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

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wigan Athletic vs West Ham United: Match Preview - 12/09/2009

1. A Change Of Tack

I don’t know about you, but personally I think this blog has become just a little too considered in recent weeks at the expense of our bread and butter.

Perilous flirtation with the threat of legal action has been discarded in favour of sound reasoning, and that has to change.

I plan to address this dumbing down of the groundless histrionics which lie at the core of any self-respecting madman’s agenda - it’s political correctness gone mad.

If we could afford solicitors here at The H List, I’m sure we’d be paying them far too much for doing too little, so it’s about time these imaginary leeches earned their scandalously fictitious pay cheques.

2. ‘Av it

Wigan owner, Dave Whelan, upon being asked with which fist he will punch his grand-daughter to sleep with tonight.

3. Opposition

The latest episode in our inexorable march to midtable sees us visit everyone's favourite least favourite team, Wigan Athletic.

Wigan's summer activity largely involved big name departures - Luis Antonio Valencia went to Man United in a bid to slip into the Brylcream-slickened shoes of Cristiano Ronaldo, and Steve Bruce was unavoidably whisked north to Sunderland by the haphazard nature of his physics-resistant snout.

Lee Cattermole was ensnared in Bruce’s rhinal vortex meaning that, along with Wilson Palacios and Valencia, Wigan have lost arguably their three most influential players in little over a year, albeit for a tidy profit.

That Dave Whelan is ploughing said profit into child labour technologies is both deplorable and typical of the man.

In came former Wigan player Roberto Martinez, arriving as he did from Swansea, to take the reins of Whelan's immoral sweat shop.

A surprising opening day victory away to Villa has since been marred by a home defeat to Wolves, a 5-0 thumping by Man Utd, a 2-1 away loss to Everton and an embarrassing 4-1 defeat at Blackpool in the Carling Cup.

So they’re obviously about due for a result.

4. Nowhere Man

HeadHammer Shark’s unrequited love has left him high and dry, although for whom is still unclear.

Lucas Neill was on the verge of signing for Atletico Madrid this week, a deal which fell through at the last minute. Fellow Spanish side Real Zaragoza also declared an interest, but were perturbed by the Aussie’s wage demands. The latest is that Sunderland are to offer Neill £40,000-per-week.

Prior to the Madrid deal collapsing, Neill claimed that his motivation was the opportunity to play in the Champions League. Funny. The very same opportunity presented to him by Liverpool in 2007 didn’t stop him signing for a team in the midst of a relegation battle for a considerably higher wage.
The old excuse of 'testing himself against the best' doesn't wash either. The last time I checked John Pantsil still played in The Premier League.

Despite all his protestations (according to the man himself, a move to Madrid would represent “a brave decision”), money is clearly his only motivation. Just how many Kit Kat Chunkys can one man buy??

While I never shared HeadHammer Shark’s unbridled love of Neill, he certainly played a major role in our battle against relegation and showed glimpses of his old form towards the end of last season - when he was in the shop window.

I would have a whole lot more respect for him if he came out with the truth, or even kept his mouth shut, instead of spouting translucent platitudes.

5. The Story So Far…

We have experienced a gamut of outcomes in just the first three games of the season: a comfortable win at Wolves, a narrow and frustrating loss at home to tottenham, and a lame duck draw away at Blackburn.

Our underwhelming forays into the transfer market dictate that we must see out the next four months with a reasonably threadbare attack. I am thus far equally underwhelmed with our attempts at a 4-3-3 system, particularly as it invariably reverts to a 4-5-1 coupled with a frustrating amount of hopeful balls lobbed up to Carlton Cole.

Regardless of personnel available, we should at least explore a trusty old 4-4-2, if only to give opposition defenders something/someone else to think about and thereby freeing up more space for Big Carlton.

One of Jiminez, Dyer or Diamanti should partner the big man, with one of the remaining two floating in behind. Use Stanislas as an impact substitute and Noble, Parker and Collison/Valon Behrami to do the graft in midfield.

The industrious and popular Behrami made his return from injury in a midweek reserves 6-0 win over Birmingham, playing for an hour. In the same game Alessandro Diamanti scored twice either side of half-time, with both goals direct from free-kicks.

For a West Ham side this is as rare as me getting through any ITV football coverage without writing a death threat to the producer.

6. You And I Are Gonna Live Forever

It took no time this season for Convicted Price Fixer Dave Whelan to fire the first shot in our ceaseless war of attrition. When I heard the news that the already self-promoting JJB Stadium had been renamed The DW Stadium, my first thought was 'he's left the 'CPF' off the front.'

My second, more hysterical thought was that this immodest move from Whelan was a personal slight, one I aim to repay in kind. An attempt to re-name this blog ‘Stand Up To Suspect Northern Tradesmen’ has been met with a stony silence by my employer (who doesn’t pay me any wage, by the way).

Whelan's Stalinist attempt to add 'immortality' to his already questionable résumé does nothing for his public persona. We can only hope that in time, this vacuous monument to evil is felled as easily as Eduardo, and the armies of children toiling in Whelan’s gulags are freed.

7. Internazionale

Wednesday night saw Fabio Capello’s England book their place at the 2010 World Cup Finals in South Africa, thanks to a commanding 5-1 defeat of Croatia at Wembley Stadium.

West Ham representatives Matthew Upson and Rob Green both did well, Upson cementing his place as first reserve centreback in the absence of Rio Ferdinand, and Green notably contributing when called upon.

Green made a fine save down to his left late on and smothered the follow-up, only to concede while prostrate during the ensuing mêlée, as John Terry was on the line busily directing his mother towards some unguarded handbags.

8. The Power Of Authority

Football’s governing bodies have recently bared their teeth and for once have done so meaningfully.
Eduardo Da Silva punished retrospectively for diving against Celtic? A good thing.
Chelsea banned from transfer dealings for two years for yet again tapping up young talent? Brilliant.

‘Get up, you diving cheat! Cheat! Cheat! Cheat!’


  1. Anonymous10:30 AM

    hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day! http://kantahanan.blogspot.com/

  2. Anonymous12:42 AM

    Swing and a miss. Rape-in Van Persie is actually a Feyenoord alumnus, so the closest thing to a great striker you can compare him to is Salomon Kalou or Dirk Kuyt (although, to be extra pedantic, Blondie started out at Utrecht).