Player Analysis

Where did it go wrong for Enner Valencia and Jonathan Calleri?

As two Latin American signings – Pablo Zabaleta and Javier Hernandez – arrive at West Ham in the full glare of publicity this summer, two others – Enner Valencia and Jonathan Calleri – have exited to considerably less acclaim.

Blowing Bubbles August 2017

On paper, the Ecuadorian World Cup striker and Boca Juniors star looked decent bets for goals, so what went wrong? Blowing Bubbles columnist Emily Pulham picks through the wreckage of the South American dreams that faded and died.

“Calleri’s experience working with West Ham legend Carlos Tevez is probably the main qualification we looked for on his cv – assuming we had indeed some research on him, prior to his arrival, and the jury is still out on that one,” she writes. “Valencia looked his strongest out on the wing, but never seemed to come to life when stood directly in front of goal. Was he played out of position at West Ham, or did he struggle to get into position in general?”.

Read this and more, including Phil Parkes on Joe Hart, George Parris’s targets for the new season, and club co-owner David Gold exclusively revealing his choice to be the next owners of West Ham in the new edition of latest edition of Blowing Bubbles

Guest Post

Phil Parkes: Joe Hart has plenty to prove at West Ham

Former West Ham goalkeeping legend Phil Parkes has told Blowing Bubbles magazine that England keeper Joe Hart’s loan move to the London Stadium could be the ideal scenario for both parties.

Blowing Bubbles August 2017

Manchester City loaned Hart out to Italian side Torino last season, and with the World Cup in Russia a year away, he will be extra motivated to showcase the very best of his abilities in claret and blue this season.

“When he’s at his best, he’s a superb keeper and probably the number one in the country,” said Parkes. “Maybe now he has competition for the England spot, it could well sharpen his game and be of benefit for the Irons. He has had plenty of critics recently and how has the chance to put them in their place.”

Hart’s former City colleague Pablo Zabaleta is another new arrival who excites Parkes – ‘I reckon he could be good for us over the next three or four years’ – but it is the signing of Javier Hernandez which is the pick of the bunch.

“It’s an astonishing signing for the club,” said the double FA Cup winner. “He scores goals wherever he goes and is exactly what we need. Make most mistake, this lad really is one. I still can’t really believe it’s happened.”

Read more from Phil Parkes in his exclusive column in the latest edition of "Blowing Bubbles”:

Guest Post

Blowing Bubbles’ massive Summer Annual will help you beat the post-season blues!

Our partners Blowing Bubbles Magazine are producing a magnificent 152-page monster Summer Annual which comes out early next month.

This will be a must have for all West Ham fans this summer to fend off the post-season blues, and it will be the biggest edition the team at Blowing Bubbles have ever pulled together!

There is some brilliant exclusive content as well as the best articles from the past season. There are interviews with David Gold, Alan Curbishley, Nigel Reo-Coker, Clyde Best, Ian Bishop, Rio Ferdinand, Bobby Zamora, Pedro Obiang, Mark Noble, Frank Lampard, and many more.

This extraordinary issue – the third annual they’ve pulled together – will cost £10 for UK residents (including postage and packing) and is out on Friday 9 June

David Blackmore, editor of Blowing Bubbles Monthly, said: "It’s not been the best season for West Ham on the pitch but it’s been another incredible season for Blowing Bubbles Monthly off it. As Slaven Bilic’s men stuttered and stumbled their way through the season, we’ve gained significantly more readers, and more subscribers than we’ve ever had before.

“The response to some of our issues this season has been absolutely extraordinary. To be honest, the feedback we’ve received all season has been incredibly pleasing – people like what we do and it’s given us the confidence to keep doing it.

“Every year we’ve looked to make our Summer Annual the biggest and best issue we’ve ever had and our team are excited about pulling together this massive edition. We’re currently at around 152 pages but this is likely to surge in the closing days of May.”

Following the huge demand from overseas Hammers for last year’s summer annual, they are once again making this issue available for people living in Europe and around the world to purchase.

Orders MUST be placed before 11pm on Wednesday 31 May. Secure your Summer Annual here

You can also secure a season-long subscription for our 2017/18 campaign by clicking here.

For those without PayPal, email to arrange alternative payment.


Mark Noble tells Blowing Bubbles Monthly: I'll always give 100% for West Ham

Leading by example keeps Hammers captain Mark Noble working hard and he remains confident things will get better for him and the Irons.

Nobes has struggled to find consistency since the Hammers move to the London Stadium, and the maiden season may not have panned out as fans had hoped, but quiet determination is the name of the game for the skipper.

“I’ve always tried to lead by example, as in play at 100 per cent and give everything,” he said in an interview for Blowing Bubbles Monthly.

May's issue of Blowing Bubbles Monthly

But ranting and raving isn’t his way, even when the team is not performing as he would like and returning the results the fans crave.

“When you play with the boys there are some characters that you couldn’t have a go at during half time because they’d go into a shell. Everyone’s got feelings and sometimes, especially me, you can’t help showing them.”

Just turning-up is never an option for the long-serving local boy from Canning Town.

For many years West Ham fans scratched their heads as Noble was overlooked for full international honours, despite the likes of Danny Drinkwater and Tom Cleverley getting call-ups – yet Noble did have the chance to play international football with the Republic of Ireland as his grandparents are Irish and the team has come calling.

“I love Irish people and half my family are Irish but for me personally I always dreamed of playing for England.”

Read more of the in-depth interview with the man has made more than 400 appearances for the Irons and get your copy of Blowing Bubbles’ April issue here

Also in the latest edition George Parris says players must forget about the newspaper headlines over the HMRC raids. “What I hope is that the players keep their focus on what they are doing on the pitch and haven’t spent too much time worrying about what’s happened off it,” he wrote in his exclusive column for Blowing Bubbles Monthly.

The Hammers hero also speculates about the outcome of the Hammer of the Year – will it be Antonio or Lanzini, or is there someone else who should take the honour?

The popular monthly magazine also looks back at the great escape of 10 years ago after relegation was a safe bet in March and the Hammers propped-up the table ten points away from safety.

Fans will always adore Carlos Tevez for his goal that secured victory against the champions and ensured Premiership safety, but Mark Noble got better and better as the going got tougher for the Hammers and he was the unsung hero of the piece.

If you hear that distinctive piece of film theme tune blasting from the speakers and picture Tevez on the bike heading for the fence, remember it was Noble riding pillion.

Read Blowing Bubbles Monthly’s May issue here

Player Analysis

Pedro Obiang praises teammates as he vows to become a better player in latest issue of Blowing Bubbles monthly

Pedro Obiang has heaped praise on his teammates as he reflects on his second season at West Ham in the latest issue of Blowing Bubbles Monthly.

The midfielder’s absence for the rest of the season was one of the most depressing issues in a horrific few weeks last month that saw us lose three games in a row.

But he has vowed to return a better player and reiterated his desire to be at the heart of West Ham’s progression in our new home.

Asked about why his form improved so much this season, he told Blowing Bubbles: "I think it’s because now I know the league, I know my teammates better. Last season I arrived after playing for eight years with the same club, the same people and I was with my family, so it was easy then.

“I came here for new dreams, a new team, a new stadium and everything was different. So the first impact wasn’t very big. But this season I know everything better, the people know me, my teammates give me space, and it’s because of that I think I’ve become a better player.”

Blowing Bubbles Monthly

Get your copy of Blowing Bubbles’ April issue

Blowing Bubbles also contains hard-hitting columns from Phil Parkes, George Parris and David James.

Parkes says captain Mark Noble’s days should be over at West Ham. "He’s never been the quickest across the ground but this season he’s got slower and the amount of sideways and backwards passing he’s involved in slows everything down.

“He has had a fabulous career and is a wonderful club man. We all have enormous respect for him but we all come to an end of our career and I believe Mark’s time has come.”

Meanwhile Parris believes injuries to both Obiang and Winston Reid will have a huge impact on West Ham’s results and form.

“I think they will be both be hugely missed in their own way and it’s a massive blow.They both bring something important to the team but we won’t truly know how much either will be missed until we get through a few games without them.”

David James has written a piece calling for men, women and children across the UK to dig out their football shirts and wear them loudly and proudly on Friday, April 28 to help fund life-saving research into bowel cancer.

Get your copy of Blowing Bubbles’ April issue

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