Monday, 31 August 2009

Da Costa Lotta! Savio Nothing!

Well it is all happening all of a sudden! Savio has a virus? As hell as like, the only sickness the lad had was homesickness. Remember the buzz when we signed him? I'm afraid the deal was one big balls up, denting Nani's reputation somewhat. Tell me, how many rabbits and how many stools has Nani now pulled from the hat? On the plus side we have Behrami and Ilunga and on the negative side of the balance sheet? Tristan, Lastpickeva, Lopez, Di Michele and Savio. The jury is still out on the others.

Brilliant record? Hardly. 'Arry picks up wheat amongst the chaff and, at the moment, our illustrious Technical Director's record is no better if we are honest. How much are we paying him? And how much did he pocket from Breschia for selling on a pup to West Ham?

How good is Da Costa and how much have we actually paid for him? I have no idea on both counts but I hope to God we paid nowhere near the reported £9m for Savio because I'm bloody sure a 23 year old defender I have never heard of can't be worth anywhere near that amount of dosh! Your friend and not mine, Scotty Duxbury, has of course put a positive spin on it all but then he would, wouldn't he?

Villa preparing a bid for Collins? well, Duxbury has the excuse that we are overloaded with defenders now hasn't he?

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Arsenal's Arsene's Bottle Abuse Shame

The Royal Society For The Prevention of Cruelty to Bottles are to write to the Premier League demanding further action be taken against Arsene Wenger following his unprovoked and violent assault upon a plastic bottle in the final minutes of the Manchester United versus Arsenal Premier League clash.

A spokesman for the Society told reporters, "Enough is enough. Time and again bottles get a bad press in football related matters. On Tuesday night, Millwall and West Ham fans were hurling bottles at each other indiscriminately and Wenger had obviously watched and been influenced by those terrible scenes. The video evidence clearly shows a deliberate, wilful and unprovoked attack on the bottle which was not doing anything to upset Mr Wenger at the time."

The spokesman continued, "There is, of course, a long tradition of bottle abuse at Arsenal, although recently we associate these activities more readily with north London rivals, Tottenham Hotspurs. Tony Adams, Paul Merson, Ledley King and David Bentley, a former Arsenal player of course, are all famous for hitting the bottle."

"But it is not only in north London where bottles are abused. We all remember those terrible scenes when West Ham's Alan Curbishley was filmed throwing his bottle out of his pram. And that was before West Ham sold McCartney to Sunderland!"

The unnamed spokesman concluded by saying, "In future, if Mr Wenger wishes to kick something, we suggest the bucket!"

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Match Fixing Scandal Hits West Ham And Blackburn

Investigations are underway into the possibility of match fixing following today's Mogodon sponsored non event at Ewood Park. With both sides apparently happy with a goalless draw from the kick off, bookmakers will be checking for any unusual betting patterns on the match and any irregularities will be passed to officials of the Premier League immediately.

One disgruntled observer said, "It is inconceivable that two sides striving to score a goal could produce such a sterile affair. I've seen more action in and around the box in a convent than we saw out there."

Winston from Wapping added, "Never in the field of what was supposed to be conflict was so little achieved by so many."

The game was best summed up by one moment of high drama as the game ticked into the last five minutes. With the score at 0-0 and the possibility of victory still just about alive, Parker received the ball in the centre circle. Looking up, he chose to run 15 yards along the half way line before completing a perfect pirouette to face the other way, where upon he ran back in the direction from whence he came before delivering a sideways pass over 5 yards to Noble...who promptly lost possession.

Getting fully into the spirit of things, Zola elected to remove Collison and throw on Kovac for the last 10 minutes. Why go for 3 points and risk the one we already have was clearly the philiosophy, even though that very tactic lost us the game at Upton Park last Sunday. I'm beginning to wonder if Curbishley left behind a book entitled "Play It Safe" in the manager's toilet!

I completed a report at half time and as NOTHING happened in the second half, that will suffice. Did Dyer come on for Jimenez or was "dire" just a summary for the whole 90 minutes?

After this, Middlemarch will seem exciting!

Blackburn v West Ham. So Far So Ok

Not much to say about that first half really. Neither keeper has been seriously tested but if Cole was Eduardo by nature, we would have had a penalty. Quite why he didn't go to ground even though he was fouled in the box, only Carlton will know. The run leading to the tackle was brilliant, the shot that followed it threatened the corner floag more than the goal. There is Carlton in a nutshell. Big, strong, skilful, as honest as the day is long but a poor finisher.

Poor Carlton though, for too much of that half he has been playing Blackburn's back 4 on his own. He is far too isolated with the present set up and personnel. Jimenez looks tricky but drops too deep and Stanislas is too wide to offer a goal threat from a Carlton knock on / knock down. In consequence, Carlton is holding up the ball looking for support or trying to run through a wall of defenders without support. Zola has got to persuade Jimenez to play higher up the field and encourage Collison and Noble to get up in support quicker.

At the back we have looked secure. Upson and Collins have been strong and Spector and Faubert have coped with their defensive duties. I do believe Faubert has actually taken on and beaten a defender in the box before pulling the ball back from the byline. More of that Julian and you might yet make it in the Prem! Poor distibution from Green put us in trouble once and his miscontrol gave an unnecessary long throw chance. Perhaps he is nevous because Clemence is there.

Biggest worry is seeing 0'Neill and Moyes in the stand. Bid coming in for Upson, Parker or Collins? Or all three between them?

Blackburn v West Ham. Hob Nail Boots v Hand Crafted Italian Shoes

When interviewed about today's game, Big Spam said he wanted a repeat of last season when Blackburn were "unlucky not to come away with 3 points". Hearing those words, Zola probably winced, not because of the implications to West Ham's chances of victory, but because of what it says about the lack of progress in the English game. For those of you who have forgotten, the only tactic employed by the BeatThemBlackandBlue's last season was to pump the ball high into the box and charge after it, ideally clattering Robert Green in the process. It was ugly to watch but ultimately, it secured Blackburn a point.

In view of the tactics we face, Collins, Upson and Green are going to be in for a testing afternoon. Amazingly, both Upson and Collins missed last season's game, so it was down to Neill and Tomkins to hold the line against the aerial assault and both coped admirably in the circumstances. The inclusion of Kovac also helped and it may well be that Clarke will make the case for his inclusion today, possibly at the expense of Dyer / Stanislas. We will miss Neill today. His no nonsense approach was perfect for the style of opposition and he supplied his usual running commentary to the referee, pointing out every time a Blackburn player pushed or pulled or barged in the box. Green, you will remember, allowed himself to be obstructed by Roberts on a number of occasions and this led to a disallowed "goal".

In theory, apart from the loss of Ilunga, we should be better equipped to cope today. Collins is better in the air than Tomkins and Upson is the best defender in the squad. Spector was playing last season, albeit on the right of the defence, so his inclusion does not weaken us. Faubert for Ilunga (effectively) is the big negative. Up front, we had Tristan and Di Michele so Cole and Jimenez don't have much to improve on do they? Collison for Boa? I know which one I would rather have!

If this was Allardyce v Zola you would expect the hob nailed boot to trample all over the hand crafted Italian shoes - Spurs fans would delight in calling this Big Spam v Wet Spam. Fortunately, however, Clarke has inserted steel toe caps inside Zola's patent leather shoes so we do actualy live up to our name of the "Hammers" at long last: we can now do infantry boots with style!

I don't do predictions due to superstition but our record against Blackburn is good, albeit our record against Big Sam is less impressive. If we win, Collins will finish the game with a headache! What a relief he is still available to Zola for selection, particularly after Gabbidon's somewhat girlie challenge leading to Millwall's goal on Tuesday!

Friday, 28 August 2009

Arsenal, Eduardo, 2012, And A Return To Sanity!

In the light of the retrospective punishment being considered for Eduardo, I look forward to the authorities reviewing all matches featuring Christiano Ronaldo and Diddling Drogba and applying 2 match bans for every time they have sought an advantage by taking a dive. If they do, Real Madrid might just see Ronaldo return some time in 2011 whilst Drogba could one day turn out for Chelsea Vets - even at 64, he would probably still be prety tasty!

To single out Eduardo is, of course, absurd but I suppose you have to start somewhere and Arsenal lack the financial clout of Real, Man Utd and Chelsea to dispute the decision inthe courts or through bribes. However, if this is now going to be the norm, then bring it on I say. There is no way in the world that the likes of Ronaldo and Drogba will be able to stop this overnight - cheating is ingrained into every fibre of their being - so their clubs will end up paying for what they have been sanctioning over the years. Suddenly Arsene might go to Spec Savers so he can see his players cheating!

Even better is the news that clubs will have to balance their books by 2012 to participate in the Champions League! Any money you like, Tottenham finish 4th in 2010/11 and are ruled out on financial grounds! If that happens, 'Arry's 'ead will twitch so much it will unscrew!

The Early Bird Catches The Worm. Duxbury Dilly Dallies On The Way

Grovelling apology to Duxbury, what was I thinking of? This blog announced that Diamanti was in the bag on Tuesday and Livorno were out spending the cash on Wednesday, but we haven't completed the signing in time for the guy to make the trip to Blackburn! How long did this deal take in gestation? An elephant gives birth quicker!

So, we are now going to be 3 league games and one cup war into the season before the signing of that much needed striker is going to be completed. We are still short up front even with our new diamond geezer on board and we still don't have a left back to speak of whilst Ilunga is injured. If 3 points are sacrificed in a 1-0 defeat tomorrow, the delay in signing Diamanti will look very expensive indeed!

Diamanti In The Swag Bag, Any Eider Who Is Next?

Following a late night raid on the sleepy Italian city of Livorno, Mafia hood Gianfranco Nani returned to the East End with a Diamanti gem in his swag bag this morning. CEO Scott Duxbury, unaware perhaps that Villa are now buying Dunne and that Stoke are negotiating for Huth, smiled in greeting, expecting, no doubt, that the daring raid would be financed by the sale of James Collins. Nani could find a horse's head in his bed if the Collins deal has gone tits up!

Excitement is now mounting as rumours circulate that this may not be the only new recruit before the window slams shut. Has a loan deal been arranged for Eider G? The prospect of seeing Diamanti, Eider and Jimenez just behind Cole is certainly an exciting one. When pressed, Duxbury told reporters, "I will move heaven and earth to bring Eider to West Ham if only to shove Hammersfan's ill informed criticism down his throat. The idea of his grovelling apology excites me more than the thought of a staffordshire bull terrier in stockings and suspenders."

The RSPCA declined to comment.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

West Ham Til I Die

(Apologies to readers confused by this. I am replying to a post on another site. Quite why the author of that post felt the need to address me there, rather than on here, I do not understand. Bill, please feel free to continue the debate on here but do let me know it is you, rather than posting anonymously. I will keep this thread open. I would reply on your thread but, of course, I am not afforded the right of reply on there am I? Not as me anyway.)

Bill, hatred is a dangerous emotion. Why did the violence kick off on Tuesday? Because a bunch of thugs (who are too young to understand the history of the ill feeling between the two clubs) believed the hype, swallowed the nonsense peddled by movies like The Football Factory and Green Street and took up the battle cries of those who are older and should know better.

I cannot see how the posting of a football chant about "Hating Millwall" on a West Ham chat forum was taken out of context when used in an article on this blog about the events on Tuesday night. I am 100% certain that the chant was sung inside and outside the ground on the night. Your post was made in the direct build up to the game and could well have been a contributory factor in inciting some of the young and impressionable fools who tarnished the name of our club and embarrassed our nation.

To say, as you do on the org, that I hold this hate filled post on the org and its author as "personally and solely responsible" for the events is, of course, absurd. I have done no such thing. I quoted it as an illustration of how careless words can assume a different dimension subsequently. You didn't just quote the chant, of course, you felt the need to show your delight at the sentiment by adding "LO very L" and to add "Totscum" in brackets. I therefore asked if the chant is really so funny now.

You are quite right, I have used the word "hate" too readily in a football context and admit to it on this blog. I put it down to lazy English but it is also down to a society that has embraced the word "hate" and become far too accepting of it. To be honest, as a teenager I did "hate" the Revie managed Leeds United and, in the aftermath of THE Cup Final, I felt something akin to hatred for Carragher because of the instruction to close Scaloni from that throw in. Do I hate now? I hated the bombers who attacked London. I hated the terrorists who attacked the Twin Towers. But beyond that, no. Hate a whole club and everybody associated with it? Not possible.

I do not believe for one moment that you wanted the events on Tuesday to take place. However, the sentiments that you expressed and laughed about undoubtedly fueled what happened. I blogged that the best result on the night would be for the game to pass without incident; you blogged a chant of hatred for Millwall. Tell me, who was the more irresponsible?

You also talk again about a campaign I am running against you personally. That is incorrect. I would have quoted that post, whoever had submitted it. The fact is, that post and probably thousands of others like it (on both sides of the divide) contributed to what happened on the night. I also quoted lines from Green Street on this blog and apportioned blame there too. You cannot control the reaction of an audience, you therefore have to be careful not to incite in the first place.

Tell me, had you stood in front of the yobs and led the singing of that song, would you then try to claim that you were in no way responsible for what happened? I suspect the police would disagree. I don't see that your being 1200 miles away on Tuesday night is in any way relevant. Bin Laden wasn't on the planes that slammed into the Twin Towers was he? Are you therefore saying that Bin Laden's hate filled messages about the USA played no part in the attack? That would be crazy.

Your post made subsequent to the events was initially mealy mouthed at best. I quote,

"I’ve missed what seems to be a brilliant second half and extra time. Can anybody post a link that shows me the match or at least the goals? David any ideas? It would be nice to get a report from one of you orgsters who were at the game, football related only please.

I’m not going to glorify what I’ve seen in the online press this morning by mentioning it, not interested

Not interested? How about condemning it?

I have read what you have written subsequently and admire your restraint when your son was disgustingly abused and, genuinely, I do not think that you are a bad person at heart. I do think you post some bad sentiments sometimes under the excuse that it is just banter and, unfortunately, the "We hate Millwall" chant crossed the line in my opinion. If the garage forecourt is covered in petrol, what sort of person strikes and drops a match?

Dean Ashton Update

Sorry but I haven't got one. On Sunday and Monday, we read his obituaries. He was more dead and buried as a footballer than Kirk Cobain. Come Thursday, there is still no word from the club outside of Zola's very uncertain sounding, "I hope he will be back and until they tell me something different, I am hoping that way. We spoke to him some time ago, and he came one day to training with us, and as I said, I am hopeful."

Now you have to wonder why it is that Zola has not spoken to Ashton for "some time" and why Dean has only been in to training for "one day". This suggests that we are still a million miles away from seeing Ashton back playing and Zola's tentative sounding "As far I I know he is still trying to do his rehabilitation" is hardly reassuring.

More importantly, why haven't the club and Ashton himself come out to deny the rumours? If somebody had written me off in this way in a national newspaper, I would have something to say about it, I can tell you. And if this was the Official Site, there would have been a confirmation or a denial by now I can assure you.

Everybody, it seems is in the dark. How does that benefit anybody?

Arsenal Cheats - Just Like The Rest Of Us!

Yep Eduardo took a dive and won Arsenal a crucial penalty, but until FIFA, UEFA the FA or whoever take decisive action, this isn't going to stop. Yes Eduardo is a cheat but so is Jimenez - he clearly threw himself to the ground in the box against Spurs - and Owen - remember roaring approval as he gave the Argies a taste of their own medicine?

Pundits say this came into our game with the foreigners but they have very short memories obviously. I offer you Francis Lee and Alan Clarke as England strikers well versed in the black arts of diving in the box as long ago as the early 1970s. Lee flew through the air like the proverbial bomb whilst Clarke favoured the "shot in the small of the back by a sniper" technique, agony twisting his features as his trailing leg kissed the flesh of an opposing defender and he crumpled to the ground in three staged stylish movements (the older amongst you will see a mind's eye picture as you read this).

It happened much less often in those days of course - not because the players were doing it less often perhaps but more likely because there weren't TV cameras at every ground to pick it up and replay it over and over again in slow motion when a player took a tumble. Summerbee was a master at it if I remember rightly. Giles got fantastic elevation at the slightest hint of a challenge and with Lorimer in the team, he sometimes dived out of the box to set up a free kick from just outside the area! You can probably identify when this came into the game - it probably coincided with players disputing decisions with the referees - and that did not start with Roy Keane at Manchester United!

The solutions are simple of course. Cricket and tennis are using technology to assist officials and this has added to the drama. The tension as a decision goes to the third umpire is incredible and the roar or groan that accompanies the decision is like another wicket being taken. Holding up the game? So what, add it on at the end of the match for pity's sake.

Then there is the power to overturn results. If Celtic were now going into the next round, would Arsene maintain his "I could not see it personally" approach? Eduardo would never kick a ball for Arsenal again in those circumstances! Too harsh on the rest of the team? Why, the whole team benefit from the cheating. Perhaps then, the captain might ask the player concerned, "Are you sure about that one, we don't want to be eliminated for cheating."

And of course a cheat can be banned as Rugby Union has just proved. Biting on a blood capsule is pretty low but is it any worse than diving to win a penalty or to get an opponent sent off? If Eduardo now faced a 3 month ban, without wages, he would think twice before doing it again wouldn't he?

So why are the authorities sitting on their hands? Why are the rules a cheat's charter? I'm not condemning Eduardo or Arsenal here, that would be hypocritical. Every player that takes a dive does so because the authorities accept it.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

From Out Of The Ashes - Glory! Watch Out Tottenham and Man City!

Weeks don't come much worse than this one! The stabbing of Davenport, rumours of Ashton's early retirement, Collison's personal tragedy, defeat to Tottenham under 'Arry the Albatross, an inept first half performance against Millwall, the stabbing, the riots, the racist chanting and the pitch invasions. Who in their right minds would choose to be a Hammers fan? Well, unhappily or otherwise, it isn't a choice - a blessing, a curse, an affliction, a disease - you takes your pick but choice doesn't come into it. I was born in East Ham Maternity Hospital and was breast fed on the good milk of the club. Moore, Hurst, Peters, Brooking, Bonds, Devonshire, Di Canio, Rio, Carrick, Joe Cole - the gods have been kind sometimes!

Now we can look forward. Diamanti, it seems, is in the bag and there are still rumours about Eider and Chamakh. Upson came on last night with the score at 3-1, suggesting that he, at least, is going nowhere before the window closes. Parker also played. Despite the carnage and shame last night, there were positives: Stanislas is growing as a player and can score from midfield, Collison is already mature beyond his years and possesses a huge heart obviously, Gabbidon returned and stayed on for the full 120 minutes, future England captain Tomkins made his seasonal bow, Hines took his chance superbly and looks as if he could be a useful impact sub at least, Parker is fit enough to play two high tempo games in the space of three days and Faubert continues to impress.

And best of all, Behrami is on his way back.

The ingredients are so nearly there for a very good team. Collins would be a loss but he can be replaced - for now Upson is the more important defensive lynch pin. Put Upson, Jimenez, Diamanti, Ilunga, Noble and Dyer into the team that played last night and you will have a side bristling with goal scoring potential. Add Eider to that side and from goal shy, we could become goal gluttons! Imagine, for a moment, a 4-2-3-1 team made up thus:

Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga;
Parker, Behrami;
Eider, Diamante, Jimenez;

We would still have Dyer, Collison, Stanislas, Kovac, Savio and Noble on the bench, not to mention Chamakh!

I tell you what, whisper it quietly, but that team would be a match for ANY team in the division, with the possible exception of Chelsea. If Zola and Duxbury deliver that squad by the time the window closes, I will retract EVERYTHING I have said. I would have to because, with a little luck with injuries, we would be in with a real shout of finishing in the top 4! The Tottenham and Unreal City fans may mock but out of adversity comes...

Now Add Racism To The Catalogue Of Shame

As if the stabbing, the street fighting and the pitch invasions were not enough, reports are now emerging of racist chanting from sections within BOTH sets of supporters. Whenever I mention racism amongst our fan base, I am always yelled down. It's bollox apparently. Parker was Hammer of the Year last season despite completing less than half the games because...well because he deserved it. Nothing to do with him being white and the two leading contenders based on consistent performances - Cole and Ilunga - being black. The luke warm acceptance of Cole? It's because he isn't good enough, nothing to do with him being black you fool! The hissing when Tottenham play us? Banter, nothing to do with racism you twat.

So the racist abuse of Millwall's Jason Price? It wasn't because he was black you twat it was because...well because he plays for Millwall and well...because...look they started on Carlton Cole first! That's all right then, I'm sure that makes Carlton feel a whole lot better. You're not a monkey mate, you're in Claret & Blue!

West Ham apparently take "any sort of racist chanting seriously". Good. Then let's put at end to the hissing when we play Tottenham. Let's hear the club say that anybody who joins in will be banned for life.

Diamanti Goes Missing

As the dust settles, Diamanti picks his way through the rubble. That's how it would happen in the movies. Pockets of bewildered fans sitting, weeping in the remains of Green Street. Tumbleweed, or fish and chip wrappers, blowing down the road. The sound of a mournful harmonica. Clouds of dust softening the blood red sun. And up ahead, hands held either side of the hips ready to draw, a figure all in black strides towards the camera, the rays of the sun framing his dark form. Alessandro Diamanti!

Sadly, this isn't a movie and with all the talk of the events of last night, something has slipped by unnoticed: we STILL haven't signed a striker. What yesterday was a done deal, today looks less certain. Indeed wasn't last night the ideal opportunity to introduce a new signing? Wouldn't a smiling, waving Diamanti signing his contract on the pitch have provided a feel good factor which might have relieved some of the pre match tension?

Has the script changed without anybody telling us? Has Diamanti been taken out onto the lake fishing? Is his Italian chairman sitting outside his boat house smoking? A becalmed lake. The sound of a gunshot. Birds lift from the lake and fill the air. A cigarette discarded and trodden into the ground.

Just like our dreams? I bloody well hope not!

West Ham v Millwall. A Simple Question.

Before the game kicked off, I posted that the best result would be for the night to pass off without incident. Once the match was underway, I was upset when we went behind and, until I heard about the stabbing and before the pitch invasions, was desperate for us to equalize. Never mind the Carling Cup, never mind it was Millwall, losing to a Division 1 team at home would have been humiliating and might have undermined confidence for the Premiership campaign ahead.

However, as the game ticked into the last ten minutes, I began to dread an equalizer. It was so obvious that a late goal and extra time would simply stoke the wild fire that was beginning to rage out of control. As a West Ham fan, I found myself wanting West Ham to lose for the sake of the reputation of the club and the safety of innocent fans, local residents and members of the emergency services.

Now I have called for West Ham to resign from the competition and, predictably, West Ham fans have objected. What about the players? What about the innocent fans? Well, my question is simple, you choose. Would you have preferred a shock exit from the Cup (whilst fielding an understrength side) and no violence; or would you rather be in the hat and have the violence of last night? What is more important, the reputation of the club or a place in the second round of a cup that is so meaningless that the big 4 let Tottenham win it?

If you look at the bigger picture, the answer should be obvious. The odds are against us winning it anyway. We could go out in the next round.

As somebody has rightly posted, if you were considering buying West Ham, would you want to be associated with the club after last night's events? What sort of business could risk a link with us after those scenes have been beamed around the world? The idiots who spilled onto the pitch and engaged in street violence may well have driven a nail into the club's coffin.

And what about our bid to host the 2018 World Cup? How bitterly ironic that the mindless element were from the Bobby Moore stand - the guy must be turning in his grave this morning at the disgrace brought upon the club and country he represented with such pride.

Zola meanwhile looks and sounds shell-shocked. What if he decides, to hell with this, I don't want to be involved with a club supported by this scum? He is a man of honour, a good, proud, honest, sporting man; I would not be surprised if he is wondering if he has found the right club for his "project". "Seven years at Chelsea and 11 months at West Ham and I have never seen anything like that before". That has a slightly ominous ring.

What if a resignation headed off more draconian sanctions? What is more important, a place in the next round or playing Premiership games behind closed doors?

Think of how we would assume the moral high ground as a club by saying the following:

"We won on the pitch but we do not want to take our place in the next round because we want the football world to understand that we share the disgust at what happened. Millwall played well but could not beat us; we were defeated by a sick element within our own fan base, an element that we wish to disassociate ourselves from completely. We understand that the majority of our fans are good people and know that they will understand why this move is necessary. The Carling Cup is a great competition but the good name of football and of West Ham United are much more important. We leave the competition undefeated but not unbowed. Sadly, it was the enemy within that hurt us more than the opposition team. They do not represent West Ham in any way but we accept responsibility for their actions and apologise unreservedly on their behalf. We wish Millwall well in the competition."

West Ham Must Resign Place In The Cup

It wasn't the club, it was the fans; it's not a football issue, it's a problem in society; what about the policing?; the main violence was outside the ground; the Millwall fans were to blame.

All of these points will be made, all of these excuses will be given, but at the end of the day, none of it washes. The scenes IN and AROUND Upton Park last night were truly disgraceful and action has to be taken or there is a real danger that "fans" of other clubs will watch the news footage and fancy a bit of it themselves. How many idiots around the country will watch "Green Street" and other films glorifying football violence and think, "We should have a 'firm'!"? What if it kicks off at the Emirates tonight with Celtic fans deciding to exit the Champions League in a trail of destruction?

The hard truth is that this was inevitable: inevitable because it was Millwall but more importantly because, for too long, the club have tolerated the intolerable. I have used this blog to condemn the hissing employed (in games against Tottenham) to simulate the sound of the gas chambers; and I invited the usual threats of violence from the thugs when I spoke against against the abuse of Lampard and Terry. But what action has the club taken exactly? It is now so easy to identify the culprits with numbered seats and CCTV. Why are the guys who participate in this abhorrent behaviour allowed to return to the ground? We hear mantras like "Kick Racism Out Of Football" yet we allow a section of our fan base to "joke about" the extermination of nearly six million people based on their race and religion. If you accept the unacceptable, something awful will happen sooner or later. Last night has been coming.

The club should now take the moral high ground and hurt the idiots where it hurts most. We should resign our position in the Carling Cup and ask that Millwall be allowed to take our place. Like that, we will distance ourselves absolutely from the disgraceful behaviour that otherwise will be associated with the club. Every effort should then be made to identify the idiots responsible last night and to ban them for life. And we should not stop there. The hissing should be stopped. The abuse of individuals should be stopped.

We must clean up our act and bowing out of the Cup, unfortunately, would be the right first step. It is time for action, not words.

As Seen Through The Eyes Of A West Ham "Fan"

Copy and paste from the org:

"i was actually at the match with my daughter. i can safely say that it was the best atmosphere for years. the club needed it, the fans needed it too. i can assure you all that although west ham will be hounded for the next few weeks, passion finally came back to upton park - i am not talking about the trouble out side the ground. upton park was rocking just like the good old days. the team will finally play with some fire in their belly. anyone who turned up tonight expecting a nice quiet affair must be deluded."

Well that's alright then isn't it? Somehow I think the team left the pitch feeling sick to the pits of their stomachs. Which is how I feel when I look at the news footage and then read posts like the one above. Not surprisingly, the author does not even know how to use capital letters.

Ban Him? Boil Him Down For Glue!

Physically and morally disgusting. What a picture, what a picture, what a photograph! This is Great Britain! These pictures are going round the world.

As If Collison Hasn't Been Through Enough!

Same guy in the striped top. Find him, arrest him, ban him.

Ban Them For Life

Note the one in the striped top. He appears again later.

Ban This Scum

And put him on a diet.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Duxbury Will Be Sending Diamanti Back Unopened.

With Stanislas and Hines netting, Duxbury will be asking why Zola needs another forward!

Mind you, with Stanislas playing such a key role and Savio no where to be seen, Scotty would be well within his rights to ask why we spent all that money on the German Ugandan. He would not be alone in asking that question. Surely, Millwall at home was the opportunity to give the lad a confidence boosting run out?

Stabbing In Priory Road

Here we go. It was so sadly predictable. We are a goal down but, at the end of the day, what does that matter in the circumstances of a stabbing? Who do we blame? The government? The makers of Green Street for glorifying the violence? The police? The teachers? The parents?

It is sick. I read the hatred on the blog sites, I read IG's nazi rant on the org, I read stupid posts about hating Tottenham and Millwall which are cheered by supposed adults...and it all comes down to this. Stupid thuggery fed by the violent language of people on the net who should know better. I quote "WesthamtilIdie" on the org:

"We hate Millwall and we hate Millwall,
We hate Millwall and we hate Millwall,
We hate Millwall and we hate Millwall,
We are the Millwall (and tottscum) haters

Funny now is it? Proud of yourself now are you Bill? Are all you orgsters celebrating that somebody, be he Millwall or West Ham, might be fighting for his life? Dear God, it is football. Yes it is about passion but it is not about hating, and anybody who promotes this hatred, and laughs about it, is a disgrace. When will you guys wake up to the fact that a society that feeds on hatred is a murderous society? Look at the abuse and threats you direct at me! So so sick.

Shameful. But just as I predicted.

The Mirror and West Ham's Double Tragedy

Somebody at The Mirror can't count. If you can stand to read Darren Lewis's oh so sincere article on Davenport and Collison without feeling the need to vomit, you might notice that Darren has forgotten somebody. Remember, it was The Mirror who, only yesterday, were writing Dean Ashton's footballing obituary. Mind you, thus far, it is only The Mirror and its sister rag, The Sunday Mirror, that has run that story in the printed press. To date, there is no word from the club or from Ashton himself, apart from Zola's reported denial. So why only a double tragedy? Yesterday Ashton's 'retirement' was a tragedy for player, club and country; how comes it now doesn't even merit a mention? Could it be that the story was untrue?

Now we run close to the wire on these blog sites sometimes but surely Ashton could take legal action against The Mirror if that story is unfounded? If there was any chance of a move to Stoke, that deal must now be dead in the water. Can national newspapers really announce a player's retirement from the game if there is no truth in the story?

I really hope the story is wrong and that Ashton sues the arse off the Mirror Group. And as for today's crocodile tears, well, in the light of recent events, they just don't wash do they?

Duxbury Fuming at Signing Of Alessandro Diamanti

West Ham CEO Scott Duxbury is allegedly fuming after the signing of Alessandro Diamanti. Already stitched up by Nani when Savio was signed - the CEO thought the nine million was going into an Italian savings account when Nani said he needed "Money for savio" - Duxbury has again been tricked into parting with cash for a footballer.

A club insider said: "Mr Duxbury's face was as red as a Manchester United shirt when he discovered what had happened - he was fuming! What do you mean Diamanti is a bloody player? he asked. He thought we were investing in diamonds!"

Nani is now desperately looking for other players with misleading names. "He tried it with Fanni. It's a real shame that there isn't another quality Bond or Bonds out there, as Nani might swing that one past him. Is there an Old Rope perhaps? Or maybe there's an Isa out there, that sounds like a name a footballer might have. Anybody got any suggestions?"

Zola in Diamante Raid

Zola has got his man - at last! It is looking as if we really have signed somebody this time, with Diamante apparently in tears, begging to be allowed to join us. That probably means the Mafia had money on the deal being done before the transfer window closed!

How good is the guy? You tell me! Apparently he is a cross between Zola and Di Canio! I hope that doesn't mean that he is 5 feet nothing tall and arrives in a black shirt making Nazi salutes to the crowd before refusing to travel north of the Watford Gap! Fatty Dowd had better watch out the next time he officiates one of our matches. The ground would sure shake if Diamante did a Di Canio on him!

It's great to ave a real diamond geezer in the team at last aint it?

West Ham v Millwall - Shame Beckons.

She is outside the stadium now, a pox ridden tart tottering around on high heeled shoes with a mini skirt just covering her arse, seamed stockings, and a blouse cut so low you can see her belly button piercing. No Pardew isn't coming to the game with one of the Southampton players' wives, Shame is flaunting her wares up and down Green Street, hoping to find a taker.

When the draw was made, impressionable young fools immediately hit the blogs, giving it large, unconsciously quoting their favourite lines from 'Green Street'. You can bet your life that they have been talking about journos, Bovver, Yanks, Tommy Hatcher (pronouncing the 'haitch') and the Major ever since. Of course, they haven't got the first idea of what it is really about and how somebody could really end up killed as they play out their Hollywood fantasies. You can hear the cry now, "Where to even fucking begin with Millwall. Millwall and West Ham firms hate each other, more than any other firms by far." It is sad, it is pathetic, but like having unprotected sex with an Aids infected tart, it is also dangerous and, to these fools, irresistibly exciting. Give them enough alcohol to build up their Dutch courage and there must be a fair chance that things will kick off.

I hope to God nothing happens. This has been a terrible week as it is: the attack on Davenport, the death of Collison's dad, rumours of Ashton's retirement, the defeat to Tottenham - the last thing the club needs now is bad press and an FA enquiry into crowd misconduct. Will that matter to the yobs who engage in this sort of thing? Of course not. To them the club is a badge, a flag to be waved in the face of others. They are not fans of the team, they are not supporters of football, they are every day nobodies seeking personal notoriety with no thought for the consequences. The sad thing is that 'Green Street' glorified these idiots and they are too stupid to understand the final message of the movie.

The best result tonight? A game that passes off without any crowd trouble.

Lamenting Lopez

I don't believe it, one defeat at home to Tottenham with Spector done by the flying lemon, and some are lamenting the loss of Lopez as left back cover for Ilunga. Some? That great football pundit davefking no less who was there, in person, to watch Lopez turned inside out at Watford in his only start for West Ham. Where is he now? Brescia Calcio in Italy Serie B - kind of says it all really.

Are things really that desperate that we are criticising the club for releasing Lopez? I read another thread where Di Michele and Tristan were being hailed as losses on the basis that they could "run around a bit"! I can run around a bit and, even at 50, would back myself to run around a bit more than Tristan. I don't think I am as fat as Lopez looked at Watford either!

Come on you Hammers fans, get a grip. If we need shite like Lopez, Di Michele and Tristan, we don't deserve to be in the Premiership do we?

Liverpool's Title Challenge Is Over Already. Champions League? No chance!

I said it after the first game of the season, this Liverpool team is on the wane. The loss of Alonso was bigger than most people realised and the failure to use the relatively little money they had in the summer to buy either a striker or a creative midfielder was a huge mistake by Benitez. I said that the £17m paid for Johnson was absurd and I stand by that. Yes he is a talent going forward on the right hand flank but defensively he can be a liability.

At the moment Gerrard has to be in two places at once and, as good as he is, he isn't the superhuman that Liverpool now need him to be. Playing on the shoulder of Torres, he cannot supply the killer balls from midfield that Alonso used to deliver; playing as the playmaker, he cannot poach the goals in and around the box.

The club's finances are now biting their title ambitions in the bollocks, just as this blog predicted. How much was Alonso sold for? Yet despite that, Benitez was reduced to bargain basement shopping to sign a back up centre back; Upson, it seems, was beyond the club's means.

But the fact that Rafa Don Quixote Benitez sees a centre back as his priority amazes me. Tell me, how are Liverpool going to win games if Gerrard and Torres get injured? Two defeats already, and the tilt at the title is over before it has even started.

Well there's always the consolation of winning the Champions League I suppose. This Liverpool team? Against Real Madrid or Barcelona? No chance! If Carlsberg did football teams, Liverpool would still have Alonso.

This could be the year of change as I said last week. Arsenal are vulnerable once the weather turns colder, the Mancs aren't what they were and Liverpool's underbelly has already been exposed. The door to the top 4 party is open for the likes of Tottenham and Man City and I fully expect one or both to gatecrash this season. If that happens, watch the chaos that will ensue at the club that misses out!

Lucas Neill Statement

Following the insistence of his agent that he is not motivated by money, Lucas Neill has issued a statement outlining his position. The Soccoroo Star stated:

"Look to say I am only interested in the money is rubbish. Sure West Ham offered me more money than Liverpool when I left Blackburn, but that wasn't the reason why I joined them. I considered the option of Champions League football and competing for a Premiership winners medal but, at the end of the day, preferred the chance to join a relegation struggle with a release clause in my contract should West Ham go down. There was also the issue of the facilities available at the two clubs. Yes Liverpool has a bigger stadium and a larger fan base and better players but the West Ham ground does look like a birthday cake doesn't it? And we are all suckers for birthday cake aren't we? Then, of course, there were the relative merits of the two managers. Rafa Benitez or Alan Curbishley? No contest mate, the one is a tactical genius with a record of winning trophies, the other has won nothing through-out his playing and management career. In the circumstances, the decision was a no brainer."

He continued: "To suggest I rejected the contract offer from West Ham because of the money being offered is completely wrong. There were much bigger factors than that. Why would I want to play for Zola and Clarke exactly? What have those guys ever done in the game? Curbishley was a giant in the game and is full of charisma, I found myself drawn to him like your average New Zealander is to a sheep; but Zola? The guy is completely dead pan, completely lacking in spark and humour. And Clarke? What does he know about defending exactly? Look, there was a danger of me losing my edge under those two, I had to get out for the sake of Australia's bid to win the World Cup in 2012."

He concluded: "Look, having said that, I have not ruled West Ham out as a possibility. I don't want more money as such to link up with West Ham again, what I want is my dignity. To join them for less than they were paying me before would be undignified wouldn't it? All I'm asking is that West Ham don't humiliate me. I mean it is embarrassing enough to find myself without a club two weeks into the new season. Look, people may be thinking nobody wants me!"

When it was pointed out to Neill that he had already forgone £225,000 in wages by not signing the contract on offer in June he responded, "How much? My bloody agent is dead when I get my hands on him!"

Monday, 24 August 2009

Will Gold Be A Catalyst?

We rocket engineers understand the catalytic qualities of that most precious of metals, gold. Yes it can provoke a strange chemical reaction in some women causing them to remove underwear and climb beneath the sheets with ugly dwarfs, yes it can induce MPs to ask questions in the House and promote and support legislation they might otherwise regard as abhorrent and yes, it can persuade players to walk out on the club and fans they have previously professed to love; but these are not the catalytic qualities I am talking about. Not a lot of people know this, but gold, in the form of tiny pieces, can transform carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide when used as a catalyst. Gold can also enhance desired chemical reactions as a catalyst in the removal of odours and toxins or to clean automotive exhaust gases.

So what? Well I certainly do not want to see David Gold as our new owner but there have long been rumours of other suitors who have been holding out for a lower price. Perhaps, just perhaps, if Gold makes an offer, somebody else might be forced to show his hand, somebody with a few more aces up his sleeve than Gold. Perhaps, just perhaps, Gold could prove to be our perfect catalytic converter.

Another Day Another Rumour.

Here we go again! We are now two games into the new season and, had things been handled properly, I believe we would now have 6 points from our first two games. Tottenham were there for the taking yesterday but we lacked the punch up front to drive home our advantage. Instead we find ourselves on the back foot, on the wrong end of a result against one of our nearest and dearest (as in how much they have cost to assemble) rivals. Some will praise Duxbury should we sign a forward or two this week, claiming he always had things in hand, but they will then miss the fact that we have started the season understrength and are already 3 points off where we should be. Last season Cole was used as a sub against Macclesfield; tomorrow he remains our only option to play up front in a home League Cup tie.

And will we have signed anybody come next week anyway? There are more rumours out there but are any of them true? All the talk has proved to be no more than that, talk. But then talk is something Duxbury specialises in isn't it? Tell me, would you buy a second hand car off the guy? Nobody is willing to buy a second hand player off him it appears! But then, who is there left to sell? Davenport is now off the market and nobody will touch Ashton in the light of the latest rumours. Faubert? Can we really afford to let him go without a replacement right back? Quashie? Who would have him? So it is Collins and Upson then, our two best players against Tottenham. Does selling either make sense given Duxbury's claim that Zola is not under pressure to sell any of his first team?

I posted in the States that I wanted to land back in the UK to the news that we had signed at least one new striker for the start of the new season. Two games have now passed and we are about to launch our bid to win the Carling Cup and we STILL haven't signed anybody. How bloody idiotic is that?

Ashton's Career Over? Well Said dave f king.

I have to compliment my old adversary on the org for this post:

"I have never knocked Deano and no-one has been championing his cause more than me. I am deeply gutted that he will no longer play for us and can't even begin to feel how the man must feel himself. The Pizza man and Beano jesters must surely hang their heads in shame for their pathetic mocking of a very young player of a career that is now no more, as the Mucky Tabloid itself explains, a loss not just for West Ham but England as well.

Maybe in future the poxy official site and Duxbury could be more open and honest with the fans in future instead of leaving things open to speculation. All the best Deano and my sincere condolences."

I have, of course, been one of Dean's most vociferous critics and IF this is true, I would like to offer a fulsome apology to the guy. However, Dave nails where the blame really lies in the penultimate sentence. The criticism of Dean is not really the fault of fans kept in the dark, but of the Dark Dealing Duxbury who, Blair like, manages the media to such an extent that he no longer seems to know either what the truth is or when it is beneficial and when harmful to spin. If Dean's injury has genuinely ended his career, then the poor sod has been hung out to dry by Duxbury's repeated claims that he would be returning any time soon. Is it any wonder the fans lost patience with a player who the Board and club manager said was approaching fitness at the end of last season but who never even went on the pre-season tour? If the injury is as serious as it seems, why were we apparently in negotiation with Stoke to sell the guy? How dishonest and irresponsible was that if true? If not true, why didn't Duxbury simply come out and tell us the truth?

But even more worrying is the way Zola seems to have been misled. Is he part of the spin machine or was he telling the truth when he said: "I am hoping I can have him in my team. Until they tell me something different, I am hopeful." Note the words, "until THEY tell me"; remember Curbishley using the word "they" rather than "we" when talking about the club? The Mirror are writing Dean's footballing obituary and the manager of the team seems to believe he is about to return. Square that circle if you can! In there somewhere is Duxbury's dark hand of deceit I suspect. Why, when interviewed yesterday by the Disney Channel, was Zola asked about Davenport but not Dean when a Sunday paper was reporting that Ashton was about to announce his retirement?

In fact, why has Zola never been asked about Dean on camera? It's a simple enough question isn't it? "When are you expecting Dean Ashton back?" Isn't it odd that this simple question has never been asked? Has Duxbury been screening the questions asked of Zola in the pre and post match interviews in the same way that he managed his own interviews with KUMB and WHTID?

And why now? Well the summer is over, the season is underway, there is hardly any time left to find a replacement, the club can say the news came so late that...blah, blah, blah. There will be compensation paid. Presumably Dean is insured for something like £12m based on his huge salary and England cap but Duxbury and the Board won't want all that spent on a striker, they will want some to feed the hungry brood of creditors, thus the attempt to sell first choice centre half James Collins for a frankly derisory £5m.

If true Dean, I am truly sorry but YOU know where the blame really lies.

Funny, I type the word lies and Duxbury's smiling face suddenly appears in my mind's eye. I wonder why that is?

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Ashes Victory: You Git Ponting!

Cards on the table, I loathe the guy. I so wanted to hear him blaming the pitch and the umpires at the end of the game but did he do it? No. The swine was objective, honest and even generous! By the time he had finished talking, I felt huge respect for the guy and every gloating bone in my body had crumbled to dust.

Do me a favour mate, get home to Oz and start bleating! A world in which you feel sorry for Ponting after England have just won the Ashes is just too unsettling to cope with!

Well done to England. This Australia team is the weakest I have seen since the Packer era but you can only beat the opposition you are up against and we have done it! I didn't want Trott to play and he has made me look at idiot. Swann is a testament to dedication. Strauss has been brilliant this series. Freddie goes out in a blaze of glory. Broad is the "new Botham". Prior is the new Alec Stewart. Well done to the selectors, well done to the fans, well done to the team!

If only West Ham had won too! Damn Satan and his bloody deals!

West Ham 1 Tottenham 2; Why West Ham lost.

Let's start with Cole. Yes the backpass was dreadful, yes he should hang his head in shame (which he did!), yes it brought Tottenham back into the game...but so what? The goal he scored came out of nothing and was absolutely brilliant. The one cancels out the other so Cole's goal and mistake are irrelevant.

So let's move on to Spector. I will say here and now that I called it. Check the site history and you will see a post entitled Spector v Lennon, ouch. And so it proved. The depressing thing is that Spector was done on his stronger foot. Fair enough if Lennon had skinned him and crossed for somebody to score but, actually, Lennon turned inside onto Spector's right foot and the Wank still missed the tackle. But so what? That isn't what ultimately cost us the game, I wish it was! Lennon did very well and anyway individual errors happen, you lose games sometimes because of cock ups. We are all human. And that mistake apart, defensively, Spector coped well. And Faubert was largely excellent!

So if it wasn't Cole and it wasn't Spector, why did we lose the game? Was Green at fault for not getting a stronger hand on Lennon's shot? No. Was Cole at fault for not slotting home the first half chance? No. He was offside as the pass was played and he met it too close to Cudocini anyway. What about Collison for three bad choices when he had options? No, he is a kid and you can't expect young players to take the right option, the fact he got into a position to make the wrong choices in the first place is commendable. Then Stanislas? No. The kid did well for his age and was unlucky not to chalk up an assist.

So why? Why did we lose the game? How about Clattenbung then? No, he was sensible and could have sent off Parker if too quick to revert to yellow cards for "committed" tackles. The penalty claim was never a penalty; in fact Jimenez should have been booked.

So why? Why did we lose the game? Are Tottenham a better team? Yes. Is that why? No. They didn't look that much better on the day and only won because of our key frailty.

So why? Why did we lose? Was it Fanno entering into a pact with the Devil, did England's Ashes's victory open the door for a Tottenham victory? Maybe, but I am an agnostic so I doubt it.

So why? Why did we lose the game? Was it 'Arry the Albatross? Was it God's vengeance for slaying the Redknapp Saviour? Possibly but then you have to believe in a rational universe. I'm just back from the States so that is impossible.

So why? Why did we lose the game? Lack of effort? No. Lack of ability no? Poor tactics? No. So why, why?

Easy. We have one forward and a forward at that who scores great goals but isn't a great goal scorer. We lost today because Zola had to be happy with a point at 1-1 and sent on Kovac to cement the draw, because he knew he had no alternatives to win the game. Look at our bench and you can see why we lost it. And of course Dyer who, surprise surprise, was not fit for battle.

So why did we lose the game? Not because of Hines or Nouble but because Duxbury, Nani, the Board and Zola have cocked up so badly that two kids are our only offensive alternatives. Who was excellent today? Upson and Collins but if the powers to be had had their way, Collins would now be a Stoke player. That is a problem!

I warn you now, as I have been warning for two months now, unless we sign two forwards before the window closes, we will struggle. Sort it Duxbury. Sort it Nani. Sort it Zola. Because if we don't, we will only survive because of the weaknesses of others!

Performance Ratings:

Green 7; Faubert 8; Spector 6; Upson 8; Collins 8; Parker 7; Noble 6, Collison 6; Stanislas 6; Jimenez 6; Cole 7.

Duxbury 1, Nani 1, The Board 0

One last prediction: This Tottenham team will be in the running for the title and WILL finish in the top 4.

West Ham and Mary Poppins! Who Needs Nostradamus?

I've heard it all now. The doctor who has apparently suggested to Beano that he should retire is called..Van Dijk! I know the spelling is wrong but the pronunciation makes it sound as if the most absurd Cockney of all time has passed judgement on sperstar striker Primadeano.

Dip into the script of Mary Poppins and you find that our current plight was in fact foretold by Hollywood back in the 1960s. Every Duxbury promise is a "piecrust promise. Easily made, easily broken"! His Press Statements are summed up perfectly by Mary's maxim, "I would like to make one thing quite clear. I never explain anything" and the warning, "Kindly do not attempt to cloud the issue with facts." Meanwhile, following his departure, Turds stole from the script as he announced, "I've been sacked! Discharged! Flung into the street!"

Pardew, of course, left singing, "A man has dreams of walking with giants. To carve his niche in the edifice of time. Before the mortar of his seal has a chance to congeal... The cup is dashed from his lips! The flame is snuffed a-borning... He's brought to wrack and ruin in his prime."

The Neill saga is hinted at in Mary's pronouncement, "We can't have them gallivanting up there like kangaroos, can we?" Beano's weight problems are no doubt explained by the Mary Poppins recommendation for taking "a spoonful of sugar" to help "the medicine go down."

The whole BG debacle is foreshadowed in the lines, "A BRITISH bank is run with precision. A British home requires nothing less! Tradition, discipline and rules must be the tools! Without them: disorder... catastrophe! Anarchy! In short, you have a ghastly mess!" and the Straumur regime is summed up by "There he is in that cold, heartless bank day after day, hemmed in by mounds of cold, heartless money. I don't like to see any living thing caged up" and "They makes cages in all sizes and shapes, you know. Bank-shaped, some of 'em, carpets and all". The family name is, of course, Banks!

Poor Zola must have real empathy with the lines, "With tuppence for paper and strings, you can have your own set of wings! With your feet on the ground you're a bird in flight, with your fist holding tight to the string of your kite! Oh, oh, oh, let's go fly a kite, up to the highest height! Let's go fly a kite, and send it soaring! Up through the atmosphere, up where the air is clear! Oh, let's go... fly a kite!"

Mary Poppins is, of course, the Nanni.

Ahead of the arrival of 'Arry the Albatross today I hear the refrain, "Winds in the east, mist coming in, / Like somethin' is brewin' and bout to begin. / Can't put me finger on what lies in store, / But I fear what's to happen all happened before."

Still perhaps Nice Guy Zola will heed the advice: "You think. You wink. You do a double blink. You close your eyes... and jump!"

So before kick off, let's all join in a chorus of "Supercallifragilisticexpialidocious!" Even if both Spurs and the Aussies win, we will all feel so much better, apparently!

West Ham v Tottenham: The 'Arry Factor

Tottenham come into today's game in fine form and we have the now familiar albatross around our neck: Ilunga out; every forward in Europe rejecting our overture's; rumours of Ashton's career being over; and the attack on Davenport. Sod's Law dictates that Cole will depart proceedings in the first 15 minutes with an injury!

However, the biggest danger to us is the 'Arry factor. Never mind the way he has resuscitated Tottenham, he has had the Indian Sign over us ever since we sacked him. In fact, perhaps 'Arry is the albatross! What has gone right since his departure? We have had Roedergate, Relegationgate, Parew'sdickgate, Tevezgate, TurdsandEgggate...and all because of the thoughtless slaying of 'Arry?

`God save thee, ancient Mariner !
From the fiends, that plague thee thus !--
Why look'st thou so ?'--With my cross-bow
I shot the ALBATROSS.

Davenport & Ashton

First off, best wishes to Callum. I know I am not his biggest fan as a footballer but the attack sounds horrific and if the rumours of a possible leg amputation are true, this is truly dreadful. Hopefully the press stories are exaggerated.

As for Ashton, The Mirror are claiming his career is over. Does that explain why we suddenly have funds to buy a striker because of the potential insurance payment? We need to be careful here because it is The Mirror and the paper lives up to its name by reflecting the imagination of its journalists far too often, but it seems plausible to me sadly.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

West Ham v Tottenham Preview. The Best Of Times, The Worst Of Times.

On the day before tomorrow, I find myself remembering the best of times and the the worst of times in true Dickens (not Alan!) fashion. For the best of times, I go back to April 1, 1972, the day a young kid by the name of Ade Coker made fools of Tottenham Hotspur. For the worst, the 2nd of February 1987, when Tottenham humbled us 5-0 at the Lane in a League Cup replay.

In 72 I was just 13 and was inside that magic bubble you feel as a kid when you see your heroes take the field. It was an early kick off from memory, probably 12 or 1.00, and we always got to the ground 2 hours before kick off to get in the queue for tickets before it snaked down Green Street. We were only just inside the gates as it happens, and I was worried sick we might not get in, despite the assurances of my now dead Dad to the contrary. Tottenham finished 6th that season, we ended up in 13th so we probably went into the game as slight underdogs. The team that day will be mostly familiar to older Irons fans: Grotier, McDowell, Clive Charles, Bonds, Taylor, Moore, Ayris, Best, Coker, Brooking and Pop Robson, with Kevin Lock coming on as a sub for Ayris. That side would have been remarkable at the time for one thing – the inclusion of THREE black players. Ron Atkinson like to boast about what he did to bring through black players in the English game but we were well ahead of him! The side must have been put together for tuppence happenie! McDowall came from Norwich, Bonds from Charlton, Taylor from Orient and Robson was the “big money buy” from Newcastle at £120,000! The rest were home produced. Coker stole all the headlines with a chirpy performance and a goal in our 2-0 victory. After this performance, there were high hopes that he could be something special but sadly, they came to nothing – he wasn’t quite a one game wonder but he did not have many memorable games for West Ham. The other scorer was Brooking with, as I remember, a lovely curled shot from just inside the box on the left hand side. A brilliant day!

In 87, I went to the game with a Tottenham fan, a work colleague, and ended up in the Tottenham section of the crowd (how appropriate some will say!). Three things stick in the memory – the brilliance of the Tottenham side that day (Waddle, Allen, Hoddle, Clausen), a Tottenham wag spotting a supporter in a wheelchair being pushed up the touchline before kick off and yelling, “It’s Billy Bonds on his warm up” and coming very close to punching a guy who was leaning on my back (no seats!) yelling “Easy, easy” as the fifth goal was being celebrated. Yes the fifth goal, we were thumped 5-0. The team sheet read Parkes, Bonds, Parris, Gale, Martin, Devonshire, Ward, McAvennie, Orr, Cottee, and Stewart Robson with Donkey Hilton coming on for George Parris. On paper, that team looks good but, the truth is, too many had ticked past their prime. We were murdered on the day.

Anybody else have personal memories of these or other West Ham and Tottenham encounters?

Friday, 21 August 2009

Gold Aiming To Buy West Ham On The Cheap

If the Telegraph claim is true, that David Gold is only prepared to pay £40m for West Ham, then you have to say that the guy is taking the piss. £40m? You could recoup that by selling Upson, Green, Parker and Cole. That leaves the rest of the squad plus the ground as "profit". Pocket the Sky parachute payment as we plummet out of the Prem and you would have enough to make a whole season of porn movies with titles like "Emmanuel on Green Street", "Karen Brady Does Upton Park", "Going Down At The Boleyn" and "Claret and Blue Movies".

Solid Gold? Golden Shower more like!

Super Sunday Or Soddin Sunday. West Ham v Tottenham Preview.

Well it is all set up now. England are more than edging it against the Aussies (despite my pessimism) and, if all goes to plan, should secure the Ashes some time on Sunday. Meanwhile, we go head to head with Spurs in one of the tastier fixtures of the Premiership season. If England and West Ham win, I will be in seventh heaven; if both results go against us, I'm off to Beachy Head!

Today was so nearly the perfect day. The bowling performances of Broad and Swann were an absolute joy and seeing Ponting chopping the ball onto his own stumps was pure magic. If only we had come in one wicket down at the end! Still, another 100 runs should be enough to guarantee victory on that wicket and surely we can muster that with 7 wickets standing; can't we?

Even with the Aussie fight back in the last hour, I still returned home pretty chipper, only to discover that our search for a striker goes on as Chamahk has apparently spoken to Faubert and decided to stay in France. "Eet is so 'ard over 'ere. They kick you and want you to run!"

Anyway, I now face that horrible trade off with Satan again. I just know I will hear that voice in my head over the next two days: "A West Ham win or an England win, you can only have one, which is it to be?" Sod it, please God let it be both for once - please, please, please!

Time To Stuff The Insults Down The Throats. West Ham v Tottenham Preview.

Never mind the desire of Defoe to shove the abuse down the throats of his West Ham detractors, there will be another forward out on the pitch on Sunday with a point to prove to West Ham detractors - Carlton Cole.

I am sick to death of the criticism still being directed at Cole from so called Hammers fans. OK the guy will probably never score 20 plus goals a season in the Premiership but not many strikers do these days. McAvennie, Cottie, Pop Robson, Jimmy Greaves - yes they were great in their day but, Greaves apart, does anybody really believe they would be as prolific in the modern game? Not a chance! Certain fans eulogize Cottee but forget that he was playing against defenders who these days would be playing in the Championship. How many goals did Tony score for England? As many as Freddie Sears scored for us last season and Cole has netted so far for club and country this year - zero! And McAvennie? One great season if truth be told. Pop Robson? Did any of the big boys ever look at him? Did he ever play for England? Why do you think that was?

Cole is an excellent target man and works like a proverbial Trojan for the team. Who was it that squared the ball for Noble to score against Wolves? That would be Cole. Who was running both the channels as well as leading the line down the centre against Wolves? That would be Cole. Who sprung the off side trap only for Noble's pass to be slightly miss-hit, forcing the taker wide? That would be Cole. Who impressed after coming on for England against Holland? That would be Cole again. And yet Grumpy on the org is still moaning about the guy. Is it because he is black? Even if he does score it will only be down to the Law of Averages according to the malicious one.

Obviously I hope Cole scores and shoves the criticism down the throats of his detractors. But even if he doesn't score, I can guarantee one thing - he will give 100% for every minute that he is on the pitch and others will get opportunities because of his efforts. His ability to hold the ball up will also relieve pressure on our back four because he is our only out ball given the way Zola and Clarke set up.

Come on Carlton - the true fans are behind you!

Well Said Zola. Tottenham v West Ham Preview.

Really pleased to read Zola's comments on our treatment of ex players. Nice Guy Zola told the Disney channel,

"Obviously, I will always have a special place in my heart for Chelsea. The reception I had from the fans at Stamford Bridge when I went back as West Ham manager last season was amazing and it would be good if others supporters could look at that and realise booing old players is not so productive."

He continued,

"Maybe the West Ham fans will continue to boo Frank Lampard as they tend to do, but I think it is time to stop all of this. If someone takes a different career path, you have to accept it and I hope everyone does this with Frank and me from now on."

Of course, there is little prospect that the fans will relent on the campaign of hatred directed at The Foe. Mind you, thus far, friendlies apart, it has been pretty successful with the little Judas missing two penalties against us since his defection.

On the whole, however, these "hate campaigns" are counter productive. Look at how Tevez responded to our warm hugs the first time he returned to Upton Park with Manchester United. The crossed hammers signs brought tears to every eye in the house, including the Argentinian's, and he played as if he had blurred vision all game. Contrast that with Lamps who revels in the abuse and scores for fun against us.

Defoe has already been talking about how he is going to shove our abuse down our throats. Perhaps we should destabilise him by greeting him with a Jermaine Defoe Love Fest? Pictures of Jesus hugging Judas perhaps? We love you Jermaine banners all around the ground? Welcome home Jermaine signs? "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" playing as he runs out on the pitch? It's a thought.

West Ham v Tottenham Preview. Spector v Lennon? Ouch.

Watching the Tottenham v Liverpool game last week, the subject of whether 'Arry would swap Lennon's flank to have a go at Faubert came up. I expressed the hope that he would try, given Lennon's left peg is weak and he becomes largely ineffective when moved to the opposite flank, but now everything has fallen into 'Arry's lap with the news that Ilunga will miss the game.

With all the talk of the need for a right back and a striker or two, many have overlooked the absence of adequate cover for Ilunga, a squad deficiency masked by his fitness all last season. Spector came on against Wolves and his first three touches were dire. He isn't even our first choice right back and, playing on the opposite flank, he looks awkward on the ball and vulnerable off of it. 'Arry must be sniggering over his Manila envelopes at the thought of isolating our American one on one with the flying Lennon. It would be no surprise to me if the game was won and lost as a result of the injury to Ilunga.

Some will point to the signing of Daprela but he is just a kid and has not yet been tested in the Premiership. Would it be fair to throw the lad into a game of this magnitude? I think even the Romans allowed the Christians to practice a bit before they threw them into the gladiatorial ring!

Sunday is going to be one hell of a test. I have tipped Tottenham as dark horses to win the Premiership and it is a crying shame that we go into the game still looking for two strikers, with a make shift right back playing as first pick and with no adequate cover for the left back position. Why did we buy Kovac in the circumstances?

Collins or Upson?

Anybody else been unsettled by the decision of Villa to bid for Collins rather than Upson? It is one thing for Stoke City to fancy Collins, quite another for Martin O'Neill to want him. When it was Stoke, there was a feeling that Upson was beyond their means so Collins was a next best choice. Villa, however, are not financially strapped and were rumoured to be after Upson. It would appear from the latest rumours, however, that O'Neill has weighed up the options and prefers the younger Collins at a lower price to the older Upson at a higher figure. And O'Neill is no mug as a rule.

Either way, Clarke is going to lose a key figure in his back four. Whether or not Collins is the first choice partner for Upson is a matter of some debate - Tomkins may be the main man - but he was a key figure in the Great Escape and has acquitted himself well since returning to the team. The most depressing thing about all this is that we have to sell to be able to bid £7m for a striker that we so desperately need.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

West Ham Fans Are Such A Bunch Of Depressives

Dear God, as we POSSIBLY close in on signing Chamakh, there are already some "fans" criticising the move. He only scores one goal in every three games in France, he isn't as quick as Harewood, we will lose him to the African Nation's Cup, he's temperamental and inconsistent...blah, blah, blah. Those of you with reasonable memories might recall the "experts" questioning the wisdom of signing that inconsistent, temperamental, over priced, unproven African called Didier Drogba. That didn't turn out too badly for Chelsea did it? Then there was that guy who couldn't score for Juve. What was he called? Thierry Henry wasn't it?

How good was Cole before Zola got to work on him and how good is he now? Let's hope GZ can improve Chamakh in the same way - if he joins! There are some still harking on about Freddie "fox in the box" Sears, claiming he is a better option because he is small! How many goals did that fox plunder last season? Erm, none.

For pity's sake you miserable, negative sods, get behind the manager and the club can't you?

Lucas Neill Latest

Silly me, I was wondering where Lucash was and why he hasn't signed for any of the interested parties. The answer is obvious! He is watching the Ashes!

The game was in the balance until Swann was out in the last over. The Aussies have now got the advantage and could well drive home that advantage tomorrow. If they accumulate 500 plus when they bat, the fact that the ball is going through the top could return to bite us. Well played Katich to run out Trott but I had noted earlier that he was taking risks leaving his crease "on the walk" and that he was a bit lackadaisical about getting back into his ground. So whilst brilliant from Katich, it was careless by the South African.

Bell will top score but was never comfortable; Collingwood's shot was poor; Strauss's dismissal was disappointing; Flintoff's lazy shot looked as if he had retired already! The Aussies have bowled decently but there has been nothing special from them with the ball. The truth is, we are a team of mediocre players being beaten by a team of goodish players. If only we still had Vauhan and Trescothick available and at the top of their games. The loss of Pietersen was massive.

All is not lost yet but, in footballing terms, we are a goal behind at White Hart Lane after 20 minutes. It will take something special to win from here.

Lucash Neill Buried Alive

Anybody know what is happening with Lucash? Sunderland, West Ham, Greece? Has the guy gone missing altogether? Is there a bush kangaroo outside Upton Park twitching its nose frantically, making chattering noises trying to tell us something?

"What's that Skippy? Trouble somewhere? Lucas accidentally opened his wallet and is trapped underneath an avalanche of cash? Crikey Skippy, where is he? Come on Dean, Lucas is in trouble. What's that mate, can't walk? Ok, rest up son and leave this job to me, the kid and the roo."