Jermain's Wait

Jermain Defoe is likely to face a somewhat lengthy wait over the holiday period for the FA's verdict on his red card at Walsall - but Alan Pardew is hopeful that the it will be rescinded.

Their video advisory panel will review the tape after West Ham appealed and the FA will then either uphold Jermain's expulsion, in which case he will face a five match ban beginning at Wigan on January 3rd or decide that it was unwarranted, in which case the suspension will not come into force - though the red card will stay on his record.

The five games would be three for the red card itself and two further games to reflect the two previous red cards he has received this season.

In the case of his last five match ban, it was three for the red card at home to West Brom plus one for the previous red card as well as one for reaching five bookings.

Many observers felt he was hard done by in that game for receiving a red card for an enthusiastic tackle, not to mention the yellow received for an alleged dive when it did seem he was fouled.

A decision on the latest red card has to be received within 14 days of the Walsall game but Christmas could delay matters somewhat.

Giving a considered view of the incident, Alan comments:

"Personally, I have looked at it many times on video and with my staff and I am absolutely adamant that the sending off was not right; the referee's view, and he is a good ref, was slightly obscured.

"I would like him to see it from the angle we have, which demonstrates quite clearly that there was no contact and that he did not even try and kick anyone - which is the crucial point."

All in all, then, an anxious Christmas for Jermain, who has already missed seven games suspended - and a busy one for all the players.

"It is a small price pay for the profession we love; I am certainly not moaning about that, it is a wonderful life we have and to come in on Christmas morning is not a hindrance at all," says Alan.

At least there are no fresh selection problems for Alan, who adds:

"I think we are all right; there are no fresh injuries but Steve Lomas is still some way away."

Speaking ahead of the Ipswich game, he says:

"We're going to have to be patient, it is going to be a tough game but we have done well against sides in the top half of the division so let's hope that continues.

"We won last time at home so that is something to add to.

"It is a big game and critical that we build on this little run we have had in the last few games where it has been much more like it.

"We had a disappointing game against Stoke and if we had won that we would have been fairly hunky dory - we are looking to continue the slow progress we are making to turn it into a forceful run."

SQUAD: James, Bywater, Repka, Hutchison, Carrick, Connolly, Defoe, Harewood, Etherington, Quinn, Ferdinand, Horlock, Mullins, Pearce, Stockdale, Deane, Mellor.