The Watford Aftermath

Not really a great day for the Hammers, yesterday, was it? And when you think I had to drive to Watford from Manchester listening to Gordon Brown most of the way down the M6, you’ll realise why I was in a pretty foul mood by the time I left Vicarage Road. Best not to blog, I thought.

On the face it, we put out a reasonably strong team last night, even if we were without three of our first choice strikers. And it was really the non performance of Di Michele and Freddie Sears that meant we never looked likely to score. They were both a huge disappointment, Sears in particular. It is difficult to remember either of them getting anywhere near an on target shot on goal.

I was very impressed by our new goalkeeper. Well, I was until he flapped at the cross which Mullins then steered into the net. The back line was also very shaky against a very nimble Watford attack force. Neill looked good for half an hour and then went to pieces. Evem Upson had some dodgy moments. Walter Lopez, however, was everywhere and I would make him man of the match – if indeed, you could justify having a man of the match. He’s not a particularly tough tackler, and he started off quite nervously, but as the game wore on he got better, although I think it was his handball that led to the cross which led to their goal.

Boa Morte as as useless as ever, although he did actually manage a shot on target. Which was nice.

The highlight of the evening was the Watford directors’ box seats, which were so padded, there was little room left for legroom. Actually the real highlight of the evening was having dinner before the match with Ray Clemence. Naturally I spent the whole meal pushing the case for Robert Green. Unfortunately Clemence was at the West Brom game, where it seems Mr Green had a bit of a nightmare.

Also in the director’s box was one Terry Brown. He sat with Duxbury, Mike Lee etc at the pre match meal and to all intents and purposes looked as if he was still part of the club. It was a bit weird really. I was going to talk to him, but in the end decided discretion was the better part of valour.

However, I did have a chat with a couple of other people and I think you can rest assured they are not taking the Sheffield United thing lying down. I won’t betray private conversations but the language used was fairly robust.


32 Responses to The Watford Aftermath

  1. colney says:

    the last bit sounds good.what the hell is brown doing there?

    as for the game freddie was poor and needs to play off a big man.shame we didnt take it to them coz i think we could have won this game in the first 20 minutes ant then take off whoever to rest them.

    any news on bellamy or ashtons injuries? i think zola should have a major re think in january to see if its worth having these 2 on the them when fit but this is costing us having 50% of our strikers out every week.coyi

  2. col says:

    Good to hear they won’t just crumble but if they are not allowed to appeal what the hell do they do?

    Next time you see Brown, do not leave before kicking him in the shins for me please. Infact, do the same to the useless tosser Duxbury as well.

  3. chris says:

    Iain you should of asked brown if he was going to dip in his pocket for sheffield utd!
    without a strong center forward didnt think we would score no one to hold the ball,I think we were playing that christmas tree formation again which means one up front,but we had chances,I think sears is no were near ready for the 1st team but has time on his side,glad we’re out really lets concentrate on the league our squads so short on quality we cant afford injuries,,,,IIIIIrons!!!!

  4. supernumbersix says:

    They can and i hope they do appeal – although not to the FA.

    Martin Samuel’s article in the Times today says it all and should be leaflet dropped over SUFC, forwarded in big writing to Mcabe, Warnock and all the idiots who have been writing utter crap for the majority of the press regarding this matter for the last 24 hours.

    As for the football, seems like things are getting back to normal for WHU.

  5. Nails says:

    i heard that it’s not legally binding as it was an arbitration and not a court hearing- so why not just not pay it!

  6. Sounds like fighting talk from the Hammers officials.

    I was massively disappointed at last night’s result as I had high hopes for the League Cup this year. At least you didn’t find out what it’s like when your team scores while you’re an away fan in a director’s box.

    The only real positive I’m hoping will come out of the game is that Gianluca will see that Louis Boa Morte, bless his cottons, just isn’t right for West Ham. I hope the conclusion is reached that it would be better for us AND better for him if he were to be allowed to show what he can do at another club come January. I know he’s got it in him – I was impressed with him as a player at Fulham – but he’s just not getting on. Whoever’s fault it is, some commenters on your posts would have the blame lay solely at the fan’s doors, isn’t worth arguing about. The simple fact is he needs to be allowed to flourish elsewhere.

    On the subject of Fulham – roll on Saturday. I hope the fans give Bobby Z a warm reception. I’m sure they will. He’s showing what a good player we lost when we sold him – for me his goal against Bolton was what he’s all about. A very under-rated striker, for my money, probably because he was usually being judged whilst he was returning from injury. Whenever he got more than a half dozen games in a row he always shone. Now he’s playing regularly I’m sure he’ll do well – JUST NOT THIS SATURDAY BOBBY – EH!!!!


  7. Bazhammer says:

    Can’t believe this!! Firstly I hear we employed Joorabchian, now Terry Brown’s on the scene, hob-nobbing with some old cohorts. Are we ever going to be rid of these people? Lets move on and rid ourselves of these parasites, they will only drag the clubs reputation down further.

  8. Gorgonzola says:

    I suppose you’re not gonna tell us how awful Mark Noble was once again?

  9. Howard Ruse says:

    Re Nails comment, if both parties to a dispute agree and sign-up to arbitration, then the outcome is legally binding.

  10. pjd says:

    agree with gorgonzola noble was awful,almost every pass went for lopez being man of the match,well in the first half he lost his man time and time again,positionally he was all over the place.maybe he is not a left back cos he sure didnt look like one to me.dissappointed with losing but i think that zolas passing game is a joy to watch.hopefully we can keep playing this for all the talk of a fire sale and selling ashton.well is he really that good.he rarely plays and seems a bit light on the loafers to me.anyway zola and clarke seem like a breath of fresh air to me and i am exited for the future

  11. Plaistow54 says:

    We never seem to do well in the League Cup. It would appear some of the squad were not that interested. Etherington seems to have found a new lease on life & i think we miss Carlton Cole. Let me check the Sheffield result. Oh, deary me, butchered. Ray Clemence, what a privilege that would have been, an all time great. The only thing Green can do, is keep doing his stuff. Sooner or later, you have to admit the obvious & he’ll take his chance when it comes by. McCabe is a tosser of the highest degree, & a greedy one at that. I hope Gudmundsson fights him to the death over this. Thank you so much Arsenal. I’ve never said that before.

  12. Bakunin says:

    Of course he isn’t going to say how awful Noble was or wasn’t as it doesn’t fit his and others agenda of slating Boa Morte at every available opportunity. There seems to be some sort of hierarchy that the boo boys use, some players continually get it in the neck while wearing the Claret & Blue while others equally deserving of flak never get the same ferocity of abuse. If i was Boa Morte i would continually be in the press slating the imbecilic West Ham fans that are hounding him out, the fact he isn’t and still takes to the field when asked (when the likes of Bellamy and Ashton can’t even be persuaded to take to the field for 2 games in a row, and no it’s not injury!!!) says it all really. No, he isn’t a world beater but then neither are the majority, if any, of the squad. So either go public with your agenda or shut the f*** up with the continual sniping at West Ham players. It was only the league cup anyway. Without googling it, anyone know the last 5 winners of it?………..i thought not.

  13. Phil Wells says:

    I was also sat in the Directors box at last nights game and was horrified to see Brown there and Duxburry laughing and joking looking as if he did not have a care in the world.

  14. Iain Dale says:

    Bakunin, let me reply to your imbecilic comments. My agenda is to see West Ham do well. Boa Morte has had a maximum of two good games since he has been at the club. On both occasions I have prasied him. I have made clear I think he is useless. That’s my right as a fam who pays £40 quid a time to see him. Would you like me, as a blogger, not to have an opinion? I have also made clear when I think Noble has had a stinker. Luckily it doesn’t happen that often. he was by no means the worst player on the pitch last night, but I am not pretending he had a brilliant game.

    Grow up.

  15. brooking still the best says:

    Not been a good 24 to 48 hours has it lads!

    I don’t agree with fans booing any player but that’s another issue.

    What I am stressing about is the possible £30 million we may have to cough up to Sheff U. I don’t believe it will eventually be anywhere near that amount but after yesterdays judgement, who knows?

    The club was very quick to speak up that this summers selling had nothing to do with what might happen in this case, would or does that mean we have to sell big time again?

    I feel totally pissed off with this, how they reached that decision is beyond me anyway.
    The fact is they have and Terry Brown is still sitting comfortably in the directors box with the totally slimy Scott Duxbury. Nice and cosy, but why should they care because at the end of the day, it’s us fans who will be paying the price.

    Just when things was looking up, we get a day like yesterday…

  16. colney says:

    geezas a muppet ian,who on here has an agenda ? we are all discussing our opinions on what is west ham united and if any player or person requires a comment then so be it.last time i looked thats what blogss were developed for?

  17. clack says:

    Considering it’s one of only two chance of winning a trophy, I don’t understand why we didn’t put our first choice team out?

    Curbishley did at hom to Macclesfield, didn’t he?

    I understand why teams playing in European compettitions don’t put their first team out for Carling club, but not West Ham?

  18. chris says:

    Well said IAIN your right LBM is pants time and time again,noble has had more good games than bad,LBM has got one more chance with me,one more bad game and thats it,we cant go on for ever giving him chances to shine,same for noble I think hes quite good but still lacks a bit of pace for prem level but normally passes well,oppisite to LBM who has bags of pace but plays like a headless chicken!!!!

  19. Bakunin says:

    A good performance by Noble is also something of a rarity lately, but it’s not commented on to such an extent. We have a whole SQUAD of underperforming players, yet only one is booed by so called ”supporters”, only one is mercilessly pointed out week after week as the sole culprit. At least he has the courage to run out every time while others hide behind alleged injuries. I don’t know about you but i’ll stick to the coaches judgement thank you (yes, even Zola & Clarke think he warrants a place) and not the judgement of a vociferous minority whose only contribution lately is reinforcing an increasing perception of West Ham fans as a bunch of whingers who readily turn on their own at the slightest opportunity. Maybe i would respect your opinion if i trusted your judgement, you are after all the man that gave Carlton Cole a shockingly low rating the other week when he was universally praised as the best West Ham player on the pitch. Now, is that grown up enough for you?

  20. E1 says:

    They were all shit !!!!! and the whole day was shit !!!! brown being there last night stinks and Duxbry does’nt give a shit !!!
    So hopefully we can get a result on saturday and and be ready for another exisitng game at home against Bolton. We Only lost a league cup game and some young and new players got a run out, we do not have the squad YET to tackle more than 2 fronts 1) beinig the league 2) being the FA cup. The club will want to do well in both but will need to sell, off load and buy in the january window.What we watched on saturday is about as good as it is likley to get untill changes are able to be made. So lets stop feeling sorry for ourselves and support the team 100 % no negative comments we can all see a good performance and have our views on players at the end of the day we are HAMMERS!!!! lets give it all a chance and time to see what is going on Time will tell and us behind them will help.

  21. Bakunin says:

    To the eloquent individual whose sentiments started… geezas a muppet…
    Lol where did they find you? Central casting for stereotypical, comedy cockneys? Guy Ritchie has a part for you in his next failed movie venture i’m sure. Cor blimey guvnor!

  22. Tony says:

    I wouldn’t boo Boa Morte but how many decent games has he had in nearly 2 years?

    As for the tribunal findings ridiculous as for the expert witness Henry Winter of the Telegraph he knows less about football than you or me.

    In his column he talks about his appearance at the hearing, which I thought was meant to be kept confidential, saids Tevez was the reason we stayed and that the goal at Man U was a big factor even though we only needed to draw!

    What about Zamora, Neil, Green, Collins, Noble, Anton, Mcartney and even Reo-Coker all important players in the run in.

    What about Yossi clearing the ball off the line at Old Trafford twice within a few seconds.

    A ridiculous judgment, Tevez was good but not that good.

  23. The plain reason that most West Ham fans complain about LBM is his performances on the pitch – consistently. We may, or may not, have a squad of underperforming players. That’s debatable. What’s a nailed on fact is that our Louis has been absolutely terrible for us ever since he’s joined the club. I don’t think anyone can seriously argue he’s been a success. He has it in him to be a capable player but I’ve NEVER seen him have a good game in a West Ham shirt – never mind an outstanding one. He’s had chance after chance after chance and still he’s awful for us. If I was that consistently bad at my job I’d have had the sack long ago.

    I take the point made about the boo boys. It doesn’t do a player’s confidence any good but if you have a bit of passion about you then by defalut you will become frustrated when a player lets his team, his club and his fans down time and again. I’m afraid that’s what has happened with him. Our club, our fans and Boa Morte himself would be far happier if he moved on – after all – he can’t be enjoying his time at West Ham.

  24. Tony Evans says:

    As a Watford supporter and being at the game and with the amount of Teenagers and non 1st teamers on show,we did show you up.Yet you say being without 3 strikers,we were without 7 1st teamers,all injured.A left back making only his 2nd ever appearence(Jordan Parkes) and a Debut for 17 year old(Ross Jenkins)..Why Hide behind the fact that you were simply woefull,inept and yet still had people like Etherington,Boa-aMorte.You had alot of experience on the pitch that should have seen off any Youth,come Reserve side with 3 1st team players.And sorry forgot about Lucas,worth every penny of his staggering weekly wage(not)!! It was really hard to see with your performance who actually was the premiership side last night.

    Its typical of prem clubs that they hide behind the players missing when they lose to a lower club.Name me the reconised foward on show for us? Cant think? We didnt have one,and infact 6 of the team put out have made a staggering 11 appearences between them which include coming on as a sub.

    Have I showed your players up yet with those statistics yet,if I have you lot should be demanding your money back or asking the players to pay you to watch such rubbish..But cant help thinking we should have played you twice this year instead of Sheffield Utd…

  25. chris says:


  26. NYC Dave says:

    Here’s the thing with Boa Morte and why I believe every coach puts him out on the pitch. I don’t think there’s a player in the entire Premier League who gets as many chances per minute played as LBM. That is, in every single game I’ve seen him play, he ends up in a position to score or make a goal 2 or 3x. And he often only plays 10 minutes. Think about it. He must have enough pace and enough football smarts to actually get into position to score.

    Now the fact is he is completely incapable of converting ANY of those opportunities. He cannot and he simply will not. EVER. He was actually ok that one time he played left back because we didn’t expect him to convert. And he didn’t let us down.

    And I think each new manager must think, wow, I will just get him to convert and I’ll have a Player of the Year candidate. If Zola/Clarke can do it (and there’s no evidence yet that they can) (and I would bet my life savings that they cannot) we will all be LBM fans forevermore.

  27. Gorgonzola says:

    BAKUNIN AND PDJ, THANK YOU! Glad I’m not the only fan that thinks they should leave LBM alone and that Noble is not all that….compare him to Wengers 18 year olds and you’ll see what I mean.

    Yes Iain, your blog and you’re entitled to your opinion but I think you should be more reserved in your judgement and more open to the fact that you can be wrong….way wrong as Bakunin rightly reminded of your Carlon Cole rating howler. If you think that Noble does not have bad games that often then you’re not watching him closely enough…you’re doing a reverse Carlton Cole on him. I will bet you he will not be a regular before too long because Zola and Clarke are not as gullible as Curbishely.

    I have to disagree with you Gavin Thurston, no matter how disappointed I am with our own teams player I would never boo him. I think (as I am allowed to) that Noble is championship quality and two slow for someone his age BUT I will NEVER even think of booing him – that’s just crazy.

    Booing is for unappreciative yobs that think it’s funny. Why don’t they put themselves in LBMs place; booed even before he’s on the pitch. How the hell is he supposed to play his natural game?

    One more chance Chris? but are the boo boy yobs going to give him that chance without booing?

    NYC Dave, you’re touching on a point I made ages ago about LBM. He is not a striker but he was played as such or in a too advanced role especially under Curbishelys reign. This meant that he was exposed to goal scoring opportunities but since he is not a striker, does not do as well as a striker would. We don’t expect our central defenders to be goal machines do we? He should be put on the wing and told to supply – cross, pass and concentrate on that. Watch him get his confidnce back and we’ll have the LBM that used to play for Fulham.

  28. Bakunin – I’d never boo him myself. I said that I took your point about booing and I agree with it. I just think you need to be more tolerant and accepting of people’s opinions. Not everyone who boos LBM is a Yob – they just care so passionately about their club that they feel frustrated at being let down so badly by him.

    Are you seriously arguing that LBM has had more good games for West Ham than Mark Noble? Think about your credibility before you post your answer.

  29. Re the above comment I should’ve addressed that to Gorgonzola – apologies for the mistake.

  30. Gorgonzola says:

    Gavin, I did not say you boo him did I? I disagreed with the point you made which follows:

    “but if you have a bit of passion about you then by default you will become frustrated when a player lets his team, his club and his fans down time and again.”

    Disagreeing with that does not mean I am saying you boo him. I am glad you don’t boo him. All I am saying is that your explanation for why people boo him, in my opinion, does not justify the booing of our own player.

    Secondly, can you point out to me where exactly I said, or even suggested for you to assume, that LBM has had less bad games than Noble. Please, I’m serious, tell me where. But you go and make this up yourself? Did I even compare the number of good/bad games these two have had? No.

    …and as for credibility, you’re so caught up in defending Noble that you can’t even think straight as you quite clearly demonstrated by mistakenly referring to Bakunin in your reply instead of me.

    Now do I get an apology for you mistakenly accusing me of the above two remarks.

  31. Tell you what. If you apologise for calling West Ham fans “unappreciative yobs,” then I’ll think about it.

    On the subject of protecting Mark Noble I think, if you follow the conversation, you’ll see that I didn’t bring up Mark Noble in the first place. In actual fact I could use practically any player as an example of someone who’s had more good games for West Ham than LBM. So I really don’t see why I should apologise for missing a detail to a person who misses detail themselves. I don’t expect an apology – perhaps you weren’t thinking straight – too caught up in defending LBM maybe?

    I just ask that you consider other’s points of view and understand their reasons for feeling the way they feel. I hope this isn’t beyond you.

    So back to the question which, as you absolutely correctly pointed out, wasn’t related to any of your comments. Has LBM had more decent games for West Ham than Mark Noble?

  32. Gorgonzola says:

    Gavin, your in denial mate and you are talking absolute rubbish putting words in people’s mouths then contradicting yourself. The proof is there for everyone to read.

    Your at your best when you come out with: “If you apologise for calling West Ham fans “unappreciative yobs,” then I’ll think about it”…just to correct you…once again…I called the people that boo, unappreciative yobs….no need to apologise for that. There are true West Ham fans that do not boo their own players.

    Missing what detail? you compared LBMs and Nobles number of good games not me. I just said I would never boo Noble.

    …I did consider their points of view…that’s why I concluded that they are yobs! How about they consider how their own player feels when he’s booed. Maybe that’s beyond you and them.

    ..and by the way, LBM has not had more decent games than Noble, not that it has anything at all to do with the subject, but since you asked I thought I make you happy. I don’t know why you asked or even compared the two in the number of good games they’ve had. But good games or no good games, our own player does not deserve to get booed.

    Thanks and good luck.

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