Forum Replies Created
Hurstie, Martinez is on loan at Oxford and scored on his debut against Newcastle in the FA Cup. He looks the real deal to me and like Oxford I think Bilko has decided they both need regular football and toughening up. Calleri seems to have a major confidence problem. He has ability but we are not seeing it. I prefer Fletcher but it’s not easy being a bit part player. Having said that you need to take you chance to impress. He has not done that. Even his goal was a fluke deflection. We need Sakho back.
Funny old game. Obiang and Nobes play like a pair of Donkeys against Citeh and then both play terrific against the Saints. The problem is the top six are in their own league and there is not much between the rest of the teams in the premiership. You could say we are 3rd in the sub league. Potentially we might catch the Baggies but Everton look a bit stronger. If like me you believe money determines where you finish we are probably just about where we should be. I like Snoddy. I rated him highly before we signed him. I am not sure about Fonte and think with a few more miles on his clock he might turn out to be a liability. Cresswell worries me currently. He was never the greatest at defending. Currently he is making too many mistakes. Kouyate is completely wasted at right back and just not suited to playing there. Is Byram a right back? Not for me. He is good going forward but that’s about it. His tackles are usually desperate and late. In the summer I would go for Trippier from the Spuds. Kone from Sunderland, Robertson from Hull and the best striker we can attract with a consistent goal scoring record. We have some good kids coming through and I can’t wait to see Martinez given his chance and a toughened up Oxford with a few Championship bruises. Unless the Spivs sell up that’s as much as we can hope for. I would be happy next season to have a squad that allows us to compete in the cup tournaments. It’s our best chance of a day out and both competitions should be taken seriously.
Totally outclassed by Citeh, beaten by pace and their superior passing. We knew all that from the cup game anyway but even with this knowledge Bilko got it completely wrong for me. Snoddy should have started on the left, Antonio on the right and Lanzini behind Brown Ale. Instead he plays Feghouli who is simply just not strong enough to play in the Premiership. Cresswell is half the player he was last season. It has to be the injury or something else is not right with him. Nobes was poor again and Obiang had a bad night too. Without the drive of Kouyate both struggle. It will be interesting to see which one of them gets dropped for Southampton. Byram could not cope with the Citeh winger and Fonte looked to me as though his legs have gone which may explain why the Saints were reluctant to extend his contract. I hope I am wrong but it’s Ginge for me after that performance. Citeh were terrific last night and I stayed until the end because I was expecting to see something else very special from them. We badly need Sakho back to give us any chance in these sort of games. Lets hope we can up our game against the Saints.
Hurstie, its a bit of a trek up to Boro but a win makes the journey home easier. I had a beer with Mal inside the stadium before the game and saw him again at the beer stop near Peterborough on the way home.
3 points secured in Mad Max Land and 10th in the premiership. There were a few nervy moments but overall I thought we were good value. I have been a bit critical of Ogbonna this season but with the news that he has played with a knee injury possibly explains why he has looked a bit off. Let’s hope his knee op is a success and we see him back soon. He is a good character and not moaned about his injury. Fonte is good signing and should make us tighter at the back. Cresswell seems to be struggling for form but we are a better side with him than without. Professor Obiang had another solid game and seems to have established himself as first choice now. Brown Ale scared the living daylight out of Boro. You can’t beat a good old fashioned centre forward especially when he is getting the service he needs. I have said for a long time that Brown Ale and Antonio as a front two would cause any defense problems. Let’s hope we can carry the form into the City game. Final word to the Middlesborough Stewards. Every time I visit this stadium I am appalled by their aggressive confrontational attitude. You can guarantee it will kick off and after they provoke the incident they retreat for the boys in blue to sort it out. It’s the same pattern every time. I can’t believe it’s just us they have a problem with. I also can’t believe how they get away with it time after time. It’s the least enjoyable away day experience for me. The local pubs even put signs up West Ham Not Welcome! Can you imagine what it must be like to live in Middlesborough? Horrible place. Horrible club.
Seems a bit odd that we are about to pay a reported 8m for Fonte at 33 but won’t divvy up for Snoddy at 29. I do rate Fonte and think he is an upgrade on Ogbonna but surely the priority should be a right back. I would rather have tempted the Spuds with an 8m bid for Trippier. The Hogan deal looks to be stumbling and attention has now switched to Andre Gray who looks a better punt to me. I think our business will go to the wire in this window and much depends upon Lambo Payet. Whoever threw the brick at his car needs a slap. There is always some idiot who gets us bad press as fans. All they have done is help Payet’s position and weakened our negotiating stance.
Mal, You could be right about Nobes. Nobes problem is the form of Obiang. Obiang and Kouyate look the better combination to me. I also think Kouyate could be a future club captain. He apparently was the one who took Payet to task over his attitude and told him to get on with it. I still think we have missed Tompkins in the dressing room. He was always positive and good at winding players up. The sooner we rid the club of the Payet virus the better.
Hurstie, Goals change games as City found out at Everton. I have never really been a fan of PEP Football. It relies on having a full team of near world class footballers to be effective. City are a bit Dad’s Army now and if you don’t go chasing all over the park like we did you can pick them off. Defensively they are poor. It’s going to cost their owners big bucks to let PEP re-build the team and like Man U have discovered it does not guarantee anything. I was happy that we changed it at half time against Palace. I don’t like playing with the 3 lumps at the back. Cresswell seems much happier in a back four and I am hoping Byram can step up now but I am not totally convinced. He seems to get caught out too easily and then has to make risky tackles to recover the situation. I would like to see Bilko have a bit more faith in the youngsters particularly Oxford and give them some starts. Martinez, Browne and Quina are getting great reviews and might take their chance if they get one. Looks like Jenks is going to Palace on a permanent deal. It went a bit sour for him before his injury with us but I hope he does well because he always put in a shift for us. I have a feeling that Sully has two or three transfer deals lined up but it all depends on agreeing a deal for Payet. It will be interesting if a Chinese club comes in for him. We will see how homesick he is then! I am hopeful that Lanzini can take over from Payet because he has massive ability. Right I am rattling on too much. Time for mug of tea and a custard cream.
Mal persuaded me to go in the end after a little lubrication. First half was poor but Bilko’s switch at half time to 442 changed the game and during the second half the London Stadium for the first time in my experience seemed almost like home. I have been saying for weeks it’s alright saying the fans need to do their job but the team have to give you something to cheer to create the atmosphere. I had a perfect view of all the goals. Brown Ale muse surely win goal of the season but Lanzini also played a blinder and scored a terrific goal. Devo, you have to love Antonio. In bed with the flu and a high temperature on Friday and puts in a performance like that. I had him in my dream team early doors but despite his goals he never racked up many points for me and I swapped him for Snodgrass! I thought it was brilliant the way the crowd got behind Bilko. Boro here we come…..
Devo, I have just transferred Payet out of my dream team. That will teach him! The ungrateful git. I would like to see the Spivs hold their nerve until the end of the window. Then he either has to eat humble pie or mess up his career by rotting until the summer. The fact that he has refused to play for the club means we probably don’t have to pay his wages either. He will have been tapped up and advised by his Agent. Kone at Sunderland has the same Agent and is doing the same to force a move. Sully can be horrible and might just teach him a lesson. If it was Daniel Levy at Spurs he would be slaughtered. I don’t give a monkey’s about any player who does not want to play for this club. He’s history as far as I am concerned and hopefully lives to regret his actions. Shame young Cullen is out on loan until the summer. He would be useful now. The time is now perfect for Lanzini to step up and take his crown. We all need to get behind Bilko now. He’s feeling it big time.
Hurstie, sad news about Frankie. Terrific player and so quick. He would have really suited today’s game. Disgusted with Payet. He should be left to rot in the stiffs. It won’t happen though and my money is on him returning to Marseilles by the end of the window. You can see how much Bilko is hurting is the interview. Everyone now needs to unite behind Bilko. I believe given the support of the Spivs he will turn this mess around. You can see how passionately he cares about WHU. He is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders but he can sort it. Of course he has made some mistakes but I would rather have him than any one else. Daft Eddie is character alright. In the old days we used to hire a mini bus for away games and take turns to drive. One season Daft Eddie was driving us to Bolton (to their old stadium at Burden Park) but we got delayed on the M6 and arrived near the ground just before kick off. We all jump off the bus and leave Daft Eddie to park it somewhere and meet us in the stadium. He eventually arrives at half time just as we are getting a beer at the bar and explains how difficult it was to find somewhere to park. After the game we come out of the stadium and the pillock can’t remember where he parked the bus. After two hours of combing the streets we still can’t find the bus. We have to report the bus missing to the Police who eventually discover it’s been towed away to the pound and we have to pay to get it back. That’s Daft Eddie for you. But Big Mal’s old Dad bless him was one of the funniest.
Mal, I bumped into Daft Eddie over Xmas and he was telling me about the time your old Dad could not get served in the pub behind the Old Basebsll Ground in Derby because they could understand his accent and his rhyming slang. Then about the banter with Charlie George during the game. What a character he was. Fantastic memories buddy. Okay I will see you for a beer before the game. I am not sure about attending Big Sam’s party. I think the script has already been written!
Happy New Year Everyone. Well it is for me now that the Monster in Law has gone home after Xmas. I am not looking forward to the phone bill after all those calls from me to the Samaritans. Even the dog moved in next door for some peace and quiet. Hurstie whatever you do whilst you are in town don’t go anyway near the Boleyn. It’s heartbreaking. I pass it almost every day and like a bomb has hit Green Street. It was a fantastic stadium and it’s gone forever. All this toffee from the Spivs about the debt. They could have paid it back in two years with the TV money if they wanted. Meanwhile they are raking it in with their pay day loan rates on their directors loans. Love the club? Love the money you mean. Now that we are not seen as fans anymore and just classified as Hillmans why should we care? I have given up on the Running Track. It’s away games only for me now and hopefully AFC West Ham one day. Keep smiling.
Hurstie, what a dire match. The Stokies turned up without their best two players and should have been there for the taking but we offered nothing in the first half. I don’t like this three lumps at the back set up. It limits your attacking options and you need better centre midfield players than Noble and Obiang for it to be effective. We are not moving the ball quick enough and the movement when we are in possession is just not good enough at this level. A lot of fans are now getting on Payet and Lanzini’s back but they can’t be expected to do it every game. None of our fit strikers seem able to play the Lone Ranger role. Watching the little fat baldie yesterday had me questioning Bilko at half time. His selection smacked of desperation, a final throw of the dice from a manager who has run out of ideas. I have never been a fan of Adrian. I used to call him Cocoa the Clown and yesterday he deserved the name but in fairness he has made some terrific saves. I prefer a Steady Eddie goalkeeper. I think defenders do too. I am not really surprised that we are struggling. I was never impressed by our summer shopping. I don’t know who is to blame but we are much weaker than last season. The move to the Running Track could not have gone worse than it has and it almost feels to many of us that Brady has instigated a cleansing of the old school fans and we are not wanted any more. We have a run of tough away games ahead of us and Bilko will be praying that Brown Ale and Sakho are ready to feature if we are going to be competitive in these games. I need beer!
Hurstie, I reckon everyone else has turned their toes up. Just you and me left! I made the pilgrimage to Goodison Park more in hope than expectation. At least I have got Lukaku and Barclay in my dream team. You can’t win football matches if you can’t score goals. Our strikers are like a box of Swan Vestas with the red tips cut off. Antonio ran around like the some-one in a Icredible Hulk fancy dress costume. Unfortunatley Everton had the real Incredible Hulk. The goals we conceded were shockers least said about them the better. I knew we had it as soon as Bilko took Obiang off. Lanzini should not have been taken off either. I am getting a bit worried about Bilko. He’s becoming a bit ‘One Trick’ when we are are chasing a game. It does not matter how many strikers you send on if they are not good enough. We are not creating enough either for me. Can we have the Payet back that we sent to the Euros? I knew in the summer that we were going to struggle. We have signed a bus load of players that would not get into a Championship side. The Spivs tried to do it on the cheap and we are paying the price. We have seven or eight decent players. The rest are all sub standard. I don’t like three at the back even when it works! If we carry on with it we won’t win many more games in my opinion. I can’t believe that are hopes are still based upon Brown Ale and the Moody Sakho returning from injury. It’s going to be interesting to see if Ahew starts against Stoke. I think he has to but surely not as the main striker. I have heard good reports about the kid Martinez and maybe we will see him soon. We need a goal scorer. We need a right back and a more effective Mark Noble because on current form he should be starting games. I hope you are reading this Hurstie or I am talking to myself! It’s back to the Running Track on Saturday for the next instalment of how to destroy a football club. Brady is considering getting Don King to promote the fights at the London Stadium. There will soon be more demand for the fights than the football. Oh Happy Days.-
There must be a problem in the dressing room. I don’t think you can underestimate the effect of selling Tompkins. He was the ‘John Moncur’ of the dressing room. Made people laugh but gave everything on the pitch. Putting his head in when it really mattered. How many times did you see him with a bandage around his head or having stitches in a wound on the touch-line. How we could with some of that now. I have said it before but we don’t look fit or strong enough. Our preseason was poor and if you go into competitive football without the fitness you inevitably get injuries. Losing Cresswell and his energy has been a disaster. Not prioritising the signing of a right back has to be down to Bilko and his fixation on Antonio playing there. Our signings constitute a bus load of freebies, loans and panic buys. We were stronger last season. Had we kept Tompkins, just signed a quality right back and bought a striker we would have been better off. When you look at the rubbish we have signed this summer they make Song, Moses and Emmineke look world beaters. How we could do with them now. I believe there is a problem in the dressing room. There are rumblings that last season’s achievers don’t rate the new boys. Feghouli keeps mouthing off but does nothing on the pitch. The useless Zaza thinks he is the new Dicanio. Calleri the new Tevez? I don’t think so. And Oxford can’t even get a game. Burke gets shipped out to Wigan to join a relegation battle. You can see it on the pitch. They are not playing for each other or as a team. It’s the same with the fans in the stadium. The hardcore have been diluted with new boys who with respect behave like they are in a cinema. I just can’t get into it. If this is the future God help us. I won’t be going next season. It will be away games only for me. Sadly I think Bilko knows exactly what the problem is but seems unable to sort it. If we don’t stop the rot over the next three games I think we have had it. Sullivan is responsible for our recruitment and Brady for the mess inside the stadium. This is not even typical West Ham because it’s not West Ham any more. I don’t know what it is now.
Mal, Thanks for that. I think there is also going to be some movement close to my seats. I will take the seat numbers from you on Sunday. Hopefully they get can moved. We are not having much luck with injuries and rather than play Byram at left back I would prefer to use Ogbonna and bring in Reid if fit or Oxford in a centre back role. Ogbonna played left back for Juventus so for me is the logical choice. The big debate is going to be whether the out of form duo of Noble and Kouyate play. I think Obiang deserves a run of games, Nortveit is improving and Fernandes despite a few wayward passes looked good against Accrington. I think this summer’s transfer business might turn out to be our worst yet. None of the signing excited me and the squad looked much stronger last season. I would even take Emmineke ahead of Zaza and Calleri. Moses is no world beater but for me is better than Ferghouli and Tore. The irony with our bus load of strikers is that Sakho with his brain engaged is still better than any of them. He surely must regret now the way he has conducted himself. I do like Fletcher though. If he toughens up he might become a special player for us. I can’t say I am confident about getting anything on Sunday but surely we have to improve. I just can’t get excited about going to the Running Track. I agree with Bonzo. It’s not a football stadium. Had to laugh at Cass Pennant comment that it’s all tatoo’s and popcorn. About sums it up. When you go there you almost feel unwelcome. The whole Stratford/Westfield experience leaves me cold. They start really knocking down the Boleyn next week. I still can’t believe it’s happening. It should have been made a listed building! I am getting like Victor Meldrew.
Here’s one to sober you up. I got talking last night to a geezer who arrived on our shores as a young boy 32 years ago. He works as train driver on the District Line and lives in Plaistow. He and his two boys aged 6 and 8 love football, supported West Ham but were priced out at the Boleyn and only got to attend the discounted games. When he heard about the cheap season tickets at the Running Track he got on the list early doors and was successful. His boys were made up and could not believe they were now proud season tickets holders. Their first game was Domzale and there was some issues with people standing and the youngest did not see much of the game. The Bournmouth game was worse and there was some scuffles close to them. At the Watford game it kicked off so close to them his boys were terrified and asked to go home. They left early and both boys said they never want to go to another game. The youngest has even removed his West Ham posters and pictures of Noble who was his hero. Both boys loved to play football in the park with their Dad. On Sunday both said can we do something else. He said it’s like a shattered dream. He added that he can’t even say to them it won’t happen again. He was almost in tears. So was I listening to him! Whether they will ever go again he can’t say. He has not complained to the club or asked to be moved. He genuinely seemed to still be in shock at what has happened. My view is that Brady’s lot have messed up but there cannot be any justification for this sort of behaviour. I have seen it with my own eyes. It’s sickening what is going on and after talking to this father of two young boys and listening to the damage these morons have caused I am now firmly in the zero tolerance camp. Brady & Co had better sort this mess out or next season the Running Track will be half empty regardless of what league we are in. This is one of those periods when I question being a West Ham fan and think is it worth it.
I try not to do ‘knee jerk’ but if I had posted from the Baggies at half time I would probably have gone over the top. The feel good factor from last season has completely gone and for what it worth I think many things have contributed. First of all Brady’s conviction to turn us from being a football club into a brand and not cater correctly for the faithful at the Running Track has to be a factor. The Spivs loan and freebie bulk buy transfer policy has left us with a weaker squad than last season. The Europa Cup qualifiers and the late return of key players ruined our pre-season. Injuries to key players. Not buying a quality right back and an upgrade centre back. Selling Tompkins was a massive mistake. Slav has to take some blame too. The Antonio right back farce cost us big time at Chelsea and in the Europa Cup. The lack of professionalism at the club. Who in their right mind would let a 16 year old announce transfers and comment on club matters? But most of all I believe the reason we are losing games is that we have been sussed out and teams are exploiting our expansive games and counter attacking especially when we leave too many players high up the field. The Baggies 4th goal is the most obvious example but it happens too regularly. I have said before I don’t think the players are fit enough. We run out of steam. With more energy we would have been able to keep the pressure up on WBA and scored a third which would have given us a chance. I was never excited by the signing of ZaZa but to ask him to impersonate Andy Carroll makes no sense to me. If you are going to play that way then Fletcher should start. With Fergouli back I would push Antonio up front. Why not? He has more to offer than any of others. Noble and Kouyate are doing very little to protect the back four and I would leave them out. Nordveit is definitely improving which is credit to him since he has played in three different positions for us and I would pair him up with Obiang against the mighty Stanley. It’s all gone wrong so far this season but I believe we can get back on track. Slav needs to make changes and beef us up in midfield to stop conceding goals.
I was pleased to see Arbeloa join us. If he is fit he has the proven ability to make a positive contribution. Bilko must think Byram is still not ready and seems to have finally accepted that Antonio won’t cut it as a right back. I can see why he thought Antonio might be answer but he was making too many mistakes. Reid will be a relieved man because it was affecting his game too. I don’t like loan signings but in the case of Zaza and Tore the cost of them not working out would have been massive. Zaza looks a strong boy and will benefit from playing with Payet and Lanzini. He scores all types of goals but to date has not been prolific at any of his clubs. The fact that Conte had him in the Italy squad suggests he must half decent. On a different subject I pass by the Boleyn almost every day and it’s looking very sad now. I think a lot of us are struggling to adjust to the Running Track. It does not feel like home to me. It’s more like an away venue without the away fans. The stewards are trying their best but seem uncomfortable and almost intimidated. The issue with the standing is going to be very difficult to resolve and should have been foreseen. I must say the attitude of some of our fans has been out order. If I stand in my seat the people behind me can’t see and if I stay seated I can’t see. To be honest overall I don’t like Running Track. It’s just not WHU enough for me. But like everyone else I will just have to stop moaning and get used to it.