Monthly Archives: April 2012

Team lineups: Bristol City v West Ham United 17 Apr 2012



Starting line-ups

1 Robert Green
5 James Tomkins
20 Guy Demel
2 Winston Reid
25 Danny Collins
14 Matthew Taylor
4 Kevin Nolan
16 Mark Noble
22 Henri Lansbury
12 Ricardo Vaz Te
8 Nicky Maynard
10 Jack Collison
18 Julien Faubert
21 Papa Bouba Diop
13 Stephen Henderson
11 John Carew
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Posted by on April 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


No Fear Of Hammers says McInnes


Derek McInnes takes his side into battle against high flying West Ham tonight knowing that a win would help them no end in their quest to stay up.

But while being all to aware what West Ham can do if they are allowed to play their game, he says his side have no fear of the promotion chasing Londoners.

The Hammers will be looking to pick up all the points to keep up their challenge for second place in the league which carries with it automatic promotion.

But City are not thinking about that, they have their own battle against relegation to fight and McInnes says that his team are up for it.

McInnes said to the Bristol Evening Post: ‘The game holds no fears for us. There is a real sense of anticipation about the fixture and there is a lot riding on it for both teams.

‘For all of that, the hungriest team will be in my dressing room and we are really looking forward to this fixture.

‘Regardless of whether we are playing a team at the top or bottom of the table, it is our performances that will determine where we finish.

‘The boys are itching to get going and that is always a good indication for any manager.

When you get to this stage of the season, you get a lot of players shying away from those situations.

‘But there is no fear in our squad and it is good to see a hunger and a desire among the players to influence things. The game cannot come quickly enough.’

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Posted by on April 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


Allardyce says promotion race is back on

Championship, 16:32, April 17, 2012

Sam Allardyce believes West Ham are now back in the hunt for automatic promotion following their 6-0 win over Brighton on Saturday.

The Hammers went into the match having gone seven games without a win at Upton Park but dominated Gus Poyet’s side, with Portuguese winger Ricardo Vaz Te the star of the show as he bagged a hat-trick.
The win means Allardyce’s men are now just three points behind second-placed Southampton and, with three games of the season remaining, the experienced boss is determined to make sure the race for automatic promotion goes to the final day.
“We are in the race still, and we have closed on Southampton’s goal difference which could be a factor,” he said.
“We have to make sure we still have automatic promotion to play for on the last day against Hull.”

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Posted by on April 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


Dylan doing well

Dylan Tombides will return to the training pitch on Monday as he continues his inspiring comeback

Last July, Dylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer after a random drug test while representing Australia at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

After undergoing chemotherapy and major surgery, the 18-year-old striker is back in training at Chadwell Heath and looking forward to pulling on his boots again next Monday.

Speaking to the matchday programme, the rising star discusses the biggest fight of his life and thanks everyone connected with West Ham United for helping him through it.

So Dylan, two-and-a-half months after your surgery, how are things health-wise?

DT – I haven’t got the all-clear yet. It’s a time-line thing at the moment. I had a blood test the other day and that was my third since my operation. I need to get ten all-clears and that will officially tell me that I am clear of the disease. The doctors have told me that if I am likely to recur, it will be in the first year, and if I don’t then I should be cured for life. I’ve got another eight or so blood tests and other CT scans to go then hopefully I’ll get the all-clear.

How do you look back on the events of the previous eight months?

DT – Mentally it is frustrating because I still ask myself why it happened. Nobody knows why and I don’t think anybody will ever be able to tell me why it happened. It’s just the frustration of not being able to train fully and play games, of going from such an active lifestyle to relying on other people to do things for me. It wasn’t the best experience, but nevertheless it is something that I have gotten through.

You have been back at Chadwell Heath for a few weeks now working on your fitness. How helpful has that been with regard to getting things back to normal, physically and mentally?

DT – It’s getting back to normal, especially compared to what I’ve had recently. Seeing my mates and all the players and staff every day has been great. Whether or not I’m playing, it certainly beats sitting at home or lying in a hospital bed having cords linked up to me pumping poison through me. When I first came back, everybody was asking me ‘How are you doing?’ and ‘Are you all right?’ but now it’s much more normal conversations. People still ask me how I’m getting on and how I’m feeling and it’s great to know that people care.

How helpful was the support you received from both inside and outside the club in aiding your recovery?

DT – Obviously being on the bench in the Premier League raised my profile at the club and people knew what was going on. When I was ill and having my treatment, I always had club staff with me and people came to visit me after my operation and stuff. It was a good feeling. I got lots of cards from the club with messages from all the players written in them.

Dylan Tombides

Academy physio Jon Urwin will run the London Marathon next week

Academy physiotherapist Jon Urwin has been particularly supportive, hasn’t he?

DT – Jon has been with me every step of the way, to every scan and every meeting I’ve had, making notes and helping me along to get fit again. Jon has kept an eye on me and made sure everything has gone right. He’s a top man. Jon is running the London Marathon for the charity Children with Cancer, which is a very good cause and we’re all very proud of him for doing it. I was the first person to sponsor him! – To sponsor Jon, click here.

What is your daily routine now, then?

DT – I usually go to the gym first and do some swimming, then I’ll go on the stationary bike or the treadmill or the cross-trainer. It’s a variety. Sometimes I’ll do it all in the morning and others I’ll do some in the morning and then the others in the afternoon. Next Monday I’ll get my boots back on and do some running on the pitch, so I’m looking forward to that quite a bit!

Are you feeling more like your old self?

DT – More and more every day, yes. Obviously I lost a lot of muscle when they cut me open through my abdomen, but it’s coming back.

What would your message be to anybody reading this whose lives are currently affected by cancer?

DT – Parts of it are physical but the majority of it is mental strength. It’s all about how much you want to stick in there and beat it. You have just got to want to stay alive and if you get that through your head, you shouldn’t have any trouble at all. If you have support from your family and friends, it helps. People are thinking about you all the time so you cannot let yourself get down in the dumps.

Dylan Tombides

Dylan with Sydney Hammers chairman Robert Byrne

Since you’ve been back, you’ve been involved in plenty of events – meeting Jonjo Heuerman after his Bobby Moore Fund walk, helping the Media team as a pundit and welcoming the Sydney Hammers to the Boleyn Ground – so how have you enjoyed those roles?

DT – I’d do anything for the fans, just like any player would. They come to support us each week so you have got to give something back. They take their time and spend their money on tickets to watch you play and cheer you on. You’ve got to do your bit for them, too.

Your family have been truly fantastic through all of this, haven’t they?

DT – My family have been really good to me all the way through it. My Mum spent a lot of nights in the hospital because she didn’t want to be away from me, which was really nice. I know my Dad and brother (Taylor, who is a schoolboy player within the West Ham Academy) were thinking about me all the time and my family back in Australia were quite worried about me too and I’m grateful for all their support.

Finally, can you now start dreaming of making that Boleyn Ground debut again?

DT – It’s not far away. I can see it on the horizon and I’m looking forward to it!

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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in Uncategorized


Season Ticket Scandals: Top 10 Costliest Season Tickets

You only have to look at the money Chelsea splashed out on Fernando Torres to realise that football clubs are drastically unaware of the value of money.

Football clubs’ disconnect from reality unsurprisingly leaves football fans up and down the country as the biggest victims. Despite a struggling economy season ticket prices continue to rise every year, further taking the game away from the man in the street in favour of the prawn sandwich brigade.

So which clubs are the biggest offenders when it comes to over inflated season ticket prices? Here’s the top 10 in the Season ticket shame stakes:

 Arsenal – Unsurprisingly the priceyist of Premiership seats is found in the capital. Arsenal relocated to the Emirates in a bid to increase match day revenue to a level that could see the club continue to challenge on all fronts, and at an average of £1,470 a season ticket the desire to increase income has certainly been achieved. Whats sure to vex Gunners supporters is how little of this new revenue has materialised into new signings.

  Tottenham– Spurs never like to be far behind their North London rivals and their just one place below Arsenal when it comes to the cost of a season ticket. At a wallet busting average price of £1,245 for the right to take a seat for every home game at White Hart Lane, the club more than deserve their lofty position in this guide to England’s greediest clubs.

Chelsea– Continuing the capital theme the men of the King’s road are amongst those demanding a King’s ransom for the pleasure of watching 22 men kick a ball about. Despite their owner being a multi-billionaire seemingly happy to bankroll the blues spending, it would appear his generosity does not extend to the clubs supporters at an average season ticket price of £1,000.

 QPR – Not even a drop in prices after the arrival of Tony Fernandes could stop the Premiership newcomers taking their place in this guide to greed. To take a seat at Loftus road for 19 precious Premiership games will set you back on average £774.

 Liverpool – We finally leave behind London, for the time being at least, and take a trip to Anfield. This juggernaut of English football charge £757.50 a season for those lucky enough to be treated to a year of Downing, Henderson, Adams and co. While the football may not be up to standard this season, the famous Anfield atmosphere is almost worth the cost alone.

Manchester United – United may be lying first in the league table but they lag behind their North West rivals when it comes to average season ticket costs at £741. As the largest club ground in the country the Glazer family can still count on a match day revenue that every other club can only dream of.

Leeds – Incredibly we actually leave England’s top division behind all together when it comes to the 7th place side in this list. The Yorkshire side may still be one of the great names in English football but its becoming an increasingly long time since the club were even in the country’s top division never mind challenging for honours. Unsurprisingly Ken Bates is more than willing to take advantage of the sides loyal fan base with a staggering season ticket cost of £681 to watch second flight football.

Fulham – It will come as no great surprise that a club sharing an owner with an over priced London department store would feature in this list. £659 as an average season ticket price earns the Harrod owner’s club a place in this financial league table that is not dissimilar from the sides league position.

West Ham – We once again drop down a division to visit Upton Park at £638 on average for a years pass to the academy of football. The much maligned of late “West Ham way” may have justified such a price once upon a time but with success a distant memory and Big Sam at the helm it certainly doesn’t any more.

Ipswich – Yes, that’s right Ipswich round up this list. Undoubtedly the biggest surprise of this countdown is that the Tractor Boys, who currently languish in the bottom half of the Championship, charge an average 0f £619 a season ticket.

So Newcastle, Everton, Sunderland and Aston Villa next time your about to have a moan at the cost of next seasons renewal price just remember there’s always somebody worse off than you…

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Posted by on April 14, 2012 in Uncategorized


Sam challenges his Hammers

Allardyce: Message to Hammers

Allardyce: Message to Hammers

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West Ham boss Sam Allardyce fears his side’s season will go “down the drain” if they fail to beat play-off chasing Brighton at Upton Park.

Allardyce has labelled the game the most important in the Hammers’ season as they look to close the gap on the Championship automatic promotion places.

The east Londoners can cut the gap behind second-placed Southampton to three points after they lost 3-1 to Reading at St Mary’s on Friday night.

“We are more than capable of winning four games on the trot and it has to start with winning the most important game of the season so far on Saturday against Brighton,” Allardyce said.

“Otherwise we risk throwing a fantastic season down the drain.

“I have no doubt that there will be slip-ups between the top three before the end of the season but they can afford to drop points whereas we no longer have that luxury.”

Allardyce’s side have fallen off the pace following a seven-game winless run at home, six of which have been draws.

“We have slipped up enough in recent weeks by drawing too many matches and that has to stop now,” he said.

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Posted by on April 14, 2012 in Uncategorized


Brighton Looking For Favours In Unlikely Places.


Looking at the last four games of the season the importance of the West Ham game is clear. We have to win to keep any sort of Play-off hope alive. Minus the Tuesday night blip against Reading I would still back us to beat any team at home, Birmingham and Watford being no different. And with Barnsley looking as if they will be safe by the time we make the trip to Yorkshire the importance for a win this Saturday is even more crucial.

It would seem that Cardiff are the only team we will realistically catch now. I cannot see Ian Holloway allowing his Blackpool side to drop enough points between now and the rest of the season for us to catch them. Cardiff on the other hand have an interesting run in which sees them play both Leeds and Palace in the last two games. I would now like to take this moment, on behalf of all Brighton fans, to remind Leeds and those Red and Blue people from South Norwood how much we appreciate them.

I mean we even let Palace beat us at the Amex this year, as well as letting The Mighty Leeds United (Champions of Europe I’ll have you know) scrounge a draw. This in mind, I am hoping that both Palace and Leeds can do us a favour in the run in and… and… and win. There you are I said it. I want Crystal Palace Football Club and Leeds United Association Football Club to win. God football is a funny game!

There is one thing that can be guaranteed, Saturday will definitely end one teams dreams for the season. Victory for Brighton would see West Ham fall away from automatic promotion indefinitely, whilst victory for The Irons would see Brighton’s Play-off dreams dashed. Whilst a draw – useless for both sides at this stage in the season.

Who knows, if Brighton were to win on Saturday and the unthinkable was to happen with Palace and Leeds doing us favours it would appear that a trip back to Upton Park would be on the cards. This time in the Play-Offs, what an occasion that would be! Like I said before, football is a funny game and I can only write these blogs on my thoughts. At the moment my thoughts are on the Play-offs, as much as every BHAFC fan probably doesn’t want to admit it, I think we would all be a little bit gutted if we didn’t make it.

I can see the argument that we don’t have the easiest run in but, if we win on Saturday, I am willing to say we will do it. With good memories of Upton Park (mainly that Butters header in 2004) I will be travelling up to London on Saturday with the same confidence I had on my way to Burnley (how well that worked out!) After writing such a ridiculously up beat and optimistic blog, I will also be travelling to the GP in the morning. Something must be wrong!

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Posted by on April 14, 2012 in Uncategorized