16
Aug

Pitch invader takes halfway decent free kick

imageJust look at the form - and those kicks. Perfect. (Photo: Action Images)

Most pitch invaders storm the field in hopes of hugging their favorite player, or snapping selfies with as many stars as possible. 

But on the opening day of the Premier League, one fan took a different route, and elected to show off his football skills. He saw the opportune moment as Spurs lined up to take a free kick and pounced with lightning quick speed.

Christian Eriksen looked just devastated that the strike didn’t go in. And to be honest, his ensuing free kick wasn’t any better than the pitch invader’s attempt.

Maybe Blackpool should consider giving the fan a call.

14
May

Summing up the Premier League in one tidy little flowchart

Wondering where it all went wrong (unless you’re a Man City fan) for your Premier League team? Was it “lots of own goals and red cards” that did your team in? Maybe it was spending “£27.5 on a giraffe in a wig” that was the final nail in the coffin?

image

(Full size)

The fine folks at Project Babb have put together a convenient little flowchart to help answer these questions and make sense of one of the craziest EPL seasons of recent memory.

Enjoy!

(h/t Project Babb)

12
Feb

Trecker’s Travels: East London’s much-needed humor

image

LONDON

Green Street, the approach to the Boleyn Ground at Upton Park, has a famous clock outside the Tube station. The message is grim: it reads “DON’T KILL YOUR WIFE/LET US DO IT.” It’s for a launderette, and it’s sold with typical East London humor.

There’s a lot of that around here, and the area needs it: Upton Park is in a ragged part of London, clogged with shops offering mobile phone unlocking, open-air fish markets and halal eateries. And the football here’s not offering much relief.

West Ham is an immensely proud club, fallen on some difficult times. Nearly 120 years old, they have bounced back and forth between the Premier League and the Championship in recent years and are currently locked in a fierce relegation battle. Tuesday night, they were in a classic six-pointer against an equally poor Norwich side, hoping to put a bit more distance between themselves and the drop.

image

Off the field, the Hammers have been a bit more successful. Owned by two veterans of London’s now-faded pornography industry, David Gold and David Sullivan, West Ham have inked a sweet deal to move out of their aging ground and take over the Olympic Stadium in nearby Stratford. For a mere $26 million, they will get to take over a stadium that is expected to cost nearly $310 million to retrofit for football. In addition, they announced on Monday that they will sell their old grounds here to a private developer, in a deal that has been reported as worth nearly $120m. Not a bad bit of business.

Not everyone is happy about that, mind you. Tiny Leyton Orient, currently trying to clamber out of the third division, sits in the Olympic Stadium’s shadow. They fear their tiny stadium on Brisbane Road simply won’t be able to compete, and they have a point, but they have lost several legal challenges to West Ham’s tenancy there, and as it stands, the matter is settled.

The funny thing is that West Ham might not be far apart from Leyton in the tables next season. Their fabled “Academy of Football” is referenced with heavy irony these days and with just seven points separating the eleven teams trying to stay in the top-flight, they have a brutal run-in ahead of them. In the final weeks, the Hammers will play both Manchester sides, Liverpool and three London derbies (against Palace, Arsenal and Spurs). They are currently 4-1 to go down the chute.

Leyton, on the other hand, sit in third in League One and have a realistic chance of going into the Championship. They are hardly world-beaters and rely too much on a single player — defender Romain Vincelot, a steely defender who begins most of their play out of the back — but they aren’t half bad, either.

image

The fact that these two clubs on opposite trajectories — one wealthy but always soggy; another plucky but well-scrubbed — might meet next year is a bit of an irony. What would be even better is if the two were in the same division come 2016. One will be playing in a taught ground that barely seats 10,000. The other might be rattling in around a 54,000 seat stadium. And both are likely to be far away from the top-flight.

2
Feb

Van Persie lines up sensational Arsenal return

So, the transfer window has closed until the summer but one of the most intriguing stories to emerge so far is the rumor that Robin van Persie wants to return to Arsenal. The Holland striker is reportedly frustrated by Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement and would consider moving back to Emirates. 

We’ve also got the latest on Barcelona’s hunt to replace Xavi and we have the newest Premier League player to be linked with a move to MLS. Click here for more.

31
Jan

The perils of being a reporter on Deadline Day

On Deadline Day, almost anything can happen. A good rule of thumb is to expect the unexpected. But we’re not sure if Sky Sports reporter Gary Cotterill saw this one coming while reporting outside of West Ham’s grounds…

Cotterill actually did quite well to keep his cool during the silly-string attack. He may want to prepare for another wave of string as the Hammers have signed Pablo Armero on loan from Napoli.

(H/T SB Nation)

6
Jan

West Ham offer VIP package to young crying fan

Watching your team lose 5-0 is always tough to take, but one young West Ham fan took their FA cup loss to Nottingham Forest particularly hard.

image

This unidentified boy was caught on camera weeping during the match. Now, West Ham is on the hunt to find the child and give him the experience of a lifetime.

In a statement on the club’s website, they have offered him and his family a chance to watch an upcoming match at the Boleyn Ground from the Directors’ Box. Not a bad offer.

The effort to identify the boy and give him a VIP experience has spread, and he’ll likely come forward soon. Let’s just hope he won’t be spotted bawling in the Directors’ Box, too.

(H/T WAATP)

5
Jan

Sam Allerdyce all smiles after embarrassing loss

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce hasn’t had a lot to smile about recently, but his spirits seemed remarkably high after a brutal 5-0 FA Cup loss at the hands of Championship side Nottingham Forest.

Allardyce, whose side also sits second from bottom in the Premier League, might want to wipe that smirk off his face. The 13th highest paid manager in the world (no, seriously) might not have a job if West Ham’s atrocious form keeps up.

Meanwhile, Hammers supporters weren’t quite as content:

Look what you’ve done, Sam.

H/T 101GG

18
Nov

Ravel Morrison scores best training goal perhaps ever

West Ham striker and England under-21 international Ravel Morrison scored a stupendous goal during England practice last week. Though he wasn’t facing any defenders, Morrison receives 100 points for this acrobatic back-heel volley.

Tabbed as one of the most promising up-and-coming English players today, Morrison will be hard-pressed to come up with something more spectacular in a real game. The 20-year-old has five goals in 12 appearances for the Hammers this season, and two goals in three games with the U-21 Three Lions.

4
Nov

West Ham raise the Ba in bid to bolster attack

West Ham’s struggles in front of goal this season are well known. Although Andy Carroll could return to action this month following a heel injury Hammers boss Sam Allardyce iis planning to bolster his flagging attack with a new signing in January. Step forward Chelsea striker Demba Ba, who is spending far too much time keeping the bench warm this season.

We’ve also got the latest on the future of Corinthians star Alexandre Pato, who has been linked with two Premier League clubs. Click here to find out which teams could make a bid for the Brazilian.