13 December 2006

Morning news and notes

Curbs will be announced as Hammers gaffer at 3pm today. Shocking. That didn't take long, Alan must be getting fairly sick of gardening.

• In addition, Reo-Coker seems to be laying the groundwork for leaving West Ham. He was Pardew’s man through and through, with the gaffer making him the youngest captain in the Premier League and in West Ham’s history. He was rumored to make a big money move last off-season (with Arsenal the most likely candidates), and it appears Nigel’s making sure no one has forgotten about him.

Lord Stevens given a second extension to complete the inquiry into illegal transfers. The presentation was made to the Premier League board yesterday, and will be made public next week. A previous extension was given a little over two months ago to further investigate 38 dealings. They’re really digging deep to try and find some examples of shady dealings, and the results of this inquiry are going to be the lasting reminders on BBC’s exceptionally silly Panorama exposé. That, and ingraining the word "bung" into our subconscious. Thanks.

• Two PL games this afternoon:
Chelsea v Newcastle (3pm, FSC): Newcastle may have rallied round the flag, delivering decent results the past couple of weeks despite the rash of injuries plaguing the club, but this is Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and Chelsea the game after a disappointing draw against the Arsenal. As per usual, every expected Chelsea win’s predicted to be 2-0, which is when Mourinho usually shuts them down. Chelsea 2-0
Wigan v Arsenal (3pm, Setanta): Despite the fact that Liverpool and Man United are the only two clubs to leave the JJB with all three points, I’m expecting a traditional Arsenal footballing display. Wigan is 1-2-2 in their last five outings, and will miss Paul Scharner through suspension, although Chris Kirkland looks to return to the team following his injury at Boro. For the Arse, Kolo Toure comes back from suspension, which will send Djourou or Senderos (hopefully Senderos) back to the bench. Arse 3-1

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