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

Thursday, November 02, 2006

West Ham vs Arsenal: 4 November 2006 (Match Preview and Other Ramblings)

1. The Only Way Is Up

Allllllriiiiiiight then. A win, some goals and Carlos Tevez not being loaned to Barcelona! Never again shall this column be negative or funereal. I have cast off my lachrymose cloak and I shall henceforth exude positivity, unfettered by pessimism or, you know, facts.

So hand me that fixture list my good man. Who are our next victims? What's that you say? Arsenal?

Oh for Gods sake.

2. Say What?

Backtracking slightly, rumours abound today that we have turned down an enquiry from Barcelona asking for Carlos Tevez on loan. Aside from quite how mind bending it is for that team to be begging us for one of our players, I am wondering exactly how Carlos feels about that.

I have no doubt he is learning hugely from just training with Bobby Zamora and Marlon Harewood and, of course, watching them play, but I can't help thinking he might have jumped at that particular opportunity.

3. The Globetrotters

And you thought we were out of the European competitions. Here come Racing Club de Arsenal and their whopping English contingent of 2 squad members. I don't suppose that I am either the first or the last person to say this, but I would be loathe to sacrifice the "Englishness" of our club even if it meant extended success, and in fairness, magnificent football, as Arsenal have done.

Occasionally including Justin Hoyte in your side does not make you an English team. Indeed, the list of young English players who have left Arsenal in recent years is eye opening.

Matthew Upson, Jermaine Pennant, Richard Wright, Francis Jeffers, David Bentley, James Harper and Steve Sidwell have all moved on to pastures new. Taking Sidwell and Upson as examples, it is fair to say that they would never have displaced Patrick Vieira and Sol Campbell respectively, but less reasonable to suggest that they were not as good as Mathieu Flamini and Phillipe Senderos - both of whom are made entirely of wax.

In short, then - Marlon Harewood might be a comedy act, but he's our comedy act.

4. Hooray Henry

I can't have been alone in giggling at Thierry Henry's pleas for Arsenal fans to stop "moaning" and leaving games early, just because they are drawing 1-1 at home to Everton.

By the way - moaning over a draw? Some people don't know they're born. Can you imagine if they went 8 games without a goal? Those crazy Librarians - they'd be tutting wildly and saying "honestly" under their breath.

Anyway, in fairness to Thierry, Arsenal fans are so quiet that people getting up to leave would probably create the same sort of disturbance as if you did it at the World Snooker Championships. So remember on Sunday............Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

5. Cesc Fabulous?

I have something called my DOG (*) Index. This currently reads as follows:

1. tottenham 2. Newcastle 3. Craig Bellamy 4. Cesc Fabregas 5. Leeds United 6. Sam Allardyce 7. Nigel Reo-Coker 8. Stewart Downing 9. Graham Poll 10. Peter Ridsdale

This is calculated by taking each entities perception of their own talent , multiplying it by their self promoting attitude and dividing it by their actual achievments.

*Delusions of Grandeur

If you're wondering how Cesc Fabregas got in there despite being quite good, it's because he wore "Cesc" on the back of his shirt during the World Cup despite not being Brazilian, Asian or one of football's all time legends. And you thought it was something petty.

6. If We Didn't Have Bad Luck.......

The Librarians are a magisterial football team but we have not had much luck against them over the years. Amidst a couple of 4-0 batterings we've also mustered up some fairly good performances that have been marred by ill fortune.

In particular one thinks of the 2002/03 home game, a now infamous 2-2 draw where we squandered a 2 goal lead, hit the post and Freddie Kanoute missed a penalty before we conceded a last minute equaliser. When asked if he could change one thing about that relagation season, chariman Terry Brown responded - "I would have made Trevor Sinclair take that penalty". Interesting bit of blame re-direction there.

7. Forza Paolo

Fruitloop and fascist though he may be Paolo di Canio has given me the only West Ham victory over Arsenal at Upton Park that I've ever seen.

It was October 3 1999 and Paolo took a break from impersonating Oswald Moseley to score two fantastic goals, and generally embarrass Martin Keown.

In addition, Patrick Vieira was sent off (quelle surprise), Arsene Wenger didn't see it (quelle surprisier) and we won despite Neil Ruddock and Igor Stimac marking Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp (c'est miracle).

Otherwise, the stats make for quite grim reading. Since 1987 Britain has invaded Iraq more times than we have beaten Arsenal at home. Okey dokey.

8. Michael Dawson - An Apology

As some of you may have seen, I have been contacted by Big Ol' Useless Mike's legal team to request that I stop slandering him. Therefore, in the spirit of the impending season of goodwill and in the interests of avoiding a court case (although wouldn't you just love to see them be forced to prove in a court of law that Michael Dawson was not in fact a hollowed out Trojan Donkey) I would like to make the following apology:

Michael - I am sorry that you are an appalling footballer who is made entirely of wood. Get better soon - in every sense.

Some of you have asked for an explanation of my continued mocking of Mahogony Mickey. Well, I can't give you a good one. It's almost completely irrational.

I'm sure that he doesn't leave his car in disabled parking spaces (like the odious El-Hadji Diouf), or spit at fellow players (like the odious El-Hadji Diouf) or worse still, spit at fans (like the odious El Hadji-Diouf) but I still feel a need to ridicule him incessantly. I'm not proud of it (well maybe a little) but there you go. It first started when a Forest fan told me to watch him as he was the next Bobby Moore (blasphemy) and so I watched him very closely as he played 3 games against West Ham and allowed Jermain Defoe to score 4 times. Then he moved to tottenham and now he's giving away penalties for England. I think that's reason enough. His whole career is fairly inexplicable - he's a footballing Robbie Williams if you will.

Either way, I'm pretty sure he's stopped reading this column.........

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:04 AM

    'although wouldn't you just love to see them be forced to prove in a court of law that Michael Dawson was not in fact a hollowed out Trojan Donkey'

    I've shot coffee all over my desk. I hope you're satisfied.