Talking Point

How West Ham won the World Cup for England

Ahead of Saturday long-suffering fans of the England football team can always look back with nostalgia on one year when West Ham helped win the World Cup for England.

1966 was the year that Bobby Moore’s team defeated West Germany 4-2 in the World Cup final on 30th July in a nail-biting and controversial match. But two goals from Hammers legend Geoff Hurst in extra time secured a victory for the home team. For the first – and only – time since the competition began in 1930, an England captain and West Ham hero Bobby Moore was able to hold the Jules Rimet trophy aloft in triumph.

England’s group in July 1966 consisted of Uruguay, Mexico and France. England won the group after two wins against France & Mexico and a draw against Uruguay to give them 5 points.

England faced Argentina in the quarter final’s at the old Wembley stadium on 23rd July 1966 and it was our own Geoff Hurst who scored the only goal in the 78th minute to put England through to the semi finals.

The semi finals were played against Portugal in front of 90,000 supporters at Wembley Stadium. It was a Geoff Hurst again contributing to the second goal with an assist to allow Bobby Charlton to get his second goal and win the game 2-1.

The famous final was played against West Germany in front of 96, at the old Wembley Stadium. The West Ham fueled England team won 4–2 after extra time to win the Jules Rimet Trophy. The England team became known as the “wingless wonders”, on account of their then-unconventional narrow attacking formation, described at the time as a 4–3–3. The match is remembered for England’s only World Cup trophy, Geoff Hurst’s hat-trick – the only one ever scored in a World Cup Final .

Enjoy the World Cup while it lasts!

Transfer Gossip

Transfer target by royal appointment

French player Prince Oniangue has emerged as a new transfer target after previously being linked with Newcastle, Burnley and QPR.

The 25 year defender who can also play the defensive midfielder role scored eight goals in 20 games last season and is a strong, physical midfielder as Allardyce type player,

His professional career started with Rennes for whom he made 5 appearances before joined Angers on loan where he made 30 appearance scoring 1 goal. In 2010 he joined Tours for whom he played 84 times netting 13 goals. He joined Reims in 2013 scoring 8 goals from 20 starts. He was also spoken about in the past as being cover for Aaron Ramsey at Arsenal. He is a member Congo national football team where he has earned 14 caps and scored one goal.

According to a scouting report Oniangue was balanced and brawny during a play in Reims’ 3-2 defeat to Monaco.With his back to goal, he received a pass from Reims right-winger Odair Fortes, swivelled, skipped past Monaco centre-back Ricardo Carvalho’s challenge and outmuscled Monaco centre-back Eric Abidal. In Reims’ 4-2 win over Bastia, Oniangue’s missile of a shot hit the back of the net before Bastia keeper Mickael Landreau completed his dive. Lille keeper Vincent Enyeama, one of the best Ligue 1 shot-stoppers, was bailed out by the crossbar when Oniangue unleashed a shot during Reims’ 2-1 win over Lille. Oniangue classily curled the ball around Toulouse centre-back Serge Aurier and Toulouse keeper Ali Ahamada to score Reims’ only goal in a 2-1 defeat.

The same scouting report described his weaknesses:

Oniangue tends to shirk his defensive duties, as a player of his physical stature should be averaging more than 1.6 tackles and 0.6 interceptions per game.

The primary concern with Oniangue’s game is his passing. He is not involved enough in Reims’ buildup play, which is why he averages 27 passes per game.
When he does pass, he is careless.

Thanks to WHTID Author EXWHUEmployee for tipping me off on this. He kept this one quiet but the news appears to have broken now.

Talking Point

The problem with the transfer window

Many West Ham supporters appear to be disappointed with the progress made so far in the transfer window. Eight players have left outbound and yet only one has joined inbound so far.

Joe Cole, George McCartney, Jack Collison and Matty Taylor have been released while loan signings Pablo Amero, Roger Johnson, Antonio Nocerino and Marco Borriello have also returned to their parent clubs. The eight players are believed to have released approximately £9m from the annual wage bill while Mauro Zarate has added just under £2m per year.

Many agents, players and chairman are away on holiday for the first few weeks of the transfer window with the added complication this year of the World Cup which many players and agents will attend too whether they are playing or not. I am being told that many clubs will do the bulk of their transfer business after the World Cup rather then before it. I understand the club is also keen not to do all their business too early in case a late opportunity presents itself in the transfer window. It is claimed this happened last transfer window after they had blown their budget and wages which caused us to miss a significant high profile target .

Next is the tricky conversation on transfer budget, which is widely reported to be £20m in the media, the actual budget remains confidential but I am hearing whispers it is considerably less than amount quoted in the media as the club attempts to be self financing by living within it’s means. I am not saying the chairman won’t put their hands in their pocket like they are done many times beyond but I understand they would like to budget without another cash injection. Over the past 4 years the joint chairman have injected £40.7m in share holders which they are not collecting interest on as yet. The chairman has a reputation for a bargain so expect a few more free transfers or loan deals as part of out transfer window.

The next hurdle is wages, although our Financial Fair Play wage cap will be £58m this year I understand the club will not necessarily go right up to it unless they have to.
The players annual wage bill was thought to have been around £55m last year. I understand the club are aiming to be financially sustainable and keep the wage structure for individual players at £50k per week. They want sensible spending after the lack of return they got back in breaking the wage structure for Andy Carroll and matched the maximum wage for Stewart Downing. I expect the club to have its own annual wage budget which will be below the FFP limit of £58m.

Some supporters may be disappointed with what I have said above but in my view the club is far better shape than four years when we had debts of £110m. We are almost bank debt free as the remaining bank debts are now funded by shareholders CB Holdings and David Sullivan who refinanced the bank debt last year to the tune of £40m on top of the £45.7m lent to the club by Gold and Sullivan as shareholder loans. Their plan is to be completely debt free by 2017 when we move to the Olympic Stadium.

Yes we need to bring another six or seven players in but we need to do it on a budget and live within our means.

Transfer Gossip

West Ham chase Portuguese U21 Left back

The fourth transfer target for the Left back position has emerged as 20 year old Raphaël Guerreiro. He joins a list of four Left backs which include Urby Emanuelson Martin Olssen and Timothee Kolodziejczak as potential transfers.

He made his first-team debut for the Ligue 2 club Caen in the 2012–13 season for whom he made 38 appearances scoring one goal before joining Ligue 1 Lorient on a four-year deal for whom he has made 21 appearances. Although born in France, Guerreiro accepted the call to represent the Portugal National Under-21 Team earning 2 caps, He made his debut against Sweden on 21 March 2013. He is thought to be valued around 3.5 million euros.

Earlier this year Guerreiro emerged as a possible target for Liverpool with some inside the game claiming he has the potential to be one of the best left backs in the world.

Talking Point

Should we be glad we have no players at the World Cup?

I have seen some comments and also read an article recently where some are condemning West Ham for not having any players at this years World Cup. So, I thought it best to have a look back at previous tournaments and see what has transpired since the halcyon days of Moore, Hurst and Peters.

Since we won the World Cup in 1966, England have failed to qualify three times. Those years were 1974, 1978 and 1994 and West Ham did not have any players representing any other countries playing in those tournaments. Trevor Brooking (England) and Van Der Elst (Belgium) played in the 1982 World Cup finals and Alvin Martin (England) and Frank McAvennie (Scotland) both played in the 1986 tournament in Mexico. It is a real shame that Brooking was past his prime, aged 33 when he got his one and only game in a World Cup finals match. He came on as second half substitute for just 26 minutes against the hosts Spain in Madrid. In 1990, 1998 and 2006 we only had four representatives in total. Ludek Miklosko for the Czech’s in 1990, Rio Ferdinand for England and Bernard Lama for France in 1998 followed by Shaka Hislop for Trinidad and Tobago in 2006. In fact we have only had 15 players from West Ham play in the World Cup finals since 1974 – that is fifteen players in the eleven times the event has been held over the past forty years. So, the fact that we have no players from West Ham at this years Finals is not exactly earth shattering stuff.

OK, so let’s have a look at the two times we have sent a large contingent. Those years were 2002 and 2010. In 2002 we sent the largest contingent of English West Ham players since 1966. David James, Trevor Sinclair and Joe Cole all went to South Korea and England were beaten in the quarter finals by the eventual winners Brazil. In 2010 we had four players leave from the Boleyn to go and play in South Africa. Robert Green and Matthew Upson of England were joined by Jonathan Spector (USA) and Behrami (Switzerland).

Make of it what you will, but those last two aforementioned World Cup years where we had a total of seven representatives, what happened to West Ham the following season? Yep, that’s right, we were relegated both times! The three previous times we have sent no one we had respectable seasons including winning the FA Cup in 1975. Now I am not saying that sending players to a World Cup is detrimental to the club’s following season, but it will mean we should have a completely fresh squad when it comes to the start of pre-season training later this year.

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