1. That Time Of Year
I can honestly say I hate playing tottenham away. It always strikes me as being rather like asking out your attractive new secretary. The potential rewards might well be great, but if it doesn't go well, then you face a lifetime of shame and mockery.
I'm a coward so I'd take a draw if it was offered to me right now. Of course for that to happen would mean that we had kept a clean sheet or scored a goal, either of which would defy all known laws of physics.
2. Let's Laugh At Someone Else - While We Still Can
Before we begin in earnest - a quick diversion. Whilst chatting away with Papa Shark last night he told me a tremendously entertaining (if questionably truthful) story about Charlton Athletic. You remember Charlton, right? Conceded 3. To us. I know - it's mind bending.
Anyway, they have understandably been reeling since allowing Carlton Cole to score against them and with that in mind their skipper Luke Young decided to organise a players team bonding outing. This was attended by no fewer than 2 of the Charlton squad.
It's tough to buy camaraderie like that.
3. Central To England's Problems
England have quite a few good central defenders available to them currently. And Michael Dawson.
tottenham have two England central defenders available to them. Ledley King and Michael Dawson (It says here - stop guffawing at the back).
So I got to thinking, how would I rank the English qualified centre backs available to partner Rio Ferdinand? My two cents worth:
1. Jamie Carragher 2. Ledley King 3. Jonathan Woodgate (when he's fit, in which case I suppose I might as well just say "Fabio Cannavaro - if he was English") 4. Sol Campbell 5. John Terry 6. Anton Ferdinand 7. Wes Brown
Some selected others for your information:
28. The Millenium Dome 112. Dame Judie Dench 209. Play with 10 men 614. Michael Dawson
3. Forsooth I Cannot Change It
Despite all the well deserved mockery it is inevitable that Michael Dawson will either one day score against us or join us. And I can't think which would be worse.
4. Recent History
I doubt that any of you will remember the two games we played against tottenham last year. Let me refresh your memory:
tottenham 1-1 West Ham : 20.11.2005
Amazingly we go one down after leaving Mido unmarked in 4 miles of untouched real estate. Rather brilliantly, Michael Dawson (remember him?) needlessly concedes a last minute corner. Shaka Hislop ventures into the box, causes pandemonium and in the ensuing melee Anton Ferdinand heads our equaliser. Young Anton promptly celebrates by having an epilectic fit in the corner, although he later claims this is "dancing". The 4 minutes of injury time are taken up by Hislop trying to get back to his goal.
West Ham 2-1 tottenham : 07.05.2005
Buoyed by the prospect of an upcoming FA Cup Final and the chance to deprive tottenham of a Champions League place, a much depleted West Ham side batters the visitors. Carl Fletcher puts us ahead within ten minutes, Jermain Defoe shows that he hasn't been completely ruined by tottenham and equalises. With ten minutes to go Yossi Benayoun skips into the area and scoops in the winner, in the process humiliating my all time favourite tottenham player, Michael Dawson.
5. Strongly Worded Letters
The more observant of you will notice that the paragraphs above contain no mention of the nonsensical "food poisoning" suffered by tottenham. That is primarily because I don't care, but also because it was just tough luck. All tests carried out on the food served to the tottenham players showed absolutely nothing was wrong with it, and that the illness could be attributed to a simple viral infection. In addition, tottenham later confessed that it affected only two of their first team.
For all their bleating I cannot believe that tottenham were not sued by The Marriott considering that the rumours about food poisoning were started by tottenham with no evidence to support the claim.
Hilariously, chairman Daniel Levy then wrote a letter to the Premier League protesting against the game being played. It appeared to have been written without the following:
a) a grasp of the rules of English grammar
c) a cerebrum
Unlike this column, of course, which is much more better.
6. Carlitos Way
There is a quite disturbing swell of belief amongst Hammers fans that Sunday is going to be the day that Carlos Tevez breaks out and scores for us. Not that I wouldn't love for him to do that but it does rather strike me as wishful thinking. The man is recovering from injury and he has a top ten hit in Argentina. That's a tough schedule he's juggling, by anybody's standards.
What I would very much like to see, however, is Carlos Tevez playing as a cente forward. No 4-5-1 rubbish. I think we have already proved that we are incapable of defending irrespective of formation so we might as well have a go.
7. The Grass Is Greener
By all accounts Robert Green is set to start in goal instead of Roy Carroll. Whatever you think of their relative playing skills, that haircut isn't an improvement.
8. Jol Love This
Does anybody else think that Martin Jol looks like he should be propping a bar in a small Cornish village slagging off the price of petrol?
9. Newton's Immutable Law Of Returning Players
I'm not sure is relevant to us given we never score against anyone, however, all footballers must notch against their old clubs at some point. Therefore, Sheringham, Zamora, Etherington and Konchesky should all be in line for some action this weekend. Of course, if we score 4 times Hell will freeze over for sure and we'll all have trouble getting home then.
Defoe has already scored against us, naturally, so I can confirm it definitely applies to our opposition. Oh joy............