A tribute to Dylan Tombides

Posted by Peter Thorne

Dylan Tombides West Ham
PA PhotosDylan Tombides lost his battle with cancer on Friday.

West Ham United have sadly announced that striker Dylan Tombides has died at the young age of 20 from testicular cancer, an illness the youngster bravely battled since first being diagnosed in the summer of 2011.

It was thought that Dylan had won his fight against the cancer; after months of surgery and chemotherapy, he made an appearance against Wigan Athletic in a League Cup tie in September 2012. But tragically, the highly respected youngster suffered a relapse and wasn't able to recover a second time. Continue Reading...

Hammers come up short at the Emirates

Posted by Peter Thorne

West Ham continued a recent poor habit against Arsenal, going ahead against the Gunners but eventually succumbing to the FA Cup finalists in a 3-1 defeat.

- Report: Arsenal 3-1 West Ham
- Delaney: Three things: Arsenal vs. West Ham

This is the fourth game on the bounce in which the Hammers have lead against Arsenal but allowed the Gunners to hit back. In the other games though, the greater strength and organisation of the Emirates side had proved irresistible. Continue Reading...

Same old story in Emirates test

Posted by Peter Thorne

Ian MacNicol/AFP/Getty ImagesSam Allardyce's West Ham face FA Cup finalists Arsenal on Tuesday night.

The inevitability of the comment was such that I was actually sitting waiting for it. Sure enough, the little epithet duly arrived from the TV commentator during the first half of the extra 30 minutes of Saturday evening's FA cup semi-final between Arsenal and Wigan: "The only person likely to be happy with extra time is Sam Allardyce, whose West Ham United play Arsenal on Tuesday evening".

If only things were that simple.

- Report: West Ham reject Gerrard claim

There's no doubt that the penalty shoot-out pressure would have taken something out of the Arsenal squad, but it's equally likely that the boost in overcoming Wigan Athletic and making an FA Cup final -- that they are now confidently expected to win -- will revitalize a Gunners side that had seemed to have run out of steam in the last few weeks. Continue Reading...

Taylor-made refereeing

Posted by Peter Thorne

Anthony TaylorGettyImagesAdrian appeals to referee Anthony Taylor after after fouling Liverpool's Jon Flanagan last Sunday.

Ever keen to go against the flow -- it’s been a problem for me since I was a child, so blame my mother -- I’m not at all disappointed to see the debate going on over the standard of refereeing displayed at last weekend’s game against Liverpool at Upton Park.

In the asinine world of 21st century Premier League football, where the top five teams are virtually decided before a ball is kicked and the only "interest" -- and I use the term loosely -- is in what order they eventually finish, the continuing arguments about what the referee and his colleagues see or don’t see is often the only talking point. Continue Reading...

Hammers pay the penalty

Posted by Peter Thorne

Mike Hewitt/Getty ImagesWest Ham's Andy Carroll battles Liverpool's Jordan Henderson for a 50-50 ball in a game the Hammers lost 2-1.

West Ham were unable to stop Liverpool in a 2-1 loss at Upton Park, but they can be pleased overall with a battling performance that could have brought a point but for two Steven Gerrard penalties, scored with some coolness in a match filled with controversy.

The Hammers have an awful record against the Anfield side, but you wouldn't have known that in a first half in which the centre-back pairing of Winston Reid and James Tomkins looked completely unfazed by the rampaging reputation of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. Continue Reading...

Carroll earns the cheers

Posted by Peter Thorne

There was no sign of booing from the away fans as West Ham United left Sunderland to rapturous applause with all three points in a 2-1 win, built on the back of a sterling defensive display and a man-of-the-match performance from Andy Carroll.

- Report: Sunderland 1-2 West Ham

It was Carroll who stamped his mark early on in the match with a superb ninth minute header, powering in from a corner, the big striker rose into the air and arrowed the ball through the hands of Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone who could do nothing to stop it. Continue Reading...

The Allardyce conundrum

Posted by Peter Thorne

Sam Allardyce AllsportSam Allardyce has heard all the criticisms, but he'll continue to manage West Ham his way, which will always be enough to escape relegation.

It would be too grandiose to say that there is a battle for the soul of West Ham going on -- that one was fought when Terence Brown introduced the Bond Scheme during the tenure of Billy Bonds -- but there is at least a definite movement in place; one that would appear to the outsider to be something of an oddity.

Fans are often turning on the board and the manager -- there's nothing strange about that and, in fact, a rather high-flying example is going on right now over in the North-west of England -- but the one at Upton Park is something of a curiosity to anyone not involved in the club. Continue Reading...

Confusion reigns in Hammers win

Posted by Peter Thorne

Andy Carroll celeb Hull woe vs West HamGettyImagesAndy Carroll forced the own goal that proved to be West Ham's match-winner.

West Ham were booed off the pitch, despite gaining a vital 2-1 win against 10-man Hull City in a bizarre evening of football at Upton Park.

Hammers' boss Sam Allardyce couldn't understand how his victorious team were jeered off after what he described as a "huge win", Hull boss Steve Bruce was "baffled" by referee Mike Dean's 23rd minute decision to send off Tigers' goalkeeper Allan McGregor, James Chester was flummoxed at how a speculative Guy Demel cross somehow curled off his knee into the Hull defender's own net while the West Ham fans were just generally confused all night. Continue Reading...

Hapless Hammers and the slides of March

Posted by Peter Thorne

Wayne Rooney second goal celeb Man Utd vs West Ham 20140322PA PhotosWayne Rooney's second goal for Manchester United was rather fortuitous.

West Ham United continue to look nervously over their shoulder as February's golden month has given way to the slide of March. David Moyes was able to see his Manchester United team run out comfortable 2-0 winners at the Boleyn Ground, defeating a poor Hammers side who barely bothered David De Gea in the visitor's goal.

The home side were put to the sword by a Wayne Rooney wonder strike after only eight minutes that seemed to indicate the Hammers were due to be second-best and they ought to accept it. Continue Reading...

Chants of a lifetime

Posted by Peter Thorne

Jan Kruger/Getty ImagesSam Allardyce winning the Manager of the Month Award for February is one of two plaudits recently earned by West Ham.

It sometimes seems as if whole generations have come and gone without West Ham winning anything. It's not strictly accurate, of course, but even so it's a rare week when the Hammers find themselves topping polls and winning awards. Despite the last couple of setbacks then, this should be a time for congratulations.

- Report: Stoke storm to West Ham win

The Manager of the Month Award was deservedly won by Sam Allardyce for his presiding over a four win February, a run that lifted the Hammers from relegation contenders to the "Best of the Rest" position in 10th place. Continue Reading...

Awayday despair for Allardyce

Posted by Peter Thorne

Ross Kinnaird/Getty ImagesKevin Nolan was not happy that he had a goal ruled out for offside.

West Ham slumped to a successive away defeat, losing 3-1 to a Stoke City side who have done the double over the Hammers this season. The home side were probably good value for their win, although Sam Allardyce was rightly angry after the match about both poor defending by his side and also a howler from referee Craig Pawson that could have levelled the game late on.

The shame of it was, West Ham had started very brightly and had taken an early lead after five minutes, Andy Carroll nodding in his first goal of the season -- and who'd have thought we'd be saying that in March? Continue Reading...

Hammers hoping for a Britannia reversal

Posted by Peter Thorne

(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)Sam Allardyce looks to get a positive result for West Ham when they travel to face Stoke.

There’s a sense of symmetry about West Ham’s visit to Stoke this weekend.

Back at the end of August -- after a healthy start to the campaign -- the Hammers lost 1-0 to the Potters’ at Upton Park in a manner that suggested a winter of discontent was on the cards. It was the start of a series of home defeats for the Hammers where -- rather ironically -- the defence was found wanting; the team conceding a number of spectacular free-kicks in successive matches leaving them exposed when the big guns came to call later on. Continue Reading...