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

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Chelsea vs West Ham: 18 November 2006 (Match Preview and Other Ramblings)

1. How To Drive A Fanbase Insane

From our relegation season:

Number of points mustered by West Ham against Chelsea : 6
Number of points mustered by West Ham against Charlton, Birmingham, Everton, Leeds, Bolton, Aston Villa and Southampton : 5

And Trevor Brooking managed one of the victories against Chelsea. Again, I feel I must say - nice one Glenn.

2. Weird

Since the advent of the Premier League we have managed an impressive 9 wins over Chelsea. Of course, they weren't always the Galactic Empire that they are now but that didn't stop them going 16 years without defeat against tottenham so it's still a very decent record.

In the same time span we have beaten Aston Villa just 4 times. Sometimes statistics just make your head hurt.

3. I Beg Of You - Don't Expect Anything

I'm sure that there are some Hammers fans out there who go to games like this with a sense of hope. I am not one of them.

I once made a foray into positive thinking on April Fools Day, 2000 before an away trip to Manchester United. We took the lead early on through Paolo Wanchope before letting in a flurry of 7 quick goals and losing 7-1. Et voila - no more mindless optimism.

Games like this are little more than an exercise in survival. Survive without being embarrassed, without injuries, without suspensions and without letting Lampard score. And I think we can do it.

4. An Insight Into The Mind Of Football Fans

If you are reading this column and you aren't interested in football then the chances are that you are either here by accident or you're married to me.

Therefore, let me explain something to you. We football fans live in the world of the "what if".

An example - If West Ham had held on to Joe Cole, Francis Lampard and Glenn Johnson then we would have the core of a good team. Add to that John Terry who was born in Barking to a West Ham family and was with the club until the age of 14 so by rights should be a Hammer. Mix in Didier Drogba and Petr Cech, both of whom were due to join West Ham on pre-arranged deals before relegation scuppered the transfers. Lastly, don't forget that we had Andriy Shevchenko on trial at the tender age of 20 only to be sent home by Harry Redknapp on the grounds that ..."He didn't pull up any trees". My God - was he supposed to?

Anyway - not a bad team there.

To think like this is, of course, madness. But then, so is spending £21m on Shaun Wright-Phillips and only playing him during Lent.

5. Captain Mediocre

You know when you hear Will Young's version of "Light My Fire" and you look out the window and think "How can I can be hearing thunder when it's not raining" before you realise that it's actually the sound of Jim Morrison spinning wildly in his grave?

That's what happens to me when people compare John Terry to Bobby Moore.

If I had to list out John Terry's main attributes they would be: aerial ability, courage, Claude Makalele, pointing and shouting, Petr Cech, that funny way he wears his socks and William Gallas.

I'm not denying that he is a fine Premiership player but I have long thought that he is not good enough at International or Champions League level. In the biggest games of his career Terry has been cruelly exposed. Think of Fernando Morientes ripping him apart in the Champions League semi final against Monaco or when he was outjumped in the quarter finals of Euro 2004 by the estimable Helder Postiga.

And those socks have to go.

6. The Special One?

For a man who has taken Chelsea no further in the Champions League than Claudio Ranieri ever did, Jose Mourinho has a very high opinion of himself. He's an excellent manager, certainly, but the man has spent enough money to fund the Olympics on his own.

7. Central To Our Problems

Not to alarm you all unduly but both Danny Gabbidon and James Collins pulled out injured from the Welsh squad this week. And Anton Ferdinand was not fit to play last week.

I remain unconvinced that likely replacements George McCartney and Christian Dailly are quite up to the task of marking Drogba and Shevchenko.

8. When I Said He Wouldn't Score

The next time that Francis Lampard hits a speculative long range shot that takes a whopping deflection into the net, it will make him the all time leading midfield scorer for Chelsea. It will be his 77th goal for them, I believe, which is a truly remarkable record.

Even more notable is that he will be surpassing the record of Dennis Wise who was a heroically useless footballer.

Anyway - if you think this won't happen on Saturday you are officially nuts.

9. You Only Sing When You're Fine Dining

Department of the Obvious update: Jose Mourinho reckons that Chelsea fans don't sing very much.

Next week - "Jose says that James Blunt is a bit crap".

10. The Morning After The Night Before

Once we get this game out of the way we define the phrase "From the sublime to the ridiculous".

Our fixture list reads "Chelsea - A, Sheffield United - H".

Of course, the Premier League is the best in the world.

11. The Kids Are Alright

I'm slightly alarmed by a report that I just saw on Sky Sports News. It featured Alan Pardew using his new favourite word of the week - "enthused" appears to have replaced "exuberance", so it seems he's still on the letter "E" anyway.

Yet more strange was the sight of Alan deep in conversation with what appeared to be a 13 year old boy on the training ground.........whilst he was actually taking training. Perhaps our tactics for Saturday will involve water balloons. This would be an improvement on last years effort it must be said...........


  1. Anonymous12:40 PM

    '11. The Kids Are Alright'

    Isn't that a R0bb!3 W!11!@m$ lyric???

    What's the matter with you man!?


  2. The Who - Shirley?

    The fact that W!11!@m$ nicked it years later isn't my fault.

    A little tibdit for you though. Robbie Williams was known as Fathead at school . That shouldn't make me happy but it does.

  3. dot cottons bairy hiff1:08 PM

    I'm was a little disappointed to discover upon logging onto your site (Tuesday 21st) that you have yet to post your report on the Chelsea game - will you be pulling your finger out shortly?

    In addition, will you be ending your silence on the take over now that the deal is almost complete? What are your opinions on the subject and have you done you own 'due diligence' on the new owners?