Transfer Gossip

Is Joleon Lescott About to Become a Hammer?

According to the Sunday Telegraph West Ham are due to complete the signing of Manchester City and England defender Joleon Lescott on a permanent transfer. He is thought to be signing a three and a half year deal on an initial salary of £90,000 a week, dropping to £70k a week from the beginning of next season. The fee is thought to be around £5 million, which for Manchester City is something of a coup, seeing as he’d be available on a free at the end of the season.

However, City apparently won’t release him until after next Saturday’s game, which may scupper the whole deal, bearing in mind our need to bring in another central defender pretty quickly following James Tomkins’ sending off today.

Yes, Lescott may be 31, but he is on the edge of a World Cup place and will be very keen to cement it. He cost Man City £24 million when they signed him from Everton. If we can get him, I think it would be a bit of a coup. Mind you, given a choice I’d prefer Micah Richards, who is an immense player who will never fill his potential at Manchester City.

Match Report

Cardiff 0 West Ham 2 - Things Finally Come Good

Click HERE to rate the performance of the players who played at Cardiff.

What a fantastic result that was, and by all accounts a great performance too. And wasn’t that a marvellous ball from Andy Carroll to Mark Noble to lay on the second goal?

Like many of you, I listened to the match on the radio, although I did see the goals on a rather jittery internet stream. The commentators seemed hugely impressed by the performance and commitment. And the great thing was that the injury to Demel and Tomkins’ sending off didn’t appear to unduly unsettle the side. Of course it is very worrying that we now have two more defenders unavailable for the match next Saturday, giving the manager yet another set of selection headaches. Maybe James Collins will be fit to return.

Will this be the match that kickstarts us on to better things? Time will tell, but at least we are out of the bottom three.

PS If we beat Newcastle, as the table stands now, we could go as high as thirteenth. Isn’t it wonderful how three points make us feel so inexplicably optimistic?!

Comment away!

UPDATE: Alan Hansen just described Mark Noble as giving “one of the performances of the season”. Wonder if Roy Hodgson might finally take note.

UPDATE: To watch Mark Noble’s post match interview click HERE?

Match Thread

Match Thread: Cardiff City v West Ham

Please use this thread to comment on the game as it progresses. And please watch your language. Some of the comments on the Man City thread were beyond the pale in terms of language used.

TEAM: Adrian, Demel, Rat, Tomkins, Johnson, Noble ©, Collison, Taylor, Downing, Jarvis, C.Cole
Subs: Jaaskelainen, McCartney, Diarra, Diame, J.Cole, Maiga, Carroll

No Morrison. Make of that what you will.

Match Preview

Match Preview: Cardiff City v West Ham

The common consensus is that if Cardiff wallop us today, that will be curtains for our manager, while a narrow defeat or draw would give him more time. As I have said before, it’s D-Day. Either the owners get rid now or make the decision to stick by him come what may.

We have a reasonable record against Cardiff. We have beaten them twice this season already if my memory serves me correctly. But they are a team on the up. Their victory over Newcastle shows how much they were keen to impress their new manager, and they will certainly be up for this game. It is rumoured that Solskjaer will start with Craig Bellamy and you just know what that means – a former player coming back to haunt us. Let’s hope that our ‘stellar’ new signing Roger Johnson can do the same with Cardiff, that is if he isn’t too busy backing off and running towards his own goal for most of the game… such a cynic.

My colleague EXHUemployee has tweeted that he has heard Adrian will play in goal today. I hope he is wrong. He just doesn’t do it for me. He makes the defence nervous, and for all that he made some good saves at Manchester City in every game he has played in in the lat couple of months has been at fault for at least one of the goals we have let in.

It seems as though we can look forward to the return of James Tomkins, which means George McCartney can return to his usual left back role in place of the injured Joey O’Brien – so that’s the defence. I hope Carlton Cole plays up front instead of the about to depart and usually hapless Maiga. Just when you thought Maiga might be running into a bit of form he put in his usual awful showing in the last two games, although he wasn’t alone in that. We’re also due a performance from Joe Cole who has been very ordinary to say the least recently.

The other niggle that I have is Andy Carroll. He is set to play some part in this game, although it is clear he is far away from being fit. There is a school of though that the only way some players can ever get fit is to play in real games. However, if Sam’s calculated risk doesn’t come off, will he ever be forgiven? I just hope Andy Carroll himself considers himself ready to return.

I don’t have a good feeling about this game, but then again I rarely do nowadays.

TEAM: Adrian, Demel, Rat, Tomkins, Johnson, Noble ©, Collison, Taylor, Downing, Jarvis, C.Cole
Subs: Jaaskelainen, McCartney, Diarra, Diame, J.Cole, Maiga, Carroll

No Morrison. Make of that what you will.

Talking Point

Enough with the emails, Sam!

You know whose job I don’t envy? The poor member of the West Ham communications staff that has to write the emails to members after games. You know the ones. The messages that pretend to be from Big Sam, or one of the squad, but are actually written by an underling who has a way with words. The emails that try to give an explanation, a justification or some sort of insight into why, what or how on earth a decision was made.

Based on recent performances I can just picture them now, head in hands, puking into a bucket under the desk. ‘How on earth am I going to spin this one? What happens if my mates find out that I’m responsible for these? How am I going to sleep tonight trying to put a brave face on this? Is it possible to go through so much turd polish in one season?’ I can imagine them watching Big Sam’s post-match interviews, shouting and throwing things at the screen. ‘You said what? I now have to turn that into something I can send to the fans! The fans, you know, the people who make this club what it is!’

Email from Big Sam

So with that in mind, I turn to the email many of us received after the Man City game. The one from BS himself, titled ‘Hannah, I come out fighting as a manager and my staff and players are the same’, (yours wouldn’t say Hannah, unless of course that is your name). Well hold on a minute, you’re coming out fighting Sam? Are you fighting to keep your job or to avoid relegation? Isn’t this something you should have been doing all season? And I’m not sure you can speak with such certainty on behalf of your players who have lacked any fire or fight for a good few games now.

Before we get into the actual body of the bullshit, I want to take a second to wonder how many other titles they went through before they agreed that this was a good one? Other discarded suggestions might have included ‘Not sure what went wrong on this one’, ‘Replacing like for like is tactics idiots’ or ‘My agent is $uperb, $ack me if you want to’. I digress.

It starts with the Board thanking the fans who travelled to Manchester for their unwavering support. That’s a nice touch. Scared of another petition demanding reimbursements are you? At least an acknowledgment of the support is a step up from BS telling us we are deluded. The message from our illustrious leader begins defensively (which is more than I can say for Wednesday’s team, boom boom) saying how amazing a team Man City are. We know, we follow the same results and tables as you do.

It then praises Adrian for his contribution. Again, we know. We watch the same games as you do. Here the communications sap has used a clever little writing tactic, to go from talking about the opposing team to the player who gave the best performance. It’s supposed to unite us as West Ham, against a common enemy and then in pride for one of our own. All designed to distract us from the fact that Big Sam isn’t actually telling us anything in this email.

The final sentence was the straw the broke the camel’s back for me. “We’ve got to get out there, face the music and use it to anger us, if you like, make us mad, and win football matches.” Use our current situation to get angry? If we like? Well thanks for the permission Sammy but there’s plenty of us who are angry enough at the moment as it is. And no-one is looking for a nod from you to express this.

Here’s my advice for the West Ham communications team. Friends, I know it’s rough at the moment but can you please try and have a little bit more respect for your fans? I know it’s hard to stomach some of these lines you’re having to spin, but treating us like idiots is not a good starting place to get us to swallow them. A little bit of humility wouldn’t kill any of you. Neither would some honesty, some transparency or some credit where it’s due. Unless your aim is to really upset the fans. If so, carry on, you’re getting it spot on.

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