Friday, 17 August 2007

Dyer Signs

West Ham United finally announced the signing of Kieron Dyer yesterday with a sharp one sentence message. It was the minimum fanfare for a transfer that seems to have dragged on weeks. Speaking on the official site, Dyer talked about his delight at having finally put pen to paper on a four-year contract. "A couple of weeks ago I thought it was the end of the move and I was devastated," he said. "But thankfully the two clubs have come to an agreement and I am finally a West Ham player. I think it was well documented that I wanted to be nearer to my family, but I also see West Ham as a Club that is really going places, they have shown great ambition with the other players they have brought in and I just love the clear hunger of the Club to be successful. A lot of the players that have signed have a bit of a point to prove as have the players who came so close to relegation last season so everyone shares that hunger which can only be a good thing. I already know a few of the lads here like Wrighty (Richard Wright) and Bellars (Craig Bellamy) so I obviously did talk to them before I made the decision to join as it was never going to be a decision I was going to take lightly. They all had great things to say about the Club and the manager and all in all once I had spoken to them I made my mind up straight away."

Dyer will train with the team tomorrow then be included in the squad to travel to Birmingham for Saturday's match, but potentially being thrown straight into the team is not something that phases the 28-year-old midfielder and he adds he would be happy to play in whatever position is chosen for him. "It is probably one of my strengths - my ability to hit the ground running, so even though I have had a bit of a stop start pre-season if the manager asks me to play at Birmingham on Saturday I would be totally up for the challenge. I think the gaffer sees me as quite a versatile player who can play through the centre whether that be off the strikers or as a central-midfielder that is obviously up to him but if I am required to step in to cover for any of the wide players that would be okay because I am comfortable on the left or the right and I am happy at full-back as well."

Keiron Dyer has won 32 full senior caps, making his debut for England against Luxembourg at Wembley, September 4, 1999. He was considered one of England's brightest young stars when he joined Newcastle United from Ipswich Town in July 1999 and quickly demonstrated the talent which made him such hot property. Although only 20 at the time Dyer quickly added full England caps to the collection of youth, U-21 and B caps he had built up at Ipswich and only narrowly missed out on Kevin Keegan's final squad for Euro 2000. Dyer was part of Sven-Goran Eriksson's 2002 World Cup squad and made three substitute appearances during the tournament. He was made captain of Newcastle for the first time in a competitive game, and scored twice, against Everton in the Worthington Cup on November 6, 2002 and was named in the PFA Premiership team of the season in 2002/03. Kieron also played a part in the England squad for Euro 2004, making a substitute appearance against Switzerland. The midfielder scored seven goals for Newcastle last season.

Alan Curbishley proclaimed his club "delighted" to have secured the 28-year-old. The player's arrival takes his summer spending to over £30million and reunites the England international with his former Newcastle team-mates Scott Parker, Craig Bellamy and, most intriguingly, Lee Bowyer. During Newcastle's 3-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa in April 2005, Dyer and Bowyer were involved in one of English football's most notorious brawls. "I've spoken to both players on that and I've been assured it was a one-off and that they both speak regularly to each other anyway, so I don't think there'll be a problem," said Curbishley. "It was an incident that happened between two players that were desperate to do well, not lose the match and their frustration boiled over." Speaking about the protracted negotiations, Curbishley added: "Common sense has prevailed, and Kieron is looking forward to joining us. If you look at his history over the last couple of years he missed a lot of games with his hamstring – but once he got it sorted, he played 33 games and scored eight goals."

Joining Dyer at Birmingham could be club captain
Lucas Neill. The 29-year-old full-back sustained a knee injury during training on 6th August and was expected to be out until early September. But according to the player himself, he is ready for a return to action - and could be named in the squad tomorrow. "I'm almost fit," Neill told Skysports. "The manager's got a tough decision now whether to possibly risk me at 95% fit. Maybe if I got injured again I could be out for a month, or does he wait until I've got a full week of training in so I can be 100% fit for Wigan? I'll leave that down to him, but either way I won't be disappointed." Neill also expressed his delight over the capture of Kieron Dyer. "The guy's got great attributes, he's pacy and very skillful - but more importantly, he'll have a point to prove and that'll only benefit West Ham," he said. "He's had a frustrating period in his career where he's probably been on the sidelines more than he's played. Some people have questioned his ability, some people have doubted him. But for us to have him, and for him wanting to put the record straight and get his career back on track can only be a good thing for West Ham - and I'm looking forward to it."

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