Monthly Archives: February 2012

Trio thank Hammers fans

Sam Allardyce, Kevin Nolan and Nicky Maynard have spoken about their admiration for the club’s loyal support

Sam Allardyce, Kevin Nolan and Nicky Maynard have paid tribute to West Ham United’s dedicated fanbase ahead of Saturday’s big London derby with Crystal Palace.

The West Ham United manager, his captain and new striker are keen to remind the club’s most committed and loyal fans that their unrivalled support does not go unnoticed as the season enters the home straight. Following a series of bumper crowds over the past two months, the trio wanted to place on record their gratitude to those who turn out to support the team every week.

“I think it’s brilliant that the club are offering up a variety of initiatives to bring in new supporters to West Ham United as they will be essential to us growing as a club,” Big Sam said. “These kind of offers have given us packed houses for many of the important matches we’ve already played this season and will help to fill the Boleyn Ground for the big games we’ve got over the next few weeks.

“However, I’d like to re-emphasise that our season ticket holders are, and should always remain, our top priority. They are the lifeblood of the club and will never be taken for granted. I speak regularly with the Chairmen and we all agree that their continued support is essential to the ongoing development of this club.”

Big Sam was certainly aware of the importance of the club’s fans during the Hammers’ most recent two home games, when West Ham impressively secured four points despite being reduced to ten men for over 70 minutes on each occasion.

“I’m lucky that our technical area is right in front of the biggest stand at the Boleyn Ground and you can feel the power of the crowd behind you during the game.

“People often ask me if the crowd make a difference but I can honestly say that the backing of the guys in the Alpari Stand and the rest of the stadium – the majority of whom are season ticket holders – during the Southampton game was absolutely vital to us getting a point from that match.”

Nolan enjoyed many years of playing in some of the most impressive stadiums in the country when plying his trade in the Premier League. He can recall several games when playing as an opponent at the Boleyn Ground and knows that the east London stadium is renowned among opposing players for its intimidating atmosphere.

Nolan said: “When you’re out on the pitch and your backs are against the wall, having the support of the West Ham crowd behind you, particularly in those areas with a high concentration of season ticket holders, is absolutely vital.

“The fact that we are still pulling in sell-out crowds in the Championship shows the level of support this club has. We are regularly in the top ten most watched games in the country and we must make sure we continue to draw in the crowds over the next ten weeks.”

Nolan had to sit out the Southampton match and the majority of the Millwall game following an early red card against the Lions. Although frustrated not to be playing, the break did give him a chance to appreciate the Boleyn Ground atmosphere even more.

“I’ve obviously been gutted to not be out on the pitch following my recent red card, but one of the few plus points is that I’ve been able to be among the crowd for the last couple of games and the atmosphere they created has been absolutely incredible.

“I know how hard the boys found it with ten men but the noise emanating from the Bobby Moore Stand, particularly in the second half against Millwall, helped see the team home and was out of this world.”

New signing Nicky Maynard has also been blown away by the backing of the Boleyn Ground since his arrival from Bristol City.

The striker made his debut in front of 32,000 fans during the match with Southampton, where he got a rousing reception upon his introduction as a late substitute.

“I remember when I was warming up there’s a section of the crowd down by the corner flag that were clapping me and cheering for me every time I came down.

“I understand the majority of those guys are season ticket holders who are there every week so I’m looking forward to scoring a few goals in front of them.”

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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


Colchester United ‘perfect’ for Freddie Sears

West Ham United striker Freddie Sears has described his one-month loan at Colchester United as the ideal move.

The 22-year-old debuted for the U’s in Saturday’s 3-2 loss at Yeovil, playing 86 minutes, after making just four Hammers starts all season.

“I wanted to come out and play,” he told BBC Essex. “I needed to get games.

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“The way I look at it, for the month I’m a Colchester player, I’ll forget about West Ham”

Freddie Sears

“Colchester is perfect. It’s a good little club. I spoke to the manager who said he wants to play football and he’ll get me games.”

Sears arrived on the professional scene four years ago, scoring a debut goal in a 2-1 Premier League victory over Blackburn Rovers aged 18.

He went on to earn three England Under-21 caps, scoring once at that level, but has yet to fulfil his early promise, finding the net just two more times for the Hammers.

“It’s a learning curve,” he said of his switch to the League One side. “You come down to Colchester and you have to do everything properly.

“At West Ham everything’s done for you. But the way I look at it, for the month I’m a Colchester player, I’ll forget about West Ham.”

And he is keen to impress scouts who may be watching his progress in Essex, whether they are from his parent club or further afield.

He said: “Even if it’s not West Ham watching you there will be loads of people watching you. You go out, play games and express yourself.”

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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


Blackpool v West Ham preview

Team news for Tuesday night’s Championship clash between Blackpool and West Ham at Bloomfield Road (kick-off 8pm).


Nolan: Suspended for West Ham Nolan: Suspended for West Ham

Blackpool will be without Gary Taylor-Fletcher after the forward suffered a knee injury during Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Everton.

The 30-year-old was stretched off after colliding with Toffees goalkeeper Tim Howard and left Goodison Park on crutches while wearing a protective support on his leg.

Seasiders boss Ian Holloway, who is also set to be without Alex Baptiste after the full-back needed stitches in a leg wound picked up at the weekend, is awaiting the results of a scan on Taylor-Fletcher with trepidation.

“You always fear the worse when one of your lads get injured,” he told the Blackpool Gazette. “Fletch’s kneecap and thigh were going one way and the lower part of his leg was knocked back the other way – that normally means some ligament damage.

“Fletch’s knee is badly swollen and very sore. He has a cast on it and when it settles down we will see how he is. I have never seen anything like it in my life.”

Holloway hopes to have Matt Phillips back in contention following the winger’s two-match absence with a hamstring problem.

West Ham must do so without suspended duo Matt Taylor and Kevin Nolan.

Skipper Nolan serves the second game of a three-match ban following his dismissal in the derby against Millwall at the start of the month.

Left-winger Taylor begins a three-game suspension of his own after he was sent off in the 1-1 draw with Southampton.

Victory would move the Hammers above the Saints and manager Sam Allardyce believes his squad is capable of coping without Nolan and Taylor.

Recent signing Ravel Morrison captained the development squad to a 2-1 victory over QPR on Friday but Allardyce admits the former Manchester United prodigy will have to wait for his first-team bow.

Defender Guy Demel (thigh) could be included but midfielder Papa Bouba Diop (hamstring) is definitely out.

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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


Maynard hails Hammers support

Nicky Maynard enjoyed his West Ham United debut and is eager to notch his first goal for the club

Nicky Maynard thoroughly enjoyed his first experience of the Boleyn Ground as a West Ham United player.

The Hammers’ new No8 made an impact as a second-half substitute in Tuesday’s 1-1 npower Championship draw with Southampton, coming within inches of snatching all three points with a fierce late volley.

That effort was saved by Saints goalkeeper Kelvin Davis, but Maynard’s debut suggests he will not be waiting too long for his first West Ham goal.

“The atmosphere was great and something I’ve been waiting for and chomping at the bit to get at,” he said. “Obviously it wasn’t ideal to come on when we were a man down but the main thing was that we didn’t lose.

“The lads put in another fantastic effort as they did against Millwall and kept Southampton at arm’s length and we just have to make sure we win our game in-hand now.

“I’m one of them who likes to thrive off chances and get my shots off as quickly as possible. I managed to get a shot off towards the end and I was devastated that the goalkeeper got a touch to it.

“Every chance I get I’m going to try to make an impact, whether that is from the start or when I come on from the bench. I was disappointed not to get on against Millwall but that just made me more hungry to make an impression in the next match, which hopefully I did on Tuesday.”

The midweek draw with second-placed Southampton keeps West Ham a point clear at the top of the table and Maynard believes the Hammers have everything in place to make an immediate return to the Premier League. Having joined from Bristol City on transfer deadline day in January, the striker is also keen to pay back the club’s outstanding supporters by delivering both goals and promotion.

“The atmosphere was just great and the fans were right behind us throughout the 90 minutes. We just need to make sure we give them something to shout about and we’ve been doing that in the last couple of weeks.

“It’s just a massive club. The lads are top-class and made me feel welcome, There is nothing in anybody’s mind except winning automatic promotion. The players here have Premier League ability and Premier League experience and I want to be amongst that.”

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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Uncategorized


Carew set for West Ham return

  • John Carew in action for West Ham

    John Carew is hoping to get his West Ham career back on track and declare his fitness for the league game against Blackpool on Tuesday night.

    Carew has failed to make any impact at Upton Park this season and has fallen way down the pecking order following the arrivals of Nicky Maynard and Ricardo Vaz Te in the January transfer window.

    The Norwegian striker has only played 65 minutes of action in 2012 and has only scored two goals following his move to east London last summer.

    Carew has even been warned that he risks losing his place in the Norway team by coach Egil Olsen if he doesn’t find another club.

    The 32-year-old forward has been troubled by a knee problem but is hoping to resume training and force his way back into first-team contention.

    Carew tweeted: “I hope to be back in training end of this week.”


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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Uncategorized



Posh asked for fans to go down to London Road to help them clear snow off the pitch, but despite their greatest efforts, the game has been cancelled due to a frozen pitch. Temperatures at London Road got down to -15, and that has unfortunately made the decision to call the game off an easy one.

The Posh are back in action on Tuesday as they make the journey to Cardiff, hoping for a vital 3 points on the road

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Posted by on February 11, 2012 in Uncategorized


Ravel Morrison: Drinking In The Last Chance Saloon?


Talented, yet troubled. The stark and resounding opinion of Ravel Morrison, a player labelled “too good to fail” by MUTV co-commentator Paddy Crerand.

The new man at West Ham has begun this new chapter in an all too familiar and controversial fashion. A recent homophobic outburst on Twitter means he joins an ever-expanding list of professional sportsmen who have fallen foul of the social networking site.

The advent of Twitter has created a platform for direct communication with leading sports stars across the globe. The growing popularity and social significance of the site has enabled users to gain an unprecedented insight into the daily routine of the Premier League’s elite. Whilst this appears beneficial, there is an undeniable truth that these players will inevitably fail to meet our high expectations.

The problem with Twitter, for footballers at least, is that there’s no filter guarding the content they choose to reveal. There’s no PR guru standing beside them handing out carefully crafted scripts of 140 characters, which is evident from the woeful level of spelling and grammar on display. Twitter essentially creates a face-to-face confrontation, which is what makes it so dangerous.

Sarcastic comments, tongue in cheek remarks or full-blown rants on mediums like Twitter are often instantly regretted. The words are permanently etched into the fabric of the Internet, serving as a constant reminder of past indiscretions, like an ex-girlfriend with a photographic memory.

Although Morrison quickly deleted his derogatory tweet, issued in response to an insult he’d received, the damage was already done and the FA have given him until Monday to explain his behaviour. What seems all to clear is that drastic action is needed, both by the player and the respective authorities.

On the surface, Morrison appeared to be revelling in a modern day rags to riches tale. Having grown up on a council estate in Wythenshawe, Manchester he was spotted by former United coach Phil Brogan and signed a professional deal on his 17th birthday. He was quickly earmarked as a gifted individual and was said to be one of the best players to come through the ranks since Ferguson’s ‘golden generation’.

Despite only featuring for United during three individual League Cup appearances, Morrison showcased his limitless potential during their impressive FA Youth Cup triumph in 2011. A quick glance on YouTube will reveal the lightning feet and deft touches that have seen him hailed as the next Paul Scholes but perhaps Paul Gascoigne is a more fitting comparison, given their similar unsettled social life.

Morrison’s career has been blighted by a series of off-the-field problems, an upon Morrison’s exit from Old Trafford, Ferguson revealed:

“…he’s better out of Manchester. He’s got a great talent but how to deal with that is important.” (Telegraph)

Perhaps the relocation to the bright lights of London will provide a humbling experience for the youngster and allow him to leave his troubled past behind him.

At West Ham he has a boss famed for his no-nonsense attitude to management, which will make it difficult for him to step out of line. Sam Allardyce is often credited with the revival of Joey Barton’s career after signing the fellow prominent Twitter user whilst at Newcastle. If Morrison has left United seeking guidance then it does raise the question why didn’t he look for it closer to home? Ferguson’s substantial influence on the careers of Roy Keane and Wayne Rooney are well documented.

Allardyce might see Morrison as the key to convincing Hammers fans that beautiful, attacking football is once again returning to Upton Park. Despite enjoying a successful start to his Championship campaign, there is an underlining concern that his direct style of play isn’t suited to a club of West Ham’s traditions. Nevertheless, should Morrison get the chance to showcase his creative flair then those murmurs of discontent will soon disappear.

Morrison can learn a lot from the likes of Mario Balotelli and Adel Taarabt, proof that there is room in football for eccentric and often controversial characters. There is also evidence here of what lies in store for him should he refuse to change his ways, with both players repeatedly falling out of favour at their respective clubs. It remains vital that he continues to grow as a person as well as a footballer.

At just nineteen years of age, journalists should be touting his potential on the back pages rather than condemning him into the football abyss. It’s time for Ravel Morrison to put his head down, keep his mouth shut and let his feet do the talking.

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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Uncategorized


Hard-fought West Ham win earns Mark Noble praise

Mark Noble

Great commitment: Mark Noble in action for West Ham

Mark Noble today hailed West Ham’s 2-1 win over Millwall as a pivotal match in the race for the Championship title.

West Ham moved four points clear of second-placed Southampton despite playing with 10 men for 81 minutes following skipper Kevin Nolan’s red card for a tackle on Jack Smith.

Noble said: “After losing our captain we knew it was going to be tough but everyone seemed at their best and the commitment was terrific.”

Manager Sam Allardyce, who said the victory was one of the best of his career, claimed that Nolan’s dismissal was harsh and Noble said: “I was pretty close to it and it was a 50-50 challenge. Their player made a lot of it.

“When it’s nine minutes in and the ball is rolling between two players, you have to go for it.”

Julien Faubert appeared to foul keeper David Forde before Winston Reid’s winner.

He said: “Maybe it was a foul but the manager had told me to put pressure on him so I tried to do it.”

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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Uncategorized


Pair in England action

Leo Chambers and Rob Hall have both been called upon by England at age-group level

West Ham United youngsters Leo Chambers and Rob Hall have both been called upon by England at age-group level.

Chambers helped England’s Under-17 side to win the Algarve Tournament in Portugal, while Hall has been selected for the Under-19s’ forthcoming friendly meeting with Czech Republic.

Defender Chambers played a starring role in Portugal, captaining his country and scoring a last-minute winner in England’s opening 2-1 victory over the host nation on Thursday 2 February. The young Hammer was in the right place to head home a free-kick as the Young Lions made the perfect start to the friendly competition.

The 16-year-old was involved again as England drew 2-2 with Netherlands on Saturday, coming on as a fifth-minute substitute. England were reduced to ten men but were only denied victory over the Dutch by a late penalty save.

Chambers was also a used substitute as John Peacock’s side completed the tournament with a 2-1 win over France on Monday – a victory that saw England win the four-nation tournament.

Looking forward, Hall is in Noel Blake’s squad for a friendly meeting with Czech Republic at Leyton Orient’s Matchroom Stadium on Tuesday 28 February. The forward has made four substitute appearances for Sam Allardyce’s West Ham United first team in recent weeks and has long been part of England squads at age-group level.

Still only 18, Hall was part of the squad that won the UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Liechtenstein in 2010. He has made a total of 24 appearances for England, scoring ten goals, and netted on his Under-19 debut against Denmark in November 2011.

England will use their meeting with the Czechs to prepare for their UEFA European Under-19 Championship Elite round qualifying matches, which will be played later this year. Blake’s side are seeded and receive a bye through the Qualifying round

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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Uncategorized


Hammers not in the mood for Nolan appeal

Last Updated: Mon, 06 Feb 2012 11:06


West Ham will not appeal against the red card shown to captain Kevin Nolan against Millwall.

Midfielder Nolan was sent off just nine minutes into Saturday’s 2-1 derby win for a two-footed lunge on Jack Smith.

Manager Sam Allardyce felt the decision was harsh but has accepted he will now be without Nolan for the next three games.

“It would be frivolous because they won’t change their mind, there are far too many instructions going out to referees today,” he said.

“We have got the squad to hopefully compensate now, we’ll get someone to fill in.

“We didn’t do badly without him with 10 men so we should make sure we do all right without him with 11.”

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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Uncategorized