You could hardly make it up could you? Hammers striker Enner Valencia is a huge doubt for this Saturday's Barclays Premier League fixture against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, apparently Valencia cut his toe very severely on a broken cup at his rented home! Hammers move to the Olympic stadium cannot come soon enough for those who still believe in the Gypsy curse that has blighted the Boleyn Ground.
Alex Song's Dubai absence has been explained on the official site, as the Cameroonian defensive midfielder requesting permission from managment to remain at Chadwell Heath and train for fitness purposes with the Development Squad while the First Team were away in Dubai.
Song was quoted as saying “Yes, I think it was really good for me to work on my fitness and stay here to work. I feel I needed to work because I didn’t have a proper pre-season."
Friday 6 March…..Dubai….barren, soulless and dry. The perfect destination to invigorate a losing side…..on the plus side they encourage stoning…..
The mood in the airport reflected the recent form. Some players had been very proficient and checked themselves in with no issues, signing autographs happily and looking forward to some sunshine training. Others had become confused and disorientated.
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Great news this morning, as West Ham finally confirm that Winston Reid has joined James Tomkins and Mark Noble in signing long term contracts with the Club. After months of speculation and links of a move away to Tottenham and Arsenal, it is outstanding news that Winston has been secured on a new six-and-a-half year contract. Again confirming the Chairman's long term vision and European aspirations for the Team.
West Ham United: Adrian, Jenkinson, Tomkins, Reid, Cresswell, Noble, Kouyate, Nolan (c), Downing, Valencia, Sakho
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Demel, O'Brien, Collins, Song, Jarvis, Nene
Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta, Ramires, Zouma, Fabregas, Oscar, Hazard, Costa
Subs: Cech, Luis, Willian, Cuadrado, Loftus-Cheek, Drogba, Remy
West Ham United: Adrian, Jenkinson, Reid, Tomkins, Cresswell, Song, Noble (c), Kouyate, Downing, Sakho, Valencia
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Nolan, Jarvis, Nene, O'Brien, Collins, Demel
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward, Dann, Bolasie, Zaha, Jedinak (c), Murray, Mutch, Delaney, Kelly, Puncheon
Subs: Hennessey, Hangeland, Gayle, McArthur, Ameobi, Ledley, Souare
With only Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia and the recently arrived Nene available as the club's strikers there is a paucity of choice up front in case there are injuries or suspensions. Elliot Lee and Mauro Zarate are out on loan to Luton Town and QPR respectively, so it is strange that Hammers are looking towards a Swedish teenager for the future. 18 year old striker, Robert Lipovac, plays for BK Hacken in Gothenburg, but his club have given him permission to visit West Ham this week where he is training with the club's U21 squad.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (c), Walker, Vertonghen, Rose, Dier, Lamela, Townsend, Kane, Mason, Dembele, Bentaleb
Subs: Vorm, Soldado, Fazio, Chadli, Eriksen, Stambouli, Davies
West Ham United: Adrian, Reid, Cresswell, Tomkins, Kouyate, Downing, Sakho, Noble (c), Jenkinson, Song, Valencia
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Nolan, Jarvis, O'Brien, Collins, Demel, Cole
The acts of a minority will sully (no pun intended) the acts of the decent majority in all walks and aspects of life, as has been painfully apparent of late, courtesy of the mindless Chelsea supporters in Paris. However before looking down on the actions of those supporters, West Ham fans should be incredibly wary of the fact that the World's sporting press will seize any snippet of negativity they can, and a visit to White Hart Lane provides prime fodder for the red tops.