Tag Archives: sullivan

Minnesota Vikings train with the Yorkshire Vikings

Surely there's more padding than this! NFL stars go into bat with cricketers of Yorkshire

PUBLISHED:

15:15 GMT, 27 March 2013

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UPDATED:

17:54 GMT, 27 March 2013

Yorkshire welcomed a Viking invasion from Minnesota on Wednesday as cricketers and American footballers swapped kit and technique tips at Headingley.

NFL side Minnesota are in Britain on a promotional tour and touched down in Yorkshire for a day of training with the county, who recently settled upon the name 'Vikings' in one-day cricket.

And the gridiron giants were taught the intricacies of the quintessential English summer sport by White Rose stars Liam Plunkett, Phil Jaques and Jack Brooks.

Invasion: (back row left to right) Yorkshire's Liam Plunkett, Phil Jaques and Jack Brooks (all in white) flank Minnesota's Kyle Rudolph while Harrison Smith bats and John Sullivan keeps wicket while two Vikings roar their approval

Invasion: (back row left to right) Yorkshire's Liam Plunkett, Phil Jaques and Jack Brooks (all in white) flank Minnesota's Kyle Rudolph while Harrison Smith bats and John Sullivan keeps wicket while two Vikings roar their approval

Yorkshire and Minnesota

Role reversal: Yorkshire bowler Jack Brooks holds the football while Minnesota centre John Sullivan wields the bat

Role reversal: Yorkshire bowler Jack Brooks holds the football while Minnesota centre John Sullivan wields the bat

Minnesota, who reached the NFL play-offs last year, are promoting the Sky Sports series about them, named Inside the Vikings, which will air on April 3. They are playing Pittsburgh Steelers at Wembley in September.

Centre John Sullivan, Tight end Kyle Rudolph and safety Harrison Smith put on a different kind of padding to have a net while the Yorkshire lads donned the helmets and shoulder pads ready for some football.

The Americans seemed to enjoy it and Sullivan tweeted: '@Yorkshireccc Thanks so much for the hospitality'.

Defence: Former England man Liam Plunkett teaches Kyle Rudolph how to bat

Defence: Former England man Liam Plunkett teaches Kyle Rudolph how to bat

Kyle Rudolph went for a bat and Plunkett told the Yorkshire website: 'I was very surprised how good Kyle’s batting was.

'Boy he could hit a ball. He creamed a few times through the covers – he could well be a pinch hitter for the Vikings in this year’s Friends Life t20 competition. He could well follow in the footsteps of another famous Yorkshire player Jacques Rudolph.

'I’m a big American Sports fan and love the NFL. This is a great opportunity to expose cricket to a wider marketing and more importantly Yorkshire Vikings.

'To have high-profile NFL players from the Minnesota Vikings come to our club is a great initiative and gives us some great momentum going into the new season.'

Offence: Kyle Rudolph has a swing

Offence: Kyle Rudolph has a swing

Rudolph added: “I didn’t know much about cricket before coming to Headingley today.

'This is a great tie up between two big sports organisations in Minnesota and Yorkshire. I will certainly be following the Yorkshire team this year, via social media, and hope they have a big season.

'We have been made to feel very welcome and love the Yorkshire hospitality.'

Lee Clark, Birmingham manager, backs up David Sullivan"s agent violence claims

Birmingham boss Clark backs up Sullivan's agent violence claims and calls for change

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

19:20 GMT, 3 February 2013

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UPDATED:

19:22 GMT, 3 February 2013

SCAVENGERS!

Read David Sullivan's shockingly revealing interview HERE

Lee Clark has added his voice to that of West Ham owner David Sullivan in asking for the issue of players' agents to be looked at.

Birmingham City's boss gave his backing to the claims made by the Hammers' owner that he had felt threatened after a number of deals last week fell through.

Sullivan said he was unsure which representatives were acting for which players as he attempted to push through signings.

Change: Lee Clark believes the current agent system needs to be looked at

Change: Lee Clark believes the current agent system needs to be looked at

GANG WARFARE!

Read Harry Redknapp's verdict on the behaviour of agents HERE

And Clark, who was also on the defensive as he fielded questions about Birmingham's playing staff that the club needed to be off-loaded to meet cash issues, said something needed to be done.

He said: 'I read what David Sullivan had to say about agents and I agreed with him.

'We have had deals in place this week and there have been seven or eight people trying to jump in on them.'

Shocking: West Ham joint-chairman David Sullivan said he was threatened by an agent during the January transfer window

Shocking: West Ham joint-chairman David Sullivan said he was threatened by an agent during the January transfer window

He added: 'I don't know how it happens – perhaps a player says to a friend that he's getting a move and whether they'd like to earn a few quid – but it's getting so difficult to do them.

'Half the time you don't have a clue who actually represents these players.

'What I'd like to see is the player's representative actually listed with the Football Association. That way, it's transparent, it can be checked and everyone knows where they stand.

'Getting agents registered was supposed to solve the problem. It's not solved anything as far as I can see. It needs looking at.'

Nikita Korzun scores goal from inside his own half – video

The Belarusian Beckham: Under 18 player scores from inside his own half!

By
Liv Lee

PUBLISHED:

17:55 GMT, 11 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:55 GMT, 11 January 2013

This 17-year-old probably wasn’t expecting to score this kind of goal when he stepped out against Belgium as part of the Belarusian Under 18 team this week.

Nikita Korzun lofted a strike so far over the goalkeeper’s head that he didn’t even bother taking a swipe at it as it sailed into the goal.

The Dinamo Minsk midfielder set his country’s team on their path to victory, and they eventually overcame Belgium 3-0.

Scroll down for video…

Master blaster: Korzun foires home from well inside his own half

Master blaster: Korzun foires home from well inside his own half

It mimics David Beckham’s legendary goal against Wimbledon in 1996, when he spotted goalkeeper Neil Sullivan venturing a little too far off his line and lobbed the ball over his head from the halfway line.

The game between youngsters from Belarus and Belgium was part of the Valentin Granatkin Memorial, a international tournament for youth teams that was started in 1981.

It was created in memory of Valentin Granatkin, the former FIFA vice-president.

VIDEO: Who could forget Beckham's stunner in 1996…

Steve Clarke defends his West Ham performance

Credit crunch struck a Hammer blow when I was at West Ham, says Clarke

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 14 December 2012

Steve Clarke has defended his record working alongside Gianfranco Zola at West Ham, claiming the credit crunch was responsible for the Hammers' narrow relegation escape.

West Brom's boss will welcome Sam Allardyce to the Hawthorns on Sunday, the first time he has faced his former club as a manager in his own right.

Clarke left the East End club shortly after David Sullivan and David Gold assumed control. His first season working alongside Zola saw the Hammers finish in ninth. He remains adamant that circumstances beyond his control were responsible for the subsequent fall.

Flying high: Steve Clarke is performing well at West Brom

Flying high: Steve Clarke is performing well at West Brom

'The new owners came in, assessed what they had to do,' he said. 'And they did exactly that.

'If you look at it, we weren't making progress. The first season we finished in the top ten, the second, we didn't.

'There were extenuating circumstances for that. When Gianfranco and I went into the job it was on the promise that we would always have money to spend in the transfer window and we could try and push into the top six.

'Within a fortnight of arriving at the club, the world was hit by the credit crunch and the Icelandic owner, Bjorgolfer Gudmundsson, lost his bank.

'The circumstances changed completely. After that, there was a gradual erosion of the squad and it was an achievement just to keep West Ham in the Premier League that year.

'But the job was good for me personally because I'd come out of Chelsea where success was part and parcel of the season.

'Then I went to a club where it was more difficult, you had to find different ways to motivate players.

'You had to find different ways to get results on a Saturday, which is what we were judged upon.'

Fortune's always hiding: Clarke with Gianfranco Zola during their spell at West Ham

Fortune's always hiding: Clarke with Gianfranco Zola during their spell at West Ham

Clarke welcomes Sam Allardyce to the Black Country, saying that there is more to the Hammers than just route one football.

'I think what's been said is unfair,' he added. 'They try to be positive, try to put balls in the box and try to score gals. You can become stereotyped. I think that's the case with Sam.

'They play good football – when they are allowed to. If it needs to be a scrap, they can have that, too.

'Whatever type of game it is, they will be ready for it. But I can assure them that we will too.'

It"s West Ham or a white elephant for the Olympic Stadium – Martin Samuel

Get real with the Olympic Stadium… it's West Ham or a white elephant

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UPDATED:

23:40 GMT, 27 November 2012

Something for nothing. That is what it is presumed West Ham United are getting out of the Olympic Stadium deal. A free ride. A gift from a grateful nation.

So consider the alternative. Boris Johnson, the London Mayor, is supposed to make his final announcement about tenancy a week today. If he does not award the Olympic Stadium to West Ham, what are his options Not West Ham, basically. That is what is out there. West Ham or Not West Ham. West Ham or white elephant.

There is no coherent rival plan. The Formula One future envisages a grand prix that does not currently exist and ignores a long-term contract with Silverstone. Leyton Orient’s average league crowd this season is 3,785, which should play well in a 60,000 arena. The University College of Football Business in Burnley would get some nice classrooms out of the executive boxes.
There is only one serious bidder. There has been all along.

Let there be light: the spectacular opening ceremony of the Olympics  but are there dark days ahead

Let there be light: the spectacular opening ceremony of the Olympics but are there dark days ahead

The NFL franchise discussions came to nothing. Tottenham Hotspur just wanted the land. Only a madman would hold pop concerts in a stadium with no protective roof in Britain. While those who masterminded the Olympic process continue their orgy of self-congratulation, the in-built flaws of their mighty stadium are increasingly apparent. This is a structure that has no legacy in its present form. It is not fit for post-Olympic purpose. They can’t say they weren’t warned.

So far from getting something for nothing, West Ham would prevent something becoming nothing. Here’s the reality. A stadium was built for the Olympics. It was paid for because of the Olympics. The Olympics are over. Now what

Grand plans: David Sullivan (left) and David Gold (right) plan to relocate West Ham in the Stratford stadium

Grand plans: David Sullivan (left) and David Gold (right) plan to relocate West Ham in Stratford

Every Olympic stadium without the legacy of a core tenant from a major sport is in financial ruin. The iconic Bird’s Nest in Beijing is currently a Segway race track. You know, those upright motorised scooters You can race them at the Bird’s Nest for 12.50 a pop. Before that, there was a snow park with man-made ski hills. The annual maintenance cost is 6.8million. That’s a lot of Segway action to break even.

Manchester City were considered to have got something for nothing out of the Commonwealth Games stadium, too. Yet consider the venue without its football tenants. What would it be now
The Olympics were never coming to Manchester, the IOC made that clear. After another failed bid, Great Britain’s Olympic Committee were as good as told to come back with a proposal from London and there might be some interest.

So maybe Manchester would have got a World Athletics Championships, or the Europeans. A busy two weeks and then what A large arena in an unfashionable sector of a provincial northern city, gathering dust at huge cost to the public purse.

Manchester City didn’t get something for nothing. As a result of the potential in that facility, they attracted major foreign investment from Abu Dhabi and the new owners continued the development of the east Manchester area with a world-class sports complex.

An 80-acre swathe of industrial wasteland is to become a 100m campus with a 7,000-capacity stadium for youth and reserve football and a first-team training centre. City cleaned polluted land to assemble the plot required. Now that’s legacy. A legacy that is in danger of being lost in east London if the Olympic Stadium is allowed to stay dormant while men in suits squabble.

The problem with London’s stadium is that it was designed for a summer event and is unsuitable for use in an English winter. Money has to be spent. Any tenant with plans to use the venue throughout the year is going to have to extend the roof and any football tenant will require retractable seating over the athletics track.

We cannot keep pretending the future won’t cost. Without a roof, nobody is interested. Without a roof, the legacy is an 80,000-capacity athletics venue sitting empty for years on end incurring enormous maintenance.

Not what the designers had in mind: Beijing's Bird's Nest is now being used as a Segway race track

Not what the designers had in mind: Beijing's Bird's Nest is now being used as a Segway race track

There are some real geniuses out there, though. ‘If the 2012 Games have taught us anything it is that football doesn’t quite matter any more,’ sniffed a writer on the Huffington Post, who really thought handball fever was going to last for ever. So let’s get real. West Ham’s final offer was to pay 15m up front and a further 8m a year to cover the cost of redevelopment. The Government pays for much of this initially and then gets its money back over time.

Anyone who thinks this is unreasonable might wish to consider how many houses are sold without the buyer obtaining a mortgage. In addition, West Ham will pay 2.5m-a-year rent, and allow their landlords to keep the catering revenue and the naming rights, with benefits estimated at a further 6.5m annually.

More from Martin Samuel…

Schools are falling for the hard sell from corporate sponsors
22/11/12

Martin Samuel: Di Matteo is just the latest victim of Roman's random reign at Chelsea
22/11/12

Martin Samuel: Suarez is poetry in motion… but can he really be Player of the Year
20/11/12

Martin Samuel: Too few had the desire to follow Cook into battle
19/11/12

Martin Samuel: Admit it KP, left-arm spin baffles you
18/11/12

Martin Samuel: Greedy owners the only winners if you curb these players' wages
18/11/12

Martin Samuel: Double centurion Pujara is the new great Wall of India
16/11/12

Martin Samuel: Mental agility was the real skill as Ibrahimovic stunned England
15/11/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Now consider those naming rights. Providing West Ham remain in the Premier League the stadium has a global television audience in the region of nine billion, before the summer athletics programme is taken into consideration. One imagines the reach of the University College of Football Business in Burnley is somewhat smaller.

So when the naming rights come to be sold it rather figures that the Government, and therefore you, will be better off discussing potential exposure to nine billion around the globe, rather than six blokes called Tony who want to be football agents. The same goes for Leyton Orient. The recent deal struck between Arsenal and Emirates Airlines for Ashburton Grove amounted to 150m until 2019: 30m per year. Alternatively, sign the Olympic Stadium over for a one-off annual grand prix event that might never take place and see how far you get.

Some think West Ham and Leyton Orient could be made to share, but there is no tradition of successful joint occupancy in English football, certainly when there is such disparity in size between the partners.

The Olympic Stadium should not be a test case for future projects on Merseyside or in Bristol, and it would be hard to see the partners working harmoniously together when Orient chairman Barry Hearn has been an obstacle to West Ham’s tenancy for so long.

The disaster for the stadium would be if the final decision was overtaken by politics of the kind that booby-trapped the project from the start. Nasty old Premier League football. Why does it always have to be about them Here’s why. As a Premier League football ground, with summer use for athletics and other one-off events thrown in, the stadium will accommodate in the region of 1.2 million visitors per year.

Alternatively, the London International Segway Centre has a nice ring to it. Last one to leave, park up and turn out the lights.

I shall say zees only once

Joey Barton's French accent Wat waz ’e thinkin’ Ooh, mah achin’ sidez.

Ryan’s giant leap too far

Ryan Shawcross had another outstanding game for Stoke City against Fulham on Saturday. His team-mate Charlie Adam immediately used it to endorse his England selection, claiming this happened 18 months too late.

Yet Shawcross’s senior England debut was unimpressive. His brief time on the field came when Sweden and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were rampant. England led 2-1 when he arrived on 75 minutes and trailed 4-2 when the final whistle blew.

Some players are just short. Shawcross is a wonderful central defender for Stoke, but international football, like the Champions League, is a step up again and may be beyond him. Shawcross started out as a Manchester United player and if Sir Alex Ferguson felt him capable of competing with the likes of Ibrahimovic, no doubt he still would be.

Just short: Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross (right) looks a level below an international class defender

Just short: Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross (right) looks a level below an international class defender

DIY lesson for Scottish rugby

Following the resignation of Andy Robinson, the various speculative lists of contenders for the job of Scotland rugby manager did not include a native.

Nick Mallett and Jake White (South Africa), Sean Lineen and Todd Blackadder (New Zealand), Scott Johnson (Australia), Michael Bradley (Ireland), even those working north of the border were not nationals. And right there is the problem.

If the country is not producing the coaches it cannot produce the players, and if it isn’t producing the players, it gets beaten: by Tonga.

Contrast this with the vacant post at the top of Brazilian football. We all know who is free to succeed Mano Menezes as Brazil’s manager, because every elite team in the Premier League is after him.

What could be more perfect An architect of the beautiful game at the home of the beautiful game; the greatest manager with the greatest players, delivering the World Cup to Brazil, in Brazil. Yet Jose Maria Marin, president of the Brazilian federation, ruled out a move for Pep Guardiola on simple grounds of nationality. ‘All five world titles won by Brazil came with Brazilian coaches,’ he said.

Too proud, you see. Do it yourself, or don’t do it at all.

Sexton's blasts could give Fergie a run for his money

Dave Sexton was a great football man. Thoughtful and innovative as a coach, yet never bogged down in mere theory. He was passionate about turning his ideas into wins, never more so than when managing the Under 21s. When England won an end-of-season tournament in Toulon under his stewardship, he could not have been happier. Excusing his young charges for the night, he said: ‘The bus for the airport leaves at 8.30 tomorrow morning. Make sure you’re on it.’ Before play, there had to be work.

Restless natives

Only news of the death of local hero Dave
Sexton placated the Chelsea crowd before Rafa’s first match on Sunday.

Chelsea are at home again tonight. Kerry Dixon and Ray Wilkins may wish
to lie low until this one blows over.

At the same tournament several years later, England’s goalkeeper was Peter Shilton’s doomed protege at Plymouth Argyle, Alan Nicholls. After the first game, there was a raucous gathering in one of the rooms, in which Nicholls demonstrated his party piece: he could smoke 20 cigarettes at once. He would clasp his lips around the top of the pack, pull the box away and then proceed to light, and smoke, the entire contents.

Midway through, there was an urgent knock, which Nicholls assumed to be a team-mate with more beers. A lager in each hand, and 20 lit cigarettes in his mouth, he opened the door to be confronted by an incandescent Sexton. Party over. Whispering Dave, he was called at Manchester United, but that was only one side of him. The public dressing-down by the swimming pool the following day made Fergie’s hair-dryer seem like a gentle breeze.

Forget outrage, let’s end the vile chants

Anything wrong that is not stopped is encouraged, so the outcry over the vile chants heard at White Hart Lane on Sunday, while understandable, is hardly pre-emptive. So, too, the Premier League demand that the Crown Prosecution Service take a stronger line.

‘We have created safe, welcoming, liberal environments where, frankly, people are allowed to behave badly,’ Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore admitted earlier this year, and therein lies the problem.

Credit to West Ham United for banning a supporter for life, following his police caution, but the idea that the club could face severe censure from the Football Association over the behaviour of their supporters at the weekend ignores the fact that equally abhorrent attitudes have been struck for years, as authority figures stood idle.

Action: West Ham have banned a supporter for life over anti-Semitic chants at Tottenham last Sunday

Action: West Ham have banned a supporter for life over anti-Semitic chants at Tottenham last Sunday

No group is innocent: supporters of Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Leeds United, Millwall and the rest have all had their day.

The clubs do what they can — Norwich City banned a season ticket-holder for life during the last campaign, for racist abuse — but are powerless unless the officers on duty, the game and the CPS wish to act.

If a line in the sand is being drawn, that is a good thing, but it cannot be placed retrospectively. Those who impose order on football have been complicit in this deterioration for too long.

They cannot pretend what happened at the weekend was the worst outrage. It was merely the latest. The challenge from here is to make it the last.

David Beckham transfer latest: West Ham rule out bid

No East End return for Beckham as West Ham rule out bid for former England captain

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UPDATED:

09:51 GMT, 21 November 2012

West Ham have ruled themselves out of the pursuit of David Beckham. The former England captain, born in nearby Leytonstone, is up for grabs after deciding to leave LA Galaxy.

The Hammers may have been a natural fit, but with capacity crowds in the last four home games – and two more sell-outs coming against Chelsea and Liverpool – they have no need to add a crowd pleaser.

Up for grabs: David Beckham is leaving LA Galaxy after their MLS Cup Final on December 1

Up for grabs: David Beckham is leaving LA Galaxy after their MLS Cup Final on December 1

A source close to the club said: ‘David is an excellent footballer, but he is 38 in March and would not be right for the club.

'The owners have plenty of ambitious plans and, right now, Beckham isn’t included in that.

‘If the club were struggling, he would be an option, but that isn’t the case. They want to look to the future, but wish him well for his next move.

‘Lots of clubs will want to be linked with him, but West Ham will not be interested in signing him.

'They are very happy with the signing of Matt Jarvis.'

Out of the running: West Ham co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan will not be making an offer to the former England captain, Beckham

Out of the running: West Ham co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan will not be making an offer to the former England captain, Beckham

Mario Balotelli bobblehead tour of Coronation Street and Manchester

Bobble on the cobbles! Balotelli drops into Rovers Return in a visit to Coronation Street

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UPDATED:

12:24 GMT, 15 November 2012

Mini me: Mario Balotelli poses with his bobblehead figuerine at Manchester City's training ground

Mini me: Mario Balotelli poses with his bobblehead figuerine at Manchester City's training ground

With rumours abounding that Luis Suarez could be heading down the M62 from Liverpool in January, it looks increasingly likely that troubled Mario Balotelli could be on his way out at Man City.

But while the Premier League will miss his terrific goals and temper tantrums, it seems the blue half of Manchester will miss the man himself even more, having taken Super Mario to their hearts.

It's a shame, because this Man About Town seems to be right at home and knows all the Mancunian landmarks, from the cobbles of Coronation Street to the Castlefield canals.

To mark the launch of the Ballotelli bobblehead figurine, out just in time to be the perfect Christmas stocking filler for any young (or old) City fan, mini Mario's been on a little tour.

He's been spotted outside the Rovers Return, the famous pub in ITV soap Coronation Street, on the Lowry bridge in the city centre and grabbing a bite to eat at San Carlo, the award-winning restaurant.

And his 'Why Always Me' t-shirt was appropriate when forced into battle with some Daleks at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Rovers return: Balotelli boblehead on the famous cobbles of Coronation Street

Rovers return: Balotelli boblehead on the famous cobbles of Coronation Street

Read all about it: Balotelli waits outside Corrie's famous corner shop The Kabin

Read all about it: Balotelli waits outside Corrie's famous corner shop The Kabin

Neighbourhood watch: Balotelli seems to be waiting for a kickabout with Kev Webster

Neighbourhood watch: Balotelli seems to be waiting for a kickabout with Kev Webster

THE HAMMERS BOBBLEHEADS…
See how West Ham immortalised their co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold HERE

The wacky figurines are part of a set
of six, priced at 15 apiece, with Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, Vincent
Kompany, Joe Hart and boss Roberto Mancini also available.

The real Balotelli found it hilarious
when he came face-to-face with his plastic alter ego at the club's
Carrington training ground this week.

No doubt he's added it to his Christmas wish list.

Bobbleheads seem to be enjoying a
surge in popularity this year, with the City figurines hot on the heels
of a West Ham collection featuring owners David Gold and David Sullivan,
and Hammers star Mark Noble.

Bite to eat: Balotelli pops into his favourite restaurant San Carlo

Bite to eat: Balotelli pops into his favourite restaurant San Carlo

Road block: Balotelli posing alongside his favoured Bentley Continental GT

Road block: Balotelli posing alongside his favoured Bentley Continental GT

Love story: Balotelli once scribed the word City onto a promotional 'I love Manchester' warm-up t-shirt he wore at the Etihad Stadium

Love story: Balotelli once scribed the word City onto a promotional 'I love Manchester' warm-up t-shirt he wore at the Etihad Stadium

West Ham flying high but will fans learn to love Sam Allardyce?

With Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool up next for high-flying Hammers, when will fans learn to love Big Sam

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UPDATED:

09:47 GMT, 12 November 2012

Into the top six. Ahead of Arsenal and Tottenham. And Newcastle. And Liverpool.

They started last November with a 0-0 draw at home to Bristol City and this November with a 0-0 draw at home to champions Manchester City and a 1-0 away win at Newcastle.

After the barren years of Gianfranco Zola and Avram Grant (considered as Chelsea 'plants' by some fans), West Ham are back in business.

Scroll down to video

Big Sam doing his best grizzly bear impression alongside Alan Pardew as West Ham win 1-0 at Newcastle

Big Sam doing his best grizzly bear impression alongside Alan Pardew as West Ham win 1-0 at Newcastle

HAMMERS ON THE MARCH

Newcastle 0 West Ham 1 – read Colin Young's match report HERE

With a captain signed and paid for by the chairman outside of the of the club's budget and a manager who many fans didn't want. And, bizarrely, some still don't.

What will it take for West ham fans to fall for Sam Allardyce

They don't chant his name. In fact, the last manager to be revered by the West Ham faithful was Alan Pardew, who was sacked.

Now he has taken West Ham to promotion via the play-offs and into the top six, will supporters recognise his value

As Southampton and Reading, two teams who finished above West Ham in the Championship last season, continue to falter and sit in the bottom three, Big Sam is riding high.

Shake on it: Pardew was the last West Ham manager to be celebrated by the home fans

Shake on it: Pardew was the last West Ham manager to be cheered by the home fans

Reading did the double over West Ham last season and Southampton took four points from them, leaving West Ham to beat Blackpool 2-1 in a tense play-off final. And Allardyce was blamed when the 'Manchester United' of the Championship – the club with the biggest budget and biggest gates – failed to get up automatically.

Instead, Allardyce went back to the drawing board and, working with ambitious co-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold, came up with a transfer strategy.
While they tried – and failed – to land players such as Wilfried Zaha, they still added quality to their squad.

Allardyce has built their success this season on a mean defence and skilled set pieces routines. As well as Kevin Nolan's goals (five in the Barclays premier League so far – one less than Marouane Fellaini) and Andy Carroll's battering-ram talents.

Matchwinner and West Ham captain Kevin Nolan salutes the away fans after his goal

Matchwinner and West Ham captain Kevin Nolan salutes the away fans after his goal

Mark Noble of West Ham celebrates at the final whistle

James Tomkins of West Ham celebrates at the final whistle

Homegrown and happy: Noble (left) and Tomkins (right) celebrate the unlikely win at Newcastle

Only Stoke and Manchester City have conceded less goals in the Premier League and the shut-out at Newcastle was their fifth this season in what was their second away win.

And all this has been with back four made up mainly of cast-offs.

Jussi Jaaskelainen, their goalkeeper, came on a free after Bolton were relegated and eager to see the back of him. He had lost his place and Bolton fans said his kicking and communication was shot to pieces.

So too Joey O'Brien, who was another Big Sam player from Botlon. Why is he signing all these former players, was the question. Another clean sheet is the answer.

The fans loved him at Bolton: Allardyce, complete with hat and flag in 2004

The fans loved him at Bolton: Allardyce, complete with hat and flag in 2004

George McCartney came on a free from Sunderland after a loan spell last season and James Collins joined Winston Reid and James Tomkins to compete for places at the heart of the back four.

In total, West Ham's back five who played against Newcastle, including the goalkeeper, cost Winston Reid's transfer fee: 3.2million. Is there a cheaper defence in the top flight

Mohamed Diame, signed from, Wigan for 2m, has played well in patches and continues to grow; the style of play is a mixture of launching it in and playing on the deck.

There is variation and, in Mark Noble, they have one of the most improved players in the league. Surely an England call beckons. Certainly, it seems strange that Tom Huddlestone has been called up ahead of him for the friendly in Sweden this week.

Nolan is congratulated by Andy Carroll after scoring the only goal at their former club

Nice to be back here: Nolan is congratulated by Andy Carroll after scoring the only goal at their former club

Although record signing Matt Jarvis has yet to fire, Yossi Benayoun is beneftting from a regular starting place, rather than the big-part role he occupied at Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal. So much so that Ricardo Vaz Te hasn't been missed, after dislocating his shoulder.

So will West Ham fans finally accept Allardyce, considered the High Priest of long ball football from his early days as a manager

Paradise by Coldplay is aired before every game at Upton Park and could easily be adopted by supporters. 'Alla-Alla-Allardyce.' Beat Stoke and you never know.

Dean Cox goal from the half-way line

Anything Beckham can do… Leyton Orient's Cox scores belter from half-way line

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UPDATED:

11:26 GMT, 3 October 2012

Walsall isn't the most glamorous of away trips on a cold Tuesday night, but the Leyton Orient fans who made the journey were able to bask in the glow of a spectacular Dean Cox strike.

Just before the half-hour, and with Orient already a goal to the good, Cox glanced up to spot goalkeeper Karl Darlow off his line.

And with pinpoint accuracy, he let fly inside his own half and sent the ball sailing over the red-faced keeper.

Orient withstood a strong Walsall fightback in the second half to win the game 2-1, a result that lifts them into the top half of the League One table.

We all remember David Beckham's embarrassment of Neil Sullivan from half-way in 1996 but such goals aren't that rare.

Here are a few memorable ones…

David Beckham makes himself a household name in 1996

And one at the opposite end of his career…


Alonso takes aim against Newcastle


Or do as Jone Samuelson does and head the ball

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Andy Carroll can be a loan star – Jamie Redknapp

Hungry Carroll can be a loan star if Rodgers doesn't want him

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 12 July 2012

Andy Carroll has a lot to offer. He's 23 and reminded us when he played for England against Sweden what he can do when he is on top of his game. Get the quality into the box and he will score.

So why does it seem that Liverpool want to sell him now, just when it looked as if he had turned the corner

The problem for Carroll is that the new manager, Brendan Rodgers, plays with one up and that one player will be Luis Suarez.

Glimpses: Andy Carroll showed his class in the FA Cup final and at Euro 2012

Glimpses: Andy Carroll showed his class in the FA Cup final and at Euro 2012

Glimpses: Andy Carroll showed his class in the FA Cup final and at Euro 2012

So Carroll has a choice: does he accept his role as the understudy and stay and fight for his place, or does he accept he is surplus to requirements and move away

If Liverpool want to move him on, he’s a fantastic loan. He’s a good player. No wonder West Ham are interested in that temporary deal.

West Ham were very direct at times last season in their promotion campaign and Carroll is a serious threat in the air. He can lead the line, play up on his own and score. Carlton Cole has that role at the moment, but does he score enough

Carroll will give West Ham something extra. It is an ambitious plan and, if David Sullivan and David Gold can pull it off, I can imagine the excitement it will create at Upton Park. It would be the biggest signing since Carlos Tevez.

Other clubs are interested and a return to Newcastle and his native North East might appeal to Carroll. Fulham too have been mentioned, as well as clubs abroad. I wonder if Spurs might switch their target from Emmanuel Adebayor — chairman Daniel Levy has admired Carroll before and tried to sign him.

Competition: Carroll would be a good fit at West Ham, Spurs and Fulham

Competition: Carroll would be a good fit at West Ham, Spurs and Fulham

It’s been a remarkable few weeks for Carroll, having been picked for England and scoring that stunning header from a Steven Gerrard cross.

It made me think that Brendan would be licking his lips at the prospect of recreating that moment on a regular basis. ‘Gerrard cross, Carroll header’ sounded like a recipe for success, but the new manager has his own distinct way of playing and won’t play 4-4-2.

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Carroll struggled to settle after his transfer from Newcastle and would regularly misjudge flick-ons and struggle for his touch when playing with his back to goal. At times, he didn’t even look like a Premier League footballer, let alone a Liverpool footballer.

His confidence was drained and, like all goalscorers, his performance suffered. I’ve worked with Alan Shearer and Robbie Fowler, the masters of their art, and they were different players when lacking in confidence.

Carroll scored only six league goals last season — a poor return after his 35million transfer fee. But he scored in derby games against Everton, one at Goodison and one at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final. And that always helps a player to endear himself to the Liverpool crowd.

His form was good at the end of the season, where he gave John Terry a chasing and also terrorised Blackburn. And then he went away with England, made the squad, got in the team and scored.

Now he will be wondering what to do next. He will sit down with his agent and ask, ‘Where is my future Liverpool or somewhere else’

Does he have to go No he doesn’t. He can just sit tight, fight for his place and wait and see. That’s the way of the modern footballer in the days of player power.

If a club can get him on loan they will find a hungry player, with a point to prove.