Italian's Antonio Nocerino controls the ball during his international friendly soccer match against Caen at the Michel d’Ornano stadium in Caen, western France, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/David Vincent)

West Ham secure Italian international

Leave a comment

West Ham have secured the services of Antonio Nocerino for the remainder of the season, with the midfielder joining on loan from AC Milan. Will he be able to help the ailing side?

West Ham United are not having the best of seasons. Currently in the relegation zone, the Irons have but one win from their last nine games. Injuries have taken a toll on the club, leaving the side without a true center forward for much of the season and, as might be expected, accounting for more than a few scoreless matches.

More alarmingly for a side managed by Sam Allardyce, however, West Ham have seen a few episodes of shocking defending, often allowing three or more goals in a match. They were knocked out of the FA Cup in the last round when Championship side Nottingham Forest beat them 5-0. Most recently, West Ham crashed out of the League Cup with a 9-0 aggregate defeat to Manchester City.

Unsurprisingly, this leaves the club scouring the transfer market, looking for players that might be persuaded to join West Ham. Now they’ve got Nocerino, but can the midfielder make much of a difference?

A quality defensive midfielder would surely help the Irons by providing steel to protect the shaky backline. However, Nocerino might not be the man for the job. A defensive midfielder, yes, but one that is often reluctant to dive into tackles or show much grit – often a weakness in English football. Despite playing for Milan, a side with one of the most frail defenses in Serie A, Nocerino could barely get a start.

Yet at this point, almost any addition can be seen as an improvement for West Ham. And with Nocerino likely still hoping to be included in Italy’s World Cup squad, perhaps he’ll dial up his performances under Allardyce, hoping to impress enough to make the trip to Brazil.

For those still worried about the Irons’ attacking options, it may come as a bit of a relief to know that it appears striker Marco Borriello is next to sign on. Perhaps less of a relief for those who have seen the Italian international play, however.

Report: David Silva out 2-3 weeks with ligament damage

LOGRONO, SPAIN - OCTOBER 09:  David Silva of Spain is fouled by Lars Gerson of Luxembourg during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier group C match between Spain and Luxembourg at Estadio Municipal Las Gaunas on October 9, 2015 in Logrono, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.

Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.

Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.

[ RELATED: Alejandro Bedoya to miss USMNT vs. Mexico ]

Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.

With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.

Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.

City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.

Alejandro Bedoya to miss USMNT vs. Mexico

GLASGOW,  SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 15 :  Alejandro Bedoya of USA  in action during the International Friendly match between Scotland and USA at Hampden Park on November 15, 2013.  (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.

Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.

Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.