Thursday, 30 June 2011

Silence Noise Silence

It was full daylight at 7.40 this very morning in 1908 when an enormous pale blue fireball trailed by a 500-mile tail of bright light, shimmering, multicoloured bands hurtled across the Siberian sky and consumed itself in the greatest cosmic explosion in the history of civilisation. This cataclysmic detonation occurred four miles above the Earth's surface over a huge, inaccessible and almost uninhabited pine forest near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in central Siberia. Equal to 1,000 Hiroshima bombs, the blinding flash could be seen from 500 miles away. The colossal blast produced no crater but its shock wave flattened half a million acres of forest, and more than twenty miles from the epicentre scorched and splintered trees lay pointing radially outward in a vast circle of destruction. Almost 60 miles away at the trading post of Vanavara people were knocked to the ground by the force of the blast, and an hour later the seismic wave was picked up at the South Kensington Meteorological Office in London almost 4,000 miles away.

The debate still rages about the true nature of this titanic explosion. Most agree that some sort of extraterrestrial body, travelling at perhaps 60,000 miles an hour, detonated when it collided with the Earth's atmosphere. Some maintain that it was a 100,000-ton asteroid, others believe that it was a football-field-sized meteorite, and some insist it was a wayward comet fragment composed mainly of ice and dust. A more abstruse theory holds that the cataclysm was caused by a chunk of anti-matter, but a few assert that it was the explosion of the main drive reactor in a UFO manned by aliens bent on invading the Earth.

In the same way that the Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council demolished Earth to make way for the building of a hyperspatial express route through its star system; all we can really say about the greatest cosmic explosion in the history of civilisation is:

There was a terribly ghastly silence.
There was a terribly ghastly noise.
There was a terribly ghastly silence.

Which probably also accurately describes the reaction of Tony Pulis when Sam Allardyce told him he would need to increase his offer to close to £7 million if he wants to sign striker Carlton Cole. The Potters are reported to have made an opening bid of £3million, plus various add-ons, for the 27-year-old England international. Although the Hammers boss declined to confirm the size of Stoke's bid, or reveal West Ham's asking price, he said Stoke's opening offer wasn't enough to prise the striker away from Upton Park. Despite being one of the highest earners at the club, the Hammers are thought to be looking for a deal almost double the money on offer before they will considering selling Cole.

Although Allardyce accepts the Hammers have to look at balancing the books after their relegation from the Barclays Premier League last season, he was keen to stress players would not be allowed to leave cheaply. "I believe at this stage that the offer is not good enough. It is not to the club's valuation," the West Ham boss said. "We are keen to keep our key players. However, we have lost our Premier League status and our financial position has to be addressed. A part of that might be players are sold back to the Premier League, but only so long as that is right for our club."

Stoke have tabled offers for Cole and Birmingham duo Cameron Jerome and Scott Dann as they attempt to make an early move in the transfer market. However, City are unlikely to be rushed into negotiations for a quick deal. They have shown in previous years they are prepared to be patient because they believe better deals are more likely closer to the August 31 transfer deadline. Stoke were keen on Cole last summer, but were put off by a valuation of more than £12m. Liverpool were also heavily linked to the striker last year, but Cole endured a disappointing season culminating in West Ham's relegation in May.

However, Stoke would hope to revitalise a player who has seven England caps, the last of which came against Egypt 16 months ago. City could offer Cole the chance to put himself back in the England frame by cashing in on service from wingers Matthew Etherington and Jermaine Pennant. Cole, who has two years left on his West Ham contract, has also been linked with West Brom, QPR and Newcastle this summer. West Ham signed the player from Chelsea in 2006 and he scored 11 goals last season and has a total of 42 from 165 appearances for the Hammers.

If Allardyce is forced to sell Cole, Scott Parker or Robert Green then he has vowed to "splash the cash" this summer to rebuild his depleted squad. According to Talksport, the Hammers boss will hold showdown talks with the three players when they return for the start of pre-season training tomorrow. Parker is strongly expected to leave the club, with Tottenham leading the chase to sign him, while Green has been linked with a move to Aston Villa or West Brom. Stoke are also expected to come back with an improved offer for the Cole. Despite the huge debt, Allardyce has assured fans that he will still look to spend some money in the transfer market if they are forced to sell their best players. "If we sell, we will use some of that money to buy, there's no doubt about that," he said. "We have lost £40m of revenue. A lot of the finance will have to be stumped up by the owners to get us back into the Premier League."

The same media outlet claims some of that cash could be used to make an improved offer for Peterborough striker Craig Mackail-Smith. Allardyce is keen to bolster his forward line as Demba Ba has already left the club there is growing uncertainty surrounding the future of Cole. With Robbie Keane having returned to Tottenham following his loan spell last season, Allardyce knows he needs more firepower if West Ham are to bounce straight back into the Premier League. Mackail-Smith played a major role in helping Peterborough gain promotion into the Championship when he scored 35 goals last season and is keen to show he can play at a higher level. Posh director of football Barry Fry claimed earlier in the week that the club had agreed a fee with Leicester, but was expecting West Ham to come back with an improved bid.

No comments:


Copyright 2007 ID Media Inc, All Right Reserved. Crafted by Nurudin Jauhari