Player News

Mladen Petric - He's a 1 in 3 Striker Who Could Save Our Season

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OK, this has to be quick as I am on air in an hour. Petric has signed and has been unveiled in his Hammers kit. He might not have been prolific at Fulham (5 in 23) but someone pointed out on the last thread that he only got 10 starts. His scoring record elsewhere has been pretty decent. He scored 38 in 99 for Hamburg, 13 in 29 for Borussia Dortmund and 38 in 72 for Basel. Internationally, he’s scored 13 in 45 for Croatia, so he’s basically a slightly better than 1 in 3 striker. This is what he told the club website…

I’m very happy, excited and looking forward to training with the team and to the first game," Petric said. "I know [the Premier League] and I’m happy to be back in the Premier League, because it’s a fantastic league and I’m really looking forward to being part of this team and this Club. There are a lot of good players here and I’m happy to be part of such a good team and I hope we can all celebrate my first goal for West Ham as soon as possible. I didn’t speak to Sam [Allardyce] until today but I’ve heard a lot about him and I spoke to Guy Demel, who I know from my time at Hamburg and I’m sure I’ll have a good time here. I remember playing at West Ham last year and it was a very tough game for us at Fulham. I think we lost 3-0! It’s not easy to come here [as the away side] and take points away.

I just found this video on Youtube. He seems to be quite emotional about leaving the club in this video, and judging from the goals shown he knows how to find the net!

He’s apparently fit and ready to play. So, my question to you is this. Should he play at Southampton?

UPDATE: He’s just tweeted…

Wie ihr bestimmt schon mitgekriegt habt habe ich heute bei West Ham unterschrieben! Ich freue mich riesig auf…

Translated, this means “As you have almost definitely heard, I have today signed for West Ham. I’m really looking forward to it.” Aren’t you glad I have a degree in German? You can follow him on Twitter @Mladen_Petric.


Player Analysis

A West Ham Crocks 11

How about this for a team for West Ham crocks! OK, I couldn’t think of a goalkeeping candidate, but there you go.

1. David Bentley
2. Rob Jones
3. Julian Dicks
4. Simon Webster
5. Matty Holmes
6. Alan Devonshire
7. Stewart Robson
8. Kieron Dyer
9. Andy Carroll
10. Dean Ashton
11. Benni McCarthy

Your nominations for the subs bench please.

UPDATE: Rumour is that we have signed Mladen Petric. He played for Fulham scoring 5 goals in 23 games, although his record for other clubs is slightly more prolific than that!

UPDATE 2: Confirmed on the club website


Player News

We Need to Play Vaz Te Up Front in a 4-4-2

OK, time to buckle down and avoid the temptation to panic. We’re all gutted that Andy Carroll is going to be out for a considerable period of time, but there’s no alternative but to think how we can get over this. Bear in mind too that Joe Cole and Stewart Downing are out for between three and six weeks. There’s no question we need to add at least one striker to our squad – now probably two. Carlton Cole needs to get himself fit as soon as he possibly can and we need to move heaven and earth to persuade Ciprian Marica to sign as soon as possible. Lee Clayton reports that Mladen Petric, who scored 5 in 23 for Fulham last season is also on our radar.

It seems to me that when the circumstances change, a manager has to adapt to them. I don’t know how we can continue to play Allardyce’s preferred formation. Surely now is the time to revert to 4-4-2. We don’t have the players now to play 4-3-3 or 4-5-1, but if he does stick to this formation he must surely drop Maiga in favour of Ricardo Vaz Te. Vaz Te has played as a centre forward for much of his career. The fact that Allardyce hasn’t played him there for the last season and a bit was ostensibly the reason for his untimely transfer request. That saga needs to be put behind them and Allardyce needs to put his arm around Vax Te’s neck and administer some inspirational TLC. And then he needs to play Elliot Lee alongside him. That would then mean a midfield four of Noble, Diame, Nolan and Morrison. We don’t need wingers for this formation. Alternatively Jarvis could play alongside Vaz Te as a second striker.

It’s a depressing evening, but let’s not all head to Beachy Head. We’ve been in worse scrapes than this.

UPDATE 22.39: The club website has just posted this statement…

West Ham United can confirm Andy Carroll suffered an injury to his right foot during his return to full training today. Although it is in the same part of his foot as his previous injury, it is a new injury and therefore there will be no prognosis until he has seen a specialist. whufc.com will provide a further update when the relevant information is available.


Talking Point

Please Let This Not Be True...

Several people have been saying that Andy Carroll was injured in training today, some even alleging that he left the training ground on crutches. I think we can all agree that this is one time we would all be very happy for an internet rumour not to be true.

UPDATE: More rumours. Hugh Southon at Claret & Hugh (a normally very reliable source) is speculating on an operation and Andy being out for four months. Bloody hell.

UPDATE 2: Latest from Claret & Hugh

Latest on Claret and Hugh:

CARROLL ‘INJURY’ UPDATE

Stories that Andy Carroll was seeen leaving the training ground on crutches were tonight described as “impossible” by West Ham club sources. Major rumours have emerged over the last few minutes that the big Geordie broke down and limped away from the club on crutches. But a source at Upton Park said: “If he did break down in such a way he wouldn’t have been seen by any members of the public. “He would have been taken inside the training headquarters and away for an X-ray by car – that story doesn’t add up.” He added that he hadn’t heard anything regarding an injury but is currently making inquiries and said: “It’s not impossible that I would have heard but I’d consider it unlikely.”

UPDATE 3: It does seem to be true. Jack Sullivan has tweeted…

AC is injured but we don’t know how badly. I will give you an update on him as soon as we know.

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Financial

Who Owns West Ham?

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In January 2010 David Sullivan purchased a 50% controlling share in West ham United for £52.5 million with CB Holdings representing the Icelandic banks including Straumur retaining the remaining 50%. David Sullivan later split his share holding on a 50/50 with his long term business partner David Gold.

In May 2010 the two Davids increased their share holding to 60% investing an addition £8 million. £4 million of that investment is said to have gone straight to CB Holdings with the remaining £4 million being fed back into the club.

Terry Brown

In August 2010 WHUFC.com released a statement saying they had found new investors in the shape of John Harris CBE and Daniel Harris founders of Alba group who are lifelong West Ham fans. Also included in this group is the infamous Terence Brown, former Chairman of the club. Daniel Harris joined the West Ham board as a non executive director to represent these new investors and Terence Brown was made Honorary Life President of the club following his investment.

John Harris

Their investment of £4 million was believed to be in return for 3.8% of the shares owned by CB Holdings. At the same time the two Davids increased their share holding to 30.6% each (an increase of 1.2% of the shares between them).

It is known that Terry Brown made £33.4 million from his original sale of West Ham shares to the Icelandic’s and received over a £1 million salary in his final year as West Ham chairman. His original investment into West Ham in the nineties is thought to have been in the region of just £2 million when he took over from the Cearns family. As a twist of fate the two Davids also originally owned 27% of West Ham which they purchased from Jack Petchey in the late eighties. The two Davids later sold their shares to Terry Brown but David Sullivan retained 4% right up to their compulsory sale when the Icelandic’s took over in 2006.

Daniel Harris

The Harris family owned the Alba group, a consumer electronics company with well known brand names including Alba, Bush, Grundig & Goodmans. Their net worth today is said to be over £150 million.

Bringing the story up to date, David Sullivan recently acquired a further 25% of shares in West Ham this July as part of a £25.5m restructuring of the club’s debt. The deal is thought to involve a swap of debt for equity after David Sullivan & David Gold lent West Ham £35 million in the form of personal loans with £1 million per annum of roll over interest as disclosed in the 2012 financial accounts.

The share holdings now stand at:

1. David Sullivan: 55.6%
2. David Gold: 30.6%
3. CB Holdings representing Straumur & other Icelandic banks 10%
4. John Harris, Daniel Harris and Terence Brown: 3.8%

Karen Brady claimed in an interview with the Times in 2012 she also has a ‘small shareholding’ in West ham but it is not clear whether that is included within the two Davids combined 86.2% share or as part of the 3.8% owned by the other investors.

Bob Ellis

During the recent purchase of extra shares non executive director Bob Ellis resigned from the board. Bob is a management consultant who describes himself as a restructuring specialist on his Linkedin profile. It was likely he represented the interests of CB Holdings until recently.

Andrew Bernhardt

A new non Executive director was appointed to the West Ham board in July. He is the former Non Executive West Ham chairman Andrew Bernhardt who now represents CB Holding remaining 10% share holding in the club.

Some have questioned the timing of the recent purchase of extra shares. In a recent interview with KUMB David Sullivan explained there was a deadline to purchase a further 25% of shares but after speaking with Financial Fair Play expert Ed Thompson of www.financialfairplay.co.uk I believe the actions could also be related with a desire to comply with UEFA Financial Fair Play rules which if nothing else shows ambition that the board believe we could qualify for Europe via one route or another this season.

UEFA’s rules require our losses to be below 45 million Euros over the 2011/12 and 2012/13 season combined. Any loss above 5 million Euros for the two seasons combined has to be covered by an injection of equity.

Before the latest injection of equity by David Sullivan it is likely West ham did not comply with UEFA FFP rules.

David Gold  Karren Brady David Sullivan

If West Ham did not comply with these rules then we would be not be eligible to play in UEFA competitions next season. We have to apply to UEFA in advance. If you wait until you qualify it would be too late.

So maybe a top five or six position is a bit too ambitious this season but a good cup to be crowned as League cup winners or even FA Cup winners or runners up might be more within our grasp for an unlikely UEFA place next season!

Further information on UEFA Financial Fair Play can be found at www.financialfairplay.co.uk


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