Monday, September 28

Sharing the goals around

One pleasing aspect of West Ham's season so far is that we have had 11 different scorers in 14 games. Even if you just count the seven league games there are still eight players who have made the net bulge, with Sakho, Payet and Kouyate all having scored three and other goals coming from Zarate, Noble, Lanzini, Moses and the departed Maiga. Lee and Valencia have also scored in the Europa League. So we're not too reliant on one striker as the midfield are contributing goals. 

Tomkins is the only defender to have scored so far, netting twice in the Europa League. At some stage you'd expect the likes of Carroll, Jelavic, Antonio, Obiang, Ogbonna, Reid, Collins, Cresswell and Jenkinson to break their ducks too, so at the end of the season we may have a very healthy list of scorers.

Sunday, September 27

Kouyate inspires Hammers' comeback

West Ham 2 Norwich City 2

Inside Ken’s Café our team of Matt, Lisa, Michael and Nigel is discussing initiation ceremonies at drinking societies. “I joined the BullingDon Hutchison Society,” quips Matt. 

We’re joined by Matt’s brother Adam, who’s over from Melbourne. His mates in Basingstoke are putting on a special geezerpunk gig for him, as you do, so surely the Irons will also do their bit for a man who’s travelled 12,000 miles. Though maybe not, as Nigel starts saying that we’ll be top if we win and Man City lose and therefore jinxes us, according to Matt. 

Meanwhile Michael the Whovian is carrying a mysterious West Ham bag, which contains the costume he plans to wear to the evening’s performance of The Rocky Horror Show. The stewards’ search outside the East Stand should be interesting.

“We’re Norwich City, we’ll sing on our own!” chant the away fans inside the stadium, only to be met with a chant of “You’re shagging your sister!’ from the Bobby Moore Stand.

West Ham look fairly lively for the opening nine minutes, until Mark Noble on the left tries to find James Tomkins with a crossfield pass. Brady nicks the ball and scores. Bugger. Norwich gain in confidence and look like adding a second as Jerome fires into the side netting, while the home side appear tired after playing extra-time at Leicester.

“Losing at home to a newly promoted side, it feels like we’re doing the timewarp again,” I suggest to Michael.

“Our defence is certainly rocky and it’s a bit of a horror show,” he concurs.

Even Payet is misplacing passes, but suddenly we equalise after 33 minutes. Sakho finds Payet out on the right and the Reunion magician races down the flank to send in a low cross that is met by Sakho’s well-timed run and results in a tap-in for Diafra (not Biafra as the programed called him).

Lanzini has a free kick just wide, but it’s 1-1 at the interval. The second half sees more Norwich chances as Adrian flies to his top corner like Superman to tip over Howson’s effort.

There’s a bizarre stoppage as an injured pigeon lands on the pitch. Making the catch of the day, the Canaries’ Howson picks it up and removes it to the touchline to big cheers. Though one fan suggests it’s going straight into one of Delia Smith’s pies.

Victor Moses sends in a great cross from the right and Sakho gets a firm header at goal, but too close to Ruddy, who makes a fine stop.  Kouyate blasts the loose ball out for a throw-in. Moses is then replaced by Obiang.

A misplaced pass allows Sakho to run at the City defence and surrounded by four men he does really well to pick out Payet, who cuts inside a defender and is denied by a good Ruddy save. It’s end to end and Howson pulls the ball back for Jerome who looks certain to score, only for Adrian to save with his face, which stuns the keeper, who eventually recovers.

Andy Carroll comes on and within a minute goes down after stretching for the ball. The whole stadium is united in trepidation, fearing yet another injury, but thankfully he gets up and plays on.

It’s Norwich who look likely to win as Brady’s free kick is tipped round the post by Adrian. The corner is cleared but the ball returns to sub Redmond who cuts inside Mark Noble too easily and fires into the corner. With seven minutes to go it looks like we’ve now lost to two newly-promoted teams at home.

We revert to lumping the ball towards big Andy up front and on 90 minutes he also takes the ball past the keeper only to be foiled by a good catch by Ruddy. It’s always other teams that score against us in added time, never us. We’re in the third minute of added time when Reid is fouled on the right. Payet plays in a hopeful free kick. Ruddy is so concerned by the presence of Carroll that he punches the ball weakly, it rebounds of Big Andy and falls to Kouyate who fires home, running into the arms of the fans in the corner as he celebrates. Phew. Feels like a win now. Credit to Carroll for being a big lump and scaring the Norwich defence.

As If The Kids Are United and Teenage Kicks reverberate from the PA we retreat to the Central. It was important we got something out of the game today, and looking at my glass half-full of Old Speckled Hen, we’re unbeaten in four league matches and still third. It was a tired looking performance, but there’s no denying the spirit to get something out of a game where we looked likely to lose. And hopefully that pigeon will be fine.

PLAYER RATINGS: Adrian 8; Jenkinson 5, Tomkins 6, Reid 7, Cresswell 5; Payet 7, Kouyate 6, Noble 5 (Zarate n/a), Lanzini 5 (Carroll 6), Moses 6 (Obiang 5); Sakho 7.

Saturday, September 26

We are (West Ham) family…

The Guardian have given my family the oxygen of publicity and published my piece on three generations of my family's links with the Boleyn Ground and West Ham (maybe four generations if my grandfather Sidney went to games before and after the first world war as he grew up a few streets from the ground). And some great pics of us outside the main gates by Graham Turner. Click on the link to read and let's hope West Ham win infinity-nil today….

Wednesday, September 23

Concentrating on the League

Leicester City 2 West Ham 1 (Capital One Cup)

So we're going to have to win the FA Cup this season if we want to end our 35-year wait for a major trophy. Disappointing to go out of the League Cup to a side of Leicester squad players, although a draw over 90 minutes wasn't a bad result. Listening to it on Radio London the home fans certainly created a daunting atmosphere and we very nearly took it to penalties before King's late winner.

Adrian had a superb game in extra-time, saving two one-on-ones, but Leicester's fresher legs helped them as most of our side had been involved in the win at Man City. Dodoo had given the Leicester the lead (with Doodoo and Fuchs in the side it had to be one of the rudest line-ups ever to turn out for the Foxes) with Zarate equalising with a deflected shot after 27 minutes. That's Zarate's third goal of the season and he should prove himself a valuable member of the squad under Slaven, even if he might not now make the first-team ahead of Moses and Antonio. 

We had two players recovering from injury up front in Carroll and Zarate and by the end were reduced to playing Victor Moses as a lone striker, but despite resting Payet and Reid (both came on as late subs) it was still a very strong side. Though the radio suggested Noble should have had a clear penalty when he was booked for simulation. The best way of getting over this is to carry on with our excellent league form on Saturday and beat Norwich.

Monday, September 21

Slaven goes down the pub

Nice quote from Slaven Bilic after WHU's epic win at Man City. Asked about his feelings he replied: "It is like when you go to a pub that is full of girls. Of course you will like it! Of course I like it when we are winning! It is brilliant!" Such comments reveal his talent for soundbites and that Bilic is quite possibly a bit of an reformed Loaded lad, quite fitting for a star of the 1990s when the West Ham lads were known to like a night out. Though you do fear if he ever goes to the Central he might be a bit disappointed…

Sunday, September 20

We're not really here!

Manchester City 1 West Ham 2 (two!)

After an afternoon at Rainham Marshes we manage to get the overground to Crouch Hill and I watch the first half from the Stapleton Tavern, which serves a nice pint of Black IPA.

Astonishingly West Ham go ahead after six minutes. We're playing calm possession football and a great 14-man passing move sees the ball come to Moses. He's given too much space on the edge of the box and fizzes a low drive into the corner. Maybe Hart should have done a little better, but still a great strike from Victor. So it looks like the usual routine win at a top five side. Or does it? Aguero rounds Adrian but shoots wide.

Meanwhile I'm receiving text updates from the Wellington pub, where train robber Buster Edwards used to drink. Matt, Lisa, Fraser, Gavin and Michael are gathered hoping to see West Ham pull off a similar heist. After hand an hour we gain a corner, with City claiming, incorrectly that the ball hadn't fully crossed the line. Reid wins a header from the corner, Obiang does well to keep the ball alive and it rebounds to Sakho who prods home from close range. OMG. We nearly make it three when a superb tackle from Mangala denies Sakho in the box.

Her Indoors has booked us tickets for a 7.30 performance of Lady Anna All At Sea at the Park Theatre. Matt texts to ask if I'll be above to see the end, and I reply that I might have to leave a few minutes before the whistle when the score is the usual 3-0.

All we need to do is not concede before halftime. Only we've reckoned without Aguero finding De Bruyne and the £55m signing powering a low shot home. Matt texts to say that my over-confident text has jinxed us. Though he's forgetting that this is a new form of West Ham where the old rules don't apply.

For the second half I move to the World's End and endure a long 45 minutes as City play well and dominate. But Winston Reid is absolutely immense, winning numerous tackles and making more clearances than any other Premier League defender this season. Bilic and the new signings have improved the side, but let's also credit Sam Allardyce for the improvement in Reid; he looked a liability under Avram Grant, but Allardyce saw his potential and helped him became the player he now is.

Adrian has an inspired game in goal and the pick of his saves are a one-on-one with Aguero and a tip over the bar from Otamendi's header. Tomkins isn't far behind in heroics and Jenkinson bravely lunges into tackles even though he's been injured. City are a bit unlucky too, when Toure's shot goes just past the post. West Ham create a couple of rare chances, with Payet finding Sakho who fires wide and Jelavic almost connects late on.

In the dying minutes Payet has a long-range effort saved, but it's then relentless City pressure at the Council House. I have to leave two minutes into added time to get to the theatre knowing that City will surely equalise, but telling myself that a point will still be a good result. But as I take my seat in the gallery the incredible news comes through that we've held out. 

Never in doubt. You wait decades for wins at Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City and then three come along at once. If only I'd had a bet…  "This can't be happening…" texts my old pal Mark. We go second! What a start, what a season so far.

Saturday, September 19

Oh Christian Dailly you are the love of my life…

Thanks to my fellow season ticket holder Nigel for this piece of news about ex-Brentwood School student Harvey Dailly — son of Christian, who's signed for Dundee United. Lets hope he has curly hair too…
"Harvey Dailly, son of Dundee United and Scotland legend Christian, has signed for the Club on a two-year-deal. Harvey joins the Club’s development squad. The 16-year-old left sided defender will hope to replicate his father’s rise to prominence while at United. Christian played 178 times in the United shirt scoring 21 goals before his move to Derby County in 1996 for £1 million."

Friday, September 18

Well played Darren Randolph

It's been a good couple of weeks for Darren Randolph and it seems we now have a quality reserve goalkeeper. I'm assuming Adrian will return in goal at Man City, but credit Randolph for a couple of fine saves against Newcastle, despite being out of the game for long spells. He also kept a clean sheet at Anfield and couldn't be faulted for any of Bournemouth's goals — in fact he kept the score down in the first half.  It will do Randolph good to have had three games on the spin in the first team. As in every other position, it seems we now have competition for the number one spot.

Thursday, September 17

Hammers to make £17m loss?

Quite a few papers picked up on David Sullivan's admission in the Newcastle programme that West Ham are set to make a loss of between £10m and £17m, depending inn our league position, following the summer's transfer deals. Though hopefully that loss might be negated by winning the Premier League, the FA Cup and League Cup, which seems very likely after several pints of Maldon Gold in the Black Lion. Sullivan also wrote that the total salaries were at the limit of the financial fair play rules and that if there is any activity in January West Ham would have to sell before they buy. 

That shouldn't be too big a problem as we now have two players for every position and the squad is looking strong with several promising youngsters coming through. The luxury item in our purchasing was probably Angelo Ogbonna at £8.5 million when WHU already had Tomkins, Reid and Collins, though he's certainly added strength to the back line. These figures would indicate we have to be prudent next season though and devote any cash we have to buying or replacing loan signings such as Jenkinson, Song, Lanzini and Moses.

Wednesday, September 16

Any old Irons scarves?

Got any spare West Ham scarves and hats? Last week Philosophy Football launched the campaign Refugees Are Our Football Family. It's supported by the Football Supporters Federation, Football Action Network, Football Beyond Borders, Football against Racism in Europe, Kick it out, When Saturday Comes and the campaign Hope not Hate. Top of the list of items the refugee charities are asking for in the camps are winter woollens. Any Irons' fans got any old WHU scarves or hats they could donate? Please post your clean scarf or hat before October 9 to Philosophy Football PO Box 11140, Harwich CO12 9AP. Include your name, address and email in legible writing. Tweets and/or Facebook pics of donated West Ham scarves are welcomed on the twitter feed @Phil_football.

Tuesday, September 15

Payet day for Hammers as Newcastle fail to park bus

West Ham 2 Newcastle 0

It’s a convoluted journey to Upton Park. The Barking Metropolitan line suddenly becomes a Circle line train at Liverpool Street following a “passenger incident at Upton Park”. So it’s onto the packed Central, Jubilee and District lines as my daughter Nell and I fear missing the deadline for dinner at Ken’s Café.

The Newcastle players have also had trouble parking the bus. They’ve had to walk the last mile to the stadium, meaning they now know how we felt during that season when Upton Park station seemed permanently closed. Still, at least they had time to get a programme and some last-minute burgers from Green Street. Though they’re not as late as Nigel who arrives 43 minutes into the game.

In Ken’s Café we find Lisa, dutifully waiting with a ticket for The Gav. Michael the Whovian is absent watching Benedict Cumberbatch in some play called Hamlet, presumably from seat 2B. Carol does her usual efficient job, serving Nell fortifying sausage, egg chips and beans before kick-off. Gavin arrives five minutes before kick-off after problems on the A13.    

We meet Fraser in the East Stand, I place my daughter in my seat and take her kids for a quid seat in Row R at the very back of the stand. Never sat here before and it’s intriguing to find that I’m next to a metal stanchion, you can’t see the clock and the back of our stand is a thin sheet of corrugated iron (or maybe corrugated Irons?). The OS should be sturdier, but it’s also nostalgic to think that people sat here watching Moore, Peters and Hurst in the 1960s.

Victor Moses gets a debut in place of Obiang and looks instantly dangerous wide on the left. We take the lead on nine minutes with a great goal. Sakho finds Noble with a backheel and the new skipper rolls the ball into the path of Dimitri Payet. The Reunion man sidefoots a great finish into the top corner. "How s**t must you be we're winning at home!" chant the Upton Park crowd.

We play pretty well in the first half; Payet brings gasps of admiration from the crowd for some audacious pieces of skill and Kouyate dominates the midfield. Newcastle have a good chance when Janmaat gets through but Randolph makes a good save with his legs.

James Tomkins has deservedly kept his place and at one point plays a great pass out to the wing for Victor Moses. Even the departure of the injured Ogbonna doesn’t affect the Hammers too much, as Jenkinson comes on and Tomka reverts to centre back. The appearance of Andy Carroll on the touchline chants a rousing chorus of, “He left ’cos you’re shit!” at the Newcastle fans. Then Moses fires into the side netting after a Payet-inspired break.

I manage to find a spare seat next to Fraser for the second half. The game is effectively over when a Newcastle free kick breaks down and Moses shows great pace to run from his own half and part the black and white sea. He cuts inside a defender and fires against the bar, but Payet is on hand to volley home with a finish that was more difficult than he made it look. He celebrates by sucking his thumb, as you do. "We'll miss him when he's gone in January," suggests the fan next to me, hopefully joking. 

West Ham play with pace and verve for the rest of the half with Sakho, Payet and Moses combining well and a number of crosses causing consternation in the box. “We’re West Ham United we play on the floor!” chants a disbelieving Bobby Moore Stand in a jibe at a certain manager past. And then it’s, “You’re going down with the Chelsea!” aimed at the Geordies.

Three substitutions spark a small Newcastle revival and Randolph saves low from Janmaat and makes another good tip over from a deflected de Jong shot. It’s been an extraordinary week; first Jeremy Corbyn gets elected Labour leader and then Andy Carroll is seen on a football pitch. With two minutes to go Big Andy comes on. He manages to risk both injury and a booking with a charge into Krul but thankfully survives intact.

We’ve finally won at home and it’s a very promising performance. “They’ve got a long journey home,” remarks someone as we walk by the Newcastle coaches. “Who do they come so far to watch their team lose?” asks 14-year-old Nell. “She hasn’t been watching us long,” chuckles a fan next to me, remembering our previous home games. But for once we’ve won fairly comfortably at Upton Park. Slaven has beaten the Wally with the Brolly again, we’re playing good football and we’re up to fifth. Now we just have to win at Man City.

PLAYER RATINGS: Randolph 7; Tomkins 7, Reid 7, Ogbonna 6 (Jenkinson 6), Cresswell 6; Lanzini 6 (Obiang 6), Noble 6, Kouyate 7, Payet 9, Moses 8 (Carroll n/a); Sakho 7

Monday, September 14

Andy Carroll returns tonight?

Rumours that Andy Carroll might be on the bench tonight. Personally I'd rather see him remain unused as this is one game where he'll be trying too hard against his hometown club and risk yet another injury. Perhaps Slaven should consult the FA rulebook. Know it's not allowed to play in a plaster cast, but is it possible to play in a cotton wool one?

Sunday, September 13

Jarvis scores!

What an extraordinary day in British history. First Jeremy Corbyn is elected as Labour Leader and then Matt Jarvis scores. Matt's goal for Norwich was pretty tasty, cutting inside a defender and firing into the far corner of the net. Jarvis always seemed quite a diffident player who needed a confidence boost. In fact he's only scored four goals in his three seasons at the Hammers, which isn't good enough for a £9 million winger. But if he can score a few more like that one for Norwich during his season on loan, you never know, he might still have a future at WHU.

Friday, September 11

Happy Birthday Super Slaven

Nice birthday message for Slaven tweeted by @whufc_official. Slaven is 47 today. Meanwhile there's an interesting article on West Ham's extraordinarily mixed start to the season under Bilic in the Guardian. We've scored the second highest goals total in the Premier League, but also had the most red cards and most errors leading to goals.

Tuesday, September 8

New issue of Blowing Bubbles now out

David Sullivan says he has no plans to sell West Ham United when the club moves to the Olympic Stadium. 
The Hammers’ majority shareholder insists he is in for the long haul and is desperate to establish the club as one of the best teams in the country before eventually handing over to his sons.

In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview with Blowing Bubbles Monthly, the 66-year-old claimed he would only ever consider selling up if the deal would allow a huge injection of cash into the club’s playing squad. 
"If the King of Saudi Arabia or a multi, multi-billionaire – like the owners of Manchester City – wanted to take over and I felt it was for the good of the club, I would step aside but I really don’t think that will ever happen. 

"There aren’t many multi, multi-billionaires left out there that are interested in football and haven’t already got a club. In fact I don’t think there is one that exists!"

Elsewhere in the September issue of the magazine, Sky Sports' Bianca Westwood defends former captain Kevin Nolan in her column: "I think he deserves a bit more respect and gratitude than he has received. Some fans feel that, because they go to the games and pay good money, they can say and do what they want. But these people have to remember that the players are only human. One thing you can never accuse him of was being lazy.  He worked hard for the team and did everything he could."

George Parris writes in his column that West Ham now have the best squad ever compiled by the club in living memory and Nottingham Forest fan John Payne explains why West Ham have got a gem in Michail Antonio. Blowing Bubbles also asks whether or not West Ham were right to throw the towel in on their Euro dream and if Morgan Amalfitano should get a chance to redeem himself

The latest issue of Blowing Bubbles Monthly is now available to read for FREE on your computer, tablet or mobile phone.

Are West Ham stronger with James Tomkins?

One point to note from the season so far is that West Ham have won both the games in which James Tomkins has played at right back, keeping clean sheets against Arsenal and Liverpool. Which suggests there is a case for keeping Tomkins in the side.

Tomka is by no means a natural right-back and his best position is clearly in central defence. Carl Jenkinson has had a slow start, but we know from last season that he can be very effective going forward. But he was vulnerable against Leicester's Jamie Vardy and turned too easily for Bournemouth's third goal and then sent off after being outpaced for the fourth. Tomkins might not be an attacking option but he has looked a more natural defender and has formed an uncompromising unit with Ogbonna and Reid. Even a head injury at the Emirates didn't stop him as he bravely played on. Tomkins also came on against Bournemouth after WHU were 2-0 down after half an hour and Ogbonna was struggling.

After a 3-0 win at Anfield it will be difficult for Bilic to change the side. One other option for selected games is to play three centre backs in Tomkins, Reid and Ogbonna and Jenkinson and Cresswell as wing backs. The encouraging thing though is that we have real competition for the centre back positions, with Collins, Henry and Reece Burke (who scored his first goal while on loan to Bradford) in reserve too.

Saturday, September 5

Shakespearian Hammers

It's not often West Ham sign a Shakespearian character like Antonio from Nottingham Forest. As the more literate types in the East Stand will know, Antonio is one of Bill Shakespeare's favourite names. Characters called Antonio feature in the Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing and The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Should we sign more lads done Bard? It's a shame we missed out on that Malvolio, who could surely have done a job as a midfield schemer dressed in yellow socks. While I've also heard good reports about 16-year-old Romeo, who looked promising until he became distracted by WAG issues.

Strangely Antonio is not the first Shakespearian character to play for the Irons. Adrian is a follower of Alonso in The Tempest, while Ferdinand is the son of Alonso in the same play.Which makes you think that Shakespeare might have been a closet Irons' fan. After all, he did live in Stratford.

Friday, September 4

West Ham's llamas and Lake Titicaca

Interesting snippet in the Times' Diary by Matthew Parris on Wednesday. On Lake Titicaca (no relation to Titi Camara) in Peru there's a steamboat, the Yavari, built by Thames Ironworks in 1862. The boat was transported in small packages to a railhead in the Atacama desert, then carried by llamas (not presumably Bernard Lama) to the 12,000-feet high Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake, where it was reassembled. The Yavari was rotting away on Lake Titicaca, but was saved by Englishwoman Meriel Larkin. Now she's teamed up with West Ham's outreach team to send a group of West Ham youngsters to Peru to retrace that llama trip from Atacama to Lake Titicaca, where the Yavari is now a floating B&B (click on link for details). So that's where we sent young Freddie Sears…

Thursday, September 3

Noble's red card overturned

Good to see that sense has prevailed and the FA has overturned Mark Noble's red card at Liverpool. Nobes had been fouled in the build-up, and he played the ball with his subsequent sliding tackle. The FA has though charged West Ham with failing to control their players, which seems harsh too. There was some understandable reaction to a ridiculous dismissal but couldn't see anything outrageous going on. I've seen worse reactions when my fellow season-ticket holder Nigel has missed the District Line train to Kew Gardens.

Wednesday, September 2

A good window for the Hammers

With the late news that Matt Jarvis has gone on loan to Norwich for the season, West Ham's summer dealing is complete. It's been a good window. Ten senior players have come in (plus Stephen Hendrie from Hamilton and young Martin Samuelson from Man City), while nine have departed. 

The defence has been strengthened by the signings of Ogbonna, Jenkinson and Randolph, while in midfield we've added a great player in Dimitri Payet, Obiang who looks effective as a defensive shield, Alex Song whom we know on his day is one of the best holding players in the league and Lanzini, who had a great game at Liverpool.And we've finally strengthened the attack with Jelavic, Moses and Antonio. West Ham have spent around £34 million and recouped maybe £7 million from the sales of Downing and Maiga, so credit to Sullivan and Gold for their investment in the team.

Of the departures, only Downing is a possible regret. We've released or sold the ageing Kevin Nolan and squad players and loanees such as Cole, Demel, Nene, Jaaskelainen and Maiga. Diego Poyet has gone out on loan as has Matt Jarvis, who never matched his near £10 million price tag, though there were times when he looked a decent player — if we'd had some more effective strikers and attacking midfielders to finish off bis crosses early on he might have gained in confidence. But latterly he seemed to find a defender with every cross and just hasn't scored enough goals.

The squad is looking much stronger and it's interesting to debate what is now our best term. If everyone's fit (which never happens at West Ham!) then I'd go for: Adrian; Jenkinsion, Ogbonna, Reid, Cresswell; Kouyate, Song, Noble, Payet; Sakho, Carroll. But that's leaving out Valencia, Obiang, Lanzini, Tomkins, Collins, Oxford, Amalfitano, Zarate, Jelavic, Antonio and Moses, most of whom could make a claim for a first-team place. Steady on, I'm almost feeling optimistic…

Tuesday, September 1

Go Antonio

And now we've signed winger Mikhail Antonio from Nottingham Forest for a reputed £7million. The former Reading star has worked his way up from non-league Tooting and played for a number of Championship clubs on loan and is by all accounts a fine prospect. Quite a deadline day for the Irons with four signings and so far no departures. If nothing else these signings should guarantee we're still in the Premier League for the big move to the Olympic Stadium… and ideally heading for a top half placing.

Moses and Jelavic sign…

Two more signings on top of Alex Song. Victor Moss has arrived on loan to lead us to the Promised Land of Stratford. Remember seeing him cause us problems at Stoke last season. He's never really done it at big clubs like Chelsea and Liverpool, but looked a decent player at Palace and Wigan and latterly Stoke. And Nikica Jelavic has arrived for £3 million, which isn't bad for a striker who is a proven PL scorer. While Jack Sullivan is promising one more signing… could it be Forest's winger Antonio?

We've only got one Song — and Jelavic to come too?

West Ham have re-signed Alex Song on loan from Barcelona. Not a lot of immediate use as he's injured until mid-October but a fully-fit Song, as he was during the first half of last season, would be a big boost to the squad.

Meanwhile Hull are reported to have accepted a £3 million bid for Nikica Jelavic. I've always thought Jelavic was a good player and the 30-year-old represents good value for £3m. He scored eight goals in 26 games for Hull last season and had he played every game they might not have gone down. After filling his boots at Rapid Vienna and Rangers he scored nine in 13 games for Everton when he first arrived in 2011-12 and after a slump at the Toffees looked to be back on form at Hull. The other advantage is that Bilic has selected him for Croatia and knows his game.

Meanwhile we're also rumoured to be interested in signing Chelsea's Moses, which should please my fellow season-ticket holder Matt, who is a vicar's son. Another claim is that we are bidding £5m for Nottingham Forest's Antono, though isn't he a character from Shakespeare? And the Daily Mail claims that Spurs have been told where to go after bidding £15m for Kouyate. Should be an interesting deadline day.