1. Where Do We Begin?
I've got to confess. It's been a hell of a struggle to write a preview for this game. Just what on earth is left to say about this miserable, train wreck, Robbie Williams double album of a season?
Can you stop letting in the first goal, lads? Any chance of someone showing some flair? Can you run around a bit more?
I don't think I could have picked a better time to leave the country and head as far away as is humanly possible on this planet.
2. Department Of The Insane
One of my pet hates is when people use the phrase "With my luck". You know, in the context of "It's raining outside, with my luck, all the trains will be delayed". As though somehow it's unlucky to be a middle class Englishman as opposed to, say those lucky bastards born in the Sudan or Soweto. Anyway, I digress.
In the same vein I get irked when people use the phrase, "Only at West Ham". As in "Only at West Ham could a team this good go down". Hello chaps, have you checked out where Leeds are these days?
With all of that said, only at West Ham could the brains trust get together and decide that the way to lift ailing spirits in the stands is to have Bonnie Tyler come on and sing at half time.
You know, like it isn't painful enough anyway?
3. Are You Javiering A Laugh
So long then Javier Mascherano, we hardly knew ye. That heady day in August when I wandered into work and was bombarded with text messages asking if it was true that we had signed Mascherano and Tevez, seems like something from my dim and distant childhood, right there alongside Thundercats and nappies.
I'm not going to retread old ground as it's pretty painful for all of us. We had one of 'those' players and we let him go. I'm guessing there is a book of some substance to be written about the arrival of these guys but for now I'm going to mourn his departure on solely footballing grounds.
How ironic that he should end up at Liverpool, where he'll doubtless have no trouble getting into a team featuring not one Nigel in midfield.
And I know that right now you're all thinking - "Thundercats was great".
4. Scouse About That
Last year's home game with Liverpool was one of those eminently forgettable affairs. Djibril Cisse defied his own genetics and played pretty well, whilst Nigel Reo-Coker and Bobby Zamora basically did the same for us.
Hayden Mullins and Luis Garcia got themselves sent off for being a bit childish and missed the best Cup Final ever as a result. Bet that smarted.
5. Casualty, E13
Our injury list is no laughing matter.
Lucas Neill has joined the legions of wounded men currently not doing their jobs for us. No doubt he's getting to know Dean Ashton, Carlos Tevez, Anton Ferdinand, Danny Gabbidon et al over a Chai Tea Latte and a good book, but is anybody else ever so slightly concerned that our physios seem to be sending half fit players out to do the job of men who are not lame.
I'll tell you what is a laughing matter. At a pub quiz during the week a good friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, somehow mistook Pele for Mark Walters in the picture round.
Now Rich is a Liverpool fan so lap it up - it's really the only chance we're going to get.
6. Stopping The G Force
I hope Steven Gerrard plays. I know it's bad for us but let's face it, the chances for us to see players like him are dwindling fast.
I have no idea how to stop him. Maybe tackling him would work. Maybe a tactical air strike. I dunno, no doubt Curbishley will blame it on the weather or something if it doesn't work.
7. Our Green Policy
It would seem to me that if Robert Green doesn't get back in the side for this game he never will. Roy Carroll hasn't really looked secure for several months, indeed if I were being cruel I'd say he hasn't looked secure since he was sober.
Saturday's was a bad mistake heightened by the varying degrees of ineptitude in front of him. But this isn't Sunday morning football. I don't care if Roy is the man who organises the whist drive on the way to away games, and gets the hooky DVD's in for the lads, he isn't the best goalkeeper at West Ham and my mind is quite boggled enough by the frankly maniacal team selections being made at the moment without wondering how on earth we are ever going to keep a clean sheet again.
8. We Need To Be More Athletic
We have reportedly today had bids turned down for Darren Bent and Hermann Hreidarsson. Because the current team that Curbishley has been sending out isn't quite dull and uninspiring enough, so we need to recreate his old Charlton team completely.
Be still my beating heart......