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John Simkin

Valon Behrami

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West Ham have signed Switzerland international Valon Behrami from Lazio in a £5m deal. Behrami, 23, can play at right-back or on the right side of midfield. Is this a message to Lucus Neal? Probably, but I cannot imagine any other club paying him £65,000 a week. I suspect we have him for the foreseeable future.

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Guest Gary Loughran

A strange acquisition indeed. It seems that Neil/Galatasary is not happening, I thought the Behrami deal hinged on that...but was wrong, obviously. Perhaps there is something in the pipeline, but I fear our Captain will remain, as you say, for the foreseeable future.

As an aside, with the raft of Premiership club purchases of the last few years, I wonder how the 'credit crunch' will affect these new owners and their large debts. The transfer market remains reasonably and unusually (given the current financial climate) stable. I know that West Ham's owner's bank is in difficulties and that is one of the reasons for the current thrift at the club. I'm thinking a lot of bad money is floating around the premiership and worry about the short and long term implications.

Chelsea obviously have too much money if the £39 million, 5 year deal offered to 30 year old Frank Lampard is to be believed (personally I seriously doubt it's true...but it was in a newspaper).

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A strange acquisition indeed. It seems that Neil/Galatasary is not happening, I thought the Behrami deal hinged on that...but was wrong, obviously. Perhaps there is something in the pipeline, but I fear our Captain will remain, as you say, for the foreseeable future.

I have just seen Neil make another terrible mistake in the game against MLS All-Star XI that led to their third and winning goal (another rash tackle that gave them a penalty). I was looking at the DVD of West Ham's 2007-08 season the other day. Two things struck me. The number of times Neil's mistakes led to goals and the number of goal assists by Cole.

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Guest Gary Loughran
A strange acquisition indeed. It seems that Neil/Galatasary is not happening, I thought the Behrami deal hinged on that...but was wrong, obviously. Perhaps there is something in the pipeline, but I fear our Captain will remain, as you say, for the foreseeable future.

I have just seen Neil make another terrible mistake in the game against MLS All-Star XI that led to their third and winning goal (another rash tackle that gave them a penalty). I was looking at the DVD of West Ham's 2007-08 season the other day. Two things struck me. The number of times Neil's mistakes led to goals and the number of goal assists by Cole.

Yeah, bad error again by Neil; I was watching it live - not a lot to report. I recall he gave away a few penalties last year as well. Good call on Cole I'd forgotten that, but I do recall posting here last year that he had the highest number of assists in hte prem at one stage, according to Opta.

The high incidence of Neil mistakes, be it out of position, rash tackles, poor distribution and the direct link to opposition goals is something even the most ardent Neil fan would admit. He is a liability. He did improve last year but he remained a person that opposition managers picked on - of that I'm sure.

I don't see West Ham being an improved or improving team this year and think that maintaining status quo with last year would be reasonable. Accomodating the returning long term injured will be tough.

Edited by Gary Loughran

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A strange acquisition indeed. It seems that Neil/Galatasary is not happening, I thought the Behrami deal hinged on that...but was wrong, obviously. Perhaps there is something in the pipeline, but I fear our Captain will remain, as you say, for the foreseeable future.

I have just seen Neil make another terrible mistake in the game against MLS All-Star XI that led to their third and winning goal (another rash tackle that gave them a penalty). I was looking at the DVD of West Ham's 2007-08 season the other day. Two things struck me. The number of times Neil's mistakes led to goals and the number of goal assists by Cole.

Yeah, bad error again by Neil; I was watching it live - not a lot to report. I recall he gave away a few penalties last year as well. Good call on Cole I'd forgotten that, but I do recall posting here last year that he had the highest number of assists in hte prem at one stage, according to Opta.

The high incidence of Neil mistakes, be it out of position, rash tackles, poor distribution and the direct link to opposition goals is something even the most ardent Neil fan would admit. He is a liability. He did improve last year but he remained a person that opposition managers picked on - of that I'm sure.

I don't see West Ham being an improved or improving team this year and think that maintaining status quo with last year would be reasonable. Accomodating the returning long term injured will be tough.

I am more optimistic than you. A fully fit Ashton, Parker and Flaubert plus a returning Bellamy and Dyer, and an improving Noble, should make as a top eight team. I am even hopeful that Ferdinand will come on this year. Sayers and Tompkins also have great potential.

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Guest Gary Loughran
I am more optimistic than you. A fully fit Ashton, Parker and Flaubert plus a returning Bellamy and Dyer, and an improving Noble, should make as a top eight team. I am even hopeful that Ferdinand will come on this year. Sayers and Tompkins also have great potential.

Of course I hope you're right. Is Sayers related to Freddie Sears??? :lol:

Edited by Gary Loughran

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I was at London Road Tuesday night and was impressed with Behrami. He really hustles players never giving anyone near him a moment.

Lucas Neill was played out of position at left back. He hit a nice pass over the defence for Bellamy's second goal but also managed to mis-hit a pass across his own penalty area out for a corner !

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I was at London Road Tuesday night and was impressed with Behrami. He really hustles players never giving anyone near him a moment.

Lucas Neill was played out of position at left back. He hit a nice pass over the defence for Bellamy's second goal but also managed to mis-hit a pass across his own penalty area out for a corner !

Thank you for the report. Did anybody else impress?

I have got tickets for the home game against Villarreal next Saturday.

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<<Thank you for the report. Did anybody else impress?

I have got tickets for the home game against Villarreal next Saturday >>

Well, Green made several good saves in the first half (one overhead scissor kick from Aaron McLean in particular) and seemed to enjoy some good natured banter with the fans. His replacement (not sure of his name) looked very promising for the last 15 minutes or so.

Parker had a good game in midfield setting up the early first goal. Always seemed to be first to the ball.

Carlton Cole once again gave an impressive display until it came down to actually sticking it in the net.

Bellamy showed how that particular skill is done. 2 first rate finishes past a highly rated keeper.

No sign of Ashton...?

Freddy Sears came on as a late sub and did well. Has a bit of pace. Couple of decent efforts. Looks to have the potential of Bellamy.

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