Personal and undiluted views
Carlton Cole

2884 days ago

Happy Birthday to Me – Closer to 50 than 40 as of today

An early birthday present from Carlton Cole and Mark Noble sees West Ham out of the relegation zone but that will not change the fact that I am today 46, closer to 50 than 40. 

I did not expect to be spending this Birthday living in Bristol, married to a Guardian reading Sociology Senior Lecturer or less than 18 months into running a new business. Life is full of surprises.

I have now been working for 25 years and in the old days would now be just 19 years from retirement. For the Mrs – who did a Post Grad - the figures are 16 and 26. So Maybe I shall call it a day at 58 and live off the State (via the Mrs).  I suspect not, work is too much fun. 

My father’s generation expected to retire at 65. My generation? It might be 58 it might be never. The one thing we do know is that it is not an automatic gold watch at 65.

For me a picnic at Chew lake looms followed by a walk with the Mrs and Uncle Chris Booker.. and then back to subbing Zak Mir’s new book. Happy Birthday indeed.

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2893 days ago

Ukrproduct – Getting Another Dire Profits warning out on a quiet day

I have noted before that the way that AIM Cesspit listed Ukrainian dairy products group Ukrproduct (UKR) announces bad news smells like a six week old pot of cream left in the baking sunlight of the Steppe in August. And so as 90% of share-watchers enjoy their last day off, the company has slipped out another dire trading statement.

You can read my comments on the curious way this company announces the departure of directors, all signed off as kosher by corporate adviser Mr Dick, HERE

Today’s statement confirms what we all suspected. EBITDA for 2013 will be sharply down on 2012. Blame higher milk prices, ripples in the soft cheese market, whatever – it is hard to imagine that doing business in the Ukraine right now is that much fun.

Worse still the heavy debt this company now carries means that the I (for Interest) number has gone up sharply. So what is the bottom line number (i.e. Profit before tax) going to be? I refer to today’s statement.

Net income will be impaired by the sizeable increase in interest charges arising from the EBRD loan leading to the negative net profitability for the year.”

Put another way this company is loss making. It blathers on about how it “plans to return to positive profitability in 2014.”

You know what? I have made plans for 2014. After watching West Ham lift the Premiership trophy on the final day of the season following a five month run of 3 points from every game with Carlton Cole scoring hat-tricks every match, I am off on a one week romantic break with Cheryl Cole in the West Indies. I cannot wait. Neither, I am sure, can Carlton and Cheryl.

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3004 days ago

West Ham v Southampton – the most dismal fact you can imagine

I watched the first half of today’s 0-0 draw away at Southampton on the box. Two howling errors by James Collins in defence, a magnificent Jussi keeping us in the game and more chance of the BBC enjoying a sex scandal free week than of West Ham actually scoring. I gather that in the second half it was much the same with the only difference being the failure of Collins not in defence but at the other end failing to put away an easy chance provided by Mark Noble.

But it may be harsh to pick on the Ginger Pele.  West Ham’s most telling statistic is shots on goal in four Premiership starts. In the first game against Cardiff we had four and scored twice. In the three games since then we have managed just two shots on goal. Maiga and Vaz Te could not score in a brothel. Frankly my cat or, even James Collins, are more likely to find the back of the net in the Premiership.

We are told that Croatian Fulham reject Petric and Carlton Cole are honing their fitness and should be ready soon while we all pray that Andy Carroll recovers tomorrow but big girl's blouse that he is, he will not. After today’s dismal showing by our first choice fit strikers I do not care if Carlton Cole is slower than Cheryl Cole, play him anyway.

Ok. Petric might be over the hill and not good enough for Fulham and only half fit but at least he knows where the goal is.  I know Geoff Hurst attends most games at Upton Park. He might be 70 odd but I wonder if he still has a spare pair of boots... has anyone called Tony Cottee to see if he fancies a game?  My mate Barry Jenkins might be 50 and smokes 20 a day but he says that he scored a few goals in his time playing on Hackney marshes and he already owns a collection of West Ham tops so the club only need provide him with shorts and socks and he'll be available for the Everton game. Any other ideas?

2 shots on goal in the last 285 minutes of football (inc stoppage time)...

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3014 days ago

Carlton Cole coming back to the Academy?

Having failed to sign a striker in the transfer window, having recognised that Maiga couldn’t score in a brothel and with Andy Carroll a bit of a girl’s blouse on the injury front it appears that Carlton Cole ( released in May) is on his way back to the Academy.

Hmmmm.  This is seen as a short term stop-gap. Carlton was always loyal West Ham club servant. I  am sure that he will try hard. And he is better than Maiga. Almost anyone would be.  If it turns out to be true, welcome back Carlton – you may not be a name that strikes fear into the heart of Premiership defences but, on your day, you were not bad. And you are better than Maiga.

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3018 days ago

West Ham – aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh

I really did not enjoy my visit to Upton Park today. West Ham looked dreadful in every part of the park. Stoke are not very good but at times they were made to look like Brazil. This one of the worse West Ham performances I have seen under Fat Sam Allardyce. Striker Maiga makes me wish we had kept Carlton Cole – he was absolutely no threat whatsoever. Without Joey Cole there seems little inventive flair. Without Andy Carroll not chance we can score.

No doubt the travelling platoon of away supporters (including Comrade Rowley of this parish) will be celebrating with cheap lager in the Cultural Quarter of Stoke when they get back to the grim North tonight. They will have few easier games this season.  One nil was if anything generous on an utterly woeful West Ham side.

Tomorrow has to be a better day for me

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3122 days ago

West Ham vs Reading- Match Preview

A 4 O’ Clock kick off at Upton Park means lunch beforehand for my daughter and I at the Diner on Curtain Road. That always used to be part of my pre-match ritual but that was before my ex-wife threw away a lucky shirt (ok more holes than shirt) which had got West Ham to a Cup Final. Naturally we were relegated that season. You now know who was to blame.

Perhaps the Diner can restore its magic. My jinx on seeing West ham lose every time I attended this season was broken with the 0-0 draw with Newcastle. Reading are rubbish and were down a while ago. If we win we finish 10th. If we lose we could just plausibly finish 15th. It’s an okay end of season tally.

In fact we have lost our last three games against Reading so that is a bad omen. Having said that will the Royals play for pride? No. They are professional soccer players so do not give a damn. Will the Reading “stars” want to showcase talent so a Premier League side might snap them up in the summer? Er…they have no talent to showcase. But will our boys “turn up”? Who knows.

At the end of the game the squad will walk around the pitch to say thanks. Will it be the last time we see Andy Carroll in a West Ham shirt? I fear that is possible – Monaco (flush with hot Russian billions) want to sign him. We shall see. At a sentimental level I fear it will be goodbye to loyal servant Carlton Cole. Who else will go in the summer? Heaven only knows. I hope that we say goodbye to Vaz Te and that is it. Sadly I fear it will pan out rather differently.

Will I renew my season tickets despite Fat Sam getting another two years? Heck I am almost tempted if only for the home game against Paulo di Canio’s Sunderland. The messiah returns.  That match I shall not miss. It is almost worth renewing just for that game.

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3256 days ago

West Ham vs Man United: FA Cup 3rd Round Preview (and two videos from past Cup games)

It is a 5.15 kick off so for now I can relax and look at how the other games are unfolding. I was chatting to a Newcastle supporter yesterday and the mood at whatever the stadium is called these days must be very bleak right now. On 20 points in the league (just two points above third bottom Wigan) and today out of the Cup thanks to Championship side Brighton. The side has injuries, its best player has just gone to Chelski ( and scored already) and I suspect that West Ham old boy Alan Pardew must – at the back of his mind – be starting to think that a P45 is on the way. Newcastle thinks it is a big club and unless Pards turns it around quickly, he looks like toast.

As for West Ham, Fat Sam has been active in the transfer market. Two new strikers (Maguire and Chamakh) are on board given options other than Carlton Cole up front with Carroll still injured and Maiga off to the African Cup ( and perhaps shipped out in the transfer windown anyway). But Joe Cole will almost certainly be playing today. With him, Jarvis (he of the covershoot in gay magazine Attitude fame), and Noble (if on form) playing behind Cole we do look able to score goals. Top scorer Kevin Nolan is back from suspension and although he is not universally loved I welcome his return. He may slow the game up a bit but a) he scores and b) he adds a bit of grit in defence which is where I always panic.

Injuries means that we have recalled young Danny Potts from his loan spell at Colchester.

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3260 days ago

West Ham v Norwich – match preview

Skipper Kevin Nolan is out thanks to suspension. So much for the lack of yellow card discipline you get with Fat Sam. The good news is that for the same reason the hopeless liability, sorry should that read bedrock of our defence, that is James Collins will also miss the game. Norwich will be gutted about that one.

There are no key players returning from injury and so the four man midfield lining up behind Carlton Cole and Vaz Te upfront will be Noble, Jarvis, O’Neill and Taylor. I cannot say that this strikes me as either rock solid or threatening. Having said that Norwich have a few key players missing too and so it is hard to call the result.

What we do know is that if we win we go to 26 points and that would see some clear claret and blue water between us and the teams battling to avoid going down with the Rednapp and with woeful Reading. That is to say Villa, Southampton, Wigan ( who are bound to escape as the bastards always do) and – arguably – Fulham. If we lose we will have won one game in nine and have been sucked back into the relation mire.

So this is a must win game. I am doing my bit by staying away as West Ham never win when I attend. Having witnessed the Reading debacle first hand I cannot say that I am optimistic so I am off for a long walk and will say a prayer.

Whatever the result I am more and more certain of one thing. The deal with Fat Sam was that we might not like his style but we paid that price for not having to start January contemplating the awful possibility of a relegation dogfight. Whatever happens today, I stand by my view of the other day that in May Sam must go and we need to appoint di Canio as our new manager on a long contract.

COYI, I say rather weakly.

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3261 days ago

Why Allardyce should go and Paulo di Canio be appointed in may as West Ham Manager

There will be folks who say that you should back the manager when the club is in trouble. And make no mistake, West Ham is heading for a bottom half finish and if we do not start winning a few games (1 win in eight now) we could still be going down with the Rednapp. And with dismal Reading. My suspicion is that one we get a few players back from injury and with Gold & Sullivan prepared to chuck cash around in the transfer window we will stay up. But it is not a given. And in May West Ham must decide whether to renew the contract of Sam Allardyce. I do not think we should and here is why we should say farewell to Fat Sam and bring Paulo di Canio to Upton Park at once. I start with Sam.

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3263 days ago

Reading vs West Ham – Match Report & Allardyce cannot stay after May

Vaz Te missed an absolute sitter late on. James Collins handed Reading an early goal with his speciality suicide back passes. It was an ill tempered and unattractive game with neither side showing any flair. Both teams looked like the sort of sides that deserve to get relegated. I am struggling to remember the last time I saw a football game this bad. The girlie’s soccer at the Olympics maybe?

Reading will not play many teams that gift them goals in the way Collins does far too often. And 9 out of 10 Premiership strikers would have snaffled Vaz Te’s chance. If this is the best this side can offer (and judging by the crowd’s unbridled delight, I sense that it is) then on 13 points, Reading are indeed “going down with the Rednapp.” Reading are just a crap and boring side and there is no doubt in my mind that they will not only go down but that ‘arry’s QPR will overtake them in the final furlong leaving the Royals bottom of the table. That would be a fair place for them.

But as for West Ham, we were awful. I stayed to the end but could not wait to get away. I cannot say that I took anything positive away from the game at all. No-one played well and some

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3283 days ago

West Ham vs Liverpool Match Preview

Sign on, sign on, with a pen in your hand, and you’ll never work again. Sign on. Sign on.

Or perhaps given the time of year and a chance to think of those less fortunate than ourselves a few choruses of “Feed the scousers, let them know it’s Christmas time.” Actually I have no hard feelings for Liverpool. My Aunt Lucy’s family are all Liverpool fans and my sister was born there. She clearly picked up the Souse mindset in those early days. As a Doctor paid £50,000 plus for two days a week she fits in well: living off the state and not doing much work.

When football Santa grants me the chance to decide the league table, I won’t really be thinking about Liverpool. Naturally Santa and I will start at the top. West Ham to come first. Then Santa and I will head straight to the other end. The old man in the beard does not need to ask the first question. Spurs to finish bottom. And then

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3290 days ago

West Ham 3 Chelski 1 & now on to Wimbledon and MK Dons

I did my bit by staying away as my presence always ensures West Ham defeat. But even with this heroic sacrifice I did not expect a result like this. Unbelievable. From Stamford Bridge to Upton Park you can stick the blue flag up your arse. Frank Lampard’s fat, Joe Cole’s er… not here, you’re going to win fuck all this year. And more to the point it looks as if West Ham might not be relegated.

Yup I am still looking bottom up. 15 games down 22 points and 8th. Had we not been cheated by a linesman with a guide dog against Man City and did not have this nasty ingrained habit of messing up against second rate teams from grim northern shit-holes who we should beat ( Stoke and Wigan) we would by now be on 29 points and challenging for European football. But one step at a time. Avoiding relegation first.

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3291 days ago

West Ham vs. Chelski Match Preview

There is good news. Since West Ham almost never win when I go to Upton Park you will be glad to hear that I am not attending today’s game (Kick Off 12.45). My tickets (Trevor Brooking lower) are with the Bard of the Boleyn, my disreputable pal Lucian Miers and an even more disreputable friend of his dragged from a gutter somewhere plus the (ultra posh) Goddess who makes the second visit of her life East of Canary Wharf. She seems to think that she might support Chelski (not knowing anything about football) but perhaps her second visit to The Academy might dissuade her. I do hope she does not scream an inappropriate comment at an inappropriate time.

The bad news is that despite my absence anything other than a Chelski win is very unlikely. Yes the team with no history

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