The GoatyGav Column

Recruitment…Avoiding The ‘Happy Hammer’ Culture

We all love a bit of easy street once in a while. If we’re particularly talented then we may feel that we can, probably, get away with a bit of coasting more than others might do.

When it comes to big money signings there are often big egos that arrive at a club at the same time. The sense of entitlement that can accompany the big egos has plagued our club more than many others. Within the current squad roster, without naming names, there are certainly those who fall in to the ‘Happy Hammer’ category if not without the booze culture that was originally associated with the phrase.

From what I’ve seen of David Moyes he appears to be wise to West Ham’s tendency to pander to marquee signings where it leads to players coasting. Known for his team’s work-rates throughout his managerial career I am hopeful that the same ethic will be achieved at our club. For those who have come to the club for big fees and have failed to deliver I suspect that, unless there’s a marked change in approach, their days may well be numbered.

With the above being true it also has to be taken in to consideration that we want to see real talent brought in. It’s not, necessarily, easy to attract top players to West Ham. Often we see the perceived top priority targets get snapped up by bigger clubs. Eventually our third or fourth choice signings, for any specific position, end up being the ones that are brought in.

David Moyes’ signings, so far, at West Ham appear to be taking the same path that his recruitment at his previous clubs have. Less about selling shirts and more about development potential and graft on the pitch we’re seeing players like Bowen and Soucek bringing the right work ethic in to the team. The current gaffer is not always going to get it right. No manager in the history of the game, including the very best, have ever managed that feat however it is possible to focus on potential recruits with the right attitude. This seems to be the MO when it comes to new signings.

I’ve always been very tight lipped when it comes to transfer speculation. There’s so much rubbish touted around that I find more than ninety percent unworthy of any time to comment on. Once a player is brought in I’ll happily discuss them ‘til the cows come home but the tittle tattle that goes before is superfluous.

I’ll stick my neck on the line and state that I believe Moyes will get things right when recruiting players for West Ham. It’s something that he has a history of doing well and his time at our club, however long it ends up being, will be no different IMO. Unlike so many others he’ll leave us in much better shape than he found us. In the meantime I wish him every success in his time with the Irons. After all…isn’t that what we all want?

Away from the first team the Women are coming off a torrid match against Arsenal. One of the heaviest defeats experienced by the ladies was inflicted upon them against the Gunners after captain, Gilly Flaherty, was sent off for a second bookable offence. Following a creditable draw against Tottenham Ladies the week before, and a good start to the match, the North London team capitalised on the extra player with ruthless finishing. Matt Beard put forward that the result will not define the ladies’ season which resumes in two week’s time with a home game against Reading at Dagenham & Redbridge’s Victoria Road (or Chigwell Construction Stadium) ground. Games against Reading are usually highly competitive affairs with close outcomes. Let’s hope we come away with the first three points of the season on the board.

The fixture list wasn’t any kinder to the us in Premier League 2. Drawn away at Chelsea for the season’s opener Dimi Halajko’s charges battled hard but lost out 1-0 to the talented West London youngsters. Dion Rankin netted the winner in the seventy-sixth minute after coming off the bench a few moments earlier. The Blues took the lead after first hitting the woodwork twice however our lads threatened the equaliser towards the end with Sean Adarkwa heading Dan Chester’s cross just wide and Chester’s blocked shot on goal being the last kick of the game. The Spuds are up next this coming Friday afternoon.

COYI!


Match Thread

Match Thread: West Ham v Charlton Athletic

UPDATE 23.30: PREDICTOR LEAGUE RESULT

You can see the full table for the Charlton match HERE

Here are the top ten scorers…

West Ham v Charlton Athletic
Carabao Cup
London Stadium
KO 7.30pm
TV: None
Radio: WHUFC.com

Please use this thread to comment on the match as it progresses.


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Charlton

NOTE FROM IAIN: Don’t forget to enter the Predictor League for this evening’s match against Charlton HERE. I’ve extended the normal deadline until midday. Remember, you need to have a new profile on the new site to enter. You can sign up HERE.

Blast from the past

West Ham United have met Charlton Athletic on three previous occasions in the League Cup. The Hammers currently hold a 100% record over the Addicks in the competition having prevailed in 1960, 1976 and 1980.

Today’s focus takes us back almost exactly 60 years, to the club’s first ever League Cup tie on 26th September 1960. Ricky Valance (who sadly passed away three months ago) was number one with ‘Tell Laura I Love Her’, Stanley Baker was in UK cinemas in The Criminal, and Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, participated in the first televised debate to be President of the United States. The First Division Hammers, meanwhile, welcomed their Second Division south London neighbours for this League Cup first round tie in front of 12,496 on a Monday evening at Upton Park.

Ted Fenton’s West Ham went into the game in 16th place in the First Division and without a win in their previous four games. Jimmy Trotter’s Charlton took advantage of the Hammers’ poor run of form and took the lead through South African centre-forward Stuart Leary but John Dick levelled for the hosts. Outside-left Malcolm Musgrove gave the Irons the lead four minutes into the second half before a landmark moment arrived in the 65th minute when 19-year-old Bobby Moore (pictured below) scored his first Hammers goal, crashing home a strike from 25 yards to seal a 3-1 win.

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West Ham United: Brian Rhodes, John Bond, John Lyall, Andy Malcolm, Ken Brown, Bobby Moore, Derek Woodley, Johnny Cartwright, Dave Dunmore, John Dick, Malcolm Musgrove.

The Hammers would lose their second round tie 3-2 at Fourth Division Darlington. Aston Villa went on to win the League Cup Final of 1961, beating Rotherham 3-2 on aggregate over the two-legged Final.

Aside from this first round win in 1960, West Ham’s remaining League Cup record against Charlton is as follows:
1976 – Charlton 0-1 West Ham (3rd round)
1980 – Charlton 1-2 West Ham (3rd round)

Club Connections

Charlton manager Lee Bowyer had two spells as a player with the Hammers having started his career at The Valley. Irons midfielder Josh Cullen welcomes the team who he has spent the previous two seasons playing for on loan, while West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph could play against the club where he started his career. A multitude of personnel join the trio in representing both clubs:

Goalkeepers: Stephen Henderson, Joseph Hughes, Noel Dwyer, Sasa Ilic.

Defenders: Malcolm Allison, Mark Bowen, Jack Burkett, Christian Dailly, Tal Ben Haim, Paul Konchesky, Roger Johnson, Harry Cripps, Lewis Page, Frank Burton, Jonathan Spector, Scott Minto, Carl Jenkinson, Simon Webster.

Midfielders: Hogan Ephraim, Ralph Milne, Diego Poyet, Shaun Newton, Alou Diarra, Scott Parker, Kyel Reid, Matt Holmes, Alex Song, Rob Lee, Mark Robson, Derek Woodley, Stephen Smith.

Strikers: Carlton Cole, Paolo Di Canio, Wilf James, Benny Fenton, Steve Jones, Frank Burrill, Derek Hales, Billy Lansdowne, Paul Kitson, Leroy Rosenior, Bill Robinson, Frank Nouble, Ricardo Vaz Te, Harry Lane, Svetoslav Todorov, Mike Small.

Billy Bonds played for both clubs and managed West Ham, while both Andy Nelson and Iain Dowie played for the Hammers and managed the Addicks. Alan Curbishley played for and managed both clubs. Chris Powell played for both clubs and managed Charlton; Alan Pardew played for Charlton and managed both clubs.

Today’s focus though is on a player who played for West Ham before turning out for Charlton. Born in East Ham on 26th June 1893, Dan Bailey (pictured) joined the Hammers from Custom House and made his debut in a goalless draw with Northampton at Upton Park on 15th March 1913. An inside-right, Bailey endeared himself to the faithful by scoring his first goal for the Irons in a 3-1 win at Millwall in front of a bumper 24,000 crowd in the Southern League First Division on 5th April 1913. The 19-year-old followed that up with his first goal at Upton Park three weeks later, in a 2-1 win over Portsmouth.

Bailey would score nine goals from 23 appearances in his first full season, 1913/14, including his first two-goal haul in a 2-0 FA Cup second round win over Crystal Palace in front of 18,000 at Upton Park on 31st January 1914. He had taken over Danny Shea’s inside-right position when the legendary Irons forward moved to Blackburn for a record £2,000. For a trip to Watford in November 1914, Bailey was switched to the centre-forward berth in the absence of another West Ham legend Syd Puddefoot – Puddefoot would be the Irons’ top scorer for the 1914/15 season with 18 goals in 37 appearances, while Bailey would bag five goals from 20 appearances.

Bailey’s career was badly disrupted by World War One but he returned from service in Egypt to feature for West Ham in the Second Division after the club’s election to the Football League in 1919; he scored ten goals in 30 appearances in 1919/20 as the Hammers finished in a very respectable seventh position. Only the 26-goal Puddefoot scored more in that debut campaign in the Football League for the Irons. Bailey (pictured) notched six goals in seven games in March and April of 1920, culminating in his last goal for the club, scored in a 2-1 home win over Hull on 24th April 1920. Bailey’s final match for the Hammers came in a 1-0 home win over Bristol City on 5th March 1921. After scoring 27 goals in 95 appearances in all competitions for West Ham United, he departed for Charlton later that year.

The 28-year-old Bailey made 33 appearances for Charlton in the Third Division South, scoring eight goals, before joining Clapton Orient in July 1922 – he made 19 league and cup appearances in the 1922-23 season, scoring four goals, after which he joined Margate. Dan Bailey died at the age of 73 in April 1967.

Referee

The referee on Tuesday will be Andre Marriner; the 49-year-old failed to send off Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero for an elbow on Winston Reid in August 2016, with the Hammers trailing 2-1 with 14 minutes remaining. The Argentine was retrospectively charged with violent conduct and suspended for three matches, a decision which did nothing to benefit West Ham. Marriner did, however, show leniency that day towards the visitors by failing to issue Arthur Masuaku with a second yellow card on more than one occasion.

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Since we achieved promotion back to the top flight in 2012 the Birmingham-based official has been far from a good omen for West Ham – he has refereed 20 of our league matches, officiating in only three wins for the Hammers, six draws and 11 defeats. He officiated the Irons for our 2-0 defeat at Wolves last December, our 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace on Boxing Day and, most recently, for our 1-1 home draw with Everton in January.

Possible line-ups

David Moyes is likely to hand a start to former Charlton goalkeeper Darren Randolph.

Former Hammers midfielder and current Charlton manager Lee Bowyer takes on West Ham for the first time as a manager.

Possible West Ham United XI: Randolph; Johnson, Diop, Balbuena, Masuaku; Soucek, Wilshere; Yarmolenko, Lanzini, Anderson; Haller.

Possible Charlton Athletic XI: Amos; Barker, Oshilaja, Pratley, Purrington; Lapslie, Forster-Caskey, Gilbey; Doughty, Washington, Bonne.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

From the Vaults: West Ham Utd v Newcastle 3rd November 2019

NOTE FROM IAIN: Don’t forget to enter the Predictor League for tomorrow evening’s match against Charlton HERE. I’ve extended the normal deadline until midday tomorrow. Remember, you need to have a new profile on the new sight to enter. You can sign up HERE.

I hope everyone is safe and well.

I’m missing the match days and having the opportunity to record the game and the atmosphere with my camera. We are currently in different times with the uncertainty that surrounds when fans will be allowed back into stadiums to watch live football given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

But, I would like to share some photographic highlights of previous matches as we play each team this season and hopefully you will find these posts interesting. Also I’ll be restarting the In Focus and Through the Lens series, which I hope you will all enjoy as well.

Our opening season defeat to Newcastle continues the poor form we have against the Magpies that was all too evident last season in the 2-3 defeat at London Stadium that continued a five game stretch without a Premier League win at that time.

A very poor first half handed Newcastle the game as the team went into the dressing room 2-0 down and despite a late rally in the second half with Balbuena and Snodgrass both scoring we never looked like scraping even a draw and were lucky not to have lost by a greater margin.

As is typical teams who have struggled to score seem to find the back of the net with ease when they come to London Stadium and Clark, Fernandez and Shelvey all got onto the score sheet that helped Newcastle climb away from the relegation zone to within a point of the Hammers. There were opportunities in the first half but we lacked ideas in the final third of the pitch as the Magpies dominated the first half.

Snodgrass made a rallying call in his post match interview stating it was a reality check that the players needed to end their poor form and get back to where the team had started the season. Pellegrini was perplexed by the poor performance saying we had been pressing high in previous matches.

But we were by that time without Fabianski and Jimenez’s form in goal was a growing cause for concern, especially when he should have stopped Shelvey’s free kick from creeping in the net. By then fans had been streaming out of the stadium. The poor form started away against League One side Oxford United and we now play Charlton Athletic in the second round of the Carabao Cup. Lets hope we are not going to repeat a similar run of form this season.


The HamburgHammer Column

Mountains, molehills and magpies: Defeat in first game, once again!

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Football is back!!! I meant to start the new season and the first paragraph of my debut article with a barrage of witty banter, puns and hopeful observations. Because that’s what you usually do as a football fan whenever a new season comes around, don’t you ? No matter if you support a club in the PL, a second division club in Hungary or a local amateur side in Iceland: You hold great expectations, you feel like a kid the night before Christmas, you hope.

You start the new season on 0 points, with a goal difference of Zero, like everyone else. Clean slate. Fresh start. New beginnings. For a brief moment you’re on a par with the big clubs in your division. You are excited about the new signings your club has made, looking forward to seeing the new recruits run out in your club’s colours for the first time.

You are positive the next season will be better than the previous one. You may even be reasonably confident. Some are foolish enough and dare to dream. Why wouldn’t you ?

Then the first whistle blows and 90 minutes later reality gives you a big sobering smack right on your kisser. Welcome back to a new season of PL football indeed! 0:2 against Newcastle in what on paper looked like our only truly winnable game among our first eight fixtures. Of course that irritating twat Wilson had to score for them! If only Repka was still around to teach that complete nincompoop some humility. For our beloved team on the other hand it is backs to the wall stuff right from the sound of the starting gun fading away.

That’s the fifth time in a row, by the way, we have lost our first game of the season. Who says we’re not consistent ?

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I didn’t go into this game with any expectations of getting even ONE point out of it. Not after the recent shenanigans. This time there was no excitement for me, no hope. I felt like the kid whose christmas present was already broken after just 90 minutes of playtime.

My matchday routine throughout was lacklustre to mirror the current mood at West Ham London. And the performance. Our club right now is in a frighteningly challenging position on and off the pitch…and it showed!

I can’t single out any player for us worthy of extended praise because our performance on the whole was flat. Reasonably early on I stopped counting how often we had given possession away carelessly. Or passed backwards to a player who didn’t really want the ball. Upfront we looked bereft of ideas, bite and confidence. We hit the crossbar twice, but no team has ever preserved league status by winning crossbar challenges.

To be brutally honest, I was looking forward to seeing Diangana cut into the opposition’s box a bit more often against Newcastle and our new £35m star CB Tarkowski was almost invisible for us throughout the entire game.

If you find that the last sentence appears to be dripping with bitter sarcasm that’s because it is. Sarcasm, my dear readers, is one of the few mechanism I have left within my metabolism to cope with what’s happening at West Ham at the moment.

“Never measure the height of a mountain until you reach the top. Then you will see how low it was.”

Dag Hammarskjold said that. No, he was not a pontificating sweeper playing for much loved Swedish side IFK Norrköping in the Seventies. He was a Swedish economist and diplomat. A pretty smart fella.
And also the second ever Secretary-General of the United Nations. There are several ways this quote can be set in relation to what’s currently happening at West Ham.

Right from the start, thanks to losing to Newcastle and an incredibly unkind fixture calendar early on, West Ham will have a mountain to climb in order to not be firmly rooted near the bottom of the table after eight games. And probably the rest of the season. We’ll be lucky to even have 5 points in the bag out of a possible 24 to start the season.

Maybe I am making a mountain out of a molehill here. Maybe we will be welcoming some signings before the transfer deadline to shore up our defence after all. Maybe we will sign a pacy striker (to replace Hugill and Ajeti) who can do a decent job for us upfront in whatever role Moyes wants our striker(s) to play. Maybe we can even keep Rice for another season.
Maybe we’ll be alright after all, whatever alright means for us these days.
Alright for the board is not necessarily what’s alright for the fans. Or the manager and players.

Once we get our usual 3-4 injury-related lengthy absences of key players this season though, that mountain we need to climb in order to fend off relegation might as well be located on Mars.
And I mean the planet, not the chocolate bar…

The top of the mountain the ultimate goal for West Ham’s endeavours in 2020 seems to be, once again, just staying up, somehow, someway, on a wing and a prayer, on the never-never, by hook or by crook. That’s why we moved stadium, folks! That’s why we are West Ham London now which of course sounds so much cooler than West Ham United. Who wants unity in a football club anyway ?
Only those pesky keyboard warriors and malcontents would want that, so screw ’em !

Staying up should not even represent a mountain for us anymore, after the most successful move ever to the London Stadium. The days of squeaky bum relegation scraps were supposed to be behind us, not to mention next level and Champions League football waiting just around the corner, just behind one of those Stop/Go! signs, right next to The Orbit.

Staying up should have been our leisurely Sunday hike, our casual stroll up the local hill with the kids and the family canine, back home for tea and scones in an hour and a half. No sweat!

Instead it’s going to be another painful slog of a relegation battle straightaway – with every game this season taking on the significance of a Cup Final for us.
Can anyone think of a single other PL team we can realistically expect to dominate on the pitch and beat convincingly ? Right now I really can’t.
And I don’t have to tell you who has to carry the can here, you all know!

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God, how I hate writing down musings like this, it’s depressing even for me – and I am the chap typing away here! If there were positives, I’d be waxing lyrical in one paragraph after another. It’s more fun to write about winning football.

So I really hope we get some positive news soon, ANY news, related to West Ham, with the power and capacity to lift our collective spirits. For many of us it’s a crap time anyway, for a variety of reasons including the pandemic.

Football was supposed to be an outlet, a distraction. West Ham right now aren’t helping in this regard. It’s not even the question if our team is crap. It’s not. At least not on paper.

We have some really good players who on any given day can perform and get fans out of their seats at the stadium if they were in them seats to begin with of course.

It’s just that all the other teams in the PL have been strengthening. Some quite massively. Right now I would even rank West Brom and Leeds as stronger than us. We’re probably on a par with Fulham.

West Ham are treading water and we are not even treading with conviction, taking a huge gamble by trying to stay up with minimal spending and in general struggling to be an attractive proposition for talented footballers at the moment. If I was Tarkowski I think I wouldn’t even bother answering the phone if West Ham were calling. Like it or not, right now you can’t really recommend any halfway decent players to join this club.
That appealing image of the likeable underdog, everybody’s second team from East London has gone for good. If we got relegated now I don’t think the PL would actually miss us.

West Ham have always been a bit like a soap opera, right now it’s gone up a notch, we’re like Eastenders on a bad cocktail of valium LSD and ecstasy, washed down with a bottle of cheap wodka from Lidl and some apple-flavoured Tango. No, I’ll retract that: The Eastenders writers would probably return the current West Ham storyline back to the club with the words Too much drama, too bonkers, even by our standards!“ scribbled on the back of the envelope.

To finish the West Ham bit on a positive note: I am looking forward to seeing the new edition of WHTID up and running soon and hopefully I will be able to continue writing as well, preferably after the occasional West Ham win. COYI!!!

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Hamburg football update: Starting with the cup fixtures, yesterday St.Pauli lost their first round fixture 2:4 against minnows Elversberg (equivalent of a League Two side). Hamburg SV play later this afternoon against traditional East German club Dynamo Dresden.

As for Concordia football it’s all gonna start for real next Friday, with the league game for the first team, then on Sunday the cup game for the women’s team against the reigning cup winners.
Due to the pandemic every club needs to establish a health and safety routine for home games in accordance with the local circumstances and requirements, consisting of limiting the number of fans allowed at the games, deciding on where people have to wear masks on the premises and how to enforce social distancing rules for the fans who are allowed to watch, taking contact details of everyone at the turnstiles etc.

Those rules may slightly differ from club to club, it’s entirely possible that some clubs due to their facilities may initially not allow away fans into the ground at all – which would be tricky for me as I am supposed to write the match reports for Cordi’s away fixtures for their matchday programme again this season. Being able to watch the game is crucial for obvious reasons.

In Concordia’s case, for instance, they will stop selling beer at the ground for the time being as that will allow them to sell more tickets. 200 per game instead of 100 with booze readily available.

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Talking of beer: In order to quench my thirst for live football (after having to live almost five months without) I watched a total of FOUR preseason games over the weekend at Cordi’s home ground which now features a spanking new set of state-of-the-art LED floodlights which will be great for those Friday home games under the lights in October and November.
(Finally the lads will be able to actually see the ball after 7pm no matter where on the pitch it may bounce.)

The first team won 5:0 (every goal a stunner), the second team/U23s drew 2:2, the third team (last season’s U18s) won 3:0.

My special favourites, the women’s team, beat St.Pauli’s second string 4:1 on Saturday in their final preseason “friendly“, however, the game won’t be remembered for the winning scoreline but unfortunately for a rather nasty and ill-timed scissor tackle in what looked like a totally innocuous situation near the touchline that led to Cordi’s most skilled player, speedy and resilient winger Michelle “Mini“ Hille, lying still on the ground, crying in pain for three minutes solid (when even Hille cries, something is seriously wrong), grabbing her foot before being carried off the field with an ice pack wrapped around her ankle. Still, it apparently swelled up overnight, big time, going dark blue. Her educated guess (coming from a player who has been tackled and injured regularly in her young career) is that she may have done her ligaments which would keep her out of contention for a significant number of games.
She’ll do a scan later today and hopefully we will see her kick a ball in a game again in 2020. Fingers crossed, Mini!


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