The manager was rightly elated in victory but has his players back down to
business this week
Avram Grant was able to reflect on a tremendous week's work with a smile on
Monday but, with more challenges ahead, would not be dwelling too long
despite a trio of eye-catching results. The manager could surely be forgiven
had he chosen to bask in a seven days that saw a point at Stoke, Carling Cup
progress away to Sunderland and then a well-deserved 1-0 home success
against UEFA Champions League contenders Tottenham Hotspur last Saturday.
Indeed, everyone connected with the club was on a high over the weekend -
but a delighted Grant was determined most of all to place even more
expectation on his own shoulders to keep on delivering - starting with
Fulham in this Saturday's Kids for a Quid fixture at the Boleyn. "I feel all
the time under pressure," he said. "I don't want to be even one minute
without pressure in this job as it will damage me more than be a good thing.
"Pressure is not a bad word. It pushes, pushes you to the right place. I
control the pressure and can direct it when I decide. Other people let the
pressure control them."
Although a figure of studied concentration during the match - "it is the job
of the manager to control his emotion" - Grant admitted he was caught up in
the celebrations at the final whistle against Spurs. Nothing will deter him
from achieving the targets he established when arriving back in the summer,
and he has sensed there is a real opportunity to make a difference in east
London. "I had good days with Chelsea and Portsmouth, of course it was
different, but now I am here and I am more pleased we have a project. "I
like that we are playing good football, we have a vision about the players.
We know that we don't have the money [of many rival clubs] because of the
debt, so we took hungry players that want to succeed. We took players that
can develop the team."
The manager said he was pleased to see his players - notably Robert Green -
share their elation with the supporters at the final whistle. "We played
against a very good team in Tottenham and a good manager. I know how much
this means to the fans. We are living to make the fans happy. "It is a good
feeling to win any game. Since the first day of the season, I knew we were
playing well and would get the results we need. In football, people have to
be patient and not make quick judgements. As long as you see effort and
progress, you will get the rewards. "Last season was traumatic for this club
and we know it will take time to change the mentality. We are doing
everything right and it is important that we have stuck to our way. We have
a long way to go."
'This is a club on the up'
Vice-Chairman Karren Brady has updated supporters in a special column
printed in Saturday's programme
I make no secret of my desire to focus on the balance sheet but there is no
doubt that a more stable balance sheet is what has enabled us against the
odds to invest in the team sheet this summer. This investment has seen two
of our eight signings Freddie Piquionne and Victor Obinna firing home in our
midweek Carling Cup fixture to take us just three rounds from Wembley. This
might have seemed a tall feat given the well documented level of debt that
we inherited from the previous board. The issues surrounding the club's
financial predicament have continued to hit the headlines. This is why I
wanted to set the record straight to you our principal stakeholders and
investors. If there is one thing I have learnt since I first walked through
the front doors of the Boleyn Ground on 19 January it is that you are among
the most savvy supporters in this league. This fits well with our own policy
of honesty when it comes to our supporters.
You had a right to know that we implemented drastic changes but you also
need to know that these changes were part of a long-term considered strategy
to take us forward. We have invested in the team both on and off the pitch
and this has paid dividends in a very short space of time. Off the pitch the
team that lacked strategy and focus now benefits from a commercial and
customer focused culture which will in turn benefit everyone associated with
The reality is that this is a club on the up once again and everyone knows
their role to ensure this continues. Yes, we have inherited £50million of
long-term debts, to the banks and Sheffield United. But the bank debt will
be down to £25m by 2013, a sustainable level for a business with a turnover
over £80m, and that's only three years away.
In the nine months we have been running the club we have paid back £20m in
bank debt, cut costs by £6m and increased income by £2m. We have achieved
this through sheer hard work. Every department has clear targets that are
being met. We are building the status and image of the club both at a
domestic and global level and continue to expand our CSR policy. We have a
clear vision to take the club forward and are taking our partners with us.
Our excitement and enthusiasm at the possibilities for West Ham are proving
to be infectious. We are at the start of an adventure and people want to be
part of what we are doing. More investors are coming on board. My phone
rings with a new opportunity, a new idea every few minutes. If we've done
that in just nine months, imagine where we can be in a few years' time.
Our Olympic Stadium bid is the only viable solution for the long-term future
of the Olympic Park. It presents a golden opportunity to secure long-term
prosperity. Not just for the Hammers, but for east London itself. We also
have terrific partners in SBOBET, Macron and Newham Council. Our strategy
translates on the field. In addition to the depth we have added to Avram
Grant's squad, our youth system is world class. Most positive of all is that
our best players remain ours - resisting all manner of attempts to lure them
Scott Parker put the seal on that when he signed his new contract a
fortnight ago. We worked hard to secure his signature as he is integral to
our long-term strategy for success. He is a modest man. Probably
reluctantly, he has had to take centre stage in the last few months as
Hammer of the Year and the fans' favourite. He would say that it is all
about the team and the club, and it is precisely that which has kept him
here. He sees what West Ham United means and what puts us above all of our
rivals. And he's right. It isn't about individuals. It is about a team with
clear direction and goals, pulling together to ensure success. It is about
fantastic fans, a real history founded on the best Academy around and a
pledge to move forward while always nodding to the past.
Trust is key and that comes with time. I am not one for rhetoric. I am
confident you will want to share our aspirations as we embark on this
adventure. I will let our actions seal your faith in our leadership but it
is my responsibility to keep our principal stakeholders abreast of all club
affairs - no speculation just hard facts - and at West Ham that means you.
We all want West Ham to succeed.
Skipper sets the tone
The captain was keen to thank those who gave their all in noisy and
passionate support on Saturday
Matthew Upson has hailed the Boleyn backing given to the Hammers on Saturday
and said it could play a big part in making October another memorable month.
Home games against Fulham and Newcastle United - either side of a trip to
Wolverhampton Wanderers - are to be followed by a mouthwatering Carling Cup
last-16 date with Stoke City at the Boleyn Ground. Getting set for the
challenges ahead, Avram Grant's men are unbeaten in three games and the
captain was quick to praise the supporters for their part. "Saturday was a
classic derby," the England centre-back said. "Right from the off, the
atmosphere was good. We then set the tempo well and the crowd followed us.
It is up to us to give them something to shout about and they didn't
disappoint us. "When the crowd are like that it adds to the whole atmosphere
of the game and the quality of the performance. It is a big thing for us
when they are like that and we are really pleased we could give them what
Upson, who was an impressive part of an unchanged back four from the
previous top-flight outing, is relishing the prospect of the Kids for a Quid
duel against Fulham next Saturday, with the club's decision to let children
in for just a £1 set to play a big part in getting a packed and passionate
"We need that support next week but as I say it is up to us to set the tempo
and get the game flowing. We have to do the job first but they have been
brilliant wherever we have played."
The Stoke game is one to savour, with the club determined to get a full
house when the tie is played in the week beginning Monday 25 October. "We
are very pleased it is a home draw," said Upson. "It is an opportunity to
get into the quarter-finals. We need to give it everything we have got as
the chance to go far would be great for the club. The guys went to
Sunderland on Tuesday and did a great job. They performed really well and
got it done and we will need to do that again when we play Stoke."
Green fingered for Salute
ROBERT GREEN is facing an FA charge after making an insulting gesture on
Saturday. The West Ham keeper was blasted for his World Cup cock-up against
the USA. But he starred in the win over Spurs and then gave a defiant salute
to his critics at the final whistle. Hammers team-mate Danny Gabbidon
revealed no one at Upton Park has even mentioned his England hell. Gabbidon
said: "We have not said anything because we know he's a good goalie. He is a
very strong character. "He knows he made a mistake but we've just let him
get on with it."
Vinny's Tottenham Report
Vinny - Sun Sep 26 2010
Wesy Ham Online
West Ham United 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0
West Ham recorded their first league victory of the season against rivals
Tottenham with a single goal from Frederique Piquionne enough to cap a great
performance and a superb result. There was a totally different feel around
Upton Park and for me this was our best performance in quite some time.
Anyone who was in attendance will know just how enjoyable the day was and it
reminded me of what going to Upton Park used to be like. It has been a
terrible start to the season but over the last week there had been a shift
with the team looking a lot better and the results against Stoke, and the
midweek victory in the League Cup at Sunderland giving us confidence going
into a game against a side who we have not beaten for over four years.
The game was exciting albeit nerve racking in the second half but
defensively we were superb and I cannot rate the performance of our back
four and goal keeper highly enough. Going forward we were always dangerous
with the lively Obinna and the strength of Piquionne giving us real edge.
There has been so much doom and gloom surrounding this football club over
the last couple of years and whilst this is only one game you could feel
something changing and I just hope this is the beginning of our revival. It
is not of course just this game as the display at Sunderland was also very
positive and had the result to match which now sets us up for a League Cup
4th round tie at home to Stoke City.
Avram Grant made a number of changes to the side who disposed of Sunderland
on Tuesday night. Robert Green returned in goal in place of Marek Stech
despite some fans calling for Stech to keep his place due to the erratic
form of Green so far this season. In defence, Danny Gabbidon came back in at
left back in place of Ben Haim who dropped to the bench with Upson returning
to centre half in place of Tomkins. Manuel Da Costa was alongside Upson in
the heart of the defence with Lars Jacobson returning at right back after
being Cup Tied midweek. In midfield Kieron Dyer started on the right wing
with Pablo Barrera on the bench and Mark Noble came back into the side for
Radoslav Kovac alongside Scott Parker. Luis Boa Morte was on the left wing.
Victor Obinna and Frederique Piquionne on the back of their goals at
Sunderland both started the game which meant that Carlton Cole had to make
do with a place on the bench.
In the dug out for Tottenham was of course former West Ham manager Harry
Redknapp. Since leaving the club in 2001 and going to manager both
Portsmouth and Spurs we have failed to record a single victory over the
The atmosphere was electric within the Boleyn ground and you did get the
feeling that the supporters sensed that today may well be a turning point.
We started quickly and looked the better side in the first fifteen minutes
with Spurs struggling to get a hold of the ball as we attacked with pace
down the flanks and the movement of both Piquionne and Obinna were causing
constant problems for the Spurs backline. Within the first few minutes we
could have well had the opening goal as a long ball forward from Da Costa
was flicked into the path of Obinna by Piquionne which saw the Nigerian
forward race towards goal but he dragged his left foot shot wide.
We kept the pressure on and another half chance fell to Dyer just inside the
area as a poor clearance was directed straight at him and Dyer hit a left
foot shot which took a deflection and went wide for a corner. Corners would
be something we would have in abundance during the game with a massive
fourteen corners being won. From the resulting corner taken by Noble the
ball was met by Da Costa but his header looped in the air. As it came down
Gabbidon head towards goal but a slight deflection put it out for another
The first chance of the game for Tottenham came from a long range effort
from Jermaine Jenas who hit a shot which was well saved by Robert Green.
At this point we were dominating possession and the crowd even this early on
were cheering every pass made by a West Ham player. Spurs again had a long
range effort saved by Green as the Dutch Midfielder Van Der Vaart hit a shot
which was well saved by Green again as he turned it around the post.
A ball won in midfield by Boa Morte saw the winger play the ball through for
Dyer into space and he used his pace to retrieve the ball and went up
against Hutton in the area but a good challenge from the right back saw it
put out for yet another West Ham corner. The resulting corner would bring
the first goal of the game as Noble played it in for Fredrique Piquionne to
meet it with an excellent header which was planted away from the goal keeper
putting West Ham a goal up on 29 minutes. A goal is exactly what we had
deserved and for the second consecutive league game running we have scored
from a corner kick. As this is something we have struggled to do for many
seasons I can only presume this is an aspect of the game Avram Grant and his
team have been working on.
Parker went on a mazy run into the area as he bulldozed his way through the
Tottenham defence but he took too long to get his shot off and it was put
out for another corner. Spurs had their best spell of the game in the last
ten minutes of the first half and were close to getting an equaliser.
It started with another clumsy tackle from Boa Morte on Hutton which saw the
Portuguese midfielder yellow carded. The resulting free kick was put into a
dangerous area but cleared to Obinna and it looked as though we would be
able to counter attack but the pass from Obinna was too casual and it gave
Spurs back possession of the ball. The ball was played out to Lennon who
used his pace to get down the touchline and cross for Luka Modric to hit an
excellent left foot half volley which was surely going in only for Robert
Green to make a quite stunning save tipping the shot onto the bar. If you
have not already seen the save by Green I suggest you do so as it was a
magnificent stop from a player who has had so much criticism over the last
few months. With half time approaching a Spurs goal would have totally
changed the game and Green had a massive part to play in our victory.
Spurs looked poised to score when Van Der Vaart played a ball to the back
post with Crouch there to surely finish only for Lars Jacobson to make a
last ditch challenge which diverted the ball away. A few minutes before the
half time whistle Kieron Dyer pulled up with an injury and had to be taken
off with Pablo Barrera replacing him. This was just more rotten luck for
injury prone Dyer who had been playing quite well. I had feared that the
second half may be a Tottenham onslaught but it was nothing of the sort with
the visitors from North London only managing one really good chance which
came early on in the half.
It was only ten minutes after the restart when Hutton played the ball
through to Huddlestone who had kept himself onside and he knocked the ball
past Green but his finish was appalling and went high and wide. This was a
real let off and told us that the best form of defence would be to attack
and I was pleasantly surprised that throughout the half we were always in
the game as an attacking force having a few chances of our own. This was not
a smash and grab victory and we were always competing.
Around the hour mark Frederique Piquionne came off with injury and was
replaced by the much maligned Carlton Cole. Another shot at goal came around
this time when Boa Morte lifted a great pass over the top of the Spurs
defence for Obinna to run on to and he managed to dig out a left foot shot
into the ground which Cudicini in the Spurs goal had to turn around the
A goal kick from Robert Green towards Carlton Cole saw the striker put
pressure on the Spurs defenders and forced Gareth Bale into giving away a
cheap corner. From the resulting corner (taken on this occasion by Victor
Obinna) the ball was cleared only as far as Mark Noble who hit a shot from
around 30 yards out which was superbly saved by Cudicini as it looked
destined for the back of the net.
If anyone was going to get another goal it looked liked ourselves and
another chance presented itself as a long ball forward was won in the air by
Cole who flicked it through to Barrera who got into the area and crossed the
ball only for the Spurs keeper and defenders to make a mess of it as it
bounced around the six yard box by neither Obinna nor Boa Morte could apply
With four minutes remaining Spurs had their final opportunity as the ball
broke for Robbie Keane in the area but the striker hit a tame shot easily
saved by Robert Green. Three minutes added on time were awarded but the
retaining of possession was something we did well and as that final whistle
blew Upton Park erupted into pandemonium. A win was always vital but to get
it by beating them made it a fantastic day.
After receiving so much criticism from the media and even West Ham
supporters Green needed a performance like this to give everyone including
himself confidence in his ability. His first clean sheet of the season was
deserved and Green made a few wonderful saves.
I am fast becoming a fan of the no nonsense Dane who does all the simple
things but is highly effective. The left hand side with Bale is usually a
threat Spurs possess but I cannot recall them having any joy down the side
Jacobson occupied. In the first half he saved what looked like a certain
goal as he diverted the ball away from the incoming Peter Crouch. We may
have finally signed a proper right back.
A solid display from both the centre halves as they kept Spurs at bay
throughout the game. Upson was dominating in the air and was strong in the
tackle. Spurs were forced into having long range shots for the majority of
the game on only once did they get in behind Upson.
Manuel Da Costa
A top performance from Da Costa who seems to have no cemented his place in
the back line. He won just about everything in the air and dealt with Crouch
superbly. Despite Crouch being taller he anticipated his jumps and seemed to
be able to beat Crouch on numerous occasions.
The fact that I would still play Gabbidon even if Ilunga was fit shows how
much I am being impressed by a player who I thought had no future at the
club given his injury problems and total loss of form. Like at Stoke
Gabbidon played very well, and to see Aaron Lennon hauled off on 65 minutes
goes to show how little Gabbidon let him have.
We look a better team when he is playing and for him to be forced off with
yet another injury was probably the only disappointing aspect of the game.
Hopefully he wont be out for too long.
I was really impressed by Noble as he was really on top of his game during
this one. He was putting his foot in, spraying passes about and his set
pieces caused all sorts of trouble. He put in a dominating midfield
Fantastic once again and with him and Noble in the centre they controlled
the game with Parker putting in another complete performance which showed
the best of his defensive and attacking side. Top stuff from the centre of
Luis Boa Morte
The nasty element of our team and playing against a good footballing side
such as Tottenham you need someone there to give them a bit of a kick and
Boa Morte did just that. He hasn't got the pace to take on his man any more
and beat him but some of his passing was quite good as he set Obinna through
a couple of times.
All that was missing from his performance was a goal because he buzzed about
giving the Spurs defence a torrid time. His movement is a big positive as he
drags defenders away and also gives the midfielders an option of a pass as
he will run into space.
Two goals in the last two games for the French striker as he looks to really
be coming into this own. He was outstanding in the air and the Spurs
defenders couldn't seem to get near him. His goal was an excellent header
but his all round performance was strong, threatening and he really made the
Pablo Barrera (on for Dyer 43 mins)
With Dyer injured we needed Barrera to continue what he had been doing and
that is running at the Spurs defenders with pace and that is exactly what he
did. I thought Barrera was excellent and I think we will see him getting
better and better as the weeks progress.
Carlton Cole (on for Piquionne 64 mins)
He worked hard in his time on the pitch and looked to make an impact forcing
the Spurs defenders in to errors with just his presence. With Piquionne and
Obinna in fine form Cole will be on the bench next week and will need to be
ready when the time comes because despite him being dropped he will still
have a part to play this season.
Radoslav Kovac (on for Obinna 89 mins)
A time wasting change which got rid of a minute.
Subs Not Used: Stech, Faubert, McCarthy, Ben Haim
Bookings: Boa Morte, Cole
Man Of The Match: Manuel Da Costa
Tottenham Hotspur: Cudicini, Hutton, Corluka, Bassong, Bale, Lennon (Keane
66), Jenas, Huddlestone, Modric, Van der Vaart (Giovani 78), Crouch
Subs: Pletikosa, Palacios, Sandro, Kranjcar
Attendance: 34, 190
Getting the first win of the season was of course vital but to get it over
Spurs just made it even more special. The atmosphere, the performance, the
result - everything was perfect about this game and this was surely our best
display in well over a year. Of course there is the fear of getting too
carried away by one result but for me I have to take optimism when it
presents itself given the depressing time it has been supporting West Ham
for the last few seasons.
Whilst one result does not mean everything with this season will now be
great it does give us hope that we can turn things around and move forward
as a football club. We are still in for a tough season but if the players
can perform like that and the fans get right behind them like we did during
this game then we can maybe look forward to better times.
Next Game - Fulham (h)
There are no easy games in the Premiership and any side managed by Mark
Hughes will be hard to beat and physical. Fulham are struggling to score
goals at the moment so as long as we can stay solid and cut out any unforced
error we should be keeping them out. It is whether we can break them down
which will be the question and judging from this performance if we can keep
the same level of intensity when attacking we may well come out with a win.
We have had so many so called 'turning points' over the last eighteen months
but this week has seen us play three and win two and not being beaten. This
shows progress and I am going to put my optimistic hat on for a little while
and see how it fits.
Brilliant day, fantastic result and it is about time we got one over North
London's second team.
The View From Grant
"It was the best performance since I arrived. It was a good three points.
"It was the first time we took three points and I am happy because we know
how much it means to the supporters. To win against a very good team and
keep our first clean sheet. "We were the better team. lt was a good game. We
stuck to our way of playing good football even though you always worry about
the other team coming back." "It was a typical Robert Green performance, he
is a good goalkeeper, sometimes keepers have good days and bad days but this
was his normal performance. He did some great saves. It is not easy,
especially the one from [Luka] Modric." "Our team has character. Our first
game was not good against Aston Villa and we had zero points. Then we become
stronger and stronger when people thought we would be weaker and weaker.
"The mental thing is very important. Rob showed today in the only place that
a sportsman needs to show it - on the pitch, not in the media, not with
excuses or explanations - that he is a good goalkeeper. "One thing I am very
proud about this team is that we are making mistakes but we learn from them
very quickly and it is good because it is only the beginning of the season.
We have a long way to reach our targets."
"The attitude of the strikers is very good, they are working hard and they
are very quick. They understand the game. I know Freddie from Portsmouth, he
is a team player, first for the team and then for himself. He scored a good
goal in midweek and he scored today. "Obinna is an intelligent player. He is
part of our vision of the club, and not just because of the financial
situation, which is to take players that are hungry to succeed. You saw a
few of them together including Pablo Barrera when he came on." "We have
turned the corner. Football is results - we deserved more from the Bolton
and Chelsea games but there is no deserve in the table - but only two weeks
ago we started to train all the team together, except the injured players.
"This is a team, they are developing well and I must say they are
progressing quicker than I thought."
Season 2010/11 Scorers and Bookings
Scott Parker 3 (2 League, 1 Cup)
Frederique Piquionne 2 (1 League, 1 Cup)
Mark Noble 1 (1 league)
Victor Obinna 1 (1 Cup)
Noble - 3
Cole - 2
Parker - 2
Tomkins - 1
Faubert - 1
Behrami - 1
Upson - 1
Boa Morte - 1
Green set to discover his press gesture fate
Published 23:00 26/09/10 By MirrorFootball
Robert Green will find out today if he faces FA action over his gesture at
the end of West Ham's win over Tottenham. The Hammers keeper appeared to
make a sign towards the Press box at Upton Park just after full-time on
Saturday.FA officials are aware of the pictures of the 30-year-old's actions
and will study the referee's report before deciding whether to act. They
could ask for footage of the incident but will not punish players from still
images. Green has been in the spotlight after his gaffe against USA during
England's disastrous World Cup. He made another error against Chelsea
recently and has lost his place in Fabio Capello's squad. Green could be
fined if he is found guilty of misconduct by the FA.
West Ham 1 Tottenham 0: Rob Green is making a good fist of it
By MATT BARLOW Last updated at 12:31 AM on 27th September 2010
The air around Rob Green took a proper pounding. Above Avram Grant, it had
to be satisfied with a flimsy tickle. Two men on the same side, both under
pressure, similar relief, different celebrations. Grant stood on the
touchline and flapped both arms above his head as Martin Atkinson's final
whistle confirmed West Ham's 1-0 win against Spurs, their first victory of
the Barclays Premier League season. Harry Redknapp snapped him from this
moment of pleasure to shake hands before the Spurs boss darted down the
tunnel, beaten at Upton Park for the first time since leaving the club nine
years ago. Enlarge
Green was only just launching into an extended routine. His big, gloved
fists were pumping towards home fans who, in turn, hailed his display and
first clean sheet in almost six months. There was a sarcastic, cheery wave
for those Tottenham fans lingering behind his goal. A bottle arched from the
stands, spewing its contents into the turf as it landed short of the
goalkeeper. Green gave them another wave and soaked up more plaudits before
jogging around the pitch to deliver a classic 'Up Yours' gesture towards the
press box. Not surprisingly, he declined a request to talk to the media
afterwards. The FA will examine footage of the incident before deciding
whether to charge him with misconduct for making an insulting gesture. But
it would be churlish to punish Green for a retaliation to the criticism
directed at him since THAT World Cup howler against the United
States.'Players are not computers,' said Grant. 'I don't think emotion is a
negative word. I don't want my players to be without emotions.' In 105 days
since Rustenburg, Green has been under scrutiny. Overlooked by England, he
made a costly error against Chelsea and got away with one against Stoke
before a terrific save from Kenwyne Jones, to earn his team a point and stop
the rot of four defeats. He was superb against Spurs on Saturday, with one
exceptional save to tip a Luka Modric volley on to the bar.
It may have closed an uncomfortable chapter were it not for a date on
Saturday with Fulham and Clint Dempsey, who's shot slithered from his grasp
Premier League players could lose £100m to taxman
By Harry Harris, Football Correspondent
September 26, 2010
HM Revenue & Customs suspects the image rights deals are being used by clubs
to top up payments to players at the Treasury's expense, because the image
rights payments are taxed at a lower rate than normal wage payments. The
Revenue's special civil investigations unit has a team of 20 tax inspectors
sifting through players' image rights deals, and it has written to all the
top players who receive part of their income through image rights. Clubs
contest that the image rights deals are legitimate licensing payments, which
are taxed at 21% or 28%, but if the Revenue determines the payments should
be counted as wages, they would be levied at 40%, with a new 50% top rate
from April. Premier League clubs, led by Premier League finance director
Javed Khan, have attempted to strike a collective deal with the Revenue. The
clubs face a backlash and possible legal action from players who would be
receiving decreased net payments compared to what was promised in their
contracts. Sullivan said the Hammers are trying to resolve issues between
their players and the Revenue as quickly as possible, and that the club will
withhold the image rights payments until an agreement is reached. Sullivan
told ESPNsoccernet: "We are in negotiations with the Revenue and we hope to
resolve things within three months, via a global settlement relating to all
players of West Ham United.
"If any player can agree things quicker in relation to their image rights
payment and any possible tax due to HMRC we will pay them immediately [when]
they resolve their position with HMRC. Every football club is in the same
position. It wouldn't surprise me if the Revenue are aiming to recoup
West Ham United break ice and launch party following victory over Tottenham
West Ham United 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0
By Ian Chadband
Published: 7:00AM BST 27 Sep 2010
Stringfellows can wait when you have got Upton Park. Before heading up West
for his stag do, Russell "he kissed a girl and he liked it" Brand was to be
found gallivanting in the East End, inviting his celebrity chums — Baddiel,
Walliams, Noel Gallagher, the usual suspects — to join him in a kickabout at
the Boleyn Ground on Saturday evening an hour after his beloved Hammers had
launched his party there. Joy appeared unconfined. As the home fans trekked
home celebrating the derby win which spirited them off the bottom of the
table, co-owner David Sullivan, Scott Parker, assorted players, rock stars
and comedians all seemed to have been infected by the feelgood factor as
they enjoyed a laugh under the floodlights. Evidently, the old place had
really needed a lift like this. "The sweetest win," Sullivan called it.
Even Avram Grant was smiling, doing his best to give the impression this had
not been a must-win affair for him. How had he handled the pressure? "I
control the pressure and can direct it when I decide. Others let the
pressure control them. For me, it was nothing exceptional." Fair enough;
after Portsmouth and Chelsea, presumably he could cope with anything? "You
are close to the truth," mused Grant. Still, although he talks of West Ham
being a long project, a short-term return had never been more sorely or
urgently required. Sullivan suggested afterwards that no manager could
survive nine successive defeats; until last week, Grant had been almost
halfway to the gallows. Yet here his team, who have been improving by the
game, delivered robustly. "Not a relegation team," sniffed Sullivan, and who
could argue? Manuel da Costa was towering at the back, Parker offered the
sleeves-up leadership Spurs seemed to lack and the muscular strike pairing
of Victor Obinna and match-winner Freddie Piquionne was a persistent pain
for Spurs' makeshift back four. Then there was the Robert Green makeover. An
assured display, topped by one astounding effort to tip Luca Modric's volley
on to the bar, was marked afterwards by a defiant "stick it" gesture to the
press box which looked like the public exorcism of Clint Dempsey torment.
Green's team-mates could not have been more thrilled for him. "We never
needed to say anything to Robert because he's a very strong character and
never let what happened affect him," explained Danny Gabbidon. Green helped
seal Harry Redknapp's wretched week, though, and Spurs' defensive injury
woes offer no guarantee that Wednesday's Champions League tie with Twente
will see a rapid change of fortune. William Gallas, with a torn groin
muscle, could be out for a few weeks, Ledley King was "struggling" with
groin and knee problems and Younes Kaboul a hamstring strain, so Redknapp
may have to rely on Saturday's unconvincing pairing of Vedran Corluka and
Sebastien Bassong in central defence. This was not Harry's day. "Yep, first
time I've ever been beaten by the super Hammers," sighed the old super
Hammer. Even he, though, had to applaud the revival for no one knew better
what this afternoon had meant to West Ham's exultant faithful, be it the
lads in The Boleyn pub or Mr Brand's Stringfellows crew. "He's following me
on Twitter but he hasn't invited me to his stag do," muttered Gabbidon. Good
job; West Ham's revival was at least safe for the moment.
WEST HAM v TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
HARRY ACCUSES WEST HAM OF 'TAPPING UP' O'HARA
ComeOnSpurs.com; 25 September 2010
West Ham and Spurs came to blows this summer over Scott Parker, who was the
subject of a rejected £7million bid from Harry. David Sullivan accused Spurs
of unsettling Parker with the bid and Parker signed a new four-year contract
at Upton Park. And Harry believes that his former club are hypocritical as
they also contacted Jamie O'Hara about a move to Upton Park. Redknapp
claimed: "They were talking to Jamie O'Hara all through the summer. Jamie
told me he'd been getting phone calls all summer." If this is true West Ham
would have broken Premier League rule K3, which states that the buying party
in a transfer must contact the player's club before speaking to him
directly. Harry has called for this rule to be scrapped as 'tapping up'
players is widespread within the game. "Listen, it ("tapping up") happens in
the game. "We're all kidding ourselves if we think it doesn't go on in the
game. Every player that gets transferred, someone's ringing him. "It doesn't
just suddenly happen. An agent will speak to an agent for a player. He will
speak to the player. The player says 'yeah, I'd like to go to that club' and
that's how it happens. "If people don't think it happens at almost 99% of
transfers then they are in the wrong world."
West Ham were unavailable to respond to the allegations on Friday evening.
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