|An archive of Cockney Hammer's West Ham-related daily news digests.
19 posts • Page 1 of 1
It's not Hammer time for Morrison says Big Sam
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has warned throwing in controversial youngster Ravel Morrison to replace the injured Ricardo Vaz Te would be a "big, big risk".
Portuguese striker Vaz Te will miss Hammers' visit to Leeds on Saturday and Tuesday's home match with Middlesbrough because of a hamstring strain.
Morrison, a January signing from Manchester United, scored his first goals for the club in the reserves this week, but Allardyce is wary of promoting the 19-year-old into his promotion-chasing side.
"A player who plays well and scores a couple of goals is
making himself available to be selected, but he hasn't had any first-team experience - that is the problem," said Big Sam.
"We have to make sure we do all we possibly can to get automatic promotion and if you're going to risk a player who has never, ever played at this level of football, it is a big, big risk.
"If it comes off, you are a hero; if it doesn't come off, you get
severely criticised for not doing your job properly.
"Hopefully we will see him sooner rather than later.
"The earliest Vaz Te will be back is a week on Saturday.
"His form was pretty good, so he is a loss for us but we have got plenty of experience to step in."
west ham till i die
When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going!
This West Ham side appear to have something of a ‘Jekyll (away) and Hyde (home)’ character. Playing away, we are organised, confident and efficient. At home, we have nothing like the same assurance, fail to punish team when they are under the cosh and invariably end up paying a price. The price last week was the loss of four valuable points and a (hopefully temporary) displacement from the automatic promotion places.
The Watford and Doncaster results are all the more disappointing against the backdrop of the impressive victory against Cardiff City, the previous Sunday. After winning in Cardiff, I called for the team to be ruthless in winning its next two, back-to-back, home fixures. Unfortunately, they did not follow through. We have dropped too many points at home this season and that has contrasted, unfavourably, with our positive results on the road. I continue to maintain that Sam Allardyce has done a good job in turning the ship around and that, in doing so, he has remedied many of last season’s ills and instilled new discipline at the club. None of that is made less true by those two home draws.
Sam Allardyce made an interesting point recently about footballing styles. Dismissing the ‘long ball’ tag that he has acquired, he argued that a successful manager necessarily has to be able to diversify his approach. Normally, I would agree that Allardyce’s side, while playing a direct style for much of the season, has also played some decent passing football. While the current correlation between the two styles is not that which I would ideally like to see, Allardyce could argue that his side have mixed it up so far this season. However, I could find no excuses for the one-dimensional fayre served up against Watford. I found it truly painful watching the side ‘huff and puff’ and play in to the hands of the Watford centre backs, who easily cleared the repetitive and speculative high balls in to the box. It was only with the introduction of the greater guile of Vaz Te we began to look more likely to unlock their defence.
Against Doncaster, we started much better and Vaz Te continued where he left off on the Tuesday evening. On another day we would have gone in at half-time 3-0 up, but instead had only a slender 1-0 advantage to show for our efforts. Vaz Te’s injury exit was a blow, but we really should have still had more than enough to see off Doncaster. The opposition equalizer did, however, remind me of one of the farcical defensive mix ups that we witnessed all too often last season, with an elementary mistake creating danger where none had existed. However, the truth is that Doncaster came out for the second half prepared to graft and it was that hard work that turned the midfield battle in their favour and earnt them the point. In the end only Green saved us from conceding a second goal and then we tossed away a golden opportunity to win the match with Collison’s miss in the final two minutes of extra time.
The last two matches were hugely disappointing, but we still unbeaten in eight. Yes, the home results have let us down, but only a very unlikely run of eight straight victories by Reading FC has intensified the pressure on us. If Allardyce were in to the Alan Pardew type motivational slogans, he might do well to blazon ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’ mantra across the training ground and home changing room. Because that is what this situation needs; cool heads, mental toughness, hard work and a grim determination to both maintain our away record and rectify our inferior home form.
I do not blame supporters for feeling apprehensive about the away fixture at Leeds Utd. Elland Road is not a particularly happy hunting ground for us and Warnock has been verbally upping the stakes in advance of the match. However, if Leeds Utd do come out of the blocks fast and throw everything at us, that will hopefully allow us to play an effective counter-attacking game and exploit their undoubted weaknesses at the back. We will have to weather the pressure in the first 15 minutes or so, but if we can survive that then we have the ability to catch them out and take the points.
We know how to win away from home, but the real crunch issue is getting it right at the former ‘fortress Upton Park.’ There, Allardyce must encourage the players to pass the ball more and express themselves. We need width to get behind opposition defences, ’killer’ balls in to the box and clinical finishing. There has been much criticism of the lack of invention from midfield, this season, but I wonder if it might also be the case that our strikers are not working hard enough off the ball. Yes, our strikers battle doggedly, but do they work intelligently and effectively enough to pull defenders out of position and create space & options for others to exploit? Do they have the ability to time runs to spring off-side traps and pressurize defenders in to mistakes? My impression is that opposition defences find it all too easy to negate our attacking threat at Upton Park and we are contributing to that unhappy state-of-affairs.
We have all seen our midfielders stall on playing forward balls, check and play either square balls or pass back to Green or the covering defender. And naturally, we blame the midfielders for a lack of invention and creativity. However, if we were able to see their field of vision on the ball and the lack of movement and options in front of them, we might be somewhat more sympathetic to them. Perhaps, I am being unfair to our strikers, but I grew up watching strikers like Hurst, Pop Robson, Cross, Goddard and Cottee, who knew how to run off the ball, create space for others and, crucially, disrupt defences. They knew that being static made the defender’s job easy and movement created problems for opponents and goal scoring opportunities. I have watched our strikers during matches and I have formed the impression that they are often too static and do not make the right type of runs off the ball. I know that you cannot expect them to suddenly become world-class players like Geoff Hurst, but film clips of our legendary striker in his prime demonstrate the finest aspects of the striker’s art; and show his modern successors, in claret and blue, the standard to which they should at least aspire.
Regardless, I feel confident that we can still achieve automatic promotion this season. Why? Because I think we will get back on our two points a match target, Reading FC have tougher fixtures than us in the run- in to the season and it is improbable that they will maintain their current exceptional form. In that respect, the fixture that stands out is the home fixture against Reading FC on 31 March 2012. That could well prove to be a decisive result in the promotion stakes this season. Win it and, hopefully, we will be firmly back in the driving seat, lose it and the outcome could be more open to doubt.
What was that again, about ‘the going getting tough and the tough getting going!’ I certainly hope so, starting with a crucial victory at Elland Road this weekend.
the green un 24
West Ham’s Freddie Sears set to stay longer at Colchester United
Front-runner Sears’ original loan deal expires after this weekend’s home game against Huddersfield, but both the U’s and the Hammers are happy for the player to stay longer.
Sears himself is also keen to remain with the U’s for the rest of the season.
Manager John Ward revealed this afternoon: “West Ham are fine. I spoke to them yesterday and we’re going to extend the loan for Freddie.
“Both clubs are happy to extend that, and I’ll be delighted if we can keep Freddie around. He is a good player.
“He’s been very professional and has respected my position, and the decisions I have had to make.
“He realises at the moment that I can’t make many alterations to accommodate him (in the team).
“But he likes the football here, he likes the place and he would like to stay here and try to get his chance.
“West Ham are happy for him to do that, and so am I,” added Ward.
Sears started the first three games of his loan spell with the U’s, but has been on the bench for the last four fixtures, three of them as an unused substitute.
claret and blue in my blood
Claret and Blue In My Blood
West Ham United Blog
Guest Q &A with Thomas Hill: Leeds United Vs West Ham
Some of you might remember from our first home meeting with Leeds United at the Boleyn that I had Thomas Hill from Leeds the Offside Blog answer some questions on Leeds and his perspectives on the upcoming fixture between our two clubs. I always enjoy getting a fresh perspective on West Ham and other clubs. I hope you enjoy it. I'd like to thank Thomas for his time answering these questions, and that if we do it again next season, we're both in the Premiership! If you're interested, I answered his questions over at his blog and you can read them there. Paul.
Given that Leeds currently sit in 10th place and 4 points out of the playoffs, how would you rate their season so far?
A very big disappointment is my personal view but at the same time not a surprise either. Last season we surprised a few others and we played some fantastic football and just missed out on the play-offs. To say that was our first season back in the Championship I was pleased and hoped we would build on that.
Well we sold Max Gradel one of our star players the day before deadline day, we sold Jonny Howson in January. Simon Grayson also departed the day after the recent deadline day? Bit of a laughing stock really from the outside.
Grayson for me didn’t deserve to go what he’d done under the constraints was nothing sort of remarkable, Warnock is also impressive and it looks like we have found a man that truly understands the fans. Warnock epitomises what Leeds fans want, passion pride and a never say die attitude. O and of course a love for winning games. We’ve improved under him defensively already so that’s a bonus but we shall see what happens in the next ten games.
While you can't speak for all, what's your sense of how most fans feel about the chances of Leeds cementing a playoff spot by season's end? Are Leeds still a work in progress or would promotion this season be reasonable goal?
I think most realistic fans would say it’s gone and we need to look at next season. We’re a work in progress in terms of what Warnock wants us to do, he’s been impressed with how we have played recently. He needs to make his own stamp with signings though, whether he will be allowed to do that is another question with stingy Bates. After Sunday’s win over Boro some have mentioned that word again…promotion. It’s not impossible, and while it is mathematically still there we’ve got to go for it. Other teams have games in hand, and we play some bloody tough teams.
Two words: Ken Bates. It's alleged by some fans that he doesn't have Leeds' best interests at heart; that, perhaps, he's a business man first and Leeds United supporter second. What is your sense of the fan feeling regarding Ken, particularly given light of his player acquisitions and departures and the recent sacking of Simon Grayson after 3 relatively successful years at the club?
Well it’s a weird one it really is. Personally at first I was behind him, then over the recent year I’ve had no choice but to be disappointed. At Christmas and probably up until Warnock’s arrival nearly every man and his dog were against him. There is always those that believe he is good as gold, but it’s utter nonsense. Before I ramble on, off the field he’s done a good job for me. New facilities are spot on, new pavilion, new bar and we make money apparently from these. It’s on the field where he just infuriates fans…o and his random statements attacking the fans…that pay the highest price in the division to watch his team.
But we sell our best players or allow their contracts to expire, or offer them pathetic terms and expect our name to make people sign. Delph, Beckford, Johnson, Gradel, Howson have all gone. We played Arsenal again in the Cup a year on from the original game, with ten different players in first team only Becchio remained.
Our budget is also an embarrassment we are currently over budget apparently. We set a budget of £9million for the season, yes read this again. £9million for everything transfers, wages all costs. And yet I pay £516 to watch Leeds, some pay miles more and we get around 23,000 a week. Barnsley our local pals (they hate us really) budget £9million for everything but transfers so we have everything included. Consider how much you’ve spent on transfers this year and see how it compares to us, never mind your wages and overall costs I bet it towers over ours.
We’ve also spent around £500,000 on players who don’t get in the team, which Ken says is good money. It’s around 15 players I think for £500,000…16 clubs have spent more on one player alone.
If he starts to help Warnock with cash and bring some actual good solid players, those that make others think Jesus look at Leeds’ latest signing, then fine we might get behind him. Instead he calls us morons and bans certain members of the supporters trust from the ground.
What has Neil Warnock brought to Leeds that Grayson didn't? How have fans taken to Warnock, and is there a sense of more belief or less since his hiring?
More belief quite simply because we’ve gone back to the Leeds United way. We’re trying very hard under him, chasing every single ball tackling more than ever. Look at the stats, our defence has instantly improved and it’s the same players. We’ve conceded one in four, we conceded four against Barnsley and five against Blackpool under Grayson. He’s just started from scratch, told us how it is and we like that. Instead of we’ve got a chance to beat anyone, he’s saying this team probably isn’t the best but we’ll try our hardest for you. To say some fans hated the man previously, they’re soon changing their tune and backing him, we’ve got ten games to get as many points so let’s have it.
What is Leeds' typical formation and style of play at home? Which players should the Hammers worry about? What do you feel the Leeds lineup will be?
Well it’s obviously recently changed under Warnock. At the moment it’s 4-2-3-1 and it has worked well. Normally at home we do go for it over away games, but we will be more secure under Warnock. I could talk and tell you all day what we’d do under Grayson, but due to Warnock only being in his 5th game it’s hard. I suspect with 30,000 behind us, we will try our best to attack and score some goals.
Allardyce has his critics, both at West Ham and among other fans, but he has turned the club's fortunes around this season. How do Leeds fans view West Ham's style of play and chances of automatic promotion under Allardyce?
You’ll see my views in a question I’ve asked yourself. Personally I think you have a great chance for promotion. You have the team, the fans and the manager to get there. You’re a big club who really should be in the top flight, but obviously it’s all about performances and that is why you’re down here.
Allardyce has this tag with him but for me he’s been given no chance. The tag at times can be analysed but he did great at Bolton with a very poor team with no real funding. This is my outside view but why complain about the football if he’s doing his job at trying to get you back to the Premier League. Hammers fans might tell me the football is terrible, but surely for now get behind the team and then get back to the PL?
We all want brilliant football of course we do, but I’m sure you’d rather be playing it for a few years in the PL than staying in Championship. Try League One football, trust me you’ve been lucky with that aspect.
If you were Allardyce, how would you set up to beat Leeds on Saturday?
Another hard one, as Warnock has changed a lot. I would normally say just constantly test the defence but we have got much better. I hope you don’t have an inside source at the club, but making Andy Lonergan kick as much as possible would be a good start. He’s a good keeper but his kicking isn’t the best. But apart from that there isn’t much to say due to us being new to Warnock’s ideas and strategies. If Grayson was the boss I could give you a dossier on it, I guess Big Sam will need the game plan!
This is hard mainly because we’re playing the Hammers. Good club, probably the hardest test on paper with Southampton. We should be saying defeat is likely but this Warnock factor has given us hope once again. I’d take a draw we need to win as many as we can but there is easier games than yourselves. But you’ve drawn 3 in 4 and we’re playing much better.
Warnock has done this to me but I’m going with 2-1 to Leeds, if I was betting on it 1-1.
On a side note from the questions, all the best with the quest for promotion. Personally I didn’t think you’d be up there I expected the meltdown over the recent years might have made things more difficult. There is a few clubs in the Championship that as clubs deserve to be in the PL, I’ve said before you’re one of them. I think you’ll take the league personally, something about Southampton that I think they could crumble.
here is the city
Harry Redknapp touts Sam Allardyce for the England job
The Tottenham Hotspur manager has tipped the West Ham United boss as a viable alternative. Is he barking mad or talking sense?
Many fans are thinking that Harry Redknapp is beginning to lose it, with his side buckling under the pressure of Arsenal's charge for third, and constant questions about the England job.
He might just have confirmed that view to a few, after throwing Big Sam's name into the hat to replace Fabio Capello.
He made the comment in an interview with ITV, discussing that the England job is one for managers of a certain age, adding that there weren't many options for the FA, just him, Roy Hodgson and Sam Allardyce.
We featured an article earlier this week, revealing how Roy Hodgson's odds have dropped from 13/1 to 5/1 in some quarters, thanks to a combination of West Brom's good form and Spurs' back-to-back losses.
When it comes to Sam Allardyce, the bookies rank him as a real outsider, offering odds of 50/1.
After all, its not 2006, the year he was interviewed for the job after continued success with Bolton Wanderers.
But while Allardyce has his detractors, is it an entirely ridiculous suggestion to suggest he could take England to Euro 2012?
He can't have done himself any harm this season, with West Ham poised to regain top spot in the Championship if they win their game in hand.
He is a manager whose record is better than his public perception; Bolton, Blackburn and Newcastle all struggled after he left them, and he has a thorough approach to the game which could work with tournament football.
However it is his style of play which irks supporters, and fans would almost certainly see it as a step back. Spain won the last World Cup with their tiki-taka style, and Allardyce's route one approach is not the image England would like to present to Europe at Euro 2012 when it comes to showcasing their game.
Redknapp's comments seem to have had little impact with the bookies, who still consider Allardyce a complete outsider.
Perhaps the Tottenham boss was trying to solidify his position as front runner- by showing there are few viable alternatives for the position.
We still believe Hodgson could be a better choice than Redknapp for this summer - based on his previous international knowledge and experience with Switzerland and Finland.
Who do you think should be given the job- is Allardyce even an option?
Juventus are thought to have set aside £30m for a big summer signing, with strikers Robin Van Persie and Luis Suarez rumoured to be on their wanted list.
Dimitar Berbatov has told Sir Alex Ferguson he is unhappy with his role as a squad player at Old Trafford.
Fulham have opened talks with playmaker Moussa Dembele in attempt to prevent interest from Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal.
Newcastle midfielder Danny Guthrie has revealed that talks over a new deal will be left until the summer, although it is believed Aston Villa are keen to sign him.
Bolton must wait for Fifa to sanction a deal for Scotland Under-21 left-winger Gregg Wylde, who had his contract cancelled at Rangers following the Glasgow club's financial problems.
Meanwhile former Gers manager Graeme Souness could make a surprise return to Ibrox in either a coaching or boardroom role if his friend Brian Kennedy is able to buy the club.
Veteran Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has revealed his desire to stay at Stamford Bridge "for as long as possible".
Newcastle are monitoring free-scoring Huddersfield striker Jordan Rhodes.
Manchester City are reportedly eyeing 29-year-old Ivory Coast defensive midfielder Jean-Jacques Gosso, who currently plays for Turkish club Orduspor.
The Times back page
Friday's back page of the Times
Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has described news Eric Abidal is to have a liver transplant, a year after he had a tumour removed from the same organ, as a "rude awakening" for the squad, but insists the Frenchman will return from his latest setback.
West Brom boss Roy Hodgson has warned the club that big signings are needed and that "you cannot live on bargains alone".
Port Vale administrator Bob Young says more departures cannot be ruled out after agreeing a £50,000 loan deal for Lee Collins to join Barnsley.
Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers has insisted there will be no complacency this season, despite the club's apparent safety in 11th place in the current Premier League table. "Nobody will be easing off because they think the job is done - not while I'm at this club," he says.
South Wales Evening Post
Former Wolves boss Mick McCarthy has returned to the club's training ground following a short break in America and was invited to lunch by his replacement Terry Connor.
Chelsea coach Eddie Newton believes the Champions League victory over Napoli will restore pride in the club and silence critics.
But the Blues could be facing a congested Easter fixture list if they draw with Leicester in the FA Cup this weekend, with a possible four matches within seven or eight days.
Swansea are 14 points away from the relegation zone
: Daily Mirror
Carlos Cuellar has dedicated his Aston Villa comeback to his Twitter followers.
Tomas Rosicky has revealed he turned down big money offers from Russia and China to sign a new deal with Arsenal.
QPR midfielder Joey Barton has again taken to Twitter to rebuke squatters who have allegedly entered the house he is currently having renovated.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has pledged to win the league title for fan John Millington, who was pictured in a state of distress following the team's defeat at Swansea, but insisted he had not been crying. However, Mancini said: "We were very disappointed for our supporters after Swansea because I saw on the TV one of our supporters crying. For this guy, and all the supporters, we want to change things.
BOLTON are set to win the race for Gregg Wylde.
The winger, 20, is a free agent after agreeing to tear up his contract with crisis-hit SPL giants Rangers.
Sources claim 17 clubs are chasing the Scot but Wanderers are now in pole position.
Wylde is ready to pen a three-year deal but first must get past red tape to allow a switch outside the transfer window.
MANCHESTER UNITED are interested in Real Madrid's teenage ace Jese Rodriguez.
United scouts have been to watch the 19-year-old winger, dubbed the next Cristiano Ronaldo, play for Real's B team Castilla.
PREMIER LEAGUE chief Sir Dave Richards said sorry again yesterday for claiming FIFA and UEFA had "stolen" football from England.
He made his remarks at a conference in Qatar — and later fell into a water feature.
Richards said: "I am a Yorkshireman and I am quite broad and if I say something it can be taken a little bit out of context."
BRENDAN RODGERS wants to buy four new players for Swansea.
Boss Rodgers said: "I had a chat with the chairman and we know we are going to have to invest in three or four players in the summer to keep the club moving forward."
DANNY GUTHRIE is set to quit Newcastle for Aston Villa in the summer.
The former Liverpool midfielder, 24, is out of contract at the end of the season and wants first-team football.
FULHAM owner Mohamed Al Fayed has appointed his son Karim as vice-chairman at Craven Cottage.
Fayed junior, previously a director, said: "I share my Dad's passion and commitment to this club."
HAYDEN MULLINS admitted he was 'gutted' to become the latest player to leave crisis-club Portsmouth.
The midfielder, 32, yesterday joined hometown club Reading on loan but said: "I'm gutted to say goodbye."
MIDDLESBROUGH are set to snap up Polish hitman Patryk Malecki for a cut-price £500,000.
Poland champions Wisla Krakow cannot wait to off-load him after his bust-up with the club's owner.
Malecki, 23, has been suspended by Wisla, who will sell him for a knock-down fee even though he has two years left on his contract.
IPSWICH skipper Carlos Edwards has signed a new one-year deal until 2013.
The right-back, 33, has the option of a further year. Chief executive Simon Clegg said: "I'm delighted."
babe of the day
http://pbp.playboygirls.com/2003_06/gal ... 16-lrg.jpg
BFS England manager
"but he hasn't had any first-team experience - that is the problem," said Big Sam.
Then whack him on as a sub towards the end of the game tomorrow.
playing games again. Daft toad.
Cheers CH ... Redknapp still trying to f*** us over...
doing us a favour more like
Thanks as ever CH.
So basically what Sam is saying is that Morrison can't play for the first team until he has played for the first team.
Thanks as always CH
Well that is Sam's Own way of thinking! now how would England get on with that theory! when Sam becomes England manager at the end of the season? LOL!
I make you right but and Levy doesn't see it like that.. And watching England playing punt ball might be nice change (this is a lie it would be hell)
What Sam is really saying is..... If I throw him in and it doesn't work out...don't blame me. What a bunch of waffle......
I'd be happy if Allardyce takes the England role. But only in case we get Bielsa or Villas Boas.
Didn't he play for Man U in the first team albeit in a cup of some sorts? Morrison I mean not BFS
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