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

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Middlesbrough 1 - 0 West Ham (And Other Ramblings)

1. Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back In The Water

I hate, I say HATE, losing to teams who play music when they score a goal. If you have to try and artificially engender a good atmosphere at your ground after you score a goal then your fans should have the word "plastic" tattooed on their foreheads.

2. The Myth Of The Modern Game

Much has been made of the supposed improvement in conditioning, tactics and general flair in modern football. A.Hem.

Consider this - Stewart Downing has played in a World Cup, Tim Cahill has been nominated for World Footballer of the Year (Ballon D'Or), Andy Johnson is apparently a "top" level English striker and Middlesbrough reached the UEFA Cup Final last season.

Modern football is rubbish and todays game is Exhibit A. At a time when the money in football has never been higher, the basic skill level has never been lower.

You're probably thinking that I'm extrapolating quite a lot from a typically inept West Ham away performance, but my real problem is that we have somehow sunk to 16th in a league that currently "boasts" Aston Villa, Bolton and Portsmouth in it's top 5.

My point is this - beating Arsenal is a wonderful thing. But there are far more average teams out there - and they are all beating us.

3. Reverting To The Mean

Marlon King, Peter Crouch, Obafemi Martins, Georgios Samaras, Mido and now Massimo Maccarone. Two things these men share in common. They are all unfailingly average and they have all scored against us this year.

To put that into military terms, this is like being invaded by Finland.

4. OK Then

How negative do you have to be to play one up front, at home, against us? We have now kept one clean sheet in 24 Premiership games. Perhaps those UEFA Pro Licenses teach managers to actually study the opposition before games?

5. The Stats

As is customary these days we had more possession, 51%, and converted that into absolutely nothing of any note. 1 corner and 2 shots on target, much like Paddy Kenny's, are not figures to be proud of.

When Alan Pardew says "Defeat here is not a disgrace", I say - "Alan, old chap. If you go to a team where the keeper is wearing an all white kit and he comes off the pitch without a mark of dirt on him, someone hasn't done their job properly ".

6. The Opposition

Middlesbrough is where good footballers go to die. Jonathan Woodgate was more likely to get an England call up when he was permanently injured at Real Madrid than by playing in that footballing wasteland.

I suppose I can sum it up best by saying that I have absolutely no interest in ever watching Middlesbrough play football apart from the two times a year that they bore the life out of me against West Ham. Even then I do it under duress.

7. The Referee

Yes, there was one - Mark Halsey. He didn't give us a penalty for a semi reasonable shout when Benayoun was fouled. C'est la vie, we could have tried actually shooting at goal if we were that keen on scoring.

8. Is It That Bad?

Well, yes it is but from the corresponding fixtures last year we gained 14 points, against 11 so far this year. Simply put though we just don't look anywhere near as good as we did last term.

All the dynamism has disappeared from our play and a chronic lack of flair is being exposed. We are no longer a surprise package and the slew of new contracts handed out in the summer appears to have dulled the hunger so evident last year.

And now we're letting a man made of pasta score against us.

9. Carlito, Sway

It just needs a goal and Carlitos Tevez will be off and running. Probably to Barcelona, but any kind of movement from our front two would be quite welcome at this point.

10. Points Mean Prizes

Just to forewarn you, we're away to Chelsea next week. Given that last year we went 1-0 up, and then Chelsea went down to 10 men, and we still lost 4-1, I am not holding out all that much hope.

Token Michael Dawson Slaughtering

The poor bugger hasn't even played yet this week, so how can I be slaughtering him I hear you ask? Well....

"And here comes Peter Crouch, like some sort of rampaging super-spider" - so says Peter Drury of our hapless international spearhead.

And to extend that analogy further - does this make Michael Dawson some sort of rampaging amoeba?.....

(With thanks to Overseas Iron for the original spot - nice to see that abusing Michael Dawson is now an international pastime)

1 comment:

  1. Boston Hammer9:11 PM

    Nice report, keep it up.