Nostalgia

Psycho says West Ham had some real scallywags

Former Hammer of the year Stuart Pearce appeared on Sky Sports Goals on Sunday hosted by West Ham fan Ben Shephard and was asked about his memories of his time at West Ham.

Stuart Pearce answered…

A real family club to be involved in you know from my point of view, I was born in London, not that side of London, it was a fantastic club to work for, some real scallywags there you know, I mean Harry bought the likes of (not myself being a scallywag obviously) of Razor Ruddock was there and a few others. It was fantastic, he bought the Winterburns at the end of their careers. There was a real mix of players John Moncur, real mix of players, it has a real sole to it, the football club and the staff as well, the salt of the earth people, fantastic people and you know what it is like at West Ham, real partisan there and to be fair I quite enjoyed playing my football there. To be Fair there were some good players there at the time and there was a good mix between senior players like myself coming in and Paolo was there, the likes of Kanoute was playing at the time, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole were coming through and making their mark, Michael Carrick was in the team as well so we had a real good mix of players, I think my first season we started, first eight games we were third in the league. I think Harry just had to juggle the books a bit, sell Kanoute to get Marc Vivien Foe or Vice versa. It’s a shame he just didn’t have enough money to carry on and build and build I think."

Stuart Pearce nicknamed ‘Psycho’ played for West Ham United towards the end of his playing career, making his debut on 7 August 1999 in a 1-0 home win against Spurs. His first goal came on 21st October 2000 in a 2-1 home defeat to Arsenal. He made 50 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals and in 2001 he was named Hammer of the year voted by West Ham fans. In the Summer 2001 he was Kevin Keegan’s first signing for Manchester City for what would be the final season in his career. He was sacked as England’s U21 coach last year after he lost all three games in the European Championship.


Talking Point

Where Are You? Why Isn't There More of an Atmosphere at Upton Park Nowadays?

Remember a couple of months ago I wrote a blogpost about falling out of love with football, in much the same way as I have been falling out of love with politics? Well yesterday’s matchday experience just about tipped me over the edge. I genuinely thought the Cardiff match heralded a new beginning, but it was the same old-same old. With one or two notable exceptions it was a performance lacking commitment and passion. The tactics didn’t work from the opening minute and Allardyce had no idea how to counter the Newcastle way of playing. Even bringing Morrison on at half time had no discernible impact. In addition, the introduction of Carroll for the hapless Diame didn’t change things much.

But it’s the atmosphere which is of just as much concern. Namely, there is none. At all. The Newcastle fans outsung us throughout the match, part from a very loud rendition of Alan Pardew shagging who he wants. Jeremy Nicholas, our erstwhile matchday announcer, has a theory on his BLOG. Admittedly he has a vested interest, but nevertheless…

The standard of announcing and the pre-match build up have fallen to below that should be expected from a Premier League club, particularly one with such a fine reputation for doing things right. We’ve had Monreal of Arsenal announced as Montreal, leading to speculation from The Mirror that a Canadian international was on the bench! Substitutions have been announced that haven’t happened. Worst of all ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’ has been talked over! That should be a sackable offence in my book. On other occasions ‘Bubbles’ has been played way too early, so the song is over by the time the teams walk out, leaving a gap before the handshake music. Second halves have started in virtual silence, without any kind of rousing call to action. This team needs our help and they are not getting it. The interviews pitchside have been stilted. The introduction of Julien Faubert as a ‘legend’ was laughable. I apologise to Martin Godleman who has filled my shoes as announcer. He’s a smashing bloke and a friend of mine, but it’s just not working out. He wrote a book recently called ‘We’re West Ham United – We Play on the Floor.’ Two things emerged from that book: One is that he never felt comfortable in the announcer’s role, when he filled in for me when Scott Duxbury sacked me in 2008 for a few months. The second is that Martin’s not a fan of the way Sam Allardyce’s teams play football. Nice bloke as Martin is, he’s not the man we need rallying the support behind our club. If I hear Twisted Firestarter at half-time again I think I’ll go mad. We need a rethink of the music to play some old favourites associated with the good times, to get that feelgood factor back. The manager can pick eleven players and seven subs, but at the moment he is being denied that all important twelfth man. The Boleyn can be an intimidating place to come, but not at the moment. Our away support is as magnificent as always, but at home the supporters are being let down by the pre-match build up.

You may think that because of his desire to return as matchday announcer he is overplaying his hand, but I think he has got a very valid point. People who sit around me mutter often about “it not being the same” and they are right. I suspect doing that job is a lot tougher than it looks, but at the moment it’s too local radio. Something needs to happen. And before anyone accuses me of wanting the job for myself, let me rule myself out. I have the self-knowledge to realise that it wouldn’t be my cup of tea and I haven’t got the right voice for it.

Having said all that, it’s not fair just to blame the announcer for failing to whip up an atmosphere. And we can’t just blame it on the performances of the team, it’s also down to us – those who pay good money to watch the rubbish that’s being served up to us. Perhaps we need Karren Brady to do a Delia…


Player Performance Results

Results: Player Performances v Newcastle United


Transfer Gossip

West Ham hope to sign Italian veteran Alberto Gilardino on loan

The Sunday Express claim West Ham hope to sign Italian international Alberto Gilardino from Genoa on loan after failing with their loan bid for Lacina Traore.

The 31-year-old has scored 19 goals in 57 international appearances and is said to be targeted by Sam Allardyce for a permenent move in the summer.

He has scored 12 goals from 30 appearances for Genoa with another 13 goals from 35 appearances for Bologna while on loan.

Genoa are believed to want around £5m for Gilardino, but West Ham hope to tie up an initial loan deal until the end of the season to try before they buy.

It is claimed Allardyce wanted to sign Gilardino on loan last summer but was unable to finalise a deal. The \Forza Italiana website suggests that he now is planning a fresh move for the Italian veteran. Gilardino was reportedly being lined up to become Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe’s strike partner at Toronto, but he rejected a move to the MLS side.


Transfer Gossip

Rickie Lambert anyone?

The promise of early new signings, in particular a quality striker, has not been delivered by the owners this transfer window. But who really thought things were going to be that easy? Hull City have got early business done but the rest of the Premier League clubs have not exactly been running out of ink. The Hammers have actually signed more players this window than any other club, but with due respect to Jaanai Gordon, Roger Johnson and the re-signing of Carlton Cole, it has not been exactly the inspiring season saving stuff we were crying out for!

The anticipated signing of Lacina Traore has not yet eventuated, despite Big Sam going in to bat for him successfully at the work permit tribunal. There are many rumours around as to why this has not happened. Some sources are saying that he is injured (knowing our luck that would have been at our medical), whilst others are saying that Everton may have gazumped us- (remember Lukaku)? Another theory is that we have actually gone cold ourselves on the deal? The changing point may have been this weeks turmoil at Southampton which reignites the hope that the Saints may actually sell Rickie Lambert to us? A look at the bookies boards show that Lambert is 1/5 to join the Hammers this window. The re-signing of Carlton Cole to a new contract suggests that signing both Traore and Lambert is something that is not feasible.

UPDATE: Since writing this piece, Sam has told the press that Everton have indeed gazumped us on the Traore deal. It also appears that the player may be carrying an injury that may take several weeks to recover from. So, the Lambert scenario may not have been the catalyst for Traore not signing for us. However, it is interesting to see the bookies price so short for a deal that would seem unlikely in our current predicament.


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