OCTOBER 2014 BLOWING-BUBBLES.CO.UK BY FANS, FOR FANS #41
Europe ace McGinley on Big Sam
The tradition of this club inspires me to create art
Ryder Cup skip is an Irons fan
Paine Proffitt reveals why he chose West Ham
o & Va
THE TRUTHJulien Faubert on Avram Grant,
Real Madrid and life after West Ham
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(c) Blowing Bubbles
Before we took to the field to play Liverpool, I must admit I was worried any confidence we had picked up against the likes of Crystal Pal-ace and Hull would be shot to bits against the Reds and Manchester United.
Then I feared wed lose against QPR and the dark days of last season would start to return to East London, but I was delighted by the passion, determination and drive shown by West Ham in all three games.
Sure we didnt get anything at Old Trafford but it was the first time for a very long time that I fancied us taking
something from the Red Devils, from travelling to the game to the moment the referee blew the final whistle.
Following the inter-national break, I hope we can now kick on and pick up as many points as possible over the next month, which will set us up nicely for the Christ-mas run-in.
Turning to the issue and Im delighted to say weve been able to secure an interview with Julien Faubert, where we cover everything from play-off finals to what really happened when he fell asleep on the bench at Real Madrid.
Im also proud to say
weve got an interview with West Ham fan and winning Ryder Cup cap-tain Paul McGinley.
As a keen golfer my-self, it was an absolute pleasure to speak with him and talk about all things Ryder Cup and West Ham.
Paul is hoping to get to Upton Park soon after seemingly putting his life on hold while he focused on helping Europe beat the USA and I hope the club ensures he returns as a guest of honour to a home game. Im looking at you Mr Gold!
I hope you enjoy the issue.
Let the good times roll as our new-look Irons hit their stride
A common criticism levelled at footbal-lers these days is that they dont care about the club the same way fans do. But in the case of former West Ham defender Julien Faubert, that is anything but the truth.
Although Im at Bordeaux now, part of me still feels like a West Ham player, the 31-year-old French international exclusively revealed to Blowing Bubbles. Im in touch with fans on Twitter, I follow the club on social media, I watch games when I can and Id happily have stayed at West Ham for the rest of my career.
Fauberts career in claret and blue took an unlikely route, unveiled as a high-profile signing only to be sidelined by serious injury before he
had even played a com-petitive match, via an unlikely short-lived stint with Real Madrid, before ending in triumph at Wembley in the 2012 play-off final, which remains the high point of his time at the club and, you get the feeling, one of the high points of his entire footballing career.
I still watch that game on YouTube, he admit-ted. I can never forget
just how good it felt. Signing off with victory at Wembley was in sharp contrast to how Fauberts West Ham career began in 2007.
I was at Bordeaux and had agreed a move to Rangers, but then right at the end of the transfer window the club told my agent an English club were interested, and they knew I wanted to go there one day, so the club wanted to do something
about it. I was just told it was a club in London I didnt know which one but my agent told me it was West Ham, a good traditional club with cra-zy fans, and that I would like it, so I trusted him.
When Faubert signed for 6m, chairman Eggert Magnusson said West Ham had beaten off competition from some of the top clubs in Europe for his signature, but within weeks of joining, Fauberts career was thrown into serious doubt.
We were playing a pre-season friendly in Austria, I was running along and then suddenly I heard my Achilles go, he said.
It wasnt a challenge, something just snapped and I felt huge pain. It was so loud that Jona-than Spector, who was behind me, heard it and immediately called on the physio. He took one look at it and told me it was ruptured.
I was devastated. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before here I was at a new club, I wanted to
The big interview - Julien Faubert
In my heart I still feel like I am really a West Ham playerEXCLUSIVE: Julien Faubert on why he loved Sam Allardyce, hated Avram Grant and the day he did not fall asleep on the Real Madrid subs bench
Still a fan: Julien Faubert still looks out for West Hams latest results
start working for them as they had spent so much on me, and now this. But right from the start, the club was incredibly supportive. They said I could go back to France any time I liked, and within 48 hours of the injury I was back there, having surgery.
The injury meant Fau-berts attempts to play himself into contention for manager Alan Cur-bishley were scuppered straight away, but the backing he received at the club made the process of recovery and bedding in much simpler than it could have been.
I felt bad as I wanted to be out on the pitch, but whenever I came back, the manager and my team-mates were always really supportive, Faubert explained. That made recovery easier than I had expected it to be.
As I hadnt done pre-season, even when I was fit again it was al-ways going to be hard to break into the team that season, but the manager was clever because he gave me a series of short run-outs to make me feel more like part of the team. It was hard work but I knew I was on the way back and that Id be fit for the following sea-son, so I was happy just to be on the bench.
Alas for Faubert, though, next season was not to pan out as he had hoped. When Curbishley left the club in Septem-ber 2008, Gianfranco Zola took over and it
soon became clear that he did not have the same opinion of Faubert as his predecessor, who had signed him for the club. I liked Curbishley as a man and as a manager, so when he left and Zola came in and didnt play me much, it didnt feel good, he explained.
I know things change under new managers, and he had his way of doing things, but not being able to show my potential after being out
of the side for so long I was worried. As it turned out, the following season I played for him more than 30 times, so thing worked out in the end, but at the time, after all Id been through the previous season, I need-ed to feel wanted and I wasnt.
Just over a year after his arrival at West Ham, with much of the en-suing time spent in the treatment room, there was a big question mark
over Fauberts future. But what happened next was something no-one could have predicted. I was on the coach to a game at Fulham when my phone rang, and it was someone saying he was from Real Madrid, and they wanted to sign me, he explained.
I said I couldnt talk now and to call back later. After the game I checked my phone and there were 20 or 30 missed calls, so I
Worst ever boss: Julien Faubert says Avram Grant was to blame for the clubs relegation
realised this was serious. He asked for my agents number, that night we went to a Heathrow hotel to talk, and a deal was agreed. The next day I went to Spain.
The look on the face of Alfredo di Stefano as he handed Faubert his shirt at the traditional Madrid photo call showed he was as confused as anyone else about the Galacticos latest new arrival, and even Faubert admits he too was slight-ly overawed for one day, at least.
Taking it all in on that first day was an amazing experience, like some sort of crazy dream, but after that you have to be a serious worker Real Madrid dont sign some-one out of charity or for fun, he said.
You go in and see your picture on the locker, and looking round the dressing room your team-mates are now peop