Thursday, August 21

Sakho in the morning


While I was climbing up Ben Nevis (not easy after training on egg, chips and beans in Ken’s CafĂ© and Maldon Gold in the Black Lion) West Ham signed striker Diafra Sakho from Metz. The Senegal striker has banged in 43 goals in two seasons for Metz as they achieved successive promotions to Ligue 1. He’s unproven at the top level but clearly has an eye for goal. After last season’s travails we’re clearly stockpiling strikers, with Valencia, Zarate and Sakho filling the Carroll-shaped void and Cole, Maiga and Vaz Te possibly awaiting deadline day loan deals out. 

Also saw an interview with the £7million Cheikh Kouyate in Saturday’s Guardian where he came across as quite a grounded footballer who has won the Belgian league four times. Defeat on Saturday was disappointing, but it’s still too early to judge until we have all our new signings on the pitch. With Cresswell, Jenkinson, Kouyate, Poyet, Zarate, Valencia and Sakho in the squad it’s going to be like a different team. Got my ticket for Palace and hoping it's better than last year when we lost 1-0 and sat on dodgy wooden seats with a minuscule exit and a halftime crush...

Saturday, August 16

It hasn't happened again… Dier straights for WHU

West Ham 0 Tottenham Hotspur 1

We're in Scotland for this one visiting Glencoe as I wonder if there will be another massacre today. Matt's half-time summary offers some hope: "0-0. Nobes missed pen on half hour. They had man sent off for handball. Playing quite well, but not many clear chances."

I reply: "What could possibly go wrong against ten men?"

At 16.55 comes Matt's answer: "What indeed? Apart from Collins getting sent off for two yellow cards and their full back scoring a 93rd minute winner. Cressy and Kouyate did well, and Valencia looked lively off the bench but we had one forward against ten men for quite some time without creating much."

Suddenly I know how the MacDonalds felt when betrayed at the last on their home territory. Matt then texts to say that the Central is selling Greene King IPA from a handpump so maybe it's all a wind-up... or is the Central respecting the pint (unlike Big Sam's men)?

Match of the Day reveals a couple of decent chances for Noble and Downing that could have won it, two good Adrian saves and a poor penalty from the normally reliable Noble. Not sure how West ham allowed their full back Dier to drift into the box for the late winner... next week it's crisis club Palace against crisis club West Ham. We need to integrate Valencia quickly and give Zarate a chance…

Monday, August 11

£4m offer for Wickham

Reports claim West Ham have had a £4 million offer rejected for Sunderland's Connor Wickham. Not sure if we'll go much higher as he's only got a year left on his contract. Could be interesting if we get a hungry young English striker though. With Valencia, Zarate and Wickham in the squad would that mean that maybe West Ham are thinking of unloading Andy Carroll once he's recovered from injury? Meanwhile other reports claim that Ole Gunnar Solksjaer at Cardiff is after Ravel Morrison for £3 million...

Sunday, August 10

A song for the Hammers?

My season preview for West Ham is in the Observer today (rather foolishly I predicted we'd finish tenth), including a question asking for three songs that sum up your team. I opted for I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down by Elvis Costello, I Fought The Law and the Law Won by the Clash and I Missed Again by Phil Collins. Anyone got any more suggestions?

Reece lightning floors Sampdoria

Who says West Ham never win trophies? We secured the MarathonBet Cup yesterday by beating Sampdoria 3-2 with a late winner from young centre back Reece Burke. My fellow season-ticket holder Matt was there and texts: "Where were you when Reece Burke scored? 89th minute winner with Noble penalty and MoMo also netting. In spells we looked ok but don't think Sampdoria were fully fit yet. Potts and Lee looked good as did Burke for his goal, but Ginge made mistakes for both their goals." Interestingly we played with a Van Gaal-style 3-5-2 in the first half and 4-3-3 in the second half. Creswell, Poyet, Zarate and Kouyate all got a taste of Upton Park which is good. Wonder if we'll start the season playing three at the back in Tomkins, Reid and Collins behind wing-backs, and with Cole and Zarate up front?

A kick up the Arsenal from Ravel

Ravel Morrison is doing a very good job of sabotaging his Hammers career. Yesterday's Daily Mail picked up on the fact he'd posted a picture of himself wearing an Arsenal shirt on Instagram. If he supports Arsenal fair enough, but he must be incredibly naive to think West Ham fans are going to accept him wearing another team's shirt just after he's come out of a jail cell. He was quick to try to apologise after the damage was done, tweeting that "West Ham are in my heart. Love the club and the way they have stood by me." The Mail also had a picture of Morrison calling Nile Ranger on FaceTime, another gifted footballer who has thrown his career away. Currently on remand,  Morrison is innocent until proven guilty of common assault charges, although the court was told that he had made threats to throw acid in his ex-girlfriend's face and blow up her house. For all his talent, it's looking like Sam Allardyce was right about Ravel all along.

Saturday, August 9

Purple pain

Not sure about our new third kit which is in purple and gold. There's a picture of a sheepish Mario Zarate wearing it on the West Ham website, clearly wondering what is it about these crazy English people and their purple shirts. Looks like the sort of thing Prince might have worn in the 1980s. I like the home kit with its retro 'Boys of '86' look, and the blue away kit doesn't look too bad even if it's bit Man City-ish. But purple? Are we Towie in disguise? Click on the link to view