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

Friday, January 19, 2007

Newcastle vs West Ham : 20 January 2007 (Match Preview And Other Ramblings)

1. 39p

If this was an article in The Sun it would have a comparison of the price of a pint of milk the last time West Ham scored a goal away from home and the price today. And probably have things written in CAPITAL letters just to emphasise how truly appalling our away record is.

We have scored away from Upton Park a paltry three times this year - one of which was against Chesterfield and the other two were accidental. As Richard Madeley would say - "Wow!".

I would therefore say that a defence containing Peter Ramage would be the ideal opponent for us if it wasn't for the fact that we have already been kept out once by them this year.

Oh the shame.

2. Bringing Back Some Memories

Watching Newcastle's truly Roederian 5-1 capitulation at home to Birmingham on Wednesday night was a pleasurable experience.

That said - you never want to play a team just after they have been spanked.

Except for Glenn Roeder's West Ham. You might remember that in 2001/02 that we lost 5-0 at Everton and returned the following week fired up and determined to show the footballing world that we were made of sterner stuff. The result: Blackburn 7 -1 West Ham.

So, hope springs eternal. Keep working your magic Glenn.

3. A Bit Of Previous

Our last win at Newcastle was in 1998 when we had Ian Wright and Trevor Sinclair on the scoresheet. We also had Neil Ruddock at the back, a man so immobile he made weather change seem rapid.

I am hoping that his spiritual cousin Titus Bramble is going to be playing on Saturday.

Last year we earned a creditable 0-0 draw, particularly after Paul Konchesky received his annual incorrect red card.

Let us not forget that Newcastle are a mind numbingly average football team at present, but if I go any further down that road we're going to have a major pot/kettle incident on our hands.

4. New Arrivals

As I type this we have signed Calum Davenport from tottenham and appear to be closing in on Blackburn's Lucas Neill, after weeks of being rejected like Victoria Beckham at a karaoke contest.

Dealing with them in order then, I can't let Davenport's signing pass without commenting that he was Michael Dawson's understudy at tottenham. Of course, because I am a football fan I have immediately rationalized this by comforting myself with the fact that tottenham do tend to ruin as many players as they develop. He was pretty decent when he was with us before and he apparently has strong enough neck muscles to head the ball so I'm ok with it.

Let us not forget that this season a West Ham goalkeeper calling for a cross has been less a statement of intent as it has been a tentative subject for discussion.

Quite why Lucas Neill would turn down Champions League football at Liverpool and plump for us is a bit of a mystery. I could be frivolous and suggest that as he's Australian maybe it's because there is a far greater availibility of bar work in London, but you and I both know that it's solely down to the massive wonga we're offering.

Truthfully I don't care. I long ago ceased to care about footballers wages. Of course it's completely obscene to pay a slightly above average Australian full back £50,000 a week but if it helps to keep us up then I think I'll be able to get over it.

5. Those Loveable Geordies

Here's an interesting stat for you.

The number of players in England's 2006 World Cup squad born in the North East of England : 2

The number of players in England 2006 World Cup squad born in Essex/East London : 5

Even more interestingly, an additional 3 players learned their football at West Ham, including one of those Geordies, Michael Carrick.

But the North East of England is the hotbed of English football. I know this because I read it in every newspaper story about Newcastle, ever. They're very passionate. Apparently.

If that means that they all wear their shirts when they're on holiday then I guess I can't disagree.

6. The Roeder Nowhere

I know that I've used that title before but I love it. And I believe in recycling.

Anyway - I, for one, haven't forgotten the fact that Glenn Roeder conducted himself with so much dignity upon his return to Upton Park that he was escorted from the pitch by the police.

I'd love to think that our players haven't forgotten it either, but as they appear to have forgotten how to defend I'm not banking on it.

7. Our Drawing Power

I've just seen that Ashley Young is looking likely to go to Aston Villa. Just to re-iterate, that's Aston Villa - a football team so dull that their own fans go home and watch paint dry to liven up their days.

I doubt that Villa are offering any more money than us considering that someone at West Ham has found Magnusson's pot of gold, so I have to ask whether any one out there is coming to West Ham as a result of being enticed by our manager.

Say what you like about Pardew but new players always strongly expressed a desire to play for him.

8. Just What The Doctor Ordered

No matter what we all might think about Newcastle and their lack of merit relative to, well, a good football team you can't dispute that they must be licking their lips at the prospect of our little circus rolling in to town.

If you ever wanted to get your home form back on track surely you'd want to play West Ham.

9. Striker Light

With Zamora suspended, Tevez and Cole possibly injured and Ashton suffering from Dutch Elm Disease or something, we are quite probably going to be playing Sheringham and Harewood up front.

Neither of whom made it into last weeks squad. Erm...

10. My Pet Hate

I'll bet Shaun Newton's fit though.


I haven't exactly been deluged with offers to write The H List whilst I'm away for February. So you should look forward to updates sent through from rural New Zealand based solely on the BBC website reports.

Which still makes me more qualified to comment on professional football than Ian Wright so don't despair........

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:07 PM

    I don't understand the Davenport signing. It seems pretty obvious that WH need a no-nonsense type to partner the elegant but flighty Gabbidon. Unfortunately for you lot, Davenport is very much in the Gabbidon mode. Shame, really; as a Coventry fan, I'd like to see Davenport get a decent chance but I can't see WH as the right place for him.