web analytics
Leave a comment

Czech Republic have damaged Irons trust and respect

Claret and Hugh followers have been responding to the news that Vladi Coufal has been included in the Czech Republic squad for two European Champions Qualifers this week and next.

Here is a typical view from occasional blogger The Cat

By The Cat

I was shocked by the news that Vladimir Coufal is travelling with his national team.

As far back as I can remember, there has always been a level of diplomacy and respect between the managers of international teams, concerning the footballer’s clubs.

But to take a player who hasn’t even been declared fit enough to play for his club side is undoubtedly damaging the trust and respect of the club that pays his wages.

Indeed staying at home during this international break and getting Vladimir Coufal the necessary treatment so he can return to first-team action asap is of more importance than travelling with his country (with possible game time pencilled in) at this point.

Disrespectful and something which should Never Happen.

1 Comment

Man City star to replace Declan: Hammers reveal the truth

ClaretandHugh Exclusive by Hughie Southon

West Ham have spoken out for the first time on regular speculation that the club is ready to bring in Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips as a replacement for Declan Rice this summer.

The Hammers skipper is all set to leave the London Stadium with Arsenal and Chelsea joint favourites to sign him.

Speculation that Phillips could replace him grew out of the fact that David Moyes made a move for the former Leeds star before he made the switch  to City.

Moyes saw him as the perfect midfield partner for Declan but missed out despite City coming in with a bid lower than ours.

However, he has made just five appearances in Pep Guardiola’s side this season and has been regularly linked with a move to the Hammers in the next window should we remain in the Premier League.

A top Hammers source told us exclusively: “He’s a good player and we like him but sadly he  appears to be injured a lot of the time and is probably on very high wages as a City player.”

1 Comment

Hammers have every right to be upset

By Hughie Southon

So here we are suffering our way through yet another international break having seen the Premier League halted for a month already on account of a World Cup.

The risk of injuries to any of the Hammers 10 players on international duty at a time when we need everybody to remain fit is absolutely critical .

Yet here we are again caught in a club or country scenario, which has been battled out for years, at a time when we are facing an incredibly crowded April fixture list whilst battling relegation.

That has to be wrong!

It becomes even worse when a player still not fully recovered from an injury – Vladimir Coufal – is called up by his country presumably to be available for selection.

West Ham have every right to be upset that has happened and given the awful organisation of this particular season, the powers that be really do need to sit down and make sure nothing like it happens again

Leave a comment

CandH Exclusive: Hammers unhappy with Coufal decision

By Hughie Southon

West Ham are not happy about Vladimir Coufal travelling away on possible international duty with the Czech Republic.

Despite the right back having a heel problem which has kept him out of action since the game against Forest towards the end of February he has been included in the squad.

The Republic play Poland in a Group E European Nations Cup qualifier followed by another against Moldova on Monday.

And it seems that the player has still not recovered 100 per cent with Hammers insiders concerned that he will be chosen to play in either or both games.

A key London Stadium insider was quick to voice the worries which will be shared by the manager and players.

Speaking exclusively to Claret and Hugh he said: ” We wish Coufal wasn’t going away given the circumstances with his heel problem and who knows what injuries any of the nine other senior players on duty will pick up.”


1 Comment

Stadium row rumbles on

Claiming them to be  engaged at quite a high level she makes the point however she asked the situation could be progressed once a “significant” legal dispute with West Ham has been resolved.

She was speaking to a meeting of the full London Assembly at City Hall  and said  “we now have a number of sponsors engaged at quite a high level” to discuss a sponsorship deal encompassing the stadium and the park “which we are doing together”, and confirmed that London mayor Sadiq Khan is “very willing to get involved in the search for a stadium sponsor” at an appropriate time.

In October Garner,  Assembly members she would be willing to discuss transferring the naming rights from the public body to West Ham if the club was prepared to offer £4 million a year in return.

The response from teh Hammers was quick and to the point with vice chair Karren Brady, who runs the club, saying the rights are worth only £2 million and claimed “the prospect of naming rights revenue for West Ham United is dwindling to zero”.

Meanwhile Garner said it was “inappropriate to discuss transferring control or stadium naming rights to the club” until “a continuing, significant financial and legal dispute that we currently have with the club” is over, perhaps later in the spring.


Hammers major hope to get his big chance?

By Simon Leyland

Well this is interesting, very interesting…..

There are rumours going around the web that Moyes may replace the stuttering Scamacca with the extremely promising, but still raw, Divin Mubama in our next match.

Whether or not it is true however, it does throw up a new dynamic in our current quest for goals.

No matter how you look at it, Scamacca has been very disappointing this season with only 8 goals compared to the 18 he scored last term for Sassuolo.

The end of the season is in sight and perhaps it may be worth a final throw of the dice. Although Moyes being Moyes and with his safety first approach this is as much likely to happen as Declan Rice signing for Mansfield.

Young Divin has scored an impressive 49 times from just 76 appearances across the U18 and U21 age groups – a proper strikers pedigree

No matter how you dress it up, it really  can’t get much worse for the Irons….or can it?

Perhaps if we ignore the naysayers and trust in youth, this could well be the way to save our season.

Leave a comment

CandH relegation and points analysis of threatened teams



By Simon Leyland


As we hit the final few months of this campaign, only four points separate nine clubs at the bottom of the table.

So over the next few days we will be looking at each of them up to 12th place and giving an end of season  points prediction.

So let’s have a look at the first two  and their chances of survival.

Well, I know we have had a bad season but I am glad I am not a Saints supporter, currently languishing at the bottom of the pile, and they also have history against them.

Just three of the 31 clubs to be bottom of the league on Christmas Day have avoided relegation that season – Leicester City in 2014-15, Sunderland in 2013-14 and West Brom in 2004-05.

After removing Nathan Jones as manager, Southampton have found some positive stability in Ruben Selles. But is it too little too late?

Selles has masterminded victories over Chelsea and Leicester as well as impressive draws at Manchester United and at home to Tottenham – coming from two goals down to avoid defeat in that one

But Saints’ upcoming fixtures do not look overly favourable, with contests against the Premier League’s top two on the horizon, as well as trips to the Irons and Newcastle.

Points: 23
Goal difference: -23

Final games

West Ham away

Man City home

Crystal Palace home

Arsenal away

Bournemouth home

Newcastle away

Forest away

Fulham home

Brighton away

Liverpool home

Despite rescuing a point late on against the Spuds, our anoraks and their big shiny supercomputer has the Saints chance of being relegated still increasing 9% to 78.1%.

They calculate that the Saints will pick up a further 10 points leaving them with a final total of 33 points a goal difference of  – 29 and leaving them bottom of the table.

The bookies also agree, making them 2/5 favourites for the chop.

CandH final points prediction: 31



Next up for analysis are Bournemouth.

Bournemouth’s miserable recent away form continues to prove their Achilles heel in the quest for survival. A 3-0 mauling by Aston Villa was their eighth loss in their last nine away games in the Premier League, during which they also failed to score in six of them. All of that adds up to their chances of playing Championship football next season ticking over 50%.


Points: 24
Goal difference: -29

Upcoming games

Fulham home

Brighton home

Leicester away

Spurs away

West Ham home

Southampton away

Leeds home

Chelsea home

Palace away

Man Utd home

Everton away

The anoraks conclude that they will gain another 11 points and end up with 25 points with a goal difference of – 36. Which will leave them in 18th place and a return visit to the Championship. The Bookies also agree giving them a price of 4/7 to go down.

CandH points prediction 33


We will be looking at the remainder over the next few days.

1 Comment

10 Irons for whom fingers are firmly crosses

By Hughie Southon

It’s the dreaded international break when there is little for us to do other than worry about our league position and hope none of the Hammers involved for their nations come back injured.

Rice and Soucek on international duty

This time around 10 of the senior squad are involved in games which in all honesty are of little interest to most of us.

Qualifiers for UEFA Euro 2024 kick off this month in Europe, Gianluca Scamacca and Emerson will meet up with Italy, while Tomáš Souček and Vladimír Coufal are another Hammers pair to have been selected by their country, the Czech Republic.

Elsewhere, England’s Declan Rice, France’s Alphonse Areola and Germany’s Thilo Kehrer will hope to be involved in their qualifiers, while Hungary’s Krisztián Hegyi has received a first senior call-up.

Further afield, Brazil’s Paquetá and Morocco’s Nayef Aguerd will be involved in international friendlies – with the pair set to face one another in Tangie – hardly a match which in all honesty should be played at this time of the year when we have already had a World Cup break.

Frankly it does nothing for me in light of us having to resume against Southampton on April 2 before another home game against Newcastle just four days later and an away game at Fulham the following weekend.

Leave a comment

Late call for impressive Hammer

Impressive Hammers left back Emerson has had a late   call into the Italy squad which will be facing England and Malta in the coming days.

The 28-year-old, who has been in particularly good form for us over recent games was originally left out of Roberto Mancini’s initial 30-man squad for their upcoming 2024 European Championship qualifying matches.

However, following an injury to Inter Milan’s Federico Dimarco during Inter Milan’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus on Sunday, Dimarco has had to withdraw from the squad.

Emerson will join Gianluca Scamacca who has been called up despite the front man struggling for game time since returning from a knee injury last month.


1 Comment

Hammers forced to weigh up risk factor

By Simon Leyland

There is some lively debate on ClaretandHugh at the moment surrounding our feckless supremo.

And now Dean Jones from Eurosport has waded in with his assertion that the board have a ‘big worry’ about replacing Moyes as manager.

The ashen faced one has been reported to enjoy an ‘excellent relationship’ with the club’s hierarchy, which could be a key reason why he is still in charge, despite the woeful season we are currently enduring.

In a recent interview with GiveMeSport, Jones suggested the reason the board are loathe to get rid of the Scot is due to a lack of possible candidates that could be seen as a real improvement.

His view was that if  they were going to get rid of him they would have done it during the World Cup break. There are 12 games left and we have to weigh up the risk factor of letting him leave at this stage versus the “New Manager Bounce” – assuming that we can find one!.

Every day there are reports, gossip and innuendo about the potential options to replace him. From the ridiculous – Jose Mourhino anyone? The fanciful – Michael Carrick and the boringly obvious – Rafa Benitez.

Neither of which particularly appeal.

I hate to say it, but it would be better for all of us to wait until the end of the season before approaching anyone else, as we are need to think this through very carefully.

The appointment of the next manager is arguably one of the most important steps that the board have faced in years. It makes you wonder if they entirely fully appreciate the situation, or are just blinded by the light that shines out of the Premier League’s backside.

Too many are….

West Ham owe their fans more than that after all these years. Is the club really ambitious, or just content to exist in the void of survival mode, happy to be picking up the Premier League money every season? The next few months will show us the truth.