Guest Post

Phil Parkes: "I thought we were going to save our season this month - not destroy it!"

As a two-time FA Cup winner and member of the Boys of 86, legendary Irons goalkeeper Phil Parkes knows all about having plenty to play for at the end of the season – but he fears that this is what could happen to the class of 2018 as well, but not in a good way.

Writing exclusively for “Blowing Bubbles magazine”: , Parkes admits he is worried by the club’s current predicament, and that the fixture list may not have done them any favours this month.

“At the start of March, I felt three more wins would be enough to keep us up but now it’s going to be tight. Fighting for your lives to stay in the league is a horrible position to be in.”

Parkes has strong opinions about the current strained relationship between fans and the club’s owners, which he does not shy away from sharing, and says everything else should take a backseat to ensure the team stays in the Premier League.

As well as Parkes’ views, former team-mate George Parris gives his take on the current state of things at the London Stadium in his regular column, and Blowing Bubbles’ team of reporters bring you the latest news on all things claret and blue, including an assessment of this winter’s transfer comings and goings – or the lack of them – the future of the Bobby Moore statue, how to repair the damage of the Tony Henry scandal, and how Michail Antonio can recover the form that has made him such a big success in recent years.

All of this and a brutally honest interview with former Irons midfielder Keiron Dyer – and why he thinks he will go down as the worst signing in club history – can be found in the latest edition of Blowing Bubbles magazine, “Out now”:

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Guest Post

What has 'leader' Patrice Evra brought to West Ham so far? Can he really help guide West Ham to Premier League survival as the going gets tough?

One observation many fans have made of West Ham in recent times is the lack of leaders on the field.

Mark Noble wears both the armband and his heart on his sleeve and certainly does plenty of shouting and geeing up, but beyond that, the team seems somewhat lacking in leadership.

So to bring in someone who has played at the World Cup, Euros, captined his country and two of the biggest teams in Europe, won the league in two countries and played in five Champions League finals should remedy that problem. And in Patrice Evra, that is what West Ham have got.

But the former Manchester United, Juventus, Marseille and France star is 36 now, so aside from that, what is he bringing to the team?

In the latest edition of Blowing Bubbles , Greg Richardson runs the rule over Evra

“It is safe to say he is probably one of the most decorated players to pull on the West Ham shirt in recent memory. And that experience and winning mentality brings with it other desirable qualities. Behind the smile and joker image on social media is a man who hates to lose. He is a consummate professional.

“His positive outlook, experience and his acute professionalism likewise make him a good role model for our other French left back. Arthur Masuaku, before his ban, was one of the bright sparks of another thus far dull season.

“Under the tutelage of Evra, he could learn to add defensive solidity to his evident attacking qualities and blossom into a player truly worthy of his King Arthur nickname. But then, we have had older players before, whose expertise was meant to help bring on younger players.

“Alvaro Arbeloa, and to a lesser degree Pablo Zabaleta, were signed with half an eye on mentoring and improving Sam Byram. There is little evidence either had any success in doing so. An additional downside to signing a player of such vast experience is the age that comes with the wisdom.

“Evra is 36 years old, and similarly to his fellow full back Pablo Zabaleta – whilst the qualities remain, the pace that is so desperately needed in the modern game is gone. Evra has the further issue of having not played any football for over three months following his ban for an altercation with a fan.”

To find out more about Evra and what he offers West Ham, pick up a copy of the new edition of Blowing Bubbles, out now. In it, you will find exclusive columns from former Irons greats Phil Parkes and George Parris, giving their views on what is passed in the transfer window, what is present, and what lies ahead on the end of season run-in.

There is a look at what the club can do to restore its reputation after the Tony Henry scandal and amid increasingly ill-tempered relations between fans and the board, the Pub Talk team pick over the comings and goings of the transfer window, and in a startlingly honest interview, Kieron Dyer talks about his unfulfilled ambitions after his injury-ravaged four year stint at West Ham – and passes his own verdict on how history will judge him.

All this and so much more in the latest edition of Blowing Bubbles, out now

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Guest Post

Kieron Dyer: "I'll go down as the worst signing ever for West Ham - the fans really should have seen the best of me"

Fans don’t need asking twice to pass judgement on players, but it is slightly less common for a player to be quite so willing to give a verdict on themselves – so when someone says they will probably go down as a club’s worst ever signing, you tend to take notice. And that is what Kieron Dyer says of his time at West Ham.

The former Newcastle and England midfielder joined the Irons in 2007 as a key part of manager Alan Curbishley’s vision for the future, but a broken leg in just his second game meant Dyer never got a chance to shine in claret and blue, and had the rest of his career severely curtailed as a result.

“I will probably go down as the worst signing ever for West Ham, which is such a shame,” he told “Blowing Bubbles magazine”: "West Ham should have seen the best of me but after that injury I never managed to play four or fives games on the trot. It’s hard to take knowing West Ham never truly saw what I had to offer. The fans should have seen the best of me but they probably only saw 10% of what I could do.”

In a brutally honest interview, Dyer discusses the high and low points of his career – on and off the pitch – the enduring respect he has for West Ham fans, the dark secret that haunted him throughout his career, and his opinion on where the club is now, a decade on from the supposed new dawn under Curbishley that never quite happened.

To read more on all things claret and blue, including what the future holds for James Collins, what the club need to do to make things safe this season, an appraisal of recent transfer comings and goings, and how the board and fans can take steps to improve the current strained relations, pick up a copy of the new edition of Blowing Bubbles magazine – “Out now”:

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Guest Post

Worst West Ham manager of all time? Surely there can only be one man for this crown?

Up to David Moyes’ appointment as Hammers boss in November, only 15 managers had the privilege of occupying the hot seat on a permanent basis.

This month Blowing Bubbles has put them under the microscope to come up with definitive all-time rankings.

In their quest, no stone was left unturned to come up with decisive results and now, in their latest issue, the results are in their January issue.

Whilst competition at the top of the charts may be tough – Lyall or Redknapp? Greenwood or Bonds? – when it comes to the crown of worst manager in West Ham history, there is one stand-out candidate. Manager number unlucky 13 – Avram Grant.

Editor David Blackmore said: "When he was at Chelsea, Grant guided the Blues to the Champions League final, only for John Terry’s night in Moscow to famously end in tears.

“In his one season in charge of West Ham, 2010-11, there were no finals – but plenty to cry about. The Israeli’s year at the helm was painful to endure, with a team bereft of ideas or motivation finishing rock bottom of the table, suffering their second relegation in eight years.

“Fortunately, however, Grant was the exception to the rule, and most West Ham managers have produced some memorable moments in their time in charge.”

Find out who sits where in the pecking order, and who has been crowned the ultimate boss of bosses for West Ham, be sure to read the latest edition of Blowing Bubbles

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Guest Post

George Parris: "We need to learn to win ugly with so many winnable games in January"

Former Irons favourite George Parris says it is time for West Ham fans to stop being sniffy – and to be happy with winning ugly, if that is what it takes.

The recent 2-1 win over West Brom was hardly one for the purists but after disappointing results against Newcastle and Bournemouth, a win, however it came about, was just what the doctor ordered.

In his exclusive column for Blowing Bubbles magazine, Parris says that win – and the 1-1 draw with Spurs – were the ideal start to the new year. “It was key that we got the result against West Brom, and followed that with a valuable point against Spurs,” he wrote. “Now we’re in the midst of a run of games against teams around us. It’s really important we pick up as many points as we can. If it’s a choice between getting beat or playing scrappy and getting the points, I know what I’d take!”

For more from George Parris, the thoughts of goalkeeping legend and an exclusive interview with two-time West Ham player Don Hutchison – as well as every manager in the club’s history, rated and ranked – pick up a copy of the new Blowing Bubbles, out now

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