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, November 20, 2006

Chelsea 1 - 0 West Ham: 18 November 2006 (And Other Ramblings)

With Apologies.....

It's almost as though the American owners of this site have little or no interest in the Icelandic takeover of our club. Anyway - this site has been down for maintenance, hence the delay.

1. Will The Real West Ham Please Stand Up?

I don't know about the rest of you but performances like Saturday just make me annoyed. If we can play like that against an, admittedly poor, Chelsea then why on earth were we so insipid against Middlesbrough, Portsmouth and Man City?

I don't just lose my competitive edge because I happen to be playing against my 4 year old cousin in the garden. I batter and humiliate him until he knows that Cousin Shark reigns supreme. Don't worry - this is unquestionably fun and enjoyable for us both.

Now Pards, start doing it to the rest of the Premiership please.

2. The Geremi Style Show

Being beaten by a Geremi free kick is like being tickled to death by a scorpion.

You know - surprising.

3. No Way, Jose

So Jose Mourinho thinks we're a good side. Well, that's great. Do we get points for style nowadays? So help me God, if I hear another manager say what a top team we are before waltzing off with three points I think I might burst. And not in a good way.

4. The Statistics

So we had 48% possession at Stamford Bridge, that's really pretty good. And we transformed that into 0 shots on target. That's only really pretty good if you're Sunderland.

We had more corners than them. I don't know why that makes any difference. Pentagons have more corners than crosses and it didn't help medieval witches against the Church.

5. Where Did It All Go Wrong?

I can't argue with playing 5 across the middle against Chelsea. The problem for a team of our limited stature is that we do not have the inventiveness required to create goals when we are not playing well, or when we have our backs to the wall. (So: ie - when we are away from home).

We are second bottom of the league in goals scored and it's not really a mystery as to why. A number of our players have dropped off hugely in terms of perfomance from last year and whilst our plan of playing at a high tempo and running around quickly is all very well, when that doesn't work we seem to have no other ideas. I had hoped that Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez would solve the problem but trying to assimilate them into the team has simply exacerbated all the other issues.

In short then - we are no longer a surprise in this league. So our priorities for January should be a creative midfielder and some sort of miracle cure for Dean Ashton's ankle. The odd clean sheet wouldn't go amiss either but I'm wary of asking for too much around Christmas time.

6. The Opposition

Are Chelsea the best this country has to offer? Are they really one of Europe's finest? Really? I ask that not in jest - but you simply wouldn't have believed it from this performance.
Didier Drogba is awesome though.

Francis Lampard is not.

7. The Referee

Mike Dean did okay-ish. He did what all referees do and gave most of the decisions to Chelsea. We can't argue that the decision to award the foul that led to the goal wasn't correct, however.

I remain confident that before the end of this season we will be awarded a penalty kick. You've gotta have hope. For where would we be without hope? Let me tell you - Charlton.

8. How Did You Get Here?

A quick run down on how most people access this site. I think I coral most of my readers by sending out an email when it's updated. Some folks are related to me and have little choice in the matter. Then there are some who stumble across The H List by Google searches:

The most common:

"Nigel Reo-Coker MTV Cribs"
"Yossi Benayoun MTV Cribs"

The most amusing:

"James Collins is shit"
"How do you pierce an apple with a straw"

You will note that there are none saying such things as "West Ham United goals and statistics" or "West Ham United free flowing football".

I think this says much about the quality of both this blog and West Ham United circa 2006/07.

9. The Takeover

Thus, the day we all dreamed of as little boys and girls has finally arrived. West Ham United has been purchased by an Icelandic biscuit magnate. This is marvellous because Russian oil oligarchs are just soooooo last century.

One other reason for the delay in this weeks column is because I wanted to hold off until the takeover was a least somewhat confirmed. As it stands things have progressed quickly and we are now owned by someone other than Terry Brown.

So, farewell Terry. Please don't let your bulging wallet knock over the model ship you paid £50k for on your way out, you useless lump of wax.

And what of the new owners? Well, Eggert Magnusson has quite possibly the largest forehead in Christendom. He is also a former chief of the Icelandic FA and a UEFA delegate, so one assumes he is at least more familiar with the politics of football than Kia Joorabchian, who really should have come wrapped in a blanket saying "Chancer".

Main backer Bjorgulfur Gudmundsson is reputedly a billionaire financier, although he does have a fraud conviction on his CV. However, that kind of thing is like a badge of honour in English football and no doubt he'll settle in easily enough. More importantly he is the father of the worlds 350th richest man. Let's hope they are still friendly. (It's fairly typical of West Ham to be bought by a very rich man's father, as opposed to the actual moneybags himself).

Anyhow, the new chaps are saying all the right things and most importantly they are not Terry Brown and his cronies. Worryingly the former board will all still retain their positions but hopefully with greatly reduced input. Much like the majority of you, I'd imagine, I view the new men with suspicion, wariness and secret optimism. They are not promising to make us the new Chelsea and I, for one, do not want them to anyway. I like my football clubs with soul thank you very much.

So all hail Eggert, his unfeasibly large forehead and excessive consonants. Do not sell off the family silver.............

10. Token Michael Dawson Slaughtering

You thought I'd forget amidst all the hullabuloo? How little you know me and my petty jealousies dear reader. Michael Dawson as a chemical equation :


Aimless Punts (2), Missed Tackles (3), Crosses Out (2), Skinnings (7) Own Goals (3) = A Waste of £4m

And that was just this Sunday's perfomance.................


  1. Anonymous12:11 PM

    "We had more corners than them. I don't know why that makes any difference. Pentagons have more corners than crosses and it didn't help medieval witches against the Church"

    Do you write this stuff yourself or do you pay a nominal fee to Lee Hurst for this material?

  2. I've just googled Lee Hurst to find out who he is.

    And I think that's an insult.

  3. dot cottons bairy hiff9:32 AM

    Then you've taken it the way it was intended