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 04, 2007

West Ham 3 - 4 tottenham (And Other Ramblings)

1. This Is Why I Don't Have A Cat

There really is only so much a man can take. If the Americans were inflicting this kind of mental torture on the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay they would definitely be had up in front of the War Crimes commission at Nuremberg.

I've longed since consigned this season to the wastebasket but I could seriously do without West Ham kicking the crap out of my psyche on the way there. We're all in agreement -we are a Championship side. With that in mind could we just revert to the prototypical abject 2-0 defeats that we're all so used to, please?

After all, it ain't the disappointment that kills you, it's the hope.

2. The Write Stuff

Read this and weep - http://observer.guardian.co.uk/sport/story/0,,2026282,00.html. If even half of this stuff is true then it would seem to explain the unending flurry of tripe we've been subjected to this year.

It's hardly going to be a major surprise to any West Ham fan with a laptop and a cerebrum that there are huge problems in the dressing room but to have it all so publicly dissected in this manner is getting fairly dull.

I think we all get it. They're a bunch of ill disciplined clowns who are trampling all over the best traditions of the club we all love. We're all very proud.

3. In Sickness And In Health

I cannot say enough about our medical staff. Using the pioneering methods made famous by Dr Harold Shipman they managed to keep Matthew Upson on the pitch for an entire 11 minutes.

At this rate he'll have played nearly a whole game for us by the time he leaves in the summer.

4. The Statistics

I think we should whistle right on by the actual scoreline, seeing as how I'm liable to burst in to tears if I analyse it again. We had 53% possession and both teams had 14 attempts on goal. In all a draw would probably have been a fair result but this is us and they are them and that's pretty much been the script for quite some time now.

Had this performance been turned in even 2 games ago I might have believed that it could be translated into some sort of actual fight against relegation but as it stands it's simply a large rusty nail being emphatically whacked into our coffin.

5. The Referee

Infuriating. I'm several miles past blaming referees for our continued ineptitude but Mike Dean didn't help matters today.

He gave 6 yellow cards to us and just 1 to tottenham despite some fairly hefty tackling on both sides. Indeed, "England's" Michael Dawson spent 90 minutes hacking several lumps out of Carlos Tevez whilst conceding just one foul. Ironically that one was probably an incorrect decision and Tevez duly whacked in the resulting free kick. Which was mildly enjoyed by us all. .

6. The Opposition

tottenham are really just an average Premiership team with some above average players up front. Berbatov and Lennon are class. Ghaly and Jenas are an embarrassment to the concept of professionalism in modern football. The man who really changed the game was Tom Huddlestone, whose impressive array of passing skills was the key to tottenham's second half revival.

Well, that and the interesting mix of injuries, substitutions and stupidity that left us with 4 strikers on the pitch at full time.

Still it must have been a nice novelty for their fans to attend a match where the home fans actually make some noise and where the home goal keeper is international class.

7. A Noble Quest

In the main there isn't a great deal of prescience to this column but I can't help but feel slightly vindicated as a result of Mark Noble's performance today. After a season of watching under performing egotists being selected ahead of him it was great to see him seize his chance with a high class goal and first half display.

It was a shame that he fell away in the second half due to the introduction of Huddlestone and a lack of match practice, but that's not really surprising given that this was his first league start of the season.

I would hope that the likes of Reo-Coker, Harewood and Ferdinand are currently feeling totally ashamed that it took a teenager to spark us into action rather than our "established" Premiership stars. I might just pop down to Faces and see if they are.

8. Music For Every Situation

To the tune of Volare:

Lasagne, whoah
Lasagne, whoah
I laughed myself to bits
When tottenham got the shits

Some of you fellows are wasted on the terraces.

And one for Curbishley himself (shamelessly stolen from "In The Brown Stuff"). Morrissey was a man of great foresight:

I was looking for a job and then I found a job
And heaven knows I'm miserable now

I think we all know how you feel brother.

9. Silver Linings

Carlos Tevez and his celebration.

Which is otherwise known as Olympic class straw clutching.

By the way, what was that half time entertainment all about? Putting two Chinamen up a stick just seems odd and possibly illegal to me.

10. I Just Can't Manage Anymore

Poor old Curbishley. I came away from this game seething like the rest of you but it seems futile to continue pointing fingers. Curbishley's flaws are many but it wasn't him who made the ill judged tackle on Lennon, or pretended to go and see his nan and instead went to South Carolina (!) for a booze up.

He's been left with a squad of players so removed from reality that I can only imagine how one goes about trying to instill some sort of unity and purpose.

Of course, what's even madder is that he was on the shortlist for the England job. And lost to Steve Maclaren.

Token Michael Dawson Slaughtering

Stone me if I couldn't actually tell the difference between the completely immobile 15 foot Chinese mascot at half time and big old useless Mike. I haven''t seen that many useless hoof's since I last bet on the Grand National.

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