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

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Blackburn Rovers 1 - 2 West Ham (And Other Miracles)

1. Just In Case You'd Forgotten

"Win" - verb (used without object)

1. to finish first in a race, contest, or the like.
2. to succeed by striving or effort:

3. to gain the victory; overcome an adversary.

I'm not so sure about the effort bit but there you go.

2. How It Happened

Another day, another abject away defeat. What a great half time talk from Curbs, splendid defending, they'll get their customary poxy second goal soon, when did Etherington come on? Hang on a minute, that's a penalty! That's a penalty! He'll miss, it's West Ham. He scored, Christ, the world's gone all Mariah Carey, That linesman is eagle eyed, hang on, how the hell did we not score there? We did score? How, when? Wait, who cares? God bless the Soviet bloc and their legacy to linesmen everywhere. 4 minutes? We'll never hold on, my heart can't take it. Just blow the whistle!

*Passes out*

3. Those Inspirational Messages

Here is a very interesting statistic. Since Alan Curbishley took over we have conceded 27 league goals in 13 games. "That's a very weird definition of interesting" I hear you say.

Well, what's most interesting (or disturbing) about that fact is that no less than 7 of those goals have come in the 15 minutes immediately after half time.

So, essentially a quarter of the goals we have conceded have come just after our inspirational leader has had the chance to rally his troops. I must say I find that interesting.

It's not all his fault I suppose. I'm pretty sure that he didn't say to Marlon Harewood on Saturday - "Hey Marlon, when we're marking up at corners, make sure you fall asleep whilst standing up. No harm can come of that".

4. The Statistics

We had 53% possession and turned that into 7 shots on target, as opposed to Blackburn's 3. Why do I feel like we were rubbish for 70 minutes then? Ah, the vagaries of being a football fan.

Clearly the best statistic of the day is that Bobby Zamora had 4 shots on target, none of which went in, and still scored a goal. Hurrah for myopia!

Marlon Harewood also committed 5 fouls which must be some sort of somnambulant record. He'll have to take pills for sleepfouling.

5. The Opposition

Maybe Blackburn normally play a bit better than this but I thought they were woeful. Any team that can only muster three attempts on target against our defence just isn't trying hard enough.

Mark Hughes was understandably miffed at the end. There were a couple of minor refereeing decisions that went against his team but come on Mark - who or what is a Matt Derbyshire and what was he doing in the middle of a professional football game on Saturday. (Same question for Alan Curbishley, just replacing "Derbyshire" with "Etherington").

6. The Referee


7. OK, Maybe Not

Howard Webb has come in for quite a bit of criticism since Saturday but in truth it should be directed at his assistant Jim Devine who bizarrely allowed Zamora goal's despite a myriad of reasons not to do so, foremost of which being that it didn't cross the line.

That said, I thought the penalty decision was correct and that Tevez was clearly clipped. Had it been Steven Gerrard or Michael Owen in that scenario it wouldn't even have been second guessed as they are "honest" players (read: English).

The sending off of David Bentley was certainly pedantic but I have chosen to view it as some sort of karmic punishment for those shocking haircuts he used to showcase at Arsenal.

I found Curbishley's take on it all enlightening - "When you're down the bottom sometimes those decisions go either way". All well and good, but that does tend to imply that there are some decisions which don't go either way, does it not?

8. Hats Off

I am not a man who apologises often (There are those who would say that the previous sentence need not have continued after the first five words, but they'd be wrong). Therefore, a big well done to Alan Curbishley whose team selection was right and whose decision to introduce Mullins in place of the labouring Noble was the turning point in our performance.

Well done too - Lucas Neill, James Collins, Hayden Mullins, Bobby Zamora and especially, Carlos Tevez.

9. Hats On

Matt Etherington, Marlon Harewood, Nigel Reo-Coker, Anton Ferdinand - hmmm, where have I heard those names altogether before?

10. Ever Onwards

The cruel nature of football means that not only did Charlton win on Sunday, but our next fixture is on March 31 at home to Middlesbrough, which gives the most boring opponent in the Premiership a two week build up. I can hear all of you out there shouting "Villa", "Fulham" and "Watford" but in terms of pure dullness it's tough to top 'Boro.

Needless to say, you won't have to be bothering yourself with questions of that nature next season.

Token Michael Dawson Slaughtering

Great to see that rather than risk passing to Big 'Ol Useless Mike when he is within visual range of his goal, Paul Robinson has instead elected to simply start shooting from 95 yards instead.

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