Our man at West Ham isn’t coming back: Christmas here early

When we first had George McCartney, I liked him.

A long way short of perfection, but good going forward and not too bad defending. Decent left backs are hard to find so Ringo or Lennon or Stella, or whatever he was called, was a welcome asset.

Off he went to West Ham.

That was also fine by me. At Upton Park, he became a much-loved fixture. Until we bought him back. At considerable expense. He was dogged by injury but never seemed capable, even when fit, of re-creating the past form he had enjoyed at our place and for the Hammers.

Now he is back at the Boleyn, on loan. Someone must have speculated that Martin O’Neill might want to recall him.

To which McCartney’s response, to Sky Sports, is:

I haven’t spoken to the new manager.

To be honest, before I agreed to come to West Ham, it was decided that my contract would be left to run out in the summer and sorted out at the end of the season.

So there is no chance of a call back and no chance of me ever going back to Sunderland.

Salut! Sunderland wishes the lad well. We’d quite like to hear what it is about the East End air that brings out the best in him. But from our point of view, sighs of relief all round!

West Ham v Sunderland: ‘what did Bruce do to our worldbeating McCartney?’

A meaningless end-of-season match, a pointless edition of “Who are You?”? … Only in the sense that they’re down and we’re safe. Beyond that, Sunderland have masses of pride to play for – we cannot finish lower than 14th but 14th would represent failure – and Steve Bruce’s team should want to preserve their one notable achievement: unbeaten in London. For their part West Ham players have to show their fans they care about restoring the club to the Premier. And we close this season’s series on a high, with the Hammers-supporting writer and broadcaster Iain Dale*, who also runs the West Ham Til I Die blog. He is optimistic about a quick return, sees us as a similar club that will always collapse into dire runs and eulogises the surely departing Scott Parker …

Read moreWest Ham v Sunderland: ‘what did Bruce do to our worldbeating McCartney?’

Who are you? We’re West Ham


Sam Haseltine* is one of the brains behind Football United, new host for Salut! Sunderland and other sites. He has been solid as a rock in the process of transferring our archive across from its old home at Typepad to WordPress (and cannot be blamed if some text arrived in garbled form and a few pictures don’t look quite right!). He’s also a passionate Hammers fan, runs the fans’ site West Ham Process and is deaf to my request that his club delays its revival until after we play them on Saturday …

Not a great start to the season. Are you beginning to get worried?

You’re right, not the best of starts. I take confidence in knowing we have a whole three more points than Spurs did at this same point last year! I’m not getting worried just yet, feeling a little down as it wasn’t quite what we expected going into the season. After our run of form at the tail end of last year, we were confident that it would continue into this year, hopefully making us serious Europa League place contenders. I would still put my neck on the line and say we will be there or there abouts this year.

Read moreWho are you? We’re West Ham