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West Ham United
August 28, 2009
Posted by Billy Blagg on 08/28/2009

West Ham have announced the signing of Italian striker Alessandro Diamanti on a five-year deal.
from Serie A club Livorno.

The 26-year-old forward has cost a reported £6m and his capture is considered quite a coup as a host of Italian clubs were vying for his signature, the player preferring to join Zola at Upton Park in what appears to be another success for the growing reputation of Gianfranco as a Manager.

August 27, 2009
Posted by Billy Blagg on 08/27/2009

This is what I like; the 'English Disease' proper. I'm not referring to a love of violence, mindless chanting or the destruction of a few kebab vans following the annual challenge of throwing street furniture as far as you can. No, I refer to that other disease; the one that means no sooner do we get served up a 'Night of Shame' then we have to endure months of pious, sanctimonious drivel from the press and media, a group who used to, let's not forget, once reside in an area known as the 'Street of Shame'.

August 25, 2009
Posted by Billy Blagg on 08/25/2009

The years rolled back at Upton Park on Tuesday night as '70's terrace hooliganism returned to East London in scenes that could have come directly from another 'straight to bargain bin' sequel of 2005 film 'Green Street'.

This time though there was no Frodo Baggins and no socio-macho altercations posing as entertainment; this time the violence was real and meant at least one man was stabbed as over 200 police in riot gear tried to quell the violence as bottles and bricks were thrown in pre-match street battles that were later described as 'large scale trouble'.

Life imitating 'Art'? Well, this was always going to be a powder keg of a match and trouble was never going to be far from the surface but perhaps the Police were a little unprepared for scenes that some fans won't have seen before, but which will remind older supporters of days when supporting your team was a darker and more dangerous occupation.

August 23, 2009
Posted by Billy Blagg on 08/23/2009

West Ham were left stunned following news that reserve defender Calum Davenport had been stabbed in both legs during an attack on his Mother's home in Bedford.

Davenport and his 49 year old Mother suffered injuries during a 'vicious attack' and both were taken to hospital where their conditions were described as 'stable'.

Posted by Billy Blagg on 08/23/2009

I wasn't in particularly good humour as I approached this game and I was in even less of one after. I've long maintained that the football season starts too early and goes on too long and this game in particular - a red-blooded local derby guaranteed to warm the cockles on a cold autumn or winter day - was not aided by being played on a baking hot Sunday lunchtime when the attention of most sensible people should have been on Steve Harmison bearing down from the Vauxhall End rather than Cole peppering the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand.

August 15, 2009
Posted by Billy Blagg on 08/15/2009

We all know it's a marathon and not a sprint, but it is a deeply satisfying to start the season with an away win, and even better when the performance is as comprehensive as this.

West Ham were comfortable winners at Molineux with a goal in each half from first, England under-21 captain Mark Noble, and then new club skipper and England centre-half Matthew Upson on 69 minutes. Wolves weren't without attacking options though and Robert Green was in fine form to deny the home side. Quite why England think they have a goalkeeping problem when Green is available is puzzling; if Robert played for a top four club then nobody would doubt his ability.

August 14, 2009
Posted by Billy Blagg on 08/14/2009

I'm old enough to remember when the start of the new football season was a time of great excitement and possibility. I'm pleased to say I'm not that old to deny the excitement is still there, but possibility? - I think not - this is the Golden Age of the Premiership and the story has virtually been written before a ball has been kicked.

August 2, 2009
Posted by Billy Blagg on 08/02/2009

West Ham have started the season in fine style by revealing two crap strips for the new campaign. The new home strip completely moves away from the traditional claret body, blue sleeves design - something fans are never happy about - and the away strip just ignores the fact we even play in claret and blue at all.

The new home strip is already being called the Marmite strip and, if, like me, you hate Marmite then you pretty much know what to expect. Good news is though, the club shop still do a fine assortment of classic shirts and I recommend that Hammers fans vote with their feet and purchase a '64. '75 or even, at a push, the '80 shirt. It saves dubious sponsorship associations too...

Billy Blagg Born at an early age a mere defenders' spit from the Boleyn ground, Billy Blagg has seen every West Ham game from 1898 onwards. Blagg was mentioned by Kenneth Wolstenholme in 1966 as one of the people on the pitch during the famous Hammers win over West Germany that lifted the World Cup and he returned to the pitch again for the 1975 FA Cup Final but stayed on the terrace for 1980 FA Cup victory. Blagg, 26, now lives with his eighth wife and innumerable children in a small semi-detached with chintz curtains in Dagenham, Essex and still attends every Hammers match and training session.

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