when you consider the current form of the Saints and the Royals, but the striker thinks that they should not be worrying about what others are doing.
“It is down to us now. Everyone has just got to keep plugging away,” he insisted.
“We are not actually looking at the other teams, everybody is telling us about them, but we know what we need to do every Saturday and whether it is Tuesday or Wednesday as well.
“Now it is time for us to start winning games at home, because we have dropped something like 21 points this season and it is not good enough.”
It is also time for Cole to start hitting the back of the net, because when he is scoring, West Ham are on the way up.
West Ham new boy: I love playing with Abdy the tank!
West Ham loan star Danny Collins celebrated his first start for the Hammers with his first goal in the 1-1 draw at Leeds.
New West Ham defender Danny Collins has been there, seen it and bought the t-shirt, so perhaps it was not too surprising that he was still battling at the end on Saturday to the point where he was able to grab a dramatic late equaliser against Leeds United.
When Winston Reid was injured while on international duty, manager Sam Allardyce delved back into the loan market and if he had put all the co-ordinates he needed to fill the defensive void, the computer would probably have come up with Collins.
“This lad has stepped into a strange environment, but other than that he has been really comfortable,” said the Hammers boss about his loan signing from Stoke City.
“The experience that Danny has got is invaluable at this stage of the season, he has helped Sunderland to promotion twice from the Championship.”
The Welshman helped the Black Cats into the top flight back in 2005, even coming on as a substitute when they clinched the title at Upton Park that season and helped them to repeat the feat in 2007 when they once again too the title and the route back to the Premier League.
Stoke City paid nearly £3million for his services and the left-footed defender will now try to make it a hat-trick of promotions with the Hammers.
Goals like Saturdays will help his and West Ham’s cause, even though he admitted it was a little lucky.
“Obviously I am delighted with the goal to get back on level terms after it looked like we had lost the game after they had scored so late on,” admitted the 31-year-old centre back.
“Overall I thought we coped pretty well with them. Myself and Abdy Faye kept them pretty quiet and they didn’t have too many chances. They scored a pretty scruffy goal, but to our credit we have battled on, managed to get up there and I have popped up with what was a scruffy goal.
“I got my head on to it, but it has also come off my shoulder I think.”
With James Tomkins, first being employed in midfield at Elland Road and then being forced off with injury, Collins could well be vital for West Ham’s hopes for the rest of the season.
So could renewing his old partnership with former Stoke City team-mate, Faye.
“I have played alongside Abdy before at Stoke and I know what he is like,” explained Collins.
“He is a big tank isn’t he! He wins everything in the air and he reads the game well and he is a good lad to play alongside.
“Off the pitch he is a big gentle giant really, but once he is out there, he puts himself in there and you know what you are going to get from him.”
It seems what you are going to get from Collins is some solid defensive play. He rarely looked ruffled against an in-form Leeds United side who hardly created a chance all afternoon and that augers well for the rest of the campaign according to the player as long as they can improve at the other end.
“West Ham were at the top when I came here and from what I had seen on TV, they had been playing some good stuff,” said Collins.
“Although we didn’t create many chances, we did have some good possession at times, but we need to try and create a bit more.
“We will take a point here. It is a tough place to come and they have just come off the back of a good win at Middlesbrough so overall we have got to be pretty pleased with the point, even though the two teams above us have both won.”
Reports in Italy are linking Liverpool and Arsenal with Udinese duo Mehdi Benatia, 24, and Mauricio Isla, 23, but they face competition from Napoli.
Barcelona are plotting a shock summer move for Manchester United twins Fabio and Rafael da Silva.
Arsenal are also believed to be chasing Montpellier and France striker Olivier Giroud, who has also caught the eye of both Aston Villa and Newcastle United.
Blackburn striker Ruben Rochina is eyeing a summer move away from Ewood Park, if he continues to be left on the bench. The former Barcelona player has not started a Premier League game since New Year's Eve.
Sheffield Wednesday boss Dave Jones, who took Robbie Fowler to Cardiff in 2007, is set to offer the former Liverpool striker a deal at Hillsborough until the end of the season, after he failed to agree terms with Blackpool.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has targeted Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp as a possible replacement for Andre Villas-Boas who was sacked earlier this month. The 44-year-old led the German side to their first Bundesliga title since 2002.
Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins has warned the rest of the Premier League that his side can be even better next season.
Bob Pollock, the linesman who failed to notice that Clint Hill's header had crossed the line for QPR in the game against Bolton, has been removed from both the Premier League and Football League list for the weekend.
A Singapore couple are fast becoming an internet sensation after a video of their Liverpool FC-themed wedding went viral. The Reds mad couple will be spending their honeymoon in Liverpool to see their team take on Fulham.
babe of the day
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Don't why he has to keep mentioning it every other day, just shut up and ignore it.
He moans more than the fans !
only took the useless c**t 6 years
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