Phil Parkes: "As hard as it is, we really need to get behind the players - otherwise we're doomed"

Two-time FA Cup winner Phil Parkes says fans and the club need to come together in the face of the adversity currently besetting West Ham.

Blowing Bubbles November

Inconsistent performances, poor results and a barrage of criticism for manager Slaven Bilic and the club’s owners have made for an uncomfortable season so far, but writing in his exclusive column for Blowing Bubbles, the legendary Irons keeper said it was vital that West Ham remained United.

“A couple of decent results can change everything and it remains early in the season,” he wrote. “However the performances have been poor by and large and something needs to change pretty quickly.

“Fingers crossed the results will start coming, and in the meantime we all need to stay behind the team. We’re all Hammers and can’t become a house divided. That is the quickest way to disaster.”

For more thoughts and views from Phil Parkes, pick up a copy of the latest edition of Blowing Bubbles – out now


"Strikers have it too easy these days and yet West Ham still can't get the most out of theirs" - Tony Cottee

Tony Cottee has told Blowing Bubbles Monthly that modern interpretation of the rules has made a striker’s life easier than it was in the past – but West Ham need to find someone to partner Javier Hernandez up front to make the most of that situation.

Blowing Bubbles November

The Mexican has scored four goals so far in West Ham colours but a seeming uncertainty about where he fits in in the team has cost him more chances, and Cottee, one of the club’s greatest ever strikers, says he needs more help.

“Defenders used to be able to take two or three digs at you before they’d even be considered for yellow cards – nowadays if they make one mistake they’re booked and that obviously benefits the forwards, which makes it easier…. But playing with someone gives you more options. It gives the midfield and defenders more options.”

For more thoughts from Tony Cottee, including what he thinks the future holds for his old team-mate Slaven Bilic, a look back at some of the club’s best and worst keepers over the years, and analysis of where it all went wrong for Diafra Sakho, be sure to get a “copy of the new edition of Blowing Bubbles – out now”:


Blowing Bubbles Monthly Exclusive: Pele on his love for Bobby Moore and joining West Ham

Legendary three-time World Cup winner Pele has teased West Ham fans with the thought that he could have teamed up alongside close friend and adversary Bobby Moore in claret and blue.

Blowing Bubbles October

Pele resisted the advances of Europe’s finest clubs in the 1960s and 70s to stay with his beloved Santos, before a stint with New York Cosmos, and in an exclusive interview with Blowing Bubbles he spoke of his close relationship with Moore.

“I never wanted to leave Brazil – but I loved Bobby,” he said. “He was a great player, a talented player and I kept telling people ‘look at this guy, he’s like a Brazilian’ – good ball control, great dribbling ability. He was a very nice guy, a fair player and I always compare him with the likes of Beckenbauer and Cruyff.”

Moore and Pele, famously pictured swapping shirts after the England v Brazil game at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, did play together in America in the 1970s, and then again in legendary all-star football film Escape to Victory.

To find our more about this, as well as Pele’s views on Cristiano Ronaldo, his enduring love affair with the World Cup – and winning it three times – as well as all the latest news, views and discussions around West Ham, read the “latest edition of Blowing Bubbles”:

Guest Post

Phil Parkes: "West Ham need to be MORE adventurous to turn their season around"

Former West Ham goalkeeping legend Phil Parkes has urged manager Slaven Bilic to adopt a more daring approach to help snap the team out of their poor start to the season.

Before the international break, West Ham’s record of three games, three defeats, meant they were bottom of the Premier League table.

Writing in his column for Blowing Bubbles magazine, Parkes, a two-time FA Cup winner with West Ham and one of the Boys of 86, says one way to turn things around is to be more adventurous.

“We seem to rely too much on the counter-attack as our one way of playing these days – I think the management urgently needs to get some flair in there and take risks,” he said.

“The formation and approach can become too predictable and he needs to adapt it game conditions.

“Too often we look set up not to lose, rather than to win the game, which is foreign to me as a member of John Lyall’s attack, attack, attack policy. We have to press teams a lot more.”

Read more from Phil Parkes in the latest edition of Blowing Bubbles

Guest Post

Dean Ashton on West Ham, England, the injury that changed his life – and his fairytale farewell

Former West Ham record signing Dean Ashton has told Blowing Bubbles how painful it was to watch 2007’s Great Escape from the sidelines, knowing he was powerless to do anything about it.

In an exclusive interview to mark nine years since the final appearance of his injury-curtailed West Ham career, Ashton said it was ‘tortuous’ to watch the team he had been a part of one year earlier go through such torment – before their dramatic final day victory at Manchester United to ensure Premier League survival.

“When I broke my ankle [in summer 2006], obviously that was huge disappointment, but I thought I’d come back stronger than ever, but when six or seven months later I had to go in for another operation and it was clear that wasn’t going to happen, it was infuriating,” he said.

“Once I knew I needed a second operation, that ruled me out completely – there was no way I could have played a role in the Great Escape. I took myself off into my own bubble, away from the club, so I was quite isolated but that didn’t make it any less tortuous, watching and knowing I was powerless to help.”

Read more from Dean Ashton on West Ham, England, the injury that changed his life – and his fairytale farewell – in the latest edition of Blowing Bubbles

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