Saturday, 30 April 2011

Upon The Demise of Sheffield United

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let pigeons circle crapping overhead
Shitting on the Cortinas the message They Are Dead,
Put red striped bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the benefit cheat investigators wear black cotton gloves.

They were my North, my North, my North and Scum,
My unemployed week and my Sunday rum,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought the Championship would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: they've left, every one;
Pack up the kit and dismantle the squad;
Pour away the lager and sweep up the dead wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good!

And to think, on the very same day that Shafting United sank to the third tier of English football, Warnock won the title in the Championship - with an Argie signed on a Third Party Agreement! You couldn't write it could you?

I do hope the Blunted Blades fans enjoy playing Yeovil, Chesterfield, Hartlepool and Leyton Orient next season!

Parker Already in Bed with the Redknapps!

It didn't take him long did it? Parker was at Stamford Bridge today, as a personal guest of the Redknapps, checking out his team mates for next season.

At least Defoe had the decency to wait until the day after we were relegated to slap in his transfer request. Scotty had his release clause written into the mega contract he signed at the very last moment of last summer's transfer window and, four games before the season's end, is already taking steps towards leaving.

Mr West Ham? You guys make me die! Had Van der Vaart not come on to the market at such a cheap price, Parker probably wouldn't be a West Ham player now - as I have maintained all along; you can bet your house, your wife and your daughter on him not being in Claret & Blue next season, irrespective of whether we stay up or go down.

Remind me, don't we have a game in Manchester tomorrow? So why, exactly is Parker hobnobbing in London with the Redknapps on the evening before the game? Even if he isn't playing - and I'm sure 'Arry will be warning him not to take any risks with his injury - as Brady's Captain Elect, shouldn't he be with the rest of the squad showing moral support?

Did 'Arry present him with the Player of the Year award on the pitch before the game?

Wigan and Blackburn ahead at half time. Let us pray!

God help us!

Sullivan Upsets the Primarkdonnas!

Well give him his due, Sullivan knows how to ruffle feathers which is why he was never allowed inside the Folie Bergeres with a suitcase of his products. Corporal Jones always insisted "They don't like it up them" but Sullivan has made millions proving the exact opposite, and his latest suggestion that the players are already planning their escape routes has, apparently, really got up their holes.

Let's hope the policy works. The players certainly were in need of stimulation and perhaps a Sullivan inserted rampant rabbit is more likely to get a response than a kick up the arse from Grant. He tried something similar last year and suddenly we started winning. Can lightning strike twice? Maybe not, but 9 inches of moulded plastic might just do the trick!

Hate him or hate him, you have to give Sullivan his due. He is an obnoxious runt but he doesn't go down quietly. And speaking of going down, if the Sullivan stick doesn't work, perhaps they could try the Brady carrot!

Princess Katherine Delivers Early Blow to Monarchy

It has to be the most enduring image of the day! Look at the expressions on the face of William and the shocked child!

Friday, 29 April 2011

Sullivan has a conspiracy theory

Sullivan reckons there's a 75% chance that we will go down and reckons there's already an escape committee in the dressing room, digging a tunnel to ensure an escape from the Championship Colditz. Moaning that the players are spoilt, he asks, "How do you motivate millionaires?"

A very interesting question is posed when Sullivan asks if Grant should risk selecting players who are already plotting where they will be playing next season, suggesting that they may not show the necessary passion and commitment to win the final three crucial games to secure our survival.

Sullivan asks, "It’s a very difficult decision. Do you go for players who are committed to the club? If you look at that last game and someone is on a Bosman, will that player risk injury? Some will, some won’t. It depends on the mentality of the player.” You can guess who he is thinking of here, with Upson's contract expiring in the summer.

He pulls no punches when he adds, "I think a lot of the players at West Ham will not want to play in that division. I don’t think it’s going to be easy and you need players who are proven in that division plus some young players who are fearless and who have the energy to play 46 games a season. We have some players who find 38 games very difficult." That only just stops short of accusing certain members of the squad of being lazy bastards!

There's talk of bringing in two 25 goal strikers which is a bit worrying. It's midfielders and defenders we need, something that the Davids have failed to grasp since their arrival.

Warnock & QPR Face 15 Point Deduction

So, Neil Warnock may yet miss out on automatic promotion as the FA impose a 15 point deduction on the Championship leaders for knowingly playing Alejandro Faurlin in breach of Third Party Agreement rules. There's is something wonderfully ironic here, given the rules were tightened after the Tevez affair and Faurlin is, himself, Argentinian.

The fact the Warnock is at the helm is, of course, the icing on the Royal Wedding cake. With Sheffield United looking odds on to drop out of the Championship in the opposite direction and West Ham likely to crash out of the Prem, there seems some sort of divinely organised closure of the Tevez affair here. All we really need is for Carlos to bugger off to Real Madrid in the summer and all trace will have disappeared!

So, our own relegation apart, there will be plenty of smiles from West Ham fans if all this happens, even though we bear no grudge towards QPR - in fact, they were my second team in the days of Bowles, Thomas, Francis and Givens.

However, the joyous reaction might be short sighted. If we do go down, we don't really want QPR staying in the division do we? They would then start favourites to finish top next season. The clubs finishing just outside of the relegation places of the Prem would be delighted to see Norwich and Cardiff coming up automatically.

Then there is the little matter of Warnock himself. If QPR are promoted, he will want to manage in the Prem; but if they stay down, might he not be tempted to move across London to manage West Ham?

Warnock and West Ham, now there is a marriage made in hell!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Sullivan Signals Scotty Sale

So that's it then, if we go down, Parker is out of the door. He may be Mr West Ham for now,but before the summer is out, he will be Mr Tottenham Hotspur or Mr Manchester United, or maybe even Mr Arsenal.

And if we go down, what exactly would we have gained from paying him £80,000 per week since he deigned to sign that contract extension? Relegation by one point is the same as relegation by ten points when all is said and done. We are currently rock bottom so I can't see how our position could be any worse than it is. Had we shipped him out and used the money to strengthen the team, who knows, we might be safe by now.

Sullivan ballsed up when he announced the only player not for sale was Parker. He ballsed up when he rejected offers, holding out for top dollar and forcing Tottenham to turn to Van der Vaart instead. And he has ballsed up now by announcing that top players will have to be sold, making it a buyer's market.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Fingers Crossed for Matty Etherington

I know he blotted his copybook when he took a dive to win the penalty in the quarter final but at least he'd had a bet on himself scoring it, ensuring Green duly made the save! It speaks volumes for the attitude of Etherington and the other Stoke boys that they gave their all yesterday in what was, for them, a meaningless fixture against Wolves, risking injury in the process.

That 3-0 hammering of Wolves was a huge result for us and it would be a crying shame if Etherington were now to be ruled out of the Final against Unreal City. Fingers crossed that the injury isn't too bad and Matty makes it to Wembley. We should never have sold him and have never replaced him on the left of our midfield. Why did he go? Because of Zola's stupid obsession with 4-3-3.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Groundhog Day at Upton Park!

Remember what happened last season? 5 defeats in a row seemed to have condemned us. Well you would have to be a supreme optimist or a bloody idiot to think we will take anything away from the game against Man City - and defeat there will be a carbon copy of last season's five losses on the trot.

To stay up last year we had to beat Sunderland and Wigan and, lo and behold, we play both in our final three games. We won both of course last year. We also drew at home to Blackburn, but without a forward worthy of the name until Zola sent Cole on as a 60th minute sub. True the Wigan game this year isn't at home but our away record against them is better than at Upton Park and we would have won the game on their dung heap last season had Cole's goal, netted one second after the ref blew for half time, counted.

We stayed up last year and we can do it again this year. Keep the faith guys!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Who plays left back at Man City?

The unavailability of Bridge to play against the club that owns his contract poses yet another problem for Grant. As if playing the multi million pound outfit isn't  a big enough of a problem in itself, we now find ourselves going into the game without a specialist left back in the squad. Incredibly, this was always going to happen because we knew about this fixture and still chose to leave Ilunga out of the squad.

So who plays left back? Gabbidon? We know that doesn't work! Spector? Anybody got an abacus to keep a tally of the score? Upson if he is fit? Anybody got a mobility scooter he could borrow? I suppose Grant could destroy Tomkins' confidence once and for all by getting him to fill in at left back, or by moving Jacobsen to the left flank and chucking Tomkins in at right back again. Bugger it, the boy is only a future England player so why does his confidence matter?

It's a mess and it is a mess entirely of our own making. No forward thinking whatsoever. In fact, no defensive forward thinking whatsoever!

Never mind, Gabbidon says we should go out with an attacking attitude so perhaps we won't need defenders! I bet Mancini is shaking in his Armani suit!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

We have ignored our defence at our peril!

Want to know why we are struggling? Because Zola and Grant have failed to replace the Fab 4: McCartney, Neill, Anton and Ginge. I'm not suggesting that any of them individually are or were brilliant, but all teams need a defence that plays as a unit, and since those four departed we have struggled.

It's amazing to think that we amassed nearly £20m from the sale of George, Anton and Ginge, but how much of that was reinvested in the defence? da Costa was just a means of off loading Savio, Jacobsen cost in the region of £1million and Reid will cost £4million if he ever cuts the ice. So next to none of it!

Is it any wonder we have struggled when the defence has been completely ignored for three seasons now? Dear God, we spent last season with only Spector and Faubert as an option for right back and with just Ilunga, Daprela and Spector as options for left back.

This season we have pissed around with Gabbidon and Ben Haim in the full back positions (and Tomkins and Reid of course) and we were even reduced to using Upson as a left back! Meanwhile, we have overloaded with mediocre forwards.

What the whuk is going on? I know Sullivan and Gold love the "money shot" but some times you just have to go with protection. The failure to build a back four has been our undoing.

Are we cursed or crap?

I used to run a joke that Turds had refused to buy a sprig of heather off a gypsy when he arrived at Upton Park to take over, and that's why the wheels came off big time. I mean, only West Ham could be taken over by an Icelandic bank on the eve of a world banking crisis - the first since the Wall Street Crash in the 1920s - centred on bloody Iceland! We went into melt down because idiot bankers were offering sub prime mortgages on igloos in the spring! Now you don't get much unluckier than that!

 If you want to support the cursed theory, surely you have it there in a nutshell! But look what else has happened! Ashton gets called up for England and his career is ended! Dyer breaks his leg against Bristol Rovers. Hitz is named Germany captain and is promptly ruled out for two thirds of the season before he has kicked a ball in anger for the club. Parker goes on England duty - something West Ham fans have called for over the last 3 seasons - and picks up an injury that has restricted him and kept him out of yesterday's game. Then there was Boa's horror injury at the start of last season and Faubert's horror injury the season before and not forgetting Ljungberg's cheese allergy of course. And now O'Neil's career may be over after a horror tackle from, of all people, Reo-Choker, a tackle for which our former captain wasn't even booked! That isn't just a catalogue of bad luck, that feels like a curse to me.

Who else has had a legitimate winning goal, scored with the very last kick of the game, wrongly disallowed? Who else has had a player sent off for celebrating a goal? The bloody gypsy bitch!

Who else could sign one of the best players in the world and find themselves facing a £6million fine and a compo claim of £25m from a no mark club heading now for the old Third Division? That's more than bad luck surely!

It feels like a bloody curse to me. But then I watch us play and think, no, we are just crap!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Guess who is lining up a bid for Parker

Interesting to read that both Ferguson and Wenger have come out to say that Parker deserves his Player of the Year award. Both Arsenal and Man Utd have looked in need of a player with Parker's drive in the centre of midfield this season so maybe, just maybe, they are considering a bid.

The great thing about Scotty's award is that it should add millions to his valuation. If we go down, we desperately need a bidding war to take place, or else there's a danger of Parker going on the cheap, just as Joe Cole did the last time we dropped.

If we could get £15m for him, that would be fantastic business. If...

Chelsea 3 West Ham 0 - Water Polo and the Defence with a Hole!

Well in the end it went to script. Lampard scored, Torres got off the mark, inevitably, and Malouda added a third for good measure. Gabbidon also made a brilliant "goal line" clearance and Luiz rattled the bar with a superb shot from 30 or so yards. Lampard also missed a sitter from inside the six yard box and Malouda should have scored before the game was five minutes old.

All of which makes it sound like another shambolic performance. But it wasn't. Spector could have scored first half after Sears set him up superbly. Sears so nearly scored with a very clever flick and did his best to put one on a plate for Cole, who should have hit it first time but didn't. Keane missed a sitter after being set up brilliantly by Spector and Ba had a good shot that Cech had to parry. da Costa could have scored from a Hitz cross but got under the ball and another header was cleared off the line. Chelsea knew they had been in a game and had it finished 3-3, nobody could have complained!

Did we miss Parker? No. Interestingly.

Of course we were weak at the back again. Chelsea used the ball superbly at times and sliced through our back four with wonderful passes and runs - but somehow we kept them them down to one until well into the second half. It was, in truth, an honourable defeat, especially in conditions that would have had Noah excited!

But it was still a defeat and we did ship three and we are rock bottom so thank God the other results went our way. Wigan's defeat was huge and Wolves and Blackpool both took one point from games in which they should have taken three. If we beat Sunderland, Blackburn and Wigan we will definitely stay up. Sounds easy like that doesn't it?

Player Ratings:

Green 8; Jacobsen 5, da Costa 5, Gabbidon 6, Bridge 6; Sears 7, Noble 6, Spector 6, Hitz 6, Ba 6; Cole 5 Subs Keane 5, Piquionne 4, Obinna 4

This game should be called off!

The ball is stopping in puddles and Essien and Noble have both picked up injuries. Abandon the game Dowd!

Grant has gone barmy again. Keane on for Noble! Derrrrr!!!!!

Half Time Chelsea 1 West Ham 0 - Guess who scored?

Well all the Scotty Parker fans might like to take note of that Lampard finish. It was a deliciously constructed goal and Fat Frank feasted on the Cole cross, burying the chance with his usual aplomb. Why aren't Chelsea going to win the title this season? Because Lampard has missed so many games. THAT is the measure of the man. West Ham fans taunted him when he was at the club and have hounded him since his departure, but with Lampard in the team we wouldn't be in the bottom three would we?

And with Lampardin our team we would be ahead. Spector made a hash of a superb Sears cross, opting to head a ball that he should have lashed home with his right foot. Full credit to Specs for getting there and for forcing the save, but Lampard would have buried that chance too!

Sears also nearly scored a Zolaesque goal, with a clever back flick on the volley. Had that gone in, Chelsea would have got really angry, of course, but taking the lead would have been exciting for as long as it lasted!

We so nearly made it to half time level, but Malouda should have scored inside the first five minutes. Green closed him well but had it been Lampard and not Malouda, it would have opened the floodgates. In fact had it been Alonso or Anelka, it would have been game over.

We are battling hard but it remains to be seen how much fight there really is in the team now we are behind. My money would be on Chelsea scoring three second half without us replying, but who knows? Ba may let fly and pull us level. Here's hoping!

But I hope they keep an eye on the goal difference and remember that wins against Blackburn, Sunderland and Wigan will keep us up. Keep the score down lads, keep the score down, and if a chance comes along...

Grant Goes for Comedy Award with Team Selection!

Did you hear the one about the sex mad Jew, the foul mouthed Welshman, the woman thumping Portuguese, the loveable American and the little kid from down Newham way? Ancelotti has and the guy is creased up in stitches!

Tomkins is on the bench and Gabbidon plays? Against Drogba? Grant must be having a laugh! How much has he staked on us to go down for God's sake?

The team, if you can call it a team, reads:

Green: Jacobsen, da Costa, Gabbidon, Bridge; Sears, Noble, Spector, Hitz, Ba; Cole

Dear God, he might as well have picked Boffin and had done with it! Can anybody tell me what Tomkins did wrong when playing at centre back? I can tell you what Gabbidon has done wrong every time he has played!

Parker the Anchor

Inevitably, West Ham fans are jumping to the defence of the decision to crown Parker as Player of the Year and the arguments now appear to centre on Parker's energy, drive, pass completion rate and tackling. So let's look at those shall we?

I don't have stats to hand for miles covered but headless chickens run around a lot and if Parker's primary role is to hold, which is the main defence for his low assists and goals scored, then he shouldn't cover that much ground anyway. He was superb for England against Wales because he dropped anchor and held. I bet he covered less ground in that match than he has in any West Ham game this season, because he played with discipline and according to strict instructions from Capello.

On the tackling front, Parker does have a good record, figuring in the top five in the Prem with 116 tackles and has a high success rate of 77%.  But look at the players around him! In that particular table are Lucas (147 tackles) Vaughan of Blackpool (121 with the same completion rate as Parker), Holden of Bolton (117) and Alcaraz of Wigan (110). I include the clubs of some of those in case you don't know who they are! None of those would be in the frame for Player of the Year would they?

Who doesn't figure in that list? Essien, Terry, Vidic, Kompany, Yaya Toure...Why? Well they always said of the great Bobby Moore that he never tackled because he read the game so well. Arguably, the need to tackle is evidence of failure: the best players read the game and avoid having to tackle because of positional discipline. How else do you explain that top 5? Outside of Parker they are all yard dogs! And this is the only top 5 list that Parker appears in!

Here's another stat! Parker has committed 40 fouls apparently; that's 4 more than Joey Barton! How many of those fouls have resulted in goals against us? How many of those fouls were because Parker tackles to retrieve a situation rather than using skill and judgement to head off the need to tackle in the first place? There's a thought! Who would you rather have Essien or Vaughan? Essien or Holden? Essien or Lucas? Essien or Alcaraz? That sort of suggests that the top tacklers category is not the most instructive doesn't it?

Arguably, the pass completion stat is pointless because so many passes are short, sideways and backwards. For example, Wigan have clocked up 9950 "successful" passes and Blackpool 10202 but Everton only 9597 and Bolton just 7226 - and look at their relative positions in the table! Assists is far more relevant! However, for the record, the top five for passing are Murphy 2050 (80% completion rate),  Essien 1938 (87%), Ferguson 1855 (81%), Adam 1681 (72%) and Clichy 1624 (80%). So Parker aint in the top 5 there is he? Look at Essien's completion rate! That is class!

I am not suggesting here that Parker is not a good player, simply saying that he is NOT the Player of the Year. Adam has scored more, assisted more and made more passes, playing for a pub team! Nolan's goals and assists have kept Newcastle up. Essien and Nani stand out as the class players of the season. Parker has shown drive and passion but is that enough? He only figures in one top 5 list, for tackles, and the others in that list indicate that it isn't the best company to be found in.

The decision was daft. Never mind Parker, the football writers have proved themselves a bunch of anchors!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Parker Footballer of the Year? Absurd!

Well the game really has gone crazy! All those journos that hate West Ham and that West Ham fans hate, have contrived to vote Scott Parker Footballer of the Year, giving him the nod over the player's choice, Gareth Bale. Whilst Bale, himself, is a curious choice for the PFA Player of the Year, the selection of Parker is positively perverse!

Where are West Ham in the table? Second from bottom with a very good chance of propping up the entire division come 7 p.m. on Saturday. And yet our "most influential" and "inspirational" player is picking up the gong! On that basis, we should pay out on last past the post in the Grand National and put the last three in a Grand Prix on the podium! How has he "influenced" and "inspired" us exactly? Influenced and inspired us to finish bottom? Brilliant!

Look at his record! How many Prem goals has he scored? Five. Adam has scored 9 in an inferior team. Bale has scored 7 in less games. Cahill of Everton has bagged 9. Malouda has netted 12 and Lampard 7. Nani has 9 . Nasri has 10. Yaya Toure has bagged 5. Gardner has netted 7 for Birmingham. And a certain Kevin Nolan, playing in midfield for newly promoted Newcastle has scored an amazing 12!

But playing in midfield is more about creating chances isn't it? Well Parker has assisted just 3 times in the Prem all season! That means that if all 11 players contributed in the same way, including the centre backs and keeper - who have other duties - then the maximum goals for column would read just 33 from 30 games (the number Parker has played in)! In fact we have scored 39 in 33, showing that, statistically, Parker isn't even OUR most influential player!

Compare Parker's 3 assists with others and it becomes embarrassing! Nani has 18 assists,  Fabregas 13, Baines, a left back, 11, Brunt, for newly promoted West Brom, 11,  Etheringon (who has scored 5) 8,  Yaya Toure 7, and Adam, in Blackpool's pub team, 7!

But Parker is a holding midfielder, his job is to stop the opposition scoring! Ouch, we have shipped 58 goals this season, which is why we face relegation! Parker has also been booked 7 times, the joint highest of any player at the club.

Look at the Cups and Gardner has helped Birmingham to a trophy whilst Etherington has played a leading role in getting Stoke through to a Cup Final.

Nolan's contribution, unquestionably is the difference between Newcastle staying up and going down. Add his 12 goals and 7 assists to our total and we wouldn't be going down. Exchange Parker's 8 for Nolan's 19 and Newcastle would be in the drop zone, without question.

The contenders amongst the midfielders should have been Nani, Etherington, Gardner, Adam, Toure and Nolan and the Newcastle man should have carried off the gong on the basis of inspiration and influence, the very things that Parker is praised for.

Where would we be with Nolan in our team? Mid table.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Monkey Business at the PFA

Gareth Bale, PFA Player of the year? They're having a giraffe. Yes he had a great first half of the season but what has he done since Christmas? True he has been injured, but when he has appeared, his performances have been decidedly patchy. It's a daft decision in my book.

Still it proves that old adage, "If you give an infinite number of chimps a football, one of them will end up writing the complete works of Shakespeare or being voted  PFA Player of the Year"!

Academy Star Vose Career At Risk

Would you believe it? Dominic Vose was scheduled to be the next off the Academy conveyor belt, a future star of the Premiership. But now a promising career is in serious danger of being nipped in the bud. Why? Because he has been arrested for the suspected rape of a 16 year old at a party.

I know we will hear the usual, that there's two sides to every story, that he hasn't had his day in court, blah, blah, blah but it doesn't bode well does it? Have you ever been arrested for suspected rape? I certainly haven't! I sincerely hope the boy is innocent. I sincerely hope the girl hasn't been raped. I do wonder about the "justice" of this being reported in the press ahead of a trial. But if he has done it, well he deserves everything he gets doesn't he? Just imagine the girl was your daughter or sister.

You have to wonder if Vose has been cleaning da Costa's boots and picking up a few tips. The serious point here is that if the Senior players are allowed to set such an appalling example, is it any wonder if the kids go astray?

Further evidence, I'm afraid, that the club is a complete and utter mess.

Dyer Shock

The football world has been rocked by the unbelievable news that Kieran Dyer has been sidelined with yet another injury. After being recalled from his loan at Ipswich, Mr Dependable was given a run out for the stiffs against Bolton and lasted all of 20 minutes.

Fans of West Ham will be devastated by the shock news. With Parker missing the game against Villa and Da Costa and O'Neil forced off by injury, this shocking news about Dyer was the last thing the relegation threatened club needed.

Dyer, who recently claimed he was not injury prone, can now put his feet up for the rest of the season and look forward to the summer.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Carlton Cole Makes Speedy Recovery

Every time they hit the keyboard, our "heroes" in Claret and Blue put their size twelves in dog shit. Carlton has been quiet for a couple of days - unlike the ranting Gabbidon - and today issued an apology, explaining: "Sorry ive not been tweeting these last couple of days, just been upset about the game on the weekend, back to myself again!"

Glad to hear it Carlton. Glad to hear that losing a vital game hasn't got you down too badly. Glad to hear that three days later you are back to yourself again. But then why wouldn't you be? Let's face it, if we go down, you won't be travelling to Scunthorpe and Huddersfield next season will you? No, that will just be the silly arse fans who pay your wages, the vast majority of whom are very far from 'back to themselves' after suffering that abysmal performance on Saturday. Where will you be based next season do you think Carlton? Sunderland? QPR? Everton? Newcastle?

Still Carlton, reading your Tweets makes up for all the misery. We can't wait to hear from you after defeats at Chelsea and Man City!

Probert & Pardew Best of Pals

It was very interesting to see Pardew and referee Probert leaving the Newcastle tunnel at the end of half time chatting away, sharing a joke and parting in fits of laughter. One can only guess what was being said. Perhaps Pardew said, "Just imagine Ferguson's face up there in the stands if, in time added on, you turned down a strong United claim for a penalty!"

Well, 92nd minute, Hernandez went over in the box under challenge from Simpson, and the Mexican was booked for diving. Simpson didn't get the ball, was challenging from behind and definitely caught Chiquitita. It was a penalty in my book.

And was that a wink that Probert gave to Pardew as he pulled out the yellow card? And was that Pardew on the touchline doubled up in laughter?

One thing's for sure, Fergie was not amused!

da Costa Charge Puts Rooney's Tirade Into Perspective

Rooney scores and hurls abuse down a television camera; and is banned for two games. da Costa admits physically assaulting a woman - and is allegedly accused of a sexual assault that he denies - and yet, injury aside, would be available for selection.

Tell me, what's worse? Cole faces an FA charge for a joke on Twitter. Gabbidon may well follow for an F word ranting Tweet. And yet on Saturday, there was da Costa, playing with total impunity, a couple of days ahead of a hearing regarding allegations of sexual and physical abuse of a woman - and da Costa isn't denying the latter charge! Meanwhile Rooney sat out an FA Cup semifinal for an F word rant.

And it gets worse! Apparently, Keane could be in breach of contract for hopping on a motor bike; interestingly, that is forbidden specifically, whilst going to a nightclub, getting tanked up and lamping a woman isn't seemingly. Confused values perhaps?

But put all this to one side and ask yourself, what sense was there in picking da Costa whilst all this was going on? Would it be surprising if his concentration and focus were not one hundred percent in the circumstances? He should not be allowed anywhere near a football pitch until he has been sentenced in my opinion - for moral and ethical reasons and from the point of view that he is unlikely to be mentally attuned to the game he is involved in.

And finally, the incident again highlights everything that is wrong at West Ham. Down the years Faces has been a favoured haunt and Essex girls flock there looking to lay a player. Is it any wonder that things go wrong when the club don't even employ a couple of minders at the club to keep an eye on what is going on? Another example of crass stupidity in my book.

So Rooney scores and swears; and is banned. da Costa doesn't score and assaults a woman; and isn't. The game has gone crazy again!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Da Costa Pleads Guilty - The Rest Can Now Stand In Line!

So, da Costa has pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman - and what sort of low life scum does that make him exactly? I've had a few bundles in my life but I've never once raised my hand to a woman. What decent man would?

The Portuguese scum bag will now stand trial on September 22nd which is just perfect for next season! The nightmare goes on and on and on.

And now da Costa has pleaded guilty, hopefully the rest will follow suit, hanging their heads in shame and admitting to betraying the fans and the club that pays their wages. Matthew Upson. Guilty as charged. Mark Noble. Guilty as charged. Carlton Cole. Guilty as charged. Danny Gabbidon. Guilty as charged. Wayne Bridge...

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Wheels coming off big time! Appoint Allardyce!

Anybody else remember Family Favourites? Every Sunday on Radio 2, you could guarantee three songs would be played at the request of doting parents for their darling offspring: Puff the Magic Dragon, The Little White Bull and Three Wheels on my Wagon. Well all three could stand alongside Bubbles as our club song at the moment.

Every time Grant opens his mouth, out comes bull; the whole team play like Puff; and as for the wagon, wheels are coming off as every game goes by. Not so long ago we thumped Liverpool and hope coursed through the veins; then Grant started to bugger with the team. First time, for Stoke, it made perfect sense; so much so that I acclaimed his tactical nounce. But since then he has come over all Ranieri, buggering around with the team and tactics unnecessarily and leaving the team utterly bemused and disheartened.

Now Gabbidon has cracked, firing off a volley at West Ham fans and resigning from Twitter. It's no great loss, he hasn't ever written anything interesting, but it speaks volumes for the psychological cracks appearing. Yesterday, Cole wore a face of resignation all afternoon, smiling in disbelief every time a pass went astray. The team looked like a ship without a captain, without sails, without a boson, without an engine and, most serious of all, without any charts. In short, the "performance" was farcical. Look at today. Bolton thumped us 3-0 last week and looked superb; today they were hammered 5-0 by Stoke. That says it all!

The players have no confidence in Grant and no love for him either. We are going down if he stays in charge. Can anybody replace him for three games? Allardyce might give it a go for a hefty "Keep us up" bonus. I'd tolerate him for three matches and would back him to get us out of the Championship should we still go down. It is now time to shunt principles into a siding and back pragmatism.

Grant Talks Total Boll***s!

Listen to the idiot! Ahead of the games against Chelsea and Man City Grant said, "We have won against big teams this season so we can do it. We will fight."

Have we? Who? The "big teams" are Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City. In the Prem we have lost:  0-3 and 2-4 to Man Utd; 0-1 and 0-3 to Arsenal; 1-3 to Man City; and 1-3 to Chelsea.

So, in total we have played 6 and lost six, scoring 4 and conceding 17!

So what the fcuk is Grant talking about? That League Cup victory at home to Man Utd Reserves or is he now counting Tottenham a "big team"? If so, he is going to be even more unpopular amongst the fans than he already is; if that is possible. Or maybe he is counting Liverpool. Well we are away from home in both games and away to Liverpool we lost 0-3!

Watching that performance yesterday, I have no hope for the next two games. We have to try to keep the goal difference down in my opinion and pray that rivals lose, keeping us in touch for the last three games. If Grant believes we can win and plays 4-3-3, then expect Torres to score 5!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

West Ham 1 Aston Villa 2 - Brainless, Gutless, Pathetic

Well I have defended Grant and I have defended Noble but there can be no defence now. Today we were abject. Totally and utterly abject. Yes we took the lead but we never looked like holding on to it did we? And once Villa were level, courtesy of crass stupidity from Noble as he did a Parker turn on the edge of his own box and lost the ball, there was only ever going to be one winner.

What did we create second half? There was a free kick won for a Collins push on Cole; and Ba passed it to the keeper. And there was a Green hoof down field which Cole got on the end of, but he was never going to score was he, arms and legs and head flailing like somebody pushed from an aeroplane? Apart from that, nothing.

But is there any surprise about that when Grant chose to play with only two in midfield? What the fcuk was he doing, sending on Hines for Obinna and Ba for O'Neil? Hines? The kid is Championship at best and had no right to be out on the pitch in such a crucial game. And having sent him on ahead of Ba, why in God's name did Grant then replace the injured O'Neil with yet another forward? How did he think we were going to create opportunities and how on earth did he think we were going to stop the supply down the flanks for Villa? Grant was out thought by Houllier for Christ's sake, that's like being outpunched by Audley Harrison!

I despair. Zola was stupid at times but I don't think even he was THIS stupid. Grant effectively said to Villa, come and score a second. Green made a fabulous save to keep out Young and another just before the goal, but when the cross was returned from out on our left, with nobody closing inevitibly, I'vebonkedawhore was between Gabbidon and Jacobsen and allowed to head home unchallenged. Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.

What is there to say about the game? Villa deserved to win by a wider margin. Cole forced a goodish save first half and Keane was clever when netting our opener but, that apart, we were hopeless. Truly hopeless.

Tell me, why are we incapable of closing out crosses and defending a high ball into our box? Lee scored with a header last week; Bent and Ivebonkedawhore this week; dear God, last game of last season, Wright-Phillips headed a goal. It happens wek after week after week and still it isn't sorted on the training field. Unbelievable as Hansen will no doubt say on MOTD tonight.

So now those three wins have to come against Sunderland, Blackburn and Wigan away, and even then we might go down. But, to be honest, we deserve to. The club has been appallingly run, appallingly managed and appallingly represented for far too long now. We were lucky to stay up last year and our luck is running out this. God help us if we go down because I can't see who would be stupid enough to take this load of shit off our wage bill. Leeds United springs to mind!

And one last thing, if Grant blames individual mistakes, the interviewer MUST ask, "What about your mistake with the substitutions and team selection? Surely that's where the buck stops?"
Player ratings:

Green 7, Jacobsen 4, da Costa 6, Upson 5, Bridge 5; O'Neil 6, Hitz 5, Noble 0, Obinna 3; Cole 5, Keane 6  Subs: Gabbidon 5, Hines 3, Ba 4

Has Grant Lost His Marbles?

We currently have Keane, Cole, Ba and Hines on the pitch. Do we have a midfield? Crazy, bloody crazy.

Half Time 1 Aston Villa 1 - Noble puts us on the ropes

That was a pretty average first half if we are honest. Keane took his goal superbly and I think he was onside, marginally. Cole had a good shot well saved. Hitz tried an ambitious chip. Obinna had a couple of opportunities to make more when in advanced positions, but apart from that, we haven't looked too hot and every time Villa get the ball, I'm worried.

Once again, we are making crass errors. Bent had a goal disallowed for climbing on Jacobsen; on another day it could have been given. But the point is, the chance came after a dreadful attempt at a clearance from the Dane. As for the goal, Noble tried to do a Parker turn on the edge of his own box and lost the ball, in came the cross and Bent headed home. Easy peasy, thanks to crass decision making from Noble. I have defended him often enough in the past but there's no defence possible here. It was a terrible mistake plain and simple.

I am worried that we have allowed Young to come inside and shoot, apparently unaware of the threat he poses and that Bent is moving into gaps superbly. he looks a much better player than Cole at the moment! To be honest, if having a bet, it would have to be on Villa. I think we will be lucky to get the draw.

One last thing, Bent should have been off for that foul on da Costa. God knows what damage was done but it could have snapped an Achiles. It was a blatant stamp on the back of the heel.

Still no Tomkins. Obinna in, Ba out.

So, Grant has definitely come over all Ancelloti, not knowing which of his strikers he prefers. One week it is Piquionne, Keane and Ba and the next it is Cole and Keane. I called for these two for this game so I'm not moaning about that.

The introduction of Obinna is interesting. I trust it signals a return to 4-4-2 whilst revealing the paucity of cover for left midfield. Collison isn't ready, Dyer is Dyer, Boa seems to have been written off so Obinna is the only option.

The persistence with da Costa at the expense of Tomkins is, in my opinion, stupid. I fear Bent will find space between  the slow of feet Upson and the slow of thought da Costa, and that could cost us. Although Tomkins isn't on the bench and so presumably is injured.



Jacobsen, da Costa, Upson, Bridge

O'Neil, Noble, Hitz, Obinna

Cole Keane

One last thought, who holds in midfield?

Brady Opens her Big Fat Gob and Invites Disaster

I have no problems with Brady slamming McBenni and telling the world that he was a big fat mistake - as if we didn't know! - but how stupid was it to add, "It could be worse as across the river Fernando Torres, at £50million, remains as thin as two yards of pumpwater and has not scored either"?

I would already have laid a tenner on Torres to score his first goal for Chelsea against us - I bet he's been confiding in friends, "I'm not too worried, West Ham are coming up" - now, courtesy of Brady, I reckon he's a good bet to bag a hat-trick!

Silly cow!

4-3-3 Today Spells Disaster!

4-3-3 has been the curse of West Ham for two seasons now. Zola was obsessed with it and dispensed with the services of Etherington because he didn't fit the shape, bringing in Jimenez and Diamanti who didn't fit the Prem. Time and again, Zola reached for the formation and time and again it failed, so he reverted to 4-4-2 but with square pegs in round holes, which failed too.

Cue Grant and I expected better; I expected common sense and pragmatism; I expected a manager who looked at his available resources and picked a team accordingly, rather than start with a formation and force players into it, regardless of suitability. Sadly, that's not what we've got.

The team selected to play Bolton wasn't just poor it was stupid. Bolton attack down the flanks, so you have to protect your full backs. Protect them? Grant didn't even pick a specialist  right back, instead he went 4-3-3 using Piquionne and Ba to "screen" Bridge and Tomkins. I saw the team and accepted defeat immediately; there was no way in a million years that the selected team could win at Bolton. Add in the fact that Keane has NEVER fitted successfully into a 4-3-3 formation and you end up concluding that Grant's "thinking" was crass.

Now regular readers of this blog will know that I have been reluctant to condemn Grant. You can't change managers every season and you can't judge a guy too early after he has inherited a mess - as Grant unquestionably did. I gave Zola until December of his second season before I started the campaign to get him sacked - and at the time I was something of a lone voice! The trouble with Grant is that he is almost certainly going at the end of the season anyway, with a nice little number at Chelsea on the back burner. And, like Zola, he seems to have become obsessed with 4-3-3, the formation of the gods but a formation that tests mere mortals beyond their point of endurance.

If we play 4-3-3 today against Young and Downing, I fear we will be murdered. Our first priority must be to contain these two and try to cut off the supply to Bent. If we give them space and time, they will hurt us. Remember back to August? We were cut to ribbons and Villa literally could have scored ten. Who played right back that day? Reid! If Grant starts a centre back at right back today, he should be shot. Literally.

4-4-2 is the only answer and the formation should be conservative, with Boa ahead of Obinna in my opinion. And then there is the problem of who plays up front. I suspect Ba has now been found out. It was a great start but how good is he? Like Obinna, maybe not as good as we believed at first. I would go with  Keane and one of Cole and Piquionne personally. Not the most exciting of combinations, I accept, but functional.

To win, we have to grind out a result today and not winning is close to unthinkable. Blackpool v Wigan is a nightmare fixture, promising one or both of the relegation "certainties" a point or points. If we lose today, the mountain becomes Everest like in proportions. We then HAVE to beat Blackburn, Sunderland and Wigan to survive.

It aint looking good. If I see 4-3-3 as a formation at 2.30, I may have to accept that Grant is as big a cnut as Zola!

My team for today:


Jacobsen, Tomkins, Upson, Bridge

O'Neil, Noble, Hitz, Boa (or Dyer)

Cole, Keane 

Parker Out Of Crucial Villa Game

It never rains but it pours. Scotty hasn't looked right since the England game against Wales and now we know why. He is struggling with an Achilles injury and has been ruled out of the game with Villa.

Who steps in? I would go 4-4-2 personally, with Boa on the left and O'Neil on the right but don't be surprised to see 4-3-3 with Kovac holding. Yes Kovac. Remember him? Lumbering, blond, useless...

Friday, 15 April 2011

Kick Out the Tottenham Yiddo Taunts

At last action is being taken against the "Yid Army" and "Yiddo" counter taunts at Tottenham games. I am sick to death of hearing the defence that because some mindless idiots on the Tottenham terraces chant "Yid Army", it excuses the foul racism that is directed not just against Spurs fans but against Jews in general.

I have campaigned on here and on other sites for this foul practice to end and was moved to complain to Chelsea FC when a steward completely ignored disgusting anti Semitic abuse directed at Ben Thatcher - not because he is a Jew but because he used to play for Spurs (he was wearing Man City colours at the time). Now, given Thatcher was a footballing thug, I had no issue with him being targeted from the terraces, but the abuse was all centred around his Tottenham connections and was all anti Semitic and racist in nature. At the time, "Kick It Out" slogans were displayed all around the ground and there were clear warnings that racism would lead to expulsion and arrest.

Now, at long last, the Kick It Out organisation have taken up the cudgel and our old friend Frank Lampard is fronting the campaign. The ex Hammer said, "For some reason some fans still shout the Y-word," in the new Kick It Out video message being sent to clubs. "Some might think it's just a bit of a laugh, but racist chanting is against the law. It's against the law to call someone the Y-word on the street."

Donna Cullen, the Tottenham executive director has attempted to defend Tottenham fans chanting Yid Army but is on a dodgy wicket. The club should take the lead by banning the chant amongst its own fans so an excuse is not given to rivals. "The Y-Word" video fronting the campaign features an internet clip of fans hissing, "Spurs are on their way to Auschwitz ... Hitler's going to gas them again" and Cullen said, "It is unthinkable and wholly unacceptable that in this day and age supporters are subjected to anti-Semitic abuse such as hissing to imitate the gas chambers used during the Holocaust."

She is right, but with Israeli soldiers killing Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, you have to wonder at the wisdom of a "Yid Army" chant in the first place.

The easy way to put this into context is to ask what would happen if a team's fans were to take up a chant of "Nigger Army" (because they had an all black team perhaps) and if rival fans responded with monkey and Ku Klux Klan chants. There would a public outcry immediately.

Well done to Kick It Out for acting on this at long last. But why did it take so long?

Thursday, 14 April 2011

West Ham 14 Spurs 0 Provokes Legal Challenge!

Well it was bad enough that we won the two leg Premiership battle 1-0, so denting the mighty Warmspurs' bid to secure Champions League football next season, so I suppose the 14-0 hammering in the OPLC vote had to provoke some sort of response from the Cockyfools. Never can Spurs be accused of losing gracefully, so the "Judicial Review" they are now seeking was inevitable.

Not that they don't have a case! I can't understand personally why Newham felt the £40million loan was justifiable. Let's face it, if we stayed at Upton Park and Tottenham moved to Stratford, the borough would suddenly boast two Premiership teams instead on one, which would surely be a boost to employment and commerce in Newham wouldn't it?

So Newham Council have put West Ham ahead of respite care for the disabled, and once weekly refuse collection, and local libraries and goodness knows what else, in order to reduce employment and business opportunities in the borough. Odd don't you think, if you put aside the Claret & Blue tinted glasses?

Mind you, I'm not sure what Hearn thinks he will gain by joining forces with Spurs in this challenge. Does he really want Tottenham on his doorstep instead of West Ham? How would that help Orient exactly? It sounds to me like potting the yellow and snookering yourself behind the black!

One thing is for sure, now lawyers are involved, costs are going to climb. How much will the council tax payers of Newham have to cough up as the council seek to defend the decision? And how much will it cost the club if this develops into a protracted legal battle?

This could get very, very messy!

Carlton Cole Asks Searching Question About Tactics

There no pulling the wool over Carlton's eyes is there? After years of watching Bond movies, West Ham's very own shaken but not stirred has hit upon a major flaw in the tactics of Bond's villains. The Claret & Blue Q enquires, "Why do James bond villains always kill their brother, best friend immediately but when they met bond they keep him alive & reveal their plan" (sic).

Good point Carlton. But we could ask back, "Why do Carlton Cole shots always hit the back of the net in training but when he meets a Premiership keeper he pauses and pauses & reveals his plan, allowing the keeper to make an easy save and keeping the opposition alive?"

Two of life's great imponderables eh Carlton? 

Benni Attacks Grant

Pausing his eating to speak to journalists, The Benni Mass Index has fired off a parting volley at Avram, accusing the Israeli of not talking to his players enough. In a dig that has echoes of Ashton's claim that Zola didn't make contact with him through the long months of his injury and Neill's claim that the Italian ignored him whilst he was out of contract, McBenni has moaned that he cannot remember the last time Grant spoke to him and opined that Grant could "help his position if he'd maybe take a little bit more time to speak to players more".

Before stuffing another burger into his mouth, McGut however accepted some blame himself, admitting, "I let myself down. I just went hiding under a rock because I couldn't deal with the fact I was injured. I never trained how I could train because obviously I was out for two months (with a calf injury) so I wasn't allowed to train or anything - it was just treatment, treatment, treatment."

Well, treatment, treatment, treatment and eating, eating, eating eh Benni?

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

How long before Defoe demands a transfer?

This can't continue surely? With Tottenham needing to score five to progress - hang on, I will continue typing when I've finished laughing - 'Arry sent out a team with only Pavlyuchenko up top.

How insulting was that for Judas? Crouch wasn't available so the little shit must have expected a start; but no, 'Arry preferred to back Roman to do the job, supported by Huddlestone - you know, the guy with the worst goals to shots ratio in the Prem!

Defoe aint going to be happy is he? We all know he is a legend in his own mind, so seeing the likes of Carroll and Bent ahead of him in the queue to partner Rooney for England is going to rankle something rotten.

Expect Defoe to demand a move soon, and if Tottenham finish outside the top four, for Bale, Van der Vaart and Modric to follow his example in the summer.

But never mind, Tottenham will still have Gomes!

Has Sullivan banned players from Tweeting?

Suddenly it has all gone quiet on the Tweeting front. With Tottenham playing Real Madrid, you would  have expected Carlton to be tweeting fit to explode a puddy tat, but no, there's been an eerie silence since Zavon Hines made his bid to stand shoulder to shoulder with Shakespeare with his highly esoteric,  "Liverpool is playing really well.. " on Monday night. Hopefully, Zavon was sent back to school on Tuesday to study for his English GCSE!

Has Sullivan put an embargo on tweeting I wonder? If so, how are Carlton's 40,000 followers going to get through the day without reading such gems as, "Gonna make a playlist for the ipod. Any suggestions?" and "Watching the golf last night reminded me of us, Tiger fought right til the end, even when the chips were down, we av2 do the same as a team."

The trouble is Carlton, Tiger "fought right til the end" but bloody lost!

Burger King Commemorate Benni's Departure

Following McBenni's departure from West Ham and probable announcement of his retirement from competitive football - 12 months after he actually stopped playing - Burger King have launched the 1,160 calorie Meat Monster burger by way of a tribute.

In between the sesame seed bun, you will find two hamburgers, a chicken breast fillet, two slices of processed cheese and three rashers of bacon, and all disguised by salad trimmings on top.The monster combi burger - the highest calorie burger available from any of the major take away chains - is retailing at a cool £6 per coronary inducer, which means that Benni can tuck in to 333,333 before he exhausts his reputed £2million pay off!

A spokesman for Burger King said, "We are hopeful that Benni will spend a fair slice of his settlement in our wonderful eateries. The Meat Monster should be right up his street given his BMI, the Benni Mass Index."

Time to Give Up!

It is not big or clever but honestly I am way past all that when it comes to West Ham’s history of flaccid performance in the north-west. I am going on strike.

For a whole seven days I’ll not intentionally read a word about the team, club etc; I suspend my support in disgust. Last year when I read a Bolton blog entitled – ‘Oh Good, it is West Ham time’, I burned with an impotent rage and shame because, living in the North West, I appreciated the sentiment. What I cannot get my head around is the consistent level of failure at the likes of Bolton, Everton, Liverpool, City and United.

OK, you don’t expect much change from City and United these days but the ways the other three have played in the last decade it is not unreasonable to expect the team to appear as at least up for it. What the poor sods who trail up the M6 year in year out to witness these, well, witless performances I can only imagine.

Every team in the league represents a potential pot of six points and in that sense it matters not where they come from, except every manager will look at the fixture list and mentally prepare the team for points in some games or runs of matches, than others.

Could I suggest that preparing the team to go for the kill at least at Goodison, The Reebok (the theatre of pain as I call it) and Anfield would have a beneficial knock-on. I don’t know if Saturday’s debacle was down to Grant’s tactics, individual players or a collective paralysis brought on by the threat of relegation but I’ve had enough. Seven days, definitely- and if I feel better I’ll go for more. In fact I think I could save myself heartache and strife if only I could manage to avoid all news of West Ham and relegation until the fixtures come out in the summer.

Childish perhaps but after 45 years I owe it to myself, my blood pressure and my sanity.

(Contributed by Kevin in Manchester)

Benni McCarthy - The Last of Zola's Follies! Well almost!

Look at the current squad at West Ham and what strikes you most? The most incredible thing for me is that, Kovac and da Costa apart, there isn't a single player in the listed 25 that was signed by the Nani-Zola-Clarke-Duxbury axis - and, as we all know, Kovac will only be used in a dire emergency. True, Ilunga is still at the club, but he might as well not be because we can't play him. Supporters of Zola will point to da Costa, but our record is poor when he is in the team and, anyway, he was taken as a way out of the Savio hole dug by Nani and Zola, not for any especially positive reason.

Players came under Zola and players went under Zola, and look at the net effect! Collins scored a crucial goal for Villa on Sunday and would walk into our present team. Etherington helped knock us out of the Cup and will wear Stoke's colours at Wembley at the weekend. How we could do with him on the left of our midfield at the moment, taking on the full back and whipping in crosses. Neill is too old now but would have been useful last season. Neill, Faubert or Spector at right back? It may be Hobson's choice but I know who Hobson would opt for!

Let's go on. Bowyer scored again at the weekend and is a League Cup winner for Birmingham. His goal against us at St Andrews turned the tie and his goal at Blackburn may be vital in keeping Birmingham in the Prem. Wouldn't he be a better squad option than Boa or Kovac? If you spend more than 5 seconds puzzling out the answer to that one then you know sweet FA about football!

Bellamy? Replaced by Savio? And eventually by McCarthy? Not really worthy of discussion is it? But I accept that one was forced on Zola. My issue is that he didn't fight, he didn't complain, he didn't stand up to Duxbury, he didn't fight for the fans and the rest of the players in his squad. He accepted. And that act of betrayal and the selling of Collins destroyed the squad's self belief.

Davenport is another interesting one. Obviously we have to put to one side what happened with the stabbing but Davenport's fate at West Ham was sealed anyway. And why? Because he spoke out when dropped. Well Cole wouldn't have started a game since October on that basis would he? The petulance of Zola here was incredible, even to the point of being slow to express support for Downpipe as he lay in hospital in danger of losing a leg. The fact is, Davenport was unlucky to be dropped at the time - not that I ever rated him - and showed desire when he complained. Zola over reacted, dropped him and sent him out on loan.

Then there is the catalogue of in outs, in outs, shake them all abouts. Daprela, Diamanti, Di Michele, Tristan, Franco, Jimenez, Mido, Ilan, Lastpickever, Savio and Lopez. I accept that Nani is accountable more than Zola, but who was supposed to be manager? Why wasn't there more foot stamping?

McCarthy is absolutely down to Zola, a monument to the Follies of Zola. Sullivan didn't want to sign him but Zola pleaded. Yes Zola pleaded for McBenni. He didn't plead to keep Bellamy. He didn't plead to keep Collins. He didn't even bother to phone Lucas to try to persuade him to stay. He made it clear to Etherington and Bowyer that they didn't figure in his plans. He decimated a decent squad and we are where we are now because of 18 months of  the Folies Zolaire!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

McBenni Eats His Contract & Swallows His Pride

What a phenomenal waste of money! Those who still seek to defend Zola should be required to fund a statue of McCarthy in the foyer of the Mcdonald's franchise at the new Olympic Stadium, for it was the bumbling Italian who pressed for McCarthy to be signed, on Clarke's recommendation, insisting he was the man to keep us in the Prem.

Three starts later, with no goals scored, McBenni has been duped into eating his contract after Sullivan coated it in curry sauce and stuffed it inside half a loaf, treating the tubby tosser to his favourite Bunny Chow calorie accumulator.

How much has McBenni cost us? God only knows! He was signed for £2million plus and was on wages in excess of £40,000 per week so the ex Blackburn man has piled on the pounds in every sense of the term since his misguided signing! What a waste! Or actually, what a WAIST!

Come on Stani and all you Zola fans, organise that statue. We could dress McBenni in a Ronald costume - he played as if he was wearing big red clown's feet - and record on the plinth, "He came, he saw and he banqueted!"

da Costa Costs A Lotta Goals

I don't get this obsession with da Costa. Sure he had one goodish game against Tottenham, and the tactic of fielding a team of giants worked well at home to Stoke when they didn't have Etherington, but that apart, I would identify his selection as one of the main reasons why our season has gone into reverse again.

Here are some stats to ponder upon. Manuel has started 27 games in all competitions for West Ham and in those games we have kept just 4 clean sheets, strangely two of those against Tottenham. In those 27 games we have conceded 47 times, meaning that we have to score twice to draw when he starts!

Our points acquisition hasn't been bad - within context of what has happened in other games when he hasn't played - but remains no better than par. And the problem with playing da Costa is that either Tomkins, who was in superb form before the introduction of the Portuguese man mountain, is dropped or is played out of position. Etherington exposed Tomkins at right back in the cup game at Stoke; Petrov surely put an end to that experiment at Bolton.

Three into two won't go - unless it's one of Cole's parties - and, for me Tomkins and Upson are the superior pairing. We were playing well when they were paired together and Grant needs to revert to plan A quickly or Villa will put us on the brink of the drop.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Mad Dog Hot On Tail Of Ince!

You have to laugh at the management merry go round. With West Ham fans taking up the cry for the dismissal of Grant - who is being courted by Chelsea no less - Notts County have sacked Paul Ince and replaced him with another ex Hammer, Mad Dog Allen. Which means Allen has walked out on the Barnet job just 19 days after being appointed!

Not surprisingly, the Barnet Chairman, Tony Kleanthous, is not best amused! As for Allen, he becomes Notts County's EIGHTH manager in the last 18 months! Keep in mind that it was not so very long ago that - under Ince - they took the lead against the multi millionaires of Man City and looked possible winners.

The games gone crazy? It's gone starking raving mad at Notts County and Mad Dog has fittingly joined the asylum!

Is Carlton Cole Out Of Control?

First there was the outburst against Grant's tactics. Many felt Carlton was right to voice his frustration but it doesn't reflect well on Cole in the context of other incidents. Then there was the tweet revealing he had been dropped for the game against Liverpool, potentially giving the opposition vital information earlier than necessary. So far silly but not too bad. But yesterday there was another Tweet implying criticism of Grant's selection as Cole wrote, "I was so frustrated watching those 1st 2 goals go in against us! Even more so watching it from the bench!". Once again, in isolation, it's no big deal; his frustration is fair enough. In fact we would be moaning if he didn't care.

Then came the racist tweet and a whole series of tweets about his and team mate's diet and his social life. Details such as da Costa eating a steak the size of a fully grown bull and of Cole himself eating goat curry by the wheel barrow load hardly create an image of professional sportsmen. Maybe, just maybe, it is this lack of professionalism off the pitch that leads to pathetic, listless performances on it. Time and again we complain that the opposition players look fitter than ours. Well maybe, just maybe, it isn't just an impression. Maybe, just maybe, our players are abusing their bodies to such an extent with their "diet" that competing at Premiership level is physically beyond them.

I've read a Cole tweet about "crashing" for the night at Mark Noble's - in mid week. Maybe, just maybe, Noble is at it too, explaining why he looks slow and laboured once the game has ticked past the 60th minute. More seriously still, The Boleyn Inheritance carried a story about the police wanting to interview Cole after a girl alleged she was assaulted in Cole's hotel room after one of his "infamous parties". There is no suggestion that Cole was personally involved, but it is again worrying that he and a group of others had "crashed" in a hotel room after a night on the town, if the report is true. Is this the right way for a professional sportsman to conduct himself? Those of us with long memories may quote that infamous night on the town in Blackpool featuring Bobby Moore and Clyde Best to suggest this sort of thing has always happened, but the game has changed. The players of the 70s would be knackered after 30 mins in the modern Prem!

If we were sitting in mid table, this wouldn't matter perhaps. But we are not. We are staring down the barrel of relegation and yet I am struck by how great a time Cole is having regardless. After the Man Utd defeat, I was miserable for the rest of the weekend. Not Cole it seems; he allegedly books £250 hotel rooms for a party of friends to crash in, suggesting that, off the pitch, he doesn't give a flying fcuk.

Is Cole out of control? He is still tweeting away, despite the trouble he has got himself into, even writing, "Dont wanna say too much on ere cos i might offend some people! Oh yeah and i gotta cut out the jokes as well!" (sic) by way of cocking a snook at the FA for charging him over his infamous Ghana tweet. I suspect he needs a word in his shell like and that the entire squad need to hear a few home truths.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Blackpool Defeat Keeps Hope Alive!

OK Villa won but they were never going down were they? Blackpool's defeat against Arsenal was huge. I had a bad, bad feeling about that one so was mightily relieved to get in from a day at the beach to find the Arse had tonked them.

It's down to three from five in my book, West Ham, Wolves, Wigan, Blackpool and Blackburn!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

Would you believe it, we are recalling Dyer from his loan spell at Ispwich! He can only make it onto the bench in the Championship but it seems as if he may have a role in saving us in Grant's eyes.

Does this mean Scotty is injured?

Bolton 3 West Ham 0 - Pathetic Selection, Pathetic Tactics, Pathetic Surrender

I didn't see the game, thank God! But from the moment I saw the team I knew we were going to lose. Tomkins at right back when Bolton have two pacey wingers in Petrov and Lee? Petrov tore Lucas Neil apart a few seasons back playing for Man City and he still has electric pace, something Tomkins is desperately short of, and Lee skinned Spector every time he got the ball at Upton Park last season. What the fcuk was Grant thinking of?

Simple. Bolton are a big team, dangerous at set pieces, like Stoke, so he picked big tall men, but he forgot that Bolton also have pace down the flanks and picked a 4-3-3 formation that offered his exposed full backs no cover what so ever. The team selection was crass. Utterly crass.

That's all I'm saying on the game because I didn't see it. Thank God Wolves were thumped. Thank God Wigan lost, although only by a single goal at Chelsea, and thank God Blackburn and Birmingham shared the points, meaning they are both just about within reach, although our goal difference took another terrible dent.

Mind you, to stay up, I suspect we need Blackpool, Wolves and Wigan to lose the vast majority of their remaining 6 games. Are we too good to go down? Nope. Bolton should have been there for the taking today and they murdered us. Disgraceful.

Aycliffe, if you look in can you email me a fan's eye report from the away terraces. Sorry it was such a miserable afternoon for you yet again. When are you going to give up on going to Bolton? (And on the day of the National too!)