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Daily Archives: January 18, 2012

Noble aim for Olympics

Five West Ham United players are in contention for a place in this summer’s Olympic Games
 18.01.2012

West Ham United could be represented at the 2012 Olympic Games with five players in contention for provisional squads.

Team GB bosses have written to Mark Noble, James Tomkins, Jack Collison and Robert Hall to ask if they would like to be considered for the squad, with all four expressing an interest in taking part.

The quartet form part of a long list of potential Team GB players, which will eventually be whittled down to make manager Stuart Pearce’s final party of 18 players.

United States Under-23 midfielder Sebastian Lletget has also been involved in his country’s recent Olympic training camps. The Amercians still have to play a qualifying tournament against other CONCACAF teams on home soil in March and April in order to secure a place in London.

Special rules for the Olympics stipulate that only three players over the age of 23 can be selected as part of a final squad. Tomkins, Hall and Lletget will all still be eligible as under-age players, while Noble and Collison will both be classed as over-age players if selected. The final squads must be submitted to FIFA by 9 July.

Former England U21 captain Noble said: “Obviously I would be very proud to represent Great Britain in the Olympics, as I am sure the other lads would be as well. It would be a great honour. I have always been really proud to represent my country before and this would be another proud moment for me.

“At the moment all we know is that we could be selected but there is a process to go through first so we don’t know if we will be chosen, but to be in the hat possibly is a great thing.

“With the Olympics also being in London, it gives it an extra attraction – as everyone knows, it is right on our doorstep and I am sure our fans are excited about the Olympics being here as well; it should be an exciting time for London. Being a London club, it is right in our community.”

The tournament takes place between 16 July – 11 August with matches played at Wembley, City of Coventry Stadium, Hampden Park, Millennium Stadium, Old Trafford and St James’ Park. For more information, click here.

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Reid all about it! Winston can shoulder West Ham pressure

Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent Wednesday, January 18, 2012
10:58 AM

New Zealand international centre half Winston Reid is back from injury and showing his quality once again

 

Mark Noble may have been the penalty hero on Saturday at Portsmouth, but for defender Winston Reid it was a case of the penalty-winning hero for the second week running.

Last week at Sheffield Wednesday, the New Zealand international defender was tripped for a spot-kick which Sam Baldock could not convert. This time round, he was wrestled to the ground by Tal Ben Haim and Noble did the rest.

“It got flicked on by Kevin Nolan and I was just trying to hold him off really. I felt that I got overbalanced and he just pulled me over and it was a penalty for me,” said the 23-year-old.

“I think the referee was in a good position and everyone could see, so I thought it was a penalty.”

Reid was also at the centre of the other pivotal moment in the match as David Norris was sent off for an x-certificate challenge on the defender, but like many of us, but perhaps more surprisingly, he didn’t see it either.

“I couldn’t really see it myself because I was just concentrating playing the ball forward,” he explained. “There was definitely contact there and he asked me if I was okay.

“I don’t really think that he was that unhappy about it, it wasn’t as if the rest of the players came over to argue. It was up to the ref to judge on that.”

Reid has now made 30 appearances in claret and blue and his understanding with James Tomkins at the heart of defence is getting better and better. It has left the player brimming with confidence.

“Obviously when you get some trust from the manager as we have it is nice,” said Reid. “The first season I was here was very difficult, but I think personally things are going much better for me this year.

“I am very happy at the moment and I am just looking forward to the rest of the season.”

No doubt manager Sam Allardyce is also happy with Reid’s performances this term. The defender has only just returned from a shoulder injury, but it is as if he had never been away.

However, the Kiwi revealed that the injury could have kept him out for much longer than it did.

“With the shoulder, it was always going to be more complicated because if they didn’t get it right this time and it popped out again, then it would have meant an operation and I could have been out for six or seven months,” he confirmed.

“So we took our time with it and I came through okay and my shoulder feels all right now. You still have some jittery moments, but I think you just have to get your head around it.”

Reid has certainly got his head around life in the Championship. The team have let in the least amount of goals this season and the form of Reid, Tomkins and Faye have been a vital part of that statistic.

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Dixon seals Hammers move

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West Ham have signed former Manchester United trainee Joe Dixon on a short-term contract.

The 22-year-old striker has also had spells in Romania and Turkey and last played for non-league Grays Athletic in November.

Dixon has been handed a two-month deal in a bid to prove himself to Upton Park boss Sam Allardyce and land a longer contract.

“I’m very happy to have signed for West Ham,” He told the Hammers’ official website. “It’s a big club with a lot of history, it’s good to be here and I’m looking forward to starting.”

“I’ve been to the training ground and met the manager and some of the players. The manager has got a lot of experience so I’m sure I can learn a lot from him.

“A lot of the players are experienced too. For me it’s just about learning and improving as much as I can.”

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tony Cottee Column: It may not be pretty, but West Ham are on track for promotion

Tony Cottee, London24 West Ham columnist
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
4:15 PM

“I never enjoyed taking penalties as player. It takes guts to do it.”

It was great to see West Ham getting back to winning ways at the weekend, although it wasn’t the prettiest game and there weren’t many highlights to be honest.

However, as I have said before, it was all about getting the three points.

I have sounded like a broken record sometimes this season, but in the Championship, 1-0 can be a really good result.

We kept a clean sheet and secured three vital points away from home.

The only goal in the game came from the penalty spot and what a crucial taker of spot-kicks Mark Noble is proving to be.

He has now scored four out of four this season and all of them have been crucial.

The Hammers have produced many decent penalty takers over the years, I played with Ray Stewart and Julian Dicks, but Paolo Di Canio had his moments and now Mark has taken that responsibility.

As a player, I never enjoyed taking them, I think I only ever took 10, maybe 12 in my career.

There is a huge difference between slotting a penalty in your back garden and doing it in front of 30,000 people at Upton Park, or a stand full of away fans, pulling faces at you.

It takes real guts to do it and that is what Mark is made of.

It is a huge responsibility and one that I think he is enjoying.

And it just so happened that although Southampton also won, Cardiff and Middlesbrough slipped up, which gives us a nice cushion of four points.

I don’t think that you can read too much into the league table at the moment, and I am sure that there will be many see-saw weeks between now and the end of the season.

There is always one team that comes from nowhere to challenge the top six, although I hope that West Ham will stay in the top two between now and the end of the 
season.

We are just behind our two points a game target, and that would see us finish with 92 points which I am pretty sure would guarantee automatic promotion, if not first place.

On the transfer front, it has been a frustrating time for Sam Allardyce, who is still looking to bring in another striker.

I can see his problem is that we are creating chances but just not taking them, and I don’t want this to cost us later on in the season.

The January transfer window is one that seems to really puzzle me.

The window is open for the whole month, yet most of the deals seem to be done on the last couple of days.

I am sure that the club are doing all they can to bring in top quality players before the end of the month.

The latest name linked with the club is Watford’s Marvin Sordell and I have seen quite a lot of him 
recently.

He is a good finisher, quick and strong as well, three vital components for a striker in this league

He is also young and eager and I think he would be a good signing.

This weekend, Nottingham Forest come to Upton Park and I think it is a real chance for Carlton Cole and Sam Baldock to get back to scoring ways.

Any positive result takes us top of the league, but I think we can lay down a marker with a big, big win to send the fans home happy.

Tony Cottee was talking to Nathaniel John

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2012 in Uncategorized