Parish Notice

Not Another Sleepover...

Guest Post by Safe Hands

I’ve been looking at the forthcoming fixture list for when we can meet for a drink and for the first one of the season, I’m proposing it’s after our home game against Leicester on 15 August at The Black Lion in Plaistow. It’s not the biggest of venues but it has a large garden. However, if the weather looks dodgy, it will switch to The Miller’s Well so check back here as I’ll post a reminder the day before.

We did discuss on here about having another sleepover at the West Ham hotel as it was great to wake up to a view over the pitch although the service, facilities and attentiveness of those at the hotel was lacking to say the least. However, we thought we’d still go for it especially as BSB suggested we organise a WHTID Boleyn Farewell party for the evening. So, I identified some dates avoiding school holidays, Europa League, COC/FA Cup games, internationals etc etc, but none of them were available via booking.com or hotels.com. I rang the hotel and voilà … all the dates were available and with plenty of rooms. No doubt (understandably) they’ll want control the booking (with no discounts) but I was quoted prices about 30% more than when we stayed in May – a double B&B £117 and a single B&B £102. I’ve spoken to some of the others and as it’s a bit steep for what it is, we don’t want to stay there again, so I won’t be organising a WHTID sleepover.

But there’s nothing stopping us still having a WHTID Boleyn Farewell party and the best date where there aren’t any conflicts is after the game on 2 April against Crystal Palace. The only problem is if they move the game for TV but we’ll address that if it comes to it. BSB’s initial venue suggestion is the East Ham Working Men’s Club in Boleyn Road (parallel to Priory Road). You pay a £2 entrance fee – they do food, the bar’s good but understandably busy on a match day. If anyone else has any ideas of where else we can meet, please share below.

So, two dates for your diaries – 15 August and 2 April and, as usual, all are welcome :)


Talking Point

Sneaking into the Olympic Stadium

Guest Post by Mark Stanley

Just thought I give you my impressions from visiting the the new stadium yesterday. I knew the Newham run was finishing in the stadium so I asked the wife if she fancied a bit of shopping at Westfield lol. I also made sure Frankie our 7yr old son had his new West Ham shirt on. After a bit of shopping I suggested a walk over the Stadium to have a look.

Walking towards it I couldn’t believe how big and impressive it is. There were some stewards standing by the turnstiles so I thought I’d ask if we could just have a quick look inside, unfortunately the first one said no. So we decided to walk around the outside. Not one to give up I asked another steward and she suggested I tried at block E which I did and a very nice steward opened the door and let us in. The ground level when you walk in brings you onto the concourse that runs between the two tiers. Walking through to the seats was just like walking into Wembley, it took my breath away. Again I don’t think I was prepared for the size.

I stood at the back of the lower tier at one of the ‘ends’ and could quite easily see the runners at the other end of the stadium and this was obviously in ‘Athletics Mode’ so the seats were not in there forward position. I personally would be happy to watch a match from there. None of the photos do it justice and I was surprised how close to the action you actually are. Looking at the photos I took afterwards it does look far away but that’s really not the case when you are in there.

The only negative is the black and white seats but I’m hopeful this will sorted before we move in. It will break my heart to leave Upton Park, when we leave I will have been going for there for 35 years but after yesterday I’m excited about us playing in such an amazing ground. Along with the transport links, Westfield and the Olympic Park I’m now sure moving to this stadium will take us on to another level. COYI P.S.


Poll

West Ham Till I Die 2015 Reader Survey

Create your own user feedback survey

It’s that time of the year when I ask you to take a few minutes to take our WHTID readers survey. This year it’s really important that I get as much feedback from you as possible. I feel the site is at a bit of a crossroads. Should I emulate KUMB and Claret & Hugh and try to turn it into something bigger, and actually make a business out of it, or carry on as usual? I’ve always made a virtue of not taking adverts (and I turn down approaches virtually every day, believe me) and funding the costs of hosting the site myself. But taking advertising would mean that I could take on a full or part time sports journalist to provide much more news content. I ask your views about this in the first section of the survey.

I should take this opportunity to tell you that Sean Whetstone, who has been a brilliant contributor to the site in recent years, will now be taking a step back from providing his normal new stories, as he is now the major contributor to Claret & Hugh, which for those not familar, is probably the best West Ham blog at providing minute by minute news content. I am very pleased, though, that Sean will remain a weekly contributor to the site and the day before each match post an Opposition Fans Q&A. S J Chandos will also be back with a regular column, and I have also made a few new signings who have also committed to providing weekly columns, including Iron Liddy, Benjamin Cronin, Jo Phillips, Tony McNulty and Hamburg Hammer. David Hautzig will continue with his brilliant match reports and Dan Coker will also be providing his all encompassing match previews. Brian Williams has decided that he won’t be able to commit to a weekly column but I hope he will appear from time to time. I think we’ve all enjoyed his writing over the last year.

The other bone of contention is whether to run the Predictor League again. I am in two minds. It had a difficult beginning as the scoring system didn’t seem to work. I’m thinking of simplifying it a bit, but there’s only any point in running it if enough people want to take part, so I shall be viewing the results of the questions of that in the survey with some interest.

I’m still open to taking on more, regular writers, so if you have any ideas, do let me know. In essence, the way I see the site working is that we have two regular columns each day – one posted at 8am, and the other at 5pm, with the odd news piece thrown in by me in between. I think two or three blogposts a day is about right.

Oh, and there should be a revamped banner on the site a bit later, or maybe tomorrow! About time, I hear you say…

Take the survey HERE


Talking Point

The Geordie patient - just bad luck or bad bones ?

Some of you may remember an article I wrote around the beginning of the previous season with the headline “Andy Carroll – we want you to play”. Another year on and that desire hasn’t really changed for me. But just like last season things aren’t quite as simple as that (when have things ever been straightforward at our club ?).

Recent news from the usually trustworthy Guardian claim that Carroll could actually be out till mid-October after injuring a medial ligament in one knee during the Southampton game, not being able to come off because all substitutions had been made at that point.

That all happened quite a long time ago, February to be precise. I remember this game so vividly as it was the last game I followed on an internet stream, albeit with a rather absent mind, sitting literally three metres away from my sick mom’s bed, with her still being alive at that point only to die just two days later on Friday the 13th.

While it obviously isn’t a question for me personally what was the greater tragedy of the two, of course for West Ham the latest in a long line of Carroll injuries and niggles was a nightmare of epic proportions, especially considering how much money has been spent on our top earner Carroll in terms of transfer fee and wages and how little the club has received back in the shape of minutes on the pitch and goals in the net.

Since he arrived on a permanent deal at West Ham he has appeared 27 times for us, scoring seven goals. Needless to say that the ratio between outlay from the club and output from Carroll has been quite atrocious. With Carroll as a devoted fan at least you gain some insider knowledge in the field of health and medicine.

Most of us didn’t know before if plantar fasciitis was something to eat, a rare kind of orchid or indeed a very nasty injury causing pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue located in the heel of your foot. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter if it is heel, ankle, knee, shoulder, hamstring or the groin.

What is important is that Carroll seems to be injury prone, not helped by the way he tends to go into challenges at full pelt, no matter where on the pitch or what phase of the game. If Carroll cannot change this approach, the next injury is just lurking on the next corner.

Checking out injury data on Carroll on transfermarkt in his time at West Ham alone the Geordie striker was out through injury for a total of 565 days (loan period included), missing a total of 66 games. Talking of positive things, I love Carroll when he actually plays, on his day the man is unplayable and he has a lot more to his bow than just being a battering ram useful for knocking down balls to teammates. Yes, he can do that, but he has already scored some lovely goals with his feet, showing great skill and technique.
The prospect of him striking up a partnership with Sakho, Zarate or a new striker yet to be signed, the vision of him running onto throughballs or converting crosses from Payet or Kouyate is mouthwatering.

All of which obviously will ony come to fruition if Carroll both gets healthy and stays healthy for the majority of the season. The aforementioned Guardian artcile mentioned that West Ham were taking a very cautious approach with Carroll this time, giving him all the time to heal properly, get in shape and match fit in his own time without rushing him back too early or putting too much of a goalscoring burden on him too soon.

I am very hapy with that approach, no matter how frustrating it is to again having to play the waiting game. This is not just about being a slow or fast healer though.
West Ham and Carroll himself need to find a way to somewhat tame his bullish effort and aggression on the pitch.

It goes without saying we want the new Carroll jogging about the pitch lazily. But if it makes any sense, Carroll needs to be more economical with his determination and effort.
I’m sure not only Bilic, but everybody at West Ham, including most fans, would love to see what a healthy Carroll can do over the course of an entire season or at least six or seven months in a row. I want to give Carroll the benefit of the doubt again. Once again I hope this time the worst is behind him and his next big injury, if any, is years away.
It’s time to finally repay West Ham’s patience with more games, more minutes on the pitch overall, more goals.

West Ham appear to be doing all the right things with Carroll this time to prevent another long-term injury from happening. Will Carroll be able to do the same and do his bit ?


Player Analysis

Payet Gets Off to a Flying Start

In pre-season friendlies it’s not really the result which counts, but it was nonetheless great to see us win 3-2 at Southend. But the performance of Dimitri Payet is what everyone is talking about, and why not? He scored two goals, provided an assist with the third, and was apparently hugely impressive. Here’s what he told WHUFC.com…

“I’m very happy to score two goals on my debut. It’s important for me because it’s my first game in England and I want to make a good first impression. My first goal was a free-kick. Martin did very well. I got an opportunity, I knew where I was going to put it and it worked for me. For the second goal, the ball came to me, I had a little bit of time and space, so I thought ‘Why not? I enjoyed playing with Diafra and all my new teammates. We are not as sharp as we can be, but we will improve. I think we can be very good. I don’t think I’m far away from being fully fit but it depends on how many games I play. I want to play as much as possible. Hopefully today was just the first two goals of many for West Ham.”

More of the same please, M. Payet.

I’m told Martin Samuelsen also put in another outstanding performance. This boy might be playing himself into first team contention a lot sooner than he thought at this rate.


Copyright © 2015 Iain Dale Limited. Terms and conditions. Cookies.
Website by Russell Brown.