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

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Summer Ramblings - The Story So Far....

And so The H List returns. Not much has changed except that it's apparently now perfectly okay to fabricate a story for a national newspaper, so long as the subject is a football team from East London.

It's tough being this morally superior isn't it?

The Northern Lites

I have been gone a while, sampling the many and varied delights of the USA, and trying to block out the inane, self serving slurry of tripe emanating from Sheffield United.

I had thought that today might be a good day to post an update as it would be able to encompass the decision of the Premier League arbitration panel, but they too have had enough of the unstinting fuckwittery of Sheffield chairman Kevin McCabe and have packed it in for a month.

(Keen readers of The H List will note that these columns never include blasphemy except when Sheffield United are in the area - I apologise - not to you though McCabe, you utter fuckwit).

Anyhow, there are people out there who might suggest that bleating on about claiming compensation for lost jobs whilst pursuing a pointless and costly arbitration hearing is a bit rich, and I'd be one of them.

The, admittedly impressive, death by a thousand cuts that has been orchestrated by McCabe in conjunction with Fleet Street has ensured that there remains a common misconception that Carlos Tevez was an ineligible player. It was with great delight, therefore, that we witnessed Martin Samuels of The Times riding to our rescue as a rather portly Knight on a white steed.

He pointed out that Sheffield United had inserted a clause into the contract of travelling amoeba Steve Kabba, ensuring that when he was sold to Watford he was unable to play in the subsequent fixture between the two. This is effectively exercising 3rd party control over Watford's team selection, and if it isn't conclusive proof of the existence of God, then it is at least evidence that there is a higher power out there with a cracking sense of humour.

The chances of the Premier League punishing either party is remote as they've both been relegated and having Steve Kabba play for you is probably punishment enough. Either way, it's helped to push them slightly off the top of that huge moral high ground they have assumed.

And don't get me started on Sean Bean, Michael Palin and the rest of the work shy sheep who marched on Parliament "demanding" fairness in football, or their subsequent appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. Sweet Lord above, what a splendid use of the political process. Goodbye and good riddance. Consider any sympathy for your plight exhausted.

Comings And Goings

Despite our vilification for raising the price of footballers, inflating wages everywhere, illegally invading Iraq, the inexplicable popularity of George Michael and the appalling customer service of Orange phones we've only actually made one signing - that of Scott Parker from Newcastle.

Meanwhile, Roy Carroll and Teddy Sheringham have been released, into space and into custody, respectively. John Paintsil, Paul Konchesky and Marlon Harewood have all been told that they can leave once a sufficient bid is received and Nigel Reo-Coker is delighted because a "massive" club have come in for him. Sadly for Nigel the club in question is Aston Villa, meaning that his dictionary has a different definition of "massive" than mine does.

Areas of concern would appear to be at reserve keeper, where the ideal candidate would be happy to sit on the bench for most of the year, but not be completely risible if called upon, a la Sasa Ilic a few years ago.

Elsewhere a striker will be needed to replace Harewood and pick up any slack should Tevez decide for some unearthly reason that Madrid is nicer than Chigwell. We did make a mind boggling £17m bid for Darren Bent that would have simultaneously smashed our record transfer fee and spiked my blood pressure to that usually associated with Kodiak bears. I mean, Good Lord, he's a decent enough player but that's ridiculous. He rejected the chance to come so it's a moot point anyway.

Despite the fact that I'm glad he turned us down I'll still boo him next season. Life's a rich tapestry.

Don't Yossi What I'm Saying?

An interesting sideshow through this summer has been the saga of whether Yossi Benayoun will deign to sign his new contract. That's the second improved contract he has had in the two seasons since he joined us, despite playing appallingly for most of the time. Somehow the Club released an official statement saying that the new deal was signed which was true except for the minuscule detail that it wasn't.

Instead, Benayoun and his agent have spent the summer sounding out prospective buyers with the result that Liverpool have now closed in on a deal. As of this morning a proposed swap deal would see Benayoun heading North and Craig Bellamy joining us. This would raise our Goblin quotient to an unacceptably high level of one, and is a development I would welcome with all the enthusiasm I'd usually reserve for the arrival of a leper in a children's ward.

In case my flowery language is leaving you in any doubt - pah, I hate Craig Bellamy.

Truth, Justice And The American Way

On my recent trip to the US I was able to experience the truly beautiful day out of a baseball game. We have really missed out on the whole concept of entertaining the crowd. In Cincinnati I saw three scantily clad women walking along the top of the dugouts firing rolled up t-shirts into the crowd using a bazooka. It's no surprise to me that these people rule the world.

So long for now.

I'll update again if we do anything worthwhile. This does not include signing Craig Bellamy...........