Monday, 18 May 2009
Do you remember Gabbidon and Ashton?
Ever had one of those conversations with an old fella who tells you about things you dimly remember from the past but you were never quite sure if they actually happened? Yes, in the 70s there genuinely were power cuts and we did travel to the other side of town to watch somebody else's TV. Yes they really did used to wrap your chips in newspaper and sometimes you could read words on your chips as the ink from the print soaked into the grease. Yes in the 70s there was no such thing as live football on TV, except for the FA Cup Final and the final stages of the World Cup and European Championships - oh and the England v Scotland fixture. That's why the Cup Final was so special, it was the ONLY live game in some years! And no, they didn't show the League Cup Final live, you had to wait until the next day to see the highlights on The Big Match. Hazy memories I admit, but it's all true, honest.
Well I was chatting to an old fella the other day and he assures me that Dean Ashton and Danny Gabbidon once started a game together for West Ham. Now I know that seems incredible but apparently it happened. In fact, he assures me that Gabbidon once started 31 Premiership games in a single season and a further 7 in the FA Cup, even making an appearance as a substitute into the bargain. In fact, Gabbidon was in the team that made it through to that epic Cup Final and finished the season as Hammer of the Year. Yes, I know, it's incredible isn't it! I'm still pinching myself to see if I dreamt it.
Nothing so dramatic for Ashton of course. In 2007-08, he did rock up for an amazing 20 Premiership starts and came on as a sub in another 11 games. Rumour has it that at some point towards the end of that season he was actually running and making a show of jumping for the ball. 11 goals in the league and another in the League Cup are in the record books as hard proof that this is not some fanciful fantasy!
Now, let's dream. Just imagine if we have these two fit and ready for the start of next season! Some say that Ashton and Cole can't play together but Beano hasn't had the chance to play alongside Carlton Cole Mark Two, a hugely improved player in my opinion. Add Gabbidon into the squad and (moving into the realms of incredible fantasy I accept) Dyer, and suddenly I find myself smiling at our prospects of building on this season. Who knows, Parker might be fit too. Add in Behrami and a fully tuned Collison and the dark thoughts induced by the last two games begin to fade. And if Savio really is worth what we paid for him...
Who knows, one day I might find myself chatting to an old fella who insists that in one season we actually had Tristan and Di Michele starting up front together in the Premiership. I will, no doubt, find that all but impossible to believe. Both were crap, I will say. I can remember them playing but surely not in the same side, surely we were never THAT bad?
In the circumstances, a top half finish is quite an achievement. Just imagine what we might achieve with a strike force that actually knows where the goal is!
Posted by Hammersfan at 20:48