Hammers On A High After Beating Brighton

Nolan Celebrates Netting WinnerWest Ham are on a high after beating Brighton 1 – 0 at their new stadium. Brighton had been in imperious form in their new digs so it was an excellent result to turn them over although it was a very hard fought victory.

Sam Allardyce paid tribute to the defensive resilience of his West Ham United after a dogged display was enough to earn all three points.

Kevin Nolan’s solitary strike on 17 minutes settled the contest. West Ham though were missing the creativity of David Bentley, Matt Taylor and Henri Lansbury to injury and had to give away much in terms of possession. The likes of the recalled Mark Noble and Jack Collison to work overtime in midfield.

“It was an outstanding victory for us at a very difficult place to play,” Big Sam said. “They have a great crowd and atmosphere, so it is a great three points from us. Automatic promotion is generally determined on how many one-nil wins you can get and it is the same when you are trying to get in the higher end of the Premier League.

“You want to be fluent, score and be open like we have been in the previous games of course – we have scored four goals in four different games remember – but today we were a solid, hard-working unit of lads determined to try and bounce back from the disappointment at Southampton.”

Another good result, especially as we were missing some good players due to injury for this game. This is a game we would definitely have lost under previous managers in my opinion.

On another note it’s nice to see Nolan getting on the score sheet, he scored plenty for Newcastle in their promotion winning season so let’s hope he can do the same for us.

West Ham To Tender Again

As you will no doubt have seen and read this week, the Government has decided to start a new process to determine the future of the Olympic Stadium after it became bogged down in legal wrangling.

WHUFC: Our unanimously supported proposal which earned us preferred bidder status back in February was for a multi-use, multi-sport stadium that provided a real home for football and athletics.

It would have been open in 2014/15, and it would have been a destination for national sport and certainly a fitting stage for the 2017 World Athletic Championships.

We will tender again with the same energy, vision and determination.

We welcome the positive words from the Sports Minister and the Mayor of London. It is great to see a collective determination for the Olympic Stadium to live up to the promises rightly made by Lord Coe and his team when the Games were won back in 2005.

If we are allowed, we will deliver the right legacy for the East End and the wider community, ensuring that the vibrant Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with its thousands of new jobs and homes is well served.

It’s a shame after all the back and forth that we are having to start all over. Lets hope Mr. Levy can keep his toys in his pram if we win it again and not use every means possible to keep us out of it! But it may be a good thing, I was never a fan of sitting  5 miles from the pitch so maybe our new bid can include retractable seating?!

Lansbury Helps England Win

Henri Lansbury lined up for England as they won 3-0 in Iceland today to make it two wins from two in UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying.

The Reykjavik contest was the second qualifier in the bid to reach the 2013 finals in Israel, with Lansbury having scored two and made two in the first, a 6-0 defeat of Azerbaijan last month. He also registered four days later in a 4-1 friendly win against the Israelis.

Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the hero for Stuart Pearce’s Young Lions this time, scoring all three goals. The England squad will now travel to Drammen to take on Norway on Monday night in their third qualifying match of the campaign.

Good to see him putting in some good performances for England U21’s. Lets hope that form transfers to West Ham as you can never have enough good midfielder’s!

Allardyce: No Long Ball Game

West Ham United were back in training this Tuesday fresh from a spirited display at Crystal Palace when their poised passing performance should have earned more than the single point.

Speaking after the match, the Palace manager had said: “Two teams, playing two different ways; very much a physical powerful team in West Ham, knocking a lot of balls into your box, against the team that we had with the guile, the sharpness and the interchange to play and try to create chances.”

However, the Hammers had 366 passes in play compared to the home side’s 224. They completed nearly 80 per cent of these while Palace’s success rate was just 72 per cent. The visitors also carried the ball into the final third of the pitch on 93 occasions as opposed to the Eagles’ 68 times.

Speaking to whufc.com, Big Sam said: “We had more than 4,000 travelling fans at Selhurst Park. That is fantastic support again and they all saw another exciting team performance to go with the big wins we had at Watford and Nottingham Forest.

“We dominated the Palace game and outplayed the home side so it disappoints me to hear a young manager talking in the way that he did about my team. Just to get the facts straight, we were on top in terms of passing and possession and should have won the game with the chances we created.”

I am liking the statistics we are getting from WHUFC now! Shows the depth Sam Allardyce and his team go into to make sure they are fully prepared for every game, and of course analyse every performance. Feels a much more professional outfit than in the past.

Almunia In On Loan

West Ham United have signed vastly-experienced goalkeeper Manuel Almunia on an initial one-month emergency loan from Arsenal.

Manager Sam Allardyce moved quickly to secure the services of the Spanish stopper after learning that Robert Green faces around six weeks out with a knee cartilage injury.

The 34-year-old joined up with his new team-mates on Friday ahead of this weekend’s npower Championship visit to Crystal Palace. He will wear the No13 shirt.

Big Sam welcomed the goalkeeper to the club, telling West Ham TV: “We’ve been hot on the phone and secured an excellent signing in the short-term in Manuel Almunia from Arsenal.

“It’s a big ‘Thank you’ again to Arsene Wenger and Arsenal for allowing us to get such a high-class and experienced goalkeeper to come in and fill-in for Robert for the time being.

“I think he hasn’t had as many games at Arsenal as he would have liked so he wants to play first-team football at the end of the day.

“We hope that huge amount of experience he has had at Arsenal and the football he has played on a regular basis will stand us in good stead here at West Ham and more and more clean sheets will come from his presence in goal. That will obviously help us to secure more victories while Robert is out.”

Almunia, who becomes the second player to join the club on loan from the Gunners this season after England Under-21 midfielder Henri Lansbury.

Good news really, Almunia may not be the best keeper but in The Championship he will do a fantastic job for us until Greenie is back. Thanks again to Arsenal for doing us a favour with a good player on loan.

 

Hislop: Redknapp Ruined J.Cole

Interesting reading today in the papers that Shaka Hislop has claimed that his former manager at West Ham, Harry Redknapp, is responsible for the failure of Joe Cole to live up to early hopes.

“Harry kind of liked Joe just to express himself, and we’d play around him, or around Joe’s unpredictability,” he said. “But encouraging him to be himself didn’t help him.

“Talented though he is, when you don’t have the ball he’s got to give you something else. Everything about his game on that side, when your team don’t have possession, he simply wasn’t good enough. Harry did not help him in that respect; I don’t think he was coached in that way.”

Cole, who moved to French club Lille on a season-long loan from Liverpool scored his first goal for his new club last weekend. Yet Hislop insists he could have enjoyed a far more glittering career had Redknapp utilised him better.

“Harry wants players to come and just play naturally and he would fill the gaps around that,” he continued. “It was the same with Paolo Di Canio. He would be allowed to do exactly what he wants and we would fill the gaps around him.

“It worked – you can’t take that away from Harry. But in Joe’s case, in terms of stepping up that extra level, it held him back. I know Joe well, I like him a lot and I hope he rediscovers his form. But you have to bring more than just that type of natural, unbridled ability.”

I always thought Joe Cole was going to be a far better player than he turned out to be. I really thought we had the next Paul Gascoigne on our books when I watched him play. It was like having a Brazilian player, fantastic skill and ball control and dribbling past two or three players.

To be honest I don’t entirely agree with Shaka, as when he went to Chelsea it was coached out of him to be the free spirited play maker he was for us, every time he got the ball he passed it straight back to the person who gave it to him and have very little conviction when trying to beat people, almost like he would be dropped for losing the ball.

Allen: Baldock Like Cottee

I was interested to read earlier on the Official West Ham website that Martin Allen likens Baldock to Tony Cottee.

Goodness knows how long we have needed a goal scorer for, I thought it would have been Demba Ba but he was on his toes as soon as we got relegated.

Allen though is looking forward to seeing Sam Baldock make a name for himself at West Ham United.

The former Hammers midfielder had the young striker at MK Dons and believed then that he had the ability to go far in the game. Allen, now managing at Notts County, told West Ham TV that Baldock, 22, was reminiscent of a former West Ham United favourite.

“He is cool, calm and a finisher. He is Cottee-like. He is not always involved at the other end of the field but he is razor sharp. He comes alive around the box and he can finish.”

Sounds promising, but only time will tell but I am optimistic over the little guy!

Big Sam Launches New Store

Sam Allardyce led a trio of his West Ham United players to the new store at Westfield Stratford City.

The manager, Kevin Nolan, Carlton Cole and Jack Collison met hundreds of supporters that flocked into the shop from 2pm on Tuesday to mark the official opening of the biggest shopping centre in Europe.

The quartet signed all manner of items purchased in store. Scores of journalists and photographers turned up to see the big launch event, with the Hammers buzz spreading around the state of the art centre.

Big Sam said: “It is great to see everyone turn out for this new store. It is in a good location and it is always nice to meet fans face to face. They gave us their best wishes for the weekend and hopefully we will do them proud.”

With the store now open seven days a week, fans should look out for more great promotions and also a new loyalty card scheme running from today.

Skipper Kevin said: “The store looks really good and it was great to see so many fans here on the first day of its opening. By coming along, they are supporting the club and we are really grateful to them for turning out. We were as happy to meet them as they were to see us.”

I popped down to the store myself and it really was buzzing and very manic! Great to see how much support The Hammers have!