Player Performance Results

Vote: Player Performances v Chelsea

Please click HERE to rate the performances of the players who played at Stamford Bridge.

PS Watch me sneek in a Hammers mention during the Sky News press preview, starting at 10.30pm!

Match Thread

Match Thread: Chelsea v West Ham

Please use this thread to comment on the game as it progresses.

UPDATE: Team is Adrian, Demel, Tomkins, Collins, O’Brien, Noble, Taylor, Nolan ©, Downing, Diame, Carroll
Subs – Jaaskelainen, McCartney, Jarvis, Nocerino, Morrison, C.Cole, Borriello

Match Preview

Match Preview: Chelsea v West Ham

I imagine most of us imagine a tonking tonight, but I suppose we all felt that when we played at Spurs and won 3-0. At least we have a squad to pick from tonight, even if there are still one or two absences.

What we are all wondering is if either of the two Italian signings will feature. I suspect both will at some stage, with Nocerino starting. It’s quite a match to make your debut in. Nocerino is a box to box player and it will be interesting to see where he fits into the midfield. Can he and Diame both play in the same team? I have to say I think Diame has underperformed massively this season both in the number of goals scored and his performances in general. He is a player easily capable of changing a game, but how often has he done that of late? I am a huge fan of his but he really needs to step up to the plate now.

The other interesting thing will be to see if Kevin Nolan returns for his first league game after his four match ban. If he doesn’t a lot will be read into it. Personally I’d leave him on the bench for this game, even if Andy Carroll starts. And that in itself is another selection dilemma for the manager. Assuming he can’t last a full match yet, do you start him and bring him off way when he tires or do you use him as an impact substitute?

In defence, it seems as though Demel and Winston Reid should return. If they do there’s no doubt that we can put out our strongest starting eleven for many a month.

As usual, if we lose we stay in the bottom three, but if we win and then win on Saturday we shoot up the table. But between now and then, of course, we have the final two days of the transfer window to look forward to.


UPDATE: Team is Adrian, Demel, Tomkins, Collins, O’Brien, Noble, Taylor, Nolan ©, Downing, Diame, Carroll
Subs – Jaaskelainen, McCartney, Jarvis, Nocerino, Morrison, C.Cole, Borriello


Nostalgia Series: Patsy Holland

Forgive me some indulgence here with the Nostalgia Series, but Patsy Holland was one of my favourite players of the seventies and was a loyal servant to West Ham. Whilst never one of the greats, he was a one club man (apart from a brief loan spell at Bournemouth) for the Hammers and was also an entertaining player to watch. He was yet another player from that era that was born local to the Boleyn, just down the road at Poplar. Pat Holland was to play 296 times for the Hammers over 13 seasons, scoring 32 goals. In January 1981 he played his last professional game at Notts County. Whilst scoring our only goal in a 1-1 draw he smashed his knee with the goalkeeper and his playing career was over.

Patsy played as a right midfielder, come winger, and was easily recognisable for his curly locks. He had a wicked sense of humour and was a good guy to have around the changing room but he probably never reached his full potential. In reality, his witty exterior was hiding the young mans fragile confidence. However, on quite a few occasions he did show just what he could do. Take a look at the attached video clip of his goal in an ITV “goal of the month” program from 1974. When you see the pitches they played on back in those days you realise just how skilful, and brave, these players were, Patsy included. In later years Patsy was to reflect on his career and was to admit that he regrets not having tried more of those mazy runs he was so good at – too often he became a grafter and took the simple option. He realised his lack of confidence had held him back from showing the fans what he was truly capable of and perhaps the early years when a section of the crowd was on his back at Upton Park did not help? On his day however, he was a joy to watch.

Despite being born in Poplar, Patsy was actually a boyhood Arsenal fan. When West Ham’s famous chief scout Wally St Pier asked Patsy to come and train with the Hammers, the 15yo was too scared to say no – despite Spurs Bill Nicholson tracking the lad at the same time. Patsy went home to his dad that night and said “I am scared of that Wally St Pier. He’s a big man with huge hands” He was later to confirm that Wally was a lovely man despite his initial fears. So it was ironic that Patsy made his debut in 1969 against the team he supported as a boy – Arsenal. However, it was a game he would rather forget. Bob McNab, the Arsenal full back, was to give the debutant a “nice early kick” and the shy youngster barely featured again after that introduction. He was despatched off to the reserves and it would be eight months before he returned to first team duties. A few excellent performances were typically followed by a slump in form and he was loaned out to fourth division Bournemouth in an attempt to toughen him up. Ron Greenwood described him as a “shrinking violet” at the time.

However, it was Billy Bonds during “one on one” training ground sessions on Thursday afternoons that did the job. “Bill would knock me down and pull me up saying – come on Dutch, let’s go again. It was great and Bonzo toughened me up a lot”. A few years later Patsy played a big part in both Alan Taylor’s goals in the FA Cup Final win of 1975 and he also scored the first goal of the ensuing ECWC Final loss to Anderlecht the following year. Unfortunately, injury would see him miss the 1980 Cup Final win against Arsenal. Patsy, now a reformed Hammer fan for life, was to say that the most memorable match of his career was the ECWC semi final at Upton Park against Eintracht Frankfurt in 1976. “The fans that night – I’ve never known anything like that”.


West Ham Italia

This week we welcomed the arrival of two Italian internationals to the club, both arrived with very impressive CVs. Both signings seem to have lifted the mood around the club and are expected to give the playing squad a much needed boost. Whilst I am not sure that our dealings in this window are over, despite what Sam has said (if we can move on some players as well-Diarra or Maiga perhaps), I hope the double Italian signing has the same impact as Harston and Kitson when they arrived in a relegation battle. Of course that is putting a lot of pressure on the duo but both have played at the highest level in Italy where pressure is all around them, I just pray they have no problem adapting to our league. I have always been curious on how our international fans, with no obvious family link, become supporters of our great club. One of the most prominent international supporters groups on twitter is West Ham Italy @martelliditalia. Their support and dedication to the claret and blue shirt is very impressive, made even more so when Antonio Nocerino said that he knew all about the club from the Italian West Ham fans. I thought it would be a good time to send them over some questions to find out more about the fan club.

1) How did the West Ham Italy group first start?

The group was created in 2011 by Nicola Morosini, after some months thanks to the contribution of Roberto Salvatori and Valerio Accorsi we begin to recruit Hammers fans on facebook and we started to grow.

2) How did you all become fans of the mighty Hammers?

It depends on the age of the members ,the oldest of us are hammers fans from the 80’s when the only way to get some news was to read some weekly magazines or watch some rare images on tv channels. Most of the us are people that grew up when the internet was up and English football was broadcasted on Italian channels, so they started to follow West Ham by watching football matches and reading news on the internet. In most of the cases the first trip to see a match at Upton park was enough to become hammers for life.

3) How many members do you have and where are you mainly based?

We have around 2000 people subscribed to the facebook group and 200 members with the group card. We are mainly based in the north/centre of Italy but we also have members in the South and in Sardinia.

4) How regularly do you meet?

We try to be present at every home game and in most of the away games, we also have members with season tickets. Normally we are present in 90% of games in the season, the people that don’t go to London meet in some pubs in their town to watch the game on TV. We call these meetings “match pints” and there are almost 2-3 people for every game.

5) What are the age ranges of the members?

We have 4-5 members over 40, the rest of the age range is between 24 and 28.

6) How many games do you attend a season?

Most of the members go to London 2 times a year but there are people who have reached 10 games a year including home and away.

7) What is the best game that you have been to?

Surely the Wembley final against Blackpool where we had 33 people attending. Another great game was the 3-1 victory against Chelsea and we had 15 on that occasion.

8) I read on the official website that Antonio Nocerino said he knew all about the Hammers from the Italian West Ham fans, how did this make you feel?

Of course we were really proud of it, we have made a great job of our twitter account!

9) What can the West Ham fans expect from Antonio Nocerino? Will he make the Italian World Cup squad?

We think he will do a good job in the midfield and that he will score some goals by going in the spaces of the forward. He scored a lot of this kind of goals for AC Milan and we hope he can do the same for us. We think he can make the Italian squad if he plays well for us.

10) What can we also expect from the other Italian signing Marco Borriello?

We expect goals and a lot of hard work for the team in and around the box.

11) How do you see the rest of the season turning out?

If the injuries stop tormenting us we can play well and stay in the Premiership, don’t forget that we had one of the best defences in the league before the Reid injury.

12) What is your feelings on the move to the Olympic stadium?

We ’d prefer to stay at Upton Park because we choose to support the team for the particular atmosphere that you feel every time you go to Green Street. We understand that many supporters would like the team to become richer and compete for the maximum level but we ’d prefer the old way and stay at Upton Park.

13) Finally, what do you think the score will be in the England V Italy World Cup game?

It’s difficult to make a guess, there are 5 months before the game and in football that is an eternity, everything can change.

It was a very diplomatic way to end the questions and I was very grateful to Nicola Morosini who took the time to answer the questions for me. One thing that is for certain is that the international supporter’s groups clearly play a big part in spreading the name and history of the club and I look forward to seeing them at future games! Here’s to a successful week (both on the transfer front and the pitch-hopefully!!) COYI

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