Steve Lomas made it three games without defeat by seeing off a plucky
Newcastle United on Tuesday
Steve Lomas maintained his unbeaten record as West Ham United reserve-team
manager courtesy of a 4-2 victory over Newcastle United on Tuesday. A
youthful Magpies side threatened to cause an upset at the Boleyn Ground when
Greg McDermott levelled the scores at 2-2 with a little more than 20 minutes
remaining. However, the Hammers' greater experience and desire to win shone
through in the closing stages as the impressive Zavon Hines and substitute
Cristian Montano both found the net. Earlier, Philip Airey had given
Newcastle the lead before Freddie Sears and Robbie Keane - continuing his
return from a thigh injury - scored to put the home side 2-1 up early in the
Lomas, who has now recorded wins over Arsenal and Newcastle to go with a 1-1
draw at Sunderland, was happy enough with a win that took the Hammers up to
second in the Southern Group table. "I think it was the normal scenario. You
had a young Newcastle team who were lively and up for it, and I thought they
did really well in the first half so I want to give them a bit of credit.
"When they equalised to make it 2-2, I thought 'Here we go'. However, I
thought the lads played a lot better in the second half, with a lot more
intensity and moved the ball better. "I thought we were a bit laboured in
the first half. I thought we needed to mix it up a bit because we were
over-playing and we did things better in the second half and probably could
have had two or three more goals."
On-loan forward Keane is ineligible for Saturday's Barclays Premier League
trip to parent club Tottenham Hotspur, but Lomas said the Republic of
Ireland captain will have acquired much-needed match-fitness ahead of his
country's home EURO 2012 qualifier against FYR Macedonia and friendly
international with Uruguay later this month. "It was good, obviously, to get
Robbie some match time. Obviously he can't play on Saturday, so it was
important that he got some action ahead of going away with Ireland. That was
important for him and he's come through with no ill-effects."
Keane was not the only Hammer to catch the eye. Hines capped a lively
all-round display with a well-taken headed goal, while Julien Faubert,
Herita Ilunga, Luis Boa Morte and Radoslav Kovac all put in positive
At the other end of the age spectrum, centre-backs Callum McNaughton - who
also captained the side - and Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson showed their promise.
"It was a good performance from Zavon. He played out of position in the
first half and up front in the second half and looked lively. "I thought all
the senior boys showed a good attitude. I thought Julien Faubert was
excellent again, having been excellent against Arsenal two weeks ago. Herita
did well, as did Boa and Kovi, who showed good attitudes alongside the young
lads."It was good that they came down and were good examples for them, which
they were. The two young ones at centre-half did OK and, all in all, it was
Lomas explained that, after naming Frank Nouble and McNaughton as his
captain in his last two matches, he intends to give many of his younger
players the opportunity to lead their side during their final six league
fixtures."I want all the young boys to have a go at it because I want them
to be vocal because they don't talk enough around the senior players. I
understand that it is difficult to demand things of them, but if they are
going to train with them and play with them, then they've got to be able to
tell them if they are doing something wrong and if they want the ball.
"Callum has been good. He went out to Bishop's Stortford [on loan for a
month in December] and has come back before I arrived and has done really
well since I've been here."For me, I want all the young lads to captain
because they're the ones who are going to be with me the majority of the
time."I want to see how they respond and I thought Callum responded very
well. Obviously he is still raw and makes some mistakes like you shouldn't
do, but he's still learning the game."What I like about Callum is that he's
got a great attitude and he wants to learn. That goes for all the young lads
- I've been here for three weeks and they've all been first-class in
training and at games."Some of the young lads were left out for this game
and you could see the disappointment on their faces. That's good, because I
want them to be disappointed when they're left out. "That's just the way of
it because first-team players need games and there will be other matches
where they aren't available and they'll get their chance to show the same
attitude they did at Sunderland."
Tomkins - Let's beat the drop
England Under-21 international hones in on league survival
Last updated: 15th March 2011
James Tomkins has challenged his West Ham team-mates to forget their FA Cup
exit and preserve their Premier League status. The Hammers' mini revival was
checked by Stoke on Sunday as Danny Higginbothamclaimed the winning goal to
ease the Potters to a 2-1 victory to claim a place in the FA Cup semi-final.
At just 21, Tomkins has been at the club for over 10 years having joined as
a seven-year-old and graduated through their famed Academy system. During
that time he has experienced numerous setbacks but he is determined he and
his team-mates can bounce back from this latest one as they prepare to face
Tottenham on Saturday. The Hammers are only in the bottom three as a result
of goal difference but appear to be heading into form at the crunch time of
"We can't feel sorry for ourselves," said Tomkins. "The FA Cup would have
been a bonus but the league is massively important, we have to bounce
back."There is a big game coming up. We have to put Stoke behind us and
remember we were on a good run." He added: "The fans went up in their
thousands to Stoke and it was great support. We need them behind us and they
were brilliant. "We are disappointed we couldn't give them the victory they
wanted. "We showed good heart and spirit but it wasn't to be. Another day,
things could have gone our way but it wasn't to be. We will all go again on
Saturday - we'll be giving it everything at Tottenham."
Dyer keeping options open
West Ham man not ruling out Championship stay
Last updated: 15th March 2011
Ipswich Town's on-loan midfielder Kieron Dyer insists money will not be a
factor when he decides where to play his football next season. The
32-year-old's lucrative West Ham contract expires in the summer and he is
putting his family first and foremost with regards to life after Upton Park.
Dyer is not ruling out a permanent move to the Championship having made his
second debut for Ipswich in Saturday's goalless draw with promotion-chasing
Leeds United. The former Newcastle United man insists playing in the MLS in
an option, but playing for Ipswich in the Premier League has always been an
"I have not got to think about money in the summer when my West Ham contract
ends," he told the Green'Un24. "It is a good situation to be in. "There are
a couple of clauses in my contract but they should be sorted and make me
free to decide what to do. "The Championship is a possibility and perhaps
abroad - the USA. But the decision will be made in my interests and the
interests of my family. "Ipswich Town means everything to me as they gave me
my chance and I have blue in my blood. "I don't have to worry about money
and through my injury problems it has been wanting to play that has driven
me on. It's made me want to get fit."It was always my ambition to play in
the Premier League here."
Powell lines up Hammers talks
Last updated: 15th March 2011
Charlton manager Chris Powell is poised for talks with West Ham about
extending Matt Fry's loan deal. The full-back's stay at The Valley is set to
end after Saturday's trip to Dagenham. "Matt's loan finishes soon and we
have to assess that going forward as to whether we extend it or not," Powell
told South London Today. "I haven't spoken to West Ham but I'm sure I will
speak to them later this week."
Dyer : I love football too much to quit
By CHARLIE WYETT
Published: 15 Mar 2011
KIERON DYER makes an emotional return for Ipswich at Portman Road tonight —
admitting his love of football has stopped him from quitting. The
injured-jinxed midfielder has returned on loan to his hometown club after
making just 17 starts in nearly four seasons for West Ham. The former
England international, who left Ipswich for Newcastle in 1999, admits he was
furious when reading comments from West Ham co-owner David Sullivan last
year that he should retire.
Dyer, 32, who played at Leeds on Saturday and faces Watford tonight, said:
"There were times when I broke down at the training ground at West Ham and
I'd come in and rant and rave, saying 'I can't be going through another
three months of rehab'."But after the initial five or 10 minutes it's never
crossed my mind."Maybe Mr Sullivan was hopeful I would call it a day. You'd
have to ask him."But when you are the chairman of a club, you can say what
you want and do what you want."But I would have liked it if he had come and
spoken to me first or given me the heads-up. To read in the paper that I
have to retire was quite disappointing. I was peed off, to be honest."I
motivate myself. I do it for me. I am a proud guy and to be reading I am a
waste of money and I'm injury-prone is not nice."So it gives me the
motivation. The West Ham fans have been great to me, though, and I know they
have paid a lot of money for me. It has been frustrating."The love of the
game has kept me going. I'm in a situation where I don't have to worry about
money."If I didn't love the game I could have chucked it in a couple of
years ago. But I want to get out on the pitch and get that buzz — that's
what sees you through."It's not as if I've been injured because I'm a bad
professional or I haven't put in the hours in the gym. I've done all I could
to get fit. Sometimes it's been out of my hands. I've been wrongly diagnosed
with a lot of my injuries.
"I was out for a whole season with a hamstring injury then I go to see a
certain specialist after a year and he says 'It's just because you've got a
10cm piece of scar tissue — break that down and you'll be playing football
again."I haven't had a hamstring injury since. Who's to blame for that? "A
thigh injury has kept me out for most of this season. They found out I
needed an injection and I haven't felt my thigh since. "You can get labelled
as injury-prone but sometimes if you follow what the medical team and the
specialists are telling you and you are diagnosed what can you do?"
Dyer's loan spell is only for a month and he is relishing the chance to
return to the club he loves. For the last three years, he has even funded
Ipswich's under-16s team. The £65,000-a-week star, a free agent this summer,
said: "We had a warm-down on Sunday and I saw some schoolboys running around
with an Ipswich shirt with my name on it.
"I still sponsor the under 16s and Titus Bramble sponsors the under-9s. We
are always grateful to Ipswich, particularly when they were going through
administration. "This club means everything to me. They gave me my chance in
football. I'm a home-town boy. I was a bit gutted that in 2000, the season
after I left, they got into the Premiership. "It was always a dream of mine
to play in the Premiership with this club. After that last game I made a
promise to myself that I wouldn't come back. "But I keep coming back to
watch games and when the chance came to come back for a month to get some
games and some fitness I jumped at the chance, even if I also fell out with
Craig Bellamy at the same time as he rang me on Friday to go to Cardiff. "Me
not playing that much football gives me more petrol in the tank and the
saving grace is that even though after all these injuries and me getting
older, my pace has never gone. "I'm still a West Ham player. I'll get this
month out of the way and go back and help them.
"Maybe a new environment, even just for a month, might give me the lift to
get fit and the good fortune that I think I deserve. I still think I've got
a lot to offer this game."
Ba passed fit for West Ham's trip to Tottenham
Tuesday, March 15
West Ham striker Demba Ba will be fit to face Tottenham on Saturday despite
playing no part in their FA Cup defeat against Stoke. Ba has made an
immediate impact at West Ham following his move from Hoffenheim back in
January and has scored four goals in his first five games. Despite failing a
medical at Stoke, Ba has shown he can compete in the Premier League and
manager Avram Grant was not prepared to take a risk over his long-term
fitness by risking him in the FA Cup quarter-final at the Britannia Stadium.
The Senegal striker has revealed on his official website that he was rested
for the game and will be back in contention when they face a crucial London
derby against Tottenham.
James Tomkins tells West Ham to forget Stoke and focus on the league
Defender urges team-mates to turn minds to Tottenham
We have to put Stoke behind us,' says Tomkins
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 15 March 2011 14.43 GMT
James Tomkins has told his West Ham United team-mates to forget feeling
sorry for themselves following their FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Stoke
City as they now focus on Saturday's London derby with Tottenham Hotspur and
their fight against relegation.
After Avram Grant's team lost 2-1 on Sunday the manager and his players
voiced discontent at the free-kick awarded to Stoke for a Carlton Cole
handball which led to Danny Higginbotham's winner. They claimed that the
decision was unfair as the striker's arms had remained close to his body.
But with West Ham still in the bottom three of the Premier League Tomkins is
clear regarding the need to concentrate on avoiding relegation. "We can't
feel sorry for ourselves," the defender said. "The FA Cup would have been a
bonus but the league is massively important, we have to bounce back. There
is a big game coming up. We have to put Stoke behind us and remember we were
on a good run.
"The fans went up in their thousands to Stoke and it was great support. We
need them behind us and they were brilliant. We are disappointed we couldn't
give them the victory they wanted. We showed good heart and spirit but it
wasn't to be. Another day, things could have gone our way but it wasn't to
be. We will all go again on Saturday – we'll be giving it everything at
Tomkins, who normally operates in central defence and is in the England
Under-21 squad for next week's games against Denmark and Iceland, was chosen
at right-back by Grant against Stoke. But the 21-year-old said he does not
care which position he is asked to play.
"I played right-back again on Sunday and I just try and do a job wherever I
am asked to play. We've all got to do our best for the team and put that
first," he said.
Kieron Dyer sets out to show at Ipswich the value West Ham never saw
Injury prone midfielder is still smarting at the words of West Ham's
co-owner and determined to enjoy a loan spell at home
guardian.co.uk, Monday 14 March 2011 23.10 GMT
Kieron Dyer does not mince his words. Then again, when the chairman of your
football club would prefer it if you retired, the gloves are off. "Yeah, I
was peed off, to be honest," the midfielder says of the West Ham United
co-owner David Sullivan's comments, which were made last year. "But the more
you hear of his statements and when you actually meet the man – he's capable
of that every day. I do like him. He had a barbecue in the summer and we got
on really well. He is just one of these people who, whatever comes to his
mind, he will speak it. He doesn't beat around the bush."
Dyer is back on home turf at Ipswich Town, where he started in 1996, having
secured a month's loan from West Ham. There is little doubt that his Upton
Park statistics make for grisly reading, particularly for Sullivan, who
criticised Dyer shortly after he and David Gold took charge, in February
2010. At the time, Dyer had started only five Premier League matches for the
club, because of injuries. His total, in all competitions over four seasons,
now stands at 17. He cost £6m when he joined from Newcastle United and his
basic weekly wage is £65,000. The 32-year-old might have lost count of the
number of times that he has been written off but Sullivan did succeed in
"It's not to prove him wrong, I don't have to prove anything to him," Dyer
says, before changing tack. "I am a proud guy and to be reading I am a waste
of money and I'm injury prone is not nice. So it gives me the motivation.
When you are the chairman of a club, you can say what you want and do what
you want. But I would have liked it if he had come and spoken to me first or
given me the heads up. To read in the paper that I have to retire was quite
Dyer is synonymous with injury, and there has been none worse in his career
than the dreadful broken leg he suffered at Bristol Rovers in August 2007,
on only his third appearance for West Ham. Yet his frustration is also
directed at club doctors.
"I've been wrongly diagnosed with a lot of my injuries," he says. "I was out
for a whole season with a hamstring injury but then I go to see a certain
specialist and he says it's because I have a 10-centimetre piece of scar
tissue. Who's to blame for that? A thigh injury has kept me out for most of
this season but then they found out I needed an injection and I haven't felt
my thigh since."
Dyer refers to himself as a West Ham player. His Upton Park contract will
expire in the summer. He says that he would like to go back and score the
goal that keeps the Hammers in the Premier League, to repay the support of
the supporters, who have "always been great". But he does not have to spell
out how difficult he has found his time at West Ham and his delight at being
back at the club he supported as a boy is plain.
Dyer grew up "literally two minutes away" from Portman Road and he has been
back regularly to watch the team's matches since his £6m move to Newcastle
United in 1999. Together with another former Ipswich player, Titus Bramble,
who is now at Sunderland, he has sponsored the club's youth sides for some
When Ipswich indicated that they wanted the loan, Dyer jumped at the chance.
He signed last Friday and started in a 0-0 draw at Leeds 24 hours later.
"His partner was due to have their baby on Saturday," says the Ipswich
manager, Paul Jewell, "but there was no call from Kieron to ask for the
afternoon off. That tells you how keen he is to play or how squeamish he is
– one or the other."
Dyer's fourth child is yet to arrive and he says that in an ideal world, he
or she would not do so until Sunday. Ipswich have home fixtures against
Watfordon Tuesday and Scunthorpe United on Saturday. He admits that he is
"nervous" about playing at Portman Road again.
Dyer will begin to take his coaching badges in the summer, together with a
West Ham team-mate, Scott Parker, although he jokes that managing any
players like himself or his close friend Craig Bellamy would give him "a
heart-attack". In the years immediately ahead, though, he wants to get his
enjoyment out of playing.
"I was at West Ham when Dean Ashton was forced to retire," he says, of the
former England striker. "As he was doing one last warm-up, all you could
hear was 'crunch, crunch' from his ankle. I turned round and he was just in
tears on the floor. He knew his career was over. I thought, 'I've got a few
muscle tears whereas he is struggling to walk.' In a way, it shows how
fortunate I am."
Does Avram Grant deserve more credit for his work at West Ham?
Posted by Sport.co.uk on: 15 March 2011 - 16:45
Author: Martin Lindsay
The controversial 'hire and fire' policy of football club owners is one that
has got the better of many managers - but one top flight boss seems to have
overcome this unfashionable trend. West Ham United manager Avram Grant has
endured a difficult first season at Upton Park, with poor results on the
pitch leading to intense media scrutiny regarding his future off it.
However, impressive January signings has seen an upturn in form for the
relegation threatened Hammers, who now look like they have the power to claw
themselves away from the scrap to beat the drop.
A poisoned chalice?
Grant was confirmed as West Ham boss on June 3 last summer, signing a
four-year-contract after resigning from his post at relegated Portsmouth.
However with his new side failing to record a win in their first five
Premier League games of the season, the critics had the perfect ammunition
to start piling on the pressure – somewhat harshly it must be said.
In Grant's defence he inherited an average squad, and without any major
summer signings he was always going to have a job on his hands. However, we
all know where the finger is pointed in football, no matter of the
Opinions are divided on Grant's capabilities to become a top manager, with
his relaxed style and apparent lack of passion coming in for much criticism.
If West Ham were getting results this is something that wouldn't have even
been questioned – and why should it ever be? After all, there's no style
guide to abide by.
The critics had more fuel to pour onto the fire in November following a 3-0
loss to Liverpool at Anfield. Not only did this result leave Grant's side
rooted to the bottom of the league, it also meant he as a manager had spent
a calendar year in the relegation zone, after taking over at crisis-club
Pompey on November 26 2009. Not a record any manager would want.
Credible past achievements discredited
That said here is a manager who led Chelsea to the Champions League final in
2008, as well as picking up a hugely credible FA Cup runners-up medal with
Pompey last season, losing 1-0 to his former Stamford Bridge employers.
The sceptics disregard Grant's 2008 European final appearance, crediting
their near miss against Manchester United largely down to Jose Mourinho's
richly assembled squad. Of course, a squad that boasts such a galaxy of
experienced stars always helps but without the required guidance, reaching
the final of Europe's premier competition would have been impossible.
West Ham though have struggled in the league this season. After a difficult
start to the campaign inconsistency has been the issue for the Hammers,
resulting in them still occupying a relegation place with only nine games to
Despite the club's precarious league position, Grant's side have been
impressive in both domestic cup competitions this season. The Hammers
reached the semi-finals of the Carling Cup, with a 4-0 victory over holders
Manchester United the stand out result. They also reached the FA Cup quarter
finals, losing to Stoke 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium. This may end up being
a blessing for Grant's side, who can now focus on their survival fight.
Credit where its due
Grant also gave a lot of players from the previous regime the chance to
prove themselves, but with the club fighting relegation for a second
successive season the Israeli boss knew he must act in the January transfer
window – and act he did.
Grant was astute, persuading both Wayne Bridge and Robbie Keane to join on
loan from Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur respectively in an attempt
to steady his sinking ship. Senegal striker Demba Ba was also snapped up and
has scored four goals in as many games after joining from Hoffenheim.
Hats off to Grant for these mid-season recruits because his side now look
the team most likely to get themselves out of trouble. There's no hiding
from West Ham's poor first half to the season, but the reaction now will
give every one associated with the Hammers hope.
After taking over at Upton Park it's fair to say Grant has received harsh
treatment from the media, so justice will be done if he manages to guide his
side to safety – an achievement that should give the West Ham boss the
credit he deserves.
Hammer Fan Blog: Mike Jones' performance at Stoke v West Ham was atrocious
Paul H East , East London Advertiser Columnist
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
It has emerged that Avram Grant's comments in the wake of West Ham's FA Cup
Quarter Final defeat at the Britannia Stadium are to be investigated by the
FA. Investigated for what, exactly? Telling the truth? Make no mistake,
Grant's comments were absolutely on the money and if anything, following a
shambolic performance from the utterly inept Mike Jones, were a little too
First things first, it was a bad day at the office for the Hammers, and it
would be unfair to say that the referee and Tony Pulis' influence on him
were the only contributing factors to this heartbreaking defeat.
Too many players did not perform to the level they had in previous weeks,
and the absence of Demba Ba was crucial. Without his ability to split
defenders and run in behind them, West Ham looked short of ideas and one
dimensional; no sooner had the ball gone forward than it came back,
providing precious little relief for the defence and the excellent Robert
Nonetheless, Hammers could and probably should have left the Potteries with
a draw, and might well have done so were it not for the performance of an
official considered to be so poor his superiors that he is likely to be
dropped from the Premier League roster at the end of the season. Jones -
infamous for last season's 'beach ball' goal at Sunderland - was incompetent
throughout and got every major decision wrong.
If the FA are so keen to launch investigations; perhaps they should look at
why the Premier League's worst official was placed in charge of a quarter
final that was always going to be played in a white-hot atmosphere and look
more closely at the decisions in question:
1) Stoke's opening goal Jon Walters clearly blocked Matthew Upson. An
obvious foul. Not given.
2) West Ham's equaliser - handball by Frederic Picquionne. Not given.
3) Stoke penalty - a clear dive. Penalty awarded.
4) Stoke winning goal - Robert Huth clearly pulls Thomas Hitzlsperger out of
the West Ham wall. An obvious foul. Not given.
5) West Ham penalty claim - Walters rugby tackles James Tomkins in Stoke
penalty area. Free kick awarded to Stoke.
None of the above were difficult decisions and there were more examples of
Jones' ineptitude, including a ludicrous booking for Victor Obinna, but the
fact that it is Grant - not Jones and Pulis - that is under investigation
says everything about how the game's governing body in this country operate
and why they continue to be a laughing stock.
That an under-performing West Ham side might have come away with a replay
says everything about what a limited side Stoke City are.
Utterly awful to watch, it's no surprise that they failed to sell out their
own stadium for an FA Cup quarter-Final, and whilst their 'support' may crow
about their impending visit to Wembley, Hammers fans will at least be
content that they aren't subjected to Stoke's style of play every week.
Stoke bombarded West Ham's penalty box with their set pieces. Hammers, and
Rob Green in particular, are entitled to feel aggrieved that they were only
able to score when infringements had occurred, and that's to say nothing of
Matthew Etherington's dive to win a penalty – a newly acquired skill of his
that served to highlight that there is no area of the dark arts that Stoke
have failed to master.
In spite of all this, Grant and his troops will know that they didn't
perform well on Sunday, and that improvement is required before Saturday's
fixture with Tottenham.
The Israeli enjoys an excellent record against Harry Redknapp and will hope
for this to continue as Hammers bid to do the double (treble if you include
the Olympic Stadium) over their North London rivals. If they are to do this,
the return of Ba and Gary O'Neil to form the same starting XI that were so
impressive against Liverpool will be key.
It's a sign of the times that Hammers fans will be looking forward to the
trip to White Hart Lane after two weeks of watching Stoke, and the sense of
injustice at the events of last weekend should prove a useful motivational
tool for Grant and his side between now and the end of the season.