A Word From 'Our' Sponsor

Daniel Skowronski, CEO, Alpari UK

On Friday on my LBC 97.3 show I interviewed the chief executive of Alpari UK, Daniel Skowronski. His company sponsors West Ham’s shirts. You may remember I posted an email from him on the site earlier in the week.

He’s a very nice guy and has offered me tickets for the Alpari box to give away here. I shall have to think of a suitable way of doing that!

Match Report

Match Report: West Ham 2 Cardiff City 0

Click HERE to rate the performances of the West Ham players.

Joe Cole: Man of the Match

It isn’t often I predict a scoreline correctly, but I did this one, and it was a thoroughly deserved victory. Cardiff never managed to dominate any part of the game and had barely a shot at goal. We looked comfortable in possession and wanted the ball more than they seemed to. They looked a quite organised side, but lacked much of a spark up front. What they lacked was a Craig Bellamy type player to run at the West Ham defence. The fact that Craig Bellamy was playing need not concern us much.

The team selection was a bit of a surprise with neither Rat, nor Downing making the starting line-up. Downing hasn’t played much in pre-season and according to Sam Allardyce has only had about 150 minutes on the pitch compared to an average of 600 for most of the West Ham players.

And you know what? One of the best things to emerge from this game was the cameo from Downing when he came on. He was simply stunning. Everything he did looked dangerous. Bearing in mind he was playing down the right, he turned their left back inside out. Several times. If any of us had to be convinced that he has what it takes, we don’t any longer. Stewart Downing. You are very welcome.

Stewart Downing: Impact

It was Joe Cole who put in the man of the match performance. He scored a superb goal, although most of us momentarily thought he should have left it for the player behind him (Diame?) who was better placed. But that’s probably what the Cardiff goalkeeper thought too, which was why he was late to get down to attempt a save. Cole produced some of his trademark trickery and could easily have had a hat-trick. I think we need to look at him contributing at least 10 goals this season, so it was good to see him get off the mark.

Matt Jarvis had a bit of an in and outer. He put in the cross for the first goal and skinned their right back a couple of times, but he also had a couple of chances which he should have done much better with. His goalscoring really lets him down. He should also be looking at getting close to double figures.

The midfield trio of Diame, Nolan and Noble looked tight and strong. Diame in particular went on several of his trademark rampaging runs at the Cardiff defence and he was unlucky to miss out on a goal, particularly with a shot from the left hand edge of the area, which was deflected for a corner.

There’s not much to say about our defence. To be honest it wasn’t often we needed one. But the whole of the back four did well and hardly ever looked in any danger.

I found Modibo Maiga’s performance deeply worrying. I know he has a particularly languid style, which gives the appearance of total laziness, but today he gave the impression of hardly trying at all in case an injury might jeopardise his proposed move to St Etienne. Maybe I am being too cynical, but I felt he had a real opportunity today but he just wasn’t interested. Yes, admittedly he laid on the pass for Noble to thread it through to Nolan to score, and apart from a shot which was just pushed aside by the Cardiff goalkeeper, he contributed very little. Let’s hope that Ba or Defoe might be with us before too long.

So, job done. Scores on the doors…

Jaaskelainen 7
Demel 7
O’Brien 7
Collins 7
Reid 7
Noble 6
Nolan 7
Diame 8
Cole 8
Downing 8
Jarvis 6
Maiga 5

Match Thread

Match Thread: West Ham v Cardiff City

Please use this thread to comment as the game progresses.

Parish Notice

Parish Notice: So How Do You Find the New Site?

Well, the new site went live at 4.20am. Russell, my web guy, and I have done our best to get it right, but please use this thread to let us know how you are finding it. There is bound to be the odd glitsch.

Over the weekend we’ll be importing all the old blogposts and adding lots of little tweaks. All ideas welcome.

But it’s important for us to know what might not work. We’ve tested the comments system and for us it works. But does it for you? If it doesn’t it might be because you are using an old version of your browser. It works for us on all the latest versions of IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

It should also work fine on tablets, but we think we still have work to do to optimise it for mobiles.

We’ll also restore the Links section soon.

So, what do you think?

PS Remember, in order to comment you have to create a new account and sign in to it. Your old account is now defunct. You can also sign in via facebook or twitter. If you have new account you can also opt to receive email alerts when people reply to a comment you have left.

Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Cardiff City

i can rarely recall being this excited before a Premier League season. My excitement would be all the greater if we actually had any strikers to choose between for the match against Cardiff. Andy Carroll is injured and Modibo Maiga seems to be on his way to St Etienne. Has he already gone? If so, we are completely strikerless, so Downing and Jarvis can cross the ball however much they like but who on earth is going to be on the end of the crosses? Joe Cole has played a number two striker before, but has never been the lead striker. Is it possible Kevin Nolan will be deployed? Let’s hope the rumours of Maiga’s departure prove just that – rumours.

I’d also love to report that Ravel Morrison is likely to start against Cardiff, but I suspect it’s the bench for the young midfielder. Although given his recent goalscoring record, maybe he should play up front. We have a very crowded midfield, but I expect it to be Downing, Noble, Nolan, Diame, Jarvis, with Maiga up front on his own.

In defence, James Collins hasn’t played much recently so I imagine it will be James Tomkins who starts alongside Winston Reid and Razvan Rat. The only questionmark is who gets the nod at right back – Demel or O’Brien. I’d say Guy Demel narrowly shaves it. I think he could combine well with Jarvis down the right. Acually, that’s not the only questionmark is it? I suppose there could be a doubt about who starts the season as our number one goalkeeper. I’m pretty sure it will be Jussi, but you never know.

Cardiff have made some impressive signings and they will be no pushover. But maybe they will be a little too eager to impress. I suspect they will be well organised in defence and play on the break. I hope we see something of Craig Bellamy.

Prediction? I’ll be optimistic and go for a 2-0 Hammers win.

And don’t forget. be in your seats by 2.40 so you can witness Billy Bonds get his Lifetime Achievement Award.

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