|An archive of Cockney Hammer's West Ham-related daily news digests.
Karren Brady’s football diary
ROBBIE SAVAGE is seeking the taxi driver for whom he has promised a new cab if Newcastle finish in the Prem top four. Savage laughed off the driver’s prediction made last summer and didn’t take his name. Today Newcastle win at Swansea, now lie fifth — and there’s a mile-long queue of taxis outside his front door!
West Ham’s hopes of re-joining the elite rise after Saints’ draw with Portsmouth a day after my team break their away-win record with the 12th at Barnsley.
OH dear! Roberto Mancini suggests Mario Balotelli could have played his last game for Man City after being sent off at Arsenal, the fourth time this season. But we all remember the manager saying Carlos Tevez would never play for City again and look what happened.
Mancini has forgotten James Bond’s maxim “never say never.” Balotelli is a young fool but both players could be at the Etihad next year — with the manager missing. Such are football’s scales of justice.
TIME to draw some consolation from another Upton Park draw. While I am utterly in support of Sam Allardyce and West Ham, I respect Chris Hughton at Birmingham. He’s re-fashioned Blues in difficult times to produce an efficient team who have a habit of making other sides pay for their mistakes.
But I’ll be a 100 per cent Hammer should my present club and old one meet in the play-off final at Wembley and I’m confident we would win. After all, we’d be away from home.
IT IS suggested today that football clubs should be charged for policing fans well beyond the proximity of their home grounds.
Clubs already pay enormous sums for security. It cost West Ham hundreds of thousands of pounds to police home matches last season.
Just how much more police over-time would be required for intensive cover of goodness-knows-how-many extra square miles — and would they catch anyone, anyway?
No doubt ticket prices would reflect the extra costs. And football clubs collectively pay millions in rates? The proposal is not only useless and impractical, it’s also unfair.
I’M often asked to put things in my diary by other club directors, rivals, managers, players, staff, owners or fans but mostly I ignore them. But I did get the following long but funny text:
I was hurrying towards my goal, a tie shop, in Oxford Street when I felt a gentle tap on the shoulder so, naturally, I fell down. As I did so I looked over my shoulder to make sure there was a policeman watching and shouted: “That man assaulted me. Arrest him.” He did.
He said he saw the incident and there was almost definitely a slight nudge. He expected the young man who had been selling the Big Issue would be barred from Oxford Street for a few weeks and marched him away.
A crowd surrounded me saying “well done.”
All imaginary, but now you know how Ashley Young feels at training today, pumped up after hearing that the FA had to all intents and purposes cleared him of the blatant chicanery that was obvious to all of us who watched him win a penalty and a sending-off against QPR. No doubt he’ll bring honour to the wearing of the England shirt this summer.
Not bitter then!
A WEST HAM fans group would like a poll on whether the club should move to the Olympic Stadium. Let me assure them there is no chance of a move there without wide consultation with all supporters.
Before we can do so, though, we have to wait until May 21 when legal restrictions are lifted and then we can explain in fullest detail what a transfer in 2014 would mean to fans and the club. The owners will not sanction a move unless they are satisfied in every respect it is a world-class football stadium.
IN Marbella with the kids for a few days and we go to Puerto Banus for dinner. On the front I spot a very famous ex-footballer chatting with a tall, dark-eyed beauty. “Hello,” I call out and the reply came in a voice as deep as Pavarotti’s — from the woman.
She was such a looker I later texted him to say she should be entered for the “Miss Universe” competition.
I wasn’t joking, either. Donald Trump, the owner, has opened it up to transgender women.
Players are to blame not boss
But Hammers hitman Cole believes their promotion dream is still very much alive ahead of the clash with Brighton today.
Allardyce’s men were top of the table in January but are now struggling for an automatic promotion spot behind Southampton and Reading with four games to play.
The slip is down to their poor home form with just SIX points banked from their last seven matches at Upton Park.
But Cole refuses to point the finger at the fans or under-fire manager Allardyce.
Cole said: “We know our home form needed to be addressed earlier in the season and it hasn’t worked out the way it should have for us.
“We can’t blame the fans. All we can do is blame ourselves as players — not even the manager can we blame.
“The manager is inspirational. He wants us to do well and he needs us to do well.
“He is very direct with everything he does with you. If you’re not doing a job, he’ll address it.
“He wants a style of play and we’ll stick by it.
“We went through a little dry patch — you do go through rough points of form — but we’re all scoring now.”
West Ham’s home jinx continued last weekend as Cole and Ricardo Vaz Te’s second-half goals salvaged a 3-3 draw against Birmingham after they trailed 3-1.
But Cole reckons West Ham’s experience can lift them straight back into the Premier League.
He added: “Promotion was a two-year plan and it would be a bonus to get up in one. We can still do it and we’re definitely in the play-offs.
“We should do well against Brighton — hopefully they are tired after their match against Reading on Tuesday.
“There’s a lot of experience in our squad. We just need to keep our heads and keep focused. Our backs are against the wall now so, hopefully, our fighting spirit will come out.”
Newham pledges Olympic Stadium cash but West Ham fans question move
Newham pledges Olympic stadium cash but West Ham fans question move Newham pledges Olympic stadium cash but West
Newham Council has agreed to invest up to £40m in the adaptation of the Olympic Stadium, but a backlash is mounting from fans of West Ham United about its proposed move to Stratford after the 2012 Games.
The council has agreed to establish Newham Legacy Investments Limited, a company wholly owned by the London Borough of Newham, which will enter into a Limited Liability Partnership with the Olympic Park Legacy Company to manage the stadium post the games.
The Hammers are one of four bidders in the running to lease the stadium on a long-term basis from the newly formed legacy company, but a supporters group claims the club does not want to hear fans' opinions on the move.
The group, West Ham United's View, told the BBC it is running an independent ballot over two home games so fans can express their opinions about the proposed move away from Upton Park.
However, the club said it was unable to have discussions about the proposed move because of a confidentiality agreement.
It has, however, been in touch with WHU's View and agreed to carry out a poll after 21 May, the date a decision on the successful bidder will be made.
A club spokesperson told the BBC: "The club is currently bound by such stringent confidentiality constraints whilst in the bidding process that we are unable to conduct it until after 21 May. The May deadline will not be the final opportunity for supporters to have their say, but it is a legal deadline that we have to respect and adhere to."
West Ham were initially awarded the stadium in a partnership with Newham Council in October last year, but the deal fell through following legal action from rival clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient.
Inter Milan have admitted they want to sign a Manchester City player this summer - but it is not their former striker Mario Balotelli, it is 26-year-old left-back Aleksandar Kolarov.
Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale is reportedly a £30m target for Barcelona, on a summer shopping list that also includes Arsenal striker Robin van Persie and Athletic Bilbao midfielder Javi Martinez.
Croatia coach Slaven Bilic expects more top clubs to follow Chelsea in chasing Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric, 26.
Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen says Sir Alex Ferguson is assessing the character of 21-year-old Lille playmaker Eden Hazard before deciding whether to make a bid for him this summer.
Serbian international Aleksandar Kolarov joined Manchester City from Lazio in 2010
Swansea's strict wage policy is thought likely to prevent any move for Aston Villa defender James Collins, 28.
Liverpool are monitoring Mexican winger Hector Herrera, nicknamed "The Little Fox", according to the 22-year-old's club, the Mexican Premier League side Pachuca.
Meanwhile Reds striker Nathan Ecclestone, 21, is thought to be a target for Dutch side PSV Eindhoven.
West Bromwich Albion want to snap up Peterborough United striker Paul Taylor, 24, and have had scouts posted at 10 Posh games.
Linesmen Dave Bryan and Ceri Richards, involved in separate controversial incidents last weekend, have been omitted from the remaining Premier League fixtures this season.
Liverpool are rumoured to have made Dutch legend Johan Cruyff their number one choice for the vacant director of football role, but they face disappointment as the 64-year-old is believed to be unwilling to uproot from his Barcelona home.
Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann says Reds boss Kenny Dalglish should discard Andy Carroll if he does not produce an influential performance in the FA Cup semi-final against Everton this weekend.
Liverpool legend Steve Nicol says his former club have the "psychological advantage" heading into the last-four tie due to their previous victories against Everton in the FA Cup.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp says he does not see the merit in the role of director of football.
Tottenham winger Andros Townsend, currently at Birmingham in his eighth loan move away from White Hart Lane, says he would consider a permanent move to St Andrews.
Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has urged his players to be wary of making rash challenges on Manchester United's Ashley Young in the area, after the winger won a penalty against QPR last weekend.
An Arab group and American consortium are at the centre of a tug of war to takeover Championship outfit Nottingham Forest.
It has finally been confirmed that Harry Redknapp will be taking his place in the England dug-out. His Spurs team have been given the home dressing room at Wembley for the FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea on Sunday.
Crawley players have been seen on video reportedly performing a celebratory dance following the departure of manager Steve Evans to Rotherham.
LIVERPOOL striker Nathan Ecclestone is wanted by Dutch giants PSV.
The Eindhoven outfit are ready to take him on loan with a view to a permanent deal for the forward.
Ecclestone, 21, made seven appearances for Liverpool last season and was loaned to Charlton.
He scored on his Rochdale debut after a short-term move this campaign and has been back at Anfield since.
CRYSTAL PALACE manager Dougie Freedman has revealed Manchester United target Nathaniel Clyne has been offered an improved deal.
The Selhurst Park defender, 21, is out of contract this summer.
And Freedman said: “He should stay a little longer. He needs to be careful he doesn’t jump ship too early.”
WATFORD’S Josh Walker wants to return to Scunthorpe next season.
The midfielder, 23, who has been on a three-month loan spell, said: “I’ve loved every minute of it.
“I know I’m only on loan but it just feels like my club.
“I’m just hoping things can be agreed for next season.”
MICHAEL DUFF, Burnley’s longest-serving outfield player, has agreed another 12-month deal.
Duff, 34, has had an outstanding campaign under Eddie Howe.
This season Duff was recalled to the Northern Ireland squad, winning his 23rd cap, following a near four-year absence from the international fold.
CHARLTON are set to launch a bid for non-league whizkid Ollie Palmer.
Chelsea have also watched the 6ft 4in Havant & Waterlooville striker, who has hit 14 goals in Blue Square Bet South this season.
But League One leaders Addicks are heading the race to land Palmer, 20, in a £25,000 deal.
babe of the day
http://wopb.playboygirls.com/pic00131/p ... 01JP_5.jpg
Poyet says West Ham have no excuses if they don't go up
Gus Poyet has told Sam Allardyce he has no excuses if West Ham fail to win promotion.
Poyet has the chance to put another dent in the Hammers’ Premier League hopes at Upton Park today.
The Brighton boss has no sympathy for Allardyce, saying: “I think West Ham know they should go up and there’s no excuse.
"They are one of the teams that need to go up because of their strength but it’s not in their hands. Other teams are up there too.
“It doesn’t matter your style, it doesn’t matter how. It’s about winning.
“If you win, you’re successful. That’s what owners and chairmen want and that’s what you’re in the job for.”
Allardyce hit out at Poyet after he criticised West Ham’s playing style when they won 1-0 at Brighton in October.
ANDROS TOWNSEND has twisted the knife after his controversial Leeds exit by admitting he now loves being in a winning team.
Spurs winger Townsend infuriated Leeds boss Neil Warnock by ending his loan at Elland Road to switch to Birmingham in February.
The 20-year-old has helped Chris Hughton’s side to fourth with a five-game unbeaten run ahead of today’s visit by Bristol City.
Townsend, who has been loaned to eight clubs, said: “I have been out on loan a few times but this is completely different.
“When the Birmingham opportunity came, I couldn’t turn it down. I have never been involved in a promotion push and I’m loving it.
“It’s great being involved in a team that’s winning. I just can’t wait to see what unfolds.”
PORTSMOUTH could start next season in League One with a whopping £11million-a-year wage bill, writes Alex Crook.
The ruinous financial situation has arisen because the club’s top earners do not have relegation clauses in their contracts.
Pompey – £58m in debt – will drop into the third tier for the first time in 29 years if rivals Bristol City better their result at Doncaster today.
Defender Tal Ben Haim is among the players who does not have a pay cut built into his £36,000-a-week deal if the skint south-coast side go down.
Boss Michael Appleton is desperate to overhaul his squad, but must persuade the likes of Ben Haim, club captain Liam Lawrence and veteran Kanu to walk away from lucrative deals.
“If I am asked about an ideal scenario, if we are going into a different division, it would be better to have a wholesale clear-out,” said Appleton.
“That means a fresh start for everyone after all that has gone on at the football club. That is not just players we are bringing in. I am sure there are certain players at the club who either want or feel they deserve a new start.
“Somewhere along the line there needs to be fresh impetus and a clean slate.”
Doomed Pompey are nine points adrift of safety with only four games to play, but Appleton insists they will fight to the end.
“It is important we stay competitive and do everything we can in the next four games,” he added.
“Every team we play needs to know they have been in a game.”
DAVID NUGENT and Leicester are on a revenge mission at the New Den.
Nugent says the Foxes are fired up to heal the scars of their humiliation by Millwall in October when they lost 3-0 at home, a defeat that signalled the end of Sven Goran Eriksson’s reign.
And Nugent is desperate to inflict some pain on the Lions and inch City closer to the top six. He said: “They battered us 3-0 at our place so we owe them some payback.
“It remains in the back of our minds as it was one of our worst defeats of the season. We were off our game, we were terrible and there were no excuses.
“We want to put it straight. We’ve had a lot of chances to get into the play-offs which we haven’t taken, but we can take this chance.”
So Brady is now talking about 'wide consultation' over Olympic Stadium. On Wednesday they told the BBC they would hold a poll.
Make up your mind Brady - there have been so many conflicting statments - are you going to hold a poll or not?
Carlton doesnt sound too enthusiastic there.
Karl Henry bemoaning the sacking of the club psychologist http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/4255966/Karl-Henry-Wolves-were-wrong-to-axe-club-psychologist.html. Easy to dismiss as excuses but you wonder how much a real expert in the mind games is needed. It's just not a simple game anymore, with all that goes on around it.
Yes it was a two year plan, when they appointed Allardyce that is exactly what they said.
"At the end of the day, only three teams can go up a year and we've got to be one of those, certainly in the next two years."
As for the WHU view poll, what is the point until we know exactly what the arrangement of the ground will be after refurb and the proposals for use?
What is the point in a poll after a decision is made?
[quote="hammerdivone"]Yes it was a two year plan, when they appointed Allardyce that is exactly what they said.
"At the end of the day, only three teams can go up a year and we've got to be one of those, certainly in the next two years."
thanks - I hadn't spotted that. I got the impression from everything Sam and the Daves had said that it was this year or bust.
Oh how it makes me laugh when I read fans having a go at the players for 'negative attitudes'........ Talk about the pot calling the kettle black..................!
Just read some of the negative tosh that is posted on here every day KH.
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