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CURBS CONVINCED OF HAMMERS' POTENTIAL

By Jim van Wijk, PA Sport

New West Ham boss Alan Curbishley is convinced he has returned to a "club going places".

The former Charlton manager was unveiled on Wednesday as Alan Pardew's successor, taking charge of the club where he started his career as a trainee back in the early 1970s.

Curbishley inherits a side which ended the last campaign as FA Cup finalists, but now sit third-bottom of the Barclays Premiership.

The 49-year-old sought plenty of advice from within the game on the prospect of stepping into the Upton Park hotseat - including his old friend Sir Alex Ferguson, whom he faces in his first match when they host Manchester United on Sunday.

Curbishley said: "I spoke to a lot of people before taking this appointment, and they are all coming out with the same thing - this club can go places.

"I said to Sir Alex that West Ham were third from bottom. He then reminded me that 20 years ago, so were Manchester United when he took over.

"Sir Alex told me 'what you have got is an opportunity to go into a club and be successful'."

Curbishley quipped: "I was just seeking his advice on a couple of things - but it was not too serious because he was writing out his Christmas cards and wanted to get back to them."

The new West Ham manager added: "I spoke to a few people because it is not the situation which I envisaged going into a club, when things were in such a difficult position.

"But because it was this club, it changed my mind."

Curbishley has called on his new side to recapture their "hunger" of last season.

West Ham fought hard to return to the top flight under Pardew and then went on to finish ninth, reach the 2006 FA Cup final and qualify for Europe.

Curbishley has no intentions of letting all that industry go to waste.

He said: "You cannot take the Premiership for granted.

"Teams like Watford and Sheffield United will take a defeat then come in on Monday morning looking forward to the next game because it is all new, all fresh - and everyone is aggressive about it.

"Last season West Ham had that newly-promoted hunger; they were galvanised by the fans, which they still are - and we have to recapture that.

"We have got to get it back quickly and start winning some games."

The new Hammers boss, who has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal, added: "It just seems the season has not got going, with injuries and the like.

"It is a young side who were on a crest of a wave last year, and everything just went from one week to the next with the results getting better.

"Those same young players are now being asked different questions, and we have got to find the answers."

Telegraph article:

Inside Sport: Argentines could end up costing West Ham £18.6m

By David Bond

Last Updated: 12:14am GMT 14/12

One of Alan Curbishley's first tasks as West Ham's new manager will be to try and get more out of the club's expensive Argentine internationals Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano.

A major reason for the upheaval, which led to the sacking of Alan Pardew on Monday, was that the World Cup stars have so far failed to settle in London's East End. And, despite the massive global attention the sensational deadline day swoop received in August, they look set to be moved on at the end of the season by new chairman Eggert Magnusson.

Nearly four months after they joined the club on four-year contracts, the ground-breaking deal, which could set a precedent for the way players are transferred in the future, remains shrouded in mystery. But an Inside Sport investigation has learned that:

• Tevez and Mascherano are being paid salaries of £1.7 million each a year. Although the contracts do not include any provision for bonus payments, they are the club's highest earners.

• Contrary to reports at the time of the transfers, it is believed West Ham do not stand to make anything from the future sales of the players.

advertisement• While no transfer fee was paid to Corinthians of Brazil (the club they left for West Ham), sources say there was a commitment to pay up to £5 million to two companies who shared equally the ownership of Mascherano's 'economic' rights.

One source described the deals for the players as "triangular agreements". While there was the usual agreement to transfer the registrations of the players from the selling club to the buying club, there was also a third strand in the deal. This involved the companies who owned the 'economic' rights to the players. In the cases of both Mascherano and Tevez, the owners had a contractual right with West Ham over who they could be sold to in the future, for how much and when.

But with Mascherano there was also a financial payment for bringing him to Upton Park. Around £450,000 was paid at the time of the deal with the remainder of the £5 million to be paid in yearly instalments for as long as the midfielder stayed at the club. It is understood that there was no similar financial arrangement for Tevez.

Exactly who owns the players remains unknown because the companies are registered in offshore tax havens. But Inside Sport understands that 50 per cent of Mascherano is owned by a company called Global Soccer Agencies Ltd, a firm registered in Gibraltar with offices in Israel. It is a company with links to the agents Pini Zahavi and Jorge Mendes, who represents Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

Similarly, the ownership of Tevez is split between two offshore companies registered in the British Virgin Islands — 65 per cent of the striker is owned by a company called Just Sport while the remaining 35 per cent is controlled by MSI Group Ltd. MSI, or Media Sport Investments, is the company previously run by Kia Joorabchian, who manages the players and until last month was leading a takeover bid for West Ham. MSI is also the company which took on a 10-year lease to run Corinthians in 2004. Joorabchian insists that he is no longer involved with the company. The details of who owns Tevez are contained in a report by the State Prosecutor of Sao Paulo who conducted an investigation into MSI and Corinthians in 2005.

The report suggested links between MSI and the exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky. But while Berezovsky and Joorabchian are friends, both vehemently deny he is behind MSI. As if to stress the point, Berezovsky told a Brazilian newspaper last week: "I want to invest in Corinthians and MSI. Right now I am studying the best way to do that. I want to take Corinthians to the top." As for West Ham, the club's new leadership remain concerned that they are tied into long-term deals for the players which could end up costing £18.6 million.

There was, it is understood, a provision to pay West Ham around £750,000 if Mascherano was sold in January and uncertainty over this figure caused a major problem at the time Magnusson and his advisers were finalising their £108 million takeover. But once it became clear Fifa's rules prevented the players joining a third club in the same season, the issue became irrelevant.

Joorabchian maintains West Ham will receive a slice of any sell-on fee if the players are moved on in the summer and, in relation to the suggestions of a £5 million payment for Mascherano, Joorabchian added: "West Ham have no other fees to pay for the players other than their salaries."

Deals like these are commonplace for South American and African players but until now they have not been known in England. And although the businessmen behind them claim they allow clubs with smaller budgets to land players they would otherwise be unable to afford, Fifa are looking at introducing new rules which will prohibit third party ownership of players.

In this country the Football Association are already in the process of introducing new regulations preventing agents from owning stakes in players. They may have come too late for West Ham to avoid an expensive experiment.

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Spurs ditch plans for Olympic Stadium

Sir Keith Mills' appointment to the board of Tottenham as a non-executive director yesterday officially ended the club's interest in the new Olympic Stadium.

Recruiting the London 2012 deputy chairman is a major coup for Spurs but they had to wait until they had finished exploring the Stratford option before approaching Mills, fearing there would be a conflict of interest. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said the Olympic Development Agency's insistence on the retention of a running track after the 2012 Games made it a non-starter.

West Ham are now the only Premiership club interested in moving to the stadium but they are fast running out of time to push their case.

But where does that leave Spurs, who know they must seek a new home away from White Hart Lane, if they are to fulfil Levy's vast ambitions for the club? According to Levy, he is now hopeful of finding a solution closer to home.

Levy told Inside Sport he is in fresh discussions with Haringey Council about finding a site within the borough. He said: "At the moment there's lots of discussions going on, nothing concrete, but we feel now there's a willingness to work together [with Haringey] whereas before we were on our own."

But he added that the Olympics could yet play a part in hindering their new plans. He said: "We were at one point talking to the London Development Agency about them supporting something in Tottenham but the problem now is all their money has been diverted to the Olympics."

Daily Mail article:

Everton offer Reo-Coker way out

By COLIN WOOD

Last updated at 08:17am on 14th December 2006

Everton manager David Moyes wants to make West Ham captain Nigel Reo-Coker his first signing in next month's transfer window.

The 22-year-old midfielder expressed doubts about his future before Alan Curbishley was confirmed as the replacement for the sacked Alan Pardew yesterday.

Moyes hopes to take advantage of the situation after his chairman Bill Kenwright told him money will be available to reinforce his squad.

Reo-Coker was valued at £10million when Manchester United and Arsenal were linked with him in the summer. He was reported to be upset because he was not informed of their interest.

He was accused of going into a sulk and losing form as the side he led to promotion and the FA Cup Final in successive seasons slumped into the bottom three. He was blamed by many for the sacking of Pardew, who signed him as a 19-year-old from Milton Keynes Dons.

Reo-Coker said: "Now Pardew has gone it's only going to get worse for me with people pointing the finger. It will be down to the new boss whether I am here next year.

"I've no idea what is going to happen in January. Everyone keeps saying I should be sacked and it's all my fault we've been doing so badly."

Moyes sees him as a key figure for Everton, who have been hit by injuries, especially to midfielders Mikel Arteta and Phil Neville.

Everton believe Reo-Coker's value has fallen because of a series of lacklustre displays, but could still be forced to offer something near the club record £8.6m paid to Crystal Palace for England striker Andy Johnson.

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I've heard others say this underwhelmed thing about Curbs appointment generally mate. To be honest, I don't know what he was expected to say except that he's got to sort out our preset situation first and foremost. Got to say that I personally was chuffed to ###### at having him back, and I know that this means nothing really, but hearing someone a proper East London accent from the new manager helped. But ok Greenwood didn't have one and Roeder has, etc. Just my little indulgence I guess. Welcome back Curbs!

Konchesky is crap so should be out. Not sure who to relace him with though. But I reckon that Mascareno should be his first signing. Might upset NRC and a couple of others. But unless Curbs can sort out Reo-Coker's attitude then he should be shown the door asap. Which leaves the question of captaincy. Gabbidon would be my choice.

For me a right sided player and a holding mid-fielder are the two positions that Pardew overlooked. Marlon is no more suited playing on the right than Tevez is in playing out on the left. I suppose that this SWP thing won''t go away until after January. I notice that he getting more games at present. So I expect that it's a shop window thing. Spector also seems to turned out to have been another of Pard's poor signings.

As for a striker, I reckon that we do need one other to play alongside Ashton. Tevez and Ashton would be more than useful if we can hold on to him. But Darren Bent?

A source close to Bent revealed: “The prospect of Alan taking Darren with him to Upton Park has already been mentioned.

“Alan has kept close tabs on him and rates him very highly indeed.

“I wouldn’t be surprised at all if moves were made during the transfer window — especially considering Charlton’s plight.”

Previous Addicks chief Iain Dowie blew all of struggling Charlton’s transfer kitty in pre-season — leaving new Valley boss Les Reed nothing to play with in January.

And Reed admits that he cannot rely solely on Bent keeping second-bottom Charlton from the drop.

Reed said: “We work on the basis that we don’t depend on Darren to carry the team.

“We need to get others involved and there were promising signs in the last three games that we can do that.”

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You call fiteen miniutes short? Only if it interests you son. Anyway the longer pieces are for those with a real interest in West Ham. It is a West Ham thread after all. So they'll keep coming as and when. But there's no compulsion to read them. Straight up.

As for tomorrows result? They'll be up for it as we always are against that lot at home, irrespective of anything else. Hard to predict, but a draw wouldn't suprise me, nor if we lost. Only slightly more if we actually won. In the absence of a crystal ball, you could say that I'm sitting on the fence about this one in particular.

Go On You Irons !!!

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Congratulations -Great win !

A great start...and not an Argie in sight!

Now stop it...can't have you catching the Royals!!!

The bottom two places have almost got a "Reserved" sticker on them..its who will go down with Watford and Charlton really as we approach the half way mark in the season

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I was a great win. Beating them lot always has a sweet taste. But historically we always were up for sticking one up the Mancs and sometimes even spoiling their party. But the other side of our not so great tradition was the next week losing to those that we really shouldn't have. I hope that part of our folklore will be finally put to rest under Curbs reign. So Fulham and Portsmouth next will be the absolutely essential places to show the same spirit and effort combined with Curbs's nouse.

I'm not sure why he never played Carlos yesterday. Halfway through the second half I was hoping that he'd come on for Marlon. Then Harewood made that lovely little cross for NRC to slot home. Guess that's why Curbs is the new manager and not me :o

But I hope that Tevez will stay at West Ham and become a central part of Curbishleys's plans.

The dice does seem already rolled or Watford and Charlton. As for the third relegation place. It'd be great if it went to Newcastle. But failing that anyone but us really.

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Well done WH. I only saw the first half and WH were right in there.

Cheers

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Well done WH. I only saw the first half and WH were right in there.

Cheers

Great Night! Fantastic commitment. Bowyer seemed to have eaten his spinach, NRC woke up from his torpor, Harewood was a constant thorn in their backside. Even Konch looked composed. Spector looked good with a point to prove. Anton outshone Rio. Like to have seen Tevez in action, instead of Bobby Zamora but that's the only thing to carp about. Come on you Irons we need to go on a run now, starting with Fulham.

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Like to have seen Tevez in action, instead of Bobby Zamora but that's the only thing to carp about. Come on you Irons we need to go on a run now, starting with Fulham.

As much as I like the Z man for his 101% commitment, I do think that when it comes down to it he's all huff-and-puff really. But when Ashton returns in January and with Curbs declared interest in Darren Bent I wonder what hs future at the club will be? I don't know why he didn't play Carlos either but I'd have questioned this decision more if we'd have lost.

I disagree a bit about Konchesky though. He did have a better game but that's not hard to do really. His crossing of the ball is still poor and he nearly gifted them with a goal. I really wonder if he's a Premiership player at all sometimes. I've also got some question marks over Ethrington too. He isn't the player that he was in the Championship, and blimey don't he fade out of the game quickly.

I notice that there are still many on NRC's case. I know the bloke has had an attitude, but who knows what was behind it all and that it won't be sorted under Curbs? He's definately got the class there and maybe he'll become one of those who never realised his potential in the claret and blue. But I hope that he doesn't go cause I reckon that he's one of the players that Curbs can build a good team around.

But you know I've got this theory as far as some of these supporters are concerned:

Ince (ok, there is a case to answer)

Little Judas Defoe (ditto)

Freddie Kanoute

Marlon (he's had his fair share of abuse)

Reo-Coker

Lampard

Thing is, that with the exception of Lumpolard, the most vehemency and hostlity towards players or ex-players has been reserved for black ones. I'm not saying that this is overt racism (except from a tiny minority of complete idiots) but I'm sure that it's easier to get on the back of a black player than if they were white. It's just a theory that I've had since Freddie Kanoute played for us really. Having said that, some of the all time heroes where also black. Clyde Best and George Parris being the obvious examples. Of course I may be wrong about all this. But it sometimes seems like I'm right and NRC needs to be given a chance now

Anecdotally. I'm pleased that Kanoute is the leading scorer in the La Premera with Sevilla, by the way, he's banged in twelve already this season the last I heard.

Still a great result yesterday and all that.

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Like to have seen Tevez in action, instead of Bobby Zamora but that's the only thing to carp about. Come on you Irons we need to go on a run now, starting with Fulham.

As much as I like the Z man for his 101% commitment, I do think that when it comes down to it he's all huff-and-puff really. But when Ashton returns in January and with Curbs declared interest in Darren Bent I wonder what hs future at the club will be? I don't know why he didn't play Carlos either but I'd have questioned this decision more if we'd have lost.

I disagree a bit about Konchesky though. He did have a better game but that's not hard to do really. His crossing of the ball is still poor and he nearly gifted them with a goal. I really wonder if he's a Premiership player at all sometimes. I've also got some question marks over Ethrington too. He isn't the player that he was in the Championship, and blimey don't he fade out of the game quickly.

I notice that there are still many on NRC's case. I know the bloke has had an attitude, but who knows what was behind it all and that it won't be sorted under Curbs? He's definately got the class there and maybe he'll become one of those who never realised his potential in the claret and blue. But I hope that he doesn't go cause I reckon that he's one of the players that Curbs can build a good team around.

But you know I've got this theory as far as some of these supporters are concerned:

Ince (ok, there is a case to answer)

Little Judas Defoe (ditto)

Freddie Kanoute

Marlon (he's had his fair share of abuse)

Reo-Coker

Lampard

Thing is, that with the exception of Lumpolard, the most vehemency and hostlity towards players or ex-players has been reserved for black ones. I'm not saying that this is overt racism (except from a tiny minority of complete idiots) but I'm sure that it's easier to get on the back of a black player than if they were white. It's just a theory that I've had since Freddie Kanoute played for us really. Having said that, some of the all time heroes where also black. Clyde Best and George Parris being the obvious examples. Of course I may be wrong about all this. But it sometimes seems like I'm right and NRC needs to be given a chance now

Anecdotally. I'm pleased that Kanoute is the leading scorer in the La Premera with Sevilla, by the way, he's banged in twelve already this season the last I heard.

Still a great result yesterday and all that.

Interesting point about the black players but it's more of a perception that a languid style equals lack of effort. Clyde Best, included, although i can't remember him too well, i hastily add. Certainly George Parris, Leroy Rosenior, even dear old Abou were appreciated for their work ethic. While Kanoute and more recently Marlon and NRC seem to be cruising and making it look easy, looking like they're not trying. Paul Ince was slated purely for the Man U shirt, flash attitude and the way the mancs got a cheap deal in collusion with his manager. While there are bigots that go to west Ham. I don't think we're exceptional. The worse abuse I ever heard was usually directed at some of the white players Geoff Pike (unjustified, usually) Steve Walford (justified, the least talented player I have seen for WHU) and further back John Radford(completely justified, being a gooner looking for an easy pension).

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