Transfer Gossip

Ravel Morrison can be my new Di Canio says Redknapp

Harry Redknapp has been speaking at a press conference today about the impending 93 day loan of West Ham’s Ravel Morrison to QPR.

Harry said “We need someone who can unlock the door, I’ve always had someone in my teams who can change a game. I had Di Canio and Merson at Portsmouth. I’ve had someone special who can turn a game for you. Thought the other day we dominated but Ravel may be one of those lads who can do that for us. It is a gamble for us. He has got baggage or something else.If we didn’t have a problem somewhere he wouldn’t be here, he would still be playing at Manchester United. He has that talent. It’s the chance you take. Somewhere in life you have got to take a chance and take a gamble. Sometimes they come off and sometimes they don’t. Maybe we do need a little bit of a maverick on the pitch. Someone who can do his own thing at time. Adel was the main reason they got promoted. Talk to Clint he was the difference and the icing on the cake that got them up. Hopefully Ravel can do the same.As far as I know he is fit and ready to play. Hopefully he is ok.”

The short term loan is not expected to include an automatic option to sign the player permanently. It appears Ravel’s long standing groin injury has miraculously cleared up.


Talking Point

Running Track to remain between fans and pitch at the OS

In March 2013 West Ham Joint Chairman David Gold was quoted as saying about the Olympic Stadium bidding “We will only go there if it is fit for use. I won’t go there if I have to look over a running track”

A new image has emerged showing the majority of the running track at the transformed Olympic Stadium will remain between the crowd and the football pitch even with retractable seating fully deployed.The image below was uncovered by Ali Worth after she reviewed thousands of pages publicly available planning permission documents.

Although the retractable seating will bring fans closer to the action it clearly shows much of the running track (shown as white lines) remains between the fans and the pitch on the east and west sides of the stadium. It appears many fans on both sides will in fact be looking over a running track after all although the visible parts of the running track shown as white lines on the diagram below will be hidden by a green artificial grass carpet on the 25 days it is in football mode. As we know the running track is 9 metres wide so we know the gap between the front row and the the pitch will be in excess of 9 metres at the half way line.

Although I have been openly pro Olympic Stadium from day one I thought I would share this information in the spirit of transparency to all fans regardless of your views on the impending move to the Olympic Stadium. It could probably be equally argued that you could squeeze in a running track between the current East stand and the pitch at the Boleyn ground. Whether this actual means anything or is just a technicality is up to you to decide. It does highlight we will not be on top of the pitch which has been claimed by some over eager marketing people in the run up to the decision to move.

A higher definition version of the diagram can be downloaded from HERE

This is what the final plannings documents published March 2013 say about the running track and the pitch.

The Stadium field of play is proposed to be retained in its athletics capability with the ability to host the IAAF Category 1 Athletics Events and the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships..The layout of the running track will be similar, but has been designed to enable a multi-purpose use of the Stadium.The field of play has been reduced in length by approximately 2.5m, (192.5m long) but remains at the same width (138.5m wide). There is no change to the track size (400m track is 180m long by 9m wide). The grassed infield area is proposed to be 120m long by 72.3m wide. The size of the athletics field of play allows the possibility to overlay the track and jump pits with a
temporary grass and artificial turf surfacing for other sports. The field of play layout is designed with the flexibility (using overlay where required) to host a number of different sports including football, rugby, American football, baseball and cricket, as well as the ability to hold concerts and other community and cultural events. Only minor and
temporary changes to the field of play would be required for these events.

The seating bowl design has been amended to incorporate a retractable and re-locatable seating solution to the lower tier which gives better proximity to the Field of Play for pitch sports. This will be the first retractable seating tiers in the UK, and it will allow for a fast transformation between athletics and pitch sports. It will also provide for excellent viewing during pitch sports. When in pitch sport mode the lower seating tiers will be moved away from the existing podium and concourse area that will contain the spectator facilities and bridges will be installed to connect the seating tiers to the concourse.

A new permanent mid-tier is proposed on the West Stand in order for spectators to gain a view over the pitch-sport position of the western lower tier, as the sightlines from the existing midtier are obscured by it. Additional demountable seating is proposed behind the lower tier on the eastern side of the Stadium.In reconfiguring the seating arrangement in the lower tiers and in the new mid tier on the West Stand, existing seats will be reused and repositioned, and some new seats will be procured to the same specification.


Player Performance Results

Results: Player Performances v Norwich City: Adrian Comes Top


Talking Point

Your Match Day Advice & Tips Please

*I got this email from a Canadian reader last night and thought rather than me pontificating, I’d let you give him some advice..

First, thanks for all your work on the blog! As a Hammers fan in Canada, I appreciate the passionate insight I can find on the site.

I’m hoping you can provide a little guidance about a first trip to Boleyn Ground. My 23-year-old daughter is planning to attend the March 8 match vs. Hull City. She wants to be in the heart of hard-core Irons fans, find the best place for pint pre- and post-game and figure out whether to stick around the area for the evening.

Any tips on:
• best section to buy seats? (Any thoughts on the best place to acquire tickets? WHUFC has limited availability. Are there usually scalpers/re-sellers around the stadium?)

• best local pub?

• traditions she should know (other than knowing the words to “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles”?

Thanks in advance, for any tips you can offer.


Talking Point

What a difference 11 minutes makes!

I can’t claim last night was the best game I have ever seen under the Boleyn flood lights but those last 11 minutes made up for it.

In many ways Norwich were unlucky and lady luck was on our side for once but our defence were an absolute rock again earning them a 13th clean this season, two more than second place Arsenal. Last night’s clean sheet made it four in a row, a feat not achieved since 1985 under the late, great John Lyall when the boys recorded the club record of 5 clean sheets. It is difficult to see how Winston Reid will earn his place back at the moment to break up the Collins/Tomkins partnership. Last night also made it three wins in a row, another feat not achieved since 2007 under Alan Curbishley when we won 4 games on the trot at the end of the season. We had not won a league game under the flood lights at the Boleyn ground for four years before last night. I am told our last mid week evening league win was a 2-0 win v Birmingham on 10th Feb 2010

At the 83rd minute in the game last night I tweeted out “It is all well and good getting clean sheets but we need to score a goal!” As my blackberry flashed up a message saying tweet posted! James Collins rose in the air to head home a goal in the 86th minute to put us ahead. Late in injury time Momo Diame who changed the game when he came on by setting up Ginger Pele’s goal took on two defenders and wrong footed the goalkeeper thanks to a deflection to score a solo goal. We went mad in Sir Trevor Brooking Lower when the goal went in as you can see from the video below which I recorded on my iphone.

Maybe the biggest hero of the night was Adrian, he made some important saves to keep us in the game right up to Ginge’s goal and he has a growing rapport with the West Ham fans. He is clearly passionate about West Ham and we sung his name for much of the evening. Maybe he is an early contender for Hammer of the year along side Mark Noble and possibly the making of a future West ham legend. At the end of the video below after the final whistle you can see him coming over to the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower crowd and giving his gloves to a disabled supporter.

The first team squad fly off to Dubai today for their warm weather training and we can’t say they don’t deserve it. I am prepared to eat humble pie and admit the chairman were right to keep Sam Allardyce when many of us were calling for him to be sacked a few weeks ago. The four bottom clubs all changed their manager while we are now 10th in the premier league after last night’s win. I know there is a long way to go but I feel confident we can now survive. As Bonzo said yesterday we turned a corner at Stamford bridge with the goalless draw,


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