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 03, 2007

West Ham 3 - 0 Brighton (And Other Ramblings)

1. Trades Description Act - Possible Lawsuit

Here's my match report. We won. Tree - and I mean a large redwood - mendous.

Now, with the match thoroughly dealt with, how about moving on to something more interesting?

As we teeter ever more dangerously on the precipice I thought I might take a look back over our glorious travails to this point. Be warned this is an 18 rated article:

(Marks range from 1 - 10, 1 being Ashton Kutcher and 10 being Dean Ashton. Have a guess how many 10's there are.......)

Keepers

Robert Green - Apps: 14

It is fairly unusual for a keeper who has conceded as many goals as Green has to still be so universally popular but that probably shows that most fans are well aware of the fact that our daring decision to play this season without a back 4 has left him ever so slightly exposed.

Clean sheets against Man Utd and Arsenal augur well for better days ahead, although the 10 goals conceded at Bolton and Reading must have made him long for Norwich and the days when he only used to let in 3 away from home in the Premiership.

Finding a West Ham keeper who can actually kick is a rarity though. Sort of like a Spice Girl who can sing. Almost mythical.

Best Performance : Man Utd (h)

Mark : 6/10

Roy Carroll - Apps: 8

Pertinently, nobody is going to look back on Roy's season and remember the football. It will always be the season that he made the front page of The Sun as he underwent treatment for gambling and alcohol addiction.

Thankfully he didn't let a little thing like that get in the way of attending the team Christmas party at Stringfellows where he still managed to let his hair down with the lads.

Has been displaced by Green and won't be back soon, barring injury. His decline was evidenced by the fact that he last kept a clean sheet when Queen Victoria was on the throne.

Best Performance : Watford (a)

Mark : 4/10

'Defenders'

John Paintsil - Apps : 3 (2)

I knew this bloke was going to be trouble when he somehow forced the Ghanaian FA to comment on the Middle Eastern troubles by exuberantly waving an Israeli flag around at the World Cup. In fairness, I suspect that the Ghanaian FA might well do a better job of managing the Middle East peace crisis but that's not really the point.

When he arrived in the UK there was a problem with his contract as we had spelt his name wrong, although it must be said that this was only because his passport had the incorrect name on it to begin with. Nothing dubious there then.

All of that aside, he has proved to be Tomas Repka in reverse. Great going forward and appalling defensively, hitting a nadir when being outpaced by Edgar Davids at tottenham.

Best Performance: Liverpool (a)

Mark : 5/10

Tyrone Mears - Apps : 3 (2)

Arrived from Olympic diving champions Preston North End and spent much of his early West Ham career lying down, looking perplexed. At this point my main concern is whether I should be calling him Ty or Tyrone. I'm a simple man and I need to know these things.

Likely to be sold for £365,000 to Stoke on July 27th 2007. I wish I could be more precise for you, I really do.

Best Performance : Aston Villa (h)

Mark : 3/10

Jonathan Spector - Apps: 14 (1)

Has been the least usless of our myriad right backs. Was AWOL for much of the season before coming in against Palermo and not looking totally inept. Also got away with an awful knee high tackle on Robin van Persie which endeared him to me greatly.

Best hair on the team, sightly negated by the fact that being an American he doubtless refers to the game as "soccer".

Best Performance : Arsenal (h)

Mark : 5/10

Christian Dailly - Apps : 6 (3)

Ah Christian. If all our players were as committed as you we'd be sitting pretty in 13th place mistakenly thinking that a UEFA Cup spot was there for the taking. If all our players were as talented as you we'd be Millwall.

The fact that Dailly has featured at all this year is testament to his own enduring longevity and the total lack of fight from the rest of them, so evident during some of our more hideous defeats.

Single handedly destroyed my vision of Man City's Stephen Jordan as a good player by flitting past him effortlessly during the recent home defeat.

If ever a man was destined to play in wet, muddy conditions and look good doing it, then it's our Christian. What a haircut.

Best Performance : Man City (h)

Mark : 6/10

James Collins - Apps : 6

I lead the clarion call for his inclusion earlier in the year when we just couldn't seem to find it within ourselves not to concede before I'd even sat down. He came in a few times and did nothing to justify my faith in him. So he should consider himself off my Christmas card list. That'll learn him.

Has been mostly injured, and frankly if he can't get into this back 4 then something is a bit amiss.

I saw him in Romford one day after training and I can confirm he is extremely tall.

Best Perfomance : Man Utd (h)

Mark : 4/10

Anton Ferdinand - Apps : 19

He drives a Baby Bentley apparently.

Another of the 'must do better' club. Reputedly a leading member of the clique and certainly a prime culprit in a season that has been derailed by off the field garbage. There is precious little excuse for being caught on CCTV going in to Faces nightclub at all, let alone alledgedly being caught doing a bit of GBH right outside.

A shame because his footballing progress since I first saw him as a callow youth at Preston on the first day of the 2003/04 season has been remarkable.

Caught 'dancing' on that bloody Reo-Coker video too.

Best Performance : Man Utd (h)

Mark : 5/10

Danny Gabbidon - Apps : 17

I'm not sure I've ever seen a footballer regress so quickly from one year to the next. Impeccable last season, he has been dire for much of this year. No doubt he has been affected by the fact that he was injured through pre-season but he gave away a penalty on the opening day and hasn't looked forward since.

Has somehow escaped being dropped, so possibly in possesion of some incriminating photographs.

Welsh.

Best Performance : Arsenal (h)

Mark : 4/10

Paul Konchesky - Apps : 20

Ol' Blue Eyes. Where art thou? Give me back my languid, always looks knackered, sweet swinging full back and take back this imposter you've left me with. I can trace his demise back precisely to the moment that he got into the England squad. It seems that one week with Eriksson and Maclaren has decimated his confidence completely and he has subsequently declined and fallen like a Roman Empire.

Passes with all the accuracy one might expect of a man supplanted in the Charlton side by 64 year old Chris Powell.

Best Performance : Aston Villa (h)

Mark : 5/10

George McCartney - Apps : 2 (6)

Prime member of the "I'm not as bad as you think I am" club. Admittedly that is a club with a very select membership these days at Upton Park. Has overcome the double whammy of being Northern Irish and learning his football at Sunderland to forge a useful role in the squad for us. That in itself should tell you all you need to know about our season so far.

Makes Victoria Beckham look beefy.

Best Performance : Arsenal (h)

Mark : 6/10

Midfielders

Nigel Reo-Coker - Apps: 21

It probably seemed like a reasonable purchase. Maybe £40, stick it on for a night out and not worry about it. Unfortunately then a film crew came round and got some footage of you 'dancing' like an epilepsy sufferer whilst wearing it and now you've been universally villified.

Bet that Nige regrets buying that "Billionaire Boys Club" t-shirt now.

A fall from grace of epic proportions, mostly brought about by a stinking attitude and an agent with ice for brains. The tigerish little chap of last year has been replaced by an ego the size of Roseanne Barr and he's showing about as much ability.

A move might do him good. Then again it might not (think Shaun Wright Phillips). He just needs to forget about leaving and try and remember how hard he had to work to get out from where he was just two season ago. (And if you can't remember Nigel it was on the bench behind Steve Lomas and Carl Fletcher).

Now that we have signed Quashie we have by some distance the most amount of Nigel's in the Premiership.

Best Perfomance : Arsenal (h)

Mark : 4/10

Hayden Mullins - Apps : 20 (2)

A somewhat controversial choice perhaps but my Player of the Season so far. Now that's a bit like being voted Britain's Most Honourable Politician but, there you go, someone has to win it.

Responded well to being dropped earlier in the season and has been steady if unspectacular since then. Has played poorly at times but the sad fact is that no one in our squad has even approached consistency this year.

Tellingly, he is our second top goal scorer with 3.

Best Performance : Blackburn (h)

Mark : 7/10

Matthew Etherington - Apps : 16 (1)

An excrutiating season so far for our bambi legged lefty. Has performed so badly at times that he actually managed to make Andy van der Meyde look competent in our away game at Everton. Seems likely to move on now that we have acquired Luis Boa Morte and could actually end up replacing him at Fulham where his fluffy brand of football should fit right in.

Despite all of the above a large proportion of our goals do tend to start on our left hand side.

About as good defensively as the French Army.

Best Perfomance : Arsenal (h)

Mark : 4/10

Yossi Benayoun - Apps : 14 (4)

Yet another who has fallen off more rapidly than a drunken jockey. Rewarded for a patchily impressive first season with a ridiculous wage hike and has played like a man with his mind on other things. Looks lightweight, out of form, disinterested and yet frustratingly, remains our sole source of creativity in midfield.

Described our display at Reading as "...playing like drunks.." which is somewhat disingenous because when drunk people are being humiliated they usually show a bit of fight.

Best Performance : Charlton (h)

Mark : 3/10

Lee Bowyer - Apps : 13 (2)

Started brilliantly and then faded like jeans in the sun. It's scarcely credible that this player was once one of Europe's most feared attacking midfielders given that he has still yet to score for us in his two stints.

Hit the post at Liverpool when he really should have scored and it's tempting to think that had that gone in both his and our season's would have been very different. Still likes a scrap and does work hard but something is missing from his game.

The woman who sits in front of me steadfastly refuses to clap him and instead turns round and folds her arms when his name is read out. I admire her dedication if nothing else.

Best Perfomance : Charlton (h)

Mark : 5/10

Javier Mascherano - Apps : 3 (2)

Remember that heady day in September when we signed two Argentinian World Cup stars? "We're going to win the UEFA Cup" I thought, "In fact, we'll probably win the Boat Race too".

So quickly can wild expectations turn to dust. He looked great in his first game and subsequently looked mystified at having to play against people like Jermain Jenas. I have been calling for him to be given a chance. mostly on the basis that he can hardly do any worse than our current midfield but first Pardew and latterly Curbishley have studiously ignored him.

Is now likely to be squeezed out by the arrival of Nigel Quashie, which is a sentence I never thought I'd write. There are lots of rumours surrounding him, the most credible of which being that in order for him to leave he needs to be able to demonstrate to FIFA that his career is being harmed by staying at West Ham, something that can best be proved by us not picking him. And you thought it was a something stupid.

Likely to go down as the biggest waste of talent in our history. Which is truly saying something.

Best Performance : Palermo (h)

Mark : 4/10

Strikers

Bobby Zamora - Apps : 17 (1)

There are those who sing that he is better than Jermain. These people are on drugs. Unless they're meaning Germaine Greer - I don't really know.

Has put in some performances so bad that dogs in the surrounding streets have simply laid down and died. Bobby's first touch can have that effect on you.

Is our leading scorer despite not finding the net since the Aqe of Aquarius. In fact, if you get a minute go on to You Tube and look up his goals this season. How many do you think were confidently and deliberately struck into the net? I'm not complaining but you'll see what I mean.

Best Performance : Charlton (h)

Mark : 5/10

Teddy Sheringham - Apps : 4 (13)

It is a scathing comment on the rest of this shower that a 40 year old who has started just 4 league games all season came quite close to winning the Player of the Year. Teddy remains the player with the best technique and finishing skill at the club, even if he appears to be relying on alchemy to continue turning out at his age at all.

Proved that those dimples have lost none of their potent charm by dating the winner of the Miss UK competition. Purely coincidentally, Teddy was a judge in that same competition. What a guy. (What are the qualifiations for judging one of those things by the way?)

Best Perfomance : Blackburn (h)

Mark : 7/10

Marlon Harewood - Apps : 14 (8)

Just one league goal all season, but what a goal it was. Has otherwise looked a pale shadow of the 14 goal player we saw last year. Incredibly it turns out that Marlon was destined for the World Cup before getting injured in the FA Cup Final. Sometimes life is just a little too weird for me.

Noticeably lacking in confidence and seems to have been guilty of resting on his laurels after an impressive first year. Has been linked with a move to Charlton as part of a swap deal for Darren Bent. If that does materialise I imagine you'll see Alan Pardew walking round with his arm in a sling after we bite his hand off.

Best Performance : A Question of Sport (Sept 2006)

Mark : 4/10

Carlton Cole - Apps 1 (10)

Scored within 30 seconds of his debut and it's been all downhill since. Conceivably could have played more, but then he actually could have turned up to training a bit more aswell.

I've struggled to see what all the fuss was about with Carlton though. He's certainly physically imposing but he's not particularly mobile and he's not exactly been putting it about up there.

It will be interesting to see how much he plays under Curbishley as they apparently had a bit of a falling out during his time at Charlton, although that's a story you hear about pretty much everyone who played over there. Which is something to look forward to.

Best Performance : Reading (h)

Mark : 4/10

Carlos Tevez - Apps : 7 (6)

The man who would be king. Our pint sized saviour who tries harder than anyone who has his kind of reputation usually does. The harsh fact remains that he has yet to score, although it's not for the want of trying.

Would be in my side every week as it's difficult to believe that he won't come good at some point, and in this side "coming good" constitutes scoring twice.

Have a look at his hair in the photos flashed up on the big screen before games. Awesome.

Best Performance : Everton (a)

Mark : 6/10

And Finally

I haven't rated Shaun Newton on the grounds that I don't even think he should be in our employ, let alone on the pitch. Mark Noble is a miniature hero of mine so he can have 9/10. Jimmy Walker gets 8/10 for saving that Lampard penalty two years ago and Kyel Reid gets a 10/6 on the grounds that he must be dyslexic.

Welcome to Nigel Quashie, a modern day Jonah, and "Hola" to Luis Boa Morte who came for love of the club and a boatload of cash. God Bless You both.

We have been linked with pretty much every other footballer in possession of all their limbs so I won't comment too much, except to say that we have not one underwear model in our current squad to my knowledge so let's do everything we can to get Freddie Ljungberg.

Oh, and if Jeremy Nicholas plays "The Great Escape" at any point we've had it......

1 comment:

  1. Dot Cottons Bairy Hiff2:35 PM

    Great breakdown on the players and their season so far.

    Really enjoyed your comment on Zamora 'Has put in some performances so bad that dogs in the surrounding streets have simply laid down and died. Bobby's first touch can have that effect on you'.

    I would have also accepted 'his performances have been so bad it's enough to make an onion cry'.

    ReplyDelete