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 12, 2007

West Ham 3 - 3 Fulham (And Other Ramblings)

1. The Department Of Blind Optimism

Home wins are just sooooo last year.

That's 2 games unbeaten! 3 goals for the second consecutive match - we're a lean mean goal machine! And it's been a good couple of weeks since we let in 6.

Everything is coming up roses, people.

2. The Department Of Actual Facts

Number of games played against Reading, Portsmouth, Man City, Newcastle, Fulham, Middlesboro, Watford - 11

Points won - 3

Those numbers would tend to indicate that mediocrity rules. I have aspirations that we too can be mediocre one day.

3. The Statistics

As is customary these days, we enjoyed more possession to the tune of 58% but for all our bluster, vim and vigour we don't really have the incisiveness that was so evident last season.

Incredibly, Luis Boa Morte was the victim of no less than 10 fouls on Saturday. I'm guessing that when he left Fulham he cut the ends off all their socks because that it is by some distance the worst battering that any of our players have taken this season.

Naturally, that nasty little gobshite Michael Brown committed the most fouls of anybody on the pitch with 5. You can take the boy out of Sheffield United....

4. The Opposition

Chris Coleman thought that it would have been a 'travesty' if Fulham hadn't got anything from this game. I think if they'd got cholera then that would have been ok but for them to get a point was robbery.

Leaving aside the ridiculous lack of action from the referee over the consistent cynical fouling, anytime you accidentally score your first goal then you can scarcely claim you 'deserve' something out of the game.

5. The Referee

I'm not really in favour of blaming referees for poor results. It's like blaming Virgin Megastore for the musical output of James Blunt.

Of course, when you've got one who's running round with his pools coupon sticking out of his top pocket with the West Ham v Fulham fixture clearly marked as a draw it is cause for concern.

The gripe about the decision not to award a foul for the challenge on Dailly in the lead up to Christanval's goal was legitimate, although Reo Coker was probably fortunate to still be on the pitch at that point. Not as lucky as Christanval though who should have gone for his foul on Tevez.

Bobby Zamora's red card was rather stupid. Quite why he felt the need to make that tackle is beyond me, particularly when Poll was refereeing as he was. Craply.

6. Alan's A Bit Tense

Has anybody else noticed that Alan Curbishley can't quite decide if he should be using 'they', 'us', 'we', 'them' or 'that shower of Pardew's' when he refers to West Ham?

Alright, Alan, I think we've got the message - you haven't been here long and it's all Pardew's fault. Is there any chance you might be able to fit a quick session in on defending set pieces though? I know the lads are busy with their court appearances and car purchasing sprees but see what you can do.

7. Let's Go Old School

I have a suggestion for next week. Play 2-3-5 like they did back in the old days when footballers earned £3 a week and weren't all complete tosspots.

See the thing is that we have no fit central defenders for our trip to Newcastle so we may as well see if we can't get all 5 of our strikers in the team. Given that Newcastle play Peter Ramage and Stephen Taylor in their back 4 they are essentially only playing 2 defenders themselves so it should even itself out.

8. Curbing Everybody's Enthusiasm

What on earth is going on when Javier Mascherano, Matthew Etherington, Marlon Harewood, Teddy Sheringham, Paul Konchesky and Mark Noble cannot get into our squad of 16 but Shaun Newton, fresh from failing a drugs test and not playing a match in 7 months is guaranteed a spot?

I'm all for Nigelling up in the middle of the park if it means we get our foot in a bit more often but come on, why is this guy still getting paid?

9. We're Consistent At One Thing

Our continued ability to let the detritus of the Premiership score against us. Not content with letting Mido do it, we upped (or lowered depending on how you view it) the bar by letting DaMarcus Beasley and Kevin Davies notch before finally settling on the excess waste material that is Tomas Radzinski. Of course, he did score his goal inadvertantly but apparently they all count.

10. Yossi!

Great to have you back mate. Absolutely no idea where you've been all season but it's a pleasure to have someone on the pitch who looks able to create something for himself.

And boy doesn't he just love a chip against this lot?

11. You Show 'Em Bob

It's de rigeur these days at those moments of Halley's Comet-like frequency when England take a wicket, for the guys involved to roll the ball back to the umpire to enable both hands to be free for some high five action. At West Ham there seems to be a different approach.

Good call from Zamora then to cup his ear to the crowd a la Reo Coker after scoring. As though one goal since September is how you ram the taunts of disgruntled fans back down their throats. And they wonder why footballers are viewed with all the love and affection of solicitors and traffic wardens.

12. Back To The Future

I'm sorry to say this but this season has all the hallmarks of our Roederian relegation. An unisipiring manager, injuries at key positions and a chronic lack of belief on the pitch. What is different is that we have a huge warchest to spend - it's just that no one wants any of it. We're being turned down like a Robbie Williams CD at my wedding. Frequently, quickly and with much abuse. Any time someone decides that they're not leaving Watford to come to you, it is a bad day.

My own preferences would be for another striker - David Nugent would be my target, and a centre back - at this point, anyone with an intact groin would suit me.

Of course, deep down I believe that our current squad are good enough to escape relegation this year but they have played like it so rarely my faith has been sorely tested.

Token Michael Dawson Slaughtering

Some people would describe this website as a 'low paid, anarchic mess'.

Which is, of course, an anagram of 'Michael Dawson is crap'. Now I don't want you to think I'm a 'callously shadowless anti-semite' when I say that. Which is of course an anagram of 'Michael Dawson is totally useless'......

Something To Ponder

Those of you who know me well will know that Mrs Shark and Ms Shark Junior are now in New Zealand pending my arrival in a couple of weeks.

Aside from the very real fear that I may have scurvy by the time I get there, I will also not really be able to update The H List during the month of February.

Therefore, if there is any one out there who fancies writing it for a few games then please, let me know. The pay ain't great and the hours are shocking but you do get to coat Michael Dawson so it does have it's perks.......

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