West Ham United have officially announced the signing of Mali international forward Modibo Maiga.
The 24-year-old joins the Hammers from French side FC Sochaux-Montbeliard for an undisclosed fee
believed to be in the region of £5million, putting pen to paper on a four-year contract with an
option for a further two years.
And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind
You find he did not leave you very much not even laughter
Like any dealer he was watching for the card
That is so high and wild
He'll never need to deal another
A little over a year ago I wrote a piece about the friction between social media and the written
press as it pertains to the transfer circus.
It is an imperative that you transform yourself from a consumer of the rich man's bullshit, to a
manufacturer of the people's truth. Yeah, sticking it to the man with some more paywall pilfery.
The fabric is not mine but the stitching is...
O good old man, how well in thee appears the constant service of the antique world,
when service sweat for duty, not for meed!
It was 12.24am, local time, when Alessandro Diamanti walked forward for the final, decisive kick
and, when it was all done, sparked the match that would exsiccate English Euro dreams to ashes.
Little did the Italian know that 1300 miles away he was also about to reignite a domestic feud that
has been quietly smouldering for two years.
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genuis hits a target no one else can
It is only at the first encounter that a face makes its full impression on us. At first glance you
might think Schopenhauer's aphoristic statement of transcendental idealism has little relevance to
a promoted team's chances of survival in their first season in the Premier League, but someone at
West Ham has clearly taken the maxim 'you never get a second chance to make a first impression' to
"It's not about results, it's about entertainment," says Sam Allardyce. Pause a moment to take that
in. The man often portrayed as the ultimate no-frills manager announcing that, actually, he quite
fancies frills and thrills. Except that's not exactly what he's saying. Because it is clear that,
for Allardyce, entertainment has always meant getting good results and getting good results means
West Ham's Wembley matchwinner Ricardo Vaz Te is determined to make the most of his second chance.
The Portuguese winger was on the football scrapheap two years ago after being released by Bolton,
but the Hammers' £500,000 January recruit looks like a bargain after scoring that dramatic late
play-off final winner to sink Blackpool 2-1 and earn West Ham the estimated £90million promotion
to the Barclays Premier League brings.
No legacy is so rich as honesty...
West Ham supporters were not the only ones celebrating the Hammers' victory in the Championship
play-off final on Saturday, writes the Telegraph's Paul Kelso. The beleaguered London Legacy
Development Corporation (the new name for the Olympic Park Legacy Company) and its political
paymasters will also have been relieved as it should, in theory, make a viable solution to the
Olympic Stadium saga more likely.
I was born under a bad sign with a claret and blue moon in my eyes, but Lordy a-things
ain't been the same since Big Sam walked in-a town...
"I've got the world by the balls and yet I can't stop feeling that I'm still the mortadella,"
confesses Sam Allardyce. "It's the nagging feeling that I came in at the end; that the best is
Up this corridor. Round this corner. Down the next corridor. The next corner. Kevin Keen at my
heels. To the office. The empty desk. The empty chair. Avram's office. Avram's desk. Avram's chair.
Four walls with no windows and one door, these four walls between which he etched his schemes and
his dreams, his hopes and fears.
He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the
William D. Leahy said the bomb wouldn't go off; Lord Kelvin thought that heavier-than-air flying
machines were impossible; Charlie Chaplin was convinced cinema was little more than a fad; Neville
Chamberlain promised it would be peace in our time and Bill Gates insisted 640K ought to be enough
I was in a pub this afternoon and no word of a lie that Monica Bellucci girl was there. She was sat
plain as day, leaning back against the wooden settle in a black dress at least two sizes too small
for her sadistically oppressed breasts. I could see her bare honeyed legs and the sharp patella
that gave a fetching inverted-triangle shape to her knee.
Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define
I raised a toast and drank to auld acquaintance on Tuesday, writes Frank Keating in this morning's
Guardian. There was a bitter taste to it, of course, because it would – should – have been
Bobby Moore's 70th birthday had cancer not so wretchedly cut him down at 51, in 1993.
With the start of the World Cup less than a week away, West Ham news is slower than molasses in
winter, emptier than a beer closet in a premises where painters have been at work (Twain?) and
patchier than 90 minutes of Jonathan Spector at leftback (my mate Ned)...
West Ham are reportedly upping their efforts to sign 40 year old Everton striker Yakubu now Avram
Grant has been confirmed as the club's new manager.
When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don't stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven't hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.
To the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I
spit my last breath at thee...
Norman Mailer once wrote that obsession is the single most wasteful human activity, because with an
obsession you keep coming back and back and back to the same question and never get an answer.
The takeover of West Ham United by David Sullivan and David Gold is a big moment for the Barclays
Premier League, whether you're a fan of the club or not. Writing in this morning's Times, Tony
Cascarino believes it could mark the start of a new set of takeovers by owners who are realistic
and sensible, instead of the dreamers or leeches that have gone before.
Apparently the answer to Life, the Universe, and European football is 52. That is how many points
Gianfranco Zola believes could be enough for his West Ham United team to hitch a ride into next
season's UEFA Europa League. The team currently sit in a tenuous looking seventh position in the
Premier League table going into Saturday's trip to Blackburn Rovers.
At 30 a man should know himself like the palm of his hand, know the exact number of his
defects and qualities, know how far he can go, foretell his failures - be what he is. And, above
all, accept these things.
Robert Green has agreed to join Queens Park Rangers on a two-year deal after rejecting an improved
West Ham United contract offer.
Perhaps Capetonians should be grateful that the petulant, pouty-mouthed striker, Benni McCarthy,
became a footballer. Imagine if he had become a gangster in his old neighbourhood of Hanover Park.
"Either you stay out of trouble or you join in," he explains. "And I've got to say it was fun
So that's what they mean by a salary cap. Your new striker takes it off his head when he gets to
the tube station, and goes round collecting his salary in it, writes Chris McGrath in this
morning's Independent. Mido being Mido, of course, there will be plenty who reckon his agent
deserves a bonus for finding anyone prepared to pay him even a grand a week.
"I'd like to live as a poor man with lots of money."
Be The Best You Can Be: a rather hackneyed expression applied in most walks of life, conveying
corny overtones of some self-improvement guru from across the pond. In sport especially, we hear it
all the time, so much so, in fact, that it is difficult to believe that the people aiming for this
goal are actually doing everything humanly possible to fulfil their potential.
The Financial Times is carrying an interesting Simon Kuper article about how every tiny aspect of a
football match is now recorded and scrutinised; and specifically how the likes of Sam Allardyce
have been in the vanguard of this quiet revolution. Kuper describes a recent visit to Manchester
City's tranquil training ground in the village of Carrington.
Below is an article by Mark Segal concerning Joe Cole's frustrating descent to bit-part
"When you're older, you'll be able to tell your grandchildren you
were at Upton
Park the day Joe Cole signed his first professional contract.
A Saturday evening in 1991 and Sam Allardyce is tramping the streets of Limerick with a priest.
They are searching for local businessmen willing to help pay the wages of Limerick City
footballers. It is difficult finding the £100 a week that keeps Allardyce's better players happy
and it is a routine that manager Allardyce and the club chairman, Father Joe Young, will repeat
through the season.
Ever since Ron Greenwood sent forth Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters from Upton Park to
win the World Cup, few teams have done more than West Ham, as their most celebrated fan, Alf
Garnett, might put it, "for Queen and bleedin' country". A grateful Buckingham Palace
responded when they made them the first club with two former players elevated to the rank of
knight, Sir Geoff and then Sir Trevor Brooking.
Even for the nicest bloke in football, it must have been hard for Gianfranco Zola not to scream at
his interrogators, writes Ian Chadband in this morning's Telegraph. If he was asked just once for
his thoughts on the Chelsea situation, he must have been asked a dozen times. "Look, [Chelsea]
is a club that I wish they do very well and I think Clarkey feels the same, but I would like to
talk about West Ham," the United manager pleaded not unreasonably.
`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead?
Simon Jordan once wrote that if he saw another David Gold interview on the poor East End Jewish boy
done good he would "impale myself on one of his dildos". Well let's hope he doesn't see today's
Telegraph where Jim White has contributed another fluff piece on the new Hammers chairman.
Opening gambit: 'A couple of days after he has effected a takeover of West Ham United and David
Gold's phone won't stop ringing.
You've probably heard this one, and a long time ago, but this bloke's in a pub telling his mate
about his new job. "It's cleaning the public toilets," he says. "Yeah, disgusting most of the time.
There's junkies, people going into the cubicles in pairs — and you wouldn't believe the filthy
things that get written on the walls.
A good speech is a wonderful thing. It has the capacity to inspire, to lift your spirits, to make
your soul soar above the mundane minutae that obfuscates everyday existence. Unfortunately, noted
Churchill, there are only two things more difficult than making an effective one: climbing a wall
which is leaning toward you and kissing a girl who is leaning away from you.