Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Bowyer Reprieved

The Football Association have quashed the red card issued to Lee Bowyer last weekend. The combative midfielder was harshly dismissed on Saturday by referee Mark Clattenburg for an alleged two-footed tackle on Birmingham captain Damien Johnson in the Barclays Premier League clash at Upton Park. Bowyer was facing an instant three match ban but will not now face a suspension, or any kind of sanction, after the FA decided that no punishment was necessary. He is now eligible for the visit to Fulham on 23rd February. Hammers manager Alan Curbishley revealed straight after the 1-1 draw with Blues that he had asked Clattenburg to reconsider his decision on the tackle, two minutes from the end of the match at Upton Park. The club then lodged an official appeal before yesterday's noon deadline and the case was heard by the FA at Soho Square this lunchtime.

Elsewhere, academy director Tony Carr is insisting that Freddie Sears is ready for the "next challenge" of proving himself at a higher level than the Under-18s. The prolific striker hit another hat-trick in Saturday's 4-1 demolition of Norwich City to make it 20 goals from 15 games this season. Eight of those strikes have come in the last five games, to underline that Sears is more than over the foot injury which sidelined him last autumn. "At our level now, Freddie is scoring an absolute minimum of one a game," Carr said. "He is scoring lots and lots of goals and he is having a good season. He is training with the first team on a regular basis now and working with the senior players is doing him a lot of good. Obviously he is one that we hope can push on and reproduce his form at a more senior level. That is the key. We have had many a great youth player that can't make that step and Fred has to show that he can replicate his form in the reserves and then at a higher level in the future."

The signs are Sears will do just that, not least with another good display off the bench a week ago for England U19s in a 2-0 home friendly win against Croatia. Carr went along to the game in Swindon and said manager Brian Eastwick was very positive about the young Hammers striker. "He said he was very bright and looked good in training. He has to keep performing to stay there but we are very pleased with his progress." The 18-year-old will also hope to figure in this evening's reserve match for Kevin Keen's side against Birmingham City at the Boleyn Ground - with Carr confident his young charge has what it takes to show his ability at a higher level.

Bobby Zamora will make a welcome reserve-team return in the game tonight, while there is also the chance for Julien Faubert and Luis Boa Morte to stake their claims. Birmingham include senior players Colin Doyle, Stuart Parnaby, Rafael Schmitz, Daniel De Ridder, a Dutch Under-21 star, and Argentinian sensation Mauro Zarate. The visitors also have Semih Aydilek, recruited from Eintracht Frankfurt, in attack. It promises to be a tough encounter for the Irons who currently sit sixth in the closely fought ten-team Barclays Premier Reserve League. West Ham United are just two points behind Reading and this evening's opponents Birmingham City, who sit in second and third place respectively. It is the first game at home in 2008 with the last two fixtures being the 2-1 loss at Aston Villa on 7 January and a 1-0 win at Portsmouth a fortnight later. Keen said: "It would be great to see a few new fans coming to the game along with our regulars, as I am sure we will have some of our senior players appearing along with our talented crop of young players."

Finally Robert Green has revealed he was sending himself up with having 'England's N06' stitched into his gloves for Saturday's game against Birmingham City. The keeper, who was watched for the first time by new England manager Fabio Capello, revealed his glove manufacturer came up with the idea of "having a laugh on my behalf". Fans have been chanting England's No6 this season in response to Green finding himself down the international pecking order despite his good form. Green, who has pledged to "keep playing well and hope" about his national-team aspirations, added: "[The glovemaker] has been to games, heard the banter with the crowd and thought that it would be quite funny to have England's No6 stitched on my gloves. If you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at? It is not having a go at anybody. It is not against anyone. If it is anyone, it is against myself." So no truth in the rumour he was inspired by Dean Ashton's repeated claims to be 'England's N09' then.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!


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