Monthly Archives: June 2012

West Ham make £4million bid for Arsenal target

Abdou Kader Mangane

By Jamie Sanderson | Friday, June 29, 2012


West Ham have made a £4 million bid for controversial Rennes defender Abdou Kader Mangane.

The 29-year-old centre back, who can also play in midfield, has become something of a hate figure in France, following a series of dangerous tackles, including one on Valenciennes midfielder Jonathan Lacourt in 2009, that broke both his tibia and fibula, and ruled him out of the game for two years.

Mangane is often booed at most away grounds in France, but that has not put off Arsenal, Newcastle and Sunderland, who have all been to watch the Senegal international in action during the last 12 months.

However, despite their interest, Premier League new boys West Ham have now jumped the queue, and lodged a £4 million bid with Ligue 1 side Rennes.

Mangane, known for his power, pace and nononsense approach, has secured a French passport to help ease a transfer to English football, and with just 12 months left on his current deal, Rennes are desperate to do business.

Hammers boss Sam Allarydce is keen to add more experience to his squad this summer, and has already brought in Bolton veteran Jussi Jaaskelainen, along with and Wigan enforcer Mohamed Diame, with more to follow.

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Posted by on June 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


Big Sam weighs up move for Gallas

West Ham United, 13:42, June 29, 2012

West Ham are believed to be plotting a move for Tottenham defender William Gallas as they prepare for life back in the Premier League.

The Hammers boss Sam Allardyce believes the Frenchman would add much needed top-flight experience to his side’s rearguard, having played for the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs since moving to England from Marseille in 2001.
Gallas struggled for fitness for much of last season as he was continually dogged by a niggling calf injury, and he would be available on a free transfer if Allardyce decided to firm up his interest.
Allardyce released Abdoulaye Faye, 34 in the summer, while another experienced defender in 31-year-old Danny Collins returned to Stoke following his loan spell at Upton Park.
Tottenham are prepared to let Gallas go as they too are planning to bring in defensive reinforcements with Ajax centre-back Jan Vertonghen still at the top of their wanted list, despite complications which are holding up the move.
The 34-year-old isn’t the only man on Allardyce’s radar, with the Sun claiming that the former Bolton and Blackburn boss has set his sights on Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf – a player who ironically has also been linked with a switch to White Hart Lane.
Seedorf, who has just left AC Milan, is also wanted by Brazilian side Botafogo, but the veteran has made it clear that he would prefer a move to England instead.

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Posted by on June 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


A Wigan Fan Tells West Ham What To Expect From Mohammed Diame


So yet another player moves on from Wigan Athletic onto better things… Or does he? A Wigan fan explains why they can never hold onto their best players and also what West Ham can expect from Mohammed Diame

Can I do a piece about West Ham fans can expect from Mohamed Diame? Of course I can. Can I do it without the inevitable “paragraph of bitterness”? Well there’s a challenge. And the question is – where to put it? At the beginning – and immediately incur the wrath of jellied eel munching Essex Boys or at the end – with the comments box lurking close to hand? OK then safely embedded in the middle it is then.

We all knew Momo was leaving. Both Diame and Hugo Rodallega’s contracts were up at the end of the season and any talk of them being renewed was hearsay or a small addendum to a press article rather than bold statements of intent.

For Wigan Athletic, this has become known as the “N’Zogbia co-efficient”  whereby a player performs to such a high standard that he prices himself out of a new contract leaving us with no  option to sell or give away. There are two competing forces to fling blame at here. The first one is arguably our notoriously publicity shy chairman Dave Whelan, who simply – publicly at least, refuses to demonstrate any intent to renew players’ contracts as they get towards the end of their tenure, thus meaning we continue to lose our precious assets for nothing.

Yet maybe this is an admirable quality, a desire to keep the club on a sound financial footing and when players by virtue of good performances leap from that £20-30k per week bracket into the £40-60k threshold, at that point Wigan Athletic fold their hand and leave the table.

If it’s great skills you want he’s got a hefty compartment of them attached to his boots in the locker marked S for silky.

Of course this alludes to the second allocation of blame, those money mad agents, whom our reclusive, monk-like chairman, who once played in an FA Cup final and broke his leg in case you weren’t aware has also fired a parting shot at. Diame’s agent is Willie McKay, need I say more although he is not alone in his desire as an agent to look to move players’ on every few years for a slice of a signing on fee and a bigger wage packet. There’s probably nothing wrong with that in all honesty but it still hurts like hell when it happens to a club like ours. Who’d have thought a Belgian plodder by the name of Jean Marc Bosman would wreak such havoc in the world of football?

Back to Momo and when he joined it’s fair to say, he didn’t exactly set the place alight. A £3m joint signing in the summer of 2009 from Rayo Vallecano along with centre half Antonio Amaya, an absolute rock of a man, rugged, handsome, sturdy but with the ability to turn into a gibbering wreck when put under moderate pressure by the likes of Lee Hughes and Johan Elmander. Diame though looked the real deal and soon enough he was. We nearly didn’t sign him at all due to a heart scare, which is supposedly still around in that he has an irregular heart beat but the more games he played for us, the more ludicrous it became to believe that this midfield powerhouse could possibly have a dicky ticker.

Whereas Amaya barely made a handful of appearances leading us to conclude he had just been signed as a friend to keep Momo company, Diame was always in the team under Martinez and his performances broadly reflected the direction of Wigan Athletic as a whole. In the first year when we suffered many large reversals, Diame was symbolic of those games: a shoulder shrugging, lost sheep with bags of ability but no heart (no pun intended), one of many foreign mercenaries to wear the shirt of Wigan Athletic at a time when we seemed to be destined for the drop.

Yet in many ways, Diame was a pioneer of the resurgence at the business end of the season. Capable of matching the best in the game. A rangy, box to box midfielder with energy, drive, sublime ball skills and passing range, long legs perfect for taking the ball off his more illustrious opposite numbers and driving goalwards. Of course, forming an opinion off youtube is dangerous but what’s not to like about this?

Apart from the music. The one weakness has always been his shooting and indeed a year or two ago at a fans’ forum, a fan asked Martinez whether it would be possible for Momo to stay behind for a bit of extra shooting practice to up his goal tally. “The problem there is, if Momo gets ten goals a season, then he’s off.”

Therein lies the quandary of modern football, we nurture our players, accept their flaws and watch then develop and then get forced to flog them because they are commanding bigger wages.

The strange thing in Diame’s case is that he hasn’t actually featured much since Christmas. Essentially he was a pivotal part of the team that amassed a whopping 15 points in 23 games until the end of January but barely featured in a team that went on to get 28 points from the remaining 15 beating Liverpool, United, Arsenal and Newcastle in the process. This is merely a crumb of comfort from a Wigan fans’ perspective in the future and not intended to ignore Diame’s undoubted talent.

His contribution to the run in was to come off the bench and miss a pair of sitters against Norwich and West Brom which cost us four points when we really looked doomed. It may just be that Roberto knew both Hugo and Momo were leaving and chose to use them sparingly whilst thinking of next season’s continuity. They could have both been flogged in January with this in mind but that would have been akin to waving the white flag at the time with Latics rooted in the relegation zone. As it happens, players like McArthur and Maloney came to the fore and Momo struggled to get back in the team, understandably as they were playing out of their skins.

This is not to detract from a fantastic player who will be sorely missed by most Wigan Athletic fans, many of whom are asking why West Ham? I think we know the answer to the question and it comes in paper and shiny gold form. Again, we know our place, we know Wigan Athletic are a small club and West Ham won the World Cup and are a far bigger and more illustrious club than our own, but is this a step up? How will West Ham’s aspirations and likely achievements differ from Wigan Athletic’s? Why join a newly promoted club and leave an established Premier League club of eight years?

We sold our best player twelve months ago in the form of Charles N’Zogbia and ended up finishing higher up the table than the team he joined, so much for career advancement

I can see you now – shaking your head at the screen saying “stupid Northern monkey, Wigan are going down” but then you’ve been saying that for eight years now and it hasn’t happened! We sold our best player twelve months ago in the form of Charles N’Zogbia and ended up finishing higher up the table than the team he joined, so much for career advancement, ultimately what it comes down to with both Charlie and Momo is wage packet advancement and that’s the bit where I get really bitter.

There ends up being a divide with players who leave Wigan between the ones who we’re proud of and really go on to develop their careers such as Leighton Baines and Antonio Valencia and the ones who end up at Sunderland or Aston Villa and spend their lives in bigger houses, driving faster cars but ultimately plodding around in lower mid table like the rest of us.

As it stands at the minute though, Diame is still just about bridging the two, still just about loved by Wigan fans for his fearless running and undoubted talent despite his choice of next employer. Even though he once fell foul of an infamous “French interview translation” and allegedly claimed the town of Wigan is cold and full of ugly women in a Georgi Hristov moment. Somehow, I think London may suit him a tad better in that respect.

As much as it pains me to say it, I can see newly promoted West Ham being this year’s Newcastle – it’s what they do, I have no doubt under Allardyce that they’ll finish safely in mid table or even top half and I would love Momo to play a pivotal role in that. I’ve not seen enough of them last year to understand how much of the “get in the mixer” philosophy Big Sam has utilised at the academy of football but this is not a man for whom you want to bypass the midfield for because he can own the midfield. If it’s great skills you want he’s got a hefty compartment of them attached to his boots in the locker marked S for silky.

So with a heavy heart it’s hard for me to wish him well as he has joined a rival but it would also be a travesty if his box of tricks isn’t regularly on display in the Barclays PremierLeague next season. It will hurt seeing it, like spotting an ex-girlfriend with a new beau but Momo is too good to keep tucked away for long and I hope he goes on to play a starring role in West Ham’s first season back up. But not at our expense.

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Posted by on June 24, 2012 in Uncategorized


Allardyce First Manager For The Chop?

Former Toon boss Sam Allardyce has done what was expected of him – getting West Ham promoted. But, just like his time at St James’ Park, he has yet to win over the fans.


Chris Hughton achieved promotion with an attacking side that blazed a trail through the Championship, and brought pride back to Tyneside.

Big Sam, on the other hand, got the Hammers up through the back-door, despite having a squad that should have stormed that league.

Today he challenges his West Ham side to get into a good position in the first nine games of the season because he expects November and December to be a particularly tough period.

The Hammers lost their opening four matches two years ago and never recovered as they suffered relegation to the Championship.

Having bounced back up at the first attempt, Allardyce knows his men cannot afford a similar start and he is looking to pick up three points at home to Aston Villa on the opening weekend of the season.

Sam Allardyce: “The first nine games up to Manchester City are ones we must try to achieve as many points as we can. It will be hugely difficult but not as difficult as what follows.

“We get through October and then November and December are the toughest months of the season, not only because of the fixtures but the number of games we have to play.

“We’ve got to get off to get off to a flying start and achieve as many points as we can in the first nine or 10 games. The fixtures are difficult though; nothing is going to be easy at all.”

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Posted by on June 24, 2012 in Uncategorized


Gamberini has West Ham offer


Fiorentina defender Alessandro Gamberini is “wanted by Bayer Leverkusen and West Ham,” said his agent.

The 31-year-old’s current deal expires with the Viola in July 2013 and he has already received offers from Napoli in recent months.

“We spoke to the club and will postpone the real negotiations to next week,” said agent Francesco Romano.

“Alessandro has another year on his contract and his priority is the Fiorentina jersey. We will see the situation and discuss it, especially as we haven’t lacked for offers.

“At the moment West Ham and Bayer Leverkusen have made enquiries for the player. As we said, he is owned by the Viola and so I sent the messages on to Fiorentina.”

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Posted by on June 23, 2012 in Uncategorized


Green thanks fans

Robert Green has paid tribute to the West Ham United fans after agreeing a deal with QPR

Robert Green has thanked the West Ham United fans for their incredible support during his time at the club after agreeing a deal to sign for Queens Park Rangers.

The England keeper is set to embark on the next stage of his career in west London after six years with the Hammers. But before he leaves when his contract runs out on 30 June, he was keen to acknowledge the support he has received from the Hammers fans and staff during his time at the Boleyn Ground.

“I would like to convey my thanks, especially to the fans, for the six years I spent at West Ham. The relationship I had with the West Ham fans was special and will be remembered with great fondness not only by myself but also by my family.

“I must also say a thank-you to the manager, the players and all the staff for everything while I was at the club.”

Green who made 241 appearances in the claret and blue in all competitions, also wished everyone at the club well on their return to the Premier League.

“I would like to wish the manager, the lads and of course the fans, all the best for the upcoming season and beyond.”

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Posted by on June 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


Tottenham and West Ham face competition for Turkish hotshot

Burak Yilmaz is wanted by Spurs and West Ham

Lazio are ready to fight Tottenham and West Ham for the services of Turkish hotshot Burak Yilmaz.

The Trabzonspor ace hit a staggering 33 goals in 34 appearances last season and a move to a major European league looks on the cards.

The London rivals reckon he could cut it in the Premier League and are both reportedly preparing bids.

But now it has been revealed that Lazio have already tabled an offer for Yilmaz, who they want to spearhead their attack next season.

According to reports in Italy, the Rome side are willing to hand the 26-year-old a five-year deal at the Stadio Olimpico, which would treble his current wage at Trabzonspor.

It is now up to Burak to decide whether he sees his long-term future in Serie A, or whether he wants to try his hand in England’s top flight.

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Posted by on June 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


Polish police find body believed to be Irish football fan James Nolan

Police divers in Bydgoszcz find body in canal after Nolan’s disappearance on Sunday sparked huge search effort

Body found in search for missing Irish fan

Police divers in Bydgoszcz, Poland, who believe they have found the body of James Nolan. Photograph: Tytus Zmijewski/EPA

Polish authorities believe a body found floating in a canal is that of an Irish soccer fan who came to the country for the Euro 2012 football championship, officials said, after documents in his name were discovered on the corpse.

James Nolan, 21, of Blessington, County Wicklow, disappeared early on Sunday in the northern city of Bydgoszcz, sparking a huge search effort in the city. Police divers found a body early on Wednesday and authorities are awaiting the arrival of Nolan’s father, Jimmy, and other family members later in the day to make a formal identification.

“There is a high probability that this is the body of the man we have been searching for,” a spokesman for prosecutors, Jan Bednarek, told the Associated Press.

The body was found lying face down in fast-flowing water of the Bydgoszcz canal and trapped by a weir that runs across it. The canal is an offshoot of the city’s Brda river, and brings water for a small hydroelectric plant.

No signs of violence were apparent, deputy chief prosecutor Wlodzimierz Marszalkowski told the Associated Press. Robbery didn’t appear to be the motive since 600 zlotys (£114) and a credit card were found on the corpse, he said. An autopsy was planned for Thursday.

The clothing on the body matched a description given by friends of what Nolan was wearing when he went missing, officials said.

Police and firefighters, some in boats and others with dogs, had been searching along the river, canal and adjacent waste ground Tuesday and again on Wednesday. Moments before the body was found, two divers in an inflatable dinghy were seen speeding toward the site. A police cordon was quickly set up around the area.

Nolan was in Poland for Euro 2012 to follow Ireland, which has now been eliminated from the tournament. He had been travelling with friends in a rented campervan, but was also registered at a hotel on the city’s outskirts. He was last seen visiting local bars after watching televised games in a fanzone Saturday night.

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Posted by on June 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


Hammers sign Diame with a new striker set to follow

Mohamed Diame says he is “happy and excited” after becoming West Ham’s third permanent new signing of the summer.


The defensive central midfielder, 25, has signed a three-year contract at Upton Park and will officially become a Hammer when his current deal with Wigan Athletic expires on July 1.

The Senegal international is a free agent after spending three years with the Latics, for whom he made 103 league and cup appearances.

And he is looking forward to playing his part as West Ham seek to consolidate their place back in the Premier League.

Diame said: “I’m very happy and very excited to have joined the club and I’m looking forward to the start of the season.

“I know the fans here get behind the team all the time and I’m looking forward to showing everybody what I can do on the pitch.”

Hammers boss Sam Allardyce was pleased to have secured Diame’s signature after being linked with the player for several weeks.

“His potential is really good and he is ready to compete in the first team straight away as he has had three years in the Premier League already,” he said.

“He is 25 and can only get better – and I hope he can go on to prove that to me and all of the West Ham United fans.

“He will be a very exciting addition to the squad.”

Sunderland and Aston Villa had also been linked with the player, who joined Wigan from Spanish outfit Rayo Vallecano for a fee of £3.6million in 2009.

Diame joins goalkeepers Jussi Jaaskelainen and Stephen Henderson as West Ham’s new signings following the club’s return to the top flight via the play-offs.

West Ham are also hoping to bolster their attack with the signing of a new striker next week.

The Hammers have been linked with several hitmen in recent weeks, including Grant Holt of Norwich City and Real Madrid’s Spain under-21 international Joselu.

Reports suggest that West Ham have made an increased £5.5m bid for Holt, who scored 17 goals as the Canaries enjoyed a comfortable first season back in the Premier League.

The 31-year-old wants to quit the East Anglia club, but Norwich rejected the striker’s initial transfer request in May.

Joselu, 22 – full name Jose Luis Sanmartin Mato – was born in Germany, but after spending time with Celta Vigo has been playing for Madrid’s B team Castilla.

Allardyce has been in Italy, where it was claimed he was seen speaking to Juventus director Fabio Paratici.

One of his targets was believed to be Dutch winger Eljero Elia, 25, who made a £7m move from Hamburg to Juve last summer, but made only four appearances and recently submitted a transfer request.

Allardyce has also been linked with another Dutchman in the shape of Luc Castaignos, a 19-year-old striker who spent last season with Inter Milan after two years at Feyenoord.

Sweden defender Jonas Olsson is another potential target, but new West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Clarke is reluctant to let him go.

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Posted by on June 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


West Ham set to up the ante with striker offer


West Ham have increased their bid for Norwich Captain Grant Holt to £5.5 million, according the The Daily Mail.

The 31-year old announced earlier this month his desire to leave Carrow Road via Twitter stating;

“I have expressed to the board and the CEO that I want to leave the club due to disagreements”.

West Ham had their initial bid of £3.5 million turned down by the Norfolk club but have now returned with a more attractive offer.

Norwich, who paid just £400,000 for Holt in 2009 are set to make a healthy profit on their target man who contributed 17 goals to the clubs tally last season.

Hammers manager Sam Allardyce is looking to bolster his newly promoted side and has already made early movements in the transfer market. Jussi Jasskelainen has arrived at Upton Park after the departure of former ‘keeper Robert Green, while former Wigan midfielder Mohomed Diame has signed a three-year deal with the club this morning.

Allardyce would be required to sell a number of his attacking options in order to accommodate Holt, with 6 recognisable strikers all plying their trade at the East London club.

Norwich are yet to respond to the increased bid from West Ham. However, with claims that the Canaries Chief Executive David McNally felt that Holt was too old to be offered a new 3-year contract with the club, it may only be a matter of time before their want away skipper moves on.

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Posted by on June 20, 2012 in Uncategorized