Oh what a joy to behold. The sight of a West Ham side littered with promising youngsters giving a good account of themselves in the first team, backed up with seasoned professionals coaxing and encouraging them through the games. This is the way it should be. The future is bright methinks.
When I think back to the dark days of Allardyce’s reign when, as if to prove a point, he sent a team of young kids out to slaughter against Forest in the cup, out of their depth and bereft of support, without giving them an ounce of a chance in hell. That was the day that I turned against Allardyce, and it is a day I will never forgive him for.
Compare that to the way that the squad for the games against FC Lusitans has been prepared. Chalk and cheese. The kids have been nurtured and encouraged, and the teams are spiced with a backbone of experience. The first match was just a revelation, the way that the ball was knocked around, confidence in abundance. Terry Westley has done a great job getting these kids ready, and Bilic is to be commended for letting him run with it. This is how it is done, Mr Allardyce.
True, West Ham are playing a team who are no great shakes in Andorra, but that is not the point. Allardyce NEVER gave youth a chance. His percentage game plan didn’t give him that option. He was fixed in his ways and was a one-trick pony. Imagine if he was still in charge now. What side would he put out against Lusitans? You can bet it would look nothing like the one that is playing tomorrow. It would contain the same old journeymen that would give him the best chance in his eyes of not losing and maybe nicking a win.
Tomorrow, if luck prevails, I will be watching the game on the internet again, and I shall be smiling. This is how it is supposed to be. This is how I want it to stay. COME… ON… YOU… IRONS!
I was a bit surprised when I initially heard that there had been bids for Stewart Downing a few weeks ago or more. I thought it was all just paper talk and would not come to anything. After all, Downing had a great first half of the season, and although his form tailed off in the second half, that was largely down to Allardyce abandoning the successful diamond system and sticking Downing back out on the wing.
Even when we signed Payet I thought, we would still need a decent sized squad of players with the number of matches we have to play, and injuries, etc. When he is on form Downing can be the creative spark we need, and his left foot can be sublime. I personally think that Downing would thrive under Bilic, and I was therefore increasingly alarmed when these bids for his signature kept on coming, and then I read that we had accepted a bid from Middlesbro. Of course, this has not been confirmed by West Ham, and could just be more speculation from people supposedly “in the know”. I just hope that the club continue to see sense and keep Downing on the books, as I think they would regret it if they let him go.
L’Équipe are today reporting that West Ham have agreed to sign Dimitri Payet for €15 million on a 5 year deal with “an option” (whatever that might be). It is all subject to a medical tomorrow, so fingers crossed.
WHUFCTV.com are today reporting that we have signed Dimitri Payet from Marseille, although it is unclear as the news came from a tweet by agent Muzzi Ozcan, who then hastliy deleted the tweet. The consensus is that Ozcan jumped the gun prior to the club officially announcing the signing, so it looks as if it might be true. Wikipedia states that Florent Dimitri Payet (born 29 March 1987) primarily plays as an attacking midfielder and a winger and is described as a player who is “quick” and “blessed with terrific technique and dribbling skills”. Sounds like a good addition to the squad.
Am I the only one that finds it a bit strange that West Ham are now interested in signing Alex Song on a permanent basis? There is no doubt that Song was a class act when he first joined the Hammers on loan last season, but it appeared that as soon as retired from international football his form dipped quite alarmingly. Defence splitting passes were now going astray, and he just didn’t seem to be as committed as we was when he first arrived. Some would say he was even becoming a liability.
Odd then, that after the end of the season when the club was reportedly no longer interested in signing him permanently because of the dip in form, we are now reportedly on the verge of signing him on a free transfer. Perhaps Mr Bilic feels he can get the best out of him and has intervened, who knows? One thing is certain, if Slaven can get him back to where he was at the beginning of last season, we are in for a treat.
If reports are to be believed, Sunderland have won the race to sign defender Carl Jenkinson on loan from Arsenal for a paltry £1.5m
If this is true I am gobsmacked. How could the Dave’s and/or Slaven Bilic let this happen? Jenkinson was one of our top players last season and made the right back position his own. He apparently wants to come back to West Ham, so what is the problem?
For the first time in absolutely ages, I am now looking forward with great excitement to watching West Ham play a game of football. Bit of a stunner eh?
Well done to the board for appointing Slaven Bilic. He was the stand-out candidate from the start of those who were actually available, and I think he is just what West Ham need right now. And the good news does not stop there. New signing Pedro Obiang seems to be a great signing and should be as successful as Sakho and Kouyate have been. Rumours abound too that we are after Yohan Cabaye from PSG, Loic Remy from Chelsea and Vedran Corluka from Lokomotiv Moscow. The good thing is, with Bilic at the helm, we actually stand a chance of getting players like this. I have always been a fan of Remy and couldn’t understand why we didn’t get him before. Cabaye is a great player, and Corluka would be a superb addition to our defence that is bound to be stretched with the Europa League adding to the fixture list. I think the next few weeks are going to be very interesting indeed, transfer-wise.
I have no doubt that Bilic will need some time to get the team how he wants it, and with lots of new additions the dressing room dynamic will take a while to adjust, especially if the likes of Kevin Nolan take more of a back seat in the twilight of his career. But yes, yes, yes! I can’t wait for the seaon to start! So long Sam. You did what was asked of you and deserve thanks for that. But you were never a good fit, or the manager to take us to a higher level. I hope Bilic is. I think he is. Happy days.
Like sleeping beauty (you know that’s right!), I have wakened from a deep sleep. As I brush the cobwebs from my eyes and blink into the light, I ask what could have happened to rouse me from my slumber. With mouth wide open and a fixed gaze, I hear of how the dinosaurs who used to rule our land have now since moved away, driven by the Gods on high and accompanied by the cheers of the People.
After years of oppression the People were downtrodden and morose. With no obvious hope for the future and with heavy hearts, their daily lives turned to drudgery, and many (including myself) succombed to a deep sleep, as if drugged. But now the Gods have spoken. The dinosaurs have gone and a new Prince has arrived to breathe life into the land. The People are waking and there is great excitement in the air. Joy fills the land and the People carry the Prince on their shoulders, singing songs and looking forward to the future. Knights of the realm come flocking to join the Prince in his new adventure to the cheers of all.
But with this new-found excitement and hope brings danger. With the ability to fly comes the peril of crashing to the ground. But the People do not mind. They accept the dangers that come with envigoration and adventure, and they celebrate the banishment of the moroseness of times past. We all look forward to the future with joyous anticipation in our hearts, whatever that might bring.
Big Sam is making a guest appearance on the Clare Balding Show this week where, amongst other things, he will be talking about his rather legendary response to Chico Flores making a meal of a Carlton Cole tackle against Swansea. The big man says that he was hoping Flores would punch him so he would get sent off!
Here is a clip from the show:
The show will be airing this Thursday at 10:15pm on BT Sport 1 and on Friday on BBC 2 at 10pm so make sure to tune in.
Bobby Moore was the embodiment of all that was great about English football. Captaining England to glory in 1966 and West Ham to victory in several major tournaments, he was loved and respected throughout the world as football’s golden boy.
This definitive and authorised biography illuminates the extraordinary story of a sporting hero, from exciting accounts of his World Cup triumph to candid memories of his friendships with Beckenbauer, Eusébio and Pelé.
It also reveals the inside story of a life beyond football, updated to include fascinating new material on Moore’s enduring legacy in the years following his tragically premature death.
Award-winning sports writer Jeff Powell, a close friend and confidant to the Moore family, has created a powerful and fitting tribute, honouring the golden era of English football and the exceptional man at its helm.
Makes a nice change from all this Big Sam bullsh1t 🙂