On Tuesday the half time entertainment at West Ham will be none other than Bonnie Tyler! It turns out that her manager is a fan of my other blog and has invited me to meet her. Those who know me will not be surprised to learn that I have all her records. I just hope she doesn’t have occasion to sing IT’S A HEARTACHE. A brisk rendition of TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART WILL DO ME FINE.
To be honest, I couldn’t face writing this until now. Up to now I have always thought it would all come right in the end. Now I am not so sure. Today’s team selection said it all – totally unimaginative. A team devoid of flair. A team which could have played for Charlton Athletic. Yes, it was really that bad. I fear that Alan Curbishley is putting together a team of journeymen who couldn’t light up a Christmas tree, let alone display some ingenuity. This game has raised some important questions:-
1. Just what has Robert Green done to be dropped?
2. Just what has Roy Carroll done to deserve a run in the team?
3. Why on earth was Shaun Newton in the side?
4. After his performance against Brighton why on earth was Mark Noble not even on the bench?
5. Why on earth did we pay £5 million for Boa Morte?
I could come up with another twenty. I hate to say it at this early stage, but I do wonder if Alan Curbishley is the right man for the job. Alan Pardew ‘got’ West Ham. He related to us. He knew what we wanted. He became a Hammer. Alan Curbishley played for us. He ought to know what this Club is about. But I really am beginning to wonder if that is the case. I’ll just give you my player scores and comments before slitting my wrists…
Roy Carroll – 4 – At fault for the goal and looked shaky the rest of the time
Christian Dailly – 8 – Man of the Match, which really says it all
Jonathan Spector – 6 – Lost possession too often
George McCartney – 6 – Not a patch on Konchesky at defending or attacking
Lucas Neill – 7 – Solid, got booked but was subbed for Paintsil just after half time due to injury
John Paintsil – 8 – excellent at attacking, good first touch, weaker defensively though
Nigel Reo-Coker – 6 – Failed to impose himself and didn’t win enough 50-50 balls
Nigel Quashie – 6 – Too many misdirected passes. Tough tackling but to little effect
Luis Boa Morte – 4 – Terrible. Was rightly subbed
Carlton Cole – 7 – Anonymous first half but worked like a trojan in the second half
Bobby Zamora – 7 – Put himself about and had a few chances
Shaun Newton – 2 – Worse than Boa Morte. Should never play for West Ham again.
Teddy Sheringham (sub) – 4 – Did sweet FA
Matthew Etherington (sub) – 5 – Couple of nice runs which went nowhere.
Now, where’s the razor…
… A Home Office Minister, thirty feet above me in the Directors Box at West Ham. Wouldn’t you have thought Tony McNulty would be following John Reid’s example and working ’18 hours a day to sort out the Home Office? No, me neither.
Heard behind me in the Dr Martens Stand…
Q How the fuck does Shaun Newton get in the team
A He must be ‘supplying’ Curbishley
With disturbing rumours about the future of Robert Green I am looking forward to this afternoon’s match with a slight sense of trepidation. Watford have their tails up after their victory over Blackburn in the week, and despite the departure of Ashley Young they will be full of confidence. Team selection is difficult. Calum Davenport is cup tied but Lucas Neill and Kepa Blanco are eligible to play. I’d like to think Mark Noble will get another runout after his goal and performance in the last round, but I suspect I will be disappointed. I expect the team to look something like this.
Carroll, Neill, Spector, Ferdinand (if fit), Dailly, Quashie, Boa Morte, Benyoun, Reo Coker, Blanco, Cole
If Reo Coker doesn’t play and Mullins or Noble are brought in, that may be a sign that he is on his way next week, as predicted below. He isn’t cuptied, having not played against Brighton.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports that Charlton and Wolves had bids for Teddy Sheringham rebuffed.
According to THIS article just posted on the Daily Mail website, Eggert Magnusson has said that West Ham will leave Upton Park whether or not the discussions over the Olympic Stadium are successful. I’m not sure Mr Magnusson realises the tribal loyalties we all have to Upton Park. You can’t just dismiss decades of memories like that. I agree that if we cannot develop the East Stand then we may well have to look elsewhere, but are we sure those possibilities have been exhausted? I for one am not. I loved being in the East Stand and would love to move my season ticket back there if it was redeveloped.
However, it is important to retain a sense of perspective about this. We have to think about our ambitions. The truth is we can never take on the big boys unless we have the attendances to match. I reckon we’d easily fill 50,000 for the big games if we had the capacity. And if the prices were reduced for the smaller games it may be possible to get more than 40,000 for them too. If we can;t achieve that by expanding our horizons at Upton Park then we may well have to look elsewhere. But all I would say to mr Magnusson is this: if you don’t handle the PR of this correctly, you will face a backlash the like of which you have never seen before. Remember the ill-fated Bond Scheme? We do.
Robert Dunford has an excellent article on this HERE.
You may remember that last week I broke the news on this blog that Calum Davenport was signing for West Ham. The same source of that story has just told me that Nigel Reo Coker may well be on his way to Spurs before the transfer deadline. Spurs are trying to flog Tainio to Villa to raise some cash. My source emphasises that it hasn’t got the same degree of certainty as the Davenport move, but he thought I’d want to know. And I thought you would too…