|An archive of Cockney Hammer's West Ham-related daily news digests.
West Ham bid for Holt
Sky Sports sources understand that West Ham have made a £4million bid for Norwich striker Grant Holt.
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce wants Holt to spearhead the club's attack following their return to the Premier League.
The 30-year-old had a transfer request rejected last month and appears keen to bring his time with the Canaries to an end despite enjoying three impressive years with the club.
He helped Norwich to back-to-back promotions before scoring 15 Premier League goals as the Carrow Road club comfortably retained their top-flight status last season.
But with manager Paul Lambert already having walked out on the club to become the new Aston Villa boss, there is some uncertainty at Norwich.
West Ham could also be in a position to offer Holt a more lucrative contract as well as the prospect of a more fashionable base to ignite the forward's England ambitions.
But Holt's agent Lee Payne insists the desire to leave Norwich stems from the fact that the player was told he would not be getting a contract extension at the club due to his age.
He places the blame firmly with Canaries chief executive David McNally.
"David bluntly turned around and said 'you're too old so forget a third year'," said Payne.
"He has got two years left on his contract and all he really wanted - before he even spoke about money - was a third year.
"He wanted to finish his career at Norwich, but being told 'you're too old', I just think it was the wrong thing to do."
Jaaskelainen will replace Rob Green at West Ham
Jaaskelainen will replace Rob Green at West Ham
JUSSI Jaaskelainen is set to replace Rob Green at West Ham after it was officially announced the England goalkeeper was a free agent.
West Ham chairman David Gold has confirmed that Green will leave the club this summer.
He wrote on Twitter: "Robert Green is a free agent he has chosen to move on. Matthew Upson did the same thing."
He added: "Nobody wants Rob to leave but nothing is for ever, he must do what is best for him and we must do what is best for us."
Green, 32, will be out of contract at the end of June and has not agreed new terms despite the Hammers promotion.
Manager Sam Allardyce has lined up Bolton's Jussi Jaaskelainen as Green's replacement.
It is understood the 37-year-old, who is also out of contract, will sign next week subject to passing a medical.
Robert Green is a free agent he has chosen to move on
Jaaskelainen will compete with Stephen Henderson, whose loan move from Portsmouth became permanent last month, to be the club's number one next season.
Green was an unused substitute as England beat Belgium 1-0 at Wembley yesterday in their final warm-up ahead of Euro 2012.
He joined the Hammers from Norwich for £2million in 2006 and made 241 appearances.
I've always said that Henderson is a slightly richer man's Jack Collison. Collison would certainly be better already had he not suffered long term injuries and I think Jack will go on to have the better career.
Cheers for the news CH, I pray that the Diame link is true. Would love him here.
It makes no odds at all to the majority.
My bet is they generally play because their Agents tell them they have to otherwise the Press will murder them.
Then you get others like Carrick who just simply don't want to & won't.
Norwich chief executive David McNally has rubbished reports claiming West Ham have bid £4million for striker Grant Holt.
The 31-year-old looks set to depart Carrow Road this summer after reiterating his desire to leave, having had an initial transfer request turned down by the club in the past two weeks.
And, while former boss Paul Lambert is being tipped to make a bid for Holt following his move to Aston Villa this weekend, it was reported that West Ham chief Sam Allardyce had already made a bid to sign the player, who scored 15 goals to help Norwich secure a 12th-placed Premier League finish.
However, McNally has wasted no time in responding to reports that the Hammers have tested the water with an offer by dismissing them out of hand.
He wrote on Twitter: "Just for the record, we have not received a £4m bid for Grant from West Ham as apparently is being suggested."
Exclusive - Downes plays down West Ham goalkeeper speculation
Wally Downes has played down speculation linking West Ham with goalkeepers Jussi Jaaskelainen or Paul Robinson.
England goalkeeper Green is out of contract this summer and is set to leave Upton Park on a free transfer with La Liga outfit Malaga a possible destination.
And the Hammers have been linked with moves for Bolton’s Jaaskelainen or Blackburn’s Robinson to replace Green.
But first-team coach Downes insists he would have no problem with Henderson making the step up and has tipped him to do a good job if called upon.
“We’ve got Henderson who we brought from Portsmouth last year who has been Rob’s understudy and he has been an excellent acquisition,” Downes said.
“And we wouldn’t have had any qualms about putting him in if Rob would have got injured but obviously if Rob does leave that would leave a position where [Henderson] can go in as number one or we get someone in and Henderson can understudy again for a while.
“We’re quite relaxed about it because if Rob stays we don’t have to do it but if Rob goes we have certainly got a goalkeeper who could go in and it wouldn’t be a big panic that we have to go out and get someone straight away.”
A Diamond in the Rough that Needs to Shine!
So, it seems that Rob Green will, indeed, leave the club on a Bosman. Personally, I would not have chosen to replace Green, in our first season back in the PL, but if that is the way that it must be then so be it. The Goal keeper position is key in a successful team. A good keeper organises his defence, gives team mates confidence and can save you 10 points a season. A sub-standard or over the hill keeper can do exactly the opposite. Think of the assurance provided by Phil Parkes and the uncertainty & mistakes during Allen McKnight's tenure of the No. 1 jersey. So, it is vital that Sam Allardyce get this one right.
My assessment of Rob Geen was that he is a good keeper. He is primarily a reaction keeper, ike Shaka Hislop, who pulls off saves that others would not. He organises his defence competently, but arguably fails to sufficiiently dominate his penalty area. In particular, he is not always strong enough in coming out and gathering high balls; while his kicking can be a bit wayward at times. As I stated, I would have prefered the status quo, with Green staying and competing with Henderson and, perhaps, Jussi, but if not, lets ensure that we get it the changes right! Jussi is due to come in and he is a very experienced keeper, who will be great back up and a good influence on Henderson. And the factor X in all this is Henderson's readiness to come straight in and perform in the first team. If he does then we may even find ourselves with a better custodian? Is Henderson-Jussi the right combination to take into the new season or do we need to add another keeper as extra assurance? Its interesting that we have been linked with Fulham's David Stockdale, although I cannot see the club paying £5m for his services. Alternatively, experienced keepers like Robinson and Gordon are also available on a reasonable fee/free transfer, if it is felt another custodian is necessary.
Next season, we need to build upon the unity and team spirit established during the ourse of last campaign It means adding some quality and strength in depth and ensuring that the existing core of the squad perform to the top of their ability. The likes of Tomkins, Noble, Reid, Va Te and Collison must prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that they are quality PL performers; others like O'Neill, and O'Brien must give 110% and make their contribution in sweat and hard graft; more experienced players like Matt Taylor, Nolan and Cole must bring it to the table and make it count; and, ideally, a couple of the youngsters need to step up their development and make a first team impact.
With the latter category, there is one player whose future at the club is both tantalising and intriguing. A real diamond in the rough that needs to shine! Of course, I am talking about Ravel Morrison, a player with enormous ability, who could rmake a massive, positive impact next season. The issues relating to Ravel Morison are well documented and I am not totally sure how things stand with him at present? But if he could really apply himself, start realising his massive potential and inject creativity in to our forward line, then it would be a major factor contributing to a successful season. Morrison has everything to be a top PL and international footballer, including fanastic technique, pace, vision and the ability to score goals. But all of that can come to nothing if the attitude, dedication and application is not right.
It is a major challenge to Sam Allardyce and West Ham Utd FC to get this young man 100% focused upon his football and producing the goods. Imagine the enormous boost to the club if Ravel Morrison came through, with the likes of Potts, Moncur or Hall also pushing on! We cannot rely it, in formulating our squad for next season, but it could be a real factor in not only surviving but having a good season.
Anyone else worried that Holt's success was part of Norwich's whole "First Season Syndrome"? That he was playing above himself, opposition manager's were unsure how to combat Norwich formation/tactics & that he's not going to be able to repeat that this coming season - no matter who he'splaying for?. He's now a known force & will be a lot less effective & easy to counteract next season.
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