|An archive of Cockney Hammer's West Ham-related daily news digests.
Karren Brady’s football diary
WHAT a day! West Ham went top thanks to another home win and our manager Sam Allardyce must take a lot of the credit, along with the players of course.
Sam has brought a real sense of determination and organisation to the club.
All the players know what their jobs are and all of them are doing it, even though Sam is always striving for better.
James Tomkins has signed a new long-term deal, although you wouldn't know it according to some papers who said he was leaving. He is a talented and loyal young man and I'm delighted.
SUN JAN 22
NOT so Super Mario Balotelli decided to use Scott Parker's head as practice for his new job as a grape treader.
OK, maybe not, but you know what I mean.
What exactly was bonkers Balotelli up to this time? And is this why they call it Madchester?
Scott Parker is a fine footballer and a terrific person.
His tackle at the Etihad was perfectly fair and then Balotelli reacted like an idiot.
Mind you, anyone who lets off fireworks in his own house for fun must be short of a roman candle or two. I feel a lengthy ban is coming.
MON JAN 23
FOOTBALL and football fans never cease to amaze me.
Southampton lost at home in a shock result against Leicester City and got booed off the pitch. This is the same Saints side who are second in the league and just went on a lengthy unbeaten run, er, at home.
I know fans have to pay a lot more for watching their favourite team these days but there are two sides on the pitch both wanting to beat each other and you cannot win every game.
Southampton have enjoyed a remarkable season so far with automatic promotion a real possibility and yet by the reaction of some of their supporters following that defeat, you wouldn't know it.
TUES JAN 24
CARDIFF CITY have made the Carling Cup final following a pulsating penalty shootout triumph over Crystal Palace.
I know the League Cup has got its detractors, especially when top Premier League sides put out their reserves, but the reaction of the Bluebirds fans and players said it all.
The Cardiff keeper would have given Usain Bolt a run for his money after the final penalty as he ran around the stadium like Forrest Gump at full pelt.
That kind of passion is exactly what you want to see and I am sure all Cardiff fans are already checking out the train times for Wembley.
WED JAN 25
AT the National TV Awards tonight with Nick Hewer as The Apprentice was nominated in the category of best reality programme.
The walk down the red carpet took nearly an hour as I was stopped to be asked an array of different questions. Are you pulling out of bidding for the Olympic Stadium? Do I prefer EastEnders or Corrie? Who is going to win the league? What's your best beauty secret?
Spotted Thierry Henry looking slightly uncomfortable.
Sadly we lost out to I'm a Celebrity, Get me out of here! Oh well, at least we weren't beaten by Come Dine With Me!
THURS JAN 26
BACK to the day job and the transfer market has been pretty stagnant this January.
Trust me, here at Upton Park, it's not for trying.
We have made several offers for players but the valuations have been way too high. I think the new financial fair play system which comes into effect next season has a lot to do with what is going on now.
It is designed to stop clubs going horrendously into debt and I can understand that logic.
But if a multi-millionaire chicken farmer or wealthy banker wants to plough their money into a football club, who is to stop them?
FRI JAN 27
REFS' chief Mike Riley is set to impose a get-tough policy on two-footed challenges with players handed an instant red card if they commit such a foul.
There have been several instances lately of players diving in with two feet and not even getting booked, with the usual defence that contact had been made first with the ball.
Anything which helps to protect players from serious injury must be welcomed but refs should not be pilloried if they simply don't see an incident — like Howard Webb in the Mario Balotelli incident.
Ernie Gregory: Footballer who served West Ham for half a century
There can hardly be any footballer, from any era, who gave more loyal service to one club than did Ernie Gregory to West Ham United. As a big, dominant, charismatic goalkeeper he was a linchpin of the Upton Park side for a dozen seasons in the middle years of the 20th century, a reassuring and often inspirational influence as the Hammers won the Second Division title in 1958.
Later he served West Ham as a coach, offering sage guidance to fine keepers such as Phil Parkes and Mervyn Day, and even after his 1987 retirement brought an end to his remarkable 51-year official tenure at the club, he was a regular visitor at the Chadwell Heath training ground, keeping an eye on the new generation of young keepers and delivering typically shrewd scouting assessments.
Though necessarily athletic, Gregory wasn't an overtly spectacular performer; rather he specialised in canny positioning and safe, unshowy handling. He was unfailingly courageous, too, in an era when referees offered goalkeepers scant protection from fearsomely brawny centre-forwards, the likes of Trevor Ford, Derek Dooley and Nat Lofthouse, who seemed to bounce off him like lightweights when they encountered his muscular frame.
As a boy Gregory was a promising boxer, and on the football field he was a defender, but one day his goalkeeper brother Bob broke his leg and Ernie took his place between the sticks. Thereafter he progressed to the West Ham Boys side, for whom he was playing in the English Schools Trophy final in 1936 when he was spotted by the Hammers manager Charlie Paynter.
He was approached, too, by Arsenal and Sunderland, but he was an east Londoner to his boots and never contemplated joining anyone but West Ham, which he did that year. While still unpaid he helped local amateurs Leytonstone to win the Isthmian League title in 1938, then turned professional with the Hammers in 1939.
Aged only 18 at the outbreak of the Second World War, Gregory served in the Essex Regiment, also finding time to make half a century of appearances for the Hammers in unofficial emergency competition. Having lost the first half of his twenties to the conflict, he made his senior debut in a 4-1 Second Division victory over Plymouth Argyle in December 1946, and by season's end he was the club's first-choice goalkeeper, a position he retained, injuries permitting, until 1959.
For much of that period West Ham, managed from 1950 onwards byTed Fenton, were a moderate Second Division side, despite the presencein their rearguard of such luminaries as Malcolm Allison, Noel Cantwelland John Bond, and they owedplenty to Gregory's heroics for keeping them buoyant.
There was no shortage of observers, especially in the East End, who maintained that he should be rewardedby full caps. But he was unable to oust such formidable rivals as Manchester City's Frank Swift, Bert Williamsof Wolves and the Birmingham City man Gil Merrick, though he was granted one outing for England 'B', against France in 1952.
In 1957-58, during which he entered his 37th year, Gregory was still at the top of his game as the Hammers lifted their divisional title, and he remained a major force as Fenton's side performed wonders by finishing sixth in the First Division. However, that spring he lost his place to the talented young Irishman Noel Dwyer and he made the last of his 406 senior appearances in a 2-1 home defeat by Leeds United in September 1959.
At that point, extraordinarily, Gregory was less than halfway through his tenure with the Hammers, whom he served as a coach for the next 28 years, through the managerial regimes of Ron Greenwood and John Lyall, helping with the development of, for example, the club's trio of World Cup heroes, Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. He offered experience, continuity and wisdom to wave after wave of Upton Park hopefuls, while setting a peerless example of integrity and simple dignity – and, frequently, entertaining them with his infectious brand of humour. He was summed up admirably by one of his star pupils, the England goalkeeper Phil Parkes, who described his mentor as the greatest servant West Ham have ever had.
Ernest Gregory, footballer and coach: born Stratford, London 10 November 1921; played for West Ham United 1946-60; married (wife deceased, and one daughter, deceased); died 21 January 2012.
vital west ham
DRFC Ilunga released by West Ham
West Ham United has released former Doncaster Rovers loan player Herita Ilunga after terminating his contract by mutual consent.
Ilunga joined Doncaster in October and made 15 appearances for the club before returning to Upton Park following the win over Barnsley on January 2nd, a game in which he was voted into the Championship football team of the week.
The Congolese international was an ever present during his time at the Keepmoat.
The 29 year old is now free to find a new club.
big sam loving life at west ham
http://www.whufc.com/articles/20120127/ ... 84_2590937
Just Not Worth The Risk at Upton Park, Yet.
West Ham supporters love to worship a player that has entertained them with passion, flair and ability and if you were to ask any Hammers fan who their favourite player has been at Upton Park in the past 20 years the majority would repeat the same name. When I was growing up I was fortunate enough to be able to get to Upton Park each week and watch my footballing hero become a legend in the East End whose name is still heard from the stands today.
You may have heard this said before, but I was sitting directly behind ‘that goal’ against Wimbledon that was voted the best ever Premier League goal that only confirmed what I had known for a while; Paolo Di Canio is a genius.
When Avram Grant was sacked after doing a wonderful job to get West Ham relegated last season from the Premier League, a certain Italian’s name was popping up on a regular basis to be his successor. Hammers owners David’s Gold and Sullivan were quick to dismiss Di Canio from being a contender to return to his second home due to one key issue, a lack of experience. The level headed owners were able to take a step back and view the decision without rushing in to please the supporters which has to be admired.
The former Celtic, Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton forward though, took that on board and after discussions with a few Football League club’s he was offered the managers role at Swindon Town, where he immediately became a fans favourite with the Robins supporters. In the script, Paolo would be showing his passion, making pundits and supporters fall in love with him once again, and steer the talented Town to automatic promotion. Once that was done, Di Canio would be a viable option and favourite to take over at West Ham once Sam Allardyce had got bored of the constant criticism from the terraces and left to take over at Blackburn Rovers again once the Venky’s got rid.
However, having spent a lot of money in the summer bringing in plenty of talent to the County Ground, Di Canio’s side suffered a slow start in League Two following relegation last season and doubts were beginning to grow as to whether the 43-year-old could really cut it in English management. But the turnaround is well and truly on and Swindon are now just outside the automatic promotion places after losing just once in a remarkable 22 games in all competitions that included victories over Premier League Wigan and League One high flyers Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup.
Unfortunately for Di Canio, his exuberance and passion has spilled over on many occasions this season and his pile of letters from the FA will trump even Joey Barton’s after regular dismissals and fines while on the touchline. Di Canio has to learn that he is going to be under the spotlight every time he emerges from the tunnel, even more so than when was a player, and biting his tongue may affect his passion but may also move him up the Football League ladder.
As a player, Di Canio was never far from controversy whether it was shoving referees to the ground, fighting over the taking of a penalty or giving up an open goal to score because the opposition goalkeeper was injured, he has clearly not lost any of that personality, which made him so endearing to the majority of football fans but stepping over the mark is becoming far to regular and expensive for a lowly club.
So for a club such as West Ham to take the risk of bringing Di Canio to Upton Park in the next year or so is unnecessary and could end terribly for both parties, with his legendary status being hindered and the club slipping back to the second tier of English football. It may take time for the ageing Italian to adapt to management in England and learnt not to attract so much attention to himself but hopefully one day it may all come together for him.
I would like nothing better than the smart Italian to come running down the touchline at Upton Park celebrating a last minute winner in the Premier League as manager of West Ham, but Irons supporters and other club’s who may have a look at Paolo next year must take a step back and think, is it really worth the risk? Give him another two years or so to mature and learn in the managerial game and the answer to that question may be very different!
Would you like Di Canio as your manager now or next season? Let me know on Twitter: @Brad_Pinar
Queens Park Rangers hope to sign former Liverpool forward Djibril Cisse from Lazio. The 30-year-old Frenchman would cost £4m, although he may join on loan.
Lille striker Eden Hazard has admitted Carlo Ancelotti's presence at Paris Saint-Germain is drawing him towards joining the French club. Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United have all been linked with the 21-year-old. Full story: Inside Futbol
Everton are closing in on former Tottenham striker Mounir El Hamdaoui. The 27-year-old Moroccan could move to Goodison Park on loan before sealing a permanent move for £5m in the summer.
Fulham attacker Clint Dempsey has alerted Arsenal and a host of Premier League clubs after the 28-year-old admitted his ambition is to play in the Champions League.
Edinson Cavani's agent has played down talk of a stunning late switch to Manchester City. It has been suggested in the Italian media that Napoli are bracing themselves for a late move for their 24-year-old Uruguayan striker.
Bolton have made a £5m bid for Crystal Palace's England under-21 attacker Wilfried Zaha but face competition from Newcastle and Stoke.
Swansea are rivalling Newcastle in the battle for Watford defender Adrian Mariappa, 24.
Owen Coyle does not want to lose Bolton club captain Kevin Davies, 34, amid interest from Sunderland, Wolves and West Brom.
Sunderland are considering a bid for unsettled Besiktas targetman Hugo Almeida, 27, who is rated at £3m.
Manchester United could make a shock move for German midfielder Michael Ballack after Bayer Leverkusen indicated the 35-year-old could be available.
West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster believes former Birmingham City team-mate Liam Ridgewell would be a "fantastic signing". Albion have had two offers for the 27-year-old defender rejected.
West Brom are hopeful of signing Zenit St Petersburg's Hungary winger Szabolcs Huszti, 28, for the remainder of the season, with a view to a permanent deal in the summer.
Blackpool are lining up a season-long loan move for West Brom's Czech Republic striker Roman Bednar, 28.
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is taking extra English lessons to avoid a repeat of his ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra. Full story: Daily Mail
Arsenal fear Jack Wilshere will miss the rest of the season after suffering a setback in his return from an ankle injury - the news could mean the midfielder misses England's Euro 2012 campaign. Full story: Daily Mail
However, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger believes Wilshere can still make Euro 2012. Full story: Daily Mirror
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is willing to rest players in league matches so they are fit to make a run at winning the FA Cup.
Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers is set to sign a new three-year contract at the club.
South Wales Evening Post
Wayne Rooney, James Milner, Theo Walcott and Petr Cech are to make guest appearances in the computer game Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13.
babe of the day
http://pban.playboygirls.com/pic0067/pi ... 5JP_14.jpg
Cheers CH, as always.
Nice obituary for Ernie Gregory from The Independent
Cracking BOTD too
Last edited by Chicken Run Supreme on Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
I doubt she even knew who Ernie was. Thanks CH and top marks for avoiding the Ferdinand / Terry story which is now boring beyond belief. Does anyone really give a sh*t if they shake hands or not before the game? Whay are there always stories of someone receiving a 'death threat' around this kind of incident. Maybe I'm sceptical but given the practises of some of the tabloids perhaps they commission one of their shady contacts to make such a threat in order to ensure they have the story.
'I was stopped to be asked an array of different questions. Are you pulling out of bidding for the Olympic Stadium? Do I prefer EastEnders or Corrie? Who is going to win the league? What's your best beauty secret?,,,,
....When am I going to leave West Ham United?'
Probably never heard of him....had plenty of memories of Clyde Best getting pelted with Bananas though.....
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