Sunday, 2 September 2007

Pilgrims Visit

A quick glance at today's gossip pages sees that West Ham United were prepared to smash the £100,000 a week barrier to land Adriano. According to the News of the World, the 25 year old was offered a stunning £125,000 - £6.5million a year- to quit Inter Milan but 'turned his nose up' at the Upton Park club's one year loan proposal. The article states Adriano was hawked around several Premier League clubs and was reportedly seeking a four-year deal on £140,000 a week. Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester City were all approached but only the Hammers sent a delegation to meet him. It was after the deal collapsed that Wigan Athletic striker Henri Camara and Newcastle United's Nobby Solano were signed instead. The Sunday Mirror has a similar story but in an 'exclusive' by Paul Smith claims Eggert Magnusson was prepared to match the wage demands in full and a fee of £18million for a permanent transfer had been agreed with Inter Milan.

Also in the News of the World is a story that Leyton Orient were left out of pocket after West Ham United's £6million bid to sign Reading defender Nicky Shorey failed. The O's would have picked up a sell-on fee worth in the region of £900,000 had the Hammers landed their former full back. Chairman Barry Hearn groaned that the money would have wiped out our losses for the entire season.

According to the Sunday Star the Curse of Curbs means Alan Curbishley must have kicked a black cat. Since he has taken over at West Ham there has been a curse on the players that he has signed for the Hammers. Matthew Upson and Lucas Neill both suffered injuries after joining the club in last January's transfer window. Scott Parker has not kicked a ball since moving from Newcastle United in the summer and Julien Faubert, the £6.1million capture form Bordeaux, barely played more than a few minutes before rupturing his achilles and will be out until next year. While Faubert's poor replacement Kieron Dyer sustained a double fracture of his leg against Bristol Rovers last Tuesday. Freddie Ljungberg has also hardly featured either since moving from the Emirates. The paper thinks the club should replace the hammers on West Ham's badge with crossed walking sticks.

Although not reported in any of the papers, it is believed James Collins is close to agreeing a short term loan deal to Cardiff City. According to well placed sources, the defender could be set to join his former club in a bid to get some match sharpness. The Welshman remains firmly in Alan Curbishley's plans, having recently signed a new contract, but has been kept out of the side so far this season by the form of Anton Ferdinand and Upson.

Finally, West Ham United were drawn at home to Plymouth Argyle in the third round of the Carling Cup. The draw pitched the Hammers against the Championship side, with the sides set to meet at The Boleyn Ground in the week beginning September 24th. The two teams last met in this competition back in 1962 when West Ham enjoyed a 6-0 second round win over the Pilgrims. The last meeting in the league came two years ago when United enjoyed a similarly comprehensive victory; goals by Marlon Harewood, Malky Mackay, a Teddy Sheringham brace and an own goal saw the Hammers run out 5-0 winners. All in all the two clubs have met on 40 occasions with the Hammers winning 17 to Argyle's 10.

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