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, January 31, 2007

West Ham 1 - 2 Liverpool (And Other Ramblings)

1. Dictionary Corner

Well, I think we've pretty much exhausted the lexicon for descriptions of our various capitulations this year. In which case I think I'll just go back to the start : appalling, abysmal, atrocious, asinine, Roederian - sorry that was just habit.

2. Atmospheric Pressure

I don't usually comment on the crowd, primarily because I'm usually too busy thinking of ways to fake my own death in order that I never have to come back, and so don't notice.

However, during the opening stages of last night there was as good an atmosphere as I've heard for a while at Upton Park. It probably helps that Liverpool fans aren't mannequins (see "Hotspur, Tottenham"(n)) and can contribute a song or two themselves.

I wasn't overly surprised to hear the chants of "There's only one Alan Pardew" later in the evening, however. It's sad , and a bit pointless although I can strongly identify with the feeling. By the end of the game it reminded me not just of our relegation season in 2002-03, but also of the ceaseless agony of watching us under Billy Bonds. The same listless performances on the pitch, more in hope than expectation and sorely lacking the gusto required to out manouevre a team like Liverpool, who stayed firmly in second gear throughout this game.

3. The Statistics

Not surprisingly Liverpool outstripped us in possession, having the ball for 53% of the time. Given that our sole tactic appeared to have been whacking it aimlessly towards Carlton Cole's head it puzzling that we managed 14 shots at goal, hitting the target with 6 of them.

I have no recollection of us having that many forays into Liverpools half, let alone that many shots at goal. I think they might be counting Carlton's flick ons.

Tellingly, George McCartney had more shots on target than Cole and Harewood combined. Nothing to see here folks, move along.

4. The Opposition

Not bad, not great. Our strict policy of not allowing Goblins to score against us was enforced again as Craig Bellamy went goalless.

Our even stricter policy of letting Liverpool score from outside the box continued as well. That's 3 of their 4 goals against us this year coming from at least 20 yards out. Kuyt's goal, especially was remarkable as he has all the technical ability of a rocking horse.

5. The Referee

Mark Atkinson was his name. Good for him. Could have given us a penalty for a push on Marlon. Presumably didn't on the grounds that he assumed no one would bother to foul Harewood in the box. Which is reasonable.

6. Less Luis, More Matty

I'm struggling to come to terms with the general concept of Luis Boa Morte. I have no idea what he's supposed to be doing but he's currently busy proving the theory that anything bought from Mohammed Al-Fayed is over priced tat.

I think he's a true Blairite. He's supposed to be a left winger but he spends most of his time wandering aimlessly around the middle, pissing everybody off.

So in short, something is ailing my left side Doc, and the prescription should be less Luis Boa Morte.

7. He's Not Firing Blancs

You can tell Kepa Blanco is good. He only has "Kepa" on his shirt.

He also has a very high, rapidly receding hairline. Stick him up front with Dean Ashton and we'll have the best, baldest strike force in the Premiership.

I pity poor Marlon though. Off he goes and within 60 seconds there goes Kepa with his new fangled, Spanish ideas about running into the box and scoring. It's enough to drive a man-child wild.

8. Let's Go Buy A Kuyt

Just to elaborate on my earlier comment about Dirk Kuyt. I have great admiration for him, I just don't think he's very good. He is nowhere near as technically gifted as Crouch or Bellamy, say, but he has that fantastic arrogance that footballers need to be successful. The innate belief that he is a terrific player, despite all evidence to the contrary.

No matter how many chances he spurns he'll always come back for more. Check out the Holland vs Portugal game in the World Cup as Exhibit A for the prosecution.

Contrast that with Harewood who spent large parts of last nights game searching for the elusive exit route from Sammi Hyypia's back pocket.

I'm hoping Kepa shows a bit more gumption.

9. The Long Goodbye

And so I depart. Thanks to Overseas Iron, Ralph and Dot Cotton who will be writing The H List whilst I'm gone. If Michael Dawson doesn't get a good slagging while I'm away then heads will roll.

Those of you on the email list will have to bookmark the site as I won't be able to send the regular notification.

A crumb of comfort for those of you who are going to struggle for a whole month without your usual updates - the last time I left the country is the last time we won a league game. And I'm going to be gone for a month. Think positive people. Me being on the beach for a month is a good thing for us all....

Token Michael Dawson Slaughtering

There were a couple of great moments last night when Jamie Carragher got into nosebleed territory. One in the first half when Steven Gerrard inexplicably decided to square a free kick to Carragher. With the casual elegance that one would expect he shifted it on to his weaker left foot and calmly placed it into the Bobby Moore Stand Upper Tier.

Two minutes later Carra burst unsuspectingly into a reasonably advanced position. After a quick, but minor, heart attack he promptly unveiled an honest to God, bona fide toe punt. Awesome.

And by any kind of mathematical factor you can think of, he is still better than Michael Dawson....

1 comment:

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