Overly long writings about West Ham United FC. This is the kind of thing you might like, if you like this kind of thing.

Monday, October 30, 2006

West Ham 2 - 1 Blackburn (And Other Ramblings)

1. So That's What It Feels Like

If you type "French military victories" into Google and click on "I'm Feeling Lucky" you get an amusing result. I was beginning to think that something similar might pop up if you put in "West Ham victories".

Continuing that slightly racist theme then, I assume this is what a French military victory feels like.

2. Take That Roeder!

Whoo - hoo. Above Newcastle on goals scored. Hang on a minute, how can there be a team in the world who have netted less goals than us?

In conclusion then, Obafemi Martins - 10 and a half million reasons not to trust Italians.

3. The Stats

For the first time in weeks we had less possession than the opposition (52% for the visitors according to MoTD) and yet still won the game. I don't really know what to read into that, except to say that maybe the fact we were passing the ball to our own players seemed to make a difference.

If you go to the Opta season statistics at http://home.skysports.com/optastats.aspx?clid=21&hlid=OPTA_West_Ham_United&cpid=8 it reveals the spectacularly unsurprising fact that we have not played very well this year. It does however, back up my assertion that Hayden Mullins is the only outfield player to have earned his wages this season.

4. Euromillions

The following was an attacking sequence of play in the first half:

Defence splitting pass from Hayden Mullins : Bobby Zamora right footed cross : Teddy Sheringham reacts quickest to loose ball : Matthew Etherington wins 50:50 challenge : Michael Gray breaks up attack with good piece of defending. This is noteworthy for the fact that none of these things have ever happened before on a football pitch.

Therefore, those of you who didn't win the £74m Lottery rollover on Friday should note that the likelihood of each of the above events happening in succession greatly outweighs that of you winning the Lottery, so in a way - you're all winners.

5. And All The Lights That Lead The Way Are Blinding

Robert Green fills me with an unusual sensation that my Arsenal supporting friends tell me is known widely as "confidence". What seems to set him apart from Roy Carroll is his ability to occasionally make saves that one would not expect him to make, in addition to his generally good decision making.

His stop from Lucas Neill was both outstanding and crucial, for it ensured that when Blackburn inevitably scored their poxy late goal it was a consolation rather than an equaliser.

He seemed to have an exceptional second half yesterday. I say "seemed" because since the club installed those neon, retina burning advertising hoardings, everything that happens down the other end of the pitch is essentially theoretical for my part.

6. The Opposition

Blackburn were a bit crap all told. I must confess that I found it difficult to have much sympathy for Jason Roberts and his broken metatarsal, for he has what I like to call a "Sean Bean percentage".

This can be arrived at by analysing the number of adverts for which Sean Bean provides voiceovers - roughly 68% and comparing this to the number of challenges that a player makes during a game where he tries to injure opposition players. For Jason Roberts this 71% - et voila, a Sean Bean percentage.

7. The Referee

Alan Wiley incorrectly awarded us a corner from which we scored our second goal. Leaving aside the fact that it was a mistake, Blackburn should not be blaming anybody but themselves for allowing a team as inept as us to score from a corner.

Wiley evened things out in injury time by allowing Blackburn to take a quick free kick several yards from where the offence occurred, which led directly to Blackurn's late goal.

So all in all - we won, who cares?

8. Right Back Atcha

A competent right back? In claret and blue? Well, I never. Jonathan Spector was great. His crossing was somewhat poor but he really did look the business. He is also tremendously coiffured for a footballer, and I bet his jacket has a big "A" on it.

On the other flank George McCartney was not the worst ex-Sunderland full back on display. Let's leave it at that.

9. Ever Ready

I must admit that I was not enamoured of the decision to start Teddy Sheringham. One virtuoso perfomance later I am snacking on my words. My reservations were not about his ability but more for the same reason that I don't think Henry Cooper should challenge for the World Heavyweight Title anytime soon.

10. Stand Up Sit Down

I shall not dwell on this for too long but you have probably read something of the West Ham fans who were banned from Sunday's game for persistent standing. Although they have ostensibly been banned by the club this has been done at the behest of the Football Licensing Authority (FLA) who are stringently enforcing some ridiculous standing laws.

Irrespective of whether you are a West Ham fan or not, if you attend football games in the UK, I urge you to go to www.standupsitdown.co.uk and add your name to the petition there which is lobbying the Government to review standing at football games. Fans are now being banned from watching their teams play simply for standing up at a game. Now if I'm going to be banned I want it to be for something reasonable like hurling rockets at Michael Dawson, not standing up.

Token Michael Dawson Slaughtering

When tottenham carried out a recent medical on Big 'Ol Useless Mike he was found to have the following physical composition: 12% skin, 32% water, 6% blood, 8% Lego, 3% muscle, 4% cartilage, 23% bone, 4% replacement onions, 2% hair, 4% tar.

Note the unusually high blood to Lego ratio.


  1. Dot Cottons Bairy Hiff9:19 AM

    Perhaps (as promised in an early response) you could comment on your reasons for disliking Michael Dawson so much.

  2. Anonymous11:15 AM

    *10 and a half million reasons not to trust Italians.*

    Steady on!


    A part-wop.

  3. Anonymous11:06 PM

    I am extermely surpirsed that, despite your general pessimistic views, you have failed to comment on the fact that West Ham did not keep a clean sheet? Or did the neon light also ensure you missed their consolation goal?

  4. Wow - three responses! All my family must have internet access now.

    In order then - yes, I will expand upon my Dawsonism in the next preview.

    Sorry regarding the Italians. Well actually, no. If I had paid £10.5m to Inter Milan for Obafemi Martins I'd like my money back. Swindlers!

    And West Ham not keeping a clean sheet is barely newsworthy these days. I also didn't mention that the gravity was exerting an influence on the game, for instance.

  5. Daniel M. Freedman, M.A., Ph.D., J.D.2:29 PM

    Dear Sir

    Defamation is: 1) a misleading statement; 2) which the maker knows to be misleading; 3) that is published to a third party; and 4) causes damages. Your comments regarding my client Mr Dawson are therefore misleading,

    If you continue to publish misleading statements you may be subject to legal actions by my client which may subsequently result in punitive damages.

    Yours Failthfully

    Daniel M. Freedman, M.A., Ph.D., J.D.