Nigel Kahn’s Column

Is this the way to the next level?

*NOTE FROM IAIN: The Predictor League for the Arsenal match is now open HERE. You have until 12.01pm on Saturday lunchtime to enter your team. If you haven’t signed up for the new site yet, please do so HERE.

Sha la la la la la la la
Sha la la la la la la la
Sha la la la la la la la

When the day is dawning’
On a West Ham Saturday morning’
How I long to be there
With the team who’s playing for me there
Every other ground, where I watch them play
Is twice as pretty as where my club is at

Is this the way to the next level?
Every game I’m sitting in my seat now
Dreaming dreams of the Next level
While all the tourists sit next to me
Is this the way to the next level
I’m still waiting like an idiot now
Cryin’ over the next level
Hating Karren who lied to me

Sha la la la la la la la
Sha la la la la la la la
Sha la la la la la la la
Hating Karren who lied to me

If a week is a long time in politics, then five days is a long time as a West Ham fan at the moment. Believe it or not, I like to plan the article I hope to present to you all but with all the goings at the moment its been hard to keep up with trying to present an article that is up to date as such when you read it.

The start of any season always brings the excitement that at last, the phoney news season is over, and we can, at last, get back to talking about the most important reason we support the club. Football. Sometimes I think fans can get so wrapped up in the off-field soap opera that is West Ham that they forget it is a football club.

The short close season was mired by the fact the club had no income to put into transfers and had to sell players to be able to buy anyone. Quite how has it come to this position that just four seasons into ‘project next level’ and the finances the move will bring that the club is skint & on its uppers, having to sell anything that moves to afford new blood to replace the fairly new blood that was just two seasons ago being hailed as the greatest squad in the club’s history by some.

Frankly, if you don’t know how we got to be in this situation then you have done well to avoid the club’s social media commentators (yes me as well), all with their take as to why and how. The number of fans we have that are accountants now has stunned me, as I thought we were a working-class supported club not populated by the grey middle-class numbers and figures people that at work are shunted to the part of the building no one wants to be in or if you have to go there, no co-worker seems to know where they are.

The problem I have is so much is put out about the owners’ financial dealings in the club, so many claims, that some of the claims are repeated so often that it seems to most of the fan base, it becomes the truth. It does seem that a lie can travel ten times quicker than the truth and the problem I have is when you accuse the owners of lying to the fans the last thing fans should do is tell lies about the owners, or untruths, to expose them.

Facts are facts and the facts are that the club is in the mire, the reason for that is the mismanagement of the club by those entrusted to do so.

Mis-managed for me since the day they walked in.

I don’t think though, they have robbed the club (of money), stolen money of asset stripped the club (playing wise). Last week Sean Whetstone and I took part in a video on Irons United YouTube platform that set out the finances of the club through the Dave’s ownership of the club. The reason I went to Sean with the idea was to put out the facts of the finances using the club’s accounts over the previous 10 years. I did say to him I want no, or minimal, use of senior source information. It had to be verifiable use of facts. Now, this isn’t me going soft on the ownership nor is it Sean working me to come round to his way of thinking. It was done to show that the ownership of the Daves can be damned by using the facts against them. That we are in this mess due to the way they have run the club over the 10 years they have had it. The accounts show it all there. Facts and truth.
It shows that despite what Deloitte & Touche say, we are not a rich club, Wealth is not equated by income but by how much money it has. We may have the 18th biggest income but if the outgoings exceed the income was left in the situation we are in now.

BEGINNING OF THE END.

It seems that the beginning of the end is here. Stories came out this week of two bids made by unknown Americans. Strangely, though, it seems not all is there. It is rumoured that bids were sent directly to DS, not to the club and its possible that some directors knew nothing of the bids.

Did they bid than for all the club, or just the 51% owned by the largest shareholder?

With the excitement of finally a chink of lite to ending the era of the Daves, it is tempered though by the fact that it could be out of the frying pan, into the fire. Whoever buys a Premier League club is predominately doing it now to try to make money out of the club. Hopefully, that is achieved by bringing real success to the club, but the first question that should be asked of any potential owner is “what you going to do if you don’t make money?” as the current owners have failed at that and so we are now in this mess.

Looking through the vast list Sean W put on here Sunday, out of the Americans listed it is the Creative Arts Agency which seems most likely. They may be a bit far out there as potential owners go until you see one of their biggest clients is James Cordon. 2 & 2 may end up being 5, but watch this space, as they say.

SEASON TICKETS

Did you renew, naturally I did, but then again I’m a proper mug punter, one of those that would go even if relegation meant we were in League 2, not just the Championship.
I’m not buying the clubs “sales are going well” statement as they moved the renewal deadline twice. When I rang to renew, the day before the 1st deadline expired, I waited only 40 minutes, had 50 people in front of me. Normally it was so bad it was quicker for me to drive to the ground and renew than it was to wait the 90-120 minutes I had been quoted as waiting time in the past.

The fact they moved to a 2nd renewal date, after the 1st game of the season had played to boot, and they have sent letters out saying there will be no members or general sale of season tickets to the waiting list (don’t laugh) says to me this will be the biggest single drop in season ticket ownership ever in the club’s history. Now that is proper damnation of the ownership by the fanbase if ever there was one.

BUNDESLIGA CORNER

As a new convert to the German game, I have started to try to get a better understanding of the way they run the game out there. My weekend out there last December showed me that going football for pure enjoyment is possible, I’m not emotionally attached to any club so to go for just pure enjoyment was refreshing and showed actually that it is their model of fan experience the Premier League should be looking at.

Also, the Germans seem to many to be great organisers so its interesting to see how they bring football fans back in line with COVID restrictions as compared to what I presume will be money orientated grab by Premier League clubs.

Bundesliga news website carried the following news…

This week it’s been agreed that restricted fan attendance can be commenced. Entrance to stadiums must be regulated, the wearing of masks is obligatory when spectators are not in their designated seats, and sections of the stadiums must be cordoned off in accordance with social distancing requirements. Travelling fans and alcohol sales will also continue to be prohibited. As has been the case in all partial re-openings, only contact traceable season-holders will be allowed in. If in any region the number of new infections exceeds 35 per 100,000 inhabitants in a given area for seven consecutive days, any public gathering can be cancelled. The current 20-per cent occupying capacity country-wide decree runs for six weeks. It shall be re-assed at the end of October.

If the 20% model is retained in the Premier League then that means only around 13,000 fans can attend our games, it is not football as we know and love, but when I attend, ill be so grateful to just be there, I’d care not a jot that it’s a sanitized version.


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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.


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