Guest Post

Opposition players and fans relish coming to the London Stadium but how many would have looked forward to coming to Upton Park?

The London Stadium has been home to West Ham for nearly two seasons now, and with the finish line of this campaign coming into view, our final home game this month looks like the fixture list has done the Irons a favour in terms of taking charge of their own fate.

But writing in his column in Blowing Bubbles magazine, former Irons legend Phil Parkes says he is worried that the London Stadium still does not feel like home, and the fear factor provided by Upton Park which could have helped tipped the balance West Ham’s way is sadly lacking.

“I know I say this all the time but the new stadium just doesn’t have the hostile atmosphere that Upton Park did,” he said. “Opposition players and fans relish coming to the London Stadium but how many would have looked forward to coming to Upton Park? Our last game in March is going to be a very important month for us. The atmosphere at your home stadium can really help.”

Elsewhere in his column, Parkes gives an insight into how off the field problems can affect players, and does not hold back in his views on club owners David Gold and David Sullivan.

In addition to Parkes, former team-mate George Parris gives Blowing Bubbles his opinion on current events at the club, and the magazine’s team of top writing talent cover all the latest claret and blue news, from the arrival of Patrice Evra to the future of the Bobby Moore statue, and from how the board can get fans back on side to what the future holds for James Collins.

For all this and more, pick up a copy of the new Blowing Bubbles – “Out now”:http://www.blowing-bubbles.co.uk/read-our-latest-issue.html

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Guest Post

Why has it all gone wrong this season? The January transfer window? The Summer transfer window? Or something else?

A precise definition of the mythical ‘West Ham Way’ is something that has baffled scientists and football fans since long before James Collins could even grow facial hair.

But one phrase that definitely fits it quite well is ‘never doing things the easy way.’ And if West Ham are to survive in the Premier League this season – by no means a given – then they will certainly not have done it the easy way, and much of that will be self-inflicted.

In the Pub Talk section of the new edition of “Blowing Bubbles”:http://www.blowing-bubbles.co.uk/read-our-latest-issue.html , the magazine’s writers put their heads together to try and work out where it has all gone so – well, meh – this season, and Emily Pulham points her finger directly at the January transfer window as a prime example of how to make a bad situation worse.

“We keep selling players and ending transfer windows with less players than we started with,” she said. “We sold our joint top scorer to a relegation rival. We sold a centre back outside the transfer window and didn’t bother to replace him. We don’t even have a full team sheet, and it’s not helped by David Moyes making poor team selections from what’s left. We’re not future proofing the team, we are frogmarching towards relegation.”

David Meagher says the fact that the transfer window is being looked at to fix problems tells its own story.

“When you are relying on January to solve problems then you are in real trouble as unless you splash big money, most of the time you are taking another club’s problems. Our performance in the transfer window over the last two seasons has been terrible, and the proposed change in our transfer team is much needed.”

To read more from the pub talk crew, including their views on Andre Ayew and Jordan Hugill, pick up a copy of the new edition of Blowing Bubbles out now. There you will find exclusive columns from former Irons legends Phil Parkes and George Parris, the latest news from the increasingly tetchy stand-off between fans and the club’s owners, find out what the future holds in store for the Bobby Moore statue, and in a startlingly honest interview, Kieron Dyer explains why he will probably go down in history as West Ham’s worst ever signing.

All this and more can be found in the latest edition of Blowing Bubbles – “Out now”:http://www.blowing-bubbles.co.uk/read-our-latest-issue.html

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Guest Post

George Parris: "We're going to regret not bringing in enough bodies in January - We only have ourselves to blame"

The closing of the January transfer window meant the cards West Ham now hold are the ones they must play until the end of the season – and former Irons defensive legend George Parris is worried by that prospect.

Writing in his column in the latest edition of “Blowing Bubbles magazine”:http://www.blowing-bubbles.co.uk/read-our-latest-issue.html , Parris reveals the club has left itself alarmingly short of options after another disappointing window.

“I was hoping to see one or two more bodies arrive in January because I feel like we need them to boost the squad,” he said. “New players always give the squad a boost because they bring new enthusiasm and energy that rubs off on everyone else. With the likes of Diafra Sakho, Andre Ayew and Jose Fonte leaving and not really being replaced like for like, I’m worried we’ve left ourselves too short.

“It’ll be fine when everyone returns from injury but in recent seasons we’ve not been too lucky when it comes to injuries and it’ll only need one or two and suddenly we will be back to the bare bones.”

Elsewhere in his column, Parris talks about what the club needs to do to ensure the end of season run-in does not get too close for comfort.

Another club legend writing exclusively for Blowing Bubbles, Phil Parkes, also airs his views about the end of season situation, and has plenty to say on the current strained relationship between fans and the club’s owners.

Blowing Bubbles’ regular team of writers weigh in with their opinions on topics ranging from the Tony Henry scandal and the signing of Patrice Evra to how the club can win fans back, and what the future should hold for defensive lynchpin James Collins. And in a shocking interview that you won’t want to miss, Kieron Dyer is unhesitatingly honest when talking about his own ill-fated West Ham career, the position the club is in now, and the dark secret that haunted his playing career.

All this and more can be found in the latest edition of Blowing Bubbles magazine – “Out now”:http://www.blowing-bubbles.co.uk/read-our-latest-issue.html

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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”:http://www.blowing-bubbles.co.uk/ , 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”:http://www.blowing-bubbles.co.uk/

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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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