West Hams European Record Trumped By Barca

West Ham United’s 30-year-old European record was finally beaten by Spanish champions FC Barcelona.

The current Champions League holders equalled West Ham’s unique record of scoring in 27 consecutive European ties last month with a 3-2 win against Milan, meaning that should they have scored against FC BATE in the Nou Camp the record would be theirs.

Unfortunately Barca found their scoring boots as they always do with the plethora of attacking talent at their disposal, and they have now moved on to 28 having finally overturned The Hammers unique record.

Well done Barcelona (through gritted teeth!)

Henri and Gary Make Comebacks

Good news for Sam Allardyce today as both Henri Lansbury and Gary O’Neil made appearances for West Hams development squad.

The match ended 3-0 against Brentford, with Big Sam watching the match hoping the mid-fielders would soon be back featuring for the first team.

Ian Hendon spoke to WHUTV:

“Henri has been training really well and his quality is there for all to see,” Hendon told West Ham TV. “As soon as he is back ready and fit, which I think he is now, it will be a bonus for the gaffer come Saturday afternoons.

“Gary is a bit stiff and tired at the moment but he’s come through. He’s worked his socks off to get back to fitness and will continue to do so. It was a nice step for him to get out on the pitch and one of the goals came from him hitting a shot and we followed it in.”

Good news as we could do with some more competition in the middle of the park.

Amy Childs At The Boleyn! Shutup!

Amy Childs In West Ham KitI was reading on WHUFC.COM earlier that Reality TV star Amy Childs was at the Boleyn Ground to watch the goalless npower Championship draw with Bristol City with her father Billy.

“I’m at the game filming my new TV show and my Dad is such a big supporter of West Ham and he said I had to come down with him,” said Amy.

Dad Billy explained that he had been a Hammers fan since the days of Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson and Jimmy Greaves in the early 1970s.

Amy’s supporting history is a bit shorter, but she was quick to point out that it it was not her first time at the Boleyn Ground.

“I came about six years ago and I remember being really bored because I was a bit younger then! I’m really excited about it earlier before I came and have been on the pitch talking about West Ham, which was really exciting.”

For her fans, Amy revealed that her West Ham visit would feature on her new TV show.

“I’m not going to go back to The Only Way Is Essex because I’ve got my own TV show called ‘It’s All About Amy’ which is on Channel 5 and is going to be really big.

“I’m really excited because my new TV show will have plenty have West Ham and plenty of my Dad in it!”

Was thinking of creating a section of the website listing all our celebrity fans. I personally saw Keira Knightley with Ray Winstone at a game! Who have you seen?

 

West Ham 3 Derby County 1

Today West Ham won again, but it was another game where a strong second-half showing was needed, as the Hammers made it five wins from six to cut the gap on leaders Southampton to just two points.

Carlton Cole, one of two changes in the starting eleven, headed in superbly after a right-wing cross from Joey O’Brien, the other alteration from the week before.

Kevin Nolan then lashed in a stunning volley for his first goal in the claret and blue at Upton Park. Mark Noble’s penalty made the game safe, meaning the only low note was a hamstring injury for Sam Baldock. On the plus side, Matt Taylor returned off the bench for a late cameo after his calf injury.

Match Report from WHUFC.com:

For Big Sam, there was much to savour about his team’s 3-1 success which made it 16 points out of a possible 18. “We have become the second-half team,” he said. “At the start of the season we were the first-half team, scoring within 15 minutes of nearly every game.

“I have to say it was tough going today in the first half. It was probably down to the system we played, the 4-4-2. We weren’t controlling midfield enough and we weren’t really at the races compared to our normal form.

“The second half performance was more like we know we can be. We saw the best of our players, better movement, better options and more fluent football.

“It is always difficult to recover when you go down one nil. We have done that twice on the trot now, not that I want to carry on like that mind. It was a great win in the end, a great second-half performance and off we go to Middlesbrough on Tuesday.”

Baldock’s loss was also keenly felt, with the striker having been the most potent threat in the opening stages. “Sam got in a couple of times,” said the manager. “His injury was another reason for our first-half performance.

“One we weren’t playing very well and two, Sam had been our strongest player for sneaking behind their back four. We had him in a couple of times in the first 15 minutes but Mark Noble and Kevin Nolan couldn’t get a grip of the game.

“So we put Jack Collison into midfield, changed to a 4-3-3 and those three talented players got us control of the match. It worked an absolute treat and they never got out of their half in the second half.”

With Julien Faubert turning in a man of the match display., the manager was asked to describe the transformation in the Frenchman’s form. “It is about the atmosphere we have, and the culture we are building at the training ground. It is about being comfortable with each other and looking forward to training. Working hard and enjoying all the benefits together by producing results.

“Julien has felt comfortable in the environment for the first time. I appreciate his ability and of course someone like Julien, we had to get the best out of if we could because it was big money when he came here. Now we are seeing the benefit of him playing consistently and consistently well.

“He was well deserving of the man of the match award and long may it continue. The bottom line is he is working hard. He is creating so many opportunities to receive the ball and hurt the opposition, that is the real benefit for Julien.”

The manager also reserved special praise for Freddie Piquionne, with another star turn off the bench after his goal at the Ricoh Arena last week. He was fouled in the area for the penalty, after tremendous build-up play by Faubert and then Collison to set him free

“For the second time, Freddie Piquionne has come on and done a really good job. The only disappointing thing is he should have scored again. He needs to crown a good performance off with a goal.

“He had two headers and one he ran into with his touch. We know he is getting the chances which is the pleasing thing.”

The manager was delighted with Nolan’s “absolutely brilliant” goal, and he was keen to remind that the skipper was not signed for his creative play, good as it can be, but as a match-winner and goalscorer from midfield who operates in the final third and in and around the penalty area.

“It was the goal of the game, and his first one here which is really pleasing. The fans saw his outstanding quality. To get one at home, I hope he can kick on from there.”

It remains to be seen what changes the manager may make at the Riverside on Tuesday, with Carlton Cole suffering from cramp in the closing stages and as Baldock is set to be out for a period of time. The likes of Papa Bouba Diop and Freddie Sears will be desperate to make the 16 as will Guy Demel, who was an unused substitute.

“It is just a disappointing loss with Sam. That is why you have to go with four strikers. At least we have Freddie, John Carew and Carlton Cole still to choose from. Bearing in mind where we came from today, I thought it was an outstanding recovery and an outstanding performance in the second half.”

So good news with The Hammers maintaining their fine form, Southampton we’re coming to get you!

Tompkins Interest Laughed Off

Queens Park Rangers reported interest in signing West Ham United centre back James ‘Tonks’ Tomkins has been ignored  by West Ham.

The 22-year-old centre half has been in fine form in the opening half of the season putting in a string of impressive performances.

Such performances were sure to attract the interest of other clubs and QPR are the first to make a move for the player.

Rangers manager Neil Warnock said he values at Tompkin’s ‘around the £3million mark’.

However that valuation has been laughed off by West Ham United, with an unnamed insider telling Harris Harris of ESPN that “we wouldn’t sell him for that” adding, “he has nearly three years left on his contract, he’s not for sale.”

I honestly hope that we don’t go back to the days of selling our best young players. Tompkins is a great player in the making as far as I am concerned and we need to keep players like him to compete if/when we get back in the Premier League.

Coventry 1 – 2 West Ham

West Ham came from 1 – 0 down against Coventry to win 2 – 1 and secure 3 points and a great comeback.

The Hammers had around 6,500 fans cheering them on at the Ricoh Arena, so the outstanding away day support continues.

“It is a satisfying afternoon,” Sam Allardyce said. “It is a great result to come back having gone a goal down at half-time. It is the first time we have shown this type of character.

“We were disappointed in our performance in the first half but we did something about it. Me by changing the system [from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2] and the players by performing better. They exerted pressure on Coventry which ended up paying off for us.”

That makes it four wins and a draw from the last five matches for Big Sams team, that’s promotion form right there I hope.

Sir Geoff Honoured At Wembley

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Big Sam Staggered At Green Omission

Sam Allardyce today spoke to London’s Evening Standard about his shock at Robert Greens omission from Fabio Capello’s latest England Squad.

“I’m staggered because Rob’s right back at the top of his game following his knee operation,” said the West Ham manager, speaking to the Evening Standard. “I would even say Rob is better than before because his knee hadn’t been 100 per cent for some little time before he had the op.

“If Fabio is looking for the friendlies with Spain and Sweden as principally preparation for Euro 2012 next summer, then I can’t see beyond Rob. Joe Hart is currently the first choice for the England goalkeeper’s jersey but if they want someone capable of ­challenging the Manchester City man, then I can’t think of anyone better than Rob.

I don’t believe that playing in the Championship with West Ham should be a handicap for him. It’s far better for a keeper to be playing regularly in the Championship than sporadically in the Premier League.”

Green has been in fantastic form for The Hammers since returning from injury, during which Manuel Almunia kept watch between the sticks.

I am surprised myself as Greens form has been impressive, on top of that most of the keepers in the Premier League who could mount some form of challenge to Joe Hart have retired or made themselves unavailable.