Monday, 28 February 2011

Sullivan Signals Grant's Sacking at Season's Close

So Avram is for the chop at the end of the season, irrespective of whether or not we survive. In fact, his best chance of holding on to his job would probably be for us to go down. Like that, the club might not be able to afford to pay him off!

How else can you interpret Sullivan's explanation of why Grant wasn't sacked? Bruiser told the Press, “Changing managers mid-season doesn’t usually work". What a ringing endorsement that is! He might as well have said, "The guy's a useless cnut but when you're in mid shag, you stay with the cnut you've got!"

Mind you, changing managers at the end of the season has a proven track record of success. Look how we have progressed since replacing Zola!

I love the way he distances himself from Avram in 'subtle' ways. How about,  “Avram is very optimistic we’ll stay up and we hope things will improve in the league here." Look at the contrast between "very optimistic" and "hope"! You can bet your life that the "we" does not include Grant!

As votes of confidences go, this one is up right there with Leon Trotsky's ice pick tribute from old mucker Stalin! Well, Sulli has the hat so what should Avram expect? And Trotsky was Jewish too remember!

Come to think of it, if I was Gold, I would have 24 hour police protection at my hospital bed side just in case! Remember that scene in the Godfather?

Sunday, 27 February 2011

When Will West Ham's Fans Fully Appreciate Carlton Cole?

So why is it that West Ham fans refuse to acknowledge just how good Carlton Cole is? I've just checked out some stats and they make amazing reading given the commonly held view that Carlton can't hit a barn door from five paces and only looked half decent due to the brilliant one on one coaching of the mighty Gianfranco Zola.

How about these stats?

1. Cole has now scored 10 goals  in his last 15 games.
2. But a much more significant stat is that Cole has now STARTED 111 games for West Ham and has scored 42 goals.
3. That works out at one goal per 2.6 starts, or as near as damn it 1 goal per 2.5 starts.
3. Di Canio scored 51 goals from 137 starts, at a rate of one goal per 2.68 starts - inferior to Cole's you might notice.
4. Ashton got his 19 goals at a rate of 2.26, only marginally better than Cole's.
5. MacAvennie scored 60 from 169 starts, that's 1 goal per 2.81 starts, inferior to Cole's!
6. Cottee got his 160 goals at a rate of 1 per 2.21 games, not hugely better than Cole's!
7. Cole has suffered one major lean spell, when he scored twice in 33 games. And that was under Zola! Take away that barren patch and his record stands comparison with the West Ham gods!

And Cole, despite what his detractors claim, works his arse off for the team. Now, the Cole knockers should stuff those stats in their pipe and smoke on them.

And whilst inhaling the smoke, think. Remember, Cole has remained fantastically loyal to West Ham, never really complaining, even when obviously playing second fiddle to Ashton and being buggered about by Grant.

The team has never been set up around him, he was always had to fit himself into the team. He has never been loved, but he has never stopped striving. The guy deserves far more credit than he is given!

The Day Hammersfan Got It All Wrong! Well Nearly!

Just how many times was I wrong today?

1) I expected Liverpool to win.

2) I predicted Cole would score the winner, but intimated it would be Joe.

3) I predicted Johnson would score for Liverpool - but suggested it would be Liverpool's fourth.

4) I said we would have to score three times to win - but scoffed at the chances of that, pointing out that a Cup Final apart, you had to go back to a dead rubber in May 1995 for the last time we put three in the onion bag against Liverpool.

5) I called Avram's team selection perverse, expressing amazement at the exclusion of Cole. Mind you, Carlton proved my point at the end I suppose.

6) I predicted that Upson would not kick a ball again this season - and he was awesome today.

7) I queried the purchase of Ba and he has now scored 3 in 3!

Have I forgotten anything? Oh, Parker was brilliant and scored, ending that lean patch I was reminding everybody about earlier in the week, and Green also had an excellent game. Oh yes, and O'Neil set up the second with a delightful cross. Oh and Bridge didn't have a mare either!

Oh and one last thing: we are not down yet. There is still HOPE. If we can follow up with a victory over Stoke, I might even start to BELIEVE!

One last thing, I would have had my mortgage on Arsenal beating Birmingham. So it's a bloody good job I don't have one!

And do you know what? It feels so good being so wrong!

But that's the Game, it drives you bloody crazy!

Even when I'm wrong, I win!

Did you see Steve Clarke's face?

What a picture! In fact, he was wearing the same expression he wore for the whole of last season! At one point Dalglish turned to his fellow Scot for help, and Zola's former number two just shook his head.

What could he say? "Can't explain it boss, they never played like this when Zola and me were in charge!"

Well Played Birmingham and Stephen Carr

What a relief that Birmingham were not robbed by a truly disgraceful offside decision that saved Arsenal from going down to 10 men, and a goal behind, inside the first 5 minutes of the game. It was a real choker to lose to Birmingham in the semifinal but you have to say that their performance today was superb. They took the game to Arsenal and thoroughly deserved their victory.

And at the heart of it all was a certain Stephen Carr who, a few seasons back, turned up at the Boleyn for a trial having been released on a free. We decided not to sign him! Carr or Faubert? Hmmmm tricky choice that one!

Oh, and a certain Lee Bowyer should have won that penalty. Remind me, why didn't Zola fancy him?

Mind you, Birmingham were carrying a few knocks by the end of the game. They are not out of the relegation woods yet and this victory could yet come at a huge cost!

Three Crazy Refereeing Decisions In One Afternoon!

Never mind the failure to give Birmingham a penalty and send off the Arsenal keeper, because of an absurd linesman's call, the two craziest refereeing decisions were at Upton Park this afternoon. And both went in our favour!

The first came when O'Neil tried to wake Bridge up by slamming the ball into his face at full pelt from five yards. That will teach you for back heeling the ball to a Liverpool player, Scotty screamed as the ball caught Bridge full on the nozzer! Fair play, but how the linesman and referee, who were both only five yards away, gave the throw to Liverpool will remain a mystery for ever and a day. Kuyt was apoplectic!

Mind you, as ridiculous as that decision was, it was bettered when Noble took a short corner to...well to himself actually, and then as a Birmingham player closed, grabbed hold of the ball and placed it back down for the corner. "Sorry", Markie yelled, "I miskicked that! That's not what I meant to do so I'm having another go!" Bloody hell, we could try this every time we fail to score from a set piece if that's allowed!

Amazingly, instead of pulling out a card for deliberate handball, Halsey green lighted Noble's tactic and let him take it again - and Piquionne so nearly scored from the resultant retaken corner. Had that gone in, we would never have heard the end of the whining from the Scousers!

West Ham 3 Liverpool 1 Ahem. WEST HAM 3 LIVERPOOL 1 DREAMLAND!

I will deal with just how much I got wrong personally later. For now, let's put rivalry aside, let's forget about our differences, let's just take a deep, deep breath and scream in unison, WEST HAM 3 LIVERPOOL 1 - COME ON YOU IRONS!

And having vented the passion, having burst our lungs, having danced and hugged and punched the air, let's just add, WE DESERVED IT! WE PLAYED THE SCOUSERS OFF THE PARK FOR 70 MINUTES!

Today Birmingham play in the League Cup Final. They are welcome to it. Today was our Cup Final to end all Cup Finals. Today was bigger than 23, bigger than 64, bigger than 65, bigger than 75, bigger than 76, bigger than 80, bigger than 81, bigger than 2006. It was even bigger than our Inter Toto victory in 99! Today wasn't just 3 points, today was BELIEF!

Where to start? At the back! Yes we scored three but the win was based on Tomkins and Upson - they were immense! True Suarez did Tomkins once and nearly bought a penalty, but those moments apart, the kid was superb. He needs to work on his heading, the cushioned header is superb and speaks volumes for his composure, but at times you have to put your head through the ball and get real distance. Twice today, he failed in this department and the second time Liverpool scored, albeit courtesy of Jacobsen's crazy decision to let the ball bounce in the penalty box. For that reason, Tomkins doesn't get my man of the match, that accolade for me goes to Upson who I thought was superb. Did he put a foot wrong all game? If so, I didn't see it. He was quick and strong in the challenge and, along with Tomkins, closed out Liverpool time and time again.

Mind you, when Liverpool did get through, they found Green in superb form. Yes there was that lovely save from Saurez, but just as good for me were his punch in the second half, when we were coming under the cosh, and his reaction to the Liverpool goal. This was a man possessed. This was a man enraged! This was the man we need between our sticks!

And after those three, well for the first time this season we saw a West Ham team dominating the midfield. At one point the possession count stood at 60% to 40% in West Ham's favour! Parker was fantastic. Hitzlespurger was almost as good. Noble was impressive. And O'Neil was good too, delivering the perfect cross for Ba's goal.

And up front, well how well did Ba and Cole take their goals? When Liverpool scored, I thought, that's it, 2-2 if we are lucky. But then on came Cole. He won the ball when he had no right to, advanced into the box as if he was Torres in his prime and finished with such a venomous shot that Reina was beaten at his near post. That is 6 goals in 7 games for Carlton now! How has Avram transformed the guy from a two goals in 15 games man under Zola, to a player averaging almost a goal a game? ;  }

Back to the goals. Parker's finish was sublime and followed two poor touches from our England man. Typically his determination rather than his class kept him in possession of the ball but then, well Messi couldn't have bettered that finish! And Parker meant it, he was celebrating as soon as the shot left his boot!

And then came the second, perfectly timed just before the interval. Ba won the ball well, flicked it to O'Neil and made the sort of run our forwards haven't been making all season, to the near post. O'Neil spotted the run, stood the cross up superbly and Ba did the rest, getting his head to the ball and planting it firmly into the back of the net. Brilliant!

And we could have scored more. Piquionne, our weakest player on the day, should have scored when getting his head on a Noble corner. Der Hammer let fly three times but was too high with one and too straight with the other two. Ba so nearly got on the end of a cross deep inside the six yard box. And Liverpool? They benefited from the Jacobsen mistake and forced two saves from Green. We bossed it!

And I think I will end there. Liverpool came to Upton Park in sixth place in the Prem and on the back of an excellent run. We were bottom. And we didn't just win, WE BOSSED IT! If the team don't take confidence from this, then God help us!

Player Ratings: Green 8; Jacobsen 6, Tomkins 8, Upson 9, Bridge 6; O'Neil 7, Parker 8, Hitzlsperger 8, Noble 7, Piquionne 5; Ba 8 Subs: Cole 8 (for the goal!) Spector not on long enough to rate.

West Ham v Liverpool 4-4-2 and no Cole or Sears!

Well I am dumbfounded. If we lose today and fail to score, Grant will be crucified, and with good reason! A major surprise is the return of Upson - can he really be ready? - whilst the exclusion of Cole after 5 goals in 6 games is staggering. No wonder he sounded shocked on his Twitter message! Presumably Sears is injured. How else can you explain his absence, even from the subs bench?

The team suggested on the OS reads:

Green: Jacobsen, Tomkins, Upson, Bridge; O'Neil, Noble, Parker, Hizlespurger; Ba, Piquionne Subs: Boffin, Reid, Da Costa, Boa, Spector, Cole & Hines

It is so astounding a team that I have concerns that some bugger is taking the piss! I agree wholeheartedly with 4-4-2 but the selections within that formation are nothing short of staggering.

Cole Tweeps That He Hasn't Been Selected!

I knew these Tweeps would bear fruit at some point. Carlton has revealed he isn't in the team via a tweep! It obviously came as a major surprise because his first indication was "Well, well, well" and his follow up, "Imma try my best to do some damage with the time i'm given! Hopefully we will be winning when i get on!" tells us he is not in the starting line up.

So two goals against Burnley are not enough to get him a place in the team. Presumably, Grant is setting up more cautiously and has gone with Ba ahead of Cole, but who else plays? 5 in midfield? Piquionne in a 4-4-2?

Question? Should Cole be tweeping this? Isn't it giving Liverpool extra time to prepare if word gets through to Dalglish earlier than necessary? Does that make Cole a bigger Twitter than we originally thought?

Cole to score the winner - it's scripted!

How much would you have on Cole scoring the winner today? The trouble is, Ladbrokes insist you put down the Christian name and surname too. Carlton or Joe, trusting to your head instead of your heart, who would you back to bag the three points today?

I don't understand why Grant has been bigging up JC this week; as a Jew, he should have no truck with anybody with those initials! But in the week when our former "Messiah" comes homes, the very last thing Grant should be doing is predicting his resurrection. Doesn't Grant know the Rule of Sod, that a former player always scores against you - unless his name is Judas and he is taking a penalty!

Joe Cole has had a miserable season so far - in fact, given his huge potential, he has had a miserable career. Yes, he collected medals at Chelsea, but 'Arry's wife could have been accommodated in that team and they would still have won trophies. It's only Torres that causes that engine to seize!

Today's game is fraught with dangers. By the end, I fear we will be nailed firmly to the relegation cross, with Wigan and West Brom nailed either side of us. If we win, I really will start to believe in miracles. Liverpool did play on Thursday which is to our advantage, but Gerrard and Suarez have had a good rest and they represent 50% of this Liverpool team. At least Carroll isn't available, but the last time I expressed joy at his unavailability, we shipped five goals and it should have been eight!

And a 1.30 start? We looked half asleep for 80 minutes against Birmingham when we were asked to kick off so early.

One thing is for sure, Cole will bounce out of bed bright and early and will be up for today's game if selected; and, along with Gerrard, Suarez and Johnson, will pose a huge threat to our Premiership survival. We need a result today and our desperation will make us vulnerable. If Grant starts with Ba, Cole and Piquionne, God help us; Liverpool will tear us apart. Any variation on 4-3-3 will leave us horribly exposed, I fear, and I would have money on Cole scoring the winner, if my conscience allowed it. Unless Johnson nets the fourth of course!

Footnote. Carlton doesn't start! He's just shared the news via Twitter! And nor does Joe according to the OS! Nor Johnson!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Sullivan Admits Parker and Hitz Will Leave in Summer

So, Big Gob has suddenly come over all confessional. He admits that we have a less than 50-50 chance of avoiding the drop and concedes that Parker and Hitz, who have release clauses in their contracts, will depart in the summer if we go down.

Now then, please explain the logic of retaining Parker in the light of this. Those protracted contract negotiations before Parker eventually put pen to paper just guaranteed that we paid him a king's ransom to stay, but gave him a knave's exit if we go down.

Mr West Ham? Cobblers! Mr Look After Myself more like! Of course, the Parker fans will explain again that he has been our best player all season, but to what avail exactly? We are currently second from bottom and I expect us to be propping up the entire division by the time we take to the field against Liverpool tomorrow. So how has retaining Parker helped?

Parker will leave, so will Hitz, and Upson, and Faubert, and Bridge, and Piquionne, and Cole, and Green - and that's just for starters. Any thought that we might regard our drop as a blip, a brief holiday in a division where we can win most of our games, has been knocked into the long grass by Sullivan admitting that our better players will leave. Will Tomkins, Ba and Noble join the exodus? God help us if they do!

So, we will have the stadium but we won't have a team to play in it! Never mind, we've paid Scotty £80k a week to keep us in the bottom three. There's value for you!

Faubert Throws His Baby Out Of The Pram!

So, Faubert reckons he has played his last game for the club. Angered by the way he was disciplined for refusing to return to the ground for the Birmingham game, after the injury to Tomkins, he has "slammed" the club and declared, "My story with West Ham is at an end".

According to Le Sulk, the club were well aware that he son was in hospital - and had been for two days prior to the incident - and that despite this, he still turned up to play at short notice. Only when he was told that he wasn't needed after all, did he drive to the hospital instead.

It goes against the grain to sympathise with Faubert - this is the man who complained that training was too "rough" and who famously fell asleep on the substitute's bench whilst on loan at Real Madrid - however, given his manager missed a game to "atone" for visiting massage parlours, it seems hypocritical for the club to be punishing Faubert when his son was in hospital.

Religious hocus pocus nonsense or sick son? I know where my priorities would be!

Friday, 25 February 2011

Avram Turns To Faith Healing

Well we have had the ice chambers and Upson has stuffed his boots with bits of the Yellow Pages; all, it seems to no avail. The previous regime brought in the Italians but it did no good. Avram, even before his appointment, personally carried out research into the efficacy of massage parlours and had to spend a whole Saturday atoning in consequence. But still the injuries mount. So what's to be done when ice chambers, the Yellow Pages, medical science, prayers and massage parlours all fail?

You just have faith and hope. So Dyer hasn't been ruled out for the season and nor has Keane, nor Collison, nor Upson even because Avram has his fingers crossed and is hoping.

And meanwhile, we remain firmly mired in the bottom three! Whilst Gerrard looks set to return earlier than expected for Liverpool. Typical!

Does anybody have Eileen Drewery's telephone number?

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Bloody Germans Refusing to Pay West Ham Compensation

Typical, despite Hitz being injured on international duty, the sausage eaters have only been paying us £6,000 a week in compensation - like that is covering his wages!

With the English F.A. yet to cough up the compensation for Ashton's retirement, we are being stitched up left, right and centre.

Bloody hell, the bastards bombed the hell out of the East End during the Blitz, so the very least they could do is pay up for Hitz!

Mistaken Priorities Put Premiership Place At Risk

So, as we move towards the latest make or break game in our struggle to survive in the Premiership, the big question is why we signed BOTH Ba and Keane in January. Of course, I can be accused of being wise after the event here, especially with all the concerns surrounding Ba's dodgy knee, but with Upson's layoff, the acute need for a quality centre back is clear for all to see. Why, oh why, didn't we even TRY to source one?

I accept that there are not a lot of quality defenders around at present - how else can you explain a team BUYING Titus Bramble? But surely there must be somebody out there who is better than Gabbidon and Reid?

If we start with either Reid or Da Costa alongside Tomkins against Liverpool, the chances of us keeping a clean sheet are close to zero. That means we start the game needing to score at least twice to win it; in fact, we probably need to score three to emerge with maximum points! Tell me, when was the last time we scored three goals against Liverpool ? Well, a famous Cup Final apart!

You have to go back to May 10, 1995! Our team that day read:

Breaker       Potts    Rieper     Dicks
Holmes, Bishop, Moncur, Hutchison, Hughes

Hutchison scored twice and Holmes also made it on to the score sheet. It shows how far the game has progressed because, as poor as our current crop are, I would back them to beat that team nine times out of ten. In fact, I reckon only Ludo and Dicks would make it into our present team!

Unfortunately, the Liverpool team we will play at the weekend, even if Gerrard is unavailable, will be better motived and organised than the side that strolled into Upton Park in 1995 for a dead rubber fixture that amounted to little more than an end of season friendly for the Reds. Victory took us to 50 points, 5 points clear of fourth from bottom Palace who were relegated to adjust the Prem down from 22 to 20 teams.

I expect us to score against Liverpool on Sunday but do I fancy us to score three? I'll get back to you on that one!

Sullivan reckons our forwards will fire us to safety, claiming, "The combination of the imposing Demba, Carlton Cole and Frederic Piquionne will menace any defence." What he forgets is that even 'Arry's wife could menace our back four! A curmudgeon might also point out that he didn't even list Keane, which begs the question why we bothered to sign him instead of a quality centre half!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Does Redknapp's Vengeance on West Ham Know No Bounds?

It is frightening just how often Redknapp's teams seem to do the exact opposite of what we want them to do! Never mind the way he chased Parker, never mind the Tottenham bid for the Olympic Stadium - and who knows whether or not it was 'Arry who first mooted the idea - never mind the way 'Arry stepped in to steal Eider off us after we had put him up in the Dorchester for a week, never mind the results 'Arry's teams have achieved against us since he left, never mind the way we are paying Keane's wages whilst he sits on his arse with an injury that was no doubt "lurking" when he joined us....

...last night's result at Blackpool and Tottenham's pursuit of Obinna show that this is personal!

The sooner 'Arry is made England manager the better. But then I'll give him five minutes before he comes up with a statement like, "If Tomkins is serious about playing for England, he really needs to move to another club"!

And I bet that if he goes down for tax evasion, he turns Queen's evidence and fingers West Ham for dodgy deals when he was manager!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Blackpool Nearly Safe

Oh dear God, the Tangerine Dreamers have beaten Spurs 3-1. They will have to utterly disintegrate on the run in to go down now. We will struggle to get  to 38 points, so to finish above us, Blackpool only have to win 2 games.

The game is so nearly up. The Hitz has arrived too late!

Is Parker the problem?

Last night, two midfield players shone. Noble delivered two brilliant defence splitting passes for Cole's two goals; and Hitzlsperger fired home a goal of his own and delivered a delicious corner for Reid's header. And Parker? Well he played. Roll the clock back to Saturday, when Hitz wasn't available, and who hand a hand in all three goals? It wasn't Parker. But who gave away the free kick that led to West Brom's third goal? It wasn't Noble!

Here's a stat. After his goal rush in the first third of the season, Parker has returned to type and has gone 15 games without scoring. Hitz, on the other hand, started for the first time and scored immediately. In 115 starts for West Ham, Parker has scored just 10 goals, or an average of just 3 goals per 38 Premiership games. That is not good enough for a midfield player, unless he is playing the anchor role; which Parker refuses to do.

In the first half at West Brom and last night against Burnley, it was the same old story. As soon as we lost possession, the back four were utterly exposed because there was no screening offered by our midfield. Why? Because nobody accepted responsibility for sitting and holding: Parker, Noble and Hitz all wanted to play the game in the opposition half.

But why is Parker the one to hold? Simple, Noble and Hitz are better at the other jobs. Der Hammer has the potential to slam home crucial goals so you want him breaking forward as often as possible; and Noble has a far superior range of passing than Parker. Meanwhile, as he showed against Denmark, Parker is perfectly equipped to sweep up in front of the back four.

So what is going on? Basically, Parker doesn't want to do the blue collar job, he wants to be the main man, to be the midfield general and to run around like a headless chicken, like Beckham when he was pumped up against Greece all those years ago. Beckham, of course scored that glorious equaliser in the last minute, so all was forgiven, but up until that point, he played like a junior school kid, forgetting he was part of a team. And that is true of Parker too. Time and again, he surges forward with no regard for what will happen if we lose the ball.

The solution to our woes is simple. Parker needs to sit and hold. His job should be sweeping up and releasing short passes to Noble, who is our true play maker. Hitz's primary job should be to link midfield to attack, operating as much as possible in advanced positions, aka Van der Vaart at Spurs.

We still have a problem, in that Ba and Cole probably cannot be accommodated in the same team. Given Grant is fixated, like Zola before him, on 4-3-3, only one of Ba and Cole can be sensibly accommodated, with Sears and Stanislas or Obinna (when fit), the natural choices to play as the wide men.

So, we end up with a formation that reads


Jacobsen, Tomkins, Da Costa, Bridge


Noble      Hitzlsperger

Sears                                      Stanislas or Obinna


That team would be defensively sound, with Sears and Stanislas dropping back when not in possession and Parker screening the back four. There would also be plenty of attacking potential too, with Sears and Stanislas coming in off the flanks and Hitz offering goals from midfield. As the more natural goalscorer, I would go for Ba over Cole.

However, is anybody brave enough to tell Parker to do the dirty job? Somehow I doubt it!

Wayne Bridge - £90,000 a week? He's taking us for Wayne Kerrs!

So, does anybody out there still think that Bridge is worth £90k per week? He had a nightmare debut against Arsenal and, to be honest, he was almost as bad tonight. Burnley, that is Burnley not Barcelona, ripped him apart in the first half, with Tyron Mears, a West Ham reject, looking like Alves everytime he overlapped.

To be fair, Bridge wasn't offered any protection by Ba and if Grant plays that formation against Liverpool, we will be murdered. But what, exactly, did Wayne think he was doing for the Burnley goal? Not even Spector in the left back berth could have ballsed up so badly!

Going forward, the guy is decent, but as a defender he is ordinary in the extreme. The 90k a week salary he is being paid is a total joke!

Monday, 21 February 2011

West Ham 5 Burnley 1 - We Have Found Our Level!

Well, I saw very little tonight to suggest we can survive in the Premiership, but if by some economic miracle we can keep hold of the present squad, aka Newcastle, we should piss the Championship. The gulf in class is truly huge!

Mind you, I wasn't saying that after 20 minutes! In fact, Der Hammer's goal apart, I wasn't saying that at half time either. Our lead at the break was fortunate, with Burnley carving us apart down our left and  with very little being offered by way of a reply from Ba, Cole and co. Had we been playing a Premiership side, we would have been two or three goals behind before Hitz's blitz of a goal. Green made a fabulous double save to prevent Burnley scoring and, far too often, Bridge and Reid look rank defensively.

Der Hammer's goal was a beauty and was fitting reward for a good performance. True the keeper might have done better but when you have a Grant at Upton Park, what can you expect? And the ball did swerve at the death, which is possibly an excuse for the strange flap at the ball instead of a firm hand pushing the shot up and over.

But that goal apart, what threat did we offer in the first 45? Hitz retained the ball well, Cole worked the flanks well, but a weak Burnley defence was not really seriously exposed in the first half. In fact, our defence, Tomkins apart, looked the weaker of the two. God only knows what Reid thought he was doing when he waited for the ball to bounce and then continued to retreat towards his own goal, instead of attacking the ball from the off. Burnley should have scored, and if repeated at the weekend, Liverpool will certainly take advantage. Reid also cocked up badly in the second half so, although he scored and made a brilliant clearance on the line, his overall performance was poor. Central defenders simply MUST NOT make the sorts of mistakes he makes. In fact, he is the Carlton Cole in our defence. If he doesn't have time to think, he is fine, but give him time to assess his options and he trips over his own brainwaves!

Second half, it was a different game. True Cole's first goal was laughable, but you should ignore Carlton's contribution and marvel instead at the lovely pass from Noble. If that pass was good, the next was even better, and this time Cole controlled the ball superbly and finished with aplomb. Whatever formation we play, we have to find a berth for Noble because his range of passing is far superior to Parker's, or anybody else in the team for that matter.

Goal four was well worked. The corner was delivered superbly by Hitz and Reid's run was clever. His glancing header was perfect too.

And that should have been that, but the self destruct button was again pressed with the incredible cock up that led to Burnley's goal. Bridge and Green were never good enough to play for England and this illustrated their failings perfectly. Embarrassing? Not 'alf!

There was still time for Freddie to get on the score sheet. Once again, a goal is likely to disguise an otherwise mediocre performance - he took the wrong option far too often over the 90 minutes - but it was good to see the kid score and it was a delightful finish. To be fair to the boy, we was working the flanks all night and his best position is probably down the middle on the shoulder of a big man.

So, how do you assess that overall? Great fun but worrying at the same time. If we play like that against Liverpool, we will be ripped apart. The problem remains the lack of shape. Time and again there was no protection offered to the back four by our midfield. We need somebody to sit and hold. Parker won't do it, so maybe we need Kovac, with Hitz, Parker and Noble making up the rest of the midfield and Cole with Ba up top, working the flanks. The team will lack width in midfield, but Bridge and Jacobsen get forward well so that might not be such a problem.

Player ratings: Green 6 (Great double save but what was he doing for the goal?); Jacobsen 6, Tomkins 8, Reid 5, Bridge 4; Hitz 7, Noble 8, Parker 6; Ba 5, Cole 7, Sears 5 Subs: Spector 6, Barrera 4, Piquionne 4

Downes Implies Upson is a Malingerer

Interesting to hear Wally Downes on Radio 5 Live. Apparently Upson's scan has shown some "tendinitis on the Achilles" but, in Wally's words, "If you scan 100 footballers you'll find something wrong with all of them, it's just a case of what pain they're willing to play with."

Downes says Upson is not out for the season but I would have good money on him never kicking a ball for West Ham again. We all know Matty is very precious about pain: any hint of a problem and he sits on his arse and refuses to play. I have been suffering from an Achilles problem for 13 months now and it bloody hurts. There's no way Upson will play through the pain I'm in!

Talking centre backs, why is Reid in ahead of Da Costa? I know Da Costa was crap in the first half against West Brom but Reid has looked crap every time he has played!

Presumably we have set up 4-3-3, with Sears playing an advanced role, testing out Noble, Hitz and Parker as a midfield three for the first time? I can't believe either Noble or Hitz is going to be used wide in a 4-4-2 formation.

Upson Out For Season

Well it was always going to happen wasn't it? Before the window closed, I was warning that we were short of a quality central defender. When Upson was named as a substitute for the Birmingham game, I said it was madness, warning that we had Da Costa on the bench as double cover. Little did I suspect that Tomkins would pull out before kick off, exacerbating the problem and increasing the risk. It was no surprise when Upson pulled up lame.

HE is not everyone's favourite player but there is no doubt he will be missed. Reid isn't ready and Gabbidon isn't good enough - or fit for that matter. So we are down to Tomkins and Da Costa, both of whom are young, one of whom is just back from a long layoff and the other who is currently on the sidelines.

What does this mean? We are in deep, deep, deep, shit!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Brady Has Another Stab at Grant

Writing in her "diary" in The Sun, Queen Karren has had another dig at Avram. Explaining why the players were "bonding" so close to home, she writes, "Our plan to send the players on a warm-weather break collapsed because the management couldn't find anywhere warm."

Now what sort of cnut does that make Grant look exactly? True it is a bit parky in  his native Israel at the moment, and Egypt and Tunisia might be too hot politically, but the Canary Islands would surely have fit the bill and would have suited Avram down to the ground, given all the nudist beaches on Fuerteventura.

This just reads as another attempt to undermine and ridicule the manager to me. I wonder how many knives she has to stick into Grant's back before he falls to the ground complaining "Et tu again Tutsi?"

Luck Smiling on West Ham!

Well it makes a bloody change! O'Hara - who should be a West Ham player - put Wolves ahead at West Brom but, in the 92nd minute Vela, another loan signing - equalised for West Brom. The draw was a perfect result. Wolves stay bottom and West Brom remain within reach - for now at least.

We desperately need all these head to head games between the relegation candidates to end in draws. Today, for once, the footballing gods were smiling down upon us!

Was Parker knocking off Behrami's wife?

So was Parker knocking off Behrami's wife? It might explain why Scotty suddenly came over all "cool" with that new foppish haircut and why Valedictory was suddenly so keen to leave, his wife fleeing to Italy ahead of him.

What evidence do I have to support the idea? Absolutely none, other than Avram saying that Scotty is just like John Terry! What more evidence do you need?

Freud could write a whole book based on what Avram has had to say about Parker:

"Some want to do it but are shy." I bet!
"I encourage it because players are not computers." And nor are managers eh Avram? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, a massage parlour is as good as a doctor's surgery to the morally blind.
"You must let them express themselves." If you say so Avram.

Who knows, perhaps that's how the players bonded before Behrami left? Ok guys, Behrami's bint is in the changing room, bent over and thinking of Italy, so form a queue. As our best player, Scotty gets first dibs! Carlton, you're last. You're sure to miss and leave a mess that others might slip up on! Kieron, best sit this one out, we don't need another groin strain. Yes, Benni, it is fine to do that instead if you are hungry. Rob, try not to pick her up, we can't afford a legal action if you drop her. Manuel, no punching. Matty? What are you doing? Pull up your trousers and stand up straight man, this is the one time this season that it's not you who is being shafted! Freddie, close your eyes and read the Beano...

Mind you, Avram did say something else that was very interesting. Talking aboout Scotty's rallying of the troops at half time against West Brom, Grant added, "It's not the first time that has happened to me." You do wonder why this guy is paid a wage don't you?

Bonding Exercise? Cobblers! Make Them Train!

You have to wonder why, exactly, the club felt the need to take the players go-karting and clay pigeon shooting by way of a bonding session. I "bond" with a bunch of guys on a Friday night by...playing football!

Isn't the game supposed to be about a "team", about a squad that is united and focused on a common goal? What more "bonding" do they need beyond the challenge of avoiding relegation for God's sake?

And as for go-karting, how stupid would the exercise have looked if a kart had crashed and a key player been injured?

I can hear the contrary views already. No harm in having some fun. A change is as good as a rest. It's a way of relieving the pressure. Cobblers. Cobblers. Cobblers.

The best way of relieving the pressure is to win games. The best way of having fun is winning games. The best change this team could have would involve stringing together back to back wins.

And what's the best way of winning games? Training. Never mind buggering around in go-karts, the defence should have been going over drills designed to prevent the opposition scoring. Never mind shooting lumps of clay, the forwards should have been practising hitting the back of the net. Never mind bonding through fun and games, the midfield should have been working on how to bond the defence with the attack.

I worked a full week last week. Nobody took me clay pigeon shooting or go-karting. Had I wanted to go, I would have paid for myself and gone on my day off. These buggers are millionaires, they can do what the bloody hell they like; why do they need Uncle Avram to take them for a fun day out?

Mollycoddled comes to mind. And mollycoddling aint going to get us out of trouble is it?

If this doesn't work, I wonder where Avram will take them next? OK lads, there's this great massage parlour I know...

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Should Hitz Blitz Burnley?

So, it looks as if Der Hammer is about to hit the nail on the head for the first time on Monday, but if you were Grant, would you risk him?

It's a difficult one I know, can you go from a reserve game to taking on Liverpool in one fell swoop? On the other hand, after waiting for so long to see the guy play, should we be risking him in an FA Cup tie against a side we should beat comfortably anyway?

So, I'm not passing any judgement here, I'm asking the question. As far as I'm concerned, we are as good as down anyway. There's only three things that can save us: Lady Luck letting us shaft her senseless from now until the end of the season; Demba Ba emerging as the new Tony Cottee; and Der Hammer, Parker and Noble forming an operational midfield unit. That's not an either or, all three have to act in unison!

Yes it will be great to see Hitz play at last. But if he were to play against Burnley and break down...well the effect upon morale would be devastating!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Repka Holds Liverpool at Bay - West Ham Need His Fire!

The guy is 37 and still captaining Sparta Prague in Europe! I didn't watch the game but Liverpool didn't score and Repka, predictably picked up yet another booking!

It will be interesting to see how he copes at Anfield - presuming he isn't suspended! He was never the brightest of footballers - he struggled to speak English years after joining - and his disciplinary record made Julian Dicks look like a Lineker type, but the guy always had a huge heart; which, Parker apart, our current team lacks terribly.

We desperately need another Repka, a mean bastard at the back who intimidates the opposition players. Tomkins is polished but lacks the rough edge; Upson allows opposition players to impose themselves on him rather than the other way around; Gabbidon is just shite; Reid plays like a junior intimidated by the seniors; Jacobsen is short and looks like he could work in a library; Bridge wouldn't even thump Terry after he shafted his missus; and Da Costa only hits women - allegedly.

How this team needs a Tomas Repka. Or, better still, an Alvin Martin or Billy Bonds!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Shooting Practice for the Whole Team!

Great to see the team getting in some much needed shooting practice, but its a bloody shame they were aiming at clay pigeons on a bonding exercise and not at the back of a net.

Avram wasn't allowed to have a go apparently, they were too scared he would shoot himself in the foot. Sullivan went along but didn't need a gun, as usual he stood there shooting his mouth off.

McCarthy was bitterly disappointed, he thought they would be eating the pigeons afterwards. Meanwhile Dyer has been ruled out until the end of the season with trigger finger.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

West Ham Floored By Hearnia

Ouch! So Barry Hearn has delivered a punch below the belt of West Ham's planned move to the Olympic Stadium, looking to snooker any attempts by the Hammers to move into Orient's backyard.

It's very unlikely that either Boris or Cameron will get involved - they are not going to stick up for Orient are they? There's a lot more votes to be garnered from West Ham fans!

However, Hearn may just hit the bullseye with his claim that the move is in breach of the Premier League's own rules. Which may just explain why the club seems to be doing its level best not to be in the Premiership next season!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Italian and Egyptian Billionaires Prepare Joint Bid For West Ham

Following the announcement that 35% of the club is up for sale, West Ham are the subject of a joint bid on behalf of disgraced Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and under fire Italian Premier Silvio Burlusconi. Anxious to shelter money illicity accumulated whilst in power, the undemocratic duo have been alerted to the enormous growth potential of the club over the next five years.

Agent Oman Leavit Outus, who is fronting the bid, explained, "As soon as Mr Burlusconi can get his fingers out of his seventeen year old mistress, he is anxious to get them into the West Ham pie and mash. He has a wealth of experience in football and is attracted to a tie up with current owners Mr Sullivan and Mr Gold based on shared interests outside of football. He is checking out extradition arrangements between Italy and the UK but is confident that a donation of a million pounds or so to the Conservative Party & to the Italian Mafia should ensure that outstanding judicial issues should not present a problem."

Leavit Outus continued: "Mr Mubarak is especially impressed by the way public funds have been misappropriated to finance the redevelopment of the new stadium and sees himself slotting in perfectly as a result. He has no problems with working with Mr Gold and Mr Grant, having been a good friend of Israel for many years."

A spokesman for the F.A. dismissed concerns that Mubarak and Burlusconi may fail the Fit and Proper Person Test saying: "I can't see how an objection is possible given the profile of the present owners"!

Monday, 14 February 2011

West Ham Worth £700million in 5 Years!

Bloody hell, I'm off to the bank to borrow £34million. I'm selling my property portfolio too, drawing out the cash I have in banks and building societies and putting the wife and daughter on the game to make up the difference. £35million to buy a 35% stake in a club that is going to be worth £700million in five years' time? This has to be the greatest investment since Google floated! After 5 years, my initial investment will be worth £245million!

So, hang on, I'm doing the sums here, I borrow £34,000,000 at 10% and after compound interest I owe £54,750,000 at the end of the 5 years. So, I can look for a quick sale and part with my stake for £150million - which represents a fantastic deal for the buyer - clear the debt and leave myself a cool £95milllion profit! And for doing what? Diddly squat! Lovely jubberly!

But I will have to get in quick because there will be investors queuing around the block! What could go wrong for God's sake? Well, apart from the team crashing out of the Premiership of course!

It does make you wonder why Sullivan & Gold haven't pumped £20million or so into buying players with the quality to keep us in the division doesn't it? And you might also wonder why they're not buying the rest of the club themselves. Unless, of course, the figures being bandied around are pie in the sky.

There's a thought.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Three Days Off - Well They've Earned It!

Well done Avram for acknowledging that our heroic boys have earned a fully deserved three days off after that epic game against West Brom. Dear God, they played for a whole 45 minutes and watched West Brom players drift past them for the other 45! The poor sods must be physically exhausted and emotionally shot to pieces!

There are echoes here of the break the players were given by Zola after the Stoke game. The Italian buggered off back to Sardinia to recharge his batteries and the players were excused from duties until the middle of the week. I suppose it worked then - in the sense that we survived thanks to the incompetence of Burnley and Hull - so maybe the powers that be have decided to give it another go.

I would have thought some training sessions dedicated to defending set pieces and tracking midfield runners might have been in order. But what do I know?

 I wish I could perform well for half my working day and earn the next three days off as a reward. I'm in the wrong bloody job! When West Ham eventually get around to sacking Avram, I'm making a case for him to be employed as my Managing Director!

Julian Dicks Fits The West Ham Bill Perfectly!


So, Dicksie has revealed that he has had talks with Grant about joining the coaching and management team at West Ham! Fantastic, that's just what the doctor ordered!

Dicks is exactly what we need, he has so much experience of working with top quality players after managing Wivenhoe Town and Grays Athletic! Never mind that he left Wivenhoe by mutual consent - sacked in other words - after just 21 games, what has that got to do with the price of fish exactly?

No, to understand the brilliance of this potential appppointment, you only have to look at  Dicksie's record in management! At Wivenhoe, he had a staggering win percentage of 14.29%.! That's even worse than Zola's and Grant's! And at Grays? An incredible 24.29%!

Yes, this is the man we so desperately need to turn us into a winning team! ADD his winnining ratio TO Grant's and we would have enough points over a season to finish in 10th!

Of course, his appointment makes perfect sense in two other ways. Firstly, the idiotic fans would be over the bloody moon. Dicksie! He's the man! He'll lay into them in the dressing room! Never mind that it hasn't worked with semi professional brickies and plumbers, the Dicksie approach is sure to work with a bunch of egotistical millionaires isn't it?

And then there's the little matter of how much he would cost. It wouldn't take a lot to match the wages of non league football would it? Yep Dicksie fits the bill perfectly!

Ba Looks the Part!

Demba Ba celebrates his winner for West Ham
What a shame. We have a strike force, when Hitzlespurger returns we may have have a midfield, if only we had a defence!

Ba looked very good yesterday. Never mind his finishing, which was very impressive, his most exciting quality is that precious knack of being in the right place, at the right time, when in the box. And we haven't had anybody with that ability for three seasons now - except for a few games when Zola dared to play Ilan.

The worry, of course, is his dodgy knee. We have already lost Keane, and those gloating on here, because Ba got through a full 90 minutes in the Prem, are going to feel very foolish indeed if the guy breaks down in the next match. He failed that medical at Stoke for a reason so, unless you believe God is up there dressed in Claret and Blue, it would suggest that there is something pretty malignant lurking inside that knee. As a short term solution, he looks the part but long term....?

Let's hope and pray!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Parker Inspires Turn Around!

I'm not his biggest fan as a captain, but listening to Cole, it sounds like our recovery was down to Parker and not to Grant. Cole talked about an "inspirational" captain who brought "tears to my eyes".  Perhaps Scotty went around kicking them all in the bollocks; it's what they deserved!

As Lineker says, it begs the question what Grant was doing during the interval. It also makes you wonder what would have happened had Upson been wearing the bloody armband! Mind you, I can't believe we would have been AS bad at the back had the much maligned Matty played!

Not that Parker gets off Scott free for that first half horror show. He was repeatedly the wrong side of the ball when West Brom were in possession and, inevitably, it was Parker who gave away the free kick that led to the third Baggies goal. Wasn't that in exactly the same position as the freekick he gave away against Denmark, with a carbon copy challenge from behind?

Were we unlucky? We hit the bar twice and had a perfectly good goal disallowed; but West Brom could have been five up at half time. They were bloody unlucky when Fortune blocked that shot almost on the line, with Green on the ground floundering, and they were definitely robbed of a penalty. 3-3 was a fair score although, as Shearer said, it could have been seven all because of the appalling defending.

Unless we can get Upson and Tomkins back quickly, we are in desperate trouble. And unless we can sort out which of Noble or Parker is meant to hold, we are dead and buried.

No Obinna today and it is hard to see how he can be accommodated unless Ba breaks down. Boa may have played his last game but the hope has to be that Hitzlespurger is fit and available to join Parker and Noble in midfield. Somehow, we have to get those three playing as a unit, with one holding and the other two linking play. Today the centre backs were hopelessly exposed. Repeat that against better teams and it will be seven goals shipped with no hope of getting seven back in reply!

West Brom 3 West Ham 3 - Too Little, Too Late - We Are Down!

Look away from the events at the Hawthornes for a moment. As glorious as the fight back was, as amazing as a second half performance it appears to have been, the game is up. Wigan drew at Liverpool. Blackpool edged a little closer to safety with a point against Villa. Birmingham won and moved out of reach, thanks to our defeat against them last week. We needed to win today. We had to win today. And first half, we didn't show up!

Yes we came back from the dead, yes we scored three in 45 minutes and salvaged a point. But that point is not enough. Today completed a sequence of games that HAD to yield 7 points minimum. A return of 4 is inadequate, insufficient and inept.

The first half today brought back memories of the opening game of the season at Villa. It was a repeat of our showing at Newcastle. It echoed our performance at Liverpool. How can a team look so disorganised, so dispirited, so deflated and so dispassionate at KICK OFF? Why is it that, time and time again, this bunch of players look as if the game has come five days too early for them, as if they haven't had time to wake up, freshen up and get their heads together? Why do we hand the initiative to the opposition time and time and time again?

I didn't see the second half. I couldn't watch. Perhaps that is the secret. Perhaps I really do put the mockers on them. Perhaps it is the shadow of Fanno, a cloud I cast that smothers the ability of the players to perform. Perhaps. But there must be more logical explanations.

One, is that West Brom cracked under the strain, tripped over themselves when we scored early in the second half and became consumed in the same fever of self doubt that besets us when an opponent makes our net bulge. Noble had a hand in all three of our goals so deserves some credit; that should shut up his sternest critic for a few minutes at least! Ba looks the part, if he can stay fit! Cole scored, a minor miracle in itself!

But how are we going to survive with a defence like this? A defence that ships three goals in 45 minutes against West Bromwich Albion? Can you imagine what will happen when we travel to Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham? How will we keep out Man Utd at Upton Park? The games are running out, that's why drawing today and losing last week simply were not an option.

We are going down.

But we have a lovely shiny new stadium, so why does it matter?

Half Time West Brom 3 West Ham 0 - New Dream Stadium, Same Old Nightmares!

Well, we have the stadium so what do the results on the pitch matter eh? 60,000 happy Hammers cheering to the rafters as we take to the field against Southend United - a vital local derby!

Tell me, shouldn't the priority be the team you send on to the pitch, not where the bloody pitch is located? Whilst Sullivan and Gold fiddle, the Boleyn legacy is burning to the ground! Whist the Olympic Dream is realised the Upton Park nightmare unfolds!

3-0 at half time at West Brom. Another relegation six pointer, another game where losing is not an option, another game where we haven't even turned up. A goal down inside 4 minutes and a goal conceded in a disgraceful fashion. Noble gave up when Odemwinge drifted past him. He challenged once, he challenged twice, then gave up, stopped dead in his tracks and let the Baggies man pick his pass. And Dorrans was completely unmarked, sitting in the hole between our back four and midfield. As usual, Parker was in front of the ball instead of where he should have been, behind it, screening our back four. As usual we had two banks of four, literally, with nothing and nobody in between them, nobody sitting, nobody screening, nobody tracking, nobody thinking. There has an attempt to block the shot, but it was half hearted, not like a Tomkins block or a Collins block, the two men who should be our centre back pairing. Dorrans took aim, shot, and it was game over. This team was never going to recover from that.

Goal two was always inevitable, with the midfield and defence operating at two completely separate and distinct units. West Brom were then denied a perfectly good penalty when Da Costa couldn't deal with a simple ball over the top and Reid pulled back a West Brom player deep inside the penalty box. The Baggies only had 10 players on the pitch at the time to compound the humiliation. The own goal for the third said it all, this team, this club, is intent on its own self destruction.

3-0 at half time against West Bromich Albion. But fcuk, who cares, we have a shiny new stadium with talk of retractable seating. You bloody fools! You stupid bloody, idiotic, gullible fools.

A Big Stadium does NOT Guarantee a Successful Team

People seem to be a little bit confused here. In all the excitement of winning the bid to RENT the Olympic Stadium, there has been this absurd assumption that it will somehow guarantee success. Top players will want to join to join us apparently because of the joy of playing in front of 60,000 Happy Hammers every week.

That, of course, is nonsense. Look at Sheffield Wednesday and Blackpool. Who has the bigger stadium, but who currently languishes in the third tier of English football exactly? I know that Hillsborough is a dump, but there is the blithe assumption that we will be able to fill and maintain the new stadium, ensuring that it will always look pristine, irrespective of what happens to us on the pitch.

Arsenal is a case in point, and I'm talking talking about the Emirates - although the trophies have dried up since the move because money has not been available to strengthen the team. Look what happened when they tried playing Champions League games at Wembley. As with our move, the accountants were able to prove that it was the right thing to do, but did Arsenal win the Champions League? Results went backwards if I remember correctly and the alien atmosphere was blamed. Did revenues increase? No, because Arsenal did not progress as far in the competition as they would have done had they played at Highbury. Wembley, of course, did not and does not have a running track!

I have asked the question before and will ask the question again, where are 60,000 fans suddenly going to appear from? The stock answer seems to be that we will reduce prices, but if we have to do that to fill a larger stadium, what's the point of the bigger capacity? It's like taking a new job because it pays more, but accepting a more expensive commute in order to do it.

The next argument seems to be that we are only struggling to fill Upton Park because we are struggling on the pitch. The logic goes like this: we move to the new stadium and we fill it because we are successful on the pitch. Anybody see the hole in this argument? Why will moving to a new stadium suddenly turn us into a successful team? If that's the case, why don't we win when we play at Old Trafford and the Emirates?

In the old days, we turned Upton Park into a fortress. It was the claustrophobic, intense, intimate nature of the place that won us points. Like it wins points for Stoke City. How difficult will it be for opposition teams if, as some of us fear, the new stadium is a soul less bowl, at best two thirds full? How will the players be lifted by a "Claret and Blue Army" that they hear like an echo of an earlier era, how will they be inspired by "Bubbles" that drift over time and space before dying somewhere over a running track? And why, as a player, would you want to play for a club where home games are played in a vacuum rather than a pressure cooker?

Every argument put forward by those in favour of the stadium is contingent upon us succeeding on the pitch. But if money is being spent on the stadium, it is not being invested in the team. Every pound spent on stadium conversion is a pound not spent on team conversion. Arsenal started with a great team but that great team stopped winning things. We start with a shit team so shouldn't people be a little worried here?

But there must be a logic behind the move, mustn't there? Sullivan and Gold would not be doing this to cut their own throats would they? Well, to answer that one, you need to look closely at how the new stadium is being financed with other people's money and what happens to the revenue from the sale of the Boleyn. The debt stays with the club, what happens to the revenue?

Under the Curbishley era, I talked a lot about what West Ham stood for, about how I would prefer to be in the bottom half of the table playing the West Ham way rather than in the top half playing kick and run. I have consistently tried to defend the values, heritage and soul of West Ham. We belong at the Boleyn, it is our home. We are not a Manchester United and do not need a Theatre of Dreams and having the theatre does not guarantee the dreams .

Many, many years ago, I saw Genesis in the Bristol Hippodrome. It was a magical experience, so intense, so intimate, so exciting - it felt like you really could reach out and touch Gabriel as he sang the final line of The Musical Box. Fifteen years or so later, I saw Prince at Earls Court. Except I didn't. I saw this speck on stage and watched a big screen throughout. I stopped going to concerts after that.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Gullible West Ham Fans Follow The SuGo Trawler

What was it Cantona said? "When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea." Well, be warned, as little as sardines are, they are whales in comparison to the scraps that Sullivan and Gold will leave in their wake!

Our fans are wheeling, screeching, diving, swooping, circling, whipped into a frenzy of false hope at the sight of the white water churning from the bow of Good Ship Sugo. West Ham have won the Olympic Stadium and Tottenham Hotspur have been left floundering in the wake. The talk is of a new dawn, a new golden era, of 60,000 happy Hammers cheering to the rafters as the mighty Irons stand at the shoulder of the Gunners and slay the humbled Spurs and Chelsea. All you need is a big stadium, it seems, to secure your passport to the Champions League.

"Fools, fools", Benjamin cries, as the gentle giant Boxer is driven away to his death, "Can't you see what is written on the side of that van? David Sullivan, Pornographer and Glue Boiler, Willingdon. Dealer in Liquidations and Bone-Meal. Kennels Supplied.' Do you not understand what that means? They are taking West Ham to the knacker's!"

Wake up before it is too late! We stand not on the brink of the Champions League but of the Championship. Instead of "investing" in asset stripping by setting up the land grab and redevelopment of the Boleyn, wouldn't it have been better for Sugo to secure Premiership survival by investing in the team? Isn't that what real fans would do?

A 60,000 capacity? We can't even sell out Upton Park without all sorts of last minute deals! Where are these 25,000 new disciples going to appear from exactly? As the Church of England can vividly testify, building mighty cathedrals does not a congregation guarantee!

But like all Gulls, our fans are so easily led. Remember how Eggert was leading us to the Promised Land and the Holy Grail not so very long ago? Fools! Fools! Fools to a man, a woman and a child! This dream you are being sold may be the final chapter in a protracted nightmare. A club without a stadium of its own, with no assets beyond its playing staff, has no collateral to secure lending and no long term future. Try taking out a mortgage on a tenancy agreement!

This is not just a new beginning my friends, this is the new beginning of the End.

A Sad, Sad Day for West Ham

So we are the preferred TENANTS for the Olympic Stadium. Did that word register fully? So since when has a home owner aspired to be a tenant exactly? Since when has selling the family pile and moving in to a rented gaff been regarded as an upward move? Since when has exchanging owner occupier status in return for council accommodation been seen as progressive?

I'm surprised they haven't gone the whole hog and moved us onto a bloody gypsy caravan site. Brady would look the part in one of those pink blancmange wedding dresses (she's heavy enough now to carry it off) and Sullivan looks like he should be laying dodgy drives for a living.

Just listen to the spin! Brady keeps telling us that the seat FURTHEST from the pitch in the Olympic Stadium is ten yards CLOSER than the seat FURTHEST away from the pitch at Wembley. But that's not the bloody point! That's like judging two brothels on the basis of the ugliest whore in the house. Funnily enough, if Avram was calling in after a successful trip to a casino, he would be buying the best looking tart, not the resident Karren Brady. So, the question is, how much FURTHER away from the pitch is the NEAREST seat at the Olympic Stadium than the NEAREST seat at Wembley. Well that's easy to answer; how wide is an eight lane Olympic running track exactly?

Brady fails to understand that West Ham is all about intimacy. How can we go from the chicken run to this battery farm of a stadium?

Sugar is right of course, the decision to use the stadium for two sports is wrong. We don't want a running track and the stadium is far too big to host athletics outside of the Olympics. So, it is the wrong fit for both sports and, as my Mum always told me, "Two wrongs don't make a right".

What is this all about? Money. Your money, my money, government money, council tax money and Sullivan and Gold's money. But Sullivan and Gold are pocketing the dosh that all the other mugs are shelling out.

Why did they buy West Ham? Because they saw they could make a killing! As pension plans go, this looked like a bloody good bet as soon as the Olympic Stadium became a possibility.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

West Ham Cursed! Keane Ruled Out For SIX WEEKS!

Oh dear God, would you believe it? Keane has been signed on loan to save us from relegation and has now been ruled out for SIX weeks! When Ba joined us, we thought he would be the one who would break down in next to no time, but we should have known better! Keane first but Ba is sure to follow. Well, you've heard the rhyme, "And everywhere that Robbie went, His lamb was sure to go!"

How long before we are back to Cole and Piquionne as the only options? I'd have money on Ba breaking down inside 20 minutes against West Brom personally. It's written in the stars isn't it? Well no, it's written in Ba's medical report actually!

And meanwhile Upson and Tomkins are both out, and both have injuries that are not going to clear up anytime soon. Da Costa is only just back from injury and could very easily break down again and Reid is horribly inexperienced at Premiership level. God help us if either of those pull up lame. Who plays centre half then? Specs? But he's injured too! Bridge? Then who plays left back? Ilunga isn't in the 25 man squad! So Jacobsen then, with Faubert at right back?

Just imagine a back four reading, Faubert, Reid, Bridge and Jacobsen. We are one injury away from it! Frightening or what?

Farewell to the Greatest Trevor Ever!

It is not a name usually associated with glory. You are never going to hear the line, "Bond, Trevor Bond", outside of a monkey populated tea advertisement on television perhaps. Nor when Bourne's full identity is finally revealed, will we discover that he was christened by his parents Trevor. When dramatists apply the name Trevor to their characters, it is attached either to very fat men, very gay men or vicars. The ultimate Trevor in drama would be a very fat, very gay, choir boy abusing vicar! The closest a Trevor has ever come to being hard on television, was Trevor on Eastenders, who beat up his wife!

West Ham, of course, have a much loved Trevor. Mr Brooking remains the third best player I have ever seen in a West Ham shirt, only narrowly squeezed out of second place by Martin Peters. But as good as that TB was, even he falls some way short of the greatest Trevor ever.

Today, sadly, the greatest Trevor of all time was run out, dying horribly in a house fire aged 86. How ironic that the man who featured in three Ashes series victories should die in a fire. The great Trevor Bailey graced the game of cricket, as a player, as a man and as a wonderful commentator. I will never forget him. He was so special that some foolish Essex & West Ham supporting men even named their sons after him!

RIP Trevor, I'm glad the boys brought home the Ashes for you before you said your final goodbyes.

Claret & Blue Heritage Sullied & Spoiled.

I applied for a new job today; the missus saw the advertisement in one of her “lady” magazines. £750 a week for a bit of gardening and maintenance, live–in accommodation and just down the road from my family; sounded perfick. The bloke sounded important too; he needed two families just to take care of his house which had TEN bedrooms, so I made arrangements to go for an interview.

He showed me round himself and I have to say, the house was quite something. Interior designed by Liberace and with walls covered in pictures of the football team he supported as a young lad... Cardiff City. “It’s a big old place innit” he said “d’you know it’s got TEN bedrooms!”

I asked him about the name of the house and he said; “when we bought the land it was covered in Silver Birch trees so we ripped ‘em all out and replaced ‘em with gold ones, then we built a house with TEN bedrooms”.

I was curious about the other family who cared for him and what their terms and conditions were and I was somewhat taken aback when he said. “ It’s a bloke called Kieron, he’s got a five year contract worth £75,000 a week.” ”Crikey” I replied “ he must have green fingers and be a whizz at DIY”. “He picks his nose all the time and he’s a right w*anker, if that’s what you mean; why do you think I need a second family? By the way did I tell you my gaff’s got TEN bedrooms?”

Well you’d have to say the house had just about everything. The only thing it lacked really was a running track round the outside, which is a shame, because it would have given onlookers some protection from the glare emanating from the kitschen.

As I cast a hollow eye back at the house, Porsche parked in the driveway, I was reminded of a line from that other Mock Tudor creation “The Merchant of Smut”. “All that glisters is not Gold... some of it is Sullied”!

(Contributed by Marty)

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

West Ham Secure Olympic Stadium....

...nearly. Adrian Warner, who looks like he should be married to a Cheeky Girl, has exclusively announced that West Ham will be declared the preferred bidder for the Olympic Stadium on Friday. Boris or Cameron could still over rule the decision but that is very unlikely.

Of course, exclusives are dangerous. Remember how we were appointing Martin O'Neill last month, only to end up with a Joe Ordinary Championship midfielder called O'Neil? I suspect Warner is just grabbing a bit of personal glory, backing a hunch rather than working on anything concrete.

I hope so anyway because I want to stay at Upton Park!

Parker Performs his part in England Win

Well, too many performances like that in an England shirt and I might have to eat my words. Scotty came on at half time and acquitted himself rather well. He linked play cleverly, rarely giving away the ball, and played the anchor foil effectively, tidying up around the back four neatly.

There was one superb tackle in England's defensive third to halt a Danish break away and a good interception just inside the Danish half to set up an England attack. He gave the ball away the first time he touched it but, after that, retained possession well. In  fact, England looked much more compact with Barry and Parker in centre midfield than with Wilshire and Lampard, and we still looked lively going forward because the wide men and full backs had the confidence to attack, knowing that there was cover behind them.

That one early misplaced pass apart, Parker only blotted his copybook once, inevitably diving  into a challenge unnecessarily and conceding a freekick which so nearly led to a Danish equaliser. As Townsend said, "Parker would have done better to stay on his feet there." On another day, that could have been costly, and as we were in injury time and a goal ahead, it was especially rash.

The sad thing from our point of view is that we saw how Parker SHOULD be played, sweeping up around the back four and knitting play together, not trying to tear the opposition apart offensively. But can we afford to pay our pin up boy £83,000 a week to perform such an unglamorous role?

Overall, England played well and Parker looked the part. With Young, Wilshire, Carroll, Rooney, Walcott and Milner, we have the talent going forward to worry teams and, Carroll apart, they are a mobile bunch. Bent also looked impressive tonight. Add in Johnson's and Cole's ability to attack down the flanks, and we could be full of goals. The question is, do we have the defenders to enable us to succeed at international level against the top teams? Not on the evidence of tonight!

Oy Sullivan, Think Before You Open Your Gob!

I don't have a problem with the Rottweiler taking a chunk out of Joe Lewis when he growls, "I'm not some tax exile living in the Bahamas, who never watches a football match, doing it for a huge, personal financial gain, as is the case with the Spurs owner"; but I take issue with him in a big way when he adds,  "Just imagine if Manchester United wanted to build a new football stadium in Bolton, it would be wrong. The Spurs plan is no different."

Bollocks! Since when have Tottenham been comparable to Manchester United and West Ham to Bolton Wanderers exactly?

Engage your brain before barking Bruiser, the Cockyfools are already far enough up their own arses, the last thing they need is for you to make a dildo out of yourself and shove them a little bit deeper!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Avram Throws The Dice

Poor Avram is in trouble now for attending a casino on his birthday. Just because it coincided with our defeat against Birmingham!

He really is a mixed bag isn't he? He gambles and visits Thai Massage Parlours but feels a compunction to observe religious customs and festivals, even when they clash with vital games! Hypocrite? Avram?

Why was he in a casino? I'm sure he wasn't gambling himself. He just fancied seeing somebody other than West Ham playing crap!

Keys and Gray move to TalkSport

How appropriate, I have always called the station TalkBollocks, so the two Sky chauvinists should be right at home!

The trouble is, they will have to take opposite positions on everything, so when the subject of female officials comes up, what are they going to do? I know, Gray can say, "No way, I'm not having that, full bloody stop" and Keys can retaliate with, "I'm not having that Andy, I have no objection providing they have big enough tits!"

Winston Reid Admits Training Regime Is Flawed!

Last week I asked, "Why are we so unfit?" and wrote, "How many times have we looked shagged out as the match ticks past the 60th minute? What is wrong with the fitness regimes at West Ham?"

Well Winston Reid has now come out and as good as admitted that there is something seriously wrong with the fitness levels of the team. Talking about the dreadfully flat performance on Sunday, Reid said:

"There was a lack of energy and Birmingham took the opportunity when they had it. Why was there a lack of energy? I don't know, it's hard to say. We just couldn't put it in. It's hard because we wanted to win the game and move out of the bottom three."

Can you believe that a memeber of the team is admitting, "We just couldn't put it in", in a vital six pointer, playing at home to the team that dumped us out of the League Cup at the final hurdle before Wembley? If ever there was a game that the players were totally up for, this should have been it. Here was the opportunity to put together back to back wins. Here was the opportunity to climb out of the bottom three. Here was the opportunity to save our Premiership lives. But here is Reid admitting that that there was "a lack of energy" and that Birmingham were fitter, fresher, more up for the game.

What the fcuk is going on? What, I wonder, were our players doing on Saturday night?