Guest Post

Phil Parkes: "West Ham need to be MORE adventurous to turn their season around"

Former West Ham goalkeeping legend Phil Parkes has urged manager Slaven Bilic to adopt a more daring approach to help snap the team out of their poor start to the season.

Before the international break, West Ham’s record of three games, three defeats, meant they were bottom of the Premier League table.

Writing in his column for Blowing Bubbles magazine, Parkes, a two-time FA Cup winner with West Ham and one of the Boys of 86, says one way to turn things around is to be more adventurous.

“We seem to rely too much on the counter-attack as our one way of playing these days – I think the management urgently needs to get some flair in there and take risks,” he said.

“The formation and approach can become too predictable and he needs to adapt it game conditions.

“Too often we look set up not to lose, rather than to win the game, which is foreign to me as a member of John Lyall’s attack, attack, attack policy. We have to press teams a lot more.”

Read more from Phil Parkes in the latest edition of Blowing Bubbles

Guest Post

Dean Ashton on West Ham, England, the injury that changed his life – and his fairytale farewell

Former West Ham record signing Dean Ashton has told Blowing Bubbles how painful it was to watch 2007’s Great Escape from the sidelines, knowing he was powerless to do anything about it.

In an exclusive interview to mark nine years since the final appearance of his injury-curtailed West Ham career, Ashton said it was ‘tortuous’ to watch the team he had been a part of one year earlier go through such torment – before their dramatic final day victory at Manchester United to ensure Premier League survival.

“When I broke my ankle [in summer 2006], obviously that was huge disappointment, but I thought I’d come back stronger than ever, but when six or seven months later I had to go in for another operation and it was clear that wasn’t going to happen, it was infuriating,” he said.

“Once I knew I needed a second operation, that ruled me out completely – there was no way I could have played a role in the Great Escape. I took myself off into my own bubble, away from the club, so I was quite isolated but that didn’t make it any less tortuous, watching and knowing I was powerless to help.”

Read more from Dean Ashton on West Ham, England, the injury that changed his life – and his fairytale farewell – in the latest edition of Blowing Bubbles

Player Analysis

Where did it go wrong for Enner Valencia and Jonathan Calleri?

As two Latin American signings – Pablo Zabaleta and Javier Hernandez – arrive at West Ham in the full glare of publicity this summer, two others – Enner Valencia and Jonathan Calleri – have exited to considerably less acclaim.

Blowing Bubbles August 2017

On paper, the Ecuadorian World Cup striker and Boca Juniors star looked decent bets for goals, so what went wrong? Blowing Bubbles columnist Emily Pulham picks through the wreckage of the South American dreams that faded and died.

“Calleri’s experience working with West Ham legend Carlos Tevez is probably the main qualification we looked for on his cv – assuming we had indeed some research on him, prior to his arrival, and the jury is still out on that one,” she writes. “Valencia looked his strongest out on the wing, but never seemed to come to life when stood directly in front of goal. Was he played out of position at West Ham, or did he struggle to get into position in general?”.

Read this and more, including Phil Parkes on Joe Hart, George Parris’s targets for the new season, and club co-owner David Gold exclusively revealing his choice to be the next owners of West Ham in the new edition of latest edition of Blowing Bubbles

Guest Post

Phil Parkes: Joe Hart has plenty to prove at West Ham

Former West Ham goalkeeping legend Phil Parkes has told Blowing Bubbles magazine that England keeper Joe Hart’s loan move to the London Stadium could be the ideal scenario for both parties.

Blowing Bubbles August 2017

Manchester City loaned Hart out to Italian side Torino last season, and with the World Cup in Russia a year away, he will be extra motivated to showcase the very best of his abilities in claret and blue this season.

“When he’s at his best, he’s a superb keeper and probably the number one in the country,” said Parkes. “Maybe now he has competition for the England spot, it could well sharpen his game and be of benefit for the Irons. He has had plenty of critics recently and how has the chance to put them in their place.”

Hart’s former City colleague Pablo Zabaleta is another new arrival who excites Parkes – ‘I reckon he could be good for us over the next three or four years’ – but it is the signing of Javier Hernandez which is the pick of the bunch.

“It’s an astonishing signing for the club,” said the double FA Cup winner. “He scores goals wherever he goes and is exactly what we need. Make most mistake, this lad really is one. I still can’t really believe it’s happened.”

Read more from Phil Parkes in his exclusive column in the latest edition of "Blowing Bubbles”:

Guest Post

Blowing Bubbles’ massive Summer Annual will help you beat the post-season blues!

Our partners Blowing Bubbles Magazine are producing a magnificent 152-page monster Summer Annual which comes out early next month.

This will be a must have for all West Ham fans this summer to fend off the post-season blues, and it will be the biggest edition the team at Blowing Bubbles have ever pulled together!

There is some brilliant exclusive content as well as the best articles from the past season. There are interviews with David Gold, Alan Curbishley, Nigel Reo-Coker, Clyde Best, Ian Bishop, Rio Ferdinand, Bobby Zamora, Pedro Obiang, Mark Noble, Frank Lampard, and many more.

This extraordinary issue – the third annual they’ve pulled together – will cost £10 for UK residents (including postage and packing) and is out on Friday 9 June

David Blackmore, editor of Blowing Bubbles Monthly, said: "It’s not been the best season for West Ham on the pitch but it’s been another incredible season for Blowing Bubbles Monthly off it. As Slaven Bilic’s men stuttered and stumbled their way through the season, we’ve gained significantly more readers, and more subscribers than we’ve ever had before.

“The response to some of our issues this season has been absolutely extraordinary. To be honest, the feedback we’ve received all season has been incredibly pleasing – people like what we do and it’s given us the confidence to keep doing it.

“Every year we’ve looked to make our Summer Annual the biggest and best issue we’ve ever had and our team are excited about pulling together this massive edition. We’re currently at around 152 pages but this is likely to surge in the closing days of May.”

Following the huge demand from overseas Hammers for last year’s summer annual, they are once again making this issue available for people living in Europe and around the world to purchase.

Orders MUST be placed before 11pm on Wednesday 31 May. Secure your Summer Annual here

You can also secure a season-long subscription for our 2017/18 campaign by clicking here.

For those without PayPal, email to arrange alternative payment.

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