1. My Receding Optimism
I can't work out if I'm a pessimist because I'm a West Ham fan, or if I'm a West Ham fan because I'm a pessimist.
2. The Link Between The Ashes Losers And Palermo
Marco Bresciano plays for Palermo. He is an Australian who is quite a good professional football player. Until recently it wasn't possible for these two to be one and the same thing.
Nowadays the criminal gene produces a decent standard of player. And Harry Kewell. Now, lots of people will remember Harry Kewell as a man who went off within 20 minutes of the start of both the Champions League and FA Cup Finals, else the player who joined Liverpool and made more money out of the deal than Leeds did, or indeed maybe as the man who, at the age of 27, missed a Last 16 World Cup game with gout. Not me, loyal readers. I will remember him as the guy who, on his MTV Cribs show had two TV's in his bathroom. One at each end of the bath because he's too lazy to turn round.
I know what you're thinking, by the way - "You're the cretin who watches that show".
Anyway, Marco Bresciano is pretty good. And so are the rest of the Palermo team. They are 3rd in Serie A and lost just 4 games at home all last season. We'll shit 'em.
3. Our European Tours
Previous jaunts into the EU have proved fruitful for us. Our Intertoto run took in Finland's FC Jokerit (1-1), Holland's Heerenveeen (1-0) and France's Metz (3-1). In the UEFA proper we then beat Osijek of Croatia 3-1 before succumbing 2-0 at Steau Bucharest, a game attended by Larry Hagman. Which is a marvellous non sequiter.
The slightly more relevant point from that UEFA run is that the men who played in those games are now elsewhere and as such our experience of European football probably extends to Roy Carroll, Yossi Benayoun, Lee Bowyer and Teddy Sheringham, of whom only 2 are likely to start.
The important thing is that James Collins and Tyrone Mears are both doubtful through injury, which will therefore see a repeat of Saturday's Mullins/Dailly combination on the right side of our defence. Which just increases the likelihood of heart problems for me later in life.
4. A Snapshot Of Our Problems
Bobby Zamora : 7 Appearances - 5 Goals. Everybody Else : 91 Appearances - 1 Goal
5. Algebra - Football Fan Style
Sir, I have a problem to solve. A follows B and I don't want it to. Therefore, can't I just replace A with another letter I have never seen before and solve it that way?
The most common rant I read about West Ham these days is "We need to replace Roy Carroll and Marlon Harewood with Robert Green and Carlton Cole".
There is never any logical reasoning behind this other than that they are not the players they would be replacing. It also fails to take into account that Alan Pardew sees these players all week and presumably has a decent idea of how they might be playing. This is unlike the Glenn Roeder era when I'm pretty sure it was like a Sunday morning outfit and the first 11 players there were told to put up the nets and they'd be in the team. This was also known as the "Gary Breen Rule", I believe.
Anyway - the point is, don't be amnesiacs.
6. No, Your Supposed To Have Hot Streaks
At one point last season Marlon Harewood went 9 games without a goal and is currently on a run of just 1 goal in his last 15 Premiership games. I'm not all that worried because he has always scored regularly for West Ham - to the tune of 50 in 142 appearances, however I do keep thinking "Kevin Phillips" when I see him playing as he is now.
You know what would help? A penalty. Although I'm led to believe you can only get them by attacking the other teams penalty area, or by having Andy Johnson diving for you.
7. TV Is Bad For You
This game isn't on the television. Instead Channel 5 are showing Newcastle vs Levadia Tallinn. I must leave you now and see if I can excoriate my spleen with Ms Shark Jr's crayon set.
Anyway, the point is, don't be amnesiacs.....