Seb On Battle

Sebastien Schemmel admits he is battling to be fit for the start of the new Premiership campaign at Newcastle United on August 19th.

Seb, who got injured at Highbury towards the end of last season - putting a dampener on his winning the Hammer of the Year award from supporters - reveals: "I have been injured for three months and it is too long for me. I hope to come back for the first game, but at the moment it is just 50/50 for Newcastle.

"It is a very important time of year because if you have a good pre-season you often have a good season. But that's life, I only have a little injury, I am waiting and working hard every day towards coming back very soon."

Ian Pearce played at right back in the first half of the friendly against Leyton Orient on Friday, and would be the obvious cover, although he will be looking to compete ultimately with Christian Dailly and Tomas Repka for a centre half spot.

"I know there are a lot of good players in my position at West Ham, so it is not a problem - I would prefer the team plays very well with another player, than playing with me just 50% fit," says Seb.

"But I want to play with this team because I love them and I need to play with my friends."

Seb says he is not concerned that the club have not made any big money signings in the close season, and adds: "I am not surprised because every player played well last season - so why buy players that aren't any better?

"At the moment there are not better players than Trevor Sinclair and Joe Cole as far as I am concerned, and with this team it is possible to win something next season.

"Trevor is maybe the best left wing back in Europe at the moment. That is good for West Ham, and it is good for England."