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 23, 2006

West Ham vs Sheffield United: 25 November 2006 (Match Preview and Other Ramblings)

1. What Just Happened?

Now that was a fairly run of the mill week.

The takeover we have long dreamt of finally materialised, our goalkeeper made the front page of The Sun due to his gambling and booze addiction, before our centre back decided that wasn't rock'n'roll enough and made the front page of The Evening Standard for ABH.

We still lost of course.

2. Here Comes The Sson

I'm not sure I think that being an Icelandic millionaire is all that significant. Having been to Rekjavik I can confirm that it is by some distance the most expensive place in the Universe. A good reference point would be to say that it is like permanently living in an airport:

"Excuse me, how much for that pint of milk? - Nine pounds, Sir" - that kind of thing. So, in short, any Icelander who isn't a millionaire probably isn't trying hard enough.

However, since the arrival of our Icelandic pals we have been strongly linked with a £10m bid for Shaun Wright-Phillips and there is much talk of European adventures. And that usually only happens on computer games.

3. Roy's A Boy

Roy Carroll never makes any saves that you wouldn't expect him to make, but he does stop most things that he should. (Re-read that sentence, it makes sense after a while).

This probably makes him an average Premiership keeper, but not much more. Particularly given that he is being kept out of his national side by a man named "Maik".

His form this year, however, was unquestionably erratic until his recent axing and it seems that this is now being attributed to a drink and gambling problem.

I won't be flippant about it, for it's a serious problem but it isn't all that flash for the club when one of their players is alleged to owe £30,000 to a team mate.

4. Anton And On

Anton Ferdinand's charge for ABH will cast a long shadow over the rest of this season, and isn't going to help his career a great deal. Of course, Faces nightclub is arguably the last place any breathing human being should want to be spending their evenings in the first place so perhaps he is reaping what he has sown.

It just goes to prove that no good can come of going out in Ilford. And so says a man who lived there for 20 years. Mind you, I did then move to Romford so I should keep quiet.

5. Pergatory

I have mixed emotions about tomorrows game. On the one hand I am excited about the takeover and Carlos Tevez running amok whilst Sheffield United disintegrate around him. On the other I do have to watch Sheffield United play "football" which cannot ever possibly be considered as entertainment.

During our 2 year exile in the Championship we had the pleasure of facing them no less than 6 times and emerged victorious just the once.

Much like lorry drivers are no longer allowed to drive after a certain number of hours on the road, so too should football fans be exempt from watching more than 2 games against Sheffield United in any two year period.

6. Alright Colin?

Although I have done a piece on footballing nicknames previously I did leave out the all time greatest. Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock is known widely around the game as "Colin".

This is because it's the first part of an anagram of his name. Why don't you see if you can work out the rest?

Not since Virginia Bottomley was christened "Evil Tory Bigot" has an anagram been so apt.

7. Numbers

Marlon Harewood has scored 7 times against Sheffield United in 14 appearances against them.

There are no other statistics of any note relating to this team except ones I have made up, such as:

Neil Warnock is 24% vinegar.

Derek Geary is just 8 inches tall but you won't notice because you'll just think he's up the other end of the pitch all the time.

There are only two people in the world called Phil Jagielka. One captains Sheffield United whilst the other lives in Poland and is a 67 year old retired policeman. He is, however, the better footballer of the two.

Staring directly at their away kit for more than 12 seconds can burn your retinas away.

And so on.

8. Eye Say

My favourite Celebrity Fat Club member, Paddy Kenny, should be in goal for Sheffield United tomorrow. Paddy is an example to all talentless obese people everywhere. With just a little bit of luck and lots of incriminating photographs, you too can make it right to the top of your profession. If by "top" you mean "really out of your depth".

Also, Paddy did hit the news recently for getting his eyebrow bitten off in a Halifax curry house. As you do.

Some things don't really need commenting on.

9. Lastly

We have now entered the most crucial part of our season. Upcoming games against the likes of Sheffield United, Wigan, Everton and Fulham will define whether we spend the rest of 06/07 fighting it out with the dead men or pushing on for that elusive 12th spot that we all covet so dearly.

Much like the first Ashes Test our chances of success have already been obliterated by a poor start, but consolidation is key in itself with a new TV deal on the horizon and the ever widening gap between the elite pigs at the head of the trough and the mediocre swine like ourselves at the bottom.

And with that lovely image I bid you all adieu, and request that whatever you do tomorrow it involves abusing Neil Warnock...........

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