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Guest Gary Loughran

New Season - Same Story

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Guest Gary Loughran

I saw the West Ham teamsheet prior to the game and heard the result - I'm unaware at this stage how we performed or anything else in between - I shall guess though.

The team was much the same as last seasons hopeless plodders, perhaps a little worse if truth be told.

Tomkins, who will never make a premiership footballer - a belief I thought was discovered last year when he missed (read: was withdrawn from selection for lack of discernible talent) the end of the season with a mythical ankle injury - after being conveniently withdrawn at half time in a game in which he was the oppositions best player.

Ilunga was back too, another who missed (read: was withdrawn for lack of heart) the end of last season with a mythical hamstring injury(??)l, after walking off the pitch 20 minutes into a roasting by Aaron Lennon.

Upson was awful at the world cup - I believe he will be OK.

Green was awful at the world cup - I believe he will be OK.

Reid, I know nothing about - he is from New Zealand - I'm not expecting premiership class.

Kovac, pretty much deadwood at the club.

Noble and Cole haven't performed well in a West Ham shirt in 2010.

Boa Morte was resigned for no apparent reason.

Parker is good.

Faubert still makes the team - we are that bad.

I can only imagine that Grant is giving the bad players a fair crack of the whip before bringing in his own players. His buys have not been impressive, though I do like Piquionne's energy and Hitzlsberger looks the part.

Sears and Spector made the bench along with Diamante (a useless player we can't give away - Nani and Duxbury better have made good money for themselves in this deal so at least 2 people can be happy with him) and Gabbidon (I can't remember the last time he played 3 games in a row).

I would forcibly retire Gabbidon and Dyer as none of these guys can prove they are fit for purpose. I know it's a little harsh and probably a route, in terms of precedence, that no one wants to go down - but I can't believe a court in the land would side with the players.

We also have a Mexican player, Barrera, who couldn't make the Mexican team yet states that we are only being used as a stepping stone to a bigger club. Good grief are Mexico that good!?! I hope he proves himself.

I, rather ashamedly, don't know our reserve/sub keepers name (Stetch??)- though I do know Kurucz (sp) got injured in a freak reserve game injury.

Not much of a squad - McCarthy and Ben Haim will fight out for fattest and unfit player of the year awards no doubt.

Anyway, as always my negative energy, probably makes for difficult reading. My nervous system doen't like me being a West Ham supporter. I think we will come good and a finish of around 14-16 is possible. The team is in need of a complete overhaul - there is little to work with and if Sears is the only youngster deemed suitable for the 18 man squad - we are in worse shape than I imagined.

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Green made several good saves but made a mistake with the first goal punching a cross that was going off for a goal kick. Downing was clearly offside but the referee and lino missed it

Reid was given a roasting at right back by Villa's winger Albrighton. As far as I know he isn't a right back and did better the last quarter of an hour or so in the centre after Tomkins was substituted.

Ilunga mediocre

Tomkins had a very poor first half. Underhit a back pass (again) to Carew. Green managed to tackle him only for the ball to ricochet off Tomkins 20 yards against the post. Tomkins then gave the ball away again immediately and gave away a free kick near the edge of the box. It was actually comical...

Upson: Not very impressive.

I'm going to stop there... other than to say I counted 5 occasions Villa hit the woodwork.

West Ham did have a reasonable spell just after half time and created a couple of chances.

We already have several players out injured. Most notable among them was Hitzlsperger (up to 6 weeks) who was injured on International duty.

In other words... same old same old.

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Guest Gary Loughran

Well Mark things don't look good at all then. I am naturally predisposed to pessimism/reservation and look to you and John for the chink of light that says we'll do well this year.

I did eventually catch the sky plussed football first of the game - what a disaster!!!

It can't get much worse...can it? Kevin Davies normally gets half his season's tally against us so there's one for my goalscorers bet.

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I only saw the highlights of the Aston Villa game but they were indeed poor. However, I do think that Grant is better than Zola and think we will finish mid-table.

Rob Green: Confidence is unstandably low but think he will come back.

Winston Reid: Thought he was very good in the World Cup. However, he needs to be played in his right position as centre-half.

Danny Gabbidon: Needs to retire.

James Tomkins: Should go out on loan for a year.

Kieron Dyer: It is just a matter of time before he is injured again.

Scott Parker: Our best player but should be sold if the offer is over £10m.

Carlton Cole: With the right service and no injuries this will be his season. I hope they don't sell him.

Jack Collison: Very promising. I hope the injury does not have long-term condequences.

Thomas Hitzlsperger: Looks a class act and a great free transfer. Could be the buy of the season.

Pablo Barrera: Have not seen enough of him to comment.

Luis Boa Morte: Amazed that he was given a new contract. Must have accepted a major pay-cut.

Radoslav Kovac: Moderate. I hope they manage to sell him.

Matthew Upson: I thought his form was poor last season. He had such a poor World Cup that we will not be able to sell him.

Mark Noble: Needs to play in the centre of midfield. A good replacement for Parker.

Benni McCarthy: He is probably the main reason that Zola got the sack. He told Sullivan and Gold that he had to have him. Why did Zola not check out his fitness?

Jonathan Spector: Not good enough for the premiership.

Freddie Sears: Was unimpressive on loan with Crystal Palace. I expect he will go out on loan again.

Julien Faubert: Puts in the odd good cross but will never be good enough at full-back.

Valon Behrami: Like his energy and effort but clearly wants away.

Manuel Da Costa: Promising. Should play instead of Tomkins.

Herita Ilunga: He was good when on loan but now he does not look interested since he was signed. Hopefully, he will eventually return to top form.

Frank Nouble: Very raw. Needs to go out on loan. He might be another Cole in two or three years.

Junior Stanislas: He must do well in training but I have yet to be convinced he can do it in games.

Zavon Hines: This is his second serious knee injury in his short career. Have grave doubts about whether he can come back again. It is a shame as I thought he had great potential.

Jordan Spence: He is highly rated and might breakthrough this year.

Frederic Piquionne: Strange signing. Another Heskey but I am not sure we have the right people to play with him. Surely we cannot afford to have a striker who does not score goals.

Alessandro Diamanti: A class player. However, he does not work hard enough to be a success in the premiership.

Fabio Daprela: Has a lot of potential. In my opinion he should be given a run in the first-team.

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Another very flawed performance on Saturday by West Ham against Bolton. Grant seems to have Zola’s problem of not understanding the English language. After the game he said: “We played like a team at the top. I am very happy with the performance. I am very disappointed with the result.” If he does not realise we have serious problems in defence he is in denial. A person in denial does not make a good football manager.

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I went along to the Chelsea game on Saturday without any great expectations.

For once I sat at the right end (or wrong end ?) as I had a good view of 3 of the goals scored. I also had a great view of Piquionne's miss from about yard. More of that later.

I don't know if I've mellowed with age but the verbal abuse that Drogba received when he trotted over to take an early corner seemed a bit unneccesary. He had the last laugh when Essian got on the end of his cross to give Chelsea an early lead.

Worse was to quickly follow when Drogba ignored more verbal onslaughts to fire in a dipping free kick which Green fumbled. Upson inexplicably kicked the rebound against Malouda which sent the ball looping over Green to make it 2-0. Upson had time to clear the ball anywhere other than where he did. It really is alarming how West Ham have contrived to give the opposition headstarts in recent times.

Nobody ever seems to return the favour ...

From then on West Ham did manage to rally a bit and for long periods of the game were certainly a match for Chelsea, although they could have gone further ahead when Mikel hit the bar as Green looked on rooted to the spot.

I really don't know if Cole was offside or not just before half time but it was a well worked move which he finished off nicely only for the lino to raise his flag. If we'd gone in 1-2 it would have been a big lift.

As it was in the second half Chelsea were content to sit back as West Ham buzzed around without ever looking like scoring.

When Chelsea did eventually press forward Green produced a couple of outstanding saves to keep the lead down to just 2.

Finally Essian got on the end of a good cross to make it 3-0 and that really should have been that... but West Ham heads didn't drop and Parker pulled one back with a deft lob from the edge of the area.

Cue Piquionne's extraordinary miss on 90 minutes. From where I was sat Illunga's cross eluded everybody. Cole didn't get a touch, Cech was beaten and the ball was about to curl nicely into the back of the net when up popped Piquionne to head the ball up and onto the cross bar.

2-3 would have flattered West Ham at that point but as Everton showed earlier in the day flattery gets you everywhere.

I wandered away from Upton Park feeling the team are beginning to get things together and will start to get some points on the board soon. At times they performed very well against a Chelsea side that are currently sweeping all before them. However, they've got to start games more brightly (Chelsea caught our defense cold early on ) and hopefully Green's second half display will restore his confidence.

Hang in there everybody...

Edited by Mark Haley

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I went along to the Chelsea game on Saturday without any great expectations.

For once I sat at the right end (or wrong end ?) as I had a good view of 3 of the goals scored. I also had a great view of Piquionne's miss from about yard. More of that later.

I don't know if I've mellowed with age but the verbal abuse that Drogba received when he trotted over to take an early corner seemed a bit unneccesary. He had the last laugh when Essian got on the end of his cross to give Chelsea an early lead.

Worse was to quickly follow when Drogba ignored more verbal onslaughts to fire in a dipping free kick which Green fumbled. Upson inexplicably kicked the rebound against Malouda which sent the ball looping over Green to make it 2-0. Upson had time to clear the ball anywhere other than where he did. It really is alarming how West Ham have contrived to give the opposition headstarts in recent times.

Nobody ever seems to return the favour ...

From then on West Ham did manage to rally a bit and for long periods of the game were certainly a match for Chelsea, although they could have gone further ahead when Mikel hit the bar as Green looked on rooted to the spot.

I really don't know if Cole was offside or not just before half time but it was a well worked move which he finished off nicely only for the lino to raise his flag. If we'd gone in 1-2 it would have been a big lift.

As it was in the second half Chelsea were content to sit back as West Ham buzzed around without ever looking like scoring.

When Chelsea did eventually press forward Green produced a couple of outstanding saves to keep the lead down to just 2.

Finally Essian got on the end of a good cross to make it 3-0 and that really should have been that... but West Ham heads didn't drop and Parker pulled one back with a deft lob from the edge of the area.

Cue Piquionne's extraordinary miss on 90 minutes. From where I was sat Illunga's cross eluded everybody. Cole didn't get a touch, Cech was beaten and the ball was about to curl nicely into the back of the net when up popped Piquionne to head the ball up and onto the cross bar.

2-3 would have flattered West Ham at that point but as Everton showed earlier in the day flattery gets you everywhere.

I wandered away from Upton Park feeling the team are beginning to get things together and will start to get some points on the board soon. At times they performed very well against a Chelsea side that are currently sweeping all before them. However, they've got to start games more brightly (Chelsea caught our defense cold early on ) and hopefully Green's second half display will restore his confidence.

Hang in there everybody...

I saw the game on Sky on Saturday night. The performance was much, much, better than against Manchester United. I think the team is better than last year. Grant is also a better manager than Zola. I fully expect us to eventually get out of the relegation places as I think there are at least three teams in the league worse than us.

I thought Jacobsen looked solid (a great improvement over Spector). I would like to see Dyer start instead of Boa Morte. Parker and Noble make a good partnership at the centre of midfield and I think Cole and Obinna will eventually make a good partnership. My biggest concern is over the form of Behrami. He looked completely out of form and I disliked his constant fouling.

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Things are definitely looking up. A decent, hard earned draw at Stoke followed by an away win in the League Cup at Sunderland. Plus a little bonus of debut goals for Piquionne and Obinna.

A little gap in the clouds appearing...

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I saw the game on Sky on Saturday night. The performance was much, much, better than against Manchester United. I think the team is better than last year. Grant is also a better manager than Zola. I fully expect us to eventually get out of the relegation places as I think there are at least three teams in the league worse than us.

I thought Jacobsen looked solid (a great improvement over Spector). I would like to see Dyer start instead of Boa Morte. Parker and Noble make a good partnership at the centre of midfield and I think Cole and Obinna will eventually make a good partnership. My biggest concern is over the form of Behrami. He looked completely out of form and I disliked his constant fouling.

Things are definitely looking up. A decent, hard earned draw at Stoke followed by an away win in the League Cup at Sunderland. Plus a little bonus of debut goals for Piquionne and Obinna.

A little gap in the clouds appearing...

I saw the game against Stoke and was impressed with our organization and strength in defence. This seems to have been repeated against Sunderland. Both goals were made by excellent passes from Pablo Barrera. Obinna looks to be a good signing. He is a bit erratic but he is one of those players who makes things happen. He definitely has been more impressive in his first few games than Tevez was. His first goal should give him the extra confidence that you need when you first start in the Premiership.

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I saw the West Ham teamsheet prior to the game and heard the result - I'm unaware at this stage how we performed or anything else in between - I shall guess though.

The team was much the same as last seasons hopeless plodders, perhaps a little worse if truth be told.

Not much of a squad - McCarthy and Ben Haim will fight out for fattest and unfit player of the year awards no doubt.

Anyway, as always my negative energy, probably makes for difficult reading. My nervous system doen't like me being a West Ham supporter. I think we will come good and a finish of around 14-16 is possible. The team is in need of a complete overhaul - there is little to work with and if Sears is the only youngster deemed suitable for the 18 man squad - we are in worse shape than I imagined.

The game against Spurs on Saturday was one of West Ham best performances over the last few years. Definitely better than anything Zola ever achieved. The first signs of change took place after West Ham gave Chelsea a two-goal lead. Although there was no coming back, they showed some good battling qualities. The same was true against Stoke. They are also a team with a fair amount of skill. This combination will get West Ham results against the very best. They were even more impressive against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in the Carling Cup. This was a competition that Sunderland desperately wanted to win and therefore played their first-team whereas Avram Grant brought in several reserves.

I watched the Spurs game live via the internet. The Upton Park crowd really appreciated this new combination of strength and skill. There does not seem a weak link in the team, (except for maybe Boa Morte). We also have Thomas Hitzlsperger to come into the team. All his new signings look like good acquisitions. Both Pablo Barrera and Victor Obinna look to be players with an excellent future.

Kieron Dyer seems to have recaptured the form he showed that made him an England international. Although he went off suffering from “dizziness” at half-time. I reckon that he was really suffering from shock after surviving as long as 45 minutes without injury.

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Meanwhile... here we are a month on and it seems to be a case of 1 step forward, 2 steps back, step sideways, go to step forward, hesitate, after you, no after you...

The performance against Newcastle was an almighty step back - all the way back to the Wolves debacle last season. Our inability to pass the ball to another West Ham shirt in the second half was literally breath-taking.

Since then there's been a bit of progression. We've progressedin the League Cup and put up a much better fist of it at Arsenal.

Now, we're being told that Grant has 3 days to save his job. I'm hoping that is just paper talk as I've never believed chopping and changing the manager is good practise.

Talking of 'short term thinking', I'll be down for the West Brom game next week. Having paid £30 for Academy membership which entitled me to a half price ticket (£27) it's a little bit galling to see tickets now available for £15.

I'm sure season ticket holders aren't exactly thrilled either...

No matter, like a lot of other people I simply won't bother renewing next season and go along cheap when I feel like it.

Happy now fellas ?

Edited by Mark Haley

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Meanwhile... here we are a month on and it seems to be a case of 1 step forward, 2 steps back, step sideways, go to step forward, hesitate, after you, no after you...

The performance against Newcastle was an almighty step back - all the way back to the Wolves debacle last season. Our inability to pass the ball to another West Ham shirt in the second half was literally breath-taking.

Since then there's been a bit of progression. We've progressedin the League Cup and put up a much better fist of it at Arsenal.

Now, we're being told that Grant has 3 days to save his job. I'm hoping that is just paper talk as I've never believed chopping and changing the manager is good practise.

I do hope they don't sack Grant. Except for the terrible performance against Newcastle (I think they are an under-rated team) they have been much better over the last six weeks. He would have got a draw against Arsenal if he had not brought on Faubert for the last few minutes. The real problem that we have got is that there is not one really bad team in the premier league this season. I hope more than believe that we will finish fourth from bottom and will win the Carling Cup.

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Menawhile, in the National Football League - the Dallas Cowboys are now coached by a Princeton Yankee.

What do the Dallas fans have to say bout that?

BK

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Guest Gary Loughran

Now, we're being told that Grant has 3 days to save his job. I'm hoping that is just paper talk as I've never believed chopping and changing the manager is good practise.

I do hope they don't sack Grant.

Been working hard - apologies for not joining in the debate. I am amazed West Ham offered Grant a job. Aside from being a co-religionist friend of Abrhamovic; Grant is a non-entity in terms of managerial ability, lest one similarly views David Jeffery at Linfield as a top manager. Grant is totally out of his depth. Whilst I don't like choppinng and changing managers - I suspect Grant was only brought in because he was cheap.

Avram Grant is one of the worst top flight managers in the history of the Premier League. Despite having no licenses as required to manage in the PL he got a job at Chelsea, (see relationship with powerful Abrahamovic), where he won nothing. He went to a decent side at Portsmouth where he won nothing. He is at West Ham where he will win nothing. He has spent 365 days at the bottom of the League.

He did drop Carlton Cole - which must mean he knows something about football.He does play Herita Ilunga, Mark Noble and Boa Morte which more than negates any kudos from dropping Carlton Cole.

Truth is our squad is OK and if managed well should survive in the PL. Our manager is pathetic. The players are not playing well as a team - we have no pace, no holding midfielder and no out and out goalscorer. I have no idea how we right this, my first move would be to bring a proper manager and I have no idea who that is!

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Guest Gary Loughran

Now, we're being told that Grant has 3 days to save his job. I'm hoping that is just paper talk as I've never believed chopping and changing the manager is good practise.

I do hope they don't sack Grant.

Been working hard - apologies for not joining in the debate. I am amazed West Ham offered Grant a job. Aside from being a co-religionist friend of Abrhamovic; Grant is a non-entity in terms of managerial ability, lest one similarly views David Jeffery at Linfield as a top manager. Grant is totally out of his depth. Whilst I don't like chopping and changing managers - I suspect Grant was only brought in because he was cheap.

Avram Grant is one of the worst top flight managers in the history of the Premier League. Despite having no track record in management nor licenses as required to manage in the PL - he got a job at Chelsea, (see relationship with powerful Abrahamovic), where he won nothing. He went to a decent side (albeit financially in trouble) at Portsmouth where he won nothing. He is at West Ham where he will win nothing. He has spent 365 days at the bottom of the League.

He did drop Carlton Cole - which must mean he knows something about football. He does play Herita Ilunga, Mark Noble and Boa Morte which more than negates any kudos from dropping Carlton Cole.

Truth is our squad is OK and if managed well should survive in the PL. Our manager is pathetic. The players are not playing well as a team - we have no pace, no holding midfielder and no out and out goalscorer. I have no idea how we right this, my first move would be to bring a proper manager and I have no idea who that is!

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