Match Preview – Fulham (h)

•October 4, 2009 • 1 Comment

By five o’clock this afternoon we will know a lot more about Zola’s West Ham side.  Today’s London derby against Fulham at Upton Park is effectively a cup final, and it will need to be played like one.  Fulham will be more than up for this, they rested players on Thursday in the Europa League with us in mind.  It’s as much a must win game for them as it is for us.  Game on.

Three points could take us up to fourteenth place in the Premiership, a jump of five places.  Defeat however will leave us rooted in the bottom three.  We simply have to win.

Matty Upson may return from his calf injury but Jack Collison’s return looks unlikely, new recruit Franco is not yet fully fit but my feature off the bench.  Zavon Hines may return to the starting line up after being boosted by his England U21’s call up midweek.

Likely line up :

Green

Faubert – Tomkins – Upson – illunga

Parker – Noble

Diamanti                        Jiminez

Hines – Cole

Talking Hammers Prediction – West Ham 2-0 Fulham

Friday Night Round Up (2-10-09)

•October 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Here we go again peoples – ‘The Friday Night round Up’.

The defeat to Manchester City last Monday night was inevitable.  Just by looking at the forward options available to both sides it becomes clear what an against the odds challenge it was:-

Manchester City :- Bellemy, Tevez, Santa Cruz, ect.

West Ham :- Cole………………….Hines?…….

I think Zola would have looked at these fixtures (City,Liverpool) and not expected to get much from them.  What was important though was the performances.

I felt the performance in both the Liverpool and Manchester City game were nothing to be ashamed of.  Lets face it, in the City game we should have come of the pitch at half time with the scores level at 2-2, and how many teams will be able to say that during the course of the season ?.

Sunday however is a different story.  It’s hard to believe we have a must win game this early in the campaign – but we do.  Failing to beat Fulham at home would create a not only a massive media reaction but also turn most of the fans towards the negative thinking of relegation.

Many fans and pundits are already saying we are on the tracks to relegation, i feel some perspective is needed.  I’ve compared our results so far to the corresponding fixtures last year – its cheered me up !! look :-

Wolves (weren’t in Premiership 08/09, so for comparison lets put in West Brom away) 3-2 defeat

Wigan (a) 0-1 win

Blackburn (a) 1-1 Draw

Tottenham (h) 0-2 defeat

Liverpool  (h) 0-3 defeat

Manchester City (a) 3-0 defeat

Points Total 4

Points of view ‘Talking Hammers ? – please comment.

Keep The Faith

•September 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

West Ham fans will always be hard to please.  I am no exception.  We as West Ham fans have and always will expect more from our club.  For years we’ve seen our ‘Acadamy of football’ conveyor belt passing world class talent through Upton Park into the World of football.  We’ve attracted special players to our club because of who we are, the football we play and the players we produce.  Many West Ham fans will tell you we won the World Cup, a constant reminder stands at the beginning of Greenstreet in the form of a 4-tonne bronze statue of Moore, Hurst and Peters.

Moore - Hurst - Peters - and Wilson

Moore - Hurst - Peters - and Wilson

The point is we are proud.  We as supporters have made an emotional investment in this football club.  It hurts when we are losing – to the point of ruining a weekend.

Today we find ourselves in the bottom three of the Premiership.  I agree it hasn’t been the best of starts, but our league position is false.  Fans have to look at what we have been up against in our opening games.  Some will argue that “if we aren’t expecting to beat the good sides we play why are we even trying to compete in the Premier division”, but when you re-examine the league games we’ve played the facts are as follows :-

Wolves (a) 0-2 Win

Two nill away win against the newly promoted winners of the championship.  Tricky first game of the campaign in front of there ‘still celebrating’ crowd.

Spurs (h) 1-2 Defeat

One – two loss to our big rivals.  Disappointing but we played well, creating many chances and taking the lead in spectacular fashion before two serious lacks of concentration gifted Spurs the points.

Tottenham are currently fourth in the league after beating burley 5-0 yesterday.

Blackburn (a) 0-0 Draw

A very poor game and performance.  We held the ball well but never looked like scoring or conceding.  Would have expected to pick up three points.

Wigan (a) 0-1 Defeat

This game could have gone either way – maybe we should have had a goal with Carlton Cole’s disallowed effort just before halftime but thats football.

Yesterday Wigan beat the league leaders Chelsea 3 – 1 !!

Liverpool (h) 2-3 Defeat

A classic game in which we took on last years Premier league runners up on style.  Could have and should have led the game inside the first two minutes.  Never gave up and always looked a threat.

Yesterday Liverpool beat Hull City 6 – 1 !

We have two games in hand –  the first of which is against Manchester City on Monday night.  Bookies will tell you we won’t win.  In fact the current odds average is ‘seven to one’ that we will take three points from Eastlands (maybe worth a tenner?).  So it is likely we will lose away to the rich boys.  This will fuel the relegation fears in fans and surely provoke the first cries of Zola out – which would be ridiculous.

What we currently have in the making is what we have always wished for.  The current crop of young players Tony Carr has produced seem really special.  Players such as James Tomkins and Jack Collinson are showing levels of football maturity rarely seen at such a young age.  Not to mention the excitement provoked by the recent performances of Zavon Hines and Junior Stanislas.

This sort of youth product isn’t seen at many clubs in the country and if  we can just start holding on to them we really are a good team in the making.  Zola is perfect for this – This is why he has been brought to the club.  Keep the faith.

Penny for your thoughts Talking Hammers ?

Friday Night Round Up

•September 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Once again Talking Hammers will dissolve the weeks West Ham related activities in our regular feature – ‘ The Friday Night Round Up’.  It’s been another disappointing week to be a Hammer’s fan, but chin up, it’s been a lot worse than this.

We start our seven day round up with the highly entertaining game against Liverpool last Saturday.  Throughout the aftermath of the match many a West Ham fan were predicting a season of doom and gloom.  We wonder if these negative fans were the same fans who campaigned against the Alan Curbishley regime.  During which, although sometimes boring, we did seem to win this type of game.  We asked for attacking, attractive football and that is what Zola is giving us.

The least said about the Bolton game the better.  We started really well and looked like we had the beating of them, but it wasn’t to be.  Teams simply can’t give Bolton that many set pieces and expect to keep a clean sheet.  Our fitness does seem to be an issue as we look very tired in the last quarter of games, this needs to be improved.

With no game this weekend we could find ourselves in the bottom three come sunday night.  How much can we really expect from monday nights trip to the City of Manchester ?, it would need a really special performance to take home three points.  Do we have it in our locker ?

Comments please.

Is Fitness an Issue?

•September 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment
Zola in Thought - Photo Taken from The Guardian Newspaper

Zola in Thought - Photo Taken from The Guardian Newspaper

During the last two games it seems we have run out of steam with twenty minutes to go.  Is it just me or have we got a slight fitness problem.

Carlton Cole looked shattered against Liverpool and others carried the body language of a team in the deaths of extra time of an epic cup game.  Alright, Saturday was a case of us putting in one hundred and fifteen percent to make up for the difference in quality.  However, something is pulling me back to pre-season and our lack of first team outings.

I can’t seem to erase the horrible memories of that Asian Cup game against Tottenham, they appeared to be weeks ahead in terms of pre-season fitness.  Yes we had one friendly canceled but wasn’t both teams heading for the same Premier League weekend.

I fear, because of the of shallow squad we have, players were deliberately under worked in pre-season to avoid burn out and injury.  I might be clutching at straws but something is a miss ?

Penny for you thoughts Talking Hammers ?

Bolton Preview – Carling Cup

•September 22, 2009 • 8 Comments

Before the dust even settles from the weekend we find ourselves on yet another match day.  Tonight the team travel to The Reebok to face a Gary Megson’s Bolton side in the Carling Cup.

Zola will almost certainly give us our first view of Mexican  Guillermo Franco.  I suspect in place of Carlton Cole.  Zola has openly spoken of his preferred formation which features one main striker with two smaller forwards just behind him.  Zola will find it hard to drop Zavon Hines after the weekend and Diamanti should also start as he needs to get games under his belt.  Inter Milan’s Luis Jiminez is available after missing the five goal Liverpool thriller on Saturday but should only start on the bench.

We have never liked going to the Reebok and normally struggle to get a result but I think tonight will be different.  The Bolton fans aren’t happy with the Megson style of football and will soon turn on the home side if it doesn’t go their way.  I predict a two nil win to West Ham with Hines and Franco getting on the score sheet.

What do you think Talking Hammers – Please Comment

West Ham v Millwall Investigation Update

•September 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Frank Nouble Halts Fan - Photo Taken From The Independent Newspaper

Frank Nouble Halts Fan - Photo Taken From The Independent Newspaper

The official FA website has today spoken out about the investigation into the Millwall Carling Cup game.  Full Quote below.

An update on investigations into the events at the West Ham and Millwall game.

The FA’s extensive investigations into the events at the recent West Ham versus Millwall fixture are drawing to a close.

CCTV footage from approximately 47 cameras inside Upton Park is still being examined along with other lines of enquiry.

Both clubs have co-operated and provided assistance in relation to the enquiry and The FA expects to be in a position to confirm the outcome of the investigation in the coming week.

The FA has also been liaising closely with the Metropolitan Police in connection with the disorder outside the ground, whilst West Ham published photographs in Saturday’s matchday programme to assist in the identification process.

Quote Source – TheFA.com

Talking Hammer have interviewed two West Ham stewards who were on duty on the night in question.  Unfortunately we can’t post the interviews until the investigation has closed.  However we can reveal that West Ham United security had a well thought out game plan and the general feeling is that it was a success.

I can’t see us being chucked out of the competition as it would be difficult to blame the nights events solely on West Ham United.  A small fine is a likely outcome with strict guidelines for future clashes with such rivals put in place.  My only fear is that the FA will want to show the world they will come down hard on such incidents to ease the impact it has on England’s 2018 World Cup bid.  Lets wait and see.

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